CINNAMON: King of Kitchen

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Cinnamon is a super spice when it comes to boosting your wellbeing as it has many health-giving properties. It is obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon:

  1. 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower your bad cholesterol (or LDL).
  2. Cinnamon may help treat Type 2 Diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing the amount of insulin production in the body.
  3. Honey and Cinnamon combined has been found to relieve arthritis pain.
  4. When added to food, cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
  5. Just smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
  6. Cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
  7. Cinnamon has antifungal properties, and it’s been said that candida cannot live in a cinnamon environment. 
  8. Cinnamon can reduce the proliferation of leukaemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
  9. Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
  10. Cinnamon has been found to be an effective natural remedy for eliminating headaches and migraine relief.
  11. In terms of weight loss, it’s all to do with controlling those post-meal insulin spikes, which is what make you feel hungry.
  12. It is a great source of manganese, fibre, iron, and calcium.

Usage:

  • Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. It can be employed in cookery as a condiment and flavouring material. Sprinkle it on to your breakfast cereal, or maybe mix it into your morning latte.
  • It can also be used in many dessert recipes, such as apple pie, doughnuts, and cinnamon buns as well as spicy candies, tea, hot cocoa etc. 

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CHIA SEEDS…………..MAGIC SUPER FOOD

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Chia seeds are the seeds of the plant Salvia hispanica. They are tiny seeds that come in white, grey, brown and black colours.  The ancient running messengers used it as an energy food and so it is also called the “Indian Running Food”.

 

These little seeds have a longer shelf life than most other seeds including flax seeds. They have phenomenal health benefits as they have unique combination of nutrients.

 

  • Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds: The high levels of omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids lower the LDL and raise the HDL levels. It is believed that the action of omega-3 fatty acids is almost at par with the statins that are given for this purpose. The seeds also contain long chain triglycerides which are large molecules that help to brush off the cholesterol deposits from the arterial walls.
  • Seeds have 20% protein, 34 % dietary fibre, high levels of antioxidants: The protein is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids.
  • Chia seeds have a fibre content of more than 36% and the remarkable ability to absorb ten times its weight in water, making it a wonderful way to stay hydrated. By hydrating the colon – it makes it easier for your digestive system to move food through the gut and be eliminated in a timely manner.
  • High in antioxidants (It has a four times higher ORAC value than blueberries): Chia seeds contain a good amount of quercetin – an antioxidant known for reducing inflammation – which supports a long, healthy life. Eating a plant-based diet can prevent intestinal disease; improve brain function and increase your energy.
  • Gluten free and have low sodium, thus making it suitable for gluten sensitive person.
  • High in calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin C: Chia contains five times more calcium than milk, twice the potassium content of banana, seven times more vitamin C than oranges, three times more iron than spinach. The presence of boron helps in the absorption and assimilation of calcium. It is food for healthy skin, hair and nails.
  • Good for weight watchers: The soluble fibre in chia seeds forms a gel in the stomach and along with the insoluble fibre this adds roughage and bulk. Since the gel slows down digestion and movement of food, it causes the feeling of fullness to last longer thus controlling hunger and overeating resulting in weight loss.
  • Good for Diabetics: The hydrophilic soluble fibre in Chia seeds can absorb water, almost 10 times it weight. The resultant gel in the digestive system creates a sort of barrier between the carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes. This results in slower conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Due to this sugar levels in the blood don’t spike and this benefits in regulating blood sugar levels.

 

Studies indicate that for adults 2 tablespoons (about 20 grams) of chia seeds mixed in a glass of water and kept for 20 minutes and stirred a couple of times to break the clumping of seeds, make enough gel to last 1 day. Children can be given 1 tablespoon chia seeds per day.

 

 

ENJOY RAINS WITH HEALTHY MONSOON DIET

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Monsoon has started with rain showers pouring every now and then.  Although we get relief from the intense heat of the summer season, monsoon brings with itself some health risks as well. Due to the high humidity levels during the monsoon body looses water from sweating resulting in lowering of salt levels in the body. This can lead to dehydration. Digestive system also becomes less efficient during the rainy season. Right selection of food during the rainy season can help you enjoy the most in this season with good health.

  • Eat only light and easily digestible diet like fruits, vegetables and cereals. Eat foods which are drying in nature like chana (chickpea), besan (gram flour), jow (oats), corns, barley, brown rice.
  • Non vegetarians should opt for grilled and tandoori meat which needs less oil. Avoid fish in rainy season as they could carry some infections with them.
  • Oily, fried and the spicy food are a strict no no. Street food too is avoidable. 
  • Avoid very sour foods like tamarind (imli), chutneys and pickles as they promote water retention.
  • Include bitter vegetables like karela and bitter herbs like neem (basil), methi (fenugreek) seeds; haldi (turmeric) as they are rich in anti-oxidants, prevents infection and boost immune system.
  • Due to the sluggish digestive system during this season, salads should be kept to minimum. Instead one should go in for sauté, boiled or steamed vegetables. Also, avoid having cut fruits and salads from outside as they could be a source of infections from outside and might results in episode of diarrhoea.
  • Including small amounts of honey in the diet during this season is beneficial as honey is an excellent tonic that helps in keeping the intestine disinfected. Honey also assists in the digestion process to carry out its functions properly and effectively. 
  • Vegetable soups are a wonderful option for this season as they are full of micro-nutrients that help combat infection.
  • Avoid too much of salt in the diet as it promotes water retention and bloating.
  • Incorporate plenty of ginger and onion in food preparations as they help in exterminating the microbes in the stomach.
  • Increase the intake of fresh citrus fruit juices and lime in the diet as they provide vitamin C which helps in boosting immunity. Lots of pudina-mint works wonder with digestive system. It can be used in chappatis/ raita/ drinks/ chutney/ dips/ salads etc.
  • Monsoon is the season for the breeding of bacteria, so it better to avoid junk, spicy food and water from street vendors.
  •  Drinking water has to be boiled and cooled or filtered through special filters.

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BROCCOLI, a green wonder

ImageBroccoli  is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family, which also includes arugula, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, radish, turnips, watercress, and brussels sprouts.

Broccoli is considered a good source of nutrients because it is rich in vitamin C, carotenoids (vitamin A-like substances), fiber, calcium, and folate. While the calcium content of one serving doesn’t equal that of a glass of milk, broccoli is an important calcium source for those who don’t consume dairy products.  Broccoli is also a source of many substances called phytochemicals, or plant chemicals, that may have anticancer properties.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Broccoli and Cancer: Broccoli contains certain chemicals that may reduce the risk of colorectal or other cancers. The phytonutrients present in broccoli called glucosinolates  produce isothiocyanates when they are broken down in chewing and digestion. Isothiocyanates work at the molecular level to eradicate carcinogenic compounds from your cells. These carcinogens may come from pollutants in air or water, pesticides, tobacco smoke, food products or other sources. Epidemiological evidence suggests that eating raw broccoli may decrease your risk of developing cancer from exposure to these toxins.

Broccoli and Weight Loss: Broccoli provide a lot of nutrition for very few calories. Broccoli has only 23 calories per half-cup serving and is fat free and sodium free. It is a very nutritious vegetable for weight watchers and can be incorporated in the form of soups, salads, and saute vegetables.

Broccoli and Nervous System: Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.

Broccoli and Blood Pressure: Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.

Broccoli and Vitamin C: One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold.

Broccoli and Bone health: Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K,  both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.

Diet Mantra

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Don’t fall prey to acidity, cure it with Diet

21st century is the time of fast foods, processed foods, sugar laden drinks and convenient foods which are affecting our health considerably. Almost every second person faces one or the other gastrointestinal problem like acidity, bloating, gas formation, heart burn due to the refined and high fat foods.  Acidity is one of the most common out of these, but is also one of the simplest to cure! Acidity occurs when more acid is produced by the stomach and to neutralise it, one should include alkaline rich foods in the diet. Diet Mantra recommends including some healthy alkaline foods in your daily diet to curb acidity.

  • Include banana, watermelon and cucumber in your daily diet. Watermelon juice is great for curing acidity. These fruits are alkaline in nature and helps in marinating the ph levels of the body.
  • Coconut water soothes the system thus relieving acidity.
  • Boil some mint leaves in water and have a glass after meals. 
  • Raw cabbage juice has an immediate relief effect on acidity.
  • Drink aloe vera juice in the morning.
  • Have fennel seeds after the meals. They help in digestion thereby reducing the production of acid.
  • As one feel fatigued at the time of acidity, so it becomes important to include magnesium rich foods like whole grain cereals, green vegetables in the diet to reduce the fatigue levels.
  • Regular acidity problem can lead to diabetes in the long run. Acidity causes ph changes due to which hormones could not work thus increasing the chances of increased blood sugar levels.
  • Chronic acidity can result in the depletion of calcium in the body. To neutralise the effects of acid, body secretes calcium from the bones, thereby resulting in calcium deficiency.
  • Basil leaves are popular for their medicinal properties. Chewing say around 5-6 basil leaves relieves acidity to a lot of extent

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Myths and Facts of Diet for weight loss

There are a lot of myths and facts when it comes to healthy eating for weight loss. Every day we are bombarded with so much information and misinformation about our diets that we scarcely know what to think. Diet Mantra share important myths and facts so that you can plan your diet to shed off thoseImage extra pounds or kgs……

  • Myth: Carbohydrates make you fat 
    Fact: Carbohydrates are necessary for a balanced diet. It’s not the carbs but the calories that contribute the fat. A smart selection of high fibre and low glycemic sources of carbohydrates can do wonders in a weight management program.

 

  • Myth: Low-fat foods help in weight loss

Fact: It’s not always necessary that low fat or fat free foods are low in calories. In fact, many times the thickeners and extra sugars added to enhance the flavour and texture of these fat free foods make them higher in calories. Read the label for calories.

 

  • Myth: Avoid desserts completely

Fact: Deprivation is the downfall of all diets. You can have a small portion of dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and still stick to your diet. Do not overindulge.

 

  • Myth: No need to worry about the diet if you are enough workouts

Fact: Exercise alone is not enough. Eating a single serving of chocolate cake having 235 calories will require brisk walk for 1 hour to burn these calories. So, you won’t lose weight unless you also cut calories. 

 

  • Myth: Do not eat after 8pm

Fact: It’s not when you eat that’s important, but the total amount of calories you consume in a 24-hour period. It’s just that eating 2 hours before going to bed helps in better digestion. So, manage your dinner time accordingly.

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Boost the metabolism for healthy weight management

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You are really trying hard to shed and keep off those extra unwanted pounds, but still not able to succeed, might be it’s your metabolism which is not supporting you.  A healthy metabolism is your body’s best fat-burning friend.  Metabolism is affected by genetic factors as well as a complex interaction of lifestyle, nutrition and exercise habits.

There are some lifestyle habits which can make or break your body’s ability to produce energy from would-be pudge.

Fitness and exercise: Different types of exercise enhance your metabolism in different ways. Heart-rate, or zone-based, cardiovascular training is one of the best metabolic boosters. Not to forget, Rest is equally important because the growth-producing, strength-enhancing changes that exercise stimulates occur during rest, not during exercise itself. 

Diet and Nutrition: Foods like whole grains, fruits like blueberries, vegetables like dark leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, nuts and seeds helps in increasing the metabolism. Green tea and cinnamon are also great metabolic boosters.

Lifestyle: While fitness and nutrition are big pieces of the metabolic puzzle, don’t forget that how you live the rest of your life matters, too.  A healthy sleep of 8 hours helps your body regulate the levels of hormones which control your hunger and metabolism levels. Eating 5-6 meals a day, with intervals of 2-3 hours will keep your metabolism up by actively digesting and metabolizing foods. Eating every 2 to 3 hours feeds muscle and starves fat. Reducing stress also helps in increasing the efficiency of your metabolism.

Diet Mantra

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