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NUTRITION

Eating to Grow: The Top 10 Foods for Building Muscle

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If you’re trying to gain size, you can spend two hours in the weight room, hammering out set after set, but it won’t mean much if you aren’t eating a muscle-focused diet.Size gains come from two foundational actions: tearing the muscle down with training, and building it back up with nutrition. And nutrition means protein.

Below are the top 10 protein-packed foods you can eat to support muscle growth. But before you dig in, take a minute to figure out how much you need to eat.

Eat More Than You Burn

To build muscle and gain size, you must eat more calories than you burn—the opposite of a fat-burning diet. An easy way to calculate your daily caloric needs is with an online calorie calculator.

Based on your goals and current physical activity level, you’ll get a calorie range to achieve each day, usually 200-300 calories more than your maintenance level, meaning the number of calories you must eat to maintain your current weight.

If you find yourself struggling to get enough calories and protein just from whole foods, supplements such as whey protein can help you to reach your daily caloric needs.

Top 10 Muscle-Building Foods

Now that you know how much you need to eat, here are the best animal- and plant-based foods you can enjoy after your workout to help you achieve your muscle-building goals. Since protein-rich foods contain the most amino acids, the building blocks of muscle tissue, we’ll focus on the healthiest foods with the highest protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving. Many of them also contain heart-healthy fatty acids, digestion-supporting complex carbohydrates, and micronutrients such as zinc and magnesium.

1. Chicken Breast

Chicken breast

Is there any food more associated with bodybuilding and muscle growth than the chicken breast? Cost effective, easy to prepare, and packed with protein, chicken breasts are the ideal muscle-building food. We recommend buying a large pack, cooking them in bulk, and dividing them up for lunch and dinner meals throughout the week.

  • 32 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

2. Hemp Seeds

Many plant foods must be mixed to form a complete protein; for example, eating brown rice with peas. Hemp seeds are an exception, giving you 32 grams of completely bioavailable protein per 100-gram serving. Take note of the fat content: The same serving has almost 50 grams of healthy fats.

  • 32 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

3. Lean Pork Chops

Back to animal sources. Use lean pork chops as you would chicken breasts. You can cook them in bulk and interchange them throughout the week for lunches or dinners.

  • 31 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Like hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds are a complete protein source and are high in fatty acids, making them excellent to snack on throughout the day.

  • 30 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

5. Canned Albacore Tuna

Another bodybuilding staple, canned albacore tuna is also a convenient, cost-effective option for supporting your muscle-building goals. We highly recommend buying only brands associated with responsible and sustainable fishing practices to avoid dangerous levels of heavy metals. Examples include Safe Catch, Wild Planet, and Trader Joe’s.

  • 27 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

6. Wild Salmon

Famously high in omega-3 fatty acids, wild salmon also contains 25 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving. Wild salmon is recommended, but farmed salmon is OK, too. Just be sure to limit your consumption of farmed salmon.

  • 25 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

7. Eggs

One egg contains around 6 grams of protein along with zinc and healthy fats. If you’re like most people, you eat more than one egg at a time, so the protein count adds up quickly. Opt for brown eggs over white.

Eggs
  • 13 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

8. Soybeans

Soybeans have been shown to support cardiovascular health. We highly recommend eating only fermented or sprouted soybeans; avoid the processed stuff.

  • 13 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

9. Greek Yogurt

Carbohydrate free and packed with protein, Greek yogurt will quickly become a favorite muscle-building snack.

  • 10 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

10. Chickpeas

Ckickpeas

Chickpeas are great on their own, as a side dish, or blended to make hummus.

  • 10 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving

Do You Have a Favorite Muscle-Building Meal?

What does your bodybuilding meal plan look like? Is there a favorite lean-mass food that we missed? Need more ideas for what to eat in order to gain size? Let us know in the comments!

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FITNESS

Top 10 Leg workouts that can be done at Home: HealthifyMe Blog

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It is not an absolute necessity to attend the gym in order to effectively work the muscles of the legs and bring about significant changes in strength and fitness.
One of the most practical pieces of resistance that you have access to is your own bodyweight. The best part about bodyweight training is that workout can literally be performed anywhere with no need for additional equipment.
This article will provide 10 different leg workouts that can be performed at home to develop fitness and improve the strength and function of the glutes, hamstrings, quads, adductors, abductors, and calves.

10 home-based leg workouts

This section will break down the technique for each of the exercises that are used in the 10 workouts below to allow you to exercise safely and effectively.

1. Squats

– Start by placing the feet slightly wider than hip-width and turn the toes out
– Before initiating the squat, lift the chest, pull the shoulder blades back and down and engage the core muscles
– Drop the body down through the hinging the hips and bending the knees
– Drive powerfully through the heels to propel the body back up to standing

2. Squat Jumps

– Assume the same starting position as a conventional squat
– Drop into the squat and then quickly and powerfully drive up into a jump
– Aim to get as much height as you possibly can
– Focus on a soft landing and use the force generated from the landing to propel you into the next squat jump

3. Reverse Lunge with Knee Lift

– Begin with the feet directly under the hips
– Drive the chest high, squeeze between the shoulder blades and keep the core tight
– Take a backward step and plant the foot before bending at the knees to drop the rear knee to the floor
– From this position, push hard through the heel of the front foot and simultaneous drive the rear knee up towards the chest
– Alternate between right and left side with each rep

4. Side Lunges

– Start with the feet underneath the hips
– Keep the chest lifted, shoulders retracted and core engaged
– Take a large sideways step and bend the knee of the leading lead while keeping the other leg straight
– Drop toward the floor before powerfully driving through the heel to return to standing and then alternate.

5. Curtsy Lunges

– Assume a hip-width stance, keep the chest up, squeeze between the shoulder blades and ensure that the core is tight
– Take a sideways step around the back of the standing leg and plant the foot on the floor
– Bend at the knees to drop down toward the floor before driving powerfully the heel of the planted foot
– Once you have returned to standing, alternate sides and repeat

6. Side Leg Raises

Start by lying on your side with the legs on top of each other
– From this position, while bracing the core and keeping the leg straight, lift the top leg
– Repeat for the prescribed number of reps before swapping sides and repeating

7. Hip Thrusts

– Start in a seated position and place the upper back against an object so that the trunk is at a 45-degree angle
– Place the feet slightly wider than hip-width and ensure they stay close to the backside
– Push through the heels to drive the hips upward and contract the glutes tightly before returning to the floor

8. Single-Leg Glute Bridges

– Start by lying on the back and bring feet in close to the backside
– Engage the core muscles, lift one foot from the floor and drive through the heel of the other foot to drive the hips upward
– Control the descent and return to the floor. Complete the same number of reps on the other side.

9. Heel Kicks

– Start in the quadruped position where both hands and knees are in contact with the floor
– Keep the core squeezed and extend one leg entirely pushing the leg behind the line of the body
– Squeeze the glute tightly at the top of the movement and return to the starting position
– Alternate sides and repeat

10. High Knee Taps

– For this exercise, start with a chair, box or bench in front of you
– Keep the chest up and core squeezed
– From this position, drive the knee up to towards the chest and place one foot up onto the object
– As soon as contact has been made, rapidly switch side

13 Leg-workout Combinations that you can try at home

1) Squat Workout

Exercise Volume  Rest
Squats 3 sets x 15 reps 60 seconds
Jump Squats 3 sets x 15 reps 60 seconds

Workout 1 utilizes the squat and squatting variations in order to develop the strength and function of the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core.

2) Posterior Workout

Exercise Volume  Rest
Hip Thrusts 3 sets x 15 reps 60 seconds
Single-Leg Glute Bridge 3 sets x 10 reps (per leg) 60 seconds
Heel Kicks 3 sets x 10 reps (per leg) 60 seconds

The posterior workout focuses on exercises that recruit posterior chain muscles such as the glutes, hamstrings, and calves. This workout follows the same structure as the squatting workout.

3) Lunge Workout

Exercise Volume  Rest
Reverse Lunge with Knee Lift 3 sets x 15 reps 60 seconds
Curtsy Lunge 3 sets x 15 reps 60 seconds
Side Lunge 3 sets x 15 reps 60 seconds

As with the previous two, the lunge workout uses three lunging variations to challenge the muscles of the legs and simultaneously develop proprioceptive abilities such as balance and coordination.

4) Comprehensive Leg Workout

Exercise Volume  Rest
Squats 3 sets x 12-15 reps 60 seconds
Hip Thrusts 3 sets x 12-15 reps 60 seconds
Side Lunge 3 sets x 12-15 reps 60 seconds

Workout 4 takes one squatting exercise, one posterior exercise, and one lunging exercise to comprehensively work the muscles of the legs. Volume has been increased through an additional set and a higher number of reps to increase the challenge of this workout.

5) Plyometric Workout

Exercise Volume  Rest
High Knee Toe Taps 3 sets x 12-15 reps 120 seconds
Squat Jumps 3 sets x 12-15 reps 120 seconds
Reverse Lunge with Knee Lift 3 sets x 12-15 reps 120 seconds

Plyometric exercises are often used to develop athleticism, strength, and power. The three chosen exercises should be performed in a plyometric fashion. To effectively perform these exercises, look to generate as much speed and power with each and every rep.

6) Unilateral Workout

Exercise Volume  Rest
Single-Leg Glute Bridge 3 sets x 6 reps (per leg) 120 seconds
Side Leg Raises 3 sets x 6 reps (per leg) 120 seconds

There is a great benefit to be found in developing single-leg strength. Not only will unilateral exercise rapidly build strength, it also helps to even out any imbalances that exist between the right and left leg.

7) As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) 

Exercise Volume  Rest
Hip Thrusts 3 sets x 60 seconds 90 seconds
Squats 3 sets x 60 seconds 90 seconds
Curtsy Lunges 3 sets x 60 seconds 90 seconds
High Knee Toe Taps 3 sets x 60 seconds 90 seconds

There is no denying that the AMRAP workout is a challenge regardless of your level of fitness. As the name suggests, the goal is to complete as many reps as possible in a 60-second period.

8) Circuit Workout 1

Exercise Volume  Rest
Side Lunges 30 seconds 15 seconds
Squat Jumps 30 seconds 15 seconds
Single-Leg Glute Bridge 30 seconds 15 seconds

Circuit training is an excellent method of training for improving all-round conditioning and specifically develops muscular strength and endurance. Simply run through exercises one to four and complete as many sets as you desire.

9) Circuit Workout 2

Exercise Volume  Rest
Reverse Lunges with Knee Lift 45 seconds 20 seconds
Heel Kicks 45 seconds 20 seconds
High Knee Toe Taps 45 seconds 20 seconds
Side Leg Raises 45 seconds 20 seconds

Circuit workout 2 is slightly more challenging as the duration of exercise is increased from 30 seconds to 45 seconds. While the rest period is increased, the total work-to-rest ratio is decreased which consequently increases the overall challenge of the workout.

10) Superset Workout 1

Exercise Volume  Rest
a. Squats
b. Squat Jumps
3 sets of 10 – 20 reps
per exercise
90 seconds
a. Hip Thrusts
b. Curtsy Lunges
3 sets of 10 – 20 reps
per exercise
90 seconds
a. Reverse Lunges with Knee Lift
b. Side Leg Raises
3 sets of 10 – 20 reps
per exercise
90 seconds

Supersets are simply two exercises back-to-back without any rest. For superset workout 1, complete 10 reps of both exercises A and B before resting for 90 seconds. Repeat this process for all three supersets.

11) Superset Workout 2

Exercise Volume  Rest
a. Jump Squats
b. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
3 sets of 15  reps
per exercise
90 seconds
a. High Knee Toe Taps
b. Heel Kicks
3 sets of 15  reps
per exercise
90 seconds
a. Hip Thrusts
b. Side Lunges
3 sets of 15  reps
per exercise
90 seconds

As with the circuit workouts, the second superset workout is slightly more demanding than the first. An additional set and a greater number of reps are performed with workout 2 in order to increase the intensity.

12) Tri-set Workout 1

Exercise Volume  Rest
a. Squats
b. Hip Thrust
c. Curtsy Lunge
3 sets of 10 reps per exercise 90 seconds
a. Side Leg Raise
b. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
3 sets of 10 reps per exercise 90 seconds

In a similar vein to the supersets, tri-sets involve performing three exercises back-to-back with no rest between exercises. Only once all three exercises have been completed can you take a 90-second rest. The same principle should be applied to the second set of three exercises.

13) Tri-set Workout 2

Exercise Volume  Rest
a. Side Lunges
b. High Knee Toe Taps
3 sets of 15 reps per exercise 60 seconds
a. Reverse Lunge with Knee Lift
b. Heel Kicks
c. Squat Jumps
3 sets of 15 reps per exercise 60 seconds

The final workout is an advancement on workout 12. In this instance, both the volume and rest periods have been manipulated in order to increase the demand placed on the body. As a result of this, strength levels will increase and a large number of calories will be burned.

Ideal Combinations That Can Be Done For A Week

Workouts 1-4 have been designed to target specific muscle groups of the body and therefore can be grouped together and performed throughout the course of the week in order to onset substantial changes in leg strength.

The circuit, superset and tri-set workouts (workouts 8 – 13) can also be paired together. These workouts are excellent for those who are short of time as the structure of each workout allows you to get through a great quantity of work in a shorter time period.

Finally, the unilateral, plyometric and AMRAP workouts are stand-alone and compliment the other workouts. As a result, these three can be performed separately or alongside any of the other aforementioned workouts.

Summary

By regularly performing a selection of these workouts, significant changes will occur in terms of both the strength and function of the legs and overall conditioning. However, do not feel like you need to complete all 10 workouts, rather select ones that align with your goals, needs, and preferences.



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HEALTH

10 Health Benefits of Muskmelon that you must know: HealthifyMe Blog

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We all are familiar with this delicious summer fruit but aren’t aware of its potential benefits. You would be happy to know that it is not only an incredibly refreshing evening snack of the summer but also a great nutritional source. Muskmelon, also referred to as ‘sweet melon,’ got its name from its strong musky smell. It is a yellow-colored fruit with tempting sweetness and a pleasant aroma. They are abundantly available in the summer season and have high water content, making them hydrating and cooling. 

From its flesh to skin, and seeds, all parts of muskmelon fruit have health benefits if applied or consumed the right way. The skin and seeds can be ground into a paste to make a facemask. It is a free beauty treatment that people are practicing for ages. Applying the paste to your skin can help reduce any signs of dryness, blemishes, acne, etc. 

Moreover, for pregnant women, muskmelon juice is highly recommended by doctors due to its high folate content that helps in preventing water retention by eradicating excess sodium from the body.    

Nutritional Benefits of Muskmelon 

The numerous health benefits of muskmelon can be attributed to its rich nutritional content that is necessary for healthy body functioning. 

100 grams of muskmelon contains:

  • Calories 34  
  • Dietary fiber  0.9 gram    
  • Fat 0.19 gram    
  • Protein 0.84 gram    
  • Carbohydrates 8.6 grams    

Health Benefits of Muskmelon 

Everybody loves the taste of cold, juicy muskmelon during the summers. While it is amazingly sweet and crunchy, it has various health benefits that everybody must know. The following are some of the proven health benefits of muskmelon that you should look into. 

#1 Muskmelon for the healthy digestive system  

Muskmelon for the healthy digestive system

Muskmelon has high fiber and water content, which makes it a great natural healer for people suffering from indigestion, constipation, and other digestive system issues. The fiber content in muskmelon helps in regulating proper bowel movements with a calming and cooling effect on the stomach. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and keeps hunger pangs at bay. Furthermore, the high content of vitamin C mineral in muskmelon help in treating stomach ulcers. 

#2 Muskmelon helps in regulating blood pressure 

Muskmelon helps in regulating blood pressure

People suffering from high blood pressure are recommended to add muskmelon to their diet as this potassium-rich fruit helps in relaxing the blood vessels, aiding smooth in-flow of blood. Potassium acts as a vasodilator that keeps your blood pressure in check and ensures that it doesn’t elevate. 

#3 Muskmelon promoted hair growth 

Muskmelon promoted hair growth

There are studies that have proved the potential benefits of muskmelon for hair growth. The vitamin A content in muskmelon could do wonders for your hair that no other product can. Vitamin A is known for stimulating the production of sebum, which is an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands that help in keeping your hair healthy. Moreover, directly applying muskmelon pulp to your scalp can help boost hair health, resulting in long, lustrous hair.       

#4 Muskmelon may support the vision and eye health 

Improves eye health

Muskmelon contains three potent antioxidants – beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein – that are well known for supporting eye health. Eating muskmelon regularly can help prevent the development of age-related vision loss and support proper eye function throughout your life. Research indicates that regularly consuming foods that are rich in these antioxidants along with vitamins A and C, such as muskmelon, may lead to healthy eye functioning with proper vision. Beta-carotene is what gives muskmelon its bright color. According to health experts, beta-carotene is responsible for proper eye functioning, aiding good eyesight, and age-related vision problems. So, you should introduce muskmelon in your diet for a healthy eye. 

#5 Muskmelon may boost immunity 

Immunity

Muskmelon is rich in vitamin C content, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help in boosting your immunity. Apart from having high vitamin C concentration, muskmelon also contains phytochemicals, beta-carotene, and vitamin A that help in keeping your gut healthy. Your gut health is directly associated with your immune system. The good bacteria in your gut help with the proper functioning of the body. Moreover, vitamin C helps in stimulating the production of protective white blood cells that help destroy numerous dangerous microorganisms, viruses, bacteria, and other toxins that could invade your body and spread diseases. 

#6 Muskmelon for beautiful-looking skin 

muskmelon-skin-health

One of the significant benefits of muskmelon is that it is great for your skin. For starters, the antioxidants in muskmelon help in removing any impurities from your skin. Muskmelon is also packed with skin-friendly collagen, which is a protein that helps in keeping the skin tissues soft and tight while preventing it from withering. Since muskmelon has vitamin C content in abundance, it helps in maintaining the natural glow of your skin. All these aspects make muskmelon a must-add food to your diet for healthy skin. The beauty of muskmelon is that no part of it goes to waste. While you can eat the flesh or make juice out of it, you can ground the seeds, pulp, and skin into a paste and apply it on your skin all over the body. It is one of the cost-effective and efficient ways to treat your skin.        

#7 Muskmelon may help combat stress 

Muskmelon may help combat stress

We live in a world where our lifestyles have become more hectic. Eating certain foods can have a stress-relieving impact on your mind, as well. Muskmelon, being rich in potassium, is considered a stress-relieving food that can help you feel more focused and relaxed. Potassium in muskmelon can help normalize the heartbeat and promote the supply of oxygen to the brain. This helps your brain to calm down and focus.

#8 Muskmelon for arthritis 

Muskmelon has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain associated with arthritis. Arthritis can cause inflammation in the joints of the knees and legs, which can be extremely painful. It makes doing daily activities like walking, standing, sitting, etc. more strenuous. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are prescribed to include foods that are highly anti-inflammatory. Eating muskmelon can help prevent oxidative stress in your bones and joints, thereby reducing inflammation. Several studies indicate that including muskmelon in your daily diet could help in dealing with inflammation and bone-related issues like osteoporosis   

#9 Muskmelon cures toothache 

Muskmelon cures toothache

One of the surprising benefits of muskmelon is that it can help you cure toothache and other dental related issues. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine in 2016 emphasized the benefits of muskmelon for treating abnormal dental pain. According to experts, eating raw muskmelon or rinsing your mouth with a solution made of muskmelon skin can help in dealing with dental pain. Experts recommend making your own muskmelon mouthwash at home. Take a few peels of muskmelon skin, add water, and boil till cooked. Strain the mixture using a strainer and wait till it cools down. On cooling, rinse your mouth with the solution a couple of times a day. If you had made extra, store it in the refrigerator and use it within a day or two.    

#10 Muskmelon is beneficial for lungs 

Regular intake of muskmelon replenishes your body with vitamin A. Over time, the vitamin A content in your body depletes due to several factors, which include smoking, pollution, ingesting pollutants, consuming adulterated food items, etc. This all makes your lungs get weaker day by day. Vitamin A in your body helps in rejuvenating the lungs, allowing you to breathe fully and properly. This is especially beneficial for those who are passive smokers and kids suffering from breathing issues. The nutrients and minerals in muskmelon help in relieving you from congestion in the lungs. 

Healthy Ways to Consume Musk Melon

While people prefer eating muskmelon raw, right out from the refrigerator, there are some mouthwatering muskmelon recipes that can enhance your experience. In this section, we will tell you an easy muskmelon recipe, which is not only healthy, but you can also prepare it at home as well.

Muskmelon-Mint Slush

Muskmelon-Mint Slush

Ingredients: 

  • Muskmelon – 2 cups cut into small pieces 
  • Black salt – 1/4 teaspoon

Method: 

  • Create a smooth puree by blending muskmelon and mint with black salt into a blender or a liquidizer 
  • Now, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well 
  • Take a shallow container, and pour the mix in it. Freeze for 3-4 hours. Again, take the blender and liquidize the mixture till it turns slushy
  • Pour the slushy mixture into glasses, garnish it with mint leaves and serve chilled

Green Salad with muskmelon dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lettuce leaves torn
  • 1 cucumber cut in cubes
  • 1 capsicum cut in cubes
  • 1 cup blanched broccoli florets

Dressing 

  • 1 cup chopped muskmelon
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste. 

Method: 

  • Blend ingredients for the dressing. 
  • Combine all veggies in a bowl, pour the dressing and serve. 

Muskmelon banana smoothie

Muskmelon banana smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup muskmelon
  • 1 banana frozen
  • ½ cup curd
  • ½ cup water

Method:

  • Blend all the ingredients and serve chilled

Summary 

Muskmelons are healthy, delicious, and about to be in season! So make sure that you get your batch of fresh muskmelons for the whole family. It would be a blunder to miss out on the goodness of this mouthwatering fruit. Not only muskmelon boasts plenty of health benefits like aiding blood pressure, treating dental pain, managing stress, etc. but it is also a part of plenty of recipes that you can easily make at home. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Muskmelons 

The following are the common health-related FAQs about muskmelons that you should look into. 

Q. Does muskmelon increase weight? 

A. Muskmelons are rich in potassium that helps in maintaining the overall bodyweight. Moreover, the fat content in the fruit is also negligible, so it doesn’t increase weight.

Q. Can I eat muskmelon if I have diabetes?

A. Muskmelons are safe for people with diabetes. However, it is recommended to consume muskmelon alongside foods that contain plenty of protein, fiber, and healthful fats.

Q. What is the best time to eat muskmelon? 

A. It is recommended to consume muskmelon before 7 pm. Since muskmelon is slightly acidic, if consumed at night, it may hinder the process of digestion.

Q. Does muskmelon increase heat in the body?

A. Muskmelon is a perfect summer fruit. It is high in water content and can take care of the fluid loss that our body experiences during this season. It also prevents heat-related disorders during the summer.

Q. Is muskmelon good for skin?

A. Yes, muskmelons are a great addition to your diet for young-looking, refreshing skin. It contains all the essential vitamins A, B, and C that helps your skin in staying young, healthy, and supple.



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HEALTH

Top 10 Foods to Build your Immune System: HealthifyMe Blog

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The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus has disheveled the lives of people across the globe. According to doctors and scientists, the best defense against the coronavirus is to have a healthy immune system that can fight off the virus. While maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise helps in keeping your immune system stronger, there are also certain foods that contain essential nutrients and minerals that can help your body fight off pathogens, which are foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses, causing infection or disease. Our immune system contains proteins, tissues, and organs that carry out bodily processes and fight off harmful viruses. When our body comes in contact with a pathogen, our immune system triggers an immune response that releases antibodies that helps in killing the virus. Therefore, incorporating certain foods in your diet can be helpful in warding off deadly viruses including novel coronavirus. 

These immunity-boosting foods are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that help in keeping the cells active and healthy. Sadly, the majority of people these days don’t eat enough foods that are rich in such nutrients, thereby becoming more susceptible to several diseases and illnesses. Moreover, you have to understand that you can’t just eat a specific food and expect a quick boost in immunity. A truly healthy immune system depends on a well-adjusted combination of minerals and vitamins over a period of time, in addition to regular exercise and normal sleep patterns. 

With that said, let’s discuss the top foods that you must include in your daily diet if you want to maintain a healthy immune system. 

10 Foods that will Help Build Immunity

While there are plenty of health supplements available that contain the required daily dosage of minerals and vitamins for your body, it is advised to get them through natural food sources as much as possible. The following are the best foods to consider for immunity boosting: 

#1 Spinach 

Spinach

Green leafy vegetables like spinach are rich in iron and vitamin C. They are essential for fresh blood production and keeping blood impurities at bay. Moreover, spinach is packed with nutrients like beta-carotene and antioxidants that improve your body’s disease-fighting ability. Thus, including spinach in your diet can help your immune system health. You can add spinach to a number of dishes. However, make sure that the leaves are properly cooked, as raw spinach can be hard to digest for some individuals. Spinach should also be included in your kids’ diet mandatorily as it provides them with essential nutrients to grow and secure a healthy immune system. 

#2 Turmeric 

Turmeric is a spice that has been a part of Indian cooking for centuries. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating inflammation of the muscles and bones. Most importantly, turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin which is a great modulator of the immune system. Several studies have reported that curcumin can modulate the proliferation and activation of T cells, and can inhibit oxidative stress-induced inflammation. 

#3 Ginger 

ginger

Ginger is a great food with excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is a popular spice that can help reduce inflammation-related issues as well as help in the treatment of sore throat. Ginger has antiviral properties and can also improve digestion, and help maintain a healthy gut thereby strengthening the immune system. 

#4 Citrus Fruits 

Last but not least, citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, and tangerines, among others, are packed with vitamin C that helps in boosting the production of white blood cells in the body. White blood cells are essential in fighting diseases and infections. It also helps in removing free radicals from the body, preventing cell damage, which ultimately reduces your chances of having cancer.

#5 Almonds 

almonds

Of all the nuts, almonds contain high concentrations of vitamin E that plays a crucial role in keeping the immune system healthy. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that requires fat to be absorbed properly. Almond contains healthy fats that eases down the process of absorption. Vitamin E aids the production of red blood cells that boosts the blood flow to all parts of the body. This keeps your immune system stronger. You are advised to consume 4-6 almonds daily. You can eat it whole or soaked in water or add some crushed almonds in your milk for a tasty milkshake. 

#6 Yogurt 

Yogurt is considered a probiotic that is essential to your immune system’s health. It directly affects your gut, helping the good bacteria to thrive. Your gut health is directly associated with your immune system. Therefore, a healthy gut means a healthy immune system. While there are plenty of flavorful yogurts available in the market, you are advised to consume plain yogurt. Plain yogurts are free of any sugars, additives, and artificial flavors that can degrade the overall quality of the food. The best way to consume yogurt is plain or with rice, or you can drizzle some honey and also add your favorite fruits to it. 

#7 Kiwi 

Kiwi Fruit

Kiwi is one such fruit that contains vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate in abundance. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and prevent cell damage. It also helps in boosting the production of white blood cells that fight infections. You can consume kiwi on a daily basis. The fruit contains tiny seeds that are edible and full of nutrients as well. You can simply eat it alone, put it in fruit salad, or make a smoothie out of it – the options are endless. 

#8 Papaya 

Just like kiwi, papaya is naturally full of necessary nutrients and minerals like folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium. Potassium in papayas is known for keeping the heart-healthy. At the same time, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that boosts the production of white blood cells that helps in fighting infections and ward off diseases. 

#9 Green Tea 

Green tea contains excellent antioxidant properties that help the body detox toxins and other harmful elements. Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant called EGCG or epigallocatechin that has been shown to boost immune system function. Green tea, since it is not fully processed, holds back the majority of its nutrients and minerals in the leaves. Experts suggest that you should consume 3-4 cups of green tea in a day as it will not only keep you hydrated but also helps in flushing out the toxins and other waste materials from the body while keeping the immune system healthy. 

#10 Sunflower Seeds 

sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and phosphorus. Vitamin E is considered a potent antioxidant that is beneficial for the immune system’s health. The best part about sunflower seeds is that it also enhances the flavor of the food you are preparing, due to its spicy punch. You can add sunflower seeds to your salads, soups, seasoning of certain foods like chicken, for sautéing, and more. 

3 Simple Recipes that will help Build Immunity 

Now that you have understood the best immunity-boosting foods, let’s discuss some recipes that will help you with the process.

Immunity boosting chicken and turmeric soup

chicken and turmeric soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup broccoli chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1  boneless skinless chicken breast chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder or fresh grated turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup spinach leaves chopped

Method:

  • Heat ghee in a pan over medium heat. 
  • Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the carrots, broccoli, and garlic and continue sauteing for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped chicken and cook just long enough to brown the meat, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients, except coconut milk and stir well and cover. Cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Add the coconut milk and serve hot. 

Immunity boosting drink

Ingredients:

  • Ginger grated – 1 tbsp
  • Peppercorns – 2
  • Cinnamon – 1-inch stick
  • Cloves – 2
  • Star anise – 1
  • Cardamom pod – 1 crushed
  • Unpasteurized honey – 1 tbsp
  • Tulsi leaves – a handful

Boil all ingredients except honey along with a liter of water in a pan for 30 minutes. Have ¼ cup of this drink warm with a little bit of honey.

Kiwi, Lime, Watermelon Salad 

Kiwi, Lime, Watermelon Salad

Ingredients: 

  • Chopped watermelon – 1 cup 
  • Kiwi – 2 chopped 
  • Sunflower Seeds – 1 tablespoon 

Directions: 

  • Mix all fruits and sprinkle with lime juice and sunflower seeds.

Summary

While there is no one way to avoid any infection entirely, strengthening your immune system with particular food ingredients can go a long way to reduce your risk of contamination. The reason why we mentioned these 12 foods is that they are not only the best foods for immunity boosting but are also easily accessible throughout the year. Our immune system plays a vital role in warding off viruses and bacteria from affecting our body and causing damage. Consuming these foods on a daily basis will not only keep you healthy but also help you achieve a stronger immune system, thereby keeping you immune and disease-free. 



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Top 10 Health Benefits of Soybean: HealthifyMe Blog

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Soybean or soya bean is a species of legumes that has become one of the most widely consumed foods in the world for its many health benefits. soybeans are native to East Asia and are highly grown in India as well. People who follow a strict vegetarian diet often use soybean to replace meat for protein. Along with having a high protein content, soybeans are also rich in saturated fats, fiber, antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and phytoestrogens, among other essential nutrients required by the body. In recent times, soybeans have grown to popularity due to their derivatives such as tofu, soy milk, and textured vegetable protein. This variety of soy products has created a new massive market altogether, primarily benefiting the vegan population. Foods containing soy have also been shown to have several health benefits. For example, the health benefits of soybean for menopausal women include lowered risk of osteoporosis, protection from coronary heart disease, and fewer hot flushes. According to experts, including soybean in your daily diet can help you maintain a healthy body as well as overall well-being. 

With that said, in this post, we will be discussing the health benefits of soybean, its nutritional facts, and the best soybean recipe that can be made at the comfort of your home. 

Table of Contents

Nutrition Value of Soybean 

Soybeans are composed of protein and also contain good amounts of fat and carbs. 100 grams of boiled soybeans contain:

  • Calories – 173  
  • Fiber – 6 grams    
  • Carbohydrates – 9.9 grams    
  • Protein – 16.6 grams
  • Fat – 9 grams

Health Benefits of Soybean 

Soybean has been part of the traditional Indian diets for centuries. It contains phytonutrients and antioxidants that are linked to numerous health benefits. And don’t forget the protein content, which is in abundance. Here are the potential health benefits of soybeans. 

1. Helps relieve sleep disorders 

Soybean helps relieve sleep disorders

One of the primary benefits of soybean is that not many know that soybean can help relieve the symptoms of sleep disorder. According to health professionals, soybeans can help in reducing the occurrence of insomnia along with other sleeping disorders. Since soybean contains magnesium in high amounts, which is linked to increasing the quality, restfulness, and duration of your sleep, it would be beneficial that you add it in your daily diet.  

2. Soybean may help manage diabetes 

Soybean may help manage diabetes

Eating soybean is an effective way to manage and prevent diabetes. According to several studies, soybean has the ability to increase the insulin receptors in the body. As a result, it can prevent diabetes from occurring in the first place or can help manage the disease effectively if you are already suffering from it. Further, the carbohydrate content in soybean is incredibly low, which makes it an excellent anti-diabetic food. Eating soybean will keep your blood sugar levels in check and will make sure that it doesn’t spike thanks to the soy isoflavones. Although the mechanism of how it works is still unknown, scientists say that soy isoflavones help improve insulin sensitivity, allowing the cells to absorb more glucose and respond more to insulin. 

3. Help improve blood circulation

As per the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, iron and copper are two essential minerals that are found in abundance in soybean. Both components are vital for the production of red blood cells (RBCs). According to health experts, with an appropriate amount of red blood cells in the body, the essential organ systems, including the extremities of the body, can get proper oxygen and blood flow they need to function efficiently. With the increase in red blood cells, your body experiences a maximized metabolic activity. 

4. Essential for pregnancy

soybean is essential for healthy pregnancy

Soybean is rich in folic acid and vitamin B complex that is very essential for pregnant women. Pregnant women are told to consume soy-based organic products as folic acid in soybean helps in the prevention of neural tube defects in infants, ensuring a healthy delivery as well as a healthy baby. Birth defects are normal if the mother-to-be doesn’t take care of the nutrition requirements. Therefore, it is important to consult with your concerned gynecologist and pen down the list of things to eat during pregnancy. Nutrition is not only important to the infant but the mother as well.  

5. Soybean for healthy bones 

healthy bones

Soybeans have high mineral and vitamin content. The impressive levels of zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, and calcium in soybean help in keeping the bones stronger and healthy. All these elements in soy can help in promoting the osteotropic activity, allowing the new bones to grow, making the existing ones stronger, and speed up the bone healing process. Doctors and health experts believe that eating soybean can be a long-term solution for treating problems like osteoporosis, which is a common condition affecting the old age. With that said, you must include soybean in your daily diet to ensure your bones are strong and can evade any diseases. 

6. Aids healthy digestion 

Digestive Health

Dietary fiber is present in soybean in high quantities. Dietary fiber is essential for total body functioning and plays a vital role in the digestive system. Fiber helps in bulking up your stool, allowing it to move through the intestines smoothly and exit the body. Fiber helps in stimulating the peristaltic motion in the body, which is the contraction of the muscles in the digestive system that push food through the system. People suffering from constipation are recommended to consume fiber-rich foods as it helps proper bowel movements. Constipation, if not looked into, can lead to some serious conditions like bleeding, pain while clearing the bowel, and even colorectal cancer. Soybean is a fiber-rich food source that also contains oligosaccharides, a carbohydrate that is known to stimulate the growth of healthy gut bacteria, acting as a prebiotic. 

7. Relieve menopausal symptoms

Soybean helps relieve menopausal symptoms

Soybean contains isoflavones in abundance, which is a vital component of the female reproductive system. When women reach menopause, they experience a drastic drop in estrogen levels. This can lead to several menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, abdominal cramps, hunger pains, mood swings, etc. Isoflavones bind the estrogen receptors in a way that your body doesn’t feel the change. Including soybean in your daily diet can help in relieving menopausal symptoms. 

8. Improves heart health 

soybeans are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats (with 2 grams MUFA and 5.06 grams PUFA) that can help you lower your cholesterol in the body. People suffering from high LDL cholesterol are prone to experiencing conditions like coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. These conditions have a bad repo as they can lead to stroke and heart attack. According to health experts, there are certain fatty acids necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system. Two of those are found in soybean called linolenic acid and linoleic acid, popularly known as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids boost anti-inflammatory effects and play a crucial role in brain and eye health. Consuming soybean can help boost your cardiovascular system by reducing the bad cholesterol levels along with taking care of your brain and vision.  

9. Possesses anti-cancer properties

Most people don’t know, but the high levels of antioxidants in soybean could help prevent the onset of numerous cancers. According to a study conducted at Purdue University, the antioxidants found in soybean can help kill numerous cancer cells and remove free radicals from the body. Antioxidants are responsible for neutralizing free radicals, which, if not looked after, can cause healthy cells to turn into deadly tumors and cancer cells. Free radicals are perilous by-products of cellular metabolism, which need to be neutralized. Apart from preventing the development of cancer-causing cells in the first place, soybean can also help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment. A study conducted by the American Institute of Cancer Research found that women with breast cancer experienced reduced fatigue and fewer menopausal symptoms after the consumption of soy derivatives. 

10. Aids healthy weight management

Aids weight management

One of the biggest reasons why soybean is a celebrated food across the globe is that it can help you lose weight. High protein content in soybean allows for the development of leaner muscle. And also, protein helps you stay fuller, preventing you from munching unhealthy snacks during odd hours. Further, it helps regulate insulin levels, thereby curbing obesity in a healthy manner. Several studies have found that soybean incorporates anti-obesity effects. 

Healthy Ways to Consume soybean 

Traditionally, people soak a handful of soybeans in water overnight and eat it before they go to the gym or exercise. However, there are plenty of delicious and tasty ways to include soybeans in your daily diet. With that said, we are going to tell you how to make:

Soya Kebabs

Ingredients: 

  • Soya granules (soaked in water) – 2 cups
  • Vinegar – 1 Teaspoon  
  • Brown Bread – 2 crumbled 
  • Garlic paste – 2 teaspoons 
  • Powdered black pepper – 1/2 teaspoon 
  • Chopped onions – 1/4 cup 
  • Chopped green chilly – 2 teaspoons 
  • Chili powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Vegetable oil or any cooking oil of your preference 
  • Salt to taste   

Directions:

  • Take a bowl and mash all the ingredients together (except cooking oil) and give desired shapes with your hands
  • Heat the pan and grease with oil  
  • Put the kebabs and cook on both sides till golden brown, brushing with oil if needed.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and serve hot 

Summary

There are plenty of health benefits of soybean, and if consumed in a planned manner, it can help your body reach new heights, whether it is properly functioning, weight loss, etc. From controlling the cholesterol levels to maintaining diabetes, soybean is a rich source of protein and antioxidants that will help you in keeping your overall well-being. 



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Top 10 Reasons Why Pears Must be a Part of your Diet: HealthifyMe Blog

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Pears are among those fruits that people don’t pay enough attention to. While some people call the fruit the ‘ugly step-sister’ of apple, it packs almost the same nutrients and minerals as its beautiful sibling.  A pear is a sweet, mild fruit that has a fibrous center. It is rich in dietary fiber, plant compounds or phytonutrients, and antioxidants. If we define pear fruit in short, it is a fruit that packs all the nutrients in a cholesterol-free, fat-free, 100-calorie package. 
This fruit ripens the best once it is off the tree. That’s why special attention is needed at the time of harvesting. Unlike other fruits, pears ripe from the inside out. This is the reason why many people confuse it for being unripe or flavorless.  Thus, it is extremely important to pick the perfect pear from the market if you want to experience its true taste. Doctors advise people with diabetes and heart conditions to include pear in their diet. If you are still not convinced, this post will help you garner all the knowledge about pear fruit, from health benefits to nutrition value, and more. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value of Pear 

Pears contain essential nutrients and minerals required for our body. Let’s have a look into its nutrition value. A 100-gram serving of pears contain:

  • Calories – 57  
  • Carbohydrates – 15 grams    
  • Total Fat – 0.1 gram    
  • Protein – 0.4 gram    
  • Dietary Fiber – 3.1 gram    

Health Benefits of Pear 

Pears have been enjoyed since ancient times. These bell-shaped fruits are sweet with a little tang of sourness that can be eaten soft or crisp. They offer a plethora of health benefits that have been backed by science and medicine. Let’s learn how eating pears are beneficial for your health. 

1. Good for skin and hair  

Pears improve skin and hair health

Vitamin A is the most versatile nutrient. It is beneficial for keeping the skin, hair, and nails healthy and beautiful. Pears contain good amounts of vitamin A that can help in keeping your skin and hair healthy. It is also enriched with nutrients like zeaxanthin and lutein that take part in a number of organ functions and enzymatic reactions. This also helps in keeping the skin youthful as it reduces age spots and wrinkles. If you want healthy skin and hair, you should increase your intake of vitamin A. Pear is one such fruit that has this mineral in abundance, allowing you to keep up with your recommended daily intake.    

2. May improve bone health 

Bone health

The fruit contains copper, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium in significant amounts, which all play a crucial role in bone health. These minerals might be required in very small amounts but plays a crucial role in keeping the bones strong. People with conditions like osteoporosis are advised to include pears in their diet as it helps prevent and treat debilitating conditions and bone mineral loss. It ensures that your bones are getting enough minerals to grow and protect against inflammation and other conditions.  

3. Helps reduce inflammation

Pears are rich in flavonoids and antioxidant components. Research has shown that the anti-inflammatory properties of pear help in reducing swelling and pain associated with inflammation. People suffering from symptoms of gout, rheumatic conditions like arthritis, and the like should eat pears to ease the symptoms and prevent them from worsening thereby also improving the quality of life. Moreover, there are several studies that show a positive association between inflammation and metabolic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and even cancer. Also, nutrients like vitamin C and K help in fighting inflammation, which are found in abundance in pears. 

4. Helps in improving blood circulation 

Pears can be very beneficial for patients suffering from mineral deficiencies like anemia, among others, as they are high in iron and copper content. Increased levels of iron in the body boost the synthesis of red blood cells. On the other hand, increased levels of copper in the body facilitate the synthesis of essential minerals and absorption of iron into the system. When your body has sufficient minerals to support the organs, you can prevent muscle weakness, cognitive malfunction, fatigue, and organ system malfunction. This is the reason why doctors advise kids and adults equally to consume foods rich in adequate amounts of copper and iron. With pears, you can ensure a significant percentage of these essential minerals in your diet.  

5. Helps with healing

Pears are a good source of vitamin C and thus help in healing wounds. Ascorbic acid helps in synthesizing cellular structures of the body and new tissues in the various organs. So, whenever there is a burn or cut, it makes sure that the damaged area is healed quickly. If you are injured, you can include pears in your diet for fast healing. 

6. Improved heart health 

improved heart health

There are several studies and researches published emphasizing the impact of pears on heart health. According to these studies, pears are one of the fruits that have an inverse relationship with stroke risk. Since pear fruit is high in the potassium content, it means the fruit has a significant impact on the health of the heart. Potassium acts as a vasodilator (an extremely good one) that helps in lowering the blood pressure. This results in increased blood flow in all parts of the body that helps in providing oxygen to organs. This oxygenation of the organs promotes their effective function. If you are a heart patient or want to prevent heart conditions, you must include pears in your daily diet. Also, high fiber content in pears ensures good heart health.

7. Pear helps in boosting immunity 

Boosts immunity

In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that vitamin C and vitamin A found in pears, benefits in boosting immunity. Pears are a rich source of vitamin C minerals that work as a great antioxidant. Antioxidants help in stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are critical to the immune system. This ultimately makes your immune system stronger, allowing your body to ward off conditions like mild illnesses like flu, cold upset stomach, and more. Also, due to its free radical scavenging activity, antioxidants prevent any damage caused by free radicals. 

8. Pear has anti-cancer properties 

The antioxidant properties in pear have the potential to kill cancer-causing cells in our body. Antioxidants are renowned for their anti-carcinogenic activities that have been connected to the prevention of cancer. According to some studies, phytonutrients like flavonoids and cinnamic acids found in pears helps reduce the risk of cancer. The antioxidants work in a way that it flushes out free radicals from the body, allowing for new and healthy cell growth.

9. Pear is linked to lower the risk of diabetes 

Pears help lower the risk of Diabetes

There are different varieties of pears cultivated. The red varieties of pear are known to help in reducing the risk of diabetes. Pear is an anthocyanin-rich fruit, which is directly associated with diabetes. During a study, it was found that over 200,000 people who consumed five or more weekly servings of red pears were 23% less likely to experience type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, a lab experiment found out that pear peel contains anthocyanins that exhibit both anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetes effects. Moreover, since pear is a fibrous fruit, it slows down the digestion process, giving your body more time to break down and absorb carbs. As a result, your blood sugar levels regulate properly, potentially helping you to control and prevent diabetes. 

10. Pear may promote gut health 

As stated above, a pear is an excellent source of insoluble and soluble fiber that is essential for digestive health. Consuming fiber-rich foods is important as it helps in maintaining the bowel regularity by bulking up and softening the stool. A single pear contains about 6 grams of fiber, which is 22% of your daily fiber needs. So, by eating a pear a day, you can keep your digestive system on track. Moreover, soluble fibers are responsible for feeding the healthy gut bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria mean improved immunity and healthy aging.   

Pears and Weight Loss 

If you hear people saying that they are being told to include pears in their weight loss diet, don’t roll your eyes because that’s what pears do. They can play a crucial role in your weight loss journey. For starters, pears are rich in fiber content that helps you feel satiated for longer duration. This prevents you from munching in odd hours. Moreover, pears are one of the few fruits that are low in calories. Eating pears allows you to keep a tab on your calorie intake. On the other hand, the fruit is high in water content that makes it high in volume but low in calories. Last but not least, pears aid healthy digestion, which is crucial for healthy weight loss. It helps fight constipation. And as we know, a healthy digestive system is linked to healthy weight loss. All these factors make pear a perfect fruit for weight loss. 

Summary

Pears are a healthy option to include in your diet. They not only offer a plethora of health benefits but also taste delicious when perfectly ripe. In the day and age, where nutrition has become so important, it is critical that you focus on foods that provide you all the necessary minerals and vitamins naturally. From keeping your heart healthy to improving your digestive health, pears are a boon for us, and we must include it in our diet to extract maximum health benefits.  

Frequently Answered Questions

Q. How many pears can one have in a day?

A. One can have 1-2 pears in a day. Like all fruits, pears are also high in fructose or fruit sugar and overindulgence can lead to digestive issues. Therefore it is recommended to stick to 1 or 2 per day as it will provide you with the right amount of nutrients needed for the body.

Q. Can we have pears while suffering from cough or cold?

A. Pears are rich in Vitamin C which boost our immunity and can help ward off colds and flu.

Q. Does eating pear cause gas?

A. The high fiber content of pear can cause bloating and gas in some people. It is advisable to eat pear as a mid snack and not with other food and chew it properly to prevent gas formation.

Q. Is pear good for diabetes?

A. Yes, pear is rich in fibre which slows down digestion and keeps sugar levels stable for a longer time. Pear is also rich in anthocyanins which are known to help regulate sugar levels.

Q. Are pears good for pregnancy?

A. Pears contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals as well as good fibre which can be good for a healthy pregnancy.



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10 Amazing Health Benefits of Including Fish Oil in your Diet: HealthifyMe

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You are what you eat. It is truly said that the body reflects what we consume. Hence, it is essential to pack your body with all the essential nutrients that are deemed to make us healthy. 
Inculcating healthy diets promote healthy living. There are plenty of nutrient-filled food items that have to be consumed regularly in order to bring a positive change in the lifestyle. When it comes to nutrients that benefit your body in multiple ways, fish oil is an excellent addition to your diet. It is one of the common dietary supplements that benefit our bodies in different ways. 

What is Fish Oil?

Fish oil is the fat or oil that is extracted from fish tissue. Fish oil is highly rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Though every fish has oil or fat, there are some specific fish like tuna, herring, anchovies, and mackerel that have a higher concentration of oil in their body. Generally, the fish liver is where all the oil is reserved. Hence, it is extremely beneficial to consume fish liver, as it provides us with the required omega 3 fatty acids. 
Moreover, with the intake of fast foods and processed foods leading to accumulation of saturated and trans fats, the so called “bad fats” in our body are causing various ailments. 
Therefore, it is recommended that eating 1-2 portions of fish at least once a week is highly beneficial to create a protective shield in your body against severe diseases. It is also found that fish oil is rich in fat soluble vitamins – A and D. If you are not able to eat at least 1-2 fish servings per week, you can always add fish supplements to your diet to get enough omega 3 acids.

Benefits of Fish Oil

Furthermore, fish oil provides the body with various other benefits as well. To know more, read on below:

1. Supports Heart Health

Fish oil helps improve heart health

One of the major benefits of omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil is that it improves your heart health, protects it from plaque build up, high cholestrol levels and arrhythmias, etc. 

2. Help Treat Mental Disorders

The human brain is made up of 60% of omega 3 fatty acids, so your brain requires the right concentration of omega 3s to sustain its function. Omega 3s in fish oil can prevent as well as improve severe symptoms  associated with mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.

3. Helps in Weight Loss

Fish oil helps in improving your metabolism and reduces the risk factors of obesity. Some studies even prove that fish oil with regular exercises can promote healthy weight loss.

4. Improves Eye Health

fish oil improves eye sight

Just like your brain, your eyes also need omega 3 fatty acids to improve its function. Your eye health tends to take a downfall with growing age. Hence it is important to increase the consumption of fish to get the essential oil for your improved eye health. 

5. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation can be caused by many reasons, such as muscle stiffness and joint pain. Chronic inflammation can be caused by heart diseases, indigestion, obesity, diabetes, and even depression. Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial to dampen the symptoms of inflammation. Fish oil comprises of anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing chronic inflammation. A fish oil supplement is also great for arthritis patients.

6. Provides Healthy and Glowing Skin

Your skin needs the required nutrients to keep the glow intact. Skin health tends to decline with age, and fish oil will help safeguard from major skin diseases. It has been found that fish oil supplements are extremely beneficial to treat major skin diseases like psoriasis and dermatitis. 

7. Makes Your Pregnancy and Motherhood Easier

fish oil aids in pregnancy and motherhood

Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for building enzymes and strengthening your immune system. It is beneficial to consume fish oil in pregnancy for proper brain development of the fetus. Consuming fish oil during lactation can also improve infants eyesight and reduce their risk of developing allergies. 

8. Reduces Liver Fat

Fat metabolism takes place in the liver as well as excess fat can accumulate in the liver causing fatty liver. Fish oil consumption can improve liver function and reduce inflammation and help in treating fatty liver. 

9. Improves symptoms of  Depression

According to a recent study, it was found that depression is the second largest cause of mental illness. It is found that people with depression issues have a lower level of omega 3 fatty acids that is essential to improve brain functions. Consuming fatty fish helps in combating depression.  

10. Enhances Attention and Concentration Power

Another major benefit of fish oil on mental health is that it improves attention and concentration power. Lack of attention and concentration among children can also lead to behavioral disorders, and fish oil can effectively tame the situation by providing your body with required omega 3 fatty acids.

Summary

Fish oil has omega 3 fatty acids in abundance, and as you know, your body requires this essential nutrient for many purposes. From safeguarding your heart health to helping in weight loss, fish oil can help your body in several ways. Fish oil supplements can be consumed if a person does not include fish in their diet. Including fatty fish like salmon is highly beneficial – from tackling obesity to imparting a healthy glow to your skin. Therefore, adding fish oil to your diet can help you reap its benefits. 



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10 Weight Loss Fruits That You Must Eat

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Losing unwanted weight and keeping it off can be a tricky task. Most people find it hard to enjoy their weight loss journeys because they involve regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a shift from a lazy lifestyle. Some people try to shed extra kilos and maintain a lean body through a well-balanced diet alone. This means incorporating more nutrients, protein, and fibre in your diet. It is possible to make weight loss fun by enjoying your new diet.

Add flavour to your diet

Losing weight doesn’t involve just eating less or fewer meals. The most effective way to shed those unnecessary kilos is by following a healthy diet. And one of the best ways to start a healthy lifestyle is by eating more fruit. These natural goodies come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and flavours, making them easy and fun to add in your diet. Thanks to fruits, you no longer have to follow a bland diet. In addition to that, following a fruit based diet is one of the best ways to stay fit.

What are the best weight loss fruits?

Fruits contain little to no fat, which is why they are the ideal addition to your weight loss diet. They are packed with high levels of vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, and everything else you need to stay fit and healthy. These low-calorie foods also help you keep heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes at bay. Here are some easily available fruits that are great for losing weight.

1. Bananas

This commonly found fruit is a favourite among gym addicts due to its high-calorie content, but don’t let that deter you. Although they have high calories, bananas also give you a great boost of nutrients. This yellow fruit comes loaded with potassium, manganese, magnesium, antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre. It is also known to help regulate insulin levels in your system, making it the ideal snack for people with diabetes. The fruit also helps fight cholesterol.

Bananas aid weight loss

Bananas make for great weight loss fruits because they can make you feel full for longer, reducing any unnecessary cravings after a meal. It’s easy to incorporate bananas in your weight loss diet by adding them to your oatmeal, fruit salads, muesli, millets, and smoothies.

2. Apples

These sweet juicy treats are the ideal weight loss fruits thanks to their high-fibre, low-calorie values. Apples help you lose weight because they make you feel full and are also known to keep you awake. Eating apples during breakfast or lunch will keep you feeling active throughout the day. These fruits are a great non-caffeinated way to stay awake. When eaten whole, apples can help control your appetite and reduce hunger. Reports have also shown that people who ate more apples had fewer issues with cholesterol. They are a delicious way to include more fibre in your diet. Add some apple slices to your cereal, salads, yoghurt, or oatmeal for a fibre-rich tasty meal.

3. Avocados

Avocados became popular thanks to millennial culture, but these fruits do a lot more than adorn a sandwich. These buttery fruits are rich in fat and calories, but that shouldn’t discourage you from including them in your weight loss diet. Studies have shown that avocados assist weight loss and adding them to your diet will ensure that you shed a few kilos and keep them from coming back. Avocados can help you feel full, decrease appetite, and resist cravings. This fruit is also known to combat high cholesterol and keep heart disease at bay. Avocados can be used in smoothies, dips, salads, or even in place of margarine or butter on toast. Keep in mind that avocados are high-calorie fruits, so make sure to indulge in them once in a while.

4. Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are tasty fruits that improve any meal or snack. These berries contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, manganese, and antioxidants while being low on the calorie scale. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and manganese, and blueberries contain a high amount of vitamin K. Berries also make you feel full very quickly, which is why you should add them to your diet. These fruits help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. Berries are delicious and can be eaten whole or in smoothies, salads, or baked dishes.

Berries

5. Melons

Some of the best weight loss fruits you can find on the market are melons. These fruits contain high amounts of water, which is why you feel full after eating even a small bowl of watermelon or honeydew. They also contain low calories, making them excellent fruits to add in your weight loss diet. Melons are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, potassium, and fibre, but they are also high on the glycaemic index. People with diabetes must exercise portion control while consuming melons. They are best eaten as they are or in salads, but you can also consume them as smoothies or fruit popsicles.

6. Grapefruit

Another popular weight loss fruit is the grapefruit. These delicious fruits are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. Studies have shown that regularly eating grapefruit can help you burn tummy fat, reduce waist circumference, and regulate blood pressure levels. They are low on the glycaemic index, making them ideal snacks for people with diabetes. Another benefit of grapefruit is that they have the most fibre compared to other citrus fruits. Grapefruit can be eaten on their own, but you can also add them to salads or drink them as a healthy juice if you aren’t fond of the tart flavour.

7. Pomegranate

If you are looking for an antioxidant boost, then all you need is a pomegranate. These complex fruits are loaded with antioxidants like vitamins and polyphenols. They help boost your metabolism and keep unwanted fat at a distance. Pomegranate seeds improve your circulatory system and increase blood flow throughout your body. This fruit is also known to bring down LDL cholesterol levels in your system. Adding a handful of juicy pomegranate seeds to your daily oatmeal, salad, or yoghurt can help you shed a few kilos.

8. Papaya

Papayas have been a popular weight loss fruit for many decades. This fruit contains an enzyme called papain, which boosts your metabolism and breaks down food in your system. This prevents your body from retaining too much fat and helps you lose weight. It also helps reduce bloating and constipation. Papayas also contain high amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants, and flavonoids. You can eat papayas as they are or blend them into a smoothie.

Papaya

9. Kiwi

Kiwis have a high concentration of nutrients, making it a superfood among weight loss fruits. Each kiwi fruit contains large amounts of fibre, vitamin E, vitamin C, and folate. Eating at least two of these fruits a week can help burn belly fat and reduce your waist size. They also have a low glycaemic index, making them suitable for people with diabetes as well. Other benefits of eating kiwi fruits include improved cholesterol, improved gut health, and reduced blood pressure. People who are at risk of developing heart disease are advised to add kiwis to their diets. You can eat kiwis unpeeled or peeled and add them to salads, smoothies, or juices.

10. Pears

Pears are fibre-rich fruits that have high concentrations of vitamin C. They have the highest amounts of fibre compared to most fruits. This makes them the perfect fruit for people looking to lose weight. Pears are known to fight off coronary heart disease and type II diabetes. They are also effective in reducing cholesterol levels and improving cardiac health. Another fantastic benefit of eating pears regularly is that they give you a powerful energy boost. This property, along with its high fibre content makes pears a great food to include in your weight loss diet. You can consume pears raw in salads or add them to baked dishes like tarts or pies.

Fruits to avoid for weight loss

Fresh fruits are a great addition to a weight loss diet, but there are always exceptions. Although all fruits are healthy and have their own benefits, it is wise to avoid some of them if you want to lose weight. Most fruits are sweet and contain high amounts of natural sugar, called fructose. 

This sugar can negate your weight loss efforts as it can tip the scales of your diet’s glycaemic index. Controlling portions of high glycemic index fruits will also assist you in your weight loss journey. Here is a list of fruits you should restrict during your weight loss journey.

1. Mangoes

Mangoes are a great way to add a tropical element to your smoothie or salad, but they contain high sugar levels. These juicy fruits are rich in fibre and vitamins, but their increased sugar content can offset your weight loss effort.

2. Grapes

A grape smoothie sounds delicious, but it is advised that you keep a close eye on your portions. Grapes fall under the category of high-sugar fruits, which make them unsuitable as weight loss fruits. They do, however, contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals and are known to combat heart disease and high blood pressure.

3. Figs

Fresh figs are a rich source of dietary fibre and have shown great results in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These fruits are a delicious addition to salads, smoothie bowls, and cereal, but they contain high sugar levels. Make sure to avoid large amounts of this fructose-heavy fruit as it can cause you to gain weight and increase blood sugar levels.

Avoid figs for weight loss

4. Cherries

Another sugar-rich fruit not ideal for a weight loss diet is cherries. They contain exorbitant amounts of sugar, which is why they are perfect in pies and tarts. Although cherries are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, the high sugar levels can lead to weight gain. Cherries are also not ideal for diabetics and people with high blood pressure.

5. Dried fruits

Dried fruits such as raisins and prunes contain high calories because they are desiccated and don’t contain any water. These dried fruits contain higher amounts of calories compared to their fresher counterparts, which is why you should consume them in limited quantities.

Dried fruits

Bananas and avocados are high-calorie fruits and are known to promote weight loss, but it is important to remember to monitor your portions. If you consume these fruits frequently, they can offset your efforts to lose weight. All fruits are healthy, but the key to a fruit diet for weight loss is quantity.

Summary

Eating more fruit instead of junk food is a great way to lose weight. Choosing the right fruit will ensure that you lose weight and keep it from coming back. Most fruits are low in calories, which is why you should include more of these natural treats in your daily meals.

Most fruits are fiber-rich foods that boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. They also come with high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, everything you need to feel healthy and young. Another reason why fruit is better than junk food is that it keeps you feeling full much longer. This prevents you from eating too much and helps you avoid snacking on unhealthy foods.

Sugar is the biggest culprit behind weight gain and obesity among people of all age groups. Eating fruits regularly helps you ward off cravings for sugary or high-calorie processed foods. Consuming a moderate amount of fruit every day will help control your appetite and give up the unhealthy habit of snacking on junk food.

The key to a fruit diet for weight loss is moderation. Keep an eye on your portions so you can get the most out of these delicious foods.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. What fruit burns the most fat?

A: Fruits with high fibre such as apples, pears, melons keep you full for longer in spite of containing fewer calories. These fruits, combined with a low fat diet, can help burn fat. Including high-fat avocados can also help get rid of unwanted body fat provided the overall fat intake is controlled.

Q. Is pineapple good for weight loss?

A: Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which helps in proper digestion, thereby improving metabolism and helping in weight loss. However, pineapple contains natural sugars so portion control is key.

Q. What fruits help you lose weight fast?

A: Most fruits, when eaten in season and combined with a whole food diet with all nutrients, can help you lose weight. The key is to avoid processed and junk foods as well.

Q. Which fruits burn belly fat?

A: Adding fruits rich in antioxidants like kiwis and grapefruit have known to help burn belly fat. Adding a regular exercise routine along with fruits and other whole foods will give substantial results.



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