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HEALTH

7 Health Reasons Why Ginger Should Be a Mandatory Part of Your Diet

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Known for its spicy, pungent taste, the ginger stem is one that is found in almost every household within the Indian and Chinese borders. It can elevate the entire flavor profile of a dish while also providing a range of health benefits. While the use of ginger within the Indian and Chinese cuisine can be traced back to the olden times, it wasn’t until the 1st century CE, that this spice made its grand entry into other cuisines, starting with the Mediterranean.

A fun fact about the ginger plant is that most people refer to the bulb as the root when in actuality, it is the stem of the plant that is usually added to Indian food. Today, India is one of the world’s largest ginger producers and produces around 385.33 thousand tons annually. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value of Ginger 

For a better understanding of the nutritional value that ginger contains, mentioned below is the nutritional value chart of 1 tablespoon/1 inch piece of ginger: 

  • Calories – 4.8 
  • Carbohydrates – 1.07 grams
  • Proteins – 0.11 grams
  • Dietary Fibre – 0.12 grams
  • Fat – 0.5 grams

In addition to the above division, ginger is also revered for the number of vitamins and minerals that it contains. These include: 

  • Iron 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate 
  • Niacin 
  • Vitamin B3 
  • Vitamin B6 
  • Potassium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc
  • Riboflavin 

7 Health Benefits of Ginger 

Since ancient times, Indians have used ginger to treat several conditions ranging from the common cold to sore throat and stomach cramps. Today, hundreds of studies have proven that the health benefits of ginger expand beyond one’s basic ailments. Some of the top health benefits of ginger include:

1. Alleviates Stomach Issues

While ginger has always been used to treat people with digestion issues and stomach pain, there is no medical research to support its medicinal properties. Truth be told, stomach pains are the least of what ginger can help with. It can also be used to ease nausea and reduce the vomiting that usually occurs during pregnancy and after medical treatments such as surgeries and chemotherapy. 

Moreover, it can also relieve period pains, and today, doctors are prescribing it alongside basic period pain reliever drugs like Advil. To support this, a clinical trial was conducted by Giti Ozgoli. At the end of this trial, it was proven that women who ingested ginger capsules four times a day, had the same level of relief as women who ingested drugs four times a day. 

2.Cures Common Cold 

Ginger has always been the number one home remedy for the common cold, and a study conducted in 2013 by Jung San Chang and team, has affirmed its therapeutic capacity. Through this study, it was found that eating fresh ginger could strengthen the respiratory system of the individual and protect them from respiratory viruses like the common cold.

3. Improves Oral Hygiene

Gingerols, an active compound present in ginger, is known for protecting the mouth and preventing the growth of oral bacteria. The growth and spread of this bacteria in the mouth could cause the development of periodontal disease, which is a serious gum disease. Not only does ginger eradicate the bacteria but it also brightens your teeth.

4. Fights Inflammation 

The essential oils present in ginger act as anti-inflammatories and fight against infections that cause stomach inflations. This makes it a great replacement for different drugs that could cause several side effects. 

5. Great For Reducing Blood Sugar Levels

In a study published in 2014, it was proven that individuals with type 2 diabetes who took 1600 mg of ginger powder daily for 12 weeks reported a drop in their total cholesterol and triglycerides while also improving their insulin sensitivity. This means that not only will ginger lower the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes but it will also work towards better management of type 2 diabetes. 

6. Helps Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Ginger is considered to be the powerhouse of antioxidants, and various studies have proven that the addition of ginger to one’s diet can effectively reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is a free radical build-up in the body. Free radicals are toxic substances that are formed by the body’s metabolism, along with different factors. If not eradicated, this build-up could cause cellular damage which could eventually lead to cancer. When ginger is introduced to the diet of the individual, it helps eliminate this build-up and thereby reduces the risk of developing cancer.

7. Helps Soothe Sore and Tired Muscles

While ginger doesn’t act as a miracle cure for your tired muscles, it does work towards soothing the pain in the long run. Studies have found that individuals who included ginger as a part of their daily diets were less likely to experience tired muscles the next day as compared to people without ginger in their diets. 

Healthy Ways to Add Ginger to Your Diet

As you can see, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose when it comes to adding ginger to your everyday meal routine and to help you out, here are two healthy ways to add ginger to your daily diet:

1. Ginger Tea

Ingredients:

  • A chunk of ginger sliced into 1/4th inch pieces
  • 1 cup of water 
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of loose tea

Method: 

  • Add the ginger, water, tea, and the fresh mint to a saucepan placed over a high flame. Once it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to a low flame and let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes (If you want a strong flavor, simmer the water for 10 minutes).
  • Once the tea has finished simmering, remove the pot from the flame and run the tea through a sieve.
  • Pour the desired amount into your mug and stir in a teaspoon of honey and serve.

2. Paneer with Sweet Ginger Sauce

Ingredients: 

  • 250 gm fresh paneer, cut in 1-inch squares
  • 1 cm piece of sliced ginger
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • ½ tsp dried chili flakes
  • Cooked rice (to serve)

The Marinade

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

  • Using a toothpick, create a few holes in the paneer and cut it into bite-sized cubes.
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients needed for marination and mix.
  • Add the paneer to the marinade and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Over a high flame, add half of the oil to a pan and heat until it starts smoking. Once done, add the ginger and stir fry for a few seconds. To this, add the spinach leaves and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add a little water to this mixture and cook for another 2 minutes. Once the leaves wilt and the stems get slightly cooked (they should still have a little crunch to it), add a little salt and pepper to it and transfer it to a plate.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the pan. When the oil begins smoking, add in the marinated paneer pieces and stir fry till evenly browned. Add the remaining marinade. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and let the gravy simmer and reduce. Sprinkle the chili flakes and spinach to this and toss.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Summary

Ginger is quite literally the spice of life and can not only boost the flavor of your food but also improve your immunity. From treating muscle and joint pain, cold and flu symptoms, stomach pain, menstrual cramps, to skin burns, ginger is one ingredient that is beneficial in curing most ailments. Adding ginger into your daily foods will never be a disappointment when it comes to keeping diseases at bay, strengthening your immunity, and maintaining overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can ginger help you ingest food?

A. Yes, Ginger stimulates saliva secretion and helps with digestion.

Q. Is it Safe to eat ginger when you’re pregnant?

A. Yes in very low doses (1 gram/day) and natural form, ginger is safe to consume in pregnancy.

Q. Is adding ginger to your breakfast shake enough for your daily intake?

A. Yes, but it also depends on what benefits we are looking for, in general, the recommended intake of ginger in its natural form is about 4 grams.

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HEALTH

Top 9 Foods to be Included in your Diet For a Safe Monsoon

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Monsoon has started pouring in. Season change from extreme hot to pleasant and refreshing rainy season is surely soothing. But, rains also bring along its share of health concerns. From food poisoning, diarrhea, infections, cold, and flu to many other health risks, we can fall prey to a host of health issues in this season. And, when COVID-19 is wreaking havoc all over the world, monsoons could be even more dangerous to your health. Therefore, you need to make sure that the food you eat strikes the best balance between nutrition and immunity. 

Immunity being the keyword in the current scenario, all we want now is to ensure that our innate immune system can take care of itself. So, eating right and being positive is the best way to go. Here we have rounded up nine food items that you should include in your monsoon diet to keep your immune system at its best!

#1 Turmeric 

Turmeric

Drink it as Haldi-Doodh at bedtime, add turmeric powder to your everyday food, or have freshly grated ginger-turmeric blend as a sidekick to your platter; turmeric, in any form, is excellent for your health. Not only during the monsoons, but it should be your go-to in every season. 

It has antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. No wonder turmeric is called the golden spice of the kitchen. Not only does it boost your natural immunity, but it takes care of your overall health. The active potent compound in turmeric is curcumin that helps us keep healthy and fight infections. 

#2 Probiotics and fermented food 

Probiotics and fermented food

You should include more probiotics and fermented food, like yogurt, buttermilk, pickled veggies, in your diet to make sure that your gut flora is happy. Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in our gut or intestinal tract. These bacteria can help fight off disease-fighting germs as well as bad bacteria from thriving in our bodies.

#3 Lemon: Pulp + Zest

Lemon: Pulp + Zest

Lemon is pure vitamin C, and it is great for your immunity, the need of the hour. It fights infections, eases digestion, strengthens bones, and does a lot more good things for your body. 

And did you know that lemon zest is as nutritious as the flesh? Full of bioactive compounds and flavonoids, lemon pulp+lemon zest is an incredible addition to your monsoon diet. Sprinkle lemon juice on your food,  grind lemon zest to a dish, or simply drink a glass of lemonade, this citrusy delight will take care of your nutrition and immunity.

#4 Indian masala chai

Indian masala chai

When the perfect olio of spices, like ginger, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, tulsi leaves, and dried black pepper, goes into the boiling water with the right proportion of tea leaves and milk, a natural immunity-boosting brew goes in the making.  

Cardamom and cloves are effective against many infections, and peppercorns prevent and soothe symptoms like cold and flu. Cinnamon is a bank of medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties too. So, even if you are not a tea drinker, consider masala tea as a medical concoction and steer the side effects of monsoon away.

#5 Garlic

Garlic

Also named as the stinking rose, garlic comes with loads of health benefits. It fights the cold and flu-causing viruses and gives a boost to your immune system. Studies show that eating garlic on a daily basis increases the number of T-Cells in the blood, thus helping to protect you from viral infections like cold and flu. Alliin is a compound found in whole garlic. And, when you pound or bite garlic in raw form, alliin changes to allicin, the most potent ingredient found in garlic. 

These compounds are loaded with medicinal properties and said to increase the disease-fighting response of your body. You can reap the best benefits of garlic by eating it raw.

#6 Nuts and dry fruits

Nuts and dry fruits

Munching on dates, almonds, and walnuts is a good idea, no matter what the season. However, as these nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, these are great options to add to your monsoon diet. Rich in riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin E, these food items help to strengthen your immunity. Also, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which helps in keeping your cells healthy. 

 If you are thinking of binge eating replace junk food and add nuts, dry fruits and seeds in your diet and make your nutrition complete with the bliss of immunity

#7 Spinach 

Spinach

Spinach is a superfood. It is a good source of vitamin A, E, and C, beta carotene, folic acid, and fiber. All these nutrients and antioxidants help your body to carry on its functions properly and bestow you with a great immune system thereby preparing you for the monsoons. Although you may find many references saying it’s not good to have leafy veggies during monsoons owing to the mud and dirt sticking to them, you can always make sure to wash them really well before cooking.

#8 Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd

Although the very mention of this veggie might make you hide inside your wardrobe, bitter gourds are rich in Vitamin C, and antiviral as well. So, the next time your mother cooks it, do taste it. You can have it boiled, stewed with other seasonal vegetables, or fried. Whichever form you like or don’t like, make sure to add it to your monsoon diet.

#9 Ginger

Ginger

Ginger is an excellent herb with antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. It is also rich in antioxidants. No wonder, it is a go-to remedy for cold and cough, sore throat, body ache, among others, integral to every household. Ginger is also useful in boosting your immunity level. You can have it by steeping in water as ginger tea, or add it to soups and curries or have it with turmeric and milk as a soothing Haldi doodh.

Foods to Avoid During the Monsoon

Foods to avoid during monsoon season

Like we have the do’s for monsoon diet, we also have the don’ts. Let’s take a look at the foods you should avoid eating during the rainy season. 

  • There is an irresistible string attached between the rains and pakoras and samosas, and everything fried and crisp. Munching on your favorite fried food might make you feel the bliss from inside your mouth, but these could make your tummy bloated. Humidity tends to slow down your metabolism, hence affecting your nutrition and immunity.
  • Frizzy carbonated beverages are tempting. However, these tend to lower the minerals’ level in your body, resulting in lower enzyme activity and a weak digestive system. So, whenever you feel like quenching your need for a cold drink, reach for a glass of nimbu paani, your daily dose of vitamin C.
  • Cravings of paani puri and papri chaat might comfort your taste buds, but these dishes are certainly not the right choice during monsoons considering the hygiene factor, with the air of the global pandemic surrounding us.
  • As the rainy season happens to be the breeding time for sea fish, it’s better to avoid eating sea fish and have fresh-water fish and other forms of meat like chicken and mutton.

Summary

Always remember, your nutrition and immunity depends on the food you eat. Therefore, you should be conscious of what you are feeding in. In this tough time of the pandemic, when keeping your immunity uptight is highly crucial, do have a focus on your diet and safety as well.

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WEIGHT LOSS

How To Ditch The Diet Mentality Forever And Still Feel Good In Your Body

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In February, when I spoke with registered dietitian Christy Harrison about her recently released “Anti-Diet” book, I didn’t realize that the world was about to change so drastically.

We talked about the pervasiveness of diet culture ― the belief system that champions the thin (usually white, cisgender) ideal, that says certain ways of eating are good and others are bad, and that encourages weight loss at all costs. It’s in marketing, health care, our own views of ourselves. Although things look very different these days, all of that is still true.

Diet culture is even more prevalent in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Wellness brands are preying on our fears and uncertainty by offering supplements. More time to scroll through social media and all of the perfectly chosen images leaves us feeling more insecure about our own bodies.

Most glaringly, there’s so, so much fearmongering about quarantine weight gain that even someone who typically has a good relationship with food might feel pressure to start a diet. Those who struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating might feel these pressures even more acutely.

In “Anti-Diet,” Harrison chronicles the history of diet culture, uses evidence to point out the flaws in our strongly held beliefs about weight, and gives some insight into how to finally stop judging ourselves and others for the shape of our bodies and the food we eat.

And there’s no better time to heed those lessons than right now, when the pressure to “watch what we eat” is through the roof (despite the fact that we’re battling a global health crisis totally unrelated to food).

Below, Harrison breaks down some ugly truths about dieting and advice on how you can ditch the horrible cycle for good. Because, yes, it’s possible to ditch diet culture and feel good in your own body.

If you couldn’t lose weight on a diet, it isn’t your fault ― there’s tons of evidence that long-term weight loss just doesn’t happen for most people.

The idea that diets don’t work is nothing new. In “Anti-Diet,” Harrison traces the belief that 95% of diets fail back to a 1959 literature review that looked at past weight loss studies. The review found that, basically, no diet or intervention proved consistently effective for weight loss.

And this still holds true: A 2013 review of several weight-loss studies found that diets do typically lead to short-term weight loss, but that most people regain the weight within five years. A similar 2011 review found that many dieters actually regain more weight than they initially lost.

“In any other case, we would be so quick to say, ‘This thing didn’t work for me, this product is the problem.’ But with diets, we think, ‘I’m the problem.’”

– Christy Harrison, author of “Anti-Diet”

Harrison described this initial weight loss that diets bring as the honeymoon phase.

“I think often when it’s a person’s first diet ever, there’s a honeymoon phase of dieting where you do see weight loss ― although not everyone does ― and you feel like you’ll be able to stick to it because there are no complications,” she told HuffPost. “There’s the feeling of, ‘It’s working! It’s happening!’”

But none of that lasts. “The body gets wise and starts to feel the effects of starvation,” Harrison said. “On average, people will lose weight for about six months to a year, and then at the year mark they start regaining the weight, and the rate of weight regain speeds up over time.”

A lot of people aren’t even able to make it to this six-month mark, she said, “because the starvation response really kicks in and pushes people to start eating more than they were before the diet, which oftentimes leads to binging.”

In other words: The obsession and out-of-control feeling around food that often happens several months into a diet isn’t a personal failing, it’s a biological response.

Because we live in diet culture, people think the solution to one failed diet is to find another, “better” diet.

Habitually jumping from one restrictive eating plan to another is so commonplace that we have a name for it: yo-yo dieting.

But, as any past or current yo-yo dieters know, even very different diets tend to lead to the same result: initial weight loss, eventual weight regain.

“It’s ridiculous,” Harrison said. “In any other case, we would be so quick to say, ‘This thing didn’t work for me, this product is the problem.’ But with diets, we think, ‘I’m the problem. Maybe this one isn’t for me, maybe I’m not meant to be an intermittent faster, maybe I’ll be a keto or Whole30 person instead.’ So we see people jumping from diet to diet to diet.”

“Oftentimes people who have lived in diet culture their whole lives have this accumulation of rules,” said Christy Harrison. Question why you still hold up these rules from diets that didn’t serve you, then work on ignoring them. 

“Oftentimes people who have lived in diet culture their whole lives have this accumulation of rules,” said Christy Harrison. Question why you still hold up these rules from diets that didn’t serve you, then work on ignoring them. 

Weight cycling and weight stigma are bad for our physical and mental health.

Although plenty of people diet for aesthetic reasons, health is also a motivator. Those who live in larger bodies are often told by their doctors (and, sometimes, their friends and family) to diet and lose weight to improve their health outcomes. But that advice often leads to more harm than good.

“No matter what weight a person is at, even controlling for BMI, weight cycling is an independent risk factor for all these things that get blamed on weight itself: heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and mortality,” Harrison said. “When we diet, we’re almost inevitably going to end up weight cycling. That’s going to put our bodies at greater risk than just saying the same weight, even if that’s a higher weight.”

The anti-diet movement isn’t just about not dieting, it’s about understanding that bodies can be healthy at any size.

The idea that more weight is an inherently bad thing is flawed. Many people at higher weights are metabolically healthy, Harrison said. (And, of course, it’s possible to be metabolically unhealthy at a lower weight.) A 2015 study of over 100,000 people in Denmark found that those in the “overweight” category lived the longest, on average ― a conclusion that’s consistent with past findings.

In response to this evidence, the Health at Every Size movement encourages people to “accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.” It also aims to end weight stigma and discrimination and to make the world more accessible to all people, no matter their weight.

It’s important to understand all of this if you want to truly reject diet culture, give up dieting and become a more intuitive eater, Harrison said. Intuitive or mindful eating encourages you to focus on your hunger and fullness cues, pushes you to slow down and enjoy meals, and doesn’t vilify any foods. It’s not a diet program; it’s a lifestyle habit.

It can be much harder for someone in a larger body to reject diets and diet culture because of the discrimination they face.

Throughout the book, Harrison acknowledges her privilege as a thin, white, cisgender woman. When you live in a body that society deems “acceptable,” quitting dieting is easier than it might be for someone who lives in a more marginalized body.

“People in much larger bodies do face discrimination every single day, and it’s natural to want to lose weight as a way to escape that,” said Kimmie Singh, an anti-diet dietitian and fat body liberation activist.

“If you’re someone in a smaller body who’s working toward body acceptance and becoming a more intuitive eater, make sure you also work on accepting all bodies and body sizes to help all people feel safe stepping away from dieting.”

Singh gives her clients background and evidence about why diets don’t work and encourages them not to pursue weight loss, but ultimately leaves the choice up to them. If you’re someone in a smaller body who’s working toward body acceptance and becoming a more intuitive eater, make sure you also work on accepting all bodies and body sizes to help all people feel safe stepping away from dieting.

A life without dieting might be hard to imagine, but it’s possible. Here’s how to do it.

The first obstacle in quitting diets for good is that these days, so many of them claim not to be diets at all.

“Diets have morphed and shape-shifted into this wellness thing that’s now so much harder to detect,” Harrison said. “The ‘wellness diet’ is about demonizing some foods while elevating others; eating the supposedly ‘right’ things and removing the supposedly ‘wrong’ things. It promises health and moral superiority, but it almost always promises thinness, as well.”

Harrison recommends rejecting any diet or “wellness” lifestyle that comes with rules ― eat this not that, eat X amount, only eat between the hours of Y and Z. Even once you do this, you might find that you have a lot of old food rules swimming around in your head.

As an early step in the journey to rejecting diet culture and becoming a more intuitive eater, Harrison encourages clients to write down any food rules or thoughts that pop into their heads during the day.

“It’s fascinating to see. Usually there are dozens of these thoughts throughout the day,” she said. “You realize, ‘Anytime I start to think about food, these rules or these judgments pop up.’ Just becoming aware is the first step.”

Then, you can start to question any rules you might have.

“Oftentimes people who have lived in diet culture their whole lives have this accumulation of rules,” Harrison said. “They can even be from completely contradictory diets ― like demonizing fat and demonizing carbs.”

Question why you still hold up these rules from diets that didn’t serve you, then work on ignoring them.

Don’t be surprised if eating without food rules or judgment feels a little out of control at first.

“Your brain and body have been so deprived that there’s going to be this pendulum swing back from the side of restriction to the side of eating all the food,” Harrison said. “I call it the restriction pendulum.”

But this doesn’t last forever. “Eventually you really will be able to settle in the middle, and get to a place of peace and balance with food,” she said.

The reward goes far beyond just a better relationship with food and body. “It’s amazing to see what happens for people when they’re eating intuitively,” Harrison added.

At first, learning to be an intuitive eater takes some effort. But once you click into it and aren’t constantly obsessing about what you can and can’t eat, you get so much brain space back.

“You’re not thinking about exercise, or your weight,” she said. “You’re thinking about all the other things you really care about. You’re free to do your work, engage in your relationships, and be really present in all the big and small moments of your life. There’s so much more available to people once they stop dieting.”

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FITNESS

6 Benefits of Adding Nuts to Your Diet: HealthifyMe Blog

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In an ever-growing, health-conscious society, people are always looking out for the next superfood that can contribute towards better health. Nuts are regarded as an excellent food that can contribute towards a healthy body when eaten regularly.
This article will highlight ten healthy nuts to look out for next time you are in the grocery store and their nutritional profiles. In addition, it will also detail four incredible benefits of consuming nuts and specify three nuts that may contribute to weight loss.

Table of Contents

10 Nuts that are Good for your Health and their Nutritional Values

Nutritional value of nuts

Adding nuts to your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. They can be eaten alone as a snack or can be added to an array of dishes. The following ten nuts can bring about significant benefits to your health and wellness. As you will notice, not all nuts are the same; some contain more calories and different macronutrient ratios (carbs, protein & fat) than others.

The following nutritional values are based on one 28g serving:

Nuts Total Calories Carbs (In grams) Proteins (In grams) Fat (In grams) Fiber (In grams)
Almonds 161 6 6 14 3.5
Cashews 155 9 5 12 1
Chestnuts 69 14 0.9 0.6 1.3
Hazelnuts 176 6 6 9 3.5
Macadamia 200 4 2 21 2.5
Peanuts 176 5 4 17 3
Pecans 193 4 3 20 2.5
Pistachios 156 8 6 12.5 3
Walnuts 182 4 4 18 2
Brazil Nuts 182 3 4 18 2

Benefits of Consuming Nuts

By adding nuts to your diet, a number of significant changes to health can occur. This section will highlight a number of benefits associated with consuming nuts regularly.

1) Consuming Healthy Fats

Nuts contain high amounts of good fats. Many believe that consuming a large amount of fat has a negative impact on the body and can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases. However, the understanding that fats are bad for you is obsolete.
It’s important to recognize that there are four different types of dietary fat-saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats. Trans fat is found in processed food items and is detrimental to health. However, the other three types of fat are perfectly safe for consumption. Nuts are especially high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are fats that have been linked with a number of health benefits.
These “good” fats provided the body with energy, allow for the absorption of key vitamins and minerals, maintain immune and nervous system function, insulate the body, and regulate blood pressure and clotting. Also, nuts are an excellent source of omega 3 and 6 and therefore, consuming nuts regularly can ensure that the body functions optimally.

2) Consuming Nuts Improve Heart Health

Improves heart health

Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats appear to have a substantial impact on heart health by reducing cholesterol levels. In a similar way to fats, cholesterol has been demonized over the past number of years as is often seen as the cause of a number of heart-related conditions. It is true that having a high level of cholesterol may increase your risk, however, this is dependent on the type of cholesterol.
There are two types of cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (or LDL’s) and high-density lipoproteins (or HDL’s). Having an elevated level of LDL’s in the blood can cause plaque to build-up within the artery walls and increase the risk of cardiac-related diseases. However, having a high level of HDL’s in the blood is no cause for concern and can actually reduce the risk.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood and having a high triglyceride level can increase the risk of developing heart-related diseases and problems in a similar way to LDL’s. In addition, a high triglyceride level may also lead to high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and obesity. Extremely high levels can even begin to interfere with the liver and pancreas. Studies have shown that by regularly consuming nuts, it may be possible to reduce triglyceride levels thus reducing the risk of developing chronic illnesses.

3) Facilitates Weight Loss

weight loss

Despite being high in fat and calories, nuts are incredibly healthy. Regularly eating nuts as part of a healthy diet is not associated with weight gain, and may even help you lose weight. Nuts are high in unsaturated fats, which, according to some studies, increase the oxidation of fats and thermogenesis, helping turn calories into energy at a faster rate. Also, nuts are high in fiber, which can increase the feeling of satiety and delay stomach emptying, thus suppressing hunger and making the person feel fuller for longer.

4) Nuts Contain a wide range of micronutrient

Micronutrients are simply vitamins and minerals that the body needs to regulate and maintain bodily function. An array of nutrients are required in order to produce energy and bring about nerve impulses and muscular contractions. Furthermore, micronutrients are needed for maintaining organ, bone, and immune health and function. Nuts contain a vast range of micronutrients including substances such as vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Therefore, consuming nuts often can significantly contribute to maintaining good health and function.

5. Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that prevent damage from occurring at a cellular level. By ensuring that you consume a large number of antioxidants, you can boost your immune system and reduce the risk of developing illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinsons’, Alzheimers, and cancer. Several nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts, contain an extremely vast number of antioxidants and may, therefore, be useful in preventing a number of these diseases.

6. High in Fiber Contents

Fiber is a type of non-digestible carbohydrate that can be found in high quantities in plant-based foods – including nuts. Fiber is essential for digestion and therefore, it is important that you consume a diet that is high in fiber. Failure to consume an adequate amount of fiber may lead to a range of digestive issues such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diverticulitis.
Along with aiding digestion, fiber also plays a key role in stabilizing glucose and cholesterol levels. Therefore consuming fiber is especially important for those who suffer from diabetes and high cholesterol. In addition, consuming a high amount of fiber has been found to benefit the heart. A number of studies that have investigated high-fiber diets have indicated that fiber may reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and cancer.
It can be concluded that by consuming nuts regularly, you can increase the amount of fiber that you consume each day thus consequently improving your digestive health and reducing the risk of illness.

3 Best Nuts For Weight Loss

As stated earlier, for weight loss to occur, calories need to be restricted, yet, a number of studies that have indicated that a selection of nuts may accelerate the weight loss process.
This section will review the specific weight loss benefits associated with almonds, pistachios, and walnuts.

1) Almonds

almonds and weight loss

There have been many studies conducted on the consumption of almonds and weight loss. Consistently, results have indicated that the nut helps to promote weight loss. One particular study looking at overweight females found that those who ate almonds lost three times the amount of weight and dropped waist sizes more quickly when compared to those who didn’t. 

2) Pistachios

Pistachios

Pistachios have also been documented to bring about positive changes in body weight too. One study not only indicated that pistachios can contribute to weight loss, but it is also found that it brought about a decrease in triglyceride levels.
Along with hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios contain the highest amounts of protein per serving at six grams. Protein is an important component when it comes to weight loss as protein consumption affects satiety levels; by eating a high-protein diet, you will feel fuller for longer. Remaining fuller for longer may help to reduce snacking, eating frequencies and portion sizes. By reducing all three of these, you can significantly restrict your daily calorie consumption and successfully bring about weight loss.

3) Walnuts

Walnuts

Walnuts are the final nut that may facilitate weight loss. A study carried out on walnut consumption found that significant weight loss progress can be made, providing they were consumed while a calorie deficit was maintained. The authors of the study also concluded that the healthy fats contained within walnuts served to substantially reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol & triglyceride levels.

Note: Although the total number of calories may not be absorbed by the body, nuts do still contain a relatively high number of calories. Therefore, if you consume a large amount of nuts every day, you will likely be consuming many calories which may take you out of a calorie deficit. Therefore, while adding nuts into your diet is recommended, however, ensure that the quantity isn’t extremely high. A useful recommendation to follow is to consume no more than one serving of nuts per day (28 grams). This is equivalent to approximately twenty almonds, sixty pistachios, or ten walnuts.

Summary

Nuts not only serve as a nutritious snack, but research suggests that nuts may improve heart health, increase the rate of weight loss, and generally prove beneficial for health and function. Therefore, it is absolutely recommended to add nuts into your diet, however, be conscious of portion sizes and ensure that an appropriate number of nuts are consumed. 



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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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Essential Guide to the Low Carbohydrate Diet

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With so many diets in existence, it can be challenging to distinguish between the effective and the ineffective. While diets may be used for a variety of different reasons and outcomes, the most common reason for commencing a diet is weight loss. It must be emphasized that adopting a specific diet is not absolutely necessary if weight loss is the goal. Majority of weight loss diets work by restricting the number of calories that are consumed each day in order to cause the breakdown of fat. This article will look at a commonly used weight loss diet – the low carb diet. It will provide detail on the diet itself, the types of foods to prioritize, and the benefits and disadvantages of the diet.

Table of Contents

What is a Low Carb Diet?

First we will review the macro-nutrient – carbohydrates. We will consider the role it plays in the body and also explain why restricting the consumption of it can often lead to weight loss.
Macro-nutrients are types of food that the body requires in large quantities in order to maintain health and function. There are three macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel and there are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. The names simply refer to the time taken for digestion to occur with simple carbs digesting quickly and complex carbs taking a longer time to break down.

Simple carbs vs Complex carbs

Simple carbs provide the body with a quick burst of energy but are of little nutritional gain whereas complex carbs release energy more slowly and are often loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Some examples of simple carbohydrate foods include table sugars, baked goods, white bread, white pasta, and confectionery. Complex carb foods include whole grains, oats, brown bread, brown pasta, brown rice, and fruit & vegetables.
As you may be able to conclude from the above list, carbohydrate-dense foods make up much of our daily food intake and the recommendation from many health authorities is that carbs should make up 45 – 60% of our daily calorie intake. By following this recommendation, the majority of calories you consume every day will come from carbohydrates sources.

Therefore, the idea behind the low carb diet is that by restricting carb intake, calories will be significantly reduced. While low carb diets are primarily used for bringing about weight loss, they are often prescribed to individuals with specific medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. However, this should only ever be implemented under the guidance of a medical professional.

Foods included in the Low Carb Diet

As mentioned, the purpose of the diet is to restrict total carbohydrate intake on a daily basis. Therefore, any foods that are high in carbohydrates should be restricted while foods that are low in carbohydrates should be prioritized. Although it is important that carbs are substantially restricted, it is essential that they are not removed entirely from the diet. Remember that it is a “low” carb diet, not a “zero” carb diet. As carbs play a key role in fueling the body and also nourish the body with an array of key vitamins and minerals, small amounts of carbohydrates should still be consumed. One final consideration to be made is the quantities of both proteins and fats that are consumed in place of the carbohydrates.

Ways to replace carbohydrates: 

How to replace carbohydrates with fats

Healthy fats

Replacing carbohydrates with fats is a very common method used for weight loss which is referred to as the ketogenic diet. The goal of the diet is to promote a process known as ketosis which is where the body uses fat as its primary fuel source rather than carbs. While there is research that suggests the ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss, be aware that fat contains 9 calories per gram which – the highest of all three macronutrients. So, it is important to check on calorie intake when on diet.
High-fat, low carb foods include – seafood, avocados, low-carb dairy products, eggs, oils (coconut, olive), nuts and seeds. 

How to replace carbohydrates with proteins

Healthy proteins

High protein diets may also be advantageous and have similarly been found to encourage weight loss and maintenance. One of the most practical benefits of consuming primarily proteins is in terms of satiety. Protein appears to be more satiating than both carbs and fats and therefore will leave you feeling fuller for longer. Thus, reducing the temptation to overeat or snack. Furthermore, protein is lower than fat in terms of calories as it contains 4 calories per gram. High protein, low carb foods include lean meats (poultry, beef, pork, fish), eggs, nuts, seeds, and tofu.

While both have their unique benefits, choosing to prioritize fats over proteins or vice-versa is of secondary importance. If you are going to fully experience the benefits of the low-carb diet, the focus must first and foremost be on appropriately restricting carbohydrate intake.

Benefits of the Low Carb Diet

There have been a number of studies completed over the years that have investigated the benefits and uses of the low-carb diet. Literature is clear that low carb diets can serve as an effective method for weight loss.

1. Reduces hunger pangs 

The benefit of the low-carb diet is that hunger tends to be less of a factor and some studies have indicated that they may help to reduce your appetite. This makes it much easier to manage hunger thus increasing consistency in nutrition and encouraging weight loss. 

2. Management of certain medical conditions

As touched on earlier, low carb diets can help in the management of certain medical conditions. For the diabetic, low carb diets may allow the individual to manage their glucose and insulin levels much more effectively. Restricting carb intake will reduce the amount of glucose in the body and have a consequent impact on required insulin dosages.

3. May improve heart health

Heart health

The impact of the low carb diet on heart health has revealed mixed results. Some studies have indicated a positive impact on cardiovascular health, blood pressure and healthy cholesterol levels. However, more research needs to be conducted to confirm these findings.

Disadvantages of the Low Carb Diet

When considering the role that carbohydrates play in the body, restricting carbohydrates may have a negative impact on energy levels and consequent muscular and cognitive performance. It may also lead to dizziness, nausea, weakness, and chronic fatigue.

1. Reduced energy levels

Exercise levels may be affected as a result of the absence of carbohydrates in the diet. Because energy levels are lowered, it may be challenging to maintain a steady level of exercise for a prolonged time period. Therefore, if you are an athlete or a highly active individual, the low carb diet may not be the best choice.

2. May negatively impact digestion and excretion

The body requires an array of micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) in order to function optimally. While a number of fat and protein-dense foods contain some micro-nutrients, you may either miss some or fail to consume enough of certain micro-nutrients by cutting out carbohydrates. For example, fruits and vegetables are highly beneficial for health as they contain a vast number of micro-nutrients while whole grain products contain a high amount of folic acid which help to promote heart health. Furthermore, carbohydrates provide the body with fiber which is a non-digestible substance that is essential for digestion. Therefore, removing carbs from your diet may negatively impact digestion and excretion as well. As a result, those with digestion-related problems should avoid the low carb diet.

Low Carb Diet and Weight Loss

Low carb diet and weight loss

If your goal is to cause a reduction in weight, utilizing the low carb diet may be of benefit as research clearly indicates that it can significantly impact changes in body composition. However, it is important to recognize that the diet is by no means the only weight loss method. Ultimately, it is a calorie deficit that is responsible for bringing about these changes and all effective weight-loss diets will place the individual in a calorie deficit in order to cause weight reduction.
A calorie deficit is simply created when an individual consumes fewer calories per day than their body requires. As a result of this deficit, the body cannot use calories from food as energy and therefore, must find energy from another source. In the absence of calories, the body resorts to using stored body fat as fuel. Body fat is broken down and the energy that is released through this process is then used to maintain function. Providing that if a calorie deficit is maintained for a prolonged time period, body fat will be used up as energy thus causing total body fat percentage to significantly decrease. It is important to remember that there is nothing particularly ground-breaking with dieting and weight loss, results can be achieved without the use of a diet. Exercising calorie control is the key to bringing about substantial changes in body composition. 

Summary

The low-carb diet can effectively be implemented in order to facilitate weight loss and serve as an effective option for those with specific medical conditions such as diabetes. However, it is also important to recognize that there are a number of potential disadvantages associated with the diet including increased fatigue and interference with digestion. Whether the low carb diet is something that you wish to implement or not, comes down entirely to personal preference. However, it should be acknowledged that diets are not essential for weight loss and calorie control will ultimately determine compositional changes.



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What to Eat on the Mediterranean Diet

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If you feel like you’ve heard about the Mediterranean diet a lot lately, you’re not wrong. It was named the best diet of the year for what feels like the thousandth time and for good reason. Not only has the Mediterranean diet been proven effective for weight loss, but it can also reduce your risk for heart disease and even help you live longer. And as more dieters move away from more restrictive plans, a diet that allows you to eat carbs and drink wine will undoubtedly only grow in popularity.

In fact, the Mediterranean diet feels less like a diet than a lifestyle. “The diet is rooted in enjoyment of eating and staying active,” Elissa Goldman, MS, RD, LDN, founder of Nutrition by Elissa in Arlington, MA, told POPSUGAR. “Rather than counting or restricting a food group, the Mediterranean diet encourages the addition and consumption of whole foods.”

If you’re thinking of giving it a go, you’re in luck — Elissa gave us some suggestions for what you can (and should) eat on the Mediterranean diet, right ahead.



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The Ultimate 7-Day Gym Diet Plan: HealthifyMe Blog

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When it comes to nutrition, things can become overly complicated. However, one thing that is abundantly clear is that nutrition has a huge impact on the progress that is made in the gym. This article will highlight a number of considerations that must be made and applied in order to bring about substantial changes. In addition, it will also serve as a resource and highlight the nutrient rich foods that one should incorporate in their daily diet routine.

Foods To Add To Your Diet

There are three macronutrients that all play a crucial role in maintaining bodily functions and promoting changes in strength and composition – they are carbs, proteins, and fats. It is essential that we consume all three macros in ample quantities to optimize progress.

Carbohydrates

carbohydrates

Firstly, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body and therefore play the most substantial role in fueling exercise. There are two different types of carbohydrates – complex and simple. The names give an indication of the time taken to digest; complex carbs take a longer time period to digest than simple carbs.
Complex carbohydrates provide the body with prolonged slow-release of energy and have a great nutritional benefit. While simple carbohydrates provide the body with a short-term, fast releasing energy, they contain little nutritional value.
For this reason, you should look to primarily consume complex carbohydrates. Some foods to consider adding to your diet include whole-grains, oats, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Protein

Protein

The majority of gym-goers will be well aware that consuming protein is important. The reason why protein is so important is that, it plays a key role in recovery and repair. During exercise, the body is exposed to strains and stresses which cause damage to occur to the muscles at a microscopic level. In order for the damage to be repaired, protein is needed. Without it, recovery periods will be extended and chronic fatigue may become a factor.
Protein is found most highly in animal produce such as lean meats, eggs & dairy. It can also be found in smaller quantities in foods such as seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, and soy.

Fats

healthy fats

Fats are often incorrectly seen as the primary reason for fat gain. However, fats are not responsible for this and actually play a key role in the absorption and transport of nutrients. In addition, they can have a positive impact on heart health and hormone production.
While fats can have a positive impact on health, there are several types of fat – some of which are of greater benefit than others. While saturated fats are not as harmful as once believed, focus primarily on unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fat foods include avocados, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), oils (olive, peanut, sesame), and soy products (tofu, soy milk).

Pre-Workout Foods

The focus with all pre-workout meals or snacks should be carbohydrates to provide the body with plenty of energy to last the full session. If energy levels are sub-optimal, then performance will suffer which will have a consequent impact on our rate of adaptation.
To prime the body for performance, focus on primarily consuming complex carbohydrates such as whole-grains, oats, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Be aware not to consume them just before the workout as they take time to digest. The recommendation is to consume complex carbs one to two hours prior to exercise to allow for full digestion.
From that point, focus on simple carbohydrates as they take less time to digest and provide the body with bursts of energy. It may even be recommended to consume some simple carbs during a workout to maintain energy levels and performance.
White bread, jam, granola, cereal, rice cakes, sports drinks, and fruit are all viable options for a pre-workout, energy-boosting snack.
While the focus should predominantly be on carbohydrates, it is also important to consume some protein prior to stepping into the gym. To support muscle recovery and growth, protein levels should be maintained at a high level throughout each day.

Post-Workout Foods

The purpose of post-workout nutrition is two-fold – to promote muscle recovery and replenish energy. Therefore, the focus should once again be on consuming good quality protein and carb foods.
As reflected on, the stress of training cause micro tears to occur to the muscles that must be repaired. Consuming protein will cause a process known as muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to occur which will begin the repairing process and prevent muscle breakdown.
There is a widely held belief that protein timing is extremely important for maximizing growth, however, a number of studies have indicated that total daily protein intake is of greater importance than the timing.
High-protein foods such as lean beef, chicken, pork, turkey, eggs, dairy, seeds, quinoa, and nuts should be prioritized. Protein supplements, like protein shakes and bars, can serve as a convenient tool for effectively boosting protein intake.
Carbohydrates should also form part of post-workout nutrition as the energy that has been expended during exercise must be replaced.
If possible, it is recommended to consume protein and carbs together as this will have the most pronounced impact on recovery by enhancing protein and glycogen (energy) synthesis. Often a ratio of 3:1 carb to protein is prescribed for optimizing recovery.

Ideal 7-day gym diet

While calories and macronutrients are important, the ideal gym diet will be one that positively influences health. This is a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals where all three macronutrients are consumed and nutrient-sparse foods are restricted.
Below you can find a 7-day gym diet guide:

Day 1

Breakfast Oats Banana Pancakes with
Protein Shake
Lunch Multigrain roti with palak chicken Avocado bell pepper salad
Pre-Workout Snack Bananas
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Brown rice, peas paneer curry, sprouts vegetable salad

Day 2

Breakfast Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt & Seasonal fruits
Mango Juice
Lunch Multigrain roti, fish curry, vegetable salad
Pre-Workout Snack Toast with Jam
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Broken wheat khichidi, carrot raita, egg white, and vegetable salad

Day 3

Breakfast Poached Eggs
Whole Grain Toast
Protein Shake
Lunch Quinoa upma, chicken and broccoli salad
Pre-Workout Snack Mixed Nuts & Dried Fruits
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Lean Beef and vegetable curry, brown rice, cucumber raita
Baby Potatoes
Chocolate Milk

Day 4

Breakfast Oatmeal with Honey
Apple Juice
Lunch Grilled Chicken
Salad
Whole Grain Bread
Pre-Workout Snack Toast with Peanut Butter
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Methi Chicken
Brown Rice
Broccoli
Protein Shake

Day 5

Breakfast Scrambled Egg
Whole Grain Toast
Smoothie
Lunch Grilled chicken vegetable roti rolls
Green Salad
Pre-Workout Snack Mixed Nuts & Dried Fruits
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Chicken Stir Fry
Spring Onion, Peppers & Broccoli
Chocolate Milk


Day 6

Breakfast Oatmeal
Whole Grain Toast
Orange Juice
Lunch Whole Grain Chicken Wrap
Black Beans, Peppers & Greek Yogurt
Pre-Workout Snack Apple with peanut butter
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Keema bhurji and multigrain rotiLean Beef Mince
Sweet Potato
Protein Shake

Day 7

Breakfast Oatmeal with Nuts
Smoothie
Lunch Whole wheat pasta with chicken and
Green Salad
Pre-Workout Snack Granola or Cereal
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Fish curry, boiled green peas salad
Brown Rice
Garden Peas
Milk

While the above guide will prove to be useful, be aware that when it comes to nutrition, everyone is different. Not only will physical attributes determine your nutritional requirements, the goals that you have set will also influence your diet.
For example, two goals that are extremely common are fat loss and muscle growth. To lose fat, calories must be restricted which will cause stored body fat to be broken down. For muscle growth, calorie intake must be increased to build significant muscle size as additional calories are required to accelerate the recovery process.
Macro-nutrient demands for both fat loss and muscle growth are similar. Firstly, protein intake should remain high for both. For muscle growth, protein is evidently required for building mass. The role of protein in fat loss is to prevent muscle tissue breakdown as far as possible.
As highlighted, carbohydrates are extremely important in energy and replenishment. As a result, those looking to lose weight and build muscle should get the majority of their calories from carb sources.  
While consuming healthy fats is important, reducing the total amount of fat consumed helps to most effectively restrict calories. This is because, at nine calories per gram, fats contain the greatest number of calories per gram – protein and carbohydrates both contain four calories per gram.

Foods to Avoid

In the same way that proper nutrition has the potential to optimize performance and adaptation, improper nutrition can detrimentally affect progress and health. The following three foods should be avoided or limited as far as possible.
Trans fats are a type of dietary fat that has consistently been shown to impact health. While trans fats do naturally occur in small quantities, artificial trans fats are notoriously hazardous. Artificial trans fats can be found in baked goods, fast food, and many snack foods.
As mentioned, many simple carbohydrate foods do not have great nutritional value and contain a high amount of sugar. While they may be useful for a short term energy boost, consuming a large number of simple carbs can be detrimental.
Eating a great quantity of simple carbohydrates will spike blood sugar levels initially. However, very quickly, blood sugar levels will nosedive and can leave you feeling lethargic which is less than optimal for exercise and performance.
Although technically not a food, alcohol is a substance that should also be limited as far as possible. There is much research to indicate that alcohol negatively impacts recovery and may even interfere with the muscle-building process.

Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts

This final section will highlight a number of do’s and don’ts to help keep you on the right track with your nutrition.

Do’s:

– Consume all 3 macronutrients
– Ensure that you are eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables for comprehensive consumption of vitamins and minerals
– Primarily choose complex carbs over simple carbs
– Ensure that you are consuming protein regularly throughout the day
– Consume unsaturated fats over saturated and trans fats
– Moderate your consumption of produce that will negatively impact health and gym progress
– Maintain hydration levels

Don’t:

– Cut a macro-nutrient from your diet as all are required for specific functions
– Skip meals, especially in the lead up to or after a workout
– Eat a “heavy” complex carb meal too close to beginning a workout
– Rely too heavily on simple carbs to fuel performance
– Make poor nutritional choices for the sake of gaining calories

Summary

It is now clear that there are many different aspects of nutrition that must be considered when it comes to optimizing gym progress and to generally improve health. Following the guidelines and recommendations outlined in this article will allow you to make substantial changes to your performance and health.



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9 Healthy Reasons to Add Radish to Your Diet: HealthifyMe Blog

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Radishes are not exactly the most popular vegetables around, but they are one of the healthiest. Radishes are often used in the culinary world and add a pungent, peppery element to dishes. The vegetables also contains an array of vitamins, minerals and nutritional compounds that can positively affect your health. There are many different types of radishes: black radish, daikon radish, horseradish, watermelon radish, and round radish. 
Radishes can be prepared in many different ways, they can be pickled, used in sandwiches, roasted as part of a vegetable medley or added to casseroles for a pungent crunch. One of the most popular ways to eat radishes is to slice them and eat them in a salad. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value Of Radish 

The reason why radishes taste so pungent and spicy is because they are high in nutrients. Radishes have excellent nutritional value compared to other vegetables like bitter gourd and leafy greens which are packed with nutrients. Radishes are also used to treat illnesses such as sore throat, bile disorders and inflammation in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Here is the nutritional profile of 1 cup of raw, sliced radishes (116 grams)

  • Calories – 19
  • Protein – 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates – 4 g
  • Fiber – 1.9 g
  • Fat – 0.1g

Vitamins and Minerals

Radishes have an abundance of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals include:

Folate: Also known as a B vitamin, it synthesizes white/red blood cells in bone marrow and is essential for the process of creating DNA and RNA.  

Potassium: This mineral regulates and keeps fluids of the body in balance. It also supports electrical activity of the heart and the function of the entire nervous system. 

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is involved with many important functions in the body and can help with the formation of collagen and the strengthening of blood vessel walls. 

Vitamin B6: A water soluble vitamin, also known as pyridoxine, is needed for numerous enzyme reactions in the body, mainly metabolism.  

9 Health Benefits of Radish

The nutritional profile of radishes is very diverse and offers a wide scope of nutrients that can have a profound effect on health. From folate to sulfur compounds, radishes target many different aspects of the body and can contribute positively to a healthy system, inside and out.

Here are some of the top ways radishes can benefit your health:

1. Prevents Cancer

Radish contains glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. These compounds protect your cells from the genetic mutations that can cause cancer. They may also help eliminate cells that have the potential to grow into cancerous cells in the future.

2. Supports Digestion

healthy digestion

Eating enough fibre each day (25 g for a woman, and 30-38 g for a man) can prevent constipation, acid reflux and digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. Radishes contain a good amount of fibre at 1.9 g per 116 g of vegetables. Consuming a serving of radishes each day will provide the fibre you need to ensure a fully functioning digestive system. 
A study showed that consuming the leaves of radishes made a positive impact on digestion. Radishes may also help gastric ulcers by reinforcing the stomach lining and protecting other tissues in the gut.

3. Helps to Fight Fungus

Candida albicans is one of the most common fungi found in the human body. It’s also one of the hardest to fight off. An overgrowth of Candida albicans can cause vaginal infections and oral infections. Radish contains an antifungal compound, RsAFP2 that has been proven effective against strains of Candida bacteria. 

4. Prevents Diabetes

Prevent Diabetes

If you have prediabetes or have blood sugar issues, consuming radish can help regulate blood sugar and prevent the on-set of diabetes type 2. 
This vegetable contains anti-diabetic properties that can enhance immune system function, improve glucose uptake and lower blood sugar. A study showed that radishes directly improve insulin response and glucose metabolism. 
Adiponectin is a hormone that is involved in the reduction of glucose levels in the blood. Radishes contain compounds that regulate adiponectin and other hormones that play a role in regulating glucose homeostasis. 

5. Improves Skin

Radish helps improve the skin

Not only is radish extremely hydrating, but the vegetable also contains high levels of vitamin C, a vitamin known to be very beneficial for the skin. Vitamin C improves elasticity of the skin by helping to form collagen, a nutrient that makes up the structure of the skin, bones and other connective tissue. In addition to that, it fights against free radicals and provides a boost of UV protection for the skin. The folate in radishes reduces oxidative damage and the vitamin B6 can reduce stress that prevent breakouts and premature aging. 

6. Very Hydrating

Staying hydrated is important to keep your body functioning optimally. A lack of hydration can cause poor skin appearance, headaches, frequent illness, and sugar cravings. Radishes have a very high water content, 93.5 g per every 100 g! That’s almost on par with a cucumber which is 95.2 g per 100 g. Incorporating radishes into your everyday meals along with drinking the recommended amount of water per day will ensure you’re getting the hydration you need. 

7. Supports Heart Health

supports heart health

Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid with antioxidant effects that can be particularly helpful in supporting heart health. Anthocyanins are present in radishes, which give round radishes their red color. Foods high in anthocyanins, like radishes have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. These foods also have an effect on cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and blood pressure. 

8. Lowers Blood Pressure

Potassium has regulating properties that can balance out fluids in the body. Potassium has a very positive effect on blood pressure and can effectively bring the blood pressure down to a normal level through the function of the kidneys. Radishes contain moderately high levels of potassium and can help in balancing blood pressure for those with hypertension. In addition to this, radishes, through the synthesis of collagen can strengthen the blood vessel walls and lower the risk of atherosclerosis. 

9. Enhances Immune Function

The vitamin C in radishes can improve the skin, but is also a vital nutrient in supporting the immune system and for tissue growth and repair. 
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help ward away illnesses such as the flu or the common cold. It can also prevent more serious diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancers. 

Radish For Weight Loss and Indian Recipe

Radishes and weight loss

Radishes are high in water and fibre and low in fat and calories. Naturally, radish is the perfect weight loss food. Radishes are extremely low in calories at 19 calories for every 1 cup. Incorporating a bowl of radish with your meals can reduce total calories and help in weight loss. Radishes contain 1.9g of fibre every 1 cup and can be a beneficial addition to your weight loss diet.
The glycemic index of a food indicates how it affects blood glucose levels. The lower the index number, the slower the food is digested and the slower the rise in blood sugar levels. Eating high glycemic foods may cause the body to store more fat. Radishes have a very low glycemic index, meaning that it will have little effect on blood glucose levels and will support weight loss. Radishes aren’t known to be a popular meal staple, but there are many different types of radishes that can be delicious if prepared the right way. Here are some recipes featuring the radish:

Mullangi/Radish Stir Fry

radish fry

This dish is a South Indian curry using mooli radishes. Mooli radishes are quite large and are also known as a “Daikon” radish. They have a crisp texture and a mild flavor and can be cooked or eaten raw. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Mooli radishes, peeled and chopped
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Chana dal
  • 1 tsp Black Urad dal
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves 

Method:

  • Heat a pan on low and add sesame oil. Once heated, add Chana dal, Black Urad dal, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  • Cook until cumin seeds start to crackle.
  • Next, add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, and salt.
  • Add radish and cook for a minute or so. Add ½ a cup of water and cover. Cook until radish becomes soft.
  • Keep stirring every 3-4 minutes.
  • Once radish is soft, cook on high for 30-40 seconds or until most of the water has evaporated.
  • Serve with rasam or sambar along with steamed rice. 

Mooli Saag (Braised Radish Leaves)

This dish uses radish leaves. The leaves of the radish are extremely healthy, like any green leafy vegetable and taste peppery, similar to arugula. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups radish leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • ¼ cup tomatoes
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 medium green chili
  • 1tsp cooking oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • ¼ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ cup coconut milk

Method:

  • Heat a pan on medium and add onion, garlic, green chilies and ginger. Saute until the onion turns golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are softened.
  • Blend the radish leaves and the tomato mixture in a blender until smooth. Pour the green mixture back into the pan and bring it to a simmer.
  • Add salt, cumin powder, garam masala powder and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve with rotis or rice or as side dish. 

Summary

Radishes are not commonly a diet staple, however they have an impressive nutritional profile. The vegetable contains nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, folate and many antioxidants that contribute positively to a healthy body. 
Radishes contain compounds and nutrients that have been proven to be helpful for conditions such as fungal infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive disorders, and certain types of cancers. Furthermore, radishes are low in calories and fat and are high in water content and fibre. Because of this, they are especially effective when incorporated into a weight loss diet. Radishes lend a unique peppery, pungent taste that can be incorporated into many different kinds of dishes from curries, to salads, to pickles for sandwiches! Radishes may not be your usual go-to vegetable, but the benefits speak for themselves, so do try it out! 



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HEALTH

9 Reasons Why You Should Add Zucchini to Your Diet: HealthifyMe Blog

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Zucchini is a summer squash, also known as a courgette. This water dense fruit is closely related to melons, spaghetti squash and cucumber. Zucchini can be grown in warm weather and is usually harvested in the summer months. It ranges in color from dark green to golden yellow and it varies in shapes and sizes depending on the variety. Some common varieties include Round Zucchini, Cocozella, and Crookneck Gold.  One of the best attributes of zucchini is it’s low carbohydrate profile. This makes it great to use for weight loss or for elimination diets.

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value Of Zucchini

Zucchini is a satisfying replacement for starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, and rice. Many people following low-carb diets such as the Paleo diet or the Ketogenic diet use zucchini as a staple food. Zucchini is full of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help the body function properly. 
Here is the nutritional profile of 1 large zucchini (323 grams):

Vitamins and Minerals: Like other types of squash, zucchini contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals that can contribute positively to your health. These vitamins and minerals include:

  • Manganese: This mineral contributes to metabolic processes involving amino acids, carbohydrates, cholesterol, glucose. 
  • Potassium: This mineral helps regulate the balance of fluids in the body and supports the function of muscles and the nervous system.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is involved with many important functions in the body such as the synthesization of collagen, absorption of iron and immune system support. 
  • Vitamin B6: Also known as pyridoxine, is vital for the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates. 

Zucchini also contains antioxidants that can help protect our cells from free radical damage. These antioxidants include lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Most of the antioxidants are found in the skin of zucchini and it’s known that yellow zucchini may contain even more antioxidants than green varieties.

9 Benefits Of Zucchini

1. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels

Reduces blood sugar levels

If your blood sugar has been high for too long, it can cause complications such as kidney damage, nerve damage and stroke. Zucchini has been touted to reduce blood sugar in people with type two diabetes. 
Low carb diets can help to regulate blood sugar levels and are usually recommended for those living with diabetes. Zucchini is low-carb and high fibre, making it a perfect staple for any low carb diet. Insulin sensitivity is describing how sensitive the body’s cells are to insulin. The more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the more easily the body can use glucose and reduce blood sugar in the body. Zucchini is known to increase insulin sensitivity and improve conditions such as diabetes type 2.

2. Strengthens Vision

Strengthen vision

Zucchini is abundant in vitamin C and beta-carotene. These two vitamins are essential for the health and function of your eyes. The antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein found in zucchini can also reduce your chance of contracting age-related eye diseases. 

3. Improves Heart Health

Studies show that foods high in fibre can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease. Zucchini contains pectin, a type of fibre that can effectively reduce bad LDL cholesterol and improve heart health. Potassium is a mineral that can dilate blood vessels, which in turn can reduce high blood pressure. Zucchini is high in potassium and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

4. Helps With Digestion

Zucchini improves digestion

Zucchini contains both soluble and insoluble fibre and is therefore great for digestion and contains nutrients that can help digestive disorders such as IBS and Crohn’s disease. Zucchini has a high water content which means they effectively soften stool, allowing waste to pass more easily through the digestive tract. The insoluble fibre in zucchini adds bulk which also helps food to move through the tract more easily, reducing constipation or a sluggish digestive system. Soluble fibre in zucchini does a good job of feeding the good bacteria in your gut. These good bacteria play a crucial role in digestion and produce short chain fatty acids that provide nourishment for cells in your gut. These short chain fatty acids reduce inflammation and can even heal diseases such as IBS or Crohn’s disease. 

5. Helps Prevent Disease

Antioxidants are substances which inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. They help to protect your body’s cells from free radicals which in turn protects your body against disease. Zucchini contains the antioxidants your body needs for cell protection. These antioxidants have been proven to protect cells from certain types of cancer including prostate cancer. 

6. Improves Thyroid and Adrenal Function

zucchini helps stabilise hypothyroidism

The thyroid and adrenal glands are both glands in the body that control metabolism, the heart and immune system/digestive function. The vitamin C and polyphenols found in zucchini, and especially in the peels, which improves the function and supports these two glands. The adrenal glands have the highest concentration of vitamin C in the body and absolutely need this vitamin in order to function optimally.

7. Slows Down Aging

Aging is a result of cell degeneration caused by free radicals, inflammation and stress. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods can prevent cells from degenerating and slow the process of aging. Zucchini contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phyto-nutrients that can effectively fight signs of aging. 

8. Helps Treat Asthma

zucchini help prevent asthma

Asthma is a disease that can make breathing difficult and is accompanied by symptoms such as narrowing and swelling of the airways, wheezing, coughing and asthma attacks. The copper and vitamin C in zucchini is known to be effective at treating asthma. One study suggests that vitamin C can prevent asthma attacks as well as bronchial sensitivity.

9. Strengthen Bones and Teeth

Zucchini contains many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, magnesium and folate that can contribute to the maintenance and improvement of bones and teeth. A deficiency of magnesium has been correlated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. The magnesium in zucchini ensures strong, healthy bones and can prevent bone fractures. The folate in zucchini detoxifies homocysteine, an amino acid that can cause inflammation and can increase the risk of a bone fracture. 

Zucchini For Weight Loss and Indian Recipes

zucchini aids weight loss

Zucchini is one of the best foods you can eat when looking to lose weight. In addition to its high fibre, low calorie nutrition profile, it is quickly becoming a popular replacement for carbohydrate rich foods such as pasta, potatoes, even burger buns and tortilla wraps. 

Zucchini is also a great substitute if you are gluten-intolerant and are looking to avoid wheat or any type of grain. The soluble and insoluble fibre present in zucchini can give you a sensation of feeling full which will suppress the appetite and make you eat less. 

Zucchini is high in water content as well, making it especially effective at relieving constipation or a slow digestive system. Substituting spiralized zucchini noodles for regular pasta will provide you with the fibre and enough water you need to improve digestion and avoid the blood sugar spike that can be caused by eating simple carbohydrates. In general, non-starchy green vegetables are great when it comes to weight loss and provide the nutritional support that’s essential while losing extra fat. 

Here are some healthy Indian recipes that feature zucchini as its main ingredient:

Indian Style Zucchini Stir Fry

Indian style zucchini stir fry

This recipe features zucchini at its centre. It can be served as a side dish along side a meat curry or eaten by itself as a light meal. It is vegan, gluten-free, paleo and keto-friendly. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini, cut into ½ inch long pieces (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tbsp ginger, minced
  • ½ tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp amchur powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cut zucchini into ½ inch long pieces.
  2. Heat a pan with some coconut oil and add cumin seeds.
  3. Once the seeds start crackling, add ginger, garlic, green chilies, asafoetida, curry leaves and saute for 3-4 minutes or until the ginger and garlic are no longer raw.
  4. Add onions and saute until they turn golden brown.
  5. Add chopped zucchini chunks, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, amchur and salt. Give it a mix and cover with a lid. Lower the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Once zucchini is cooked through, garnish with coriander leaves and serve over roti or rice.

Zucchini Curry with coconut milk

zucchini curry with coconut milk

This is a simple, creamy Indian curry that is completely vegan, gluten-free and keto-friendly. It makes a great, lighter substitute for Butter Chicken. Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil (olive oil, grapeseed or coconut oil works)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  • Add oil to a pan over medium heat. Once warm, add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Then add in onion and ginger. Saute and stir for 7-10 minutes or until onions become translucent. 
  • Once the onions are cooked, add in diced zucchini, garlic and ginger. Cook for about 5 minutes or until zucchini is just slightly brown.  
  • Add coriander, smoked paprika and turmeric. Stir, so spices are well combined with the veggies and cook until spices become.
  • Add in tomato paste, vegetable stock, and coconut milk. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until zucchini is cooked. Careful not to overcook the zucchini as this can happen quickly. 
  • Once zucchini is cooked, season with salt and pepper and cilantro. If you prefer an extra dash of heat, add a chopped chili pepper. Serve with roti or rice. 

Summary

Zucchini is a nutrient-rich summer squash that contains lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phyto-nutrients such as manganese, potassium, beta-carotene and lutein. 
Aside from its nutritional profile, zucchini is a very versatile food when it comes to improving daily diet and weight loss, and can be used to replace foods like pasta, breads, and potatoes.  There are so many ways you can eat zucchini. You can spiralize them into noodles, layer them for a gluten-free lasagna or even dip them in hummus or salsa. Zucchini contains both soluble and insoluble fibre that can support weight loss and digestive system health. Some of the main health benefits of zucchini include: improved eyesight, blood sugar control, weight loss, and heart health support. 



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