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NUTRITION

4 Healthy Shake Boosters You’re Not Using

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It’s easy to fall into a rut in your lifting routine, and the same is true for your protein shakes. If you’ve been using the same tired boosters in your shake and not seeing results, there’s a good reason for it. Protein powders are formulated to deliver the ideal ratio of macronutrients after a workout, but they don’t always focus on the micronutrients.

Why does it matter? Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are essential to muscle growth and repair. Post-workout nutrition is an opportunity to feed your muscles exactly what they need quickly and deliver otherwise hard-to-get nutrients in a convenient shake. If you know what to add to your protein powder, you can customize your shake to give your body exactly what it needs.

Here’s a list of the top protein shake additions that you’re probably not using, and why you should start adding them today.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric has long been used in traditional medicine for its purported anti-inflammatory properties, and in modern times it has graced the pages of many a health-themed Instagram feed.

The primary active component of turmeric is curcumin, which studies indicate may help suppress the factors that lead to inflammation.[1] Though this bright yellow spice appears in many traditional Southeast Asian dishes, the doses needed to produce any significant effect are much higher than would be found in a single meal and can only be obtained through supplementation.

To boost your shake, add 1/2-1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of black pepper prior to blending. The piperine in the black pepper helps make the curcumin more bioavailable.

Thinking outside the shaker, you could also try this delicious turmeric latte recipe—the perfect way to help your body recover faster after a workout and use up your cold leftover coffee.

Turmeric

Turmeric Latte

Want to get more out of your morning cup of joe? This recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover coffee and give your body a healthy boost. Turmeric contains compounds that have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, while the maca powder is a natural energy booster. Almond milk provides a dairy-free base, but you can substitute your milk of choice.

View Recipe Here

2. Baobab Fruit

The fruit of the baobab tree is commonly eaten in Africa and Australia and has a citrus-like flavor. It is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, and its leaves are rich in calcium and protein. Even the seeds are loaded with fat and healthy fiber, and powdered forms of this potent plant are available around the world.

Baobab fruit is associated with many health benefits. For one thing, it aides weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness and helping to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.[2] Its potential benefits make this southern-hemisphere treat a perfect booster to your weight-loss shake. Just add a scoop of baobab powder to your protein shake, or if you prefer, try the recipe below.

Baobab

Carrot-Orange Baobab Drink

Loaded with antioxidants, this simple bright-orange drink is bursting with nutrients and flavor. Baobab powder has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries, acai, and goji, and carrots and oranges are great sources of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Fresh ginger helps with digestion in addition to adding a zing to this flavorful four-ingredient drink. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a high-powered blender and strain with a cheesecloth.

View Recipe Here

3. Plant-Based Omega-3s

While health experts have touted the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for years, we don’t often discuss the different sources of this supplement. Fish oil has become all but synonymous with omega-3s, but the plant-based versions may actually be easier to incorporate into your diet.

Flaxseed is 42 percent fat, and most of that comes in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor of omega-3 fatty acids. ALA has many potential health benefits, specifically the ability to reduce blood triglycerides and reduce the inflammatory response, both of which help fight heart disease. Unlike its fishy counterpart, flaxseed also offers a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Since all the goodness is inside the seed, add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil to your shake instead of whole seed. If you’d rather chew your omegas, check out the slow-cooker superfood protein bars below.

Seeds

Slow-Cooker Superfood Protein Bars

Flaxseed is a fantastic healthy addition to any baked good, providing extra fiber, nutrients, and healthy fats. These homemade bars take it to the next level by combining ground flaxseed with cashew butter, oats, and plant protein to create a delicious, chewy, gluten-free high-protein snack. Add the extra flavor and superfood punch of blueberries, cacao nibs, and cinnamon, and you’ve got yourself a healthy on-the-go treat to fuel your body and help you hit your goals.

View Recipe Here

4. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are a type fiber that the human body cannot digest. They are food for probiotics—hence the name. Since probiotics support healthy gut bacteria, including prebiotics in your diet is the key to better gut health.

Whole-food sources of prebiotics include dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, wheat bran, and cocoa. While some sources of prebiotics make more sense in a salad than a shake, adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder is an easy and delicious way to boost the prebiotics in your smoothie and feed the good bacteria in your gut. If you’d rather have a warm cup of cocoa, give this PBfit hot chocolate recipe a try.

Cacao Powder

PBFit Hot Chocolate

While some sources of prebiotics make more sense in a salad than a shake, adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder is an easy and delicious way to boost the prebiotics in your smoothie and feed the good bacteria in your gut. If you’d rather have a warm cup of cocoa, give this PBfit hot chocolate recipe a try.

View Recipe Here

References
  1. Takada, Y., Bhardwaj, A., Potdar, P., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2004). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-κ B activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene, 23(57), 9247-9258.
  2. Coe, S., & Ryan, L. (2016). White bread enriched with polyphenol extracts shows no effect on glycemic response or satiety yet may increase postprandial insulin economy in healthy participants. Nutrition Research, 36(2), 193-200.

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9 Essential Vitamins and Minerals Needed by Every Man to Stay Healthy

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Our bodies started evolving about 2.5 billion years ago. However, even today, gender plays an important role in deciding our basic nutritional requirements. Studies have shown that since men engage in more physical activities than women, they have a relatively higher metabolic rate. This means in order to stay healthy, their bodies demand more macro as well as micronutrients. While carbohydrates, fat, and protein make up for the ‘macronutrients’, vitamins and minerals together come under ‘micronutrients’. Since these are required in very small quantities, they may sometimes be overlooked. 

So, we decided to put together a list of minerals and vitamins that should be on every man’s list to stay healthy. Read on to know their major sources and the impact it can have on your overall health:

Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Men’s Health

#1 Vitamin A

Vitamin A

Vitamin A belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins. It is primarily responsible for the growth and development of cells, vision, immunity, and even reproduction. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant and potent hormone which can greatly affect the function of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin A for adult men is 900 micrograms (mcg)

Sources: The predominant source of  Vitamin A is liver and fish oils. Other sources rich in vitamin A are: 

  • Milk and eggs.
  • Green leafy veggies.
  • Orangish yellow-coloured food items like lemons, carrots, etc.
  • Some vegetable oils.

Benefits:

  • Better eyesight: Vitamin A plays a critical role in relaying visual information from our eyes to our brain. Deficiency of vitamin A may lead to many visual disturbances.  This is probably the reason why the first symptom of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness or difficulty to see in the dark. 
  • Lowers risk of cancer: It is observed that adequate intake of vitamin A from natural sources like fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of lung cancer. Studies in Japan have also reported that vitamin A may even prevent colon cancer.

#2 Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that increases the production of red blood cells in our body. It supports the building of DNA structure and ensures the proper functioning of our nervous system. Also balances the stress hormones and helps to reduce symptoms of depression 

Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 for adult men is 2.4 micrograms(mcg)

Sources: The main source of vitamin B12 are animal products like meat and fish (e.g. salmon and cod). Secondary sources include: 

  • Dairy foods like milk, curd, cheese, etc
  • Eggs 

Since Vitamin B12 is not found naturally in plants and grains, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may want to consider taking a B vitamin supplement. 

Benefits: 

  • Nourishes the neurons: Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with memory loss, especially in older men. A study concluded that early-stage dementia can be slowed down by the use of a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
  • Improved sperm count: Vitamin B12 is responsible for the production and development of sperm. It is a common observation that low levels of B12 can severely affect sperm count. Studies have also proved that there is a link between plasma concentration of vitamin B12 and infertility in men. 

#3 Vitamin C 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, or chemically known as ascorbic acid, is critical for the wear and tear of all body tissues. It is involved in multiple functions like absorption of iron, wound healing, and maintaining cartilage, bones, and teeth. 

Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adult men is 90 micrograms(mcg). As it is water-soluble in nature, deficiency of vitamin C may occur, causing scurvy or bleeding gums. 

Sources: The main source of Vitamin C are green veggies like broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower. Some other sources are: 

  • Green and red peppers.
  • Fruits like kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries. 
  • Food staples like potatoes and tomatoes.

Benefits: 

  • Manages high blood pressure: The force exerted by the blood on the walls of vessels is known as blood pressure. Vitamin C removes excess fluid from our body, thereby reducing the volume of blood and overall pressure.  
  • Prevention of gout: A gout is a form of arthritis where uric acid gets deposited in the joints. A study conducted with 1,387 men found that those who consumed vitamin C had significantly lower blood levels of uric acid thereby lower chances of gout. 
  • Support system for Immunity: Vitamin C plays a significant role in building up immunity. It helps to stimulate both the production and function of white blood cells, thereby, helping the body fight infections.

#4 Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. It is also important for strong bone, teeth, and muscle health.

Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 10–20 micrograms (mcg). Although the deficiency is rare in India due to ample sunshine, deficiency of vitamin D can cause soft or fragile bones. 

Sources: Vitamin D is produced by our skin from sunlight but can also be found in some foods. 

Vitamin D can also be commonly found in 

  • Oily fish (like Salmon, Sardines, Tuna)
  • Red meat.
  • Egg yolks.
  • Soya products.

Benefits:  

  • Decreases incidence of stroke: Strokes are one of the leading causes of death in men. Since blood pressure is controlled by the action of vitamin D, the chances of a stroke are also greatly reduced. Moreover, vitamin D also helps in weight loss further decreasing the risk of heart diseases.
  • Improved testosterone levels: Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for primary and secondary reproductive traits. It controls everything from the coarseness of voice, facial hair growth, and even sex drive. Vitamin D helps in the regulation of testosterone levels in the blood.

#5 Vitamin K

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that carries out a complete synthesis of proteins required for blood coagulation. 

Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin K for adult men is 138 micrograms(mcg) and for adult women is 122 mcg.

Sources: The main source of vitamin K are green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, etc. It is also found in secondary sources like: 

  • Plant-based oils.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Meat. 
  • Dairy products. 
  • Soya beans.

Benefits: 

  • Wound healing: Vitamin K is involved in the production of prothrombin, a protein that is responsible for the clotting of blood and wound healing. 
  • Reduces blood pressure: Men are more likely to develop blood pressure and heart-related concerns. Vitamin K regulates the blood pressure and ensures that the heart is pumping blood freely throughout the body.

Minerals:

About 96% of the weight of the human body is composed of these four minerals – oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. However, there are small traces of other important minerals found in the body. Some of those are: 

#6 Sodium

Whenever you add salt to your food, you are in fact, adding sodium. The majority of Indians meet their sodium needs as part of their daily diet. However, excess intake of sodium may lead to high blood pressure. 

Daily requirement: The maximum recommended daily intake of sodium for adults by WHO is 5 g per day. However, it is noted that sodium intake in India is about 11 g per day.

 #7 Calcium

Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral to help build stronger bones, healthier teeth, and reduce muscle damage. 

Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of calcium for young adults is 1,000 milligrams (mg). In the case of men over 70 years of age, it is increased to 1,200 mg. 

Sources: The main source of calcium is dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. It is also found in: 

  • Leafy veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage, okra.
  • Tofu 
  • Soybean
  • Oats.

#8 Iron

Iron

Iron supports the transportation of oxygen-rich blood from our lungs to the rest of our body. It helps in the formation of hemoglobin, which serves as an oxygen-carrier throughout the body. 

Daily requirement: Since men do not menstruate, it is a common misconception that their body demands for iron are lower than women. In fact, the recommended daily intake of iron for adult males is 19.3–20.5 mg while for females, it is 17.0–18.9 mg.

Sources: Iron is found in huge quantities in animal products, especially red meat like beef. There are also secondary sources like: 

  • Tuna and salmon 
  • Eggs.
  • Beans.
  • Baked potato.
  • Whole grains like wheat or oats.

#9 Potassium

Potassium

Potassium regulates fluid balance, improves muscle contractions, and makes sure the nervous system is working properly. A potassium-rich diet reduces the chances of getting a stroke and also prevents kidney stones.

Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of potassium for adults is 4,700 milligrams (mg).

Sources: Bananas are a popular and inexpensive source of potassium. Other sources include:

  • Daily staples like tomatoes and potatoes.
  • Green veggies like spinach and broccoli.
  • Sour fruits, like oranges, lemons.
  • Beans and lentils.

Summary

Irrespective of their age, men have always seemed to function differently both physically and mentally. So, it is not a coincidence that the requirements that are needed for men are quite different from the requirements of women. Hence, it is important that every man out there makes sure to take these vitamins or minerals in the above-mentioned ways to lead a healthy and holistic life. 

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Carrots: Top 9 Benefits, Healthy Recipes, and More: HealthifyMe Blog

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There are many reasons why you should root for carrots! Carrots are loaded with nutrients and lend themselves to a wide range of delicious dishes. Although the vegetable is popularly associated with improving eyesight, their benefits go much beyond.

Historical records show carrots were cultivated in Persia and Afghanistan in the 10th century. However, in those days, this root vegetable had little resemblance to what we eat now and came in different colors, like purple yellow, red, and white. While it cannot be confirmed, it is said that the Dutch developed the carrots that we eat today. There are many types of carrots with varying sizes, flavors, and tastes. However, when it comes to health benefits, all varieties of carrots are equally healthy and full of essential nutrients. 

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Nutritional value of carrots

Raw carrots (1 medium-sized carrot) – 29 calories 

  • Protein – 0.6g
  • Carbohydrates – 5.8g
  • Dietary fiber – 1.7g
  • Fat – 0.1g

Carrots are the richest plant-based source of a type of carotenoid called beta-carotene with 8285 micrograms of beta-carotene per100 grams. 

An interesting fact about carrots is that their nutritional value changes – for the better – when cooked. Most other vegetables tend to lose their nutrient value after they are cooked. Studies show more of beta-carotene is absorbed by the body when carrots are eaten cooked rather than the raw form. 

Top 9 benefits of consuming carrots

Here’s a complete lowdown on all the amazing benefits that carrots bring:

#1 Boosts the immune system 

Carrots boost the immune system

Our immune system is made up of many organs and specialized cells, such as white blood cells. One type of WBCs called lymphocytes (T and B lymphocytes) recognize harmful invaders and produce antibodies to destroy them. Other types of WBCs, called phagocytes, protect the body by ingesting harmful bacteria and viruses. Many studies show beta-carotene, which comes from carrots, protects phagocytic cells from getting damaged and boosts the response of T and B lymphocytes. 

#2 Promotes eye health

carrots promote eye health

Vitamin A, in recommended quantities, is essential for good vision, and carrots offer this nutrient in abundance. When a person is deprived of vitamin A for too long, the outer segment of the eye’s photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, thereby leading to night blindness and other eye-related problems. Therefore, including it in your diet will not only keep you healthy but also facilitate healthy vision. 

#3 Aids weight loss

carrots aid weight loss

Looking to lose weight?! Carrots are a great addition to your diet as they are low in calories and high in fiber content.  Carrot sticks will keep you full until lunch and thus will stop you from bingeing. Moreover, carrots help in bile secretion which helps to burn fat and thus aid weight loss

#4 Nourishes and keeps hair healthy

Nourish and keeps hair healthy

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is an important nutrient that is linked to the health of many tissues, including hair, skin, and sebaceous glands (oil glands in the skin). An animal model study showed that dietary vitamin A accelerates hair growth by activating the stem cells in hair follicles.

#5 Creates glowing skin

Some common skin problems are dullness, dryness, scars, and wrinkles. Beta-carotene present in carrots is converted to vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A and it’s derivative called retinoids are known to play a key role in many cellular processes, including growth and differentiation of cells. Studies show that retinoids stimulate the growth of new cells thereby promoting firmer, healthier, and younger-looking skin

#6 Protects your teeth 

 Helps protect your teeth

Low levels of vitamin A impacts oral health and is linked to periodontitis (gum infection) and gingivitis (gum inflammation), which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene that provides adequate vitamin A. Chewing carrots can also help fight plaque by generating saliva that exerts an anti-bacterial effect.

#7 Can help lower blood pressure

Carrots are rich in potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure. Potassium helps your kidneys work more efficiently and neutralizes the effect of high salt intake that is linked to blood pressure.

#8 Promotes digestion

Carrots are a fair source of dietary fiber providing about five grams in each. Fiber encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria that promote digestion, apart from preventing constipation.

#9 Promotes overall health

carrots promote overall good health

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Many chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancers, and heart disease, are linked to ‘free radical damage.’ Free radicals are produced in the body during metabolism, but also have external sources such as cigarette smoke and air pollution. Antioxidants in carrots neutralize these free radicals to promote health.

3 Healthy recipes to consume carrots

Carrots’ sweet and earthy taste is a wonderful flavor to feature. There are many ways you can include them in your everyday diet. Here are some delicious carrot recipes that give your bag of forgotten carrots the attention it deserves. Each one of them takes advantage of the vegetable’s unique sweet and earthy flavor in sugary, savory, and spicy ways you probably haven’t seen or experienced before. 

#1 Carrot lettuce wrap

carrot lettuce wrap
  • Serves 2
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:
  • Fresh iceberg lettuce: 2 leaves
  • Ginger grated: ½ teaspoon
  • Garlic – 2 cloves finely chopped
  • Green chili – 2
  • Onions sliced – 1 
  • Carrot julienned – 1 small
  • Sweet corn – 3 tablespoon
  • Lime juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Soy and chili sauce: 1 teaspoon each or to taste
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
Method: 
For the filling:
  • Heat oil in a pan and add ginger, garlic, green chilies, onions, and stir fry for a minute.
  • Add sweet corn and carrots. Add lime juice, soy, and chili sauce and sauté for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and add salt to taste.
For the roll:
  • Wash and separate lettuce leaves. Spoon in 1 to 2 tablespoon of the filling in each leaf.  
  • Roll and serve.

#2 Carrot sprouts paratha 

carrot and sprouts paratha
  • Serves 2
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
  • Carrot – 1 medium chopped
  • Potato – 1 small
  • Green gram sprouts – 2 tablespoons
  • Whole wheat or multigrain flour – 3 cups
  • Ginger chopped – ¼ teaspoon
  • Dry mango powder and black pepper powder – ¼ teaspoon each
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • Coriander leaves chopped – 1 tablespoon
  • Red chili powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  • Pressure cook carrots and potatoes.
  • Lightly steam sprouts.
  • Grind carrots in a mixer to make a puree and mash potatoes.
  • Mix all ingredients to make a smooth dough. Cover and keep for 30 minutes.
  • Pinch small size balls of dough. Sprinkle some flour and roll the paratha to about the same size as that of a roti.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat and place the rolled paratha. Once the base is partially cooked, flip the paratha. Brush little oil and cook. Once brown spots appear, flip on the other side, cook well and serve.

#3 Carrot sunshine drink 

carrot sunshine drink
  • Serves 4
  • Preparation time 10 minutes
Ingredients:
  • Carrots peeled and chopped – ¾ cup
  • Tomatoes chopped – 1.5 cups
  • Oranges – 2 medium separated into segments
  • Lemon juice – few drops
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed ice – 1 cup (optional)
  • Organic Honey – 1 teaspoon (optional)
Method:
  • Combine all ingredients and blend in the juicer by adding half-cup of water
  • Put crushed ice in four glasses and pour the juice and serve immediately

Summary

Carrots are super rich sources of fiber, beta-carotene, and minerals; while being low in calories and sugar. From boosting eye health to promoting immunity, carrots offer wide-ranging health benefits. While they are commercially available year-round, these versatile root vegetables are simple to add to meals whether raw or cooked. 

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Nutritional Facts, Benefits, and 3 Super Healthy Recipes

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Corn is widely consumed across the world in numerous forms – boiled, corn on the cob, popcorn, and so on. Corn is not only easy to cook with and incredibly delicious but is also packed with nutrition. It is a highly fibrous food item that is also rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and essential micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, and folate. For a long time, corn was a cereal grain native to Central America. It has now become popular all across the world and is used as a staple food item in numerous countries. The golden goodness of corn helps you manage diabetes, hemorrhoids, anemia, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and much more. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value of Corn

Every 145g of raw corn has the following nutritional value.

  • Carbohydrates – 27g
  • Fat – 2g
  • Protein – 5g
  • Calories – 125
  • Fiber – 3g
  • Sugars – 9 g
  • Potassium- 392 mg
  • Magnesium- 54 mg
  • Calcium- 2.9 mg
  • Vitamin C- 9.86 mg
  • Vitamin A- 271 IU

Corn is also rich in antioxidants, namely Ferulic acid, Anthocyanins, Lutein and Phytic acid. Though major sugar in corn is sucrose, it is low in glycemic index owing to high fiber content. However, the nutritional value varies among different corn-based fools like corn flour, tortillas, corn syrup due to different processing techniques. 

Health Benefits of Consuming Corn

1. Promotes eye health

Corn helps Improve eye health

Owing to the high quantity of vitamin A and antioxidants in corn, they are perfect for maintaining good eye health. They help enhance your vision and prevent macular degeneration, which eventually leads to medical problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and complete blindness.

2. Reduces risk of diabetes

Corn helps reduce risk of diabetes

The Anthocyanin component in corn is highly beneficial in maintaining insulin and glucose levels in your body. Moderate consumption of corn can help you reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes to a large extent by reducing insulin resistance and thus preventing blood sugar levels from going too high.

3. Helps maintain a healthy heart

corn helps maintain a healthy heart

Corn is rich in potassium and magnesium, which are well-known for maintaining blood pressure and a healthy heart. Potassium helps reduce blood pressure, while magnesium helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Corn also has a lot of fiber, which is great for reducing bad cholesterol levels in your body.

4. Enables weight loss

Enables weight loss

Corn has high fiber content that makes it a considerable agent for weight loss. Owing to its insoluble fiber content, corn facilitates slow digestion. Similarly, with high protein content, it provides high satiety value while preventing over- eating. Moreover, with high amounts of antioxidants in corn, it helps in reducing inflammation and improving metabolism. This, in turn, helps in healthy weight loss.

5. Improves gut health

The high fiber content in corn promotes the growth of healthy bacteria, which, in turn, improves your gut health tremendously. Your bowel movements become increasingly regular, and it helps you feel light all day. These good bacteria are also crucial in reducing the risk or preventing colon cancer altogether.

6. Prevent skin damage

Corn is high in Vitamin C, which is an important element to prevent skin damage. High levels of Vitamin C help neutralize free radicals, thus preventing hyperpigmentation and fine lines. It helps fade facial acne scars to make your skin appear clearer. Vitamin C also helps in collagen synthesis that causes faster-wound healing, moist and healthier skin. 

7. Keeps energy levels high

Corn helps keep energy levels high

Since corn is high in carbohydrates (27g in every 145g of raw corn), they are an excellent food option to increase your energy levels. These carbohydrates are digested slowly, which allows you to keep getting energy for a longer period. You can now stay active and energized without feeling pangs of hunger regularly.

8. Reduces the risk of developing anemia

Nutrients like iron and vitamin C are essential for preventing anemia. Iron helps in the production of hemoglobin that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen more efficiently. Similarly, Vitamin C enhances iron absorption and red blood cell production. Corn is rich in both these components, which makes it beneficial in helping reduce the risk of anaemia.

9. Helps during pregnancy

Corn helps during pregnancy

Expecting mothers need high levels of iron and folic acid, both of which are richly present in corn. Folic acid is a crucial element required for neural cells, including brain tissues and the spinal cord. It is also important to prevent low birth weight, miscarriages, and premature labor. Folic acid protects the mother by reducing the risk of heart problems and high blood pressure during pregnancy. However, it is crucial to consume corn in moderation.

Healthy Ways to Consume Corn

While there are numerous healthy ways to consume corn, here are three easy-to-make recipes: 

#1 Corn and Pomogranate Chaat

Corn and pomogranate chaat

Prep time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1-2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of boiled corn
  • 1 cup of peeled pomegranate seeds
  • ½ a lemon or lime
  • Chopped mint leaves
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp tamarind extract
  • ½ tsp cumin powder

Directions:

  • Put the boiled corn, pomegranate seeds and chopped mint and coriander leaves in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Add a few drops of lime or lemon, tamarind extract, salt, and cumin powder.
  • Toss the mixture well. Your Corn and Pomegranate Chaat is ready to serve.

#2 Garden Fresh Corn Salad

Garden fresh corn salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of boiled corn
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil and/or parsley leaves, optional
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Put the boiled corn, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onions, mint, basil and parsley in a large bowl. 
  • Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, mix virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Whisk them well for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour this mixture over the salad in the large bowl. 
  • Toss the salad well so that the virgin olive oil dressing coats every ingredient properly.
  • Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for later consumption.

#3 Creamy Corn Dip

Creamy corn dip

Prep time- 15 minutes
Serves – 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup corn kernels boiled and slightly mashed
  • 2 green chilies chopped
  • 1 Jalapeños chopped
  • 2 tbsp – finely crumbled cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup – Greek yogurt plain
  • 1 sprig Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1/2 Bell pepper small chopped
  • 1/2 Onion small chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper

Directions

  • Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Adjust the seasoning as desired.
  • Serve with baked chips or veggie sticks.

Summary

Corn is a versatile food item that can be used both in independent corn dishes or as part of other recipes. They are light on your stomach and make for a healthy and filling snack, which helps you avoid eating junk food. Indulge in the goodness of corn and make your eyes, heart, gut, and skin amazingly healthy.



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Nutritional Facts, Benefits, and 3 Healthy Recipes: HealthifyMe

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Celery has been cultivated and consumed as a vegetable since ancient times. It belongs to the Umbelliferae family which is known for its pleasingly fragrant plants like parsley and carrot. It is considered to be a cleansing agent and very nutritious. Celery is a highly versatile vegetable as almost all its parts can be eaten one way or another- be it the fibrous stalk, the green leaves or the seeds. Some relish it in its raw form and use it in their salads. Others like to incorporate it into their soups, stews, and roasts. 

The leaves of the celery function as a fresh seasoning for soups or stews and impart a slightly spicy taste akin to black pepper. It is also readily used in its dried form. It turns into a dry herb that again can be used in myriad dishes to enhance the flavor. Fish or meat with dry celery seasoning is a popular dish in several cuisines the world over. Even its seeds are highly useful. The oil is extracted from them, which is used extensively in perfumes. Ground celery seeds also provide celery salt that again is used for seasoning for its flavorsome and spicy taste. The ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda also utilizes these seeds for their healing properties.

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Nutritional Value of Celery

Celery is a highly nutritious vegetable that is mostly made up of water and dietary fiber. It is a low-calorie food that is incredibly rich in antioxidants. It is power-packed with a number of essential vitamins like vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, Folate, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Minerals like Calcium, Potassium, and Sodium are also heavily found in celeries. Below is a list of all the nutrients found in a 100g serving of celery:

  • Dietary Fiber – 1.6g
  • Fats – 0.1g
  • Protein – 0.8g
  • Carbohydrates – 3.5g

5 Health Benefits of Celery

As illustrated above, celery is packed with important vitamins and minerals making it one of the most beneficial vegetables in your kitchen. Below we detail out the specific health benefits you are set to gain by incorporating celery in your meals.

1. Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory

Celery is loaded with antioxidants that fight inflammation and cell damage known to cause early aging. It also regulates blood flow in the body and optimizes your blood pressure. Quercetin is a type of flavonoid present in celery that soothes inflammation. Preliminary research reports state the role of quercetin as an anti-cancer agent as well.

2. Storehouse of nutrients

Celery is a treasure trove of many essential nutrients your body needs daily for its ideal functioning. It contains vitamin A that is essential for stronger immunity, better eyes, healthier skin, and aging-related conditions. Celery is also vitamin K rich which enhances bone density and aids blood clotting. Optimal bone density can mean a lesser risk of suffering from fractures. If you have been prescribed blood thinners, then it is even more crucial for you to ensure that your vitamin K levels do not falter.
Celery is rich in folate. It helps cognitive development and performance. Lack of folate in the diet has been attributed to problems like memory loss and fatigue. It is also important for the development and health of fetuses.
Celery is a good source of potassium which aids in nurturing muscle mass and healthy heart functioning. It helps in managing your blood pressure to ensure no untoward fluctuations happen with it. Apart from that several other important vitamins and minerals, there are other nutrients also present like vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium, and calcium.

3. Improves digestion

Celery aids healthy digestion

Celery is very high on dietary fiber which is directly responsible for gut and bowel health. Eating a diet rich in dietary fiber makes you fuller and makes you feel satiated for longer periods of time. This ensures that you do not frequently snack hence actively reducing your caloric intake. It also increases the size and smoothness of your stools, thus enhancing bowel health.

4. Helps with weight loss

celery aids healthy weight loss

For the most part, celery is simply water which means that a single stalk usually only contains about seven calories. Also, the fact that it contains a high amount of dietary fiber means that you feel full for a significant amount of time, reducing any unnecessary eating on your part. Both these facts help immensely in managing the calories you consume and aid in weight loss. 
Research has shown that chewing food plays an important role in assuaging hunger as much as the actual food. Chewing triggers the release of satiety hormones which make sure you feel full. 

5. Hydrating agent

Celery is largely composed of water, which also makes this a very refreshing snack that will keep you hydrated. Having enough hydration is essential for survival, and for the well-being of your body. Hydration also helps improve the quality of your skin and hair.

Celery Inspired Indian Recipes

The Indian cuisine records many different delicious ways of preparing this vegetable. You can reap all the amazing health benefits without compromising on taste whatsoever. The following recipes illustrate great ways to cook and consume celery.

Kerala’s Celery Kootu Curry

Kerala’s Celery Kootu Curry

This vegetarian dish is easy and quick to prepare. It goes very well with rice and rasam. You will need the following ingredients: –

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 ½ cups moong dal
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon rasam powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Method:

  • Chop Celery and cucumber and keep aside.
  • Pressure cook the moong dal and set aside.
  • In a pan heat oil and fry mustard seeds along with urad dal.
  • Continue till mustard seeds start sputtering and urad dal turns golden brown.
  • Add curry leaves with chopped cucumber and Celery.
  • Put in salt, turmeric powder, and rasam powder.
  • Add in a cup of water and mix everything well.
  • Cover it and let it sit on medium flame for 10 mins.
  • Add in the cooked moong dal along with coconut milk.
  • Cover it again and let it simmer for 5 mins.
  • Serve it hot with boiled rice.

South Indian Celery Stir Fry

South Indian Celery Stir Fry

This lovely recipe uses celery in its entirety. It is a very healthy way of eating this vegetable. You will need to assemble the following list of items: –

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ cup celery
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup dried coconut
  • 2 tablespoon salt

Method:

  • Chop Celery and keep aside.
  • In a separate pan heat some oil and add mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds start spluttering, add in red chilies, urad dal, and curry leaves. Sauté for 2 mins.
  • Add chopped onion, salt, and turmeric powder. Sauté again for 10 mins.
  • Add Celery, coconut, and water. Let it cook for 15 mins.
  • Serve hot with rice or sambar.

Celery Soup

Celery soup

This comfort food is both delicious and filling. Beautifully green in color and highly fragrant this soup is ideal as either a side dish or a main meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups celery
  • 2 tablespoons dill leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup onion
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Method:

  • In a pan heat some butter and add onions. Sauté on a medium flame for 2 mins
  • Add Celery and sauté again for 2 mins
  • Add water and let the whole mix simmer for 15 mins
  • Let it cool and then blend it to a smooth consistency
  • Put the blended mixture back in the pan. Heat it and add cornflour, milk, dill, salt, black pepper. Cook for 5 mins stirring continuously and serve hot.

Summary

Celery provides the body with a plethora of benefits. Antioxidant properties to fight off the display symptoms of aging; a variety of essential nutrients to maintain the general health of your body; improved metabolism and digestion; increased hydration for every organ within your body, and lastly, it helps in maintaining a healthy diet without compromising your taste buds. Therefore, try incorporating this health-enhancing vegetable, and you will notice visible changes in your body.



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Star Fruit: Top 6 Benefits; Nutritional Facts, and Healthy Recipes

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Star fruit is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia. It has gained popularity across the world for its myriad of uses and benefits. Biting into the star fruit is extremely satisfying as it is both crunchy and juicy. In some areas, it is relished as a local delicacy, while other areas consume it as a delightful exotic fruit. Every region has incorporated this fruit uniquely into its local cuisine. The Chinese prefer it with fish. Australians pickle it. Jamaicans dry it. Filipinos eat it, simply with salt, while Indians prefer the fruit in the form of juice. As the fruit is deliciously diverse, it can be consumed in so many different wonderful ways.

In appearance, the star fruit is an oval-shaped fruit with five ridges that stretch longitudinally across. It is these very ridges that give it the appearance of a star when viewed cross-sectionally, hence, the name – Star Fruit. The fruit is both sweet and sour based on the variety you choose. Some sour varieties even turn sweet over time as they ripen. In addition to these many characteristics, the fruit possesses several nutrients that will not only provide the body with essential nutrients but also keep you healthy for the long run.

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Nutritional Value of Star Fruit

Star fruit is a low-calorie but high- fibre food that makes it exceptionally healthy. It is also low on fat but loaded with Vitamin B, Vitamin C, sodium, potassium, iron and several important antioxidants making it an all-round healthy snack.
For every 100g of serving, you consume:

  • Fat 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates 7g
  • Dietary Fiber 2.8g
  • Protein 1g 

Health Benefits of Star Fruit

Star fruit is both delicious and nutritious at the same time. Its sweet and tangy taste can be savoured without any guilt because it comes power-packed with several health-enhancing nutrients. Below are some of the advantages of consuming star fruit.

1. Prevents Inflammation

The star fruit is a good source of vitamin C. A single serving of this fruit can take care of 57% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake. Vitamin C cleanses your body toxins, and its anti-inflammatory qualities help with skin conditions like dermatitis. It also helps your body to fight against flu and common colds. Consuming such a rich source of vitamin C can significantly build up your tolerance for cold and strength against infections.
Furthermore, vitamin C is also required by the body to make collagen found in bones, muscles and cartilages. It also helps in absorbing another essential nutrient – iron. Deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy, bad skin, slow tissue healing and fatigue. Incorporating star fruit in your diet will ensure your vitamin C levels are always optimal.

2. Good for the Heart

heart health

Star Fruit is loaded with important minerals like sodium and potassium that regulate your blood pressure. Healthy levels of both these minerals will ensure that your blood pressure never fluctuates radically and your heartbeat rhythm stays stable. It also contains calcium that is again very beneficial for your heart. Healthy amounts of calcium in the body can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases like strokes and cardiac arrests. It ensures robust blood circulation and fluid balance in the body, thus reducing your chances of developing heart diseases.

3. Fights Diabetes and High Cholesterol

100g of star fruit contains 2.8g of fruit fibre that helps check your blood sugar level. Fruit fibre curtails glucose-release that happens after you eat something. By doing this, it helps regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels. Eating food that is high in fibre can prevent diabetes and can also actively help people already suffering from diabetes. Since star fruit is so easy to eat and rich in fibre, it makes for a healthy, guilt-free snack for both diabetic and non-diabetic people.
Being high in fibre also helps in tackling high cholesterol and resulting in susceptibility to heart ailments. Moreover, every 100g of this fruit contains just 0.3g of fat, making it extremely suitable for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

4. Better Digestion and Metabolism

healthy digestion

The rich presence of dietary fibre in this fruit has another health advantage- it improves your digestion. It helps in regulating the size and softness of your stool, making it easy to pass through your system. People suffering from constipation will find relief as this fruit stimulates your digestion and betters your bowel health. Good bowel health will also ameliorate other symptoms of poor digestion like cramps and bloating.
The fruit is also a rich source of Vitamin B that is crucial for normal cell functioning and development. Star fruit contains two types of Vitamin B- riboflavin and folate also referred to as folic acid in dietary supplements. Both these vitamins regulate your metabolism and make sure that your hormone and enzyme levels stay within the normal range.

5. Healthy Hair and Skin

helps improve skin and hair

The rich presence of antioxidants along with vitamin B and C in starfruit aids healing of skin and hair cells which in turn leads to shining hair and glowing skin. More particularly antioxidants like gallic acid and quercetin display immense anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.

6. Regulates Weight

Aids weight management

Being low in sugar makes the star fruit an ideal snack to munch on without worrying about gaining weight. The high fibre content also makes your metabolism work fast, ensuring you burn your calories quickly. Foods that are higher in fibre are also more filling than their low fibre counterparts, thereby making you satiated for long.

Can Star Fruit be Consumed by Anybody?

Despite its numerous health benefits, star fruit should be avoided by people suffering from kidney ailments. It contains neurotoxins that are harmless to people with normal functioning kidneys but not so much for people suffering from kidney ailments. Such people are unable to flush the neurotoxin out of the body resulting in severe illness.
However, the rest can enjoy this fruit without any compunction.

Healthy Ways to Consume Star Fruit

You can use some of the below-mentioned healthy recipes to savour the fruit and reap all its health benefits.

#1 Star Fruit Strawberry Smoothie

Star Fruit Strawberry Smoothie

This nourishing vegan smoothie is a great way to curb those incessant hunger pangs while making sure your body gets all its necessary vitamins and minerals.

Prep time: 5 minutes; Cooking time: 2 minutes

  • 1 cup star fruit
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup mango Process: –
  • Chop all the fruits and put them in the blender.
  • Once blended to your preferred consistency, serve 

#2 Star Fruit Shrimp Salad 

Star Fruit Shrimp Salad

This delicious dish is a beautiful amalgamation of different flavours and textures. It is crunchy, juicy and refreshing- a great dish by itself or an equally great accompaniment to regular lunch/dinner options.

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked shrimp
  • 5 star fruits
  • 1 cucumber
  • ½ cup red onions
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

Method:

  • Put the cooked shrimp in the salad bowl.
  • Add star fruits along with chopped cucumber, onion and fresh mint leaves into the bowl.
  • Prepare the salad dressing by mixing lemon juice, fish sauce, salt and pepper. 
  • Mix it well and pour over the salad.
  • It is best served fresh.

#3 Star Fruit Pickle

Another way to truly enjoy star fruit is to pickle it, the Indian way.

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 6 star fruits
  • 5 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 4 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 – 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder

Method:

  • Wash and dry star fruits. Later cut them up into star shapes.
  • Roast and grind mustard and fennel seeds.
  • Add the ground seeds’ mixture along with the star fruits and spices in the pickling jar.
  • Let it sit for a day.
  • After a day has passed, heat some mustard oil and pour into the pickle jar.
  • Keep in sunlight for at least 4 days before using.

Summary 

The succulent star fruit is as delicious to eat as it is beautiful to look at. This fruit is extremely healthy. It is packed with several important nutrients such as Vitamin C and Fibre, which will keep you in good health and shape. Its consumption is also associated with a myriad of health benefits such as:

  • Improved Digestion
  • Increased Metabolism
  • Healthier Skin and hair
  • Prevents heart and blood-sugar related disease

It is also a very versatile fruit that can be prepared in a variety of ways, thus making sure you never get bored of eating this incredible fruit.



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Top 8 Benefits; Nutritional Facts, and Healthy Recipes: HealthifyMe

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There is almost no soup, gravy, or sauce that is made without onions. An onion is probably one of the few vegetables that you will have. There’s almost no soup, gravy, or sauce that is made without onions. An onion is probably one of the few vegetables that you will see in your kitchen vegetable stock and possibly the first that anyone learns to use in the kitchen. Onions are a staple in kitchens around the world, especially in India. Indian cooking is incomplete without the use of onion. From gravy dishes to dry ones, salads, soups, meat dishes, and more, Indians use onions in the most versatile way.

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Type of Onions 

Types of onions

The varieties of onions are endless, and the flavor it adds to your cooking is indispensable. Onions belong to the same family as leeks, shallots, scallions, garlic, and chives. Apart from their distinct flavors, onions are known for their health benefits. 
There are many types and varieties of onions grown in the wild, but the most popular ones used for cooking include: 

  • Red onions – pungent and spicy; incredible for salads, soups, gravies, and rice dishes 
  • White onions – crisp and sweet; best used in pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and salads
  • Sweet yellow onions – mild and sweet; fantastic for soups and stews, best work when caramelized 
  • Spring onions – red, white, and sweet; perfect for garnishing 
  • Leeks – tender and sweet; best used in gravies 
  • Pearl onions – sweet in flavor; perfect for gravy dishes, especially meat 
  • Shallots – pungent with a pinch of sweetness; perfect for vinaigrettes 

As you can see, there are numerous varieties of onions available, it is time that you understand why you should include onions in your daily diet. With that in mind, we have created this post to help you understand the health benefits of onions, the nutrition value, and some of the best ways to add them to your diet. 

Nutrition Value of Onions 

While onions add abundant flavor to a wide range of food, they are low in calories. Consider the nutrition table to know more about the nutrition in onions. 
1 large onion (150 grams) contain:

  • Calories – 60   
  • Protein – 1.7 gram    
  • Dietary Fiber – 2.6 grams    
  • Carbohydrates – 14 grams
  • Fat – 0.1 grams    

Health Benefits of Onions 

These flavorful bulbs are packed with essential minerals and nutrients. And they can be enjoyed either cooked or raw. Onions are super healthy and health experts across the globe recommend adding it to your diet. They are excellent sources of phytochemicals, flavonoids, sulfuric compounds, and vitamin C. The following are the potential health benefits of onions that you must consider.  

#1 Helps boost digestive health 

improves digestion

Onions are one of the few vegetables that have prebiotics and fiber in abundance. These are essential components for the optimal health of your gut. Prebiotics in onions is broken down by the good bacteria in your intestine and create short-chain fatty acids. According to studies, short-chain fatty acids are responsible for strengthening the gut health, enhance digestion, reduce inflammation in the stomach, and ultimately boost immunity. As per the experts, foods rich in prebiotics aids the digestive health and may help improve the absorption of essential minerals like calcium and iron that can help enhance the production of red blood cells as well as improve bone health.   

#2 Onions have antibacterial properties 

The antibacterial properties in onion prevent the growth of bacteria inside our bodies. A recent study found that the antibacterial properties in onion can inhibit the growth of Vibrio Cholerae, which is a significant health concern in the third-world countries. 
Onions contain a compound called quercetin, which boasts powerful properties to kill bacteria. A study demonstrated that quercetin extracted from onion successfully prevented the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can infect different organs and parts of the body. Therefore, adding onions in your diet can help you fight bacterial infections. 

#3 Onions may boost bone density 

Bone Health

Onions have been associated with boosting bone density and strength. Onions are a rich source of vitamin C mineral, which plays a crucial role in enhancing bone strength. Since onions are rich in prebiotics, it helps your gut to absorb essential minerals like calcium, which is essential for bone health. 
Those suffering from joint pain and chronic diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis are advised to include onions in their daily diet as onions can help reduce oxidative stress, decrease bone loss, and boost antioxidant levels, which may boost bone loss and prevent osteoporosis.  

#4 Helps maintain blood sugar levels

Compounds like sulfur and quercetin are known to boast anti-diabetic effects. Onions contain these two compounds in abundance. Thus, consuming onions daily can help you control your blood sugar levels to a great extent. 

#5 Onions contain cancer-fighting components 

According to several studies, eating 1-7 servings of onions every week may help you lower the risk of ovarian, laryngeal, and colorectal cancer. On the other hand, eating a couple of servings or more per day may help reduce the risk of esophageal and oral cancer. As per the health experts, quercetin found in onions boasts anti-cancer properties that can inhibit cancer cells in lung, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, colon, and breast tumors. 
Onions are also very high in antioxidants that help kill cancer-causing cells by removing free radicals from the body. Many studies claim that the antioxidants present in onions can help lessen the side effects that occur from cancer treatments. 

#6 Boosts immunity

Boosts immunity

The polyphenols present in onions act as antioxidants that protect the body against free radicals. When your immune system is not strong and healthy, it protects your body against external viruses and microorganisms trying to enter the body. That means conditions like cold, flu, etc. will be kept at bay. On the other hand, when we talk about a healthy immune system, it means that you have a properly functioning digestive system. Your gut health and immune system are directly related to each other. If your gut is healthy, it makes way for a strong immune system. As per the University of Maryland Medical Center, antioxidants and quercetin in onions help reduce allergic reactions by inhibiting your body from making histamines. Histamines are responsible for making you itch, cry, and sneeze if you have an allergic reaction. 

#7 May help lower cholesterol 

Good news for heart patients! Eating onions may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The high amounts of chromium and antioxidants present in onion help the arteries to pump blood thoroughly from the heart and to all parts of the body. These components make sure that your arteries and blood vessels are properly transporting blood while removing any cholesterol buildup on their walls. This ensures proper and healthy functioning of the heart. 

#8 Aids weight loss 

Onion weight loss

As there is proof that onions help with the digestive health, experts believe that it can largely help those who are trying to lose weight. With proper gut functioning and digestion of food, you won’t feel constipated. The antioxidants in onions help in the proper digestion of food. When you have regular and healthy bowel movements, your body will release excess toxins. The antioxidants also help in cutting down fat from the body. So, adding onions to your weight loss diet can help boost the process. 

What are the Best Ways to Add Onions to your Diet? 

Pickled Onions

Pickled onions

This pickled onion recipe is easy to put together and is perfect for topping tacos, sandwiches, and salads!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 0.5 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

Procedure:

1. Thinly slice red onions and set aside.

2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour, more if possible. Cover and can store in the refrigerator for a week. Drain onions before using.

Onion Raita 

A classic Indian accompaniment.

Onion raita

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin, crushed
  • 0.5 cup sliced onions
  • 2 tsp green chilies
  • 2 spring coriander leaves
  • Garnish chili powder roasted cumin crushed

Procedure

  • Whisk the yogurt along with salt.
  • Mix in the cumin powder, sliced onions, chopped green chilies, and coriander leaves.
  • Serve garnished with cumin and chili powder.

Summary 

Onions are a great source of all the necessary nutrients and vitamins required by our body. Onions are not only flavorful but also come with many health benefits. Doctors and health experts recommend adding onions to your daily diet as components like antioxidants, vitamin C, sulfur, etc. make the vegetable a boon for your health. From reducing the risk of cancer to regulating blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, aiding digestive health, and taking care of your heart, and onion is a superfood that you must include in your daily diet.  



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Chickpeas: Benefits, Weight Loss, and Healthy Recipes: HealthifyMe Blog

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Chickpeas are the most sought after legume in the world. In fact, they are used in various cuisines including in the Middle East, India, Israel, Spain, and North Africa. This ancient bean has its origins in the Middle East where it was cultivated as early 7,500 years ago. Today, chickpeas have become an essential ingredient in many household kitchens. Also called garbanzo beans and Ceci, chickpeas are small in size. They are usually available in dry form and must be soaked and cooked before consumption. In modern times, chickpeas can be consumed from a can, ground up into a flour, stewed or even pureed.
When cooked, chickpeas have a grainy texture and nutty taste, making them an excellent accompaniment with many other foods. Apart from being very tasty, chickpeas are rich in fibre, minerals, and vitamins. They offer many health benefits like reducing risk factors to diseases, weight management, and improving digestion. Chickpeas are also very high in plant-based protein. This makes them one of the best meat replacement ingredients. Chickpeas are an essential ingredient in vegan and vegetarian diets.

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Nutritional Value of Chickpeas

Chickpeas have an extraordinary nutrition profile. In just a single 28 gram serving, there are only 46 calories and only 270 calories in one cup of boiled chickpeas. Nearly 67% of its weight comprises carbs, while the rest of the remaining chickpea consists of protein and fat. Did you know that one cup of chickpeas provides up to 40% of your required amount of daily fibre, as well as 70% of folate and 22% of iron? Chickpeas have a low glycemic index. It means that your body digests this legume slowly, which helps you feel full for long and prevents spikes in blood glucose levels.

Listed below, is the nutritional profile of a 28 gram serving of chickpeas:

  • Calories: 101
  • Carbohydrates: 17 grams
  • Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Fiber: 7.9 grams
  • Protein: 4.8 grams

Benefits of Consuming Chickpeas

There are several health benefits of consuming chickpeas. These are:

1) Reduces blood glucose levels

Reduces blood glucose levels

The American Diabetes Association recommends chickpeas as a source of fibre for people with diabetes. In a 2014 study, it was found that eating 30g of fibre every day could reduce inflammation in individuals living with type 1 diabetes. Ideally, it is recommended that adults consume up to 28.0 grams of fibre a day.
Another 2018 study found that a high fibre diet helped to lower blood sugar levels and minimized the risk of type 2 diabetes. This makes chickpeas an ideal ingredient in a diabetes meal plan.

2) Promotes Bone Health

Chickpeas promotes bone health

Chickpeas contain calcium, iron, and phosphorus; all necessary minerals that promote healthy and strong bone structure. Incorporating chickpeas into your daily diet is an excellent way of preventing osteoporosis.

3) Manages Blood Pressure

Consuming chickpeas on a regular basis can help increase your potassium levels. Potassium helps reduce high blood pressure. In fact, it is recommended that adults should consume 4,700 mg of potassium each day. Chickpeas are naturally high in this mineral and can be easily consumed to meet your daily potassium requirements. A cup of chickpeas (164g), has 474 mg of potassium.
If you’re planning to use canned chickpeas, then pay attention to the sodium level in the ingredient listing. It is always best to cook with dry chickpeas so that you can control and limit the amount of sodium you consume. It is recommended that you keep your sodium level below 2,300 each day to prevent cardiovascular disease.

4) Promotes heart health

Chickpeas promotes heart health

Chickpeas are high in B vitamins, fibre, selenium, iron, and magnesium; ingredients that support heart health. Fibre decreases the risk of developing heart disease because it lowers blood cholesterol levels. In fact, chickpeas have no cholesterol!

5) Helps combat cancer

Cancer is caused  by free radicals. These are toxic substances that accumulate in the body due to poor metabolism. As toxin levels rise, cell damage occurs, causing a variety of health issues, including cancer. Chickpeas contain antioxidants such as beta carotene and selenium. These are vital in removing free radicals. In a single cup of chickpeas, there are 6.1mcg of selenium. The recommended daily requirement of selenium for adults is 55 mcg. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that is capable of protecting the body from developing cancer. When selenium is coupled with fibre, it can help reduce your chances of developing colorectal cancer.

6) Reduces cholesterol

In a 2006 study, it was found that participants who consumed chickpeas on a regular basis had low LDL levels (low-density lipoprotein) compared to those who only ate a wheat-based diet. The researchers pointed out that the high fibre content in chickpeas was responsible for reducing bad cholesterol levels.

7) Improves mental health

Improves mental health

In a single cup of chickpeas, there is 69.7mg of choline. This is an essential mineral for the nervous system and brain function. Choline plays a vital role in learning, memory, mood regulation, metabolism, and muscle control. The daily recommended intake of choline for adults is 400 to 550mg of choline. This varies according to gender and whether you’re breastfeeding or pregnant. In addition, the selenium content in chickpeas supports thinking and memory. In fact, a study examining cognitive decline in the elderly found a decreased level of selenium.

8) Promotes regularity and digestion

Chickpeas are an excellent source of fibre. Consuming these on a daily basis helps keep you regular and promote good gut health.

9) Aids weight management

Aids weight management

If you’re trying to lose weight or stay within a healthy weight range, then chickpeas are your ally. The dietary fibre in chickpeas acts as bulking agents. This means you will feel full for a longer period of time. In addition, their high protein content also contributes to reducing your appetite and therefore limiting your caloric intake.

10) Prevents iron deficiency

Iron is an essential mineral in the body. It helps red blood cells carry and deliver oxygen to the entire body. When there is an iron deficiency present in the body, it can cause tiredness and weakness. Some life-threatening health conditions may arise due to low iron levels. Chickpeas are an excellent source of iron. When consumed with vitamin C, your body is able to absorb this mineral better.

Best Ways to Incorporate Chickpeas

You can easily include chickpeas into your diet. Listed below are two popular recipes that use this popular ingredient.

Hummus- Middle Eastern Dip

Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 60 ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 60 ml of tahini
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • 30 ml of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 45 ml of water
  • paprika for garnishing

Method:

  • In a mixer or food processor, blend together chickpeas, cumin powder, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Ensure the mixture is smooth and creamy in texture.
  • Slowly and gradually add olive oil. Keep mixing.
  • Depending on the thickness, add as much water as you like and continue to mix. Do not exceed 45 ml of water.
  • Once the ingredients are well-blended, remove into a deep and wide bowl. Garnish the hummus with some paprika and or cumin and olive oil.

Chickpea Salad

Chickpeas salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of boiled chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup of Chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup of cubed cucumber
  • 1 cup of boiled chickpeas
  • ½ sliced onion
  • ¼ cup of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Method:

  • Mix all vegetables and the chickpeas together in a deep bowl.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix together lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Pour over the cut vegetables and garnish with coriander.

Chickpeas and Weight Loss

Chickpeas and weight loss

Chickpeas are a known ingredient in combating excess weight. They are very low in calories compared to the number of nutrients they provide. If you eat low calorie, high fiber foods like chickpeas on a daily basis, you are highly likely to experience weight loss, especially when combined with some exercise. The high fiber and protein content in chickpeas promote weight loss because both the ingredients increase satiety levels.
In a weight-loss study, it was found that those people who consumed chickpeas regularly were 53% more likely to be fit with a lower body mass index. Another meta-analyses study found that consuming chickpeas every day increased weight loss by 25%.

Summary

Chickpeas are an ancient legume that is gaining much importance in modern society. Although they were first cultivated in the Middle East, chickpeas are consumed worldwide. This small bean has a delicious nutty and buttery flavor, making it an excellent ingredient in many cuisines. Chickpeas also play a vital role in promoting health and preventing diseases. Make chickpeas a part of your daily diet and stay fit for life.



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FITNESS

Top 8 Healthy Indian Snack Options: HealthifyMe Blog

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From maintaining your blood sugar to satiety levels before your next meal, the importance of snacks cannot be more emphasized. Healthy snacking between meals not only helps keep your hunger at bay but also prevents you from overeating.

Unfortunately, due to the number of fad diets that have popped up, Indian snacks have developed a bad reputation. When one thinks of Indian snacks, images of hot samosas, onion kachoris, and gol gappe or pani puri come to mind. However, this is not the entire spectrum of these snacks, just the not so healthy versions of it! When it comes to choosing healthy snacks of Indian origin, there are many wholesome options and are also packed with nutritive benefits.

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Why are snacks necessary in a diet?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics promotes healthy snacking as a part of a healthy eating plan. They recommend choosing healthy snacks ahead of time. Whether you’re a student in high school, a working professional, a stay-at-home parent, or an athlete, everyone can benefit from healthy snacking.

There are many health advantages which include:

1) Improvement in focus, productivity, and reduction in stress.

Healthy snacks provide a boost of energy. Many research studies have demonstrated that students and employees who indulge in snacks during the day had more energy, mental acuity, and overall performance.

2) Effective Weight Control

snacking helps control weight

Choosing healthy snacks helps you avoid extreme hunger. Everyone can recall those times when you’ve waited till the last minute to grab a bite to eat because you were so busy at work. What did you end up grabbing? Likely something that was very unhealthy!  Nutritionists recommend that eating smaller meals throughout the day, at 3 hour intervals will prevent the urge to binge eat. This is especially recommended during active times.
While you make sure to have your mid-meal snacks at regular intervals, it is equally crucial to indulge in healthy snacking. This will stop you from reaching for a box of doughnuts or a chocolate bar from the vending machine.

3) Helps Curb Cravings

Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day, but they tend to drop about 3 to 5 hours after you’ve eaten. Consuming small yet frequent snacks not only revs up the metabolism but normalizes blood sugar levels as well. Hunger throws the body into famine mode; slowing down metabolism, which will only increase your weight.
Snacks such as fruits, low-fat dairy products, nuts, legumes, and whole grains contain lots of nutrition giving you a feeling of satisfaction for long. They also prevent you from succumbing to your sweet tooth or caffeine addiction.

4) Maintains Mood

Snacking improves mood

Food is fuel. Some foods will give you a rush of fuel and crash very quickly while others will give you slow and consistent source to help you feel alert and happy. Nutrient-poor foods like potato chips, candy bars, sugary drinks, etc. provide a rush of hot fuel. While they do provide a jolt of energy, it is quickly followed by a painful crash which can leave you feeling cranky, hungry, and unable to focus. Healthy snacks provide slow-burning fuel keeping you energetic for the entire day. You won’t experience dips in moods or alertness. In fact, you will likely feel and look like a happier person.

How do you know if your snack is healthy or not? 

snack - healthy or not ?

Here’s one way to do it – check the “Nutrition Facts” label on the back of the product. Here you will be given facts about that particular snack according to serving size. You can expect to find information such as the calories per serving, fat, sodium, sugar, carbohydrates, protein, iron content, and other vital information. Depending on your health concern or focus, choose your snack wisely. If you prefer low sodium foods, then opt for snacks with low or zero amounts of sodium. Similarly, if you’re opting for a heart-friendly diet, then consider low-fat options.

As a part of healthy eating, consider the following rules when choosing healthy snacks:

  • Avoid products with high sugar or sodium content.
  • Select foods with low fat and sugar, but high fibre.
  • Nuts are a healthy option, but they have a small serving size.
  • Always take the portion size recommended on the nutrition facts label. Taking too much promotes unnecessary weight gain.
  • Whole-grain snacks, vegetables, and fruits, as well as low-fat dairy products, make the best snacks.
  • Limit drinks with added sugar, especially soft drinks, and colas. Natural and fresh fruit juices offer the best nutrition. Tetra pack juices contain too much sugar and don’t offer much nutrition.
  • Avoid foods that have corn syrup listed as one of the ingredients.
  • To maintain satiety levels, always pair complex carbs and proteins together. This will keep you feeling full for a long time. Examples include wheat crackers with peanut butter, cheese and apple, fresh fruit and yoghurt, etc.

8 Healthy Indian Snacks That You Can Indulge in Guilt-Free!

1) Besan Khandvi

Besan Khandvi

This popular Gujarati snack is made from natural ingredients like chickpea flour, yoghurt, sesame and mustard seeds. Khandvi is steamed and tempered with various seasonings. A single serving of khandvi is about 100 grams which contains about 200 calories. This delicious snack is packed with nutrients. It’s high in protein while being gluten-free. This helps regulate blood pressure and hunger pangs. Khandvi contains other nutrients such as fibre, manganese, zinc, iron, and calcium. This is the ideal snack to carry, as it provides a balance between protein and carbs.

2) Dhokla

dhokla

One of Gujarat’s most popular Indian snacks, it is made from fermented chickpea and rice batter. Dhokla can be eaten as a snack or for a light breakfast. What makes dhokla healthy is that a single serving contains 283 calories, 11 grams of protein, and zero cholesterol. This snack is also a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium.

3) Yoghurt/Curd Sandwich

Everyone loves sandwiches, and luckily they make the perfect snack. You can try making yoghurt sandwiches at home. Yogurt sandwiches are made from thick curds, whole wheat bread slices, fresh vegetables like grated carrots, cabbage, onions, bell peppers, fresh coriander, black pepper, and salt. One yogurt sandwich contains 200 calories. This delicious snack is low in fat but high in fiber and good amounts of protein. It also contains calcium, Vitamin A and C, and iron.

4) Paneer Wrap/Kathi Roll

Kathi roll

This is Bengal’s one of many mouth-watering Indian snacks. A popular street food, when Kathi roll is made at home, it is filled with nutritive benefits. It is made from a variety of sautéed vegetables with chili sauce and wrapped in thin bread made from whole wheat or grain flour. You can opt for a vegetarian or non-vegetarian version of this snack. A single Kathi roll ranges from 260 to 350 calories. It’s high vegetable content will give you lots of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins like A, C, and E. Whether you choose paneer or chicken, you also get ample amounts of protein.

5) Idlis

A steamed delight from South India, idlis can be consumed as a breakfast or lunch item and even as a snack. Usually made from fermented rice and urad dal batter, you can also make them from many other ingredients like semolina, oatmeal, ragi, etc. Single, medium-sized idli contains just 36 calories, 2grams of protein and 8 grams of carbohydrates. Idlis also contain iron and calcium. This is a perfect combination to keep you full and your blood sugar levels maintained.

6) Dosa

Another Southern delight, dosa is loved by all. This is another snack made from fermented rice and urad dal batter. There are many variations that can be made from sprouted moong dal, oatmeal, quinoa, ragi, and semolina. A single, plain dosa contains 133 calories with a majority of it coming from carbohydrates and proteins. Dosa also contains iron, potassium, and calcium, making it another all-rounder snack. But we do recommend that you make dosas at home and have them as they are much more healthy and less oily compared to the ones that are made in restaurants.

7) Baked Samosa

Baked samosa

The samosa is perhaps the king of Indian snacks. Although its origins lie in Northern India, it exists in many forms. This delicious snack is full of calories when you opt for the fried version, but luckily a baked samosa can still satisfy your cravings without the fat. A single baked samosa contains 120 calories and plenty of fibre. The potato and peas stuffing will also give you plenty of Vitamin C. Apart from the potato and peas filling, there are other healthy options like minced chicken, minced paneer or paneer with mixed vegetables that you can opt for. This will not only increase the nutrients quality of the samosa but also elevates the taste of it. 

8) Bhel Puri without chutney- 

A savory snack from Central parts of India, it is made from puffed rice, mixed spices, peanuts, vegetables and drizzle of tamarind chutney. To snack this delicacy, guilt- free, you can avoid chutneys and load it with fresh vegetables, nuts and herbs. A single serving of bhel puri has only 60 calories accompanied by an ideal combination of good protein and complex carbs. Similarly, you can try different chaats made from boiled chickpeas or whole moong. 

Some other healthy options that you can snack on easily with not much of preparation are – 

  • Nuts – A snack that is not only easily accessible but also offers a number of nutritional benefits. From pistachios to cashews to walnuts, and almonds, there is a nut to suit everyone’s taste buds. These are high in protein and good fats that imparts you with sound physiological and mental health. So, grab a handful of nuts to not only curb your hunger but to keep yourself feeling full for long.  
  • MakhanaMakhanas are an excellent choice for an evening snack as they are rich sources of protein containing very less fat content. They are easily available in the market. Roasting them dry in a pan (with/without a bit of ghee) and sprinkling some salt and paprika make for a mouth watering nutritious snack that you must try and include in your diet. 
  • Popcorn – A high fiber snack that requires very less preparation time, is the snack to go to when hungry. 100g of popcorn provides you with 6g of carbohydrates, 11g of protein, and 0g of fats. The nutritional facts define the healthiness of this snack. So, be sure to add it to your everyday snacks. 
  • Fruit salad/vegetable salad – Mixing a choice of your favorite fruits or vegetables in a bowl with some chat masala is one other snack that can be easily prepared. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber and micronutrients that balance your diet, thereby keeping you satiated and maintaining your weight loss goals in the long run. 
  • Boiled chana/ sprouts – A very good source of iron, protein, fiber and potassium that not only provide satiety for long but keeps you on track with your overall health and fitness goals.

When Is The Best Time To Consume Snacks?

Snacks should be consumed at every 2-3 hour intervals after your main meals. To gain the most value from them, consume Indian snacks during the day. If you are struggling with late-night hunger pangs, you can opt for a post-dinner snack like nuts or roasted snacks, provided you have eaten your dinner well ahead of your bed-time. Also make sure that the snack is of low in caloric content.

Summary

When it comes to healthy munching, there are plenty of options available among Indian snacks. These will help you feel full and energetic while helping you maintain/lose weight. The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ can be applied here because when you make healthy choices you are making sure you get the most nutritious benefits from snacking.



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HEALTH

Nutritional Facts, Weight Loss, Benefits, and Healthy Recipes

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Black tea is a very common type of tea. It is the most oxidized form compared to oolong, green or white tea and these types of tea is derived from shrub ‘Camellia Sinensis’. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. Black tea is popular due to its strong, bold taste, and long shelf life. In ancient times, before tea was considered a beverage, it was used for medicinal purposes and slowly it became popular, not just because of its flavor but for the health benefits it offers. Black tea is considered as a great source of antioxidants that play a crucial role in keeping the body healthy. Black tea and green tea offer somewhat similar benefits, but scientists are explicitly looking at black tea because of its oxidation process. 

With that in mind, let’s look at the nutritional facts, benefits, and health recipes the beverage has to offer. 

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Nutritional Value of Black Tea 

Usually, black tea is served with milk, but consuming it with water is said to be the most beneficial. Since it is the most oxidized of all the tea types, it provides a unique color and flavor that tastes savory to sweet and has amber to dark brown texture. Many people drink black tea for energy, alertness, and for increasing metabolism before workout and  thanks to the caffeine content It also contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from DNA damage. Studies hint that antioxidants in black tea may help lessen the risk of atherosclerosis, which is clogged arteries, particularly in women.

With that said, let’s put some light into the nutritional value of black tea to better understand its health benefits. 
1 cup black tea contains:

  • Calories – 2.4 
  • Carbohydrates – 0.4 grams
  • Fiber – 0.1 grams
  • Fats – 0.0. Grams
  • Proteins – 0.1 grams

Looking at the above nutrients, black tea is undoubtedly a healthy beverage that incorporates all the essential nutrients and minerals. The best part about black tea is its bold flavors that make for a satisfying drink, which you can enjoy any time of the day. 

Black Tea for Weight Loss

Black tea and weight loss

People have found a new reason to drink black tea – weight loss! A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition stated that black tea works as a prebiotic that aids the digestive process. The flavonoids unique to the black tea help when it comes to shedding those extra pounds, according to health experts. 
The molecules of black tea are larger than the other tea types. This means the black tea molecules spend more time in the small intestine. Scientists believe that the presence of these molecules in the small intestine helps in increasing the population of good bacteria and microorganisms in the gut microbiome. As a result, the liver tissues burn fat deposits more efficiently.  
On the other hand, the reason why black tea is considered a weight loss beverage is that it contains the highest concentration of caffeine among all the tea categories. A cup of black tea contains about 47 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine is known for boosting energy and increasing metabolic rate. Drinking black tea before your workout may help your body to perform better and shed pounds faster. Caffeine works in a way that it raises the body temperature, also known as ‘thermogenesis.’ When the temperature increases, it triggers reactions in the body that results in improved metabolism of nutrients and vitamins, and ultimately, fat burning. 
If you look at the nutrition table, you will see that the calorie count in black tea is almost negligible. Replacing high calorie beverages and drinks like juice and soda with black tea can help lose weight quickly. Moreover, drinking black tea is a tastier alternative. Since black tea is packed with flavonoids, it can help improve fat distribution and thus, lead to a healthier weight loss.   
Scientists and researchers are still experimenting with the properties of black tea to find more solid evidence regarding weight loss. Nevertheless, you can include black tea in your daily diet and enjoy the overall health benefits it offers. 

Black Tea Health Benefits 

The health benefits of black tea are immense. From a healthy heart to improved digestive health, lowering the chances of diabetes, and more, there is a whole list of health benefits offered by black tea. 

1. Reduces the risk of diabetes

prevent diabetes

According to studies, long-term intake of black tea can help in lowering the fasting blood glucose levels and thereby reducing the rates of type-2 diabetes. Polyphenols like flavonoids are found in abundance in black tea that helps in reducing the glycemic index.  An experiment conducted on older adults showed that those who were drinking black tea for a prolonged period had 70% low chances of experiencing a spike in blood sugar levels. That means they had lesser chances of developing type-2 diabetes.  

2. May help in preventing cancer 

Black tea is high in theaflavins, which is an antioxidant that can help destroy abnormal cells in the body. The free radicals present in our body can create major damage by turning the normal body cells into cancerous cells. The antioxidant content in black tea is so high that it keeps the free radicals at bay and plays a significant role in the prevention of significant types of cancers like skin cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and stomach cancer. It is also found that drinking black tea helps in increasing the level of globulin hormones in women during the menstrual cycle. 

3. Helps improve heart functions

Heart health

Numerous studies have shown that drinking black tea lowers the chances of stroke in adults. According to research, people who consume three or more cups of black tea in a day lowers the chances of stroke by 21%. Black tea is rich in theaflavins, flavonols, gallic acid, and flavan-3-ols that restore the coronary artery dysfunction in heart patients. These nutrients also repair the blood vessels and arteries that prevent strokes, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular problems. In conclusion, it can be said that people who consume black tea on a daily basis are less prone to developing cardiovascular conditions. 

4. Helps in relieving stress 

relieves stress

Drinking black tea reduces the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and helps in normalizing it. On the other hand, black tea is rich in an amino acid called I-theanine that promotes relaxation by easing stress. Those who are going through rough times mentally are advised to drink three or more cups of black tea in a day as it helps in speedy recovery from stress. Stress can cause chronic illness like coronary heart disease and other mental disorders if not treated early. Drinking black tea also helps in soothing your mind and allows you to concentrate. 

5. Protects against bad bacteria 

The flavonoids and polyphenols found in black tea have antibacterial properties. According to several studies, consumption of black tea helps in lowering the risk of helicobacter pylori infection, which is a bacterial infection that affects the stomach. Moreover, it also prevents unnecessary sweating, which is also a sign of bacterial infection. Doctors and health professionals say that applying chilled black tea bags to razor bumps, burns, itchiness, and redness can provide deep comfort. 

6. Improves digestive health 

 improves digestion

Black tea contains tannins in high amounts along with other chemicals that have a positive and relaxing effect on digestive health. The anti-inflammatory properties in black tea help in curing digestive problems. They help in combating stomach ulcers, boost the immune system health, and provide a therapeutic effect on the gastric and intestinal illness as well. Black tea aids the growth of good gut bacteria, thereby improving gut health. 

7. Stronger bones

The flavonoids present in the black tea helps in keeping the bones healthy, therefore preventing fractures. Minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous keep the bones stronger and reduce the chances of developing arthritis and other joint issues. On the other hand, the phytochemicals help in reducing inflammation in the muscles, especially in the joints that allows for easy mobility. 

8. Beneficial for good oral health 

Oral problems like bleeding gums, bad breath, plaque formation, and more can affect both your health and self-esteem. Polyphenols like flavonoids, tannins, and catechins in black tea possess anti-microbial properties that help in keeping your oral health intact. Black tea promotes the production of salivary enzymes, and if consumed regularly, it can lower inflammation, prevent cavities, and stop the growth of bacteria. Doctors recommend drinking a cup or two of unsweetened black tea with water as it helps in destroying and surpassing bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decays. 

How to Make Black Tea  

Making black tea is probably one of the easiest tasks in the kitchen. However, it is all about precision and timing, and if you miss anything, it can alter the taste. But don’t worry! In this section, we are going to teach you how to make tasty, refreshing types of black tea at home, like a pro. 

Lemon Black Tea Recipe

Lemon black tea

Ingredients: 

  • Loose leaf black tea – 2 tablespoons (teabag also works fine) 
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Lemon – optional

Directions: 

  • Take a saucepan, add water, and cook on a medium flame for a couple of minutes 
  • When the water comes to boil, add the loose tea leaves while stirring (make sure you bring the stove to medium heat)
  • Boil the mixture on low flame and let the water infuse all the elements of black tea 
  • Strain the leaves, add lemon juice and and serve hot. 

Iced Black tea recipe

Iced black tea recipe

Ingredients: 

  • Loose leaf black tea – 2 tsp. (teabag also works fine) 
  • Crushed cardamom pods-3 
  • Fresh Mint- 3-4 leaves
  • Rose water – 1 tsp
  • Honey- 1 tbsp

Instructions

  • Brew tea by adding water in a pan, and allow it to cool, then add tea powder, cardamom and let the flavors infuse. (Let it simmer). 
  • Filter the tea, and add honey, rose water, mint leaves and serve cold or hot. 

Side Effects of Black Tea

While black tea is all good for your health, you should know that everything in this world has limitations. If there are pros, there will be cons as well. The same goes for black tea. Here are the potential side effects of black tea that you should know. 

  • Reduced iron absorption 
  • Increased anxiety and restlessness 
  • Poor sleep 
  • Nausea 
  • Heartburn 
  • Pregnancy complications 
  • Caffeine dependence 
  • Headaches 
  • Dizziness 

Summary 

Black tea is best when consumed plain. Adding milk, sugar, cream, and syrups will increase the calorie content and possibly reduce its health benefits. Moreover, you should also refrain from ready-to-drink teas and iced teas if you are health conscious. These tea beverages are considered to be less healthy. As mentioned above, black tea has many health benefits from controlling diabetes to reducing the risk of heart disease, and more. However, moderate consumption is advised because of its adverse side effects. Consult your doctor before including black tea in your diet.  



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