Oats: A Healthy Way to Start the Day!

According to many nutritionists, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A decent breakfast gives us the energy we need to carry out our work. Prevents the weakness caused by low blood sugar levels, and makes it easier to resist a cookie during coffee breaks. Studies show that on average people who have a breakfast every day are thinner than people who don’t. Continue reading “Oats: A Healthy Way to Start the Day!”

Foods to Manage Depression

Healthy diet is not only a good option for maintaining a healthy weight & body, it can also be a mood booster. Depending on your choice of food you can control your depression level too. As per an article published in the Nutritional Neuro science journal in 2015, if you really want to focus on your food for treating your depression then firstly, reduce the consumption of prepackaged food products & processed foods.

Avocado:

Avocado
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Avocado is a kind of superfood, from keeping your heart healthy to improving digestive system to improving your mood, it can do wonders. Avocado is known as a natural balancer of hormones, which can produce the right hormone for our mood. Avocado is one of the best options to make you feel happy.

Nuts:

Nuts
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According to experts, consuming almost 1 ounce of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts etc.) can be a good mood booster. Nuts are rich suppliers of healthy fat, protein & fiber. You just need to keep an eye on the calories that you are getting. Nuts such as almonds or walnuts, are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, which have various long term usefulness.

Tea:

Tea
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Consuming black tea could also lower your stress level. In a study two groups of people were created. The first group was asked to consume almost 4 cups of black tea regularly and continue that for 6 weeks. The second group was asked to consume something else. After the term of the study was over, it was found that the people who had consumed black tea felt more relaxed and had less stress hormones like cortisol, after going through the same stressful condition. On the other hand, chamomile tea is known as a stress reliever from ancient ages.

Fish:

Fish
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Having fatty oily fish like rainbow trout, tuna, sardines, salmon & mussels will provide you with one of the major mood boosting agents, omega 3s. Omega 3s can modify brain chemicals like serotonin as well as dopamine. If you are having low levels of serotonin then you can suffer from depression, show aggressive and suicidal tendencies.

Chocolate:

Dark Chocolate
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According to the study done by Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland, consuming 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate regularly for almost a couple of weeks is able to lower your stress hormones, which includes cortisol also. As per experts, this can happen because of the presence of antioxidants in chocolate. However make sure you are keeping your eyes on the calories too, otherwise you can end up putting on some extra kilos.

Whole Grains:

Whole Grains
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Whether in the form of oatmeal or quinoa or even brown rice or as a whole grain food like pasta and bread, we are always concerned about genuine carbohydrates, whether all the nutrients are not completely drained out. Carbs are able to instigate our body to manufacture chemicals like serotonin, which is popularly known as happiness hormone. However if your source of serotoninis complex carbs then your blood sugar levels can also get stabilized.

Sesame Seeds:

Sesame Seeds
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Sesame seeds are a great supplier of tyrosine, which can enhance the level of dopamine and improves the level of feel god hormone in high quantities by stabilizing out the others too. Dopamine levels of the brain gets boosted by the amino acids present in the sesame seeds.

Fruits & Vegetables (And Other Whole Foods):

Fruits Vegetables
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Having too much sweet dishes, high fat containing food products, fried food products, refined grains etc. can make your feel stressed & depressed. However on the other hand, fruits and veggies which are rich suppliers of antioxidants, fishes that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids reduce your depression level. Products like dark green veggies, citrus, beans are rich supplier of folate, which can leave a good impact on our mood.

Fermented Foods:

Fermented Foods
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A recent study has shown that diets which promote healthy levels of good intestinal microbiota can have a positive influence on mental health as well. Sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha , kimchi and certain yogurts that are good suppliers of probiotics are good for your mental health.

Coconut:

Coconut
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As per a study conducted by Columbia University, people who inhaled coconut perfume, experienced speedy blood pressure recovery. The experts have figured out, that breathing a nice smell can increase attentiveness,causes a calming reaction to anxiety or stress. It has been found that the scent of coconut can lower your anxiety levels by slowing down your heart rate.

Basil Seeds: The New Superfood

This sweet tasting seeds are currently gaining popularity as a super food, because of their nutrient content. It’s an indigenous property of India known as sweet basil and it’s different from common Indian “Tulsi” or holy basil, which is mostly used for enhancing immunity system. Herbs as well as seeds from basil plants are popular as a very healthy option. As per Dr. Anju Sood (Bangalore- based Nutritionist), these tear like black seeds need to be soaked in water before consuming it.

Supports Your Weight Loss:

Managing weight
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ALA/alpha linolenic acid present in sabja seeds comes from omega 3 fatty acids that support the burning of fat of your body. It’s a rich supplier of fiber, which is able to make you feel full for a long period of time. Popularly known as tukhamaria, saabja seeds, holy basil, takmaria, tulsiare capable of controlling your appetite. Adding them with your fruit salad or in your bowl of yoghurt can make you feel full & control your appetite. Their mild flavor & low calorie content make them easy to mix with other foods.

Enhances Bone Health:

Enhances Bone Health
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It’s a rich supplier of minerals like magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, potassium etc. so if you add this in your daily meal, it can help you to boost up your bone density. By improving your bone mineral density, it can help you to avert problems like osteoporosis also.

Body Coolant:

In various Asian countries, saabja seeds are usually mixed with sugar, coconut milk & honey to make a soothing cool drink. This mixture is popular as a body coolant. These seeds are known for their ability to lower the body heat. So in various circumstances you can notice them in milkshakes or even in your nimbupani.

Relief From Anxiety:

Anxiety
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It’s a great stress reliever. Just take a glass full of water & mix basil seeds in it, now consume it. It will work wonders to lower your anxiety level. Study revealed that daily intake of these seeds can enhance your mood as well as lower the chances of depression & also can lower the level of stress related hormones in our body.

Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels:

Diabetes
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For controlling type 2 diabetes saabja seeds can do wonders by delaying the metabolism which can restrict the alteration of carbohydrates into glucose. Soak the basil seed in water overnight. In the morning take those soaked seeds & mix them in a glass of water. You healthy breakfast drink is ready.

Inflammation:

These seeds can also provide support from health situations like gout, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches & arthritis. By releasing cytokines as well as displaying some pro-inflammatory properties saabja seeds reduce your pain.

Getting Healthy Hair and Skin:

healthy skin and hair
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Skin infection like psoriasis or even eczema can be treated with basil seeds. Crush the seeds & mix them with coconut oil. Now apply it on the affected areas. You can just warm the coconut oil & saabja seed mixture just before apply it, instead of soaking the seeds in water. Consuming these seeds on a regular basis can support in collagen secretion which is important for creating new skin cells that are suffering from common tear. It’s a great source of vitamin K, Iron etc.

Remedy for Cough and Flu:

Cough and Flu
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Presence of antispasmodic property helps in relaxing spasmatic muscles, by relieving the tension. Thus they are also able to give you some relief from whooping cough too. It’s a rich supplier of flavonoids (beta carotene, orientin & vicenin), which can build up a strong defense system in our body.

Getting Rid of Constipation and Bloating:

If you consume a glass of milk with saabja seeds before going to your bed regularly, then it can easily maintain a smooth bowel movement &can detox your body too. It’s a natural stomach cleanser. Presence of volatile oils in basil seeds support enhance digestion as well as relief from gas.

Fights Acidity and Heartburn:

Saabja seeds can negate the acidic side effects of HCL in our body. So they can ease heartburn in our human body.Water present in the soaked seeds sooths the stomach lining and thus relieves the burning sensation.

Featured Image by: Ricardo Torres Kompen

Health Benefits Of Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are popular as one of the most effective plant food in the earth. Kind of tanned or brown or golden colored, these small seeds are a rich source of alpha linolenic acids (omega 3 fatty acids). Various studies have revealed that it has the ability to lower the chances of diabetes, stroke, cancer & several heart ailments.

Following is a list of health benefits of flax seeds:

Loosing Unwanted Weight:

weight loss
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In the Journal of Nutrition a study have revealed that walnuts & flax seeds can help in losing weight. Because of its fiber & healthy fat content, flax seeds can make you feel full for long period of time & it will help you to consume less. If you are serious about shredding those extra kilos then you can pour a couple tablespoons of these seeds in your salads or soups or in your smoothie too.

High in Antioxidants (Lignans):

Along with other important nutrient content, it’s a great source of antioxidants too. Lignans (antioxidant present in flax seeds) are rare fiber associated with polyphenols, which supports us in cellular health, hormonal balance & anti-aging. Lignans are also populated as a antibacterial as well as anti-viral properties, so having flax seeds can lower the chances of flu & colds too.

Flax Seed Has High Content of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

We are aware of the omega 3 fat or fish oil benefits. Fish oil contains 2 omega 3 fats, DHA & EPA, which are absolutely necessary for your optimal growth.On the other hand flex seeds do not have DHA or EPA, but they do have ALA, separate type omega 3 fat.

A research revealed in Nutrition Reviews, that 20% ALA can be transformed into EPA, whereas only 5 % ALA can transformed into DHA. Gender does have a say on the performance of flax seeds. However ALA is still recognize as a healthy fat & need to add in our diet.

Getting Healthy Hair And Skin:

healthy skin and hair
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Adding almost 1 tablespoon of flax seeds oil in your daily meal or 2 tablespoon of flax seeds in your smoothie can give you a glowing & healthy hair & skin. The ALA fat content in these seeds along with vitamin B provides help in lowering the flakiness as well as dryness. Flax seeds are also effective in lowering the dry eye problem. You can mix these seeds in essential oil & make a healthy natural moisturizer. For lowering problems like eczema, rosacea & acne, flax seeds are a great option to choose.

Improving Menopausal Symptoms:

Presence of lignans also have some usefulness for menopausal women. Because of lignans have estrogenic properties, it is also considered as a hormone replacement cure. It has the ability to help women to maintain their menstrual cycle. If you really want some hormonal balance, then add almost 2 tablespoon of seeds or 2 tablespoon of flax oil in your smoothie.

Flax Seeds For Gluten Sensitivity:

Using these seeds are a nice option to reduce gluten incorporated grains, those that are inflammatory, on the other hand flax seeds are anti-inflammatory. For people who are suffering from gluten allergy or even celiac ailment, it’s a nice option for them.

This could be a great substitute for omega 3 fats, especially for people with seafood sensitivity. Being a gluten free option, it can be used in cooking as a grain free ingredient.

Low In Carbs But High In Fiber:

Theses seeds are rich supplier of mucilage gum content. It’s a great ingredient to keep the intestinal track healthy as well as it’s a gel formation of fiber, which is soluble in water too.

Things like lowering the sugar cravings, losing fat & detoxification of colon can also happen well because of insoluble as well as soluble fiber content

Improving Digestive Health:

Flax seeds are also popular for improving digestive health. Presence of ALA in flax is able to support the GI health & also care for the lining in digestive tract. From lowering the gut inflammation to giving support to people suffering from digestive problems or Crohn’s ailment, it serves quite a lot of purposes. For getting relief from your constipation you can mix carrot juice (8 oz) & flax seed oil (2-3 tablespoon). Flax seeds are also popular as a highest magnesium content food in the whole world.

Flax Seeds for treating Cancer:

Cancer
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Flax seeds can also be beneficial for colon or prostate or breast & ovarian cancer. As per several studies revealed in Journal of Clinical Cancer Research, eating flax seeds can lower the chances of breast cancer. Flax seed has 3 lignans, which can be converted in to enterolactone and enterodiol by intestinal bacteria & is able to balance hormones. That might be the reason for its ability to fight breast cancer.

Reduce Cholesterol Level:

According to studies revealed in Nutrition & Metabolism, adding flax seeds in our diet can lower the level of unwanted cholesterol. Cholesterol and fat gets entrapped in the soluble fiber content of flax seeds and hence they do not get any chance to get absorbed.The bile that gets created in the gallbladder from cholesterol also gets trapped in the soluble fiber. It is then forced out through the digestive system. As a result the body has use up more cholesterol to create more bile. The net effect being reduction of cholesterol level.

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Brain Friendly Foods: Keeping Your Brain Healthy

When we face problems in concentrating, it becomes very depressing for us. As we grow old, it appears more troublesome for us to concentrate or even remember where we kept our various important stuff like, keys, phones etc. Though it’s a part of growing old, however maintaining a good diet & healthy lifestyle can help us to overcome these difficulties or focus in concentrating.

Food is like the main energy supplier for our body & choosing the right food is always helpful in boosting your mental skills like memory or concentration etc.

Following is a list of seven food items, which can help you to enhance the concentration as well as lift your cognitive activity.

Berries:

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Berries are considered as small gem of a fruit, they are one of the best anti- aging foods available worldwide. They are able to lower the risk of age related ailments like Alzheimer’s as well as dementia. According to a study it has been found that berries can even postpone the memory problem by almost two & half years. For enhancing motor skills as well as learning abilities, blueberries are highly suggested.

Dark Chocolate As Well As Coffee:

Dark Chocolate
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The coffee we usually buy from regular coffee shops contain various types of additional sugars, which are not at all good for our health. They lead to more calories and other sugar related ailments like diabetes. On the other hand, free trade organic coffee can do wonders to your health. It can boost up your brain power & motor skills too. A cup of this type of coffee in the morning can encourage you to concentrate more& stay focused for a longer period of time. The presence of caffeine in chocolate can do the same wonders by providing antioxidants with rejuvenates the brain cells thereby increasing the capacity of the brain cells.

Walnuts:

Walnuts
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We all know that walnut appears like a small sized brain. This basically provides a hint that we need to consume it to enhance our brain power. A research carried out in the year 2007 revealed that when a person’s dietary regime consist of more than 2 % of walnuts, it has been found to be able to conserve the age of your brain, which includes improvement in cognitive & motor skills. This rich source of antioxidants can also withstand against the impact of free radicals that can adversely impact the DNA of the brain cells.

Spinach:

Spinach
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It’s a dark colored leafy veggie, which is an excellent supplier of vitamin E. It has been found that for enhancing brain tissues vitamin E is a good option, which is also able to manage the flow of blood in your brain by freeing dopamine.  Dopamine released in the human body has the ability to control the flow of information in the human brain. Presence of an antioxidant called lute in is capable of averting the cognitive failure.

Avocados:

Avocados
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Though sometimes because of its high fat content it faces some criticism, however presence of mono saturated fats make it a healthy option. For keeping your skin healthy & managing your blood sugar level, it can do wonders. Combination of folate as well as vitamin K helps to enhance cognitive activity as well as avert appearance of blood clots. Avocados are a healthy choice for keeping your concentration level up & memory level high.

Fish:

Fish
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Fishes that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids are an excellent option for boosting up your concentration level. Having these short of fishes can also lower the chances of dementia along with heart ailments. Various studies have proven that it has the capability to keep your memory sharp as we grow old & is able to reduce the mental deterioration too.

Having a good breakfast can boost up your brain, which helps you to stay focused & active for long a period of time. Experts suggested that skipping breakfast can put a strain on your brain. Children who start their day with a well-balanced breakfast have got better marks than those who skip breakfast. However make sure that your breakfast does not contain high levels of sugar or even calories. You can add foods like apple, almond, eggs, grapes, oats & grains in your breakfast, to give your brain an early boost up.

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Dietary Consideration for A Diabetic Patient

Diabetes and Diet:

When you are suffering from diabetes you need to put some extra effort on your food habit. According to Gerald Bernstein, director of the diabetes management program at Friedman Diabetes Institute in Beth Israel Medical Center , New York,,  people with diabetes need to stay away from foods that can trigger blood sugar spikes. Soda & candy are such kinds of deadly options for diabetic people. Our body can soak up these kind of sugars almost immediately. Consumption of carbohydrates also needs to be watched, because unhealthy fat in a diabetic body can enhance the risk of heart ailments.

Fats:

Fats
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All fats are not bad, some like monounsaturated fats can minimize our cholesterol level as well as avert various heart diseases too. On the other hand we need to control trans & saturated fat consumption.

Best choices:

Peanut butter

Sunflower seeds & Pumpkin seeds

Canola & Olive oil

Avocados

Fish like Albacore Tuna & Salmon

Nuts like Pecans, Almonds, Walnuts & Peanuts

Make sure you are concentrating on portion sizes for these options.

Offenders:

Cream sauce

Lard, butter

Red meat, which have high fat content like  Pork chops, T bone steaks, Pork shoulder, Ground beef etc.

Sausage, hot dogs etc. processed foods

Dairy products which are full fat.

Protein:

Protein
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Best bets:

As per ADA (The American Diabetes Association), go for low saturated fat containing lean proteins, like turkey or fish. For seafood, the recommended level of serving is around 2-3 servings per week. Fishes like salmon are also heart healthy options, because of their omega-3 content. For vegetarian people a huge variety of beans or tofu or nuts are great foods to go for. However, make sure that you are putting some effort on portion sizes, as some of these nuts contain high calories.

Worst culprits:

Stay away from hot dogs, deli meats which are processed. Because of their high sodium & fat content they can enhance the risk for stroke as well as high BP among diabetic people. Some other worst food options can be, pork bacon, deep fried fish, fried meats, poultry with skin, beans specially those prepared by lard etc.

Grains/Starches:

Grains
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Carbs is an important item for our body, however you need to choose it carefully. Following tips will help you to consume your carbs wisely.

Best choices:

Sweet potatoes, that are baked

Whole grains like oatmeal or millet or quinoa or brown rice etc.

Make sure that the food item is made with whole grains have no extra sugar in it.

Worst options:

French fries, white bread, cereals that contains added sugar but very minimum amount of whole grain.

Tortillas, which are fried & made with white flour.

White flour or white rice (processed grains)

Dairy:

Dairy
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Best choices:

Nonfat, plain Greek yogurt is a good option for people with diabetes. You can have it as breakfast or even as dessert by adding some berries in it. In your cooking process it’s a very good substitute for sour cream.

Worst bets:

You need to stay away from all types of full fat containing dairy products. Food products, which have extra sugar like packed chocolate milk is a deadly option for diabetic people.

Fruits:

Fruits and Diabetes
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Fruits are great supplier of fiber, vitamins, carbs & minerals. On the other hand, it has tendency of providing carbohydrates in much more quantities than veggies.

Best Fruit Options:

Applesauce (no added sugar)

Fresh fruits

Canned fruits without any kind of extra sugar or frozen fruits (plain)

Less sugar or even sugar free jam.

Worst Option:

Fruit rolls

Fruit juices or fruit punch

Applesauce , that is sweetened

Regular jelly or jam

Extra sugary canned fruits

Veggies:

Veggies
Image by: Pixabay

Best bets:

Veggies high in fiber & low in carbohydrates like asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, leafy green veggies, carrots etc. Smashed cauliflower could be a great replacement for smashed potatoes.

Worst choices:

Starchy veggies like corn or peas or potatoes are no no. though these are a rich supplier of various nutrients, but you need to consume them in moderation.

Featured Image by: Steve Davis