Your Most Common Nutrition Questions Answered Here

Staying fit and healthy is not an overnight task. It is a lifelong commitment. Exercising and eating right are two peas in a pod. A good exercise regime has to be backed by a good eating routine and vice versa. In today’s changing lifestyles and fast-paced lives, we often relegate health to the bottom of our need’s pyramid only to pay heed when the body reminds us, not so subtly, of lack of nutrition and healthy routine.

The most important ingredient for healthy living is eating right and consuming a nutritious diet. Inadequate intake of nutrients can cause various health issues like stringing aches in various parts of the body, fatigue, weak bones, poor concentration, etc. Most of the people think consuming nutritious diet comprises of going on a strict diet and ditching their favourite foods forever. But, that’s not the case. With so much of information available on the internet, one is bound to get confused.

Here are some of the most commonly asked nutrition questions that beginners often have:

  • I am new, where should I begin?

The question that muddles every beginner is where they should begin from when it comes to eating right. The first and foremost thing to do is to understand your body’s nutrition need. Each body has a different requirement depending upon their physical work, weight, height, age, and gender. As they say, an excess of everything is harmful. Any nutrient in excess can lead to harmful consequences. One needs to understand the right quantity of nutrients to be consumed for their body type. Don’t blindly follow something that a friend or acquaintance of yours is following. No two bodies work in a similar pattern. Something that worked for you might not work for a friend of yours. Always take guidance from a certified nutritionist before adding or cutting down anything in your diet.

  • Which diet should I follow?

Following a diet doesn’t mean starving yourself. Starving is the worst thing one can do to their body. A healthy diet comprises of foods that take care of the essential nutrients and minerals required by your body. There are various diets like Keto, Low Carb Diet (LCD), No Carb Diet (NCD), No Sugar Diet (NSD), Low Sugar Diet (LSD), Liquid diets etc. Choose a diet depending on your body and fitness goals. For example: If a person with low blood pressure opts for a NSD i.e. no sugar diet, she is bound to suffer fatigue and dizziness. Hence, it is essential to understand your body before trying out any diet. Consult your physician or a nutritionist before starting a diet.

  • How effective is high protein diet?

A high protein diet should be backed by a heavy and rigorous workout regime. Proteins take time to break down and digest. A heavy workout helps in faster ingestion of proteins in the body. If a person is not working out and consuming high protein diet, he is bound to feel lethargic as body’s maximum energy will be consumed in digesting the protein intake.

  • Should I opt for the no carbs diet?

Every nutrient is essential for a fit and sound functioning of the body. Completely eliminating any nutrient from the body is not advisable. Carbs are the main source of energy for your body. Moreover, following a no carb diet gets a little tough to keep up with. Completely eliminating carbs from your diet is a herculean challenge. A no carb diet will leave you drained out than usual. Don’t go for it unless it is specifically advised by your nutritionist.

  • How important is it to keep calories count?

Counting calories can be confusing in the beginning with various food items/dishes cooked and prepared in different styles. It is difficult to give a universal calorie count for any particular dish. On the other hand, when consuming fruits and nuts, you have a definite calorie count. If you are overweight to obese and looking forward to cutting down some weight, keeping a check on your calorie intake can be helpful. By counting calories, one is able to strike a balance between the calories consumed and calories burnt ratio thereby initiating faster and healthier weight reduction process.  You can take help of some smartphone apps for this.

  • What is nutrient timing?

Nutrient timing is all about what you are eating and when you are eating. Every nutrient has a different absorption period and until and unless you allow your body the time to absorb the consumed nutrients, it’s futile. You will only end up adding calories by not paying attention to the nutrient timing. One must be aware of the foods to eat before, during and post a workout. For example – Consuming proteins prior to workout helps in initiating faster and proper digestion since proteins take longer to digest and the rigorous body activity helps in speeding up the process.

  • How many meals a day should I eat?

More than the number of meals, the proportion of your meal matters. Eating small portions is the best practice to follow. Longer periods between meals make you feel hungrier and by the time you start eating, you end up binging and putting much more than what your body requires. This meddles with your metabolism leading to slower digestion process and bloating of the stomach. It is healthy to have 5-7 small meals in a day. By meals, we don’t mean full meals. Create a proper balance between your nutrients intake by adding a different kind of food products in your five meals of the day.

  • What should a healthy diet comprise of?

A healthy diet doesn’t mean completely cutting down on carbs and fats. There are good and bad fats. Before cutting down or adding anything in your diet, it is essential to gain knowledge about how the nutrition cycle works. For example – Cheese and ghee fall under good fats and are required by the body. But, it is important to know what quantity one is supposed to consume. Anything beyond the required quantity is going to create trouble for the body.

Again, when it comes to nutrition, there is no one-size-fits-all. Eating right is a lifestyle and one must adapt to it to stay healthy. Gain knowledge, talk to experts, and you will be able to make the right eating choices without necessarily cutting down on anything.

 

Healthy Snacks for Workplace

Did you have your breakfast today? Look over from your desk and ask your colleague. More often than not, 34% people today come to work on an empty stomach. Between the long commute, late dinners, and the absurd working hours, where is the time to sit down and have proper meals? This is not the only reason, but having a mid-morning snack and one in the middle of the afternoon is crucial.

If you want to keep up with your productivity levels, you need to eat healthy. However only a few will go for healthy snacks. If you have bad eating habits, you would reach for that deep fried samosa with your cutting chai or snack on high processed chips to satisfy your craving. During those mid-morning or afternoon slumps, you need a high protein snack to get your energy levels up and to help you focus better. Here is a fantastic list of healthy snacks for your workplace.

Fresh Fruit

An apple a day, remember? Fresh fruits like banana, pear, grapes or seasonal fruits like mango, litchis, and strawberries are all packed with fiber, healthy carbs and are incredibly filling.

Dried Fruits

Dried apricots, dried mango, apple, pear or even banana are unsweetened, easy to munch on and are nutrient packed. You need a significant amount of calories from these healthy snacks for the workplace if you missed your breakfast or lunch.

Roasted/Raw Nuts

Nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts are protein rich and have the good fat in them. If you need something to keep you full until your next big meal at the office, it’s these low carb nuts.

Energy Bar

Snickers came out with a great advertisement, but seriously, protein energy bars are not just for those who work out at the gym. Get your sweet craving and nutrient balance from an energy bar.

Flavored Yogurt

There are plenty to chose from in the market, but if you are health conscious, then make Greek yogurt from your regular curd (hand it in a cloth so all the water seeps out) sprinkle fresh fruit or nuts for a yummy and satisfying healthy snack at the office.

Fresh Veggies

Take carrots, beetroot, cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, these are excellent snacks to eat at your workplace. Energy, fiber, nutrition, these fresh veggies tick all the boxes.

Vegetable Juice

If you are too lazy to cut them up and bring to work, consider juicing fresh vegetables. You may not get as much fiber, but it’s perfect to wake you up from that mid-afternoon slump.

Dark Chocolate

No, not your regular milk chocolate bars, but dark chocolate. The high amount of antioxidants makes it healthy to snack on. The keyword here is a snack – so don’t gobble the whole bar just because chocolate boosts your mood and makes you happy.

Protein Shake

Whether it’s with fresh or frozen banana, with protein powder or without, protein shakes are great sources of quick energy. Just what you need to focus on for your tasks after 3 pm.

Green Smoothie

Blend your favorite fruits into a smoothie and throw in some baby spinach to optimize your gut health.

Goji Berries

Did you know they dip goji berries in dark chocolate now? These are great sources of antioxidants, energy, protein, and fiber.

Seeds

Combine your dark chocolate or fresh fruit with a fist full of seeds like roasted sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds or pumpkin seeds. They are high fiber, add texture and keep you fueled until your next big meal.

Popcorn

No, not the microwave ones but the right ones are great to mindlessly munch on while you work on your deadline. Its fiber rich and calorie poor, perfect for a mid-afternoon healthy snack.

Murmura

This is puffed rice. You can eat them as it is or mix it up with tomatoes, onions and fresh chutneys to make bhel. Lightweight, easy to digest and ideal for weight conscious people.

Sprouts

When nuts, seeds, grains, dals or lentils are allowed to sprout, the nutritional value of the protein in them is enhanced. Even the vitamins explode; your energy levels increase and all this at a fraction of the price compared to any other snack option.

Roasted lentils

Your roasted chana dal is a rich source of protein and minerals. Snacking on a good amount either mid morning or mid afternoon will keep you full for a long time.

Eating healthy snacks at workplace will keep you full, energized and help you focus during the times when you need it the most. Snacks rich in protein and fiber keep you satisfied until your next big meal. What a great way to get in all the essential daily nutrients –  in a snack!

 

 

 

 

 

Improve Your Heart Health with These Super Foods

Heart health is no longer a matter of concern for the elderly only. Even in their early twenties, men and women suffer from health ailments that can be fatal. According to a senior consultant cardiologist at a well-known hospital, India is currently witnessing around two million heart attacks a year with a majority of the victims being the youngsters. One person dies every 33 seconds because of a heart attack!

While some heart conditions that cannot be prevented, most concerns can be avoided. With these superfoods in your daily diet, curbing a heart attack will get easier.

Superfoods

Although superfoods have been around for a long time, the health benefits have come to light only recently. Superfoods are super rich in nutrients and antioxidants. They are beneficial for one’s health and can prevent terminal illnesses. Here are some of the superfoods you may love or hate, but can tremendously help in improving your heart health!

Walnuts

Walnuts top the nut list for heart-healthy superfoods. The distinct ‘brain’ shaped nut is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts contain higher quality antioxidants that fight free radicals responsible for heart diseases. Craving for a sugary snack? Snack on a handful of walnuts every day. The goodness they give you is more than your daily portion of fruits and vegetables, combined!

Salmon

Salmon is the star on the heart superfood list. This oily fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and super rich in proteins, Vitamins B and D. Regular consumption of Salmon lowers triglycerides by 50%. Triglycerides is the bad fat that increases the cholesterol in your body. This Omega-3 rich fish has proven to lower the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat). It also reduces the mortality rate of those with congestive heart conditions.

Oranges

An orange a day keeps your arteries healthy! This citrus fruit is high in flavonoids that help lower heart conditions caused by clots. Vitamin C present in oranges is linked with lower heart diseases. Oranges are rich in potassium, magnesium, fiber, and beta-carotene too. Several studies have shown that the chemicals present in oranges reduce blood cholesterol levels by 20-25%. Beware of the hidden sugars in the packaged orange juices, though.

Garlic

Garlic is a blood thinner. Garlic makes the blood consistency such that it easily passes through blood vessels. Garlic is high in bioflavonoids and contains sulfur which gives protection from calcium deposits and reduces the size of arterial plaque. It promotes adequate blood circulation. Regular consumption of garlic in your diet lowers the risk of blood stagnation and passage blockages by unhealthy fats.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has got a plenty of attention for being good for the heart and here is why. The cocoa bean is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. This is the perfect recipe for a healthy heart. Flavanol is the main flavonoid present in chocolate. It helps lower the blood pressure and improve the blood flow to the brain and heart. It also enables blood to clot by making the blood platelets less sticky.

Kale

Kale has risen to fame over the last couple of years. Kale is a nutrient-packed superfood. It has minerals, vitamins, and much more. It even has bile acid sequestrants which help lower the cholesterol levels. A study showed that consumption of kale juice for 12 weeks increased the level of ‘good’ cholesterol. Kale is also known to be one the world’s best sources of Vitamin K.

Oatmeal

Another superfood for your heart is the humble oatmeal. It is packed with omega 3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. It is rich in fiber which is good for the digestive tract. This superfood can lower the levels of bad cholesterol and keep your arteries clear. Oatmeal helps curb type 2 diabetes and helps in weight loss as well.

Avocados

Avocados are nutrient packed and good for your heart. They have good fats and are free from sodium and cholesterol. This superfood cuts down your saturated fat intake without compromising on calories. Just eating healthy fats is not enough. Ensure that you are exercising to burn off the calories consumed too!

Olive Oil

Olive oil is the secret to the healthy hearts of the Mediterranean folks. It prevents the formation of blood clots and excess blood coagulation. It raises the level of good cholesterol while lowering the bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.

Acai Berries

Known as the miracle berry, this berry is full of antioxidants and vitamins. Acai berries are high in flavonoids that prevent plaque buildup in your arteries. They increase the capillary strength, prevent inflammation and lower cholesterol levels.

Of course, simply adding such superfoods in your diet won’t keep you disease-proof. You also need to follow a healthy routine, eat healthy food, and exercise regularly.

Did we miss a super food? Comment here and let us know.

Going organic? Here’s how to go homegrown

How do you deal with health during the times of resources depletion and global climate change? While battling to ban Monsanto and harmful chemicals in our processed foods, how can we look after our health priorities?

By eating sustainably.

There’s an undeniable connection between what we eat and how our health is. The famous saying, “you are what you eat” holds the code to change our eating habits in times of global resources crisis. If you’re already health conscious about eating, you may already be buying what’s labelled as “organic”. But ever wondered why these organic foods are even more expensive than the regular mass-produced food? Because, somewhere in the supply chain, it is NOT sustainable enough. The prices are higher because of the higher costs involved in production of such food. I am not denying their organic nature but the higher prices are worth giving a thought since it all comes in “packs” from your organic food retail store. Continue reading Going organic? Here’s how to go homegrown

Chemical used in yoga mats and shoes also found in 500 packaged foods

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost of us know that packaged food is suspect as far as kind of chemicals used to keep them shelf-friendly. Now, a health and advocacy group called Environmental Working Group, have come up with a study that tells you how alarming the scene is.

Apparently, 500 foods on grocery store shelves in the US, including the stuff that is labelled as ‘health food’ is suspect because they may potentially hazardous industrial plastics chemical.

For instance, Azodicarbonamide. Better known as ADA, is an ‘active’ ingredient in breads, bagels, tortillas, hamburger and hot dog buns, pizza, pastries, and other food products. In fact, some consumer groups have demanded the complete removal of ADA from food packaging as it damages the body in ways we are still to fully understand. Continue reading Chemical used in yoga mats and shoes also found in 500 packaged foods