Oats are one of the healthiest food grains out there. Also known by the scientific name Avena sativa, oat is commonly consumed as a breakfast cereal and is particularly recommended for those with high cholesterol or high blood pressure and blood sugar. Besides being rich in complex carbohydrates and fibre, oats are also rich in a range of nutrients. Oats are available in a variety of forms, depending on the level of processing that the product has undergone. They are consumed for their numerous health benefits with the least processed forms having low glycaemic indices. However, despite all its benefits, oat may not be the cereal of choice for many around the world, due to its neutral taste and mushy texture when cooked as oatmeal.
Oat Nutrition: Facts And Nutritional Values
Groats (unprocessed whole oats) and steel-cut oats are among the least processed forms of oats. These take longer to digest and to cook as well. There are other more processed forms like instant or rolled oats, which are more popular as these are easier to cook with. According to the data by United States Department of Agriculture, a 100 gram portion of oats contains 4 grams of beta-glucan, which is a soluble fibre credited with improving satiety by slowing down digestion. The same portion supplies 389 calories, with 11 grams of dietary fibre, 16.9 grams of protein and good amounts of a range of micro-nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium.
Health Benefits Of Oats
1. Consumption of oats and other whole grains has been linked with lower risk of cardiovascular diseases as they help reduce levels of cholesterol in blood.
2. The beta-glucan present in oats regulates levels of blood sugar and insulin, by slowing down the process of digestion, and hence, it may prove to be beneficial for diabetics or for slowing advance of diabetes.
3. Oats are also said to aid weight loss by increasing satiety. This is due to the presence of soluble fibre, which binds with water and increases in volume in the gut.
4. Oats have also been credited with improving gut health by increasing gut microbiota, which happens when the soluble fibre breaks down in the gut.
Creative Ways Of Including Oats In Your Weight Loss Diet
1. Oat Smoothies
Adding oats to your morning fruit smoothies is a sure-shot way of making your breakfast fibre-rich and filling. All you have to do is blitz roll oats and then blend them with the yogurt, fruit and milk mixture to get delicious and filling oat breakfast smoothies.
2. Oat Bread
Ground oats can also be added to bread batter for healthy and nutritious oat bread. You can mix in some bananas and make sweet oat bread for a healthy tea-time snack.
3. Oat Granola/Snacks
Oats are commonly toasted along with a variety of nuts and then flavoured with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg among other things to make healthy, lose granola or granola bars for a high-fibre on-the-go snack.
4. Oats Pancakes, Dosas, Uttapams And More
You can add rolled oats to batters of a number of flat-cakes, both Indian and otherwise. It's a simple way of adding some much-needed soluble fibre to pancakes, dosas, uttapams and more.
5. Homemade Oats Pizza
You can even make the crust of your homemade pizzas from oats! That's the most fun way of sneaking in the fibre in your meals. Not just that, you can even cook oats in the form of risottos, which would basically be savoury oatmeal with sautéed vegetables cooked in the style of this Italian favourite.
Once you get yourself to experiment with this superfood, sky is the limit. Which of the above-mentioned oat dishes are you preparing soon? Let us know in the comments section below! You may even experiment with other healthy ingredients of your choice.
We know that losing weight is not an easy feat. In order to lose weight, one has to follow a strict routine, which includes maintaining a healthy balanced diet, regular workout, yoga and what not! Even if you are determined to lose weight and follow a strict diet, there may be times when cravings for sweet foods may strike like a thunder that you would find impossible to control. The quick results with minimal efforts of these crash diets may lure you for a while, but one must understand that these methods or diets may work at first, but may not help you in long run. Therefore, it is important to add all food groups to your diet and focus on calorie intake of the day to ensure sustainable weight loss. Carbonated and fizzy drinks are full of empty calories that could wreak havoc on your weight loss goals. Hence, it is always better to drink home-made, low calorie drinks instead. Vegetable and fruit juices are one of the best ways to add nutrients to your daily diet that may help you lose weight in longer run. Pick vegetables and fruits that are naturally low in sugar and carbohydrates as they may further help you shed weight naturally.
Here Are 3 Low-Cal Juices That You Can Easily Make At Home To Lose Weight:
Tomato Juice For Weight Loss
Tomatoes are very low in calories and carbohydrates. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of tomatoes contain just about 18 calories and 3.86 grams of carbs, which makes it a perfect bet for those on a calorie-restricted weight loss diet. Moreover, the fruit has high water content.
All you have to do is to take two cups chopped tomatoes and beetroot, and 3 tablespoon of lime juice. Blend all the ingredients in a blender. You may add salt for taste. Stir well and pour into a tall glass.
Carrot Juice For Weight Loss
Carrots are packed with fibre, both soluble and insoluble. Fibre takes the longest to digest, keeping you full for longer time. Including carrots in daily diet may accelerate your weight loss process. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of carrots have 41 calories and 3 grams of fibre. Hence, adding carrots to your weight loss diet will accelerate your weight loss programme.
Take 2 cups diced carrot and beetroot, half cup water and 2 table spoon amla juice. Blend the ingredients in a mixer and pour it in a tall glass. You may add a pinch of salt and a few mint leaves for taste.
Apple Juice For Weight Loss
Apple is a low calorie fruit. Apples contain about 50 calories per 100 grams, as per USDA; meaning you can have as much of this low calorie fruit as you like without feeling guilty.
Take 2 cups chopped apple, 1 pinch cinnamon powder and half cup diced beetroot. Blend the ingredients in a mixer and pour it in a tall glass. You may add salt and black pepper for taste.
These are just some of the best low-calorie juices that you can include in your diet for healthy weight loss. However, consult your nutritionist before adding anything to your diet.
Remember, it's a long race to the finish line, but the results are bound to be worth it!
As Indians, we are somewhat obsessed with lemons. No matter where we are, a typical Indian thali is always served with one freshly cut wedge of lemon. Ever wondered why? It is because lemon can spruce up the taste of just about anything. It is a good thing that the citrusy wonder is also so healthy. Lemon is possibly one of the healthiest citrus fruits we know. A storehouse of vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals, lemon can help boost immunity, fight free-radical damage, rejuvenate skin and even help with weight loss! Yes, you heard us. Lemon is a staple ingredient in all popular detox drinks. If you think about it, even a glass of nimbu paani qualifies as a detox drink. Keep the sugar away, and it actually serves as an amazing alternative to your high-calorie aerated beverages and sugary sodas.
Alongside lemon, there are plenty of kitchen herbs and ingredients that may help us with sustainable weight loss. Coriander or cilantro or our very own dhania is one such herb that may do wonders for your waistline. Like lemon, coriander toocomes into the picture much later. It is used as a final garnish on our gravies, stews and soups. Coriander is one of the most ancient herbs known to mankind. It is replete with many nutrients. It is said to be good for managing cholesterol levels. Coriander is also enriched with manganese, iron and magnesium. According to some experts, coriander leaves also help rev up metabolism naturally; a faster metabolism helps you lose weight faster. Coriander is also super low in calories, hence makes for a weight-loss-friendly ingredient.
Lemon and Coriander Soup For Weight Loss
Soups are said to be an incredible addition to a weight-loss diet. Soups help you retain the fibre of all the vegetables used. Fibres help induce a feeling of fullness; if you feel full, you are much less likely to binge into all things fried and fattening. The water content of soups is high, which helps fill you up without really adding too many calories to your diet. Moreover, soups give you ample room to experiment; you can throw in your favourite herbs and veggies and end up with something nice, comforting and nutritious. In this lemon and coriander soup, Chef Niru Gupta has combined the goodness of lemon, coriander, onions and black pepper. You can do away with the chilli sauce in the recipe. Store-bought sauce and condiments are often packed with hidden sugar. You can use a pinch of red chilli powder instead.
Follow this easy recipe and add this delicious soup to your weight loss diet.
Herbal teas have a lot of takers nowadays, as more and more people come to know about the potential side effects of caffeinated drinks like regular tea and coffee. A number of herbal teas have made their mark on tea lovers across the world, including those made from flowers like chamomile and blue pea. While chamomile is very well-known for its mild and soothing flavour that acts as a stress buster, tea made from blue pea flowers is not that well known. Dried blue pea flowers yield a brew that is stunning in colour and that can be enjoyed cold or hot. Blue tea, made from blue pea flowers, also has a number of health benefits. Some people even use blue tea for weight loss, other than its antioxidant properties and its ability to fight stress.
Blue Tea - All You Need To Know
Blue tea, or butterfly pea flower tea, is a caffeine-free herbal concoction, made by seeping dried or fresh leaves of the Clitoria ternatea plant. The butterfly-pea is also known as blue pea or pigeonwings and it is a plant common to most South East Asian countries. The deep blue colour of the flower's petals has traditionally been used to make dye. The tea is popular in Thailand and Vietnam, where it is served post dinner, usually with lemon and honey added to it. Adding lemon juice to the tea changes the pH of the drink, making it change colour from deep blue to purple. Thanks to popularisation through travel blogs and shows, the blue tea leaves are now available in stores and supermarkets for purchase by tea connoisseurs around the world. The tea leaves are also used to change colour in cocktails as well.
Weight Loss And Other Benefits Of Blue Tea
Blue tea contains catechins, which are said to be instrumental in burning belly fat and aiding weight loss. Drinking butterfly-pea flowers seeped in warm water is said to be an effective way to rev up the metabolism, which in turn, makes the body burn more calories. Here are some other benefits of blue tea that you may want to know, before trying it out:
1. The tea is rich in antioxidants, which makes it a great beverage to include in your detox diet. Antioxidants protect the body against free radical action.
2. Blue tea is said to be great for the skin, due to its claimed anti-glycation effects, which fight skin ageing. The flavonoids present in blue tea may also stimulate collagen production.
3. The earthy flavour of butterfly-pea flower tea is said to be a mood enhancer. The tea is said to have stress busting effects that may also help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
4. Blue tea is said to help in losing water weight as it is a natural diuretic drink.
5. Blue tea is also said to have a role in regulating blood sugar levels, although there is not much scientific evidence to suggest that it is helpful in managing diabetes.
Some people have also claimed that blue tea is helpful in managing fatty liver diseases and reducing levels of cholesterol in blood, but there is not enough research that suggests the same. Blue tea can be a great alternative for caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee and you may consume it as such, in order to reduce your caffeine intake. The tea is now available for purchase in a number of supermarkets, grocery stores and on websites online.
The fat around the tummy is the easiest to gain and sadly, the toughest to shed. It is known as the visceral fat, and some amount of it is required to provide cushioning to the organs, but too much of it can pose a major risk to your health. Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta shares, “There is a strong co-relation between belly fat and cardiovascular diseases. We have heard of apple and pear-shaped bodies. Those who are apple shaped have a considerable amount of body weight around the abdominal area and are at a higher risk of developing cardio-vascular diseases." There are a couple of factors that contribute towards belly fat and you need a combination of a good diet and regular exercise to get rid of the extra pounds. In some cases, the hidden reason for a bulging belly may be an unrelated factor like stress or sleep deprivation. Here are six secrets to losing belly fat that you may not have known.
1. Ditch Foods That Have A High Glycaemic Index
Simply cutting down on your carb intake may not be sufficient. You also need to look out for the Glycemic Index. Glycemic Index (GI) measures the impact of different food items on our blood sugar levels. Bangalore based Nutritionist Dr.Anju Sood explains the consequences of having foods with a high glycemic index, “It is a matter of how you mobilize the fat you consume which will affect the visceral fat accumulation. The moment you load up on high glycaemic index foods, your blood sugar levels spike up suddenly. This excess sugar would eventually be stored as fat, and result in a bigger belly. Low glycemic foods do not cause sudden sugar spikes, they delay your digestion and are also rich in fiber.” So, load up on nuts, legumes and vegetables without starch and steer clear of potatoes, white rice, white bread and sugary canned juices as much as possible.
2. Switch To Fiber-Rich Foods and Whole Grains
Fibre takes a long time to digest, hence it gives you the feeling of fullness and prevents you from binging on other high-carb foods. Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta suggests, “You must include high fibre foods such as leafy vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Whole grains have a positive impact in maintaining satiety. Eat a lot of beans, brown or whole grain rice, nuts and dry fruits to maximise on your fibre.
3. Load Up On Proteins
Most of our Indian meals are high on carbohydrates which may make you lose out on the adequate protein intake, but proteins are essential. There is a good reason why all nutritionists and fitness experts always stress on increasing your protein intake. It boosts metabolism, reduces your appetite and controls several weight-regulating hormones. High protein intake increases thelevels of satiety (appetite-reducing) hormones such as GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin, while reducing the levels of the hunger hormone called ghrelin. Proteins take the longest to digest, which aids weight loss. Eggs, oats, broccoli, poultry, fish almonds and milk are great sources of protein.
Eat Your Fats
Yes, you heard us. Shunning fats completely may not be the best idea as fats make up the majority of your cell walls andare instrumental in balancing hormones. Not all fats are bad, one must know the difference. Consuming healthy unsaturated fats like avocado, olive oil, coconut, fish and nuts and seeds, not only keeps you satisfied but also stimulates the fat-burning process in your body. Dr. Sood recommends, “Around 15 to 20 percent of your calorie intake has to be fat, out of which 50 percent should be from visible origins (ghee, butter, and oil) and the remaining half from invisible origins which are already present in the food you eat. Recent studies have noted that you need to have 3 parts of poly-unsaturated fatty acids and 1 part of saturated fats for optimum health."
When you are sleep deprived and low on energy you automatically inch towards comfort foods that are high on sodium and carbs. Lack of sleep also slows down the metabolic activity. The two hormones working in this process are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, your body produces more ghrelin . On the other hand, leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating. When you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin in your body. Increased amounts of ghrelin, and less leptin may lead to weight gain. Dr. Rupali says, “ You need eight hours of good quality sleep daily. People might argue that it is not essential, but sleep deprivation along with damaging your health, may also induce weight gain.”
Tried all possible exercises to lose belly fat but no desired results? You probably need to calm down. Stress induced weight gain is becoming a popular phenomenon these days, and a certain hormone called cortisol may be tagged as the culprit here. Shilpa Arora, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, explains, “When you are tensed, the body releases cortisol as a result of which there is a rise in the insulin levels in the body. This results in a drop in the blood sugar level and that's why you crave high carbohydrate and sugary foods.” The body releases chemicals in response to the food you eat, which might have a calming effect, and this is how you may end up gaining those few extra and unwanted pounds around your belly in an attempt to beat stress.
Shilpa adds, “High cortisol production can confuse the entire endocrine system and increase your appetite. Stress also leads to the over production of ghrelin - your hunger hormone.” The concentration of the hormone is controlled by an enzyme found mostly in the abdominal region. Hence, there is greater storage of fat in the tissues of the abdomen region when you are stressed. Learn to delegate your work, breathe, relax, and plan. Make sure you have enough vitamin C. It is known to boost the adrenal gland, which regulates the secretion of cortisol. Try and take out at least 30 minutes to engage in anything that de-stresses you such as dancing, listening to music or reading. Yoga or regular exercise also helps in reducing stress.
So, what are you waiting for? Take note of these tips and set out on shedding those excess pounds already.