The bright green cacti-like succulent plant of aloe vera doesn't need any introduction. Apart from finding a revered place in Ayurveda, it is also valued highly in the beauty and health industries. Ever since dieticians, beauty and health experts have started talking about the benefits of using and consuming aloe vera, the plant has started making an appearance in gardens and on window sills of houses all around the world. Known as ghritkumari in Hindi, the plant has millions of takers around the world and is used in the form of gels, cream and juices, due to the aloe vera's wondrous health benefits.You may have read about the amazing health benefits of eating aloe vera, drinking its juice and also incorporating the gel in your beauty regime. But did you know that aloe vera may also help you in weight loss? The nutritionally dense plant also has some active compounds which may help you shed a few pounds, while also improving the quality of your skin and hair. It's usually consumed in the form of aloe vera juice, which is made by mixing the gel of the plant with water.
Here are some health benefits of aloe vera, which make it great for weight loss:
1. Detoxification: The aloe vera gel contains a complex carbohydrate known as acemannan, which facilitates the absorption of nutrients by the cells, nourishes them and also helps detoxify them. Aloe vera juice may help in detoxification of the digestive tract, especially the colon.
2. Boosts Metabolism: Aloe vera is believed to give a boost to the metabolism, which helps the body burn more fat. Aloe vera's metabolism boosting properties are credited to the presence of vitamin B, which converts the fat stored in the body into energy and aids weight loss.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Aloe vera is believed to be full of antioxidants, which fight inflammation in the body. Although antioxidants and weight loss may not have any direct scientific link, foods that are rich in antioxidants are often also found to promote weight loss.
4. Aids Digestion: Aloe vera has laxative properties and when consumed in small quantities may aid digestion. An unhealthy gut or poor digestive health is often linked to weight gain. A healthy digestive system translates to proper metabolisation of food and an optimal expulsion of waste from the body, which aids weight loss.
5. Fights Water Retention: Being a laxative, aloe vera juice is ideal for fighting water weight. However, it must be mentioned here that you should never drink too much of the juice, as it may then lead to diarrohea, cramping in stomach, dehydration, etc.
6. Heart Healthy: Regular consumption of aloe vera is healthy for the heart, as the plant is believed to fight cholesterol in the blood. Aloe vera is also said to regulate blood sugar levels, eliminating the need for you to eat more often.
It is said that broccoli was first cultivated about 2000 years ago in Europe and was brought to other countries by Italians, and soon the exotic vegetable became a mainstay.
Broccoli belongs to the group of cruciferous vegetables, and gets its name from the Italian word "broccolo," which means a "cabbage sprout." If you are into fitness or even remotely aware of the world where people like to eat healthy food, then you know that eating broccoli is quite healthy.
So, what is it about the cruciferous wonder that makes it a sort of a showstopper for healthy foods. According to the book 'Healing Foods,' broccoli is profuse with antibacterial and immunity boosting properties. A powerhouse of antioxidants, it is a rich source of vitamin C, which makes it a healthy pick for good skin and immunity, and a decent quantum of fibre, too.
You would be surprised to know that broccoli also boasts the highest level of carotenoids -- particularly eye healthy lutein -- of all brassicas. Broccoli is also "an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells," notes Healing Foods.
Worth all the hype, is it not? One of the many benefits of broccoli is also its role in aiding weight loss. From the dark green florets to the stalk, broccoli is that powerhouse companion you always wanted for your toned body.
According to Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, "the low-cal veggie is a perfect option for those in a weight reduction diet. Since it is also a decent source of fibre, it lends to early satiety and it nutritional profile prevents nutrient deficiencies." Bangalore-based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood also agrees and says, "for weight loss purposes, broccoli serves a great deal.
Broccoli is full of weight loss friendly fibres. Fibre takes the longest to digest and keeps you satiated for long. It also keeps you from bingeing into fattening foods and checks your weight."
Here are some points that make it a perfect pick for weight loss:
1. Low calories: 100 grams of broccoli has just 34 calories. A bowl of cooked broccoli would be around the range of 55 to 60 calories. In addition to that, it fulfills your daily requirement of vitamin C and K.
2. Fibre: Fibre delays digestion, induces the feeling of fullness that makes you binge less. Dietary fibre also delays secretion of a hormone that are responsible in making you feel hungry - ghrelin. It is also responsible to prevent spikes in blood sugar by slowing down metabolising of sugar.
3. Water: Did you know broccoli is 90 percent water, and a 1-cup serving, cooked, has 5 grams of fibre. When it comes to filling and nutritious vegetables, broccoli stands tall and proud in the list.
4. Supporting nutrients: Broccoli has many nutrients that also play their own sweet role in supporting weight loss. For instance calcium, which is found abundantly in broccoli. It is believed that calcium may reduce the production of new fat cells and stimulate the breakdown of stored fat.
How to eat broccoli to make most of the weight loss benefits
Steaming, souping and throwing them in salads are usual suspects. You can also sneak them into your sandwiches, after boiling them. Better still, make healthy chips and cutlets out of them
Sweet and warm; often used as a mouth freshener and spice blends, fennel seeds, also known as saunf, are kitchen ingredients that an Indian kitchen can barely do without. It is used in curries, salads and desserts to add that extra flavour to them. The refreshing seeds have long been known to aid weight loss. Infusing fennel seeds by immersing them in hot water or by steeping them overnight in cool water is generally said to help shed kilos, if consumed regularly. Moreover, these seeds indeed are tiny powerhouses of detoxifying and metabolism-boosting nutrients. Super rich in vitamins and minerals, they sure make a worthy way to lose weight. Let's look at what makes fennel seeds one of the best ways to cut the flab.According to Macrobiotic Coach and Nutritionist Shilpa Arora, "fennel seeds help in digestion and metabolism, leading better absorption of nutrients from food, hence less hunger pangs, further helping in weight loss. They are also quite effective in helping cure water retention, especially for the women suffering from PMS. Infused fennel water is a therapy to cleanse the gut and is quite effective for people suffering from chronic constipation."
How Does Fennel Seed Water Help In Losing Weight?
1. Helps Stimulate Melatonin Production
Melatonin levels in the brain are responsible for our sound sleep. According to studies, a good sleep is an efficient way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
2. Increases Metabolism
Our metabolism is the rate at which our cells use the energy we gain from the foods. By boosting and accelerating this process, the calories we consume are used by our cells more rapidly, which gives us energy and helps us burn fat. Fennel seeds infused water helps kick-start metabolism, especially when consumed first thing in the morning.
3. Helps Suppress Hunger
The fennel seed water prevents hunger pangs at odd hours. Fennel seeds have dietary fibre that helps keep your hunger pangs at bay. Moreover, they help relax stomach muscles that tend to contract; thanks to their antispasmodic effect.
4. A Natural Detoxifier
Fennel seed water makes for a perfect way to detoxify your body from various toxins and further kick-start your metabolism along with soothing digestive issues. A perfectly functioning metabolism and digestive system are key to weight loss.
5. Helps Purify the Blood
Fennel seed water helps dump the remnants of uric acid in the blood, and further break down the stomach acids to prevent the accumulation of additional fat in the liver.
It's good to kick-start your day with sipping fennel seed water to stay healthy and active. And, if you are looking to shed those extra kilos, then adding fennel seed water will be one of your best decisions.
Sugarcane juice is a drink that is relished across the country during the hot summer months. The humble drink is popular with kids and grownups alike, due to its delicious taste and nutritional qualities.
A glass of chilled sugarcane juice doesn't just quench your thirst like little else can, but also gives you an instant boost of energy that effectively counteracts the lethargy brought on by the summer heat. A lot of our body's electrolytes are lost through sweat during the summer months, making the body dehydrated and starved of glucose. Sugarcane juice is the perfect remedy for this afternoon slump that overtakes us during the summers.
But, did you know that sugarcane juice can also help in weight loss? It might come as a surprise to many people as sugarcane is what sugar is made from and sugar is the enemy when it comes to weight loss. However, if consumed at the right time and in the right quantity, sugarcane juice may actually help you achieve your weight loss goals. Did you know that a 100 gms serving of sugarcane juice has just about 270 calories?
Here are some reasons why sugarcane juice maybe your ideal weight loss drink:
1. Fat-Free: Sugarcane has no fats and is naturally sweet. Therefore, you don't need to add any sweeteners to it or worry about consuming excessive fats when you're drinking sugarcane juice.
2. Full Of Fibre: Sugarcane is very high in dietary fibre and, hence, is a perfect drink for people who want to lose weight. Raw sugarcane juice contains 13 grams of dietary fibre per serving.
3. Boosts Energy: If you are feeling drained and exhausted, a glass of sugarcane juice can restore your energy levels almost instantly. This may help you not just carry out your daily activities with gusto, but also provide you with the energy to sweat it out properly in the gym.
4. Fights Inflammation: Inflammation is the reason many people are not able to lose weight quickly. Sugarcane juice is full of antioxidants called polyphenols, which fight inflammation in the body.
5. Reduces Bad Cholesterol: A high amount of bad cholesterol in the blood leads to unhealthy weight gain. Sugarcane juice contains no cholesterol and may even fight the bad cholesterol present in blood, leading to weight loss.
6. Promotes Gut Health: A healthy gut and digestive system is linked with weight loss. Sugarcane juice has been recommended by Ayurveda to improve bowel movements, relieve constipation and also for treating acidity and heart burn, thereby, promoting a healthy digestive system.
7. Boosts Metabolism: Sugarcane juice has detoxifying properties and can cleanse the system of toxins, besides giving a boost to the metabolism. A good metabolism is the key to burning fat more efficiently.
We’ve become used to hearing and reading that exercise is the most important aspect for weight loss. Studies have repeatedly shown that exercise alone might not bring down weight - there are other factors too, the most important being your diet.
It is true that exercise helps improve our mood and makes us feel upbeat, but does it help in faster weight loss? Not always.
Priyanka Verma, a nutritionist at Portea Medical in Delhi, notes that there is more to exercise than what meets the eye. “Just before the onset of the New Year, you see advertisements saying ‘Join the gym on January 1 and kick start your weight loss goal for the year’! To burst the bubble, there have been several studies which show that exercise isn’t actually all that important for weight loss. But this doesn’t mean exercise isn’t good. It is, in fact, great for the body,” she says.
So then, how does exercise exactly lead to weight loss?
“The key for weight loss is to generate and maintain a calorie deficit. It’s pretty easy to get people to eat 1,000-1,200 calories less per day, but to get them to do more than 1,000 calories per day of exercise is really difficult,” says Verma.
People in general are horrible in calculating “Calories In vs Calories Out” per day. Most people end up eating more than required after exercise, either because they thought they burned off a lot of calories or because they felt more hungry, she said.
“A single slice of pizza, for example, could undo the benefit of an hour’s workout. So could a cafe mocha or an ice cream cone,” notes Verma.
But do fitness trainers feel the same? Or do they feel exercise is the most important aspect of weight loss? We spoke to Anuj Vats, a fitness trainer at Shvas the Body Architecture, Delhi.
“I believe there are other ways as well to lose weight besides exercise. However, I would say that losing weight without gaining muscle/fitness is not a healthy way,” Vats said, listing out diet plans, meditation, etc.