You will seldom come across a person who does not like to eat. Nothing can be more satisfying than binging on your favorite cuisine. Though the choice of food may differ from individuals to individuals, most of us live to eat. It is not without reason that food is considered a fuel that gets the body going, enabling us to carry on with our daily chores. While hot, spicy and fast foods are what most of us crave for, one cannot ignore the health benefits of a balanced and nutritious diet. A diet enriched with the essential nutrients can play a significant role to keep the vital organs of the body fit and healthy.
Importance of a healthy and nutritious diet
A nutritious diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining the well-being of the body. From eyes to heart, it takes care of almost everything. Mentioned below are some of the food items that should be a part of your diet.
1. Fruits: The health benefits of fruits deserve no special mention. Apple, banana, citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, guava, most of the fruits are laden with vitamins and minerals and go a long way to build the immunity and resistance of the body against various diseases and infections.
2. Vegetables: A diet without vegetables is anything but healthy. From antioxidants (mostly dark green vegetables) to omega-3 fatty acids, minerals to dietary fibers, incorporating vegetables in the diet takes care of most of the nutritional requirements of the body.
3. Meat: Equally important are animal products which include meat (chicken, lamb, crab, goat, duck, to name a few), fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, tilapia, sardine, basa, to name a few), fish oil. Most of these are a rich source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals necessary for the overall growth of the body.
4. Milk and dairy products: Milk, cheese, butter, curd, ghee, being an excellent source of calcium, vitamin, minerals, fats, proteins, should be included in the diet.
5. Oils: One cannot miss out on the various benefits of ghee, especially of cow, mustard oil, coconut oil & olive oil and other healthy vegetable oils, such as sesame oil, rice bran oil, flaxseed oil to name a few, that are rich in nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Cereals: The nutritive value of cereals (oats, rye, wheat, quinoa, rice) and pulses (black gram, lentils, chickpea, groundnuts) are also immense.
7. Herbs & spices: The herbs and spices that make food more palatable are known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Unhealthy habits to avoid after eating food
There are certain unhealthy habits which when done immediately after eating food will do the body more harm than good. Some of these include:
1. For a proper digestion of food, never take a nap soon after the meal.
2. Taking a shower immediately after having food will also affect the digestion process.
3. Many of us have a habit of drinking tea after a meal. However, it is an unhealthy practice that can interfere with both the digestion of food as well as with the absorption of iron.
4. Eating fruits immediately after a meal will also affect the digestion of food.
5. Smoking after a meal is an extremely unhealthy practice.
The primary difference between pickle and chutney lies in the fact that pickles are meant to be preserved for months together while chutneys are devoid of preservatives and are required to be consumed very soon. Both of these food items proffer a host of health benefits including an optimum supply of all the needful minerals and vitamins along with the antioxidants. Some of the ingredients present in the pickle and chutney help in controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, improves digestion and immunity.
Pickles and the process of preparing the pickles
The process of making pickles is known to have originated in India, and it was the most viable way of preserving food items so that it can be stored for future usage. The process started as a means of preserving those food items, which are not available all through the year. The conventional means of preparing pickles in oriental style incorporates the usage of ingredients like oil, salt, chilli powder along with other condiments. The ingredients are mixed as per the set proportions, and there are many health benefits of eating pickles on a regular basis.
As per the reports of NSDA, pickles contain moisture, energy, fat, protein, carbohydrates, fibres, vitamins and sugar. The long list of vitamins includes Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and folate. Indian pickles abound in phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sodium and potassium. The health benefits of pickles include the supply of necessary antioxidants, probiotics which are the gut-friendly antibiotics, helps in digestion, improve haemoglobin levels in anaemic people. There are some pickles which aid in controlling blood pressure levels and have hepatoprotective properties.
Chutney and their health benefits
Chutneys are a ubiquitous component of Indian cuisine, and some of the most common flavours added to the chutneys include ginger, garlic, onion salt, sugar and tamarind among others. Homemade chutneys prepared in almost all Indian households can be preserved for about a week in the refrigerator. Chutneys are filled with vitamins along with other nutrients, and less usage of oil makes it fat-free. They are rich in antioxidants, and sometimes fresh leaves are added to ensure inclusion of chlorophyll.
Just like pickles, chutneys also offer a wide range of advantages for one’s health. It provides the body with the needful amount of antioxidants which are the micronutrients that aid in protecting the body from the free radicals. These free radicals are a type of unstable chemicals being generated at the time of cellular metabolism and react with the cells and cause damage to the DNA. The DNA then becomes unstable and gives way to the production of more free radicals which can be controlled by the consumption of antioxidants. The chutneys also supply the body with all the vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients which are necessary for sustaining healthy living.
To conclude, both pickles, as well as chutneys, are a significant part of the Indian food habits. Both of these items have a great taste and offer a wide variety of health aids which testifies to their consumption on a regular basis.
Breakfast is the most significant meal of the day which helps in boosting the energy which will empower people to carry on all through the day. Having a platter of healthy breakfast improves physical and mental health, and it should ideally be low in fat, cholesterol and sodium content and high in minerals, proteins and vitamins content. Preparation of conventional and nutritious meals in the morning is becoming rare due to our preoccupation with different tasks, and this is where the role of cornflakes comes into being.
Cornflakes are widely acknowledged breakfast cereal and help in preparing meals in almost no time. It is low in fat, provides energy and is highly nutritious. And, the best part is that the cornflakes come in different flavours and are easily available in the market worldwide. The breakfast cereal is produced by combining sugar with milled corn and high fructose corn syrup. It is proven that these flakes offer an easy utilisation of the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients than its non-milled counterparts.
There are different varieties of cornflakes, which include:
Cornflakes with milk: Cornflakes are a protein rich food. Protein is essential for the red blood cells and for the right functioning of the antibodies which resist infection. Having this type of cornflakes helps in the regulation of the hormones and enzymes as well as repairing body tissues.
Frosted cornflakes: This cornflakes meal is particularly desirable for growing children. They are considered a rich source of protein, calcium and mineral and the added sugar gives the energy to function properly.
Honey Cornflakes: Honey cornflakes are quite favourite among kids and adults alike. As they are rich in all the nutrients whereas honey provides thiamin, niacin, riboflavin along with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. So, you should consider adding this cereal to your daily meals.
Almond cornflakes: Like honey cornflakes, this variant also combines the goodness of both almonds and cornflakes. Almonds help to improve mental health, strengthens muscles and tissues, prolongs life, and enhances the texture of skin and hair. It is also found beneficial in curing cough and preventing asthma. Thus, you must invest in almond cornflakes for its high nutritional value.
Carotenoid cornflakes: You can also look for cornflakes rich in beta-cryptoxanthin which is required for improving the health of lungs and prevention of lung cancer. It also assists in promoting cardiovascular health when consumed at moderate levels every day. It is also recommended for individuals suffering from renal issues, and the carotid pigment is associated with prevention of muscular cancer.
Crushed cornflakes: Though this is not any distinct type of cornflakes, it can be purchased separately and taken in place of breadcrumbs. They make a healthy breakfast when you combine crushed cornflakes with yogurt, pudding or plain milk.
These are the primary variants of the cornflakes, and each of them offers a host of benefits which make them a preferred choice in daily snacks and breakfast.
Eating pasta may not contribute to obesity if consumed as a part of a healthy diet, a study has found.
Unlike most 'refined' carbohydrates, which are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, pasta has a low glycemic index, meaning it causes smaller increases in blood sugar levels than those caused by eating foods with a high glycemic index, researchers said.
For the study published in the journal BMJ Open, researchers identified 30 randomised control trials involving almost 2,500 people who ate pasta instead of other carbohydrates as part of a healthy low-glycemic index diet.
"The study found that pasta didn't contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat," said John Sievenpiper, a clinician scientist at St Michael's Hospital in Canada.
"In fact analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as a low GI diet," said Sievenpiper.
The people involved in the clinical trials on average ate 3.3 servings of pasta a week instead of other carbohydrates. One serving equals about one-half cup of cooked pasta. They lost about one-half kilogramme over a median follow-up of 12 weeks.
Researchers stressed that these results are generalisable to pasta consumed along with other low-glycemic index foods as part of a low-glycemic index diet.
They caution more work is needed to determine if the lack of weight gain will extend to pasta as part of other healthy diets.
"In weighing the evidence, we can now say with some confidence that pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight outcomes when it is consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern," said Sievenpiper.
Over the years, a sizeable number of people have expressed their affinity for brown rice as the healthier alternative to plain rice. Doctors are growingly recommending brown rice to all those, who are keen on losing kilos or keeping type 2 diabetes in arrest. Brown rice essentially undergoes less processing as compared to white rice, hence it retains all the essential nutrients. Brown rice contains the side hull and bran and consequently, it helps in replenishing the crucial body nutrients like proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber and potassium. The growing popularity of brown rice not only stems from its nutritive values, but also from the myriad healthy diet options that revolve around it. Unlike white rice, brown rice does not require artificial fortifications like synthetic vitamins in order to conform to the required standards of FDA. Brown rice enables you to enjoy the health benefits without compromising on the taste of rice. Brown rice is advantageous for not just the fitness fanatics, but is also the preferred meal for those with specialized dietary preferences like vegans.
Some of the rationale for consumption of brown rice are listed as follows:
1.Controls insulin spike: Brown rice has extremely low glycemic rating because of which the blood sugar level in our body can be adequately controlled. While plain rice enhances the risk of developing diabetes, brown rice goes a long way in nullifying the glucose fluctuations in our body.
2.High in fiber: Brown rice is one of the most important sources of essential body fibers. It helps in preventing colon cancer by supplying the necessary fibers and it also detoxifies the colon walls by eliminating the cancer causing substances from the body.
3.Promotes weight loss: Brown rice regulates the bowel movements and thereby stimulates better metabolism. It is also considered to be one of the most wholesome dietary supplements because it remains a whole grain, unlike plain rice. Therefore, it is one of the most opted for food items for those wishing to lose the extra kilos.
4.Rich in salts and naturally occurring oils: Brown rice is rich in body salts like selenium and manganese, which nourish your nervous and reproductive systems, thereby reducing the occurrence of diseases like cancer, arthritis and other cardiovascular syndromes.
5.Ideal as baby food: Given that brown rice is replete in necessary body fibers and health boosting nutrients, it is ideal for baby food because it promotes fast growth in babies and also averts any nutrition deficiency diseases. It also protects the baby from any synthetic vitamins that emerge from the consumption of white rice.