Weight loss diets are a-dime-a-dozen, but what is not present is enough and credible information about which diet is healthy and which diet may actually get you the results that you desire. With the increasing influence of social media self-claimed nutritionists and dietitians, there is no control over the kind of myths or lies people may end up endorsing and believing in. Raw food diet or raw foodism is one such 'trendy' diet that has seen its time in the spotlight and a lot of people around the world believe that following a raw food diet may bring several health benefits. But does it actually help you lose weight? More importantly, will it allow you to lose weight in a safe and healthy manner?
Raw Foodism: Is It Really Healthier Than Eating Cooked Food?
Raw foodism is basically a diet where you don't cook anything you eat. Obviously, then a majority of your diet will comprise fresh fruits and leafy and cruciferous vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. Some people, who follow the raw food diet, even consume un-pasteurised dairy products, raw eggs, meats and fish. The diet was born out of the belief that cooking foods for long periods of time can denature certain beneficial compounds in foods and destroy most of the nutrition present in them. Indeed there are some vitamins and nutrients that may get leached out of certain foods items while cooking, particularly during boiling or slow-cooking.
Additionally, cooking also introduces a number of potentially unhealthy elements to your diet, including high-sodium condiments, excessive salt and greasy or processed cooking oils. So, you may think that to reap the benefits of these foods, you should eat them raw. But, this is just half the story. While it is true that over-cooking food may make it loose its nutrition, some heat may actually make certain compounds more readily available for absorption by the body. Applying some heat to certain foods and spices activates the antioxidants and beneficial compounds in them and also makes sure that the food is easily digested by the body. Cooked food is easier to assimilate than raw food.
Benefits Of Raw Food: Does Eating Raw Food Lead To Weight Loss?
While eating raw foods or following raw foodism may make you lose weight initially due to the absence of salt, sugar or cooking oils, it is not a sustainable diet as you may lose out on a number of important antioxidants and healthy compounds from your meals. Another reason why following a raw food diet can lead to weight loss is that the options are limited - you will mostly end up eating a lot of fresh fruits, seeds and nuts, which are typically low in calories. However, raw food diet may deprive you of a number of other essential nutrients, including protein as well as minerals like zinc and calcium. These may lead to poor overall health and health complications due to the deficiencies in these nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
So, the bottom line is that you should stick to eating cooked food. Do not over-cook your food, if you are concerned about the nutrients getting lost. Additionally, prepare your meals by using low salt and sugar, as well as with healthier alternatives for processed cooking oils like olive oil, mustard oil and coconut oil.
Who would like the idea of having a flat belly? Well, we all do. There is no denying the fact that belly fat is one of the most difficult parts to get rid of. However, Ayurveda has some amazing remedies to not just cut the stubborn fat from belly, but also offers natural ways to reduce weight holistically. Ayurveda believes that you tend to gain weight due to the factors that include absence of exercise, over-sleeping, unhealthy diet and way of living. All these factors connect with each other, leading to this particular state of fat accumulation or obesity, especially around the belly area. According to Ayurveda, obesity is regarded as a disorder of the fat tissue and metabolism. In this condition, the fat tissues increase and block all the channels in the digestive system, which further lead to weight gain.
Ayurveda suggests a few natural and herbal remedies that may help in cutting belly fat. As per Ayurveda Expert Ram N Kumar from NirogStreet, "Any herb that can increase metabolism is helpful in cutting belly fat. In fact, most spices like black pepper and ginger also help in reducing fat. It is recommended to drink warm water to boost digestion. People who drink cold water have difficulty in reducing fat." We cannot stress enough on the fact that you must pair these remedies with exercises and a healthy diet to ensure weight loss.
Ayurveda experts Dr. Ashutosh Gautam and Dr. Ram N Kumar suggest these natural remedies to cut the flab.
1. Methi (Fenugreek)
Loaded with numerous health benefits, fenugreek or methi has been known to help lose weight efficiently. It supports digestion, which is key in shedding kilos. Galactomannan, which is a water-soluble component found in methi, helps curb your cravings and keeps you fuller for longer. Moreover, it also helps increase metabolic rate of the body. All you need to do is to roast some methi seeds and crush them in a mortar and pestle to make a fine powder. Ingest some powder with water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You can also soak the seeds in water overnight. Drink the water and chew the soaked seeds on an empty stomach.
2. Guggul (Commiphora Mukul)
Guggul is herbal remedy that has long been used in various Ayurvedic medicines. Guggul contains a plant sterol known as guggulsterone that is said to promote weight loss by stimulating the body's metabolism. Moreover, it is known as a natural cholesterol-lowering herb too. Guggul tea is said to be effective in many ways.
3. Vijaysar (Pterocarpus Marsupium)
Vijaysar is a deciduous tree, whose bark is used in various Ayurvedic medicines to manage diabetes and obesity. Vijaysar is said to have fat reducing properties that help shed that stubborn belly fat. Moreover, the resin and bark are used to ensure a healthy digestive system. You could drink a cupful of herbal tea using vijaysar to get effective results.
Triphala helps eliminate toxins from the body and rejuvenates the digestive system. Triphala is an ancient preparation made using three dried fruits including amalaki (amla), bibhitaki and haritaki, all of which have cleansing and rejuvenating properties. Ayurveda experts advise taking triphala churna in hot water at least two hours after dinner and half hour before breakfast.
5. Punarnava (Boerrrhavia Diffusa)
Punarnava is known to be effective in the weight loss process. Its diuretic properties help the kidney and urinary bladder to function better, which further helps in flushing out toxins from the body without the loss of essential minerals like potassium and electrolytes. It also helps reduce the chances of water retention, which can cause weight gain. Alternatively, it could also help manage digestive issues like constipation and help lose weight in a healthy way. You can drink punarnava tea to reduce weight effectively.
6. Dalchini (Cinnamon)
Dalchini or cinnamon helps in stimulating the body's metabolism, which further helps in cutting the belly fat. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon stimulated metabolism of the fatty visceral tissue, which means it could be helpful in cutting belly fat. Drink a cupful of cinnamon tea first thing in the morning or as suggested by the doctor.
Please note that the results may vary from person to person. It is advised to consult an Ayurvedic expert before adding these natural remedies to your diet, especially if you wish to consume them in the form of supplements. Diabetics may especially be mindful of taking their doses.
Enjoying the first spell of monsoon showers? Well, so are we. The slight nip in the weather is making us tend towards slightly warming treats. Needless to say, our chaat, pakora and street food cravings are also at an all-time high. While it is absolutely okay to indulge once in a while, if you start bingeing into them more than often, you are bound to see their impact round your waistline. It is advised to eat healthy and fortifying foods at home during monsoons. Your immunity takes a dip during the weather change and you should take all dietary precautions. While you are at it, you can also supplement your diet with weight-loss-friendly foods and lose a kilo or two. Considering the dodgy weather, you might as well be more careful about what you eat and how you eat.
Here are some monsoon diet tips that may facilitate your weight loss goals.
1. Snack right
As we mentioned before, there is no harm in tucking into a greasy pakora here and there, but one must practice portion control. It is fairly easy to snack healthy in monsoon too. Roasted bhutta (corn on the cob), popcorns, fruits are some healthy ideas you can try. These snacks are low-cal and also teeming with many health benefits.
2. Hydrate Yourself
Yes, it is the last leg of summers, but that does not mean you forget your water bottles at home. Hydration helps ensure elimination of toxins. It also plays a significant role in weight loss. At times your brain inter-mixes signals of hunger and thirst. So you start eating, even before realising that you were, actually, just thirsty. Therefore, keep sipping into water, infused water, juices, herbal teas etc. If you keep drinking water, you would also stay full for long and not feel like bingeing into anything fattening so soon.
3. Eat Seasonal Fruits
Including seasonal fruits in your diet could help you load up on a range of antioxidants that could help bolster your immunity and keep infections at bay. Some of the fruits that you can include in your diet are jamuns, litchi, melons, plums, pomegranates, and strawberries. Not only are these fruits delectable to tuck into, but are also profuse with dietary fibres, which could help aid weight loss.
4. Sip On Adrak Chai But Keep A Check On Sugar
A piping hot cup of adrak wali chai is always a delight in this weather, wouldn't you agree? The concoction can do wonders for your throat and immunity. Made with ginger and other herbs like black pepper, clove and cinnamon, adrak chai is a treasure trove of antioxidants. If you do away with dairy and sugar, this herbal tea could also help you lose a kilo or two.
5. Have Soups
Soups are ideal for monsoons. You can throw any veggies of your choice in your soup and make them delectable. Soups ensure healthy inflow of nutrients. Do not refrain from using healing herbs and spices in your soups as they help boost immunity. Since the water content of soup is so high, they help fill you up without any major calorie overload. If you feel full, you would naturally binge less, which would further help your weight loss goals.
Try these healthy diet tips this monsoon and see the results for yourself.
Whey protein is one of the most popular protein supplements consumed by health freaks around the world. This is because protein is one of the most important micronutrients needed by the body. The protein supplement is usually available in powder form and can be easily added to healthy beverages to bump up your daily protein intake. Whey is actually a by-product of milk, which is left behind during the manufacturing of cheese. Whey is considered to be a high-quality protein, as it is a complete protein with all 22 amino acids that our body requires from external sources. Studies have indicated that regular consumption of whey protein can help you bulk up your muscle mass, while losing fat. So, how effective is whey protein in helping the body in weight loss? Should you rely on whey protein's benefits to shed those extra kilos?
Traditional wisdom would tell us that increasing our daily protein intake can have a significant impact on our body weight, as it's one of the most satiating micronutrients. But, is whey protein the best choice of protein out there for us? According to Bangalore-based clinical nutritionist, Dr. Anju Sood, "Whey protein is certainly one of the best protein sources to include in your diet, especially if you are a vegetarian. This is because vegetarians don't have a lot of dietary options to choose from when it comes to picking protein sources. This is where whey protein can help." But, there are a number of other health benefits that whey comes with.
Benefits Of Whey Protein
According to Dr. Anju Sood, "Whey is a very, very good source of protein and it is also very easy to digest. This is what makes it so popular." A lot of research has been done on the effects of the consumption of whey, and various independent studies have also established whey's role in fighting cholesterol and keeping blood pressure and cardiovascular troubles under check. Moreover, it's also low on lactose content, although it is advisable for people with lactose intolerance to keep away from it or consult their nutritionist before adding it to their diets. But, the main benefit of whey protein that we are interested in is weight loss. According to Dr. Sood, it may help us achieve our body goals. But, can whey protein help you in achieving weight loss, without exercise? Dr. Sood says that consuming whey can only get you results, only if you regular exercise. "Food has around 70 percent part to play (in weight loss). The rest 30 percent is still exercise," says Dr. Sood.
How To Consume Whey Protein For Weight Loss
According to Dr. Sood, it's advisable to consume a small portion of simple carbohydrates before your workout and a protein-rich snack post working out. "Consuming carbohydrates before exercise helps mobilise fat in the body. Eating protein-rich meals after exercise helps you build muscle," says Dr. Sood. She recommends adding whey protein to your water, yogurt or milk, depending on what you prefer. Furthermore, she says that a scoop of whey can also be consumed as a snack to promote satiety and aide weight loss. Dr. Sood warns against using whey protein powders, which have high sugar content, as they might wreak havoc on your diet instead.
Millets have lately been hailed as superfood grains, which are great healthy alternatives to refined flours. Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses, which have widely been consumed as food grains since ancient times. In India, millets have always enjoyed a revered position, with a number of flatbreads, desserts and savouries made from them. Ragi or finger millet is one such millet that has been used abundantly to make healthy, fibre-rich and protein-rich recipes that may be especially beneficial for those suffering from high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Ragi is also replete with many vital minerals and vitamins. Ragi can be cooked in numerous ways, including in rotis or parathas, dosas and even desserts like ladoos, burfis and even cakes and muffins. But did you know that you can even drink ragi? A South-Indian favourite made from cooked sprouted ragi flour is the ambali or the savoury ragi malt.
Ambali or ragi malt is a vegetarian summer drink or porridge that is prepared in Karnataka. The drink is prepared by cooking ragi flour in water and then cooling it down and then adding diluted beaten curd or buttermilk to it, along with cumin powder, salt and chopped onions. The drink is topped with a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Health Benefits Of Ragi Malt: Let's take a look at some of the ways that ragi ambali or ragi malt may benefit you-
1. Weight Loss: Ragi malt is filling due to the presence of the high-fibre and high-protein ragi or finger millets. It may keep you from craving unhealthy snacks.
2. Cooling for summers: The presence of the cooling buttermilk makes ambali a great summer drink.
3. Rich in calcium: Ragi grain is rich in calcium, which is essential for the health of the bones and teeth. The presence of buttermilk also makes this drink calcium-rich.
4. Fights blood cholesterol: Ragi, being rich in fibre or complex carbohydrates, may help in fighting cholesterol in blood, effectively offering heart-healthy benefits.
5. Fights Iron Deficiency: Sprouted ragi may help fight anaemia, because once ragi is allowed to sprout, its Vitamin C levels increase, which in turn may increase iron absorption.
How To Make Ragi Malt or Ambali At Home
Ragi malt may be sweet or savoury, depending on how you like it. You may also flavour sweet ragi malt with chocolate or vanilla protein powder to make it more interesting. But if you want to go the traditional way then you can simply cook the sprouted ragi flour in water until the colour of the flour darkens. Cool the cooked flour batter down and then add the buttermilk along with cumin, salt and onions. You can top it with a tempering of curry leaves and mustard seeds. You can simply add mustard seeds to a little oil until they begin to sputter and then add fresh, cleaned curry leaves. Pour this tempering over the ambali and enjoy. You can adjust the consistency of the drink, depending on how thick or runny it looks.