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. Here's a recipe for banana oat bread that you'll like.
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. Here's a recipe for sugar-free oats that you'll want to try.
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. Here's a recipe of cinnamon oatmeal pancakes that you can try out.
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.
Every season comes with its own dietary demands. You might want to tweak your meals with the change in seasons to accommodate more seasonal produce and also meet the changing physiological demands of your body, according to a particular season. Monsoon, for example, is a season when your immunity may take a hit as you're likely to be more exposed to germs resulting in flu, viral fever etc. Additionally, your body is likely to crave more warming foods like soups and hot beverages, which are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals that may also help boost the health of your immune system. If you're on a diet, you might want to steer clear of calorie-rich hot chocolates and soups and instead go for healthier and nutritionally rich low-calorie foods and drinks. This is why pumpkin and coconut shorba is an excellent example of a weight loss-friendly addition to your daily meals.
Pumpkin Coconut Shorba For Weight Loss: A Soothing And Healthy Recipe
Pumpkin is a vegetable that is revered among our low-calorie vegetables for being extremely beneficial for the body. The earthy vegetable that is part of the squash family contains just 26 calories per 100 gram portion (as per data by the United States Department of Agriculture). The vegetable is extremely rich in vitamin A and it also contains good amounts of vitamin C, which boosts immunity. Coconut milk, which is also an ingredient of this recipe, is also great for your body during monsoons. This is due to the presence of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), in particular, lauric acid, which contains monolaurin- an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial compound.
Apart from this, this pumpkin and coconut shorba is spiced with a number of beneficial spices like fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, star anise etc. This warming drink may help you in achieving your weight loss goals during monsoons. This shorba is delicious as well as incredibly soothing, especially if you're looking to recover from a viral infection.
Here's the recipe for pumpkin and coconut shorba by Chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent:
1. Take chopped pumpkin, chopped onions, grated garlic, grated ginger, fennel seeds and star anise in a deep-bottomed pan and cover them with water.
2. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat. Cook until the pumpkin becomes tender.
3. Once the pumpkin is cooked, take it off the heat and put it in a blender. Once the ingredients are blended, strain them.
4. Add the coconut milk and adjust the seasoning by adding salt as per your taste. You may optionally also add sugar, to add a little sweetness.
Prepare this shorba and sip on it to tide over those mid-meal hunger pangs!
A lot of people nowadays go on diets, often times not being able to follow them for a long time. A lot of diets are difficult to follow and tend to be unsustainable for long term. This results in a fluctuation in our diet, diet plans and weight. These frequent ups and downs in your dietary habits is known as yo-yo dieting, a phenomenon that has been discussed a lot by health experts nowadays, but about which a lot of people still remain woefully unaware. It's also known as weight cycling and it describes a pattern of eating that leads to loss of weight for the short time period when the diet is followed and then regaining of weight, when the dieter inadvertently stops following a particular diet for a long period of time.
Although wanting to clean up your meals and going on a diet for the general betterment of your body is considered a good idea, you need to be cautious of falling into the yo-yo dieting pattern. A number of research studies have looked into the impact of the yo-yo dieting on the body and the results have been unanimous in suggesting that we are better off sticking to our respective healthy diets, rather than abandoning them mid-way.
Here are some purported harmful effects of yo-yo dieting on your health:
1. Increased risk of heart diseases
A University of Columbia study said that yo-yo dieting may increase risk of heart diseases in women who lost some 10 pounds after following a diet and then regained the weight within the same year. The researchers said that it was difficult in these female participants to control heart disease risk factors. Weight cycling is also said to be linked with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
2. Prevents you from reaching weight loss goals
Yo-yo dieting builds a frustrating pattern of weight gain after an encouraging spells of weight loss. This frustration may prevent you from reaching your long term goal of weight loss. Yo-yo dieting essentially involves giving up on the diet once you see sufficient weight loss, which leads to weight gain once again. Your body is not able to maintain a healthy weight or keep your weight off.
3. Increase in body fat percentage
Weight cycling has been linked with an overall increase in body fat percentage, belly fat, as well as increased risk of obesity. Weight Cycling or yo-yo dieting may also increase risk of future weight gain, as per some studies conducted on the impact of this diet on the body. It was, however, found that yo-yo dieting did not increase risk of Type-2 diabetes or high blood sugar levels.
Although there is still more research required to conclusively prove whether yo-yo dieting is definitively bad for the body, the weight cycling pattern can be certainly frustrating for anyone looking at losing weight for good. Yo-yo dieting or Weight Cycling takes place when a dieter follows a fad diet that promises quick weight loss and limited overall health benefits. This is why the effects of these diets last for a short period of time and are easily reversed in the form of weight gain.
Here are some tips to prevent yo-yo dieting pattern or weight cycling and achieve weight loss for the longer term:
1. Eat healthy well-balanced meals and don't starve yourself.
2. Avoid eating out more than two times a week. Compensate for a meal at the restaurant, by cutting down on calories for the rest of the day.
3. Avoid sugary drinks and packaged fruit juices, as well as drinks with artificial sweeteners in them.
4. Set realistic weight loss goals and follow your diet patiently and with discipline.
Also Read: Dopamine Diet For Weight Loss: A Diet That Promises To Make You Happy While Shedding Kilos!
5. Indulge yourselves once in a while in your favourite foods, but make sure you only do that after completing your stipulated hours or workout for the week.
6. Avoid eating too late in the evening or late at night. Eating right before bed can also lead to weight gain.
It's important to make sure you have the right intention for following a healthy diet. Instead of achieving quick weight loss and merely doing it to look good, concentrate on eating healthy for a fit body and healthy mind.
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.
Weight loss diets are a dime a dozen and it can be very confusing for someone wanting to shed those extra kilos, to process all that information and settle for a diet plan that actually works. Diet is crucial for weight loss and is known to be even more important than exercise, if you want to shed a few pounds fast. A number of so-called health influencers and celebrities will try to convince you that the diet they follow or the weight loss products they consume really work, but it's difficult to ascertain whether their claims are truthful or not. Certain diets can be quite distressing as they tend to be quite restrictive in nature. However, the dopamine diet for weight loss is one that promises not just slimmer body, but also a happier mind.
It may sound like an oxymoron, but the dopamine diet is based around the principle of consuming foods that boost the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. The diet is therefore, also known as the 'happy diet'. The diet is also called the Tom Kerridge Diet, after the Michelin-starred chef who claimed to have lost almost 70 Kgs in three years by following the diet! Most diets seem to be very hard to follow in the long term, as they restrict the consumption of healthy carbohydrates or eliminate entire food groups from your meals. But the dopamine diet seems to be different as it doesn't eliminate carbs, proteins or fats, but instead just bans the consumption of alcohol and starchy carbs. The dopamine diet includes working around recipes that include a lot of fresh produce including fruits, vegetables, as well as plenty of protein.
Dopamine Diet For Weight Loss
So what are the main foods that dopamine dieters should consume more of? Chef Kerridge believes that his 'dopamine heroes' are foods like dairy products including yogurt, good quality meat products like beef, chicken and turkey, and even chocolate! The diet seems to be based around the growing research evidence that suggests that certain foods are capable of triggering happy hormones in the body. Some studies have even suggested a link between body weight and the production of dopamine in the body. The studies have suggested that an exposure to excessively sugary and fatty foods may impair dopamine release pathways in overweight people. This may lead to depressive symptoms and low feelings, as well as habits of overeating in people with a high weight.
On the other hand, it has been found that eating protein-rich meals may curb your appetite, whilst also increasing the production of dopamine in your body. This is because proteins are made up of amino acids, which are important for release of dopamine. The dopamine diet may work, as it doesn't deprive you of any particular food, although it does encourage reducing the consumption of carbohydrates.
Does The Dopamine Diet Work?
Any diet that promotes the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables over starchy carbohydrates may work by making you eat healthy and cleaning up your meals. Most health experts will advise you to include more fresh produce and proteins in your diet and eliminate alcohol, and sugary and fatty foods. But there is limited evidence to suggest that the diet will surely leave you with feelings of happiness. The dopamine diet is based on the fact that the amino acid tyrosine converts to dopamine in the body, but there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that eating more proteins will definitely result in more release of dopamine in the brain.
Daily exercise and a generally healthy diet including less sugar and less fat is said to be better for your overall health, whether a celebrity chef condones it or not!