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.
Diabetes is one of the most commonly found disorders affecting millions of people across the globe. Besides negatively impacting the blood sugar and insulin levels of the body, diabetes is the cause of the onset of a lot of other serious complications. Although these facts might seem scary, diabetes isn't something uncontrollable. With regular exercises, an appropriate diabetic diet and the inclusion of various anti-diabetic foods and herbs, diabetes can be controlled. This article talks about some important anti-diabetic foods and herbs, and how they play an instrumental role in preventing the progression of the disease. However, whether a particular herb suits your body or not, must be decided after proper medical consultation.
5 Of The Important Anti-Diabetic Foods And Herbs
Now that you know you've been diagnosed with diabetes, you must start working towards its control immediately. Delays will only aggravate the condition leading to several complications. The following five foods and herbs may help you manage your blood sugar levels, based on your body type and also the extent to which diabetes has progressed.
1. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon, also known as Momordica Charantia, is a medicinal fruit found to be helpful in reducing the blood sugar levels in the case of some diabetics. It can be taken in various forms including juice, seeds, supplementary form, or in the form of blended vegetable pulp. Bitter melon can be either eaten or consumed in liquid form. However, most of the diabetics prefer taking it in the form of supplements, as eating or drinking it may taste weird or unpleasant.
Cinnamon is a popular herb, or you may say more of a spice that originates from the bark of a tree. It can be used as a substitute for sugar to add sweetness to something. This is the reason why it is a popular pick amongst the Type-2 diabetics. Cinnamon is helpful in multiple ways. It helps in improving the levels of glucose, digestion, insulin, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure levels, antioxidant status, and many others.
Fenugreek is known to help reduce blood sugar levels. It is rich in fibres and chemicals that reduce the rate of digestion of carbohydrates, and sugar. Researchers have found that the intake of fenugreek in the right quantities helps reduce cholesterol levels and also helps to increase the insulin levels, thereby resulting in a reduction in the blood sugar levels. Fenugreek can be consumed in many different ways such as adding it to warm water, add it as an herb in a few food stuffs, consume it in its powdered form by grinding it, or in the capsule form. Seek consultation from an established diabetes expert or doctor to know the right form of consumption in your case.
Ginger has been in use for a very long time to cure and prevent a lot of medical conditions. A review was done in the year 2015, which suggested ginger's usefulness in managing diabetes. Based on the results, it was found that ginger helped reduce blood sugar levels. At the same time, it was observed that ginger doesn't help reduce blood insulin levels. Of course, establishing ginger in the league of the most effective anti-diabetic food yet requires a lot of research. Ginger too can be taken in multiple ways including capsule, through tea, adding chopped ginger or its powder to food, or by consuming it in liquid form in ginger ale.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is well-known for its skin benefits. However, its benefits aren't limited to the skin, but extend to Type-2 diabetes as well. Aloe vera helps safeguard and repair the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Perhaps, this is on account of the antioxidant effect of the herb. Aloe vera can be either consumed in capsule form, or by adding the juiced pulp to a smoothie or a drink.
The effectiveness of herbs may vary from case to case, and therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the right herbs are consumed in the right quantities. Consult your doctor before you try out a new herb.
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.
Diabetes is one of those health conditions, which cannot be cured, but can be managed well; be it through engaging in exercises, eating a healthy diet or medications. Ayurveda also suggests some herbs that can be effective in managing this condition well. One of the most popularly used herbs is vijaysar that is known to help regulate blood sugar levels. Scientifically termed as Pterocarpus Marsupium, vijaysar is well known as Malabar kino and Indian kino and is indigenous to Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. This herb is widely used in Ayurveda for its therapeutic and healing properties. Let's look at how vijaysar helps in maintaining your blood sugar levels and manage diabetes well.
Vijaysar Benefits: How Vijaysar helps in managing diabetes?
It is said that the anti-hyperlipdemic properties of vijaysar tree help reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipo-protein and serum triglyceride levels in the body. It also tends to reduce symptoms of diabetes like frequent urination, overeating and burning sensation in limbs. According to Ayurveda Expert, Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, "Vijaysar can used in the form of utensils like glass, or internally as powder, tablet and capsules. It improves insulin sensitivity, peripheral utilisation of glucose, GLUT4, Hepato glycogen levels, which ultimately reduce blood sugar levels."
According to Ayurveda expert Dr. Ram N Kumar from NirogStreet, "Vijaysar is native to India and found mostly in Indian subcontinent. Vijaysar found in western ghat jungles are considered good for controlling Prameha (Diabetes). Vijaysar increases digestive agni and increases insulin production in body. It is easy to take Vijaysar; cut into small pieces and put it into water, the colour of the water would change to red. Drink it in the morning before breakfast. The same wood can be used twice."
How to use vijaysar for diabetes?
1. It is believed that in olden times, Ayurveda gurus used blocks or pieces of vijaysar wood to control diabetes. It is said to be a time-tested method of managing blood sugar levels. Nowadays, it is more easily available in the form of powder, tablets and supplements. Here's how you can use vijaysar to control diabetes:
2. Vijaysar wood tumblers are available; all you need to do is to add some water in the tumbler overnight. The tumbler will turn the water into reddish brown colour and have a neutral taste. Drink it the morning on an empty stomach. Tumblers made of vijaysar wood are said to last upto 40-45 days.
3. You could simply soak a piece of vijaysar wood in water overnight and drink the water first thing in the morning to regulate diabetes.
4. You could also have vjiaysar in the form of tablets and powder with water.
Please note: In case you are a diabetic and have been advised to take medications, make sure you consult your diabetologist, as having medication and vijaysar together may significantly drop your blood sugar levels.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition where the pressure of blood against the walls of vessels is persistently elevated. A blood pressure close to 120/90 is considered normal and is considered high when it crosses 140/90. There are millions of cases of hypertension reported every year and it can last for years or can even be life-long. What makes hypertension a serious condition is that it often has no symptoms, and if left untreated over a long period of time, it may lead to serious health conditions like heart disease and strokes. Hypertension patients have to take special care of their daily meals and follow a strict high blood pressure diet to manage symptoms of the condition. This season demands that BP patients include healthy summer drinks in their diet.
Adding certain foods and drinks to your daily diet may help regulate symptoms of hypertension. Ideally, high blood pressure patients should eat foods that are low in sodium and saturated fat content and rich in fibre. Eating low-calorie and low-fat nutrient-rich foods and drinks may work wonders for hypertension patients, and during summers, one such BP-friendly drink is coconut water.
Hypertension Diet: Coconut Water For High BP
Coconut water is one of the healthiest summer drinks out there. The translucent liquid that is collected inside a green coconut is widely consumed as a thirst-quencher around the world. However, drinking it daily may have special benefits for hypertension patients. Here's why:
1. Low In Calories
A 100 ml of coconut water contains just 19 calories (according to the United States Department of Agriculture) and no fat or cholesterol.
2. Rich In Potassium
One of the most important minerals for hypertension patients who normally consume salty diet is potassium, which balances out the negative effects of salt. Coconut water contains 250 mg of potassium per 100 ml.
3. Reduces Blood Cholesterol
Blood cholesterol and high blood pressure are linked, as the hardening of arteries can put a strain on the heart by pushing it harder to pump blood. This raises the BP. Coconut water is said to reduce levels of triglycerides and blood cholesterol, thus helping hypertension patients.
A number of studies conducted on the health benefits of coconut water have proven that the drink is not just deliciously hydrating and filled with electrolytes, but may also be quite healthy for high blood pressure patients. Adding chilled coconut water to your hypertension diet this summer may help you improve your BP readings.