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.
Today's strenuous lifestyle has us on our toes, flitting between one work and another. The mountain of responsibilities with little time in our hands to carry them on, can be quite taxing. No wonder, so many people are suffering from various mental illnesses like anxiety, hypertension and depression. Some serious neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's are attacking more people than ever. With science making ground-breaking discoveries every day, a type of drug called nootropic is being hailed all over the globe as the brain medicine. Also known as 'smart drugs', these medications also claim to augment cognitive functions like memory, creativity and concentration. The idea of slipping in a pill to treat any problem is alluring but to what extent we can trust them, still remains debatable.
Manufacturing companies may make tall claims of supplements being safe for ingestion but we can't ignore the fact that these supplements are created from machine-induced procedures. Over-the-counter nootropic supplements are said to be made from food-derived compounds. So, isn't it better if we pick the root source for treatment instead of supplements? There are foods present right there in our pantry that contain the same brain health-benefitting properties as the market-sold drugs.
Here are some foods that you must eat to keep your mind relaxed and your brain functioning normally:
A study published in American Journal of Epidemiology states that walnuts contain a high amount of vitamin E that forms a protective layer around the brain cell membranes and ward off free radicals.
This is the most popular natural nootropic food. We all love coffee and tea for their taste and caffeine content, which is widely popular for its psychoactive properties. Caffeine keeps you alert, attentive and relieves fatigue.
This nutrient-dense fruit contains powerful antioxidants that protect the brain from symptoms of ageing. Studies at Tufts Universities, USA suggest that eating blueberries can target and treat the problem of short-term memory loss. Blueberries also improve motor skills and maintain sound mental health.
Green Leafy Vegetables
There's a reason why green foods have been an essential part of our diet since time immemorial. Other than boasting of various healthy properties, veggies like broccoli, kale and spinach fight cognitive damage. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology states that green vegetables contain vitamin K, beta-carotene, folate and lutein that play a big role in keeping our brain healthy.
Brown grains are instant energy boosters. They keep the mind active and an active mind is hard to fall prey to cognitive decline. Researchers of Columbia University Medical Centre, New York advises to include grainy foods like cereals and whole wheat breads in our diets as they reduce inflammation and release loads of energy.
Incorporating these foods in your daily diet will help you deal with neurological issues the same way as nootropic drugs promise. However, if your problem poses a higher risk to your overall health, consult your dietitian and chart a proper diet course to regain a good brain health.
It's no surprise that sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen all day, is detrimental to your health. But you still can't find the time to get active in between meetings, conference calls, and doctor's appointments? Don't worry.
Office Yoga is a great way to shake off the tightness, de-stress and stay active while you're at work. It improves your blood circulation, balance, posture and flexibility. Taking breaks at office with yoga is one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety, and in fact, it also leaves you feeling energised and focused.
Each of these yoga poses will draw your senses away from the outside world, minimise pain, and make sure your neck, back, arms, hips and wrists remain in good working order. You can perform them at any time of the day (quite unobtrusively) and reap the health benefits while sitting right at your desk.
Remember how our mothers used to give us handful of soaked almonds every day before going to school? We know that these crunchy nuts are an excellent source of plant protein, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and magnesium - all of which are known to improve our overall health. But did you know that almonds could also do wonders to your skin, if applied topically? Yes, that's right! As we know that almonds are packed with vitamin E - they help keep our skin hydrated and further make it soft and supple. Moreover, the presence of antioxidants in almonds keeps our skin wrinkle-free, young and glowing. But if you are still not convinced, then why don't you try these almond face masks and see the results yourself.
Here are some simple and easy DIY almond face masks that you can try this winter to keep your skin youthful and glowing:
1. Almond And Milk Face Mask For Tan Removal
1 tablespoon almond powder
2 tablespoon raw milk
How to apply:
Take a bowl and mix both the ingredients in it. Mix it well till you get a thick paste-like consistency. Now, wash your face with lukewarm water and apply this mask on your face and neck. Keep this face mask for about 20 minutes. Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. You may apply this mask on your arms and legs too.
2. Almond, Milk And Grounded Oats Face Mask For Natural Glow
Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients in it. Make sure you have a thick paste without any lumps. Apply this face mask before going to bed. Clean your face with rose water with the help of a cotton ball. Once you are done with that, apply this mask on your face and let it stay there for 20 minutes, or keep it overnight. If you wash your face at night, use lukewarm water and apply your night cream after that.
3. Almond, Turmeric And Gram Flour Face Mask For Instant Glow
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to make a thick pasty-like consistency. You may add a little rose water, if you think your mixture is little dry. Apply the face mask all over your face and keep it for about 15 minutes. Rinse it with normal water.
Note: Some of the almond face masks can be a little messy, especially the almond, milk and grounded oats face mask; therefore, you may rinse the mask off before you sleep. Also, don't forget to check with your doctor for any allergies.
Not a lot of people are very familiar with black seeds, or kalonji. The unique-looking seeds have a distinctive flavour, which adds a delicious aroma to any food that they are added to. Black seeds are used in a number of Indian preparations, including curries, dals and even savoury snacks like samosas, kachoris etc. They are also added to some Indian flat-breads like kulchas and parathas to add flavour and taste to these breads. Black seeds are incredibly healthful as well and it is used and consumed for medicinal purposes as well. These flavourful black seeds are packed with antioxidants, and hence, have a number of beauty benefits as well.
Black seed oil (or nigella sativa oil) can be applied topically on your facial skin and hair and can also be consumed to fight a number of ailments. The oil is known to have cholesterol-fighting abilities and it may also help in regulating blood sugar and inducing weight loss. But it is very popular among Indians for combating a number of beauty problems as well. Here are some beauty benefits of using black seed oil that you must know about.
Kalonji Oil (Nigella Sativa Oil) For Gorgeous Skin And Hair
Here are some ways that kalonji oil is beneficial for your skin and hair:
1. Anti-Bacterial In Nature
The oil is anti-bacterial in nature and when applied on the skin may prevent acne by fighting off skin infections. A diluted solution of nigella sativa oil may be applied on the skin to reduce acne growth.
2. Packed With Antioxidants
The oil is said to neutralise free radicals in the body, which may improve the quality of your skin and hair. Kalonji oil is, therefore, effective in fighting inflammation, leaving the skin feeling young and healthy.
3. Fights Hair Fall
Kalonji oil is used to fight hair fall and even to induce hair re-growth, due to the presence of Nigellone and Thymoquinone in it. The latter is known to be an inflammation-fighting compound. It also nourishes the hair follicles and prevents the hair from falling off. The application of this oil is said to be a safe and natural way to re-grow hair, without medication.
4. Improve Hair And Scalp Health
Regular application of sativa oil may significantly improve scalp health by combating dandruff and scalp irritation. It is also known to prevent and even reverse graying of hair by preserving pigmentation in hair follicles.
5. Fights Skin Infections
Common skin infections, particularly psoriasis and eczema, can be resolved by applying the oil on your skin. This is because the oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and may also soothe irritation on the skin, leaving it soft and moisturised.
You can mix kalonji oil with a number of other natural beauty ingredients like coconut oil, honey, olive oil etc. and apply it on your skin and hair, in order to fight common beauty problems. Include kalonji oil in your beauty regime to reap its benefits today!