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Foods That Build Muscle

Do you also spend hours at your gym lifting heavy weight, but are unable to see any sufficient muscle gains? Then here are some foods you should include in your diet to build muscles. 

1. Eggs

Eggs are one of the richest sources of protein with highest biological value. It is a reference to the measure of how well a food can support the human body’s protein needs. 1 large egg of about 50 grams contains approximately 6 grams of protein. This can be considered as the best protein for your muscles. Many people avoid eating yolk because of its fat and cholesterol content. However, if you want to build your muscles you need not avoid the yolk, as it provides vitamin B12, which is necessary for fat breakdown and muscle contraction. Also, fat present in yolk is healthy fat that helps in lowering the levels of bad fat from the body.

2. Almonds

Almonds are a good source of alpha-tocopherol, which is a form of Vitamin E that gets readily absorbed by the body. It is important for your muscles as vitamin E protects your muscles from free radical damage. You can have some almonds with a fruit before a workout. How many almonds should you munch? Two handfuls a day should do it. A Toronto University study found that men can eat this amount daily without gaining any weight. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those men who consumed the most vitamin E—from food sources, not supplements—had a 67 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than those eating the least vitamin E.

3. Salmon

Salmon fish is a good source of high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It can decrease muscle-protein breakdown after your workout and helps in fast recovery. But avoid having fried fish and opt for grilled or roasted fish with some sautéed vegetables with it. It also helps you in reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Researchers at Louisiana State University found that when overweight people added 1.8 grams of DHA—an omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil—to their daily diets, their insulin resistance decreased by 70 percent in 12 weeks.

4. Yoghurt

Yoghurt is an ideal combination of protein and carbohydrates for exercise recovery and muscle growth. It also contains live culture which helps in digesting other nutrients present in your food. You can add some sliced fruits to your yoghurt to make it high in fiber content. The extra carbohydrates from the fruit will boost your blood levels of insulin, one of the keys to reducing post exercise protein breakdown. Also, yoghurt is one of the few foods that contain conjugated linoleic acid, a special type of fat shown in some studies to reduce body fat.

5. Cottage Cheese

It a good source of casein protein which is a slow digesting dairy protein. As compared to other dairy products, cottage cheese elevates the levels of amino acid and keeps them high for a longer time. This helps in building muscles.

6. Olive Oil 

Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats which act as anti-catabolic nutrients. Catabolism is a pathway of metabolism which leads to muscle breakdown for releasing energy. Anti-catabolic nutrients provide energy to your body and protect your muscles from breaking down. And while all olive oil is high in monos, try to use the extra-virgin variety whenever possible, it has a higher level of free-radical-fighting vitamin E than the less chaste stuff. Also, Olive oil and monounsaturated fats have been associated with everything from lower rates of heart disease and colon cancer to a reduced risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.

7. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a rich source of complex carbohydrates. These types of carbohydrates slowly release energy in your body. You can have a cup of oatmeal 1-2 hours before your workout. It will give you enough energy to complete the workout. You can add some fruits and nuts to your oatmeal to increase the fiber and protein content. 

You can include these foods in your diet to improve muscle growth, but to be healthy and fit you need to balance your diet in terms of protein, carbohydrates, fats and other minor and major nutrients. 

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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What Are Healthy Snack Options At Work?

Working long hours at office can make it difficult for a working professional to stick to a healthy diet. It is very important to understand the importance of healthy snacking. Healthy snacking keeps you away from piling up unhealthy fat in your body, other than keeping up your energy levels at work. So it’s very important to plan ahead about your daily snack options. Let’s discuss a few healthy and relatively convenient snack options at work.

1. Fruits

Seasonal fruits are one of the best options for snacking. It is a complete package of antioxidants and fiber which boosts immunity and protects from diseases. Fruits also give you a boost of energy and have a high satiety level.

2. Roasted chana(chickpeas)

They are a good combination of protein, fibre, calcium and magnesium. A handful of roasted chickpeas can be one of your snack options which not only give you satiety but also provide other essential nutrients to your body.

3. Almonds

When there is a craving between meals then a snack option you can opt for without a second thought is almonds. Almonds are not only dense with nutrients but also provide energy and keep you fuelled for long. It contains healthy fats, protein, vitamin E and magnesium.

4. Murmura-chana mixture

It is a light and nutritious mixture which can be considered an occasional snack option .It is low calories and fat and can be made healthier and tastier by adding chopped tomatoes, onion, and cucumber in it with a dash of coriander chutney.

5. Trail mix

Trail mix or a mix of either dry fruits, nuts or healthy cereals is a healthy and easy to carry option for working people. It is a good option to keep it in a small jar on your work desk. It is a complete of package of major and minor nutrients. A small portion of either of the mixtures will provide energy and control cravings.

6. Yogurt

Low fat yogurt contains calcium and protein and provides satiety. 1 cup of low fat plain yogurt can be a good option for snacking. Packaged but plain and non flavored yogurt is easily available.

7. Cottage cheese

Low fat cottage cheese/paneer/chhena is a good source of protein and not only provides satiety, but even energy. It can be consumed with seasoning, chopped veggies or fruits. It is can be carried easily to the work place.

8. Coconut water

Coconut water is healthy and one of the best drinks to hydrate the body. Besides helping to remove toxins from the body and aiding in digestion, coconuts have amazing anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties that help to cure many diseases.1 glass of coconut water can be added as a snack in place of tea or coffee.

9. Green tea with apple

A cup of green tea can be a good alternative to a snack. If you add an apple to that, it will add a dose of antioxidants and fiber to your diet.

10. Peanut butter sandwich

Peanut butter whole wheat bread sandwiches are a good option for snacking. Make this old-fashioned treat healthier by using whole-grain bread instead of white bread. Whole grains contain more fiber, B vitamins and minerals than refined grains. Instead of spreading a tablespoon of peanut butter, try to stick to 1 teaspoon of it.

11. Tomato-cucumber sandwich

Tomato – cucumber sandwich with added coriander chutney will be a healthy and easy to carry snack option for working professionals, as it is a good combination of satiety and essential nutrients.

12. Sprouts

It is a power food which comprises of protein and is easily digested. It keeps you full for long durations. The best sprouting can be done with moong dal, chana dal. One can always make it healthier and fiber rich by adding vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, boiled potatoes and onions.

13. Yogurt with fruits

Do not confuse this with packaged fruit yogurt . We are talking about plain low fat yogurt with a sprinkling of your favorite fruits. It is extremely healthy and tasty and does not require any unhealthy additives such as sugar.

14. Low sugar Dark chocolates

A small serving of low sugar dark chocolates can boost your mood, energy and efficiency levels at work. It is even packed with antioxidants and will take care of any craving that you might have. But please stick to a very small serving and do not get carried away.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Protein Sources for Vegetarians

Vegetarians often feel left out that there are not much protein options available in their diet as compared to their non-vegetarian counterparts. Chicken, eggs, lean meats, red meats, fishes are popularly known as the good sources of protein. The good news is that there are plenty of protein options available for vegetarians to meet the daily protein requirement. Contrary to the belief an average individual only requires approximately one gram of protein per kg of body weight to meet the daily protein requirement intake. Extra protein gets stored as fat in the body.

Soy Bean and Soy Milk (Cr/freedigital)

Protein helps in the building of muscle fiber and for various other functions of the body. Protein is required by the body for the growth, maintenance and repair of all cells. It is also essential for the synthesis of antiboidies which fight infection and is the main nutrient for our hair, nails etc.

Best Vegetarian Protein Sources

Yogurt: Yogurt and Greek yogurt both are healthy options for protein. One cup of yogurt can provide you with 14 gm of protein and more ever with other nutrition as well. Opt for a plain yogurt than the sweetened and flavored one as it is less in sugar and other additives. Yogurt boosts bone health, promotes colon health and boosts immunity. Greek yogurt contains more protein than the regular yogurt.

Soybean: Soyabean is one of the richest vegetarian protein source and is rich in carbohydrates, fats and other important vitamins and minerals. Men should eat less of soy products as they are high in female hormones and excess consumption could cause man boobs. Other soy products are equally healthy for protein. Like tofu, soymilk etc are all healthy sources of protein. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Low Calorie Lunch Options

Eating meals timely is important to maintain the metabolism. Untimely meals, delayed meals or even skipping meals slows down the metabolism. What happens when the metabolism gets disturbed? Simple, you start putting weight. Everyone tries to start healthy by keeping breakfast options minimal and healthy. But by the time we reach lunch all the work or a busy day takes a toll over our lunch choices. We dont realize eating unhealthy food will only make things worse both in terms of being bad to the body but also adding stress to our lives. Eating processed and junk food leads to high cholesterol, disturbed sugar levels resulting in high blood pressure, hyper-tension and Type 2 Diabetes.

Vegetable Roll (Cr/freedigital)

We suggest why develop bad habits when its as easy to develop good habits. This doesnt mean you have to punish yourself and live only on raw food and water. It means that if you start planning  in advance you can be more conscious while packing lunch at home or eating out.   Here are some healthy lunch options that you could carry it from your home or buy.

Vegetable besan cheela with low fat curd: This chick pea-flour pancake are packed with protein. It can be prepared in no time and at the same time its tasty as well as nutritious. Chick pea is said to be a good source of fiber and many other nutrients and low in fat. One best thing about this Besan Chilla is that it can be pretty much toyed around with to suit different tastes. You can change the veggies you add to it:  mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, or spinach. One vegetable chilla gives aroun 120-140 calories.

Paneer/Chicken wheat flour Kathi Roll: Kathi Rolls are hot crispy rotis served with a choice of fillings. Use any combination of vegetables like  paneer, mushroom, soya, corn or green peas to make these vegetarian rolls. For non veg fillings you could use chicken. These rolls are ideal for packed lunches as these are quite easy to prepare, pick and eat.The calories varies according to type of filling, But on an average 1 vegetable kathi roll provides around 195 calories. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Food For Kids | Healthy Food For Children

Kids need a filling and nutritious diet for growth and unhealthy foods will slow down their growth if the daily nutrition is not met accordingly. From carbohydrates for energy to go non-stop through out the day, the amino acids from protein to build muscle and recover them, vitamins and minerals for healthy functioning of organs and chemical reactions in the body
and fat for good cholesterol and cushioning of organs.

Kid eating(Cr/freedigital)

Though kids like foods that are surprising and delightful to their taste buds. Get creative with your recipes and start making your food nutritious and attractive. Here are foods for kids to kep them healthy. Give your child plenty of options ranging from chocolates to everything that they like.

Cornflakes with milk and fruits: We all feed our kids with cornflakes but make it more healthy with adding fruits to it. Include the fruit that your kids like eating. Strawberry, grapes, nuts, seeds, apples, bananas etc. This meal will provide your kid with carbs, protein and essential vitamins and minerals along with iron to improve metabolism.

Eggs: Eggs provide a lot of satiety and protein, vitamins and minerals. Make it healthier by adding a slice of cheese or add a few slices of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber etc. The meal will keep the kids feel fuller and have lots of nutrition for a good growth.

Sandwiches: What about adding a slice of lean meat for non-vegetarians and cottage cheese for veggies ? Play around with your stuffing options with boiled mashed potatoes, cheese slice, tuna or vegetables. Choose whole grain bread or multiflour bread to make it more healthy.

Drinks: Say no to aerated drinks including the cola’s and sweetened sodas as they would add empty calories which is not healthy for a childs growth. Provide other varities from fresh fruit juice, lemonade, buttermilk, banana milk shake, mango shake and other shakes with fruits, nuts and seeds.

Walnuts: For healthy functioning of mind omega fatty acids are equally important. Walnuts, flaxseed and fish products like salmon, tuna etc are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids which are important for developement of childs brain.

You can pick lots more  healthy options for your child. Keep foods providing empty calories and junk that add no nutrition away from their diets. Use less oil in the food and avoid fried foods. Follow these basics and keep your kids healthy.

 

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Food With Fat For Health Benefits

Fatty Foods

Fat has an important role to play in the smooth functioning of body just like how protein is important for muscle building, carbohydrates for energy and vitamins and minerals for other nutrition. The minimum requirement of essential fat for men is 2-5% and women is 10-12%, anything below which physical and psychological health would be effected. When one consumes fat more than the daily requirement it then it gets stored in the belly, thighs and all over the body. Fat helps in healthy cell function and keeps the skin healthy and stores energy in the body and provides 9 calories per 1 gm of fat.

Essential fat is required for brain functioning, bone marrows, central nervous system muscles and healthy functioning of the body

It provides cushion to internal organs of the chest and abdomen.  These essential fats are often confused with the bad fats that increase the LDL bad Cholesterol. Essential fats actually increase the HDL good cholesterol levels improving heart health and improves the flow of blood in the arteries.

Here is a list of Fatty foods for good health

 

(more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Quit believing in myths and start getting real. Rev up your metabolism naturally through food and workouts.  Clock your meals and sleep patterns at a definite time allowing your body adapt to the patterns to show results. Avoid yo-yo diets or crash diet and stick to your normal routine. Instead know the foods that you eat and learn healthy eating habits for a faster metabolism.

Here are a few breakfast ideas for you

Eggs: Poached eggs with a glass of milk and a multi grain toast. Eggs & milk provide with protein and important minerals like calcium , phosphorous etc. Toast providing some carbohydrate & fibre to keep you full of energy and (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Lose Belly Fat through Dairy Products

Yogurt is a super food for vegetarians containing carbohydrates for daily energy and proteins for muscle development with lots of vitamin C for strong muscles and to lose belly fat. A study at University of Tennessee found that participants who consumed 3 daily servings of fat free yogurt on a 12 week basis gained less fat around their mid-section than those who didn’t consumed dairy products containing less calcium. Portion control will push you further in losing weight and gaining extra inch around your belly.

Michael Zemel, PhD, director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has been the first to show that calcium stored in fat cells is important in regulating how fat is processed and stored by the body. The more calcium there is in fat cells, the more fat the cell will burn and the greater will be the weight loss

(more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

5 Meal ideas to Stay Fuller

Eating nutritious food is important, but how much and when to eat is vital too. Staying fit is easier than its perceived to be. Eating the right food at the right time will not only meet your daily nutrition requirement but keep you fuller through out the day keeping you away from all the junk and empty calories we binge on otherwise.

Eggs (Cr/freedigital)

Research shows than men who ate meals with higher amounts of protein than the average meal, when they were trying to lose weight felt fuller throughout the day; they also experienced a reduction in late-night desire to eat and had fewer thoughts of food. This is especially important with regard to the Indian vegetarian diet that can be extremely carbohydrate heavy, with little high quality protein, to ensure long term satiety that protein provides.

Proteins can make you feel fuller for a longer time but this doesn’t mean that you only consume protein. The body requires a balance of protein, carbohydrate and fats.

Few sources of protein for your diet:

Eggs: Eggs are highly satiable and makes you fuller for a longer time and proving vital minerals and vitamins with fat and provides the energy for basic functioning. It takes care of the calorie intake and is healthy for the body.

Fish: It is not only rich in omega fatty acids but provide ample amount of protein to make you feel longer. Some salmon in lunch or dinner or your desired meals will help you stay away from hunger and nourish the body as well.

Sprouts or Beans: For veggie lovers sprouts and beans can be a part of your diet. Eating sprouts in your diet will fill you up and keep irregular food cravings away.

Soy Products: Soy milk offers outstanding nutrition, along with their health benefits. They provide balanced nutrition of high-quality protein and carbohydrates, low in fat with no cholesterol and very low in saturated fat.

Dairy Products: Dairy Product vary to milk, cheese, cottage cheese, butter, cream, yogurtbuttermilk etc. Dairy products tend to be good sources of calcium, protein and healthy carbohydrates.

Meat & Poultry: Meat and poultry products rank one of the highest for proteins. They contain ample amount of protein and help keeping you feel fuller for a longer period of time.

Add some protein to your diet to keep you feeling a little fuller for a longer time. But ensure that you eat a balanced meal.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Calcium for bones, heart & weight loss

400 mg of calcium is the daily requirement for your body. Beyond being important for the development of bones and teeth, calcium is also needed for proper functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles, and research is also showing that because of its calcium content, yogurt promotes belly fat loss.

So it is important to keep blood calcium at a healthy level to sustain life. Calcium supplements have shown to not be as effective as natural sources of calcium. Read on for the most important factor, to help your body absorb calcium.

Also as we age, the body begins to breakdown and reabsorb the bone mass of the skeleton. Women are more susceptible to bone loss, especially before, during and after menopause because during the menopausal years women experience lowered estrogen levels which considerably speeds up the bone loss process and leads to osteoporosis, a condition where the bones have become weak and brittle and break very easily. Research says that one in every four women suffer from the debilitation of osteoporosis, and men are one in eight. Besides this, younger people in their 30′s are developing osteoporosis due to bad lifestyle, eating outside, unhealthy nutrition and not exercising, are a few reasons that are pushing you to the deficiency of calcium.

Consuming the daily requirement of calcium is the best way to build adequate bone mass early in life to reduce the risk of it later in your life. Start consuming foods that are high in calcium and people above 50+ should consume 600 mg. Dairy products  like milk, cottage cheese, buttermilk, curd and cheese are the best source and most recommended for getting calcium which gets easily absorbed by the body. Other sources are breads, fruit juices and soy products, beans, broccoli, oranges and bananas.

Get out and get 10 minutes of sunshine to accelerate the absorption of calcium in your body.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo