Amazing health benefits of coconut water
Coconut water is the water like liquid that is found in unripe coconuts. In terms of health and goodness, coconut water is second only to water. It is extremely low in calories and full of nutrients. It is packed with calcium and minerals, and has more electrolytes than packaged sports drinks and more potassium than a banana.
The health benefits are:-
1. Helps in weight loss
It has absolutely no cholesterol, so does not increase body fat and also boosts your metabolism.
2. Lowers blood sugar level
Despite being naturally sweet, it is extremely low in sugar, so it lowers blood sugar levels and is very good for diabetics.
3. Lower blood pressure
It is low in sodium compared to energy drinks and high in chloride compared to sports drinks. Chloride reduces water retention in the body which lowers the kidney’s load and reduces blood pressure.
4. Regulates body temperature
Coconut water keeps you hydrated, which increases your body’s metabolism and even increases sweating. Sweating keeps your body cool and helps in regulating the body temperature.
5. Facilitates Digestion
Coconut water contains monolaurin, a monoglyceride which cleanses and soothes the digestive tract by actively killing intestinal worms that make digestion easier and reduce chances of digestive illnesses. Because of its high concentration of fibre, it aids in the prevention of indigestion and reduces the occurrence of acid reflux.
6. Controls Vomiting
Coconut water controls vomiting making it saviour for those suffering from ailments that cause vomiting such as typhoid, malaria or fevers.
7. Rich in Nutrient
Unlike any other beverage on the market, coconut water contains the five essential electrolytes that are present in the human body. These include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. Because of its unique composition, coconut water can be enjoyed by individuals with varying medical conditions.
8. Compatible with Human Blood
Since it is isotonic to human plasma, coconut water can be used in extreme emergencies to quickly rehydrate the human body if administered intravenously. It is not uncommon for coconut water to be used an an intravenous drip in poorer, third-world countries to save human lives.
9. Boosts Hydration
The ingredients in coconut water are way more effective at hydrating the human body than energy and sports drinks. Coconut water serves as an ideal energy drink with 294 mg of potassium and 5 mg of natural sugar per glass, unlike your favourite sports drink that only contains half of the potassium content and five times the amount of processed sugar. In addition, the sodium count is only 25 mg, which is relatively low compared to the 41 and 20 mg found in sports drinks and energy drinks respectively.
10. The Ultimate Hangover Remedy
Next time you overdo it and drink more than your belly can handle, consume coconut water to soothe your stomach. It will also replace those essential electrolytes that exit the body if you experience bouts of frequent urination and vomiting.
It’s very beneficial to consume coconut water during the summer, especially if you live somewhere where the temperature and humidity levels are high. It rehydrates your body and provides essential nutrients. Make coconut water an essential part of your regular diet to benefit from it.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Why are Oranges So Healthy?
Orange is a citrus fruit and very beneficial for your body, like most other citrus fruits. An orange offers lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber, with minimal calories. While orange juice is also full of nutrients, you tend to miss out on most of the fiber, so it is better to consume the whole fruit. An orange is a great snack between meals and is easy to carry and eat.
Nutritional history of oranges
One medium orange contains 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 250 milligrams of potassium, 19 grams of carbohydrate (14 grams of sugar and 3 grams of dietary fiber) and 1 gram of protein. Oranges also contain various vitamins and minerals like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, selenium and copper.
Health benefits of oranges
1. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that combats the formation of free radicals that can cause cancer .While adequate vitamin C intake is necessary and very beneficial, the amount necessary to consume for therapeutic purposes for cancer is beyond oral intake.
2. Oranges contain a good amount of potassium, choline, fiber and vitamin C, which is also good for the heart. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Mark Houston, M.D, M.S, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School and director of the Hypertension Institute at St. Thomas Hospital in Tennessee.
3. It is also helpful for blood pressure patients because oranges are rich in potassium and have vasodilation effects which help to control the pressure of blood in our body.
4. According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of a certain compound found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit may lower ischemic stroke risk for women. Those who ate the highest amounts of citrus had a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least.
5. Oranges are also good for the skin because of the presence of antioxidants that can help fight skin damage and even help reduce wrinkles. Basically, it helps in formation of collagen of skin.
Make oranges an essential part of your diet. It’s a seasonal fruit, so make sure you eat them every day as long as they are available. Not only will it boost your immunity and provide health benefits, it will even act as a low calorie food to aid in weight loss.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Is Water Retention Causing Your Weight Gain?
If you are trying to lose weight and not seeing results on the weighing scale, then the reason might be water retention. Water retention causes temporary weight gain and could depend on factors such as what you have eaten a day earlier or how your hormones levels are fluctuating.
Reasons for water retention are:-
1. Sodium intake
Consuming too much sodium from salty and highly processed foods causes water retention. Because to dilute that sodium, the body retains fluid that you see the next morning in the form of puffed face and hands.
2. Sweets and starch intake
If you had a meal comprising mainly of sugar and starchy foods like pasta, white rice etc, it will lead to a quick rise in your blood sugar, which signals your body to release insulin (a hormone that signals the cell to take up the sugar from the bloodstream).High insulin levels can also make your body retain sodium and fluid.
3. Hormonal shift
Other hormones can come into play as well. For women, hormonal shifts that occur with monthly cycles can also lead to water weight gain – often in the range of a kilogram or two that can stick around for a week or more. While you can’t avoid the fluctuations in hormone levels, dietary changes may help.
Tips for reducing temporary water weight gain:-
1. Reduce salt intake
Try to have food in its natural state, since more processed a food, the more sodium it’s likely to have.
2. Cut back on refined starchy foods and sweets
Switch from refined starches to whole grain varieties because whole grains take longer to digest and don’t cause a sudden rise in the blood sugar level. Also, switch from sugary drinks to water or tea.
3. Drink plenty of water
Drink plenty of water because it will help you to eliminate salt and toxin build up. Drink 10-12 glasses of water.
4. Push potassium
Potassium plays a critical role in maintaining fluid balance in the body, and needs to be in proper balance with sodium. Potassium is found in abundance in fruits and vegetables. Try to have a fruit or vegetable at every meal or snack.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Couscous and its health benefits
Couscous is made of semolina flour. Couscous is the staple food of Northern Africa. It is also made of whole wheat flour, which further increases its nutritional value. It is very versatile and its preparation requires little more than hot water and fluffing with a fork. It can be served as a side dish or can also be served with sautéed vegetables, soups and morning breakfast cereal.
Nutritional properties of Couscous:-
1 cup (30g) of couscous contains-
Protein found in Couscous is 12% of the daily dietary requirement. Protein contains amino acids which are essential for body tissue repair and protein even controls appetite and calorie intake. Researchers found that protein causes the brain to receive low levels of appetite stimulating hormones.
The amount of fibre present in Couscous is 9% of the daily dietary requirement. Fibre increases the satiety value of Couscous which keeps you from feeling hungry for longer durations and keeps you away from overeating.
Couscous hardly contains any fat, making it an ideal choice for weight loss diets.
30 grams of Couscous contains 176Kcal which is 9% of the daily dietary requirement. The calorie content is quite low compared to other similar foods.
The amount of selenium found in Couscous is 43mcg which is equal to the daily dietary requirement of our body. Selenium is good for the brain, helps with low thyroid functioning and prevents premature aging.
The amount of potassium found in 30gms of Couscous is 91.1mg, which 39% of 3500mg (daily dietary requirement). Potassium plays an important role in blood pressure regulation and also maintains the body’s fluid balance.
So, couscous is a great addition to your diet with a variety of health benefits.
The Nutrients your Body Needs Every Day
A healthy and balanced diet is the key to a healthy body. But a balanced diet should include a variety of nutrients. Below is a list of nutrients and their sources, and their recommended daily values.
-Calcium: It is a vital nutrient for the body as it helps in providing strength to your bones. Strong bones are less prone to fracture and diseases like osteoporosis. Calcium also plays a role in nerve transmission, maintenance of healthy blood vessels and muscle contraction. The recommended amount of calcium is 1g/day. To meet the daily recommended value add dairy products like milk, curd, paneer and green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, etc to your diet.
-Fiber: Dietary fiber helps in proper bowel movement and provides bulk to your stool which decreases the chances of constipation. It also helps in regulating blood sugar levels in the body as the presence of fiber in food slows down the absorption of the sugar. Soluble dietary fiber helps in controlling the levels of cholesterol by reducing the levels of “bad” fat from the body. The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 40g/day. Include fruits, vegetable, whole grains and legumes in your daily diet.
-Magnesium: Many studies have shown that magnesium with calcium helps in improving the bone mineral density in the body. Magnesium deficiency can affect calcium metabolism and a fluctuation in the levels of hormones that regulate calcium can result in osteoporosis. It is associated with lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and helps in regulating high blood pressure. It also plays a major role in controlling diabetes, migraines, insomnia, and depression. Recommended amount of magnesium is 410mg/day. Include nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, fish, and green leafy vegetables in your diet to increase magnesium intake.
-Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant which protects your body cells from free radical damage. Free radicals lead to break down of healthy cells and may contribute to heart disease and cancer. It also helps strengthening immunity. The recommended amount of vitamin E is 15mg/day. To get your daily dose of this vitamin include nuts, vegetable oil, eggs and green leafy vegetables in your daily diet.
-Vitamin C: Vitamin C is also a type of antioxidant that protects your body against free radical damage. Apart from this, vitamin C supports collagen production in joints. Collagen is a shock absorbing gel like substance which fills up the space between two bones in a joint. The recommended dose of vitamin C is 75-90mg/day. Rich sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc.
-Vitamin A: Vitamin A plays a major role in maintaining vision, cell growth and promotes healthy tissue and skin. It also participates in physiological activities related to the immune system, inflammatory system, maintenance of epithelial and mucosal tissues, creation of red blood cells, and bone development. The recommended dose of vitamin A is 600-900 µg/day. Rich sources of vitamin A are sweet potato, carrot, spinach, Green leafy vegetables, etc.
-Vitamin D: Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the body and helps in building strong bones. It helps in regulating insulin activity and blood sugar balance in the body and prevents muscle weakness. The recommended amount of vitamin D is 600 IU/day. The food sources of vitamin D include milk, egg, and fatty fishes like salmon, tuna and some variety of mushrooms. To get your daily dose of vitamin D morning sunlight is the best source. There are hormones beneath the skin which produce Vitamin D with help from sunlight.
-Potassium: It is one of the electrolytes and even helps in managing electrolyte levels in the body. A diet high in potassium levels is associated with improved blood pressure control. It also contributes to improved kidney function, reduction in blood clotting, and more efficient opening of blood vessels. The recommended value of potassium is 4.7g/day. Five foods rich in potassium include Swiss chard, lima beans, potatoes, yams, and soybeans.
-Protein: Protein is the building block of tissues. It is required to repair the daily wear and tear of the cells in the body. Protein is an important part of the diet as it helps in building muscles. Recommended value of protein is 46-56g/day. To have recommended amount of protein in your daily diet include milk, curd, paneer, eggs, lean cuts of chicken, soy and beans in your diet.
-Iron: Iron is a part of red blood cells and helps in transportation of oxygen in the body. In case of iron deficiency, or anemia, the body’s efficiency to transport oxygen decreases. As a result you may feel lethargic and fatigued. The recommended amount of iron is 18g/day. Foods rich in iron include, green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and pulses, whole grain, etc.
To have a healthy and balanced diet chooses your foods wisely to maximize the benefits of different nutrients.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Are Dates Healthy?
There are lots of speculations if dates are healthy or not? Calling it healthy or not so healthy depends on whether you should include it in your diet for its health benefits or you can use it as a substitute for sugar incase you are trying to lose weight. Dates are the fruits of the date palm which can be eaten fresh or dried though both the forms are nutritious. It helps in lowering cholesterol and and has anti-oxidation properties that protect the body against free radicals.
Dates are high in fiber which relieves constipation and the high amount of carbohydrates in it provides high calories. The one drawback with dates is that it is high in glycemic index and contains a lot of sugar which can increase blood sugar levels. It is often substituted for sweets, candies or to control sweet craving as it is healthier than processed sugar and carries a lots of minerals and vitamins for the body to nourish with health benefits. But due to its high glycemic properties dates are associated with foods that can result in weight gain.
Dates have an average gylcemic index (GI) of 103, which is very high and not recommended for people on a weight loss program or suffering from high sugar levels. More and more health experts promote food that have low GI as the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and also beneficial for sustainable weight loss.Foods with GI index less than 55 are considered Low Glycemic Index food (GI < 55). Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are considered intermediate (55< GI <70). High Glycemic Index foods are with GI index more than 70 (GI >70).
Besides its single but important drawback dates have many other health benefits. They are high in potassium which maintains blood pressure and maintains nerves and muscles.The magnesium in dates help relive muscles, fatigue, nerves and reduces tension. Dates are rich in calcium, iron, copper and manganese with B vitamins to better enzyme activity. All the nutrition of the dried fruit promote better health.
You can eat the fruit raw or use your culinary skills in making delicious combinations with in in your diet. You could include it with milk, fruits, salads or bread. Its sweet and can be eaten when we are overburdened with work and mind seems wandering as it relives stress and anxiety with instant energy. (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Healthy Seasonal Vegetables
Vegetables offer low calories, no fat (when eaten raw) and add lots of vitamins and minerals to the diet. Through out the year we see different vegetables in the departmental store or being sold by our local vendors. We encourage consumption of seasonal vegetables for two reasons, first they are cheaper and secondly they are fresher than those not in season. Most of the vegetables available in summer have high water content as they keep the body cool and replenish the lost nutrition caused due to sweating and general heat. Vegetables are also high in fiber content which keeps us fuller with a healthy digestive system.
Vegetables are not always tasteless and boring. If prepared well they can be better tasting than most of the processed food available. Besides they build immunity and improve the metabolic functions in the body. People especially watching their weight or suffering from any therapeutic condition or even just living healthy should include portions of vegetables in their diet either as salads or stir fried. You could eat vegetables raw, cooked, individually or in a combination with other vegetables, legumes, cereals, etc. Here are some seasonal vegetables that you can eat this season for good health.
Some summer vegetables and their benefits in keeping us healthy
Lady Finger/Okra/Bhindi: This vegetable is low in calories and it adds just 30 calories per 100 grams. It contains vitamins A, C, K and B vitamins along with flavnoids. It is rich in anti-oxidation properties and helps in vision. It contains important minerals as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. Healthy for people on weight loss as it makes you fell full and adds lots of nutrition too.
Tori/Ridge Gourd: It is beneficial for the stomach and helps reduce blood sugar levels. 100 gms of Ridge Gourd adds just 20 calories to the body. It is rich in nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin c, riboflavin, thiamin, iron and magnesium. The high fiber and low fat content make it effective for weight loss.
Pumpkin: A bowl of pumpkin will add just 30 calories to your diet besides supplying a lot of vitamins and minerals to the body. It is rich in vitamin A, C and E along with iron, magnesium, potassium, niacin and dietary fiber for better digestion. It contains carotenoids which improve the immune system. It has anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties.
Bottle Gourd/Lauki/: Bottle gourd adds just 12 calories per 100 grams. It is 96% water and contains vitamin c and B vitamins. Sodium, iron, potassium are presnt in the vegetable and contains high amount of dietary fiber. It is extremely effective in weight loss, reduces constipation, improves complexion and has a cooling effect on the body.
Gavarfali/ Cluster Beans: Gavarfali (cluster beans) are rich in iron, folic acid, calcium and are an excellent source of fibre. They are best eaten with lentil dals. It only contains 25 calories every 100 gms. High in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals. Also recommended for weight loss as it improves metabolism.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Low Calorie Breakfast Options
Make your breakfast options healthier and satisfying. Start eating breakfast which offer low calories and helps you lose weight. Eating breakfast will keep you active and full helping you avoid munching in between. If you skip breakfast you could be slowing your metabolism which would affect your weight loss process.
You could make breakfast options simpler and easily available to not skip it and eat healthy and stay fit. Here are some breakfast options that would keep you active and keep you full to avoid mid-meal munching.
Curd and a fruit: If you are the one who doesn’t like eating breakfast and are always in a hurry to run to the office then this the easiest breakfast option. You don’t have to prepare anything or cook it either. Just carry it or even buy it on your way. A good combinationof carbohydrate and protein providing approximately 250 calories. Curd (Yogurt)provides satiety which helps to keep hunger away till its time for next meal.
Brown Bread and Egg: Eggs are possibly the most versatile as well as being the most nutritious breakfast protein. They can be poached, scrambled, fried, soft-boiled, hard-boiled or made into an omelette. Egg is low in calories and saturated fat yet is full of vitamins A, B,D, E and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, selenium and magnesium. Brown bread is rich in nutrients providing a feeling of fullness, thereby reducing the risk of overeating. Egg with 2 slices of bread provides approx 220 calories.
Sprouts with buttermilk : Sprouted seeds, legumes and grains are a cheap and easy way of increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals. Germinating seeds and grains increase their nutritional value. The vitamin C content of wheat increases sixty percent during sprouting. Sprouts are filled with antioxidants, they are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Buttermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus. Approx calories 270 calories.
Oats in low fat milk: Oats, like other cereal grains, are valued primarily as a source of carbohydrates which provide calories for energy needs. It contain soluble fibre beta glucan which help to control your sugar and cholesterol levels. Oats have a higher concentration of well-balanced protein than other cereals. It also helps in keeping bowel movements regular. Approx calories 240 calories.
Nuts and Fruit:Nuts are a Super source of Non-animal, digestible protein Breakfast options does not have to be the one which has to pass through the oven. Eat some nuts and a fruit at breakfast with a glass of milk. When eaten first in the morning, nuts help start proper digestion for the rest of your day. A fist of nut along with a fruit provide approx 200 calories.
Whatever you prepare for yourself, choose a healthy option to keep you full and meet the nutrition requirement.
You can also use Fitho’s calorie counter to search for your food, calculate its calories and see its full nutrition facts.— 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
7 Essential Nutrient Checklist
Some nutrients are important for healthy living and play a important role in daily body metabolism. We eat nutritious food most of the time, but are you meeting your daily requirement? Most of the health problems are due to the imbalance of the nutrients.