Are Dried Figs Healthy for Weight Loss
Figs can be eaten either fresh or dry and has a sweet taste and variety of health benefits that it provides. Though in India fresh Figs are not easily available but can be found in the form of dry fruits popularly known as Anjeer. The high amount of calcium, iron and potassium present in it along with the high amount of fiber and low fat makes it a healthy food to include in your diet which can be eaten alone or mixed in yogurt, salad and toppings on cereals and oatmeal.
Figs are nutritious but do they help in weight loss ? Should one eat figs regularly if you are trying to lose weight. Lately figs are fast becoming popular with nutritionists that are recommending it as a part of weight loss diets. Let us help you understand why it might not be the healthiest weight loss food option.
Lets start with understanding the calorie and nutrition content of figs. Figs are rich in Vitamins A, B1 and B2, manganese and potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. The high levels of potassium and low sodium helps people with hypertension. High calcium levels present in figs promote bone health. High mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats. Figs also contain beta-carotene as well as benzaldehyde (anti-cancer compound), flavonoids and a digestive enzyme called ficin.
Dried figs provide higher amount of calories than fresh figs and around 100gms provide 220 calories approx. Though it is recommended to be eaten in moderations but its sweet taste and pulp makes it addictive making you eat more than actually required. Other than the calories figs are sweet and have a medium glycemic index of 61 and a glycemic load of 16 which is high.
The high glycemic load (GL) of figs makes the blood sugar levels rise as dried figs quickly release high level of sugar in the body which may not be helpful for people on weight loss and people suffering from type 2 diabetes. The high amount of fiber and high glycemic load makes the body feel satisfied. The GL provides energy and makes you feel fuller longer making you crave less food. This might make you miss out on a balanced diet which is essential to regulate the metabolism in the body.
Besides it high glycemic load figs have other benefits also. The high fiber content improves digestion and benefits people with constipation. The fiber helps in throwing away the toxins out of the body. They have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants present in them fights diseases and cancer in the body. They help regulate blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol in the body.
Foods that are sweet and provide quick energy should be eaten early in the day so that the energy released by them can be burnt in the day itself. Also figs are recommended to people who have iron deficiency. Every diet especially available online is very generic and might not be applicable to you. You need a diet plan that is customized to your lifestyle, eating habits and medical conditions. Its important to get professional consultancy from a qualified fitness expert before you start any diet plan.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Improve Immunity with Exercise
Research is trying to figure out if better immunity can be achieved through exercise. As there are many factors involved in immunity like age, diet exercise etc. Exercise is vital in life as it keeps one active, maintain blood sugar levels, increases absorption of nutrients and for various other purposes. Diet and exercise form a great combination to increase immunity and keep us healthier and fit.
We eat foods that boost immunity but if the metabolism of the body is slow then the absorption of vitamins and minerals important to boost immunity will slow. Exercises help increase metabolism, so improving metabolism through exercise will help improve immunity through increased absorption of essential nutrients. Improved blood flow through exercise will help the immunizing nutrients to transport faster in the diseased area helping fight the infection, germs and bacteria and flushing toxins out of the body.
How to Build Immunity
Are you tired of falling sick every time there is a slight change in the weather or being extremely vulnerable to other people with viruses or bacteria. Body produces antibodies that help identify and neutralize foreign bodies like bacteria and virus in the body thus providing immunity. Immune system is the body’s defence against organisms and foreign substance which have potential to cause diseases and health problems. The immune system is made up of cells, tissues and organs that fight together to protect the body.
There are three types of immunity in the body known as innate, adaptive and passive. Innate is the natural immunity that we all are born with for general protection. Adaptive immunity is the active immunity which develops throughout our lives and in some cases where the infection is too dangerous to fight we can be immunized through vaccination. Lastly, passive immunity is which is borrowed from other sources like mothers milk that provides immunity to child when he is born until he develops his immunity.
Lymphocytes, which are the white cells, are the key laborers of the immune system. The primary lymphocytes are B-cells, T-cells, natural killer cells, macrophages and dendritic cells.
You could strengthen your immune system naturally through balanced diet and exercise. Good nutrition with vitamins and minerals and other important nutrients will keep the immune healthy and ready to ward off invaders. A life style that indulges in the consumption junk foods, fear, worry, and anything that promotes stress will weaken and destroy the immune system. Here are some food options for building immunity.
Garlic: It is a powerful immune booster and stimulator which increases the production of infection fighting white blood cells, boosts natural killer cells and destroys antibodies. Allicin and sulphides present in garlic boost immune system. Garlic is an anti-oxidant which fights free radicals in the body and helps clear out toxins from the body.
Carrots: Carrots, his food of choice, contain loads of beta carotene, which is a powerful phytonutrient that boosts the immune system’s production of infection-fighting natural killer cells and T cells. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and kills free radicals which cause aging and strengthens the immune system.
Yogurt :Ingesting live bacteria might not seem like the best way to stay healthy, but, on the contrary, your body needs certain bacteria to function properly. Lactobacillus acidophilus is an example of good bacteria that your body needs, because it produces lactic acid in your gut, which helps you digest food and break down complex compounds into usable bits.
Mushroom: Mushrooms increase white blood cells in the body to fight diseases and infections. They help build the immune system. Mushrooms contain beta glucans which are one of the best immune enhancing substance. They provide rich nutrition to the body and keep foreign substances away.
Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is an antioxidant which eradicates free radicals from the body and keeps the body in fighting mode from all foreign substances. Vitamin c increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies in the body fighting the immune system. Vitamin C has rich anti-inflammatory properties helping fight cold and bruises, wound healing cuts, swelling etc. It keeps a good body immunity fighting against the bacteria and fungi causing allergies.
Drinks lots of water to flush out toxins from the body and include vegetables, fruits which contain fiber beneficial in removing toxins from the body. Exercise to keep the body healthy and increase blood flow in the body and fight infections better.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Raw Vs Cooked Food – Which Is Healthier?
Ever wondered that why is it that we eat some foods raw and some that we cook before eating. The health myth around it is that cooking the food kills bacteria and it is not safe to eat it raw. Firstly not all foods can be eaten raw for eg. meats. Meats can’t be eaten raw as it might contain the bacteria borne by the animal itself and need to be boiled and cooked to free it of the bacteria. Secondly its completely healthy to eat raw or slightly cooked vegetables as not only that they are healthiest in their natural form but each of these vegetables have distinct flavors that can only be tasted when eaten raw. Overcooking the vegetables kills the enzymes present in it making it not so nutritious and good for the health and digestion.
Here are a few tips on why to eat this and not that
Reduce Stress with Yoga
We all get stressed with some reason or the other depending upon our lifestyle. Work, home, partner, family and different aspects of life can be factors in causing stress. Stress can get difficult when it soars high in level causing anxiety, depression and you start to get inefficient. Stress can be tackled easily through yoga and exercise and help you rejuvenate with booming energy levels. Yoga is highly effective in tackling stress and the body releases endorphin, a chemical that makes you feel good.
Stress is mostly psychological showing its effect on our body and performance. Yoga is highly beneficial, de-stressing with our breathing and body postures that bring down the stress and clear the mind with the thoughts, eases muscles, makes you feel good and refill you (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Are Diet Pills the Best Option!
Diet pills are getting more popular for fast weight loss. There are many successful as well as not so successful stories about these fat loss pills. Lets explore more about these pills and how they really work. Quick weight loss without diet and exercise has created the hype around diet pills which is increasingly finding its space in drug stores & superstores. But the questions remains the same, is it a healthier
option and does it help in weight loss.
What is most commonly seen is that some diet pills work and some don’t depending upon the constitution of chemicals in the pills. Probability of effectiveness of the diet pills also varies with body type (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Fiber for Optimum Health
Fiber is an essential nutrient in your diet. Fiber is in the form of soluble fiber as well as insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber binds with the fatty acids in the stomach and the arteries. This helps to regulate blood sugar and reduces the over all cholesterol. The insoluble fiber removes toxins from your colon and balance intestine acidity.
Research has shown that people who consumed the highest amount of fiber were 22 percent less likely to develop heart and health related risks. Fiber helps in controlling diabetes and heart disease risks because it improves cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels. Besides it, fiber also has the property to bind along with the toxins and remove it from the body quickly. Read on to find out how much fiber your need, and best sources of fiber for your body. (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Manage Menopause Weight Gain
Weight gain during menopause is a big concern for women. The menopausal phase triggers changes in body shape resulting on an average weight gain of about 5-10 kg. This weight is primarily hormone related and has a direct impact on appetite, metabolism, and fat storage. Therefore controlling weight during this time becomes extremely difficult due to fluctuating estrogen, testosterone, and androgen levels. These added kilos further aggravate depression and anxiety which in turns can bring on the hot flashes and disturbed sleep.
Estrogen plays a big role in menopausal weight gain especially as the estrogen levels decline with age as the body stops ovulating. Due to the decrease in estrogen levels produced by the ovaries, body searches for other sources to substitute the shortage of estrogen in the body. Meanwhile fat cells in our body have the natural capability to produce estrogen, hence the body starts restoring to these cells to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. Unfortunately fat cells don’t burn calories the way muscle cells do, which causes this unwanted (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo