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Fit n Diets - Best Diet Plans, Fitness, Daily Health Tips and Tricks
Blog Page 2

25 Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

The recent hullabaloo about super foods, health boosters and diet alterations have awakened a new era of conscious eating habits. Consumers nowadays spend considerable time on reading between the lines on the labels of their purchase. Be it for chiseled abs, flawless beauty or regular dietary additions, coconut oil stands out as a popular choice worldwide. But is the pick worth it? Coconut oil aids in coping with multiple body challenges. It provides a range of benefits of Coconut Oil for internal and external use. The availability of coconut oil makes it an easy and affordable choice. Let’s look at the top 25 surprising health benefits offered by it.

 Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Major Health Benfits of Using Coconut Oil in Daily Life

According to Scientific research, coconut oil have more benefits the body in the following ways:

1. Oil for Brain Health

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids serve as a great source of ketones which provides immediate energy to your brain. This supply of energy is especially beneficial for people suffering from memory disorders. Ketones aid speedy recovery of the brain.

2. Oil for Heart Care

Monitoring cholesterol levels in your body is becoming a challenging task for everyone. The foods we consume may either be high or low in cholesterol levels. More importantly, not all cholesterol is bad for your heart. There are two types of cholesterol found in food – good and bad. Coconut oil spikes up the levels of good cholesterol in your body. It also converts the bad cholesterol to good cholesterol hence keeping up the health of your heart. Involving coconut oil in your meals can hence minimise the risks of cardiac arrests and related pulmonary disorders.

3. Oil for Arthritis Relief

Results published in NCBI has proved the benefits of coconut oil for providing relief against inflammations and joint pain. This can be attributed to the presence of high levels of antioxidants in coconut oil which can significantly bring down inflammations. This remedy is also helpful in dealing with the stress of arthritis attacks. Patients have reported relief in both oral and external usage of coconut oil. This particular feature of coconut oil makes it a very popular pick in Ayurvedic spa treatments.

4. Oil for Curing Kidney Infections

Urinary tract infections are becoming more common nowadays. The bacteria attacking kidneys forms a lipid coating around itself making it difficult for your body to cope with them. Coconut oil can help break up these lipid coating and assist your body in preventing the infection. Many health experts recommend coconut oil for health-boosting as this natural antibiotic has also been found to prevent liver damages.

 5. Oil for Cancer Prevention

With a surging cancer awareness, coconut oil benefits have yet again emerged stronger. Experts elaborate that cancer cell needs the energy to multiply and spread around your body. These cells can easily extract out this energy in the form of glucose. In the case of coconut oil, a major portion of this energy is stored as ketones which are inaccessible sources of energy for cancer cells. This attribute of ketone makes them cancer-resistant molecules. Experiments done in the human colon have also proved this inhibiting characteristic of ketones. Comparative studies reinstitute that switching to coconut oil for health has impressive cancer prevention benefits than vegetable or mineral oil.

6. Oil for Enhancing Digestion

With corrupted eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and busy routines, our gut health is succumbing to a disordered digestion. This may lead to leaky gut, constipation, deficiencies and discomfort. Around 42 million people are suffering from constipation in the United States. Additionally, candida imbalances can add misery in your digestion cycle. This imbalance is often misdiagnosed and leads to fatigue issues and brain fogging in many cases. This can be well dealt by the consumption of coconut oil.

Coconut oil enhances the gut health by eradicating bad bacteria and promoting good ones. It enables a better absorption rate for calcium, magnesium and vitamins. Lipid digestion can be eased by the consumption of this oil. Coconut oil and omega 3 fatty acids complement each other pretty well. Hence, it would be an ideal meal to incorporate both of them in a single meal.

7. Oil for Skin Care

One of the top benefits of coconut oil has been realised in its moisturising qualities for the skin. It’s a definite remedy for skin dryness but there is a lot more to coconut oil when it comes to skin. This oil is anti-microbial. It can be used for sun screening and treat skin inflammations like burns, psoriasis etc. Application of coconut oil over the scars can tone them down. Many skin experts have agreed to the use of this oil as a face cleanser. It is also effective against acne and improves collagen formation for healing acne scars. Using this oil for skin also has anti-ageing effects. These benefits indeed make coconut oil for skin a wise choice over many unnatural and artificial skin care products.

8. Oil for Increasing Stamina

Even wondered why coconut oil is becoming a popular choice for many triathletes?  The oil provides energy which lasts longer. Consuming this oil in pure form leads to instant energy generation which makes it an intelligent pick before an impending marathon. For the same reason, coconut oil is being used in many healthy smoothies for gym enthusiasts. In fact, you can simply mix a tablespoon of chia seeds, honey and oil and consume it for increasing your endurance.

9. Oil for Shedding Fat

As this wondrous oil improves the metabolism and digestion it is apparent that many people are using coconut oil concoctions for aiding weight loss. A better metabolism helps to burn the fats better. Also, coconut oil decreases your craving and binging. One way to understand the weight loss mechanism aided by coconut oil is to have some insight on the relation between capric acid and thyroid functioning. A better thyroid functioning implies a lower resting heart rate which further makes fat burning a lesser time-consuming task for your body. This proves the efficiency of coconut oil for weight loss.

10. Oil for Oral Health

The traditional practice of oil pulling is popular in many parts of the world for improving oral health. The oil contains vitamin E, D and A. Out of this vitamin D is good for stronger bones and teeth. Swishing coconut oil has been hailed as a beneficial practice for dealing with the tooth decay. It is known to detoxify your body and improve gum health. The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil make it a worthwhile mouthwash. Many studies have reported the benefits of coconut oil in curbing gingivitis and plaque formation.

11. Oil for Relieving Stress

The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are said to avert the depression induced due to stress. In Ayurveda, application and ingestion of coconut oil have many relaxing benefits. The usage of this oil in various massage and spa treatments have been reported to alleviate the mood and unclog pores. Few cases where coconut oil for acne has given great results in tackling the problem have reported minimising of stress levels in the patients too. Relieving strained muscles and uplifting the overall health of your body can in itself massively bring down the stress bars.

12. Oil for Hormonal Balance

The capric acid in coconut oil aids in the functioning of thyroid hormones. Lauric acid found in the oil has an important role in hormone balancing. Stimulating the secretion of insulin is yet another advantage of coconut oil. Benefits of coconut oil in coping with after effects of menopause are widely studied and elaborated in reputed journals of medical science. This oil aids in preserving estrogen, an important female hormone which corresponds to a healthier lipid profiling in females.

13. Oil for Hair Care

Dandruff is a very common and embarrassing scalp condition. It can spoil the hair quality and can disturb the health of your scalp. A rough, dry and itchy scalp can cause discomfort and devoid your hairs of essential nutrients. Using coconut oil for hair can save you the strain of an infected scalp. This oil lifts up the hydration of your scalp and improves the lipid levels on the surface of your skin. This unique ability of this oil makes it a great anti-dandruff remedy. The combination of lemon juice and coconut oil for hairs is widely popular for tackling dandruff issues. Regular application of coconut oil can strengthen your hairs and enhance their texture naturally.  

14. Oil for Strengthening your Muscles

Deeply relieving characteristics of coconut oil can curb muscle fatigue and keep you motivated for the workouts. Muscle relaxation can also be aided by oil massages. Its ability to enhance the secretion of insulin in the body prove its perks for body builders. A spike in insulin leads to a faster nutrient pumping to muscles within the body. It also regulates the flow of sugars in the blood. Hence, coconut oil can come as a great catch for people interested in increasing their muscular body mass.

15. Oil for Maintaining Bone Health

The coconut oil tops the list of natural remedies for curing osteoporosis. It enables a better absorption of calcium in the gut and is rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants in coconut oil are great for the removal of free radicals in the blood stream. Free radicals overwhelm the immune system of the body and this results in disturbing the hormonal balances inside the body. Under the influence of these free radicals, your body starts attacking self and this deteriorates your bone health. As the bone building is a slow process, the damages done once takes a long time to repair. Consumption of coconut oil improves bone health and volume at the same time.

16. Oil for Diabetes

Insulin generation is a very vital task for meeting the energy requirements of the body. In a patient suffering from diabetes, the insulin generation cycle is disturbed leading to major body challenges. The body starts turning insulin resistance and this overburdens pancreas for generating more and more insulin. Coconut oil can share the load of pancreas for energy generation and balance the insulin generation cycles in the body. This can be severely helpful for a type II diabetes patient.

17. Oil for Gallbladder Stones

The MCFAs in coconut oil crops a substance called monooctanoin. This substance a cholesterol solvent. It is widely used for dissolving gallbladder stones. More than half the patients have successfully tackled their stones using this substance. It comes as a great relief for patients who can develop surgical complications. Consuming coconut oil can also aid in removal of kidney stones. In the first place, this oil can even prevent the formation of stones in the body.

18. Oil for Nail Care

The anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties of coconut oil can be exploited to improve the hygiene of nails. The moisturising property of coconut oil aids in treating dry cuticles. Coconut oil also contains vitamin E which is great for improving nail heath.

19. Oil for Eyes

Coconut oil works wonder for eyes in two major ways. First is the application of coconut oil under the eyes can prevent wrinkles and baggy skin. It can also help with dark circles. Secondly, massaging your eyelids with warm coconut oil in clock-wise and anti-clockwise motion can relax you and de-strain your eyes. This remedy comes extremely handy and useful to be practised after a whole day of computer screen exposure.

20. Oil for Sun Protection

Recently this oil has been discovered to possess sunblock properties. It has an SPF of 7.11 which is just a level below olive oil. Application of coconut oil can offer mild protection from the harmful UV rays which can cause severe skin damages and seed cancer cells. This application of coconut oil is beneficial for people looking for a natural and cheap alternative to sunscreens available in the market. As the oil is extracted from plants, it is completely chemical – free solution to protect the skin from the sun.

21. Oil for Lactating Mothers

Pregnancy is a demanding stage in a women’s life. The bodily needs spike up and have to be met for both the mother and the child. Health experts claim that lactating mother who consume coconut oil yield more nutritious milk which will promote the benefits of coconut oil in baby’s body. Application of coconut oil on nipples is a great remedy for preventing infections and dry skin near the nipple. Studies claim that application of coconut oil around the belly during pregnancy can help in skin stretching.  Osteoporosis, which is a common condition in women after pregnancy can also be prevented by coconut oil. All these benefits make the consumption and application of coconut oil for health, a sensible pick for expecting mothers.

22. Oil for Stretch Marks Reduction

Settling of stretch marks after pregnancy can be a disappointing condition for many ladies. These marks can also appear by sudden weight loss or gain. They are common in the upper hip and belly region. Many men suffer from stretch marks on their upper arms and shoulder due to workout cycles. Application of coconut oil fights the free radicals and makes the cell walls stronger. It gets absorbed evenly by the skin and penetrates deeper in the cells. This makes coconut oil an ideal choice for stretch mark removal. Many people use coconut oil with other essential oils rich in vitamin E for more speedy results.

23. Oil for Boosting Immunity

We have already seen the benefits of coconut oil in fighting some diseases and disorders. The conversion of lauric acid into monolaurin further aids the body’s immune system. The extracts of this oil develop a hostile environment for viruses. Both capric and lauric acids in the coconut oil have immunity-boosting influences. A single tablespoon of coconut oil every day can work wonders for your immune system. It enhances your immunity levels and enables faster recoveries.

24. Oil for Removing Free Radicals:

When you work out, the body releases free radicals. These are released as a residual derivative of cellular respiration. Excessive accumulation of these radicles can build up oxidative stress in your body which can cause internal inflammations. These radicles can attack your immune system and cause muscle fatigue. Coconut oil can mop these free radicals and prevent oxidation stress to build up.  It enhances the antioxidants content in your body which can in itself be a suffice reason to start using coconut oil for health benefits.

25. Oil for Curbing Yeast Infections:

Coconut oil is a great natural solution for curing yeast infections. Lauric acid in coconut oil gives it the unique anti-microbial trait. Studies done on coconut oil have shown that many varieties of candida are susceptible to damage via this oil.

All these benefits of coconut oil are more than enough to justify its popularity in the health industry. Many countries are witnessing a massive upward shift in their coconut oil consumption. It’s time to figure out how well this oil can fit in your diet and complement your overall health. If you want share your tips or thoughts about coconut oil other benefits comment in the below section. It will be useful for everyone. 

Know All About Gluten-Free Diet for Healthy Living

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gluten-free-diet

In the wake of a changing planet landscape, there is a compulsive need for awareness about adapting to this change. The human body is becoming largely intolerant to a lot of environmental and dietary substances. One such substance is a protein called gluten. This protein is found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Its presence is often related to the elasticity of dough and binding of food molecules. A gluten free diet implies a diet devoid of this protein – entirely! During a gluten diet plan, the disciple will have to look for alternative gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa, corn etc.

gluten-free-diet

Gluten-Free Diet for Eat Well

Purpose of A Gluten Diet

The purpose of a gluten-free diet is mainly to relieve the symptoms of a celiac disease. People suffering from it are called gluten intolerant as consuming gluten may affect their intestine badly. This will lead to incomplete mineral absorption. There are cases of gluten intolerance in healthy individuals too, who don’t even suffer from Celiac disease. This can be related from an allergic reaction to an autoimmune disorder. Shifting to a gluten-free diet may bring back the life to normal for gluten sensitive people.

With a large scale popularity about the gluten-free diet benefits, many people are also seeing this diet as a pathway to losing weight and solve skin problems. Following this diet plan has an upside of staying away from unhealthy sugars and processed foods. With complete knowledge, careful choosing of meals and a regular check on a diet, one can work wonders with this diet plan. On the downside, it is important to realise that sudden transformation of diet patterns is no game for your body! One should be very sure about the upcoming difficulties and implications of this diet.

Gluten-Free Diet Details

The first tip to survive on a gluten free diet is to start reading food labels. One must adopt a conscious eating routine where everything on the kitchen shelf should undergo scrutiny. Compulsorily, all the packed food item labels should read 100% gluten-free and reflect the same on their ingredient list.  Another important thing is to be aware of the maybe gluten maybe not category. There is a lot of suspicion around few food items like oats, food starch, beer, spray cheese, seasonings etc. A gluten diet may starve your body of few essential nutrients that came handy in unrestricted eating. Though this issue can be handled by balancing the portions on the plate, it is always a great choice to consult a dietitian in the initial phase of adopting a gluten-free diet. There are certain cases when additional health supplements are prescribed to tackle chronic deficiency.

Foods To Eat On Diet Plan

Broadly, anything gluten free is allowed.  At the first thought, this might look like a blank plate. Zooming in further in this category will give you a long list of healthy food items to satisfy your appetite and taste buds at the same time.

  1. Beans and Nuts: Beans are a power packed healthy food item which can be used in soups, salads, curries or rolls. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts and mostly all other nuts are gluten free in pure, unadulterated or processed forms. Still one should be careful with the labels here.
  2. Dairy Items: Milk, butter and other dairy extracts can be still a part of your diet. In fact, if you aren’t lactose intolerant, it’s a major source of filling your calcium needs.
  3. Fish, Meat and Poultry: For all those lamenting the lack of variety on their plates – cheer up! You can go gaga with your non-veg choices. Just make sure it’s ain’t breaded or batter coated with an extract containing gluten.
  4. Fruits and Vegetables: Many vegetarians don’t realise the host of choices nature has offered to them. Green vegetables and watery fruits can work wonders for the human body.
  5. Corn, Buckwheat, Rice and Millet: If you are looking for a more substantial meal, flours made out of gluten-free grains can serve exactly what you are looking for.
  6. Quinoa: This is something that a tasty and healthy breakfast would be like. Quinoa is a convenient and popular pick on the road to get fit.
  7. Flax: Though flax seed has no major, prominent taste of their own, they can be sprinkled on salads and meals for increasing the overall health quotient. They are great for digestion by the way and can curb many digestion issues. 

Other Foods to Allow 

  • Fresh eggs
  • cassava
  • fonio
  • cornstarch
  • Annatto
  • glucose syrup
  • lecithin
  • polenta
  • maltodextrin
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Teff
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Spices

Foods to Avoid in Gluten Free Diet

Of course as mentioned below, foods with even a hint of gluten are to be best avoided. Though there are alternative for many foods nowadays, a cautious approach many save you a sinking diet effort.

Pasta, Bread and heavily processed foods are best avoided unless gluten free. This rules out cakes, cookies, wafers and pies out of the landscape.  The people’s favourite snack – conventional french fries are also not allowed but you can always skip the gluten rich coating while cooking them at home.  Salad dressings and seasonings also need a thorough checking before being acceptable on the gluten-free diet. processed snacks like potato chips, tortilla chips are also to be escaped. Refraining from squashes, lager, stout, ales and beer is also recommended. The biggest blow will be to understand that sodas and coke are also to be given up for best results. Going by some popular opinions, few soda drinks contain caramel colour which can contain gluten but even if it gluten free one should leave it for the sugar blows it can give to your body! This will help especially if you are aiming for gluten-free diet for weight loss.

Other Foods Avoid 

  • Barley and malt (malt flavouring and malt vinegar and which are made made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Wheat
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Licorice
  • soy and teriyaki sauces
  • spelt
  • kamut
  • einkorn
  • farina
  • cake flour
  • bread
  • cakes
  • cereals
  • cookies
  • crackers
  • pretzels
  • pasta and pizza crusts

 

Drinks Allowed in the Diet Plan

Coming to drinks, you have comfortable choices both in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic section. Although, keeping alcohol intake in check is a good practice while on a diet. It optimises your benefits over the long term.

Fruit juices: Any kind of fruit juice proves to be a good start of your day. Fresh, homemade juices have a better value content.

Flavoured water: You can flavour your water with cardamom, tulsi, mint, cloves and lemon. Other than these, I wonder if you have read about detox water? If you haven’t you should definitely dig in to know more about it. Its worth a try and gives you so many refreshing, easy and healthy options for the drinks.

Cider, wine, spirits and Sherry: All these are acceptable on a gluten free diet. In fact, in addition to these gluten free beer and lager are also allowed.

Maybe or Maybe Not Foods in Diet

Beer:  Beer made from barley is popular for being gluten free. But one should understand that it just makes it gluten-removed not gluten-free.

Food Starch: Expect in the case when it contains wheat extracts, food starch can be used in your gluten meals freely.

Oats: Oats are inherently gluten-free but cross-contamination is very common in them. Hence, it is often recommended to go for gluten-free labelled oats. The same applies for granola bars, oats cookies and other oats containing gluten-free foods.

Seasonings: Certain flavourings may use wheat or barley in their preparation. In such cases, they have to be avoided.

Soy Sauce: Most popular production of soy sauce is via fermenting wheat. However, recent developments have brought gluten-free soy sauce in the market too.

Processed cheese: Spray cheese contains gluten but not all processed cheese is gluten prone. In fact, most of them can be included in a gluten-free diet.

Medicines: Strict gluten diet banishes the use of medicines containing gluten too. In such cases, doctors must be consulted to prescribe an alternative drug.

Other Maybe or Maybe Not Foods

  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Communion wafers
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce

 

5 Easy Gluten Free Recipes

Following are the useful gluten free recipes for healthy living:

Recipe 1: Prosciutto-Wrapped Basil Seasoned Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 20  peeled, deveined, thawed shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • lemon zest to match the taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red chilli flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 thin slices of prosciutto
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 lemon wedges

Preparation

  • Preheat the broiler.
  • In a large bowl, mix the shrimp, basil, olive oil, zest, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
  • Mix up everything properly.
  • Cut the 10 slices of prosciutto thinly to total them to 20.
  • Wrap the prosciutto around each shrimp ( leave the tail hanging out, and thread on an 8-inch skewer)
  • Repeat with remaining shrimp for a total of 4 skewers with 5 shrimp each.
  • Place the skewers on a broiling pan lightly coated with cooking spray.
  • Broil the shrimp 2 minutes on each side.
  • Garnish with lemon wedges.
  • Serve hot.

2. Risotto Soup Recipe

Ingredients :

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon rind based on your preference
  • 3/4 cup of any short-grain rice
  • 3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of thinly sliced asparagus
  • 1 and a half medium sized onion
  • 2 cups of roughly chopped spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • Vegetable or chicken broth

Preparation:

  • Pour olive oil in a large saucepan and keep on a medium flame.
  • Add onion to hot oil and cook them till they turn golden in colour.  
  • Add grated lemon rind and mix well.
  • After 2 minutes add rice and stir in all the contents of the pan.
  • Stir in chicken or vegetable broth, and bring to a boil at this stage.
  • Cover the lid and simmer for 10 minutes on low flame.
  • Remove the lid, stir in asparagus, spinach, and nutmeg; cook until asparagus is crisp-tender.
  • Top each serving with cheese.
  • Serve hot.

3. White Bean and Spinach Stew Recipe

It’s a healthy, power packed recipe which can be a part of any weight loss diet plan.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium coarsely chopped onion
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 16-ounce of rinsed and drained white beans
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 drained canned plum tomatoes
  • 14-ounce can of less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups of roughly chopped baby spinach leaves.
  • 2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preparation:

  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan.
  • Add onion to it.
  • Cook for 5 minutes until the onions turn tender.
  • Add garlic and thyme to it.
  • Cook for 1-minute and stir continuously.
  • Add beans, water, tomatoes, and broth to it.
  • Increase heat to high until stew begins to bubble.
  • Reduce heat.
  • Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Smash up the tomatoes with a spoon.
  • Add more water, if necessary.
  • Put spinach and after stirring for a while add chicken.
  • Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot and fresh.

4. Artic Lime Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 12-ounce of concentrated thawed limeade
  • 12.3-ounce of package reduced-fat silken firm tofu, drained
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of water
  • Few Mint sprigs and grated lime

Preparation:

  • Put  limeade and tofu in a blender.
  • Process until they are smooth.
  • Add water to it if needed and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into an ice-cream freezer.
  • Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Spoon the mixture into a freezer-safe container.
  • Cover and freeze until firm.
  • Garnish with mint and lime.

5. Summer Salad Recipe

This recipe is great one for a vegetarian diet plan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup of boiled corn
  • 1 cup of diced and microwaved green capsicum
  • Half a lemon
  • Griller panner cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Chop up the cucumber and tomato.
  • Cut the carrots into julienne.
  • Take a big bowl and mix the veggies well.
  • Add corn, capsicum and paneer cubes.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  • Add a dash of lime.
  • Serve fresh.

The Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest is becoming a popular and practical notation at the same time. It is imperative to take care of your health and body. A balanced and tailor made gluten free diet plan for healthy living can bring in a lot of positive flow within your body. A healthy diet will keep you more active, immune and aware amidst harsh environmental alterations. Above all make sure you listen well to your body and note its response to various diet alterations. A glove may not fit in all sizes, similarly, it is of utmost importance to know what suits your body regardless of the bold guidelines.

3 Step Plan to Burn Calories and Promote Weight Loss

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3 Step Plan to Burn Calories and Promote Weight Loss

There are a number of fad diets and quick weight loss tricks that helps you to lose a lot of weight within a short period of time. But most of them are short-term solutions which leave you hungry and unsatisfied. And you gain back the weight you lost as soon as you stop following these diets. This is where a realistic and simple 3 step calorie burning plan comes into play. Weight loss is all about the balance between burning calories and consuming calories and weight loss occurs when the total calorie intake is less than total calories burned. Diet and exercise are the two corner-stones of a weight loss plan. This article provides a simple 3-step weight loss plan that helps to set up your weight loss goals and gives you the guidelines to plan out a balanced diet and intense workout routine to burn calories efficiently.

3 Step Plan to Burn Calories and Promote Weight Loss

Simple 3-Steps Plan to Burn Calories/Fats

Step 1

Set Up Your Goal 

The first and most important step towards a healthier self is setting up realistic and achievable goals and sticking to the plan in order to achieve these goals. Noting down your targets on pen and paper and then following them is the best way to burn fat and produce results.

Guidelines to set up your goal 

     1.Your goal must be specific

You must be absolutely clear about your goal in your mind. For example write down that “I will lose 50 pounds in the next 6 months” or “I will fit into a size six within 3 months”. Use the word ‘will’ instead of ‘want’ or ‘would’ so that every time you read it, it will boost up your determination to work towards achieving the goal.

      2. Your goal must be measurable

Always set measurable and quantifiable goals such as a number on the measuring scale, a clothing size, a circumference measurement in inches or centimeters. Measurable goals always make us happier when we achieve it. Numbers encourage us more compared to qualitative results and provides us the impetus or driving force to do even better.

    3. Your goal must be realistic

It is completely understandable that you want to lose 50 pounds and you can always do it with regular exercise and diet. But if you set up an unrealistic goal of losing 50 pounds in one month then you are going to fail at it and this will break down your commitment and persistence and take you a few steps back rather than moving forward.

One positive way to set realistic weight loss goals is to set up weekly weight loss goal of a couple of pounds. A 200-pound individual can lose approximately 2 pounds per week, while a 150-pound individual can lose 1.5 pounds per week.

    4. Your goal should be time-sensitive

Allotting a specific time and date to your goal can give you the much-needed push to stay on the right track and continue with your diet and workout regime. You can write down your goal and the time-limit of achieving your goal on a piece of paper and hang it at some place where you can see it every day, such as the refrigerator or your working desk. Keeping your commitment right in front of you will always keep you alert.

Step 2

    1. Food and Nutrition 

The next step towards burning calories and promoting weight loss is eating the right foods and cutting out unhealthy foods. Planning out a diet that contains the right proportion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is the ultimate answer to the question of how to burn calories.

     2. Eat Protein-Rich Foods

Increasing the amount of lean protein in your diet is the first step towards your weight loss journey. High-protein foods boosts metabolism and increases the rate of calories burned in the body. It also reduces the obsessive thoughts about food and reduces the desire to snack by almost half. It also enhances the feeling of fullness so that you eat a whooping 441 fewer calories per day.

food-high-in-protein

Benefits of Protein for Weight Loss 

Protein satisfies and saves calories

Protein helps to increase satiety so that you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Protein-rich foods slow down the process of digestion so that you are less likely to go for a second serving. So, consuming fewer calories over a course of several days can help with calorie savings and promote weight loss.

It curbs highs and lows of carbohydrates

A diet rich in carbohydrates leads to sudden rise and fall in sugar which can promote you to make food decisions that you will regret later. Consuming carb-rich foods increases your cravings for more sugar. Pairing carbohydrates with proteins slows down the absorption of sugar from the stomach into the bloodstream which helps sudden fluctuations in blood sugar and wards of cravings.

Protein burn more energy

Proteins have a much higher thermic effect of food (TEF) compared to carbohydrates and fats, so your body burns more calories to breakdown and process protein that to process other types of macronutrients. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the energy that body uses to breakdown the foods we consume into small, easily absorbable components.

Proteins fuel fat burning

Although, fat acts as a source of energy but the body cannot burn and utilise far as energy if it is not combined with either proteins or carbohydrates. During weight loss through exercise and diet, the body loses both fats and muscles. So, during the process of weight loss it is especially important to include protein in your diet. Including adequate amount of protein in your diet fuels the fat burning process while preserving lean muscle mass.

Protein promotes muscle growth and repair

The requirement of protein increases significantly after a session of intense exercise or workout. So, it is important to increase your protein intake on the days of intense training. If you are into strength training then having a high protein snack just after completion of a training session provides optimum amount of nutrients to the muscles that help the muscles and tissues to grow and repair.

Best Food Sources of Protein 

  • Meats, poultry and dairy products are some of the most potent sources of high-quality protein.
  • Meat – beef, pork, lamb, bacon, etc
  • Poultry – chicken, turkey, eggs
  • Fish and seafood – Salmon, trout, mackerel, shrimps, lobsters
  • Dairy – milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese
  • Nuts – peanuts, pistachios, almonds
  • Beans and pulses – lentils, chickpeas, moong beans, soy beans, split peas, broad beans, kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, cowpeas, yellow beans, pinto beans, navy beans

Healthy Fats

Most people cut out fats entirely from their diet due to the fear of gaining weight. But in reality, lowering fat intake cannot help you to lose weight; on the contrary it can actually backfire and jeopardize your weight loss efforts. Including the right amount of healthy fats in the daily diet help you to make your fat loss more successful.

Benefits of Consuming Fat for Weight Loss 

Fat displaces carbs

Increasing the amount of fats in the diet means eating fewer carbs. Displacing carbohydrates by increasing the amount of fat in the diet sets the stage for optimal fat-loss. Reducing the amount of carbs lowers overall insulin levels in the body and allows the body to use the stored fats as a source of energy fuel the muscles.

Consuming fat increases the body’s ability to burn fat

A low-fat diet does not condition the body to be efficient at burning fat. Low-fat diets also pose a negative impact on Adipokines that influence fat loss. Adipokines are hormones released by the fat cells. Adiponectin is one such hormone that helps to burn fat and enhances the metabolism of the body which increases the rate at which fats are broken down. It also helps to curb appetite.

Fats have a great satiating effect that helps to reduce appetite and you end up consuming fewer calories that you do on a low-fat diet. As the fats reach the small intestine and set of hormones are released that regulate satiety and leave you feeling full. The more satiated you are, the less will you snack between meals or reach out for a second helping.

Best Food Sources of Healthy Fats

  • Avocado
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Whole eggs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Fatty fish
  • Nuts
  • Flaxseed

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have become a dreaded food ingredient because many of us think that carbs will make us fat. But, most of us don’t realize that carbs are an important macronutrient which acts as one of the most important sources of energy for the body. Depriving your body of carbs completely will have a number of side effects. The trick here is to eat the healthy nutrient-dense carbs loaded with fiber that break down slowly in the body and helps you to stay full for longer.

List of Healthy Carbs for Burning Calories 

  • Barley
  • Whole wheat pasta and bread
  • Green peas
  • Oats
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa
  • Acorn squash
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Cauliflower

Step 3

Exercise and Physical Activity

Daily exercise and physical activities are the best answer to the question of how to burn calories fast. It is the final step in a weight loss plan that can make or break your calorie burning efforts. The first and foremost thing is to set a daily appointment with yourself to exercise. It can be just a 10 minutes slot but make sure you devote this time for your health no matter how busy and preoccupied you are with your work and other commitments.

Walking is perhaps the simplest form of exercise, so walk as much as possible. Park your car at the farthest parking spot and walk to your office. Take stairs instead of escalators. Explore activities that your enjoy such as tennis, basketball, kickboxing, weightlifting, dancing, etc.

Cardio Exercises

Cardio is one of the best exercises that you can do for improving overall health. It promotes weight loss, burns fat and improves cardiovascular health. Cardio exercises get your heart rate into your target heart rate zone. The best thing is that cardio involves low-impact exercises that you can do without putting too much stress on your joints.

Doing cardio exercises does not mean sweating it out only in the gym; there are a number of outdoor activities that make great cardio workouts:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Boxing
  • Team sports
  • Dancing

Weight Training

Weight training or lifting weights at least 3 times a week help to burn more calories and prevents your metabolism from slowing down. Weight training helps you to gain significant amount of lean muscle mass while losing body fat. Weight training utilises the force of gravity in the form of equipment such as weighted bars, dumbbells and weight stacks that oppose the force generated by the muscles thought concentric or eccentric contraction.

Benefits of Weight Training for Weight Loss 

Weight training burn more body fat

Weight training burns more fat compared to cardio exercises and the fat burning effect continues to last for several hours after completion of the exercises. Increasing lean muscle mass through weight training allows your body to burn fat throughout the day. Just two sessions of heavy weight lifting per week can reduce body fat by 3 percent without bringing any changes in the diet.

Weight training burns more calories

1 hour of weight lifting helps you to torch more calories compared to 1 hour of cardio exercises. People who do weight training burn average of 100 more calories during 24 hours after completion of the training session and this calorie burning effect is increased by the increase in the weight.

Weight training helps to lose belly fat

Although, spot reduction in a myth, but the body is designed with pre-conceived places where it wants to store fat. Lifting weights helps to burn more intra-abdominal fat or the deep-seated belly fat compared to cardio.

So, you see you don’t need to starve yourself or spend the entire day in the gym to lose weight. Just set your goal, prepare and healthy diet chart and opt for 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise daily in order to burn calories, lose weight and improve your overall health.

10 Best Homemade Weight Loss Shakes loaded with Protein

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chocolate-greek-yogurt-shake

Fat burning protein shakes have always been popular among body builders and sports persons, but it has experienced a recent boom in popularity thanks to famous celebrities who are upholding its health benefits. Protein shakes usually consists of a natural protein rich ingredient such as cottage cheese or yogurt along with some low-calorie fruits for flavoring and some source of complex carbs and fiber such as chia or hemp seeds. These protein shakes promote weight loss by increasing the amount of lean muscle mass and lowering the levels of hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin that suppresses appetite in an effective manner. In this article, we have listed not one, but ten wholesome and healthy protein shakes for weight loss.

fat-burning-protein-shakes-for-weight-loss

Top 10 Fat Burning Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

Avocado Yogurt Shake

Replace your breakfast with this healthy and filling avocado yogurt shake in order to lose weight fast. Avocado is one of the healthiest of fruits packed with healthy monounsaturated fats that have the ability to lower cholesterol, reduce hunger pangs and burn stubborn belly fat. Avocado also supplies considerable amount of protein to the body that promotes lean muscle mass and promotes metabolism that speeds up the calorie burning process in the body.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  • 1 cup full-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 8 ice cubes

Procedure:

  • Scoop out the avocado flesh and put it into the blender
  • Add milk, yogurt, honey and ice cubes to it and blend to a smooth paste
  • Make sure no lumps are left in the mixture
  • Pour the concoction into a tall glass and enjoy it as a breakfast

Strawberry and Coconut oil Shake

When it comes to weight loss, the combination of coconut oil and strawberries is one of the best weight loss shakes that promote calorie burn and specially targets stubborn belly fat. Majority of the fats in coconut oil consists of healthy medium chain triglycerides that boosts metabolism and aids weight loss. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut reduce appetite so you end up eating fewer calories automatically. Strawberries increase the production of hormones that stimulate appetite, slow down the rate of breakdown of starchy foods and suppress appetite.

strawberry-and-coconut-oil-shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond/coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen strawberries
  • 1 fresh/frozen ripe banana
  • 1 table spoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey

Procedure:

  • Wash and chop the strawberries into small pieces and put them into the blender
  • Add the banana slices to it followed by the almond/coconut milk and top it with coconut oil and honey
  • Blend all the ingredients till it forms a smooth mixture and no lumps are left
  • Pour the mixture into a tall serving glass and consume it for breakfast or as a snack in between meals

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Combination of peanut butter and banana is one of the best protein-packed smoothies for weight loss. Natural peanut butter is a wonderful source of protein and fiber that helps to fill you up and keep you satiated so that you eat fewer calories. The healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in peanut butter helps to burn belly fat and reduce inches from the waistline. The resistant starch found in banana makes it exceptionally filling and helps to reduce appetite.

peanut-butter-and-banana-smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 ice cubes

Procedure:

  • Peel the banana and put it into the blender
  • Add the peanut butter, yogurt, ice cubes and milk to the blender topped with honey
  • Blend all the ingredients till it forms a smooth runny paste
  • Pour the mixture into a mug or tall glass and enjoy it as a meal substitute

Apple Flaxseed Meal Shake

Apple and flaxseed Meal Shake is one of the most effective shakes for weight loss that works due to the high fiber and omega-3 fatty acids content in flax seeds. Dietary fiber in flax seeds helps to suppress appetite and increase satiety so that you consume fewer calories throughout the day. The fibers also balance blood sugar levels in the body which prevents the storage of excess sugar as fat in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds boost the levels of hormone adiponectin that is release by fat cells to regulate metabolism of lipids and glucose.

apple-flaxseed-meal-shake

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces coconut water
  • 8 Raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal/Ground flaxseed

Procedure:

  • Soak the almonds in water overnight and then add them to the blender
  • Next, add the chopped apple topped by flaxseed meal, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon
  • Pour in the coconut water at last and then blend all the ingredients into a smooth paste
  • Pour in some more coconut water if the shake is too thick
  • Pour the mixture in a tall glass and consume it for breakfast

Chia Berry Shake

Chia Berry Shake is one of the best protein shakes for weight loss that promotes calorie burn and aids the formation of lean muscle mass. Chia is one of the best vegetarian sources of protein that encourages the formation muscle and tissue and replaces fat with lean muscle mass. High fiber content in chia seeds helps to increase satiety and reduce appetite. The antioxidants and enzymes in berries help to boost metabolism and regulate blood sugar. Both these factors aid weight loss to a great extent.

chia-berry-shake

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1.5 cups mixed raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 cup water

Procedure:

  • Thaw the raspberries, blackberries and strawberries and put them into a blender
  • Add the banana and chia seeds and top it with honey
  • Pour some water and then blend all the ingredients till it forms a smooth paste
  • You can add some more water if the smoothie is too thick
  • Pour the smoothie to a tall glass or mug and enjoy as a meal replacement

Almond Butter and Blueberry Shake

The combination of almond butter and berries makes one of the most delicious and powerful fat burning shakes that aids weight loss. Almond butter is a wonderful source of healthy fats and protein that helps to increase satiety and promotes the formation of lean muscle mass that replaces the fat cells. Blueberries are a potent source of antioxidants and vitamins and it also helps to cut out excess fat from the body by controlling the procedure in which the body processes fats and sugars in the diet.

almond-butter-and-blueberry-shake

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 4 ice cubes

Procedure:

  • Thaw the blueberries and add them to the blender
  • Add the almond milk, almond butter, protein powder and ice cubes to it and top with chia seeds
  • Blend all the ingredients in a blender for a few minutes till it forms a smooth paste like texture
  • You can add some more almond milk to it to adjust the texture of the smoothie
  • Pour it in a tall serving glass; sprinkle some chia seeds on top and enjoy

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Shake

When it comes to the best protein sources for weight loss, there are no other ingredients like Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a wholesome source of high-quality protein along with healthy fats and carbs. It also contains a considerable amount of calcium that promotes fat burning in the fat cells. Hemp seeds add some much needed complex carbohydrates and fiber to the shake that makes it exceptionally filling and satiating. Antioxidant polyphenols in cacao promotes weight loss by reducing the production of fat cells. The combination of Greek yogurt and cacao forms one of the most effective shakes to lose weight.

chocolate-greek-yogurt-shake

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 ripe fresh or frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon of honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon of coconut flakes

Procedure:

  • Add the fresh of frozen banana, Greek yogurt, honey/maple syrup, hemp seeds and cacao powder to the blender
  • Add required amount of water to the mixture and blend it to form a smooth paste
  • You can adjust the amount of water to attain the perfect texture for the smoothie
  • Pour the concoction into a mason jar, sprinkle some coconut flakes from top and drink it up
  • You can consume it as a snack or for breakfast

Mixed Berry and Cottage Cheese Shake

The combination of fresh berries and cottage cheese makes one of the healthiest diet shakes that can be included in a smoothie diet to promote weight loss. Cottage cheese is one of the best sources of protein that promotes the formation of lean muscle mass and aids weight regulation. It is a great source of calcium that not only strengthens the bones but also increases fat loss from the fat cells. Cottage cheese is a relatively low-calorie source of high-quality protein that helps to keep you satiated for a prolonged period of time without adding empty calories to your diet.

mixed-berry-and-cottage-cheese-shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 4 to 5 fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4th cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 4 ice cubes

Procedure:

  • Thaw the strawberries and blueberries and add them to the blender
  • Next, add the cottage cheese, vanilla powder, ice cubes, chia seeds and water
  • Blend all the ingredients together to make a smooth paste
  • You can increase or decrease the amount of water to adjust the thickness of the shake
  • Pour the content of the blender into a tall serving glass and serve as a snack or breakfast

Raspberry Quinoa Shake

This is one of the unconventional but healthy weight loss shakes that you can prepare with freshly cooked or left-over quinoa and juicy raspberries. Quinoa is a great source of protein and fiber that helps you to lose weight. Both protein and fiber enhances satiety and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Protein also boosts the formation of lean muscle mass that improves overall body composition. A chemical known as raspberry ketone found in raspberries helps to lose weight by increasing metabolism and affecting the level of hormone adiponectin that increases the rate at which the body burns fat and curbs appetite.

raspberry-quinoa-shake

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 3 to 4 ice cubes

Procedure:

  • Thaw the raspberries roughly and put them into the blender
  • Next, add the quinoa, Greek yogurt, ice cubes and milk
  • Blend all the ingredients for a few minutes till it forms a smooth paste
  • You can increase the amount of milk to adjust the thickness of the shake
  • Pour the concoction into a mason jar and serve as a meal replacement

Strawberry Banana Tofu Shake

Tofu is one of the healthiest soy products that supplies wholesome amount of protein to a vegetarian diet. Tofu is a low-calorie source of protein that helps to increase satiety while consuming fewer calories, which is extremely beneficial for weight loss. Unlike other plant based proteins, soy protein found in tofu is a complete protein that contains all the essential carbohydrates that are required for the formation of lean muscle mass. The combination of tofu, banana and strawberry creates one of the best weight loss shakes that promote fat burning while reducing appetite.

strawberry-banana-tofu-shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of silken soft tofu, drained and cut into cubes
  • 5 to 6 fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1 cup plain soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey

Procedure:

  • Thaw the strawberries and add them to the blender
  • Next, add the banana, tofu cubes, honey and soy milk
  • Combine all the ingredients in the blender to form a smooth puree
  • Increase the amount of soy milk to adjust the thickness of the shake
  • Pour into a tall serving glass and enjoy for breakfast or lunch

Don’t have time prepare a healthy breakfast or snack in your busy schedule? Prepare these quick and easy homemade fat burning protein shakes using natural ingredients and promote weight loss while preserving and promoting lean muscle mass.

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Complete Gluten Free Diet – 10 Best Gluten-Free Recipes

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quinoa-lentil-salad

A gluten-free diet is a special kind of diet that cut out foods containing gluten from the diet chart. Before getting on with the gluten-free diet plan it is important to know about gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in grains like wheat, rye, barley and all food products prepared using these grains. Gluten gives the sticky feature to the flour which helps it to bind together. A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease and gluten intolerance. People with celiac disease or gluten intolerance are sensitive to gluten. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestine and causes chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue, migraine and pain and swelling in joints. In this article, we have provided a detailed guideline about what is a gluten free diet along with the list of foods to eat and avoid in a gluten free diet and 10 delicious gluten-free recipes.

gluten-free-diet-recipes

Foods that are Allowed in a Gluten Free Diet

  • Corn- Corn flour, corn meal, grits, etc
  • Plain rice – white rice, basmati rice, rice cakes, rice flour, etc
  • Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, flax, millet, cassava, quinoa, sorghum, soy, tapioca, etc
  • Gluten-free flours made from nuts, beans, coconut
  • Dairy products – milk, butter, margarine, cheese, plain yogurt, ice cream
  • Oils – vegetable oils
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Poultry – eggs, chicken
  • Meat – fresh pork, beef, etc
  • Fish
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Distilled alcoholic beverages
  • Spices

foods-that-are-allowed-in-a-gluten-free-diet

Foods to Avoid in a Gluten Free Diet

  • Wheat in all forms
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Tricale
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Semolina
  • Graham flour
  • Cake flour
  • Couscous
  • Wheat containing breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, pretzels, pasta, pizza crust
  • Barley and malt
  • Malt products- Malt syrup, malt extract, malt flavoring, malt vinegar
  • Breaded or floured meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables
  • Licorice
  • Rye

foods-to-avoid-in-a-gluten-free-diet

4 Important Tips for a Gluten-free Diet

Read food labels when you shop 

All packaged foods contain a list of ingredients. So if a product makes used of a gluten-containing ingredients then it will be listed in the ingredients list.

Use gluten-free substitutes of gluten

containing foods – Regular pasta, bread and cereals often contain gluten but you can still enjoy these foods by substituting them with gluten-free alternatives such as gluten-free pasta, gluten-free bread and gluten0free cereals.

Enjoy naturally gluten-free foods

There are a lot of naturally gluten-free foods, grains and cereals such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, quinoa, amaranth, teff, buckwheat, corn, millet, tapioca, etc that can be used to prepare a balanced diet.

Avoid sauces and dressings containing gluten

Pasta sauces, gravies and salad dressings often contain wheat flour. So, make use to read the labels of the sauces and dressings and exclude gluten-containing sauces. Make your own pasta sauce and salad dressing in the kitchen using gluten-free ingredients such as potato starch, corn flour, etc.

10 Delicious and Healthy Gluten Free Recipes

Mini Jowar Uttapam

We tend to relate all grains with gluten but jowar or white millet is one of the gluten free foods loaded with iron and other nutrients that can be used to make chapattis, paratha and uttapam. Urad dal used in the batter is also a gluten-free lentil that adds a soft and fluffy texture to the dish. The jowar uttapam makes a perfect gluten-free breakfast using minimal oil that can be served to people with gluten intolerance and celiac diseases.

mini-jowar-uttapam

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup jowar/white millet, soaked overnight and drained
  • 2/4 cup urad dal/split black lentils, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup soya milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoon ginger-green chilli paste
  • 3.5 teaspoon oil

Procedure

Mix the jowar, urad dal and soya milk in a bowl and pour it into a blender to blend into a smooth paste. Pour the paste into another bowl and add 1/4 cup of water to it and mix well to from a smooth batter. Add the salt and ginger-green chilli paste to it and mix well. Heat an uttapa pan and grease it with cooking oil. Pour 2 small spoonful of batter into each uttapa mould and cook till they turn golden brown on both sides. Do the same with the remaining batter. Serve the mini uttapa with coconut chutney as a wholesome breakfast.

Easy Vegan Vegetable Rice Biryani

Although, many of us shun white rice and replace it with brown or black rice because of their higher fiber content, being gluten-free is one of the perks of white rice which makes it a healthy option for people with digestive disorders. The quick and easy vegetable rice biryani is one of the delicious vegan gluten free recipes that can be served as a main course during lunch or dinner.

easy-vegan-vegetable-rice-biryani

Ingredients:

  • 2 spoons olive oil/Ghee
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 3 to 4 whole peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 cups of water/vegetable broth
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Procedure

Heat the olive oil/Ghee in a large skillet and then add the onions. Add the whole cumin seeds, peppercorns, turmeric, ginger and coriander after a minute or two and toast for 2 minutes without burning them. Now, add rice and water and boil on reduced heat for 15 to 20 minutes or till the rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed. Now, turn off the head and add the green peas, raisins and almonds and stir the rice gently. You can also add a pinch of salt to adjust the taste.

Gluten-free Pasta Carbonara

Pasta is a popular and healthy main-course dish which can be served for lunch or dinner. Choosing gluten-free pasta instead of regular ones helps to make it one of the healthiest gluten free recipes that contain the goodness of bacon, spinach and parmesan cheese. It is a complete one-pot meal ideal for the busy week days when you don’t have time to prepare an elaborate dinner.

gluten-free-pasta-carbonara

Ingredients:

  • 6-center-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 6-ounce pack of prewashed baby spinach
  • 8-ounces uncooked gluten-free spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Procedure

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon to it. Cook for 5 minutes or till the bacon are crisp. Remove the bacon from pan and reserve 2 teaspoons drippings in the pan and set the bacon aside. Add the onion to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, pour in the wine and cook for 1 minute or till the wine is reduced to half. Next, add the spinach and cook for 2 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the spinach to a separate dish. Cook the pasta in boiling water as per package instructions without adding salt or oil to it. Drain excess water, just reserve 1 tablespoon of pasta water. Add the pasta and pasta water to the spinach mixture, sprinkle fried bacon from top and stir well to combine the ingredients. Place the skillet on low heat. Combine cheese, salt, black pepper, whole egg and egg white in a bowl and add it to the pasta mixture, tossing it well. Cook the pasta for another minute and remove from heat. Sprinkle the chopped parsley from top and serve.

Makki Ki Roti/Paratha

People with gluten-intolerance usually refrain from flat-breads or roti prepared with wheat-flour because it contains gluten. But corn flour acts as a gluten-free substitute which can be used to prepare roti, paratha and flat-breads. Makki roti is one of the healthiest gluten free diet recipes that can be consumed as a substitute for rice.

makki-ki-roti-paratha

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Makki ka Atta/Corn flour
  • 1 cup potato, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons dry fenugreek leaves/Kasuri methi
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida/hing
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons of ghee/clarified butter

Procedure

Combine the corn flour, salt, chilli flakes, fenugreek leaves and asafetida in a bowl and mix well. Add the boiled potatoes to the mixture and mix well. Add water as needed to prepare a firm dough. Knead the dough well. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll into smooth balls. Take one ball at a time, press on a flat surface and roll using a rolling pin into a 6-inch circle. Repeat with all the balls. Place the roti on a skillet and cook on medium heat. The roti will change color. Turn the roti over with a spatula. Add a teaspoon of ghee to the roti and grill it to perfection and remove from heat.

Gluten-free Indian Chicken Curry

Chicken is one of the best sources of high-quality protein and including chicken in a gluten-free diet helps to supply some wholesome nutrients to it. The gluten-free chicken curry works as a delicious and nutritious side dish that can be served with rice or roti during lunch or dinner. The addition of green and red bell peppers adds a generous amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to the recipe.

gluten-free-chicken-curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Boneless chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored and cut into large cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 cups sliced yellow onions
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons gingerroot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup canned, reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips

Procedure

Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onions and tomatoes to it and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, till the onions soften and turn golden brown. Add the garlic, gingerroot, salt, curry powder, paprika, garam masala and bay leaf and cook for another 5 minutes or till the spices turn fragrant. Now, stir in the coconut milk, cashews, red bell pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and pour it into a blender. Blend the ingredients till smooth and return it to the pan. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or till it thickens. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add chicken pieces to it. Brown the chicken on all sides and then add it to the curry base, heat until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Put a skillet on heat, cook the green bell peppers until brown and add it over the chicken curry.

Pudina Gobi

Cauliflower is a wholesome and healthy gluten-free vegetable loaded with nutrients and fiber that makes it absolutely filling. Cauliflower florets cooked in a flavorful mint or Pudina gravy makes a perfect gluten-free side dish that can be served with rice, roti or paratha to create a complete meal.

pudina-gobi

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups Boiled cauliflower florets
  • 2 teaspoons low-fat butter
  • Salt o taste

Ingredients for Pudina paste:

  • 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves/Pudina
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander/Dhania
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Procedure

Add the ingredients for the Pudina paste in a grinder and grind to form a smooth paste and keep aside. Heat the butter in a large non-stick pan and add the cauliflower florets to it. Sprinkle some salt and sauté the cauliflowers on medium heat for 1 minute. Now, add the prepared Pudina paste over the cauliflower florets and cook it covered over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with Makki or jowar roti or paratha.

Masala Vadai

Crispy and crunchy masala vadai is a delicious and healthy gluten-free snack that can be served with tea or sauce. Chana dal or split Bengal gram is a gluten-free lentil that supplies wholesome amount of proteins to the recipe. Minimal amount of oil used for pan-searing the vadai also helps to keep it light and low in calories.

masala-vadai

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soaked chana dal/split Bengal ream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 teaspoon of oil for cooking

Procedure

Soak the chana dal for 3 hours, drain the excess water and blend it in a mixer to from a coarse mixture. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients except oil and mix well. Divide the mixture into 10 equal parts and shape each one into flat round vadai. Heat a non-stick tava and grease it with oil. Place the vadai on oil and dry each side till it turns golden brown in color. Serve with green coriander chutney.

Cheesy Baked Potatoes

These cheesy baked potatoes make a healthy and wholesome snack that contain the right proportion of carbs, fibers, proteins and healthy fats. Potatoes are one of the best gluten-free sources of carbs that makes it a great source of energy. The combination broccoli and red pepper in the filling provide some essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber to the dish.

cheesy-baked-potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5 large potatoes, boiled and unpeeled
  • Salt to taste

For the filling:

  • 1 cup broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cream
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Heat butter in a pan and add the chopped broccoli, red, pepper, garlic and green chilies to it and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the cream, salt, pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes and remove from fire. Sprinkle the cheese from top and mix well. Your filling is ready. Now, cut the boiled potatoes into halves horizontally, scoop out the insides of the potato using a spoon and fill them with the mixed vegetables filling. Bake the stuffed potatoes in an oven for 5 to 7 minutes and serve with tomato ketchup.

Quinoa Lentil Salad

This light and healthy quinoa and lentil salad is a low-calorie gluten-free salad recipe that can be served as a substitute for lunch or dinner. Both quinoa and lentils are absolutely gluten-free which makes them easily digestible. Broccoli, carrots, asparagus, cauliflower and pomegranates supply wholesome amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber to the salad.

quinoa-lentil-salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 to 3 baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup Broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped asparagus
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup boiled lentils
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander

For the dressing:

  • Juice of 1 sweet lime
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Chopped lemon grass
  • 1/2 green chilli, chopped
  • 4 to 6 basil leaves

Procedure

Boil water in a large pan and add some salt to it. Add the chopped vegetables into the boiling water and par-blanch for 45 minutes and immediately shift them to a bowl of ice cold water. Add soaked quinoa to a bowl followed by the lentils and pomegranate seeds. Next, add the chopped spring onions and coriander and mix them well. Finally add the blanched vegetables to the quinoa mixture.

Pour the sweet lime juice in a bowl and add the mustard, lemon grass, green chilli, basil leaves and olive oil to it, mix well and pour it over the salad and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle some sunflower seeds from top and serve.

Gluten-free Chocolate Sponge Cake

What better way to end the list of gluten-free recipes than with a delicious gluten-free dessert that can be served at the end of a meal. The soft and fluffy chocolate sponge cake is extremely easy to prepare and requires only a few ingredients. Replacing regular wheat flour with gluten-free white millet flour gives a healthy touch to the recipe without affecting its taste.

gluten-free-chocolate-sponge-cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup jowar/white millet flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh curd/dahi
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoon melted butter for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons jowar/white millet flour for dusting

Procedure

Sieve the jowar flour and add cocoa powder and baking powder to it; mix well and keep aside. Mix curd, milk, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla essence in a bowl, mix well and add the jowar flour to it along with 2 tablespoons of water and mix all the ingredients slowly to form a smooth batter. Grease a cake mould with butter and dust it with jowar flour. Now, pour the cake batter into the cake mould and spread it evenly. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree C/360 degree F for 50 to 55 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool. Bring out the cake on a plate, slice and serve.recipe

So, now that you know the gluten free diet benefits for improving your digestive health and curing celiac diseases, try out these easy and healthy gluten-free recipes and include them in your daily diet to relieve gluten intolerance.

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Balanced Diet Chart for Maintaining Overall Health and Weight Loss

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carbohydrates

Our modern lifestyle with is over-dependence of processed and packed foods are one of the main reasons for increasing cases of chronic diseases. The high amount of refined carbs, unhealthy fats, sugar and sodium in processed and fast foods not only lead to uncontrolled weight gain and obesity, but also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, etc. One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve the overall quality of life is to opt for a healthy and balanced diet that consists of healthy whole foods and contains the macronutrients and micronutrients in the right proportion. In this article, we present to you a comprehensive balanced diet chart along with the list of essential macro and micronutrients that should be included in the diet chart.

ultimate-balanced-diet-chart-for-healthy-weightloss

Important Macronutrients – Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats

Macronutrients are the main essential nutrients that provide energy to the body and they are required for various body functions such as growth, metabolism, etc. These nutrias are named macronutrients because they are required in large amounts by the body.

Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates make it to the top of the list of macronutrients in a healthy diet because the body requires it in the largest amounts. According the Dietary Reference published by the USDA, 45 to 55% of the daily calories should come from carbohydrates.

carbohydrates

Why do we need carbohydrates?

  • Acts as the main source of fuel for the body
  • Readily used by the body for producing energy
  • It breaks down into glucose that can be used by all cells and tissues in the body
  • Carbs are required by the central nervous system, kidneys, brain and muscles to work properly
  • Carbs can be stored in the muscles and liver and used later for energy
  • Required for maintaining proper intestinal health and waste elimination

Choosing the right type of carb 

Health conscious people and weight watchers often shun carbs all together for the fear of weight gain. But not all carbs are same. The trick is to choose the right kind of carb in include it in your healthy eating plan. There are two types of carbs – refined carbs and complex carbs. Simple or refined carbs come from white rice, white flour, white bread, etc which break down readily in the intestine and cause sudden spike in blood sugar. Complex carbs that come from whole grains, brown rice, oats, millets, vegetables, etc breakdown slowly in the intestine and act as a consistent source of energy for the body.

Simple Carbs

Simple carbohydrates such as sugar, white rice, all-purpose flour, baked goods, etc have a simple molecular structure, i.e., they are made of 1-2 sugar molecules. Simple or refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. High glycemic foods breakdown and digest rapidly in the intestine leading to sudden spike in blood glucose levels which in turn leads to increase in the level of insulin in order to balance the level of blood glucose in the body. These fluctuations can be extremely harmful for people with diabetes. Increased level of insulin also leads to weight gain. Not all simple carbs are bad or unhealthy. Simple sugars found in milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruits are healthy and should be consumed in moderation.

Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice, oats, lentils, legumes and vegetables are also made up of sugar. But these sugar molecules are bound together to form longer and more complex chains. Whole grains contain the barn and the germ which are considered the healthiest parts of the grains. They are also high in dietary fiber that keep you feeling fuller for longer, which is the ultimate answer to the question of how to lose weight quickly. Complex carbs take it longer to digest and breakdown in the intestine. They work as consistent slow-releasing sources of energy.

Fiber

Fibers are yet another important part of a healthy diet chart that comes from carbohydrates. Fiber is the indigestible portion of plant materials that passes straight through the gut without being absorbed. Fibers are great colon cleansers that keep the digestive process running in a healthy way. Moreover, fibers are exceptionally low in calories. There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of dietary fiber.

fiber-for-weightloss

Proteins 

Proteins act as the building blocks of muscles. Protein is the main component of all the cells present in the body right from the hair and skin to soft tissues. Including proteins in each and every meal is the fastest way to lose weight because the body burns more calories in digesting protein than carbs or fats. Proteins are broken down by the digestive system to form amino acids that are required for building muscles, normal growth of the body and quick healing of wounds and injuries. According to the dietary references published by USDA, 10 to 35% of calories come from protein.

food-high-in-protein

 

Why do we need protein?

  • For growth and development
  • Repair of tissue
  • Immune function
  • Making essential hormones and enzymes
  • Acting as an alternative source of energy in the absence of carbs
  • Preserving lean muscle mass

Some of the healthiest sources of protein include meats, poultry, eggs, fish, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes and lentils.

Fats

Although, most of us try to stay away from fat because of its negative reputation for causing weight gain, we don’t realize that some healthy fats are essential for our survival. Fats must be included in a balanced and healthy diet meal plan to provide energy, synthesize hormones and store vitamins. It is best to consume a good blend of various types of oils to get the right proportion of all these kinds of fats – polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids. According to the Dietary Reference published by USDA, 20 to 35% of the calories should come from fats.

food-high-in-fat

 

Why do we need fats?

  • Normal growth and development
  • It acts as the most concentrated source of energy
  • Absorbing fat soluble vitamins – Vitamins A, D, E, K and carotenoids
  • Providing cushioning to organs
  • Maintenance of cell membranes

Types of Fats

There are 4 main types of fats – saturated fats, trans fats, unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy Fats

Unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are considered the healthiest of fats.

Unsaturated Fats

All sources of fats comprise of a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fats. The trick is to choose the foods that contain the higher concentration of unsaturated fats and less saturated fat. Unsaturated fats contain higher proportion of unsaturated fatty acids that are liquid at room temperature. The Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats maintain healthy cholesterol levels and polyunsaturated fats provide essential fatty acids to the body.

Some of the best sources of unsaturated fats include olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are a specific group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that help to maintain healthy heart, prevents blood clotting and regulates heart rhythm. Omega-3 fatty acids are also required during pregnancy and breastfeeding to support the development of the child.

Some of the best sources of oemga-3 fatty acids include fatty fishes such as salmon, mackerel, sardine, herring, trout and fresh crab, along with flax, linseed oil and walnuts.

Unhealthy Fats

Saturated fats and Trans fats found in fatty cuts of meat, full-fat dairy products and processed foods are considered harmful for health.

Saturated Fats

Excessive intake of saturated fats increases the level of cholesterol in the blood that leads to heart diseases and stroke. High intake of saturated fats increases the level of harmful LDL cholesterol that builds up in the blood vessels narrow them down and increases the risk of blood clots.

Foods Containing Saturated Fats  – fatty meats, full fat dairy products, processed foods, butter, lard, palm oil, coconut oil, etc.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are found in trace amounts in meat and dairy products and in much larger amounts in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fats have a more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels compared to saturated fats.

Micronutrients – Vitamins and Minerals

Micronutrients play a crucial role in a balanced diet. They provide essential nutrients that aid prevention and treatment of various diseases and conditions and optimize physical and mental functioning. Vitamins and minerals are the two main types of micronutrients. While micronutrients are named so because they are required in small amounts, they play important roles in regulation of metabolism, regulating heart beat and pH of cells and maintaining bone density.

List of Micronutrients in Balanced Diet

Vitamin A – Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy vision, proper neurological function, healthy skin, etc. It also reduces inflammation and neutralizes the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin A also strengthens the bones and supports immune function.

list-of-micronutrients

 

Food Source of Vitamin A – Milk, cheese, egg yolk, orange and yellow vegetables and fruits such as carrots, yellow bell peppers, squash along with spinach and other leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin B

B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play an important role in cell metabolism. The group consists of chemically distinct vitamins that co-exist in the same foods. There are eight specific B-vitamins – vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12.

Food sources of B-vitamins – Red meat, dark leafy green vegetables, fortified whole grain cereals, green peas, lentils, nuts, milk, yogurt, cheese, legumes, soy products, potatoes, etc.

Vitamin C

 Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin that is required by the body for biosynthesis of collagen and protein metabolism. Collagen is an essential component of connective tissues that facilitate wound healing. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant that limits the damaging effects of free radicals, prevents cardiovascular diseases and delays the development of certain cancers.

Food sources of vitamin C  – Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, Kiwifruit, strawberries, tomato juice, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, cantaloupe, spinach, green peas, etc.

Vitamin D

This is yet another fat-soluble vitamin that is present in very few foods. Sun is the main source of vitamin D. When sunlight strikes the skin, it triggers the synthesis of vitamin D. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and supports bone growth and bone remodeling. Vitamin D also aids modulation of cell growth, supports immune function and reduces inflammation.

Food source of vitamin D – cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, mushrooms, sardine, liver, eggs, cheese, fortified orange juice, fortified milk, fortified yogurt, fortified cereal, etc.

Vitamin E

It is a fat-soluble vitamin which acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. Vitamin E prevents free radical damage to specific fats and helps to maintain proper function of many organs. Vitamin E repairs damaged skin and thicken the hair. It improves vision and slows down cognitive decline.

Food sources of vitamin E  – Almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, avocado, wheat germ, broccoli, spinach, butternut squash, kiwifruit, tomatoes, etc.

Iron

Iron is one of the most important minerals required by the human body to transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron also supports the functions of the immune system and helps to prevent anemia in women.

Food sources of iron – Red meat, organ meat, spinach, beans, lentils, tofu, dried fruits, raisins, etc.

iron-benefits

Calcium

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body and it is required for developing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Calcium deficit in the body can lead to osteoporosis, rickets, hypertension and raised cholesterol.

Food sources of calcium – Milk, cheese, yogurt, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, sardines, salmon, oysters, etc.

Magnesium

This is perhaps one of the most neglected minerals, but magnesium is required in over 300 chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium helps to maintain healthy cells, provides energy, regulates blood pressure and prevents insulin resistance.
Food sources of magnesium – Bran cereal, brown rice, almonds, Swiss chard, molasses, pineapple, soybeans, oats, etc.

Zinc

The main role of zinc in the body is to regulate the regular development of new cells within the body. Zinc also supports a strong immune system, speeds up wound healing and improves fertility.

Food sources of zinc  – Seafood such as oysters and crab, spinach, cashew, beans, dark chocolate, pork shoulder and tenderloin, fortified cereals, etc.

Selenium

Selenium is an essential mineral found in the body in small amounts. It functions as an antioxidants combined with vitamin E. It helps to fight the free radicals that damage cell membranes and DNA. Selenium also helps to regulate thyroid function and immune system function.

Food sources of selenium-  Brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, liver, butter, tuna, herring, mackerel, shellfish such as oysters, scallops and lobsters, garlic, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, whole grains, etc.

Sample Balanced Diet Chart

Here we provide a simpla balanced diet chary for overall health

Breakfast in Balanced Diet Chart

1 cup milk/tea/coffee/green tea + 1 bowl poha prepared with sprouts or vegetables

                                   Or

2 slices of brown bread with 1 omlette

                                Or

1 bowl of oats with milk and nuts and raisins

Mid-morning in Balanced Diet Chart

1 apple

 Or

A cup of vegetable sticks with yogurt

 Or

A cup of cottage cheese with berries

Lunch in Balanced Diet Chart

1 bowl of mixed vegetable salad/1 bowl of soup/ stir fry vegetables + 1 bowl dal/paneer subzi/ chicken stew/ baked fish/ boiled eggs + 2 chapatti/1 bowl of brown rice + 1 bowl curd/1 glass unsweetened lassi

Afternoon in Balanced Diet Chart

1 cup of tea + 6 almonds

 Or

1 cup of black coffee + 3 to 4 walnuts

Evening in Balanced Diet Chart

Handful of dry roasted chickpeas + 1 orange

 Or

Handful of dry roasted Bengal gram + 1 peal

Dinner in Balanced Diet Chart

1 bowl of mixed green salad/1 bowl soup/ mixed vegetables curry + 1 bowl dal/chicken stew/baked fish/boiled eggs + 2 chapatti/ 1 bowl barley or Dalia + 1 glass of buttermilk

Bed time in Balanced Diet Chart

1 glass of milk (optional)

A healthy diet that helps to maintain overall health and promote weight loss must contain all the essential nutrients in the right proportion. Starving or fad diets can never work as permanent solutions. A healthy eating plan along with regular exercise is the best way to promote sustainable weight loss.

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Infographic – 7 Days Gm Diet Chart and Menu for Quick Weight Loss

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GM Diet or General Motors diet

Losing weight is a run against time. The biggest problem with most of the diet plans is their seclusion of most important thing- food!! The general motor diet plan is an effective routine in fighting your flabs without starving the gut. This diet plan is balanced, well framed and distributes the calories well throughout the day.  Another boggling idea about the weight losing plans is work-outs! After a 9-9 day at work, practically your body allows no more of torture. The GM diet plan understands this completely and leaves the question of workout upon you. A light brisk walking, just to keep you active would work sufficiently well.

The fruits, vegetables, soups in this diet are fulfilling and does no compromise on your taste. This flexible gm diet gives you a lot of alternative foods. Vegetarians can finally rejoice on the concept of this vegetarian 7-day weight loss plan. Following gm diet plan makes you appreciate the discipline as well the delicacies of eating. There is a lot to keep you stick to your plan. At first, one could lose 3-6 Kgs of weight by this 7-day weight loss plan. Secondly, the gm motors diet plan helps you in the complete detoxification of your digestive tract. This refreshes your entire system and removes the chocks. Some parts of the plan also include butter and cottage cheese. Quitting all the unhealthy synthetic and extra-processed elements for a week gets easier by the addition of energy-rich foods like kidney beans and sprouts.

What makes gm diet plan definitely a big hit is the fact that all the foods in the plan are commonly available. The format of gm diet is simple to follow and practical to achieve. Apart from pregnant women, under 18 teenagers and people with chronic diseases, everyone can aim for a slim, toned and most importantly a healthy body.  The gm diet chart revises not only your weight but it also keeps your eating lifestyle in check. In a nutshell, this diet plan is a breakthrough to bring internal harmony in your life.

gm-diet-7days-weight-loss-infographic

6 Health Benefits of Ragi – 10 Ragi Recipes for Healthy Life

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ragi-mudde

Ragi or finger millet is an ancient food product that was consumed in the southern parts of India. But it has experienced increasing popularity in recent years due to its high nutritive and therapeutic value. Ragi flour is a potent source of complex carbohydrates followed by protein and fiber and minimal amount of fat. Ragi also contains wholesome amount of calcium and iron along with niacin, thiamin and riboflavin along with some amino acids. All these nutrients work together to promote healthy eating, aid natural weight loss, act as a gluten-free source of protein and great non-dairy source of calcium.

ragi-recipes-and-benefits-for-weightloss

6 Effective Health Benefits of Ragi in Daily Life

Aids Weight Loss

Promoting natural weight loss is one of the best ragi benefits. Ragi is a potent source of dietary fiber that keeps the stomach full for a longer period of time and prevents the craving for unhealthy foods. Ragi also contains an amino acid Tryptophan which lowers appetite and helps in losing weight. This amino acid gets digested at a slower rate and prevents overeating.

Best of Quality Protein for weightloss

Helps to Control Diabetes

The coats of ragi are loaded with antioxidant polyphenols and dietary fiber which makes it a low glycemic food. The high amount of dietary fiber slows down the breakdown and digestion of ragi which helps to maintain blood sugar within a safe range. It is best to include ragi in your breakfast to make the most out of its blood-sugar controlling benefits.

Relieves Anemia

Deficiency of iron in the body leads to anemia and various other iron-deficiency diseases. Ragi is an excellent source of natural iron which helps to raise hemoglobin levels in anemic patients. Once the ragi sprouts the vitamin C level in these seeds increases, which facilitates the absorption of iron in the bloodstream. For optimum absorption of iron, you can consume ragi in the form of ragi dosa or ragi balls prepared with plenty of vegetables.

Improves Bone Health

Ragi is one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium, which is much higher compared to other grains. 100 grams of ragi contain 344 mg of calcium which is essential for developing healthy bones and teeth and preventing osteoporosis. Ragi porridge is extremely beneficial for growing kids.

Natural Relaxant

The generous amount of amino acids and antioxidants present in ragi helps the body to relax and unwind. It helps to deal with conditions of depression, anxiety and insomnia. It helps to promote restful sleep and cures migraines.

Reduces the Risk of Stroke

In the early stages, when ragi is still green, it helps to lower high blood pressure and control hypertension. It also helps to regulate cholesterol levels in the blood by reducing the rate of plaque formation and minimizing the risk of blocked blood vessels.

10 Healthy Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ragi Roti

This a healthy low-calorie Indian flat bread recipe prepared with ragi flour. It makes minimal use of oil, just for pan searing the roti. The inclusion of carrots and mild spices makes it one of the best ragi recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

ragi-roti

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups ragi flour
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 10 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • A small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Procedure:

Mix all the ingredients except water in a large bowl. Now, sprinkle water and mix the flour. Continue to add water to the flour as you knead it. Once the dough is prepared, divide it into medium-sized balls. Take a clean cotton cloth and immerse it in a bowl of water. Squeeze out the excess water from the cloth and spread it on a flat platform. Put the ragi flour ball on the center of the cloth and pat it with your palm to make a circular shape. Once you achieve a more or less circular shape, stop patting. Heat a tava on the stove, adjust it to medium heat. Lift the cotton cloth containing the ragi flour roti with both hands and invert it over the tawa so that the roti is on the tava and the cloth is upwards. Remove the cloth slowly as the roti sticks to the tava. Add little oil around the roti and close the lid. Remove the lid and turn the roti to the other side. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and then remove from heat.

Ragi Porridge

Ragi porridge or ragi malt is one of the healthy and nutritious ragi flour recipes that can be consumed on a daily basis to promote weight loss and improve overall health. It is one of the mild and non-spicy ragi recipes for babies that help to strengthen their bones and teeth.

ragi-porridge

Ingredients:
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of ragi flour
  • Milk
  • Organic jaggery, as needed
Procedure:

Soak the jaggery in water and let it melt completely. Stir in the ragi flour and break up the lumps and cook the mixture on low flame until it thickens. Let it cool down completely. Now, add milk as needed to bring it to a smooth consistently and serve immediately.

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Ragi Dosa

This is one of the most popular ragi or finger millet recipes that is prepared by mixing ragi flour, rice flour, yogurt, water and a few spices. It is extremely easy to prepare and takes only a few minutes to put together. It is a low-calorie ragi recipe that can be served as a breakfast or snack in between meals.

ragi-dosa

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup ragi flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup sour curd
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Cooking oil, for shallow frying
  • Salt to taste
For tempering:
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-7 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp oil
Procedure:

Take the ragi flour, rice flour, green chilies and curd in a large mixing bowl and add 1.5 cups of water and salt to it. Mix all the ingredients properly and keep it aside for 30 minutes. Add chopped onions and coriander leaves to the batter and mix well. Heat 1 tsp of oil in pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves to the oil. Wait till the spices crackle. Remove the pan from flame and pour the tempering over the batter. Heat is dosa tawa over medium flame. Smear some oil on the tawa and pour a ladle-full of batter on it and spread it in circular motion. Drizzle 1 tsp of oil around the dosa and cook until the color changes to brown. Now, flip the dosa and cook the other side for 30 seconds. Turn off the flame, fold the dosa and serve with coconut chutney.

Ragi Mudde

Ragi Mudde is a staple snack in some parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the delicious millet flour recipes that is usually served with leafy greens or dal. This recipe requires just two basic ingredients – ragi flour and salt and the end product is simply amazing. It does not make use of oil or spices which makes it one of the healthiest ragi recipes for weight loss.

ragi-mudde

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup ragi flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt as needed

Procedure:

Take a pot and add the water to it followed by salt and 1 tbsp of ragi flour and mix well to remove the lumps. Cook the mixture on medium flame. Add the flour once the mixture begins to boil. Take off the pot from the stove and stir it continually to prevent the formation of lumps. Bring the flour together to the center of the pot; it will help to trap the steam into the flour. Now, put the pan back on the stove, cover and cook on low heat for 3 minutes without burning. Remove it from flame and let it cool down. When it cools down completely, moisten your palms with water and roll the dough into balls and serve with sambar or your favorite gravy.

Ragi Idli

Using ragi flour for preparing idli transforms the regular idli in to a healthy and nutritious dish that can be served for breakfast or as a snack. This is one of the healthy ragi recipes that do not make use of oil or spices. The entire cooking is done through the process of steaming which keeps it low in calories.

ragi-idly

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup ragi flour
  • 1/2 cup split black gram, soaked for 4 hours and drained
  • 1 cup idli rawa soaked
  • 1 tbsp oil for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon green chillies finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of baking soda
Procedure:

Grind the black gram to form a smooth paste. Drain the excess water from idli rawa, add black gram paste to it and mix well. Add the ragi flour to it, mix thoroughly, cover it and keep in a warm place for 8 hours. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and green chilies to it, sauté and add the tempering to the fermented idli batter along with salt and baking soda and mix well. Heat water in a steamer, grease the idli moulds with some oil and pour a ladleful of batter in each mould. Place them in the steamer, cover and steam for 13 minutes. Remove the idlis from the steamer and serve with coconut chutney.

Ragi Upma

Ragi upma is one of the nutrient-rich ragi-flour recipes that can be served for breakfast or as a snack. It is loaded with fiber and iron which makes it exceptionally filling. The addition of assorted vegetables such as carrots and onions makes it healthier and add a nice texture to the upma.

ragi-upma

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup ragi flour
  • 1/2 cup rava/semolina
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • 2.5 tsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
Procedure:

Dry roast the ragi flour and semolina in a non-stick pan for 4 to 5 minutes or till the color turns light brown and keep it aside. Heat oil in the pan and add the mustard seeds to it. When it crackles, add the asafetida, curry leaves, green chilies and onions and sauté on medium flame for 1 minute. Next, add the carrots and sauté for 1 minute. Add the ragi-semolina mixture and salt and sauté on medium heat for 2 minutes. Now add 4 cups of hot water and cook on low flame for another 3 minutes or till the water evaporates. Continue to stir the mixture continuously. Add the coriander from top, mix well and keep aside for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Crispy Ragi Vada

Crispy ragi vada is a tasty and savory snack with a number of health benefits. This is one of the healthiest finger millet recipes that can be enjoyed even by diabetic people. Although, it is a deep-fried snack, it does not absorb oil like other vadas which makes it exceptionally low in calories and fat.

ragi-voda

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups ragi flour
  • 1/2 kg baby onions
  • 1/2 cup curry leaves
  • 2-3 slit green chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • Oil for frying
Procedure:

Mix the baby onions, curry leaves and green chillies together in a blender to form a smooth paste. In a deep bowl combine the onions paste, ragi flour, chopped onions and salt and knead to form a soft dough. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Heat oil in a deep frying pan, fry each of the vadas until it turns golden brown in color. Serve the vadas with tomato sauce.

Ragi Stew

Ragi stew is a simple and light vegetable stew prepared using ragi flour, tomatoes, green peas, carrots and onions. It is one of the wholesome and filling ragi recipes for weight loss that can be served alone or paired with brown rice or whole wheat bread.

ragi-stew

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup ragi flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 7 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
Other Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 small bay leaves
Procedure:

Heat 7 cups of water in a deep pan and add garlic, onions and coriander to and bring the water to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green peas, carrots, tomatoes, sugar, chili powder and salt and simmer for another 10 minutes. Heat olive oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and bay leaves, when the cumin starts to crackle add the tempering to the stew. Add milk and ragi flour to plain water and add it to the stew mixture. Simmer for another 10 minutes or till your attain the desired consistency. Serve hot with brown rice.

Ragi Pancakes

Give a wholesome and healthy touch to regular pancakes by substituting all-purpose flour with ragi flour. The combination of mashed potatoes and ragi flour creates a filling combination loaded with vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. These pancakes can be served for breakfast or as a evening snack.

ragi-pancakes

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup ragi flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • Oil for cooking
Procedure:

Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly to attain a pouring consistency. Heat a skillet on medium flame and grease with little oil. Pour a ladle full of the batter on the skillet and allow it to cook on medium heat for 1 minute. Now, flip the pancake and allow it to cook for another 30 seconds. Serve hot with butter or maple syrup. You can add some chopped nuts or sliced bananas from top to garnish the pancakes.

Ragi Cookies 

Add a touch of sweetness to your taste buds with these mild sweet and crispy ragi flour cookies that contain the goodness of cane sugar and finger millet. It is a low-calorie recipe for cookies that can be enjoyed as a sweet snack or paired with tea or coffee.

ragi-cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup ragi flour
  • 1/2 cup brown cane sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp green cardamom powder
  • 2 pinches ginger powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup rice bran oil
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 tbsp salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp dry ginger
Procedure:

Mix the ragi flour and cardamom flour in a deep bowl and then dry roast this mixture on a tawa till the color changes to dark brown. Break an egg into the ragi flour and add the sugar to it. Mix all the ingredients and add the dry ginger and salt to it, followed by the oil and mix well to form a dough. Divide the dough into round ball and then flatten then in your palm. Preheat the oven for 5 minutes. Place a butter paper on a flat dish and put the cookie dough pieces on it and bake for 8 minutes at 180 degree C.

So, replace oats and quinoa with ragi or finger millet which is a low-calorie source of healthy dietary fiber that helps to increase satiety and promotes sustainable weight loss in the long run.

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Top 10 Healthy American Meal and Dessert Recipes for Weight Loss

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classic-cobb-salad

America is considered one of the developed nations but have you wondered why it is plagued with chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer? May the problem lies in the Standard American Diet that consists mainly of refined carbs, sugar and fats. Americans choose convenience over health and rely too much on packed, processed and ready to eat foods that are wrecking havoc on their health. In this article, we bring to you the healthier versions of the most popular American meal and dessert recipes that are low in calories and packed with nutrients.

10 Popular Healthy American Meal and Dessert Recipes

Grilled Lobster Rolls

Grilled lobster rolls are a classic American recipe that can be served for lunch or dinner. This version of the lobster rolls makes use of fresh lobster tail meat and whole-wheat buns instead of regular white-flour buns which makes it one of the healthy recipes for weight loss. Lobster meat is a potent source of high-quality protein that is exceptionally low in fat. Lobster also contains considerable amount of calcium and phosphorus that promotes healthy bones. Vitamin B-12 and choline in lobster meat helps to maintain healthy brain functions by supporting the production of neurotransmitters.

grilled-lobster-rolls

Ingredients:
  • 2 10 to 12-ounce lobster tails
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 whole-wheat hot-dog buns
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Procedure:

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the lobster tails on a cutting board with the soft side facing up and cut the tails into half lengthwise through the shell using a kitchen knife. Now, brush the lobster meat with oil and lay them on the grill with the cut-side down and cook until the meat is lightly roasted and the shells turn red, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Let the lobster cool and bring some water to boil in a small pan. Cook the snow peas for 1 minute, drain and blanch in cold water. Slice the peas thinly. Now, remove the shells and chop the lobster meat. Mix the celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, shallot, mustard, tarragon, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl, add the chopped lobster and snow peas to it and mix well. Divide the mixture and stuff them into toasted buns.

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich

Grilled chicken makes one of the best recipes to lose weight no matter in which way you have it. This grilled chicken and pineapple sandwich is a perfect quick lunch or dinner that is loaded with the goodness of chicken breasts that contain wholesome amount of high-quality protein and pineapples that are loaded with antioxidants and dietary fiber. The use of whole-wheat bread rolls instead of white bread rolls enhances the health quotient of the recipe even further.

grilled-chicken-and-pineapple-sandwich

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 pineapple slices
  • 1/3 cup pickled jalapeno slices
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat Kaiser Rolls
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
Procedure

Put the chicken and teriyaki sauce in a resealable plastic back and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to a few hours. Heat a grill, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place on the grill. Discard the excess marinade. Cook the chicken pieces for 4 to 5 minutes on one side, flip and immediately add the cheese to each chicken breast. Continue to cook till the cheese melts and the chicken in light crisp to touch. Remove from the grill and keep aside. Now, add the pineapple slices and rolls to the grill, cook until the rolls are lightly toasted and the pineapple slices are caramelized and tender. Now, top each roll with chicken, pineapple, red onion and jalapeno slices and enjoy.

Classic Cobb Salad

The classic Cobb Salad is a quintessential American salad recipe that is extremely simple and easy to prepare and can be served for lunch, dinner or brunch. The combination of chicken breasts, bacon and eggs act as a wholesome source of high-quality lean proteins that increase satiety and promote calorie burn. Avocados provide some healthy fats to the recipe while lettuce and watercress act as potent sources of dietary fiber that contain zero calories.

classic-cobb-salad

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 head of Boston lettuce
  • 1 small bunch of curly endive
  • 1/2 bunch watercress
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast, halved, cooked and diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, separated, yolks and whites finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
Procedure:

Wash the lettuce and watercress in water, pat dry and set aside. Fry the bacon slices in a skillet till they are crisp on both sides. Remove from the skillet and allow the bacon to cool. Crumble the bacon and keep aside. Chop the lettuce and watercress and put them into a large salad bowl. Now, arrange the chicken cubes, bacon, tomatoes and avocados over the lettuce and watercress bed and garnish with chopped eggs and chives. In a small ball mix the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and oil and whisk until all the ingredients are emulsified. Add sugar to taste, mix once more and toss it over the salad.

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Burgers are one of the most popular American fast foods that can be enjoyed as a snack or as a quick meal. Although, most burger patties are made with minced meat or chicken, this is a vegetarian burger recipe in which the patties are prepared with black beans. Black beans are one of the best vegetarian sources of protein that aid the formation of lean muscle mass. Black beans also contain high amount of fiber that improves digestive function and increases satiety. Micro nutrients iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, folate and phosphorus found in black beans make it a complete health food.

black-bean-veggie-burgers

 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon grape seed or avocado oil
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, cumin powder and smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans, well drained and dry
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon BBQ sauce
Procedure:

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the raw walnuts to it, toast for 5 minutes or till golden brown and let it cool. Now, add 1/2 tablespoon of oil and onion to the skillet, season with some salt and pepper and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside. Put the cooled walnuts into a blender along with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and coconut sugar and blend to form a fine meal. In a large mixing bowl add the black beans and mash with a form. Next, add the cooked rice, walnut and spice mixture, sautéed onion, Panko bread crumbs, BBQ sauce and mix well for 1 to 2 minutes to form a dough. Divide the dough into 5 to 6 patties and set them on a baking sheet for grilling. Heat the grill and brush it with oil to facilitate cooking. Grill the patties till they are well browned and then remove from the grill. Serve the patties in between toasted buns with desired toppings.

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Melty and creamy Mac and cheese is America’s favorite comfort food that can be prepared ina  jiffy and served for lunch or dinner. Using whole wheat macaroni instead of white flour macaroni helps to keep it low in calories and supplies some healthy complex carbs and fiber to the dish. Using butternut squash for the sauce helps to replace all-purpose flour and gives a nice creamy texture to the macaroni with minimal use of cheese and the best thing is that it does not interfere with the taste of the dish.

Healthy Mac and Cheese

 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni, whole wheat, low glycemic and gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 5 cups chicken/vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese
  • Parsley for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Procedure:

Cook the macaroni as per direction on the package, drain excess water and set aside. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the onion into rings and add to the pan. Sauté for 15 to 20 minutes on low heat till the onions become fragrant and golden. Remove the skin and seeds from the squash, cut it into small cubes and set aside. Boil the broth and add the squash cubes to it. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes and until tender. Reserve 1/2 cup broth and drain the rest. Transfer the squash to a blender, add onions, milk, salt and the reserved broth and blend until the ingredients form a smooth puree. Pour the pureed sauce over the cooked macaroni and add shredded cheese from top. Stir it to melt the cheese and sprinkle salt, pepper and parsley from top.

Low-fat Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of the most popular American desserts that consist of a layer of soft cheese over a curst or base make of crushed crackers. The use of fat-free cream cheese instead of full-fat cheese makes it one of the healthy dessert recipes that can be enjoyed even by health conscious people. This is one of the most versatile dessert recipes that can be flavored with strawberries, blueberries, lime or chocolate.

low-fat-cheesecake

Ingredients:
  • 9 whole low-fat graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 8-ounce packs of fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Assorted toppings
Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Grind the graham crackers in a food processor till they are crumbled. Add 2 tablespoons of water and butter to it and grind once again till the mixture is moistened. Now, wrap the outside of a spring foam pan with foil and coat the inside of the pan with cooking spray and press the crumbs to the bottom. Bake it for 8 minutes or until crowned. Let it cool. Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes and then add the soup cream and beat on low speed. Now, whisk the egg whites in a bowl and add the cheese mixture along with the whole eggs, flour, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Pour the mixture over the crust and place the cheesecake in a roasting pan. Add enough water so that it reaches one-quarter of the way up the sides of the spring foam pan. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes and then turn off the oven. Keep the cheesecake inside the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack and let it cool. Chill the cake for 8 hours and then add toppings as desired.

Chocolate Pudding

This is one of the easy dessert recipes that calls for a few basic ingredients and requires no baking. Chocolate pudding is a classic western dessert common to the U.S and Canada. Using coconut milk and maple syrup/honey instead of plain milk and sugar respectively helps to keep it low in calories and carbs. Using dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips also helps to increase the health quotient of the pudding.

chocolate-pudding

 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups milk/Canned coconut milk
  • 1/8th teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • Pinch of stevia/1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 3.5 oz chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Procedure:

Heat 2 cups of milk in a sauce pan and add the salt, cocoa powder and sweetener of choice to it. Whisk the cornstarch in the other 1/2 cup of milk until dissolved. Next ass the cornstarch mixture to the heated milk and bring to a boil and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Lower to a simmer for 1 minute and then turn off the heat. Next, add the vanilla and chocolate chips to the mixture and transfer the pudding to a refrigerator. Let it sit overnight and serve in small cups or bowls.

Ultimate Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Spicy and flavorful Pumpkin pie is a delicious American dessert that is prepared suing fall and early winter and it is extremely popular in the United States. This healthy pumpkin pie recipe is one of the best weight loss desserts that make use of healthy ingredients such as whole wheat flour, non-fat milk, non-fat Greek yogurt and stevia to keep it low in calories and carbs and add some healthy complex carbs to the dish.

ultimate-healthy-pumpkin-pie

 

Ingredients:

For the crust –

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon non-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoon ice cold water

For the filling-

  • 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup plain no-fat Greek yogurt
  • 120 ml non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia
  • 3 large egg whites
Procedure:

To prepare the crust whisk the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into crumbs using a fork. Whisk together the milk and maple syrup and add it to the flour. Whisk together the vinegar and 1 teaspoon of water and add it to the flour. Mix all the added ingredients along with the flour and continue to add water till the mixture forms a dough. Place the dough at the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap and shape it to a 4” circle and cover it with another plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Now, to prepare the filling mix together the pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt in a large bowl. In another bowl mix the milk and cornstarch and add it to the pumpkin mixture. Next, add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and pepper and stir until fully mixed. Now, add the maple syrup, vanilla and stevia and gradually add the egg whites.

Preheat the oven to 375 degree F, coat a pie plate with cooking spray. Roll out the dough into a 11” circle and place it on the pie plate. Gently press the dough into the pie plate and trim the overhang. Line the pie dough with foil and pour pie weights into the center. Bake the crust for 15 minutes and then carefully remove the pie weights and let the crust cool. Pour the filling into the center of the par baked crust and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. Cool it to room temperature and then chill for 8 hours before serving.

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate brownies make one of the delicious and simple dessert recipes that were developed in the United Stated during the end of the 19th century. This particular healthier version of the brownie makes one of the best diet desserts because it is exceptionally low in calories and loaded with health-benefitting ingredients. The use of whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour helps to cut out the refined carbs from the dish.

chocolate-brownies

 

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
Procedure

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Remove from heat and add white sugar, eggs, applesauce and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to it. Beat in the cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking power. Spread the mixture on the pan. Bake it for 20 to 25 minutes or till the brownies are set in the center. Combine 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, honey, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl and pour it over the brownies while they are still warm.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins are quick and easy dessert recipe that is enjoyed as an accompaniment with tea or as a snack. These blueberry muffins are one of the healthy dessert recipes for weight Loss that are contain the goodness of whole-wheat flour, rolled oats and blueberries. Both whole-wheat flour and oats add fiber and complex carbs to the recipe while blueberries act as a potent source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

blueberry-muffins

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups + 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons non-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
Procedure:

Place a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Coat a muffin tip with cooking spray and set aside. Add 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl mix together the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla. Now, add the wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredients and mix carefully until blended. Now, add the blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and fold them into the batter. Divide the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins turn golden brown. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes.

So, bring about a few changes in the Standard American Diet with these healthy American recipes and replace the unhealthy ingredients with their healthier substitutes and enjoy a happy and disease-free life.

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Home Remedies for Cracked Heels/Dead Skin on Feet in Overnight

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The definition of beauty is not only limited to a youthful face or long shining hair, complete beauty also include hygiene and care of the entire body, most importantly the feet. Our feet are the most ignored part for the body when it comes to skin care which is most exposed to dust, dirt and water. All these factors lead to excessive dryness of the skin of your feet. And lack of moisturizer and proper exfoliation can lead to formation of dead skin on your feet which cause painful cracked heels. Some of the common causes of dead skin on your feet include use of harsh soaps, standing for long hours, using improper footwear and being overweight. In this article, we have listed not one but twelve easy and effective home remedies for dry cracked feet that will not only remove dead skin cells from the feet but also moisturize it and cure painful cracks.

 Scrubs to get rid of Dead Skin on Feet

12 Easy Homemade Scrubs to Get Rid of Dead Skin on Feet

Oatmeal Scrub

Oatmeal scrub is not only beneficial for removing dead skin cells from skin, it is one of the best home remedies for cracked heels that helps to sooth and moisturize dry feet cracked heels. When mixed with water, oats creates a thick and sticky mixture that forms a layer over the skin and helps to trap moisture in the skin.

Oatmeal Scrub

Method:
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of oatmeal with milk or rose water and create a thick paste
  • Apply this paste thoroughly on both the feet, especially on the heels
  • Let it stay for 30 minutes before you start scrubbing
  • Now, wet your feet by sprinkling some water and use a foot brush or your fingers to scrub your feet
  • Scrub for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse off with cold water
  • Dry your feet with a towel and apply a moisturizer or petroleum jelly to your feet
  • Reapply this scrub once every day for best results

Sugar and Coconut Oil Scrub

The combination of granulated sugar and coconut oil makes a power-packed cracked heels treatment. The sugar granules help to remove dead skin cells and dirt from the feet and the heels while the healthy fats in coconut oil nourish the skin, hydrates and moisturizes it and heals the cracks and broken skin on the heels. Vitamin C in lemon essential oil nourishes the skin cells and promotes cell regeneration.


sugar and cocnut oil

Method:
  • Combine 2 cups of sugar, 1/4th cup of coconut oil and 6 to 8 drops of lemon essential oil in a bowl
  • Mix the ingredients so that you have a soft and thick consistency
  • Apply the mixture on both the feet and massage you feet in strong circular motion
  • Pay extra attention to the heels and toes
  • Scrub for 10 to 15 minutes or till the sugar granules are dissolved
  • Wash your feet with cold water and pat dry with a towel
  • Repeat this remedy 3 to 4 times every week for spa-treatment like results

Coffee and Olive oil Foot Scrub

The coarse texture of ground coffee makes it an excellent skin exfoliating agent that helps to remove dead skin cells and layer of dirt from this skin and helps to develop soft and smooth feet. Olive oil is a potent source of antioxidants such as vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols that heal the skin from within. The combination of coffee and olive oil makes an amazing cure for cracked heels and dry skin on feet.

coffe and loive oil

Method:
  • Mix a tablespoon of coarse ground coffee beans with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a glass bowl
  • You can also add granulated sugar to the mixture
  • Now, apply the mixture on your feet and start scrubbing using a firm rub
  • Continue to scrub for 10 minutes and then wash off with warm water
  • Dry your feet with a towel and apply a thick layer of cream or moisturizer
  • Reapply this scrub 3 times a week for effective results

Sea Salt Scrub

The coarse texture of sea salt makes it an excellent ingredient for exfoliating treatment that helps to get rid of cracked heels and dry skin on feet. Sea salt helps to remove the layer of dead skin cell of the feet and soften the tough skin on the heels. But sea salt is a bit harsh so it is best to tone down the harshness by mixing it with some sweet almond oil, which additionally moisturizes and hydrates the skin on your feet.

Epsom Salt for Black Heads

Method:
  • Take a tablespoon each of coarse sea salt and sweet almond oil in glass bowl
  • Mix the ingredients roughly and apply evenly on both feet
  • Massage and scrub the skin of your feet using firm circular movements with your fingers
  • Continue to scrub for 10 minutes and then wash off with cold water
  • Dry your feet with a towel and apply a thick layer of moisturizing cream
  • Repeat this remedy once or twice every week for best results

Baking Soda Scrub

Baking soda is not only an effective treatment for pimples and acne; it also helps to get rid of dead skin on feet thanks to its powerful exfoliating property. It helps to remove dead skin cells and balances the pH of the skin so that it does not become excessively dry. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of baking soda also help to cure painful cracks and infections in the heels.

Baking Soda for Black Heads

Method:
  • Take a tablespoon of baking soda in a glass bowl and add a tablespoon of rose water to it
  • Mix both the ingredients so that it forms a thick, smooth paste
  • Now, apply the mixture to your feet and heels and rub it with your fingers using strong circular movements
  • Continue to rub in and massage for 5 minutes and then wash off with cold water
  • Dry your feet with a towel and apply some petroleum jelly to it
  • Reapply this scrub 2 to 3 times a week to get noticeable results

Tea Tree Oil, Apricot oil and Sea salt Scrub

The combination of tea tree oil and apricot oil in this scrub helps to soften the hard and coarse skin of the feet. Anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil helps to reduce the risk of infections and fungus in the feet and it also helps to get rid of food odor. Apricot oil enriches the skin of the feet and helps to soothe and heal dry, damaged skin because it is readily absorbed into the skin pores.

Tea tree Oil

Method:
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of sea salt with 1 teaspoon of organic apricot oil and add a few drops fo tea tree essential oil to it
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly and apply it on the feet and heels
  • Rub it on your skin using firm circular motion with your fingers
  • Continue to rub and massage for 10 minutes
  • Wash your feet with warm water and pat dry with a towel
  • Repeat this method 2 to 3 times a week for best results

Pumpkin and Brown Sugar Scrub

The mixture of pumpkin puree and brown sugar is the best way to get rid of hard skin on feet. Pumpkin is a potent source of skin-friendly vitamins C, E, B-vitamins along with beta-carotene that supplies nourishment to the skin and helps to improve blood circulation that increases cell turnover and cell renewal. Brown sugar is a natural humectant that locks moisture into the skin while glycolic acid in brown sugar breaks down layers of dead skin cells.

pumpkin and brown sugar

Method:
  • Mix 1/2 cup of crushed pumpkin puree with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar so that is forms a thick mixture
  • Apply this concoction all over your feet and massage thoroughly using your fingers
  • Continue to massage till the sugar granules dissolve
  • Now, wash your feet with warm water and gently dry with a towel
  • Apply some almond oil or olive oil to your feet
  • Reapply this foot scrub 3 to 4 times a week for remarkable results

Avocado Scrub

A nourishing avocado scrub is the ultimate answer to the question of how to get rid of dead skin on feet. The moisturizing monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado help to maintain moisture in the top-most layer of the skin so that it remains soft and hydrated. Omega 9 fatty acids regenerates the damaged skin cells around the heels and reduces excessive dryness.

Avocado and Lime Green Tea Smoothie

Method:
  • Grind the dry avocado pit in a coffee grinder so that it attains a coarse texture
  • Now mash one half of the avocado flesh and add a tea spoon each of the ground avocado pit and corn meal to it
  • Mix all the ingredients till it forms a thick creamy paste
  • Apply this paste on your feet and toes and massage gently using circular movements
  • Continue to massage for 10 minutes and then wash your feet with warm water and dry with a towel
  • Reapply this scrub 2 times a week for amazing results

Strawberry and Rock Salt Scrub

Strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin, hydrate it and give it a refreshing appearance. Strawberry also helps to get rid of dead skin cells and lighten dark spots on the feet. Rock salt works as a strong exfoliating agent that helps to remove the stubborn hard layer of dead skin that forms of the heels. All these features make strawberry and rock salt scrub one of these most effective home remedies for dry feet and cracked heels.

strawberry and rock salt

Method:
  • Take 3 chopped ripe strawberries, 1 tablespoon of rock salt and 2 tablespoons of almond oil in a bowl
  • Mash the strawberries and mix the ingredients together to form a thick scrub
  • Apply it on your feet and massage for 5 to 10 minutes applying force
  • Wash off with cold water and pat dry with a towel
  • Repeat this remedy 2 times a week for effective results

Cinnamon and Cocoa Scrub

Both cinnamon and cocoa are loaded with powerful antioxidants and are frequently used in skin care products, but how to heal cracked heels with cinnamon and cocoa? Well, cinnamon is a wonderful exfoliant that removes dead skin cells and soften rough skin of the feet. The antioxidants in cocoa helps to repair damaged skin cells and provide a rejuvenated appearance to dry and rough skin of the feet.

cinnamon and coco scrub

Method:
  • Take 1 tablespoon each of ground cinnamon, cocoa powder, granulated sugar and olive oil in a container
  • Mix all the ingredients to form a thick paste
  • Apply this mixture evenly to your feet and massage using strong circular motion
  • Give extra care to the heels and toes
  • Continue to massage for 10 minutes or till the sugar granules dissolve completely
  • Wash off with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel
  • Reapply this scrub 2 to 3 times a week for remarkable results

Honey Lemon Sugar Scrub

Honey are lemon are two popular ingredients for natural skin and hair care, but how to get rid of cracked heels with this combo? Well, honey is known for is natural moisturizing and humectant property that hydrates and moisturizes the dry skin of the feet. Lemon juice has natural exfoliating property that helps to break down layers of dead skin cells and promote cell regeneration.

honey and lemon sugar scrub

Method:
  • Take 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey and the juice of one whole lemon in a glass bowl
  • Mix all the ingredients thoroughly to form a thick paste
  • Apply this mixture evenly on your feet and massage thoroughly
  • Continue to massage your feet for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Wash off with warm water and dry with a towel
  • Repeat this procedure 2 to 3 times a week for best results

Yogurt and Almond Scrub

The combination of yogurt and almond is not only beneficial for skin care, it is also an effective answer to the problems of how to get rid of cracked heels. Lactic acid in yogurt exfoliates and moisturizes the excessively dry skin on your feet and makes it smooth. The coarsely ground almonds helps to remove the layer of dead skin cells from the feet and helps to increase the softness of your feet.

yougart and almond scrub

Method:
  • Crush 8 to 10 almonds into a coarse paste and add 2 table spoons of thick yogurt to it
  • Mix the ingredients well to form a thick paste and apply it to your feet
  • Massage your feet using strong circular motion for 8 to 10 minutes
  • Wash your feet with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel
  • Reapply this scrub 2 to 3 times a week for effective result

Try out some of these easy homemade foot scrubs to know which one works best for you and get rid of cracked heels and dry skin naturally within a few weeks.