Are You Eating Fruits The Right Way

fruit-1586490_960_720Fruits are the best source of nutrients . Any fruit you pick is filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants . It is really important to incorporate a good fruit- mix  in the daily diet for a good health. Eating a good amount of fruits is associated with lower heart risk and strokes . You will get a healthier skin too. But to get the best results , we must know the right way of eating fruits .

The Best Time to Eat Fruits?

In the Morning on an Empty Stomach
It is advised that you should eat fruits as first thing in the morning . When we eat fruits on an empty stomach the digestive system breaks down the sugars properly and efficiently. The antioxidants in fruits can reduce inflammation in the body . They are also a rich source of fiber and keeps you full for longer .

Pre – Post Workout
Fruits make an excellent addition for a pre-workout munch . Many of us tend to skip fruits that are high in carbs . A banana is an excellent choice . A banana smoothie with yogurt makes a great combo too . Protein in yogurt doesn’t break as quickly as carbs in banana .The carbs become fuel for a workout & the protein is used later to prevent muscle damage.

How should You eat fruits ?

Fruits should be consumed alone . Meaning ? When we eat fruits we should try to eat it without mixing it with anything . The basic principle being , sugar in fruits ferment the other foods in the stomach, causing gas & indigestion. So basically you do not get all the nutritional benefit and also may get an uneasy stomach .

If you are eating fruit as a snack , try to eat it before an hour from your meal or after 2 . When you have a heavier meal like burger etc . try to eat fruit after 3-4 hours . Since your stomach would be busy working on that burger , eating fruit would make it worse . The fruit ends up sitting in the body for longer than required and starts to ferment. This can give you indigestion and gastric trouble too . So in short try to space out a workable eating pattern .

Things to keep in mind

  • Avoid eating fruits right after a meal. It may not be digested properly & the nutrients may not be absorbed properly either.
  • Avoid eating fruit close to bedtime as sugar in fruit spikes up your energy and keep you up when you need your sleep. This is bad for people with diabetes .
  • If trying to lose weight ,do not eat fruit after lunch time . In this way, the body will use fat stored in the body as energy .

All in all, to draw maximum benefit eat fruits in the morning . Try to eat a different fruit every other day so you do not get bored . I eat fruits in the morning and as a snack too . What’s your favorite way of eating fruits   ? Comment below.

Why You Should Quit Drinking Soda

We all love soda so much that even after knowing its bad for our health we keep coming back to it . The United States tops the chart when it comes to soda consumption . When we eat fast food it is never complete without a tall glass of soda . But do you know that soda contains no essential nutritional value . It has no vitamin, no fiber, no mineral, and antioxidants. So it is basically empty calories, huge 140 calories without any nutrient. A can of soda has about 10 spoons of sugar. So basically you are gulping liquid sugar.

More Reasons To Stop Drinking Soda

 dentist-913014_960_720It is bad for Dental health
The acidic nature of soda causes a bad effect on tooth enamel and loss of enamel causes sensitivity. The sugar present in soda aids bacteria in the mouth causing dental health issues over time. Soda cans contain BPA . It is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins. It is used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal in cans. It can interfere with hormones that can be a reason for infertility, obesity, and other diseases.

 

diabetes-1270346_960_720It leads to Insulin resistance & type 2 Diabetes
The soda causes the blood sugar to trigger and eventually leads to insulin resistance. But what is Insulin resistance? Insulin is a hormone which drives glucose from the blood into cells. But when we consume the huge amount of sugary drink the cells become resistant to the effect of insulin. Which forces pancreas to make even more insulin to remove the excess glucose from the blood. This condition is known as Insulin resistance and contributes to diabetes.

 

sugar-1068288_960_720It Affects Metabolism
Artificial sweeteners taste hundreds of times sweeter than regular sugar. It confuses the body and it releases too much insulin to process the drink. In a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition conducted by Bangor Univ.in England revealed that the metabolism of 11 men n women who drank soda over 4 weeks changed after the fourth week, making it more difficult for them to burn fat and lose weight.

 

 

heart-665186_960_720It increases risk of heart Attack
People who consume soda daily run at being the risk of heart failure . Acc. to Harvard School of public Health drinking just one sugary beverage a day was associated with a 20 percent increase in a man’s risk of having a heart attack over a 22-year period. By consuming regular fizzy drinks we weaken our heart and it cannot function properly . Nearly 6 million people in the USA live with heart failure . That is a serious no to make you realise the side effects of this habit .

 

Diet Soda Is Not Your Friend

soda-25188_960_720Diet Cola is worse
Firstly , it tricks a user to eat something extra as they are saving calorie by drinking diet drink. This leads to overeating as u think u can substitute calories. Acc. to University of Miami Miller School of Medicine adults who drank diet drinks daily have a 44 percent higher chance of heart attack and stroke.

Soda Builds fat deposit in Liver
Acc. to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition the people under study drank a liter per day of soda, or instead drank milk with the same amount of calories, water or diet cola. The group that consumed sugary drink ended up with a higher amount of fat in the liver and this kind of fat increases the chance of liver diseases. Yes, even Non-alcoholic sugary drinks cause fatal liver diseases.

 

I have just listed some of the worse effects soda has on our body . It is really damaging our body slowly .We need to stop gulping artificial sugary drinks and make an effort for more natural lifestyle .

Why You Should Start Drinking Coconut Water

coconut-1135448_960_720Coconut water is the sweet juice inside the young coconut . It is packed with vitamins, minerals & electrolytes . With many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes , coconut water aids in better digestion and metabolism . It contains a lot of antioxidants that help prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Though it is native to the tropical region but its bottled version is available at leading grocery chains .

 

Prime reasons to Drink Coconut Water ?

Low-Calorie Drink . Coconut water is not calorie free like water , but it is next best thing to water . With lower calories than any soft drink , it is tasty & natural . It also has lesser sugar than soda . A serving of coconut water has about 8 gm of sugar and roughly 45 calories . Score !!

It contains Potassium . It is packed with a good amount of potassium . Roughly about 600 mg in 8 oz (240 ml). Potassium balances the negative effects of sodium to maintain a healthy blood pressure . According to the American Heart Association, “adding appropriate amounts of potassium to one’s diet can help maintain or reduce blood pressure because it lessens the effects of sodium”. Daily consumption of coconut water (which also contains potassium) could therefore also reduce blood pressure.

It helps Rehydrate . It acts as a great source of rehydration in warm summer weather . The presence of amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and fatty acids accounts for osmolarity. So the next time someone has diarrhea you need not make a run for ORS . You can give coconut water as a quick remedy for dehydration . It is beneficial for the condition like vomiting and excessive sweating too .

Need more reasons to Drink Coconut Water ?

Naturally Cholesterol Free . It is naturally cholesterol free. Drinking coconut water is beneficial for lipid metabolism . It reduces the risk of heart disease . It has antiplatelet properties helping a better arterial circulation . Thus it lowers the risk of the heart attack too .

Diabetes Friendly . It is good for people with diabetes . With a glycemic index of 3, coconut water is a good alternative to drinks that have added sugar . It has 15% of the RDI of magnesium in 1 cup . It improves insulin sensitivity and decreases blood sugar levels . Frequent headaches are often linked to the low level of magnesium . Proper intake of magnesium can help reduce the frequency of a migraine .

It contains Cytokinins . It has a compound called cytokinins. Cytokinins are plant hormones that regulate cell growth and cell division . They balance ph level and keeps tissues intact . The presence of cytokinins makes coconut water anti-carcinogenic and anti -aging . Cytokinins show anti-thrombotic activity, meaning it helps prevent the formation of blood clots.

It contains Electrolytes . Coconut water is good for replenishing fluids and electrolytes after a workout. Electrolytes are minerals that maintain proper fluid balance. It has 5 essential electrolytes namely potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. Many people argue that coco water is not as good as the sports drink . But studies show that coco water is as effective as sports drink to rehydrate . Even if you don’t buy that unless you do the heavy training you can totally drink coco water .

Coconut water is a storehouse of nutrients . The best part is the potassium content which we all fall short of . But you should drink it in moderation as a glass has roughly 46- 60 calories . So sip some natural goodness for great health benefits .

5 Ingredients You Should Add To Coffee

It’s not a good morning unless you get a nice cup of coffee. Honestly, I love coffee . Earlier I used to make a huge cup with lots of  sugar, and artificial flavors . I would drink 3-4 cups in the winter season . But when my doc told me that I may get diabetes . I  stopped putting sugar and milk in coffee . Being curious , I started to look for simple ingredients that can be added to coffee . Even I am surprised that I found them in the spices rack in my kitchen . Just a pinch of these ingredients will make you healthier .

Natural Ingredients To Add To Coffee

chai-1179124_960_720Cardamom has an intense aroma and unique taste. It is naturally alkaline, making it an antidote to acid. The acidic nature of coffee leads to an increase in gas in intestines making digestion difficult. As cardamom contains natural carminatives , it relieves the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal. It possesses anti-inflammatory and anti- carcinogenic properties.

 

spice-1027958_960_720

Cinnamon has a sweet, earthy fragrance . The sweet & woody flavor of cinnamon mellow downs the bitterness of coffee . It reduces blood sugar levels & cholesterol levels . It promotes insulin sensitivity and is beneficial for people with Type II diabetes / PCOS . It is anti- inflammatory & helps treat certain types of pain and headaches. It helps lessen the severity of menstrual bleeding too .

 

ginger-1191945_960_720Turmeric is mildly aromatic and has scents of orange or ginger. It gets the yellow color from a compound known as curcumin . Adding turmeric neutralizes the bitter taste of coffee . It helps control chronic inflammation . The one we cannot see but is inside our body resulting in poor sleep, blood sugar, and heart-related diseases . It improves the health of brain mitochondria thus helping in Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s .

 

nutmeg-1089390_960_720Nutmeg has a nutty but slightly sweet flavor. It is my favorite spice to be sprinkled on coffee . It has high magnesium content that reduces nerve tension . Consuming nutmeg helps eliminate toxins accumulated in liver and kidney . The antibacterial components of nutmeg help in eliminating bad breath . Myristicin and Macelignan are the two essential oils found in nutmeg. They prevent degradation of neurons and improves cognitive health .

 

 

cloves-20122_960_720Cloves have warm earthy flavor . It contains an active compound Eugenol . It prevents the damages caused by environmental pollutants . It also contains a variety of flavonoids .They are ideal for protecting the organs from the effects of free radicals, especially the liver. Cloves improve digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes .They are helpful in controlling lung cancer in its early stages.

 

 

These are some of the natural ingredients I like to use in my coffee . What do you add to your coffee to make it interesting ? Comment below .

Easy & Healthy Alternatives To Soda

Soda no doubt quenches thirst like nothing else but it comes with many health dangers. Increasing consumption of soda results in heart & liver problems. It is a major cause of obesity not only in the USA but worldwide. So now automatically you think diet soda is better. But a big NO. Diet soda does not solve the problem either as it has harsh chemicals too.

Below I am listing a few alternatives to soda that made my life easier.
soda-911561_960_720Fruit Concentrate/Fruit Juice with Seltzer. If it’s the fizz that you crave then you can add seltzer to 100 percent fruit juice or concentrate and make a healthier, low calorie and no addiction fizz drink. Fruit concentrates like mixed berry,grapes,cherry & pomegranate etc are readily available in the market. They are packed with nutrients. Not only you will get fewer calories but you will also be avoiding a lot of sugar that is found in a can of soda .

 

lime-907124_960_720Sparkling Lime Water
If you are too loyal to Mount n Dew & Sprite like me try drinking natural lime soda. Mix juice of a lemon or lime into a glass of sparkling water and add sugar to taste. It would give you a nice bubbly drink that refreshes you. If you like minty taste add some crushed mint leaves and ice. Stir well & enjoy the lime n lemony taste which is low in carbs and full in Vit.C.

 

ice-925849_960_720Iced Tea 
Ice tea is a simple and easy drink. It has Vit .E and A and is a good source of magnesium & fluoride. If u do not like plain ice tea add lemon or chunks of peach fruit or fresh strawberry for added flavor. You can also get various flavor available in the market too and add to your ice tea like passion fruit etc. when I say flavor I mean only liquid flavor or essence not flavored ice tea.

 

strawberry-drink-1412232_960_720Make you own Flavored Water
Add some slices of lemon,mint,cucumber or orange to your bottle of water and sip a flavorful all natural water. It helps in detoxification and cleanses the body . You can try freezing chunks of fruit like kiwi, watermelon, tangerine, berries with water in an ice tray and use these fruit cubes for an eye appealing glass of goodness. It’s tasty and way fewer calories that any sweetened drink.

 

coconut-1233018__180All natural Coconut Water
It is the next best thing to natural water. It is rich in carbs, potassium & sodium. it has electrolytes which make it a perfect summer drink to rehydrate the body . If you cannot find young coconut @farmers market or @health-food stores opt for bottled. A glass of coco water has only 60 calories and it is a wonder drink as it helps in anti-aging and works for a clearer and even complexion.

 

The above listed are few alternatives drink to help you make healthy choice above soda. It does not take long to change soda habit. I suggest you try drinking these alternatives drinks and continue for at least 2 weeks. Save that Soda for a special occasion or with your fav food for a treat. Also to make choice easier put lots of drink in the fridge but not soda and grab a healthy alternative every time.
I have started taking less soda.How about you?tell em about the best soda alternative you try?

Lesser Known Health Facts About Lemon

All of us have heard about the amazing benefits of drinking lemon water in the morning . Like how it helps in revving up the metabolism or how it is so good for detoxification of the body . But , what if I tell you that you can skip the vaccine for Diphtheria and can instead rely on Lemon Juice Treatment . Or that you can bid bye to the wart just by dabbing lemon juice on it . Sounds too good to be true, Right ?

Read on to know the lesser known facts about lemon

lemonade-1447521_960_720Cures cancer …Whaaat ? Yes, you read it right . Lemon is anticarcinogen. A carcinogen is any substance involved in causing cancer. Limonoid glucosides an antioxidant flavonoid found in lemon is anticarcinogen . It counters cancer-causing free radicals and serves as a precautionary measure.Our body releases Free radicals when it comes in contact with oxygen . These radicals react inside n outside cell causing harm to membrane and DNA. Drinking lemonade neutralizes these free radicals and thus protects cell damage, the very first step of preventing cancer .

 lemon-957617_960_720Improves Liver Functioning . Drinking lemonade helps in the cleansing of liver. Our liver produces bile juice that aids in digestion and absorption of the fat-soluble vitamin. When we eat oily or animal based food it puts pressure on liver and hampers the smooth flow of bile juice .Drinking lemonade stimulates the production of bile juice thus aiding in better digestion . it is also the natural mechanism through which liver cleans itself .So it helps liver stay healthy .

lemon-156143_960_720Keeps Check On Sodium . You can use lemon instead of salt and can avoid the high level of sodium in your diet. American heart Association recommends a daily intake of 1500 milligrams of sodium . But an average American consumes about 3400 mg. This is almost double the amount prescribed. High sodium can cause blood pressure, heart stroke , kidney stone ,headache etc. You can add lemon while cooking or season with it instead of sprinkling salt .Use lemons tartness to your advantage and squeeze some juice on that salad instead of salt .

kidney-147499_960_720Removes Kidney Stone . When we have excess calcium in our body the kidney flushes it through urine .When the calcium in kidney comes in contact with oxalate it forms calcium oxalate or simply calcium stone . Lemon juice contains high levels of natural citric acid .Consuming it reduces the chance of forming calcium stones in kidney . To reduce kidney stone one must pass 1.50 to 2 liters of urine daily . Since lemon is a diuretic it assists in the production of urine and flushes toxins. So sipping lemonade not only prevent but helps those who already are trying to get rid of stone .

lemon-160468_960_720Uplifts Mood and Calms Nervous System . The scent of lemon is proven to have a calming effect on our Brain .It relieves anxiety and makes the mind peaceful .Drinking lemon water also gives a decent amount of potassium to our body. So if you are feeling dull or depressed try having chilled lemonade and get relief from brain fog and sluggishness.Or you can just place lemon peel on the side table and wake up refreshed and charged.

Did I not say lemon does so much more that aiding in weight loss journey . You should include it in your diet . Drink lemonade or use its peel in making dishes .You can also use its leaves in cooking . I start my day with a glass of hot lemon water . I also squeeze some juice and add to my water bottle that I drink in a day . How did you include it in your diet? Comment below

 

Boost Metabolism Naturally With These Food

Ever wondered why even after cutting a good amount of calories and exercising enough , your pace for losing weight is way slower than the others? or your friend who eats french fries regularly does not seem to gain a pound but you automatically start planning what you have to give up in order to eat those fries.

I did wonder as my sister is way slimmer than me and found out that metabolism plays a great deal in our weight loss journey. People often mistake metabolism for the rate at which the body burns calories. But actually, metabolism is the process by which the body breaks down food and converts that into energy. Though a good metabolism may be genetic but you can rev up your metabolism by including some of the food listed below in your diet.

Drink Water .One should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep metabolism running. If you do not drink enough water it contributes to slow metabolism. It is advised to drink 8 glasses of water daily and even better if you drink it cold . Our body uses extra calories to heat water to our body temperature.Sounds easy ,right ?

Eating Cruciferous Vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts etc, have shown to increase fat burning capacity as good as 30 percent .They are rich in calcium and Vit c which helps boost metabolism.They are fiber-rich & have high water content that helps us feel full and prevents overeating.

Eat Capsaicin as the body produces extra heat after its consumption and burn more calories. Though it is found in both sweet bell peppers and spicy chili peppers, but the hotter the veggie greater the capsaicin content. Research suggests that after consuming foods with capsaicin, the body’s metabolic rate can increase up to 15 to 20 percent for two hours. So from this point onwards start adding a little hot chilly or maybe mustard for a better BMR.

Switch to Whole Grains. Our body uses more fat to break down whole grain. They are rich in fiber that makes us feel full faster than refined carbs. They also slow down the release of blood sugar and helps maintain insulin levels. People who want to eat low GI foods should switch to whole grains for enormous benefits. Switch to oatmeal & brown rice and experience the goodness.

Drink tea but without milk or cream . Tea contains catechins, which boost weight loss by improving the body’s ability to metabolize fat. Green tea & oolong are packed with catechins. Green tea works even when the body is at rest and improves insulin sensitivity. According to one Japanese study , a cup of brewed tea can raise your metabolism by 12% .

These are some of the things you can include in your daily diet and honestly , they are fairly easy to add. What food have you recently included in your diet to speed up metabolism?  Comment below

 

Good Sources Of Antioxidant

Dietary sources play a very important role as our body cannot produce enough antioxidant on its own. A continuous flow of food is required to keep our body fighting the free radicals.The following list represents the easily available antioxidant rich food.

carrotVitamin A is found in dairy and meat. But more Vitamin A is found in carrot, spinach, and kale . 100 grams, of cooked carrots, contains 341 percent of the recommended daily value. The same amount of sweet potato has about 380 percent of DV. So next time maybe instead of that yogurt you can grab 10 carrots and enjoy a good amount of Vit. A

 

Tri Color PepperVitamin C is found in kiwi, papaya, oranges, grapefruit and cantaloupe. When one thinks of Vit. c it automatically coincides with citrus fruits but that’s not true. Green pepper and red pepper is a better source of Vit. C. one-half cup of red pepper contains 142 milligrams of Vit C. The recommended share is only 75 mg for ladies and 90 mg for adult men.

 

nutsVitamin E is found in nuts , seeds, and oils. It includes almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pine nut. Oils such as soybean, sunflower, corn and canola oils have a good amount of Vit E. An avocado has 4.2 mg of Vit E.You can snack on a handful of nuts and take a good amount of antioxidants in a healthy way.

 

 

spinachkaleBeta-carotene protects from UV damage .It is found in dark green, yellow ,orange colorful fruits and vegetables like carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, peaches, pumpkin, apricots, broccoli and squash. It can also be found in some leafy green vegetables, including beet greens, turnip greens ,spinach, and kale.

 

food-wood-tomatoesSelenium is a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant.It is found in cereals (corn, wheat, and rice), nuts, legumes, animal products (beef, fish, turkey, chicken &eggs) and garlic. Lycopene is found in pink and red colored fruits and vegetables, such as pink grapefruit,pink guava, watermelon, apricots, and tomatoes.

 

A diet rich in colorful veggies and fruits is the perfect mix for increasing antioxidants intake in the daily diet.How did you increase your intake of antioxidant-rich food ? Do comment below.

 

What Are Antioxidants

Nowadays we hear everybody telling us that our body needs antioxidants.But did you ever wonder what they are? Why are they important ? And what form do they come in? To your surprise antioxidants are present in what we eat. But to understand how they work for our body we need to know what antioxidant actually means .

Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances which counter the effect of free radicals in our body.It reverses the effect of oxidization.It is nothing scary but the cells in our body are exposed to oxygen as we breathe and step out in the sun.The body chemicals get altered resulting in free radicals that if left untouched damages parts of the body.Antioxidants can protect and reverse the damage of free radicals.

Our body produces antioxidants on its own but that’s not enough.It is advised to have a diet rich in antioxidants as free radicals multiply fast and once an Anti-oxidant has neutralized a free radical it looses its power to do it again.This being said we need to keep a constant supply of Anti-oxidants to keep our body safe and healthy.

Antioxidants are of three types enzymes, vitamins, and phytochemicals.Enzymes come from the protein and minerals we eat as part of our daily diets. Antioxidant enzymes require co-factors such as iron, copper, selenium, magnesium, and zinc to provide optimum antioxidant activity.

Common antioxidant vitamins include vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, and beta-carotene.The human body does not produce antioxidant vitamins naturally, so it is essential to include dietary sources of them in our daily intake of food.Vitamin A is essential for good vision, bone growth, reproduction cell functions, and the immune system. Vitamin C helps maintain healthy collagen in the skin, repair damaged tissue, protect the skin from UV damage, promote healthy teeth and bones, and promotes better iron absorption.Vitamin E helps boost the immune system , maintains healthy blood vessels and improves skin conditions.Folic acid is important for women of childbearing years.Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, they are highly pigmented as the colors of orange, red, and yellow. Beta-carotene converts to retinol, which is required for a person’s vision.

Phytochemicals are the antioxidants that are naturally used by plants to protect themselves against free radicals .Plants are exposed to UV light all throughout the day,they have a natural built-in protection system that prevents the free radicals from causing the cellular damage. Phytochemicals are found in natural whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

I hope this post gives an idea to what antioxidants are and their importance.If you have any questions and queries please comment below or email me at saraliciousfield@gmail.com

Check out the next post for Sources of Antioxidants/Food rich in Antioxidants.