Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

Cereal Grains:A NUTRITIONAL COMPROMISE

Since the time that mankind is present on this earth, the natural diet of humans has been food that could be hunted, fished, gathered or plucked. As my main topic today is “GRAINS” I would only be focussing on talking about them as foods that were plucked – “seasonal fruits and veggies” is another topic altogether to discuss which is beyond the limit of this discussion. I will save my next post for that.

So, coming to GRAINS (The so called “Good Carbs”)

Man rarely ever consumed cereal grains up until about 10,000 years ago. With the increase in population the supply of the natural resources became more limited, thus it became necessary to provide supplementary means of nourishment and thus agriculture was born 10,000 years ago.

The eight cereal grains (wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, rye and millet) provide 56% of the calories and 50% of the protein consumed on this planet.

On one hand we would not have cities, civilisations and industrialisation without cereal grains, on the other hand cereal grains are a nutritional compromise. Today if we take away rice, wheat and corn almost 1/2 the people on this planet will not eat. The decreasing supplies of our ancestral natural diet of wild animals and wild plants, along with huge increase in the planet’s population has made agriculture a necessity for survival.

Cereal grains are not nearly as healthy , nor as nutritionally complete, nor as perfectly suited to our ancient digestive wiring as the foods that these grains have replaced. Ex. milk and cereals in place of bacon and eggs for breakfast.

The health complications and implications of eating a diet high in cereal grains, way different from the diet that we were designed to eat are recently beginning to be understood.

As Dr.Loren Cordain points out, humans have had little time since inception of agricultural revolution 10,000 yrs ago to adapt to the new food type.

Whole grains are not really any better.
Grains have a host of nutritional shortcomings. It’s finally coming to light that the refined grains which constitute most of our cereals, pastas, and breads – are absolutely useless nutritionally.

The researchers are not 100% sure that the so-called “whole” grains are any better. No grain can be eaten in a completely unrefined state. No one plucks wheat from ground and starts eating.All grains need to be milled and ground to some degree, one reason being that in their natural state they contain many “anti nutrients” called “Phytates” that interfere with the absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the grains, especially the absorption of essential minerals. As compared to the refined grains whole grains have been less processed and milled therefore they contain more of bran the outer coating of the grains providing fibre for the diet.

Most of the “whole grains”  on the cereal packages are fibre lightweights. Its rare to find a cereal with 5g of fibre per serving–most have 1or 2 g fibre per serving ,making it a pretty bad nutritional bargain.

Now comes something crucial “Gluten Issue”. Gluten is a primary component of grains such as barley, rye, oats, and especially wheat. One of the seven top allergens in the diet is wheat. Amongst doctors, nutritionists and naturopaths who practice integrative and functional medicines, their one of the first dietary orders for patients who have multiple complaints is to take them off wheat, dairy and sugar. Dr. Jonny calls Grains the Starch “juggernauts”as almost all of them raise the blood sugar and insulin quickly.

In my personal experience with my clients suffering from high, uncontrolled sugar, allergy issue, fat loss issues etc, putting them off wheat,dairy and sugar allowing only limited gluten free varieties of carb sources , high protein, high fat diet show excellent results within 3 months.

Make a choice out of millets ragi, bajra and jowar. Oats can also be a better choice as they are least processed.😀It is advisable to choose the less processed variety, such as Steel-cut oats or old fashioned rolled oats, to get full health benefits .

Stay tuned, stay updated, stay fit😀

 

** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **

 

Reference:-

Bowden,J, Ph.D.,C.N.S(2007). The 150 Healthiest foods on earth. Pp:74-75 Beverly,M. A: Fair Winds Press.

Ollaaa OKRA!!!!!

fresh okra on white background , close upOkra, popularly known in India as “BHINDI” OR “BHENDI” is a staple of traditional INDIAN cooking. If you are an indian you know this and agree that we indians love our “Masala Bhendi” or the favourite “Aaloo Bhindi” but, what you may not know is how nutritionally abundant this green veggie is? Okra/Bhindi has a unique combination of valuable nutrients and this is one of the selected group of foods which contains naturally occurring “Glutathione”. Optimal amount of glutathione are required for supporting the immune system. Glutathione also helps liver detoxify chemicals. (J.Bowden, pp 52). Okra/bhindi is high on fiber ( Ever heard your doctor/nutritionist saying “eat more fiber”??). 1 cup of cooked bhindi is about 35 calories and provides 4 grams of fiber, way more than those commercial cold cereals. Even though a vegetable, it is rich in protein “yup”, this same one cup gives about 3 g of protein which is pretty high for a vegetable (This does not mean you cut down on daal at a meal as you need much more than 3 grams of protein at each meal).

Okra is also high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin K and Folic acid.

From Ayurvedic point of view: Okra or bhindi is said to be “TRIDOSHIC”. Let me explain…. According to ayurveda we have “3 Doshas” / 3 metabolic types – 1. VATA, PITTA and KAPHA. Different foods have different balancing effects on these three doshas, So, our traditional Bhindi is good for balancing all the three doshas / metabolic types.

SOOO!!! Relish your Bhindi dish more than ever 🙂

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor  for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment and a diet and exercise expert for advice on diet, herbs and exercise.**

Reference :-

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

Cinnamonilicious…..

cinnamon

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Very happy Holidays 🙂

Holiday season means lots of new “FLAVOURS TO SAVOUR”-

Pumpkin Cinnamon/Spice HOT latte of  Starbucks—- yummmmm!!!!

Pumpkin pie and apple pie— yum!! yum!!

Christmas Plum cake

or

My Desi masala CHAI (Tea) mmmmmm!!! so good

1 thing all of the above have common is “CINNAMON”. I like to call it “THE WINTER SPICE”.

Cinnamon is used in all types of cuisines at some point. In india it is used in tea, sweets etc.

Cinnamon goes way beyond its flavour and beautiful aroma, it has a lot of medicinal properties. Read on to know those…

  • Cinnamon has shown to help ease pain and stiffness in muscles and joints: Presence of anti-inflammatory compounds make this possible.
  • Cinnamon functions as a carminative (GAS RELIEVER) thus being wonderful for digestion.
  • Cinnamon also contains compound called “catechins” which help in relieving nausea.
  • Cinnamon contains 2 phytochemicals, “eugenol” and “geraniol” which are shown to combat candida (overgrowth of yeast in our system).
  • Excellent for diabetics as shown the ability to moderate blood sugar. In clinical studies cinnamon extracts have shown to reduce blood sugar and “bad” cholesterol. C.Leigh Broadhurst,Ph.D., a research scientist at the USDA and her team tested the effects of 49 different herbs,spices and some medicinal plants on glucose metabolism and according to them, cinnamon was the “STAR” of the show. From the test it was seen ” An active ingredient, methylhydroxychalcone polymer, or MHCP mimics insulin function, increasing the glucose uptake by cells and signalling certain types to cells to convert glucose to glycogen (the storage form of sugar)” – J.Bowden, 150 healthiest food on earth, pp 279. 

Homemade treatment for blood sugar as per mentioned in the book on diabetes by C. Broadhurst :-

“3 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (less if sodium is a problem for you). Take a 32 oz canning jar and fill it with boiling water and the spice mixture. Let it steep at room temperature till it’s cool. Strain the liquid and discard the grounds, put a lid on he jar, stick it in the fridge. Initially drink 1-8 ounce cup of the tea 4 times a day and drop down to 1 to 2 cups a day after 1-3 weeks”-  J.bowden, 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, 2007; pp 279.

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor  for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment and a diet and exercise expert for advice on diet, herbs and exercise.**

Reference :-

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

MAMA MIA- It’s time for CHIA

Image

Now that SUMMER has set in so has my time to add Chia seeds to my daily diet.

Chia Seeds, YUP those little black and white varieties of seeds  that swell up when put in any liquid.

Benefits of adding CHIA seeds to your daily diet:-

Nutrition Content:- 1 oz CHIA SEED contains whooping 11 grams of fiber- Constipated anyone????? Yup it helps with digestion.

Approx 4-5 grams of protein

5 grams of omega 3 fatty acids

More antioxidants than Flax seeds

Contain calcium, Zinc, phosphorous

It is great for the diabetics- It is shown that Chia seeds slow down the digestive process of converting carbohydrates to sugar.

Prevents Dehydration:- chia seeds have the ability to absorb tremendous quantity of water.

Great for Weight loss as they keep you full for longer time.

Oh!!! Great for your skin and hair too 🙂 Now this is something we all girls die for. Chia is rich in protein, vitamin, minerals and of course the fiber (keeps you regular 😉 ) all help in giving you shiny skin and strong shiny hair.

By the way, you can have them any time of the year 🙂 According to Ayurvedic wisdom, Chia seeds help reduce Vata- this is the air constituent of the body, Stabilize Pitta- the fire constituent and nourishes the kapha- water and earth constituent of the body.

Below find my yummy Chocolate CHIA pudding recipe :-

 

YUMMY CHOCOLATE-CHIA BREAKFAST PUDDING

1 Fully ripe banana

2 tbsp unrolled/ organic oats

1 to 1 1/2 cup milk (skim if you r on ur way to that slim belly)

3-4 walnut halves

3-4 almonds

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp CHIA SEEDS

Put all the ingredients except chia seeds in a blender and blend to a smoothie consistency. Add the chia seeds now and blend once again. Empty this mixture in a glass container and cover it. Refrigerate overnight and wallaaaa!!!!

No sweetener required as the ripe banana gives the desired sweetness but if it is not sweet enough for you, you can add a sweetener of your choice.

Simple way to add them in your daily diet is adding them to your favorite smoothie or your glass of buttermilk or if you are a regular exerciser like me then simply add it to bottle of your drinking water and drink during exercise.

Chia seeds absorb a lot of liquid, so are great for preventing dehydration during exercise or exposure to heat- (NOW YOU GET IT WHY I START TAKING IT IN SUMMERS 😉 ).

 

WORD OF CAUTION:-

Look for the source of your chia seeds and try to find the NON GMO and organic ones.

 

Have a wonderful summer 2014 and don’t forget to visit my blog post on MANGO

 

 

Reference:

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

2. Grandma and momma’s WISDOM 🙂

 

 

Guava – The Nutritional wallop

Guava

Since October is the Breast cancer Awareness month, I thought to write about a food that helps fight cancer and immediately GUAVA came to my mind.

Guava which is widely & easily available in India – (the feri walas bring it to your door steps) is a wonderfully fragrant fruit which is packed with amazing nutritional properties. Guava is rich in antioxidants. According to the widely used test of antioxidant power, both red and white fleshed guava scored highest in the top ten fruits and vegetables tested with red fleshed guava containing more antioxidants compared to the white fleshed.

The No 1. Nutrient compound called carotenoid present in GUAVA that makes it a “SUPERSTAR” is “LYCOPENE”. When we hear LYCOPENE we immediately associate it with the image of tomatoes in our brain’s eyes. Well GUAVA is better source of lycopene than tomatoes. 1 cup of guava contains 17 % more lycopene than an equivalent amount of tomatoes. In lab experiments lycopene is shown to provide more protection against free radicals than any other memberof the carotenoid family including the beta-carotene ( Yes the one that you know is present in  carrots).

“Promising research show that lycopene is associated with Significant reduction in Prostate cancer. In a research done at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, 30 men already having prostate cancer were given lycopene supplements. Those given the lycopene supplement had smaller tumor and less Spreading of the cancer. Not just this but the tumors in the participants who took lycopene supplement showed signs of regression and decreased malignancy. Research also shows that lycopene inhibits breast cancer cells.” (J.Bowden, pp. 119)

Guava’s nutrient content benefits you in both – cooked and uncooked form. Apart from lycopene, Guava also contains good amount of potassium. “1 small cup of cut guavas give you a whooping 688 mg of potassium which is 63% more than what a medium banana gives.” (J. Bowden, pp 119). There have been tons of research that show that people  who eat potassium rich ( UNDERSTAND NATURAL SOURCE) foods have low rate of heart disease and stroke. Latest studies show that people who consume potassium rich food on regular basis have lower blood pressure than those who don’t.

Not yet over, this super fruit is rich in fiber and vitamin C. 1 cup of Guava provides almost 9 grams of fiber and fiber rich diets have been linked with lower rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. the same one cup quantity of guava provides a good 376 mg of vitamin C, the immunity enhancing hero vitamin. Guava also contains folate, decent amount of calcium and magnesium and significant amount of vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Whenever I take diet consultations, I come across clients (read mainly women) who express their desperation to loose weight and that too fast but as they start talking about their daily diet these things come out “I eat chaats, puffs or samosa or those haldiram fried snacks, bag of chips and sometimes pani puri also. I know it’s all junk food but that’s all that is available in my office.”

My advice to all is that – STOP BLAMING ON OTHERS OR YOUR SITUATION AND START PRE PLANNING YOUR DAY WHICH INCLUDES ALL YOUR MEALS AND SNACKS. REMEMBER EATING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR WELL BEING. START CARRYING SMALL DUBBAS OF HEALTHY SNACKS WITH YOU TO OFFICE/COLLEGE OR WHEREVER YOU GO. THE DABBA MANUFACTURERS NOW MAKE NICE ATTRACTIVE COLORFUL DABBAS TO SUITE YOUR LIFESTYLE SO WHY FEELING ASHAMED OF CARRYING THEM???

Make guava the “grab-n- go” snack and you will never regret nor will you have the guilt of eating “JUNK”.

NOTE: Most Guava juices are sweetened and processed so don’t provide the SUPER nourishment that eating actual fruit does.

Take care 🙂

Reference:

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

Sweet Potato….. sweetheart….

Sweet potatoes do not belong to the potato family. They belong to the morning glory family. They are sweet, dark and full of antioxidants (the good stuff that fights the bad guys developed in our body due to day to day stress and environmental factors).

Reasons to eat em:-

1. Even though it is starchy, it is rich in fiber and powerful antioxidants from the carotenoid family, especially beta-carotene.

2. Loaded with heart healthy potassium, vitamin A and also contain calcium. An article in the Journal of agriculture and food chemistry found that extract from sweet potato has cancer fighting properties.

3. Sweet potato contain phytochemicals like quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory.

4. It contain Chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant.

5. 1 medium size sweet potato has only 103 calories. (remember medium)

6. Not recommended for diabetics but if you do not have any high blood sugar issues ( weight related or diabetes), these guys are great for you.

7. If you are a daily workout person than a medium boiled sweet potato along with a grilled chicken or grilled fish and green veggies is a perfect post workout meal.

Choose them and serve them with steamed broccoli. Yes even to your kids. Remember kids like to try colorful stuff. Make it as colorful and presentable as possible and main thing is “EAT THEM YOUR SELF”  because kids learn by observing adults.

Reference:

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

“Herbs for health”

Role of kitchen spice while cooking food:

Different cultures use slightly different types of kitchen spices in their cooking. In India, Turmeric, coriander and cumin are widely used in curries. Culinary herbs have considerable medicinal value along with the flavor adding quality. Coriander is added to spicy stimulating foods to impart a balanced coolness. It also has carminative properties. Cumin is known as one of the best spices to prevent and relieve gas. Turmeric is a good digestive aid. It dissolves the undesirable fats in the body. It also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Most of the kitchen spices are carminative (prevent and relieve gas), stimulants and aids to digestion. Many kitchen spices are also known to relieve nervousness, spasms and coldness during first acute stage of disease. Some of these herbs and spices provide essential vitamins and minerals ex. garlic, parsley and oregano. These spices can also be used to treat problems like headache, bleeding, diarrhea, heart attacks and acute infections. Thus, our kitchen spice rack can be considered a safe and natural alternative to the synthetic, side effect causing medicines.

List of appropriate herbs to aid and support the digestive system

Ø Basil: Sweet basil is considered good for indigestion when taken as tea.

Ø Bay: Bay leaves when added to food, are known to help prevent gas and indigestion

Ø Caraway: It is considered excellent aid to digestion. It is useful for indigestion, gas and colic

Ø Cardamom: It has carminative and stimulant properties.

Ø Cayenne pepper: Stimulant, carminative and astringent properties.
Includes red and green chillies, cayenne, paprika and bell peppers.

Ø Cinnamon: It acts as carminative. It is also a strong stimulator of insulin activity and thus useful in Diabetes.

Ø Cloves: These are known to improve digestion and treat flatulence, vomiting and nausea.

Ø Cumin seeds, ginger, turmeric and rosemary are also valuable for our digestive system.

* Fenugreek Seeds/ methi dana: The seeds are highly mucus solvents and soothing agents.

WESTERN HERBS:

Ø Alfalfa: This herb is known for improving digestion and assimilation. In the form of herb tea, it is known to provide alkaline benefit for hyper acidic stomach. It is also know to prevent gas formation (bakhru, 2000).

Ø Angelica: Carminative used for digestive weakness and gas.

Ø Asafotida: Also known as “Hing”(Bakhru, 2000) in India and is widely used in Indian cooking. It is ideal for many stomach disorders. According to Dr H.K. Bakhru, “it is one of the best remedies for expelling wind from stomach” (Bakhru, 2000, p.137).

Ø Calamus: Helpful during hyperacidity associated with stomach and intestine.

Ø Camomile: Widely used in the form of tea for various digestive disorders.

Ø Elecampane: Used for digestive weakness.

Ø Beleric myrobalan or bhibitaki: Known to be useful in regulating bowel and digestion.

Ø Noni or Indian Mulberry: It is effective for digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and gastric ulcers.

Ø Papaya: This is a digestive fruit.

Ø Citrus Peel: This is a Chinese herb useful in indigestion, diarrhea and abdominal swelling.

** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **

References:-

Tierra, M. (1998). The way of herbs. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Haas, E., & Levin, B. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts.
Sharma, H., Mishra, R.K., & Meade, J.G. (2002). The Answer To Cancer. New York: Select books, Inc.
Mabey, R., McIntyre, M., Michael, P., Duff, G., & Stevens, J. (1988). The New Age Herbalist. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc
Bakhru, H.K. (2007). Healing through natural foods. Mumbai, India: Jaico publishing house.