Beat the Heat with these 5-minute Smoothie recipes!

Blog by: Sulagna Das

The summer has decided to take a brutal take this month and we are parched for something other than just cold water. Listed below are five easy breezy lemon squeazy (literally!) recipes to help us beat the heat this summer:

  1. Tropical Mango Smoothie:
    Also known as paradise in a glass, this involves our favourite fruit of the summer, that is, mangoes! The flavour is fresh and delicious and it’s really healthy. Perfect, don’t you think?

    Ingredients:
    ½ cup of pineapple juice
    1 cup of diced mangoes
    1 banana
    2 tsp. fresh lime juice
    ½ tsp. grated, peeled fresh ginger
    3 ice cubes

    Directions: Put all of the above ingredients into a mixer and blend until it is smooth and thick. Pour into a tall glass and serve.

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  1. Strawberry-Lemonade Slurpee: (Recipe by Kathy Patalsky)
    This healthy masterpiece of a pink lemonade is super easy to make and contains added antioxidants and fibre from the red strawberries. You can even change the fruit and try out different kinds of flavours.

    Ingredients:
    2 cups of lemonade
    1 to 1 ½ cups of ice
    ½ cup of frozen strawberries

    Directions: Blend. Pour. Garnish with fresh lime and serve!

strawberry-frosty

  1. Chocolate Banana Smoothie:
    It’s not just kids, we equally love this combination as well.

    Ingredients:
    1 frozen banana
    ¾ cup of milk
    3 tbsp. of chocolate syrup
    3 ice cubes

    Directions: Blend. Pour into a tall glass and serve away!

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  1. Pomegranate Pinky Sweet Smoothie: (Recipe by Kathy Patalsky)
    Pomegranate seeds are sweet and super healthy. They are rich in vitamin K, fibre, potassium and heart-healthy antioxidants and sums as a perfect smoothie ingredient for the summer.

    Ingredients:
    1 very ripe banana (use a frozen banana for a thicker shake)
    ½ cup frozen pomegranate seeds
    1 cup frozen strawberries
    1 ½ cups of vanilla soy milk

    Directions: Blend. Serve. Sip. Smile.

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  1. Fresh Orange Juice Smoothie: (Recipe by Kathy Patalsky)
    This vibrant smoothie sure does beat a simple glass of orange juice. It also provides a lot of fibre, antioxidants, flavour and a lot of orang-y goodness.

    Ingredients:
    4 oranges, squeezed
    1 small and ripe banana
    1/3 cup frozen peaches
    ½ cup frozen pineapples
    1/3 cup ice

    Directions: Pour. Garnish with a citrus twist and serve!

fresh-orange-juice-smoothie

So what are you waiting for? Whip up and quench your thirst!

Women Everywhere: Be Healthy, Not Skinny!

Blog by: Sulagna Das

When it comes to us women, we all fantasize about having a body as hot as Shiela ki Jawani’s Katrina Kaif or Chaliya’s Kareena Kapoor Khan. Because, let’s face it: you would want to fit into your tightest pair of jeans, or that fancy swimsuit that has been sitting at the back of your closet for ages.
Having a “figure” in today’s world means to live on green salads for dinners and having a garment measuring size zero. Instead of aiming for a thigh gap and a narrow waist, let us all focus on sustaining on a healthy diet which has the minimum nutrition required for the benefit of our body.

Take it from someone who has been there, and still is. All my life, I have been thin, skinny and underweight. I was never anorexic, bulimic or had any other eating disorder. When I was going through high school, I was nicknamed “the skeleton” of our class because of my bony frame. I was a fussy eater, my appetite was scarce, and I was weak and feeble. I was a gymnast for a couple of years too in hopes that I would eat more and look less like a bag of bones. It didn’t work.
So, what did?
Honestly, all I did was start eating more, and continued an easy exercise stretch routine that I had learned from my days in gymnastics. When I moved out for college, I had to eat hostel food for the next three years. I was not fussy anymore, and maintained a constant healthy diet of vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. My appetite spiked in a few months and I started gorging on different styles of cuisines and varieties of dishes. Here’s a simple how-to maintain a healthy balanced diet:

  • Consume a variety of different foods instead of limiting to just one kind. This ensures intake of a large number of nutrients which provide a disease fighting potential.
  • Eat a lot of leafy vegetables and fruits. Remember when Ma used to make us eat spinach using all kinds of tactics, it was for our own good.
  • Drink milk. Milk is known to contain almost all the important nutrients and is extremely beneficial.

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  • Eat more whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats and barley.
  • Enjoy fish and eggs because they are a prime source of proteins that are required in immense quantities for a better shape of your body.

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  • Lower the consumption of refined or added sugar.
  • Ensure you get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Reduce junk food. Fast foods and baked foods like French fries and doughnuts contain trans-fat, which are supplied by partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. They increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Keep your potassium up and sodium low. Excess sodium raises blood pressure while potassium lowers the same.
  • Food over supplements, anyday.

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  • Limit liquid calories (soft drinks) and alcohol.

Trust me when I say, there are more disadvantages of being skinny than advantages.

To all the women who are overweight and dedicate themselves to “dieting”, concentrate on exercising more. Eating less might be harmful for you. Your body needs at least 2000 calories to function properly. If the threshold is not met, then you will become prone to low blood sugar, weakness and fatigue.  Instead, workout and eat proper. Reduce your proportions of food, yes, but don’t deprive yourself from the nutrients which you require. Maintain a balanced diet and keep up with your cardio, and you will be healthy and in a really attractive shape.

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Today, I do not look weak or feeble. Sure, I’m still skinny but my appetite is more, I love eating all kinds of food, I eat enough leafy vegetables to keep up with the nutrition I need, proteins and carbohydrates equally thrown in the mix.
Some say that my faster metabolism is a superpower, because I do not get “fat”, no matter how much I eat.
Maybe, maybe not. But right now, all of us should be keeping a balanced food habit, a minimum fast food consumption and living a better lifestyle.

What kind of diets do Athlete’s follow?

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

There are many myths surrounding diet which you come across when surfing the web. Again, I’m not sure how substantiated some of these claims are.  Here are a few stories. Usain Bolt famously said he ate a bucket of KFC chicken wings before breaking the 100m world record in Beijing en route to his Olympic Gold.

Micheal Phelps’ diet was splashed across every newspaper when he went on to win 8 gold medals in a single Olympics and it involved pizzas, pancakes, French toast and a ton of other things which no respectable dietician would recommend. My training partner in the UK who was the World No 1 squash player was a pure vegetarian!

Now, this is not to demean the importance nutrition has on an athlete’s performance. In fact, many of the very best athletes in the world are paranoid about the quality of food they eat and the number of calories they consume. However, the underlying point I’m trying to drive home is that it’s important to eat well and make sure you consume the right foods but getting obsessive about diet is pretty meaningless.

In fact, I’m sure many non-athletes would be surprised at the kinds of food which are consumed by top performers the night before an important match.

The takeaway message is that by and large all top performers are very aware of the advantages of having a healthy balanced diet (which they do follow a majority of the time), but for many, it’s not a binding clause or something which they get neurotic over.

 

Come winter, keep yourself warm with Ragi

Blog by: Animesh Paul

 

Winters may come and go, but when it arrives it does come with the many woes, cold and cough, unwanted weight gain (Hardly anyone wants to put on weight), sore throat and what not. You put on layers and layers of clothing and still somewhat fail to save yourself from the wrath of winters.

 

I’m not an anti-winter species; I don’t exactly hate winters barring the all woes it brings but there are foods that turn winters less cruel. Some foods can provide you inner warmth and Ragi is such a food. I did not know about ragi, I tried warming my body with don’t know how many cups of coffee and my blanket but then my friend told me about the ‘goodness of ragi’.

 
Ragi is commonly known as nachni, the ultimate winter food. Ragi or nachni has the ability to keep your system warm. In winters, our body needs additional nutrients and ragi can supply an ample amount of nutrients. Kids and pregnant women are specially advised to have ragi during winters, owing to its health benefits. You can have simply have ragi cookies, if you have small kids you can feed them ragi porridge, which is a great nutritious meal for pregnant women as well.
Why you should have ragi in winters?

High on calcium

High on calcium ragi beats any other cereal in its league with highest calcium content. This is why it is recommended for pregnant women and kids to have ragi. It also helps in the prevention of osteoporosis. You can replace your calcium supplements with a dish made out of ragi in your daily meal.

 

Ultimate weight loss food

As I said earlier, the worst part about winters is weight gain. No matter what you eat or don’t eat, you tend to gain weight and ragi here, helps you lose weight. Ragi contains amino acids called tryptophan, which reduces appetite. I started having ragi porridge in breakfast and it made me feel full for longer.

 

The fibre content is high

Ragi contains a high amount of dietary fibre, which aids in digestion. Also, the fibre content helps decrease the cholesterol levels by disposing excess fat in the liver.

Health benefits of green salad.

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

Spring’s rebirth of greens means you can put in-season salads back on the menu and reap their many health benefits.

Build your bones

Spinach, radicchio and watercress may not immediately come to mind as foods for keeping bones strong, but all contain lots of vitamin K. A study at Tufts University in Boston found that low dietary intake of vitamin K in women was associated with low bone mineral density. (The study didn’t find a link in men.) Just one cup (250 mL) of chopped watercress has 100 percent of your daily vitamin K; radicchio, 120 percent; and spinach, 170 percent.

Sharpen your eyesight

Toss together a salad of spinach, romaine and red leaf lettuce: They all contain loads of the carotenoids vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin’key to seeing better. Vitamin A helps eyes adapt from bright light to darkness. Lutein and zeaxanthin can help filter out high-energy light that may cause eye damage from free radicals.

Rev up your muscles

Recent Swedish research found that inorganic nitrate’abundant in spinach‘resulted in muscles using less oxygen. The study, which had healthy participants ride an exercise bike before and after taking a dose of nitrate, found it improved the performance of the mitochondria’which power our cells’in muscles.

Fight breast cancer

A small study done at the University of Southampton, U.K., showed that phen-ethyl isothiocyanate in watercress disrupts the signals from tumours that cause normal tissues to grow new blood vessels to feed cancer cells. Participants, who had all been treated for breast cancer, ate a cereal-bowl-size portion of watercress. The study showed a key protein in the signalling process was affected. Although more research is needed, the study states: ‘Dietary intake of watercress may be sufficient to modulate this potential anti-cancer pathway.’

Protect your heart

Whip up a Caesar salad to benefit from romaine’s high levels of two heart-healthy nutrients: Two cups (500 mL) of shredded romaine contain 40 percent of your daily needs of folate and 10 percent of fibre. A study done at Tulane University in New Orleans showed that the higher the level of folate in a person’s diet, the lower the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Soluble fibre has been shown to reduce the level of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Reduce risk of diabetes

Chronic magnesium deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and the development of insulin resistance. Two cups (500 mL) of spinach contain 16 percent of your daily magnesium needs; arugula has six percent.

Top 6 Benefits of Eating Soup

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

Soup is an important dish of every meal. Just like salad, having a bowl of soup have a lot of health benefits as you get to eat more veggies packed with nutrients.

Eating nothing but soup for a meal can also make one slimmer but it can be a difficult challenge. Doing so can make you hungry but for others, eating more soup make them more energized and feel full for hours.

Soup is healthy, no doubt. But that’s not the only reasons why soup is good.

Here are top reasons why you should eat soup:

Soup is delicious.

Soup can be a comfort food as it is delicious. It is easy to make. With only a few ingredients, one can make a bowl of hearty soup for a cold evening.

Soup is good for the health.

Perhaps the easiest way to add vegetables to your daily meals is to make and eat soup. You can make several bowls of soup filled with fruits and veggies each day and you’ll be filled. Eating vegetables is part of a healthy diet so veggie soups are highly recommended.

Soup can help you lose weight.

Soups are slimming. Of course, that is if you strictly follow a weight-loss plan and exercise more. A bowl of soup packs minimal calorie but is very nutritious.

Soup makes you feel full.

Soup fills you up because it stretches the stomach. You easily feel full so it’s ideal to eat soup at the beginning of every meal.

Soup is affordable to make.

Making soup won’t require a lot of money. Go the grocery or market; buy some vegetables and fruits, broth or water, and you can easily make a batch enough to feed the entire family. For a small cost, you can make a lot of people feel full and healthy.

Soup can make you feel better.

Ever wondered by chicken soup is always given to the sick? It is because soup is great for people who are sick. It is easily digested and is filled with health benefits.

Top 10 Reasons to avoid Oily Food

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

Taste is all that matters. Even a little kid of primary class would want a delicious and yummy pack of potato wafers instead of the snack his mother would make at home. Children prefer a bowl of French potato fries instead of a bowl of cereals. Not just children, every one of us prefer tasty food over healthy and nutritious food. The growth in the number of fast food centers is also a major reason of the consumption of oily food. A lot of fast foods, which can be bought by spending a few rupees, will definitely contain fats and oils. Fats are necessary for our body; they help in the metabolism process and also add flavor to the body. But this does not mean that they are healthy enough to be taken in large amounts. The disadvantages of eating oily food and reasons to why you should avoid them are:

10. Health risks:

Studies have shown that on an average a person only intakes 30% of the calories from fats. Out of this ratio, about 7% are saturated fats. But, when this limit of calorie intake is increased there is huge risk of health problems. Therefore, it is recommended that no person should exceed this limit of less than 30% fats in the diet. The health issues that person may face later include diabetes, chronic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, obesity, etc.

9. Acid Reflux:

Oily food is responsible for acid refluxes. There is muscle present at one end of esophagus. This muscle is popularly known as esophageal sphincter. The role of this muscle is to keep out the contents of the stomach from the esophagus. The excess of oily food results in weakening of the lower portion of esophageal sphincter. This is mainly because the stomach produces a large amount of acid as compared to the usual and desired level. This rise in acid level is called acid reflux. Thus, a person must not have access amount of fatty food to avoid damage to the internal organs and muscles due to acid reflux.

8. High Cholesterol:

The total cholesterol level rises in the blood mainly due to oily food that we eat. The saturated fats and trans fats present in the oils we eat in fried food are the main source of high blood cholesterol. Cholesterol is not healthy for our body. Though a limited percentage of cholesterol is required and is necessary for a healthy body, but if the level rises, then there is large risk to the heart. Cholesterol, if present in our body is more than maximum limit, will lead to blockage of blood arteries. This is the reason a person must take care of the diet and must avoid fatty and oily food, deep fried food, commercially fried products and packets of commercially fried food items, saturated fat in coconut oil as well as palm oil, etc.

7. Exercise performance:

Studies on rats and people have proved a lot many times that consuming fatty food will lead to degradation in exercise performance. This means the stamina of the person reduces once he or she starts having oily food. The regular exercises he/she does are all reduced and their performance is decreased. The tasks that a person has to do every day such as morning walk, fetching groceries for house, other goods of the house, cleaning particular things, making breakfast, walking or even driving to work, etc. All these tasks become very hectic for the person if he is presently on an oily diet.

6. Migraine and Headache:

Fatty and oily foods can trigger migraine. That is not all. It even triggers headaches which gives you tension. You may start feeling like there is tight band tied around your head and that is creating a severe headache. This is mainly because oily food changes the chemistry of the brain and that is mainly because they change the size of brain’s blood vessels. The change is size is mainly because of the deposit of the unabsorbed fat if there is an intake of large amount of fat.

5. Affects the memory:

Including oily food in your daily can create a lot of problems for you. But the problem I am going to mention is the one which you have never thought of. The studies and experiments have revealed that consuming having oily and fatty food can affect your brain memory. This is mainly because eating a lot of fat will trigger resistance to insulin, which in turn results in using glucose less efficiently. This glucose or blood sugar is very important to the brain to function properly. People live in the delusion that fatty food will only increase a few pounds of their body. But before these extra pounds earned from oily food, you will see the effect of the fats on your brain and memory.

4. Causes Acne:

The intake of oily food affects the skin. It makes a person’s skin oily. The people who regularly eat oily food have a lot of acne on their face. This is proved by studies. Studies have shown that when a person consumes excess amount of oily food, or dairy food rich in fat, it triggers oil gland activity in excessive amount. This excessive increase in the oil gland activity makes your skin oily and produces a lot of acne. The skin doctors always suggest avoiding oily food, especially those who already have an oily skin. So, if you believe that a particular type of food can affect your skin and your looks, then you should better avoid having them.

3. Affects Gall Bladder:

The amount of fat that you intake, is absorbed by the bile present in your gut. The fat that is left unabsorbed will lead to diarrhea. The gall bladder in your body does the work of storing bile juice and then deliver it in your gut when you intake fatty meals. The bile that is stored in gall bladder and delivered to the gut is produced in the liver. The amount of fat in your meals increases when you eat oily food. This excess amount of fat is not absorbed by the bile and makes a person nauseous. Also increases the chances of diarrhea.

2. Overweight:

The reason to avoid oily food is that they increase a person’s body weight. The oily foods are full of calories. When our diet have high calorie contents, than you must take care of your dress size. The amount of calories present in the fats of the oily food is twice than the calories in carbohydrates, proteins and grams. The count of calories per day is necessary for those all who are trying to lose weight. And those who are least concerned about their weight please note, that if your weight increases, you have high risks of suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and/or some other chronic diseases. Obesity itself is a disease. And obesity is caused by high calorie intake which is the main reason to avoid oily food.

1. Cardiovascular Diseases:

Oily food, greasy food and fatty food are rich in one or more dietary fats. The dietary fats are known to contribute in the elevation of blood level. They cause total cholesterol and LDL which is also known as “bad” cholesterol. If a person’s daily diet includes a lot of saturated fats, or even trans fats and cholesterol, then there is very increased risk that the person will suffer from atherosclerosis. This is the condition when blood is stuck in your arteries. This fat behaves as an obstacle for the flow of blood in the arteries. This is the reason of a heart attack, heart stroke and even few peripheral heart diseases. Thus, if a person wants to avoid the risks of heart attack and other cardiovascular disease, they must surely avoid oily food.

Health benefits of Ginger.

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

Here are the useful health benefits of ginger’s:

Ginger Contains Gingerol, a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties.

Ginger Can Treat Many Forms of Nausea, Especially Morning Sickness.

Ginger May Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness.

The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Can Help With Osteoarthritis.

Ginger May Drastically Lower Blood Sugars and Improve Heart Disease Risk Factors.

Benefits of eating spicy food.

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

Spicy foods are a bit of a mystery. As an article in the week’s New York Times wondered: Why is it that we find such pleasure in pain? I mean, these hot sauce bottles are plastered with words like “death” and “atomic”… and we like them.

One theory is that it’s simply for the thrill — like riding a roller coaster or running a marathon. Humans, oddly, find pleasure in things that, on the surface, should be really freaking scary and painful. In these cases, it’s mind vs. body, and mind wins.

The other theory is that spicy foods have health benefits, and so our bodies crave them. Some of the most-studied bennies are:

1. Weight Loss: For one, the extra kick of hot sauce or a chopped jalapeno can make even the most bland diet food more palatable, causing you to be more likely to stick with your weight loss plan. In addition, they may jack up your metabolism. Studies show that the main compound in chilies, called capsaicin, has a thermogenic effect and may cause the body to burn bonus calories for 20 minutes post chow-down.

2. Heart Health: Studies show that cultures that eat the most spicy food have much lower incidence of heart attack and stroke. Potential reasons: Chili peppers can reduce the damaging effects of LDL (bad cholesterol) and capsaicin may fight inflammation, which has been flagged as a risk factor for heart issues.

3. Cancer Prevention: According to the American Association for Cancer Research, capsaicin has the ability to kill some cancer and leukemic cells. One particular spice, turmeric, found in curry powder and some mustards, may slow the spread of cancer and growth of tumors. “It has the same effects on the body as certain cancer drugs do.” says Gregory A. Plotnikoff, M.D., senior consultant for health care innovation at Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota. Pair it with black pepper to absorb 2,000 percent more turmeric. Fantastic on roasted veggies or kebabs, or in soups.

4. Lower Blood Pressure: Vitamins A and C strengthen the heart muscle walls, and the heat of the pepper increases blood flow throughout your body. All of this equals a stronger cardiovascular system.

5. Fewer Blow-Your-Top Moments: Spicy foods boost production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin. So they may help ease depression and stress.

Not a fan of crazy-spicy food? You can still get the health benefits by adding spices with a more tolerable zing to your dishes. We love sliced ginger in a cup of tea, shrimp coated in cumin and coriander then sauteed in a skillet, adding red pepper flakes to stir-fry or whipping up a delish chicken curry.