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10 foods rich in antioxidants you need to have in your diet HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Antioxidants are compounds that are found in one’s body as well as in many fruits and vegetables. Their chief functions include protecting our body’s cells from free radical damage. This, in turn, prevents premature aging and various chronic diseases. In fact, if the levels of free radicals in one’s body go unchecked, these unstable molecules can accumulate, thereby inducing a state known as oxidative stress. It can potentially wreak havoc on one’s DNA and other structures of cells, thereby increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and severe heart disease. Interestingly, one of the means to measure the levels of antioxidant content in foods is the FRAP (Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma) Test. The higher the FRAP value, the better it is.

Types of antioxidants and how they work

The most appropriate way to classify antioxidants is to understand whether they are water-soluble, fat-soluble or both fat and water-soluble. Those that are water-soluble work to fight with the free radicals present in the blood plasma. Fat-soluble ones fight the free radicals present in the cell membrane. Antioxidants are present in certain vitamins and minerals so consuming these on a regular basis can prove to be highly fruitful. Vitamins A, E, K, and C, copper, zinc, iodine, and manganese are rich sources of antioxidants. Certain proteins like glutathione and alpha lipoic acid also contain them. Phytochemicals like quercetin, lycopene, carotenoids, zeaxanthin, ellagic acid, flavonoids, and lutein also have good amounts of antioxidants in them. Additionally, some hormones, like melatonin, also exhibit antioxidant-like properties.

All these work either by stopping the oxidative process before it starts (preventive action) while others are neutralizing the effect of the free radicals (chain breaking action). Those antioxidants that work in either of these two processes are known as Direct Antioxidants since they engage indirectly working on free radicals.

Antioxidant Benefits

It is essential to understand the health benefits of an antioxidant-rich diet. Maintaining a high level of antioxidants in your blood helps reduce the risk of oxidative damage. As a result, one can prevent the risk of chronic diseases related to cancer, heart, and diabetes. They also help boost one’s brain function, keep one’s eyes, skin, and hair healthy and also aids better lung functioning. The best way to incorporate antioxidants in your diet is to consume seasonal food.

Apart from natural dietary means, antioxidant supplements are also available in the market. The consumption of these supplements need not be as successful for humans as they were in trials for animals, according to research. In fact, the results of death and disease prevention have been quite disappointing in humans. Furthermore, some of these supplements are detrimental to one’s health. Large doses of Vitamin A can lead to defects in women at the time of childbirth. They are also known to increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In addition to that, consumption of too much Vitamin E has been associated with a potential increase in overall death rate. Ideally, one must consult a physician before taking any supplements.

Antioxidant-rich foods

There are a number of foods that are rich in antioxidants, but we present to you some of the most useful foods, that contain high doses of antioxidants. Do try to include these in your daily diets to obtain the goodness of antioxidants.

Green tea

Green tea contains 30 percent polyphenols, by weight. This includes large amounts of a catechin called EGCG. These natural antioxidants prevent cell damage, amongst other benefits. In addition to that, they have a protective effect against oxidative damage that contributes to the development of cancer. Green tea, being an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, can help reduce the risk of cancer.

Blueberries

According to several studies, blueberries contain the highest amounts of antioxidants amongst all common fruits and vegetables. They have up to 9.2 mmol(millimoles) per 100 grams of the product. Some of the health benefits of consuming blueberries include prevention of brain damage that occurs in old age, reducing blood pressure, lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels as well as decreasing the risk of certain heart diseases. All this is possible due to a type of antioxidant called anthocyanin that is present in blueberries.

Strawberries

Strawberries consist of high amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Like blueberries, they too contain reasonable levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin. It is rarely found in other food items. The brighter red a strawberry is, the higher would be the anthocyanin levels. A FRAP analysis suggests that strawberries have 5.4 mmol per 100 grams of it. Do include this fruit in your diet for it reduces LDL cholesterol levels as well as the risk of severe heart problems.

Beans

Often doctors recommend intake of beans to patients owing to its high nutritional value. They are incredibly high in fiber, and amongst vegetables, they are the best source of antioxidants. An antioxidant called kaempferol is found in considerable amounts in beans which aids in the prevention of cancer and chronic inflammation. Various animal studies have found that kaempferol suppresses the growth of kidneys, bladder and lung cancer. A bonus of eating beans is that it helps to regulate bowel movements as well.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains 15 mmol of antioxidants in every 100 g. It is amongst the highest amounts of antioxidants present in various fruits and vegetables. Since it contains more cocoa, eating dark chocolate also reduces inflammation, regulates blood pressure and lowers the risk of numerous heart diseases. Additionally, its consumption also raises HDL cholesterol levels. It also prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. So, eat a little dark chocolate every day. It will certainly satisfy your taste buds and offer many health benefits too!

Spinach

While spinach may not be a universal favourite, its health benefits can change your mind. Spinach has good amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins along with being low in calories. Those with poor eyesight should consume this vegetable daily as the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin protect one’s eyes from UV light and other damaging light wavelengths.

Pecans

Commonly found in South America and Mexico, pecans are a great source of minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. These nuts have 10.6 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams of serving. Eating pecans significantly increase antioxidant levels in the blood thereby decreasing oxidized LDL. As a result, intake of pecans can prevent many heart diseases; however, since they are high in calories, one should eat them in moderation.

Artichokes

Artichokes were used to treat jaundice and some liver conditions in ancient times. They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. A unique antioxidant, namely chlorogenic acid, is present in artichoke. This effectively hampers the growth of cancer, heart problems, and Type 2 diabetes. Although, one should pay attention to the way they cook or prepare artichokes. It’s ideal that they are boiled or steamed as the former raises antioxidant content by 15 times and the latter by 8 times.

Kale

Kale is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, and provides antioxidant content up to 2.7 mmol per 100 grams. If possible, include red varieties of kale in your diet as the antioxidant content is higher (4.1 mmol) in them. Along with maintaining sound cellular functions, kale is a good plant-based source of calcium as well. Thus, higher kale intake fosters good bone health.

Raspberries

These soft-sour berries are mostly used to prepare desserts. As an excellent source of Vitamin C, manganese, fiber and antioxidants, raspberries are efficient in lowering risks of certain types of cancer and heart diseases. Fact sheets from national cancer institute state that these raspberries efficiently killed 90% of stomach, colon and breast cancer. The black raspberry’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties also slow down the growth of a variety of cancers. The antioxidant anthocyanin can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress as well.

Red Cabbage

Also known as purple cabbage, red cabbage includes Vitamins A, C, K and quite high levels of antioxidants. The presence of anthocyanin in red cabbage enables it to reduce inflammation, reduce risk of various heart diseases and cancer. Vitamin C serves as one of the major antioxidants for the body. Thus, eating red cabbage also strengthens the immune system and paves the way for healthy, glowing skin. Interestingly, steaming this vegetable can decrease its antioxidant level by 35% whereas steaming or stir-frying boosts these levels.

Eat the above-mentioned foods, and you won’t have to rely on antioxidant dietary supplements ever. Remember to include colourful fruits and vegetables, that are rich in antioxidants, in your diet. The inclusion of these in your diet can fulfill the requirement of antioxidants in the body.

The post 10 foods rich in antioxidants you need to have in your diet appeared first on HealthifyMe Blog.

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Spinach Benefits and Recipes: Why and what you need to be eating! HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that can significantly reduce oxidative stress. Known as palak in India, it can also fight cancer growth, regulate blood pressure levels and maintain eye health too. Scientifically known as Spinacia Oletacea, it is one such vegetable that fosters good health as it’s loaded with antioxidants and minerals. What originated in Persia is now readily grown in almost every part of the world, prominently in the United States and China. There are three varieties of the vegetable namely semi-savoy, crinkly savoy, and smooth-leaf spinach.

Benefits of adding Palak to your diet

Interestingly, in every 100 grams of the vegetable, one can find 91.4% water, 2.9% protein, 3.6% carbs and only 23 calories. Moreover, fresh spinach is a rich source of magnesium, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K1, beta-carotene, folic acid or Vitamin B6, and calcium. In addition to that, it contains several other vitamins and minerals like potassium, Vitamin B9, and Vitamin E. It is also a good source of significant plant compounds such as quercetin, kaempferol, nitrates lutein, and zeaxanthin. The antioxidants present in the leaves of this vegetable helps to fight free radicals in one’s body. Eventually, this prevents chronic disease and premature aging. Being an insoluble fiber, it also aids digestion.

Raw vs. cooked spinach – What’s better?

If cooked the right way, one can obtain several benefits from this green, leafy vegetable. Raw spinach contains oxalic acid which can interfere with the absorption of specific nutrients like iron and calcium. In addition to this, oxalic acid also attaches itself to other vital nutrients. Therefore, the long-term consumption of food rich in this organic compound can lead to a large scale deficiency of nutrients. However, when one heats this vegetable, oxalic acid is broken down. Hence there isn’t any loss of nutrients in sautéed or steamed spinach. Although, this doesn’t mean the vegetable in its raw form is entirely harmful so let’s consider the advantages of both.

Raw spinach benefits

Raw spinach has many essential nutrients that are present in higher portions when compared to the cooked version. On consuming it raw, one can get more folate, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin C, and potassium. If you’re aiming to specifically obtain these nutrients, then you can consume this vegetable in its raw form to some extent. However, one must consume it in moderate amounts.

Cooked spinach benefits

The cooked version of these vegetables is definitely better as oxalic acid evaporates on heating. Moreover, one can absorb higher levels of protein, zinc, thiamin, iron, Vitamins A and E, calcium, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin on eating cooked spinach.

Spinach Recipes

Including this dark green leafy vegetable in your diet can provide you with several health benefits. While spinach may not be a favourite amongst the general public, preparing it the right way can make it a lot more enjoyable. We have put together a few lip-smacking recipes that will make your mouth water.

Spinach and Chickpea Stew

In addition to being delicious, this dish is also packed with several nutrients. Both spinach and chickpeas are good sources of calcium and iron whereas tomatoes contain powerful antioxidants, potassium, folate and Vitamin K.

  • One can prepare this lip-smacking stew by frying chopped onion and garlic in a flavoursome mix of pepper, hot chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, and cloves.
  • Once the mix is stirred properly, just add tangy tomato paste until the sauce thickens.
  • When the ideal texture is obtained, add cooked chickpeas and fresh spinach. Fry this mixture gently in a little oil and a fantastic stew is now ready.
  • You can even sprinkle toasted almonds or parsley and serve this spinach and chickpea stew with brown rice.
Baked Spinach Chicken Breast

Almost all green leafy vegetables taste good with chicken, but cooked spinach is by far the best of the lot. This tasty dish is amazingly easy and quick to prepare. All one needs are basic spices (salt, red chili or paprika), chopped garlic, creamy cheese (preferably mozzarella or provolone), olive oil, boneless skinless chicken breast and fresh spinach.

  • Just preheat the oven to 425 degrees, sauté the green leafy vegetable in olive oil and garlic.
  • Then place the cheese and freshly cooked vegetable lengthwise on the chicken breast.
  • Do remember to fold the chicken in half before finally baking it.
  • The final dish is truly mouthwatering and full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

Spinach Patties

Aloo Tikki or meat-based patties used in burgers are a definite welcome to one’s taste buds, but spinach burgers are a must try too! For those with a busy work schedule, these burgers are an even better option, since the preparation of this dish does not take too long.

  • Mix egg whites (optional), diced onion, cheese, whole egg (optional), breadcrumbs, chili flakes, garlic powder, salt and fresh spinach in a bowl.
  • After mixing them thoroughly, make patties.
  • Fry them as required and eat them raw or with a sandwich.

Rich in iron, Vitamin A, and potassium, these patties can readily fulfill your daily requirements of several nutrients.

Spinach salad

The best way to include spinach in one’s diet is through a salad. Eating it in its raw form can help you consume most of the nutrients that the vegetable contains. In addition to its health benefits, this salad is also easy to prepare.

  • You’ll require thinly sliced apples, onions, olive oil, garlic and freshly ground black pepper.
  • In a bowl, mix all these ingredients and just season with a dressing of your choice.
  • The best aspect is that you can alter this recipe to your liking, add more veggies or even fruits if you wish.

For those aiming for weight loss or those suffering from iron deficiency or high blood pressure, this is an ideal way to boost the intake of the vegetable.

Palak Paratha

Paratha is an extremely popular form of bread in India. One of the tastiest parathas includes the Palak Paratha which is a favourite for supper and breakfast in the country, and also very easy to prepare.

  • All one requires is to add chopped fresh spinach in the dough mix along with one’s preferred spices such as red chili, salt or pepper.
  • Once added, knead the dough well and prepare small balls out of it.
  • Roll out these balls and bake them, ideally using an Indian stove.
  • Once cooked, serve with green chutney or achaar or curd.

Cheesy Spinach Hot Pockets

Though time-consuming, this dish is the most satisfying item you can prepare using spinach.

  • Make the dough using dry yeast, all-purpose flour, salt, milk, egg, virgin oil, and sugar.
  • For the filling use block cream cheese, chopped fresh spinach, garlic cloves, shredded mozzarella, and salt.
  • Once both these are ready, prepare pockets out of the dough and generously add the filling.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 400° and get ready to experience goodness through its scrumptious taste!
Spinach and Corn Fritters

If you’re someone who loves fritters, then this delicious recipe is a must-try.

  • Just add fresh spinach, corn, red chili, cumin, turmeric, salt, gram flour and chaat masala in the fritter mix.
  • Ensure that the batter is thick enough to hold a ball-like shape.
  • Once mixed as required, carefully fry them in oil until golden brown.
  • To maximize the taste, do serve with ketchup or green chutney.

This antioxidant-rich green vegetable is an excellent source of numerous vitamins along with being effective to cure and prevent many diseases. Try these delicious recipes to truly experience the benefits of this nutrient-rich vegetable, and let us know what you think of them in the comments.

The post Spinach Benefits and Recipes: Why and what you need to be eating! appeared first on HealthifyMe Blog.

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Jaggery: 15 Health Benefits that you should know about! HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Elders often end their meals with Jaggery. One might assume that its sweet, heavenly taste is what makes it popular. However, this naturally sweetening food has enormous health benefits. Made primarily from raw, concentrated sugarcane juice that is boiled until it solidifies, it is essentially a type of unrefined sugar. Also known as Gur, it can be made from date palm (Nolen Gur of West Bengal) or the sap of coconut too. Jaggery is a major part of one’s staple diet in most parts of India. It is known as ‘bella’ in Kannada, ‘Vellam’ in Tamil and ‘Gul’ in Marathi. Before learning about the health benefits of this nutritious food, let’s understand how different it is from white sugar, honey, and brown sugar.

Calorie Count and Nutrition Value

Jaggery has enormous health benefits which make it the ideal sweetener. Just 20 grams of it contains 38 calories and has 9.8 gram of carbohydrates, 9.7 gram of sugar, 0.01 gram of protein, choline, betaine, Vitamin B12, B6, folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and manganese. It has no traces of any kind of fat so one can readily add it to their diet without worrying about excessive fat intake. However, its sugar content is similar to that of white sugar, so patients suffering from diabetes should avoid overconsumption.

Jaggery vs. Sugar – The healthier option?

Numerous health professionals recommend replacing sugar with jaggery to obtain greater nutritional values from a sweetener. While both may be processed, sugar is mainly in the form of translucent, white crystals while jaggery can either be golden brown or dark brown in colour. The former undergoes rigorous industrial processes, such as treatment with charcoal, due to which its nutritional value is lost. On the other hand, the latter undergoes no excessive treatment except the boiling of sugarcane syrup. This ensures the retention of traces of iron, mineral salts and fiber in it. These minerals and plant phytochemicals are useful remedies for several ailments. This natural sweetener is an effective way to boost immunity, regulate body temperature, enrich the skin, improve digestion and cure joint pain, apart from a number of other mind-blowing health benefits.

Jaggery vs. brown sugar vs. honey

Jaggery is prepared by natural means without the use of any chemicals, preservatives or synthetic additives. Therefore, it contains a number of proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Many people often consider this golden brown sweetener and brown sugar to be the same thing. However brown sugar is produced either directly from cane juice or by refining raw sugar. Both cases require the addition of a variety of molasses, syrups, and demerara. Hence, brown sugar contains unnatural additives as well. Adding brown sugar is certainly better than adding refined white sugar, but jaggery is a much better alternative. Another way to make your desserts or everyday snacks healthier is by adding honey. It is rich in Vitamin B, C, and potassium while jaggery is rich in copper, iron, and magnesium. Hence, the decision to add either of these two to one’s diet depends on their taste.

Jaggery good for diabetes?

Diabetic patients often get sweet cravings and turn to various forms of sweeteners. Though these patients might consider jaggery a better alternative than sugar, the truth is that it too contains high levels of sugar. There is almost 65%-85% of sucrose in 10 grams of jaggery. Therefore, people with diabetes are advised to not consume it regularly. Furthermore, even Ayurveda does not recommend its consumption for diabetic patients.

Jaggery and weight loss

After considering the sugar content of jaggery, many believe that it’s fattening. On the contrary, it facilitates quick digestion since it is rich in nutrients. Moreover, it flushes out toxins from the body and cleanses the blood as well. The nutrients help to maintain electrolyte balance, thereby improving metabolism and the presence of potassium enables water retention, through which one can effectively manage their weight. Therefore, consuming this sweet nutrient-packed food in monitored amounts daily can greatly aid weight loss.

Jaggery Health Benefits

We discuss some of the health benefits of this popular food sweetener below:

Prevention of respiratory problems

For those who have frequent respiratory tract problems, jaggery could be one of the most beneficial solutions. One can prevent asthma, bronchitis, etc. by including the same in their diet. It is better if one consumes jaggery along with sesame seeds. This combination is ideal for treating respiratory problems.

Helps with weight loss

Weight gain is an issue most people have to deal with. A trusted remedy to foster weight loss is a moderate intake of jaggery. It is a good source of potassium that helps balance electrolytes, boosting metabolism as well as building muscles. Moreover, potassium can also help reduce water retention in one’s body, hence, playing a major role in weight loss.

Controls blood pressure

The presence of potassium and sodium in jaggery helps maintain acid levels in the body. This, in turn, maintains normal blood pressure levels. So if someone suffers from high or low blood pressure, including it in their diet would be of great help!

Great source of energy

Unlike sugar that offers short-lived energy boost, jaggery provides gradual energy that lasts for a longer time. This is because it is unrefined, which ensures that blood sugar levels aren’t altered immediately and rises slowly instead. This, in turn, can help prevent fatigue as well.

Relieves menstrual pain

Jaggery is a natural remedy to ease pain occurring from menstrual cramps. Additionally, those who experience mood swings or frustration before their periods should also eat the same in small amounts since it helps to release endorphins that relax one’s body.

Prevents anemia

To prevent anemia, it is required that adequate levels of RBCs are maintained in the body along with iron and folate. Jaggery is rich in both iron and folate, hence, a good way to prevent anemia. Doctors often recommend its intake to adolescents and pregnant women.

Purifies the body

People commonly consume jaggery after meals since it is one of the best natural cleansing agents for the body. Eating this food can help remove all kinds of unwanted particles from the intestines, stomach, food pipe, lungs, and the respiratory tract successfully.

Detoxification of the liver

Jaggery is a natural cleansing agent, especially for the liver. The natural sweetener helps flush out harmful toxins from one’s body. This further helps to detoxify the liver. Hence, those suffering from diseases associated with the liver should start eating Jaggery.

Prevents constipation

Consumption of the nutrient-packed sweetener helps to stimulate bowel movements and activation of digestive enzymes in one’s body. Whenever you’ve eaten a heavy meal, just consume some of this nutritious natural sweetener and reduce the risk of constipation.

Treatment of cold and cough

Jaggery also helps cure flu-like symptoms such as cold and cough. It leads to the production of heat in one’s body thereby fighting the cold. To reap better benefits, do mix Jaggery in warm milk or use it as a sweetener in your tea.

Reduces joint pain

For people suffering from arthritis or any kind of pain in the joints, the consumption of jaggery can provide immense pain relief. When eaten with ginger, the effectiveness only improves.

Purifies blood

Consumption of jaggery on a regular basis in moderate amounts can aid in blood purification. This is also the reason why it is effective in treating acne or pimples as cleaner blood also means healthier skin. Additionally, the total hemoglobin count in blood also increases with the consumption of the right amount of it.

Boosts immunity

Antioxidants and minerals like selenium and zinc are present in substantial quantities in jaggery. This helps in preventing free radical damage along with building resistance against various infections. This is why it is eaten frequently in winters.

Cures urinary tract problems

Sugarcane is a natural diuretic, so jaggery too possesses this property. Reducing inflammation of the bladder, stimulating urination and improving the smooth flow of urine are some issues that regular intake of this nutritious food item can easily help with.

Maintains good intestinal health

Jaggery is rich in magnesium. Every 10 g of the food contains 16 mg of the mineral. So, if one consumes even 10 grams of it, he or she would’ve fulfilled 4% daily requirement of this mineral in our lives. Therefore, eating it on a daily basis can lead to good intestinal health.

This dark brown natural sweetener is easily available in all parts of India. However, do ensure that the jaggery you purchase is 100% natural. Make it a part of your daily diet, and you’ll start observing its benefits on your own.

The post Jaggery: 15 Health Benefits that you should know about! appeared first on HealthifyMe Blog.

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Vitamin C rich foods and their 15 proven benefits! HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Vitamin C, also known as ‘Ascorbic Acid’ is a water-soluble vitamin and a highly powerful antioxidant. It protects one’s body from free radicals which play an important role in the aging process. It helps strengthen the blood vessel and muscles. Unlike other animals, humans do not have the ability to synthesize this vitamin internally. Hence, our Vitamin C intake depends only on natural foods and artificial supplements.

Good amounts of Vitamin C can be obtained from certain fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits such as oranges, strawberries, gooseberries and grapes and leafy vegetables like cabbage, cauliflowers, etc. are great sources of this vitamin. Potatoes, red peppers, parsley and Brussel sprouts too contain considerable amounts of it. However, do make sure to cook food briefly at low temperatures to preserve the vitamin in your food.

Vitamin C Benefits

The requirement of Vitamin C content in one’s body varies according to age. For instance, United States’ Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) study showing the amounts of Vitamin C required outlines intake for adults (18 years and above) as 65-75 mg of the vitamin, whereas for infants (up to 12 months) it is 40-50 mg. Now, let us consider some amazing benefits of including the vitamin in your diet.

Speeds up the healing of wounds

Vitamin C leads to the production of collagen, a protein present in connective tissues of the skin, muscles, and tendons. So regular intake of this vitamin is helpful in wound healing. Whether the wound is a minor cut, a broken bone, burns or deep wounds, it readily speeds up the healing process.

Role in neurological conditions

Vitamin C is crucial in protecting the brain and nervous system against the harmful effects of stress. When taken in optimum amounts, it synthesizes the regulation of stress hormones. Additionally, high levels of the nutrient may also reduce the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as it helps to increase beta-carotene and lycopene.

Helps battle asthma

Those who have chronic asthma can greatly benefit from Vitamin C. It is essentially an antioxidant and antihistamine that enables improved lung function. Studies suggest that 1000-2000 mg of the vitamin every day can effectively reduce the production of histamines which is a major cause of inflammation in asthma patients.

Boosts immunity

Various studies suggest that Vitamin C deficiency can decrease the body’s resistance against certain pathogens. So, including it in one’s diet helps to fight various infections and allergies thereby strengthening the immune system.

Reduces risk of cataracts

Direct exposure to sunlight leads to the generation of free radicals in one’s eye lens which causes cataract or blindness in the elderly. Free radicals can be successfully eliminated by Vitamin C intake. Therefore, its consumption reduces the risk of cataract in older people along with improving their vision.

Aids in treatment of cancer

High dosage of Vitamin C increases the effect of cancer-eliminating drugs utilized in chemotherapy. Unlike other drugs, this vitamin is target-specific, so it doesn’t damage other cells of the body. Moreover, there is a study showing that increased intake of the nutrient can also reduce the risk of cancer of the mouth, lungs, throat, vocal cords, stomach, colon, esophagus, and rectum.

Reduces the risk of stroke

Vitamin C kills the free radicals, which damage the walls of arteries, and thereby decrease the possibility of a stroke. Along with this, its consumption also lowers cholesterol and improves blood flow.

Cures Lead Toxicity

People with Vitamin C levels in their body are often found to have higher amounts of lead in their bloodstream. Smokers are suggested daily consumption of supplements of the vitamin as it reduces lead levels and can alleviate lead toxicity.

Helps in weight loss

Adequate levels of Vitamin C can foster weight and fat loss by increasing oxidation of body fat during exercise and enhancing metabolism. So, the inclusion of citrus fruits or leafy vegetables in your diet before or after one’s exercise routine can aid better fat loss.

Effective for arthritis symptoms

People suffering from arthritis are administered Vitamin C supplements to raise the levels of the vitamin in their bodies. This helps to reduce pain, swelling of joints and inflammation as well. The production, repair, and maintenance of cartilaginous tissues are enhanced as a result of collagen production by Vitamin C. However, balance in its intake is crucial as very high doses can worsen the condition.

Beneficial for skin problems

Clinical trials have proven that Vitamin C prevents sagging of skin, reduces wrinkles, protects from UV rays as well as improves the elasticity of the skin. Therefore, today it is widely used in various face packs, creams, and moisturizers.

Helps maintain healthy gums

Vitamin C deficiency can cause periodontal disease which is a severe form of gingivitis. It develops because lower levels of the vitamin can weaken connective tissues thereby easily breaking down capillaries. A regular and moderated intake of Vitamin C can prevent bleeding gums and lead to improved oral health.

Regulates blood sugar

Regular and long-term intake of Vitamin C supplements aids the regulation of blood sugar levels in patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. The vitamin stimulates insulin mechanism, reduces fasting blood glucose thereby enhancing the efficacy of the treatment.

Prevents Scurvy

Though today scurvy is quite a rare occurrence, Vitamin C deficiency is one of the leading causes of scurvy. Consumption of 10 g of Vitamin C on a daily basis can help one prevent scurvy.

Great for healthy hair

Dry and flaky skin can lead to the clogging of hair follicles. This prevents hair growth and leads to the production of hair growth. Vitamin C helps to fight the bacteria in the scalp and prevents premature greying of hair.

Vitamin C Rich Foods

Now that we know the many benefits of Vitamin C, we take a look at a few foods rich in Vitamin C. Well known as a potent antioxidant along with containing nutrients to enhance skin, immune system, bone, and collagen tissue health, this vitamin is abundantly found in the following food items. Currently, the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C is 90 mg for adults, and since humans can’t naturally produce this vitamin, we should readily try to fulfill this requirement.

Guavas

Guavas contain large amounts of the antioxidant, lycopene. Eating just one guava can provide 126 mg of this vitamin to us. People with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels should eat 7 pieces of guava every day as it significantly lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Kiwi

One kiwi contains 71 mg of the vitamin. On consuming kiwi, one can improve immunity, reduce oxidative stress and lower cholesterol levels. It also increases blood cell activity by 20%, can decrease blood platelet stickiness by 18% and triglycerides by 15%. A combination of these factors prevents stroke and reduces the risk of blood clots.

Brussel Sprouts

Many people eat Brussel sprouts as they are rich in potassium, fiber, Vitamin A, K, and folate. But only a few ones know that Brussel sprouts are a good source of Vitamin C as well, just half a cup of cooked Brussel sprouts provides 49 mg of the nutrient. Therefore, one can greatly reduce the risk of fractures while also improving the formation of collagen.

Oranges

Oranges are an excellent fruit that offers considerable amounts of Vitamin C. A medium-sized orange contains 70 mg of Vitamin C. In fact, citrus fruits can help one meet the vitamin requirement easily.

Lemons

The easiest and most affordable source of this vitamin is lemon. Including one whole lemon in your diet fulfills 92% of one’s daily Vitamin C requirement. From adding a little lemon in your salad to having a glass of lemonade, there are several ways to include lemons in your daily diet.

Papayas

Papaya is good for digestion and contains anti-inflammatory properties as well. It accounts for 97% of one’s daily Vitamin C need. Therefore, eating papaya can aid memory, it is especially useful for patients suffering from mild levels of Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin C deficiency

The deficiency of Vitamin C in one’s body is quite rare and takes months to develop. The shortage of this all-important nutrient essentially means that collagen formation in one’s body has significantly decreased or stopped altogether. A shortage of this essential nutrient leads to an illness known as scurvy. This severely affects the body’s ability to repair itself. The symptoms of this deficiency include fatigue, muscle and joint pains, easy bruising, poor immunity, swelling of gums, dry and damaged skin, poor healing of wounds, unusual alterations in bones and unexplained weight loss.

A solution for better immunity, prevention of cataract, stroke, cancer and neurological conditions, the benefits of Vitamin C indeed make it one of the most important vitamins that ought to be a part of everyone’s diet!

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12 Proven Avocado Benefits and Healthy Recipes HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Avocados are grown primarily in equatorial, tropical and subtropical areas. The most sought out variety of the avocado fruit is the creamy Hass Avocado. Evidence dating back to 10,000 B.C. suggests that avocado trees were first seen in Puebla, Mexico. The first settlers to utilize this highly beneficial fruit were the civilizations of Ancient Central America and South America.

Avocados are harvested early and then allowed to gradually ripen. An indicator of ripe avocados is its skin; if it is soft and budges on pressing it gently, then the fruit has ripened completely.

Avocado Benefits

Many people think eating avocado is fattening due to its high-calorie content. However, avocado consists only of healthy fats. It offers an adequate amount of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) to the body. It naturally contains nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Adding avocado to fruits and vegetables can greatly benefit us. To better understand the value of this amazing fruit, let’s have a look at twelve incredible advantages of eating avocado regularly.

Eating avocado aids weight loss

Avocados are rich in fiber and low in carbs which is why they promote weight loss. Additionally, a study suggests people who ate avocado after a meal felt 23% more satisfied. They also had a 28% lower desire to eat for at least 5 hours, as opposed to those people who did not eat the fruit. Hence, one naturally consumes fewer calories if avocados are included in their daily diet.

Protection of one’s eyesight

Avocados are rich in powerful antioxidants and also promote the absorption of antioxidants from other foods. Two antioxidants that are crucial for maintaining eye health are lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are present in avocados. Therefore, consumption of this fruit can reduce the risk of cataract and macular degeneration in adults.

Lowers risk of heart diseases and cholesterol

In today’s busy lifestyle, diseases associated with one’s heart have become increasingly common. High cholesterol, blood pressure, strokes, inadequate triglyceride levels, etc. have been known to cause plenty of untimely deaths. Avocados are known to reduce the risk of heart diseases. They can significantly lessen total cholesterol, lower blood triglyceride by up to 20% and increase high-density lipoprotein by up to 11% and reduce HDL by up to 22%. A low-fat, vegetarian diet further enhances its effectiveness.

Avocados are high in fiber

Fiber is basically an indigestible plant matter that contributes towards improved digestion, reduction of blood sugar spikes, and weight loss. Avocados have both soluble (25%) and insoluble fibers (75%). The former attracts water and turns it into gel whereas the latter improves movement of material during digestion. Those suffering from poor digestion or constipation can benefit from eating avocados.

Avocados contain high levels of potassium

Bananas may be rich in potassium, but avocados have even higher levels of potassium. This helps to maintain electrical gradients in one’s body. In addition to this, high potassium intake also reduces the risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, and kidney failure.

Impressive nutritional value

For health-conscious individuals, eating avocados has become incredibly popular. Referred to as a superfood, they comprise of Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Potassium, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, fat-soluble, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, zinc, manganese, and phosphorus. They also have monounsaturated fats, 2 grams of protein, oleic acid and only 2 ‘net’ carbs. Additionally, there are no traces of sodium. All these nutrients are present in a single 100 gram serving of this nutritious fruit. Including it in your diet will help you avail all these nutrients at once!

Inhibits the growth of cancer

Avocados can potentially play a role in treating cancer. Researchers have found that the phytochemicals extracted from this fruit can significantly restrain the growth of precancerous and cancerous cells. They also aid in the proliferation of immune system cells known as lymphocytes. Eating avocados also limit the chromosomal damage caused by the chemotherapy drug, cyclophosphamide.

Prevents Osteoporosis

An essential nutrient for good bone health is Vitamin K; a quarter of the daily requirement of this vitamin can be obtained from only half an avocado. Eating a diet that’s rich in Vitamin D, calcium and Vitamin K can maintain healthy bones since the latter helps in calcium absorption as well as decreasing urinary excretion of calcium.

Leads to antimicrobial action

Certain microbial activities such as those caused by Escherichia coli is a major reason for food poisoning. Avocados contain some substances that have an antimicrobial activity which can prevent infections and allergies.

Aids smooth pregnancies

To achieve a healthy pregnancy, folate is essential. Avocados have significant amounts of the nutrient. Its adequate and prescribed intake can reduce risks associated with miscarriage as well as neural tube defects. Moreover, the presence of Vitamin B6 also helps overcome morning sickness, nausea or vomiting, and queasiness.

Maintain healthy skin

Avocados have carotenoids that reduce UV-induced inflammation of the skin; its oil also assists against skin damage. There are also high levels of beta-carotene in avocados. This helps protect the skin from various damaging effects of the sun.

Improve oral health

Regulated consumption of avocados also enables one to prevent bad breath. Avocados can easily cure the indigestion causing this. Also, the antioxidant flavonoids present in this fruit kill the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Popular names of Avocado

There are several different names for the fruit across the world. In many parts of India, people know avocado as ‘butter fruit’. In certain other parts of the world, the fruit is known in the local language by words that translate to the term ‘alligator pear’.

Interesting Avocado Recipes

Apart from offering you amazing health benefits, avocado is also one of the most versatile and delicious ingredients that you can add to a variety of dishes. It is probably the only fruit that combines various textures like the creaminess of butter, vitamins and minerals from fruits, and the protein from meat in addition to a distinctly nutty flavour. Here are some exciting avocado recipes that you can use to add that extra zing to your meals:

Corn and Avocado Salad

It is probably the healthiest recipe involving Avocado, while also being the easiest to prepare. Take a bowl and toss in some fresh corn kernels, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and avocado. Add some lime juice and any dressing of your choice. Mix it thoroughly and enjoy the health benefits of this delicious salad.

Guacamole

Just scoop out the avocado from its shell and add a little lime and some parsley and mint. Mash the whole thing thoroughly to create a smooth paste. Add any seasoning to suit your palate and enjoy one of the creamiest yet healthiest dips you can get.

Coriander Avocado Dip

Just take some avocados, crushed garlic and pepper, chopped mint and parsley and mix with creamy yoghurt. Shake vigorously for a few seconds. Your Coriander Avocado Dip is ready for consumption.

Grilled Chicken Salad

Take generous amounts of avocado and mix it with juicy chicken pieces, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate and some nuts. Add a little olive oil and lemon juice. Toss it a couple of times and have a healthy and filling snack.

Seared Tuna with Avocado and Spinach

Just keep it simple. Pan-sear the tuna and add some leaves of baby spinach and generous amounts of avocado. Your Seared Tuna with Avocado and Spinach is ready to be served.

Avocado Indian Salad

Go completely desi with this foreign ingredient. Take some chopped tomatoes, onion, cucumber, carrots and diced cottage cheese. Add a couple of green chilies, and squeeze in a fresh lemon with some chaat masala. Mix it thoroughly and enjoy a healthy Indian salad.

Chicken and Avocado Sandwich

Take avocado paste and spread it nicely on the bread. Now add pan-seared chicken breast and some pickled onions to the bread. Finish it with a leaf of iceberg lettuce and dig into this lip-smacking sandwich.

With so many health benefits, it is only natural that avocados are now produced in many countries. Its thick skin also protects it from damage by pesticide, making it one of the safest crops to purchase. One can eat it raw or make a dressing. You can even use avocado oil in place of butter while baking to reduce the production of fatty acids in your body.

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HealthifyMe Blog by Dr. Priyanka Marakini - 8M ago

Vitamin D: All you need to know! HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Vitamin D is a pro-hormone that is synthesized in the body when exposed to sunlight, and hence, is called the sunshine vitamin. It is a group of vitamins, including calciferol (Vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), found mainly in liver and fish oils. It plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium, and hence benefits the body in several ways.

Vitamin D benefits
  • Plays a major role in improving bone health since it is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the body
  • Improves immunity, along with brain and nervous system
  • Plays a role in regulating insulin levels, and hence, helps in the management of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Helps in the improvement of lung function and cardiovascular health
  • Also plays an important role in the management of obesity
Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to the deficiency of Calcium. This is mainly due to the fact that the body needs the vitamin to absorb Calcium. Without enough of it, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol. This, in turn, leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. In situations like this, the body is forced to turn to the skeleton for its supply of the mineral. Eventually, this causes existing bones to get weakened and prevents the formation of a strong, new bone in children.

The 25(OH)D or the 25-hydroxyvitamin D is the most efficient way to monitor the Vitamin D levels. The amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in one’s blood is the best indicator of the levels of the vitamin in the body. 30-100 ng/ml(nanograms per millilitre) is the recommended amount in a healthy human body. In case this number drops to below 20 ng/ml, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
  • Lowered immunity
  • Pain in the bones
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitation
  • Hair loss
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Obesity

How to overcome Vitamin D deficiency' with Dr. Priyanka Marakini - YouTube

Vitamin D deficiency risk factors

The following factors can increase your risk of deficiency of this invaluable nutrient:

Lifestyle

Ideally, one must spend at least 20 minutes each day out in the sun. Anything less than that could lead to a deficiency of Vitamin D in the body. On the other hand, you must take care to not spend too much time out in the sun since that could lead to overexposure to the Ultraviolet B rays. Additionally, the use of sunscreen whenever one steps out in the sun can be a major factor in the risk of deficiency. While it can block out the harmful Ultraviolet B rays, it also hinders the production of Vitamin D in one’s skin

Geographic Location

People living closer to the equator are bound to be more exposed to the sun, eventually leading to the production of Vitamin D in their bodies. Similarly, the ones living at higher latitudes see a lower production of the body. In a country like India, the people staying closer to the Himalayas will have less Vitamin D produced in their bodies but the ones living in the South will have much higher amounts of the vitamin.

Age

As you grow older, the ability of your body to produce this all-important nutrient drops. Thus, there is a pretty significant drop in Vitamin D levels for older people.

Body Weight

People with excess body fat levels are seen to have very little of the vitamin in their bodies. Therefore, overweight or obese people have a much higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency.

Overcoming Vitamin D deficiency

The following methods can help increase the vitamin content in the body and thus overcome a deficiency of the nutrient:

  • It is recommended that one spends 20 minutes in the sun every day in order to overcome Vitamin D deficiency. This can be clubbed with an outdoor workout or a daily walk.
  • Make sure you include Vitamin D rich foods like mushroom, fish, egg yolk and fortified cereals in your diet. In addition to this, have enough calcium through dairy and eggs.
  • In case the vitamin levels in your body are still low, turning to Vitamin D supplements is still an option. However, this must be done only after consulting with your doctor or a certified nutritionist.
  • Applying sunscreen tends to block the sun from hitting your body, thus limiting the synthesis of the vitamin in your body. It is best to allow the sun’s UVB rays to hit the body in order to allow the production of Vitamin D to take place.
Vitamin D foods

In the present day and age, most cases of Vitamin D deficiency are due to a lack of exposure to sunlight. Therefore, the best way to improve its intake is through sunlight. However, the consumption of certain foods can surely help increase vitamin levels in the body.

Meat

While they may not be the most impressive sources of Vitamin D, both red meat and poultry do contain the vitamin. That said, organ meat is probably the best way to boost your intake of this essential nutrient.

Mushrooms

Apart from fortified foods, few varieties of mushroom are the only plant sources of Vitamin D. Just like humans, mushrooms synthesize the vitamin when exposed to sunlight.

Fish

While most types of fish have the vitamin, the more oily or fatty fish are likely to contain more Vitamin D than the less oily ones. Salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna are amongst the most popular fish that are rich in the vitamin.

Eggs

The protein source in an egg may be the whites but the yolks are just as important. The yolk of the egg also contains Vitamin D, just like other vitamins and minerals.

Fortified Foods

There is very less Vitamin D content available in natural food sources. However, certain foods are fortified with the nutrient. Several foods and beverages are fortified with the vitamin across the world. Orange juice, milk, cereal, and oatmeal are the best examples of the same.

Vitamin D and Sunlight

Exposing your skin to the sun for 20 minutes a day would ensure enough Ultraviolet B rays hit the cholesterol in the skin, thus, providing the energy for Vitamin D synthesis to take place.

Ideally, one must look to go out at around midday since this is when the sun is at its highest and the UVB rays are the most intense. Studies have shown that the hours between 11 am and 2 pm are the best to promote the synthesis of the vitamin in India.

As important as it is to expose one’s skin to the sun for the production of this nutrient, overexposure can be just as harmful. Here are a few consequences of too much sunlight:

  • These are the most common side-effects of too much sunlight. Symptoms of the same include redness, swelling accompanied by pain or tenderness and blisters.
  • Too much time out in the sun can cause your skin to age a lot faster. It can cause your skin to grow more wrinkled, loose or leathery.
  • Excess exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause damage to one’s retina. This increases the risk of problems in the eyes like cataracts.
  • Too much heat or exposure to the sun can cause the body’s core temperature to rise.
Vitamin D and Weight Loss

A less commonly known fact is the connection between Vitamin D and weight loss. A shortage of the vitamin decreases serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects everything in the body from one’s mood to sleep regulation. Thus, we see increased levels of cortisol production. Eventually, this slows down one’s weight loss or even causes the person to hit a weight loss plateau.

The right amount of Vitamin D in one’s body helps aid weight loss by altering the storage and formation of fat cells and increasing the serotonin and testosterone levels in the body. It helps keep hormone levels in check, which also may help enhance weight loss and decrease body fat.

While sunlight may be the best source of the vitamin in the body, certain Vitamin D rich foods can also boost the levels of the nutrient in your body. In case of deficiency, one can take supplements for the same after consulting with a doctor or a certified nutritionist.

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Cholesterol: 6 myths that need to be busted HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

The human body contains wax-like substances called cholesterol. They are found in blood cells throughout the body. The liver produces this substance that plays a major role in digestion. However, having too much of it in the blood is detrimental for health as it blocks the arteries in the body and leads to peripheral artery disease, which might prove fatal if not attended to.

6 Cholesterol myths busted!

Such is the negative perception about cholesterol that as soon as we hear it, we start thinking about heart disease and stroke. Though it is true that high levels are an unwelcome situation as it increases the risk of coronary heart disease, there is a lot of information regarding this wax-like substance that just need not be true.

It is genetic and impossible to avoid

While genetics may have a significant role to play in one’s high cholesterol levels, you can avoid it. Incorporating a healthy diet and lifestyle choices help significantly in managing it. If your family has a history of the medical condition, it is advisable to take preventive steps to keep it under control.

Taking medication is the only way to manage it

Although most doctors would prescribe medicines to lower cholesterol levels, it is not the only way to bring them under control. A healthy diet and regular physical activity go a long way in maintaining it. These lifestyle changes can work wonders with your high cholesterol levels and help in lowering them.

It is always bad

It is certainly not true that all types of cholesterol are bad. Certain levels of it are, in fact, essential for various body functions. Even when it comes to heart ailments, it is not exactly cholesterol which is responsible. Instead, it is the Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) which are responsible for Atherosclerosis. LDL and HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) carry it through the bloodstream.

You can discontinue your medication if Cholesterol levels have gone down

This is one practice that seriously needs to be addressed. People usually tend to discontinue their medicines once their cholesterol levels go down. This is not the right approach as these levels are likely to go up again and expose you to higher risks of heart ailments. There is no proper cure for the condition. Medication and a healthy lifestyle is the only way to manage it.

Kids can not suffer from High Cholesterol

People have always believed this condition to be a problem that affects middle-aged adults only. Sadly, this is not true anymore. With the increasing consumption of fatty and refined foods and the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of the youth, the number of youngsters suffering from the condition has gone up. This makes them vulnerable to heart ailments over time. It is recommended that obese kids or ones with a family history of this condition get their blood tests done immediately. They also must monitor it regularly.

The food we consume contains it

It is true that the food we consume is one of the contributing factors towards high cholesterol levels. However, food is not the most significant contributor to it. In reality, natural processes produce most of the cholesterol in our body.

While high cholesterol may be an unwelcome situation, it can be easily managed with changes to your daily routine. Ideally, you should look to control it by making changes to your diet and increasing your activity levels. If these changes don’t help, then you can look towards medication. That said, the best way to keep your cholesterol levels under control is through diet. Speak to a dietitian today, and understand how you can keep it under control.

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Vitamin E: 7 amazing benefits that you need to be aware of HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Vitamin E is a potent fat-soluble antioxidant that offers significant health benefits to ensure an overall healthy body and prevention from various ailments. It includes a group of eight compounds, that comprises both tocotrienols and tocopherols.

In addition to its antioxidant properties, there are numerous other advantages of Vitamin E that make it a must include in your daily diet. Some of the most popular sources of the nutrient are sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and wheat germ.

The recommended intake is 15 mg every day, or 22.4 IU, for all individuals over the age of 14. Lactating mothers need to increase their intake to about 19 mg (28.4 IU) per day to take care of their needs. A healthy diet can fulfill daily Vitamin E requirements. However, Vitamin E supplements are also available for those individuals who are facing a deficiency. These should be consumed after consultation with a doctor only, as certain medications are known to react with the vitamin.

7 amazing Vitamin E benefits Helps with cholesterol management

Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol in the body is essential to ensure proper functioning of hormones, cells, and nerves. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and occurs naturally, but if it oxidizes, it can cause problems for the body. Vitamin E functions as a protective antioxidant and prevents oxidation of cholesterol, thus saving the body from potential damage.

Reduces the risk of heart diseases

Consumption of Vitamin E helps in thinning the blood that stops platelets from clumping. Consumption of the vitamin in adequate quantities plays a significant role in reducing the risk of heart attacks as well as sunstrokes.

Ensures healthy skin

Skincare benefits of Vitamin E are well-known. It reduces inflammation, improves moisture and elasticity, ensuring healthy and youthful skin. Its antioxidant properties help prevent skin cancer to those frequently exposed to UV rays or cigarette smoke.

Balances hormones

Vitamin E plays an essential role in maintaining the natural balance of the hormones by taking care of the condition of the endocrine and nervous systems. When the hormonal balance in your body is optimal, you will feel more energetic and maintain a healthy weight.

Improves the efficiency of cancer medicines

The antioxidant properties of Vitamin E fight off the free radicals in the body which helps in lowering the adverse effects of cancer treatments such as radiation and dialysis. It also helps to reduce the side-effects of cancer medicines, such as lung damage or hair loss. Some isomers of Vitamin E have depicted great results in suppressing the growth of cancerous tumors.

Helps with the management of Alzheimer’s disease

As a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, Vitamin E offers significant protection against Alzheimer’s disease. It slows down the effects of memory loss and decline of motor functions in people suffering from the disease. When taken in combination with Vitamin C, it dramatically reduces the risk of dementia.

Stimulates hair growth

The inclusion of foods rich in the nutrient in your diet provides your hair with complete nourishment from within. With its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E ensures adequate blood circulation to the scalp. In addition to that, it also prevents tissue corrosion and repairs damaged hair follicles. It conditions the hair thoroughly and prevents premature greying of the hair by strengthening the capillary walls.

The significant benefits offered by regular consumption of Vitamin E ensure that the body stays free from various ailments and you are able to enjoy good health. Ensure your body gets the recommended quantities of Vitamin E by eating foods that are rich in it. Get in touch with some of India’s top nutritionists in order to understand better what Vitamin E foods need to be a part of your diet.

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Vitamin B12 Foods: The 10 Best Natural Sources that you need to be eating HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is amongst the most complex and largest vitamins known to humans. It is essential for an active metabolism and proper functioning of the brain. Deficiency of the vitamin can lead to various health complications such as fatigue, depression, megaloblastic anaemia, brain damage, nerve damage, etc.

What makes Vitamin B12 different from other vitamins is the fact that it can only be produced by bacteria. Animal products are the most popular natural sources of the vitamin along with a few vegetarian options. There are loads of Vitamin B12 supplements available in the market to help people facing a deficiency but they should be consumed only after medical advice.

A lot of foods that are part of one’s daily diet naturally contain this nutritious vitamin. However, it is ideal to avoid processed or refined foods and concentrate more on natural and fresh foods.

Best natural sources of Vitamin B12 Shellfish

Seafood is one of the richest sources of Vitamin B12 and is a good addition to your diet if you are a non-vegetarian. Shellfish such as clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops offer an excellent source of the vital nutrients.

Dairy Products

Dairy products like low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, or whole milk offer wholesome nutrition and have good quantities of Vitamin B12 in them. Try to avoid the high-fat dairy products as they may lead to obesity or other health problems.

Fish

Fish such as mackerel is not only delicious to taste, but is packed with Vitamin B12 too. There are other varieties of fish such as tuna, trout, and salmon that contain ample amounts of it as well.

Beef Liver

If you do eat beef, the liver is amongst the richest sources of Vitamin B12. It also contains good amounts of iron making it a very healthy option. That said, one should keep an eye out for the saturated fats present in the dish. Additionally, chicken liver pate and liverwurst spread are also good sources of this vitamin.

Crabs

If you love crabs and tend to eat them every once in a while, then you are already consuming a good amount of the nutrient. Have them during lunch or dinner, as per your preference. There are other crustaceans rich in vitamin B12 such as Dungeness crab, blue crab, crayfish, and lobster.

Cereals

There are plenty of fortified cereals available in the supermarket with added Vitamin B12 to them. Make sure that the variant you choose does not contain high amounts of sugar and is not highly refined. It is a better option for kids though, who generally do not enjoy other sources of the vitamin as much.

Silken Tofu

Fortified foods like silken tofu offer an excellent source of Vitamin B12 for vegetarians. It is one of a select few vegetarian options which is rich in this rare nutrient. Make sure it is a part of your daily diet to get your share of the vitamin. Alternatively, you can have a cup of fortified soy milk as well.

Eggs

Chicken eggs are packed with nutrients and in addition to offering a hearty meal, they offer you significant amounts of Vitamin B12 and proteins as well.

Red Meat

Adding generous quantities of red meat to your diet ensures you consume good amounts of the vitamin. Other red meats such as lamb shank and roasted buffalo are also rich in Vitamin B12.

Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese consists of high quantities of Vitamin B12 as compared to other types of cheese. Apart from that, you can also opt for Mozzarella, cottage and feta cheese.

While you can use supplements for the required quantities of Vitamin B12, natural foods are always recommended. Just plan your meals in advance and make sure you get adequate quantities of the nutrient. Get in touch with a nutritionist to understand what Vitamin B12 rich foods you need to include in your diet.

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Foods rich in Carbohydrates that you must eat HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weightloss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Carbohydrates are amongst the most misunderstood nutrients. People tend to label them as calorie-rich foods which lead to obesity. Though it is true that excess consumption of carbohydrates leads to higher fat content in the body. However, if consumed in regulated quantities, the benefits to be reaped from carbohydrates are also significant. They are considered as fuel for metabolism and are the major energy providing foods. Carbohydrates provide constant energy to the body for those involved in regular physical activity. It is a must that you include healthy carbohydrates in your diet while discontinuing the consumption of high-sugar foods and refined grains.

14 sources of carbohydrates that need to be a part of your diet Brown Rice

Brown rice is loaded with complex carbs and various other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fibers. It is absorbed slowly and provides sustained energy to the body. In addition to that, brown rice has a relatively low glycemic index.

Whole wheat pasta

Whole wheat pasta offers a healthy alternative to standard pasta and contains more nutrients and fiber. It provides long lasting energy and does not promote fat storage.

Oats

Oats are not only full of complex carbohydrates but also have good amounts of protein and fiber. They are a sustained energy source that will keep you going for longer amounts of time.

Whole wheat bread

Whole wheat bread is made from all three parts of the grain and is full of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates that suppress hunger pangs. Therefore, it is a must to replace regular white bread with whole wheat multigrain bread in your diet.

Quinoa

Quinoa has the highest quantity of proteins as compared to all other grains. It is also packed with fiber, Vitamin B, and complex carbohydrates. Including Quinoa in your breakfast will keep you going for a longer time, without feeling bloated.

Low-fat yogurt

Low-fat yogurt provides you with all the goodness of regular yogurt without bloating your tummy. People who are lactose intolerant can also tolerate yogurt because of the formation of lactic acid.

Bananas

Bananas are rich in carbohydrates and potassium. Glucose offers quick energy while potassium reduces water retention in the body. Bananas have a low glycemic index. This ensures the sustained release of carbs in the body, keeping you going for longer.

Apples

Along with high amounts of carbohydrate, apples are rich in dietary fiber. Including an apple in your diet not only boosts your immunity but also helps you with losing weight as it is loaded with antioxidant flavonoids.

Starchy Vegetables

Rich in complex carbohydrates, starchy vegetables are a source of sustained energy. Ideally, growing children and sportspersons must consume vegetables like potatoes and yam for their carb content. However, people looking to lose weight must keep an eye on their portion sizes.

Legumes

Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans are naturally rich in complex carbohydrates along with healthy quantities of dietary fiber. Black beans or pinto beans must be added to your diet on a regular basis as they assist in weight loss.

Milk

Milk and other dairy products contain good amounts of healthy carbohydrates in the form of lactose, along with various other nutrients like calcium, proteins, and vitamins.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato is rich with complex carbs, fibers and loads of other nutrients. They are an excellent source of carotenoids. It is ideal to consume for someone who is watching their weight, or suffering from diabetes, thanks to its high fiber content.

Berries

Berries such as blueberries and strawberries are loaded with carbohydrates. Apart from that, they also contain vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Regular consumption of berries is beneficial for your body in more ways than one.

Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in various nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamin C, and sulforaphane. It helps you reduce the risk of cancer and also fight off excess fat storage.

Carbohydrates are an essential component of a healthy diet, but ensure you are eating the right kind of carbs in order to avoid storing more fat in your body since that would eventually lead to weight gain. Get in touch with a dietitian to understand what kind of carbohydrates you need to include in your diet.

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