New York: Next time you order a pizza or whip up a creamy risotto, go ahead and load on the mushrooms.
Adding more edible fungi into your diet may be one way to counteract the health risks associated with the Western-style diet (WSD), which often features an abundance of fatty foods and added sugars.
Fatty and sugary foods contribute to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and a host of other chronic health issues.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst investigated how modifiable factors such as diet and lifestyle and their metabolically related gene variants interact to influence the development of chronic diseases.
The team focused on identifying metabolic targets to prevent or treat obesity and insulin resistance.
"Intestinal dysfunction is thought to be one of the underlying mechanisms that contribute so significantly to the development of WSD-related diseases," said nutritionist Zhenhua Liu, Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the varsity.
In a previous research, the team found that a rarely studied bacterium, Turicibacter, is almost completely depleted by high fat diet-induced obesity, but not genetic obesity.
But they found that sundried oyster mushrooms, found throughout most of the world, possesses a unique dietary composition rich with multiple nutrients lacking in the Western-style diet, such as dietary fibre and vitamin D.
"It's a perfect supplement as a natural whole food to improve the quality of Western-style diets, with the added benefit of improving our overall gut health," Liu said.
Liu's study will examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which these mushrooms improve gut health.
Specifically, the team will examine the mushroom's interaction with Turicibacter in Western-style diet-related intestinal dysfunction and the effect it may have on reshaping gut microbiome.
"We hope this study will provide the mechanistic understanding of the role of Turicibacter in dietary obesity and gut health," Liu said.
"It will also provide important insight into mushrooms as a whole-food approach to improve the quality of WSD and gut health."
Read More► Diets That Don't Work for Women
Ghee has been an intrinsic part of the Indian diet for ages, but now the importance of Ghee as a part of our daily nutrition is on a decline. Ghee or Ghrita, a form of clarified butter, is often considered to be harmful for health. It somehow has become unpopular and unpreferred for people following a ‘modern’ lifestyle.
But, before one adds or removes something from their diet, especially something that has been used for centuries by our ancestors, it is important to ask if it is really that bad for you? Is Ghee (Gharita) is really that bad for your health and the concerns about its effects on the body true?
This is how Ayurveda answers these questions:
Ghee is Not Bad for Health
While the mainstream health industry argues against the use of Ghee (Ghrita) and touts it as unnecessary fat. Ayurveda healthcare advocates that it is a very good source of nutrition for the body.
Yes, it is a form of fat but if you trust the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda, one can rest assured that having Ghee will not result in gain of inches around your waist. This is not a claim without validation, the underlying science is that Ghee (Gharita) has short-chain fatty acids and a very high boiling point.
Thus these fatty acids do not break down into free radicals even if you use them for deep frying food. Plus, when it enters your system it nourishes your body as well as contributes to the wellness of your mind. The fact is that many Ayurvedic medicines are prepared with Ghee as the primary ingredient.
It All Starts in The Gut
If you face problems with your digestive system like constipation, pain, acidity, etc., Ghee could be your best ally. When one consumes Ghee, it acts as suitable lubrication to help the movement of stools. Having Ghee leads to more butyric acid in your system, which not only keeps your digestion strong but also helps in building immunity.
Ghee (Ghrita) is considered a Satvic food as per Ayurveda and Cow’s Ghee has been given special importance in traditional Ayurveda medicine.
Can Lactose Intolerant have Ghee?
A growing number of people around the world are being found to be lactose intolerant. However, this condition has nothing to do with Ghee. During the process of making ghee, the milk solids or Lactose parts of the milk are removed. This makes the final product fit for consumption for those whose guts do not react well to dairy products.
Weight Loss and Ghee
Ghee is undoubtedly good fat. It not only provides nourishment to your body but, also helps you burn the stored fat in the body. Ghrita enema is a common practice amongst Ayurveda practitioners, as this process leads to detoxification in the body. So get rid of the misconception that having Ghee would derail weight loss.
It is suggested that one can safely consume about 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of Ghee in a day. Trust Ayurveda science of healthcare and start including at least 1 teaspoon of Ghee in your diet from today and see the change in your health.
Ayurveda brings thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom its ancient yet effective methods are very relevant even in the changing lifestyle. Used right, it could be very helpful in healing as well as preventing diseases. So, trust the ancient science of Ayurveda for a healthier and happier life.
Read More► Ghee: Health Benefits, Uses and Dosage
Unlike other times of the year, during the summer we naturally lose our appetite and need extra fluid to hydrate the body. It is a common to resort to cooling drinks such as lime juice, Chaas, Nira water or something that we feel cooler.
It is extremely important for us to know this body language and get into a proper dietary habit so that we don't tax our body even more and at the same time support our body's tissues and cells with a nourishing diet to escape from the scorching heat. With a planned diet consisting of a range of refreshing drinks and fruit, we can cool down and face summer heat.
Consuming summer fruits and drinks is one of the easiest ways to lower the body heat and protect our body. The summer diet must also provide energy and help reduce tiredness and fatigue, something many of us experience during the summer season. Let the sun's hotness be dealt with easily with a few of the following dietary tips.
Wake Up Routine
During summer, we tend to sleep under a fan or in an air-conditioned room. This can further dry up the skin and throat and when you wake up it is quite natural to feel the dryness of the throat, eye irritations or skin dryness.
Start your morning with 2-3 glasses of water even. If required one can also use lime juice or cinnamon soaked in the water. Following this, a cooling drink is highly recommended like Ashguard juice with a few drops of lime and Amla juice.
This is highly beneficial to health in keeping the blood glucose in check and also to regularize your weight. Ash gourd juice can be replaced by wheatgrass juice, moringa juice, celery and cucumber juice or even coconut water.
Breakfast During Summer
It is important to consume at least 4-5 handfuls of fruits and vegetables during the day in summer. Breakfast should always start with a bowl of healthy seasonal fruits such as melons, papaya, mangoes, lychees, plums etc.
Following this one can have either a miller porridge or smoothie bowl consisting of coconut milk along with sabja, seeds, chia seeds, buts and a few dry fruits. Dry breakfast such as bread or other fermented grain items can cause indigestion if eaten on a fresh stomach. Also, reduce the number of grains and other preparations for breakfast.
Depending on your hunger levels, one can either go for buttermilk with a pinch of cumin powder and ginger or hing around midmorning time. You can also opt to have a bowl of salad at your convenience or even coconut water.
The meal that you have at lunch also should have abundant vegetables. If you prefer to consume carbs this is the meal you can try adding carbs along with plenty of vegetables. Make it mandatory to include a soup for lunch. Reduce the macronutrients such as carbs, proteins and fats to only half of the lunch portion.
Towards the evening, you may consider taking a bowl of summer fruits and can also include a few soaked nuts along with this. This can give you good energy towards the latter part of the day and prevent any form of fatigue or tiredness after a full day's work.
Night meals are better to be kept as light as possible. It is preferred to have a "Budha bowl" with lots of cooked vegetables ï¿½ sauteed, braised, grilled or boiled along with a protein option. Include a soup before the meals and a herbal tea post-dinner. Some of the great cooling teas are chamomile tea, hibiscus tea or even mint tea.
Hydration During The Day
One has to consume at least 3-litres of water during the day to keep the body cool. Besides drinking water, herbal teas, soups, infused water etc are great ways to combat body heat. Water infused with vegetables like celery, parsley, lemon, orange, cucumber, kale etc is great during this time. (Dr. Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre)
Read More► Boost Your Physical And Mental Health
You are what you eat! The secret to good health often lies in one's reach in one's own kitchen, if only one remembers to look. From nutrient-dense and healthy lentils and flours to natural alternatives to calorie-heavy processed foods, kitchen shelves are full of ingredients that are both healthy and delicious if whipped up the correct way.
Here are some foods suggested by Jyothi Sri Pappu, CEO and Founder of Nutreat Life that help you boost your physical and mental health if consumed regularly:
A staple in south Indian households, Ragi is not only high in protein but is also packed with nutrients like vitamins C, B-Complex, and E, iron and calcium, making it good for your hair and skin. Ragi is a wonderful breakfast food that also helps relax nerves and induce sleep naturally.
The best part? Ragi is a versatile ingredient that can not only be part of many recipes but can be prepared for babies to adults alike, whether in the form of baby cereal, piping hot porridge, or yummy pancakes.
A great alternative to empty-calories sweeteners like sugar, jaggery, or gur is high on nutritional value, containing within itself a fair amount of antioxidants and minerals. Jaggery is an ingredient that can be eaten raw, or put in meals to improve its flavour. Along with boosting immunity, jaggery has great purification properties for your entire body, especially the liver and blood.
Another food that is great for diabetics, along with jaggery, is the date fruit. This precious brown dry fruit contains loads and loads of nutrients, including potassium and antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid. High in fibre and easy to add to dishes, dates are also great for brain health.
As per research, a diet rich in date palm fruits improves memory, learning and reduces the risk for Alzheimer's disease. Dates and jaggery instant mixes, such as the one by NutrEatLife, can be added in place of sugar in dishes and beverages to sweeten them, minus the health disadvantages of sugar.
Another traditionally available superfood is coconut, which is full of nutrients, whether one has coconut water, raw coconut, milk or even its oil! From manganese to magnesium, copper and potassium, consuming coconut can help you increase the intake of the micronutrients each day. Sipping coconut water could also have the same effect as an activity designed to reduce anxiety, and research shows that coconut water may have an antidepressant effect.
Add them to your desserts, or have a handful of them after soaking in water, nuts are wonder foods that are proven to be transformative for both physical and mental health. Along with improving brain function, almonds and walnuts are energy-boosting foods that are a great snacking option in between meals.
Pistachios, similarly, improve function in the brain and eyes and are a blessing for hair and skin health. Peanuts, too, make for a great snacking option and a nutrition powerhouse as well with 17 grams of protein in every half a cup (73 grams). (Agency)
Read More► Benefits of Spiced Tea in Winter
Because they keep the body warm from within, hot beverages are synonymous with winter. Wearing your cosiest woollens and sipping a steaming hot beverage on a bright and sunny day is the order of the day this season. Did you know that adding a few spices to your tea can be extremely beneficial to your health?
In the winter, a hot cup of spiced tea can provide your body with much-needed warmth to combat the bone-chilling cold. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron and ginger warm the body while also increasing metabolism and immunity.
Spices have been used in tea for nearly as long as tea has been consumed, and there are many different spiced tea drinks to choose from. Three of the most well-known spiced teas that should not be overlooked in the winter are:
Masala Chai, also known as "chai tea", is a popular spiced beverage. It can be made with a single spice (such as ginger or cloves) or with a combination of spices. Despite its origins in northern India, chai is now consumed in a wide range of locations worldwide.
Ginger Tea, many spiced tea blends and freshly brewed spicy teas contain ginger tea. Green tea, black tea, puerh tea, and even oolong tea complement ginger well. It gives teas a warming, tangy, slightly sweet flavour. Ginger has been used in tea since antiquity and can now be found in teas all over the world.
Cinnamon Tea, Cinnamon is usually used to flavour black teas, but it can also be used to flavour green, oolong, or puerh teas. It has a sweet, warming taste that goes well with fruit ingredients in tea drinks.
Some of the few benefits of having spiced tea in winter season are:
Boosts Immunity: Antioxidants in spiced tea help to boost the body's immune system and fight cold and flu symptoms.
Inflammation: Warm blends aid in the reduction of inflammation and pain. It is said that drinking saffron-infused tea or putting a few cloves in a boiling kettle of drinking water can help relieve pain by lowering inflammation in the body.
Weight Loss: Because spiced teas are low in calories but high in nutritional value, they are an ideal beverage for anyone looking to lose weight. Squeezing a few drops of lemon juice into your tea acts as an excellent body tonic and aids in hunger control.
Blood Circulation: Due to a lack of activity, our bodies stiffen and blood circulation weakens during the winter months. Cinnamon tea improves blood circulation while also controlling blood sugar levels.
Improved Digestion: During the winter, heavier foods, as well as a tendency to sit and avoid movement, increase the risk of digestive problems. Tea steeped with ginger, mint or star anise can aid digestion and relieve gastric distress, especially when consumed after or in between meals.
Boosts Energy: Because energy drinks frequently contain high amounts of caffeine, which can be harmful to one's health, spiced tea can be used as a natural energy booster with few to no negative side effects because it is high in critical nutrients and minerals. (Bala Sarda, Founder & CEO, VAHDAM India)
Read More► Eating Seasonal Food Is Good For You
To meet our dietary needs, nutritionists throughout the country have begun looking at substances accessible in India. They're looking at ancient wisdom and seasonal local possibilities, which is unsurprising. These solutions are not only environmentally friendly, but they also help the local economy!
"Each season offers an array of gorgeous fresh vegetables, each rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and phytonutrients in their own way," explains Dr. Rajyalakshmi Devi of Lovlife Hospital. Furthermore, the climate provided by each season makes seasonal produce easily edible and absorbable by our bodies."
It's crucial to note, however, that these indigenous fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides to prevent insects and pests from spoiling them. "Always choose seasonal fruits and vegetables as they are filled with the nutrients needed to aid you during that time," says Chef Kunal Kapur, who promotes eating seasonal cuisine.
However, keep in mind that these pass through numerous hands, potentially transferring germs. So wash your food with a natural action fruit and vegetable wash like Nimwash, which removes chemicals and pathogens while ensuring that it is safe to eat."
Further, he also shares his expertise on the various benefits of consuming seasonal food:
Seasonal Food Offers High Nutritional Value: Fruits and vegetables that naturally ripen taste better, are fresh and offer the highest amount of nutrients as compared to those that are preserved.
Seasonal Food is Cheaper: Crops produced seasonally are cost effective since farmers invest and harvest them in bulk. Sourcing of local stock also reduces the cost of logistics drastically.
Seasonal Food is Ecological: Eating seasonal food decreases the demand of out-of-season produce, increases the consumption of local farming and more importantly lessens the time for refrigeration, decreases the cost involved in transportation and irrigation of the crops.
Seasonal Food Tastes Better: Since the food produced in a particular season is fresh, it tastes better, sweeter and is perfectly ripened. When fruits and vegetables are harvested at the right time, it will be more flavourful.
Read More► Superfoods for Healthy Skin During Winters
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