Wednesday 26 August 2015

Walnuts for a healthy YOU

Of all the foods that exist in nature, Nuts are the ones which can be labelled as a complete food. With a excellent blend of carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, they possess some remarkable health properties.

Walnuts grab the top place in the whole list because of its extraordinary nutrient content.

Omega-3 fatty acids, vital for brain development, is found in highest quantities in walnuts. In fact, consuming 25 g of walnuts daily fulfils approximately 90% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) of omega-3 fatty acids. An astonishing fact regarding this wonder nut is that their shape resembles the shape of a human brain!!!! No wonder, they are just ideal for human brain development....try and notice the next time you have these nuts.

Walnuts, because of their fatty acid composition are heart friendly. It contains about 72% monounsaturated fatty acids which are known to reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increase the “healthy” cholesterol (HDL). The favourable lipid content of the nuts and its more than favourable effect on blood cholesterol levels is cardio-protective and also protects against strokes.

With 2.6 gm fiber/ 100 gm nuts and a Glycemic Index of 15, its an ideal snack for diabetics. Also its high MUFA content helps in controlling blood sugar levels.

The fiber levels and the fatty acid composition also make it ideal for weight reduction. A handful in the morning helps in boosting the metabolism and a handful as a snack during any time of the day helps to furnish the required amount of energy for one to be on the go.

Additionally, they are a rich source of vitamins (especially vit. E and B-complex), minerals (copper, manganese, zinc etc.) and is packed with antioxidants – a recipe one requires for a glowing, healthy skin and flowing hair.

With all these benefits wrapped in one wholesome NUT, its advisable to grab a handful everyday!!!!!

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Cool it up with Watermelon

With the soaring temperatures, blazing sun and burning winds, its very important to keep the body cool and the temperature under control. The most common problem that we face in this weather is keeping the body water levels normal....scientifically keeping the body Rehydrated.

A lot of water is lost as sweat in summers and dehydration is, thus a very common problem in summers.

As a saviour comes the red fruit packed with lots of water and vital nutrients - Watermelon!!!

Despite the popular belief that water melon is rich in sugar and water only, it is nutrient dense power packed fruit. A common feature of summer evenings and picnic, this fruit has a lot of advantages associated with it.

First and foremost, the fruit is low in calories - 16 Kcals and 0.2 gm fat per 100 gm water melon. Its a delight for weight watchers.

With 95.8% water, its refreshing and sinless indulgence of sweetness - appropriate for summers!!!!

Watermelon also contains Vitamin B complex, vit. C, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine.

The low sodium content (27 gm/ 100 gm) of the fruit makes it highly useful for hypertensive people.

So beat the heat with this refreshing fruit and enjoy the summers and the melons too!!!!!

Thursday 19 February 2015

Spinach Treat

Spinach is a vegetable which is packed with nutrients yet we all dislike it especially children. I am sure making kids eat spinach is a difficult task with all mothers - even my son doesn't go well with this healthy vegetable.
Spinach is a wonderful green-leafy vegetable often recognized as one of the functional foods for its wholesome nutritional, antioxidants and anti-cancer composition. Its tender, crispy, dark-green leaves provide it the tangy flavor in many recipes worldwide. Power packed with many water and fat soluble vitamins (like Vit. K, Vit. C, Vit. B complex), their precursors (like beta-carotene) and various minerals, it is in top list for dieters as well. 100gm of spinach provides merely 23 kcals and is an excellent source of fiber with very less fat content. Below are listed the benefits of these dark green wonder leaves - # Great source of phytonutrients and anti-oxidants fundamental for health promotion; # One of the richest source of iron, approximately 25% of daily intake; # Excellent source of Vit. C and Vit. K; # Extremely helpful in cholesterol management as it is very low in fat and very high in fiber; The goodness of Spinach is also linked with the famous cartoon character Popeye. Popeye is said to find energy from spinach whenever confronted with a problem/ challenging situation.
Being a nutritionist, I understand the science behind this green leafy vegetable but putting it practically into use for my 7 year old gave me a headache too. Experimenting with cooking, especially, healthy and low calorie kind has been a hobby. So this time I thought of experimenting with these dark coloured leaves. The recipe I chose was Palak Patta Chaat, which is very famous in Northern India, especially Delhi. Originally this recipe finds its way in being deep fried and too high in calories but I chose to make it low calorie, trying to save the goodness of the leaf as well. So heres what it turned out like and I am sharing the recipe for the same. What do you need:(for two people) Big Spinach leaves (4-5 in nos.) Boiled and mashed potatoes (3) 1 cup finely chopped onions 1 cup finely chopped coriander Gram flour (besan) - 1/2 cup Green chillies (according to taste) Red Chilli Powder (According to taste) Chaat Masala (According to taste) Garam Masala (According to taste) Salt (according to taste) Oil How to make: 1. Wash and dry the spinach leaves thoroughly. 2. Soak the gram flour (besan in water just enough to make a thick paste as in batter and add red chilli powder, garam masala, salt and lemon juice, all according to taste. 3. To the boiled and mashed potatoes, add finely chopped onions and coriander leaves. To this add green chillies, red chilli powder, chaat masala, garam masala and salt. 4. Heat a non-stick pan and put few drops of oil and spread. 5. On each washed spinach leaf, spread the boiled potatoes covering the whole leaf and on the top spread the gram flour better. Put this side on the pan and let it fry. On the other side of the of the leaf, spread the gram flour batter. 6. When one side is done, flip over to the other side and let it fry. Add some oil if required. 7. Palak Patta Chaat is ready. Serve hot with coriander and imli chutney.