Why You Should Start Eating More Fibre for a Longer Life & Happier Gut

At this point, there’s enough science out there to strongly suggest something you’ve likely heard before: Eating a robust variety of minimally processed fruits and veggies along with other plant-based foods is a great way to stay healthy and control your weight — and the fiber in these foods is likely a central reason why they’re so great for our bodies.

So go forth and repopulate more varieties of bacteria in your gut!

Discover more about the gut-brain connection

Fiber is usually found in whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, which you won’t find in fast food menus and most prepackaged foods.

But you can improve your health and your diet by knowing how fiber benefits your body, how much you need to eat, and how you can get more into your daily meals and snacks.

Whole grains

What’s Fiber?

Fiber is found in plant foods. In most plants, there’s some part of the plant your body can’t digest or absorb. This is called dietary fiber. Because fiber isn’t digested by your body, it passes through your digestive system and out your body relatively “whole.”

The fibres consist of non-starch polysaccharides such as:

• Cellulose

• Dextrin

• Inulin

• Lignin

• Chitin

• Pectin

• Beta-glucan

• Wax

• Oligosaccharide

Types of Fiber

Fibres can be classified as water-soluble and insoluble. Most fibre-containing foods include varying proportions of both soluble and insoluble fiber. However, fruits and vegetables contain the most soluble fibres, and cereals contain the insoluble ones.

Most plant foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel, acting like a sponge in binding cholesterol-rich bile acids, which are then eliminated as waste. It’s a cholesterol-lowering and glucose level lowering type of fiber.

Good sources of water-soluble fiber are:

• Oats, rye, wheat bran

• Lentils, beans, peas

• Nuts, flax seeds

• Apples, oranges, pears, strawberries

• Cucumbers, celery, carrots

• Psyllium husk

On the other hand, insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. Because insoluble fiber is bulky, it helps move your food through your digestive tract. Which helps with constipation or irregular stools. Insoluble fiber aids in digestion by acting like a broom and cleaning out our intestinal tract.

Good sources of water-insoluble fiber are:

• Whole grains and wholegrain products (100% rye bread, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta)

• Brown rice

• Fruit and vegetable peels

• Cellulose

For the greatest health benefits, you should aim to eat a variety of high-fibre foods that include both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber also provides these other stellar health benefits.

Natural Sources of Fiber

Here are a few foods that are naturally high in fiber:

• 1 large pear with skin (7 grams)

• 1 cup fresh raspberries (8 grams)

• ½ medium avocado (5 grams)

• 1-ounce almonds (3.5 grams)

• ½ cup cooked black beans (7.5 grams)

• 3 cups air-popped popcorn (3.6 grams)

• 1 cup cooked pearled barley (6 grams)

Benefits of eating more fiber

1.Keep your digestive tract healthy

If you’ve experienced problems with constipation or irregular (watery) stools, adding more fiber to your diet can help bulk up your stool. Whether your stools are coming out too easily, or not at all, fiber can help. Staying regular is key to digestive health and the best way to ensure regularity is to eat more fiber. Fiber helps food move through the digestive tract. It increases stool bulk and helps prevent constipation and irregularity. Watch out for these easy constipation natural remedies.

Constipation

According to 2017 research published in the journal Nutrients, a high-fiber diet can also help prevent diverticulitis. The painful condition occurs when pouches form in the walls of the colon and become inflamed. The longer the waste sits in the intestinal track, the longer the body is exposed to toxins. And that increases the risk of disease. Waste sitting in our gut can promote bad bacteria to develop, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems.

2.Boost your energy levels

Fiber may not provide calories (aka energy). But it can help give you a lift by improving your digestion and by slowing down the release of glucose into our bloodstream. Fiber slows the sugar dump into the bloodstream, so you won’t have a crazy energy spike after eating. And you won’t bottom out once the carbs are processed. “Refined sugars give you the spike and then you crash.”

Here are 5 nutrition myths you need to know

3.Lose weight and maintain a healthy weight

Weight loss

While losing weight and maintaining a weight loss is not easy, adding fiber to your daily diet can help. Fibre is linked to having a lower body weight because whole grains are usually lower in calories than high-fat foods. Fiber calories from high quality, high-fiber foods are also more satiating. They add bulk and slow the digestion process, which makes it more likely for us to lose weight over time.

Here is your guide to pick the healthiest bread for you

4.Lower your cholesterol and risk for cardiovascular disease

When you eat whole foods that contain good amounts of fiber, you’ll feel satisfied for longer. Which means you’ll eat less in the long run and still feel full. Plus, calorie for calorie, you’ll be eating less when you fill up on whole foods like fresh produce or whole grains than if you fill up on other foods. This means to improve your blood cholesterol levels, mainly your “bad” cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity.

5.Drop your risk for type 2 diabetes

Fiber helps to control your blood sugar levels. This is good news if you’re a diabetic.

Diabetes

Soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar. When we add fiber to our diet, our bodies break down carbs more slowly, and this allows our blood sugar levels to rise more gradually. Eating adequate amounts of fiber can also help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Check out these guilt-free diabetic-friendly snacks.

How much fiber do you need?

You’re committed to eating more fiber. But how much do you need?

The American Diabetic Association recommends

• 25 grams for women, or 21 grams if over 50 years old

• 38 grams for men, or 30 grams if over 50

Remember: All things in moderation

Excessive diets high in fiber will cause an uncomfortable feeling of fullness and gas. Therefore, it is necessary for you to maintain a healthy and balanced consumption of fibres.

Increase your fiber intake gradually.

If you take too much, too quickly, you will go from constipation to diarrhoea.

Too much fiber can cause different types of gastrointestinal distress from gas and bloat to constipation to cramping and diarrhea. If you eat one serving of fruit or vegetable daily, increase it to two, then introduce whole grains. Check with your medical professional before you increase your fiber intake. You may want to check out these top alkaline foods .

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

Fight Coronavirus With Food -What foods to Eat to Avoid Coronavirus

If you have a healthy immune system, your body can safeguard you from any disease, even the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

While as of now, there is neither any vaccine available nor proven home remedy to protect you from the COVID-19, there are some vitamins and foods which you can inculcate in your diet to have a strong immune system and in turn, fight the infectious disease.

How food affects health

The foods you eat help your immune system. Inflammation is a natural alert to fight invaders. But, if it goes on too long, it can hurt you and your ability to fight disease effectively. 

Eating foods that reduce inflammation (“anti-inflammatory” foods) helps your immune system.

Here is an ultimate guide about treating Inflammation

Can supplements prevent COVID-19?

No single food, nutrient or supplement can prevent coronavirus infection, but eating healthy helps your body fight disease. It’s all about balance.

Supplements (like vitamins and minerals) can be helpful, but only if you’re not getting enough of those nutrients regularly. 

Supplements can actually be bad for you if you take too much at one time. Everything is best in moderation. If you have underlying or chronic health conditions, check with your primary care provider before taking them. 

Looking for ways to help prevent coronavirus?

Adding these 7 immunity-booster foods to your diet may help

1.Yogurt for Gut Health

“Yogurt is a natural probiotic and aids in the formation of good bacteria in our body. Remember, it has to be freshly made.

Yogurt recipe

Do you know that a huge proportion of the immune system is actually in the gastrointestinal tract?

Here is a guide to keeping your Gut Health and Happy

Eating yoghurt daily can improve immune function because it increases the body’s production of antibodies that fight off viruses. To avoid added sugar, choose plain, unsweetened yoghurt.

Here is the easy homemade recipe of kombucha

2.Turmeric for Anti-inflammatory Properties

The golden spice turmeric is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Curcumin, the compound present in turmeric is a very potent agent and aids in the healing of wounds and infections. This is the reason, it is often suggested to have turmeric milk.

Turmeric latte

‘Most people have it (turmeric) in the wrong way. If you are having Haldi (turmeric), don’t have it in water, instead, boil it in the milk and have the popular turmeric milk.

You can also try our homemade turmeric latte.

3.Garlic & Onions for Antiviral Properties

Garlic, a popular and pungent herb with a characteristic aroma, is widely believed to have antibacterial and antiviral effects, including helping to fight the common cold.

Garlic gets that distinctive smell from sulfur compounds and regardless of whether you love the aroma, it offers protective benefits to your health and immune response.

Antiviral foods

That’s because when garlic is crushed or chopped, it produces allicin, highlighted for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Onions have a substance called quercetin, which may help regulate histamine

response and contains antiviral properties.

Looking for more powerful healing spices? Check the list of top healing spices

4.Mushroom for Antibacterial Properties

Shiitake mushroom to be precise are packed with beta-glucans which are known to be antiviral and antibacterial compounds. They not only help in giving a kickstart to your immunity but also appear to subside inflammation.

You can enjoy stir-fried shiitake mushrooms by thinly slicing the mushroom caps and sauteeing in coconut oil.

5. Citrus and Leafy Greens for Vitamin C

Among all kinds of Vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin D play a major role in strengthening one’s immunity.

People who have been infected with the COVID-19 are being given Vitamin C through IV (Intravenous therapy) – that delivers fluids directly into a vein.

Citrus

Red bell peppers

Red bell peppers reign supreme when it comes to fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. One cup of chopped red bell peppers contains about 211% of your DV of vitamin C. That’s about twice more than an orange (106%).

Broccoli

Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C. Just half a cup contains 43% of your daily value of vitamin C. Broccoli is also packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that support our immune system. It also contains vitamin E.

Strawberries

Just half a cup of strawberries contains 50% of her vitamin C needs for the day.

Spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamin C and full of antioxidants that help shield our immune cells from environmental damage. Plus, it has beta carotene, which is the main dietary source of vitamin A — an essential component of proper immune function.

Check out the 5 immunity boosting food juices

6.Nuts and Seeds Supply Immunity-Supportive Vitamin E, magnesium & selenium

Not only do they have magnesium, but they’re also rich with vitamin E, an antioxidant that’s been shown to improve the body’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses.

Nuts

Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant and helps boosts the immune system. Small but mighty, just one ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds can give you 49% of your daily value of vitamin E.

Just one Brazil nut packs more than 100 per cent of your daily selenium needs, a mineral that can strengthen your immune system. Other options like almonds, walnuts, and pecans can give you that vitamin E boost with just a small handful.

7.Zinc for Cell Functions

Zinc is a mineral involved in the white blood cell response to infection. Because of this, people who are deficient in zinc are more susceptible to cold, flu, and other viruses.

This essential nutrient helps maintain the body’s ability to make new cells and enzymes, process carbohydrate, fat and protein in food and also increases the speed of healing muscles and wounds.

If you’re a meat-eater, good news: red meats are particularly high in zinc, as are shellfish and eggs. Vegans, go for nuts, whole grains and legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans).

Try our creative recipes to add chickpea in your daily diet

Taking supplementary zinc may be a good strategy for older people and others at increased risk. If you decide to take zinc, make sure to stay below the upper limit of 40 mg per day and avoid administering nasally, due to the risk of olfactory complications.

Also read : Low Carb Foods That Will Instantly Boost Your Immunity

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

15 Highly Alkaline Foods That Will Help to Heal Your Body

Unfortunately, when it comes to diet, most people are on autopilot, following a disease-making Western Diet that is high in acidic foods and low in alkaline foods.

The Western Diet increases inflammation and cholesterol. It also causes and contributes to the development of heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.

One way diet affects your health is through a process called “acid-alkaline balance.”

Acid base

Here is our Ultimate Guide to Acidity Cure

The human body is designed to be alkaline and it functions properly in this state.

What are Alkaline Foods

Alkaline-forming foods are considered to be ”superfoods” not just for their ability to help our body maintain a healthy pH balance, but also due to their nutrient density.

The most alkaline-forming foods are often plant-based and have been shown to have a multitude of healing properties.

What is The Alkaline diet a.k.a The Alkaline ash diet

Alkaline ash refers to eating food that supports bone and whole-body health by creating an ideal pH balance within the body. The alkalizing precursors allow the bones to fulfil their metabolic functions without depleting themselves.

In reality, the Alkaline Ash Diet is the same eating pattern that supports the prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and degenerative diseases. It is a diet rich in alkalizing minerals and health-supporting plant compounds.

Green Smoothie

Here is a list of some of our favourite alkalizing foods, all of which are delicious and versatile or try our Green Smoothie That May Boost Life Expectancy that is thoughtfully crafted with alkalizing farm fresh super greens and wholesome fruits and veggies with over 12 cleansing ingredients for the healthy elimination of toxins for pH balance and detox!

1.Lemons

  • Lemons are extremely high in alkaline minerals, such as potassium, and magnesium that have alkalizing effects on the body.
  • They are excellent for healthy detox, assisting with digestion, and support the liver in eliminating toxins from the body.
  • The citric acid in them is highly acidic in a natural state, but once consumed, the citric acid gets metabolized and has a wonderful alkaline effect on the body. 
  • Lemons are a good source of calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and B-complex, as well as pectin fibre, and carbohydrates. They also contain potent antibacterial, antiviral and immune-boosting powers.
  • Apart from having a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body, lemons help improve digestion, aid weight loss, support skin health, boost immunity, fight cancer, control high blood pressure, prevent infections and lots more.
  • Enjoying a glass of lemon water every morning is a fantastic habit to work into your routine that will help you feel great throughout the day.
  • Also, read Foods to Eat for Glowing Skin
  • 2.Cucumbers

    Cucumber
      Cucumbers are another healthy addition to an alkaline diet. They can quickly neutralize acids and aid digestion.
      The nutritional profile of cucumbers is very impressive. They are an excellent source of vitamins K, C and different B vitamins. You also get a good amount of copper, amino acids, carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fibre, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, biotin and silica.
      Plus, cucumbers are low in calories. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Including cucumbers in your diet can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve digestion, lower blood sugar levels and fight different types of cancer including breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancers. Being high in water content, they also keep the body hydrated.

    3.Celery

    Celery juice

    • Celery is another very alkaline food you should eat! It can neutralize acids and balance the pH level of your body. 
    • It is also a great diuretic, meaning it helps get rid of excess fluid in the body. Plus, being very high in water content, it helps hydrate and nourish the cells in your body. 
    • Celery also contains vitamins A, C, K and some B vitamins, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, potassium and fibre. Plus, it is low in calories, carbohydrates, fat and cholesterol.
    • This simple green stalk helps lower cholesterol, inhibits several cancers, supports the immune system, fights inflammation, supports cardiovascular health, aids weight loss and lots more.
    • Aside from being alkalizing, celery has additional cleansing properties. Since it’s mostly water, celery can easily help the body flush toxins.
    • Celery is also a “negative calorie” food, which means it takes more calories to chew and digest than the total amount of calories it contains.

    4.Avocado

      Avocado is a powerhouse of both nutrients and deliciousness. Avocado contains a ton of healthy fats in addition to being alkalizing, anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy.
      Avocados are one of the foods you should eat every day. They help flush out acidic waste and promote a more alkaline environment in the body. This creamy, green fruit is packed full of nutrients.
      Avocados contain dietary fibre, folate, potassium, selenium, and a good amount of healthy fat, along with vitamins K, C, B5 and A. They also contain powerful antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, and more. 
      Adding avocados to your diet will help aid weight loss, fight inflammation, improve your heart health, boost cardiovascular health, fight cancer and provide blood sugar benefits.

    5.Spinach

    • Spinach, one of the healthiest leafy greens, is highly alkaline in nature. It is very rich in chlorophyll, which acts as an alkalizing agent and brings your body back to the optimal 7.4 range.
    • Spinach is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C, E and K.  It is also loaded with minerals that provide the body with amazing alkaline effects, such as manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and folate. Plus, it is loaded with dietary fibre, flavonoids and carotenoids.
    • By eating spinach, you can boost muscle strength, fight anaemia, improve heart health, prevent premature ageing, reduce your risk of cancer and enjoy healthy skin.
    • Most leafy green vegetables are alkaline-forming in the body, but spinach is one of our favourites because it’s so versatile. Even those who don’t love greens will often enjoy spinach because of its mild flavour.
    • Spinach is rich in chlorophyll, vitamin K, vitamin A and so many more… it would take us all day to list them all!

    6.Garlic 

    Spices
    • A true miracle food, garlic is another alkaline food that encourages overall good health. The main compound in garlic is allicin, which has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties.
    • Also, garlic has nutrients including vitamins B1, B6 and C, as well as manganese, calcium, copper, selenium and many others. Garlic aids detoxification by increasing production of glutathione that helps filter toxins from the digestive system.
    • This alkaline-forming food offers many other health benefits, too. It promotes cardiovascular health, boosts immune health, lowers blood pressure, supports liver functioning, cleanses the liver, reduces inflammation and fights off cancer, to name a few.
    • Garlic is an anti-inflammatory superfood that rates very high on the alkaline scale.

    Spices With Most Powerful Health Benefits

    7.Kale

    Immunity
    • Kale is another alkaline food that you should definitely include in your diet. Kale can balance the acid and alkalize the body. This leafy green vegetable is packed with rich vitamins, such as vitamins A, C and K.
    • It also has nutrients like magnesium, calcium, manganese, copper, potassium, iron, phosphorus and protein. Plus, it offers antioxidant benefits. 
    • The fibre and sulfur in kale support the body’s natural detoxification process so that your body can get rid of harmful toxins. It can even lower bad cholesterol, reduce your risk of cancer, improve heart health, aid weight loss, boost immunity and lots more.
    There’s a reason kale has been labelled as the new beef.
    • It’s high in plant iron, calcium and vitamin K, which is said to help protect against many types of cancers.
    • Kale has a mild taste that can jazz up any recipe. You can easily add kale to any smoothie recipe that calls for greens, stir-fries, salads and soups for a (delicious) alkaline boost.

    8.Broccoli 

    • Broccoli is one of the top alkaline cruciferous vegetables that you should include in your diet.
    • The phytochemicals in broccoli help alkalize the body, increase estrogen metabolism and reduce the symptoms of estrogen dominance. This tasty vegetable is also packed with a variety of vitamins, such as C, K and A.
    • It also has fibre, manganese, potassium, iron, folate and protein. Moreover, it has amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
    • Apart from alkalizing and detoxifying the body, broccoli helps fight cancer, improves digestion, boosts the cardiovascular system, improves immunity, supports skin health, boosts metabolism and lots more.

    9.Bell Peppers

    • Be it red, green or yellow, bell peppers are highly alkaline in nature.
    • They help transform acidic foods, raising the body’s overall alkaline level. Bell peppers also contain vitamins C, A, B6, E and K, along with potassium, manganese, copper, dietary fibre, folate, iron and several flavonoids that provide powerful antioxidant properties. 
    • When eaten regularly, bell peppers help boost immunity, lower hypertension, support eyesight, and increase the body’s metabolic rate. They also help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, inflammation and more.

    10.Wheatgrass

    • Another highly alkaline food that people are not aware of is wheatgrass. It’s a very strong source of alkalinity as well as several nutrients for the body. It is a rich source of chlorophyll, amino acids and vitamins, such as A, B-complex, C, D and E.
    • It also contains magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, thiamine and natural enzymes. Wheatgrass helps in the process of detoxification. It also revitalizes your liver and protects it from environmental pollutants.
    • In addition, it boosts energy levels, improves immunity, aids weight loss, regulates blood sugar levels, improves heart health and fights cancer, to name a few. 

    11.Tomatoes

    • Tomatoes are most alkaline when they are uncooked, but contain many nutrients, both raw and uncooked.
    • They are a great source of vitamin C, digestive enzymes, and a good source of vitamin B6, which is often difficult to find!
    • Eat sliced tomatoes as a snack with a bit of pink sea salt or mix into your favourite salad or omelette.

    12.Bananas

    Banana nutrition
    • Bananas, aka “Potassium Sticks,” are another highly alkaline food that you won’t want to leave out of your diet. Bananas are also a great source of fibre, which help promote digestive regularity and sweep toxins out of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
    • While most people tend to avoid bananas to prevent weight gain due to their high sugar content, eating a banana is far better for you than eating a granola bar or some other processed food that’s packed full of sugar and acidifying ingredients.
    • One of the most delicious ways to include bananas in your diet is by making banana “nice cream,” which is simply just frozen bananas blended into a creamy consistency.
    • The best part about banana nice cream is that you can jazz it up with other alkaline ingredients, such as fresh mint leaves and berries.
  • If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a recipe for my favourite peanut butter banana nice cream.
  • Nicecream
  • 13.Kiwi

    • Kiwi is a high-alkaline food your cells won’t want to miss out on because it also contains a plethora of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
    • And although oranges are famous for their vitamin C content, kiwi contains nearly five times the amount of vitamin C than an orange.
    • Kiwi is also a great source of fiber for improved digestion, as well as potassium for muscle function.

    14.Cauliflower

    • Cauliflower is an alkaline food that can also aid in hormone rebalancing when the body’s estrogen levels are too high.
    • This is because cauliflower contains a nutrient called Indole-3-Carbinol (or I3C) that helps the body regulate estrogen levels. We come into contact with estrogen on a daily basis through estrogenic foods (such as soy), chemicals in our environment (such as plastics) and pharmaceuticals drugs (such as oral contraceptives).
    • High levels of estrogen are harmful to the body and can lead to weight gain, digestive symptoms such as bloating, as well as reproductive cancers and infertility.

    15.Apples

    Apple
    • Apples have a reputation as one of the healthiest foods in the world, mostly because they’re so rich in detoxifying fiber and antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids that protect against cancer.
    • All of these nutrients are also essential for promoting healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. To get even greater health benefits from apples, I recommend adding apple cider vinegar to your diet each day.
    • When fermented to make vinegar, apples contain a nutrient called acetic acid, which offers antibacterial and antiviral benefits.
    • If you don’t like the taste of apple cider vinegar on its own or diluted with water, that’s okay. There are several ways to make apple cider vinegar taste so amazing, you won’t even notice the slightly sour taste.

    Also, check out the Secret Drinks that keep all of the Celebrities Glowing

    By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

    Which Bread Is Best? How to Shop for Healthy Bread

    Do you know:

    In the Bible, bread has been referred to as the “Staff Of Life” literally and served for ages.

    Isn’t it ironic how these days, a healthier and “cleaner” bread would contain more whole grains and be darker in colour, less processed and have a desirable high-fibre content?

    There are countless loaves that claim to be “healthy” because they contain whole grains and pack fibre, but in reality, they sneak in high amounts of sodium, sugar, and refined flours.

    As a nutrition consultant, I have seen scores of patients and heard testimonies from friends and relatives that swore that they lost the most weight when they swore off the bread.

    Poor bread. So loved. So hated. So often talked about and so misunderstood. But ditching carbs like bread could result in serious consequences.

    Carbs

    Bread Nutrition Facts

    An average slice, or ounce, of bread, contains around:

    80 calories.

    • 15 grams of carbohydrates (about the same amount in a small serving of fruit).

    • 3 grams of protein.

    How to Choose a Healthy Bread

    The best bread for you depends on your own particular needs.

    The good news is that you can avoid purchasing the wrong kind of bread by simply reading the nutrition and ingredients labels. To help you make the right choice, we tapped the bread shopping tips.

    To choose a healthy bread, look for brands that have:

    1. The first ingredient should be 100% whole-grain or sprouted flours and avoid slices of bread that have “wheat flour”—this is just another code name for white flour.

    2. Seeing high fructose corn syrup, honey, sugar, and other sweeteners at the top of the ingredients list is a red flag.

    3. Ideally, they should be at the end of the list because that means they’re the least important ingredients, and therefore, there’s less of it.

    4. Stick to loaves with no more than five grams of sugar per slice.

    5. Try to avoid gluten-free bread that is made from corn or rice starch. These loaves have a low fiber content and often have fat and sugar added to boost their flavour.

    6. Seek slices of bread that have at least two to three grams of fiber and three to five grams of protein per slice.

    7. No added sweeteners

    Now that you know how to pick a healthy loaf of bread, here’s the list of popular bread varieties, so you can decide which slide is right for you.

    Nutrition facts

    Ezekiel bread

    ⁃ Ezekiel bread is an amazing choice for vegetarians because it’s made from wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. When these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, they create a complete protein similar to that found in milk and eggs.

    ⁃ Essentially what you’re getting is bread made with grain that was allowed to sprout prior to grinding. The outcome is quite nutritious. It’s also high-quality, containing all nine essential amino acids (and 18 total).

    ⁃ The sprouting process increases the amount and bio-availability of vitamins, like vitamin C, and minerals, like folate and lysine, so Ezekiel bread is a bonafide nutritional powerhouse.

    ⁃ Sprouted grains are more easily tolerated by people with grain protein sensitivities, may help fight diabetes, protect against fatty liver disease, and reduce your risk for cardiovascular issues.

    Buying Tip: The Sprouted Grain Ezekiel bread is that it doesn’t have any added sugar, which is a rarity among many slices of bread.

    Flaxseed bread

    ⁃ Flax bread, which is made primarily from whole-grain flours and flax seeds, is one of the healthiest slices of bread you can eat.

    ⁃ This is because Flax bread contains an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in plant foods that promote good heart health, as well as compounds called lignans that may help protect against certain cancers.

    ⁃ For heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids typically the best source. So it’s a no-brainer flaxseed bread is a great alternative to your regular loaf.

    ⁃ Research shows flax seed and flax bread can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes to boot. 

    ⁃ What’s more, flax seeds boast compounds called lignans that can act as antioxidants in your body and may help protect against certain cancers,

    Also, read the Best Way To Eat Chia seeds for weight loss

    Buying Tip: Be sure to look for flax slices of bread made with minimal ingredients, such as whole-wheat and/or sprouted whole-grain flours, yeast, water, salt, and sprouted organic whole flax seeds.

    Rye bread

    ⁃ Rye closely resembles wheat but is usually darker and denser.

    ⁃ Traditional rye bread is only made from rye flour and does not contain any wheat flour, whereas most modern rye bread is made from a combination of the two. Rye loaves also typically have caraway seeds baked into them.

    ⁃ When compared to wheat, rye is often considered more nutritious. In fact, studies show that rye bread may lead to greater fullness and have less of an impact on blood sugar than wheat bread.

    ⁃ One study in 12 healthy adults found that those who ate whole-grain rye bread released significantly less insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, than those who ate white-wheat bread.

    ⁃ Rye’s ability to lower your body’s insulin response is likely due to its high soluble fiber content.

    Understanding the Diabetes, the path to decrease insulin release

    Buying Tip: The healthiest rye bread are made from 100% whole-grain sprouted rye flour, in addition to other sprouted grain flours. Sprouted rye bread is high in soluble fiber, which helps slow your digestion of carbs and decrease your body’s insulin response.

    Oat bread

    ⁃ Oats have always been touted as one of the healthiest sources of good carbs. They’re slow-digesting and make you feel fuller longer.

    ⁃ Oat bread made from oats and whole-grain flour boasts the fiber beta-glucan, which may help lower cholesterol and has been linked to a number of health benefits.

    ⁃ Oats are also richer in protein than wheat (about twice the amount), which is obviously beneficial if you’re trying to build and repair muscles; they have a bevvy of vitamins, like vitamin E, and nutrients, like iron and calcium.

    ⁃ Oat bread is typically made from a combination of oats, whole-wheat flour, yeast, water, and salt.

    Know more about Types of oats & best way to eat oats

    Buying Tip: However, just because bread has “oats” or “oatmeal” on its label doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. Some oat bread only has a small number of oats and are mostly made of refined flours, added sugar and oils. To find a more nutritious oat bread, look for one that lists oats and whole-wheat flour as the first two ingredients.

    Whole wheat bread

    ⁃ White bread lovers can feel good in knowing that, similar to whole-wheat bread, white whole-wheat bread is also made with whole grains.

    ⁃ The difference between them is that white whole-wheat bread is made from white wheat, bringing it a milder flavour, fluffier texture and lighter colour. The whole wheat bread we’re used to seeing is made from red wheat, contributing a darker colour and coarser texture.

    ⁃, Unlike white whole-wheat bread, basic white bread is made from refined grains and is more highly processed, thereby stripping away some important parts of the grain and their related nutrients.

    ⁃ Whole wheat is one kind of whole grain, so all whole wheat is whole grain, but not all whole grain is whole wheat

    Buying Tip: You must choose 100% whole wheat bread. Whole wheat (in its original, non-enriched form) is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, and magnesium. Just know for something to be whole wheat, the product has to be made from the entire wheat kernel.

    Whole grain bread

    ⁃ A whole grain is an entire seed — the bran, the endosperm and the germ. Whole grains contain key nutrients that offer bread with benefits including B vitamins and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper and magnesium).

    ⁃ Whole-grain foods are a healthy choice because they contain a bounty of nutrients, fiber, and healthy plant compounds naturally found in the grain.

    ⁃ The fiber content of whole-grain bread helps to keep you satiated for a longer period of time, so ditching bread at your meal could mean giving in to a mid-meal snack attack of foods that are less nutritional and higher in calories.

    Buying Tip: Be sure to flip your package over and look for whole grains as a first ingredient on the ingredient list. Look for products that list the first ingredient as “whole wheat,” “whole oats,” or a similar whole grain. And to clarify, whole grains can mean it has one of many types of healthy grains included in the product, while whole wheat labels the specific grain that’s being used.

    Multigrain bread

    ⁃ Just like whole wheat and whole grain are different, so too are multigrain and whole-grain bread.

    ⁃ The term “multi” means many – so your multigrain bread may contain many different types of grains, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that any of these are whole grains.

    ⁃ Multigrain—like 7- or 12-grain bread—means the food has more than one type of grain, although they might not all be whole grains.

    Buying Tip: You should be looking for bread wearing a label that shows a whole grain or whole wheat as a first ingredient. “Wheat flour” as a first ingredient is not the same and could be void of value.

    Gluten-free bread

    Gluten is a protein found in grains that help make the dough in bread more elastic.

    ⁃ Gluten-free bread is void of wheat, rye, and barley. Four other starches are used in their place—cornstarch, rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato flour.

    ⁃ This is obviously the go-to for men and women with Celiac disease or those with gluten allergies. But if you don’t have either, don’t buy it.

    ⁃ A gluten-free diet consists of stripped foods, meaning you’re eating products void of a lot of nutrients. Plus, on average, gluten-free products are 242% more expensive than regular products.

    Buying Tip: Gluten-free whole grains and flours that can be eaten include Amaranth, Arrowroot, Buckwheat, Corn and cornmeal, Flax, Brown and wild rice, Quinoa, Millet, Sorghum. Avoid Gluten-free flours: rice, soy, corn, potato, bean.

    Sourdough bread

    ⁃ Sourdough bread is made through a fermentation process that relies on naturally occurring yeast and bacteria to make the bread rise and boosts its digestibility, improves the availability of certain nutrients, and lowers its blood sugar effects.

    ⁃ It’s more labour-intensive to make sourdough bread. There’s longer rise time, and that increases the lactic acid and creates an ideal pH for the enzyme phytase. This enzyme breaks down phytates—which bind to minerals, like iron, zinc, and manganese, slowing their absorption) more effectively than other bread.

    ⁃ Fermentation helps reduce the number of phytates, also known as phytic acid, that binds to certain minerals and impairs their absorption.

    ⁃ Sourdough may also be easier to digest than other bread, possibly due to its prebiotics, as well as the probiotics created during the fermentation process.

    ⁃ Finally, sourdough bread is thought to have a low glycemic index (GI), a measure of the impact a food has on blood sugar.

    Importance of Probiotics & Prebiotic for good gut health

    Buying Tip: Sourdough can be made with both whole-wheat and white flours. While each provides the benefits associated with fermentation, whole-wheat sourdough has more fiber, iron, and other nutrients.

    Some bread will provide more fiber than others, and some are lighter in colour.

    Whichever you choose, remember that the calories you end up with maybe more of a reflection of what you put on your bread, like butter, mayo and thick fillings, since the company bread keeps may be more of a calorie culprit than the bread itself.

    That said, bread can be enjoyed in moderation — as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of other nutritious foods.

    By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

    Chicken vs. Fish: Which Is Really Healthy For You

    When it comes to eating healthy food, you know the basics. Find a way to curb your sweet tooth, avoid unnecessary fats, and absolutely limit your bacon habit. But the nuances of healthy eating can be a bit trickier.
    When is it OK to splurge on non-veg? And which is really better for you — chicken or fish?

    It goes without saying that a healthy diet consists of variety. If you’re doing your best to have a healthy diet, then it’s likely that you’ll naturally have a rotation of poultry and seafood in your meals.

    Also read: The Power of Mindful Eating

    The American Heart Association attests both chicken and fish are healthy alternatives to red meat when it comes to heart health. Generally speaking, both forms of meat contain significantly less cholesterol and saturated fat, elements that can lead to heart problems if they’re eaten in excess. Both are considered “lean,” which is defined by the USDA as foods with less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol in a serving.

    Too much cholesterol and saturated fat can also increase your blood pressure, contributing to preliminary symptoms of heart disease. Leaner meats, like chicken and fish, don’t contain as much of these offending compounds.

    However, one slightly edges out the other — at least in terms of paying attention to how much you eat it and keep in mind is the presentation of two types of meat.

    Related: The best cooking oil you really need to know

    Here’s the breakdown of which is healthier for you !

    Macronutrients in Chicken

    Skinless chicken is always preferable when you’re talking about heart health. Roasted or boiled chicken meat is also better than fried.

    Chicken breast

    The nutrients in chicken depend on the cut. A 3-ounce serving of roasted skinless, chicken breast weighs in at 165 calories, while skinless wings and thighs contain more – 203 and 209, respectively.

    Breast meat offers the most protein, with 31 grams in a serving and 4 grams of fat, 1 of which is saturated. The other two cuts of chicken will give you 26 and 30 grams of protein, respectively, with 8 and 11 grams of fat, 2 and 3 grams of which are saturated.

    This poultry meat contains high protein and low fat. The price is affordable so it becomes the choice of those who are dieting, muscle building, or want to break the history of heart disease in the family. Unfortunately, many chickens are commercially raised with antibiotics and growth hormones.

    Macronutrient Profile of Fish

    The greatest excess of fish is the omega-3 fatty acids that the human body can not produce, but it is needed. Omega-3 is very good for brain function and prevent inflammation and heart disease.

    Salmon

    The macronutrient content of fish varies according to the kind you purchase. The calories in a 3-ounce serving of fish fluctuate between 90 calories for a serving of whitefish like cod up to 200 for an oily fish like sockeye salmon. A serving of cod provides 20 grams of protein, with 1 gram of fat and no saturated fat, while salmon gives you 24 grams of protein, with 10 grams of fat, 2 of which are saturated.

    Most of the fat in salmon comes in the form of omega-3 fatty acids. Three ounces of a fatty fish like salmon gives you 1,500 milligrams, or three times the recommended daily amount. Cod provides less than 200 milligrams in a serving.

    Although there are so many benefits for human health, there are also things to watch out for from fish, namely mercury content, especially marine fish. Therefore it is advisable not to consume marine fish in a raw state.

    Comparing Vitamins & Minerals in Fish and Chicken

    Both fish and chicken offer generous amounts of B vitamins, which help your body turn food into energy.

    • Salmon outshines chicken and other fish in terms of vitamin B-12, associated with nerve health and the formation of red blood cells; a serving offers 179 per cent of the daily value (DV).
    • Roasted chicken breast is a winner for niacin content, supplying 74 per cent of the DV – two times more than fish. Niacin supports the health of your skin, nerves and digestive system.
    • Salmon supersedes other fish and chicken in its content of vitamin D, with almost half of the daily value in a serving. Not many foods supply this nutrient, which is necessary for bone health. In comparison, chicken wings or breasts offer essentially no vitamin D.
    • Salmon stands out for supplying 59 per cent of the daily value for selenium, an antioxidant; chicken breast offers an impressive amount, too, with 43 per cent.
    • Fish prevails again with phosphorus – cod provides 24 per cent of the DV and salmon 22 per cent, while a chicken wing offers less than half that amount. Phosphorus supports strong bones and teeth.

    Is Fish or Chicken a Better Protein?

    If you to want to get a jump on weight loss, filling up on high-protein foods can be a good strategy at least in the short-term. Chicken and fish are two convenient and easy-to-prepare protein sources that won’t bust your calorie budget.

    When deciding between fish and chicken for weight loss, you’ll find a similar range between different types of fish.

    The USDA’s data for a 100-gram serving include:

    Skinless Chicken breast: 165 calories and 31 grams of protein

    • Chicken thigh with Skin: 225 calories and 23 grams of protein

    • Salmon:188 calories and 25 grams of protein

    • Canned Tuna (in water): 86 calories and 19 grams of protein

    • Sardines: 208 calories and 25 grams of protein

    • Shrimp: 60 calories and 14 grams of protein

    The Bottom Line

    Though both chicken and fish can (and should) be part of a healthy diet, fish edges out chicken by just a hair. The main reason is the omega-3 content — something poultry just can’t provide.

    Some fish are contaminated with mercury, a neurotoxin. The FDA recommends avoiding larger varieties like shark and swordfish but advises it’s safe to eat salmon, cod and other whitefish two or three times a week.

    Purchase chicken skinless or take the skin off before cooking. The skin adds to the saturated fat content, and depending on the cut, it may even double it.

    This is the advantages and disadvantages of fish and chicken. You can eat whatever you want but you have to look for the health content based on my article above

    Make your choice!

    Here Is The Ultimate Guide for Treating Chronic Inflammation

    By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

    5 Irresistible Deserts For The Serious Peanut Butter Lover

    If you’re the kind of person who sneaks off to the pantry with a spoon for a snack of peanut butter straight from the jar, these peanut butter desserts are for you!

    Whether you prefer smooth or crunchy, use a jar of peanut butter in sweet treats, from barfi, puddings and smoothies to vegan ice cream. 

    This post may contain affiliate links as it is sponsored by United Foods India; all opinions and work is my own.

    If you’re cooking on a budget (or even if you aren’t) you want to get the most out of every ingredient in your cupboard. After all, no one likes to pull something out of the back of the cupboard only to find it’s passed the expiration date. And one of the most underused pantry staples we’ve found is that ever-present jar of peanut butter.

    Though anyone with kids (and anyone who’s been a kid) knows the value spreading it on bread or toast with some jelly (and, we might suggest, a few slices of banana), that tends to be the sum of it for about 90 per cent of people. A few more might occasionally whip up a batch of easy peanut butter cookies, but that’s where most cooking with peanut butter begins and ends. This is a shame because this creamy (or crunchy) concoction can do much more!

    Not only is it filling and healthy, but it is also great if you’re trying to lose weight

    If you thought that peanut butter sandwiches were only for kids, here’s something you should know.

    • Peanut butter has several health benefits — it has the enviable combination of fibre and protein, which makes it filling. This makes you feel full longer, so you end up eating less overall.
    • It is also packed with nutrition because a serving of peanut butter has 3 mg of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, 49 mg of bone-building magnesium, 208 mg of muscle-friendly potassium, and 0.17 mg of immunity-boosting vitamin B6.
    • Studies have also shown that having peanuts can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other types of chronic health conditions. One study even found that consuming one ounce of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter about five times a week can lower the risk of developing diabetes by a whopping 30%.
    • Peanut butter is also high with monounsaturated fat, which is good for the heart. Researchers say that insulin-resistant adults who ate a diet high in monounsaturated fat had less belly fat than people who ate more carbohydrates or saturated fat.
    • Peanuts contain high concentrations of poly-phenolic antioxidants, which reduce the risk of stomach cancer by reducing the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. They are also an excellent source of resveratrol, an antioxidant, which has a protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/ fungal infections.

    Here is Super Smart Ways to Cook with Peanut Butter full of healthy choices towards the good health with our amazing 5 Healthy Easy Peanut Butter Desserts Recipes (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

    Benefits of peanut Butter

    Do you LOVE peanut butter? I seriously hope you do, because it’s one of the biggest staples and most popular ingredients on Healthy Foodie list! I’ve rounded up quite a few special peanut butter-infused treats for you today.

    1.Peanut Butter Chocolate Barfi

    Barfee is easy, quick and delectable fusion Sweet. The good news for chocoholics is that it has chocolate too. After all “Chocolate is happiness you can eat” ;). This barfi is made with rich peanut butter and chocolate, a delightful combination!

    Barfi

    Ingredients

    • Coconut milk powder ( you can swap with dairy milk too )

    • Coconut milk

    • Coconut cream 

    Magic leaf Stevia sugar I use this brand as they are pure plant-based sugar

    • Cocoa powder

    • oil for greasing the plate or box

    Nutty Peanut butter we use this brand as they are without any additives and 0% trans fat

    • Dark Chocolate sprinkles (optional) 

    Instructions:

    Peanut layer

    1. Grease the plate with oil or line the box with the parchment paper.

    2. First, dry roast the milk powder in a pan for 3-4 minutes without burning.

    3. Remove and leave it aside.

    4. In the same pan combine milk, cream, and sweetener.

    5. Bring it to boil on medium heat and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

    6. Now add 2/3 of the milk powder and mix well, keep stirring all the time to prevent burning the mixture.

    7. Once the mixture starts getting thicker, add peanut butter.

    8. Mix well and let the cooked mixture until it leaves the pan.

    9. Quickly pour the mixture into the lined or greased tray and spread evenly.

    10. Leave it aside.

    Peanut burfi

    Chocolate layer

    1. In the same pan combine cream, milk, and sweetener.

    2. Bring it to boil and let it simmer.

    3. Add remaining milk powder and cocoa powder.

    4. Cook the mixture until done.

    5. Spread it over the peanut barfi layer.

    6. Press it with a clean spatula.

    7. Sprinkle the chocolate sprinkles.

    8. Let it sit for at least 2-3 hours.

    9. Once done cut the barfi with the sharp knife into the desired shape, sprinkle some crushed nuts.

    2. Peanut Butter Mousse

    Peanut butter mousse

    Ingredients

    • 2½ tbsp nutty creamy peanut butter

    • ¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt

    • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract

    • ½ tbsp natural sweetener

    • small pinch of salt

    • ½ tbsp crushed nuts

    Instructions

    • Add all the ingredients to a large blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.

    • Give it a taste and add more stevia or salt to taste. Be sure to puree the mixture as much as possible, you don’t lose anything by over blending but you sacrifice texture and flavour by under blending!

    • Decorate with crushed nuts

    • Serve immediately or chilled.

    3. Reese’s peanut butter Frappuccino

    The rich chocolate taste and sweet peanut butter flavour is a match made in heaven. Save money (and calories) spent at coffee shops by making your own blended drink at home!

    peanut butter smoothie

    Ingredients

    ¾ c double-strength coffee, chilled

    ½ c skim milk, chilled ( For a vegan version, substitute your favourite non-dairy milk: oat milk )

    1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or dark)

    1 tbsp nutty crunchy peanut butter

    2 ice cubes

    1tsp sweetener, to taste, such as Stevia

    ½ tsp nutty chocolate peanut butter, warmed

    Instructions

    Add coffee, milk, cocoa powder, and crunchy peanut butter to a blender. Pulse until well combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the ice and sweetener. Blend until smooth and no large ice chunks remain. Pour into a glass, drizzle with the warm chocolate peanut butter, and serve immediately.

    Notes: To prepare the double-strength coffee, I used 2 teaspoons of instant coffee crystals mixed with ¾ cup water.

    4. No-Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake

    Cheesecake

    Ingredients

    1/4 cups Oreo/graham cracker Crumbs

    1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted / coconut oil

    2 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese softened

    1 cup Nutty Smooth Peanut Butter

    1/2 cup stevia sugar

    2 bars (100 g each) dark chocolate, chopped, divided

    1-1/2 cups low fat Whipped cream

    Instructions

    • Mix crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate 10 min.

    • Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar with mixer until well blended. Add half the dark chocolate; mix well. Whisk in 1 cup Whipped cream. Spoon over crust. Refrigerate 3 hours.

    • Microwave remaining Whipped cream and dark chocolate in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min.; cool slightly. Pour over cheesecake. Refrigerate until firm. When ready to serve, run a knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; remove rim.

    5. Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

    Vegan ice cream

    Ingredients

    • 4 ripe bananas, chopped into 3cm chunks, then frozen

    • 2 tbsp almond/ oat milk

    • 1 tbsp Nutty chocolate peanut butter

    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

    • 1 tbsp of dark chocolate, grated

    • 1 tbsp flaked almonds

    Instructions

    • Tip the frozen bananas and almond milk into a blender. Blend together to create a smooth consistency. Add the peanut butter and cinnamon, and blend again. Taste and add more cinnamon, if you like.

    • Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze for 1 hr.

    • Take out of the freezer and serve with grated chocolate and flaked almonds sprinkled over.

    Why I love Peanut Butter….

    Because it’s one of my favourite ingredients as it’s packed full of protein, good fat, nutrient-dense, and oh yeah, HELLA YUMMY! 😋

    By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

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