Always hungry? 9 Foods That Prevent Cravings and Hunger Pangs

Are you always feeling hungry but wanting to resist the need for snacking???

Losing or maintaining weight does not only require cutting back on calories but also to load up on foods that have a high satiety value, which simply means that they keep you full for longer and thus, help in preventing unwanted cravings and unnecessary episodes of binge eating that can totally ruin your diet plan.

As the phrase hints, these keep you satisfied until the next mealtime. The Satiety Index which was developed in 1995 measures how well a food satisfies you and keeps hunger pangs at bay. Certain foods may be rich in fiber and proteins that take longer to digest and thus, keep you full while others may fill you up with fewer calories.

Here are 9 Stop Hunger Foods

Take a look at some of these foods that you might want to include in your diet.

1. Eggs

Eggs aren’t as low in calories compared to the other food, but due to their high protein content, being one of the few complete proteins that contain all 9 amino acids, eggs are a great addition to anyone’s diet. Once ingested, these amino acids trigger the hormones in the gut that suppress appetite, achieving that satisfying feeling. Protein is ideal for satisfying hunger but is also essential for the body’s optimum growth and maintenance of lean, metabolically active muscle tissue. 

Eggs…can greatly assist keeping the hunger at bay and maintain steady blood sugar levels.

Cooking eggs

Each egg, containing about 140 calories and 12 grams of protein, can greatly assist in keeping the hunger at bay and maintain steady blood sugar levels. But don’t feel like you have to discard the yolk, as the majority of its protein is contained in the yolk, a combination with meats and vegetables won’t impact your waistline but instead provide a filling snack or meal at any point in the day. 

2. Porridge

Ask any health site or nutritionist and they will consistently recommend porridge, oatmeal and a variety of oats as a healthy but filling food, particularly for the start of the day. Porridge oats have a very low G.I, Glycemic Index meaning that the glucose from the carb is released into your bloodstream slowly, sustaining your energy levels for a longer time and preventing those post-breakfast food cravings.

Porridge oats have a very low Glycemic Index, meaning that the glycogen from the carb is released into your bloodstream slowly…

Oats are high in fibre which keeps your blood sugar levels balanced unlike other sugary breakfasts, and also have an amazing ability to absorb any fluids efficiently, passing through your digestive tract at a very slow rate. 

Oatmilk

Recipe for oat milk

Porridge is also a great food to fill you up due to its consistency; it’s been found that wetter and creamier foods switch on satisfaction signals and so improve satiety. What’re more, studies show that a bowl of porridge can also lower cholesterol. If a bowl of oatmeal doesn’t excite your taste buds, adding some nuts, fruit, cinnamon, honey, peanut butter and any other ingredients can be a tasty addition whilst providing their own nutritional and filling benefits.

(Also read: Scientific reasons to eat overnight oats )

3. Apples, Oranges And Pears

Apples and other fruits such as pears and oranges are a great food to keep hunger at bay as they are full of fibre and natural sugars, serving as a useful source of sustainable energy. Studies have also suggested that they can make a good pre-meal snack; research showing that eating an apple 20 minutes prior to an eating a meal reduces the amount eaten during that meal. So, enjoying fruits as your daily snack will not only contribute to one of your daily recommended fruit or veg portions, but the fibre will fill up your stomach and should keep those hunger pangs at bay.

Hunger control

Oranges are another super-fruit when it comes to satiety index and is almost twice as filling as bananas for the same amount of calories. Oranges are 86 per cent water and research shows that foods with high water content can help to improve our satiety due to the increased portion size, without impairing the calorie content. Apples and pears particularly contain pectin which slows digestion and encourages satiety, whilst still providing an array of nutrition needed throughout the body. 

4. Soup

Soup is one of the ideal lunches and snack you can have to satisfy hunger, endless choices and options catering to different tastes, whilst containing a mass of ingredients that each provide a multitude of health benefits. Soup is also deceivingly slow to digest, passing through the digestive system slower than you would think, filling up your stomach with fluid and vegetables that are broken down slowly. 

Starting a meal with a hearty soup is a great fill-up strategy, as much research that suggests eating soup before a meal improves satiety, causing you to eat less and consume fewer calories as a result. You need to be careful on your soup selection though; your best options are homemade and broth-based soups as you have control over the ingredients and can even include other filling foods such as potatoes, lentils and beans, each known for their filling effect.

Pumpkin soup

If you do choose a pre-made soup, make sure you check out the nutritional information as manufacturers will frequently sneak in unnecessary salt and sugars which can be counterproductive. 

(Also read: Weight Loss pumpkin Soup Recipe )

5. Greek Yoghurt & Smoothies

Fruits obviously have many weight benefits, being a healthy option for rich nutrition and high fibre with a low-calorie count, but blending and combining them with yogurts and smoothies is an ideal way to add some calcium and fill the void growing in your stomach. Berries particularly can be a great addition to some yogurt or smoothies, providing an extra source of nutrition and energy as they are surprisingly low in sugars, but high in fibre compared to other fruits.

Life longer smoothie

Unlike most drinks, smoothies can be a great way to satisfy hunger as their thicker consistency and rich nutritional content slows the digestive system and passes out of the stomach slowly.  Adding some greek yoghurt to your smoothie or on its own is another productive way to keep the hunger pangs at bay. Being high in protein, these amino acids slow the digestive system and keep you away from the cupboards for longer.

Containing double the protein and half the sugar as regular yoghurts, Greek yoghurt can be a great addition, easily combined with other foods as a healthy snack through the day. 

(Also read: Celebrity Skin Glowing Smoothie Recipes )

6. Avocados

Avocado is famous for its high-fat content, but don’t let that fool you, this is the good kind of fat! Monounsaturates found in avocados are considered as helpful fats that reduce cholesterol by increasing the high-density lipoproteins found in the blood, significantly reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and even help with other problems such as arthritis.

Toast

Avocados also increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, helping your body fully utilise any food put into it. But in relation to satiety, the high healthy-fat and fibre content slows the digestive system, increasing satisfaction and releasing energy relatively slowly. Whether in a sandwich or salad, made into guacamole or tossed into an omelette, there are many ways that avocados can be included in your diet to reduce hunger and control weight. 

Including these foods into your diet will be a great addition to your weight loss, helping you curb hunger and keep your body fully fueled and satisfied with its needed nutrients. Exploring different combinations and recipes for these foods that fill you up, is a great idea to keep your meals and snacks exciting but healthy. 

Check out the top healthiest cooking oils

7. Legumes

Legumes and pulses such as chickpeas, beans, lentils and peas are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are loaded with fiber. They are rich in complex carbohydrates, known as resistant starch and oligosaccharides, which slow the process of digestion. The protein and fibre have a combined effect, which delays the emptying of our stomach and keeps us sated for a longer period of time.

Lentils

They also have a low energy density, which means you can have satisfying portions of these foods and still keep your calorie intake for the day low. The National Institute of Nutrition recommends that you must have a cup of pulses for lunch and dinner as part of a balanced diet. Black bean soup, black bean dip, black bean burgers—eat ’em all. They contain the fibre-and-protein combo (about 15 grams of each per cup) that fills you up.

Here are creative ways to use Chickpea every day.

8. Get milk (or other low-fat dairy foods)

Increasing your intake of low-fat dairy foods is a great way to get more of two proteins that are thought to be appetite suppressors — whey and casein.

And drinking milk may be especially effective. A recent study found that whey — the liquid part of milk — was better at reducing appetite than casein.

(Also read: The best time to drink milk )

Milk benefits

Cottage cheese is low in fats and carbohydrates. Its high protein content keeps you full. Cottage cheese can easily be a part of your weight loss diet. Increasing your protein intake helps to preserve muscle while you lose the fat. Muscle tends to burn more calories than fat and this helps in regulating your metabolism.

So long as you can tolerate dairy, it’s a great source of protein. The key is to stay away from any kinds with added sugar, which could, in turn, cause a spike in your blood sugar levels and make you hungrier sooner.

9. Spices

Hot peppers not only add delicious flavour to our dishes but also provide an array of health benefits. Red pepper is known to have capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory effects, kills off cancer cells, prevents against risks of cardiovascular disease, boosts metabolism and increases energy expenditure.

Healthy spices

On the other hand, cinnamon is known to have blood sugar-lowering effects and keeps you full for a longer period. So layer your dishes with bell pepper or sprinkle it with cinnamon, for maximum benefits.

Related: Spices With Most Powerful Health Benefits You Should Be Eating

Mindful eating

The brain is a major player in deciding what and when a person eats. If a person pays attention to the food they are eating instead of watching TV during a meal, they may consume less.

Research published in the journal Appetite found that eating a huge meal in the dark led people to consume 36 per cent more. Paying attention to food during meals can help a person reduce overeating.

Here is an Guide to Eat Mindfully

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

11 Brain-Boosting Beverages to sip, That’ll Give You More Energy Than Coffee

It seems so natural to wake up and go for the coffee pot. Most of us grew up around it. We watched our parents drinking coffee in the morning. We saw it in movies and on sitcoms, people barely functioning before the first cup. Many of us spent hours of our teenage years in coffee shops with frou-frou froths and sticky syrups.

But, in the midst of growing up and taking responsibility for our actions, the negative effects of coffee quickly become apparent. In excess, the caffeine can really twist up our cardiovascular system, causing increased irregular heartbeats, anxiety and various other unwanted ailments.

So, what if there weren’t coffee at the ready?
How, then, could we wake up?

Here are 11 beverages that will help energize you in the morning.

1.Lemon Water

I find that if I’m feeling sluggish or foggy-headed in the afternoon, a big glass of lemon water reenergizes my mind and helps me power through the rest of the day.

You might have heard of drinking lemon water in the morning for better digestion and skin health. But you might not know that lemons contain high levels of potassium, which allows more oxygen to reach the brain and improve functioning.

Water—with lemon or not—has the additional benefit of being extremely hydrating, which keeps your brain and entire body running optimally. Mild dehydration produces alterations in a number of important aspects of cognitive function, such as concentration, alertness, and short-term memory.

Hydration

Also read Warning signs of dehydration to watch out for!

2.Beet Juice

Beets are rich in nitrates, which help with the dilation of blood vessels and subsequently increase blood flow to the brain, which may improve mental and cognitive function. This means the increased cognitive function in the present, and potentially reduced risk of dementia in the future. This effect may be multiplied when beet juice is combined with exercise, so consider drinking up 30 minutes before a workout. 

3.Decaf Green Tea

Green tea is another popular beverage that has been used for centuries as a cognitive enhancer. Green tea has long been linked to lowering cholesterol and also contains many antioxidants, such as catechin, that fight and possibly prevent cell damage from ageing. The bitter taste and sensation of drinking a cup of hot tea wake me up on cold mornings, without subjecting my body to the caffeine, creamer, or sugar of coffee.

Green tea has the same benefits from caffeine as coffee does, with the added bonus of the amino acid L-Theanine. On its own, L-Theanine can decrease anxiety and increase dopamine production. Combined with caffeine, it’s a powerful way to improve brain function and also mitigate some of the jitters you might get from other caffeinated beverages. 

4.Berry Smoothies

In addition to being delicious, berries, like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and acaí berries, can help with long-term brain health and age-related memory loss. Berries are rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damage, and can even change the way neurones in the brain communicate. An easy and healthy way to get your daily dose of berries is to blend up your favourites into a smoothie for breakfast or a snack and sip your way to better memory.  

Skin glowing drinks

Related: A Science-backed Fruity Smoothie That May Boost your Life Expectancy

5.Hot Chocolate

While the unsweetened cocoa powder is typically used for baking, it contains many heart-healthy antioxidants also found in berries and naturally energizes the brain by being a mild, natural stimulant. Additionally, cocoa powder contains some amino acids that function the same as animal protein does in helping build muscle in our bodies.

Hot Chocolate

Cacao is rich in flavanols, which can help preserve and improve cognitive functions from memory to attend to learning. Just make sure your hot chocolate uses dark chocolate with at least 70 per cent cocoa to reap the benefits.

Also read: What is The Best Time to have Milked for the Health Benefits

6.Probiotics

Probiotics are basically drinkable forms of yoghurt, and lucky for us, they come in many varieties that don’t have to cost a fortune. While the first and foremost boost digestive function, they also boost immunity to sickness and may help treat urinary tract infections to speed up recovery.

Think of it as drinking a selection of bacteria that are good for you and that will also provide energy and calcium for your body to function at its best in the mornings.

Kombucha

Here are Natural foods that can boost the health of your gut!

7.Chai

Chai is an exciting drink, both for its ability to jolt our senses awake and the fact that it tastes really good. Cinnamon heightens our awareness, and ginger ignites the digestive system, in turn revving up our metabolic forces. What that spells is one alert chai drinker.

Masala chai

8.Mint Tea

The scent of mint is enlivening and works wonders for activating our brains. It’s known to prevent fatigue and memory loss, amongst many other medicinal qualities. What’s more is that we can easily grow a load of our own mint right at home, so that morning pick-me-up will also brighten up the garden. And, yet again, mint helps out the stomach, so it’s for more than just fresh breath.

9.Dandelion Root Tea

Herbal tea

Oddly enough, the root of dandelions usually scoffed at as a weed, tastes really similar to coffee, which makes it perfect for those who really go in for the flavour of the coffee. Either dig some up in the yard and use the fresh roots (Why not?), or official bags of dandelion root tea are available at health food shops. Then, check out this dandelion latte.

10.Kombucha

Moving away from hot drinks for a second, most of us have heard of kombucha by now, and in addition to offering all those great probiotic benefits fermentation provides, kombucha is also great for waking up. It’s often made with black tea, for some caffeine, and as we know, it aids us with digestion, something that gets our motors running in the morning.

Kombucha

Here is a guide to making homemade Kombucha

11.Matcha Tea

Matcha green tea is considered the “champagne of green teas.”

It’s the tea used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

Matcha starts with the highest quality tea leaves which are dried and then ground into a fine powder. It has all the benefits of green tea, but even more so since you’re actually consuming the entire leaf.

Matcha tea is an antioxidant powerhouse and can contain up to 137 times more EGCG than regular green teas. 

Here are Calming Lattes that Help Your Body to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

What are the Best Foods to Eat While Intermittent Fasting

Get the most out of your fasting journey with the ultimate intermittent fasting food list, backed by science.

Throughout history, fasting has been utilized as an expression of political dissent, desire for spiritual reward, as well as a therapeutic tool.

But that brings the big question: Is there an ultimate intermittent fasting guide so you know what to eat while you’re on this practising?

Eating during intermittent fasting (IF) can be confusing. This is because IF is not a diet plan but an eating pattern. Keeping this in mind, we have created an intermittent fasting food list that will keep you healthy while you are on your fasting journey.

IF tells you about when to eat but does not mention what foods can be included in your diet. A lack of clear dietary guidelines can give a false impression that one can eat whatever they want. For others, this can cause problems with choosing the “right” foods and drinks.

Eating wrong foods during Intermittent Fasting can make you more likely to be undernourished or overnourished.

A Quick Overview of Intermittent Fasting and Its Types

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING

Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular eating pattern. It is divided into two phases: fasting phase and eating phase. During the fasting phase, you are not supposed to eat or drink anything except plain water. But during the eating phase, it is important to eat healthy and filling foods so that you don’t end up overeating.

Also read: What is the keto diet.

There are many ways to do intermittent fasting. For starters, here’s a breakdown of typical Intermittent fasting schedules:

• Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)—1 day ad libitum eating (normal eating) alternated with 1 day of complete fasting

• Modified Alternate Day Fasting (mADF)—1 day ad libitum feeding alternated with 1 day very low-calorie diet (about 25 per cent of normal caloric intake)

• 2/5—Complete fasting on 2 days of the week with 5 days ad libitum eating

• 1/6—Complete fasting on 1 day of the week with 6 days ad libitum eating

Time Restricting Feeding (TRF)

• 12-HOUR: avoid eating any calories for 12 hours, eat all your calories within the next 12 hours

• 16-HOUR: This is probably the extended version of the 12-hour fast. You are not allowed to eat for 16 hours a day and can eat normally in the 8-hour.

• 20-HOUR: “THE WARRIOR DIET, long fasting window of 20 hours and a short eating window of 4 hours.

Fasting intervals

IS INTERMITTENT FASTING SAFE AND HEALTHY?

Here are some of the cases (but might not be limited to) of Individuals with the following conditions should abstain from intermittent fasting:

• if you have a diabetes

• if you take medications for blood pressure or heart disease

• if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

• if you have a history of disordered eating that involve unhealthy self-restriction (anorexia or orthorexia Nervosa)

• if you don’t sleep well

• if you are under 18 years old

• Active growth stage, such as in adolescents

Also, Read The Truth About Stevia—And Is It Helpful For People With Diabetes

Best Foods to Eat on an Intermittent Fasting Diet

My recommendations wouldn’t be very different from foods that I might normally suggest for improved health—high-fibre, unprocessed, whole foods that offer variety and flavour.” In other words, eat plenty of the below foods and you won’t end up in a hangry rage while fasting.

The intermittent fasting food list should contain foods:

1. FOR PROTEIN

Protein is an essential nutrient to keep your body functioning well. Proteins are part of every cell in your body and are needed to build and repair muscle, tissue, skin, nails and hair. Protein also helps build hormones and enzymes.  Eating lean protein keeps you feeling full longer than consuming other foods and will help you maintain or build muscle.

Protein

The IF food list for protein include:

• Poultry and fish

• Eggs

• Seafood

• Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese

• Seeds and nuts

• Beans and legumes

• Soy

• Whole grains

Related: Is Soy Good or Bad for Your Health?

2. FOR CARBS

Carbohydrates are an essential part of life and are most definitely not the enemy when it comes to weight loss. Because a large chunk of your day will be spent fasting during this diet, it’s important to think strategically about ways to get adequate calories while not feeling overly full. Though a healthy diet minimizes processed foods, there can be a time and place for items like whole-grain bread, bagels, and crackers, as these foods are more quickly digested for fast and easy fuel. If you intend to exercise or train regularly while intermittent fasting, these will especially be a great source of energy on the go.

Complex carbohydrates

The IF food list for carbs include:

• Sweet potatoes

• Beetroots

• Quinoa

Oats

• Brown rice

• Bananas

• Mangoes

• Apples

• Berries

• Kidney beans

• Pears

• Avocado

• Carrots

• Broccoli

• Brussels sprouts

• Almonds

• Chickpeas

Also Read: Easy Chickpea Recipes – What to Make with a Can of Chickpeas

3. FOR FAT

Healthful high-fat foods are not something to shy away from. The body needs a certain amount of fat from the diet to aid hormone function, memory, and the absorption of specific nutrients.

Including healthful fats in a meal also creates a sense of fullness, slows down the digestion of Carbohydrates and adds flavor to food.

The most healthful fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

MCT OIL

Related: How to Optimize Your Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio

The IF food list for fats include:

• Avocados

• Nuts

• Cheese

• Whole eggs

• Dark chocolate

• Fatty fish

• Chia seeds

• Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

• Full-fat yogurt

Also Read: How to Eat Chia Seeds ( the right way)

4. FOR A HEALTHY GUT

For good gut health, experts suggest eating more foods that contain fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, or a combination of the three. Studies have found that foods with more dietary fiber tend to make people feel satisfied longer than foods with less dietary fiber. High-fiber foods also tend to be foods that require a lot of chewing. “That’s a good thing. “The more you chew, the more satiety, or stomach-filling satisfaction, you get.”

Related: The Advanced Guide to Keep Your Gut Healthy And Happy

Gut brain connection

The intermittent fasting food list for a healthy gut include:

• All vegetables

• Fermented vegetables

• Kefir

• Kimchi

• Kombucha

• Miso

• Sauerkraut

• Tempeh

How To Make Homemade Kombucha from Scratch

5. FOR HYDRATION

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy eating pattern while intermittent fasting is to promote hydration. As we go without fuel for 12 to 16 hours, our body’s preferred energy source is the sugar stored in the liver, also known as glycogen. As this energy is burned, so disappears a large volume of fluid and electrolytes. Drinking at least eight cups of water per day will prevent dehydration and also promote better blood flow, cognition, and muscle and joint support during your intermittent fasting regimen.

Related: Symptoms of Dehydration and Tips to Stay Hydrated

Hydration

The intermittent fasting food list for hydration include:

• Water

• Sparkling water

• Black coffee or tea

• Watermelon

• Strawberries

• Cantaloupe

• Peaches

• Oranges

• Skim milk

• Lettuce

• Cucumber

• Celery

• Tomatoes

• Plain yogurt

Here are some healthy Yogurt Recipes for Sweet & Savory Fans

What (Not) to Eat During Intermittent Fasting

Some foods to avoid during intermittent fasting:

• Fast Foods

• Processed Foods

• Sweets

• Simple Carbs

• Sugary Sodas

• Sweetened Fruit Juice

Intermittent fasting: the pros and cons

After investigating the health claims and research surrounding intermittent fasting, there appears to be both benefits and concerns with the diet.

Pros and cons of intermittent fasting Click the image to see the video

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

The 13 types of oil you really need to know about : Health Benefits, Best Uses and More

If you’re searching for the healthiest cooking oils, know this: Olive oil isn’t your only option. Yes, we all know and love olive oil, but here’s the thing: It may not be the best choice, depending on what you’re cooking.

What are Cooking Oils

Cooking oils are fats, fats are essential to overall health. Fat can also add incredible flavor, help the absorption of nutrients and are used to create a heat-conducting lubricant (think, sautéeing vegetables) so that food can be heated and cooked without sticking to your pan.

Which cooking oil is right for you?

That depends largely on the type of cooking you’re doing.

Every oil has a “smoke point”, which is the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke continuously–no need to worry if you see a little bit of smoke, but if it is continuous while cooking your oil has probably reached this point. If the oil has reached its smoke point, it has been heated to the point where the minerals in the oil have started to break down and oxidize, creating potentially harmful free radicals that you don’t want to be consuming. At this point, oils will also produce acrolein, the chemical that gives burnt food a bitter, unpleasant flavor and smell.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is – that oil behaves differently when heated, it changes texture, colour, taste as well as it’s nutritional properties.

Different oils have varying amounts of fats – Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated and Saturated fats.

There are two main types of oils: refined (or processed) and unrefined (typically cold-pressed).

Refined oils are heated during production and often processed with chemicals, which increases their shelf lives and their smoke points but also eliminates many of the healthful vitamins and nutrients.

Unrefined oils are not processed and are typically bottled immediately after pressing. Technically, any oil can not be heated past 120°F to be considered truly cold-pressed. Unrefined oils have strong, robust flavors and are higher in nutrients and minerals, but they also have a lower average smoke point and a shorter shelf life than their refined counterparts.

In a nutshell, refined oils have a higher smoke point and are better for cooking, while unrefined or cold-pressed oils are more nutrient-dense but break down at a lower temperature.

Which cooking oil is best to use, and why?

Below I’ve shared a breakdown of some of the oils that I use, their health benefits, and what dishes and recipes they fit in with best!

No. 1: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Let’s start with olive oil since it is one of the most popular and widely used oils. Extra virgin olive oil is unrefined, cold-pressed olive oil. It is high in Vitamin E and antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and improves the HDL: LDL ratio of cholesterol to keep a healthy heart. It also has amazing flavors, which is why it is so prevalent in the cooking community. Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 325-375°F, so it is much better used for salad dressings, dips, and low-temperature recipes. If you choose to use this oil, keep an eye on the stovetop and keep the temperatures as low as possible.

Best for: Sautéing and drizzling

Not recommended for Frying or roasting above 375 degrees F

Here are some healthy dips recipes!

No. 2: “Pure” or “Light” Olive Oil

I think it’s pretty confusing to market a processed version of something pure. However, “pure”,” light”, or any other description of olive oil that isn’t “extra virgin” is refined and processed to neutralize the flavor, increase the shelf life, and bring up that smoke point to about 465°F. This process also strips the product of its antioxidants, vitamins, and other benefits from using the cold-pressed version. This type of olive oil won’t break down as quickly as extra virgin olive oil when heated, so it’s best for high-temperature cooking.

I find olive oil brilliant for any Mediterranean dish, brilliant with risottos, and it’s my top pick for breakfasts, works like a dream with eggs, pancakes, you name it.

Best for Frying

Not recommended for Salad dressings

No. 3: Coconut Oil

A popular topic these days is coconut oil. Coconut oil is the edible oil extracted or pressed from the mature coconut meat. By some measures, it’s about as healthy as butter, the reason is this oil will be solid at room temperature and melts around 76 degrees F, with a smoke point of 350°F. Coconut oil, unlike most other saturated fats, raises both your “good” and “bad” cholesterol, and since it’s the ratio of those that matter most to heart health, it gives the oil an edge over butter or lard.

Coconut oil is amazing for baking and has an incredibly sweet, tropical flavor. That creamy, fatty quality makes coconut oil a great vegan butter alternative. If you do want to use it for other methods like sautéing or roasting, know that it has a relatively low smoke point.

BONUS: use it in your beauty routine. I don’t mean to burst any bubbles, but coconut oil isn’t quite the miracle cream it’s advertised as. Well, actually, as a cream, it is kind of a miracle worker there are so many ways to use it for beauty.

Best for Baking

Not recommended for: Frying

Check out the food for glowing skin.

No. 4: Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a great choice. This cold-pressed oil is incredibly versatile, unrefined like extra virgin olive oil, with a smoke point of 375-400°F and a neutral flavor that carries other, stronger flavors very well and is great for stir-frys.

It doesn’t have much flavor, which makes it a good option for cooking. It’s just creamy, like an avocado. Avocado oil contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (it has one of the highest monounsaturated fat contents among cooking oils) as well as vitamin E. One downside is that it tends to be more expensive, but it is a great healthy option from time to time!

It glides on very well in a dressing, in mayonnaise, vinaigrette and I find it adds tremendous panache to a simple grilled fish.

Best for Frying

Not recommended for Budget cooking

No. 5: Flax Oil

Flaxseed oil has a very low smoke point and breaks down easily with heat, which means it also shouldn’t be used for cooking. However, this oil is an amazing vegan source of omega-3s with a great nutty flavor, so for this reason, she says you’ll want to use it in salad dressings and drizzle it over dips like hummus or in smoothies for an omega-3 boost!

Buy small bottles so you can use it up quickly, and be extra sure to store it a low-temperature location, like in the refrigerator or dark place.

Best for Drizzling and salad dressings

Not recommended for: Cooking

Related: Nutrition Facts about chia seeds.

No. 6: Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil (pressed from sunflower seeds) is high in Vitamin E and is a mixture of monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids. It has a high smoke point (440°F), as well as a pleasant, light flavor making it a great oil candidate for lots of recipes!

However, sunflower oil contains a lot of omega-6 fatty acids. The body needs them, but omega-6s are thought to be pro-inflammatory, while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. Consuming too many omega-6s without balancing with omega 3s, could lead to excess inflammation in the body, so moderation is key.

People with diabetes may need to be careful about sunflower oil as it may lead to the possibility of increasing sugar levels. This oil is widely used in deep-frying chips, samosas and vegetables.

Best for Frying and sautéing

Not recommended for Salad dressings

Related : Why You Should Focus on Improving Omegas Ratio

No. 7: Sesame Oil

This oil is often used for its potent flavour; a little goes a long way. Sesame oil also contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and vitamin B6. Sesame oil comes in two colors. The lighter one is used in India and the Middle East and is pressed from untoasted seeds. It has a mild flavour and a high smoking point. The darker variety has a distinct nutty aroma, an incredibly strong flavour, taste and works very well in Asian food as a marinade or in stir-fries.

Cold-pressed sesame oil has a high smoke point, so it’s great for frying up some flavorful veggies on the stovetop! Both types of oils are high in polyunsaturated fat but they should never be heated for too long.

Best for Sautéing

Not recommended for: Foods that shouldn’t taste like sesame

No. 8: Groundnut Oil

Nut oils, like peanut, can be fun to experiment within the kitchen, especially since there are so many different types. Groundnut oil or peanut oil is got a good combination of fats, and has good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and is low in bad saturated fats. It’s good all-purpose oil, usually flavorful with a nutty taste and smell, cooks well at high heat and I think it works particularly well for Asian foods like tempura that are prepared in the wok.

Best for Frying and sautéing

Not recommended for: Foods that shouldn’t taste like peanut

No. 9: Mustard Oil

It has a high smoking point. Has a near-ideal fat composition but not very good as it contains high amounts of erucic acid ranging from 35 to 48%. It is recommended that you don’t use mustard oil as the sole cooking medium.

Best for deep-frying

Not recommended for healthy cooking

No. 10: Canola Oil

A recent entrant into the Indian market, canola is flying off the shelves. Canola oil, which is made from the crushed seeds of the canola plant, is said to be amongst the healthiest of cooking oils. Canola oil is derived from rapeseed, a flowering plant, and contains a good amount of monounsaturated fats with a decent amount of polyunsaturated fats and is high in Omega 3. “Cold-pressed” or unprocessed canola oil is available, but it can be difficult to find.

It has a high smoke point, which means it can be helpful for high-heat cooking and is an oil that works well for fries, baking, sautéing etc. I use it liberally in Indian food, which seems to embrace quite well.

Best for Frying, roasting, and baking

Not recommended for: drizzling and salad dressings

No. 11: Rice Bran Oil

A fairly new kid on the block and a fast-rising favourite amongst the manufacturers, rice bran oil is made from the outer layer (bran) of the grain of rice. Health experts claim that it’s the healthiest oil on the planet. While I cannot vouch for that, I do know that while trying it out on my food show series, called Guilt-Free, the taste did not clash with Indian food and it worked pretty well in cookies and cakes.

Apparently, rice bran oil has a chemical called oryzanol which is good for your cholesterol. It is high in monounsaturated fats and has a fair amount of polyunsaturated fats too, both the good type of fats and has a high smoking point.

Best for deep-frying

Not recommended for Salad dressings

No. 12: Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is pressed from grape seeds left over from winemaking. It is believed to have very little saturated fat, is filled with good fat, has a very mild taste. It is considered good for cooking and frying, but am afraid I have had little experience with it.

No. 13: Vegetable Oil

The term “vegetable oil” is used to refer to any oil that comes from plant sources, and the healthfulness of a vegetable oil depends on its source and what it’s used for. Most vegetable oils on the market are a blend of canola, corn, soybean, safflower, palm and sunflower oils. It’s chemically processed, has a high smoke point (400 to 450 degrees F), and its neutral flavor.

Again, these characteristics make it good for roasting, frying, and baking. it’s not the healthiest oil ever since the chemical processing depletes the natural mineral content—and that’s why it has that high smoke point.

Vegetable oils are refined and processed, which means they not only lack flavor but also nutrients. Vegetable oil is guaranteed to be highly processed. It’s called ‘vegetable’ so that the manufacturers can substitute whatever commodity oil they want—soy, corn, cottonseed, canola—without having to print a new label. Processed oils have been pushed past their heat tolerance and have become rancid in the processing. Some of these oils, especially palm, are associated with more degradation of land for production.

Best for Frying, roasting, and baking

Not recommended for: Sautéing and salad dressings

As far as the mixing of oils goes, I seem to be following the cooking orders. What works is olive for breakfast, kinds of pasta and salads, sunflower for deep frying, sesame for Asian, and I alternate between Rice bran and Canola for Indian.

Take your pick!

Which oils do you use for cooking? What questions do you have about these ingredients? Share them and ask in the comments below!

13 Creative Ways to Use Chickpeas (That Aren’t just Hummus)

Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans, Ceci, and Bengal gram) are loved around the globe. Canned or dried, they’ve got a prime spot in our pantry.

What are chickpeas?

Chickpeas are legumes that are a part of the plant family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It’s high in protein, fibre and is super nutritious. It’s also known as garbanzo beans!

So if you’ve ever wondered “what’s the difference between chickpeas and garbanzo beans”, they are the same thing!

P.S. if you’ve ever heard the word “pulse” being used to refer to chickpeas, that’s the name for a dried seed of a legume. 

One of the greatest things about chickpeas is that it is incredibly versatile. Thanks to its creamy texture after it is cooked, it can pretty much take on any shape that you want it to. The same goes for its flavour – chickpeas have a distinct yet semi-neutral flavour, perfect for anything from a vegan tuna sandwich to chickpea blondies.

One last thing – the great debate – canned vs. dried chickpeas. We always have canned chickpeas on hand because they are very easy to use. That being said, dried chickpeas are much cheaper, and not very difficult to boil. Just ensure that you are buying the right kind, and watch a few YouTube videos about how to cook chickpeas first! Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy chickpeas!

Canned chickpeas are already cooked and ready to eat! You’ll just need to drain them and rinse before you use them for your recipe. 

Wondering what to do with that can of chickpeas in your pantry?

Here are Easy Ways To Use A Can of Chickpeas that are all different, unique, and delicious! From dips to whole meals, everything you need is here!

1. Stuff them into sandwiches

This is one of my favourite sandwiches! It’s perfect if you also need to use up an avocado, too! This Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich is quick and easy to make and once you squeeze some lime into it, you can prep the filling ahead of time, then into the sandwich when you’re ready!

2. Toss them with pasta

Chickpeas add texture, flavour, and heft to any pasta dish. Here is an amazing Brothy Pasta with Chickpeas.

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/brothy-pasta-with-chickpeas

3. Whirl them into hummus

There’s no need to buy hummus when it’s so simple to make at home. Simply combine chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, tahini and garlic in a blender. Mix to form a creamy texture, adding water along the way if the mixture is too dry. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil to serve. A tasty dip with carrot and celery sticks or as a moreish starter with strips of pitta bread.

4. Roast them

Crispy chickpeas are the ultimate pre-dinner snack and they couldn’t be easier. This has got to be one of my favourite snacks, ever! This is actually a popular Trinidadian snack too with spicy spices on it. Making Crispy Roasted Chickpeas will change the way you see this little legume. It’s addictive, perfect for snacking and adds protein and fibre to your day! Plus, they stay crispy for a couple of days in an airtight container!

5. Add them to curry

Chickpeas get extra tender when simmered in a spicy vegetarian curry. The chickpeas are everything in this delicious tomato-based curry sauce. You’re bound to remake this if you try it, and it freezes beautifully for meal prep!

6. Straightforward channa masala

It’s fun to make curry with a friend, right? Measure out spices and chop an onion, garlic, and chile as you chat away.

Plus, the process of Indian cooking — the stages of adding seeds, aromatics spices, tomatoes — will fill your house with irresistible aromas. The richly seasoned sauce and chickpeas call out for cooked rice

Indian cooking is definitely something which takes some skill, but this recipe is fairly easy even for beginners. This beats the takeaway hands down and is packed with spices, onions and garlic for immune-boosting goodness.

Easy Chana Masala

https://tasty.co/recipe/easy-chickpea-curry-channa-masala

7. Mix them with sautéed greens

The fastest way to bulk up a big pan of sautéed greens—top the combination with a fried egg to make it a meal. Another healthy way is tossing Sautéed chickpeas with garlic, diced tomatoes, organic spinach, lemon and vegetable broth make a satisfying vegetarian side dish or hearty lunch. 

8. Chickpea Falafel salad

We love falafel, but this recipe takes the humble chickpea fritter to a whole new level! It has all the ingredients you’d find in your average falafel, deconstructed. Olive oil, lemon juice, nutty tahini, chickpeas, tomatoes and cucumber; it’s ideal for a light lunch or a light evening meal.

Falafel (Traditional Method)

https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/falafel-recipe-chickpea-falafel-recipe/

9. Toss them into a salad

Make a double batch and you’ve got lunch for the week. If you’ve never had chickpeas in your salad, it’s time to try them. They add such a great texture, protein, fibre and nutrition. Plus they taste literally any combination of veggies from a plate to veggies, to a full meal. 

10. Stir them into soup

It’s the easiest and fastest way to turn soup into a meal. Moroccan chickpea soup is simple, easy to make soup is great for lunch when working from home or as a quick dinner after a gym session. With tomatoes, celery, onions, chickpeas and broad beans, it’s super-healthy and tastes amazing served with flatbread.

11. Make a wrap

Could this BBQ Chickpea Wrap be more beautiful? Paired with my oil-free Ranch Dressing, it’s a dream lunch or dinner. The chickpeas are baked down in barbecue sauce, which adds that beautiful char to them and a depth of flavour.

12. Use them as a taco filling

Before I made these BBQ Chickpea Tacos, I wondered how it took me so long to think of this idea! Chickpeas make a great taco filling (again, taking on any flavour you give it), and clearly I love barbecue flavoured things! Combined with pickled onions and a kale cabbage slaw, these tacos are quick and quite the treat!

13. Homemade Aquafaba

The liquid that you find in a can of chickpeas is precious stuff: Its viscosity makes it a fabulous substitute for eggs in all sorts of recipes. We love using it in baked goods and whipped toppings.

Here are Amazing Foods You Can Make With Aquafaba

https://tasty.co/article/whitneyjefferson/aquafaba-the-magic-bean-liquid

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

Beat the flu! Foods & Habits You Need to Follow for a Safe Monsoon

Monsoon in India is always much awaited as they provide relief from the hot Indian summers. However, monsoons have their own drawbacks, especially as far as food is concerned. The damp and wet weather leads to the rise of germs and diseases like indigestion, conjunctivitis, typhoid and dengue to name some.

“Monsoon is the time for germs and bacteria to thrive in unhygienic conditions. During the rains, there is a high amount of humidity in the atmosphere due to which our digestive system gets sluggish.”

Hence, during this season, it’s important to keep one’s health strong by observing certain food habits while avoiding some at the same time.

Instead of thinking just about what to exclude completely from your diet during monsoon, you should concentrate on healthy practices that ensure good health and safety.

Here are 8 common dietary mistakes people usually make during monsoons, but shouldn’t.

1.Sip Up Monsoon Drink

Honey and ginger are the perfect cure for a sore throat. Grate half a ginger, add a spoonful of honey for the perfect natural remedy. A great substitute for sugar, raw honey is a natural sweetener that is free from fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Also boiling water is a must-have during monsoons, which helps to kill harmful bacteria and germs in the water.

2.Munch on Nuts

Munching on dates, almonds, and walnuts is a good idea, no matter what the season. However, as these nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, these are great options to add to your monsoon diet. Rich in riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E, these food items help to strengthen your immunity. Also, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which helps in keeping your cells healthy. 

3.Spice Up Your Food

Include immunity-boosting spices in your food like turmeric, mustard, asafoetida (hing), coriander, turmeric, cloves, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and curry leaves. These help in digestion and have anti-bacterial properties. Foods having low or medium salt content should be consumed as foods having a high salt content can lead to water retention and high blood pressure.

Also read: Spices With Most Powerful Health Benefits

4.Stock up on Antioxidant-Rich Food

Foods rich in antioxidants such as bitter gourd, seasonal berries, neem and pumpkin should be consumed to stay healthy, prevent infections and boost your immunity. Have lots of green tea to up your antioxidant stock. Add cocoa, cranberry juice, lemon juice, spinach, apple, prunes, peppers, red grapes, dark cherries and berries, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, sprouts and citrus fruits.

Fruits and green leafy vegetables are essential to have during monsoons that help to restore energy.

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

5.Have More Easy-To-Digest Food

In this humid weather, the body’s digestion capacity reduces. Hence, fried food should be avoided as it can lead to indigestion and unrest in the stomach. Steamed, boiled or grilled foods are the best for this weather. Raw foods should also be avoided, especially cut fruits and vegetables and juices from roadside stalls and carts as there is a high risk of water contamination which in turn can lead to water-borne diseases. Lighter preparations like stews and soups should be consumed.

Check out Dairy-free Pumpkin Soup recipe

6.Stay hydrated

It is extremely important to drink lots of water during the monsoons so that your system is clean. You can alternate tea and coffee with herbal drinks like jasmine tea, chamomile tea or green tea. It keeps you healthy and builds up your resistance to fight against infections. Avoid drinking too much coffee during the monsoons, as it tends to dehydrate the fluids in your body. Anti-bacterial herbal teas like honey, mint, ginger and pepper are a must-have, as they’re good antioxidants as well, and can help to boost immunity.

Also, check out the symptoms of Dehydration.

7.Take Care of Your Gut

Probiotics help keep the gut healthy and help boost immunity immensely. In fact, the health of our immune system depends immensely on the state of our gastro-intestinal system, so steeling up the gut is a good idea. Daily probiotics can help restore the natural state of health — that a diet of excess sugar, meat, processed foods and prescription drugs may have destroyed — and keep seasonal viruses away. Have fermented foods, probiotic milk, ice creams, homemade Dahi, kombucha, miso soup, buttermilk, idli, dosa, appam, dhokla, uttapam, kanji,  homemade pickles and chutneys.

Also, read Natural foods that can boost the health of your gut!

8.Indian masala chai

When the perfect olio of spices, like ginger, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, tulsi leaves, and dried black pepper, goes into the boiling water with the right proportion of tea leaves and milk, a natural immunity-boosting brew goes in the making.  

Cardamom and cloves are effective against many infections, and peppercorns prevent and soothe symptoms like cold and flu. Cinnamon is a bank of medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties too. So, even if you are not a tea drinker, consider masala tea as a medical concoction and steer the side effects of monsoon away.

Holistic Food Remedies For Monsoon Flu:

Cold & Cough: Boil water with dry ginger for immediate relief

Sore Throat: Gargle with lukewarm saline water

Viral Fever: Boil tulsi, ginger and honey and drink the juice

Skin Infection: Boil neem leaves in water and takes a bath with it

List of foods recommended to eat during monsoons:

• Grains — Red rice, Sathi Rice, Wheat, Jowari ( Great millet).

• Vegetables: Bottle Gourd ( Dudhi), Snake Gourd ( Padwal), Okra ( Bhindi) Dodka, Ghosali

• Legumes: Split pigeon pea, Green Gram, Koolith, Black Gram

• Tubers: Garlic, Onion, Ginger, Suran

• Fruits: Dates, Grapes, Coconut, Mulberry.

• Milk and milk products Cow milk, Buttermilk, Ghee

• Other Things Rock salt, Coriander, Cumin, jaggery, Mint, Asafoetida, ( Hing), Black pepper, Piper Longum, ( Pippali)

• Boiled warm water

List of foods that are not palatable with your digestive system during monsoon:

• Grains: raagi, Bajari ( Pearl millet), Maize, Barley.

• Vegetables: Spinach, Bitter Gourd ( Karela), Chavlai, Cabbage, Dry Vegetables.

• Legumes: Matki, Vaal, Vatana (Peas), Lentil ( Masur), Gram ( Chana)

• Tubers: Potato, Shingada, Sabudana, kamalkanda, Arum, Carrot.

• Fruits: Black Plum ( Jambul), Jackfruit, Cucumber, watermelon, Muskmelon.

• Buffalo Milk, Paneer.

• Other things Sweets, Fried Food, Shrikhand

• Coldwater

Always remember, your nutrition and immunity depends on the food you eat.

Therefore, you should be conscious of what you are feeding in. In this tough time of the pandemic, when keeping your immunity uptight is highly crucial, do have a focus on your diet and safety as well.

Related: Foods To Eat That Fight the Common Cold And Foods To Avoid

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar