9 Tips to Fast Safely and Maintain Immunity During the Global Pandemic HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.
The holy month of Ramadan is here, where Muslims around the globe observe fasts to celebrate the month-long festival. Generally, Ramadan involves social and religious gatherings. Muslims along with their friends and families get together to pray, as well as, to break their fasts. However, amidst the global pandemic, Ramadan has taken on a new meaning where social gatherings have been banned, everyone has been confined to their homes, and maintaining a healthy immune system has become paramount in keeping oneself healthy while fasting.
Since, our immune system is responsible for warding off viruses and germs and protecting us against diseases, it is important to take measures and ensure that our immune system remains strong. According to recent studies, although the amount of necessary nutrition intake does not change, fasting Muslims need to ensure that the necessary nutrients are included in their Suhoor and Iftaar. Moreover, as fasting lasts for a long period, people tend to prefer sweet foods and drinks which reduces the opportunity in fulfilling the nutritional intake needed by the immune system. Therefore, one must follow a healthy and balanced diet that is packed with enough vitamins and minerals for they tend to remain in the body for a long period.
In addition, here are a few tips that will help you maintain a healthy immune system while fasting during Ramadan.
1. Drink enough water
Maintaining fluid levels during the season of Ramadan is very important mainly due to the long hours of fasting and high temperatures. Water helps maintain the balance of electrolytes in the body and it is necessary for the absorption of many nutrients. Therefore, drinking at least two cups of water during Suhoor and spreading out two liters of water between Iftaar and Suhoor is important. This way you not only keep your body hydrated and prepared for the rest of the day but you also naturally eliminate toxins and other bacteria that may cause infections.
2. Get adequate sleep
In general people sleep during the night for six-eight hours, however, this is not possible during Ramadan. Trying to make up for the lost sleep is key to maintaining health and wellbeing during this period. Therefore, try going to bed at 11 p.m post Iftaar and then wake up at 3.30 a.m for Suhoor and Fajr, and then one can return to sleep at 6 a.m for two hours. This routine may require you to sacrifice or reduce spending time with family or going about other activities, but your body will surely thank you for ensuring enough sleep. Following such routines not only strengthens your immune system but also makes Ramadan fasting a healthy and enjoyable experience.
3. Consume more vegetables, fruits, and protein
During fasting, one is more prone to a slowed metabolism as well as muscle tissue breakdown. To prevent this, eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods during the early morning time and evening is cardinal. Consuming more vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, lentils, and protein-rich foods not only keeps you full for longer but also ensures your blood sugar levels are intact. Moreover, Choosing healthy foods over processed, and packaged foods help in keeping cells active and healthy, thereby providing the body with enough nutrients required to fight infections and build immunity.
4. Add enough fiber to your diet in the morning and avoid carbs and fatty foods at night
Consuming high fiber and whole-grain foods are recommended during Suhoor as it promotes better satiety, improved lipid levels, and bowel function. Therefore, vitamin B, A, C, E, and D fruits and vegetables should be added to your diet. However, it has been advised by several nutritionists to avoid carbs and fatty foods (fried or processed) during Iftaar. This is because they not only contribute to weight gain but also cause acidity and indigestion. Nevertheless, our body still requires fats for hormone production, maintenance of cell membrane health and absorption of vitamins. So, the key is to add healthy fats and carbs such as eggs, avocado, flaxseed, nuts, and meat to your diet. This way you stay healthy, keep your immune system top-notch, and are prepared for Ramadan fasting.
5. Have plenty of fermented foods
Fermented foods such as yogurt, tempeh, and kefir destroy “;bad”; bacteria and reinforce “;good”; ones. These acidic byproducts protect the intestines against “;harmful”; bacteria and other invasive microorganisms. Apart from protecting us, these foods also improve digestibility and nutrient absorption. “;Good”; bacteria also activate the synthesis of certain vitamins in the digestive tract, creating an internal nutrient factory. Most importantly, fermented foods boost the immune system and prevent us from diarrhea, infections (salmonella), and other digestive disorders that lead to intestinal and respiratory disorders, and allergies. So, this Ramadan, do not shy away from adding these foods in your diet for they are significant in ensuring your overall well being.
It can be hard to maintain a normal workout during Ramadan, due to interrupted sleep and lack of liquids in the body. However, in order to remain healthy and keep your immune system functioning properly, finding the time to exercise will bring about many benefits. Exercising during this period will help keep your energy levels high, your mind stress-free, and metabolism steady. One can focus on exercise formats from strength training to cardio or just enhancing one”;s flexibility. However, one must make sure the intensity of these exercises is not high as it may lead to you compromising your health. Simple exercises such as taking small walks, climbing stairs, doing stretches will suffice largely during this period.
The best time to exercise would be either 90 minutes before sunset or after your evening meal. This way you are all set to get the workout in and get the replenishment you need after.
7. Rid your body of toxins
Adding greens such as dill, parsley, and mint can be consumed especially during Sahoor, as they both refresh the breath and purify the body. These greens can be added to your salads or yogurt finely chopped. These herbs are also high in antioxidants and can strengthen immunity and rid your body of toxins. Apart from greens, having herbal teas or black tea with lemon would also be good for your body. However, if you are not a fan of tea or greens, you can always make soup with lentils, chickpeas, oats, or chicken.
8. Stay away from caffeinated drinks
Coffee and some other carbonated drinks have a good amount of caffeine in them which when had lead to restlessness and insomnia. Besides, these drinks don”;t hydrate and keep you longing for water the whole day. So staying away from these drinks and opting for plain water or coconut water are the best alternatives during fasting.
9. Avoid overeating
In general, people are of the idea that they have to dump in loads of food during their eating window to sustain for a long time. However, this is not the case as hoarding food during late evening not only disrupts your sleep but also brings about other problems such as indigestion and other gastric issues. Therefore, during Ramadan, eating normal meal sizes will help you feel more at ease, get better sleep, and even lose weight during the fasting period. If you are looking for meal replacements, you can always add a protein shake 1-2 hours before you sleep. This way your hunger levels are in tune and satiety levels in place.
As this will be our first Ramadan during a pandemic, it is important to have faith, pray, share, and most importantly care. It is also imperative that we pay attention to what our body needs and do what”;s best for it. Apart from the tips that are mentioned above with regards to nutrition and immunity, we must also make sure to stick to the things that we do know: frequent hand washing, hygiene, social distancing, and self-isolation.
Happy Ramadan and Eid Mubarak in advance!
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9 Essential Vitamins and Minerals Needed by Every Man to Stay Healthy HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.
Our bodies started evolving about 2.5 billion years ago. However, even today, gender plays an important role in deciding our basic nutritional requirements. Studies have shown that since men engage in more physical activities than women, they have a relatively higher metabolic rate. This means in order to stay healthy, their bodies demand more macro as well as micronutrients. While carbohydrates, fat, and protein make up for the “;macronutrients”;, vitamins and minerals together come under “;micronutrients”;. Since these are required in very small quantities, they may sometimes be overlooked.
So, we decided to put together a list of minerals and vitamins that should be on every man”;s list to stay healthy. Read on to know their major sources and the impact it can have on your overall health:
Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Men’s Health
#1 Vitamin A
Vitamin A belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins. It is primarily responsible for the growth and development of cells, vision, immunity, and even reproduction. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant and potent hormone which can greatly affect the function of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin A for adult men is 900 micrograms (mcg)
Sources: The predominant source of Vitamin A is liver and fish oils. Other sources rich in vitamin A are:
Milk and eggs.Green leafy veggies.Orangish yellow-coloured food items like lemons, carrots, etc.Some vegetable oils.
Better eyesight: Vitamin A plays a critical role in relaying visual information from our eyes to our brain. Deficiency of vitamin A may lead to many visual disturbances. This is probably the reason why the first symptom of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness or difficulty to see in the dark. Lowers risk of cancer: It is observed that adequate intake of vitamin A from natural sources like fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of lung cancer. Studies in Japan have also reported that vitamin A may even prevent colon cancer.
#2 Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that increases the production of red blood cells in our body. It supports the building of DNA structure and ensures the proper functioning of our nervous system. Also balances the stress hormones and helps to reduce symptoms of depression
Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 for adult men is 2.4 micrograms(mcg)
Sources: The main source of vitamin B12 are animal products like meat and fish (e.g. salmon and cod). Secondary sources include:
Dairy foods like milk, curd, cheese, etcEggs
Since Vitamin B12 is not found naturally in plants and grains, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may want to consider taking a B vitamin supplement.
Nourishes the neurons: Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with memory loss, especially in older men. A study concluded that early-stage dementia can be slowed down by the use of a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements.Improved sperm count: Vitamin B12 is responsible for the production and development of sperm. It is a common observation that low levels of B12 can severely affect sperm count. Studies have also proved that there is a link between plasma concentration of vitamin B12 and infertility in men.
#3 Vitamin C
Vitamin C, or chemically known as ascorbic acid, is critical for the wear and tear of all body tissues. It is involved in multiple functions like absorption of iron, wound healing, and maintaining cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adult men is 90 micrograms(mcg). As it is water-soluble in nature, deficiency of vitamin C may occur, causing scurvy or bleeding gums.
Sources: The main source of Vitamin C are green veggies like broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower. Some other sources are:
Green and red peppers.Fruits like kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries. Food staples like potatoes and tomatoes.
Manages high blood pressure: The force exerted by the blood on the walls of vessels is known as blood pressure. Vitamin C removes excess fluid from our body, thereby reducing the volume of blood and overall pressure. Prevention of gout: A gout is a form of arthritis where uric acid gets deposited in the joints. A study conducted with 1,387 men found that those who consumed vitamin C had significantly lower blood levels of uric acid thereby lower chances of gout. Support system for Immunity: Vitamin C plays a significant role in building up immunity. It helps to stimulate both the production and function of white blood cells, thereby, helping the body fight infections.
#4 Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. It is also important for strong bone, teeth, and muscle health.
Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 10-;20 micrograms (mcg). Although the deficiency is rare in India due to ample sunshine, deficiency of vitamin D can cause soft or fragile bones.
Sources: Vitamin D is produced by our skin from sunlight but can also be found in some foods.
Vitamin D can also be commonly found in
Oily fish (like Salmon, Sardines, Tuna)Red meat.Egg yolks.Soya products.
Decreases incidence of stroke: Strokes are one of the leading causes of death in men. Since blood pressure is controlled by the action of vitamin D, the chances of a stroke are also greatly reduced. Moreover, vitamin D also helps in weight loss further decreasing the risk of heart diseases.Improved testosterone levels: Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for primary and secondary reproductive traits. It controls everything from the coarseness of voice, facial hair growth, and even sex drive. Vitamin D helps in the regulation of testosterone levels in the blood.
#5 Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that carries out a complete synthesis of proteins required for blood coagulation.
Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of vitamin K for adult men is 138 micrograms(mcg) and for adult women is 122 mcg.
Sources: The main source of vitamin K are green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, etc. It is also found in secondary sources like:
Plant-based oils.Nuts and seeds.Meat. Dairy products. Soya beans.
Wound healing: Vitamin K is involved in the production of prothrombin, a protein that is responsible for the clotting of blood and wound healing. Reduces blood pressure: Men are more likely to develop blood pressure and heart-related concerns. Vitamin K regulates the blood pressure and ensures that the heart is pumping blood freely throughout the body.
About 96% of the weight of the human body is composed of these four minerals – oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. However, there are small traces of other important minerals found in the body. Some of those are:
Whenever you add salt to your food, you are in fact, adding sodium. The majority of Indians meet their sodium needs as part of their daily diet. However, excess intake of sodium may lead to high blood pressure.
Daily requirement: The maximum recommended daily intake of sodium for adults by WHO is 5 g per day. However, it is noted that sodium intake in India is about 11 g per day.
Calcium is an essential mineral to help build stronger bones, healthier teeth, and reduce muscle damage.
Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of calcium for young adults is 1,000 milligrams (mg). In the case of men over 70 years of age, it is increased to 1,200 mg.
Sources: The main source of calcium is dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. It is also found in:
Leafy veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage, okra.Tofu SoybeanOats.
Iron supports the transportation of oxygen-rich blood from our lungs to the rest of our body. It helps in the formation of hemoglobin, which serves as an oxygen-carrier throughout the body.
Daily requirement: Since men do not menstruate, it is a common misconception that their body demands for iron are lower than women. In fact, the recommended daily intake of iron for adult males is 19.3-;20.5 mg while for females, it is 17.0-;18.9 mg.
Sources: Iron is found in huge quantities in animal products, especially red meat like beef. There are also secondary sources like:
Tuna and salmon Eggs.Beans.Baked potato.Whole grains like wheat or oats.
Potassium regulates fluid balance, improves muscle contractions, and makes sure the nervous system is working properly. A potassium-rich diet reduces the chances of getting a stroke and also prevents kidney stones.
Daily requirement: The recommended daily intake of potassium for adults is 4,700 milligrams (mg).
Sources: Bananas are a popular and inexpensive source of potassium. Other sources include:
Daily staples like tomatoes and potatoes.Green veggies like spinach and broccoli.Sour fruits, like oranges, lemons.Beans and lentils.
Irrespective of their age, men have always seemed to function differently both physically and mentally. So, it is not a coincidence that the requirements that are needed for men are quite different from the requirements of women. Hence, it is important that every man out there makes sure to take these vitamins or minerals in the above-mentioned ways to lead a healthy and holistic life.
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Triphala: 8 Health Benefits; Nutritional Facts, and Recipes HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.
Triphala, which directly translates to ‘three kinds of fruits’ in Sanskrit, is a herbal medicine that has continued to be an important part of the Ayurvedic tradition of healing in India. Triphala is made by combining three Indian superfruits – Amalaki, Bibhitaka and Haritaki. These three traditional fruits have powerful medicinal value owing to their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidising properties.
Since ages, Ayurveda has made use of the healing abilities of various plants. When these plants and herbs are combined, they become potent concoctions that can help you heal from a variety of diseases and conditions. Triphala is, therefore, an important and powerful Ayurvedic medicine and has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It is suitable for consumption by adults, children, and the elderly. This ayurvedic medicine is known for aiding digestion, supporting bowel functions, and since it is an excellent antioxidant, it strengthens the overall immune system and helps in getting rid of toxic waste from the body.
Table of Contents
Nutritional Value of Triphala8 Health Benefits of TriphalaBest ways to Incorporate TriphalaSummary
Nutritional Value of Triphala
Half a teaspoon of Triphala has about 10 calories. It consists entirely of carbohydrates and doesn’t contain any fats or proteins.
The Ayurvedic tradition is not in complete disagreement with science when it comes to the nutritional and health benefits of Triphala. As it turns out, Triphala is a powerful medicine that can cure various health conditions and heal your body. Triphala is a potent medicine mainly because of the properties that its three primary ingredients contain:
Also known as Phyllanthus Emblica or the Indian gooseberry, Amalaki is a rich source of Vitamin C. One single Amalaki fruit contains approximately 3000 mg of Vitamin C. It is also abundant in minerals, and plant compounds such as phyllembelic acid, tannins, rutin, phenols, and curcuminoids. Amalaki is added to Triphala for its ability to regulate blood sugar levels, strengthen the body’s immune system and detoxify the mouth, as well as the liver.
The second fruit used in making Triphala is Bibhitaka, or Terminalia bellirica, and is known for the healing effects it has on the body’s lungs. Bibhitaka has astringent properties and helps body remove Kapha dosha by helping expel water from the lungs, the urinary tract and the digestive tract.
Bibhitaki is also good at fighting off bacterial and viral infections, and the presence of tannins, flavones and other compounds adds to the medicinal benefits it brings to your body. Two phytochemicals in particular – ellagic acid and gallic acid – regulate your body weight and your blood sugar levels.
The third fruit, Haritaki, has the scientific name Terminalia chebula. This fruit is also known as ‘black myrobalan.’ Haritaki addresses the airy Vata dosha in the body. It strengthens your immune system, is known for its laxative properties, and helps regenerate body tissues. Haritaki has also been linked to aiding heart disease, ulcers, asthma and more. The presence of phytochemicals like polyphenols and terpenes, among others, makes this fruit a powerhouse capable of delivering various health benefits.
8 Health Benefits of Triphala
The health benefits of Triphala extend beyond the Ayurvedic community. Some choose to consume it with food, but Triphala is known to be best taken on an empty stomach in the morning or right before going to bed at night.
1. Helps in controlling diabetes
Triphala is known for helping patients with Type 2 Diabetes. A recent article published in the International Journal of Ayurvedic Medicine revealed that Triphala helps in regularising blood sugar and cholesterol levels in your body. The phytochemicals in bibhitaka promote insulin secretion from the pancreas thereby lowering sugar levels and improving insulin resistance.
2. Good antioxidant
Triphala is a rich source of polyphenols that can fight against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules within your body that can cause cell damage and lead to harmful illnesses if left unchecked. Rich antioxidants in Triphala reduce any oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. Triphala is high in Vitamin C and antiinflammatory properties, so it can stimulate the production of WBC and enhance its function, it also helps in producing antibodies to fight against infection, pathogens and viruses. If you suffer from allergies, then Triphala could be the perfect antidote. It has strong anti-inflammatory powers that bring relief from any pain or discomfort.
3. Helps improve digestive health
Triphala is a good natural laxative and can help you loosen your stools and improve bowel movements. It is also a good contender for dealing with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Triphala also strengthens the digestive tract by increasing the number of good bacteria in your intestinal tract.
4. Good immunomodulator
A study published in The Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences found that Triphala helps boost your immune system.as well as acts as an immunosuppressant. Regular consumption of triphala can help fight infections and help in controlling allergies due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Boosts dental health
Triphala has strong restorative effects on the gums and teeth. An article published in The Indian Journal of Dental Research found that a mouthwash made using Triphala and water was as effective as any medically prescribed mouthwash (which has chlorhexidine as a major ingredient). Triphala helps eliminate oral germs from your mouth, helping you maintain your dental health well.
6. Helps improve hair and skin quality
Triphala is known to be very popular in improving hair quality in both males and females. Both consuming Triphala and applying a Triphala paste in your hair is beneficial. Since Triphala boosts digestive health, it inadvertently makes your hair strong and luscious.
Triphala also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Applying a paste in your hair can help you get a squeaky clean scalp. Triphala is also used to deal with skin conditions such as severe acne and eczema.
7. Aids in weight loss
Consumption of Triphala powder can help you lose excess weight, especially in your abdomen and thighs. This helps maintain a healthy weight and keep high-risk diseases such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes and bad cholesterol at bay.
8. Enhances vision
If you are looking to maintain good eye health and vision, Triphala is a strong contender. It has ocular enhancing properties, which helps you enhance vision and also protects you from severe eye ailments such as cataract or glaucoma. This can be achieved by regular consumption of Triphala in any form. Doctors also prescribe Triphala water to cleanse eyes. However, you shouldn”;t do so unless recommended by a Doctor.
Best Ways to Incorporate Triphala
Triphala is mostly available in three forms. You can either get it as a tablet, a capsule, or in powder form. The best time to consume Triphala is typically between half an hour to two hours before your meals. If you are using Triphala as a curative for constipation, then the best time to consume it is before going to sleep.The dosage of triphala pills or capsules is suggested on the bottle or by a medical practitioner. Liquid extract form can be used for external application on hair or skin. Powdered form of triphala can be mixed with water and consumed.
Triphala powder is commonly mixed with honey or a few drops of lemon juice since it can be pretty bitter if consumed independently. Traditionally, the best way to take Triphala powder is as Triphala water or Triphala tea. Read through the below recipes and choose the way you”;d like to consume Triphala powder.
Triphala Left Overnight
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: None.
½ tsp. Triphala powder250ml water
Take Triphala powder and add it to a glass of water. Mix well.Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature overnight. Consume the next morning on an empty stomach.
This method also helps you in losing weight and maintaining good skin health.
Preparation Time: 5 minutesCooking Time: 10 minutes
1/4th tsp Triphala powder 250 ml water1 inch Cinnamon stick 1 tsp. Honey or maple syrup(optional)
Add between Triphala powder to water in a pan. Bring to a simmer and let it boil.Add cinnamon sticks and honey or maple syrup if you want, let it simmer.Remove the tea from the boil and pour yourself a cup.
Triphala is a great Ayurvedic restorative that has various curative and healing properties. A part of Indian tradition for centuries, recent scientific evidence has corroborated much of what Ayurvedic healers have long propagated about the health benefits of Triphala. If you are looking for a powerful health supplement that can boost your body and make you feel lively and energetic, then Triphala is the perfect solution for your holistic healing.
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Pomegranate: Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, and 3 Summer Recipes HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.
The juicy and scarlet red seeds of the pomegranate fruit have long been consumed for their taste and numerous health benefits. Pomegranate has been a part of folk medicine to date. The fruit has now become incredibly popular for its nutritional value and is a crucial part of several healthy diets.
Table of Contents
Nutritional Benefits of Pomegranate8 Health Benefits of PomegranateBest Ways to Incorporate PomegranatePomegranate Mint RaitaPomegranate Detox TeaSummer Pomegranate SlushSummary
Nutritional Benefits of Pomegranate
Pomegranates are one of the most nutrition-dense fruits on Earth. A single cup (174 grams) of pomegranate seeds provides the following:
Fiber – 7 gramsProtein – 3 gramsVitamin K – 36% of your RDIVitamin C – 30% of your RDIPotassium – 12% of your RDIFolate – 16% of your RDI
Apart from having a plethora of nutrients, pomegranates contain several formidable plant compounds; some of them have medicinal properties. Pomegranate juice contains diverse groups of polyphenols, including ellagitannins, gallotannins, and ellagic acid, as well as flavonoids, such as anthocyanins. However, its antioxidant activity is mainly due to punicalagin, anthocyanins, Punicic acid, and ellagic acid.
Punicalagins – This is a very strong plant antioxidant. It is found in the peel and juice of the pomegranate. Pomegranate juice has thrice the number of antioxidants compared to green tea and red wine. To harness this high antioxidant content, pomegranate powder and extract are sourced from the peel.
Punicic Acid – This compound is a fatty acid present in the pomegranate seeds or arils. It is an oil that is extracted from the seeds. It”;s filled with conjugated linoleic acid; a potent oil with numerous biologic effects.
8 Health Benefits of Pomegranate
Pomegranates have numerous health benefits, such as:
1. Lowers risk of heart disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of premature death. A four-week study examined 51 patients with high triglyceride levels. They received 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil (punicic acid) per day for four weeks. When their triglyceride levels were measured after these four weeks, they had significantly reduced numbers.
2. Anti-inflammatory effects
Many diseases such as Alzheimer”;s, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are driven by chronic inflammation. Pomegranates have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are mediated by plant compounds called punicalagin. These antioxidants reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
A 12-weeks study examined people with type 2 diabetes and inflammation. When these patients had 250ml of pomegranate juice every day, it lowered several inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 and CRP by up to 32%.
3. Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure is a key factor in strokes and heart attacks. In one study, patients received 150 ml of pomegranate juice every day for 14 days. These patients had a significant decrease in their systolic blood pressure.
4. Helps combat cancer
A review of Pomegranate in prostate cancer has found pomegranate extract capable of slowing cancer cell reproduction and even inducing death in cancerous cells.
PSA or prostate-specific antigen is a blood marker that is used to identify the presence of prostate cancer. Men who have to develop twice the amount PSA in a short duration are at high risk for death from prostate cancer. However, a study found that by drinking 237ml of pomegranate juice each day, it doubled PSA time from 15 to 54 months.
5. Combats bacterial and fungal infections
Punicic acid and punicalagin in pomegranate help fight microorganisms. For instance, these two compounds combat fungal infections caused by Candida albicans. Their antifungal and antibacterial effects may act as barriers against dental infections such as periodontitis, denture stomatitis, tooth plaque, and gingivitis.
6. Pomegranate keeps premature aging at bay
Premature aging occurs when free radicals begin to form in our body due to exposure to the Sun and other harmful environmental toxins. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, which help tackle free radicals and prevent their formation. This helps your skin appear younger and plumper by keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
7. Helps fight arthritis and other joint pains
Since pomegranates have anti-inflammatory properties, they are strong contenders for fighting arthritis and other joint pains. They help relieve the discomfort and pain caused due to joint problems and enable you to live more comfortably. Consumption of pomegranate extract at least two times a day blocks the enzymes that are responsible for causing immense joint pains in people suffering from arthritis. It is recommended that you consume pomegranate extract for at least 12 weeks before this benefit starts reflecting in your body.
8. It boosts exercise performance
Your muscles can feel incredibly sore after a workout session. This makes you feel exhausted for several days and can even be quite uncomfortable for many people. Regular consumption of pomegranate juice has shown to be highly effective in delaying the onset of fatigue letting you work out for longer and also reducing muscle soreness post-workout.
Best ways to incorporate Pomegranate (healthy Indian recipes)
1. Pomegranate and Mint Raita
Prep time: 10 minutesServes: 2 people
This raita can be enjoyed as a side dish with pulao or paratha.
1 cup pomegranate seeds¼ cup of chopped mint leaves1 cup of fresh yogurt1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder½ teaspoon red chili powderSalt to taste1 tablespoon of water
Put the yogurt in a bowl and beat it well. Add the water, salt, and red chili powder.Mix in the mint leaves and pomegranate seeds.Add a little cumin powder and mix well.Pour the raita into a serving bowl and top it with the rest of the cumin powder.
2. Pomegranate Detox Tea
Prep time: 5 minutesServes: 2 people
1 cup Pomegranate seeds1 cup of water1 tsp lemon juice1 tsp Organic Honey (optional)1/2 cup green tea (brewed)
In a saucepan, add water, pomegranate seeds, and bring it to a boil on a medium flame for 4-5 minutes.Cool it slightly and blend it till smooth consistency. Strain mixture to avoid big lumps.Mix brewed green tea, lemon juice, Organic Honey, and serve immediately.
*Can be served warm and can be served chilled too.
3. Summer Pomegranate Slush
Prep time: 6 hoursServes: 2 people
2 cups Pomegranate seeds 0.25 tsp – Pink salt 0.25 tsp – Roasted cumin seeds powder1 tbsp – Organic Honey / Maple syrup
Keep 1-2 tbsp seeds aside and blend rest in a mixer till smooth.Strain mixture if you don”;t like pulpy slush.In a mixing bowl add pomegranate mixture, pink salt, cumin powder, and Organic Honey or Maple syrup.Mix well and transfer mixture to a shallow container. Freeze it for 6 hours.Remove it from the freezer and keep aside for 5-7 minutes.Scrape it with a spoon and serve in glasses garnished with Pomegranate seeds.
Pomegranates are nature”;s bounty. This delightful fruit is filled with nutrition-packed benefits. From relieving inflammation to combating cancer, this superfood offers a lot of health benefits. Try to incorporate one pomegranate a day into your daily diet regimen to reap their many benefits.
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What”;s the best time to exercise? When you can fit it in–;even if that”;s right before bed. You may have heard that exercising at night can make it harder to fall asleep, but that claim doesn”;t add up: According to the National Sleep Foundation, a study of 1,000 people found that there were no significant differences in sleep quality between people who exercised within four hours of going to sleep versus those who had worked out earlier in the day.
No matter what time of day you exercise, you”;ll likely sleep better: In the National Sleep Foundation study, 83 percent of “;vigorous exercisers”; got “;very good”; or “;fairly good”; quality of sleep, compared to just 56 percent of non-exercisers. And working out before bed could actually improve your sleep quality further: In a review of 23 different studies, published in Sports Medicine, people who exercised within four hours of bedtime had more hours of deep sleep than those who didn”;t do those workouts, says RunnersWorld.com.
Getting quality sleep is a big deal to your risk of early death, risk of disease and also your weight loss efforts. When you sleep less, you eat more…; and not quality, nutrient dense foods. One study, published in Clinical Nutritional and Metabolism Care, found that when people got fewer than seven hours of sleep, their daily calorie intake increased by 14 percent, with most of those extra calories coming from high-carbohydrate foods.
Burn more calories with a before bed workout and get better sleep to control your appetite. Our fitness experts at The Leaf have created this quick workout before bed to help you on your wellness and weight loss journey! Just remember to give yourself a one-hour break after the exercise. This will help your body cool down and prepare for slumber–;just as you would after a warm bath.
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Get started with some strength training.
Strength training at any time of the day improves your sleep. However, a before-bed strength session can mean you”;ll sleep more soundly, waking up less frequently during the night. Of course, it can also help with your weight loss goals: According to The Harvard Gazette, scientists found that men who performed 20 minutes of “daily weight training” experienced less age-related belly fat gains than those who did the same amount of cardio work.
This short before bed workout is lower intensity, so you won”;t get too amped up–;or too sweaty–;in the hours before bed. Perform all sets of each exercise before moving to the next exercise. Rest for one minute between each exercise and set.
Exercise 1: Squat to Chair (or Bed)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out from parallel. Push your hips back to initiate the squat, controlling your descent as you bend your knees to descend until you sit in the chair. As you descend, keep your chest up and your weight on your heels. Keep the weight of your body in your heels and press back to standing without using your hands. If this is too hard, perform only the lowering portion of the squat–;sitting down–;then use your hands to stand back up and repeat. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the repetitions.
Exercise 2: Elevated Push-up
Place your hands on the seat of chair or on the fourth step of a staircase. Assume the classic push-up position: Arms perpendicular to your torso, your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Maintaining this rigid body line, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the seat. To protect your shoulders from pain and injury, keep your elbows relatively tight to your sides rather than flaring them out at a 90-degree angle. Press back to start. If this is too hard, try a wall push-up instead. Perform four sets of four or more repetitions each.
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Exercise 3: Supine Glute Bridge
Lie face-up on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your arms at your sides, palms up. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, squeeze your glutes to raise your hips forcefully off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. As you”;re lifting, keep your knees and thighs parallel–;don”;t let them pull together. This will engage your hip musculature. Pause for a second at the top of the exercise, then slowly return to the start position. As you”;re raising up, don”;t let your heels come off the floor. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the number of repetitions in each set.
Exercise 4: Wall Stick Up
Stand facing away from a wall, with your feet about six inches away from the wall. Your head, upper back and butt should all be in contact with the wall–;and they should stay in contact with it throughout the exercise. Put your arms straight up overhead, with the backs of your hands, elbows and forearms in contact with the wall. Now slide your arms down the wall by bending your elbows, keeping your hands, forearms and shoulders in contact with the wall. Keep lowering until your elbows come as close as you can bring them to your sides. (You should feel a strong contraction between your shoulder blades.) Pause, then slide your arms back up the wall until your arms are overhead. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the number of repetitions in each set, aiming for eight repetitions.
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Finish up with some calming stretches in bed.
When people with insomnia do yoga, they become more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, says The National Sleep Foundation. Calm your own body down with this six-pack of restorative stretches after your strength workout, and help put yourself on the path to dreamland. Sit on the edge of the bed for the first three stretches, then lie on the bed for the last three.
Stretch 1: Circle Your Ankles
Sit on the edge of the bed with both feet on the ground. Lift one foot off the floor and circle your ankle 10 to 15 times in each direction. Repeat with the other foot.
Stretch 2: Lift Your Heels
Place both feet back on the floor. Press the balls of both feet into the floor and lift your heels off the ground, stretching the midfoot. Perform 10 to 15 lifts.
Stretch 3: Stretch Your Side
Sit up tall. Place your right hand on the bed by your side and lift your left arm to the ceiling. Arc the left arm up and over the head until you feel a slight stretch in your side. Reverse the movement to the starting position. Repeat six to eight times per side.
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Stretch 4: Rock with Your Knees at Your Chest
Lie on your back on the bed. Bring your knees towards your chest, and grab your legs just below your knees. Rock back and forth gently a few times.
Stretch 5: Single Knee to Chest
Still on your back, straighten your legs. Now bring just one knee up to your chest while the other remains outstretched on the bed. Hug the lifted knee to your chest, then switch legs. Hug each knee three times.
Stretch 6: Lying Arm Circles
Let your legs go straight again on the bed. Spread your arms out so your body forms a “;T”; shape. Keeping your arms straight, perform 10 arm circles forward, then 10 back. Repeat one more time.
Learn more helpful sleep tips and fitness routines from our wellness experts at the Leaf! We”;re here to help you achieve your wellness goals along your weight loss journey.
Pair your workout routine with a healthy meal delivery service! Learn more about the Nutrisystem program >
*Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
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The post Boost Weight Loss and Improve Sleep with this Before-Bed Workout Routine appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Planning on a staycation this year because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Join the crowd in not joining the crowd. Not going to the beach, the lake, the mountain or the water park puts a lot of pressure on your backyard to be the place you want to be, especially for fun summertime activities. Now is the time to plan for a summer picnic… and to have a plan to keep it healthy and diet-friendly!
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Here are five fun ways to enjoy backyard summer picnic food and still lose weight:
1. Load some veggies on that grill.
Even veggie haters find grilled vegetables to be irresistible. That’s probably because this particular cooking method brings out their inherent sweetness. Slice up some onions, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and even cabbage “steaks,” then grill them up as a healthy side.
To keep your meal diet-friendly, load up half of your plate with veggies. Trending now: the carrot “hot dog.” Cook whole carrots on the grill and serve them on a whole wheat frankfurter bun with all the fixings. You can also use veggies in another way: in some grilled vegetable recipes, vegetables are layered between cubes of chicken, a firm fish like tuna or swordfish, shellfish such as shrimp or even lean beef. Vegetable kebabs can help you keep your meal balanced between higher calorie protein and lower calorie veggies with a fiber-friendly twist.
Check out these seven foods that taste better on the grill! >
2. Make sides that are the star of the meal.
Forget the mayonnaise-laden potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw that crowd every summer picnic table across the land. They’re as ho-hum as they are fattening. Instead, focus on some of the farm fresh produce that’s readily available this time of year.
Consider replacing slaw with a Zesty Cucumber and Dill Salad that takes minutes to prepare and can sit in the fridge for hours, just getting more and more savory the longer it marinates! You also don’t have to nix slaw completely from the menu—just liven up a cabbage-carrot mix with a dressing of low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar and peanut butter. This Spicy Peanut Slaw recipe supplies one PowerFuel and two Vegetables to your daily count.
Love pasta salad? Broccoli, bell pepper strips and cherry tomatoes turn a simple Creamy Pasta Salad (mixed with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise) into a work of art. Plus, it clocks in at only 228 calories per serving, even with the chopped turkey bacon added for crunch and protein. One serving counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Vegetable. Click here for the recipe! >
You also don’t have to banish potato salad if you make it the Nutrisystem way, using reduced fat mayo, nonfat Greek yogurt or even a piquant vinaigrette. Think outside the summer picnic basket too: Eliminate half of the potatoes from the recipe and mix in turnips, cauliflower or parsnips. Add fun and flavorful ingredients like dill, green onions, chives or capers. Then throw in some of your favorite vegetables, like fresh peas, bell peppers or radishes for a flavorful bite. Make a healthier potato salad for your summer picnic with these five tips. >
3. Add Nutrisystem foods to the mix.
How good would your Nutrisystem Hamburger or Grilled Chicken Sandwich taste if you made it on the grill? What about the Chicken and BBQ Beans? Yes. THAT good. End your picnic meal with a Nutrisystem Ice Cream Sandwich or, as just about everyone does, with s’mores. Well, with our own S’mores Pie made with a graham cracker crust, ooey gooey marshmallow and real melted chocolate tucked inside. Mmmmm—and it’s only 140 calories!
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4. Plan active backyard fun and games.
Exercise off any excess calories from your summer picnic by planning outdoor activities for young and old. If you have enough yard, set up a volleyball or badminton net. Kids aren’t the only ones who can enjoy backyard games like tag, freeze tag or dodge ball, particularly if you incorporate water balloons into the fun. You can even do a riff on the egg-and-spoon relay race with filled water balloons and a wooden spoon. Throw Frisbees back and forth or set up a game of cornhole or horseshoes. Organize a post-picnic walk around the neighborhood or a nearby park.
5. Hydrate wisely.
While you can always turn to light beer and wine coolers to save some calories, don’t forget that studies have shown that alcohol can stimulate the appetite center of your brain and make you eat more, says the United Kingdom National Health Service.
Both wine and beer come in non-alcoholic versions. You can also whip up some delicious and satisfying “mocktails” that will wow your guests. Try a non-alcoholic Strawberry Daiquiri that combines fresh and frozen strawberries with water and lime juice in the blender. It’s only 55 calories per serving and counts as one SmartCarb on Nutrisystem. Find this mouthwatering non-alcoholic drink recipe and four more mocktails right here! >
Avoiding alcohol at your backyard picnic can help you avoid unnecessary calories. However, you can still enjoy alcohol in moderation on your Nutrisystem program. If you’d like to have a drink, check out this article on 10 Low Calorie Beers That Actually Taste Good! > You can also brush up on your Nutrisystem knowledge and learn more about alcohol on our program right here. >
Be sure to explore The Leaf for more tips to enjoy this summer season with family and friends, including expert fitness and nutrition tips as well as delicious seasonal recipes for your weight loss journey!
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The post 5 Tips to Plan a Diet-Friendly Backyard Summer Picnic appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com