Jan 30, 2020

Keto diet foods you can eat


Due to stressful and long working hours, irregular eating habits and excessive junk food consumption, problems like stomach unrest, diabetes, obesity and excess of belly fat are common. Thanked God! People have now realized the importance of healthy life and they are looking towards alternative and simple diet plans, one of them is Keto or Ketogenic diet plan that has grabbed people attention in very short time period.    

What is Keto diet plan?


Ketogenic diet plan or keto diet plan consist of a diet with low-cab, modest protein and high amount of fat that is helpful to burn fat more effectively.
Using keto diet has numerous benefits for weight loss, body’s health and performance.
Keto diet exclusively benefits type 2 diabetes patients by losing excess body fat without hunger.
Eating diet with far fewer carbohydrates, moderate protein intake levels and increased fat intake levels will bring your body into a metabolic state called ketosis; keto diet encourages liver to produce “Ketones” (fuel molecules that are an alternative energy source for the body when body lacks blood sugar or glucose supply)

What can you eat on keto diet?


To understand, what to eat on keto diet can be complicated for you, especially if you are a beginner, actually, keto diet simply focuses more on healthy fats and proteins and limits grains, it restricts your bad food eating habits.

Here is a synopsis of keto diet foods you can eat, followed by their brief details that will definitely help you to understand the basic idea behind the concept of keto diet.


   
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Photo by : https://www.healthylivingneeds.com
 


Meats


You should eat moderate amount of protein with your meals, taking lentils, beans, soy and similar other items would definitely benefit, but you should focus on lean protein sources, Turkey, chicken, fish and red meat in limited amount. Vegetarian raised Venison is an excellent source of lean protein.
You should also reduce the amount of high-fat meats you eat; things like burgers, steaks, pizzas can be consumed in moderate amount. Consider getting fats from healthier sources, Eggs are an excellent and affordable source of protein that can fulfill your nutrition needs too.

Fruits


Although managing fruits is often hard on keto diet, as under keto diet plan, you are, allow to take only 20-25 gram carbs per day, but that does not mean that fruits are a nightmare. You can choose low-carb fruits to meet your nutrition needs; many delicious fruits come under low-carb category and eating these low-carb fruits in moderate quantity enable your body to perform its functions efficiently.
You should focus on fruits like Avocados, Berries (all types), Lemons, Limes, peaches and cantaloupes.

 

Vegetables


Vegetables play a crucial role in our healthy lifestyle. While following keto diet, you goal should be to maintain low carb. Intake level, Low starch and all vegetables that grow above the ground like bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, kale, broccoli, kale etc. are keto friendly low-carb vegetables. While below the ground vegetables, also known as “tubers” like carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes etc. might have high starch and high carb. Level, therefore be cautious to include these vegetables into your diet.

Essential Fats 


Taking healthy fats in daily diet is quite important for a healthy lifestyle, but it becomes even more important when we talk about keto diet, where fat intake contributes 70% to 80% of your overall daily caloric intake. Therefore, healthy fat consumption is the key factor in a successful keto diet plan. Eating sufficient amount of fats will keep you satiated for longer time as compared to carbohydrates, and helps to control your cravings also.
When we talk about healthy fat sources, then avocado oil is the rich source of healthy fats and provides sufficient quantity of minerals and vitamins.
Research shows that avocados and their oil is beneficial for heart health and helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Take raw avocado oil or add it in salads and smoothies to boost their flavor and nutrition. Use it in salad dressing and other keto related recipes.
Olives and Olive oil is another proven source of getting healthy fats, loaded with rich amount of vitamin E and due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Olive oil reduces the risks of heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis.
Use premium quality extra virgin oil in your diet, drizzle it over veggies to add taste or consume it on an empty stomach.
While coconut oil, coconut butter, certified butter, cocoa butter, mustard oil etc. are also rich source of healthy fats.
 

Drinks 


While following keto diet, dehydrating your body with simple water is excellent, but there are some low-carb keto drinks to fill your thrust.
Using tea and coffee could be another option, but without having sugar, and for wine lovers, an occasional use is ok.
Drinks like water, tea, and bone broth are useful and should be consumed whenever you want. While Kombucha, coconut water and other drinks should be restricted to one serving or less per day.
Alcoholic drinks should be consumed mindfully but while on keto, should be more careful. All alcoholic drinks contain toxins, that can badly effect the production of Ketones
Sugar loaded drinks like Beverages, soda, fruit juices, sports drinks, beer and high sugar alcohol etc. should be avoided.


Dairy


When it comes to Dairy on keto diet, you should know that there are two types of dairy products, one are loaded with carbohydrates while others are filled with protein and fat, which definitely benefit ketosis.
Dairy products like butter, ghee, full fat yogurts, cream, and cheeses contain healthy fats and must include in your diet.
Nondairy milks such almond milk, coconut milk and hemp milk (without sweeteners) are also keto friendly and must include in your diet.

Flours


Among the people, who are going to begin keto diet plan, there is a general perception of giving up all their comforting routine foods, but need not to worry, you can still have many low-cab baked foods to enjoy on keto.
These low-cab flour substitutes are coconut flour, almond flour, hazelnut flour, psyllium husk, etc. while you are free to take rich taste of keto desserts on your keto diet.    

Conclusion


Keto diet is aimed to discipline our life and eating habits and it makes sense, artificial sweeteners and highly processed junky foods can temporarily taste us but in actual they poison us. Keto diet is just a realization to bring ourselves back to the nature.


Jan 19, 2020

Ashwagandha Herb Benefits


Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry in English, Ashwagandha in Hindi, Asgandh Nagori in Urdu and Withania Somnifera in Scientific language, is a traditionally famous Indian woody shrub with numerous proven benefits to human health. It also comes under the category of ‘adaptogen herbs’.


Photo By :- Neha Vidya [CC BY-SA]



Adaptogen Herbs support our body’s ability to handle various sort of stresses,  thus it improve body’s energy and performance, restores mental health, strengthens body’s ability to cope up with stress and anxiety, boosts immune system, reduces cortisol level,balances thyroid hormones and keeps sexual capacity and fertility at optimum level.

Ashwagandha is grown in India, Middle East and in some parts of Africa. Ashwagandha have key importance in Ayurveda from ancient times. Ashwagandha’s fruit leaves and roots are used for medicinal purposes and in recent studies, it has been found that Ashwagandha have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property that enhances its importance for human health.


Ashwagandha Root Powder



Ashwagandha is commonly available from various retailers, herb stores, vitamin stores and food stores as Ashwagandha root powder by different brands, Although Ashwagandha leaves powder is also available which use for making Ashwagandha tea, but traditionally, Ashwagandha root powder is popular. It is taken by mixing it with water, butter or honey


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Photo By :- Asim Gulzar




A famous recipe is Ashwagandha Butter Coffee

½ tablespoon of Ashwagandha powder

 2 ½ tablespoons of certified ghee or butter

6oz coffee

Sweeten it to taste.





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Photo by Alejandro Martinez on Unsplash




Ashwagandha Supplement / Capsules


Many Ashwagandha supplements and Capsules are also available on medical or pharmaceutical stores, herb stores and vitamin shops. Always purchase contamination free and third party lab tested supplement of some renowned brand. Also, stay away from the supplements with mixing of other ingredients or additives, which might have no potential value.  



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Photo by Neha Deshmukh on Unsplash



 Key Benefits and Uses of Ashwagandha


Here we will discuss the key and proven benefits of Ashwagandha herb.

Ashwagandha for Insomnia or Sleeping Disorders


Sleeping Disorder or insomnia is common disease of present fast growing age due to constant long working hours in stressful environment, pain or discomfort. Ashwagandha is suggested when stress is a main factor for sleeping discomfort. It improves the sleeping time and quality thus helps to treat insomnia.

Ashwagandha plant leaves are more beneficial to treat insomnia than its root. Ashwagandha leaves contain compounds that promote healthy sleep.

For Treating Sleeping disorders and insomnia, warm some water, mix a teaspoon of organic raw honey into it and take a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder with this warm honey water mix.

Ashwagandha for Blood Sugar


Ashwagandha proved to be very helpful to reduce the levels of blood sugar in several studies; however, patients taking medicine to reduce blood sugar level should not use Ashwagandha, as it may drastically reduce blood sugar levels.

1-    Take a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder with a glass of warm water; drink it daily for best results.
2-    Take 8 to 10 drops of Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) tincture in warm water, drink it daily

 Ashwagandha for Stress


Ashwagandha is an excellent herb to reduce stress, anxiety and emotional imbalances, we all know that prolonged stress may lead to depression and high blood pressure, as an adaptogen herb Ashwagandha enhances body ability to counter physical and emotional stresses and keeps the body functions in balanced state.

Taking Ashwagandha root powder together with honey before going to bed is beneficial for mental stress and anxiety.

Ashwagandha for Diabetes


Ashwagandha supports diabetic patients to maintain their blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. It helps to decrease blood sugar levels and patients using medication to decrease their blood sugar levels should not take Ashwagandha without consulting their health provider, as it can drastically decrease their blood sugar levels.

Ashwagandha for Thyroid Problems


One of the excellent qualities of adaptogen herbs is that they relieve people with thyroid problems. Ashwagandha has been proved to support an underactive thyroid. Thyroid gland is the master governing gland of metabolism. Thyroid, issue or sluggish thyroid may lead to wide variety of issues such as chronic fatigue, poor blood circulation, increase in cortisol, fluctuations in weight, insomnia and many others. Ashwagandha has an ability to correct all thyroid disorders 

 Taking Ashwagandha powder or capsules with warm milk at night benefits all type of thyroid problems.


Ashwagandha for Memory Improvement


Stress has damaging effects on human memory and nervous system, as Ashwagandha is a proven stress reliever; it protects brain from cell degeneration, which results in Alzheimer’s disease.
Ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are helpful in destroying free radicals, effectively heal the brain, and boost its performance.

Ashwagandha for immune system


A healthy and efficient immune system protects the body from various bacterial, fungal and virus attacks, it neutralizes and destroys the microorganisms and cleans the poisons, which could harm to the body. While stress, unhealthy lifestyle, excess medication, old age and lack of nutrition, are the causes for weak immune system, which lead to flue, herpes, cold sores and other life threatening infections. Being an adaptogen herb Ashwagandha reduces body’s stress hormone thus boosts immune function and reduce inflammation. Here is a simple home remedy to boost immune system

Take a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder and a teaspoon of asparagus powder, mix both in warm milk and take it daily at night.

 Ashwagandha for Sexual Function and Fertility


Ashwagandha has been used as a natural remedy to improve sexual dysfunction, boosting testosterone level and male fertility from years. As an adaptogen herb, Ashwagandha helps the body to combat stress naturally by re-balancing the hormones produced by the adrenal glands to help improve the natural rhythm of the body.



Some Useful Ashwagandha recipes


After a long and hectic day, we are in search of food of comfort.  It may be some cooked food or sweet dish, but we cannot deny that what we are looking for should make us feel energetic and refreshing physically and mentally, being an Adaptogenic herb, Ashwagandha is the best choice for getting instant relief from stressful and toilsome conditions.  By using these wonderful Ashwagandha recipes, you will be able to get maximum benefit of this super herb.   


Ashwagandha and Milk multiplies Ashwagandha’s benefits; here is a quick recipe for making Ashwagandha Milk.




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Photo by Oriana Ortiz from Pexels


Water – 1 cup
Boiled milk – ½ cup
Ashwagandha powder – ½ tsp.
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp.

Mix the all ingredients and take a glass an hour before the sleep for comfortable sleep.




Drink tasteful Ashwagandha tea with many benefits, here is a recipe

2-3 cups of Water
½ cup of organic dried Ashwagandha
Stir and cook for 15-20 mints
Strain the Water and add a tsp. of honey

Ashwagandha tea is ready.

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Photo by Julia Sakelli from Pexels


Enjoy tasty Ashwagandha Cookies with warm glass of milk. Recipe is



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Photo by Marco Verch

½ cup of wheat flour

1 ½ tsp. of Ashwagandha Powder

¼ cup of certified butter

1 tsp. of honey

¼ cup of milk

Strain wheat flour and Ashwagandha powder and set aside, now melt the certified butter by adding sugar in a bowl, gradually add milk in bowl and stir it well, add mixture of wheat flour and Ashwagandha powder in bowl and knead into dough. Now from dough into 1 1/2 “biscuits and place on butter sheet.


Ashwagandha Side Effects, Precautions & Drug Interactions


Although Ashwagandha is almost safe, if taken for short term, but long term usage of this herb may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, dizziness, abnormal heartbeat, low blood pressure, low blood sugar level and vomiting, So it is recommended to consult your health consultant

Interaction with Thyroid


Ashwagandha is used in supplements as a natural way to cure Thyroid problems; however, patients with thyroid disorder should not use Ashwagandha, as it might increase thyroid hormones and disrupt thyroid medication. Therefore, individuals with thyroid issues, willing to use Ashwagandha should get doctor’s advice first.

 Interaction with Diabetes


Ashwagandha helps to keep optimum blood sugar level but Interaction with other medication to control diabetes levels may drastically reduce the blood glucose level; therefore, diabetics are advised to use Ashwagandha cautiously.

 Ashwagandha and Pregnancy


Women with pregnancy may take moderate amount of Ashwagandha for a short term, but taking high doses for a long period might be dangerous and could lead to miscarriage, it can also harm the fetus, also Women with breast-feeding are not advised to use this herb, Therefore, pregnant women should consult with the doctor and refrain from taking Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha and Autoimmune Diseases


Ashwagandha boosts the immune system, but if you are suffering from any autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or lupus then stop using Ashwagandha, this is because medications taken for autoimmune diseases, decreases immune system response and supplementing them with Ashwagandha may interfere with their effectiveness.   

Ashwagandha and Surgery


Ashwagandha should not be taken before and after the surgery, because it slows down the central nervous system therefore, anesthesia and other pre- and post-surgery medications might increase this effect. It is suggested to leave the use of Ashwagandha two weeks before the surgery.

General Precautions
 

Generally, long-term use of Ashwagandha is almost safe for the people of all age groups. Use this herb with prescribed dosage and should strictly follow the medical advice to avoid any adverse reaction. It is suggested to take Ashwagandha with meals, with a full glass of water or with breakfast, if you are taking once in a day, As Ashwagandha increases the effect of certain drugs and medication; it is advised to review the drugs and medications you are taking before taking Ashwagandha.

Those who experience diarrhea or stomach upset after using Ashwagandha should take it in capsule form along with food.

Ashwagandha is a super food for body and there are no dietary restrictions while consuming it, but it is suggested to avoid excessive use of spicy and junk food.

Ashwagandha makes you more energetic, active and relaxed. Consuming Ashwagandha for a long period will have long lasting benefits. Those who follow these precautions would definitely prevent the side effects of Ashwagandha and reap its benefits to the fullest.

Jan 8, 2020

Basil Health Benefits


Basil or Ocimum Basilicum is a member of mint (Lamiaceae) family, native to India, Asia and Africa, But today is cultivated around the World, Particularly in hot and dry climates.
Basil is hardly annual, the name “Basil” comes from a Greek word, “Basilikohn” which means “Royal” a nod to its revered status in this ancient culture. The parts of plant that grow above the ground are used both for medical and culinary purposes.
Basil is a adaptogen herb and has been used both internally and topically to treat a variety of health concerns including stomach spasms, cold and fever, insect bites and respiratory infections. Basil is also used in meals for flavoring. Aromatic Basil leaves are used as a stimulant in many European and Asian cosines. 
Aromatherapy of Basil essential oil is used as a stimulant to relieve depression and anxiety. Basil tea is very famous for its unique aroma and anti-inflammatory properties.





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Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash


Anti Depressant


Basil is a adaptogen herb and famous for its anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties; adaptogen herb balance the actions of metabolism. it is far much safe and potent natural remedy as compare to drugs. Basil regularizes cortisol level, Cortisol is a hormone, the excess of cortisol reduces sleep and affect body’s ability to counter stress.
Take some fresh basil leaves, boil them in water, and add sugar to taste, drink it before going to bed at night.

Nourishes Skin


Basil is very useful plant for skin, Being having antiseptic properties Basil leaves help to make your skin blemish free from pimples and acne. Basil is a natural remedy for removing toxins from human body thus beneficial in preventing pimples and acne.

1-    Take Basil and Neem leaves in equal quantity. Make their paste by grating them and apply this paste on your skin.
2-    Squeeze juice of Basil leaves and put 15 to 20 drops of this juice in water and take a bath daily.
3-    Take crushed Basil leaves and a cup of gram flour, mix both and add some water into it. Now apply this paste on your face for clear and shiny skin.
4-    Take Basil leaves and mint leaves in equal quantity, crush them and add a teaspoon of lemon juice, apply this mixture on face and let it dry then wash.

Detoxifies the Body


Using Basil leaves help to detoxify the body. As our environment is becoming more polluted with the passage of time due to traffic and heavy, industrialization and we inhale toxins and other lethal chemicals that are harmful for our body. Basil leaves remove these toxins from our body and boost our immune system. Basil is an excellent herb for liver health, it helps to prevent building up fat around the lever thus keeps the liver efficient.

Make Basil tea by adding few basil leaves in water, then add few drops of lemon juice into it and drink this tea couple of times in a day.


Relieves Headache or Migraine


Basil is the best natural remedy for headaches and Migraine. Basil contains Analgesic properties, which relieves headache, stops nausea, and vomiting associated with Headache or Migraine. Basil works as a relaxant for brain muscles and relieve Headaches.
Take some fresh Basil leaves and dry them in shady place, make powder by grinding them and take 1 teaspoon of powder with honey at night.  

 Effective in Fever and Cold


Basil leaves proved to be an effective natural remedy to cure many types of fever including dengue and Malaria.

1-    Take a few leaves of Basil and boil them in water, strain it and add a crushed piece of ginger in boiled basil water, boil the water again until it reduce to half, now add a teaspoon of honey and drink it couple of times in a day for three days. Its an effective remedy for Cold and fever.
2-    Take 2 teaspoons of licorice root powder, 1 teaspoon of black cumin powder and 50gm crushed ginger, put all these things in some water and heat it for a few minutes, then add some basil leaves and honey strain it and drink three times a day.


Best for Sore Throat


Basil is an adaptogen herb and it balances the body functions and hormones. Basil reduces the excess level of acidity in body and restores normal pH level.

Take Basil leaves water, add a teaspoon of honey and a quarter teaspoon of black seed, gargle it before going to bed.

Cures Mouth Ulcers and Infections


The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of basil leaves effectively cure all types of mouth ulcers and infections.
Take some fresh basil leaves, wash them with water and chew them. It will speed up the healing process of mouth ulcers and infections.

Treats Kidney Stones


Basil leaves provide effective treatment for kidney stones. It balanced the amount of uric acid in the body and contains citric acid, which is helpful in dissolving kidney stones.

Take 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, boil one cup of water on a low flame, strain it and add some honey, drink it twice in a day.

 Alleviates Heartburn


Basil leaves cures heartburn by stimulating the stomach to produce mucus, which relieves the symptoms of heartburn and acidity.
Chew some Basil leaves or take a teaspoon of basil leaves powder with a glass of water to reduce acidity in the stomach.

 Relieves Infection or Earache


The antibacterial and analgesic properties of basil help to provide immediate relief in ear infection and earache, especially in children.
Grate some basil leaves and extract their juice by straining them, add some olive oil or coconut oil to make it more effective, use this mixture to treat the ear.



Side effects and Precautions


Basil is generally safe to use, but women with pregnancy should avoid using basil leaves in high doses, as it contains a chemical “Estragole” which can be harmful for the liver.

Taking high doses of basil for the long time may cause low libido and negatively effects the production of semen.

Avoid consuming Basil essential oil.