New Zealand is not only famous for its cricket team, but also for the Star of the Fruits, Kiwi fruit. Its vibrant green color is so appealing, whilst its health benefits are even more appealing. The whole fruit along with its seeds and skin is edible and tasty. Lets peruse through the benefits it has to offer.
Health benefits of the Kiwi Fruit:
Treasure of antioxidants–
Kiwi fruit is rich in antioxidants such as lutein, a carotenoid which is known to prevent cataracts and various cancers.
It is also rich in vitamin C, another antioxidant which strengthens the immune system, prevents arthritis, cancers etc.
It is rich in vitamin E, a major antioxidant which improves cardiac health and immunity.
High mineral content:
It is rich in potassium, which reduces the blood pressure and improves the fluid balance in our body.
Its high copper content too helps improving bone integrity and immunity.
Its magnesium content helps to improve bone health.
Kiwi is rich in zinc which helps to improve hair and skin health.
Other health benefits of Kiwi Fruit
This fruit is said to be heart friendly as its fiber content, high folate content along with vitamin E, helps to reduce cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Research also says that including kiwi fruit in the diet helps to reduce clot formation and arterial blockages. It is also known to have compounds which thin the blood.
Its high fiber content, improves gut integrity and prevent constipation as well as colon cancers.
The wondrous fruit can be marvelous for health. It can be scooped out with a spoon and eaten as a snack. It can be added to salads, and can be consumed in the form of smoothies. Next time you plan to go shopping, do not forget to add this fruit in your shopping list.
Nuts have been in the news for all the good reasons, for their innumerable health benefits. They are considered to be very healthy addition to our diets. Another yummy addition to the category of healthy nuts are macadamia nuts. These are delicious as well as very healthy. Let us have a look at their health benefits.
Rich in healthy fats- These nuts are very rich in healthy monounsaturated fat which are said to be cardio protective by reducing cholesterol levels and are great for clearing your arteries. Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty oil that provides the building blocks for the enzymes that control the burning of fat and curb your appetite.
Macadamia nuts are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E, selenium and flavonoids which are known to prevent cancers.
Macadamia nuts are rich in minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
Macadamia nuts provide our daily requirements of thiamine or vitamin B1, one of the vitamin which many of us are deficient in or do not get enough in their diets.
Although it is healthier than olive oil, it also has high smoke point and hence can tolerate high temperatures unlike olive oil and hence is a healthy oil for all cooking purposes. It can be used for baking purposes too and can replace oils and butter in baking.
Be careful of overeating these tiny dynamos, as these are rich in calories. One serving of macadamia nuts are about 10-12 nuts. They can work well as midday snack or can be sprinkled over salads. Go ahead indulge in moderation and enjoy its benefits!!!
Low fat diet is the most commonly used term. All of us want to to eat a low fat diet. We have gone a step ahead by totally avoiding fat in our diets. The trend of eating zero fat has become the latest fad. We boil, steam, pressure cook to avoid adding fat to the diet. Fat has developed a bad rep over the years. It has been beaten up, cursed upon and hated by all. But does it really help? Lets have a look what happens to eating very low or zero fat diets.
Vitamin deficiency- certain vitamins such as fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K need fat for its transport and absorption. If you eat less fat, you have a risk of deficiencies of these vitamins.
High cholesterol levels- this must be a shock as it is advised to eat less fat, but if your diet is low in monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fats, your HDL or good cholesterol falls. This makes you prone to high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Depression- fats help the hormones and chemicals to play their roles in the body. Fats also affect our moods and behavior. People who are deficient in omega-3s may suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and ADHD. So eat fat for that happy feeling.
Increased risk of cancer- Certain cancers such as colon, prostate, breast cancers can occur due to lack of essential fatty acids.
High intake of sugars- Most low fat products add more sugar and other carbohydrates to replace fat and hence they are not low in calories but just low in fat.There will be a marginal difference in the calories.
It is required to eat fat as less than 20% of the total calories. Fat is very essential for our system and avoiding is not the solution. Eat more of monounsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids and less of saturated fats.
Include at-least 4 tsp of fats in your diet. Adding fat while cooking aids digestion and better absorption. Eating a well balanced diet along with regular exercise can protect you from a host of health problems. Now get the healthy fats back to your diet.
I had an interesting conversation with a client today. He told me that at the office conference meet, there was a salad bar displayed but he was perplexed to see the high calorie dressings and refined breads and was curious to make better choices and give the caterer a better idea on what to serve the next time.
So here are a few pointers on how to navigate through a salad bar
Steer away from high calorie dressings such as mayonnaise, thousand island dressings, whipped cream and any other thick and creamy dressings. Opt for mustard, vinegar, lemon or yogurt.
If you do want to eat with a dressing, take less than a tablespoon at the side, as you would need more to mix if you mix up the salad.
Brighter the veggies,better the nutrition. Do not eat rotten looking or wilted veggies.They should look fresh and crunchy and of course clean.
Do not eat canned fruits, vegetables as they are high in sugar and salt. Go fresh.
Eat lean protein such as egg whites, chicken breast pieces, beans, cottage cheese, steamed shrimps and fresh fish. Its a no-no to egg yolks, canned and processed meats such as as sausages, salami which are high in fat and cholesterol.
Do not eat breads and pasta, if you do not consider your salad as a whole meal. But If you do, choose whole grain breads and smaller servings and skip the main course.
Choose clear soups, not cream soups.
Avoid fried croutons, fried noodles and cheese to cut calories.
Add good fats such as olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds. If avocado is served, do not add any other
Skip the potato salad. It can add extra calories with carbs and fat.
Avoid sauces which are loaded with cream, salt and preservatives.
If you want a sweet platter, opt for freshly cut fruits with yogurt. Avoid sugary syrups and ice cream mixes.
Stick to 100% juices if served, not coke or beer.
Last but not the least, choose smaller plates and do not load up all whats is sight. Now enjoy and eat healthy at a salad bar.