The Important Art of Eating Veggies Right

Vegetables are the strongest sources of vitamins and other micronutrients in nature. Man-made vitamin mixtures do not compare to the natural cocktails in vegetables for multiple reasons. Their bioavailability (the degree to which the vitamins can be absorbed) is dubious and depends too much on the way the multivitamin is manufactured. Since they contain most of the vitamin your body needs and each vitamin needs a different substrate for best absorption, multivitamins should not be the only source you rely on. In contrast, vegetables do not come choke-full with all the vitamins, but the ones they do have are more easily absorbed by the body i.e., they are much more bio-available. They also come with a good mix of fibre and macronutrients, even water. Bottom line: eating a combination of different vegetables throughout your day is the most reliable way to get everything your body needs.

But several people, either because of traditional ways of cooking or just misinformation, cook vegetables wrong. In this blog, we discuss the best ways to get the most of these potent foods.

Don’t boil them

Never boil them. Boiling is probably the worst thing you can do to vegetables. Many of the vitamins present in the vegetables (like vitamin C and some of the B vitamins) are water-soluble. This means that water can dissolve them and drain them out of the vegetable. When you drown a vegetable in water, which is what boiling requires, you are providing a route for that priced vitamin to escape. When you strain those vegetables from the pot of water or pressure cooker, you’re losing the things you most want in your food.

We know, we know. A lot of Indian recipes call for boiled vegetables. Aloo or Gobi Paranthas for instance need those aloos to have been boiled. But there are several ways to get a mash out of the potatoes or cauliflowers. You don’t have to boil them. Instead you can steam them. Steaming takes way less water. Cauliflower lend themselves quite well to steaming. Potatoes may not be too happy with this. You can microwave these. In a microwave, you would be using no water. Poke some holes in those potatoes with a fork or knife and pop them in for five or six minutes on high. You will have as good a mash (albeit a tad dry, easily fixed with some water) as from the pressure cooker. But the nutritional value will be way higher.

Don’t deep or shallow fry them

This is the corollary of the ‘no boiling’ rule. Like there are water-soluble vitamins, there are fat-soluble ones too. When you fry vegetables in hot oil, the oil will whisk away the good fats. Also, the hot oil (oil gets much much hotter than water and hot oil does more damage than hot water ever can) will destroy any fiber and any water-soluble vitamins. Not worth it! You could stir fry them. Or steam them and drizzle them with some sesame oil (for an East Asian taste) or olive oil. The crunch will stay without pushing the veggie goodness away (not an intentional rhyme!).

Don’t eat (some of) them raw

We talked a little already about bioavailability. It determines how much of each vitamin in a vegetable cab you really absorb and use. Bioavailability is he reason you should doubt a candy which claims to be “fortified with vitamins and minerals”. This could just be ad spin Just because vitamins are added doesn’t mean your body can absorb it through the usual pathways. Most vitamins present in vegetables are already ready for absorption. For example, you could shell a pea pod now and pop the peas in your mouth and absorb all that they have to offer. But this is not uniformly true for all vegetables. The vitamins in some vegetables become more readily available when you cook them a little.

Consider the tomato. It has the antioxidants lycopene and beta carotene in abundance. But just eating a raw tomato does not mean your body will use these antioxidants. You need the tomato to be a little cooked. Don’t boil or fry them, of course. Just stir fry them or roast them for some time, and you’ll have a much healthier dish!

It is a simple list of rules to remember. No boiling any of them, no frying any of them, and cooking all of them at least a little.

Want to keep ageing at bay? Don’t eat these things

Who doesn’t want to have an ageless and healthy body? In the pursuit of our coveted healthy body, we are relentlessly on the lookout for the bests to incorporate in our lives. But, most of us get lost in the myriad of options that are available in the internet. So, folks, we are here to talk no nonsense! Read on to know more about the culprits those are hiding on your plate!

Sugar and Sugary Drinks

It’s not just for nothing that you are told constantly to leave that white stuff at bay! The science behind it might give you a nudge to think before adding spoons of sugar in your coffee. Processed sugar, aerated drinks, sugary mocktails or cocktails, candies, sugary chocolates (by the way, dark chocolates are the safer ones) are of the same crew and they not only steal the glow off your skin but can also affect your dental health. So, next time when you go to the bar counter for ordering a Pina Colada or Mojito, think again!

Aerated Drinks

You might have already gone topsy-turvy by the catchy adverts of aerated drinks, health drinks, energy drinks and never given a second thought before picking up one from the store! Remember, these drinks won’t give you wings, but, on the contrary, give you more than what you never wanted, in a negative way though—damaged teeth, dehydration, flaky skin which robs you of a healthy body! These products are high in sugar, sodium, and caffeine that make your body dehydrated and your skin dull and aged. Nope, we are not anti-promoting any product, but we cannot stay mum when you let your stomach and body bear the brunt of your poor eating habits.

Fast Foods

When you think of eating fast foods, remember that it doesn’t only reach your table fast but squeeze your youth out even faster!  The culprit behind that are – the oil that is used by the restaurants, which is predominantly corn oil that is considered to be the unhealthiest oil, the processed foods including meats that contain nitrates and saturated fats. Corn oil releases free radicals which harm internal organs and makes you age faster. The nitrates, sodium and saturated fats present in processed meats age your heart and lead you towards a poor health condition.

Bakery Foods

All that shines are not gold and all that tastes good are not edibles, just like the bakery foods! Baked foods, especially desserts, contain high calories as they contain added sugar and fats. By including these in your diet, you not only wreck havoc to your body by increasing the calorie intake, but also causing your body, teeth, and skin to age faster.

Red Meat

Before you dismiss us for being too critical on your diet, just check with your dietitian, how much is too much for you? Animal protein, if taken moderately, can fuel your body and help in building body mass. But, on the contrary, red meat is fatty and its notoriety for generating free radicals has lent it culprit fame. By seizing electrons from healthy cells, free radicals curb the progress of growth in them and apparently, this makes your skin lose the strength and elasticity to prevent from sagging. Not just that, red meat is acidic and hence, demineralization of it requires your body to resource minerals from cells and bones.

Caffeinated Drinks

Coffee, yes, our dear coffee is in the list too! It’s known to be diuretic and makes our body and skin go dehydrated. The ray of hope is, as health experts say, a cup or two might not be as harmful but going overboard with it will not leave you unaffected.

Salty Foods

A pinch of salt! Didn’t your doctor say, “Put to a halt?” Because it’s time you become a sensible adult! Hope you are done with damning this abhorring poem so that we can tell you how awful we feel about that extra salt in food! We have already discussed every detail you should know about salt in one of our articles on Sodium. And, hence, it’s not surprising what salty food can do to your body. The common reasons to avoid such foods are that they retain water, trigger dehydration in your body and make you feel bloated. This results in tired and puffy eyes, dry skin and as per studies, cause damage to major internal organs which in a way, accelerate aging.

Hiding your age is so passé! It’s time to be flaunt about your age and let the people around you go green with envy! Do your workouts, take care of your body and chuck these foods out of your diet to stay forever young!

6 Superfoods To Combat Anemia

One of the most common maladies present, especially for women, is anemia. Anemia is the physical condition when there is insufficient amount of hemoglobin or red blood cells. This can result in weakness and pallor. Although it can get quite serious, anemia is a quite treatable disease. Below are a couple of superfoods that can help combat anemia and bring your RBC levels back to normal.

  • Spinach

The green leaf is obviously one of the best foods to combat anemia, as it is an excellent source of iron. It is a rich source of calcium, Vitamins A, B9, E and C, iron, fiber and beta carotene. Incorporate spinach into your salads or even smoothies for some added iron (and nutrients!)

  • Beetroot 

Beetroot is another vegetable that is known for its rich iron content. It also helps in repairing and protecting your red blood cells. As your red blood cell count increases, the amount of oxygen that is able to circulate throughout your body also increases. Try adding some raw beetroot into your salads, make a simple curry out of it, or use some beetroot and fruit to make a delicious juice.

  • Red Meat 

There is an extremely rich iron content in beef, lamb, and other red meats, so they are essential for anemic patients. The heart, kidneys, and the liver of the red meats are those parts that contain high quantities of iron, and it is also a great source of Vitamin B12. Since red meat also contains a high amount of fat and cholesterol, try limiting your quantity to approximately three ounces of red meat per serving, at least two to three days in a week. As long as you cook it sufficiently, you can have red meat however you like.

  • Peanut Butter 

If you are vegetarian or can’t eat beef, don’t worry because peanut butter has almost as much iron as red meat does. Eating two spoons of peanut butter a day can help you effectively combat anemia. Try eating some apple slices with peanut butter, or having a peanut butter & banana sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches also work, but jellies contain an excessive amount of sugar, which can unnecessary calories.

  • Eggs

Eating one large egg per day can provide you with 1 mg of iron, making it another superfood to fight anemia. Try eating two or three eggs at least three days a week to efficiently fight anemia. However, since the yolk has a lot of fat and cholesterol, you may want to use egg whites for two of the eggs and the yolk for only one of the eggs.

  • Pomegranates

Pomegranates contain iron and Vitamin C, which helps invigorate your skin. Additionally, it helps in improving the blood flow in your body and is also very effective in treating anemic symptoms such as weakness, pallor, and even loss of hearing.

The Health Magic of Apple Cider Vinegar

You might have come across many intense diets to lose weight quickly but do their results sustain? Apple cider vinegar diet results in gradual weight loss. Want to know what’s the connection between Vinegar and weight loss?

Apple Cider has magical powers which keep you healthy and fit. Its use has increased nowadays with people becoming conscious about their weight and health.

We know that apples are a good source of pectin, and a diet including pectin can make you feel fuller and more satisfied. Consumption of Apple cider vinegar can suppress your appetite which in turn will help you in losing weight.

In fact, it encourages slimming efforts more effectively than eating raw apples.

Utilization of Proteins increases in the body resulting in the formation of growth hormone. This substance keeps our metabolism going on smoothly while we’re at rest. This is why it is so important to drink it before or with your evening meal. This will help you to lose Calories.

Vinegar plays a very crucial role in improving the utilization of iron in your body, a nutrient that acts like fire-starter for fuel. The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar helps in releasing iron in the food you eat and make it more available to oxygen-carrying hemoglobin and myoglobin. This makes the body very supportive in staying fit and healthy.

Apple cider vinegar starts working at the start of the digestive process and stimulates your appetite and marks the beginning of weight loss and increases your interest in food.  Its interesting taste can help you include it easily in your diet and lose weight. It’s the secret ingredient in ketchup, salads, and other condiments that keeps you coming back for more.

Apple cider is widely used as a healthy substitute of salt. Try replacing salt with it. You can use it to top foods such as vegetables, fruits or protein foods.

Our recommendations for taking vinegar to stay fit and lose weight:

  • Take 1 – 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar with 1 glass of water (As per your taste)
  • Take it before your meals -3 times a day for effective weight loss

‘Raisin’ The Bar for A Healthy Life

Raisins have been in most of our lives since our earliest years. So, are raisins good for you? Well, not only are raisins popular with all age groups and extremely versatile in the kitchen, but raisins nutrition includes being concentrated sources of energy, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.

Benefits of raisins include lowered blood pressure and better heart health. Studies have shown that daily consumption of raisins may significantly lower blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks, making them one of the best natural remedies for high blood pressure. Raisins are so quick and easy to consume, it’s really hard to find an excuse not to include them in your diet on a regular basis!

Raisins Nutrition – Raisins are dried grapes, which are the fruits of the Vitis vinifera plant. The three main types of raisins commercially sold are: sun-dried (natural), artificially dried (water-dipped) and sulfur dioxide-treated raisins.

Unlike other dried fruits that commonly have sweeteners added in the drying process, raisins are packaged without any added sugar. Raisins naturally provide a perfect amount of sweetness for the taste buds. In fact, they’re similar to Medjool dates, one of the best natural sweeteners around.

Are raisins healthy? The one-word answer is definitely: yes! Natural energy isn’t the only plus when it comes to consuming raisins. These delicious dried fruits are also loaded with fiber, potassium, iron and other essential nutrients, but free of saturated fat and cholesterol. They’re also gluten-free, just in case you were wondering.

One small box (1.5 ounces) of seedless raisins contains:

  • 129 calories
  • 34 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.3 grams protein
  • 0.2 gram fat
  • 1.6 grams fiber
  • 25.4 grams sugar
  • 322 milligrams potassium (9.2 percent DV)
  • 0.8 milligrams of iron (4.4 percent DV)
  • 0.08 vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)
  • 14 milligrams magnesium (3.5 percent DV)
  • 22 milligrams of calcium (2.2 percent DV)
  • 1.5 micrograms vitamin K (2 percent DV)

Health Benefits of Raisins Nutrition – Aside from being a popular snack food based on taste alone, raisins contain polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids and nutrients that can benefit overall health. Here are some of the top ways consuming raisins can help you live a healthier life.

Decrease Likelihood of Cavities & Gum Disease – Contrary to what you might expect from a sweet and sticky dried fruit, raisins can actually improve oral health. In fact, they’re one of the best ways to naturally reverse cavities and heal tooth decay. Research published in the Phytochemistry Letters revealed that raisins can benefit oral health because the fruit possesses antimicrobial phytochemicals that suppress the growth of oral bacteria associated with dental cavities and gum disease. One of the five phytochemicals the study identified in raisins is oleanolic acid. In the study, oleanolic acid inhibited the growth of two species of oral bacteria: Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes gum disease. So even though raisins satisfy your sweet tooth, they actually help to keep that tooth free from cavities!

Excellent Digestive Aid – As a high-fiber food, raisins are an excellent digestive aid. Anything that aids your digestion is going to make you less likely to have common bathroom issues like constipation or diarrhea. Raisins contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which both help keep things moving through the intestinal tract in a healthy way by reducing constipation but discouraging loose stools as well. Dried fruits might have more calories than fresh, but they also have a higher amount of fiber. For example, one cup of grapes has one gram of fiber while one cup of raisins has seven grams of fiber. By adding raisins to your snacks and meals, you instantly up the fiber content of your culinary creations quickly and easily.

Lower Blood Pressure & Reduce Stroke Risk – In a study conducted, individuals with mild increases in blood pressure can benefit from the routine consumption of raisins (three times a day). The researchers found that this daily consumption may significantly lower blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks.  In addition, raisins are rich in the heart-healthy electrolyte potassium, helping prevent low potassium – a common issue in the standard American diet. Potassium is a key mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. People who get a lot of potassium in their diets have a lower risk of stroke, especially ischemic stroke.

Help Manage Diabetes – A randomized study in 2015 evaluated the impact of routine consumption of dark raisins versus alternative processed snacks on glucose levels and other cardiovascular risk factors among patients with type II diabetes. In this study, compared to alternative processed snacks, those who consumed raisins had a 23 percent reduction in glucose levels after a meal. Those who consumed raisins also had a 19 percent reduction in fasting glucose and a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure. Overall, research supports raisins as a healthy snack choice for patients with type II diabetes.  When you eat raisins, the fiber content also helps your body to process the raisins’ natural sugars, which helps prevent insulin spikes manage diabetes naturally.

Aid in Preventing Cancer – Studies show that dried fruits, especially dates, prunes, and raisins, contain high phenolic components that have stronger antioxidant powers than those in some fresh fruits. Antioxidants are extremely important to our health because they prevent free radicals (highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm cells) from causing cellular damage inside our bodies. Free radicals are one of the primary, underlying factors that lead to the spontaneous growth of cancer cells as well as the spread of cancer, which is why high-antioxidant foods like raisins are such great natural cancer treatments. By including raisins in your diet, not only can you can increase your antioxidant levels, but you can also decrease cellular damage and ward off cancer.

Let’s Talk About Vitamins

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for your body, helping to make new blood cells and DNA. However, since it is not made naturally in your body, we have to get it through animal products or additional supplements. The average B12 that an adult should have is 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding).

Sources :

Most people will get their B12 from food. Animal sources include dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. If you’re looking for food fortified with B12, check the product’s Nutrition Facts label. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you may have to take additional supplements to compensate for the lack of animal products.

Deficiency of Vitamin B12

You are more likely to develop a vitamin B12 deficiency if you are older, as it becomes harder and harder to absorb the vitamin. Additionally, people with anemia or atrophic gastritis (when your stomach lining has thinned) are more likely to get a vitamin B12 deficiency along with those who have underwent a weight loss surgery or are heavy drinkers.

Vitamin D3:

Vitamin D3 is another essential nutrient for our bodies. Vitamin D is also used for treating weak bones (osteoporosis), bone pain (osteomalacia), bone loss in people with a condition called hyperparathyroidism, and an inherited disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) in which the bones are especially brittle and easily broken. It is also used for preventing falls and fractures in people at risk for osteoporosis, and preventing low calcium and bone loss (renal osteodystrophy) in people with kidney failure.

Deficiency of D3:

A loss of D3 is most commonly associated with rickets, which is caused by low levels of Vitamin D3. This is usually found in children, and often develop bow shaped legs as adults. Adults who have a lack of Vitamin D3 may experience their bones getting softer.

Sources : 

Vitamin D3 can be found in the very atmosphere, as D3 can be found in the sun rays. People with darker skin need more D3 to be at healthy levels, and studies have shown that time of day can affect D3 absorption levels as well. Oily fish like salmon, codfish, mackerel, and bluefish are great natural sources of vitamin D. Fortified foods – such as milk and cereal – along with egg yolks and raw shiitake mushrooms also contain vitamin D.

How to Stay on a Diet When Others Are Eating

Sticking to a diet when you’re at home is one thing. But sticking to a diet in social situations is completely different. At parties, happy hours, and even in the workplace lunchroom, you’ll be around treats and snacks that can derail your diet. And it’s not always easy to get away from the food.

These are a few sneaky tricks that smart dieters use to stick to their diet when everyone around them is enjoying high-calorie treats and beverages:

1.Separate from food. This seems like an obvious strategy, but you’d be surprised how often we navigate to the kitchen at parties. Instead, forge a new path. If the group is in the kitchen surrounded by open bowls of chips and other snacks, ask the host for a tour of the house or find a quiet spot for a relaxing chat with an old friend.

2. Face away from the table. If your event is in a one-room space and the food table is set up in half of it, you’ll have a hard time separating yourself from the treats that will derail your diet. But you can face away from them. Find a friend (preferably one who is not eating) and position yourself with your back to the buffet or food tables. Then strike up a conversation and talk your way out of diet-ruin.

3. Chew gum. One of the best ways to banish food cravings is to chew gum. Find a strong mint flavor to enjoy and keep it on hand. Chewing gum will leave you with fresh breath and no desire to taste sweet or salty foods.

4. Avoid alcohol. This tip is especially hard during the holidays. But the fact is that drinking wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages not only adds empty calories to your waistline, but it also diminishes your motivation to stay on a diet.

5. Keep a drink in your hand. Even if you avoid alcohol, you should still keep a beverage in hand while you’re standing around at parties, buffets, and barbecues. It’s harder to eat if one hand is occupied. Low calorie or no-calorie drinks help you to feel full and they fill your mouth with flavor so you don’t feel deprived.

6. Get busy. Your party host/hostess will love you and sticking to your diet will be easier if you ask for a job at your next social function. Greet guests, set the table, take coats, organize the kids, or offer to do dishes. When you get busy, you have less time to eat and you spend more time socializing.

7. Create positive self-talk. It can be easy to feel deprived if you feel like everyone else gets to eat whatever they want and you have to deny yourself foods or drinks that you love. But you can turn that negative thinking around to help stay on your diet. Before your event, make a list of a couple things that you gain by sticking to your diet at the party, like self-confidence, a feeling of accomplishment, or a guilt-free morning the day after the event.

How To Deal With Sudden Weather Changes

It is common knowledge that sudden change in weather condition and barometric pressure can affect your physical condition. Some people feel dizzy or start to have a headache when a cyclone or typhoon is approaching. Others may experience ringing in the ears, listlessness, upset stomach, nausea, and so on. These are all believed to occur due to the changing of atmospheric pressure as well as whether or climate changes.

Common Health Problems that Occur Due to Weather Changes

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Skin Irritation: skin rashes caused by dry, cold weather, or extremely hot weather.
  • Loss of appetite: happens especially during hot weather.
  • Cough: Try to keep your house clean and free from dust as often as possible to remove the allergens. Avoid cigarette smoking as well. Avoiding eating strong spicy foods is a good idea, too.

What about Hair Loss?

During autumn, many women experience hair loss. In fact, the hair is usually the first thing to suffer from a bodily upset. Yes, this is a type of seasonal hair loss and is only temporary. If the problem is severe, you may need to consult a hair loss specialist or consult the Dermatologists at Doctor Insta. Massaging your scalp with lukewarm oil (coconut oil, mustard oil, or almond oil) helps stimulate the hair follicles and improves blood circulation in the scalp.

Why Does a Sudden Change in Weather Affect Your Health?

  1. Sudden change in temperatures, such as going from a cold environment to a very hot environment or vice versa, will weaken your resistance, simply because your body tries to re-balance itself more quickly than usual.
  2. Changes in barometric pressure, humidity, wind direction, and the amount of ultraviolet light or visible sunlight throughout the day, are also factors that can affect your nervous system, cardiovascular system, and endocrine system.
  3. People experience many ‘physiological’ changes that are being continuously altered by the weather or climate. In fact, you may experience one or more of over 40 different symptoms associated with weather changes. In other words, changing weather can stress out your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections and viruses. This is why I often see people easily get ill during a seasonal change.

How You Can Prevent Weather-Related Illnesses

  • It is important that you boost your immune system- Simply put, a healthy and well-balanced person is seldom sensitive to a sudden weather change. If you are a healthy and strong person, you can actually endure the stress caused by weather changes and not show any signs of discomfort or sickness.
  • Take vitamin C- Vitamin C is definitely an immune system booster. It is also effective in the prevention of colds and flu, or to quickly recover from an illness.

Because vitamin C is water soluble, it enters the bloodstream directly and your kidneys can excrete the excess vitamin when needed. Vitamin C and other water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body so you need to replenish it continuously.

Healthy ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day

Whether you plan to celebrate on your own or with someone special on Valentine’s Day, give the gift of health to yourself and your loved one. Valentine’s Day brings not only feelings of love and joy, it also brings high-calorie chocolates, candies, cookies, and other treats. Let’s try to celebrate the love-filled holiday in a heart-healthy way.

Here are some tips:

  • Make healthy substitutions when baking, including using whole-wheat flour, using oil instead of butter, reducing the sugar called for in a recipe by a third, or replacing half of the fat with pureed fruit, such as applesauce or canned pumpkin.
  • If chocolate is a must for this special day, opt for dark chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa for the natural antioxidants and flavonoids found in the cocoa bean. Choose products that contain fewer added sugars and fats and have not undergone Dutch processing, which decreases the healthy properties of the cocoa.
  • People with certain health problems, like high blood pressure, should limit sodium further to 1,500 mg daily. Eating freshly prepared homemade meals and limiting processed foods and salty snacks can help reduce salt intake. To cut salt, but not taste, use flavorful ingredients like lemon, garlic, herbs, spices, pepper, mustard and onion as a substitute.
  • Indulge in homemade heart-healthy desserts, such as fresh fruit dipped in dark chocolate, which contains antioxidants that protect your heart.
  • Instead of going out for an intimate dinner, prepare a healthy, romantic, candlelit dinner at home with your special someone and enjoy a glass of heart-healthy red wine together. One of the benefits of cooking at home is you can control both the ingredients and the portion sizes, keeping calories and sodium in check. Use unique and fun ingredients to make the meal special. Try out a new recipe to impress your partner and elevate the meal above a typical weeknight dinner. Be sure to include a lean protein and lots of veggies.
  • Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. Including loved ones in your exercise routine can make it that much more enjoyable. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity weekly. For example, make a date to walk together for about 30 minutes before heading out for the day or in the evening after dinner. Healthy habits that you make a part of your lifestyle are more likely to stick and give you long-lasting results. Even if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day or are happily single, these strategies can be shared with friends, family and colleagues to promote heart health and reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.

Try This Healthy No Butter Chocolate Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 cup caster sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  4. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  5. 1/3 cup plain flour
  6. 1 cup Self-raising flour
  7. 1/4 cup (60ml) low-fat milk
  8. 2/3 cup (160ml) light olive oil
  9. Cocoa powder, extra, for dusting

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Grease and line the base and sides of a 19cm square cake pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a small bowl until pale and creamy. Add vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Sift cocoa and flour over egg mixture. Fold into egg mixture until nearly combined. Stir in milk and oil until combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Smooth surface.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with extra cocoa powder to serve.
  5. Optional: Top with light or fat-free whipped topping instead of frosting, and refrigerate the cake afterward. You’ll save a lot of fat and calories by using whipped topping rather than frosting. Another option is to spread a little marshmallow cream on top of the cake. Marshmallow cream still contains a large amount of sugar, but it is fat-free whereas frosting is not. Since it’s so rich, use only a thin coating of marshmallow cream because a little bit goes a long way.

Spice It Up Knowing 8 Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is a powerhouse of nutrients and contains a little bit of everything that we need from our diet. It helps boost our immune system and helps protect against various ailments which act as a threat. Due to its numerous health-promoting factors, garlic is a must-have in one’s diet.

Some of the benefits of garlic are as follows:

Reduces Blood Pressure

High blood pressure levels are the drivers of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and heart diseases which are giant life-takers in the society. Garlic can play an effective role in the reduction of blood pressure levels.

Reduces cholesterol Levels

There are two types of cholesterols found in our body. One is called the LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’ and the other is called HDL or ‘good cholesterol’. It has been scientifically proven that garlic keeps the LDL cholesterol levels down just like its cousin onion. It has been highly recommended to take garlic in optimum amounts to keep the cholesterol levels significantly down.

The Brain Doctor

Free radicals are the biological toxic wastes produced by our body throughout our lives. These free radicals affect the different organs in our body and are responsible for our aging. The brain being no exception also keeps getting affected by the free radicals and fall prey to various degenerative diseases like the Alzheimer’s. Garlic contains anti-oxidative properties which can protect the brain cells from the oxidative damage of the free radicals.

Increases Average Life Expectancy

Garlic contains anti-oxidants that fight against free radicals from damaging the body significantly, moreover owing to its capacity to regenerate body tissues it keeps the organs of the body to keep functioning properly. Garlic helps in keeping the blood cholesterol levels down and by doing so prevents major cardiovascular and heart disease. Owing to the several health benefits provided by it, the overall life-span of individual increases.

Body detox agent

Heavy metal toxicity is one of the causes of failures of the human body. Heavy metal toxicity can affect humans in various ways and can bring about organ failures. Garlic contains a high content of sulfur compounds which acts extensively as a resistance against such risks.

Acts as a Resistant to Cancer

Garlic has been known to prevent cancer, especially in the digestive system and lungs. Garlic is very rich in sulfur compounds which acts as an ally in preventing the growth of cancerous cells. It has also been seen to prevent the growth of several tumors by arresting their growth. People who have a family background of falling prey to cancer are recommended to take garlic regularly in order to prevent the chances of developing cancer. It is advisable to use garlic rather than its extracts as the former gives better results.

Boosts Immunity

The nutritional capacity of garlic being excellent and having anti-oxidant properties as an add-on is the perfect dietary component to boost up our immune system. Garlic prevents free radicals from settling on our skin and thus prevents wrinkles. It also prevents the free radicals from affecting our organs which degrades their longevity and their functional capability.

Helps digestive system

Regular use of garlic helps in promoting the digestive system of the body. The mucous membranes which secrete digestive juices that help in digestion can be stimulated by the regular use of garlic. Toxins are a huge cause of the body getting susceptible to harm. It also plays an effective role in protecting the liver against harm. In spite of the above beneficial factors, garlic should not be taken in excess as it may act as an irritant to the digestive tract.