Lose Weight : Eat Breakfast

Feb 2013 001

Breakfast is the first meal of the day that lays the foundation for lifelong health benefits. With the busy schedule everyday, breakfast often becomes an after thought, but should instead make it, the top priority in the morning. Mornings are great time for getting things done when you are less likely to get interrupted than later in the day. There are higher possibilities to turn personal priorities into reality. “A Great Morning”, would start with a freshly brewed coffee, warm-up exercise, and a hearty family breakfast.

Having breakfast gets your morning started on the right tract. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It kick starts your metabolism and gets your day off to the best possible start by providing the rocket fuel, called glucose, a carbohydrate. It makes you feel happy, healthy and energetic. It is linked to improved performance and weight loss.

After a long sleep, 8-12 hrs, your brain requires glucose, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to get energy.  You fast the whole night and You need to break this fast! Breakfast restores glucose that were lost or utilized during the sleep. But it is  quite often ignored or rushed through like grabbing a doughnut, a banana, or an apple. Sounds familiar? Yes and the most common excuse for not having breakfast is “lack of time”! Research has shown that breakfast skippers are likely to be at the risk of getting overweight, osteoporosis, anemia, colon cancer  in future

Do not skip breakfast

It might seem that you save calories by not having breakfast. On the contrary,  the breakfast eaters tend to weigh lesser than the breakfast skippers.  Eating breakfast can help you lose weight. 

Skipping breakfast can be visually represented as a car without petrol. No breakfast means the brain energy is slumping in the mid morning. You may not be able to focus well on work and also will have trouble with keeping in good mood.  Skipping breakfast will lead to binge eating and you more likely will end up eating all through the day! You are also more vulnerable to cravings and more likely to choose unhealthy foods resulting in overweight.  “How can I make breakfast a part of my day?”.  The answer is very simple. It’s just building the habit of having breakfast everyday, one of the major lifestyle changes. Turning a desire into habit needs a stronger will power. So, be more consistent.

Start slowly

smoothie

If you don’t feel hungry in the morning, start with something that is small, like a piece of toast, whole meal waffle with peanut butter, whole wheat crackers with cheese or peanut, yogurt, or smoothie. Once you get used to eating early in the morning, start having a full balanced breakfast meal.

Sit down and eat breakfast

Many of us rush through the day and just gobble the food before stepping out. The food that consumed in hurry will most likely end up undigested. The longer we chew the food, the more we enjoy the flavor and texture of the food. Chewing enhances the digestion. Try at least 30 mins, every morning, to eat & enjoy your breakfast.

Choose the right food for breakfast

Breakfast is starting off with better nutrition. One must consider the type of food eaten for breakfast. A pastry coupled with coffee in the morning, will give you an initial energy surge. Truthfully, it is just a temporary filler. By mid morning you may be sluggish or sleepy!

Feb 2013 006cheese HTN

A healthy breakfast meal should contain a variety of foods, including fruits & vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, and lean protein. Protein blunts hunger and is more satiating.

Feb 2013 013An egg for break fast is one of the best choice to have protein in the morning. Egg contains high quality protein, vitamins and minerals. Limit the high sodium, harmful fat and sugar food. Eating breakfast that includes whole grains will reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack & heart failure.

Plan ahead

Many find it difficult to prepare a full meal, especially, in the morning for you have to rush to work. You can always prepare a smoothie, cut fruits, cook the cereals, pack a to-go sandwich, the previous night, and refrigerate and it is ready for the next day morning!  Can have the cereal either cold or hot and for more  flavor add nuts, berries or bananas.  Yummy, healthy, and filling breakfast!

Breakfast should be consumed daily for a sustained life and to promote good well being. Ensure that even in the morning rush you and your kids get a good, healthy breakfast before stepping out of the house. Breakfast is vital for every adult, young growing kids and teens. According to American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform well in the class room and in the play ground, with better concentration, problem solving skills, and eye-hand co-ordination.

References

www.mayoclinic.com

www.eatright.org

www.kidshealth.org

www.health.harvard.edu

Green tea

Green Tea – Good for you

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Millions of people drink tea. Some, who prefer coffee in the morning still drink tea for the rest of the day. The caffeine in tea stimulates the central nervous system, relaxes muscles in the airways to lungs, and stimulates heart. It also acts as diuretics! After a hard day of work, a cup of grassy flavoured green tea (Camellia Sinensis) drink gives a warm feeling of relaxation.

Relax and enjoy a cup of soothing freshly brewed tea!

Does green tea burn fat?

Many think that consumption of green tea, alone, helps lose weight. It is no way, “a magic bullet”. Green tea, only along with healthy eating habits and regular exercise, minimum 30 mins a day (both cardiovascular system and muscles in the same session), boosts metabolism to burn fat, efficiently. An active agent ‘Catechin”, a polyphenol, coupled with natural caffeine present in green tea leaves, boosts metabolism during physical activities. It works best when taken with smaller meal based on low fat, wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.  It is not not only the fat burning, there are many more good reasons to drink green tea, everyday.

Other health benefits of green tea

Even non-tea drinkers want to sip green tea for its health benefits. Regular consumption of green tea along with healthy eating habits reduces the risk of cancers like, colon, esophageal, skin, lung, and bladder. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of the six catechin compounds in green tea, inhibits the growth of cancer cells without harming the healthy cells.

Green tea destroys bacteria that form cavities and prevents plaque formation.

Anti oxidants in black, green, and oolong tea, 4-5 cups a day, help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and improve the arterial function.

Green tea in combination with low cholesterol food and regular exercise will rescue one from the risk zone of getting heart disease and hypertension.

Green tea is considered a staple beverage in China and Japan. Hakka Thunder Tea rice (Lei Cha Fan) is a traditional Hakka dish with rice topped with assorted vegetables, tofu, peanuts, ikan bilis (tiny salty fish) and a broth of green tea leaves and herbs. Sounds healthy? Just try it……

Is herbal tea better than Green tea?

Green tea is made from unfermented Camellia Sinensis leaves that contains a powerful antioxidant called polyphenols. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals and reduce the damage they cause to the cells.

Healing herbal tea”, is not from camellia leaves. It is an infusion of roots, flowers (flavour enhancer), seeds, leaves and berries of different plants and so does not have the health-promoting properites.

Fresh or bottle tea?

Decaf tea and Bottled Iced tea contains fewer polyphenols than brewed green tea. Bottled and canned tea contains sugar in it. It is wise to read labels before purchase.  For maximum health benefits make your own tea at home.

green tea HTN


Green tea affects non-heme iron 
absorption

Iron is a component of hemoglobin and is required for the synthesis 

of 

red blood cells.

The phenolic compounds in green tea reduces the non-heme iron absorption. Iron from meat & animal sources is called heme iron and from egg & plant sources is called non-heme iron. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron if taken at the same meal. Fruits are good source of vitamin C

Green tea consumed in average is safe & Good for health.

References:

http://www.nih.gov

http://www.health.harvard.edu

www.mayoclinic.com

Gary Singh, “ How to boost your immune system”, 2008

Jane Higdon Ph D, “ An evidenced- based to dietary phytochemicals”, 2007

Bitter taste, phytonutrients, and the consumer: a review 1,2,3 Adam Drewnowski and Carmen Gomes Cameros

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/72/6/1424.full

 http://www.ors.od.nih.gov

Berries, the Nutritional Power Houses

Everyone would like to look healthy with a glowing skin and shape. Fruits are the right choice! Berries……. are even the best !

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Every grocery store carries a wide variety of fruits, fresh, frozen, and canned. They are natural, bold, vibrant, rich in flavor and colorful!When it comes to health, berries have a fabulous reputation!

Berries, small and soft – fleshed fruits, are nutritional power houses, whether eaten fresh or frozen. They are rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals and phytochemicals. The peel or the skin of these fruits have higher concentration of phytochemicals. Brighter their color, richer their nutrients.

Want to retain your memory? Start snacking on blue berries.?????????????????????????

Blue berries – the brain berries, one of the naturally blue-hued food are packed with antioxidants that boosts the brain functions. This tiny fruit is loaded with vitamins C, E, K, soluble fiber, manganese, iron,copper, zinc and beta carotene. A real powerful package!

The soluble fiber in blue berries absorbs water, creates slow moving gel, that slows the absorption of sugar. Sounds great!

Straw berry………. The Red Glory! Red Princess! 

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Straw berries, a sweet flavor fruit, contains more vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals, than an orange and high in folic acid. They also are good source of potassium. Straw berry, banana, yogurt smoothie is a favorite of kids!

Cute, little Cranberries combat urinary tract infections.  They are good source of  tannin, a potential antibacterial agent. Tannins are also found in teas.  Proanthocyanidins, an antioxidant compounds, in cranberries prevent cardiovascular disease by counteracting against cholesterol plaque formation.

Raspberries,“The King of Berries”!

This royal titled, helmet shaped cluster with a red ruby color are excellent source of Vitamin C and their tiny seeds are good source of fiber, folate, vitamin E and have a little less natural sugar when compared to other fruits.

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Lower the risk for cancer?

People who eat fruits and vegetables have lower cancer rates. The higher concentration of anitoxidants in berries help ward off a host of chronic diseases. A large body of research suggest that berries may be among the most potent cancer-fighting fruits.  Phytochemicals: anthocyanins, ellagic acids, resveratrol, pterostilbene play a major role in fighting different types of cancer.

The flavonoid, anthocyanin in berries causes blood vessels to relax, helps in maintaining normal blood pressure. Beta carotene in berries protects our eyes form age related conditions that leads to blurred vision and blindness. Beta carotene is most effective when it is combined with vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin E. Eating variety of food is the best way to get the right amount of nutrients.

Berries can be easily incorporated in our diet

  • Can be eaten fresh. Most berries are naturally sweet so we don’t have to add sugar or glaze it with syrup.
  • Stir fresh raspberries to yogurtfeb 2013 016
  • Embellish breakfast cereals with blue berries and cranberries
  • Garnish salad with blue berries.
  • Combine mixed berries with banana or papaya and milk (low-fat) for a wonderful smoothie

Having fruits everyday will make you more bright and happy.

Cherry makes you merry”feb 2013 001

References:

  • American Chemical Society (2012, March 7). Eating berries benefits the brain.ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307145825.htm
  • Gary D Stoner, Navindra P Seeram “Berries and Cancer Prevention”, 2011 
  • Lester Packer, Catherine Rice-Evans, “Flavonoids in Health and Disease”, 2005