Category Archives: Low Calorie

The 3 Best Greek Yogurt Flavors

While eating smart and healthy in the hustle and bustle of everyday life is never easy, the addition of Greek Yogurt in recent years has provided a tremendous opportunity for the average consumer to get their hands on a quick, healthy snack that provides a slew of nutritional benefits. With this yogurt style now making up for over 40 percent of the industry, we have been refining our tastes down to the very best flavors that still provide good lifestyle choices while also tickling your tastebuds. So which flavors are the very best? Here are the top 3 that I’ve come across in tasting well over 100 different types of Greek Yogurt.

Chobani Bites: Coffee With Chocolate Chips

If you’ve been watching your diet for some time, chances are you have cravings for chocolate now and again. Chobani bites offers the option to get a snack in that hits that sweet spot, provides 8 grams of protein, and still manages to be in low in fat and provide a great taste for 100 calories. This is hands down my all-time favorite type of yogurt, and I recommend it to friends pretty much every day. It’s a bit high in sugar for those that closely scrutinize your carb intake, but still worth it.

Chobani Fruit at the Bottom: Apple Cinnamon

If you’re not a big fan of fruits and vegetables, it can be incredibly difficult to work into your eating habits on a daily basis. Combine an easy fruit serving that with the curative powers of a super food like cinnamon, and you have my second favorite greek yogurt flavor. Clocking in with a whopping 28% protein and only 120 calories, Chobani’s Fruit at the Bottom is easy to squeeze in at any time of the day.

Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Dips: Roasted Red Pepper

Combining the indulgent feeling of a creamy, delicious dip with the healthy facets of Greek Yogurt, this Dannon Dip powerhouse provides a feeling of fullness and nutrition. If your friends are health-conscious as well, this is an easy alternatives to fattier dips. You can also mix in carrots and other vegetables instead of the usual chips and dip combination. The very best part of a dip like this is that in terms of calories, the density isn’t there. You can take a whole two tablespoons of Dannon Oikos Grek Yogurt Dip and it only comes in at 25 calories a serving. That’s impressive and delicious!


The Benefits of Cayenne Pepper Powder

Cayenne pepper is a spice some people would happily put in their meal to spice it up, while on the other hand, some would avoid it, afraid not to burn their tongues. No matter which type of person you are, the capsicum (its other name) has undeniable advantages for your health. That is why including some cayenne pepper powder wouldn’t bring any harm, right? The result would actually be the other way around because the cayenne is full of vitamins, as well as magnesium, calcium and many other useful substances.

What is cayenne pepper powder useful for?

Capsicum can be helpful with:

  • Blood circulation issues, blood cells regeneration, heart and cholesterol troubles, etc.
  • Digestion and metabolism improvement
  • Suppressing the appetite for weight loss enthusiasts
  • Various aches and pains (toothache, headache, arthritis pain, etc.)
  • All sorts of allergies, infections and irritations can be calmed, thanks to the cayenne pepper powder
  • An efficient antiseptic for body wounds
  • Capsicum powder makes cancer and other tumor cells to kill each other, according to some studies

The powdered form of cayenne is very useful for both young and elderly people, but its benefits are more visible in the elderly as it has benefits upon the nerves and circulation. It helps veins and capillaries regain the elasticity by feeding the cell structure. It strengthens the pulse by increasing the power. The powder is effective on external wounds, it will stop internal and external bleeding, promote healing and fight against infection.

This spice clears clogged arteries and some studies revealed that it can help heal hemorrhoids and ulcers. Some other recent studies shows that capsaicin, the active ingredient from cayenne has the power to induce cancer cells self-destruction.

Moreover, you can sprinkle some powder on the toothbrush, before brushing, to cure dental issues. It can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, and exercise should not miss if you want to see results. It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing gastric juices, relieves intestinal gas and stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion.

It is critical that cayenne come in contact with the tongue because it acts as a metabolic catalyst. You can take it as a tincture or powder, one teaspoon mixed with warm water.

Among the above health benefits, cayenne can be used for diarrhea, toothaches, thyroid problems, pain relief, reduces migraines and fever, and it is an ingredient in ulcer medication and laxatives. Also, it has thermogenic properties being effective in preventing frostbite in cold weather.


12 of Nature’s Best Fruits

Kerson Fruit (Muntingia calabura)

This little red rotund fruit with a tart cherry-like flavor that grows easily in many tropical countries has a lot more benefits than meets the eye. Containing many powerful antibacterial compounds, this cute little fruit also known as Panama berry, Jamaican cherry, and Singapore cherry is also said to have antibacterial properties, help ease the pain from gout, helps to lower blood sugar levels, helps to relieve headaches and lower fever, and is also a very good source of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant able to ward off flu and colds, and its tea made from the leaves even helps to promote cardiovascular health!

Soursop (Annona muricata)

Known in many Spanish-speaking countries as guanabana, this large, spiny, green, tropical fruit with a sweet flesh is used as the base of numerous beverages, and other sweet foods like ice cream. Said to contain plenty of fatty acid compounds called acetogenins, this powerful fruit is now widely used in research, in particular, for their potential use to retard, or even prevent the growth of cancer! The flesh of the fruit mainly provides carbohydrates, and is also packed with abundant doses of ascorbic acid, and numerous B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin and thiamine as well as phosphorus, calcium and traces of beneficial iron.

Papaya (Carica papaya)

A previously rare and exotic fruit that grows in tropical countries is now readily available to fruit enthusiasts at most times of the year. Usually sweet, this vibrant, usually round, yellow or orange-colored fruit, when used topically in its mashed form as a lotion, is said to be beneficial to promoting wound healing, and prevents further infection from burns. Also known to relieve constipation, its high content of digestive enzymes known as papain promotes regular movement and improves digestive health as well. To ward off heart diseases, papaya’s high potassium and fiber levels helps to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Longan (Dimocarpus longan)

Also widely known as Dragon’s eye, or Mamoncillo chino, the longan, often referred to as the “little brother of lychee” in terms of its taste and appearance, is a very rich source of numerous vitamins, minerals, and other different nutrients. Long been used as a natural remedy for stomach aches with its fiber content, the longan also helps to boost the immunity and helps to ward off various diseases. With its high content of B vitamins, it is said to improve the condition of a person’s nerves, as well as helps to calm the nervous system. They are also said to contain phenolic acids that are powerful antioxidants, as well.

Durian (Durio zibethinus)

A soft, succulent fruit that closely resembles the jackfruit in terms of appearance, the durian is a very rich source of healthy dietary fiber, thus making it a very excellent bulk laxative. Despite its very characteristic odor that has people expressing diverse and peculiar opinions, durian helps to bind and eliminate carcinogenic substances from the gut. Packed with several minerals like manganese, copper, iron and magnesium, durian is considered a natural alternative source of these trace minerals that help to aid in keeping the blood healthy. Durian, in its fresh state, is also rich in potassium, a very important electrolyte responsible for maintenance of heart rate and blood pressure.

Purple Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana)

This round purple fruit, with a very soft and distinct fragrance and a sweet taste, more popularly known simply as mangosteen, has various beneficial uses: its natural antibacterial compounds are known to reduce and eliminate many common skin problems like acne, oily or dry skin, and even blemishes. People with sciatica pains can also benefit from the consumption of this delicious fruit, as it contains anti-inflammatory properties as well. Also, this fruit contains absolutely no saturated fats or cholesterol, that makes it a vital food item for people concerned with gaining excessive weight or those who are trying to lose it.

Pomegranate (Pumica granatum)

An original native of Persia, this nutrient-dense fruit rich in antioxidants has long been revered as a symbol of fertility, health, and eternal life in the ancient times. A red colored fruit enclosed in a very tough outside layer, the only edible portions are the seeds and the juice. Not so ancient though, is its high phytochemical contents that are now known to stimulate serotonin and improve symptoms of depression. Punicalagin, a compound unique to the pomegranate not only helps to lower blood cholesterol levels, it also helps to speed up the melting of clots found in the vessels of the heart, also known as atherosclerosis, resulting to decreased risks or heart attack.

Mango (Mangifera indica)

This highly succulent fruit that grows well in tropical countries, some people regard the mango as the “King” of all fruit. Not only is it rich in much needed Vitamin C, it also helps to protect the body against cancer. Its fibrous fruit boosts the body’s digestive activity by burning additional calories, thus aiding in weight loss. Mangoes also contain high levels of Vitamin A that promotes good eyesight, and helps to prevent night blindness as well. The Vitamin E that mangoes contain helps to regulate hormones, increase virility and boosts the sex drive of men. Also, it benefits women with its high iron content, which is also helpful for those suffering from anemia or women in their menopausal stages.

Apple (Malus pumila)

This red pomaceous fruit from the rose family is one of the healthiest food items that a person can eat. Having a high fiber and Vitamin C content, apples are one of the most popular fruits with its bright red color and often sweet taste. Inside its round appearance, are numerous health benefits like alleviating irritable bowel movement, weight management, liver detoxification, and reducing risks for heart disease too! And to top it all off, all the chewing of this yummy fruit also helps to whiten teeth and prevent or delay tooth decay as well. Experts recommend too that the skin of the apple should be consumed with the rest of the fruit.

Banana (Musa x paradisiaca)

Classified by botanists as being a berry, bananas are not just for monkeys! Its high levels of tryptophan, a chemical that is converted into serotonin (also known as the “happy hormone”) helps aid to improve depression. Popularly known as a source of potassium, bananas are able to reduce high blood pressure, and give protection against heart disease and stroke. It also has high fiber content, thus making it a popular remedy for people suffering from constipation. For people with diabetes, bananas are helpful in stabilizing blood sugar levels and are also proven to reduce nausea in morning sickness experienced by pregnant women.

Grapes (Vitis vinifera)

Regarded by some as being the “Queen” of the fruits, the cute little berries store a very vast powerhouse of nutrients that are very beneficial. They are native to Europe and nearby Mediterranean countries, but are now cultivated worldwide. The red grapes variety are known to contain anthocyanins which are found to have anti-allergic, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Generally containing a powerful component known as resveratrol, grapes are instrumental in providing protection against cancers of the colon and prostate, and some viral and fungal infections. They are rich sources of micronutrient materials like copper, iron and manganese, all of which are beneficial for healthy blood.

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

Watermelons are mostly water (up to 92%) – but each delicious bite of this sweet tasting fruit not only refreshes the one eating it, but also provides numerous health benefits, as well. Being widely known as a natural diuretic, watermelons have been proven to be helpful in the removal of toxins in the body. Not only that, but citrulline, a component found in watermelons, have been proven to help reduce the accumulation of fat in our cells. Being rich in beta-carotene, this vibrant colored fruit also protects against macular degeneration and helps prevent night blindness. It Vitamin A content also maintains healthy teeth, skin, mucus membranes, as well as soft and skeletal tissues.


18 Superfoods for Your Heart

Our lifestyles and diet have a lot more to do with our heart than the number of years we have lived. Given today’s hectic lifestyles, irregular sleep patterns, unhealthy diet, high levels of stress and lack of physical activity, no wonder we hear several young, seemingly healthy professionals collapsing mid-day due to heart related factors. Heart disease is no longer an age-related illness.

While we have made considerable advancements in the field of cardiology, it is not enough for us to leave our hearts to chance. Several common foods rich in nutrients can work to help prevent heart illnesses, when consumed daily and accompanied by a healthy lifestyle. Here are 18 superfoods that’ll have your heart going ‘Thank You’!

1. Flaxseeds – Loaded with heart-healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans and fibre, flaxseed can be consumed in the form of ground powder, in baked items, as flax meal and so on. The Omega-3s work wonders for anti-inflammation, heartbeat normalization, lowering blood pressure and controlling cholesterol levels.

2. Chia seeds – High in fibre, Omega-3s and protein, chia seeds can help lower LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation, while increasing heart healthy HDL cholesterol.

3. Whole grains – A diet comprising of whole grains helps in reducing LDL cholesterol levels. The fibre content in whole grains helps to lower triglycerides and cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and regulate blood sugar levels.

4. Puffed-rice/Oatmeal – Puffed-rice is rich in potassium, zinc, copper, thiamine, niacin, Vitamin B6 pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese. If you eat puffed-rice regularly you don’t need to eat Vitamin B complex supplements. Oats are also known for their high fibre content, that help remove cholesterol from the digestive system. The beta-glucan fibre present in oats lowers cholesterol levels in the blood, thus preventing plaque build-up in the walls of blood vessels.

5. Broccoli – This non-starchy vegetable helps reduce cholesterol levels. It contains sulforaphane which has anti-inflammatory properties and could prevent damage to blood vessel linings. Its B-complex vitamins work to regulate or reduce homocysteine levels.

6. Spinach -Loaded with Vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and folate, spinach packs the punch when it comes to cardiovascular health! This green leafy vegetable works wonders in preventing the build-up of oxidized cholesterols in blood vessel walls, lowering homocysteine levels, regulating blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy heart.

7. Salmon – Another great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is also naturally rich in protein, Vitamins B and D. Consuming this oily fish at least twice a week helps in regulating blood pressure and reducing the amount of triglycerides in your system.

8. Sardines – Touted to be one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, sardines are also bursting with the goodness of Vitamin B12. The vitamin promotes cardiovascular health as it works to keep the homocysteine levels in check, thereby protecting your arteries.

9. Walnuts – This superfood contains the amino acid L-arginine which helps maintain the elasticity and flexibility of arterial walls, making them less prone to blood clots and blockages. They are also rich in unsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, Vitamin E and plant sterols.

10. Almonds – These heart-healthy nuts contain high amounts of monounsaturated fats, Vitamin E, magnesium and potassium that work to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, maintain arterial and venal health, foster healthy muscular contraction and regulate blood pressure.

11. Raisins – Cholesterol and fat free, and rich in potassium, raisins help in reducing cholesterol oxidation that could lead to atherosclerosis. They can also help lower high blood cholesterol triglyceride levels.

12. Apples – The polyphenol antioxidants in this delicious fruit help in blocking oxidation of LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the chances of atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries that can cause stroke.

13. Oranges – These nutrient-rich fruits are loaded with Vitamin C, folate, potassium, magnesium, phytochemicals, flavanones, polyphenols and fibre! Oranges help in reducing oxidation of cholesterol, preventing accumulation of excess homocysteine, controlling blood pressure and fighting inflammation.

14. Berries – The phytochemicals, Vitamin C, carotenes, zinc, iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, fibre and low sugar content in berries make them heart-friendly superfoods that you’d love to eat! Berries help in preventing plaque build-up and promote healthy blood pressure.

15. Avocado – Rich in potassium, consuming avocados can help normalize blood pressure. They also contain mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, that can help reduce LDL levels and decrease the risk of heart diseases.

16. Dark chocolate – Higher cocoa content in dark chocolate translates into higher flavonoid levels; flavonoids help in lowering blood pressure, improving blood circulation to the brain and heart, preventing blood clots and fighting damage to cells.

17. Green tea – The EGCG in green tea is known for its anti-oxidant properties which help in improving blood flow, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and protecting against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol particles that can cause atherosclerosis.

18. Olive oil – MUFAs or monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil are dietary fats; these make olive oil healthy for cardiovascular functioning when used instead of other fatty foods and oil sources.

These 18 superfoods are all packed with beneficial nutrients for the healthy functioning of your heart. However, just these foods are not enough. A well-balanced meal coupled with regular physical activity, regulated sleep cycle and reduced levels of stress are all integral for the promotion of cardiovascular health and ultimately a long and healthy life.


5 Ways to Use Honey in Your Diet

Honey is an extremely versatile food, known worldwide for its numerous health benefits; so versatile is this rich, golden liquid that its usage extends beyond dietary purposes! From food spreads and skin potions to illness remedies and beauty applications, the utilities of honey seem boundless.

Honey possesses hygroscopic, antibacterial, antioxidant and nutritional properties that make it a power food for the whole family. Since honey is an adaptable food, serving multiple purposes, one can include honey in the daily diet in several ways.

1. In your beverages:

Kickstart your day with a tall glass of warm water, two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This honey-water-lemon concoction is known to help aid faster burning of fats, when coupled with an active lifestyle. You can replace sugar and other calorie-heavy sweeteners. Opt for honey in milk, instead of sugar. You can also whip up your very own, healthy power drink to immediately feel refreshed and energized. Mix two cups of water, one-fourth cup of fresh lemon juice, one-eighth teaspoon of salt and two and a half teaspoons of raw honey in a water bottle. Consume as and when needed to rehydrate yourself, instead of consuming unhealthy sports drinks and mixes.

2. As a bread spread:

Using honey as a breakfast or bread spread is a smart and healthier alternative to the sugar-packed conventional bread spreads available in the market. Generously spread honey onto your morning toast for a delicious breakfast; remember to have some fruit portions as well. Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder and apply it on bread as a spread, instead of jams and jellies. You can also make a honey-mustard spread for sandwiches in a trice – just blend one-fourth cup of prepared mustard, one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of mayonnaise, and spread the mixture between bread slices. Alternatively, you can use honey as a great dip to go with breakfast rotis or chapatis. A popular way in some rural ways is to dip freshly made Dosas in a mix of honey & ghee.

3. As a salad dressing:

Salads taste great when married with the right dressing! You can use honey to up your salad dressing game, and turn snack time into a delicious, healthy daily routine. Simply add equal parts honey, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil into a jar; add a sprinkling of your favourite herbs and a pinch of salt to taste. Close the jar tightly with a lid and shake thoroughly, or simply use a spoon to mix the contents well. Add a generous portion of the dressing to your salads, instead of using mayonnaise or other calorie-rich salad dressings.

4. As a power snack:

For a quick and nutritious snack, mix your favourite dry fruits, a cup of raw toasted oats, a little warm milk and three tablespoons of honey in a bowl. This muesli-like snack bowl is super-nutritious and packs quite the punch in filling you up; it works perfectly as a light tea-time snack, thus preventing you from binge-eating salty, fried or processed snacks.

5. In your soups:

Honey is an excellent ingredient in soups such as bisques, broths made with carrots, squash, sweet potato of certain fruit, and in soups or curries seasoned with ginger. Just a drizzle of honey works to add more complexity and balance to soups. In case of soups that work on the bitterness angle such as cauliflower or parsnip based soups, honey makes the soup softer on the palate. Spicy soups gain a slightly sweet dimension when honey is added. Moreover, the natural viscosity of honey helps in adding more body and thickness to soups.

Honey works wonderfully in various food preparations, both as an additive and a key ingredient. Experiment with honey by using recipes for whole-cooked meals with honey. But do note that Ayurveda warns against heating honey. If you want to keep it simple, go the easy route and add honey as a table ingredient in your daily meals such as beverages and snacks.


10 Advantages of Flaxseed

Introduction

Do you know that people consume flaxseeds as food since the time immemorial? The historians say that these seeds are known to people about 6000 years ago. There are documents to prove that this might have been the world’s first cultivated super-food. This rekindled the interest of the people in its properties. That was how the research on this particular food from nature had begun. In nut shell, the contents of flaxseed are found to aid digestion, lower cholesterol, improve the skin health, fight cancer, balance hormones, lower sugar cravings and promote weight loss. This research result is just the beginning of a new world of healthy living. In this article, we would look into the advantages of flaxseed.

Benefits of Flaxseed

People call flaxseeds as linseeds in some places. They are small differently colored seeds that come in brown, golden and tan colors. According to the biochemists, these seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These unsaturated fatty acids help us to make several compounds to fight disease. Our body makes use of these compounds to create grey matter in our brain.

1. They are rich sources of lignans that form major part of food we consume. They are found to contain 7 times more lignans than any other plant source.
2. These seeds have high fiber content, especially mucilage gum. It has a curing effect on the intestinal tracts and aids in bowel movement.
3. Applying two table-spoons of flaxseed oil helps people keep hair, skin and nails healthy.
4. Alpha-linolenic acid found in these seeds benefits skin and improve its texture so that it glows. It also reduces inflammation on the skin.
5. Walnuts work in tandem with flaxseeds to lower fat absorption. These seeds also support weight loss. The fibers make the stomach feel full so that you eat fewer calories of food.
6. Adding linseeds in your diet will automatically bring down the cholesterol level in blood. The soluble fibers present in the seeds trap cholesterol and lower its absorption in the body.
7. The flaxseeds are gluten-free. It is an excellent replacement for gluten-rich grains that are inflammatory.
8. Another plus point for these seeds is the presence of antioxidants. In fact, these seeds are found to have huge reservoir of antioxidants.
9. Flaxseeds improve overall digestive health. Alpha Linolenic acid present in these seeds protects the lining of the digestive tract.
10. The contents present in these seeds also offer protection against the deadly disease of cancer.