Benefits of including green leafy vegetables in your diet

Spinach is something that I have dreaded for the majority of my life. Throughout my childhood, I have seen only Popeye eat spinach without making a face. However, over time, I got to know the benefits of green leafy vegetables and did not complain much when it was cooked at home. It did not taste great but I thought it was worth all the benefits it has.

Recently, when I started to cook is when I realized there are some easy and tasty ways to inculcate spinach in your diet. It is basically, tweaking the existing recipes a tad bit and making it a lot healthy by adding spinach to it. Before we get on to the recipes let’s look at the common pros of eating spinach

Benefits of Green Leafy Vegetables

For a healthy brain

Studies show that regular consumption of green leafy vegetables helps with better focusing and memory. Elements like folate, iron, calcium, and vitamins E and K in spinach also help lowering Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Healthy eyes

This is something my mother has told me all my life because I wear spectacles. The presence of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in greens help in improving or maintaining your vision for a long time.

For a healthy heart

The potassium that you consume through eating food helps you in lowering strokes. And green leafy vegetables have that in large amounts. The nitrate in spinach or green leafy vegetables helps in resolving heart-related diseases associated with fat deposition.

Healthy skin

We all know the effects of junk food on our skin. The breakout and acne and oil… Green leafy vegetables are just the opposite. Vitamin A helps in preventing aging and generally maintaining your skin health.

To control appetite

As green leafy vegetables are high in fiber content, they help in normalizing bowel movements, control blood sugar, maintain general bowel health.

Now that you know the benefits (that is our way of convincing you to eat greens) let’s dive right into the cooking part.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to inculcate spinach in your daily diet 

Potatoes – Potatoes go really well with spinach. The pleasant taste of potatoes makes greens subtle and yummy. So the next time you are making any potato related dishes, it could be the masala for masala dosa or aloo jeera – add some blanched leaves to it and make it a healthy diet. How do you blanch spinach? Take a vessel and add enough water for the leaves to dip in. Let the water come to a boil and then add the leaves to it. Wait for the leaves to shrink and the color to darken. You can either take the leaves and add them to the dish you are preparing or freeze it. Blanching removes the dirt and bacteria and also makes it easy to cook.

Lentils – Lentils and pulses are common in our diet. Whenever you make dal or sambar you can add a few blanched leaves. You can add palak to dal and leaves of drumstick tree/Moringa leaves to thick sambar. 

Ragi – Ragi or Finger Millet is rich in fiber and calcium. It is the best for diabetes and it is gluten-free and has fewer carbs. You can add the leafy greens as per your choice to ragi rotti or dosa. You must definitely try adding moringa leaves to ragi rotti. It only enhances the taste. Ragi and greens together are heaven for your body. Ragi fights depression and insomnia and you already know the benefits of green leafy vegetables – together they perform wonders.

And of course, you can try palak paneer or add green leaves in sabzi/dry vegetables. You can also use curry leaves and coriander leaves in your daily diet. They are no less nutritious. You can make chutneys and powders with these leaves. For example, Gongura pachadi (pickle) is a popular  Andhra dish that is made by wilting and frying the Gongura leaves, adding spices and grinding them. It tastes amazing with hot rice, dosa and chappathi. Gongura leaves are also used in making chicken curry and dal/pappy. Curry leaves powders are popular in the South of India. They also can be eaten with rice, dosa, and idly by adding a bit of oil or ghee.

When it comes to green leafy vegetables, it is best if you localize them and consume the seasonal ones. 

Inculcating leafy vegetables into your diet makes you get used to it. Then, eventually, you can keep consuming more of it based on your requirements and likeliness. 

Check out our recipe page to find some interesting and healthy recipes like the above.

Let us know in the comments a recipe to which you add green vegetables!

Why You Should Plan Meals In Advance

Planning your meals ahead has so many more benefits than just saving time. Read on to know the numerous benefits.

Most of us are leading a busy lifestyle with longer working hours, which might even force you to skip your lunch and breakfast often. If you are leading such a busy life, where you have to skip meals or eat late, it will gradually lead to serious health issues. It is true that finding time to cook food is not always possible. However, what you can do is to plan your meals in advance, as it will help you to eat healthy and smart. Planning your meals in advance will also make sure that you don’t skip food. 

Several people who do not have time due to their busy work schedules end up eating restaurant food and junk food way too often. Eating habits like this will not just result in weight gain, but it will also result in health issues. The good news is that planning your meal in advance and ensuring that you are eating healthy home-cooked food daily will help you stay healthy. 

If you do not have time to cook at home, you can easily get healthy homemade food delivered to your home. In fact, you will be able to set preferences and select a meal plan that suits you. You can also subscribe to a meal plan in advance for 10, 20, or more days as you please. Here are a few reasons that will explain why you should plan meals in advance. 

Improves Nutrition 

One of the best things about planning meals in advance is that it will help you to improve your nutrition. Since you have control on what you are eating, you will be able to include meals or food items that are rich in protein, fiber, and more. You will also be able to make sure that you are including an adequate amount of nutrients in your daily diet. 

Planning your meals in advance will help you to start eating healthy. It will also help you to avoid eating junk and processed food, which is good for your health. 

Allows You To Make Healthier Choices

Most people who don’t plan their meals in advance get really confused sometimes. If you have to come up with a meal choice at the very last minute, you will probably choose restaurant food or junk food. Due to this, you will end up exceeding your daily calorie limit, which may also ruin your fitness goals if you are planning to lose weight. 

On the other hand, people who have planned their meals will not have any sort of confusion. When you shop and eat hungry, you are more likely to make poor and bad eating choices. Planning your meals in advance will help you avoid the issue. 

Eat Tasty & Healthy Meals 

When you plan your meals in advance, you get to enjoy eating healthy homemade food. It doesn’t matter whether you are at your office or home, healthy homemade food will be delivered without any hassles. You will be able to eat delicious homemade meals prepared with fresh ingredients, which will surely help you stay healthy. 

The luxury of enjoying meals prepared with fresh ingredients is something you won’t be able to get by eating at restaurants. Eating home cooked meals will also prevent you from falling prey to food-related illness. 

Save Money 

Eating from restaurants and eating without a plan can cost you a fortune. If you are eating from restaurants, you will surely need to spend a huge sum of money. And, when you don’t have a plan on what to eat, you will most-likely eat your favorite dishes everyday, which is expensive and unhealthy too. 

Fortunately, subscribing to a healthy homemade plan can help you save plenty of money. When you eat healthy homemade meals on a daily basis, you won’t feel the need to go to restaurants. This will in turn make you healthy and away from food-related diseases. 

If you have no idea how to subscribe to a meal plan based on your eating preferences, get in touch with us or check our website. You will be able to find a plan that suits your requirements and get it delivered to your doorsteps without any hassles. 

Indian Food Myths You Probably Believed

Most of us have heard facts about different food items, which we actually believed, but later realized that they were inaccurate. There are plenty of misconceptions and myths when it comes to food and nutrition. So, when you are planning to switch to a healthy and balanced lifestyle, it is best to debunk these Indian food myths. This is because it will give you a better idea on what healthy foods are & what food items need to be included in your diet. 

Since our country is home to different & diverse cultures, cultural values are often confused with facts. This has in fact resulted in the spread of several myths and misconceptions regarding Indian food. However, do not worry because in this article, we are debunking popular Indian food myths. 

Indian Food Myths

Desi Ghee Is Unhealthy 

We might have heard several people saying desi ghee is not good for our health. However, the reality is that desi ghee is comparatively a lot healthier when compared to cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, and corn oils. 

Desi ghee contains 65 Percent Saturated Acids and 32 percent Monounsaturated Fatty Acids. They do not reduce the good cholesterol in our body. Studies have also revealed that cow’s ghee may also protect us from cancer. 

Avoid Eggs 

Eggs are a healthy source of proteins, but we are often told to avoid eggs because they are high in cholesterol. It is true that there is 215mg Cholesterol in a single chicken egg. And, the daily intake limit is 300 mg. That said, several studies have found out that the impact of egg cholesterol on our blood cholesterol level is minimal. 

A 2012 study that was published by the National Center For Biotechnology Information revealed that long-term egg consumption does not have any harmful effect on our health. 

Suji Is Very Nutritious

Another common misconception around Indian food that is believed by several people is that the whole grain, Semolina or Suji is very nutritious. It is important to note that suji is actually maida’s granular form. And the nutritional content in it is pretty similar to that of refined wheat flour or polished rice. 

Most whole grains are very rich in nutrients and fiber, but that’s not the case with Semolina or Suji. Suji is actually the starch-rich component, which is left behind after the whole grain is stripped off from the nutrients. 

Extra Virgin Oil Is Not Suitable For Cooking 

We have heard so many questions regarding the use of extra virgin oils when cooking. Some people often ask can I use extra virgin oil for garnish while others wonder will the oil lose nutrients when it is heated. The first thing you need to understand is that extra virgin oil is a heat-stable oil and it can be used for cooking. 

However, heating oil ( any type of oil) to a higher temperature will result in the loss of nutrients. In fact, it may even produce undesirable compounds. So, it is best to minimize the heating to get most out of the oil. 

Apples & Bananas Are Rich In Iron 

Apples and bananas are excellent sources of iron. A large percent of the Indian population continues to believe this popular Indian food myth. It is high time you realize the fact that apples and bananas are not rich sources of iron. Instead, they are excellent sources of fiber. 

Several people believe this Indian food myth because apples and bananas turn brown in color. However, the color change is not due to the presence of iron, but due to an enzymatic reaction. And, it has nothing to do with Iron. 

Conclusion 

There are also several other popular Indian food myths like eating nuts can lead to obesity and cholesterol-related issues. However, it is important to talk to a dietician if you really want to know what food items are healthy for you and what’s not.

If you do not do that, you will end up believing some of these common misconceptions. And, cut down healthy food from your diet. 

There is a wide range of Indian superfoods and immunity-boosting foods out there. It is best to try to include these food items in your daily diet if you are planning to start eating healthily. 

5 Immunity Boosting Indian Foods You Should Try

The New Year, 2021 is finally here and most of us would be probably planning to take up some new year resolutions. It is no surprise that the resolutions of so many people are related to eating smart and eating healthily. Eating less junk food and avoiding overeating are usually two of the most common food related resolutions. However, if you are planning to eat healthily, it is important to include immunity boosting Indian foods in your diet. 

Including immunity boosting and healthy food in your daily diet will make you feel good, healthy, and it will make your immune system strong. This will in turn help you to stay away from diseases. So, you might be probably wondering what are the immunity boosting Indian foods that I can easily find. Here are a few immunity boosting food suggestions to help you get started. 

Indian Gooseberry 

Indian Gooseberry, which is popularly known as Amla is a superfood that is rich in healthy vitamins and nutrients. In fact, Amla is one of the richest Vitamin C sources. Vitamin C has the ability to boost immunity. The amount of Vitamin C in Amla is more than 20 times when compared to that of Orange. 

Amla also helps in cleansing the colon, which will result in the removal of excess toxins from the body. In addition to that, Amla is quite effective when it comes to a number of skin related issues. So, it would be a good idea to include Amla in your diet. 

Ghee

Many of you might be surprised to see Ghee in the list of immunity boosting Indian foods. This is mainly because there is a common misconception that clarified butter or Ghee is fattening. However, ghee is one of the healthiest Indian super foods available out there and it is something you should definitely include on your daily diet. 

Ghee is packed with Omega 3 and Omega 9 fatty acids, Vitamin A, B, and C. It is also a healthy source of butyrate and healthy fat. Pure ghee that cow gives also generate both energy and heat in our body, which will keep you warm. Including ghee in your diet will also help your digestive health in many ways. 

Immunity Boosting Indian Foods

Whole-Grain 

Whole-grain is another easily available and affordable Immunity boosting indian food. Most of us indulge in unhealthy foods and festive treats in the month of december and start putting on weight. These festive treats do not help you when it comes to providing nutrients in your body. This is where whole-grain comes into play. 

Whole-grains like pearl millet, bajra, and maize are rich in iron, protein, fiber, and starch. As a result, whole-grains are capable of giving your immunity system a boost along with helping you lose weight and increase good cholesterol levels in your body. 

Tulsi Leaves 

Tulsi leaves offer plenty of health benefits. In fact, the health benefits of tulsi leaves have been vouched by both science and Ayurveda. The green tulsi leaves are available in most Indian households, but most people are not aware about the immunity boosting properties of tulsi leaves. 

The expectorant, antitussive, and immunomodulatory properties of tulsi leaves will help in immunity boosting along with keeping your lungs clean. Having tea in the evening with Tulsi leaves or simply chewing them in the morning before having breakfast will surely keep you healthy. 

Honey 

Honey, the sweetening agent of nature, is rich in magnesium, calcium, and iron. Additionally, raw honey has a number of medicinal properties. For instance, the antibacterial properties of honey soothe our throat and it also protects us from fungi and bacteria. Including honey in your daily diet will also boost the immunity system. 

If you are someone who loves to cook & eat sweet food items, it is best to replace the refined sugar with honey. Refined sugar doesn’t have any nutrients and is not healthy so it is best to replace it with honey. Mixing honey in water and drinking it daily will also aid in weight loss. 

It may be quite difficult for you to include all these immunity boosting Indian foods in your diet when you are leading a busy life. Stil, you gotta find ways to eat healthy and eat smart. If you are wondering how to do that without cooking at home, take a look at our Smart Carbs plan, which has yummy but guilt-free meals that will help you eat healthily.