High intensity interval training (HIIT)

 “High intensity  interval training” this term has become so popular these days that we have all heard it.

So, what does it mean exactly?

In this workout you exercise for some time such as  30 seconds or so  and then rest for some time (20-15 seconds) this is cycle repeated on and on.

Sounds easy right ?to give it all for just 30 sec

Huh anyone can do any form of exercise for 30sec, it’s just 30sec right?

 well… not exactly.

 If You have ever tried to do this workout you can understand what I am talking about.

You must go all in for these 30 seconds and then rest for 30-20 seconds. This gets harder and harder as you do it for more amount of  time. Generally, according to internet, a HIIT workout lasts for 20min. but I feel 20min for a HIIT workout is too much. When I do hit workouts, I am dead in 10min and I can barely go up to 15min.

So, I don’t know who are these 20min people.

 If you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of time  time for exercise this is the best option for you. 

These exercises generally consist of body weight or cardio exercises. I generally do squats, lunges, CrossFit famous burpees , push ups, jumping jacks, skaters just anything you feel like doing, these can be super customisable for people who get bored with same workouts.

 the options are endless here, you can do anything you wish to. The best part is that you don’t have to pay that ridiculously expensive gym membership.

 This workout can be done on your stairs, just climb them as fast as you can then take a small rest and do the same for at least  10 min and your done for the day.

 You can do the same for sprinting cycling swimming or even jump ropes which I personally I like.

Different formats  

These workouts have different patterns Like ABAB where you do an exercise for 20 seconds then rest for 20 seconds you have to repeat these  4  times and that is one set. Repeat this set with same or different exercises for 4 to 5 times. And it is a killer workout.

There is also one format named Tabata which consist of 20 sec exercise followed by 10 sec rest and there are supposed to be eight sets which are generally fast paced and it generally consist of aerobic exercises

Great  weight loss

HIIT burns significant number of calories but, if you are trying to lose weight it is important to watch your diet along with these exercises. Because these workouts last for a short duration of time and for weight loss it is suggested that you do exercise for a long amount of time.

 Just remember one thing, they must be high intensity intervals. This is the key here, work as hard as you can. These workouts last for a shorter time duration so it is important to give your most in this time.

Increase strength

HIIT is very useful to put on muscle mass. If you are trying to gain some strength and muscle it is the best type of workout for you. Just make sure to include bodyweight training in Your HIIT exercise.

Metabolism

Your metabolism increases with hiit. Even if these workouts last for a short amount of time your body goes through a recovery phase after this and it makes you burn more calories when you are at rest. If you want to know more about this checkout my previous video here.

Increase VO2 max

HIIT increases your oxygen consumption rate often called as VO2 max – maximal amount of oxygen consumed during an exercise. The VO2 max value for your body goes up as you do HIIT regularly.

Don’t over work

With these high intensity workouts, you might overwork yourself. Don’t do these workouts every day. stick to doing HIIT twice or thrice a week and do some cardio, bodyweight and walking exercises on other days.

No equipment

Remember the time when you thought of working out and couldn’t do it because you don’t have those fancy kettlebells and dumbbells ? well… this won’t happen with HIIT as long as you design your workouts right you  don’t need any equipment to do this work out.

Easier to stick with

Because HIIT  is a shorter workout, increases VO2 max, increases your strength and there is no equipment needed,  people tend to do it regularly and stick with it.

Try your HIIT workout today and tell me how it went in the comments.

What is BMR? and can you increase it?

BMR is basal metabolic rate.

We all have heard the word metabolism  and how it is important for weight loss, at least somewhere.

And if you’ve not heard that did anyone hear that Khloe Kardashian said Kim’s metabolism is like a Ferrari and how she doesn’t have to  workout a lot be in shape and at that time I thought that, is bmr really that important?

 metabolism is a very broad term for every process which goes into our body, including growing hair, digestion of food, breathing and just basically everything.

 Even when you’re sitting, sleeping and even  right now when you’re watching this video, your body is burning calories. Because processes like breathing, digestion and a bunch of processes are happening inside your body at every second.

 The rate at which your body burns calories to sustain all these processes Is basal metabolic rate.

The more calories your body uses the more your bmr is, the lesser calories  your body uses the lesser bmr you have.

BMR is generally  more dependent on factors such as  genetic composition, age, sex, height, amount of day to day activity and weight. So, if you look at these factors you can say that most of it are not in our control other than maintaining our weight and staying active.

If you can’t do anything to increase it  then why will you want to know about it? What’s the use of knowing your bmr?

 By knowing your bmr you can know that what number of calories are burned by your body at rest per day and you can plan how much calories you need to eat to eat loose weight. Even if you just eat 100 calories lesser than what you burn you can effectively loose weight after a while.

There’s a formula known as Hari’s – Benedict formula which uses weight, height, age, and gender.

Women:

BMR = 655 + (9.6 × weight in kg) + (1.8 × height in cm) – (4.7 × age in years)

Men:

BMR = 66 + (13.7 × weight in kg) + (5 × height in cm) – (6.8 × age in years)

And men’s formula is the same with just some change in numbers.

link of BMR calculator is given below.

The question remains can bmr be increased?

The general ways to increase bmr include doing high intensity interval training which is a form of exercise, standing up more, lifting heavy things, drinking green tea, eating spicy food and eating more protein.

Mind you, I found these ways from a very reputed website called as healthline.com and it is moderated by MD doctors. But something dosen’t feels right to me in these tips.

Now as we said that activity plays an important role in your bmr all of this staying active stuff is understandable.

But as we said food doesn’t really have a big effect on your bmr so how can you increase your bmr by drinking green tea, eating spicy food and eating more protein?

Basal metabolic rate and metabolism are the terms which are used interchangeably. You can increase your metabolism but it is very difficult to increase your basal metabolic rate.

In other words if you follow all those things which I told you before you can increase your metabolism for a period of time but it can’t be changed forever, so you’re going to have to repeat those things regularly to get desired effects.

That’s it about bmr from me. follow me for more such weekly blogs.

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-basal-metabolic-rate#how-to-change-your-bmr

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/burning-calories-without-exercise#:~:text=It’s%20called%20the%20%22basal%20metabolic,that%20you%20burn%20some%20calories.

BMR calculator : https://www.calculators.org/health/bmr.php

Why are some foods addictive ?

Ever since this lockdown this situation started, I was kind of happy about staying at home all the time and I started working out a lot and doing everything healthy. I exercised to a point that my sister came told me to stop and that I was overdoing it.

But after a point I realised this staying at home vacation is not for a short time and we have no idea that when is all of this going to end and I slowly steadily stopped working out and started overeating like really lot.

 After  waking up in the morning I didn’t work out and because of that I didn’t feel hungry to eat breakfast and because I didn’t eat breakfast, I started eating  some junk food  right in the morning. Which is not like myself  at all because I at least make sure that I start my day with eating something wholesome which is not processed. I hated myself so much for it. I knew in my mind that I was full and I didn’t need to eat that much because I was barely even moving and sitting around all day. So, I clearly didn’t need to eat that much.

 the reality is that we are  not accustomed to being at home for 24hrs a day not going out at all, not meeting any of our friends for such a long period of time, and I was clearly boredom eating and I needed to stop but I wasn’t able to

at this point I started thinking that can food be so addictive. Not in a funny sense addictive but in clinical symptoms sense addictive ?

well… it turns out that this food industry is very secretive about all this food being addictive and they spend thousands of dollars on making food more ( quote unquote)“appealing” to us. Addictive in brackets in scene

 They spend a lot of time in making sure that the ratio of three golden foods which are fats, sugar and salt is perfect.

Remember how it felt so comforting and nice after hitting your favourite brand and flavour of that ice cream or chips to your tongue ? it was manufactured to feel that way. Comment below what is your favourite binge eating snack and let’s see how many of us like junk food for binge eating.

They added flavour enhancers to make you taste the flavours which don’t even exist in their products.

They spent hours to perfect the crispiness of those chips to give you that exact feeling in your mouth and between your teeth when you chew it.

They make such perfect combinations of salt sugar and fat that you will keep craving their products and you just can’t help but eat more

These kinds of fat sugar and salt combinations don’t exist in nature because it is not healthy for your body. And makes replacing these processed foods with natural foods alternatives that much more difficult.

On top of everything they are easy to find anywhere, they have a lot of shelf life and they are made so convenient to eat and buy and carry everywhere. All these things are like add ones on these foods being addictive.

Our ancestors only ate foods which were available in nature and hence, reward sensors in our brain are designed that way. Hence whenever food we eat which is high in sugar salt and fat, we feel good cause activity in our brain’s reward sensor is increased and a feel-good chemical named dopamine is released.

After a while our brain needs more amount of food to release the same amount of dopamine. And we start eating more and more of that food and this starts turning into a vicious cycle of food addiction. Many people are diagnosed by this disorder medically, I said that just to clear out to people who are going to say that food addiction is not real.

So, to deal with binge eating habit for myself I just simply started working out like I used to. This acts like a habit cue to me whenever I work out, I end up doing healthier things all day.

I also reduced munching and snacking in between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even if I do snack, I take just a small portion of it in a plate rather than eating the whole thing out of the bag. Now I know these tips sound very basic and have nothing over there is nothing fancy in here but sometimes little things make big changes.

I am not saying that I have full control over it but I am taking baby steps to stop my habit of binge eating. And these three simple steps have helped me a lot towards overcoming that habit.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/18-most-addictive-foods

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-food-addiction-works

What happens to your body when you run?

To see what happens to our body let’s do some warm up and start running. Doing warm up before is important cause it wakes your body up and makes it ready for the upcoming run may it be a brisk walk or some light exercises.

Your body uses more ATPs

We all remember from our biology classes that mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Well this powerhouse uses ATP as its currency. ATP is Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is an energy rich compound. The bond between this second and  third phosphate is energy rich bond. When this bond gets broken, we get ADP adenosine diphosphate and energy.

When we started running, the first ATPs for energy come from glucose. when the run starts  lasting enough time, our  body uses stored energy. If you managed to run with enough intensity then your body doesn’t get enough oxygen and it shifts to anaerobic respiration. This is when the body starts producing lactate from pyruvate temporarily and you feel sore the next day.

Now we get to blame a chemical in our body for all the soreness.

Side stitches

Now that you’ve been running for a long time you start feeling pain usually in the right side of your abdomen. This is called as side stiches

 The real reason behind these side stitches is unknown but there are  research studies who suggest two different reasons.

First reason being the movement of blood to diaphragm and different muscles in your abdomen.

and the other research suggests that the irritation of abdominal lining and pelvic cavity might be the reason.

 this  pain can cause because of a meal just before a run or sugary sports drinks. It’s recommended that you avoid eating anything in the 3-hour window before a run if you get side stitches. Also, beginner runners like me and you are more prone to side stitches than experienced runners.

before this run and during your day make sure that you stay hydrated this may reduce occurrence of side stitches.

Increases your VO2 max

If you continue running regularly you will experience that you can climb up a bunch of stairs without having any difficulty and feel more energetic overall.  This is because of increased VO2 max.

 VO2 max is your body’s capacity to use oxygen when you are doing intense exercise. It is measured in a sports  performance lab. It is one of the several tests to measure cardiovascular fitness. This is measured in millilitres of oxygen used in body in one minute per kilogram of bodyweight (mL/min/Kg).

This measurement is based on fact that more oxygen used by the body, the more energy is generated. As you start running more and more the ability of your body to use more oxygen and generate more energy increases. And chores which used to exhaust you don’t seem so difficult anymore.

Now that you’ve been running for a long time you’ve built some lean muscle mass. running is a cardiovascular exercise but it is possible to build some amount of muscle mass in your legs by running.

Let’s go down the daydreaming lane now (I hope  you know what I mean) please understand me people on the internet. you’ve been running for quite a while now, and you decide I will train for a marathon,

You will experience something which is known as hitting the wall. This happens because our body on an average stores 1800-2000 calories in form of glycogen. This glycogen is stored sugar in our body which is an easy to use compound to produce energy.

When our body runs out of glycogen, this hitting the wall phenomenon happens. Also remember, to preserve energy your brain  makes you want to quit. this makes it a lot harder for you to run further.

  But this doesn’t mean that you can’t run beyond this. When your body shifts from using glycogen to stored fat you have enough energy to run many more miles. But for this to happen you need enough carbohydrates present in your body as using fats for energy is a complex process for our body. This is where carbo loading before marathon comes into picture. Which means that marathoners eat a lot of carbs before running a marathon.

 when your body runs for that long distances according to a research study published in oxford academic journal our body realises endorphins. This is what they call as runner’s high. It is a natural pain killer which is released as a survival mechanism because our ancestors needed this  to run from predators and do hunting. But for this to happen our body needs to be trained for running. That’s why training before running a marathon is very important.

When you exercise it’s not only endorphins that get released but also other chemical messengers like norepinephrine, serotonin and cortisol is released. All of these are great to lift your mood up and known to get depressed people out of their depression phase.

Well, setting all these fancy hormones aside I feel  that I am happier on the days when I go for run outside. it’s the feeling of accomplishment after your run that matters the most to me. It makes me feel good about myself, and this is what all these researchers claim that running is good for your mental health

and better mental health means increased attention span, reduced stress and a happy you which is the most important thing.

Because running is such a great exercise for your heart you will have an excitingly good heart health with lower risk for blood pressure problems, lower cholesterol levels and not last but least, lower risk of heart attacks.

All these benefits lead to an increased lifespan and happier healthier version of yourselves.

Stay happy and healthy everyone, hope you liked todays blog, I had a lot of fun making it. If you have a health question in your head ask me in the comments below I will try my best to answer it.

Follow me for more such content

VO2 max : https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-vo2-max-3120097

Side stitches : https://www.healthline.com/health/side-stitch#:~:text=What%20causes%20side%20stitches%3F,cavity%20may%20be%20the%20cause.

Runners high : https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20851505/how-to-achieve-a-runners-high/

https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/18/11/2523/291108

stress relief : https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/exercise#1

Cuisines around the world

What exactly is a cuisine?

The word cuisine means using some types of specific ingredients and cooking techniques which are predominant to a culture of specific geographical area. That’s why when we talk of a cuisine, we refer to a certain part of the world like Asian cuisine or Italian cuisine.

As we go near coastal areas, we can see they have a lot of sea food dishes as fishes are just easy to get in that area.

Some cuisines have a lot of spices as they are produced more in that area and some cuisines don’t have spices as they were difficult to get or afford for people in that area traditionally.

Cuisine from a particular place is one of the biggest elements of their cultural features.

Many times it is also driven by the religious believes like some casts and groups in Hinduism avoid eating meat, many people are strict vegetarians and even the ones who eat meat avoid doing so on festivals. Let’s see how some popular cuisine around the world look like.

Japanese cuisine

Due to wide spread of buddhism  many types meat was banned by emperors. Rice and soya bean became a staple food but, seafood was not banned as japan is an island and seriously what would they eat if they banned seafood.

Chopsticks were initially just used by noble people as utensils were expensive. Also, spices were expensive so minimal spices were used. Let’s just say it was a hard time to be a Japanese citizen at that time the spice and  chopstick less life they had to live.

sushi which everyone in the western world is loving these days comes from a fish preserving method. So, during season fishes would swim into rice paddies and a lot of fishes were caught. to preserve them they were salted and kept under weights  this was a Chinese technique. Sometimes rice was used instead of weights, this rice was thrown away and fishes were eaten. When this technique reached Japan, they started eating that preserved fish along with rice which was wrapped in a type of seaweed named nori.

The fish in this technique is preserved by lactic acid fermentation. Which is the same process which happens in yoghurt, pickles and other preserved fermented foods.

Have you ever wonderd why is it so difficult to find an obese person in japan ? everybody over there seems so healthy why is that?

Basically, they eat their traditional cuisine. this is made very easy to find. even at convenience stores, you can find healthier food options which are not packaged junk foods. Just by a fast food restaurant you can find a Japanese food restaurant where they serve healthy food options like miso soup, tamagoyaki (Japanese omlet) sushi some salad on the side with small portion sizes.

okay we get the idea food’s healthy and people are thin stop flexing!

So to summarise  they eat over all healthy food with small portion sizes.

I said stop!

According to an article publishes by thelancet.com Japanese people are now fighting with obesity as they are deviating from their traditional food.

This is an advice which we all should follow as our traditional food is based on the ingredients which traditionally belong to our geographical area. And they are the most healthy for us.

Mexican cuisine

Mexican cuisine is one of the most vibrant cooking styles. They use simple basic ingredients which excluding avacods  I find very similar to Indian cooking. Even their flat bread looks really similar to Indian flat bread. They call it tortillas we call it Rotis. Although tortillas are  made  with corn flour which they call as masa harina and Rotis are made  with wheat flour.

Burritos are just tortillas filled with minced meat and  they are the perfect meal to pack and take anywhere.

Tacos is something where you can go creative, you can add anything you want to tomatoes onions, lemons, kidney beans just anything you have in the kitchen and on  your mind.

 Guacamole – this is the healthiest dip you can ever find it is made of mashed avocadoes which are packed with healthy fats with some spices added for flavour.

Quesadillas are just tacos filled with cheese and sometimes meat and then roasted to melt the cheese inside and make tortillas crispy on the outside. This mostly sounds to me just like a cheese sandwich made with tortillas.

Italian cuisine

I know that in this quarantine we have missed pizza and pasta enough that half of us have learnt how to make it. But as I learnt while doing research for this video Italian cuisine is way more than just pizza and pasta. In fact different cities in Italy have different kinds of cuisines as the country did not unite until 19th century . Milan is famous for risotto; Bologna is famous for tortellini and Naples is famous for its pizza and spaghetti.

Risotto is just rice cooked in some type of broth and it should traditionally be of a consistency which is between gluey and runny. According to chefs this consistency is very important for a risotto. According to me a layman it can be compared with our Indian khichdi. M sorry no offence

Tortellini is a kind of pasta which has stuffing of some sort in it and then its steamed and served with a sauce.

And I don’t think anyone needs any explanation for pasta, pizza and spaghetti

The olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil which Italians generally use is one of the healthiest oils for you. It has monounsaturated fatty acids which are healthy fats. It contains vitamin E and K along with the healthy fats. It also has antioxidants. if you want to know what antioxidants checkout my previous video. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties and it is better for your heart health than other oils. It is also not associated with weight gain and obesity like other oils.

Although olive oil has a lot of health benefits its smoke point is very low hence it shouldn’t be used for frying although it can be used for mild cooking.

Also, a fun fact tomatoes weren’t introduced to Europe before 16th century as they were found after in America after its discovery.

What?????

Then how did they make all their sauces?

Well obviously, we just didn’t know tomatoes existed so we made mint sauce, pinapple sauce as tomatoes just weren’t discovered.

Tell me in the comments below if you find this tomato discovery believable or not.

Indian cuisine

When it comes to Indian cuisine it can’t get any more diverse than this. We Indians can cook just one roti in tandoor, on a pan, on a direct flame and give it different tastes.

The food in north of India varies widely with  south Indian food. And if you look at food from north eastern part of  India you would think that we are not even in on the same country right now. North Indian food is all about making different gravies and then adding some vegetables in it they heavily rely on tandoor which is a type of oven. South Indian food is many times fermented rice and lentils and then steamed or fried according to the type of dish being made.

North eastern people are really good at baking. when I went to Meghalaya with my sister, I remember we had lamington cake which is just a yellow vanilla cake coated with chocolate and coconut flakes which  tastes heavenly. Not only that but they had a lot of other unheard baked goods which I didn’t even know existed. Maybe because just a lack of knowledge about baking on my side. But everything was delicious.

Pitha is the most famous asamese snack. It is generally made around Bihu festival which is a harvest festival. Pitha  has a crispy outer covering with sweet chewy  sesame filling inside. There are so many unique dishes in north east.

Rajasthani cooking is mainly famous for dal bati churma which tastes so amazing the batis are crunchy churma is sweet and dal is spicy it has party of flavours going on.  And dhokla from Gujrat is so addictive  I made it like three times in three days when I learnt how to make it. and what I love most about these recipes that how healthy they are, dhokla is made of chickpea flour which is packed with a lot of proteins.

Well even if there is a vast difference in all these cuisines, many of the dishes  are brought to flavour by tempering spices which is otherwise known as tadkas.

Basically, a tadka is just adding different spices to hot oil and then adding this mix to any dish and making it taste better. If you want to read more about TADKAS I have an article just about it.

Although I can go on about Indian cooking for an entire day let’s end the video here . And tell us how hungry you are after watching this video on a scale of 1 to 10.  and consider subscribing to my channel if you want to see more of such content.

https://www.vox.com/2016/5/24/11758982/secret-sushi-fish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_cuisine#History

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil#section1

Microwaved food is good or bad ?

white microwave oven turned off

 Whenever we talk of using microwave oven there is a certain group of people who say that

OH, that is not good for you

Well… why ?

I don’t know it’s an expensive and convenient piece of machine it must be bad for your health….

So why exactly do people think that microwave is bad?

 It uses electromagnetic radiations to cook our food. See that radiation word right there this can make all the things sound hazardous to your health.

Electromagnetic radiation is a wide spectrum of waves which are all around us. Its divided according to a unit of measurement called as nanometre which consist of visible light, X-rays, radio waves(used for communication) and microwaves which are used in or microwave oven. Of course, some waves of this spectrum can be harmful to us like X-rays but, most of them are pretty harmless and get work done for us.

And microwaves which are used in a microwave oven are not at all harmful to human beings.

 microwaves, fall into the spectrum of the electromagnetic radiations which humans can’t see or hear. So, what do these waves do?  they make particles inside microwave oven vibrate, collide, and  build thermal energy quickly.

Because of this it takes surprisingly less time to heat up food in a microwave than on stove or other cooking methods.

 These waves make polar molecules their target.

 What are polar molecules?

 Let’s look at our good old water. Water is a polar molecule as it is made up of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule. Remember primarily every atom is chargeless. when these atoms form molecules they give or share electrons with each other.  Hydrogen molecules have partial positive charge and oxygen has a partial negative charge in water. This is because oxygen is greedy and it attracts shared pair of electrons towards itself. Hence water gets heated up very quickly. These microwaves also heat up sugar, fats and other non-polar molecules to a little lesser extent.

Microwaves are designed as such that these waves generally don’t pass out of the oven. And this can be easily over-come by not standing too close to your microwave. So, they don’t generally cause direct harm to you. Now the question remains that the food which was inside heating up is safe or not ?

The answer is yes. Not all types of radiations are bad for you and the ones used in microwave oven are not harmful to us

what effect microwaves have on nutrient content

It is true that many nutrients in the food are lost in the cooking process. But that is true for all the cooking processes and not just microwave. As a rule of thumb, the less time and temperature it takes to cook the food less nutrients are lost.

 let’s take an example of Vit C, this vitamin is quickly affected by heat. That’s why we add lemon and coriander to our food after the cooking process is done. This way vit c in these foods is preserved.

According to our rule  the lesser time it takes to cook vit c the less of it is lost. Microwave does a great job when it comes to heating things quickly and that’s why many of these heat affected nutrients like vit C are preserved when we cook our food by microwave oven.

In a study about formation of harmful compounds during cooking, it was found that less harmful compounds were formed in food which was cooked in microwave. This makes sense as the food doesn’t reach as high temperatures as it does in frying and other cooking methods. Also, it does gets cooked in less time so the food is exposed to less heat.

as it turns out microwave cooking is not at all harmful but it also has some benefits to it. So, doesn’t it have any downsides at all ?

Let’s see how can microwaved food be harmful sometimes

Heating stuff up in plastic containers which are not microwave safe can leach some harmful chemicals from plastic like bisphenol A (BPA) into your food. This chemical is very harmful and It is carcinogenic which means it is a cancer-causing compound. And I think that it’s bad idea to put hot food into a plastic container as it can melt the plastic no matter what cooking method you are using.

As we stated previously that microwave oven uses microwaves for heating, Whichever containers absorb these kinds of waves can melt into your microwave oven because of  heat energy. Hence,  metal containers are not microwave safe as they absorb these waves.

And the materials like glass, ceramic and microwave safe plastic do not absorb these waves and hence, they can be used in a microwave oven.

The one advantage of microwave is that it heats up food quickly. This may or may not kill all the pathogenic and harmful bacteria present in your food. So, this advantage is also one of its disadvantages.

Also because of this very reason frozen foods can be heated unevenly.

You must be careful while heating liquids inside your microwave. There is a small possibility that the liquid can explode and cause burns. For this be careful and don’t open your microwave right away, wait for a little while and then open it up.

Whenever I heat my coffee in the microwave for a longer duration of time,  I always see at least some spill overs on the turntable inside, which I have to then clean.

So, obviously just like any other cooking method it’s not a full proof method of cooking it has some pros and some cons nothing is ideal in the world we live.

Refrences

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/microwave-cooking-and-https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/microwave-ovens-and-health#:~:text=Microwaves%20are%20a%20safe%2C%20effective,the%20formation%20of%20harmful%20compounds. https://www.britannica.com/story/how-do-microwaves-work#:~:text=Inside%20the%20guts%20of%20a,cooking%20chamber%20through%20an%20antenna.

Immunity improving foods: which are backed by science

Turmeric

person pouring seasonings on clear glass bowl

This is something which everyone Indian swears by. Whenever you have any health problems the answer is turmeric.

Got bruised? Apply turmeric.

Have sore throat? Drink turmeric milk.

Want to add colours to your food? Screw food colours we’ve got turmeric.

Got skin problems? Apply turmeric and chickpea flour paste.

I know that’s a bit of an exaggeration but turmeric is a spice which has ton of health benefits.

It has curcumin which is the most biologically active compound in turmeric. Turmeric has very less curcumin but it’s absorption can be increased by eating black pepper with it.

It has antioxidants. Now what are antioxidants?

what?
what?

Antioxidants are reactive species just like angry people who fight with anyone, these reactive species react with anything and this happens to be our body cells. This causes damage to our cells and it is one of the reasons, why we age.

Our body does have some antioxidant capacity of its own but it’s boosted by eating antioxidant rich foods like turmeric.

Turmeric also has some excellent anti-inflammatory properties that’s why its applied to open wounds. It’s also a known antimicrobial agent. These properties help in wound healing.

Turmeric is best absorbed in the body along with some healthy fats so its best consumed in the form of turmeric milk. Hence it’s eaten in the form of turmeric milk and added in tadkas. If you want know more about tadkas I have an article just about it.

How to make turmeric milk –

In some warm milk just add 1/3 tablespoon of turmeric with a tablespoon of jaggery. This is the way I like to drink my turmeric milk.

 Some people go fancy and  add ginger, little black pepper and call it turmeric latte.

Tulsi leaves

Holy basil leaves, tulsi leaves

This is my personal favourite. Ever since I was little, I remember I loved eating Tulsi leaves.

This holy basil is different than the normal basil which is used by Italians in marinara sauce.

Generally, all Indians have holy basil planted in their houses. We planted just one sapling of tulsi last year and from that now we have seven new saplings at our house, without doing any work manually. This plant seems to be really good at survival.

There have also been claims that tulsi is a very good air purifier.

Best time to eat holy  basil leaves

This is 5am to 6am. And the reason is that there are different levels of alkalois  in the plant at different time so the highest alkaloids in tulsi are between 5am to 6am. that’s why for maximum benefits you should eat tulsi leaves at that time.

How to make tulsi tea –

tulsi tea, holy basil leaves tea

Just add 3-4 leaves in a glass of water. Now, boil it till you see water becoming green in colour. This tea has a bitter taste to it so, I would like eat my tulsi leaves raw.

Garlic

white garlic on black table

We generally never think of garlic as a healthy food.

 But, according to a study done on 970 individuals (very good number of individuals for trials) garlic can lower blood pressure for people with low blood pressure problems, can lower cholesterol level to a small extent and improve immunity by helping cells of immune system in their  function. (1)

A Greek physician name Hippocrates used garlic to treat many diseases. It’s well known that warm stuff which has garlic are used to treat common cold but, my favourite part is to eat warm soup with garlic in it when you have cold.

Garlic has antioxidants too and with very few calories, It has minerals like manganese and selenium. It also has vitamins like Vit B6 and Vit C.

If you want to add garlic to your dishes here is a technique which might help you out.

Lemon honey water

clear glass container with lemon slices

When it comes to this concoction its publicised like a mysterious witch soup which will get you in shape. If there was an award for health myths lemon honey water would have it. Well, let me tell you that this is not true, it doesn’t melt any fat away. I have been drinking it since at least last 3-4 months now, and believe me it doesn’t help with weight loss.

Also, all that detoxification stuff, that’s  a myth too.

In fact, it has 6g of sugar and a bunch of calories. if you want to know why sugar is bad for you checkout this link.

Even if it is not a magical drink, it does have some benefits.

It has a way fewer calories than traditional drinks. It has superfoods like lemon and honey this will help you provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals. Because of this it can improve your immunity.

It does help if you are cold.

It sometimes makes you eat less and that’s why you tend to consume fewer calories. This is where all those weight loss myths come from.

It improves digestive health too.

How to make it :

It’s a very easy drink to make. just heat the water till it becomes lukewarm and not boiling or hot. Honey is not supposed be heated beyond 100 degree Celsius.  Add a quarter lemon’s juice to it with just a tablespoon or even half a tablespoon if you can tolerate the sourness of lemon.

And that’s it you’re done. You can add ginger if you like to have a little spicy. I tried it tastes good.

If It’s summer and you wanna enjoy it then just add some ice cubes to it.

Papaya

sliced papaya on green banana leaf

Papaya has to be the most under-rated immunity improving food.Papaya packs double the recommended amount of Vit C in a single fruit.

Now what’s all the fuss about this Vit C. well, Vit C increases the production of blood cells which fights of the infection. That’s why whenever we talk of immunity Vit C comes first. It also needs to be consumed daily in our diet.

 It also has a lot of potassium( otherwise also found in bananas) magnesium and folate. So, eat papayas.

Summary

There is a lot of myths when it comes to immunity improving foods so be sure whatever you are reading is a trustworthy resource. Foods like turmeric, tulsi leaves, garlic, lemon honey water and papaya are packed with nutrients which will improve your immunity and over all health.

Reference links

https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/146/2/389S/4584698(1)

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic#section10

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system#papaya

How much protein do you really need?

Vgean Protein sources
Who needs eggs when you have peanuts

DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) says that you need 0.8g of proteins per kg weight of your body or 0.36g per pound per day, which means a 56kg person would need 44g of protein per day.

I was trying to count the calories I ate daily with an app named life sum. It was such a frustrating task to count each calorie you eat. With counting calories that app also tells you the number of macronutrients you consumed from your food. After some days I realised that I was eating very less protein. Although I am eating the DRI recommended amount I am not eating enough according to the recommended diet plan for me, also I was overdoing fats.

My calories count and mcronutrients for a day
My yesterday’s calories count

When we talk of protein intake there are two extreme school of thoughts one says that higher protein intake can cause kidney failure and others say that we are protein starved.

This is because people are going crazy with protein bars and protein shakes and simply ignoring the healthy protein sitting on your kitchen shelves. The high concentration in these protein powders causes problems like baldness, kidney problems in longer run and much more.

but not all scientists agree upon the value. There are debates on what is appropriate value for people who are recovering from surgery, people who work out a lot, athletes etc.

There is even a debate that the recommended value is too less for adults on an average.  As we pay attention to the number of cells which are replaced by new cells in our body,(even if our body has an excellent recycle mechanism) the DRI protein intake sounds like an underestimation.

I found a study on google scholar which says even after consuming double the DRI protein intake no kidney failures were seen(1).

How does that look on a plate?

 Everyday Indian food
Normal Indian vegetarian thali

Its easy to say that you need 44g of protein. But foods contain all the nutrients and not only protein so if you are  eating one cup of  gram flour (besan) it has

  • 20g of protein
  • 6g of fat
  • 53g of carbohydrates

And if we talk about practicality no one eats just one cup of gram flour. We make some kind of  edible food with other ingredients in it, those ingredients may or may not contain protein and we don’t really measure how many grams of food we are eating. This is what makes designing diet a science.

So, you should measure protein and not the whole intake.

Why protein is important

We all have read in school that proteins are building blocks of life. what they mean by that, protein is just everywhere in our body.

They not only make the muscles but also antibodies which fight the diseases, bone, skin, hair, nails, enzymes and a lot more.

Our body processes its own protein by coding amino acids just like a website is built by coding computer language.

 For that our body needs raw materials which are called as amino acids.

 There are 20 basic types of amino acids of which 10 can be completely made in our body and 10 cannot be made in our body.

The ones which are not made in our body are the amino acids which we are looking for in our diet.

Simple ways to deal with it the vegetarian way

Bunch of vegan protein sources
Just make them ahead of time and eat whenever you want

Just eat roasted chana  whenever you feel snacky it has 21g of proteins per cup.

Sprouts on an average have 24g of protein per 100g so eat a lot of sprouts.

Jackfruits are best of all the other fruits for protein intake as they give 3g of protein per cup, which is less than other stuff like sprouts but, high if we compare it with other fruits.

Paneer is a source of protein but its not a lean source of protein it has lot  of fats. 40g of paneer has 7g of protein and 5g of fats.

Lentils(dal) are lean source of protein as they even contain fibre and other goodies. When preparing anything with lentils try to incorporate different kinds of lentils so you get different kinds of amino acids. They on an average have 9g of protein per 100g. The trick is when you eat rice take a small portion of rice in a bowl and take a lot of dal so we get most of the protein.

In nuts I found that peanuts have the  25g of protein per 100g which is really high. but remember they also have a lot of fats.

In seeds, sunflower seeds have the same 25g protein per 100g.

I know that quinoa and other fancy food stuffs are also high in protein but I just wanted to give everyone an idea that there is a lot of protein in the stuff we already eat which is not even that expensive, we just need to manage it well.

When we eat protein derived from plant sources it is harder for our body to absorb all the protein as compared protein coming from animal sources. So, when we eat vegan protein sources, we are supposed to eat a lot of it for our body to absorb it fully.

What is the maximum amount you can eat?

Yes, there can be too much of protein which can cause harm to your body.

 If you are not an athlete or a body builder and not heavily doing physical work you should not go beyond 2gm of protein per kg of your weight which is 112g of protein for a 56kg person as recommended by Harvard’s  educational website.(2)

Summary

There are a lot of debates on how much protein should you consume daily. It is a little difficult to obtain protein from a plant based diet but it can be achieved by good management. You don’t need of getting fancy diet foods to get healthy as those foods are often sitting on

Tell me what is your favourite protein source in the comments below.

https://rdcu.be/b4C4W (1)

https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/when-it-comes-to-protein-how-much-is-too-much (2)

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day#:~:text=The%20DRI%20(Dietary%20Reference%20Intake,for%20the%20average%20sedentary%20woman.

https://www.house-foods.com/eat-happy/10-best-sources-of-plant-based-protein-by-whitney-e.-rd

https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/when-it-comes-to-protein-how-much-is-too-much

https://truthbar.com/blogs/truth-and-health/top-10-nuts-with-protein

How keto diet works

A diet where you can eat 70% fat or more, sounds like a dream come true, right? Rest 20% is mostly protein and very less or no carbohydrates.

Why is that so?

How will you get in shape if you are eating that much amount of fats?

Dr. Russell Morse Wilder invented the keto diet. The basic idea of keto diet is to put your body in a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic condition where in your body uses fats instead of glucose.

Metabolism – generally, all the chemical reactions happening in the body are referred as metabolism.

Before we start talking about ketosis remember, our body loves glucose for energy generation. This is because our body easily breaks down glucose into pyruvate during glycolysis and then into acetyl coA to yield energy.

We have glucose stored in our body in the form of glycogen in liver. This is called as body’s glycogen tank. But as we stop consuming carbs these reserves run out of glycogen.

Rich results on Google's SERP when searched for 'how keto diet works'.

Thus, when we eat very little or no amount of carbs and a lot of fats our body has no other option but to compromise on using fats as a primary source of energy.

 Body breaks down fats into their simple form by digestion, these are called as triglycerides. These triglycerides are sent to liver as acetyl coA. Now, this acetyl coA is broken down into ketone bodies.

Why is it good for weight loss ?

These ketone bodies are sent into bloodstream where other cells convert them into acetyl coA and use them to form energy.

This way body uses fat for energy. Therefore, keto is considered good for weight loss.

Because we eat 70% of fats the feeling of satiety increases and we feel full. This is a big reason behind why keto got so popular, as you don’t feel like you are dieting and feel full.

This sounds too good to be true. How can you get to eat all fatty goodies and lose weight.

Why do we get Keto fever

Remember? we said that our body loves glucose?

 That is because brain is the fattiest organ and can use only glucose for energy. What happens when we stop consuming carbs and start eating a lot of fats, our brain is forced to use ketone bodies for energy production.

Body takes time to adapt to all these changes, and that’s when people experience the keto flu. This is not actually a flu. but, symptoms like headache and nausea can seen as body is shifting from using carbs for energy to using fats for energy.

Is it hard to keep up with ?

Our diet generally consists of 45-60% of carbs 20-30% of fats and 10-20% of proteins. So, most of the calories from our diet comes from carbs.

 Most of our foods have a large amount of carbs. when we follow keto diet, we must follow many restrictions on a lot of food stuff which was considered healthy otherwise, such as lentils, chickpeas, wheat bread, brown rice are not keto approved.

This diet is difficult to sustain. As everything around us has a lot of carbs, restrictions become hard to follow.

Unlike other diets if you cheat a little, your body can come out of ketosis and the diet won’t work.

As a lot of healthy fats are found in red meat and dairy products so, they become a go to food for keto dieters which is not good news for vegans and vegetarians.

The more the restrictions on a diet the less sustainable it is. As we go on adding restrictions on our diet, we also get less micro nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

I talked to a friend named Omkar Patil who tried keto diet for himself. He says that, “keto is not the ethical way of losing weight, as you are eating a lot of fats, your body gets an overall greasy feeling which feels obnoxious”.

The diet can be done for a short time period to give yourself some weight lost boost. Also, it’s a debatable topic whether eating this much amount of fats is healthy or not?

Keto fever or flu is said to last for 4-5 days which appear to be very difficult for some people. It lasts longer for some individuals as everyone’s body is a little unique.

Meal preparation is difficult

Also, the meals are not easy to prepare. It is easy to say that we must eat 70% of fats but its difficult to get that much amount of healthy fats on your plate.

Rich results in Googl's SERP when searched for 'keto approved foods"
These are some foods which are keto approved – Olives, seafood, berries(not all fruits are keto approved), nuts and yogurt.

Because of this reason, something known as dirty keto has become popular, where people eat burgers from fast food chains and as they contain same compositions  as of keto diet. it is keto approved but not in a healthy way.

Good for some diseases

Origin of keto lies in diseases like epilepsy and type 2 diabetes. Keto diet is very effective in management of type 2 diabetes as it is caused due to inability of insulin production. In keto diet we don’t eat carbs and sugar so, no insulin is to be produced. This is a very good way of managing type 2 diabetes.

Epileptic seizures were reduced in patients who followed keto diet and it is proven to be very effective in epilepsy.

Summary

keto diet has been proven good for diseases like epilepsy, diabetes. It is also good for weight loss. But, it is difficult to follow all diet restrictions. Is it good to consume 70% of fats is a debatable topic. keto flu can become difficult to manage and last longer in some indivisuals.

References

https://rdcu.be/b4zAx

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-10

https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto

How to quit sugar without being miserable

What are natural sugar substitutes

rich results on Google's SERP when searched for 'how to quit sugar'
Eat lots of unprocessed whole foods

Natural sugar found in fruits and milk are considered better as they don’t just contain sugar but have fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutritional contents. Fibre in the fruits makes us feel full and prevents overeating. Processed sugar doesn’t make us feel full and hence leads to overconsumption. Try eating whole fruits and not just the juice as it contains way more nutrients and fibre.

Honey has a lot of health benefits minerals and vitamins but it is still high in sugar and calorie dense. It has 64 calories in a single tablespoon so it may contribute to weight gain in high amounts.

Pure Maple syrup as a substitute is better than sugar as it contains more nutrients than sugar and has a lower glycaemic index but it still spikes up the blood sugar levels as regular table sugar. Sometimes corn syrup flavoured as maple syrup is sold which does not contain benefits of natural sugar and is just as bad.

Eat as much raw vegetables as much as you can. Fiber in them keeps you full and stops cravings.

Artificial sweeteners

I tried digging deeper on this topic and found a lot of articles which said that there is no research and evidence just yet which tells us that artificial sweeteners are hazardous for humans. The research done in 1970s on rats showed that it caused cancer in lab rats but many times research done on animals is not fully applicable to humans. Although we cannot ignore the fact that artificial sweeteners  alter gut flora, are way sweeter than sugar and hence are more addictive than natural sugar. This is a very controversial topic and as a precaution should only be consumed by diabetics and not by healthy individuals as a substitute. Always remember natural form of food is better than the artificial ones.

Try quitting added sugar for a day

We have been told since kinder garden that “one thing at a time is the golden rule”. Try having no added sugar days once every 15 days or so. I know how difficult it is I am a sweet tooth myself.

Remember brain is the fattiest organ and uses most of the sugar. It will cause cravings and you may feel energy deprived as well. If you think you can’t handle at all being deprived of sugar and feel a way too anaemic consult your doctor before doing this.

I tried quitting sugar for a day and mind you I did that when I had delicious mango phirni in the fridge. I couldn’t snack on any of the readymade packaged food because all have sugar in them. You can’t even eat instant noodles that’s like my most favourite snack. So, you can only eat homemade food. There is practice where sugar is added in food to balance out all the spices…. yes, I am guilty of using that practice when I cook. I had to stop doing that too. But  I did not have any other symptoms like headache or uneasiness so maybe I didn’t have sugar addiction and I did it just for a day so it wasn’t long term. I should try to do that in future for some days at stretch. 

Read ingredients of food products

Don’t limit yourself to only reading calories on food products. Start reading ingredients at the back of the food labels. Read the percentage of sugar and other stuff used in it. Do this exercise even if you are not quitting sugar, just to be mindful of what you are putting in your body.

A research study which is linked below concluded that they found links between sugar consumption and diabetes were found which were not explained by obesity or physical activity.

Moderation

Rome was not built over night. Moderation is the key here. WHO (world health organisation) recommends 50g of sugar per day. Try to limit yourself to only that amount or less.

Drink a lot of water

This is true for everyone who is trying to get fitter. Remember the phrase 8 glasses of water per day which is about 2 litre. Grab a 1 litre bottle and make a goal to drink two of those every day. This will flush out the toxins, make your skin clear, do wonders to your body.

Fittest models in the industry “The Victoria’s secret models” drink a gallon of water everyday which is 3.7 litre of water.

Eat homemade savoury food

Try cooking your own food and make some delicious savoury recipes which will make you forget about those sweets.

Try adding different spices in the food so that you won’t feel like you are following a boring diet. I have written a post about adding spices in your food the right way https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/tutusediblelogic.food.blog/28.

Don’t overthink it just go ahead and be mindful about what you are eating.

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Don’t freak out if you gave in a little and had a bit of sweets. What happens often is that people cheat on their diet a little and then stop eating healthy altogether. Have cheat days every once in a while eat all the stuff you love and enjoy in moderation. Be happy even if you stayed on your decided sugar limit or didn’t eat sugar for just a day.

We are giving a monthly tailwind plus subscription if you’re interested comment below. Tailwind is the best scheduler to schedule your posts on instagram Facebook and Pinterest. It will surely surely help your social media presence.

Citations
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0057873
Suez, J., Korem, T., Zeevi, D. et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature 514, 181–186 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13793
MR Weihrauch, V Diehl – Annals of Oncology, 2004 – academic.oup.com

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