Soaked Vs Raw Almonds: We Unveil The Truth

Widely known for its numerous benefits, Almonds are seeds or nuts of a tree called Prunus dulcis. They are native to Iran and its surrounding regions but are cultivated worldwide. We have all been recommended to eat almonds at some point in our lives as they promote a healthy lifestyle.

Packed with vitamin E, almonds act as an immunity booster. Apart from being a rich source of proteins, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, almonds are also one of the tastiest and most versatile tree nuts. 

Due to its versatility, people are often confused about the best way to consume almonds. There is often a debate regarding the benefits of having soaked almonds over raw almonds. Soaking almonds overnight for at least a period of 6-8 hours before having it is often recommended.

Here are 7 reasons why you should soak almonds before eating them.

  1. Eases Digestion: Almonds may be difficult to digest because of their hard texture. Soaking almonds overnight softens them making the whole process of digestion a lot easier [1]. Soaking almonds also leads to the release of the enzyme called lipase which stimulates the digestion of fats in the body. 
  2. Nutritional Content: Our body can absorb more nutrients from soaked almonds than raw almonds. The soft texture of the almond after soaking will facilitate chewing which in turn leads to the absorption of more nutrients. The outer brown peel of almonds contains a substance called tannin. Tannin is said to prevent nutrient absorption and inhibits the release of enzymes until proper sunlight and moisture conditions are reached. Once the almond is soaked in water, due to moisture the outer peel comes out easily allowing the nut to release more nutrients. Soaking almonds overnight also reduces phytic acid which inhibits nutrient absorption [2].
  3. Weight Loss And Aging: Soaked almonds are rich in antioxidants [3] which eliminate harmful free radicals from the body and prevents inflammation. Antioxidants like vitamin E delays the process of aging and help you maintain your younger-looking self. Soaked almonds also aid in weight loss. They are rich in monounsaturated fats because of which you can munch on almonds and satiate your midnight hunger pangs without gaining additional weight [4].
  4. Regulates Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Level: Soaked almonds help regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They are rich in protein, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, which helps in combating heart diseases and reduces the chances of artery congestion [5]. Moreover, they help regulate blood sugar levels, which reduces the risks of diabetes [6].
  5. Better Taste: Some people prefer soaked almonds as they taste much better than raw almonds. Soaking the almonds makes it softer and gives it a better texture and taste. They are also easier to chew. Raw almonds are hard and have a bitter taste making it less appealing to eat.
  6. Skin and Hair: Soaked almonds can be blended with milk to be used as a face scrub and body moisturizer. This scrub acts as a great exfoliating agent and can also be used to treat skin inflammations. Using a hair mask with soaked almonds will give luster to your hair and help in preventing hair fall and hair damage due to their high nutrient profile.
  7. Other Health Benefits: The high content of folic acid in soaked almonds helps in reducing birth defects during pregnancy. They are often recommended to pregnant women as they are nutrient-rich and provide ample energy for the healthy development of the baby. Vitamin B17 present in soaked almonds helps to fight cancer and tumor growth [7]. Children are also encouraged to eat soaked almonds as they are said to boost their memory and act as a tonic for the brain. Constipation can also be treated with soaked almonds due to high fiber content.
    References:

    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854608/
    2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325021/
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4276397/
    4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3898316/
    5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946253/
    6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22296169
    7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986699/

5 Reasons Why Should Include Chia Seeds In Your Diet

Chia seeds have grown in popularity in recent years. From cereals to salad and smoothies, these edible seeds are everywhere these days. The word ‘chia’ in itself means strength and the seeds are harvested from a flowering plant in the mint family known as Salvia hispanica. Once cultivated by the Aztecs, chia seeds were a staple of Mayan and Aztec diets.

Chia seeds are nutrient-dense and contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, minerals, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Don’t be fooled by their size, an ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) contains 138 calories, 10 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein, as well as 17 percent of your daily calcium needs, 12 percent of the iron and 23 percent of your magnesium [1].

Chia seeds are tasteless, which means it can be added to almost anything – from granola bars to cereals, sauces, and baked goods. When added to water, these seeds expand to hold about 10 times their dry weight and swell into gel-like globules

Here are five reasons why you need to incorporate chia seeds into your diet

1.Loaded with Nutrients & Minerals:  A combination of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese makes chia seeds extremely nutrient-dense. You can get 20% of your daily calcium requirement from chia seeds, which makes it a great choice for people who do not consume dairy products [2].

Calcium is essential for bone health, while Manganese plays an important role in collagen production. Magnesium is known to improve mood and the quality of sleep, whereas phosphorus helps from cell structures and keeps the bones healthy. Whip up a smoothie with some chia seeds for a boost of energy. You can also sprinkle some seeds on your yogurt or oatmeal.

2. Full of Antioxidants: Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants which helps the body defend itself from cell damage. Antioxidants are known to fight free radicals [3], which contribute to aging and diseases like cancer. Add some chia seeds to our cereal for healthier and younger-looking skin.

3. High In Fiber: Chia seeds are one of the best sources of fiber as 40% of its weight is made up of roughage [1]. Its high soluble fiber content contributes to a feeling of fullness, which keeps you from snacking mindlessly.

This makes chia seeds a good option for people trying to lose weight. Fiber also helps keep the gut healthy and prevents constipation. It promotes slower absorption of your food which keeps blood-sugar levels stable. Add chia seeds to your salad or stir fry it with veggies for a healthy and wholesome meal.

4. Rich In Protein: Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein and amino acids, especially for vegans and vegetarians. About 14% of chia seed’s weight is protein, which is comparatively high when it comes to most plants [1].

Protein is crucial for our overall health and promotes healthy muscle growth and hormone balance, amongst other things. Protein also helps you feel fuller for longer, aiding in weight loss. Satiate your sugar cravings with some easy to whip chia pudding. Creamy, satisfying and packed with proteins, chia pudding is a healthy take on desserts.

5. Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids: Often referred to as the ‘superfood’, chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3. These unsaturated fats help keep the heart and brain healthy.

Omega-3 also protects the body against inflammatory diseases such as Arthritis [4]. Unlike flax seeds, you don’t have to ground chia seeds to benefit from its nutritional properties. The gel from soaked chia seeds can replace egg in vegan baking. You can also top your baked goods with toasted chia seeds for a healthy crunch.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627181/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926888/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614697/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796167/

5 Nutrients To Combat Hair Loss In Winter

The dropping temperatures, snug pull-overs, and warm lattes; winter brings a sense of happiness to most. However, for those with thinning hair, this season may bring the exact opposite emotion. While it is normal for you to lose hair in winter [1], an excessive amount of this can be quite disheartening. Don’t pull out your hair in worry just yet, we tell you ways to fix this with amazing nutrients and foods. 

  1. Iron: Iron [2] controls the hemoglobin in your body, which is used to transport oxygen in the blood and to your organs. If you are low on iron, your body finds it tough to get enough oxygen, especially to your hair and nails, causing hair loss. Have iron-rich foods or supplements to strengthen your hair. 

Foods Rich in Iron: Green vegetables, mangoes, lentils and beans, nuts and seeds.

  1. Selenium: You body has enzymes that are responsible for killing the harmful free radicals that affect your skin and hair cells, causing hair fall and premature aging. Selenium [3] helps them be more reactive, which means fight better. It even helps balance the thyroid function and boosts antioxidants, both of which help in better hair strength. More importantly, it is used to treat dandruff, a common side effect in dry air of winter season.

Foods Rich In Selenium: Brazil nuts, wheat germ, whole grains, oats, brown rice, fish, seafood, and lean meats.

  1. Zinc: Zinc [4] influences your hair follicle’s protein structure. In addition, it acts as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) that manages hormone-related hair loss. In fact, most hair supplements have zinc to stop and even reverse the early stages of balding.

Foods Rich In Zinc: Meat, seafood and fish, legumes and beans, dairy, eggs, and whole grains

  1. Protein: Proteins are the building blocks of life, and amino acids [5] are building blocks of protein. They help breakdown foods, move nutrients to the bloodstream, and regulate hormones and appetite, so they’re a vital part of your body. Your hair cells are full of amino acids, but the harsh weather can reduce and damage these nutrients, hence you need to replenish them with your diet. Not only do they stop hair fall, but they also aid in creating healthy and shiny hair.

Foods Rich In Protein: Meat, fish, dairy products, pulses, soy

  1. Biotin: This is a water-soluble vitamin B [6] that helps process certain nutrients like amino acids and minerals, and convert them into useful energy for the body. It helps revitalize your hair and keep them strong.

Foods Rich In Biotin: Egg yolk, roasted almonds, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet potato, spinach

Along with a healthy diet of the above items, ensure that you care for your hair with organic shampoos and oils.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2003996
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678013/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-20041-9
  6. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/drp/2015/841570/

No More Winter Blues: 7 Ways to Stay Healthy In This Season

The much-awaited winter season has finally arrived! While you’re glad to get some much-needed respite from the scorching sun, this season also brings with it a few notorious guests such as cold, flu, joint pain, dry skin, dandruff, and more. If you’re battling week-long flu or those unexpected aches and pains, then we have a solution for you. Try tips listed below to combat these issues and enjoy the season in full swing.

  1. Eat Right

  • Fiber: Make sure to include plenty of fiber-rich fruits such as apples, pears, and dried fruits [1] in your diet as they help prevent inflammation. Substitute your daily dose of potatoes with sweet potatoes as they have high fiber content. 
  • Protein: Milk and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are great sources of protein, calcium, vitamins A and B12. They can improve your bone health and strengthen the immune system [2]. 
  • Antioxidants: Mushrooms are one of the richest sources of natural antibiotics and antioxidants along with onions, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. These foods are great immunity boosters [4]. 
  • Vitamins: Opt for colorful fruits and vegetables as they are a good source of the phytochemical – beta-carotene that aids in better immune function. Vitamin D is vital for better bone health and muscle function, and the lack of it can lead to joint and muscular pain. For this vitamin, get adequate sunlight exposure and consume foods such as oily fish, milk, fortified cereals, yogurt, and egg yolks.
  1. Supplements

While food is the best source of nutrients, sometimes these may not be enough. Additionally, the food preparation process and digestion tend to kill most of the essentials in food. Hence, fill this gap with dietary supplements of vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium and Omega 3 fatty acids.

  1. Drink Herbal Teas

There are several herbal teas available in the market that help you stay healthy during winters. These are ginger, lemon, tulsi, peppermint, and chamomile [5], which not only ward off common colds and flu but also soothes your nerves and provide better sleep. 

  1. Wash Your Hands

Though this may sound a little weird, it is a must-have practice during the winter season (and all year round) to protect yourself and others. Frequent washing your hands can prevent the spread of flu and cold. 

  1. Do Not Skip Workout

The chilly weather can often make you feel lazy and tempt you to skip the workout. However, stay determined to engage in some exercise for at least thirty minutes every day. It can be a brisk walk, jogging, yoga or Zumba. Daily exercise will not only improve your physical health but mental health as well.

  1. Give Extra Love To Your Skin

Moisturize your skin at regular intervals as the cold weather can make it dry and dull. Include yogurt and honey in your home-made face packs as they have excellent moisture-locking and antibacterial properties. Always carry a lip balm wherever you go. Dandruff is another common problem faced by many during winter. To prevent it, wash your hair on alternative days with sulfate and paraben-free shampoo.

  1. Give Warmth To Aches & Pains

A hot water bag can provide great relief from aches and pains during winter. The transfer of heat to aching areas reduces inflammation and reduces pain.

As the cold weather moves in, finding the motivation to stay healthy and fit is quite challenging. However, by paying extra attention to your wellness routine you can stay away from common winter health problems. Make sure to sleep for at least eight hours as your body needs enough time to rest and repair. Drink plenty of water to flush out all toxins from the body.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649719/
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/five-ways-to-stay-healthy-this-winter/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/
  4. http://www.phytojournal.com/vol2Issue3/Issue_sep_2013/39.1.pdf
  5. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/8c16/540f738c3572102a86efc0b4308d29f3d7f2.pdf

Top 5 foods for beautiful skin

We usually think that expensive serums or lotions are the reason behind someone’s glowing skin. Or maybe the person is plain lucky to have been born with a radiant blemish-free skin.

Yes, moisturizers, genes and expensive beauty products have a role to play. But it’s only a supporting role. The real hero behind gorgeous and lustrous skin is FOOD. So whether you want to get rid of acne, fight premature aging or reduce fine lines, eating right is the right way ahead.

After all, you are what you eat.

So, here’s the list of top 5 foods for beautiful skin-

Continue reading

Indian diet for hair growth and health

indian diet for hair growthMothers are often seen scolding their kids because they forgot to eat nuts, didn’t drink the glass of milk or refused to eat spinach and dal. It might have happened with you when you were a child. It has happened with most of us.

Turns out mothers had a good reason to be strict when it came to consuming all these foods. Because they know that these nutrients are required for healthy hair.

Bon Happétee has compiled the best Indian diet for hair growth  and health- Continue reading

Let’s look at a 2000 calorie Indian diet plan

Diets didn’t work for you? Neither did drinking green tea? You didn’t lose a single pound. Furthermore, you are finding it extremely difficult to sleep and lose your cool for apparently no reason.

Extreme diets can do that to you – lead to disturbed sleep, mood swings and unhappiness.

At bon happetee we understand your frustration. Here is a sample plan to speed up your weight loss without compromising on your sleep, mental health and most importantly, taste.

Let’s look at a 2000 calorie diet plan-
Continue reading

6 tasty low carb Indian dinner ideas to make your weekdays interesting

Low-carb dinners or keto meals is a popular trend with weight watchers. Also, those who feel a little bloated after eating dinner, they may want to reduce their carb intake in the evening meal. However, most first timers struggle with easy and tasty low-carb recipes. They are even worried whether it will fill their tummy. Or would they find the food to be bland and boring? Bon Happétee has put together 6 yummy and satiating low carb Indian dinner ideas.

But before we go into that, let’s understand why low-carb dinners work magic for shedding the flab. Continue reading

A republic of unbalanced diet – Causes & Solutions

Bon happetee indian food logging app

Diet of our nation is poor, here’s how we can be better this republic day

Just like any developing nation, our diets have been continuously evolving and has seen a paradigm shift in the past few decades. On one hand, we are consuming more calories than ever with an increase in the daily consumption of fats and sugar and on the other, malnutrition is still a severe problem In India.

Take a look at these statistics and studies (and some of them may come as a shock to you):

  • India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China. 14.4 million children in the country have excess weight.
  • India leads and is home to 102 million underweight men and 101 million underweight women, that is 40% of the global underweight population.
  • According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), one-fifth of Indian women, or 20.7 %, in the age group of 15-49 are overweight.
  • Over half of women of reproductive age — 51 % suffer from anaemia, which is a serious condition that can have long-term health impacts for both mother and child.
  • About 21 percent of children under 5 is defined as ’wasted’ or ‘severely wasted’ — meaning they do not weigh enough for their height.

From a country using natural ingredients, fresh produce, traditional superfoods and a sit-down meal culture, what changed in the way we eat causing us to reach this tipping point? A recent article shed some light on the eating patterns of Indians and how most of them eat unbalanced diets.

A well-balanced diet comprises of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients from various food groups. With the ever-evolving Indian diets and factors like income, food prices, convenience, personal beliefs, availability and traditions, Indians are eating fewer nutrients from all these food groups.

Bon happetee indian food logging app

Balanced diet

The recently released National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) 2015-16 by the health ministry revealed that 47% (less than half) of all women consume dark green, leafy vegetables daily and another 38% eat them only once a week. The NFHS-4 showed that only half (45%) of women eat pulses or beans daily and an equal percentage consume them weekly. Milk or curd is consumed daily by 45% of women and weekly by 23%. 7% never have either milk or curd and 25% consume these dairy products only occasionally. The pattern of food consumption by men is similar to that of women, but men are slightly more likely than women to consume milk, curd, fruits, chicken, meat, fish or eggs regularly.

Low intake of these nutrients predisposes an individual to poor heart health, diabetes, obesity, lifestyle disorders and metabolic disorders.

How can we change this?

Don’t ignore the risks of unhealthy diets: Eating too much or too little, not focusing on balanced meals and nutrients are related to developing deficiencies that turn into disorders and diseases in the long run. Focus on traditional meal pairings, a good ratio of protein and carbs in a diet, healthy fats and the recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals meal-to-meal, day-to-day.

Equality between the nutritional requirements of men and women: Providing men with optimum nutrition is as important as nourishing the nation’s women. Women tend to consume lesser milk and milk products, meat, poultry and eggs etc. The low socio-economic status, gender inequality, their reproductive role etc. predispose them to poor diet and deficiencies.
Provide healthy and affordable food for all: Along with battling obesity and undernutrition at the same time, we need an adequate food system capable of delivering healthy food at affordable prices to everyone.

bon happetee indian food logging app

cooking with your kids can make them eat right

Teach children about nutrition and making the right food choices: Educate children about where the food they eat comes from, the difference between natural produce and junk food, how different foods get digested differently in the body and how we should nourish our bodies to gain maximum potential.

Focus on adolescent girls and women: Focusing on nutritional requirements in early stages of life is crucial to tackling the health of the nation. Healthy girls in the society give birth to healthy babies and in turn reduces cases of stunting, malnutrition and infant mortality.

Good health is a key criterion for human well-being and economic growth of the nation. The choice towards a healthier nation starts with every individual ensuring to nourish himself, his family, his community and everyone around him.

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

 

Akansha, founder & consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale, is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management & physical activity. She’s a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi

6 foods that resemble body parts and are good for them

bon happetee food logging app

As a child, I remember my mother giving me a handful of nuts every morning with breakfast. While cashews, almonds and pistachios I liked, I frowned on seeing walnuts. They tasted bitter and unappealing. But, my mother would encouragingly tell me, “Walnuts are good for your brain because they look like your brain. Eat them if you want to top your class”.

After all these years, I can’t help but smile at the truth in that sentence. Nature communicates with such simple signs, it’s amusing. Here is a list of 6 foods that resemble human body parts and nourish them. Continue reading