Showing posts with label General. Show all posts
Showing posts with label General. Show all posts

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Immune Boosting Foods and Concoctions.

What is Immunity or Immune system?

In our daily life we come across many bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites which we are not even aware of. Our immune system protects us from these harmful things. The food what we eat builds our immune system, say a kind of self-resistance power. Variety of food choices are available to improve and build immune system. But in critical situations, immune system may needs a boost, which some of the simple recipes and diets can do.

Immune system is a set of biological process and structures of our body organs to prevent from illness by fight against the infections.

Some of the effective immunity boosting preparations are :

1. Ginger Lemon Decoction

Ingredients: Pealed ginger - 1/4 cup, full lemon - 1
Method of Preparation: Take one and half glass of water and add pealed ginger and lemon (full fruit including skin) to that. Allow it to boil till it becomes 3/4 glass of water. Strain the ginger and lemon. Decoction is ready to drink.

2. Herbal drink

Ingredients: 1 pinch of Cinnamon, Turmeric & Pepper, Half lemon and 1 spoon honey
Method of Preparation: Take half glass of warm water. Add the pinch of cinnamon, turmeric and pepper to that. Squeeze the half lemon and add a spoon of honey. Mix well and drink is ready.

  • Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties.
  • Cinnamon spice has the highest antioxidant strength of all the food sources in nature. The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound that gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrance to it. Eugenol has got local anaesthetic and antiseptic properties.


3. Pepper water / Pepper milk

Ingredients: Two to three pinches of Pepper powder & Turmeric powder and Salt
Method of Preparation: Add two or three pinch of pepper and turmeric in warm water. Add a little salt for taste.
Ingredients: Milk - Half glass, Two to three pinches of Pepper powder & Turmeric powder and 1/4 spoon of Palm sugar
Method of Preparation: Add two or three pinch of pepper and turmeric in warm milk. Add little palm sugar for taste.

  • Pepper is known as the King of spices. Peppercorns composed of health benefiting essential oils such as piperine, an amine alkaloid, which gives strong spicy pungent character. They have been in use since centuries for their anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties.
  • Black peppercorns contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for cellular respiration and blood cell production.

5. Citrus fruits & juices

Citrus fruits like Lemon, Orange/Mosambi contain good sources of Vitamin C, which in turn builds immunity. In addition to that vitamin C helps in better absorption of available nutrients.

6. Green Tea

Tea is one of simple recipe which strengthens immune system. Tea contains anti-oxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids. These anti-oxidants destroy free radicals. This avoids cell damage and builds immune system. Especially green tea is highly beneficial in compare with other variants.

Apart from the simple boosters mentioned, let us know about some Grains, Vegetable and Fruits which are helpful in building immune.
Pomegranate: This contains bundles of anti-oxidants which help in healing inflammation. In compare with green tea, It has 3 times more anti-oxidants.
Watermelon: Red and fleshly watermelon contains a lot of anti-oxidants and good source of vitamin C.
Leafy vegetables like Cabbage, Broccoli and Greens: These are loaded by nutrients and micro-nutrients like vitamin A, C and K.
Potato, Beetroot and Yam: Root vegetables are rich in soluble and insoluble fibre. This helps built in gut health. Carrots/ Sweet potato: These vegetables are good source of beta-carotene, which converts as vitamin A. This helps in removing free radicals and avoids cell damage.
Onion/Ginger: These contain active flavanoids, which helping in boosting immune. In general, it helps voiding the seasonal diseases like flu and cold.
Spinach: Spinach helps in production of white blood cells, which is very important for building immunity.
Curd/yogurt: Probiotic curd / yogurt contain the good bacteria, which fight against the harmful bacteria in the gut. That boosts immune system.
Pulses and lentils: Chickpea(Desi/Kabuli), Groundnut(Pealed), Bengal gram, Green moong, Patani(White/Green), Lobia(White/Brown/Black) are good in protein, fibre, foliate, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. This is one of the easy source for protein, which is a basic need for all system in body including immune system.

In conclusion, ready to eat snacks/ processed foods/ sugary cereals and muesli: The ability of the white blood cells to kill bacteria reduces significantly after consumption of sugar. Therefore, it is very important to include lots of vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk and whole grains.

Apart from the food habits, adequate sleep is important for immune system. Yes, it’s true and studies conducted also suggest that people with inadequate sleep are more susceptible to falling sick after being exposed to a virus like a common cold virus. So to say, inadequate sleep diminishes the immunity and makes the body vulnerable to infections.

During sleep, the immune system releases certain proteins called Cytokines. These cytokines are needed at times for the body to recover from an inflammation, infection or to overcome stress. Sleep deprivation will reduce the production of these cytokines making it difficult for the body to recuperate. In addition, the formation of infection fighting antibodies and cells also diminish during the periods of inadequate sleep.

Cytokines aren’t the only antibodies that are affected by lack of proper sleep. Poor sleep inhibits even T Cells. T cells are part of your immune system. These cells specifically fight off viral pathogens, from the regular flu to cancer. But, without enough sleep, your body’s T cells become inhibited by higher levels of stress hormones—specifically, noradrenaline and adrenaline—which makes your overall immune system less effective.

Building and maintaining the immune system involves an overall care of the body system and functions along with a properly balanced and a nourished diet.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

5 Steps before you use the grain, which improves digestion

How to process/use the grain? Do we need to do anything to make it suitable for consumption?

Cleaning

Plants based foods like seeds, roots, stem, leaves, flower requires compulsory cleaning. They are grown in open space and lot of dust and other particles stay on on the layers. Also, farmers may use biochemicals and fertilizers to protect the plants. There is a possibility of those elements stays on the outer layer of the food. Cleaning the outer layer with fresh water or warm water removes all these dust and then they are safe for consumption to some extent. How it has to be cleaned? Showing the food before the tap water does not clean anything, it wets the surface and does nothing. Fill water in a bowl or container then put the grains in that. Rinse thoroughly with hands. Repeat the process until the color of the water remains unchanged. If cleaning is not properly done, then the external particles get into our stomach. They are not easily digestible by the stomach and results in stomach pain or indigestion. Cleaning helps in avoiding an upset stomach as a very first step.

Soaking

Soaking place an important role in the food processing. Many grains are tough to breakdown or cooking. For example, certain varieties of rice, pulses requires soaking, that will help us to remove the top layer and makes grains little soft and enables faster cooking. On the other side, soaking separates anti-nutrients from grains. Soaked water contains anti nutrients and that should be thrown out, never use the soaked water for cooking. Always rinse again the soaked grains once and use fresh water for cooking. This is a special step helps the grain to get rid of anti-nutrients, and shortens the cooking time. The soaking time is different for each grain ranges from 2 to 12 hours based on grains.

Fermenting/Sprouting

Sprouting is a process of transformation from grain to live plant. After soaking, water should be drained and the wet grains are tied in a cloth allowed to stay as it for a day or two. Small buds called sprouts are grown over a period of time. Similar to Soaking, this process uses natural yeasts to convert anti-nutrients into vitamins/minerals in the grains.

Roasting

As the process is time-consuming and tedious to be done on a daily basis, it used to be done once in a while and they preserve and use that powder. Sprouted grains do not stay from a couple of days and not much longer. The same can be extended by roasting. Roasting the sprouted grains till golden brown color smells good and stays longer. While roasting, you can feel the aroma of the grain, which indicates the right time to stop roasting. Avoid storing hot roasted grains immediately, allow the roasted grains to get cool naturally and then store it for later use.

Styles of Cooking

After all these steps, it needs a final step to get consumable. We can ground it to powder and use it for baking. We steam, or pressure cook and make delicious recipe and consume the grains, as convenient

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Millet Vs Oats - Which is more beneficial to help you in losing weight?

Which is better Oats or Millet?


Oats and Millet - Overview

Oats and Millets are grains which have entered into modern lifestyle as healthy foods. Millets and Oats, both, are beneficial to one's health in their own way. While oats help in lowering cholesterol; Millets, taking Ragi for example, are beneficial for diabetics.

Nutrition

Oats have nearly 40% more protein than Proso Millet and Foxtail millet. Oats have more fibre than Barnyard millet and are richer in phosphorus and Thiamine than any of the millets. And both oats & millet have variable protein content.
Millets trump over oats in case of Calcium content (Ragi has close to 5.5 times calcium than Oats), and Pearl Millet (Bajra) has more than 3 times Iron content than Oats.

Preparation

Oats grain is not used much in a person's daily routine; we prefer rolled ones which are readily available in the market. As oats are in flakes format they are pretty easy to cook. Millets, predominantly available as grains and in value added forms (flakes, semolina), are gaining popularity nowadays. But recipes and awareness have not reached many people, so it remains unadopted in large quantities . But the simple fact is that most millets can be cooked like rice. Millets can replace rice in various dishes such as idli, dosa, payasam/kheer.

Cost

The cost of a Kg of Oats is about INR 105/- to 150/-. This is of the plain variety, and the costs vary based on the flavour and version of oats that are offered. Compare this to Millets, which cost anywhere between INR 30/- to 70/-. So the value for money is extremely good for Millets and affordable by many.

Conclusion

Oats and Millet, both are good source of fibre and contains complex carabohydrates by nature. This helps your satiety level and also energy will be retained for longer duration. In general, consuming of whole grains not only help in weight loss, but it also improves our basic nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals. Oats is one grain and Milets have variety. Consuming various millet as a part of weekly diet not only helps in weight reduction, also boosts your immune system and improves nutrition.

Millet - Farmers friend

To add further, millets are wonderful crops, easy to grow during droughts, and cheap to procure. Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans and, are also unique due to their short growing season. By eating millets, we will be encouraging farmers in dry land areas to grow crops that are best suited for those regions. Using more millets we really support our own farmers who are dependent on 50% of rain fed Indian agricultural landscape.⁠⁠⁠

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Carbohydrates - Do we need to avoid them totally?

How important is carbohydrates?

Now a days, People look at the Energy and Carbohydrate levels in nutritional labels. This shows that they are conscious about eating a high amount of carbohydrates. But the effects of cutting out a vital amount of carbohydrates from diet will lead to missing out on key nutrients including B vitamins which convert food into energy, to fight tiredness and fatigue.

Simple Vs Complex

Athletes needs carbohydrates, because they need to replace energy in muscles. Complex carbohydrates have high amout of fibre, which has less of an effect on your blood glucose levels. So, Include carbohydrates in your diet, but also include whole grains and pulses and beans because they are a valuable source of fibre, which protects against illnesses like colorectal cancer.

Putting weight due to carbohydrates is a partial reason for the fear in consuming carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates based food products like pasta or white bread will fill you but are broken down quickly, so they’ll make you feel hungry and quite sluggish. But simple carbohydrates can be beneficial for some including young children who don’t need too much fibre.

Putting weight due to carbohydrates is a partial reason for the fear in consuming carbohydrates. That can be handled well in what kind of carbohydrates are we consuming. Eating more vegetables and fruits will fill the stomach, but will not support to gain weight because of fibre.

Sugar and refined carbohydrates hit your blood stream quickly causing a high rise in blood sugar and the result is higher levels of insulin being released from your pancreas. One role of insulin is to tell your body to store fat. That leads to obesity . All carbohydrates break down into glucose, but at what speed it breaks down matters are lot.

Unrefined or complex carbohydrates give you greater, longer-lasting energy and stable blood sugar because your body digests them more slowly. These come in the form of whole grains, pulses, beans, fruits and vegetables.

Millets are tough but still cooks up like rice so they can be used like a form of starchy carbohydrates. Millets are high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. These ancient grains are a super addition to our regular diet, providing plant-based essential omega-3 fats, fibre and protein.

Carbohydrates are important, but choose and consume wisely !!!

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Amaranth - Not a grain, more than a that !!!



Amaranth is not a grain like quinoa or millet. It is a seed, but due to this seed's nutritional profile and its usage in casual cuisines, it is referred as a grain.

Amaranth is the common name for more than 60 different species of Amaranthus, which are usually very tall plants with broad green leaves and impressively bright purple, red, or gold flowers. They are commonly grown for their edible seeds. One plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds.

Amaranth has a long history and has been in use for many centuries by many different cultures. Amaranth was once a staple food in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs. It is grown and consumed as a leafy vegetable in many countries around the world. Amaranth is, easy to cook, highly palatable, and, can easily be included in snacks and dishes. Cooked amaranth is 90% digestible.

Amaranth contains more than three times the average amount of calcium and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.  It’s also the only grain documented to contain Vitamin C.

Amaranth is relatively rich in lysine. Most grains like wheat are short on lysine, an amino acid. This makes amaranth a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids. Amaranth is gluten free and good for your heart.  Amaranth has shown potential as a cholesterol-lowering whole grain in several studies conducted over the past 14 years.

Amaranth can be cooked and consumed as porridge, which is a great option for breakfast. In fact, amaranth porridge is a traditional breakfast in India, Peru, Mexico, and Nepal. Its is a famous leafy vegetable in South India.

Names in other languages - Rajgeera (Hindi), Rajgiri (Kannada, Konkani, Sanskrit), Mulaikeerai (Tamil), thotakoora (Telugu). The Hindi name for amaranth, rajgeera, means “the king’s grain.” Its other name, ramdana, means “God’s own grain.”

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Well known excuses for breakfast !!!

Well known excuses for breakfast

Common Myths and Misconceptions about breakfast

"I don’t have time to eat breakfast."

- It's a lame excuse. If you are serious about time, plan your day well in advance. Allocate time for food, including your breakfast. Can't you afford to find 5 minutes to eat an energizing breakfast ?

"I don’t need breakfast."

- Every machine requires some form of energy to run. In the same way, your body requires energy to work. If a healthy breakfast is consumed, your body and mind will be really productive.

"Skipping breakfast does not matter – I can cover that in the lunch."

- If you skip breakfast, two things happen for sure: You do not have enough stamina to last the day (as you miss out on the nutrients that a breakfast supplements) . And, you are allowing the stomach to produce acid, without putting it to work. This damages the walls of the stomach, giving rise to painful Ulcers and unease.

"I want to reduce weight, let me skip breakfast and have lunch directly."

- In fact having proper breakfast allows you to keep fit. Further, it is a natural phenomenon to fill an empty stomach, and, human tendency forces us to reach out to snacks and high calories junk food, which is totally unhealthy for a morning hour.

Hence, a Healthy Breakfast is very important and makes sure you are well-nourished to keep you energized for the day.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Breakfast & Warm up exercise - A comparison

Let us compare breakfast with warm up exercise.

Overview

A breakfast is the first meal after a long night's sleep, where, your body detoxes and repairs itself. It can be compared with a warming up exercise done by an athlete before going for a run or, players preparing themselves before a match,which will make them ready for a stable performance.

What happens during the process?

What happens during warm up? Muscles and tissues stretch and relax, so that it can be more flexible in play. Similarly, anything we eat in the morning should help the natural process of detox and repair/regain to a ready state for upcoming foods of the day.

Can we skip this or Is it essential?

Can we skip warm up?, Will it affect our performance? Yes, Absolutely. Tight muscles and tissues are not relaxed, so it may slow down our response during play. Sometimes you can even sprain a muscle. Skipping breakfast will make you feel hungry, tired and lethargic. This is because the energy required is not provided, so the body start taking the necessary glucose from the tissues. On the other side, your stomach will start producing real acid to enable digestion. Empty stomach with acid leads to heartburn, which is not a healthy sign. It may lead to an ulcer and build up of gas.

Digestive action starts mild in the morning and goes to peak in the noon and slows down by evening.

Does that mean a heavy warm up exercise will be beneficial? Absolutely NOT. Too much of warming up will make us feel exhausted and tired. Warm up exercise should be mild and fresh. Likewise, a heavy breakfast is not advisable in the morning. Foods which contain complex carbohydrates, rich in fibre will be best kind of breakfast.

In conclusion

A breakfast with a variety of choices as mentioned below, is considered healthy:

  1. Fresh fruits like bananas, avoid sour fruits.
  2. Boiled potatoes and vegetables.
  3. Whole grain bread, oatmeal or a porridge.
  4. Nuts.
  5. Fresh juice (not from a can or tetra pack.)

Do not confuse yourself between a full meal and heavy meal. A full meal is just loading your stomach full with eating more of prescribed foods, but a heavy meal contains fat rich foods like fries, cheese and panneer, which may be little difficult to get digested.

In simple, a breakfast is, Eat easy to digest food and don't over eat.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Which is best to have along with breakfast a whole fruit or juice out of it?

Which is best to have along with breakfast a whole fruit or juice out of it?

Whole Fruit Vs Its Juice

In our fast food life, many choose juice to be their choice. We think juice is concentrate form of fruit. Are we thinking right?

Convenience & Ease of use

Though people feel juice is an easier option, as it doesn’t require any washing, peeling or slicing it is NOT. Fruit is ultimate convenient whole some food. Packed juice has more shelf life as it treated with preservatives, But fruits are natural and fresh, cannot stay for longer duration.

Juice is simple carbohydrate and it gets digested faster and kindles hungry soon, but a whole fruit has fibre and digests slowly and keep you satiety for longer duration.

Nutrients & Fibre

Juice concentrate or 100% fruit juice, though tasty and refreshing, is not as healthy as whole fruit. When a whole fruit is pressed or squeezed to make juice, some of the nutrients, most notably fiber and the water-soluble vitamins, are lost in the process. More sugar without fibre is unhealthy. So we consume a fruit or a piece of fruit, we intake nutrients, fibre and sugar.

More over fullness will not come with a glass of juice but a fruit gives that. Juice is simple carbohydrate and it gets digested faster and kindles hungry soon, but a whole fruit has fibre and digests slowly and keep you satiety for longer duration. Fruit is one of the best dietary sources of fiber, which is important not only for helping with weight loss by helping you feel full, but also for heart and digestive health

Sugar & Calories

Juices, contain more calories, doubled than normal. Especially the products tagged as "Contains X fruits in one litre" has lot of calories, which is not really recommended. Whereas fruits are whole food, It has both nutrients and fibre along with naturally occurring sugar.

Risk

During the juicing process, not only the nutrients and fibre are destroyed, many antioxidants and natural properties of the fruit are also getting destroyed.

During the juicing process, not only the nutrients and fibre are destroyed, many antioxidants and natural properties of the fruit are also getting destroyed. Mere purpose of that fruit is lost and we extract and intake the sugars purposely. Experts from the UK, Singapore and a team from Harvard School of Public Health in the US have found in a study, eating some of the fruits lowers the risk of type 2 Diabetes and consuming the same fruits in the form of juice actually increases it.

Conclusion

Consuming the fruit as it is, considered to be best way to get the full benefit of fruit from health point of view. However, rather consuming the fresh fruit juice is more far better than consuming the artificial juices and concentrates made of real fruit (even with pulp) which is readily available.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Multi Grain Porridge - Nutrients & Benefits

Multi Grain Porridge - Nutrients & Benefits

Why should I have Multi Grain Porridge ? How it Helps? What are the Benefits?

Fullness or Satiety

Grain based food have a high amount of dietary fiber. Fibre substance helps to fill you up, which prevents you from overeating. It helps to maintain or even lose weight. Fiber also helps to maintain blood-sugar levels and reduces the risk for high cholesterol. A cup of cooked porridge contains about 4 grams to 6 grams of fiber. Consuming porridge everyday twice is good for men and once is ideal for women . Adding berries, seeds and nuts to the porridge increases its fiber content.

Energy

Multigrain Porridge contains a high amount of complex carbohydrates, unlike simple carbohydrates which gets digested slowly and gives you sustained energy. One cup of porridge contains just over 15 grams of carbohydrates. Adding fruit, honey, brown sugar or milk to your porridge will boost the carbohydrates content of your meal and increase the calories. Milk also contains a moderate amount of protein. Carbohydrates are required for body because they are macro nutrients needed for optimal brain function and energy.

Oxygen Supply

Grains has a generous amount of Iron, which is used for the production of myoglobin and hemoglobin. They join with red blood cells to carry oxygen to the muscles and all other areas of the body. Iron is required very well for Men and women. Consuming it in natural way in the form of porridge adds value.

Strengthen Bones and Muscles

Porridge has calcium and high content of phosphorus. Phosphorus, which is stored in the bones, helps with energy production, filtering of waste through the kidneys and muscle recovery after intense exercise. Making porridge with milk and adding seeds and nuts will create a high-phosphorus content in your meal. Calcium is similar to phosphorus in that it helps strengthen teeth and bones. It also plays a role in hormone secretion, nerve transmission and muscle function. By preparing your gruel with milk, you will boost the calcium content of the meal.

Acts as Immunity Builder

Porridge contains Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that the body needs for vision, cell and tissue growth and reproduction. It is also an antioxidant, which helps destroy free radicals and reduce the risk for chronic disease.

Consuming porridge is healthy practice which is more traditional and including it has a breakfast replacement makes a day more healthy and energetic. Intake of porridge will be a easy way to maintain our daily values.

Added, a brisk walk in the morning help to get the vitamin D with the help of sunlight.

Note: Minimum 15 grams or 3 spoons of powder makes a glass of porridge. Milk will be ideal for children and youngsters and buttermilk will be best suit for elders and diabetics.



Friday, March 6, 2015

How to make simple Multigrain Atta using porridge powder?

Ammae Multigrain Porridge Mix | Tasty Cereal Mix - Ammae Foods India



We get variety of multi grain atta in the market, majority of atta are combination 93 to 97 percent of wheat and 7 to 4 perent of multi grain which again a combination of 3 to 5 grains.

We can prepare multi grain atta using Tasty Cereal Mix in a very simple way. Take 5 portions of wheat flour and 1 portion of Tasty Cereal Mix, mix throughly and use it as normal atta for preparation of roti. This is now a combination of 16 grains incuding wheat.

Simple and nutritious food.
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

What is the best breakfast to start the day, Cereal flakes or a Porridge?

What is the best breakfast to start the day, Cereal flakes or a Porridge?

Ready made cereals Vs Multigrain Porridge

Our Daily food routine begins with a breakfast. There are variety of western choices say, a bowl of cereals, a slice of toast, cup of museli and traditional foods like Idly, Dosa, Pongal along with a cup of milk, coffee or juice as breakfast. At the same time skipping breakfast is not a good idea. If we skip breakfast, we feel hungrier later in the day and ate more food at night, this may lead to metabolic changes and heart disease, also to gastro issues.

Which is a Healthy breakfast?

Before we start the comparison, let us understand what nutrients are really required for breakfast?
The qualifying nutrients are protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. The disqualifying nutrients are saturated fat, added sugar and sodium.

Ready made cereals/museli

Processed cereals or toast contain high levels of simple carbohydrates, which in turn converted rapidly into glucose. Museli, a combination of rolled oats and dry fruits contains high amount of concentrated sugar due to dry fruits.

These simple carbohydrates produces a short energy boost followed by an energy slump and ends in sugar craving. If you eat this type of breakfast, you will probably start to feel hungry very soon.

To eat too many carbohydrates for breakfast without enough fibre or protein is not a balance diet.

Lot of people suffer from low blood sugar levels by mid-morning. Simply because, they eat too many carbohydrates for breakfast without enough fibre or protein to balance them. Many breakfast cereals are also high in sugar and fat. Eating a bowl of cereal is as unhealthy as having five chocolate chip cookies, according to recent research.

Multigrain porridge

Porridge made out of whole grains are better than highly refined breakfast cereals, such as cornflakes. Whole grains contains complex carbohydrates, which release their energy more slowly into the bloodstream.

Studies have shown that a breakfast that includes protein will release energy at a steady level for hours. A breakfast that contains protein as well as complex carbohydrates, beats anything else. Grains, rich in fibre when consumed as porridge helps to remove cholesterol and toxins.

A breakfast that contains protein as well as complex carbohydrates, beats anything else.

Having Oats porridge is good as it is a whole grain. But consuming Oats everyday increases purine content in body and that has a side effect of Gout (complex form of arthritis, severe joint and knee pain) over a period of time. so its advisable to consume twice or thrice a week and not more than that.

Always combination of various mix of grains enables complete nutrition. In our daily life, we consume some of the grains, not all. So a multigrain powder, where individual grain are handled properly and prepared in powder form is one of the simplest form to get better nutrition. That too with milk is calcium rich.

Conclusion

As a conclusion, multigrain porridge is far better than ready to eat cereals. Added to that, those who ate plenty of fruit and vegetables and drank lots of water were far more likely to feel fit, healthy and happy. Mix and match various cereals and pulses to prepare the porridge mix is best way to get various nutrients.


References: NCBI, Healthline.com

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Multigrain porridge (Sathu maavu kanji), How to prepare at home? - Traditional & Simple recipe

What is multigrain porridge?

Multigrain porridge called with different names like congee, ambali, kanjee. In typical south india it is called as Sattumavu Kanji, which was given to children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. It was considered as one of the best source of nutrition for young kids and good food for elders as well. Even today, lot of people prepare this powder traditionally in their home. Combination of ingredients varies for each school of thought.

Boiled rice, Ragi, Wheat, Barley, Moong are some of commonly known ingredients. Some people adds horsegram, roasted gram, poppy seeds, almonds, and cardamom also. Porridge preparation is simple, just mix a couple spoons of powder in a glass of water and boil for a minute or two. Then add milk and sugar or buttermilk and salt as per taste. We can have this with Rasam or prepare delicious payasam with jaggery or make laddus with ghee and jaggery. Its very ideal for breakfast and healthy and nutritious food.

For people who don't like it as traditional food, can try even homemade biscuits and cakes by using this powder instead of white flour. we can make breakfast bars with this by adding honey and dry fruits. Let us see how to prepare this at home with common ingredients. Just to help, some real time tips are mentioned at the end.

Multigrain porridge (Sathu maavu kanji)- Ingredients

Ingredients of porridge

  • Cereals - Finger millet, Barley, Whole wheat, Boiled rice - Each one cup
  • Pulses - Black channa, Green gram, Roasted gram - Each one cup

Method of preparation

Choosen ingredients needs to be cleaned, sprouted, roasted and then ground to get the nutritious health mix. Let us see each step in little detail. You can check our blog post to know each process in detail.

Step 1: Cleaning/Rinsing of grains

All ingredients need to washed in normal or luke warm water separately. This makes sure any mud particles and unwanted things is removed properly. While rinsing, if any hard particles exist like stones, it get stays in the bottom of the container, we need to make sure to remove it.

Step 2: Soaking/Fermentation of the grains

This step is purely optional. Some of the ingredients can be used directly and other can be sprouted. Sprouting is extra process and time consuming. But it increases the nutritive value of the grains and makes it easily digestible. Especially when you prepare this mix for infants, it is advisable to sprout and then use. If you are not able to sprout at least allow them to be soaked for couple of hours roughly, that removes the toxin from the grains. Overnight soaking is best practice for hard grains, you can take a call based on your convenience.

In our set of ingredients, Finger millet, whole wheat, black channa, green moong can be sprouted. Sprout each grain separately. We need to plan accordingly as it take a day or two. I mean, choose the ingredient for sprouting and start the process one day before, So that it will be ready and we can move to next step for all grains in same day.

Step 3: Roasting of grains

After soaking and sprouting allow the grains to get dry in a dry cloth under a fan or in cool dry place. Once it is properly dried, then we can roast each one separately in the dry pan one by one. Keep the flame of low mode while roasting. Once you feel the aroma of roasted grain, remove it from pan and allow it cool. It may take 2 minutes to 5 minutes depends on the grain. Small grains like finger millet will gets roast faster in compare with chick peas. You can mix all the grains now while its get cool.

Step 4: Ground the mixture

You can get this ground in a floor mill. Allow the powder to get cooled completely and store it in a air tight container.

Some things to keep in mind in the process

  1. You can also choose more grains as ingredients based on your choice like Amaranth Seeds, Horse gram, Foxtail millet, Little millet, Groundnuts, Oats grain/ flakes, Sago, Cardamom and Almonds.
  2. Combination of grains and quantity of grains is purely choice of us.
  3. Each step till roasting should be handled separately for each grains, as the size of grains vary.
  4. Request you to ground some plain rice in floor mill before the mixture. In public places, they keep grounding various things, grounding rice first, cleanses the machine and also unwanted or previous grounded things comes out along with rice flour.
  5. Hot powder attract moisture that in turn reduce the shelf life of powder and also gives bad aroma and infected faster.
  6. Normally if we store in a air tight container, it stays for couple of months. We can prepare this is in small quantities as and when we require.
  7. We can change the combination of ingredients however we want to get different taste every time.

How to prepare porridge?

Mix 2 spoons of powder in half glass of water. Mix throughly without lumps and allow it to boil in low flame for couple of minutes. It gets thick and porridge is ready. Milk and sugar can be added upon once taste and consumed. You can also try with salt and buttermilk.

Multigrain porridge (Sathu maavu kanji), Traditional & Simple recipe

Other multigrain recipes:

  1. You can prepare sweet porridge by mixing jaggery and some roasted cashews with saffron and cardamom.
  2. Mix the equal amount powder and jaggery with some melted ghee and just prepare balls by holding in hands tightly (like we prepare laddu). This can be healthy snack.

Don't worry, we have followed all this process when we produce ammae products. Check out Ammae's Tasty Cereal Mix (an Multigrain porridge for General nutrition) and Health Mix(an instant porridge).

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Health benefits and Nutrients available in Grains - An Overview

Health benefits and Nutrients available in Grains

What are the Benefits & Nutrients available in whole grains?

Consuming grains in our daily life is very essential. They provide a lot of health benefits and nutrients contained in that is very much required for our body.

Whole grain has 3 parts:

  • Bran - Outermost layer or external skin of grain. Contains fibre, antioxidants and minerals.
  • Germ - Middle layer of grains. Contains carbohydrates.
  • Endosperm - Inner Core part of grain. Contains minerals, vitamins, proteins and trace elements.

Whole wheat, Oats, Buckwheat, Brown rice, Quinoa and millets are some of the example of whole grains.

Health Benefits of whole grains

  1. Consuming whole grains as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  2. Consuming foods containing fiber, such as whole grains, as part of a healthy diet, may reduce constipation.
  3. Eating whole grains may help with weight management.
  4. Eating grain products fortified with folate before and during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects during fetal development.

Nutrients in whole grains

  1. Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium).
  2. Dietary fiber from whole grains or other foods, may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as whole grains help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
  3. The B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin play a key role in metabolism – they help the body release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. B vitamins are also essential for a healthy nervous system. Many refined grains are enriched with these B vitamins.
  4. Folate (folic acid), another B vitamin, helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, and in addition 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.
  5. Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Many teenage girls and women in their childbearing years have iron-deficiency anemia. They should eat foods high in heme-iron (meats) or eat other iron containing foods along with foods rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron. Whole and enriched refined grain products are major sources of non-heme iron in American diets.
  6. Whole grains are sources of magnesium and selenium. Magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium protects cells from oxidation. It is also important for a healthy immune system.

Note: Even though whole grains are good in nature, it is not suitable for everyone. People allergic to gluten, should avoid grains contains gluten. For example, Barley, Wheat and Soya needs to be avoided as it contains gluten. Oats, Rice, buckwheat, amaranth are suitable for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

How to use grains in our daily life

We need identify many diets where we can use wholegrain instead of refined grain. We need to keep a eye on ingredients before we take it. Some of the simple ways listed can be a good start. We can be more creative and also venture new grains and recipes. Its all our choice of lifestyle.

  1. Porridge can be prepared out of oats, finger millet and other grains.
  2. Roti/ chapathi can be prepared with whole wheat.
  3. Baked foods can be made using whole wheat rather than white flour.
  4. Using brown rice instead of white rice once in a while.
  5. Popcorns using maize corns, soaked wheat, soaked green gram are healthy snacks.
  6. Using barley along with vegetables while preparing soups.

References: www.choosemyplate.gov, www.Healthline.com

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What is the role of grains (cereals, pulses, millet & legumes) in our Daily Life ?

Culture of consuming grains are traditional and it is staple food for everyone across the world from age old days across various civilizations. Over a period of time, they adopted various methods to consume and started refining the original process to suit their need and ease. Now, the modern technology identified process to produce food as ready to eat directly with minimal or no cooking. These made our lifestyle very fast and which in return complimented with health issue like obese and inflammation and so on.

Once again the cycle goes back. Today, nutritional study says, Cereals and Pulses occupy a major portion of the food pyramid. They provide the body with a powerful mixture of protective substances including fibre, anti-oxidant, vitamins and minerals and phyto-nutrients, and help ward off many diseases.

Typical whole grain consists on 3 parts. Bran, Germ and Endosperm. Choosing whole grains instead of refined grains has numerous benefits. It can help lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and many more.

Why should we consume whole grains?

  • Its Cholesterol-free.
  • Low in saturated fat but is a source of polyunsaturated fats that has essential fats.
  • High in both soluble and insoluble fibre and resistant starch.
  • An excellent source of carbohydrates.
  • A significant source of protein.
  • A good Source of B group vitamins, including foliate.
  • A good source of many minerals, such as iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus and zinc.
  • A good source of antioxidants and phyto-chemicals.

Some of the typical wholegrain are

  1. Whole wheat is a nutritious alternative to regular wheat and a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
  2. Buckwheat is a gluten-free whole grain that’s packed with nutrients. It’s also a good source of resistant starch, which feeds your healthy gut bacteria.
  3. Millet is an ancient seed that’s classified as a pseudocereal, as it’s consumed in a similar way to cereals. It’s incredibly nutritious and gluten-free.
  4. Brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice, as it contains the entire grain. Conversely, white rice is stripped of its bran and germ, making it less nutritious. Brown rice may reduce heart disease risk by various means.

Our elders used to consume various grains in their daily life that helped them stay healthy. Now the awareness of consuming grains in our daily life slowly spread across. It good, let us encourage that.

References: www.healthline.com


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