Health Benefits of Protein Foods

Health is the ability of human being to face the physical and mental challenges of diseases to prevent them from affecting the body of an individual. In 1984, the definition of health was revised by WHO “The extent to which an individual or group is able to realise aspiration and satisfy needs and to change or to cope with the environment, in a natural phenomenon that an individual wants to become healthy and fit.

It is a mandatory duty of an individual to pay attention towards his balanced diet which must be nutritious and full of proteins. Protein is the major source of energy for our body. During starvation or weight loss program, the body uses its own functional proteins in order to compensate as the body does not store extra protein. The enzymes and muscle proteins breakdown to yield amino acids to provide energy and ensure its continuous supply to the cells. Protein is very essential for smooth functioning of each part of our body; few of its benefits are given below-

Provides muscular strength

The foremost function of proteins is muscular growth as they are present in the muscular tissues in the form of microfilaments and form muscle structure. If you are aiming to achieve ripped and rugged body packed with muscles, you should increase your protein intake as the growth of muscular tissues depends on the efficiency of protein in the body.

Builds strong immune system

Proteins are responsible for the stronger immune system. In the process of self-defence, antibodies protect the body from various infections and disease. These antibodies are actually proteins which are capable of finding the foreign bodies called antigens and destroying them.

Protects nervous system

Protein is an essential nutrition for regular functioning of nervous system. As you all know that the nervous system provides responsive signals whenever it is triggered, however, only some of you know that the receptor sites in the nervous system comprise of proteins and are responsible for the prompt reaction. Thus adding proteins to your diet would lead to the smooth transmission of signals within the cells and control the functioning of the nervous system.

Radiant and glowing skin

Protein plays an important role for strengthening of various tissues. A fibrous protein named collagen is quite beneficial for the growth of cells and tissues which are responsible for skin revitalization. The deficiency of collagen protein makes skin dull and causes wrinkles.

Strong and shiny hair

For smooth and healthy hair, proteins are recommended to be taken in any form as they prevent the hair from damage and also strengthen the growth.

Protein needed by human body

Human body needs an appropriate diet of protein to stay fit. Our protein needs vary as per our lifestyle and the energy we burn in our daily routine. An athlete’s protein need would definitely be higher than a common man. Same is the case with a male and a female. Their protein requirement also differs. The standard protein intake suggested by USDA for adults with average weight is 56 grams daily for male and 46 grams daily for female.

The aforesaid figures are based on a simple calculation that says you should take 0.36 grams of protein for each pound your body weighs. Having your every meal filled with 30% percent of protein foods is the key to a healthy body. Dieticians also recommend frequent protein diets instead having a large serving in a single meal.

Human body never allows it to store the protein, so keeping frequent tiny protein diets not only keep you energized for the whole day but also maintain your blood sugar level. You can also choose to go with the protein shakes if your regular foods are not able to supply enough protein to your body. But remember to select the best and clinically certified protein supplements to avoid the circumstances of any side effects.

Conclusion

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Health Benefits of Eating Spicy Food

People love eating spicy food. They crave for its flavor, regardless of its burning and heat-producing properties. Generally, spicy food is considered unhealthy but this not true, as spicy food possess some hidden health benefits.

There are a number of people who crave for spicy food. The pleasure of eating a spicy meal can be an entirely different experience. A hot, burning sensation which can be discomforting and even painful though for some, it is worth relishing the flavor and they enjoy every bit of it. This is the magic of spicy food. Chili is not the only substance that increases the spiciness of the food, as there is pepper, turmeric, jalapenos and other herbs which add to the flavor and hotness. Though a lot of people think it is unhealthy to eat spicy food, the good news for spicy food-lovers is that this food contains hidden health benefits like improving immunity and heart health and even aiding weight loss too.

It is Healthy to Eat Spicy Food!

Spicy foods like chili and pepper get their hotness from a compound called capsaicin. It also plays a major role in providing health benefits. Higher the content of capsaicin the hotter that food becomes. But on coming in contact with the skin it may cause a burning sensation. It may also cause irritation to your eyes. Hence, be careful while handling chilies and peppers. Excess of spicy food also can be harmful, hence the consumption should always be in moderate amounts. Following are some of the health benefits that you gain from consuming spicy food in moderation.

Weight Loss

One of the main compounds of chili is capsaicin which has a thermogenic effect on the body that leads to increased metabolism. This further results in burning extra calories and can lead to considerable weight loss. Apart from this, if you are following a diet or your healthy food is less appealing, then you can just sprinkle certain spices which will not only enhance the taste but can also keep you healthy.

Improves Heart Health

Capsaicin in chilies reduces the effect of LDL or bad cholesterol which further reduce the chances of blood clots that may block the arteries. This helps in the proper circulation of blood through the heart and improves the functioning of cardiovascular system. Various studies have shown that people who eat more spicy food have lower incidents of heart and stroke problems.

Reduces Inflammation

Capsaicin also has the ability to inhibit the substance P, which is a neuropeptide, that triggers the body’s inflammatory response. Hence, we can say that consumption of spicy food can help in reducing inflammation. It also prevents the inflammation of arteries.

Improves Immunity

Chili and pepper are high in vitamin A and vitamin C. Two teaspoons of chili powder provides about 10% of vitamin A and 6% of vitamin C of the body’s daily requirement. It boosts the immune system and improves the first line of defense of the human body.

Cancer Prevention

In 2006, a team of researchers from the Cancer Institute at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in collaboration with colleagues from UCLA, found out that capsaicin drove human prostate cancer cells to kill themselves. But excess intake of capsaicin has also been associated with stomach cancer. So always be careful about the amount you consume.

Type 2 Diabetes

According to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006, there was a considerable drop in the blood sugar levels in diabetic people after they have a spicy meal. The study was carried out on 36 diabetic people who were asked to eat bland food (without any chili and pepper) for four weeks. And then for the next four weeks their daily diet was supplemented with 30 gm of chili pepper blend. The results showed their blood sugar levels increased less when they consumed chili pepper blend in comparison to when they ate bland food.

Other Benefits

  • Relieves Congestion: Spicy food increases body heat and helps in clearing the mucus. This reduces sinus pressure and pain.
  • Provides Better Sleep: Studies have shown that people who consume chili pepper on a daily bases enjoy a better and longer sleep.
  • Boosts Mood: When you eat chilies, due to the instant hot sensation, the brain releases endorphins which are natural painkillers, and are also known as happy hormones, to nullify the effect. This naturally boosts your mood.
  • Fights Stomach Ulcers: Stomach ulcers are usually caused due to the bacterial growth. Chili and pepper consumed in moderation are known to kill these bacteria and avoid stomach ulcers.

So, even if you are not a lover of spicy food, you can just spice up your meal a bit to enjoy the goodness of chilies and pepper. To derive its various health benefits, it is very important to consume spicy foods in moderation, as excessive consumption can also cause harm.

 

Healthy Foods List

The old adage, ‘health is wealth’, is often ignored in today’s fast-paced world. We are so obsessed with success and fame that we ignore ourselves. While exercise is important, it is also essential that you eat the right kind of food. We give you a list of some of the healthiest foods that you definitely need to include in your diet.

In the race to achieve success, gain fame, and earn lots of money, we often tend to ignore some of the most important things in life. One’s own health is one of those important things that is often set aside without a second thought.

We often live off junk food, grabbing a burger as we rush to work. Without a healthy and balanced diet, it can be quite impossible for your body to keep up with the physical and mental fatigue it experiences. Add to this the fact that most of us are extremely fussy eaters, especially when it comes to choosing food items that are nutritious.

In this article, we give you a list of those food items that you need to include in your diet without fail to ensure that you lead a healthy lifestyle.

APPLES

Most of us know that apples are very nutritious. The pectin found in apples prevents the body from absorbing too much fat, and the pectin is also an appetite suppressant. This means that once you’ve eaten an apple you won’t feel hungry for few a hours.

BEANS

Beans contain a lot of fiber which helps in satiating hunger as well as reducing the amount of fat in the body. It is also abundant in minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, etc., complex carbohydrates, and proteins.

BROCCOLI

Broccoli is very rich in vitamins, calcium and fiber. Coming from the cabbage family, this vegetable is also very effective in the absorption of iron within the body. It is also helpful in reducing weight, cholesterol, and also controls diabetes to an extent.

CEREAL

High fiber cereal based foods in your diet can include various rice or wheat flakes which have a low sugar content and can be eaten with skimmed milk. You can add chopped fruits like strawberries, blueberries, etc. and even honey to sweeten it.

CITRUS FRUITS

Citrus fruits consist of oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. They are rich in anti-oxidants and also serve as anti-cancer agents. These fruits also help the body to remain hydrated. They also have been known to have anti-inflammatory and blood clotting properties.

DARK CHOCOLATE

Dark chocolate is a healthier than its lighter counterpart because it contains lesser sugar. Also, it has flavanols, which protect the body against heart disease by acting as antioxidants. It also helps in reducing cholesterol and enhancing blood circulation.

EGGS

Eggs are a rich source of protein and act as a source of nourishment for the body. Proteins are very important for muscle formation and they also ensure proper development of body. Truly one of the healthiest foods, eggs should be given every alternate day to kids.

FISH

Fish has Omega 3 fatty acids which help in keeping the blood pressure in check and reducing the deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels. It has also been known to aid in the development of vision and brain power in infants.

NUTS AND SEEDS

Nuts are the best option for a nutritious snack, especially for diabetics. They are filled with proteins, fiber, and the right type of fats, and are a rich source of vitamin E. They also help in controlling the level of bad cholesterol in the blood, which in turn helps fight heart disease.

OATMEAL

Oatmeal is a great energy booster and helps to keep the metabolism rate high due to its high fiber content. Also, it steadies the level of blood sugar, and in turn helps prevent diabetes. It fortifies our body’s immune system and also reduces the risk of heart disease.

OLIVE OIL

Olive oil has innumerable benefits. It is one of the lightest oils that can be used for cooking. It contains zero cholesterol, which is a major boon for people with heart problems. It also helps in maintaining the blood sugar level in the body. The fats that it contains are healthy and necessary for the body.

SOY PRODUCTS

Soy products are fast becoming a very popular substitute for dairy and dairy products as they contain high levels of proteins and amino acids. They are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. At the same time, they do not have any adverse effects on the level of cholesterol in the blood.

SPICES & HERBS

Including spices like hot peppers, cayenne peppers, cinnamon, etc., in your diet increases your metabolism. Eating spices can make you lose up to 75 calories in 2 hours. Plus, there are different types of herbs that add not only to the culinary value of the food, but also to its nutritional value.

TOMATOES

Tomatoes are one of the best anti-oxidants for our body. They contain lycopene, which helps in maintaining the health of our bones. Also, it has been found that consumption of tomatoes helps in reducing the level of bad cholesterol in the body, thus promoting good health of the heart.

TURKEY

Turkey contains selenium which has cancer preventive properties, provides a healthy immune system and also increases the metabolic level of the body. A sandwich at home is better than junk food.

YOGURT

Yogurt made from skimmed milk is one of the healthiest food items to consume. It is a great source of vitamins, proteins, calcium and vitamins. You can enhance the flavor by adding slices or cubes of your favorite fruits to it.

For a healthy lifestyle, you should try and cut down on eating out and try and cook at home as often as possible. This way you can make sure that the food you cook is made in a healthy manner. Ensure that you always eat your breakfast as it is one of the most important meals of the day. Try and include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. When you are hungry between meals, try to avoid snacks like chips and replace them with food items like nuts and cereals, or even salads. Eating healthy is a lifestyle change and it may take you a while before you can ensure that your diet is a balanced and wholesome one. Do ensure that you include all or at least a majority of these healthy food items in your diet.

Mental Health Day

1 in 4 Adults and 1 in 10 children are affected by mental health and wellbeing needs in any given year. This means it is very likely that you or someone you know is affected by this issue. We are still in a position where there is not that much readily available support out there, unless you know where to look. Many of those affected do not even get the help they deserve and need due to the large stigma that is attached to mental health and wellbeing.

October 10th is World Mental Health Day (WMHD). This day is specially set by the World Federation for Mental Health and aims to increase awareness of mental health and wellbeing needs around the world. This is a perfect opportunity to connect with others and potentially make a difference in their day. This can be from a simple “How are you?” to a full blown awareness campaign, but the smallest of things can make a difference. Here are seven things you can do this coming World Mental Health Day that can make a difference.

 The Simple “How are you?”

When was the last time you spent the time asking “How are you?” and actually listening to the response? Especially in the UK, this simple three word question is actually used as a greeting rather than a pure question. WMHD is the perfect opportunity to ask this question of somebody and take the time to really listen to them. It is also the opportunity for you to respond with more when this question is asked of you. Sharing a problem with someone may help to ease the stress you may be under.

Have a cuppa

The British believe that tea solves everything. So instead of rushing here there and everywhere, find some time on 10th October to invite someone for a cuppa. Whether it is on a break at work, or just after you’ve rushed about on the school run, this simple British ritual may be just the thing that you or a friend might need, especially on a Monday! If you’re feeling rather chatty, you could always throw in a slice of cake too. It’s a perfect time to ask “how are you?” and in between the cake crumbs and comforting slurps of tea, you might make a difference to each other’s day.

Offer to help

Many of us feel overwhelmed at times but rarely do we ask for help. This is particularly prevalent in workplaces, where there is pressure to keep mental health and wellbeing under the radar. If you see someone with that ‘head in hands’ vibe about them, ask them if they need some help. They may not necessarily take you up on your offer, but knowing that help is available and out there can make the world seem a little less daunting. This leads quite nicely to:

Spend quality time with your kids

With one in ten children also being affected by mental health and wellbeing, it is important to spend the time listening to our children to find out what is affecting them. Depending on the weather, (or just pack the welly boots anyway) take a detour to the park on the way home. This is perfect together time where they may open up to you and offload what is on their mind.

Spend quality time with yourself

Very often, we forget ourselves. Perhaps you can find some time on 10th October to do that one thing you’ve fancied doing. Go for a walk, read that book or bake a cake. Go and soak for an hour in that tub. Self care and pampering can help you relax and sort out the issues you have. You don’t need to spend any money and this little slice of time for yourself may give you enough to face the rest of the day.

Host an event to raise awareness and fundraise

There are many events around the country that are raising the profile of mental health and wellbeing.  The Mental Health Foundation is hosting their annual Tea & Talk event again this year. You can also get involved by simply sticking the kettle on and inviting a load of people round for a natter.