New Delhi: Whether you want to clock-in more hours at work, workout like a beast or simply feel energized throughout the day, a wholesome nutrient-rich diet is a great boost to your health. Lovneet Batra, Nutritionist & Founder of Nutrition by Lovneet rounds up some food superheroes that keep you in top gear.
Egg: An All-Rounder
The happy belly needs food that not only satisfies our hunger but also our taste buds. Egg certainly fits the bill while it is humble but comes with impressive health credentials. When it comes to nutrition it caters to the need of the hour – affordable proteins. It’s true that Indians have chronic protein deficiency with over 70% of people suffering from poor muscle health and mostly unaware of it. An egg is a complete protein providing all nine essential amino acids, which our body is not capable to synthesize. One egg provides seven grams of bioavailable protein, which is complete and easily utilized. The proteins within eggs help to maintain muscle function while slowing down the rate of muscle loss. Eggs are a rare food source of vitamin D – the most commonly deficient nutrient. Vitamin D plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy mineralized skeleton. Given the low exposure to sun rays, our bodies are not producing enough Vitamin D on their own which makes eggs our dependable source. Vitamin D is not just required for healthy bones but its deficiency is linked to depression, fatigue, hair loss, increased infections and worsening of asthma symptoms.
Walnuts: The Wondernut
They help in boosting brain activity with high choline and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps with the maintenance of brain function. Good fat found in walnuts is essential for the proper functioning of our nervous system where cholesterol allows nerve cells to make contact and communicate. So, walnuts every day will keep memory loss away. It is also an excellent source of vitamin E, B vitamins and protein essential for endometrial health. They enhance sperm quality; a handful of walnuts daily are linked with better sperm vitality, motility, and structure. They are rich with arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to increase sperm production.
Buttermilk: The Desi Elixir
Our homemade probiotic helps in growing friendly gut bacteria. Our gut is the first line of defense against harmful toxins or bacteria, so maintaining a healthy gut is essential in helping the body naturally detox the way it should. Buttermilk is also a natural source of whey protein. It provides good amounts of calcium and phosphorus, which is a desirable combination for strong bones and muscles. Vitamin A present in buttermilk help in cell regeneration and promotes longevity.
Ghee: The Fat Blaster
One of the most powerful healing foods, but sadly often seen only as a threat to your heart. It is, in fact, rich in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which helps in alleviating inflammation, burning belly fat and strengthening your bones. Tired of feeling bloated with your all-time salad diet? Try cooking your vegetables in ghee, Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid in it promotes gut health and relieves IBS. It has a high smoke point (the temperature at which an oil begins to oxidize and form harmful free radicals), which makes it ideal for deep-frying.
Chickpeas: Heart Hero
A legume that can be awarded as the heart health hero. It is high in fibre, potassium and low in sodium that regulates blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol. Being a rich source of folates and B-vitamins it helps in lowering homocysteine levels, a marker of inflammation and heart disease. High in plant proteins and fibre they slow down glucose absorption and provide high satiety.
Amaranth: Energy Powerhouse
A rich vegan protein that is strengthening and energizing at the same time. It is a rich source of magnesium that helps in boosting energy production and fights depression. The mix of nutrients and antioxidants in amaranth helps in combating hair fall. It belongs to the pseudo-cereal family that has gained popularity for its nutrient-packed profile. It is rich in iron, which boosts hemoglobin production.
Almonds: One For The Diabetics
India ranks among the top 3 countries with a diabetic population of over 72 million people living with diabetes. However, the risk can be dropped by nearly 40 percent by including a handful of nuts in your daily diet. At 160 calories per serving, almonds contain about 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber — more than most other tree nuts which can help in stabilizing blood glucose levels. They are also a good source of vitamin E, copper, and magnesium, which act as strong anti-inflammatory agents. They help in improving insulin sensitivity post meals reducing the rise in glucose.
Amla: Immunity Booster
Popularly known for its high vitamin C content, which is over twice the amount present in acai berry, twenty times more than a glass of orange juice and much better absorbed than store-bought supplements. It also contains substances that protect the vitamin from being destroyed even during heating or drying. Vitamin C present in this super berry helps in boosting immunity and fighting infections and free radical damage. It also helps in better absorption of Iron. It is loaded with chromium that stimulates insulin production, stabilizing blood sugar and reducing bad cholesterol.
Millets: Gut’s Best Friend
An alkalizing group that can help in promoting gut health. It aids in better digestion and is pre-biotic in nature. It is a smart carb that can improve your mood and reduce migraines. Millets help in muscle restoration and increase strength, which makes it a popular staple among the athletes.
Rice: The Mood Enhancer
It is an instant energizer, which is rich in B vitamins that boost up the metabolism. It helps in relieving IBS and regulates bowel movements. It is a natural mood enhances which aids in better sleep. Rice acts as a natural diuretic and helps in eliminating high levels of uric acid from the body.
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