EISHA SARKAR (Mumbai Mirror)Aug 17, 2012, 12.00AM IST
You don't have to acquire a taste for olive oil,seaweed or soya to maintain a low-fat, healthy diet. Indian cuisine can be healthy too, if it's cooked with oil and ingredients that take care of your heart and health.
Ayurveda suggests you include all tastes — sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent — in at least one meal each day, to help balance unnatural cravings. Here are 12 foods that can help you lose weight and gain health:
Turmeric : Curcumin, the active component of turmeric,
is an object of research owing to its properties that suggest
they may help to turn off certain genes that cause scarring
and enlargement of the heart. Regular intake may help
reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol
and high blood pressure, increase blood circulation and
prevent blood clotting, helping to prevent heart attack.
Cardamom : This is a thermogenic herb that increases
metabolism and helps burn body fat. Cardamom is
considered one of the best digestive aids and is
believed to soothe the digestive system and help
the body process other foods more efficiently.
Chillies : Foods containing chillies are said to be
as foods that burn fat. Chillies contain capsaicin
that helps in increasing the metabolism. Capsaicin
is a thermogenic food, so it causes the body to burn
calories for 20 minutes after you eat the chillies.
Curry leaves : Incorporating curry leaves into
your daily diet can help you lose weight. These
leaves flush out fat and toxins, reducing fat
deposits that are stored in the body, as well as
reducing bad cholesterol levels. If you are
overweight, incorporate eight to 10 curry
leaves into your diet daily. Chop them finely
and mix them into a drink, or sprinkle them
over a meal.
Garlic : An effective fat-burning food, garlic
contains the sulphur compound allicin which
has anti-bacterial effects and helps reduce
cholesterol and unhealthy fats.
Mustard oil : This has low saturated fat
compared to other cooking oils. It has fatty
acid, oleic acid, erucic acid and linoleic acid.
It contains antioxidants, essential vitamins
and reduces cholesterol, which is good for the heart.
Cabbage : Raw or cooked cabbage inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Hence, it is of great value in weight reduction.
Moong dal : The bean sprouts are rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E and many minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium. It is recommended as a food replacement in many slimming programmes, as it has a very low fat content. It is a rich source of protein and fibre, which helps lower blood cholesterol level. The high fibre content yields complex carbohydrates, which aid digestion, are effective in stabilising blood sugar and prevent its rapid rise after meal consumption.
Honey : It is a home remedy for obesity. It mobilises the extra fat deposits in the body allowing it to be utilised as energy for normal functions. One should start with about 10 grams or a tablespoon, taken with hot water early in the morning.
Buttermilk : It is the somewhat sour, residual fluid that is left after butter is churned. The probiotic food contains just 2.2 grams of fat and about 99 calories, as compared to whole milk that contains 8.9 grams fat and 157 calories. Regular intake provides the body with all essential nutrients and does not add fats and calories to the body. It is thus helpful in weight loss.