Archive for August, 2008

CHOCOLATE WONDERS!!!!!

Chocolate …the word immediately allures my taste buds  n my mouth starts watering  so would be the case with  almost all chocolate lovers. Here is a small revelation of  few facts as to why chocolate lovers should not feel guilty for their addiction to ummmm…CHOCOLATE

 

  • Chocolate stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation. These pleasurable experiences stimulate the body to produce a powerful antibody called secretory immuno globulin A, which strengthens the immune system.
  • The Cocoa bean is said to  contain 50% fat.Since it is a plant poduct  cocoa butter and chocolate do not contain cholestrol and hence there is has an edge over animal fats.( Mind you…this doesn’t mean excess of it will be beneficial) 
  • Cocoa beans are rich in antioxidants -contain polyphenols (similar to those found in wine)  which are health beneficial. These compounds are called flavonoids and include catechins, epicatechins, and procyandins. The flavinoids also reduce the blood’s ability to clot and thus reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks
  • If you’re tired, simply reach for a chocolate. Chocolate contains a neurotransmitter, serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant which helps in relieving PMS Symptoms (works on me;)), while its other properties also have a stimulating effect. 
  • Chocolate is not high in caffeine. Theobromine is a very mild stimulant with a mild diuretic action (increases the production of urine).
  • Cocoa also contains essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium,zinc,copper and iron. and vitamins too.

Well all these properties hold true for unprocessed, unsweetened dark chocolate.What we get in the market is usually the sweetened variety or chocolate with other additives like milk fats and solids, emulsifiers, artificial flavours, caramel,nuts etc which leaves the original chocolate with only 15-20% of the cocoa solids. Nevertheless, even sweetened dark chocolate is better than its counterpart ( milk chocolates) .So it is better to consume dark chocolate with hot or cold milkJ and try out making chocolate at home that contain a higher % of dark chocolate!! Oh and for the Cadbury lovers, heres a piece of goodnews…the new “Cadbury lite”  with No added sugar has recently been launched to thrill your tastebuds!

 
 

 

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August 28, 2008 at 1:17 am 2 comments

Goodbye Gluten!!

 Everyone is aware of food allergies and intolerances, how people develop sudden body reactions on consumption of certain foods. But the first time I heard of celiac disease from a friend, I laughed! How could someone be allergic to “Wheat”?? One of our staples…it’s not just about being allergic to rotis but also sooji, pasta,noodles, cakes, breads, biscuits, namkeens, practically everything…I actually couldn’t get myself to believe that something like wheat-protein allergy even existed.

 But now I know better, not only is the prevalence of celiac disease on a rise, it also differs from wheat protein allergy as the latter is a result of immune reaction to wheat protein. Though the symptoms are similar to those in celiac disease they persist only for a short time after wheat consumption, while in Celiac disease allergy is to the “gliadin fraction” of “gluten”, a protein present in wheat, rye (not mustard, but a cereal), barley and oats as well. Gluten sensitivity results in atrophy (or wasting) of the intestinal mucosa, flattening of the intestinal villi and hence inefficient absorption of all nutrients.

 Diarrhoea, Frequent and abnormal stools, abdominal bloating are common symptoms of celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue/ gluten enteropathy/ Non tropical sprue). Malabsorption of nutrients, steatorrhoea or fat malabsorption and at times lactose intolerance adversely as a result of celiac disease, affect a person’s nutritional status. It is specially detrimental to children where if undiagnosed, the child is unable to reach his/ her optimum growth potential.

 One has to be totally committed in this disorder, to beware of any kind of unintentional adulteration with gluten. Infact separate vessels should be used for the celiac patient when cooking for the whole family. Reading of nutritional labels is also a must, for eg: one may think that health drinks can be used to substitute for energy, but they may contain malt which is a barley product, thickeners or emulsifiers or stabilizers used in processed foods may also contain gluten! Even soya sauce contains gluten! One must be on guard when eating out. The “If in doubt, leave it out!” rule of the Celiac society of Delhi, definitely stands true.

 Life without gluten is difficult but not impossible…. There are many other substitutes like rice, corn, millets, amaranth, potato/sago/tapioca/arrowroot starch, soya, other pulses, vegetables, non-vegetarian foods, milk (unless lactose intolerant), nuts etc. Alcohols which do not contain malt, can also be consumed. It’s important to read food labels to be sure of what goes into the product. Nowadays, many brands of foods have started coming out with Gluten free products. For more information on Celiac disease and how to combat it, the site celiacsocietyindia.com will be of great help.

Oh and if you’re worried about having to give up all cakes, biscuits etc, you’ll be happy to know that Wengers at Connaught place, New Delhi makes gluten free cakes on special request, I’m sure that’ll be possible at other Bakeries too. So there you go, life always brings solutions with problems, you just have to be vigilant enough to sense the solutions and embrace them!

August 25, 2008 at 9:35 pm 3 comments

HEALTH??

WHAT WHY HOW?

Today you pick up any magazine or paper and you can’t miss the health or fitness articles. It’s like an information boom, telling you new things as well as dadi ke nuske, but all this sets one part of my brain ticking (not the nutritionist part). And that part screams, WHAT IS ALL THIS!!!

I mean its not like people don’t know all this already, every intelligent man knows excess of everything is bad, it be sweets or diet cokes, then why why all this repetition in different languages and literature.

To add to all this, the irony of the situation is, that even after all that, look around and more than 75% people are fat and the ones who are thin are also not healthy(cant run for their lives). So what is the point of all that information?

I think its funny all of us read at least one article a day but come on be honest how many of us follow it, I can vouch that not more than 20%.

So end result we are not a healthy mass of people and please don’t forget to most health means THIN, SLIM, NO FAT, if you are lean you don’t need exercise!!!!

That’s our mentality.

What happened to exercising or moving your physical body so that you do justice to the reason why it was created, if we were meant to do all sedentary work then why would we have all these limbs?

Basically these are just a few thoughts that I had in my head today. Do let me know what you think of it.

After all the only thing/person that actually will stick with you come what may is your own self, body mind and soul., so why not take good care of them and give them at least a few thought and one hour a day.

Have a nice day and be healthy J

So who do we blame and what is the solution??

August 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm 3 comments


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