Articles on vegetarian diet pyramid

Building Muscles on a Vegetarian Diet? It's Possible!

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
With celebrities like NFL running back Adrian Foster and former President Bill Clinton embracing a vegan lifestyle, many people are swearing by the benefits of plant-based nutrition.So, what exactly is the answer to this peculiar question: is it possible to build muscles on a vegetarian diet? YES, IT IS! Eating meat to go big is so last generation. Today, putting together together a mass-gaining meal plan based on plant foods should be done wisely and strategically. A calorie surplus from healthy whole food sources, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans/nuts, and getting plenty of protein is the way to go. It doesn't matter whether the source of protein is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. A vegetarian diet can provide adequate proteins from dairy foods, nuts like almonds, dals and pulses. Secondly, a lot of weight training goes into building of muscles. For this adequate energy is needed which can come from carbohydrates and fats. It's best to consult with a sports nutritionist or a qualified dietitian before you make unhealthy choices to build muscles.Building muscles on a vegetarian diet can be a bit challenging compared to building muscles on meat, but surely it is not impossible. A few good examples from the world of our Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar should be proof enough that muscles can be built with veg food. However, the problem arises due to the poor choices most vegetarians make. Most vegetarian diets lack sufficient protein and are heavy on the carbs, think the typical Indian meal of rice and potatoes. A healthy veg diet to build muscles should include a variety of dal,with combination of cereals and pulses; dairy products, and nuts. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet and eat sufficient calories to build muscles. Along with the protein be sure to get quality fats like coconut oil, ghee, butter, etc for healthy hormone production. Without adequate fat in your diet, the body will not produce enough testosterone to build muscle.

The Food Pyramid - Explained

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Food pyramid is the basic guide which helps us plan a healthy diet according to our body’s requirement. There are a variety of choices which are highlighted by food groups mentioned in a pyramid shape. Individuals should eat different foods from each food group to ensure they obtain all the nutrients their body needs in appropriate proportions. There are several food pyramid plans recommended by health professionals today. The most widely known food pyramid was introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the year 1992, was updated in 2005, and then replaced in 2011.In 1992, food pyramid became the most useful and influential guide in history. It  was considered as a total dietary approach for nutrient adequacy and moderation in order to bring awareness to the new food patterns. This was widely adopted as an icon and used by various nutritionists, Dietitians and many other medical professionals related to this field. The Food pyramid includes all the major food groups with the correct frequency and amounts that one should have for a healthy and fit body.It was updated in 2005 with colorful vertical wedges replacing the horizontal sections and renamed My Pyramid. My Pyramid was often displayed with the food images absent, creating a more abstract design. In an effort to restructure food nutrition guidelines, the USDA rolled out its new My Plate program in June 2011.Apart from USDA there are over 25 other countries and organizations who have also published food pyramids. Out of this one is Asian food pyramid. This Pyramid is based on a generalized summary of the traditional healthy diets of Asian populations, in the light of current nutrition research. The basic premises of the Asian Diet Pyramid, have received strong international support from leading nutrition scientists and medical specialists as useful alternatives to the 1992 U.S. Food Guide Pyramid. For example, the Food Guide Pyramid lumps some animal and plant foods together in a single group, while the Asian Food Pyramid carefully distinguish between plant and animal foods. The main constitution of the Asian Food Pyramid is of Plant based food, with moderate amounts of animal products. It has a wide variety of healthy foods listed in 8 mini pyramids or levels [as illustrated in the picture].The Asian Diet Pyramid emphasizes -On daily servings of whole grain and minimally processed foods, topped by another large band of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.Optional daily servings of dairy products (low fat), Sea-foodWeekly Servings of Sweets, eggs and poultry are recommendedMonthly Servings of red meat or PorkDaily physical exercise, a small amount of vegetable oil and a moderate consumption of plant-based beverages are also recommended according to the pyramid6 glasses of water to ensure good healthModerate intake of gin/beer/wineAccording to Campbell, Cornell professor of nutritional biochemistry, co-chairperson of the conference and director of the Cornell-China-Oxford Project-“The Asian diet, which is significantly lower in total fat, may prove to be an even more healthful diet.”Every day, we all need to make good choices regarding the foods we eat and the amount of activity we do.  If you are willful to make changes in your lifestyle to achieve better health of body & mind, then the food Pyramid is the right scientific approach to begin with. As this model is based on years of research, it is certainly promising for every individual.

Easy Ways to Add Protein to a Vegetarian Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
If you are worried of getting adequate amount of protein in vegetarian diet, then you will be surprised by know that there are some good protein options as well as an easy way to inculcate in vegetarians dietary schedule. Protein is a very vital nutrient which has numerous benefits from development in human body till a fact it plays an essential role in fighting with infections as well as chronic diseases. According to ICMR, a balance diet should provide around 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-12% from protein and 20-25% of total calories from fat. Let’s have a look on the following easy ways of adding protein in vegetarian’s diet.Introduce cottage cheese (paneer) in your diet1 cup of cottage cheese (100gms) contain 11g proteinCottage cheese contains all the essential amino acids which prove to be a complete protein. It can be added in various forms in all the meals whether it is main course or snacks.Some easy options of including cottage cheese in daily routine are sandwiches with mint chutney as a spread, one can include in salads, in soups without cream dressing, cubes of cottage cheese can be added in upma, vermicille, another common and easy preparation is paneer curry, paneer pulao and paneer bhurji served with chapatti according to body requirements.Eat Beans and lentils1 cup of beans (100gms) contain 22g protein1 cup of lentils (100gms) contain 9g proteinAll beans, lentils and peas are an excellent vegetarian and vegan source of protein so eat whichever you like e.g. black beans, kidney beans, green peas, whole dhals.Some more easy way to include in your daily routine are one can add them in breakfast in the form of sprouts, soups like split pea soup, one can consume as an evening snack by making healthy chaat of beans by sprouting them, These power packs can be a part of healthy salads.Soy and soy products1 cup of soya bean (100gms) contain 36g protein1 cup of its product like soy milk contain 3.3g protein1 cup of soy flour(100gms) contain 36gSoy and soy products is a complete protein because it contain all the essential amino acids. People who are lactose intolerance for them soya products are best optionInclude them in the form of milk, used soybean as a curry for lunch and dinnerNut and seeds1 cup of almonds (100gms ) contain 21g protein.1 cup of peanuts contain(100gm) contain 26g protein1 cup of walnuts contain (100gm) contain 15g protein1 cup of sesame seeds contain (100gm) contain 15g protein1 cup of sunflower seeds contain (100gm) contain 21g proteinThese nuts and seeds all contain protein but most of them contain healthy fats also so you don’t have to make them as your primary source. You can add them at the time of snacking so that it cannot add on extra calories. They can be best as a post workout meal.Healthy protein recipes ideasHigh protein breakfastScrambled paneer with multigrain toastPaneer vegetable sandwichBanana smoothie with multigrain toastCereal porridge with added handful of nutsSoya milk with vegetable sandwich 2. High protein lunch and dinnersCurries made of paneer and soyaBean and lentils in the form of curryCurries of peaPaneer tikka 3. High protein saladsThree bean saladPaneer tomato salad 4. High Protein soupsBean soupLentil soupPea slit soupVegetable soup with added cubes of paneer 5. High Protein snacksTrail mix of nuts and seedsMurmura chaat with addition of paneerSalad like paneer or mixed bean saladSprout chaat of beanBy including these above easy recipes, Vegetarians can easily obtain adequate amount of protein in their diets which will help them to lead a healthy life.                    

Problem With Vegetarian Diets

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Being vegetarian is healthy but sometimes just eating vegetarian food might not be enough. Though a vegetarian diet is balanced and contains most of the essential nutrients there might be some micro nutrients missing from the otherwise healthy diet.Vegetarian sources might not be able to meet your daily nutrient requirement especially if you already have a deficiency or don’t consume supplements. The following are the most common micro nutrients that may be lacking in a vegetarian diet.Vitamin B12: B12 is created by a particular type of bacteria that’s mainly found in the digestive tracts of animals, which means foods like milk, eggs, meat, and fish are the major dietary sources of the vitamin. All the Vitamin B12 found in the nature is synthesized by micro-organisms. The vitamin is absent in plant foods. Vegan diets or a strict vegetarian have the highest risk of deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a number of problems, including weakness, tiredness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, poor memory, and megaloblastic anemia.Vitamin D: There are two major types of vitamin D:Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) – which is synthesized by plants and is not produced by the human body.Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – which is made in large quantities in the skin when sunlight strikes bare skin. It can also be ingested from animal sources.Vitamin D3 is approximately three times more effective at maintaining serum concentrations because the binding protein has a higher affinity to vitamin D3 than vitamin D2. This allows vitamin D3 to reside in the circulatory system longer and increase the concentration to sufficient levels more quickly.Iron (Heme): Iron is essential for health and transporting oxygen. A deficiency in iron causes fatigue and decreased immune function. There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in animal foods. Heme iron, derived from the hemoglobin and myoglobin is found in meat tissue. Heme Iron is useful in the production of Red Blood Cells in humans. The iron absorption from heme iron ranges from 15%-35% while the absorption from non-heme iron is only 2%-20%. Evidence does show that body iron stores in vegetarians do tend to be lower. Meat, fish, poultry and vitamin C improve the absorption of non-heme iron.

Is Vegetarian Diet Better?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
A Vegetarian diet basically comprises abstaining from the consumption of red meat, poultry, seafood and meat/flesh of any other animal. There are a lot of proponents of vegetarianism coming up across the world. In fact, many celebrities and public figures have turned vegetarian and support as voluntary ambassadors of the cause. Let’s figure out whether a vegetarian diet is healthier than a non-vegetarian diet. We gain a better understanding by analyzing certain research studies by health scientists. According to one such study and analysis; Vegetarians seem to have lower blood pressure.The question that arises is whether adopting a vegetarian diet would be a useful strategy for lowering blood pressure. People who are on a vegetarian diet have lower BMI in comparison to people who are omnivorous, because vegetarian diets have higher fiber and lower fat content.Another reason can be that vegetarian diets are lower than omnivorous diets in saturated fatty acids and higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are linked with lower blood pressure. Also, vegetarians usually have lower blood viscosity. This could affect their blood pressure positively.According to another research from Loma Linda University published in the journal Diabetes Care, vegetarians experience a 36 percent lower prevalence of metabolic syndromes than non-vegetarians. Researchers have done their studies on certain subjects by segregating them into non veg eaters and vegetarian eaters and found that a percentage of the participants, who were in basically vegetarians, had a lower risk of metabolic syndromes than non-vegetarians. “This work again shows that diet improves many of the main cardiovascular risk factors that are part of metabolic syndrome," says Gary Fraser, MD, PhD, principal investigator of Adventist Health Study 2. "Trending toward a plant-based diet is a sensible choice."However, recent research has also focused on the presence of a variety of specific nutrients in plant foods that have health-promoting qualities.Fiber: Plant foods such as whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts provide dietary fiber. High intake of dietary fiber may reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, premenstrual syndrome, and colon cancer.Antioxidants: Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids, all of which act as antioxidants, protecting your cells from the damaging effects of free radicalsPhytonutrients: Plant foods contain a variety of unique nutrients such as phytoestrogens, indoles, isothiocyanates, and flavonoids. Emerging research indicates that these nutrients may help in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases.Who BenefitsA vegetarian diet may be especially beneficial for overweight individuals, as well as for women with premenstrual syndrome and individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure and/or cardiovascular disease.

Everyone Should Have These 10 Super Healthy Foods in Their Diet!

Dr. Sayantika Sarkar, Homeopath
Whole Grains:People who eat plenty of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t. This is probably because whole grains contain antioxidants, phytoestrogens and phytosterols that are protective against coronary disease.The fiber in whole grains also has its benefits: various studies link a high-fiber diet with a lower risk of heart disease. In a Harvard study of female health professionals, people who ate a high-fiber diet had a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who ate a low-fiber diet.Aim to include plenty of foods that are rich in soluble fiber, which, studies show, can help lower “bad” LDL. Soluble fiber binds bile acid, a key component in fat digestion that our bodies make from cholesterol. We can’t digest fiber, so when bile acids are bound to it, they get ushered out of the body as waste. This causes the body to convert more cholesterol into bile acids, which ultimately has the effect of lowering circulating cholesterol levels. Foods high in soluble fiber include oatmeal, barley, beans, okra and eggplant, and citrus fruit, such as oranges. Raisins: Research has shown that antioxidants in raisins fight the growth of a type of bacteria that can cause inflammation and gum disease. People with gum disease—which affects up to 50 percent of American adults—are twice as likely to suffer from heart problems. So, dealing with one can help people avoid the other. Last summer, a major heart journal and a major periodontal journal simultaneously published a consensus paper that outlines the link between the two diseases: inflammation. As a result, choosing certain foods, such as raisins, may help you protect both your gums .Yogurt:Research shows yogurt may protect against gum disease. Left unchecked, gum disease may elevate a person’s risk for heart disease.Researchers from Japan analyzed dietary intakes from nearly 1,000 adults and found those who consumed the highest levels of dairy—specifically yogurt and yogurt-type drinks—had the healthiest gums. Their report, published in the Journal of Periodontology, credits probiotics (a.k.a. “good bacteria”) as one possible champion of gum health. Experts believe that probiotics may help to counter growth of the “unfriendly” bacteria in the mouth. Probiotics are live active cultures used to ferment foods, such as yogurt and kefir (fermented milk), and studies suggest that they may improve digestion and boost immunity too.Beans:Eating beans regularly is good for your heart, and you don’t need to eat a lot of them to benefit. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests having just 1⁄2 cup of cooked pinto beans daily might lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber is a key reason why, says Philip Ades, M.D., author of the EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (The Countryman Press, 2008). “Like all foods that contain a lot of soluble fiber, beans help bind cholesterol and keep it from being absorbed in the gut,” he explains. And, as the fiber is fermented, it produces changes in short-chain fatty acids that can inhibit cholesterol formation. (By-products of this same fermentation process are what cause the gas so often associated with eating beans.)Other components in beans also may be responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect. Beans contain a variety of heart-protective chemicals, including flavonoids, compounds also found in wine, berries and chocolate, that inhibit the adhesion of platelets in the blood, which can help lower risk for heart attack and strokes.Nuts:Nuts are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats. Research suggests that people who eat nuts—walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and peanuts (which actually are legumes)—two to four days or more per week have a lower incidence of heart disease than people who eat them less often.Tomatoes:An excellent source of vitamin C, plus vitamin A, potassium and fiber, tomatoes are high in lycopene, which works with other vitamins and minerals to aid in disease prevention. Research suggests that the combination of nutrients in tomatoes may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Cooking may actually increase the health benefits of this lush fruit because although cooked tomatoes have less vitamin C, their lycopene is more available and antioxidant activity is undiminished by cooking.Apples:Apples were associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease in the Iowa Women’s Health Study, which has been tracking 34,000-plus women for nearly 20 years. Finnish researchers studying dietary data collected over 28 years from 9,208 men and women found that frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of suffering strokes compared with nonapple eaters. What explains the hearty benefits? Researchers suggest that the strong antioxidant flavonoid compounds found in apples—quercetin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, kaempferol and other polysyllabic wonders—play a key role by preventing “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and triggering a series of events that result in the buildup of plaque in arteries, as well as inhibiting inflammation. Apples are also rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber known to help lower cholesterol, and they provide a decent amount of vitamin C, another antioxidant.Berries:Eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health, according to a study of 72 middle-age people published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Included in the mix were strawberries, red raspberries and bilberries—similar to blueberries—as well as other berries more common in Finland (where the research was conducted): black currants, lingonberries and chokeberries. The diverse range of polyphenols—a broad class of health-promoting plant compounds that includes anthocyanins and ellagic acid—provided by the mix of berries is likely responsible for the observed benefits. Polyphenols may increase levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that produces a number of heart-healthy effects. One is helping to relax blood vessels, which subsequently results in lowered blood pressure.Popcorn:Popcorn delivers polyphenols—antioxidants linked to improving heart health. Gram for gram, popcorn boasts three times more polyphenols than kidney beans (the highest vegetable polyphenol source) and four times more than cranberries (the best fruit source), according to recent research out of the University of Scranton.What’s more, popcorn is a whole grain—and people who eat plenty of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t.Green Tea:Some of the strongest evidence of tea’s health benefits comes from studies of heart disease. Scientists have found that those who drink 12 ounces or more of tea a day are about half as likely to have a heart attack as nontea drinkers.Scientists also reported in 2009 that Japanese men who drank a daily cup of green tea significantly lowered their risk of developing gum disease—the more tea, the lower the risk. The researchers believe antioxidants called catechins in green tea are the key. Catechins hamper the body’s inflammatory response to the bacteria that cause gum disease. People with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from heart problems.

Role of Beans and Lentils in Your Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Beans and lentils a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber. A good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol. Lentils and beans are rich in many nutrients but are particularly rich when it comes to the B vitamins. Consuming sufficient amounts of B vitamins from food sources such as lentils and other foods can help to prevent heart attacks. Here are a few points stating the importance of beans and lentils and why you should add beans and lentils to your diet.Helps in weight loss: Having the right amount of fiber in our diet is necessary for proper digestion and also makes us feel full for longer. Beans and lentils have all these qualities. Having beans and lentils in your diet also provide you the energy and satiety to keep you feel full for longer and avoid mid-junk snacking.Pump more iron: Combining iron-rich beans and lentils with good sources of vitamin C increases the body’s ability to absorb the iron. Lentils are a great source of iron; one cup provides 37 percent of the daily recommended value.Heart Health: Studies have found that people who eat high fiber legumes like beans and lentils have a much reduced risk of heart disease. The high levels of folate and magnesium in lentils also go a long way in protecting the heart.Cancer Prevention: It has been proven that beans and lentils stimulate cancer preventing enzymes and can help lower harmful estrogen levels that could lead to breast cancer. According to a new research, women who eat beans and lentils have a significantly lower risk of developing this type of cancer because they contain antioxidants, fiber and phytoestrogens.Helpful in Diabetics: Beans and Lentils prevent extreme increase in body insulin and stabilize blood sugar levels because they provide a slower and more consistent source of glucose to the bloodstream as they stimulate less insulin release than other high glycemic foods. Beans and Lentils are also high in fiber which helps prevent type 2 diabetes.Above you read why you should eat beans and lentils. Now read the nutritional facts about Beans and Lentils.As touched on, beans and lentils are higher in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress, which is associated with degenerative diseases in the body.Beans and pulses are also a rich source of vegetable protein making legumes a good choice for vegetarian or meat-reduced diets.Beans and Pulses are low in fat and high in dietary fiber, which makes beans truly magical as they help to remove cholesterol from the body before it is absorbed, thereby reducing risk of heart disease.Bean and lentils also contains a healthy dose of thiamin, which regulates memory and brain function.Many beans and pulses also contain isoflavones, which can ease menopause symptoms and improve bone and prostate health, just to name a few benefits.Beans, lentils and legumes are food sources with high nutrition value and little fat. These are rich in proteins, fiber, vitamins and calcium and are easy to cook . As far as super foods go, beans easily make it to the top of the list.

Why Vegetarians Might Live Longer?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Vegetarians might live longer, according to a new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, “Eating a vegetarian diet may be associated with living longer”.Being vegetarian is healthy but sometimes just eating vegetarian food might not be enough. Though a vegetarian diet is balanced and contains most of the essential nutrients, there might be some micro nutrients missing from the otherwise healthy and light diet, for eg., Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Heme(iron), etc.Here are some of the benefits of having a vegetarian diet: 1. Lowers Blood pressure The ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fat (P/S ratio) in the diet may affect blood pressure. Increasing the P/S ratio to 1 or more with approximately 25% of energy as fat has been associated with low blood pressure in hypertensive patients. This effect appears to be independent of sodium balance or body weight. This mechanism of blood pressure lowering effects is thought to involve prostaglandin metabolism.2. Lowers the risk of heart diseases Low glycemic index diets may preserve HDL cholesterol and thus have a potentially positive effect in reducing CHD risk. They may reduce plasma fatty acids and may suppress production of release of signaling hormones from adipose tissue, reversing dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. The foods are slowly absorbed and have metabolic benefits which decrease the risk of CHD.3. Lowers the risk of cancer Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing cancer causing free radicals from causing damage. Antioxidants are also known as “free radical scavengers”. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants, which include beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, and E (alpha-tocopherol).4. Lowers the risk of diabetes Vegetarian diets are high in fiber, which slows down the emptying of the stomach and delays intestinal transit. This reduces the rate of glucose absorption, lowers blood sugar rise, and decreases urinary glucose excretion.5. Helps control your weight Vegetarian diets are high in fiber, low on the glycemic index and low in calorie density, which helps you fill your appetite and also provides satiety. Higher intake of vegetarian food may help you cut calories. Due to slower rate of digestion and absorption in the small intestine, nutrient receptors in the gastro-intestinal tract are stimulated for a longer period of time, resulting in higher satiety levels.Being on a vegetarian diet won’t help you get all the essential nutrients that your body requires. According to the food guide pyramid, intake of animal foods like eggs/chicken/fish should be 2-3 servings a day to make up for the nutrients lacking in vegetarian diets.

Be Vegetarian, Gain Muscle

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Many vegetarians wonder if gaining muscle is possible on a vegetarian diet? The short answer is yes, it is possible to be vegetarian and gain muscle.The biggest advantage of eating meat is that the protein is higher quality, which means that more protein per gm of meat consumed is used to make muscle, than compared to a vegetarian source like plant protein. That being said, we're here to show you how to gain muscle on a veggie diet.There are many plant based vegetarians protein sources, like beans, almonds, yogurt etc. Besides providing protein, they are also packed with fiber, antioxidants and healthy carbohydrates that further enhance muscle growth and repair.In terms of protein delivery to muscle, plant based protein is of lower quality, so vegetarians need to eat more protein based food to gain muscle. If you can eat eggs, egg protein is of the highest quality and are packed with vitamins.Even with eggs, its hard to deliver a large amount of protein, so a really good source of vegetarian high quality protein is whey protein. Whey Protein supplement is extracted from milk, and is even used in nutrition drinks like Bournvita and Complan. Get a high quality whey supplement. Mix it with yogurt, milk, juice or water, and it provides a really effective dose of protein for a pre-workout snack or a post workout snack.Even Bollywood's latest muscle hunk, Shahid Kapoor has a vegetarian diet. We hear that he has 3 protein shakes a day. Waiting for confirmation from Shahid on that :)

Turn Yourself Into a Super Healthy Human Just by Eating Nuts!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
According to a study conducted by the Harvard medical school, people who included nuts as a part of their daily diets were less susceptible to heart diseases and various chronic diseases. Read about the other effective tips for a healthy heart.Nuts are indeed full of healthy fibers, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids and many other substances which helps in a more efficient functioning of the body processes. Busting the popular myth that they make you gain weight another study saw that individuals who did in fact consume nuts on a regular basis were more likely to maintain a normal BMI than individuals who did not consume nuts.If you go by these studies nuts are nothing short of superhero of foods as they can literally help you live longer. Since nuts are such powerhouses of health and nutrition another study came with the results that consuming nuts regularly can actually help you live longer.  The study observed a group of individuals who had nuts daily against a group of individuals who did not and they saw that people who belonged to the nut consumption group ended up living longer than the people in the group who did not provided they did not suffer from any other illness.Such huge analysis on the effect of nuts on the human body are being done so as to get a clear picture on whether having nuts can actually have great benefits for our health in a consistent manner. The results are unanimously showing that they do!According to these studies, nuts can help us prevent a number of diseases and their symptom when consumed on a regular basis; a concise list of them is given below:Cardiovascular diseasesInflammationCoronary problemsVisceral adiposityOxidative stressInsulin resistanceHyperglycaemiaEndothelial dysfunctionDiabetes mellitus type 2Metabolic syndromeColon cancerHypertensionGallstone diseaseDiverticulitisNuts have been seen to aid in losing weight as well due to its property of giving a feeling of satiety upon consumption and you feel fuller for longer periods of time. What was seen as a result of all these scientific studies showing more and more health benefits owing to nut nutrition was an upsurge in the public concern over gaining weight as nuts are generally high in their fat content. Subsequently the study performed to see the effect of nuts on weight gain came out to be somewhat surprising as when two different groups pf people were observed over a period of time, one who were given a regular diet of nuts to those who were not, it was seen that people who had a regular supply of nuts through their diet were more likely to maintain their body mass index than those who did not include nuts in their diet.So much research in the area of nut nutrition only goes on prove that the biological scientist are being more and more surprised by its effects on the health of people when administered for a respectable period of time.The faith in the health benefits of nuts is increasing to the rate that now research is going into the field of studying nut allergies and how they can be countered starting from the early years of development in an infant. It seems the result that has been observed till date inclines more towards the ability of an allergic baby to have differing rates of allergic reactions after been given nuts between 4 to 11 nuts in a powdered form to avoid the risk of choking from being cured to very low rate of allergy. In some cases some expecting mothers who had a high risk of having allergic babies were advised to include nuts in their diets so that their babies would have less chances of having the nut allergy.Clearly when so many great minds are consistently working towards studying the effect of nuts on our health, it shows that nuts are nothing short of amazing when it comes to building our health. Whether it is nuts as a whole or their butters, they will provide you with some great health benefits which you can reap throughout your life. Whether it is maintaining a good internal organ health or giving you glowing exterior skin and hair, nuts can actually give it all!Some delicious ways of enjoying nuts in your daily diet is given below:Peanut butter sandwich- has high caloric content, ensure you lead an active lifestyle to enjoy this without gaining weight.Include in your salad dressing- If you are not big on high caloric foods,  just sprinkle a few nuts on your salad.A trail mix of nuts- Mix and match different kinds of nuts and other confectionaries in a bowl for an evening snack- again has a high caloric content check the portions in order to keep your weight in check. Read about other kinds of trail mixes.Roasted and salted- Just roast a few nuts and sprinkle salt to taste to enjoy this anytime munchie.Sweetened- Just dip your nuts in some molten chocolate (preferably dark) and enjoy the sweet flavourful nothings.Add to your meals- when you are cooking some dish which can absorb the nuttiness of different nuts just go ahead and add them.Peanut butter and fruit- Just spread some peanut butter on some fruit like banana or apple and enjoy the goodness of two great foods which together are extremely palatable.After going through this article, we are sure that you have been favourably pushed towards the side of nuts and are now more than eager to include these delicious gifts of nature to your diet. Just remember when we talk about nuts we mean almonds and most of the tree nuts with exception of cashews and macadamia nuts which contain too much saturated fat to help with these health benefits.