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Discovering the secrets of vegan nutrition

There are several reasons why one can choose to convert to veganism. It could be biological, like having simply being intolerant to certain food groups, or maybe it runs deeper – and has to do with ethics, morals, and compassion for the environment. 

In a broader sense, veganism is a practice that attempts at doing away with all types of cruelty and exploitation of animals, including animal food products and clothing.

If executed well, a vegan diet has a host of benefits, such as a smaller waist, regulated blood sugar levels, improved bowel movements and kidney function, as well as relief from joint pain caused due to arthritis. 

Helps in weight loss, lowering blood sugar and type 2 diabetes

Vegans tend to have a lower BMI than people who follow non-restrictive diets. This can be associated with weight-loss and is a coercing factor for people to switch to a vegan diet. 

The fact that it focuses its nutrition on fresh fruits and vegetables that are packed with fiber (and impart a sense of fullness leading to lower consumption of calories) is also a factor.

Research shows that people who follow vegan diets have lower blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity. Vegans are also reported to be at a lower risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.

Few more health benefits of following a vegan diet

  • Lowered risk of cancer

When researchers asked nearly 70,000 volunteers about their diets, then tracked them over time, they found lower cancer rates among people who didn’t eat meat at all. In fact, vegans — those who don’t eat any animal products including fish, dairy or eggs — appeared to have the lowest rates of cancer of any diet

  • Lowered risk of Arthritis

 A plant-based diet will give you plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Nutrients in these foods may help ease inflammation and fight RA pain. One small study found that 4 weeks on a low-fat vegan diet improved RA joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

  • Improved kidney function

Vegetarian diets may help slow down the progression of kidney disease without compromising nutritional needs.

Types of vegan diets 

  1. Whole foods: this type of diet is based on the consumption of whole plant and plant parts, like fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, seeds, and nuts.
  1. Raw foods: those who follow this diet consume raw fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, or grains – these may be cooked at a temperature below 50 degrees celsius. 
  1. 80/10/10: this diet is also referred to as the low-fat or fruitarian vegan diet as it limits the consumption of fatty plant products such as nuts and avocados and relies instead on soft vegetable greens and fruits.
  1. Starch solution: this is similar to the 80/10/10 vegan diet, except that it focuses mainly on cooked starchy products like potatoes, rice, and cereal instead of fruit.
  1. Raw till 4: inspired by the 80/10/10 diet, raw foods such as fruits are consumed until 4 pm, after which there is an option to consume a plant-based dinner that can be cooked.
  1. Junk foods: this diet lacks in whole plant and plant-based products and instead, relies heavily on highly processed vegan foods such as mock meats, cheeses, and desserts.

Foods that you can eat as a vegan

There are many substitutes for an otherwise animal-based diet. Tofu is a great source of proteins and can act as an alternative to poultry, fish, and the various types of cheeses. 

Additionally, you can also include a generous serving of legumes in your meal for protein supplementation.

Nuts, nut butters, and seeds contain good amounts of healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins that are essential to bodily functions. 

There are several calcium-fortified foods such as kale, spinach, and certain store-bought plant milk that compensate for the elimination of dairy products in a vegan diet.

 Whole grains and cereals are a great source of many minerals and vitamins such as iron, B-vitamins, and also fiber.

Of course, fruits and vegetables are the quintessential components to a vegan diet – don’t forget to hydrate yourself, either!

Supplements that may be required 

A common concern for most of those who choose to adopt a vegan diet is if they are receiving an adequate amount of nutrition as many food groups are eliminated. To ease such concerns and to be on the safer side, here are a few supplements that you can consider taking to ensure your body does not miss out on any essential micronutrients.

  1. Vitamin B12
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  4. Iron
  5. Iodine
  6. Calcium
  7. Zinc

Bhookha Haathi’s offerings are 100% natural and vegan compositions that do not contain any harmful additives or colourings. Based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds and grains, among other whole and natural ingredients, they are packed with nutrients essential for all bodily functions.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

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Types of Supplements Recommended for Weight Loss

The method that most people swear by in order to lose weight often includes regulating their intake of food coupled with regular exercise. But due to many reasons such as metabolism, age, medical history, and some physiological processes, these methods might not always prove to be efficient. 

In such cases, people turn to supplements to further aid the process of weight loss. 

Supplements are available in many forms such as pills, powders, bars, syrups, capsules, or tablets contain a varied combination of ingredients like herbs, fiber, minerals, and other chemical compounds that have the potential to act in various ways to promote weight loss. 

Some of the ways are – reducing the absorption of fat or carbohydrates, curbing your appetite, or increasing the speed of your metabolism. 

But some of these ingredients in their isolated or combined forms may prove to have certain unwanted side effects, so it is best to consult with your dietary professional before making the choice to use supplements for weight loss.

Like all supplements, these, too, have the potential to react in an unwanted manner with over the counter prescription medicines.

Additionally, if you have some lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, or any heart/liver diseases, it is recommended to do proper research about these supplements. 

Here are a few of the commonly used ingredients in weight loss supplements

  1. Beta-Glucans

These are water-soluble fibers present in cereal crops such as oats and barley, and also in organisms such as yeast and bacteria. Their function is to add bulk to the food we consume, which makes it take more time to travel through our digestive systems. Thus, this produces a sensation of fullness and may curb those hunger pangs that result in overeating.

  1. Caffeine

Caffeine has been long known to burn calories, increase the activity of the gastric system and well as the colon, and break fat down in our bodies. It increases energy expenditure as well as the process of oxidation of fat. Due to these, when taken in judicious amounts, it results in a significant amount of body fat reduction. It can be found in tea, coffee, and in certain nuts and herbs. 

  1. Calcium

Calcium is known for a lot of purposes. Similar to caffeine, calcium helps in the break down of fat – the process is known as lipolysis. The mineral also decreases the absorption and assimilation of fat. It is also associated with lesser gain of weight over a period of time. In some cases, it may also produce some regulating effects on hormones that control our appetite. 

  1. Chromium

This mineral helps in regulating blood sugar levels, increases muscle mass and fat loss, and decreases appetite. It makes the hormone insulin activate faster and this is why the process of blood sugar assimilation becomes more efficient. It quickens the process of metabolization.

  1. Fucoxanthin

This is a kind of pigment commonly found in aquatic brown algae. It helps in the process of weight loss by suppressing the formation and differentiation of adipocytes – fat-containing cells – in our body. It also increases the breakdown and oxidation of fat and decreases the accumulation of lipids. 

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics comprise of all those microbes that reside in the human gut and have beneficial roles to play. They aid in the process of efficient energy expenditure and nutrient extraction from food. They also regulate the storage process of fats in the body.

  1. Pyruvates

Pyruvate is a three-carbon compound. This compound is well known as an ingredient in weight loss supplements that reduces body weight and body fat, possibly by increasing lipolysis and energy expenditure. 

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin present in many food items such as fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks. Human beings also have the potential to synthesize it when their skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is often associated with lower levels of obesity. 

Bhookha Haathi provides subscription-based, personalized health solutions at an affordable cost to consumers who wish to substitute or replace their dependencies on expensive, strong, processed, and chemical-based products. 

Infused Honey is a great choice for weight-conscious customers who do not wish to compromise on flavour or sweetness. Home remedies and herbal infusions made using our naturally sourced, organic honey will not only make you feel more energetic but will boost your health and immunity.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

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Indian Foodies – 21 Healthy Alternatives to Your Unhealthy Food Habits!

In our daily lives, we keep encountering opportunities to better take care of ourselves through our health – but more often than not, due to various reasons such as shortage of time, we end up compromising on our diets. 

This results in the unwanted feeling of bloating and the gain of empty calories; we eat something but do not feel full for long amounts of time.

If we become vigilant and actively monitor what we eat, not only will it benefit us immensely in the long run, but it will also help us be in shape, and lead active and healthy lifestyles. 

Here are a few alternatives that we can swap for regular calorie & sodium-laden food items.

  1. Frozen Yogurt instead of Ice Cream
    The usage of yoghurt instead of full-fat milk in frozen desserts is usually preferred by those who wish to cut back on their fat intake. Frozen yoghurt contains only 40% of the fat that regular ice cream contains.
  2. Olive oil instead of regular vegetable oil
    Olive oil contains a very less amount of saturated fat when compared to other oils, such as coconut. It is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  3. Home-made yoghurt aioli instead of salad dressings
    Store-bought salad dressings are usually very high in sodium content and contain unnecessary amounts of fat. Combine some low-fat yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic for a healthy and flavourful replacement!
  4. Masala lotus seeds or fox nuts instead of buttered popcorn
    Makhana, as they are popularly referred to in India, contains low amounts of sodium and cholesterol. This makes them the preferred choice of snacks to satisfy cravings.
  5. Dried berries instead of candies
    They contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory response generating agents. Berries also contain high amounts of fiber and lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
  6. Crispy kale instead of fried potato chips
    Kale is a well-known superfood, and lightly sauteing it in some olive oil and having it as a substitute for fried potato snacks is a great way of incorporating vitamins, minerals, calcium, and fiber into your diet.
  7. Hummus instead of cheese dips
    Hummus is a popular dip in the middle east and Greece and is usually made out of ground-up chickpeas, which are high in protein quantity. They can also be made out of squash or pumpkin.
  8. Freshly squeezed juices instead of store-bought and packaged fruit drinks
    Store-bought juices are packed with artificial colourings and preservatives to increase their shelf lives. Freshly squeezed juices not only do away with those but also contain healthy amounts of natural fruit sugar instead of artificial sweeteners.
  9. Vegetable pasta instead of maize flour pasta
    A special tool can be employed to make spaghetti shaped strands from various vegetables like zucchini or squash. This highly benefits all those who want to incorporate gluten-free items into their diet and also derive the additional nutrition provided by these vegetables.
  10. Grated cauliflower instead of white rice
    White rice has a very high starch content. A good alternative option is a grated cauliflower, which is also good for those who are on a gluten-free diet. Throw some into a rice bowl and you will barely be able to tell the difference!
  11. Lettuce wraps instead of flour wraps
    Using lettuce to hold together the ingredients of your wrap (such as meats, veggies, dressings) instead of a wrap covering which is often made out of refined flour is a great gluten-free alternative. Lettuce also contains calcium, potassium and Vitamin C!
  12. Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
    Dark chocolate is well known for its cramp-easing properties and energy-boosting properties. It is a great source of antioxidants and has even been proven to reduce the risk of skin cancer!
  13. Sparkling water with fruit instead of fizzy beverages
    Sparkling (or carbonated) water aids digestion, prevents constipation and acidity. Coupled with some slices of citrus fruit, it makes a great detoxing beverage!
  14. Mashed avocados instead of butter
    Avocados on toast are the recently popularized alternative spread on toast. The fruit is loaded with MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) that are good for the heart, along with high amounts of potassium and fiber.
  15. Nut flour instead of refined flour
    Besides being a gluten-free alternative, nut-based flours such as almond flour and coconut flour are high in protein, manganese and Vitamin E content, which can be swapped for regular use food items.
  16. Homemade peanut butter instead of regular spreads
    Peanuts look after the ease of your bowel movements and are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, contrary to the sugar-laden chocolate spreads available in the market these days. Make your own peanut butter at home by grinding together peanuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, honey, and peanut oil.
  17. Black coffee instead of regular coffee
    Black coffee is a storehouse of antioxidants and also contains three types of Vitamin B. It reduces the risk of heart diseases and organ damage, and is best consumed without artificial sweeteners/dairy enhancers. 
  18. Bhookha Haathi’s Herbs infused honey teas instead of regular tea
    Regular tea contains high amounts of caffeine which can be addictive. You can opt to mix a variant of Bhookha Haathi’s infused honey, such as saffron or fennel into green/chamomile tea for a flavourful and healthier alternative!
  19. Bhookha Haathi’s dry fruit refresher instead of artificial mouth fresheners
    Artificial mouth fresheners contain high amounts of preservatives and additives which are harmful to health. Bhookha Haathi’s dry fruit refresher contains all the benefits of dry fruits such as being good for the heart, reducing the risk of cancer, among others. It is flavoured using refreshing fennel (saunf), which is a great alternative to artificially flavoured chewables.
  20. Bhookha Haathi’s dry fruit booster instead of protein powders
    Store-bought protein powders often contain synthetic additives that are harmful to our health in the long run. Bhookha Haathi’s dry fruit booster is a gluten-free, vegan option containing high amounts of Vitamins, Minerals, Electrolytes, Antioxidants & Phyto-Nutrients to boost and supply energy to fitness enthusiasts.
  21. Bhookha Haathi’s White Honey instead of sugar
    For daily use, we sweeten a variety of food items with unhealthy refined sugar. We can opt to switch to Bhookha Haathi’s White Honey which does not impart any unwanted flavour or colour, but is a healthy, antioxidant-rich alternative that enhances the sweetness of food items!

Bhookha Haathi’s primary goal is to provide nutritious, wholesome and tasty alternatives to regular nutrient-deficient food habits. Apart from the changes that we can consciously incorporate into our daily lifestyles and diet, we can opt for 100% natural products from Bhookha Haathi Replace range to promote our health and well-being.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

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Dry-Fruits and Nuts in Sports Nutrition

It is very essential to eat healthy to stay fit. For this, it is a must to eat a handful of dry fruits every day to add to the nutritional value of intake every day and also get required energy. Since dry fruits are rich sources of vitamins, proteins, minerals as well as fats, they keep one healthy and strong. According to health experts, one should have a combination of certain nuts every day to meet daily nutritional requirement of the body.

Just as it is important for everyone to eat nuts, it is more required for sportsmen and athletes to have a combination of certain nuts daily to get energy. Popularly called as a natural source of energy, nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, dates, peanuts as well as pistachios contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for health and not fattening.

There are several reasons why sportsmen must have dry fruits every day. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Dry fruits help in improving haemoglobin level, and so they are recommended to every athlete. Almonds help in formation of red blood cells thereby increasing one’s haemoglobin level.
  2. Vitamins, minerals, phosphorous, fibre and other nutrients present in dry fruits and nuts help in keeping one’s energy levels high. This is one of the main reasons why dry fruits and nuts are good for athletes as they provide energy to them to play the sport.
  3. Dry fruits also provide flexibility to muscles.
  4. Among all dry fruits, cashew nuts have zero-cholesterol level, and they help reducing one’s body’s cholesterol level. They also help in blood circulation.
  5. Eating almonds and cashews daily can help one prevent cancer.
  6. Rich in iron content, raisins are considered significant for bone formation. Moreover, having oxidant properties and containing Vitamin A, these dry fruits help in preventing weakening of vision.

How Does Bhookha Haathi Fit In?

Dry fruits are a great source of proteins, Vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber and our popular range of proprietary dry fruit and nut-based health boosters are a great alternative to unnatural protein, Vitamin and other supplements commonly available in the market. So, if you are looking to supplement your diet, you can go for Bhookha Haathi’s 100% Natural Dry-Fruit Health Booster- Starter Pack which is enriched with Vitamins, Minerals, Electrolytes and Phyto-Nutrients to boost energy. Our Pro Packs (to be launched soon) will also address the need of nutrition in specific sport like, Running, Bicycling, Gym, Yoga and other active sports. Alternatively, you can opt for a subscription-based personalised nutrition plan that is crafted specially for you to fulfil all your individual nutrition needs.