Why Protein Bars Before And After A Workout

A fist full of proteins before a workout
A fist full of proteins before a workout

For most of us getting motivated to go regularly to the gym for a workout is the hardest part. If you have a few health freak buddies to drag you to the gym and encourage you, then it’s really helpful; if you can afford a personal trainer who can motivate you to push a tad bit harder to achieve better results, then there is nothing like it.

 If you are novice to a workout regime and you have been asked to snack on a protein bar pre or post workout, you would be confused. As you would not know which one to choose.  There are different types of protein bars available in the market. Also before buying them, you need to know the benefits of eating a protein bar and how they will aid in your weight loss program.

What Are Protein Bars

Protein Bars contains isolated proteins from a couple of sources such as soy, milk or eggs as main ingredient. Carbohydrates, fats, vitamins or minerals are also some of the ingredients in most of the protein bars. These are available in various flavors. Whether these bars are good for your overall health or not depends on the quality of the protein and other ingredients as well as the amount of the added ingredients.

Preferably, you should choose a protein bar that has no added sugar but sweetened with plant extracts such as Erythritol, Stevia and Sucralose, that are not harmful for the body. Ensure the bar of your choice is gluten free and made with whey and milk protein isolates.

Why Eat A Protein Bar Before Exercising

To get the best out of your fitness regime, its recommended to eat a protein bar an hour before the workout. The two reasons are

  1. When you snack on a protein bar before exercising, it gives you the energy to do your workouts. Therefore, choose a protein bar that is high in carbohydrates for pre-workout.
  2. The protein content in the bar, be it whey, soy or others, will prevent a decrease in the blood sugar during the workout. This will boost your energy levels.

Why Only Have A Protein Bar After Exercise

Experts opine a protein bar after workout help the body burn more fat. But how?

  • Energy bank of your body are the glycogen molecules. However, it’s the brain and the nervous system that need the glycogen molecules more than the muscles. During the workouts, the energy is depleted and the muscles start using the energy by burning fat.
  • When you consume a protein bar after a strenuous workout, it’s your brain and the nervous system that consumes the glycogen. While the muscles use the protein to build more muscle. This increases the base metabolic rate that ensures you burn more calories.

It’s going to be a balancing act. Some days you feel you need extra boost before exercising and on some days an extra protein bar after the workout. Listen to your body at these times.

Five Top Reasons Why Americans Consume Coffee Everyday

coffee everyday

You see Coffee in every Restaurant, Gas station, Grocery store, Airport and in every American home. If you go by the numbers revealed by the National Coffee Drinking Trends 2010, National Coffee Association, United States, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 consume coffee every day. Recent scientific studies reveal the health benefits of consuming the dark brownish black beverage.

Have you ever wondered why you happen to see mostly coffee everywhere and not tea? There are many historical reasons rooting back to the Revolutionary War. Apart from providing that pick-me-up punch in the early mornings it has many proven health benefits.

  1. Its A Natural Mood Enhancer, Pain And Stress Reliever

A study by Harvard’s School of Public Health in 2011 claims that women folk who consume coffee on regular basis have lesser chance of depression. Who wouldn’t love the aroma of the roasted coffee beans. Experiments and studies have shown that a cup of coffee or rather the aroma of freshly brewed coffee can relieve you of stress and muscular pain.

  1. For Healthy Heart Sip A Cup Of Coffee

A Dutch study that included over 37,000 folks over a period of 13 years has revealed that those who consumed two to four cups of coffee daily were 20% less prone to heart diseases as compared to light or heavy coffee drinkers. The reason is that the dark beverage protects against arterial damage that is caused by inflammation.

  1. May Curb Certain Types Of Cancers

A recent study published by Harvard School of Public Health show that men who are regular consumers of coffee are at a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Similarly, it also reduces the risk of endometrial cancer in women by 25%.

  1. Keeps Diabetes At bay

Recent research suggests that there is a link between drinking coffee and reduced risk of diabetes. A study conducted by Harvard’s Dr. Frank Hu, in 2009, found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes dropped by seven percent for those who were moderate drinkers.

  1. Liver Loves Coffee– A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that an increased consumption of coffee can prevent or reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis. That is a 20% decrease for each cup that is consumed.

Now you know why coffee is the most preferred drink by the Americans. There are a varieties of coffee ranging from Brazilian coffee to Turkish coffee available in the gourmet category in most of the prominent online stores. For those who would prefer to carry their own brand and flavor of coffee to the workplace, there are one-cup gourmet coffee available in the market. Choose your favorite to enhance health.

Coffee is good for health no doubt. But the caffeine affects each person differently. If you experience any negative effects, consider cutting down on the consumption. You should be aware of how much is healthy and how much is too much.

Healthy Peanut Butter Recipes

peanut butter
“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” James A. Garfield

Peanut butter is a rich source of protein and potassium. Potassium keeps heart diseases at bay by reducing the risks of the blood pressure and stroke. The fiber content in peanut keeps the bowel healthy. It has healthy fats and magnesium to strengthen bones and muscles. This is also rich in vitamin E as well as antioxidants. Here are a few easy to make recipes.

Easy to make 5-minute homemade peanut butter
Homemade peanut butter
Homemade peanut butter

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • salt to taste

Method

Powder the peanuts in a food processor for 5 minutes. You will notice that the peanuts first pass through various stages from crumbs to dry powder to creamy, semi-liquid peanut butter. At this stage stir in the sugar, honey and salt.

Refrigerate if it’s going to take several weeks to use it up.

Peanut butter recipe for a grab-and-go recipe breakfast
healthy and nourishing breakfast
healthy and nourishing breakfast

This is an easy recipe that needs only four ingredients and can be put together in a jiffy.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of multigrain bread, toasted
  • 2-2.5 tbsp, peanut butter
  • 1 banana sliced (you can replace this with either pears or apples)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds

Method

Generously spread the bread slices with peanut butter. Layer it with banana slices and sprinkle the chia seeds over it. Cover this with the other creamy slice.

Put it in a Ziploc cover and carry it to your workplace or pack it as a mid-day snack for children.

Peanut butter protein bars for weight loss programmers

proteing bar

This recipe is for those who are always on the move and would want to pack a high-protein snack.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar (you can always replace it with light brown sugar or white sugar)
  • 1 cup chocolate peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups of bran flakes
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 cup chia or flax seeds

Method

Heat honey and sugar in a thick-bottom pan on a medium heat and stir continuously till the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble. At this point add the cinnamon powder and mix well. To this mixture add both the peanut butter and stir till it blends well.

Remove from the heat. To this mixture add bran flakes, raisin and flax seeds. Line a tin with aluminum foil and transfer this mixture into the pan and press firmly.

Refrigerate it for four to five hours and then cut it into squares.

Note: you can also add your favorite protein powder to add an extra punch to this snack.

Grilled chicken  with peanut sauce
peanut sauce and grilled chicken
Peanut sauce and grilled chicken

Ingredients for chicken

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh chives
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice

The peanut sauce:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Method

Make slits in the chicken breasts.

Mix it with ginger, salt, lemon juice and garlic. Keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.

Either grill the chicken or shallow fry the chicken until its firm and lightly charred.

In another bowl, make the peanut butter sauce by mixing all the ingredients listed in peanut butter sauce.

Sprinkle with chives and serve with peanut sauce.

Do you have any healthy peanut butter recipe that you wish to share with us?

Uses Of Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil

Why you should start using cold-pressed coconut oil
Why you should start using cold-pressed coconut oil

Have you watched the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, If you have not, I recommend you to watch this hilarious, rom-com and if you watched it, you are sure to remember the heroine’s dad for whom “Windex is everything. Similarly, for me cold-pressed coconut oil is everything. I use it in my cooking, as a moisturizer for my body, on my baby’s bottom as a diaper cream and many more purposes.Today, in this article I am going to share the top uses of coconut oil that i have in my home.  Before I share the uses, I would like to tell you what cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is.

What Is Cold-Pressed Method

In cold press oil extraction method, the oil from the coconut meat or Copra, as called by the Filipinos, is mechanically pressed at temperatures not exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is done to preserve the nutrients in the oil. Pure cold-pressed coconut oil is neither refined, deodorized or refined.

Terms virgin or extra virgin is not a fancy name attached to the ordinary coconut oil. The main difference is the method of extraction. Soon, I should be able to give a firsthand info on the various types of coconut oil extraction.

Here we go!

13 Uses For Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil

  1. It’s a great cooking oil with a high smoke point. Can be used in baking, stir as well as deep frying.
  2. In homemade Mayo, replace regular vegetable oil with coconut oil.
  3. Use it for baking brownies for children.
  4. It’s a carrier oil, so used along with essential oils such as mint, rosemary, catnip as a natural bug repellent. Coconut oil is used to dilute essential oils before applying them on the skin.
  5. It’s a natural anti-aging facial moisturizer. Using it on your face before a bath and then washing it off with lukewarm water will show good results.
  6. Boosts circulation when your feet goes cold and numb during winter season.
  7. Natural baby lotion. Massaging your bundle of joy with this oil before going to bed not only makes the skin supple and but also aids sound sleep.
  8. A spoon of coconut oil in a cup of tea will reduce soreness of throat.
  9. Consuming cold press coconut oil internally will keep allergies at bay and increases your mental alertness.
  10. To get rid of dry and flaky elbows rub into elbows daily. It’s also a salve for cracked heels and burns.
  11. After washing up the dishes, to retain the moisture of the skin on your hands gently massage using coconut oil.
  12. Used as a base oil in homemade creams, balms and soaps.
  13. Warm some oil and use it to massage your hair before shampooing it off. It helps in healthy growth of hair and also gives it a glow.

Coconut is a healthy replacement for butter and fat. Use it and share your thoughts on the comment box.

Why Chocolate And Peanut Butter Are An Irresistible Combination

health benefits of peanut butter
health benefits of peanut butter

Who can resist the flavor and aroma of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips in a cookie or a piece of cake? The complex interplay of these two flavors along with dry fruits and nuts tantalize your taste buds. Gregory Ziegler, Ph.D., a Penn State University professor of food science who studies chocolate, opines that the flavor and composition of roasted peanuts are close to that of cocoa beans and they complement each other.

He further adds that peanut butter adds punch to the goodies and when mixed with cocoa butter, it causes the cookies and cakes to simply melt in your mouth. Additionally, Cynthia Lipka, president of the Society of Flavor Chemists, suggests that these two combination enhances feelings of satisfaction in your brain and invokes fond-memories.

Amazing Health Benefits Of Peanut Butter

  • Aids Weight Loss

Peanut butter suppresses hunger, the reason being the enviable combination of protein and fiber that is filling and keeps hunger away for a longer duration.

  • Heart Friendly Food

It contains saturated fats and this lowers the risk of cardiovascular and other related heart diseases.

  • Lowers The Risk Of Cancer

Peanut butter is rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a cancer fighting vitamin and it keeps cancer of colon, lung, liver and stomach at bay.

  • Prevents Gallstones

Moderate consumption of peanut butter can reduce the risk of gallstones by 25%. The peanuts have the ability to increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.

  • Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes

As per the study published in the Journal of The American Medical Association, consuming a couple of spoons of peanut butter at least five days a week can lower the risk of developing diabetes.

Peanut butter can be made at home too. It can also be bought from the pop and mom stores. They are also sold in online stores.

Why You Should Eat More Chocolates

Its true binging on chocolate can enhance your mood, help you at times of stress and is an ultimate comfort food. Apart from these it has been medically proven that chocolate is good for health. Let’s have a look.

  • Prevents clogging of arteries by preventing the WBC from sticking to the walls of the blood vessels.
  • Lowers the risk of stroke in men.
  • Rich source of beneficial minerals such as zinc, selenium, iron and potassium.
  • The flavonols in the chocolate can protect your skins against the heat of the sun.
  • Increases the levels of good cholesterol and lowers the level of bad cholesterol.
  • Aids in weight loss. When you melt a small piece of good quality chocolate on your tongue 20-25 minutes before a meal, it triggers off the hormones in the brain to creates a sense of filling. Subsequently, it helps to reduce the consumption of your food.
  • Again it helps to improve the level of insulin in blood.

Now you know why the combination of peanut butter and chocolate in cookies are an irresistible combination.

Is Poor Health Draining Your Energy, And Making You Fat

Gummies good for kids as well as adults
A gummy a day keeps the doctor away

The age old proverb “Health is wealth” holds true.  If your overall health is not doing good, it affects your personal as well your professional life. If your body lacks the necessary proteins, it can lead to poor metabolism, tampers your gut, connective tissues are damaged leading to myriad of issues such as hair loss, nail breaking as well as issues with skin. The best way to get protein in to your body is to consume bone broth as this contains both natural form of gelatin and collagen. It’s a fact it can be made at home but do you have the time and energy to prepare it in the traditional manner.  Today’s life style would not allow many of us to cook and preserve food in the traditional way. Consuming gelatin as well as collagen hydrolysate has myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, mental health as well as smooth and supple skin.

Benefits Of Gelatin And Collagen

Gelatin is a good source of protein, amino acids as well as collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen is a unique amino acid structure that contains high levels of glycine, lysine and proline.  These amino acids hasten cell growth. Hydrolyzed Collagen has the ability to replace the synovial fluids between the joints and helps to repair and strengthen the cartilage tissues.  Here we look at the combined benefits of both gelatin and collagen

  • Improves digestion in those who are suffering from leaky gut. Gelatin and Collagen binds with water and help move food easily along the digestive track.
  • Aid in joint recovery and strengthening of connective and cartilage tissues around the joints
  • Aids in hair and nail growth. It also supports skin growth.
  • Gelatin is a great source of protein and its amino acids aid in muscle building during workouts.

How To Consume Gelatin And Collagen

You cannot consume gelatin and collagen in raw form. If you want, you can; provided you are ready to gnaw the bones and joints of the poultry or farm animals.

Gelatin has culinary uses.  You can buy gelatin sheets from your local grocer or any good online shop. It’s used to make cakes, homemade gummies, jellies, probiotic marshmallows, puddings, cheese cakes and so on.

Collagen that is available in the powder form can be added in smoothies, coffee, or tea. You can also stir it into a glass of water and consume.

There are a combination of gelatin and collagen powder available, for those who consume it for medical purposes. All you need to do is stir it in your drink and consume it.

If we have missed out any information, please share it on the comment box.

 

 

Why You Should Drink Coconut Water

Coconut Water Healthy or Hyped?

Coconut Water is dubbed as Nature’s sports drink.  It’s a natural isotonic drink that is power packed with electrolytes, vitamins and minerals in natural form. Its Nature’s gift to mankind. Loved by the sports personnel, common man, and celebrities alike, this humble liquid found in the hard to crack nut, is the latest hot new health drink. Celebrities Lara Bingle, Madonna, Demi and others all swig it for its nutritional goldmine.

What Is Coconut Water

It’s a clear liquid found inside the young, green and undamaged coconuts. The nuts that are harvested for reaping its drink are young and tender. The coconut water is relished worldwide for its nutritious value and is also the most refreshing drink.  This drink is available in health food outlets and popular online stores in pre-packaged form.

Top Reasons Why Drinking Coconut Water Is Good For Health

 

The natives of the Caribbean islands use it as a heart tonic. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) wing of the United Nations says its packed with natural electrolytes. This low fat and highly nutritional drink is a healthy alternative to sugar and calorie packed juices and soft drinks. Its consumed by those who are on a weight loss spree.

  • Rich In Nutrients– This is one drink that all individuals irrespective of their medical conditions can enjoy. It contains all the essential electrolytes and minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. When the summer sun dehydrates you, sipping coconut water revives and rejuvenates your stamina.
  • Reduces Blood Pressure– Drinking coconut each morning helps to balance the electrolytes. This in turn stabilizes the blood pressure. It also brings down the cholesterol levels and prevents blood clots.
  • Keeps The Body Hydrated– Human body loses mineral rich fluids when doing rigorous activities. Drinking coconut water boosts hydration as it contains 294 mg of potassium, 25 mg of sodium and 5 mg of natural sugar per glass.
  • Hangover Remedy– The next time when you have a couple of drinks more than your stomach can handle, consume this clear liquid to settle your stomach. It will replace all those essential electrolytes that the body loses during the frequent bouts of vomiting.
  • Aids In Digestion– If you suffer from acidity problems, consume at least one glass of coconut water. Its rich in fiber that facilitates digestion and reduces acidity.
  • Smooth Glowing Skin– Regular consumption of coconut water reduces acne and other blemishes on the skin. It’s a natural source of cytokinins, that regulates cell growth and slows down aging of cells. Apply this liquid on your face to get a glowing and smooth skin.
  • Compatible With Human Blood– It quickly rehydrates the human body. In case of a medical emergency coconut water is administered intravenously. Remember its isotonic to human plasma.

There is no hard and fast rule regarding the amount you can consume on a regular basis. Coconut water can be combined with hard beverages or other fruit juices or enjoyed simply as a standalone drink.

Should Diabetics Avoid The Sheer Pleasure Of Dark Chocolate?

Dark chocolates for all
Dark chocolates for all

Dark Chocolates are a gift from heaven.  The very thought of chocolates makes you salivate and drool. It’s indeed a guilty sinful pleasure. Children and adults love them. The question is can the diabetics have them. It’s said that if you are a diabetic, you are allowed to eat anything but not in the quantities you want to. That includes chocolates too.

The reports from the American Diabetes Association reveal that dark chocolates have health benefits and they can be eaten in moderate amounts. Dark Chocolate is 70% cocoa chocolate and contains less sugar and milk particles compared to the milk chocolate.  One of the reasons is that dark chocolate is an antioxidant as it is rich in polyphenols.

Benefits Of Eating Dark Chocolate

  • This helps to lower blood glucose levels as well as reduce heart diseases.
  • Flavonoids in dark chocolate help relax blood vessels leading to lowering of blood pressure.
  • As per the study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people with type 2 diabetes who consume 20 gms of dark chocolate daily respond to insulin better than the those who consume milk chocolates.

The above mentioned health benefits have made candies and chocolates made using dark chocolate very popular. There are many products made using dark chocolates available in the market these days. However, check the ingredients before buying them. One of the main ingredients that you need to check is the percentage of the sugar content. Pick up those products that are less in sugar content and more in dark chocolate.

For dark chocolate candy that has dry nuts such as roasted peanuts, almond and walnuts, a pinch of sea salt added to it would do wonders to the taste buds while keeping the health in check.

  • Almonds are rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium. They are also a rich source of vitamin E, protein, fiber and low in sugar.
  • Walnuts are rich in vitamin B7, omega 3 fats, proteins and fiber, also known as hair food, as it prevents hair loss.
  • Peanuts are good source of vitamin E, folate, protein, niacin, and manganese.
  • Minerals contained in sea salt such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and iodine are in their natural ratios, and this helps keep the body’s electrolytes in balance.

However, ensure that they are gluten free and rich in protein and fiber. The richness of the roasted cocoa beans along with dry fruits and nuts make dark chocolate candies a healthy snack to munch even for those with diabetes.

However, take precautions that you don’t overeat because, that can be dangerous at times.

Why Do I Drink Coffee Every Morning

Its all about coffee and me
Its all about coffee and me

For me that unmistakable smell of freshly brewed Coffee and its delectable taste are the only two main reasons to pry myself out of bed each morning. It’s an eye-opening as well as mouth-watering beverage consumed not only by me but approximately 100 million Americans.

Today you can choose from a myriad of flavors, styles, and presentations of coffee. You can choose coffee from the small and strong cup of coffee to a large mug. You can have it with or without milk, plain or frothy and you can add a shot of your preferred liqueur.

Whether habitual or social, the act of lifting a cup of Arabic Coffee has been around since its inception into the society and here are my favorite reasons why. My colleagues and acquaintances have various reasons as to why they depend on this aromatic black beverage and I have my own set of reasons.

8 Reasons Why I Drink Coffee?

  1. The mildly stimulating effect of the caffeine in this drink boosts my energy to keep me going throughout the day.
  2. I am accustomed to the taste of coffee and constantly crave for my favorite flavor.
  3. It aids in digestion. So I love to sip it post a heavy lunch or dinner. Sometimes even between meals.
  4. A shot of strong coffee helps me on a hectic and stressful day. It even helps fight depression on certain days.
  5. It’s a powerhouse of beneficial antioxidants, so keeps the free radicals under control.
  6. I love to hold business meetings over a cup of stimulating espressos. Socially, I also meet up with my friends for a cup of coffee and a bite of nutritious protein cookies.
  7. It’s a fact that coffee can become an addition. A lot of people including me have got used to having a cup of coffee at a certain time of the day. And I look forward to this daily routine that has become almost a ritual by now.
  8. Last but not the least, I love to try out and experience new things and coffee was no exception.

There is a gamut of brands, flavors and brands available in the market today. You can even carry your favorite brand of this beverage to your workplace. All that you need to add is some boiling water to get the right strength.

Now you have my reasons for sipping a cup of highly flavored aromatic coffee. Wouldn’t you share your reasons with me!

Health Benefits of Plant-based Protein

Best sources of natural protein
Best sources of natural protein

It’s a misconception that plant-based diets lack protein. Whether you want to build muscle mass, lose weight or simply improve your health, plant-based proteins will play a vital role. Brown rice, hemp, chia and pea proteins are the example of plant-based proteins that can be consumed to reap a myriad of health benefits.

  • Chia seeds are rich in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. These help to keep your blood sugar levels under control and reduce inflammation. Regular consumption of chia seeds promotes weight loss
  • The proteins found in hemp are very similar to the proteins found in the human body. It contains all the essential fatty acids(EFAs) required by the body. It’s a source of fiber and can boost your energy and increase the metabolism of the human body.
  • Those consuming brown rice has shown reduction in the cholesterol levels. The finer content in this grain keep the blood sugar level under control. Its categorized one of the healthiest foods.
  • Consuming peas is considered to be as it a source of fiber and protein. They are free of cholesterols and low in fat and sodium. Peas are a source of vitamin K, vitamin B1, copper, folate, vitamin C, and phosphorus.

Benefits Of Consuming Plant-Based Protein

  • Low In Saturated Fat

The unsaturated fats found in the grains and nuts are the healthy alternative to those found in meat, dairy and eggs. Plant-based protein diets have the ability to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood stream.

  • Easy To Digest

Plant based protein diet are rich in fiber and therefore crucial for digestion. It offers roughage to the body. When body spends less on digestion, it means there is more energy available for the entire day.

  • Help Combat Inflammation And Protect Bone Health

Plant-based diet helps to maintain the alkaline PH level in the body. Therefore, it reduces the acidity formation, relieves stress as well as strengthens the bone.

  • Organic And Free Of Growth Hormones Found In Animal Proteins

Plant-based proteins are the best alternative to animal proteins. Meat product industry uses growth hormones as well as antibiotics in the animals. While most of the plant-based dietary proteins are extracted from organically grown plants. Therefore, these are free of chemicals and growth hormones.

Weight Loss

Plant-based proteins aid in weight loss. This occurs naturally when you consume vitamins, minerals and fiber.

  • Lowers The Risk Of Cancer

Organic plant-based diet reduces the risk of various types of cancer such as breast and colon.

Now what more benefits do you need?

Share with us the benefits we have left out, in the comment section.