8 Foods To Eat For A Healthy Glowing Skin

Skin care must be good enough to eat! – Joanna Runciman

Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness. A healthy skin shows how healthy you are on the inside. Sure, lifestyle habits and genetics play an important role in influencing your skin but that doesn’t mean that a healthy glowing skin is unachievable. You have heard the old adage, beauty starts from within. Eating food that feed and nourish your skin can give the much needed boost from within. With the right balance of foods which are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, collagen, amino acids, good fats, a healthy and glowing skin can be all yours. Here are 8 skin loving foods that are a must in your plate.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the best sources of vitamin C and carotenoids like lycopene. Lycopene, an anti-aging antioxidant, protects the skin against damage from the sun and helps to prevent wrinkles. The pulp of tomatoes also helps tighten pores and prevent pimples since tomatoes are acidic in nature. Research suggests that lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when it’s cooked, so add tomatoes in your soups, stews and sauces.

Papaya

Papaya has super healthy enzyme papain  and chymopapain that help in skin repairing, exfoliating and hydrating. When applied on the skin, these enzymes dissolve pore clogging fats, removes blemishes and cleanse the skin. Eating a single cup of fresh, ripe papaya gives 144% of daily value of collagen-strengthening vitamin C.

Beetroots

Beetroot has a cleansing impact as it makes the blood clearer and fights free radicals. It is loaded with iron, potassium, magnesium, fibre, phosphorus and the vitamins A, B and C, all of which are very good for skin. Beetroots prevents signs of aging, reduces pigmentation and blemishes, moisturizes dry skin and promotes hair growth. So have a glass of beetroot juice or eat it as a salad or apply the pulp from the juice of your face.

8 Foods To Eat For A Healthy Glowing Skin

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene which is an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A in the body. It also contains vitamin C, which is both an antioxidant and vital in the production of collagen. Collagen is the main component in the skin and other connective tissues, including hair and nails. Antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals and vitamin A deficiency which is a huge reason for dull, dry skin. One 1/2-cup serving (100 grams) of baked sweet potato contains enough beta-carotene to provide nearly four times the RDI (Reference Daily Intake) of vitamin A.

Red and Yellow Bell Peppers

Bell peppers contain of beta-carotene and vitamin A, C and K— both of which are important antioxidants for your skin. One cup (150 grams) of chopped red bell pepper contains the equivalent of 92% of the RDI for vitamin A and 317% of the RDI for vitamin C. These help smooth out the skin and lighten the appearance of any dark spots caused by the overproduction of pigmentation. They also keep the skin firm and make the skin healthy and youthful.

Cold Water Fatty Fish

Salmon, sardines, canola, mackerel and tuna, boost linoleic acid levels in the body. They are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary to keep skin thick, supple and moisturized.

Avocados

Avocados are high in healthy fats along with and vitamins E and C. Getting enough of these fats is essential to keep skin flexible and moisturized.

Green Tea

Green tea is known to protect the skin from damage and aging. Green tea has loads of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin E, both essential for skin health maintenance. Caffeine and tannins in green tea help shrink blood vessels around the eyes, making it a miracle for treating puffy eyes and dark circles. Green tea leaf fibers are proven to stimulate hair growth and that’s because of  catechins and polyphenols which stimulate cell turnover in hair follicles.

For healthier, younger, glowing and radiant skin, rather than looking in your vanity kit, try adding these eight foods to your diet.

You’re never too old to become younger. – Mae West

Zinging Food Using Leftovers #AtoZChallenge

I cook too much food. I mean, I can’t cook less.  I mean, there’s enough for at least 1-2 persons after we have finished our meal. So that means that any point of time I have leftovers in my refrigerator. Since I have 2 foodies at home, serving the same dish again in the next meal is just out of question. And I just can’t let the leftovers go to waste. So, zinging up the food using leftovers and presenting it in a new avatar is what I frequently do.

Until and unless you are an adept planner, leftovers are something that we all have to deal with. But leftovers don’t get too much respect. The mere mention of leftovers brings frowns and scowls from the family. Can’t blame them, because some reheated food taste like some sort of bland, soggy mush and it certainly doesn’t look good. You can stop feeling guilty about leftovers and just get smarter and creative in using them.

Here’s how…

Fritters or Tikki

Leftover rice or khichdi or noodles or dry vegetables can be turned into crispy n crunchy tea time snacks. Add besan or rice flour to the leftover rice or khichdi or noodles along with chopped onions, green chillies and spices. Divide the mixture into small balls and deep or shallow fry them in hot oil and serve hot with green chutney or tomato sauce.

Baked Dishes

Layer leftover rice or pasta with veggies followed by white or tomato sauce and some breadcrumbs and cheese. Bake to perfection for a whole new look to last night’s meal.

Nachos or Tacos

Crisp up left over rotis on a pan and add beans or boiled corn, sour cream, salsa and cheese for an Indian twist to a Mexican favourite!

Poha

Cut leftover idlis or chapati into small chunks and toss them with fresh vegetables and spices for a quick and filling snack.

Pancakes

Leftover dal or rice? Add these to some healthy flours like rice , bajra, besan along with vegetables and spices and make a batter and spread it like a dosa on a girdle and cook it on both the sides. A healthy and tasty meal is ready in a jiffy!

Zinging Food Using Leftovers

Rolls and Wraps or Sandwiches

One of the easiest way to use leftover dry vegetable is jazz it up in the form a roll or wrap or sandwich. Just wrap gobhi aloo, green beans, paneer, aloo matar or baingan bharta in a roti to make a fuss- free roll or sandwich.

Omelettes and Frittatas

A great way to use up leftover veggies and meats is to convert it into a frittata. Whisk them up with eggs and pour into a pan. Add your choice of herbs and spices and of course cheese!!

Paratha

Leftover vegetables or dal or rice can be kneaded into a dough along with spices to make parathas. Serve with pickle or curd. Filling and nourishing breakfast or lunch.

I believe that leftovers are good in many ways.

  • You can avoid wastage of food by making delicious recipes in less time.
  • With less planning and effort you can add variety on your dining table.

Just take care of these simple food safety guidelines…

  • Refrigerate food below 5 °C as soon as possible.
  • Reheat refrigerated food for at least 2 minutes to steaming hot (above 75 °C) before eating.

Do you zing up your leftover food? What are your favorite tricks / recipes for using up leftovers?

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All About Yogurt #AtoZChallenge

The yogurt shelves in the super market look totally different from what it was a few years ago. The market is flooded with newer flavours and brands of yogurt.

If you flip through any wellness magazine, you will be advised to eat yogurt everyday.

Facts about Yogurt
  • Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with a yogurt culture.
  • Health benefits of yogurt include bone health and aiding in digestion.
  • Some yogurts contain active, living bacteria known as probiotics, which can help keep the intestines healthy and restore balance in of intestinal flora.
  • Yogurt is loaded with protein, calcium, and vitamin B6 and B12, riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium.
Difference between Yogurt and Curd

Curd and Yogurt are almost the same thing, mainly differing in the method of preparation.

Indian curd made by boiling and cooling the milk to 30-40°C and adding a spoonful of curd. Curd has lactic acid bacteria or lactobacillus. This bacteria multiplies itself and in few hours ferments the milk to form curd.

Yogurt is prepared using similar techniques to curd but the fermentation of the milk is done by adding two specific strains of bacteria called lactobacillus bulgaris and streptococcus thermophilus. Other strains of lactic acid bacteria may also be added. The addition of these bacteria makes the product standardised and homogenous. This ensures both quality and right quantity of bacteria in the yogurt.

Yogurt

Types of Yogurt

Here are different types of yogurt.

Low Fat or Non-Fat : Low-fat, or reduced-fat yogurt, is made with 2-percent milk. Non-fat yogurt is made with zero percent or skim milk.

Greek Yogurt :Greek yogurt is thick and creamy. It is made by straining regular yogurt to remove the liquid whey. It is often used in Mediterranean-style cooking and dips. It has a higher protein content than other yogurts, but it contains less calcium. It is available in full fat, reduced or low fat and non-fat or zero percent.

Balkan-style or Set-style Yogurt :The warm cultured milk mixture is poured into containers then incubated without any further stirring. This has a characteristic thick texture and is excellent for enjoying plain or using in recipes.

Swiss-style or Stirred Yogurt : The warm cultured milk mixture is incubated in a container, cooled and then stirred for a creamy texture, often with fruit or other flavourings added. This yogurt is often slightly thinner than Balkan-style or set yogurt and can be eaten as-is, in cold beverages or incorporated into desserts.

Skyr : Similar to Greek yogurt, skyr, pronounced “skeer,” is an Icelandic-style yogurt that is dense, creamy and high in protein. Compared to regular yogurt, skyr requires 4 times the amount of milk to make and contains 2 to 3 times more protein.

Kefir :Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink, originally from the mountainous region that divides Asia and Europe. It is similar to yogurt – but a drink, with a tart, sour taste and a slight ‘fizz’. It contains three times the amount of probiotic cultures than yogurt.

Lassi: This Indian yogurt drink is made by thinning yogurt with a little water and adding either savory spices such as cumin, or sweet fruit juices such as mangoes.

Matsoni : It is a fermented milk product of Armenian origin, found in Caucasian cuisine, particularly in Armenia and Georgia. In Japan, it is called Caspian Sea yogurt. This yogurt is set at room temperature and requires a longer period of fermentation.

Frozen Yogurt :Frozen yogurts are often seen as a healthful alternative to ice cream. However, many frozen yogurts contain the same amount of sugar or more as regular ice cream.

Flavored or Fruity Yogurt : It’s the sweet, cool, flavoured and “healthy” version of yogurt. Fresh or cut fruits like strawberries, banana, mango etc are added to yogurt along with sweeteners.

Labneh : This Middle-Eastern yogurt is uber-creamy. It is extensively straining which makes it thicker than even Greek yogurt. It’s generally made from cow’s milk and is often drizzled with some olive oil, topped with a sprinkling of za’atar, and served with flatbreads for dipping.

Non-dairy yogurt : Non-dairy yogurt alternatives include soy yogurt and coconut milk yogurt.

Lactose- free Yogurt : Lactose-free yogurt is made with cow’s milk, but has been treated to break down the lactose or milk sugar found in milk. It tastes very similar to regular yogurt and is a good source of protein, calcium and probiotics.

Diet Tips

Yogurt is healthy and  nutritious and should be a part of regular diet. Here are some ways to incorporate it in daily diet.

  • Have plain, unsweetened yogurt and sweeten it with fruit, unsweetened applesauce or a small amount of pure maple syrup or honey or add vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, boiled potatoes, mint etc to make raita.
  • Avoid pre-made fruit and yogurt desserts, as these often contain unnecessary added sugars.
  • When baking, use yogurt instead of butter or oil.
  • Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to top baked potatoes or tacos.

There are a lot of reasons to have yogurt, it’s delicious, versatile and loaded with nutrients.

Do you enjoy yogurt? Which type do you like best?

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Food Talks. Join me for some interesting, fun conversations about food experiences, experiments, basics, tips, ideas, hacks, trends and much more.

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X-Mas Bakes – Fruit Cake Recipe #AtoZChallenge

Christmas, the most joyous and magical time of the year, is also a time for baking X-massy goodies. The aroma of exotic spices, nuts and goodies in the oven fill the air as we bake festive breads, cakes, cookies and pies.. There’s something about baking and of course gorging on rum-infused fruit cakes during Christmas.

I keep trying different baking recipes and I have found one perfect X-massy bake which is my absolute favorite, the rum-oozing fruit cake.

Here’s the recipe for you to try too…

Fruit Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup finely ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons alcohol (brandy, sherry, rum.) plus you’ll need extra for brushing the cake (I prefer rum)
  • Juice and zest of one orange
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup almonds, walnuts, or cashew, coarsely chopped
  • 500 gms of an assortment of dried (apricots, figs, prunes, raisins, sultanas, currants, dried cranberries, dried cherries etc.) and candied fruit, all chopped into bite sized pieces

Xmas bakes

Directions

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C. Butter a 20 cm spring form pan with a removable bottom. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Also line the sides of the pan with a strip of parchment paper that extends about 5 cm above the rim of the pan.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder.

In another large bowl place the dried and candied fruits, along with the chopped nuts. Remove about 3-4 tablespoons of the flour mixture and add it to this mixture, tossing well to coat all the fruits and nuts.

Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the alcohol, orange juice, orange zest and lemon zest. Then beat or fold in the chopped nuts and all the dried and candied fruits. Then fold in the flour mixture.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan and decorate the top of the cake with blanched almonds (optional).

Bake at 160 degrees C for 60 minutes. Lower the temperature to 150 degrees C and bake for another 80-90 minutes or until a long skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Then, with a skewer, poke holes in the top surface of the cake and liberally brush with alcohol.

Cut it into slices and impress your family and guests with this perfect x-massy boozy fruity cake.

Which is your favorite Christmas Cake?

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Food Talks. Join me for some interesting, fun conversations about food experiences, experiments, basics, tips, ideas, hacks, trends and much more.

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Eat Your Water – 7 Water-Rich Fruits That Help Stay Hydrated #AtoZChallenge

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

You know that about two-thirds of our body is made up of water. It is the main constituent of cells, tissues and organs. It is vital for proper functioning of our body! It is said that we are supposed to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day. It may seem daunting and not feasible on some days. So here’s the deal, you don’t have to drink all that water. You can eat your water too.

Lots of fruits and vegetables are also a great source of water. In fact, around a 20% of our daily fluid intake comes from the foods that we eat.

In this post, I am sharing some water-rich fruits that help stay hydrated.

1. Watermelon watermelon

Water Content: 92% water

One cup (150 gms) of watermelon contains over half a cup (115ml) of water. It also has fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, antioxidants like lycopene. It is quite low in calories, providing only 46 calories per cup.

You can add watermelon to your diet by consuming it as a refreshing snack or side dish or a salad. I like to keep a water pitcher in the fridge with watermelon cubes in it.

2. Strawberries strawberries-3359755_640

Water Content: 91%

Strawberries have a high water content, making them a very hydrating fruit. Strawberries also provide lots of fiber, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate and manganese.

I love strawberry smoothies or adding it to the yogurt. And you may also add them in sandwiches and wraps.

3. Cantaloupe cantaloupe-11541_640

Water Content: 90%

This super fruit is super hydrating and extremely nutritious! It is also a high source of potassium. Getting an adequate amount of potassium is essential in hydration, especially for athletes or those do intensive labour, as it helps to maintain fluid-balance, muscle function, and bone strength.

You can consume cantaloupe plain or add it to salads, smoothies and yogurt.

7 WATER-RICH FRUITS

4. Peaches

peach-2573836_640Water Content: 89%

Peaches are a very nutrient-dense and hydrating fruit. They also provide fiber and several important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium.

It is simple to add peaches to your diet. You may have it as a side dish during breakfast or make smoothies and salads with it.

5. Oranges

oranges-15046_640

Water Content: 88%

Oranges are incredibly healthy and may provide a number of health benefits.

There is almost a half cup (118 ml) of water in one orange, along with fiber and several nutrients like vitamin C and potassium, which boosts immune function and heart health. and also helps the body to absorb iron from the meals you eat.

A glass of orange juice is the best or you may just peel it and eat it.

6. Apples

apple-1506119_640

Water Content: 85%

Apples are made up of 85% water, so it’s no wonder that an apple a day helps to keep the doctor away. Apples are low in calories, and a source of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

Tip: Cut an apple into slices and enjoy as a snack or stew it with a dash of cinnamon and pour over porridge for a warm delicious breakfast.

7. Coconut Water india-coconut-3221935_640

Water Content: 95%

Coconut water is a super healthy beverage that will keep you hydrated.

Not only does it have a very high water content, it’s also rich in electrolytes, including potassium, sodium and chloride

Drinking coconut water anytime is good for health.

It’s still important to drink plenty of water—especially in the summertime, but you can also quench your thirst with these 7 hugely hydrating fruits.

Do you like to eat your water?

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Food Talks. Join me for some interesting, fun conversations about food experiences, experiments, basics, tips, ideas, hacks, trends and much more.