8 reasons you should eat oatmeal for breakfast – Telegraph

Oatmeal is touted to be one of the world's healthiest breakfast foods. What makes it an ideal breakfast option is whole-grain and soluble fibre which keeps you full and satiated for long. Oatmeal is quick and convenient and makes a nutritious breakfast.

Here are some reasons why you should consider oatmeal for breakfast.

Weight control

It has soluble fibre which absorbs considerable amount of water and significantly slows digestion process. This keeps one full for longer and thus, controls weight.

Lowers diabetes and hypertension Risks

According to the American Diabetes Association, eating oatmeal reduces risk for type 2 diabetes significantly. The soluble fibre in oatmeal helps keep a check on blood glucose levels. Moreover, a diet that includes oatmeal may reduce high blood pressure. Again, the reduction is because of the soluble fibre content that oatmeal has.

Keeps heart healthy

Oatmeal has a bio-active, anti-oxidant compound called avenanthramide which is believed to cleanse arteries, prevent fatty buildup and lower risk of heart disease.

Wide array of nutrients

Oatmeal gives you a wide range of nutrients and antioxidants including vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and iron.

Easy preparation

Oatmeal can be prepared in several ways in a microwave. It can usually be made in less than 10 minutes.

Gluten-free

Oats are naturally gluten-free. However, it is advised to check the label before you buy. Better to buy oats from a reputable manufacturer.

Delicious way to start your day

You can prepare oatmeal in several delicious ways. Whether instant, cooked on the stove or baked in the oven, you have plenty of flavouring options to choose from. Just be sure to prepare it a healthful manner. Pre-flavoured oats should be avoided as there can be unnecessary sugars and additives.

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5 foods that can damage your skin texture – Times of India – Telegraph

Let's admit it- we all want flawless skin. Apart from excellent genes, it requires extra care to maintain that head-turning beauty. But not many of us know that our eating habits are directly linked to the skin type we have. A few foods that we think are healthy may create havoc on our skin. Here we have given a list of foods that have the ability to damage your skin.

Salt: Too much salt can cause puffiness on the face. As the skin around our eyes is too delicate and thin, excess consumption of salt can lead to swelling around this area. According to The National Heart Lung and Blood Association, 500 mg is a safe daily minimum intake of sodium.

Dairy products: We get a number of health benefits from dairy products. But having them in excess can lead to puffy eyelids, under eye bags, blackheads, spots, acne and wrinkles on the bridge of nose. According to a study, there is a link between higher milk consumption and acne. It was also found that higher amount of bioavailable hormones in skimmed milk, caused acne on face. Weight watchers are recommended to drink about three glasses of skimmed milk a day and one or more portions of low-fat yoghurt or low-fat cottage cheese.

Sugar: This is a fact that we have heard a million times, but it's worth repeating. Sugar not only adds 'empty' calories but affects skin texture. Wrinkles on the forehead, under eye bags, thinning of skin, acne and scars, spots and moreover, pale skin colour are some of the side effects of eating sugar. Consuming less sugary products can definitely reduce these skin problems. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), "the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are: Men: 150 calories per day ( 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) and Women: 100 calories per day ( 25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

Alcohol: Despite knowing the side effects, we still enjoy a glass of alcohol. Its health hazards aside, alcohol consumption can also change your face. It gives you unwanted wrinkles, puffy eyelids, flushed skin, crow's feet under the eyes and deep nasolabial folds. If you have experienced all these changes on your face, immediately stop or limit its consumption.

Gluten-enriched products: Food products enriched with gluten can also change your face skin. These products may develop acne on the chin, forehead and cheeks, a puffy face and red cheeks. This is a condition that mostly occurs in people who are allergic to gluten-rich foods. It's better to avoid the intake of gluten products. It's good to go for a gluten- free diet and avoid foods with white flour.

Alkalize your body – Times of India – Telegraph

It is easy to get lost in the whole health-food terminology and discourse on clean living. One can't really tell where healthy stops and unhealthy begins! One major factor in determining the healthfulness of a food can be by looking at it from an alkaline or acidic point of view. The more alkaline it is, the better. "Alkaline diets have gained more importance from the cancer world, as many research studies are now showing an obvious connection between acidic diets and rise in cancers," says Dr Anjali Hooda Sangwan, consultant – obesity, metabolic medicine and clinical nutrition.

Alkaline balance

In order for your blood to effectively act as a medium of oxygen and absorb vital nutrients, your body's pH (potential of hydrogen) balance needs to be maintained. This equilibrium is essentially the body's alkaline-acid balance, which is ensured by healthy kidneys. Our packaged-food living makes us consume too much acid apart from already acidic dairy, grains, meats, and sugar. This puts too much load on the kidneys and they start accumulating the acid in our tissues. It also means that the body's mineral reserves such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium can run dangerously low. One needs to minimise the acid generation by eating more alkaline foods.

The bigger picture

The pH of our body is 7.4 and anything that alters the pH will make the body's immune defence go down and obviously open up the door for diseases. "Sodium and sugar rich diets from processed foods can cause an upheaval in pH and lead to a disturbing health condition called acidosis," adds Dr Sangwan. Dr Robert Young, in his book The pH Miracle, says, "Health depends on an internal alkaline environment. He discusses the importance of regulating your body's acid/alkaline chemistry and how it can result in weight loss, increased stamina and strength, and a stronger immune system." Mind you, it's not just the food we eat that can cause an acidic environment, our

body also creates acid by overusing muscles, breathing,

and digesting certain foods. Other factors can be stress, toxins, air pollution, tobacco, lack of sleep, or medications.

Eating right

All foods have the ability to change your pH levels. Acidic foods are the culprit, but one can't and needn't just eat alkalizing foods. "Consuming good fats like avocado, nuts, ghee and coconut oil are better than saturated fats. Processed animal protein, wheat and some grains increase the pH of the body, so the servings shouldn't cross more than two a day," says Dr Sangwan, adding, "A balance of 80% alkaline-forming food and 20% acidic-forming food is ideal."

Chewing is an easy first step to make your food alkaline. Chew 30-40 times a bite. Be careful not to overeat and overload your system.

Ways to alkalize your body

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