Categories
General Recipe

Healthy Recipes To Try This Valentines for Your Loved Ones

Although we don’t need any specific day to tell someone we love them, the idea of having a day dedicated to love is something to celebrate. Valentine’s is that time of the year when we want to express to the people we love most that they’re important to us. We want to make our appreciation for them known because they are a big part of our life. 

When you love someone, you care about them deeply, including their health. On this day of love symbolised by hearts, we’re bringing you a few simple Valentine’s Day recipes that will help you make your way into that special someone’s heart and are also quite literally, better for the heart. 

Creamy Tomato Risotto

Nutrient Metre: Tomatoes may reduce bad cholesterol and contain antioxidant properties that help keep heart health in check. Red is for love and health both, with this Valentine’s Day recipe.

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 400g fresh tomato, sliced¬†
  • 300g cherry tomato, halves
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig, finely sliced¬†
  • small pack basil, shredded
  • 1 litre vegetable stock¬†
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 1 tbsp Saffola Gold oil

Preparation: 

  • In a food processor, empty the chopped tomatoes and half of the vegetable stock. Grind until smooth.¬†
  • Pour the mixture into a cooking pan along with the remaining vegetable stock and let it simmer on low heat.¬†
  • In a separate pan, drizzle Saffola Gold oil and let it simmer.¬†
  • Add onions and slowly cook for a few minutes until soft.¬†
  • Sprinkle in the garlic and rosemary and let it sit for 1 minute.¬†
  • Next, add the rice and stir everything together for 1 minute.
  • Gradually, add the vegetable stock and tomato mixture in small portions ‚ÄĒ one quarter at a time.¬†
  • Allow the risotto to cook while stirring in intervals and adding more stock as it keeps getting absorbed.¬†
  • Once half of the stock and tomato mixture is added, add the cherry tomatoes.¬†
  • Wait for 20-25 minutes until the cherry tomatoes and rice become soft and creamy and all of the stock is absorbed completely.
  • Set aside with a lid for 1 minute and stir in the basil.¬†
  • Garnish with Parmesan, black pepper, and salt to taste, and serve hot. A healthy, creamy treat for your tastebuds.


Vegan Cheesecake

Nutrient Metre: Nuts help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, resulting in better cardiovascular health. Oats help manage cholesterol and help with type 2 diabetes. It‚Äôs one of those healthy dessert recipes that doesn‚Äôt have to ‚Äútaste‚ÄĚ healthy, while also being a great option in vegan desserts.

Serves: 8 people

Ingredients: 

  • ¬Ĺ cup nuts or seeds of choice
  • 1 cup oats
  • 20 small dates¬†
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract¬†
  • ¬Ĺ tbsp Saffola Gold oil¬†
  • ‚ÖĒ cup cashews¬†
  • 1 cup coconut milk¬†
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup¬†
  • 1 ¬Ĺ tsp agar powder¬†
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract¬†
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp beetroot powder

Preparation: 

  • In a pan, soak the cashews in hot water for an hour or let them boil for approximately 15 minutes.¬†
  • For the cheesecake crust, take the nuts, seeds, oats, dates, vanilla extract, and Saffola Gold oil and put them in a food processor. Blend until the mixture binds together.¬†
  • In a separate 6-inch baking tin, flatten the dough mixture onto the bottom and roll up the dough to the circular edges of the tin. Set aside in the refrigerator to cool.
  • Now, take the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and beetroot powder. Churn on high speed in a blender for about 1-2 minutes until smooth.¬†
  • Then, in a small pan, add the agar powder and 1/4th cup of water and let it simmer for 2 minutes while stirring.¬†
  • Pour the agar mixture into the blender preparation and churn again for a few seconds.¬†
  • Bring out the baking tin from the refrigerator and empty the blender onto the dough. Refrigerate once again until set.¬†
  • Serve cold and savour this vegan cheesecake delight.¬†

Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

Nutrient Metre:  

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that can help in improving heart health. Strawberries decrease oxidative stress which can cause cell damage and thus, improve cardiovascular health. Healthy sweets and taste can go hand in hand with this choice of healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Oat flour¬†
  • 10-12 strawberries, mashed¬†
  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips¬†
  • 60 ml milk¬†
  • 1/3rd cup Saffola honey¬†
  • 1/4th cup Saffola Gold oil
  • Flax egg (vegetarian):
    • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (blended flaxseeds)
    • 3 tbsp water

Preparation: 

  • Preheat the oven to 175¬įC.¬†
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseeds with 3 tbsp water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. This then forms a flax egg with a gelatinous consistency, similar to egg whites.¬†
  • Take the strawberries.¬† Wash and slice them. Once finely sliced, gently mash them with your fingers.¬†
  • In a separate bowl, add the remaining ingredients – oat flour, dark chocolate chips, milk, Saffola honey and Saffola Gold oil. Mix everything together.¬†
  • Now, add the flax egg and fold in the strawberries into this mixture containing all other ingredients.¬†
  • Take a baking sheet and grease with Saffola Gold oil.¬†
  • Pull apart the dough from the prepared mixture and roll them up into evenly sized balls. Place them on the baking sheet and press down slightly with your palm.

Note: The dough can also be shaped into little hearts using a cookie cutter. 

  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, remove and set aside to cool completely.¬†
  • Serve with warm milk and enjoy your chocolate oat cookies.¬†

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Nutrient Metre: Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help lower the risk of heart diseases.

Strawberries decrease oxidative stress which can cause cell damage and thus, improve cardiovascular health. It makes for a great, simple choice of healthy dessert.

Serves: 5 people

Ingredients: 

  • 400g strawberries
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 30g white and milk chocolate, chopped

Preparation: 

  • In a small pan, fill up some water up to 2cm and let it simmer.¬†
  • Take the dark chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Then place the bowl on top of the water pan, making sure that it doesn‚Äôt touch the water.
  • Gently stir the chocolate as it melts gradually. Once done, set aside in a small, deep bowl.¬†
  • Now, pick up the strawberries, insert into a small stick, and slowly dip into the chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip.¬†
  • Take a piece of baking paper and set the strawberries on it to rest.¬†

Note: Leftover chocolate can be poured onto another baking sheet for later use. 

  • To decorate the strawberries with hearts or other patterns, melt the white and milk chocolate and drizzle lightly over the fruit into shapes of your liking.¬†
  • Dive in and relish the goodness.¬†

Surprise the special people in your life with this delicious yet healthy Valentine’s menu to spread the love and good health!

References: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12587984/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17427261/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29800597/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25267241/ 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287403077_The_Metabolic_Effects_of_Oats_Intake_in_Patients_with_Type_2_Diabetes_A_Systematic_Review_and_Meta-Analysis 

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/JAHA.116.005162 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20384847/ 

Categories
Recipe

How Men Can Prevent Premature Heart Diseases

The rising number of cardiovascular disorders has become a concern in Indian society. What is even more concerning are the increasing episodes seen in the younger age group. Unfortunately, almost¬†52 per cent¬†of people get a heart attack before the age of 50. Known as premature heart attack, it affects men more than women.¬†Research¬†shows that it is partly due to our genetic disposition that Indians have narrower coronary arteries. Although genetics play a role in determining one’s cardiovascular health, the lifestyle choices can actually make a great deal of difference. Simple changes today can go a long way to care for your heart right now and in the future.

 

Let us look at precautionary measures that men can take to avoid premature heart diseases.

Manage Your Stress

Mental and physical stress have increased in today’s time. It‚Äôs possible your everyday life is so hectic that finding even 10 minutes of peace might sound impossible.¬†Workplaces have become highly competitive and demanding. You have to prove your worth constantly to bag your next promotion. By the time men reach their forties, they have to deal with the added pressure of changes – from having to constantly adapt to the new technology as well as the changing dynamics at their workplace and in their personal life .

 

Studies show that mental stress is one of the primary reasons for heart diseases. There are a few things you can do for your mental well-being. The easiest is to switch off for a few minutes from the external world daily. You can call it your me-time, and it should be the slot you spend with your thoughts. If there are any worries, try to manage them through stress-management techniques. It is easier said than done, but meditation can help you find that path. You can also practise mindfulness meditation, as research has shown it can significantly improve mental well-being.

As social media usage also grows, it is impacting real-life relationships, increasing the feelings of loneliness. This can lead to depression which research shows puts you at a greater risk for coronary heart disease. If you feel yourself being impacted by the same, try to cut back on the time you spent online and spend more time with your loved ones away from the screen. As the awareness of mental health is on the rise in India, you also have more options to seek care. It is advisable to consult a certified medical professional and seek counselling for your mental health.

Get More Exercise 

Physical activity is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to your heart. It makes your heart stronger, lowers blood pressure, and keeps your weight in check. It slows your resting heart rate, which means it has to work lesser to pump blood to other parts of your body.

Studies show that being overweight is also closely linked to heart health. Exercise will help you reach your optimal body weight. Finally, working out also releases feel-good hormones in your body, which can lower your stress. 

Eat a Balanced Diet

Food holds an important place in our life. It is something that people enjoy and try to find comfort in when they feel low. The last few decades have seen an increase in the availability of processed and junk food which is low in quality. Previously the food eaten daily would have been locally sourced and cooked at home and provide balanced nutrition. Now, there are shelves lined with processed foods in the markets and dining out at fast food joints has become more common. Although these foods taste good, they are often loaded with salt and sugar which negatively impact your heart and your overall health.

Excessive amounts of salt is a leading cause of hypertension and excessive sugar can be a concern if you have a family history of diabetes. Research shows that high blood pressure and diabetes can increase the probability of stroke.

To follow a healthy diet, have a balanced meal that includes all food groups. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low-fat dairy products. Another useful tip to keep your heart healthy is to use healthy edible oil. Using blended oils is one of the best ways to add a super dose of nutrition to your home-cooked meal. Blended oils are heart-healthy oils that are a combination of two oils and provide a more balanced intake of good fats. Saffola Gold is one such healthy blended oil with the goodness of rice bran oil and sunflower oil. Including it in your diet will enhance the nutrient quotient of your food.

Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol

According to studies, India has a high number of tobacco consumers and a majority of smokers were found to be men. Smoking tobacco can have a negative impact on your health in a variety of ways. Over the years, tobacco use is becoming less common but it is still one of the leading causes of potentially preventable health concerns. Research has shown that people who smoke have a higher likelihood of a heart attack, high blood pressure, blood clots, etc. Cigarette smoke has a dangerously high level of carbon monoxide. It prevents the heart from receiving the appropriate amount of oxygen for proper functioning. 

Similarly, long-term abuse of alcohol can weaken the heart muscle and impair its ability to pump blood.  In India, alcohol consumption is more common among men compared to women, varying from 23% to 74% in different areas. One needs to be wary of overconsumption of alcohol, as it can lead to serious  liver and heart problems. 

In the last couple of years, the prevalence of premature heart diseases has increased. Men are more susceptible because of risk factors in their lifestyles which often get ignored. By following the suggestions given above, you keep your heart healthier and reduce the chances of developing diseases. 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1993956/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16169359/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27751732/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29946209/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31685171/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27757935/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29459239/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18983332/ 

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247226 

https://www.nhp.gov.in/healthlyliving/alcohol-use-disorder 

http://indianmhs.nimhans.ac.in/nmhs-results.php 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28808498/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28057245/