What Does a Balanced Diet Look Like?

It is safe to say that we truly are what we eat. After all, a diet rich in processed food and sugary drinks will leave a person feel sluggish and malnourished whereas a balanced diet is thought to be the secret to a long and happy life. With this said, many people do not know what it takes to formulate a balanced diet. Luckily, the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness are the experts on your side. Read on as we go over everything there is to know about crafting a balanced diet…

Protein

As the building blocks of life, protein is an essential macronutrient that should make up at least 30-40% of a person’s daily intake from food. After all, it is how the body repairs and makes new cells! Luckily, protein can be obtained from a range of different places and is particularly abundant in meat like chicken, turkey and fish. With this said, vegetarians can obtain their protein intake from non-animal sources like tofu, chickpeas and lentils.

Carbohydrates

There are a range of diets that promote the complete removal of carbohydrates from the diet, however this is incredibly dangerous. After all, this macronutrient is how we obtain the energy our body needs in order to function. It can be found in three forms: sugar, starch and fibre and some are healthier than others. After all, simple carbs, the ones that are added in the form of sugar, are the ones that cause weight gain. On the other hand, complex carbs like the ones found in pasta, potatoes and whole wheat bread are starch and fibre sources so should be implemented in a balanced, healthy diet.

Fats

In comparison to protein and carbohydrates, fats are a macronutrient that is incredibly calorie dense. After all, just 1g of fat is equivalent to 9 calories which is why a lot of unhealthy food has a high calorie value even though the portion size is rather small. With this said, fats can be found in two forms: saturated and unsaturated. It is the latter that our diet should include, and these fats can be found naturally in avocados, olives, fish and nuts. After all, unsaturated fats are a necessary part of a balanced diet and help the body absorb vitamins A, D and E as well as creating the cushioning that protects our vital organs.

Although a balance diet should be filled with fruit, vegetables, protein and healthy fats, it is important that people give themselves the leeway to consume traditionally ‘unhealthy’ food too. After all, statistics suggest that most diets fail because people try too hard to avoid takeaways and chocolate when a creamy curry or cheesy lasagne is a perfectly respectable addition to a balanced diet. Royal Nawaab is an authentic Indian and Pakistani restaurant located in Manchester and London and serves traditional dishes that can be implemented as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

The Importance of Marinating Meat

Many people see cooking as an artform because there can be beauty found within a piece of meat that has been well-seasoned and cooked to perfection. In fact, a balanced marinade can enhance the flavour and texture of meat in a way that traditional seasoning just cannot achieve. Luckily, there are dozens of different ways to make a marinade. Read on as the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness go over everything there is to know about the importance marinating meat…

What is a marinade?

By definition, a marinade is a mixture of spices and seasonings that are mixed with oil in order to create a liquid solution. Meat is then soaked in this solution for a number of hours in order to add flavour, retain moisture and make it more tender by starting the cooking process ahead of time. This is especially noticeable when acidic ingredients like pineapple and vinegar are added to a marinade.

How long does it take to marinate meat?

There is a lot of debate regarding the length of a high-quality marinade in the cooking industry. After all, these timeframes depend on the ingredients that have been placed into the solution as very acidic marinades can actually toughen meat overtime rather than make it more tender. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that amateur chefs marinade meat for 3-24 hours depending on the type of meat and its cut.

Which meats are suitable for a marinade?

The rules of marinating can differ from meat to meat as each type comes with an optimum marinating time. For example, shellfish should be marinated for no longer than 15 minutes whereas seafood can be marinated for 20-30 minutes. Following on from this, white meats like chicken should be marinated for 3-12 hours whereas red meats like beef and lamb can be marinated for 3-24 hours. Luckily, it is possible to marinate every type of meat and the length of time for white and red meat is simply a guideline rather than a compulsory step.

A marinade is the perfect way to improve the flavour of a healthy meal that makes a person want to reach for a burger and French fries. After all, a chicken salad doesn’t have to be boring! Royal Nawaab is a restaurant in Manchester and London that specialises in the creation of authentic Indian and Pakistani cuisine. In fact, marinating is an essential process for a curry. To book a table, get in contact with a member of the Royal Nawaab team today!

The Festive Spices of Christmas

Although many people tend to think about sweet and savoury dishes when it comes to Christmas, there is nothing wrong with the implementation of spice too. In fact, there are dozens of different spices that are frequently added to festive dishes in order to improve their flavour and excite the taste buds! Read on the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness go over the top three…

Cinnamon

Perfect for both sweet and salty dishes, cinnamon is a warm spice that simply screams Christmas. After all, it can be found in baked treats, apple sauce, warm drinks and even decorations thanks to its signature aroma. Interestingly, cinnamon is frequently used medicinally in order to treat indigestion and nausea, however it makes a great sweetener in Christmas cookies or sprinkled inside a traditional cinnamon roll.

Ginger

Grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, Australia and China, ginger is the root part of the plant and is a popular spice used in order to make Gingerbread Man cookies. In fact, no Christmas is complete without attempting to construct a gingerbread house that stands for longer than five minutes! Known for adding warmth and spice to a dish, ginger naturally reduces inflammation and is often drank in tea.

Nutmeg

With its warm and spicy aroma, Nutmeg is a popular Christmas ingredient that is traditionally used in both mulled wine and Christmas pudding. In fact, it can actually be added to ginger tea in order to settle the stomach after a big meal. With this said, the spice is toxic in large quantities which is why it is typically used sparingly.

According to statistics, the traditional turkey Christmas dinner is going out of fashion each year as families are starting to look for more convenient and interesting alternatives. In fact, a surprising number of British people actually go out to a restaurant rather than cooking themselves and many will entertain foreign delicacies too. If you’re looking for spicy and authentic Indian and Pakistani cuisine this Christmas, Royal Nawaab, a restaurant found in Manchester and London, has got you covered! Get in contact with a member of the team and book your table today!

Three Healthy Ways to Cook a Chicken

As one of the most versatile meats on the market, there are dozens of different ways that a chicken can be cooked and a wide range of different dishes that it can be implemented into. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we want our readers to explore their palate and revive their love for cooking whilst understanding the fundamental basics of cooking white meat. Read on as we go over three healthy ways that chicken can be cooked…

Roasted

Roasting a chicken is the most traditional way to cook a bird whole. The length of time that the chicken stays in the oven depends on its weight as smaller chickens will cook in around one hour whereas larger chickens can take around 1 hour and 40 minutes. The bird should be placed in a deep container and seasoned before coating with tinfoil. During the last 20-30 minutes, the tinfoil can be removed in order to crisp the skin without affecting the juices inside the meat.

Baked

In order to bake a chicken, the different parts should be separated from each other and then covered in a seasoning of choice in order to create tasty, handheld pieces of meat that will cook in less than half the time of a roasted chicken. Although many people choose to leave the skin on, removing the skin will reduce the fat content of the meat and make a meal using roasted chicken considerably healthier.

Grilled

When it comes to speed, flavour and health, grilled chicken manages to tick all the boxes. Interestingly, many people choose to grill the breast of a chicken because it is the easiest part to marinate and cook without losing any of the flavour. Depending on the size of the chicken breast piece, it is possible to achieve the signature grill marks in just 4-6 minutes and these crowd pleasers are typically paired with a healthy salad.

Chicken is a meat with a high protein and low fat content which makes it incredibly popular with athletes and runners. With this said, eating the same thing every day can become rather mundane which is why new and exciting cooking styles can add a splash of creativity to meal times. Royal Nawaab, an authentic Indian and Pakistani restaurant in Manchester and London, use halal chicken in a range of dishes in order to offer their guests an experience they will never forget. To book a table, get in contact with a member of the Royal Nawaab team today!

The Health Benefits of Spicy Food

Spices have been around for thousands of years and were even used medicinally by the Chinese, Indians and Ancient Egyptians. With this said, the modern approach to spice focuses on its infusion in a range of savoury dishes from all over the world, however, it is still possible to reap the healing properties they were once known for. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we want our readers to understand the benefits that can be obtained from implementing certain spices in their diet. Read on to find out more…

Can spicy food improve your digestive system?

It is thought that our taste buds and digestive system are more connected than scientists previously realised. After all, the same receptors that communicate with the brain to tell us when capsaicin, the active component that makes chilli peppers hot, has been detected are also found in the gut. When it enters the digestive tract, capsaicin actually creates a chemical known as anandamide which has been shown to reduce the inflammation caused by conditions like Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis. 

Does curcumin help prevent cancer?

Found in Turmeric, curcumin is a chemical compound that occurs naturally and is thought to hold miracle properties when it comes to the treatment of cancer cells. After all, research has shown that curcumin can reduce the growth of malignant cells and even prevent them from developing, particularly when it comes to breast cancer, cervical cancer and stomach cancer.

Is spicy food an effective remedy for heart disease?

According to a doctor at the University of Maryland, turmeric and red peppers have a noticeable effect on the body’s circulatory system. After all, capsaicin, which is found in hot peppers, can cause the blood vessels to dilate and effectively reduce the blood pressure of patients. In addition to this, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties are thought to work by reducing cholesterol and allowing damaged blood vessels to heal properly.

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we believe that a healthy balance of spice in the diet is the perfect way to satisfy the taste buds whilst ensuring that the body remains healthy. After all, turmeric is a popular ingredient used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. For the perfect blend of spice and flavour, get in contact with the best restaurant around and make a booking with Royal Nawaab today!

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamins

In a society that has become so accustomed to living a sedentary routine, it isn’t surprising to find that lifestyle related conditions like heart disease, diabetes and obesity are on the rise. After all, it may be difficult to start exercising regularly but the length of one’s life can depend on it. Interestingly, the food we eat plays an important role in our health and research suggests that most people do not consume enough vitamins and minerals which is why we’ve decided to go over everything there is to know about vitamins and why they are a vital part of our diet…

What are the names of the different vitamins?

A vitamin is an organic component that can be broken down by heat, air or acid; however, it can be very difficult to consume enough of each one on a daily basis which is why many people often discover that they have some kind of deficiency.  In order to make them easier for the average person to understand, the important vitamins that we need are separated into categories by letters and that is why many juice drinks often talk about consuming enough vitamin ‘C’, the colloquial term for ascorbic acid.

Why are vitamins so important to our health?

Since there are so many different types of vitamins, it is important to understand their use in the body and how it impacts our health when we don’t consume enough of them. For example, vitamin A is made up of retinoids and carotene so it keeps our skin and tissue healthy; vitamin B is comprised of 8 subcategories, however, the most well-known is vitamin B9, also called folate, which is used in order to make and repair DNA; and vitamin D, also known as calciferol, which strengthens the bones and helps the body absorb calcium.

What is the difference between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins?

It is safe to say that vitamins are a very complex diet necessity which is why many people fail to consume enough of them. In fact, there are two different forms that vitamins can be found in and these are known as water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, C, biotin and pantothenic acid are considered water-soluble which means that they can dissolve in water and be used immediately whereas vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble and this means that they are dissolved in fats and must travel through the small intestine in order to be absorbed via the bloodstream.

Perhaps the most important piece of information to remember is that water-soluble vitamins are not stored inside the body so they must be regularly replenished through the diet whereas fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissue for use at a later date.

It is impossible to out-train a bad diet which means that running miles upon miles on a treadmill is not the most effective way of reducing the likelihood of dangerous diet related issues. After all, a heart attack is often caused by blocked arteries full of hardened cholesterol and fatty deposits that prevent blood from flowing freely. Luckily, many of the vitamins that we need can be obtained from different food groups through the consumption of a balanced diet. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team today!

Everything You Need to Know About Carbohydrates

There are three main macronutrients that should be included in every diet: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the importance of carbs which can lead to yo-yo dieting and carb eliminating diets which can be extremely bad for the body. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we have made it our mission to ensure that our readers are equipped with the information they need to formulate a healthy diet that will show results and in this blog we are going to go over everything you need to know about carbohydrates…

What are they?

Often credited as ‘evil’, carbohydrates are a type of macronutrients that are required in moderation as part of a healthy diet. In fact, they can be found in a wide variety of foods from fruit and vegetables to cakes and sweets. Scientifically, they are our bodies main source of energy and are crafted from sugar molecules that the body breaks down during digestion.

Function

In simple terms, the function of carbohydrates is to provide the body with energy, however scientifically they have a much deeper importance. It all starts when the sugar molecules are broken down during digestion and increase the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. This causes your body to release a hormone called insulin in order to remove this excess sugar from your bloody stream and transport it to your muscles for storage so it can be used as energy. When we exceed these storage levels, however the body stores it as fat and that is why we gain weight.

The Types

Carbohydrates are a sugar which can be divided into three separate types: monosaccharides, which have one sugar molecule; disaccharides, which have two sugar molecules, and polysaccharides, which has three or more sugar molecules. The number of molecules a carbohydrate has determines its ability to increase your glycaemic index. For example, a cake is generally made up of monosaccharides and disaccharides so are easy to digest due whereas starchy foods like potatoes are made up of polysaccharides and take longer for the body to digest. When a carbohydrate is easy to digest it is known as ‘simple’ carbs whereas those that are more difficult are known as ‘complex’ carbs.

Recognising the importance of carbohydrates is the first step towards crafting a diet that will show results. After all, the macronutrient can be found in almost everything we eat so it is vital that you can find healthy sources of it. If you have any questions about carbohydrates, get in contact with a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team today!

Important Components in a Healthy Diet

The reason why people fail at diets so often is because they fail to understand the basis components that are required in order to provide the results they are looking for. After all, the diet for weight loss differs greatly from a diet built around gluten intolerance. Read on to find out more…

Macronutrients

Every diet should consist of three main food groups; proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They are known as macronutrients because we need them in fairly large quantities in order to stay healthy. The biggest problem that people face when it comes to formulating a diet is the balance between these three food groups.

Protein is what our muscles are made off which is why it is important to ensure that we get a satisfactory amount from protein dense foods like chicken and salmon however it is also possible to consume enough protein on a vegetarian diet too. On the other hand, carbohydrates are how our body gets its energy as it is converted into glucose in the blood. When we eat too many carbs, the body stores the excess glucose as fat and that is why we gain weight. Finally, fats are the most calorific of the three macronutrients however they are important when consumed correctly. After all, we need fat to cushion and protect our internal organs. Experts suggest that you should avoid saturated fats and consume unsaturated fats in a healthy diet.

Dieting For Weight Loss

Weight loss occurs when our body burns more energy than we consume and this is all based on your diet. In fact, you could effectively loose weight whilst consuming junk food however there will no nutritional benefit to doing so. When you are formulating a diet to loose weight, it is important that you are in a caloric deficit in order to tell your body to use fat reserves to meet energy demands whilst also ensuring that you have a balance between the three macronutrients. In fact, protein consumption and weight training is important in a calorie deficit as it is much easier for the body to break down muscle than fat so if you aren’t actively preserving it you will loosing muscle mass rather than fat.

Staying healthy and preventing malnutrition is all about the quality of your diet. After all, you are what you eat! This means that a diet filled with sugar and fat is going to make you feel lethargic whereas a diet filled with nutritional fruit and vegetables is going to improve your concentration and lifestyle. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team today!

Healthy and Hearty Winter Meals

When the wind is hollowing outside and the cold air scratches your face as you try to carry out your day to day activities, there is nothing better than a nice warm meal at the end of the day. With this said, it can be hard to make a hearty meal a healthy meal as our body wants something filling and satisfying, not rabbit food. Read on to find out some of the perfect winter meals…

Meat and Potato Pie

One of the greatest northern foods has got to be pie. After all, it is filling, warm and definitely satisfying. Plus, the nutrients and minerals found in the veggies and meat filling more than makes up for the fat that can be found in the pastry.

Homemade Soup

Whilst it can be much easier to open a tin of something shop bought, nothing beats the feeling of making your very own batch of homemade soup. After all, the possibilities are endless with the correct ingredients and you can be one hundred percent certain what exactly is in the liquid blend rather than relying on label packaging.

Stew

The most important aspect of a winter meal is that it is nice and hot and one of the best qualities of a stew is that it warms the soul as well as the stomach. In fact, a beef stew is extremely simple to make and can be left to cook during the day whilst you wrap up warm and catch up on the latest movies.

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness we think that there is nothing better than a nice and warm meal at the end of a cold winters day. After all, we may be in March but the forecast isn’t exactly telling us spring is just around the corner! Do you have any healthy and hearty meals that are perfect for settling around the fire with? Get in contact with a member of the team today and let us know!

Best Foods For Your Body

In a world where food is so readily available it can be a challenge to ensure that we consume food that actually benefits the body. After all, nutrients are a vital component in our overall wellbeing. Every single person should ensure that they have a balanced diet that includes fruit, veg, protein and healthy fats as well as antioxidants and other vital vitamins. Here are the best foods you can consume…

Green Beans

Since they are full of fibre filling up on green beans can be a very good nutritional choice. In fact, it can help prevent unwanted weight gain since the fibre content helps your digestive system operate effectively. In fact, if we boost our fibre by 8g for every 1000 calories our diet allows we can help promote healthy weight loss.

Chicken/Salmon

Protein is one of the most vital macronutrients that we can consume which is why it is vital that we include a source of it in our diet. The richest has to be chicken breast, followed by salmon. In fact, this fish contain omega 3 fatty acids which are great for UV protection.

Watermelon

The importance of water cannot be understated however you do not have to drink it all since water is found in a whole range of foods, including watermelon. This fruit also contains very little calories whilst keeping you hydrated and satisfied until your next meal. It is 92% water which means that it contain a lot of vital vitamin C!

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness we have heard every excuse in the book from people who try to justify their bad eating habits. From ‘I don’t have time to plan’ to ‘I can’t cook’; we are dedicated to stopping this lifestyle in its tracks. To find out more information about keeping the body healthy, get in contact with a member of the team today!