In the months ahead of summer, many people and especially women fall victim to trendy do-it-yourself diets. These promise them to get in shape or lose weight quickly and efficiently. But this is never the case.
People feel the need to do all kinds of short-term diets, cut out carbs, overload on proteins just to shed some weight. These diets are often undertaken explicitly around special functions, celebrations, festivals, etc. when they want to look their best. While diets often promise unreasonably fast weight loss in short periods of time, they tend to leave out key elements in a person’s diet that creates an imbalance in the body. Read on to know why you should avoid giving into trends.
True change comes from within and it starts with the way we treat our body and the quality of the food we eat. There are more studies linking healthy eating to better physical health than there are calories in a can of cola. But a strong body of work also ties improved diet to reduced risk of depression… and even happiness. What’s more important, the research is not about do-it-yourself diets. It simply shows how good nutrition can boost mood.
Why do-it-yourself diets are bad for you
Dieting can severely limit the consumption of certain food groups that can result in fatigue. Some detox diets recommend fasting, and long-term fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, a situation you do not want to be in. Do-it-yourself diets, detox programmes, and the like do not work, for the simple reason that they are a short term fix, not permanent.
Instead, you should practise a philosophy based on in-depth health, which can truly change your life. It is not about rules or ideals, but self-exploration. It is about becoming better by eliminating things that aren’t good for us. This way, we learn to adjust and fine-tune our minds and bodies. We start becoming better at identifying what is good for us and what is not. Then, we start changing to become better with food that is nutritionally-rich and good for us. Couscous is one such food.
A holistic approach brings together good nutrition and diet, a physically active lifestyle and, what we like to call, active rest. It is about taking care of all aspects of our lives to be the best possible version of ourselves. One shouldn’t focus just on looking good, but be happy with oneself. Be active. Go outside when you can. Breathe clean air. Indulge in real human connection with family members and friends. Express what makes you happy. Live with purpose and eat food that is lovingly-made with clean, organic ingredients.
Why is Couscous good for you?
There are many reasons to opt for couscous instead of do-it-yourself diets. Couscous is rich in potassium, fibers and many other essential minerals. Potassium is important for reducing the contract of blood vessels – it has a vasodilating effect on your blood vessels and makes circulation easier. It reduces your risk for different cardiovascular diseases. Potassium also plays a role in regulating your blood pressure and prevents hypertension, heart arrhythmias, and other irregularities in the cycle of the heart.
Couscous is also a good source of trace minerals. You get about 61% of your recommended daily intake of selenium from a serving of the pasta. Selenium is vital for your reproductive health, protein synthesis, metabolism of thyroid hormones, and preventing damage from free radicals. Selenium works as a powerful antioxidant and helps reduce buildup of LDL cholesterol and plaque in the blood vessels. A cup of couscous also provides you with about 7% off your daily value of manganese, which helps maintain the health of blood, bones, nerves, hormones, and brain. It also helps regulate blood sugar and metabolism.
Last but not least, couscous is a great source of lean, vegetarian protein. You get about 6g of protein from a cup of cooked couscous. Dietary protein promotes healthy skin, organs, muscles, and other body tissues. Protein is also an integral part of the wound healing process. It plays a role in the metabolism of enzymes that aid in wound healing, internally and externally. And if it is made from corn, couscous has even more health benefits as corn couscous is high in carbs and packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also relatively low in protein and fat.
Couscous has many health benefits over rice, pasta and even quinoa. It has fewer calories than quinoa and is much healthier when it comes in the whole wheat variety. At the same time, both white rice and white pasta are pretty much the same in terms of nutritional content. This makes couscous the ideal meal for pregnant women. One third of a cup of cooked rice and cooked pasta (which is one carb serving) contains about the same amount of calories, carbohydrate, protein, fat, sodium and potassium. However, white rice and white pasta are considered to be refined carbohydrates, because they’ve been stripped of their whole grain “goodness.” Refined grains may lead to more of a spike, or increase, in your blood glucose levels after eating them. You’re better off choosing brown rice or whole grain pasta, which will give you slightly more calories, but a bit more fibre and the nutritional benefits of eating a whole grain food.
Why you should eat healthy and not diet
Dieting means you restrict certain food groups. But eating a balanced diet ensures you get all the micronutrients and macronutrients your body needs. A well-balanced diet that focuses on macro as well as micronutrients can help you lose weight without any of the negative effects that diets have.
And even if you are trying to restrict your calorie intake, there are healthy food options such as gluten-free couscous and wholemeal couscous you can eat in delicious combinations with meat, veggies and spices.