Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates Counting and Glycemic Level

Carbohydrates Counting

Carbohydrates Counting is the break down into glucose, they have the greatest impact on blood glucose level and helps to control your blood glucose. You may need to learn to calculate the amount of carbohydrates you are eating so that you can adjust the dose of insulin accordingly. It’s important to keep track of the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack.

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A dietitian can teach you how to measure food portions and become an educated reader of food labels. He or she can also teach you how to pay special attention to serving size and carbohydrate content. If you’re taking insulin, a dietitian can teach you how to count the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack and adjust your insulin dose accordingly.

Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index is the numerical index given to a carbohydrate-rich food that is based on the average increase in blood glucose level occurring in blood after the food is eaten. The higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response.

The Glycemic Index tells us how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar.

The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar.

  • 55 or less = Low (good)
  • 56- 69 = Medium
  • 70 or higher = High (bad)

Some factors that affect GI: 

Processing (puffed cereals have a much higher GI than the grain they came from), ripeness of fruit (unripe bananas can have a GI of 43, where overripe ones have been clocked at 74), protein content (soy beans have a lower GI than other beans), fat content (peanuts have a very low GI), fiber (orange juice has a higher GI than oranges), and how small the particles are (whole grains have a relatively low GI, but grinding them into flour shoots up the GI).

Glycemic index is the scale that was created on a standard amount of carbohydrate per food (50 grams), it doesn’t give people information about the amount of food they are actually eating. This information too is important if we want to assess the true impact of carbohydrate consumption. For this reason, the concept of the glycemic load was created, which takes serving size into account.

Benefits of the Glycemic Index

Eating a lot of high GI foods can be harmful to your health as it pushes your body to extremes. This is especially true if you are overweight and sedentary. Switching to eating mainly low GI carbohydrates that slowly trickle glucose into your bloodstream keeps your energy levels balanced and will feel fuller for longer between meals.

Low GI food have beneficial effect:

  • people to lose and control weight
  • increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin
  • reduce the risk of heart disease
  • improve diabetes control
  • reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer
  • prolong physical endurance
  • help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise

Glycemic Index

GLYCEMIC LOAD

The glycemic load of a food is the glycemic index divided by hundred and multiplied by its available carbohydrate content (i.e. carbohydrate minus fibre) in grams.

For a diet with a lower glycemic load, eat:

  • More whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables without starch, and other foods with a low glycemic index
  • Fewer foods with a high glycemic index, like potatoes, white rice, and white bread
  • Less of sugary foods, including candy, cookies, cakes, and sweet drinks

The concept of  Glycemic load (GL)

Glycemic load (GL) was developed by scientists to simultaneously describe the quality (GI) and quantity of carbohydrates in a food serving, meal, or diet. The GL of a single food is calculated by multiplying the GI by the amount of carbohydrate in grams (g) provided by a food serving and then dividing the total by 100.

GLFood = (GIFood x amount (g) of available carbohydrate food per serving)/100

For a typical serving of a food, GL would be considered high with GL≥20, intermediate with GL of 11-19, and low with GL≤10. Using the above-mentioned example, despite similar GIs, one serving of watermelon has a GL of 8, while a medium-sized doughnut has a GL of 17. Dietary GL is the sum of the GLs for all foods consumed in the diet.

All healthy food choices generally are not low-GI foods. For example, intermediate-to-high-GI foods like parsnip, watermelon, banana, and pineapple, have low-to-intermediate GLs.

For example, if we consider watermelon. Water melon has a high glycemic Index (about 72). However, a serving of 120g of watermelon has only about 6g of available carbohydrate per serving. So its glycemic load is pretty low i.e. 72/100 x 6 = 4.32.

 

 

Glycemic Load

 

 

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Stress, Gut Health and Probiotics

“Stress is a common experience of daily living”.

Stress, Deadlines, Stuck in traffic, Examinations, Workload and having too much to do in life. But not enough time to do anything. Most of us are familiar with these kinds of daily stresses that get our heart racing, breath quickening, and stomach-churning. These can promote the consumption of highly palatable foods, or junk foods,  which influence gut bacteria to thrive. Stressful life events are associated with the onset of symptoms, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Peptic ulcer disease.

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In this paragraph it is shown that there’s a strong connection or link between the gut, which refers to the gastrointestinal tract, and the brain. Firstly, Stress and depression can reshape or alter the gut bacteria’s composition. Secondly, they release metabolites, toxins, and neuro-hormones that can affect appetite, mood, or sleep habits, reducing inflammation in the body. Thirdly, these can contribute to depression, affecting cognitive function and response to stress.

We might already eat a lot of Gut-friendly bacteria called probiotic foods, in our diet such as yogurt or kimchi. Some people take a daily probiotic supplement to reap their potential benefits. However, it is also important to know how to improve digestion and stress issues naturally at home.

There are a few simple ways in which you can improve digestion which include:

  • Physical exercises (including Yoga),
  • By adopting eating healthy food and hydrate yourself,
  • Including few probiotic drinks in your diet such as Buttermilk, Simple milk kefir, Coconut water Kefir, Apple cider vinegar drink, Probiotic vegetable juice. Probiotic foods such as dosa, idli and rice kanji, and healthy mood-boosting foods, dark chocolate, banana, berries,  nuts, and seeds, etc.
Probiotics food
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In conclusion, we can say that Probiotics have promising potential treatment for depression, to prevent intestinal problems linked to chronic stress and other mental health conditions.

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PCOS

PCOS/PCOD Management – Nutrition and Lifestyle Changes

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is additionally referred to as Polycystic ovarian Disease (PCOD). Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common problem among teen girls and young women. Almost 1 out of 10 women has PCOS/ PCOD. It’s becoming more common due to increased awareness and therefore the global increase within the prevalence of overweight and obesity. It’s  also a heterogeneous disorder, that has been difficult to define because there is no single abnormality or diagnostic test that defines the syndrome.

PCOS/ PCOD is the most common endocrinopathy in reproductive-aged women and ovarian disorder related to excess androgen in women affecting 6 – 21% (depending on the applied diagnostic criteria) of this population worldwide. It has associations with metabolic syndromes, psychological mentality, and reproductive organs in women.

PCOD
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What is PCOS/PCOD?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormone imbalance which will cause irregular periods, unwanted hair growth, and acne. PCOS begins during a girl’s teen years and this can be mild to severe.

The Rotterdam 2003 criteria define PCOS because the incidence of any two of the three key criteria, namely, oligo-ovulation and/or anovulation, excess androgen activity, and polycystic ovaries.

Do you need to know about PCOS/PCOD? Do you want to have a healthy lifestyle? This article will surely help you!

PCOS/PCOD TIP: Diet and lifestyle play a important role in the development of PCOS/ PCOD and their modification remains the primary line of treatment. Follow a balance diet. Your body needs adequate amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

PCOS
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 Pathogenesis of PCOS/PCOD

 The complex pathogenesis involves:

  1. hypothalamic-pituitary gonadotropin secretion abnormality,
  2. impaired ovary steroidogenesis,
  3. Insulin resistance (IR).

The resulting complex of physiological dysfunction produced by interrelated metabolic and hormonal factors predisposes patients with PCOS to different complications like endometrial hyperplasia and cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), miscarriage, and acanthosis nigricans (AN).

The complications increase the burden faced by patients, besides affecting social and emotional wellbeing, especially in adolescents, who are under the impression of being afflicted by a ‘disease’.

Diagnosis of  PCOS/PCOD

The syndrome may be diagnosed if a minimum of  two of the subsequent are present:

Oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea is related to decreased ovulation. PCOS/ PCOD is that the most commonest explanation for  anovulatory infertility

  • Hyperandrogenemia or clinical features of androgen excess, within the absence of other underlying disease states
  • Abnormal ovarian ultrasound with 12 follicles in each ovary each having a diameter of 2 – 9 mm, or increased ovarian volume
  • Increased LH with increased LH/FSH ratio.

The symptoms of PCOS/PCOD:

 PCOS is characterized by hyperandrogenism and/or chronic anovulation which can manifest with a range of symptoms (e.g., hirsutism, acne, oligomenorrhea, and infertility)  and is associated with increased risk of cardiometabolic disease, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance (IR), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

  • Absent, infrequent, or irregular periods
  • Excess hair (hirsutism) particularly on your face, chest, and stomach
  • Difficulty controlling weight
  • Thinning of hair
  • Acne
  • Infertility (problems conceiving)
  • Tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Raised cholesterol
  • Under or overactive thyroid
  • Low self-esteem 
Pcos Symptoms
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What Causes PCOS/PCOD

Genetics, hormones, and lifestyle factors all play a role in PCOS/ PCOD. Women with PCOS/ PCOD are 50% more likely to have a mother, aunt, or sister with PCOS and the condition is more common in women of Asian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander and African backgrounds.

Treatment for PCOS/PCOD

Treatment for PCOS/PCOD includes insulin-lowering drugs, anti-androgen therapy, oral contraceptives, and the implementation of lifestyle changes, including weight loss if necessary. Weight loss, accompanied by an increase in insulin sensitivity (Si), has proven to be a successful treatment for the metabolic and hormonal abnormalities characteristic of the PCOS population/ PCOD.

 Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome is individualized based on the patient’s presentation and desire for pregnancy. For patients who are overweight, weight loss is recommended. Clomiphene and letrozole are first-line medications for infertility. Metformin is the first-line medication for metabolic manifestations, such as hyperglycemia. Hormonal contraceptives are first-line therapy for irregular menses and dermatologic manifestations.

Nutrition Goals for Improving PCOS/PCOD

  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and beans.
  • Eat protein-containing foods such as lean meats, poultry, and eggs, with meals and snacks to add fullness and help manage blood sugar levels.
  • Select foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Examples include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna), seeds (flax seeds, chia seeds), oils (canola, olive, peanut), and nuts (walnuts).
  • Limit simple sugars and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, rice, and sugar in beverages and desserts.

 

PCOS Nutritition
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Tips for a Healthy PCOS/PCOD Lifestyle:

  • Eat a colorful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day to get a wide range of protective nutrients.
  • Choose whole grains which can lower insulin resistance.
  • Consume dark leafy greens. These foods are rich sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and foods like desserts. High sugar content in the diet increases insulin resistance.
  • Engage in moderate or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on most days of the week for weight loss and maintenance. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Athletes with PCOS have specific needs and are advised to seek the assistance of a dietitian for a personalized eating plan.

Lifestyle Modification and PCOS/PCOD Lifestyle

Lifestyle is closely related to the physical and mental health of people and is effective in the onset or development of many diseases including PCOS/ PCOD. Obesity  is also a major factor in the incidence and intensity of PCOS/ PCOD. Obesity aggravates the clinical presentation of the disease in terms of both fertility and metabolism. Women with PCOS/ PCOD have shown 30-40% progression to type 2 diabetes (T2D), adipose tissue dysfunction, abnormalities in lipid metabolism, and body fat distribution. There is no definite treatment, hence women with PCOS/ PCOD are treated on signs and symptoms. The most common medication include oral contraceptives (OCPs), antiandrogen topical medication, and gonadotropins. Low fat, hypo-caloric-dash diet, and exercise have shown a 5% improvement in women with PCOS/ PCOD with reduction of IR, triglycerides, and VLDL.

Long-term lifestyle modification is mainly common to overweight women with PCOS/ PCOD. A weekly or monthly intervention of an obstetrician/gynecologist, psychiatrist, dietitian, and fitness professional helps in restoration of ovulation (60/67 previously anovulatory women), improvements in pregnancy (52/67), and reduction in miscarriage rates (75% preintervention to 18% post-intervention).

healthy Diet
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Nutrition and Lifestyle Modification

Studies revealed that lifestyle modification consisting of weekly/biweekly group meetings with monitoring by a dietitian and exercise physiologist and individualized nutrition plans and exercise plans (150 min/week). While significant reductions in androgens occurred only for the combination of metformin and dietary advice, significant weight reductions occurred for both lifestyle treatment and lifestyle treatment with metformin (850 mg twice daily). It provides good evidence that long-term adoption of these principles in a primary healthcare setting will help reduce the risk of IGT and type 2 diabetes, and aid in the long-term management of reproductive fitness in women with PCOS/ PCOD.

Learn and practice “mindful” eating. This means eating is necessary when our body needs fuel, not when we are bored or you have a cravings. Eat at least 5 total servings of fruits and vegetables every day. These foods are full of nutrients, and most are low in calories. Along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, you get important phytochemicals (natural plant compounds) that can help ease the hormonal imbalances that come with PCOS.

  • If you like fruit juice, choose brands that are 100% real juice, and drink it in moderation. Whole fruit is a more healthful choice than fruit juice because it contains fiber.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and nicotine. These can increase your insulin levels, even if you do not have high blood glucose.
  • Keep a food journal to help you see your eating patterns. This makes it easier to find areas where you could make changes.

Exercise and PCOS/PCOD

There is surprisingly scant literature on the role of exercise in managing patients with PCOS/ PCOD. What we know, and what we recommend, must therefore come largely from studies involving non-PCOS subjects. We currently recommend 30 min of exercise on at least 5 days of the week to maintain weight and for a healthy lifestyle. Recent studies showed that 60 – 75 min of the moderate-to-high intensity of physical activity promotes a greater long-term   (12 – 18 months) weight loss compared with the conventional recommendation for optimum health.

Accumulation of exercise in frequent short periods of physical activity appears to have a similar influence in long-term weight loss programs. Activity related to daily living and leisure time activity is an important determinant of body weight but not of the response to weight management programs. A realistic approach to exercise depends on the assessment of the patient’s current exercise habits, preferences regarding the type of exercise, and inclination to undertake exercise.

pcos exercise
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Types of Exercises:

Aerobic exercise. This is important for cardiovascular fitness and to increase energy expenditure as part of a weight loss program. It is important to recognize that the overweight and the unfit patient may have limited capacity for aerobic exercise.

Exercises to increase suppleness and flexibility. Although they may not greatly increase calorie expenditure, such exercises may increase engagement with an exercise program, decrease the risk of injury with exercise, and promote a sense of well-being.

 Endurance exercise. For patients who cannot manage high-intensity exercise, prolonged lower-level activity is an appropriate way to gain fitness and increase energy expenditure. Walking with a pedometer can be a very useful approach to begin to increase energy expenditure.

Resistance training. Increase in muscle strength and mass with weight training has been neglected as a means of improving function and body composition until recently. The high metabolic rate of muscle means, muscle mass is an important determinant of resting energy expenditure and resistance training. This is now regarded as a highly acceptable way to influence weight, body composition, and insulin sensitivity.

Other Benefits of Exercise

Being active can also help you reduce stress. Less stress is important to your health for many reasons:

  • Chronic stress can raise levels of the hormone cortisol:
  • Cortisol makes it easy to store fat around your abdominal organs. This is especially true if you tend to eat more when you feel stressed.
  • Cortisol can also make estrogen imbalances worse. This can interfere with normal periods and fertility.
  • Stress also makes the body take glucose from storage and release it into your blood.

 

Frequently asked questions

 Does PCOS mean I have cysts on my ovaries?

The term “polycystic ovaries” means that there are lots of tiny cysts, or bumps, inside of the ovaries. Some young women with PCOS have these cysts; others only have a few.

Why do I get acne and/or extra hair on my body?

Acne and extra hair on your face and body can happen if your body is making too much testosterone. If you are suffering from PCOD/ PCOS, then your ovaries may secrete a little bit more testosterone than they are supposed to. Skin cells and hair follicles can be extremely sensitive to the small increases in testosterone found in young women with PCOS/ PCOD.

Ask your health care provider about a weight loss plan if you are overweight.

If you’re overweight, losing weight may lessen some of the symptoms of PCOS/ PCOD. Consult health care provider or nutritionist about healthy ways to lose weight, exercising more and following a diet plan that can help to manage insulin levels. Thus, Healthy eating can also keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of developing diabetes.

Why are periods becomes so irregular?

Having PCOS/ PCOD means that your ovaries aren’t getting the right (hormonal) signals from your pituitary gland. Without these signals, you will not ovulate (make eggs) every month. Period may be irregular, or you may not have a period at all.

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Granola Bar

Granola Bar Recipe (Home – made)

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Granola Bar

Granola Bar Recipe (Home – made)

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 10 - 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 - 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 Minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x

Description

Meet…the healthy, soft, chewy, amazingly delicious homemade granola bars that you can’t stop making. Soft, Chewy granola bars are so easy to make at home and they are the perfect for you with combination of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.

Granola Bar

 

Granola bars are one of the most convenient foods. They are full of whole ingredients that are Healthy as well as Nutritious. These bars are easily available in stores or online, but there are a ton of benefits to making your own. You can control the sweetness, come up with your own combinations of flavors, and control what ingredients you’re adding into your bars according to your health. They are Gluten- free.

 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2  cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
  • 30 g dates
  • 50 g smooth creamy natural pea nut butter.
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 100 ml  honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 g dried fruit, chopped if large (I used dried cranberries)
  • 50 g Almonds
  • 20 g Flax seeds
  • 20 g Pumpkin seeds
  • Luke warm water – if required

Instructions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, chopped dates, and seeds and salt. Microwave for 5 minutes.
  3. Melt honey and peanut butter in a pan. Pour the melted honey and peanut butter and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix well, until oat and nut is lightly coated. Use spatula and try to coat it first with the melted honey butter and peanut.
  4. You can add luke warm water while mixing if it does not coat all the ingredients. Pour the granola onto prepared baking tray and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.
  5. Bake until lightly golden, about 21 to 24 minutes. (For extra-clumpy granola, press the granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer). The granola will further crisp up as it cools for 10 – 15 minutes.
  6. Cut into rectangular shapes, then set aside.
  7. Let the granola bar cool completely, undisturbed (at least 45 minutes).
  8. Store the granola bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. The dried fruit can freeze solid, so let it warm to room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving 1 pc.

Notes

Try pressing them down again after baking. Let them cool for 10 minutes and press down firmly while warm, then let them cool completely before cutting.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 158 – 160 kcal
  • Sodium: 131.6 – 132 mg
  • Fat: 3.5 - 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.5 – 35 g
  • Fiber: 2.9 – 3 g
  • Protein: 4.5 – 5 g

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Dash diet

DASH Diet: Hypertension Eating Plan

Hypertension or high blood pressure has been on the rise in the US for the past 50 years. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. First introduced in 1997, it is a diet promoted by the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for reducing blood pressure. Various organizations have ranked it as one of the “Best Overall Diets.” The DASH diet is a well-balanced, lifelong approach to healthy eating that was discovered in research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine the role of dietary eating patterns on blood pressure.

Hypertension
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MANAGEMENT OF HYPERTENSION :

Initial management of hypertension uses a two-pronged approach, with emphasis on Pharmacotherapy and Non-pharmacotherapy. Non – pharmacological therapy (Lifestyle modifications) has an important role in both non-hypertensive & hypertensive individuals. Lifestyle modifications have the potential to prevent hypertension as well as to reduce BP and lower the risk of BP-related complications.

The following non-pharmacotherapeutic interventions:

NUTRITION :

The following Dietary changes are of paramount importance: Reduction of salt intake to an average of not more than 5 g per day (WHO, 2012), moderate fat intake, following the DASH diet plan (Dietary approaches to stop hypertension), the avoidance of a high alcohol intake, and restriction of energy intake appropriate to body needs.

What is the DASH Diet?

The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was developed through research funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It is effective in lowering blood pressure and blood lipid levels, which ultimately reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease.

This diet plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and seeds, nuts, and legumes. It also recommends limiting sugary beverages, sweets, sodium, and red meats. The DASH diet is rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which are protective against high blood pressure. DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also contains less salt and sodium, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages, fats, and red meats. This diet helps to lower blood pressure and also has suitable effects on blood lipids.

Dash Diet
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Origin of DASH Diet

The DASH diet originated out of clinical studies by the National Institute of Health. These studies were designed to test which diets are best suited to reducing hypertension. The National Institute of Health examined three different diets in the clinical studies and then examined their results. The DASH diet is not necessarily a “diet” rather it is a way of eating that will promote long-term health. The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) recommends the DASH diet as “an ideal eating plan for all Americans.”

Dash Diet
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The characteristics of the DASH diet:

Lower sodium intake

The DASH diet provides guidelines for your sodium and caloric intake. The standard DASH diet allows up to a maximum of 2300 mg of sodium per day and the low-sodium version of the DASH diet allows up to 1500 mg of sodium per day. The average American diet contains up to 3500 mg of sodium per day.

Increased vitamins and minerals

All your essential vitamins and minerals are provided on the DASH diet by the many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other whole foods that you are encouraged to eat on the diet. The diet also includes an ample supply of minerals like magnesium and potassium that help to lower or improve your blood pressure.

Increased good fats

Consuming a lot of good fats and minimizing bad fats is highly encouraged on the DASH diet. Saturated and Trans fats should be replaced with lean meats, omega-3’s from fish and seafood, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds. Good fats help to optimize our overall health by lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.

Increased fiber consumption

The DASH diet recommends increasing your fiber consumption by eating several servings of fruits, vegetables, and grains every day. This keeps you feeling full and helps to reduce blood pressure. High fiber consumption also helps to maintain good blood sugar levels and it also encourages weight loss.

Reduction of alcohol and caffeine

The DASH diet suggests limiting your intake of alcohol, soda, tea, and coffee because they offer no nutritional value, typically contain a lot of sugar and they can elevate blood pressure. This is an important lifestyle modification for reducing blood pressure. Alcohol raises blood pressure and also can harm vital organs like the liver, brain, and heart. For persons who consume alcohol, the recommendations are, that men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women no more than one drink per day as supported by the AHA 2006 scientific statement of hypertension management.

Customized sodium and caloric intake

In the same way that you can choose a 2300 mg/day or 1500 mg/day sodium intake DASH diet, you can also choose the most suitable caloric intake level for you

Dash diet

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Benefits of the DASH Diet

The DASH eating plan is effective for the prevention and management of hypertension. Hypertension is a clinical term for high blood pressure. Approximately 1 in 3 American adults have hypertension. This “silent killer,” which often lacks overt symptoms, can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.

Hypertension, a chronic disease, is treated with prescription medications. However, diet and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce blood pressure. Research shows that in some individuals, the DASH eating plan may reduce blood pressure as much or more than prescribed drugs. The DASH eating plan, in combination with a sodium-restricted diet (1500mg/day), can produce even greater results in lowering blood pressure.

The DASH diet is supportive of digestive health and decreases the risk of the development of colorectal cancer. This may be due to an increased level of fiber or higher consumption of dairy.

The DASH eating pattern support kidney health. Studies have shown that a DASH diet decreases the risk for urinary albumin excretion and protects against rapid decreases in glomerular filtration, both of which are indicators of decreasing kidney function. It is also protective against the development of kidney stones.

dash diet
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Researches on DASH DIET

Over the years several studies have proven that the DASH diet is not only effective for lowering blood pressure through diet but it is also effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, several types of cancers, stroke, heart disease, kidney stones, kidney disease, diabetes, heart failure, and many other diseases. The DASH diet has also been shown to promote weight loss and improve overall health.

Research has found that diet affects the development of high blood pressure, or hypertension (the medical term). Recently, two studies showed that following a particular eating plan—called the DASH diet—and reducing the amount of sodium consumed lowers blood pressure. While each step alone lowers blood pressure, the combination of the eating plan and a reduced sodium intake gives the biggest benefit and may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure.

The DASH diet research findings, which tells about high blood pressure, and how to follow the DASH diet and reduce the number of sodium consumptions. The menus and recipes are  for two levels of daily sodium consumption —2,400 milligrams (the upper limit of current recommendations by the Federal Government’s National High Blood. Pressure Education Program, or NHBPEP, and the amount used to figure food labels’ Nutrition Facts Daily Value) and 1,500 milligrams.

NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR DASH DIET

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan that originally lowers blood pressure but also is “heart-healthy” and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. This eating plan is for 1,800 calories per day. The DASH plan is high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. The plan also focuses on lowering salt intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. Even lower salt intake (1,500 mg per day) can lower blood pressure even more. Eating nutritious foods will help to control blood pressure. The DASH diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk products, and whole grains. It is a Mediterranean diet full of nutrients that are good for your heart and good for your health.

DASH Diet means eating a variety of foods and food groups that research has shown can be beneficial to heart health while avoiding others, that are harmful.

Key components include the following:

  1. Fruits and vegetables
  2. Whole grains
  3. Nuts, seeds, and legumes
  4. Lean protein—fish and poultry are emphasized, while red and processed meat consumption is limited
  5. Low-fat or fat-free dairy
  6. Avoidance of sugar-sweetened beverages
  7. Low sodium—when kept under 2,300 mg daily the diet is even more helpful with blood pressure, which can drop even lower with less than 1,500 mg daily sodium intake
  8. Higher levels of dietary nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber
  9. Lower levels of saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol
  10. Increased the fiber intake slowly, so that people can avoid becoming gassy or bloated.
  11. Keep food allergies and intolerances (e.g., lactose intolerance) in mind as you tailor this diet to individual needs.
  12. For example, most DASH diet guides don’t cover avocados. Some foods are may not be the best choice for their category. For example, pretzels are grains but don’t have a lot of fiber or nutrients.

DOES THE DASH DIET WORK?

The DASH diet has shown several benefits. It lowers blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) for people with hypertension, and also for people who have blood pressures in the normal range, whether or not they lower their sodium intake. Reductions in pressures occur within one week and keep dropping if sodium restriction is ongoing.

Photo by fcafodigital from Pexel

The DASH diet reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death on the order of approximately a 13% decrease in 10-year Framingham CVD risk. It is helpful with weight loss, it lowers hsCRP levels relative to usual diets (comparably to other healthy diets), and it also offers therapeutic benefit for a wide range of other clinical conditions, including the following:

  • Abnormal lipids
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Heart failure
  • Colon and rectal cancer chemoprevention
  • Insulin resistance and diabetes
  • Urolithiasis (kidney stones)
  • Gout
  • Kidney disease

OTHER LIFESTYLE CHANGES 

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WEIGHT REDUCTION:

The prevention and correction of overweight/obesity is a prudent way of reducing the risk of hypertension and indirectly coronary heart disease. The greater the weight loss, the greater the reduction in blood pressure. Meal patterns that rely heavily on processed foods containing more fats, sugar, and sodium, lead to steady weight gain and high BP.

QUIT SMOKING :

Smoking is a major risk factor leading to HTN and heart disease. Nicotine and Carbon monoxide present in smoke damages heart & blood vessels. Smoking also increases blood viscosity, clot formation and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. In patients with coronary heart disease, smoking cessation is associated with a 36% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY :

The role of physical activity in the treatment of hypertension is well known. Regular physical activity enhances the sense of well-being, improves functional health status, & reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

EXERCISE:

Researches showed that exercise incorporated lifestyle intervention can result in significantly better BP control among patients taking Pharmacotherapy for Hypertension. 30-45 minutes of moderate level activity on most days of the week can lose/maintain weight & helps to lower Blood pressure.

YOGA/ MEDITATION :

Yoga is a beneficial multifunctional therapeutic modality in the treatment of a variety of psychological and medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and COPD. Meditation helps to calm the body and soul and relaxation techniques such as massaging relieve stress. It might be that a reduction in stress and stimulation of the body might impart physiological benefits, says the American Heart Association.

CONCLUSION :

In conclusion, Hypertension is a major risk factor and a powerful predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The main thrust of primary prevention of hypertension includes a sustained effort on lifestyle modifications. Established nutrition recommendations are proven to help reduce blood pressure in general populations. Thus, decrease the load of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and renal which are associated with hypertension. It encourages you to take a diet rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium and reduce your intake of sodium in your diet.

DASH diet is rich in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, fish, meat, poultry, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy products. The diet helps you to reduce your systolic blood pressure by 8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 mmHg, which could make a lot of difference in reducing morbidity and mortality in hypertensive patients. DASH diet also prevents osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes as it has a high quotient of antioxidant-rich food.

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Intermittent fasting – The Fast and Feast diet

Intermittent fasting is also called “alternate day fasting” or “intermittent energy restriction.” It is the process of fasting and feasting alternately. It consists of eating very little or nothing at all on certain days of the week or times of the day.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

‘Intermittent fasting’ involves alternating cycles of eating and fasting without specifying which types of foods can be eaten on non-fasting days. A person’s intake is often limited to non-calorific fluids such as water, tea, coffee, and diet drinks, or it may allow a very restricted amount of daily calories on a fasting diet. Intermittent fasting became popular over the past decade, but many people are still confused about what fasting entails. Intermittent fasting involves a short period of not eating followed by a period of eating freely. Fasting does not equate to starvation, and with all intermittent fasting regimens, get to eat every day.

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Intermittent fasting is in trend and type of eating pattern in which we have to practice to limit the food intake in a way, that cycles between defined periods of fasting and non-fasting. Intermittent fasting is a type of eating with restricted calorie consumption or the use of reserved calories as fuel for the body.  It is the type of fasting restrictive diet and thus it is categorized under FAD Diet.

During periods of fasting, it’s important to consume lots of protein. Consuming at least 50 grams of protein on a fast day will help keep hunger at bay and muscle mass high. Examples of high protein fast day meals include shakes with lots of Greek yogurts, fruits, and veggies, or a large salad with lean meat, eggs, legumes or nuts. Intermittent fasting regimens involve periods of not eating followed by a period of eating freely. It is important to consume protein during periods of fasting. Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to achieve healthy body weight.

Types of Intermittent fasting
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Types of intermittent fasting

There is more than one way to implement intermittent fasting, and different methods will produce different results.

  • A 20-hour fast every day. This fast ends with one big meal each evening. During the 20 hour fasting period, raw fruits, vegetables, and some lean protein are allowed.
  • The 5:2 system. In this method, fasting is done any two non-consecutive days of the week. On fasting days, either one can consume nothing at all or limits to 500-600 calories. On the other 5 days of the week, eating isn’t restricted.
  • The Eat-Stop-Eat diet. This is a variation of the 6:1 diet which can include two 24-hour fasts per week; this involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
Types of Intermittent fasting
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  • The 16:8 diet. This is a type of fasting for 16 hours per day by consuming all meals within an eight-hour window. Also called the Lean-gains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting the daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then fasting for 16 hours in between.
  • Extended overnight fast. In this version just lengthen overnight fast to last 14 hours. In other words, to fit regular meals into a span of 10 hours and fast for 14 hours overnight. This way most of the fast occurs while sleeping – painless.
  • Alternate day fasting. This consists of eating regularly one day, 20% of your normal intake the next (about 400 calories), and repeating that pattern continuously.

The most researched intermittent fasting methods are included and explained:

1. Lean-gains Daily Intermittent Fasting:

It is a 16–hour fast followed by an 8–hour eating period. Lean-gains intermittent fasting is done every day, so it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. This is a great method for achieving and maintaining a lean physique.

HOW TO DO IT:

  • Fast for 16 hours every day (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping).
  • Eat the first meal of the day after the 16-hour fast.
  • After 8 hours first meal, start another 16-hour fast.
  • It does not matter when to start the 8-hour feeding period.
Types of intermittent fasting
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2. Weekly Intermittent Fasting 

If one is looking to bulk up or keep weight on, then this is a great option. Since this is only cutting out two meals per week and can enjoy many physiological benefits of fasting without losing weight.

HOW TO DO IT:

  • Fast for 24 hours every week (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping).
  • In this example, lunch on Monday is the last meal of the day. Then fast until lunch on Tuesday.

3. Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting (Fast for alternating 24-hour periods)

This style of intermittent fasting is often used in research studies, but, it isn’t very popular in the real world.

HOW TO DO IT:

  • Every other evening starts a 24-hour fast (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping). In the example below, would finish the dinner and begin a 24-hour fast on Monday at 8 pm.
  • Break the fast and start a 24-hour feeding period every other evening. For example, one can start fasting on Monday at 8 pm and eat the next meal on Tuesday at 8 pm.
  • Ideally, the alternate day intermittent fasting schedule should allow eating at least one meal a day.

Fed and Fasted

There are some true benefits of fasting and some dangers, and some claims are not backed up by science.

types of intermittent fasting
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Based on studies over the past two years from the National Institutes of Health and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fasting can have positive benefits when done correctly. Scientists are still researching the topic, but so far there is good news. Intermittent fasting has a link to decreases in weight, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation. Diabetes, heart disease, and blood sugar levels are generally low in people who fast. Fasting wasn’t linked to significant fatigue or mental impairments either.

Fasting every other day, or going for too long without food may lead to serious starvation-like effects such as heart and organ damage and muscle loss. People also stayed hungry while they fasted, no matter how long they kept up the diet.

Fed state

  1. Insulin high.
  2. Glucose high.
  3. Burning glucose.
  4. Storing fat.

 Fasted State

  1. Insulin low.
  2. Glucose low.
  3. Liberating fat.
  4. Burning fat

Changes that take place during Fasting

  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5 -fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain.
  • Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.
  • Cellular repair: When fasted, cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells.
  • Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease. These changes in hormone levels, cell function, and gene expression are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Fasting is an effective way of achieving a healthy body weight.

In a recent year-long study, adults with obesity lost 6% of body weight (approximately 13 pounds) and maintained this weight loss with alternate-day fasting. Studies also support the use of 5:2 and 16:8 for weight loss. After 3-6 months of 5:2 or 16:8, people with obesity decreased body weight by 3 – 7% (8 -15 pounds).

Intermittent fasting can also help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Recent evidence shows that fasting can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by up 15%, triglycerides by up to 25%, and raise “good” HDL cholesterol by up to 10%. Blood pressure also decreases by 5 -10 mm Hg with various fasting regimens. Reductions in diabetes risk have also been observed during periods of fasting. For instance, intermittent fasting has been shown to lower blood glucose, insulin, and improve insulin sensitivity in people with obesity and pre-diabetes. Reduction in risk for heart disease and diabetes can be attributed to weight loss associated with intermittent fasting.

Researches On Intermittent Fasting

More recently, it’s been shown that intermittent fasting may help slow aging and extend lifespan. In a very recent study conducted at Harvard University, fasting was shown to help keep certain cell components in a “youthful” state, which may in turn improve life expectancy.

More and more scientific evidence shows that fasting is a great way to lower chronic disease risk, slow aging, and achieve healthy body weight.

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Fasting simplifies our day by reducing the number of meals you have to prepare.
  • Intermittent fasting helps to live longer. Scientists have known for a long time that restricting calories can lengthen life. Intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction.
  • Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer. A small amount of medical research has indicated that fasting might be helpful in the fight against cancer.
  • Fasting can help to get lean. Fasting puts the body in a fat-burning state that is rarely reached while following a normal eating schedule.
  • Intermittent fasting is much easier than traditional diets. The reason most diets fail is that we don’t follow the diet over the long term. Fasting is a weight loss method that is remarkably easy to stick to long-term.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
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  • Aids weight loss.
  • Protects heart health.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Protects brain functioning.
  • Inhibits cancer cell growth.
  • Reduce bad cholesterol
  • Reduce aging process
  • Improves metabolism
  • Promotes longevity
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves neurodegenerative diseases
  • Normalizes blood pressure
  • Promotes fat loss.
  • Improves cellular regeneration and repair.
  • Improves lipid parameters
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Improves allergies.

 Safety and Side Effects

Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting. One may also feel weak and our brain may not perform well. This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for our body to adapt to the new meal schedule. If we have a medical condition, we should consult with the doctor before trying intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if one is healthy and well-nourished.

Avoid Intermittent Fasting, if you have these problems:

  • Diabetes.
  • Blood sugar regulation.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Take medications.
  • Are underweight.
  • Have a history of eating disorders.
  • A woman who is trying to conceive.
  • Has a history of amenorrhea.
  • Pregnant 
  • Breastfeeding.

People with type 1 diabetes or women who are pregnant or nursing should not try these diets. Children should not try fasting as it may impede their growth. Keep in mind that intermittent fasting is just one option for weight loss. While some people may find fasting easier to stick to than daily calorie restriction, others may not. All in all, people should choose a diet that they can easily incorporate into their lifestyle and stick to long-term.

Baby taking Insulin
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There is quite a lot of contrasting findings of intermittent fasting, but the one common message is that more evidence to examine the effects of this method; in particular longer-term human studies. However, current research indicates that intermittent fasting can be an effective method to promote weight loss, so this may be worth considering for some individuals while weighing up the pros and cons of intermittent fasting as discussed in this article.

COMMON ARGUMENTS FOR FASTING DIETS

  • Our ancestors would have had periods of fasting depending on food availability.
  • Some people prefer an ‘all or nothing approach when trying to restrict calories for weight loss compared to a ‘moderation’ approach.
  • Promoters of intermittent fasting report a host of long-term health benefits, such as increased longevity, improved metabolic health, improved weight loss, and a reduction in diseases, e.g. heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

COMMON ARGUMENTS AGAINST FASTING DIET

  • May lead to tiredness, headaches, lack of concentration, and poor mood.
  • May be dangerous if unsupervised by a medical professional depending on the person’s age, medical history, and lifestyle.
  • Not a very balanced approach, potential to interfere with metabolic rate.
  • There was an overall lack of evidence and no significant differences in outcomes found between more moderate daily restriction and this extreme fasting approach.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.

Can I Drink Liquids during the Fast?

Yes. Water, Coffee, tea, and other non-caloric beverages are fine to drink during Intermittent fasting. Try to avoid sugar in your coffee. Small amounts of milk or cream will be okay. Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, as it can blunt hunger.

Isn’t It Unhealthy to Skip Breakfast?

No. The problem is that most stereotypical breakfast skippers have unhealthy lifestyles. You make sure to eat healthy food for the rest of the day then the practice will be perfectly healthy.

Can I Take Supplements While Fasting?

Yes. However, keep in mind that some supplements like fat-soluble vitamins may work better when taken with meals.

Can I Work out while Fasted?

Yes, fasted workouts are fine. Some people recommend taking branched-chain amino acids  (BCAAs) before a fasted workout.

Will Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?

All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, which is why it’s important to lift weights and keep your protein intake high. One study showed that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than regular calorie restriction.

Should Kids Fast?

It will be better if you don’t allow our children to do fasting.

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Constipation: Remedies and Diet

Constipation is irregular, infrequent or difficult passage of faeces. It is most often defined as having a bowel movement less than 3 times per week and often associated with hard stools or problems passing stools. People may suffer from pain while passing stools or may be unable to have a bowel movement after straining or pushing. It is the most common physiological disorder of the alimentary tract. Constipation is characterized by incomplete evacuation of hard, dried stools. Mostly,  occurs commonly in children, adolescents, adults on low fibre diets, patients confined to bed, in individuals and in elderly persons.

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What is Constipation?

Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem, which causes many expenses for the community with an estimated prevalence of 1% to 80%, worldwide, where the condition is characterized by a wide geographical variation.

Types of Constipation

There are three main types of constipation:

  1. Atonic  (lazy bowel): There is loss of muscle tone causing weak peristalsis due to lack of fluids, roughage and potassium, vitamin B Complex deficiency, irregular defecation habit and poor personnel hygiene, excessive purgation or use of enema, sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise.
  2. Spastic: It results from excessive tone of the colonic muscle.
  3. Obstructive : It occurs usually due to obstruction in the colon, cancer or any other obstruction due to inflammation or narrowing of the lumen.
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Causes of Constipation

. Constipation can occur with:

  1. Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners)
  2. Low-fiber diet
  3. Lack of physical activity
  4. Not drinking enough water
  5. Delay in going to the bathroom when you have the urge to move your bowels
  6. Stress and travel can also contribute to constipation or other changes in bowel habits.
  7. A change in regular routine or travelling
  8. Use of medications such as antacids with aluminum or calcium, antidepressants, antihistamines, narcotics (such as codeine), antispasmodics, diuretics, tranquilizers, some heart medications
  9. Use of supplements such as iron and calcium
  10. Health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, colorectal cancer, eating disorders, under-active thyroid, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, and depression. Moreover, Constipation is common during cancer treatment.

. Other causes of constipation may include:

  1. Colon cancer
  2. Diseases of the bowel, such as –  irritable bowel syndrome
  3. Mental health disorders
  4. Nervous system disorder.
  5. Pregnancy.

Possible complications

  1. Hemorrhoids
  2. Cracks or tears in the rectum
  3. Weakening of the muscles and ligaments that hold the rectum in place
  4. Blockage of stool in the large intestine

Faecal impaction is common in care homes and can lead to faecal incontinence. This is a costly consequence of untreated constipation. A related term is faecal loading, which describes the retention of faeces of any consistency. Faecal impaction is defined as the retention of solid faeces that prevents spontaneous evacuation.

Risk of constipation in Elderly people

For older adults in the community and in care settings, the risk of developing constipation may be increased by:

  1. Muscular weakness that limits general movement and the possibility of physical exercise as well as the ability to visit shops and carry shopping.
  2. Less mobile patients who experience a loss of sensation, or those who ignore the signal to empty their bowels to avoid inconveniencing a carer or because the toilets are inaccessible. In care settings, they may be offered a bed pan or commode and be unable to empty their bowels due to poor positioning or lack of privacy.
  3. Changes in the diet, including patients reducing fluid and fibre intake for fear of incontinence.
  4. Difficulty swallowing, which results in requirement for thickened fluids and modified consistency diets. This can restrict consumption of adequate fibre and fluid.
  5. Poor dentition, which can impact on dietary intake, including fibre-containing foods.
  6. Limited care assistance available at mealtimes for dependent individuals, to ensure appropriate diet and fluid provision.
  7. Development of co-morbid medical conditions and resulting poly-pharmacy including, in particular, analgesics and psychotropic drugs.
  8. Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, dementia and cognitive impairment.
  9. Use of a number of medicines that induce constipation, including antacids, calcium and iron supplements, as well as radiotherapy and opioid pain relief for cancer treatment.
  10. Socio-environmental factors including hospitalization and institutionalization.

Medications that can contribute to constipation include:

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1. Pain medications (narcotics)
2. Antihistamines
3. Antidepressant and anti-psychotic medications
4. Some seizure medications
5. Iron supplements
6. Sucralfate and some antacids such as TUMS
7. Some blood pressure medications

Treatment:

1. Behavior changes: It is best to establish a regular pattern of bowel movement. People who have a normal bowel pattern usually defecate at approximately the same time every day. Since the bowels are most active after awakening and after meals, the most optimal time for a bowel movement is usually within the first two hours after waking and after breakfast. When the signals to defecate are ignored, these signals become weaker and weaker over time. Encouraging and allowing persons to pay attention to these signals can help decrease constipation.

2. Laxatives: Laxatives are substances that can help relieve constipation. However, the long-term use of laxatives can make your body depend on them. Talk to your health care provider about the use of laxatives to manage your constipation.
Fibre supplements are widely available and can be found in forms such as powders, tablets and capsules. If you have trouble eating enough fibre and want to use fibre supplements, check with your health care provider first.
Bulk forming laxatives are natural or synthetic products that have a laxative effect by absorbing water and increasing faecal mass.

3. Diet: For long term treatment it is always preferable to choose for a proper dietary management because intake of laxatives for a long period is not good for health. Increasing intake of fiber and fluid may help to feel less constipated and bloated. Above all, it keeps you to  be healthy.

Nutritional guidelines for alleviating constipation:

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When we experience constipation, it may be beneficial to include more insoluble fibre in the diet to promote regularity. It is important to increase fibre slowly over the course of a few weeks. Adding too much fibre too quickly can make constipation worse. Insoluble Fibre is not digested by the body and is excreted as waste. This is the type of fibre that promotes bowel regularity and discourages the development of haemorrhoids. Examples of foods that contain insoluble fibre include wheat bran, nuts, seeds, and skins on vegetables and fruits.

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Tips that should be followed

  1. Plenty of liquids.
  2. Increase  fibre intake.
  3. 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  4. Foods that promote regularity.
  5. Plum or prune juice.
  6. Include exercise or physical activity in  daily routine.
  7. Talk to your healthcare team about medication or supplements to help with constipation.

 Medical interventions are required only when constipation arises because of some structural or functional change in the gastrointestinal tract.

Exercise and Constipation

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In this paragraph, I am going to explain how regular Exercises can help to get relief from Constipation. Exercise therapy has shown significant efficacy as a means of treating various intestinal diseases especially, aerobic exercise, may be a viable and effective treatment for patients with constipation. Exercise helps constipation by lowering the time it takes food to move through the large intestine. This limits the amount of water that our body absorbs from the stool. Hard, dry stools are harder to pass.

Aerobic exercise speeds up your breathing and heart rate. This helps to stimulate the natural squeezing (or contractions) of muscles in our intestines. Intestinal muscles that squeeze better will help to move stools out quickly. A regular walking plan, even 10 to 15 minutes several times a day can help the body and digestive system work at their best. For example, aerobic exercise includes running, jogging, swimming, or swing dancing. All of these exercises can help keep the digestive tract healthy. Stretching may also help ease constipation, and yoga may, too.

In conclusion, it is always necessary to follow a proper dietary and lifestyle management which, can help in maintaining the normal bowel movements to a great extent.

How FoodNwellness will help you?

You can join the programme of Foodnwellness. This program gives you a personalized plan that includes the key to eat the right quantity of food and healthier options that you need to eat for Constipation and will also motivate you to have a healthy lifestyle. So, you may receive plenty of advice from everywhere but it is worthy when you receive correct knowledge from panel of health professionals. Foodnwellness will always guide regarding every issue you face and it will be taken care of by our Dietitians.

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Ash gourd juice

Winter Water Melon/ Ash gourd Juice

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Ash gourd juice

Winter Water Melon/ Ash gourd Juice

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Juice
  • Cuisine: Indian

Description

Ash gourd is commonly considered a vegetable, which is used in cooking a variety of staple Indian dishes such as kootu, curry, sabzi, and dal, besides sweets and candies called petha. The therapeutic and remedial traits offered by the vegetable, as well as ash gourd seeds and leaves are extensive. Ash gourd supplies plenty of nutrition, being inherently high on water content providing a cooling effect on the body, having zero cholesterol thereby augmenting heart health and abounding in a plethora of vitamins and minerals to facilitate key metabolic functions in the body. Ash Gourd may help improve digestion and help to lose weight effectively. It also a rich source of soluble fiber, which decreases the digestion process and makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Moreover, the roots and juice of ash gourd also have applications in skin and hair care.

Ash gourd juice

This remarkable natural wonder, which belongs to the cucumber and squash family, like snake gourd, also provides valuable curative properties for conditions such as fever, jaundice, and diabetes. This is owing to its noteworthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, due to the presence of beneficial plant compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids. In addition, the juice of ash gourd also heals hair and scalp disorders like dandruff and bald patches.


Scale

Ingredients

  • Ash gourd – 200 g
  • Lemon 34 drops
  • Rock salt – ¼ tsp
  • Roasted jeera powder/ Black pepper powder – ¼ tsp
  • Water- as required

Instructions

  1. Cut, peel and chop the ash gourd.
  2. Add ash gourd with water as required in a mixer/ juicer and blend to a smooth puree.
  3. Strain the puree.
  4. Add lemon juice, salt and roasted jeera powder/ black pepper powder


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 35 kcal
  • Sodium: 1.54 mg
  • Fat: 0.30 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.70 g
  • Fiber: 6.75 g
  • Protein: 1.60 g

Keywords: Ash gourd juice/ Winter melon juice

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“Seeds”: The Powerhouse of Nutrients

Choose the Correct Seeds for You

Seeds are small mighty kernels that are super-nutritious. They are also known as a powerhouse of nutrients and daily consumption provides a myriad list of health benefits. They contain all the starting materials necessary to develop into complex plants.  These contain an ample amount of fibre, healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in them. They are extremely versatile when incorporated into any recipe.  When consumed as part of a healthy diet, seeds can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. They can help you to lose weight while providing you with enough energy for the whole day.

SEEDS
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Do you need more Energy but want to lose weight? Do you want to Stay Healthy?  Follow this Article for that!

This article will describe the nutritional content and health benefits of the healthiest seeds you can eat.

Let’s have a look at some of the available Seeds which provide potential health benefits.

Note – These Seeds need to be incorporated into a well-balanced healthy diet in combination with lifestyle changes for them to work optimally.

Chia seeds

The chia seed has stolen the limelight lately on the supermarket red carpet, showing up in everything from energy bars to cereals to beverages. Chia comes from a desert plant in Mexico called Salvia hispanica. Rich sources of  omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. These tiny black and white seeds were used long ago by Mayan and Aztec cultures to boost energy. Chia seeds contain five times more calcium than milk, seven times more Vitamin C than oranges, three times more iron than spinach, twice the potassium content in Banana, and eight times more Omega 3 than Salmon.

Chia seeds
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Health Benefits 

High-quality protein, Boost Energy and Stamina, Controls hunger, Fights cervical and breast cancer, Good for heart health, Helps to treat Diabetes, Cleanses Colon, High in antioxidant, Helps to digest, Controls Hypertension, Builds muscle, and aids weight loss, Arthritis, Gets rid of Toxins, Reduce Inflammation, Promotes sound sleep, Hyperactivity disorder, Healthy skin, hair, nails.

 

Fenugreek Seeds

Trigonella foenum-graecum (L), or fenugreek is an annual herb belonging to the family Papilionaceae and is cultivated throughout the country. Fenugreek is native to Eastern Europe and parts of Asia but now widely cultivated almost all over the world for its leaves and seeds. They are commonly used as leafy vegetables and condiments, respectively. The leaves and seeds of the plant are widely used as a spice in food preparations and as ingredients in traditional medicine. Fenugreek contains a specialized type of soluble fiber “Galactomannan” that slows the absorption of glucose in the intestine.

Fenugreek seeds
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Health Benefits 

It has various potential pharmacological effects in modern medicine such as Antidiabetic, Antilipidemic, Antioxidant, Hypocholesterolemic, Hepatoprotective, anti-fungal, Anti-Inflammatory, Antibacterial, Anticarcinogenic, Antiulcer, Antilithigenic, Neuroprotective Effects, Cures Skin Inflammation and Scars, Lose weight by suppressing appetite, Remedy for fever and Aids Digestion.

 

Fennel Seeds

Fennel is traditionally used for medicinal and culinary purposes. The entire plant is valuable in the medicinal industry and its enlarged base is used as a vegetable. Its leaves are used for culinary purposes and its seeds as a spice and essential oil extraction. Fennel is a versatile ingredient in cooking because it can be used as an herb, spice, or vegetable. The aromatic and flavorful herb comes with a rich array of nutrients including Vitamin A, B6, C, and minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, manganese. Fennel is super high in dietary fiber, covering more than 25 percent of your daily value. Potassium, which is crucial in maintaining low blood pressure. Fennel seeds are a storehouse of antioxidants and volatile oils.

Fennel
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Health Benefits 

Acts as Diuretics and detoxifies the blood, relieves hemorrhoids, Aromatic quality relaxes blood vessels. Helps to get rid of intestinal worms, acts as a mouth freshener, anti-aging, prevents hair fall, antiseptic, anti-oxidant rich. Prevents eye disorders, reduces weight, relief from common cold and cough, promotes proper bowel movement, improves bone strength and development, relieves the menstrual problem.

 

Flax Seeds

Flaxseeds provides medicinal benefits. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and lignans (beneficial plant compounds). Recent studies show flaxseeds may help reduce belly fat and lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Flaxseeds are widely available in products such as frozen waffles, cereals, and meatless meal products. Rich in antioxidants, Vitamins B, Magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, high in dietary fibre.

Flax
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Health Benefits 

Flax seeds are beneficial who have problems with gas, it helps with eliminating gas. High in omega- 3, Potent anti-inflammatory, Fires up metabolism, Burns fat, aids in constipation, pulls debris out of the bowels, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, controls blood sugar, help to keep hunger at bay, which may aid weight control, rich in lignans which may reduce cancer, phytoestrogens that protect against cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial. Flaxseed have potential health benefits. such as in reduction of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis, autoimmune and neurological disorders. Flax protein helps in the prevention and treatment of heart disease and in supporting the immune system.

 

Pumpkin Seeds

The pumpkin plant, along with its seeds use in the traditional medicine of many countries, including India, Mexico, Canada, the United States, China, and Europe. Subtly sweet and nutty with a somewhat chewy texture, pumpkin seeds are lower in fat than other seeds and offer essential minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Great source of Vitamin B, E, and K. Pumpkin seeds also contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which likely contribute to their known prostate and heart health benefits. Pumpkin seeds contain with L- tryptophan, the relaxing amino acids. The only seeds that are alkaline-forming. 100 g seeds provide 30 g of protein. Raw pumpkin seeds are essential. They are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Pumpkin
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Health Benefits 

Raw pumpkin seeds are essential for skin health and wound healing and promote good prostate health and offer anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering benefits. Helps in reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol, inflammation for arthritis, blood pressure, boosting immunity, maintain sugar level, prevent kidney stone formation. Good for prostate health, liver functioning, gallbladder, disabilities of learning, inflammation, cancer management and Promote good sleep, lowers depression, preventing kidney stone formation, natural protector against osteoporosis, and inhibition of parasites.

 

Sunflower Seeds

Small but mighty, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of protein, iron, folate, zinc, dietary fiber, and vitamin E. In fact, sunflower seeds are the best whole-food source of vitamin E, a nutrient that may slow the effects of aging boosts the immune system, and an excellent source of Selenium, Magnesium, and Zinc. Sunflower is good for its oil and protein content. Proteins present in sunflower seeds have favorable amino acid distribution and, in addition, tocopherols, minerals, and vitamins are provided in substantial amounts.

Sunflower
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexel

Health Benefits 

Gives relief from muscle cramp, reducing blood pressure and treating migraine, treating thyroid health, phytosterol which helps in lowering blood cholesterol level, treating inflammatory conditions like Arthritis, improves bones, improves skin, Antioxidants, Assist nerves, Prevents anemia, assist heart health, eases arthritic pain, control cell damage, assist cancer prevention.

 

Sesame seeds

Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seeds grow in tropical regions throughout the world since prehistoric times. Sesamol and sesaminol are phenolic anti-oxidants. Together, these compounds help stave off harmful free radicals from the body. Sesame seeds are a very good source of dietary proteins with fine-quality amino acids that are essential for growth, especially in children. Just 100 g of seeds provide about 18 g of protein (32% of daily-recommended values). Sesame is amongst the seeds rich in quality vitamins and minerals. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and riboflavin. These provide calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, B vitamins, and dietary fiber.

sesame
Photo by Cottonbro from Pexel

Health Benefits 

Promotes bone health and prevents Osteoporosis, and also helps to prevents tooth decay, halitosis, bleeding gums, dry throat, fight free radicals, prevent hangover, anticancer, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, lowers blood pressure, and also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, reduces signs of premature aging and strength muscle, tissue and hair, Beneficial in protecting DNA from harmful effects of radiation caused by chemotherapy and radiopathy, facilitates digestion and prevents constipation, solution for anemia, good for oral health, lowers cholesterol, prevents wrinkles, good for eye health, improves respiratory health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use seeds?

  • Eaten Sunflower seeds or pumpkin kernels as a snack by themselves, either raw or dry-fried.
  • Dry-fry seeds in a pan to bring out their flavor. Take them off the heat once they start to color as they will continue cooking for a little while. When you dry-fry seeds, the heat will affect the oils, so it is advisable to heat only the amount you are going to use straight away. If kept, dry-fried seeds will quickly go rancid.
  • Use as a garnish or mixed through salads to add texture and flavor,
  • Add them to muesli or other cereals.
  • Use in bread and baking, either whole or ground.
  • Add ground flaxseeds (also called linseeds) or chia seeds to smoothies to add fibre, texture, and flavor.

How to eat? How it will be more effective?

Seeds represent life and many seeds are edible and eat raw when exposed to heat. They often produce toxic substances, and vitamins, minerals, and essential oils. By roasting the seed, its classification ranges from live food to dead food. There is no seed on the ground that can withstand roasting or heat treatment without destroying its nutritional components. Always remember – we should eat the seeds in their natural form, ie raw. Add them to other foods, but we should avoid those roasted or dipped in chocolate and the like.

How Food&wellness will help you?

For proper guidance and result, you should join the program of Food & Wellness. This program gives you a personalized diet plan that includes the kinds and amounts of seeds that you need to eat to have a healthy lifestyle. Food & Wellness will always guide you regarding every issue you face and it will be taken care of by our Dietitians.

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Breastfeeding Nutrition – for healthy motherhood

Breastfeeding nutrition is needed in response to breast milk production. They must meet the requirements of both baby and mother.

Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. Nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6 months. Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It is safe, clean, and contains antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses. A lactating mother requires extra food to secrete adequate quantity/ quality of milk and to safeguard her own health. The nutritional link between the mother and the child continues even after birth. The newborn baby depends for some period solely on breast milk for his existence.

Breast milk provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one third during the second year of life.

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Breastfeeding

Breastfeed children perform better on intelligence tests, are less likely to be overweight or obese, and less prone to diabetes later in life. Studies show Women who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Inappropriate marketing of breast milk substitutes continues to undermine efforts to improve breastfeeding rates and duration worldwide. At parturition, major hormonal changes lead to the onset of lactation. Estrogen and progesterone secretion falls markedly while the elevated prolactin concentrations are maintained. Prolactin causes the breasts to begin milk secretion.

The volume of breast milk secreted increases rapidly to about 500 mL on day 5, 650 mL at 1 month, and 700 mL. Supplementation during the first 6 weeks postpartum, while there is minimal chance of conception, is recommended by WHO for increasing breast milk retinol and improving infant vitamin A status in developing countries. Vitamin B 12 concentrations in milk from Guatemalan women were one-tenth of those in California and correlated with both maternal and infant serum B 12 with both groups having a high prevalence of deficiency. Human milk provides sufficient fluoride for the first 6 months of life, but the infant should be given 0.05 mg/kg/day starting at age 6 months.

Iodine can be very low in breast milk in populations with endemic iodine deficiency, and infants and young children consume little iodized salt. Weaning infants are at risk of iodine deficiency, especially if they are not consuming infant formulas.

Colostrum

During the first 2 to 7 days postpartum, colostrum is secreted. It is a thick yellow fluid containing large amounts of immune factors, protein, minerals, and carotenoids. Colostrum can provide the newborn infant with large amounts of maternal antibodies, important because of the immune system.  As the immune system does not develop fully for some months. Between about 7 and 21 days postpartum the milk is transitional, and after 21 days mature milk is secreted.

Suckling is required to empty the breast, which stimulates the continued synthesis of prolactin and maintenance of milk production; once lactation is established suckling once a day can sustain milk production but synthesis stops within a few days of suckling cessation. Continued suckling inhibits the release of luteinizing hormone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone so the return of ovulation and menses is delayed, providing very effective birth control.

Breast- Feeding Nutritional Requirements

Lactating mother’s nutritional requirements should meet (1) their own daily needs (2) provide enough nutrients in milk for the growing infant and (3) furnish the energy for the mechanics of milk production. Diet of lactating mother and her nutritional status during pregnancy affect to a certain extent quality and quantity of breast milk. Nutritional needs exceed during lactation compared to pregnancy. In six months a normally developing infant doubles the birth weight equivalent of which is accumulated in 9 months of pregnancy.

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DIETARY GUIDELINES 

  • Nutritional requirements are maximum during lactation compared to any other age group in a woman’s life hence the diet should be balanced and meet the requirement. The number of meals can be increased.
  • Galactagogue or lactagogue act by increasing the prolactin secretion which in turn increases milk production. They also work psychologically and have a marginal effect on milk production. Sucking is the best lactagogue. The diet can include lactagogues which stimulate the production of milk. Garlic, milk, almonds, and garden cress seeds are considered to increase milk production in certain regions of India. Some also believe foods of animal origin like goat meat, fish and mutton increase the secretions of breast milk. Special foods like sonth laddu and gond laddu are given during lactation. This practice can be encouraged.
  • Weight gain beyond that desirable for body size should be avoided. When the baby is weaned, the mother must reduce her food intake in order that obesity may be avoided.
  • It is better to control constipation by inclusion in the diet of raw and cooked fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and an adequate amount of water than by the use of laxatives.
  • No food needs to be withheld from the mother unless it causes distress to the infant. Occasionally, tomatoes, onions, members of the cabbage family, chocolate, spices, and condiments may cause gastric distress or loose stools in the infant.
  • If the mother is under 17 years of age and if she has multiple gestations, she needs to take additional care in meeting the nutritional requirements.
  • If the mother loses rapid weight loss while breastfeeding, her choice intake is to be increased.

Maternal Nutrient Requirements During Lactation

The daily nutrient requirements of the lactating woman are higher than requirements during pregnancy. The higher recommended intakes are based primarily on the amounts secreted in milk. The most recent RDA assumes that the mother secretes about 500 kcal/day in milk, including about 5% as protein, more than 50% as fat, and 38% as lactose (Institute of Medicine). This falls to 400 kcal/day in the second 6 months. In the first 6 months about 170 kcal/day are obtained from maternal weight loss. Thus the energy requirements in lactation are higher than those of the non – pregnant woman. Energy restriction to induce weight loss should not be attempted while breastfeeding due to the risk of inadequate intake of other nutrients in the diet.

Exclusive breastfeeding and exercise, combined with a high-quality diet, should lead to gradual weight loss during the postpartum period. The recommended intake of most micronutrients is also increased to cover the amounts secreted in milk. The only nutrient that is needed in lower amounts during lactation is iron, except for women who need to synthesize large amounts of blood to replace major blood losses during delivery.

Galactagogues

 

 

 

 

Galactagogues are generally herbs or foods like these that, when ingested, increase a lactating mother’s milk supply. They’re often taken in supplement form or teas, but you can consume them as really delicious prepared foods too. Galactagogues and their milk-promoting functions generally aren’t scientifically proven, but instead are used because of anecdotal evidence passed on from mother to mother. This include Almonds, Oats, Alfalfa, sprouts, Fennel, Fenugreek, Brewer’s yeast, Spinach, Flaxseed. Galactagogues are grand foods that can help spur your milk supply into overdrive.

 

 

 

Some moms find it helpful to cook with galactagogues items, grouping as many items together as possible. You can make cookies with almonds, oats, and flaxseed. Tea with the fennel, fenugreek, and blessed thistle or a balanced green juice made up of spinach and sprouts.

Photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

Breastfeeding Nutrition- for healthy motherhood

Nutritional needs during breastfeeding are increased in response to breast milk production. They must meet the requirements of both baby and mother.

Energy

An additional 500 kcal for the first six months, and 400 kcal during the next six months, are required for a lactating mother. This can be met by eating, simply eating more of the usual balanced diet should allow you to meet the higher energy demand while you breastfeed. On average, 100 ml of human milk gives 70 kcal of energy. During the first six months after delivery, 750 ml of breast milk is produced daily. If the extra demand for energy is not met from dietary sources, then your reserved fat stores will be used instead.

Protein

The increase in protein requirements during lactation is minimal compared to that of energy. However, if your energy intake is low, protein will be used for energy production. The additional protein requirements during lactation can be met by consuming protein-rich foods. If you do not have a high enough protein intake, then the proportion of casein in your milk may be reduced. Casein protein is an important component of human milk, and helps to provide our baby with calcium and phosphate. It also forms a clot in the stomach that allows more efficient nutrition. Insulin resistance is modulated by protein quality, rather than quantity. Proteins derived from fish might have the most desirable effects on insulin sensitivity.

Carbohydrate

Lactose is the predominant carbohydrate in human milk and is essential to the nutrition of the infant’s brain. While the concentration of lactose is less variable than that of other nutrients, the total production is reduced in mothers with severe malnutrition.

Fat

The lipids in breast milk are the fraction that most contributes to its energy content; they are the components that vary most in their distribution and quality. Maternal malnutrition is associated with lower concentrations of lipids in breast milk. The distribution pattern of fatty acids in breast milk is also sensitive to the mother’s diet.

DHA omega-3

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a nutrient with limited endogenous biosynthesis, so it must be obtained through the diet, as it is the most important omega-3 acid for the optimal development of the brain, retina, and ear. The cholesterol content of breast milk is highly variable and is related to the duration of breastfeeding, maternal age, maternal diet, season, and place of residence  omega-3 polyunsaturated fat.  Omega-3 are considered essential fats because your body alone cannot make them.

Water

Water accounts for 85—95% of the total milk volume. There is a widespread belief that increasing water intake will increase milk production, but several studies have demonstrated that forcing the intake of fluids beyond that needed to quench thirst has no beneficial effects on lactation.

Salt

The concentration of sodium is higher in colostrum than in mature milk. Research has found no evidence of an association between sodium intake during lactation and sodium levels in breast milk. However, it is always advisable to consume small amounts of salt, always enriched with iodine (iodized salt)

Folic acid

The recommended concentration of folic acid in breast milk can be easily achieved through dietary intake or supplementation if needed.

Dietary elements and minerals

The concentration of several vitamins and minerals in human milk is influenced by maternal diet and/or vitamin status. The concentrations of these nutrients in normal milk show the effect of maternal deficiency and supplementation on milk content and the infant. To predict risks caused by an infant or maternal micronutrient deficiencies in lactation, and for planning interventions, it is useful to categorize nutrient deficiencies based on their effect on the nutrient in milk. Priority nutrients include vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamins B 6 and B 12, iodine, and selenium.

These nutrients are of most concern because low maternal intake or stores reduces their content in milk, which affects the infant adversely. However, the concentration in milk can be restored rapidly by maternal supplementation. Also, infant stores of these nutrients are more readily depleted, increasing the infant’s dependence on an adequate supply from breast milk or complementary foods. Lower-priority nutrients include folate, calcium, iron, copper, and zinc.

Maternal intake and stores of these nutrients have little or no effect on breast – milk concentrations or infant status, or on the amount required from complementary foods. Consequently, the mother is less likely to become depleted, and maternal supplementation is more likely to benefit herself than her infant. Milk vitamin D may below if women are very deficient but their infants will respond readily to vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin B

Low milk vitamin B 12 and subsequent infant deficiency as a result of strict maternal vegetarianism, and low milk vitamin D and abnormal vitamin D status of infants receiving insufficient exposure to sunlight. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that all infants who are breastfed should receive 400 IU vitamin D per day as a supplement. Infants fed formula but drinking < 1 L (1 quart) per day should also receive supplemental vitamin D.

Low concentrations of nutrients in breast milk imply that maternal and/or infant supplementation is needed; breastfeeding is always the best way to feed young infants.

Vitamin B 12 concentrations in milk from Guatemalan women were one-tenth of those in maternal and infant serum B 12 with both groups having a high prevalence of deficiency. Human milk provides sufficient fluoride for the first 6 months of life, but the infant should be given 0.05 mg/kg/day starting at age 6 months.

Vitamin A

Breast milk contains an adequate amount of Vitamin A. A high-dose Of (200 000 to 300 000 IU) vitamin A supplementation during the first 6 weeks postpartum, while there is minimal chance of conception, is recommended by WHO for increasing breast milk retinol and improving infant vitamin A status in developing countries.

Vitamin C

The plasma and tissue concentrations of vitamin C in smokers are lower than in nonsmokers, so an increase in vitamin C intake is recommended in mothers that smoke.

Vitamin E

The concentration of vitamin E in breast milk is sensitive to maternal intake, so the maternal diet must be assessed and supplemented if intake is inadequate.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is also synthesized by bacteria lining the gastrointestinal tract. If the diet is adequate, the lactating mother does not require vitamin K supplementation. Newborns usually have low levels of vitamin K, as this vitamin is not easily mobilized through the placenta and the bacterial flora of the newborn is inadequate for its synthesis in the first days of life.

Copper and zinc

Concentrations seem to correlate strongly to maternal stores in the liver during the third trimester of the pregnancy, and maternal intake has little influence on them, although their bioavailability in milk is very high. Iodine, iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc have a high bio-availability in breast milk. The selenium content is strongly influenced by the mother’s diet.

Iron

Iron supplementation is usually recommended to make up for losses sustained during childbirth. Although it must be noted that women that practice exclusive breastfeeding usually experience amenorrhoea for a minimum of six months and thus do not lose iron through menstruation during that time. Therefore, it could be said that breastfeeding exerts a protective effect against maternal iron deficiency.

Calcium

Calcium is essential during lactation, during which it is subject to special regulatory mechanisms that lead to increased absorption, decreased renal excretion, and greater mobilization of bone calcium. To meet maternal calcium requirements, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends lactating mothers to consume five servings a day of calcium-rich foods. Such as low-fat yogurt or cheese, and other non-dairy foods that contain calcium, such as fish consumed with its bones (for example, canned sardines), salmon, broccoli, sesame seeds, or cabbages, which may provide 1000—1500 mg daily recommended allowance for lactating women.

Zinc

Zinc is essential to growth, cell immunity, and enzyme synthesis. While zinc concentrations in human milk are not high, they suffice to satisfy the needs of the child due to its high bio-availability. We recommend increasing zinc intake by 50% during lactation.

Selenium

Selenium is a mineral available in the immune system, cholesterol metabolism, and thyroid function. The concentration of selenium in breast milk is three times that in artificial formulae.

Iodine

The iodine requirements of lactating women nearly double those of healthy adult women, as in addition to meeting maternal requirements, iodine levels must guarantee that the baby receives sufficient iodine from the milk to synthesize thyroid hormones. The iodine content of human milk is variable and depends on maternal intake.

Most Commonly Asked Questions

What about a vegetarian diet and breastfeeding?

Choose foods rich in iron, protein, and calcium. Good sources of iron include lentils, enriched cereals, leafy green vegetables, peas, and dried fruit, such as raisins. Body absorb iron; eat iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits. For protein, consider plant sources, such as soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Eggs and dairy are other options. Good sources of calcium include dairy products and dark green vegetables. Other options include calcium-enriched and fortified products, such as juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt, and tofu. Consider supplements.

A daily vitamin B-12 supplement is recommended. Vitamin B-12 is available almost exclusively in animal products, so it’s difficult to get enough in vegetarian diets. If you don’t eat fish, you might consider talking to your health care provider about taking an omega-3 supplement. If you don’t eat enough vitamin D-fortified foods — such as cow’s milk and some cereals — and you have limited sun exposure, you might need vitamin D supplements. Your baby needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Too little vitamin D can cause rickets, a softening, and the weakening of bones. Tell your doctor and your baby’s doctor if you’re also giving your baby a vitamin D supplement.

What are the foods and drinks should I limit or avoid while breastfeeding?

Certain foods and drinks deserve caution while you’re breastfeeding. For example:

  • Alcohol: There’s no level of alcohol in breast milk that’s considered safe for a baby. If you drink, avoid breastfeeding until the alcohol has completely cleared your breast milk. This typically takes two to three hours for 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of 5% beer, 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of 11% wine, or 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 40% liquor, depending on your body weight. Before you drink alcohol, consider pumping milk to feed your baby later.
  • Caffeine: Avoid drinking more than 2 to 3 cups (16 to 24 ounces) of caffeinated drinks a day. Caffeine in your breast milk might agitate your baby or interfere with your baby’s sleep.
  • Fish: Seafood can be a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Most seafood contains mercury or other contaminants, however. Exposure to excessive amounts of mercury through breast milk can pose a risk to a baby’s developing nervous system. To limit your baby’s exposure, avoid seafood that’s high in mercury, including swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.

ELIMINATION DIET:

This advice has been handed down for years not to eat beans, as they will make your baby gassy, and don’t eat spicy food because your milk will become too spicy. This is based on the assumption that what you eat goes directly into your milk supply and that your baby will suffer from food-specific allergies and intolerance. The theory goes: gas is due to red meats and beans and acid reflux from broccoli.

Occasionally these things are true that sometimes babies do have allergies and when you cut out various foods from your diet. However, most babies suffer from allergic reactions due to something you’re eating. Often accompanied by other symptoms such as hives, watery diarrhea, large patches of relentless eczema, and very painful gassy.

Do we really burn extra calories while breastfeeding or during lactation?

Many breastfeeding moms report feeling extra hungry throughout their days of breastfeeding. This hunger is for an excellent reason.  Your body is working very hard to produce its “liquid gold” – breast milk.  The rumors you heard are correct: you burn an additional 500 calories a day while breastfeeding. While breastfeeding, it is essential to eat enough calories to fuel both you and your baby. It is not the time to try the latest diet or weight loss fad. In fact, you should not go on any specific “diets” Unless your baby has special dietary needs.

Do we need to consume extra calories while breastfeeding?

Yes, you might need to eat a little more, about an additional 330 to 400 calories a day. To provide you the sufficient energy and nutrition to produce milk. To get these extra calories, opt for nutrient-rich choices, such as a slice of whole-grain bread with a tablespoon (about 16 grams) of peanut butter, a medium banana or apple, and 8 ounces (about 227 grams) of yogurt.

How can I plan meals to get the nutrients I need during Breastfeeding?

You should join the program of Foodnwellness. This program gives you a personalized plan that includes the kinds of foods in the amounts that you need to eat for each trimester of lactation.

How Foodnwellness helps during this phase?

During lactation or breastfeeding, motivation for eating a healthy diet may change relative to the non-pregnant state. As the women prepare themselves for motherhood and consider the impact of their dietary intake on the baby’s health. Personal values and beliefs about nutrition in lactation, advice from health professionals, and physical and physiological changes may interact with determinants of eating behaviors present in the non-pregnant state to change diet-related behaviors. Although most women are aware that healthy eating is important during pregnancy and lactation. Women may lack knowledge of specific dietary recommendations or may not have the skills required to improve their diet. Women may receive plenty of advice from everywhere but it is worth it when you receive correct knowledge from a panel of health professionals. Foodnwellness will always guide you regarding every issue you face and our Dietitians will take care of it.

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