Seed Cycling for hormonal balance

“If you are experiencing problems like Irregular Menstrual Cycle, PMS, Heavy Bleeds, then this Article is surely for You”

What is a Seed Cycle?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the major endocrinopathy among reproductive-aged women, is not yet perceived as an important health problem in the world. It affects 4%–20% of women of reproductive age worldwide. The number of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) cases is increasing, not only among the age group between 20 to 40 but also among young girls. Menopausal symptoms in women and increasing issues of infertility due to hormonal imbalance.

Seed cycling is a naturopathic remedy that is claimed to balance hormones by regulating estrogen in the first half of your menstrual cycle and the hormone progesterone in the second half. Its purported health benefits include helping to regulate periods, reducing Acne, treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and infertility, and easing symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and mood swings. It can improve thyroid hormone levels, hair health, weight Loss, water retention, and cellulite.

Seed Cycle
Photo by Egal from Unplash

Seed Cycling chart is great for those who currently experience regular menstruation cycles as well as who are facing Irregular menstruation cycles. A regular menstruation cycle includes a period that occurs approximately at the same time each month (every 28 days for example) & a period that lasts 4 – 6 days. For those currently experiencing irregular cycles, are perimenopausal or postmenopausal try to follow a diet plan by dietitians.

Seed cycling corrects the hormonal balance and hence helps manage the hormone-related clinical symptoms which include:

  1. Acne
  2. Light bleeding / Heavy bleeding
  3. Depression
  4. Endometriosis
  5. Infertility
  6. Low libido
  7. Painful periods
  8. Fatigue
  9. Thyroid disorders
  10. PMS
Photo by Nataliya Lakubovaskaia From Unplash

Healthy Menstrual Cycle and Hormonal Imbalance

In a regular cycle, estrogen is produced during the first 14 days of the follicular phase as eggs in the ovaries ripen. The levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) increase just before ovulation, and estrogen levels drop just after ovulation. Once an egg has been released, the luteal phase starts, and progesterone and estrogen levels gradually increase in a careful balance to support conception and implantation. They drop again before the next period if no implantation occurs.

Estrogen and progesterone are two of the key hormones that help regulate your menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels rise during the first half of the cycle, and progesterone levels rise (as estrogen levels decline) during the second half of your cycle. As you approach menopause, your hormone levels may start to fluctuate more erratically. After menopause, the production of both hormones settles at a significantly lower level. Additionally, during menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, which increases the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis and can lead to symptoms like hot flashes and weight gain. Most women produce adequate levels of hormones to support a healthy cycle. However, certain health conditions, such as PCOS and hypothyroidism, as well as over-exercising and being under-or overweight, can lead to a hormonal imbalance.

Hormonal Imbalance can occur due to Hypothyroidism, PCOS, incorrect lifestyle, sleep deprivation, consumption of junk food, low water intake, and chronic stress. Along with the above-explained seed cycle, it’s important to work on the root cause. It all comes down to following a correct lifestyle and addressing the root cause. Always remember the hormonal imbalance did not occur overnight hence its correction will also take time.

Protocol For Seed Cycling

The first half of your menstrual cycle is FOLLICULAR PHASE and begins with the first day of your period (day 1). The second half of your cycle is the LUTEAL PHASE and begins the day after ovulation (day 15).

Seeds boost estrogen levels in the first phase and boost progesterone levels in the second phase. Seed hulls contain lignans, which help bind up excess hormones. Seed oils contain essential fatty acids that provide the building blocks for making hormones.

Follicular Phase

Day 1 to 14

The follicular phase begins on the first day of menstruation. Estrogen levels start low and steadily increase to prepare for ovulation. Flaxseeds are a great way to keep estrogen levels in balance. As a bonus, if estrogen levels get too high, the lignans in the flax seeds bind to the excess estrogen and help it to be eliminated from the body. Adding pumpkin seeds, which are high in zinc, can help support progesterone production in the next phase.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial during this phase to reduce inflammation and support reproductive functions. Eating lots of high-quality, wild-caught fatty fish or taking a high-quality fish oil supplement is a good idea.

Seed Cycling Protocol: 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and  1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds per day. Also, take high-quality Omega-3 fatty acids or eat cold-water fish like salmon or halibut at least once a week.

Luteal Phase

Day 15 to 28

The luteal phase begins right after ovulation. After ovulation, there is a sudden drop in estrogen, and progesterone levels begin to steadily rise. Estrogen will also increase during this phase, and if it gets too high, PMS symptoms and painful periods can occur. Progesterone helps keep estrogen in balance, and sesame and sunflower seeds help support the progesterone. Sesame seeds, which are high in zinc and selenium, block excess estrogen. Sunflower seeds, which are high in vitamin E, support progesterone levels. Quality gamma-linolenic acids (GLAs) are also beneficial during this phase to boost progesterone and reduce inflammation. Taking a high-quality evening primrose oil supplement is also a good idea during this phase.

Seed Cycling Protocol: 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds. Also, Try to consume evening primrose oil.

Benefits Of Seed Cycle

Different seeds contain different types and amounts of lignans and essential fatty acids. Lignans help out the body bind up excess hormones whereas fatty acids help with hormone production. Together they work on balancing hormones throughout the entire menstrual cycle.

It is best to have Flax and Pumpkin seeds during the first phase of your menstrual cycle & Sesame and Sunflower seeds during the second phase.

Flax & sesame seeds are full of lignans which block excess estrogens. Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, a trace mineral that is essential for the liver’s detoxification processes. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which supports progesterone release. Together, these seeds will balance your cycle when taken in the appropriate phases of your cycle.

Seed cycling can be effective for women who are menstruating, pre-menopause, postpartum, and post-menopause. While you may see improvement in your first month of seed cycling, it usually takes about 3-4 cycles (months) to begin feeling significant changes. It’s helpful to continue cycling even after you have noticed substantial improvement. Be consistent, disciplined, and have faith. You should observe improvement in your mood, cravings, and cramping initially. Later the period cycle will become consistent along with less water retention, reduced breast soreness, and very few breakouts.

Photo by Mizina fron Unplash

Seed Cycling Summary:

Days 1 to 14:

  • 1 tbsp flax seeds or 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds per day, alternating days.
  • A daily omega-3 supplement or cold water fish at least once each week.

Days 15 to end of the cycle:

  • 1 tbsp sesame or 1 tbsp sunflower seeds per day, alternating days.
  • Daily evening primrose oil supplement

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Food cravings : How to combat them

Food cravings is an intense desire for a specific food. This desire can seem uncontrollable, and a person may feel as though they cannot satisfy their hunger until they get that particular food. Food craving is thought to mediate uncontrolled eating behavior, such as seen in obesity, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa.

Do you eat “well” all day, but can’t put down the box of cookies at night? Or a handful of chips? Or a spoonful of peanut butter? I am going to share with some tips…

What is Cravings?

Craving, a construct that is primarily known from addiction research, refers to a subjective motivational (‘wanting’) state promoting substance-seeking and ingestive behaviors. Drug craving is generally believed to contribute to the transition from casual to compulsive drug use, persistence of addictive behaviors, and relapse in substance-dependent patients who are abstinent from drugs of abuse.

What is Food Cravings?

Food craving is generally defined as an intense desire to eat a specific food item. Different types of food cravings have been described, from craving for chocolate, being the most frequently craved food, to craving for all sorts of palatable, mostly sweet and/ or high-fat foods.

Photo by Ready-made from Pexel

Cravings in Overweight?

In overweight dieters, this craving for food is thought to be involved in the inability to comply with a low-calorie diet, resulting in relapse to initial over-eating patterns. In addition, in non-clinical samples, food craving has been found to be related to body weight, suggesting a ubiquitous role of craving in food consumption.

Body or Mind?

“It’s important to distinguish whether the craving is physiological or psychological”. “Pay attention so that you can determine whether you are feeling actual hunger in your stomach.”

Physical cravings may be a result of low fat intake or low blood sugar level. For many of us, the mid-afternoon cravings we feel are merely our body’s way of telling us it has been too long since lunch and we actually need to eat. A piece of fruit, yogurt, or a handful of nuts can get the blood sugar levels back up and keep us from reaching for the no-no snacks.

Emotions play a big part in food cravings. “When we’re stressed, anxious, frustrated, lonely ………….. all those feelings can trigger our cravings.” We may have memories of how good certain foods made us feel when we were younger.

Sensory triggers, like smells and visual cues, can also set off cravings. If you walk by the pizza stand on your trip through the mall, chances are you’re going to start salivating.

Physiological Causes of Food Cravings

Physiological theories underline the nutritional and energetic homeostatic role of food cravings (e.g., food cravings are suggested to appear more frequently in individuals who are food deprived; or the psychoactive abilities of certain compounds of the craved foods (e.g., carbohydrate craving is suggested to be elicited as a ‘selfmedication’ to relieve a central serotonin deficit. Psychological affect-based theories stress the role of negative emotional states, such as anger and boredom, as triggers for food cravings. Learning theories claim food cravings to be conditioned responses to sensory, situational, or interoceptive food-related cues and emphasize the expected rewarding, pleasurable consequences of consuming the craved food.

Psychological” Craving…… What it feels like

This is the craving most of us deal with on a daily basis. This is the routine, regular & predictable craving, like the 4 pm scone with your tea, your bowl of chips in front of the TV at night, or the after-dinner chocolate craving when you know you are physically full. Your body may or may not be hungry, but your brain says “CAAAAAAARBS.” It could be “SAAAAAALT.” It could be “SUGAAAAAAAR“. It’s never “BROCCOOOOOOOLI.” This is the craving that can sabotage your otherwise reasonable diet, and that masks real root issues of boredom, sadness, anxiety and – I believe – a lack of sufficient physical exercise.

Sugar cravings
Photo by Henri Matheusaintlurent from Pexel

How to deal with it?

Pack something healthy for a mid-afternoon snack at work, or prepare something yummy but not devastating to your blood sugar if you’re at home. Try an apple or banana with nut butter, fresh veggies with a homemade (or healthy store-bought) dip/ dressing, or a scoop of full-fat yogurt with a sprinkle of home – made granola and cinnamon.

We have a saying around our house: “If you’re not hungry for an apple, you’re probably not really hungry.” It doesn’t have to be an apple, but you get the point: If your healthy snack option doesn’t seem so appealing, chances are you’re not actually hungry. Skip the snack and instead take a break from your desk or change up your at-home routine. Do something other than eating to stimulate your brain and body, as it might be the stimulation and not the food that you’re actually craving, after all. Watch that craving disappear like a man from a dirty kitchen after a dinner party.

Food Cravings is Positive

Think of your favorite foods as a reward, a small treat after you’ve finished your exercise for the day, perhaps. “Don’t think of a food craving as a negative,” she says. “For most people, anything is OK in moderation. “Food cravings are every dieter’s nightmare. Even healthy eaters struggle with yearnings for delicious sweet or savory snacks. We all get them and sometimes we give in to them. Sadly, those nagging hunger pangs can easily make or break your weight loss efforts. They tank your confidence and derail your diet plan. So it’s important to know how to handle them.

Why We Get Food Cravings

There is many controversy about exactly why we get cravings. But experts have suggested that the nagging pangs are physiological. Our bodies crave certain nutrients when we want the result that the food might bring. For example, a candy bar provides a sugar rush. Or we might crave comfort foods as a way to increase feeling of comfort. There are also hormones involved in hunger and cravings. Leptin, ghrelin and other hormones in your body can change the way we experience hunger. Fitness and Health experts often tell us that food cravings can occur when our bodies are dehydrated. It’s possible that food cravings are caused by a combination of both physiological and situational factors. It is also possible that different dieters are affected by different causes.

But some of them believe that cravings are simple a function of habit. For example, we might snack on food when we are bored or when we are looking for a way to avoid the work that we have to do.

The Neurobiology of Cravings

The terms “sugar addict” or “chocoholic” are often used, and people may blame cravings on a sweet tooth, bad eating habits, or lack of self-control. These may be true to a degree, but cravings actually involve a complex interplay of factors: brain messages, behaviors that become habits over time, and having easy access to food.

Normally when eating a meal, appetite hormones are released. Examples are glucagon-like peptide and cholecystokinin from the digestive tract, and leptin from fat cells, which cause feelings of fullness and communicate with the brain to stop eating. On the flipside, if the body hasn’t received food for several hours, ghrelin is released from the stomach to signal hunger. Eating hyperpalatable foods too often might interfere with how the brain processes these hormonal signals so that one may feel continued cravings despite having eaten enough food.

Researches

  • Studies have shown that foods that stimulate the reward regions of the brain influence our food choices and eating behaviors. When we eat certain foods, the neurons in the reward region become very active, creating highly positive feelings of pleasure so that we want to keep seeking these foods regularly. These foods are sometimes labeled because they are easy to digest and have enjoyable qualities of sweet, saltiness, or richness. Hyperpalatable foods stimulates the release of metabolic, stress, and appetite hormones including insulin, cortisol, dopamine, leptin, and ghrelin, all of which play a role in cravings.
  • Studies have also shown that brain signals can become disrupted when eating a very high sugar or high fat diet, which may trigger the release of hormones that reduce stressful emotions and therefore lead to a habitual desire for these “comforting” foods. Interestingly, human studies have also found associations with strong cravings and artificially sweetened foods and beverages (i.e., diet soda), as their intensely sweet flavor may produce the same rewarding effects as sugar.

Factors that Affect Cravings

  • Food industry advertising
  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medications

 

Photo by Fizkes from Pexel

One of the most common questions dietitians receive is “How can I stop cravings?” Whether it’s sugar, salty snacks, carbs, fried foods… cravings are human! We all have ’em!

Cravings can also be hormonally-driven. Not only do your cravings increase during PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), but an imbalance of your hunger and fullness hormones (ghrelin and leptin) or happiness hormones, like serotonin, can also cause food cravings.

A popular myth about cravings is that they’re due to a nutrient deficiency. For example, craving a burger around your period because you lose iron at that time of the month. Actually, the jury is still out on this one and this is more anecdotal than based in science.

Identifying a Craving

The hardest part about a true craving is identifying it. What is it EXACTLY that you are craving?

Identifying your craving is a key part in navigating how to handle food cravings. If you’re not sure what you’re craving… search for it! The last thing we want to do when trying to satisfy a craving is eat around the craving. Instead we want to pinpoint the craving, eat and enjoy that food… without guilt!  When you eat around your craving, you’re not only more likely to consume more calories and eat more than your body needs, but feel guilty after honoring your craving.

But what if there was a way to stop cravings in the first place?

I’ll be the first to tell you it’s impossible to stop ALL cravings. It’s just not human behavior. Sure, you can learn to ignore your cravings and deprive yourself of your favorite fun foods, but what good is that? Food is meant to be fun and enjoyed! But there are ways you can minimize your cravings and conquer constant, unwanted cravings.

Tips to Stop Cravings…

Tip #1: Eat well-balanced + satisfying meals

Eating a balance of nutrients at every meal, you will be more satisfied, and actually reduce your cravings and mindless munching throughout the afternoon and evening. A balance of nutrients – carbohydrate, protein, and fat is a satisfying combination. When we’re satisfied from the food we eat, we’re less likely to crave any one food group.

ACTION TIP: Try to include carbohydrates,  protein, and  fat at every meal

Tip #2: Stay hydrated

Hydration is so important. Hydration influences so many different aspects of your health and well being… including food cravings. Water helps transport nutrients around your body. When you’re under-hydrated, that lack of fluid can make it difficult for organs, like your liver, to release glycogen (stored glucose) and other components from your energy stores. When your body doesn’t have enough glucose, it can trigger food cravings. Even more, under-hydration can increase your hunger, only further boosting your cravings.

ACTION TIP: Aim to drink enough so that you’re urine is pale yellow. For most healthy individuals this will be about 2 – 3 liters per day.

Photo by Pixbay from Pixel

Tip #3: Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night

A lack of sleep can increase your hunger hormones and increase cravings. What a combination! When you’re tired, your body wants quick energy like a sugar spike. Usually you may recognize this as a craving for easy to digest carbohydrates, like bread, desserts, or candy. You can fight these cravings, but if you’re consistently over-tired, eventually your willpower will lose. The only way to remedy this is to consistently sleep enough.

ACTION TIP: Most individuals require about 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Create a bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.

Tip #4: Give yourself permission to enjoy your favorite fun foods, whenever you want them

Yes, you can have that burger + fries and still feel good! You can include cookies into your regular diet.

The key is HABITUATING to your favorite foods. When we place foods off-limits, we want them more. Think about it – you want what you can’t have! (It’s kind of like dating in your early 20s!) When you give yourself permission and consistently expose yourself to these foods, the novelty wears off. You become habituated to these previously “forbidden foods.” But you may have a journey to get to a place where your previously “forbidden foods” are off of their pedestal. Support and accountability can help to prevent a dieting mentality from creeping back in. I’m here for you!

ACTION TIP: give yourself unregulated permission to enjoy your favorite foods in order for your cravings to dissipate.

Here are some tips:

  • Stop referring to foods as “good” or “bad” – food cannot inherently have these qualities.
  • When you want a food, give yourself permission to eat it.
  • Don’t restrict the amount of food you eat. At first it may take more cookies to feel satisfied. Over time, this will decrease as your body (mentally and physically) knows it can eat this food at any time.

Tip #5: Manage your stress without food

Stress can also spike your food cravings. It’s hormonal. Your stress hormones make you crave comfort foods that are typically high in carbohydrates and fat.

ACTION TIP: Focus on non-food related ways to manage your stress…

  • Get adequate sleep
  • Try different relaxation techniques
  • Meditate
  • Do deep breathing exercises
  • Laugh more
  • Have positive relationships
Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexel

Other tips how you can conquer food Cravings

  1. Believe that cravings will pass, cravings are not actual hunger.
  2. Stop labeling foods as bad or forbidden.
  3. The 5 Ds of food cravings:
  • Delay-wait 10 minutes
  • Distract– do something else
  • Distance– don’t keep the temptation on hand in the kitchen
  • Determine– think about how much you actually want it
  • Decide– know how much of it to eat, slow down and enjoy it (taste it, don’t waste it)
  1. Stay active.
  2. Slow your eating rate.
  3. Separate eating from other activities. This will remove the ability of other activities to stimulate eating and allows you to respond to the actual feeling of hunger.
  • Do nothing else while eating
  • Follow an eating schedule; eat at the same time everyday
  • Eat in one place, preferably the dinner table and not your couch or desk
  • Don’t always feel like you have to clean your plate

 

Here are some strategies for dealing with the cravings (especially the less healthy ones):

  • Eat in Moderation– Many women find it extremely difficult to ignore the craving altogether. Instead, eat what you’re craving, but if it’s high-calorie or high-fat, enjoy it in moderation.
  • Find a Healthy Substitute – Is part of the pregnancy craving the urge to devour eight times the normal serving size? That may be fine if you’re craving healthy fruits and veggies, but if the food you’re craving are highly caloric or otherwise unhealthy, finding an alternative to scratch your itch might be your best bet!
Photo by Ovidiu-Creanga from Pexel
    • Craving a milkshake? While there’s nothing inherently wrong with dairy products, there are less caloric ways to fulfill this craving. These days, Greek frozen yogurt, oat milk ice cream, and a variety of other low-fat and low-sugar options can deliver that creamy goodness without unhealthy weight gain from excessive fat and sugar.
    • Craving chocolate? Substitute milk chocolate for dark chocolate.
    • Craving a salty crunch? While pregnant women do need sufficient sodium, excessive salt intake is associated with heart disease and may even pose some health risk to your baby’s developmentIf a nightly bowl of popcorn bathed in salt has become a habit, try cumin or a low-sodium salt substitute to keep your sodium intake under 2,400 mg a day.
    • Craving something sugary? Whether you’re craving cereal or baked goods, a great alternative is to go for a whole-grain version.

FAQ

Which tips to stop cravings will you try first?

And there you have it… 5 tips to stop cravings in the first place!

But if you are struggling with food cravings, I encourage you to join my Nutrition Training Program where we discuss how to conquer cravings, eat a well-balanced diet, break free from food rules, and more.

Are cravings caused by nutrient deficiencies?

Although some conditions such as sodium deficiency and pica can cause cravings, there is no conclusive evidence that cravings are caused by nutrient deficiencies. Certain known facts about cravings like the influence of sleep and nutrition habits (and perhaps even gender differences) make it more likely that cravings are caused by external factors and not a lack of specific nutrients.

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Grilled Vegetable Curd Sandwich

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Grilled Vegetable Curd Sandwich

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 - 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Snacks
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: World Wide
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Grilled Vegetable Curd Sandwich is a delicious sandwich recipe. This is an easy-to-make dish that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and snacks food, taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed food. Easily prepared at home, this snack can be served on occasions like kitty parties, buffet, potlucks and house parties. You can also pack this Fusion recipe for your kids’ tiffin and we are sure it will never fail to meet your expectations! Prepare this breakfast recipe and enjoy with your loved ones.

sandwich

A sandwich is a food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced egg or meat, curd or peneer placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein bread serves as a container or wrapper for another food type. Sandwiches are one of the loved snacks all around the world!


Scale

Ingredients

Finely chopped cabbage – 1/4 cup

Grated carrot – 1/4 cup

Peas – 1/4 cup

30 g finely chopped capsicum

Finely chopped spring onions – 30 g

Lettuce – 2 leaves

Greek yogurt or hung curd – 1/2 cup

Black pepper – 1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Herbs – as required

Bread slices  (multigrain or gluten free) – 4


Instructions

  • First rinse and finely chop the veggies in a food chopper or a food processor or with a knife.
  • Then add Greek yogurt or thick curd or hung curd with the vegetables.
  • Sprinkled black pepper, salt, dried oregano and red chili flakes as per the taste. If you want you can also add other dried herbs like thyme or basil or mixed herbs. You can also add chopped green chilies, instead of red chili flakes.
  • And give a proper mix to it.

Making Curd Sandwich

  • Take the bread slices.
  • Place the vegetable mix in between the two slices.
  • Grill the sandwiches till crisp and golden.
  • Serve curd sandwich hot or warm
  • Sandwiches can be served plain or with any dip or chutneys of your choice.

Notes

  1. Do use thick curd, hung yogurt or Greek yogurt to make the filling.
  2. Do note that all the veggies are raw except the steamed peas. If you want you can even blanch the cabbage leaves and then add into the mix.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 204
  • Sodium: 309 mg
  • Fat: 6 - 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50 - 55 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 12 - 15 g

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Spicy Baked Pomfret

Spicy Baked Pomfret

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Spicy Baked Pomfret

Spicy Baked Pomfret

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 5-8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 - 22 minutes
  • Yield: 1
  • Method: Baking

Description

Spicy Baked Pomfret Fish is an easy to make delicious recipe. Try it once, and enjoy the flavor of spicy fish….

 

Fish is packed with many essential nutrients that most people are lacking.  this includes low fat- high biological value protein, omega -3- fatty acids, vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.


Ingredients

Pompret – 1 (110 – 120 g)

Red chilli powder – 2.5 gm

Salt – 2.5 gm

Black pepper powder- 2.5 g

Lemon – ½

Red chilli flakes- 2.5 g

Garlic – 2 cloves (grated)

Tomato – 1 (50 g)

Olive oil – 5 ml


Instructions

  1. Wash and clean the Pomfret fish and place it  on the plate.
  2. Blanch the tomatoes, and kept it aside till it cools down.
  3. Blend the tomato and make a Smooth puree out of it.
  4. Let the puree come to boil.
  5. Make the salt, black pepper powder, lemon juices rubbed well over the fish and it was kept aside for 10 minutes.
  6. By that time mix red chilli powder, chilli flakes, grated garlic, tomato puree, salt in a bowl and spread over the fish.
  7. Add few drops of Olive was used to spread over the  Pomfret fish.
  8. Rest the marinated the pomfret fish in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake the fish for 15 minutes at 1800
  10. Garnish and serve it.

Notes

This recipe can be tried with varieties of fishes. Instead of  baking, pan fried method can be used.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 24 - 28 Kcal
  • Sodium: 20.5 mg
  • Fat: 8 - 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0.9
  • Protein: 19.5 g

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Diabetes: Nutritional Management

Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly called diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders and diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels over prolonged period. The symptoms of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include increased thirst, increased hunger, and frequent urination. Diabetes can cause many complications if not carefully treated and controlled.

The management of diabetes focuses on keeping blood sugar levels very close to normal, without causing a low blood sugar level. This can often be accomplished with dietary changes, weight loss, exercise, and use of appropriate medications (oral medications, insulin).

Those with diabetes can benefit from the education about the disease and its treatment, dietary changes required, and exercise, with the aim of keeping both the short-term and the long-term blood glucose levels within adequate and acceptable bounds. Additionally, given the associated higher risk of cardiovascular disease, modifications of lifestyle are recommended to control blood pressure, including healthy eating, regular exercise, and maintaining normal weight (BMI 18 to 25).

One serving in a category is called a “choice.” A food choice has about the same amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and calories — and the same effect on your blood glucose — as a serving of every other food in that same category. For example, the starch, fruits, and milk list include choices that are 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrates.

 

Why do people with diabetes need to develop a healthy eating plan?

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, your must see a dietitian, who can help you to develop a healthy eating plan. The diet plan will help you to control the blood sugar (glucose), weight Management, and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats or cholesterol. When you eat extra calories and fat, your body creates an undesirable rise in blood glucose. If blood glucose isn’t kept in check, it can lead to serious problems, such as a high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) that, if persistent, may lead to long-term complications, such as nerve, kidney, and heart damage. You can help keep your blood glucose level in a safe range by making healthy food choices and tracking your eating habits. For most people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss also can make it easier to control blood glucose and offers a host of other health benefits. If you need to lose weight, a diabetes diet provides a well-organized, nutritious way to reach your goal safely.

A diabetes diet is based on eating three meals a day at regular times. This helps you better use the insulin that your body produces or gets through medication. A registered dietitian can help you put together a diet based on your health goals, tastes, and lifestyle. He or she can also talk with you about how to improve your eating habits, such as choosing portion sizes that suit the needs for your size and activity level.

Photo by Ovidiu from Pexel

Recommended Diet for Diabetes

Make your calories count with these nutritious foods. Choose healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, fish, and “good” fats.

Healthy carbohydrates

During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese

Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars, and sodium.

Diabetic Fruits
Photo by Engin from Pexel

Fiber-rich foods

Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Whole grains
vegetables
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Heart-healthy fish

Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent heart disease. Avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, such as king mackerel.

‘Good’ fats

Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol levels. These include:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Olive, and peanut oils

But don’t overdo it, as all fats are high in calories.

Nuts
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Foods to Diet

Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Foods containing the following can work against your goal of a heart-healthy diet.

  • Saturated fats. Avoid high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon. Also, limit coconut and palm kernel oils.
  • Trans fats. Avoid trans fats found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening, and stick margarine.
  • Cholesterol. Cholesterol sources include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
  • Sodium. Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Your doctor may suggest you aim for even less if you have high blood pressure.

Putting it all together: Creating a plan

You may use a few different approaches to create a diabetes diet to help you keep your blood glucose level within a normal range. With a dietitian’s help, you may find that one or a combination of the following methods works for you:

The plate method

The American Diabetes Association offers a simple method of meal planning. In essence, it focuses on eating more vegetables. Follow these steps when preparing your plate:

  • Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, and tomatoes.
  • Include “good” fats such as nuts or avocados in small amounts
  • Fill a quarter of your plate with protein, such as tuna, lean pork, or chicken.
  • Fill the last quarter with a whole-grain item, such as brown rice, or a starchy vegetable, such as green peas.
  • Add a serving of fruit or dairy and a drink of water or unsweetened tea or coffee.

What are the results of a diabetes diet?

Embracing your healthy-eating plan is the best way to keep your blood glucose level under control and prevent diabetes complications. And if you need to lose weight, you can tailor it to your specific goals. Aside from managing your diabetes, a diabetes diet offers other benefits, too. Because a diabetes diet recommends generous amounts of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, following it is likely to reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. And consuming low-fat dairy products can reduce your risk of low bone mass in the future.

These things may seem like a lot to do at first. Just make small changes until these steps become a normal part of your day. Follow Your Healthy Eating Plan Ask your Nutritionist (FoodNWellness), to help you to create a healthy eating plan. Our dietitians can help you to plan meals that include foods that you and your family like and that are good for you.

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Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates Counting and Glycemic Level

Carbohydrates Counting

A 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. As 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

Photo by fcafotodigital from Pexel

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.

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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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