We’ve all heard the term “Water weight” being thrown around, but if you don’t understand what exactly it is, then those especially in the midst of a weight loss program can get quite discouraged by its contingency. Contrary to popular belief, Water retention is actually a helpful signal since it indicates the imbalance in the body. Simply put, it is a symptom and not a disease and in serious cases, it can be an indication of a problem with the kidneys, heart or the circulatory system.
Normally, if you are consuming a healthy and nutritious diet, along with adequate consumption of water, fluid retention will not occur. But, there can be certain instances wherein your body will begin retaining fluid, therefore it becomes crucial to understand what is happening, so that the fluid levels within the body can be brought back to optimal levels.
Let’s therefore learn how to spot it and treat it early.
What is water retention?
Water retention is defined as the excess buildup of fluid within the body tissues that can take up a variety of forms ranging from bloated belly, swollen ankles and puffiness and swelling of eyelids to nausea, fatigue and persistent coughing.
What causes water retention?
Before the causes are explained, let’s emphasise on the fact that there can be several reasons as to why your body is retaining excess fluid. Although some of these causes can be easily treated, there are however certain tenets that may be indicative of a more serious underlying issue. It is therefore important to consult with a healthcare professional to come to a sound diagnosis.
We will now discuss some lifestyle factors that are contributive to water retention, and ways of preventing it.
– Consuming a diet that is high in Sodium :
The body requires an adequate amount of Sodium and Potassium to maintain optimum levels of fluid in the body. Eating more than required salt can cause the body to retain water. It is therefore recommended to consume a maximum intake of 2300 mg (1 tsp) of salt per day for healthy individuals and not more than 1500 mg of salt per day for people with Heart disease and Hypertension.
– Hormonal fluctuations :
Women seem to hold more water weight in the days leading up to their menstrual cycles. It is very common and happens due to hormonal changes which prepares the body for monthly menses . These hormonal fluctuations lead to greater water retention in the body of a woman.
– Standing or sitting for long periods of time :
A lot of water retention can be caused by prolonged periods of sedentary activity like sitting, sleeping, or standing still in one place. This is because sitting or standing still can cause your body tissues to retain fluid due to increase in blood pressure inside the vessels of legs and feet.
– Certain medications like Hypertension medications, pain relievers, antidepressants etc
– Pre-eclampsia, cirrhosis of the liver, protein loss due to malnutrition
Now, If you’re nodding your head in agreement to all the signs and causes of water retention, and verbally agreeing to reading the above and saying “ Yes, I seem to have all those symptoms”, then continue reading below to find out some general remedies that can help you with Fluid retention!
General Lifestyle and Dietary suggestions :
Consuming the recommended intake of upto 2300 mg of salt (1 tsp) for healthy individuals and less than 1500 mg of salt intake for individuals with Heart disease and Hypertension.
Avoid canned foods including canned vegetables, soups, sauces etc.
Avoid processed foods like potato chips, salted peanuts and other junk foods.
Increase the intake of Potassium rich foods like Bananas, Raisins, Tender Coconut water, Apricot, Berries, Apples, Spinach, Mushrooms etc as Potassium deficiency can lead to water retention.
Consuming adequate quantity of water (between 8-10 glasses per day or more in accordance with level of physical activity) and other fluids such as Herbal teas, Barley water etc.
Regular exercise of upto 30-40 minutes can prove to be a game changer as it helps stimulate blood circulation. Lifting your legs up against the wall can also help drain excess water.
Taking care of yourself emotionally and physically is the most important divisive factor in any treatment method and subsequent result. Allow yourself to reap in the natural benefits of adopting a healthy, nutritious diet and lifestyle. Reach out to the team of Foodnwellness for customised and tailored made wellness programs!
For any serious underlying health condition resulting in persistent water retention leading up to 1-2 kg of weight gain within a week, make sure to first consult with a physician before making any changes to your current health routine or taking medical action.
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.
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:
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.
Spastic: It results from excessive tone of the colonic muscle.
Obstructive : It occurs usually due to obstruction in the colon, cancer or any other obstruction due to inflammation or narrowing of the lumen.
Causes of Constipation
. Constipation can occur with:
Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners)
Lack of physical activity
Not drinking enough water
Delay in going to the bathroom when you have the urge to move your bowels
Stress and travel can also contribute to constipation or other changes in bowel habits.
A change in regular routine or travelling
Use of medications such as antacids with aluminum or calcium, antidepressants, antihistamines, narcotics (such as codeine), antispasmodics, diuretics, tranquilizers, some heart medications
Use of supplements such as iron and calcium
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.
Weakening of the muscles and ligaments that hold the rectum in place
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:
Muscular weakness that limits general movement and the possibility of physical exercise as well as the ability to visit shops and carry shopping.
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.
Changes in the diet, including patients reducing fluid and fibre intake for fear of incontinence.
Difficulty swallowing, which results in requirement for thickened fluids and modified consistency diets. This can restrict consumption of adequate fibre and fluid.
Poor dentition, which can impact on dietary intake, including fibre-containing foods.
Limited care assistance available at mealtimes for dependent individuals, to ensure appropriate diet and fluid provision.
Development of co-morbid medical conditions and resulting poly-pharmacy including, in particular, analgesics and psychotropic drugs.
Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, dementia and cognitive impairment.
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.
Socio-environmental factors including hospitalization and institutionalization.
Medications that can contribute to constipation include:
1. Pain medications (narcotics)
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
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:
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.
Tips that should be followed
Plenty of liquids.
Increase fibre intake.
3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Foods that promote regularity.
Plum or prune juice.
Include exercise or physical activity in daily routine.
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
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.
These Paneer toasties are a great tea time snack or even a Breakfast/Dinner option coupled with a warm bowl of soup of a fresh bowl of salad. It is a simple and ideal recipe that can be prepare with a few ingredients available already in your kitchen.
Paneer – 40g crumbled
Semolina (suji)- 1 tbsp (Slightly roasted)
Onion-1/2 finely chopped
Tomato(de seeded) -1/2 finely chopped
Wheat bread-2 slices(toasted)
Black pepper-as per taste
Salt-as per taste
Curry leaves – 3-4
Mustard seeds(brown)-1/4th tsp.
Oil-1/2 tsp. (for greasing.)
Mix the Crumbled paneer, semolina, salt
Add onion, tomato and mix well.
Sprinkle few drops of water to form the mixture.
Spread the mixture carefully on the toasted bread slices.
Sprinkle some mustard seeds over the mixture, pressing down gently with the help of a spatula.
Heat ½ tsp oil, grease the nonstick pan. Add a slice of bread with the topping side down.
This nutritious Quinoa Sala is easy to prepare and is a quick make which can be consumed as a snack or even a Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner meal option with a side bowl of healthy soup. Quinoa is a great source of protein and is an ideal choice for someone who follows a vegetarian diet as it contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Water-1 – 3/4cups
Uncooked quinoa -1cup
Tomato-½ cup coarsely chopped seeded
Coriander leaves-½ cup chopped
Peanuts-¼ cup roasted
Cucumber- ¼ cup chopped
Green chilies –½ tsp. finely chopped
Lemon juice-¼ cup fresh
Extra virgin olive oil-1 tbsp.
Onion-finely chopped 1 tbsp.
Black pepper powder -1/4th tsp.
Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan, bring boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
– 1 tbsp. hung curd
– 1 tbsp. finely chopped red bell peppers deseeded or deseeded chopped tomato
– 1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
– 1 tbsp. peas
– ½ green chili – deseeded & chopped
– 1/2tsp salt and black pepper
– 1/4tsp red chili flakes
1) Boil 1 cup water with ½ tsp salt
2) Mash peas with the hands.
3) Put the hung curd in a bowl. Add all other ingredients of the filling to the curd.
4) Cut the sides of slice, keep it flat on a rolling board. Press, applying gentle pressure with a rolling pin so that holes of the bread close.
5) Spread ½ tsp mustard on the slice.
6) Spread a layer of filling. Roll carefully. Seal end by applying some curd. Press well.
7) Brush milk on roll. Spread some carom seeds on a plate
8) At serving time, cover a wire rack of oven with foil. Grease foil lightly. Place the rolls. Grill for about 5 minutes till edges turn little golden. Serve immediately.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
Moong dal Cheela/Pancake is a healthy, delicious and quick to make recipe that can be consumed as a breakfast or snack item. It can be made with minimal ingredients and within minutes given, that the Moong dal is soaked overnight or for few hours before preparation. It can be served without any sides but it tastes best when served with homemade chutneys/pickle/curd/raita.
1/4 cup Moong Dal (whole or split with husk)
1 tablespoon Green Peas
1 tablespoon Water
2 teaspoons of finely chopped Onion
1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped Ginger
1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped Coriander leaves
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped Green Chili
1 teaspoon ghee or Oil
Wash and soak the moong dal for around 3-4 hours prior to making the batter.
Then take the soaked and drained moong dal, blend it in a mixer along with green chillies, green peas, ginger, using little water to make a thick paste.
In a bowl, add onion, coriander leaves, salt and the blended moong dal and peas paste.
Mix well and add water to make a thin dosa like batter. Remember to add water in small batches to get your desired consistency (Medium thick consistency)
Heat a large nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add a little oil to coat the pan.
Pour a ladle full of batter when the pan is hot and flatten out until 1cm thick.
Pour a little oil on either side and cook until golden brown.
Flip and cook on the other side.
Serve hot with any Chutney/Pickle/Salsa/Curry
The Moong dal Cheela/Pancake can be stuffed with or topped with vegetables of your choice to make it more nutritionally balanced.
This mixed vegetables preparation with added Paneer is not only easy to prepare, but also has the goodness of vegetables and different flavours from the spices used which makes it an overall delectable nutritious dish.
Onion (freshly chopped) – 1 medium
Mushrooms – 6 – 8 (sliced)
French beans – 4 – 6 (chopped)
Green capsicum – ¼ (chopped)
Yellow bell pepper – ¼ (chopped)
Tomato (deseeded) – ¼ (chopped)
Cauliflower florets – 2-3
Paneer – 100 gms
Carrot – ½ (chopped)
Green peas (boiled) – ½ cup
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Tandoori Masala – 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
1) Take a heavy bottomed kadhai. Add oil and heat it. Add cumin seeds and sauté for a minute.
2) Add chopped onions and stir well. Sauté till transparent. Add salt and mix well.
3) Add all the above listed chopped vegetables to the sautéed onion and cover it with a lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes on low medium heat stirring occasionally.
4) Add boiled peas and mix well. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
5) Add seasonings: Turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, tandoori masala. Mix well.
6) Add chopped deseeded tomato to the pan and mix it well. Cover and cook on low medium heat.
7) Add paneer cubes to the vegetables and mix well. Cover and cook on low medium heat.
8) Add freshly chopped coriander leaves on top. Serve hot and garnish with chopped ginger on the top.
These luscious Lotus sets are a great source of dietary fibre, phytonutrients and other source of vitamins and minerals. It helps reduce stress, water retention and is great for skin, hair and those who have hypertension. They can be boiled, air fried, added into salads or even eaten raw. Try out this lotus stem curry and surprise your friends and family with this delicious treat.
1 medium size Lotus Stem – cut into small rounds
1 Green Chilly, finely chopped
½ Tsp Cumin
Salt, to taste
½ Tsp Red Chili powder.
1 tspDhania Powder.
¼ tsp garam masala
Thoroughly clean the Lotus Stems by scrubbing off all visible traces of mud off them. Run water through the holes till they are clean.
Peel, wash once again and cut into medium sized rounds.
In a pressure cooker add the chopped Lotus stem with enough water to cover them, add salt and pressure cook till half cooked (2-3 whistles should be good) When done, keep aside, with the water.
Heat a heavy bottomed Kadhai and add Oil to it.
When the Oil heats up add the Jeera and wait for it to pop.
Add the chopped Green Chilies and sauté till they don’t seem raw anymore.
Fry well, till the masalas are cooked and Oil starts leaving the mixture.
Add this cooked mix to the semi cooked Lotus Stem in the cooker. Add water if required.
Hara bhara kebabs are vegetarian kebabs made using fresh ingredients. It is a quick energy boosting snack which can can also serve as a starter, or side dish or even part of a light dinner option.
¼ bunch spinach leaves
1/2 tsp oil
1–2 green chili, finely chopped
¼ capsicum, finely chopped
¼ cup beans, chopped
1 tbsp. peas, fresh / frozen
½ potato, boiled and grated
1 tbsp. paneer / cottage cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
¼ tbsp corn flour
½ tbsp breadcrumbs
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp amchur
¼ tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste
½ cup breadcrumbs, to coat
2 cashews, halved
oil for greasing
Firstly, in a large kadhai heat oil and add green chili, also add capsicum and sauté till the moisture disappears. Further add beans and peas. sauté well.
Transfer to the blender and allow to cool completely. Blend to coarse paste along with blanched spinach. Transfer the blended paste into a large mixing bowl.
Also add grated potato, paneer and coriander leaves. Further add corn flour and breadcrumbs. Add in the spices and salt. Mix well.
Grease hands with oil and make a small patty. Cover the patties with bread crumbs and garnish with cashew.
Now AIR FRY the prepared patties (stirring occasionally).
Finally, serve hara bara kabab with coriander chutney.
Calories:130 – 140 KCAL
Fat:10 – 12 GM
Carbohydrates:15 – 20 GM
Protein:6 – 8 GM
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