Macronutrients is the umbrella term for all foods that can be decoded into the proteins, carbohydrates or fats category. Each of these macronutrients plays a vital role in our body and the food you take tells about the macronutrient that goes to your body. Some foods contain a combination of all three macronutrients while some others contain only one or two of them.
Protein forms every tissue, hormones and enzymes that catalyze reactions in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Altogether there are 20 amino acids which are divided into two categories-essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids. While the first category must be consumed in the form of diet, the second category of amino acids can be made from other amino acids. There are both, animal and plant sources of proteins. The animal sources such as fish, eggs, poultry, dairy and beef are highly acclaimed as they contain all the nine essential amino acids, whereas plant sources such as beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables lack at least one essential amino acid. Soy, quinoa and amaranth are the only plant sources of protein that contain all essential amino acids.
Also, most protein foods are present in combination with other macronutrients. For instance, wild Alaskan salmon contains increased levels of omega-3 fats. Beans, nuts and seeds contain all 3 macronutrients. Every half cup of beans contains 7 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbs. Unless you are a vegan, you might segregate beans as a carbohydrate. Nuts and seeds fall under the ‘fats’ category as they contain more of fats than proteins.
Carbs provide our body with the required quantities of glucose being composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen molecules. They can be classified as simple or complex, refined or unrefined. If the foods have only one or two sugar molecules such as milk, fruit, juice and sugar, they are classified as simple. When they contain long strands of glucose chains as in bread, cereal, rice and pasta they are classified as complex. Refined is when the food is stripped of its fiber and processed leaving it with a negligible quantity of nutrients. White rice, white bread, white pasta, white sugar and fruit juice are examples of food in this category. Unrefined is when the food remains intact (brown rice, veggies, whole grains) or retains all of its fibrous content even after processing (whole-grain bread/cereal). The best combination of foods is those that are both, unrefined and complex.
Most of these carb-packed foods contain a portion of protein as well as fats (grains, beans, veggies and dairy).
We get scared at the mention of the word ‘fat’ but fats play an important role in multiple essential functions in the body. Cholesterol & sex hormones are formed from fats, fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K need dietary fat to be completely absorbed by the body, hair and skin look and feel healthier in the presence of healthy dietary fats and above all, fats add that extra effect to any meal to make it more satisfying.
Fats are of four types, each having its own effect on the human body. Saturated and trans fat are the ‘bad’ fats that must be minimized while unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) must be maximized. Read more on fats and the foods that are rich in each of the fat types at www.firsteatright.com.
A healthy diet should contain a balanced quantity of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Each meal/snack should contain all of the macronutrients for optimal energy and nutrition. Choose foods that are unprocessed, real and whole to benefit maximum from them and also reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
Yoga is becoming the mother of physical activity with its widespread followers worldwide. Originating from India, people living in every part of the world are under the clutches of this powerful group of physical, mental and spiritual practices.
If you keenly notice, most of the strengthening and stretching exercises for back pain/injury are modifications of yoga poses. This isn’t surprising as mobility, flexibility and strength, that are critical for a healthy back, are possible through consistent yoga practice. The ten different yoga moves discussed here can relieve you of an achy back. But, it is better to confirm with your physician before you start on any of these asanas if you have severe pain.
Before you start:
This position relieves tension in your lower back and helps you warm up, if you have been sitting/standing for prolonged time periods. Kneel down on all fours keeping the shoulders over your hands and hips over your knees. Take a deep breath, tuck your toes and arch your back. Extend your arms while you push the belly towards the earth and look up. While exhaling, untuck your toes, keep your palms against the earth’s surface and round the back. Repeat this for five circles.
Apart from providing core strength to your body, the bird dog position helps strengthen your upper back, neck and lower back.
Downward Facing Dog
This position helps stretching the hips, spine and hamstrings simultaneously. It also acts as a total-body energizer and helps relieve stress.
This offers total relief from lower back pain.
Strengthening core muscles is critical to improve back stability. Plank pose tones all core muscles of the body, including abdomen, chest and low back. This position helps prepare the body for challenging arm balances.
This pose works on strengthening your core muscles extensively and improves overall balance.
This works wonders on the back muscles and relieves the tired back instantaneously. It helps soothe your brain, stress and depression. Apart from yoga, there are various other mind-relaxing techniques mentioned at www.firsteatright.com that can help to alleviate stress.
Supine twist position relieves the lower back pain and helps loosen your shoulders.
This position increases motion of the femur in the hip socket and prepares your body for backbends.
Legs Up the Wall
While increasing blood flow to the legs, it allows the lower back muscles to completely relax.
Muscle mass decreases as a person grows old and this affects physical function leading to decreased quality of life and sometimes premature death too. This loss in muscle mass is greatly due to the inability of the aging muscle to increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis in response to nutritional stimuli. When some intervention is used to supersede this anabolic resistance, it may help to slow/prevent the deterioration of muscle mass in the elderly population.
Sarcopenia is the decline of the skeletal muscle tissue with age and certain evidence point to the fact that omega-3 fatty acids might be useful in treating sarcopenia. The study involved sixteen older adults who were healthy, not obese, not involved in regular physical activity, were not habituated to consuming fish-oil supplements, were not under medication that could affect muscle protein metabolism, did not consume tobacco products and were not in the habit of drinking excessive alcohol.
After the initial screening, subjects were assigned to either omega-3 fatty acid or corn oil group. These subjects were similar in age, sex, BMI, body composition, health and metabolic status. The research proved that omega-3 fatty acids and not corn oil supplementation increases muscle anabolic signaling activity. Although the exact mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids act on the muscle protein synthesis process is not entirely clear, results indicate the advantages of including omega-3s in your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in plentiful in different kinds of fish, help to improve blood vessel health, cell membrane strength and prevent heart attack and stroke. The detailed description on the numerous sources of this fatty acid is available in the website www.firsteatright.com. Hence it is recommended that older adults consume omega-3 fatty acid supplements to promote heart health and prevent muscle deterioration.
One might wonder what is the connection between food poisoning and flu? The simple reason for the connection is that often the symptoms are similar if not identical.
Bacteria in Food
Not all bacteria in food are harmful, some are bad while some others are good for the gut and essential to produce certain foods (for instance, bacteria species help in the production of delicious and tasty yogurts). Foods such as meat, poultry and egg products are not sterile when we purchase them, and we need to ensure that they are properly cooked, stored and handled to prevent any foodborne illnesses.
While flu and food poisoning are two entirely different infections, their symptoms are similar. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever are common symptoms of food poisoning. Due to the similarities between the two infections, people often assume food poisoning to be the root cause of the problem and wait for a while before turning up at the doctor’s clinic. Symptoms can occur anytime between 4 hours to one week after consuming the food and can last anywhere between 24 hours and one week which is another cause for the symptoms of food poisoning to go unnoticed.
Foodborne illness attacks certain groups of people vigorously. Pregnant women, elderly people, infants, children and individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease or transplant patients are at an increased risk. Such people need immediate medical attention, otherwise the effects of foodborne illness can also be fatal.
Reasons for Food Poisoning
If you have any doubts that you have been affected by food poisoning, it is better to seek medical attention, if required. If symptoms persist for more than 24 hours or if you are among the individuals in the high-risk category, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately.
If you have guessed the root cause of the infection, take precautionary measures. If the food you ate at home is the culprit, label it as harmful so that rest of your family members don’t consume it. If the food you ate in a restaurant can be attributed to the infection, keep the health department informed. But, if you feel that the poisoning has occurred over a period of time, you cannot do anything about it and you can only take precautionary food preparation measures to avoid it in the future.
Techniques to Avoid Foodborne Illness
The four keywords clean, separate, cook and chill must help you prevent food poisoning. Before and during food preparation ensure to keep your hands and the cooking surface hygienic by washing them frequently and correctly. Always keep raw meat set aside from other food items while preparing meals. Use a food thermometer whenever you cook raw meat, poultry, egg products and fish cooking them to the right temperature (and maintaining it at 140oF after cooking) to kill any harmful bacteria that might be present. Techniques to handle a food thermometer are mentioned at www.firsteatright.com. Also make sure that you refrigerate any perishable food within two hours of cooking and store it properly to curb the presence of any harmful bacteria, thereby assuring you of a healthy and safe body.
Going through a workout session successfully by overcoming exhaustion is a strenuous task. When iron levels are incompetent, it is an even more difficult task. A worthy workout session needs energy to start your exercise regime in the first place, sail through it smoothly and finish it in style. If you want to know how iron fits in between all these and how you can improve iron intake, please read further below.
Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide Cycle
Iron acts as the carrier between oxygen and carbon dioxide helping to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and expelling the excess carbon dioxide out of the body. Oxygen is the gas needed for our survival and any complaints of fatigue, dizziness, headache, pale skin, brittle nails, frequent cold and nail color changes are indicative of iron deficiency anemia for which the individual needs to get tested immediately. Statistics show that almost 50% of the women living in our nation suffer from iron deficiency which is a pathetic situation that needs immediate attention.
Advantages of being a Carnivore
While we advocate the advantages of eating a plant-based diet, non-vegetarians hold an advantageous position over plant eaters when it comes to iron. That’s because, meat contains more iron than plant-based foods and iron from plants (non-heme iron) is only half absorbed compared to the iron absorbed from meat (heme iron). Hence, vegetarians need to consume twice as much iron as non-vegetarians to fulfill iron requirements. While meat eaters can consume 8-18 mg of iron per day (menstruating women need 18 mg due to blood loss every month), vegetarians need 14-33 mg per day to stay free from iron deficiency.
The Golden Foods that Contain Iron
All pulses (black beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas) are protein-rich nutrients that are also filled with antioxidants. Other sources of iron include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, turkey breast, salmon, mussels, oysters, salmon and tuna. Antioxidants safeguard our body against the action of free radicals and for detailed information on this, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Avoid Coffee & Tea to Increase Iron Absorption
While there is no research that directly links coffee and tea intake to increased anemia, it is better that you decrease the consumption of these beverages if you wish to absorb iron into your body. This is because, you decrease the absorption of iron by as much as 40% when you drink coffee and by as much as 70% when you drink tea.
Nutrients to Boost Iron Absorption
Vitamin C helps to absorb as much iron as possible from foods. The secret to this is to consume vitamin C-rich foods alongside non-heme iron-rich foods for maximum absorption of iron by the human body. This is a boon for vegetarians to increase their iron absorption. For example, squeeze lime (vitamin C) over broccoli, add few slices of berries over iron-fortified cereal or add tomatoes to iron-rich lentils and rice to enhance iron absorption by the body. Use vitamin C sources such as oranges, bell peppers, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and strawberries wisely with non-heme iron foods for maximum benefit.
Never choose supplements over iron-rich foods unless prescribed by your physician. The multivitamins that you consume have the ability to provide sufficient iron to your body and ensure that you take no more than 45 mg of iron daily unless guided by a professional. This is because, increased quantities of iron in the body can be toxic for some people, such as those suffering from a condition known as hemochromatosis. Stomach upset and constipation is also possible in certain cases.
Mosquitoes trouble us in multiple ways-biting, sucking blood and causing diseases. The recent double trouble of these mosquitoes is the spread of the Zika virus. In the year 1947, scientists identified a new virus in the rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda and hence, named it as Zika virus. While the first case in humans was recorded in the year 1952, the first large epidemic outbreak happened in humans in the year 2007 and yet again in 2014. In July 2015, Brazil reported an association between Zika virus infection and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Yet again in October 2015, Brazil reported an association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly.
Signs & Symptoms
Incubation period of Zika virus is not precisely known, but is said to be for a few days. Symptoms are usually mild and occur for a period of 2-7 days. Common symptoms include rashes, itching all over the body, fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, conjunctivitis and lower back pain.
Zika virus is primarily transmitted to individuals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Unlike mosquitoes that spread malaria, affected mosquitoes (Aedes mosquito) bite during the early morning hours and late afternoon/evening and are the same ones that spread dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Read more on diseases spread through mosquitoes at www.firsteatright.com.
Although a small number of cases of sexual transmission have been reported, the risk is said to be pretty low.
The virus is diagnosed through a series of blood tests on blood and other body fluids such as urine, semen and saliva. Treatment is not mandatory when infection is mild. Individuals affected with this virus should take plenty of rest, drink ample fluids and treat pain and fever with common medicines. If symptoms worsen, it is better to seek help of a physician.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause congenital brain abnormalities in which microcephaly is also included. Microcephaly is a condition wherein the baby has an abnormally small head and can have abnormal brain development and is also known as congenital Zika syndrome.
It is recommended that pregnant women avoid travelling to places that are at an increased risk of Zika virus transmission and also postpone travel plan to places at a moderate risk of Zika virus transmission until after pregnancy. Pregnant women are advised to follow safer sex or better abstain from sexual activity throughout their pregnancy period.
Women Trying to Get Pregnant
If you are trying to conceive, it is better to safeguard yourself from mosquito bites. Also try to avoid becoming pregnant in areas that have a high prevalence of Zika virus. If in case you ought to travel to areas where the prevalence of Zika virus is high, avoid getting pregnant for at least up to 8 weeks after coming back.
An individual’s backbone or spine consists of 26 bones called vertebrae. Between every two vertebrae are soft disks that contain a viscous substance and these discs keep the vertebrae intact. Just like our bones, these discs degenerate or break as a person ages. The discs also lose their cushioning property resulting in pain whenever the back is stressed.
A herniated disc is one that cracks leading to the viscous substance in the disc to spill and affect the nearby nerves. This can cause pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. But in some people, none of these symptoms exist and most of the time this problem can be treated without the need for any surgery.
Whenever the disc presses a nerve the individual experiences pain on one side of the body. The exact location of pain depends on the location of the herniated disc.
When there is a disc slip in the cervical section of the spine, it leads to pain in the neck and arms. You would experience pain moving your neck, near the shoulder blade, stinging pain down the arm and into the fingers along with a feeling of numbness in the shoulder, elbow, forearm or fingers.
A disc slip in the lumbar section of the spine results in pain (commonly known as sciatica as it pushes on the sciatic nerve) in the back and legs. This causes pain or numbness in the leg, hip, buttocks, calf or sole of the foot and weakness in either leg.
Intensity of the symptoms depends on your activity levels. Too much strain can cause greater pain from a herniated disc while resting can decrease its impact. Actions such as coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving or bending forward can worsen the pain as pressure is exerted on the nerve.
Growing older brings a lot of health issues along with it. The disks in the spine grow old and become weaker. Other causes for a herniated disc include lifting heavy objects, being overweight, being middle-aged or above middle age, doing actions that involve repetitive bending or twisting, sitting in the same position for a very long time, sedentary lifestyle and smoking.
Although there is nothing that can be done from our side to prevent a herniated disc as it comes with age, it can be delayed by living a healthy lifestyle. Stay on a healthy weight, exercise regularly, do back-strengthening exercises, don’t repeat one single movement (bending, for instance) repetitively, stand up and walk around every hour when you sit for long hours at work and adhere to safe lifting and bending techniques. Visit the website www.firsteatright.com to get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist who can help you start living a healthy lifestyle.
Physical therapy, steroid injections, surgery and precautionary measures are some options that can help cure a herniated disk. Although most people affected with this problem get better in 4 weeks’ time, it is advisable to visit your doctor if it prolongs beyond that.
There are a very few people who are not tempted by the inviting aroma of a cup of hot freshly brewed coffee! Coffee is loved by people in India, especially South India. Some cannot live without coffee, it is almost an addiction to them and some others feel energized and geared up only after drinking some coffee. Too much caffeine from coffee consumption is bad for health and its side effects are mentioned at www.firsteatright.com. Here are some interesting facts that would be adored by all coffee lovers:
Anytime during the day, morning, afternoon or evening, runners need to balance run time with meal time to keep their stomach comfortable, devoid of hunger but full of energy. If the right food choices are made, snacking can be an integral part of meal plan for runners. Snacking is like adding fuel to energy levels and must be a part of their internal equipment.
While you can eat a small snack anytime during the day, it works to your advantage if you time it just before or after a run. The right foods consumed in the right quantity provides the perfect fuel for performance. Instead of eating three large meals, break it into smaller ones that you eat frequently to provide adequate body fuel and brain fuel along with improved water levels in the body.
Snacks taken just before the running event increase blood glucose levels and muscle carb stores that are essential for harder, time-consuming events. Your snack should depend on the time available for digestion. If you have two hours ahead of your event, you can go for a bowl of cereal or peanut butter sandwich or a small smoothie with muffin (a very small one indeed). Almost 50-75 grams of easily-digested carbs can be consumed some two hours before a run and this helps the athlete delay fuel depletion during the run and prevents hunger too.
In reality, you need to fuel up an hour before a run which means you consume a lighter snack, such as a sports drink, handful of dry cereal, a slice of toast with honey or waffle with jam. Remember to eat only 15-25 grams of carbohydrates when you have only an hour before a run. Some other alternatives include carbohydrate gel or half an energy bar for easy digestion.
After the event, reload muscles with fuel and your body with fluid and electrolytes. It is advisable that runners refuel and cool together. Remember the three “R’s”-repair, restore and replete that can be fulfilled with a combination of protein and carbohydrate-containing foods within fifteen minutes after the run. Always have a combination of foods, you can choose a fruit and yogurt instead of only consuming the fruit.
Restrict protein intake to 12-15 grams and carbohydrates intake to 35-50 grams to prevent overeating and keeping your weight in normal ranges. Always check the food labels to find out if the portions are feasible or not because anything might seem to be good when you are famished after a hard run. Suitable post-run snacking options include:
Rainbow-colored vegetables and fruits occupy center-table in any healthy meal plan. Now, colored rice has also gained limelight along with these. Scientists are researching the use of brown, purple and red rice in averting diabetes.
Glucose management and intake play a critical role in monitoring the health of individuals with diabetes. These people don’t have the ability to produce insulin by themselves and this can lead to elevated glucose levels in the blood. When insulin levels are not properly managed, diabetes can end up in heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage of the individual.
Testing the Mice Cells
Scientists tested the impact of brown, red and purple rice bran on mice fat cells to test the impact on diabetes. The study showed that colored rice increased glucose uptake in mice fat cells that were fed with these bran extracts. The glucose levels also depended on the color of the rice bran: it doubled with purple bran extracts and tripled when mice fat cells were exposed to red rice bran extracts. If you want to know the nutritional content present in different colored rice, you can get information on them at www.firsteatright.com.
Hence, while colored rice shows significant positive changes in the diabetes values of individuals, scientists proclaimed that further research might be needed to know its positive effects on humans as well.
Contaminated food or water paves way for pathogenic parasites, bacteria, chemicals and toxins causing more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhea to cancer. The high-risk group includes children, elderly people, pregnant women and individuals with lowered immunity. Updating yourself on the food safety practices to follow while preparing food reduces your risk of food poisoning and helps you stay healthy. Follow these guidelines to ensure food safety:
Keep Everything Clean
Make it a point to wash your hands before food preparation, after handling raw meat or poultry, after touching face or hair and after sneezing, coughing or using the bathroom. Hand washing techniques are clearly explained in detail in the website www.firsteatright.com. Replace your kitchen sponge for a washcloth as it is easier to launder. None of us love to clean the fridge. But keep your fridge all neat and tidy by cleaning it every few weeks. This helps to remove potentially hazardous residue from raw meat and poultry, soil from vegetables and also helps you get rid of spoilt leftovers that can otherwise make you sick.
What Goes onto the Top & What Goes onto the Bottom?
Place ready-to-eat foods at the top counter of the fridge. Keep foods such as raw meat and poultry that may ooze bacteria-laden juices at the bottom of the fridge to minimize contamination. Also store food in containers or in paper bags to avoid cross-contamination and use foods within a couple of days of purchase.
Use a Thermometer to Check Internal Temperature
One out of every four hamburgers turn brown before it’s fully cooked. Hence it is safest to use a food safety thermometer to check the internal temperature of the cooked food instead of relying totally on the color of the food. Accurate temperature readings can be fetched by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Avoid inserting the thermometer into the bones or the bottom of the pan as these can give a false temperature reading. Use an alcohol swab to clean the thermometer after use and keep it a point to reheat leftovers until they’re piping hot.
Keep Hot Foods Hot & Cold Foods Cold
During hot summer days, keep the food items in a cooler on your ride back home from the supermarket. Pick out cold and frozen foods as the last shopping items in your shopping list. Thaw foods inside the fridge and not on the counter. Keep hot foods piping hot until served and cold foods very cold as intermediate temperature foods are in the “danger zone” at which microbes can multiply rapidly.
Wash Food Materials with Running Water
Don’t hesitate to clean water filters, coffee makers and refrigerator water dispensers with a 50-50 water and white vinegar solution to prevent mold buildup. Always purchase raw foods from clean sources and wash the produce before chopping and eating. Food safety is important for any of us. If you even have the slightest doubt that some food is unsafe to eat, just don’t consume it. It is much more better to throw it out.
Knowing how to stop bleeding in an injured person can save the life of the individual. People often bleed to death in less than 3 minutes with bad injuries. Techniques to control bleeding can be taught with virtually nothing. When equipped with such knowledge, you can help in times when you are the first one on the scene to a car accident, kitchen knife injury, hunting accident or a traumatic farm injury. Read more on trauma care at www.firsteatright.com.
Before you help someone, assure your own safety as none of us want to put our life in danger in order to help another person. Next, to relieve a bleeding person in distress, follow the ABCs of response to a bleeding injury.
A for alert. Call ambulance 102
B for bleeding. Find the injury that is the root cause for bleeding.
C for compression. Stop bleeding by applying pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth or wound packing.
It is generally advised to lock your elbows and push on the area to stop bleeding. But this method is not effective for chest or abdomen bleeds.
Many individuals feel that HIV and AIDS are one and the same. But there is a monumental difference between the two! While HIV is a virus, AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection.
HIV is a virus that spreads through body fluids and affects the body’s immune system, mostly the CD4 cells (T cells). As time progresses, the virus attacks many of these cells making the body unable to protect itself from infections and diseases. CD4 cells help the immune system fight against infections and the virus mainly reduces the number of CD4 cells in the body. Reduction in the total count of these cells damages the immune system making it harder for the body to stay away from diseases. You can eat immune-boosting foods to help increase immunity levels in your body. Have a complete list of the healthy immune-boosting foods by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) if left untreated. Never can our body get rid of the virus completely even with treatment. A person once infected with HIV becomes infected for life.
AIDS is the most severe phase of HIV infection. As HIV infection advances to AIDS, the amount of HIV in the body increases and the number of CD4 cells in the body decreases. One good news is that, by using HIV medicines, you can prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS. But, without any medications for HIV, it advances to AIDS in about 10 to 12 years. If the disease is diagnosed in the preliminary stages and treated, the patient can live nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.
Research studies have compared inflammatory elements in the diet to bone density and have found a new association between bone health and food. The study involved more than 1.5 lakh postmenopausal women in the age group of 50 to 79. The study proved that women put on least-inflammatory diets lost less bone density in a six-year follow-up study compared to their peers who were put on most-inflammatory diets. Both the groups started with lower overall bone density.
The research also found that, low-inflammatory diets have the potential to lower the risk of hip fracture among one subgroup involved in the study. Women must eat anti-inflammatory diets rich in vegetables, fruits, fish and whole grains to reap the benefits of healthy bones. This study also implies the fact that a healthy diet impacts bones as a woman ages. Inflammation is sometimes good and sometimes bad, depending on various factors. Check out the website www.firsteatright.com to learn which type of inflammation is good and which type is bad.
Likewise, when the risk of inflammation increases, risk of osteoporosis increases too. The study also looked at the diet as one full factor rather than going into the details of each nutrient separately to understand how the components of the diet might interact with each other to provide benefit.
The study also found that women with more-inflammatory diets were not at a greater risk of hip fracture, in fact they were at a reduced risk of bone or hip fractures. This may also be due to the fact that women with lower-inflammatory scores were more physically active and hence, were at an increased risk of falling down and breaking their bones. Also, women with healthier diets didn’t lose bones as quickly as those with high-inflammation diets, the main factor here that post menopause women are at an increased risk of losing bone density that may lead to fractures.
Sport requires constant travel as the athletes participate in events held in different states or countries. This pushes a person to eat away from home. Wherever you might be- travelling with a sports team, going to practice directly from school or doing a workout session while on a holiday, ensure that your body has the fuel it needs.
Athletes can also breast-feed their baby. With a doctor’s guidance, most women can engage in sports or some exercise along with breast-feeding.
When moms exclusively breast-feed their infants, they need to consume approximately 670 extra calories every day. If the mom wants to lose calories gradually, it is advisable to add approximately 500 calories per day for the first six months and 400 calories per day for the second six months. Mothers engaging in physical workout need more calories. The actual number of calories depends on the duration and intensity of workout.
There is a certain set of guidelines that needs to be followed while planning a well-balanced eating plan for athletes and non-athletes, alike. It is better to seek the help of a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com to plan a customized meal plan for the breast-feeding mother.
Fluid needs increase during the breast-feeding period. The average needs differ between 8 to 12 cups per day for food, beverage and water when the breast-feeding mom is not exercising. Work out sessions elevate the need to drink fluids to an even greater extent.
While breast-feeding is recommended at least till the child’s first birthday, mothers who choose not to breast-feed or stop breast-feeding before one year should rely on an iron-fortified formula to fulfill their baby’s nutritional needs. Breast or bottle, babies love feeding times for all the cuddling and affection. Sit down in a quiet, comfortable place. Relax, hold your baby in a semi-upright position and talk lovingly to your little one while feeding.
Every baby is different and takes different time duration to settle into a regular routine. Feed your baby on demand and again, allow him/her to decide when to stop feeding. Drowsing off or naturally turning away from the bottle are signs of fullness from your baby. Don’t push your baby to finish the bottle once you see these signs in your little one.
Burp your baby midway through the feed and at the end of the feed too. This helps to remove any excess air present in your baby’s tummy. Even after doing all this, if your baby spits a small amount of formula during feeding or burping, it is perfectly normal.
Different Formula Forms
Numerous varieties of infant formula are out in the market and it is up to you to decide the best one for your child after discussing with your pediatrician. Most of the formulas are made from specially treated cow’s milk and iron-fortified. But, never feed an infant under one year with regular cow milk as the baby’s digestion system is not fit to digest milk protein properly and cow’s milk also lacks multiple nutrients needed for growing infants. Read more on cow’s milk and the suitability of it for different age groups at www.firsteatright.com.
Premature babies are usually fed with soy formula or other specialized formulas as per the instructions given by the doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist. Formula are available in different forms such as ready-to-use, concentrate and powder form (least expensive). Mix formula properly after reading the instructions.
Baby Bottle Safety
Some techniques to prevent your baby from falling sick and promote dental hygiene include:
Time and again nutritionists/dietitians and physicians keep insisting on the advantages of eating fruits and vegetables, but their recommendations vanish at the blink of an eye, once we come across our favorite junk food. Not even a quarter of our population meet the vegetable/fruit intake recommendations. Catch hold of some simple ways to add more produce to your diet:
Our eyes are tricky as they insist us to eat what we see in our kitchen cabinets or dining tables. We buy what we see at the shop. The key to a healthy weight is to stock healthy foods at home while avoiding the purchase of unhealthy foods such as cookies or sodas. So, it all melts down to a single issue-shopping.
Cooking healthy food at home is impossible without the right nutritious ingredients at home. But most of us don’t have the time or patience to go through the Nutrition Facts label of each of the foods that we plan to buy. The best way to approach this problem is to create a shopping list of all -the items needed during the weekend and then purchase only those items in the list.
What do You Shop For?
Don’t go to a warehouse-kind store as much as possible as these shops lure the customers with combo packs and big offers. We end up purchasing too many items resulting in overeating. The guidelines given here may help you choose the right foods and shop responsibly to stay healthy.
Certain foods should not be purchased without reading the food labels. The most misleading words on a food label are “natural” and “pure”.
Sodium is bad for health. Sodium raises your blood pressure levels. Too much sodium in your foods paves way for many other diseases as well. These are some of the often-heard comments on sodium. This list is never ending and could go pages and pages.
Sodium is always under limelight for its adverse action on blood pressure levels, which in turn can lead to heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death worldwide. Almost one billion people are affected with high blood pressure globally with 32.5% of Indian men and 31.7% of Indian women suffering from hypertension.
What is Sodium & Why is it Needed?
Sodium is a mineral which our body needs to function properly. It helps to maintain fluid levels in the body, aids in the proper functioning of nerves and muscles and for our body to work effectively. But too much of this mineral can result in big problems. Dietary guidelines recommend taking not more than 2.3 grams of sodium every day. When a person crosses this maximum limitation, blood vessels pull water into them, raising the volume of blood flowing through them. High blood pressure can:
The main culprits are not our everyday homemade foods, but the prepared and processed foods available at supermarkets and restaurants. Pizzas, sandwiches, breads, rolls, cold cuts and meats, poultry and soup are primarily to be blamed for very-high sodium levels. The reason is now very clear for the high sodium levels in children too. Several manufacturing companies and hotels have come forward to reduce sodium levels in their food preparations and some of them have already taken initiatives to do so.
On the other hand, certain people working in extreme heat or suffering from a certain illness need to maintain sodium levels higher than the rest of the population. A registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com is the right person to plan a diet altering sodium levels depending on the person’s health condition (2.3 grams for a normal person. 1.5 grams for a person with hypertension and a little more than 2.3 grams in case of people working in extreme heat or suffering from certain illness).
Diabetes can bring ample stress along with it and finding ways to keep your mind and body at peace can contribute to a sense of security. Save yourself before the stress becomes distress with these techniques mentioned here:
Weighing only 1.5 kilograms (approx.), the brain is the root of human intelligence. This walnut-shaped organ works like a computer processing the information received from the body and sending messages back to the body. But it is the emotions and thinking capability that add invaluable worth to this tiny organ making it very different from a computer. Young or old, you need to protect your brain health. It might be to sharpen your intelligence quotient in the case of young people or prevent conditions like dementia in the case of old people. Like the muscles and bones in the body that need exercise to stay fit, your brain needs physical as well as mental workouts to stay in shape.
Numerous studies have linked increased exercise routines with decreased rate of dementia. Living an active life is the best present you can gift yourself and your loved ones. Regular cardiovascular exercise increases heart rate and blood flow to the brain and body. Even yoga or swimming can boost brain functionality.
Save your Heart
Risk factors (obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes) for heart disease and stroke affect brain health too. When you take care to keep these risk factors under control, you can be sure of a safe heart and a safe brain.
Stay Connected with the Society
Reading makes you think. Thinking activates your brain. Read a book, magazine or join any course you are interested to pursue. There is no age limit to learn. Education at any stage can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. You can even have a friendly chat with your friends, discuss latest news and review a movie together. Conversations trigger thinking as you are forced to consider what you say or do. Being among people reduces the time you spend in isolation or depression, both of which are associated with lower brain function.
Be a part of an NGO, join a local choir if you love singing or help students after school in their academics if you love teaching. Involve yourself in whatever interests you to stay socially connected and improve brain health.
Play Games & Solve Puzzles
Practice any hobby that interests and challenges you. Chess is a game of brains and playing chess triggers your cognitive abilities. You can even solve a sudoku, a jigsaw puzzle or do something artistic to activate brain cells. There is nothing wrong in winning or losing. What you gain are long-term benefits on your brain health.
Don’t be Depressed
Certain studies reveal that depression is associated with reduced cognitive functionality. Never hesitate to ask help if in case you suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental concerns. Stay away from stress as much as possible.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep has become the least important thing in our lives nowadays. Most adults don’t get the required amount of sleep (6 to 8 hours) every night and suffer from poor brain functionality every now and then. Insufficient sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea can end up in memory-related problems.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eat a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy with restricted intake of added sugars, sodium and unhealthy fats to avoid cognitive decline. Vitamin D is said to be associated with brain health. Get a healthy dose of sunlight and eat vitamin D-rich foods to pump up vitamin D levels in your body. To be completely assured of a healthy diet plan, you can get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com who can plan an individualized diet plan suiting your requirements.
Smoking is associated with increased risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce this risk.
The often-quoted response given for missing out workout sessions is lack of time. Many of us multitask between different things: family, work, health and other things. We set personal goals for each of these things, but mostly fulfill only workplace and family goals while health takes a backseat. To curb thing, we do take an oath every new year or on our birthdays to allocate sufficient time for health, but this fades away in due course of time. Time management is the best way to overcome these failures and help you succeed in your health goals as well.
Be specific about the goal
Losing weight might be the top priority, but there are also other concerns such as increasing muscle mass, changing eating habits or losing belly weight, etc. Target a specific goal and work towards that goal. When you are unsure about the goal, there is no way to succeed in your endeavor. With hard-set goals, you can fulfill the day’s workout requirements even between your hectic work schedules and other things.
Start from reverse and work backward. If your goal is to gain muscle mass, decide how much time you need for this and create a timeline. Do the same for your other goals as well, such as weight loss or even for your office goals.
Question Yourself on the Next Step
Once you are clear about your goal and the time-period for the goal is also decided, start planning on how you are going to achieve your target. For instance, losing weight needs changing eating habits, working out and sleeping right. Next, tackle each of these steps individually. Changing eating habits needs restructuring your kitchen cabinets, changing grocery lists and adopting healthy menu ideas. Physical activity can be walk, working out at the gym or learning exercises that can be done at your home. Sleeping right needs a calm mind and relaxing hours of sleep during the night. You can form a timeline for each of these steps and work individually on each of these goals. This way, you get a clear picture on your requirements and also on your performance. If you are stuck up getting started on your health targets, it is better to meet a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com to help you achieve them.
Allocate Timeslots for Each of Your Health Goals
Plan your workouts, trips to the grocery store and even sleeping hours in the same way you plan your doctor’s appointment and stick to it. Workout sessions can be repeated at the same time every day. Tag a friend along who can motivate and support you. For shopping, it is better to create a list in advance to avoid picking things out of temptation. This saves time and extra calories too.
Keep Basics Ready
As you have planned your grocery shopping list, you are aware of your meal plans and it is better to get the basics done a few times a week to save time. Chopping vegetables, getting the tomato puree ready or grinding the required powders in batches saves time and helps you focus on your other things as well.
Use your Saved Time
If cooking is done early, kids are out to play or if you have completed work at office prior end time, make use of this precious time to achieve your goal. You can take a walk at your office, do a few exercise workouts at home or meditate for some time to sleep well at night. Looking at the broader scenario, we might feel that we don’t have much time. But, breaking your goal into smaller ones gives you enough time to complete your tasks.
At the end of the week, take out your goal list and tick off your targets one by one. This will give you an idea about the following week. Do these goals need any change? Are your workout plans progressive? Is your grocery list leaving you with cravings? Answering these questions gives you clarity and energy to plan again for the upcoming week and get back right on track.
Setting goals, working towards them with diligence and clarity and not stopping until your goals is achieved is the secret mantra to success. Hurdles are practical and there is no way that one can work towards his/her targets smoothly. How you handle these hurdles and come out of it successfully is the main concern.
World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16th to honor the founding of the United Nations Organization in the year 1945. The theme for 2017 is ‘Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development’. This is one of the days of paramount importance in the UN calendar and different events are organized in over 150 countries worldwide, including India. The events organized revolve around the main theme of hunger, worldwide awareness and actions for those suffering from hunger and the steps necessary to ensure food security and nutrition for people living in this planet.
This day is a great opportunity to showcase our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 to reach our target of Zero Hunger by 2030. The ‘Zero Hunger’ goal discussed elaborately in the website www.firsteatright.com is critical to end food scarcity.
Is there A Need for A Special Day to Focus on One of the Basic Necessities of Life?
While food, water, clothing and shelter are basic necessities of life, many people lack even all of these. Hence, a day to spread awareness on food and its role on leading a healthy life becomes a matter of concern.
Ideally anything that is termed to be edible should be digestible. But our current sedentary lifestyle, food processing and preparation methods makes food unpredictable and our stomach does not react in the same way to every food that we eat. Our body needs continuous energy supply to perform activities and food is the primary source of this energy. While eating certain foods such as fatty mean and certain spices can upset our tummies, there exists certain other foods that can aid in digestion. Given here is a list of foods that not only aid in digestion but also keep harmful bacteria moving through the system.
Nutrients such as probiotics, fiber, fat and water work with foods to keep the body up and running while certain other nutrients such as ginger have more of mythology and folklore than actual scientific evidence behind their effectiveness.
The Friendly Bacteria: Probiotics
Our human gut houses millions of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics belong to the good bacteria category and play a role in all digestive health benefits. It helps to manage IBS, traveler’s diarrhea, bloating and constipation. Yogurt, a common source of probiotic, contains some of these healthy bacteria. Not all yogurt varieties are helpful and you should look for the ‘active and live cultures’ label before purchasing yogurt to serve your purpose. Common ones that aid in digestion include plain, regular or Greek yogurts. Greek yogurts have several other advantages in their kitty and these are available at the website www.firsteatright.com.
Just like the good and bad bacteria in the human gut, eating good and bad fats shows its effects. Cut down on greasy and fried foods such as chips, burgers and French fries that are hard to digest and can cause stomach pain and heartburns. On the contrary, eating balanced portions of healthy fats not only helps in digestion but also is essential for a healthy diet. Good fats such as lean meat, avocados and plant oils (olive, corn, etc.) work with fiber and water to maintain a clean intestinal system and absorb vitamins.
Our body requires fiber to help in digestion and promote the efficiency of probiotics. The specialty of fiber is that, unlike all other foods, fiber is not absorbed by the body but pushed through the body in several forms to maintain a healthy and clean digestive tract. Fiber can be soluble or insoluble and each type serves a different purpose. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and passes through as a gel while insoluble fiber cannot dissolve and helps to push food through the digestive system promoting bowel movement and preventing constipation. Oats, fruits and certain vegetables contain soluble fiber that help lower cholesterol and control diabetes.
Drink plenty of fluids, primarily plain water. Fiber cannot do its job properly without the help of water and can lead to constipation if left without enough water content. A portion of the water consumed is used to move the waste out of the digestive system and the rest goes to the large and small intestines along with other nutrients. Water also helps to soften foods so that the body can absorb the nutrients.
Since ages, ginger has been used worldwide to aid in digestion and settle the stomach. Till date, no research study has been able to pinpoint a certain element or reason for ginger’s healing properties. But numerous tests that have been conducted to test the efficiency of ginger on nausea and gas have given positive results. People who participated in this test commented that they had decreased gastric trouble-causing symptoms.
Food is the reflection of our health. Our human digestive system is complex and makes maximum effort to operate smoothly. The beauty here is that, foods that aid in digestion are the same ones that are needed for a healthy diet. Eat a healthy mix of all good foods and maintain a well-balanced diet to promote body functioning to the maximum potential.
Dietitian Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.