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Patient Review Highlights
A stressful life increases the cortisol content in our body, which in turn is responsible for increasing our craving for food. Often these cravings are more inclined towards sweets. An increased sweet consumption worsens our mood and is responsible for an array of complications such as obesity, diabetes etc. On top of this, the cortisol releases an enzyme called cortisone, which further increases the cortisol content in the body. In order to avoid this complication which results from a stressful life, here is a diet that will keep you in good state:
- Asparagus: Asparagus has is an ideal low-calorie option. Its high folate content helps to keep the body cool and composed. Asparagus can be consumed with salads or in the form of crisp and broiled snacks. Regular intake of this will go a long way in keeping you healthy under stressful situations.
- Avocados: One single serving of avocado can do good to your body. This creamy fruit has enough glutathione to block intestinal absorption of many kinds of fat. Avocados are also rich in folate, vitamin B, vitamin E, lutein and beta carotene. However, owing to its fat content, too much intake of this fruit doesn’t prove to be very beneficial for the body. This can be consumed as a whole or along with sandwiches and burgers.
- Berries: All kinds of berries are extremely rich in vitamin C, which is known to be a very effective combat for stress. Blueberries are one of the best antioxidants that occur naturally. Apart from this, berries also have the unique ability to reduce cortisol in the body. 3-4 berries can be included in the diet to experience immediate results.
- Cashews: There are a lot of misconceptions about cashews contributing to fat. While they possess fat, they are a great source of protein as well. Cashew is a rich source of zinc that is responsible for combatting stress, depression and anxiety. 2-3 pieces of cashews can be consumed on a daily basis.
- Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea has a soothing effect on the body. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania showed that Chamomile tea greatly helps in fighting stress and has a calming effect on the body. A separate study by the University of Maryland Medical Center showed that Chamomile Tea helps in getting sleep.
- Garlic: Garlic is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals in the body. Allicin is a critical compound found in garlic, which helps to fight against common cold, heart diseases and even cancer. Garlic also fights against stress and maintains calm. This can be consumed with your meals on a regular basis. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
It is a very common notion that fat is not good for your body. Most people have started opting for sugar instead of fat, which, in turn, has led to the rise in cases of diabetes. Recent studies have shown that fat is actually healthy for your body. Fat plays an important role in the body such as forming the membranes of the cell and reducing inflammation.
Here are some foods that are rich in fat and are actually good for you:
- Avocado: Avocadoes are different from other fruits in the way that they are rich in fats unlike other fruits, which mostly contain carbohydrates. It mostly contains oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that is beneficial for the immune system. They are also rich in fiber that lowers the bad cholesterol levels in the body.
- Dark chocolate: As mouthwatering as it can get, dark chocolates never fall out of a foodie’s list of things he can’t do without. Studies have always attributed chocolates with all the ill effects they can possibly bring on you. However, recent researches have come up with quite contrary results, which can make all the prejudiced ones eat the humble pie. Dark chocolates, apart from their exotic varieties, come with incredible health benefits as well. It is rich in fats and antioxidants, known to improve your cardiovascular health. Chocolate is also known to lower blood pressure and improve brain function.
- Fish: Fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which are very beneficial for your heart. It lowers the risk of heart disease and other cardio vascular diseases.
- Nuts: Nuts are rich in healthy mono-saturated fats which reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart diseases. Nuts also contain magnesium and Vitamin E which are good for the body.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is rich in Vitamin K and E along with various antioxidants. These antioxidants help in preventing inflammation and free radical damage to the body.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds are types of seeds which are rich in fats and fiber, thus promoting satiety. They have anti-inflammatory properties and help in lowering the blood pressure. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Eggs are usually the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a protein source that is cheap and easily available. You can eat them boiled, fried, scrambled or pair them with other foods. They are a powerhouse of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that nourish your body.
Here are the reasons why eggs are considered to be the perfect super foods:
- Eggs contain Antioxidants: Eggs contain antioxidants such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin that help in providing nourishment to the eyes. It prevents certain diseases such as macular degeneration and eye cataracts.
- They are a nutrient powerhouse: They contain heart healthy fats, protein, Vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients. They are also rich in Phosphorus, iron and Vitamin A. Don’t throw the yolk away fearing its cholesterol content as it contains most of the egg’s nutrients.
- They promote satiety: The carbohydrate content in eggs not being excessive, it spares the blood sugar levels from the dreaded spikes. Also, the high protein content of eggs tends to promote satiety. Eating eggs on a regular basis as a part of a healthy diet is known to reduce weight and lead to fat loss.
- They are good for your hair and skin: They contain Vitamin B12 and sulphur, both of them being panaceas of skin and hair related woes. Eggs are known to be the best sources of keratin (a type of protein present in nails and hair) in terms of bioavailability. (Bioavailability is how well a nutrient is absorbed by your body.)
- Boosts good cholesterol levels in the body: Regular egg consumption has been shown to increase good cholesterol levels (HDL) in the body, which in turn reduce chances of stroke and other heart diseases.
- They contain protein in good amounts: Eggs are the cheapest source of proteins and also the most readily available ones. They contain all the 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body. Eggs are one of the most preferred foods to gain muscle as the protein from eggs can easily be absorbed by the body. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Akin to nuts, seeds consumed in their raw form also provide essential nutrients such as Vitamin E, mono-saturated fats and fibre to your body and can help in keeping the body and heart healthy and free of diseases. The following seeds are powerhouses of energy and should be added to your diet immediately:
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds, which were used in Aztec remedies once upon a time, are currently classified under the super food category. These seeds are packed with fiber and contain Omega-3 which are very good for your body. Chia seeds are often referred to as the complete “protein package”, as they contain low level of amino acids which is why they are effective in lowering hypertension and keeping your junk food yearnings at bay.
- Sunflower seeds: These edible seeds extracted from the sunflower plant are underrated and usually thrown away. However, they are packed Vitamin B which consists of folate and vitamin E, all of which are effective antioxidants and help in maintaining a smooth shaft of hair and protect your skin from diseases. Apart from Vitamins, these seeds are loaded with proteins and other essential fats.
- Sesame seeds: Unique in their chemical structure, the positive quality of sesame seeds has been harped upon by our ancestors since a long time. Sesame seeds are rich in zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and fiber. These seeds contain fibers known as lignans, which are useful in fighting cholesterol and can help prevent an array of health problems such as liver damage and Post Menstrual Syndrome (PMS).
- Pumpkin seeds: Certain research studies claim that pumpkin seeds might thwart the growth and spread of cancerous cells in the male prostate area. These seeds are also loaded with a particular type of anti-oxidant known as carotenoid which is known to block the entry of disease spreading germs, thereby strengthening your immunity system. Apart from carotenoids, these seeds also contain phytosterols which help in maintaining stable cholesterol levels. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Food is a very important part of your life as it provides all the necessary nutrients required by your body and is essentially, the fuel for all things to function within. However, many people may have aversion to certain kinds of food as it causes adverse reactions within their body. Let’s look at some of the common food allergies that people commonly report and how to identify them.
Allergies v/s Intolerances: It is important to note here that there is a significant difference between food sensitivities or intolerances and allergies. Sensitivities or intolerances cause adverse effects on your body inevitably when you consume certain types of foods. One such example is diarrhea, caused by ingesting cheese or milk by lactose intolerant people. However, allergies are caused when the immune system within your body mistakes harmless food as something that might harm you and thus tries to protect you from its effects. This results in reactions within your body which may be very painful and problematic.
Common foods that trigger allergies
Some of the common foods that trigger allergies are:
3. Other forms of tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts etc.
4. Gluten rich grains such as wheat, rye barley, oats
5. Certain types of fish
7. Soy products
8. Milk (allergic reactions mostly occur within children)
Some other foods which have been known to cause allergies in rare cases are:
1. Meats such as pork, chicken, beef, mutton
2. Corn and corn products
4. Certain spices such as mustard, garlic and coriander among others
5. Certain seeds such as poppy, sunflower, or sesame
Symptoms of allergies
In certain cases, the allergies might manifest immediately, almost in a matter of minutes, within the body. However, in many cases, it may take a few hours for it to show up. The symptoms may range from mild to quite severe. Mild symptoms will make it quite hard to actually diagnose it as a food allergy.
Some of the milder symptoms could be:
1. Hives or eczema could form on your skin which may be very itchy. These would look like raised swollen areas that could be red, inflamed, and dry.
2. The inside of your mouth and ears may become itchy
3. You could suddenly develop a runny or a blocked nose and start sneezing or coughing.
4. Your eyes may become watery, red and itchy
5. You may develop a funny taste in your mouth
6. Others symptoms may include throwing up and even loose motions
Other severe forms of allergies can be caused mostly by shellfish and peanuts and other forms of nuts and fish. Symptoms in such cases would look like:
1. Uneven heartbeat
2. Difficulty in swallowing and breathing
3. Feeling of extreme weakness, confusion
4. Passing out or feeling light headed
5. The tongue, throat or lips may swell up
6. Chest pain
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Eating out and eating healthy usually do not go hand in hand. You would be more likely to gorge on junk food instead of its healthier counterparts while eating out with your family. When it comes to eating out, you may not always know about the healthy items available at your disposal; this very fact pushes you more towards the unhealthier variants.
But hey! We’ve got ways to stop you getting swept off by that hungry tide churning in your belly. Below mentioned are just a few tips that could come in handy, if you decide to finally drop by that uber cool restaurant you were planning to go to!
- Read the menu carefully: Go through the menu carefully before ordering your food. Look for dishes that are less oily and do not contain hidden sugars. If you are not sure about the calorific content of the dish, you could ask the person in charge about it. Or, go for options that you already are aware of; both the food and its supposed calorie content.
- Eat a healthy snack before your meal: To reduce your portion size of the main course, you can eat a healthy snack to act as filler. Opt for healthy snacks such as chickpeas or a handful of almonds before eating out; it can make you eat less during the main course.
- Drink water right before the meal: Drinking a glass or two of water right before the meal serves as a technique widely used by diligent weight watchers. Water contains no calories and acts as an internal cleanser for your body.
- Skip the dessert: The dessert is one portion of the meal that is filled with empty calories. In this country, the dessert occupies a generous space in every foodie’s list and belly. However, remember that it is often the dessert that is responsible for the saggy abdominal fat you hate to look at. If you don’t want to skip the dessert, readily go for simpler alternatives like the humble plain curd topped with slices of fresh fruits or the ever gratifying Greek yogurt. Sweet indulgence at its healthiest best!
- Say vinegar: Might not sound very intelligent, but then try mixing a teaspoon of vinegar to a glass of water and then drink it. Vinegar is known to have properties that reduce your cravings. It also lowers the blood sugar levels in the body. Surprised, you will be.
- Control your portion sizes: The buffet spread could just be your undoing at the dinner table. Don’t get overboard looking at the variety and try to keep a check on the portion sizes. Keep the portions small and avoid taking any extra helping. If the hunger pangs do not subside, go for salads. Don’t get bored already. Salads can come in a delicious platter and amaze you with its health benefits. The Russian salad can never go wrong.
- Avoid carbonated drinks: Carbonated beverages should not be brewing in your head if you are a weight watcher. Cold drinks and other carbonated beverages contain empty calories that should be absolutely got over with; irrespective of how health conscious you are. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Whole grains are much more healthier than refined grains as whole grains contain things such as germ and bran, consumption of which is highly beneficial for the health. However, refined grains do not have the outer layers i.e. bran and has only the endosperm. Brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and buckwheat are a few types of whole grains which are preferred over refined grains such as white rice, flour etc. Whole grains add a whole lot of nutrition to the food you consume.
Here are a few reasons why you should replace refined grains with whole grains:
Whole grains are more nutritious: When compared to refined grains, whole grains preserve a lot of nutrients, such as protein and fibre, which help in digestion and make one feel satiated for a long period of time. The whole grains are also packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats which add to the nutritional value of the food you consume. Thus, you get more nutritious food for the amount you pay which is usually lost when the grains are refined.
You lose more fat: The higher amount of fibre present in whole grains help in regulating the flow of blood. This reduces the risks of diabetes and because the nutritional value of whole grains is so high, it makes you feel full faster that reduces the portion you consume on a daily basis. This leads to weight loss due to portion control.
They help with the process of digestion: Whole grains have digestive benefits as well. The high fibre content helps in regulating the movement of bowels and helps in getting rid of diverticulosis (development of small pouches in the digestive tract). Diverticulosis causes inflammation, diarrhoea, pain and constipation. Whole grains are also rich in lactic acid that regulates the spread of good bacteria in the large intestine area.
Thus, when compared to refined grains, the health and nutritional benefits are huge which is why you should replace the refined grains with whole grains. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Dietary tips to stay fit after Menopause
Diuretics are substances that allow the body to get rid of excess water and sodium. They help in draining out the water by stimulating the kidneys and eliminate sodium from the urine thus, facilitating drainage of excess water. Diuretics are prescribed by the doctor when the body starts to retain excessive fluids.
The conditions that lead to problems such as:
1. High blood pressure: This is a disorder wherein the blood exerts more than the normal force (pressure) against the arterial walls while flowing through them.
2. Diabetes: It is a metabolic disorder wherein the blood sugar level rises significantly.
3. Kidney stones: Kidney stones refer to the formation of stones in the kidneys that can hamper the normal functioning of the kidney, leading to fluid retention in the body.
4. Edema: A disorder wherein parts of the body tend to swell due to inflammation is called ‘edema’.
5. Impaired functioning of the kidney: Impaired functioning of the kidneys makes it very difficult to flush out the excess sodium from the body thus, leading to fluid retention.
There are certain natural diuretics, which can come to your aid in times such as these. Read on to know more:
1. Parsley: Parsley, a very effective diuretic, is an herb that is commonly used for garnishing. It can also help in relieving bladder problems.
2. Black and green tea: Both green and black variants of the humble tea are very effective diuretics; you can enjoy them after a heavy meal to get rid of the bloating.
3. Hawthorn: A type of natural diuretic that is effective in reducing fluid accumulation and increasing urinary excretion. It also helps in treating problems of the kidney.
4. Juniper: A diuretic that has been used since ancient times. Juniper is very effective in removing excess salt and fluids from the body. The advantage of this plant is that it does not lower downs the level of potassium in the body, a side effect of other diuretics. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.