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Pregnancy is one of the most important phases in a woman’s life and it is at this time, that proper maintenance of health is of utmost importance; not only for the mother but also for the health of the fetus. What you eat during pregnancy is extremely important and plays a major role in determining you as well as your baby’s health.
A count of 300 extra calories per day is needed, particularly at the latter stages of the pregnancy when the baby grows at a rapid rate; the calories should be particularly derived from nutritious food items. This helps in contributing to the baby’s development and growth. The main source of nourishment for the baby comes from what you eat and drink. Hence, here are some easy tips that women can easily incorporate in their diet plan during pregnancy:
- Prenatal vitamins with folic acid and iron: Iron helps purify your blood and folic acid helps in preventing defects during birth. Hence, daily consumption of these nutrients is extremely important.
- Food rich in complex carbohydrates: Food items such as whole wheat atta, multi grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, potatoes, fruits and vegetables which are high in carbohydrates are required for the daily production of energy and hence, should be consumed in an adequate amount.
- Decaffeinated tea or coffee: Decaffeinated tea or coffee should be given as much preference as possible. Intake of soda should be limited and substituted with increased amounts of water. Restrict or if possible, abstain from alcohol completely during this phase.
- Shellfish and fish: Shellfish and fish such as swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel, that have high levels of mercury, should be avoided, as mercury levels have been found to interfere with the development of brain of the unborn baby. Some easily available and common fish with lower levels of mercury include shrimp, salmon and catfish.
- Boost immune system: The immune system (suppressed during pregnancy) can be boosted by having two spoons of sunflower seed butter containing vitamin E. This helps in building the red blood cells of the fetus.
- Control Cholesterol: Since cholesterol levels soar during pregnancy as well as breastfeeding, sprinkling ground flaxseeds on cereals and salads can help in controlling the levels of cholesterol, thus keeping various heart diseases at bay.
- Calcium: Calcium is needed during pregnancy for easing the muscle contractions as well as proper functioning of the nerves. Adequate levels of calcium are found in milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines and salmon.
Minimise morning sickness:
Morning sickness is most common in the early stages of pregnancy but sadly it’s not always limited to the morning! Help minimise the effects by:
- Eating little and often, basing meals and snacks on starchy foods like whole wheat atta, multi grain bread, brown rice, porridge, plain biscuits, crisp-breads, oatcakes, pasta, rice or potatoes.
- Minimising fatty foods which are harder to digest.
- Choosing quick and easy recipes which need little preparation.
- Keeping a couple of plain biscuits beside your bed – it can help to nibble on one before you get up. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Polycystic means “many cysts,” and PCOS often causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. PCOS affects one in 4 women.
What are the causes behind it?
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, doctors believe that hormonal imbalances and genetics play a role. Women are more likely to develop PCOS if their mother or sister also has the condition.
Overproduction of the hormone androgen may be another contributing factor. Androgen is a male sex hormone that women’s bodies also produce.
PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS that one patient experiences can be very different from the symptoms of another patient. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, you need to have a thorough checkup to determine if you need PCOS treatment:
- Irregular or missing menstrual periods
- Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist
- Skin problems, including skin tags, darkening skin and acne
Does PCOS increase weight?
The answer is a ‘YES’. Most PCOS patients are overweight and are asked to exercise which helps control the symptoms but a lot many people have a completely normal body type.
What are the risks associated with PCOS-related weight gain?
No matter what the cause, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Endometrial cancer
Many of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack than women of the same age without the condition.
Benefit of Weight Loss with PCOS
Modest weight loss will not cure PCOS, but it will help. Weight loss can restore the normal function of the ovaries and result in normal hormone production. This may, in turn, lead to improvements in symptoms of PCOS, such as excess hair growth, acne or scalp hair loss.
Protect Yourself From Weight Gain
- Eat Right: A healthy diet low in complex carbohydrates, moderate protein and low fat is important, as this can help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Exercise: Start doing low-to-moderate activities like walking or swimming for 30-to-90 minutes per day because exercise (even without weight loss) has been shown to lower or get rid of insulin resistance.
- Lose Weight: The more overweight you are the more likely you are to be insulin resistant whether you have PCOS or not. Losing just 5% of your bodyweight will help lower your insulin resistance.
- Avoid Stress: Don’t over stress yourself as it increases the blood pressure level in your body and can’t help to resist with PCOS. So, try to stay as calm as possible.
- Get more sleep (at least 7-to-9 hours in a day): Not getting enough sleep can also make your insulin resistance worse, which in turn acquires you the weight.
- Cereals: Barley, quinoa, oats, oatmeal, muesli, bran flakes, whole wheat porridge, brown rice, multigrain bread
- Pulses: Yellow moong, green moong, chana dal, beans, whole pulses
- Dairy products: Skimmed or toned milk, soy milk, tofu, paneer, yogurt
- Fruits: Berries, plums, peaches, oranges, papaya, pears, watermelons, apples
- Nuts: Walnut, almonds, flaxseeds
- Vegetables: Carrots, peas, broccoli, lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cauliflower, celery, spinach
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Is leukoderma or vitiligo related with deficiency of vitamin D if yes then what type of food, vegetables other than sunlight etc are to be taken to control the deficiency of vitamin D in a body.
Do you have an overwhelming craving for soft drinks? Are sodas and soft drinks part of your everyday diet? Soft drinks are very popular and common among today's youth and adults alike. However, the consumption of soft drinks may have several impacts on your health and may lead to severe consequences. Soft drinks contain chemical preservatives and other harmful substances, which are capable of affecting all major organs of the human body. Here is a list of disorders, health conditions and complications, which may arise from the consumption of soft drinks:
- Asthma is common in many consumers of soft drinks, which contain sodium benzoate as a preservative. These preservatives may mix with your diet and lead to reduced potassium content in the body. The chances of rashes are also enhanced.
- Dissolving of tooth enamel
- Soft drinks contain solvents, which are highly reactive. When these mix with the saliva or the stomach acids, they may turn acidic. Your mouth and teeth may get affected. Tooth enamel may dissolve, and the esophagus may get damaged.
- Soft drinks contain fructose corn syrup, which increases the risk of metabolic disorders in the body. The chances of heart diseases and diabetes get enhanced.
- Sugar overloading
- This is a phenomenon which occurs a few minutes after consuming soft drinks. The blood-sugar level may shoot up, and an insulin burst is possible. Blood pressure increases, the pupils may get dilated, and the liver may dump more amounts of sugar in the bloodstream.
Many soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which causes a disturbance in the digestive system, affecting all the supportive organs. The chances of kidney stone formation get increased because of phosphoric acid. Other renal problems are likely as well.
The cans of soft drinks have a coating of resin for looking good and having a shiny appearance. Resin is composed of Biphenyl A, which is a cancer-causing chemical. The endocrine system gets affected, which may lead to reproductive health problems and premature puberty.
When soft drinks are consumed, urine contains calcium along with phosphoric acid. This may lead to osteoporosis, which is a condition where the bones get weakened and deprived. Calcium deficiency is also observed in people who consume a lot of sodas and soft drinks.
- Obesity is very common among regular consumers of soft drinks, and soda based beverages. According to research, one single can of soda may increase the chances of getting obesity by quite a percentage.
- You should not drink soft drinks and soda regularly. This will keep you away from many health conditions. You should consume alternatives for soft drinks such as homemade iced tea and natural fresh veg juices and whole fruits, which contain no added chemicals and preservatives.