A dairy free diet has many implications. While it is considered as a healthy option by many, it also means that you are cutting off a supply of calcium and even some amount of protein. Calcium, as we all know, is the life giving force for your bones and joints.
So how can you get your dose of calcium without dairy products? Here's a quick list!
Other than consuming these foods, get a full body check up done to know how healthy you are.
The relationship between our food and our mood as well as our thoughts is very complicated and at times contradictory. Internal motivation, as well as positive psychology, plays an important role in changing our eating-related behaviour. Any perceived stress related to what we eat can negate the effects of good diet.
One must realise that our mental state plays an important role in what our body assimilates from food. Simply put it means that if we eat with a mind-set that good nourishing food is a punishment, chances are the signals generated by our brain will ensure that our body gets little nutrition from that food. Forcing healthy food down our throat will not necessarily mean that we become healthy. We will only end up assimilating calories from food and the stress caused would not only cause unnecessary depression but also lead to internal inflammations.
The stress caused in the body due to the negative and forced feelings at the time of consumption of healthy food options leads to increase in the existing levels of inflammations in the body that may have been caused due to any reasons. For the healing to occur it is imperative that there is a release of the feel-good hormone during the intake of food. This will ensure proper assimilation of all the nutrients in the gut making them available for the biochemical processes in the body which in turn helps in the right functioning and repair of our system.
If someone is already suffering from existing health problems or chronic disorders but these conditions are not getting better in spite of medical help, then chances are that it is the thoughts that are the culprit. Remember that our food and our thoughts are the medium for absorption and effectiveness of the medicines. If any of these are not in balance then the medicine will also be ineffective. All of these elements have to be in harmony to extract maximum benefit from them.
It is difficult to fight with the psychology of patients who like to brush aside foods like sprouts or multigrain in spite of understanding that it is good for their health. This happens when people are used to a particular style of eating and anything that compromises with it is difficult to accept, however good it might be for them! Generally, they are the same set of people who exploit their body with the wrong foods and eating habits but consider it fun and fulfilling!
For people who have this kind of psychology, it is important to set realistic goals. I recommend more cheat meals on a weekly basis as it helps them slowly settle into a routine that they are happy to follow, at their own pace. Once that happens then they can be upgraded to the next level of diet so that their mind can adjust to it.
Keep in mind that there is cross-talk between our brain and our body. We need to focus on integrative diet and lifestyle changes to get the desired results. Learn to love your body, train your mind and eat healthy and then it will reflect in better clinical conditions, weight loss and health upgradation. We can always work to find alternatives for foods that are not palatable but are important and needed by our body.
Antioxidants that we get from consuming particular foods are essential for maintaining a healthy heart. Generally, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts are rich in antioxidants. But keep in mind that antioxidants from supplements don’t have the same benefits as the antioxidants from food.
According to research, there is no conclusive evidence to show that taking Vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements are beneficial for the heart.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that exist in the form of minerals and vitamins in foods. They protect your body from diseases by getting rid of free radicals from the body, which are responsible for illnesses. When the quantity of antioxidants in the body is inadequate then these free radicals in the body damage healthy cells. These free radicals contribute to the oxidation of low-density cholesterol (bad cholesterol). When oxidation of LDL takes place, plaque accumulates in the arteries resulting in slowing down the blood flow to the heart.
The link between antioxidant supplements and heart health
A study was conducted by researchers to find the link between antioxidants and heart health. 81788 patients were given Vitamin E and 138, 113 patients were given beta-carotene. The aim was to study the mortality rates from cardiovascular problems.
They found that Vitamin E did not lower mortality and also lower the risk of cardiovascular-related deaths in a significant way. This result was observed irrespective of the dosage of the vitamin used.
Beta-carotene on the other hand slightly increased cardiovascular-related deaths. The researchers, therefore, advocated that beta-carotene supplements should not be encouraged.
However, this study was conducted on patients who were given supplements. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are recommended. There are many benefits that the body can only derive from food and not from supplements. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants has been linked to a lower incidence of cardiovascular problems.
Good sources of antioxidants
Some good sources of antioxidants are leafy vegetables, papaya, seeds, nuts and whole grains. In addition to eating these foods, you should also reduce smoking and alcohol consumption to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Vitamins and minerals can help you to lower your chances of developing heart diseases. But you may fall short of the appropriate quantity of these ingredients. Hence, multivitamins are used to fill in these gaps in your diet.
Multivitamins are basically supplements that contain several vitamins and minerals along with other components. They are available in different forms such as pills, tablets, powder and capsules.
In order to include them properly in your diet, you need to know their details.
Here are some supplements that will keep your heart healthy –
These polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in walnuts, flaxseeds, and certain fishes like sardines, salmon and tuna. As the body does not produce them naturally, you need to consume them separately. These are great for the proper functioning of your heart. This is because the Omega-3 fatty acids help in lowering triglycerides production. High levels of this substance can lead to diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that helps in converting the fats you consume into energy. It helps in maintaining the blood glucose levels in your body. Furthermore, it is beneficial for patients suffering from congestive heart failure and insufficient oxygenation in their heart. L-Carnitine helps in reducing the damage caused due to these conditions. The acid also helps in reducing the symptoms of angina and complications caused due to a heart attack.
This substance is found in the cells of your body. The cells use this to produce the energy required for cell growth. It also acts as an antioxidant that is found in foods such as soybean, peanuts, beef and sardines. It protects the skeletal muscles. The substance is said to be beneficial for patients who have suffered from a heart failure, it helps by boosting energy and speeding up their recovery.
Maintaining the sufficient levels of magnesium helps to maintain the blood pressure, cholesterol, and prevents the building of plaque in the arteries. Furthermore, it helps to prevent hardening of the arteries and calcification of the soft tissues.
This is also called Vitamin B9 and is found in broccoli, asparagus and Brussels sprouts. This regulates the amount of homocysteine in the blood. This is beneficial for reducing the risks of blood clots that may be caused due to homocysteine.
It is best to consult a doctor before including a multivitamin or supplement in your diet as they may have side effects.
Fats are an essential source of energy for the body. They help you to absorb minerals and vitamins from the food you eat, which help in building the cell membranes. All fats are similar in structure – a chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms bonded together. A difference in this structure causes a radical change in their functions and effects.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are considered good fats while trans fats are considered unhealthy. Saturated fats are neither good nor bad. In order to stay healthy, you need to consume the right fats.
Trans fats are also called dietary fat. They are produced due to a process called hydrogenation that coverts healthy oils into solids. They are very harmful and have no health benefits. There is no safe level of consumption of these fats.
Easting fast foods rich in trans fat increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol and reduces the amount of good HDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. These fats cause inflammation in the body and lead to ailments such as diabetes, stroke and heart attack. They create insulin resistance in the body that puts you at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
For every 2% calories that you consume from these trans fats, the chances of heart disease increases by 23%. Therefore, you must avoid foods like pizzas, burgers, cakes, pastries, meat pies and sausage rolls. This will also reduce the chances of becoming obese and help you stay healthy and fit.
These fats are found in red meat, whole milk-based products, cheese, baked products and coconut oil. If you consume plenty of saturated fats, your cholesterol level will increase and harmful LDL cholesterol will build up. This increases the chances of developing blockages in the arteries that lead to diseases like Coronary artery disease.
The American Heart Association recommends that you must not consume more than 6% calories from saturated fats out of your daily calorie count.
The fats that are good for your heart are – Monounsaturated fat and Polyunsaturated fats. Both of these help in reducing your blood cholesterol level and increase good HDL cholesterol. This will help you to reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
Monounsaturated fats are found in –
Polyunsaturated fats are found in:
While healthy fats are good for your heart, you need to keep the consumption moderate, as all fats are high in calorie content. Consult a dietician to obtain a proper diet to stay healthy and fit.