Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet. Food and drink provide the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. Understanding the following nutrition terms may make it easier for you to make better food choices.
Calories: In a nutritional context, the kilojoule (kJ) is the SI unit of food energy provided by energy-containing nutrients of food-carbohydrates, fats, proteins
A sugar or starch such as pasta, bread, fruits. Vegetables, beans, or dairy that the body uses as its main energy source. Carbohydrates have 4 calories a gram.
Vital for building hormones and cell membranes. Cholesterol is listed under the fat information on a nutrition label. Person should consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol daily.
The percentage of a certain nutrient in a food, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. It suggest a food’s nutrient contribution in diet; 5% or less is considered low for that nutrient, 10% to 19% is good, and 20% or more is high.
The part of plant foods: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds contain fiber. Fibers are not digested by body. It helps to lower cholesterol.t least 25 to 38 grams daily.
Nutrients added to replace those lost during food processing. For example, B vitamins are lost when wheat is processed into white flour, so these nutrients are later added back.
Fortified foods have nutrients added to them that weren’t there originally. Milk, for example, is fortified with vitamin D, a nutrient that helps you absorb milk’s calcium.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS):
A sweetener that is often used instead of sugar in food manufacturing. Hydrogenated. Hydrogenation turns a liquid fat such as vegetable oil into a semi-solid, more shelf-stable fat, such as margarine. Most oils are only partially hydrogenated, which creates harmful Trans fats that can raise cholesterol.
Added to chocolates, baking products, cosmetics, lecithin is used as a thinner, preservative, or an emulsifier. Egg yolks, soy beans, fish, and other foods naturally contain lecithin.
get the nutrients needs by eating a variety of color vegetables. Try colorful fresh & seasonal vegetables. Two and half cups are needed in a day.
Your body quickest energy source comes from grains products. Like bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereals, and tortillas. It is always healthy to use Whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread and brown rice. Daily requirement for grains is about six Ounces.
Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle. Quality protein sources comes from plant based foods. Beans, peas (Kidney, pinto, white or black beans), spilt peas (Chickpeas), Soya products, unsalted nuts and seeds like almonds. Use about Five Ounces a day.
Foods like fat -free and low-fat milk, cheese, paneer, Yogurt, and fortified soymilk help to build and maintain strong bones. Preference should be given to cow and goat milk made dairy products. Daily requirement is about three cups.Read More
What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat also known as “lipids in blood. Triglyceride is an ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acids (from tri- and glyceride). Triglycerides are the main constituents of body fat in humans and other animals, as well as vegetable fat They are also present in the blood to enable the bidirectional transference of adipose fat and blood glucose from the liver, and are a major component of human skin oils Body converts extra calories especially from food such as pastries white bread, candy, sugar, oil, margarine, butter and alcohol into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. Triglycerides play an important role in metabolism as energy sources and transporters of dietary fat. They contain more than double energy (approximately 9 kcal/g or 38 kJ/g) as carbohydrates (approximately 4 kcal/g or 17 kJ/g)
In the human body high levels of triglycerides have been linked to atherosclerosis, risk of heart disease and stroke. However, the relative negative impact of raised levels of triglycerides compared to that of LDL: HDL ratios is as yet unknown. The risk can be partly accounted for by a strong inverse relationship between triglyceride level and HDL-cholesterol level.
Triglycerides & Cholesterol are known as lipids but only triglycerides are fats. Cholesterol is a waxy substance made by liver and intestines that helps make cell membranes and hormones. It also helps body to digest food. Body uses them to transfer and store energy for later use. But higher level of bad LDL) cholesterol can raise risk of heart disease.
The levels of good (HDL) cholesterol bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides in blood can be measured by Blood Test known as Lipid Profile. Desirable: Less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
Borderline high: 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.7-2.2 mmol/L) High: 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3-5.6 mmol/L)
Very high: 500 mg/dL or greater (5.6 mmol/L)
These levels are tested after fasting 8 to 12 hours. Triglyceride levels remain temporarily higher for a period after eating.
The American Heart Association recommends an optimal triglyceride level of 100 mg/dL (1.1 mmol/L) or lower to improve heart health.
For people with mildly or moderately high levels of triglycerides lifestyle changes including weight loss, exercise moderate exercise and dietary modification are recommended. This may include restriction of carbohydrates (specifically fructose) and fat in the diet and the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from algae, nuts, and seeds. The decision to treat hypertriglyceridemia with medication depends on the levels and on the presence of other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.Read More
The National Kidney Awareness Day (March, 14) is dedicated to the awareness, risk factors, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk.
About The Kidneys:
The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in lower back of the body. They maintain overall health through the following functions:
- Kidneys filter about 200 liters of blood each day and remove waste out of the body.
- Regulating of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content.
- Help to regulate blood pressure.
- Removing of drugs from the body.
- Balancing the body’s fluids.
- Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure.
- Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones.
- Controlling the production of red blood cells.
Quick Facts on Kidney Disease:
- Kidneys are also prone to disease.
- About 1 in 3 Americans is at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure.
- More than 30 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it because there are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed.
- There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
- More than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the US today.
- Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
Nutrition influences the proper functioning of brain and affects mood problem. Optimizing diet with nutritionally, metabolically and biochemically balanced food and supplemental nutrients, is one of the most important factors in keeping brain functions healthy and mood steady.
- Create meals high in low-glycemic legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and soybeans. These foods slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, helping to prevent excess insulin release leading to insulin resistance and its related health concerns, including depression, dementia, obesity and high blood pressure.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables rich in phytonutrients, carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols, associated with a lower incidence of nearly all health problems, including dementia, obesity and aging.
- Use more slow-burning, low-glycemic vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
- Berries, cherries, peaches, plums, rhubarb, pears and apples are optimal fruits; cantaloupes and melons, grapes, and kiwifruit are suitable, though they contain more sugar.
- A diet high in fiber further helps to stabilize blood sugar by slowing carbohydrate absorption, and it supports a healthy digestive tract. Try to gradually increase fiber to 30 to 50 grams a day, and use predominantly soluble or viscous fiber (legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables and fruit), which slows sugar absorption from the gut.
- Minimize starchy, high-glycemic cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, corn and root vegetables, such as rutabagas, parsnips and turnips.
- Beans or legumes, including whole, traditional soy products, nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia)
- To deal with anxiety, depression and memory problems, healthy foods including a wide array of fats, proteins, carbs and special nutrients, physical and mental exercises may help to feel comfort along with other intervention.
- Glucose: Glucose provides steady energy to the brain. Whole grains are a good source of glucose.
- Omega-3-Fats: Omega-3-Fats are important for healthy brain functions. The major Sources for these Fats are from Animal Source: fish is the main source in animal kingdom e.g. Salmon, Trout, and Sardines. Plant Source: Flaxseed, Soya beans, Pumpkin seeds, Walnuts.
- Lycopene: Evidence suggests that lycopene is a powerful antioxidant which helps to protect against damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. E.g. Tomato is good source of lycopene
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C protect against age-related brain degeneration. The best source of Vitamin C are blackcurrants, Amla (Indian gooseberry), broccoli etc.
- Vitamin E: A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a good intake of Vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts are a good source of vitamin E. E.g.: Walnuts, Almonds, and Hazelnuts etc
- Minerals: valuable minerals like Zinc and Magnesium, which is vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. Pumpkin seeds supply needed minerals, B vitamins, and tryptophan, which are the precursor to the good mood chemical serotonin.
- Exercise: Exercise helps to keep our brain sharp. Research suggests that regular exercise improves cognitive function, slows down the mental aging process and helps to process information more effectively.
Dehydration is a deficit of total body water, with an accompanying disruption of metabolic processes. Dehydration takes place when body loses more fluid than person drink. When too much water is lost from the body, the organs, cells, and tissues fail to function as they should, which can lead to dangerous complications. Dehydration can cause hypernatremia (high levels of sodium ions in the blood) and is distinct from hypovolemia (loss of blood volume, particularly plasma).
Higher Risk People:
- workers exposed to excessive amounts of heat (for example, welders, landscapers, construction workers, and mechanics)
- individuals with chronic illnesses
- athletes (especially runners, cyclists, and soccer players)
- infants and young children
- people who reside in high altitudes
Dehydration occurs when water intake is not enough to replace free water lost due to normal physiologic processes, including breathing, urination, and perspiration, or other causes, including diarrhea and vomiting. It also, occurs when free water loss exceeds free water intake, usually due to exercise, disease, or high environmental temperature. Mild dehydration can also be caused by immersion diuresis, which may increase risk of decompression sickness in divers.
Sweating: is part of your body’s natural cooling process. When you become hot, your sweat glands activate to release moisture from your body in an attempt to cool it off. Sweating also hydrates your skin and maintains the balance of electrolytes in your body.
Illness: Illnesses that cause continuous vomiting or diarrhea can result in dehydration. Important electrolytes are also lost through these processes.
Fever: In fever, your body loses fluid through your skin’s surface in an attempt to lower your temperature.
Urination: Urination is the body’s normal way to release toxins from your body. If you don’t replace the fluid lost through excessive urination, you run the risk of developing
Symptoms of Dehydration:
Most people can tolerate a three to four percent decrease in total body water without difficulty or adverse health effects. A five to eight percent decrease can cause fatigue and dizziness. Loss of over ten percent of total body water can cause physical and mental deterioration, accompanied by severe thirst. Death occurs at a loss of between fifteen and twenty-five percent of the body water. Mild dehydration is characterized by thirst and general discomfort and is usually resolved with oral rehydration.
Dehydration can be life-threatening when severe and lead to seizures or respiratory arrest, and also carries the risk of osmotic cerebral edema if rehydration is overly rapid Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include:
- dry mouth
- increased thirst
- decreased urination
- dry skin
Severe dehydration is likely to cause the following:
- excessive thirst
- lack of sweat production
- low blood pressure
- rapid heart rate
- rapid breathing
- sunken eyes
- shriveled skin
Okra, both a common pod vegetable and nightshade vegetable eaten is also called “gumbo” in the U.S. An edible ornamental flowering hibiscus, okra is an annual, erect herb with stems that contain stiff hairs. The whole plant has an aromatic smell resembling that of cloves and somewhat resembles the cotton plant, but okra has much larger and rougher leaves and a thicker stem.
It’s best to gather the pods while they are green, tender and at an immature stage. The okra plant is an annual, requiring warm, humid climates preferably where temperatures go above 85 degrees F, and is easily injured by frost as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). (1) The fruit is a long pod, generally ribbed and spineless in cultivated varieties; however, pods vary in length, color and smoothness depending on the variety and grow best in well-drained and manure-rich soil.
Nutritional contents of Okra:
Okra is packed with valuable nutrients. It’s a high-fiber food, for starters: Nearly half of its nutrition is a soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Nearly 10 percent of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid are also present in a half cup of cooked okra.
- 1.5 grams protein
- 5.8 grams carbohydrates
- 37 micrograms folic acid
- 13 milligrams vitamin C (22 percent DV)
- 46 milligrams magnesium (11.5 percent DV)
- 460 IU vitamin A (9.2 percent DV)
- 2 grams dietary fiber (8 percent DV)
- 257 milligrams potassium (7.3 percent DV)
- 50 milligrams calcium (5 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligrams iron (2.3 percent DV)
- The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize the blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
- Okra’s mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.
- Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body. Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most individuals unlike over-the-counter drugs.
- Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.
- Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
- Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
- Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements.
- Okra is good for summer heat treatment.
- Okra is good for constipation.
- Okra is good in normalizing the blood sugar and cholesterol level.
- Okra is good for asthma. Okra’s vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which curtail the development of asthma symptoms.
- Okra is good for atherosclerosis.
- Okra is believed to protect some forms of cancer expansion, especially colorectal cancer.
- Eating okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
- Some information shows that eating okra lowers the risk of cataracts.
- Okra is good for preventing diabetes.
- Okra protects you from pimples and maintains smooth and beautiful skin.
Caregiving Tips for Alzheimer’s Patients:
When someone has Alzheimer’s disease, it affects everyone in the family. At some point, people with Alzheimer’s disease will need help for bathing, combing their hair, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed. Because these are personal activities, patient may not like help, however these suggestions may be useful for routine care.
Safety Tips: To keep the person with Alzheimer’s safe during bath time.
- Never leave a confused or frail person alone in the tub or shower.
- Always check the water temperature before he or she gets in the tub or shower.
- Use a hand-held showerhead.
- Use a rubber bath mat and safety bars in the tub.
- Use a sturdy shower chair to support a person who is unsteady and to prevent falls.
- Don’t use bath oil, it can make the tub slippery During a Bath or Shower.
- Allow the person with Alzheimer’s to do as much as possible. This protects his or her dignity and helps the person feel more in control.
Here are other tips:
- After Bathing: Prevent rashes or infections by patting the person’s skin with a towel. Make sure the person is completely dry. Be sure to dry between folds of skin.
- Washing: Wash the person’s hair in the sink with a hose attachment may be easier than doing it in the shower or bathtub.
- Dressing: People with Alzheimer’s disease often need more time to dress. It can be hard for them to choose their clothes. They might wear the wrong clothing for the season.
- Mouth Care: Show the person how to brush his or her teeth. Go step by step. Remember to let the person do as much as possible.
- Ask the person to rinse his or her mouth with water after each meal and use mouthwash once a day.
Try to allow the person to dress on their own for as long as possible. Here are some tips to assist them as needed:
- Lay out clothes in the order the person should put them on and give step-by-step dressing instructions.
- Buy loose-fitting, comfortable clothing three or four sets of the same clothes if the person wants to wear the same clothing every day.
- Use Velcro tape or large zipper pulls for clothing instead of shoelaces, buttons, or buckles. Try slip-on shoes that won’t slide off or shoes with Velcro straps.
What are Tonsils?
The tonsils (palatine tonsils) are a pair of soft tissue masses located at the rear of the throat (pharynx). Each tonsil is composed of tissue similar to lymph nodes, covered by pink mucosa (like on the adjacent mouth lining). Running through the mucosa of each tonsil are pits, called crypts.
he tonsils are part of the lymphatic system, which helps to fight infections. However, removal of the tonsils does not seem to increase susceptibility to infection. Tonsils vary widely in size and swell in response to infection.
What is Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the tonsils.
Causes of Tonsillitis?
The cause of tonsillitis is usually a viral infection. Bacterial infections such as strep throat can also cause tonsillitis.
Symptoms of tonsillitis?
The main symptoms of tonsillitis are inflammation and swelling of the tonsils. Other symptoms include:
- A sore throat, which may be severe
- Throat pain or Ear pain or both
- Red, swollen tonsils
- Trouble swallowing
- A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Bad breath
Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes, heart disease or even more common than breast cancer. It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans have thyroid disorders but more than 50% people may not be diagnosed or treated.
What Is A Thyroid, And What Happens When It Is Not Working Properly?
The thyroid is a small gland located in the base of the neck. This gland is brownish- red in color and shaped like a butterfly and secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine (T4).
What are thyroid Disorders?
Thyroid hormones are very important because all other body cells, tissues and organs like heart, brain, liver and kidney depend on the correct amount of thyroid hormone to function properly.
Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth, and body temperature etc. During infancy and childhood, thyroid hormones are crucial for brain development.
Thyroid problems range from harmless Goiter (enlargement of Thyroid gland) to Thyroid cancer. Abnormal production of thyroid hormone results in conditions.
- Hyperthyroidism: Excessive thyroid hormones cause Hyperthyroidism
- Hypothyroidism: Insufficient hormone production leads to Hypothyroidism. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause myxedema coma (is a loss of brain function), a rare but potentially fatal condition that requires immediate hormone treatment.
- Graves’ disease: Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition in which the thyroid is overstimulated.
Sometime diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction may be difficult, which is one of the reasons of number of cases remain undiagnosed. Symptoms may include fatigue, unexplained weight loss or gain, moodiness, and anxiety. Thyroid disease can affect anyone, but women are five times more likely than men to suffer, and a person’s risk increases with age.
Thyroid disorder can be successfully treated with proper treatment, healthy lifestyle and Increasing awareness of thyroid dysfunction and its symptoms.
Natural therapy for Thyroid Problems
Diet and other Regimen: According to Charka Shamthia old rice, Cow milk, Moong dal, barley, sugar juice are advice in thyroid problems.
Yoga Poses for Thyroid Problems:
Some of the yoga postures are beneficial in thyroid problems:
- Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand)
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
- Pranayama: The most effective Pranayama for thyroid is Ujjayi Pranayama.
“Remember, if your thyroid isn’t working properly, neither are you!”
References: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, www.webmd.com, Charak Samhita.Read More
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia, also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder where people have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired, even when a person has the chance to do so.
Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school. It may result in an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions, as well as problems focusing and learning.
What causes Insomnia?
Insomnia can occur independently or as a result of another problem. Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy lifestyle, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors.
Examples of medical conditions that can cause insomnia are nasal allergies, gastrointestinal problem, arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, hyperthyroidism, restless leg syndrome, menopause, certain medications etc.
Unhealthy lifestyles, working night shifts and sleep apnea and sleep habits can create insomnia on their own (without any underlying psychiatric or medical problem).
Some substance like Caffeine, nicotine, and Alcohol etc. (Alcohol is a sedative. It can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night.)
Some people are biologically prone to insomnia and seem to struggle with sleep.
A sleep study may be done to diagnose underlying sleep disorders. Screening may be done with two questions: “do you experience difficulty sleeping?” and “do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?”
Types of Insomnia:
Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances (for example, when you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news). This condition sometimes resolves without any treatment.
Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have many causes. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, rotating shift work, other clinical disorders.
Herbs for Insomnia:
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis): The root of this plant is used. According to numerous studies, valerian may help reduce the amount of time it takes a person to fall asleep and also help in increasing the duration and quality of sleep.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Considered one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic practice. The roots of this plant are used. This herb helps in the body to relax, reduce the anxiety, and insomnia.
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): A cup of warm lavender tea before bed is a great way to promotes relaxation which can help in anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.
- Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): For hundreds of years this flower has been used to make a calming and soothing tea.
- Hops (Humulus lupulus): Hopes is a fast-acting nervine and sedative, good for anxiety and stress-related illness.