Sunday, June 21, 2020

be the healthy hero of your family

Couple of years back Indian government started fitness challenge through social media. It’s a great move towards healthy and fit India. I feel it should not remain only at level of social media users but every person in every family should get Physically Fit because 
Let’s start with young India… boards results are getting declared. On that not I realized we have never ever focused on our Fitness score. In school, PT exams are just for sake of including internal subject grades. I met few sports coaches in last couple of weeks, in discussion with them I realized, less than 10% students take interest in sports; few others may be in dance…..what about rest 80% students? Are they doing any form of exercise? Does parents are giving importance to physical fitness of their children? So this write up is dedicated to promote Balance Nutrition and Fitness from younger age.
Habits which develop at young age remain for lifetime Teenage denotes a phase of rapid change and growth. Between the ages of 13 and 17 most boys gain around 17kg. That is quite a growth spurt in just four years and a lot of food is required to achieve this growth. 
Teenage boys are known for their enormous appetites than even teenage girls. An adequate nutrition with proper nutrients and a balanced fitness plan is extremely important. This will help to maintain a healthy weight and will help your teenage kid with their super active lifestyle.
Physical activity also affects a child’s academic achievement. It helps to improve concentration, memory, and classroom behavior.
But today children have become fussy about their food choices. Parents need to struggle for making fussy child to drink a glass of milk loaded with taste enhancers or blackmail them into eating another serving of rice or an added chapatti. Due to more exposure of cafes around and media exposure on ready to eat food, the normal diet of most of children today comprises of processed foods like biscuits, chocolates, carbonated drinks, noodles. Excess of refined foods and trans-fats in children’s diet harms their physical development at an early age. Children do 
not get proper vitamins and important nutritional constituents. 

So it’s an urgent need that along with academic coaching, children need health coaching to develop right habits. It’s not just a diet plan but to follow required process to help them start eating Indian cereal menu like Parotha, Idlis, Poha, Thepla, Puri Bhaji along with dairy, fish and poultry and 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Planning a menu depending on their taste and daily routine with discussion between parents, children and nutrition coach can help 
parents to understand what they can give best food in spite of both busy schedules. 
Engaging into sports, joining gym or learning exercise to at home from fitness trainer can be started to Feel less stressed, Feel better about themselves, Feel more ready to learn in school, Keep a healthy weight, Build and keep healthy bones, muscles and joints, Sleep better at nightand mainly healthy transition into puberty.
 If we consider college going and young professional, daily workouts replenished 
their brain energy stores and also produced extra energy, particularly in the areas of the brain that have to do with thinking and memory. Studies say exercise can stimulate the production of new cells in the brain, especially when it’s faced with new “challenges” like new career opportunities, increased learning, and more physical activity. A combination of all of these 
things can help then to keep the mind focused and ultimately boost work productivity and 
academic success at this stage, as well as keep the immune system strong and stress reduced.
For many young men, nutrition isn't always a focus. There are many transitions going on at this point in life. Busy schedules and new environments can lead to unhealthful eating habits such as skipping meals or snacks, eating nothing but fast food, overeating, and drinking excessive amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages or alcohol. Along with inconsistent eating patterns, 
young men may experience weight gain or a lack of energy.
Considering social responsibility, inability to express, hormonal makeup and unhealthy habit such as an addiction to smoking, Men are at increased risk of developing chronic physical 
health problems—asthma, heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
Making healthful choices at young, active stage is important to create balance at their career, exercise, nutrition and social outings fronts in future.
They need to make adequate count of Protein and calcium to fuel developing muscles and 
bones. Digestion issues are also commonly observed in working men for which consciously eating more fruits, salad and antioxidant supplements sooner is better. It’s also important to seek professional help ASAP to get rid of addiction if any. And most important, Men need to learn to express/manage negative emotions in better way because suppressed emotions can turn 
into diseased condition.
 So in short, Be the Health Hero for your family and society.

Definition of Health

If you are one of those who have made a New Year resolution for improving health. This write up may be helpful to understand pointers on being truly healthy. If we remember from our science school book about Definition health by WHO (World Health Organization), It says, Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

                         When I revisited this definition I just sat and thought that in my journey I have rarely seen people who are truly healthy in all three areas. In my experience, most of us have forgotten about this concept and actually started feeling healthy just because we don’t have major illnesses.

                    This write up is all of us to understand checklist of each area, so we all can take conscious steps to create healthy body, minds and inter as well as intra personal relations.

Physical Health            
 We all have an idea of what "fit" should look like. For some people, it means having a sleek Hollywood body, while others want to have massive muscles or a perfect hourglass figure.
But fitness isn't defined by appearance! There are five components of physical fitness you need to consider:                                        
 1. Muscular Strength
this is the "power" that helps you to lift and carry heavy objects. Without muscular strength, your body would be weak and unable to keep up with the demands placed upon it. The way to increase strength is to train with heavy weights.
2. Muscular Endurance
Endurance is the ability of muscle to repeatedly exert force against resistance. Exercises by using both body weight (squats/pushups) and free weights (biceps curl /leg extension) help to improve  muscles endurance.
3. Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance is your body's ability to keep up with exercise like running, jogging, swimming, cycling, and anything that forces your cardiovascular system (lungs, heart, blood vessels) to work for extended periods of time.   4. Flexibility
Flexibility is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, components of physical fitness. Without flexibility, the muscles and joints would grow stiff and movement would be limited. Flexibility training ensures that your body can move through its entire range of motion without pain or stiffness. The sit and reach test (sitting on the floor and reaching toward your toes) is another good way to assess your flexibility. The more flexible you are, the closer you will come to touching your toes and beyond.
5. Body Fat Composition
Body fat composition refers to the amount of fat on your body. (Men < 15% & Women <20 %). Other important parameter is ideal waist circumference (For Men: 94 cm /37 inches and Women: 80 cm / 31.5 inches). Role of Diet is significant in maintaining normal body fat%.

Mental Health                
 Mental well-being is about how we all think, feel, behave and function with our self and with others. 
Connect – connect with the people around you as well as to nature. 
Give to others – even the smallest act can count whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. 
Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. 
Learning – learning new skills can give us a sense of achievement and a new confidence. Invest in value adding Reading books/ watching video/ listening audios that uplift or inspire you.
Approach – Be solution/opportunity oriented.

Social Health                
 According to WHO, Social wellbeing refers to healthy society. Although we should have positive expectancy to have harmony in society/ city/ country /world we live, certain things are beyond our control. For our social wellbeing, we should consciously choose our association with Social Media/ Mass Media/ Social Club as well as our quantity and quality association with our Colleagues / Friends / Family. This is a very important decision because Research has shown that we eventually become dress, think, talk and act like the people we surround ourselves with. We need to be clear on exactly what we want to achieve in our life, what our values and principles and associate with those who support or have similar characteristics.

Write up by Prachi M (Dietitian)

FastNotes on Healthy Fasting Rituals

Navratri starts when the season changes. Change in the season has different effects on our physical, mental and spiritual level. 
Scientifically, during this change of season our immune system becomes weaker and body becomes more vulnerable to toxins. Observing fast during this time balances our energy and connects us to the Mother Goddess.
As per modern language, fasting is like “detox diet”, removing toxins, giving rest and making our body equip to internal and external changes. 
But during fasting days, malnutrition conditions occur. For example dropping of calories to less than 500 calories per day can lead to uncomfortable hunger pangs and irritability, and can make it harder to concentrate and complete tasks. On other hand over consumption of empty calories like tea/ coffee, soda, fried snacks results in acidity, indigestion, water retention, overweight. Both can hamper organs like brain, liver and thyroid functioning.

Few Suggestions/Guidelines to follow fast:
 Remember that god lies in our body only. So focus should be on nourishing body rather than starving.
 It’s a good opportunity to chose Satvik food (literally means which has sattva – nutrients, moderate quantity and simple to digest) and abstain from rajasik (stimulant) and tamsik (sedative) foods.
 In short, we should have high nutritive food like fresh and local fruits, fresh milk and homemade dairy products, grains, and veggies.
 And avoid meat, egg, onion, and garlic, and alcoholic beverage, spicy and stale food.
 Although you're fasting, it is important to take care of regular meal timings. Fruits/ dry fruits – Nuts – Milk & milk products – Veggies 
– Grains should be equally placed as meal/snacks at every 2-3 hours gap.
 During fast people prefer fasting grains (kuttu, rajkeera, sama/vari, singhada, rice, sago), potato, sweet potato and vegetables to be eaten only once in a day. You may prefer to make combinations like Potato peanut vegetable, Sama khichadi with curd, Sweet potato milk porridge, Raw banana paneer tikki or simply just Dal rice at this meal. This helps to create satiety and avoidshunger pangs later. 
 Mostly it is observed that people completely forgets to eat veggies and salads in fasting menu. Pumpkin, bottle gourd, raw papaya, cucumber are considered in fasting food list so remember to include them every day.
 Liquids like coconuts water, lime water, buttermilk and plain water are must to include. It will help to avoid dehydration and exhaustion.
 Nuts, Makhana, Coconut pieces are best fasting snack option than deep fry foods like farali chivada, sabudana vada, rajgira puri,wafers. Fried food creates bloating, and gases which erase purpose of fast.

 As you are eating satvik food for nine days, it should never be broken suddenly next days by eating heavy meal including meat, bread, processed foods, spicy food, alcohol) because these heavy foods put a severe strain and shock on the digestive organs which have been resting throughout the fast. Eating too heavily after a fast can produce serious discomfort (stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and weakness) and can nullify the physical benefits of fasting. Introducing these foods should be gradual and need to exercise watchful self-control.
Remember main purpose of fasting is to win mastery over our senses (like food pleasure, negative reactions) and focuses our mind on inner wellbeing.

***This is generalized guidelines. Planning out Meal Plan as per your health, lifestyle needs and fasting rituals should be done under Dietitian.

Write up By Dietitian Prachi M.

super seeds

Don’t judge food by its size: These tiny superseeds are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Ajwain is used as medicinal plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine; primarily for stomach disorders such as indigestion, flatulence. Carom seeds are very essential to cure kidney stones. They can also be useful to treat and reduce the pain due to kidney disorders. 
Consuming carom seeds with warm water give instant relief from cold and expel cough and mucus from the body.

Tulsi seeds
The tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory.An extraction of the leaves mixed with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold.

Interestingly, these seeds of the basil plant contain no calories. Sabja seeds are rich in antioxidants including omega3 help in controlling diabetes and is also good for your skin.Usually sabja seeds are consumed during the summer time as it is one of the best body coolant.
It is also full of fibre, so keeps your stomach satisfied for longer and prevents unwanted cravings. You can add it to a bowl of yoghurt or sprinkle some in a fruit salad as a pre-meal snack to control appetite.

Methi seeds
Include fenugreek in your weight loss diet by chewing soaked methi seeds in the morning on an empty stomach. The natural soluble fibre in the fenugreek can swell and fill the stomach thereby suppressing your appetite and aiding your weight loss goals. Using fenugreek as a part of your diet or as a paste to directly apply on your hair makes your hair shiny and black. Massaging your head everyday with boiled fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in coconut oil can be an excellent remedy for thinning of hair and hair fall.

Garden cress seeds 
Garden cress is a high-nutrient food containing substantial content of vitamins A, C and K and several dietary minerals.
Garden cress seeds are used for treating patients suffering from iron deficiency anemia. Consumption of these seeds help to boost the haemoglobin level over time.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

Chia Seeds 
Deliver a Massive Amount of Nutrients with Very Few Calories. South American prized chia seeds for their ability to provide sustainable energy… in fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently chia seeds became recognized as a modern day superfood. In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health conscious people all over the world.Despite their tiny size,chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.

Black Sesame Seed
Black sesame seeds are a good source of energy due to the high fat content. They contain healthy fats like polyunsaturated fatty acids and Omega-6. They also contain fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.”If you soak these seeds overnight it aids in the absorption of calcium and minerals from the seeds. 

Aside from eating seeds in raw form, you can also mix an ounce of the seeds in your cold or hot beverage or sprinkle them over salads and other food servings Stay healthy, stay happy!!

Write up By
Dietitian Prachi M.

Be Executive of Your HEALTH!

 The executive leads a very different lifestyle than most other employees, which often ends up taking a toll on their health. Travelling excessively, living in hotel rooms, entertaining clients, not getting much sleep, skipping meals and consuming a high fat diet is a common daily recall when they are consulted by dietitians. 
                        Healthier professionals are more productive than non-healthy ones.
 Don’t start second inning of your life with bigger waist, Diabetes, Blood Pressure, heart disease or spondylosis. How wonderful life would be if we pack our bag without medicine box. And it’s only possible by our decision to adopt daily healthy disciplinary that can be followed for long-term and is applicable to every day whether working in the office or on the field. It starts with planning your month/ week before. 
                  Take a food shopping list from your dietitian to buy healthy foods to keep along with you. Monthly shopping list may include different nutritional nuts and seeds which are known as super foods, healthy grains & flours to give you minerals and fiber, vegetable oils which balance our blood lipid profile. Perishable foods like lean meat, eggs, dairy products, vegetables and fruits come in your weekly shopping list. If you and your spouse’s busy lifestyle don’t allow going for shopping personally, it’s always better to educate domestic helper to buy these stuffs for you or online shopping is best option to practice. 
You can also plan out you weekly menu  pack your meals along with you. Don’t step into your car without carrying easy to eat in between snacks like fruits, butter milk, protein powder, carrots in your food basket which can be eaten when you feel hungry. Fresh lime juice, barley water without sugar is best stress buster to keep along with you.
                I know real tragedy comes when you need to eat out and have long hour meetings with clients. Before heading to these meetings have your lunch and if lunch is not possible, have some protein snacks.  If lunch or dinner meeting is scheduled, then choosing clear soups   with either starters or main course helps to control calories. Choosing Protein rich menu over carbohydrates is sensible choice. 
                  People those who are staying alone, away from their family for them hiring a cook at home or hiring home cooked meal services is best investment. 
                 Many executives say that they live only on cigarettes, biscuits, tea and coffee for entire day. Don’t let this be your image. You may have maximum two cups of tea or coffee without sugar or natural sweetener can be used. Learn exercise which can fix in your schedule and can be performed at convenient place.  Depending on your convenience and budget, Personal trainer can meet you once / twice/ thrice a week to teach and plan out your weekly exercise schedule. 
               As a professional, stress and frustration build up throughout the day when everything doesn’t seem to go as we plan out. Stopping for 15-20 minutes to just shut your eyes and focus on deep breathing, it will do wonders for your stress levels. As you are already expert in planning your job let’s get best to plan out for your health.
Write-Up By Prachi M(Dietitian)

How Dietary Discipline helps to control PCOS

 Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that prevents the ovaries from working properly. Symptoms include irregular periods, reduced fertility, acne and weight problems.
The condition is said to affect up to 10 per cent of women aged between 15 and 50.

Correlation between Insulin – SHBG - Testosterone – PCOS.
Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) plays very important role in hormaonal balance. It  is a protein that binds testosterone. There is INVERSE relationship between SHBG and testosterone. If the SHBG is low then there is high bioavailable testosterone which may lead to signs/symptoms of androgen excess, such as irregular menses, hirsutism or acne.
Research also shows INVERSE relationship between serum insulin and SHBG which indicates that insulin controls SHBG synthesis. Obesity raises insulin levels and lowers SHBG levels. During weight loss (reduces insulin), SHBG levels increased therefore reduces testosterone.
In young women with PCOS, high insulin levels can cause the ovaries to make more androgen hormones such as testosterone. This can cause increased body hair, acne, and irregular or few periods.  
Above correlation shows if we reduce insulin level in blood, it can help to reduce blood testosterone therefore PCOS. In other words, High SHBG controls PCOS.
Eat foods that are high in lignans. It increases the level of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and improves ovarian function. Lignans are prevalent in high-fiber foods like flaxseed and sesame. 
Omega3 and chromium rich food helps to control insulin resistance.
Follow a low glycemic diet to keep insulin level at low.
Increase lean protein consumption. Hormonal balance depends on adequate protein intake.
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to insulin resistance, PCOS and obesity. Taking this supplement can contribute to the normal development of ovarian follicles, improve insulin sensitivity and stabilize mood.
Increase antioxidants intake: 

 Chronic inflammation is the root of many health conditions and women with PCOS have been shown to suffer from high levels of inflammation. Inflammation increases pain as well as the risks of other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Research confirms that antioxidants can  reduce  inflammation

Blood pH: 

Since our blood is slightly alkaline (optimal pH levels are between 7.35 and 7.45) organs function at their optimal at this pH. Acidity breeds cyst, stones and different diseases. An alkaline food plan promotes fertility and also keeps your skin healthy.
Diet Desciplinary considering above principles is easy and long term solution to control PCOS. 

Dietitian Prachi M.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Yogic Diet

In last month I took up  certificate course to acquire knowledge considering Yoga and Mental-Physical Well-being. So here are few notes about food and nutrition from yogic texts like Hathpradipika,Gheranda Samhita and also from Sribhagavadgita.
Its said we are what we eat. It is also said our skin, Eyes, Hair are mirror of what we eat and our health. Therefore under eye dark circles, skin tone, wrinkles, elasticity, hair loss if any can be used to evaluate what we have eaten in past one months or year.  
Another point as per Yogic philosophy is that  Food we eat has direct connection with our mind. Yoga therefore outlines principles of food that can nourish our body and mind both in positive way and reduces  physical and mental stress.

While planning our diet or choosing food one should consider following principles:

I)Concept of yogic Diet is described as Mitaahar (Mit Aahar -Moderate Food)
This concept is related with quantity, quality and proportion of diet. 
In Hatha Yoga  it is explained as- Eat up to the filling of half part of the stomach. Then fill 1/4th  part with water and keep remaining part empty for the proper mixing of the food inside stomach. Offer food first to lord shiva and then eat as naivedya. Since stomach is an expansible structure mathematically it is difficult to understand when the half part has filled, so to make its easy,  at food (quantity and quality) in such a way that after eating, it will  digest easily (without any trouble like heaviness, laziness etc) within 5to 8 hours. So after taking food one should not have any difficulty to perform his regular activities.  Mitaahar does not produce strain on digestive system. At the same time, the functions of nervous system and also other systems remain proper during the process of digestion. 
After Atyaahar: (Ati Aahar- Heavy food/Too much eating) the blood circulation is more towards digestive organs and then as compared to that the other systems get less circulation. So the activities of other systems remain dull up to the completion of digestion. 
Signs of proper digestion
 Clean burp (without smell of food), Feeling fresh, Proper defecation, Lightness in the body, getting proper hunger and thirst at right time are the signs of complete digestion.
On the basis of this reference we can explain the signs of indigestion as Bad burp, laziness, constipation, heaviness in abdomen as well as in the body, disturbed hunger and thirst timings.

II)Principle of  Diet In Bhagavad Gita 
Sattvic Food
lt is obtained through without hurting others(ahimsa)
** taking milk from grass fed cows who are loved and taken care of  (no injection,non pregnant)
2.Vegetarian, vegan
3. seasonal fresh
4. Mostly bland food.
5.use of less herbs and spices
Effect on Body and Mind
- Digest Within 5to 6 hours
-One feel light and fresh
-Keeps mind calm
- Restores awareness.

Rajasic Food
stimulant:caffeine, salty,cola,chocolate
Spicy,too salty pungent, too bitter
Effect on Body and Mind
-Increase the secretions of glands
-In large quantity it increases irritation to organs
-In Small quantity activates the mind.
-In large quantity increases, irritability, over-reactivity.
- leads to addiction of that food 

Tamasic Food
Stale food
Non veg
Effect on Body and Mind
-Delays digestion.
-Produces indigestion.
-Produces heaviness, pain in the body
-Produces lethargy, sleepiness.
- Mental activities are disturbed

III) Principle of intervals in diet
Approximately one heavy meal (Atyaahar)takes 8-10 hours to digest food depending on choices of food and quantity and proportion. On that basis,if some one eating 5-6 frequent heavy meals called as (Bahubhukta) his digestive system remains too busy for 24hours which leads to indigestion,other related problems. He feels sleepy, dull and irritable because of blood flow is directed towards digestive function than to brain. 
But when some one eats lesser meals,then digestive system remains  busy for16-20 hours and gets enough rest to digestive organs and you feel  energetic, calm, active most of time and better concentration.
Considering todays life if some one is taking three or more meals, he can follow Mitaahar principle at each meal to reduce burden on digestive system.

IV)Principle of Incompatible foods
Yoga and Ayurveda are considered two parallel track to drive health in healthy way.  In the Charaka Samhita, a list of food combinations considered incompatible(opposite/antagonist) are given are considered to be a cause of many diseases.
Examples of combinations that are considered incompatible include: 
Salt/anything containing salt with milk (produces skin diseases).
Fruit with milk products
Fish with milk products (produces toxins)
Meat with milk products
Sour food or sour fruit with milk products.
Leafy vegetables with milk products
Milk pudding or sweet pudding with rice
Mustard oil and Turmeric

V) Hathayogic Diet emphasize on taking nourishing and sweet food (rice/sugar/jaggery)mixed with, ghee and milk (/kheer/tirtha) before meal as it nourishes the dhatus (basic body constituents) and is pleasing and suitable. Yogic diet give importance to ghee They make food appetizing, digestible and satisfying. They help in healing the mind too. The presence of fats in the body improves memory, neural conductivity and mental well-being.
After studying few basic things from our Indian philosophy I got overwhelmed to understand how enriched our tradition is to give us Healthy Mind and Body that can synchronize for our ultimate happiness.

Write-up By Dietitian Prachi M.  Contact: 9969326096