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Miracle Ebenezer

Uncategorized

VEGAN: RIGHT APPROACH

 

There’s actually a rave about the vegetarian diet and how healthy it could be; well, notwithstanding, there might be wiles attached to following the diet the wrong way.

 

The vegan diet entails strictly sticking to basically plant-based foods, there is really more to it than just eating more of whole grains, leafy vegetables and fresh produce.

Let’s see what it really means to be on a vegan diet and still lead a healthy lifestyle without harming our systems.

 

 

Don’t be so shocked if you see words like “ovo-pollo-lacto-flexitarian” during this little journey, a vegan diet really goes beyond just grains and leafy greens.

What Is a Vegetarian Diet?

Basically, a vegan diet is an eating pattern that includes plant-based foods, as grains, fruits, veggies, legumes, pulses, nuts and seeds, but omits meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or by-products of animal slaughter (not all the time though).

So you might be wondering; if not all the time, then what would you call a vegan that eats fish or poultry? Just stay with me.

 

The 7 Types of Vegetarian Diets

1. Lacto-ovo Vegetarian

You might have heard of ovo-lacto, they are used interchangeably; this diet totally omits any fleshy food ranging from fish, meat, insects etc. but consume dairy products and egg products. Lacto depicts dairy, while ovo depicts egg products.

2. Lacto Vegetarian

Lacto-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, or eggs, but do consume dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt.

3. Ovo Vegetarian

Ovo-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, or dairy products, but do consume egg products.

4. Flexitarian

Flexitarian is a combination of two words: Flexible and vegetarian. Flexitarians, also known as semi-vegetarians, they focus majorly on a plant-based diet but enjoy meat on occasions.

5.Pollotarian

Pollotarian is a semi-vegan diet in which an individual decides to eat chicken and other poultry but does not consume red meat, fish, and other animal meats.

6. Pescatarian

So if a pollotarian restricts meat consumption to poultry, what do you call a vegetarian that eats fish?

A pescatarian, which is also considered a flexitarian and semi-vegetarian diet. Pescatarians eat fish and shellfish but do not consume red or white meats.

7. Vegan

A vegan is an individual who decides to follow a vegan lifestyle, whether it be for personal, cultural, or ethical motives or concerns.

But unlike vegetarians that may enjoy a more liberal diet, going vegan is going without all animal products, even in the forms of honey, gelatin, wool, leather, and other animal by-product ingredients or products.

If you have considered taking this path to be a vegan, there are some things you should consider which are:

 

 

 

  1. Why choose a vegetarian diet.

Some follow a vegetarian diet for cultural reasons, while others hope to lose weight or positively impact the environment. Knowing this can inspire you to eat a sustainable plant-based diet and decide which type of vegetarian may want to try.

  1. Do some research on the type of diet.

Search deeply about tips and recipes that best suits your target and physiology.

It is also important to research what nutrients you may be lacking in the diet if cutting out animal products. For instance, there are nutrients vegetarians should consider taking to lower the risk of deficiencies when cutting out some food groups, including iron, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, zinc, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids.

A Registered Dietitian can further help devise a plan that best suits your personal needs and preferences, along with protection from nutritional deficiencies.

  1. Implement small changes slowly.

The transition from an omnivore diet could be overwhelming; it’s best you do it by eliminating each group gradually and not an all-out-at-once step.

A little bit of incorporating more plant-based proteins into your daily lunches, and swapping dairy milk with soy, almond, or another plant-based milk. With time, these tricks will start to become habits and a natural part of your daily life.

 

It’s important to be sure you don’t lose out on any essential nutrients while on this diet, your gut health matters a lot. Very little fermentation processes might go on in your gut leading to a reduced colony of beneficial bacteria which can affect digestion and suppress the immune system; its best you speak to a dietitian before doing the vegan diet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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General Research

Prebiotics and probiotics: a little glimpse

There are bacteria present in our entire system, our guts especially and the largeness of a colony determines if our guts and us would he healthy. These bacteria could be helpful or harmful, but we would look more at the helpful ones.
In the light of that, we’d be seeing what prebiotics and probiotics are and how beneficial they are to our gut.

🔥 Prebiotics are non digestible part of foods like banana, garlic and onions which goes through the small intestine undigested and ferment when they reach the large intestine. This fermentation process helps in feeding beneficial bacteria colonies  and help increase the number of desirable bacteria in our digestive system that are associated with better health and reduced health risk.

🔥Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are created during the fermentation process of yoghurt, sauerkraut e.t.c.

There are two major beneficial bacteria present in our gut which are: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.

Lactobacillus is present mainly in yoghurt and other fermentable products and helps with diarrhoea and people who are lactose intolerant.

Bifidobacterium also can be found in dairy products and helps to ease irritable bowel syndrome.
It helps to fight againts harmful bacteria, helps againts constipation and give immune system a boost.

To easily understand probiotics and prebiotics, you can call probiotics the ‘seed’ that is planted prebiotics is the water and fertilizer that helps it grow and thrive.

Additional benefits of both is that it could help prevent halitosis (bad breathe), enhancing mineral absorption especially vit B12(intrinsic factor).
Its important to note also that anaemia or nervous system damage could rise from the deficiency of vit B12, so its important to always add CARBS to your diet😏🙄.

Food sources: fibre rich containing foods, especially carbs 🤧🤧; they contain resistant starch which is fermentable and healthy for the gut, onion, garlic, asparagus, apple with skin, oat, wheat and bran bread, yohhurt , kefir, e.t.c.

Note: 90% of your feel good hormone(serotonin) is produced in your gut, so the healthier your gut, the happier you are😘😊😊.

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Uncategorized

FENUGREEK: USES, BENEFITS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS

Fenugreek is truly an amazing plant with so many health benefits. People from Western Asia and the Mediterranean have used fenugreek for thousands of years to improve the flavour of their food, improve health, and soothe skin maladies. In more recent times, this herb has supposedly gained global popularity as a herbal supplement with a variety of health benefits.

While fenugreek has many promising applications/ benefits, not all of its uses have yet been backed up by rigorous scientific examination. This tour will tell us which of fenugreek’s health benefits are supported by evidence, and which ones remain more assumptions and advertising gimmicks than fact.

Let’s take a dive together to learn what fenugreek is, what it does in the body, and how best to utilize all its

benefits. Shall we?

 

What Is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek (scientific name Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant native to Western Asia and the Mediterranean. It has three green or yellow oblong leaves, which can be consumed fresh or dried.

Fenugreek leaves and seeds are important for cooking and medicines. Because of their sweet, maple-syrup like smell and flavour, fenugreek seeds are also added to artificial maple syrup, candies, ice cream, beverages, tobacco, soaps, and cosmetics.

 

 

What Makes Fenugreek Work? Important Compounds

Well, as stated below, the health benefits of fenugreek involve the regulation of blood sugar, stimulation of milk flow in new mothers, maintenance of hormones, and treatment of inflammation; made possible by the presence of the outlined compounds:

  • 4-hydroxyisoleucine and 2-oxoglutarate: molecules with an insulin-stimulating effect.
  • Protodioscin: compound that may have aphrodisiac effects.
  • Diosgenin and Yamogenin: compounds used in the commercial synthesis of progesterone and other steroid products.
  • 3-Hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2(5H)-furanone: compound that causes a maple-syrup scent in body excretions.

Now that we’ve taken a look at what fenugreek does, let’s appreciate its functions.

Look before you leap! Some retailers care more about their pockets than your health. (Shine your eyes)

 

Why You Should Be Cautious About Herbal Supplements

Herbal remedies can be very effective alternative treatments to prescription medication. At the same time, there’s a big business of retailers that exaggerate health claims to market their products and make money.

The best way to evaluate these claims is to take a look at objective, rigorous scientific research. Has the supplement been tested in a randomized control trial and been proven to have statistically significant effects? Has it been used on human subjects and not just lab mice? If its benefits are purely anecdotal, then you might not want to waste your time or money, or worst case scenario, risk causing yourself more harm than good.

With these guiding principles in mind, we’ve done a thorough research on fenugreek, its uses, contraindications and special cases.

Fenugreek Benefits: Analysis of 4 Popular Uses

People take fenugreek in a variety of forms as an herbal supplement. Its most common form is a pill or capsule, but it can also be made into a tea or ground up and combined with other ingredients to make a poultice and applied to injured skin.

The most commonly claimed fenugreek benefits are milk production in new mothers, blood sugar levels, testosterone and male libido, and treating inflammation.

Fenugreek can act as a galactagogue.

 

Use 1: To Enhance Milk Production in New Mothers

Fenugreek is widely used as a galactagogue, or a milk flow-enhancing agent in new mothers. Nursing women take fenugreek in pill form or drink it as a tea after they’ve had a baby.

While fenugreek appears to be an effective galactagogue, it can have adverse effects if you take it while pregnant. Most doctors advise that women should only take fenugreek supplements once they’ve had their baby and not before.

Scientists believes it contains phytoestrogens, which are plant chemicals similar to the female sex organs oestrogen. They really don’t know how it happens though, they only believe breasts are modified sweat glands, and fenugreek promotes sweat production.

The plant has aggravated asthma symptoms in women and caused low blood glucose in diabetics; it should not be used by all.

Since its evidence backed that fenugreek could be used as a milk-enhancing agent, how should you take it?

 

 

How to Take Fenugreek to Stimulate Milk Production

Its best to speak to your doctor/ dietitian before taking fenugreek as it could have significant side effects during pregnancy. I remember one woman complaining to me how it makes her add more weight.

If you decide to take fenugreek, you could take it as fenugreek tablets or drink it as a fenugreek tea. A typical dosage is two to three capsules (580 to 610 mg each) taken by mouth three times a day. Drinking it as a tea is a milder amount. You might drink between 1-3 cups a day as a hot tea, iced tea, or mixed with apple juice.

 

Use 2: To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

Fenugreek seeds are commonly used as a supplement to control blood glucose, especially to prevent or treat diabetes. It appears to alleviate problems around the metabolism of blood sugar.The seed contains fibre and other possible compounds that could slow digestion and the body’s absorption of carbohydrates and sugars.

How to Take Fenugreek to Control Blood Glucose

The most common ways to take fenugreek to control blood sugar levels are in capsule form, ground up and added to food, or made into a tea. The recommended dosage falls between 2.5 and 15 grams a day. The amount you take varies depending on your weight, any other medications you take, and other factors.

It would be really unwise to just depend solely on fenugreek to help in the treatment of diabetes; speak to your dietitan and doctor for possible and sustainable ways to handle your diabetes.

 

Use 3: To Boost Libido

One of fenugreek’s ancient uses is to enhance libido. Mediterranean and Western Asian cultures have incorporated the herb into their diets for thousands of years to enhance sexual desire. Recent studies have suggested that fenugreek may increase libido in both men and women.

Well, research holds that it’s a better aphrodisiac than banana, asparagus and almonds.

Ultimately, researchers concluded that “T foenum-graecum [fenugreek] seed extract is a well-tolerated and an effective botanical medicine for use in the support of sexual function for pre-menopausal women, in particular increasing sexual desire and arousal, with positive effects in concentration of E2 [estradiol] and free testosterone.” The studies suggest that fenugreek supplements may increase libido in both men and women.

How to Take Fenugreek to Boost Libido

Fenugreek can be taken as a capsule or brewed into a tea, or the seeds can be ground up and added to food or bread. A dose of 500 to 600 mg fenugreek capsules per day is recommended to boost libido. As with any herbal supplement, you should check with your doctor to determine the right amount for you.

 

Is your skin red, bumpy, or injured? A fenugreek-based poultice can help.

 

Use 4: To Soothe Skin Inflammation or Injury

Fenugreek powder has long been combined with other soothing herbs to make poultices and treat skin inflammation and injury. Recent studies have suggested that fenugreek may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

How to Use Fenugreek to Treat Skin Inflammation

To soothe injured or inflamed skin, people traditionally grind dried herbs or boil fresh herbs in water and make a paste. You might combine fenugreek seed powder with other skin-soothing herbs, like slippery elm, flaxseed, as well as medicinal charcoal. After combining everything into a paste, just spread it across a clean piece of gauze, linen, or cotton and apply it directly to the skin.

Leave the poultice on the affected area for about 1 to 24 hours, taking it off when the skin feels better.

Along with the four main uses described above – enhancing milk production, controlling blood glucose, boosting libido, and treating skin inflammation – people claim a number of other fenugreek health benefits. Let’s take a look at other potential positive effects of taking fenugreek; with little scientific back up though.

Other Potential Health Benefits of Fenugreek (anecdotal)

People have been consuming fenugreek for thousands of years, and many believe that it has a wide range of physical benefits. These are a few additional anecdotal fenugreek seeds benefits:

  • Balance cholesterol
  • Soothe upset stomach and digestive problems
  • Reduce menstrual cramps
  • Reduce appetite
  • Control obesity
  • Maintain liver and kidney health (hepatic and renal issues)
  • Soothe muscle pain
  • Reduce fever

At this point, there’s little scientific evidence behind these alleged benefits, so much more research is needed to assess the efficacy of this herbal supplement.

Apart from having health benefits, Fenugreek also has some potential adverse side effects, and it’s important to be aware of them before incorporating the supplement into your routine because physiology differs.

Fenugreek Side Effects: 6 Potential Problems

‘They are just supplements (herbal at that), they should not pose any threat; calm down first.

The following are the six main potential fenugreek side effects.

 

Side Effect 1. Induce Childbirth

For the most part, pregnant women are advised not to take fenugreek. Because it contains oxytocin, fenugreek could act as a uterine stimulant, meaning it could cause contractions and preterm labour. Some people have used fenugreek to induce labour, don’t try this at home.

The other side effect of taking fenugreek while pregnant is that it can give a false alarm of Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD). MSUD is an inherited genetic disorder so named because it causes a maple syrup-like smell in body excretions (urine).

 

Side Effect 2. Diarrhoea

Fenugreek may cause stomach irritation and diarrhea. Excessive intake in pregnancy could lead to episodes of diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disturbances as nausea, vomiting and flatulence could also occur.

Side Effect 3. Bleeding

Fenugreek contains a chemical compound called coumarin that can act as a blood thinner. People on blood-thinning or anti-coagulant medications to be careful and consult their doctors before taking fenugreek supplements.

 

Be careful if you take a blood thinner, as fenugreek could cause excessive bleeding.

Side Effect 4. Hypoglycemia

If you’re taking both medicine for diabetes and fenugreek supplements, you should measure your blood sugar levels so they don’t become too low and cause hypoglycemia. Since fenugreek can lower blood glucose levels, its best you are always alert about your glucose levels.

Consult with your doctor about the right amount, and carefully monitor the effects that fenugreek supplements have on your blood sugar levels.

 

Side Effect 5. Allergic Reactions

Before introducing new things to your, you should be conscious of the possible allergic effects attached to that food.

Check with your doctor, and try just a small dosage of fenugreek at first. Stop taking it if you experience a rash, hives, swelling, or trouble breathing.

 

Side Effect 6. “Maple Syrup” Sweat or Urine

This last side effect doesn’t cause any harm, apart from the false alarm about MSUD in infants described above. Fenugreek has a strong, sweet odour, and eating the seeds might pass that maple syrup-like smell into your sweat and urine or the sweat and urine of a nursing baby. If you start to notice this maple syrup-like odour, then you’ll know the cause and what to do.

 

How to Take Fenugreek

Either in tea, pill, tincture or powder form, dosages should not exceed the under listed:

  • Capsule: 500 to 600 mg, three times a day.
  • Tea: two to three cups a day. You can make hot or iced tea or combine it with juice.
  • Powder: five to 30 grams of de-fatted seed powder up to three times a day. It’s best to consume fenugreek powder before or as part of a meal.
  • Tincture: three to four mL three times a day. One drop is similar to a 500-600 mg capsule.

Your dosage depends on a number of factors, including weight, age, and health status.

 

SUMMARY

Every seed, herb or fruit has potential health benefits attached to them if used in appropriate amounts, but when abused or used by the wrong groups, they could pose great health threats.

While adding fenugreek to your diet, remember its health benefits and also remember its contraindications and remember too that some presumed back up don’t have sufficient scientific claims.

SOURCE: blog.prepsholar.com/fenugreek-benefits-side-effects

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/3000083/

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogspot/post/fenugreek-can-increase-male-libido/2011/06/20/AG0xpqcH_blog.html

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General Research

CoQ10 enzyme: uses, benefits and sources

You might have heard about even come across the Co Enzyme Q10 in supplement form or not, but did you know that you can also get CoQ10 from your diet? Let’s take a little tour and see how effective and useful this vitamin is and how much of this amazing vitamin we can actually get from our diet.

Shall we?

All you should know about CoQ10

The importance of CoQ10 cannot be over emphasized; it is so important to our cells that our liver actually make it. CoQ10  practically plays an important role in the production of energy throughout our cells; from sending messages between neurons in the brain, to moving our muscles and keeping our lovely hearts pumping. CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant (protects our cells from damage that may lead to mutations and even cancer).

Please note that: no single antioxidant can combat the effect of every free radical.

Why should I care about my CoQ10 levels?

It’s quite true that our bodies produce CoQ10, but not really enough to support optimal blood levels. We are all aware that stress can negatively affect our health; not just that, it can also lower our levels of CoQ10. Age can have an impact on our levels of CoQ10 too. CoQ10 levels peak between the ages of 19-21 and then start to drop after 21. In fact, our levels of CoQ10 drop by a whopping 65% by the age of 80!

There is a group of people that should really take CoQ10 very seriously, and they are those on statins. Statins are popularly prescribed to block the body from making cholesterol. Both cholesterol and CoQ10 use same pathways in the body, so while statins block that pathway against cholesterol, it affects the production of CoQ10 too. Statins are known to cause side effects such as muscle pain and research suggests that CoQ10 supplements can help decrease this muscle pain.

 

How much CoQ10 do we need?

Apparently, there are two (2) principal ways in which we can help our bodies to rebuild their natural CoQ10 levels: through the food we eat and by taking a CoQ10 supplement.

Research says a reasonable amount of about 90mg-200mg/day is the recommended daily intake of CoQ10. For older people or in severe cases, 300mg-600mg daily is recommended.  Although CoQ10 is found in food, we are normally unable to reach even the lower end of these suggested levels through diet alone. This is because the foods that are highest in CoQ10 are not usually part of our diet and sometimes, over consumption of some of those foods that contain CoQ10, might pose a huge threat on our health.

CoQ10 Food Sources

Since CoQ10 plays such an important role in energy production, you will find it in the highest concentrations in organ meats such as animal liver and heart. CoQ10 is also found in beef, pork, chicken, and fatty fish such as tuna, with beef having the highest amounts.

While the highest levels of CoQ10 are found in animal products, oils such as soybean, corn, and olive are also good sources. Fruits and vegetables have significantly low amounts of CoQ10.

 

FOOD                                       mg/ serving

Pork Heart……………………………. 10-24/ 3 oz

Beef heart…………………………….. 9.7/ 3 oz

Beef liver …………………………….. 3.3-4.2/ 3 oz

Pork liver……………………………… 1.8-4.5/ 3 oz

Beef muscle ………………………….. 3.1/ 3 oz

Pork muscle ………………………….. 1.7/ 3 oz

Chicken muscle………………………. 0.7-2.1/ 3 oz

Soybean oil………………………….. 0.7-3.8/ tablespoon

Corn oil ……………………………….. 0.2-1.7/ tablespoon

Olive oil ………………………………. 0.05-2.1/ tablespoon

Peanuts ……………………………….. 0.8/ oz (28 peanuts)

Sesame seeds ………………………… 0.5-0.6/ oz

Pistachio nuts………………………… 0.6 / oz (49 pistachio).

Source: https://www.qunol.com/blogs/blog/are-you-getting-enough-coq10-from-your-diet

 

Tips for getting more CoQ10 in your diet

  • Do you find yourself snacking on the go? No problems, just replace that candy bar or bag of chips with a handful of nuts or seeds.
  • Try adding more liver to your diet; pregnant women should be careful about liver consumption to avoid vitamin A toxicity.
  • Incorporate foods that are higher in CoQ10 into one meal.

CoQ10 is a vital nutrient with many benefits, but we are generally unable to grab the amounts of CoQ10 recommended by some researchers from diet alone. Even if we include a lot of CoQ10 food sources, it would be almost impossible to reach the levels suggested to support cardiovascular health. Those with lower levels of CoQ10 due to age, stress, and statin use may also be unable to get enough CoQ10 in their diet to rebuild their levels. While including CoQ10-rich foods in our diets can help, adding a CoQ10 supplement to our regimen is the best way to ensure we are supporting our levels and utilizing this vitamin optimally.

 

 

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LifeStyleUncategorizedWomen’s Health

Breastfeeding and its hormones

 

There are obviously benefits attatched to breastfeeding that you already know; so lets see the ones you might not be aware of:

I’m sure many new parents aren’t prepared for the effect that having a new baby can have on their desire for lovemaking and intimacy.

Keeping it together is really hard trust me.

There are hormones responsible for some behavioural changes after childbirth and lactation period.

Lets pick these hormones and see how they play a major role in sexuality.😉

🍌ESTROGEN: All women have low levels of estrogen for the first couple of months after giving birth. Continued breastfeeding extends this period for at least six months and for some women the lower levels may last as long as they are breastfeeding. Lower estrogen levels may cause vaginal dryness, tightness and tenderness. You could apply water based lubricants during lovemaking.😁

🍉OXYTOCIN: The milk ejection reflex is triggered by the release of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is also released in men and women at the time of orgasm and is recognized to increase bonding.  If mother, or her partner, has concerns about milk ejection during lovemaking she can feed the baby or express beforehand to reduce milk flow. Direct pressure with the heel of the hand to the nipple can stop milk ejection or the couple can keep a towel handy to deal with leaking milk.

🍆PROLACTIN: Prolactin levels increase when baby is breastfeeding or mother is expressing milk. . Prolactin is also a part of the hormonal cascade involved in lovemaking. It counteracts the effect of the hormone dopamine which is responsible for sexual arousal and provides the body with a feeling of sexual gratification. The release of prolactin during breastfeeding creates a feeling of calm and relaxing.

🌶TESTOSTERONE : This is an androgen hormone which is usually thought of as a male hormone. It is also naturally occurring in the female body where it is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone appears to contribute positively to the health of vaginal tissue and to contribute to genital sexual arousal.

Well, the hormones involved during breastfeeding might dampen sexual desire in the early months of childbirth, support from the male spouse is very important.  Some mothers feel that stopping breastfeeding might reduce tendencies of high libido, and shr might also feel unhappy that she’ll deprive her infant its right, which might reduce her desire for lovemaking.

You really need to sit down as a couple and balance things between breastfeeding , parenting and being a couple.

Find time for parenting and merge it with time for intimacy😎.

Life is not hard.

Source: https://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tip-breastfeeding-and-hormones-sexuality

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General ResearchLifeStyle

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: BETTER OPTIONS?

There seems to be a lot of debate out there about artificial sweetners.

Some research says its good for weightloss and as a good substitute for table sugars, while some say it would increase the risk of  cancer and also increase blood sugar level.

Well, lets dive into this troubled waters and see what we can pull out of it shall we?

 

What Are Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners, or sugar substitutes, are chemicals added to some foods and beverages to make them taste sweet.

They tend to provide a taste that seems 1,000 times sweeter than regular sugar.

Although some sweeteners contain calories, the amount needed to sweeten products is so small that you end up consuming almost no calories.

They are mostly used in beverages and drinks since they provide zero calories.

 

How Do Artificial Sweeteners Work?

The surface of your tongue is covered by many taste buds. Each taste bud contains several taste receptors that detect different flavors ( sweet, sour, salty).

Each time you eat, the different food molecules contact your taste receptors.

When the food molecule meets with the receptor, it (receptor) sends a signal to your brain, allowing you to identify the taste

For example, the sugar molecule fits perfectly into the taste receptor for sweetness, like a missing pixzle piece  allowing your brain to identify the sweet taste.

The molecules of artificial sweeteners are similar enough to sugar molecules that they fit on the sweetness receptor.

However, they are generally too different from sugar for your body to break them down into calories. This is why they have a sweet taste without the added calories.

Only a minority of artificial sweeteners have a structure that your body can break down into calories. Because only very small amounts of artificial sweeteners are needed to make foods taste sweet, you consume virtually no calories.

Reason why they won’t provide calories (energy) is because your body cannot break them down.

What Are the Names of Artificial Sweeteners?

The following artificial sweeteners are allowed for use in the US and/or the European Union:

Aspartame: 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Aspartame is known under the brand names Nutrasweet, Equal or Sugar Twin.

Acesulfame potassium: 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Acesulfame potassium is suited for cooking and baking and known under brand names Sunnet or Sweet One.

Advantame: 20,000 times sweeter than table sugar, suited for cooking and baking.

Aspartame-acesulfame salt: 350 times sweeter than table sugar, and known under the brand name Twinsweet.

Cyclamate: 50 times sweeter than table sugar. Cyclamate is suited for cooking and baking. However, it’s been banned in the US since 1970.

Neotame: 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Neotame is suited for cooking and baking and known under the brand name Newtame.

Neohesperidin: 340 times sweeter than table sugar. It is suited for cooking, baking and mixing with acidic foods. It is not approved for use in the US.

Saccharin: 700 times sweeter than table sugar. It’s known under the brand names Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin or Necta Sweet.

Sucralose: 600 times sweeter table sugar. Sucralose is suited for cooking, baking and mixing with acidic foods. It’s known under the brand name Splenda.

There’s also a new guy om the block called ‘allulose’ made from grains.

Effects on Appetite

Some people believe artificial sweeteners might actually increase appetite and promote weight gain .

Because they taste sweet but lack the calories found in other sweet-tasting foods, they’re thought to confuse the brain into still feeling hungry after consumption.

Additionally, some scientists think you’d need to eat more of an artificially sweetened food, compared to the sugar-sweetened version, in order to feel full; well, who knows?

Although these theories are plausible, there’s mo back up claim whatsoever to them.

Effect on weight

Well, we have seen that artificial sweetners do not contain calories at all, so obvioulsy they wont increase your risk of gaining extra pounds.

But once they increase your sugar cravings, its better you stick to water than that can of soda.

 

Effects on diabetes

Artificial sweetners would reduce your intake of refined sugar, thereby making it easy for your insulin levels to work. It doesnt have any adverse effects on your glucose yes, but it is better you seek advice from your dietitan or doctor before using them.

Effect on gut health

The health of your gut totally determines if you would be vulnerable to certain illness.

Once your gut is not happy with you, you are at risk of poor blood sugar control,  weakened immune system, and disrupted sleep.

Some studies suggest that selected sweetners could disrupt the health of your gut by affecting the balance of gut bacteria.

Artificial sweetners and cancer

Apart from cyclamate which was banned in 1970 in America, no other other study has linked artificial sweetners with cancer.

 

Artificial sweetners and Dental health

Unlike sugars, artificial sweetners do not react with bacteria in your mourh to form acids. So, they dont affect your dental health negatively.

  1. Some sweetners could cause headaches, seizures or depression in some individuals while leaving out others.

 

Safety and side effects

Artificial sweetners are safe to use but should not be consumed by individuals with phenylketonuria or those allergic to sulfonamides.

 

Take home Message for all

The use of artificial sweetners pose no threats to the health if used as alternatives to sugars.

Some risks attatched to it might be severe or different in individuals, so its best  to seek advice before selecting a sweetner.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/artificial-sweeteners-good-or-bad#section12

 

 

 

 

 

 

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General Research

JACKFRUIT: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Lately, everyone has become a  researcher when it comes to health, nutrition and lifestyle.

So the trending thing presently is to adore one particular food and crown it ALMIGHTY or SUPER because of its benefits.

So many really dont go about the downside of those foods they deem nutritionally beneficial to them and cause harm to their systems.

Before anyone goes about researching about jackfruit and crowning it LORD OF FRUITS, i rather do that first.😁

Jackfruit is a fruit found in many parts of Asia.

It has been gaining popularity due to its delicious, sweet taste and various health benefits but thank God no one has termed it SUPER FOOD yet atleast😁.

However, the flesh isn’t the only part of the fruit you can eat — a single jackfruit may contain 100–500 edible and nutritious seeds which are discarded most times due to the ignorance of their benefits.

Lets learn about the benefits and downsides of jack fruit ( yes, downsides).

 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS

They contain high levels of protein , starch, antioxidants , vitamins amd minerals.

A serving of jackfruit seed ( 28g) contains approximately :

 



calories: 53

carbs: 11g

protein: 2g

fat: 0g

Fibre: 0.5g.

Riboflavin: 8% of RDI

Thiamin: 7% of RDI

Magnesium: 5%  of RDI

Phosphorus: 4% of RDI.

Jackfruit seed provide fibre and resistant starch which act as food for beneficial gut bacteria.

Fibre and resistant starch has been linked to health benefits as : hunger control, reduced blood sugar levels, improved digestion and insulin sensitivity.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

1. Jackfruit has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as aphrodisiac and treatment for digestive issues.

2. They could have antimicrobial effects and be used to curb diarrhoeal issues and combat E.coli.

3. May have anti- inflammatory effects.

4. Since it has a good amount of fibre and resistant starch, it could aid easy digestion.

Please note that they are probable possibilities because its a study.

 

HEALTH CONCERNS

1.Some studies showed that Jack fruit seed extract could slow blood clotting and prevent clots forming in humans. So, jackfruit might increase bleeding when combined with drugs as:

– aspirin

– anticoagulants

– antiplatelets

– NSAIDS : ibuprofen, naproxen.

2. They contain antinutrients like tannins and trypsin inhibitors.

Tannins are commonly found in plant foods.  They bind to zinc and iron to form a insoluble mass making them difficult to be absorbed in the body.

Trypsin inhibitors are a type of protein found in pawpaw seed, soybean and jackfruit. They interfere with protein food, making it difficult to digest food.

The best way to deactivate antinutrients in food is by passing them through heat. So, its safer if you boil or roast your Jack fruit seed before consuming.

 

 

 

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General ResearchLifeStyle

COCONUT: SUPER STAR?

The society we live in basically picks a food and put a cape on it with the idea that such food is a SUPER FOOD and it can work wonders. I wonder how we got here though. Lets take a little peek at one of those foods today shall we?

 

Coconut oil,  is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera).

It contains high-levels of saturated fat and so is slow to oxidise reducing possiblities of rancidification.

There are two major process of producing coconut oil from the kernel which are: WET AND DRY PROCESS.

PRODUCTION

1. DRY PROCESS: Dry processing requires that the meat be extracted from the shell and dried using fire, sunlight, or kilns to create copra.[2] The copra(dried kernel nut) is pressed or dissolved with solvents, producing the coconut oil and a high-protein, high-fiber mash.

2. WET PROCESS: The all-wet process uses coconut milk extracted from raw coconut rather than dried copra. The proteins in the coconut milk create an emulsion of oil and water. The more problematic step is breaking up the emulsion to recover the oil. This used to be done by prolonged boiling, but this produces a discolored oil and is not economical. Modern techniques use centrifuges and pre-treatments including cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves, steam distillation, or some combination thereof.

 

FATTY ACID CONTENTS OF COCONUT OIL

Caprylic saturated: 7%

Decanoic saturated : 8%

Lauric saturated : 48%

Myristic saturated : 16%

Palmitic saturated :9.5%

Oleic monounsaturated : 6.5%. Facts show that coconut oil contains a whooping amount of saturated oil and should be consumed moderately.

 

COCONUT OIL

Nutritional value per 100 g

Energy 3,730 kJ (890 kcal)

Fat…………………99 g

Saturated…….. 82.5 g

Monounsaturated….. 6.3 g

Polyunsaturated……. 1.7 g

VITAMINS Quantity %DV†

Vitamin E……….. 1% 0.11 mg

Vitamin K……….. 1% 0.6 μg

MINERALS Quantity %DV†

Iron……………… 0% 0.05 mg

Other constituents Quantity

phytosterols …………….86 mg.

Coconut oil is usually termed Medium chain triglyceride and the benefit of this MCT is that it requires very little energy for absorption into the body and it readily diffuses from the GI tract to the portal system instead of going through the lymphatic system.

It is used for weight management in underweight children and also in children with infantile cholestasis so the oil diffuses directly to the portal vein.

 

Other uses of coconut oil are for hair growth by women, as alternate fuel source in some countries.

Know that there is SUPER FOOD, every food is good in its own way and could be harmful to the body if taken in excess .

 

 

Source: wikipedia.

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Diet Therapy of DiseasesGeneral Research

LOW CARB DIET AND DIARRHEA

Lowering your carb intake might give you an edge on weight loss — at least in the beginning. But first, you have to get over the hurdles that such a big diet change can throw in your path. Low-carb diet side effects, including diarrhea, can be bothersome as your body adapts to the diet.

DIET CHANGES AND DIGESTION

Once you make a change to your eating habits BOOM! you risk disrupting your digestive system’s homeostasis — or balance. Taking away foods and nutrients your body is used to relying on or adding new ones can throw your gastrointestinal, or GI, system into a dilemma  — and it may let you know in more ways than one 😁.

Suddenly cutting your carb intake is bound to have at least some effect on your digestion. It may improve your digestion if you used to eat a lot of refined grains and sugary junk foods or if you’re one of those people who are sensitive or intolerant to certain types of carbs.

If that’s not you, then rest assured you are not alone. Most people who cut carbs experience some low-carb diet side effects — and those who cut carbs drastically experience more.

A common result of eating fewer carbs is constipation. Carbs are a rich source of dietary fiber, which adds bulk to stool and softens it so it’s easier to pass. Eating less fiber will have the opposite effect. Diarrhea is also a common side effect of low-carb diets. This is likely due to the foods you have added to your diet to replace the carbs you have cut.

KETO DIARRHOEA FROM FAT INTAKE.

The ketogenic diet is an extreme low-carb diet that cuts carbs to a maximum of 50 grams daily, but often much less than that. In addition, fat intake is increased to as much as 90 percent of calories. That is a whole lot of fat for your digestive system to have to deal with suddenly.

Even in normal amounts, fat is harder for the body to digest than protein, starches or sugars. Of the three macronutrients, fat takes the longest to digest, which can put more stress on your GI system and cause diarrhea, gas, bloating and other uncomfortable symptoms. People with digestive disorders are often encouraged to lower their fat intake because of this.

A high-fat diet can probably disrupt the microbiome — the population of beneficial bacteria in your gut that regulates digestive health. This is especially true of increased ingestion of saturated fats from meat and dairy products. Also, a  link between high fat intake and digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis exists.

Last, some people have more trouble than others digesting fat. When your body can’t digest and absorb fats normally, they are broken down in the colon into fatty acids. This causes the colon to secrete fluids, which can trigger diarrhea.

PROBLEMS WITH PROTEIN AND DAIRY

An increase in protein can also cause digestive disruptions for some people. The keto diet keeps protein intake at a moderate levels, about 35%.

However, if you are choosing to follow a low-carb, high protein and low- to moderate-fat diet, rather than a high-fat keto diet, a large increase in protein can be problematic, causing either constipation on diarrhea. Like fat, protein is also harder for the body to digest; it has to work harder to break down the macronutrient into its constituent amino acids.

A high-protein or high-fat diet may also include increased amounts of dairy. For people who have trouble digesting the milk sugar lactose, this can cause a host of problems, including diarrhea. Using a protein supplement can be a good way to boost your protein intake; however, you may be sensitive to some types of protein more than others. Whey protein is a common culprit because it contains lactose.

EFFECTS OF SUGAR SUBSTITUTES

Having a sweet tooth on a low-carb diet can be excruciating. This causes many people to turn to sugar substitutes, such as erythritol, xylitol, sucralose and stevia. These sweeteners have no calories and no effect on blood sugar, and many people go overboard because of this.

Some may find sugar substitutes cause no problems — whether or not they are actually good for them is another story. For other people, these sweeteners can have a laxative effect, especially when consumed in large amounts. This can leave you running for the bathroom right after indulging in your favorite treat, which isn’t so sweet.😂🤣

IS IT JUST TEMPORARY?

The good news is that diarrhea and other low-carb diet side effects are often fleeting. They may last for a week or so while your body adjusts to the change. After that, you may find that your digestive system normalizes. But whenever you are making a diet change, it helps to do so gradually, so your body can take more time to adjust. This may prevent low-carb diet diarrhea altogether.

In other cases, for example, for those who are lactose intolerant, the diarrhea may persist. If you find that your new diet continues to cause digestive problems, it just may not be a good fit for you. Diarrhea that lasts longer than a few days is not only uncomfortable, but can also lead to dehydration and nutrient malabsorption. In this case, it’s best to go back to your regular diet immediately and check in with your doctor

You should consult a registered dietitian whenever you consider going through with this type of diets if you must. Cutting out a particular food group from your diet isnt too healthy, so you probably shouldn’t.

SOURCES:

Fields H, et al. Are low-carbohydrate diets safe and effective? Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 2016;116:788.

Sackner-Bernstein J, et al. Dietary intervention for overweight and obese adults: Comparison of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. PLOS One. 2015;10:1.

Raynor HA, et al. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Interventions for the treatment of overweight and obesity in adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016;116:129.

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General ResearchLifeStyle

CORTISOL: THE FRENEMY

She always followed a strict diet, walked 11, 000 steps per day, always made sure she steered clear off junks and sometimes even skipped meals and did fasting. But nonetheless, she never dropped a reasonable amount of pounds. She looked so worried as she spoke to her dietitian and it was obvious she wasn’t ready to go into any new diet regime anymore. One question, and it was noticed that Mrs. X was a workaholic.

Now lets look closely at how CORTISOL could be a FRENEMY😊 shall we?

Cortisol, a glucocorticoid (steroid hormone), is produced from cholesterol in the two adrenal glands located on top of each of your kidneys. It is normally released in response to events and circumstances such as rising from bed in the morning, work outs and acute stress. It plays major roles in the body functions and also in homeostasis (maintenance of a relatively constant internal environment by the body supoorted by the kidneys).

Cortisol also plays a function in nutrition by regulating energy; it selects the right type and amount of substrate ( carbohydrate, protein or fat) the body needs to carry out physiological activities. Elevated levels of this hormone can possibly have detrimental effects on weight and immune function 😋😊. You dont want to increase its levels, but do you know how its increased? We’ll touch that soon.

Cortisol has a partner in crime 😂😂 called ‘EPINEPHRINE’ also called adrenaline. Both walk hand in hand in the fight or flight response and temporary increase in energy production which sometimes alters biochemical and hormonal balances.

Cortisol (stress hormone) functions thus:

1. You’re stressed.

2. There’s hormonal cascade as a result, the adrenals secretes  cortisol.

3. Cortisol prepares the body for a fight-flight by releasing enormous amounts of glucose thereby supplying immediate energy to large muscles.

4. Cortisol inhibits the production of insulin in attempt glucose from being stored.

5. The arteries are narrowed due to cortisol release and the heart rate is increased.

6. The individual resolves the situation.

7. Everything comes back to normal.

This looks like a normal process, but the problem we are faced with is that once we are always overstressed with our fast paced lifestyle, our double jobs, traffic jams and all,  the levels of cortisol keeps increasing and this process goes on and on which can wreak a havoc on our healths.

 

CORTISOL AND WEIGHT GAIN

Repeated elevation of cortisol levels can lead to weight gain. One good way is via visceral storage. Rememberwe said cortisol is produced from cholesterol? It can mobilise triglycerides from storage and relocate them to visceral fat cells (under the muscles, deep in the abdomen).

Another way is the blood sugar- insulin problem. Consistently high levels of glucose followed by insulin suppression leads to starvation of cells. When these cells lack energy, they tend to send hunger signals to the brain. This can lead to over eating, and moreover, unused glucoseis stored up as fat.

Thirdly, cortisol may affect appetite and cravings  by binding to hypothalamus (controls appetite) receptors in the brain.

So Mrs x a workaholic, always caused a surge of cortisol leading to fat storage in her visceral cells.

OTHER POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF CORTISOL ARE:

1. Immune system suppression.

2. Gastrointestinal problems.

3. Cardiovascular disease.

4. Fertility problems.

Inflammation could also be a culprit in increased cortisol levels, so an ‘anti inflammatory diet’ (if theres something like that) could be applied in situations like this, some things has to be restricted on your diet and they are:

1. Eliminate or reduced caffeine intake.

2. Alcohol in moderation or not at all.

3.  Elimination of trans fat and saturated fat.

4. Foods with high glycemic load.

SUMMARY

  1. Cortisol plays an important role in the body’s daily function as stated earlier, but not understanding the science behind it might make it become a frenemy to your body. 😊

 

 

 

 

 

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