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Miracle Ebenezer

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CONSTIPATION:ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Constipation is broadly defined as an unsatisfactory defecation characterized by infrequent stools, difficult stool passage or both.

PHYSIOLOGY OF COLONIC FUNCTION
Water absorption
The colon receives approximately 1.5 L of liquid effluent daily from the small intestine, with 200 mL to 400 mL excreted in the stool. The functions of the colon are to absorb fluid from residual food and transport waste to the rectum, where it is expelled or stored until defecation is convenient.
The amount of fluid contained in a diet determines the state of one’s stool.
Removal of water from the fecal slurry is time dependent and actively regulated, and can be substantially increased in dehydration states. Sodium is actively reabsorbed from luminal content through several active transport channels, with water following passively in response to osmotic gradients. Conversely, colonic secretion is mediated through chloride channels (eg, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator [CFTR]), which are generally quiescent, leading to a net reabsorption of electrolytes and fluid. Thus, stool that remains in the colon longer will become drier, which can lead to scybalation (pebble-like stools) and impaction if the stool becomes too large and hard to pass through the anal canal.

POOR DIET AND CONSTIPATION
If stool remains in the colon for too long, it could become dry and hard.
A diet that contains enough water and fiber would help moisten the faeces and make it easier to pass through the anorectal region.
Fiber-rich foods are generally made from plants. Fiber comes in soluble and insoluble forms. The soluble fiber can dissolve in water and creates a soft, gel-like material as it passes through the digestive system.
Insoluble fiber retains most of its structure as it goes through the digestive system. Both forms of fiber join with stool, increasing its weight and size while also softening it. This makes it easier to pass through the rectum.

Stress could also be a factor that would lead to constipation, other routines that would slow muscle contraction of the colon could also lead to hardening of stool.
Underlying medical problems
Possible medical conditions that could lead to constipation:
• certain diseases, such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes
• problems with the colon or rectum, including intestinal obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or diverticulosis
• overuse or misuse of laxatives (medications to loosen stools)
• hormonal problems, including an underactive thyroid gland

SIGNS OF CONSTIPATION
-An excruciating pain experienced while trying to defecate.
– bowel movements restricted to 3 per week.
-feeling of fullness after passing stool.
– passing hard dry stools.
– feeling like your rectal areas are blocked.

MANAGEMENT OF CONSTIPATION
– Drink more water. At least 3 litres per day.
– Add more fiber to your diet; either soluble or insoluble fibre. Examples include wheat, bran, dark green leafy vegetables, oats, seeds, some fruits with roughages.
– Do exercises.
– Eat probiotic and prebiotic containing foods or you can use their supplements. Examples of foods in this category include plain yoghurt, banana, onions and garlic.
– Over the counter drugs like bulking agents
– Try magnesium citrate
– Eat prunes: prunes contain the sugar alcohol sorbitol which has a laxative effect. About 7 pieces twice a day is recommended (50g).
Constipation could be uncomfortable for anyone, these home remedies suggested would really help get you relieved, but if symptoms persists, see your doctor (as every drug would indicate).

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Uncategorized

DIVERTICULITIS AND DIVERTICULOSIS

DIVERTICULOSIS refers to the presence of small out-pouching(called diverticula) or sacs that can develop in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract.
• While diverticula can be present anywhere in the intestines, they are most common on the left side of the large intestine, the area known as the Descending and Sigmoid Colon.
When one or more of these pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is called DIVERTICULITIS.

EPIDEMIOLOGY OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASES
• Diverticulosis is a common disorder, especially in older people.
• The condition is uncommon in people under the age of 30 years of age, and is most common in those over 60.
• Diverticulosis may be somewhat more common in men than in women.

CAUSES/PATOPHYSIOLOGY OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASE 
• No one knows for certain why diverticulosis develops; however, a few theories have been suggested;
• Some experts believe that abnormal intermittent high pressure in the colon due to muscle spasm or straining with stool may cause diverticula to form at weak spots in the colon wall.
• Historically, low-fibre diets were felt to play a ,major role in the development of diverticulosis. However, recent studies suggest that this is not only the case.

There also appears to be a genetic predisposition to diverticulosis; that is, if your parent or sibling has diverticulosis, you may be more likely to develop it than someone who does not have a family member with diverticulitis.

SYMPTOMS OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASES
• Most patients with diverticulosis have no symptoms or complications, and will never know they have the condition.
• But when symptoms occur they are usually mild and includes; Pain in the belly (abdomen), Bloating, Constipation (less often, diarrhoea) and Cramping.
• This symptoms are not specific to diverticulosis only they can be general to all diseases of the digestive tract.
Unless it is discovered during an endoscopic or radiographic (X-ray) examination, some people with diverticulosis become aware of the condition only when acute diverticulitis occurs.
• Diverticulitis is a more serious condition and causes symptoms in most people with the condition that include:
• Pain in the abdomen, usually in the lower left side
• Bleeding, bright red or maroon blood may appear in the stool, (a symptom of rectal bleeding). Bleeding is often mild and usually stops by itself; however, it can become severe.
• Fever
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Chills
Constipation (less often, diarrhoea). d

DIAGNOSIS OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASES
• Diverticular disease is generally discovered through one of the following examinations:
• Barium enema: This x-ray test involves putting liquid material into the colon through a tube placed in the rectum. The x-ray image shows the outline of the colon, and can identify if diverticula, large polyps or growths are present.
• Colonoscopy: This test uses a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera to view the inside of the colon. Diverticula as well as polyps and other abnormalities can be seen with this instrument.
CT scan: This radiology test takes multiple cross-sectional pictures of the body. It is not generally performed to make a diagnosis of diverticulosis, but this type of exam, when done for other reasons, may identify diverticular.

MANAGEMENT OF DIVERTICIULAR DISEASES
• The best way to treat diverticulosis is to avoid constipation.
• Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fibre (25 – 38g/day).For patients with diarrhoea as symptoms a low fibre of 10-15g/day is prescribed for few days then gradually increased to RDA
• Drink plenty of fluids, because fluids and fibre work together.
• Get some exercise every day.
• Take a fibre supplement, such as Citrucel or Metamucil, every day if needed.
Schedule time each day for a bowel movement. Having a daily routine may help. Take your time and do not strain when you are having a bowel movement.

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Uncategorized

EATING DISORDERS

In a society where every one seemingly feels like the best way to be fit is to be thin, adoption of different feeding patterns has led to malnutrition in so many individuals.

The term ‘eating disorder’ doesn’t only relate to food but also to complex mental health condition.

There are 6 types of disorders, their symptoms and management,  that would be highlighted in this article.

EATING DISORDERS

They are a group of mental disorder that are marked by an obsession with food or body shape. Mostly prevalent among young women.

This obsession however comes with heavy food restrictions, induced vomiting or stooling and extreme measures during workouts.

 

causes

Several factors might lead to the development of eating disorders; factors like personality traits, genetics (ongoing research with twins)

Other potential causes might include perceived pressures to be thin, cultural preferences for thinness, and exposure to media promoting such ideals i.e modelling agencies, influencers etc.

1. Anorexia nervosa: A very common eating disorder which makes people obsess about what they eat and their weight.

It is characterised by distorted body weight and an unwarranted fear of being overweight.

symptoms
Symptoms include trying to maintain a below-normal weight through starvation or too much exercise.

People may experience:
Whole body: dehydration, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, feeling cold, low blood pressure, low body temperature, osteoporosis, or water-electrolyte imbalance
Behavioural: binge eating, compulsive behaviour, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or social isolation
Weight: extreme weight loss and thinness, underweight, or weight loss
Mood: anxiety, apprehension, or guilt
Gastrointestinal: constipation or vomiting
Menstrual: absence of menstruation or irregular menstruation
Developmental: delayed puberty or slow growth
Also common: brittle nails, bruising, depression, dieting, dry hair, dry skin, headache, sensitivity to cold, or slow heart rate.
2. Bulimia nervosa: A potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterised by binge eating.
People may experience:
Behavioural: binge eating, compulsive behaviour, impulsivity, lack of restraint, self-harm, or vomiting after overeating
Whole body: dehydration, fatigue, food aversion, hunger, or water-electrolyte imbalance
Mood: anxiety, general discontent, guilt, or mood swings
Mouth: bad breath, dental cavities, or dryness
Gastrointestinal: constipation, heartburn, or inflamed oesophagus
Weight: body weight changes or weight loss
Menstrual: absence of menstruation or irregular menstruation
Also common: abnormality of taste, depression, poor self-esteem, or sore throat.
3. Binge eating: unlike the other two that involves restricted feeding patterns, this involves over eating and adopting compensatory measures as induced purging or vomiting.
Some individuals with BED might be obese and prone to have cardiovascular diseases.
The causes of BED might not be related to any underlying disease.
4. Pica: people with this disorder tend to eat things rhat are not consideredto be food.
Non food substances like chalk, cement, cornstarch, soap, paper, ice, nzu, uro.
Mostly common among young women and pregnant women.

5. Rumination Disorder:is another newly recognized eating disorder.

It describes a condition in which a person regurgitates food they have previously chewed and swallowed, re-chews it, and then either re-swallows it or spits it out.

This rumination typically occurs within the first 30 minutes after a meal. Unlike medical conditions like reflux, it’s voluntary.

This disorder can develop during infancy, childhood, or adulthood. In infants, it tends to develop between 3–12 months of age and often disappears on its own. Children and adults with the condition usually require therapy to resolve it.

If not resolved in infants, rumination disorder can result in weight loss and severe malnutrition that can be fatal.

Adults with this disorder may restrict the amount of food they eat, especially in public. This may lead them to lose weight and become underweigh.

6.Avoidant food/ restrictive intake : is a new name for an old disorder.

The term replaces what was known as a “feeding disorder of infancy and early childhood,” a diagnosis previously reserved for children under 7 years old.

Although ARFID generally develops during infancy or early childhood, it can persist into adulthood. What’s more, it’s equally common among men and women.

Individuals with this disorder experience disturbed eating either due to a lack of interest in eating or distaste for certain smells, tastes, colors, textures, or temperatures.

Common symptoms of ARFID include:

  • avoidance or restriction of food intake that prevents the person from eating sufficient calories or nutrients
  • eating habits that interfere with normal social functions, such as eating with others
  • weight loss or poor development for age and height
  • nutrient deficiencies or dependence on supplements or tube feeding

It’s important to note that ARFID goes beyond normal behaviors, such as picky eating in toddlers or lower food intake in older adults.

Moreover, it does not include the avoidance or restriction of foods due to lack of availability or religious or cultural practices.

other eating disorders

Includes purging disorder and night eating disorder.

management.

For anorexia nervosa, restoration of normal body weight with the help of a dietitian is adviseable.

For bulimia nervosa, management of any serious physical or health complications.

For binge eating, treating like both anorexia and bulimia and also focusing on psychotherapy.

conclusion 

Eating disorders pose a huge threat to the health of any individual that is involved. So therefore, its highly important you see a health provider; most likely a dietitian before starting any type of diet.

 

 

 

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General Research

Postprandrial somnolence

Most times we feel drowsy after eating some foods. This might occur as a result digestion patterns and sleep cycles. Some researchers has come up with theories as to why this happens; but they still agree it’s a natural response and not a cause for alarm.
Drowsiness after eating is due to an increase in energy levels which could be termed ‘postprandrial somnolence’.
Postprandial somnolence (colloquially known as the itis food coma, after dinner dip, or postprandial sleep) is a normal state of drowsiness following a meal (regardless of the time of the meal). Postprandial somnolence has two components: a general state of low energy related to activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in response to mass in the gastrointestinal tract, and a specific state of sleepiness. While there are numerous theories surrounding this behavior, such as decreased blood flow to the brain, neurohormonal modulation of sleep through digestive coupled signaling, or vagal stimulation, very few have been explicitly tested.
Physiology
Insulin, large neutral amino acids, and tryptophan
When foods with a high glycemic index are consumed, the carbohydrates in the food are more easily digested than low glycemic index foods. Hence, more glucose is available for absorption; and the more the glucose, the more the amount off insulin for absorption. Insulin stimulates the uptake of valine, leucine, and isoleucine into skeletal muscles, but not uptake of tryptophan. This however, lowers the ratio of these branched chain amino acids in the bloodstream relative to tryptophan (an aromatic amino acid), making tryptophan preferentially available to the large neutral amino acid transporter at the blood–brain barrier. Uptake of tryptophan by the brain thus increases. In the brain, tryptophan is converted to serotonin (the hormone responsible for moods and sleep cycles) which is then converted to melatonin. Increased brain serotonin and melatonin levels result in sleepiness.

Insulin-induced hypokalemia
Insulin also can cause postprandial somnolence via another mechanism. Insulin increases the activity of Na/K ATPase, causing increased movement of potassium into cells from the extracellular fluid. The large movement of potassium from the extracellular fluid can lead to a mild hypokalemic state. The effects of hypokalemia can include fatigue, muscle weakness, or paralysis.

Some health experts also suggests that food coma could be caused by a slight shift in blood flow away from the brain to the digestive organs. Eating helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
The PNS regulates certain processes in your body like slowing the heart rate and regulating blood pressure and digestion. The PNS is triggered when the stomach expands from accommodating a large meal. As a result of this, blood flow is directed to the working digestive organs and less to the brain. This slight diversion may cause you to feel drowsy and fatigued.

Why do people feel tired after eating?
Apart from the physiology explained above, a person may feel tired after eating due to what, when and how much the person consumes per sitting.
A large meal would obviously lead to a rush of insulin to help in absorption and moving of glucose to cells where they are needed.
A person’s circadian rhythm might affect how they feel after eating; well, that doesn’t mean calories know time.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that people naturally have a lull in energy 2.am and again at 2pm which might explain why you have to take a nap after lunch. Meal timing are very essential.

Remedy?
• Small but frequent meals are preferable to very heavy meals.
• Quality sleep matters.
• Light exercise after eating would help. A walk would do.
• Avoid drinking alcohol with meals.
• Do more of fluids.

 

Sources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323379.php#seeing-a-doctor

 

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Diet Therapy of Diseases

Gastroenteritis: All You Need to Know

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation/irritation of the gastrointestinal tract (the pathway responsible for digestion that includes the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, and intestines). Gastroenteritis is majorly caused by a viral or bacterial infection and not an influenza.
Who is at risk for gastroenteritis?
Anyone can get the disease. People who are at a higher risk include:
• Children in day-care
• Students living in dormitories
• Military personnel
• Travellers
People with immune systems that are weakened by disease or medications or not fully developed (i.e., infants) are usually affected most severely
What causes gastroenteritis?
As stated earlier, gastroenteritis can be caused by viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections. Viral gastroenteritis is contagious and is responsible for the majority of outbreaks in developed countries.
Common routes of infection include:
• Food (especially seafood)
• Contaminated water
• Contact with an infected person
• Unwashed hands
• Dirty utensils
In less developed countries, gastroenteritis is more often spread through contaminated food or water.
Actually, the most common cause of gastroenteritis is a virus. Many types of viruses can be responsible for the flu but the main types are rotavirus and norovirus.
Also, often times, bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella can also trigger the stomach flu.
Another bacteria, shigela, is often passed from one child to another in day-care centres; especially through contaminated food and water.
Another way to contact gastroenteritis is through parasite (very rare and uncommon) as giardia. You can pick them up from contaminated swimming pools.
Other unusual ways to get gastroenteritis are:
1. Heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, or mercury) in drinking water.
2. Eating a lot of acidic foods like citrus foods and tomatoes.
3. Medications such as antibiotics, antacids, laxatives, and chemotherapy drugs.
What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?
The main symptom of gastroenteritis is diarrhea. When the colon (large intestine) becomes infected during gastroenteritis, it loses its ability to retain fluids, which causes the person’s faeces to become loose or watery. Other symptoms include:
• Abdominal pain or cramping
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Fever
• Poor feeding (in infants)
• Unintentional weight loss (may be a sign of dehydration)
• Excessive sweating
• Clammy skin
• Muscle pain or joint stiffness
• Incontinence (loss of stool control)
Because of the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, people who have gastroenteritis can become dehydrated quickly. It is very important to watch for signs of dehydration, which include:
• Extreme thirst
• Urine that is darker in color, or less in amount
• Dry skin
• Dry mouth
• Sunken cheeks or eyes
• In infants, dry diapers (for more than 4-6 hours)

  1. Management of Gastroenteritis
    There are three ways to manage the stomach flu which are:
    • Palliative method
    • Medications
    • Dietary approach.
    palliative method:  involves fluid replacement, oral rehydration therapy, intravenous therapy.
    medications like antibiotics and antidiarrheal drugs are administered during gastroenteritis. Examples are loperamide hydrochloride, acetaminophen, zinc supplements
    Dietary approaches involves some restrictions like staying off tea and caffeine, staying of hot and spicy foods (bland diet), dairy foods, sugar, soda, gluten, artificial sweeteners. Some research suggests that the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce and toast), could help in treating the stomach flu. Taking of probiotics (plain unsweetened yoghurt).
    Conclusion
    It is important to practise good hygiene in order to stay away from stomach flu; food safety is also of the essence. Make it a habit to always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them, make sure you boil meats and other animal products very well before consumption, wash your hands during preparation of meals and after using the toilet.

Sources: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12418-gastroenteritis
https://Medicinenet.com/stomachflu

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LifeStyle

Hypertension: alternate spices

19 natural salt alternatives

Herbs and spices

Every now and then, so many people get scared of the common table salt because it seemingly is a dreaded name when it comes to heart problems.

There are better options which alternate the sodium chloride with potassium chloride; but this alternatives might also pose a huge threat on the kidneys when abused.

Salt (whether potassium or sodium) isn’t bad; but the right balance between minerals is really important.

The right levels of sodium helps your muscles contract. They also help regulate fluid levels to prevent dehydration.

Adequate amount of potassium helps coordinate normal heart rythms.

Herbs and spices are the healthy go-to nowadays when it comes to seasoning foods; both local and intercontinental.

Lets take a look at a list of  preferably healthier alternatives when it comes to seasoning.

1. Mint leaves

It has a bit of the menthol feel in the mouth.

  • Uses: Great in salads, on pasta or in couscous. It’s tasty with carrots, peas or broad beans.
  • Could also be used in smoothies.

2. Rosemary

  • Rosemary
  • Taste: An aromatic herb with a pine-like fragrance. Use sparingly; it can overpower other flavours.
  • Preparation: Roast whole sprigs with root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, sweet potato). If using dried rosemary, crush it first.
  • Uses: Add to roast or grilled meats, bread, homemade pizza, tomato sauce, beans, potatoes or egg dishes.

3. Nutmeg

  • NutmegTaste: Sweet and pungent flavour. Works well in baked foods with cinnamon and cloves.
  • Preparation: Freshly grated nutmeg has a much better flavour than ground.
  • Uses: Add nutmeg with black pepper to homemade white and cheese sauces. It also adds warmth and flavour to homemade potato, cabbage and cauliflower soups.
  • Could also be added to your local jollof rice.

4. Basil

  • BasilTaste: Sweet and peppery.
  • Preparation: Fresh basil retains more flavour and aroma than dried.
  • Uses: Basil is traditionally used in Mediterranean cooking, in tomato-based pasta sauces, pizzas and bolognese. Use lemon, Thai and holy basil in South Asian and Thai dishes.

5. Cardamon

  • Cardamon
  • Taste: A warm, aromatic spice.
  • Preparation: Add whole cardamom pods to your dishes or use the seeds inside, either whole or ground.
  • Uses: Commonly added to Asian spice mixes and curry pastes. Cardamom also works well in baked goods and sweet breads, with cloves and cinnamon, for a taste of Scandinavia.

6. Chilli/Cayenne

  • ChilliTaste: Chillis vary quite a lot in strength, so add a little at first and taste your dish. Cayenne is a specific type of chilli.
  • Preparation: Chilli can be bought whole (fresh or dried), as dried flakes, powder, or as hot sauce. Chilli sauce may be high in salt (or sugar in the case of sweet chilli sauce), so stick to powder, flakes or whole chillies.
  • Uses: It works well in most dishes, including vegetable or seafood stews or vegetable soup. Please don’t add too much of this pepper😢 so it wont end in tears.

7. Cinnamon

  • CinnamonTaste: Mostly used in sweet treats like cake and apple crumble, but works with savoury dishes too.
  • Preparation: Sold as cinnamon sticks (grate or add whole to dishes like curries or stews) or ground.
  • Uses: Cinnamon is an important spice in Turkish and Middle Eastern cooking, where it is used to flavour chicken and lamb dishes. Use it to deepen the flavour of cottage pie, curries, tagines, casseroles, roast vegetables, bolognese sauce or stewed fruit.

8. Chives

9. Coriander

  • CorianderTaste: Coriander leaves have a distinct earthy and lemony flavour, while coriander seeds have a warm, spicy, citrus flavour when crushed.
  • Preparation: Use coriander leaves raw or add to foods at the end of cooking. Coriander seeds are commonly used in Indian dishes. Fry them in a dry pan and add them whole or crushed.
  • Uses: Add coriander leaves to salads, soups (eg carrot and coriander soup), salsas, curries and fish and chicken dishes, or combine it with lime and chilli in stir fries.

10. Dill

  • DillTaste: Dill has a strong taste, often compared to fennel, star anise and celery.
  • Preparation: Use fresh rather than dried if possible – use the leaves only and discard the stem.
  • Uses: Popular in Russian, Eastern European, Greek and Scandinavian cooking, dill is a welcome addition to cottage cheese, low-fat cream cheese, omelettes, seafood, steak, potato salad and cucumber dishes. Try adding dill to broad beans and rice and serve with koftas (made from lean minced meat), as found in Iranian cooking.

11. Cumin

  • CuminTaste: Earthy and smoky.
  • Preparation: Fresh cumin seeds, dry roasted and then ground, provide a richer flavour than cumin powder.
  • Uses: After black pepper, cumin is the most-used spice worldwide. Goes well with indian and Mexican dishes.

12. Ginger

  • GingerTaste: Peppery, lemony and slightly sweet, with a sharp aroma.
  • Preparation: Buy ground or fresh (as a ginger root, which can then be chopped or grated).
  • Uses: Ginger enhances sweet and savoury dishes. Fresh ginger can be grated into stir fries and curries during cooking, or sprinkled over meat before baking or barbecuing.

13. Oregano

  • OreganoTaste: Oregano has a warm, aromatic, slightly bitter taste and a potent aroma.
  • Preparation: Fresh oregano leaves can be chopped into foods or added whole.
  • Uses: Popular in Greek and Mediterranean cooking. Use it to marinate meats, poultry and seafood before grilling, in egg dishes, breads, casseroles and salads. It’s also great in spaghetti bolognese and tomato salsas.

14. Paprika

  • PaprikaTaste: Paprika is milder and sweeter than cayenne pepper.
  • Preparation: Available as a red powder made from ground sweet and hot dried peppers.
  • Uses: For a Hungarian twist, team paprika with caraway, coriander, cinnamon and dill. Combine with garlic for a Spanish flavour. Paprika goes well with lamb, chicken and fish dishes, on baked sweet potato wedges, or in beans or scrambled egg.

15. Parsley

16. Sage

  • SageTaste: From the Mediterranean coast, sage is like rosemary, with more lemon and eucalyptus.
  • Preparation: Best used fresh and in small amounts. Unlike some herbs, sage does not lose its flavour with prolonged cooking.
  • Uses: Sage is traditional in Italian and French cooking, added to meats, poultry and stuffing, and is often chopped and stirred into pasta and gnocchi.

17. Tarragon

  • TarragonTaste: Adds a distinctive, bittersweet liquorice-like flavour to foods, and has an aroma similar to star anise.
  • Preparation: Tarragon should be added near the end of cooking time, as heat reduces its flavour.
  • Uses: Native to Siberia and western Asia, tarragon is a key herb in French cooking. It goes well with poultry, fish, egg dishes, beef and vegetable soups. It can also be added to salad dressings.

18. Thyme

  • Thyme
  • Taste: A strong earthy, slightly minty flavour with a subtle aroma. Lemon thyme is another variety and goes well in soups and vegetable dishes.
  • Preparation: Depending on the variety you’re using, thyme can be finely chopped or added as a whole sprig. Unlike most herbs, thyme needs a long cooking time to release its full flavour.
  • Thyme:Thyme works well with other herbs like rosemary, parsley, sage, savoury and oregano. It can flavour most meats, including chicken and game (as a marinade or in a sauce) and is a tasty addition to roast vegetables. Pair thyme with paprika, oregano and cayenne pepper for Cajun cuisine, and with cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper for Caribbean meals.

19. Turmeric

  • TurmericTaste: Has a distinctive yellow colour so is sometimes used as a cheaper alternative to saffron, although it tastes quite different.
  • Preparation: Turmeric is an ingredient of curry powder and is in many South Asian dishes.
  • Uses: For a hint of North Africa, use turmeric
  • with ginger in meat and vegetable dishes, or flavour rice with it. A little turmeric goes a long way; as it cooks, its flavour intensifies.

It’s really a healthier option to stick to these herbs and spices whenever you’re cooking because they really don’t pose any health threats as they are natural.

A pinch of salt, with any of these herbs would still bring out the savoury taste of any local or intercontinental dish.

 

Source: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/herbs-and-spices

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LifeStyle

Lemon and water: myths debunked

Lemon water might not be the magical drink that some make it out to be.

Even though the duo could be a  pretty great alternative to sugary sodas, juices, and energy drinks, many high claims about its accelerated weight loss or boosting liver function are exaggerated at best and inaccurate at worst.

Lets see these six myths about the benefits of lemon water that just aren’t true.

Shall we?

MYTH 1: Lemon water will help speed up your weight loss efforts.

Some funny roadside nutritionist and social media influencers claim water with lemon is the secret to speeding up your weight loss process, but these claims are often inflated.

The bitter truth is that; the duo of lemon and water wont help speed up weight loss.

Lemons contain a fibre called pectin; this fibre  can help you feel full and satisfied without additional calories. By squeezing a medium sized lemon into your water,  only trace amounts of this fiber – (which mostly exists in the rind and  not the juice) remains – thus doing little to nothing for your satiety levels.

MYTH 2: It helps “wake up” your digestive system.

Staying hydrated with  3-3.5 litres of water daily is what your digestive system needs;  adding lemon won’t make a huge difference. I’m sorry to burst your bubbles.

Water helps break down food particles in our system making it easy for digestion and action of enzymes.

Although the lemon could add some flavor or zest to your drink, plain water could essentially provide the same digestive benefits.

Adding lemon to your water should be because you find plain water boring.

MYTH 3: It cleanses or “detoxifies” your body.

If you’re hoping that lemon would help detoxify your system when you add them to your diet, maybe you should rethink because, there’s really no need for that.

“This claim really does not have any scientific back up so i wonder why people really embark on it at all. According to a research, lemon water might even deprive you of some nutrients.

In most cases, your body handles its detoxification process so far as your internal organs are in right working conditions.

MYTH 4: Lemon water will help balance your pH levels.

You got to be kidding me now.

Well, the pH level of your body determines the proper functioning of your liver and kidneys; but adding lemon water to your diet has no significant role in balancing the pH of your body really.

According to Web MD, “Nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. Your body works to keep that level constant”

MYTH 5: It will boost your metabolism.

Lemon water doesn’t actually have much of an impact on your metabolism.

Your body’s metabolism rate wont be doubled or tripled simply because you added lemon to your diet.

Theories that back up metabolism boosting effects are really exaggerated because its a very temporary one.

MYTH 6: Lemon juice will help your skin look younger.

Lemon water contains vitamin C, which can serve as a natural skin brightener and can help to rid skin of antioxidants and damage.

But you’d likely have to drink a lot of lemon water to reap these benefits in any measurable way. Lemons contain the most vitamin C in their peel, which typically isn’t what you drink. You’d actually get more vitamin C from freshly squeezed orange juice.

Myth 7: lemon water would help against skin acne

According to an interview by insider with board-certified dermatologist Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD,  you can develop a rash called phytophotodermatitis when lemon water is applied to the skin and it is then exposed to direct sunlight.

I hope this changes your perspective.

 

Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.insider.com/does-drinking-lemon-water-really-work-2018-11

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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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General Research

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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