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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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General Research

INTERMITTENT FASTING: MY THOUGHTS🤔

So much dust has been raised recently on intermittent fasting and if its a healthy lifestyle to adopt. So lets take this journey together and see what INTERMITTENT FASTING is really about shall we?😊.

Intermittent fasting is actually not a diet but timed approach to eating. It really doesn’t restrict you from consuming a particular class of food or restricts the source of calories like every other diet regime would. Presumably, it might have some health benefits especially weight loss but it is not for everybody and it is not really ideal for a weight loss regime because concrete research has not confirmed its effectiveness.

According to  medical news today,INTERMITTENT FASTING involves cycling periods between eating and fasting.

There are different methods which you can adopt if you want to go on intermittent fasting and they include:

1. The 16:8 method which involves eating for 8 hours and fasting for the remaining 16 hours in a day. This method is actually termed the easiest type of fasting; well, sounds that way though. This method is also known as the Leangains protocol, and was popularized by fitness expert Martin Berkhan.

Doing this method of fasting can actually be as simple as not eating anything after dinner, and skipping breakfast ( not me😢).

For example, if you finish your last meal at 8 pm and then don’t eat until 12 noon the next day, then you are technically fasting for 16 hours between meals, phew😲😥😥.

2. The 5:2 fasting which involves fasting for 2 days per week and restricting caloric intake to 500-600kcals on those two days while eating as you like for the other 5 days.😊.

3. Eat-stop- eat requires you fast for 24 hours a day eitger once or twice a week.

4. Alternate day fast requires that you fast every other day either by total fasting or restrictive calorie eating.

5. The warrior diet: fast during the day, eat a huge meal at night. You seriously would be discomforted at night if you go through with this.

6. Spontaneous meal skipping; where you tend to skip meals when convenient for you.

It actually requires great discipline to go through with any of these methods. This being said, i should also state that intermittent fasting is not for everyone; pregnant women , people with diabetes, people with eating disorders, people on medications and underweight people shouldn’t involve themselves in this eating method.

What are the benefits of INTERMITTENT FASTING?

well, here are a few:

* reduces insulin levels

* improves growth hormones

* aids rapid weight loss

* may prevent cancer; i said may o🤧😞.

Now, we’ve seen the benefits, lets zoom in on them and pick out the risks involved.

Firstly, if insulin levels are reduced, then its a risk factor for development of diabetes because diabetes happens either when there is inability  of insulin to move nutrients to cell sites or absence of it to do its work.

Secondly, any weight loss that is rapid just involves loss of water and glycogen and could easily be regained back if you stop fasting. Sustainability is all that really matters in any diet regime or eating pattern. The distribution of fat might change thereby leading to an increased level of fat tissue in the  wrong place (abdomen) which might lead to insulin resistance because distended abdomen is related to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Higher levels of free radicals might be incurred during this prolonged period of fasts.

It might also lead to ghrelin insufficiency which would likely leave you in starvation mode for a long time and malnutrition sets in because you are always on a calorie deficit; 500kcals per day?😢😲😲

In all this, make sure you consult a DIETITAN before delving into any type of diet or eating patterns you wish to start. (more…)

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