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FERTILITY : DOES DIET PLAY A ROLE?

Generally, one major factor considered to affect fertility is age. As you grow older, your organs, hormones and system seem to deteriorate.

But apart from this, there are other external and non-modifiable lifestyle factors that also affects the fertility of a woman and they include smoking, elevated consumption of caffeine and alcohol, stress, agonist sports, chronic exposure to environmental pollutants and other nutritional related issues.

In addition to the aforementioned, other metabolic disorders like diabetes, obesity, and hyperlipidaemia which are associated to an intake of high caloric diet could also interfere with a woman’s fertility.

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse.
Infertility has really become a thing of concern in the modern society and its recurrence affects about 20-30% of the female population globally.

In Nigeria, about 10-30% of couples are saddled with the burden of infertility
The World Health Organization (WHO) reporting up to 80 million women world-wide having been affected by this disease to date, with a prevalence of ~50% of all women in developing countries.

There are possible gynaecological issues or systemic diseases that poses a threat female fertility, but asides these, unbalanced nutrition and unhealthy diet also interfere with reproduction processes in women.
Gradually, inadequate weight gain due abnormal energy supply, extreme restrictions, and inadequate intake of nutrients (both macro and micro), have a detrimental impact on the normal functioning of the ovaries.
Taking a proactive approach could help curb emotional stress and even cut financial costs attached to infertility problems.
Your odds at getting pregnant might just be improved by being intentional about your diet, effectively dealing with stress and being more active.

POSSIBLE LIFESTYLE FACTORS THAT AFFECTS FERTILITY
1. SMOKING: Smoking, be it first or second-hand smoke, can have a negative impact on the reproductive process for women. Cadmium and cotinine are two specific toxins found in tobacco smoke which can reduce egg production.
2. ALCOHOL: there are no safe levels for alcohol if you’re planning to conceive
3. BMI: for females wanting to conceive, body weight is of the essence and should not be overlooked. A BMI higher than 30 could impact hormonal imbalances and affect fertility processes.
4. RECREATIONAL DRUGS: use of some illicit drugs could have a great impact on fertility for women. Women who are expectant shouldn’t use heroin, ecstasy, marijuana and other illicit drugs.

WHAT ARE SOME POSSIBLE CAUSES OF INFERTILITY?
Unexplained Infertility: reason of infertility is unknown and can’t be linked to any external or internal factors. Most times, more than a year of trying to conceive.
Endocrine Disorders (PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): these sort of disorders leads to an alteration of sex hormones in the female body thereby leading to elevated insulin levels and overproduction of testosterone (male hormone).
Anatomical Abnormalities & Anomalies (Endometriosis, Uterine Irregularities): conditions where similar tissues to the ones inside your uterus, grows outside of the uterus. These conditions subject the uterus to be shaped in abnormal ways; heart shaped, unicorn shaped etc. (fibroids and polyps also included)

HOW DOES DIET AFFECT FERTILIY?
A number of dietary considerations should be considered in order to curtail hormonal fluctuations in females. The adequacy of a diet totally influences the functionality of hormones in the female body, especially fertility related hormones,
Let’s see some dietary considerations that directly affects hormonal response in the female body.
1. WHOLE GRAINS: whole grains are lower in glycemic index (their ability to increase blood glucose per time), and help increase chances of reduced insulin resistance in females. Insulin resistance poses a huge threat of inflammatory disorders and weight gain which directly affects hormonal balances in the female body. Whole grains include oatmeal, millet, bulgur, corn etc.
2. PROTEINS: getting most of your proteins from plant sources could help women with ovulatory issues. Isoflavones contained in soy products have been shown to positively affect ovulation and also helps women undergoing ART (assisted reproductive technology). Also, a higher intake of dairy products has been linked to decreased risk of endometriosis. Successful incorporation of dairy products into the diet of females, would have a great impact on fertility.
3. HEALTY FATS: trans-fat negatively affects fertility, enhance inflammation, and also play a role in egg quality and implantation. It’s very important to know the types of fats which are healthy and take out the unhealthy ones. Fats from nuts, avocado, seeds and fatty fish are healthy fats.
Also, supplementation with omega-3 fatty (500-1000mg) acid may help reduce the amount of male hormones circulating in the system (testosterone), thereby reducing risks of developing PCOS and regulating menstrual cycle.
4. SUPPLEMENTATION: supplementing with vitamins like folate, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 has been shown to improve better embryo quality and reduce risks of ovulatory infertility. Antioxidants also has shown to support and provide the eggs with adequate nutrition. Other supplements of importance include glutathione and CoQ10.

SUMMARY
A correct balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins in the daily diet helps provide optimum female reproductive health and reduce risk of infertility possibly caused by inflammation and hormonal imbalances.

SOURCES:

Does diet really affect fertility? – A few useful tips from Fertifa’s nutrition expert


https://www.todaysdietitian.com/marketing/webinars/fertility/TDFinalRecorded.pdf
https://www.insider.com/how-healthy-and-unhealthy-diets-can-impact-fertility-2018-4

Nutrition and Fertility: 5 Things to Know


https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/050113p38.shtml

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SIGNS YOU’RE LACKING SOME NUTRIENTS

INTRODUCTION 
A day or week off of your healthy routine diet wont be so bad. You get to make unhealthy food choices and all, but, when it becomes a habit, there would be obvious signs to show that some vital vitamins are lacking.
You should really pay attention to eating and living healthy to avoid these signs, but when they occur, then there is always a dietary solution.

HAIR LOSS
Normally, per day, you might lose about 100 strands of hair a day. But if you notice that each time after shower, you lose big chunks of hair, or, after sleep, you notice big chunks of hair on your pillow, then you might just be low on iron. Iron deficiency is about the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. You might need to do a blood test to check your levels. Recommended daily intake from diet per day is is 11.5–13.7 mg/day in children aged 2–11 years, 15.1 mg/day in children and teens aged 12–19 years, and 16.3–18.2 mg/day in men and 12.6–13.5 mg/day in women older than 19. Eat more iron-rich foods, like:
• Lean beef
• Poultry
• Spinach
• Beans
• Cashews

UNEXPLAINED FATIGUE
If you’re easily worn out even when the 3 S’s — sleep, stress, and sickness are not involved, then maybe it’s time to check your vitamin D levels. Your body doesn’t have the ability to make this vitamin, making it unique. The sun is the major source of this vitamin, but some foods can also help increase the availability of the vitamin and keep you from getting easily fatigued. They include:
• Tuna
• Salmon
• Fortified foods like milk, and cereal
Or talk to your doctor about a supplement.

BURNING MOUTH SYNDROME
This condition can make your gums, lips, the inside of your cheek, and roof of your mouth feel like there’s an inferno inside of you. Or your mouth might be dry or numb. One of the things that causes it is a shortage of B vitamins like folate, thiamin, and B6. To boost the B6 in your diet, eat more:
• Beans
• Bananas
• Spinach
• Fortified cereals

DRY SKIN
Is your skin always dry and scaly like a reptile’s? Maybe you are just low on vitamin A. One of vitamin A’s many jobs is to grow and maintain the tissues that cover every surface of your body, inside and out. Apart from your skin, your lips too might also be dry because of low levels of vitamin A. to make up for this, you should take more of these vitamin A food sources:
• Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale
• Orange vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots
• Orange fruits like cantaloupe and apricots

SPOON NAILS
When your body doesn’t have enough iron as it should, it literally show on the strength and shape of your fingernails. They may become soft and bend away from your finger at the edges, creating a spoon-like shape. This could also be a sign of hemochromatosis, a condition that causes your body to absorb too much iron. Infants’ nails may spoon at first, but it goes away as they get older. If this happens to you, see your doctor for a blood test to find the cause.
Foods rich in iron include
– Oyster
– Beef
– Cereals fortified with iron
– Vegetables
– Nuts
– Soy
– Chick pea
– Cashew
– Tuna fish etc.

CRACKS AT THE CORNERS OF YOUR MOUTH
Angular chelitis is the term for breaking or cracks at the corner of the lips. Sometimes, it starts as dry or irritated skin at one or both corners of your mouth and can turn into painful, bleeding sores.. If it doesn’t go away when you use lip balm, it could be a sign that you’re low in iron or B vitamins like riboflavin. Riboflavin-rich foods include:
• Eggs
• Lean meats
• Milk
• Green vegetables like asparagus and broccoli

SWOLLEN TONGUE
Your tongue can get swollen and have a glossy look when there is lack of some B vitamins like folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and B12. riboflavin, and B12. The condition is called glossitis. To get more B12, choose:
• Fish
• Meat
• Milk
• Eggs
• Fortified cereals

APATHY
The B vitamin folate, also called folic acid, helps your body make red blood cells and create the chemicals that regulate sleep patterns and mood. When you don’t get enough, you may feel forgetful, weak, and apathetic (which means you lack energy and enthusiasm). Step up your folate levels with these:
• Fortified cereal
• Chickpeas
• Asparagus
• Spinach
• Okro

BRUISES
The most abundant protein on your skin is collagen. It holds everything together, including your skin cells. If you notice more bruises than usual, you may be low in vitamin C which is a key element in collagen. You’re at of sustaining much bruises on your skin risk if you:
• Have an eating disorder
• Eat little due to illness
• Have a severe digestive condition
• Smoke
Focus on fruits and veggies, especially:
• Bell peppers
• Citrus fruit
• Tomatoes
• Broccoli

CONCLUSION 

The signs that you’re lacking nutrients are very glaring, and when you notice them, it’s adviceable to top your intake of those nutrients from natural food sources or supplements if its adverse.

SOURCES: webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-not-enough-nutrients

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POSSIBLE REASONS WHY YOU OVEREAT

So many times we tend to eat when we’re not hungry due to emotional related issues.

By doing this, it might lead to dysfunctional hormones and weight gain which gets you sus
1. Stress
After a long day behind the system or a long day in traffic, cortisol levels are raised. Cortisol is a hormone released any time the body is stressed either for a fight or flight situation. When this happens, this hormone makes your body to want to eat more food to refuel the body even when you’re not hungry. If you know stress is always inevitable for you, you should watch and learn how to curtail constant stress.
2. Fatigue
When your activity levels are way above your caloric intake, tiredness sets in and your ghrelin hormone soars (hormone responsible for hunger). Meanwhile, your levels of leptin (a hormone that decreases hunger and the desire to eat) go down. Your body might need food but rest at that period, but these hormones would be sending signals to eat.
3. Nerves
Eating seems like a legit way to keep you distracted when you feel all edgy. But really, emotional eating doesn’t help at all. When this happens, you might just overeat because of its distraction from worry or whatever makes you nervous.
4. Anxiety
Binge eating can be a way to help manage your worries and stress. Sometimes, most people get angry ore worried and the only thing they can turn to is food. While at this, you wont know you’ve even overeaten because your emotions are in control and you’ve chosen food as a safe haven.

5. Peer Pressure
Sometimes when in the company of friends or in a group, its easy to get caught up in the mood and overeat or even over consume alcohol.
6. Alcohol
‘Booze lowers your inhibitions, and that includes good judgment about when and how much to eat’. Boozing also motivates you to eat more unhealthy things like sugary stuff and high fat containing foods. Studies show that drinking affects the part of your brain that monitors self-control, making it much harder to resist a tasty snack.
7. Pictures of Food
What motivates people more to eat is the pictoral presentation of a well garnished meal or snack. Some people just view, and order even when they’re not hungry.
The Cost of Mindless Eating
The cost of not being aware and intentional about your eating habits are weight gain and other chronic diseases. You should always be mindful of emotional eating at all times.
Must you Eat?
Real hunger actually comes slowly and is easy to ignore till later. Emotional eating on the other hand comes quickly and makes you crave specific foods. You may also respond to food availability and eat because the food is there. This opens you up to overfeeding.

How to Stop Mindless Eating
While shopping, keep junk foods out of the house. Make sure you’re always with friends who would encourage you to eat healthy. Create outlets for emotions ; try exercise, reading, taking a walk etc. make sure you’re not stressed.
SOURCE: https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/ss/slideshow-why-eat-when-not-hungry?ecd=wnl_faf_021921&ctr=wnl-faf-021921&mb=LUUQQ%40zicPGFTxGdm%40H60rXlTp2CSLJZzpl6SmvoMRc%3d_leadCTA

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THE LINK BETWEEN YOUR GUT AND HORMONES

The talk about gut health and hormones isn’t yet hitting the internet as it should. Rather, everyone is more concerned about their shape and the size of their belly. Your gut and hormones are intrinsically connected and affect your health in ways you can’t imagine.
This write up helps explain the link between your gut and hormones.

What Is The Estrobolome?
The estrobolome is a collection of bacteria in the gut which is capable of metabolising and modulating the body’s circulating estrogen. It is the bacteria in the gut, and the estrobolome, that affects estrogen levels, which in turn can impact weight, libido and mood. The estroblome modulates the enterohepatic circulation of estrogens and affects circulating and excreted estrogen levels.

Hormones And Gut Health: Why should I care about my Gut Health?
Scientific research has demonstrated that gut microbes regulate many aspects of human physiology, including intestinal permeability, the absorption of nutrients from food, and immunity.

Optimising our gut health is key to keeping our hormones in balance. Gut health is so important because the microbiome has many functions as listed below:
• Aids the synthesis and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters
• Facilitates absorption of macro and micronutrients
• Has an essential role in the immune system
• Contributes to regulation of estrogen levels in the body
Estrogens are primarily made in the ovaries and adrenal glands. There are three different types, which are Estradiol, Estriol, and Estrone. All of which have vital roles in the body. In women, estrogens help regulate body fat, are essential to female reproductive function, cardiovascular health, bone health, and brain function (including memory). In men, estrogens aid in the maturation of sperm and maintenance of libido, oh yes! Male folks has estrogen too.
When the gut microbiome is healthy, the estrobolome is producing optimal levels of an enzyme called betaglucuronidase – there is an imbalance in estrogen when there is too much production of this enzyme.
Betaglucuronidase also has an important role in breaking down complex carbohydrates and the absorption of bilirubin and flavonoids. A healthy, diverse gut microbiome with a rich collection of different bacteria is critical for hormonal balance.
A healthy estrobolome minimises reabsorption of estrogen from the gut allowing safe removal as waste in stool and urine again ensuring hormone balance.
Gut dysbiosis is an imbalance of the gut bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Elevated betaglucuronidase levels are associated with conditions including:
• Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
• Obesity
• Metabolic syndrome
• Estrogen-related cancers (breast and prostate)
• Endometriosis
• Infertility
• Mood swings (the feel good hormones are produced in the gut, if the gut is not healthy, it sends wrong signals)
• Heart disease
Unfortunately, gut dysbiosis and gut microbiome imbalance are very common and the delicate balance of the microbiome and estrobolome can be affected by many different factors which include genetics, age, weight, diet, alcohol, antibiotics, environmental pollutants and more.

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
There are many signs of an unhealthy gut, which can often be misdiagnosed as something else.
• Digestive issues (bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation)
• Weight changes
• Food sensitivities
• Fatigue
• Skin irritation
• Autoimmune conditions
• Hormonal imbalance

Factors that affect Gut Health And Hormone Balance
To correct hormone imbalance, there are ways to ensure that the gut stays healthy and those ways include:
1. Dietary considerations
“The food we eat not only feeds our cells, but also determines what kind of inner garden we are growing in our guts.” – Dr. Mark Hyman.
Well, the saying “you are what you eat” comes to limelight here. Diet plays a vital role in shaping our gut microbiome. A low GI (glycaemic index) diet which contains a diverse range of fruit, vegetables and fibre, high in phytonutrients – the so-called ‘rainbow plate’ – can encourage microbial diversity.
It is important to go moderate on what is referred to as ‘white carbs’ such as pasta, rice and potatoes which contain resistant starch; a type that promotes healthy gut. Cutting them out totally would mean cutting out the sources of resistant starch.
Bear in mind that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, contain compounds that ease detoxification of estrogen. The supplement DIM (diindolylmethane) contains concentrates of such compounds and can be effective in lowering more toxic estrogen byproducts.
Prebiotics and probiotics should also be considered. Prebiotic foods such as garlic, onion, asparagus and bananas provide the material that gut bacteria like to feed on. Probiotic foods such as kefir, kombucha, kimchi, plain yoghurt and other fermented foods are really useful for introducing beneficial bacterial strains, like lactobacillus, to the gut.
It’s important to note that the supplement calcium D glucarate is a betaglucuronidase inhibitor and allows estrogen to remain conjugated, and therefore safely eliminated by intestinal detoxification.
2. Your environment matters a lot
Phytoestrogens from plants such as soya, tofu and tempeh are consumed as food while others are synthetically manufactured and called Xenoestrogens. These are found in common household products such as fragrances, pesticides and plastics, and can easily be obtained from the environment around us. It is important to find ways of reducing these toxic substances that impact our health and find more environmentally friendly solutions. Xenoestrogens are absorbed by the body and stored in liver and fat cells. They act synergistically with endogenously produced estrogens and influence cell proliferation and disrupt the delicate balance of hormones.
3. Antibiotics
So many people abuse antibiotics, if not prescribed, please desist from using them. The use of antibiotics disrupts the ecology of the gut microbiome, and can cause overgrowth or dysbiosis. A study by the University of Copenhagen found that six months after stopping antibiotics, most healthy people can recover the microbiome composition and function. However, the gut can still lack some of the beneficial bacteria and we then need to reintroduce the good guys!
4. Alcohol
No one really wants to hear that overconsumption of alcohol is detrimental to the health. Our society has made it look like consuming alcohol doesn’t make you vulnerable at all. But alcohol consumption can have a negative impact, not only on the gut microbiome but also on the liver and its ability to detoxify. This contributes to estrogen dominance symptoms and an increased risk of estrogen related cancers. Its festive season and you must unwind with friends and families, so we won’t put a knife to your throat not to take alcohol. 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men( 1 drink equates 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits and liquor). A single large glass of wine can contain up to 3 units of alcohol!
5. Physical activity
Physical activity can never be overemphasised. Exercise is an excellent way to support the detoxification that happens in the liver. Regular, moderate intensity exercise can lower levels of circulating estrogens. It can also reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, which can have a negative impact on our sex hormones. However, we do need to be mindful of individuality as different people have different stress levels/thresholds. Activities that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system or the body’s ‘rest and digest’ mode, such as yoga, are also very beneficial to hormonal health and keeps the hormones balanced.
Summary
Lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity and stress management all play important roles in helping to balance your estrobolome and also ensuring that we keep our hormones balanced and optimal.

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PECANS: BENEFITS

OVERVIEW

Pecans are a type of tree nut native to North Mexico and southern United States in the region of Mississipi River.

 Their rich and buttery flavor nakes them a common ingredient in appetizers, desserts, and main dishes alike.

Although they contain a long list of essential nutrients, they’re also high in calories and fat, causing many to wonder whether they’re healthy.

Let’s take a closer look at the nutrients contained in pecans

NUTRIENTS

Pecans are rich in a number of important nutrients.

In particular, they’re a good source of fiber, along with copper, thiamine, and zinc.

1 oz (28 grams) of pecans contains the following nutrients

Calories: 196

Protein: 2.5 grams

Fat: 20.5 grams

Carbs: 4 grams

Fiber: 2.7 grams

Copper: 38% of the Daily Value (DV)

Thiamine (vitamin B1): 16% of the DV

Zinc: 12% of the DV

Magnesium: 8% of the DV

Phosphorus: 6% of the DV

Iron: 4% of the DV

Copper is an important mineral involved in many aspects of your health, including nerve cell function, immune health, and the production of red blood cells.

Meanwhile, thiamine, or vitamin B1, is essential for converting carbohydrates into energy to help fuel your body (3Trusted Source).

Zinc is another key mineral found in pecans, and it’s necessary for immune function, as well as cell growth, brain function, and wound healing.

BENEFITS

Pecans have been associated with numerous health benefits. Some are still theory, while some have been proven.

IMPROVES HEART HEALTH

Pecans are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids(MUFAs), a type of fat that may benefit heart health .

Accoring to a study,  204 people with coronary artery disease, which is characterized by the narrowing of arteries, found that eating 1oz (30 grams) of pecans daily for 12 weeks improved the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood.

Other research shows that an increased intake of tree nuts, including pecans, may be linked to reduced levels of total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides — all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

One small study in 26 adults with overweight or obesity found that eating a pecan-rich diet for 4 weeks improved the body’s ability to use insulin effectively. Insulin is the hormone that transports sugar from your bloodstream into your cells.

But remember, a handful of pecans contains a great amount of calories.

Similarly, a review of 12 studies showed that adding tree nuts to your diet could help lower levels of hemoglobin A1C, a measure of long-term blood sugar control (12Trusted Source).

PROMOTED BRAIN FUNCTION 

Pecans are brimming with nutrients that may benefit brain function, including mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Monounsaturated fatty acids, in particular, have been linked to decreased mental decline and reduced inflammation.

Recently, a large study in over 15,000 women lasting over 40 years linked a higher consumption of nuts with improved long-term cognition.

Similarly, a study in 4,822 older adults showed that those who ate at least 1/3 0z (10 grams) of nuts per day were 40% less likely to have poor cognition.

That said, more research is needed to evaluate how pecans specifically may affect brain function.

POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES

Although pecans have been linked to several potential health benefits, there are some downsides to consider.

First, those with an allergy to tree nuts should avoid them, along with other types of tree nuts like almonds, cashews, chestnuts, and walnuts.

Keep in mind that they’re also relatively high in calories, packing nearly 200 calories in each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.

As such, eating multiple servings can increase your daily calorie intake, which could contribute to weight gain if you don’t make other adjustments to your diet or level of physical activity.

For this reason, its adviceable to moderate your intake, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

Moreover, it’s best to opt for natural pecans without added sugar or salt.

HOW TO ADD PECANS TO YOUR DIET

Pecans are loaded with essential nutrients and can be an excellent addition to a well-rounded, healthy diet.

Be sure to pay attention to your portion sizes and stick to around 1 ounce (28 grams), or about 20 pecan halves, at a time.

Try sprinkling a handful of these tasty nuts onto your next yogurt parfait, salad, or oatmeal for extra crunch and nutrients.

They also work well in trail mix or chopped up in baked goods like muffins, pancakes, or banana bread.

Alternatively, enjoy raw pecans on their own for a quick, convenient, and nutritious on-the-go snack.

Pecans are a type of tree nut that’s rich in several key nutrients, including fiber, copper, thiamine, and zinc.

They’ve been associated with many potential health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, heart health, and brain function.

You can enjoy them in moderation as part of a nutritious diet — and in a number of different recipes.

BOTTOM LINE.

Pecans are amazing tree nuts  with so much health benefits.

They could be incoporated into the diet or eaten alone.

Its important to be aware that a small amountof them contain so much calories, so its best you stick to moderation if you’re on a weightloss program.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-pecans-good-for-you#bottom-line

 

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STRESS, IBS AND NUTRITION

STRESS IN ITSELF
The word stress is quite a complex phenomenon with individualistic stress levels.
Stress is the body’s way to respond to triggering events that the brain goes through. It might be emotional, biological or physical response and might vary from individual to individual depending on the environmental and genetic factors involved.
When stress levels are low, the body is often in a state of homeostasis: All body systems are operating smoothly to maintain equilibrium.

POSSIBLE TRIGGERS
According to a research: Stressors trigger a “crisis-mode” physiological response, a physiological response which the body attempts to return to homeostasis by means of an adaptive response. The internal fight to restore homeostasis in the face of a stressor is known as the general adaptation syndrome, or GAS. The GAS has three distinct phases: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. This leads to various physiological changes in the body. Stress is often described as a “disease of prolonged arousal” that leads to a cascade of negative health effects whose likelihood increases with on-going stress. Nearly all body systems become potential targets, and the long-term effects may be devastating.
Your stress levels when not adequately managed, could interfere with your medication and diet

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
On the other hand, Irritable bowel syndrome is your guts response to extreme stress levels
Triggers that easily affect the gut in IBS are sometimes perceived as psychological stress (loss of job, money, spouse), physical, physiological stress (diet, hormonal changes).
IBS can result from a very intricate biological interaction between the brain and the gut – this is why addressing psychological and emotional stressors that may be associated with IBS symptoms is the first step in understanding IBS triggers. Not all people with IBS have symptoms of psychological distress, but for those who do, stress management techniques become critical in managing IBS symptoms.
Another possible could be food anxiety (orthorexia), where one always gets worried about what to eat, how the food was prepared, the source and so on. Anxiety might precipitate IBS symptoms and not even the food itself.

STRESS MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES AND DIETARY APPROACHES
Managing stress sometimes involves some self-care techniques which might include:
• Guided meditation
• Reading
• Knitting or needlework
• Bubble baths
• Exercise
• Listening to music
• Taking a stroll
It’s very important to note that everyone’s coping mechanism or stress management techniques are different. But it’s important to add these techniques to your daily routines.

DIETARY APPROACH
Role of specific nutrient in regulation of food intake, in the maintenance of homeostatic mechanisms and emotional processes is very dense. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamin or 5-HT) is synthesized from the dietary amino-acid tryptophan (TRP). Likewise, tyrosine is a precursor of noradrenaline (NA). Psychosocial and physical stress increases the rate of release of noradrenaline (NA) in both the periphery and the central nervous system hence more protein especially tyrosine is required. Likewise various other nutrients are required to reduce the levels of the stress chemicals (cortisol and adrenaline) that activate fight and flight response in the body.
Nutrients which includes vitamin C, vitamin B, tryptophan, threonine, magnesium, phenylalanine all have roles to play in helping individuals reduce stress levels and they could be found in grains, pulses, legumes and vegetables.

CONCLUSION
Stress management is different for everyone. It’s important to seek a therapist and medical care if your stress levels are extreme. For IBS patients, a change of lifestyle would suffice to manage symptoms.

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COPPER WATER: PURPOTED BENEFITS AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Everyday, there is new research coming up about what we consume, how we consume them and even when to consume them. Recently I stumbled on a research that seemed interesting and I just couldn’t hold back but share with you all. 

“Copper water” is an emerging trend that promotes the practice of storing drinking water in a copper container or copper water bottle.

While you and I (yes, i just heard of it) may have just recently heard about this trend, it’s widely supported by Ayurveda, an Indian system of holistic medicine with ancient origins.

It’s okay to wonder if this practice is just mere bants and fad or if it has benefits at all. 

This article reviews the purported benefits and downsides of drinking copper water.

Copper water isn’t a beverage or bottled carbonated drink (the one that will do kpissh if you open it) you’ll find in the nearest supermarket or health store. Rather, you have to make it by storing drinking water in a copper container.

Copper (Cu) is a trace element, meaning that you only need minimal amounts of it.

Cu plays a role in multiple essential body functions, such as the production of energy, connective tissues, and your brain’s chemical messaging system. It’s widely found in foods like shellfish, nuts, seeds, potatoes, whole grain products, dark chocolate, and organ meat 

“Proponents of this practice state that storing water in copper containers allows the metal to infuse into the water, thus conferring benefits to the drinker”.

 

CLAIMED BENEFITS

So many  claims to support the practice include the fact  that copper water offers multiple benefits, including better heart and brain health, a “boost” in the immune system, and even weight loss, anti-aging, and tanning effects.

However, it’s unlikely that copper water provides these health effects.

“Instead, these benefits may merely reflect copper’s roles and functions in your body, given that it’s involved in energy production, pigmentation, the development of brain and heart tissue, immune system function, and angiogenesis — the formation of new blood vessels”.

ANTIBACTERIAL EFFECTS

One of copper’s benefits appears to be backed by science — its antibacterial effect.

Both old and recent evidence suggests that copper may be used as a water purification or sterilization system, as ancient Ayurveda techniques recommended 

This may be especially beneficial for those  who don’t have access to safe drinking water 

Contaminated water can contain considerable amounts of bacteria, including Vibrio cholerae, Shigella flexneri, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhimurium, that can cause diarrhea — one of the leading causes of death in developing countries.

Simply storing water in a copper pot or vessel may kill these harmful bacteria; i guess that’s  a good one right?

The term “contact killing” is used to describe copper’s antibacterial effect. The term explains how copper causes an aggressive and extensive damage on the cell wall of the bacteria.

Still, studies agree that water should be stored in the copper container for several hours  (about 16-48 hours) before drinking it to ensure that the antibacterial effect has been successful.

POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS 

Long-term exposure to high doses of copper may cause copper toxicity, which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It may even lead to liver damage and kidney disease 

One way you may develop copper toxicity is by consuming stagnant water that flows through copper-containing pipes, which allow for high quantities of copper to leach into the water .

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no more than 0.47 mg of copper per cup (2 mg per liter) of water, so that the tolerable upper intake of 10mg/day is not exceeded. 

The bottom line

Copper water is simply water that has been stored in a copper container. This allows for safe amounts of copper to leach into the water.

Almost 85% of this  practice’s purported benefits aren’t backed by scientific studies. The only clear cut fact is that it could exert an antibacterial effect that may kill diarrhea-causing bacteria in contaminated water.

However, research suggests that for the leached copper to kill bacteria, the water must be stored in a copper vessel at least overnight or up to 48 hours.

Heavy metals leaching into water would lead to toxicity which would in turn have an adverse effect on your health. Unless there is a strong scientific backing, just drink your water in whatever vessel you’ve been drinking it please.

 

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Diet Therapy of DiseasesUncategorized

GASTROPARESIS

GASTROPARESIS

As a saying goes thus : “ to eat is human, to digest is divine; a number of people find it difficult to utilize their digestive tracts after enjoying a sumptuous meal. Really, it’s saddening to be afraid to eat that very delicious meal because you know you would probably be bloated or even constipated. So, what to do? 

Let’s take a look at this exciting digestive disorder called gastroparesis, shall we?

Gastroparesis (abbreviated as GP) represents a clinical syndrome characterized by sluggish emptying of solid food (and more rarely, liquid nutrients) from the stomach, which causes persistent digestive symptoms especially nausea and primarily affects young to middle-aged women, but is also known to affect younger children and males.

It’s thought to be the result of a problem with the nerves (vagus) and muscles that control how the stomach empties.

Sadly, If these nerves are damaged, the muscles of your stomach might become dysfunctional and the motility of food can slow down.

“While delayed emptying of the stomach is the clinical feature of gastroparesis, the relationship between the degree of delay in emptying and the intensity of digestive symptoms does not always match”. For instance, some diabetics may exhibit pronounced gastric stasis yet suffer very little from the classical gastroparetic symptoms of: nausea, vomiting, reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, fullness, and loss of appetite. “Rather, erratic blood-glucose control and life-threatening hypoglycemic episodes may be the only indication of diabetic gastroparesis. In another subset of patients (diabetic and non-diabetic) who suffer from disabling nausea that is to the degree that their ability to eat, sleep or carry out activities of daily living is disrupted gastric emptying may be normal, near normal, or intermittently delayed”. In such cases, a gastric neuro-electrical dysfunction, or gastric dysrhythmia (commonly found associated with gastroparesis syndrome), may be at fault.

 

DIABETES AND GASTROPARESIS 

Over time, diabetes can affect many parts of your body (especially nerves). One of those is the vagus nerve, which controls how quickly your stomach empties. “When it’s damaged, your digestion slows down and food stays in your body longer than it should”.

Although it’s more common in people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 can also get it.

 

From a study carried out by Phillips LK et al., 2015 : 

Glucose and gastric emptying: bidirectional relationship. The rate of gastric emptying is a critical determinant of postprandial glycemia. Glucose entry into the small intestine induces a feedback loop via CCK, peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which are secreted from the intestine in response to nutrient exposure. GLP-1 and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) induce the release of insulin, and GLP-1 inhibits glucagon secretion, which attenuates postprandial glycemic excursions. Amylin, which is co-secreted with insulin, also slows gastric emptying. At the same time, the blood glucose concentration modulates gastric emptying, such that acute elevations of blood glucose levels slow gastric emptying (effects are evident even within the physiological range) and emptying is accelerated during hypoglycemia.

 

DIAGNOSIS 

Diagnosis of gastroparesis begins with a doctor asking about symptoms and past medical and health experiences (history), and then performing a physical exam. Any medications that are being taken need to be disclosed.

Tests will likely be performed as part of the examination. These help to identify or rule out other conditions that might be causing symptoms. Tests also check for anything that may be blocking or obstructing stomach emptying. Examples of these tests include:

  • a blood test,
  • an upper endoscopy, which uses a flexible scope to look into the stomach,
  • an upper GI series that looks at the stomach on an x-ray, or
  • an ultrasound, which uses sound waves that create images to look for disease in the pancreas or gallbladder that may be causing symptoms.

 

SYMPTOMS 

The digestive symptom profile of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, reflux, bloating, early satiety, and anorexia can vary in patients both in combination and severity.

Others may include weight loss/weight gain, constipation and/or diarrhea, wide glycemic fluctuations in diabetics, belching and bloating-again, developing soon after meal ingestion and lasting for hours-along with visible abdominal distention. The distention and bloating may push up against the diaphragm making breathing uncomfortable.

“A poorly emptying stomach additionally predisposes patients to regurgitation of solid food, as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)”. The reflux may range from mild through to severe. GERD complications can create esophageal spasm (also called non-cardiac chest pain) and can add to the burden of chronic pain. In severe cases, reflux aspiration pneumonitis compounds the clinical picture.

 

CAUSES

Reports from one tertiary referral center found that out of their 146 patients with gastroparesis: 36% were idiopathic (unknown causes), 29% were diabetic, 13% were post-surgical, 7.5% had Parkinson’s disease and 4.8% had collagen diseases. Any disease of metabolic, neurological (psychiatric, brainstem, autonomic including sympathetic and parasympathetic or enteric), or connective tissue (autoimmune) origin has the potential to disrupt gastric neural circuitry.

Apparently, diabetes is the most common known cause of gastroparesis. It can damage nerves — including the vagus nerve, which regulates your digestive system — and certain cells in your stomach.

Other causes of gastroparesis include:

Related Disorders

A stomach motor disturbance known as “dumping syndrome” whereby food or liquids empty too quickly from the stomach can present with similar symptoms as are found in gastroparesis. Other disorders that may clinically present as gastroparesis (gastritis, gastric ulcers, pyloric stenosis, celiac disease, and GI obstructions) need to be ruled out.

 

TREATMENT 

You may find these tips helpful:

  • instead of 3 meals a day, try smaller, more frequent meals – this means there’s less food in your stomach and it will be easier to pass through your system
  • try soft and liquid foods, or even semi solid foods which are easier to digest. In severe cases, broths might be advisable. 
  • Masticate well before swallowing ( i tried to check how long it’ll take to carefully grind a spoon of rice and i got 21seconds; you should try eating slowly. winks).
  • drink non-fizzy liquids with each meal

It may also help to avoid certain foods that are hard to digest, such as apples with their skin on or high-fibre foods like oranges and broccoli, plus foods that are high in fat, which can also slow down digestion.

 

MEDICATIONS 

Use of drugs like domperidone, erythromycin, anti-emetics. Also note that these drugs might have side effects so it’s important to discuss with your doctor before using them. 

Domperidone should only be taken at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time because of the small risk of potentially serious heart-related side effects.

Other options like electric stimulation, botulinum toxin injections, a feeding tube, surgery

 

FOOTNOTE FOR DIABETICS

The nerves to the stomach can be damaged by high levels of blood glucose, so it’s important to keep your blood glucose levels under control if you have diabetes.

Your doctor alongside a dietitian can advise you about any changes you may need to make to your diet or medicine. For example, if you’re taking insulin, you may need to divide your dose before and after meals and inject insulin into areas where absorption is typically slower, such as into your thigh.

 

SOURCES: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gastroparesis/

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/gastroparesis/

https://aboutgastroparesis.org/signs-symptoms.html/diagnosis-tests.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6028327/

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-1-diabetes-guide/diabetes-and-gastroparesis#1

 

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Uncategorized

BEST WAYS TO GET NUTRIENTS

As you prepare, bite, chew, cut, slice, pound, pulverize, smash, purée, blend masticate and digest, you create a series of mechanical and chemical changes that affect: A food’s nutritional value/content (i.e. the nutrients it contains) and each nutrient’s “bioavailability” (i.e. the degree to which it can be absorbed by your body).

This means:

Some nutrients are indeed best available when the foods containing them are eaten raw, while other nutrients are best available when the foods containing them are cooked, or broken down by cutting or crushing, and/or eaten alongside other foods (the unbeatable bread and beans, Akara and pap)

Here are the 10 best ways to get the most nutrition from your food.

1. Choose locally grown foods.

“Eating locally grown and “straight from the earth” maximizes the vitamins and minerals (and deliciousness) you get from your produce.

Plucking them from the soil (or vine, or bush, or tree) means separating them from their nutrient source”. The longer they’re separated, the more nutritional value they lose.

Research has shown that freshly picked fruit or vegetables lose about 15-60% of most of their vitamins and minerals if not consumed after 72 hours.

Fresh is the main deal, it beats GMO foods any day as it retains all nutrients from the soil.

2. Soak, chop, crush, blend.

“These basics of food preparation can make vitamins, minerals, and other compounds (phytochemicals) more available in a few ways:

Cutting up fruits and vegetables generally frees up the nutrients by breaking down rigid plant cell walls.

Crushing and chopping onion and garlic releases alliinase, an enzyme in these foods that helps form a nutrient called allicin. Allicin, when eaten, helps form other compounds that may protect us against disease, fight against inflammation and offer antioxidant properties.

Soaking grains and beans reduces phytic acid, which might — in part — block your absorption of iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.

Phytic acid is known as a food inhibitor which chelates micronutrient and prevents it to be bioavailable for monogastric animals, including humans, because they lack enzyme phytase in their digestive tract.

If you’ve already been doing these things, great. Now you know why they work.

3. Store fruits and vegetables the right way.

When thinking about storage, balance two things:

Make it easy to eat your plants: Keep fruits and vegetables where you’re most likely to access them.

Slow down nutrient loss: Heat, light, and oxygen degrade nutrients.

That’s the reason why you should store all vegetables (except those of the root variety) in the refrigerator until you need them.

  • All Fruits except berries — this includes tomatoes and avocados — at room temperature away from direct light.
  • All cut fruits and vegetables with a squeeze of lemon juice on them and in an airtight container. (Cut food products rapidly oxidizes and vitamin C, an antioxidant, slows decay). 
  • All herbs — with their amazing phytonutrients — chopped up and frozen in an ice cube tray with water. 

4. Eat most sources of water-soluble and heat-sensitive nutrients raw.

Heat breaks down vitamin B1, vitamin B5, folate, and vitamin C (heat labile), so you get more of these when you eat certain foods raw.

So, foods like: sunflower seeds, peas, beet greens, and Brussels sprouts (sources of vitamin B1), broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and avocado (sources of vitamin B5), spinach, turnip greens, broccoli (sources of folate), and bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts (sources of vitamin C) are generally best eaten raw to maximize absorption of these water-soluble nutrients.

For example, raw spinach contains 3 times more vitamin C than cooked spinach.

You lose water-soluble B-vitamins and vitamin C when you boil them. So, if you’d like to cook these mentioned foods, cook them at low temperature without exposing them to too much water. 

Best cooking methods to adopt includes:

blanching;

steaming;

sautéeing;

roasting; and/or

microwaving.

5. Know which foods are best when cooked.

“There’s actually a wide range of nutrient loss from cooking — anywhere from 15 to 55 percent. In most cases, you lose the most nutrients by boiling in water”.

But some foods actually deliver the most nutrients when cooked.

For example, cooking: 

  • significantly increases bioavailability of lycopene, found in tomatoes. Research shows that lycopene increases by 25 percent when tomatoes are boiled for 30 minutes. significantly increases the bioavailability of beta carotene, found in red/orange/yellow plants like tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato, and spinach. 
  • Cooking helps here by breaking down the plants’ cell walls. Cooking could also denature protein in eggs and meat, making them much more digestible.
  • makes iron and other minerals more available for absorption by decreasing oxalates, an acid that makes the minerals inaccessible by binding to them.
  • reduces certain harmful food components, such as cyanide (found in tubers) and possible anti-nutrients (found in grains and beans), making way for all the good stuff those foods have to offer.

Pro tip: If you do end up boiling veggies, keep the liquid for something like soup stock. This way you can eat those nutrients later and they’re not really “lost”.

Boiled potatoes are beneficial than French fries literally because fried foods are termed empty calories (they are more energy dense than nutrient dense).

6.Pair food strategically to maximize nutrient absorption.

“Many world cuisines put particular foods together. (Think of greens with lemon and olive oil in Italian cooking, or the complex spice blends in Caribbean, African, or South Asian cooking.)

Combining the right foods together doesn’t just taste awesome, it also helps you absorb all nutrients in the foods you eat at the right amounts.

Lets see some examples .

PAIR FAT WITH FAT:

Eat foods that contain the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K with dietary fats, which help dissolve the vitamins and ready them for absorption.

Therefore, foods like:

sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash (vitamin A),

eggs and mushrooms (vitamin D),

spinach, Swiss chard, and asparagus (vitamin E), and

kale, spinach, and broccoli (vitamin K), all go better with small-sized portions of healthy fats like:

Mixed nuts, avocado,olive oil,coconut oil; and/or butter.

It’s good to note that foods like salmon (which contains vitamin D), egg yolk and liver (vitamin A) and sunflower seeds (vitamin E) take care of themselves, since they’ve got their own healthy fat.

PAIR IRON WITH VITAMIN C:

Iron from non-animal protein  sources is known as nonheme iron. Non-Heme iron is not as well absorbed as heme iron, which is found in animal foods (such as red meat or dark poultry). To absorb the nonheme iron from our plant sources and utilize them we pair them with foods rich in vitamin C.

This works in two ways:

Vitamin C can help the plant food “let go of” the mineral.

Vitamin C can block other dietary compounds that can inhibit absorption.

Therefore foods like:

spinach, kale,soybeans, and lentils all go better with:

a squeeze of lemon juice,

orange slices,

strawberries, or

chili peppers.

Try this: Spinach salad with orange slices, strawberries, and a lemon juice vinaigrette. Or braised kale with chilis and a squeeze of lemon.

PAIR IRON AND ZINC WITH SULFUR:

Also, foods rich in iron and zinc are usually best eaten with foods rich in sulfur. Sulfur binds to these minerals and helps you absorb them better.

Therefore foods like:

liver, beef, and turkey (rich in iron)

oysters, beef, and turkey (rich in zinc)

all go better with garlic, onion, and egg yolks.

PROTEIN COMPLEMENTATION ESPECIALLY FOR VEGETARIANS 

This way is the most effective way to get all 9 essential amino acid into a vegetarian diet. 

  • Foods like beans and vegetables that are limited in methionine should be complemented with grains, nuts and seeds
  • Grains, nuts,seeds and corn are limited in tryptophan,lysine and threonine should be complemented with legumes.

By this, every meal is a win-win.

7. Keep it simple.

Keep it simple and sane.

It’s still better to eat broccoli any way you can get it than to not eat it 

because it’s not “perfect”. As Brian “Voice of Reason” St. Pierre likes to say:

It’s also important to factor in things like the quantity. 

Sometimes the cooked and raw versions of a food are equally nutritious, just in different ways. For example, raw spinach might have more iron, but it also has more of the chemicals that block your absorption of iron.

Rule of thumb: 

Water soluble vitamins (vitamins B and C) lose the most nutrients when cooked.

Fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K) lose the fewest nutrients when cooked.

“Just eat some darn vegetables already”.

8. Don’t discount frozen foods.

Does frozen broccoli have the same nutritional value as the stuff you just picked from the earth and ate raw? Maybe not. But how often do you eat raw, straight from the earth?

Research shows that processing can decrease a food’s vitamin C content by 10-90 percent. But the reality is that frozen or canned fruits and veggies come in handy when you’re busy. And a little vitamin C is better than none.

Remember, too that fiber isn’t affected much by freezing or canning. So eat your veggies … however you can get them.

9. You can still be flexible with animal source (flexitarian).

Many animal-based sources of vitamins and minerals are more bioavailable than plant-based sources (which may bind up vitamins and minerals chemically, or require a lot of steps to be converted to what our bodies prefer). For instance, as we’ve noted, the iron you get from meat is more available for absorption than the iron you get from plants:

Heme iron, found in animal protein, is encased in hemoglobin molecules, which protect the nutrient from getting degraded by other nutrients and minerals in your GI tract. That means you’re absorbing the iron intact via gut cells that are specifically designed to take up the nutrient.

Nonheme iron, from vegetable sources like spinach, starts to change the minute it comes into contact with other stuff in your intestines, meaning you can only absorb a small fraction of it.

The same is true of many other vitamins and minerals, such as calcium or vitamin A.

If you’re an exclusively plant-based eater, you might want to be flexible a little bit and add a bit of animal source to your diet from time to time.

10. Monitor your tolerance.

Nutrients don’t do you much good if there is an undetected food intolerance that keeps you from absorbing them (IBS especially or lactose intolerance).

Unfortunately, not everyone tolerates raw foods very well even if they’re technically “better for you” sometimes.

If you have GI symptoms such as gas, bloating, or problems with your stool, consider an elimination and re-introduction diet to figure out what you’re not tolerating, and see a dietitian (nutrient deficiencies are more common than you might think).

Once you eliminate and re introduce  the foods that affect you the most, you can better optimize your nutrient intake and lead a healthy life while enjoying every meal.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Each meal should be enjoyed because of the variety involved in an adequate diet. This helps to gain every nutrient there is and make you healthier on the long run. When foods are combined accurately, there won’t be any need to run to supplements at all unless in very critical cases or in  the case of prescription.

Always make sure you speak to a dietitian before making any nutritional decision . 

 

SOURCE: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/10-ways-to-get-the-most-nutrients

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Uncategorized

DAIRY: POISON OR POTION?

In a society and age where everyone has become a nutrition guru, it’s best to always look out for and rely on strong science based articles which debunk so many pseudoscience on the internet. 

IS DAIRY REALLY THE VILLAIN? 

In a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Walter Willet and some other colleagues stated thus : “A central rationale for high lifelong milk consumption has been to meet calcium requirements for bone health. Paradoxically, countries with the highest intakes of milk and calcium tend to have the highest rates of hip fractures”

Really, this is a ‘fallacious argument’- very deceptive arguments that seem convincing but lack scientific rigor. Possible truths may be found in the paper, but is there an identification of limitations? Research is not carried out based on personal bias but on neutral grounds right?

Let’s look at some potholes in this paper shall we? 

SHAKY EVIDENCE 

The paper clearly starts out by stating that there has not been any health benefits related with the HIGH intake of milk products. Well, i would like to ask this: What’s your explanation of high intake? 1 litre of milk? A  bucket of milk? Per sitting? Per month? Just state it.

We can’t deny the fact that before this new age of funny health shaky-umentaries,  there has been so much research to prove that consumption of milk and its product are beneficial to health. 

The paper even goes along to suggest that consumption of milk is related to the incidence of bone fracture through correlative data. Are you kidding me now? So many meta-analyses confirm that foods high in calcium, protein and vitamin D (especially dairy) are preventative for good bone health.

 There are obviously other sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D that are healthy and beneficial, but demonising  a particular food group just to push the vegan agenda doesn’t alright. 

Before stating the correlation of a data, so many things like vitamin D status, genetics, longevity, exercise, environmental factors, or overall diet quality should be considered – because a lot more goes into building strong bones than simply calcium.

“Aside from bone fracture risk, the authors also look at how dairy consumption links to cardiovascular disease. They state that milk is beneficial to the heart when being used as a substitute for sugary beverages (like pop or juice) and then state that milk isn’t beneficial if it replaces whole fruit, nuts, and legumes in the diet” My question is – Why do you think milk is replacing those other foods? What do you term an adequate diet?

Isn’t it one that has all food groups in right proportions and quantities?

IS THERE A ROOM FOR DAIRY INTOLERANCE?

Dairy has never posed any health problems as claimed by everyone on the internet, but really, there are some individuals that won’t be able to tolerate dairy products.

Many people are lactose intolerant (carbohydrates found in dairy) and have serious digestive problems when they consume dairy products. So it’s best they eliminate dairy products from their diets so they won’t have complications.

Some folks are also allergic to cows milk which could lead to hives, skin rash and anaphylaxis. But hey, these people are not the ALL people yes?

Dr Willet also stated that 67% of children with diagnosed intolerance to cow’s milk had reduced symptoms immediately they were switched to an alternative- soy milk (plant based). OH YES! They sure will since they were given an alternative to cow’s milk which don’t contain lactose. But really, the agenda was to kick against the consumption of cow’s milk.

If you feel better and don’t get digestive problems when you eliminate milk from your diet, no problems. But doing it out of fear? We dietitians won’t support that.

MILK AND MUCUS PRODUCTION 

The texture of any fluid determines the texture and amount of mucus produced after consumption of said fluid. 

Mucus is produced by cells within the nose, sinuses and lungs.  It consists of water, salt and various proteins that help trap germs and particles of dirt.

“There is a belief among some members of the public that the consumption of milk and dairy products increases the production of mucus in the respiratory system. Therefore, some who believe in this effect renounce drinking milk. According to Australian studies, subjects perceived some parameters of mucus production to change after consumption of milk and soy-based beverages, but these effects were not specific to cows’ milk because the soy-based milk drink with similar sensory characteristics produced the same changes. In individuals inoculated with the common cold virus, milk intake was not associated with increased nasal secretions, symptoms of cough, nose symptoms or congestion. Nevertheless, individuals who believe in the mucus and milk theory report more respiratory symptoms after drinking milk. In some types of alternative medicine, people with bronchial asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease of the lower respiratory tract, are advised not to eat so-called mucus-forming foods, especially all kinds of dairy products. According to different investigations the consumption of milk does not seem to exacerbate the symptoms of asthma and a relationship between milk consumption and the occurrence of asthma cannot be established. However, there are a few cases documented in which people with a cow’s milk allergy presented with asthma-like symptoms”. 

That being stated, lets focus on the benefits of dairy products 

BENEFITS OF DAIRY PRODUCTS 

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese, are good sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein which helps maintain bone density and reduces the risk of fractures. Adults up to age 50 need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. Women older than 50 and men older than 70 need 1,200 mg. (For comparison, a cup of milk has 250 mg to 350 mg of calcium, depending on the brand and whether it’s whole, low-fat, or nonfat. A typical serving of yogurt (plain) has about 187 mg of calcium.) Milk is also fortified with vitamin D, which bones need to maintain bone mass.

WHICH DAIRY IS PREFERRABLE?

The American Heart Association still recommends adults stick to fat-free or low-fat dairy products. But new research suggests full-fat dairy might not be much of a threat to heart health. A report presented at the 2018 Congress of the European Society of Cardiology looked at 20 studies involving almost 25,000 people, and found no association between the consumption of most dairy products and cardiovascular disease.

Some science has even suggested that the right kind of dairy may prevent heart disease. A study involving 2,000 men published by the British Journal of Nutrition found that those who ate plenty of fermented dairy products like yogurt and cheese had a smaller risk of coronary artery disease than men who ate less of these products. This supports earlier studies that showed that fermented dairy products have more healthful effects on blood lipid profiles and the risk of heart disease than other dairy products.

 

BOTTOM LINE 

On the issues of overall health benefits, dairy products {especially milk) are neither poison or potion. The right quantity added to your daily diet is important in benefiting from vital nutrients for every day activities and function. 

 An adequate diet cannot be over emphasized; elimination or demonising food groups won’t solve any problems.

 

SOURCES: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dairy-health-food-or-health-risk-2019012515849

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1903547

https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-other-adverse-reactions/milk-mucus-and-cough

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373954

https://ignitenutrition.ca/blog/is-dairy-deadly/?utm_campaign=meetedgar&utm_medium=social&utm_source=meetedgar.com

 

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