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Nutrition

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MENTAL HEALTH AND YOUR DIET

A lot of people question the connection between mental health and diet. The truth is that your brain (the powerhouse of the mind) and your lifestyle, diet inclusive, are inseparable! From the brain nutrients Vit B6, B12, Glucose, cholesterol and phytochemicals to the hormone cortisol, one cannot deny the connection between these two crucial sectors of human life. One study published in The British Medical Journal in 2014 found that “high levels of well being were reported by individuals who ate more fruit and vegetables”. Another recent study done by Parletta et al. (2017) found that “A Mediterranean-style diet (a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.) supplemented with fish oil led to a reduction in depression among participants, which was sustained six months after the intervention”. Now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag, let’s delve right in!

Feed your brain:


Just like every machine, the brain must be fueled with food which provides it with essential nutrients that help it function optimally. Such foods comprise of plant based foods, healthy fats (mostly Poly and mono unsaturated fats from fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, chicken, etc) and cutting back on solid fats such as lard and butter. While saturated fats slow down cognitive function, plant nutrients support memory retention and help to keep your blood pressure low as hypertension affects your brain and heart. The star plants include beans, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, moderate red wine, legumes and poultry, among others. Basically, foods healthy for your heart would be great for your brain!

Slow down on the Alcohol:


Drinking too much does not only impair judgement and reaction short term, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also reports brain shrinkage with long term alcohol abuse. Also because typical heavy drinkers have poor diets, brain healthy nutrients such as B-Vitamins (B12, B6, Thiamin and Niacin) are often deficient in alcohol abusers! Consume in moderation. The recommended daily allowance is no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women!

Load up on Omega 3s:


Your brain needs omega-3 fatty acids to function but your body can’t produce them, hence they must be gotten from the diet. Two 2017 brain studies from the University of Illinois suggests that eating omega 3 FAs may improve memory retention and strengthen the structures responsible for fluid intelligence (responsible for solving new problems). Also, researchers at Harvard University discovered that Omega-3 FAs May interfere with the brain signals that trigger the characteristic mood swings seen in Bipolar Disorder. These studies indicate that there are possibilities that O3FAs could be used to manage and treat psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.
As a plus, Omega 3s significantly decrease triglyceride levels, blood pressure and reduces blood levels of homocysteine which are associated with an increased risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease among other brain problems.Foods rich in Omega 3 FAs include soybean, canola oils, cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines, certified soy products, Nuts especially walnuts and legumes. You need more than one type of Omega 3 FAs, so it would be beneficial to eat a variety of these foods when you can.

 

Fight Free Radicals with Antioxidants:


Your body produces unstable atoms, called free radicals in reaction to stress, trauma, pollution, processed foods and drugs etc. Although these unstable atoms have immune functions, too much of them can damage and and destroy normal healthy cells. Free radicals are responsible for many neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. To keep these in check, you’d need to keep them in check with antioxidants found in many vitamins and minerals naturally occurring in vegetables and fruits and many natural foods. Also, take steps to reduce environmental pollution from solvents, tobacco smoke, pesticides and exhaust fumes.
Some examples of Antioxidants include:
Vitamin E: Vitamin E has been shown to prevent free radicals damage and delay memory deficits in animal studies. In a two year study of people with Alzheimer’s, large doses of Vitamin E slowed progression of the disease. It has not been shown, however, that large doses of the vitamin can prevent Alzheimer’s in healthy people. Foods rich in Vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, wheat germ oil, peanut butter and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin A: This is another great antioxidant vitamin! Asides from helping to protect the brain from harmful free radicals, it also benefits the circulatory system and is essential for memory and learning. Foods rich in vitamin A include beef liver, fish oil and fortified foods. Others ate carrots, kale, spinach, apricots, cantaloupe, broccoli and winter squash.

Have a Cup of Coffee:


Coffee has taken a beaten over the years and for good reason too, owing to one word: Overindulgence.
It has been proven that coffee reduced the production of the neurotransmitter adenosine by binding to its receptors. Adenosine being a chemical that causes feeling of tiredness, is crucial at bedtime, but otherwise is just a nuisance. This is why a cup of coffee increases alertness and focus!
Coffee also keeps your brain from reabsorbing dopamine, the body’s feel good neurotransmitter, thereby keeping you happy for longer.
However, just like every good thing, there is a limit. Once you start going over 400 mg of caffeine in a day (about 4 cups), the downside starts to outweigh the upside. Effects include migraines, insomnia, restlessness and increased ruination (caffeine is a diuretic). Also, on an empty stomach it can cause heartburn.
So the cup of coffee in the morning is great for you but be careful not to overdo it.

Sip some green tea:


Green tea contains an amino acid called the anime which aids in increasing concentration and attention while reducing fatigue and stress. It also contains antioxidants and nutrients that are directly connected to increased cognition and brain performance. Green tea is a great source of polyphenols which improve memory and learning as well.

Carotenoid it up:


Your brain love loves carotenoids. Asides being a great antioxidant, are a precursor for retinol which is wonderful for your eyes. A good source of these is carrots, another is tomatoes. Cooking makes carotenoids in tomatoes bioavailable, meaning your body can absorb it much quicker than in the raw tomatoes. Since carotenoids are fat soluble, a little olive oil in the sauce would help your body absorb more of these do-good chemicals. Do not skin your tomatoes, you’d take out much of the good stuff.

Pump up on Iron:


Iron has been found to help with cognitive functions. Children with iron deficiency tend to do worse in math, according to recent studies. Even minor levels of iron deficiency can negatively affect brain function. Iron is necessary for the production of myelin which is the insulating sheath around nerve cells, which help speed the rate at which cells convey impulses. Without appropriate myelination, the nervous system and the brain cannot function optimally. Great sources of iron include organ meats, dark chocolates, green vegetables, eggs, cereals and legumes.

Pile on the onions:


While onions are known to contain antioxidants that can remove free radicals, recent studies show that certain chemical compounds found in onions may protect the brain from stroke damage. They have polyphenols which are linked to improved cerebral blood flow and metabolism, and other flavonoids that helps protect the brain against toxins. Onions are also loaded with vitamin C, B6 and folate which help protect the brain.

Increase that Metabolism:


Everything the body does is dependent on your metabolism; from immune functions to digestion and cognition. According to a recent study by McGull University and University of Zurich researchers, metabolism in brain cells affect how information is signaled. Researchers concluded that this is why special diets can help some individuals with seizures control seizure episodes. Studies also show that maintaining a stable glucose concentration in the brain is healthier for the brain than having spikes, too high or too low levels.
To fast track your metabolism with diet and lifestyle,
1. Start off your day with breakfast to kickstart your metabolism;
2. Graze with small meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain stable metabolism and prevent spikes and valleys in blood glucose levels;
3. Eat enough, but not too much as both extremes damage your metabolism;
4. Sip a cup of coffee to help boost metabolism and
5. Engage in as much physical activity as you can.

Fiber:Asides from keeping you regular, Scientists in Great Britain found that for every 7 grams of fiber eaten per day, your risk of stroke goes down 7%!! So chow down on those fruits and vegetables, stack up on high residue cereals and grains and don’t forget to include soluble fibers from avocados, bananas, legumes and oatmeal.

Pack On the Protein:


Protein supplies the amino acids your brain needs to product neurotransmitters and feel good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and endorphins.
However, just like carbohydrates and fat, excess energy from proteins are stored as adiposity and is not very healthy, so go easy on them. Also, choose healthy protein sources such as lean meats as most animal protein sources are high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Be wary of fried meats and choose grilled, boiled and poached options. Great sources include eggs and other poultry, lean beef, legumes and grains.

Other Brain Essential Nutrients:
Vitamin B1: Asides being a potent antioxidant and functioning as a cofactor for carbohydrate metabolism, a serious deficiency in B1 can result in dementia, confusion and memory loss! Deficiency of this vitamin is prevalent among alcohol abusers. B1 is found in yeast, meat, nuts, beans and cereals.

Folic Acid: Folic Acid (Vit B9) helps your brain get the blood it needs by inhibiting the narrowing of arteries in the neck. More studies have surfaces, showing the correlation between folic acid supplementation and a reduced chance of certain age related neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia. Much like B12, folic acid deficiency may present with amnesia (forgetfulness). Folic acid is mostly found in fortified cereals, beans, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.

Vitamin B6: Just like other B-vitamins, B6 is great for cell function and energy metabolism. It is also great for circulation, which the brain needs for fuel. Vitamin B6, in conjunction with folate and B12 helps lower blood levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease. Great sources include rice, soybeans, whole grains, fish, chicken, carrots, beef, bananas and avocados.

Vitamin B12: An estimated 25% of people between ages 60 & 7O are deficient in B12, and so are nearly 40% of people eighty and older. B12 deficiency is easily mistaken for decline in mental function, including memory loss and reduction in reasoning skills, and may affect mood. B12 has shown great benefits in treatment of Alzheimer’s, dementia, sleep disorders and diabetic neuropathy. Sources include liver, salmon, cereals, yogurt and eggs.

Magnesium: Magnesium aids neuron metabolism and boosts the effectiveness of certain antioxidants. Higher magnesium intakes have also been linked to a lower risk of strokes. The best sources of magnesium include legumes, almonds, avocados, wheat bran, seafood, fruit, whole grains and green vegetables.

Vitamin C: Vit C is another powerful antioxidant. A daily dose of 1,000-2,000 mg (mostly from food) has been shown to keep the arteries healthy while an extra 500 mg may lower blood pressure. Sources include dark green leafy vegetables, kiwi, oranges, mango, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Be careful not to take too much as large amounts have been shown to cause diarrhea and kidney stones.

Phosphorus: phosphorus is vital to growth, maintainable and repair of all body tissues, including the brain. It also helps activate B a Iranians and is a component of the storage form of energy in the brain. Phosphorus is found in potatoes, wheat, fish, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Get that Exercise:
Did you know that exercising has been shown to help combat major depression? 😂 thank me later then.
Exercise releases endorphins, which are your body’s feel good chemicals that help your nerve cells send signals. They not only elevate your mood but also help protect you from feeling pain. Exercising is a great way of increasing blood concentrations of these wonderful chemicals.
Also, spicy foods which contain capsaicin (causing them burning sensation) can also prompt your brain to release endorphins.

Other great foods for your brain include oolong tea, quality dark chocolates, ginkgo, avocados, berries and wild oats!!

Get in the business of taking care of your mind and brain, theres only one of it!

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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 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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Diet Therapy of Diseases

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of the large intestine that causes abdominal pain, excess wind, diarrhoea, mucus in stool, constipation and irregular bowel habits to the individual. Well, the cause is really not know, but once you see these symptoms, then you might just have IBS. It could aslo be called ‘spastic colitis, mucuous colitis or nervous colon. IBS is chronic and long term, so you might just have to live with it and manage it for a long period of time😢😟.
FACTS ABOUT IBS
🍅 it wont lead to cancer.
🍆 Though it causes discomfort, it doesnt really lead to severe or serious complications.
🌽 reduced alcohol intake can help in managing IBS
🍍excluding foods that can cause gas e.g onions, cucumber e.t.c can help reduce symptoms
🍞 dietary and emotional factors play major roles in IBS😁.
🍒 No cure yet, but it can be managed effieciently.
Most times, signs and symptoms vary among individuals and they tend to resemble signs in other disease conditions. Examples are :
1. Polyuria (frequent urination)
2. Halitosis or bad breathe
3. Joint pains
4. Pain with sex for females or sexual dysfunction
5. Irregular menses.
CAUSES? 🤔🤔🤔
Eerrmm, it is not really know what could lead to this gastrointestinal discomfort, but some factors that could be implicared are:
🌽Diet.
🍆Environmental factors, such as stress.
🌷Genetic factors.
🍋Hormones.
🍅Digestive organs being excessively sensitive to pain.
🍌A malfunction in the muscles used to move food through the body.
🍞An inability of the central nervous system (CNS) to control the digestive system properly.
🍓Hormonal changes can make symptoms worse especially for women during their menstrual cycle.
🌰Infections, such as gastroenteritis, can trigger post-infectious IBS also, just to mention but a few.

MEDICATION:
The following medications are basically used for IBS symptoms:
🍉Antispasmodic medications reduce abdominal cramping and pain by relaxing the muscles in the gut.
🍋Antimotility medications for diarrhea include loperamide, which slows down the contractions of the intestinal muscles.
🥕Tricyclic antidepressant (TCAs) often help to reduce abdominal pain and cramping.
🍒Alosetron (Lotronex) for severe diarrhea-predominant IBS in women also works well.

DIET AND TREATMENT:
Following a low FODMAP diet would be a good dietary approach to managing IBS. FODMAP is an acronym that connotes : Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And polyols.
They include short chain oligo-saccharide polymers of fructose (fructans) and galactooligosaccharides (stachyose, raffinose), disaccharides (lactose), monosaccharides (fructose), and sugar alcohols (polyols), such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol. Examples of foods to avoid and foods to add to your diet are:

DIAGNOSIS:
Majorly, symptoms are used to diagnose the type of IBS present in an individual.
1.IBS-C : IBS with just constipation.
2.IBS- D: IBS with diarrhoea
3. IBS-A : IBS with alternating stool pattern.

RISK FACTORS:
The major factors to be considered are
1. Gender: it affects majorly women
2. Younger adults; people below ages 40, mostly from 20-30.
3. Environment
4. Family history: if a relative had IBS, you might be likely to have it too.
Be really mindful of your diet and stress levels to reduce episodes😁😊.

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General Research

WHITE SALT vs PINK SALT


Unarguably, salt is one important seasoning that you can almost not overlook during cooking. Meals will have appaling taste without them😣😣.
Salts are actually crystalline substances made of sodium (Na) and chlorine (cl). Sodium and chloride actually help the brain nerves send electric impulses.
Another important factor about salt is that its sodium helps in retaining fluid around interstitial tissues, and when its in excess, it causes an increase in blood pressure.
There are a number of salts which are:himalayan pink salt(pretty face😋), hosher salt, celtic salt e.t.c and all contains sodium in negligibly relative amounts.
Apparently, people tend to prefer the ‘pink himalayas’ salt to the normal white salt. Maybe because of the pretty colour?
Well, i would’nt know though😁, but lets take a journey together shall we?🏃‍♂️
Pink salt gets it colour from trace amounts of iron oxide (rust) because it is gotten from mines; it also contains a number of trace elements as calcium, berrylium, potassium e.t.c and contains 1700mg of sodiun per teaspoon in comparison to white salt which has 2300mg. Dont be too excited yet…
Lets analyse some things👉👉 the volume of salt that can fit into the measuring spoon determines the amount of crystals that will fit into your teaspoon. Pink salt tends to have smaller crystals than white table salt so it takes smaller volume per teaspoon and tends to have ‘reduced’ sodium content.
No matter the colour and finesse of the salt, the sodium content is still to be considered and the amount to be used per day should be considered too.
Basic facts about salt:
🥖 contains virtually no calories but excessive intake could lead to weight gain due to its ability to retain fluid.
🍓 iodized salt is the easiest way to get iodine which keeps you away from hyperthyroidism and goitre.
🥔In a day, you are to use just 2.3mg of salt which is approximately 1 teaspoon. For older adults, its reduced to 1.5mg per day.

Please kindly stop adding salt till your ancestral people whispers in your ears ‘ its okay now my child’ 🤧🤧.

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Diet Therapy of DiseasesGeneral Research

NUTRITION AND CANCER

DIETARY GUIDELINES

NUTRITION AND CANCER
Cancer is simply termed ‘growth of unhealthy tissues (malignant) which results from abnormal or uncontrolled cell division.
Cancer occurs in all parts of the human body and has the ability to spread across (metastasize) to another region in the body.
Carcinogens are possible factors that when exposed to, can cause or promote cancer. There are both environmental and dietary factors that could be carcinogenic in nature.
Exposure to certain factors like radiation, sunlight, toxic substances from creams , and smoking could lead to cancer.
DIETARY FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO OBESITY
1. Abuse of alcohol could lead to mouth, throat and liver cancer.🍺🍻
2. High intakes of smoke or salt preserved foods, refined flour or starch, and processed meat🍗 could lead to stomach cancer.
3. High intake of saturated fats, red meat, and supplemental iron with reduced intake of fibre could lead to colorectal cancer. 🍖
4. Folate deficiency and low intake of dark green leafy vegetables could lead to cervical cancer.
Fruits and vegetables don’t have the ability to cure cancer but adequate consumption of them could help prevent the development of cancer. For example, the cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli contain phytochemical that could be beneficial in defending against colon cancer.
Maintaining a healthy body weight could also help to reduce risks of cancer in both genders👬. Obese postmenopausal women are at the risk of developing breast cancer because fat tissues produces oestrogen and extended exposure of this oestrogen in obese postmenopausal women is linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REDUCING CANCER RISKS
1. Maintain a healthy body weight by eating small portions of foods, balancing energy intake with physical activities and choosing healthy fats
2. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
3. Choose lean meats, fish and poultry as alternatives to pork and processed meats as hot dogs and sausages.
4. If you must take alcohol, limit it to 2 drinks per day.
5. Choose whole grains like oats, whole wheat bread instead of pastries and breakfast cereals.

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Diet Therapy of Diseases

CAUSES OF GALLSTONES

The craze to lose weight now is really becoming a social menace and a means to distort money from people. Everyone seems to be a weight loss expert because they tried one funny way and it worked out well for them which might be risky to your health.
Lets take a little journey on gallstones shall we?

Gallstones are not stones per se 😁, but are pieces of solid materials that form in the gall bladder, a small organ located under the liver. This stones tend to block the bile duct supplying bile. Bile is produced by animals to help digest fats. You know that blackish green stuff? When it bursts in chicken, it spoils the taste? Thats bile. When there is lot of cholesterol in Bile, lots of calcium, it could lead to production of these gallstones which would need immediate treatment or surgery. Major problems that could lead to gallstones?
🍏Obesity: your body tends to produce more cholesterol when you are heavily endowed😁.
🍑Rapid weight loss: all of you doing ‘lose 20kg in 2weeks, while doing this, your livers are at high risk of producing extra cholesterol during that period.
🍹Too much intake of birth control pills which tend to boost production of cholesterol.
🌶 too much fasting: uncle/aunty intermittent fasting. During this period, your gall bladder doesnt squeeze effectively as they should. You are at risk too. Please be mindful of the junks you pick off the internet😁.

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Diet Therapy of DiseasesLifeStyle

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS

Beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder. The main crux will be what will be the yard stick to define something as beautiful and as the entire opposite. A big question I must say and it becomes me to answer. Kindly hit the brakes and allow me a soft landing by enjoying this piece. It is always an uphill task writing about sizes of humans because no one takes it likely when you touch their self esteem at wrong spots which may deflate their ego. We are all beautiful in our ways. The world is blessed with the short, tall, skinny, or plus size. No matter what dice life throws at you or what ever faculty you find yourself, remember you are your beautiful. As long as it does not in any way affect your health status then rock your style with a bounce under your feet. The BMI is (Dietitian define)… Talk about the balance of how your size must align with your height. If you fall into the class of unhealthy BMI ( >27kgm sq.), then it is advised you shed some weight. If you must do so, do it beautiful… Misconceptions about weight loss

1. DETOX TEA HELPS TO LOSE WEIGHT The whole idea of DETOX is actually very funny. The body has a well developed system that has its own built-in mechanism to detoxify and remove waste and toxins. The body’s main organs of detoxification are the kidney, skin, lungs and gut. Our body constantly filters out, breaks down and excretes toxins and wasted products like alcohol, medications, products of digestion, dead cells, chemicals from pollution and bacteria.

2. YOU CAN LOSE 5KG IN ONE WEEK: You didn’t gain that fat in one day, so it’s not healthy if you go so drastic in losing it. Ideally, you should lose 0.5kg -1kg per week. You can achieve this by a deficit of 3,500 kilocalories per week from your diet.

 

3. INTERMITTENT FASTING: When you fast, you tend to reduce rapidly due to the heavy restriction on intake of energy (calories). But this weight loss is largely water and glycogen (body’s carbohydrate stores), rather than fat. You tend to feel dizzy and fatigue during this fast, thereby leaving no energy for physical exercise.

4. KETOGENIC DIET: By doing this, you by pass the normal metabolic pathway thereby neglecting the body’s normal sources of energy (carbohydrates) and breaking down fats which leads to build up ketones (ketosis). Prolonged build up of this ketones leads to ketoacidosis which causes serious havoc for your internal organs. Ketogenesis is use on epileptic patients because they have more synaptic responses in their brains than normal humans. These responses are triggered by glucose, which is removed totally from the diet. The patient is closely monitored by a medical team.

5. Green tea would help you lose weight: 🤣😅. The major ingredients in most slimming tea is ‘senna’;a very strong laxative. Senna contains glycosides that stimulates digestive system. So how would you be stooling frequently and not lose weight? Healthy choice?🙄🙄.

There are lots more, but these aforementioned are more common in our society today.

*Your weight loss journey is not a death sentence, it rather should be enjoyed and should become a lifestyle.

*Weight loss regimes should not be rigid or full of restrictions.

*Take a new habit slowly, set goals for yourself.

* Get yourself a food diary and record your consumption and level of satiety per portion.

* Exercise is very important in weight loss regimens.

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Men’s HealthSports

CLEARING THE PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT MISCONCEPTION

protein supplements

As you may have heard, the body builds its muscle from amino acid (they are known as building blocks) . However, some athletes believe that when they consume protein supplement (such as casein or whey protein), their bodies build more muscles. This is untrue. Working those muscles is what builds them! Getting adequate protein for protein synthesis in the body is very important but taking too much of it does not make the muscles grow any bigger or faster. This is especially true when the muscles are not exercised adequately and regularly. As you might have heard, “use it or loose it, pal”.
Let me breakdown what happens when too much protein is being ingested.

sex and exercise
The body uses the surplus to replace normal daily loss from growth, healing and other anabolic activities. Any excess protein available is either stored as fat or excreted in the urine as either urinary nitrogen or creatinine. Available research has also revealed that an excessive intake of these protein supplements could stress the livers and kidneys (the organs responsible for protein synthesis).

protein supplements

However, we dietitians recommend getting required amino acids such as arginine and glutamine from your diet. Foods that are rich in these amino acids include milk, nuts, eggs, chicken, lean beef and pork and turkey. This would ensure that you consume them alongside other important nutrients.

Therefore a person can grow fat by eating too much protein and not muscles. Exercising your muscles make them bigger. Stop gulping protein supplements if you are not going to work those things!

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Diet Therapy of DiseasesWomen’s Health

CONSTIPATION IN EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFED KIDS

As a first time mother and a health practitioner, on being pregnant, I had already decided to exclusively breastfeed my baby for 6 months and continue thereafter with alongside complementary feeding because I was a nutritionist right? I had to ensure I practiced what I preached. Many experiences and drama trailed my journey to motherhood. My very first battle was with constipation.

Knowing that I was exclusively breastfeeding I became even more worried because there was little or nothing I could do to help my bundle of joy because she was to be on breast milk only for the next 6 months. Nope, maternal instinct kicked in and I knew I had to do something! Below is what I gathered from the experience.

constipation

What is Constipation?

Constipation could mean various things to different people. For some people, it means infrequent passage of stool (feces), to others; it means hard stools, difficulty in passing stool, or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in the United States, affecting around 42 million Americans and is not uncommon among infants.  Constipation is a common problem that affects both all ages irrespective of race.

Causes of Constipation        

Often when a child is constipating, there is infrequent bowel movement and most times the stool is hard, dry and painful to pass.

Causes of constipation in infants include:

  • Withholding stool: This happens when a child is trying to hold his bowel movement in, due to some reasons such as stress about potty training, or not wanting to use the rest rooms in certain places (like in school), or pains while stooling.
  • A low fiber diet.
  • Side effects of certain medications.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Understanding the signs of constipation can help you detect a potential issue before it becomes a big problem.

  • Infrequent bowel movements: The number of bowel movement of a child will reduce as to the normal frequency during constipation, sometimes during the period of trying new foods which the body seems to find different from the “usual”, sometimes may cause constipation
  • Blood in the stool: If you notice streaks of bright red blood in your child’s stool, it is likely a sign that the child is pushing too hard to have a bowel movement. Pushing and passing out a hard stool may cause tiny tears around the anal walls, which can result in blood in the stool.
  • Refusing to eat: Child may feel full quickly or refuse to eat while constipating.

What Can You Do?

If you notice signs of constipation, you can try several strategies to offer your baby relief. These strategies include:

A high-fiber diet: Your child’s plate should be teeming with fresh fruits and vegetables, high fiber cereals, whole grain breads and a variety of beans and other legumes can be very helpful. Foods containing probiotics like yogurt can also promote good digestive health. If your child does not like fresh fruits much, you could try pureeing/blending it or adding them to certain meals to encourage acceptance. Besides, adding fruits and vegetables to your child’s diet early in life helps build healthy eating habits later in life.

Switch up the milk: If your baby is breastfed, you can try adjusting YOUR diet. Baby may be sensitive to something you are eating, which could be causing the constipation, though this is uncommon. Bottle-fed babies may benefit from a different type of formula (which are rich in fiber), at least until the constipation clears. Sensitivity to certain ingredients can cause constipation.

Use solid foods: Although certain solid foods can cause constipation, but others could improve it. If you recently started feeding your baby solid foods, try adding a few high fiber alternatives, such as: broccoli, pears, prunes, peaches, skinless apple. Instead of refined cereals or puffed rice, offer cooked grains, such as barely or brown rice. Whole grain breads, crackers and bran cereals also add a lot of bulk to stool, which may help clear the constipation. Beans and other legumes provide soluble fiber which cause stool to move through the body faster.

Use pureed or mashed foods: if your baby is over 6 months and has not made the transition to solid foods yet, try some of the foods listed above in their pureed form. Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables have a lot of natural fiber that will add bulk to your child’s stool. Some are better than others at helping stimulate a bowel movement.

Up the fluids:  Proper hydration is essential for regular bowel movement. While focusing on fiber, don’t forget fluids. Water is great for keeping your baby hydrated. If your child is eating plenty of high fiber food but not getting enough fluid to help flush it through the digestive tract, it could make matters worse. There should liberal intake of water, soda and sugary drinks should be limited. Usually breastfed babies get enough fluid from the breast milk. However, infants from 7-12 months need about 0.8 L/day of fluid and children of ages 1-3 require 1.3L/day.

Encourage exercise: Movement speeds up digestion, which can help move things through the body more quickly. If your child is not walking yet, bicycles and play dates would be helpful.

Massage: Gentle stomach and lower-abdominal massage stimulate the bowel to pass a bowel movement. Do several massages throughout the day, until your child has a bowel movement.

Regular Toilet Time: Encourage your growing child to use the toilet first thing in the morning. Particularly for a younger child, you may get better results by telling, not asking. Instead of suggesting, “Do you need to go to the bathroom?” Simply say, “Time to go to the bathroom”.

Conclusion

Because breast milk is quite nutritious, sometimes a baby’s body absorbs almost all of it, leaving little or nothing to move through the digestive tract. Your baby may poop only once in a while—it is perfectly normal for breastfed infants to have a bowel movement once a week. Other infants just have a slower (but completely normal) gut, so they don’t go very often. But if your baby seems to be in pain, or you have any complain, call your doctor or dietitian. In rare cases, a medical problem could cause lasting, severe constipation. For kids that have progressed to eating solid foods very well, encourage them to consume more of high fiber foods and to take enough water.

 

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