Hey Banhishikha here, I am a Clinical Dietitian holding Master degree in Food Science and Nutrition Management and Post graduation diploma in Dietetics and Applied Nutrition. Focused on conducting detailed nutrition consultations and creating personalized meal plans to meet the needs of each client/ patient. I believe that food is the best medicine and a simple food with healthy choice of ingredients and smart home recipes is the core of healthy lifestyle. My hobby is to cook different cuisine by implementing nutritious items and also like to search about the Facts behind Myths. I am skilled at Meal planning, Health care, Diet Counseling, Weight management, Consulting, Disease Prevention Expert, Healthy cuisine, Recipe Development, Vegetarian as well as Non Vegetarian Health Expert, Health Promotion, Nutritional Screening, Nutritional Assessment and Dietary Supplements, and Evaluation of the nutritional status of patients by reviewing their medical reports and suggest diet plans.
Grilled Vegetable Curd Sandwich is a delicious sandwich recipe. This is an easy-to-make dish that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and snacks food, taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed food. Easily prepared at home, this snack can be served on occasions like kitty parties, buffet, potlucks and house parties. You can also pack this Fusion recipe for your kids’ tiffin and we are sure it will never fail to meet your expectations! Prepare this breakfast recipe and enjoy with your loved ones.
A sandwich is a food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced egg or meat, curd or peneer placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein bread serves as a container or wrapper for another food type. Sandwiches are one of the loved snacks all around the world!
Finely chopped cabbage – 1/4 cup
Grated carrot – 1/4 cup
Peas – 1/4 cup
30 g finely chopped capsicum
Finely chopped spring onions – 30 g
Lettuce – 2 leaves
Greek yogurt or hung curd – 1/2 cup
Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Herbs – as required
Bread slices (multigrain or gluten free) – 4
First rinse and finely chop the veggies in a food chopper or a food processor or with a knife.
Then add Greek yogurt or thick curd or hung curd with the vegetables.
Sprinkled black pepper, salt, dried oregano and red chili flakes as per the taste. If you want you can also add other dried herbs like thyme or basil or mixed herbs. You can also add chopped green chilies, instead of red chili flakes.
And give a proper mix to it.
Making Curd Sandwich
Take the bread slices.
Place the vegetable mix in between the two slices.
Grill the sandwiches till crisp and golden.
Serve curd sandwich hot or warm
Sandwiches can be served plain or with any dip or chutneys of your choice.
Do use thick curd, hung yogurt or Greek yogurt to make the filling.
Do note that all the veggies are raw except the steamed peas. If you want you can even blanch the cabbage leaves and then add into the mix.
Spicy Baked Pomfret Fish is an easy to make delicious recipe. Try it once, and enjoy the flavor of spicy fish….
Fish is packed with many essential nutrients that most people are lacking. this includes low fat- high biological value protein, omega -3- fatty acids, vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
Pompret – 1 (110 – 120 g)
Red chilli powder – 2.5 gm
Salt – 2.5 gm
Black pepper powder- 2.5 g
Lemon – ½
Red chilli flakes- 2.5 g
Garlic – 2 cloves (grated)
Tomato – 1 (50 g)
Olive oil – 5 ml
Wash and clean the Pomfret fish and place it on the plate.
Blanch the tomatoes, and kept it aside till it cools down.
Blend the tomato and make a Smooth puree out of it.
Let the puree come to boil.
Make the salt, black pepper powder, lemon juices rubbed well over the fish and it was kept aside for 10 minutes.
By that time mix red chilli powder, chilli flakes, grated garlic, tomato puree, salt in a bowl and spread over the fish.
Add few drops of Olive was used to spread over the Pomfret fish.
Rest the marinated the pomfret fish in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Bake the fish for 15 minutes at 1800
Garnish and serve it.
This recipe can be tried with varieties of fishes. Instead of baking, pan fried method can be used.
Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly called diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders and diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels over prolonged period. The symptoms of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include increased thirst, increased hunger, and frequent urination. Diabetes can cause many complications if not carefully treated and controlled.
The management of diabetes focuses on keeping blood sugar levels very close to normal, without causing a low blood sugar level. This can often be accomplished with dietary changes, weight loss, exercise, and use of appropriate medications (oral medications, insulin).
Those with diabetes can benefit from the education about the disease and its treatment, dietary changes required, and exercise, with the aim of keeping both the short-term and the long-term blood glucose levels within adequate and acceptable bounds. Additionally, given the associated higher risk of cardiovascular disease, modifications of lifestyle are recommended to control blood pressure, including healthy eating, regular exercise, and maintaining normal weight (BMI 18 to 25).
One serving in a category is called a “choice.” A food choice has about the same amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and calories — and the same effect on your blood glucose — as a serving of every other food in that same category. For example, the starch, fruits, and milk list include choices that are 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Why do people with diabetes need to develop a healthy eating plan?
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, your must see a dietitian, who can help you to develop a healthy eating plan. The diet plan will help you to control the blood sugar (glucose), weight Management, and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats or cholesterol. When you eat extra calories and fat, your body creates an undesirable rise in blood glucose. If blood glucose isn’t kept in check, it can lead to serious problems, such as a high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) that, if persistent, may lead to long-term complications, such as nerve, kidney, and heart damage. You can help keep your blood glucose level in a safe range by making healthy food choices and tracking your eating habits. For most people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss also can make it easier to control blood glucose and offers a host of other health benefits. If you need to lose weight, a diabetes diet provides a well-organized, nutritious way to reach your goal safely.
A diabetes diet is based on eating three meals a day at regular times. This helps you better use the insulin that your body produces or gets through medication. A registered dietitian can help you put together a diet based on your health goals, tastes, and lifestyle. He or she can also talk with you about how to improve your eating habits, such as choosing portion sizes that suit the needs for your size and activity level.
Recommended Diet for Diabetes
Make your calories count with these nutritious foods. Choose healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, fish, and “good” fats.
During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as:
Legumes, such as beans and peas
Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese
Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars, and sodium.
Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include:
Legumes, such as beans and peas
Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent heart disease. Avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, such as king mackerel.
Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol levels. These include:
Olive, and peanut oils
But don’t overdo it, as all fats are high in calories.
Foods to Diet
Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Foods containing the following can work against your goal of a heart-healthy diet.
Saturated fats. Avoid high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon. Also, limit coconut and palm kernel oils.
Trans fats. Avoid trans fats found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening, and stick margarine.
Cholesterol. Cholesterol sources include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
Sodium. Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Your doctor may suggest you aim for even less if you have high blood pressure.
Putting it all together: Creating a plan
You may use a few different approaches to create a diabetes diet to help you keep your blood glucose level within a normal range. With a dietitian’s help, you may find that one or a combination of the following methods works for you:
The plate method
The American Diabetes Association offers a simple method of meal planning. In essence, it focuses on eating more vegetables. Follow these steps when preparing your plate:
Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, and tomatoes.
Include “good” fats such as nuts or avocados in small amounts
Fill a quarter of your plate with protein, such as tuna, lean pork, or chicken.
Fill the last quarter with a whole-grain item, such as brown rice, or a starchy vegetable, such as green peas.
Add a serving of fruit or dairy and a drink of water or unsweetened tea or coffee.
What are the results of a diabetes diet?
Embracing your healthy-eating plan is the best way to keep your blood glucose level under control and prevent diabetes complications. And if you need to lose weight, you can tailor it to your specific goals. Aside from managing your diabetes, a diabetes diet offers other benefits, too. Because a diabetes diet recommends generous amounts of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, following it is likely to reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. And consuming low-fat dairy products can reduce your risk of low bone mass in the future.
These things may seem like a lot to do at first. Just make small changes until these steps become a normal part of your day. Follow Your Healthy Eating Plan Ask your Nutritionist (FoodNWellness), to help you to create a healthy eating plan. Our dietitians can help you to plan meals that include foods that you and your family like and that are good for you.
A Carbohydrates Counting is the break down into glucose, they have the greatest impact on blood glucose level and helps to control your blood glucose. You may need to learn to calculate the amount of carbohydrates you are eating so that you can adjust the dose of insulin accordingly. It’s important to keep track of the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack.
A dietitian can teach you how to measure food portions and become an educated reader of food labels. He or she can also teach you how to pay special attention to serving size and carbohydrate content. If you’re taking insulin, a dietitian can teach you how to count the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack and adjust your insulin dose accordingly.
Glycemic Index is the numerical index given to a carbohydrate-rich food that is based on the average increase in blood glucose level occurring in blood after the food is eaten. The higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response.
The Glycemic Index tells us how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar.
The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar.
55 or less = Low (good)
56- 69 = Medium
70 or higher = High (bad)
Some factors that affect GI:
Processing (puffed cereals have a much higher GI than the grain they came from), ripeness of fruit (unripe bananas can have a GI of 43, where overripe ones have been clocked at 74), protein content (soy beans have a lower GI than other beans), fat content (peanuts have a very low GI), fiber (orange juice has a higher GI than oranges), and how small the particles are (whole grains have a relatively low GI, but grinding them into flour shoots up the GI).
Glycemic index is the scale that was created on a standard amount of carbohydrate per food (50 grams), it doesn’t give people information about the amount of food they are actually eating. This information too is important if we want to assess the true impact of carbohydrate consumption. For this reason, the concept of the glycemic load was created, which takes serving size into account.
Benefits of the Glycemic Index
Eating a lot of high GI foods can be harmful to your health as it pushes your body to extremes. As this is especially true if you are overweight and sedentary. Switching to eating mainly low GI carbohydrates that slowly trickle glucose into your bloodstream keeps your energy levels balanced and will feel fuller for longer between meals.
The glycemic load of a food is the glycemic index divided by hundred and multiplied by its available carbohydrate content (i.e. carbohydrate minus fibre) in grams.
For a diet with a lower glycemic load, eat:
More whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables without starch, and other foods with a low glycemic index
Fewer foods with a high glycemic index, like potatoes, white rice, and white bread
Less of sugary foods, including candy, cookies, cakes, and sweet drinks
The concept of Glycemic load (GL)
Glycemic load (GL) was developed by scientists to simultaneously describe the quality (GI) and quantity of carbohydrates in a food serving, meal, or diet. The GL of a single food is calculated by multiplying the GI by the amount of carbohydrate in grams (g) provided by a food serving and then dividing the total by 100.
GLFood = (GIFood x amount (g) of available carbohydrate food per serving)/100
For a typical serving of a food, GL would be considered high with GL≥20, intermediate with GL of 11-19, and low with GL≤10. Using the above-mentioned example, despite similar GIs, one serving of watermelon has a GL of 8, while a medium-sized doughnut has a GL of 17. Dietary GL is the sum of the GLs for all foods consumed in the diet. All healthy food choices generally are not low-GI foods. For example, intermediate-to-high-GI foods like parsnip, watermelon, banana, and pineapple, have low-to-intermediate GLs.
For example, if we consider watermelon. Water melon has a high glycemic Index (about 72). However, a serving of 120g of watermelon has only about 6g of available carbohydrate per serving. So its glycemic load is pretty low i.e. 72/100 x 6 = 4.32.
Stress, Deadlines, Stuck in traffic, Examinations, Workload and having too much to do in life. But not enough time to do anything. Most of us are familiar with these kinds of daily stresses that get our heart racing, breath quickening, and stomach-churning. These can promote the consumption of highly palatable foods, or junk foods, which influence gut bacteria to thrive. Stressful life events are associated with the onset of symptoms, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Peptic ulcer disease.
In this paragraph it is shown that there’s a strong connection or link between the gut, which refers to the gastrointestinal tract, and the brain. Firstly, Stress and depression can reshape or alter the gut bacteria’s composition. Secondly, they release metabolites, toxins, and neuro-hormones that can affect appetite, mood, or sleep habits, reducing inflammation in the body. Thirdly, these can contribute to depression, affecting cognitive function and response to stress.
We might already eat a lot of Gut-friendly bacteria called probiotic foods, in our diet such as yogurt or kimchi. Some people take a daily probiotic supplement to reap their potential benefits. However, it is also important to know how to improve digestion and stress issues naturally at home.
There are a few simple ways in which you can improve digestion which include:
Physical exercises (including Yoga),
By adopting eating healthy food and hydrate yourself,
Including few probiotic drinks in your diet such as Buttermilk, Simple milk kefir, Coconut water Kefir, Apple cider vinegar drink, Probiotic vegetable juice. Probiotic foods such as dosa, idli and rice kanji, and healthy mood-boosting foods, dark chocolate, banana, berries, nuts, and seeds, etc.
In conclusion, we can say that Probiotics have promising potential treatment for depression, to prevent intestinal problems linked to chronic stress and other mental health conditions.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is additionally referred to as Polycystic ovarian Disease (PCOD). Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common problem among teen girls and young women. Almost 1 out of 10 women has PCOS/ PCOD. It’s becoming more common due to increased awareness and therefore the global increase within the prevalence of overweight and obesity. It’s also a heterogeneous disorder, that has been difficult to define because there is no single abnormality or diagnostic test that defines the syndrome.
PCOS/ PCOD is the most common endocrinopathy in reproductive-aged women and ovarian disorder related to excess androgen in women affecting 6 – 21% (depending on the applied diagnostic criteria) of this population worldwide. It has associations with metabolic syndromes, psychological mentality, and reproductive organs in women.
What is PCOS/PCOD?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormone imbalance which will cause irregular periods, unwanted hair growth, and acne. PCOS begins during a girl’s teen years and this can be mild to severe.
The Rotterdam 2003 criteria define PCOS because the incidence of any two of the three key criteria, namely, oligo-ovulation and/or anovulation, excess androgen activity, and polycystic ovaries.
Do you need to know about PCOS/PCOD? Do you want to have a healthy lifestyle? This article will surely help you!
PCOS/PCOD TIP: Diet and lifestyle play a important role in the development of PCOS/ PCOD and their modification remains the primary line of treatment. Follow a balance diet. Your body needs adequate amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
The resulting complex of physiological dysfunction produced by interrelated metabolic and hormonal factors predisposes patients with PCOS to different complications like endometrial hyperplasia and cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), miscarriage, and acanthosis nigricans (AN).
The complications increase the burden faced by patients, besides affecting social and emotional wellbeing, especially in adolescents, who are under the impression of being afflicted by a ‘disease’.
Diagnosis of PCOS/PCOD
The syndrome may be diagnosed if a minimum of two of the subsequent are present:
Oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea is related to decreased ovulation. PCOS/ PCOD is that the most commonest explanation for anovulatory infertility
Hyperandrogenemia or clinical features of androgen excess, within the absence of other underlying disease states
Abnormal ovarian ultrasound with 12 follicles in each ovary each having a diameter of 2 – 9 mm, or increased ovarian volume
Increased LH with increased LH/FSH ratio.
The symptoms of PCOS/PCOD:
PCOS is characterized by hyperandrogenism and/or chronic anovulation which can manifest with a range of symptoms (e.g., hirsutism, acne, oligomenorrhea, and infertility) and is associated with increased risk of cardiometabolic disease, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance (IR), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Absent, infrequent, or irregular periods
Excess hair (hirsutism) particularly on your face, chest, and stomach
Genetics, hormones, and lifestyle factors all play a role in PCOS/ PCOD. Women with PCOS/ PCOD are 50% more likely to have a mother, aunt, or sister with PCOS and the condition is more common in women of Asian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander and African backgrounds.
Treatment for PCOS/PCOD
Treatment for PCOS/PCOD includes insulin-lowering drugs, anti-androgen therapy, oral contraceptives, and the implementation of lifestyle changes, including weight loss if necessary. Weight loss, accompanied by an increase in insulin sensitivity (Si), has proven to be a successful treatment for the metabolic and hormonal abnormalities characteristic of the PCOS population/ PCOD.
Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome is individualized based on the patient’s presentation and desire for pregnancy. For patients who are overweight, weight loss is recommended. Clomiphene and letrozole are first-line medications for infertility. Metformin is the first-line medication for metabolic manifestations, such as hyperglycemia. Hormonal contraceptives are first-line therapy for irregular menses and dermatologic manifestations.
Nutrition Goals for Improving PCOS/PCOD
Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and beans.
Eat protein-containing foods such as lean meats, poultry, and eggs, with meals and snacks to add fullness and help manage blood sugar levels.
Select foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Examples include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna), seeds (flax seeds, chia seeds), oils (canola, olive, peanut), and nuts (walnuts).
Limit simple sugars and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, rice, and sugar in beverages and desserts.
Tips for a Healthy PCOS/PCOD Lifestyle:
Eat a colorful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day to get a wide range of protective nutrients.
Choose whole grains which can lower insulin resistance.
Consume dark leafy greens. These foods are rich sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and foods like desserts. High sugar content in the diet increases insulin resistance.
Engage in moderate or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on most days of the week for weight loss and maintenance. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Athletes with PCOS have specific needs and are advised to seek the assistance of a dietitian for a personalized eating plan.
Lifestyle Modification and PCOS/PCOD Lifestyle
Lifestyle is closely related to the physical and mental health of people and is effective in the onset or development of many diseases including PCOS/ PCOD. Obesity is also a major factor in the incidence and intensity of PCOS/ PCOD. Obesity aggravates the clinical presentation of the disease in terms of both fertility and metabolism. Women with PCOS/ PCOD have shown 30-40% progression to type 2 diabetes (T2D), adipose tissue dysfunction, abnormalities in lipid metabolism, and body fat distribution. There is no definite treatment, hence women with PCOS/ PCOD are treated on signs and symptoms. The most common medication include oral contraceptives (OCPs), antiandrogen topical medication, and gonadotropins. Low fat, hypo-caloric-dash diet, and exercise have shown a 5% improvement in women with PCOS/ PCOD with reduction of IR, triglycerides, and VLDL.
Long-term lifestyle modification is mainly common to overweight women with PCOS/ PCOD. A weekly or monthly intervention of an obstetrician/gynecologist, psychiatrist, dietitian, and fitness professional helps in restoration of ovulation (60/67 previously anovulatory women), improvements in pregnancy (52/67), and reduction in miscarriage rates (75% preintervention to 18% post-intervention).
Nutrition and Lifestyle Modification
Studies revealed that lifestyle modification consisting of weekly/biweekly group meetings with monitoring by a dietitian and exercise physiologist and individualized nutrition plans and exercise plans (150 min/week). While significant reductions in androgens occurred only for the combination of metformin and dietary advice, significant weight reductions occurred for both lifestyle treatment and lifestyle treatment with metformin (850 mg twice daily). It provides good evidence that long-term adoption of these principles in a primary healthcare setting will help reduce the risk of IGT and type 2 diabetes, and aid in the long-term management of reproductive fitness in women with PCOS/ PCOD.
Learn and practice “mindful” eating. This means eating is necessary when our body needs fuel, not when we are bored or you have a cravings. Eat at least 5 total servings of fruits and vegetables every day. These foods are full of nutrients, and most are low in calories. Along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, you get important phytochemicals (natural plant compounds) that can help ease the hormonal imbalances that come with PCOS.
If you like fruit juice, choose brands that are 100% real juice, and drink it in moderation. Whole fruit is a more healthful choice than fruit juice because it contains fiber.
Limit or avoid caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and nicotine. These can increase your insulin levels, even if you do not have high blood glucose.
Keep a food journal to help you see your eating patterns. This makes it easier to find areas where you could make changes.
Exercise and PCOS/PCOD
There is surprisingly scant literature on the role of exercise in managing patients with PCOS/ PCOD. What we know, and what we recommend, must therefore come largely from studies involving non-PCOS subjects. We currently recommend 30 min of exercise on at least 5 days of the week to maintain weight and for a healthy lifestyle. Recent studies showed that 60 – 75 min of the moderate-to-high intensity of physical activity promotes a greater long-term (12 – 18 months) weight loss compared with the conventional recommendation for optimum health.
Accumulation of exercise in frequent short periods of physical activity appears to have a similar influence in long-term weight loss programs. Activity related to daily living and leisure time activity is an important determinant of body weight but not of the response to weight management programs. A realistic approach to exercise depends on the assessment of the patient’s current exercise habits, preferences regarding the type of exercise, and inclination to undertake exercise.
Types of Exercises:
Aerobic exercise. This is important for cardiovascular fitness and to increase energy expenditure as part of a weight loss program. It is important to recognize that the overweight and the unfit patient may have limited capacity for aerobic exercise.
Exercises to increase suppleness and flexibility. Although they may not greatly increase calorie expenditure, such exercises may increase engagement with an exercise program, decrease the risk of injury with exercise, and promote a sense of well-being.
Endurance exercise. For patients who cannot manage high-intensity exercise, prolonged lower-level activity is an appropriate way to gain fitness and increase energy expenditure. Walking with a pedometer can be a very useful approach to begin to increase energy expenditure.
Resistance training. Increase in muscle strength and mass with weight training has been neglected as a means of improving function and body composition until recently. The high metabolic rate of muscle means, muscle mass is an important determinant of resting energy expenditure and resistance training. This is now regarded as a highly acceptable way to influence weight, body composition, and insulin sensitivity.
Other Benefits of Exercise
Being active can also help you reduce stress. Less stress is important to your health for many reasons:
Chronic stress can raise levels of the hormone cortisol:
Cortisol makes it easy to store fat around your abdominal organs. This is especially true if you tend to eat more when you feel stressed.
Cortisol can also make estrogen imbalances worse. This can interfere with normal periods and fertility.
Stress also makes the body take glucose from storage and release it into your blood.
Frequently asked questions
Does PCOS mean I have cysts on my ovaries?
The term “polycystic ovaries” means that there are lots of tiny cysts, or bumps, inside of the ovaries. Some young women with PCOS have these cysts; others only have a few.
Why do I get acne and/or extra hair on my body?
Acne and extra hair on your face and body can happen if your body is making too much testosterone. If you are suffering from PCOD/ PCOS, then your ovaries may secrete a little bit more testosterone than they are supposed to. Skin cells and hair follicles can be extremely sensitive to the small increases in testosterone found in young women with PCOS/ PCOD.
Ask your health care provider about a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
If you’re overweight, losing weight may lessen some of the symptoms of PCOS/ PCOD. Consult health care provider or nutritionist about healthy ways to lose weight, exercising more and following a diet plan that can help to manage insulin levels. Thus, Healthy eating can also keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of developing diabetes.
Why are periods becomes so irregular?
Having PCOS/ PCOD means that your ovaries aren’t getting the right (hormonal) signals from your pituitary gland. Without these signals, you will not ovulate (make eggs) every month. Period may be irregular, or you may not have a period at all.
Meet…the healthy, soft, chewy, amazingly delicious homemade granola bars that you can’t stop making. Soft, Chewy granola bars are so easy to make at home and they are the perfect for you with combination of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Granola bars are one of the most convenient foods. They are full of whole ingredients that are Healthy as well as Nutritious. These bars are easily available in stores or online, but there are a ton of benefits to making your own. You can control the sweetness, come up with your own combinations of flavors, and control what ingredients you’re adding into your bars according to your health. They are Gluten- free.
50 g dried fruit, chopped if large (I used dried cranberries)
50 g Almonds
20 g Flax seeds
20 g Pumpkin seeds
Luke warm water – if required
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, chopped dates, and seeds and salt. Microwave for 5 minutes.
Melt honey and peanut butter in a pan. Pour the melted honey and peanut butter and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix well, until oat and nut is lightly coated. Use spatula and try to coat it first with the melted honey butter and peanut.
You can add luke warm water while mixing if it does not coat all the ingredients. Pour the granola onto prepared baking tray and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.
Bake until lightly golden, about 21 to 24 minutes. (For extra-clumpy granola, press the granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer). The granola will further crisp up as it cools for 10 – 15 minutes.
Cut into rectangular shapes, then set aside.
Let the granola bar cool completely, undisturbed (at least 45 minutes).
Store the granola bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. The dried fruit can freeze solid, so let it warm to room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving 1 pc.
Try pressing them down again after baking. Let them cool for 10 minutes and press down firmly while warm, then let them cool completely before cutting.
Hypertension or high blood pressure has been on the rise in the US for the past 50 years. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. First introduced in 1997, it is a diet promoted by the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for reducing blood pressure. Various organizations have ranked it as one of the “Best Overall Diets.” The DASH diet is a well-balanced, lifelong approach to healthy eating that was discovered in research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine the role of dietary eating patterns on blood pressure.
MANAGEMENT OF HYPERTENSION :
Initial management of hypertension uses a two-pronged approach, with emphasis on Pharmacotherapy and Non-pharmacotherapy. Non – pharmacological therapy (Lifestyle modifications) has an important role in both non-hypertensive & hypertensive individuals. Lifestyle modifications have the potential to prevent hypertension as well as to reduce BP and lower the risk of BP-related complications.
The following non-pharmacotherapeutic interventions:
The following Dietary changes are of paramount importance: Reduction of salt intake to an average of not more than 5 g per day (WHO, 2012), moderate fat intake, following the DASH diet plan (Dietary approaches to stop hypertension), the avoidance of a high alcohol intake, and restriction of energy intake appropriate to body needs.
What is the DASH Diet?
The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was developed through research funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It is effective in lowering blood pressure and blood lipid levels, which ultimately reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease.
This diet plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and seeds, nuts, and legumes. It also recommends limiting sugary beverages, sweets, sodium, and red meats. The DASH diet is rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which are protective against high blood pressure. DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also contains less salt and sodium, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages, fats, and red meats. This diet helps to lower blood pressure and also has suitable effects on blood lipids.
Origin of DASH Diet
The DASH diet originated out of clinical studies by the National Institute of Health. These studies were designed to test which diets are best suited to reducing hypertension. The National Institute of Health examined three different diets in the clinical studies and then examined their results. The DASH diet is not necessarily a “diet” rather it is a way of eating that will promote long-term health. The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) recommends the DASH diet as “an ideal eating plan for all Americans.”
The characteristics of the DASH diet:
Lower sodium intake
The DASH diet provides guidelines for your sodium and caloric intake. The standard DASH diet allows up to a maximum of 2300 mg of sodium per day and the low-sodium version of the DASH diet allows up to 1500 mg of sodium per day. The average American diet contains up to 3500 mg of sodium per day.
Increased vitamins and minerals
All your essential vitamins and minerals are provided on the DASH diet by the many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other whole foods that you are encouraged to eat on the diet. The diet also includes an ample supply of minerals like magnesium and potassium that help to lower or improve your blood pressure.
Increased good fats
Consuming a lot of good fats and minimizing bad fats is highly encouraged on the DASH diet. Saturated and Trans fats should be replaced with lean meats, omega-3’s from fish and seafood, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds. Good fats help to optimize our overall health by lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
Increased fiber consumption
The DASH diet recommends increasing your fiber consumption by eating several servings of fruits, vegetables, and grains every day. This keeps you feeling full and helps to reduce blood pressure. High fiber consumption also helps to maintain good blood sugar levels and it also encourages weight loss.
Reduction of alcohol and caffeine
The DASH diet suggests limiting your intake of alcohol, soda, tea, and coffee because they offer no nutritional value, typically contain a lot of sugar and they can elevate blood pressure. This is an important lifestyle modification for reducing blood pressure. Alcohol raises blood pressure and also can harm vital organs like the liver, brain, and heart. For persons who consume alcohol, the recommendations are, that men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women no more than one drink per day as supported by the AHA 2006 scientific statement of hypertension management.
Customized sodium and caloric intake
In the same way that you can choose a 2300 mg/day or 1500 mg/day sodium intake DASH diet, you can also choose the most suitable caloric intake level for you
Photo by fcafotodigital from Pexel
Benefits of the DASH Diet
The DASH eating plan is effective for the prevention and management of hypertension. Hypertension is a clinical term for high blood pressure. Approximately 1 in 3 American adults have hypertension. This “silent killer,” which often lacks overt symptoms, can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.
Hypertension, a chronic disease, is treated with prescription medications. However, diet and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce blood pressure. Research shows that in some individuals, the DASH eating plan may reduce blood pressure as much or more than prescribed drugs. The DASH eating plan, in combination with a sodium-restricted diet (1500mg/day), can produce even greater results in lowering blood pressure.
The DASH diet is supportive of digestive health and decreases the risk of the development of colorectal cancer. This may be due to an increased level of fiber or higher consumption of dairy.
The DASH eating pattern support kidney health. Studies have shown that a DASH diet decreases the risk for urinary albumin excretion and protects against rapid decreases in glomerular filtration, both of which are indicators of decreasing kidney function. It is also protective against the development of kidney stones.
Researches on DASH DIET
Over the years several studies have proven that the DASH diet is not only effective for lowering blood pressure through diet but it is also effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, several types of cancers, stroke, heart disease, kidney stones, kidney disease, diabetes, heart failure, and many other diseases. The DASH diet has also been shown to promote weight loss and improve overall health.
Research has found that diet affects the development of high blood pressure, or hypertension (the medical term). Recently, two studies showed that following a particular eating plan—called the DASH diet—and reducing the amount of sodium consumed lowers blood pressure. While each step alone lowers blood pressure, the combination of the eating plan and a reduced sodium intake gives the biggest benefit and may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure.
The DASH diet research findings, which tells about high blood pressure, and how to follow the DASH diet and reduce the number of sodium consumptions. The menus and recipes are for two levels of daily sodium consumption —2,400 milligrams (the upper limit of current recommendations by the Federal Government’s National High Blood. Pressure Education Program, or NHBPEP, and the amount used to figure food labels’ Nutrition Facts Daily Value) and 1,500 milligrams.
NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR DASH DIET
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan that originally lowers blood pressure but also is “heart-healthy” and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. This eating plan is for 1,800 calories per day. The DASH plan is high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. The plan also focuses on lowering salt intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. Even lower salt intake (1,500 mg per day) can lower blood pressure even more. Eating nutritious foods will help to control blood pressure. The DASH diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk products, and whole grains. It is a Mediterranean diet full of nutrients that are good for your heart and good for your health.
DASH Diet means eating a variety of foods and food groups that research has shown can be beneficial to heart health while avoiding others, that are harmful.
Key components include the following:
Fruits and vegetables
Nuts, seeds, and legumes
Lean protein—fish and poultry are emphasized, while red and processed meat consumption is limited
Low-fat or fat-free dairy
Avoidance of sugar-sweetened beverages
Low sodium—when kept under 2,300 mg daily the diet is even more helpful with blood pressure, which can drop even lower with less than 1,500 mg daily sodium intake
Higher levels of dietary nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber
Lower levels of saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol
Increased the fiber intake slowly, so that people can avoid becoming gassy or bloated.
Keep food allergies and intolerances (e.g., lactose intolerance) in mind as you tailor this diet to individual needs.
For example, most DASH diet guides don’t cover avocados. Some foods are may not be the best choice for their category. For example, pretzels are grains but don’t have a lot of fiber or nutrients.
DOES THE DASH DIET WORK?
The DASH diet has shown several benefits. It lowers blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) for people with hypertension, and also for people who have blood pressures in the normal range, whether or not they lower their sodium intake. Reductions in pressures occur within one week and keep dropping if sodium restriction is ongoing.
The DASH diet reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death on the order of approximately a 13% decrease in 10-year Framingham CVD risk. It is helpful with weight loss, it lowers hsCRP levels relative to usual diets (comparably to other healthy diets), and it also offers therapeutic benefit for a wide range of other clinical conditions, including the following:
Colon and rectal cancer chemoprevention
Insulin resistance and diabetes
Urolithiasis (kidney stones)
OTHER LIFESTYLE CHANGES
The prevention and correction of overweight/obesity is a prudent way of reducing the risk of hypertension and indirectly coronary heart disease. The greater the weight loss, the greater the reduction in blood pressure. Meal patterns that rely heavily on processed foods containing more fats, sugar, and sodium, lead to steady weight gain and high BP.
QUIT SMOKING :
Smoking is a major risk factor leading to HTN and heart disease. Nicotine and Carbon monoxide present in smoke damages heart & blood vessels. Smoking also increases blood viscosity, clot formation and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. In patients with coronary heart disease, smoking cessation is associated with a 36% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY :
The role of physical activity in the treatment of hypertension is well known. Regular physical activity enhances the sense of well-being, improves functional health status, & reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.
Researches showed that exercise incorporated lifestyle intervention can result in significantly better BP control among patients taking Pharmacotherapy for Hypertension. 30-45 minutes of moderate level activity on most days of the week can lose/maintain weight & helps to lower Blood pressure.
YOGA/ MEDITATION :
Yoga is a beneficial multifunctional therapeutic modality in the treatment of a variety of psychological and medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and COPD. Meditation helps to calm the body and soul and relaxation techniques such as massaging relieve stress. It might be that a reduction in stress and stimulation of the body might impart physiological benefits, says the American Heart Association.
In conclusion, Hypertension is a major risk factor and a powerful predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The main thrust of primary prevention of hypertension includes a sustained effort on lifestyle modifications. Established nutrition recommendations are proven to help reduce blood pressure in general populations. Thus, decrease the load of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and renal which are associated with hypertension. It encourages you to take a diet rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium and reduce your intake of sodium in your diet.
DASH diet is rich in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, fish, meat, poultry, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy products. The diet helps you to reduce your systolic blood pressure by 8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 mmHg, which could make a lot of difference in reducing morbidity and mortality in hypertensive patients. DASH diet also prevents osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes as it has a high quotient of antioxidant-rich food.
Intermittent fasting is also called “alternate day fasting” or “intermittent energy restriction.” It is the process of fasting and feasting alternately. It consists of eating very little or nothing at all on certain days of the week or times of the day.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
‘Intermittent fasting’ involves alternating cycles of eating and fasting without specifying which types of foods can be eaten on non-fasting days. A person’s intake is often limited to non-calorific fluids such as water, tea, coffee, and diet drinks, or it may allow a very restricted amount of daily calories on a fasting diet. Intermittent fasting became popular over the past decade, but many people are still confused about what fasting entails. Intermittent fasting involves a short period of not eating followed by a period of eating freely. Fasting does not equate to starvation, and with all intermittent fasting regimens, get to eat every day.
Intermittent fasting is in trend and type of eating pattern in which we have to practice to limit the food intake in a way, that cycles between defined periods of fasting and non-fasting. Intermittent fasting is a type of eating with restricted calorie consumption or the use of reserved calories as fuel for the body. It is the type of fasting restrictive diet and thus it is categorized under FAD Diet.
During periods of fasting, it’s important to consume lots of protein. Consuming at least 50 grams of protein on a fast day will help keep hunger at bay and muscle mass high. Examples of high protein fast day meals include shakes with lots of Greek yogurts, fruits, and veggies, or a large salad with lean meat, eggs, legumes or nuts. Intermittent fasting regimens involve periods of not eating followed by a period of eating freely. It is important to consume protein during periods of fasting. Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to achieve healthy body weight.
Types of intermittent fasting
There is more than one way to implement intermittent fasting, and different methods will produce different results.
A 20-hour fast every day. This fast ends with one big meal each evening. During the 20 hour fasting period, raw fruits, vegetables, and some lean protein are allowed.
The 5:2 system. In this method, fasting is done any two non-consecutive days of the week. On fasting days, either one can consume nothing at all or limits to 500-600 calories. On the other 5 days of the week, eating isn’t restricted.
The Eat-Stop-Eat diet. This is a variation of the 6:1 diet which can include two 24-hour fasts per week; this involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
The 16:8 diet. This is a type of fasting for 16 hours per day by consuming all meals within an eight-hour window. Also called the Lean-gains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting the daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then fasting for 16 hours in between.
Extended overnight fast. In this version just lengthen overnight fast to last 14 hours. In other words, to fit regular meals into a span of 10 hours and fast for 14 hours overnight. This way most of the fast occurs while sleeping – painless.
Alternate day fasting. This consists of eating regularly one day, 20% of your normal intake the next (about 400 calories), and repeating that pattern continuously.
The most researched intermittent fasting methods are included and explained:
1. Lean-gains Daily Intermittent Fasting:
It is a 16–hour fast followed by an 8–hour eating period. Lean-gains intermittent fasting is done every day, so it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. This is a great method for achieving and maintaining a lean physique.
HOW TO DO IT:
Fast for 16 hours every day (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping).
Eat the first meal of the day after the 16-hour fast.
After 8 hours first meal, start another 16-hour fast.
It does not matter when to start the 8-hour feeding period.
2. Weekly Intermittent Fasting
If one is looking to bulk up or keep weight on, then this is a great option. Since this is only cutting out two meals per week and can enjoy many physiological benefits of fasting without losing weight.
HOW TO DO IT:
Fast for 24 hours every week (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping).
In this example, lunch on Monday is the last meal of the day. Then fast until lunch on Tuesday.
3. Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting (Fast for alternating 24-hour periods)
This style of intermittent fasting is often used in research studies, but, it isn’t very popular in the real world.
HOW TO DO IT:
Every other evening starts a 24-hour fast (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping). In the example below, would finish the dinner and begin a 24-hour fast on Monday at 8 pm.
Break the fast and start a 24-hour feeding period every other evening. For example, one can start fasting on Monday at 8 pm and eat the next meal on Tuesday at 8 pm.
Ideally, the alternate day intermittent fasting schedule should allow eating at least one meal a day.
Fed and Fasted
There are some true benefits of fasting and some dangers, and some claims are not backed up by science.
Based on studies over the past two years from the National Institutes of Health and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fasting can have positive benefits when done correctly. Scientists are still researching the topic, but so far there is good news. Intermittent fasting has a link to decreases in weight, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation. Diabetes, heart disease, and blood sugar levels are generally low in people who fast. Fasting wasn’t linked to significant fatigue or mental impairments either.
Fasting every other day, or going for too long without food may lead to serious starvation-like effects such as heart and organ damage and muscle loss. People also stayed hungry while they fasted, no matter how long they kept up the diet.
Changes that take place during Fasting
Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5 -fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain.
Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.
Cellular repair: When fasted, cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells.
Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease. These changes in hormone levels, cell function, and gene expression are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting.
Fasting is an effective way of achieving a healthy body weight.
In a recent year-long study, adults with obesity lost 6% of body weight (approximately 13 pounds) and maintained this weight loss with alternate-day fasting. Studies also support the use of 5:2 and 16:8 for weight loss. After 3-6 months of 5:2 or 16:8, people with obesity decreased body weight by 3 – 7% (8 -15 pounds).
Intermittent fasting can also help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Recent evidence shows that fasting can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by up 15%, triglycerides by up to 25%, and raise “good” HDL cholesterol by up to 10%. Blood pressure also decreases by 5 -10 mm Hg with various fasting regimens. Reductions in diabetes risk have also been observed during periods of fasting. For instance, intermittent fasting has been shown to lower blood glucose, insulin, and improve insulin sensitivity in people with obesity and pre-diabetes. Reduction in risk for heart disease and diabetes can be attributed to weight loss associated with intermittent fasting.
Researches On Intermittent Fasting
More recently, it’s been shown that intermittent fasting may help slow aging and extend lifespan. In a very recent study conducted at Harvard University, fasting was shown to help keep certain cell components in a “youthful” state, which may in turn improve life expectancy.
More and more scientific evidence shows that fasting is a great way to lower chronic disease risk, slow aging, and achieve healthy body weight.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Fasting simplifies our day by reducing the number of meals you have to prepare.
Intermittent fasting helps to live longer. Scientists have known for a long time that restricting calories can lengthen life. Intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction.
Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer. A small amount of medical research has indicated that fasting might be helpful in the fight against cancer.
Fasting can help to get lean. Fasting puts the body in a fat-burning state that is rarely reached while following a normal eating schedule.
Intermittent fasting is much easier than traditional diets. The reason most diets fail is that we don’t follow the diet over the long term. Fasting is a weight loss method that is remarkably easy to stick to long-term.
Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting. One may also feel weak and our brain may not perform well. This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for our body to adapt to the new meal schedule. If we have a medical condition, we should consult with the doctor before trying intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if one is healthy and well-nourished.
Avoid Intermittent Fasting, if you have these problems:
People with type 1 diabetes or women who are pregnant or nursing should not try these diets. Children should not try fasting as it may impede their growth. Keep in mind that intermittent fasting is just one option for weight loss. While some people may find fasting easier to stick to than daily calorie restriction, others may not. All in all, people should choose a diet that they can easily incorporate into their lifestyle and stick to long-term.
There is quite a lot of contrasting findings of intermittent fasting, but the one common message is that more evidence to examine the effects of this method; in particular longer-term human studies. However, current research indicates that intermittent fasting can be an effective method to promote weight loss, so this may be worth considering for some individuals while weighing up the pros and cons of intermittent fasting as discussed in this article.
COMMON ARGUMENTS FOR FASTING DIETS
Our ancestors would have had periods of fasting depending on food availability.
Some people prefer an ‘all or nothing approach when trying to restrict calories for weight loss compared to a ‘moderation’ approach.
Promoters of intermittent fasting report a host of long-term health benefits, such as increased longevity, improved metabolic health, improved weight loss, and a reduction in diseases, e.g. heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
COMMON ARGUMENTS AGAINST FASTING DIET
May lead to tiredness, headaches, lack of concentration, and poor mood.
May be dangerous if unsupervised by a medical professional depending on the person’s age, medical history, and lifestyle.
Not a very balanced approach, potential to interfere with metabolic rate.
There was an overall lack of evidence and no significant differences in outcomes found between more moderate daily restriction and this extreme fasting approach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.
Can I Drink Liquids during the Fast?
Yes. Water, Coffee, tea, and other non-caloric beverages are fine to drink during Intermittent fasting. Try to avoid sugar in your coffee. Small amounts of milk or cream will be okay. Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, as it can blunt hunger.
Isn’t It Unhealthy to Skip Breakfast?
No. The problem is that most stereotypical breakfast skippers have unhealthy lifestyles. You make sure to eat healthy food for the rest of the day then the practice will be perfectly healthy.
Can I Take Supplements While Fasting?
Yes. However, keep in mind that some supplements like fat-soluble vitamins may work better when taken with meals.
Can I Work out while Fasted?
Yes, fasted workouts are fine. Some people recommend taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) before a fasted workout.
Will Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?
All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, which is why it’s important to lift weights and keep your protein intake high. One study showed that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than regular calorie restriction.
Should Kids Fast?
It will be better if you don’t allow our children to do fasting.
Constipation is irregular, infrequent or difficult passage of faeces. It is most often defined as having a bowel movement less than 3 times per week and often associated with hard stools or problems passing stools. People may suffer from pain while passing stools or may be unable to have a bowel movement after straining or pushing. It is the most common physiological disorder of the alimentary tract. Constipation is characterized by incomplete evacuation of hard, dried stools. Mostly, occurs commonly in children, adolescents, adults on low fibre diets, patients confined to bed, in individuals and in elderly persons.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem, which causes many expenses for the community with an estimated prevalence of 1% to 80%, worldwide, where the condition is characterized by a wide geographical variation.
Types of Constipation
There are three main types of constipation:
Atonic (lazy bowel): There is loss of muscle tone causing weak peristalsis due to lack of fluids, roughage and potassium, vitamin B Complex deficiency, irregular defecation habit and poor personnel hygiene, excessive purgation or use of enema, sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise.
Spastic: It results from excessive tone of the colonic muscle.
Obstructive : It occurs usually due to obstruction in the colon, cancer or any other obstruction due to inflammation or narrowing of the lumen.
Causes of Constipation
. Constipation can occur with:
Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners)
Lack of physical activity
Not drinking enough water
Delay in going to the bathroom when you have the urge to move your bowels
Stress and travel can also contribute to constipation or other changes in bowel habits.
A change in regular routine or travelling
Use of medications such as antacids with aluminum or calcium, antidepressants, antihistamines, narcotics (such as codeine), antispasmodics, diuretics, tranquilizers, some heart medications
Use of supplements such as iron and calcium
Health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, colorectal cancer, eating disorders, under-active thyroid, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, and depression. Moreover, Constipation is common during cancer treatment.
Weakening of the muscles and ligaments that hold the rectum in place
Blockage of stool in the large intestine
Faecal impaction is common in care homes and can lead to faecal incontinence. This is a costly consequence of untreated constipation. A related term is faecal loading, which describes the retention of faeces of any consistency. Faecal impaction is defined as the retention of solid faeces that prevents spontaneous evacuation.
Risk of constipation in Elderly people
For older adults in the community and in care settings, the risk of developing constipation may be increased by:
Muscular weakness that limits general movement and the possibility of physical exercise as well as the ability to visit shops and carry shopping.
Less mobile patients who experience a loss of sensation, or those who ignore the signal to empty their bowels to avoid inconveniencing a carer or because the toilets are inaccessible. In care settings, they may be offered a bed pan or commode and be unable to empty their bowels due to poor positioning or lack of privacy.
Changes in the diet, including patients reducing fluid and fibre intake for fear of incontinence.
Difficulty swallowing, which results in requirement for thickened fluids and modified consistency diets. This can restrict consumption of adequate fibre and fluid.
Poor dentition, which can impact on dietary intake, including fibre-containing foods.
Limited care assistance available at mealtimes for dependent individuals, to ensure appropriate diet and fluid provision.
Development of co-morbid medical conditions and resulting poly-pharmacy including, in particular, analgesics and psychotropic drugs.
Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, dementia and cognitive impairment.
Use of a number of medicines that induce constipation, including antacids, calcium and iron supplements, as well as radiotherapy and opioid pain relief for cancer treatment.
Socio-environmental factors including hospitalization and institutionalization.
Medications that can contribute to constipation include:
1. Pain medications (narcotics)
3. Antidepressant and anti-psychotic medications
4. Some seizure medications
5. Iron supplements
6. Sucralfate and some antacids such as TUMS
7. Some blood pressure medications
1.Behavior changes: It is best to establish a regular pattern of bowel movement. People who have a normal bowel pattern usually defecate at approximately the same time every day. Since the bowels are most active after awakening and after meals, the most optimal time for a bowel movement is usually within the first two hours after waking and after breakfast. When the signals to defecate are ignored, these signals become weaker and weaker over time. Encouraging and allowing persons to pay attention to these signals can help decrease constipation.
2.Laxatives: Laxatives are substances that can help relieve constipation. However, the long-term use of laxatives can make your body depend on them. Talk to your health care provider about the use of laxatives to manage your constipation.
Fibre supplements are widely available and can be found in forms such as powders, tablets and capsules. If you have trouble eating enough fibre and want to use fibre supplements, check with your health care provider first.
Bulk forming laxatives are natural or synthetic products that have a laxative effect by absorbing water and increasing faecal mass.
3. Diet: For long term treatment it is always preferable to choose for a proper dietary management because intake of laxatives for a long period is not good for health. Increasing intake of fiber and fluid may help to feel less constipated and bloated. Above all, it keeps you to be healthy.
Nutritional guidelines for alleviating constipation:
When we experience constipation, it may be beneficial to include more insoluble fibre in the diet to promote regularity. It is important to increase fibre slowly over the course of a few weeks. Adding too much fibre too quickly can make constipation worse. Insoluble Fibre is not digested by the body and is excreted as waste. This is the type of fibre that promotes bowel regularity and discourages the development of haemorrhoids. Examples of foods that contain insoluble fibre include wheat bran, nuts, seeds, and skins on vegetables and fruits.
Tips that should be followed
Plenty of liquids.
Increase fibre intake.
3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Foods that promote regularity.
Plum or prune juice.
Include exercise or physical activity in daily routine.
Talk to your healthcare team about medication or supplements to help with constipation.
Medical interventions are required only when constipation arises because of some structural or functional change in the gastrointestinal tract.
Exercise and Constipation
In this paragraph, I am going to explain how regular Exercises can help to get relief from Constipation. Exercise therapy has shown significant efficacy as a means of treating various intestinal diseases especially, aerobic exercise, may be a viable and effective treatment for patients with constipation. Exercise helps constipation by lowering the time it takes food to move through the large intestine. This limits the amount of water that our body absorbs from the stool. Hard, dry stools are harder to pass.
Aerobic exercise speeds up your breathing and heart rate. This helps to stimulate the natural squeezing (or contractions) of muscles in our intestines. Intestinal muscles that squeeze better will help to move stools out quickly. A regular walking plan, even 10 to 15 minutes several times a day can help the body and digestive system work at their best. For example, aerobic exercise includes running, jogging, swimming, or swing dancing. All of these exercises can help keep the digestive tract healthy. Stretching may also help ease constipation, and yoga may, too.
In conclusion, it is always necessary to follow a proper dietary and lifestyle management which, can help in maintaining the normal bowel movements to a great extent.
How FoodNwellness will help you?
You can join the programme of Foodnwellness. This program gives you a personalized plan that includes the key to eat the right quantity of food and healthier options that you need to eat for Constipation and will also motivate you to have a healthy lifestyle. So, you may receive plenty of advice from everywhere but it is worthy when you receive correct knowledge from panel of health professionals. Foodnwellness will always guide regarding every issue you face and it will be taken care of by our Dietitians.
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