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Mental Health

Many of us presume that Mental Health and Emotional Health are selfsame. Both are discrete in their own. WHO defines Mental Health-“a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. It simply enables the Individual to use their abilities in Harmony with universal values of society.

But we should hat tip our esteemed society to make it knotty, like- if we get a wind that an individual is enduring from any type of Mental health related issue we even handedly elucidate them as a “real screwballs” and enkindle them to remain in the ferocious cycle of shame, suffering, anxiety, isolation and so much.

Not only this we humans forged this affair so damn blood-curdling that it adulate as a “taboo subject”- I don’t know why? Do we know that our superfluous shrewdness and discriminations are often the reason why many choose to suffer in silence. It makes their problem more lamentable and they starts inkling infamy to open up their feelings by reckoning “log Kya Kahenge” as they might even not get acknowledged by their families too and then starts alienated from everyone and lead their life in diffidence that whether they will exterminate from their suffering and anew a normal life or sometime they distrust themselves which leads into some break-neck self mutilation practices.

Many findings say, that people who have experienced any type of Mental health issues decide not to seek professional help.

I think we should smash these stigma because mankind inevitably comprehend this issue in a gloomy way. I mean each one of us has lay hold of approaches towards our physical health, everyone one of us following that fad diets or keto diets, organic products, etc and always seek a medical advice but when comes to mental health every one remain hushed and ignore it-Why?

Please understand that Mental illness is just like any other illness and just needs a patient approach and a treatment from a qualified professional- Simple ! We privately made it tortuous by being bereft of from awareness to take it normally. Understand with cognisance, we can talk about it without any fear of being judged. Mental Health awareness is the utmost salient talk in today’s culture which is based on acceptance and love rather than judgement and shame.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is not a kin to mental illness but the story is over and above. It can affect anyone as it doesn’t differentiate in caste, creed , colour, gender, age. We have to embrace that no one is Immune to stress, anxiety, depression but our realisation towards it impacts them a lot. So, Mental Health includes:

  • Cognitive Health ( ability to learn, concentration, logic etc)
  • Emotional Health ( ability to express, manage, range emotions)
  • Psychological Health ( ability to adapt & respond life challenges)
  • Social Health ( to form and maintain good relationships.

WHO revealed that 75% of Indian population suffers from Mental Health issues.

Facets of Mental Health:

  • Life experiences-Individual attributes like: ability to manage ones thought, behaviour, Social, cultural factors, environmental factors, poverty, working conditions etc.

  • Biological factors- genetic defects.

  • Family Histories of Mental Health related issues.
  • Stigmas to be normal, to behave as per others, to live life as per others who are actively melodramatic etc.

WHO says “stigma, discrimination and neglect- prevent care and treatment from reaching people with Mental disorders” .

Leading strains of Mental Health Issues:

There are so many issues related to it but I am covering some major to make them glanceable:

1) Mood disorders : It simply means that our emotional state is distorted with state of affairs and interferes with our potential eg: Depression– ( Low mood, lack of motivation, change in sleep patterns, difficulty in concentration, feeling of worthless- it is often numb than sadness), Bipolar Disorder causes extreme mood changes that effects our daily life- ( feeling high, extremely happy or irritable, inflated self esteem, easily distracted by any stimuli, unrealistic plans- it sometimes refers to maniac depression).

2) Anxiety : In this person feels anxious on most days, keep worrying about lots of stuffs, eg: Panic Disorders, Obsessive compulsion disorder, Post traumatic stress disorder, Separation anxiety disorder, Phobia related disorder with feel of nervousness, weakness , tiredness, sleeplessness, stomach aches etc.

3) Schizophrenia : It affects people’s thoughts, perceptions, behaviour etc. They don’t have split personalities but yeah small average might get violent and do have high rates of suicidal thoughts and much more- ( like : Delusions, Hallucinations, Confused thoughts, lack of motivation etc). Researches say that now it is more treatable and getting an early help can possibly make situation better of the sufferer.

4) Dementia : It affects an individual with deterioration in ability to process thoughts. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculations, language etc. There are many types of it which ranges from it severeness- Alzheimer’s disease, Behavioural variant fronts temporal dementia, Lewy body dementia etc which results in forgetfulness, losing track of time, lost in familiar place, forgets people names, increasing difficulty in walking, making communication and so on.

5) Autism : It is a complex, live long developmental disorder and appears during early childhood. Its symptoms varies among varied beings- ( like : child speaks later than typical or not at all, repetition in language or movement, unvarying pattern of daily activities etc).

6) Huntington’s Disease : It is the form of another cognitive disorders which affects movement and cognitions of sufferers.

7) Parkinson’s Disease : It is characterised by movement difficulties levels of rigidity, slowing of movement and difficulty in making a limb follow commands.

8) Eating Disorder : It is a mental health condition that involves unhealthy broodings with eating, body shapes. In short eating makes the person anxious and guilty, eg- Bulimia nervous( people with this issue have frequent eating binges often in secret and then they get rid of food through vomiting, laxatives, pills, etc), Anorexia nervosa( people with this are in fear of putting up weight and have distorted body image).

Depressive disorders are already the 4th leading cause of the global disease burden. They are expected to rank 2nd by 2020.

These are just a scanty of issues which muck in to aware us so that we espy the Mental Health similar to Physical Health because this might improve the quality of life for those who are suffering from it.

Men’s Mental Health also important:

Men’s also cope down with lot of emotions, handling lot of situations. Understand, it is not any debate between who’s is superior or whose burden is more, it is a broad spectrum which is justly valuable for wide diversities of human being. So men’s mental health is just as important as women’s, we all are equal here.

Researches say that, depression and suicide are the leading cause of death among men but still they are less likely to seek Mental Health treatment than women.

What’s Bothering them:

# Our society pressures. From very early age they are taught not to cry, to be tough, to crack on, manage livelihood, work pressures and all those things which trace their “masculinity”.

# It’s completely wrong to say that they are not the sufferers of traditional methodologies, see exceptional cases are always there. If they want to remove these obstacles people will start giving them tag lines.

# They are discouraged from letting anyone know they also need help.

# They often experience stress but don’t know how to initiate the conversation ,as they might face shame and guilt in doing so.

Men’s with depression hide their emotions and may seem angry, irritable, aggressive.

I think it’s completely our responsibility to change their perception of not seeking help and encourage them to speak up their emotions with anyone they found comfort with, it can ease them down, as men’s play an important part in our lives – fathers, brothers, husband, friends. Understand emotions have no gender to express but yeah there are number of wonderful options available that can help but you need to initiate. It’s my plea to everyone who is flicking through here, please express your emotions don’t stock pile them.

Main purport:

We have to understand that “Mental Health begs attention” and yes there is a hope of curing it , if we don’t hide our emotions and tend to suffer in silence. It’s our responsibility to educate ourselves and create awareness so that one should always think before judging the sufferers who are already battling this phenomenon in their lives. Not only this we should revert back to the people who pass any stereotypical comments to them. Let’s together end this Mental Health Discrimination. It’s time to change our mentality towards it. Don’t be ashamed of your story, you never know it might inspire others.

Part1- Menopause: “A Holistic Understanding Of Don’t Regret Growing Older”.

Hello, my exquisite ladies, how are you doing?

So on this very moment my entire work wholeheartedly summate to that age of muliebrity where at certain age our existence escapade on the roller coaster ride where the men-o-pause sorceress bide its time to scare the bejesus out of our lives in order to venture out a general phase of malaise which is actually uneven and odious for many.

Yes it is our dearly mean-minded “Menopause” bestie which suddenly reveals its real self by unreservedly jeopardising the lives of woman with palpable emotional and physiological changes — from hot flashes, uneven periods, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, hair loss, weight gain to high risk of disease like- heart disease, osteoporosis, risk of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and alot.

All the brownie points should be given to the hormonal fracas because with increasing age our bodies oestrogen levels are at stake which actually sapped dilatory in order to lay hold of retirement for its overall participation in ovulation (release of eggs) and menstrual cycle ….. Hush a big relief to womans.

But my friends it’s not too easy to avoid the melancholic effects of it because as our dear ovaries are now failing but also giving their one’s best shot to keep estrogen production up, Right. Sometime they are rapturous and overshoot the production while on some days it is in the dumps and can’t produce enough. And with this whole hugger-mugger, our body hormones make a mess of the whole body process to undergo due to which our whole brain chemistry too get affected and breeds the trouble effects on emotions which endure the sensations like – irritation and depressed on mere days because DJ hormones jingleling the song which makes us realise that we are burdensome and no one is mine but surprisingly on some days DJ babu do some improvisation with romantic or honey singh playlist where we move to nirvana stage and don’t bother to get affected by any shit.

And you know what is most breathtaking adventure that these shifts on playlist creep up on some of us in mid 30’s or mid 40’s and embarks the traces of symptoms of so called “perimenopause witch” which rules over to our lives for several years before the appearance of “great granny menopause witch” to surcharge the same. So in short the peri menopause gradation begins several years before menopause and conventionally peri menopause lasts for about 4 years but for some it may last only for few months or drag on for 10 years and ends only when woman have gone 12 months without having their period (actual menopause).

Menopause is such a chaperone who executes its responsibilities tender-heartedly with esteem privileges to make us irritated with irregular periods, sudden feeling of warmth to whole body, vaginal dryness, sore breasts, frequent urination, fatigue, depression, racing heart beat, changes in libido etc and then successively these entitlement get so intense that it come across as, where the hell is my lullaby fairy gone because those disturbances of hormones already influenced our moods, temper and now the things get worse that now it seems that it’s been a decade to have that good night sleep and this continual process completely overtakes our circadian cycle and due to which other problems starts taking place— drain energy, sluggish digestion, emotionally unstable, cravings, high B.P, diabetes, fatty liver etc.

Furthermore with due respect we women’s are so obliged towards our “Nari dharma” that we take no notice to ourselves in this beautiful journey and abandon to prioritise our life too by eating properly, timely, getting physically active etc, which unfortunately out-turn to many diseases I mentioned above but the most common is weight gain specifically on the waistline (visceral fat) which happens mostly when you are reaching towards menopause, Have you noticed that!. This happens due to the scale down of estrogen levels which lowers your metabolic rate at this stage because it sways the adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase activity (simply understand breakdown fat) and thus with low levels of estrogen, the abdominal fat deposition increased and then voila, a crowning achievement by us with inadequacy exercise regime, our muscle mass gets loosen up and now overall bone health also gets detiorated. Cheers to unceremonious approach ladies!

These above brought up dilemma are the brief accounts and I think we are very much responsible enough to these repercussions because we always empathise with all here and there chores for everyone effervescently but the moment comes to our own selfcare then we relinquish them by the stake of our Health.

See we are omniscient beings and are very much awared the physiological changes befall in this particular feminine body and menopause is one such evidence which definitely brings so much complications, where one more time our body gets acclamatized to these transitions, where sometime it seems that the whole body is working against you and sometimes not.

Well, I know many of such things are out-of-hand but there are other approaches where we can pull the strings which definitely tranquillize the effects. And why not if we instead enjoy this shift by minor revisions in our living syllabus with generous effort by thinking that menopause is just the phase in our lives not the end of our lives or rather i must say it is the beginning of new life of aging which actually nourishes to all intents and purposes to this very existence which is circumambient by the vast life past experiences and deliberately increases our resoluteness, consciousness and pollyannaism approach.

Yes tell me, Don’t you agree, Haan ! I know myriads of you acquiesce with it but what is standing in the way of that panache, is that procrastinating approach which block our prana(energy) as we get aged. But let me proclaim that together we can redefine that zest in our lives so that we can dote on this length of life too and yes those suggestions am definitely gonna dole out with you in my next blog. Till then let’s perceive theses changes which I now many of us are witnessing and instead of that gloomy outlook let’s understand what our body is actually articulating.😇

PMS: “A Disquiet State Of Women”

Hello my magnificent ladies/girls, Hope you all are doing well, So far you get the picture from the scarehead what shall we confer— Yes, you’re right it’s apropos to the most horrendous part of our lives i.e Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (the name itself is soooh intense) which jog into our memories about those bitchy witchy week discomforts which are bitterly than anything. Jokes apart, it is a condition that affects the woman’s social health, physical health, work productivity and even the emotional state during certain days of the menstrual cycle.

Don’t you all concur that a woman’s body undergoes through a lot of changes from birth itself where her whole body gets metamorphose unremittingly (development of primary and secondary sexual characteristic) where her first menstruation cycle anticipated with eagerness to make her intimate with this grandiloquent fact of woman’s saga which then gets ahead towards the midlife (i.e child bearing age) to last reproductive age where now once again she needs to be aware of that menopause fairy which not only intervenes her sleep but mood, patience and eats out her brain, rather in Bollywood estyle “Mujhe Neend na aye, mujhe chaen na aye”… I mean these whole vicissitudes gross lot of emotions where several times they have to proof every one that whether she is ovulating or bleeding or concepting or struggling with PMS where her body, soul, energy levels, abilities are constantly shifting, that this gender role is nonsense and she would never fall when she can fly. Proudly woman!

For some menstrual cycle is a chill pill but for others (more than 90% of menstruating women) it’s such a thunderbolt event where she have to absorb to pin up that pain, weakness, endless mood swings, unwanted cravings which can get severe to (among 3 to 8% of women) depression, panic attacks, extreme anxiety, anger etc, which most of the women dealt every month!. It’s discern like, a conjoint outcry which is stirring internally and can rip the whole shebang.

But why we are still conscience-stricken over this issue and au courant our girls on this and why not make a healthy environment where daddy’s Little angel closely conversate with both parents or what if in conjugal loyalty your man understands you and most important to perceive at what point we need some professional help. There is nothing to suppress or ashamed off pals, it’s just a natural detox for the females (yes, discomfit for many) with a sinuous hormonal harmony which is responsible for the creation of our existence. Simple!

PMS Island

Pre menstrual syndrome is a state of condition which begins from 5 to 11 days, before our menstrual cycle and typically goes away slowly once menstruation begins. Studies have shown that symptoms of PMS starts in the late 20’s right to 40’s and get worsens during a womans late 30s & 40s as the body starts transitioning towards menopause.

The actual cause of it, still not known but many believe it is relatable to fluctuations in both the sex hormone and serotonin levels at the beginning of menstrual cycle (as well all know that our lovable estrogen and progesterone hormones keep on fluctuating during certain times of month) or certain minerals & vitamins deficiencies which may also play a crucial role.

What we have to puzzle out is that prodome of PMS can be alike or overlap with other conditions like: Perimenopause, Depression, Anxiety, Chronic fatigue, Thyroid, IBS etc. The fundamental difference is that its symptoms come over in a discrete pattern (month after month). But care should be taken when it gets worse (we are occupied by self harming thoughts or it affecting your work, relationship etc) then it’s better to take a professional help.

How it feels:

Suddenly you feel 5 LBS heavier, trapped with abdominal bloating & pain, sore breasts, cramps, lower back pain, unwanted aches in legs, constipation, diarrhoea, headaches, sensitivity to lights, crying spells on silly things, depressed thoughts, sadness, anxiety, fatigue, acne, cravings (especially for sweets, sweet-sour, fast foods), nausea etc. And the bravery act is that there are no choices but to go work or take care of your whole family or manage people tantrums and pretend like I am damn fine.

Wait this is not the end, as I stated earlier that though there are very less percentile of womans who have severe form of it which is called as PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) with manifestations like: depression, suicidal thoughts, anger with extreme mood swing, lack of interest in daily activities, insomnia, trouble thinking etc.

An Open Letter from PMS.

Dear All,

My name is PMS and I am a noteworthy gift from the hell because of all the discomfited luxuries you womans have to experience by me. But please don’t misunderstand me, am not that too bad. May be I transmogrify from the lack of care and concern practices of you because by someways you have forgotten to take care of you (that art of self care is forfeit) or O.k o.k I agree there are some genetic prevalances too. Am sorry ladies, but here I want to apprise the other stratum (Patriarchial faith believers) that please never ever estimate them as incapacitated because you can’t bleed for 7 days straight and don’t die… I don’t think so ! Trust me I never challenge your supremacy my angels because you have that power that god put in you to lift you up….Ayee shapath.

But what I beseech that please perceive your painful malaise journey with your doting better half to understand you in this dim time, as they really are not aware about what it feels like (thanks to society beyond the pale notions). So my male compeers please provide best possible care to my feminine angels who are constantly available for you in the times of hardships. Now it’s yours responsibility my pal to emotionally support them by keeping aside your Mantram for a while and why not if you offer them something hot meal (trust me they need it), it doesn’t lessen your masculinity.

Yours and Yours only,

PMS.

SOME HOILISTIC APPROACHES TO PREVENT AND MANAGE PMS:

There are some approaches if we take care, then we can ease the symptoms,as there is not a standard cure of it according to researchers.

Here are some approaches:

  • Drink plenty of fluid as lack of fluid in our body will exacerbate PMS. Have some hot fluids: Luke warm water; non – caffeinated tea (ginger- Black pepper tea/ cumin+dill seeds+ fennel+ ginger tea/ Ajwain tea) etc.
  • Eat a well balanced diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables.
  • Take care of your digestive system, as when bowels are regular then the pitta and vata are naturally balanced which can ease down PMS symptoms. So have soups from green leafy vegetables, consume warm milk with dash of fresh turmeric/nutmeg/coconut oil/ghee.
  • It is well known that Aloe-Vera is the women’s best friend, as it contains minerals, vitamins and a substance called as lignin which improves quality of blood, soothes the skin etc, so better consume aloe Vera juice in moderate basis.
  • Massage the lower abdomen gently with Luke warm sesame oil to downward stokes. Use the hot water bag to calm down cramps.
  • Don’t skip breakfast at any cost, I know many times there is loss of appetite, nausea prevails but better have some thing nutritious in small portions.
  • Supplement your diet with Calcium, Magnesium, Iron,Vitamin D, Vitamin B, folic acid, Vitamin E rich foods.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol, sugary foods, too much salty and processed foods in order to prevent bloating, sleep-deprivation, constipation water retention etc.
  • Have enough sleep of eight hours, as during menstrual process our body is hard at work as hormone levels fluctuate and uterine lining sheds, so don’t engage in much activities and find healthy ways to cope up stress— yoga, meditation, massage ( in short don’t force your body out of your limits).
  • Exercise regularly as it will not only boost your mood but ease down the bloating and also improves the mental health. And if you find it comfortable then, practice some yoga with light stretchings , breathing exercise, meditation ..don’t stress your body just listen to it carefully.

See PMS condition is a routine matter worldwide which affects women’s quality of life and regardless of sentience there is still lot to do. We should uplift our girls to adopt healthy life style (by making it a part for yourself and live them too, inspite of speeches) and should propose the foundation of effective reproductive health in schools and colleges too, so that they rationalize the correct and current particulars regarding this aspect of health too and then together let’s create a health culture which is disconcert and stress free which concomitantly do not impact our productivity and mental state at least.

Please don’t forget to share your views.😋

Fatty Liver: Hearken Your Liver Instincts.

Bienvenue to the sphere of Detoxification which is imitated by all and sundry, hats tip to all the constructors for this courteous approach to mankind by advancing the magical potions which is at the top-tier in the nutrition industry and drummed-up in the form of “body detoxification” drinks, which all the human tribe is following enthusiastically. Bravo!

But what if I vouchsafe, that there is one biggest detoxification organ inhabited in us which not only brings off the crucial functions or rather I should state that about 500 (< more than) tasks it makes out via other systems and organs. Besides that, this superlative organ also protects us from the beaucoup types of toxins which are either exposed from the environment or what we ingested — alcohol, smoking, processed foods, nutritional supplements, use of plastics, drugs, pesticides, house hold chemicals, toxic makeups etc… So ladies and gentlemen here am presenting the most chutzpah natural detoxifier organ of our body — Liver, Undoubtedly!

Cheers to our obnoxious behaviour towards, one of the most vital organ (perhaps second only to the lungs and heart) by misreckoning its bona fide nature apropos to us, but we keep on swamping its potential and burdensome it’s work which gradually slows down its pace and prevents it further from handling the load, thus burgeoned the toxins which built up and then surprise- Abruptly we came to know that we get acquire with some sort of liver disease (the most common one) “Fatty Liver” or “Fatty fever” which suddenly trap us in its way without causing much noticeable signs and symptoms and please don’t take it for granted because it’s an forewarning of something in Bollywood style “Abhi toh party shura hui hai” — I mean we are at borderline reach to other disease.

But thankfully liver possesses a remarkable ability to heal and rejuvenate itself (as about 25% of a liver can regenerate into a whole liver) which again makes it different from its buddies. You will be surprised to know that some cultures assess the liver as the seat of soul— like the ancient Greeks consider it as seat of life and intelligence (regenerative capacity of liver referred as “ immortal”). While Plato and Talmud, believes it as the seat of “ anger, darkest emotions and the Persian, Urdu, Hindi language propitates it with courage and strong feelings.

Ok not so much gyaan but lets spell out why so much “Sotela” behaviour with liver, by taking it Halke mein and thus by creating the hostile work environment for it. So let’s revamp its significance.

Pre-eminent Invoice Of Liver:

Liver is a wedged shaped organ, sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. It is both the heaviest internal organ and the largest gland in human body— that’s what you see in Wikipedia.

It is an accessory digestive organ which plays an important role in metabolising all your food which contains carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, lipids. Liver carries out multifarious functions— production of clotting factors, produce cholesterol necessary for cellular health, produce immune factors to fight infections, metabolises medications and toxins, store & release glucose as needed for energy, stores a multitude supply of vitamins A,D,E,K etc.

Brief Highlights Of Fatty Liver:

Fatty liver is becoming increasingly common not in other countries but it’s prevalance can been seen well in India among adults and children’s too. It can fall out into simpler form to complex to severe set up— Simple (build up of excess fat in the liver), Steato Hepatitis ( Excess fat and inflammation), Fibrosis (Inflammation of liver causes scarring), Cirhosis (Scarring Of Liver has become widespread).

It happens when too much fat ( it is normal to have tiny amount of fat) builds up in the liver cells — more than 5% and the main problem with this disease is that it does not always cause noticeable signs and symptoms or if shows that too befuddled like :

  • Fatigue & weakness, fullness in the right side or central of abdominal area, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, moderate to severe abdominal pain etc.
  • Elevated levels of — triglycerides, insulin levels, LDL, cholesterol, liver enzymes (AST &ALT)…

So now it must be clear that it is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, other disorders characterised by insulin resistance or may be it muttering that buddy please be careful further for your future endeavours with health. (Time to consider my dear friends).

Fatty Liver Guise:

  • NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER (NAFL): It is one of the most common form of fatty liver disease in adults and children. It occurs when fat builds up in the liver of people who didn’t drink alcohol. Its higher prevalence in those who are overweight or obese & those with diabetes or prediabetes.
  • NON-ALCOHOLIC STEATO HEPATITIC (NASH): It occurs when NAFL gets promotion with excess fat and an inflamed liver that now damages our liver cells. If left untreated can cause scarring of liver and increases the risk of cirrhosis or liver cancer.
  • ACUTE FATTY LIVER OF PREGNANCY (AFLP): It is one of the rarest form which actually appears in the third trimester of pregnancy and if lest untreated then can pose a problem for both mother and growing baby.
  • ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE (AFLD): Well this one is a return gift for those who drinks gallons of alcohol which damages the liver and leads the fat to build up.
  • ALCOHOLIC STEATO HEPATITIS (ASH): It occurs when excess of fat is now accompanied with inflammation (those who drinks alcohol) and again if left untreated then may cause liver failure.

Causes:

  • Excess intake of Alcohol.
  • Obesity which actually lead to low grade inflammation and promote liver fat storage.
  • If one carry too much body fat around waist (visceral fat).
  • High intake of refined carbs, processed foods, sugary beverages, physical inactivity exercise etc.

Strategies To Overthrow It:

  1. As I always say- Eat seasonal, fresh whole foods, fruits, nuts, green vegetables, bitter greens etc
  2. Avoid all forms of packaged foods, processed foods, sugary drinks etc.
  3. Bring on that homemade ghee into your kitchens as it is the easiest fat for liver to digest.
  4. Use healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acid, monounsaturated fats) found in fish, walnuts, vegetable oil, flax seeds, nuts, sesame, olives etc .
  5. Reduce the intake of animal product, especially red meat or processed ones.
  6. Use amla, turmeric, garlic, ground coriander, cumin, fennel, fresh cilantro, lemon etc in your preparations.
  7. Have Turmeric and lemon tea (natural detox tea).
  8. Include selenium, Vitamin A,D,E, Iron , Potassium etc rich nutrients to your diet.
  9. Keep your cholesterol and triglycerides check.
  10. Have a consistent meal timings, waking cycle, sleeping cycle for a overall prosperous health.
  11. Please be physically active which is an effective way to decrease liver fat with all above recommendations.

Section 2 : Managing Diabetes

Now we all are well bossom with the domino effects of Diabetes which is doubtlessly a lifestyle monster that has launched into our lives. Now what?. Possibly we advance towards by dashing off that table sugar a supervillain of our lives collaborated with the gratis guidelines from all over the world which enlighten us to lash out the specific macronutrients from our diets or feast on salads or those miraculous drinks. On top of that now myriads of us ween to give up our favourite foods. Right!

Now from here the journey of our enthusiasm gives rise to browse or looking at the shelves of our local super markets for the best alternative to sugar, yeah you got it—- Our life saviour “artificial sweeteners” or better if I would say that now a days every one of us either with or without diabetes used to prefer these artificial sweeteners in a hope that they are of less calorific value, more healthy and helps us in weight loss. I really appreciate such, advertisements where a health freak girl advices her sweet Jija Ji to replace One teaspoon of sugar with the artificial sweetener in Lemon water. So loving na!

Well it’s scientifically true but let’s simply understand the simple common sense concept that when our food choice interchanges from its native state (farm grown, homemade, traditionally made) to unnatural phase (plant made) for eg: artificial sweeteners, lite biscuits or sugar free biscuits or those diet cokes, sophisticated yogurts, fizzy drinks, processed foods etc, then actually the whole scuffle emanates which our bodies have to put up with.

Let’s deem in a way that how actually these edibles are nutritive and whatever they are assuring us in terms of natural, sugar free, healthy, lite etc buzzwords, they still are more processed and much refined not those which are produced in their natural form by the Mother Nature and if taken moderately with active lifestyle nothing can trouble us up til there is no default genes inherited to us.

I know managing Diabetes is tough but it’s not impossible and equivalently it doesn’t mean that now we have to give up our favourite foods. Then what it is. Right? It is a combination of Moderation of anything ( a well balanced meal + physical activity) which is based on the principle that don’t have too much or too little of anything, Simple. And I think this is the main fundamental aspect of keeping ourselves healthy in any form. So let’s acknowledge the whole concept of managing our diabetes with few simple and commonsensical approaches.

Few Tips To Bother Ourselves!

Yes you heard right, here I would like you all to bear my accompany for the short tour to realize how incredibly we have gone to rack and ruined our whole body and ourselves:

  • Irregularity in eating and sleeping patterns which distrupts our biological clock (it regulates functions— sleep schedule, appetite, body temperature, hormone levels, alertness, daily performance etc).
  • Keeping long gaps between meals over short gaps (especially for diabetic patients).
  • Mindlessly eating sugar free items— sugar free drinks, lite biscuits, sugar free ice creams, sweets, artificial sweeteners, all sorts of convience foods etc, are completely nutritient deficient, loaded with preservatives, taste enhancers and highly processed.
  • Some miraculous drinks bizarre — fenugreek water (in excess can affect blood sugar levels, lowers your blood pressure, not good for pregnant females etc), cinnamon water (regular cinnamon is a rich source of coumarin which in high amount can lead to liver damage & toxicity, can make you hypoglycaemic, leads some allergies due to presence of cinnamaldehyde). It’s better to include these spices in your food while cooking. Understand everything in customary range is a safer choice.
  • A Desultory way of snacking, dieting and avoiding few foods with a knowledge that it might cure the present disease but will definitely make you a package of deficiencies with increased chances of advent of others issues also.
  • Remaining offhand about your health like: physically inactive, not exercising and maintaining a sedentary lifestyle approach which worsens the blood glucose level and leads to long term complications of nerve pain , kidney disease, heart disease, weaker bones, high blood pressure, increased level of LDL..in short more stressed and depresses you.

The Farther Tale Of Sweeteners .

Well before we go any further, conceived it that it’s wholly one’s own choice to pin one’s hope on these artificial sweeteners. Generally whether you are diabetic or not, always gollop modest sugar in devil-may-care form. Re-read it and emphasise on “less” not divest it from your diets. See many times we have seen that most of us believe that when a person gets diabetic he/ she cannot have any sweet fruits and go for regular usage of sugar free teas or cuisines with that artificial sweeteners which according to us are zero on calories but definitely gonna promote fat accumulation and is linked to the kind of hypothyroidism which will impact your gut health which then gonna affect your normal microbiota which is interlinked with impaired glucose tolerance and thus increases the risk of diabetes, weight gain, gastrointestinal issues, can usher over eating because of the presence of chemicals in these sweeteners . This is what a source of “Harvard Health Publishing” vocalize.

Forbye to it, “American Diabetes Association” also indicates that any fruit is fine to eat for a person with Diabetes, so long as that person is not allergic to a particular food. Not merely this even a meta analysis from the British Medical Journal found that high fruit intake was significant associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

We have understood that sugar in our tea, fruits or in any traditional homemade sweets don’t harm us but that sugary fed brownies, pizzas, burgers, cookies, cake, that packaged highly processed confectioners, those sugar free eatables and that which we virtuously add into our tea/ coffee/ sweets are the trouble maker, which we eat mindlessly during breakup’s, mood swings or at cravings.

Take Heed to What Body Needs.

  • Ayurveda says that diabetes develop as a result of the diminished functioning of Agni ( fire) in our body which may trigger high blood sugar levels.
  • Eat a well balanced meal, which means eat diverse diets from all the food groups. (Mentioned in my blog, “ Food: Let Revamp It’s Understanding”).
  • Include cereals, dairy products, fish, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, legumes etc as they are rich source of many vitamins which are specifically required for Diabetes as neuropathy is a common problem among them (pain, tingling, numbness in arms, hands, feet’s etc).
  • Include whole grains in your diet as they improve the beta cells of pancreas to function and increase the insulin secretionand thus insulin sensitivity and moreover whole grains are enriched with minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, like— (barley, whole wheat flour, bulgur, oats, bajra, buckwheat flour, amaranth flour, Popcorn ( desi) etc). Barley is the best grain for managing diabetes.
  • Eat fruits, don’t worry about the fact that they are too sweet and can fluctuate our blood glucose. Understand fruits are sweet in nature that sweetness is their Prakriti and they don’t harm us, eg- apples, bananas, cherries, grapes, orange, Sapota, peaches, berries, pear, plums, strawberries, papayas etc, as they are rich source of many micronutrients, antioxidants, dietary fibre.
  • You can include cashews as snack in your diet as it is rich in fibre, protein, healthy fats, contains variety of vitamins, minerals and helps in preventing blood sugar spikes.
  • Go with traditional cooking styles which uses generous amount of spices in food which our body easily assimilates and here are few spices which are anti- diabetic— asafoetida, turmeric, cinnamon, mustard, coriander etc
  • Include amla in your diet as it is one medicine that triggers insulin secretion.
  • Avoid skipping your meals and try to have your meals on time all day.
  • Include diet rich in Magnesium, Chromium, Inositol, Manganese, Taurine, Zinc etc .
  • According to American Diabetes Association, Get physically active by engaging in any regular exercise, workouts, strength training, aerobic exercise as they play a critical role for Blood glucose management and overall health in an individual with diabetes and prediabetes (do consult your doctor).

Section 1 : Story Line Of Diabetes Route.

Diabetes is one of the colossal Global Health Emergencies of 21st century, cried out by “International Diabetes Federation”and let me tell you that, our country has procured the first place in this “D” for dia- bee-tees malady than its counterparts. Wooh! Thanks to the trend of urbanisation & lifestyle changes – incredible sedentary lifestyle, less physical demanding work and global nutrition transitions which providing us the increased intake of processed food which are completely nutrient deficient.

Grievously, it’s affecting more than 62 millions of Indians and according to Indian Heart Association, in coming years India is projected to be a home to 109 millionaires not dollars but individual with diabetes by 2035. I know many of us must be cudgelling our brains to surmise it – Doesn’t matter what happens in this 14 years gap, Kal kisne dekha hai mam?. But what if I adduce from “National Institute Of Diabetes and Kidney Disease” which accepts that diabetes actually soul- stirring our body in severe forms and can lead to heart disease & strokes, damage our nerves, kidney diseases, eye diseases, gum diseases, sexual & bladder problems, depression, dementia, sleep apnea etc. Furthermore in Asian countries like ours, it is disproportionately high in young to middle age adults.

What this insinuate is that, combination of genetic susceptibility plus adoption of a highly processed foods with the low dose of activity, following a sedentary lifestyle by us is exploding and alarming this cause that not gonna only perturbing our lives but our childrens too and definitely expose danger to next generation.

Now still you want to snooze this dismay and savour our entire life in defending this cause- That is very common now a days yaar so it’s completely normal or will inculcate the certain lifestyle modifications in our lives which is the most effective way to go easy with it – The choice is completely yours.😊

So let’s go through the story of the villain of our lives- Diabetes, revealing its causes to it’s odyssey’s in the most generous species of earth- Obviously Humans.

The Telltale recital of Diabetes:

In most basic form, when our blood sugar (blood glucose) levels are too high and we need to work to bring down the levels by seeking medical attention. This not a satisfactory answer. Right?

Well scientifically, there are 2 plots of the story:

  • Either our body cells are not able to make its own insulin hormone by the specialised cells of pancreas called as Islets (Beta cells) which is a contributing factor for the development of Type1 Diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes/Insulin-Dependent Diabetes). Around 5 percent of people are suffering from this.
  • And If able to make, but not effectively utilised by our body cells or consumed then that’s too in small amounts, which is called as Type2 Diabetes (Insulin-Independent Diabetes). Around 90-95 percent of individual have this type.

Understand, blood glucose is the main source of energy which comes from the food we eat and insulin is that key which helps to unlock our body cells so that the sugar (glucose) from our food gets entry into them and utilise it in an optimum way so that we get energy for doing our daily chores, including gossiping too. See there are different variations too, for eg:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes & Type 2 Diabetes (discussed above).
  2. Gestational Diabetes, (GD) which develops in some women when they are pregnant and most of the times it goes after baby is born. But if somebody is having GD then they have a greater chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes later in life.
  3. Monogenic Diabetes, a rare form of diabetes that either can be a NDM ( Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus) in new born & young infants and MODY ( Maturity Onset Diabetes Of The Young) a common form than NDM and usually first occurs in adolescence.

Now if you all are agog to interrogate arising how such fluctuations eventuate right through us , then kindly scroll up your touch screens and here you see—Ta-da….causes of course.

Fons et origo (causes) of Diabetes:

Well there is no possible causes of development of this disease as it varies — Depending on individual, Its genetic makeup (don’t relate it with beauty makeup), Type Of Diabetes, Our lifestyle and so on, for eg:

  • For Type1, the known risk factors can be : a family history (of Type 1) and moreover it’s an autoimmune cause (where our body is attacking itself) so there is no specific causes but it may get triggered by some viral infections, chemical toxin in the food, genetic predisposition etc. It can develop at any age but more likely to develop when we are child/ in teens/ young adults.
  • For Type2, the major known multifactorial risk factors can be : prediabetes, obesity, family history (with Type 2), living a sedentary lifestyle, gestational diabetes, if you have non-alcoholic fatty liver, high B.P, higher triglycerides, have PCOS, a bad diet etc.

These all are on the basis of Researches of National Institute Of Diabetes & Kidney Disease (NIH); Centre Of Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention, The Global Diabetes Community.

Credible Symptoms :

  • Symptoms of Type 1: It appears over several week of : Excessive thirst, Frequent urination, Feeling tired all the times, unexplained weight loss, Blurring of vision, Itchiness around penis/vagina, Pains in stomach, Unexpected cramping, loss of appetite etc.
  • Symptoms of Type 2 : It develops gradually over several years of : Feeling tired during day ( specifically after meals), Often feeling hungry, Frequent urination, Numbness and tingling sensation in hands, feet etc, Feeling abnormally thirsty, Blurred vision, Itching of skin, Slow healing of cuts etc.

Perplexity in Diabetes Route:

You know what is distressing when we have to completely bargain our lives on medications like: People with Type 1 will need to go onto Insulin injections for lifetime with no other option whereas people with Type 2 and most other forms will have to rely on tablets but can boast onto injections if blood glucose levels remain too high.

I mean this disease bemuses the whole human entity as if we don’t follow our timely schedules and particular doses of taking pills, injections, diet (which many of us not generously follow) make us more vulnerable to either:

  • Hypoglycemia, when blood sugar levels are too low which can spring if the person uses more insulin or drugs that causes the body to produce insulin than they need which can be noticed by – sweating, chills, pale face, rapid heartbeat, nervousness, feeling dizzy, nausea, headache etc.

In this case a person should immediately take some candy, sugar drink too relieve the symptoms.

  • Hyperglycemia, when blood sugar is too high and a person may notice- Frequent urination, increased thirst, difficulty in breathing, fruity chemical smell on breath, nausea, a dry mouth etc.

So the whole gyaan is laid out to cognize the severity of this disease so that we come out from the delusion of its increasingly common form and better latch on to the idea of adopting— a healthy diet, get physically engaged, make schedule for exercise so that we can reduce the severity effects of it or may reverse the whole mess (type2).

So stay with me as am definitely gonna share how to manage diabetes which rely on the essence of self management, beliefs about efficacy of treatment, self efficacy control.

Stages Of Nutrition Requirements

The momentous of good nutrition is very eminent, the way we undeniably put down the efforts to unify the diversity of healthy foods to our family members platters from the neonate to dotage is admirable. But somewhere there is a dismay which stimulates the nerve-racking questionnaire in mind that why my child is not eating properly or growing up or having poor appetite or why am I suffering with lot of diseases, what should I eat or not at this age … and this never ceases.

My friends the interpretation to above niggling thought is our obliviousness that, “nutritional needs of our body vary throughout the life cycle which is actually based on the growth and development that takes place in our body”. You have noticed that the nutritional needs of an infant & children are totally different from that of adults and which further anew when grandpa is going to gash his 60th birthday cake. But we barely use our intelligence to realise this fact.

Understand the young people from infancy through adolescence are growing in terms of increasing in size of the body as well as development and maturation of the organs & systems (Brain, kidney, liver, hormonal glands etc) that takes place internally which is a characteristic that we adults do not share because the whole development and growth in us have been consummate up till now and so with this our requirements for nutrients also changes which is only for the maintenance of body, better immune system, support pregnancy/ lactation.

But we are jammed with the confusions about all we read and hear. Most people are left in a state of indecision about the terminology to achieve optimal health. It seems the more we read, the more uncertainty we experience. So ladies and gentlemen let’s end this bewilderment by acknowledging the nutritional requirements through out the life span from infancy to old age.

Stage1: The Boss Baby

  • Infancy is the critical period of development which lays the foundation for future growth of a child because all round growth and development of baby is very rapid during this first year of life.
  • This period is full of transitions as your baby now comes from the safe protected environment (mothers womb) into an environment which places a lot of stresses on it and now baby has to make an effort to get the food it needs and has to deal with infections.
  • Put the baby on breastfeed within an hour of birth because the nutritious colostrum which is your baby’s first food is full of protein, antioxidants, a natural laxative, regulates body, antibodies etc. So breastfeeding is unique, easily digested, full of nutrients and protects baby from many infections, allergies during this vulnerable period.
  • It is advisable that after 6 months along with Breastfeed add some complementary foods to yours baby diet in small quantities which are gradually increased with pace- like- 6-8 months feed 2-3 times, 9-11 months feed 3-4 times, 12-24 months feed with an additional nutritious snack.
  • Foods like, Cereals (rice/ chappati soaked and mashed in milk/ curd/ dhal), fruits (mashed -banana/ mango/ papaya/cooked apple). By the 7th or 8th month soft cooked dals, khichadi, Pongal etc properly mashed can be given to them. Egg yolk can also be given but egg white should be given only by the end of first year.

Stage 2 : The Mighty Bheem and Chutki

  • After twelve months to 6 years, these babies now called as toddlers which now can crawl or walk and talk and also run and play. This is the age which forms the foundation for a lifetime of good nutrition and health practices. Not only this their brain thoroughly develops during this stage so they tend to behave like Sherlock Holmes.
  • They are very active and try to become selfless by eating their own meal ; why not they want equal share in every terms like the adult members do. So by the one and half years your child should be eating the same food as the rest of family but care should be taken that it shouldn’t be too spicy because their digestive tract cannot take that spicy and oily foods so their nourishment should come from solid foods.
  • During second and third years, toddlers need less food than we expect and mothers get worried by thinking, it is a poor appetite but note that preschoolers don’t grow very rapidly as they did during infancy.
  • They also have some health problems and are more susceptible to infections like, diarrhoea, fever, measles, dysentery etc but there is no need to worry, this is quite obvious because now the child’s milk intake from mother (breastfeed) may gradually decrease and the protection it receives also lessens, so their body is taking some time to build up its defence system.
  • Let your child to try all kinds of vegetables and fruits by making them more appealing don’t transmit your likes and dislikes on them, most importantly never use food as a bribe for good behaviour or punish them by not giving them especially the food they like.
  • So it’s necessary to feed your child with a balanced meal from all food groups, (chappati, eggs, rice, milk, dhal, fruits, curd, papad, all seasonal veggies (specifically put the new ways to feed them with green veggies, orange/ yellow fruits and veggies as these are the protective food groups which prevent them from infections, diseases).

Stage 3 : The Dexter and Dee Dee

  • This age also called as middle childhood which begins from 6 years up to 12 years and they are bounded by daily routine of school and extra curricular activities. In this period there is a steady increase in their height (5to 6 cm approx.) and weight (2 to 3 kg/year) with little growth in head size with trunk and legs growth.
  • Children’s of this age are more resistance to disease than preschoolers. Not only this, the end of this period varies between the sexes and between children, so one thing is necessarily to be kept in mind that the girls should have an adequate iron intake so they have sufficient storage before they reach menarche.
  • The child has a poor appetite like preschoolers but on the whole however the child will be eating more amount of food and in most cases accept all wider dishes. Likes and dislikes have been established but they might not be permanent.
  • Your child is spending more time in school so there meal timings should be adjusted according to their schedule. Care should be taken that child should have good breakfast, include not only cereal but also protein rich foods and fruits which supply vitamin C.
  • In daily diet in addition to an adequate intake of cereals include at least 2 serving of fruits, vegetables ( including 1 green leafy/ yellow/orange), 2 servings of dhal, milk (400ml) etc.

Stage 4: The Johnny Bravo

  • This age called as Adolescence or teenage which begins from 12 upto 19 which is a unique period of dynamic change which may be referred as growing age, where not only a boy or girl attain physiological maturity but the adolescent also becomes increasingly independent and tries to be adult. Note no other group is as concerned about their bodies or is as sensitive and hurt by criticism as in an adolescent.
  • At the end of adolescence the individual has functional reproductive organs and has attained final physical growth. The velocity of physical growth in adolescence is second only to the growth rate during infancy.
  • So when you feed these over figure conscious group, remember that food and nutrients needs are going to be higher during the growth spurt (so include calorie and protein rich foods) but energy requirements will depend on the amount of activity they are involved in.
  • Include a well balanced meals with all form of cereals, pulses ( 2..5-3 servings), milk, dairy products, fruits (2-3), green leafy veggies (1), roots and tubers( 1.5-2), other vegetables (2) etc these foods provide them essential minerals- calcium ( for increased skeletal mass), iron ( for expansion of blood volume), zinc ( for development of sexual organs, generation of new skeletal and muscular tissues) etc and vitamins- A, B- complex, C etc.

Stage 5: The Flinstones

  • The period of this stage begins from 25 years upto 60 years and more often called as adulthood. So the main concern of this age group is to maintain their body in good health, to counter the physiological alterations in metabolism like pregnancy and lactation that do increase nutritional requirements, to prevent the development of diseases – heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, hormonal changes etc.
  • Age, occupation and level of activity can determine the nutrients needs of an adult. Always eat in accordance with your energy expenditure so that you don’t put on weight, so we should eat mindfully because many people complain of heartburn, constipation, lack of vitality, fatigue etc because we eat more than our requirements and do not exercise or stay physically active as we used to be in childhood.
  • Include a well balanced meal with all food groups ( mentioned in my previous blog “ Food: Lets Revamp its Understanding)- cereals, millets, seasonal and local fruits, pulses, green vegetables, tubers, orange/yellow (100g) at least 2-3 in a week, dairy products, milk (100ml- 3 servings), fats/oil (5g- 3 to 4 servings) etc, through this our body gets essential amino acids, complex carbs, good fats, essential vitamins, minerals which help both male and females in achieving good health.

Stage 6: The Muriel and Eustace Bagge

  • This stage is called as old age where there are changes in appearance, mental outlook and body functions of people as they move from adulthood to middle age and then to old age. As we grow older our body is the sum total of care, use, misuse or neglect it has undergone.
  • This age undergoes with considerable changes for eg- some lose their teeth, digestive issues, Osteoporosis, loss of memory, anaemia, weaken immune system so they are more prone to infections etc, this is so as we get up in years the body renew less cells and tissues. So we need less energy to keep it going and this can be achieved by proper meal planning so we get all forms of nutrients.
  • Be sure to include foods from all the groups in minimum number of servings of each in order to maintain normal body weight, pressure cook there foods to ensure soft texture. Some special needs for calcium, iron, iodine with generous amount of vitamins, (especially vitamins C & E- antioxidants) from fruits, veggies is to be taken which reduces the risk of cancer, cataracts , heart diseases etc. Those who are lactose tolerant can include ragi, almonds, tofu, soaked figs, apricots, raisins, til etc to meet calcium needs.
  • The need for nutrients in this age is not altered but utmost care is to be taken that while selecting foods to meet energy needs, it is advisable to reduce (not eliminate) the animal fat as these are linked with higher rate of atherosclerosis. Better include good fats vegetable oils ( groundnut, til, coconut) moderately.

Thus the basic principle of nutrition remains same throughout the life cycle what matters is the proportion, essential requirement of certain nutrients and the mindfulness approach while selecting and gushing them according to ones need.

FOOD : Lets Revamp Its Understanding.


“Annam Brahma Raso Vishnu, Pakto Devo Mahesvarah
Evam Gayatva Tu Yo Bhunkte, Anna Dosho Na Lipyate”

This Shloka verbalize “the creative energy in the food is Brahma, the nourishing energy in the body is Vishnu, the transformation of food into our consciousness is Shiva and if we know this, then any impurities in the food we eat will never become a part of us”.

Now why am apprising this with you all because ofttimes I scrutinize, our mindset towards food is paradigmly changing. Today each one of us want to acquire a healthy life and unequivocally myriads of us are diligently working their fingers to the bone- be it physically active through exercise, yoga, walk, running etc; chomping a healthy diet like: living on salads, soups, smoothies by following many fad diets but still we are unfit somewhere and the contestants of weight loss journey programme have also wearied themselves by starvation, still not procured the expected results or if so then that too on short term basis.

Let’s ask our own selves- Where we are falling short? I mean if we are following a healthy lifestyle then why we are still in this endless loop of not getting actually fitter.

Firstly understand, being healthy doesn’t mean you are merely free from any illness or if you look slimmer then that will depicts how much fitter you are. But being healthy is all about our physically, mentally and social well being, that’s it. No matter how much time you are draining your energy in gyms and galloping extravagance foods but up till-until our familiarity towards “food etiquette” not mutate then we can’t acquire a good health status.

Do you know “Okinawan people” are the longest living and healthy people on earth. They have strong beliefs and practices about food & diet. According to them “food maketh the man” and the food they eat is “nuchi gusui” or medicine for life. Not only this according to our Indian civilisation and Old literatures, every community that lived here have clear abundant separate food beliefs systems- they considered food as a source of strength & gift from god.

Food is one of the most important aspect of our life. According to many researches, food plays 80% and exercise 20% for a person to stay fit and healthy. Understand the whole human body is designed in a very complex form, everything works in a systematic manner. Our body tailored somewhere with our ancestor genes which need some kind of foods but our marathon on becoming fitter have lost the essence towards our traditional beliefs like “Ayurveda” whose sole principles are being followed by all over the world except us and traditional foods over exotic foods which are not only native to our land but also provides round about the same amount of nutrients than our own land grown local foods.

Here I want to draw your attention towards the most important ingredient of our life “food” which not only gives us energy and stamina for work but also gives emotional stability and security. And please don’t forget the right kind and amount of food gives us the appearance and feeling of radiant good health through good nutrition.

What is Food? More than you think…

Food is something which nourishes our body (our brain, muscles, bones, blood, skin, appearance etc all are made of it) or should I say it is the raw material from which our body is made.

Even “Shreemat Bhagwat Geeta” our holy book also affirms, “ Anant Bhavani Bhootanee”- which means human being is made from food. If you are still not compelled then do notice how we get developed from the single cell our mothers conceived to the present size ( It’s all because of food). Not only this it provides lot of functions:

  • Physiological Functions: It builds your body, provides you energy, regulate all the activities of body and protect from infections also.
  • Psychological Functions: It satisfies certain emotional needs – have you wondered how much secure, love, attention we felt when familiar foods are served and when we share our food with our friends then we express acceptance & friendship by experiencing such foods which are unfamiliar to us.
  • Socio-cultural Functions: We know the importance of food in our culture. Indian culture is full of festivals, celebrations, religious times and days which becomes the source of family & friend gatherings. Through this, food helps to strengthen our social and cultural ties.

Concept of Balanced Diet:

Now we know being healthy means that we are following healthy diet, agreed, but that can not only achieved by having salads, soups, smoothies or by loosing your cultural Indian diet. Please understand, Balanced diet means, when you are taking different types of food from all food groups in such quantities and proportions so that the requirements of calories, carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals & other nutrients are adequately met and a small provision is reserved for extra nutrients to endure short length of leanness. Simple concept!

Let’s Enlarge our knowledge about Basic Food groups:

  1. Energy giving foods: From this group our body majorly obtains carbs, fats with fair amount of vitamins and minerals like: wheat, rice, bajra, root vegetables, fats & oil, sugar, jaggery etc.
  2. Body building foods: These foods are rich in protein, with good amount of vitamins, complex vitamins and generous amount of minerals like: milk, milk products, meat, fish, poultry, pulses, nuts, oil seeds etc.
  3. Protective foods: These foods are the excellent source of minerals and vitamins. These food contains large amount of antioxidants like: green leafy vegetables, yellow/orange rich fruits and veggies, dairy foods, eggs etc. This food group protects our body from infections and diseases.

Present scenario of our food understanding:

You will be agree that in this era of globalisation, there is interdependence of the worlds economies, cultures and populations by cross border trade in goods and services, food, technologies, cultural practices etc all over the planet. And with this we the health conscious species are opting the foods from other food traditions by displacing our food cultures from their roots by making them unhealthy.

Disagree, I know. Let me tell you what we are following:

  • Nutritious is not always expensive: We are living in the myth that the food which is highly expensive is highly nutritious. We all agree how enthusiastically we buy exotic fruits & veggies like: kiwis, imported berries, dragon fruit, avocados, broccoli, zucchini, red cabbage, etc with a thought that they are more nutritious but do ask yourself is it so….because the time it arrives to your plate from its journey ( plucking, storage, preservation, transportation) from its native place, will it give you the same amount of nutrition than your local & seasonal ones?
  • Starving is not the solution: Many of us think being healthy and fit is something related to starving yourself from food. Thanks to all who are following unreligiously fad diets- keto diet, paleo diet, atkins diet, south beach diet, juice cleanse diet and lot of different variants. Congratulations they are just lowering their metabolism, getting fatigue & nutrient deficient. In short playing with our gene expression (or how our cell responds to their changing environment).
  • The so called “cheat days”: I mean seriously this one day of celebration of eating unhealthy foods have different impacts on each individual. For some it may satisfy the need or may boost their metabolism and aid weight loss according to research but for others it leads to uncontrollable and continuous binging for multiple days and even weeks.
  • Healthy ready made foods- Is it so: There are lot of food industries which are selling their foods through advertisement by labelling them healthier or sugar free be it yours easy to make any cuisines, breakfast cereals, packed juices, nutritious healthy drinks, sugar free snacks, baked bakery items, canned foods etc. But actually these are the foods which are responsible for your all sort of lifestyle disease. Mind not your traditional foods.
  • Inappropriate meal timings: Many of us are eating our meals in completely inappropriate way, like: Most of us are doing our breakfast in the noon and lunch in between (3 – 4), and then dinner probably, when we should sleep. To my surprise, we still think that why we are obese or with full of diseases.
  • Wrong food combinations: This might irritates you but it’s a bitter truth- the way we are eating varieties of fruits / vegetable & fruits combinations / raw & cooked ones together in one go (or) adding milk, creams to our curries preparation etc, is completely against the Ayurveda because these wrong combinations are accumulating the toxins in our body and many form of health issues.
  • Forgetting our rich and diverse traditional foods: We are living in a menace that we might get obese, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac problems, cholesterol etc because our Indian food is linked to high sugar and high carbs and with this we are ignoring our staple diet and traditional foods which is a combination of varieties of nutritious cereals, grains pulses, our local vegetables with combinations of spices.

Tips for long term achievement :

   Suddham Sumadhuram Snighdham Udarardhavivarjitama|
Bhujyate Surasam Pritha Mitaharamimam Vidu:||

It means, pure, sweet (natural) & cooling (easy to digest) should be eaten with pleasure to fill half the stomach and leaving the other half of the stomach empty is called Mitahar ( moderate or balanced food). Not understood, let me briefly tell you:

  1. Eat mindfully and peacefully without any distractions (mobile, T.V, talking, working etc), this will make you not to overeat. Always have a right quantity and quality of food. By doing so we are lightening the burden of our digestive team and in return they gonna do their job in more enthusiastic way like: digestion, absorption, assimilation of nutrients from your food to the fullest.
  2. Try to have fixed meal timings like: breakfast- should be before 9, lunch- before 2, dinner- before 8 (2-3 hours prior to ours good night sleep). Trust me half of your health problems will get plummeted.
  3. Say no/eat less/use mindful approach towards processed & packaged food stuff. Believe me they won’t backing you in any type of nutrition but yeah responsible for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart ailments, high cholesterol and even cancer.
  4. Eat a well-balanced meal with no fear of eating chappatis, rice, homemade ghee( in moderation), dairy foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. Understand our body needs everything in moderation and the love, affection, care and hygiene a person avail oneself while cooking homemade foods, even our 5 star or 7 star hotel can’t beat it.
  5. Enlighten yourself by simple food combining rules: Best way to eat fruits: alone or empty stomach; don’t eat acid fruits( lemon, Lime, grapefruit, orange etc) with sweet fruits; melons should be eaten alone; don’t take proteins ( coconut, nuts, seeds) with oily fruit( avocado) or with carbs (potatoes, sported beans/ grains, squash etc); cheese not works well with fruits, beans, egg, milk, yogurt, hot drinks & so on.
  6. Why we are forgetting our traditional foods like- fermented foods( idli, dosa, dhokla, ambali, selroti etc) which aid our gut with Homo & Hetero fermentive lactic acid bacterium, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc; dahi (potential source of B- complex vitamins, folive acid, rich in lactic acid bacteria); Rabri (it is a lactic acid fermented milk product with pearl millet (bajra) which has lower glycemic index); ginna (a colostrum based Indian sweet- rich in vitamin A, minerals, zinc, lactoferrin protein etc).
  7. Understand traditional foods have less calories which are essential for weight management; less saturated fat- so better for heart; more iron- better for muscles and bones; more zinc- better for wound healing and fight against infections.
  8. Go for seasonal and local food, this approach will give you surplus amount of vital nutrients which your body will absorb easily with less preservatives, chemicals and yeah it is pocket friendly too.

Part 1 : Micronutrients – the “magic wand”

We all discern the prominence of food which Mother nature bestowed us. It is the integral part of our existence, as it endow us essential nutrients which is pre-eminent for our body. But our this peer group perhaps misconstrue the nature’s food pyramid and at this moment of life progress towards being the nutritionally challenged society which is alive and kicking on processed foods- pizzas, burgers, fries, convenience foods etc. By this route we are contradicting the food laws afford by creation which subsequently paid-off by boat racing in the sea of diseases, nutritional deficiencies, unwanted food cravings and god knows what!

Cravings? Of course you have cravings. Your body is crying out for the nutrients it lacks!”

– From “Feeling Light”.

At this moment am endeavouring to accentuate the very well-known yet gloss over discussion about our “micronutrients” which definitely require in small amount even so performs the multitudinous workload of our body from developing the sense of taste, smell to resisting the body against infections. Their eminence is so far ranging that devoid of them our body is nothing, for eg: salt have essential mineral which makes our neurotransmitter (simply understand they are chemicals made by the nerve cells), maintains our body fluid; without some essential vitamins and minerals how you get that strong bones and muscles for your six packs or that voluptuous look and yeah that flawless natural blush skin is also unachievable without them.

Our body is sacred temple and deserves not be inundated with garbage, but lovingly fed nature’s “gold”.

– The encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements.

This can only be obtained if we owe our allegiance towards our well being by upskilling ourselves if we set our heart on to feel well, avoid disease and promote a healthy immune system. So let’s embark the concern of these Micronutrients- vitamins and minerals with their round the clock spadework.

Nutrients- “nature’s endowment to Homo sapiens”

Nutrients- the chemical components for life and growth, our body utilises these nutrients by the process of digestion, absorption, transport, storage, metabolism and excretion. Now these nutrients are broadly categorised as : Macronutrients, present in large amount (our carbs, fats, proteins, water) & Micronutrients, present in smaller amounts ( vitamins and minerals). Here am proceeding with our “micros”as I have mentioned the “macros” in my previous posts.

Whistle-stop tour of Micronutrients.

We all have studied about vitamins and minerals in our science class, so I draw a bead on of not going to hold forth on it so allow me to afford short mark on it for continuous discussion.

1) Vitamins are the organic substance produced by plants or animals, our body cannot synthesise them except vitamin D. They have tremendous job like: help to resist our body against infections, keep our nerve healthy, help our body to get energy etc. They can be easily broken down by heat, air, acid. So next time when you make your orange juice do consume it immediately without any delay. They are sub categorised into :

Fat soluble vitamins : These vitamins- Vitamin A, D, E, K , need fats for their absorption so next time think conscientiously before set foot in starvation world of restricting diets, eg: Vitamin A (is important for your eyes, for reproduction, healthy skin etc), Vitamin D (for our bones & teeth, for proper absorption of calcium in our body etc), Vitamin E ( for for healthy functioning of reproductive systems in body, it act as a antioxidant etc), Vitamin K ( helps in clotting of blood, promote bone health, help to produce proteins for blood, bones etc.).

Water soluble vitamins: These vitamins- Vitamin C and B- complex vitamins are soluble in water and excess of them gets excreted out from urine, eg: Vitamin C ( is needed for healthy development of our teeth, gums, skin and protects ourselves from infections etc), B- complex vitamin ( is needed for producing energy from carbohydrates, proper nerve function, stabilising appetite, for normal growth and maintenance of all cells, good vision, eye, skin etc)

2) Minerals are the inorganic substance that originates from rocks, soil, water. We can absorb them directly from the environment. The major ones are Calcium ( for building strong bones & teeth, normal heart function, muscle contraction etc), Potassium ( known as electrolyte, needed for normal nervous system, regulate heart beat, aid in healing etc), Sodium ( ensures proper B.P level, maintains fluid balance, protects against heat strokes etc), Phosphorus ( for healthy bones, teeth, normal cell membrane function, digestion etc), Sulfur (helps in stabilize protein structures, including some of those that make up hair, skin and nails), Some trace elements : (Iodine for proper growth, metabolism, immunity & building of bones, muscles tissue, transfer of oxygen in our blood from the lungs etc, Zinc for regulating blood sugar, fight against cold, infections, heal wounds, etc. and many others like : Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Chromium etc) Hush!

The all time “attention seeking” deficiencies:

Our inadequate meal patterns, health related issues, restrictions on diets or swaying from balanced diets resulted into certain deficiencies like:

  • Eyes issues: Dark circles or bags under the eyes, poor night vision (lack of Vitamin A), nearsightedness ( Vitamin D deficiency), pale lower eyelid (Iron deficiency), etc.
  • Hair problems: Hair loss (due to lack of Vitamin B2, B5, D, Zinc, Biotin), hair, dandruff (Selenium, Omega 3’s, Vitamin A deficiencies), dry hairs ( lack of Vitamin A, E, Omega 3’s, Protein etc), greying of hairs, etc.
  • Mouth problems: Lesions at mouth, inflammation of tongue, dry chapped lips with ulcers (all due to Vitamin B2), weak tooth ( VitaminA, D, E, K, calcium deficiencies), loss of smell or taste (zinc).
  • Skin problems: Dry or rough skin (due to Vitamin A, E), acne during menstruation (lack of B6), red stretch marks (Zinc deficiency).
  • Muscle cramping (Magnesium, B1, B2, B6), twitching ( B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin D), numbness or tingling (B12, B5) etc.
  • Depression (due to B1, B5, Biotin), dementia (B1, B3, B12, frolic acid), Insomnia ( B3, B5, Biotin, D3) etc.

Our cravings for certain foods like, chocolates, sugary foods, pastas, oily foods, salty foods are the result of the deficiencies caused by lack of essential minerals in body, like: magnesium, chromium, Phosphorus, sulphur, chloride, silicon etc.

-Source from Pinterest

These above mentioned deficiencies are just sparse and a word to caution here is that always seek a professional advice before beginning with supplements in hope to counterbalance your deficiencies rather becoming a self made “hakims”.

Wanna uplift the spirits of Micro...ooh…oes:

  • I always say eat a well balanced diet, why because from that you recoup the all nutrients eg: dark green vegetables (a good source for 8 of 14 essential vitamins), nuts & seeds(good sources of your B complex vitamins, calcium, iron), eggs (rich in B-complex vitamins and Vitamin D), red-yellow vegetables & fruits (good source of Vitamin A), pulses (good source of thiamine, calcium, iron, niacin), cereals, dairy items etc……believe me the recital is overlong, so I beseech you to nosh healthy foods.
  • Eat well, eat colours, eat variety & seasonal foods with regular exercise.
  • Consume everything in a balanced way for eg: “ salt” is considered an evil for high B.P, water retention, strokes etc it’s true but if we take them in adequate amount in our home cooked foods rather from processed foods then how they horror-struck us, this concept applies to all other foods which contain micronutrients.
  • Don’t resist on one food choice, for eg now if you presume for strong immune system let’s eat ample of vitamin C rich foods, but do you know high amount of Vitamin C can block body to assimilate mineral copper (copper together with iron enables body to form Red blood cells). Similarly a minor overload of manganese ( which helps in activating many enzymes) can worsen your Iron deficiency.
  • Have a good command on antioxidants ( Vitamin C, E, Beta-carotene, riboflavin, selenium etc, they protect body from free radical.
  • According to National institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad – every individual should consume at least 300g of vegetables (Green leafy vegetable: 50g, Other veg: 200g, Roots & tuber: 50g) in a day. In addition 100g fruit should be consumed regularly.
  • Eat in gratitude with mindful approach.

The major task for us is to maintain the proper balance of these essential nutrients in our diet and i know a lot of confusion arises from discrete views which irresolute us on how to achieve best optimal health by including micronutrients in our diet. For this we can’t shut our eyes to their mode of working, how they absorb in body, what motivates them or what suppress them, factors like relying on supplements and so on, which am gonna share with you in latter part rather very soon. Till then stay safe & healthy and yeah live your life to the fullest.

Part 2 : Micronutrients & You

“Let Food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”- one of the very popular saying from Hippocrates. Don’t you agree ?

Not to the hilt haaaan……I gotcha and the vehemence of dubiety is surfacing you with suspicion, that how anyone can in this genetically modified world radically can hinge on food with sobriety, where the whole shebang is made up of chemicals- be it any crop, fruits, veggies, milk etc; are overwhelmed with the warmth of pesticide formulations, insecticide, antibiotic residues, synthetic flavours, preservatives, soil fumigants etc. And if am gonna shepherd you all on so called “Healthy-diet” gyaan, then we again rejoin the world of deficiencies- cheers to “prime mover of adulteration”.

Somehow I also acknowledge the same that up until you boast a reliable source in conjunction with organic foods which are free from any chemicals and from which our body can absorb the maximum nutrients at the best is the safest option. But when this approach seems quite difficult then don’t you think we should at least increase our knowledge on the best possible ways to eat at least seasonal foods, local foods, diversified diet with an active lifestyle and if we still have to thrive on supplements for combating deficiencies then we have to upgrade our supplements etiquette so that they do their actual work rather than keep depositing as toxicities which further worsen our problem with a outcome in the form of serious ailments.

Here am endowing my full-blown scientific exploration to this perplexity which transparently gonna aid us in a certain way so that we at least take the optimum measures for a healthful living in this “chemically jammed era”.

Their involvement and social interplay:

Understand the nutrients enter to our circulatory system from the gastrointestinal tract and in order for vitamins and minerals to reach the blood stream, they must dissolve in stomach or intestines and diffuse across the membrane lining of the digestive tract. Now the nutrients that fail to absorb (which is discussed below) may pass through digestive tract and be excreted in the valuable faeces and urine, thus providing no nutritional value.

Now the salient diegesis which we should be aware that some nutrients which we gain from our food, works together to combat any deficiencies in the body but for some nutrient, to work in pair is dainty and they estrange each other’s path which results to occurrence of diseases in body for eg:

  • Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption, you can’t acquire good bone Health status without it.
  • Vitamin C is required for Iron absorption but on the other hand it inhibits body to assimilate mineral copper.
  • Excess sodium interferes with the natural ability of blood vessels to relax and expand, while also encouraging the body to hold on to water, thus blood volume increases. Now this Uptight blood vessels with more blood flowing through them is abracadabra for cardiovascular related problems. But if our diet have potassium then it encourages the kidneys to excrete sodium, thus counters the harmful cardiovascular effects of sodium surplus.
  • Zinc is a little more familiar as an edible substance, partly because people take zinc lozenges in the belief that extra zinc shortens the duration of a cold. Copper and zinc compete for absorption sites in the small intestine. If there’s a lot of zinc around, copper tends to lose out and a copper deficiency may develop.
  • Vitamin A and Vitamin E together lead to increase the antioxidant capabilities, protect against some forms of cancer, prevent obesity but the High levels of Beta carotene (a precursor of Vitamin A) decreases the serum levels of Vitamin E.
  • Several Vitamin A deficiency can decrease the uptake of iodine and impact thyroid metabolism. Problem worsens when body has too little selenium.

These are just a few interesting interaction which I think are enough to understand why I mentioned in my previous blog to seek a professional guidance when you planning to thrive on supplements.

The story has just begun:

See with the advent of supplement industry there are numerous products in the market and I agree that these industries are marketing for the good cause but when we gulp them without any professional advice then we might be hollow them in over abundance (more than the adequate levels required for our body) or may be they are not absorbing well to our system because we don’t know how actually to take them ( their dosage, their interaction with drugs, etc) which results in toxicities, like:

  • Excess Vitamin A can be toxic to developing foetus, chronic toxicity in children (bone pain, lethargy, itching, ringing in ears, scaly rashes, etc), chronic toxicity in adults (vomiting, skin changes, weakness, psychiatric disorders, hair loss, drying of skin, loss of appetite etc).
  • Excess Vitamin D can cause excess calcium in body, blood, slowed mental & physical growth, decrease appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, constipation etc.)
  • Excess of B-complex Vitamins can lead to headache, hypotension, weakness, anaphylaxis, wheezing, diarrhoea, jaundice, abnormal liver function, yellow-orange urine, sleep problems, rectal bleedings etc.
  • Excess of Vitamin E may pose a hazard to people taking blood thinning medications.

I hope now you’re able to correlate with many things of how difficult is it to assemble them in our diets and a minor up down can customise the bed full of diseases. Don’t loose hope I will discuss the major tips to align them but I insist you without any medical advice don’t try to pop them in the form of doses.

Should we take supplements or not

If you are trying to substituting your food with supplements then it’s a big no. Understand a balanced food is nutritionally preferable to pills (supplements) as it upkeep our spirits by providing a natural combination of different nutrients with fibre which you can’t get from capsules, provided you have to work a little hard to plan them in an efficient manner.

Don’t take multivitamins to fix poor diet, rather eat a balanced diet of fresh, wholesome foods.

So if we bring a few modifications in our lifestyle like: eat fresh, seasonal, local, homemade cooked meals with our traditional touch at right time then at least we are suistaining our body with wholesome nutrients but if our body still called for some ancillary support to keep deficiencies at bay then we can seek supplements advice.

Eligibility norms for supplements:

  • Those who are unable to consume wide variety of foods, for eg: people who are allergic to some foods or with certain diseases,eg: Celiac Disease, Crohn’s disease, type 2 diabetes etc.
  • Those are vegans and vegetarians – why? See firstly it’s not completely right to say that being vegetarian means you are left with few options with essential nutrients to incooperate in your diet. Secondly, what happen when we have poor knowledge of how and in which possible way to gain essential nutrients in our diet then it becomes a mess especially for Vitamin B12 because it’s only found in animals food ( and to your surprise in your fermented foods also) so after taking advice from doctors we can take them as additional source.
  • Older adults.
  • Pregnant &breast feeding women.
  • It improves the health of overall population who is weak and inconsistent.

Best ways to take them.

Before proceeding further I would like to tell you that there are certain estimates set up by every country for the nutrients to be consumed daily to ensure the requirements of all individual in a given population. So it’s better to go through with these values which were updated, revised on the basis of newer research. Currently the RDA (Recommended dietary allowance) requirements for Indians is revised and published in 2020 by ICMR).

  • There are particular timings of taking supplements because some of them absorb well with food (remember fat soluble vitamins) like Vitamins A, D, E, K go with fat from a meal.
  • The water soluble vitamins- Vitamin C, B-complexes, can go well either with or without food with one exception of Vitamin B12- they absorb better with meal. Note: if you take Vitamin C supplements also then keep 2 hours gap between them.
  • Vitamin C and Iron are good friends as stated earlier that Vitamin C is needed for iron absorption, but do take calcium in a balanced way in your diet as it interferes with iron.
  • Large doses of mineral can compete with each other to be absorbed. According to research don’t take Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium supplements at the same time.
  • Supplements can interfere with many common medications which we might be taking or vice-versa. So the better approach is to stop taking your supplements for short term medications but for long term usage, consult your doctor for the proper understanding.
  • Try to go through the ingredients of your supplements are having, understand there is no standard Multi vitamin formula as FDA (Food and Drug administration) doesn’t regulate supplements so look for brand that is verified.
  • If you do need a supplement in your diet, look for supplement that contains the vitamins or minerals as there are lot of unnecessary ingredients also there which aren’t required and which is close to your RDA’s of vitamins and minerals.
  • Many people thrive on herbal supplements also but these should be taken with balanced approach like: Ginger (excess amount can cause problems with blood clot, heart rhythms, blood sugar levels etc); Aloe (Excess amount can cause kidney problems, abnormal heart rhythms, can lower blood sugar levels if you have diabetes, etc); Black Cohosh (Excess amount can lead to liver problems etc).

Moral of the story:

Incessantly check with a Healthcare practitioner to figure out which vitamins and minerals you may need and what’s the best way to consume them rather than becoming an autonomous medico.😊

Let’s Know Our Thyroid Hormone Skills…

Many times we swear word to our Thyroid hormones and never cede a sole option to lambaste them for all our inclusive health complaints from being obese to round the clock weariness to mood swings. And then with crowning achievement we weened, god why i diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it glanced as stout at least with hyperthyroidism i will look leaner. That’s it!

We only baptise it with “fatter and leaner” and never racked our brain afar to it- I mean the root cause of it, how it gonna alter my overall health status. We just exasperate with the discomfit which comes to pass us and endure all our life as a sufferer of it. But here I enjoined you all that here they are not the wrongdoers, it’s we the Homo Sapiens.

Yeah I got you, it sounds nuts. But before pursuing let’s think about it, are we the victims of our hormones or to our inappropriate lifestyle patterns? Lifestyle means, how much we fell associated while doing any deed and how much importance we offer to our body in return which not only nurtures us but acculturate with our unwholesome living patterns.

As i always assert, womans need peculiar care in respect of everything and it can only vouchsafe by herself only, nobody else from out of doors will come and take care of you.

I gravely stupefy when we overlook our eating patterns because we have to feed others first properly, modify our foods preferences because it might be not satiate others taste buds, ill-suited timings for the nosh because what an old citizens kin will think, disturbed sleep patterns, no time to excercise because now i am bushed up by steering the one and all tantrums, so land up with bona fide logic, am not having time and this goes on, which finally ends in depressing mood status, stress, many health issues and yeah thyroid related issues are one of them. Now our journey begins towards medications because we didn’t leave any other option for our body.

Alas, we tend to live in this vicious cycle and compromise with our health. Rather we should procure a savvy approach for grasping the roots of our issues and listen up our body so that they function in a skillful way for which they are actually made for.

Presenting a de facto Thyroid Glands:

In a simple way, it is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland located in front of the neck, below our Adam’s apple ( simply understand it is related to the deepening of our voice). It secretes 3 hormones : T4 ( thyroxine), T3 (triiodothyronine), Calcitonin.

It is estimated that women are 5 to 8 times more likely to be prone to thyroid related diseases.

It regulates our body metabolism (the way our body utilises carbohydrates, fats, proteins), controlling heart, muscles, digestive functions, growth and development in children, bone maintenance, temperature regulation, helps in releasing feel good hormones (dopamine) etc. You will wonder how this small underrated gland acts as a engine that keeps our body running and affects the way nearly every organ in our body works.

Their Action Principle:

Let me make you understand this in a simpler way, the secretion of our 2 thyroid hormones i.e T3 and T4 (a forerunner which gets converted into vital form of T3) is controlled by TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone).

Now TSH is balanced by two other glands,

a) Anterior pituitary gland which is located behind our nose, near the underside of our brain.

b) Hypothalamus which is located undersurface of our brain by TRH (Thyrotropin releasing hormone).

So here’s a chronicle of humans thyroid history in which, the anterior pituitary gland produces TSH which tells thyroid gland to produce T4 and T3. But it also gets the signal to produce TSH from hypothalamus also. So what happens that, Hypothalamus will produce the TRH, which will signal to the pituitary to stimulate the thyroid to produce T4 and T3 by secreting TSH. Hush! Half Mission accomplished.

Proceeding further, when our blood sense less TH levels than normal range, then our brain commands Pituitary to secrete high TSH which in turn secretes high amount of thyroid hormone (T3 and T4), which leads to hypothyroidism.

Alternatively, when our blood sense high TH than normal range, then our brain commands Pituitary to secrete less TSH which in turn secretes low amount of thyroid hormone (T3 and T4), which leads to hyperthyroidism.

What Triggers them:

Any imbalance in our thyroid gland and it’s hormones can cause variety of problems like:

Goitre (it means that thyroid gland might be enlarged which can either be the result of iodine deficiency or an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), Thyroiditis (it means thyroid inflammation which is usually occur from a viral infection or autoimmune condition), Graves Disease (a condition in which the thyroid is overstimulated), Thyroid cancer (uncommon form but is curable), Thyroid nodule (small abnormal mass or lump), Thyroid storm (a rare form of hyperthyroidism), Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism etc.

Hypothyroidism, a prevailing dilemma of life!

One of the most common problem which occurs when thyroid gland gets underactive. Due to which we attain weight, feeling of tiredness, feel cold, weakness and aches in muscles and joints, hair loss, itchy & dry skin, feeling depressed, trouble in concentrating, heavy/ irregular periods etc.

It can contribute further to high cholesterol, diabetes, low bone density, low levels of vitamin D etc.

The underlying causes are many but the major ones are: autoimmune disorder (most common cause, in which our body’s immune system attacks healthy cells), Thyroid surgery, iodine deficiency in diet (major in India), Stress, over response to hyperthyroidism treatment, Congenital Disease (that occurs at or before birth), pregnancy, pituitary gland disorders etc.

Inconveniences caused by them:

Hypothyroidism give on to drop our metabolism with lowering the rate of growth and repair of many body parts and we end up in feeling tired, gain weight, weakness & aches in muscles & joints, hair loss, feel cold, itchy & dry skin, feel depressed, trouble in concentrating, irregular/ heavy periods etc.

The art of making our problem worse:

  • Improper diet: Whosoever thinks that by fasting or with fancy diets you gonna win the battle of weight loss is completely wrong. Understand by our inadequate lifestyle we hitherto stressed our body already. Now the remaining entanglement done by getting into restricted diets which leads to nutrient deficiency which in turn give rises to digestive issues by preventing absorption of nutrients which may be functionally deficient thus, resulting in low T3 which are essential for the overall work of body.

Iodine and tyrosine (a protein) is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. Not only this our neurotransmitters, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acid all are involved in this process.

  • Over exercise: Due to hypothyroidism our body’s metabolic rate is very slow, so instead of burning calories, the amount of energy our body used at BMR also gets decreases, so our body stores more calories from diet as fat. And now we burnt out overtime in gyms which leads to loss of muscle tissues and further lowers our metabolic rate, which again means you are burning less fat throughout the day.

Researches suggests that 30 minutes of exercise a day may provide additional weight loss benefits and maintains overall fitness. Exercise 150 minutes in a week followed by rest day is sufficient.

  • Stress: Any kind of stress either physiological stress( cold exposure, starvation, excessive physical activity, blood sugar imbalances, excessive inflammation etc), emotional stress can distress the whole thyroid function by inhibiting the enzyme (which are again proteins) to convert T4 into T3 (remember I described it somewhere). So what it mean that our so called stress interferes with our thyroid hormone.

Our body makes excess cortisol (a stress hormone) in response to stress which in turn shuts off normal bodily functions like- digestion, reproductive function, thyroid hormone production also.

I know, you might be thinking that what about the thyroid problems which are not in our hands, I mean genetic ones. See we make fewer options on this as we can’t do anything with our genetics but what we can do is to strengthen our Immune system. Understand through Life style measures we can improve the way our Immune system functions because that can ease down our symptoms.

Brief Suggestions have – to do with it:

  • Take proper balanced diet loaded with rich green leafy and seasonal vegetables, fruits, wholesome foods, lean proteins, healthy fats. Take adequate diet rich in iodine, selenium, zinc, iron etc.
  • Maintain your physical activity, bring variations to it. Remember start with a slow pace and remain consistent towards it. Don’t over exert yourself .
  • Do something relaxing everyday for at least 10 minutes.
  • Eat mindfully with proper attention, there should be no distractions. Understand hurried or late meals without sparing any thought for the body’s requirements result in imbalance, the root cause of lifestyle diseases.
  • Grab 6-7 smaller meals in a day but at fixed timings. Don’t overlook your eating patterns.
  • Avoid excess salt and all type of processed foods. In fact they are worse for your proper thyroid functioning.
  • Foods like, soya, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, peanuts etc should be consumed in moderate way. In short there are few foods which contains a substance called “goitrogens” which interferes in iodine absorption but only when taken in raw, so it’s better to consume them in balance way after cooking.
  • Maintain your sleep patterns in a regular fixed way. This gonna give time to your body to recover and makes you energised for the next day.
  • Practice some yoga, meditation, breathing exercise it will help you to combat the stress.
  • Understand combination of food and your medications can restore thyroid function and minimise your symptoms.
  • Talk to your doctor about your issues, who understands thyroid physiology and better motivate you first for living healthy lifestyle rather than medications.

What You Don’t Know About Calories…

Each of us encountered with this sumptuous word “calories”, its popularity circle is very trailblazing from celebrities to common man that we obsessively do food journaling, follow the different fad diets, taking supplements for weight loss, juggling overtime in gyms, abstaining ourselves from food and much more different stratagems.

Now you will mutter, what’s wrong in this way of Healthy Lifestyle? Nothing wrong but not wholly fair too because our calories talks just dwells within weight loss and weight gain but its apprehension is more transcending because it is equally important for everyone.

Understand, calories are only relatable to “unit of measurement” specifically- a unit of energy, that’s it. It doesn’t measure our weight or length of the body but actually reveal, how much energy our body gets from taking any specific food. The more a calorie a food has, the more energy we get from it and if we take more calories than our requirements, then our body stores that bonus calories as a humble “body fat” and then from here our journey begins to get enrolled in the “starvation world” of humdrum rich diets.

This will definitely work initially but lately when we lose hearts on diets and wind up our hunger, this journey get plunged from where it made the first move.We should thank to “Lulu Hunt Peters” who widely popularised the concept of counting calories as, a method of weight loss – which is an appreciable move but our partial knowledge of gashing the calories without taking food is not a substantial way to loose weight.

So let me present the anecdote of Calories which might unfetter us from unilateral outlook of it, so that we make better choices, when it comes to our Health.

Say yes to know calories…

Now we can elucidate what calories are, so it is coequally of the essence to know that we all need Calories to live. It’s not only predominant to some specific class of approach- weight loss or weight gain but to maintain an optimum health we need this energy. Your need of calories depends on your age, gender, weight, height, activity level and your preference of scaling up or scaling down.

The average requirement of a person can be more or less than 2000 calories of energy in a day.

More specifically, the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA’s) for Indians is laid down by Indian Council of Medical Research, which generally are the estimates of nutrients to be consumed daily to ensure the requirements of all individual in a given population. Our RDA’s gets change with age and activity like:

Sedentary or Light active lifestyle – Those people who doesn’t demand much physical support like- if you don’t do any exercise, having a more sitting job etc, need 2320 Kcal (males) and 1900 Kcal (females).

Active or Moderately active Lifestyle : Those people who involved in more energy expenditure than sedentary one like- engaged in any activity which use muscles of hand and feet fast and continuously, needs 2730 Kcal (males) and 2230 Kcal (females).

Vigorous active Lifestyle: Those people who engage regularly in strenuous work for several hours, need 3490 Kcal (males) and 2850 Kcal (females)

How to estimate right calories?

Many times in order to loose weight we restrict ourself from taking those minimum number of calories that are required for body to process life sustaining functions like- breathing, circulation, nutrient processing, cell production etc, can lead to many health problems.

Calorie restriction can lower down our metabolism, cause fatigue, nutritional deficiencies, reduce fertility in both men and women’s, weaken our bones, lower down the immunity etc.

Calories needs varies from person to person as discussed above but few thing we have to keep in mind while estimating our calories:

1. Know your Bio mass index (BMI) which is a value derived from the persons weight and height, which is a convenient approach to categorise an individual as : underweight, overweight, obese.

2. Know your Basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is an estimate of minimum no. of calories our body required for basic functions at rest. Never consume fewer calories than this.

3. Know your Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) which is an estimate of your physical activity level which help you to estimate the specific calories for you to intake.

Note: one can find many online calculators for estimating it or manually go through equations.

4. Determine your criteria:

a) To loose weight : Take fewer calories than your body need.

b) To gain weight : Take more calories than your body needs.

c) To maintain weight : consume same number that you burn.

Calories are not calories!

Many times we see that 2 persons of same weight and height have different effects of calories. For instance both of them might be burning more and eating less but one person gains the weight and other doesn’t, the rationale behind this maelstrom is – metabolic rates and hormones, which vary from person to person and if now also you accord the whole kudos of weight management to your specified calories then the sentiments of other colleague gets forlorn i.e :

  • Thermic effect of food : In simple words, certain foods which boost your metabolism plays a key role in weight management. The higher is our metabolism, the more calories we burn. It represents 10% of the calorie intake of Healthy adults eating a standard mixed diets like: protein rich foods, foods rich in iron, zinc, selenium (helps in proper functioning of thyroid hormone), chilli peppers, apple cider vinegar etc.

Protein rich food can increase our TEF by 20 – 30%. Researches say that, protein rich diets helps to keep us full for longer, which can prevent overeating and thus manages the weight.

  • The Satiety index : It simply means that some food gives us a greater feeling of fullness and thus reduces the calorie intake for the next few hours, which again helps in managing weight, like: boiled potatoes, eggs, Beans, whole fruits, fish, oatmeal etc.

The Satiety index is a measure of the ability of food to reduce hunger increasing the feelings we get of fullness.

  • The Glycemic index : It simply tells, how a food affects our sugar levels. Low glycemic foods reduces the rate at which the glucose enters our system, thus making food to absorb slowly and keeps us fuller, like: whole grain foods, fibre rich foods, nuts, seeds etc.

Calories and Weight management..

Food is an integral part of our lives, we cannot live without food. Our body needs certain substances called nutrients which are essential for proper functioning and maintaining a healthy nutritional status, then why we don’t use this principle in weight loss approach and keep on starving ourselves by dieting.

Being fit is 70% of your diet and 30% of exercise.

Understand there is no rocket science for loosing weight, but loosing healthy weight without compromising your health is a non-discriminatory approach. So, the simple sway for weight loss is reduction of calories from total estimated account. This can be brought into play by the following ways:

  • Calorie deficit, by taking 500 less calories/d from your estimated account.
  • Combine calorie reduction (500 kcal/d) with exercise.
  • If you don’t have time to burn 500 Kcal/d then use combination of calorie deficit and exercise.

For eg: a person is overweight for healthier weight loss firstly, we calculate his/her BMI followed by BMR and TDEE as described above which gives you the actual estimated calories. Let say it is 2000, now for weight loss, we go for calorie deficit approach by subtracting 500 calories from their diet in a day which leads to 3500 calories in week. This 3500 calories deficit looses 1 pound which is approximate to 0.4536 kg( 454 grams).

Note: This is just an idea of understanding the Calorie deficit, it can can be fixed according to individual preferences, their health history, age, etc. But please keep in mind that, a healthy weight loss is – to loose 1 pounds/week, plus it depends on persons metabolism also, so the staying power is the mantra to see results and it’s always best to consult professionals before starting any specific diets.

Calories Diet tips:

  • Eat balanced diet : A normal person diet should be comprised of 50% carbohydrates rich foods( whole grains, fibre rich foods), 25% fats rich diet ( healthy fats ), 25% proteins. Include whole fruits, green vegetables, seasonal vegetables, nuts etc. Understand eating less is not the solution but eating right is the best path. This range can be fixed according to a goal but make sure to have everything in a balanced way, don’t go for particular group of food .
  • Avoid high calories food : sugary sodas, fast foods, refined processed foods, canned juices, bakery items, packaged chips, sugary cereals etc are are empty calorie rich food which are rich in sodium and preservatives.
  • Be physical active: It can be anything- gardening, sports, cycling, yoga etc. Generally a normal individual should workout for 150 minutes/ week. But don’t over exhaust your body more than the requirement otherwise it will lead to poor immunity, physical burnout, hormonal dysfunction etc
  • Give a try to combination of workouts : like : cardio with strength training.I mean bring variations it helps a lot to attain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Eat varieties : Eating varieties of food provides a range of different nutrients to body and promotes good health. Eat seasonal, local and give preferences to cultural traditions of food.
  • Practice mindful eating: Always see quality and quantity of your food. Instead of grabbing a large meal in one go, try to eat 5-6 small frequent meals.

The End of the story..

The entire belief to draft these details is to clue up that calories are not only relatable to weight loss but it’s a complete depository of attaining a healthy life if we hand-pick the virtuous foods over deficient ones and jogs our memory before admiring any strict diets.

We should realise it’s adverse aftermath and better follow a right balanced path which can vouchsafe the long lasting results.

Emotional Health

Do we ever cognisance our thoughts and the vivid unremitting feelings which emanate from the daily life hustles which are encountered with mixed emotions as it’s a part of our journey which begins in this earth, from the day we are born here and continues until the day we say sayonara. It is inconsequential if we linger on any emotion but what verily matters is how proficiently we manage the vicissitudes by retaining the sense of positivity that helps us to overcome the negative effects of any situation.

Womans juggle multifarious roles and oddles of things – from a guardian angel to social support givers. She outshines in understanding others but gets many times repressed by her own emotions which cast down her energy and affects the body which leads to originator of health problems.

Do we ever ponder for a split second that our own thoughts and emotions can affect our health. Let me tell you, the emotions that are candidly seasoned and enunciate without judgement gravitate to flow smoothly without impacting our health while the other plot is that our poorly managed emotions can upset our hormone balance which further depletes our brain chemicals required for happiness .

So we should certify our thoughts and become aware of the sequels they generate not only on each other but on to our bodies, behaviour, relationships etc. Here am presenting the storyline of our existence with see – saw emotions.

What is Emotional Health?

Emotional health is a basic ingredient of living in fine tune with our emotions. More specifically being aware of our own thoughts and our feelings towards unpredictable situation by manoeuvring positive attitude. When we get equipped with the skills to manage our emotions it gets easier for us to connect with others and feel good about ourselves.

Researches unveiled the fact that good emotional health has a relativity with the cheerful mental state and physical signs of good health. See being emotionally happy doesn’t mean we are happy all the time, it simply means we are aware of our emotions and can deal them without health impairment.

Firebrand of Emotional Health

  • Sometimes we individually don’t understand what literally people keep longing from us and we keep endeavouring the things so diligently that people expectations never gets ceased. And we get so agitated emotionally that our emotional health starts affecting.
  • I know we have lot of responsibilities to handle, actually god formulate us in such an amazed way that we are so efficient in doing gazillions of things, handgrip every situation but god forgets to fabricate the power box with self care device which revitalise us from the idiocies of contrasting “Homo sapiens”.
  • We are totally living in this dilemma, what people will mumble, what will be their opinions apropos to us. Culturally we are taught from the very beginning – to say yes when we really want to utter no, evoking us every time that we are the only balance holders, you should be in a combat garb or may get criticised for doing things differently and so much nonsensical preachings, which directly affects our emotional health.
  • You know what is more painful when a person who is not emotionally stable is not supported by the society. Instead of actively listening you up , people take things personally and start giving unsolicited advices.

Fine I know sometime we get emotionally distress because of certain other reasons like medications, hormonal imbalance, depression, anxiety etc but try to tie up these alterations with above broaching thoughts. Why we give so much importance to others for our lives, sometimes I get surprised with people’s behaviour on imbecile things which suppress them even from putting on the things of their own choice. Understand sacrifices make your more vulnerable to stress.

Now we do one mistake, you know what? We get hurt.. hurt… from all these tanatrums by not developing a skill of being aware of what actions to gulp and what to lob. Do we know the aftermath effects of these shit fits. They are alike in a way that few items get delivered to your main door with out any tariff with starters like sadness, irritation, anger and anxiety, depression, panic attacks as a main course with a complementary dessert…boom….a “weakened immune system”.

Offshoots of Emotional stress

  • Started with jitteriness, eating or sleeping pattern too much or too low.
  • Anxiety, pulling away from people and usual activities.
  • Racing Heart beat, hyperventilating, sweating, having low energy or no energy.
  • Feeling numb, inability to concentrate.
  • Having unexplained aches and pain.
  • Feeling confused, forgetful, angry, lost, upset, worried, scared.
  • Yelling with family or with a friend.
  • Experiencing severe mood swings, having persistent thoughts and more worries that we can’t get out of head.

Self Cleansing tips

  • Try to figure out your emotions, notice what makes you sad, frustrated, angry. I mean just simply identify the underlying thoughts.
  • Evaluate how to correct it and the truth regarding it and then sprinkle some optimism to it. I mean, if you can change that thing or situation. If yes- then develop a strong will power and high confidence to improve it. But what if all attempts go in vain? Then simply teach your brain how to avoid that thing and better change yourself by developing no torment attitude.
  • Researches show that expressing your feelings to the people you find closer can ease down your anxiety, so please talk with someone- a friend, your spouse, your mother any one you feel closer, just talk. Remember keeping feelings of sadness, anger inside adds to stress and can cause problems in our relationship and work.
  • Upgrade your circle with the people you find positiveness, get motivated, those who bring zest in your life. Spend some quality time with close friends, loved ones, go for lunch dates or just call your friend.
  • Do meditation, some breathing excercise, gentle physical activities which will nourish both your emotional and physical health.
  • Make a Gratitude list, it will discern positive emotions, you relish good experiences and start seeing a ray of hope in any adversities without falling apart.
  • Be optimistic by greeting all kinds of emotions with confidence that allows us to learn from our own mistakes.
  • Listen to new podcast episodes or any talk you get inspired.
  • Say no when you need to by setting up certain boundaries and then just stick up to it.
  • Forgive yourself when you fall out of routine.
  • Eat a balanced meal and if our emotional health is in imperil then always seek a professional advice.

See we are full of vehemence that are congested up, as there are many roadblocks to it. But if we get indulged in emotional well-being path we inculcate self care, relaxation, stress reduction and development of inner strength. So give yourself a permission to rest and allow yourself to feel love even without anyone there. Try to live with so much freedom, not just to do whatever you want but in unapologetically live to the fullest.

Part 2: Watch your Hormones

We all perceived the consequential impact of Hormones on our health and also acquaint the aftermath when these chemicals get heaved out of thwack. So now What??

Now unequivocally we unearth the ways to Balance them. Myriads of us will go for medications and few will pin ones hopes on hormone replacement therapies with loadsa advices from all over the society. But still dazed, as might be these stratagems are not fully efficacious. Right!

Here I wanna ask one thing to everyone – “ How much farther do we ween about this concern apart from medications”. The fact is we often don’t think to turn our food, our healthy lifestyle approaches as a remedy in our journey.

Please, understand this, that the food affects the production and secretion of our Hormones. You might be surprised to know that not only it’s composition but it’s texture, quantity and duration also plays a major role. Beside this our physical affair and lifestyle pattern also helps in combating our stress and boost our Hormones.

So lets broaden our learning of Hormonal balance by dint of knowing our food with the essence of physical activity together with the lifestyle attitudes.

1. Eating approaches by knowing our food:

A) Foods to embrace in our diet

Protein rich foods : Proteins has many roles from repairing and building our body tissues to the metabolic reactions that take place in our body. Many researches have shown that eating protein, decreases the levels of our hunger hormone “Ghrelin” and stimulates the production of hormone “Leptin” that helps us to feel full.

In addition to it they also tend to produce specific hormone, i.e Insulin and Growth hormone. So consuming an adequate amount of protein rich diet is extremely valuable. It is estimated that normally one should take at least 10 – 15% of protein of the total calories in their diet.

We can include it in any clean form, like: Beans, seeds, quinoa, lentils, broken wheat, organic pastures- eggs, chicken etc.

Complex carbohydrates: Carbs are also equally important as they are the main source of energy. Many people suggest to take carbohydrates deficient diets deliberately believing that by taking carbs enriched diet their body retaliate in a similar way while consuming sweet stuffs but according to me this concept isn’t totally bonafide.

I agree with these reactions but the main evil-doers are our refined, processed carbs which digests faster and spike our blood sugar thus messing with our moods and stress ; not the complex carbs which includes: our whole grains, low glycemic fruits, beans, starchy vegetables- sweet potatoes, turnips, beets, butter nut squash etc.

These good carbs help in making the sex steroid hormones, feel good hormone- serotonin and it’s been estimated that a normal person should take at least 45 – 60% of carbohydrates of the total calories in their diet. See these values are fixed according to the state of an individual.

Healthy fats: This class of nutrient horrified us but let me tell you they are equally important for our body as they store the energy, insulate us, protect our vital organs. Even our hormones are produced from fats and cholesterol but we tend to ignore them. Try to optimise its intake as they help in reducing insulin resistance, appetite and are beneficial for our hormone products. Furthermore the dietary reference intake for fat in adults is 20 to 35% of the total calories.

See anything which we take in moderation never harms us and we don’t understand this simple concept. So try to incorporate them in healthier ways, like: nuts, seeds, omega3 and omega-6 fatty acids, avocado, coconut oil, butter, olive oilin short take more advantage from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids and avoid unhealthy trans fats which promote insulin resistance and increase the storage of belly fat.

Leafy green and root vegetables: They are fully loaded with vitamins and minerals and keep our hormone healthy and balanced. Try to include the antioxidant rich vegetables which are vital for neutralising free radicals damage triggered by oxidation stress like: spinach, broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrot, starchy veggies etc

There are few veggies which one should take in moderation during thyroid related problems eg: cruciferous veggiesbroccoli, cauliflower etc as it can lead to Hypothyroidism or even iodine deficiency.

Vitamins: They play an effective role in supporting and balancing the healthy hormone production in our body eg: vitamin D participate in regulating insulin and thyroid hormones, vitamin B6 helps in alleviating some of the symptoms of PMS, vitamin E reduces stress through its natural antioxidant property, vitamin Niacin helps to relax us and provide more restful night sleep.

Eat probiotic and prebiotic: Our gut is the largest endocrine organ in the body and synthesise more than 20 hormones that play a major role in appetite, satiety and metabolism. So we have to boost our gut system by incorporating probiotics (such as: fermented food, curd, yoghurt etc) and prebiotic (such as: bananas, oats, apples, almonds, raw garlic).

Don’t confuse yourself with probiotic and prebiotic, the former one are the foods that contain live microorganisms intended to improve our good bacteria in the digestive system while the latter ones are the high fibre foods that act as food for the good bacteria.

B) Foods to limit intake: In order to balance our hormones we should always remain away from hormone disrupters like: sugary treats, refined and processed food, non- organic food, dairy items, caffeine, soya products, alcohol etc .

2. Active lifestyle approaches: Key to balancing hormones is boosting up our physical activity levels. It enhances our quality of life, combating our stress and keep cortisol levels check. Not only this, healthy dose of activity elevate our estrogen levels which can help to take the edge off of menopause symptoms, increases our dopamine levels in the brain, release serotonin which promotes good night rest and even impact poor mood, social behaviour.

What more we want now, so engage in any type of physical activity, be it yoga, brisk walk, gardening, biking, jogging, dance, aerobics, strength training, cardio – I mean any activity that keeps us on feet and moving will help us to maintain a good balance.

3. Other life style approaches:

  • Listen to your bodies. Try to Cognize what food our body loves and what it rejects. Once we get in this practice we can create daily eating habits that work best for us.
  • Stay away from negativity and the creators of it.
  • Love yourself, respect your body by prioritising your time over others.
  • Do some meditation, it helps us to remain in present, spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore our calmness and inner peace.
  • Practice gratitude for every moment of despair and worry, everyday remind yourself what you are grateful for.
  • Get adequate amount of good quality sleep.
  • Drink water and get some sunlight because we are like houseplants with complicated emotions.
  • Don’t allow others to guilt or manipulate you into doing things in which you are not comfortable with.
  • Stand up for yourself and voice your opinions with confidence.

Point to be taken : My whole aim to bring these talks into notice is to avoid ignorance on shunning our health and it’s underlying emotions. If something is freting you then shoot the breeze with anyone you found comfy with.

The actual problem with women’s is that they easily overlook themselves but abide by responsibilities for others without holding up. Understand this, you cannot make the whole world happy around you, so love yourself first because if you are happy then only you can make others happy.

Don’t hold yourself responsible for the things beyond control. Nurture yourself by taking a well balanced diet, get crafty, engage yourself in physical activities with good company of people and spend time with yourself.

Lifestyle Modifications with PCOS

You must be well aware now what is PCOS and all the main symptoms of it but there are also other health challenges,such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, depression, increased risk of endometrial cancer etc.

So now what? How am gonna deal with it? Here’s a good news as some researches suggests that few modifications with our lifestyle can do wonders.

By lifestyle, am only uplifting the “Art of Healthy Habits” among us, which is laid on the foundation of diet and excercise – an important aspect to manage PCOS.

Have you ever considered that our whole body is a byproduct of what we eat and it reflects in our personality. Many times we heard -“What we eat, we become”.So kindly prioritise the eating pattern rather settle on the scariest dieting approaches. No doubt, the most extreme diets to loose weight actually does work initially. But my friends, many studies also suggests that 80-90% of people loosing weight on extreme diets, regain the weight again within 1-3 years.

So, can’t for our own sake we can set up the goal : Eating well, staying active and maintaining a healthy weight” which can improve PCOS.

Here are some strategies to ease down the PCOS:

a)There are two primary ways that diet affects PCOS i.e : insulin- production & resistance and weight management. I believe that by managing insulin levels with a PCOS diet one can turn it around and here are the approaches :

  • Fibre rich foods: The insulin levels in our blood goes up after we eat, more specifically it goes up the most after we eat or drink something that contains carbohydrates. Now you gonna say, no carbs in diet?. Please understand not all carbohydrates are same, each have different effect on insulin level. For PCOS,the highly fibre enriched carbohydrate foods are beneficial eg: whole grains cereals, fruits(opt fruits with skin), vegetables etc.
  • A low glycemic diet: Don’t stress what is “glycemic index diet”, it is based on the concept of glycemic index(GI) which simply describes how a food affects sugar.So our aim is to choose the foods which doesn’t elevate our sugar level eg: whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables, chicken etc.
  • An anti-inflammatory diet: It simply means avoid the food that cause “inflammation”. Understand, inflammation is triggered whenever the system detects an enemy- anything from a slight contusion to an allergic reaction (from the pollens or the food). But pals, be careful from these insidious “artful crooks” that triggers the inflammation everyday. Now imagine, when we take such foods diurnally, it simply results into weight gain, drowsiness, skin problems, digestive issue etc. So avoid such pleasing foods like: bakery items, sugar, soda, potato chips, fried foods, refined flour, artificial sweeteners and additives etc.

b)Another major aspect is physical activeness.We can simply start from 20-25 min of exercise.There are many resources available on various online apps. It will be beneficial if I start revealing,you will be amazed and few of them are like: heart health, weight loss, stress reduction, mood booster, increase energy and productivity etc.

PCOS diet and nutrition tips:

  • Slowly replace your one meal of a day with different combinations of wheat rotis in the ratio of 50:50 in the beginning and then gradually fix the ratio according to your body. You can combine the wheat with different grains (like:barley, bajra, ragi, oats etc) or with vegetable (like:carrot, beetroot, bottle gourd, pumpkin etc).Through this body gets optimum fibre and minerals.
  • I know we love rice in our diet but for healthy reasons we can again bring the same approach like above by amalgamation of rices i.e brown rice and white rice in 50:50 proportion and then slowly shift to brown rice as a major ingredient.
  • Avoid taking sugary foods. But never ever deprive your body with anything. So for this I will always suggest to use unprocessed sugar in the form of jaggery, coconut sugar, brown sugar. See many researches tells us “the dark effects of sugar”and whatever form of it we cosume it still means the same, but by these modifications we can at least give our body some nutrients which a whole sugar can’t.
  • Stop using the processed food, packaged items, snacks etc. They are not healthy for anyone. A simple example:opt your home made curd over packaged yogurt, fox nuts, roasted Channa, peanuts, puff rice over packed chips, cookies, mixtures etc.
  • Eat atleast 1-2 fruits in a day as a snack.This engulfs us with a feeling of fullness due to its higher fibre content and henceforth fulfilling our cravings. Avoid the fruit juices as they are rich in simple sugar.
  • Make a habit of eating green leafy vegetables which again provide good content of fibre which helps in controlling serum cholesterol and aid in weight loss.
  • Incooperate low fat dairy products, egg whites, pulses, legumes and omega 3 fatty rich foods as it lowers the testosterone level, regulate ovulation cycle and balance the weight.
  • Include antioxidant rich foods like: tomatoes, oranges, berries, walnuts, broccoli, cabbage, eggs, green tea, spinach etc.
  • Don’t ever skip your meal.This is a fact – if you skip the meal then instead of shedding the fat, body gain the weight. Instead include 5-6 small portions of meal per day, this gonna prevent the sugar release and insulin gush in the body.

These are few modifications to beat PCOS. My aim is to bring this thing in notice that don’t completely restrict yourself with any food because through this you’re not gonna vanquish the PCOS but inclining towards nutrient deficiency.

Instead regularise your eating pattern with good PCOS diet and pairing it up with the regular excercise. Again at last I wanna remind you that “women’s are the most beautiful creation of the god”so we should also attend ourself by doing selfless love because it is not selfish to “love or prioritise” yourself but it’s a necessity.

Part 1:Watch your Hormones

Women’s are considered as the “care takers” of any society. You might agree with me because they are not only giving birth, but also taking care of their children, spouse and loved ones. Not only this, they are equally justifying that approach in their workplace or as a home maker. I mean fearlessly superintending the things endlessly. Bravo!

But this “Wonder Woman” many times shows contributory negligence towards her health and from deep inside grappling with her emotions in a forlorn manner but predicts that everything is okey- dokey.

Here I want to apprise you that most of the times by managing the things for everyone we fail to remember ourselves and start romping with our well-being by neglecting the problems we might be facing in the form of mood swings, Insomnia and poor quality sleep, unexplained weight gain, weariness, libido, skin problems and the list never breaks off. Well, have you ever tried to rectify them by knowing what’s the actual cause? Don’t worry these are just the manifestation of our hormonal imbalances.

Before knowing Hormonal imbalance let’s quickly understand our hormones:

These are the “chemical messengers” which is made up by the specialist cells, usually with an endocrine gland which secretes them directly into our bloodstream and then carried to different organs and tissues of the body to exert their function.

They tend to keep an eye to every minute details of our body processes. What I mean to say that, each and every movement of our body depends on them, as they travel throughout the body and coordinate in complex processes like – growth, metabolism, fertility, heart rate, hunger, mood swings, activation-inhibition of immune system, wake up cycle and much more.

Furthermore, you will be surprised to know that before birth, they guide the development of the brain and our reproductive system. Do thank them if ever you felt that, why our arms are of the same length, why we can turn our food into fuel and how did we change from head to toe at puberty. So never underrate them folks.

Moreover, our perception for hormones is just up to “sex hormones but actually there are about at least 50 different hormones that secrete and circulate in our blood system and continually fluctuate.

See I don’t have any intention to lecture on “Hormones” but yeah will definitely suggest that “ tiny but largely, our body is dependant on hormones to function.” Now what happens when there levels get fluctuated? See any fluctuations occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone as it affects our overall health and well being. I hope you have started correlating with the things discussed above.

Levels of hormones fluctuate throughout the persons life, generally declining as humans age and nobody could deny that women’s experience these shifts throughout their life starting from puberty changes to menstruation cycles following our pregnancy phase from child birth to breast feeding and then finally proceeding towards peri menopause, menopause and post menopause. See how they keep supporting us. But many times these shifts are more sensitive for some of us than others, that’s why we have heard many times some women’s experience on menopause is very unpleasant than others and some might get a post natal depression while others didn’t get bothered at all by the hormonal changes of menstruation and pregnancy.

It doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. Instead try to sort these symptoms and work on simplifying them. Let’s understand the problems with these shifts which would help every woman to get familiarise with it .

Problems associated with Hormonal Imbalance:

A) Sleep: Many times we miss the good quality of sleep and next day turns out to be a bizarre one. This happens, due to low levels of progesterone which is released by the ovaries that helps us to sleep. Furthermore many of us during our peri menopause and menopause suffer from night sweats and hot flashes, which affects the proper sleep due to low estrogen level.

B) Gastrointestinal problems: Many times we experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting during periods with mood changes and fatigue which is due to GI disturbances which happens during monthly hormonal fluctuations.

C) Fatigue: We tend to get tired on several occasions by disturbances in two hormones-progesterone (levels get high making you more tired) and low level of Thyroid.

D) Brain fog: This is specifically related to woman’s in their peri menopause and menopause, many times we see them complaining about their memory and concentration power. Low level of estrogen and thyroid disease apart from many other factors plays a vital role.

E) Appetite and weight: There are two major hunger hormones-Ghrelin and Leptin which remind our brain that either we are hungry or full. This happens especially during our monthly cycles- which triggers mood changes and due to which we crave for some foods, which are high in fats, calories, sugar and after consuming them, they back fire us in different ways like: water retention, bloating, weight gain. So next time please don’t blame yourself for all this but yeah low level of estrogen affects leptin which is a hunger inhibitor hormone.

F) Low sex drive: Low testosterone levels may cause libido. Yes….”testosterone” it is typically considered as a male hormone but females also have them in little concentration in comparison to males. Many women’s after menopause report low sex drive which is due to its reduced level.

G) Mood disturbances: Many times we experience anger, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression. Our gonadal hormones-oestrogen, progesterone,testosterone impacts our brain chemistry and influence our moods, emotions, behaviour.

H) Breast changes: Many women notice the breast changes, which is caused due to high or too low estrogen levels. High levels cause lumpy or dense breast tissue, even cyst whereas low levels cause decreased breast tissue density.

I) Heavy- painful periods: Many of us complain painful or sometimes, a heavy period, lower back pain, a frequent need to urinate, constipation – these all are the aftermath of estrogen imbalances.

J) Weakening of Bones: Approximately around 50% women over the age of 50 suffer from Bone Break due to osteoporosis. Actually estrogen helps us to build and maintain strong healthy bones. But after menopause, the estrogen levels start decreasing and results in such problems.

The list is quite long ; although I have tried to cover a few of the major problems which we might face in our day today life. Now we know in depth about problems which are associated with hormonal imbalance.

Causes of hormonal imbalance: They might be caused by external factors such as: stress, unhealthy life style, improper diet, hormonal medications. But they can also be caused by any health conditions that impacts or involves the endocrine system eg: diabetes, thyroid disorders, PCOS etc.

Diagnosis: Talk to your doctor if you find any of the symptoms, get them examined by a qualified health professional so that they could find out the root cause of your symptoms and advice best treatment rather than following personal opinion of others.

Moral of the story: Now we have understood that hormonal balance is a vital need of our body. As I told you earlier that natural fluctuations are normal but when the same fluctuations are caused by the toxins or unbalanced lifestyle patterns then it becomes mandatory to act. Our hormones are deeply connected with the food we eat, the lifestyle we follow, the weight we possess and the stress we carry.

So I suggest in addition to proper medications for leading a good lifestyle:

  • Do some excercise or yoga.
  • Practice some meditation to lower your stress level.
  • Make a fixed sleep routine in which you wake up and go to bed at fixed time.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in late afternoon.
  • Avoid blue lights specially in night, it disturbs our sleep patterns.
  • Consume a balanced diet which we will discuss rather soon.
  • Establish a relaxing night time – have a warm bath, essential oil infused candles, sip of your favourite antioxidant rich tea and light music.

For many of you these things are not practical or dreamy but I assure you that if you start practising these things it will bring a huge impact to your lives and never ever make excuses for yourself, it’s not good even start initiating doing little things for you which make you happy because no one from outside will come for you, it’s only yours perception towards your life which can do wonders. Lastly am ending my views from the very beautiful quote of the poetess “Maya Angelou”-

“When woman take care of their Health, they become their best friend”

Understanding PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome aka “nightmare syndrome”is one of the most common disorder of the endocrine system affecting women of reproductive age.According to various studies about 10-15% women have PCOS and 50% of us remain unaware and are at high risk of developing type2 diabetes before age 40.Thanks to Italian physician Sir Antonio Vallisneri who first describe its symptoms in 1721.

See the whole intention of this writing is to bring awareness in between us and to break this “taboo-talk” which is considered as a tricky subject plus banned from discussion in a so called “civility- society”even among women’s and you know what’s the consequence that the young girls often given wrong advices …no…actually “Home- remedies” because we don’t want to understand the scientific cause behind it.

So, my dear ladies please understand it in a scientific way.

So what actually is PCOS?

It is a common health problem now a days caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones.

More specifically, it affect women’s ovaries, the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone-which regulates our menstrual cycle and we know that these ovaries which am so focusing form the egg which is a ritual part of a healthy menstrual cycle.But with PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or may not be released as it should be.

Surprisingly ovaries also produce a small amount of androgen which is a male hormone.There are two main hormones which also play a significant role -Luteinizing hormone(LH) and Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH),the latter one stimulates the ovary to produce a follicle- a sac that contains egg and the former one triggers the ovary to release a mature egg.

Now boss in PCOS there are many small fluid sacs which grow inside the ovaries; which are actually follicles: each containing an immature egg. The egg never develops enough to trigger ovulation and this lack of ovulation alters the level of estrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH. So, from here the whole story begins, the level of estrogen and progesterone are lower than usual while androgen level is higher than usual and this extra smart male hormone disrupts the menstrual cycle resulting in fewer periods than usual in PCOS.

What’s the reason?

The exact reason of PCOS is unknown.Even doctors also don’t know the main root cause but they believe the high level of male hormone is the culprit.Here are some factors that might play a role and are as follows :

Heredity:Researches suggests PCOS runs in families.Its not only one single gene but many genes which are responsible.

• Insulin Resistance:Our body cells become resistant to the action of insulin, which is a hormone produced in the pancreas that allow the cells to utilise sugar-our primary energy supply.Due to which our blood sugar levels can rise and body might produce more insulin and furthermore increases androgen production. I guess every woman could relate to the story which I have described above.

• Excess androgen:The high level of androgen results in acne, hirsutism(unwanted male pattern hair growth).

Low grade inflammation:Simply understand that it is used to describe fighters –“white blood cells”production of substances to fight infections.Women with PCOS have high rate of inflammation and excess amount of it is linked up with high level of androgens.

Here are the symptoms:

• Menstrual: abnormal, absence of menstruation , heavy, irregular, short and light or spotting sometimes.
Skin: acne or oily skin and cause breakouts in areas like the face, chest and upper back.
Weight: obesity, overweight, weight gain
• Excessive hair growth: usually on the face, chest, back.

Also common- infertility, dark patches of skin in folds and creases, depression and unwanted hair.

Diagnosis :

There isn’t a single test which can diagnose it. But yeah, doctors will definitely start by asking about your symptoms and medical history and by doing some physical examination possibly, a pelvic exam that can look for any problems with our ovaries or other reproductive tract.

Blood test check also helps to measure the level of hormones, blood sugar, cholesterol etc.
An ultrasound can reveal abnormal follicles and measure the lining of our uterus.

What about Treatments?

Fact but a bitter one that there is no complete cure for PCOS but definitely one can manage its symptoms.

Birth control pills and other medications helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and PCOS symptoms like: hair growth, acne.

By weight management and getting into some physical activities, one can reduce the risk of long term complications like:diabetes, heart diseases etc.

So, what this scientific knowledge is all about?

See its very important to understand what our body is telling, as we never prioritise our health and often get undiagnosed with many health problems which lead to several serious ailments.

We have a box full of things to discuss but we don’t talk about them because we just think “what society says” and our whole life keeps revolving around this single thought which is basically taught from our childhood days and while we grow up these remain untangled.

To manage our PCOS we just have to follow few simple approaches like:eat mindfully, physical activity, perform little yoga with meditation for stress management which am gonna discuss in other PCOS topic rather soon.

Some of you might be thinking “ no matter, how often I workout and eat well but still am not reaching the target, why the hell people make assumptions” or may not be willing to show any interest. Right.

But calm down my folks, please don’t mix up the things, rather beat it with full zest in a positive by bringing in few changes in you and then Voila! U can perceive its everlasting results.

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