Lectins: Myth and truth 🙌

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Lectin is a kind of protein which many plants and animals possess that can bind to sugar (carbohydrate) molecules. Plants contain this protein for their self-defence against insects and animals. Since they can bind to sugar molecules, lectins are always attached to carbohydrate. Usually, lectins are sticky proteins and get connected to sugar molecules and cause the cells to clump up. They activate the complementary immune system to fight against pathogens. So, lectin-containing fruits and vegetables are beneficial for reducing the risk of diseases and preventing autoimmune diseases as most of them contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

The trouble arises when lectins are consumed in large quantities or eaten undercooked. Some of the lectins can be toxic and lethal to humans like the ones present in kidney beans called Phytohaemagluttinin. Some people are susceptible to lectin-like in case of gluten which is also a lectin. Some more information about gluten in my previous post https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=3865&action=edit

Structurally, the intestinal lining has the epithelial lining, microvilli and the cellular part which is the innermost lining of the intestinal wall. The primary purpose of the intestinal lining is the absorption of nutrients and prevent the entry of toxins. When lectins are consumed in high quantities or undercooked, in the process of digestion, they get attached to the cellular (internal) lining of the gut, causing damages to the intestinal wall. They start destroying the intestinal villi and prevent the absorption of nutrients. This result in leaky gut syndrome. Therefore, trauma to the gut lining causes inflammation, which in turn disturbs the gut microbial flora and result in a myriad of issues. Due to leaky gut, lectin and also other toxins get flown into the bloodstream which otherwise wouldn’t have happened. The immune system gets threatened to produce antibodies and creating autoimmune issues in the different organs of the body. Lectins are also very easily attracted to insulin receptors and leptin receptors. So, lectin sensitive individuals are also prone to diabetes, insulin resistance and leptin resistance.

The truth is that lectin-containing food when consumed in moderation and properly cooked, work advantageously towards good health and complement the immune system as these foods are highly nutrient-dense. But when consumed raw, or in large quantities, or improper method of cooking causes all the problems. Those individuals who are lectin and gluten-sensitive should altogether avoid consuming such foods.

Some lectin rich food is rice, barley, oats, wheat, quinoa, rye, milk, lentils, beans, soya, peanuts, tomatoes, eggplants and pumpkins. People should not remove this food from the diet unless medically advised. These foods, like grains and legumes, should be soaked in water for several hours or overnight before cooking. Cooking at high temperature denatures the lectin and can safely be consumed. Other ways of reducing the lectin content are by fermenting and germinating.

Low lectin-containing foods are wild rice, sweet potatoes, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, avocados, cauliflower, olive oil, coconut oil, asparagus, mushroom, pasteurized chicken, eggs, grass-fed dairy and beef.

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Coconut oil🌴

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Benefits and healing properties against diseases like :

 

Courtesy : Pinterest

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Eye health : 6 important tips 🙌

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What is this fuss about blue light on eyes? Blue light is a significant component of sunlight. Blue light is beneficial as it maintains our circadian rythm, the natural wake and sleep cycle. It also makes us alert, boost energy and elevates our cognitive functions in the daytime.

With the change in lifestyle, occupation and technology, people have started living more indoor with devoid of natural sunlight. More exposure to all kinds of technology gadgets, illuminating artificial lights at night after sundown has begun to take a toll on human health.The blue light, which is healthy in the daytime, has started to interrupt the natural sleep cycle in the night time. The intense exposure from blue light emitted from artificial lights like LED, fluorescent lights and prolonged screen time of electronic gadgets like TV, computer and cell phones hurts our eyes and body. The blue light disrupts the secretion of melatonin which is the primary sleep hormone. Though, all light of different wavelength interferes with the secretion of melatonin. But, blue light interferes the maximum when compared to other light. With the daily exposure to blue light at night time, have started to disrupt, not just the sleep cycle, but the entire hormonal cycle and other biological processes of the human body. Researches have even found it linked to some types of cancers, diabetes, obesity and heart ailments.

Some tips to prevent blue light exposure during the evening and night time:

1. Using dim light at night, preferably dim red light and using old types of incandescent light at home instead of LED lights. In a light spectrum, the longer the wavelength, the less effect it has on our health. Therefore, the red light is less likely to affect the circadian rythm.

2. Limit the screen time at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. It is essential to use a blue light filter or glasses at night time when working in the computer or doing a night shift work.

3. Using a lubricating eye drops to prevent dry eyes and irritation caused by prolonged screen exposure. It is vital to keep a distance of 2 feet away from the computer screen. Eye blinking should frequently be to prevent dryness.

4. Natural exposure to sunlight in the day time is essential for healthy life processes to carry out optimally, prevent mitochondrial damage, helps in ATP synthesis and Vitamin D synthesis.

5. Consuming green leafy veggies, omega three fatty acids rich food, carrots are all good for eyes. Drinking plenty of water is beneficial. Splashing the eyes with cold water to prevent drying and itchiness of eyes. Proper nutritional care necessary and is vital to quit smoking as they both are essential to prevent age-related macular degeneration.

6. Eye muscle exercise and following the 20/20/20 rule.

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10 rules of clean eating 🙌

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Courtesy: Prevention.com (Pinterest)

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Insulin Resistence : 6 ways to reverse naturally 🙌

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Why is insulin so important? Insulin is the hormone which is secreted by the pancreas, which regulates the blood glucose level at every single point in time. In a typical scenario, whenever, we eat a meal comprising of macronutrients carbohydrate, protein and fat, the body breakdown the carbohydrate portion instantly to provide energy. The blood glucose level gets spiked up—insulin releases which help the body cells to take up the glucose. And the remaining part is transported to the liver which is stored as glycogen. The insulin also helps to keep the protein and fat stored in the liver. By this way, insulin helps to maintain the blood glucose level in the bloodstream.

Insulin resistance is a state in the body, when the body cells do not respond to the hormone insulin, as a result of which the cells are unable to utilise the glucose in the bloodstream. So, the blood glucose level as well as the blood insulin level rises. Nowadays, insulin resistance cases are on the rise. Many patients can even remain undiagnosed. Such condition can lead to a host of problems like weight gain, obesity, high cholesterol, belly fat, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome and breast cancer.

Common symptoms are :

1. Hunger after eating: As the body cells are unable to take up the glucose in the blood due to unresponsiveness to insulin, the body cells remain starved despite a high level of glucose in the bloodstream. So, the person feels hungry even after having a hearty meal. Your sugar cravings are more. You tend to be craving for more carbohydrate-rich foods.
2. Frequent urination: Because the insulin is not regulating the blood sugar properly, the kidneys have to make more urine to eliminate the excess blood sugar. You have the urge to urinate more frequently.
3.Thirsty always: When you are flushing urine more frequently, you are going to be thirsty more.


4. Abdominal fat: There usually is a deposition of fat around the abdomen, waistline.
5.Swollen ankles: Insulin causes the kidneys to retain salt and water as a result of which you may notice swollen ankles.


6.Dark patches: Due to high insulin level in the bloodstream, you may see dark patches in the neck, armpit and groin.


7.Skin tags.
8.Irregular menstrual cycle: Insulin resistance state influences other hormones in the body. In the case of women, there is an imbalance in the sex hormones and result in PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). A vicious cycle sets in.

A blood test can diagnose insulin resistance state, namely, the blood glucose level (the fasting and postprandial), glucose tolerance test and Glycosylated haemoglobin test.

Some natural ways to lower the blood insulin level:

1.Losing weight: We need to make efforts to lose weight by adopting an active lifestyle and a low carbohydrate diet. It will help the body to slowly breakdown the reserved fat to utilise for energy sources. We should have more high fibre vegetables (non-starchy veggies), nuts, seeds, avocados, healthy fats like omega-three fatty acids, saturated fats like coconut oil, olive oil, eggs and butter.
2. Fasting: Fasting for at least 12 -16 hours will lower the blood insulin level and the blood glucose level. It will stimulate the breakdown of the fat reserve for the energy sources.


3.Intervals: Eating in intervals with a gap of 4-6 hours in between and altogether avoiding snacking.
4. Exercises mainly, high intensity or weight training helps to increase the sensitivity of muscles towards insulin. It also stimulates the use of glucose without the help of insulin.


5. Stress reduction: Stress increases the blood cortisol level, which in turns cause a high insulin level. So reducing stress by practising mindfulness, try walking in nature, yoga and meditation. Reducing stress by letting go of anger, hatred, fear, frustration or any trapped emotions.


6. Sleep: Sleep deprivation causes excess blood glucose level, which in turn increases a high insulin level. This elevated insulin level influences the other hormonal cycles.

Some low carb vegetables and fruits that can keep the blood sugar and insulin level low:
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale
Aubergine
Avocados
Cabbage
Broccoli
Cucumber
Radishes
Green beans
Cauliflower
Mushroom,
Tomatoes
Paprika


Fruits like watermelon, oranges, berries like strawberries, raspberries,

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Phosphorus: 6 important facts 🙌

1. Phosphorus is an abundant mineral present in the body. It is found mostly intracellular and in bones and teeth. We get ample amount of Phosphorus from dietary sources. The kidneys remove the excess Phosphorus. Though mostly ignored, this mineral is essential for many vital functions in the body.


2. Functions are primarily :
– Strengthen bones along with Calcium
– Detoxifies the body by helping the kidneys to eliminate the wastes.
– Maintain the ph balance
– Improves digestion
– Assists in the production of energy molecules ATP and releases the energy by breaking the phosphate bonds
– RNA and DNA synthesis
– Needed for growth and development (especially children)
– For Cognitive health
– For dental health

3. Phosphorus level is essential in the body with a standard range of 2.5 to 4.5 mg/dl. Usually, excess Phosphorus gets eliminated by the kidneys. But when the kidneys are weak like in chronic kidney diseases, the extra level in the body can cause damage to organs. High level of Phosphorus can pull the Calcium from the bones, making them weaker and brittle. High level of Calcium and Phosphorus can cause calcium deposits in the heart, blood vessels, eyes and lungs. Such an individual has a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.

4. Sources: Plant sources are mainly in the form of phytates. Other sources are dairy, cereals, meat and fishes.
Familiar sources available: Lentils, cheese, yoghurt, almonds, halibut, turkey, chicken and beef.
A healthy adult requires about 700mg/day.
Growing children, pregnant and breastfeeding women require more of Phosphorus for proper growth and development.

5. Hypophosphatemia: When the serum level is below 2.5mg/dl.
Causes: Usually, the deficiency is rare as enough of Phosphorus is available from food sources.
Certain Conditions where Hypophosphatemia occurs:
Reduced intake in the diet,
Alcoholism,
Vitamin D deficiency, alkalosis,
Diabetic ketoacidosis,
Hyperparathyroidism
People who have renal insufficiency (acute tubular necrosis)
People on renal therapies.
People on parenteral nutrition
Hypomagnesemia/ Hypokalemia
Anabolic steroids
Diuretics
The symptoms are Fragile bones, bone pain, stiff joints, irregular breathing (arrhythmia), anxiety, fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, tingling and numbness.
Usually, dietary sources are advised for deficiency. If severe, clinically treated with parenteral supplementation.

6. Hyperphosphatemia: When the serum level is more than 4.5mg/dl.
The causes are:
Excess oral sources,
Renal insufficiency like in Chronic kidney diseases
Cellular necrosis,
Excess use of laxatives,
Diabetic ketoacidosis
Hypoparathyroidism
Cell lysis like in tumour lysis syndrome,
The symptoms are Anorexia, neuromuscular cramps, tingling, calcification of soft tissues, joints, cornea, blood vessels (like in ESRD end-stage renal disease), Arterioslecrosis,
It is usually recommended by Physician to limit the dietary sources, use of phosphate binders, renal replacement therapies like Haemodialysis depending on the actual cause.
This post gives general information about understanding the importance of Phosphorus in our body. It’s not for clinical purpose or recommendation.

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Silent Sunday 🌞

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Random clicks of mine…..

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Lung cleansing: 8 natural ways 🙌

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Our lungs are contaminated every day with environmental toxins, pollutants, dust, second-hand smoke, chemicals, microbes (bacteria, viruses) and the list goes on and on. During this corona virus pandemic, the risk is even higher. Such health hazard, often, lead to various chronic and acute lung issues like Asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, COPD, lung cancer. Usually, our lungs can detox and heal themselves once the sources of pollutions are eliminated or significantly reduced. So, nowadays, we often hear about shifting home location towards the outskirts or semi-rural areas rather than staying in urban cities. Whether, we have the option of moving site or not, but we can take necessary steps of detoxifying and cleansing the lungs easy ways and prevent us from chronic respiratory issues and diseases. Lung cleansing can promote healing, normal lung functioning, reduces inflammation of bronchial lining, clear mucus and improves lung circulation.

 

So the simple steps that we can regularly adapt to detox and keep our lungs healthy:

1. Perform deep breathing exercises daily. Though breathing is normal but deep breathing involves diaphragmatic breathing which helps to strengthen the diaphragm and oxygen-carrying capacity of the lungs. Oxygen is nourishing for all cells and all vital processes to carry out smoothly. As we age, diaphragm, which is a muscle, start to become weaker. So, when we perform diaphragmatic breathing, it’s like trying to deep breathe into the belly. In the process, the diaphragm gets contracted, and air fills up. Slowly, as we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes. It creates a back pressure in the alveoli, which in turn improve the lung compliance and help to detox the lungs. Deep breathing also reduces stress significantly. It is essential to do daily 9-10 times of deep breathing exercise. You can get more information on this type of breathing technique from my previous post https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=3659&action=edit

2. Another critical factor is to improve air quality at home. It is just not possible to control the external environment, but we can maintain the quality of air in the space we live every day. We need to make sure to change the air filters of the electrical appliances at home regularly. It’s essential to limit the use of air fresheners and scented candles as they contain harsh chemicals which may be harmful. Ensure adequate air ventilation and regular vacuum cleaning to maintain clean airflow at home.

3. Quit smoking: Cigarette smoke contains more than 7000 toxins. Researches have shown a direct link of smoking associated with lung cancer. Smoking also causes chronic inflammation of the bronchial linings and the lungs. So, there is a lot of health hazard associated with smoking rather than any health benefit.

4. Second-hand smoke: Even if you or I do not smoke, but, we are exposed to second-hand smoke, then we carry the same risk of health hazard like smoking a Cigarette. So, it’s essential to stay away from exposure to second-hand smoke. Therefore, always avoid places where you have a risk of inhaling second-hand smoke.

5. Apart from breathing exercise, doing physical activity regularly outside of your home, preferably in a park or open area, to ensure that your cardiovascular system is activated and you can breathe the fresh air every day.

6. Personal care: Having a hot shower, or using a heating pad on the back eases the intercostal muscles of the rib cage and help to soothe during breathing. Getting percussion or vibration on the backside will also accelerate breathing and healing process of the lungs during chronic ailments.

7. Food: Like all organs, lungs also required proper nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants for healing and proper functioning. Adequate nourishment from food rich in vitamin C, D, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, drinking enough water, exposure to sunlight and limiting the intake of sugar and dairy products, all helps in the proper functioning of the lungs.

8. Some familiar sources which are nourishing and healing for lungs are ginger, green tea, oregano, peppermint leaves, liquorice, and lemon. Measures like eucalyptus oil steam inhalation and castor oil packs found to have a beneficial effect on the lungs.

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Maturity 🙌

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Maturity is……

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Mental health and food: 6 facts 😇

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Generally speaking, after having a heavy meal rich in carbohydrate, we tend to feel lethargic, less attentive and unable to focus. Whereas, a meal rich in protein and fibres, we tend to feel alert, active and in a good mood. We must have noticed that binging on junk food, or refined food in large quantities tend to make us feel exhausted, anxious, depressed and less attentive. So, there is enough evidence to show the high impact of food on mental and brain health. Studies from the past and new emerging researches have given strong scientific evidence regarding the link between dietary pattern and mental health.

6 Relevant facts

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1. Though the brain is 2% of the body weight, it utilises around 20% of the body’s energy resources daily. And most of this energy comes from the food we consume daily. Structurally, the brain is composed of mainly fat (about 60%) which are mostly omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Besides, playing an essential role in building the brain structures and development, these fatty acids act as messengers in the functions of brain neurotransmitters which signals neuronal impulses, and also helps in maturation of brain cells and the plasticity of brain cells. More on the sources of omega 3 fatty acids from my post https://wordpress.com/post/healthhappinesshealing.org/3844

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2. Nutritionally, the rest of the brain structures are mainly protein, amino acids, glucose and micronutrients. Protein and amino acids are the building blocks of the brain cells. Antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables provide the essential micronutrients that fight the free radicals and enable the brain to remain alert and stable for a more extended period. Essential nutrients found in food like Vitamine B6 and 12, folic acid prevent the process of degenerative diseases in the brain. Trace minerals like sodium, copper and iron also play a role in the cognitive development of the brain.

3. Emerging studies in the past and present times have shown significant evidence to prove that healthy dietary habits have reduced the risk of mental health issues like depression and anxiety and even cognitive impairment.

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A meta-analysis of many studies showed with Modified Mediterranean diet: A diet which encourages large quantities of fruits, vegetable, legumes, olive oil, nuts and fishes with a moderate amount of meat and regular exercise and active lifestyle has shown to significantly improved the depression symptoms and level of depression rating measured by MADRD scale (Montogomery Asberg Depression Rating).

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4. Studies have also shown that a healthy wholesome diet with many nutrients has substantial evidence to improve inflammation in the body and brain health and thereby improved the symptoms of depression which is linked to inflammation. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level also increases with a healthy diet.
A healthy diet also changes and improve the gut microbiome in 3-4 weeks. And gut health is strongly linked with brain and mental health.

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5. Food has a direct correlation with the blood glucose level in the body and brain health. Food with the high glycemic index, a carbohydrate-rich diet or maybe pasta or white bread releases glucose rapidly into the blood following which there is a dip in blood sugar which can affect our brain health like inability to focus, attention and mood. Inversely, after consuming food with a low glycemic index like oats, grains, legumes cause a slow, steady release of blood glucose which in turn help in a stable level of attentiveness and a good mood.

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6. Finally, the variety of sources of food which boost brain and cognitive functions are fatty fishes, nuts, whole grains, legumes, turmeric, ashwagandha, dark chocolates apart from a wide range of vegetables and fruits.
Brain supplements are useful too but required to be used under clinical supervision.
Brain exercises like solving challenging problems, puzzles, memorising, physical body co-ordination exercises, yoga and meditation are useful for brain health.

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