Enzymes: 6 amazing facts 🙌

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day. 🙋🏻

Enzymes are an integral part of the body’s metabolism, growth and repair. They are crucial for gut health, the ageing process and maintaining overall good health.

Six facts about the fantastic enzymes :

1.Enzymes are protein or protein-like substances found in our body which acts as a catalyst at a cellular level and speed up the biochemical process of energy production, growth and repair of tissues.


2.Enzymes are specific and are very selective to which substance they bind to and activate the process of breakdown and digestion. Whatever food, we consume, each of the food types stimulate a different set of enzymes.
Carbohydrate stimulates enzyme Carbohydrase like Amylase. The enzyme lactase digests lactose. People who lack lactase suffers from lactose intolerance.
Protein stimulates enzyme Protease like Pepsin, trypsin.
Lipid stimulates enzyme Lipase which digests fat by emulsification.
Some more examples of enzymes are: ATP synthase helps to convert ADP to ATP. Helicase unzips DNA strands.

3. Enzymes are sensitive to temperature and ph change. A slight temperature change can either slow down or speed up the enzyme activity. Large temperature changes can denature and can even lose their function. Similarly, ph changes can directly influence enzyme activity.

4. Enzymes stores in our body can be depleted slowly due to causes like ageing, unhealthy food habits like overprocessing, refined food consumption. Overcooking of food can cause the breakdown of natural enzymes present in the food. Therefore, enzyme deficiency in the body can lead to digestive issues like bloating, gas, food intolerance, anaemia, lethargy and heartburn.

5. There have been multiple enzyme supplements available and marketed commercially with different benefits in the market. But it is essential to know that not enough studies/researches are done to prove either their efficacy or side effects. So, before using the supplements, it is crucial to inform your Physician or else, it may have a drug interaction with your regular medicines currently taken.

6. Certain food rich with natural enzymes which can be consumed but in moderation:
Pineapple has bromolein, and Papaya has papain, and they both are protein enzymes. Avocado has Lipase, and bananas have amylase and maltase. Natural raw honey, wild sprouts (alfa, alfa) and kefir are also rich in digestive enzymes. Fermented food like saurkraut, kimchi is rich in digestive enzymes and even probiotics.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

 

All about Ashwagandha 🌱

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Ashwagandha: This is a herb, initially grown in India, also in the Middle East and some parts of Africa. As the name signifies, ‘Ashwa’ meaning ‘horse’ and ‘gandha’ means ‘smell’. So the herb smells like horse and doesn’t taste good either. But, this herb is well known for its exceptional medicinal properties. It is used in Ayurvedic Medicine from an ancient time. Its botanical name is “Withania Somnifera”. Since it has some fantastic health benefits, various researches have been carried out across the world to prove it’s efficacy. Well yes, this herb has been considered safe and now widely been used as a supplement for various health issues and overall good health.

Scientifically, this herb is an adaptogen, meaning that it adapts the requirement of the body. It balances the body’s homeostasis depending upon the emotional and physiological stresses by strengthening the nervous, endocrine and immune system. The main medicinal compound found in this herb is called ‘Withanolides’. It is found beneficial for both men and women’s health and can be used in case of children too.

The top benefits of Ashwagandha:

1.Ashwagandha helps to boost the overall health, enhances the immune system, increases muscle growth and power. It increases stamina and endurance power.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Ashwagandha reduces the level of cortisol and empowers the adrenal health. It can improve the mood by acting as a natural antidepressant. It improves sleep quality by reducing stress and anxiety and calming the mind.
3.Aswagandha benefits the thyroid health. It helps to keep a balance of the different thyroid hormones. As it is an adaptogen, it can benefit in overall balance of thyroid hormones so it helpful in thyroid issues. But studies shows that it is more effective in hypothyroidism than hyperthyroidism.
3. It is highly beneficial for brain health. It can reduce inflammation in the brain, improves neuronal health and memory. It is used successfully to improve conditions like Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s disease. It can help to improve focus and concentration, so it is used in cases of ADHD too.
4. It can be beneficial in both males and females by improving the reproductive health and endocrine system. So, it has been used successfully in case of males to improve the level of testosterone.
5. Studies suggest that it has anti-cancer properties and prevent the growth of new cancer cells. More shreds of evidence are required in this regard.
6. It can lower the blood sugar level as it improves the insulin secretion and increases insulin sensitivity. It can also lower cholesterol level and so is heart-friendly.


Since it is a natural herb from a green shrub, its root, leaves and different parts of the plant are used in Ayurvedic medicine. But the most widely used is the root powder extract. It is available in capsules and powder form. The ideal dose as a supplement is 500mg once or twice daily depending upon the individual body types and body weight. The best way to take the dose is at a convenient timing after a meal. A healthy diet is advisable along with the herb to get the best possible result. Since it has a robust medicinal compound, it has to be always used under Expert advice.

Though considered safe, like all herbs, overdosing can lead to toxicity.
Some of the side effects are important to note before using this herb.

1.Drug interaction: People using medicines for thyroid, blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases should never carelessly use this herb. Because, using this herb, can interfere with the efficacy of the other medicines used. So, this herb should be used only before advice by the treating Physician.
2.Large doses of Ashwagandha can cause gastrointestinal irritations like vomiting, stomach upset and diarrhoea. People should not use it if one suffers from a stomach ulcer.
3.Pregnancy and breastfeeding women should avoid using this herb as it can cause a harmful effect.
4.It can cause sedation when taken in excess or along with antidepressant pills.
5. It is better to avoid using this herb in individual who are opting for surgery as it can slows down the central nervous system.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

(The intent of this post is mainly informational)

Liver care 🙌

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

The liver is the second largest organ in the body and has more than 400 functions. It is the primary organ of filtration, which mainly helps in the metabolism of food and absorb the necessary nutrients. It eliminates the toxins from our body daily and purifies the blood. So, it is an essential organ of detoxification for our body. Some critical functions to highlight:

1.It produces bile which helps the fat to break down during the process of digestion.
2.It helps in the production of haemoglobin from its iron storage ( liver stores iron)
3.It convert excess glucose into glycogen.
4.It cleanses the blood from toxins and poisonous substances.
5.During breakdown of protein, urea and poisonous ammonia is produced. The liver helps to eliminate them through the kidneys.

However, even if we have a powerful detoxifying organ, it gets sick and tired if we do not care enough. If we frequently consume refined, processed food, sugary items. To multiply this load, frequent intake of alcohol, smoking, drugs causes a greater danger. Also not to forget the environmental toxins, pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides from food, toxins from home cleaning products, cosmetics, perfume, the liver is unable to take the load at some points.

Signs of lousy liver functioning:


1.Tiredness
2.Collected fat around the belly.
3.Oily skin
4.Pale yellow fingernails
5.Oily skin, acne
6.Allergies
7.Digestive issues
8.Irregular bowel
9.Brain fog, headache
10 Pain on the right side of the abdomen.

Methods to detoxify the liver:
1.Eliminate the toxic sources as much as possible: We need to cut down the processed, canned, and sugary food. The refined, vegetable oil which is unhealthy fats, should be eliminated from the diet too. It is essential to minimize the use of toxic household cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes as much as possible. As far as practically feasible, relocating from the polluted area is advisable.

2.Again it is essential to limit smoking, alcohol, drugs as much as possible.


3.Fasting: It is a crucial tool to rest the liver and minimize its load. Fasting accentuates the detoxifying process, stimulate autophagy and strengthen the immune system.


4.Focussing more on whole foods and organic vegetables, fruits given by Mother Nature than the packaged, canned food with preservatives.


5.Drinking lot of water every day will help to flush out toxins. Water added with lemon or a tinge of vinegar is beneficial.
6. Letting out toxic emotions like anger, frustration, resentment, and fear by mindful, spiritual and relaxing techniques.


7.Getting a goodnight sleep helps in the detoxification process.


8. Consuming foods which can restore the microbiome flora like fermented foods, prebiotics and probiotics. Essential foods like cruciferous vegetables, iron-rich food like spinach, beets are all useful.

 Milk thistle

9. Herbs like dandelion, milk thistle, cilantro, thyme, turmeric, garlic and green tea proves beneficial.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

 

Glycemic index: 6 facts to know 🙌

Hello everyone! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Why do we need to know about the glycemic index of food? The answer is simple. Whatever food we eat, we should know how fast the food is digested and absorbed in our body and raises our blood sugar level. Knowing this, we can arrange our daily meal plan and maintain good health. It will help us to lose weight if necessary, and avoid lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart diseases.

Six facts to know:

1. Glycemic index refers to how fast a type of carbohydrate consumed is digested and absorbed in the body and raises the blood sugar level. Insulin then helps the sugar molecules to be absorbed by the cells of our body for energy. To be precise, the Glycemic index is referred to the measurement scale of 0 – 100 of the rate at which the carbohydrate is digested and absorbed in the body.

2. Note that the Glycemic index is influenced by other food content also like protein and fat content, as we usually do not consume carbohydrates in isolation during a meal.

3. On the Glycemic index scale :
Low GI – Less than 55
Medium GI – 55-69
High GI – 70 or more
Low GI index means that the particular food has a slower rise of blood sugar levels but has a sustained release of energy.
High GI index means that the particular food indicates a rapid rise in blood sugar and release energy quickly for a shorter period.

4. It is relatively healthy and safe to prefer food with a low GI index as:
It reduces hunger as the energy is slowly reduced.
Helps to lose weight.
Improve cholesterol level.
It helps to lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

This doesn’t mean that all food with higher GI index like potatoes, rice, watermelon, dates, raisins should be avoided entirely, but can be consumed in moderation. But, we should avoid high GI foods like processed, refined, sugary food altogether for better health and wellbeing.

5. Glycemic load: This is a term which is used commonly along with Glycemic index, often as well. It refers to both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate that is eaten during the meal. It indicates how food choices in the feed would affect the blood glucose level in the body.
The equation is Glycemic load = Glycemic index, multiplied by how much quantity of carbohydrate is eaten.

6. Some practical tips:
a. Fibrous vegetables are best in the sense as they are dense and rich in fibres. They are digested by the gut microbes, which in turn provide food for the microbes and in exchange causes a slow and steady absorption. Subsequently, blood sugar is released slowly.

b. Some food like eggs, lean meat, fishes, pulses, full-fat dairy, cheese are not considered in the GI index. So, these foods have little effect on blood sugar level directly. We should consume these foods regularly.

c. Enjoy daily a considerable portion of vegetables and fruits, preferably with a low GI index along with a limited quantity of carbohydrate to regulate the blood sugar efficiently.

d. Acid content in food can slow down the digestion of food so lemon, vinegar, should be added to the meal.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

Pic courtesy :Pinterest

Immunity : 8 signs to indicate that your immunity is intact 🙌

Hello everone ! Have a wonderful and great day 🙋🏻

1.You have a bodyweight within the range of average weight, according to the height and not being overweight.
2.You have a routine, regular bowel habit.
3.You have clean and clear skin.
4.You get up fresh and remain energetic. There is an absence of laziness.
5.Experiencing a sense of hunger once or twice a day.
6.You don’t have general body ache except with injury or heavy exercise.
7. You experience a sense of wellbeing and generate positive thoughts.
8. You experience deep sleep at night.

These are general signs that indicate that your body is functioning optimally and your immunity is intact. Our body’s immunity and vitality is not acquired by having a glass of smoothy, or daily going to the gym and having a load of supplements. It is the result of what you eat, how you think and how you live.

Three simple ways to build up a strong immunity is:

1.Fasting: Fasting is the simplest and easiest way of building your immunity. Ideally,15 to 16 hours of fasting every day are good enough. It is also the easiest way of losing weight. Having everyday dinner at around 6-7 PM, and not having any meal or snacks in between except water. Then, followed by having breakfast, the next morning around 10 to 11 AM gives you fasting of at least 16 hours quickly.

2. Food: Having food which is as much as close to Mother Nature. Fruits and vegetables, in their natural form or cooking minimum to restore their nutritional value. Preferable having a one-grain meal a day like brown rice or whole wheat and having meals (1-2 times /per day) with enriched portions of fibres, healthy saturated fat, protein and carbohydrate. It is necessary for avoiding processed, refined food altogether. Limiting the intake of beverages, alcohol and having more water, instead is ideal.

3. Mind and body care: Exercising every day is a must. Instead of heavy workouts in the gym, simple exercises like walking in nature, running, jogging are ideal. Physical activity throughout the day is good enough to give you a good night sleep. It is essential to maintain a positive attitude and a calm mind, to keep stress at bay. So, meditation, yoga, mindfulness practices, spiritual practices helps to build a positive and healthy mind.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

 

 

 

6 best Natural sweeteners 🙌

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Most of us have a sweet tooth. But its the potential danger of adding some extra calories and the spiking glucose and insulin level that scares us the most. Yes, we can reduce or eliminate the intake of sugar from our diet for health sake. Perhaps, this is the best option. Or, we can choose some healthier options instead. Not going for artificial, industrially processed sugar and products, we can very well opt for natural alternatives which will not only satisfy our sweet tooth but also give some added health benefits.

Six healthy alternatives:

1.Stevia: is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of a bush known as Stevia Rebaudiana. The leaves are packed with nutrients and phytochemicals. It has no calorie, 100%natural and no adverse effects on health. Instead found to lower blood pressure and insulin levels. Though different brands are available in the supermarket, the best option is those who are least processed ,non GMO (genetically modified organism) and have no added sugar like dextrose or multidextrin and so on. 


2. Monk fruit sweetener: This is a healthier option as it has zero calories too. It is derived from a small green fruit called monk fruit found in South Asia. Studies have shown that this fruit extract has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. But, more research is required though. This kind of sweetener is quite expensive and is available in the supermarket. We need to be careful of any artificial sugar additives.

3. Pure raw honey: Pure organic honey, is not just sugar but a complete food. However, it has calories but has immense health benefits. It contains antioxidants, antimicrobial, and is used as a natural medicine for cough relief and in wounds and cuts. Since it includes pure bee pollen, it can also benefit from reducing allergy symptoms. Not all honey brands found in the aisle of the supermarket are healthy.Pure, organic raw honey has the maximum health benefits. Since it has calories, it has to be used sparingly.

3. Dates: Dates can be used along with raisins, apricot, pineapple juice as sugar alternatives. Dates as such are rich in fibres and have the highest nutritional value along with vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in antioxidants.

4. Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is good as it is extracted from coconut juice which is full of potassium, rich in nutrients and electrolyte. It has a low glycemic index.

5. Maple syrup: Pure maple syrup is derived from maple tree sap that has been reduced by boiling. The maple tree is a native of North America. Maple syrup has immense health benefits too. It is rich in antioxidants, zinc and other minerals and is suitable for heart health, immune booster and hormonal balance.

6. Jaggery: It’s a sugarcane syrup that is golden to dark brown, which is unrefined and unprocessed. It has high nutritional value and is rich in minerals and phytochemicals. It improves digestion, immune booster and helps in joint pain. Since it has calories, it is not ideal for people with diabetes.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

Pic: courtesy Pineterest.

 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 😔

Hello everyone! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: It is a disorder, relatively unknown to the public and even to the medical fraternity. It is a progressive, multi-system functional disorder involving the Neurological, Immune, Endocrine and digestive systems. As more and more cases are emerging, the diagnosis has now been established. This condition is also known as Myalgia Encephalomyelitis or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). The syndrome slowly progresses to functional impairment. It can affect any age group, even in children. But mostly, common in women, more than men in the age group of 40-60 years.

Symptoms: Different individual is affected with different range of severity.
1.Extreme fatigue even after long hours of rest.
2.Progressive loss of stamina, both physically and mentally.
3.Loss of concentration
4.Loss of memory
5.Headache
6.Sensitivity to food, odours, chemicals
7.Unexplained joint pain.
8.Sleep disorders
9.Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or the armpits.

Causes: The exact cause is yet unknown. But, in more and more case studies, certain contributing factors are being identified:

1.Viral infections: Like Rubella, Epstein Barr, Human herpes, Ross River viral infection can precipitate such a condition.
2.Bacterial infection like Chlamydia Pneumonia
3.Genetic Predisposition
4.Mental issues like childhood trauma, emotional trauma, stress
5.Hormonal imbalance.

Diagnosis: The diagnosis is difficult to confirm as the condition has symptoms similar to many other conditions. To make a diagnosis, doctors mainly rely on a thorough medical history, and different tests are being done to rule out other conditions. Some individual with this condition has been found to have an inadequate response to immune cells like T cells and have autoantibodies in the blood. Tests like laboratory tests, exercise tests, sleep study are done to exclude other conditions.

Management: There is as such no cure. The aim of managing such cases is to relief the individual from the symptoms.

1. Eliminate food sensitivity like common allergens nuts (peanuts, tree nuts), shellfish, gluten (wheat, rye, barley), dairy. Avoiding such food may sometimes work towards improving the symptoms.


2. Exercise and Yoga is recommended to improve physical mobility.
3. Mindfulness session to improve sleep issue.
4. Acupuncture to improve pain.

 


5. Improve diet and Supplementation with vitamin B complex, potassium, magnesium.

6. Bone Broth as a collagen booster


7. Meditation, nature walk to improve mental health, reduce stress and peace of mind.
8.Social support: Support from loved ones and friends is vital.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sparkling water: Is it good or bad ? 🙌

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Courtesy: Pinterest

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

All about bloating 🙄

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Bloating is quite common after having a heavy meal or drinking a big can of fizzy drink. It’s a feeling of abdominal fullness due to mostly build-up of gas. It can also happen whenever we binge on fried foods. So, it a common stomach issue, associated with some gastrointestinal disorders.

The underlying causes can be:

1.Drinking carbonated drinks.
2.Swallowing too much air while eating too fast.
3.Overeating.
4.Constipation.
5.Irritable bowel disorder.
6.Food intolerance like – gluten, lactose (dairy), fructose.
7.Food allergy.
8.Celiac disease.


9.Gas forming foods like lentils, legumes, beans.
10.Parasite infestation.
11.Polycystic ovarian syndrome.
12.Diverticulosis.
13.Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
14.Dehydration.
15.Abdominal tumours like cancers of stomach, uterus, ovary, liver.

Bloating is usually short-lived and relieved with passing of motion and increasing physical mobility. Usually, trigger food items or fizzy drinks should be avoided. Bloating is mistaken for distention which is different. Distention is when the abdomen is visibly swollen. It is usually associated with pain and has an underlying cause which needs investigation. Bloating can have a sense of fullness and a vague sharp pain too. If there are repeated episodes or a constant feeling of bloating, the underlying cause needs to be thoroughly investigated. A visit to a doctor, physical examination, ultrasound, CT scan, endoscopy are some of the methods to diagnose the underlying cause. And, the treatment would depend on the clinical and radiology assessment.

But commonly bloating can be relieved by taking some self-help measures:

1. When you suffer from bloating, you tend to notice the food items which precipitate such episodes. So, it is wise to avoid the trigger of food items.
2.Avoiding fizzy drinks and carbonated drinks.


3. Chewing and eating food slowly can facilitate better digestion.

4. The intake of fluid and water should be increased to avoid constipation.
5. Avoiding gas-forming foods like lentils, beans if they make you uncomfortable after consuming.

6. Intake of more fibrous foods which are helpful to form the stool bulk.


7.Reducing stress by meditation, mindfulness, exercise, yoga. Because a stressed mind brings our body to the sympathetic mode, which is fight or flight mode. In such a state, the body’s digestive capacity is inadequate.


8. Eating small meals with regular intervals instead of a heavy meal.
9. Regular exercise and physical mobility ensures better digestion.


10. Eating probiotics daily like yoghurt, Kimchi, saurkraut.


11. Avoiding sugar alcohol like xylitol, sorbitol, or mannitol which are found in sugar-free drinks and chewing gums.
12. Give yourself time in making diet changes. Taking small steps slowly in the diet is wise. Having too much of plant-based food suddenly or fibres consumed can cause bloating.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much to all 💐