Self renewal: 10 hard facts 🙌

Hello everyone 🖖

1. The human body in which each of us lives is made up of around 37 trillion cells, to be precise. And every day, about 1-2 percent of the cells are renewing. So, exactly after 90–100 days, a new “me” appears. We remain so busy with our routine lives that we hardly acknowledge this fact, and many of us are not even aware of it. So, ‘change’ is the constant tune, not just within the universe but also within us.

2. Now that we understand that our bodies undergo transformation on a daily basis, So, the question is: how does this self-renewal occur? Let’s go back to our past a little bit. The human body develops from the human embryo, which is fertilized by an oocyte and a sperm cell. This embryo is made up of stem cells. The stem cells are the basic cells (undifferenciated cells) of the human body, which, through the process of mutation and transformation grow into different cells like nerve cells, bone cells, muscle cells, blood cells and so on. Throughout our lifespan, these stem cells undergo cell division and keep replicating; that’s how self-renewal happens.

3. Under normal physiological self-renewal processes, different cells in the body have differing rates of cell division. So, the replication process of various tissues, organs, and blood cells in the body has a different time frame, like the skin epidermal cells, which can take around 10–30 days, whereas a bone cell takes 3 months, or a hair grows about 1 cm in one month, and so on.

4. Though our body is constantly changing due to the continuous self-renewal process through different cell cycles like shedding the old skin cells, renewal of intestinal cell lining, and growing hair or nails on a routine basis, this isn’t a simpler process. The human body is still very complicated and has exceptions. Some cells, such as those in the brain (cerebral cortex), eyes (such as lenses), and heart, do not change from birth to death.

5. But then, why is self-renewal important and must be maintained? Under normal physiological conditions, stem cells have two functions: proliferation and differentiation. Though stem cells have a natural proliferative capacity throughout our lives, disease conditions can affect their physiological self-renewal ability and behavior due to factors such as damage or an unhealthy lifestyle (obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking, or a poor diet).

6. A lack of an appropriate environment within the body or poor maintenance of the human body might eventually lead to the exhaustion of the capacity of stem cell proliferation, which causes premature aging or tissue atrophy. With aging, stem cell activity, tissue regenerative and haemeostasis is significantly declined.

7. Sometime, due to the unhealthy environment within the body, mutations lead to aggressive stem cell division without going through the natural cell differentiation process. This can lead to abnormal tissue growth or cancer in the body. Therefore, the physiological process of stem cell division and the natural stem cell behavior can be affected by four disease conditions, like degenerative, metabolic, cardiovascular, and inflammatory conditions.

8. Regenerative medicine and therapies have arisen as a result of the discovery that defective self-renewal mechanisms in the body are the root cause of malignancies and abnormal cell proliferation. Many disorders are being treated with regenerative medicines based on stem cells. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the use of stem cell treatment to treat a variety of diseases like cancer and disorders including type 1 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, burns, osteoarthritis, by regenerating cells, repairing tissues, and transplanting organs.

9. The fact about regenerative medicine is that, though it has helped many patients around the world, the cost of treatment is quite high as the procedure is complicated and the failure rate is high. Human stem cell treatment requires culturing human stem cells in a laboratory setting for a longer period of time, which is quite difficult.

10. The market is flooded with products that promote cell regeneration, anti-aging, and longevity. The lofty claims made by these items are still quite dubious. But it is true that some supplements do work to improve health, lower inflammation, and increase immunity. But in the end, having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, a calm mind, and exercising regularly is all that’s necessary for good health.

Thanks for reading.

Peace and love 🙏

Those difficult times and thereafter…..

Hello everyone! Greetings 🖖  This is my first post after a year long break…

True enough, life is indeed unpredictable. It gives you the most dreadful unexpectedness when you least expect it. That’s what happened to me. Today, when I look back and remember, I still get the goosebumps, the tremble and chill. The misery I went through, will most likely follow me all throughout my life, or for a very long time. The past year was the most challenging and overwhelming for me. In those days, I used to put down my thoughts and feelings to my husband throughout his absence during the difficult times.

When we were about to go to bed, on the evening of 8th January 2021, around10.30 PM, after dinner and are routine talk, you complained of a headache. I advised you to take a pain reliever, and go to bed. But to my astonishment, you behaved a little different when you were lying on the bed. You asked me to get the tablet and water for you. When I was back from the kitchen with the glass of water, you couldn’t get up from the bed to have the medicine.The water gushed out from your mouth because you were unable to swallow. Then, all of a sudden, I could understand that something was wrong with you. You began to slur your words. Being a doctor myself, I came to know that you were having a transient ischaemic attack or maybe a stroke. I, immediately called emergency service and requested for an ambulance. I fumbled while speaking as I was very nervous. In the interim, I also called our next-door neighbour Jan, a 72 year old retired dutchman who is quite friendly and is fluent in English. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics examined you and noticed that your left side of the body was immobile. However you were still trying to communicate and was conscious. They hurried you to the emergency room of the nearest hospital in Eindhoven where we reside. Both, Jan and I accompanied you to the hospital. In the ER, I was not allowed inside. We were both waiting outside. At around 11 o’clock, I asked Jan to go back home as he was quite tired and had recently recovered from cancer.

A little later, I was told that they gave you a Morphin injection for your headache and a CT scan was done. Although I was completely shaken, somehow I was calm, still holding on to my gut that things would be all okay. Once the CT scan report came, they confirmed to me that it’s a right brain hemorrhage, which is quite huge and with some strange findings. I was told that they had planned to shift you to a hospital in Tilburg, which is a nearby city, about 45-minute drive from Eindhoven. On top of my shock and cold shivers, I was confused and petrified by this whole chain of events. I was informed that they don’t have the expertise, so that is why you have to be referred to the Tilburg Hospital, which has a better neurological service. Moreover, I was told that your CT scan findings were quite confusing and the bleeding was huge.

Within minutes, the ambulance came and rushed us to Tilburg. Inside the ambulance, you were lying down, still in your senses, tired and awake, complaining of the headache and discomfort. I was sitting next to you and asking you to rest and reassuring you. By almost 12.30 am, we reached Elizabeth Hospital, Tilburg. They rushed you again to the ER. I was allowed to accompany you there. The neurosurgeon on duty examined you and did a scan again. She, too, told me about the right brain hemorrhage and some strange discovery that resulted in the massive bleeding. All the while, I was very worried and heartbroken from inside. I could not hold my tears, cried and felt so helpless. At that moment, I felt that I would lose you and that I had lost everything in life.

Still awake and tired, you were transferred to a medium-care unit to be kept under observation. You asked the nurse if I could stay with you in the room. I know I won’t be allowed in, so I assure you that I will keep waiting outside. During those painful hours, I called your father, back home in India, to inform him about the whole episode. He was totally shocked. I could not hold my tears and was crying on the phone. Then, I called and informed our son too. He was confused and could not believe his ears. He was terrified as well, as he knew that his dad was the fittest one in the family and had never had any kind of illness. I have no idea what went through him at that stage, as he was all alone at home. Due to COVID, he was in our apartment and not in his college hostel. I also informed my sister and my brother-in-law. By that time, it was almost 1.30 AM. I was told to go back home as you were kept under supervision and it was quite stable.

So, while boarding a taxi from Tilburg to Eindhoven, I realised that the coming days were going to be the toughest to handle.That whole night, after reaching home, I cried and cried, just loitering around the house in anguish and pain. I had the impression that I was in for a long, dark journey with no idea what lay ahead.

The following day ,on the 9th of January was even scarier. I was informed earlier that you would be taken to the Operation Theatre for brain angiography. I was in the hospital, waiting to hear about the outcome of your brain angiography. Till 6 o’clock in the evening, there was no news concerning you. I kept enquiring the OT nurse about you. She informed me that you hadn’t been taken out of the OT. My mind was beginning to crawl with fears and anxieties. I was distraught and in panic. The OT nurse then called me at around 6:30 pm and took me to a room. I could sense the worst as I was sitting alone in the room. At that moment, I was terrified and utterly shaken.

Two doctors entered the room and sat in front of the table where I was sitting. One doctor started talking to me about the procedure they had to perform on you. They said that you had an atrioventricular fistula in your right brain which had to be repaired, otherwise the bleeding was profuse. The procedure went well, but you have not yet regained your consciousness from the anesthesia. They were very uncertain about the outcome and that you might have slipped into a coma. They told me that they were expecting the worst scenario, maybe brain death. My whole world was shattered at that moment. I was almost lost and could not stop myself from crying. I was in a complete state of shock. The doctors and staff did try to console me. Jan, our elderly friend, explained to me to take things practically and control my emotions. I called our son, your brother, and my family and informed them regarding your state. I was told to return home and was assured to be informed of any further developments regarding your state. When I got home, it felt like the longest night, the darkest and scariest night of my life. That whole night, I grasped onto my mobile, waiting for any news about you.

On January 10th, I came to the hospital and was informed that you had been shifted to the ICU. The doctors told me that they had to drain a huge bulk of fluid from your brain and that your vitals were stable. I was informed that your MRI scan showed a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, which got worse due to a congenital defect of the AV fistula. Such cases are rare.The condition was worse as you had hydrocephalus, so the fluid had to be drained to reduce the pressure.

The first time I saw you in the ICU with a ventilator and machines, drains, and drips all over, it was really hard for me. I went near you and called your name. You did respond with a little movement of your right hand. I was relieved and was happy as I could see little hope of light after these 2-3 hard days. That day was quite positive for me as the doctors were happy with you for being responsive to the treatment and procedure. But then, they still reminded me about the uncertainty of your condition. There was still a huge amount of fluid left in your brain which had to be drained continuously. You were still in a comatose state, with a low score on the neurological scale. I was told to call our immediate family members from India as your chances of survival were low. I called our son, back in India, and asked him to pack his bag to come to the Netherlands. I also informed your family and mine regarding your present state. I called your employer and informed them because they had been trying to reach you for the last 2-3 days due to your professional obligations. I also informed my project coordinator and let go of the project that I was doing.

After going through all the procedures of an emergency visa, our son arrived on January 14th. This was a life-changing event for him as well, as he had been very close to you, his father. He did go through an emotional roller coaster during those turbulent days. And, seeing you in that state, he had acted very mature and calm. He has been my biggest support through this storm. Our neighbors and friends have also been very supportive through the difficult time. Your employer has been a great support system for me and our son. We will always remain grateful to everyone who has been there for us through those difficult hours.

You stayed in the ICU for almost 2 months. Everyday, I visited twice, once in the morning and then in the evening. During my time spent with you in the ICU, your eyes remained close most of the time, but you do respond to my touch with right-hand finger movements. Some days were good and positive, while some days were scary. Our son, too, visited you in the ICU. But, he had to leave as his exams were approaching. Your neurological state improved slowly and your vitals were stable. You had gotten out of the ventilator. They decided to shift you to the rehabilitation centre after you regained consciousness.

I was initially quite optimistic and excited about your development and recuperation during your time in the rehab facility. However, because the prognosis was poor, we, also had to deal with a number of setbacks in that situation. Your severe cognitive impairment and short – term memory problems were not responding well to therapy. Your left side is completely paralysed, and there is no recovery. You still struggle with a few cognitive issues. However, you continue to make good progress in terms of your awareness, speech, memory, and physical development every day. Your speech is clear and concise at present.

After more than a year, you are still residing in the rehabilitation facility, and your therapies are still ongoing. I see you almost every day of the week. While we converse and laugh on certain days, other days are sad when therapy doesn’t work out. As I’ve come to terms with your situation, I’ve begun to feel content. My greatest satisfaction comes from watching you smile while I am with you.The hardest lesson life has taught us today is to be cheerful in the moment we share together right now because we don’t know what the future has in store for us. When I see you now, hope is the only thing in which I will still believe and live.

 

Cognitive health and wellness 🧠

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Though we are moving fast in the field of science and technology, but are we taking enough care of our cognitive health? Just the way as we do for our physical health. Due to awareness around maintaining a healthy lifestyle, our life expectancy has increased twofold. Still, at the same time, there is an emerging number of brain and cognitive issues. These chronic brain issues significantly affect life, making it disabled for living. The WHO has rightly pointed out that in recent years to come, one out of every five individual will be affected by either dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the problem is severe, and there is an urgent need for proper care and development of cognitive health and functions as one age from a young child to growing older.

Usually, the brain functions and coordinate through four different areas to carry out our daily activities.
1.Memory: Recalling the memory, working memory and problem solving using past experiences.
2.Executive function: Planning, decision making, organizing.
3.Speed/Accuracy: How fast and efficiently, one can complete a particular task?
4.Concentration: Keeping the mind focused on a specific task despite the interruptions, noises, distractions.

Cognitive health and fitness are at its best when in our day to day circumstances, we can do the right thinking, right ways, and at the right time:
1. Approaching a problem or an issue, by flexible thinking and not linear thinking. Keeping an open mind, thinking with multiple approaches and self-regulating.
2. Being able to focus and be attentive on a particular task within the day to day environment of distractions, interruptions and noises.
3. A working memory, recalling memory and problem-solving.
4. Cognitive strength of being both resilient and vulnerable.

When our brain and cognitive domains are not at our best, due to improper sleep or dehydration or any stress, we face several issues like:

1.Brain fog, foggy memory, forgetfulness.
2.Poor mind control
3.Lack of focus, easily distracted.
4.Unable to make decisions
5.Slow while performing the task.


We have already known the fact of Neuroplasticity and that the brain is changeable. It has amazing capacity of learning and storing informations. To know more, here is the link https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=2676&action=edit. By practising and repeating things, new synaptic connections can be made or strengthen the already existing neural pathways. More synaptic density allows more flexible thinking approaches. So, there are several ways; we can keep our cognitive health intact :
1. Learning new things, languages, hobbies, music like an instrument and so on.

2.Trying to have new experiences like walking in a new direction, travelling to a new place, exploring a new idea, creativity, trying a unique taste.
3. Being more attentive of the environment like the smell, sound, any physical sensation.


4. Solving problems, trying math, puzzles.


5.Physical movement: Cross crawling exercises, hand body coordination like juggling, weight training, resistant activity.


6. Consuming brain nourishing food. If you want to know more about the food and it’s importance to brain health, here is the link https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=3922&action=edit

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

 

 

 

 

High Sensitive Person ( HSP): A closer look 🧐

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Being one of them or maybe, we must have come across people who are overwhelmed with trivial things, or sensory subtleties like a crowded place, loud noises, a strong odour. Or people who get easily stressed out, quickly get hurt or being overly emotional. This happens because such people are born with a particular personality trait and a susceptible nervous system so considered as High Sensitive People.

6 points to understand a high sensitive person:

1. People born with this personality trait is not abnormal, nor this isn’t a disorder. They have this personality because their brain is wired differently. There are scientific reasons for this kind of behaviour. Anatomically, their brain has a prominent insula which is responsible for their heightened state of emotional and sensory sensitivities. Their brain is wired to have a lower threshold for emotional and sensory reactivity. Genetically, they are associated with the 5HTLPR gene, which is related to mental issues like depression and anxiety. This personality trait is also known as sensory processing sensitivity (SPS).


2.High sensitive person does not necessarily are introverts. A few percentages of people with this trait can behave like an extrovert. Introverts are people who like or enjoy being alone. In contrast, HSP can have deep human connections and can be comfortable with a few set of people. They are sensitive to physical, mental, emotional and sensitive subtleties.


3.High sensitive People are deep thinkers, highly emotional and intense. They are sensitive to the external sensory sensitivities like a crowded place, parties, loud noises, strong smell or any physical sensations. Such personality is gifted with highly creative talents like art, painting, music, writing or in any such creative fields.

4.People with this trait can overthink easily. Overthinking can lead to repeating the same trail of thoughts, which can quickly turn to negative thinking. Repeating the same spiralling thought pattern can also lead to anxiety, depression and stress disorder.

5.High Sensitive people are not comfortable with multi-tasking or highly competitive environment. Too many tasks at a time can make them overwhelmed and stressful. So, choosing a profession or a job, which they can enjoy doing is quite crucial.

6.If you are born with this trait, self-acceptance is crucial. Self-criticism doesn’t hold any purpose. Though it is quite challenging to go through the everyday stress of life, living with emotional and sensory subtleties, but they have the capabilities to overcome them. They can thrive and become very successful too. Adjusting the environment according to their convenience and keeping a few trusted friends and family for emotional support is hugely beneficial. As far as physical and emotional strain is concerned, adopting a healthy lifestyle, enjoying a hobby, a daily exercise routine, sleep, mindfulness, meditation can help to lead a balanced life.

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)

Self confidence ✊

Hello everyone! Have a wonderful Sunday 🌞

Self confidence…..

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Blessings and much love to all 💐

Courtesy: Pinterest

All about Serotonin 😇

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Seratonin is a neurotransmitter, secreted in the gut and the brain. It plays a massive role in our state of wellbeing. It is responsible for giving us a feeling of a happy state of mind, a sense of satisfaction, relief from pain and control our impulses. It helps to co-ordinate the autonomic, motor, cognitive functions, appetite, emotions and feelings. It also controls our circadian rythm, which is the awake sleep cycle as a precursor of melatonin.


Seratonin cycle:
Tryptophan — 5 Hydroxytryphtophan —-Serotonin—- N -Acetylserotonin—Melatonin

When serotonin is low, it may give rise to several problems in our overall wellbeing. Before diving into the symptoms, it is essential to know what causes to reduce the level of serotonin in the body:

Causes of Low Serotonin :
1.Sedentary Lifestyle
2.Inadequate sleep.
3.Chronic Brain inflammation
4.Leaky gut syndrome
5.Poor blood sugar control
6.Magnesium deficiency
7.Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency.
8.Vitamin deficiency, namely Vitamin D, B1, B2, B6 and folate.

The different symptoms when the serotonin level is low:
1.Anxiety and Panic attacks
2.Social phobia
3.Mood swings
4.Depression
5.Low self-esteem
6.Overtly sensitive, having a sense of guilt, regrets
7.Trouble sleeping
8.Obsessive behaviour like controlling, impulsive, neat freak.

The serotonin level can be measured by Urine biomarker test (Organic Acid test).

The natural ways to improve the level of serotonin are:


1. Reducing the intake of carbohydrate, especially with a high glycaemic index like sugar, processed food. Also, switching the diet to a moderate amount of carbohydrate with a low glycaemic index like brown rice, whole grains.
2.Exercise increases the tryptophan level and balances the serotonin and dopamine balance.
3. Get better quality of sleep every day by following a routine. Make sure to get up and sleep at the same time daily to keep the awake sleep cycle intact.


4.Exposure to sunlight so the UV light absorbed in the skin can simulate Vitamin D production, which in turn stimulates serotonin production. That is why, in winters, many people suffer from depression and mood swings due to lack of exposure to sunlight.
5.Meditation helps to maintain the serotonin dopamine balance and the calmness of mind.
6.Getting a cold shower of 2-3 minutes will also stimulate the serotonin receptors. So, after a cold shower, people tend to feel relaxed.
7.Getting a body massage also helps to stimulate serotonin receptors.

8. Seratonin boosting foods: Wild-caught fatty fishes, green tea, turmeric, fermented foods, nuts, seeds, low glycaemic fruits and veggies, dark chocolate.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

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Amazing benefits of Inositol 🙌

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

Inositol is a pseudovitamin, more commonly referred to as vitamin B8. Unlike other vitamins, Inositol is not considered essential as the body can make it. The kidneys and other body parts can produce it. Inositol is mostly found in the brain. It is vital for the body because it is involved in several crucial processes of the body namely –


1. Insulin regulation and helps to maintain blood sugar. It can improve the insulin sensitivity of the insulin receptors and reduces insulin resistance.
2. Fat metabolism which prevents the fat from accumulation.
3. Neurotransmitter synthesis like Seratonin which is greatly affected by Inositol. Therefore, it affects our mood and behaviour.
4. Calcium signalling.
5. Epigenetic regulation.
6. Cytosketetal formation.

Because it plays an essential role in these processes, it helps to benefits and improve many chronic conditions like :


1.Depression

2.Anxiety

3.Panic attacks, Eating disorders, Mood disorders.

4.Polycystic ovarian syndrome

5.Infertility, regulate the Menstrual cycle.

6. Inflammation

7.Acne

8.Since it helps in insulin regulation and aids in metabolism, it helps improve diseases like Diabetes type 2, autoimmune diseases and cancers.

Food sources of Inositol are Citrus fruits, cantaloupe, grains, legumes, nuts.

Supplement: Myo inositol. Supplements and doses are recommended under Physician supervision.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much to all 💐

Food and mood 😇

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe Sunday 🙋🏻

There is an old Spanish proverb “The belly rules the mind” which is indeed true. Food, not only has a significant impact on the physical body and overall health but also on our day to day thinking, decision making, and the entire mental health as well. This saying has been prevalent among various faiths and belief systems from the ancient time. Science has proved in recent times in various researched-based studies.

According to the widely practised Yogic and Ayurvedic literature, everything that is matter arises from a fundamental source called Prakriti (meaning Mother Nature). So, the three primary Gunas (qualities) arises from Mother Nature. The three primary Gunas which are present in all objects and beings surrounding us are – Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. We, human unlike other beings or objects can choose the level of the three qualities in our individual lives and minds depending upon our choices of food, lifestyle and the kind of thoughts we like to cultivate. Our wellbeing and health mainly depend on these preferences. The three states are relative, and keep changing during our day to day life depending on our food choices and lifestyle preferences. Therefore, the three states are:

Satva: It is a state of beingness, in balance, in harmony and a favourable condition. For these qualities to nurture, we need to adapt to the food, that comes directly from Mother Nature. The food that comes from the soil and not from factories. To maintain calmness of mind, we have to adopt and practise Yoga, meditation regularly, which keep the mind stable and peaceful. Such a state is an ideal state of health and wellbeing free from diseases.

Rajas: This is the state of mind related to desires, passion, longing and attachment to worldly pleasures, excessive material goods, excessive work, excessive exercising and even extreme thinking. When we have this state of mind, there is craving for fried, spicy food and stimulants like alcohol, smoking and all sorts of other stimulants.

Tamas: This state of mind is darkness, ignorance and passive.
It is the most unproductive state of mind. Such a state mainly attracts overeating, oversleeping, passive state, fearful state. This state of mind mostly attracts fatty meat, processed and refined food.

So, the kind of food, we have on our plate, that we consume every day, or with each meal determines the state of mind, thought process, our prospects of the world, people around us. Therefore, in yogic practises, the ultimate goal is to cultivate the practice of Satva, adopt Satvic food to be close to our Creator, our beingness, our most authentic self.

Not just mentioned in ancient literature, food impact on both physical and mental health have been studied in several research-based projects all over the world in recent times. For decades, we have been surrounded by sugary, refined, processed and fatty foods, which are like impossible to avoid. Because of their easy accessibility, binging on this kind of foods has made it difficult for the body to deal with them. Apart from causing multiple physical health issues, including lifestyle diseases and obesity, they are grievous for our mental health and brain too. Researches have found out; junk foods are not only killing our health but also causes the shrinking of our brain. The primary functions of the brain being the cognitive functions, the ability to think, perform challenging tasks have found to impact the wrong kind of nutrition. Such a diet is found to have a long term effect on normal brain activities and memory. Habitual intake of such foods changes and alter the programming of the brain.

An Australian study found that not just in the adults and adolescence. Still, pregnant women, too who fed on junk foods, gave birth to children who were more aggressive, fearful, throw tantrums and has less tolerable personality. Without Omega 3 fatty acids, and other nutrients dense food, the brain does not develop naturally.Some more information on Omega three fatty acids https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=3844&action=edit

So to conclude, the impact of nutrition in the overall health is wholesome. Not just the diseases but also chronic health issues like autoimmune diseases, obesity, heart diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cancers, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid issues can be controlled and well managed by changing the diet and lifestyle. Even the impact of nutrition on mental health has been immense. So, with proper diet and lifestyle changes, depression, mood disorders and day to day cognitive functions thought process, task performance, agility, tolerance, decision-making skills could all be improved.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

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Mental health and food: 6 facts 😇

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe Friday 🙋🏻

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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.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love for all 💐