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Benefits and healing properties against diseases like :

 

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10 rules of clean eating ๐Ÿ™Œ

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Phosphorus: 6 important facts ๐Ÿ™Œ

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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Mental health and food: 6 facts ๐Ÿ˜‡

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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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Omega 3 fatty acids : Why? ๐Ÿ™Œ

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The cell membrane of each cell in the body consists of phospholipidsย which has omega-three fatty acids as a component. Physiologically, omega three fatty acids help in the metabolic processes of energy production and individual organ function of heart, lungs, immune system, blood vessels and endocrine system. Therefore, it should be an essential part of our diet. It’s defficiency leads to many physical and mental diseases and symptoms like the autoimmune disorders, heart problems, COPD, skin and eye problems and even depression. Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids which are called essential fatty acids because they cannot be synthesised in the body and has to be consumed from dietary sources. The average recommendation for an adult is 1200mg of Omega 3 fatty acids per day.

There are three types of omega-three fatty acids :
ALA – Alpha Linolenic acid
EPA – Eicosapentaenoic acid
DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid.

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The benefits of omega-three fatty acids are immense. The most critical effect in the body is in the inflammatory process. Whenever, there is a trigger of inflammatory response like microbial infection, physical or metabolic tissue damage and stress (mental or physical), there are molecular and cellular events taking place, causing an alteration in the genes, and the cells produce a different pattern of proteins. The white cells in the blood interact with the endothelial cells and initiate the inflammatory process and as a result of which many chemicals are produced which causes further tissue damage. And when the inflammation process continues, irreparable tissue damage occurs and metabolic changes appear in the organs of the body. When omega-three fatty acids, EPA and DHA are supplied or increased in the diet, they alter the composition of the inflammatory cell phospholipid and thereby change the cell phenotyping and reduces the overall inflammation process.

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In case of heart problems, more supply of EPA, DHA lower the triglyceride level and reduces the risk of a cardiovascular event like a stroke, heart attack. Researches also show a high intake of Omega 3 helps in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s, disease, dementia and other cognitive issues. It also reduces the risk of certain cancers like breast cancers and colorectal cancers. It is also beneficial for eye health and the joints so required in the improvement of Rheumatoid arthritis.

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Naturally, Omega 3 fatty acids are found in wild fishes like salmon, sardines, tuna, anchovies, herring, and mackerel. Plant seed oils like canola, flaxseed oil, chia seeds and soybean. Nuts like walnuts are extremely rich in omega-three fatty acids. Supplementation is generally recommended under Physician’s guidance.

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Gut Health ๐Ÿ™Œ

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Why is gut health so relevant these days ? Because, in the majority of the diseases, researches have shown that the underlying cause is due to an unhealthy gut.

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Most of us are not aware of the fact that within the twist and turn of the internal coils, that is the intestines, there is often a war between the good and bad bacteria. This struggle results in gut imbalance and thereby cause several health issues like autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, mental health issues, metabolic diseases and even skin problems like acne, depigmentation and psoriasis.

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As we must have already known, the digestive tract carries millions of colonies of bacteria. The right bacterial flora within the coiling of the intestines is bestowed upon many functions to perform to maintain a healthy body. They are responsible for breaking down food into energy, eliminate waste and toxins, and most important is to support the immune system. So, our gut health is under immense pressure to perform well.

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The gut, when encountered with a burst of harmful bacteria from any food sources, there is a war between the good and the harmful bacteria, and a sudden state of imbalance arises. Therefore, this gut imbalance may lead to different health issues, as mentioned above.

Common symptoms and diseases of improper functioning of the gut are:

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1. Slowing of metabolism: This may result in decreased energy production, less absorption of nutrients and deposition of toxins in the different parts of the body. So, there is a lack of energy, tiredness and fatiguability. We may suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies as absorption of nutrients is poor.

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2. Digestive issues like gas bloating, diarrhoea as the good bacteria are continuously struggling to restore the balance. Irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, colitis are some symptoms of invasion of harmful bacteria.

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3. Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, mood fluctuation may occur. As toxins get deposited in different parts of the body due to the harmful bacteria, they may interfere with the production of happy hormones like serotonin and other neurotransmitters that can elevate the mood.
4.Lack of sleep: The gut imbalance causes hormonal imbalance, and the serotonin cycle, which regulates the sleep cycle gets wholly disrupted. So, the person with gut issues may suffer from sleep disturbances.

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5. Autoimmune diseases like Lupus, Crohn’s diseases, rheumatoid arthritis appear where the underlying issue can be an unhealthy gut.
6.Skin issues: When gut inflammation start spreading to other areas of the body, including the skin, there are issues of acne, eczema, psoriasis, complexion disorders, especially on the face.
7. Metabolic problems like diabetes type 2, stubborn weight gain, and obesity are common with gut issues.

Some useful ways to keep a healthy gut:

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1. Eating less or no sugar at all as the sugar becomes the medium of growth of harmful bacteria.
2. Drinking lots of water dramatically helps to eliminate the toxins and also facilitate the digestive process.
3. Chewing food with each bite, about 30- 50 times. Though it may sound tedious, this mastication process may help the food to digest and absorb the nutrients properly.
4. Consuming more fibrous food help to form the stool bulk and help eliminate waste and toxins.

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5. Mono meals as preparing a single meal with combining many food ingredients which allows the body to digest food better.

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6. Consuming fermented food (pickled vegetables) and probiotics help to flourish and restore the good bacterial flora.

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7. Effective foods are bone broth (contain collagen which cleanses the gut), ginger, blueberries, peppermint oil, healthy fats like omega-three fatty acids, all benefit the gut.

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8. Low impact exercises: Low intensity exercises like rebounding, stretching, walking, yoga and low impact cardiac workout can be helpful for gut health.

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Brain fog ๐Ÿ™„

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Brain fog is a state of foggy, ambiguous thinking. It may be associated with a lack of concentration, a short span of memory loss, anomic aphasia, susceptible to distraction. Brain Fog is a loosely framed term not in medical terminology. There is no evidence of neuropsychological evidence. So, it has no proper medical diagnosis. As far as symptoms are concerned, we may all relate to the concept of brain fog from time to time.

But, yes, when such symptoms are stable and have been steady for quite some time, we surely need clinical assistance. When the difficulty with cognitive functioning becomes problematic, interferes with daily activities, people surrounding you have noticed the symptoms, and slowly they are progressive and declining, we surely need neurological evaluation.

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Common symptoms:
Slow thinking
Difficulty focusing
confusion
Lack of concentrating.
Forgetfulness.

Common causes of brain fog :

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1. Depression is a state where there is pre-occupied thinking of sadness, worries, hurt, loss, persistent failure. This thinking pattern progresses to affect mood and impair cognitive and behavioural functionalities.
2. Anxiety is a state when there is ruminating about failures, lows of life, worries and so on.
3.Chronic illness or continuous physical pain.
4.Untreated sleep apnoea.
5.Alcohol, drug abuse
6.Chronic Fatigue syndrome.
7.Medications: Benzodiazepines, topiramate, anticholinergic drugs.
8.Sleep deprivation
9.Pregnancy.
10.Appetite disturbances, poor nutrition.

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A neuropsychological evaluation is necessary by formal testings of Core battery tests, a general cognitive assessment like memory, attention, language, motor function and visual-spatial and so on. Treatment is based on the underlying cause and symptoms.

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Any one of us can have brain fog at some point or the other. The general lifestyle of living in stress, anxiety, overthinking, sleep disturbances can easily affect our thinking and behavioural pattern from time to time. It’s essential to be more aware of our mental state and be proactive to notice and correct the gap or shortcomings by bringing out changes in our lifestyle. Some changes lifestyle like :

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Improving diet with more brain-boosting foods and probiotics.
Cutting down inflammatory foods
Improving sleep cycle.
Increased physical activity.
Try not to be self-critical.
Socializing.
Self-care to de-stress ourselves. (developing hobby, being creative, sports)

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8 truths of Leaky gut syndrome ๐Ÿ™Œ

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Time and again, it has been proved by extensive Medical researches that most of the chronic illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, type 1diabetes, irritable bowel disorders, migraine are all associated with gastrointestinal disorders. A patient who suffers from chronic symptoms’, the history should be thoroughly investigated for an underlying food or lifestyle habits that may be co-related.
Our body is not a single entity, nor each of its organs works independently of each other. Every structure, including the skin, tissues, mucosal lining, organ, system including a huge colony of microbiota are all interconnected and work together as a biological system. Not only this, the immune system, biochemical processes, endocrine and the autonomic nervous system, are all very much interdependent. Therefore, while considering any chronic disorder, the entire system has to be taken into account, including food habits and lifestyle in the process of management of such illnesses.

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1. The food, we eat reaches the intestines where they are bind to enzymes where filtration and absorption take place. Then, the nutrition of the food is absorbed in the bloodstream through the intestinal barrier. Without digestion, the food cannot escape directly through the intestinal/gut wall. The intestinal lining is typically intact and tight. It doesn’t let food, bacteria or toxins to escape directly to the bloodstream. Nutrients of food also absorbed through small villi on the intestinal wall. Usually, there are tiny holes of 1-7 microns in the gut lining through which the nutrition permeates into the bloodstream. When there is Leaky gut, the holes become bigger about 200-300 microns, and the intestinal villi are damaged too because of which the intestinal integrity is lost. That is the reason leaky gut is also called intestinal permeability. There is directly permeability on the gut lining through which the food material, bacteria, toxins escape into the bloodstream. The immune system comes into play and starts reacting. There is extensive inflammation of the intestinal lining and its structures. There is swelling and slowly scarring of the intestinal walls.

2. Evidence has proved that genetic predisposition is one of the leading causes of leaky gut. But, emerging researches have shown the not only DNA is to be blamed alone. Lifestyle conditions like high gluten diet, fat, sugar-rich diet, smoking, alcohol, stress, pain killers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and food intolerance are some of the common conditions predisposing leaky gut. Therefore, leaky gut commonly found in chronic conditions like Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients. Leaky gut not only creates symptoms in bowel disorders but also linked to most conditions of autoimmune origin. It may be associated with autoimmune diseases like Lupus, Type 1diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, allergies and mental illness. Autoimmune disorders are difficult to diagnose and treat. They can be managed and controlled but has no permanent cure.

3. Trigger factors of leaky gut are like a gluten-rich diet, dairy-rich, soy food or drugs like antibiotics or over the counter pain killers like aspirin, acetaminophen which may disturb the intestinal lining and cause leaky gut. Such triggers lead the immune system to be activated, causing an immune response in the body to produce antibodies against our own body’s intestinal tissue lining, causing inflammation. This inflammation can increase the intestinal permeability that is the escape of food and toxins directly into the bloodstream leading to symptoms like pain, diarrhoea, joint pain, fatigue, headache and depression. As Leaky gut is associated with a number of symptoms, so, it is called Leaky Gut syndrome.ย 

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4. Common symptoms are
Diarrhoea, Constipation
Pain abdomen, bloating
Skin rashes like acne, eczema, rosacea
Brain fog, memory loss
Depression
Chronic Fatigue
Joint pain.

5. Though strong evidence shows that many chronic conditions are associated with an underlying cause of leaky gut. Leaky gut is still not considered an official medical diagnosis, nor it has a standard protocol of treatment. A proper detailed history of the patient can detect the leaky gut condition. Therefore the management also differs from individual to individual depending on the full range of trigger factors.

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6. Diet and lifestyle changes do help a great deal in such conditions. Drugs that suppress the immune response and also to control the inflammation are required in some cases. The most important message is that we know our body better than anybody else. Even if we go to the best of the specialist physician, we should do what works best for us. Never stop self investigating and self-analysing yourself about why and what may trigger or lead to such symptoms. Be your observer, and make changes accordingly, which may be very helpful.

7. Hold on to basics. As, from my own experience, the best thing is leading a simple life; more fundamental is food and lifestyle, less is the list of complications or symptoms of chronic illnesses. Stick to the essential food habits that you may have inherited from your ancestral lineage because that’s how your genetic makeup and your body is comfortable. Follow work, exercise and sleep balance. Always maintain calmness of mind by using techniques of meditation and mindfulness because a healthy mind has a high impact on the physical body.

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Other measures that can be beneficial are:
To limit the amount of carbohydrate from the diet.
To eat more of fermented food (Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt)
Limiting dairy products and using more probiotics in the diet.
Eating more of soluble fibres in the diet.
Limiting the use of antibiotics and pain killers and using them only when necessary.

8. Vitamin deficiency of D, A, C, Zinc are related to increased intestinal permeability. So, dietary sources and vitamin supplements can be helpful to some extent. Vitamin D also suppresses inflammation in the gut. Certain supplements like Curcumin, L glutamine, collagen peptides, Zinc and probiotics are also helpful in some instances.

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Post: The Mind Diet ๐Ÿ˜‡

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We need both mind and body equally to carry out our daily activities. As we age, we face the challenges of ageing, living, working, struggling to have a fit mind and a body. Therefore, food being an important source of energy, we need to give our undivided attention to what we consume daily. This Mind diet is a routine plan of what we need to consume daily to keep our mind healthy and prevent us from Alzheimerโ€™s, dementia and other age-related illness.

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ย 

Post: Fivesome – The effective medicine ๐Ÿ™Œ

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Chronic diseases contribute to huge healthcare expenses. Regular doctor’s visits, buying the prescription drugs, undergoing procedures, hospital treatments and stay, all of them incur huge expenses.

We know by now that inflammation is the key to all chronic diseases in the body. Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, lung diseases like COPD and asthma, Crohn disease, arthritis, HIV, Cancers and the list goes on. Not only these, even brain diseases like Alzheimers, dementia, and Parkinson are also related to inflammation in the brain.

The only solutions to this huge health issues are prevention and controlling the chronic conditions. So, how do we do that? Researches have already proved that most chronic conditions are caused by food and unhealthy lifestyle. So, the easiest and efficient way to reach our goal to prevent and control chronic conditions is by switching on to a healthy diet and making lifestyle changes. 80% of our immunity comes from good gut health. So, eating right, removing stress, active physical life, all contribute to a healthy gut. Therefore , the five some ….

1.Food:The problem is that too much information on food flooding the internet, conflicting information, different diet regimens like keto, paleo, vegan, Meditteranean and the list is long. Too many lists of superfood come out daily. So, how do we know what is right for us?

I think following any diet, there is always pros and cons because you eat some and skip something else. Depending on your goal, whether to lose weight or maybe for some chronic conditions like diabetes, your diet is scheduled and designed. Though following a particularly strict diet, do benefit like losing weight in case of a Keto diet. Sometimes, it can lead to unhealthy outcomes. And, following a particular diet seems to be like, you are doing for a temporary phase. But, to have a goal of a healthy life, the food and lifestyle changes has to be permanent and adopt it as a way of life. It has to be a mentality shift.
Again, not every type of grain, vegetables, fruits available in every part of the world. Different regions grow different crops according to their climatic conditions. So, the best food is preferably,organic (devoid of pesticides) and locally produce grain, vegetables and fruits so that they are fresh. And locally produce grains, veggies, fruits are usually affordable.
Your daily consumption should be a majority, about 70% of plant-based food like greens, veggies, fruits, nuts. About 30% should be whole grain fibres, low fat and protein like eggs, chicken and fish. This is how simple a daily healthy diet plan can be.

2. Exercise: Right from evolution, we, humans are meant to be active. So, being active is essential. Follow your daily routine exercise of at least an hour. Do whatever you like, running, walking, swimming, cycling, gymming., dancing. The workout you enjoy doing. There is no hard and fast rule.

3.Meditation/ Mindfulness: I have already written posts on meditation and it’s benefits. it is important to empty our mind daily, at least for some time.Spend a few minutes in silence every day. If you can, be mindful (being aware ) as much as you can. Being mindful means, paying attention to your thoughts, emotions without being judgemental. Staying mindful, by following your natural breaths, simply just being aware of, at least 20 mins or more is very beneficial. It reduces your stress level.

4. Support: Have always a support system. Loneliness is a major factor in many health issues. People with a good support system can better control chronic conditions. Rely on your spouse, partner, friends or a social support group where you can open up.

5.Sleep: Though ideally recommended in adult as 7-8 hours of sleep. But the fact is, the quality of sleep is more important than the quantity.
When you follow sleep hygiene of going to bed and getting up from bed at a routine timing, whatever hours of good sleep, you get is enough.

All these 5 steps can guarantee you for a healthy life for the longest time. Even, if you suffer from a chronic condition, it can be maintained better with a disciplined lifestyle.

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