6 important facts: Probiotics and SBO supplements πŸ™Œ

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We know by now that our gut flora is full of the microbiome. It is this microbiome flora which maintains our health and wellbeing. Previously, nobody ever worried about this microbiome flora which is natural and responsible for our good health. But in today’s time, due to consuming highly processed, refined food, heavy toxins and pesticides in food, unhealthy lifestyle, artificial farming and hybrid products, environmental toxins, this gut microbiome flora is greatly affected. The overall health and immunity status of people have suffered much. As a result, many chronic health issues like chronic inflammation, inflammatory bowel diseases, autoimmune conditions, and cancers have increased.

In the past, food used to come directly from the soil. People lived closer to nature. Nowadays, whatever food is available in the Supermarket, are all cleaned, bleached grains, vegetables, fruits, and processed refined, packaged foods. Therefore, the gut microbiome flora is shrinking slowly. This is why more and more people are suffering from gut health issues and other chronic severe conditions.

6 Important facts about Probiotics and SBO supplements:

1. Probiotics are live organisms which are found in some natural foods. They are also available in the form of supplements. There are mainly two types: Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria. They have become very popular in recent times because they provide the gut microbiome flora with good bacteria, improve digestion, increase immunity, and improve overall health and wellbeing.


Probiotics are found naturally in fermented foods like:
Kefir
Saurkraut
Kombucha
Natto
Yoghurt
Apple cider vinegar
Miso
Gherkins
Kimchi

3. Dairy-based probiotics are naturally found in yoghurt, especially in goat milk yoghurt and raw cheese. But, in processed cheese and poorly storage dairy products, probiotic bacteria get denatured. Sometimes, acidic ph in the stomach also can harm the good probiotic bacteria found in dairy. So, having dairy products may not provide enough probiotic in our body.

4. SBOs are soil-based organisms found in the soil, about 6 inches below the topsoil. They are found to be very beneficial to overall good health. To name a few, like Anthrobacter Simplex, Bacillus brevis and many more. Commercially grown plants and crops lack SBOs as they are no longer grown on the natural organic environment. So, SBO supplements are very much in demand.

5. SBO supplements are useful in improving overall immunity status, improving inflammation and digestion. Patients affected by chronic issues, or who undergo chemotherapy, SBOs supplements help improve gut functions and immunity status significantly.

6. While taking Probiotics and SBO supplements, one should start slowly and in consultation with a Physician. About 70%-80% of people can show marked improvement after taking supplements like improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and improving immunity. While some may show slow progress like the symptoms can slowly reduce. While there may not be any improvement or sometimes some people, there may have a negative impact. So the response is quite variable. The decision of using such supplements depends on the individual and his or her requirement. Otherwise, regular intake of natural sources of Probiotics can be very beneficial too.

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Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

Glycemic index: 6 facts to know πŸ™Œ

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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 πŸ’

Pic courtesy :Pinterest

Immunity : 8 signs to indicate that your immunity is intact πŸ™Œ

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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 πŸ’

 

 

 

11 ways to get rid of Acid reflux 😠

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Reflux is the upward movement of the material from the stomach to the oesophagus through the lower oesophageal sphincter. The content of the material can be acid, food or air now and then. Usually, the sphincter remains tight, but when it becomes loose, stomach content migrates to the oesophagus.

Common causes of Acid reflux can be:

1.Overweight or obese.
2.Pregnancy
3.Hiatus Hernia (when part of the stomach bulges out into the chest through the diaphragm)
4.Eating a heavy meal and lying down on the right side or bending forward.


5.Drinking fizzy, carbonated drinks or alcohol.
6.Smoking.


7.Having too many beverages, like tea and coffee.
8.Intake of blood pressure medication or pain killers.

Commonly occurring symptoms are :

Burning sensation behind the sternum/breast bone. Also known as heartburn.
Belching/ Regurgitation of food.
Acidic taste in the mouth.
Atypical symptoms like coughing at night.

Acid reflux pain or heartburn can be very annoying and uncomfortable. If the episodes become frequent, the diagnosis is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The condition is diagnosed based on physical symptoms. But in prolonged cases, or frequent episodes, or in case of hiatus hernia, oesophageal stricture, diagnosis is done by ultrasound and CT scan. The treatment recommended with medication proton pump inhibitors, Omeprazole. In severe cases, some may require surgery.

But, there are several Lifestyle measures which we can adapt to reduce Acid reflux:

1. Changing the eating pattern by avoiding eating late at night. Avoiding large, heavy meal.

2. Getting rid of trigger foods like spicy, fried, citrous or even tomato-based food items.

3. Eating small meals at regular intervals and eating slowly by chewing properly.

4. Avoiding carbonated and fizzy drinks, avoiding alcohol, too much tea and coffee.

5. Quitting Smoking.

6. Destressing yourself before meals like by taking 5-6 deep breaths before each meal.

7. Don’t eat 2-3 hours before going to bed.

8. Sleeping on the left side so that it decreases the pressure on the lower oesophageal sphincter and reduces gastric stress.

9. Using a pillow of sufficient height to support the head so that the abdomen and oesophagus are all in alignment.

10. Avoid tight clothing which may again cause gastric pressure and on the oesophageal sphincter.

11. Food preferred are


Green leafy vegetables
Non-citrous fruits
Oatmeal
Eggs
Lean meat and fish
Probiotics like yoghurt, buttermilk
Fennel seeds
Winter melon/Ash gourd
Ginger/turmeric


Aloe vera
Healthy fats like avocado, walnut.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

 

 

 

 

 

Collagen Benefits πŸ™Œ

 

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Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our body. Most of the tissues including muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, fascia, arteries, cartilage, gut lining which constitute the immune system, skin, hair, nails in the body are all collagen.Β So,collagen is the important factor, which makes us look younger and maintain the overall physical beauty. Tissues mostly comprise of the extracellular matrix, a diverse mesh of protein and sugar. This matrix is consisting of the fibrous proteins, which is the collagen. As we age, the body produces less and less collagen. Nutritional deficiencies, eating junk foods, sedentary lifestyle all contribute to premature losing of collagens.

Structurally in the human body, there are at least 28 types of collagen, out of them, five types are the most prominent. Each of them functions differently and form building blocks of different tissues in the body.

Eating collagen-rich foods and supplements can slow down the degradation of collagen process in a significant way and protect the body from premature ageing, wrinkles, weak joints, organ damage and hair loss. Collagen is absorbed in the body in a hydrolyzed form, which can be easily assimilated and utilized by our body.

Significant benefits of consuming collagen-rich foods:

1.Supports the gut health, which mainly constitutes the immune system: The gut lining consists mostly of collagen. When the gut lining is weak or damaged, like in leaky gut syndrome, which is the root cause of many autoimmune conditions, collagen can be of great help. Consuming collagen-rich food can help in the repair and regeneration of the gut lining and supports the immune system and help to resolve many autoimmune conditions.

2. Supports Connective tissues: Mainly type 1 and 2 comprises of collagen which supports bones, joints, tendons, ligaments.

3. Benefits in overall beauty; Consuming collagen-rich food benefits skin, hair, nail as they are all made of collagen.

Important natural sources of collagen :


1.Berries: Out of all the berries, the blackberries are the richest source of anthocyanin, a compound, which helps to boost the production of collagen in the body. Ellagic acid found in berries prevents degradation of collagen: Another important compound, vitamin C found in berries is essential in collagen production.


2.Eggs: Egg white contains mainly amino acids Glycine and Proline, which mostly help to boost collagen production. The yolk contains fats and vitamin D, which also support the collagen in skin, bones and muscles.
3.Bone Broth: Broth is rich in hydrolyzed collagen from animal sources like chicken or beef, which boost the collagen production in the body.


4. Seafood: Oysters is rich in Zinc and copper, which helps and support in the formation of collagen. Wild fishes, like Salmon, is rich in Vitamin A, which trigger collagen production.
5.Saturated fats: Collagen production requires saturated fats from cheese, butter, olive oil, coconut oil and oily fishes.
6.Garlic: It is rich in sulfur which prevents the breakdown of collagen.


7.Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is vital in the production of procollagen, which is a precursor in collagen production.
8. Other critical sources are broccoli, fruits like mango, guava, pineapple, kiwi, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, beans are rich in amino acids and vitamin C, which promotes collagen production.

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Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

 

 

10 rules of clean eating πŸ™Œ

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Courtesy: Prevention.com (Pinterest)

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Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

Insulin Resistence : 6 ways to reverse naturally πŸ™Œ

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

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

Common symptoms are :

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


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


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


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

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

Some natural ways to lower the blood insulin level:

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


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


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


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

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


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

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love for all πŸ’

 

 

 

 

 

Mental health and food: 6 facts πŸ˜‡

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe Friday πŸ™‹πŸ»

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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 πŸ’

 

 

Potassium: Facts to know πŸ™Œ

Hello everyone ! Have a great and safe dayΒ πŸ™‹πŸ»

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Potassium is an essential mineral which is used as an electrolyte by our body to conduct electrical impulses throughout our body to carry out many vital functions like blood pressure regulation. Since our body doesn’t produce Potassium on its own, it has to be sourced from the food items, we eat.

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Other vital functions of Potassium include
fluid balance,
muscle contractions,
nerve impulses,
Heart rythm
aid in digestion
Maintain the ph balance

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People get enough necessary Potassium by eating a healthy balanced diet. Too little Potassium state is called Hypokalaemia may cause health problems. The Hypokalaemic condition is diagnosed by a blood level of less than 3.5 mmol/lit. Similarly, high potassium state is called Hyperkalaemia when blood level is more than 5.0 mmol/lit, which also causes health issues. So, the right balance is required. Daily Potassium requirement for the body is 3500 – 4700 mg per day. So, that is quite a massive amount of quantity for daily consumption.

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Naturally, the kidneys maintain the level of Potassium in the body with the excess being eliminated in the urine. Majority of the Potassium in the body that is almost 98% is stored inside each bodily cell and the rest in liver, RBCs and bone.

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Hypokalaemia: Symptoms can be muscular cramps, spasms, fatigue, constipation and irregular heartbeats. Health problems that cause this state can be:

Diuretics (water pills for high BP)
Excessive fluid loss (diarrhoea, vomiting, sweating)
Kidney diseases
Magnesium deficiency

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The sources of Potassium-rich food are Avocado, Potatoes, sweet potatoes, all greens, most of the varieties of beans, Salmon, bananas.

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Hyperkalaemia: In a healthy individual, the condition of Hyperkalaemia usually is not seen. So, there is no adverse effect on consuming potassium-rich food daily. However, such a state is seen in people with compromised kidney functions like in chronic kidney diseases, and those who take medications that affect kidney functions like blood pressure medication (ACE inhibitors). The most common symptom of Hyperkalaemia is abnormal heartbeat called Arrhythmia. Calcium gluconate is usually used to stabilize such cases.

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In such an individual, food that is known to be rich sources of Potassium should be avoided.

Potassium is crucial for the body’s vital functions. To maintain the correct blood potassium level, consuming varieties of food items are good enough, to add up to a group of 4700 mg per day. Over the counter, Potassium supplements can provide only a small fraction of it, which is hardly useful. So, it is not recommended to use Potassium supplements unless specifically prescribed by your Physician.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’