All about Ashwagandha 🌱

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

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 πŸ’

(The intent of this post is mainly informational)

Face ageing: 5 crucial tips 😌

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

Skin is the largest organ in the body and is most prominent. So, any kind of changes of ageing can be visible clearly in the skin. The skin, like other tissues, possess the extracellular matrix. This matrix comprises collagen and other structural compounds called Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and proteoglycans. All these compounds together contribute to the tightness of the tissues which keep our skin stiff and makes us look younger and radiant.

As we age, we tend to lose more collagen, proteoglycans and GAGs slowly. A research study has shown that another vital hormone produced in the liver called Insulin Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1) is related to facial ageing. These IGF-1 levels are inversely proportional to the levels of serum insulin in the body. When insulin level is high like in case of insulin resistance individuals, the IGF-1 level is low. So, insulin resistance individuals tend to age faster usually. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant which is also naturally produced by our body which helps the skin and connective tissues to retain the moisture. We tend to lose this lubricant due to ageing and unhealthy food habits.

Facial ageing causes the horizontal and vertical lines to look prominent, thinned skin, loss of elasticity and collagen, loss of tissues and bones in the cheeks, fat atrophy, puffiness around eyes, sagginess around the neck and so on.

Common factors which aggravate the ageing process:

1.Smoking
2.Too much sun exposure causes skin damage. But, daily exposure to 10-15 mins of sunlight is useful for Vitamin D synthesis in the body.


3.Too much chemical-based cosmetic products like cremes, lotions, make up products are harmful.
4.Alcohol /drugs consumption
5.Refined processed food and too much sugar


6.Chronic stress causes high cortisol level.
7.Sedantery lifestyle and lack of exercise.

Specific important ways which prevent facial ageing :


1.Exercise: Most preferably maintaining an active lifestyle with the routine exercise of 30 mins to1 hour is ideal.A particular activity like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is short periods of 7-10mins of intense exercise with intervals of rest, and low-intensity exercise is beneficial to keep the cortisol levelΒ optimum.Β 

2.Enhance the quality of sleep: Sleep induces the release of HGH, human growth hormone and Insulin growth factor-1, which helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen and proteoglycans.


3.Intemittent fasting: Fasting of at least 16 hours can stimulate autophagy, body’s renewal mechanism, activates the immune system. Fasting increases the antioxidant activity and increase stem cell production.
4: Foods:
Collagen rich foods: These foods are a rich source of collagen, amino acids and hyaluronic acids.
Fermented foods: bone broth, green leafy veggies, caviar or fish roe, citrus fruits, mushrooms and seaweeds. To know more about collagen, please refer to my previous post https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=4448&action=edit

Healthy fats: Omega 3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA found in oily fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines, nuts like walnuts, macadamia, pecan nuts, seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds.
Saturated fats like in grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil are very helpful.


Organic Acids: Organic acids promote the growth of probiotics in the body, which helps to support the immune system and the cell renewal process. Organic acids found in fermented foods like saurkraut, kombucha are quite known for beauty benefits. The citric acid found in citrus fruits is also vital. Enzyme rich foods: Enzymes are essential for digestion and absorption of proteins in the body. Certain fruits with individual enzymes present in each of them like papaya contain papain. Figs contain ficans. Pineapple contains bromelain and kiwi have actinidain are all-powerful proteolytic enzymes which helps in the polysaccharide metabolism and the digestive process. Fruits are also rich in antioxidants which prevent free radical damage.


Vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins D, K, E, A are all essential for the prevention of free radical damage and cells renewal process.

5.Essential oils: These natural oils work naturally on the skin by hydrating and moisturizing. Some commonly used oils for beauty purpose are geranium, frankincense, lavender, jojoba, myrrh, rose and rosemary.

So, it is crucial to understand that to have a healthy body, a glowing skin, and healthy hair; it is necessary to correct our food habits and lifestyle rather than spending an enormous amount on cosmetic treatments and beauty products. The approach should be inside out rather than external means.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

Amazing benefits of Inositol πŸ™Œ

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

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 πŸ’

Insulin Resistence : 6 ways to reverse naturally πŸ™Œ

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful weekend πŸ™‹πŸ»

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’

 

 

 

 

 

Post : Reverse your wrinkles. 6 interesting ways πŸ™Œ

 

Ageing is inevitable. Signs of ageing start appearing in every part of our body. So, does in the face which appears as wrinkles. The beauty industry has earned billions of dollars every year on the entire range of anti-ageing products. Not only this, there are several cosmetic procedures like wrinkle fillers, Laser resurfacing, facelifts, which are done to reduce and improve the wrinkling of the face. Though, these products and procedures do give results temporarily but may not have a long-lasting effect or cannot reverse the process of ageing. So, it is important to understand why wrinkling happens and how can we, actually reverse the process?

The tightness of the skin is mainly due to complex polysaccharides named (GAGs), glycosaminoglycans which attract water and act as the lubricant to the skin and prevent from sagging. It keeps the skin and collagen tissues, electrically hydrated. The collagen and elastin are the proteins which give the structure and stability to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is also a form of unsulphated GAGs. That is the reason, many anti-ageing products contain hyaluronan. The GAGs also contributes to bone mass density. Therefore, with ageing, GAGs levels decline which causes wrinkles to appear in your face, and your bone density also reduces, causing weaker bones and joints. Over the years, other factors like exposure to sunlight, pollutants, unhealthy eating habits, lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol, all contribute to the wrinkling process. Then, there is the day to day stress, which results in a high level of cortisol which also further increases the wrinkling.

Now, the problem is how do we reverse the wrinkles? Yes, as we know, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy, sleep improvement can help to a great extent.
But, how can we maintain the level of GAGs in the body?
GAGs levels are mainly stimulated and synthesized in the body by a hormone made in the liver called IGF -1 (Insulin-like growth factor -1).

Therefore, 6 interesting tips to maintain the level of GAGs

1.Low insulin: Insulin levels are inversely linked to IGF-1 levels. When insulin levels are high, the IGF -1 level is low and vice versa. So, people with diabetes whose insulin level fluctuate, their IGF-1 levels also fluctuate oppositely. The ageing effects are also more prominent in them. So, in a normal individual, to maintain a low insulin level, and get high enough IGF-1, we need to cut down carbohydrate to a great extent. Follow a low carb diet,with plenty of fluids, avoid all kinds of sugars and regularly exercise.

2.Enhance the liver function: Liver is important because it produces the IGF-1 hormone which in turn result in GAGs production in the body. Cutting down alcohol is a healthy choice when it comes to the liver. Eating organic, fresh vegetables, fruits like apples, grapes, blueberries, nuts, beetroot is important to enhance the liver.

3.Intermittent fasting: You should have a meal and remain fasting for a long interval until you have your next meal. Because, when you are fasting, your body secretes growth hormones, including IGF-1. When you eat, your body produces insulin which deactivates the IGF-1. So, a considerable period of fasting or intervals between meals is important when you don’t eat anything not even snacking.

4.Fat-soluble vitamins: Daily intake of good sources of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K2. Sources can be organic egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, fish liver oils, butter, spinach, kale, carrots. Vitamin D is found in fatty fishes, fortified dairy products. It is better to take dietary sources of vitamins than supplements.

5.Moderate Protein intake: Daily intake of a moderate amount of protein can result in an adequate amount of GAG in the body. According to DRI (Dietary Reference Intake), 0.8 gm/kg or 0.36 gm/pounds is ideal. The right amount of protein depends on the individual ‘s age, muscle mass, current health status.

6.Sleep: Good amount of sleep of 7-8 hours a day releases growth hormone adequately in the body including IGF_1. Also, during sleep, your cortisol level is low giving enough time for cells to repair and regenerate.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

 

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