Tag Archives: inflammation

How probiotic benefits children

Probiotics are supplements or enhanced foods that contain living microorganisms. These are added to or are included in foods such as yogurt. It helps to change the bacterial balance in the human body. The idea is to boost the good bacteria in the body. Good bacteria destroys harmful bacteria and reduces infection and inflammation.
The human digestive system is home to more than 500 different types of bacteria. They help to keep the intestines healthy and assist in digesting food. They are also believed to help the immune system.
“Probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines,” says Stefano Guandalini, MD, professor of paediatrics and gastroenterology at the University Of Chicago Medical Centre. These friendly organisms may also help fight bacteria that cause diarrhoea.
Yoghurt contains friendly bacteria, which when added to our gut results in a healthier and better functioning intestine. When we have an upset stomach or diarrhea, the bacterial setup gets disturbed and can get destroyed. So, to regain the healthy bacterial colonies back, we need to consume yoghurt or other probiotic foods on a daily basis, especially during an upset stomach or indigestion.
Some of the best evidence of the benefits of probiotics comes from studies of diarrhea in children, especially infectious diarrhoea caused by rotavirus.
Probiotic foods improve the immunity of children because probiotic bacteria produces organic compounds such as lactic acid and acetic acid which make the colon slightly acidic. Acidic environments allow the growth of the good bacteria whilst inhibiting the growth of many harmful bacteria. A well functioning digestive system will enhance absorption of essential nutrients and increase overall immunity.
Probiotic foods also help to take the load off the immune system by keeping the protective mucosal layer in your digestive tract healthy. This provides an extra level of defence against invasion by harmful pathogens. On top of all these benefits, probiotics can directly influence the activity of the immune system by increasing the concentration and activity of certain immune cells. This combination of factors makes probiotic supplementation a simple yet effective way to prevent all the types of infections and illnesses.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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5 Reasons to Avoid Processed Foods

What are processed foods?

Foods that are altered from their natural state after being taken through various artificial processes. If it’s boxed, bagged, canned or jarred and has a list of ingredients on the label, it’s processed. Methods used to process foods include:
• Canning
• Freezing
• Refrigeration
• Dehydration
• Aseptic Processing

Need for processing food

Processed foods are more convenient. Many working professionals choose processed foods over natural foods to save time and to eat something ‘tastier’. But convenience isn’t the only thing you get when you eat processed foods. Here is a list of ingredients that manufacturers add to processed foods:
• Color
• Stabilizer
• Emulsifiers
• Bleach
• Texturizers
• Softeners
• Preservatives
• Sweeteners
• Hide Odours
• Flavours
You could be unwittingly filling your grocery cart with highly processed foods that can adversely affect your health. Avoiding processed foods that contain these and other chemical additives greatly benefit our health. 

Following are the health effects of processed foods:

1.Cancer

People who regularly consume processed foods may have an increased risk of developing pancreatic and other types of cancer. Some synthetic chemicals used in the processed food industry are known to have carcinogenic properties.

2.Obesity and Diabetes

Heavily processed foods are usually higher in sugar. This blocks the hormonal signal that tells your brain that it’s time to stop eating. High fat and high salt content leads to water retention. Lack of nutrients and fibre results in unhealthy weight gain and consumption of empty calories. Consumption of sugar loaded processed foods leads to spikes in blood sugar levels. According to the World Health Organization, processed foods are to blame for the spike in obesity levels and other chronic diseases around the world.

3.Shorter Lifespan and promotes aging

Processed foods could shave years off your life. Your face could start resembling crinkle-cut chips if you turn to munching processed foods on a regular basis. A 2012 study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who cooked at home at least five times a week were 47% more likely to be alive after 10 years than people who relied more on processed foods. Scientific research shows that processed meat is a very strong contributor to ageing. Processed meats include those that have been smoked, salted, cured, or preserved with chemicals, such as nitrates.

4.Hidden Kidney Killers

Kidneys naturally balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health. When your body’s sodium is low, the kidneys essentially hold on to the sodium. When body sodium is high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine but if for some reason your kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to build up in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases, which makes your heart work harder and increases pressure in your arteries. Chronic kidney diseases can make it hard for your kidneys to keep sodium levels balanced. Processed foods are typically high in salt and additives that contain sodium. This includes bread, preserved and frozen meals, processed meat, pizza, cold cuts and bacon, cheese, soups, and fast foods. Avoid foods with ingredients like “sodium phosphate,” “calcium phosphate,” and “phosphoric acid,” or anything with “phos-” in the word

5.Inflammation in body

People who eat food consisting processed ingredients two to three times a week face a significantly higher risk of developing asthma. Food preservatives can also trigger asthma. Sulfite additives are commonly used in food processing or preparation and may trigger asthma in those people who are sensitive. Processed foods have the ability to create inflammation in the body. Trans fats and sugar is common in fast-food menu items triggering inflammation, an unhealthy condition tied to asthma. Avoid the drive-thru and eat fruits and vegetables at least three times a week

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Dangers of processed food

It is very easy to grab a packet of chips, biscuits just to suppress your hunger for a particular period of time. But once you understand that how these processed foods are made then it becomes easier to select the healthier options instead of going for processed foods on daily basis. Following are the reasons which are going to reflect why one should not include processed foods on the daily basis.

1. Processed foods ruin digestion

Because all the nutrients, vitamins are completely stripped of the food product once it gets into processing steps. It actually weakens our digestive system and allows harmful bacteria to enter in our body. One should always make healthier options before choosing any of the processed foods.

2. Processed foods triggers health problems

Processed foods contain various preservatives, additives so that a product shelf life won’t effect. But these additives which contain specifically phosphates can affect our kidneys and also weaken our bones as per one of the researches. And some of the studies also showed that refined sugars, processed flours, vegetable oils and many other ingredients commonly found in processed foods are largely responsible for the chronic inflammation problems in body.

3. Processed Foods contain pesticides

In order to work more for genetically modified foods, the farmers have to apply pesticides which can end up into final product so in this way processed foods have high chances of having pesticides in comparison with fresh food groups.

4. Processed foods can be addictive and lead to weight gain

Processed foods tend to over stimulate the production of dopamine, also known as the “pleasure” neurotransmitter, which makes you crave them constantly. So, your body tempts to eat much more than the normal intake which in time make the person addictive as well as it add unnecessary fat in the body.

 

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Do you know which is the healthiest cooking oil?

What is it that makes a cooking oil healthy and whats in it that effects heart health?  Cooking oil has fat that has various health functions that makes it so important in our diets. Read along to understand different how different types of oil are healthy or healthy depending on their fat content. Cooking oils are healthy but need to be used in moderation for better health.

Olive Oil (Cr/freedigital)

We have always read that fat is not healthy for the body and often causes weight gain, heart diseases and increases cholesterol. Our body requires essential fatty acids for absorption of vitamins, better hormonal function, regulating blood sugar levels, storage of energy, controlling inflammation and brain development. Most importantly it adds flavor to the food. Fats are generally categorized as saturated fat and unsaturated fat. Saturated fat is difficult to break and is difficult to digest. It has high boiling point and freezing point. These fats are usually solid at room temperature and have a longer shelf life. Where as the other fat is unsaturated fat which is further divided into two categories of poly saturated fat and mono saturated fat. These fats are liquid at room temperature and have low boiling and freezing point with a shorter shelf life.

Unsaturated fat is unhealthy for the body and increases cholesterol while the polysaturated fats which contain the essential fatty acids improve cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol in the body. When unsaturated fat is hydrogenated it is called trans fat which increases the shelf life of products. The chips and commercial fried foods contain hydrogenated fats. Trans fats are not so healthy as they increase cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL which have severe effects on th health.

Cooking oils are either derived from  animal sources or plant sources. We have heard that certain oils are more beneficial and improve health when used for cooking whereas some oils are unhealthy. Deep fried foods are cooked in oils which have more  saturated fat as it has high boiling temperature which does not let the oil burn and bear its characteristics. Watch this video for more information.

 

Sometimes fats lose their characteristic upon boiling and don’t remain healthy and develops qualities that may result in bad health.
There are different oils present in the market like ghee, sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, olive oil, mustard oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil, sesame oil, rice oil etc of which some contain more of saturated fat and are not so healthy while some contain more of unsaturated oil which are healthy. You can consume about 30% of your daily calories requirement from fat through cooking oil. Here is a list of some of the healthier cooking oils available in the market.

Below are some healthy cooking oil with their characteristics

Mustard Oil: The oil is derived from pressing the mustard seeds. It contains very less of saturated fat and more of unsaturated fat. It contains omega 3 acid and omega 6 essential fatty acids about 12%. It is liquid at room temperature and is has its own characteristic smell and brown colour. In Indian cuisines it is used to cook stir fried veggies at low temperature as they add flavour to the food. The erucic acid present in it is controversial for its benefits. It is used for massaging at various places.

Olive Oil: It is called the healthiest of all cooking oils and is present in different variants like extra virgin oil etc. The variants have different properties and used differently. Olive oil is primarily unsaturated fat and just 12% of saturated fat and improves heart health and increases good cholesterol. It has a lot of vitamins E & K with essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Extra virgin quality is used for skin, shaving oil but not used for cooking usually as it loses its characteristic upon heating.

Peanut Oil: Peanut oil has a high smoke point and is often used for deep frying. The oil is healthy as it contains higher content of unsaturated fat and less of saturated fat making it  healthy and in fact improves coronary benefits. It is high in energy and has a long shelf life. It brings a aroma and flavor to the food it is cooked with.

Sunflower Oil: It is one of the most common cooking oil used for cooking which we refer to as refine oil. It is high in unsaturated fat and is rich in essential fatty acids. It can be used in food for cooking on high temperature. It is often used in commercial products  and for deep frying of foods like french fries and chicken etc. It contains vitamin E & K as other nutrients in it. The plain taste makes it available to be used in various dishes.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Benefits of Seasonal Fruits

Eat a fruit every time you have a growling stomach. Its the healthiest substitute for a snack as it is packed with nutrition and can actually boost your metabolism. There are variety of fruits present through out the year offering loads of nutrition packed in different flavors. Binging on fruits is specially helpful when you are trying to lose weight or are on a  weight loss diet. Seasonal fruits then become an ideal in-between meal snacks. Fruits contain phyto-chemicals and antioxidants help fight free radicals and diseases in the body.

Watermelon (Cr/freedigital)

Regular consumption of fruits promote healthy heart health reducing the chances of cardiac problems, lower blood pressure and keeps cholesterol in check. The vitamins and mineral quality of fruits can’t be replaced with supplements as it is a natural source and gets absorbed by the body easily. Summers offer a range of fruits which are full of taste, colour and nutrition. Add 1-2 fruits in your diet and experience the change.

Some Summer Seasonal Fruits

Water Melon: Eating 100 gms would add just 20 calories to your diet. Though it is sweet but the high amount of water and fiber lessen the calories present in it. It is refreshing and reduces body temperature, blood pressure, inflammation and many other health conditions. It has the highest concentration of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which improves heart health. It contains vitamin, A,C and B and minerals like potassium, calcium and is fat free. Enjoy its juice or eat raw in salads.

Mangoes: 65 calories is what it provides for 100 gms. You could eat a small sized mango before a workout as it is high is carbohydrates but with a low glycemic index. vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium along with phenolic compounds are present in mangoes. It is rich in minerals and has high anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties. Check the portion control while eating mangoes for weight loss.

Plum: 52 calories Potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous are minerals present in plum along with Vitamin A, E and c. It provides 55-60 calories per 100 gms though consume 2 fruits. It is high in fiber and boost immunity and protects against cancer. It is a healthy fruits.

Jamun/Jambul: High in vitamins and minerals like  iron, manganese, zinc, calcium, sodium and potassium. It contains antioxidants like Tannic acid, Gallic acid and oxalic acids along with alkonoids. It is beneficial for diabetics and eating 100 gms adds 60 calories approx.

Musk Melon: Eating a cup of muskmelon will add 50-55 calories with lots of fiber and carbs for energy. It is rich in vitamin A, B and C along with potassium, magnesium and sodium. Improves constipation problem. It has anti-oxidation properties and improves metabolism.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Get a Lean and Muscular Body with Vegetables

Gone are the days of bulking up and looking like Arnold schwarzenegger. Now Edward Pattison’s (Star of the twilight Series) body is the new rage. Getting lean and having the definition is still not as easy as it sounds. In fact  it is still more difficult to get lean than bulk up. People and bodybuilders usally eat meats as protein sources to bulk up. Unfortunately there are very few natural ways of getting lean. One which is often forgotten due to the quest for a bigger body is the importance of vegetables in the diet. Vegetables are low in calories and full of vitamins and minerals and fiber for better digestion . Besides this they also help develop leaner and strong muscles due to the high quality nutrients present in them.

Green Vegetables and fruits(Cr/freedigital)

Vegetables have very little fat in them which is crtical for reducing body fat to achieve the lean muscular look. Vegetables like cabbage, spinach and parsley are rich source of glutamine which is an amino acid which is the building block of protein and helps build more muscle mass, promoting digestion and tissue repair. The vitamins and minerals with antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body and boost immunity.

Vegetables also boosts muscle growth in older men also as the mitocondria activity in the cells provide more energy to the muscle to perform longer and with power. Doing adeqate resistance exercise with healthy diet will keep them stronger and in better shape reducing chances of injury.

A new study in the February issue of Cell Metabolism traces that improved performance to increased efficiency of the mitochondria that power our cells. The study suggests that foods that contain nitrates make your mitochondria work better and are known as power plants of the cells. Green vegetables are rich in nitrates that boost mitochondria activity giving us more energy during workouts for building leaner and bigger muscles. Good sources for green vegetables are spinach, parsley, kale, asparagus or other green leafy vegetables.

Add a bowl or two of vegetables for better metabolism of nutrients and higher level of energy for building lean muscles. Vegetables are fat free and low in calories reduce the fat percentage in the body giving you a ripped body. Fiber in vegetables keeps you fuller so that you don’t indulge in munching in between meals and avoiding eating extra calories for any storage.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Eat to lose weight

Weight loss and diets arn’t really about not eating and starving yourself to burn  fat. You could eat the same quantity and lose weight. Not eating is unhealthy for our body as it effects the immune system and the body’s power to fight infections and slows down the metabolic rate. Would you rather eat healthy and lose weight or not eat and get unfit.

Fresh Fruits(Cr/freedigital)

There are certain foods that are low calorie and some foods provide no calories at all. Our bodies require a certain number of calories per day and eating beyond it would store the calories. Usually when we are eating we give less importance to the calorie intake but rather eat till we feel full. So here are food options that will fill you up and keep the calorie intake balanced and low.

Fresh foods: If you want to eat choose natural food options like fruits, vegetables, cereals and pulses etc. The cheese burgers, pizzas, patties, fried foods, heavy snacks, empty calorie food provide less nutrition and are fattening. 1gm of fat provides a lot more calories than whats carbohydrates or protein provide. So changing your habits and eating healthy food will help you consume less calories,keep you full and fat especially which gets difficult to burn.

Fruits and vegetables Salads (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Knee Exercises

woman-crunches-swiss-ball

Do you have pain in your knees and have problems walking? Does your knee pain in the mornings and cause trouble while walking down the stairs? You probably have some inflammation in the knees and needs to be looked into.

Exercises for knees help in strengthening the knees and connected muscles to the knees as weak connecting muscles would not absorb the shock which would further increase knee problem.

Tips to Reduce Knee Pain

1.Dont run on the metal as it  stresses the knee causing further pain. Metallic surfaces are all hard surfaces like road, cemented surfaces and tough surfaces.

2.Manage your weight – The more you weight the more prone are your knees to injury.

3.Eat anti-inflammatory foods- The foods will naturally heal the inflammation reducing the pain and helping the kne recover.

4.Light Eercises: Don’t go for heavy weights or doing high intensity exercises because it will increase the problem. Do light exercises to strengthen it and increase blood flow, do warm water bath to increase blood flow again.

Knee Exercise with Elastic Band: Sit on a chair with the elastic band tied to the front foot. Attach one leg with the elastic on the same side and lift your ankles up and hold for 3-4 sec and bring back to normal. Perform 10 reps with both legs.

Knee Exercise with Chair: Stand behind the chair and hold the top of the chair back. Now lift your heels up keeping your tes touching the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and come back. Do 10 repetitions.

Bent Knee Exercise with Chair: Stand behind the chair and lift your knees. Hold one leg and bend it making the ankle touch your glutes. Hold on for a few seconds and then change legs. Perform 10 repetitions.

Side Leg Lift: Stand besides a chair while resting one hand on it. Spread one leg on the side lifting it in the air while the other leg is on the floor. Make sure the knee is not bent.

The above exercises will build the adjoing knee muscles providing support to the knee by absorbing shocks and share the knee tension before it reaches the knees. If knee pain is due to your weight then get started with a weight loss program to lose weight.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most popular nutrients in the body. It is water soluble in nature and cannot be stored by the body. Since it is predominantly required to protect the body one needs to ensure that the diet includes this essential nutrient on a daily basis. The most important benefits of Vitamin C is that it protects the body by building immunity and fights the body inflammation helping reduce colds, coughs, heart disease and cancer.

Citrus fruits(Cr/freedigital)

Vitamin C is an antioxidant which eradicates free radicals from the body and keeps the body in fighting mode from all foreign substances. It is also responsible for producing collagen present in muscles and bones useful in wound healing of all types. Therefore is a very popular for beautiful skin and is used in lot of cosmetics. The most popular  sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits like orange, tangerines and grapefruits and Fresh green leafy vegetables and lemon, strawberries, and lime.

Benefits of Vitamin C

Absorption of iron (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Fiber for Optimum Health

Fiber is an essential nutrient in your diet. Fiber is in the form of soluble fiber as well as insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber binds with the fatty acids in the stomach and the arteries. This helps to regulate blood sugar and reduces the over all cholesterol. The insoluble fiber removes toxins from your colon and balance intestine acidity.

Research has shown that people who consumed the highest amount of fiber were 22 percent less likely to develop heart and health related risks. Fiber helps in controlling diabetes and heart disease risks because it improves cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels. Besides it, fiber also has the property to bind along with the toxins and remove it from the body quickly. Read on to find out how much fiber your need, and best sources of fiber for your body. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo