Thursday, 30 August 2012

Nutrition Facts To Live By

I have always found nutrition facts very interesting. I love to know what effect or benefit the food I'm eating is having on my body.

I don’t know about you, but I just love food! I love to eat and if I can find delicious tasting food that is really good for me too then I’m in heaven! The trick is to know what is good for you and what is not. Ever wonder what a particular food consists of and how it benefits your health?
We'll begin our nutrition facts tour by learning about macronutrients - carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

They are called macronutrients because they are nutrients that are needed in large quantities. They provide the body with energy it needs to survive and are also needed for metabolism, growth and essential body functions. All of them are equally important and we should eat them every day for good health.

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals and are needed in smaller quantities. Then of course there is water which is vital too. The only other element possibly in our diet that provides calories is alcohol, but that isn’t necessary for survival so it’s not considered a nutrient.
Every single little molecule our body gets comes from the food we eat and water we drink. Eating the highest quality food in the right quantities helps us reach our highest potential for vitality, health and freedom from disease.

These food nutrition facts can help you to achieve a balanced diet. It may not be possible at every meal, but if you look at the day as a whole, achieving a balanced diet is not that hard.
As we’ve seen earlier, our diet is made up of carbohydrate, proteins and fats. Each one is vitally important and we shouldn’t skip any. It is always a great idea to eat protein with carbohydrates as this helps balance the blood sugar and keeps you feeling fuller for longer – which is great for maintaining a healthy body weight. Use this nutrition guide to get the best out of every meal.

Some Interesting Nutrition Facts

Carbohydrates are our body’s major source of energy. There are 2 types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.We should aim to eat more complex carbs because they are unrefined and therefore aren’t stripped of their fiber and nutrients. They are digested slowly which keeps the body’s blood sugar stable and us feeling fuller for longer. They also contain fibre which is essential for good health.
Simple carbs have been stripped of all their goodness and also digest a lot quicker which causes the body’s blood sugar level to shoot up. When the blood sugar level falls soon after we feel hungry again.

Proteins are the building blocks of the body. The body breaks the protein we eat down into amino acids of which there are 25 kinds.
The different amino acids have different functions. Some are used to build muscle and maintain cells, others make hormones, others antibodies – proteins have many very important functions in the body.
There are 2 kinds of protein – complete and incomplete proteins. To make sure we get all the protein we need it is best to eat a variety of foods rich in protein such as eggs, meat, beans, lentils, quinoa & fish.

Fats have received a lot of bad publicity, but they too are vitally important to our body. The trick is to know which fats to eat more of and which ones to limit. There are 2 kinds of fats – saturated and unsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are the good fats and there are 2 kinds of them too. Firstly there are polyunsaturated fats which are the omega 3 and omega 6 fats. They are essential fats which your body can’t do without. They are essential for the brain and help reduce the risk of many health dangers such as cancer and heart disease. The second good fat is monounsaturated fats. This isn’t an essential fat but is good for you. Some studies have shown that monounsaturated fats can help lower the bad LDL cholesterol level in the blood.
Saturated fats aren’t essential at all and it’s best to limit our intake of them as they can contribute to obesity, high blood cholesterol and heart disease.

Water is life! Our body consists of about 65% water and just cannot do without it. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water can trigger signs of dehydration, bad short term memory and difficulty focusing.
It is estimated that 75% of people living in America have mild constant dehydration which likely applies to half the world population. Every cell in our body depends on water for proper functioning. Our blood is mostly water and the brain, lungs and muscles all contain a lot of water. Did you know that many times thirst is confused with hunger. We may think we’re hungry, but we’re actually thirsty. What an interesting and useful nutrition fact that is!
Why is it important to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily?
  • Water is a lubricant
  • Water flushes toxins from our body
  • Water helps with digesting our food
  • Water provides a means for nutrients to travel to all the organs in the body
  • Water transports oxygen to your cells
  • Water forms the fluids around the joints which protects them
  • Water regulates body temperature through perspiration
  • Water forms the base for saliva
  • Water helps prevent constipation
  • Water regulates metabolism
  • Water prevents disease such as colon, breast & bladder cancers by up to 50%
  • Water helps with weight loss, speeding up metabolism and acting as a natural appetite suppressant
You can make up your daily water intake by drinking herbal teas and diluting 100% fruit juices with water. 

After reading this nutrition guide, you now have a broad overview of basic nutrition facts and know why we should be eating complex carbohydrates, a variety of proteins and avoiding bad fats.

It is actually pretty straight forward, just remember to take it one step at a time and most of all, enjoy it!

The best weight loss programs are nutritionally-based, promote regular exercise, and teach healthy eating guidelines and habits for life-long results.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

10 Quick Health Tips for the Office

1) Eat breakfast. Breakfast improves concentration and fuels your brain and body for the tasking day  .If you deprive your body of breakfast you may find yourself tired, dizzy and irritable .It may take you longer to carry out tasks and your sweet cravings increase.

2)Maintain correct posture. Have your feet flat on the floor. Have your hips slightly higher than your knees. Sit as far back in the chair as possible. Keep your elbows close to your body and your shoulders relaxed down. The top line of your computer monitor should be at eye level so you are looking slightly down at your screen,keep your wrists in line with your forearm.

3) Take your breaks. Breaks = peace of mind. And peace of mind = energy and focus. Energy and focus =productivity. When you sit in the same position for a long time ,your blood flow to an active muscle is impaired, the oxygen supply is diminished, which over time can impair muscle function. 

4) Your lunch –Your lunch should contain both  Protein and Carbohydrate like a traditional thali.Half the plate should be covered with vegetables (bhaji + sald), quarter plate should be protein (pulses or non veg ),quarter plate with starch (rice or rotis) and a dairy product completes a meal.

5) Eat lunch away from your desk. When you eat your lunch while responding to your emails, you may
as well be eating your emails. While eating, it is best to focus on eating. In the end, you will better digest
your food. You will also remember eating your meal and will feel more satisfied from it.

6) Don’t heat your lunch in a plastic container in the microwave. The plastics will get into your food and
increase your risk of developing cancer. If you really need to heat your food,
ask your company to buy a hotplate.

7)Cut your caffeine intake: Avoid having more than  2 cups of coffee /tea per day. Excess causes a rise in blood pressure , heart ,causes insomnia, leads to miscarriage,cancer,Alzheimer’s disease.

8) Exercise.Walk when you talk,climb stairs, do some stretching .

9) Drink green tea.It lowers cholesterol,increases metabolism,reduces B.P.,delays Alzheimer’s disease,relaxes mind ,has anti bacterial properties.

10) Snack it up. Stack up your office drawer with snacks like roasted chana,nuts,khakhra,fruits,soya nuts ,Marie biscuits.It will energize you. When you’re energy is sustained, you’ll be able to focus and be more

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A Quick 15-Minute Workout At Home That Works!

15-minute-workout-weight-loss-tipsAll of us aim to stay fit, but more often than not, its hard to find time to go to a gym for a workout. I face this problem myself, and this is when a quick yet effective full-body workout comes to my rescue. Whether you are looking to lose a few pounds, burn fat around your tummy, or simply need a simple, quick yet effective total-body workout to keep you fit & flexible, the following exercises will definitely work for you!

This workout needs 15 mins, plus some resting time, and try to follow it three to five times per week. It keeps you agile, keeps your metabolism high, and is great for overall toning and flexibility. Add a 20 minute rigorous cardio on a treadmill or stepper.

Perform each exercise in succession, and repeat the entire routine 2 times. Try to target 15-20 repetitions per exercise, in 2-3 sets each. Start slow, with 15 reps at first, till you can easily complete 25 without feeling tired.
Lying face down on the floor, place your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Your thumbs should be lined up with your chest. Your toes should be curled under, and your feet hip width apart. Avoid sagging in the midsection of your body. Breathin out, raise your body up until your arms are fully extended, then lower back down. Repeat.
Stand in front of the desk chair with your back toward the chair and feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your head up as a natural extension of your spine. Begin to sit in the chair, lowering your body until your legs are at a 90-degree angle. Contracting your quadriceps (front part of the thigh), slowly return to the starting position — stopping just short of the legs being fully extended. Keep a slight bend in the knees to prevent injuries.
Lie on your living room carpet on your back. Make sure your lower back is relaxed against the floor during the exercise. Bend your knees until your legs are at a 45-degree angle. Keep both feet on the floor and place both hands crossed on your chest. Contracting the upper abs, and breathing out, raise your head and upper torso off the floor until your shoulders are slightly lifted. Breathing in, slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of your head touching the floor. Focus on really contracting your abs during the movement!
Stand facing the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the wall so that your fingers are slightly lower than your shoulders. Your hands should be close enough that your thumbs and index fingers form a triangle. Your feet should be a distance from the wall that forces your body to be at an angle slightly greater than parallel. Bend your elbows downward and lean your upper body toward the wall — making sure to project your chest forward. Your arms should be supporting your body. Stop the motion when your face nearly touches the wall and your chest touches your hands. Contracting the triceps muscles, slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of the elbows being fully extended.
In a seated position, exhale all the air from your lungs. After completely exhaling, pull the abdomen inward and hold for 20-30 seconds. Continue to breathe lightly through your nostrils, but make sure you are pulling your abs in as if you are attempting to make your abs and back touch. This exercise works the transversus, the main muscle that pulls your abs in, exremely effective for creating a flat stomach.
These 5 exercises, when performed correctly at least 3-5 times a week will help tighten your muscles and rev up your metabolism. Indeed, 15 mins well utilised! Hope this helps you maintain a healthy body, even when you don’t have time to go to the gym. This may not be the best workout routine, but it sure helped me in crunch times, and I’m sure it’ll help you too. After all, with this 15-minute workout in hand, there’s just no excuse for not exercising, right?

Sunday, 26 August 2012


Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body.
Normal blood pressure is when your blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mmHg most of the time.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
High blood pressure increases your chance of having a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, and early death.
You have a higher risk of high blood pressure if you:
·         Are obese
·         Are often stressed or anxious
·         Drink too much alcohol
·         Eat too much salt in your diet
·         Have a family history of high blood pressure
·         Have diabetes
·         Smoke
There are two treatments for Hypertensio 1)Lifestly changes and 2 ) Medications
You can do many things to help control your blood pressure, including:
·         Eat a low fat low saturated fat diet ,have plenty of fruits and vegetables(5- 7 servings),low fat milk and milk products rich in Calcium and whole grains.
·         Eat nuts,seeds and pulses daily.
·         Limit the intake of salt in the diet.No use of table salt.Avoid adding salt in salad, Buttermilk
  • Look for the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" on food labels. Do NOT eat foods with these ingredients. They are loaded with saturated fats and trans fats.
  • Have raw onion (atleast half ) and 2 cloves of raw garlic daily
  • Have Omega 3 rich fish atleast thrice a week.
·         Limit intake of processed food , pickle , papad,sauces,MSG high in salt content.
·         Restrict intake of tea and coffee to maximum 2 cups and cut down cold drinks
·         If you smoke, quit .
·         Limit how much alcohol you drink -- one drink a day for women, two a day for men.
·         Exercise regularly -- at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
·         Reduce stress .You can also try meditation or yoga.
·         Stay at a healthy body weight -- find a weight-loss program to help you, if you need it.

Nutrition In Menopause

Menopause is a natural process in a woman's life when her periods (menstruation) eventually stop. It occurs in women aged 45 – 55 but you have to prepare yourself from your 30’s so that you sail smoothly during menopause
During menopause, a woman's ovaries stop making eggs and they produce less estrogen and progesterone. Periods occur less often and eventually stop. Sometimes this happens suddenly. But most of the time, periods slowly stop over time.Menopause is complete when you have not had a period for 1 year. This is called postmenopause.
Symptoms may last 5 or more years. Common symptoms of menopause include
Menstrual periods that occur less often and eventually stop ,Heart pounding or racing,
Hot flashes ,Night sweats,insomnia,Headaches,Mood swings including irritability, depression, and anxiety ,Urine leakage ,Vaginal dryness and infection,Joint aches and pains,fatigue

It can also increase risk of developing Osteoporosis,hormone related cancer and Heart disease in the long run and also causes weight gain.


Treatment for menopause depends on many things, including how bad your symptoms are, your overall health, and your preference. It may include lifestyle changes or hormone therapy.
Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy may help if you have severe hot flashes, night sweats, mood issues, or vaginal dryness. Hormone therapy is treatment with estrogen and, sometimes, progesterone.
Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.

Several major studies have questioned the health benefits and risks of hormone therapy, including the risk of developing breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots.

Diet changes:
·         Certain plant foods have compounds with structure similar to hormone estrogen known as phytoestrogens.Richest sources are oilseeds and nuts mainly flaxseeds,sesame seeds,pistachios,almonds,walnuts.Next comes soyabean.They are also present in pulses,cabbage,apple,grapes,citrus fruits,strawberries ,oats,wheat bran plum,tomatoes,capsicum,cauliflower,carrot, broccoli.They protect body against hot flashes,osteoporosis,mood swings,breast cancer and heart disease.
·         Avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolates ,hot beverages,spicy food aggravate hot flashes.
·         Eat soy foods in the form of tofu,soya milk,soya flour, soya nuts.
·         Eat a low refined,processed and low fat diet.
·         Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits (5- 7 servings),whole cereals and nuts
·         Protein intake is very important .Add milk and milk products,dal,pulses ,soya in your daily diet.
·         Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D in food or supplements.
·         Multivitamin supplement containing Vitamin A,C,Vitamin D ,B complex,Vitamin E and Calcium and Magnesium are useful
·         Do not try crash diet before or during menopause.

Exercise and relaxation techniques:
  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days to protect against disease, osteoporosis and other symptoms related to menopause
  • Practice slow, deep breathing when hot flashes start. Try taking six breaths a minute.
  • Try yoga or meditation. It helps in reducing the number of hot flashes.
  • Sleep on time and get adequate rest.