Sunday 27 October 2019

Is Junk Really Cheaper Than Main Meal?

Many people are of the notion that "eating healthy is expensive" but this belief may be costing them more while potentially damaging their health. We are often lured in by the convenience and marketing of junk food, disregarding the detrimental effects on our own health.  
Processed fast food usually has fewer nutrients than homemade and you’re feeding into the addiction to a highly processed food, riddled with large amounts of excess sodium, sugar, saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol.  These foods over time can lead to obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes type 2, heart and stroke disease and certain cancers. Getting into a healthy mindset helps preserve your current health and decreases your susceptibility to preventable diseases too. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a good number of total disease and injury burden is attributable to overweight and obesity. (Two per cent can be blamed on low fruit consumption.)

In general, follow these rules:
  • Have a salad, steamed vegetables, fruit or soup instead of fries.
  • Choose water, low-fat milk, or diet sodas instead of regular sodas, fruit drinks, or milkshakes, which can be a huge source of calories and sugar. Instead of a slice of pie or cookie for dessert try fruit and yogurt.
  • Choose foods that are broiled, steamed, or grilled instead of fried. For example, pick a grilled chicken instead of fried chicken or chicken nuggets and choose steamed vegetables or fresh fruit instead of French fries.
  • When ordering a sandwich, select lean meats such as turkey or grilled chicken instead of items such as burgers, steak, or cheese sandwiches. Ask if they have a whole wheat bread or wrap option.
  • Ask for sauces or dressings that come with meals to be served on the side and use just a small amount.

Sunday 20 October 2019

Canned Food! Good or Bad?

In today’s life everybody is very busy and so no time to cook. Our busy lifestyles make convenient cooking, enticing. However, the question is often asked: is canned food healthy for you? Always, a question comes in our mind that what is the  health factor behind canned food. Canned foods can be a lifesaver; they can also be dangerous.

The good:
  • Canned food is a convenience alternative to fresh foods. They are convenient and can be found almost anywhere. It’s practical way to add more nutrient-dense foods to your diet, they don’t spoil easily and can be stored safely for years. 
  • They are also affordable.
  • Fresh fruit can cost a pretty penny when out of season. Canned is a great way to enjoy fruit any time of year. 

The bad:
  • Canning is used to preserve foods for long periods. During this process, foods are prepared, sealed and heated. Heat is used to kill harmful bacteria and prevent spoiling, but can also destroy heat-sensitive nutrients like Vitamins B and C. For this reason, canned foods often get a bad rep for being less nutritious than fresh or frozen foods.
  • May Contain Deadly Bacteria- canned foods that weren’t processed properly may contain dangerous bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum. Consuming contaminated food can cause botulism, a serious illness that can lead to paralysis and death if left untreated. It’s important to never eat from cans that are bulging, dented, cracked or leaking.
  • Added Salt, Sugar or Preservatives-Salt, sugar and preservatives are sometimes added during the canning process. Excess salt or sugar may pose health problems. A variety of other natural or chemical preservatives may be added as well.
  • May Contain Trace Amounts of BPA- BPA (Bisphenol) is a chemical that is often used in food packaging, including cans. So BPA can migrate in the food content. BPA is linked to health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and male sexual dysfunction.

How to make the right choices

All canned foods aren’t created equal. So, you still need to be mindful when going to the shop:
  • Always read food labels and the ingredients list.
  • Choose lower sugar and lower sodium versions.
  • Look for any dents in the cans. If you see a dent, find another can to prevent the risk of botulism.

  • Choose BPA free cans – BPA has been linked to heart disease and other chronic diseases.
  • Never eat from cans that are bulging, dented, discoloured, rusted, cracked, or leaking.

  • Check the best before date.

Sunday 6 October 2019

Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin, one of the most essential vitamins in an individual’s daily diet. It acts as a potent antioxidant helping to reduce the damage caused by free radicals and thereby helping prevent the development of conditions like heart disease and cancer. It plays vital functions in the body including growth, maintaining the health of the body,  repair of  tissues like the skin, joints, blood vessels, bones, and teeth, boost the absorption of other nutrients in the body. It is critically important in wound healing and is also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C can have a huge impact on the health from the inside out. It is needed for numerous daily functions, supports immune function, and facilitates the absorption of iron. 

   Found primarily in fruits and vegetables, it is abundant throughout the diet. A deficiency in this important vitamin can wreak havoc on health, causing symptoms like easy bruising, bleeding gums, fatigue, weakened immunity,  increased risk of conditions like gout and heart disease and, in severe cases, scurvy. 
     You need to consume vitamin C daily—preferably through foods rich in vitamin C. Most people think of oranges—and they are a great source—but many other fruits and vegetables are loaded with this nutrient, like strawberries, papaya, broccoli, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and cauliflower. It is also found in fresh milk, fish and offal such as liver and kidney, it can also be gotten from fortified foods such as cereals.

   The recommended daily intake for Vitamin C differs according to age and gender.  Pregnant and breastfeeding women need higher amounts of this vitamin in their diet. Adult women are advised to take 75 mg daily; while men should consume 90 mg daily. You can easily get what you need from these foods; Red pepper — 1 cup: 190 mg, guava — 1 fruit: 126 mg, green bell pepper — 1 cup: 120 mg,  orange — 1 large: 98 mg, strawberries — 1 cup: 89 mg, papaya — 1 cup: 87 mg, broccoli — 1 cup, raw: 81 mg,  pineapple — 1 cup: 79 mg, cauliflower — 1 cup, raw: 46 mg, mango — 1 cup: 46 mg, lemon — 1 fruit: 45 mg, grapefruit — 1/2 fruit: 38 mg, peas — 1 cup, cooked: 23 mg, tomatoes — 1 cup, raw: 23mg.
  Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

While symptoms of severe vitamin C deficiency can take months to develop, there are some subtle signs to watch out for.

  • Sudden, swollen and unexpected bleeding from your gums:The gums are made up partially of collagen, which is why they tend to be more sensitive when vitamin C levels in the body dip. Swollen gums are a result of inflammation, a process that vitamin C helps prevent as an antioxidant. 

  • Beeding Nose: Nose bleeds occur when the tiny blood vessels in the nose burst, so frequent nose bleeds are a sign of weak blood vessels in the nose. Since blood vessels are strengthened by collagen, having a vitamin C deficiency can result in weakened blood vessels, causing them to burst and create nose bleeds frequently. 

  • Slow wound healing: The immune response that works to repair wounds and fights infection relies on vitamin C. The nutrient also helps with the formation of collagen, which strengthens the scar tissue that forms over wounds. With a vitamin C deficiency, this process is less efficient, causing longer bleeding and slower healing. 

  • Slit, dry hair: When the hair is healthy and shiny, it’s a good sign that one is eating a balanced diet. When the ends of one's hair are splitting and dry, there might be a vitamin C deficiency. Hair depends on collagen for strength and health: When one is low on vitamin C,the collagen production can pay the price, leading to weak and brittle hair that falls out easily. 

  • Iron deficiency: The body absorbs two types of iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron typically comes from animal sources and is easily absorbed, while nonheme iron comes from plant sources (like spinach, plantain, kale, broccoli, etc). Vitamin C helps the body absorb nonheme iron more efficiently and has been shown to be a strong indicator of iron status; that’s why iron deficiencies often go hand in hand with vitamin C deficiencies. Getting enough vitamin C ensures that your body can make the most of iron-rich foods.

  • Easy bruising: When small blood vessels right under the surface of the skin burst, one ends up with a bruise. If bruise occurs easily, it could be a sign that the blood vessel walls—which are made largely from collagen—are weak. Vitamin C helps strengthen the blood vessels by boosting collagen production so they don’t breakdown as easily. 

  • Frequent infection: Vitamin C helps stimulate the production of white blood cells that attack bacteria and viruses as part of the immune response. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also helps protect the health of immune cells so that they can work efficiently to prevent infections. Frequent wound infections or suffering from common infections like the flu, Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), or strep throat is an indication of a weakened immune system. You can boost your immunity by getting enough vitamin C. 

  • Fatigue and moodiness: Vitamin C plays a key role in energy production and mood stabilization, so a lack of vitamin C can throw both your energy and mood out of balance. There is evidence that eating produce high in vitamin C can enhance overall mood, reduce fatigue, increase vigor, and reduce depression.

    By incorporating just a few servings of vitamin C foods in your diet, it’s a simple way to take advantage of all the health benefits this water-soluble vitamin has to offer. Since your body doesn’t store it, developing a vitamin C deficiency is easier than you might expect.