The Evolution of Orthorexia: When Healthy Eating Becomes A Disorder

Imagine you haven’t binge for years.
And you really don’t remember the taste of unhealthy food.
But you want to get stricter, being already fit and healthy.
You go to people house and tell them that they are not living a healthy life!
You start refusing to eat food made or prepared by others, or refusing to eat outside. You feel like running home and feeling dishearten with your unfilled diet rules.

Sounds strange???

When “eating clean” become too much or a fixation on healthy eating develops into an obsession, orthorexia may be present where healthy eating can do more harm than good.

Are You Telling Me It’s Not Healthy to Follow a Healthy Diet?

Well, think of the commonly coined phrase, too much of anything can be bad. This is key here. Someone suffering from orthorexia systematically, consistently avoids food items they believe to be “unhealthy”, which can cause an excess of anxiety, depression and even isolation.

The purpose of eating a healthful diet is to nourish the health of a person, both physically and mentally. While an obsession such as this one may have great intentions, it, unfortunately, results in a negative relationship with food.

What Is Orthorexia

Orthorexia, or orthorexia Nervosa, is an eating disorder that involves an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.

Unlike other eating disorders, orthorexia mostly revolves around food quality, not quantity, where people are rarely focused on losing weight. Instead, they have an extreme fixation with the “purity” of their foods, as well as an obsession with the benefits of healthy eating.

Signs & Symptoms Of Orthorexia

You Obsess Over “Eating Healthy”: Excessive attention to detail regarding meal compositions and compulsive checking of food ingredients lists and Nutrition Facts labels or healthy trends.

The Fixation On Diet Controls Your Emotions: You may have certain rigid eating patterns or “rules” ( may involve time, location, preparation, etc.) within your food fixation that control how you feel. Showing high levels of distress, depression or anxiety when “healthy” foods aren’t available.

You Judge Others on Their Eating Habits: As part of your obsession with eating healthy, it may become harder to see others in your life living differently. You may begin to judge family and friends on their eating habits and lifestyle. Even restrict your social situations so that you do not need to be around “unclean” food or people who do not share your same “rules.”

You Go to Extensive Lengths to Achieve a “Healthy” Lifestyle: The lengths used to achieve your idea of a healthy diet may distance you from other aspects of your life. You may have Constant thoughts of food, food choices and develop irrational concerns over-prepping and cleaning your food, as well as techniques for preparing it.

An Isolating Disorder: Avoid Going Out to Eat or Eating Food Prepared By Others as you are obsessed with ingredients, food, and how it’s prepared. This may mean that you begin refusing to eat food made or prepared by others, or refusing to eat at a restaurant.

Specific Foods and Food Groups Start Being Eliminated From Your Diet: Anything that you deem unworthy of your “healthy” lifestyle may be cut out of your diet. People with orthorexia typically exclude refined grains and added sugars and may cut out gluten, dairy, soy and other foods or entire food groups.

Lingering Fears of Food, Sickness, or Disease Exist Increased avoidance of food items because of allergies without a health practitioners recommendation. You may feel obsessive over your diet and health due to an overwhelming fear of being “unhealthy.”

You Obsess Over Social Media and Unrealistic Expectations: Obsessively following “healthy lifestyle” social media accounts and blogs. Those with orthorexia become fixated on these expectations put forth through social media and today’s society to reach a certain “healthy” lifestyle.

You Experience a Vicious Cycle of Feelings: The obsession with your diet begins to control your emotions, creating an imbalance and a vicious cycle, where you may experience mood swings, often switching between feelings of shame & self-loathing to feelings of euphoria, depending on how your “lifestyle” is going.

Physical Signs Begin as Result of an Unbalanced Diet: Orthorexia eventually leads to malnourishment when critical nutrients are eliminated from the diet. You may begin to feel fatigued or weaker than normal, tired more often, feel cold, and take longer to recover from common illnesses and viruses. Left untreated, malnutrition can lead to a host of severe physical and psychological problems.

Causes of Orthorexia

The exact causes of orthorexia are not well known, but certain personality and occupational risk factors have been identified.

It may simply start as an interest in nutrition, or it may possibly develop from a preexisting mental health concern. You may begin a diet simply intending to improve your health, this focus can become more extreme.

Over time, good eating can slowly develop into full-blown orthorexia.

Individuals focused on health for their career may have a higher risk of developing orthorexia. Frequent examples include healthcare workers, opera singers, ballet dancers, symphony orchestra musicians, and athletes.

Other risk factors include

• A history of other eating disorders or disordered eating habits

• Preexisting obsessive-compulsive disorder

• Presence of anxiety or tendencies of perfectionism

• Presence for a need for control

Health risks of Orthorexia

1.Physical effects

A shortage of essential nutrients caused by restrictive eating can result in

• Malnutrition

• Anemia

• An abnormally slow heart rate

• Other digestion problems, electrolyte and hormonal imbalances, metabolic acidoses and impaired bone health

2.Psychological effects

Individuals with orthorexia can experience intense frustration when their food-related habits are disrupted. Likely to cause feelings of

• Irritability

• Depression, Severe anxiety

• Guilt, self-loathing

• compulsion toward “purification” through cleanses or fasts

• can include concerns about vegetables’ exposure to pesticides, hormone-supplemented dairy, and artificial flavours or preservatives

3.Social effects

Individuals with orthorexia often follow strict, self-imposed rules dictating which foods can be combined in a sitting or eaten at particular moments during the day.

Such rigid eating patterns can make it challenging to take part in social activities revolving around food, such as dinner parties or eating out.

Additionally, intrusive food-related thoughts and the tendency to feel their food habits are superior may further complicate social interactions. This can lead to social isolation, which seems to be common among people diagnosed with orthorexia

Self-Test for Orthorexia Nervosa

If you recognize signs or symptoms of  orthorexia Nervosa in yourself, consider the following questions:

1. Do you ever wish you could stop thinking so much about food and spend more time thinking about your loved ones?

2. Are you constantly questioning food and considering how foods are unhealthy for you?

3. Do you feel guilt or shame when you eat something you consider to be “unhealthy” or “not clean”?

4. Do you skip foods you once enjoyed in order to eat the “right” foods?

5. Does it seem physically impossible to eat a meal prepared in a restaurant or by someone other than yourself?

6. Do you feel satisfied, in control or calm when you stick to your planned, healthy, pure diet?

7. Do you look down on others who eat less healthfully than you?

8. Are you planning tomorrow’s menu today?

9. Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet increased?

If you answered yes to several or all of these questions, speak with a health professional about your concerns.

Treatment for Orthorexia

Treatment begins with a safe and supportive environment that is found only in holistic healing therapy. this includes:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Helps the patient identify, interrupt and replace distorted thinking and associated behaviours with healthy and adaptive coping skills.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – Combines CBT techniques with mindful meditation to help you discover new ways to manage and regulate emotions, identify triggers and work toward changing negative and unhelpful behaviours.

Family-Based Treatment (FBT) – Designed for adolescents, family-based treatment includes parents as active and integral parts of the treatment team. Families help restore weight and a positive adolescent identity in their children as part of a coordinated three-phase approach.

People with orthorexia often harbour misunderstandings about food or nutrition.

If you’re experiencing any of these orthorexia symptoms or think you may have concerns about an eating disorder, please seek help from a trusted holistic nutritionist.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

Real-Life Solutions For Women With PCOS

It’s always difficult for women with pcos to live a healthy life and often have good appearances.

There was this girl I came across during my first consultation with her and she was so stressed and frustrated that she stop eating food because she was gaining weight.

She didn’t understand that her hormonal imbalance can put her at higher health risk beyond the weight gain, if not controlled.

Did you feel this, too?

The solution for her came from my pcod friendly diet and lifestyle changes.

Here is how it worked for her…

What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) / polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD)?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or disease (PCOS/PCOD) is a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problem that affect women in their overall health and appearance.

Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones.

The hormonal imbalance creates problems in the ovaries. The ovaries make the egg that is released each month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during ovulation as it should be.

This hormone imbalance causes them to skip or irregular menstrual periods that can lead to:

Infertility (inability to get pregnant). In fact, PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women.

• Development of cysts (small fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries

Symptoms of PCOS include

Irregular menstrual cycle: Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.

Heavy bleeding: The uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, so the periods you do get can be heavier than normal.

Hair growth: Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called “hirsutism.”

Acne: Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts on areas like the face, chest, and upper back.

Male-pattern baldness: Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp and fall out

Weight gain or difficulty losing weight: Up to 80 per cent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese

Darkening of skin: Dark patches of skin particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts

Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area

Headaches: Hormone changes can trigger a headache in some women.

How PCOS affects your body

Some of the possible complications of PCOS are:

Diabetes: More than half of women with PCOS will have diabetes or prediabetes (glucose intolerance) before the age of 40. Learn more about diabetes.

Psychological disorders: Both hormonal changes and symptoms like unwanted hair growth can negatively affect your emotions. Many with PCOS end up experiencing depression, eating disorder and anxiety.

Endometrial cancer: During ovulation, the uterine lining sheds. If you don’t ovulate every month, the lining can build up. A thickened uterine lining can increase your risk for endometrial cancer.

Pregnancy-induced or Gestational diabetes: Women with PCOS are twice as likely as women without the condition to deliver their baby prematurely. They’re also at greater risk for miscarriage or premature birth and gestational diabetes.

Hypertension: Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure compared with women of the same age without PCOS. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

Infertility: Women who don’t ovulate regularly don’t release as many eggs to be fertilized. PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women.

Metabolic syndrome: Both obesity and PCOS increase your risk for high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Together, these factors are called metabolic syndrome and they increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Sleep apnea: This condition causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupt sleep. The risk for sleep apnea is 5 to 10 times higher in obese women with PCOS than in those without PCOS.

Unhealthy cholesterol: Women with PCOS often have higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. High cholesterol raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.

What causes PCOS /PCOD

There are no certain causes of PCOS, however, the contributing factors include:

Excess androgen: Overproduction of androgen called “male hormones,” by ovaries causes may lead to hirsutism and acne. Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, two signs of PCOS.

Excess production of insulin: Insulin hormone controls the blood sugar levels in the human body. When human cells become resistant to the action of insulin, the blood sugar level increases. As a result, your insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Excessive insulin production, in turn, increases the production of androgens.

Heredity: Certain genetic correlation may exist with PCOS in women. Studies show that PCOS runs in families. It’s likely that many genes — not just one — contribute to the condition.

Presence of low-grade inflammation: Women with PCOS often have increased levels of inflammation in their body. Being overweight can also contribute to inflammation, that may stimulate polycystic ovaries to produce androgens.

Diet and lifestyle tips to treat PCOS

Treatment for PCOS usually starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet, and exercise. Knowing the right types of foods to eat as well as the kinds of food to limit can improve the way you feel and may help you lose weight.

Eating well, staying active, and maintaining a healthy weight (or losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight) can improve PCOS symptoms.

FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT

HIGH FIBER

In order to produce productive insulin levels, it is important to load up on fibrous foods. High fibre foods help combat insulin resistance by slowing down digestion and reducing the impact of sugar on the blood. Great options for high-fibre foods include:

• Seeds (chia, flax, sunflower seeds)

• Legumes (black beans, lentils, chickpeas)

• Berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)

• Whole Grains (bulgur, quinoa, brown rice, whole oats)

LEAN PROTEIN

Eat more lean protein as they are more likely to keep you fuller for longer and prevent you from reaching for unhealthy snacks. This way, you won’t be adding up to calories and not gain weight. When it comes to protein sources, I recommend include:

• Fish (salmon, shrimp, tuna, cod)

• Lean poultry (skinless chicken and turkey)

• Plant protein sources (beans, peas, tofu, tempeh)

ANTIOXIDANTS

Since women with PCOS have been shown to have low-grade inflammation, elevated inflammatory signals can raise insulin & creating an imbalance in the hormones contributing to worsening of PCOS symptoms. Eating antioxidant-rich foods that help reduce inflammation can minimize PCOS symptoms. Load up on:

• Fruits (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries )

• Vegetables (spinach, artichokes, kale, tomatoes)

• Whole Grains (whole oats, whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice)

• Unsaturated fats (nuts like pecans, nut butter, olive oil, avocado, almonds)

FOODS YOU SHOULD AVOID OR LIMIT

REFINED CARBS

Women with PCOS do not typically process carbohydrates correctly (because of their high levels of insulin. Refined carbohydrates cause inflammation, exacerbate insulin resistance, and should be avoided or limited significantly. These include highly-processed foods, such as:

• white bread, regular pasta, pizza dough or anything made with white flour

• muffins, breakfast pastries, sweetened cereals

• White rice

SUGARY BEVERAGES

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and should be avoided wherever possible. Sugar will spike your blood sugar, a problem if you have high insulin levels, to begin with. It’s best to choose natural sugars like fruits. These are higher quality carbohydrates, and therefore are higher in fibre. Examples of sugary beverages include:

• Packed Fruit juice, cold-pressed juices

• Bottled smoothies

• Soda

SUGARY, PROCESSED FOODS

Along with sugary beverages, sugary foods are not much better for the PCOS diet. All processed foods contain harmful chemicals, which not only are poor for weight loss but can also destroy the gut microbiome. Instead of packaged foods, choose whole foods. Examples of processed foods to limit on a PCOS diet include:

• Cakes, candy, cookies, and other sweets

• Yoghurts with added sugar

• Ice cream with excess added sugar or sugar substitutes

SATURATED AND TRANS FATS

Saturated fats, found in foods like overly processed meats, aren’t beneficial for weight loss or a healthy balanced diet. Additionally, these high-fat foods can also be problematic for PCOS patients. It’s much better to focus on healthy fats. Examples of fats to avoid include:

• Saturated fats (red and processed meats like fast food hamburgers)

• Trans fats (Artificial or heavily processed cheeses)

PCOS can be a stressful condition or you may feel frustrated at times.

However, taking proactive steps regarding your health can improve your mood as well as reduce your symptoms and ensure a healthy and balanced life. If your symptoms persist, make sure you consult a Nutritionist before switching to any diet plan. They can work with you to identify the cause and recommend next steps.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

The Path to Understand & Treat Diabetes Starts Here!

Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed, have been fighting against type 1 or type 2 diabetes for a while, or are helping a loved one, you’ve come to the right place.

This is the start of gaining a deeper understanding of how you can live a healthier life—with all the tools, health tips, and food ideas you need.

What is DIABETES

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a metabolic disease that causes your blood glucose, or blood sugar levels too high. The insulin hormone moves sugar from the blood into your cells to be stored or used for energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make.

Diabetes mellitus (DM) relates to a group of common metabolic disorders that share the phenotype of Hyperglycemia.

Diabetes

Types of diabetes:

Each type of diabetes has unique symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. It’s unclear what causes this attack.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body did not makes or use insulin well, and sugar builds up in your blood.

Pre-diabetes is otherwise known as “impaired glucose tolerance”, is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. It occurs when your blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Insulin-blocking hormones produced by the placenta cause this type of diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes symptoms are caused by rising blood sugar that include:

• Excessive eating (polyphagia)

• Excessive drinking of water (Polydipsia)

• Excessive urinating (Polyuria)

• Extreme fatigue or tiredness

• Mental status changes

• Unexplained and rapid weight loss

• Blurred vision

• Nausea and vomiting

• Recurrent infections

• Poor healing of wounds

• Skin problems

Different causes are associated with each type of diabetes

TYPE 1 Diabetes which is primarily due to the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and leads to a deficiency of insulin in the body. It can occur due to immune-mediated causes or may also develop spontaneously owing to an unknown cause.

TYPE 2 Diabetes which has a range from insulin deficiency to secretion defect of insulin due to insulin resistance in the body. It stems from a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. This condition runs in families. Family members share genes that make them more likely to get type 2 diabetes and to be overweight.

Pre-diabetes, as the name suggests, is considered to be a station along the way towards full-blown Type 2 diabetes. Many people who develop pre-diabetes are overweight, have poor diets and live sedentary (inactive) lifestyles.

Gestational Diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the result of hormonal changes during pregnancy when a pregnant lady (who is not diabetic) cannot tolerate any degree of glucose. This can cause high blood sugar during pregnancy.

Diabetes Care

Prevention of Diabetes

1. Get more physical activity: It’s important to avoid being sedentary if you want to prevent diabetes. aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes.

2. Get plenty of fibre: Consuming a good fibre source at each meal helps prevent spikes in insulin levels, which may help reduce your risk of developing diabetes, by improving your blood sugar control.

3. Avoid Refined carbs: Eating foods high in refined carbs increases blood sugar and insulin levels, which may lead to diabetes over time. While whole grains reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels.

4. Lose extra weight: weight loss can improve insulin sensitivity as well as delay, and even prevent progression to type 2 diabetes.

5. Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices: Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first. But their effectiveness at preventing diabetes and their long-term effects will not happen.

6. Quit Smoking: Cigarettes can increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes to more than three times that of nonsmokers. It directly decreases the body’s ability to utilize insulin. Moreover, it has been observed that after smoking, blood sugar levels increase.

Diabetes and Diet

Healthy eating is a central part of managing diabetes. The foods you eat not only make a difference in how you control the disease, but also to how well you feel and how much energy you have.

Eating to beat diabetes is much more about making wise food adjustments than it is about denial and deprivation. A better way to look at a diet when you have diabetes is one that helps you establish a new normal when it comes to your eating habits and food choices.

1. Choose Carbohydrates that Keep Blood Sugar Steady

• High fibre foods like whole-grain bread and cereals, and foods made with 100% whole wheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, corn and cornmeal

• Fresh (or frozen) fruits like berries, apples, pears, and oranges,

• Vegetables. Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables are all healthy carbs that have a less (glycemic) effect on your blood sugar

2.Aim for Heart-Healthy Fats

• Natural sources of vegetable fats, such as nuts, seeds, or avocados (high in calories, so keep portions small)

• Foods that give you omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel

• Plant-based oils, such as canola, grapeseed, or olive oils

3.Aim for Good Protein

• Plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, or tofu

• Chicken breast or turkey, Eggs

• Low-fat yoghurt, 1% or skim milk, low-fat cottage cheese, Low-fat or nonfat sour cream

4. Be smart about sweets

Swapping sugary drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar can be a good start.

5. Avoid

• Trans fats from partially hydrogenated or deep-fried foods

• Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts

• White bread, sugary cereals, refined pasta or rice

• Processed meat and red meat

• Low-fat products that have replaced saturated fat with added sugar

“Everyone is different and, ultimately, you know best how your body responds to different types of foods, so you may have to make individual adjustments when cooking at home, eating out, or attending celebrations,” Ms Priyanshi Bhatnagar (US certified Holistic Nutritionist) points out.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

Your Ultimate Guide to Acidity Cure

I often found people saying that ‘I have acidity problems.’

Have you ever wondered what they mean by it?

How is acidity caused?

What can you do to relieve the suffering caused by acidity?

To answer all these questions, you must first understand what Acidity means.

Acidity, also called acid reflux, occurs when there is excess secretion of acids in the gastric glands of the stomach, and stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe

producing gas, bad breath, stomach ache and other symptoms.

When the secretion of acids occurs more than twice a week, – we may diagnose with Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Symptoms of Acidity

• Prolonged sour taste in the mouth or bitter-tasting acid that backs up into your throat and mouth

• Burning sensation and pain in the stomach

• Burning sensation and pain in the throat

• Difficulty swallowing or the sensation of food being stuck in your throat

• Heaviness

• Burning sensation and pain in the chest

• Constipation

• Bad breathe

• Restlessness

• Feel of a presence of a lump in the throat

• Vomiting

• Nausea

• Indigestion and frequent hiccups or burps

• Weakness

• Other symptoms include a cough, asthma, tooth erosion and inflammation in the sinuses

Causes of Acidity

Acidity is primarily related to food and lifestyle. Few causes of acidity are-

1. Unhealthy eating habits

• Skipping meals or eating at irregular times

• Eating just before sleeping

• Overeating

• Consumption of spicy food

• High intake of table salt

• Diet low in dietary fibre

2. Excessive consumption of certain food

• Drinks such as tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, soft drinks

• Extremely spicy food

• Fat rich food such as pizza, doughnuts, and fried food

3. Side-effects of certain medications or Strong medications

• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

• Medicines for high blood pressure

• Antibiotics

• Depression and anxiety medications

4. Other causes include

• Consumption of non-vegetarian food

• Excessive stress

• Lack of sleep

• Frequent smoking

• Lack of physical exercise

• Frequent consumption of alcohol

Prevention of Acidity

Eat healthily: Maintaining small meals at a regular eating time with dinner ending at least two to three hours before bed

Maintain your weight: Losing weight if you are overweight or obese

• Cut down on smoking and alcohol

Change your sleeping posture: Try to elevate the head of your bed. This will keep your body in a good posture and keep away acidity

Avoid your triggers-foods: know the cause of acidity, be it any food ingredients or a food habit, for example, spicy food, raw onion and citrus juice or any kind of carbonated drink.

Fit into comfortable clothes: Avoid tight-fitting clothes that hug your waist or lower abdomen, wearing a too-tight dress can increase pressure in the abdomen and lower oesophagal sphincter.

Eat Slowly: Make it a habit to chew your food properly and not to hurry while eating.

Start stress-relieving activities: Take a small walk or sit for a while after eating your meal. Directly laying down after consuming food is not good for your overall health.

Treatment of Acidity With Alkaline Foods

1. Alkaline Drinks

• Coconut water: Best is taken early morning

• Watermelon juice: Best is taken with breakfast

• Fresh lime juice: Best is taken at least an hour before lunch

• Buttermilk: Best is taken after a spicy meal

• Glass of lukewarm water: Best is taken after every meal

• Apple cider vinegar: Best is taken every morning on an empty stomach

2. Alkaline Tea

• Basil tea

• Peppermint Mint tea

• Ginger tea

• Cumin tea

• Fennel tea

3. Alkaline Foods

• Most fruits, especially bananas, apples, watermelon, figs and pomegranate

• Most vegetables, especially spinach, fenugreek, okra, cucumber, beetroot, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, coriander, cauliflower, sweet potato, eggplant, onion, peas, pumpkin and radish, sweet peppers and lettuce

• Non-dairy product: Unsweetened yoghurt, plant-based cold milk

• Lentils including green beans, navy beans, broad beans, moong bean sprouts, lima beans, pinto beans and other lentils

• Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds

• Whole grains especially Brown rice, Oatmeal

4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Keeping yourself hydrated is the most underrated health advice. Drinking regular water decreases the symptoms of reflux. Drinking enough water dilutes the acids in the stomach for symptom relief. Drinking alkaline water (pH 8.8) largely helps reduce reflux symptoms.

Finally, Acid reflux, in itself, is not a severe condition. But chronic acidity can cause other health problems that can damage the oesophagus. It is advised to visit your Nutrition provider if the symptoms of acidity are persistent even after taking peventions.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

8 Things Most People Don’t Know About Water Retention (Oedema)

So, I have more of weight loss clients. And I had a LARGE number of people with persistent bloating issues.

This makes me go to their daily lifestyle and certain nutrients intake to bring out the solution”

The solution was related to their symptoms toward water retention.

What is water retention?

Water retention is one of the most common problems found in men and women and is a recurring health problem if not treated well. When the body fails to eliminate excess water, and starts retaining more water than required, it leads to oedema or water retention. It is also known as fluid retention.

Water retention is often temporary and is easily treated, however, it can sometimes be an indication of a serious medical condition.

Signs of Water Retention

So how does one recognize water retention in the body? Symptoms of water retention can include:

bloating, especially in the abdominal area

swelling of extremities like swollen legs, feet, and ankles

puffiness of the abdomen, face, and hips

stiff joints

weight fluctuations or unexplained weight gain over a short period of time

• indentations in the skin, similar to what you see on your fingers when you’ve been in the bath or shower a long time

• feeling heavier than normal, less active

Causes of Water Retention

A number of factors can cause water retention, including:

Sedentary lifestyle: Standing or Sitting too long periods of time causes fluids to pool in the legs, thus increasing water retention. As Gravity keeps blood in your lower extremities. It’s important to get up and move around often to keep blood circulating.

Weather Change: Hot weather can also lead to fluid retention because the body is less efficient at removing fluid from the body.

Women Hormonal changes: Because of varying hormone levels. Menopausal and premenstrual oedema is caused by the effect of hormones on fluid balance.  The hormonal changes for women before the menstrual period also cause retention and may result in symptoms such as breast tenderness and menstrual changes.

Too Much Sodium: You may get too much sodium by using a lot of table salt or ingesting processed foods and soft drinks.

Medical Condition: Some medications have water retention as a side effect. When an area of the body is not functioning properly, involving organs such as the liver, heart, or kidneys the body tends to retain fluid in that area of the body. The body becomes unable to eliminate fluid properly. Certain medications can cause water retention as well, especially high blood pressure and steroid medications.

Dietary Deficiencies: Water retention is also linked to protein deficiency, iron, and high requirement for vitamins and minerals intake. There is a specific kind of diet that is recommended for water retention which forces the body to eliminate excess fluid.

Quick Weight Loss: When you restrict energy intake suddenly in order to lose weight, the body is forced to store carbohydrates and break down protein in the muscles. Because both protein and carbohydrates hold water in their cells, a loss of these nutrients results in water loss during a rapid weight loss diet. People who lose weight quickly often regain weight within a few weeks because the body is replenishing itself with water.

Weak Heart: A weak heart that can’t pump blood well can cause the body to retain water.

Simple Ways to Reduce Water Retention

1. Increasing potassium intake: Eating food high in potassium is recommended rather than taking potassium supplements. Foods such as orange, watermelon, apricot, pomegranate, papaya, mango, banana, avocado, tomato contain nutrients that help prevent blood vessels from leaking fluid in the tissue spaces and reduce water retention by increasing the production of urine and decreasing the amount of sodium in your body.

2.Decrease sodium intake: Sodium binds to water in the body and helps maintain the balance of fluids both inside and outside of cells. Reducing the consumption of high sodium foods is important because too much sodium in the blood can affect the tissues causing them to retain water.

3. Increasing Magnesium intake: Being an important mineral, increasing your magnesium intake may help reduce water retention. Good natural sources include nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate and leafy green vegetables.

4. Consume Diuretic foods: Diuretics ( sometimes tagged as water pills ) makes one urinate more in order to help in the removal of fluid, help the body to get rid of water and sodium. Certain foods and herbs can act as diuretics like lemon juice, Cranberry juice, dandelion leaf extract, horsetail herb, parsley, Hibiscus, garlic, fennel, Nettle and Caffeine,

5. Regular movement is also necessary: Any form of exercise increases sweat, which means you will lose water, as it actually aids in the widening of the blood vessels. During exercise, your body also shifts a lot of water into your muscles.

6. Avoid Refined Carbs: Eating refined carbs can increase insulin levels in your body, which, in turn, increases the reabsorption of sodium in the kidneys, leading to a higher fluid volume.

7. Eat your protein: Protein attracts water and keeps your body balanced. A special protein called albumin keeps fluid in the bloodstream and prevents it from leaking out and causing swelling.

8. Drink More Water: Interestingly, being well-hydrated can actually reduce water retention. Drink 8-12 glasses of fluids (water, fruit juices, milk). Dehydration or over-hydration can lead to water retention. Make sure to drink balanced amounts of water each day.

Some simple dietary and lifestyle changes may help reduce water retention.

However, if water retention persists or causes a lot of problems in your life, then you may want to see a nutritionist as for a healthy diet which is key to prevent water retention.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

Why You Should Focus on Improving Omega Fatty Acids Ratio

So, recently with the help of social media and word of mouth, demand for omega-friendly foods have gone through the roof. 

Like vitamins, where people pop up on juices, smoothies, and salad for good health, omega fatty acid food has become trendy. 

But interest in omega 6:3 ratio has no role mentioned in this.

Unfortunately, even if you are eating omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, avocado etc. you are likely still not getting sufficient amounts of these crucial fatty acids that your body needs for optimal health, because of imbalance ratio.

That’s why here I provide the basis to understand this!!

What are Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are called polyunsaturated fats. Your body doesn’t have the enzymes to produce them, so you must get them from your diet.

If you don’t get any from your diet, you develop a deficiency and become sick. That is why they are termed “essential” fatty acids.

However, these fatty acids are not simply used for energy or stored, they are biologically active and have important roles in processes like blood clotting and inflammation.

Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are metabolically & functionally different

1.omega-6s are pro-inflammatory, while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory

2. High concentrations of omega-6 in red blood cell membrane phospholipids were associated with increased risk of weight gain, while omega -3 fatty acids decrease adipose tissue development and lead to weight loss

A diet high in omega-6s but low in omega-3s increases inflammation, while a diet that includes balanced amounts of each reduces inflammation. Similarly, a high ω-6 to ω-3 ratio was also associated with an increased risk of weight gain, potentially raising the risk of various diseases.

Dietary intake of just the right amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is crucial for optimal health.”

What are Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

Although omega-6 fatty acids are necessary, they can be harmful when you eat them in excess, so they’re both good and bad for your health. Omega-6 fats are necessary for normal growth and development. They help maintain the reproductive system and contribute to the synthesis of hair & skin, support muscle health, bone health, help reduce nerve pain, and act as a transmitter of nerve impulses. However, these health benefits are only realized when omega-6 fatty acids are eaten in moderation.

Omega-6 fatty acids are found in most vegetable oils (soybean, sunflower, safflower, corn, and canola), as well as whole-grain bread, nuts, and animal products.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fats play an important role in optimal brain health (cognition, behavioural function, mood, vision), Heart health (circulation, supporting cardiovascular health ), Body health ( immune response, joints, wound healing) and skin quality.

Deficiencies of these vital fatty acids have been shown to be associated with age-related cognitive decline, psychological disturbances, mood swings, and neuropathy (tingling in hands and feet).

Main food sources of omega-3 fats from vegetable sources include walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds & marine sources, such as cold-water fatty fish (eg, salmon, sardines, herring, albacore tuna, lake trout, mackerel, sardines) and algae.

Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio

Despite the importance of consuming both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, too much of either essential fatty acid (EFA) can impair how the other functions. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the human diet averaged between 1:1 and 4:1.2

As a consequence of these dietary changes, the current omega-6 to omega-3 ratio has reached an all-time high, estimated at between 10:1 and 20:1.2 The excess of omega-6 fats and the deficiency in omega-3s in the diet is thought to be associated with today’s increased prevalence of chronic and inflammatory diseases.

Health Risks of Unbalanced Omega Ratio

  1. Obesity
  1. Fatty Liver Disease
  1. Cardiovascular Diseases
  1. Other Inflammatory Conditions like the development of rheumatoid arthritis, IBD, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease, and the severity of their associated symptoms.

Getting Balanced OMEGA-3 AND OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS

Unfortunately, even if you are eating a diet rich in foods containing omega-3 fatty acids you are likely still not getting sufficient amounts of these crucial fatty acids that your body needs for optimal health (including creating an optimal ratio with the amount of omega-6 fatty acids you are consuming), so it will be important to supplement your diet.

Zinzino Balance oil+ is an all-natural Polyphenol Omega Balance food supplement high in olive polyphenols, Omega-3 and Vitamin D. It safely adjusts and maintains EPA + DHA levels and the Omega-6:3 Balance in your body while protecting your cells from oxidation.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar