Do you ever find yourself mindlessly polishing off an entire pack of biscuits or chips while working?
Or a pack full of popcorns while watching TV . Or back to back coffee or tea while trying to finish a deadline. Well, then you are not alone. Research has shown that, when brain detects threat, no matter if it’s a lion, an upset boss, a huge credit card bill, it triggers the release of a hormone called cortisol which is also known as the stress hormone. We all talk about stress and being stressed but do we know what exactly is stress. Stress is defined as the inability to cope with a threat to your well-being which results in a series of responses and adaptations by your body. Stress can lead to poor health and injury.
If you have the following symptoms you might be suffering from stress
Elevated heart rate
feeling for no specific reason
pain in the neck or lower back.
Relationship between stress and weight gains
Continuous release of stress hormone “cortisol” turns your overeating of palatable foods into habit. So while you sit on the couch worrying about how to pay your bills or the office deadlines, your brain is going to tell you to reach for that plate of cookies or fries as this hormone makes you crave for unhealthy options likes snacks containing high sugar, fat content.
Stress and metabolism
Do you feel like you are putting on weight for no apparent reason even if you are eating the same food and amount of food and working out as you always have?
The answer my friend is STRESS.
Too much cortisol can impact your metabolism causing more weight gain than you would normally experience. This makes dieting and getting results extremely difficult.
Prolonged stress can also alter your blood sugar levels causing mood swings and fatigue.
If you see these symptoms it’s time for u to get up and deal with the stress and get rid of it because chronic stress is a risk factor for 50% of diseases since stress has a dramatic effect on your immune system.
Once you manage stress it will have various benefits for your body
It will keep you calm when things go wrong. It will help you stay focused and it will prevent illness.
Some of the common ways to release stress.
1) Exercise is one the most important tool to combat stress
2) vitamins and minerals in adequate amount
3) reduce caffeine intake
4) sharing with friends and family
5) practice gratitude for things you have in life
6) write down feelings and emotions on a piece of paper
7) light a scented calming candle before you sleep.
8) don’t miss an opportunity to laugh
9) learn to say NO to some stress factors that are in your control
10) deep breathing and practice yoga
Foods that help to combat stress
almondsbanana carrot spinach salmon fish eggs legumes turmeric dark chocolates avocados chamomile tea
(Monisha Ashokan is a clinical nutritionist at Nourish Me, Delhi)
5 natural ways to fight non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
According to the WHO, liver disease is the 10th most common cause of deaths in India. Gone are the days when liver disease was only associated with the consumption of alcohol. With the increased prevalence of obesity and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, which leads to hepatitis and eventually cirrhosis, is an emerging problem. More than a million new patients are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis every year globally, and the major causes for it are non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatitis B and C. Epidemiologic studies suggest the prevalence of NAFLD in nine per cent to 32 per cent of the general population in India. Dr Palaniyamma D., Medical Advisor, The Himalaya Drug Company, says people who are overweight or obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle are at risk of NAFLD. The prevalence is especially common in those who eat highly processed food. The five best foods to be included in the diet to regulate this condition are:
Greens: Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and sprouts help in general weight loss by preventing fat build-up in the liver.
Oatmeal: Oats are packed with dietary fibre and help a person feel full for a longer period, thus serving as a filling breakfast or snack and increasing the body’s energy levels.
Sunflower Seeds: These seeds are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps protect the liver from further damage, and are a healthy snack for munching in between meals.
Garlic: This popular flavour-enhancing ingredient helps burn extra fat, which in turn helps in reducing weight.
Fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acid, fish is an excellent food that improves liver function and reduces inflammation.
If NAFLD is detected and managed at an early stage, it is possible to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and prevent the condition from worsening.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first step towards managing NAFLD. Reducing weight, eating healthy, exercising moderately, and avoiding alcohol can reduce the risk of NAFLD. Consuming alcohol does not cause NAFLD, but it can worsen the condition.
Medicines can be useful in managing the symptoms associated with this condition. Using medications that have natural ingredients can restore the functional efficiency of the liver. Formulations containing natural ingredients such as The Caper Bush (Himsra) and Chicory (Kasani) improve the functional efficiency of the liver, protect the liver structure, boost liver health, and remove toxins from the body.
The liver carries out various functions that are critical for good health. It helps break down food, purify blood, build proteins, remove harmful substances, balance hormones, and store energy. Hence, it is advisable to consume a healthy diet and supplements containing herbal ingredients that help the liver metabolise foods, eliminate waste, and balance hormones.
Diet to help you fight symptoms of skin allergies
Adopt these guidelines manage your allergies: From consuming at least two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily to practising stress relaxation techniques or meditating.
Skin allergies are common and are characterised by red skin rashes or bumps. Some are caused by allergens induced by exposure to foods, medications, and insect stings, but the large majority of cases are not specific to any cause. Adopt these guidelines to fight symptoms and manage your allergies.
- Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which act as barriers to harmful things, as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out, and for waste products to get in and out of the cell. The best-known essential fatty acids are omega-3 and omega-6, which must be in balance for good health (and good skin). Though we all seem to get enough omega-6, most of us lack omega-3s. Some good sources are fish, walnut, and flaxseed oil. Consume at least two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily. You could sprinkle it on your salad after roasting it.
- Vitamin C has been shown to decrease production of histamine, reducing immediate allergy potential. Vitamin C helps relieve allergic symptoms and prevent inflammatory reactions by providing an anti-histamine-like effect.
- As tension and stress usually make allergies worse, practice stress relaxation techniques or meditate.
- People who are prone to allergies must look carefully at their intake of foods such as berries, raisins, prunes, nuts, seeds, shellfish, soybean and gluten. The right detoxification programme and correction of any liver problems can be extremely helpful for such individuals.
- It is important to remember that what you eat reflects on your skin. Your skin requires the right kind of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. When we improve our diet, these nutrients take time to reach the skin.
- So, once you bring about the required alterations in your diet or go on a restricted elimination diet, don’t expect a miracle. In addition to the diet and vitamins, you may need your physician’s help, to check if you have any severe infection or a specific allergy.
4 Surprising Pre-Workout Foods
We all have our go-to pre-race foods, from a simple bowl of oatmeal to a peanut butter and banana sandwich. But those meals can be a little too filling right before boot camp. That’s where these surprising foods and drinks can help when you’re pressed for time. Read on to find out which foods you should eat to ensure an all-star workout at the gym.
Forget Gatorade—researchers suspect that an amino acid called L-citrulline found in watermelon can provide relief to sore muscles after an intense workout. A study published earlier this year found that athletes reported less muscle soreness on days they drank watermelon juice. The same has been found of drinking cherry juice, which contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Some runners take salt tabs when running in the heat to prevent muscle cramping, but salty food works too, according to a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Researchers found that men who ate chicken noodle soup containing 1,362 milligrams of sodium before cycling in the heat retained more water and thus stayed hydrated during their workout. But note: The average recommended sodium intake is 2,300 milligrams per day.
That afternoon cup of joe may not be such a bad idea, especially if you plan on hitting the gym after work. A 1992 study published in the British Journal of Sports Science found that runners who drank a small amount of coffee before running 1,500 meters on the treadmill ran 4.2 seconds faster than those who took a placebo. The coffee drinkers also experienced enhanced oxygen intake.
The leafy green that’s often just used as a garnish has some surprising muscle relief powers, too. The antioxidant-rich watercress has been proven to prevent DNA damage caused by high-intensity exercise. A British Journal of Nutrition study also found that eating watercress two hours before a workout provides the same benefits as consuming it for eight weeks.