Vitamin D deficiency

Maintain vitamin D levels for the sake of your health!

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D (Sunshine Vitamin) is a nutrient that your body produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight. If you don’t stay out in the sun for the optimum amount of time or if you are not eating right, then your Vitamin D levels could plummet. And since it has heaps of benefits for your body, low count of this nutrient could really hurt you. 

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble Vitamin. In our bodies, two of the most important compounds of Vitamin D are Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.

The most trustable source of Vitamin D is sunlight. Doctors suggest 10-30 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week. The darker your skin, the longer your exposure has to be. But you should also keep skin sensitivity in mind and it should determine how long you stay out in the sun.

Vitamin D is also present in a few foods such as fatty fishes (tuna, salmon, mackerel, hilsa), beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese. So if you are vegan with limited sun exposure, there are high chances of your Vitamin D levels dwindling.

What happens if you have a Vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is instrumental to bone health. So children, when they are growing up need calcium to strengthen their developing bones and teeth. Similarly, throughout your life, you will require calcium to ensure your bones stay strong. But calcium alone doesn’t help. You may be taking in the requisite amounts of it, but without Vitamin D, your body will not be able to utilize it. 

Vitamin D can toughen up your body. Your immune system relies on it and this means that the more Vitamin D you take in the less likely you are to contract illnesses. It can also improve your cognitive abilities and stave off memory loss.

One of the most important reasons why you shouldn’t let your Vitamin D levels drop is because it can regulate the function of insulin. So when Vitamin D levels drop you also become vulnerable to diabetes.

Pregnant women need Vitamin D in their diet for their own as well as their child’s health. Without this nutrient, risks of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginosis go up.

Vitamin D is linked to the prevention of cancer, heart diseases, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and chronic pain. So if you don’t consume sufficient amounts of it, you could contract any of these ailments.

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms

You can know that your Vitamin D levels are deficient from these telltale signs:

  • Frequent sicknesses
  • Pain in different parts of your body
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Clumps of hair falling off 
  • Depression
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Extreme fatigue

If you notice these signs, you should visit a doctor who may prescribe Vitamin D supplements and suggest dietary changes.

Conclusion

Vitamin D is something you cannot ignore if you want to stay fit and healthy.

Irrespective of a busy lifestyle that doesn’t let you absorb sufficient amounts of sunlight, you must not take the lack of Vitamin D lightly. To supplement low levels of Vitamin D in your system, speak to a Doctor via MediBuddy who can suggest Vitamin D supplements that you can add to your daily diet.

 

Sources:

  1. Medicalnewstoday
  2. WebMD
Health benefits of sprouts

Health Benefits of Sprouts – All You Need To Know

Health benefits of sprouts

Sprouts are vegetables that originate as seeds and germinate into young plants when exposed to moisture and the right temperature. They are found in a variety of forms and can be consumed raw or cooked. The reason why so many people are including sprouts in their daily diet is because of the considerable amount of nutrients and vitamins that sprouts contain. Read on to know the many sprouts health benefits that will surely tempt you too into including them in your diet. 

An overview of sprouts nutrition

Improves digestion

Sprouts contain a great number of enzymes that help boost metabolism and chemical reactions in the body, particularly indigestion. Enzymes are an essential part of the digestive system – they help break down food effectively and increase nutrient absorption in the digestive tract. Moreover, the dietary fibre present in sprouts helps bulk up stool, making easier for it to pass through the rectum. Eating sprouts occasionally can reduce your chances of getting diarrhoea and constipation.

Prevents anaemia

Anaemia results from having insufficient iron in the blood. If you do not consume enough iron-rich foods, your red blood cell (RBC) count will drop and eventually lead to fatigue, stomach disorders, nausea, lightheadedness and lack of concentration. Out of the many sprouts health benefits, one is their high iron content, which means eating them can help maintain an optimal RBC count and improve blood circulation.

Helps in weight loss

Sprouts are high in nutrients but low in calories. This means you can consume them without having to worry about putting on weight. In fact, certain types of sprouts such as broccoli sprouts are great for weight loss. A rich source of chlorophyll and other nutrients, broccoli sprouts effectively helps detoxify your body, thus promoting weight loss. Furthermore, fibre contained in sprouts keeps you satiated for long hours and helps curb hunger pangs, which in turn, reduces overeating and snacking between meals. 

Improves heart health

Sprouts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are also anti-inflammatory in nature, so they reduce stress on your cardiovascular system. Potassium found in sprouts helps lower blood pressure and release tension in blood vessels and arteries. This boosts the circulation of oxygenated blood while reducing clotting, thus putting you at a lower risk of heart attacks, stroke and atherosclerosis. 

Boosts your immune system

One of the primary sprouts health benefits is that their consumption increases vitamin C and antioxidants levels in your body along with chlorophyll content, which helps in detoxification and boosting the immune system. 

Helps protect your eyes

Among various sprouts, Brussels sprouts, in particular, stand out when it comes to eye health. They contain zeaxanthin and lutein – two nutrients found in nature and synthesized by plants – that help protect your eyes from various harmful conditions. Adding Brussels sprouts to your daily diet can prevent dry eyes that could potentially cause irritation or damage the corneas. 

Sprouts are a nutritious and delicious way to add some flavour to your regular meals and some benefits to your health. They are much more beneficial when consumed raw. However, raw sprouts may lead to breakouts of bacterial ailments and other potentially severe infections. If you are growing sprouts at home, make sure you wash them thoroughly before preparing a bowl of sprouts salad or serving it as a topping. You should purchase them from a reliable sprouts grocery store

The most common types of sprouts

Here are some of the most popular variants of sprouts, which you can easily incorporate in your daily diet –

  • Alfalfa Green Sprouts
  • Broccoli Sprouts
  • Clover Sprouts
  • Mung Bean Sprouts
  • Wheat Sprouts
  • Radish Sprouts
  • Soy Bean Sprouts
  • Mustard Sprouts
  • Green Lentil Sprouts
  • Onion Sprouts
  • Sunflower Sprouts
  • Pea Shoots

 

How to make sprouts?

Sprouting legumes and seeds is easy – it does not take much time and effort. Here is how you can do it –

  • Pick the variant of sprouts you want to prepare
  • Soak the sprouts in a container filled with water and allow it to stay overnight
  • Next morning, filter the water and wash the sprouts properly
  • Keep the seeds and grains exposed to sunlight for a couple of days

After a few days, you will see new shoots growing. Rinse the sprouts well with clean water and they are ready for consumption

Conclusion

Sprouts are becoming increasingly popular owing to their nutritional benefits. They can easily be added to sandwiches, soups and salads, sautéed veggies, and pasta. Packed with multiple nutrients, they can help you stay fit and healthy.

Despite being low in calories, sprouts are a rich source of proteins and nutrients thus making them an essential part of a healthy and nutritious diet. To understand the nutritional value of each type of sprout and how to best consume them, speak
to a Doctor via MediBuddy today.

 

Sources:

  1. Organic Facts
  2. Mavcure
Healthy office snacks

Healthy Snack ideas to keep you energized in office

Healthy office snacks

Most people with office jobs have almost no access to healthy snacks. Truth be told, not many office cafeterias stock up on healthy food items such as salads – primarily because they don’t have a large fan following. And ordering out healthy food can pinch your pocket. Instead, you can look at our healthy snack ideas, and pick something that will not only satiate your hunger pangs but also keep you lean and healthy. 

Healthy snack ideas to curb hunger pangs

Here is a list of healthy food for office workers. All of them are easily available, easy on the pocket and are extremely beneficial for your health. 

Nuts

Nuts like pistachios, walnuts, peanuts and almonds are packed with ‘healthy’ fats and are a great source of fibre, vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Rich in proteins and vitamins, nuts are also an excellent alternative to meals if you are in a hurry. They boost immunity and help keep illnesses like the cold at bay. Just ensure that you eat a handful. Because nuts are calorie-dense foods, eating too much can hike your daily calorie intake substantially.

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas make for a nutritious bite at work. Half a cup contains 10 gms of protein and 5 gms of fibre and a high amount of amino acids. Roasted chickpeas are also available in the form of sattu (ground roasted chickpeas). Commonly found across India, a concoction of sattu and water is a nourishing drink that supplies energy to your body in high amounts. Usually, a dash of black salt, pepper, and lime are added to it, making it a delicious and easy to digest drink.

Popcorns

Popcorns are satisfying, nutritious snacks – low in calories, high in fibre. Two cups of air-popped popcorn provide 62 gms of calories only. Moreover, popcorns are packed with polyphenols, which can help keep cardiovascular diseases at bay.

Fruits and Cottage Cheese

A bowlful of fresh fruits topped with protein-rich cottage cheese is loaded with nutrients but low in calories. Half a cup of cottage cheese contains 12 gms of protein and 10% of the daily recommended dietary allowance for calcium. Add fruits to it, and you have a dish packed with antioxidants, minerals, and Vitamins – all vital to keeping your body healthy and illness free.  

Oatmeal

Munching on a packet of unsweetened, plain oatmeal is a great way to curb hunger pangs. Plain oatmeal contains high soluble fibre and complex carbohydrates, which help improve your bowel movements and provide a steady supply of energy throughout the day.

Dark Chocolates

Dark chocolates are packed with flavonoids – compounds that can help lower bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They are high in antioxidants that scavenge free radicals and keep your skin healthy. Opt for the ones without any additional sugar and milk to draw the maximum benefits. 

Protein Bars

Protein bars, as the name suggests, supply you with protein to keep you going through the day. Unlike carbohydrates, protein is much more filling when it comes to satiating hunger pangs. A protein bar is sufficient to keep you satiated for 3-4 hours.

Greek Yoghurt

Unsweetened, plain Greek yoghurt is yet another healthy food for office workers. A portion of low-fat Greek yoghurt (200 gms) contains 17 gms of protein and only 140 calories. Moreover, it is rich in calcium – essential for stronger teeth and bones. To enhance the taste, you can add herbs such as basil.

Hummus and Carrots

This one requires a bit of preparation but is totally worth it. Carrots are rich in Vitamin A that ensures good vision. Protein-rich hummus is anti-inflammatory and enhances the health of your gut. Collectively, they pack a punch that is hard to beat.

Remember to control your portions. Excess of anything – be it protein bars, mixed nuts, or cheese – could be too much for the body to take in. 

Conclusion

Food cravings at work can be annoying, especially if you are in the midst of something important. These healthy snack ideas can help you combat such cravings without compromising on health.

Snacking is a common prerequisite especially when glued to your system, hard at work for hours at end. But not all food options are good for you. To know more about the
best food options and which foods to include in an effective nutrition plan, consult
a dietician through MediBuddy.


Sources:

Healthline

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy procedure: A factsheet

Colonoscopy

The colonoscopy procedure is a cancer-screening test. Cancer can be fatal. But if tests detect it early on then therapy and medicines can help you combat this disorder.

Cancers of the colon and rectum are some of the most common forms of cancer. And that is why doctors recommend colonoscopy which can predict if these cancers are beginning to set in. Keep reading to know more about why you may need it, what to expect and if there are any associated risks.

Why is colonoscopy done?

Once you reach your 50s, your chances of contracting colorectal cancer goes up significantly. That is why your doctor may suggest a colonoscopy procedure just to rule out that possibility. This test becomes imperative if you have a family history of colon or rectal cancers. In such cases, it is a preventive measure your doctor will recommend once in a few years.

Quite a few adults have bumps or polyps in the colon or rectum. They are usually benign. But some polyps called adenomas are dangerous. They may turn cancerous.  And when they do, you will see symptoms such as intense abdominal pain, bleeding from the rectum, chronic constipation or diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, flatulence. 

If you’ve had surgery to remove a polyp, your doctor might ask you to undergo a colonoscopy to ensure there are no more polyps left or no new ones have developed.

Are colonoscopies safe?

Colonoscopy is an innocuous procedure. There are seldom, if ever, any complications. But you should still know about the following risks:

  • You might experience a little bit of bleeding from the site where the polyp was removed or a tissue sample collected
  • A tear along the wall of the colon or rectum

 

How to prepare for a colonoscopy?

There are a few measures that you will have to adopt in the days leading up to the colonoscopy procedure. Your bowels have to be absolutely clean. Any faecal matter left behind may obstruct the doctor’s view when the procedure is being performed. That is why you will have to-

  • Follow a special diet: you will have to be on a fibre-rich diet for a few days. Fibres ensure bowel movement. 
  • You will only be drinking fluids the day before the procedure.
  • You will have to take a laxative to ensure your bowels are cleared before the doctor commences with colonoscopy.
  • You might opt for an OTC enema kit.
  • If you are taking medicines for diabetes, heart disorders, hypertension, lung problems or allergies, then you should inform your doctor because your dosage might have to be tweaked.

 

What happens during the procedure?

The doctor will administer a sedative. You may also be given pain medication to dull any discomfort you are likely to feel. You will have to lie on your side and draw your knees up to your chest. Then the doctor will push a colonoscope through your rectum and into your colon. The colonoscope is fitted with a lighted camera that allows the doctor to see the inside of your colon and a tube that the doctor uses to pump in carbon dioxide to inflate the colon. This might make you feel a little cramped and give you the urge to want to defecate. 

Then minute surgical instruments too will be introduced into your colon with which the doctor will collect a tissue sample or amputate a polyp.

How long does a colonoscopy take?

Colonoscopy is a keyhole procedure, so it doesn’t take much time. The whole procedure shouldn’t take more than 60 minutes. 

What to expect after a colonoscopy?

You may bleed a little during your bowel movements after the procedure. That is nothing to worry about. But if bleeding does not cease within a few days, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will also suggest medicines to help you deal with post-operative pain. You will be able to return to your usual routine in about 2 weeks.

Conclusion

Colonoscopy is a safe procedure that can save you from a dangerous ailment. Let your doctor talk you through it so that you can understand what it entails. 

Colonoscopy is a simple procedure that can often seem to be like a petrifying ordeal. Thanks to developments in the medical sector, colonoscopy has become quite a
simple matter. To know more about colonoscopy, and its effects, you can consult
a doctor through MediBuddy.


Sources:

  1. Mayoclinic
  2. WebMD