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Health Benefits of Quinoa
Categories Other nutrition blog

Health Advantages of Quinoa

Quinoa is a sort of edible seed that comes in a variety of hues, including black, red, yellow, and white. The plant is native to the Andean region of South America, notably Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Peru, and has been cultivated for over 5000 years. The natural saponins, a bitter-tasting chemical component coating the exterior of the seeds that functions as a natural insecticide, is removed after they are collected.

Quinoa, often described as a “superfood” or a “super grain,” has become popular among the health conscious, with good reason. It is also gluten-free and suitable for those following a gluten-free diet.

Quinoa is often used as a rice substitute, but it is actually a seed. It is commonly mistaken for a grain and is referred to as such. Quinoa is soft and fluffy when cooked, with a somewhat nutty flavour. It can be processed into flour, flakes, and a variety of dishes like pasta and bread.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the boom in quinoa demand has pushed production outside South America to more than 70 countries. Quinoa crops are being grown on a huge scale in China, North America, France, and India.

Quinoa seeds can be black, red, white, purple, pink, yellow, gray, orange, green or yellow.

Quinoa has a high protein, fiber, iron, copper, thiamin, and vitamin B6 content. It’s also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and folate. “A ‘good source’ implies that one serving delivers at least 10% of the daily value of that nutrient, while an ‘excellent source’ means that one serving provides at least 20% of the daily value of that nutrient.”

Quinoa’s “unique composition and outstanding balance” of protein, oil, and fat, as well as its minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, make it a very nutritious food, according to a 2009 paper in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Quinoa, unlike many other plant foods, contains phytohormones. Because they occasionally act like estrogens in the body, phytoestrogens are being explored as a treatment for menopause symptoms.

Quinoa’s health advantages

1. An all-around protein

Quinoa is well known for being one of the few plant foods that provide complete proteins, with all essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Complete proteins include all of the essential amino acids in about equal amounts, which the body cannot manufacture on its own.

2. Anti-inflammatory benefits

Quinoa may help decrease the presence of inflammation. It helps promote healthy gut microbes (the friendly bacteria in the gut), which are important for preventing obesity, inflammation and disease.

3. Free of gluten

People with Celiac disease, a severe gluten intolerance, are advised to follow gluten-free diets. Quinoa is an excellent choice for such people or those who have gluten intolerance, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), etc.

4. Heart health

Lowering LDL cholesterol is good for your heart, but quinoa can benefit your heart in other ways as well. A study published in the Journal of Food Lipids noted that quinoa seeds possess many of the dietary flavonoids “shown to inversely correlate with mortality from heart disease.” Triglyceride levels reduced by an average 12.7 per cent among the participants who ate 50g, according to the findings. If you eat 50 grams of quinoa, which is four tablespoons daily, your risk of cardiovascular disease can decrease significantly.

5. Digestion

One cup of cooked quinoa offers 21% of the daily fiber recommendation, which is fantastic for your gut. Quinoa is also easier to digest than many other grains. Furthermore, one feels fuller after eating quinoa, in comparison to eating wheat or rice, according to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

6. Hypertension and diabetes

Quinoa has also been examined for its role in diabetes and hypertension control. A study investigated 10 traditional Peruvian grains and legumes for their potential in controlling the early stages of Type 2 diabetes.  The study found that as Quinoa is one of the most protein rich foods with almost twice as much fiber as many other grains; is loaded with potassium and magnesium, it can be extremely beneficial in diabetes and hypertension control. Not only does quinoa help normalize blood pressure, blood sugar and triglyceride levels, it’s a great food for weight loss as well!

 

In case you need a professional help, you can contact Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian, having more than 18 years of experience. She is one of the best dietitians in Delhi if you are looking for nutritional advice

Categories Children Diet

Impact of too much sugar on your child’s health

Impact of too much sugar on your child’s health

Sugar is all over the place. Portion sizes are increasing in today’s society, processed foods are becoming the standard, and as a result, we’re consuming more sugar than ever before. A high sugar intake is linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dental cavities. Sugar’s impact on your child’s brain health is also becoming clearer according to recent studies.

There are both immediate and long-term consequences of high sugar intake on brain health. You’re certainly aware of ‘sugar high,’ which is defined by a spike in your child’s energy followed by sugar consumption. But did you know that sugar also has long-term consequences for your child’s brain health?

Let’s have a look at our brains:

The Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is a key regulator of cognitive activities like attention, behavioural control, and self-control. These do not form until later in life because this area of the brain is still maturing until the early twenties. Sugar has an especially negative impact on a child’s brain because the brain is continually developing. Long-term, everyday use of high-sugar (and high-fat) diets has been related to a loss of neurons (brain cells) in the prefrontal cortex, which may have an adverse effect on the creation of the cognitive processes indicated above. During this stage of life, an undeveloped prefrontal cortex might reduce self-regulation, which could be the cause of your child’s behaviour problems.

The Hippocampus is a brain region important in learning and long-term memory. The production of new neurons, known as neurogenesis, is a key element of memory and learning development. High sugar intake has been demonstrated in studies to slow down this process, potentially affecting performance on tasks like learning ability. Sugar consumption has also been linked to poor performance on nonverbal IQ tests.

Is sugar an addictive substance?

Let’s move on to the brain’s reward system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (think of it as a brain messenger) involved in movement, motivation, and addiction. Dopamine is released when you eat a highly enjoyable food (such as a sugary snack). Eating large amounts of these foods can activate the reward system to a great degree, causing a person to eat more food than necessary to meet their energy needs. With consistently high sugar diets, this overeating can begin in childhood and persist throughout maturity. Research is also showing that sugar can be characterized as an addictive substance and may even have addictive properties including withdrawal or continued cravings when sugar is deprived

What should you do?

Sugar is so widely available that it’s easy for your child to consume too much. For a list of typical sugar sources and guidelines, check the previous blog (INCLUDE LINK). If you’re having trouble reducing your child’s sugar intake, try implementing the following suggestions:

1. Avoid fruit juice: Juice has an abnormally high sugar content. Many of the nutritious characteristics of fruit, such as fibre and vitamins, are stripped away during processing. Instead, make water the preferred beverage.

2. Be inventive when it comes to baking! Use natural sweeteners like dates or bananas to sweeten your food. Because many recipes ask for a lot of sugar, lowering the amount can also assist.

3. Keep an eye out for food marketing. Many smoothie businesses, for example, love to pitch their products as the healthier option, but they might actually be filled with 50+ grammes of sugar!

4. Finally, make a positive start to your child’s day. Many traditional breakfast meals, such as cereal or Pop tarts, contain a lot of sugar, which causes your child’s energy to jump and then drop before lunch. Including more complex carbohydrates and fibre in the first meal of the day (for example, overnight oats, eggs, peanut butter, and whole grain bread) can make a huge difference.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in paediatric nutrition, can provide expert advice. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

References:

1. Reichelt, A., Gibson, G., Abbott, K., Hare, D. (2019). A high-fat high-sugar diet in adolescent rats impairs social memory and alters chemical markers characteristic of atypical neuroplasticity and parvalbumin interneuron depletion in the medial prefrontal cortex. Food & Function, (4).

2. Reichelt, A. (2016). Adolescent maturational transitions in the prefrontal cortex and dopamine signaling as a risk factor for the development of obesity and high fat/high sugar diet induced cognitive deficits. Front. Behav. Neurosci,

3. Neuroscientifically Challenged. (2015, January 16). Know your brain: reward system.

4. The University of Queensland. (2017, May 18). What is neurogenesis?.

5. Freeman, C. R., Zehra, A., Ramirez, V., Wiers, C. E., Volkow, N. D., & Wang, G. J. (2018). Impact of sugar on the body, brain, and behavior. Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition), 23, 2255–2266.

Categories Dietician for children

Lactose Intolerance 

Lactose Intolerance 

Lactose intolerance is a type of reaction to lactose present in cow’s milk or formula manufactured from it that you or your child may experience. This occurs when our bodies are unable to digest lactose, a natural sugar found in milk. Lactose intolerance affects over 70% of the world’s population. People from Asian, African, and Hispanic ethnic groupings are more likely to have it.

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms

Lactose intolerance has certain symptoms that are comparable to those of a cow’s milk protein allergy. Digestion issues such as belly aches and bloating may be among them. Diarrhoea can also be a symptom.

 A lactose intolerance test, which evaluates blood sugar levels before and after drinking a lactose solution drink, may be given to confirm the intolerance.

If the test reveals lactose intolerance, you will most likely be directed to a dietician, who will advise you on appropriate meals and beverages. To ensure normal growth and development, babies and young children require the right nutrition. If your baby is bottle-fed and has lactose sensitivity, your doctor will probably recommend switching to lactose-free formula milk. Lactose replacement drops, which make it easier for your infant to digest lactose in breast milk, may aid if you’re nursing. For many babies and young children, lactose intolerance is only transitory. Within a few weeks or months, their symptoms will usually improve. It’s safe to gradually reintroduce milk and dairy into their diet at this time.

How Do You Deal With Lactose Intolerance?

When a child is diagnosed with lactose intolerance, the symptoms are relieved by avoiding milk and other dairy products. Those with primary lactose intolerance, on the other hand, have various degrees of lactase insufficiency and can tolerate varying levels of dietary lactose. Lactose-intolerant youngsters (and their parents) should be aware that symptoms caused by dairy products are usually temporary and do not cause harm to the gastrointestinal tract (as compared with celiac disease or allergic reactions, including milk-protein intolerance that can lead to ongoing inflammation and mucosal damage). Despite the fact that lactose malabsorption does not predispose to calcium malabsorption, avoiding milk products to alleviate symptoms may be detrimental to proper bone mineralization. It’s been proven that children who don’t drink milk get less calcium than they need for appropriate bone calcium accretion and mineralization.

Beyond infancy, lactose-free alternatives to cow milk based on rice, soy, or other proteins are widely accessible, albeit the nutritious content of most of these milks is not comparable to cow milk. Lactose is present in other mammalian milks, including goat milk. Tolerance to milk products may be partial, so some people may be able to avoid symptoms by simply changing their diet. Lactose in little doses, spaced throughout the day and ingested with other foods, may be tolerated in some cases, without causing discomfort. Because the bacteria in yogurt convert the lactose into lactic acid before intake, many lactose-intolerant individuals who are intolerant of milk can consume yoghurt. Furthermore, the semisolid nature of yoghurt reduces gastric emptying and gastrointestinal transit, resulting in less lactose intolerance symptoms.

Aged cheeses have a lower lactose content than other cheeses and may be better tolerated as a result. Finally, oral lactase replacement capsules or lactase-enhanced milk or dairy products are widely available, allowing lactose-intolerant people to consume some or all milk products without restriction. Because the vitamin D amount of milk substitutes vary, labels must be verified to ensure that each brand’s vitamin D content is accurate.

Lactose-Free Formulas

Low-lactose and lactose-free formulas have no clinical advantages over standard lactose-containing formulas in developed countries, even in the case of acute gastroenteritis, because enough lactose digestion and absorption is preserved, except in severely undernourished children, in whom lactose-containing formulas may worsen diarrhoea and lactose-free formulas may be advantageous. In all circumstances, human milk should be continued for breastfed newborns. Despite the widespread availability and popularity of lactose-free cow milk–protein-based formulas, no research has shown that they have any therapeutic influence on infant outcome indicators such as colic, growth, or development.

Calcium Absorption and Bone Mineral Content Lactose, Calcium Absorption, and Bone Mineral Content

Recent research suggests that dietary lactose improves calcium absorption and that lactose-free diets decrease calcium absorption. Lactose intolerance (and lactose-free diets) may thus predispose to insufficient bone mineralization, a condition now identified in a variety of other paediatric illnesses. The long-term effects of lactose-free diets on bone mineral content and the risk of fractures and osteoporosis as people age have yet to be determined. Protein intake, vitamin D status, salt intake, hereditary and other factors all affect calcium homeostasis, making long-term research necessary to assess the hazards of each or all of these to bone health. Recent research suggests that genetic testing may one day be effective for detecting those at risk of lactase deficiency and, as a result, decreased bone mineral density, allowing for early management with dietary changes or nutrient supplementation.

Summary

Lactose intolerance has been recognised as a frequent condition in many children and people around the world for many years. Despite the fact that lactose intolerance is rarely life-threatening, its symptoms can cause severe discomfort, interrupted quality of life, and loss of school attendance, leisure and sports activities, and work time, all at a cost to individuals, families, and society. Treatment is straightforward and focuses on lowering or eliminating lactose, from the diet or “predigesting” it with supplemental lactase-enzyme replacement. Calcium must be obtained from nondairy sources or as a dietary supplement to avoid indolence.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in child nutrition, can provide expert advise and the right kind of diet. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

7 Myths About Breastfeeding Debunked
Categories Nutrition during lactation

7 Myths About Breastfeeding Debunked

The ‘first milk’ – or colostrum – is rich in antibodies and gives newborns an immunity boost while their own immune systems are still developing.

Did you know? Breastfeeding protects your baby from ear infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia and other childhood diseases. Moreover, did you know that it also protects the mother from diabetes, breast and ovarian cancers and heart disease.

Myth 1: Breastfeeding is complicated.

Fact: Breastfeeding is a simple process.

Babies have a natural instinct to seek their mother’s breast. Some moms may require practical assistance in ensuring that their baby is properly latched to the breast initially. For both mothers and newborns, breastfeeding comes naturally after the first few tries.

Myth 2: Breastfeeding is painful

Fact: Breastfeeding is generally not painful. Sometimes it is painful due to sore nipples. Sore nipples can be treated with topical application of certain medicated creams, desi ghee, etc.

Myth 3: Before breastfeeding, you should clean your nipples.

Fact: It is not required to wash your nipples before breastfeeding. When babies are born, they are already familiar with the smells and sounds of their mother. The nipples create a sense of security and familiarity for the baby.

Myth 4: To give the mother time to rest immediately after birth, you should separate the infant and the mother.

Fact: Skin-to-skin care, also known as kangaroo mother care, is frequently encouraged by doctors, nurses, and midwives shortly after birth. Bringing your baby into direct contact with your skin, so that their skin is against yours, is a crucial step in assisting both mother and baby in initiating breast feeding.

Myth 5: While breastfeeding, you should only eat bland foods.

Fact: Breastfeeding women, like everyone else, require a well-balanced diet. From the moment they are born, babies are exposed to their mothers’ eating preferences. It is best to consult a dietitian if a mother believes her infant is reacting to a certain meal she eats.

Myth 6: If you’re breastfeeding, you can’t take any medications.

Fact: It’s critical to tell your doctor that you’re nursing and to read the directions on any over-the-counter drugs. You may need to take medicines at a specific time interval, in a specific dosage, or to use a different formulation altogether. Consult your doctor before starting any medication while breast feeding.

Myth 7: Clingy babies are those that have been breastfed.

Fact: Every child is unique. No matter how they are fed, some are clingy and some are not. Breastfeeding not only gives the finest nutrition for infants, but it is also beneficial to their brain development. Because breastfed babies are held frequently, breastfeeding has been demonstrated to improve bonding with their mothers.

Contact Kanupriya Khanna, a Sr. Consultant Nutritionist & Child Nutrition Specialist in Delhi, with over 18 years of experience in this field, if you need expert advice on nutrition and post-natal health.

Categories Nutrition and Covid, Nutrition Blogs

Can You Continue Breastfeeding While Being COVID Positive?

Till now, the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in breastmilk. Researchers have collected and tested breastmilk samples (at first lactation) from women who have tested COVID positive during pregnancy. However, these samples were tested negative for the virus.

With studies done so far, it has been said that breastfeeding substantially outweighs the potential risks for virus transmission. Moreover, experts claim that COVID-19 disease is not severe in infants and young children.

As experts continue to learn more about the virus and what kind of risks it poses, health officials and doctors recommend infected mothers to continue with breastfeeding. Infact, as per WHO (World Health Organisation), a mother can breastfeed, even if she develops symptoms of coronavirus infection such as fever or a cough. However, before breastfeeding, mothers need to follow the below instructions, to avoid spreading the virus to her infant.

  • Wear a mask or cloth before nursing
  • Wash hands and sanitize before touching the baby
  • Let someone else in the family, help hold the baby while breastfeeding
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched
  • Consult doctors regularly, for guidance

Mothers who are infected might feel a little weak due to the illness, however, they can increase their milk production by following a healthy diet plan.

The following food items can be included in the breastfeeding meal plan.

  • Milk and Dairy Products
  • Oats
  • Whole Grain
  • Beans and Legumes
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Spices and herbs like methi seeds (fenugreek), saunf (fennel), jeera (cumin seeds), moti eliachi (black cardamom), ajwain (caraway seeds), etc and ayurvedic herbs like shatavari, moringa, etc can be consumed.

Lastly, one should try to stay relaxed and happy, no matter what. It will not only help increase the milk production but will also help the mother recover from the infection quickly.

Lactating mothers or breastfeeding mothers can also get in touch with Kanupriya Khanna for some lactation diet tips. One of the best lactation nutritionists, she can help you with a good post-delivery diet for breastfeeding.

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