Healthy Living

             On a Sunday morning, while reading the newspaper I got a thought in my mind. All over the newspaper most of the news was about covid-19, how people are losing their jobs and a whole mess in our world. But what can we do as a tiny individual in this big world? What I feel is even if you are like a small ship in a big sea you have capabilities to sustain in the situation likewise you can improve at least your own life. Yes your own life, how you decided to live your life is what results after 20yrs. Why think about 20 years later, food  what you in a particular day is responsible for the result and what you get in within some days. A high calorie food intake for a long time will result in gaining weight. Similarly a low calorie diet will result in weight loss, or in some cases some micro nutrient deficiencies also. It’s as simple as that. Hence your lifestyle decides how your body will react in different situations. Bad choices will impact on your own body leading to many metabolic disorders. All the reactions happening in the body are the result of your dietary intake, physical activity, mental peace, etc. So when all of this goes well your internal organs function well. 

 

Self care is not an expense, it’s an investment. 

 

Health is a daily practice not a 30 day diet. Hence start to make healthy choices everyday. Make a habit to choose healthier options while dining out or as simple as when you pick up the grocery from the market. A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that lowers the risk of falling sick. Wellness is an active process of becoming aware and making choices towards a healthy life. Wellness is more than just being free from illness. Being healthy is most essential to stay active and illness free throughout our life. Healthy person is one who is having a balanced and nutritionally adequate diet throughout his life and being fit to complete all his daily physical and mental tasks mindfully. 

Our physical fitness every time reflects our mental fitness. Especially when you start getting older! 

An exciting new study led by Dr Hideaki Soya from the University of Tsukuba in Japan and his colleagues show, for the first time, the direct relationship between brain activity, brain function and physical fitness in a group of older Japanese men. They found that the fitter men performed better mentally than the less fit men, by using parts of their brains in the same way as in their youth research says that staying active promotes healthful aging. And helps both the brain and body. Every brain changes over time, but smart routines and practices can keep our minds sharp and healthy. 

Healthy living is both physical and mental health at its best. Many times physical and mental health are interconnected hence whenever some change happens like it could be good or bad one will definitely affect the other. 

 

HEALTHY EATING:

 

We all human beings are fond of different varieties of food. One loves biryanis, some loves sweets, others love fast food. Means we are born and brought up in a family where everyone likes to eat this and that. But there comes a problem because every time in a family function or so food is acted to show love. Not all food items served at family gatherings or while dining out are unhealthy but it’s your choice and your responsibility to choose correctly for your healthy life. All humans need to eat to grow and maintain a healthy life. But a human body’s nutrition requirement varies with age, sex, physical activity. Eating pattern and level of physical activity changes as a baby grows older to a full healthy adult and afterwards becomes an older person. Infant or a baby needs feeding every 3-4hours and once he is a kid starts eating normal solid foods with the family.  Teenage to adulthood 3 meals with a snack is a pattern for most of us. After old age most kinds of food items are prepared and the timings change according to the health condition of an individual.

Tips to improve and sustain with Healthy Eating:

    • Eat a balanced diet that includes whole grains, proteins from both animal and plant sources, a good amount of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis and most importantly a healthy fat. 
    • It is essential to follow a specific diet pattern which is based on proper meal timings. One must take a healthy breakfast, then lunch and dinner. 
    • Type, time and quantity of meals matters a most. Your breakfast must be eaten on daily basis as it is the first meal of the day. It must include some healthy food item which has all the essential macro and micro nutrients.
    • Dinner should be a light meal as after dinner we never have any heavy physical activity. Never sleep immediately after dinner. Keep 2-2 & 1/2hours of gap between your dinner and sleep timings. 
    • Eat a fruit daily. Fruit is packed with many micro nutrients like carotene, minerals, vitamin C, folate, potassium, dietary fiber, etc. a pearl of health is hidden in a fruit. 
    • Do not overeat anytime. Take a small plate every time while eating. Hence it will be easy to control portion sizes. 
    • Choose a variety of colorful veggies in your diet. Include veggies in every meal.
    • Choose foods low in saturated fats, include healthy fats like nuts and oil seeds, blended oils, olive oil, soybean oil, etc. Avoid butter, margarin, vanaspati, etc.
    • Avoid having any sugar or soda beverages. Have plenty of plain water, to improve water intake opt for infused water, flavored water. 
    • Avoid snacking or nibbling food in between the major meals. Choose healthy snacks like roasted nuts, fruit, makhana, roasted chana, puffed cereals, etc. which are low in calories but high in essential nutrients. Also avoid having more tea/coffee while working for long in the night. 
    • Make a habit in children. Because when we teach good habits early in the child’s life it becomes a lifetime habit.
    • Follow proper cooking methods. Avoid fried, more oily foods. Instead use stir fry, shallow fry, boiling, etc. 
    • We have many healthier options to choose while dining out. Choose wisely. For example, choose south Indian dishes over any fried snack item, or in a buffet method take more portions of vegetable, salad, soups etc. avoid having dessert. Instead of potato tikki burgers choose a sandwich which has more veggies. 
    • Avoid having too much sweets. If craving for sweets has fruit, dry fruit, dark chocolate, etc.
    • If you are having any kind of disease or a GI disorder then seek medical advice and have a diet pattern accordingly. Because in every specific disease condition it is important to have particular food in an advised amount only. 
  • Make sure you sit down to foods that nourish your mind, as well as body.
  • Include minimally processed and more fresh foods in daily diet.

 

Good habits are as addictive as bad habits but much more rewarding!

 

           Along with eating well, what your body needs to stay healthy is a good amount of exercise. Physical activity helps blood flow to your brain and forges new connections in many cells.Even bursts of exercise as brief as 10 minutes can temporarily enhance energy levels, focus, problem-solving, and memory. Start with a commitment of at least 25-30minutes everyday. Improve your pattern and intensity of exercise day by day from mild to moderate to intense whenever possible. Just a 30minute brisk walk or yoga poses is good to start off with.

          There’s no end to education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning. Learning is a continuous process. Hence start by experimenting with your hobby or any activity that ignites your soul. What you love the most! Learn a new language, any musical instrument, read books, pick up puzzles, or Sudoku to solve, etc. All these activities help to improve your memory, listening, hearing and motor skills. Overall you may find it difficult to start with but once you get used to it and you love doing what you are doing, you have positive effects on your brain. Healthy living needs a perfect balance of healthy eating, healthy activity, and a healthy mind. 

 

Science shows that sleep regenerates neurons that allow your brain to function at its best. Sleep also clears your brain of bad toxins that can stack up over time.

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout life. A good quality sound sleep of at least 8hours per day is equally important as good nutrition throughout our life. Only when you sleep peacefully, your stress levels go too low and you can start your next day freshly. Amount of sleep will matter most in health. As it will help to keep away any diseases. 

 

Time spent with close family, friends, and our community helps us to enjoy life, feel appreciated and find purpose. Friendship allows us to share experiences, overcome challenges, and pursue learning and activities outside of our comfort zone.

Spending time with your family re-fuels the energy for a full day. Spend time with kids, play or help them in study. Plan meals with them. Eat at least one meal together with the whole family. Eat slowly, chew properly and eat mindfully. 

 

  • Stop smoking tobacco, and drinking alcohol. Both are most important to start a healthy life. These both are preventable measures which you can take to avoid any disease related to consumption of it. 
  • Saving money by eating home cooked foods, avoiding any outside junk food, stop taking tobacco, alcohol, stop drinking unnecessary sugary beverages is important.
  • Feeling better mentally is important to stay healthy for lifetime. Regular exercise and good food will lift up your mood. 
  • Physical activity and nutrition can reverse age related disorders, it will help you to improve strength.
  • Take a walk and reflect on what you see and hear at least several times per week.
  • Try something new and often
  • Try to make some leisure time to do things that interest you every week like any hobby or sport.

Fitness is mostly mental. Your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t push it.

 

 

 

 

Nutrient Deficiencies Caused by PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition whereby there is an excess production of androgens (male sex hormones) in the female reproductive system. The name itself suggests that there is a formation of various fluid-filled cysts into the ovaries.

Usually, the process of ovulation begins when the matured egg is released from the ovary for fertilization by the male sperm while if the egg is not fertilized, it is discharged out of the body during periods. However, minerals and nutrient deficiencies can hinder the ovulation process due to which the ovaries develop small fluid sacs containing high levels of androgens in it.

Vitamins and minerals play an essential part in our healthy balanced diet. Research has proven that constant consumption of dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamins D and C, calcium, and cobalamin can reduce the levels of hormonal imbalance in our body. This can help in managing diseases like obesity, PCOS and insulin resistance in our body.

A study published in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health proves that Vitamin D deficiency is a major factor resulting in showing depressive signs and symptoms of PCOS in women.

Effect of Vitamins on PCOS

vitamins effect n pcos
Hearth shape in the middle of pills or tablets with copy space text area
  • Vitamins are vital dietary supplements that not only help in the overall functioning of the body but also ensure optimal energy levels. For instance, the deficiency of vitamin D has a direct relation with depression levels, insulin resistance, and PCOS.
  • Moreover, Insulin is an important hormone that helps the tissues and cells to use glucose for the energy storing process. But, the resistance of insulin might increase the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and PCOS.
  • Also, high levels of insulin in women can cause more androgen which can lead to acne, pimples, an increase in body hairs, and irregular mensuration. Vitamins such as B (12), D, E, and folate are quite useful in enhancing insulin resistance especially in those who are suffering from metabolic syndrome.

Effect of Minerals on PCOS

mineralsPCOS Nutrients deficiencies minerals

Source- Harvard Health- Harvard University

  • Minerals serve as constituents of enzymes, hormones, and vitamins which combine with the other chemicals or exist singularly. For example, calcium phosphate in bone or free sodium in urine form.
  • Minerals play a crucial role in providing the structural framework to the bones and teeth. Not only this, but they also help in regulating the metabolism to perform the cellular activity. These inorganic substances participate in the biosynthesis of the nutrients.
  • Magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium are the building blocks for our bones and teeth. Potassium, chloride, and sodium maintain fluid balance. Potassium and Calcium ensure muscle contraction and easy transmission of nerve signals.
  • Generally, Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption that is essential to decrease the levels of PCOS in women.
  • It was found that women suffering from PCOS have altered levels of cortisol hormone due to excess production of androgens by the ovaries. Nutrient deficiencies in your daily diet will lead to a shortage of the essential vitamins and minerals that will lead to PCOS.

Key Nutrient Deficiencies Caused by PCOS

1.    Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral that is present in several dietary food items that ensure healthy digestion and absorption process. Not only this, but zinc also plays a major role in the healthy fertilization and regular menstrual cycles in women. Studies have shown that a mixture of magnesium and zinc can lower down the inflammation and growth failure in women.

Nutrient deficiencies of zinc can increase the risk of PCOS, smaller sex glands, and diarrhea. A regular intake of zinc can prevent hair loss, acne, high testosterone, and hirsutism in the women’s body.

Sources of Zinc: black beans, sunflower seeds, turkey, beef, pumpkin seeds, azuki beans, turkey, lamb, bison, and whey protein.

Dosage: The daily recommended level of zinc in women is around 8mg/day. Although, long-term consumption of zinc can affect the copper and iron levels in the body. Zinc picolinate is considered as one of the excellent absorbable forms of zinc. Make sure that you get your nutritional levels checked from your healthcare practitioner.

2.    Folate

Folate is a kind of vitamin B9 that is usually present in a plethora of green leafy fruits and vegetables. It is quite different in its origination from the folic acid. Not only this, but researchers have also found that an intake of 5 grams of folate can significantly enhance your blood pressure, blood glucose levels and the amount of the lipids. Also, it lowers the risk of PCOS in women. Although, nutrient deficiencies of folate in our body can cause anemia, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal diseases.

Sources of Folate: whole wheat products, green leafy vegetables like peas, spinach, broccoli, collard greens, asparagus, cabbage, etc., fruits like oranges and mangoes, soybeans, meat, azuki beans, eggs, milk products, and black beans.

Dosage: 400 mcg/day is the RDI of folate for normal women whereas 600 mcg/day for pregnant ladies. To avoid the nutrient deficiencies of folate, this vitamin can be combined with active B12 and L-5-MTHF.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is regarded as one of the most popular minerals which are available in abundance in various kinds of food items. Not only this, but it also reacts with the enzymes that lead to a direct impact on the blood sugar levels, muscle tension, blood pressure, nerve functioning, and metabolic processes. Moreover, magnesium improves the inflammation and insulin resistance and lowers the risk for diabetes, strokes, etc.

It is quite common for women to have PCOS who are having a deficiency of magnesium in their bodies. Furthermore, frequent intake of birth control pills can reduce the levels of magnesium in our bodies.

Sources of Magnesium: Whey protein, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, soybeans, barley, rice, potatoes, raw cacao, sorghum, spinach, rice, black beans, oats, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Dosage: One must intake 400 mg of magnesium either in the form of magnesium glycinate or magnesium chelate. Avoid the intake of magnesium citrate in case you are having constipation. Also, add 800 mg of calcium along with 400 mg of magnesium if you are consuming it for a longer period.

4.    Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is an essential nutrient that helps in proper nerve functioning, DNA synthesis, the formation of red blood cells, and metabolizing proteins and fats. Not only this, but a study has also proven that nutrient deficiencies of vitamin B12 are higher in vegetarian Indians as most of this vitamin comes from animal foods.

Women with PCOS have fewer amounts of Vitamin B12 which leads to infertility, fatigue, obesity and less insulin resistance. Additionally, the use of metformin by any means also results in the reduction of B12 levels in the women’s body system.

Sources of Vitamin B12: salmon, eggs, crab, liver, dairy products, oysters, herring, pork, mussels, beef, etc.

Dosage: The optimal intake level of vitamin B12 is about 2.4mcg/day. There are various kinds of capsules and serums of vitamin B12 available in the market such as cyanocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, methylcobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin. Make sure to consult your doctor before consuming any of these medicines. Also, it is highly recommended that this vitamin should be consumed along with other vitamins to neutralize its impact on the human body.

5.    Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the only vitamin that can be synthesized by the human body from natural sunlight. It is very useful for bone making and maintenance and allows the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphorus inside our body. Also, it can regulate the reproductive processing by the hormones by controlling the blood sugar levels, anti-mullerian hormone, insulin regulation, follicle-stimulating hormone, and progesterone levels in the women’s body.

Most of the women in today’s world are suffering from PCOS as they do not get enough of the sunlight which leads to a negative impact on their testosterone levels and fertility.

Sources of Vitamin D: U. V. radiations from sunlight, eggs, fortified dairy products, salmon, liver, cod-liver oils, tuna, swordfish, and many more.

Dosage: There is no standard dose of vitamin D yet individuals must get their vitamin levels checked by their health expert. Moreover, 600 IU/day is the recommended amount although it is quite low from elderly individuals. Suggested levels of daily intake are 25(OH)D are ≥50 nmol/L. Although some people require a high dosage of vitamin D which is up to 10,000 IU/day to maintain a balance and overcome the deficiency in the body.

Vitamin K must be combined with vitamin D to lower the risks of calcium deposits in your arteries. Aloe Vera Juice and Thorne vitamin D/K2 drops are quite useful in balancing the vitamin levels.

Some Final Words

A healthy balanced and nutritious diet is all that it takes to stay PCOS free. This diet must be full of vitamins, minerals, and especially those which are mentioned above in the article. Do regular physical activity and consume at least 8 glasses of water daily. Also, you can get some consultation and guidance by contacting us at support@modernmonk.in.

 

Yoga Poses to Enhance your Immunity System

Yoga is a spiritual practice that connects our mind with the body and assures physical and mental wellness. Yoga for immunity building is surely a wonderful way of removal of toxins from our system. Moreover, it also helps in gaining self-awareness about our inner soul as it is the science and art of a healthy lifestyle. It is that light in the storm that supports the optimal fitness of our body, mind, and soul even at times of stress or sickness.

It was found in the International Journal of Yoga that Yoga helps in adapting to the autonomic changes and ensures easy repairmen of cellular immunity in the conditions of stress. Moreover, according to Psychology Today, Yoga is an effective natural immunity booster which not only ensures reduced stress and strong nervous functioning but also stimulates the lymphatic system along with the removal of harmful toxins from the body.

yoga online

6 Yoga Postures for Immunity

Here are some of the yoga for immunity building and healthy functioning of the overall growth of the human body.

  1. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

    Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Matsyasana also is known as the Fish pose, is an interesting Hatha yogic pose which was formed as a reflection when Lord Vishnu took the Matsya avatar to release all the bad and negativity from the Mother Earth. Moreover, to gain benefit from this posture, you must hold it with 5 deep breathes or for at least 20 to 30 seconds.

Benefits: This asana plays a significant role in relieving tensions and stress from the neck and shoulder. Moreover, it helps in regulating our respiration and enables a perfect massage to our digestive system. It also prevents acidity, constipation and abdominal cramps. Apart from this, it is an excellent restorative variation of yoga which makes our immune system stronger and healthier.

Method to perform:

  • Lie down on your back and keep your shoulders and arms relaxed.
  • Now, place your hands under your hips and bring your elbow close to lift your chest. Take a deep breath while you lift your head.
  • Then, make sure that your chest is elevated in such a way that your top of the head touches the floor.
  • While your head is touching the floor, gently press the elbow and try to put the weight on your elbows and not the head.
  • Press your legs and thighs on the floor and try to hold on to this position by taking long comfortable breaths
  • Relax with every exhale. Now, come back to the relaxing position by keeping your hands on the sides and head on the floor.
  1. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

    Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

The Cobra Pose which is technically named as the Bhujangasana plays an important part in the Sun Salutation practice. Not only this, but it was also derived from the raised hood of the cobra and is a basic level Ashtanga posture that you must hold for at least 10 breaths or 20 to 30 seconds.

Benefits: This yogic posture allows flexibility and strength to the spinal cord of the human body. Moreover, it opens up our chest, lungs, and heart and elevates our mood and stress hormones. This asana acts as a stimulator for enhancing the circulation and digestion of the body.

Method to perform:

  • Firstly, lie down on your stomach with your toes and forehead facing the ground.
  • Now, keep your knees and feet close to each other and allow your hands to be placed under the shoulder so that your elbows seem parallel to the torso.
  • Then, take a long deep breath and lift your head, chest, and abdomen with your navel on the floor. Try to straighten up your hands and form an arc on your back by tilting your head backward.
  • Try to relax your shoulders and bend your elbows a bit.
  • With regular physical practice of this posture for 5-10 minutes will help you to regulate your breath along with firm alignment in your backbone.
  • Make sure that you take gentle deep breathes while you perform this asana and do not overdo the stretching.
  1. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

    triangle yoga pose

The Trikonasana is regarded as the perfect posture for boosting the immunity of our body. This basic Vinyasa style yogic asana was formed by resembling the shape of the triangle. Make sure that you perform this pose in the morning after complete digestion of your body for at least 1 to 4 minutes.

Benefits: The Trikonasana is a therapeutic posture that opens up your hips and releases the tension from your elbows and shoulders. It also stretches your fascia that helps in easy breathing. Not only this, but it is also quite useful in releasing toxins, negativity, and stress from our bodies. It also improves the concentration and stability of the spine.

Method to perform:

  • From the standing position, bend over and put your hands on the floor. Now, maintain a distance of around 3 to 4 steps until you resemble a downward ‘V’ position.
  • Then, make sure that your legs are at the width of your shoulders and try to push your hips backward until your head touches the floor.
  • Try to keep your neck relaxed and hold this position for around 3 to 5 minutes.
  1. Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)

    Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)

It is a basic level Hatha yoga asana which plays a crucial role in strengthening our muscles, legs, back, and neck. The Big Toe Pose can be performed in the morning or evening depending after 3 hours of having your meal.

Benefits: Padangusthasana plays an essential role in the overall development and functioning of the body. This yoga for immunity not only stimulates digestion but also boosts the energy levels by enhancing the blood flow throughout the system. It keeps insomnia, fatigue, and headaches at bay and ensures peaceful sleep.

Method to perform:

  • Stand in the Tadasana with your feet joined together, pressing your shoulders, opening your chest along with lifting your hips outwards.
  • Now, try to focus on one point and bring your right knee towards your chest, holding on to your big toe.
  • Then, put your left hand on your hip and stretch your right leg straight. Tighten up your left knee and muscles.
  • Open your right foot and arm to your right and take 5-10 long deep breathes.
  • Do not forget to repeat the same posture to your opposite side.
  1. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Fish Spinal Twist Pose)

    half lord of fish

The Half Fish Spinal Twist is an excellent detox posture that allows your spine to relax and supports the body internal structure and its functioning. Moreover, you can easily perform this posture 30 minutes after having your meal by holding it for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Benefits: This yoga for immunity helps in increasing the circulation to the kidney, liver, and stomach allowing easy digestion and absorption of the nutrients. It helps in the removal of dangerous infection-causing toxins. Ardha Matsyendrasana allows gentle twisting and compressing which keeps the gut healthy and fit.

Method to perform:

  • Sit with your legs and back straight and place your right foot at the outside of the left leg.
  • Allow your extended left foot to flex and cross your left foot under your right leg.
  • Inhale and lift your spine. Then exhale and twist over the right shoulder.
  • Try to stay in for at least 5 deep breaths.

6. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

bridge pose

The Bridge pose often called as Setu Bandhasana is a good chest opening posture that stimulate sour muscles to grow and develop stronger. It is an excellent asana especially for kids which allows quick excretion of waste throughout our body system.

Benefits: The Bridge pose is responsible for the growth of T cells that boosts our immunity to fight the infection. Not only this, but it also helps in enhancing the blood circulation, heartbeat, and energy level of the body.

Method to perform:

  • Lie on your back and fold your legs.
  • Now, keep your arms beside your body and lift your upper, lower and middle back off the floor.
  • Let your chest touch your chin and try to support your weight on your arms, feet, and shoulders. Make sure that your thighs are parallel to each other.
  • Then, try to hold the posture for 2 to 3 minutes and then gently relax your body.

Healthy tips Before Yoga for Immunity

  • Do not forget to warm up your body before practicing the yogic asanas by performing neck, waist, and shoulder rotation along with some twisting, forward and backward bending exercises.
  • Detoxify your body by drinking at least 5 to 8 glasses of water every day.
  • Have a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet full of vitamin C, D and zinc to boost your immunity.
  • Adopt a healthy Ayurveda lifestyle by performing spiritual and basic hygiene practices.
  • As we all know that healthy sleep is a peaceful sleep for the mind, body, and soul.

Some Final Words

Yoga is a holistic method of purifying our body, soul, and mind. It is considered as a natural immunity booster that not only protects our body from infections and flu but also releases harmful toxins and negativity for our body. Yogic asanas, Meditation and Pranayama are the key essentials for a healthy lifestyle. So, practice the above-mentioned yoga for immunity asanas ensures strengthening your whole body system.

yoga online