Iron out your body

How it helps?

Here comes the oxygen delivery service of your body!! The mineral iron makes the part ‘heme’ of the famous hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the substance of your red blood cell, which supplies oxygen to each and every cell of your body. Without oxygen any cell can not perform its function. For our muscles , myoglobin is the one who ensures adequate supply of oxygen to them. Here comes iron again!! Iron is also a part of this myoglobin. So too little iron meaning too little oxygen, lead to irritability, weakness, headaches,  in severe cases , iron deficiency anemia.

How do we get it?

Iron is found in a variety of animal and plant foods. There are basically two kind of irons available for us.

  1. HEME iron
  2. NON HEME iron

Heme iron is the type of iron found in animal products like red meat, liver, poultry, egg etc. This is more easily absorbed compared to non heme iron.

Non heme iron is the one found in vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, dried foods etc.

How much do we require daily?

It is amazing to know that the amount of absorption of iron is directly proportional to the depletion in the body.

For example a person with iron – deficiency anemia will absorb about two to three times more iron after eating the same food, compared to the person with normal iron levels.

A normal iron requirement in our body for average adult male is 28 mg / day.  While the same for women is  30 mg/day.

For fetal growth and development, a pregnant lady needs more iron, and she would require 37.5 mg/day.

How do we get it?

It is best practice that a person include both heme and non heme iron in his diet. But for strict vegan people if they are not capable of taking non heme iron, then they must imply techniques to increase iron absorption.

The best heme sources are: lean red meats, turkey, chicken, pork, lamb, veal, egg yolks, and liver.

The best non heme sources are beans , lentils, whole grains, dried fruit, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, nuts and seeds, chickpeas, fortified cereals, barley and wheat germ.

How to boost Iron absorption?

  • Couple the non heme  iron with vitamin C. As vitamin C would increase the absorption of iron.
  • Avoid drinking coffee or tea with an iron rich meal; they inhibit the absorption of iron.
  • Calcium interferes with the absorption of iron, so if you take calcium supplement , do not take them with iron rich meal.
  • As per our Indian tradition, cook in cast iron cookware, unbelievable , but true the minute amount of iron will seep into food.
  • Couple the heme iron however small with non heme iron will enhance the absorption of non heme iron.

What happens if we don’t get enough?

First sign of iron deficiency is chronic fatigue. Weakness, tiredness and irritability, severe headaches are sign of iron deficiency. In severe cases it can cause iron deficiency anemia.

What happens if we overdose it?

Its very uncommon to have overdose of iron, but yes quite possible in two cases

  1. If you consume unnecessary overdose of supplements.
  2. If you have genetic abnormality when body stores excessive amounts of iron.

The result can be liver and other organ damage.

Conclusion:

Although a well balanced diet should be the source of primary nutrition, but if you think you are not able to have one, go ahead and have a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral  with iron, you will definitely get benefited.

Mighty minerals – Calcium

Importance:

There are basically 13 vitamins and 22 minerals which are important for our body to perform its day to day activities and carry out many functions. Some are required in very large quantities and some required in only minute amounts. Calcium and potassium are among the mighty minerals which are required in large amount and they are extremely important to our body, you will be surprised to know that the 99% of the calcium you consume is getting stored in bones and the other 1 % is located in body fluids where it helps to regulate functions such as blood pressure , nerve transmission, muscle contraction – including heart beat, clotting of blood and secretion of hormones and digestive enzymes.

How do we get it?

Most of the dairy products are great sources of calcium lets see some of the richest sources of calcium from food. In other sources the grain Ragi – red millet is the grain richest in calcium, and oil seeds like Til (sesame seeds/gingelly)  are great in calcium. Lets see the amount of calcium in various foods.

Til  100 g – 1450 mg
Ragi  100g – 344 mg
Fenugreek leaves 100 g – 395 mg
Dry coconut  100g –  400 mg
Milk  1 cup – 300 mg
Yogurt 1 cup – 270 mg
Cheese  20 g- 160 mg

How much do we require daily?

Most of the adult males and elderly persons require about 1200 mg/day. While women require average 1300 mg/d while children of age 1-3 yrs and 4-8 yrs requires 500 mg and 800 mg /day respectively.  This requirement can be completed by consuming 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of curd per day. But if you feel you are unable to complete the requirement specially  for women while pregnant or lactating should take supplement.

What happens if we don’t get enough?

Imagine your bones as your calcium bank. Over the years you can develop bones rich in calcium by consuming plenty of calcium rich foods and/or supplement tablets. Keep up the good work and your bones will stay calcium rich.
on the other hand, regularly missing !! this mineral will mess up many things.  Since the body fluid need calcium to regulate normal body functions and if it doesn’t get it from food, it borrow it from the calcium bank – the bones. Borrowing day after day, year after year  will deplete the savings account and leave you with hollow and easily broken, brittle bones – the condition of “OSTEOPOROSIS”.

What happens if we overdose it?

Its likely not possible to overdose the calcium from natural food sources , but yes from supplements its quite far possible , for example if someone is taking vitamin D supplement then it would increase calcium absorption in body can cause adverse effects like stomach ache, nausea and vomiting, it can lead to mental confusion, irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure etc.

Plus too much calcium can impair the absorption of Zinc and iron. So need to ensure the added consumption of these minerals.

Conclusion:

So as we know that HEALTH is real WEALTH, dont miss this mineral!! Calcium is best absorbed at night while we sleep, so a glass of milk before bed will make it to the strong bones!! And strong bones means better posture, increased lean body mass – good tool to FAT Loss!!

Vitamin A

What makes Bugs Bunny smart? Or closer to home, why does Private detective Karamchand has such a sharp eye? Any guesses? Well, its our dear old Vitamin A!! Haven’t you seen both of these smarties chomping on carrots, Bugs outwitting Elmer Fudd whereas Karmachand & Kitty solving case after case? Now you will ask me how is eating carrots going to help me? Well, simple fact that carrots are a rich source of Vitamin A.

But we are not talking about carrots alone here, what we are going to discuss is Vitamin A.  Vitamin A being a fat soluble vitamin is stored in our body, so primarily it can be used whenever the body needs it.

How Does Vitamin A helps?

  • It helps fighting against common ailments like common cold, allergies etc.
  • It helps in providing healthy atmosphere for conception and also it helps growth of baby  inside the womb.
  • It helps preventing osteoporosis, and helps recover broken bones.
  • Sufficient vitamin A ensures glowing skin.
  • It helps to fight against cancer.

How do we get our vitamin A?

There are two different sources available for vitamin A, the vegetarian source and non veg source, Veg source does not provide direct vitamin A but the element known as beta carotene, beta carotene is converted in vitamin A by human body as per requirements.  All the orange, yellow, green and red coloured fruits and veggies like mango, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, spinach and pumpkins are rich source of beta carotene. While animal source is the direct source of vitamin A.  Whole milk products, eggs, liver, cod liver oil, etc are rich sources of Vitamin A.

How much do we require daily?

Though the adult and children have different level of requirements , you will be amaze to know that a carrot or a small bunch of spinach or a ripe mango can provide you enough Vitamin A for a day.

What happens if we don’t get enough?

You will wonder why we need to eat all these. What’s the need of this Vitamin? Once you read through the importance of the Vitamin A, you will realize how crucial it is for our body & what its deficiency can do? Vitamin A plays a role in a variety of functions throughout the body, such as:

  • Vision – It can’t improve your distance vision or help you see more clearly, but a deficiency can certainly harm your vision in several ways. One form of vitamin A in your body, retinal, helps nerves transmit the image of what you see to your brain. When you are in a dark situation (such as driving at night) and light flashes (such as oncoming headlights), certain compounds in the visual cycle are bleached out and need to be refreshed by having a good supply of retinal available. If a person is deficient in vitamin A it takes much longer for their eyes to adjust to be able to see again. Another way vitamin A helps your vision is by maintaining the moisture of your mucous membranes.

The deficiency of the Vitamin A can cause blindness in the eyes, the hardness in the lungs are not able to fight infections whereas the damage to the intestine & stomach causes severe digestive problems. The deficiency can prove fatal.

What happens if we exceed the dose?

Just as deficiency is dangerous for the body, too much is not too good also.  Being vegetarian secures you from exceeding the dose of Vitamin A, because the body has control to converts Vit A from beta carotene as required. But have caution while having non veg , specially read meat and liver, cause having them excessively might cause overdose. The symptoms of the toxicity are general fatigue, severe headaches, blurred vision, insomnia, hair loss, menstrual irregularities, skin rashes & joint pain

So I hope now that you realize the importance of this A-ssential vitamin, you will not skip it in your meals nor will you go overboard with it. Fortunately for us, the cases of Vitamin A deficiency are very rare as our staple diet includes the source in form of meat, dairy products, colorful fruits & vegetables.

Permanent Fat Burning: Eat or not to Eat?

Its a common scene at gym to have on going discussions of “Weight loss”, let me share one  with you, a group of females were talking with each other regarding their “Weight loss”, most of them had complaints to share with others,, again the same complaints – “I am not eating anything in a day still my weight is not moving a gram!! And sometimes at worst “I am gaining instead of losing L “ the girl said sadly, can you assume the problem with her?? There may be many reasons but the clearly visible here is the “Not eating”. Can not eating be a reason for being fat?? Yes!! Absolutely, and it is the most prominent reasons in most of the times. Continue reading “Permanent Fat Burning: Eat or not to Eat?”

Urinary Tract Infection and Natural Remedies

Frequent travelling in job, stress at work, other priorities at a time and sometimes due to unavailability of public urinal places, makes us to withhold the urge to urinate, that makes us more prone to urinary tract infection – in short UTI. One of the reasons of UTI might be dehydration, when body is dehydrated, body tends to retain the water it has in the body, so less frequent urination makes the urine more concentrate and provides environment to growth of bacteria causing UTI.

The common symptoms are unusual pain in lower abdomen, burning sensation, heaviness in flanks, especially while passing urine, cloudy urine with unpleasant odour; with severe infection it may cause nausea and fever too.

Continue reading “Urinary Tract Infection and Natural Remedies”

Oedema – water retention

Have you ever feel heavy and bloated upon wake up in the morning? Ever feet, ankle and abdomen appears swollen, tender or bloated?? Its oedema or simply water retention,, It affects mainly feet ankles and abdomen, And in sever condition it can affect face too.

When body becomes incapable of managing mineral levels, it starts collecting water in several places, one of the reasons for oedema might be dehydration too, as when body senses the level of water is less in the body, it holds on the water it has in the body. Continue reading “Oedema – water retention”

Don’t As’salt’ your body

When we are talking about salt, among its compounds sodium (40%) and chloride (60%), we are talking about sodium.. which is an essential mineral. It is important for many functions like   controlling the fluid balance in your body , transmitting electric nerve impulses, contracting muscles(including Heart), absorbing nutrients across cell membranes, maintaining body’s acid/base balance etc. You must be thinking that if this mineral has such interesting and important profile than why is it pictured as culprit that causes high blood pressure and eventually cardiac problems?? Continue reading “Don’t As’salt’ your body”

Permanent Fat Burning: Water and Fat Loss

Let me share with you one secret to successful fat loss , sometimes back after a exhausting session of cardio exercise, I was feeling very tired, and my fitness trainer told me that, if he can give me something that can almost instantly increase my strength and capacity for aerobic exercise, plus he told me that that substance has no side effects. I was thinking that he must be talking about some steroid kind of drug, but to my surprise, he offered me a glass of water, yes aft after having water i felt replenished, fresh and ready to hit another vigorous exercise session.

Continue reading “Permanent Fat Burning: Water and Fat Loss”

Permanent Fat Burning: Eat Your Breakfast

To start your day filled with energy and keep it energized all the day ,its very important to eat your breakfast. When we wake up, our body is in fasting state , because its at least 8-10 hours past we have ate anything , so our nutrient stores are almost empty and if we skip the breakfast, our body will activate the starvation response system. Continue reading “Permanent Fat Burning: Eat Your Breakfast”

Permanent Fat Burning: Exercise

‘Make the sweat and shed the fat’!!

Yes there is no magical way to reduce body fat other than exercise. A simple rule to reduce body fat is to burn more calories than you consume. Looks like simple logic right??  Not yet!! For example if one person is having BMR – basal metabolic rate ; meaning at rate which body burns fat at rest, is 2000 calories then to maintain the current weight he need to take at least 2000 calories . Approximately 3500 calories makes a 500 g of fat, so if he cut down 500 calories from his daily intake he would create a deficit of 500×7 = 3500 calories a week. Meaning at the end of the month he should be able to reduce 2kgs of weight. And if he continues it, he would be able to reduce 24 kgs a year, and then he might vanish within 3-4 years. But do you anything mentioned such as  happened with any one??No And do you know why?? The answer is our unique digestion system, and a wonderful feature known as ‘starvation response’.  Whenever we do not take the sufficient calories to maintain our weight, our system senses it and starts action against it. Continue reading “Permanent Fat Burning: Exercise”