Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

Carbohydrates have become the 'culprits' for many healthy eaters recently. Despite their less stellar stature in the nutrition department, carbs aren't actually the enemies for your body. They are responsible for providing you with energy, fuelling your body and this may sound weird, but yes, they may also help you lose weight. Contrary to the popular belief, they are often seen as the cause of weight gain and obesity-related issues. If the right carbs are eaten in the right quantity, only then you will be able to shed those kilos. The idea is to not cut them off your diet plan completely. According to Mayo Clinic, you need to consume between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates every day if you normally consume 2,000 calories.What Role Do Carbohydrates Play In Your Body?

The most important function of carbohydrates is to provide energy to your brain and body. Carbohydrates from the food you consume are broken down into smaller units of sugar. These small units get absorbed out of your digestive tract and enter into your bloodstream. This blood sugar tends to get transported through your bloodstream, and further helps supply energy to your muscles and tissues. Moreover, most of your body cells use carbohydrate glucose for energy; in fact, brain uses most of the glucose as an energy source.

Your body gives indicators when it's not getting enough carbohydrates. We list out some signs and symptoms that will tell you that you are not consuming enough carbohydrates.
1. Less energy

One of the main roles of carbohydrates is to provide energy, particularly to your brain and nervous system. With negligible amount of carbohydrates in the body, your body will feel less energised and more fatigued through the day.

2. Constipation

Healthy carbohydrates including whole grains, vegetables, beans, fruits and nuts are plant-based carbs that have fibre. If you do not consume enough fibre-rich foods, it can lead to constipation. Consuming enough complex carbs like whole grain breads, pastas and cereals will help aid your digestive health by smoothening your bowel movement, further reducing the risk of constipation.

3. Bad Breath

When you don't consume enough carbs, your body tends to burn the stored fats and proteins for fuel, which is done by a process called ketosis. The used fats and proteins generally cause smelly breath.

4. Your gym sessions are not effective

If you are not having sufficient carb intake, then there are high chances of you feeling lethargic during workouts. You will be less likely to sustain a high-intensity workout. It's best to load up on carbs before you begin to exercise so that you have enough energy to burn fat away.

5. Your progress of losing weight has stopped

If your progress was great and you lost weight quickly, which suddenly stalled, it's probably because you are not including enough carbs in your diet. A low-carb diet can hinder your weight loss efforts. If you eat fewer carbs, the liver tends to make up for it by producing sugar, thereby spiking blood sugar levels. When the blood sugar rises, pancreas secrete insulin, which is your fat storing hormone. As a result, you store fat instead of shedding it.

6. You feel hungry all the time

Most healthy carbohydrates are rich in fibre content, which keeps your body fuller for longer. Now, if you don't eat carbs, you don't get enough fibre, which leaves your tummy asking for more food. A low-carb and low-fat diet is a disaster for people who are looking to lose weight.

7. Mood swings

You will automatically feel irritated and moody because you lack energy and are hungry at the same time. Moreover, carbohydrates play an important role in body's production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that is produced in the brain.

Constipation is one of the most common health problems these days. As per Ayurveda, this condition occurs when vata's cold and dry qualities disturb the colon, inhibiting its proper functioning. A day without complete bowel movement can be very unsettling and sometimes painful. Our modern lifestyle is such that it has given a rise to this problem. Some of the most common causes are junk food consumption, alcohol drinking, smoking and over-eating. Most people affected by this problem feel bloated and uneasy with the inability to pass stool easily.

What Does Ayurveda Recommend?

Here are the remedies that Ayurveda suggests in order to cure constipation:

1. Follow A Vata Dosha Pacifying Diet

One of the best ways to prevent constipation is to follow vata balancing diet. Stay away from cold foods and drinks, dried fruit, salads and most beans. Favour warm foods, warm drinks and well-cooked vegetables.

2. Triphala Is Your Go-To Remedy

One of the most trusted and most effective remedies is Terminalia chebula or triphala, which is a fruit that helps cure constipation. You can have triphala tea or take one-fourth of a teaspoon of it, half teaspoon of coriander seeds and one fourth teaspoon of cardamom seeds. Grind them and have twice a day. Triphala has glycoside that has laxative properties. Cardamom and coriander seeds help relieve flatulence and indigestion.

3. Milk And Ghee

According to the book, 'The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies,' "taking one or two teaspoons of ghee in a cup of hot milk at bedtime is an effective and gentle means of relieving constipation. This is especially good for vata and pitta constitutions."

4. Pulp Of Bael Fruit

Eating a half cup of bael fruit pulp and a teaspoon of jaggery every day in the evening before dinner may also help relieve constipation. You can also have bael sherbet along with tamarind water and jaggery added in it.

5. Liquorice Root

Take a teaspoon of powdered liquorice root. Add a teaspoon of jaggery and drink it with a cup of warm water. Liquorice or mulethi is known to promote your bowel activity. However, it is advised you consult an ayurvedic expert before taking it regularly.

6. Roasted Fennel

A teaspoon of roasted fennel taken at bedtime with a glass of warm water may act as a mild laxative. The volatile oils found in fennel seeds can help kick start digestion by promoting the production of gastric enzymes.

7. Anjeer

Anjeer, or figs, soaked in warm water also helps treat constipation, especially in kids. Figs are highly recommended due to the presence of high fibre content. You can eat figs every day in order to keep your digestion going.

8. China Grass

China grass, or agar-agar, is a dried seaweed, which is when cut into bits and cooked in milk, becomes a gelatinous substance.

Here are some important suggestions the book has in order to avoid constipation in the future:
-Drink more than four to five glasses of water in the morning. In fact, you can drink herbal teas like green tea, chamomile tea that can help boost your digestion.
-Have a fibre-rich diet every day.
-Engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise that helps kick-start your digestion.
-Eat lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables to add up to the bulk.

Keep these points in mind and bid goodbye to constipation. Also, before consuming any of the foods mentioned above, we suggest you consult your Ayurveda expert first.

Blame it on your eating habits or an over sensitive system, your irritated bowel can wreck your healthy lifestyle. Constipation is one such issue that can cause acute discomfort. According to the National Institute of Health, less than three bowel movements in a week or pain while passing stool means you are constipated. Constipation has become a common issue wherein around 42 million people worldwide suffer from it, as per NIH estimate.

It usually starts with your eating habits. Hence, it’s important for you to avoid certain foods in your diet to get rid of constipation. These foods include:

DAIRY PRODUCTS: If you’re constipated, avoid consuming dairy products, especially if you are lactose intolerant. Your body might find it complex to process the sugar in milk and end up causing constipation.

FRIED FOODS: As these foods are high in fat, they don’t provide fibre. Eating high-fat foods might complicate digestion and take longer to metabolize.

UNRIPE BANANAS: Avoid eating unripe bananas if you have constipation. This is because unripe bananas can make your body hold stool and you can get more severely constipated. Whereas, if you eat ripe bananas, they can relieve constipation. Bananas contain fibre, which helps in drawing water from intestines and improves bowel movements.

WHITE RICE: This is another food item that you must eliminate if you are constipated. Rather than passing easily from stool, rice can sit in your digestive system. White rice lacks fibre, so if you’re constipated, you must prefer brown rice as it has fibre.

FROZEN FOODS: These foods are low in nutritional value and can cause constipation. They are low in fibre and high in fat. Hence, if you’re constipated, avoid eating frozen food items.

No Makarsankranti celebration is complete without "Tilgul" - made of Sesame seeds & jaggery. Not only are sesame seeds an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, B6 Thiamin Folate and Niacin, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber, proteins and carbohydrates. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin.

There are many scientific reasons for consuming them. Some Health benefits of sesame seeds are :-

- They Boost metabolic function: Sesame seeds are rich in protein, a nutrient essential for various biological processes to keep your body running smoothly, such as cellular growth, mobility, energy and strength.

- They Manage diabetes: Research has found that sesame seeds contain magnesium, a mineral helpful for the management of #diabetes symptoms by helping regulate insulin and glucose levels.

- They Promote healthy digestion: Sesame seeds are rich in fiber, an important dietary component that helps bulk up stools and promote regular elimination. As a result, fiber may help lower your risk of common stomach problems such as #constipation and #diarrhea.

- They possess Anti-Cancer properties: Sesame seeds contain phytate, an antioxidant that may help reduce free radicals throughout your body, which are connected to various forms of #cancer.

- Protect against radiation: Sesamol, a unique compound found in sesame seeds, may help protect your DNA against the harmful effects of #RadiationExposure. This may be beneficial for those who are currently receiving radiation treatments for #cancer to prevent further cellular mutation.

Dr. Archana Bhilare
Dr. Archana Bhilare
BDS, Dentist Endodontist, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rekha Y Sanap
Dr. Rekha Y Sanap
MD - Homeopathy, 13 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sushant Bagule
Dr. Sushant Bagule
BAMS, Pune
Dr. Sanjay  Salve
Dr. Sanjay Salve
MBBS, Orthopaedics, 16 yrs, Pune
Dr. C  L Garg
Dr. C L Garg
MBBS, Family Physician General Medicine Physician, 46 yrs, Pune