Eating healthy nutritious food is the simple and right solution to get rid of excess body weight effortlessly and become slim and healthy forever.”―Subodh Gupta, Author of 7 Habits of Skinny Woman
The celebrated author sure knows what he is talking about. Nutrition is the building block of our overall health. We need adequate amounts of vitamin and minerals for our systems to work at the optimum level. With our hectic schedules we may not be able the adequate amounts of these nutrients leading to deficiencies which affect our health. Iron is one such nutrient that is important for our bodies.
Iron and Our Health
Iron is an important mineral that performs several functions in our body; the most important of them being the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen in the body. It also enables our muscles to store and use oxygen.
Iron is a part of many enzymes and so it helps in the performance of many cell functions. Enzymes facilitate digestion of foods and other important reactions that occur within our body.
Iron deficiency is also known as anaemia or iron deficiency anaemia. This condition is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies, particularly in children and pre-menopausal women. This condition is characterized by the depletion of the body’s stores of iron and inability of the body to maintain normal levels of haemoglobin in the blood.
Haemoglobin is a substance that is present in red blood cells that enable them to carry oxygen throughout the body. Lack of sufficient iron makes the body unable to produce enough haemoglobin. This results in functional and health impairment which adversely affects the functioning of several organ systems.
Causes of Iron Deficiency
The causes revolve around insufficient consumption of iron or losing too much iron. In both the cases, your body is unable to produce enough haemoglobin. Some of the most common iron deficiency causes are as follows.
1. Increased Iron Needs:
There are certain conditions under which people need additional amounts of iron
Infants and toddlers have greater iron needs in comparison to older children as they are in the rapid growth phase and at times it becomes difficult for them to get enough iron from their normal diet.
Pregnant women need more iron because their iron sources need to serve their own increased blood volume as well as provide haemoglobin for the growing foetus.
2. Loss of Blood:
When people lose blood, they also lose iron as blood contains iron within the red blood cells. So they need extra iron to replace the lost iron.
Women with heavy periods are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anaemia as they lose blood during menstruation.
Certain ailments like peptic ulcer, hiatal hernia, a colon polyp or colorectal cancer also cause slow chronic blood loss within the body, resulting in iron deficiency.
Gastrointestinal bleeding due to regular use of some over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin can also cause anaemia. Internal bleeding is the most common cause of iron deficiency in men and postmenopausal women.
3. Lack of Iron in Diet:
The iron needed by our bodies is mostly obtained from the foods that we eat. Consumption of too low a dose of iron over time can lead to iron deficiency. Iron-rich foods include meat, leafy vegetables, eggs and iron-fortified foods. Infants and children also need iron from their diet for their proper growth and development.
4. Mal-absorption of Iron:
Besides consumption, iron from food should be absorbed into your bloodstream in your small intestine. Celiac disease is an intestinal disorder that affects your intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from digested food, thus causing iron deficiency. Absorption of iron is also affected if part of your intestine has been bypassed or removed surgically. The amount of iron absorbed from foods depends upon other factors given below.
Iron from animal sources like meat, chicken and fish is heme iron which can be absorbed 2 to 3 times more efficiently than non-heme iron from plants.
Absorption of non-heme iron from plant foods depends upon the other types of foods eaten with them. For instance, foods like meat, chicken and fish which contain heme iron increase absorption from foods containing non-heme iron such as fortified cereals, spinach and certain beans. Foods containing vitamin C can also enhance the absorption of non-heme iron when eaten at the same meal.
Substances like polyphenols, phytates or calcium which are found in some foods or drinks such as tea, coffee, whole grains, legumes, milk and dairy products can decrease the absorption of non-heme iron.
Victims of Iron Deficiency
Though anyone can suffer from iron deficiency, certain people are at greater risk. Since the risk is high their needs for iron is greater than others.
Women lose blood during menstruation and so they are at a greater risk of suffering from anaemia. Pregnant women can also get this deficiency because of high iron requirement.
2. Infants and Children:
Infants, particularly those with low birth-weight or born prematurely, do not get enough iron from breast milk or formula and so they are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. Children need extra iron during growth phase. Children with special health needs such as those with chronic infections or restricted diet are also at risk.
Those who do not eat meat are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. As stated earlier, plants contain non-heme iron which needs to be supplemented with other sources of heme iron like meat, fish and eggs to facilitate their absorption.
4. Frequent Blood Donors:
Those who donate blood frequently are at an increased risk of iron deficiency as their iron stores get depleted due to blood donation. Low haemoglobin caused by blood donation is, however, a temporary problem which can be cured by eating iron rich foods.
Iron Deficiency Symptoms
Inadequate levels of iron can impair body functions. Most physical signs and symptoms do not show up as they are mild. You can notice them only when your anaemia gets worse. The symptoms are not visible during the early stages of iron deficiency. A person having iron deficiency may have the following symptoms.
Tiredness and weakness
Shortness of breath
Difficulty in concentrating
Slow cognitive and social development during childhood
Coldness in hands and feet
Difficulty in maintenance of body temperature
Slow immune function which increases susceptibility to infection
Glossitis (inflamed tongue)
Symptoms in infants and children:-
Short attention span
Slow growth and development
Delayed development of skills like walking and talking
Iron Deficiency Diseases
Iron deficiency is a serious condition which, if taken lightly, can lead to long term health issues. Mild deficiency of iron causes no severe complications, but when left untreated, it can lead to the following health issues.
Severe deficiency of iron can cause anaemia due to the disruption of the normal lifespan of a red blood cell. In this condition, haemoglobin levels are so low that the blood is unable to enough oxygen to the cells, thus affecting the entire body. Symptoms of anaemia include looking very pale, breathlessness, dizziness and fatigue. It also results in reduced immune function and impaired growth and cognition.
2. Heart Ailments:
Deficiency of iron can lead to rapid or irregular heartbeat. When you are anaemic, your heart is required to pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen carried in your blood. This can cause enlarged heart or heart failure.
3. Inadequate Growth:
Severe deficiency of iron can lead to delayed growth and development in infants and children. It is also associated with increased susceptibility to develop infections.
4. Complications in Pregnancy:
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. It can lead to premature births and babies with low birth-weight. This condition can be easily prevented during pregnancy by taking iron supplements as part of prenatal care.
5. Colon Cancer:
Iron deficiency is one of the causes of colon cancer. A research conducted on 628, 882 patients of 40 years of age and above indicated that 3.1% or 19, 349 patients had iron deficiency anaemia. Thus, those suffering from iron deficiency are at a greater risk of developing colon cancer.
Iron deficiency can result in fatigue. It is characterized by depression and lack of sleep. Hence, iron deficiency should be recognized and treated to prevent fatigue.
Treatment of Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency should not be ignored as it can lead to several health problems. Proper diagnosis and treatment of this problem is important before the condition worsens. Iron deficiency can be easily diagnosed by taking a haemoglobin test which measures haemoglobin or haematocrit test which measures the percentage of red blood cells in your blood by volume.
Reduction in haemoglobin and haematocrit levels indicates a serious deficiency of iron. Treatment of iron deficiency depends upon other factors such as your age, health and cause of iron deficiency. Some of the ways of treating iron deficiency are given below.
1. Consumption of Iron Rich Foods:
Mild deficiency of iron can be cured by including iron rich foods in your diet. The iron from animal sources like meat, poultry and eggs is more easily absorbed by your body. If you are a vegetarian, you need to increase your intake of iron-rich plant-based foods to absorb the same amount of iron as the plant sources.
2. Iron Supplements:
Iron supplements such as iron tablets and capsules are often recommended by the doctors to replenish the iron stores in your body. To facilitate better absorption of iron in the tablets, it is beneficial to take them on an empty stomach. Since these tablets can upset your stomach, it is often recommended to take them with meals.
3. Consumption of Foods Rich in Vitamin C:
Vitamin C enhances the body’s absorption of iron. It is advisable to drink citrus juice or other foods rich in vitamin C at the same time when you eat high iron foods. Citrus juices like orange juice or lemon juice contain vitamin C which helps your body to better absorb dietary iron. Iron supplements should also be taken with a glass of citrus juice or vitamin C supplement for better absorption.
4. Treatment of Underlying Causes of Iron Deficiency:
If the iron supplements fail to increase your blood iron levels, the deficiency is due to a source of bleeding or iron absorption problem which needs to be diagnosed and treated. Treatment of the underlying causes of deficiency involves the following.
Medications such as oral contraceptives to lessen heavy menstrual flow
Antibiotics and other medications for the treatment of peptic ulcers
Surgery for removal of a tumour, bleeding polyp or fibroid
5. Treatment of Iron Deficiency in Infants:
Apart from the supplements recommended by the doctor, babies should be fed with breast-milk or iron-fortified formula in the first year. Cow’s milk is not a good source of iron and so it should not be given to infants below the age of one year. Iron from breast milk can be more easily absorbed than the iron found in formula.
Iron deficiency cannot be cured overnight. If your deficiency is severe, it can take several months or even longer to replenish your reserves. Besides ingesting iron in the form of supplements, it is advisable to incorporate dietary changes i.e. consume iron rich foods. So don’t become iron deficient, follow these tips to avoid any complications. Stay fit, stay healthy!
Turmeric is a popular spice known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, excess intake of the spice seems to do more harm than good. For instance, turmeric may cause diarrhea in certain individuals.
There are other possible ways turmeric may cause adverse effects. In this post, we will explore them, along with ways of prevention.
Turmeric Side Effects
1. May Cause Gastrointestinal Problems
Turmeric hasn’t been found to cause any kind of stomach issues or other gastrointestinal reactions when consumed as a part of a cooked curry. However, evidence suggests that taking turmeric by itself or as part of a treatment for arthritis may lead to gastrointestinal issues
The curcumin in turmeric, when taken by those with pancreatic cancer, caused abdominal fullness and pain in some of the patients.
Though turmeric is generally recognized as safe, it may cause gastrointestinal upsets in certain individuals.
In a small rat study, the ingestion of curcumin for 6 days produced ulcers.
Also, if you have dyspepsia or hyperacidity, you may want to avoid turmeric. The curcumin in turmeric may aggravate dyspepsia.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that turmeric supplements might also cause issues of the stomach. However, we need more research here, especially in adults who consume more than the recommended dosage (400 mg to 3 g) of the supplements for prolonged periods..
Ensure you take turmeric only within the recommended dosage.
2. May Cause Gallbladder Contractions
Studies show that the curcumin in turmeric may cause gallbladder contractions – 40 mg of curcumin was found to produce a 50% contraction in the gallbladder.
Turmeric supplements of 20-40 mg were also reported to increase gallbladder contractions.
Some experts believe that the oxalate in turmeric may also increase the risk of gallstones. However, direct research is limited in this aspect. If you are at risk of gallstones or have gallbladder issues, please check with your doctor before using turmeric in your diet.
Stop taking turmeric if you have any type of gallbladder issues or are on medication for the same.
3. May Cause Diarrhea And Nausea
Diarrhea and nausea are two of the common symptoms associated with turmeric supplementation. This is because the curcumin in turmeric has a tendency to irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
As per certain clinical studies, individuals supplemented with 0.45 to 3.6 grams of curcumin per day for 4 months experienced mild nausea (3.6 grams of curcumin per day is a relatively high dose). Even low doses of curcumin can provoke nausea in certain individuals.
Take turmeric within the prescribed limit. If you observe any symptoms, stop the intake and consult your doctor immediately.
4. May Increase Risk Of Kidney Stones
As per a study, too much of turmeric might increase the risk of kidney stones. This is because of the presence of oxalates in turmeric. The oxalates can bind to calcium to form insoluble calcium oxalate, which is primarily responsible for kidney stones.
In the study, turmeric ingestion had lead to a higher urinary oxalate excretion when compared to cinnamon, thereby substantiating the fact that it can cause kidney stones .
Avoid turmeric if you have any kind of kidney issues, especially kidney stones.
5. May Increase Bleeding Risk
Curcumin in turmeric has shown to decrease platelet aggregation . This may increase the risk of bleeding.
Daily intake of turmeric may help maintain anticoagulant status, and this may also elevate bleeding risk..
The curcumin in turmeric was also found to alter the functioning of blood thinners (like warfarin). However, it had no effect on the anticoagulation rate of the medication .
To be on the safe side, individuals on medications like Warfarin or Coumadin (an anticoagulant) must steer clear of curcumin as it may magnify the effects of these medications.
Avoid turmeric if you are on blood-thinning medication.
6. May Cause Allergic Reactions
Curcumin can be a contact allergen. Certain individuals have reported contact dermatitis and urticaria (a form of round rash) due to contact with turmeric. Since turmeric belongs to the ginger family, one is more likely to be allergic to it if they are allergic to ginger. You can also be allergic to turmeric if you are allergic to yellow food coloring .
Applying turmeric to your face may cause your skin to turn yellow. This effect is harmless. However, those allergic to turmeric may develop rashes or dermatitis on their faces. Research is limited, and more studies are required to find out how turmeric can affect the skin.
Turmeric can also cause shortness of breath. Reactions can occur from both skin contact and ingestion .
If you have an allergy for yellow food coloring, it is best to stay away from turmeric.
7. May Lead To Infertility
The curcumin in turmeric was found to reduce sperm function in a mice study. It also inhibited fertility. The mice study considered turmeric to be an ideal contraceptive .
In another study involving fish, turmeric was found to suppress the development of ovarian follicles. It also resulted in subfertility (a delay in conception) .
It is also believed that turmeric may lower testosterone levels and decrease sperm movement in men. However, there is no evidence to support this yet.
Take turmeric in moderation and avoid excess usage.
8. May Cause Iron Deficiency
As per mice studies, compounds in turmeric were found to bind to iron. This could decrease the body’s ability to absorb iron from food, thereby leading to iron deficiency.
If you have iron deficiency, avoid turmeric, and consult your doctor regarding its usage. Check your iron levels in your blood before including turmeric in your diet.
9. May Lower Blood Pressure Way Too Much
Well, this could sound like a benefit. But lowering blood pressure way too much can cause complications.
Turmeric may have hypotensive effects. If you are taking it along with medications for lowering blood pressure, you may experience excessively low levels of the same.
Avoid turmeric if you are already on blood pressure medication.
10. May Be Risky During Surgery
This has to do with turmeric’s tendency to inhibit the blood-clotting process. Though there is no direct research here, it is likely that turmeric may interfere with blood clotting during surgery. Patients who are considering surgery may have to refrain from consuming turmeric one to two weeks before surgery and consult their doctor.
If you are considering surgery, you must refrain from consuming turmeric one to two weeks before surgery.
11. Unclear Information On Its Effects On Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
There is not enough information available on turmeric side effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women. Since they are crucial periods in any woman’s life, it is best to keep turmeric supplements away temporarily.
Turmeric has been rarely studied in breastfeeding women, and it is quite unknown if its active compounds would pass through breast milk. The resultant effects on breastfed infants are also unknown.
As there is insufficient information in this regard, avoiding turmeric supplements completely (including the supplements) during pregnancy and breastfeeding will be ideal. Also, please consult your doctor.
Pineapple is a tropical fruit that is rich in important enzymes and nutrients. It has been linked to several benefits, including possible weight loss, better digestion, and treatment for inflammation.
Pineapples were also found to improve the nutritional status of children. They have a powerful nutritional profile and are especially rich in vitamins C and A.
In this post, we will explore the health benefits of pineapple and also discuss pineapple supplements.
What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Pineapples?
A cup (165 grams) of fresh pineapple chunks contains 82 calories. It has 22 grams of carbs and 2.3 grams of fiber. Following are the other nutrients present:
79 mg of vitamin C
95 IU of vitamin A
21 mg of calcium
19 mg of magnesium
12 mg of phosphorus
180 mg of potassium
29 mcg of folate
*Values sourced from USDA National Nutrient Database, pineapple, raw
Over the years, science has heavily researched on pineapples and the health benefits they offer. The following section talks about them in detail.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pineapples?
Pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that offers most of its benefits. Bromelain has been found to combat cancer and fight inflammation and associated ailments. The fruit also boosts your immunity and strengthens bones.
1. May Aid Weight Loss
Studies show the possible anti-obesity effects of pineapples. Rats fed on a high-fat diet showed a reduction in body weight, body mass index, body fat accumulation, and liver fat accumulation after the intake of pineapple juice.
Pineapple juice was observed to decrease lipogenesis (formation of fat) and increase lipolysis (the breakdown of fats to release fatty acids).
Pineapple may appear to be the ideal food to burn belly fat, although we need more research in this regard.
2. May Aid Digestion
The most important component of pineapple is bromelain, a potent digestive enzyme. Studies show that bromelain supplementation may help in the breakdown of proteins .
It can help treat pancreatic insufficiency, a digestive disorder in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough of certain enzymes the body uses to digest food in the small intestine .
A formula with bromelain as one of the primary ingredients could relieve excess flatulence and diarrhea .
3. May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
Studies have stated that bromelain in pineapples may have anti-cancer activity. The enzyme may have a direct impact on cancer cells and their environment .
Bromelain exhibits anti-cancer effects on colon cancer cells. Foods containing bromelain are considered good candidates for reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
Bromelain can also hinder cancer progression by fighting inflammation, a primary contributor to cancer. It prevents the further generation of cancer cells by exposing them to the immune system. Various traditional and clinical reports indicate the anti-cancer properties of pineapple’s bromelain. Further studies may offer more promising results in this area .
In mouse studies, bromelain was also found to inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. It also could reduce the survival of these cells .
4. May Help Combat Inflammation
In animal studies, bromelain has been reported to have therapeutic effects on various inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel syndrome. Bromelain exposure could remove a number of cell surface molecules that contribute to inflammation.
Bromelain in pineapples also achieves this by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines . These are compounds in the human system that promote inflammation, more so in the case of inflammatory bowel disease.
Pineapple extract was also found to treat other issues related to inflammation, including allergic airway disease. The fruit’s enzyme could alter the activation and expansion of specific cells of the immune system. The study was conducted on mouse cells.
5. May Help Treat Arthritis And Promote Bone Health
Bromelain may also aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The enzyme exhibits analgesic properties, especially in inflammatory pain in humans. It achieves this by directly influencing bradykinin, a pain mediator that causes the contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of blood vessels
Pineapples also contain manganese, a mineral important in bone formation. They also contain vitamin C that supports the formation of collagen in bones. Pineapples can promote the growth of bones in the young and strengthen bones in older people.
The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple’s bromelain may also help treat rheumatoid arthritis pain .
6. May Improve Cardiac Health
Bromelain in pineapples was found to reduce the aggregation of blood platelets. This may help treat acute thrombophlebitis (a condition characterized by blood clots). However, more studies on human populations are needed to conclude the beneficial effects of bromelain on cardiovascular disease .
Bromelain may also break down cholesterol plaques, further promoting heart health. Its efficacy in the treatment of other cardiac diseases, including coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, and stroke is yet to be proven.
7. May Promote Immunity
Bromelain in pineapples can modulate the immune system and potentially accelerate wound healing.
Children consuming pineapple juice also had a lower risk of contracting microbial infections. The fruit was found to increase the concentrations of the disease-fighting white blood cells by four times.
In another study, children with sinusitis showed faster recovery with a bromelain supplement.
Another study sheds light on bromelain’s potential to treat asthma symptoms. It may exert a therapeutic effect on various allergic airway diseases, including allergic asthma .
8. May Enhance Recovery
The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple’s bromelain can aid recovery. This is especially true in case of a much-needed recovery after surgery. More studies are needed to establish bromelain’s effectiveness in post-surgery recovery.
In a study, bromelain intake significantly reduced pain in patients undergoing dental surgery. The enzyme offered similar relief as other anti-inflammatory drugs .
Bromelain was also found to reduce feelings of fatigue. It reduced muscle damage and improved recovery across consecutive days of cycling .
9. May Improve Skin Health
There is limited research in this aspect. The vitamin C in pineapples may benefit the skin. The vitamin promotes collagen production and may protect the skin from damage.
Pineapples are amazing-looking fruits with equally amazing benefits. There is no reason you shouldn’t add them to your diet. But how do you do it?
How To Add Pineapples To Your Diet
Pineapples are affordable and easy to eat. In addition to their goodness, they taste delicious too. You can enjoy pineapples in the following ways:
Add a sliced pineapple to your morning smoothies.
Chop pineapple and add it to your evening salad.
Add the fruit to your homemade pizza.
Pineapple is a versatile fruit and can be easily incorporated into most dishes.
Having a pineapple may not be the only way to enjoy the beneficial effects of bromelain.
Hemp seed oil is derived from the hemp seed, which is a part of the cannabis plant (marijuana). The oil is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants that may help fight inflammation and other ailments associated with it.
Contrary to popular opinion, the oil does not cause any psychotropic reactions like marijuana. In this post, we will discuss what science says about the health benefits of hemp seed oil.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil? What Is It Good For?
Hemp seed oil is derived from hemp seeds. Though marijuana comes from the same plant, hemp seeds contain just trace amounts of THC (the most active ingredient of marijuana), and they don’t get you high.
The oil is filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents and other essential fatty acids (like GLA), all of which are known to combat diseases like inflammatory arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
What Are The Benefits Of Hemp Seed Oil?
1. May Fight Inflammation
Hemp seed oil is rich in GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), which is an omega-6 fatty acid that may boost immunity and fight inflammation.
However, both animal and human studies still need to conclude how effective the anti-inflammatory properties of hempseed could be.
The oil is also a good source of anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help relieve arthritic symptoms. More research is required to study its anti-inflammatory effects.
Hemp seed oil, when taken along with evening primrose oil, was found to improve symptoms in individuals with multiple sclerosis (which can be caused by inflammation). Experts theorize it might also help in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
2. May Boost Heart Health
A meal containing hempseeds was found to help prevent high cholesterol levels. The results could be attributed to the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the seeds. These seeds (and their oil) could show potential in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
As per an animal study, hemp seed oil was found to reduce cholesterol absorption. Another study states that taking 30 mL of the oil every day for four weeks reduces the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. This may promote heart health.
It also is thought that in addition to the fatty acids, certain other bioactive compounds found in hemp seed oil may also help in this regard. The oil has omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the optimal ratio – 3:5:1 to 4:2:1, which seems to satisfy the modern standards of healthy nutrition.
3. May Aid Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes is also linked to an unbalanced intake of essential fatty acids. As hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, it may work as a good supplemental treatment.
However, we need more research before we conclude that hemp seed oil can benefit diabetes. Please consult your doctor before using the oil for this purpose.
4. May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
The tetrahydrocannabinol in hemp seed oil may help inhibit certain forms of cancer. Most animal studies have shown the tumor-inhibiting action of tetrahydrocannabinol.
However, we need more additional trials to understand the antitumor effects of tetrahydrocannabinol and hemp seed oil.
Other studies have shown that cannabinoids derived from hemp seeds may aid in the treatment of cancers of the lung and breast.
The GLA and omega-3s in hemp oil may also help, but we need more research to confirm the findings.
5. May Improve Brain Health
The hemp seed oil contains cannabinoids. Studies show that these may help ease anxiety in those with a social anxiety disorder (9).
Studies also support that inhalation of hemp essential oil can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system. Inhaling the oil (aromatherapy) is believed to enhance the mood. There is a possibility that the oil may also have antidepressant effects.
The essential fatty acids in the oil may also improve memory and prevent age-related cognitive decline. Further studies are warranted to arrive at a conclusion.
6. May Boost Immunity
The oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. Some research shows that omega-3 fatty acids may boost immunity and enhance protection against infections and other related ailments.
7. May Be Beneficial During Pregnancy
Hemp seed oil is also a great option for all pregnant mothers. Again, a major part of the credit goes to the omega-3 fatty acids.
According to an American study, adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids is critical during pregnancy as they are the building blocks of the fetal brain and retina. They also play a major role in preventing perinatal depression.
Oils containing omega-3 fatty acids can also help prevent preterm delivery and promote an easier birth and the baby’s optimum lifelong wellness.
However, there is less information available on the safety of hemp seed oil during pregnancy. Also, whether the omega-3 fatty acids in the oil would benefit during pregnancy is still a matter of debate. Hence, we recommend you consult your doctor.
8. May Enhance Digestive Health
Direct research on the efficacy of hemp seed oil on promoting digestive health is lacking. However, the EPA and DHA (in the omega-3s in the oil) were found to synthesize compounds called eicosanoids.
Some experts believe that these eicosanoids may regulate the secretion of digestive juices and hormones, thereby aiding the overall digestive process. However, sufficient research is lacking in this regard.
It also is believed that the small amount of protein in the oil is identical to the one present in our blood, which may help in alleviating digestive troubles (as the protein gets easily digested in the human body). More studies are warranted to establish this theory.
9. May Be Useful For Skin Care
Hemp seed oil can help you get beautiful and healthy skin. It acts as a moisturizer and prevents your skin from becoming dry during the winters. In other words, it keeps your skin soft, fresh, and hydrated.
You can try applying hemp seed oil all over your body after taking a bath. You will notice the difference in a few days. However, we suggest you do a patch test first as anecdotal evidence suggests that hemp seed oil may cause allergies.
Some sources suggest that the oil does not clog your pores. Its linoleic acid may regulate sebum production. Lack of linoleic acid in the diet can provoke the sebum to clog our pores, which gives rise to blackheads, whiteheads, or acne lesions. In fact, those with acne had decreased concentrations of linoleic acid on the skin surface. You can wet your face, pat it dry, and apply the oil to the affected areas. Massage properly. Use it once a day.
You can use hemp seed oil in a similar way to removing makeup.
10. May Protect Skin From Disease
Dietary hemp seed oil may be used to treat atopic dermatitis. Studies attribute this therapeutic effect to the polyunsaturated fatty acids in hemp seed oil.
Some evidence suggests that hemp seed oil can also be used as a treatment for eczema. The oil strengthens the skin and makes it resistant to bacterial and fungal infections.
The essential fatty acids in the oil act may as an internal moisturizer, helping relieve eczema symptoms. Taking the oil thrice a day, along with applying it to the affected areas on the skin, could be beneficial. But since solid research is lacking in this regard, consult your doctor before using the oil for eczema treatment.
Using the oil every day for 20 weeks was also found to relieve the symptoms of dermatitis. This is especially true with the itching associated with the condition.
Some believe that the oil may also help relieve shingles, which is one type of rash. Anecdotal evidence suggests that hemp oil may reduce the inflammation and even protect the nerve cells (that are usually attacked in this condition). Consuming hemp oil could help you deal with the symptoms of pain, though more research is needed here.
But since each case of shingles could be unique, we suggest you talk to your doctor and take their advice on the way you need to use hemp oil to treat your condition. There also is limited research in this area. Hence, talking to your doctor should help.
Hemp seed oil may also be used to prevent sunburns. Some believe adding zinc oxide to the oil can boost its SPF rating (from a rating of 6). However, there is no research to support this. The oil could be one great way to soothe a sunburn as it is believed to protect the delicate layers of the skin.
Immunity-Booster Foods: Most of us, millennial moms are in nuclear families today and feel alarmed of the possibility of our kids getting sick, especially if we are working. Kids with their developing immunity system are especially prone to catching such infections in this chilly weather. The cold weather makes them susceptible to many diseases, which are commonly associated with the winters like cold and flu, throat infections and stomach problems. Since children are more carefree and like to stay mostly outdoors, they are definitely more vulnerable to infections and health issues. To keep them healthy, powerful antioxidants are needed which are rich in vitamin C. Staying hydrated at all times, eating green leafy vegetables and loading up nuts and seeds daily are some preventive measures.
Here Are 5 Foods That Can Boost Immunity:
1. Fruits and vegetables
All seasonal fruits and vegetables are incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. These food groups are low in calories; nonetheless, most of them are packed with vitamin A and C that help in building up a child's immunity. The best ones to include in daily diet as immune-booster are fruits like guava, oranges, papaya, berries and vegetables like pumpkin, onions, dark green leafy vegetables etc.
Yogurt makes us strong by providing immunity. Yogurt has great potential as a protective, anti-infection agent. Increased yogurt consumption might help increase one's resistance to immune-related diseases such as infections. This healthy snack is packed with calcium and several other nutrients that help maintain strong and healthy bones. Yogurt may help your little one feel fuller too.
3. Proteins to the rescue
Proteins from animal sources contain ample amounts of all the essential amino acids and are a must for immune cells. They are found in fish, poultry, cheese, eggs, and milk. Vegetarians can get their protein in grains and legumes like soybeans, rajma, chickpeas etc.
Walnuts and almonds have healthy omega-3 fatty acids that help your body fight illness. One small study found omega-3s cut the number of respiratory infections in kids. Walnuts are easy to sprinkle into a snack mix or on cereal.
5. Indian condiments and spices
Indian condiments and spices like garlic, ginger and turmeric have antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also stimulates production of white blood cells within the body and is also an antioxidant. Garlic helps prevent cold and flu symptoms.