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Breastfeeding week: Here is the best diet for lactating mothers



Breastfeeding week: Here is the best diet for lactating mothers

To ensure that the quality and quantity of milk is at its best for your child, and also that you’re getting enough nutrition and energy to cope with the demands of breastfeeding, follow a diet that helps you meet these demands.

Typically, lactating moms need about 500 calories more in their diet, with a balance of protein, carbs, iron, vitamins, and calcium.

1) Drinking adequate water keeps you from dehydration and depleting your energy reserves. It also boosts the milk supply in your body. Other hydrating foods include fresh soups, fresh fruit and coconut water.

2) Whole grains like oatmeal, whole wheat, barley, rye and so on are an important source of B vitamins and complex carbohydrates that keep your energy levels going. These are also rich in fiber and increase your metabolic levels. They lower blood sugar levels and keep the gut cleansed and in good shape – which in turn means better milk quality for your baby.

3) Seeds are the best ‘galactagogues’ or foods to boost breast milk production. Indian lore passed down from generation to generation relies heavily on these for women to optimize lactation levels. Some seeds to include in your diet include fenugreek, sesame, cumin and poppy seeds. Add them to diet, and use them as an infusion in water.

4) Your iron intake is linked to your energy and hemoglobin levels. Since the baby feeds off the mother’s iron levels in the placenta while still in the womb, replenish lost iron levels after delivery with green leafy vegetables. (also a lactation-boosting food). You can also use cucumbers, broccoli, and different gourds like bottle gourd and bitter gourd in your diet.

5) Lean meat like chicken is ideal for protein building in lactating moms. Eggs are another good source of protein, besides being rich in folate and vitamin B12, which you need to pass onto your baby.

6) Milk is the best kind for lactating moms. Drinking just two glasses a day helps boost protein and calcium levels in the body, which benefits bone and dental health for both baby and mother. It also contains ‘good fat’ which gives your body much-needed energy to cope with the demands of lactation. You can also consume yogurt, cheese and homemade ghee, a source of Omega 3 fatty acid DHA that is essential for the baby’s cognitive and brain development.

7) Top of the list of foods to avoid for nursing moms Caffeine and sugar are to be avoided, or the intake is to be limited at least.

8) Don’t eat fish that are rich in mercury – these include varieties like mackerel and swordfish. 9) Avoid deep-fried foods and foods that are likely to cause acidity and indigestion, as these problems could affect your baby’s very sensitive digestive system.


Pizza, Chips And Other Processed Foods May Affect Your Memory




Pizza, Chips And Other Processed Foods May Affect Your Memory

The very idea of chips, pizzas, pastries etc make us slurp. But the health issues associated to these processed foods often make us take a back step. By now, we all know high intake of ultra-processed foods lead to several lifestyle-related problems including weight gain, diabetes, blood pressure and more. But did you know, it may affect your memory too? Yes, you heard us. A new study has found that diet enriched with highly processed food can be linked to signs of memory loss. The study was conducted on ageing rats and the findings were published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Researchers found “four weeks on a diet of highly processed food leads to a strong inflammatory response in the brains of ageing rats that was accompanied by behavioural signs of memory loss,” reads an ANI report. That’s not all. It was also found that replacing processed foods with omega-3 fatty acid DHA reduced the inflammatory effects in older rats. However, no such cognitive issues were found in young rats that were given processed food-enriched diet.

“The fact we’re seeing these effects so quickly is a little bit alarming,” said senior study author Ruth Barrientos, an investigator in The Ohio State University Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural health. He further stated that the findings also indicated that processed diet can lead to abrupt memory deficit and rapid memory decline in older people, further leading to disease like Alzheimer’s.

“By being aware of this, maybe we can limit processed foods in our diets and increase consumption of foods that are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA to either prevent or slow that progression,” Ruth Barrientos added.

Here’re 5 Other Side-Effects Of Highly Processed Diet:

  1. It leads to weight gain and obesity.
  2. High intake of junk food might elevate blood pressure levels.
  3. Processed foods often promote diabetes.
  4. It might increase the level of bad cholesterol in your body.
  5. Several studies have also found its negative effects on our mood – it may often lead to depression.

This is why experts suggest that a healthy and balanced diet is a must to keep up a good health. But always remember consult an expert before adapting to any kind of lifestyle-related changes.

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Learn these combinations of health supplements for better health




Learn these combinations of health supplements for better health


This statement most likely originated from unverifiable online sources claiming that taking fish oil and vitamin E together can result in excessive bleeding. There are ongoing studies and some published ones to assess the effects of combining fish oil and vitamin E to relieve menstrual pain and to improve blood sugar levels in patients with coronary artery disease.

In fact, certain supplements contain a combination of both. But if you are thinking of starting on a regime of fish oil or vitamin E supplements, check with your doctor first – especially if you are on medication or have medical conditions.


There’s truth to the fact that you shouldn’t. Studies have shown that the absorption of iron can be reduced if an iron supplement is combined with a calcium supplement and/or calcium-containing product such as milk. If you have to take both iron and calcium tablets, space them at least two hours apart.


It’s about the type of vitamins you’re taking. “Fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K are better absorbed when taken with food. This is because fatty foods trigger the release of bile, a digestive fluid, which is essential for the absorption of these vitamins.”

Also, make sure you eat something first before you pop fish oil or iron supplements, especially when they are consumed in higher quantities as they can upset an empty stomach.

However, water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B and C, are better absorbed when taken on an empty stomach.


If you’re put on antibiotics such as tetracyclines and quinolones by your doctor, you’ll want to take your zinc tablets separately. “Zinc can bind to these types of antibiotics, which prevents the body from absorbing both zinc and the antibiotic.


This is a combo that works well together. “Vitamin C and iron bind together to form a complex which makes it easier for the body to absorb iron.”

Just how much better is the absorption? When iron is consumed with 25mg to 100mg of vitamin C, the body’s absorption of iron increases by four times compared to just taking iron on its own.


This could be owing to the fact that fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver or fat tissue for later use.

In comparison, water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are absorbed, but the excess is passed out from the body.

But that doesn’t mean you load up on the water-soluble nutrients. Each vitamin has its own purpose and there is a recommended daily allowance for each vitamin. In fact, if you are consuming sufficient nutrients through your diet, you may not even need a supplement.


If you have the habit of chasing down your supplements, especially calcium or iron tablets, with your morning coffee, reconsider. Tea and coffee contain caffeine which may reduce the absorption of certain minerals. Caffeine is also a diuretic that increases urination. This may cause water-soluble vitamins such as vitamins B and C to be passed out of the body more quickly.


Yes, you can, But skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. This will prevent you from double dosing.

Still, missing your supplements is not that big of a deal unless they are prescribed for treating a certain deficiency. “Supplements are meant to fill the gaps in your diet and it takes times for them to build up in the blood and take effect. Thus, patients are unlikely to experience any immediate effects when they miss a single dose.”

This is unlike medicines for treating certain conditions, where missing a dose can result in patients experiencing immediate symptoms, such as an increased blood sugar level due to missing a dose of anti-diabetic medication.

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Navratri fasting: Healthy food options you can try




Navratri fasting: Healthy food options you can try

The festival of Navratri is finally here. During the nine days, many people observe a fast. If you too are fasting and are looking for healthy options that will make you feel satiated and energetic throughout the day, here are some unbeatable foods that can help.

Kuttu atta

Kuttu atta or buckwheat flour is packed with high fibre that helps detox the body. Also, fibre helps to keep hunger pangs at bay thereby, making us crave less while fasting. You can also use singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour) and rajgira ka atta (amaranth flour). Instead of rice, you can have samai ke chawal or samvat ke chwaal (barnyard millet) that can be used to make khichdi, dhoklas or kheer.

Sabudana or sago

It has a cooling effect on the body and is easy to digest.


Foxnut is a very popular fasting food. It is loaded with antioxidants, and acts as an anti-ageing food by preventing white hair, wrinkles, and premature ageing.

Dry fruits

Almonds, pistachio, cashew nuts, and kishmish (raisins) are eaten during fasts.

Fruits and vegetables

Vegetables like bottle gourd, potato, pumpkin, bananas, arbi, potato colocasia, yam, sweet potato, lemon, honey, cucumber, raw plantain, tomato, carrot, raw papaya, and spinach are commonly consumed during Navratri.

Dairy products

Dairy products are considered to be holy during an auspicious occasion. Hence, you can consume natural products such as milk, curd, paneer, butter, ghee, khoya, and condensed milk.

As far as spices are concerned, you can use black pepper powder, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ajwain or carom seeds, black peppercorns, dry pomegranate seeds, kokum, tamarind, and nutmeg. “Some people also use fresh coriander leaves, red chilly powder, dry mango powder, chaat masala (especially with fruits). A lot depends on the devotee’s beliefs and home traditions,” said Khosla.


Non-vegetarian food, eggs, alcohol, smoking and aerated drinks.

Grains: Wheat, rice, oats, bread, semolina, gram flour, cornflour, millet flour like ragi, and pear are strongly prohibited during the course of these nine days.

All fast-related food needs to be prepared without onion, garlic since they produce heat and are tamasic in nature,

Salt: Sendha namak is used during this time and it has low sodium content as well.

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