20 good foods for women’s health!

Women’s health and well-being has became one of the most predominant and attention-seeking issue worldwide. It is mandatory to maintain proper health of women in the family so that the entire family’s well-being is ensured. Nutrition plays a major role in maintaining health of women and there are certain foods which would help in taking care of them. Here is a list of 20 super foods for maintaining women’s health.

1.      Yogurt

Yogurts are capable of providing a significant amount of calcium required by women. It is a proven fact that yogurt reduces the risk of breast cancer, stomach disorders and vaginal infection. But it is always better to choose a low-fat yogurt so that weight is under control.

2.      Oats

The soluble and insoluble fiber and beta glucans in oats helps in maintaining women’s blood cholesterol under control. Apart from this, if aiming for weight loss, oats is a good choice, because of its high fiber content.

3.      Almonds

Almonds are wonder nuts dumped with enormous health benefits. They are capable of protecting artery wall from damage and so reduce the risk of heart attack.

4.      Green tea

This extraordinary beverage has multiple benefits like rehydrating the body, calorie-burning, antioxidant effects, cancer fighting and providing anti-diabetic effects.

5.      Lentils/ Beans

As a pack of proteins, fiber and antioxidants lentils should be a part of daily routine of women.

6.      Eggs

Eggs should be considered as a mandatory ingredient in diet since the vision-protective carotenoids in eggs are capable of protecting age related macular degeneration in women without increasing the cholesterol levels. They are also capable of fighting against fibroids in women.

7.      Dark chocolate

The heart-protective antioxidants in dark chocolates help women stay away from risk of cardiovascular problems. The mineral content of these yummy foods help in protecting their bones and so help in warding off osteoporosis in later part of their lives.

8.      Walnuts

The omega-3 fatty acid in walnuts helps in preventing breast cancer and lowers cholesterol levels too. Apart from these, walnuts help in sleeping better and also cope with stress.

9.      Pumpkin seeds

The surprising fact about pumpkin seeds are that they are capable of relieving depression, which is a major issue in women folk. It also relieves motion sickness and related complications.

10.  Broccoli

Broccoli has proven benefits of fighting against breast cancer by fighting excess estrogen. The folate content of broccoli helps  in preventing neural tube defects in the new-borns, if been consumed by pregnant women.

11.  Avocados

These nutrition-dense foods are capable of lowering belly fat with its mono-unsaturated fatty acid content. It has unproven effects on the fertility issues of women.

12.  Tomato

Lycopene, an antioxidant in tomatoes help in preventing breast and cervical cancer in women. The polyphenol content of tomatoes helps in thinning the blood in a natural way.

13.  Whole grains

Being good sources of fiber, whole grains are capable of warding off digestive problems in women.

14.  Berries

The wide range of berries like strawberries, blackberries and blueberries have extraordinary antioxidant qualities which would help in cell replenishment and also reduces risk of cancer too.

15.  Fatty fish

The omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fishes like salmons, sardines, mackerel etc helps in protecting against multiple health threats in women like depression, arthritis, joint pain, stroke etc.

16.  Milk

Milk, the greatest source of calcium has multiple benefits. It helps to maintain the skin soft and glowing. As an excellent de-stressor, it relaxes the muscles and soothes nerves. It also helps in easing out the effects of post menopausal syndrome.

17.  Spinach

The excellent fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K and potassium contributed by spinach helps in maintaining proper health although the life.

18.  Raisins

In addition to the fiber and iron content, the phytochemicals in raisins helps in delaying the tooth decay.

19.  Guava

These extraordinary fruits with vitamin C and antioxidants help in warding off coronary heart diseases in women.

20.  Water

Water is primarily required for almost all metabolic processes in the body. It improves the radiance of the skin, aids in digestion and detoxification. Eight to ten glasses of water per day along with foods high in water content like cucumber, cantaloupes etc would help in maintaining water balance in the body.

 

Incorporation of all these healthy foods is mandatory to maintain proper health in women. For more personalized diet plan: http://www.rxocean.com/Personalized-Diet-Plan.php

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), commonly known as polycystic ovary disease (PCOD), ovarian hyperthecosis, functional ovarian hyperandrogenism,  Stein-Leventhal syndrome and sclerocystic ovary syndrome, is one among the most common endocrine disorders associated with hormonal imbalance affecting  women of age group between 12-45 years. PCOS is considered to be complex disorder which may be heterogeneous in terms of symptoms but its etiology usually remains unknown.

Causes and Hormonal changes associated with PCOS:

Although the cause of PCOS is unknown, there are evidence-based results to confirm that it may occur due to genetic cause. Also excess body weight/obesity may act as a triggering factor for the inception of PCOS.

Calculate your BMI and know whether your weight is appropriate for your height: http://www.rxocean.com/bmi-calc.php

Polycystic ovary is generally characterized by occurrence of more number of ovarian eggs on the surface which looks like multiple cysts. PCOS causes fluctuations in levels of certain hormones as follows:

Oestrogen and progesterone are the hormones responsible for egg release from ovaries. Imbalance of these hormones in PCOS causes hindrance in ovarian egg release.
Androgen is the male hormone which will be found in minimal amounts in women. In PCOS, the ovaries secrete more androgen than usual.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for maintaining proper blood glucose levels. In PCOS, insulin resistance may occur and blood glucose may elevate which may lead to diabetes mellitus.

Signs and symptoms:

PCOS is associated with a diverse range of symptoms with varying degree of severity which may affect reproductive, metabolic and endocrine functions of women. Following are some of the symptoms which may be linked with occurrence of PCOS.

* Menstrual disorders:

1. Oligomenorrhea-  Infrequent or light menstrual periods.
2. Amenorrhea- Absence of menstrual periods.
3. Hypermenorrhea- Heavy/ prolonged menstrual periods.

* Infertility:

This may happen in women with PCOS because of lack of proper ovulation/ release of eggs.

* Weight related issues:

Abnormal weight gain may occur along with occurrence of PCOS. Other way round, in some cases excess weight may be a triggering cause of PCOS.

Acne (skin problem), alopecia (loss of hair) and additional thicker and darker hair growth on the face and body may occur as PCOS occurs.

Psychological disturbances like depression and anxiety.

Nutritional Management of PCOS:

Since PCOS is associated with obesity/ weight gain, the main aim of dietary modification would focus on weight management. Following are some of the points which should be focused in management of PCOS:

* Foods high in carbohydrates like starchy foods (rice, roots and tubers), refined cereals (like maida) contain more calories and so should be restricted since they may lead to weight gain.
Intake of high fat foods like deep-fried items (like french fries), high cholesterol foods (like red-meat) and high sugary foods (like sweets, chocolates) should be avoided since such foods inhibit weight loss.
High fiber foods (like whole grains, green leafy vegetables) should be included in large quantities in order to maintain blood glucose and cholesterol levels under control.
Physical activity must be a part of daily routine and remaining active throughout the day is also very important.

PCOS being a disorder associated mainly with excessive weight gain and hormone fluctuation in women can be managed with a strict diet plan. However, appropriate nutrient rich food intake in required quantities with a proper lifestyle would help in fighting against the severity of PCOS.

To know more about an effective weight loss program: http://www.rxocean.com/Weight-Loss-Programs.php

 

What, why and how of PCOD / PCOS ?

PCOD – Polycystic ovarian disease or syndrome PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries show many small cysts arranged in the shape of a necklace within it. this results in an abnormality of hormones with the male hormone dominating. As a result the girls with this syndrome show features such as acne, excessive facial hair growth, weight gain and irregular or scanty menses

The incident of PCOS / PCOD appears to be rising. It is seen in as many as 30% of the young women . Atleast 70 – 80% of my weight loss female clients suffer from PCOS / PCOD. Age range of these clients start from as young as 15 years – in these young girls the symptoms are mainly cosmetic as they get disturbed with problems related to acne, weight gain and facial hair.

In case of married women, PCOS / PCOD often manifests as infertility or inability to conceive. In this condition, the ovulation many not occur regularly, and as the egg doesnt come out each month, the chance of pregnancy is low.

Women in their mid 30’s are also prone to diabetes and later to cancer of the uterus. It is important to bring on the periods regularly with medicines if they don not come monthly on their own.

A lot of patients with PCOS / PCOD are obese and one of the main treatments is lifestyle change with exercise, good diet and weight loss. This is the only thing which is effective in the long term.Problem of PCOS/ PCOD can affect women of all the age groups, causes different problems at different stages of life and hence should be diagnosed and treated with care

Weight gain in pregnancy – How much should you eat ?

Life for women living in cities has changed completely. They not only have to focus on their family but also their work lives. It is very important for women to ensure that they maintain a healthy lifestyle for to be able to cope up with the health issues. Today Women living in cosmopolitan cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad are experiencing health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart strokes, etc. due to changes in lifestyle. These health issues are more prevalent amongst women working in IT/ITES environment. Not only the work pressure but odd work hours add to the miseries.

Great care needs to be taken to maintain good health, because it will determine everything that we do.  Gaining weight is very easy but it is very difficult to get rid of all that fat from our body. Almost all of us have to lead a healthy life because that is what we can give to the next generation.

Although weight gain during pregnancy is common, because women need to sustain themselves and at the same time sustain the fetus. Growth of the fetus is also important. The weight that women gain during pregnancy is for a reason. It is the evolution that women need to sustain their babies after their birth for sometime. In order to do so women store fat content in their body so that they are ready for the life ahead.  Women who deprive themselves of good nutrition during pregnancy tend to have smaller, sickly babies who require more hospital time and have a higher incidence of problems including neonatal.

At this stage It is important to define as to how much is enough during pregnancy. Weight gain is normal but it doesn’t mean that body weight should double during pregancy. It is essential to add 200-300 calories a day to present diet. But what you eat is what really counts.  Women need to ensure that their diet is nutrient dense that is full of good things for self and baby as opposed to junk food that is full of fat and sugar. This means at snack time reach for fresh fruit instead of a candy bar.

Excess weight gain becomes an issue for women to lose post pregnancy. Another problem is the gestational diabetes that women contract during pregnancy. During the third trimester, gestational diabetes is reported in some pregnant women. This is because their bodies do not produce the required amount of insulin which is required in breaking down the sugar molecule. Gestational diabetes is found in not more than 18% of people but, it is still of a concern. The after-effects of gestational diabetes is that the high glucose levels will enter the baby’s body and convert into fat, making the baby obese.

In order that pregnant women do not contract gestational diabetes, some steps can be taken. These include having foods that are not processed. Processed foods are easy to digest and contain a lot of calories and result in a sudden flow of glucose into the body. This sudden flow is reduced by eating whole grain food. Whole grain takes a lot of time to digest. This means that the glucose is released very slowly into the body, giving enough time for the insulin to act efficiently.

Pregnancy is not only tiring emotionally but also physically and many women are not able to cope up with all the changes in their body. Fortunately many good dieticians focus on post pregnancy weight loss programs. These Post pregnancy weight loss programs help women reduce weight they have gained during pregnancy and to lead a healthy life. It is always advisable to consult a Dietician and doctor for post pregnancy weight loss program as they can ensure that female body’s requirements as well requirements of the baby (in case of nursing mothers) are met and still ensure healthy weight loss.

iPill usage, iPill’s benefits and issues related to Ipill’s misuse

What is iPill ?
i-Pill consists of one 1.5 mg levonorgestrel pill. The pill is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy *after* an act of unprotected sexual intercourse. You take the pill as soon as possible after the unprotected intercourse, up to 5 days (the sooner, the better).

Ipill, an emergency contraceptive pill. Unfortunately it is gaining popularity amongst teenagers, despite repeated warning from doctors / gynecologists against its careless use. Since ipill is an over the counter product, one doesn’t need a prescription and even teenagers are able to purchase the same from medical shops. The trend is more prevalent amongst the affluent classes of major cities in India like Gurgaon, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc. We receive many a cases where in young girls in their teens have taken iPill and call up RxOcean doctor to understand what could be the possible consequences of the same. In one such absurd case a girl’s boy friend made her have iPill twice within a span of 7 days without knowing what could be the possible consequences of doing this.

Infact dos and donts of the same are not clearly advertised even on Piramal Healthcare’s website which says
“i-pill has no long-term or serious side effects, and is safe to use for almost every woman. Nausea, vomiting, lower abdominal pain, a feeling of breast tenderness and headache are some common side effects after taking i-pill. All this should stop within a day or two. There are chances of unexpected vaginal bleeding, but this is not dangerous and should clear up by the time of the next period. i-pill might also cause the next period to come early or later than normal. But if the periods are delayed by more than a week, it is recommended to go in for a pregnancy test. i-pill will have no lasting effect that may complicate future (and wanted) pregnancies. i-pill is not recommended if you are allergic to levonorgestrel – the medicine used in i-pill.”

On one hand iPill’s Opponents claim that “It is only proved for women aged from 25-45. Ipill can be potentially harmful since it is a hormonal pill. Some Doctors have also suggested that frequent use can cause ovarian damage and menstrual problems, especially among younger girls. Certain side effects of ipill as mentioned by ISARC researchers include, reduced sex interest, skin allergies and loss of vigor. Long time effects of a hormonal pill cant be predicted. Continuous use may reduce the chances of future pregnancy too.”

Based on the logic that this medicine is supposed to be used sparingly and occasionally and hence is completely safe. But most of the people dont understand this logic and just go by the advertisement they see in the TV which doesnt clearly mention that it should be used sparingly and is not an alternative to contraceptive pills and hence use it without knowing the effects of its usage. Based on this background, proponents of iPill argue that  ” It is wrong to say that it was designed for women over 25 and is completely safe. According to these advocates of iPill there is no age restriction for the emergency contraceptive pill like the i-Pill. If you are of reproductive age (past menarche = the first period), are sexually active, and do not plan a pregnancy you can use the i-Pill. Other than allergy or pregnancy, there are no contraindications to i-Pill use.The i-Pill is safe to use even for women who cannot use the regular birth control pill. The i-Pill does not cause ovarian damage, nor does it reduce the chance of future pregnancy, etc. Briefly, the hormone in the i-Pill is a progesterone-like hormone; progesterone is a hormone secreted by the body and it has a regulatory function in the reproductive system.” Thus claiming that iPill is completely safe medicine

Although there are no clear winners to this debate but all said and done it is always safe to avoid any type of drug. Why cant we use other precautions to prevent pregnancy rather than depend on iPill post unprotected Sex. In case you still have queries and would like to discuss with a professional doctor , please call Family Physician ( Doctor / Gyanecologist ) available at www.RxOcean.com and discuss your case in detail.

One of the other question that people ask is do women gain weight when they take contraceptive pills?

Although there doesnt exist any scientific research to prove this but our experience from our clients suggest that a minority of women do experience weight gain. They get a feeling of bloating, probably due to fluid retention, and their weight goes up. These problems are temporary in nature and are resolved when they stop taking it.