There is a strong correlation between sleep quality and dietary pattern. High intake of confectionary and noodles was associated with poor sleep quality, whereas a high intake of fish and vegetables was associated with good sleep quality.
Pariksha Rao, Chief Nutrition Officer, and Co-Founder Lil' Goodness and SCOOL Meal points out the importance of food quality and its impact of sleep, as evidenced by global Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index score.
Junk food contains high amounts of refined or simple carbohydrates which have a detrimental impact when compared to the total quantity of carbohydrate. Frequent consumption of energy drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with poor sleep quality. Other eating patterns like skipping breakfast and eating irregularly were strongly associated with poor sleep quality, she adds.
Rao lists down some food items that can improve sleep quality:
Protein rich foods with some carbohydrate
An amino acid called tryptophan plays a vital role in sleep quality. On the other hand carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, and that is why carbohydrate-heavy meals make us feel drowsy. Protein rich foods like milk and milk products, nuts etc. are the building blocks of tryptophan. So, the best bedtime snack is one that contains both a carbohydrate and protein, such as oats with milk, peanut butter on whole wheat toast, or cheese and vegetable crackers.
Omega-3 fatty acid rich food
Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids can lead to sleep problems in children. Salmon or other fatty fish are great source of omega-3 fatty acids and can be a great dinner. Other rich sources of omega 3 are eggs, poultry, walnuts, chia seeds, broad beans, cauliflower greens, brussel sprouts, broccoli, wild rice, berries, plant oils such as flax oil, soybean oil, and canola oil or fortified foods such as yogurt, milk, and soy beverages.
Other Foods That May Promote Sleep
Several other foods have sleep-promoting properties, like:
Bananas: They contain tryptophan and are a good source of magnesium. Both of these properties may help you get a good night's sleep.
Oatmeal: Similar to rice, oatmeal is high in carbs and has been reported to induce drowsiness when consumed before bed. Additionally, oats are a known source of melatonin.
Cottage cheese: Contains a significant amount of casein- a milk protein that is well known to sustain overnight muscle repair and growth when consumed before bed.
Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolates also contain serotonin, which has a calming effect on your mind and nerves and help you catch up with some valuable sleep. Unfortunately many children don't have a taste for dark chocolate as it is low in sugar and has a little bitter taste. If one can build that taste, can be a perfect post dinner dessert. Don't forget to motivate them to brush before bedtime in that case.
Cherries: They contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Eating 10-12 cherries a day could help you catch some good sleep.
On the other hand try and keep your children away from high sugar containing beverages, caffeinated beverages and junk food, especially in late evening hours. Good hydration is a must throughout the day. Avoid a lot of liquid intake after dinner to prevent frequent visits to the bathroom at night, that can disrupt the sleep.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])
Some foods are considerably healthier than others from a nutritional point of view, and healthcare professionals and nutritionists consider certain foods to be extra beneficial, a case in point being black pepper.
It is not only a useful flavouring element, but a rich source of minerals and nutrients. Most of everything, it's easy to incorporate black pepper into your diet. If you are a fitness enthusiast looking to lose weight quickly, then you need to add black pepper to your daily menu.
Ever wondered why is black pepper known as the Spice King? Well, this spice has lots of advantages for your body.
Black pepper is a versatile product that stimulates senses, taste buds and affects many body systems positively. The thermogenic features increase the metabolism and strength and therefore boost physical and psychological capacity. There are plenty of benefits surrounding this spice and there is a reason why our ancestors had named it the 'King of Spice'.
Dietician Garima shares some healthy benefits of black pepper and how it can act as a disinfectant that can prevent many diseases.
Used in Ayurveda Medicine
Ayurveda remedies frequently contain the seasoning for its health benefits. Black pepper-in combination with substances like castor oil or ghee-is used as an appetite stimulant, a breathing aid, and a cough therapy.
Good for Digestion
Raw black pepper releases hydrochloric acid in the stomach and thus aids digestion. Hydrochloric acid can help you clean your intestines and helps in barricading other gastrointestinal disorders. So don't forget to add a pinch of black pepper to all of your food.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
The nutritional content of black pepper is far more diverse than you might think. The innocuous-looking substance contains a generous quantity of vitamin A and is rich in vitamins C and K. Other nutrients in black pepper include Thiamin, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Folic acid, Choline, Copper, calcium etc.
You may have constipation if you have fewer than three stools a week. However, adding some black pepper every day to your food can solve this problem. Sometimes when you suffer from constipation, you can get exhausted from passing stools or sometimes after passing stools, you may not feel empty. Therefore, black pepper once eaten on a regular basis, curbs bowel cancer, constipation, nausea, among certain bacterial forms of disorders.
HELPs in Weight Loss
The wonderful spice helps to lose weight, and you can add it to green tea 2-3 times a day. This is because the spice contains a rich content of phytonutrients that contributes to the destruction of excess fat. This increases the metabolism of the body as well.
Prevents Any Sort of Cancer
Black pepper combined with turmeric is believed to prevent cancer. It can be consumed in the form of milk by combining turmeric and black pepper. This drink is typically given to people who have extreme cold. This is known to be composed of antioxidants, vitamin A, and carotenoids that help prevent cancer and other deadly diseases
Treats Skin Problems
The 'King of Spices' is said to prevent skin pigmentation (Vitiligo). This condition makes your skin appear white and this is also called white patches. Though there are many medicines available in the market to restore your skin colour, black pepper protects your skin from any sort of skin pigmentation and helps maintain the original colour of your skin.
So, for both taste and wellness, remember to add a little sprinkle of the wonderful spice to your meal. Make sure you only use the purest and most natural black pepper powder because it will not only make a tremendous difference to the food taste but also to your health. And, when you have a few sniffles and aches to deal with next time, take a look at your kitchen before heading out to your doctor. Maybe the little remedy is sitting pretty, right in your spice rack!
The ongoing health emergency has raised consciousness about personal health, with a special focus on one's nutritional intake. If you are making smart diet plans that include healthy snacking options that one can munch while working, consider adding pistachios.
A regular intake of unhealthy food can affect our body's ability to prevent, fight and recover from infections. Whereas, good nutrition can reduce the likelihood of developing other health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Pistachios are a delicious, complete source of protein for people of any and every age.
American Pistachio Growers explain some key benefits of the green nut power-packed with nutrients.
One 28g serving of pistachios equals 49 nuts, more than any other snack nut. Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol free snack that contain healthy fats and only 1.5g saturated fat. They also have the antioxidant, lutein, which filters harmful UV light and blue light from electronic device screens. Studies have shown that eating American pistachios can help lower blood pressure and help prevent heart diseases.
Complete source of protein
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a complete protein as a food that contains "all of the essential amino acids in adequate amounts." The protein quality of pistachios was assessed for the first time at the University of Illinois. The study determined that pistachios contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for supporting growth and maintaining health for those 5 years and older, therefore they are a "complete" protein.
Fuels active lifestyles
It is cholesterol-free, a good source of fiber, healthy fats and B-vitamins and contains antioxidants, lutein, and potassium, to help the body refuel and recover before and after a workout. Some people still worry that adding pistachios to their diet might result in weight gain, but researchers have discovered that eating as much as 20 per cent calories from pistachios may not lead to weight gain.
For would-be mothers
Many pregnant women may develop Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in the third trimester. It causes high blood glucose levels that can affect both the mother and her child. According to a landmark study, women diagnosed with GDM and elevated blood glucose (GIGT) who ate pistachios had a significantly lower rise in their blood glucose levels when compared to eating whole wheat bread (calorie for calorie).
An essential snack for children
Pistachios can be included as a smart snacking option as a part of their children's diet plans, as it packs a powerful punch of essential nutrients. Not only are pistachio nuts tasty and fun to eat for children, but they are also super healthy and can help the children grow, develop, and learn.
If you want to increase your protein intake, plan your diet with pistachios.
Compared to an influential diet for promoting human and planetary health, the diets of average Indians are considered unhealthy -- comprising excess consumption of cereals, but not enough consumption of proteins, fruits and vegetables, said a new study.
The findings by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and CGIAR research program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) broadly apply across all states and income levels, underlining the challenges many Indians face in obtaining healthy diets.
"The EAT-Lancet diet is not a silver bullet for the myriad nutrition and environmental challenges food systems currently present, but it does provide a useful guide for evaluating how healthy and sustainable Indian diets are," said the lead author of the research article, A4NH Program Manager Manika Sharma.
"At least on the nutrition front we find Indian diets to be well below optimal."
The EAT-Lancet reference diet, published by the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health, implies that transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food wastage is critical to feed a future population of 10 billion a healthy diet within planetary boundaries.
While the EAT-Lancet reference diet recommends eating large shares of plant-based foods and little to no processed meat and starchy vegetables, the research demonstrates that incomes and preferences in India are driving drastically different patterns of consumption.
The study, a comparison of the Indian diet with the EAT-Lancet reference diet', co-authored by A4NH's Manika Sharma and Devesh Roy with IFPRI's Avinash Kishore and Kuhu Joshi, was recently published in the BMC Public Health.
Using consumption data from the 68th round of the National Sample Survey (2011-12), they compared diets across Indian states and income levels to the EAT Lancet reference diet.
The study compares differences in calorie consumption across income groups, urban and rural sectors, and geographical regions.
The findings show a disparity in overall calorie intake between income groups: the richest 10 per cent of households consume more than 3,000 kcals per person per day while the poorest 10 per cent consume only 1,645 kcals per person per day.
On average, the Indian total calorie intake is approximately 2,200 kcals per person per day, 12 per cent lower than the EAT-Lancet reference diet's recommended level.
"But we find it intriguing that despite lower calorie consumption levels, obesity is still rising in India," co-author and IFPRI Research Analyst Kuhu Joshi said.
The researchers offer sedentary lifestyles as a potential cause of the phenomenon, showcasing the complexity of the links between diet, lifestyle and health.
Compared to the EAT-Lancet's recommendation for a well-balanced diet, most Indian households' diets concentrate heavily in some food groups and lack others.
While the EAT-Lancet diet recommends that about one-third of daily calorie intake should come from whole grains, they make up 47 per cent of the average Indian diet.
In the poorest rural households, that number is as high as 70 per cent.
Meanwhile, the average Indian's caloric intake of fruits is less than 40 per cent of what the reference diet recommends.
Fruits, vegetables, and animal source foods are generally more expensive and inflate more quickly than processed foods and grains, the researchers report.
Therefore, the EAT-Lancet reference diet, which consists largely of fresh produce, poses a steep cost for the average household in India.
"Low affordability is only a part of a bigger picture, however," said IFPRI Research Fellow Avinash Kishore.
"We were surprised to see that even the richest households do not consume enough protein rich foods, fruits, and vegetables."
In comparison, the researchers found that urban households in the highest income group consume almost one third of their total daily calories from processed foods such as bread, bakery products, refined wheat flour, sweets and chips.
Processed foods account for 10 per cent of daily caloric intake in both urban and rural areas.
The researchers point to other relevant factors such as a lack of availability, accessibility, awareness, and acceptability as possible explanations for their findings.
Summer is here and it's about time we make changes in our kitchen according to the hot and humid season. With a majority of us currently staying at home amid COVID-19 pandemic, staying on top of our health is a priority more so than usual.
People with high blood pressure are among those who are at heightened risk for more severe complications should they contract Covid-19. In order to survive the summer alongside the pandemic and avoid health issues, we need to keep ourselves cool and healthy with a nutritious diet.
Dr. Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director at leading wellness centre, Atmantan Wellness Centre, shares his Summer Food Calendar to help control High Blood Pressure:
Berries contain flavonoids that have strong anti-oxidant properties. These can help reduce oxidative stress related to heart disease. Berries are also high in fibre which can support heart health. You can consume a variety of berries to promote heart health.
Banana is a common fruit that you can easily get throughout the year. It is a good source of potassium which helps fight Hypertension. Banana also promotes digestion and contains vitamin C. It is a healthy snack that can help you fight hunger pangs, they also contain fibre which can keep you full for longer.
Watermelon can be a tasty and healthy treat to fight high blood pressure. Watermelon has high water content along with a good amount of lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, amino acid, antioxidants and low in sodium and calories. It helps to lower inflammation and reduce oxidative stress. Remember, as watermelon is slightly acidic in nature so eating on an empty stomach and late-night should be avoided. Serving size of an adult can be two cups a day.
Muskmelon contains potassium which makes it beneficial for your blood pressure numbers. High fibre and water content of muskmelon also contribute to controlled blood pressure numbers. You can cut muskmelon into pieces and consume this as an evening snack or any time of the day.
Cucumber is an inexpensive edible packed with water content that helps to detoxify your overall body and works as an excellent coolant. This cool and crisp energizing green will stave off problems of constipation, enhance your immunity and tame inflammation while also calming a sunburn. Along with cleansing your body, the presence of silicon and sulphur in cucumber is excellent to support hair growth and volume. The best way to consume cucumber is adding it in salads or drinking cucumber juice.
Green Leafy Vegetables
The hypertension diet should have foods with high magnesium, potassium and fibre content in it. They should be necessarily low in sodium. Leafy greens like spinach, lettuce and celery are high potassium and magnesium foods. Make sure to cook your greens as this increases the amount of magnesium you get per serving by up to 6 times. In addition to leafy greens, other vegetables high in magnesium include potatoes, broccoli, and carrots.
Loaded with the goodness of healthy bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, Yoghurt and other fermented food help in brain development and are great for relieving anxiety. It also offers gut-friendly microorganisms that aids in the process of digestion during summers. Eating yoghurt helps in reducing chronic inflammation which are responsible for anxiety, stress, and depression You can consume curd in the form of smoothies, buttermilk, sweet lassis and raita.
Coconut water can benefit by upholding electrolyte stability in your body. It's an exceptional summer drink that along with assisting you to combat the hot weather by keeping you hydrated, also facilitates in boosting your digestive ability. Additionally, by maintaining the electrolyte balance in your body, it helps to foster cell growth, regulates blood pressure and above all performs the function of a natural diuretic.
Herbs and spices are great for managing hypertension. This includes Hibiscus tea, Cinnamon teas, Chamomile teas, Mint juices, Amla juices, Orange juice, lime juice etc are very good during this season to reduce blood pressure.
Food with high water content is highly prescribed by doctors to stay hydrated during the summers, a season that summons a wave of soaring temperatures, higher than 40-degrees.
A much-loved fruit in India, apples are hydrating heros' in such a situation. A heatwave can affect human health in a varied manner and to maintain ideal body temperature in this soaring summer, one must remain adequately hydrated, be protected from the sun and maintain hygiene.
Working professionals and people who must step out in summers, are prone to the heatwave impact. Pediatric experts and doctors agree on the benefits of drinking water and eating fruits, especially, apples. 'An apple a day, keeps the doctor away' is true as they are rich in a number of vitamins with great anti-inflammatory benefits and many other essential minerals. Washington Apple Commission spells how apples can prove to be a summer-friendly fruit.
People often don't realise the danger of exposing themselves to extreme heat. Older adults, young children, and people with chronic illnesses are most at greater risk for serious problems. The nutrition benefits of apples may help not only in avoiding such illnesses but may also protect against many such conditions.
As popular as apples are as a fruit, they are enriched in antioxidants, dietary fibers, vitamins and a range of other nutrients that are greatly beneficial in maintaining good health. The fruit is rich in soluble fibers which may help prevent several health conditions and may lower the risk of major diseases such as heat strokes, diabetes and cancer.
The soluble fiber also promotes weight loss and improves gut health. The prebiotic effects of apples help feed the good bacteria in the gut, thus, improving digestion.
Apples are made of 85 percent water and contain vitamins, fibres and antioxidants. A high fibre content is a particularly beneficial property of apples, as improper digestion is a major health concern in the tropical climatic region. Apples are also enriched in antioxidants that help protect the lungs from oxidative damage and help oxygen flow through the blood.
Make interesting snacks, dessert, beverages and savoury meals with this miraculous fruit during summers.
Salted apple caramel galette
Caramel apples get a grown-up makeover with this Salted Caramel Apple Galette. Warm, gooey, and delicious, this pastry is loaded with apples and homemade caramel. It's a sophisticated take on a childhood favorite and since it's easier to make than pie, it's perfect for summer get-togethers.
Caramel apple pie ice-cream sandwiches
Nothing is better at a cookout on a warm day than a cold, refreshing ice cream sandwich. In Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches, the comforting flavor of apple pie is recreated in a creamy frozen banana-based ice cream studded with apple and date pieces. Then that scoop of ice cream is sandwiched between two pieces of no-bake cinnamon oat cookie dough. (Agency)