In many households, including in India, it is a ritual to step out for a walk after dinner before hitting the sheets. Many also take a quick walk after lunch. The goal? To improve digestion.
But, is walking after eating really beneficial for digestion? Turns out it is, and here's why:
After you finish your meals, your body gets to work, it breaks down and absorbs the nutrients. A significant portion of the food breakdown or digestion takes place in the small intestine. Research suggests that walking after a meal can help in the faster transit of food from the stomach and into the small intestine.
How does this help? "The faster the food transits from your stomach into the small intestine, the lesser is you the likelihood of common complaints like bloating, gas, and acid reflux. Evidence also indicates that a post-meal 30-minute walk, coupled with routine exercise, can improve bowel function and lower the chances of constipation.
Postprandial walks not only ease digestive symptoms but can be quite beneficial for individuals with type-2 diabetes. Research from the New Zealand's University of Otago indicates that for people with type-2 diabetes, walking after meals is better at reducing blood sugar levels, especially following carb-rich meals. How does that happen? The body converts food into glucose, which is a major source of energy for the body. After consuming a meal, the blood glucose levels start rising.
In order to deal with this spike, the body secretes insulin, which helps drive the glucose into the cells. However, for diabetic individuals, the action of insulin is impaired, preventing the process of managing blood sugar levels. This can lead to high levels of glucose in the blood, increasing the risk of health problems. During a post-meal walk, glucose is utilized by the body to produce energy for the activity, aiding in lowering the level of glucose in the blood.
Now to address a key question - how long should you wait after a meal before you set off on your walk? Walking immediately following a meal may cause acid reflux and upset your stomach. "It is advisable to walk after a gap of 30-45 minutes after your lunch or dinner to experience the most benefits," says Singh.
It is also recommended to walk at an easy to moderate pace after your meals as increased intensity workouts may cause more blood to be drawn towards the working muscles and away from the gastrointestinal tract. This may cause your digestion to slow down and may also lead to indigestion.
Along with health benefits, a post-meal walk will also bring you closer to your goal of hitting 10,000 steps (a popular aspirational fitness goal) a day. Any sort of physical activity also triggers the release of endorphins, or ï¿½feel-good hormones', thereby relaxing the body. A post-meal walk is a positive step in that direction.
Now that you know the many benefits of a quick post-meal walk, it is time to make this small lifestyle change for better health and overall fitness.(By Vikas Singh)
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Our heart is the key organ in the circulatory system pumping oxygenated blood to various organs. People mostly ignore or are not aware of the symptoms of an approaching heart attack or cardiac ailment. With an increasing prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle, monitoring heart health becomes even more essential. Hence, one should be aware of the newly observed symptoms and complications that signal towards an unhealthy heart.
Chest Pain is Just One of The Many Overlooked Signs
Chest pain is one of the most common signs of an approaching cardiac ailment. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness, or pain in the centre of the chest should be reported to the doctor. Many times these symptoms are confused with gastritis and heartburn.
Snoring and interrupted sleeping patterns
Snoring and sleep-related problems like insomnia and sleep apnea, a disorder where breathing get disrupted while you sleep, have a direct link with heart diseases and other cardiovascular ailments.
Shortness of Breath
Unexplained shortness of breath while doing small amounts of physical activity, at rest or while sleeping (that can wake you up) may indicate an underlying cardiac ailment. Women are more likely to suffer/report shortness of breath when dealing with heart troubles.
Waking up tired, restless and noting higher blood pressure levels in the morning, signals towards an unhealthy heart. Though, one should get a clinical assessment done for ensuring a clear diagnosis.
Sweeting more than usual or without any physical activity, especially if one is not exercising or being active can be an early warning sign of an approaching heart-related ailment. If someone is sitting and suddenly starts sweating profusely, it could be a sign of an oncoming heart attack.
An irregular heartbeat or more formally known as "arrhythmias", is a condition where the heart doesn't pump blood at its normal rhythm. Anyone who is relatively healthy and still has an irregular heartbeat, also indicate a chronic heart condition.
Pain in the chest and upper arm area is what most people typically associate with heart problems. However, pain in the neck or jaw is a potential point of angina pain or discomfort when the heart lacks oxygen-rich blood. Women are more likely to exhibit these symptoms than men, but if the symptoms persist it is advisable to consult a doctor.
A persistent cough is not always a sign of a heart problem, as it's a common symptom of various other common illnesses like cold, flu, and bronchitis. But a never-ending cough can be a sign of fluid building up in the lungs, which signals congestive heart failure.
When the heart isn't able to pump efficiently, blood can back up into the veins that take blood through the lungs. When there is excessive pressure in these blood vessels, fluid is pushed into the air spaces (alveoli) in the lungs. Hence, an unending cough can be caused by the irritation and fluid in the lungs, which is similar to what can cause shortness of breath.
With the current lifestyle patterns, it is very important to monitor your heart health. There can be various hidden symptoms contributing towards an unhealthy heart, hence a timely diagnosis and an active lifestyle should be given attention to. The above-mentioned symptoms can be a few of many symptoms denoting an approaching heart ailment, as a reason being aware towards your own health and consulting for timely clinical interventions become essentially important.
Read More► Why Young Indians More Vulnerable to Heart Attack?
Lifestyle plays a huge role in your fitness and health. Often a sedentary lifestyle along with unhealthy eating habits contribute to weight gain or other lifestyle diseases. With discipline and patience, you can work on your lifestyle to reach a fitness level you have always desired. Always remember that whatever changes you implement should not be focused on temporary results, but rather on a long and sustainable lifestyle.
A good fitness level is more important than just fat loss. However, you can lose fat by practising these things:
1. Make Your Diet A Lifestyle:
Most people tend to focus on diet as a destination, rather than a journey. Your nutrition should not be a trend or a plan for short-term results, but rather a lifestyle that you can follow effortlessly. Although easier said than done, implementing a positive lifestyle can have tremendous long-term results. Tweaking your food habits and incorporating essential macro and micronutrients can aid your fat-loss journey. A good way to include the right food components in your diet is through a good diet plan which you must follow with discipline. Eat good food every day. It's as simple as that. Don't divert even if you have to eat the same food every day, you can always innovate your dishes with the help of spices and other preparation methods.
2. Workout Regime To Increase Activity:
Even if you can't do a heavy workout every day, it is essential to include some kind of activity in your lifestyle. Find a physical activity that suits you. Some people despise gyms, but love jogging or playing a sport. Some like strength training and lifting weights. Whatever you choose, follow through without any excuses. Your daily physical activity plays a huge role in your metabolism and fitness level. It's not just about burning calories; it's about setting a pattern for your body to undergo positive stress. When you exercise, your body is already doing half the work required for losing weight and becoming fit.
3. Don't Compromise on Your Sleep and Hydration:
People underrate the importance of a good night's sleep. Your body requires sleep to recover, to balance the cortisol hormone level which is responsible for your binge eating. Sleeping is our body's natural way of balancing the stress level and rectifying any errors in its system. Fix a sleeping time and don't change it no matter what. This is one of the most important changes you must incorporate. The other being hydration water is extremely important for your system. Not only does it help in passing the nutrients throughout your system, but it also helps the body detox and shed the pesky water retention habit. You'll be surprised by the number of times your body confuses thirst for hunger, so always drink adequate water. Set a reminder through a phone app, it can be helpful.
(The author Pranit Shilimkar is a Health and Fitness Entrepreneur, Digital Content Creator and Founder of Fitnesstalks)
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New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) A survey highlighted that Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have a 16.19 per cent prevalence of key NCDs which is higher than the national average of 11.62 per cent.These states particularly have a higher prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) like hypertension, digestive diseases, diabetes, and neurological diseases as compared to the National Average Prevalence Rate of these diseases. This is similar to the overall national trend where hypertension, digestive disease, and diabetes emerge as the top three NCDs followed by respiratory diseases, brain disorders, heart diseases, kidney disorders, and cancer in the order of prevalence. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the apex trade association of the country, as part of its 'Illness to Wellness' campaign, on Friday unveiled Andhra Pradesh (now Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) specific findings of India's largest primary healthcare survey report on the rising burden of non-communicable diseases in the country. This was followed by a virtual panel discussion on "Non-Communicable Diseases: The New Health Challenges for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh". The survey report titled 'Non-Communicable Diseases in India' covered 2,33,672 people and 673 public health offices in 21 states to analyse the rising cases of NCDs in the country and the social profile of suffering households. Delving on the risk factors associated with NCDs, the report highlighted that significantly higher stress levels in the region than the national average are leading to heart, diabetes, and digestive disorders in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It stated that 63 per cent of respondents in the region face high stress. The report further underlined that the region has higher physical activities, which is reflected in lower BMI. However, the likely positive impact of the same on reducing the vulnerability to obesity related NCDs is significantly reduced by other factors like choice of food including salt and chillies intake and lifestyle choices. The study also found that high workplace pollution in the region is a major contributing factor to diseases related to neurology, heart, and lung. This is mainly due to high mining, stone quarrying, and construction activities in the region. Home air pollution was also found to be significantly contributing to hypertension and neurological disorders in the region. The problem of workplace air pollution was recognised by 82 per cent of the respondents while 76 per cent accepted that they face home air pollution. The region shows lower vegetable and fruit consumption coupled with high meat consumption than the national average. As per the study findings, 90 per cent of the respondents from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana consume non-vegetarian food with 68 per cent consuming red meat. This has implications on NCDs affecting the digestive system, heart, and hypertension. Incidentally, tobacco consumption was found to be below the national average in both the states, and thus their impact on the prevalence of NCDs relating to hypertension, heart diseases, and diabetes in the state is likely to be insignificant in line with the national findings. The study observed that while the national prevalence rate of hypertension is 3.60 per cent , its prevalence in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is 8.54 per cent . This is followed by digestive diseases and diabetes that have a prevalence rate of 5.65 per cent and 4.69 per cent respectively in both the states. Digestive diseases have a national average prevalence rate of 3.05 per cent while it is 2.85 per cent for diabetes. The prevalence rate of brain disorders and kidney diseases in each of these states stands at 2.52 per cent and 0.66 per cent respectively. This is again higher than the national average prevalence rate of 1.3 per cent for brain diseases and 0.4 per cent for kidney diseases. The prevalence of heart diseases, cancer, digestive diseases, and respiratory diseases were found to be lower in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana when compared to the national average prevalence rate for these diseases. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a sharper focus on health care. Patterns emerging from Covid management across the country indicate that people with co-morbidities of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have a higher mortality rate than those who do not. This has grave implications for the country not only because of mortality and years of healthy lives lost but also because of India's health infrastructure. Dr. C. H. Vasanth Kumar, Senior Consultant Physician, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, Current President Elect, Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), said, "NCDs are a real threat to human life as it affects everyone irrespective of age, the financial status or background. Prevention and early detection are key to arresting the rising cases of NCDs. Towards this, parents, society, and government must come together for a decisive win against the disease which is gripping the world including India." Dr K. S. Soma Sekhar Rao, Consultant Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist, Department of Medical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Apollo Health City, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad added, "Health education and forums like this can certainly go a long way in improving awareness about NCDs among the masses. An unhealthy gut is the mother of all diseases, and we must take good care of our gut from a very young age for a long and healthy life." Rajesh Kesari, Founder and Director, Total Care Control, said, "NCDs have become a major health challenge in each country of the world including India. The amount of people suffering from NCDs in our country is simply huge and a lot of lives have already been lost to these diseases. --IANS san/dpb
In our modern life, we have certainly habits that we think are alright to follow but in reality, could be slowly eroding away at our health and immune systems.
Neha Mittal, the co-founder of healthcare device company OneAbove, shares 5 habits as dangerous as smoking:
Compromising sleep: Have you noticed how cranky and irritated you become the next day if you do not sleep properly? It is one of the side effects of ignoring quality sleep. As per health professionals, we must take at least 6 hours of sleep each day to make sure our body is rejuvenating at its natural speed. Any compromise in the sleep hours affects your immune system, respiratory and digestive system negatively.
Eating high animal-protein meals: Excessive consumption of meals rich in animal proteins such as cheese and meat can promote cancer growth due to a hormone named IGF1. The risk factor for this is equivalent to smoking. To avoid overconsumption of such proteins, do include plant proteins, like beans, in your meals.
Long hours sitting: Sticking to your chair for the whole day when you go to the office is as dangerous as smoking. Studies have linked sitting for long hours, whether it is for work or driving, to various cancers like lung, breast, and colon. Be sure to move around a little every one or two hours and then continue your work.
Being lonely: While in normal life, we may not view being lonely as an important issue, it certainly is. Being lonely makes one more prone to heart diseases. Not just that, it invites additional diseases such as anxiety, emotional disturbances, and even harmful addictions. Try to make some good friends who listen to you even when you are low.
Tanning in a controlled environment: Many people have started tanning in a controlled environment rather than taking in sunlight. Sunlight can indeed cause skin cancer, but tanning indoors is harmful too. Stop going to the local tanning salon and start taking adequate sunlight.
Read More► How to Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency While at Home
A new study has shown that eating millets reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and helps manage blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
The study indicates the potential to design appropriate meals with millets for diabetic and pre-diabetic people as well as for non-diabetic people as a preventive approach.
Drawing on research from 11 countries, the study published in Frontiers in Nutrition shows that diabetic people who consumed millets as part of their daily diet saw their blood glucose levels drop 12-15% (fasting and post-meal), and blood glucose levels went from diabetic to pre-diabetes levels.
The HbA1c (blood glucose bound to hemoglobin) levels lowered on average 17% for pre-diabetic individuals, and the levels went from prediabetic to normal status. These findings affirm that eating millets can lead to a better glycemic response.
The authors reviewed 80 published studies of which 65 were eligible for a meta-analysis involving about 1,000 human subjects, making this analysis the largest systematic review on the topic till date, said International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
"No one knew there were so many scientific studies undertaken on millets' effect on diabetes. These benefits were often contested, and this systematic review of the studies published in scientific journals has proven that millets keep blood glucose levels in check, reducing the risk of diabetes, and has shown just how well these smart foods do it," said Dr. S Anitha, the study's lead author and a senior nutrition scientist at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
"Diabetes contributed to very high disease burden from 1990-2016 in India. Diabetes-related health expenditure was over $7 million. There is no easy solution, and it requires a lifestyle change, and diet is a very important part of this. This study provides one part of the solution useful for individuals and governments. How we use this and implement it into programs needs careful planning," said Hemalatha, Director, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).
Raj Bhandari, one of the study's authors and a representative on the Indian National Technical Board of Nutrition, noted that additional attention to our health has been accelerated due to Covid-19 and diabetics are even more vulnerable to the virus. "Our diets play a critical role and if we could bring millets back as a major part of our diet, we would not only help in controlling diabetes, but we would also be adding important nutrients to our plate."
According to the International Diabetes Association, diabetes is increasing in all regions of the world. India, China and the US have the highest numbers of people with diabetes. Africa has the largest forecasted increase of 143% from 2019 to 2045, the Middle East and North Africa 96% and South East Asia 74%. The authors urge the diversification of staples with millets to keep diabetes in check, especially across Asia and Africa.
Strengthening the case for returning millets as staples, the study found that millets have a low average glycemic index (GI) of 52.7, about 30% lower glycemic index (GI) than milled rice and refined wheat, and about 14-37 GI points lower compared to maize. All 11 types of millets studied were either low (<55) or medium gi (55-69), gi being an indicator of how much and how soon a food increases blood sugar level. the review concluded that even after boiling, baking and steaming (most common ways of cooking grains) millets had lower gi than rice, wheat and maize.
"Millets are traditional foods consumed in India. Use of locally available millets as dietary diversification coupled with good lifestyle modifications would help reduce not only Type II diabetes but also gestational diabetes.," said study co-author Professor Kowsalya Subramaniam, (Food and Science Nutrition), Registrar at Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women (deemed to be university) in Tamil Nadu.
"The global health crisis of undernutrition and over-nutrition coexisting is a sign that our food systems need fixing. Greater diversity both on-farm and on-plate is the key to transforming food systems. On-farm diversity is a risk mitigating strategy for farmers in the face of climate change while on-plate diversity helps counter lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. Millets are part of the solution to mitigate the challenges associated with malnutrition, human health, natural resource degradation, and climate change. Trans-disciplinary research involving multiple stakeholders is required to create resilient, sustainable and nutritious food systems," said Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, Director General ICRISAT.
This study is first in a series of studies that has been worked on for the last four years as a part of the Smart Food initiative led by ICRISAT that will be progressively released in 2021. Included are systematic reviews with meta-analyses of the impacts of millets on: diabetes, anaemia and iron requirements, cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases and calcium deficiencies as well as a review on zinc levels.
As part of this, ICRISAT and the Institute for Food Nutrition and Health at the University of Reading have formed a strategic partnership to research and promote the Smart Food vision of making our diets healthier, more sustainable on the environment and good for those who produce it," explained Joanna Kane-Potaka, a co-author from ICRISAT and Executive Director of the Smart Food initiative. (agency)
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