Articles on metabolism

Iron for Better Metabolism

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We know how iron is important and its presence in the blood helps carry oxygen to the cells for energy production and good health of tissues. For a good metabolism oxygen is required in the cells. The iron helps carry the oxygen through blood to every cell. Do you remember how a good metabolism helps lose weight? 28-30  mg is the daily requirement of iron and is vital for a good immune system, build resistance and vital for brain development and concentration. Fainting, fatigue, rapid heartbeat are some of the common symptoms involved with iron deficiency. Iron has a low absorption rate in your body and can be increased with vitamin C.There are two forms of iron, Heme iron and non heam iron. The meats fall in the heam category which have a higher absorption in the body and non heme are plant food which have a low absorption rate. The oxylates and tannins present in plant food reduce the absorption of iron in the body. Especially caffeine, due to presence of tannins, when consumed with iron rich food can slow the rate of iron absorption?Traditionally the food was cooked in iron utensils which made the food rich in iron when prepared in them. The food absorbed iron from the iron handi and kadhai and other similar utensils. But with changing times the cooking utensils have changed too.Convenience and appearance  of non-stick utensils and plastic wares for micro waving,have soon replaced the iron utensils from the shelves. People consumed a decent amount of daily iron intake by just cooking the food in the utensil itself, but now with the paradigm shift one has to reach out to richer sources of iron to substitute for this change.Green leafy vegetables like spinach are good sources of iron. Dates, sprouts and green mint leaves provides a high amount of iron for the body. Nuts and seeds with fortified cereals and fish along with meat provide iron for metabolism. Add vitamin c for higher absorption of it.Here are some easy tips to increase your iron absorption in your body. Have sprouts with a squeeze of lime in it for higher iron absorption. Add citrus fruits which contain lots of vitamin C with iron rich foods to accelerate the absorption rate. Vegetables like tomato and broccoli are a good source of both vitamin C and iron.

How to Increase Metabolism

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Metabolism is the rate at which our body burns calories. Various factors influence metabolism such as age, gender, height, weight, genes, etc. But there are some day to day practices which affect the metabolic rate of the body. A high metabolic rate helps lose weight faster.Here are some tips shared to increase the metabolism:Don’t Starve: Due to lesser calorie intake the body automatically slows down the metabolism to maintain proper body functioning and to conserve energy.Proteins will boost: Proteins need more energy to metabolize. Hence consuming protein rich foods such as lean meat, fish, egg, beans, legumes, etc. keeps up the metabolic rate even after meals.Ice cold water: Drinking Ice cold water increases the metabolism as compared to room temperature water because the body uses up calories to heat up the water to normal body temperature.Small amounts of caffeine also work: Caffeine increases our heart rate and hence the metabolism is increased. So 1-2 cups of coffee a day is safe to consume to boost metabolism.Iron for transportation: Iron rich foods like fish, poultry, lentils, chickpea, spinach, kale helps in oxygen transport which is needed for energy production.Get enough amount of sleep: It is recommended to get atleast 8 hours of sleep everyday for adults. Lack of sleep leads to a slower metabolism and an increased appetite, which further increases the risk of weight gain and obesity.Exercise: It is considered one of the most effective ways of boosting metabolism especially when you are dieting. The slower metabolism due to lower calorie intake can be recovered by an exercise routine.Frequent meals will speed up: Along with all other benefits, consuming small frequent meals boosts the metabolic rate, since every time we eat we trigger our metabolism for a short period of time.Vitamins and Minerals also act as elevators: Calcium deficiency is found to slow down metabolism, so calcium rich sources such as dairy products should be consumed in appropriate amounts. Vitamin-D consumption should also be taken care of, as it is required for calcium absorption in body. So you need to get out in the sun and consume salmon and fortified products to get Vitamin D.

5 Habits That Are Slowing Your Metabolism

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Metabolism – the process of turning food you eat into energy for the functioning of heart, muscles and other organs. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn. But sometimes due to certain habits, our metabolism slows down, affecting our weight loss goals.Here are some habits that you should avoid, to prevent a slow metabolic rate.Unsystematic eating scheduleSome studies found that eating low fat diets with erratic meal times lead to more weight gain than balanced, normal meals at scheduled intervals. Researchers concluded that eating at the same time every day (without very long intervals between meals) trains the body to burn more calories between meals.Drinking less waterA lot of calories are burnt when one remains hydrated, so drinking less water will not help you lose weight. It actually slows the metabolism of the body. One should drink at least 10-12 glasses of water in a day.Skipping BreakfastWhen you skip breakfast, you not only binge on your other meals but also slow down the metabolism by conserving your energy instead of burning it. So, if you are looking to boost your metabolism, then never skip breakfast.Infrequent sleep patternMany researchers concluded that people who sleep less put on more weight than those who get sufficient sleep. The reason is that, in a person who is sleep deprived, hormones that control appetite show a reverse effect i.e. you start eating more, which ultimately slows down your metabolism leading to weight gain. One should get 7-8 hours of sleep in a day to avoid slow metabolism.Constant stressedStress is one factor which is common for all unwanted health issues. There is a hormone called cortisol, which is activated due to excessive stress. This leads to fat storage in the body, which slows down the metabolism. Try to reduce stress as much as possible.

5 Habits That Are Slowing Your Metabolism

Dr. Ratnesh Kumar Thakur, Dentist
Metabolism – the process of turning food you eat into energy for the functioning of heart, muscles and other organs. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn. But sometimes due to certain habits, our metabolism slows down, affecting our weight loss goals.Here are some habits that you should avoid, to prevent a slow metabolic rate.Unsystematic eating scheduleSome studies found that eating low fat diets with erratic meal times lead to more weight gain than balanced, normal meals at scheduled intervals. Researchers concluded that eating at the same time every day (without very long intervals between meals) trains the body to burn more calories between meals.Drinking less waterA lot of calories are burnt when one remains hydrated, so drinking less water will not help you lose weight. It actually slows the metabolism of the body. One should drink at least 10-12 glasses of water in a day.Skipping BreakfastWhen you skip breakfast, you not only binge on your other meals but also slow down the metabolism by conserving your energy instead of burning it. So, if you are looking to boost your metabolism, then never skip breakfast.Infrequent sleep patternMany researchers concluded that people who sleep less put on more weight than those who get sufficient sleep. The reason is that, in a person who is sleep deprived, hormones that control appetite show a reverse effect i.e. you start eating more, which ultimately slows down your metabolism leading to weight gain. One should get 7-8 hours of sleep in a day to avoid slow metabolism.Constant stressedStress is one factor which is common for all unwanted health issues. There is a hormone called cortisol, which is activated due to excessive stress. This leads to fat storage in the body, which slows down the metabolism. Try to reduce stress as much as possible.

Best Metabolism Boosting Foods

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Boosting your metabolism means burning more calories, and who wouldn't want that? You can positively affect your metabolism with what you eat. Food can stoke your metabolism, making it more efficient, which ultimately means a healthier you. Here’s how you can boost your metabolism.1. Eat Whole GrainsWhole grains are metabolism boosting foods with packed fiber. They also take more work to chew, literally making your mouth work harder. This increases the thermic effect of food — the calorie-burn bump we get from eating and digesting any given type of food. So, be sure to include brown rice, barley, oats, and millet in your diet.2. Sprinkle ChilliesIt has a pungent flavor and healthy healing powers, but the spice can also boost your metabolism by kicking up your body's temperature so just a small amount goes a long way. It is one of the metabolism boosting food groups.3. Go for NutsNuts, like almonds, cashews, and walnuts are excellent sources of magnesium - the nutrient is not only good for a healthy heart but it is also marked as a metabolism boosting foods.4. Use GingerGinger is another warming food that can add heat to your meals, temporarily revving up your metabolism. Add fresh minced ginger to stir-fries, soups, grains, and other Indian dishes.5. Eat YogurtCalcium along with other substances in dairy may actually increase your metabolism, telling your body to burn excess fat faster. The best results come from dairy products such as low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk .Try to include these metabolism boosting dairy products in your daily routine.6. Drink Green TeaGreen tea contains catechins, an antioxidant that raises resting metabolism by four percent (about 80 calories a day). It is also one of the best metabolism boosting foods.7. Eat More Fruits and VeggiesChewing foods takes energy, which is why eating fruits and veggies is one way to boost your metabolism.Taking more time to chew means your brain has more time to register that it's full, so you consume fewer calories. Aside from raw fruits and veggies, these filing veggie meals will boost your metabolism.

Increase Body Metabolism to Lose Weight

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We often blame our slow metabolism for our inability to lose weight. What does this term stand for and what value does it hold in maintaining life processes? Metabolism basically refers to the number of calories our body at rest uses each day to keep our body functioning.Is there a way this natural mechanism of body can be manipulated? Turns out, you can increase your body metabolism. Any of the following can help you rev your metabolic rate and burn more calories naturally.Exercise: Every time you exercise, your body's metabolic rate increases. It also helps you build muscle, that requires more energy to maintain, so that further increases your metabolic rate.Diet: Try and include lot of lean proteins (chicken, turkey) and fibre (beans, peas) in the diet. Body utilises 30% more energy in digesting it as compared to carbohydrates.Liquidate: Try and keep yourself rehydrated, it helps. When you drink cold water, your body actually burns more calories to compensate loss of the body temperature. Research has shown that drinking green tea helps the body burn calories at a faster rate.Time your meals: When you eat food, body burns some amount of food in digesting it, so a positive way to rev up your metabolism is by spreading your meals throughout the day. Have 6 small frequent meals rather than having 3 large meals throughout the day. This is a natural workout for your system.Get adequate sleep: 8 hrs of sleep is the recommendation for maintaining a healthy life, gaining muscle which helps you increase metabolic rate and losing weight.Vitamin & mineral supplements: Regular intake of vitamin and mineral helps in maintain the balance of chemical processes that change the food consumed into energy. It’s a good idea to include variety of fruits and vegetables for constant supply of vitamin and minerals to the body one can include supplements also.

Complex Carbohydrates - Yes Please!

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We did an expansive, elaborate post on keeping carbs in the diet about 90 days ago. While we did receive a ton of appreciation for the post, it still seems as though people are hugely afraid of this macronutrient. Thus, we figured this beloved nutrient deserves a re-post. So here they are again, 10 solid reasons to keep rotis, rice, pasta and potatoes on your plate:#10:First things first. Carbohydrates (consisting of atoms Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen for those well-versed in chemistry) are a nutrient which the body NEEDS. When you eat food (presuming you eat a wholesome meal like roti sabzi or daal rice), the energy which gets used FIRST by the body (even before proteins and fats) will be the energy that comes from a carbohydrate source#9:Sweating it out on the mill but not making any progress? It’s probably because you’re too afraid to allow yourself good recovery meals. A diet low in carbs can lead to a lack of energy during exercise, early fatigue and delayed recovery. Fat and protein are harder to turn into energy than carbs, which means you may feel low on energy during your exercise session#8:Our kidney, brain cells and the retina of the eye can ONLY use fuel/energy that comes from carb for it’s functions. Now you know why people who restrict carbs complain of a hazy vision and just cannot focus at work. You can’t literally see and/or feel the effects of carb restriction on your kidneys but that really doesn’t mean that you wait for an alarming blood test result to put an end to the restriction madness#7:When you cut out carbs, levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins, iron, calcium and zinc drop resulting in side-effects such as weak bones, lower immunity, coarse and dry hair, dry skin etc.#6:Low carbs in the body causes excess buildup of a compound called ‘ketones’ in the blood. Ketosis leads to headaches, weakness, nausea, dehydration and dizziness—none of which are fun to deal with#5:Fiber is part of the carb family. Yes darling, you read that right. We all love fiber. It keeps us full for a few hours and it helps us clear our system and remove all the toxins. No roti and rice=not enough fiber in the body to complete all these beautiful tasks#4:The irony is that we eliminate carbs from roti and rice (the good sources) and find ourselves craving chocolate, a pack of chips or reaching out for biscuits (high in fat and processed and thus, food which do more harm than good). As you may know already, carbs have 4 calories for every gram whereas fat has 9 calories (more than double) for each gram. So either we eat natural carbs or get forced into eventually reaching out for processed, high-fat snacks. It’s our choice#3:When you remove roti, rice and only eat sabzi or veggies, the body will not have enough carbs to use for energy. Instead, it will use protein (from food and from the muscles). Now, protein’s job in the body is NOT to give you energy. It has other work to do in the body. For instance, build antibodies and fight foreign invaders, build hormones for different body functions such as metabolism, help overall repair and recovery to name only a few.Now say you’re a stubborn human-being and you continue to restrict carbs. This means that the body is forced to use protein for energy which means it will breakdown muscle and convert it to energy. For one, your skin will sag which is not a pretty site but more importantly, it takes away from the work that’s originally assigned for protein.To explain with a metaphor, say my job for instance is nutrition counseling and my employee’s job is marketing and PR. If I decide that I no longer need an employee, I’ll be forced to do marketing and PR myself but that’s not my ORIGINAL job. It’s not what I am meant to do so I’ll do a crappy job and the business will suffer. Instead, if I am just smart enough to do the counseling myself and let the employee handle PR and marketing, everyone is happy! Do you see where I am going with this? Keep both protein and carbs in the diet as opposed to letting the poor protein do all the work#2:There is NO evidence and zero studies in the literature today which state that eating ‘wheat’ is associated with weight-gain. Eating more than the needs of your body, irrespective of what you eat, will cause weight-gain. Grains, especially whole-grains, are an important part of a healthy balanced diet. All types of grains provide carbs, vitamins and minerals and are also naturally low in fat (Yes!)#1:And finally, drum-roll please…cutting carbs is not the same as cutting calories! If you’re still overeating, whatever is excess will get converted to fat and stored in the body as what we lovingly refer to as ‘flab’

Uric Acid and Joint Problems - Facts and Myths

Dr. Anuj Shukla, Rheumatologist
There is a lack of awareness and many myths related to uric acid and joint problems. This article is to increase the awareness regarding this topic in general public and among doctors.What joint problems can uric acid cause?The only joint problem related to high blood uric acid level is “Gout”Symptoms of Gout are episodes of severe pain, redness and swelling at the base of the great toe (Image). It can involve different joints in the foot and occasionally ankles and knees. The episode starts with severe pain in great toe base that increases rapidly within first 12-hours to maximum intensity. Pain and swelling that subsides gradually over a week or two, leaving behind the almost normal joint.In addition to joint problems, high uric acid is related to kidney stones and high blood pressure.You are more likely to get Gout ifYou have high blood uric acid levels (>7mg/dl)Are maleAre an older adultAre obeseYou are taking certain medicines to increase urine outputEat certain foods, like red meat and organ meat (liver)Drink alcohol and sugary drinks, like soda sugar-sweetened juiceHave certain health conditions, like kidney failure, high blood pressure, and diabetesHave had a kidney transplantWhat joint problems are not due to high uric acid?Uric acid related joint problems are not seen in young women and does not cause mild joint pain. Uric acid cannot lead to continuous joint pain and swelling for months (>45 days). Mild pain at the base with a gradual outward deviation of great toe over months to years is not due to high uric acid. Uric acid does not cause whole body pain. Uric acid also does not lead to lower back pain.How is gout diagnosed?Your doctor will diagnose gout based on your symptoms mentioned above and examination of joints. He may require X-rays, ultrasound, and sometimes joint fluid aspiration to confirm the diagnosis. Blood uric acid level is not necessary to diagnose Gout.How is gout treated?Treatment has two parts.  It starts with rest, ice pack application and use of painkillers to control the pain and swelling of the joint involved. Later in some patients medicines to decrease blood uric acid level below <6mg/dl are required. This medicines to lower uric acid levels once started needs to be taken regularly and will prevent further episodes of joint pain. Lifestyle changes like weight reduction, avoiding alcohol, taking water enough to avoid dehydrations also help to control gout.Do you need treatment for all high uric acid levels (>7 mg/dl)?No, there is no need to treat high uric acid levels that are not causing above joint problem or kidney stones.Treatment of high uric acid is required only in patients withRepeated attacks of Gout (described above)Patients with long duration kidney diseasesThose who have repeated kidney stones with high blood uric acidWhat diet precautions I should take if I have Gout?There is a wrong concept among doctors and public, that Gout patients should not take vegetarian protein diet for example pulses and whole grains. Uric acid and arthritis have nothing to do with high protein diet. Uric acid is the end product of purine metabolism and not protein.Diet to be avoided by patients with high uric acid and gout areNon-vegetarian diet for example red meat, liver, and kidney, artificially sweetened soda drinks and excessive alcohol intake. Most of the western literature recommends taking more of vegetarian sources of proteins, as they are low in purine. Increasing milk and milk products in the diet decreases blood uric acid.What if I don’t take any treatment for Gout?In the absence of appropriate treatment and care, over months to years, uric acid crystals get deposited in joints and can damage them forever. They can also get deposited below skin leading to multiple swellings in the body, medically termed as Tophaceous Gout.References for further readingRichette P et al. 2016 updated EULAR evidence-based recommendations for the management of gout. Ann Rheum Dis 2016;0:1–14.Neogi T. In the Clinics-Gout. Ann Intern Med. 2016;165(1):ITC1-ITC16.Jordan MK et al. British Society for Rheumatology and British Health Professionals in Rheumatology Guideline for the Management of Gout. Rheumatology (2007) 46 (8): 1372-1374.Khanna D et al. 2012 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for Management of Gout Part I: Systematic Nonpharmacologic and Pharmacologic Therapeutic Approaches to Hyperuricemia. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Oct; 64(10): 1431–1446.Khanna D et al. 2012 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for Management of Gout. Part 2: Therapy and Antiinflammatory Prophylaxis of Acute Gouty Arthritis. 2012 Oct; 64(10): 1447–1461.

During Monsoon, Ayurveda Can Cure Your Stomach Upset

Dr. Satish Sawale, Ayurveda
Indigestion is very common in cloudy and humid climate of monsoon often give rise to issues likeHeartburn, Bloating, Diarrhea, Constipation and gas. If the issue not attended on time, it can lead to even torturing issues like GERD or gastroesophageal reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. Ayurveda shares a concept known as Ama, which can be termed Non-toxic metabolites and toxins created by faulty metabolism / indigestion. There are many ways to treat to indigestion in an ayurvedic way. Let us look at some tips for the same: Langhanam, swedanam, Hot water and  use of Dried Ginger i.e. Sunthi, cumin seeds, Ajwayan carom seeds some salts and  salty pickles is so common in Indian culture and being used since ancient times i.e. tradition.Aloe vera: An ounce of aloe vera a day will keep indigestion away. Break off, a leaf and scoop some gel into a smoothie for smooth digestion.Turmeric: Haldi or Turmeric helps in reducing bloating and is one of the most commonly used spices found in ayurveda. This spice is a staple in indian cooking as well, where pretty much all dishes are seasoned with cooked turmeric.Maintaining Biological clock and Traditional Healer fasting : For better digestion, one must take meals at the same time everyday. Also, do not sit down for the next meal before the previous meal has been digested properly, its seen over eating causes much more issues after certain age say 40+ so once in a week light food or skipping food or usually on full moon or on No moon there is fast that adds value.Choosing healthy food: one must avoid unhealthy food that are excessively fried, fatty, sweet or cold so as to aid the digestive fires in doing their job effectively.Triphala with Saindhav(Rock salt): This combination of three fruits (Avala,Behada and Hirada)with saidhav ensures that your digestive system remains in good working condition during monsoonWater: one must have clean filtered potable adequate of water a day(Excess water must be avoided), in order to flush the toxins out, keeping in mind Monsoon causes much more water born diseases so use of Crystal Allum, Nivali/ Nirmali/clearing nut Beej(seeds) to clean and to deodorize Ayurveda offers Mustha/chandan/ushir/Taruni/Jai/jui/chanpak and Bakul flowers.Rest and bed Room: sleep (1 of major pillar of health and fitness tripod like Diet and Celibacy) is a major factor that cures stress and creates a balance of sorts in one's routine, thus aiding proper digestion. Room must be clean as excess  humidity can cause Allergic skin and Respiratory issues in Kids and elderly population so fumigate space with sunthi / Gugulu / Tulasi / Jatamasi / Haldi / Ajawayan / peels of Garlis or Dehumidifier can be used.Exercise: Those who eager to stabilise at Health and Fitness and yeah Finances too must engage in  some form of movement and exercise (Actively) is imperative to keep the digestive system in prime working condition. Walk and yoga, especially are ideal to boost one's digestive health.Meditation: This is one of the best ways to give digestion a positive push with a good dose of mindfulness and awareness for better balance in the body.Massage: a good oil massage on a regular basis keeps the blood flow in order and ensures that all the organs function well.In ayurveda, the point is to heal and prevent, which is why the methods tend to get to the root of the problem.Basti Therapy and Rasayan Therapy: For details communicate with  Ayurveda college Hospital Or your Ayurveda dr in your city