All About Probiotics

Hi friends, happy Friday!

For a long while, all days were so similar but now I have again started loving the weekends. Why? Because of start of online-schooling. The precious extra hours of  morning sleep is what makes the weekends special, again!

In my last post on sabja/basil seeds, I wrote that pectin found in them is a prebiotic and some of you messaged me telling I made a spelling mistake there. I sometimes do make a spelling mistake or other, especially on the more hectic days…but this time, it was not a mistake. What I meant was prebiotic indeed! But I do realize that I owe a big thank you to all those of you who read my blogs so closely 🙂

Most of us are probably already aware of the term “probiotic”, thanks to advertisements by  many yogurt brands and fermented milk-based health drinks. The term isn’t very old but has become very popular recently.

Before we come to understanding the difference between probiotics and prebiotics, let’s understand probiotics first.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms i.e. the bacteria that are found naturally in our body (mainly intestine) and help our body in breaking down the food. Also called gut-bacteria, friendly/healthy bacteria or gut-flora, these bacteria are mostly divided into two families: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Our body generally takes care of our gut-health on its own. However gut-flora can be disbalanced due to bad diet, infections, medications, hygiene habits etc. It becomes even more important to re-build a healthy balance in such cases.

Did You Know?

Our intestines contain 100 billion bacteria (of 1000 various kinds) and some of these are unique to each one of us, quite like our fingerprints!

Benefits

  • Probiotics helps in maintaining the healthy balance of friendly bacteria in our digestive system
  • Not just physical health, some researches have shown that probiotic foods can improve some mental health disorders too such as depression, stress and anxiety etc. How? By producting serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical. Wow!
  • Boosts immune system and this reduce the severity or frequency of cold and certain allergies
  • Prevents and even treats diarrhea
  • Toxic removal from our bodies
  • Better metabolism

Natural Sources Of Probiotics

There are many reasons why newborns are advised to be breastfed and probiotics are one of the main reasons! Breast milk is naturally rich in probiotics and sometimes, formula milk is fortified by the probiotics to get it closer to breastmilk.

Apart from occurring naturally in our bodies, certain foods such as yogurts (with live strains), tempeh (fermented soyabean), miso (Japanese seasoning with soyabeans as main ingredient), kefir (fermented milk drink), kimchi (fermented spicy Korean dish with cabbage or other veggies), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), pickles (or gherkins, are cucumbers pickled in salt and water), kombucha (fermented black/green tea drink) and certain cheeses etc are rich sources of probiotics.

On desi front – curd, regular yogurt, buttermilk, idli, dosa, kanji, achhar, dhokla etc though are not true probiotics as not standardized, provide many similar benefits.

And no, wine and beer, though fermented cannot be considered probiotics!

Probiotic Supplements

According to the official definition of probiotics by WHO, any strain or product can be classified as a probiotic only if it contains a stipulated amount of live microorganisms which are resistant to gastric juices etc to reach the target area successfully in our body and be of any actual benefit.

Probiotics are also sold as powder/liquid supplements such as Yakult as well as capsules or tablets. Some good quality multivitamins also include probiotics in their composition. Remember, not every yoghurt can be sold as a probiotic unless it clearly mentions the live culture it contains!

I have even been prescribed a urinary tract probiotic as a part of my UTI treatment once. And I am sure most of us have used, Enterogermina, Novogermina and the kinds, at one point or other…especially for our kids. Have you?

In The End

Before you start a probiotic supplement of any sort, make sure you are not allergic to the particular strain found in it. If someone is lactose-intolerant, a dairy-free probiotic is an obvious choice.

In general, probiotic supplements are considered safe. People on antibiotic medication can benefit from probiotics a lot as the antibiotics are prone to destroy the balance of gut-flora by killing healthy bacteria along with the bad ones.

If you have any pre-existing medical issues or any immunity-related condition, do check with your doctor/nutritionist, before you choose your probiotic.

Do join me on Instagram for more such info, tips and daily motivation on

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health & Peace

Finally, The Sabja/Basil Seeds

Hi friends, happy Friday!

How is it going? Tracking and waiting for the vaccine these days? Me too!! 🙂 I know it is still a while away but hope keeps me going. What keeps you going these monotonous days?

I admit, this time I went a little wrong about the sequence of my blog-posts. I did not anticipate the interest and the feedback, in the super-seeds. When I wrote about chia, it was supposed to be one post on it but then, I got so many queries regarding the difference between chia and sabja/basil seeds that I did the next post on that.

After the post on differences, many of you told me that I should have done chia first…then sabja/basil seeds and then, the difference between the two. And I realize that would have been ideal, yes. Nonetheless, here I am today, rectifying that error. Thank you for all your love and feedback. Appreciate it… and all your kind words, always!

So, today’s post is all about Sabja or Basil seeds.

Sabja/Basil seeds are also called sweet basil, tukmaria or falooda seeds. These come from a plant called Ocimum basilicum, commonly called sweet basil. These seeds go a long way back in Ayurvedic and Chinsese medicine.

Sabja seeds are tiny, black and look like Til/sesame seeds until they are soaked. Once soaked, they are at their nutritional best. When put in a liquid, they start swelling up immediately with a translucent white film coating each black seed, becoming twice their size! They have a mild basil-y flavour. The seeds also make the beverages a bit chewy as well as add some healthy fibre to them.

Did You Know?

For baking, one can grind the seeds and added directly to flour, rather than add soaked seeds. These seeds can also be used as  a replacement to eggs while cooking and baking. Have you ever tried?

Nutritional Value

1 tablespoon (13 gms) of sabja/basil seeds contain 60 calories, 7 gms of carbs, 2.5 gms of fat, 7 gms of fibre and 2 gms of protein. It is also rich in iron, calcium, magnesium and is very high on Omega-3 fatty acids (1240 mg).

Benefits

  • Natural Coolant – And this is why sabja/basil seeds are put into falooda. They are known to reduce the body heat and have a soothing effect on our digestive system. Perfect for our summer drinks, smoothies, yogurt and shakes!
  • High on Fibre – Since these seeds are high on fibre and absorb a good quantity of water, they help in relieving constipation
  • Pectin – Pectin present in sabja/basil seeds is a soluble fibre which has prebiotic benefits i.e. it is good for our gut health. It can also help in lowering blood pressure if taken on regular basis
  • Blood Glucose Level Management – Sabja/Basil seeds are known to prevent the spike of blood glucose levels in Type 2 Diabetes if taken on regular basis
  • Good source of Calcium, Magnesium and Iron – A great source of all these for vegans especially
  • Weight Management – Might help in weight management as the seeds promote  a sense of fullness due to pectin and water absorption
  • Good source of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Used as a thickener for soups, sauces and desserts etc

Industrial Usage

Sabja/Basil seeds are used as a thicknener and stabilizer in various food products such a ice-cream, salad dressings, jellies etc and  also as a fat replacement in mayonnaise etc

Moderation Is Important

Start slowly, with 2 teaspoons a day in your diet to avoid and then increase gradually to avoid bloating etc. Best to have them soaked and in moderation. Check with your doctor/nutritionist if you want to add more sabja/basil seeds to your diet especially if you are on blood-thinning medication or are pregnant.

In short, sabja/basil seeds are generally safe and high on nutritional value. However, if you are looking at these for weight loss goals, add these to your overall ‘fitness plan’ which should also include some sort of  a regular fitness regime and a healthy diet. No excuses to that!

Hope you liked today’s post also. Do check out my Purvottasana (reverse plank or upward plank) pose on Instagram here:

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health & Peace

Chia Seeds vs Sabja/Basil Seeds

Hi friends, happy Friday!

How has it been going? Settling down in the ‘new normal’ with social distancing, masks, work from home, online schooling and all? It is just not the same but one couldn’t help it! Did you have any major plans that got halted or delayed due to this pandemic?

Last week, we decoded one of the ‘superfoods’ – chia seeds, didn’t we? If you missed it, do read it here, to understand what the fuss is all about! After the post, a few of you asked the difference between the chia seeds and the sabja seeds. It is confusing, no doubt but I promise, not after you finish reading today’s post 🙂

In fact, long back when we first shifted to Mumbai, as a part of the ritual that I am sure every newbie to Mumbai follows, we went to Juhu Chowpatty and since it was a part of the ritual, we went to the brightest shop there to taste the famous falooda (a kind of cold dessert with noodles and ice cream). That was the first time, I met sabja seeds. I asked the guy at the stall about the little black seeds and he told me that they were tulsi seeds. I didn’t believe him because I never saw tulsi seeds like those but I found it pointless to probe him further. They looked more like caviar to me but of course, that couldn’t be either.

Long story short, I enjoyed my falooda and happily came back home…and read more about what exactly I ate that day. I was so curious! Turned out, the guy was not too far from the truth. Those were basil seeds! Lot of people still think that the Tulsi is called Basil in English.

However, the fact is that sabja seeds (also called tukmaria seeds or falooda seeds) come from sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) and hence are also called sweet basil seeds. Tulsi plant is from basil family too but it is indeed different. Tulsi is commonly called holy basil with a different scientific name of Ocimum tenuiflorum.

Chia vs Sabja/Basil Seeds

  • Colour – Chia seeds are a mix of shades of brown/grey/black/white whereas sabja/basil seeds are uniformly black
  • Absorption – Chia seeds take time to absorb water while sabja/basil seeds begin to swell as soon as put in liquid. Sabja/basil seeds also grow larger in volume after absorption with a translucent coating around
  • Origin – Chai seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala whereas sabja/basil seeds is native to India and Mediterranean region
  • Taste – Chia seeds are bland or neutral in taste and take the flavour of whatever they are mixed with. However sabja/basil seeds impart their own basil-y flavour to whatever they are mixed with
  • Texture – When soaked, chia seeds are soft to eat while sabja/basil seeds are more gluey
  • Consumption – Chia seeds can be eaten raw or soaked whereas sabja/basil seeds can only be had after soaking

Both the seeds have their own set of advantages. I covered chia seeds in my last post. Do you want me to write about sabja/basil seeds in my next one?

I hope that you found the post today useful and now, you would never mix your seeds now. Gotta mix up the seeds while eating them though!

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health & Peace

What’s the Fuss About Chia?

Hi friends, happy Friday!

How is it going?

I wanted to write about a completely different topic but then changed it last minute. It was a topic close to my heart, a cause of much annoyance and still it taught me an important lesson. But the thoughts were pouring in hard and it was getting all jumbled up. Maybe next week!

So instead, it’s chia seeds today. We all have heard of chia seeds, if not already had them one way or the other! They are all a rage currently and are hailed as a superfood, for a good reason! Very healthy, very versatile and very nutritious, chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, a Mexican native.

Did You Know?

Chia seeds date back to ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations and in fact, “chia” in Mayan means ‘strength’!

Benefits Of Chia Seeds

They literally pack quite a punch in a small serving! About 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contain 139 calories, 4 gms of protein, 9 grams of fat, 12 gms of carbs and 11 gms of fibre.

  • Chia seeds are an unprocessed whole-grain, non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Chia seeds are low in calories and high in fibre, contain good fats and lot of important vitamins/minerals, other than a decent amount of protein
  • Loaded with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Good fat and good carbs. Majority of the carbs in chia is in the form of fibre which our body can’t digest
  • Great source of fibre as 40% of its weight is from fibre
  • Good source of plan-based protein
  • Considered beneficial in weight management, cholesterol management and blood-sugar management

Easy To Consume

As they lack a taste of their own, chia seeds are very easy to consume and one can add them to any dish – be it smoothie or salad…even baked goods and desserts!

Chia seeds absorb water and can be blended into anything as well. They require no pre-usage preparations and can be eaten raw or easily baked. Multigrain breads with chia seeds in it, are my favorite!!

Another favorite is an overnight-soaked rolled oats dish with chia seeds that I love having for breakfast. Very low calorie, satisfying and no artificial sugars! It is super-simple, no fuss, yummy and delicious! Vegans can make it in milk-substitutes as easily.

Those who have joined me on Instagram, already know how to make it. I have shared it a couple of times in my stories and I will do it again, tomorrow! If you want to join me on Instagram, for more healthy tips etc and a daily dose of motivation, here is the link:

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Mostly, anyone can consume chia seeds (in moderation, of course) however people who are on high BP medications or are allergic to til (sesame)/mustard seeds already, can use it with caution or with an advice from your doctor/nutritionist.

And while you eat a good balanced diet, don’t forget to include a regular fitness regime in your daily routine for complete health benefits. Good diet and a regular fitness regime go hand in hand, in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable as well as enjoyable.

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Baby-Blues

Hi friends, Happy Friday!

First of all, a big thank you to all those of you who shared with me their quiz results and/or experience battling some form of mental illness in response to my last post on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In case you missed the post, you can read it here.

Also, a big hug to all those who have joined me on Instagram recently. Do join me on the link below and cheer me on my self-challenge to do plyo/clap/explosive/ballistic push-ups. Not easy but then what is easy in life?

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Coming back to today’s topic, there is another kind of depression which has been hugely overlooked in India especially. It is called Postpartum Depression. Surprisingly, it is a very common problem (80% of new moms experience this for the first 1-2 weeks) and is easily diagnosed as well as easily treatable with medicines/therapy.

It is basically a kind of depression which many parents, mostly mothers though, suffer from after having a baby.

It is important to seek help as soon as it is noticed otherwise it not only affects the mother but the newborn and the entire family as well. With good self-care, support and therapy combined together, a full recovery is very much possible.

Causes

Other than the fact that it is very common and the symptoms fade away in 15-20 days on their own, there could be a few more reasons for postpartum depression to occcur

  • hormonal changes in body
  • inadequate diet or sleep
  • previous history of anxiety and depression
  • no support from spouse or family
  • recent stressful or traumatic events

Symptoms

Most of us feel anxious, tearful and overwhelmed after giving birth. With me it didn’t happen immediately. The first 5 days spent in the hospital were relaxed, happy ones (despite the severe headaches) as the nurses took very good care of me and the baby. I had a happy and healthy pregnancy and we were waiting for our elder one with great anticipation.

In fact, when as a part of hospital protocol, a psychologist came to visit me, I was wondering what was even the purpose of that trip! I understood the importance much later.

As soon as I came home, I felt overwhelmed. No actual help or actual experience, too many visitors and much of unwanted pieces of advice didn’t help the cause. I was told that everyone feels the same and it’s no big deal. Thankfully, it all didn’t last and after around 15-20 days, I found my foot-hold and the ‘baby-blues’ disappeared. Thankfully, I could always attach to and breastfeed the baby without any difficulty whatsoever. I am sure it helped a lot!

In most cases, the baby-blues don’t last longer for more than 2-3 weeks. If the symptoms last longer, it could be postnatal depression. It can start immediately or start any time during the first year.

The symptoms include:

  • feeling low, sad and overwhelmed
  • mood swings and sense of hopelessness
  • difficulty in bonding with the baby
  • lack of enjoyment and interest in worldly concerns/other people
  • fatigue
  • eating disorders
  • sleep anxiety
  • lack of concentration or decision-making ability
  • scary thoughts of hurting or deserting the baby (or self)

Getting Help

I later realized the purpose of the psychologist’s visit during my hospital stay but then I doubt, most women get this privilege which can sense the early signs in many cases. Did you get the psychologist’s visit during your hospital stay?

Most important here is to understand the signs and not to struggle with it alone. Postpartum depression is like any other illness or maternity complication. It is not someone’s fault or weakness to get depressed.

What Can Be Done

  • Medication
  • Therapy and seeking professional help
  • Self-Care: Taking time out to relax, sleep or do other things of interest is very important. Equally important is to share the anxious feelings with the family or close friends. Asking for help at this point- from spouse/family is a great thing to do. Following a light exercise schedule and good nutritious diet is very important and helpful.

In The End

There isn’t much that can be done to prevent the postpartum depression from occurring. A healthy lifestyle and balanced diet can help a lot. Early signs should be taken seriously. Discussing the mental health history, if any, with the doctor much in advance would be highly recommended.

Kindness starts from self, first of all. Let us all be kind to ourselves and give ourselves a fighting chance in not just illnesses but in every area of life. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, we are being kind to our selves. Once we are capable of it to ourselves, we can extend the kindness to others 🙂

So, could you relate to the post today? Do let me know.

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health & Peace

PTSD: Quiz & Kindness

Hi friends, happy Friday!

Those of you who have joined me on Instagram know already that I have taken up a 25 pushups for 25 days challenge (no breaks in between!). The first two days were hard and I felt out of form but today was the 5th day and I am catching up fast. Did 25 non-stop diamond push-ups today, yay!

I took up the challenge for two reasons:

  1. I needed to get out of my comfort zone
  2. PTSD

It has been almost 4 months since I last did a good HIIT work-out at the gym and though I have shifted my focus to Yoga mostly these past few months, I do miss the heavy-duty workouts. Having said that, Yoga is what’s keeping me calm and positive. It is slow and along with a day full of house-chores and kids, is sustainable on a regular basis!

What are you doing to stay fit and calm these days? Do let me know!

Coming back to the second reason, the challenge also stands for a good cause. The challenge is promoted by Dr. Sione Vaka, New Zealand to raise awareness about PTSD.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic, terrifying event – by experience or by being a mere witness. A traumatic event can bring on severe anxiety and related symptoms. Time heals everything in many cases and with good self-care as well as a good support system, the symptoms fade.

If the symptoms get worse and/or last for a longer period of time, it might be PTSD and getting a proper treatment becomes critical for such people.

What Can Cause PTSD

Stressful experiences, a high-stress job, a death or its threat, severe injury/life-threatening event or sexual violations are generally the main triggers of PTSD. It can also be in the person’s family history i.e. inherited.

Symptoms  for PTSD

When the traumatic event starts affecting negatively the day-to-day functioning of a person and social interactions, it is time to seek professional help. The symptoms and their degree can vary from one person to another, suicidal thoughts being an extreme stage. Depression, anxiety, substance-abuse, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts are among the severe symptoms of PTSD.

PTSD screening Quiz

I have found a PTSD screening quiz online and you can take it to screen yourself or someone else, for it. It’s just 6 questions long and the credit to the quiz goes to the website.

https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/ptsd-quiz/

Let Us Take A Pledge

To not call people suffering from metal illnesses ‘weak’ and rating ourselves any better to them! The person seeking professional help is actually a brave person who has the wisdom to accept the problems and face the challenges head-on, giving it her/his best shot. It isn’t easy to do that.

Do we think people suffering from Covid-19 or viral fever or dengue or even cancer, weak? No, right? Then why treat people who suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD any different? If we can’t do anything else, at least be kind and keep to ourselves rather than judging and making it harder for them.

Come, join me on Instagram to take up the challenge with me or to just spread awareness/support people suffering from mental illnesses…or just be kind!

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Multigrain vs Wholegrain

Hi friends

Happy Friday? How are you all doing?

First of all, thank you so much for your appreciation and kind words for my last post which was on packaged atta with multigrains. I am glad you agree that it is all such a scam with only 9.1% multigrains in it. If you missed, do read the post here.

In today’s time, our food (packaged as well as fresh produce) has become very specific and dubious, both. Lot of new terms are used to specify the food items. Sometimes, brands are clear in their communication and mostly, they are not. It is up to us to make our choices well aware and filter the information, as per our requirements.

It is one thing to write organic, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, non-GMO, multigrain, wholegrain, raw, unprocessed, fat-free, sugar-free etc on the package and it’s another, to actually be it.

It has become a word-puzzle for us consumers. If it says organic, it might not necessarily be fully organic, pure or something else important. If it’s fat-free, it most likely not free from preservatives. If it’s sugar-free, it might not be low in calories and the list is endless.

What should have been really simple for us has been made so complicated by these gimmicky and dishonest marketing practices!

Anyways, let us talk about two new food concepts. Multigrains are today synonymous with health and healthy. Anything that says ‘multigrains’ ought to be healthy, isn’t it? And why not, a good diet should include various grains to reap maximum benefits. Mixed grains, seeds etc hold significant health benefits and a diet including all this in right amount can do wonders for us.

What exactly is Multigrain? Any product that contains two or more  different grains can be called multigrains. Its nutritional value is higher as compared to to a single grain flour such as wheat.  Multigrains mostly include wheat, millets, oats and flax etc

And Wholegrain? A grain has three parts; the fibre-rich bran, the nutritious germ and the endosperm, rich in carbs.  A few whole grains are – whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, corn, sorghum, barley, rye, spelt, quinoa etc

Refined grains are mostly grains without their bran and germ.

Did You Know?

That popcorn is a whole grain!! It is high on nutrients and has significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Having said that, if its prepared with large amounts of fat, salt and sugar etc, it can also be very unhealthy!

So, before you reach out for a big tub of expensive popcorn at the movie theater…ahem, just for nutrition’s sake, stop!! You want to eat it for taste, good enough…but do know it is smothered in unhealthy fats, artificial flavours and high in salt/sugar thus, also high in calories.

The Bottom Line

It would be wise to know that both the two terms, Multigrain and Wholegrain are independent and not interchangeable. One doesn’t automatically include the other.

So, if you are buying something multigrain, might as well still check if it has whole grains in it. Otherwise it could still be refined flour, just from different grains!

Hope you liked today’s post. Do share it with your family and friends so that they can make informed choices too. If you want to join me on Instagram for more such information, do join on the link below

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

The Reality Of Packaged Atta/Flour With Multigrains

Hi friends, happy Friday!

How is it going? To be honest, I don’t even remember how many days it has been since this “stay home, stay safe’ situation started. Hope it ends soon!

Last week, a respite from the monotony came with the addition of a little furry member to our family and that means that the ‘doggie dilemma’ is over! Read this post here if you don’t recall what I am referring to.

Among many inconveniences all these lock-downs and slowing down of the entire system has brought, there is one that I haven’t been able to work around. And that’s sourcing ‘my own brand’ of whole-grain, multi-grain atta/flour, for rotis/chapattis. I have made my own blend of various whole-grain flours of wheat, millets etc and I get it milled at a local chakki/mill for usage at home, on a regular basis.

Right now, getting my whole-grain, multi-grain atta is not possible and even though I stocked enough initially, it’s over now. So as plan B, I bought an apparently highly superior wheat flour from a reputed brand and to be honest, it felt more like maida than wheat flour to me.

You must be wondering why I am complaining so much about ‘my atta’ when there are many multi-grain variants available in market today.

I will tell you why. When I started on my Health & Fitness journey a few years back, I bought the multi-grain atta from a very reputed brand and though it was healthy and convenient till…I read the label. And what a rip-off  it was!!

I clicked a picture from the packaging and see for yourself what I mean.

The wheat flour is almost 90.9% and the multigrain is only about 9.1%. Also, nowhere it says it’s whole grain. The 90.9% wheat flour is not whole wheat. I am sure the multigrain in it isn’t whole grain either. Yes, it does matter. Multi-grain and whole-grain are not the same!

To increase the fibre content, psyllium husk powder is included but had it been whole-grain, no added fibre would have been needed.

Why the company did it? To keep the look and taste of our rotis intact, the way we are used to…white, good-looking chapattis! If it included whole-grains such as wheat bran…the rotis wouldn’t have been so white, for one. Who cares for health and nutrition? Not the brands, for sure.

Anyways, the choice should be ours. You want white, good-looking rotis, sure you get it. You want healthier rotis, here you are! Ideally, it should be this simple!

My whole-grain multigrain rotis/chapattis might not look white (they look more brown) or as good but they are soft, yummy and super-healthy…day after day, everyday!

I think it is wrong for a brand to proclaim, in bold letters all the multi-grains it has and how beneficial they are when the percentage of these multi-grains is so low, so as to be of any benefit!

These brands with multi-grain variants of wheat-flour in the market are not being honest and though they have mentioned the ingredients on the packaging (at the back), most of us don’t ever read these. We buy these variants in high hopes of health and nutrition, based on these claims.

However, till the time brands stop marketing their products as super-healthy and something that they aren’t really, let us all stay aware. Trust only when we have clear proof and not because the advertisement claimed it to healthy.

Hope today’s post opened up many eyes and made many of us more aware. For more such info, fitness/nutrition tips as well as regular motivation for a healthier lifestyle, do join me on Instagram on link below:

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Being Judgemental

Hi Friends

Happy Friday. Hope you are keeping safe and peaceful.

This post might be another brick in the wall but such are the times! The entire last week was about tons of speculations from so many people and so much coverage on media on a suicide and issues of mental health. So many perspectives! A lot of aftermath happening.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but before we voice them, we need to think what does it say about ourselves, leave alone the other person. There are debates and then, there are defamations but do we even see the core issue beneath all the scandal and sensationalization?

When we post on various social media and Whatsapp status about ‘RIPs’ and ‘Reach Out’ messages, we are just following a trend and most of us never even gave it a thought probably. People in their worst times, don’t turn to others in most cases because they know they would be judged. For their failures, for their success and for everything in between.

And Judge we do! We all judge others, some of us always and some of us, some times. But we do. We judge people and feel victorious (or wiser) doing so even if we know nothing about the person and her/his context.

Judging others probably sometimes can help us in making safe decisions. It starts becoming wrong when the benchmark for judging are based on someone’s looks, clothes and how many times those clothes have been repeated. It starts becoming wrong when we judge others based on their addresses, their careers and their financial status.

It also starts becoming wrong when we don’t give credit to someone else when is due. It starts to become wrong when we talk about the person, behind her/his back. It also is wrong when we feel only our way of life or style is better than someone else’s be it parenting, career or other life-choices. It is wrong when we do not know their entire story firsthand!

Why We Judge

I guess life would be a lot easy for everyone if we knew why people judge. It would probably help us to not get too affected by it.

I feel we judge out of our beliefs and insecurities. We judge because it makes us feel superior to the other person. People judge others based on their own experiences and to feel better about themselves.

So, what does it say about us?

It says that we are not enough…for ourselves. We need to put others down to feel better ourselves. That we are not capable of being any better, on our own!

It says that we are neither well-read nor well-aged and that our parents never probably taught us how to be a good human being, needed more than anything else. For our own happiness!

Because after what we have gone through in life and despite all the failures and achievements…we have failed to understand the true meaning of self-love and acceptance!

And it’s a two-way highway. If you judge others you definitely care about being judged yourself too. And if we judge and get affected when we get judged in return, it’s a perfect recipe for unhappiness. Because it would bring constant comparison and negativity in our own lives.

We all say love yourself but “Loving Yourself” excludes being judgemental. We just can’t love ourselves if we keep judging. It’s not possible.

I have done it too, judge I mean. Now, I try not to. I put in a conscious effort not to judge anyone for anything. I try to see things in a context and that context is different for everyone! I have accepted that life is many a times, grey and different people perceive different things differently – as well as act differently in a similar situation. One thumb rule doesn’t apply to all!

For me, it’s a constant learning, still a long way to go but at least I have learnt to accept rather than deny it. What about you? Do you judge and do you feel it’s right? Is there another dimension to it all? Tell me, I won’t judge you for having a different opinion 🙂

Did you find today’s post thought-provoking? Do share with like-minded people. Do join me on Instagram if you haven’t already!

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Till next Friday

Namaste, Health and Peace

Vitamin C: Today and Forever

Hi Friends

Happy Friday! How are you all? Safe and healthy, I hope.

I almost didn’t post today. My laptop’s keyboard stopped working and as it is, I barely get my own laptop these days. The girls need it for their online classes. Right now, am working on a borrowed laptop. And it just isn’t the same, I swear!

I wrote about Vitamin D a few days back, in two separate posts. The first one was about Vitamin D and second, on its types, which type is good for you among some other interesting information. In case you missed, read the post here and here.

We have been staying indoors for more than a couple of months and many more are likely hence it was meant to be a reminder for you to assess your Vitamin D status and take supplements if needed. Hope it helped!

Today’s post is about another essential vitamin that we need to take either through our diet or as supplements if needed. It’s even more important in today’s situation as it is considered to be an immunity booster as well. Can you guess which vitamin am I talking about?

Yes, It is Vitamin C.

What is Vitamin C?

Also known as Ascorbic acid and Ascorbate, it is a water soluble essential vitamin and is found in many fruits as well as vegetables. Citrus fruits (orange, grapefruits etc), fruits yellow in colour (e.g. mango, papaya, pineapple), berries (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries) are considered a rich source of Vitamin C. Other good sources are cantaloupe, kiwi, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, watermelon etc.

Our body can’t produce vitamin C on its own. We need to get it from our diets or through supplements. While it is always better to get our daily dosage of vitamin C from various food sources and it isn’t very hard to still, if needed, supplements are easy to take as well. The recommended daily intake for women is around 75 mg and for men, 90mg.

Did You Know?

Just one medium sized orange has about 100 mg of Vitamin C which is already higher that our recommended daily requirement! And a serving of strawberries provides around 14% more Vitamin C than a serving of oranges!!

Benefits of Vitamin C

  • Being a powerful antioxidant, strengthens our body’s natural defense system by fighting free radicals
  • Boosts immunity
  • Fights inflammation in our body
  • Reduces risk of heart diseases
  • May help in reducing blood pressure levels
  • Helps in better iron absorption preventing its deficiency in our body
  • Helps in preventing memory loss as we age
  • Keeps skin healthy by boosting collagen production
  • Promotes common wound healing
  • Also said to reduce the severity of common colds
  • Considered important for healthy aging and even preventing certain cancers

I have read/heard that these days, higher dosages of Vitamin C are being given to patients of Covid-19 patients, as a part of their treatment plan. Since there are no specific medicines available for the disease, this may be the doctor’s way to try and boost the immunity and the antioxidant levels of the body as well as to lower the severity of the cold/flu symptoms. Best leave the doctor to decide how much and which form is good for someone affected.

Also, please know that Vitamin C does not prevent the highly infectious disease Covid-19 from happening and one needs to be very careful with maintaining proper hygiene practices (including wearing masks, washing hands and other sanitization procedures) and practicing social distancing to stay safe from it.

Having said that, it won’t harm us to reassess our Vitamin C intake in this situation and to make sure we take enough of it everyday. My family and I have been taking Vitamin C supplements since this pandemic started and hopefully, it would help us in staying healthy. If you have any medical concerns, please check with your doc or nutritionist for the right dosage.

Vitamin C Toxicity

Vitamin C levels are reported to be toxic beyond the recommended upper limit of 2000mg a day. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, any excess is generally excreted in urine by our body. It is also almost impossible to reach toxicity levels through just our diet. However mega-doses of Vitamin C might cause diarrhea and other gastric discomforts among other symptoms and can lead to toxicity. People with higher risk of kidney stones should also consult the doc before taking Vitamin C supplements.

Hope you found today’s post useful. Do share with your family and friends so that they are also aware of the importance of these essentials our body requires. Do join me on Instagram for more health and nutrition tips as well as a regular dose of motivation.

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Till next week

Namaste, Health and Peace