Vitamin D and its importance

What are the most important things that we need to know about Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins that our bodies need in order to function in a healthy state. It is both a nutrient that we consume and a hormone that our bodies produce. It is colloquially referred to as the “Sunshine Vitamin” since our bodies naturally produce it after exposure to sunlight. Other sources of Vitamin D include foods such as dairy products, breakfast cereals, and fatty fish such as Salmon and Tuna.

What role does it play? What are its most important functions?

Vitamin D was initially considered to be responsible for maintaining the health and functionality of the muscles, bones and joints by facilitating the absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus. However, further research over the last decade has shown that Vitamin D also plays a key role in developing a strong immune system, maintaining organ functionality and alleviating chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma. Furthermore, a lack of adequate Vitamin D can also accelerate pre-existing mental health conditions such as dementia and schizophrenia, in the elderly.

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PCOS Diet

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Diet – Do’s and Dont’s

PCOS is a disturbance of metabolic function, which may present with any of the following features:

  • Irregular or no periods
  • Subfertility
  • Acne and greasy skin
  • Abnormal body hair

PCOS is characterized by excess production of male hormones, hormonal imbalance and/or impaired glucose tolerance. On pelvic ultrasound, ovaries will appear enlarged with multiple small follicular cysts. The incidence of PCOS is up to 8 to 20% of women worldwide and is very common in the female population of the UAE.

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healthy plate

A Healthy Ramadan Plate

The holy month of Ramadan is a time when families gather together to enjoy a rich and heavy meal, particularly during Iftaar. One must keep in mind that during Ramadan, the diet of an individual who is fasting is completely altered and completely depends on the meals consumed during Suhoor and Iftar. It is crucial to decide and consume the right kind and amount of food because these meals help an individual sustain their fast for the entire day.

Suhoor (early morning meal) needs to be wholesome in order to provide the required nutrients and energy to last until the next meal at Iftar. An ideal Suhoor meal should contain foods rich in fiber, protein, calcium, and vitamins. Cereals like oats with nuts and dry fruits, wholemeal bread, green leafy vegetables, brown bread with yogurt and fruits are ideal meal options for Suhoor. Eggs are rich in protein and nutrients and help stay fuller. Dairy products are also a great source of nutrition that helps stay hydrated throughout the day. Dry fruit milkshakes, watery fruits like cucumber and tomato are great sources to keep the body hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is key during the non-fasting hours in Ramadan to keep the body hydrated throughout.

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gut feeling during ramadan

Gut Health during Ramadan

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is a spiritual practice and is known to improve health. However, if one fails to follow the correct diet during Ramadan, it can cause digestive problems. Ramadan is a time when digestive issues are common, due to the changes in the timing, types and quantity of food taken during this period. During the month of Ramadan digestive issues like heartburn, belching, bloating and constipation are rather common. These conditions occur not just to those with pre-existing gastric problems but also to those who never had gastric issues before. Festivities and feasts during this month often cause acidity, heartburn, indigestion, constipation etc.

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Ramadan health

Managing your body during Ramadan

Fasting in Ramadan has a number of health benefits if done properly. But fasting in this sweltering heat can have a negative impact if you do not take the necessary precautions, and this can lead to constipation, heart burns, dehydration, irritability or lack of concentration.

What are some of the benefits of fasting?

  • It promotes weight loss
  • It helps remove toxins from the body
  • It lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
  • It plays a major role in stabilizing insulin sensitivity
  • It provides a better control on blood pressure and diabetes
  • It leads to a state of increased mental well-being

What are the bodily changes that occur during fasting?

In the normal state glucose is the main source of energy which is stored in muscles and liver. During fasting, glucose is used first followed by fats once the glucose runs out.

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