Functional nutrition

Functional nutrition is a new specialty in the field of nutrition. Functional nutrition is similar to functional medicine; it looks at the root level at which food affects the body. It is important to eat healthy in order to prevent illness and recover from a disease. Some food can be harmful to your body as well and you should avoid eating those foods. Functional nutrients are enriched with nutrients that have a positive effect on health beyond their nutritional value. You should not see functional foods as an alternative to a balanced diet. However, it does provide various health benefits. To maximize your health benefit, you must do lots of physical exercises, quit smoking, and include varied diet which includes fruit and vegetables. Functional food won’t provide a solution to all your health problems, but it can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips and studys from a Brazilian Nutritionist Carol Faria, that works in São Paulo – SP and have in your group of specialty the “Nutrição Funcional”, you can check in “Consulta em nutrição funcional” in Carol Farias’s WebSite.

Probiotics

These are live microorganisms that should be taken in adequate amounts to gain health benefits.These foods have been consumed for many years and have a reputation for developing good health. Probiotic bacterial strains are now added to dairy products and other foods. These are also available as supplements. Regular intake of probiotics can have a positive result on your health. For example, it can reduce the duration of diarrhea in patients. It can reduce constipation problems as well. Probiotics can prevent allergic diseases as well. It helps in improving immune function, reduces cholesterol levels in blood and even helps in cancer prevention.

Sterols

These are important components of cell membranes. It controls membrane fluidity. You can find these naturally in many vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. The structure of sterol is similar to that of cholesterol. So, sterols can reduce the cholesterol absorption. Plant sterols block the absorption of cholesterol partially in the gut. This reduces the cholesterol amount that passes into the bloodstream. This lowers the level of bad cholesterol in the body.

Stanols

These are similar to sterols chemically. You will find them in seeds nuts and legumes. But these are available in smaller quantities than sterols. Sterols are often combined with stanols to improve their solubility. Sterols and stanols are both found in plants naturally.

All these functional nutrients help in reducing the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Sterols and stanols are structurally similar to cholesterols and they are very effective for reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood. These must be consumed regularly to keep your cholesterol level in check and stay healthy.

4 ways to deal with hypertension

You should do routine check up of your blood pressure after the age of 40. Millions of people in America are at the risk of high blood pressure or hypertension. If you have hypertension, it creases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. But with some simple lifestyle choices, you will be able to deal with hypertension.

Be careful about your diet


It is important to maintain a healthy diet to prevent high blood pressure. You should eat foods that are low in sodium and high in potassium. You must consult a dietician and have the perfect diet plan to maintain your blood pressure.

Exercise regularly


You should do at least two and half hours of exercise every week. You can break it down to 20 minutes every day. You can walk to your work or cycle to get all the benefits of exercise. No matter what you do, you should allocate 20 minutes of your time to exercising.

Reduce workload


If you work more than 41 hours every week then you will have more risk of having hypertension. If you spend more time at work, you will find less time to exercise and do leisurely activities. You shouldn’t work by sacrificing your sleep times.

Manage stress


Stress can cause hypertension. You should exercise to reduce your stress level. You can meditate every day and get rid of your stress. You can listen to music to relax.

You must monitor your blood pressure regularly. Whenever you find out that your blood pressure is high, you should immediately consult a doctor.

5 risk factors for cardiovascular diseases

The number of people having cardiovascular diseases is increasing in this world. This is mainly due to our food habits and lifestyle. There are lots of ways you can reduce the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Here are the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

High cholesterol

Cholesterol is found in the blood. If you have too much cholesterol, then in increases the chance of having cardiovascular diseases. Atheroma can build up in your artery walls and stop the blood from reaching the heart and other parts of the body. When atheroma breaks off, it forms a blood clot and blocks the blood supply to the heart or brain causing either a heart attack or a stroke. You must do a health checkup to find out your cholesterol level after the age of 40.

Weight

If you are overweight, then you have more chances of having cardiovascular disease. You should calculate your body mass to know if you are overweight or not. If you have a BMI of 25 or more, then you are overweight and if it’s 30 or more then you will be classified as obese. If you have too much weight around your waist, it also increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases.

Type 2 diabetes

You will have diabetes if the amount of glucose is high in your blood. This also puts you at the risk of having cardiovascular diseases. You must control your blood sugar level.

High blood pressure

Having high blood pressure increases the risk of having cardiovascular diseases. It can cause damage to your arteries and increase the chances of having a stroke or heart attack. If not treated, your heart may become large and may become less effective in pumping blood. This may cause heart failure.

Smoking

Smokers are at risk of having cardiovascular diseases. They have more chance of having heart attacks compared to the non-smokers. The chemicals inside the cigarette smoke can damage the arteries. You should give up smoking.

All these factors pose a great risk to your heart. You should eat healthy food and maintain an active lifestyle to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Infographic by: www.heart.org

5 common effects of a stroke

The effects of strokes vary depending on the location, type, and severity of the stroke. Here are some of the common effects of stroke you must be aware of.

Initial disabilities

This depends on which part of the brain was affected and how much damage it caused. You may feel weakness on one side of your body, so you may find it difficult to walk or grasp things. You may have joint pain, muscle stiffness, pain in your limbs, etc.

Urinary or bowel problems

You may find it difficult to hold your urine. You may also struggle to empty your bladder.These problems are not permanent and you must learn to cope up with the situation.

Speech and language problems

This is known as aphasia. This occurs due to damage of the left side of the brain. People with aphasia may not understand the language or express their thoughts. They may not read or write even.

Memory and cognitive problems

You may find it difficult to focus or remember. It may become difficult to learn new activities and perform complex tasks. There may be changes in judgment as well.

Emotional problems

After a stroke, you may have various emotional problems including fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, sadness, etc. You may suffer from depression.

If you have a stroke then you will have some of these changes in your physical and mental health. You must learn to cope up with these changes and maintain a healthy lifestyle accordingly.