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Food ComaHave you experienced the feeling of being sleepy right after eating a meal, specifically on a meal high in calories? There is a condition to that, and it is known as a Food Coma or postprandial somnolence/lethargy. Defined and described by Merriam-Websters, a food coma is a colloquial term for the sleepiness or drowsiness that follows a large meal, often the Thanksgiving feast. This occurs because the body needs to divert blood and energy towards digestion in lieu of other functions. This experience can sometimes last for a few hours. According to Isabel Smith, a New York City-based registered dietitian explains that “food comas can be caused by both eating too much and by eating too many carbohydrate-rich foods including potatoes, rice dishes, pastas, breads and desserts."

How to prevent food coma? Not all types of food cause you to yearn for a nap. Food coma is usually more prominent after a meal rich in fat and refined carbohydrates or a high-calorie meal. Hence, what you eat and how much you consume make a difference to your alertness after meals. If you want to avoid the embarrassment of being caught catching a snooze in that post-lunch meeting, try making a few simple changes to your food preference:

  • Go for lower calories. Instead of heavy meals, choose meals that are lower calories (below 500 kcal). Check out food stalls with the Healthier Choice identifier which indicates that they sell lower-calorie meals. When dining at restaurants, opt for items with the Healthier Choice identifier on their menus.
  • Take it slow. Wolfing down your meal at top speed means you are more likely to overeat before your brain has time to tell you that you’re full. Studies have shown that it takes about 20 minutes from the start of the meal for your brain to start signaling fullness. Enjoy your food slowly or you’ll be dozing off even faster.
  • Siu dai, please. When ordering beverages, keep it plain. Water has no calories and is healthier with your meals. Fruit juices* and sugar cane juice are high in sugar content and should be avoided. If you must have a freshly brewed drink such as coffee or tea, ask for the “siu dai” (less sugar) version instead. As for dessert, cut out the cakes and ice-cream and eat fresh fruit.
  • Choose more wholegrain and fiber. Meals with complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and quinoa as well as meals with more fiber take​ more time to digest. These food keeps you feeling full for a longer period compared to refined carbohydrates such as white rice and white bread. Therefore, opt for wholegrain and eat more veggies and fruit!
  • Trim the fat. If you’re a meat lover, choose lean cuts such as chicken breast. In addition, have deep-fried food no more than twice a week. Instead of deep-fried chicken wings, try ordering chicken dishes which are grilled or steamed. It pays to choose your fats wisely. Watch out for saturated fat in food such as laksa and nasi lemak or oil in fried noodles and roti prata. Save these for occasional treats and choose less oily meals that are less likely to trigger food comas.

While food coma isn't comfortable, a periodic episode of postprandial lethargy isn't likely to cause hurt. However, please be very careful to lessen your high-calorie food intake before driving, operating machineries and activities requiring better focus as food coma can somehow cause you much trouble or even death. In truth, it reminds us to stay to smaller, less greasy meals next time. So, take adequate rest after your big meal if you would like to and if you have the luxury of time. If not, better observe moderate food practices most of the time to keep your body healthy, active, and alert.

NO I Zamubec Alomar C. Adlawan

References:

  • What causes Food Coma?

https://www.healthywomen.org/content/blog-entry/so-you-think-you-cant-avoid-food-coma

  • How to prevent food coma?

https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1499/%20yawn-im-having-a-food-coma#:~:text=How%20to%20prevent,your%20food%20preference%3A

RambutanRambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae.which is an endemic Southeast Asian fruit with a hairy shell and sweet, cream-flavored, edible flesh. The name also refers to the edible fruit produced by this tree. It is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the lychee, longan, pulasan, and mamoncillo. It grows in a tree that can reach up to 80 feet (27 meters) in height and thrives best in tropical climates, such as in Malaysia and Indonesia. Rambutan got its name from the Malay word for hair because the golf-ball-sized fruit has a hairy red and green shell. Its unmistakable appearance is often compared to that of a sea urchin. On top of their unique appearance and sweet flavor, they also offer some impressive health benefits.

The rambutan fruit is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. In fact, Alina Petre of Healthline stated that rambutan may contribute to healthy digestion due to its fiber content. About half of the fiber in its flesh is insoluble, which means that it passes through your gut undigested. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps speed up intestinal transit, thus reducing your likelihood of constipation. According to Kerstin Schröder, just like most fruits, rambutan may prevent weight gain and promote weight loss over time at around 75 calories and 1.3–2 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) which is similar to what you would find in the same quantity of apples, oranges, or pears that is relatively low in calories for the amount of fiber it provides. This can help keep you fuller for longer, which may reduce your likelihood of overeating and promote weight loss over time. According to Gorinstein et.al, it’s also rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that helps your body absorb dietary iron more easily. This vitamin also acts as an antioxidant, protecting your body’s cells against damage. Eating 5–6 rambutan fruit will meet 50% of your daily vitamin C needs. Rambutan also contains a good amount of copper, which plays a role in the proper growth and maintenance of various cells, including those of your bones, brain, and heart.

Rambutan fruit may also contribute to a stronger immune system in several ways. For starters, it’s rich in vitamin C, which may encourage the production of white blood cells which your body needs to fight infection. Getting too little vitamin C in your diet can weaken your immune system, leaving you more prone to infections.

Alina Petre emphasized that it is indeed nutritious yet low in calories and may aid your digestion, immune system, and weight loss. Though some people eat the peel and seed, they’re generally considered inedible. Yet, the flesh can add a sweet flavor to salads, curries, and desserts or can be enjoyed by itself. Try it yourself!

PNFP-ZDS Marie Claire A. Gaas

 

References:

  • Rambutan

Barstow, M. (2017). "Nephelium lappaceum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T33266A67808476. Retrieved 28 May 2020

  • Rambutan", in Fruits of Warm Climates"

Morton JF (1987) Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, W. Lafayette, IN. pp. 262–265.

  • Rambutan: A Tasty Fruit With Health Benefits

Alina Petre, MS, RD (NL) on December 7, 2018: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rambutan#weight-loss

  • Comparative content of total polyphenols and dietary fiber in tropical fruits and persimmon

S Gorinstein, M Zemser, R Haruenkit, R Chuthakorn, F Grauer, O Martin-Belloso, S Trakhtenberg

  • Effects of fruit consumption on body mass index and weight loss in a sample of overweight and obese dieters enrolled in a weight-loss intervention trial

Kerstin E E Schroder: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20022464/

  • Comparative content of total polyphenols and dietary fiber in tropical fruits and persimmon

S Gorinstein, M Zemser, R Haruenkit, R Chuthakorn, F Grauer, O Martin-Belloso, S Trakhtenberg: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15539312/

Avoid PreeclampsiaOne of the biggest fears of pregnant mothers is to have complications during pregnancy, and among these is hypertension. Hypertension and pregnancy should not necessarily be a combination. But hypertension during pregnancy is an alarming case when left untreated as it can lead to more complications like preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs only during pregnancy. Some symptoms may include high blood pressure and protein in the urine, usually occurring after week 20 of pregnancy. Preeclampsia is often precluded by gestational hypertension. While high blood pressure during pregnancy does not necessarily indicate preeclampsia, it may be a sign of another problem. The condition affects at least 5-8% of pregnancies.

The exact cause of preeclampsia involves several factors. Experts believe it begins in the placenta, the organ that nourishes the fetus throughout pregnancy. Early in pregnancy, new blood vessels develop and evolve to efficiently send blood to the placenta. In women with preeclampsia, these blood vessels don't seem to develop or function properly. They're narrower than normal blood vessels and react differently to hormonal signaling, which limits the amount of blood that can flow through them. Causes of this abnormal development may include insufficient blood flow to the uterus, damage to the blood vessels, a problem with the immune system and certain genes. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe preeclampsia. In severe cases, preeclampsia is most likely to cause headaches, blurred vision, inability to tolerate bright light, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, urinating small amounts, pain in the upper right abdomen, shortness of breath, and a tendency to bruise easily.

The most effective treatment for preeclampsia is delivery. You are at increased risk of seizures, placental abruption, stroke and possibly severe bleeding until your blood pressure decreases. Of course, if it's too early in your pregnancy, delivery may not be the best thing for your baby. If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia, your doctor will let you know how often you'll need to come in for prenatal visits likely more frequently than what's typically recommended for pregnancy. You'll also need more frequent blood tests, ultrasounds and nonstress tests than would be expected in an uncomplicated pregnancy. Eating a good diet, exercising regularly, and keeping your body hydrated are ways to prevent hypertension during pregnancy.

NO I Zamubec Alomar C. Adlawan, RND

 

References:

  • Preeclampsia

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/preeclampsia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355745

  • What are the symptoms?

https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-complications/preeclampsia/

AchondroplasiaParenting is not an easy obligation and responsibility of both parents. It entails raising a child properly making sure that their child will grow healthy. The duties of parents are not just limited to provide food, shelter, and education but also being mindful of the overall wellbeing of the child. However, despite the meticulous care that parents do, there are still issues that parents may encounter which they can’t help but worry like physical deformities, and abnormal growth and development of the child. Do these also worry you as parents? Is your child grow in a normal condition or you might have missed something that made you wonder why your child’s growth seems off track? Here’s what you need to know about Achondroplasia.

Achondroplasia is a rare bone growth disorder that is caused by a gene mutation in the FGFR3 gene. The FGFR3 gene makes a protein called fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 that is involved in converting cartilage to bone. People with achondroplasia are short in stature with a normal-sized torso and short limbs.

Most people who have achondroplasia have average-sized parents. This happens when the FGFR3 gene mutation occurs in one parent's egg or sperm cell before conception. Other people with achondroplasia inherit the condition from a parent who has achondroplasia.

These are the following clinical symptoms of Achondroplasia:

1. Short stature with disproportionately short arms and legs

2. Short fingers

3. A large head (macrocephaly); and

4. Specific facial features with a prominent forehead (frontal bossing) and mid-face hypoplasia.

Infants born with achondroplasia typically have weak muscle tone that delays their walking and other motor skills. Compression of the spinal cord and/or upper airway obstruction increases the risk of death in infancy. People with achondroplasia commonly have breathing problems in which breathing stops or slows down for short periods. Other health issues include a high prevalence of obesity, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, and recurrent ear infections.

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment that is available for achondroplasia. Children born with achondroplasia need to have their height, weight, and head circumference monitored regularly using special growth curves standardized for achondroplasia. Measures to avoid obesity at an early age are highly recommended.

Children having this kind of condition needs extra care for monitoring especially on their growth and development. Full support to manage their social adjustment is also necessary among others. Choosing childcare is the most important decision when you become a parent. So be prepared especially on the thought that even if you have done the best things you can do to better their lives yet things beyond your control happen!

NO I Zhalimar A. Jakaria-Patulada

 

References:

About Achondroplasia

https://www.genome.gov/Genetic-Disorders/Achondroplasia

Achondroplasia

https://www.healthline.com/health/achondroplasia#symptoms

Mental DetoxThe brain is known to be the most complex part of the human body and is considered the crown jewel of the human body. This three-pound organ is the center of intelligence, interpreter of the senses, initiator of body movement, and controller of behavior which defines humanity as it is the source of all qualities. With this, it is the physical place where our mind resides, the intangible function of our brain that takes charge the manifestations of thought, perception, emotion, determination, memory and imagination. However, even with its amazing functions, our brain can be negatively overwhelmed with lots of factors, and this include our mind being affected, thus sometimes become our greatest enemy from overthinking, stress, anxiety, and other mental breakdowns. With these, we need to rejuvenate our mind, and this is where mind detoxification comes in.

‘Detoxification’ refers to a cleansing or purification process. It involves, transformation and elimination of bodily wastes; toxins that impair bodily organ function, and ones that adversely influence mental wellbeing and cognitive function. According to Advent health, a mental cleanse is an exercise in clearing your mind to help you find better focus and balance in your life. It’s about taking a break from the day-to-day stressors, anxieties, and distractions. Mental cleansing can include activities like deep breathing, stretching exercises, and taking a break from electronic devices.

How to do mental stress? There’s no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to doing a mental cleanse to de-stress. Explore a few of the following approaches to see what works best for you:

  • Try Breathing Exercises. Focus on breathing more deeply and lengthening your breaths to connect your body, mind, and spirit. Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth while focusing on your stomach rising and falling. You should notice your heart rate slowing down and feel your breath moving in and out of your body.
  • Stretching is a great way to reduce stress and clear your mind.
  • Take a Break from Technology. Try spending a day (or even a couple of hours) without looking at your phone, computer, tablet, or television. Instead of looking at a screen, talk with someone in person or take some quiet time for reflection or prayer.
  • Turn Off the News. Reading headlines can fill us with anxiety and stress. During your mental cleanse, avoid the news and focus on another activity that’s more fulfilling.
  • Get Outside. Whether you walk around your neighborhood or take a long hike in the woods, try getting outside to clear your mind. While you’re outside, focus on your surroundings and the different sights, smells, and sounds you experience.
  • Count Your Blessings. With the stresses of day-to-day life, we sometimes lose track of the positives. When you find yourself caught in a busy day or anxious moment, pause and think about what — and who — you’re grateful for.
  • Reset Your Mind, Restore Your Spirit. Incorporating a mental cleanse into your routine can help you feel more fulfilled, happy, and connected with your loved ones and faith. While an occasional cleanse is certainly a step toward a healthier you, working up to it as a more frequent practice (daily is ideal) is recommended.
  • Shed tears. It’s okay to cry! Crying releases oxytocin and endorphins (this is why you often feel better after a good cry).
  • Feed the body. Solid nutrition is key for mental and emotional health. Ensure that you eat plenty of green, red, yellow, and orange vegetables, as well as blue and red fruits to provide a rich blend of antioxidants. Take a comprehensive multivitamin supplement daily, as well as “calming” minerals such as magnesium to give your body the micronutrients it needs to perform and address stress in a healthy way. Vitamin B complex also helps to provide support for blood sugar and serotonin levels, as well as the adrenal glands during times of stress.

If you’re struggling to find a mental cleanse method that works for you, or feel overwhelmed with stress, make an appointment to talk with your health care provider. Take control of your mental health to stay focus. Remember, what you think is what you are so better think positively and it will yield something good in you. #LOVEYOURSELF

NO I Zamubec Alomar C. Adlawan, RND

References:

  • Detoxification

https://www.psychologs.com/article/detoxification-of-mental-health

  • What Is a Mental Cleanse?

https://www.adventhealth.com/blog/how-do-a-mental-cleanse-feel-whole#:~:text=A%20mental%20cleanse%20is,break%20from%20electronic%20devices.%C2%A0

  • Steps for mental and emotional detox (3 and 4)

https://www.supergoodstuff.com/news/the-importance-of-mental-and-emotional-detox-1577832365948.html

Good Posture on Back PainBack pain is not at all good. It causes so much trouble, not just physically, but also financially. According to Mayo clinic, back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning or stabbing sensation. In addition, the pain may radiate down your leg or worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking. Having a good posture eases back pain. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie so as to place the least strain on muscles and ligaments while you are moving or performing weight-bearing activities.

Whether when you are sitting or standing, improving one's posture is the simplest way to ease back pain. Here’s how you can improve your posture in general:

  • Be mindful of your posture during everyday activities, like watching television, washing dishes, or walking
  • Stay active. Any kind of exercise may help improve your posture, but certain types of exercises can be especially helpful. They include yoga, tai chi, and other classes that focus on body awareness. It is also a good idea to do exercises that strengthen your core (muscles around your back, abdomen, and pelvis).
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can weaken your abdominal muscles, cause problems for your pelvis and spine, and contribute to low back pain. All of these can hurt your posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. High heels, for example, can throw off your balance and force you to walk differently. This puts more stress on your muscles and harms your posture.
  • Make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height for you, whether you're sitting in front of a computer, making dinner, or eating a meal.

How can I improve my posture when sitting?

  • Switch sitting positions often
  • Take brief walks around your office or home
  • Gently stretch your muscles every so often to help relieve muscle tension
  • Don't cross your legs; keep your feet on the floor, with your ankles in front of your knees
  • Make sure that your feet touch the floor, or if that's not possible, use a footrest
  • Relax your shoulders; they should not be rounded or pulled backwards
  • Keep your elbows in close to your body. They should be bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
  • Make sure that your back is fully supported. Use a back pillow or other back support if your chair does not have a backrest that can support your lower back's curve.
  • Make sure that your thighs and hips are supported. You should have a well-padded seat, and your thighs and hips should be parallel to the floor.

How can I improve my posture when standing?

  • Stand up straight and tall
  • Keep your shoulders back
  • Pull your stomach in
  • Put your weight mostly on the balls of your feet
  • Keep your head level
  • Let your arms hang down naturally at your sides
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart

We sometimes ignore back pain, for we know that it will just be gone after a day or two by just applying a pain relief patch, but we should know our body well. If we ever experience back pain and already tried some home treatments like applying ointment to the pain area, drinking pain relief medicines, and trying all back supports and nothing happens. Maybe it's our sign to consult a doctor to be given the prescribed treatment that we need. And also, having a good rest is one helpful way to ease the pain.

NO I Zamubec Alomar C. Adlawan, RND

References:

  • Back pain

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20369906

  • Guide to good posture

https://medlineplus.gov/guidetogoodposture.html