The Amazing Custard Apple Fruit

Known for its creamy, sweet taste and commonly known as Matomoko in Kiswahili. It is native to the rain forest of Central America and widely spread along the tropical stretches, from South America to Africa and Asia

Custard Apple is rich in;

  • Anti-oxidants like Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Dietary fiber
  • Vitamin A
  • Copper

Health benefits include:

Prevents heart attacks – the magnesium prevents the heart from heart attack and aids in relaxation of muscles.

Aids in digestion – copper and dietary fiber helps in digestion and ease of bowel movement.

Prevents diabetes – Abundance of fiber slows down absorption of sugars reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes; limit to one in a day 2-3 hours before or after meals.

Prevents asthma – the vitamin B12 present helps prevent bronchial inflammation which helps in prevention of asthma attacks.

Control of blood pressure – Magnesium and potassium present in the fruit help maintain a healthy blood pressure. For fluctuating blood pressure a Custard Apple a day will help regulate it.

Reduces cholesterol – Dietary fiber and Niacin help reduce cholesterol.

Good for the skin, hair and eyes – The vitamin A present helps in maintaining healthy skin, hair and gives a sharp sight to the eye.

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Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis, is a term used to describe arthritis in children under the age of 16 years. The cause is not exactly known but thought to be caused by combination of genetic and environmental factors, and a poorly functioning immune system.

There is no specific diet for Juvenile Arthritis but a balanced diet is highly recommended. A diet rich in:

  • Vitamin D-fatty fish( Tuna, Mackerel, salmon)
  • Proteins-(fish, dry beans, poultry, soya etc.)
  • Healthy oils-olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil
  • Fiber with limited sugars-Fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, whole breads/grains

Note: Fried foods, processed foods and foods high in sugars should be avoided, they tend to increase inflammation.

Children with Juvenile arthritis tend to be poor feeders and may not eat much at ago. The food portion can be reduced but the nutrition value added.

Others especially those who are on steroid treatment tend to be overweight, steroid treatment causes poor absorption of calcium into the body.

By taking foods rich in Vitamin D will greatly increase the absorption of calcium which is good for the bones and bone density.

For more information email wellness@jubileekenya.com.

Snacks For Diabetics

Eating a healthy diet is key to protecting the body against inflammations and advanced illness effects. This deal goes all the way even when choices of snacks have to be made. This article addresses the snacks which are healthy and hardly pose risk to people with diabetes also highlighting their benefits.

  1. Hard boiled eggs

Enjoy a hard-boiled egg for a snack on its own, or garnish with a healthy topping like guacamole. Eggs contain high amount of protein, 1 large hard-boiled egg provides 6 grams of protein. Protein helps in repair of damaged cells. Other benefits of having an egg include; reduced risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity and improved cholesterol levels.

  1. Yogurt with Berries

This is a great snack for diabetics because berries have an anti-inflammatory factor which is contributed by the antioxidants present in them. They reduce inflammation and prevent damage to cells of the pancreas, the organ responsible for releasing hormones that lower blood sugar levels.

Yogurt contains probiotics which helps the body with the ability to break down food containing sugar and utilize it. Yogurt is rich in protein, which is well-known for helping keep blood sugar levels under control. Greek yogurt is known to be very high in proteins.

  1. Handful of Almonds

The ability of almonds to help stabilize blood sugar is due to the combination of fiber, protein and healthy fats they contain, all of which are known to have an important role in diabetes management (health line).

Almonds are quite high in calories, it is best to limit your portion size to about a handful when eating them as a snack.

  1. Avocado

Avocado is rich in mono saturated fats and fiber, these two can help prevent blood sugar from spiking after having food. You can eat avocado on its own, or make it into a dip such as guacamole. Avocados are quite high in calories, it is best to stick with a serving size of one-fourth to one-half an avocado.

  1. Beef Sticks

They are high in proteins and low in carbohydrates content making them excellent for people with diabetes. If possible, you should choose beef sticks that are made with grass-fed beef. Compared to grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their potential role in keeping blood sugar levels stable (healthline). Beef sticks are high in sodium which can lead to high blood pressure and should therefore be consumed in moderation.

  1. Roasted Chickpeas

As seen with the Hummus that chickpeas plays a great role in managing diabetes. Regular consumption of chickpeas plays a role in preventing the progression of diabetes. Make a good snack of chickpeas by roasting them to a crunchy texture. Make them fun and tasty by roasting with olive oil and seasoning

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CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds are dibble black and white seeds from the plant salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family.

“Chia” means strength and folklore has it that ancient cultures used this seed as an energy booster.

2 tablespoons contain:

  • 8 times more omega 3 than Salmon
  • 3-5 times more calcium than milk
  • 3 times more oxidants than blue berries
  • 41%of your daily fiber
  • 3 times more iron than spinach
  • 64%more potassium than banana
  • 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
  • More Niacin than maize, rice and soya

HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Balances blood sugar
  • Improves digestive health
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Controls sugar cravings,
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Improves the health of skin, nails, hair.
  • Mineral powerhouse and great detoxifier
  • Improves memory, mood and overall energy
  • Super source of energy and vitality for intense physical workout
  • Increases and prolongs satiety (feeling of fullness) hence reducing food portions, translating to weight loss.
  • Affordable and NATURAL!

USAGE

  • Can be added as a whole or ground up in smoothies and juices, mixed into yoghurts, oatmeal or sprinkled on top of salads.
  • Add a tablespoon of chia seeds in a glass of water, let it sit for 20-30 mins.
  • To give your drink some flavor, add chopped fruit or squeeze in some lemon, lime or orange and honey.

DOSAGE:

1.5 tablespoons twice a day is recommended.

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary infection is an infection of any part of the urinary system-Urethra, urinary bladder, ureters and kidneys. It occurs when bacteria enters any part of the urinary tract.

Risk factors:

  • Female anatomy-women have shorter urethras than men, reducing the distance the bacteria must travel to reach the tract.
  • Certain types of family planning methods- using diaphragms, spermicides vaginal ring and vaginal caps increases the chances of having UTI.
  • Menopause – reduced estrogen causes a change in PH of the genitalia, making it more vulnerable to infections.
  • Sexual intercourse – the urethra is exposed to bacteria from the genitalia and anus, allowing them to enter the urethra.
  • Suppressed immune system – diabetes, pregnancy and other immunosuppressive diseases reduce the body’s defense against microbes hence increasing chances of UTI.

Symptoms:

  • A strong persistent urge to pass urine
  • Burning sensation during urinating
  • Lower abdominal pains (pelvic pain)
  • Lower back pains
  • Passing frequent small amounts of urine
  • Urine that appears red, brick red or dark brown (a sign of blood in urine)
  • Smelly urine

What can I do to avoid a urinary tract infection?

  • Drink plenty of water: 8 glasses of water a day is recommended to keep your urine clear, pale yellow in colour- a sign of proper hydration.
  • Drink cranberry Juice – studies show that cranberry can reduce levels of bacteria and prevent new bacteria from thriving in the urinary tract. (it does not cure an already existing infection so you still need to see a doctor)
  • Avoid feminine hygienic products e.g. sprays, powders and strong soaps that interfere with the PH levels of the urinary tract.
  • Clean your genital area before and after coitus.
  • Pass urine after coitus
  • After a bowel movement, clean your genitals from front to back to prevent introducing bacteria from faecal matter to the urethra.

For more information email wellness@jubileekenya.com

 

The Peach in my Basket and Hypertension

The peach, one magical fruit that shouldn’t miss out in your basket next you visit the market.

One fresh peach contains 330 milligrams which is about 10% of daily recommended intake. Peaches are also rich in:

  • VITAMIN C, has the ability of working as a diuretic, meaning that it can help remove excess fluids from the blood vessels which may greatly help controlling of blood pressure within the blood vessels
  • POTASSIUM, a mineral known to be so good at bringing down the high blood pressure
  • FIBER which is known for controlling weight.
  • CHOLINE helps in breakdown of low density lipoprotein cholesterol which is known as “bad fat”. This kind of cholesterol is deposited on the walls of the blood vessels making a plaque which causes thinning of the arterial walls. This makes the blood pressure to increase.

It is okay to have one to two peach(es) in a day where else the rest of 80% potassium can be obtained from other food sources.

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Bananas and Hypertension

Let’s go bananas!

Did you know that banana is termed as a “HAPPY FRUIT”? This is because it keeps you upbeat and helps overcome depression and stress, which are some of the triggers of high blood pressure. Bananas possess tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, which is the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.

The effectiveness of banana on lowering blood pressure is due to its rich POTASSIUM presence. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Potassium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in maintaining blood pressure and normal heart function. Moreover it helps to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the cells which helps control blood pressure.

HOW MANY BANANAS CAN I TAKE IN A DAY?

The World Health organization (WHO) suggests a potassium intake of at least 90 mmol/day (3510 mg/day) for adults. One banana of 100 grams contains 358mg of Potassium. It is recommended to have one serving a day which is equivalent to one banana.

SERVING BANANAS

  • Add sliced bananas to your favorite hot or cold cereal
  • Perk up a smoothie or shake by adding a sliced banana to the blender
  • Mashed bananas are a flavorful addition to all sorts of quick breads, muffins and even pancakes
  • Make a Fruit Kebab
  • Banana slices covered in Dark Chocolate
  • Add some banana slices to oatmeal as a sweetener

Have a banana, be happy and let’s go bananas!

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Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth and can affect both sexes.

CAUSE

Unclear

ONSET:

1 week to 1 month after childbirth

SYMPTOMS

  • Extreme sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness, worthlessness or overpowering guilt
  • Crying all the time
  • Loss of interest or lack of enjoyment in your usual activities and hobbies
  • Trouble falling sleep at night, or trouble staying awake during the day
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much, or unintentional weight loss or weight gain
  • Restlessness or sluggishness
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feeling that life isn’t worth living
  • Being irritable or angry
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Worrying excessively about your baby
  • Being uninterested in your baby, or unable to care for her
  • Feeling so exhausted that you’re unable to get out of bed for hours
  • In rare cases, some women with PPD experience delusional thoughts or hallucinations and may harm their baby.

TREATMENT

  1. Share Your Feelings: talk openly about your feelings to your partner, call a caring friend or join a mother’s group.
  2. Ask for Support- call relatives and friends and ask for help with taking care of the baby, house chores or just for company.
  3. Slow down- on housework. Do one thing at a time. Get take out
  4. Take a walk- around the block and take your baby with you. Fresh air and sunshine, being outdoors or meeting up with a friend for coffee nearby help a lot.
  5. Pamper yourself- go to a spa, get a massage, pedicure, manicure, facial. Go and shop for a post baby outfit, wear makeup or wear your favourite dress to boost your mood especially on difficult days.
  6. See a doctor- if the symptoms persist or get worse. The doctor may recommend antidepressants for you which are safe while breastfeeding.

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Types of Cholesterol

Cholesterol travels throughout the body in little packages called lipoproteins which are made up of blood fats called lipids and proteins. There are two main types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol:

  1. High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) – The healthy kind of cholesterol it mops up excess cholesterol found in the blood and takes it back to the liver for processing.
  2. Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) – The unhealthy type of cholesterol responsible for buildup in the body.

Places where cholesterol builds up in the body:

  • In the blood vessels
  • Around major organs e.g. liver and heart
  • Underneath the skin in cells called adipose tissue (mainly in the waistline)

 

Use of cholesterol in the body

Cholesterol is used in hormone production and in production on vitamin D.

 

Effects of excess cholesterol on the body

Cholesterol has been linked to the following diseases

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Atherosclerosis

 

For additional information email wellness@jubileekenya.com