Mindfulness, Meditation, Mantras. We often hear these jargons in our daily lives. We read about the importance of mental health, but somehow our busy schedules don’t leave space for it. We take all necessary measures to keep our body fit and in good shape.

Be it through daily runs, gymming, or even pilates. But how often do we stop and think – what about my mind and mental health? Read on to know more about effective meditation tips to practice mindfulness meditation in your daily hustle and bustle.

Devoting a mere few minutes to engage in mindfulness meditation can have remarkable benefits for both our mental and physical well-being. If you’re uncertain about the techniques of mindfulness practice, you’ve come to the correct resource. Continue reading to gain a deeper understanding of mindfulness and to discover uncomplicated methods for incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily fast-paced routine.

What is Mindfulness?

You’ve heard about it. You’ve read about it. But do you know what exactly mindfulness is? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In a nutshell, mindfulness is focused on awareness. It’s all about broadening your conscious awareness and taking in your surroundings. It’s living in the present moment.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! You can practice mindfulness meditation even during your packed schedule. All you need is – you! No candles, aromatic oils, or other paraphernalia required. Mindfulness exercises can be practised successfully by beginners as well. We have some tips for busy minds like yours. Give them a go!

Effective Meditation Tips & Exercises you can try:

With these tips, we bet you’re well equipped to deal with stress. Remember, busy minds need to unwind. So what are you waiting for? Start your journey to mindfulness now!

Have you ever taken a moment to contemplate the intricate link between our emotional state and our physical health? Consider the interplay between our brain and heart, and the profound influence our emotions wield on our general sense of well-being.

These questions are not just fascinating, but also crucial for understanding the relationship between our emotions and our heart health.

In this blog, we will explore the fascinating connection between emotions and the heart, and how volatile emotions can have a significant impact on our physical health.

Let’s delve into the world of emotions and learn more about how they affect our hearts.

Understanding your emotions

Emotion is a strong human urge to express inner feelings toward others. Emotion has been defined as “sudden trouble, transient agitation caused by an acute experience of fear, curiosity, anger, greed, surprise, joy, etc.”

Emotions constitute the fundamental cornerstone of human nature and psychology. Their potency significantly shapes human well-being, as an individual grappling with emotional turmoil can encounter a multitude of psychological and physiological challenges.

Effect of emotions on the body

Emotional stress sets off a chain reaction in your body. When you are angry, anxious, tense, frustrated, scared, or depressed, your body’s natural reaction is to release stress hormones.

Cortisol and adrenaline are two of these hormones. They get your body ready to deal with stress. They cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to constrict in order to push more blood to the center of your body.

Hormones can also elevate both your blood pressure and sugar levels. This physiological reaction, often referred to as the “fight or flight” response, is believed to have developed in ancient times when an additional surge of adrenaline was essential for evading potential threats.

Your blood pressure and heart rate should return to normal after your stress has subsided. However, if you are constantly stressed, your body does not have a chance to recover. This may result in artery wall damage.

Although it is unclear whether stress causes high blood pressure or heart disease on its own, it does pose an indirect risk. It also has a negative impact on your overall health.

Link between brain and heart health

We frequently consider the heart and brain to be separate entities. After all, your heart and brain are in separate parts of your body, and cardiology and neurology are distinct disciplines. However, these organs are inextricably linked, and when your emotions have an adverse effect on your brain, your heart suffers as well.

The link between your brain and your heart is emotions. Fluctuation in emotions can induce different stress in your heart.

There are two types of stress that have an effect on your brain. Helpful stress (also known as eustress) can help you get things done by focusing your attention. On the other hand, Unhelpful stress (distress) can cause fatigue and heart disease.

If you have coronary artery disease (CAD),your heart may be deprived of oxygen. This deprivation, known as myocardial ischemia, can occur in up to 30% to 50% of all CAD patients. It can be exacerbated further by emotional stress. In fact, if you have heart disease of any kind, any strong emotion, such as volatile anger, can cause severe and fatal irregular heart rhythms.

Expressions like ‘died of fright’ and ‘worried to death’ are not just exaggerations; they are physiological possibilities. Furthermore, when patients with newly diagnosed heart emotion disease become depressed, the risk of a harmful heart-related event occurring within that year increases.

Healthy tips for emotional regulation

Managing and coping with stress can be done in healthy or unhealthy ways. Many people cope with stress by smoking, drinking excessively, or overeating. All of these bad habits can lead to heart disease.

However, regulating your emotions using healthy stress management techniques allows you to better your heart disease care.

Consider the following suggestions:

1. Exercise

2. Journal your thoughts

3. Take a deep breath

4. Find an outlet

5. Spend some alone time

6. Gather with your friends

7. Seek professional help

Conclusion

In conclusion, taking care of our emotional health is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart. It’s essential to understand that our emotions and heart health are interconnected, and we can’t neglect either of them.

By incorporating healthy habits like exercise, meditation, and journaling, we can manage our emotions and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Remember, it’s never too late to start taking care of yourself, so take the first step towards a healthier heart today!

Pregnancy is a wonderful time for any woman. From the happiness of witnessing that positive line on your pregnancy test to the joy of noticing your baby bump for the first time to finally holding your little one in your arms- pregnancy is a journey!

Filled with highs and lows, this journey will take you through everything from ecstatic emotions to painful physical experiences. You have to be well prepared to handle all the unpleasant passengers who will accompany you on your journey.

One of the most common problems that expecting mothers come across during their pregnancy journey is unhealthy weight gain. You will gain some weight throughout your pregnancy. However, keep in mind that there are certain limits to what is considered an ideal weight increase in pregnancy.

Any extra kilos you put on are considered unhealthy and most often put great strain on your bones, muscles, and joints. Apart from this, the additional weight attracts further complications which can harm you and you’re baby’s well-being.

How to manage weight during pregnancy? how to control weight during pregnancy? You ask. Such problems can be managed with proper diet and nutrition. Consuming a well-balanced meal along with healthy and sustainable eating practices will help you avoid any unwanted weight gain.

Before helping you decide what to eat and what not, let us check out the reasons behind weight gain and what happens if you gain those extra kilos.

Know thy weight

You most likely guessed it, but the high number on the scale is not just fat. The weight that you gain is all related to the baby. It involves the development of structures that protect and nourish the baby. Here’s the break-up

In total, you will put on around 16 kgs of weight during your pregnancy. A weight gain around this figure is usually healthy and not a cause of concern. So stay strong and keep glowing throughout your wonderful time!

Complications galore

Let’s explore some of the potential complications that may arise as a result of excessive weight gain.

Now that you are abreast of the various health complications that excessive weight gain has, let us look at some tips and tricks you can use to keep your weight under control!

Fruits and the vegetables-the nutrient-rich duo

Craving snacks during pregnancy? Avoid indulging in chips, fries, and candy! Instead, satisfy your cravings with a wide variety of delicious fruits and vegetables. Not only are they low in calories, but they are also packed with essential nutrients, making them an ideal choice for maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. By opting for fruits and vegetables, you can nourish your body with vital vitamins and minerals while enjoying flavorful and nutritious snacks.

Also, an adequate intake of these nutrients is needed for the proper growth and development of your tot! So stop reaching for that bag of chips and have a bowl of baby carrots instead!

Lean meat for a leaner pregnancy!

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of a high protein intake during pregnancy! Consuming enough protein during pregnancy is important for the proper development of your baby. Research shows that consuming a diet with adequate protein during pregnancy leads to better growth, birth weight, and height of babies.

However, not all sources of protein are healthy for pregnancy weight management. If red or processed meats are your go-to foods under the premise that they provide proteins, then you are much more likely to gain excess weight and the complications that accompany it! Try having lean meats like chicken or fish for a leaner pregnancy!

Make fiber your friend!

Did you know? Research shows that nearly one in three women suffers from binge eating during their pregnancy. Constantly stuffing yourself with food during pregnancy is the recipe for weight gain during pregnancy!

Try consuming foods that will make you feel full quickly in small quantities. Take for example dietary fiber. It is well known that foods that are rich in fiber have a high satiety index and are quite beneficial for pregnant women. Studies show that a high fiber intake improves heart health, reduces the risk of diabetes, and prevents constipation in pregnant women.

Bifurcate your carbs

Skip the simple carbs! Simple carbohydrates found in most soft drinks, cakes, and candies are sugars and are digested quickly. This can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels and put you at risk of diabetes. Apart from this, they have a low satiety index, meaning they only give you the feeling of being full for a short period. This puts you at risk of frequent snacking and binge eating in turn leading to excess weight gain.

Try switching to complex carbohydrates that are found in whole-grain bread, brown rice, or quinoa. This will help you feel satiated for a longer period and provide you with the necessary fiber and energy to keep you going throughout the day.

Douse the fire with water!

Gestational weight gain is a problem as rampant as a wildfire. It can be doused with proper nutrition and diet. One of the most important and neglected parts of a well-balanced diet is water.

Ignoring the cups of water you drink in a day puts you at greater risk of gaining weight. Recent research shows that women who neglect their hydration were nearly twice at risk of becoming obese. Have at least 8 cups of water a day for a stronger and happier pregnancy!

Low fat for the win!

Dairy is an integral part of any pregnant women’s diet. Experts believe that any pregnant lady should consume at least 4 servings of dairy products each day. Why? you ask. Dairy is a great source of calcium and is a probiotic that aid in the proper development of the baby and maintenance of maternal health.

Such products are also rich sources of fat, both healthy and unhealthy. With a diet having high dairy consumption you are also at risk of gaining unwanted weight. Try low-fat or fat-free alternatives. Switch to skimmed milk can significantly reduce your calorie and fat intake thus reducing the risk of weight gain.

Read more: Light And Safe Exercises During Pregnancy

Go easy on the oil

The cooking oils commonly used in food preparation can also impact your weight during pregnancy. It’s important to be mindful of their effects as they are often high in saturated fats and calories. Excessive use of oil in cooking can increase the risk of weight gain.

Apart from this, oily foods can increase the level of cholesterol in your blood, thus predisposing you to heart disease and other complications. It is best to limit the use of oil during cooking and avoid the consumption of oily and fried foods for a better and stronger pregnancy!

Break the cycle with trace elements

Gestational diabetes and maternal weight gain go hand-in-hand and form a vicious cycle. Those extra kilos you load put you higher on the risk scale of gestational diabetes. Also, if you do have gestational diabetes, you are more at risk of gaining weight which again puts you at risk of pregnancy-related complications. A cycle of unwanted complications is formed here!

The good news is that you can break this cycle by consuming higher quantities of trace elements like iodine, selenium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Try snacking more on nuts like almonds and walnuts which are good sources of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. In addition to this try having some well-cooked fish, a proteinaceous treat that doubles as a good source of iodine.

Safe Dietary Practices To Try

In addition to having a delicious and well-balanced diet, having good and sustainable eating habits goes a long way in avoiding gestational weight gain. Here are a few tips and tricks to have safe and sustainable eating practices during pregnancy!

1. Track what you eat:

Counting calories is one of the most efficient ways to keep your diet in check. Eating more than the amount required will aid in weight gain. Here are the number of calories required by a pregnant woman depending on the stage of their pregnancy.

2. Avoid electronics while eating

Are you guilty of having a meal while watching your favorite show? If yes, then you should break this habit. Watching T.V or any other electronic device while eating makes you ignorant of the food you’re consuming. This can result in you overeating and turn unwanted weight gain.

3. Have smaller meals

Eating 5-6 small meals a day is much better than having 3 large meals. How does this help? Smaller and more frequent meals mean a lesser load on your digestive system. With proper digestion and absorption of all the nutrients in your food, you will feel more satisfied and have reduced cravings.

4. Pick and choose what to eat

Try avoiding eating out as much as possible, since it does not allow you to control the nutritional value of your food. In case you have to dine out make sure to ask the staff about the ingredients and nutritional value of the dish to make an informed decision about your order.

5. Strike a balance

The key to a happy pregnancy is a well-balanced diet. A proper balance between the nutrients in your food will ensure a safe pregnancy. So make sure to consult a nutritionist who will help you whip up a solid meal plan for a stronger pregnancy!

Conclusion

There is no other way around it, you are bound to gain weight during your pregnancy. But now you know how to manage weight during pregnancy. However, as mentioned before, weight gain above the ideal weight increase in pregnancy has deleterious effects on your health as well as the baby’s well-being.

Gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, morning sickness, delivery complications- you name it. A higher than normal number on your weighing scale predisposes you to all these complications. Furthermore, gestational weight gain also puts your little one at risk.

Childhood obesity, increased risk of diabetes, and metabolic disorders are some of the risks that can loom on your child’s future. It is best to take dietary precautions to avoid such negative consequences.

Eating diets that contain low-calorie foods but are rich in nutrients go a long way in preventing additional pregnancy weight gain. Carefully planning your carbohydrate, protein, fats, and micronutrient intake and striking a balance between them will help in staying slim during pregnancy.

That being said, it is important to remember that all the foods mentioned in this blog work best when consumed in moderation. A higher intake of these foods can also result in adverse pregnancy outcomes. managing pregnancy weight gain is doable but maintaining a healthy lifestyle is what takes constant effort.

Remember, each person is different and has varying dietary requirements. A family doctor or nutritionist can best guide you to meet your needs. Consult your family doctor today to find out what nutrition plan suits you the best.

Keep reading our diet and healthy food blogs for more credible information about living an active lifestyle when pregnant.

Your eldest child is a toddler? And you are pregnant at the same time? God, that sounds exciting and slightly exhausting. This can be a lot to cope with. It is therefore extremely important that you know of tips for managing pregnancy with a toddler.

Preparing for the second baby

Pregnancy can be a challenging experience as your body undergoes numerous daily changes. Despite getting a good night’s sleep, exhaustion can still be present. Many women experience significant fatigue and nausea during pregnancy. When you also have a toddler to care for, the difficulties of pregnancy are amplified.

Another baby in your family seems like a beautiful gift, but guess what comes with it? 
Being worn out from all the juggling. There’s work to do, a kid that feels hungry in the middle of the night, and to top it all, pregnancy insomnia.

It is not unusual to be a pregnant mother when your eldest child is a toddler. But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. After reading these tips for being pregnant with a toddler, you will be able to be a ‘supermom’ to your toddler while being pregnant.

Read more: Ectopic Pregnancy: What It Is & What Can Be Done

Pregnancy 2.0: What do you need to know before conceiving?

There are some things you need to keep in mind before conceiving your next baby. Pregnancy spacing is an important aspect that your partner and you need to discuss. A pregnancy within six months of delivery is not the best idea as it is associated with problems like premature birth, congenital disorders, placental issues like abruption, and maternal anemia.

Studies indicate that the recommended interval between two pregnancies is approximately 18 to 24 months following childbirth. However, it is preferable for the gap to be less than 5 years. This may be due to the potential decline in your body’s physiological capacity to support a pregnancy over time.

Plus, as you get older, your chances of getting pregnant might be low, especially beyond the age of 35. Keeping this in mind, it is essential to wait at least for 12 months before you try again.

This means that your decision to have a second child while your first child is still a toddler is probably a good idea, even though it does seem intimidating at the moment. Plus, your two children will be relatively closer in age, and that could mean great companionship between the two!

Tips to survive pregnancy with a toddler

Now that you are on this journey, we want to help you make the best of it. Managing a toddler with a second pregnancy is going to be tough, we’re not going to lie.

However, you’ve been through pregnancy once before, so you are relatively prepared in that area. 

Here are some tips for managing pregnancy with a toddler:

1. Relax, take it slow!

You will notice people often advising you to stay calm and relax. There’s a reason for it.

Your emotional state directly influences the baby’s well-being; hence, it is important for you to unwind. On the off chance that your mind is clouded with negative thoughts, sit down and take deep breaths. A good way to stay calm is by practicing meditation. It helps you relieve stress and anxiety.

You also have the option to go for a walk in the park. Engaging in physical activity can help reduce stress and spending time outdoors can promote relaxation and mental clarity. You can also allow your toddler to play and explore in the playground, which will tire them out and facilitate a smoother bedtime routine. This way, you can enjoy some valuable bonding time with your toddler as well.

2. Planning works

We know plans don’t always work out, but not planning your ‘pregnancy routine’ can be a risk. 

You have approximately 35 weeks from the time you find out you’re pregnant to schedule everything. Make your very own ‘Pregnancy Board’ or ‘Pregnancy Diary’. Note down your hospital trips, doctor’s appointments, and day-to-day activities. Planning will help in calming your nerves, giving you control over your decisions.

3. Enlist help

You’re human, not superhuman. You cannot do everything yourself, even if you try. You don’t want to get exhausted all the time. You will need help at some point or the other. Ask your partner, your parents, your partner’s parents, your friends, or your neighbors-basically anyone you trust with your kid to help you out with some chores, especially in managing your toddler. This will free up some of the time that you could spend relaxing, getting your personal work done, or even your hospital visits.

4. Nap it out

Naps help to slow things down a bit. One way to do it is to nap when your toddler naps. This way you get to sleep during the day too, even for a little while. During pregnancy, short naps can have a positive effect on you and your baby’s health. Naps give you a much-needed boost, lower your stress levels, and give you the energy to deal with your toddler.

According to a study conducted in China, expectant mothers who incorporate regular napping into their routine may potentially decrease the risk of having a baby with low birth weight. The research indicates that women who took naps lasting approximately one to one and a half hours had a 29% lower likelihood of experiencing low birth weight in their infants. This highlights the significance of recognizing the role of sleep in maintaining overall maternal well-being during pregnancy.

5. Keep ’em busy

Toddlers don’t tire. They are filled to the brim with energy and they expect you to participate along. But let’s face it. Even on normal days, it is hard to keep up with them. This is next to impossible when you are pregnant. So, you need to find productive ways to keep them busy.

Try to make up games for them involving physical activity, or concentration, like blocks or puzzles. Even though you want to minimize screen time, you can encourage them to watch a show or play a game every once in a while. You can utilize this time to relax or get your work done.

Preparing your child for a sibling

We understand that having one child is difficult enough, and when one more is added to the list, it brings a whole new level of chaos. You will have to double the number of diapers, naps, and above all, love.

But as exciting as it sounds to have a new baby, your toddler may not be as thrilled. The firstborn may be quite stunned and unsure of how their life will change.

Juggling many such aspects of pregnancy, there’s one thing you shouldn’t overlook. 
Preparing your toddler for baby’s arrival. As soon as possible. Helping your child prep for a baby and a new life as a big sibling should be at the top of your pregnancy checklist.

And as they say, nothing good comes easy; preparing your firstborn for a new baby will test your patience. Too much to handle? We got your back. Again.

Here are our tips on what can be done to make this transition as smooth as possible before the new one arrives at the scene.

Read more :  Relationship Problems During Pregnancy And Ways To Deal With Them

1. Breaking the news

It is advisable to inform your toddler about your pregnancy, but it is important to choose the right timing. Introduce the concept of a new baby gradually, allowing them to become familiar with the idea. Show them baby pictures to create a sense of comfort and understanding. Remember that toddlers require time to adapt and feel secure during this transition. Providing a nurturing and supportive environment will assist them in coping with your pregnancy, ensuring that they embrace the news with joy and excitement.

2. Talk to them

You must keep in mind that pregnancy can be confusing to the toddler, making them act out. 

Working together is the key. Get the toddler involved. Point out their role as older siblings and get them excited about the baby’s arrival.

Here’s a tip: let the toddler talk to the baby. Watch your older child adoringly talk to your belly, feel the baby move, and give tender hugs to their sibling. You can also invite them to sing or pat the baby. This way you create a special bond amongst them.

Trust us when we say that moments like these, as fleeting as they are, make all the other exhausting moments worthwhile.

It is important that you keep the conversation light and positive. Don’t get into the details, as it will confuse them more. Suppose you are feeling sick, simply tell them you’re not feeling well. 

One way to explain your fatigue is by saying, “Growing a baby requires a lot of work. I sometimes felt tired when you were growing inside. Too.”

3. Make them understand

Your toddler won’t completely know what’s it like to have a new baby around.

Have a fun photo-viewing session with her. Show them some photos of what you looked like when you were pregnant with them. Toddlers love stories. Tell them stories of what they were like when they were a baby, including their tantrums, and how excited you were when they were born. Photos and stories will help them understand what a newborn looks like and how babies grow.

At first, your toddler may not be fond of you being around other babies. Hence, it is helpful to visit friends and family with newborns to make them feel comfortable around other babies. 

Being around other babies is crucial as it will give them an idea of what they are like and will even develop ways to interact with them.

4. Involve them

A two-year-old understands a lot more than you think. Involving her in the preparation process can be a very effective step. Invite her to tasks related to the new baby’s arrival, like “what toys should we buy?” Making her feel included in the preparation gives her a sense of responsibility, which may even result in her coming up with new ideas that might help you.

See to it that you stay positive throughout and let your toddler be as involved as they want to be. Allow her to play with the baby’s things as you pull them out of storage or as presents arrive.

The more involved they are in the baby’s life, the more excited they will be to step into the role of elder sister. Don’t forget to explain how much attention you will need to give the new baby. This will help the toddler with what to expect when her sibling arrives.

5. Routine check

The addition of a second child will undoubtedly bring changes and increased chaos to your daily life. However, it is important to prioritize maintaining your toddler’s routine as much as possible. Setting clear goals for both yourself and your partner will aid in achieving this. By sticking to the familiar schedule of morning routines, mealtimes, bath time, and bedtime, your toddler will find it easier to adapt to the presence of the new sibling and establish a sense of stability amidst the changes.

6. Make them feel important

Affirm his importance in the life of the baby by assigning her age-appropriate responsibilities. 

It will give them a sense of pride to be a part of the process if you ask them to help you. 

You need to keep reminding your older child that her parents love her more than ever, and the addition of a new baby will never change that. You can give your child a sense of security by explaining that you are all one happy family.

Conclusion

This could be a challenging time for both, you and your little one. You just have to make sure that you get enough time for yourself, relax, and take care of your health with proper diet and exercise. At the same time, your toddler should not feel neglected. We are sure that with the help of these tips for managing pregnancy with a toddler, you can have a healthy pregnancy and an enjoyable time with your toddler!

Involving them in the process, getting them familiar with the idea of having a new sibling, and reassuring them that this does not change what they mean to you are all important. Don’t make them feel left out or less important. Lastly, also help them adjust to their new role as a big brother or big sister. The steps you take today can help you build a stronger foundation for your family tomorrow.

You’re probably worried if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. You’re already adjusting to various changes in your body during pregnancy. Not only is receiving the diagnosis difficult but there’s also the problem of adopting the lifestyle changes that will help you manage the disease during your pregnancy.

Take solace in the fact that you will not only be able to maintain a healthy pregnancy, but you will also be able to do it without adhering to a rigorous diet, through some simple gestational diabetes food ideas.

Continue reading to find out what causes gestational diabetes, how to eat healthy when pregnant, and how to make simple yet delicious recipes and meals. The goal is to develop long-term behaviors that are easy to manage and stress-free while yet allowing you to maintain a healthy blood sugar level during this joyful period.

Living with gestational diabetes

Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are advised to adhere to a prescribed diet as it is often possible to regulate blood sugar levels through the consumption of nutritious foods and regular exercise. By incorporating suggested meal options for gestational diabetes, it is possible to reduce the need for insulin injections or other medical interventions.

Worry not moms: after a gestational diabetes diagnosis, mothers all over the world can (and do!) have healthy pregnancies that result in healthy infants. The key is management, and a lot of that is influenced by what you consume.

You’ll have to experiment with different foods with health benefits and measure your glucose levels to figure out which foods cause increases. If that’s the case, try something else or seek credible health information, and help from your healthcare professional.

Foods For Mothers With Gestational Diabetes

While gestational diabetes recipes should always be customized (by a dietitian or diabetes educator), there are some general guidelines that can help you keep your blood sugars in check:

Easy And Healthy Recipes For Gestational Diabetes

If you have gestational diabetes, type 1 or 2 diabetes, or both, here are some gestational diabetes recipes that may help you control your blood sugar (also known as blood glucose). Need some quick, easy, and healthy meal and snack ideas for gestational diabetes? Read on to know them!

1. Crustless Quiche with Broccoli and Cheese

This crustless quiche is flavorful, creamy, with a bit of spice, and filling — it’s a fantastic low-carb vegetarian breakfast. Because they’re low carb, high protein, and moderate to high in fat, crustless quiches are a fantastic diabetic breakfast option. Don’t forget that breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day’s blood sugar levels.

This quiche covers all of those areas, plus adds plenty of broccoli for added nutrition and fullness.

Ingredients:

Serves: 6

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ℉. On the hob, heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is heated, add the broccoli and 1/2 cup of water. Cook until all of the water has evaporated.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sriracha, ricotta, cheddar cheese, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk everything together until it’s smooth. Remove from the equation. Garlic should be roughly chopped.
  3. Add the oil and garlic to the skillet once the water has evaporated. Cook for 3 minutes after adding the broccoli.
  4. If using an oven-safe skillet, scatter the broccoli evenly across the pan and then pour the egg mixture over it.
  5. Transfer the broccoli to the quiche dish and pour the egg mixture over it if you aren’t using an oven-safe skillet.
  6. Fill up any gaps with the egg mixture.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the center of the oven, or until the custard in the top middle of the quiche is firm to the touch.

2. Citrusy Chicken Skewers with Couscous

Chicken might be an excellent choice for diabetics. The chicken comes in a variety of cuts, all of which are strong in protein and low in fat. Chicken may be a terrific item in a healthy diabetic diet plan if prepared properly. With a splash of flavors like lemon, garlic, and mushrooms, this recipe is a sure shot hit if you have gestational diabetes. Serve it as an appetizer or add it to a wrap or a tortilla and enjoy!

Ingredients:

Serves: 2

Procedure:

A great gestational diabetes recipe!

3. Baked Gnocchi with Lentils and Veggies

This recipe for Vegetarian Baked Gnocchi with lentils is not only satisfying and nutritious, but it also requires minimal preparation time. Additionally, it is suitable for gluten-free diets, rich in plant-based protein, and can be conveniently stored in the freezer. The best part is that you can prepare the entire meal using just one baking dish.

The recipe is rather flexible, and you don’t need to measure anything too precisely (basically, just throw any vegetables you like in there); the majority of the components are pantry staples that require little work, such as passata, dried herbs, tinned lentils, and, of course, gnocchi.

Ingredients:

Serves: 4

Procedure:

This dish can be a great addition to your gestational diabetes diet menu ideas!

Please note:

4. Jumbo Bean & Mushroom Enchiladas

Ingredients:

Serves: 6

Procedure:

Keep in mind that portion sizes of carbohydrate items DO matter when you have gestational diabetes, and your provider, diabetes educator, or dietician should provide you with a tailored plan based on your current blood sugar levels.

By selecting meals and snacks from the provided list, you can make choices that support both your blood sugar management and the nourishment of your baby’s growth and development.

Meals To Avoid If You Have Gestational Diabetes:

Following dinner, it is advisable to refrain from consuming desserts or puddings. Since larger food portions can be challenging for your body to process, it is recommended to wait for an hour, monitor your blood sugar levels, and then indulge in a dessert as a special treat.

Read more : Morning Sickness: All You Need To Know

Conclusion

Gestational diabetes poses a great threat to your health during your pregnancy and in the long run after delivery. Preterm birth, obesity, and low birth weight of your child are just some of the complications that may occur.

Having specific foods and a customized diet plan goes a long way in keeping your blood sugar levels. Try the gestational food ideas mentioned in this blog to manage it!

Furthermore, getting creative in the kitchen adds that fun factor to your diet. Try these easy and healthy gestational diabetes recipes. A great addition to your gestational diabetes menu ideas, don’t you think so?

Keep reading our nutrition blogs for more healthy information!

Parents of newborns are committed to creating an optimal environment for their baby’s growth, prioritizing their baby’s physical health and emotional well-being. They aspire for their baby to develop rapidly, acquiring knowledge and understanding at a swift pace.

There are some ways to help your baby learn to walk that parents should be mindful about. They want the baby to walk, talk and be active as early as possible, and to do that, physical activity plays a very important role in not only the physical development but also, the mental development of the baby. How to help your baby learn to walk is a big task as far as parenting is concerned. There are several ways to help a baby learn to walk. Read on to know more.

How to help your baby learn to walk is a big task as far as parenting is concerned. There are several ways to help a baby learn to walk. Read on to know more.

Benefits of physical activity for kids

Babies are born with weak muscles and bones. In their early years, it is very important that you help them promote their muscular development. According to pediatricians, parents need to help babies build flexibility, coordination, and strength with some age-appropriate routines and activities. This will help them walk sooner and with more confidence.

Engaging in regular exercise offers numerous benefits beyond weight management and disease prevention for children. Improved motor skills in children often correlate with higher levels of physical activity. It is crucial for babies and toddlers to be physically active on a daily basis as it promotes healthy growth and development.

Healthy muscles and bones are an indicator of overall health. If the baby has good muscular strength and healthy bones, chances are they will also learn to crawl, walk, and run about faster.

You must be wondering about the tips to get your baby or toddler walking or how to teach your baby to walk. The next section has more.

Exercises for newborns and infants (0-12 months)

Babies should be encouraged to be active throughout the day, every day in a variety of ways, including crawling.

If they’re not yet crawling, encourage them to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, and moving their head, body, and limbs during daily routines, and during supervised floor play.

Try to include at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day when they’re awake. Once babies can move around, encourage them to be as active as possible in a safe and supervised play environment.

Exercises for toddlers (12–36 months)

Toddlers should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (three hours). The more the better. This should be spread throughout the day, including playing outdoors.

The 180 minutes can include light activities such as standing up, moving around, rolling, and playing, as well as a more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running, and jumping.

Active play, such as using a climbing frame, playing in the water, chasing games, and ball games, is the best way for this age group to get moving.

Core-strengthening exercises for babies

Give your baby tummy time

Age: 0 months onwards

This is the most common of all trunk-strengthening exercises for babies suggested by pediatricians. Simply put your newborn on his tummy after every feeding. This act builds the core muscles of your baby’s tummy. There are many variations to this, such as:

Tip: Remember that whenever your child is not lying on the back, he is working on increasing his head control and neck strength.

So, minimize their lying down time after your child is two to three months old and make sure that your baby is getting exposure to enough physical activity.

Help your baby sit up

Age: 4 months (or when a baby is able to support her head)

Place a blanket on the bed and then place the baby on it. Then, hold the blanket on each side slightly above the head, with your baby in the middle of your arms. Slowly lift the blanket so your baby comes to a sitting position, then lower it back down again. This is a very simple and safe exercise to help your baby gain upper body strength.

Teach this exercise to your baby:

Other Exercises

1. Bicycle Motion

Age: 0 months onwards

Your little one’s leg development is also a key area of concern, especially as the leg muscles help determine how soon he/she will be able to crawl and walk. Pediatricians recommend the following baby leg strengthening exercise to develop your baby’s leg muscles:

Position the baby on their back and delicately grip their ankles. Gradually move their legs in a circular motion, imitating the action of pedaling a bicycle. Repeat this movement four to five times consecutively. Afterward, allow the baby a short pause of a few minutes before continuing.

Did you know? Bicycle legs is among the best ways to relieve your baby’s gas! Pediatricians say that when your baby is practicing bicycle legs, the movement helps release bubbles from his stomach and move them through the intestines. This way, your baby can pass these bubbles naturally and not face any gas pain.

When to do this? Check if your baby’s stomach feels hard and bloated. He may be gassy, and this exercise will soothe him.

If your baby resists and does not want to have you pedal his legs, don’t force him.

2. Do Some Dancing!

Age: 0 months onwards

Babies like to be moved around and held up on their toes. As per doctors, this toe and foot motion is excellent for their leg muscle development.

Simply hold your baby gently under his armpits and touch his toes on the ground. Since you are now supporting most of his weight, let him balance gently. Notice that your baby will often kick, which will make it look like he is dancing.

Note: Be sure to give your baby extra support as he finds it very difficult to stand up now. It is not recommended to practice this exercise for a prolonged duration as the little one will get tired.

3. Help Your Baby Pick Up/Lift Objects

Age:  4–6 months

Doctors suggest that picking up objects is a good way to build your baby’s grasping ability and hand–eye coordination, as well as muscular strength.

Make your baby sit in a high chair or bouncy seat. Now place some toys or household items in front of your baby. Encourage them to lift one, examine it, put it down, and then lift it (or another object) again. You may have to show them how to do this a few times, but most babies learn very quickly and enjoy this exercise a lot!

Exercises for Gas problems in Babies

If your baby is having painful gas, here are five tricks that should help her feel better:

Move Those Little Legs

If your baby is lying on his back, gently move the legs back and forth to imitate riding a bicycle. This exercise helps with intestinal motion and can expel trapped gas. You can also bend his legs and gently push the knees up towards the tummy. If he’s on his tummy, you can help ease him into Child’s Pose (just like in yoga) and that motion will have the same effect.

A Gentle Tummy Rub

Baby massage is a technique employed by nurses to provide comfort to infants experiencing gas bubbles. Place your baby on their back and gently massage their tummy using circular motions. This circular motion stimulates abdominal activity, aiding in the release of trapped gas bubbles.

Baby Burping

Of course, the best go-to for any fussy baby is to burp them. Sometimes one good burp will do the trick. It may not happen right away, so burp him, lie him down for a few minutes, then gently pick him up and try again. Keep giving tummy time a try.

Infant Massage

Infant massage is a way to gently nurture and spend time with your baby.

Massage is one age-old trick that never fails. The benefits of an oil massage are now well accepted by doctors, and it can definitely help make your baby’s muscles and bones stronger.

You can start massaging your baby’s body early—as early as a week or two old. There are a few movements/exercises that you should do as part of baby massage in order to build the baby’s strength:

Note: Make sure you do NOT use rigorous or high-pressure strokes. Only a gentle massage using skin-friendly baby oil is beneficial for your baby’s improved blood circulation, and in turn, bodily strength.

Benefits of Infant Massage

Research suggests that infant massage can have various health benefits. For example, infant massage might:

Some studies also suggest that infant massage involving moderate pressure might promote growth for premature babies.

How do I massage my baby

Infant massage involves a little preparation and some basic techniques. To get started:

Should you use oil?

Some parents prefer to use oil during infant massage to prevent friction between their hands and the baby’s skin.

If you choose to use oil, select one that’s odorless and edible—just in case your baby gets some in his or her mouth.

If your baby has sensitive skin or allergies, test the oil first by applying a small amount to a patch of your baby’s skin and watching for a reaction.

It might take a few tries before you and your baby get the hang of infant massage. Be patient. With a little practice, an infant massage can be a healthy way for you and your baby to relax and bond.

Conclusion

To conclude, these are the different ways to help baby learn to walk and promote his physical and mental development.

Now that you are aware of how to help your baby learn to walk and how to make your baby walk, you can also include some core-strengthening exercises, bicycle movements, and exercises to be performed when the baby has gas problems.

Along with these exercises, the baby should also be massaged every day.

Burping plays a crucial role in a baby’s feeding routine, particularly for newborns and infants. Since babies are unable to burp independently, it is essential for parents to acquire the knowledge and skills to effectively burp their newborns.

There are a few techniques you can employ for newborn burping. This article will tell you how to burp newborn, newborn burping techniques, and newborn burping positions. There are many different burping techniques for newborns. The best burping techniques for newborns involves the time after their meals. This ensures that the gas formed after eating is released in a safe manner.

Good burping techniques for newborns are also about knowing the right time to burp. Read on to know more.

Common forms of discomfort faced by infants

What causes gas in infants

Gas formation is a natural occurrence as newborn babies and infants undergo the development of their digestive system and gut microbiota.

Various factors may contribute to gas formation in infants and newborns which include:

Burping

Burping is the release of gas from the upper digestive tract (esophagus and stomach). Babies (mostly newborns and infants) tend to swallow air when they are feeding or when they are crying.

This forms air bubbles in their tummy, which may become gas that gets trapped and causes discomfort and pain. Burping helps to relieve this trapped gas and comfort the newborns and infants.

It also helps prevent spitting up and stops the hiccups of the baby. It helps to prevent the build-up of air in your baby’s body.

How to know when to burp your baby

Babies generally show distinct signs of trapped gas which can signal you to burp them.

These include:

How many times should you burp your baby

While there are no strict guidelines for burping a baby, it appears advantageous to do so as it helps alleviate discomfort and pain caused by trapped gases in the baby’s stomach.

Burping is usually done after the baby has finished his meal or during the meal. If your baby seems to be fussy during his feeding, stop feeding, burp the baby, and feed again.

Try burping your baby after every two to three ounces of milk, if he is bottle-fed, or each time you switch breasts while breastfeeding. This has been recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics.

Further, try burping your baby every ounce during bottle-feeding or every five minutes during breastfeeding, if your baby:

What happens if you don’t burp your newborn or infant

If the baby does not seem too fussy during feeding and if he does not show signs of discomfort like those representing trapped gases, you may need not burp him.

However, if the baby shows signs of discomfort during feeding and is unable to release gases, it is better to burp him. Not being burped often and swallowing too much air can make a baby spit up or seem cranky or gassy.

What if your baby is unable to burp even after you try

If your baby doesn’t burp within a few minutes, you can try changing their position and continue attempting to burp for a few more minutes before resuming feeding. Massaging the baby’s belly and gently moving their legs can also be helpful in relieving trapped gas.

Techniques to help burp your newborn or infant

Knowing how to burp your baby is one of the best things new parents can learn.

When burping your newborn or infant, pat their backs gently and repeatedly to gain maximum benefit from burping.

Cup your hand while patting since it is gentler than a flat palm. Place a napkin or a bib under the infant’s chin or your shoulder to prevent cleaning the mess that may result from a wet burp.

Try different positions for burping that are comfortable for you and your baby. Some of the best burping techniques for newborns are easy to do and comfortable for you and your baby.

Here are some good burping techniques for newborns:

The best burping technique for newborns will generally differ for babies and parents.

Use the method that works best for you.

Things to Remember When Burping a Baby

Conclusion

Burping is a useful technique to alleviate trapped gas in babies and prevent the accumulation of gases. Many new parents choose to incorporate burping into their routine. However, limited research is available regarding the effectiveness of burping.

Breastfed babies generally burp less because they swallow less air. By the time your newborn is four to six months old, he will surpass the need to be burped. Parents, especially mothers, can often tell that a baby needs to be burped if he or he is squirmy or pulling away while being fed. As parents, it is up to you to monitor your newborn and decide based on the signs of discomfort or gases during and after feeding if he needs to be burped or you may skip burping.

Keep in mind the good burping techniques for newborns mentioned above. But remember that the best burping techniques for newborns are the ones that suit you and your baby. We hope that the article answered most of your queries about how to burp a newborn, along with different burping techniques for newborns.

Why are childhood immunizations so important? Childhood immunizations are important because a newborn is susceptible to many diseases and infections and it is our responsibility to protect them. Due to weak immunity and interference of mothers’ antibodies, very young newborns rarely respond well to immunization.

Immunization administration during pregnancy is safe, effective, and immunogenic for many diseases that are vaccine-preventable. Immunization of mothers protects both her and the baby against the sickness of the delivery trauma. For the first six months of life, an antibody is required.

Tetanus, influenza, and pertussis immunizations are provided during pregnancy to protect pregnant mothers and infants from disease.

A recent review conducted by the World Health Organization demonstrated no evidence of adverse outcomes in pregnant women or infants if they receive the Tetanus toxoid, conjugate meningococcus, inactivated influenza vaccine, or inactivated polio vaccines.

Research conducted in the United States, Finland, and Israel has provided evidence to support the safety and efficacy of polio vaccination during pregnancy. These studies have shown that administering polio vaccines to pregnant women does not result in an increased risk of disabilities or adverse outcomes.

During a 0–4-week period, newborns can get their first few vaccinations like the BCG vaccine, Hepatitis B birth dose, and OPV birth dose. These vaccinations should be done in the health care unit. For premature babies vaccination is a must.

BCG vaccine

BCG, or Bacille Calmette-Guerin, is a vaccine for tuberculosis . BCG is used in many countries with a high prevalence of TB to prevent childhood tuberculosis meningitis and miliary disease.

What Is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially severe infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes. A newborn baby’s lungs are sensitive to this type of virus and there is a major risk of TB occurrence.

Why Newborns Should Get the BCG Vaccine

Dose Pattern for Vaccination

After birth, a newborn should get a vaccine from a healthcare provider from the same hospital or as early as possible till one year of age. The dose should be accurately 0.1ml (0.05ml until 1 month of age) given under the skin of the left upper arm.

Hepatitis B Birth Dose

Children should receive three doses of the hepatitis B vaccine to prevent hepatitis B. The initial dose should be administered within 24 hours of birth.

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus. When a person is first infected with the virus, he or she can develop an “acute” (short-term) infection. Acute hepatitis B refers to the first six months after someone is infected.

This infection can range from a very mild illness with few or no symptoms to a serious condition requiring hospitalization. Some people are able to fight the infection and clear the virus.

For others, the infection remains and is “chronic,” or lifelong. Chronic hepatitis B refers to the infection when it remains active instead of getting better after six months. Over time, the infection can cause serious health problems, and even liver cancer.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B

Usually, newborn babies do not show any symptoms.

Why Should a Newborn Baby Get the Hepatitis B Vaccine?

To protect your baby from hepatitis B, a very serious disease.

Prevents your child from developing liver disease and cancer from hepatitis B.

The importance of vaccinating children against hepatitis B is not only to protect themselves but also to prevent the spread of the disease to others. Children infected with hepatitis B may not display symptoms but can unknowingly transmit the virus to others.

What is the dosage of the Hepatitis B Vaccine?

The vaccine should be given at birth or as early as possible within 24 hours. It is given to a baby in 0.5ml of dose into the muscles of one side of the left mid-thigh.

OPV

Oral polio vaccine, including a birth dose (known as zero doses because it does not count towards the primary series), is recommended in all polio-endemic countries and in countries at high risk for importation and subsequent spread. The birth dose should be administered at birth, or as soon as possible after birth.

Why should the oral polio vaccine be given to newborns

What Is Poliovirus Disease?

Polio is a contagious viral illness that, in its most severe form, causes nerve injury, leading to paralysis, difficulty breathing, and sometimes death.

There are so many doses of oral vaccines. And they are all absolutely safe. It is indeed safe to administer multiple doses of polio vaccine to children. The vaccine is designed to be administered multiple times to ensure full protection.

In the tropics, several doses of polio vaccine are required for a child to be fully protected—sometimes more than 10. This vaccine is safe for all children. Each additional dose further strengthens a child’s immunity level against polio.

Dose Pattern of OPV

The OPV should be given at birth or as early as possible within the first 15 days. Only two drops of vaccine are given orally to the baby.

Hygienic care of the newborn baby

Maintaining good hygiene is essential for preventing infections and promoting a healthy and longer lifespan. Good hygiene practices involve adopting habits that reduce the risk of illness and promote overall well-being. Neglecting hygiene can have detrimental effects, particularly on children, who may suffer from various health issues as a result.

Newborn hygiene includes regular bathing, moisturization, cleaning of the diaper area, cleaning of the umbilical cord, and so on.

Bathing

Bathing can be delayed from the first bath for 12–24 hours. Nowadays, bathing cleansers have surfactants that are harmful to the skin of a two-week-old child. Skin cleansers should be soap-free and should have a neural/mildly acidic pH (pH 5.5 to 7.0). So use harmless chemical-free cleansers and avoid overbathing your newborn.

If it’s possible, apply vernix caseosa on your infant’s skin. Vernix is a type of greasy covering to protect a newborn baby’s skin.

Bub bathing is better than sponge bathing. Sponge bathing may contain bacteria on a wet sponge.

Moisturizer

Use an emollient or moisturizer to prevent atopic dermatitis in newborns. Skin emollients apply smoothly and in a thin layer. Avoid excess moisturizing because it affects the baby’s skin.

Umbilical Cord

Umbilical cord must be cut with sterile scissors. Do not use antiseptics to clean the umbilical stump. It should be regularly cleaned for four to five days after birth.

Diaper Area Cleanliness

Always keep the diaper area clean. Whenever a mother changes a diaper, it should be cleaned with wet wipes with buffer pH. Wipes should be free from alcohol. After that, apply some cream to prevent dermatitis.

Sun Protection

Avoid direct sun exposure to newborn infants. It’s harmful to babies. Use clothing that protects against sun exposure. White and light clothing is recommended to use a headcover so that no excess air goes into the ear of the baby.

Newborn Health Care

Conclusion

By now you must have learned more about why childhood immunizations are important. After birth, a newborn is very susceptible to infection by viruses and bacteria. That’s why the baby should get all the three necessary vaccinations—the BCG vaccine, the Hepatitis B vaccine, and the OPV vaccine.

As babies have sensitive skin, good hygiene is necessary to maintain a newborn, such as umbilical cord cleaning, regular bathing, moisturizing, diaper changing, cleanliness of diaper area, sub protection, eye protection, etc.

Newborn healthcare is an essential part of your paternal duties. It cannot be neglected. We hope this article on newborn care answers the question of why is childhood immunization important.

Fat plays a crucial role in providing essential nutrients and energy for a growing baby. During infancy and early childhood, when rapid growth and development occur, the body requires a significant number of calories relative to its size. Fat is an important source of calories, containing more than twice as many calories per gram compared to proteins and carbohydrates.

Parents have been looking for ways to feed their babies a healthier diet for years. From searching for a healthier alternative to cow milk for babies to finding the best hypoallergenic formula. However, did you know that there are healthy fats for infants?

Fat is one of the most frequently discussed nutrients in our diet. While there are many different perspectives on fats in an adult diet, there is no doubt that fats – including what kinds and how much – are critical for a child’s diet.

Fat is a necessary nutrient that plays numerous roles in the growth and development of infants. Fats can be found in a wide range of foods that are at opposite ends of the health spectrum.

Here’s what you need to know about healthy fat for infants, as well as where to find it.

Fat is important for babies

Fat plays a vital role in a young child’s diet and should constitute a significant portion of their caloric intake.

The body burns fat for fuel, but it also stores fat cells for later use. Fat is used by the body to insulate organs, produce hormones, and protect nervous system tissues. Fats are also important for growth and weight gain in babies.

Good fats are necessary for growth and serve as ‘nutrient enhancers’. They promote brain development, healthy bones organs, can even aid in immune system maintenance! account the majority of myelin (a fatty coating on nerve cells that helps babies think quickly) help fuel brain’s memory learning centers. It also aids absorption fat-soluble vitamins such A, D, E, K, which essential components a diet. Furthermore, because high calories, small servings will suffice. it contains DHA, acid, one omega-3 acids, increase immunity function, well keep your eyes, hair, skin, nails healthy. Fats be found foods avocados, soy products, olives, nuts seeds, plant oils. variety processed packaged snacks, baked goods, fast food items. is, however, critical to monitor baby’s consumption.

Infant Fat Requirements

Tips to ensure your infant is getting healthy fats

Provide your baby with high-quality fat sources

Do not restrict fat in your child’s diet until he or she is two years old. This means that unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider if your child is transitioning from breastmilk or formula to cow’s milk, choose whole-fat varieties. And include plenty of mono- and polyunsaturated fats (adjusted for texture), such as fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, and avocado.

After the age of two, he should be following healthy eating habits like yours, which include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and other protein-rich foods, as well as high-quality fats in moderation.

Limit saturated fat

Avoid trans fats

Consume more of ‘good’ fats

Take note of the portion sizes

Because fats contain more calories than proteins and carbohydrates, they should be consumed in moderation by anyone over the age of two. While high-quality dietary fats have numerous health benefits, it is still critical to limit your total calorie intake.

Are you still wondering how to incorporate healthy fats into your baby’s diet? Well, here are some practical suggestions for increasing good fats:

Conclusion

So, the bottom line is, fats are essential nutrients for the body, and healthy fats for infants are especially important for babies.

The importance of lipids in your infant’s diet is important for you to understand. Fats not only provide energy to the body, but they also help support critical body functions.

Your infant is growing every day and using the fuel you provide to become bigger, stronger, and smarter, so incorporate good fats whenever possible! And when you need a quick fix, we’re here to help, making baby food blends that are as fresh as you can get without having to make them yourself!

However, as we have seen, not all fats are created equal, and some are unquestionably superior to others. Your little one will naturally receive the healthy fats they require by eating a varied diet of fresh, whole foods, lean proteins, oily fish, and non-hydrogenated oils.

If you’re sitting in your room feeling lonely – remember, you aren’t alone. There are trillions of microbes – both good and bad, residing in your body. Many species of these organisms have housed themselves in your gut, probably since you were born! Find this odd? Think of them as unwelcome guests? Here’s how they depend on your diet and how they impact digestion.

Gut Microbiome: A world of their own

Bacteria. Viruses. Fungi. Other things that might make you squeal. All of these come under microbes or microorganisms. It’s important to note that bacteria are the most well studied of them. You’ll be surprised to know that over a thousand species of bacteria are present in your body, and especially in your gut. They coexist peacefully, like happy, friendly neighbours.

Wondering where they’ve set up camp in your gut? It’s in this small pocket called caecum present in your colon. Altogether, these microbes may weigh as much as 2-5 pounds (1-2 kg), which is roughly the weight of your brain. Together, they function as an extra organ in your body and play a huge role in your health.

Companions from birth

Every individual possesses a distinct network of microbiota, which is determined by their DNA. The initial exposure to microbes occurs during birth, and further colonization takes place through breast milk. As a person grows and interacts with various environments or follows specific dietary patterns, their microbiota network continues to develop and evolve.

Feed your guests

We’ve talked about the residence of our esteemed inhabitants. But what sustains them? You probably guessed this one – the food we eat, especially high-fibre diets, is converted into Short-Chain Fatty Acids (whew!), which lowers the pH of the colon. This keeps away some of the bad bacteria from growing in our gut. In short, welcome the fibres into your diet.

What you eat affects them

Diet is one of the most important factors that shape the network of bacteria inside our colon. We’ve seen how this happens. Here are some interesting facts to understand:

What way diet affects your gut residents :

These facts highlight the significant influence of diet on the composition of our gut microbiome. This understanding holds immense value when considering dietary strategies to manipulate the gut microbiome, particularly in the context of disease. Certain foods that contain prebiotics, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, garlic, bananas, onions, asparagus, and seaweed, can be beneficial in nurturing a healthy gut microbiome.

Digestion and other roles: The rent they pay

Some bacteria get to work very soon after birth. One of the first occupants of our gut microbiome, Bifidobacteria, helps in digesting the healthy sugars in breast milk which are important for growth. Some bacteria help in digesting fibres.

This may help prevent weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and the risk of cancer. The gut microbiome can also influence our immunity by communicating with the immune cells. About 70% of the immunity stays in the gut in the form of these microorganisms!

Gut microbiome: Our second brain!

Have you ever had a gut feeling to do something? Or experienced butterflies in your stomach? These experiences clearly demonstrate the link between the gut and the brain. The microbes that live in our gut make certain chemicals that affect how your brain works.

Indeed, certain chemicals like butyrate, propionate, and acetate, collectively known as Short-chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs), play a role in the connection between the gut and brain. SCFAs have been found to influence brain function through various mechanisms, including appetite regulation. They can help reduce appetite and contribute to feelings of satiety, thus impacting overall food intake and energy balance.

Gut dysbiosis: When the good bacteria are under attack

The diligent bacteria in our gut work tirelessly to maintain proper digestion and support our immune system. However, there are instances when they can be overwhelmed by harmful bacteria, leading to an imbalance in the gut. This condition, characterized by an disrupted equilibrium of the natural bacterial colonies, is known as dysbiosis.

Gut dysbiosis can lead to:

Some effects of dysbiosis, such as stomach upset, are temporary and mild. In many cases, your body can correct the imbalance without treatment. You may need some prebiotic or probiotic supplements to treat dysbiosis.

Thus, it is clear that we have a very intimate and strong connection with our gut microbiome. It is also vividly impacted by our diets. So watch what you eat to keep your gut residents happy!