In my course of Nutrition and Exercise Science_Part 5: Are you a regular exerciser?

My new semester on Exercise Science has started in July, and I am currently swarmed with lab reports, assignments and coming exams in a month’s time.  Having said that, Exercise Science is really a very interesting course!  A none regular exerciser like myself had never thought that there is still a Science, behind Exercise.  How ignorant I was.

After attending this course, I understand the definition of Exercise; it has to be a planned, a regulated, a structured, repetitive and purposeful event (preferably with goals).

And to be called a regular exerciser, one has to meet the criteria of exercising at least 30mins a day at moderate-intensityat least 3 times in a week, for the past 3 months.  (As defined by ACSM guidelines). 

AFTER having understood this, I bought a heart rate monitoring device to monitor my exercise intensity, increases my exercise frequency and duration, progressively.  Having done this for at least the last three months, I am happy to declare myself as a REGULAR exerciser now! ?.  I shall continue to challenge my abilities and meet my goals. 

After all, Nutritional Immunology advocates the importance of exercise too!

14 July 2019.

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The Right Protein for your Muscles

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325088

What are the different types of protein powders in the market? The weight lifters, trainers, are likely the ones to be able to answer this question well. This is because protein plays an important role in building and repairing muscles.

In the health stores, you are likely to see a showcase of protein powders, ranging from casein, whey, soy isolate, hydrolyzed protein to wholesome soy protein.

Casein Protein
This is milk protein and it constitutes about 80% of protein. It isn’t a good choice of protein supplement as it is difficult to digest and tends to coagulate in our stomach.

Whey Protein
Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process. It makes up about 20% of the protein in milk. As it is still animal-based, it is also associated with oxidative stress, which can lead to cancer and, cardiovascular diseases.

Soy Isolate Protein
As the name implies, the protein is isolated from soy, mainly through chemical and biological processes. This is not the best choice as due to isolation of only the protein, the rest of the soy beneficial components are left out.

Hydrolyzed Protein
Protein that has been broken down into just amino acids through a chemical process. No other nutrients remain. There are also not sufficient proof to show that hydrolyzed protein can build muscles faster than wholesome sources of protein.

Wholesome Soy Protein
Protein powder made from the entire soybean, with minimal processing. A wholesome soybean contains not only protein, but also phytochemicals and antioxidants that give the body the balance nutrients it needs. A protein powder made from a wholesome soy has no side effects.

How about BCAA (Branch chain amino acid) supplements?

The above link from the medicalnewstoday.com explains. There is not enough evidence to show that BCAA supplements can help to reduce muscle soreness or muscle damage. They are also unable to improve strength or running times. In fact, studies shown that BCAA supplements can actually decrease muscle synthesis rather than increase it. Various amino acids are needed to build muscles. Not just BCAA. Over-do of one amino acids may cause imbalance to our body.

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Soup de Eexcel! A healthy vegetarian nutritious soup!

What a convenience for vegetarians, vegans as well as non-vegetarians!

Making a delicious and nutritious soup can take time.  But with the modern technology of pressure cooker, it has become a breeze!  No more watching over a fire, clearing up spillage when it’s boiling or having to stay in, just to ensure everything is cooked before you can leave your house.

However, when you just needed a quick-fix, or a portion just enough for yourself, the above can also take a fair bit of time.

This is when I find Soup de EExcel very convenient!  For around S$4.20 per sachet, it is also cheaper than to ‘tabao’ (buy back) a traditional soup from outside.  The latter may not even be as healthy and high in salt.

This is what I had for my lunch today – Soup de Udon.  Delicious and satisfying?

Soup de Udon
Vegetables that I use. Whatever I can find in my fridge.

First boil the udon. Once it is cooked, place the drained udon in a serving bowl.  Next, boil around 400ml of water and cook the vegetables.  Once the vegetables are cooked, off the stove and mix in one packet of soup de eexcel.  You can smell the cabbage smell too 🙂 Dispense onto the udon serving bowl.   No other condiments needed.  

Soup de Eexcel ingredients

Soup de eexcel is a high protein, nutritious and healthy soup for all ages and, is vegetarian/vegan-friendly!

Three days ago, I did Soup de Mee Sua ?.  Easy…

One can simply play around with soup de eexcel!  When used as a topping on your spaghetti, it tastes like cheese powder topping! You can also use as a stock base for your toddler’s porridge!  A good plant-based protein source for their growing up.  

12 May 2019.

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In my course of Nutrition and Exercise Science_Part 4: My Healthy Plate

Have you heard of My Healthy Plate?

My Healthy Plate

I didn’t… till I was exposed to it in both my modules of Diet and Disease and Applied Nutrition.

We may be more familiar with the Healthy Diet Pyramid that looks something like this…

Healthy Diet Pyramid

However, in the year 2014, the Healthy Diet Pyramid was replaced by My Healthy Plate in Singapore textbooks as the latter is a much simpler educational tool.  

The change is to encourage healthy eating habits in Singaporeans and to guide us in planning a healthy meal when dining in and/or out of the home.  

As it was said, the majority of people do not meet recommendations for both fruits and vegetables; and more than 50% do not limit the intake of deep, fried products.  Singaporeans are over-consuming unhealthy refined carbohydrates.  Thus the launch of My Healthy Plate which is much easier to remember!

Fill half of our plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole-grains and the other quarter with meat and others. Not missing out drinking more water, use healthier oils and be active!  (at the lower part of the plate)

This also somewhat tallies with the Institute of Medicine, AMDR recommendation for our macronutrients:45-65% carbohydrates10-35% protein20-35% fat.

So, please do not drop off or reduce carbohydrates from our diets as otherwise, our body will not be able to function well in the long term!

11 May 2019.

 653 total views

In my course of Nutrition and Exercise Science_Part 3: Nutrition Adequacy

I was reading The Straits Times when I came across this headline – “Take steps to prevent falls“, dated 1 April 2019.

This reminded me of an assignment given to us on the topic of Nutrition Adequacy.  Similar to the article, it was targeting the elderly’s health.

It was stated in the article that the number of hip fractures in Singapore is around 2500 per year.  And 20% from this group dies within a year 🙁  This is quite a high percentage…

Due to their immobility, their muscles get wasted and they also get complications such as bed sores, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, constipation and many more; all which threaten their lives.

Other than preventing osteoporosis to avoid fractures and higher chance, hip fractures, it is also important to prevent falls.  Why do the elderly fall?  

Poor vision, muscle weakness are some reasons and chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases with high or low blood pressure can cause dizziness.

Sarcopenia is a disease associated with muscle-loss with ageing.  With the loss of muscles, it is easy for them to fall.  To lower the rate of muscle-loss, strength (resistance) exercise, as well as sufficient protein intake is important.

“Protein is the king of muscle food. The body breaks it down into amino acids, which it uses to build muscle.” – https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/preserve-your-muscle-mass

However, again due to ageing, some begin to encounter difficulties chewing and/or swallowing of their food.  They tend to avoid fruits and vegetables, go for refined food such as white bread, rice, noodles that are easier to chew, but clearly in lack of vitamins and protein found in vegetables and legumes.

As one gets older, the calories needed is also less due to a drop in basal metabolism and lean muscle mass.  Their diet thus needs to be nutrient-rich.  Plant-based over animal-based are preferred as the former has no cholesterol, lesser calories and saturated fat.

Nutritional Immunology products such as Nutrifresh, Aromantic, Vegecolor become a very good wholefood beverages to supplement their diet for protein, vitamins, phytochemicals, fiber, antioxidants and calcium.

One can also refer to the Health Promotion Board – Dietary Guidelines for Elderly to understand more about elderly nutrition.

Last but not least, the elderly regard food as a family; the togetherness that equates to quality of life and eating well.

5 April 2019

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Prevent Liver Inflammation

Our liver gets inflamed almost immediately when we consume friedoily and, or spicy foods.

Prolong inflammation of the liver is not good as it can lead to fatty liver diseaseinsulin resistance with type 2 diabetescirrhosisfatigue, and even liver failure.

Unlike inflammation that occurs in other parts of our body where the pain will be felt, inflammation of the liver usually offers no signs and symptoms.  Thus prevention is of ultimate importance.

Presently, there’s no medical treatment for fatty liver disease. The good news is that most people can undo this damage by eating healthier and exercising more. Eating less animal products, eating more wholesome plant foods, more vegetables and fruits, such as blueberries, oriental raisin tree, Chinese mesona, and hawthorn, coupled with regular exercise, can be beneficial for the liver.

Phytotime contains the above mentioned ingredients. The way to drink Phytotime (Joy) is along with your meals!  When I drink it along with spicy meals, I find that my tongue doesn’t feel as ‘spicy’!  In other words, I can enjoy the spiciness of the food without feeling the burning sensation of my tongue!  I also drink it when I’m having my occasional favourite junk foods such as spicy potato/tapioca chips ?

1 April 2019

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How to choose a Healthy Cooking Oil?

Good cooking oil must meet both the following criteria:

1) High Smoke Point
Once you start to see smoke rising from your cooking wok/pan, you have reached the smoke point of the oil.  When this happens, the oil has broken down and started to produce toxic and carcinogenic substances.
“Cooking oils must not be used to the point where they exceed their smoke points or oxidization will cause them to become rancid and produce large amounts of harmful free radicals and polymers.” – The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare.

2) 1:1 ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for our body.  Plant oils are usually the main and direct source of our omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Modern diets contain large amounts of oil.  This can be seen from the dishes whipped out when we dine out; coupled with the misconception that plant oils are healthy and thus be consumed in any amount.  This resulted in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 consumed can often be as high as 30:1.  The ideal ratio should be 1:1 and 4:1.

When one consumes too much omega-6 fatty acids, it can be the path to various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Plant-based foods are beneficial to health but when extracted as oil, their molecular structures undergo changes and most of their nutrients are destroyed.  As with other oils, plant oils are high in calories and when consumed, it adds stress on the body.

Watch how one can choose a healthier cooking oil based on the above criteria.

13 March 2019.

 414 total views

Canada’s Food Guide dropping off milk and favors plant-based protein

It is getting apparent that plant-based protein is slowing emerging as a better choice over animal-based protein.

The journey of advocating plant-based protein over animal-based protein as a healthier option is indeed long and arduous! ?

An interesting extract from the article “You go to any grocery store in Europe, the dairy section is very small — you can barely find milk.”

4 March 2019.

 386 total views

Make good use of the Triflora tea-bag!

Triflora helps a lot in preventing headaches…

Perhaps due to its jasmine flowers, green tea, ginseng and chrysanthemum. It is good for respiratory and digestion too.

But do not simply throw away the used tea-bag after consuming!  

Some use it as fertilizers for their plants, some use it as lei cha 擂茶 (thunder tea) ingredients and for me, I use it to wash my cups and clean my hands!  I like the tea fragrance that lingers on the cup and on my hands ?

Note:
1) As fertilizers, you may or may not remove the tea-bag.
2) As thunder tea, cut open the tea-bag and use it in the thunder tea.  It is preservative and pesticide-free!
3) As a wash, I use it with the bag, like a sponge.  Yes it does remove mild oil too!  Discard after a few use.

26 January 2019.

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Healthy and economical breakfast / snack!

Cracking your head over breakfast choices?  For yourself and growing children?  No time to prepare and tired of having oily economic bee hoon daily?

Breakfast and snacks need not be unhealthy, with Nutrifresh.

very nice and aromatic…
this is with 1-shape lite

You can mix your museli with any of the products

Nutrifresh (with 250ml of water)
1-shape/lite (with 350ml of water)
Evernew orange (with 350ml of water)
Everstay-D (with 350ml of water)

For people with special dietary needs such as diabetics, you can use Nutrifresh-D Evernew-D

Play around with the different types of muesli too!
Have fun creating a variety of healthy breakfast and snacks for yourself and growing children!

14 January 2019

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