NITYA HULLUR IS HERE TO ANSWER YOUR PRESSING HEALTH AND FITNESS QUESTIONS.
Question – I am a 26 year old female, working in marketing. My job requires me to travel a lot. My skin has gradually become very sensitive and I now have pigmentation and acne on my face (especially my forehead). Can you please suggest a healthy diet for glowing skin?
Answer – First things first, what you put on your plate is more important than what you rub on your skin. So start investing more in locally grown, hormone balancing foods. Diets that are high in processed foods, sugars and unhealthy oils tend to trigger insulin release, which escalates the sebum production leading to pigmentation, breakouts and greasy T-Zone. Start your day with a glass of water (400 ml) with a lime wedge- this acts a natural detox, flushing out the toxins and rejuvenating your system. Replace one of your meals with a big bowl of native fruits like papaya and pineapple. These fruits are a storehouse of vitamin A, bromelain and antioxidants which will reverse the sun-damage and reduce the pigmentation and acne. Supplement your diet with 1000 mg of omega-3, which we lack in our overprocessed diets. Include 45 minutes of medium intensity exercise, 5-times a week (need not be with a trainer) and drink up to 3 litres of water in a day – this is the cost effective, sustainable way to keep your skin healthy.
Question – My husband has type 2 diabetes and leaves very early for work. What is an ideal breakfast for him to maintain his sugars? Can you also suggest foods that he can take on the road?
Answer– For diabetics, maintaining even blood sugar levels is the key to mental clarity, fat loss, positive mood and higher productivity. Always keep the breakfast a combination of healthy carbs (plantain, yam, sweet potatoes) with dense protein (snail, chicken, fish) and local greens (ewuru, gbure and ugu). My pick would be boiled water yam with vegetable stew. Not many know that water yam is a diabetic superfood, natural blood pressure regulator and gut friendly. Being high in potassium- these are a must-have for those who experience frequent bloating. Just make sure it’s not too heavy – so work on the quantity of yam. Don’t stuff yourself. Mindful snacking for diabetics is quite easy when groundnuts and tiger nuts are available. Tiger nuts particularly give you 10 grams of fibre per serving improving your insulin sensitivity, hormonal balance and keeping you full. So pick nuts over biscuits as a snack inbetween meals.
Question – I have been losing a lot of hair of late. My hair has become really thin and dry. Can good nutrition and a healthy diet help reduce the dandruff and breakage?
Answer – Just like your skin, your hair is a reflection of your nutritional profile, each strand of your hair needs continuous supply of vitamins and minerals to grow and stay healthy. With all the stress, travelling and pollution we face today we need to make a conscious effort to eat, live and think healthy for gorgeous tresses. Start incorporating shoko (Lagos spinach), gbure (waterleaf) and moringa in two of your meals each day. All these greens are rich in iron and vitamins A and E that provide the hair follicles with the needed peptides to combat environmental pollution and premature greying. A tip here – opt for those from farmer’s markets rather than supermarkets. They are fresher, healthier and have a better nutritional profile. Zinc and selenium are vital minerals that rejuvenate your hair follicles and aid faster hair growth. The Nigerian diet is naturally rich in this – so stick to traditional foods like okra, pigeon pea and fresh fish. Supplement your diet with 3000 mcg of Biotin for stronger nails, hair and skin after a heavy meal, once a day. In addition, always know that healthy hair is all about the moisture-protein balance. Make sure to deep condition your hair with a nourishing egg yolk pack, sealing it with shea butter (ori). Natural or relaxed, always make sure your hair looks healthy and tamed.
Keep the questions rolling guys.
Have some questions you’d like answered? Get in touch with Nitya: firstname.lastname@example.org