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Five healthy snacks to eat during pregnancy

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There’s a misconception in Nigeria that when a woman is pregnant she should be eating for two: herself and the baby. This may have created a myth that has got pregnant women wolfing down anything their hands can find.

Eat well by all means, but it is important to regulate it so you don’t put on too much weight to avoid health problems. And secondly, the nutritive content of whatever you’re putting in your mouth matters. To you and your baby. What other ways to take in the right amount of calories and nutrients than taking our list of pregnancy snacks?

5 Healthy Pregnancy snacks

Below are healthy snacks that help you control your eating during pregnancy.

  • Watermelon

Watermelon is cheap and readily available in Nigeria. Experts recommend that a pregnant woman takes fruits three times per day. And watermelon is like a gold mine of nutrients for pregnant women. It is a great source of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, lycopene, and vitamin C. A gold mine right? Some skin problems during pregnancy arise due to how sensitive your skin is. And lycopene, aside from the fact that it prevents cancer and heart disease, minimises your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Other problems that come with pregnancy are swelling of feet, muscle cramps, nausea, heartburn. The vitamins contained in watermelon provides relief to all of those problems. Plus, it prevents dehydration because of its high water content.

  • Cucumber

Cucumber is another fruit with high water content pregnant women can snack on. Also, it provides health benefits for pregnant women like regulating pregnancy weight gain and blood pressure, and help the skin cope with skin changes during pregnancy.

  • Banana

The required intake for vitamin B6 and potassium are 1.9 milligrams and 2,000 milligrams per day. And no other snacks can provide a significant amount of the RDI like bananas can. Eating banana accounts for 12% of the required potassium. And potassium regulates blood pressure during pregnancy, making sure it remains normal throughout the pregnancy.

  • Boiled groundnut

Boiled groundnuts are easy to cook and carry around during pregnancy. Groundnuts contain a healthy amount of protein, fat, and fibre. Fibre is important during pregnancy because of its ability to keep everything fluid in the large intestines, preventing constipation, one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. Also, fibre is dense with nutrients that provide you with the required calories, since you need at least 350 and 450 calories in the second and third trimester respectively.

  • Garden egg

Garden egg is another gold mine in the nutrients and vitamins category. Magnesium, folate, manganese, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, and niacin. It is also known as aubergine or eggplant. The dietary fibre contained in this oval-shaped snack has the ability to help with weight management during pregnancy. It helps reduce calorie intake because it has low-calorie content and makes you feel fuller for longer periods.

Conclusion

Other snacks include pear, boiled corn, carrots, popcorn etc. All of these snacks contain different nutrients and vitamins needed during pregnancy. Another thing they have in common is that they are cheap and readily available in Nigeria.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Deeanna Haneline

    May 17, 2022 6:55 am at 6:55 am

    Well I truly enjoyed reading it. This subject provided by you is very constructive for accurate planning.

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Health

Five unusual skin benefits of the pawpaw fruit

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The pawpaw is one of the most popular fruits in the modern world. Native to central America and southern Mexico, pawpaws are consumed in its dried, ripe and unripe forms.

While the ‘fruit of angels’ dubbed fruit rich in dietary fibre is great for health, pawpaw is also an excellent agent for skin health. Its abundant content of vitamin C make the pawpaw fruit a great source of healing wounds while protecting cells from cancer.

Great moisturizer

If you struggle with dry skin, then pawpaw is the remedy that could help out. Papaya contains enzymes which aid in dry, flaky skin by hydrating it.

By incorporating a papaya-honey face mask regularly, you can achieve a better moisturized skin in as short as a month.

You can make this papaya face mask by mixing some squashed papaya and honey, applying the paste on your face leaving out the eye area and leaving it on between half an hour or an hour before rinsing the paste off with warm water.

Acts as anti-ageing agent

Pawpaw peel has been proven to reduce wrinkles on the human skin. Thanks to its skin repairing, exfoliating and hydrating properties, pawpaw peel reverses the activities of ageing properties in the skin.

The peels of pawpaw helps erase dead skin cells from the skin’s surface.

To achieve this, get fresh pawpaw peel and rub them all over your face and neck. Allow the juice sit on your face for about twenty to thirty minutes then rinse off with cold water.

Whitens the skin

Notice how pawpaw makes up an active ingredient in popular skin-whitening products?  Pawpaw owes its whitening effects to an active Papain enzyme active in the pawpaw fruit.

Great exfoliating agent

To exfoliate means to shed from the surface of something. In skin care, exfoliation simply put, means the removal of dead skin cells to reveal a newer skin.

Again, the Papain enzyme plays an active role in restoring the even tone of the skin.

Helps in acne treatment

Acne can be as annoying as they are embarrassing. With the ever active Papain, pawpaw serves as a good agent for treating acne and at the same time, preventing future breakouts.

Pawpaw leaves, seeds, and skin, also contain anti-acne properties and abilities.

Apply pulped pawpaw on the affected area and leave on for twenty minutes. Regular application of this paste will present visible results in no time.

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Health

Why women should not wear underwear for more than 24 hours — Expert

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A Medical Laboratory Scientist, Obinna Chukwudi, has cautioned women against wearing underwear for more than 24 hours.

According to the microbiologist, wearing underwear for more than 24 hours is not good for feminine hygiene.

The microbiologist who works at the Department of Microbiology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, said the discharge and moisture buildup from the underwear provides a breeding ground for bacteria, and yeast infections contaminated with faecal and urine matter.

Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Chukwudi said the accumulated discharge and moisture can lead to a lingering foul odour and a change in vagina pH level.

According to him, “underwear should not be worn for more than 24 hours. If a woman wears a pant for more than 24 hours, what happens is that the bacteria must have accumulated over time because of the sweat and other secretions coming out, which you don’t usually see, and that is why over time you begin to see underwear changing colour – sometimes white and sometimes grey.

“The secretions stay there over time and if you do not wash it off after the 24 hours, the woman could develop infections. Again, there could be a change in vaginal pH, because of the secretions being produced which could lead to vaginosis.”

Experts say a normal vaginal pH level is between 3.8 and 4.5, which is moderately acidic.

According to them, an acidic vaginal environment creates a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria and yeast from multiplying and causing infection; but a high vaginal pH level — above 4.5 — provides an environment for unhealthy bacteria to grow.

Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina, which upsets the natural balance. Though many women with this condition have no signs and symptoms, experts say some signs and symptoms include thin, gray, white, or green vaginal discharge, foul-smelling ‘fishy’ vaginal odour, vaginal itching, and burning during urination. Many women with bacterial vaginosis, however, have no signs or symptoms.

According to an online health portal, Mayo Clinic – a medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research – bacterial vaginosis results from an overgrowth of one of several bacteria naturally found in the vaginal.

“Usually, ‘good’ bacteria (lactobacilli) outnumber ‘bad’ bacteria (anaerobes). But, if there are too many anaerobic bacteria, they upset the natural balance of microorganisms in the vagina and cause bacterial vaginosis,” Mayo Clinic noted.

Continuing, Chukwudi said “vaginosis can cause discomfort and they can experience odour coming from the private part.

“For the men, you could pardon them because the penis is not in direct contact most of the time and the opening is not wide enough to have enough loads of bacteria. But ideally, underwear should not be worn for more than 24 hours.

“A man can wear boxers for at least two days but then for a clean person, underwear shouldn’t be worn more than 24 hours. But for the woman, it is dangerous for her.

“When you wear your panties, you are supposed to wash them and maintain cleanliness in the vagina environment, if not, the situation with vaginosis can arise.”

The laboratory scientist added that maintaining underwear hygiene is important to prevent any bacteria from accumulating and festering in and around the vagina.

“I feel bad for people who wear pants for more than a day. I feel it’s because of poverty, an individual should have at least 10 pants and cleanliness should be a habit.

“The reason we wear pants is to absorb the secretion coming from that place; wearing pants is good but the thing is that even if you wear pants, don’t wear what will be tight so that it can allow the skin to breathe.

“As much as you wear your pants, you must also take care of them. Wash your underwear, and hang them outside. Once the undies are dry, you also iron them, the ironing will kill the bacteria that the sun cannot kill,” he said.

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Health

Daily exercise among teens linked to longer and efficient sleep, study says

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A new study, conducted at Penn State University, has found that increased daily physical activity among teenagers and adolescents is linked to longer and more efficient night sleep, a necessity for healthy cognition.

The study, which had set out to examine the relationship between physical activity and sleep health, found that teenagers and adolescents who get more physical activities than they usually did got to sleep earlier and slept longer and better that night.

For every extra hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the teens were found to have fallen asleep 18 minutes earlier, slept 10 minutes longer and had about one percent greater sleep maintenance efficiency.

Previous research had shown more active people to have reported longer sleep and better sleep quality but without explaining whether daily changes in these physical activities and sedentary behavior affected sleep length and quality.

Using data from 417 participants in the ‘fragile families and ‘child wellbeing’ study, the researchers measured the participants’ sleep and physical activity for one week with the aid of waist and hip accelerometers and made interesting discoveries.

“Adolescence is a critical period to obtain adequate sleep, as sleep can affect cognitive and classroom performance, stress, and eating behaviors,” said Lindsay Master, data scientist at Penn State University.

Being sedentary more during the day, the researchers revealed, was associated with worsening sleep health, as more sedentary participants fell asleep and woke up later but slept for a shorter amount of time overall.

“Our research suggests that encouraging adolescents to spend more time exercising during the day may help their sleep health later that night. You can think of these relationships between physical activity and sleep almost like a teeter-totter,” Orfeu Buxton, bio-behavioral health professor, said.

“When you’re getting more steps, essentially, your sleep begins earlier, expands in duration, and is more efficient. Whereas if you’re spending more time sedentary, it’s like sitting on your sleep health: sleep length and quality goes down.”

Experts have severally suggested that adolescents need eight to ten hours of sleep a night but recent estimates say 73 percent of adolescents are getting less than eight.

Asides the obvious dangers associated with sleep deprivation, several studies have linked insufficient sleep to differing health hazards like heart diseases and brain disorders.

This study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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