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Health Benefits of Getting Up Early

We all have heard of this age-old statement “Early to bed and early to rise, makes one wealthy, healthy, and wise”. How many of us really follow it? Some working professionals need to wake up early to get to work, while some have late working schedules. In all major cities, companies have adopted different working shifts to increase man force. Due to this people become night owls and have erratic sleeping patterns. However, waking up early has a huge number of benefits. Be it a student, housewife, or a working professional, it is advisable to start your day early. Read on to know why.

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Health Benefits of Getting Up Early

I personally and very strongly believe waking up early is a must. It is important to cultivate this habit at a very young age and start making your family too follow it. We have to get up early and make our kids get up early too, to send them to school. There are several health benefits to waking up early. Some of them are:

1} More proactive

Those who rise early are said to be more proactive and have higher energy levels during the day. They stay focused on what they are doing and get things done on time.

2} Help sustain a healthy diet

Those who wake up late always end up skipping their breakfast. However, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. Breakfast literally means break the fast. Eating breakfast every morning is a foundation for healthy eating habits and prevents you from munching on junk food throughout the day.

3} Less prone to depression

Due to the hectic and stressful lives that people lead, depression has become a very common phenomenon in recent times. Those who hit the bed late and wake up late are seen as more prone to depression. A lack of balance in routine creates an imbalanced state of mind and body leading to depression.

4} Increased productivity

Early to bed and early to rise, keeps your brain charged and active throughout the day. You will be more efficient and perform things better. Early risers are also capable of making quick and efficient decisions pertaining to their goals. People who get up early accomplish their goals quickly and are unlikely to procrastinate things.

5} Stay mentally fit

Getting up early has a huge impact on mental health. Early morning people are found to be more energised, positive, and optimistic. This adds an incredible amount of positivity and changes your outlook towards life. By waking up early, you can avoid the last minute rush to school or work in the mornings, and this, in turn, reduces your stress levels.

6} Earn more time

It is always better to have ample time in the mornings, not to mention some “me time” too. By waking up early, you can spend about an hour exercising or meditating, or doing something you love. You can also leave to work early and avoid congested traffic hours on road. Starting your work early also helps you finish early and return home soon.

7} Get better grades

Getting up early is equally important for kids when they go to school. Children who get up early can concentrate and focus better in school. Additionally, consistent early risers have also got better grades at school and performed well.

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Waking up early can be hard for some, but with consistent effort, you can surely make it. Begin your first step by waking up 30 minutes earlier than your usual wake up time. Then you can slowly increase as per your comfort. Waking up early will definitely start improving your quality of life.

Ways to Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy

Have you been undergoing severe acidity or heartburn in your pregnancy? Don’t panic. This is quite normal and many women suffer from it. Having suffered and undergone the trauma of myself, I exactly know how annoying heartburn and acid reflux can be. With all the changes happening in your body, the last thing you would want to suffer from is acidity.

Heartburn can start in the first trimester and continue throughout the pregnancy. The duration differs in women. Here is all you need to know about- the causes and remedies from heartburn in pregnancy-naturally.

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Causes of Heartburn in Pregnancy

Instead of panicking, we must know the underlying causes behind heartburn in pregnancy. Some of them are:

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1} Making space for baby

As the pregnancy progresses, the growing baby occupies more space in the abdomen. the growing baby compresses all the digestive organs upward and the diaphragm is pushed into a lesser space. This causes the reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. The constant backflow of stomach acid content into the esophagus causes heartburn.
2} Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes are responsible for all the changes that occur during pregnancy-including heartburn. Increase in progesterone levels makes the valve that prevents stomach acids to pass back into the esophagus to relax. This allows backward direction of acid flow and irritates the esophagal lining.
3} Improper working of the cardiac sphincter

If the cardiac sphincter becomes weak in pregnancy, it can cause the stomach acid content to backflow into the oesophagus, and lead to heartburn.
4} Infection due to H.pylori

A bacteria named Helicobacter pylori infects the intestine causing problems in digestion. When this bacteria infects the mucous membrane in your stomach, it can cause bloating, acidity and heartburn.
Natural Remedies to Treat Heartburn in Pregnancy

Baby growth and hormonal changes are inevitable during pregnancy. So what can you do? Listed below are some natural remedies to treat heartburn during pregnancy.

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1} Coconut water

Coconut is known to contain cooling properties and its water is a great acid neutralizer. Drinking coconut water on a regular basis helps treat heartburn during pregnancy.
2} Milk

It may be surprising to know that milk does relieve heartburn instantly. Cow’s milk and goat’s milk are considered to be a good remedy to provide relief from heartburn. You can also add a teaspoon of honey into milk which helps soothe the burning sensation in the chest.
3} Apple cider vinegar

Are you wondering how an acid can neutralise acid? It may seem strange to drink vinegar when your chest is burning. Yes, apple cider vinegar is considered to be one of the best remedies for heartburn. Let me tell you how it works. Low acid content in the stomach and it backflow to the esophagus causes heartburn. Apple cider vinegar increases stomach acid contents and neutralises the acid in the esophagal lining. This provides instant relief to heartburn.
4} Fermented foods

Fermented foods like Kefir and Sauerkraut are loaded with good bacteria and enzymes that promote healthy digestion. Eating fermented foods on a regular basis helps avoid heartburn during pregnancy.
5} Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is yet another miraculous remedy for heartburn. Lemon helps increase the production of bile and digestive juices that help balance low stomach acids and promote digestion.
6} Raw almonds

Raw almonds are a great remedy to treat heartburn in pregnancy. The high oil content in almonds controls gastric acid production and decrease heartburn.
Precautionary Measures to Avoid Heartburn in Pregnancy

Apart from the natural remedies mentioned above, the following precautionary measures will help avoid heartburn in pregnancy.

  • Choose easy to digest foods
  • Eat smaller and frequent meals rather than large portions
  • Maintain a proper upright posture throughout the day
  • Sleep propped up using a pillow
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid eating just before bedtime
  • Chew gum after every meal
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption

If heartburn is mild or moderate, the above-mentioned remedies and tips will help you. However, if you experience severe instances of heartburn, you must contact your doctor immediately.

Have you also experienced heartburn during your pregnancy? What did you do to get rid of it? Please Share your suggestions and advice here with other expecting mothers in the comment section below.

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Itchy Skin in Pregnancy-Causes and Remedies

Are you constantly itching your skin in pregnancy?? Do you face extreme itching on your hips, belly, breasts, and thighs?? Well, not to worry, itching in pregnancy is a common symptom every pregnant woman experiences. While pregnancy is undoubtedly a blessing, there are some annoying issues that can plague you throughout pregnancy. Itchy skin is one of them. Some women experience mild itching whereas some experience it in an extreme form.

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Causes of Itchy Skin in Pregnancy

Itchy skin is mainly due to the muscles stretching and increase in the female hormone estrogen. The further the pregnancy progresses, the itchier the skin becomes. As the body expands to accommodate the growing baby, pregnant women tend to experience itching on the thighs, breasts, belly, and hips. The other causes of itchy skin in pregnancy are:

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  • Hormonal changes
  • Stretched skin
  • Stretch marks
  • Sudden increase in blood supply to the skin
  • Dry and sensitive skin
  • Skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema
  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Liver disorders
  • Kidney Infections
  • Thyroid disorders

Remedies to Treat Itchy Skin in Pregnancy

Itchy skin can be very annoying for the mother. Hence, it is better to adopt remedies to get relief from it. Since over the counter medications are not safe during pregnancy, listed below are some simple home remedies that will help you get relief from itchy skin.

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1} Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is considered to be one of the best remedies for itchy and sensitive skin. Coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe itchy skin. It also moisturises the skin and prevents it from drying. Gently massage some organic or virgin coconut oil on the affected areas of the skin. Leave it on overnight and wash it off during your bath next morning.

2} Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera gel is a tried and tested remedy against any skin infection. Personally, it has worked for me as well. Aloe Vera has cooling properties that help soothe dry and itchy skin. Generously apply Aloe Vera gel on the affected areas and allow to dry.

3} Baking Soda Bath

Yes, it did wonders to my skin and I felt instant relief after following this remedy. Baking soda has alkaline properties that help to restore the pH of the skin. It reduces itchiness associated with pregnancy. Add one cup of baking soda to your bathtub. Soak in baking soda water for about 20 minutes before stepping out.

4} Lemon Juice

Lemon is rich is ascorbic and citric acid that helps restore the pH of the skin. Its acidic nature also helps reduce inflammation and itchy skin related to pregnancy. Squeeze a lemon and dilute it with little water. Now dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply on affected areas. Leave it on for half an hour and wash with water.

5} Gram Flour

Gram flour is a wonderful kitchen remedy to treat skin itchiness, inflammation, and irritation. Mix little gram flour with yoghurt to form a paste. Keep it of medium consistency and apply this paste on all affected areas of the skin. Leave it for half an hour and rinse with water.

 

Precautionary Measures for Itchy Skin in Pregnancy

Apart from the above-mentioned remedies, the below tips will help you avoid worsening of itchy skin.

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  • After a bath, gently pat yourself dry using a soft towel. Do not rub hard on your skin.
  • Apply moisturiser immediately after taking a bath.
  • Avoid wearing tight and uncomfortable clothes. Opt for loose cotton clothes.
  • Apply calamine lotion twice a day on affected areas of the skin.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Reduce salt intake.
  • Refrain from taking too many hot showers.
  • Avoid overexposure to the sun.

If the itching is severe and persistent, you must contact a doctor immediately. Persistent and severe itching can be due to other medical conditions like liver and kidney disorders.

Personally having suffered from itchy skin myself, I can relate to all the women suffering out there. Try these above-mentioned remedies and tips to get relief from itchy skin in pregnancy. They have really provided me relief from itchy skin. If you have more suggestions and ideas, please do share them in the comments section.

 

Things to Do in Your 30s-To Live Without Regrets

When I turned 30 this year, my first reaction was “oh gosh!, I am turning old”. To this, my family told me to think what all I have at 30. They told me I am happily married, a mother of a beautiful baby girl, and I have a well-settled life. Yes, I do agree with all of them. Life has blessed me with wonderful family and friends. What else do I need? When I sat to re-think about my life, is when I realised there is so much left to do. Instead of regretting what all I had not done, I realised it is time to focus on what I should be doing.

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Things to do in the 30s to live without any regrets

Age is just a number. Yes, now I do believe in this fact. There is nothing that can be or cannot be accomplished due to age. Instead of thinking what one should not do in the 30s, it is time to think what all can be achieved in the 30s. Listed below are some of my ideas to do in your 30s to live without any regrets.

1} Stay Healthy and Fit

This has been a big realisation and turning point in my life. I have realised how important it is to be healthy and fit for yourself and others. A healthy diet and lifestyle will keep you running for a longer time.

2} Spend time with family

Yes, work is important, there is no doubt in that. But family needs you too! It should not turn too late that you later regret not spending time with your family. I took a break from my full-time job to spend time with my baby, and I do not regret that. Seeing her cross those beautiful milestones fill my heart with joy. I am also getting more time to spend with my husband and parents, which was a limitation when I was working full time.

3} Never get intimidated by anyone

Your life and your experiences are your own. Do not let yourself be intimidated by anyone. Of course, you should learn from people-both failures and success.

4} Indulge in hobbies

If marriage and children have taken over your past few years of life, no worries. You can still indulge in doing things you love the most. It is never too late to return back to your hobbies. Afterall they are a part of you.

5} Follow your desires

All of us have desires, don’t we? It may be a desire to achieve something in professional life or perform an adventure sport, or travel around the globe. If you haven’t been able to fulfil these desires due to your life commitments, its time to act on it now. Take a break and do something you have always desired for.

6} Whatever you think of doing someday-do it now if possible

I am sure all of us have dreams. Some of us are lucky enough to live our dreams, while some of us have to drop them due to personal commitments. Whatever you are thinking of doing someday, do not delay it anymore. Try doing it now if possible. If it is difficult to start right away,  then make a plan to convert it to reality and begin working on that. It is very painful to realise 10 years later, that whatever you dreamt of, was just a fantasy.

7} Do not become a slave of an organization

I am sure many of you would connect and relate to this point. From my personal experience in the past, I would suggest to never become a slave for the company you work for. Do not shed your sweat and blood thinking that it is for the greater good and you will be rewarded well in the future. If you are burning it out and no one thanks you in the end,  then all the efforts go in vain. If you are actually reaping the benefits, then it is fine. But do not be blind in your hopes and ignore the reality.

8} Learn to enjoy life

All of want a lot of money, and no matter how much we have, it will never be enough. We keep desiring for more. In this bargain, we lose our mental peace and physical health. But the truth is, money is never enough. In the race to earn more money, we neglect the beautiful things in life like- Love, relationships, family, friends, and children. Learn to enjoy the little things in life that make you happier.

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The above-mentioned points were some of my ideas of things to do in the 30s. Having turned 30 myself, I do plan to work on these aspects of life. Lastly, congratulations on those who turned 30 and those who are already in their 30s. Life is beautiful and there is a long way to go. Suggestions and ideas are welcome. Please feel free to share them on this forum.

Remedies to Deal with Morning Sickness in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but the morning sickness that comes along with it? Not so good. Some women are blessed not to experience any morning sickness throughout pregnancy. Some suffer only in the first trimester whereas some suffer throughout 9 months of pregnancy.

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Remedies For Morning Sickness in Pregnancy

Being a mother to my 19-month-old daughter, I still recollect my days of morning sickness. Gosh! I had it throughout my 9 months of pregnancy. Every time I ate, I would throw up. Coupled with gastritis, I used to feel sick every time I vomited. That is when I realised to read about some remedies to help ease morning sickness. Listed below are some tips that helped me.

1} Drink Herbal Teas

There are several herbal teas that are known to reduce morning sickness during pregnancy. A cup of ginger tea helps ease motion sickness. Every time you feel uneasy and get the feeling to throw up, sip in hot ginger tea. Other herbal teas made with peppermint, chamomile, and lemon balm are also helpful in reducing motion sickness. If you are suffering from heartburn, avoid consuming peppermint.

2} Chew fennel seeds

Fennel seeds are also considered to be an excellent remedy for morning sickness. Every time you feel nauseatic, chew on few fennel seeds.

3} Vitamin B6 supplements

Research suggests that pregnant women consuming 25mg of Vitamin B6 3 times a day reported lesser incidences of nausea and morning sickness. You can consult your gynac before deciding to take any pill.

4} Drink plenty of water

Water is an excellent remedy to ease morning sickness in pregnancy. Drink a glass of water every hour. This will keep your body hydrated and reduce the feeling of throwing up. Additionally, it will also keep your urine clean and flush out all the toxins from the body.

5} Lemon Juice

Lemon juice, being rich in Vitamin C, is a wonderful remedy to treat morning sickness. To reduce the feeling of nausea and vomiting, drink lemon juice. You can also sniff a lemon which helps reduce the uneasy sensation.

6} Eat as soon as you wake up

Surprising as this may sound, eating immediately after waking up does help reduce morning sickness. Having a small snack after waking up also keeps you and your baby healthy.

7} Avoid large meals

In pregnancy, break the routine of 3 large meals in the day. Instead, break them into smaller and frequent meals. Smaller meals are easier to digest and keep down in the stomach.

8} Avoid fried food

Although you may have cravings for junk food during pregnancy, make a cautious effort to avoid fatty and fried food. Fried and fatty foods are rich in trans fat and can aggravate nausea.

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While some pregnant women sail through pregnancy easily, some aren’t so lucky. Having undergone morning sickness myself, I would suggest pregnant women try these above-mentioned remedies. Also a request to other mothers, please do share your thoughts and tips in the comment section. It will definitely help all of us.

Brushing Baby’s Teeth- When Should You Begin?

It is indeed a joy for all parents to see baby’s first tooth appear. It is an indication that your baby can slowly start chewing food. However, as joyful it may sound, teething can be a painful experience for both babies and parents. Maintaining healthy teeth is also a challenging task. Questions like, “what kind of a brush to use?”, “when to start brushing?”, “should I brush the gums?”, and “what toothpaste to use” will haunt every parent’s mind. Read on to understand baby teeth brushing and cleaning basics.

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Baby Teeth Chart

Well, all babies are not the same. Some babies get the first tooth as early as 6 months, whereas some babies get it between 8 to 10 months. There is nothing to worry about this process as each child grows and develops differently. Listed below is a standard teeth chart to understand what type of teeth appear in different growth stages.

Lower Teeth:

  • Canine: 17 to 24 months
  • Incisor: 10 to 15 months
  • First molar: 14 to 18 months
  • Second molar: 21 to 30 months
  • Central incisor: 6 to 9 months

Upper Teeth:

  • Central incisor: 8 to 12 months
  • Lateral incisor: 9 to 13 months
  • First molar: 13 to 18 months
  • Second molar: 24 to 34 months
  • Canine: 16 to 22 months

When to begin brushing your baby’s teeth?

Many tend to ignore brushing in the first few months after the teeth erupt. But doctors suggest to start brushing as soon as the first tooth appears. In fact, it is also recommended to brush the gums gently to keep them clean.

Before the teeth appear, it is generally advised to clean your baby’s mouth using a moist cloth or finger. The gums and the tongue are thoroughly cleaned after every meal. Regular cleaning helps prevent bacterial plaque that can damage infant’s teeth.

How to brush your baby’s teeth?

As soon as the first tooth pops out, you can start using a toothbrush. Soft and gentle baby toothbrushes are readily available in the market. Listed below are some tips to brush your baby’s teeth.

  • Wet the toothbrush
  • Squeeze on it a little baby’s toothpaste
  • Brush thoroughly at the back, front and corner
  • While brushing, gently rub the back of the toothbrush on the tongue and gums to clean them

Regular cleaning of gums and brushing of teeth fight the growth of bacteria and support good oral hygiene.

Is fluoride toothpaste safe?

It is recommended to use non-fluoride toothpaste for children below 3 years as it is not safe if ingested. Children above 3 years can use a small quantity of fluoride toothpaste and be instructed not to swallow it.

Preventing cavities

Babies are more prone to getting cavities. Try to avoid feeding your baby too many juices or sugary drinks. Carbonated beverages must totally be avoided. Encourage drinking more of formula milk or cow milk. Ensure that your baby does not go the bed without brushing her teeth and rinsing her mouth.  It is absolutely necessary to prevent cavities in babies, as decayed teeth can hamper speech and brain development.

 

Do not make brushing a boring or routine activity as children will not like it. Try to make it a fun activity by allowing your child to play, dance or sing songs. If your baby’s first tooth is out, pick up the brush now :-). Request other mothers to share their opinions and tips please. Do comment.

Postpartum Depression- Tips to Deal with it

Although the term postpartum depression sounds familiar to all of us, how many of us mothers find ways to deal with it ourselves? Postpartum depression is simply ignored without giving it too much importance. Well, did you know that it can be dangerous for the new mom? Ignoring postpartum depression can lead to chronic depression and have other impacts on health.

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Most of the negligence comes mainly due to ignorance of the medical condition. Not all are able to identify postpartum depression. Hence, there is no way to deal with it. Before finding ways to tackle postpartum depression, let us first understand postpartum depression.

What is postpartum depression?

When your baby is born, you experience a whole lot of emotions like joy, anxiety, and sadness. While most of it is normal, at some phase certain symptoms must not be ignored. If your feelings of sadness prolong for many weeks and start interfering with your day to day life, then you may be suffering from postpartum depression. Some women face depression in an extreme form whereas some overcome it within a few days.

Tips to deal with postpartum depression

You may have frequent mood swings, find it difficult to bond with baby, bouts of sad feelings, and find it hard to make decisions. You may also get into fits of anger from time to time. Yes, this is postpartum depression. If you are suffering from it, you are not alone. Thousands of women go through this phase after delivery. Listed below are some tips to deal with postpartum depression.

1} Give yourself time to rest

Although you may be excited to do everything yourself for your little one, it is advisable that you take rest during the day. You might have been told by your parents or family to “sleep when the baby sleeps”. This is true because good sleep and rest cure most of the depressive disorders. Resting well and sleeping adequately also improves your mood and keeps you happy.

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2} Follow a healthy balanced diet

You may be surprised to know that healthy eating and nutritious food go a long way in curing postpartum depression. Nutritious foods give your body the nutrients you need and help it cope with both physical and mental stress.

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3} Avoid isolation

While you are suffering from depression, it is common to avoid people and stay in isolation. But isolation will only increase postpartum depression. Staying with family members and friends will keep you distracted from mood swings and bouts of depression. It is also a good idea to tell your loved ones that you are suffering from depression so that they can help you cope with it.

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4} Exercise regularly

It is a scientifically proven fact that exercise acts like an anti-depressant. You need not perform heavy exercises or hit the gym. You can begin with light exercises like walking and jogging. You can also take a walk with your baby in a stroller. This will give you both some fresh air and lighten up your mood.

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5} Ask for help 

You simply cannot act as a superwoman trying to attempt your hand at everything. You cannot do the household chores, clean the baby, breastfeed the baby, put the baby to sleep, or look after your elder child in the day. Instead of dealing with all the pressure all alone, ask for help. You can ask your spouse to do the household chores and request your parents to babysit the elder one. Schedule some “me” time for yourself and indulge in activities you love to do.

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These above-mentioned tips will surely help you cope with postpartum depression and come out of it. However, if you notice that the feeling of sadness, agitation, and anxiety is prolonging for weeks, it is recommended to consult a doctor. Your doctor can suggest you the right support you need.

Healthy Diet Tips For Working Women

Working women need to be like superheroes to balance the demands of work and family. In the struggle to cope up and strike a balance, women often fall short of the right nutrition and end up succumbing to illnesses. You may be surprised to know that women require more nutrition than men to sustain themselves and carry out regular activities.

The right nutrition helps enhance mood, support healthy body function, and boosts energy. Whatever the age might be, committing to a balanced nutritious diet helps women sail through all obstacles of life.

Nutrition Tips for Working Women

Women need to go through different challenges of life-which include being a wife, pregnancy, motherhood, and old age. Apart from these, women also have to face the hectic schedules of their professional careers. Hence, concentration on the right nutrition is extremely important for women. Below mentioned are some nutrition tips for working women.

1} Avoid processed food

This is the most difficult thing to forgo among working people. Women face a lack of time to concentrate on their healthy eating due to pressures in personal and professional life. Hence, working women easily take to junk and processed food to satiate their hunger and beat the stress. Processed food is rich in trans fat, excess sugar and salt which is a big enemy to your health. To lead a healthy lifestyle, working women should completely avoid junk and processed food.

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2} Never skip breakfast

Most of us would relate to this, don’t we? At some point of time or the other, we all would have skipped our breakfast in a rush to reach office on time. Working women often face the crunch of time while attending to the duties of family. Due to this, women end up compromising their health. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and literally mean “break the fast”. If you skip breakfast, the hunger cravings increase making you resort to calorie-rich foods to satiate your hunger. The most important nutrition tips for every working woman is to have a healthy and wholesome breakfast.

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3} Avoid bad carbs at lunch

We all resort to carrying simple food to work, however, carbs like pasta, processed food, and whole grain bread have negative effects on your health. If you prefer to eat carbs at lunch to remain energised, you can switch to healthier alternatives like rice, quinoa, farro grains, and root vegetables. Grains like quinoa and farro can be cooked in bulk for 3 to 3 days in a row to save time.

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4} Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is the key to staying fit and healthy. There is nothing better than plain water. Try avoiding aerated beverages and switch to plain water instead. Drink plenty of water throughout the day between work and other activities. Drinking water helps the body carry out all the necessary functions effectively.

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5} Eat Healthy Snacks

Due to stress working women need to face juggling between work and family, they often resort to unhealthy snacks and binge eating. Hunger between meals is inevitable. Hence, consider eating healthy snacks such as fruits, dried nuts, yoghurt, and protein bars to curb unhealthy cravings.

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6} Take Supplements

Sometimes it is not completely possible to meet all the nutrient requirements of the body. Women need more nutrition as they need to cope up with several challenging phases of their life. Working women are always the risk of not getting the adequate nutrition that they require. Hence, it is better to compensate some nutrition through nutritional supplements. Working women can start taking supplements of Vitamin B complex, C, D, and omega-3s after consultation with a doctor.

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Working women should follow a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle to fulfil the demands of all the roles they face. These above-mentioned tips will help them cope with pressure and challenges they face in day to day life.