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UTI TREATMENT

The name Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is pretty self-explanatory. It can be simply understood as an infection caused in any part of the urinary system like bladder, urethra or kidneys.  It is most commonly found in women, but men may also be susceptible to it.

A bladder infection may cause pelvic pain, increased urge to urinate, pain with urination and blood in the urine. A kidney infection may cause back pain, nausea, vomiting and fever.

Normally, urine of a person does not have bacteria in it as urine moves through your urinary system without any contamination. But sometimes bacteria can enter the urinary system form outside of the body, causing problems like infection and inflammation. UTI is a temporary infection and can be treated easily by various methods.

Before we look at some of these options, let’s understand the causes of the infection.

What causes UTI?

Urinary Tract Infection

The urethra, a tube that takes urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, is close to the anus. Bacteria from the large intestine, such as E. coli, can sometimes get out of your anus and into your urethra. From there, they can travel up to your bladder and, if the infection isn’t treated, can continue on to infect your kidneys. Women have shorter urethras than men. That makes it easier for bacteria to get to their bladders, hence increasing their chances of acquiring UTI. Some other causes include:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Genetic makeup in women
  • Shape of urinary tract
  • Women with diabetes are at higher risk levels due to weakened immune system
  • Hormone changes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Kidney stones
  • Stroke/ Spinal cord injury

UTI treatment

Like mentioned above, there are several ways to treat to UTI. Here are some options available in the market.

ampoules and syringes with coronavirus vaccine scattered on ping table with pills
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Antibiotics usually are the first line treatment for urinary tract infections, which drugs are prescribed and for how long, depend on your health condition and the type of bacteria found in your urine. Drugs commonly recommended for UTIs include:

  • Amoxicillin/augmentin
  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
  • Cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Fosfomycin (Monurol)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid)
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)

Which group of antibiotics will be prescribed to you depends on complicated your infection is. The antibiotics for UTI also may come with some side effects like rashes, diarrhoea, nausea, headaches, never or tendon damage etc

Ayurvedic treatment for UTI is the more natural route to go. Treatment using Ayurveda is using home remedies and natural ingredients to cure the infection. Here are a few options in that realm:

Ayurvedic Ingredients
  • Drinking plenty of liquids: Drinking plenty of liquids can decrease the risk of UTIs by making you pee more, which helps remove bacteria from the urinary tract.
  • Increasing Vitamin C intake: Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria. This includes consuming citrus fruits, berries, peppers, potatoes etc.
  • Unsweetened Cranberry juice: Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infection treatment. Some studies show that cranberries could help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract. Keep in mind that these benefits only apply to unsweetened cranberry juice, rather than sweetened commercial brands.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics are forms of good microorganisms that are found in some foods and supplements. They maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. Some foods with probiotics are yogurt, kombucha, kefir, kimchi etc. You can consume probiotics along with your antibiotics course.
  • Natural supplements: Some choices for natural supplements are: 
  1. D-Mannose: This is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries and has been shown to be effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence.
  2. Bearberry leaf: Also known as uva-ursi. One study showed that a combination of bearberry leaf, dandelion root and dandelion leaf decreased UTI recurrence 
  3. Cranberry extract: Like cranberry juice, cranberry extract works by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
  4. Garlic extract: Garlic has been shown to have antimicrobial properties and may be able to block the growth of bacteria to prevent UTIs

Apart from these treatment and remedy options, it is absolutely important to maintain bathroom hygiene as UTI is caused by foreign bacteria entering the body. Inculcate practices like peeing after intercourse, wiping toilet seats before use and keeping your urinary parts dry post using washroom. UTI is very commonly found and can be quite difficult to deal with if not treated at the right time. Seek help and find solutions which will work for you.

&Me offers one such solution which is suitable for one and all. &Me UTI Drink is a complete drink for prevention and management of UTI. A unique blend of Ayurvedic herbs and micronutrients helps in Flush Toxins, Resists Bacteria, Soothes Pain, Reduces Frequent Urination, Reduces Burning sensation.

&me UTI Drink Ingredients

&Me UTI drink contains 18mg of Cranberry PAC A – the active ingredient found in Cranberries that is clinically proven to help remove bacteria from urinary tract. 18mg of Cranberry PAC A = 100+ cranberry or 20 glasses of market cranberry juice. We also add Herbs that help sooth the pain and micronutrients that help replenish the body of the loss of nutrients. With Absolutely NO added sugar or artificial ingredients.

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UTI AND PREVENTION OF UTI

BEFORE WE LEARN ABOUT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS LET US LEARN A LITTLE ABOUT THE URINARY SYSTEM IN THE BODY

A quick intro to the urinary system

Our urinary system helps remove waste and toxins from your body. It helps regulate blood pressure and blood volume. It also throws out excess salt, water and minerals not required for the body. 

It is made up of 4 components:

  1. Kidneys: 2 bean shaped organs (roughly the size of your fists) that function as filters. They remove waste and chemicals from the blood and combine it with water to make Urine, which is your pee! 
  2. The Ureters: 2 tubes that carry the urine from each kidney to a storage tank. 
  3. The Urinary Bladder: This is the storage tank that holds the urine before it is eliminated from the body. 
  4. Urethra: The outlet which carries the Urine out of the body.

Who are the main culprits of UTI?

Bacteria with some fancy names are the culprits!! Among all, the most popular of culprits is Escherichia coli a.k.a E. coli. It is one among the bad bacteria that cause 80 to 90% of UTIs in people. 

The anus (opening from where your poop leaves the body) is behind and close to the urethra (opening from where urine leaves the body). There are some bad bacteria that live in your anus. 

If you wipe from back to front after you use the toilet the bad bacteria can move from the anus to the urethra opening. They can climb up the urethra into the bladder and make a home for themselves to cause the infection. 

Bacteria can get to the kidney through blood circulation. They can also make a Urinary stone which can block the Ureters like a large stone blocking the flow of water inside a narrow pipe. This makes passing urine painful.

Signs and Symptoms of UTI?

A person with a UTI experience pain and burning sensation in the middle of urination. Along with that, some of the symptoms of UTI are:

  • Constant pressure in the bladder
  • Back pain, 
  • Small amount of urine despite the frequent urge to urinate
  • Involuntary dripping of urine when you are not using the restroom, 
  • Cloudy and foul-smelling urine
  • Fever
  • Nausea 
  • Chills. 

Who is prone to getting a UTI?

Women have a higher risk of developing one because their Urethras are shorter. This means the bacteria do not have to travel far up the urethra to the bladder and set up a home for themselves.

  • Women who have attained menopause– There is less estrogen circulating in the blood of women with UTIs. Low levels of estrogen in the body makes the urinary tract more prone to bacterial infections. 
  • Type of birth control– Women who use diaphragms and spermicidal are more prone to UTIs.  Diaphragms can put pressure on the urethra to increase bladder emptying. 
  • Chemicals in spermicides may cause skin irritation and promote the growth of bad bacteria that cause infection. 
  • CondomCondoms are important in prevention of STDs. But latex condoms with no lubrication can increase friction to irritate the skin during sexual intercourse. Making it prone to bacterial infection that can spread to the urinary bladder opening.  
  • Abnormalities in the Urinary Tract from birth makes one prone to UTIs through life
  • Post urinary tract procedures. 
  • Diabetic women with high blood sugar levels 
  • The chances of getting an infection increases if a woman gets it once. 
  • For some women it is genetic.   

How do people usually deal with it?

People are usually prescribed antibiotics. But, a frequent use of antibiotics, especially who are prone to recurring UTI, can have negative side effects or lead to more health complications. 

What steps can one take to prevent UTI or prevent from recurring?

  • Drink plenty of water – Drinking lots of water will help dilute the urine and flush out bacteria. 
  • To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant, and use it often during intercourse
  • Wipe from front to back after urinating and clearing your bowelsThis way you will not transfer the bad bacteria from the anus to the vagina and urinary tract opening. 
  • Avoid feminine products that cause irritation. Look at alternative options for birth control. 
  • Empty the bladder soon after intercourse and have lots water to flush-out bacteria.
  • Pay attention to your diet to prevent and get rid of infections with some home remedies for UTI.

Add Ayurvedic Herbs to Your Diet

  • Trikatu– The mixture of herbs contains components called Piperine and Gingerols which enhance the effect of antibiotics in the body.  They also help the body take up nutrients from the food effectively. 
  • White Turmeric– White Turmeric contains a component called Curcumin which is anti-bacterial. It also stops the bacteria from increasing in number and hence prevents the infection in the first place. 
  • Varuna– It is a traditional ayurvedic herb that is used to treat UTIs. It acts as an effective diuretic by increasing the volume of urine eliminated from the body. 
  • Shatavari– It is an antimicrobial which kills the bacteria, suppresses inflammation, and soothes the bladder.
  • Vitamin B12– Vitamin B12 prevents Urine Incontinence (UI) by making the pelvic floor strong. The pelvic floor (a muscle below your urethra) that closes the urethra tightly to prevent UI or uncontrolled leakage of urine out of the bladder when not using the restroom.  An infection can irritate the pelvic floor to cause UI. 
  • Sariva– An acidic urine in the bladder kills bacteria. Infection causing bacteria can make the urine less acidic and cause a burning sensation. Sariva restores the acidity of the urine, to kill bacteria and reduce the burning sensation. It also functions as an antioxidant. 

The most popular of all is Cranberry Juice

Cranberry as a fruit contains the following components. 88% water, Fructose (a natural sugar), Vitamin C and Special components called anthocyanidins and Proanthocyanidins (PAC). Cranberry A-proanthocyanidins (PACs) which binds the bacteria like a magnet to iron and does not allow the bacteria to stick to the Urinary Bladder. This in turn helps in separating them from the bladder lining and takes them out of the body. 

Any form of Cranberry without enough PACs is not effective in treatment of UTIs. NOT EVERY COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE CRANBERRY JUICE/ CAPSULE OR PRODUCT HELPS WITH UTI.

What form of Cranberry is the best and how much PACs should I consume?

Eating whole cranberries do not help because they do not contain the components that fight the infection. And we do not know how much PAC is there in each cranberry/ quality of the cranberry. 

Cranberry capsules are not as effective. They contain other additives and chemicals not good for health and not the natural form of PACs.

Commercially available cranberry juice is loaded with sugar and hardly has any PACs in them. 

It has been clinically proven that 36 mg of PACs is needed to kill bacteria and get rid of them. 

So always make sure you look for a juice which contains 36mg of PACs and no added artificial sugars which can worsen the infection. 

But Cranberry juice alone does not provide relief from other symptoms of UTIs like the uncomfortable itching burning sensation in the intimate area. Frequent urination can result in loss of Vitamins and minerals from the body. 

How can you deal with the other symptoms apart from killing the bacteria? Is there a holistic solution to the issue?

Yes. Checkout &Me’s UTI drink. It contains 18gm of Cranberry A-proanthocyanidins (PACs) that helps separate harmful bacteria from your bladder lining. The drink’s diuretic property helps flush out toxins from the urinary tract. The Ayurvedic herbs soothe the intimate area and reduce itching while the Vitamins and Minerals in it replenish the nutrients lost by frequent urination.

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&Me UTI Drink

Thyroid Medication

Thyroid, one of the medical terms we hear a lot from people around us. This is because thyroid problem is one of the most common illnesses in the world.

What exactly is thyroid and why does affect our body so much?

The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland, located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe (trachea). The thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body. The most important job of the thyroid gland is to control thyroid hormones which determine our metabolism.

Metabolism is a process where the food you take into your body is transformed into energy. This energy is used throughout your entire body to keep many of your body’s systems working correctly. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate.  Due to its commonality among people, thyroid happens to be one such disorder for which there are many solutions available in the market. 

Understanding thyroid medication

There are several ways to treat thyroid, not only by changing the composition of the medicines but by also changing the intent of the medicine. This helps provide uniquely catered treatment to each individual as the per their body type. The course of treatment/ medication is also determined on the basis of which condition of thyroid one has i.e. hypothyroid (lack of production of hormones), hyperthyroid (over production of hormones) or thyroid cancer.

The Different thyroid medicines available in Indian market 

Hypothyroidism: The main objective of hypothyroid medications is to provide thyroid hormone replacement to counter for the lack of production of said hormones by one’s body. 

The four main goals of thyroid hormone replacement medication are:

  • Alleviate symptoms of hypothyroidism
  • Normalize the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level
  • Reduce the size of an enlarged thyroid (goiter) if present
  • Avoid overtreatment (becoming hyperthyroid)

Some common thyroid medication names for hypothyroid:

  • Levothyroxine
  • Liothyronine
  • Natural Dessicated Thyroid (NDT)

Hypothyroid treatment in Ayurveda:

  • Ashwagandha- adaptogen herb which controls stress levels. 
  • Milk
  • Old Rice 
  • Barley
  • Green gram 
  • Black gram 
  • Cucumber 
  • Sugar juice

Hyperthyroidism: The treatment of hyperthyroidism is generally more complex than hypothyroidism as one is required to curb the production of hormones, requiring one or more of the following treatments:

  • Anti-thyroid drug
  • Radioactive iodine (RAI)
  • Surgery to remove the gland (thyroidectomy)

There are only two medicines in the market currently, which help with hyperthyroidism 

  • Tapazole (methimazole)
  • Propylthiouracil (PTU)
  • Beta-Blockers (not used to treat hyperthyroid, but can help in minimising symptoms)

Hyperthyroid being harder to treat, it is more so important to rely on Ayurvedic medicine for this thyroid. Here’s a list of important ingredients in Ayurveda which will aid in inhibiting the production of thyroid hormones. 

  • Kanchnar 
  • Guggul, 
  • Shatavari
  • Arogyavardhini Vati
  • Chitrakadi Vati

Thyroid medication side effects of allopathy

As with most medicines, thyroid medications too come with their own set of side effects. Most common side effects that may be experienced are:

  • Hair loss
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Mental stress/ mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shaking (tremors)

Apart from this, a well-known fact remains that once you start thyroid medication, there is a high possibility that you will have to stay on it for the rest of your life. This is usually not advisable for the body in the long run. Thyroid treatment in Ayurveda is hence a better, easier and a more efficient option as the treatment period is usually limited and they have little to no side effects. But we understand that it is not easy to find all these Ayurvedic herbs individually and incorporate them in your day to day life, that’s why &Me has come up with an easy one stop shop solution for all your thyroid treatment needs, based on the philosophies of Ayurveda.

&Me ThyroDiet, Thyroid Tea provides the right nutrition to help Thyroid gland naturally produce required levels of T3/T4 (thyroid hormones) in the body. It also helps in weight loss.

&Me ThyroDiet tea has a unique nutritional formula. It has:

&Me ThyoDiet Ingredients

(1) Tyrosine and Iodine, when consumed, work together to produce T3 (1T + 3I) and T4 (1T+4I), enabling the thyroid gland to balance T3/T4 levels in the body

(2) Guggulu and Kachnar, Ayurvedic herbs, help increase absorption of Iodine in the body, for production of T3 and T4. Today’s stress and lifestyle changes these days have reduced the body’s ability to absorb available nutrition.

(3) 15 other ingredients that help manage symptoms of thyroid including improved metabolism, weight loss and energy. Natural. No side effects.

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flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate

What Diet Should Be Taken By Thyroid Patients?

Having a thyroid disorder is taxing on the body. When one has hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones.
These thyroid hormones are necessary for other organs in the body to function well and stay healthy. People with hypothyroidism experience weight gain, constipation, fatigue, feel sluggish all the time, some feel depressed, experience mood swings, etc. as consequence. There are times when medications alone are not enough to manage the associated symptoms.

One needs to plan and consume a diet which is thyroid gland friendly and nourishes the body. Below are some ideas on a healthy diet for a hypothyroidism patient and suggestions for the best foods to include in your diet.

  • Include more whole grains in your diet
  • Limit the consumption of refined grains like white rice, or refined carbs like pasta, white bread as a source of carbohydrates and foods which contain gluten.
  • Include more whole grains like Brown rice, red, black, or wild rice which contain more fiber, proteins, and antioxidants.
  • Millets like Kodo millet and Foxtail millet, Ragi Seeds/ grains like Quinoa

The above alternatives are rich in plant protein fiber. They will help maintain healthy sugar levels throughout the day, keep you satiated for long and will promote healthy bowel movements too. You can incorporate the alternatives into your meals through some of the dishes suggested below:

  • Breakfast: Replace rice idlis or dosas WITH Ragi or oats idlis/ dosas for breakfast, Ragi bread toast or Quinoa upma with vegetables.
  • Lunch/Dinner: You can make brown rice/ quinoa khichdi with vegetables, rice flour-based pasta or gluten free bread. You can replace your wheat rotis/ chapathis with rotis made of gluten free flours like, Rajgira
    (Amaranth), Bajra (pearl millet), Jowar(Sorghum).
  • Snack: Bhel puri with puffed brown rice instead of puffed white rice.

Up your legume intake
Black-eyed peas, chickpeas, Bengal gram, kidney beans, chana dal, masoor dal and whole black gram. Upping the legume intake is common in a thyroid diet for weight loss. Legumes are a rich source of plant protein, complex carbs, fiber, rich in minerals like magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, iron. They are naturally low in fat (free of saturated fats) and are cholesterol free being plant-based protein source. Make sure you soak them over night before you cook them to make them more digestible.

brown and yellow beans on white ceramic bowl
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Here are ways in which you can incorporate them on your meals:

  • Breakfast: Pair idli/ dosa with Sambar (which contains pigeon pea lentils) or replace rice dosas with dal dosas or chilas.
  • Lunch/ Dinner: dal makhani/ chole with rice/ dal fry rotis/ quinoa.
  • Snack: Add Green moong (sprouted)/ chickpea salad with chopped tomatoes, onions, lime, and some cilantro can be had as a salad with meals. Carrots, cucumber, or chips with Hummus(chickpea) dip.

Eat nuts and seeds
Walnuts are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are good for the brain health, reduces body stress and boost energy. Almonds and cashews are a rich source of Iron.
Brazil nut is noteworthy. It is one of the best foods to include for Thyroid patients. It has more mineral content than any other nut. Its high in Selenium content. Selenium is needed to stimulate the thyroid gland and stimulate the production of thyroid hormones.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you do not consume more that 1 or 2 per day. Having more than 1 or 2 per day is harmful and it can lead to selenium toxicity.


Seeds like flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds (protein rich) are full of fiber that can help relieve the constipation associated with hypothyroidism, they are a rich source of zinc, selenium, iron, and omega fatty acids. Seeds are also a great and natural way to balance and calm hormones in the body.

closeup photo of four brown wooden spatulas with seds
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

How can you incorporate them into your daily diet?

  • Breakfast: Add flax seeds, walnuts, almonds to your ragi porridge or oats, make nut milk with almonds, walnuts, and water in a blender (sweeten it with Jaggery or add dates for a healthy sweet alternative to any sugar) add the milk to your porridge or cereal.
  • Lunch/ Dinner: Add any seeds to your rice or roti dough,
  • Snack: Have a hand full of nuts and seeds as is. If you have a sweet tooth and are looking for a healthy dessert you can make dark chocolate energy bites.

Up your vegetable and fruit intake
Vegetables and fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. The water in them cools the body. Including leafy greens like spinach and kale in the diet is a must. There are some vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, radish, kale which need to be consumed in moderation or avoided as much as possible. They contain goitrogens which can make the thyroid gland produce less of the hormone. Make sure you cook these vegetables before you consume them. Cooking destroys goitrogens. You should have at least 1 serving of fruits every day. Consume it like a mid-day snack.

variety of fruits
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

How can you include fruits and vegetables in your diet?

  • Breakfast: Have an apple/ pear for breakfast, add blue berries/ strawberries to your morning cereal, make an upma/ poha with vegetables (carrot, peas, beans, and onion).
  • Lunch/Dinner: Vegetable curry with your rice/ roti, salad with rice and roti
  • Snack: Have an apple, or fruit bowl on an empty stomach like a mid-morning snack between breakfast and lunch, Add fruits and veggies to our smoothie

Other tips

  • Include Iodized salt in your diet– It is a must. Iodine will help the thyroid gland produce more thyroid hormone.
  • Fats and oils used for cooking – Use coconut oil, ghee (both good sources of saturated fats) or any form of col pressed oil.
  • Spirulina powder with water– Spirulina is a non-animal source of Iodine, protein and B12 from fresh and salt water. It has gained popularity as a super food on the market. Have 2 teaspoon of the powder with a little water half hour before your meals.
  • Exercise and meditate: Exercise to manage weight and prevent excess weight gain. Make sure you incorporate movement into your routine. Movement and some form of exercise will make the brain produce happy hormones to drive depression away/ keep mood swings in check.
  • Meditate to keep stress levels down and calm the mind. Exercise and meditation balance hormones and keep the thyroid gland happy.
  • Get adequate sleep: Fatigue is a hallmark of hypothyroidism. Lack of sleep can make your hormonal balance go off whack. This in-turn affects mood and productivity during the day. Make sure you get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night.
  • Look for natural alternatives/ foods/ Ayurvedic herbs that can help keep your TSH levels in check.

Try &Me’s ThyroDiet tea. It is a revolutionary approach to provide the right nutrition to the Thyroid Gland. It contains the perfect blend of Vitamins, Mineral and Ayurvedic herbs to make your Thyroid gland naturally produce the required levels of T3/T4 (thyroid hormones).

&Me ThyroDiet tea has a unique nutritional formula:

  • Tyrosine and Iodine, when consumed, work together to produce T3 (1T + 3I) and T4 (1T+4I), enabling the thyroid gland to balance T3/T4 levels in the body
  • Guggulu and Kachnar, Ayurevdic herbs, help increase absorption of Iodine in the body, for production of T3 and T4. Today’s stress and lifestyle changes these days have reduced the body’s ability to absorb available nutrition.
  • 15 other ingredients that help manage symptoms of thyroid including improved metabolism, weight loss and energy.

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Tips to Consider While Choosing Sanitary Pads

Periods, the only phenomenon that all women deal with alike. It’s the one thing that is common to all women irrespective of their colour, size, religion, caste, origin, etc. but still somehow nobody wants to talk about it, although that is slowly changing now. When we talk about periods, the first thing that comes to our mind is sanitary products. Which one is the right one for you? Which option is cost effective? Which one is good for the environment? Etc. Before we talk about the most popular choice in the market and why it is the most popular choice, let’s quickly take a look at what options are available in the market as a whole.

Period products available

  • Tampons: Tampons work by absorbing menstrual blood internally (though leaks are not uncommon, so an additional panty-liner may be required), and can be left in for about four hours, at which point they are removed by pulling gently on the string.
  • Menstrual cups: The small silicone or latex cup works by being folded and inserted internally so that it rests on the vaginal wall, where it collects blood. The cups can stay in for up to 12 hours, at which point they should be removed, emptied, rinsed, and re-used as necessary. At the end of the menstrual cycle, they should be sterilized in hot water before using for the next period.
  • Menstrual discs: The lesser known menstrual disc, made of plastic or silicone, is also inserted into the vagina, and rests on the base of the cervix. Like the menstrual cup, it can stay in for up to 12 hours, and works by collecting blood in the disc. Once the user is done with it, it is removed and its contents emptied into the toilet. However, it differs from the cup in that most menstrual discs are not reusable, so are not as environmentally or cost-friendly.
  • Period underwear: They look like regular underwear, except they have a special absorbent layer which prevents leakages onto clothing, and as they are washable, they are one of the most sustainable options available.
  • Sanitary pads: Lastly, the most popular option amidst all in India are the sanitary pads. They are attached to the inside of the user’s underwear, and work by absorbing menstrual blood through layers of absorbent material – usually rayon, cotton and plastic.

A detailed article on different period products available in the market along with pros and cons of each is given here. (Period Products)

Sanitary pads are the most commonly used period product. The reason for this is that it has been around for decades, it is easily accessible and it is the easiest product to use. But off late the popularity of sanitary pads is slowly reducing for several reasons like skin irritation experienced by users, the non-environment friendly nature of it and the fact that there are other cost-effective options available.

As an individual, one might wonder are sanitary napkins a “one size fits all” thing or should it be tailored to each one separately? The answer is, like all other health specific needs, sanitary napkins too are available in different types to cater to different women, so no, there is no “one size fits all”. So what are the factors that one must consider before choosing the best sanitary pads for you? Here are some tips to remember while making the choice:

  • Material: The material of the pad is what determines how comfortably it will sit on your body. Cotton sanitary pads is the best option for anyone with sensitive skin as more often than not, they never cause rashes or irritation (make sure you choose unscented ones). Avoid ones with a plastic top layer.
  • Length and Flow: One should buy a sanitary pad according to your flow. The first time you get your period, you might want to try a regular-sized napkin but if the regular size seems to be filling up too quickly, then try a longer size pad. It totally depends on the body shape and flow whether you need an extra-long pad with broad hip-guard or a regular one. There are special night pads which feature a longer length and a wider back to avoid staining your sheets while you’re sleeping.
  • Cost of sanitary pads: Pads are available in a variety of pack sizes and the product cost ranges from Rs 5 per pad to Rs 12 per pad. Considering generally you get your period every month for around 40 years, the sanitary pads price definitely adds up. So looking for value for money as well as a good performing product is important. Look for larger packs if they are available and stock up when you find them on sale. In 2018, India announced pads as tax free product. 
  • Absorbency: The sanitary pad absorption capacity lets you decide if you need an extra absorbent pad or just a regular pad. The major factor for the pad is to absorb the blood flow without any back-flow or leakage. The best option is to use two different types of sanitary pads with different absorbencies— one that can take care of heavy flow days and a lighter absorbency napkin for lighter flow days. 
  • Environment concerns: As already mentioned before, sanitary pads are not the most environment friendly as they are of the “once use and throw” category. But with changing time, there are some sanitary pad options which are better for the environment than traditional ones. Cloth pads are available, which are washable and reusable. They are also cotton hence being easy on the skin. There are some disposable pads which are made of bamboo and other plant fibres, making it easy degradable when disposed. 

These are some general rules to follow for period hygiene as well. 

Do’s

  • Wear cotton panties to keep it breathable and fresh down there.
  • Change every 4-5 hours to avoid any infection.
  • Wash the vaginal area every time you change your pad.
  • Take warm baths to ease the cramps and pain.

Don’t

  • Don’t throw an open pad or flush a pad in the toilet.
  • Don’t wait for the pad to get full.
  • Don’t use soaps.

Having said all of this, keep in mind that you have to pick what is the best fit for your body, and not follow what works for someone else.

To help you tick off all of the above concerns while buying a sanitary napkin, &Me has launched the “No compromise” Sanitary pads!

At &Me, we want to give women everything they want! Women asked us for three things in a sanitary pad and our “No Compromise” Sanitary Pads covers it all! It is Rash free, feather soft layers, 6 layers of heavy flow protection, ADL technology for superior absorption, Extra absorbent gel sheets, and a secured comfort fit. It is Toxin free and odor free. Made in India!

You will fall in love with &Me No compromise sanitary pads once you start using them. And once you are done with them, you can easily dispose them in these biodegradable pouches!

Great for you. Great for environment.

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How to treat PCOS acne

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is quite difficult on the female body as it is plus the issues it comes with only makes it harder. Acne is one such issue that tags along with PCOS. Fear not, there are ways to deal with it efficiently, but before knowing the medicine one needs to know the cause of the acne.  

How does PCOS trigger acne?

PCOS is a condition of hormonal imbalance, and one such hormone which is very important to the human body is the pituitary gland. Your body depends on signals from your pituitary gland to produce the right amounts of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. PCOS disrupts these signals.

Without the right signals from the pituitary gland, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and your testosterone and androgen levels increase. Androgens play an important role in the development of acne. They cause the glands in the skin to produce excess of an oily substance called sebum.

Acne occurs when sebum and dead skin cells build up inside hair follicles, trapping bacteria beneath the skin. This leads to inflammation and the formation of PCOS pimples.

All that being said, acne caused due to PCOS can be treated. Here are a few ways to help you with that. 

How to cure PCOS acne?

Let’s start this course of treatment with the most natural method which is, food choices. Simple fact being that some foods aggregate PCOS acne, and some foods will contribute in effectively dealing with the acne.

A few foods to avoid if you are dealing with acne are:

  • Red Meats
  • White Bread
  • White Potatoes
  • Sugary Desserts
  • Alcohol
  • White Rice
  • Corn
  • Dairy (increases testosterone, giving fire to your acne)

On the flip side there are some foods that will prove to be your saving grace in terms of helping you deal with acne due to PCOS. These foods are naturally anti-inflammatory hence helping in the process of cooling down the skin. These foods include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Olive Oil
  • Berries
  • Salmon
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic 
  • Root vegetables (beet roots, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, and carrots)

In general it is advisable to prefer diets which are high in nutrients, anti-oxidants, and gut nourishing fibre. A healthy gut lowers generalized inflammation, which in turn lowers circulating testosterone and DHEA levels, which then reduces inflammation in the skin and improves acne. But if you can absolutely not do without non-veg then go ahead and include organic eggs and chicken into your diet.

Other methods for PCOS acne treatment

Over-the-counter (OTC) acne medications typically rely on benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and Sulphur to help treat acne. Although these ingredients can help with mild breakouts, they usually aren’t enough to treat hormonal acne.

Treating the underlying hormonal imbalance is the only way to clear PCOS-related acne. If you think your acne is related to PCOS, consult your doctor or dermatologist. They may prescribe one or more of the following medications.

  • Oral contraceptives:
drink girl glass hands
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Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are sometimes used to treat hormonal acne. However, not just any birth control pill will do. Combination pills are the only birth control pills that will help stabilize your hormone levels throughout your entire menstrual cycle.

Birth control pills aren’t suggested to everyone. One shouldn’t consume the pill if you’re over age 35 or have a history of breast cancer, blood clots, high blood pressure (hypertension) and smoking.

  • Anti-androgen drugs: 

Anti-androgen drugs are prescription medications that decrease testosterone levels. Although androgens are classified as “male” hormones, women have naturally occurring androgens too. The difference is that women have lower amounts. Not everyone with hormonal acne has high androgen levels, your blood samples will be required by your doctor to determine these levels.

  • Retinoids:

OTC retinoids are traditionally used to fill in the appearance of wrinkles and help with uneven skin tone. Some formulas are also used for acne, but these are most often targeted toward teens.

If you have acne due to PCOS, skip the OTC retinoids and see a dermatologist about prescription-strength options. They can be taken orally or applied as a topical cream or gel.

The oral retinoid isotretinoin (Accutane) is the most popular option. Retinoids make your skin extremely sensitive to the UV rays, so it is of utmost importance to apply sunscreen liberally throughout the day if this is the one prescribed for you. If your skin is left unprotected, your risk for hyperpigmentation and even skin cancer will increase.

If you opt for topical retinoids, you should only apply them in the evening. Applying them during the day can increase your risk for UV related side effects. Topical retinoids may also be drying at first. You might need to start by using the gel or cream every other day and gradually working your way up to the recommended dosage.

All these are different forms of treatment methods to help ease your PCOS acne, but the best medical expert for you, is you! This means that so much of what happens to your body is in your hands, even though the root cause may not be your actions. Self-care and giving importance to yourself is of value. Eating well, staying active and maintaining a healthy life will help with your PCOS symptoms overall. Some tips to help you with this process are:

  • Wash your face at least twice a day with a gentle cleanser, mild soap or oil free face wash.
  • Following the wash, try to use oil-free moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated but non-oily at the same time.
  • Try your best to keep your hands off the acne and not pick on it. Picking on it or squeezing it will only aggravate the problem.
  • Use water based make-up which are labelled non-comedogenic (not causing black heads and white heads) and non- acnegenic (quite obviously, not causing acne)

The most important thing to remember is that acne is natural with or without PCOS, and it is nothing to be embarrassed about. How your skin looks should not determine how you feel, you are trying to cure it solely for health purposes and nothing else, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

But remember that what we eat reflects on own skin, what we dont eat also reflects on our skin. We have all tried market serums and creams that dont work, because healing acne requires an internal solution. So what is the real solution? With no side-effects, creams, no harm?

&Me AntiAcne Collagen Drink helps not just hide or dry the acne, but detoxes the blood, removes impurities, balances oil levels due to hormonal changes and reduces inflammation to REALLY reduce acne. It also build collagen to give you a true acne free glowing face. It has 25 natural ingredients that are age old remedies and scientifically tested to give you an acne free glowing skin. best part – No preservatives, No added sugar, Nothing artificial for your skin. Dermatologically Tested!

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Period Products| Sanitary Pads, Menstrual Cups & Tampons

We all know about the popular debate surrounding different kinds of period products. If you’re prone to waking up to sheets that resemble a crime scene, then the biggest pad with wings is probably at the top of your shopping list. 

But, today you can find reusable cups, washable pads, and period-proof panties, among a wide range of other period products.

Read this article to have a look at all the pros and cons of some of the most popular menstrual products.

Sanitary Pads

woman touching sanitary pad
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Pads are rectangles of absorbent materials that stick to the inside of your underwear. They are the most used period product in India. Here is a look at some of the pros and cons of using sanitary pads, and why it is time to move on.

Pros

  • You’re best friend during heavy periods and those messy nights.
  • They are available in different sizes to accommodate to the changes in your flow and activities.
  • They carry almost no risk of TTS (Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections).
  • You can wear them overnight.
  • You don’t need to insert anything.
  • Relatively cheaper if you have budget constraints

Cons

  • It’s more likely to be visible under clothing or sliding in case you use them wrongly, Not that there is something to hide here but you don’t want to feel self conscious all day, right?
  • You can’t swim or get in the pool in them. 
  • There’s the environmental factor, as pads are not sustainable. Though reusable options are now available.
  • They can shift out of place and wrinkle up in the center when you’re moving.
  • You can’t wear them in thongs or G-strings, if that’s your thing.

When to use sanitary pads?

If you have heavy flows, especially during the night, find tampons hard to insert or uncomfortable to wear and you are not constantly on the move.

Tampons

These little cotton cylindrical pads that fit inside your vagina are currently all the new rage in India. They come in different absorbances to accommodate light to heavy period flows.

Pros

  • Easy to carry and dispose.
  • You can swim in them.
  • You don’t have to worry about them being visible (minus the whole issue of tampon strings in swimsuits).
  • You can’t feel them when they’re in properly.

Cons

  • The biggest downside to wearing tampons is the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TTS). This is mainly due to the use of super absorbent tampons. Today,  It’s not that big of a threat because of the ban on such products. But for precautionary reasons you should-
    • Use the lowest absorbency tampon you can.
    • Change your tampon frequently.
    • Alternate between tampons and pads when your flow is light.
    • Avoid wearing a single tampon all night.

Other than this you might also face these issues-

  • Inserting them can be uncomfortable, especially when trying a new one.
  • Finding the right size and type for your flow takes some trial and error 
  • Like sanitary pads, they have a big environmental impact, with millions of tampons and their packaging creating a vast amount of waste.
  • They can sometimes irritate and dry out your vagina, making it itchy and uncomfortable.

When should you use tampons?

You are working out or otherwise on the move, heading to the beach or a pool party or you need something you can throw in your pocket.

Menstrual Cups

This product is shaking things up for women all around the world!

Menstrual cups are flexible cups made of medical-grade silicone that you wear inside your vagina to catch menstrual blood. It’s important to note that different cups have different shelf life. Some can be used for 10 years, some for 5 and some less than that. So be sure to read the label to know how long can you use the same cup.

Pros

Like other menstrual products, cups have their pros and cons, but the pros are pretty impressive.

  • For starters, Cups are reusable: just rinse, sterilize and wear them again! Being reusable means you save a lot of money. An Indian women spends upto Rs.300/month in buying pads and tampons. On the contrary, cups range from Rs.300 and go upto 1500 depending on the size, brand, etc, and yet you can use the same for 3-10 years!
  • This also means less landfill waste and fewer trees being cut down to make paper-based options and packaging.
  • They can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time.
  • You can buy them in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles.
  • You can wear them with anything.
  • You can swim in them.
  • They don’t disturb your vaginal pH.
  • You can’t feel them once they’re in properly.
  • They generally result in less period smell (yeah, you know what that is).

Cons

That’s a lot of pros in the cup’s favor, but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

  • Insertion and removal of the cup can get difficult or painful if you don’t know how to do it. So make sure you see videos before using a cup.
  • Things can get messy because you have to use your fingers to fish it out of your vagina, then clear the liquid collected and rinse it.
  • If your periods are heavy, then you might have to empty the cup within 8 hours.
  • You may have trouble with fitting the cup if you have fibroids.
  • You’ll need to give it a thorough sterilization (boiling in hot water) after each cycle
  • Though cheaper in the long term, the initial cost is quite high depending upon the brand
  • Cups are made of silicon, so if you are allergic to silicon (which is rare), in that case a menstrual cup is no the right choice for you

When should you use menstrual cups?

You have a little extra cash in hand for long term investment, are a beach/water baby, love to get inside the pool or like to wear thongs or G-strings then a menstrual cup is the best option for you!

This is just the tip of an iceberg. Yes, there are still more options- Padded Underwear, Reusable Cloth Pads, sponge tampons and more!

Bottom line

Managing your periods is about more than tampons vs. pads vs Cups. You’ve got options, and at the end of the day it’s your period, your prerogative. Choose products according to your comfort, budget, convenience, and any other variables that matter to you when choosing your products. But don’t restrict yourself from trying out new products just because of the social stigmas that are attached to them. You don’t have to stick to one kind of product, mix it up a little to accommodate the stages of your cycle.

&Me has launched The Uncompromising Period Comfort Box! We call it- A Hug In A Box! In the box there is,

  • ‘No Compromise’ Sanitary Pads– Heavy Flow protection + Rash free comfort + Affordable + Made in India.
  • Easy’ Menstrual Cup– Easy to insert, easy to remove, 8 hr leak proof protection, lasts 3-5 years! Toxin Free.
  • Period Tea– best for period pain relief and also helps to get regular periods, better mood swings, reduces cramps, fatigue and bloating.
  • Period Chocolate– With its unique ingredients &Me period chocolates help balance the changes in the body to bring psychological and physical comfort.
  • ‘Soothe’ Period RollOn– Instantly cools and brings relief from period pain including period cramps, back pain and leg pain.

What’s the best part you ask? You can Build Your Own Period Box! Choose the products you want in your Period Box!

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how to lose weight with pcos

How To Lose Weight With PCOS

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder characterized by irregular menstrual cycles along with the development of small cysts in the ovaries. It a common disorder among women of reproductive age.

Before we delve into what can be done to maintain one’s weight if they are diagnosed with PCOS, it is important to understand how weight gain is related to PCOS.

Why does PCOS cause weight gain?

PCOS makes it difficult for the body to use the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy. This condition is called insulin resistance. This causes insulin and sugar (glucose) to build up in the bloodstream, therefore eventually turning into body fat as it is not getting utilized by the body.

But this certainly does not mean that a woman with PCOS cannot maintain her body weight. As a matter of fact, studies have proven that reducing the body weight may help in bringing the hormones back into balance. So the question that arises how to lose weight with PCOS? What is the right PCOS diet plan?

Let’s break this down and start off with what NOT to eat.

Foods to avoid for PCOS and weight loss

  • Refined carbohydrates: Almost every dietician you consult will tell you to cut down on carbs, but why is this important?

Simply because carbs are harder to digest for the body in comparison to proteins and fats. Especially if one is diagnosed with PCOS, it is of value to understand that the hormone ‘insulin’ plays a big role in this process. Breaking down carbs is harder for your body than an average human. So trying and avoiding carbs is the first and most important step towards weight management

  • Added sugars: There is plenty of foods that have natural sugars in them which are good, but added/ processed sugars is unnecessary for the body.

Added sugars raise blood sugar levels and increase your risk of insulin resistance, which is directly linked to obesity. Women with PCOS may process sugar differently than women without it. Research shows that women with PCOS experience inclined spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after consuming the same amount of sugar as women without this condition. This includes avoiding foods like cookies, cakes, candies, sweets etc.

  • Processed foods: This is a no brainer. Processed foods usually have added sugars, spiked levels of salt and other preservatives which are naturally not good for anybody, specifically women with PCOS.

Studies have shown that processed foods are not only unhealthy but also unsatisfying, which in return increases the portion of food eaten as opposed to if it was a fresh plate of food.

  • Caffeine: This is probably one of the hardest foods to give up for most of us but it is true that caffeine actually has a huge effect on hormone levels.

Increased intake of caffeine leads to interference in ovulation and escalated production of stress hormones. If you want to include caffeine in your diet, avoid consumption in direct form and incorporate into your meals like breakfast. Try and limit yourself to one serving a day.

  • Alcohol: Some forms of alcohol such as mixed drinks, sweet wine, or beer have the potential to raise insulin levels quickly resulting in a blood sugar crash.

Alcohol can also interfere with your liver’s ability to produce glucose leading to low blood sugar levels. Drinking too much alcohol can interrupt with your ability to make wise mind food choices. Alcohol can also increase your hunger level, leading to overeating. Alcohol also causes sleep disturbances. Chances are if you drink too much the night before, it can affect your sleep and leave you dazed the next day. This could affect your workout routine too. However, if you do enjoy social drinking limit yourself to a glass or two (Red wine is your best bet) and remember to have it along with food so as to reduce its effects.

That is all the things one should try and avoid. Seems like a lot right? Almost everything? Well no. Now we will move onto the foods that you should inculcate in your diet to help in weight loss if you have PCOS.

PCOS diet to lose weight

  • Proteins: Any and every form of protein is your body’s best friend.

Include legumes, whole grains, lentils and nuts, and obviously don’t forget your veggies. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar and increases feelings of fullness after a meal. It may also aid weight loss by reducing cravings, helping you burn more calories, and managing hunger hormones.

  • Healthy fats: Simple myth busting, “fats” do not actually make you fat. Although fats are big on calories, they expand the stomach volume, helping you to feel more full hence consuming lesser calories throughout the day.
bowl being poured with yellow liquid
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Healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, avocado etc. Healthy fats also tricks your body into using fats for energy, compensating for the lack of carbohydrates. 

  • Prebiotic foods: Prebiotic foods are high in special types of fiber that support digestive health. They promote the increase of friendly bacteria in the gut, help with various digestive problems and even boost your immune system.
onions and garlic heads in wooden box on table
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Prebiotic foods have also been shown to improve metabolic health thereby helping in speeding up the weight loss process. Some prebiotic foods are Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onion, leek, shallots, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, fennel bulb, green peas, snow peas, sweet corn, and savoy cabbage.

Superfoods: There are some foods which should be on the top of your grocery list if you have PCOS. These foods are:

  • Cinnamon– Cinnamon is a well-known insulin sensitizer.
  • Spearmint Tea– Spearmint tea is an almost-secret superfood in the PCOS world. Long-term use can reduce hirsutism, which always improves body image.
  • Pumpkin seeds– Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan and support serotonin production, which improves mental health. They’re also a fantastic vegan protein. One ounce contains approximately nine grams of protein.
  • Sunflower seeds– Like pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds are another great vegan protein source, with six grams of protein per ounce.
  • Dark chocolate: Yes! This is your best way to curb your sweet tooth cravings. Choose 60% dark, which is gentler on your stomach than the often-touted 70%+ and make sure it is free of soy lecithin, which may contribute to endocrine disruption.

Above all these dietary recommendations, it is of utmost importance to understand that just foods alone may not help in weight loss. One needs to practice regular exercising, meditation etc.

While women with PCOS lose less fat than those without this condition, the exercise regimen did result in loss of belly fat and improvements in insulin sensitivity. Exercising also reduces heart disease risks which usually come along with weight gain. Be sure to incorporate cardio and strength training into your routine, alternating days between walking, running, or kickboxing with lifting weights and doing bodyweight exercises. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day and remember to take walks throughout the day to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up. 

Outside of diet, exercise, and medication, the best way to prevent weight gain with PCOS is to manage stress. By practicing some self-care, such as meditation and yoga, can help clear the mental roadblocks that are preventing you from losing weight and build willpower to overcome challenges. Reducing stress also puts you in better mind frame to make healthier decisions. Remember to keep your mental health in check and not get demotivated. Nothing is impossible and hence YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT WITH PCOS. Just small lifestyle changes will take you further on your weight loss journey.  Enjoy the ride along and look at it as a wise decision taken for your future self.

&Me is always striving to to empower women with health! To make your PCOS and weight loss journey easier, try &Me PCOS Drink!

&Me PCOS Drink is an effective alternative to contraceptives. It is natural and holistically helps with PCOS symptoms. It helps in hormonal imbalance in women, irregular periods. Now lose weight with PCOS, reduce acne due to PCOS with our Ayurvedic PCOS PCOD drink. &Me PCOS drink brings the right ingredients in the right quantity, for daily PCOS nutrition, in a bottle. &Me PCOS drink is trusted by 2.5L happy costumers!

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&Me PCOS PCOD Drink

Protein rich foods| Foods that contain protein

Proteins are found in many foods like eggs, all meats, beans, etc. Every time you eat an egg or a piece of chicken or chickpeas the protein in the food breaks in the body releasing the amino acid loose. 

These amino acids go to different parts of the body and become a part of your organs and muscles. These then join again to form more proteins of varying lengths. These proteins help the body to function well and stay healthy.  

The amino acids can be put into two groups

  1. Essential amino acids
  2. Non- essential amino acids

Essential amino acids – Are only present in food and not made by the body. They should be provided to the body through the food. 

Non-essential amino acids which can be made by the body and do not need to come from the food we eat.

A protein food can contain a combination of 1 or more essential and non- essential amino acids. It can contain only essential or only non-essential amino acids. 

There are plant and animal sources of protein. Popular plant sources of protein include:

  • Daal– 1 cup cooked daal contains 6 grams of protein
  • Beans– 1 cup cooked rajma contains 5 g of protein
  • Tofu– 1 cup of tofu contains 20 g protein
  • Peanut butter – 1 spoon of peanut butter contains 3.5 g protein
  • Yellow corn – 1 cup of it contains 15.6 g o protein
  • Quinoa – 1 cup contains 8.14 g of protein
  • Tempeh – 1 cup contains 35 g of protein 
  • Animal sources of protein
  • Chicken – 27 g of protein in 100 g (1 serving of chicken breast)
  • Salmon- 80g protein in 1 fillet of salmon. 
  • Eggs – 13 g protein in 100g /2 hard-boiled eggs
  • Cheese – 8g protein in 1 slice mozzarella cheese
  • Milk – 3.4 g in 250ml glass of milk 

Make sure you get all essential and non-essential amino acids from the foods in your diet. 

How can one make sure they are getting all amino acids in their meals?

Animal sources of protein have all the amino acids needed by the body. Plant sources usually lack one or few of the essential amino acids. This makes it challenging for vegetarians and vegans. 

The best solution for vegans and vegetarians is to consume proteins from a variety of sources or combine foods from different sources. Here are some examples on how you can combine foods:

cooked rice and curry food served on white plate
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Grains like barley, buckwheat, oats, rice, and wheat do not contain an amino acid called Lysine. But they contain lots of Methionine and Cysteine. 

Legumes like beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, peanuts, and soybeans do not contain methionine and contain lots of lysine. 

Example food combinations for meals:

  • You can combine Rice with lentils/ daal to get both Methionine and Lysine in the same meal.
  • You can combine peanut butter and whole wheat bread.
  • Rice/ Rotis with Chole (chickpeas in a tomato gravy)

Other ways to meet protein needs of the body

  • Pick a high protein grain like quinoa over rice and pasta which are low in protein content
  • Include seeds like hemp, chia, and flax seeds in your diet
  • Consume lots of nuts 
  • Add protein supplements to your daily diet in the form of a protein powder
  • Eggs – 13 g protein in 100g /2 hard-boiled eggs
  • Beans– 1 cup cooked rajma contains 5 g of protein
  • Chicken – 27 g of protein in 100 g (1 serving of chicken breast)

Looking at the list of protein sources mentioned above, measuring out quantities of foods and paying attention to the nutrition content can be challenging for women with busy lives. 

Protein supplementation can help meet the protein needs of the body. Protein shakes are an easy and convenient way to make sure you meet your protein requirements. People who are looking to lose weight often use protein shakes as meal replacements. A high protein diet can help by filling your stomach in large quantities, reduce appetite, burn fat, and build muscle mass to lose weight. 

The market is flooded with several protein supplement options. The protein supplements available in the market can be put into two categories. 

  • Plant based
  • Dairy based

Proteins are available in the form of cereal bars, chocolate bars, powders to name a few. Among all, the most common is the powder format as protein supplements for weight loss. The most common kinds of protein powders are listed below. 

Whey protein

Whey protein powder for weight loss is  sold and consumed by fitness enthusiasts. Whey protein is a liquid that is formed when cheese is manufactured milk or whenever you leave yoghurt to set the clear liquid you see floating on top is whey.  This liquid is dried to make a powder which is mixed with other ingredients to be sold.   

Casein

Casein is also a milk-based protein. This protein is removed from milk to make a powder. 

Egg white protein

The egg whites are eggs are dried to make a powder and sold in the market.  Egg whites contain 67% of the protein contained in eggs

Collagen 

This protein is naturally present in our body/ in our skin. The supplement is made from a variety of animal sources like the skin and bones of cattle, pigs, fish scales and eggshells. 

Plant sources are also gaining popularity today. It is usually consumed to improve the elasticity skin, burn fat, and build more muscle and more

Soy protein

This is a protein present in soybean. The protein is removed and sold as a powder/ flour.

Pea protein is made from Pisum sativum or the yellow pea. The protein is removed by special methods. 

Confused about which protein to choose?? Which one is the best??

Here are some ways you can judge if a protein supplement is of good quality and is good for you. 

Protein quality- How much protein is there in the supplement?

The ideal protein product should contain all contain all essential amino acids and BCAAs(Branched Chain Amino Acids). BCAAs are forms of the amino acid which can help build muscles.

Whey, casein, and egg proteins – They are all complete proteins containing all the amino acids and BCCAs which are ideal to build muscles. 

Soy and Pea proteins – Are also complete proteins containing essential amino acids (ones not made by the body) and contains BCAAs.

  • Digestibility- Will the protein be accepted by my body?? Will it suit me?

Protein powders should be easy on the digestive system. 

Whey and casein – Both are milk based.  It might not suit many because whey protein contains lactose (component of milk and milk products). Lactose intolerance is seen in 60 to 65 % of the Indian population. People whose bodies cannot digest or break down lactose which is a sugar contained in milk. It is characterized by bloating and severe stomach pain/ digestive issues. 

Egg protein can increase your cholesterol levels. 

Pea protein and soy protein- They are plant based and easier on the digestive system. Soy protein may not be helpful for people who have soy allergies. 

A plant-based protein source like pea protein can be consumed by a greater number of people or suits a greater number of people. It can cater to the protein needs of a larger population. It is a great source of protein for people who are lactose intolerant.  It contains natural fibers and can reduce the release of Ghrelin. Ghrelin is a protein in the body which makes you feel hungry. Less of Ghrelin means that you feel full for longer period of time. 

  • Manufacturing process – How is the protein supplement made?

When one tries to remove proteins from these animal and plant sources a lot of good ingredients get removed or destroyed. 

Whey and other sources of protein is highly processed and, in the process, loses vitamins and minerals. The manufacturing process is not eco-friendly as well. 

Pea protein is less processed, so it contains many naturally occurring plant vitamins and minerals. Vitamin K (found especially in fresh peas), manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, and B Vitamins are found in pea protein. The manufacturing process is also greener and has less impact on the environment. 

Other ingredients in the protein supplement product?

One of the main reasons why people consume protein is to meet the challenge of losing weight which is appetite control.  The protein powder should make you feel full to reduce your calorie or food intake to lose weight. Most commercially available protein supplements in the market do not contain the protein source alone. They contain artificial sweeteners like acesulfame k, sucralose, aspartame, and maltodextrin. These offer less satiety and make you feel hungry too quickly. They are also harmful to health and liver. 

Stay clear of such products! A lot of these products do not list all their ingredients on the label. 

As mentioned, we have too many options in the market. Are you looking for something that is natural, nourishing, delicious, satiating, free of preservatives and free of unsafe sweeteners? 

Try &Me’s Choco almond flavored women’s protein shake powder. It not only helps manage weight, but it also boosts energy and strength, boosts immunity, balances hormones and relieves stress. The product meets these unique health needs of women with ayurvedic herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It contains 20 grams of plant protein and contains all the essential amino acids including the BCAAs. It meets 30% of the of the daily nutritional needs of women as per ICMR requirements. It is delicious, natural, and nourishing. Now available in a 500g container just for Rs.800 Only!

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A girl hugging &Me period box

Hug in a box – &Me Uncompromising period comfort box

We are so excited to share the exclusive first look into India’s first complete Period Care Box that launches today on 16th December 2020.

We are calling it – Hug in a box!

At &Me, we are leading the effort in driving research and innovation in understanding periods.

Every day, we speak to 200 women and take the time to hear their period stories. We know that periods are not just about cramps; they come with 20 other emotional and physical changes. We know pills are not the healthy solution. We know you are still dissatisfied with the pads and cups you use.

On our quest to give you that “Uncompromising Period comfort”, we had launched India’s first period drink in 2018, and Period chocolates in 2019.

In April 2020, just after the lockdown had hit, and the stress levels were rising, we knew it will impact our hormones and take the period days for a toss! We got into a team brainstorming session to discuss what we can do to make them better.

We spoke to many of you to understand what you wanted, what you weren’t getting, then partnered with leading manufacturers in India to build each and every component of this amazing Period box, that gives you a period day comfort that is inside out!

What is inside &Me Period Box :

  1. Period Tea: &Me Period Tea is taking the conversation of periods beyond cramps, with a product that is proven to help across period symptoms of cramps, body pain, bloating, and fatigue. It is an innovative blend of 25 ingredients from Ayurveda and Nutrition science. Read more about the ingredients HERE. The tea comes both in loose and tea bag format. In a delicious Spearmint Rose flavor! Brew it hot, cup your hands around the cup, snuggle and enjoy this comforting tea as it eases your pain from the inside!
&Me period tea for cramps, bloating and fatigue
  • Period chocolate: We all crave dark chocolates during periods because of mood swings and declining Serotonin levels. Sugar loaded market chocolates only worsen the problem. &Me Period chocolate helps manage period cravings and mood swings with 55% Dark (oat milk based) cocoa along with essential micronutrients, Ayurvedic herbs, fruits and nuts. No sugar! (Read more about the ingredients HERE). We absolutely love it!
&Me Period chocolates for moods and cravings
  • “No compromise” Sanitary pads: Why should you compromise with the most intimate relationship during periods – your pads! Why can’t you have it all! These &Me sanitary pads check all your criteria with Rash free fabric, Heavy flow protection, affordable (Pack of 10 for Rs 199 only) and Made in India! Specially made for women who have heavy flow, PCOS, and UTI.
&Me No compromise Sanitary pads
  • Easy” Menstrual cup: Extremely soft to push in and pull out easily – your most common problem that makes you think twice about using cups! &Me cup uses design innovation with its unique stud shape, medical grade silicon material and micro holes to help with easy insertion and removal!
&Me easy menstrual cup – easy to insert, easy to remove
  • Soothe Rollon”: In our Soothe rollon, we bring to you ingredients from across the world that bring instant pain relief. It has Ylang Ylang, Peppermint, Clary Sage and Lavender! It smells amazing and works instantly! Apply on your neck to help with with better moods and sleep during periods. Toxin free.

As we end this tumultuous 2020, Period time wouldn’t add to our woes. Lets end 2020 on a good note. Get yourself your period box and gift your girl freind one!

Click HERE to shop all products or build your own Period Box HERE