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Why &Me Wellness protein is your daily nutrition care?

Nutrition is essential for growth and development, health and well-being. Eating a healthy diet contributes to preventing future illness and death. The food and drink choices you make every day affect your health now and later in life. Choosing healthy foods and drinks more often can help prevent or manage many health problems that affect women. And studies show that when a woman eats healthy, everyone in her household is more likely to eat healthy.

The required amounts of the essential nutrients differ with age and the state of the body.

Men and women have both physiological and metabolic differences. Considering the fact that women’s body is different from their male counterpart, women’s nutrition also differs from men. Women tend to need fewer calories than men but their requirements for certain vitamins and minerals are much higher. Hormonal changes that come with menstruation, childbirth, and menopause leaves women with a higher risk of anaemia and weakened bones, requiring a higher intake of nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B9.

Women need energy, protein, and all vitamins like fat soluble as well as water soluble with good amount of minerals and herbs to perform vital activities.

A woman needs the above nutrients to ensure that her body and brain get the mental and physical energy to maintain healthy body weight, to lower the risk of diseases and to get enough energy and stamina to perform daily routine work.

When we women start getting deficient in these, it affects our overall well being including hormonal cycles, hair, skin and mental health.

&Me Protein and Wellness Shake has 50 ingredients that meet 30% of women’s daily nutritional needs and has specific health blends for

(1) Immunity

(2) Energy

(3) Weight loss

(4) Stress

(5) Hair and Skin

It includes essential nutrients-

1. Morgina– It is very nutritious, rich in antioxidants, lowers blood sugar level, reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol.

2. Vitamin B1– thiamin, or thiamine, enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. It is essential for glucose metabolism, and it plays a key role in nerve, muscle and heart function. Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble vitamin, as are all vitamins of the B complex.

 3. Zinc– Zinc is needed for DNA synthesis, immune function, metabolism and growth.  It is a nutrient found throughout your body and is also important for wound healing and your sense of taste and smell.

4. Ashwagandha– is an ancient medicinal herb and can reduce blood sugar levels. It can reduce cortisol levels. It may help reduce stress and anxiety. It may also increase muscle mass and strength.

5. Iron– Iron is an essential mineral that’s needed for haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that helps transport oxygen around the body. It plays a key role in supporting the immune system too. Iron also helps maintain our energy levels, regulate body temperature and may even improve athletic performance.

Iron is a mineral that’s vital to your health. All of your cells contain some iron, but most of the iron in your body is in your red blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen from your lungs to the organs and tissues throughout your body. Iron has a role in creating energy from nutrients

6. Vitamin C– It is also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It is involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and maintaining the cartilage, bones, and teeth.

7. Tulsi– It is rich in antioxidants which help in mitigating stress and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, soothes indigestion, controls blood glucose levels, improves liver function and helps with weight loss.

8. Inositol– It may reduce anxiety by affecting serotonin and may aid blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity.

9. Kachnar-It helps in quick healing of the wound, decreases swelling and brings back the normal texture of the skin.

10. Calcium and Vit D– It helps to build and maintain strong bones. Your heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep the bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

11. Manganese– It is strong antioxidant properties, supporting bone health, helps reduce inflammation, plays a role in blood sugar regulation.

12. Riboflavin – It is a vitamin that is needed for growth and overall good health. It helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy, and it allows oxygen to be used by the body.

13. Gota kotcha– It may help reduce anxiety and stress. It may act as an antidepressant. It may improve circulation and reduce swelling. It may help ease insomnia. It may also help reduce appearance of stretch marks.

&Me Wellness protein contains essential macro-nutrients as well as micro-nutrients that help build muscle, repair tissues, and make enzymes and hormones. This is the one solution for all women unique health needs – get regular cycles, energy, stamina, weight loss, immunity, stronger hair and better skin. It contains 24 power ingredients, 30% daily nutrition, 16.5gm plant protein and 11 amino acids.

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&Me Protein & Wellness Shake

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Food vs Oils for Hair Fall

Do you know your hair grows around 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) per month, and 6 inches (15 cm) per year. How fast it grows depends on factors like age, health, genetics and diet.

Long, strong and shiny hair is almost everyone’s dream yet not everyone is able to fulfill it.

But a balanced diet is the most important thing when it comes to healthy and beautiful hair.  Eating a balanced diet with the right nutrients can help promote hair growth ,and consuming a diet lacking the right nutrients can lead to hair loss.

There are huge number of hair care products promising to improve the growth and quality of hair. Many of us forget that proper nutrition is one of the most important things to help nourish your hair from within.

Diet plays an important role in keeping the skin and hair healthy. The foods people eat have an impact on the growth, strength, and volume of their hair.

Hair grows from the roots, so the key to healthy hair growth lies in improving the health of the scalp and hair follicles. Hair is continuously growing and being replaced, and the follicles are constantly creating new hair from nutrients in the body.

What you eat can have a huge effect on the health of your hair.

A lack of the right nutrients including vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein and essential fatty acids may slow down hair growth or even cause hair loss. Correcting a deficiency in any of these nutrients may help treat hair loss and promote the rate of hair growth.

You may oil your hair regularly and apply natural hair masks but internal nourishment is as important as external care. Regular oiling or deep conditioning can improve the texture of your hair, but what you put into your body will make a greater difference. Unlike oils and shampoos, Shampoos cleanse, Oils improve blood circulation but Nutrition really helps in nourishing follicles for hair growth and strength.

Excess Biotin is harmful

While Biotin is needed for hair growth, it is not the only thing. Biotin deficiency has been linked to hair fall but excess biotin is not said to promote growth. We need 100 mcg Biotin in a day but market products are selling 1000 mcg a day that can lead to acne, nausea & diarrhea.

It is important to understand what is causing your hair loss. When there is protein and other vitamins and minerals deficiency then just biotin supplements wont work. We need to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle (managing stress and quality sleep)

Which nutrient are good for hair growth?

There are multiple nutrients that encourage hair growth:

Biotin: a B vitamin which may help hair grow and strengthen

Vitamin D: it can help stimulate hair follicles that have become dormant

Vitamin E: it’s potent antioxidant activity helps to reduce oxidative stress in the scalp, which is known to be associated with Alopecia

Iron: iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss

Vitamin C: it makes it easier for your body to absorb iron

Omega-3 fatty acids: their anti-inflammatory effects can counter any inflammation that’s causing hair shedding

Foods For Hair Growth

1. Spinach– It is a healthy green vegetable that’s loaded with beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamin A and C, all of which promote hair growth.

Spinach also contains other nutrients like vitamin E, C, biotin and iron. Iron is an essential mineral that supplies oxygen to your hair follicles. 

2. Sweet potatoes –It is rich in vitamin A, which is essential for sebum production on the scalp. They also contain biotin, which lets the hair use protein for growth. Additionally, it has other factors that may help speed up the rate of hair growth.

3. Blueberries –It contain vitamin C that stimulates the production of collagen- an important protein forming the hair structure. They also contain antioxidants that fight free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or molecules having an unpaired electron. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which aids collagen production and iron absorption, two factors that may promote hair growth

4. Avocados- it is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that may promote hair growth. Additionally, they are a great source of essential fatty acids, which appear to be crucial for hair growth.

5. Nuts –These are packed with nutrients like vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids, all of which may promote hair growth and are linked to many other health benefits.

6. Seeds –These are rich in vitamin E and other nutrients that may promote hair growth. Some seeds also contain omega-3s, which have been linked to hair growth

7. Beans are a great source of protein, iron, zinc and biotin, which are all essential for optimal hair health.

8. Citrus food– Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen that make capillaries that connect to the hair shafts strong thus, ensuring regular supply of nutrients and quick hair growth. Your body requires vitamin C for iron absorption, therefore you need to add citrus fruits to your diet. 

9. Whole grains –These are rich in biotin along with iron, zinc and B vitamins. Biotin is required for cell proliferation and plays an important part in producing amino acids (protein) which are required for your hair to grow.

The best step you can take is to prevent hair loss and thinning due to poor nutrition. Be sure to eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated.

&Me has created NutriHAIR Drink, a complete hair health formula with essential nutrients and vitamins needed to promote hair growth. It contains 24 powerful ingredients including 308mg of amino acid required for Keratin production in the hair.  It also contains biotin for hair growth, coconut and Vitamin A for hair strength and Bringraj to reduce premature greying. 

All ingredients in a preservative free, delicious orange juice-based drink. A product that nourishes your hair from root to tip!

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&Me NutriHAIR Drink

Top 15 Symptoms of Menopause- Simply Explained

There are many physical and mental challenges a woman goes through during menopause.  A lot of the symptoms are a result of the domino effect of one symptom leading to other symptoms.

The top 15 symptoms of menopause, include hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.

Below is the detailed list explaining the physical and mental symptoms of menopause and what you can do to manage them

1. Hot flashes

A woman experiencing hot flashes feels as though her face, neck and chest are on burning/ heat in those regions of the body

Sweating profusely – especially on the upper body

Red blotchy skin

Heart beating faster than normal

Anxiety

Feeling cold suddenly after the temperature subsides

The root cause of hot flashes has not been understood completely. But it is known to be caused by hormonal imbalance. Hormones are required to control the body’s temperature control system/ thermostat.

Imbalance of hormones = Imbalance of body temperature. 

Manage hot flashes:

Dressing in layers- You take off and put back on to feel comfortable at different environment temperatures

Avoiding caffeine, spicy food and alcohol

Practice deep breathing

2. Disturbed sleep

Sleep disruptions are common among women going through menopause. Lack of proper rest can make one feel exhausted, irritable and moody.

Hot flashes can reduce the quality and quantity of sleep too.

Manage insomnia by:

Sleeping in a cool, dark and well-ventilated bedroom

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime

Wearing comfortable cotton clothing/ breathable fabric

Exercising

Not taking naps during the day

Sleeping with an empty bladder

3. Weight gain

Hormonal imbalance affects your body’s metabolism/ body becomes less efficient in burning fat or calories consumed. This causes one to gain weight.

How to manage weight:

Have a balanced diet by consuming less carbs and fat in the diet.

Consuming more proteins and fiber

Exercise

4. Leaky urinary bladder

Uncontrolled leakage of urine out of the bladder when not using the restroom.

This is caused because of a less amount of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is required to keep the urinary bladder muscles healthy and contain the urine inside the bladder.

Less estrogen = weaker urinary bladder muscles = urine leakage when laughing, sneezing or coughing

One can also develop urinary tract infections.

Manage a leaky bladder by:

Avoiding diuretic beverages/ beverages that make you want to urinate frequently. Beverages include- Citrus juices, caffeinated beverages and alcohol

Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that prevent urine leakage.

5. Joint pain – Bones become weak

Women feel weak, legs feel sore and hips feel tight. Feel tired very easily.

Estrogen is required to protect joints from damage.

Less estrogen = weaker joints

Manage Joint pain by:

Increase intake of Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium in the diet. Up your intake of green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Take Vitamin D and Calcium supplements

Stretching and physical activity can reduce pain and swelling.

6. Sore breasts

Less estrogen = less healthy breast tissue. Making breasts more sensitive.

Manage sore breasts by:

Wear a bra that fits well and supports your breasts properly

Exercise regularly

Apply warm compress

7. Formication

Estrogen is required to produce natural skin oils and keep skin moist.

When estrogen amount less =No natural oils and dryness= Skin feels itchy all the time

Manage skin dryness by:

Applying moisturizers and oils to keep skin moist and supplement to the diet.

8. Dryness in the vagina

Estrogen is required to make the vagina produce a jelly like substance to keep the vagina healthy.

Less estrogen = dry vagina.

This makes sexual intercourse unpleasant.

Manage vaginal dryness by:

Applying lubricants

Regular sexual stimulation also help maintain elasticity.

9. Thinning of hair on the head

Estrogen and progesterone are required for rapid growth of hair. When the amount of these hormones reduce in the body, the hair follicles shrink to result in hair loss.

Reduce hair thinning by:

Increasing protein intake

Adding protein, vitamin and mineral supplements to the diet

Avoid hair products with harsh chemicals

10. Digestive problems

When going through menopause – Less estrogen = more stress hormone cortisol. More cortisol = makes digesting food difficult= bloating, constipation and stomach pain

Manage digestive issues by:

Chewing food properly

Eat slowly

Stay hydrated

Include more fermented foods in your diet like yoghurt

11. Irregular periods

This sign appears in the early stages of menopause. It is one of the first visible signs of it.

12. Uterine bleeding

It is normal and happens from time to time. It is normal to notice this around menopause.

Periods are heavy and frequent. They can start and stop all of a sudden.

You should consult a doctor if you soak up multiple pads in a short duration or you bleed between two cycles, you have shorter cycles or bleed during intercourse. 

13. Forget fullness

Less estrogen = memory loss/ forget fullness

Estrogen is required by the brain to make special brain chemicals for good memory.

Manage memory problems by:

Consuming Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods like salmon (fish)

Adding an Omega 3 supplement like Cod liver oil to the diet

Consuming chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts

14. Difficulty in focusing

It is seen in the early stages of menopause. It can become worse with poor sleep and mood swings.

Less estrogen and progesterone = problems with focus

Manage memory issues by:

Keeping a reminder notebook handy

Use google calendars to set reminders

Leave sticky notes around the house

Adding nuts and seeds to the diet

15. Depression

Estrogen is required to make happy hormone/ serotonin in the brain.

Less estrogen = less serotonin= blues/ feeling low

Remedies for depression:

Exercising causes the brain to make happy hormone serotonin to boost mood and energy

Seek the help of a therapist/ support group to help you

16. Less interest in sex (low libido)

 Decline in sex drive/ desire to have sex. Women many not feel as warm towards their partner. Decrease in sexual responsiveness and frequency of intercourse.

Treating low libido:

Having an open conversation with your partner about your expectations and needs.

Consulting a sex therapist.

&Me period tea helps relieve period cramps naturally

The story of &Me Period Tea

This is a story of our first love, &Me Period care solution.

How we launched &Me Period Drink and why we are re-launching it now in a new avatar – &Me Period Tea!

Exactly 2 years ago, we launched &Me Period Drink – India’s first holistic and natural solution for monthly Period changes in the body.

&Me period drink was a revolutionary drink that helped women with period cramps, bloating, fatigue and mood swings! It was hailed across media and loved by women

Economic Times - &Me
Economic Times – &Me
India Today - &Me

India Today – &Me

Why we launched &Me period drink?

Despite 50% of population going through period cycles every month and 75% of them facing one or the other PMS symptom of discomfort, solutions did not exist.

Painkillers are harmful while only helping with pain. Hot water bags just provide temporarily relief. But what about all the other period symptoms of fatigue, mood swings, bloating, back pain, headache, vomiting?

We took a stand and after one year of dedicated research, 100+ consumer interviews, 20+ discussions with gynecologists and nutritionists, and 500+ tests to balance nutrients and taste, we launched &Me – a one stop natural solution for Period care.

&Me Period drink was a unique combination of 25 micronutrients, Ayurvedic herbs and natural fruit sugars that help support the hormonal changes in the body during periods. (It had absolutely no artificial ingredients or added sugar or preservatives)

&Me Period Drink Avatar

“Just finished &Me PMS drink, and it made me sigh in relief… It had a soothing effect and eased my period pain. Would really recommend the drink to all the women out there” 

83% of women noticed significant improvement with &Me – Test result from 100 women who drank 1 bottle of &Me Happy Period, PMS drink everyday during periods.

Why we launched &Me Period Tea in its new avatar?

We at &Me speak to 150 – 200 women everyday.

They told us, we love your Period drink, we recommend it to our friends and family, but during periods, I want something warm, something more comforting.

So we put our brains together and within 2 months, repurposed the revolutionary drink formulation into green tea format. We coated the nutrients of &Me Happy Period, PMS drink to green tea leaves that can be easily seeped into a hot cup of tea

Brewing a hot cup of &Me Period tea feels like a comforting hug of a friend that can solve all worries!

What makes &Me Period tea special?

  1. Comes in a beautiful golden tin box
  2. One tin box will last you 2-3 months of period cycle, so you don’t need to worry about ordering fresh supply when the periods are not as predictable as they should be
  3. Whole Green tea leaves (NOT cuts or powder) sourced from the lush tea gardens of Darjeeling.
  4. Fortified Green tea leaves coated with vitamins, minerals and herbs for maximum benefits in an easy format
  5. Brewing a hot cup of tea will feel like entering a garden of fresh roses with freshness of spearmint
  6. Consuming 1-2 tea cups a day will help provide comfort from PMS and period symptoms. Tested and Proved!

So – Dont wait and order your perfect and most effective period care tin box today!

Buy Now – &Me Period comfort tea

close up of strawberries

How Does Cranberry Help With UTI?

Urinary Tract Infections

UTIs are mainly caused mainly when bacteria set up home in the bladder. 

A person with a UTI experiences pain and burning sensation while urinating, constant pressure in the Urinary tract and bladder, back pain, frequent urge to urinate, involuntary dripping of urine when not using the restroom, cloudy and foul smelling urine, fever, nausea and chills. 

Women who have attained menopause, diabetic women with high blood sugar levels and women whose partners use condoms with spermicidal foam are prone to getting a UTI. 

The chances of getting an infection increases if a woman gets it once. For some women it is genetic.   

The most common UTI causing bacteria is E. coli. 

How do people with UTIs deal with it?

People are usually prescribed: 

  • Antibiotics to kill the bacteria
  • Lots of water to make one frequently urinate and flush out bacteria
  • In terms of dietary solutions, Cranberry is the commonly prescribed natural food product either as a juice or fruit to fight the infection in addition to antibiotics and water. 

Cranberry as a fruit contains the following components

88% water, Fructose (a natural sugar), Vitamin C and Special components called anthocyanidins and Proanthocyanidins (PAC) 

What are the forms of Cranberry consumed?

  • Fresh whole berries
  • Juices (10 to 25% pure juices)
  • Capsules (in concentrated form)
  • Whole cranberries should be consumed with lots of water.
  • The most common form consumed is Cranberry juice and Cranberry cocktails. 
  • Cranberry cocktail contains 25% cranberry juice +75 % with other fruit juices for sweetness (reduce the tart flavor of the cranberry) is most consumed by women to get relief from the symptoms of UTIs.
  • Concentrated cranberry juice with no added sugars and is tart.

How do PACs help?

Every time one has a UTI, the bacteria make a home for themselves in the Urinary bladder.

They anchor themselves to inner walls of the bladder/ stick to the walls very tightly. Bacteria use special claws to fix themselves tightly onto the wall. They grow in number and spread inside the urinary bladder. 

Cranberry has special components called PACs in them. This special component causes the bacteria to detach from the walls of the bladder. It destroys the claws that the bacteria uses to anchor itself to the bladder and grow to throw it out. 

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

Eating whole cranberries don’t help because they don’t contain the components that fight the infection. 

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. 

So Cranberry PACs are known to kill bacteria in the bladder. Every time the bacteria are killed the contents of the bacteria/ pieces remain behind. These remnants can cause the infection to recur.  

Cranberry juice alone doesn’t 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

best gift for periods

Why is &Me Period Chocolate the Best Girlfriend Gift?

Unfortunately, period is that time of the month a woman never looks forward to. But we are not alone, as our sisters and girlfriend also go through the same experience every month. 

It might feel like we are alone but yes, she also bleeds through many pads and feels uncomfortable. 

Let’s take a moment to ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Do you know your best friend (BFF) period cycle?
  • How often do you reach out to your girlfriend for support during periods?
  • How often do you share your period stories with your girlfriend?

The answer for most of us is – very rarely. But if we ask ourselves, we would LOVE to have someone who can understand us during period days, make us feel special during period days, and help us get through the pain, mood swings etc.

Lockdown has made some of this difficult, but we at &Me have an ultimate gift for you to give your girlfriend during her period. Continue reading to find out!

First off, what do periods bring:

Pain in the days leading up to her period and days of her period?

Exhaustion and feeling drained of energy – Menstrual bleeding during periods makes a woman feel tired due to dip in estrogen levels in the body. 

Bloating – During periods, a woman feels like she has swelled up or gained weight. 

High amounts of progesterone in the body make the digestive system sluggish (causing gas, bloating, diarrhea). There is a drop in metabolism, or the body produces energy slowly from food. High levels of progesterone increases water retention to make her feel like she has ballooned. 

To add to the above…Mood swings and hunger pangs for carbs and sweets

During periods there is less estrogen hormone in the body. Estrogen is required to make a hormone called serotonin. Less estrogen = less serotonin. 

Less serotonin = cravings for sugary snacks and chocolates. And one feels constant hunger pangs.

Less serotonin = mood swings and irritability= grumpy

On an average she spends almost a week of every month of her reproductive years ~ almost 30 years of her life like this?

You can do something special to make those days better and uplift her spirits. 

Surprise her. Create a care package for her or a little gift with a hot water pad, some essential oils to take her mind off the pain, make her a warm soothing tea, cook a meal for her and don’t forget to give her chocolates! 

Yes. Chocolates!! Do you know that chocolate is beneficial for health during periods?

Not any chocolate. Only dark chocolate!

Other kinds of chocolate or sweet treats with high amounts of sugar only add to the hunger pangs, temporarily satisfy her sweet cravings and worsens the pain and mood swings. 

As mentioned before

Less estrogen = less serotonin = cravings for sugary snacks and chocolates = constant hunger pangs =mood swings and irritability = grumpy / sad

Studies have shown that cacao in dark chocolate can increase serotonin levels to reduce mood swings. 

Dark chocolate contains higher % of cacao which means it is more potent in dealing with mood swings. 

Dark chocolate can also satisfy sweet tooth cravings and hunger pangs. 

So, you have helped her deal with her cravings and mood. What about the bloating and exhaustion? There are many solutions like the hot water bottle and teas and the oils that are short-lived solutions. 

Is there one thing that can deal with all the above problems?

Yes!

&Me’s Period Chocolate 

It is 70% dark chocolate, containing the perfect blend of Vitamins, Minerals and 5 Ayurvedic herbs that help relieve period symptoms naturally.

Cocoa to reduce cravings, Vitamin B6 and Ashwagandha to boost energy, Magnesium and Vitamin B6 to reduce mood swings, ginger and pepper to reduce bloating and also contains healthy prebiotic fiber. Available in sea salt almond and cranberry flavors.

It also contains Stevia, a 0 calorie sugar which makes for a guilt free period treat.

Periods can be confusing, daunting for any woman and particularly a young girl who is on her first cycle. Periods are always associated with the above negative symptoms.   

These heart shaped bite size treats make for a great period care gift for any woman/ girl! This will give her the support she needs during her PMS days and period days.

So, uplift her spirits with a box of &Me Period Chocolate every month. She will definitely appreciate it!


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&Me Period Chocolates

Why Do We Need a PCOS Awareness Month?

September is recognized as PCOS awareness month. You might be wondering. Why dedicate a whole month to PCOS? 

Here is our list of 3 good reasons

  1. Use the power of a moment to spread awareness about PCOS and bring the community together – Yes 1 in 5 women in India currently has PCOS! 

According to statistics 1 in 5 people in India of reproductive age suffer from PCOS. It is more widespread than diabetes! But still many men and women don’t know what this is, how common it is and what to do about it.

A moment like PCOS Awareness month, women sharing their stories brings highlights to the topic and makes people aware. It encourages conversations and normalizes PCOS

For women with PCOS, the stigma, the bodily changes and the associated difficulties in conceiving due to PCOS makes women feel lonely and inferior. It is a struggle for many girls and women. They feel bad for not getting their period cycles like clockwork or their peers (on time). 

Women suffer in silence. PCOS, and its physical manifestations/ bodily changes, the symptoms associated with it have a negative effect on fertility of women. This has shown to affect the mental health of women as well.  This moment is an opportunity for them to not feel alone and hear stories of others.

This month is dedicated to also reaching out to such women afflicted and struggling with PCOS to tell them that they are not alone in this. There are many women going through this. Having PCOS, irregular period cycles and inability to conceive doesn’t make them any less.

  1. Propel the need for higher innovation and investment into PCOS solutions – contraceptives are not an answer!

Despite the widespread nature of PCOS in India and globally, very few solutions exist. The pharma world offers contraceptives that only manage one symptom of irregular periods while being extremely harmful for the body. It is not a true PCOS offering.

More people suffer from it and are left undiagnosed for a long time, years on end. There are more people living with it and living with the effects of it than we know. 

This moment will help educate health care professionals about the disorder, ways to improve diagnosis and treat it. It will help encourage medical researchers to discuss advancements in the area of research, understand PCOS better for early and effective diagnosis and treatment 

  1. Brings focus on women reproductive health 

This month is also dedicated to highlighting the importance of reproductive health, the importance of visiting a Gynecologist at least once a year. 

It is important to break the stigma around being silent about reproductive health among Indian women. 

Not many women go to a Gynecologist till they face a major reproductive health concern. They are ignorant or shy about it on other days. 

If women go for regular check ups, PCOS or other reproductive problems can be diagnosed earlier and treated before it gets severe. 

So, let’s use this moment to also touch upon PCOS and its effects on a woman’s body to encourage healthy conversations in friends and family. 

Also our quick primer on PCOS to aid your conversations

What is PCOS?

PCOS – PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome.

It is commonly described as a metabolic condition in which there Is an abnormality in ovary and hormonal imbalance. 

Symptoms?

It presents itself with a variety of symptoms like irregular periods – not regular like clockwork (only every 45 days or more) infertility, acne, weight gain, unwanted hair growth, ovarian cysts and hormonal imbalance. 

A woman with PCOS can also get dark patches on the skin and experience depression, anxiety, mood swings and irritability.

Women struggle to get pregnant because it affects their fertility. Women can also develop diabetes and obesity in extreme cases.

The top one among the issues is Hormone imbalance.

  • Androgen hormones- Women with high levels of Androgens(male hormones) in the body are at a great risk of getting PCOS. This causes excess facial hair growth.
  • Insulin Resistance (IR): When the body cannot use a hormone called insulin to lower blood sugar quantity. This can lead to diabetes.
  • High level of LH, low levels of FSH and low level of progesterone: The egg is not produced, and the uterus is not cushioned enough for the egg or pregnancy.
  • In some people, small compartments of fluids called Cysts can grow in the ovaries and make them produce less eggs. This causes irregular periods.
  • It is genetic for some women, if women in the previous generations in the family have PCOS.  

If PCOS is left unnoticed for long it can be associated with other co- morbidities like diabetes, high bp, cholesterol syndrome, body weight issues, depression and cancer.

How to treat PCOS:

Birth control pill is not the correct treatment as it can mask the problems of PCOS 

Metformin used to treat diabetic insulin resistance is not good in the long run. 

What are we doing at &Me for PCOS Awareness month:

We at &Me are passionate about women’s reproductive health. We are determined to give women a holistic solution/ tool to all her health concerns and get rid of that stigma around the topic in India. 

It is this passion for women’s health  that has translated into two PCOS products to help women. &Me’s PCOS drink and &Me’s PCOS tea. We created these products to provide natural alternatives to pills that only address symptoms and are harmful.

Starting  September 1st to September 30th, we will be using social media (Follow us on Instagram – andme.in) to educate about PCOS and show our support for all women with PCOS with every day live sessions, and content

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&Me PCOS, PCOD Drink

&Me Period Chocolates

You are PMS-ing/ you are on your period now. You are itching for something sweet! You reach out and gorge down a bar of chocolate knowing how bad the sugar is for you now.

Same story every month?

You always give in to your sweet tooth cravings and feel guilty after.

Or You are always fighting that craving for unhealthy sweets and carbs!! 

Period cravings are one of the many symptoms that accompany mood swings, anxiety and irritability. Hormonal changes largely influence your dietary choices apart from your mood.

We at &Me understand the struggle! So, we have created the perfect treat to drive away those period blues and satisfy your sweet tooth. 

It is not just any sweet treat/ chocolate. It is a chocolate with a purpose!

These are bite sized pieces of  70% dark chocolate, containing the perfect blend of Vitamins, Minerals and 5 Ayurvedic herbs that help relieve period symptoms naturally. 

It contains ingredients which:

  1. Reduce cravings
  2. Boost energy
  3. Reduce mood swings  
  1. Reducing cravings

During periods there is less estrogen hormone in the body. Estrogen is required to make a hormone called serotonin. Less estrogen = less serotonin. 

Less serotonin = cravings for sugary snacks and chocolates. And one feels constant hunger pangs. 

Cocoa

Controls the production of Ghrelin, the hunger hormone. This helps in controlling period time cravings.  Dark chocolate cocoa can also help increase serotonin levels to boost mood. 

  1. Boost energy

Heavy menstrual bleeding during periods makes a woman feel completely drained of her energy and tired due to decrease in estrogen levels in the body. Here are some ingredients which help boost energy:

Vitamin B6

It helps boost metabolism and provides energy from the food we eat. This up in metabolism reduces bloating. 

Ashwagandha

Is another Ayurvedic herb which is known to strengthen the Uterus muscles and reduce menstrual cramps. It is also known to reduce stress. 

  1. Reducing those mood swings  

The Estrogen and Progesterone hormone levels in the body decrease right before menstruation starts. These changes reduce the quantity of Serotonin (happy hormone) in the body. These fluctuations in hormones cause mood swings and irritabilityThere are some ingredients that can help deal with that grumpiness:

Magnesium

Magnesium can tell the body to make Serotonin from a component called Tryptophan. This will in turn help balance mood.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 also helps the body maintain a healthy nervous system. It makes the body produce more progesterone which helps in increasing happy hormones on the body and boosting your mood.  

Ginger

Ginger is shown to reduce water retention, improve digestion/ metabolism and reduce bloating.  It is also known to reduce period cramps. 

Pepper

Pepper contains a special component called Piperine which tells the stomach to produce Hydrochloric acid. This acid can help break down proteins in food. This eases digestion and bloating

Prebiotic fiber (Fructo-oligosaccharides)

A source of dietary fiber promotes the growth of beneficial or ‘good bacteria’ in the gut. 

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&Me Period Chocolates

Role of Protein & Amino Acids in Hair Growth

Before we understand the role of proteins let us first learn about part of a strand of hair.

The part of the hair visible on the outer surface of the scalp/ skin is called the hair shaft.

The part of the hair below the skin surface is called the root. 

The hair root is anchored to the body and emerges from underneath the skin in a sac called the hair bulb.

There is a sac called the sebaceous gland underneath the skin. This sac makes and pours natural oil over the hair root to protect it from dryness and keep it moist.

There is a group of tiny cells/ compartments called melanocytes in the inner layers of the skin. Melanocytes make pigments of different colours. The colour of the pigment will determine your natural hair color. 

Your tresses/ hair visible outside are many hair shafts!

FACT: The average human has 1,00,000 hairs/ hair shafts on the head.

90% of the human hair shaft is made up of a tough protein called Keratin. Keratin like all other proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids.

Imagine keratin protein as a chain and amino acids are like beads on the chain/ necklace. Each strand of hair is made up of many such chains/ necklaces that are tightly bundled up but not visible to the naked eye. 

The beads of keratin protein/ the amino acids are of two types- essential and non-essential amino acids.  Essential amino acids are not made in the body and should be supplied through the diet. Non -essential amino acids can be manufactured in the body. 

Which amino acids are required for hair health and how can it be provided to the body? 

Cysteine

It is an amino acid/ building block of hair that makes hair strong. It makes up 1/4th of keratin protein in the hair.

Cysteine forms tiny bridges holding the keratin chains tightly together making hair strong.

Food sources: Lean chicken breast, Lentils, oatmeal, eggs

Lysine

Lysine is a component of collagen which is another protein present in hair.  It strengthens the hair and the skin containing the hair root. 

It also makes hair look healthy, lustrous and voluminous apart from making it strong. 

Food sources: Soy beans, fenugreek seeds, cod fish, tuna

Methionine

Is an essential amino acid that protects hair from oxidative damage and prevent premature greying of hair. 

It is also needed for production of collagen to make the hair shaft strong, helps form the structure of the hair follicle.

Food source: Nuts, rajma and whole grains like quinoa

Glutamine

This is an amino acid which is made in the body. But the ability of the body to make this amino acid decreases with age and it should be supplied through the diet to promote hair growth as one ages. 

It provides sulphur which is needed for hair growth. 

Food source: Cabbage, fish, milk, dark leafy vegetables

Proline

It is a non-essential amino acid which helps in the production of collagen in hair. 

Food source: Mushroom, cabbage, strawberries, citrus fruits

Tyrosine

This helps in the production of melanin. Melanin is what imparts colour to hair. 

Lesser melanin = lighter hair colour. 

It is usually used to treat stress related problems that can cause hair fall and prevent healthy hair growth. 

Food source: Tofu, Pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, spinach

What happens to the protein/ amino acids from food? How do they make it to the hair?

The protein that is consumed in the diet is used to build muscles, keep your organs functioning smoothly, help body make and balance hormones, keep your immune system functioning efficiently, your skin healthy and contribute to hair health.  

After you consume protein the body first uses it to build your essential/ important parts like your muscles in your arms and legs, heart muscles and other functions to keep the body running smoothly. 

Only after allocating dietary protein for the essential functions does the body use the leftover protein to build your hair. Hair is the last priority when it comes to allocating protein in the body. 

What will happen if protein requirements are not met?

If you have a diet that is low in protein content, the protein will get used up for other essential functions leaving none for your hair. This is fine for short term protein deficiency.

 But if protein needs are not adequately met in the long run this is bad for hair health. This can cause thinning, damage and hair fall.

The above can also happen if you do not have a mixed diet. A mixed diet provides all the amino acids. 

How to provide the body with proteins and amino acids for hair health?

Make sure your protein intake meets your RDA. Meet the protein quantity needed by the body. 

1 gram of protein per kg body weight. 

(If you weigh 55 kg make sure you consume 55g of protein in a day)

Protein quality also matters 

All the animal sources of protein like chicken, eggs and milk contain all the amino acids.  

But plant-based sources do not contain all the amino acids. Vegetarians and vegans should consume proteins from different sources to make sure they get all amino acids.

From the above information it is evident that dietary amino acids and ultimately proteins are very essential for hair health and growth. Apart from protein there are other vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet that ultimately contribute to healthy hair. 

The health of your hair depends on several factors like health, age, genetics, diet, stress, the quality of hair products you use and other health conditions. 

Women opt for chemical laden solutions like protein shampoos, hair keratin/protein treatment to strengthen hair or oils to make hair smooth and silky. These do more harm than good or are only temporary solutions to hair health.

All the above factors are also cause hair thinning/ hair loss, dryness, damage and premature greying.

Having a healthy balanced diet is the only solution with lasting benefits. 

But many don’t have time to prepare carefully measured(calculated) healthy meals to meet the amino acid/protein and nutrient requirements for healthy hair. What can they do?

Wondering if there is a single and simple dietary solution to the above issue?

Yes! 

&Me’s NutriHAIR drink. It contains 24 powerful ingredients including 308mg of amino acid required for Keratin production in the hair.  It also contains biotin for hair growth, coconut and Vitamin A for hair strength and Bringraj to reduce premature greying. 

All ingredients in a preservative free, delicious orange juice-based drink. A product that nourishes your hair from root to tip!

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&Me NutriHAIR

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Irregular Periods During Lockdown

We all have been going through phases of alternating un-lockdown and lockdown in with the CoVID pandemic spreading across the country. The uncertainty around the pandemic has been a source of stress to people.

 Adapting to the new changes and restrictions has caused many women to feel overwhelmed. This has added to the mental and physical burden of working from home, managing children, chores, finances and getting used to the new normal way of living in this world.

The new normal has affected the mental and physical health of women negatively.

According to a mini poll conducted by &Me many women have expressed concerns about a change or irregularity or halt in their menstrual cycle.

How is the pandemic caused lockdown affecting women’s menstrual cycle?!

Hormones are messengers in our body that help different organs communicate with each other so that the body can function smoothly.

The hormones must be produced in the right quantities at the right time for the body to function efficiently and stay healthy.

These hormones regulate the timing and flow of your period cycle every month and working of your reproductive system.

Science has shown that there is a link between the mental health/ stress, hormones and the female reproductive system. Hormone levels in our body can go awry under constant stress, sadness, anger and depression.

Stress causes the body to produce a messenger called Cortisol or the stress hormone.

This hormone sends a message to the female reproductive system and tells it to produce less quantities of other hormones (estrogen and progesterone) required for your monthly period cycle.

 This causes the female reproductive system to shut down or go awry causing women to have irregular, delayed or no period at all for the month.

People are being forced to stay at home in confined spaces and have less movement or little to no physical activity.

A sedentary lifestyle, sitting in front of a laptop screen all day with work, stress eating unhealthy food can cause a hormonal imbalance which can in turn affect the female reproductive system.

Circadian rhythm/ sleep wake cycles – Body clock

One has less exposure to natural sunlight when staying locked in and confined at home. The body clock relies on exposure to natural sunlight. It helps regulate your sleep patterns.   

In addition to stress, less exposure to natural sunlight is a factor that reduces sleep quality and duration. This can cause hormonal imbalance and reduce the ability of the reproductive system to function smoothly.

Can you understand the domino effect that stress and lifestyle habits during lockdown have on your hormones and period cycle?

We are just 5 months into the CoVID19 world. We are going to continue to face these stresses for a long time to come or till we adapt to this way of living in the world. How can we not let it affect hormones and menstrual health in the long run?

Solutions.

  • Find ways to destress

 Exercise – It will help handle stress by releasing endorphins/ happy hormones and can also balance hormones.

Try to do yoga or workout at home.

If you don’t have the time for it, take micro breaks/ few minutes from work, pace in your room or balcony. This will get your blood circulation going and will oxygenate your brain to boost your mood.

Meditate – 5 to 10 mins of deep breathing will calm you down and uplift your mood.

Talk to a mental health professional/ a loved one to hear out your worries  and help you destress.

Expose yourself to natural light every few hours throughout the day. Leave your windows and curtains open and let in natural light during the day. This can help set your body clock right. 

Have a routine to sleep – Have a fixed time for sleep in addition to work and meals. Make you get a minimum of 7 hours of deep sleep in the night.

Share household chores – Don’t stretch yourself too thin to stress yourself out mentally and physically. Get family members involved to help you with household chores or work.

If you are living alone, don’t be too hard on yourself to keep things in order all the time. Cut yourself some slack.

Eat healthy food – Diet goes a long way in balancing hormones, boosting energy and mood. Stress might cause you to crave for unhealthy snacks or foods. They are unhealthy, increase calories, weight gain and offer less satiation. It is okay to indulge in it once in a while. 

 As far as possible try to eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Sometimes it can be difficult to whip up a healthy meal when dealing with all the demands for work and at home. You can try &Me’s delicious Choco almond protein shake which is the perfect blend of Ayurvedic herbs and nutrients needed to meet the unique health needs of women.

These ingredients reduce stress, balance hormones, keep your energy level up, provide strength, relieve stress and also boost immunity. It contains pea protein which offers satiation making you feel less hungry between meals.  All while meeting 30% of RDA nutrient requirements for women. 

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&Me Protein & Wellness Shake