by Joy Buenviaje, RND, MSc

Paving through the aisles of grocery stores with a whole range of packaged food items, choosing the

right and best for the family is a challenge. While it is enticing to readily purchase food items with such

catchy claims, it is essential to figure out what is in the food.

With the limited time doing the grocery, shoppers would readily choose the preferred brands or just

look at the claims at front of pack. Claims such as “no cholesterol”, “zero trans fat”, “sugar free”, “low

salt” are quite nice. However, some might fail to investigate the overall healthfulness and nutrition

quality of a food.

There are still more information in the label to ponder upon. Here are some essential elements to look


1) Expiry date or best before date – Manufacturers either declare “expiry date” or “best before

date”. Quality of a food is at its best before the “expiry date” or “best before date”. A food item

can still be consumed after “best before”, not yet expired, but quality might be already

compromised. A food after “expiry date” would indicate that it’s already expired.

2) Ingredients list – ingredients are declared in descending order. What is declared first is the

ingredient which is highest in the amount.

3) Nutrition label – contains several information such as serving size and nutritional values.

a. Serving size – it is necessary to check the serving size as nutritional values declared are on a per serving. For example, a whole jar of dessert (250g) contains only 50kcal per serving but

the serving size declared is only 15g or 1 tablespoon. If one consumes all the content in the

jar, he/she has already consumed more than 800kcal.

b. Total calories – the amount of calories per serving indicates the amount of energy you can

get from food.

c. %RDA, %DRV or %RENI – imported products declare in percentages the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or the daily recommended values (DRV).

In the Philippines, we use the recommended energy and nutrient intake (RENI). For example, if a per serving of milk indicates 50% RENI of calcium, it means that 50% of the required calcium intake per day can be provided by one serving of milk.

d. Nutrients - it is better if a food item contains significant values of vitamins and minerals.

But there are also nutrients which should be avoided or consumed less. Trans-fat must be 0g

while saturated fat, sodium and sugar must be in low amounts.

Being educated on food labels can help us to become wise in purchasing more healthful products thus gearing towards a better health.

Updated: May 20, 2019

Joy Ramos-Buenviaje, RND MSc

Good nutrition starts in the utero. A mom needs to have enough stores of nutrients for herself and for the baby. Baby’s nutrition inside the womb depends solely on the mom. Ensuring a healthy lifestyle before, during and after pregnancy is a key for a healthy mom and baby.

Higher nutrient requirements are needed by pregnant woman. However, proper nourishment during pregnancy is hard to achieve as cravings are unpredictable plus the fact that vomiting is common especially during the first trimester. Also, there is a misperception that a pregnant woman should eat for two persons due to the baby, thus, she tends to overeat. Based on the recommendation, only 300 calories should be added from the normal recommended energy intake (1860 calories).

There are certain nutrients which are highly important during pregnancy:

· Folate – reduces risk of birth defects

· Iron – helps reduce anemia of the mom

· Calcium – important for the development of baby’s bones and teeth. If a pregnant woman does not have enough calcium, it is taken from her bones for the baby’s development

· Vitamin A and C- help strengthen the immune system

· Fiber – Important to have a healthy gut

These nutrients can be found in certain food items:

· Folate and other B vitamins – green leafy vegetables, nuts, apple

· Iron – malunggay, meat

· Calcium – soy milk, sardines, dairy

· Vitamin A- yellow vegetables like squash and carrots

· Vitamin C – fruits

· Fiber- fruits and vegetables

It is not recommended for pregnant women to try popular diets such as keto, intermittent fasting and low carb. Better to consult a nutritionist-dietitian for appropriate diets. For private consultation, please contact Ms. Buenviaje at 09215114952.

Posted on Dec 4th, 2018

by Kathy Meyer Stories and Experiences

Women dauntlessly face monthly struggles against their womanhood as they battle menstrual spasms. However, their pain does not start the moment a single drop of red blood merges from their vagina. It starts days, sometimes even weeks for worse cases, before their full-blown menstruation is upon them. This early onset of agony is known as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) that keeps bugging women as they get closer to their cycle. A woman’s periodic suffering is certainly not a joke!

But what can this Premenstrual Syndrome do to women?

Premenstrual Syndrome can affect women’s daily activity because it causes them to have mood swings, it causes a change in appetite and leads to headaches, anxiousness/ irritability, greasy hair, fatigue, constant food cravings, sadness, and even a loss of sex drive. Given these distresses, it is important to be aware of ways to help women reduce the effects of this often disturbing syndrome.

Here are 7 Natural Remedies To Work Against Premenstrual Syndromes.

Regular Exercise.

Working out your muscles has various benefits for the human body including Premenstrual Syndrome reduction. Exercising does not really require one to have expensive gym instructors nor does it require luxurious gym equipment. One can spare a few minutes a day walking, running, dancing, swimming, or engaging in other forms of mobile physical activities. These can relieve PMS symptoms among women.Besides, exercising helps produce happy hormones!

Stress Reduction Through Yoga or Meditation.

Doing yoga is one way to relax and to relieve stress. Also, yoga helps women get better sleep, feel at ease, and reduce pain. Yoga prevents them from entertaining sadness and negative thoughts that might cause depression, which is a sign of PMS. Hence, doing this activity is an effective remedy against Premenstrual Syndrome, and it’s not synthetically medicinal!

Eat Healthy and Follow a Balanced Diet.

Eating a smaller amount of food can help to reduce bloating, especially for overweight women because they are more likely to experience severe PMS symptoms. Skipping meals however, is never encouraged.

Eating healthily by taking fruits, vegetables, foods rich in protein and calcium, and whole grains is advisable. Try staying away from taking too many salty foods and decrease consumption of fatty or greasy foods. Keep away from foods that can significantly affect one’s mood and can disrupt sleep!

Get Plenty of Sleep.

Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a day is highly recommended in alleviating PMS. Having a good night’s sleep is essential to our emotional well-being. It also puts women in a better mood which keeps them from snapping out, getting grumpy and feeling more agitated with the things and people around them.

Moreover, sleep is said to be a natural painkiller. Many studies reveal the connection between the loss of sleep and a lower pain threshold. Thus, the more sleep that you get, the less pain that you feel.

Indulge Yourself with Relaxing Hobbies/Activities.

Identify a hobby that you personally favor such as reading, painting, writing, cross-stitching, or whatever catches your fancy. Make time for your hobby at least for 30 minutes a day. Doing this can help you relax and de-stress. Furthermore, it can divert your mind from the discomfort of PMS symptoms.

Cut Back on Unnecessary Activities.

Lessen the activities that you go about doing in your daily routine. Do not waste your energy and save yourself from stressing and doing things that are not even essential to you. Instead, focus only your time, effort and energy on activities that truly matter and those that are productive and beneficial.

Keep a Diary.

Record all that you feel during your Premenstrual Syndrome. Write only if symptoms are repeating in at least 2 to 3 consecutive cycles. This will help you keep track of your condition. In addition, this diary of yours can be used when you seek advice from a general practitioner.

Moreover, general practitioners can be sought out when the suggested activities do not work and if PMS symptoms are getting out of control and are already seriously affecting your daily life.


There are no definite medications to tackling women’s Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). The aforementioned remedies are just guides to relieve the pain that women feel before their actual period. However, there are simple things that one can observe in order to relieve themselves of their PMS symptoms.

Consistent use of trusted and friendly menstrual kits such as the daisy menstrual cup, sanitary pads and the like can at least ease the burden of anticipation. Considering this can lessen the weight of worrying about the fact that your not-so-awaited suffering is almost approaching. Doing so might save you from too much stress, thus relieving you of PMS symptoms! Read More:

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