Showing posts with label Health Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Tips. Show all posts

2012-06-12

Natural Home Remedies to Beat The Heat & Prevent Sunburns


The soaring temperature has taken its toll. Sweltering heat has resulted in many deaths and heat strokes , that result in high fever and weakness. It is advised to increase the intake of water with the inclusion of fruits and green vegetables in the diet. Regular cleansing, toning, exfoliation, moisturizing and regular use of sunscreen before stepping into the sun is also recommended. Nature is a treasure trove of fruits, vegetables and herbs that are the key to healthy life.

- Mango Panna 
Boil a raw mango and soak it in cold water. Once it's cool, peel the skin off. Add some cumin seeds, salt, pepper, crushed mint leaves and adequate water. Blend until smooth. Consume at least three times a day.

- Lemonade 
Prepare the age-old "nimboo paani" with lemon juice, sugar and chilled water. Drink as much as you can, especially when venturing out in the sun to combat dehydration and get instant energy.

- Yoghurt ('lassi' / buttermilk) 
If you are fond of dairy products, include 'lassi'(sweet / salted) or buttermilk in your daily diet. Yoghurt cools the stomach and aids in the digestion of food.

- Fruit juices 
Have fruit juices in your favourite flavour (orange, pineapple, mango , watermelon, wood apple, or even cucumber ) as they boost your vitality and restore the electrolytes lost due to heat. Sweating leads to loss of minerals from the body.

- Water 
Have at least 12 glasses of water to regain body's moisture loss due to perspiration. Summer is the season that causes extreme dehydration and here arrives the necessity for drinking lots of water that is the most effective preventive measure. It is a thermostat, retaining heat or cooling you down with sweat. It provides a protective barrier, defending the body from all outside environmental influences, including extremes in temperature and exposure to disease organisms such as harmful bacteria and infections, wind and ultraviolet rays from sunshine.

- Peppermint oil 
Apply peppermint oil to your temples to experience a soothing effect. The oil brings down the body temperature as it has cooling properties.

Avoid fried stuff like chips, wafers, junk food, white flour, sugar, spicy gravies, eggs, red meat, bajra and makai as they increase the body temperature. Jowar, wheat and rice are safer options.

HOME REMEDIES - SUNBURNS 
Sunburns are characterised by reddening of skin, followed by severe blisters. If not treated on time, they can penetrate deep into the skin and cause extensive damage.

Here are a few home remedies that will help you to treat sunburns:
Aloe Vera : 
Applying fresh Aloe Vera gel to the damaged area helps the epidermis of skin recover faster. The nutritive mineral zinc present in this healing plant is anti-inflammatory and prevents the skin from swelling.

Sandalwood : 
Sandalwood has natural cooling properties. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties heal the blemishes on your skin and reduce the swelling and redness.

Cucumber : 
For a soothing effect, place chilled cucumber slices on the burn or dab on some cucumber juice with the help of a cotton ball. You can even grate the chilled cucumber and apply it on the sunburns to reduce the inflammation.

Rose water : 
Sunburns can be effectively treated by regularly washing your face with rose water. Rose water is a great natural skin toner and is cooling in nature. It reduces the swelling on your skin.

Yoghurt : 
Yoghurt is both cooling and soothing. These properties provide the inflamed skin with temporary relief and also reduce the swelling.

Remember, when it comes to sunburn, prevention is better than cure. Make sure you reduce your exposure to the sun or cover your skin properly when you are out in the sun. Visit a skin specialist if your skin has been affected severely.

2012-05-09

Top 10 Tips To Stay Healthy

“The greatest wealth is health,” said Virgil. And I think he was dead right because you need to be healthy, to both earn and enjoy what you earn. All of us are prone to health risks for a myriad reasons, but we can minimize our risks by leading a healthy life. The following 10 tips are meant to enable just that.


1. Be on a healthy diet
Eating is a way to nourish your body. If you feed it with junk it would not only result in lowered performance, but might harm it in the long run. So, it makes all the more sense to choose your diet wisely. A balanced diet is a must as is the quantity of what you eat. Some healthy eating options include eating about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day while minimizing the consumption of saturated fats has a beneficial effect. They not only enhance your health but may also decrease the risk of cancer and several other diseases. So that you don't have to depend on pharmaceutical drugs to keep control you ailments.


2. Staying active is the way to be
All animals seem to be active in some way or the other, ants, monkeys, flies, butterflies all of them seem to be on the move, except for a portion of humans. Our bodies are perhaps accustomed to activity, I presume that the early men & women, or our ancestors much like the animals were busy gathering food... No more yada, yada... but doctors suggest that adults need about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity preferably on all days of the week. You need to begin slowly, and try to make it enjoyable at the same time, so that you persist to reap the real benefits of physical exercise. Some good activities to get moving are cycling, jogging, gardening, walking, dancing, gardening and swimming.


3. Be wary of obesity and being overweight
Being heavier than what's healthy for you increases the magnitude of risk of several debilitating diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. If you already have a healthy weight, maintain it, but if you're overweight or obese begin right now to set your weight right. Each excess pound that you lose will allow you to stay healthy throughout your life.


4. Vaccinations are important
Vaccination isn't child's play only. There are many professions and lifestyles that might put you at an increased risk of infections. In consultation with a physician, determine which ones you need and get them.


5. Control Stress

Stress, be it physical or mental can wreck havoc with our health. A balanced lifestyle need to accommodate your professional, personal and social lives. You neglect the need to balance your life at your own risk, it isn't often easy to strike a work-life balance but you need to find a way.


6. Get yourself health screened regularly
Because the need for routine health exams and assessments is different based on your health history, age, lifestyle, etc, you need to consult a physician to decide upon what all screenings you need and how frequently. The reason is simple, for diseases to be diagnosed early results in better outcomes, they can be treated and cured early. Common exams include those for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, cancers and diabetes. For instance, cancer drugs can effectively treat cancer if it's detected early on.


7. No Smoking Please!
If you don't smoke you're privileged because so many people I know who do, find it quite tough to give it up. But tough doesn't mean that it can't be done. I think you need the motivation to get there, as one of my friends, Martin, quit smoking when his girlfriend encouraged him to do so. I don't mean that you need a girlfriend to tell you to quit, but you do need to be in love with staying healthy. It's difficult, but you can try and you must, seek professional help if need be. Needless to mention, but from head to toe, there isn't a body part that smoking doesn't harm.


8. Is you health at risk?
You need to find an answer to this one based on your work & home environments, heredity, lifestyle, etc. Once you're forewarned of the health risks you harbor, you can minimize that risk by taking the right action. Your health care provider can help you with this exercise.


9. Protection is the key

If you wear seat belts, but don't practice safe sex, you're using different yardsticks. Protection isn't limited to sex and driving but everything from applying sunscreen to brushing your teeth and having fire smoke detectors installed. Whatever you do, wherever you live a proactive approach to protection can save you from a lot of diseases, injuries, hardships, etc.


10. Treat yourself well
This simply means that you pay attention to your health, if you're all about caring for the family


for instance and neglecting yourself. Then this isn't treating yourself well. Rest and relax, enjoy and have fun, forgive yourself and let go can go a long way to ensure that you're happier and healthier.


Be healthy and smile would automatically come to you.

2012-04-25

Top 10 Tips To Keep Allergies Away

Usually not life threatening, allergies can be quite a pain when they cause a runny nose, sneezing, itching, rashes, swelling or asthma. And while they can be managed with prescription drugs, you too can do a lot to defend yourself against them.

With the help of the following tips you could do away with allergens before they get on to you.

1. Bathe Before Bedtime: Taking a shower before you doze off would ensure to wash away pollens and other allergens caught in your hair and on your skin.

2. Clean House Objects: Remove houseplants and frequently clean shower curtains, damp walls, bathroom windows, indoor trashcans and areas with dry rot. This would reduce the amount of mold in your home.

3. Murder The Mold: Killing the culprit mold is also important. To carry out the slaughter, mix water and chlorine bleach and clean it. And this treatment doesn't even interact with your anti allergic medication!

4. Remove Mold Havens: All the carpets need to be removed from bathrooms or other rooms that are damp. Furthermore, use mold-proof paint instead of wallpaper.

5. Increase Air Ventilation: Open doors and windows and use fans to increase air flow into the house as this would prevent the growth of mold by decreasing humidity.

6. Perform Dehumidification: Reducing the humidity in your home even by half the amount or less can aid curtail mold growth. You can make use of a dehumidifier to improve air quality in addition to cleaning and replacing small-particle filters in your central air system.

7. Stay Away From Pets: Sometimes, proteins found in the skin and saliva of furry animals such as cats and dogs can trigger an allergic reaction. Or you could even get it from the house dust if it contains animal dander. When you’re experiencing allergies, it’s best to keep pets out of the house. Just bathing the pet with shampoos won't suffice.

8. Remove House Objects: Dust mites are often the culpable offenders for allergies and they find safe haven in drapes, non-washable comforters, feather pillows, upholstered furniture and soft toys. You’re are better off removing them from your surroundings, lest they bother you during bad times.

9. Use The Right Flooring: Carpets are considered bad for allergies, not only in damp places but generally too. Replacing carpets with wood or linoleum is a good option, however the best is to have polished floors. Moreover, mop the floor often with a damp mop and wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth.

10. Stay Indoors During Dusty Days: When the whether is dry and windy outside, the greater are the chances of you breathing in lots of allergen ridden air, so you might want to spend time indoors during such whether. Additionally, don’t let any of the dust get into the house by closing doors and windows. And while driving use air conditioners instead of opening windows.

So much for shielding yourself from allergies, in case you’re struck with an allergy, don’t forget the entities that can make it worse. Allergies have been found to become worse from wooden smoke, cold temperatures, air pollution, aerosol sprays, humidity, tobacco smoke, irritating fumes and wind.

2012-03-23

Tips To Sleep Better!

1. Don't be a bat or an owl: Nighttime is exclusively meant for vampires to prowl about, but for humans it's natural to sleep at night and medical industry experts suggest that too. If you sleep in the day as well, it might eat into the time of your 
nighttime sleep, so preferably sleep at night. However, if you can't avoid it sleep in a dark bedroom to simulate nighttime.


2. Schedule relaxing activities before bedtime: This could include activities viz. reading, listening to relaxing music etc. And if you do these things everyday, overtime your body will associate these activities with sleep and trigger it. Also if you don't fall asleep withing 20 minuets of lying down, get up and engage your self in some slow, relaxing activity and get back to bed when you feel sleepy. This is a much more natural way to induce sleep compared to pharmaceutical drugs meant for the same job.


3. Ensure you've a comfortable, bed, mattress and pillow: Based on your needs make a wise choice to purchase the right sized bed and good mattresses.


4. Throw all your worries into a trash can: Bundle all of them up and pack them off to a dustbin before bedtime, whether they be issues from your workplace or from anywhere else. Sleep is a very personal time, and you'd only be able to deal with your worries if you get good sleep and wake up fresh the next day.


5. Get into comfortable sleep wear before bedtime: If you don't, you do it at your own risk as your body might not feel relaxed while you sleep. A comfortable sleep wear is as important as making your bedroom comfortable.


6. Put mental stress to sleep as well: Being mentally stressed and worried can play havoc with sleep. You'd need to unwind yourself from all the stress. To achieve this, try relaxing by watching comedy when you get back home, forgive, forget & let go, learn and practice meditation and relaxation exercises.

2012-03-22

Top 15 Tips to Manage Stress!

In todays fast paced life, there are just too many reasons for us to get stressed and irritable. But whether its a social defeat, break ups, office deadlines, relationship conflicts, and targets, we shouldn't let them drive us crazy. And while some situations can be more challenging than others to deal with, it seems that often we can do quite a bit, and on our own to not let stress overpower us.


The following tips will help you with just that:


1. Talk your problem out. Simply, talking about your problems with someone can ease your mind, and while doing so a you may get insight into your problem, or you might even get some good ideas from your friend or a confidante.


2. Don't let work eat into your personal time. If work life encroaches into your personal life it is most likely to increase your stress. Because in doing so you're compromising on your leisure and relaxation time. Decide when to close your shop and call it a day – stick to the schedule to manage stress.


3. Try a mini workout. Stretch and loosen up the the muscles in your neck and upper back, shake your hands for 10 seconds, and take deep breaths for 30 seconds or so. You might also try professional calming massage therapies if you have the time and there are good pros within your reach.


4. Visit the Future. You can do this by planning for the weekend, going to a movie, concert, or a party. Looking into the future can be a calming experience. And visiting the future can be thought of as a natural antidepressant.


5. Listen to music. Play on the numbers that you like and that reach out to your soul, and are relaxing too.


6. Snack a bit. Munching on a light snack can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and may calm you down a bit. But beware that you don't eat too much, or make it a habit.


7. Watch yourself go crazy! How do you respond when you're stressed. Do you feel stiffness in the neck and shoulders, irritable, angry, with shallow breathing, feeble, or other stress symptoms? Learn to recognize when you're beginning to get stressed and acknowledge the fact to yourself. Experts opine that the buildup of anxiety gets retarded when you do that.


8. Take a walk. To manage stress, take a break and go for a short walk, it'll help to breathe deeply and relax your mind.


9. Give yourself a break. When things aren't turning out the way we want them to, often the temptation is follow the maxim “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” But how about giving yourself a break! relaxing a bit, stretching your muscles and then getting back on to getting tough.


10. Reignite your sex life. If you've been avoiding getting cozy in bed because it's not a priority, try upping the priority. As sex has a relaxing effect on your body and mind. It's simple, go on a date with your mate, often.


11. Learn to let go. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try things won't turn out the way you want them to. But if you still cling on to a belief or a situation or a person, you'd only be making it worse. So at times the best thing to do might be to accept it and let go, and move on.


12. Don't be a perfectionist. Perfection is better associated with God than humans. Remember “let him who is without sin, throw the first stone,” said Jesus. So if you can't do some things “perfectly” don't brew it up in your head. Instead try to do things correctly than “perfectly,” that way you'll manage stress better


13. Learn to say No. When you try to please everyone you're inviting trouble. Know your limits and learn to say know, period.

14. The 'I can do it' attitude. Be a fighter. By taking on a positive approach and a belief that you can accomplish something, will increase the odds of you overcoming a problem.


15. Write it down. Journaling and putting down you worries on paper can have a calming effect. In addition it can even give you insight and perspective into the issue. So you'd be better equipped to deal with whatever is hurting you.

2012-03-10

Health Tips for Busy Moms

Busy Moms Have Busy Schedules... 
Make sure to pre-plan your week. It's so easy to be reactive, allowing your day to completely get away from you... at the end of the day you're exhausted and you still haven't accomplished half of what you wanted to! If you catch yourself saying at the end of every day, "Tomorrow I'll make sure to exercise" you need to break out your calendar and write yourself in first.

You need to take time for yourself.. If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy
When mom’s stressed or burnt out, everyone in the house suffers. Even a baby gets fussy when his mother is upset. Older children may respond to a tense mom by acting out. So by paying attention to your own needs, you’ll actually be better at meeting everyone else’s.

Organise yourself and plan your daily schedules to keep healthy and fit.

Follow a fitness regime.
Kickstart your day with 2 glasses of luke warm water with may be a pinch of zeera(cumin) soaked overnight, followed by 30minutes brisk walk and 15-20 minutes breathing exercises or pranayama.

Avoid Stress and Sleep Deprivation as they make you Fat
Stress and sleep deprivation release cortisol into your bloodstream, which triggers fat storage around your waist. Not only is it demoralizing to carry more weight than your ideal, it increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis, among other conditions. 

To reduce stress there are a number of natural supplements. Some of these include kava, an herb from the South Pacific; and Passion Flower, a gentle herb that helps you relax. Some people prefer a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. Taking half a capsule of ashwagandha is one option. For those who have trouble relaxing at night and falling asleep, the occasional use of Good-Night-Rx is quite helpful. 

And last but not least, a good yoga or meditation session may work better than anything else. Take some time to watch spring blooming outside your window and meditate on all that you have to be thankful for. Maybe you won’t need the stress herbs after all.


Preplan your meals
The  evening before, plan what you will eat the next day. Package your snacks into portion sizes and put together your meals. 

If you plan to be out during lunch, fix a salad or other meal that does not need refrigeration. If it does, carry an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack. This way, you are never without something healthy to eat. 

Have breakfast - a real one: Pay attention to the habits of people who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off: Seventy-eight percent of them start the day with breakfast. Those are the findings of the National Weight Control Registry, an ongoing study of successful losers who have dropped 30 pounds or more (70 on average) and kept it off at least a year. Their typical breakfast: cereal and fruit.


While you're putting out breakfast for your kids, load up a plate for yourself. A study from Virginia Commonwealth University found that eating a high-protein and carb-rich breakfast helped dieters lose impressive amounts of weight - an average of 23 pounds over four months and then another 17 in the next four months. Their breakfasts sound more like lunch - a sandwich of turkey and cheese on two slices of bread, a cup of milk, an ounce of chocolate, and a protein shake - and totaled 600 calories.

Pack up some backup:  Pair carbs with protein, which will curb your hunger without throwing you under the low-blood-sugar bus an hour later. Pack a slice of low-fat cheese with an apple, whole-grain crackers smeared with peanut butter, or sugar-free, fat-free yogurt with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.

The kids are vegging out in front of the computer. You send them out to play while you work on your laptop.Send everyone to the park (including yourself): Take a 30min brisk walk, or aerobics class, or swimming.

Eat Nutrient Rich Foods
Plan your meals in such a way that you are able to consume all the nutrient-rich foods because many different nutrients are needed for good health, and no individual food will supply them all. Fruits such as apples, grapes and bananas are great for the busy individual. They are perfect to eat on the run while still providing valuable nutrients.

Always stock healthy and quick snack items such as veggie sticks, nuts, cheese sticks, protein bars, and greek yogurt.

Drinking at least a gallon of water per day should be your aim, at any coast. Also avoid starched items such as pasta, potatoes and cereals. Moreover, keep in mind carbohydrates are not the enemy, they should be taken from the right source.



2012-02-19

Caution: High-Fat Diet Can Disrupt Your Biological Clock!

Indulgence in a high-fat diet can not only lead to overweight because of excessive calorie intake, but also can affect the balance of circadian rhythms – everyone's 24-hour biological clock, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have shown.

The biological clock regulates the expression and/or activity of enzymes and hormones involved in metabolism, and disturbance of the clock can lead to such phenomena as hormone imbalance, obesity, psychological and sleep disorders and cancer.

While light is the strongest factor affecting the circadian clock, there is a cause-and-effect relation between diet and biological clock imbalance.

In an article soon to be published by the medical industry journal Endocrinology, the researchers suggest that this high-fat diet could contribute to obesity, not only through its high caloric content, but also by disrupting the phases and daily rhythm of clock genes. They contend also that high fat-induced changes in the clock and the adiponectin signaling pathway may help explain the disruption of other clock-controlled systems associated with metabolic disorders, such as blood pressure levels and the sleep/wake cycle.

EurekaAlert!

2012-02-06

Top 13 Tips To Prevent Common Cold!


There's no cure for common cold till date, not even vaccines to prevent it. While a majority of common cold infections aren't life-threatening, its symptoms including sneezing, fever, runny nose, etc, are enough for you wish for an effective pharmaceutical drug cure. Perhaps in the absence of a vaccine or a cure, prevention seems to be the best bet.



Tips to Prevent Common Cold

1.
Frequently washing your hand is critical, especially after a visit to a public place, gym, or contact with a person with cold. Washing hands will wipe off the virus from your hands.



2. If you send kids to a child care or a day care center then choose those which have a policy of keeping sick kids at home.


3. Stay clear from cigarette smoke as it can irritate your airways making you more vulnerable to catching a cold.


4. Disposing off used tissues is important because they can easily contaminate surfaces they come in contact with.


5. If you've been in the proximity of people with cold ensure that you don't touch your face, nose, mouth, or eyes.


6. Keep your stress levels well managed. Studies have shown that stressed out individuals become more vulnerable to catching a cold.


7. If someone in the family is infected then try to use disposable items such as cups and glasses so as to minimize exposure to a utensil laden with a cold virus after being used by an infected person.


8. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle keeps your immune system intact and may make it better equipped to prevent a virus from establishing a cold infection. Your healthy lifestyle may include diet, exercise, rest and sleep, etc.


9. Often cold viruses can thrive for hours at a stretch on door knobs, drawer pulls, keyboards, light switches, telephones, remote controls, etc. As a result, it makes sense to keep these surfaces clean after use by an infected person.


10. Avoid persons afflicted with common cold from sneezing or coughing in your direction. Encourage them to use tissues, which need to be discarded ASAP after use.


11. When someone in the family has cold don't share cloth towels. While generally using separate towels is a healthy practice doing so during colds becomes all the more important. If possible replace cloth towels with disposable paper towels.


12. Avoid close and prolonged contact with a cold sufferer.


13. If any kids in the family have cold, make sure that you clean their toys after use.


Try you best, but if you catch cold don't worry consult your doctor who may advise you or may prescribe medication for alleviating the symptoms of cold and/or you may try alternative medication to make you feel better till your body is able to knock out the virus by itself.


Posts, Possibly of Interest

Allergy: Allergy (Allergies) Symptoms, Causes, Signs & Treatment

Cure for Skin Rashes and Itching

Home Remedies for Child Cough and Cold

Herbs for Winter Health

2012-01-31

HDL cholesterol: Home Remedies to boost your 'good' cholesterol

Raising HDL Cholesterol
Raising HDL or "good" cholesterol was not a priority until a few years ago. Most studies have focused on how lowering LDL or "bad" cholesterol that can reduce the risk or coronary heart disease. But in the past few years, researchers have identified that HDL acted as an independent factor and was also critical in the overall health of your heart. The National Cholesterol Education Program's new guidelines now recognize that low HDL levels as a strong independent risk factor for coronary artery disease.

HDL is a complex molecule made up of lipids, cholesterol, and protein.  It cleans off the walls of blood vessels, thus removing excess cholesterol, LDL. The HDL then carries this cholesterol to the liver where it is processed. Doctors still focus strongly on lowering LDL but are now including recommendations that raising HDL is another important factor to reduce risk of heart disease.

If you have had your cholesterol levels checked and your HDL is less than 40, you should discuss with your doctor ways in which to increase the HDL level. Again, HDL level above 60 is ideal.
There are home remedies that will ultimately help increase HDL levelGive these home remedies a try as part of the cholesterol plan you've discussed with your doctor.
  • Garlic. Studies show that garlic may not only reduce LDL but raise HDL and decrease the amount of fat in your blood. Add some fresh garlic regularly to your cooking to keep your heart healthy.
  • Niacin is an important B vitamin that may raise your HDL, "good," cholesterol.
  • Almonds. Studies indicate that snacking on almonds regularly for as little as three weeks may decrease LDL by up to ten percent.
  • Honey. Add 1 teaspoon honey to 1 cup hot water in the morning, and you may rid your system of excess fat and cholesterol, according to Ayurvedic medicine. Add 1 teaspoon lime juice or 10 drops cider vinegar to give that drink a more powerful cholesterol-fighting punch.
  • Oats. In any pure form, oats are a traditional cholesterol buster. Eating only 1/2 cup oatmeal a day, along with a low fat diet, may reduce cholesterol levels by nine percent.
  • Rice. The oil that comes from the bran of rice is known to lower cholesterol. And brown rice is particularly high in fiber, which is essential in a cholesterol-lowering diet. One cup provides 11 percent of the daily fiber requirement.
  • Soybeans. These beauties may reduce LDL by as much as 20 percent when 25 to 50 grams of soy protein are eaten daily for as short a time as a month. Besides that obvious benefit, soy may fend off a rise in LDL in people with normal levels and also improve the ability of arteries to dilate. This means they expand better to allow the unimpeded passage of fats and other substances that otherwise might cause a blockage.
  • Walnuts. A cholesterol-lowering diet that includes walnuts eaten at least four times a week may lower LDL by as much as 16 percent. And studies indicate that those who munch on these nuts regularly cut their risk of death by heart attack in half when compared to non-walnut munchers.
  • Apples. Apples are high in pectin, which can lower cholesterol levels.
  • Artichokes. This veggie can actually lower cholesterol levels. Early studies pointed to their beneficial cholesterol-busting properties, but recent studies have shown that artichokes may be even more effective than they were first thought to be.
  • Beets. Full of carotenoids and flavonoids, beets help lower -- and may even prevent -- the formation of LDL, the bad cholesterol.
  • Carrots. Full of pectin, they're as good as apples in lowering cholesterol levels.
  • Olive oil. It protects your heart by lowering LDL, raising HDL, and preventing your blood from forming clots.
  • Pears. These are high in soluble fiber, which helps regulate cholesterol levels.
  • Rhubarb. Yep, this is a cholesterol-buster. Consume it after a meal that's heavy in fats. You can cook it in a double boiler, with a little honey or maple syrup for added sweetness, until done. Add cardamom or vanilla if you like.
  • Yogurt. Eating 1 cup plain yogurt with active cultures a day may reduce LDL by four percent or more and total cholesterol by at least three percent. Some scientists believe that eating yogurt regularly may even reduce the overall risk of heart disease by as much as ten percent.
  • Turmeric. This may lower blood cholesterol. Added to eggplant, you may reap twice the cholesterol-fighting benefit. Mix 3/4 teaspoon turmeric with 2 tablespoons cooked, mashed eggplant and 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water. Spread it on whole wheat bread and eat after a meal heavy in fats.
Loose Weight
Quit Smoking
Trans Fat Foods
There are specific steps you can take that will ultimately help increase HDL level. Here are some of the proven strategies:

Moderate Drinking: Drink a moderate amount of alcohol. Moderate amounts of alcohol can increase your HDL.  Moderation for men is two drinks per day, while women can enjoy one. Do not use this method if you have no interest in alcohol for the sole purpose of increasing HDL levels.

Loose Weight: Talk to your doctor about losing weight. Losing 6 lbs. can increase your HDL by 1 mg/dL. Losing weight can be difficult for some, however, if you view weight loss as a means of improving your health rather than dietary deprivation, it might be easier. Choose fruit over potato chips, try a new vegetable each week with dinner and replace soda with water. Over time, your weight will drop.

Exercise Regularly: Start exercising more frequently. Aerobic exercise helps increase HDL levels. Begin slowly if a sedentary lifestyle is what you currently live. Take a walk for 10 minutes, rake leaves for 10 minutes and ride a bike for 10 minutes. Space these sessions throughout your day until you feel comfortable, gradually working up to 30 or 40 minute sessions, five days a week.

Quit Smoking: Quitting smoking can increase your HDL by up to 10 percent. Make it easier on yourself, and use a smoking cessation product to ward off the cravings. Over-the-counter products are available, as are support groups and behavioral therapy. Speak to your doctor and decide what method might work best for you.

Eat a healthier diet. Reducing the amount of fat you consume has a positive impact on your HDL cholesterol. Only 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories should come from fats, both good and bad. Saturated fats, such as red meat, whole fat dairy and eggs, should account for 7 percent, trans fats like cookies, cakes and snack foods should comprise 1 percent and the remaining should come from good fats such as mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Sources include avocados, nuts, canola oil, olive oil and sunflower oil. Consider omega-3 fatty acids as well. The greatest source is fish such as tuna, cod, salmon and mackerel.

Selection of Oils: Use cooking oils higher in monounsaturated fats, such as canola or olive oil. It is found that monounsaturated fats raise HDL levels.

Eat at least two servings of soy (phytoestrogens) products. Tofu, tempeh, and TVP (texturized vegetable protein) may help raise HDL levels. Include at least two servings each day.

Avoid trans fats i.e. hydrogenated oil or vegetable shortening (Dalda, Rath, and Vanaspati in India). Choose a liquid or semisoft variety of margarine in your diet Trans fatty acids are found in and many fast foods and french fries, baked goods such as cookies, crackers and cakes. Remember, the softer the spread, the less trans fat it contains.

Avoid refined carbohydrates like sugar and refined flour. These have shown to raise blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

Avoid food sources of cholesterol such as egg yolk, liver, kidney, brains, etc.

Avoid high fat dairy products such as regular milk, cheese and cream.

2012-01-27

Ayurvedic Remedies for Prostate Problems

Prostate, the small organ below the urinary bladder in males has significant role to play in both- sexual activity and urination. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine passes out of the body and produces seminal fluid discharged from penis during sexual stimulation. Prostate problems include the very common prostatitis- the inflammation of the prostate gland. Ayurveda recognizes two specific prostate problems-
  • Mootrakruchra - painful urination, and
  • Mootraghaata - suppression of urination.
They are, in fact, symptoms of prostate problems. Apart from these two main symptoms, other symptoms include problematic urine flow, dribbling, increased urination, hematuria (blood in urine), urinary tract infection and urinary retention.

Herbal Remedies for Prostate Gland Problems

Ayurveda suggests many herbs for the treatment of prostate gland problems:

Punarnava or Hog Weed (Boerhaavia diffusa) – It is useful in all urinary problems caused due to prostate ailments.

Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca scariola) -The bitter tonic of its leaves is very effective in treatment of enlarged prostate gland.

Shalaba mishri or Salep Orchid (Orchis mascula) - Useful where prostate problems are due to vata vitiation.

Gokshura or Small Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris) - This Indian herb, tribulus terrestris, is useful in treatment of urinary complications caused due to prostate problems. Its fruit is boiled in two cups of water till it is reduced to half the amount and drunk after mixing sugar in it.

Home Remedies for Prostate Gland Problems

Some remedies for prostate problems are available as common ingridients at home:
  • If having enlarged prostate, eat a mixture of juniper berries and parslane.
  • Eat more tomatoes to avoid prostate infections.
  • If experiencing prostate problems, have alternate cold and hot hip baths for about ten minutes daily.
Remaining sexually active is advisable but over indulgence is prohibited by ayurveda. Regular exercise, even walks or mild exercises are a must. Never suppress the urge to urinate. Don't sit on a hard stool for longer periods. If doing desk job, get a soft ergonomic chair to sit on. Quit smoking and alcohol, especially if you are overweight. Taking these precautions will certainly keep the prostate problems at bay.

2011-12-07

Health Benefits of Cucumber

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few cucumber slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the photochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Eating Fresh Fruits is Important, Know the Right Way to Eat Fruits,

We all think eating fruit means just buying fruit, cutting it up and popping it into our mouths. It's not that easy. It's important to know how and when to eat fruit.

What's the correct way to eat fruit?

IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUIT AFTER A MEAL! FRUIT SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTYSTOMACH.

Eating fruit like that plays a major role in detoxifying your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities..

FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD.
Let's say you eat two slices of bread, then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it's prevented from doing so.

In the meantime, the whole meal rots and ferments, and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach, and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.

Eat your fruit on an empty stomach, or before your meal! You've heard people complain: Every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc. This will not happen if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. Fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas. Hence, you bloat!

Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes -all of these will NOT happen if you eat fruit on an empty stomach.

There's no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruit becomes alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruit, you have the Secret of Beauty, Longevity, Health, Energy, Happiness and normal weight.

When you need to drink fruit juice drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don't drink juice that has been heated. Don't eat cooked fruit; you don't get the nutrients at all. You get only the taste... Cooking destroys all of the vitamins.

Eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit-fast to cleanse your body.. Eat fruit and drink fruit juice for just 3 days, and you will be surprised when your friends say how radiant you look!

KIWI: Tiny but mighty, and a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange!

AN APPLE a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C, thereby helping to lower the risk of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

EATING 2 - 4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones, and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. Also a key source of lycopene, the cancer-fighting oxidant. Also found in watermelon: Vitamin C & Potassium..

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene, good for your eyes..

Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer!
Can u believe this? For those who like to drink cold water, this applies to you. It's nice to have a cold drink after a meal, however, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you've just consumed, which slows digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer.. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

2010-07-09

Natural Food Coloring- What a Healthy Option!

Just imagine your food as black and white! Or some dull colors like muddy Grey! Will you be tempted enough to eat them? Most of the people would not. Seeing is very significant for us human beings and that is a known fact since ages. Early civilizations introduced color into their food and that too very naturally. Ancient Egyptians made their food yellow with saffron. Wines were also colored in 400 B.C.E. using saffron only. Romans colored their white bread by mixing alum to the flour. There are many other such examples from the history of food coloring that we will discuss later in this article to help you know how you can use natural food colorings but before knowing that, we must know what today's food colors are and how are we consuming them?

Food Colors of Present Day

Today our food processing industry uses many types of food colors, the main being- Food Dyes  and Lake Food Colors Not only food stuff but pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, inks, plastic food containers etc. are also colored with these artificial colors. So when you are having those colorful vitamin pills or using that lipstick, you are consuming these artificial food colors. It's not that only synthetic food colors are used in processed foods and other materials, there are many organic lake colors (organic lake pigments) too that are widely used for coloring food, thanks to the awareness about organic living! These organic lake pigments are obtained from natural sources. Some of the examples of such organic lake food colors include caramel, turmeric, beet and berry juice, paprika, saffron etc.

Natural Food Colors

As I promised earlier, I will now let you know what all natural food colors were used historically to make food interesting and soulful. In fact, in Europe there was a common belief during early Renaissance period that color in food not only showed its nutritional value, but also pointed towards medicinal power connected to spiritual, celestial substances. For example, eating sweet red grapes was considered effective for having full rich blood, black food like pepper or fungi induced melancholy, and golden colored foods promoted divine solar healing!
  • Turnsole -  or folium was a dyestuff prepared from the annual plant Crozophora tinctoria ("dyers' crook carrier," from its use and the curved tip of its spike of florets).
  • Turmeric - is a bright yellow colorant made from the roots of the herb Curcuma longa. It is an ancient Indian spice and a traditional remedy that has been used as a medicine. Turmeric is still used for everyday food preparation in Indian homes.
  • Red Pepper - Paprika oleoresin is extracted from the pod of sweet red pepper. Capsicum annum is called Paprika. Paprika imparts a bright orange to red-orange color in food products.
  • Red sandal wood - The bark of red sandal wood tree is blackish brown and exudate a deep red juice when cut. It is the source of a brilliant red dye. Known as Rakta Chandana, it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-septic, wound healing agent, and anti-acne treatment. Redwood as a natural food color has a wide use in cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals for coloring tinctures.
  • Saffron - Saffron is a spice native to Asia, with 80% now being produced in countries like Iran, Spain, Greece and Morocco. Saffron had been used not only for excellent yellow-orange color that it gives to food but also for its pleasant smell!
Marigold, safflower, parsley, spinach, fruits, and flower petal extracts were and are some of the other natural food colors that are healthier options as compared to artificial food colorings.

2010-07-07

Ajinomoto – MSG Flavor Enhancer that gives you “Headache”

Not only headache, ajinomoto has many other side effects. True, you love to have all those Chinese food (and processed foods too) but did you know that most of them contain “Ajinomoto”- the brand name for the flavor enhancer Monosodium Glutamate or MSG!

What is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)?

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is the food additive that is also popular by the name of flavor enhancer 621. MSG is also there in many natural foods but not in so much of quantity as is added by restaurants and by processed food manufacturers in their food items.

Should we use Ajinomoto?

As far as we use ajinomoto in home made food in negligible amounts and not very frequently, there should not be any health problems but as soon as we start using ajinomoto or any other MSG in larger quantities very often, we become prone to the MSG side effects. People who are extra food sensitive should altogether avoid ajinomoto and other MSG products. Also, we should avoid foods that have MSG in high quantities.

2009-09-17

How Can You Balance Body Fat?

With all the knowledge about body fat on our weight and health, we tend to adopt weight loss programs and do not stop till we get rid of the last strain of fat from our body. But in spite of having bad reputation, fats are essential to protect vulnerable parts of our body. They also disseminate vitamins A, D, E, and K, that keep the hair and skin healthy. They play a major role in maintaining warmth in the body. However, they can also lead to increased levels of cholesterol and heart disease, and possibly cancer and weight gain as well. What to do then? Just balance you body fat but before knowing the tips for balancing body fat, first make the basics clear- know what are the types of fat so that you can keep the good ones and leave the bad ones.

Many Types of Fats
There are many types of fats- Saturated Fats, Monounsaturated Fats, and Polyunsaturated Fats.

Saturated Fats: In them, carbon atoms are saturated with hydrogen atoms. They raise the level of cholesterol in your blood which leads to heart disease and stroke. They mainly come from animal sources, like meat and dairy products including fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat, lard and cream, butter, cheese etc. Some plant foods like palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil also contain saturated fats, but they do not contain cholesterol.

Monounsaturated Fats: are simply fats having one double-bonded (unsaturated) carbon in the molecule. They can have beneficial effects on your health but when taken in moderation. They help in reducing bad cholesterol levels in blood and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients needed for growth of body’s cell and have high levels of vitamin E. Foods high in monounsaturated fats include vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. Other sources include avocados, peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds.

Polyunsaturated Fats: have more than one double-bonded (unsaturated) carbon in the molecule. They too can have beneficial effects on health, reduce cholesterol levels in blood and lower the risk of heart disease, if eaten in moderation. They have certain fats like omega-6 and omega-3 required by body but can't be produced by itself. Vegetable oils, including soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout, some nuts and seeds like walnuts and sunflower seeds are high in polyunsaturated fat.

How to Balance These Fats?

Eating foods that contain a higher level of unsaturated fats than saturated fats can lead to reduced blood cholesterol levels.
  • Limit the consumption of saturated fats to less than 7% of total daily calories. If you need about 2,000 calories a day, only 140 of them should come from saturated fats.
  • Replace foods high in saturated fats with foods high in monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fats. Eat foods made with liquid vegetable oil and avoid tropical oils. Eat fish and nuts. Replace considerable amount of meat with beans or legumes.
  • Eat more of those foods that are naturally low in fat, such as grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid fried, spicy, junk and processed food items as well as bakery food.
  • Avoid tinned food. If eating them, check the label to find their saturated fat content which should not exceed 20 %.
  • Ensure you take only one-teaspoon of oil for a meal.
  • Exercise regularly. Practice of Yoga is good for over all health and not only for balancing body fat.
  • If you have already gained a lot of weight then try these Low Carb Diet Plan

2008-12-24

How Some Vegetables Fight Cancer

Women should go for the broccoli when the relish tray comes around during holiday celebrations this season.

While it has been known for some time that eating cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, can help prevent breast cancer, the mechanism by which the active substances in these vegetables inhibit cell proliferation was unknown — until now.

Scientists in the UC Santa Barbara laboratories of Leslie Wilson, professor of biochemistry and pharmacology, and Mary Ann Jordan, adjunct professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, have shown how the healing power of these vegetables works at the cellular level. Their research is published in this month's medical industry journal Carcinogenesis.

"Breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, can be protected against by eating cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and near relatives of cabbage such as broccoli and cauliflower," said first author Olga Azarenko, who is a graduate student at UCSB. "These vegetables contain compounds called isothiocyanates which we believe to be responsible for the cancer-preventive and anti-carcinogenic activities in these vegetables. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts have the highest amount of the isothiocyanates.
Sulforaphane or SFN,.. has already been shown to reduce the incidence and rate of chemically induced mammary tumors in animals. It inhibits the growth of cultured human breast cancer cells, leading to cell death.

SFN like the more powerful anticancer agents,..[works] in a similar manner to the more powerful anticancer drugs. However SFN is much weaker than these other plant-based drugs, and thus much less toxic.

"SFN may be an effective cancer preventive agent because it inhibits the proliferation and kills precancerous cells," said Wilson. It is also possible that it could be used as an addition to taxol and other similar drugs to increase effective killing of tumor cells without increased toxicity.

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