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Drinking in teenage years linked to memory problems and other health issues in later life.
- Binge drinking during teenage years could lead to thinning of certain areas of the brain causing problems with memory and other serious health implications later in life suggests a study.
- As per a recent study conducted by the oregon state university in the us, binge drinking is linked to shrinking of certain areas of the brain that are associated with memory, attention and language in teenagers. This, in turn, could lead to increased risk of developing alcohol use disorder later on in life.
- The researchers studied six parameters to determine the hazardous impact of heavy drinking on the brain in early years. These include response inhibition, working memory, verbal learning and memory, decision making and reward processing, alcohol cue reactivity, and socio-cognitive/socio-emotional processing,
- Teenage is a period where the brain is still undergoing biological and psychological behaviour development.
- Considering the fact that more and more teenagers are involved in binge drinking and heavy drinking, understanding the effects of consuming large quantities of alcohol on neural development and the impact on cognitive skills is very important.
- Binge or heavy episodic drinking is defined as four or more standard drinks within a two-hour drinking session for females and five or more drinks for males.
- As per the study, binge drinking among young people is associated with a thinning or reduction of areas of the brain that are known to play a key role in memory, attention, language, awareness and consciousness.
- This type of brain alteration in young life could lead to increased risk of alcohol use disorder in later years of life.
Hii. I am 25 year old & m facing thyroid problem since I was 17. I ve tried everything but it doesn't work finally m going for homeopathic since last 1 years my doctor is saying it will definitely work & their will be no complication in your pregnancy & your thyroid will be back to normal .is it true that I won't get ny complications bcoz only for this reason I am scared to get married.
Eye strain? try these effective tips to protect your eyes
Spending long hours in front of the computer screen is more of a norm rather an exception today! are you also among those who spend more than 2 hours in a day either working or surfing the internet on a computer? and your eyes often feel tired and occasionally you suffer from blurred vision or stiff neck, headache and shoulder pains? if your answer is yes to any two of the questions, then like millions of others, you too suffer from the computer vision syndrome (cvs). Here are the obvious reasons of cvs and tips to get rid of it.
What causes cvs
Two major reasons that cause cvs are:
1. Less blinking
Blinking is a natural reflex of the eyes to keep them moist. But when we work on computers we blink less than the normal. Studies have shown that the blink rate decreases to as low as 6 to 8 blinks per minute for people working on the computer screen than the normal rate of 16 to 20 blinks per minute. Obviously, this causes dry eyes.
2. Short focus
While working on computers we focus on short distance for a long time. This tires the ciliary muscles. Ciliary muscles are a ring of smooth muscle fibres that are responsible for changing the shape of the lens in the eye which helps us see distant and close objects.
What should you do
- You can take following steps to reduce your risk of cvs:
- Follow the rule of 20. Take a 20-second break and look 20 feet away every 20 minutes. This exercise will help you prevent strained near vision and stretch your focusing muscles.
- Take eye breaks. Avoid working long hours on your computer screen. Schedule your day in such a way that there is room for breaks. During the break close your eyes for twenty seconds. This has the same effect as the ‘rule of 20’.
- Use proper lighting. Put shades and drapes on windows to avoid bright light coming from outside, when you are working on a computer.
- Adjust the brightness of your computer screen. Closely match the brightness of the environment with that of your computer screen, by using the buttons on the monitor.
- Minimize glare. Install an anti-reflective (ar) coating on your computer screen. You can also purchase a pair of ar lens if you wear glasses. This will cut down the glare of walls and finished surfaces, which reflect on your computer screen and reaches back to your eyes.
- Try eye drops if needed. Ask your doctor for artificial tears that can help lubricate dry eyes.
There are some simple techniques to alleviate computer eye strain. Some of them are:
1. Gently massage your eyelids daily. It will improve blood circulation to the eyes, relax the eye muscles and it will also stimulate the tear glands, which will help prevent dry eyes.
2. Close your eyes and try to rotate your eye balls in the clock wise and anti clock wise direction after every two hours. Do it three times before you get back to work.
3. Rub your palms for few seconds and cover your eyes with your warm palm for a minute. It helps relieve the eye strain.
4. Mask your eyes with thinly sliced cucumber slices or frozen tea bags. When put on the eyes these mask refreshes tired eyes.
5. Slowly bring the object closer to your eyes, as long as you can focus on it clearly. Then move the object farther from your vision. Repeat 10 to 15 times. This will improve blood circulation to the eyes, make the eye muscles more flexible, and improve focus and concentration.
8 best post workout foods you should add to your diet regimen
Everyone wants to look good, which is why they sweat their body out in the gym every day. If you are a fitness freak you must have heard about the 70: 30 ratio, which revolves between your workout sessions and your diet. Nutrition experts say that it is your diet that plays 70% of the role in getting the results you desire while the rest 30% is of course played by the regular workouts you do in the gym. When you workout, you not only lose fat but a significant amount of muscle too. Losing the non-essential fat is what everyone wants, but muscle loss is something not advisable. In order to get optimal results, consuming the necessary macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and good fats) after a workout session is important. When you exercise, your body consumes energy from the food you’ve eaten recently, and then it breaks down glycogen (the storage form of glucose in your body). Here are those eight essential foods that will help to complete your post-workout dietary requirements:
Here are some healthy and protein rich foods that will help to complete your post-workout dietary requirements:
1. High-protein oats
A mix of oats and whey protein has been considered the bodybuilding staple. Half a cup of rolled oats with 1 to 2 scoops of whey protein with some fruits, almonds, or natural sweetener makes a proper proportion of complex carbohydrates and proteins for those who are on building lean mass.
2. Protein shakes
Whey protein with some add-ons such as peanut butter, fruit, or skimmed milk is considered one of the essential post-workout meals especially for those who those lift weights.
3. Sandwich wraps
Sandwiches made with multigrain bread are loaded with wholesome carbohydrates. You can add whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, beans or pasta, etc. To these sandwiches to make them all the more tasty and nutritious.
Eggs–scrambled, hard-boiled, half-boiled, or just raw– provide us with good amounts of protein that our body requires after a strenuous workout session.
5. Milk and banana
Milk and banana are rich in carbohydrates and proteins; the two essential macronutrients required by the body. Additionally, banana also consists of potassium that improves the blood circulation.
6. Grilled chicken breast with roasted vegetables
While grilled chicken breast gives you protein, vegetables such spinach, broccoli gives you fibre and carbohydrates.
7. Sweet potato with broccoli and cashews
If you are on a high-carb day, or your trainer has asked you to consume a good quantity of carbohydrates for a day, this meal is a perfect combination of complex carbohydrates for you.
8. Lentils and chickpeas
Who said only non-vegetarian food can give you the required amount of protein? a bowl full of boiled lentils and chickpeas is a treat for vegetarians. This vegan-friendly food offers the protein your muscles need.
No time for gym? try these 6 amazing tricks to stay in shape
Who says you need to go to the gym to be in shape? people were much fitter when gyms did not exist at all. The key here is being active or moving your body, which given our modern lifestyle seems hard to achieve. Going to the gym at a regular time each day is a focused way of getting your daily exercise. But it’s not the only way. You can have a fit and toned body by making certain changes in your daily lifestyle which will be a more fun and holistic way of embracing exercise. It also saves your gym expenses!
Here are some simple and fun ways to stay in shape without joining a gym:
1. Start simple home exercises
- Skipping, jumps, squats, burpees and lunges are few simple exercises that will give you a great cardio workout.
- If you want to tone your muscles, do bench presses, stomach crunches, squats and burpees.
- Yoga is also a great way to tone up muscles and build strength.
2. Walk more
- Walk to work if possible. If you need to use transport, park your car 1 km ahead of your workplace or get down two stops ahead if you use public transport.
- Walk briskly to feel your heart pumping. Walk while speaking on your mobile phone.
- Buy a pedometer or download a smartphone app to count your daily steps for motivation.
- Doctors recommend a minimum of 10000 steps a day.
3. Stay active at your workplace
- Instead of sitting and staring at your computer screen all day at work, find innovative ways to exercise.
- While you are waiting for that printout, kick up each leg by turn behind you. Use your water bottle to do arm raises and arm twists.
- Clench and release your fingers in case you are typing for too long.
- While sitting at your desk, stretch out your legs by turn and hold them straight out at hip level under the table.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator for a few floors at least.
4. Take up a fun activity
- You can get a pet dog and take it out for regular walks.
- Join a local sports team like cricket, football or basketball.
- Dancing and swimming are other ways of enjoying while exercising.
- You can even play an active video game that requires you to get out of your seat and move.
5. Do household chores
- Daily household chores like sweeping, mopping, dusting, scrubbing and gardening are also ways of staying fit. Do them as fast as you can for maximum impact.
- Also, avoid sitting for too long. Simply standing can stretch your back muscles and help you lose 33% more calories.
6. Start running
- Running or jogging daily is a great way to exercise your whole body and build stamina.
- Make it a social activity by pairing up with your friends and colleagues. All you need is a good pair of shoes.
- You can start building these habits only if you are convinced about the need for daily exercise. It won’t take long before you are so addicted to living a more active life that you wouldn’t want to change it! so go ahead and take small but sure steps towards an active and healthy lifestyle and see yourself transform.
Here is what you need to know about post-menopausal osteoporosis
The term ‘osteoporosis’ means ‘porous bones’, which occurs when the protein and mineral content (particularly calcium) in the bone gets depleted in increased amounts. This further leads to reduced bone mass, and gradual reduction in bone strength, making the bones more fragile and susceptible to fracture. Osteoporosis has become a serious health problem among a majority of the individuals, worldwide. Women and men equally begin to lose bone mass in their mid-30s, after menopause women have a faster bone loss.
Why are postmenopausal women at an increased risk for osteoporosis?
- A direct link between decreased oestrogen levels during perimenopause (three- to five-year period before menopause occurs) and menopause and the development of osteoporosis is observed.
- Reduced ovarian function at menopause also results increased follicle-stimulating hormone levels, which cause a marked increase in bone resorption and rapid bone loss.
- Early menopause (in women aged 40 years) or prolonged periods— in which hormone levels are low and menstrual periods are either absent or irregular— can also lead to increased loss of bone mass, thereby, amplifying the chances of osteoporosis.
- Several other risk factors also contribute to postmenopausal osteoporosis, such as age, a period of amenorrhea, parental history of fracture, dietary calcium intake, low body mass index, smoking, decreased physical activity, and increase alcohol consumption.
What are the symptoms of post-menopausal osteoporosis?
In the initial stages of osteoporosis, bone loss occurs without symptoms.
Once bones are weakened, symptoms include a backache, loss of height over time, stooped posture, a bone fracture that occurs easily. Most common fracture sites are wrist, spine, shoulder and hips
How is it diagnosed?
Diagnosis is established by:
- Bone mineral density scan (x ray) called dexa (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan.
- Blood tests: serum vitamin d, calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase and parathyroid hormone.
What should you do if you have post-menopausal osteoporosis?
Here is what you can do to manage osteoporosis better:
- Say goodbye to your sedentary lifestyle
- Stay physically active. Opt for jogging, brisk walking, aerobics, by following a regular exercise program. Weight-bearing exercises are really helpful as they make bones and muscles stronger, therefore preventing bone loss. You can also include strength and balance exercises in your daily routine
- Increase your calcium and vitamin d intake
- You can add these either by supplementation or have a diet rich in calcium and expose your skin to the sun for 10-15 minutes daily for adequate vitamin d levels. Calcium-rich dietary sources include green, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried fruits.
- Avoid smoking and cut down alcohol intake.
- Smoking and drinking not only affect your bone health but also deteriorate your overall health and general well-being.
Consider hormone replacement therapy
Osteoporosis caused due to altered hormonal levels (oestrogen and follicle-stimulating hormones) requires specific treatment, which usually includes hormonal replacement therapy. Visit your doctor, as he/she will prescribe you the required medications after a thorough examination.
Stick to your medications
If your doctor has prescribed medications to stop further bone damage or if you have been prescribed supplements make sure you take them on time.
5 natural remedies to relieve leg pains:
Pain in legs could stem from many reasons. Cramp, muscle fatigue, nutritional deficiencies, muscle spasms, dehydration, injured tendons, and muscles strain are a few of them. The symptoms of leg pain often include throbbing (dull or stabbing sensations), aching, numbness, cramps, and weakness. It could be faint or severe enough to affect mobility. While a painkiller is a primary choice for many people, several others look at natural remedies to reduce leg pain. Here are five such curative ways:
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and contains a powerful antioxidant called curcumin. Both these properties of turmeric make it a potent remedy for relieving osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
A paste of turmeric mixed with warm sesame oil (to be applied on the aching part), turmeric mixed with milk, ginger turmeric tea, and turmeric containing joint pain supplements can be used to get rid of leg pains.
2. Epsom salt soak
Epsom salt has magnesium sulphate. When added to hot bath water, the magnesium sulphate in the salt acts as an electrolyte. Soaking legs in this bathwater helps in regulating nerve signals in them.
An epsom salt soak helps in minimising inflammation, pain, and swelling. Since the credit of reducing swelling goes to magnesium, a supplement may help as well.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Soaking the aching leg in a solution of warm water and one or two cups of apple cider vinegar is a powerful natural remedy for joint pain and inflammation. It helps in arthritis and gout pain. It clears toxins out of connective tissues and joints. It supplies potassium and calcium which are essential for relieving pain.
Drinking the solution of warm water, honey, and a few spoons of apple cider vinegar also serves the purpose.
4. Dandelion leaves
Dandelion leaves contain vitamin a and c in high measures. These vitamins can help in repairing damaged tissues. When ingested, they also assist the liver in clearing toxins from the blood. The leaves also contain linoleic acid and thus exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Since dandelion leaves affect immune responses, they can prove helpful in dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.
Dandelion leaves (dried or fresh) can be mixed with a cup of boiling water or turned into a salad for consumption.
5. Tart cherry juice
If extreme physical activities have caused the leg pain, the resulting muscle soreness and discomfort can be dealt with by drinking tart cherry juice. Experts often suggest tart cherry juice over leg pain relieving medications. Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain antioxidants. Both of these features help in treating soft tissue injury and reducing the pain.
Tart cherries, when eaten or drunken, may cause abdominal discomfort, even diarrhoea. It is always better to observe the effects after ingesting tart cherry juice at first before making it a regular choice of food.
Other natural remedies to reduce leg pain include juniper berry tea, pectin and grape juice, peppermint eucalyptus oil blend, white willow tea and blackstrap molasses. However, if the pain refuses to leave, visiting a doctor is always the best way to get rid of it for good.
6 ways to stay motivated in a competetive work environment:
You are feeling totally lost in the chaotic, competitive world. None of your efforts seem to bring in the right fruits and a sense of “drift” slowly settles in. This is exactly the time for self- introspection when you should veer in a little inwards and listen to your heart. Read on further to discover ways to maintain the tempo while also ushering in positivity in an otherwise “seemingly” gloomy environment.
1. Stop comparing
The worst thing you can do is to compare yourself with your peer group. Simply comparing your position with someone else’s and constantly pitying yourself is the greatest damage you can do to your own self-respect. Understand that each person has his own set of struggles that you may not be aware of.
2. Step out of your comfort zone
Nothing can replace hard work done with complete devotion. If you truly want to succeed, you have to push your limits. Continuous daily efforts towards your destination will keep you motivated, positive and will eradicate any doubts from your mind.
3. Discover your passion
Never ever say good-bye to your passion. Your passion is the only thing which can temporarily transfer you from a world of duties to a place where your inner talents can be honed and you can find true peace. Work for some people is only a means to pay their bills and this cannot motivate you for long.
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4. Be open to criticism
In a tough work environment, praises and criticism are part and parcel of everyday life. Try to embrace criticism with a positive bent of mind. Think of ways to improve a wrong situation rather than fretting. This will ensure that your supervisors consider you as receptive and will be eager to talk to you more often.
5. Stop procrastinating
Regular procrastination can mean your work piling up each day with endless undone to-do lists and a feeling of hopelessness setting in. If you are unable to speed up, start making small goals. The trick is to tackle the most mind-boggling activity first which is silently bothering you. Keep pushing your limits, but slowly. Reward yourself with every task done.
6. Be in good company
All said and done, never forget that the friends you make along the journey of life influence you and shape your destiny to a great extent. Good company can also come from good books by motivational writers. Whatever be the source, make sure that you surrounded by positive thoughts and shun all negative vibes coming your way.
Start each day with a positive thought. Focusing on the positive events in your life will ensure that you can now see the glass as half full or better yet refillable!
Pcos: here is all that you must know about it!
Polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos) is a common hormonal disorder amongst women in their reproductive age. The symptoms of pcos being seemingly unrelated to each other, are often overlooked and remain undiagnosed. It is commonly termed as pcod (polycystic ovary disease) in which the there is an imbalance in the women’s hormones. As the name suggests, multiple cysts are formed in the ovaries that are pearl-sized (2-4mm), fluid filled and may contain immature eggs.
Whom does it most commonly affect?
Pcos most commonly affects women of reproductive age (14-45 years of age). In ceratin cases, pre-pubertal girls may also be affected by pcos.
What are the common symptoms of pcos?
Pcos, being a syndrome, is defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms may vary from one individual to another. In case you observe two or more than two of these symptoms, make sure you undergo a thorough medical examination. Common symptoms are:
- Irregular scanty or missing menstrual periods
- Infertility such as ovulation dysfunction
- Excess or unwanted body or facial hair on the body
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Weight problems, often leading to weight gain around the waist
- Skin problems such as skin bags, darkening of skin and acne
What causes pcos in women?
The exact cause of pcos is still not known, however, there are hypothesis suggesting a few of the common causes such as;
- High level of insulin
- Increased production of androgens
- Family history
- Environmental pollution and radiations
How can pcos be diagnosed?
Pcos symptoms affect more than 20% of the indian women and still remain undiagnosed at times. For an effective diagnosis, you may report of,
- Irregular periods in the past
- Tests revealing high levels of specific hormones
- Ultrasound showing polycystic pattern of the ovary
What are the possible complications of pcos?
Commonly reported complications of pcos include:
- Heart and blood vessel problems
- Sleep apnea
- Uterine cancer
- Heart diseases
How can pcos be managed?
Once diagnosed, the treatment of pcos may differ from an individual to another. However, a few tips to manage/ prevent pcos are:
- Exercise regularly. Include activities such as aerobics, sports and brisk walk to your daily routine.
- Eat healthy. Include foods that are low in refined carbohydrates as it helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Also add foods rich in antioxidants, green vegetables super grain and fruits to your daily diet
- Avoid excess of junk foods, spicy and oily foods and sugary diets.
- In case you smoke, it is best recommended to quit smoking.
- Avoid stimulants. Beverages such as coffee, that act as a rich source of stimulating compounds, have been found to increase insulin production.
- Keep stress away. Combat this depression by engaging yourself in activities such as opting for bubble bath, watching an old favorite movie, reading a classic or meeting friends who could be good company.
The doctor may prescribe you will relevant medications to treat the complications, in case any.
I would like to ask you, what kind of a foods and fruits we can able to have to overcome the body heat due to humidity.
Breathe Easy: 6 Natural Remedies to relieve Nasal Congestion
Everyone knows how annoying a stuffy nose can be. The difficulty in breathing even affects your sleep and day to day work. Nasal passages are blocked when the virus causing cold leads to inflammation of the tissues in the nasal cavity. Thankfully there are some simple and non-expensive home remedies that can be used to relieve a blocked nose.
Here are some natural remedies to get rid of nasal congestion during winter months:
1. Garlic :
Garlic is useful in relieving a blocked nose. In addition, it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal nature helps to fight with cold virus. You can either chew on 2-3 cloves of whole garlic or boil the cloves in one cup of water and drink the concoction.
2. Apple cider vinegar:
In addition to numerous other health benefits, apple cider vinegar can also help relieve a blocked nose. Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon honey in a cup of water. Drink this at least 2-3 times a day to clear congestion.
Basil or tulsi is also a great treatment for blocked nose. You can chew on a few leaves at night before going to sleep and in the morning. It is a very effective solution for not only relieving congestion but also to treat other conditions of cold like sore throat and cough.
4. Eucalyptus oil:
Eucalyptus oil is highly beneficial for those suffering from nasal congestion due to its decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties. Put one or two drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a fresh handkerchief and inhale the aroma. Do this few times a day. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil on your pillow so you can get the benefits of this oil while sleeping.
5. Methi seeds:
Methi is a very good natural ingredient to treat nasal congestion, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to cleanse the mucous membranes. The heat and moisture from methi tea will help in thinning of mucus.
Mix one or two teaspoons of crushed methi seeds in a glass of water. Boil the solution. Strain and drink it while it is warm. Repeat two or three times a day until you get complete relief from the problem.
6. Lemon tea:
A tea made of hot water, lemon, and honey is one of the best stuffy nose relievers and you should try it if you’re looking to quickly get rid of a stuffy nose. To make this simple tea, just boil a cup of water, add the juice from one fresh lemon, and mix in two tablespoons of honey. Drink this up as many times a day as you would like to get rid of your stuffy nose and help you feel better.
So, go ahead and try these effective remedies to breathe easy this winter season. Stay healthy, stay happy!
Partied hard this diwali? 5 detox drinks to get back on track!
Detoxifying your body every now and then is a good way to help cleanse your system and to get rid of toxins. Having detox drinks is a good idea after a festive season or once you are back from a vacation. Since you may have indulged a bit too much over that time, detox drinks help your body get back in shape. Detox drinks also help your body shed the excess fat.
Here are some detox drinks that you can try:
1. Watermelon and mint water
Watermelon is a great detoxifying agent, it contains an amino acid called citrulline which helps rid the body of the toxin ammonia. Flavoring water, which also helps flush out the body's toxins and makes the liver and kidneys job a little bit easier, with watermelon and mint is a great way to detox. Mint adds a great flavor to your drink and it helps with digestion by enabling the flow of bile to the gallbladder and small intestine, which breaks down fats. You can also add a squeeze of lime for a bit of zing. Leave the mix overnight and drink the detox nectar with cubes of ice the next day.
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2. Cucumber and lime water
Cucumber also has citrulline but less than that of watermelon. Add to this lime juice and wedges of lime, which are important for bowel regulation and treating heartburn and gas. Mint is another key ingredient to this water mixture for added flavor and digestive relief.
3. Lemon and ginger
The best detox drink for when you wake up first thing is either warm or cool water with lemon and ginger. Just grate some ginger into a cup of water and squeeze in some lemon. Lemon is a natural detoxifying agent and ginger helps boost your metabolism. You can see why drinking this first thing in the am makes the most sense, it kick starts your system and gets your body ready for the day.
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4. Avocado and cucumber smoothie
This smoothie is rich with essentials oils and detoxifying goodness. Blend avocado cucumber, fresh basil, a pinch of salt together for a great boost to your digestive system, metabolism and kidneys. If you feel like it, throw in a few nuts particularly almonds, which are great for your liver, for added flavor. Rest assured this green drink may not look appetizing but its full of healthy benefits for your body.
5. White tea
We all know that a fat build up in your body lowers your metabolism and adversely affects your cholesterol levels. White tea is a great detoxifying agent because it serves two key functions it helps the body break down fat and prevents the body from forming new fat cells.
So, go ahead and give these drinks a try and help your body cleanse naturally. Stay healthy, stay happy!
Start your day right: 5 natural remedies to get rid of constipation
Constipation is usually a result of an unhealthy lifestyle like consuming over-processed foods, having a low fiber diet, lack of physical activity and inadequate water intake. There are also certain medications or conditions like ibs, hypothyroidism and pregnancy that can trigger constipation. Even then, there is a percentage of people who have the right diet and none of the listed conditions and still suffer from constipation or irregular bowel habits.
Here are some natural remedies that help to regulate bowel movement and relieve constipation:
1. Olive oil and lemon juice
-olive oil is a mild laxative, which helps increase the water content in stool and lubricates bowel movements.
-the citric acid in lemons stimulates the digestive system; it helps eliminate constipation by flushing out toxins from the digestive tract and the intestines.
-a quick remedy for constipation is a mix of 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon for relief from constipation.
2. Epsom salt
-epsom salt helps reduce constipation by softening the stool, making it easier to pass out of the body, and the magnesium in epsom, helps contract bowel muscles, enabling the body to excrete comfortably.
-add 2 teaspoons of epsom (for an adult, teaspoon for children) to 250ml of water or juice for instant relief.
-if there is no bowel movement in 4 hours, have a second dose of epsom salt. Restrict use to no more than 3 doses in 24 hours.
3. Castor oil
-using castor oil to relieve constipation is an age old remedy, used and passed on for thousands of years.
-castor oil contains ricinoleic acid which is a stimulant laxative that causes intestinal muscles to contract and eliminate stools from the body.
-15ml of castor oil cooled in the fridge or mixed with a glass of juice, first thing in the morning is the best way to combat constipation.
-pregnant women, children under 12, and those on heart, kidney, bone and blood thinning medication must refrain from using castor oil.
-also since castor oil works almost instantly it is recommended that we do not use it just before sleeping.
4. Ginger mint tea
-try your daily beverage without milk for a week to find out if you are lactose intolerant (more than 50% adults are actually lactose intolerant without knowing it), this could also be a cause for constipation.
-add mint and ginger to tea when brewing it. Mint helps relax the digestive muscles due to its anti-spasmodic properties and ginger boosts a sluggish digestive system.
-ensure that the tea leaves aren't over boiled as this could lead to acidity.
5. Figs and honey
-figs are rich in dietary fiber, which helps cleanse the inside of the intestines and help improve bowel movement.
-figs also act as a natural laxative that helps those suffering from chronic constipation.
-for relief from constipation soak 3 dried figs and 3 almonds in water for 3-4 hours, peel the almonds and grind the figs and almonds to make a paste, and consume this with a spoon of honey at night.
-this remedy will ensure relief from constipation by morning.
So, whether you have chronic constipation or you get it every now and then, try these remedies in addition to adopting a healthy and active lifestyle to get rid of constipation. Stay healthy, stay happy!
Make diwali healthier: try these 6 healthy desserts!
Diwali is an ancient indian festival and the most awaited one at that. Be it bursting crackers, meeting relatives or savoring mouth-watering sweets, everyone has a special reason to make merry during diwali every state of india celebrates this festival of lights with its own special dessert recipes. In an attempt to avoid overindulgence, here are some healthy sweets and desserts that you can try this festive season:
1. Sesame seeds laddoo
- for a change, you can avoid the boondi laddoos this diwali and instead opt for sesame which is a rich source of calcium and magnesium.
- this laddoo is prepared by dry roasting the sesame seeds and then grinding them to a powdery texture along with sugar and cardamom powder.
- you can replace sugar with jaggery which is a healthier option too. Add roasted peanut chunks to the laddoos for a crunchy twist.
2. Pumpkin delight
- forget the calorie-rich kheer and choose pumpkin this season to add the extra fibre and goodness of vitamin a to your pumpkin payasam.
- you can make this dessert using all healthy ingredients like mashed pumpkin, milk, sago, cardamom powder and a pinch of saffron.
3. Ragi treat
- why not embrace ragi as your favorite cereal and make some mouth-watering delicacy out of it.
- ragi or finger millet is known for its high protein and mineral content.
- combine ragi with the grand flavors of saffron and cardamom, roasted peanuts and dried coconut and you can make some healthy and delicious barfi.
- add jaggery for the sweetness. You can easily replace the usual high calorie kaju barfis with this delicious treat.
4. Coconut macaroons
- some delicious macaroons can be baked with the healthiest ingredients like coconut, eggs, vanilla essence and sugar to taste and absolutely no oil content.
- once out of the oven, they have a hard texture and equally chewy feel from the inside.
- they make the best choice for an evening snack and are filled with goodness of coconut which help in digestion and also add a glow to your skin.
5. Date laddoos
dates (khajoor) are known for their iron content. Try to rope in the vitamins and minerals of dates to use them for ladoos instead of using besan (gram flour).
- in this recipe, dates are mashed till soft, heated in a pan with little coconut oil and then sesame powder is added to them while kneading them into a dough.
- add pieces of roasted cashew and cardamom powder to the kneaded dough for the flavor. When ready, roll them over sesame seeds for both the look and the taste.
- this is yet another treat for your sweet tooth without the harmful effects of either sugar or ghee (clarified butter)
6. Oats barfi
- when it comes to health, none can forget the ubiquitous oats. From breakfast to snacks, oats are the perfect choice for the health freak.
- this diwali make your favorite barfi with oats, anjeer (fig), dates, pistachios and flax seeds.
- use a little coconut oil in a pan and heat the mashed dates and coarsely ground roasted oats.
- add the other ingredients with a pinch of saffron and spread the dough it out in a flat dish.
- cut them into sizes you love and relish them with family.
Enjoy this diwali with your favorite sweets but without the sense of guilt with these exotic yet healthy recipes. Happy diwali!
Did you know barley water is good for kidney stones?
Barley (jau), a member of grass family, is a cereal that has been cultivated for over 13, 000 years. Packed with carbohydrates (78%), fat (1%), protein (10%) and water (10%), barley is a rich source of essential nutrients, dietary fiber, vitamins such as niacin, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin B6.
With several health benefits to its name, barley water is termed as the elixir to good health. It has been found to be beneficial in reducing chances of heart disease, soothing bowels, reducing blood cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar regulation in the body and acts as nutritive broth for fever, cold and cough. Additionally, studies support that barley water has also been found to play an integral role in maintaining renal health.
What is a renal stone?
A renal stone is a solid stony piece consisting of crystal forming substances in the urinary tract. They are usually formed when the urine is abundant in substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid and lack substances that inhibit their accumulation. While small kidney stones can pass through the urinary system without any symptoms, a stone larger than 5 mm can result in blockages in the urinary tract causing severe pain in the back and lower abdomen.
What causes renal stones?
- A family history for stones, lack of adequate water in the body, high BMI, excessive intake of diets rich in protein, sodium and sugar have been found to be some of the common causes for stone formation.
Try protein foods &amp; supplements
- Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel syndrome and renal tubular acidosis have also been found to alter the digestion of calcium.
How does barley water aid the dissolution of renal stones?
Studies show that regular use of barley water can dissolve and eliminate existing kidney stones and prevent the occurrence of stones and other kidney problems. Use of diuretics either natural or synthetic can help speed up the expulsion of the stone.
Diuretic in nature, barley water helps to flush toxins from the kidneys by creating bladder pressure and increasing the frequency of urination.
- It helps maintain the PH levels in the body, making it alkaline, preventing various urinary tract issues, including kidney stones.
- The vitamin B6 and magnesium in barley helps break down the masses of toxic calcium oxalate (primary cause for stones) in the kidney.
Dietary fiber in barley reduces the amount of calcium that is excreted by the body through urine, restoring renal health and cleansing the kidneys.
Ways to prepare barley water:
- Boil 1 litre of water with a tablespoon of barley pearls and boil on a low flame for about 30 minutes or until the water has reduced to half.
- Strain and cool this mix and drink it through the day.
- Add lemon juice or honey to make the mix tasty
Regular use of barley water ensures that the renal system is hydrated, healthy and free of depositions such as renal stones. So, go ahead and add this elixir to your diet to ensure a healthy renal system and a healthier you. Eat healthy, stay healthy!
5 practical ways to manage constipation
Constipation is one of the most common health problems. Unhealthy eating practices, inadequate sleep, sedentary lifestyle and stressful life are some of the common triggers for constipation.
Symptoms of constipation include two or less than two bowel movements in a week, hard and dry stools, bloating and feeling of fullness. In severe cases of constipation, you may also have small amount of blood in your stool due to bleeding hemorrhoids.
Some of the common causes of constipation are lack of fiber rich diet, lack of exercises and physical activity, immobility due to age and illness and overuse and persistent use of laxatives. Constipation may also be another symptom of health disorders such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, hypercalcemia and irritable bowel syndrome.
Ways to manage constipation:
Here are five effective ways to prevent and treat constipation:
1. Exercise regularly
-follow an exercise regimen which may include a combination of several activities such as weight bearing exercise, muscle strengthening exercises, running, walking, jogging and physical exercises.
- these exercises stimulate the bowel movements regularly and help to keep the body healthy.
- brisk walking and aerobic exercises has also been found to stimulate and aid the bowel movement.
- if you have an option of taking the elevator or the stairs, opt for stairs. This will keep you mobile during your work hours.
2. Increase dietary fiber
- correction of the dietary intake is the key to prevent constipation. It is recommended to take naturally available fibrous vegetables and fruits than to aid the diet with supplementary fiber.
- increase the intake of fiber rich vegetables such as beans, bran cereals, brown rice, raw fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. It is recommended to have close to 20-35 grams of fiber daily.
- make sure you add salads to your meals. Include sprouts, carrots, leafy vegetables and fruits in your salads.
- in case of consistent constipation, avoid intake of processed foods and beverages such as cheese, dairy products, meat and packaged foods
3. Increase fluid intake
- drink water (6-8 glasses) throughout the day. This will improve the bowel movement significantly.
warm water during the daytime also helps in increasing the excretion of stools during constipation.
4. Opt for lifestyle changes
- changes in the lifestyle such as having a balanced diet, regular exercises and optimum sleep can significantly help constipation.
- fix a regular time during the day for the bowel movement. It helps the body to follow a routine.
5. Try natural remedies
- in case of chronic constipation, take herbal laxatives such as isabgol and triphala with warm water before going to sleep. They will improve bowel movement and aid the excretion process
- studies suggest that castor oil, due to its laxative properties, was found to relieve constipation significantly. Due to its instant effects, it is recommended that it is not consumed orally before going to bed. Instead it is advised to take it in the daytime.
- there are broadly two types of herbal stimulants (bulk forming stimulants and stimulant laxatives) for relieving constipation.
- commonly used bulk forming laxatives include, fenugreek, flaxseeds and barley. Commonly used stimulant herbs include aloe and senna. However, these herbal laxatives are advised to be used in less potency. Therefore one must consult a doctor before opting for these remedies.
In case your symptoms persist, you can try some over the counter laxatives. However make sure your body does not become dependent on these options. Consistent use of laxatives can deplete the food off essential nutrients in severe cases, consult a doctor who can further evaluate the problem and suggest medications. Stay healthy, stay happy!
6 effective ways to manage period pain
Although menstrual cycles or monthly periods are a normal physiological process, they can sometimes be accompanied by pain and excessive cramping and can affect your quality of life. While the pain is usually tolerable and goes away in a day or two, it can be worse on some occasions. Here are some effective ways to handle period pain:
1. Use a heating pad
You can place a heating pad or a hot water bottle over your lower abdominal area to help in relieving pain. Heat is quite helpful in easing the cramping and reducing the intensity of pain.
2. Massage with essential oils
Massaging with certain aromatic essential oils is also an effective way to relieve menstrual cramps. These include lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, clary sage oil and marjoram oil. Massage your lower back and abdomen with these oils for best results. You can massage at around bedtime for a restful sleep and relief from cramping.
This might come as a surprise but exercise helps to release the pain relieving chemicals called endorphins. Experts suggest that women who exercise regularly often have less menstrual pain. To prevent cramps in the future, make exercise a part of your lifestyle.
4. Have herbal teas
Certain teas help in reducing the intensity of period pain and cramping. These include peppermint tea, cinnamon tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea and tulsi tea. You can add any of these teas during your periods for easing the pain and cramps.
5. Take a pain killer
You can take pain medications to relieve cramps. These include paracetamol, mefenamic acid and other analgesics. Paracetamol is an over the counter medicine but for others you will need a prescription from a doctor. It is best to take these medications as soon as bleeding or cramping starts. Painkillers can however cause side effects like acidity, gastritis and even stomach ulcers if taken too frequently.
6. Try pain relief patches
These are subcutaneous skin patches that can be applied directly over the skin. They are purely herbal and contain eucalyptus oil and menthol, both of which help in reducing cramping and relaxing the muscles. These patches release the ingredients in a controlled manner, thereby maintaining their levels in the blood stream throughout the day. This helps in ensuring long lasting action. They are easily available as over the counter medications. The advantages of these patches are that they are 100% herbal, are extremely easy to use and are free from side effects that can occur by popping painkillers on a regular basis.
So, go ahead and try these pain relieving therapies and enjoy pain free periods. Stay healthy, stay happy!