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Top Health Tips on Gaining Strength

Watch What Happens When You Drink Water Along With Your Food. It'll Leave You Thinking!

B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition, CAFE, MMM, M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition, Nutrition Certification, PGCDE, PhD
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Kolkata
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Sit at the dinner table, and you'd find yourself invariably extending your hand to the glass of water on the side of your plate. While you may think it's absolutely necessary to have a glass of water during your meals, the truth is this habit of yours might be damaging your health. Read on to find out how.

1. It dilutes your gastric juices -
When the digestive acids (acids responsible for the digestion and breakdown of food as well as for killing infectious agents ingested with food) present in your stomach are diluted with water, they bring about a slowdown in the functioning of your entire digestive system. This slowdown results in food remaining lodged in your stomach for a longer period than normal, thereby causing indigestion.

Additionally, the reaction caused by the dilution of water and stomach acids can give rise to cramps in your tummy.

2. It reduces the saliva in your mouth -
The same thing that happens to the acids in your stomach, happens to your saliva as well. Water dilutes the saliva, which stops the breakdown of food in your mouth. Also, your saliva is responsible for stimulating your stomach to release digestive enzymes and prepare itself for the process of digestion. By drinking water with your meals, such signals sent by your saliva to your stomach become much weaker. All these together can make digestion very difficult.

3. It causes acidity -
Studies show that drinking water with your meals not only leads to the dilution of digestive enzymes, but also brings about a reduction in the secretion of digestive enzymes. This causes the undigested food in your stomach to leak into the lower part of your oesophagus (food pipe), causing acidity and heart burn.

4. It increases insulin production -
Sipping on water in the middle of lunch (or any other meal for that matter) causes a spike in your insulin levels just as glycaemic foods (foods with high starch or sugar content such as honey, potatoes, white bread, rice to name a few) would. When your body is unable to digest food properly, it usually tends to convert the glucose filled part of that food into fat and stores it, reason why your blood sugar levels see an upsurge.

5. It adds to your weight -
Since drinking water causes an increase in insulin levels in your body (as the food you eat is converted to fat), it can result in the piling of extra weight on your body. This is because a weak digestive system is one of the major causes behind obesity.

Try having your meals with less salt and drink water 30 minutes before each meal to control your thirst when you're eating. This can help you in controlling the negative effects that drinking water with your meals can have on your health.

Make a wise choice and stay healthy. Feel free to ask me more questions you might have.
16296 people found this helpful

Almonds - What Happens When You Eat Them Everyday?

Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), Certificate In Osteopathy, Panchakarma Training
Ayurveda, Udaipur
Almonds - What Happens When You Eat Them Everyday?
It is a well-known fact that natural and unsalted almond are a tasty snack with a lot of nutrients and health benefits packed within. Loaded with a lot of minerals, they are considered the healthiest nuts. Munching on a handful of nutrient rich almonds every day can promote a healthy heart and inhibit unwanted weight gain while helping you to fight diseases such as Alzheimer s and high blood sugar. Here are some of the benefits of eating almonds every day-

Get access to the much-needed nutrition: If you eat around 20 almonds every day, you would be able to incorporate different essential nutrients in the daily diet. These little nuts contain copious amounts of calcium, vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium. Almonds are an excellent source of fiber and protein while being low in sugar content. Of all the tree nuts you can think of, almonds rank first when it comes to containing fiber, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, and B vitamins by weight. There are 160 calories in 23 almonds, and it is a good source of healthy unsaturated fats.
Prevent unwanted weight gain: All nuts including almonds are beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight. The protein, fat and fiber content of almonds can keep you full and feel satiated for a long time which means you will not have the urge to overeat. Magnesium in these nuts can regulate blood sugar levels which are helpful for controlling food cravings. Since they are a rich source of calories, it is recommended to limit yourself to one ounce of almonds daily.
Provide you with energy: If you feel lethargic and tired most of the time, then consuming some soaked almonds in the morning would aid in replenishing the lost nutrients of the body. This is because copper, manganese, and riboflavin present in almonds are known to boost metabolism.
Protect your heart health: According to the reports of FDA, around 1.5 ounces of almonds every day can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Many of the nutrients present in almonds help in contributing to heart health. Magnesium in almonds can inhibit hypertension and heart attacks. As the belly fat and LDL levels are reduced with regular consumption of almonds, the risk factors for cardiovascular disease are reduced significantly.
Keep cancer at bay: Soaked almonds have the power to shield you from the risk of developing colon cancer. Almonds contain high levels of fiber which helps the foods to move through the digestive tract easily so that they don t build up in the colon. This is one of the most significant benefits of having almonds every day.
Thus, make it a practice to have a few almonds every day and enjoy the benefits it offers.
12978 people found this helpful

7 Reasons Why Japanese Live A Really Long Life!

MBBS,CCA,DCA,AASECT,FPA,AAD,F.H.R.SM.I.M.S
General Physician, Bangalore
7 Reasons Why Japanese Live A Really Long Life!
Japan had the biggest mortality turn around post the world War 2 era. But, it has consistently topped the global charts in terms of living a longer and healthy life as compared to people of other countries. Although there is no one reason for this, scientists believe that there is a host of factors which has helped Japan to achieve this feat.

Vegetable intake: The Japanese, unlike the countries in the West, consume a lot of fresh vegetables, seaweed means, fermented soy, rice, and fish. It ensures adequate phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. The eating habit surely adds the extra mileage as far as mortality is concerned.
Different style of cooking: Typically, the preparation of Japanese cuisine involves a lot of steaming, fermenting, slow-cooking, pan-grilling and stir-frying. Apart from this, the Japanese prepare small dishes and have the habit of drinking a bowl of soup before every meal. When a small amount of all vegetables along with rice and fish is consumed daily, the body gets enough fibre.
The tea culture: The tea drinking culture of Japan goes a long way in fighting diseases owing to its anti-bacterial properties. While coffee doesn t harm our body, tea varieties such as matcha are far more useful for the body.
Fresh Food: Japan is one of the few countries where people consume serious fresh food. Japanese are one of the fortunate ones who eat their food hours after production. The vast amount of arable land and not so big population helps the demand and supply to be in the balance. The fresh food helps the body to produce more energy and be active throughout the day.
Smaller plates: Portion control and etiquette are a big part of the Japanese culture. They eat from small pots, use chopsticks, garnish their food lightly, serve food in small dishes etc. Japanese never eat until they are too full to walk. Typically, Japanese eat till they are 8 percent full. This helps in easy digestion and more agility.
More body activity: Japanese love to commute in public transport. They get up, go to their nearest station, wait for the train, stand in the train and walk to their workplace from the station. Although there are an ample number of cars in the country using it is considered to be a luxury. Japanese also get a wake-up call for exercise every morning. This results in an increased level of energy, more focus at the workplace and better athleticism.
Healthcare: Japanese have got a full proof healthcare from the year 1960. They visit their doctors more than a dozen times a year. This is 4 times as compared to their US counterpart. What s fascinating is the fact that it costs the Japanese Government only 8 percent of the GDP. It goes without saying that Japanese get to know about any probable diseases that they might have well before any damage could happen. If you wish to discuss on any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.
11639 people found this helpful

Loose Motion: 4 Natural Ways to Cure it!

MBBS, AFIH, PGDMLS, MD-HRM, MD-HM
General Physician, Gurgaon
Loose Motion: 4 Natural Ways to Cure it!
Loose motion, commonly known as diarrhea refers to a state where the affected person suffers from frequent passage of loose, watery or unformed stool. It may lead to exhaustion and dehydration as with frequent passage of stool the body loses water and essential minerals. Here are some natural remedies which are capable of relieving you from loose motion effectively.

1. Lemon

Lemon juice has anti-inflammatory properties that assist in cleansing of the stomach. After extraction of the lemon juice it should be mixed with a tablespoon of sugar and salt. This solution should be consumed every one hour until you feel that all the toxins from your bowels have been flushed out.

2. Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek or methi seeds have antibacterial and antifungal properties. You need to mix one to two tablespoon powder of dried up fenugreek seeds in a glass of water and have it in an empty stomach in the morning for three to four days. It may taste bitter might but it's bound to completely relieve you from loose motion.

3. Buttermilk

Butter milk not only works wonders for soothing your stomach but also assists the process of digestion. The acid content in buttermilk fights the bacteria and germs in your digestive system. Adding a pinch of turmeric powder or cumin powder or black pepper powder to your buttermilk increases its efficiency to cure loose motion.

4. Adequate rest

If you are suffering from several bouts of loose motion it is bound to cause weakness and dehydration as the body is drained of essential minerals and water. It is advisable that you take complete best rest for two to three days to recover from this fatigue completely. Using heat bags on your stomach can relieve you of cramps and pains. During this period you should abstain from rich and oily foods.
11097 people found this helpful

Expired Medicines - What to Check Before Throwing Them Away?

Diploma In Cardiology
General Physician, Kolkata
Expired Medicines - What to Check Before Throwing Them Away?
When it comes to health, there is no taking a chance. Most of us are in the habit of storing some medicines at home, which could come in handy, say for a headache or an acidity attack. However, these often remain in the medicine kit for a long time before they are actually used. So, finally when the day arrives when there is an actual need for it, we are not sure if it is still usable. The one thing we dread is the use of a medicine, which is past its expiry date.

What if there is an adverse event? What if there is a complication or a side effect?
Then, if we are not in a position to get a fresh pill, we would rather endure the pain or acidity than pop that outdated pill. Is it really prudent to do so? I say otherwise. Most medicines have the expiry date to indicate the date or time, until when the drug would have the most potency and efficacy. Meaning to say, the drug may become weak (take longer to act or may require more of the drug to produce the same effect) when taken after the listed expiry date.

The truth is that most pharma companies list a date, which could be months, if not years, ahead of the actual expiry date. In reality, a drug never really expires. Most medicines can be used up to a few months after this date. Some medicines may even be useful after years of their expiry date.

It depends as to what the medicine is for:

Painkillers are usually harmless to take beyond the expiry date. If there is no effect (even prolonged), then try to get a fresh one.
Chronic medications like anti-hypertensives and anti-diabetic medications can be used up to a few months at the most, not beyond. Make sure to monitor readings to check for the efficacy. Often times, a greater dose may be required to get the desired effect, but this should not be done without medical supervision.
Biologic products like EpiPen, eye drops or injectable substances should not be used, if they are cloudy. In fact, most of these should be kept for a very short period after opening.
With any expired medicine, keep your doctor posted, especially your chronic meds to seek further advice and information.
The place and the way the drug is stored also may help in retaining its strength. A drug stored in the fridge is safer than something stashed away in a cupboard with a lot of other things. Keep these in mind, and take a call!
10583 people found this helpful

Ginger - 13 Health Benefits You Never Knew

MD, DYA, PGDCR
Ayurveda, Nashik
Ginger - 13 Health Benefits You Never Knew
There is probably no house in India, where dishes are prepared without the use of ginger. It forms an amazing spice that is savoury, both for spicy and sweet dishes and as a result, most Indian dishes include this spice for making them tastier and healthier. But did you know that both fresh and dried ginger has medicinal properties as well?

Here are the top 13 benefits proffered by ginger

Healing properties: Ginger can be used as a fresh root or a milled powder for healing all kinds of sores and cuts and it prevents spread of infections.

Helps in relieving pain: If you can boil ginger for a short time and drink the liquid, it can help in alleviating the chronic and acute pain caused by arthritis, rheumatism, abdominal cramps, back pain, bronchial asthma and bronchitis, neck stiffness, inflammation in the kidney and liver.

Regenerating properties: Ginger can help in increasing the blood circulation, eliminating toxins and regenerating the tissues that have been harmed with any kind of disease.

Fat burning abilities: Ginger can act as a fat burner and aids in weight loss. It can create a feeling of fullness and reduces sudden food craving so that you will not have to snack in between meals.

Anti-inflammatory properties: Regardless of what has triggered the cause of pain, ginger has the potential to set you free from it owing to the anti-inflammatory properties contained in ginger roots.

Helps in relieving sinusitis: Ginger has a notable impact on the health of those suffering from sinusitis. If you are suffering from asthma, you may have it too.

Alleviating nausea: Ginger root can soothe the nerve and can prevent headache, vomiting and migraine. It can relieve you from tiredness and soreness of muscles caused due to long voyages.

Fighting abdominal discomfort: By consuming ginger tea on regular basis, your digestion, as well as food absorption, can be prevented.

Reduction of inflammation: Ginger root helps in soothing swollen joints and tired muscles. It is also recommended for relieving pain and burning sensation.

Fighting menstrual problems: Dipping a towel in ginger tea and putting in the region of the uterus can aid in relaxing the muscles.

Relieving stress: A cupful of ginger tea can aid in improving the mood and reducing stress and tension.

Empowering the immune system: The antioxidants contained in ginger roots can help in strengthening the immunity system by reducing stroke risk and cleaning arteries.

Treating cancer: It has been proven that ginger tea can kill cancer cells.

There are specific rules and ways of consuming Aadrak (ginger) by people of different constitutions and regions. An Ayurvedic constitutional examination can help you in understanding which and when is the best way for you to consume ginger.
10432 people found this helpful

Shankhpushpi - 11 Most Important Reasons To Consume It!

bums
Unani Specialist, Delhi
Shankhpushpi - 11 Most Important Reasons To Consume It!
Shankhpushpi is a perennial herb. It is considered to be one of the most wonderful gifts of nature to mankind. It is a type of morning glory that belongs to the Convolvulaceae plant family. Its scientific name is Convolvulus Pluricaulis. The flowers are blue, pink or white in color, and are about 2mm 5mm in size. They grow in rocky and sandy areas under xerophytic conditions and is mostly found in areas of Bihar and Punjab in India. It is also seen in the deserts of the Sahara.

Importance: Shankhpushpi is a very important herb of Ayurveda due to its therapeutic benefits. It mainly takes care of the nerves by supporting and promoting healthy brain and mind. It enhances brain power, improves memory and concentration and the ability to recall. When combined with other herbs, the formulation created is used for treating conditions, such as schizophrenia, depression, epilepsy and aggressive behavior disorders.

Parts Used: Shankhpushpi is often used as a paste, powder and tonic for different formulations. The parts that are used for these formulations are the leaves, flowers, stem, roots, seeds and ashes.

The Shankhpushpi plant has lots of health benefits

Shankhpushpi syrup is very good for brain development of children. It is effective if children take it regularly for three months. It improves their memory, learning, grasping power and intelligence. It should be given to them along with Bramhi, Sharkara, Nimbu Satva and water
It rejuvenates the nervous function by promoting memory and concentration
It helps in relieving stress and has the ability to calm a mind
It supports the flow of blood in the brain
It treats fatigue, nervous debility and low energy level
A tonic made from Shankhpushpi works as a psychostimulant and tranquilizer
Shankhpushpi tonic is often used to treat hypotensive syndromes
It improves the balance and vitiation in kapha-vata-pitta doshas
It works as antioxidant and antacid
The herbal extract possesses spermatogenic properties, so it is used to treat cases of sperm debility
It can treat urinary system ailments
It is important to keep in mind that to get the best results, one has to use the best quality herbs in the right quantity. Shankhpushpi is a wonderful remedy for a number of problems, however, no herb should be taken without consulting an Ayurveda practitioner. In case of a concern or query consult an expert & get answers!
9753 people found this helpful

Magnesium Deficiency - 5 Signs You Are Suffering From It!

PGD In Ultraasonography, Non Invasive Cardiology Course, MD - Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Narnaul
Magnesium Deficiency - 5 Signs You Are Suffering From It!
Magnesium is one of the most abundant mineral found in earth, and a good 60 percent of all the magnesium in the body is stored in your bones. A small percentage is also present in your blood and this nutrient is beneficial for healthy bones and in regulating blood pressure. It also enables proper nerve functioning, good blood circulation, strong immune system and a healthy heart.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to a number of ailments including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic back pain, etc. Asthma is also widely known to be associated with magnesium deficiencies and can lead to irregular heartbeats and panic attacks. Magnesium deficiency occurs mainly due to unhealthy diet, alcohol abuse, excessive vomiting, and long-term diarrhea. Here are a few signs that indicate that you are suffering from magnesium deficiency.

Muscle cramps: Regular muscle cramps are the first symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is extremely important for muscle growth and regeneration. It increases the intake of calcium and potassium- the two key elements important for muscle functioning. If you experience regular cramps, consult a physician immediately. Also, frequent muscle twitching and eye twitching might be symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Migraine: Migraines are caused by a number of reasons and one such reason can be low magnesium levels in your body. Severe migraines should never be ignored as it can be due to an underlying medical condition. Check with your physician as in some cases, migraines can be treated if magnesium deficiency is addressed.
Irregular heart beat: Irregular heartbeats and rhythms are the biggest symptoms of low magnesium levels in the body. Magnesium is extremely important for proper functioning of the heart and proper blood circulation in the body. If you are suffering from these symptoms for quite some time, seek medical attention immediately.
Anxiety and restlessness: Restlessness and anxiety can be a norm of life for some people. There can be many explanations for this and one is magnesium deficiency. Magnesium can make our body and mind calm, and lack of this nutrient can cause depressions and restlessness. Increasing your magnesium level can help in reducing anxiety levels and restlessness.
Fatigue and weakness: If you are experiencing black outs and constant weakness, then you may be suffering from low magnesium levels. Magnesium plays an important role in breaking down glucose into energy. This energy is needed for metabolism and fights the weakness of your body. Lack of magnesium can be harmful in the long run and you might experience extreme instances of weakness and fatigue.
Magnesium intakes: Always have a healthy magnesium rich diet to supplement your magnesium levels. You can best get them from foods such as almonds, avocado, bananas, beans, and pumpkin seeds. You can also opt for milk, cashews, potatoes and yogurt. You can intake magnesium supplements too, but do consult with your doctor before taking them.
9539 people found this helpful

Reasons Why You Should Not Eat Leftover Food!

bums
Unani Specialist, Delhi
Reasons Why You Should Not Eat Leftover Food!
According to Unani, the act of eating is considered as life-giving, which is essential for both physical and mental health. Hence, Unani recommends a particular set of guidelines as to how, when and what foods should you eat to achieve a balance in the body. And, this includes eating freshly cooked foods for every meal because leftover foods are devoid of Prana which is the vital energy, so it restricts digestion and can disturb your well-being.

But we all often tend to store leftovers in the fridge and eat it either because it is easier than cooking every meal or because we end up making more than required and thus have to store it to avoid food waste. But it is an unhealthy practice. Read on to know more in this regard.

Leftover food is the breeding ground for numerous microbes: None of us refrigerate the foods immediately after cooking. The food is left to be consumed first, and then the leftover is brought down to room temperature and is then refrigerated. This creates an ideal environment for the micro-organisms to multiply at a fast pace and spoil the food. This is the reason why leftover food sometimes doesn t taste good enough. The classic example of this is cooked rice. The issues with leftover rice primarily arise from the way in which it is stored. According to the reports of the Foods Standard Agency, uncooked rice tends to contain spores of harmful bacteria which are sturdy enough to survive through the initial process of cooking. When the excess amount of rice is not stored at the right temperature, the spores will start spreading and multiplying leading to various digestion problems when consumed.
Storing contaminated food can lead to cross-contamination: When you are storing foods rich in high bacterial load in your fridge, other foods can also get contaminated with these bacteria. Therefore, the chance of spoiling the foods increases at a fast pace while growing kids are likely to fall ill due to the different doshas occurring in the body.
Leftover food doesn t contain any nutrients: Most of us cook foods in high flames which causes a total loss of nutrients. Then we refrigerate it for long hours which worsens the condition of the foods thereby making the foods lack in most of the essential nutrients. Especially, Vata individuals with weak digestion should avoid leftovers altogether as it might cause stomach upset.
Though there are such compelling reasons for not eating leftovers, it cannot be avoided as well in our busy lives. So, in such circumstances, it is advisable to finish the leftovers within 48 hours at the latest. But in general, Unani recommends eating freshly prepared meals with fresh produce as much as possible to maintain overall well-being. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an unani practitioner.
9226 people found this helpful

Smartphones - Why Should We Avoid Them Before Bedtime?

MD - Medicine , MBBS
General Physician, Vadodara
Smartphones - Why Should We Avoid Them Before Bedtime?
For most of us, our smartphone is the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we check before going to bed. But, is it a right practise? Well, it is not. As per a recent study published by the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, using a smartphone right before bedtime actually reduces the overall quality of sleep.

Here's how:

Difficulty in falling asleep - We feel sleepy when our brain releases a hormone called melatonin, which is determined by the body's circadian rhythm. The blue light emitted by the screen of the smartphone interferes with this rhythm and the secretion of melatonin, which makes it difficult for us to fall asleep, even after we keep our phone aside.
Poor quality of sleep - Using a smartphone before going to bed also hampers the overall quality of sleep because, when we check an office email or a text message as the last thing before we sleep, it gets difficult for our brain to relax, due to which we are unable to sleep peacefully.
Decreased attention span - Our productivity suffers during the day, due to lack of proper sleep at night. Also, not getting enough sleep is known to hamper our decision-making skills, impair our long & short-term memory, which leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Increased risk of weight gain - Our body is more likely to feel hungry when we don't get our due share of sleep, as sleep deprivation slows down our metabolism. Thus, use of smartphone right before bedtime can induce cravings, which lead to snacking and weight gain.
Weak immune system - While we are asleep our immune system produces antibodies that help fight infections, it also releases a protein known as cytokines. This protein not only promotes sleep but also fights inflammation and other problems caused by stress. Lack of sound sleep decreases the production of cytokines and increases the risk of falling sick, it also slows down our recovery cycle. Further, long-term sleep deprivation can raise the risk of diseases, such as diabetes, heart problems and obesity.
Skin damage - Sleeping late at night and not getting enough sleep can lead to dark circles, puffy eyes and fine lines across our face. The blue light emitted by our smartphones triggers the secretion of cortisol, which can damage our skin's smoothness and elasticity.
Thus, even if we are spending only some time on our smartphone before going to bed, it affects our overall mental and physical well-being. Want to know more about the problems sleep deprivation can cause or solutions that can help, consult our expert & get answers to questions!
8802 people found this helpful