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Top Health Tips on Improving Personal Care

8 Alcoholic Drinks That Might Secretly Keep You Healthy

BSc Home Science, M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
8 Alcoholic Drinks That Might Secretly Keep You Healthy
According to the preconceived notion, drinking alcohol is harmful to the body. It is partly true. Drinking alcohol is harmful to the body, but only in huge proportions. In fact, despite popular belief, drinking alcohol is also good for health.

Here are 8 alcohols that are secretly keeping you healthy:

Beer: The most common alcoholic drink, beer is loaded with antioxidants called phenols. This protects you against suffering from heart diseases. Beer also lowers the risk of acquiring high blood pressure and helps maintaining it.
Red Wine: Apart from being a classy drink and having the same benefits of beer, the additional brownie points of red wine is that it helps in increasing life span by generating longevity genes. It also increases good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol in the body.
Ethanol: Ethanol reduces the risk of wear and tear in the brain neurons. Any damage to the neurons may lead to Alzheimer's or dementia. Hence ethanol helps to prevent any harm to the brain cells.
Vodka: Vodka helps in clearing bad breath as the high alcohol content kills all bad odour bacteria present. It also helps to reduce stress and disinfect wound. It improves the health of the skin and stimulates hair growth. Toothache is also another issue which Vodka can work wonders on.
Whisky: Whisky helps to numb throat pain when it is gargled in a mixture with warm water. It stimulates weight loss. Whisky also helps in preventing dementia. Other benefits of this drink that it prevents diabetes and cancer. It also helps to keep the heart healthy, increases the level of good cholesterol and terminates blood clots. Whiskey is believed to be one of the healthiest drinks among the alcoholic beverages.
Tonic: The combination of gin and tonic is very useful while treating malarial infection as it contains quinine; which is used for the treatment of malaria.
Brandy: Brandy is one alcoholic drink which is full of healthy antioxidants. It has anti ageing properties; hence is very good for the skin. Brandy also reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the body. It also helps in the treatment of bladder and ovarian cancer as well as sore throats and cough.
Rum: Rum increases life longevity. It is very beneficial for the heart. It also functions as a blood thinner and helps in increasing the level of good cholesterol. Having this wonderful drink occasionally also guards you against osteoporosis and common cold.
19789 people found this helpful

Drinking Water During Meals: Good or Bad?

Masters in Nutritional Therapy, Lifestyle & Weight Management, Sport Nutritions, graduation in Nutrition & Dietics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Drinking Water During Meals: Good or Bad?
Our digestive system is made up of a complex set up of organs, enzymes, secretions and much more. In order to ensure that they all function in tandem with each other so that our digestion works properly, we need to take many measures. Solid food and liquids both go hand in hand when it comes to digesting your food properly. Water is one of the main elements that one must ingest regularly during the day so that the body remains hydrated and the stool also softens. It is also a digestive aid. Yet, there are two varied schools of thought when it comes to drinking water during one s meals. While some people say that it is good, there are others who say that it should not be practiced. So let us find out whether having water during your meals is a good thing or not.

Stomach Acids: If we are to look at water during a meal from the perspective of our stomach acids, then most doctors will tell you that there is no problem in having water with your food. The main doubt here is whether or not the acidic fluid flowing through our stomach may become too diluted with the consumption of water. However, this does not happen. Various medical studies conducted by reliable hospitals and sources under a controlled environment have shown that the stomach s oH balance is not affected by the consumption of water during a meal.
Digestive Process: While the stomach acids may not suffer due to consumption of water during a meal, there are other schools of thought where people refrain from drinking water with food so that better digestion may be achieved. But this is also not entirely true. Digestion is well-known for being a complicated process where many elements need to work together for its proper functioning. This function includes a comfortable and healthy body and state of mind after one has a meal. Therefore, it is more important to have the right kind of food at the right time in a proper environment instead of rushing through one s meals and eating junk all the time.
Constipation and Overeating: Drinking water during the meal can help in curbing constipation as it helps in softening the stool. It also helps in clearing the food from the digestive track in a better and timely manner so that the toxins and stool do not remain there. This is due to the fact that drinking water during meals keeps the digestive track well-lubricated. Also, when you drink water with your meals, you tend to avoid overeating as water fills up substantial portion your stomach. Further, water has important nutrients that can suffice for your nutritional requirements along with food.
18538 people found this helpful

Green Tea - How Having it Right after Your Meal Affects You?

B.Sc.(Hons), P.G.Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Gurgaon
Green Tea - How Having it Right after Your Meal Affects You?
Caffeine is said to be good for the body if it is consumed in limited quantity. It is also to be kept in mind that the form in which it is consumed is also important, and green tea is said to be very good. But what about having green tea very soon after a meal is finished?

There are a lot of health benefits of green tea and as a drink, it has a reputation for being a wonder drink, and quite rightly so, it is to be kept in mind that having the right time to drink green tea is a must. You must avoid consuming just after the meal as there are chemicals, which exist in green tea which are known as phenols. What happens with these phenols if the green tea is taken not long after a meal, is that they can interfere with the absorption of the iron present in the food.

In addition to not drinking green tea at mealtime, or post mealtime, it is perhaps also a good idea to stay away from drinking it when milk and items which are made from milk such as cheese are being consumed. There is a reason why this is the case is that the proteins which exist in milk do not let green tea have its normal effect on the metabolism of the person i.e. raising the metabolism and making the challenge of losing weight a bit easier.

If it is still the case that drinking green tea with or after a meal is a habit, which has no chance at all of being shaken off, then what can be done is that the meals should be changed to an extent to contain a greater amount of iron-rich food. This will go some way in counteracting the effect the phenols have. Apart from just iron-rich food, food that is rich in vitamin C is also to be consumed.

However, that being said, people who are anyway deficient in iron are better off steering clear of green tea consumed after a meal. Instead, what they can do if have it between meals and also at the start of a day. What this will accomplish is that all the benefits of the green tea can be imbibed by the body and none of the nutrition value of the food is lost either. Furthermore, green tea drunk between meals can also reduce the appetite and help weight loss. What could be better? If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

Related Content: Auric mind rejuvenation drink, the magical beverage that calm and energises the mind.

There are a lot of health benefits of green tea and as a drink, it has a reputation for being a wonder drink, and quite rightly so, it is to be kept in mind that having the right time to take green tea is a must. You must avoid consuming just after the meal as there are chemicals, which exist in green tea which are known as phenols. What happens with these phenols if the green tea is taken not long after a meal, is that they can interfere with the absorption of the iron present in the food.
16222 people found this helpful

Fox Nuts (Makhana) - 12 Reasons Why You Should Eat Them!

Masters in Nutritional Therapy, Lifestyle & Weight Management, Sport Nutritions, graduation in Nutrition & Dietics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Fox Nuts (Makhana) - 12 Reasons Why You Should Eat Them!
When we think of a light evening snack, we often think of a packet of fried chips or Kurkure. However, it is time to think of something healthier, as we are already aware of the ill effects of these snacks all around us. This is where snacks like fox nuts are gaining popularity. Grown in the wetlands of Asian countries, they are also known as phool makhana (because of their flowery appearance) and lotus seeds.

They are a great snack and have multiple benefits. Read on to know about this wonderful, economical, tasty, and healthy dish.

They are low in calories, fat, and sodium. They are therefore the perfect in-between-meal snack. They also make you feel full, so further cravings for binge eating are reduced
Their low sodium and high potassium and magnesium content makes them very useful for people with high blood pressure
The high calcium content is good for bone and teeth health
Their sugar content is low, and so are highly useful for diabetics, who have the urge to eat at short intervals
The fox nuts have astringent properties and are useful for kidney ailments
People looking for weight loss should try makhana, as they are very low in calories but can fill the stomach. This helps control hunger pangs and intake of high-calorie foods
It is rich in fiber and so can be used in weight loss as well as for digestion problems like constipation
Fox nuts are rich in antioxidants and therefore useful in fighting ageing and chronic inflammation and stress in the body
In both men and women, makhana is believed to improve fertility rates. The sperm quality and quantity is believed to improve when makhana is consumed
Given its multiple benefits, especially calcium and iron, pregnant women are given makhana. It also helps prevent hypertension and diabetes in the pregnant mother
Fox nuts are believed to help get rid of insomnia
If addiction to coffee is your problem, try some fox nuts to get rid of the addiction
Methods of use:

The seeds are actually tasteless and so whether it is salt or sweet, they take on the added taste
Roast the seeds with a little ghee on a light flame. Sprinkle salt, and the yummy snack is good to go
Other spices like cinnamon or oregano can be added to suit one s taste
They can also be used in sweet dishes like kheer and other desserts
If you are looking for a super snack that is highly healthy, economical, and has little hazards on your health, grab a bowl of fox nuts.
15899 people found this helpful

7 Foods You Should Never Reheat!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Ayurveda
Ayurvedic Doctor, Chalisgaon
7 Foods You Should Never Reheat!
Yummy delicious food definitely has the potential to make you drool and most foods taste best when served hot. Another common habit that most people have is that of reheating the food, before eating. But have you ever given it a thought that it can be a highly unhealthy practice? Yes, you read it right, it is the most unhealthy practice, especially when it comes to certain foods.

A quick list of foods is mentioned below, which should never be reheated :

Mushrooms: Mushrooms can enhance the taste of any dish and it is common that the leftovers are stored aside to be savored the next day. This unknown mistake can cost you dearly. Mushrooms are a rich source of protein. On reheating, some of the proteins break drown, which not only changes the flavor of the food but also produces certain toxins. These toxins can lead to upset stomach and digestive problems. Eating reheated mushroom repeatedly can even result in cardiac problems.
Chicken: Having chicken on this list can be quite a heartbreak, as many people use the cooked chicken for 2-3 days. Again, chicken is another excellent source of protein and reheating it will produce toxins, which can result in health complications such as digestive problems. If you want to stay healthy, avoid reheating the cooked chicken.
Celery and spinach: Spinach and celery are both commonly used in soups and are rich in nitrates. Therefore, when you reheat the soup to make it more palatable, the nitrates present in the ingredients are converted to nitrites. Nitrite is carcinogenic in nature and is actually toxic to the body. Thus, you must never reheat any dish containing celery, spinach and other nitrate-rich foods like turnips, beet, and carrots.
Eggs: Seldom will you find a person who does not like eggs. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, eggs can be consumed as boiled, scrambled or in form of a curry. Like chicken, meat and mushrooms, eggs are an excellent source of proteins, which is a reason enough to include them in your diet. However, reheating egg preparations will destroy all the associated health benefits, as the protein in the egg deteriorates it can lead to digestive problems. The best idea would be to prepare the dish and have it immediately.
Rice: Almost everyone reheats the rice before eating with the belief that having cold rice can cause health problems. This is a misconception that will do you no good. Cooked rice should be eaten immediately. It is believed that uncooked rice contains bacterial spores that often causes food poisoning. When you keep the cooked rice unrefrigerated at room temperature, these spores undergo rapid multiplication. Reheating will do the spores no harm. If you want to store cooked rice, always refrigerate it.
Potatoes: Storing the cooked potatoes at room temperature can act as a catalyst in enhancing the growth of Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium responsible for botulism (a type of food poisoning that can result in flaccid paralysis of muscles). Thus, if you have to consume them at a later stage, its best to refrigerate them and not leave them at room temperature.
Oil: Certain oils such as avocado, grapeseeds, walnut and hazelnut can become smelly with an unpleasant taste when reheated, as these have a low smoke point. Oils when heated above the point of 375 degrees F, they produce a toxin 4-hydroxy-2-trans-nonenal or HNE, which can increase the bad cholesterol i.e LDL, thus increasing the risk of heart diseases.
It is evident that reheating certain foods can be a slow poison to your health, thus avoid reheating foods as much as possible. In case you a concern consult an expert and get your answers.
15188 people found this helpful

Vitamin B12 - How Important It Is For Your Diet?

Diploma in Diet and Nutrition, B.Pharma, MD - Alternate Medicine
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Gurgaon
Vitamin B12 - How Important It Is For Your Diet?
If you are feeling lethargic, it s time that you get sufficient amount of vitamin B12 in your regular diet. Vitamins are wonderful gifts of nature to keep your organs and body healthy and active. Your brain stops functioning properly in case of vitamin B12 deficiency. Not just that, it has a wide range of health benefits. It keeps you moving and energetic in life. In fact, for a healthy life, you must make it an indispensable part of your existence. Most of us often forget to take vitamin rich diet and depend on junk food a lot. This dependency on fast foods leads to vitamin deficiency. According to a report, about 40% Americans are tested with low vitamin B12 levels.

This is not good for a healthy life. Thus, it is advisable that you take care of your diet. But prior to that, you must know why vitamin B12 is so essential. Well, here s all that you get from vitamin B12:

Provides energy: Vitamin B12 is needed for energy supply. It generates energy in your body and takes away lethargy from you. Your cells stay happy and healthy with the intake of vitamin B12. It balances your life by providing you the right amount of energy.
Saves your heart: The cardiovascular system requires vitamin B12 for proper functioning. It removes a harmful protein homocysteine from the bloodstream. This compound can damage arteries and cause inflammatory and heart diseases.
Strengthens your bones: Researchers have found that patients with osteoporosis have greater amounts of homocysteine in the blood. They have lower amounts of vitamin B12 in their bodies. Thus, sufficient intake of vitamin B12 protects bones. They help in calcium absorption and keep bones healthy.
Prevents nerve damage: Vitamin B12 safeguards your nerves by keeping them away from toxins and free and harmful radicals in the bloodstream. They form a covering on the nerves called myelin sheaths. Nerves get damaged completely or partially without these covering.
Keeps you away from depression: It regulates your mood by the production of a chemical called serotonin. Deficiency of vitamin b12 makes you feel lonely, irritated or frustrated always.
Protects health of brain: Researchers believe that Alzheimer s patients have poor B12 levels in the blood. This vitamin helps in protection of nerve cells and their coverings. They also protect the myelin sheaths of brain cells. An adequate amount of vitamin B12 in the body keeps you away from dementia.
14939 people found this helpful

4 White Poisons that We Eat Unknowingly

B.Sc. Food & Nutrition, M.Sc. Food & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
4 White Poisons that We Eat Unknowingly
You might be surprised to know that unknowingly you are consuming poisons in your daily meal. Forget getting nutrients from these items, you end up troubling your health by consuming these food items. White rice, pasteurized cow milk, refined salt and refined sugar are the 4 white poisons, which are not good for your health. As they don t have the right amount of protein, vitamins or minerals to keep your body healthy. Moreover, they increase the risk of developing other diseases like hypertension and diabetes. It has also been found via research that eating white rice increases the risk of diabetes by 17 percent.

Here is why you should stop eating these poisons:

Pasteurized Cow Milk: The only good thing about this milk is that it has a longer life. The process of pasteurization keeps the milk good for a longer period, but harms its nutritive value. It removes enzymes, vitamin A, B 12 and C from the milk. The process also transfers hormones and antibiotics into the milk. Researchers have found that the process also destroys essential and good bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus. Moreover, about 20% of iodine gets removed from the milk and thus after consuming it, you are more likely to develop constipation.
White or Refined Rice: The process of refining rice leads to the removal of the outer layer and germ from it. The rice is left with endosperm, only. This layer contains starch in a huge quantity which can increase your blood sugar or glucose levels to a great extent.
Refined Sugar: White sugar or refined one is full of chemicals. It has no nutritional value. The chemical is derived from sugar cane or beet. Then, the juice of this substance is extracted to get fibre free sugar. The juice is mixed with lime during the refining process. This kills all vitamins present in the juice. Calcium sulphate and sulphuric acid are also used for bleaching of the sugar. This is done to make the sugar look more white than natural.
Refined Salt: Normal table salt contains iodine. This is needed for a healthy body. But refining of salt removes iodine from the salt. Fluorides are added during the process of refining. The fluorides are bad when consumed in excess. Consumption of refined salt also increases blood pressure.
14403 people found this helpful

Feeling Hot! Here's Why You Must Not Drink Cold Water!

MBBS, DNB (General Medicine)
General Physician, Delhi
Feeling Hot! Here's Why You Must Not Drink Cold Water!
It is summer, and that nice, tall drink of iced water is so tempting. But wait! Yes, cold water is refreshing, but have you ever wondered what it does to your body? You may already know that when you wash your face with hot/warm water, it opens up your pores and loosens your skin. On the other hand, washing your face with cold water closes the pores and tightens the skin. Now imagine this tightness in your digestive tract. Feels unpleasant, doesn t it?

Here are more reasons as to why you should avoid drinking cold water:
1. When you drink cold water, or any other chilled beverage, it hinders your hydration, restricts your digestion and shrinks your blood vessels.
2. Drinking cold water changes your body s internal temperature. Your body now uses the energy stored to regulate your temperature instead of digesting food and absorbing nutrients to produce energy.
3. Excessive mucus is created when you drink cold water after a meal. This leads to a decline in the function of your immune system, which makes you prone to catch illnesses and colds.
4. If you drink cold water with a meal or after it, fats in your food become solidified due to the low water temperature. The body now struggles to digest the nonessential fats from your body.

Some people claim that drinking cold water can burn calories better by making your digestive system work harder. However, this is not the correct way to burn calories! You don t need to make your digestive system work harder. There are many other ways to burn calories. So, ditch that glass of cold water. Health experts vehemently agree that warm, or room temperature, water is best for the body.

Some benefits of warm water include:
1. Increased and faster hydration
2. Digestion is improved due to stimulation of natural digestive enzymes
3. Food is broken down with more ease
4. Better bowel movement, especially if you put lemon juice in warm water
5. Blood is purified and your body is naturally detoxified via your lymphatic system, kidney and skin

So the next time you sit down for a meal, grab that glass of room temperature water instead.
13090 people found this helpful

Lemon Water - Did You Know You Were Drinking It The Wrong Way?

Diploma In Diet & Nutrition, Diploma In Dietitics, Health & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Lemon Water - Did You Know You Were Drinking It The Wrong Way?
Lemons are known worldwide for the amazing health benefits they offer. Lemons are indeed a perfect source of so many nutrients like riboflavin, thiamin, magnesium, iron, pantothenic acid, potassium, vitamin B6, etc. And, when it s the combination of lemon and water, it becomes as tasty and refreshing drink as beneficial to one s health. The practice of drinking lemon water is quite common among people as it is not only rich in nutrients, but also very easy to make. But there can be a possibility that you might be drinking it the wrong way and missing the many health benefits of lemon.

The common practice of drinking lemon water
People choose to drink lemon water regularly to enjoy all its benefits. But often, what they misunderstand is the ideal way in which the lemons need to be used in making the lemon water. And as a result, they miss out on a number of health benefits, offered by lemons.

The majority of people simply slice up the lemons, squeeze out the juice from them and then throw the lemon peels right away. And, it is exactly where the whole way of drinking lemon water gets wrong. Because it is the lemon peels that are mostly the nutrient rich parts of the entire lemon fruit.

The proper way in which lemon water should be drank
The best way to drink lemon water in the right way is by adding the peels to it. You must make sure to buy organic lemons that are fresh and seem juicy enough. Wash them properly and cut them into thick or thin slices, as per the preference of one. Then, squeeze the freshly sliced lemons into either hot or cold water. But be certain not to dispose of the peels.

Rather, one needs to grate the peels of the already squashed lemons into the lemon water, to make it filled with all the nutritional values of lemon and also the right way of having a healthy glass of lemon water.
One can also put the rest of the lemon slices aside in a travel cup or mug and fill it up with cold or boiling water to have another healthy cup of lemon water later.

The benefits of having lemon water the right way
When one includes both the juice of the lemons as well as the grated peels in his or her lemon water, the drink becomes the best source of consuming all the nutrients of the entire fruit. Lemon peels are known to contain 5 or 10 times more the vitamins that lemon juice does. As a result of adding all the parts of the lemon to the lemon water, one can receive a boost in the intake of antioxidants, vitamins C and B, volatile oils, and an increase in the resistance power of the body s immunity system.
12527 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, Gorakhpur
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.
12048 people found this helpful