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Top Health Tips on Increasing Attention Span

Happy Republic Day - Daily Habits To Stay Fit Like Soldier!

MBBS, DNB (General Medicine)
General Physician, Delhi
Happy Republic Day - Daily Habits To Stay Fit Like Soldier!
When it comes to being fit, soldiers set the best examples. There are so many habits followed by soldiers that can be incorporated into our daily lives like waking up on time, following a proper meal routine and doing enough physical exercise. We must also try and eliminate all the bad habits like mindless snacking, poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Eliminating such habits will not only keep us fit, but will also help us lead a healthy lifestyle. Here are few habits that you could imbibe to stay fit like a soldier:

Wake up early: A soldier s day begins at dawn. Starting your day early will give you more time to get things done and will eliminate the excuse of not having enough time to exercise.
Maintain a daily schedule: Set a time to wake up, eat, work, exercise, sleep and follow it diligently. This helps you stay physically and mentally fit.
Don t skip breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eat a proper breakfast that will give you enough energy to get you through the day.
Eat on time: Don t delay a meal and maintain regular intervals between each meal. This helps stabilize your metabolism and helps prevent unnecessary weight gain.
Eat a balanced diet: Skipping out on carbs may help you lose a little weight temporarily but will not keep you healthy. Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins and milk.
Spend time outdoors: If you can t exercise outdoors, walk to and from office or while grocery shopping to give yourself a chance to breathe in the open.
Avoid junk food: Avoid all kinds of processed foods. These foods have very low nutritional value but high-fat content. Instead, snack on fruits or nuts between meals.
Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol not only harms your body but can interfere with your schedule as well. Excessive drinking can keep you from waking up early the next day and throw your entire day off schedule.
Get adequate sleep: You should ideally get 8 hours of sleep so if you re going to wake up early, go to bed early as well. Drinking a warm glass or milk or chamomile tea can help you get a restful sleep.
Make exercise a part of your daily schedule: Along with work, exercise needs to be made a priority as well. The best time to exercise is early in the morning before starting with the day s work.
Mix it up: Make exercise fun by mixing up your exercise routines. If you go for a run on one day, go swimming the next or hit the gym.
Drink plenty of water: Stay hydrated to ensure that your body can absorb nutrients well and to optimize your circulatory system.
Play a sport: Playing a sport is not only a way to exercise but also boosts your mental health.
11594 people found this helpful

Ashwagandha - The Magical Herb!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Valsad
Ashwagandha - The Magical Herb!
Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful Ayurvedic herbs and is commonly known as the Indian ginseng. Ashwagandha can be loosely translated to mean the strength of ten horses . It can be used to treat a number of diseases, relieve stress and fatigue, helps heal injuries and may also be used as an aphrodisiac and can help prevent male infertility.

Ashwagandha helps rejuvenate the body: This herb not only calms a person down, but also restores the balance of their body. Hence, it is also known as rayasana or a herb that rejuvenates. Ashwagandha stimulates the immune system and boosts the production of white blood cells thereby, elevating levels of antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. The effects of this herb on a person s nervous system and endocrine system can also harmonise the body, mind and spirit.
It increases positivity: Stress and anxiety can lead to negative thinking and ultimately to depression. By fighting stress Ashwagandha helps negate these problems and instead boosts positive thinking. It may also be used to treat depression itself.
It helps regenerate nerve cells: Along with diseases such as asthmatic bronchitis, emphysema and gynaecological disorders, Ashwagandha can also be used to treat neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson s disease or Alzheimer s. It helps regenerate nerve cells and dendrite growth and even improves communication between nerve cells. This stimulates the body s ability to heal any damage to the nervous system.
It enhances memory and treats insomnia: Ashwagandha is one of the best Ayurvedic remedies to treat insomnia. It not only helps you fall asleep faster but can also improve your sleep quality. A restful sleep increases a person s ability to concentrate and prevents drowsiness through the day. Ashwagandha also increases the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. This has a direct effect on boosting memory and elevating brain functioning and intelligence. Ashwagandha also increases the production of nitric oxide that helps regulate blood flow and blood pressure thus elevating the brain s oxygen levels.
It boosts libido: Ashwagandha helps optimise the functioning of the thyroid and adrenal glands and helps deal with both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Similarly, this Ayurvedic herb also benefits the adrenal glands and thus influences the overall mental and physical health of a person. The functioning of the thyroid and adrenal glands have a direct effect on a person s sexual health and libido. Thus by enhancing the functioning of these glands, Ashwagandha improves sexual health and boosts libido. The nitric oxide produced by Ashwagandha also helps improve fertility.
11172 people found this helpful

Re-Boiling Water - 5 Reasons It Is A Big 'No'!

MBBS, MD - Aerospace Medicine, Eular Certification in Rheumatology
General Physician, Pune
Re-Boiling Water - 5 Reasons It Is A Big 'No'!
Boiling water is considered to be one of the best methods of removing impurities present and making it fit for consumption. We all believe in boiling water before consuming it in any form, whether it is for drinking or to make a cup of tea, soup or any other hot beverage. But have you ever thought about the leftover boiled water? What do you do with it? Do you just throw it away or can you re-boil it and use it for making tea or soups?

Experts are now warning about the dangers of re-boiling water. Here s why you should try and avoid using re-boiled water. As with all liquids when you keep boiling it the liquid gets more concentrated. Therefore re-boiling the same amount of water can make it more concentrated or increase the amount of dissolved salts in it. The harmful effects of re-boiling water are listed below:

Nitrates: Nitrate salts dissolved in water are usually not harmful but over boiling or re-boiling the same amount of water can cause the nitrates to become a toxin, nitrosamine which is known to cause diseases such as cancer, leukaemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Arsenic: Re-boiling water can increase the amount of dissolved arsenic in the water. Arsenic in small amounts in water is not harmful and in increased amounts can cause conditions such as cancer, infertility, heart attacks and mental disorder. Prolonged consumption of water with the high amount of arsenic can cause damage to the circulatory system and skin damage.
Fluoride: The consumption of increased amounts of fluoride dissolved in water can increase your risk of bone disorders such as fractures, tenderness, and pain. In children below 8 years of age excess fluoride can cause damage to teeth and tooth enamel.
Calcium: Calcium is good for our teeth and bones but re-boiling water increases the dissolved amount of calcium which can cause kidney stones and gall stones.
Change in water chemistry: Boiling water will get rid or reduce the amount of dissolved gases and volatile compounds in it. This would not only affect the taste but could also increase the concentration of unwanted chemicals and impurities in the water.
Due to the above listed harmful effects of re-boiled water, it is recommended that re-boiled water should not be used to make formula for babies. Studies have also shown that using re-boiled water to make a cup of tea can affect its taste. This is because the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water reduces when you boil it. Filling your vessel or kettle with just the right amount of water as required will not only be beneficial for your health in the long run but would help in preventing and conserving this precious resource.
10133 people found this helpful

Zinc - 7 Reasons Why It Is Important For You!

Diploma in Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Hyderabad
Zinc - 7 Reasons Why It Is Important For You!
Zinc is chemically a metal and a trace mineral with multiple health benefits. It is required by the body for a number of functions in small quantities on a regular basis. Some of its important roles include improving immunity, hormone production and promoting digestion, controlling inflammation, tissue growth and repair, etc. to name a few. It also helps in controlling free radical production and therefore has anti-inflammatory effects in reversing heart disease and fighting cancer.

About 5 to 8 mg of zinc is needed by a person per day, with smaller children needing it in the lesser range and women needing more of it. Natural sources of zinc include animal rich protein foods like animal meat and seafood. Dairy products, legumes, pulses and whole grains also contain good amounts of zinc. Modern-day foods contain added zinc and therefore are good sources too, though their availability and utility value for the body remain a question.

Zinc improves immunity i.e. the body produces T-cells when there is an infection or foreign body. These T cells also help in controlling and regulating immune responses and in people with zinc deficiency, the immune system is suppressed putting them at risk for infections and illnesses.
Zinc has a great role in maintaining skin integrity: Delayed wound healing is one of the first symptoms of zinc deficiency. People could also develop chronic ulcers or wounds. There is increased bacterial growth (reduced immunity), increased inflammation, and reduced re-epithelialization, all leading to poor skin health and delaying wound healing.
Zinc is essential for healthy gut function and it is one of the best remedies for diarrhoea. Deficiency can lead to leaky gut syndrome.
Zinc reduces free radical damage, which is responsible for chronic inflammation. Including an adequate amount of zinc in diet can reduce this inflammation, leading to preventing heart disease, reducing the incidence of cancer, etc. It also is shown to prevent cellular damage in the retina, thereby reducing the incidence of macular degeneration.
Zinc is essential for proper growth and development. Zinc deficiency is shown to produce shorter stature, anaemia, and delayed sexual maturation. During the growing years especially, it is very important to provide an adequate amount of zinc for the body, either naturally or through supplements.
Fertility and zinc also has a strong correlation. In males, it affects both the quantity and quality of sperm production. The sperm count was shown to improve with zinc supplementation in males who complained of low sperm count.
Controlling memory is another function of zinc. It determines how neurones talk to each other, which is essential for transmission of signals across the brain and formation of memory. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
9666 people found this helpful

Vitamin K - Facts You Never Knew About It!

Diploma in Diet,Health & Nutritions
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Vitamin K - Facts You Never Knew About It!
Vitamins are essential micronutrients which the body requires, though in small amounts, for optimal health. These chemicals play a crucial role in keeping our body healthy and disease free.One such vitamin is vitamin K, which is essential for optimal blood clotting process, and also has multiple other benefits. More details about the functions, benefits and sources are listed below.

Functions/Benefits:

Vitamin K is actually a group of vitamins and has K1, K2, and K3. The functions and benefits accordingly will depend on the actual chemical being referred to.
These are fat soluble vitamins and therefore absorption is better when something fatty is eaten along with it
Vitamin K1 or phyloquilline reaches the liver and is essential for blood clotting. Reduced levels of vitamin K can lead to uncontrolled bleeding, but this is very rare in adults. Newborns can have this problem, and therefore, it is common to give them a one shot of vitamin K injection.
Vitamin K2 is produced by gut bacteria and reaches blood vessel walls and bones. It prevents hardening and calcification of arteries, which is the main cause of heart disease.
It helps in improving calcium and other mineral concentration in the bones and makes the matrix strong. It can be used in osteoporosis to reverse and control bone loss. It can also be used to heal fractured bones.
It slows the growth of cancer cells and can be used to stabilise cancer. It has been shown to improve multiple forms including hepatocellular, prostate, colon, and oral cancer.
It is beneficial in controlling Alzheimer s disease and improves memory loss in ageing people
It improves insulin action and therefore prolongs onset of type 2 diabetes
It has been shown to have antioxidant properties (as most other vitamins) and also helps in reducing toxin buildup
It is good for skin health and can help control bruising and dermatitis
Sources:
Vitamin K is found naturally in many foods and the daily dose required for an adult is about 120 to 150 mcg/day. Therefore supplementation is usually not required.
Leafy green vegetables including spinach, okra, cabbage, beans broccoli, and asparagus

Fermented foods like yoghurt
Soybean in all forms including medium cooked as well and Japanese diet uses boiled, fermented soybean called natto, which contains tremendous amount of vitamin K
Nuts, such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, are a good source
Strawberries, grapes, prunes, and apples
Seafood such as salmon and shrimp contain good amount to control heart attack and stroke.
Meat (duck, beef, chicken, and lamb)
Supplements are to be avoided, especially in pregnant and/or nursing mothers and people with a history of stroke, heart disease, heart attack and blood clotting problems.
9601 people found this helpful

6 Amazing Health Benefits of Almond Oil - Try Now

BAMS, MD, Panchakrma
Ayurvedic Doctor, Nashik
6 Amazing Health Benefits of Almond Oil - Try Now
Do you have vague memories of your childhood where your mother used to run behind you with a glass of milk and a few almonds soaked in it? You might have cribbed about them, but all this while you might not have been aware that you were running away from one of the most powerful house of essential minerals. Such is the health benefits of almonds that it has its own fan following across the globe. It is a boon and a blessing for your well-being. Let us have an overview of it.

Health benefits Of almond oil

The health benefits are not just limited to the nuts. Almond oil too can supply a massive amount of benefits when included in our diet regularly. Though a bit expensive, a regular intake can keep many of the complications at bay. Here s why:

Controls heart ailments: Almond oil is enriched with monounsaturated fatty acids. They boost the health of your heart and can curb cardiovascular diseases. A regular intake can reduce the chance of a stroke by a large margin.
Regulates blood pressure and controls cholesterol level: Almond oil regulates blood pressure and can help in maintaining the cholesterol levels of your body. In many countries, almond oil is slowly changing the culinary landscape and the way we use the food ingredients.
Strengthens nervous system: Almond oil is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and also contains a robust measure of potassium. They nourish your nervous system and directly boost your memory. You can mix a few drops of almond oil to a glass of milk before you hit the bed for the best results.
Helps in bone development: Almonds are a great source of vitamin D, calcium and potassium. Needless to say, this can be very beneficial for strengthening your bones. Simply massage few drops of almond oil to your bones and joints and in many cases, you can get rid of arthritis.
Relieves stress and pain: Almond oil also has therapeutic properties, and can help in easing the pain and stress from strained muscles. You can heat a few tablespoons of almond oil and can directly massage into the affected area once it becomes warm. Doing this regularly can increase the strength of your muscles and can be a great muscle relaxant too.
Can promote the health of nails: Brittle nails are one of the common problems that everyone faces. Almond oil can take care of this trouble easily. For healthy and strong nails, massage them with a few drops of almond oil daily. They have a strong presence of potassium and zinc and they, in turn, hydrate your nails and keep them strong and healthy.
It controls heart diseases.
It reduces the chances of stroke.
It regulates the blood pressure.
It gives strength to the nervous system.
It will help in bone development.
It promotes the growth of nails.
It promotes the health of nails.
It increases the memory power.
It gives strengths to brain tissue.
Apart from the abovementioned benefits, Almonds are useful in a number of ways, they improve your memory power, improves hair growth, is good for your brain tissues. Almonds are a powerhouse in their own right, therefore, you must eat them.
8198 people found this helpful

Herbs & Spices - 6 Of These Are A Must In Your Kitchen!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Kanpur
Herbs & Spices - 6 Of These Are A Must In Your Kitchen!
The use of herbs and spices has been important through the course of history. Modern scientific research has shown that many herbs and spices offer various health benefits and are known for their medicinal properties even before they were used for cooking.

Cinnamon: Helps in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is widely used in various types of culinary creations, particularly baked goods. Cinnamon is rich in a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which endows the herb with its medicinal properties. This spice contains the highest level of antioxidants than other spices, which helps in fighting inflammation and has been proved to lower down levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood. Many studies have also shown that cinnamon can lower down your blood sugar level by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates as well as improving insulin sensitivity.
Sage: Helps in improving memory and brain functions. The name sage is derived from the Latin word Salvere, meaning to save. In recent times, several researches have been conducted that show the efficacy of sage in improving functions of the brain and memory, particularly in individuals who are suffering from Alzheimer s disease. Other studies have indicated that sage can improve the function of the brain, both in young and old.
Peppermint: Aids in reducing nausea. Peppermint is well known for its medicinal usage, which makes it a critical component of aromatherapy. Many studies have shown that use of peppermint oil helps in alleviating the pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome. There are some studies that indicate peppermint can also help in fighting the problem of nausea among women in labour.
Turmeric: Endowed with anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is a popular spice that is used for giving the yellow colour to the curry, but it also contains several medicinal properties. Turmeric is rich in curcumin content, which is an anti-oxidant that not only helps in preventing damage from oxidation, but also boosts the body s own antioxidant enzymes. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can match to that of many anti-inflammatory drugs.
Holy basil: Helps in fighting infection. Basil, one of the sacred herbs in India, is known for inhibiting the growth of numerous bacteria, molds and yeasts. It can also reduce the blood sugar levels, both before and after meals. Holy basil also aids in fighting anxiety and depression.
Cayenne pepper: Aids in controlling appetite. Those individuals who are looking to lose weight can use the cayenne pepper as it not only helps in controlling appetite, but also increases the amount of fat burned. This is the primary reason why it has been included in many commercial weight loss supplements. Some animal studies have indicated that the capsaicin content in cayenne pepper also helps in fighting liver, lung and even prostate cancer.
All the herbs and spices come from different parts of the plants such as flowers, fruits, barks, seeds, leaves, and roots as well. These essential parts of the plant not only make the dishes taste better, but also aid in preserving them for a longer span of time.
7857 people found this helpful

Apple Cider Vinegar - How Does It Benefit You?

Masters in Dietetics and Food Service Management
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Jammu
Apple Cider Vinegar - How Does It Benefit You?
We often wander around, spending huge amounts to look for solutions to our health problems. We rarely realize that we can find them in our own house in the simplest forms. Apple Cider Vinegar is one such ingredient that can be your rescuer from some of the most common and long-lasting health issues that we face today:



Keeps blood sugar in control - Studies show that people who suffer from type 2 diabetes and do not consume insulin can have lower glucose levels in the morning if they take two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar before bed. Some studies also reveal that consumption of a mixture of this vinegar and water before having a carbohydrate-rich meal can lower sugar levels.

Helps in weight loss - The acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar controls the appetite and in turn increases the metabolism of your body. Studies also state that the vinegar reacts with the body's process of digesting starch which ensures that not many calories enter the bloodstream.

Relieves you from a blocked nose - The potassium content in the vinegar helps to thin the mucus and the acetic acid in it kills the bacteria which causes the blockage. Consuming one teaspoon of the vinegar in a glass of water can be your way out from the sinus drainage.

Whitens Teeth - Apple cider vinegar would do magic if you have yellow and stained teeth. Before you brush your teeth, all you have to do is gargle your mouth with the vinegar. It helps by killing the germs in your mouth and also eliminates the stains on the teeth, thus making them look whiter.

Helps fight dandruff - The acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar makes it a tough for yeast-causing dandruff to grow. Mix a cup of vinegar in equal quantity of water and spray it on the scalp. Wrap a wet towel onto your head and leave it on for a minimum of 15 minutes before you wash off your hair.

Reduces Cholesterol - It is believed that apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps reduce bad cholesterol. Although most researches are carried out on rats and cannot be completely reliable when it comes to humans, some Japanese studies show that half an ounce of this vinegar each day resulted in lower cholesterol levels in people.
All in all, apple cider vinegar may not prove to be a complete cure to your health problems, but as they say, precaution is better than cure.
7633 people found this helpful

Unpeeled Apples - 6 Reasons They Are Really Good For You!

PG Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics, M.Sc.in Food & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Ghaziabad
Unpeeled Apples - 6 Reasons They Are Really Good For You!
The famous adage an apple a day keeps the doctor away has given apples a lot of popularity. If you are visiting someone who is ill, the safest fruit to take would be apples. It is also one of the first foods to be given to an infant. It is also known for its soothing effect on the stomach. Be it weight watchers or recovering patients, apple is what everybody reaches out to.

People, however, have developed a misconception that the peel of the apple contains chemicals and should be peeled off before consumption. Not many realize that the maximum benefits of an apple are realized only when it is eaten with the peel.

Read on to know more about eating a whole apple versus a peeled one.

Fiber: If fruits are known for their fiber, then peeling the apple takes away more than half the fiber content from it. An apple with peel gives about 4 g of fiber, while without it gives about 1.5 to 2 g. That is almost 50%, which definitely is not worth throwing out.
Vitamins and minerals: Apples are considered good sources of potassium and vitamins like C and A. Same as fiber, more than half the benefits are lost if the peel is removed. Since potassium goes a long way in keeping the heart healthy, wouldn't it be great to reap those benefits?
Cancer-fighting agent: Apples contain triterpenoids, which are believed to either kill or control the growth of cancer cells. These again are concentrated in the peel, and peeling an apple takes away this benefit.
Fat burner: The skin of the apple contains ursolic acid, which helps in fighting obesity by burning more fat, and peeling it takes away the fat-burning benefits of an apple. This also helps in improving sugar and glucose levels and also aids weight loss.
Antioxidants: Apples contain a compound called quercetin which helps in controlling memory loss and dementia. This again is concentrated in the skin, which should, therefore, be retained. The bioactive substances including polyphenols and pectins are also lost when the peel is removed.
Eases breathing: The same quercetin also helps in easing breathing and improves lung function. This is especially important in people who have chronic lung issues like asthma.
One point of contention here is that most people peel the apple as it is not healthy and full of wax coating which gives it a fresh look. Organic apples are therefore preferred compared to the glossy ones. Further, you can dip your fruits in drinking water for 15-20 minutes to enjoy it without worrying about superficial add-on chemicals. When nicely washed, these apples are devoid of wax and also pack in all the required nutrients.

Quick tip for festivals

Try to have a fruit smoothie made especially from unpeeled apple with little curd water and honey, avoid banana. It is a perfect way to boost your energy during festivities while keeping your calories in check. So, go ahead and eat them to your heart s content. Remember to keep the peel on though! If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.
7592 people found this helpful

Drinking Red Wine Is Equal To Gymming - Is It Too Good To Be True?

MSc - Food and Applied Nutrition, Ph.D, Aroma Therapist
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Ghaziabad
Drinking Red Wine Is Equal To Gymming - Is It Too Good To Be True?
All wine lovers, behold. A recent study has found that red wine contains a compound called resveratrol which has similar health benefits of exercising or gymming. However, before you give up gymming and turn to a wine cellar, let s delve deeper into this.

The actual study involved a control group of rats which were supplemented with resveratrol. The rats were then forced to run on a treadmill for days. The results showed that rats who had consumed resveratrol ran faster and longer than rats who did not have resveratrol. The rats that were induced with resveratrol had greater energy and glucose levels.

The health benefits of red wine are well known to all slimming your waist line, protecting against dementia and cancer, anti-aging, effective mouthwash and more. And now added to these benefits, red wine is also proven to boost heart rate, thereby increasing our ability to physically exert more. Even though it is an alcoholic beverage, red wine indeed is an elixir when consumed in moderation.

But, before you jump on the bandwagon, below are outline some important conclusions of the recent study conducted:

Conclusions of the Study at a Glance

The study was done on animals and it can be debatable if it can apply to humans as well. It is not really sure if animal studies can actually predict human reactions.
The rats were supplemented with huge doses of resveratrol equivalent to one full bottle of red wine. Consuming a whole bottle of red wine will add to more sugar and calories and outweigh the weight loss benefits of red wine.
Resveratrol can also be found in grapes. So, rather than gulping down a whole bottle of red wine, why not try a bowl of red grapes? This might be a more healthy way to consume resveratrol and enjoy its proven benefits.
Resveratrol can help patients who are physically incapable of doing exercises. This magical compound, if supplemented in the right way can mimic exercise for such people and provide benefits for them.
As the old saying goes, if something is too good to be true, then it probably is. The health benefits of red wine are abundant, but when it comes down to this study it is really not clear if does it really provide its proven benefits.

This study tends to focus more on people who are unable to get their workout done due to physical inabilities. If you are able to physically work out well, then go for it! There is nothing close to the real benefits of working out.
7021 people found this helpful