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Top Health Tips on Living with Alzheimer's and Dementia

Ashwagandha - The Magical Herb!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, 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.
10646 people found this helpful

Healthy Brain - 5 Herbs For It!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Delhi
Healthy Brain - 5 Herbs For It!
While many of us may associate healthy food with a healthy body, it is also true that healthy food can support a healthy brain. As we start to grow old, there is something known as oxidative damage which can lead to memory impairment and general brain decline. A healthy brain is one where the brain function is at an appropriate level and the aging process has been pushed back in terms of stellar memory and information processing. According to Ayurveda and other arms of medical science, there are a number of super foods that can help in this process. Here is a list of five foods that can lead to a healthier brain.

1. Brahmi: This is one of the most commonly used Ayurvedic herbs. It can be used for many ailments and it also prescribed as a brain tonic for stronger memory. Besides making the memory clear and sharp, this ingredient can improve the brain s grasping power and the mental capacity of the brain. It is also an excellent anti-anxiety agent, as per Ayurvedic science.

2. Ginkgo Biloba: This herb promotes better blood circulation in the brain, which helps in improving the overall brain function. It is also a memory enhancer. This herb is used by Ayurvedic doctors for the treatment of Alzheimer s Disease and Amnesia. It is a good medicine that can repair the damaged cells of the brain.

3. Ashwagandha: This is also known as an Ayurvedic wonder herb. This herb contains many beneficial properties for the brain and the rest of the body. When it comes to the brain and its functioning, Ashwagandha is ideal for patients who are suffering from severe stress. Besides being a stress reliever, this herb can also be used to keep the brain in a calm state for better performance. It helps in improving the functioning of the brain and its complex nerves. This herb is also a good memory enhancer.

4. Gotu Kola: Gotu Kola is a well-known Ayurvedic herb that can be used for protecting the nerves from damage. It protects the brain cells as well. Also, it enhances the capacity of the brain and leads to improved performance thanks to the many vital elements that it carries.

5. Mulethi: This is a stress relieving herb used by Ayurvedic doctors. It improves the blood circulation in the nervous system, which gives rise to better brain function. This is a very good herb for children and students, as it is a memory booster which helps them in retaining and retrieving information. It is also a stress relieving medicine that can be used to keep the brain calm and cool even in the most challenging situation.
9659 people found this helpful

Peanut Butter - 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Must Have it

Bachelors Of Physiotherapy, Diploma in Nutrition and Health Education
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Gurgaon
Peanut Butter -  10 Surprising Reasons Why You Must Have it
If you are hungry at a time that is well past your bedtime, a dollop of peanut butter spread on crackers makes for a handsome little meal. Researchers suggest that if you can control your intake, peanut butter is actually helpful for your health.


The benefits of peanut butter are as follows:
Peanut butter contains a fairly large amount of unsaturated fats. The consumption of a moderate amount of peanut butter regularly keeps your heart in good shape.
Peanut butter has high potassium content. Consumption of a moderate amount of peanut butter is useful to combat the ill effects of the harmful sodium content, which is abundant in most of the foods you eat on a daily basis. Potassium also helps in the growth and damage repair of the body muscles while aiding clotting of the blood vessels.
Peanut butter is also a rich source of antioxidants, magnesium and fibres (which regulate the body function) all of which make peanut butter a rare combination of taste and health.
Peanut Butter also contains a rich amount of protein. A serving of 2 table-spoons of peanut butter contains roughly 7 grams of protein.
A moderate consumption of peanut butter might also help in providing energy for a sustained period, as it contain fats and proteins from which the required calorie intake is fulfilled.
Consuming controlled amount of peanut butter might reduce your chances of suffering from diabetes; cutting the risks by about a whopping 30 percent.
Peanut butter contains a fair amount of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is very helpful in protecting your body against toxic materials. It is also helpful in preventing you against cataract and Alzheimer s disease.
For women suffering from premenstrual syndrome, intake of peanut butter helps regulate the symptoms.
Peanut butter also helps to keep you full for a long time as it contains sufficient amount of protein and fibre. This is also effective in initiating weight loss.
Peanut butter also contains trace amount of zinc that helps in the development of the body s immune system.
8519 people found this helpful

10 Bad Habits That Are Killing You Slowly!

DOMS, MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
10 Bad Habits That Are Killing You Slowly!
Most of the time people are not even aware of the bad habits which can harm their health in several ways. However, we do them persistently without realizing that these habits are actually harming our health and can lead to problems like heart diseases, sleep or eating disorders, stress, etc.

Here are 10 of those bad habits.

Smoking cigarettes and nicotine addiction: Everybody knows that cigarettes cause cancer, especially when smoked excessively. Very few people know that nicotine also can lead to shrinking of brain and diseases like Alzheimer's. Therefore, one must quit this bad habit right away.
Skipping the most important meal of the day: These days, all of us lead a busy lifestyle which involves skipping breakfast or lunch on a daily basis. Incidentally, many people are not aware of the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and one should not skip it at any cost.
Eating without being hungry and overeating: Just as you should not skip the important meals in a day, overeating is bad as well. There are many of us who love food and are habituated with eating while watching or reading something. Very soon, this habit of overeating can make them obese or popularly known as couch potato.
Extremely bad food habits: Quite often, we prefer to include only those kinds of food items which we love. On the contrary, one should follow a healthy and balanced diet including carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin, minerals and water, as per individual body demands.
Skipping exercise and leading an inactive life: Having a balanced diet is not enough, if you want a healthy body and mind. There is no alternative to physical fitness and exercises. Being physically inactive can lead to heart diseases, cholesterol problems, arthritis, obesity, etc.
Sleeping disorders: A person must have seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep to maintain the proper sleep cycle. The sleeping disorder can cause severe health problems.
Watching television or using mobile before going to bed: To get a relaxed sleep, you need to quit the habit of watching any video, television series, movies, playing with mobile phones. Our minds tend to reminiscent of those videos, and that can disrupt our sleep. Instead, you can read a bit.
Excessive consumption of alcohol: An inordinate amount of alcohol in our body might make us excited, and that is not good when you are going to drive or sleep. Always keep a check on your alcohol consumption.
Stress and fatigue: Taking stress can cause us fatigue, sleeping and eating disorders, etc. Therefore, you need to learn how to manage stress o maintain a balance between your private and work life.
Not relaxing or enjoying your leisure: Since we live in a stressful environment, we need to value recreation. Overworking can cause severe stress and psychological problems. Avoid that by doing whatever you like, such as, reading, traveling, etc.
Get rid of these bad habits which can cause harm to your health and start enjoying a healthy and happy life.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
7985 people found this helpful

Magnesium Deficiency - How it Affects Your Body?

PG Diploma Nutrition & Dietetics, B.Sc - Home Science
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Magnesium Deficiency - How it Affects Your Body?
We all know about magnesium as a mineral, but what most individuals do not know is the fact that it is a very important mineral for our bodily health. Magnesium is involved with more or less 300 complex metabolic processes in our body, thus earning the title of master mineral .

Here is a list of reasons why magnesium holds an important place in our body.

It is responsible for transportation of calcium across cell membranes. As such, it helps calcium get into the bone matter. Like we all know, magnesium is anti-inflammatory. It helps in waiving conditions mentioned below:

Arthritis
Alzheimer s disease
High blood pressure
Respiratory issues
Diabetes
So magnesium deficiency can definitely cause numerous problems in the human body. This element works in our body at a cellular level. It is important to have a check up done with the doctor to ensure the magnesium level, however, a simple a blood test cannot determine the presence or absence of it. Here are a few signs that might suggest that an individual is suffering from magnesium deficiency.

A lot of calcium deficiency which means brittle bones
Very poor heart health
A lot of unnecessary weakness
Very frequent muscle cramps at unusual situations
Tremors, nausea and unnecessary anxiety
High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
Difficulty in swallowing the food
Poor memory
Lots and lots of useless confusion
Although individuals with magnesium deficiency suffer from these symptoms, it is not necessary that any individual suffering from such symptoms might have magnesium deficiency. So, the only way to improve magnesium amount in the body is by changing your diet and including magnesium rich foods or my supplementing your food with magnesium-based food products.

Magnesium overdose is close to impossible and so many would not check their magnesium intake. However, consuming too much of anything can never be a good idea. Excessive magnesium intake might end up causing the following issues:

Irregular heartbeats in individuals
Slow breathing
Diarrhoea
This excess amount of magnesium in the body might be due to the fact that not all supplements can be easily absorbed by the body. So it is a better idea to eat inexpensive food to keep the magnesium levels at par with the bodily requirements.

Here is a list of items that can relieve the deficiency symptoms of low magnesium.

Seeds of pumpkin
Seeds of sun flower
Soya bean
Black beans
Sesame seeds
Almond
Spinach and many more
7581 people found this helpful

Know How Brain Health Can be Improved With Vitamin B

MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
General Physician, Bangalore
Know How Brain Health Can be Improved With Vitamin B
A vitamin is an organic compound, which is required by the human body in appropriate amounts to ensure the proper and healthy functioning of the various body parts. These vitamins help you in being healthy and maintaining an optimum level of brain activity. The deficiency of the same can cause you to have various health issues and illnesses.

B Vitamins are of various subtypes, and they are collectively known as B-Complex Vitamins. These vitamins are medically proven to relieve stress and boost up your energy levels. They also fight depression, restrict brain ageing and help you to live a longer life. Here's how B vitamins help in keeping your brain healthy.

Prevent mental decline: The three vitamin B types that help to avoid a mental decline are: B6, B12, and B9 (Folic Acid). Additionally, these 3 vitamins also prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Act as dopamine boosters: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter inside the brain that that boosts productivity, motivation and focus among human beings. This helps to ensure your mental well-being keep you mentally happy. B vitamins enhance your brain health by facilitating an increase in dopamine levels.
Lets you avoid mental disorders: The lack of Vitamin B12 leads to certain mental disorders like- dementia, brain atrophy, brain shrinkage, depression, and schizophrenia. You can avoid this condition by taking Vitamin B12 supplements.
Sharpen memory: In case you have a short term memory or face other memory problems, various forms of B vitamins supplements will help you to regain the optimal state of mind.
7117 people found this helpful

Coffee - Is that Second Cup Really Good For You?

Registered Dietician, Post Graduate Diploma In Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Coffee - Is that Second Cup Really Good For You?
Most of us wake up to a cup of hot coffee every morning. Coffee is like an indispensable part of most of our lives. But, there has been a lot of debate regarding the effect of coffee on human health. While some believe that coffee is a performance booster and prevents against certain diseases, others express doubt on the goodness of caffeine in coffee. Rather, the presence of caffeine keeps a lot of us worried about the adverse effects of coffee.

But, one needs to keep in mind that coffee is a complex beverage. It has both its pros and cons. One needs to know all about coffee before ordering the second cup for himself or herself. Reasons for having that second cup of coffee:

Coffee activates your system: It contains caffeine that increases the level of adrenaline hormone in your body. This hormone is responsible for getting you ready for fighting against odds or physical tasks.
Coffee checks your body weight: It contains minerals like magnesium and potassium. These minerals maintain the insulin level in your body. Therefore, by drinking coffee, your appetite for quick snacks gets killed. However, the sugar levels stay intact. It also burns fat.
Protection against cancer: A recent study claimed that coffee can provide protection against cancer. It is said to have the potential to reduce the chances of having prostate cancer in men and endometrial cancer in women.
Guard against other serious diseases: Coffee is believed to provide prevention against some serious diseases Type II diabetes, Parkinson s disease, Alzheimer disease and stroke. It contains antioxidants that boost body s immune system. Caffeine can lower one s sensitivity towards insulin and provides impairment to glucose tolerance, reducing chances of developing Type II diabetes.
Reasons for not having that second cup of coffee:

Toxic: Coffee has the possibility of being toxic. It can be adulterate with a lot of harmful impurities. The cheaper and poor quality coffee can prove to be highly toxic sometimes.
Don t overdrink: Coffee can prove very harmful and even lethal, if taken in larger quantities. It has the potential to kill an individual, if 80-100 cups are consumed in a shorter session.
It gives sleeplessness: Coffee can turn you into an insomniac, if consumed in larger amounts.
Conclusion
Nothing is good, if overdone or overused. The same goes for coffee as well. It is good for your health if taken in small amounts at measured intervals. You can definitely order the second cup of coffee for yourself, provided you keep a check on the number of cups you have consumed in the entire day. A sensible individual will drink less, but drink regularly to get blessed with the goodness of coffee beans. An irresponsible drinker will just get addicted to see the worst in future.
6774 people found this helpful

Healthy Brain - 7 Essential Foods For it

Post Graduate Diploma in Holistic Healthcare, PG Diploma Clinical research, Diploma in Medical Writing, MSc Biotechnology
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
Healthy Brain - 7 Essential Foods For it
Having a healthy brain is equally important as is staying physically fit. Good mental health is absolutely essential. Apart from regular exercises there are certain foods also which can help you to maintain good mental health.Below mentioned are few foods, essential for having a healthy brain:

Include Fish in your Diet: If you are a non- vegetarian then include oily fishes like salmon , sardines in your diet. These fishes are replete with omega -3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. All these are essential for the brain to function efficiently.
Munch on Nuts: Nuts are rich sources of Vitamin E. Vitamin E can help you prevent your brain from Alzheimer's disease. Nuts are also beneficial for elderly people and can help them combat the problem of memory loss.
Keep Preparations with Green Leafy Vegetables on your Menu: Vegetables like cabbage; broccoli is abundant in anti-oxidants. Broccoli is also a good supplement for Vitamin K. These help to develop your memory and also keep brain diseases like Alzheimer's, Dementia at bay.
Have a Sweet Tooth for Blueberries: This fruit is rich in anti oxidants, vitamin C and K. It helps to deal with problems like memory loss, Alzheimer's and Dementia.
Add Eggs to your Breakfast Menu: Eggs are rich in choline and also protein. It acts as a very good food for developing a healthy brain.
Get Addicted to Avocadoes: Avocadoes help to tackle problems like hypertension, blood pressure and also help in smooth flowing of blood. They also contain Vitamin K and C which help in memory development.
Go for Whole Grains: Whole grains like wheat flour, flour, oatmeal provide energy to your brain. They supply glucose and are thus considered to be very good brain foods.
The above mentioned foods are easily available and can help you to develop a healthy brain.
5718 people found this helpful

Heartburn Drugs - Are They Safe?

MBBS, Diploma in Public Health ( Preventive and Social Medicine)
General Physician, Navi Mumbai
Heartburn Drugs - Are They Safe?
If you check the recent scientific studies, then you will come to know that PPI drugs are treated as the popular medicines to treat heartburn troubles, but as the side-effect, you will face acute cognitive troubles. Your mental condition might get affected in various ways causing memory or concentration loss, decrease in brain ability and others. Though, these drugs are very safe but only effectively treating heartburn troubles, especially gastroesophageal-reflux disease.

How Dementia is related with PPI drugs?
PPI drugs are normally recommended by doctors for treating heartburn issues, but if you are taking these drugs on a continuous basis, then you might face the unwanted signs or symptoms of dementia. This is a hardcore fact, and it has been observed by many reputed researchers of the present age. There are some commonest symptoms that can be observed due to dementia, and some of the prominent ones are as follows:-

Beta-amyloid production: Beta-amyloid is a kind of protein and the growth of this specific protein increases to a great extent with the consistent intake of PPI drugs. This protein might lead to the increase in varied dementia signs, out of which the most severe kind of situation is Alzheimer's disease. This disease might get converted into dreadful condition at times, and this is the reason a regular or consistent intake of PPI drugs should be essentially avoided. If you are facing this condition, then you should report about the same to your doctor immediately. This protein is very toxic or harmful for the brain as your mental ability is being adversely affected.
Decrease of vitamin B12: If vitamin B12 decreases day by day, then acute mental disturbances will get invited. If you want to avoid this kind of condition, then nothing can be a better option other than avoiding PPI drugs. This is the only reason that doctors never recommend taking these drugs in an excessive limit. In fact, sometimes, these drugs are prescribed along with other potential medicines that can help in maintaining mental health in good condition. If you have got any family history of mental trouble, then you should reveal the same to your doctor so that strong PPI medicines are not prescribed for gastric troubles. In fact, there are few limitations among PPI drugs that are never to be prescribed by doctors and all the doctors should follow the same in a sincere manner.
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Should All Women be Taking Folic Acid?

D.Sc (Urology), PhD (Pscho Sexual Medicine)U.K., M.D.(Medicine)GOLD MEDALIST, M.B.B.S.
Sexologist, Lucknow
Should All Women be Taking Folic Acid?
Folic acid is an important form of vitamin B, which women must take during pregnancy. It is a form of man-made vitamin B known as folate. Folate plays a significant role in producing red blood cells and helps in the development of your baby s neural tube into the brain and spinal cord, preventing any kind of birth defects in your baby. Birth defects of the brain or spinal cord may occur in early stages of pregnancy.
Therefore, by the time a woman discovers her pregnancy, it may become too late to prevent the defects.

How much folic acid should be taken?
A woman should start taking folic acid within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy, as birth defects may occur during this time. Women who start taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant produce healthy babies without birth defects.

400 mcg of folic acid is the recommended dose for all women who are of childbearing age and also in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivitamins with the recommended amount of folate and folic acid supplements are generally prescribed as they help the mother deliver a healthy child. From the fourth to ninth month of pregnancy, the dose must be increased to 600 mcg.

Benefits of folic acid
Without sufficient folic acid in your body, the neural tube of your developing baby may not close properly. This may lead to neural tube defects, which include:
1. Spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord or vertebrae develop incompletely. A baby with spina bifida may be disabled permanently.
2. Anencephaly, a condition that features incomplete development of the brain. Babies affected with anencephaly do not live long.

Having a sufficient supply of folic acid prevents these neural defects from developing in your baby.
Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy protects your baby against many other conditions. They include:
1. Cleft lip and palate
2. Low weight during birth
3. Chances of miscarriage
4. Premature birth

Folic acid also reduces the risk of developing pregnancy complications in the mother such as heart diseases, stroke, several cancers and Alzheimer s disease. Folic acid is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, which you must consume in abundance. Other sources of folic acid include fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, egg noodles and great northern beans.
5095 people found this helpful