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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)
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.
11165 people found this helpful

Healthy Brain - 5 Herbs For It!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, 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.
9753 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!
8205 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
7730 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, Delhi
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.
7199 people found this helpful

7 Exercises That Can Help Improve Your Brain Function!

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Bhopal
7 Exercises That Can Help Improve Your Brain Function!
Brain is just like other muscles in the body; stimulation of the brain cells on a continuous basis will lead to a well-functioning brain. In fact, exercising your brain through various brain exercises helps in forming new neural pathways inside it. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and adapt when it is stimulated.


The various methods you can adopt to improve your mental health are -


1. Learn a musical instrument
Start taking music classes to learn an instrument such as guitar or piano as it helps in improving mental health. It also helps in delaying age related problems such as Alzheimer's disease.


2. Do math exercises in your head
Try figuring out various mathematical sums inside your head, as this will keep your brain sharp. It has also been known to improve intelligence quotient.


3. Try to recall past events
When you try to recall past events, the section of the brain dealing with memory is stimulated and thus, leads to stronger neural connections.


4. Learning a new language
Learning a new language is good for the brain as well because it helps in delaying the process of decline of cognitive functions. Chances of being affected by mental health disorders decrease significantly.


5. Aerobic exercises
You should follow a regular exercise regimen consisting of aerobic exercises and cardiovascular exercises as they help in improving your blood circulation. Apart from keeping you fitter and lean, it also improves your overall wellbeing.


6. Improve your hand eye coordination
Do activities such as painting, knitting or solving puzzles as they help in improving your hand eye coordination. It fine tunes your motor skills and keeps you mentally sharp.


7. Cooking
Learning to cook helps in activating various parts of the brain such as sight, smell and taste. This is related to different parts of the brain resulting in an overall development.
6879 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.
6800 people found this helpful

All About Vitamin D3 Deficiency!

MBBS
General Physician, Delhi
All About Vitamin D3 Deficiency!
Vitamins are extremely important for proper functioning of various body systems. Vitamin D3 plays a very crucial role in proper functioning of bones and joints. Deficiency of this vitamin is quite common but can be identified and managed easily. Read on to know more about its functions, causes of deficiency, symptoms, and management.

Function: Vitamin D3 is essential for the absorption of calcium from the food that is consumed. A decrease in the amount of vitamin D3 leads to poor calcium absorption, resulting in thin, soft, brittle bones.

Causes: Some of the possible causes of vitamin D3 deficiency (and ways to manage them) are listed below:

Reduced intake: People with a strict vegan diet may be consuming reduced amounts of this important chemical. Most natural food sources are animal based including fish, fish oils, fortified milk, egg yolks and beef liver.

Limited sun exposure: People who spend a lot of time indoors are likely to have this deficiency. People who wear sunscreen constantly, wear long robes for religious reasons, live in the polar areas, upper/lower hemispheres are all prone to vitamin D3 deficiency.

Darker complexion: The body s ability to make vitamin D3 when exposed to the sun is reduced if there is more melanin in the skin.

Obesity: Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells and people with BMI of more than 30 have a vitamin deficiency.

Symptoms: While some people may go completely asymptomatic with this condition, others could develop significant symptoms.

Bone pain and aches: When there is less calcium getting incorporated into the bones, pains and aches leading to fatigue are common.

Depression: The areas of the brain that regulate mood contain vitamin D receptors, and low levels of this vitamin can lead to depression. They are also at higher risk of developing cognitive conditions like schizophrenia, Alzheimer s and dementia.

Gut problems: Vitamin D is fat soluble and in people with stomach conditions like Crohn s or IBD, the gut functioning is altered and so vitamin D absorption is reduced.

Increased risk of heart disease: Both the risk of developing heart disease and the severity of the disease went up considerably when there is vitamin D deficiency. This is given their role in controlling inflammation and improving immune function.

Lesser chances of surviving cancer: In patients with colorectal cancer, lymphoma, and breast cancer, increasing vitamin D levels improved cancer prognosis by 4%. The chances of developing prostate cancer are also increased in patients with vitamin D3 deficiency.

Management: Providing the required amounts of vitamin D3 through diet and supplements is the best way to manage this. Check with your doctor to know the optimal levels and plan for replacement accordingly.
6572 people found this helpful

Why Is Vitamin B12 Important For Your Health?

ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, Specialist In Fitness Nutrition, PG Diploma In Weight Management
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Why Is Vitamin B12 Important For Your Health?
The human body requires the basic nutrients for its normal functioning which are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. However, there are certain vital vitamins and minerals too, that are equally important because these help in maintaining the proper health of a human body in various ways. One such vitamin is Vitamin B complex of which, there is a crucial vitamin known as Vitamin B12 or scientifically called as Cobalamin.

Functions of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 plays a major role by controlling several factors of the human body. These are necessary for the body to run well and stay healthy. Some of the key functions of Vitamin B12 are listed below:

It is responsible for the conversion of raw carbohydrate matter that enters into the body in the form of food into glucose that is the driving energy for the body. Therefore, in a way it helps to keep the continuity of energy production in the human body and its deficiency, therefore, can lead to fatigue or weakness.
Every single nature of human cells is related to the DNA and RNA that define the genetics and hereditary factors of a human body. Vitamin B12 assists in the creation of this DNA and RNA.
Vitamin B12 also helps in the production of nerve cells in the human body by maintaining the covering of the nerve cells or neurones known as the myelin sheaths. This helps to free the body from the reach of toxins and free radicals that can be very harmful to the human body. Hence, any shortage of Vitamin B12 can damage the nerve cells in a considerable manner.
The bones of the human body need Vitamin B12 as well and any deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause osteoporosis and other bone issues.
Vitamin B12 in association with another vitamin known as Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid) helps in the manufacture of red blood cells that help in impressive iron functioning, which is the main oxygen carrier of the human blood. Quite evidently, its deficiency can lead to shortness of breath and other breathing disorders.
Even heart requires an adequate amount of Vitamin B12 along with Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B9 so that appropriate levels of amino acid named homocysteine are produced that is a deciding factor in heart diseases.
Vitamin B12 is an essential component affecting the brain health too, and any deficiency of Vitamin B12 can often lead to various brain disorders such as Alzheimer s disease and the like.
In fact, Vitamin B12 has also been found to regulate mood and emotions of humans. Above all, Vitamin B12 is vital for keeping an individual happy and healthy by revitalising the body cells and making him or her feel youthful and vibrant all the time.
6192 people found this helpful

Video Games - Are They Bad For Your Mental Health?

International Certified Addiction Professional
Psychologist, Mumbai
Video Games - Are They Bad For Your Mental Health?
Your mother must have screamed at you for playing video games for long hours but obviously, you haven t paid attention to it. Such is the obsession with video games that they don t let you rest, unless you have championed all the levels in the virtual world. Studies have revealed that video games have a direct relation to neurological disorders. As a result, many health experts across the world consider video game as a kind of health abuse.

People who play action-oriented video games are at higher risks to attain these problems. The more you get involved in these games, the more they are going to affect your brain. It affects your nervous system, memory, and emotion. This has a detrimental effect on your overall brain health.

Let us see some of the signs which may indicate the onset of certain complications arising from overindulgence in these games:

You spend hours on the computer or related gaming devices and devote lesser hours for your family and friends.
You get irritated when someone stops you midway through the game
You become socially inaccessible and show signs of occasional mood swings
You are unable to keep a track of time once you start playing
You repeatedly neglect your studies, resulting in a dip in performance at school
Why does this happen?

All of the above signs indicate that sooner or later you might develop neurological problems. When you spend a lot of hours playing and navigating through the games, it can result in nerve-related disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer s disease, dementia, depression and overall general stress.

One of the biggest reasons behind this is the lack of self-control. Most of the video games will encourage you to steal cars, run away after a theft and kill your enemies. Moreover, if you succeed, you are rewarded. This naturally unleashes an evident urge for the accomplishment for all these awkward desires in your real life too. Hence, once you are encountered with reality, you tend to show violent behaviour.
5912 people found this helpful