Easy Health Tips

Avoid Refined Oils: Many of the oils used in the current scenario are hazardous to our health. They are processed at very high temperatures and cleaned with chemicals. High temperatures during processing oxidizes the oils causing the production of free radicals. These free radicals can damage the cells of our bodies.

OUR TAKE: Limit the use of refined oils and stick to unrefined oils.

Benefits of Kitchen Gardening: The produce is fresh and tasty and has a better nutritive value. Gardening also provides work out and relaxation. While working out in the sunshine you get an ample amount of vitamin D and fresh air from plants.

Vitamin A for Healthy Skin: Helps in preventing acne and maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin A along with adequate protein intake is helpful in keeping the hair healthy. Look for yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (carrot, papaya, tomato, bell peppers, mango, apricots, etc.), dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, fenugreek), liver, eggs, dairy products and fish liver oil for food sources of vitamin A.

Lower high triglycerides: The first step is to lose weight if you are overweight, exercise often and eat a healthy diet low in saturated (bad) fat and sugar. Also, limit the amount of refined, processed grains you eat, such as white bread, white rice, and pasta made from refined flour. Include lots of fibre in the diet which helps in feeling full as well as the removal of excessive fats.

Weight loss quick fixes: Eat slowly: Stretch your meals to, at least, 20 minutes or longer. Our stomach, mouth and brain are all connected and it takes 20 minutes of eating before the stomach signals our brain that I am done. If you tend to eat very fast try to concentrate on chewing; it will help you in slowing down.

Do I need supplements: Most individuals eating a reasonably balanced diet do not need vitamin supplements. A person who may not absorb vitamins due to chronic disease or may not be able to consume food in sufficient quantity or type to supply the vitamins needs to be supplemented. The need for vitamins increases during pregnancy and lactation so a supplement is advised.

Recommended when trying to lose weight: Weigh Weekly / Fortnightly. It is any day better than stepping on the weighing scale daily. Frequent weighing can lead to an obsession about weight and this obsession might pose a hindrance in successful weight loss.

Measures to reduce Gas: Avoid foods that appear to aggravate your symptoms by keeping a record. Avoid lactose or use lactose-digestive aid if you are lactose intolerant. Chew food thoroughly as large particles cause gas when they pass into the large intestine without being completely digested. Eat slowly. If you eat too quickly, you tend to swallow more air.

Tip for bodybuilders: Take a balanced diet instead of just focusing on proteins. Deficiency of any nutrient might predispose you to illnesses. Illness of even a day can lead to loss of the muscles which were built in a hard way.

Avoid Gluten in processed foods: Gluten might be mentioned as vegetable protein, vegetable starch, maltodextrin, dextrin or dextrose; sausages may contain gluten via binders. Also, many foods contain gluten not because gluten is used in their formation. Instead, gluten is used in the preparation of ingredients. E.g. flours are used to dust the conveyor belts to prevent foods from sticking during processing.

How much caffeine a day: Caffeine is present not only in tea / coffee but also in foods like cola drinks, cocoa beans, energy drinks, chocolates and certain medicines like pain killers, diet pills / weight reduction supplements and medicines for cold. For most healthy adults 200-300 mg (2-4 cups of coffee) of caffeine a day is not harmful. But a daily caffeine use of more than 500-600 mg a day may lead to certain unpleasant effects.

Get your cholesterol checked: All adults, 20 years of age and older should have their cholesterol checked every 5 years. If your cholesterol level is high or you have other risk factors for heart disease, you may need to have it checked more often.

Healthy lunch combo: School lunch should be a combination of cereals plus pulses / dairy / flesh foods (if permitted at school) plus fruits / vegetables. These foods ensure a write mix of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Make your own snack: Fruits and vegetables are good choices for healthy snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fat. Make your own cocktail of fruit and veggie salad with lemon juice, olive oil or vinegar as dressing. Roasted mixed seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, flax with chana are a good source of protein, fibre, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Sprouted pulses with crunchy vegetables.

Milk can be substituted: If your child refuses to drink milk, calcium can be obtained from curd, cheese, yoghurt or from sardines and other fish that contain fine bones which can be eaten. For vegetarians til or sesame, ragi can be added to the diet. These not only have a high amount of calcium but are also good sources of protein.

Antioxidants for Anti-Aging: Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. Including lots of colourful fruits and vegetables in your meals makes sure that you include ample antioxidants in your diet.

Include fluids in your diet: Replace soda, juice, tea, coffee or other beverages you drink with water. Getting enough water in your system is very important for hydration and detoxification.

Risk factors for developing gout: Gout is characterized by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints leading to painful, swollen and red joints. Males, a family history of gout, overweight, poor diet, excessive consumption of alcohol are few of the risk factors which predispose a person towards gout.

Enjoy Low Fat Dairy Foods: Dairy foods are an important part of a healthy diet but they also add extra calories. To prevent this choose low-fat or fat-free milk; yoghurt. Choose a cheese that is lower in sodium and fat. Select from low-fat or fat-free cream and spreads. Opt for trans fat-free margarine instead of butter.

Go Bananas for Good Digestion: Bananas are one of the best digestion-friendly foods. They help neutralize the acidity of gastric juices & also help in decreasing the possibility of developing ulcers. Pectin, a soluble fibre, present in bananas also helps in constipation and as well as diarrhoea.

Prevent Oils from Going Rancid: Store oils in a cool dark place in airtight containers. Oil, when comes in contact with light, heat and air tend to turn rancid which can affect the smell, taste and nutritional value of oil.

Prevent Breeding of Bacteria: During summers, do not let the food sit outside for too long. Refrigerate it as soon as possible because high temperatures can cause bacteria to breed, leading to food poisoning.

Eating at a Buffet: While eating at a buffet do not stand near the buffet and eat. Fill up your plate and move away from the food spread. The farther you are, the more you will avoid making multiple trips to have a refill.

Trim your waist: Carrying extra weight around your waist? Start trimming it soon as fat around waist puts you at high risk of diabetes. Fat around the waist secretes a group of hormones that may possibly block the action of insulin (which is necessary to lower the blood sugar). Insulin resistance is a major feature of type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy diet with low-fat foods, fruits, vegetables and other high-fibre products can help reduce excess abdominal fat. Exercise also is extremely effective in reducing abdominal fat.

Monitor Your Oil Consumption: Use a teaspoon to pour oil instead of pouring directly from the container while cooking. This will help in cooking food with a minimum amount of oil. Oil should be used in a proportion, half teaspoon in one preparation per person.

Walk Post Dinner: Take a short slow or medium-paced walk 30 minutes after dinner. This helps your digestive system to function better, improves the quality of sleep and is excellent for people who suffer from indigestion or flatulence.

Snacks at work: Store some roasted mixed seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, flax with chana in an airtight container in your office drawer.  Being a good source of protein, fibre, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids they serve as a healthy snack. They even work to boost your metabolism and immunity.

Avoid Emotional Eating: When stressed or low many of us turn to food for solace. Prevent this by calling up a friend or visiting one, practice meditation or yoga, listen to your favourite music or watch a movie which is a laugh riot.

Protect your eyesight: Blindness or poor vision in the elderly is caused by cell degeneration which can be prevented by regular consumption foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin

Healthy teeth for a healthy heart: The bacteria that cause gum infections can lead to or worsen atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), thereby causing heart diseases. A study published by the American Heart Association Journal Circulation found that people with the highest level of the bacteria that cause gum disease also had the worst atherosclerosis.

Keep your vitamins intact: Take out a thin peel of vegetables or cook in skin wherever possible. Cut vegetables in large pieces to avoid more surface area to be exposed to heat. Use that much amount of water which will get absorbed while cooking and do not discard the water used for cooking or soaking as water-soluble vitamins might leach out in water leading to their loss. Cook with lid on and cook until just tender, not mushy.

Include sprouted grains in your diet: Sprouting not only increases the nutritive value (increases protein availability, vitamin B-complex and C) of the seeds but also their fibre content. This makes them helpful in overcoming constipation.

Start being active: According to lots of studies conducted worldwide people who are sedentary (sitting still for about 4 hours together) are almost twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as are people who exercise regularly.

Cut vegetables just before you plan to cook: The longer you stock the cut vegetables, the more is the nutrient loss. If you cannot do away with it; cut them into bigger pieces and stock. This way less nutrient is lost. Also, ensure that the cut vegetables are stored in air-tight containers.

Replace white rice with brown rice: The fibre in brown rice cuts risk of diabetes decreases cholesterol levels & helps you to meet your weight loss goals.

Keep a food diary: It is the most important tool for weight loss or any dietary change, as it makes it easier to identify areas for change. A food diary is one in which you keep a note of every single thing you eat throughout the day for at least a week. It helps you track what you are eating and makes you accountable.

Lose weight for healthy joints: If you are overweight, lose the excess weight to reduce extra pressure on joints. Excess weight increases the possibility of joint problems as it exerts extra pressure on joints. Inflammation or swelling of joints is a common problem observed in many overweight people.

Eat almonds daily: Have 4-6 almonds (badam) daily as they can help lower your bad cholesterol levels. Almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fats (MUFA) and some polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) which help to lower the LDL or “bad” cholesterol. However, they are also high in calories so have them in moderation.

Include antioxidant-rich foods in your diet: as they not only provide protection from cancer but also inhibit the formation of fat from fat cells. Antioxidants have been known to help prevent the damage caused to cells by free radicals (which over time can lead to changes in the body such as cancer). So, include more of antioxidant-rich foods like apple, orange, guava, pomegranate, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, green leafy vegetables, nuts and green tea in your diet.

Decrease the intake of sodium in your diet: Cutting down sodium can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Try and avoid convenience foods as much as possible and include fresh variants. Consume all the tinned / canned foods after rinsing to cut down sodium. Avoid processed meats, cheese, papads, pickles, chutneys, ketchup, table salt, foods contain ajinomoto as these are loaded with sodium.

Don’t let heart attack stop you: After recovering from a heart attack you may resume your active lifestyle. But be safe; resume the exercise schedule only if your doctor says. Start the schedule under expert guidance and learn to monitor the intensity of your activity, heart rate and blood pressure. Also, take cues from symptoms like breathlessness and chest pain.

Efficacy of Vitamin C in treating the common cold: There is a little scientific research to back this theory despite the popular belief that vitamin C can cure a common cold. Though vitamin C may help reduce the duration and severity, it does not offer protection against it. Most experts advise that daily vitamin C need can be met by including seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Get Regular Care to Manage Diabetes: Regular checkups can help keep diabetes in check and prevent complications. The U.S. National Diabetes Education Program recommends Blood pressure monitoring, Foot inspection, Weight record, HbA1C test at least twice annually and Annual evaluations of your eyes and teeth, cholesterol, blood and urine.

Feeding your toddler: Toddlers have tiny tummies, feed them portion sizes that are appropriate for their age. Start with a small serving size and let your child ask for more food. Pay attention to your child’s signs of fullness and remove food when your child begins playing with food or becoming restless. Don’t overfeed or try to instil the habit of finishing the entire meal; instead, teach them to stop eating when they are full.

Benefits of eating lean meat: Meats are a good source of class A or complete protein. But eating meats loaded with fat can add to calories. So it is important to choose leaner cuts of meat as they are very good sources of protein; rich in iron; B vitamins, particularly B12 and they contain less saturated fat compared to whole meat.

No Fasting or Feasting when you suffer from diabetes: High blood glucose does not harm a diabetic as much as fluctuation in the same. Thus diabetics are recommended to stick to their meal timings and portion sizes to prevent blood glucose from increasing or decreasing beyond a certain level.

Keep osteoporosis at bay: Exercising every day helps in strengthening the bones, especially weight-bearing and strength-building exercises. Adhere to a healthy weight. Don’t smoke, limit alcohol intake and get plenty of vitamin D and calcium.

Ease Morning Sickness during pregnancy: Eat slowly and consume a number of small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. Don’t eat foods that are fried or spicy. Eat dry foods, such as toast or crackers, after waking in the morning. Avoid smells that can trigger nausea.

Curb Food Cravings: Cravings are short-lived; try to postpone the indulgence. If still, you do opt for a healthier alternative to what you crave. Call a friend or start some activity to divert your mind.

Cut down on alcohol: Alcoholic beverages contain quickly absorbed carbohydrates.  This can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes by quickly raising the blood sugar to unhealthy levels.

Eat lots of fibre: Fiber is found in fruits and vegetables, beans, whole cereals and pulses, etc. Fibre will go a long way in preventing and controlling diabetes as well as in managing weight because it delays the digestion of food and thus prevents an immediate and speedy increase in blood glucose and keeps hunger at bay.

Diet in Diabetes:  Avoid eating foods made with sugar, refined flour (maida) and other refined carbohydrates such as white rice. Processed and fried foods are particularly unhealthy and the fats and carbohydrates found in them undermine your health. Stay away from high glycemic index foods.

Safety while exercising at home: Start slowly, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of workouts. Pay attention to your technique, making sure you are using the machines correctly. Always warm-up and cool down. If you have pain, adjust the equipment to make your workout less strenuous. Also, take a day off and rest.

Choice of alcohol: Alcohol ideally should be avoided if you need to maintain your heart health; if still, you do, opt for red wine. It is recommended that women should not take more than 1 drink a day and men should limit to 2 drinks a day.

Regular Exercise: A diabetic person should exercise for at least half an hour to forty-five minutes daily especially if you suffer from Type 2 diabetes. This not only keeps the weight under control but also helps in effectively managing the blood glucose.

Warm-Up Before Exercising: Warm up your muscles slowly by performing an aerobic activity at a very slow pace. Make your movements gentle and slow, remembering to breathe and relax. Hold each stretch in position for 10 to 30 seconds. Stretch within your comfort level, and ease up if your stretch begins to hurt.

Warning signs of vision loss: Having problems performing tasks that require you to see things closely like sewing, reading; having a feeling that the lights in the house don’t seem as bright as earlier; difficulty in reading road and street signs or storefront signs. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you need to make an appointment with your doctor soon.

Tips to lower cholesterol: Include 4-6 almonds daily in your diet. Almonds help in decreasing bad cholesterol and increase the heart-protective or good cholesterol.

Exercising and Osteoarthritis: Exercising can ease symptoms of osteoarthritis. It can reduce stiffness and pain; makes joint stronger, decrease in progression of arthritis; leads to better joint function and improved movement of joints.

Getting started with exercise schedule: Gradually increase your aerobic workouts and add variety to your routine. Practice flexibility exercises; stretching slowly, gently and within your comfort level. Practice strength training exercises, but under the guidance of a fitness professional. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

Tips to lower cholesterol: Keep on rotating amongst the kind of cooking oils you use. It helps in preventing essential fatty acid deficiency along with keeping cholesterol in check. Choose amongst sunflower, mustard, olive, safflower, rice bran oils.

Selection of non-veg food while eating out: Choose chicken or fish instead of red meat or pork. Also, avoid selecting menus with rich gravies; instead, take grilled or roasted options.

Tips to lower cholesterol: Include coriander seeds (approx. 5 g daily) in your diet as they have cholesterol and blood-glucose-lowering effect. They can be added to vegetables or can be had after soaking overnight.

Relax: Practice meditation or listen to soothing music daily for at least 15 minutes. Relaxation has a heart-protective effect as it reduces the load on the heart. Pick a song today for a musical heart.

Reduce the risk of developing a blockage in artery: Stick to a heart-healthy diet that is rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Limit salt, saturated fats, sugar and cholesterol. If you’re overweight, devise a plan to lose weight. Get plenty of exercise each day. If you smoke, quit.

Symptoms of Arthritis of the knee:  Swelling and stiffness of the knee. Trouble while straightening or bending the knee. Pain that tends to worsen in the morning, after resting or after climbing stairs; Pain and stiffness that seems to coincide with changes in weather.

Make TV Viewing Healthy: Do not use your remote, get up to change the channel. During commercial breaks instead of flipping through channels get up and take a walk. Do not eat while watching TV.

Causes of Hair Loss: Infection of scalp or dandruff; a recent major surgery; pregnant or post-delivery; undergoing significant emotional stress; following a crash diet, particularly one that is low in protein; taking certain medications, like antidepressants, chemotherapeutic drugs, certain birth control pills, painkillers.

Eye Care in Diabetes: A diabetic person should get eye-check up done at least once every year. This is important to keep the eye-related complications of diabetes i.e. cataract, glaucoma and retinopathy at bay before they become incurable.

Create a first-aid kit: Keep one at your home and car also carry one while travelling. It should have an antiseptic ointment plus lotion, assorted band-aids, gauze pads, hand sanitizer, cotton, various medications for general illnesses. Check the kit regularly for expiry dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents. Store the kit out of the reach of children.

Risk factors for developing osteoporosis: Increasing age; starting menopause before age of 45; having surgery to remove the ovaries before menopause. Getting insufficient physical activity. Drinking too much alcohol, smoking or other use of tobacco. Having an overactive thyroid.

Maintain Your Weight loss: Weigh yourself every week or in ten days and take body measurements once a month to notice any change in weight or inches. If the weight has increased at two consequent measurements change your diet and step up your exercise schedule immediately to prevent weight gain. Try to be as active as possible like walk to places wherever possible and decrease sedentary time. Keep healthy and nutritious snacks at home.

Reduce Caffeine: Reduce your child’s caffeine consumption as children tend to break down caffeine slower than adults and thus it affects the child’s body for longer duration. Allow cola beverages / iced teas / frozen coffee drinks / bitter chocolates as occasional treats; exercise caution with energy drinks which might contain stimulants like ginseng, guarana and tea extract in addition to caffeine and sugar.

Cut down on added sugar in foods: Avoid jams, jellies, marmalades and other preserved forms of fruits as they use excessive sugar for preservation. Instead snack on foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains. Drink water, instead of fruit juices or drinks with added sugar. While taking a processed food check the sugar content per serving.

Dine out the healthy way: Stay away from buffet spreads, prefer A la carte. Opt for a salad first; if choosing a sandwich, top it with fresh vegetables and low-fat salad dressings; choose healthy side dishes, which are baked / steamed instead of fried. Forego the main dish if you have already selected a side dish. Select water or fresh lime sodas instead of soft drinks or ice cream shakes. For desserts try eating a fruit serving or fruit-based pudding.

Care post piercing: Gently cleanse the area with rubbing alcohol two to three times a day, Apply antibiotic ointment after each cleaning, Carefully turn the stud / ring each day, Do not remove the stud / ring for at least six weeks.

Signs of a bad weight loss diet: Weight loss of more than 1 kg a week. Intake of unlimited amounts of a particular food, while complete abstinence from a group of foods. Strict menu options, with little choice or variation. Diet mentions ‘no reason to exercise while dieting’.

Warning Signs of Sun Stroke: Feeling dizzy, Rapid breathing or pulse, extreme thirst, sunken eyes, not producing urine or strong coloured urine, fever, chills or nausea.

Deal with low BP: Eat frequent, small meals that contain carbohydrates. After you’ve been sitting or lying down for an extended period, stand up slowly. Also, change the position of your legs before you stand. Drink fluids that contain sodium and potassium (like lemonade) throughout the day.