Archive for July, 2015

How to Reduce Puffy Eyes Due to Sinuses

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Puffy eyes are a common symptom of sinusitis often blamed on lack of sleep or general illness. In addition to puffy eyes, sinusitis problems may cause a dull ache or feeling of pressure in the eyes or across the middle of the face, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, raspy voice, loss of sense of smell, fever, nasal discharge, bad breath, coughing, sore throat, snoring and fatigue. Most cases of sinusitis are caused by infections, but allergies, exposure to indoor or outdoor air pollutants, excessive indoor dryness from heating and air-conditioning, and structural abnormalities are other possible causes. You can reduce or eliminate most cases of sinus-related puffy eyes at home or with over-the-counter medications, but some cases may require professional care.

 

Step 1

Run a humidifier in your bedroom during the night to increase the moisture level inside your home. Air-conditioning and dry-air heating systems can cause sinus irritation and dryness, which can potentially increase eye puffiness in the morning.

Step 2

Sleep with the head of your bed elevated to encourage sinus draining and reduce fluid accumulation under your eyes. Sleep propped up on pillows or semi-upright in a chair, or raise the head of your bed by using leg extenders. Sleeping horizontally dilates the veins under the eyes, according to Harvard Medical School, which makes puffy eyes darker and more noticeable.

Step 3

Reduce your intake of alcohol and sodium, as both can cause fluid accumulation beneath the eyes and make eye puffiness caused by sinus congestion worse. Alcohol also interferes with certain antibiotics prescribed to treat sinus infections, making them less effective.

Step 4

Eat a bowl of chicken soup or add some spice to your meals when suffering from sinus congestion and puffy eyes.

Step 5

Make a saltwater nasal irrigation solution by mixing 1 tsp. of salt with 2 cups of lukewarm water. Tilt your head back and use a dropper to administer three drops to each nostril every one to two hours. Allow the solution to sit inside the nostril for about 45 seconds, then return your head to a normal position and allow the solution to drain out. This should loosen nasal congestion and soothe inflamed nasal passages.

Step 6

Use a decongestant to help drain your nose and sinus passages. This will reduce fluid build-up and inflammation and alleviate eye puffiness. Decongestants are available over the counter, in pill, liquid and spray form, at most pharmacies and retail stores.

Step 7

Try an antihistamine medication, such as Benadryl, if you believe allergies may be causing your eye puffiness. In addition to reducing allergic symptoms, antihistamines can lessen sinus inflammation and ease eye puffiness.

Step 8

Visit your doctor for a complete examination if your puffy eyes and sinus problems fail to respond to home treatment options. While acute sinusitis and puffy eyes resulting from infection with a virus will typically clear without treatment within days or weeks, chronic sinus problems require medical evaluation.

Step 9

Take antibiotics to treat puffy eyes caused by a bacterial infection in your sinus passages. You may need to take antibiotics for 10 days or longer, depending on the severity of your infection and symptoms.

 

Tips on Eyebrow Growth

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Thin eyebrows may be attributed to years of over-plucking, genetics or health issues. As fuller brows are typically more flattering than thin ones, you may find yourself using powders and pencils to fill yours in more often than you’d like.

Whether you’re dealing with sparse arches or just a single bald patch, you can regrow your brows, returning them to an untouched state.

 

Step 1

Soak the end of a cotton swab in castor oil and apply it to your brows at night. Focus on any sparse areas. Castor oil is an antibacterial and helps to eliminate any impurities that prevent hair growth. It is also high in omega 9 fatty acids, which nourish the follicle.

Step 2

Stop tweezing and waxing your brows for 3 to 4 months. This gives smaller hairs the opportunity to grow back.

Step 3

Dip a soft, clean toothbrush in a mild exfoliating scrub and massage it over your brows, using a circular motion. Rinse with warm water. Focus on any missing patches to remove dead skin and bring hair to the surface.

Step 4

Use a brow razor to shave sections of the brow where you would like growth to occur. Hold skin taut with one hand and move the razor in the direction of hair growth over dry skin to stimulate the follicle.

Step 5

Visit an eyebrow threader after 3 to 4 months. An eyebrow threader uses a thin piece of thread to pull individual hairs from deep within your skin. Threading shapes your brows precisely without pulling out excess hair. This allows any sparse patches to continue growing. Wax has a tendency to grasp onto hairs that should be kept, leading to more bald patches and a thinner shape. Have your brows threaded every 6 weeks after your first visit.

Step 6

Use a sharp set of tweezers with an angled tip for touch-ups. Only tweeze hairs that are high up on your forehead, between your brows or close to your lid to give your brows a chance to grow.

 

How to Treat a Black Eye With a Hard Boiled Egg

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Curing a black eye using a hard-boiled egg is an old idea. There’s no scientific evidence behind it and you will find many people scoff at the idea of rubbing an egg on their faces as a way to get rid of a bruise. However, trying it out won’t hurt and you might find that it actually relieves some of the pain and inflammation. Keep in mind that a black eye can indicate a more serious injury. If you have trouble seeing or are experiencing intense pain, talk to a doctor.

 

Step 1

Boil an egg until hard. The yolk should not longer be running by the time you retrieve it from the boiling water.

Step 2

Crack the egg open and remove the yolk, trying to keep the egg white as intact as possible.

Step 3

Wrap the egg white along with a silver ring. Use a soft, thin handkerchief or cloth. Make sure you do this quickly so the egg doesn’t get cold.

Step 4

Apply the cloth over your eye, rubbing and moving it around until the egg cools down.

Step 5

Repeat a couple of times a day, using a new egg, until the black marks disappear.

Things You’ll Need

  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Silver ring
  • Handkerchief

 

 

Side effects of Cocoa Butter

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

 

Many women use cocoa butter to moisturize dry skin. Cocoa butter also has a reputation for preventing stretch marks during and after pregnancy. Cocoa and cocoa butter has several side effects, some of which can be serious.

Weight Gain

Along with cocoa derived from cocoa beans, cocoa butter contains triglycerides in a 75 percent concentration in the form of oleic, stearic and palmitic fatty acids, according to CellularNutritionandDrugs.com. Cocoa butter is a primary ingredient in white chocolate, according to the Food and Drug Administration. It is also a major ingredient in dark chocolate, and to a lesser extent, in milk chocolate. Cocoa butter is high in fat, and often combined with sugar to produce sweets. As a result, ingesting cocoa butter in large quantities can contribute to obesity and even diabetes.

Allergic and Skin Reactions

For people prone to allergies or skin problems, exposure to cocoa and cocoa butter can cause allergic reactions and other skin problems. Chocolates can trigger or worsen skin breakouts, including adult acne. Cocoa including cocoa butter, can cause swollen skin, hives, itching and skin rashes, in addition to acne.

Cholesterol, Heart and Respiratory Problems

Cocoa butter is considered a saturated fat, according to the American Heart Association. Saturated fat, found in animal-based foods and in some plants, is the main cause of high cholesterol levels, including LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Cocoa also contains caffeine and can cause insomnia and headaches. Other possible side effects from cocoa and cocoa butter include constipation and digestive problems, colic in infants, chest pain and difficulty breathing.

The Beauty Benefits of Pineapple

Monday, July 27th, 2015

With its distinctive prickly skin, sprouty green leaves and sweet yellow flesh, the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality as well as a tasty treat. Like many fruits and vegetables, it can be just as nourishing on the body as in the body. Eating mineral-rich pineapple pulp, drinking the juice, and applying both to the body have multiple beauty benefits.

 

Clearer Complexion

The high vitamin C and bromelain content of pineapple juice make it an effective acne treatment. Bromelain is an enzyme that softens skin and has been used for hundreds of years in South and Central America to fight inflammation and swelling. Drinking pineapple juice helps the body synthesize collagen, which helps skin stay firm and flexible, while vitamin C and amino acids aid in cell and tissue repair. For a double dose of skin nourishment, cut a pineapple in half and refrigerate one half. Scoop the fruit out of the other half, juice it, drink the juice and gently rub the inside of the pineapple skin on your face, avoiding the eye area. After a few minutes, rinse your face thoroughly with tepid water. Repeat two or three days later with the other pineapple half.

Body and Feet Benefits

The same nutrients that make pineapple good for the face also make it beneficial to the rest of your skin. For a gently exfoliating body polish, peel a fresh pineapple and cut the flesh into four wedges. As you shower, rub the wedges all over your body, followed by a cleansing soap and a thorough rinse. A pineapple foot treatment can help slough away flaky and calloused skin, leaving feet smoother and brighter. Start with one-half cup of chopped pineapple, then chop and mix in one-half peeled lemon, one-half unpeeled apple, one-quarter peeled grapefruit, one teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of anise extract. Rub the mixture all over your feet, giving extra attention to heels, as the skin there tends to harden easily. Wrap your feet in plastic or tie plastic bags over them. After 20 or 30 minutes, remove and rinse. The salt and fruit enzymes help exfoliate and soften skin while the anise — a licorice extract — soothes, fights swelling and contains natural healing agents.

Healthy Nails

Brittle and dry nails may signal a vitamin A deficiency, while cracked and split nails may suggest your body’s deficiency in B vitamins. Pineapple fruit and juice are good sources of both, another reason to consume them and apply them topically. Hands dry out easily because they are used so much, making nail cuticles more prone to dehydration. Dry cuticles cause unsightly nail beds that are also more susceptible to cracking and infection-causing bacteria and fungi. A natural softening treatment for your cuticles is a blend of two tablespoons of pineapple juice and an egg yolk, which counters the drying effect of the enzyme bromelain in pineapple. Apply the mixture to your cuticles and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Use a cotton swab to push your softened cuticles back to their nail beds, then rinse your fingers off with warm water and follow with hand cream. This treatment is just as beneficial to toenails as fingernails.

 

5 Amazing Vegan Proteins

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Meat isn’t the only source of protein. By incorporating these non-animal based foods into your diet, you can reduce your of saturated fat intake while meeting your daily protein quota.

TEMPEH – Made from cultured and fermented soybeans, tempeh mimics the texture of meat. It also has an earthy flavor, which makes it an especially good substitute for beef. Try it in tacos, stews and pot pies.

TOFU –It gets a bad rap as bland and boring, but this curd—made from soybean milk—can take on the flavor of almost anything you pair it with. For those averse to its soft texture, try using extra-firm tofu and pressing it between paper towels for an hour before using.

EDAMAME – These soybean pods have become a ubiquitous sushi restaurant appetizer, but the shelled beans are also delicious as a side dish, like succotash. Or puree them oil and herbs to make a tasty spread.

BEANS –  Try mixing mashed black beans into brownie batter for an extra dose of fiber and protein. Or create a festive (and easy) dip by pureeing pinto beans with jarred salsa.

LENTILS – Lentils are filled with protein, as well as folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and zinc, making them a nutritional powerhouse. Try sautéing lentils with spinach, smoked paprika and diced, cooked potatoes for a tasty, one-dish meal.

Benefits Of Beetroot Juice For Skin

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

 

Beetroot For Skin Tone

Beetroot is one of the best juices to apply on your face to improve skin tone. Apply as a face mask mixed with one portion of milk. Leave in the juice for half an hour before rinsing.

Beetroot For Skin Whitening

To become fair overnight, try this tip. Mix one tbsp of beetroot juice along with 1 tsp of lemon juice. The mixture is then applied on your face and left in for 15 minutes. Wash with cold water before going to bed.

Beetroot For Acne

Acne can be treated with the help of beetroot juice. Mix 2 tbsp of beet juice along with a tbsp of curd. This mixture helps to dry the acne in no time, leaving behind no scars.

Beetroot For Black Heads

Black heads can be removed from your face with the help of a beetroot scrub. Into 1 tbsp of juice add sugar to make a scrub. Use the scrub to remove the black heads.

Beetroot For Dark Circles

Dark circles can be lightened with beetroot juice. The properties present in the juice will soothe your puffy eyes.

Beetroot For Pink Lips

To get a natural pink tone on your lips, use beetroot juice like lip balm. Massage the juice onto your lips and leave overnight to see a change.

Beetroot For Dry Skin

Dry skin can be treated with the help of beetroot juice. All you need to do is make a mixture of juice, honey and milk. Use the application to treat dry skin.

Health Benefits of Honey

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

The health benefits of honey are too numerous to be named, but here are two key ones:

Nature’s Energy Booster
The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes. Its natural sugars play an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. It is known that honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar.

Immunity System Builder
Amongst the many health benefits of honey, what is most impressive to me is that honey can be a powerful immune system booster. It’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease. Start every brand new day with this cleansing tonic if you want to see this health benefit of honey: before breakfast, mix a spoonful of honey and lemon juice from half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drink it.

Benefits of Red Bananas

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

 

Low-Calorie

Like all fruits, red bananas make a low-calorie addition to your diet. One medium red banana contains just 110 calories. Including red bananas in your diet can help fill you up without costing you too many calories, making it easier to stay within your daily calorie budget for weight maintenance.

Source of Fiber

Red bananas can help you meet your daily fiber needs. One medium red banana has 4 grams of fiber, meeting 16 percent of your daily value for fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest. Women need about 25 grams of fiber a day, and men need 38 grams a day. Because you cannot digest it, fiber slows the digestive process. This helps keep you feeling full longer and helps with weight control. In addition, including more fiber-rich foods in your diet like the red banana can lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Source of Potassium

The red banana is a good source of potassium. One medium banana contains 400 milligrams, meeting 11 percent of your daily value. Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte. You need adequate intakes of potassium for fluid and electrolyte balance. You also need potassium for heart function, muscle contractions and digestion.

High in Vitamin B6

Vitamin B-6 is a water-soluble vitamin needed for protein metabolism and red blood cell metabolism. You also need it to make hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout your body. Poor intakes of vitamin B-6 can lead to anemia. Including red bananas in your diet can help you meet your daily needs. One medium red banana meets 20 percent of your daily value for vitamin B-6.

Source of Vitamin C

The red banana is also a good source of vitamin C, meeting 15 percent of your daily value. Vitamin C is another water-soluble vitamin important for growth, immune health and collagen production. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that offers protection against free radicals, which may help reduce your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

 

 

 

Are Bananas Good for Pregnant Women?

Monday, July 20th, 2015

 

Making sure your diet stays healthy is vital to your baby’s growth. Eating nutrient-rich foods such as bananas can help you manage several aspects of your pregnancy. As long as you don’t suffer any banana-related allergies, munch on one for breakfast, bring a couple along during the workday and slice them up for dessert. They’re jam-packed with benefits for you and your baby.

Vitamin B6

All of the B-vitamins play a crucial role in your baby’s development, but bananas are loaded with vitamin B6. Your baby’s central nervous system relies on vitamin B6 to coordinate activity during his development and help with the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters GABA, dopamine and serotonin. While your baby’s central nervous system organizes this growth, vitamin B6 from bananas helps both of you transmit oxygen to the tissues through your hemoglobin. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6 for pregnant women is 1.9 milligrams. One medium banana contains 0.4 milligrams, or 21 percent of your RDA.

Potassium

Potassium is excellent for pregnant women. You should consume at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily. You’ll get 9 percent of your recommended daily allowance from eating one medium banana. This important mineral mitigates some of the unpleasant side effects associated with pregnancy. It may reduce the frequency or severity of painful leg cramps and help prevent or take down natural swelling. Beware of rapid swelling, though — this could be preeclampsia, which requires a timely diagnosis and treatment from your physician.

Diarrhea

Women who have to deal with diarrhea instead of — or in addition to — morning sickness can benefit from bananas. Bananas are a fibrous fruit and contain both gum fiber and pectin, a soluble fiber also found in apples. These fibers help relieve diarrhea by absorbing excess water in your body. The potassium in bananas can also help with the intestinal cramping that sometimes accompanies diarrhea.

Chitinase

Despite all the benefits of bananas, a red flag of caution exists. Bananas contain chitinase, which is a major allergen associated with the latex-fruit syndrome. People who are allergic to latex need to avoid fruits that contain chitinase. In addition to bananas, this group includes avocados, kiwi fruit and chestnuts. If you’ve experienced latex sensitivity or an intolerance to other foods in the group, check with your doctor before downing any bananas.

7 surprising benefits of Lady finger or Okra or bhindi

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

 

Lady’s finger is a non-leafy, green, fruit vegetable that is widely consumed in India and abroad. Popularly called bhindi in Indian households, this vegetable is tender, mucilaginous and dense in nutritional content. Whether you eat them raw or you cook them as you like, you’ll surely benefit in more than one ways. Here are some surprising benefits of this green wonder.

1# Helps control diabetes: Okra is packed with dietary fibre that helps stabilisation of blood sugar levels by regulation of the rate of absorption of sugar from the digestive tract. The anti-diabetic property of okra is also attributed to its ability of inhibition of enzymes metabolising carbohydrates, enhancement of production of insulin, regeneration of beta cell of the pancreas and increased secretion of insulin .

2# It prevents heart disease: People are often affected with heart disease due to high levels of cholesterol in their blood. Pectin, a soluble fibre present in lady’s finger helps lower this cholesterol and thus is helpful in preventing heart disease. Okra is also fairly rich in antioxidant compounds like polyphenols. These compounds, especially quercetin, helps prevent oxidation of cholesterol and blocking of arteries, preventing heart disease development .

3# It helps you lose weight: People who aspire to lose weight can eat lady’s finger to facilitate weight loss. The vegetable is extremely low in calories, with a 100g serving containing just 33 calories. Here are some other foods that can help you lose weight.

4# It improves your immunity: Lady’s finger is rich in vitamin C with a 100g serving meeting approximately 38% of your daily requirement of the nutrient. Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that helps improves your immunity and protects you from several diseases and infections. Alternatively, you could also eat orange and amla to boost your vitamin C intake as both of them are extremely rich sources of the nutrient.

5# It improves your mental function: Folate or Vitamin B9 is another critical nutrient present in lady’s finger. This nutrient is required by your brain to function properly as it aids in the production of several important compounds.

6# It is good for pregnant women: Women who are pregnant will benefit from the consumption of lady’s finger as it contains Vitamin B9 or folic acid which can help prevent neurological birth defects in their newborn. Here are 5 recipes that pregnant women.

7# It prevents cancer:Lady’s finger has a higher concentration of antioxidants than most vegetables. These antioxidants prevent damage to your cells from free radicals, and inhibit the growth of cancer cells in your body. Additionally, it contains some amount of insoluble fibre which promotes a healthy digestive tract and lowers your risk of colorectal cancer. Pectin present in the vegetable has been shown to prevent proliferation of melanoma cells in vitro.

7 reasons potatoes or aaloo are great for your health

Friday, July 17th, 2015

 

Potatoes or aaloo can be considered as the second most important food crop in India after rice and wheat. Although they have gained a bad reputation in the dietary world over the years for their link ups with obesity and lifestyle disorders, they remain one of the most easily available energy and nutrient rich foods in local markets. Here are some reasons you should stop avoiding potatoes.

1# Offers instant energy: Potatoes are rich source of carbohydrates yet less in calories compared to other staple foods like pasta and rice. In fact, carbohydrates account for more than 95% potatoes by weight. Besides, it is also rich in protein and the quality of proteins in them is found to be higher than any other heavily consumed plant protein .

2# Keeps cancer at bay: There has been an increasing concern regarding cancer risk and consumption of potatoes. While it’s the fried form of potatoes that actually ups cancer risk among individuals, other cooked forms of potatoes can help you lower you risk of cancer. Potatoes are rich in phytonutrients, carotenoids and flavonoids which are antioxidants that prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. A study revealed that certain components in potato extract can induce death of prostate cancer cells, inhibit their proliferation due to the presence of dietary polyphenols, including phenolic acids and anthocyanins in them.

3# Helps build new cells: Potatoes are an extremely rich source of vitamin B6 that helps build new cells in your body. The reason behind this is that Vitamin B6 is essential to the synthesis of amino acids and nucleic acid in your body, which in turn helps your body build new cells.

4# Prevents heart disease: Almost 70 % of the urban Indian population is at risk of heart disease. Flavonoids present in potatoes helps lower bad cholesterol levels and prevents plaque build-up in your arteries. Additionally, Vitamin B6 helps in reducing levels of a molecule called homocysteine which can lead to inflammation of your arteries. A study pointed out that consumption of potatoes lowers blood pressure, improves lipid profiles as well as decreases markers of inflammation, thereby improving cardiometabolic health .

5# May help weight loss: Potatoes can restrict weight gain  when they are included in a fat and refined food rich diet. The study attributes this ability of potatoes to the presence of polyphenolic compounds that activates the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) to initiate breakdown of sugar at a faster rate. This helps boosting metabolism and preventing weight gain.

6# Fights stress: Stress is an extremely common phenomenon found in today’s urban population. Potatoes contain Vitamin B6 which aid in the formation of hormones like serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline which regulate your mood. Vitamin B6 also helps in the formation of neurotransmitters and are extremely important for a healthy nervous system.

7# Prevents early ageing: Antioxidants present in potatoes can help delay the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines which is caused due to free radical damage. Also, potatoes can be used to remove dark spots and even skin tone.

6 great reasons to include bitter gourd or karela in your diet

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

 

Bitter gourd or karela might have gained negative reputation because of its extreme bitter and unpleasant taste but it is also considered as a valuable vegetable and has been used in folk medicine since a long time for its numerous therapeutic benefits. Packed with some key nutrients and healthy components, bitter gourd could serve as a healthy addition to your diet. Here are some reasons you should overlook its bitter taste and consider eating it.

1# Maintains digestive health: Bitter gourd is a rich source of cellulose, which adds to you daily dietary requirement of fibre, improving digestion and helping prevent problems like dyspepsia and constipation. Besides it also contains antihelminthic compounds that can kill infectious worms in your stomach.

2# Improves your immunity: Bitter gourd is an extremely rich source of Vitamin C which helps boost your immunity. It also exhibits powerful antiviral property capable of stimulating the immune system and activating natural killer cells in the body. It also helps stimulate anti-inflammatory responses of the intestinal and systemic environment [1,2].

3# Great for diabetics: Bitter gourd has certain phytonutrients like polypeptide P (insulin like protein) that mimicks the action of insulin and lowers blood sugar levels in those suffering from diabetes. Another compound known as vicine is a glycol alkaloid that has hyoglycemic effects. Besides some studies show that other phytochemicals like triterpene, proteid, steroid, alkaloid, inorganic, lipid and certain phenolic compounds are responsible for conferring bitter gourd with a potent anti-diabetic activity .

4# Aids weight loss : A 100g serving of bitter gourd contains just 17 calories making it a great option for those who want to lose weight. It also stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids that are crucial for metabolising fat in the body. Although there is no evidence suggesting bitter melon can help weight loss in humans, a promising study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that consumption of bitter melon restricted weight gain and accumulation of body fat in without altering their energy intake in rats.

5# Prevents vision related disorders: Vision related disorders like cataracts and age related macular degeneration affects a lot of people when they age. If you want your vision to be as clear as it is now, then eat bitter gourds as it is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, nutrients that are great for your eyes. Additionally, vitamin C and antioxidants present in bitter gourd can reduce the damage to your eyes caused due to oxidative stress.

6# Keeps you looking beautiful: Bitter gourd has an abundant supply of fibre, vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals which help flush out the toxins and also prevent damage caused due to free radicals in your body.

7 reasons barley or jau is great for your health

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

 

Barley is one of the earliest cultivated grains by man that is still widely consumed throughout the world. Commonly called jau in India, this versatile cereal is more popular in the brewing industry for large scale production and fermentation of beer. However, it is loaded with nutrients and can offer your body more benefits than one. Here are some of the top reasons why you should include barley in your diet.

1# Prevents heart diseases:Barley is rich in soluble dietary fibre that helps lower cholesterol levels. Consumption of barley caused significant reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol, without affecting the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. cholesterol build-up in the arteries and thus keeps heart disease at bay .

2# Boosts your sex life: Barley is a rich source of zinc, a vital nutrient that is great for a man’s sexual health. A zinc deficiency can lead to a reduced sperm count. Also, it has been proven to boost testosterone levels in men.

3# Helps you lose weight: Barley is a rich source of fibre which helps you lose weight because of its high content of insoluble fibre. This insoluble fibre will combine with water to expand in your stomach and make you feel full for a long time.

4# Good for diabetics: Diabetics should definitely include barley in their diet as it has a low glycaemic index which means that it does not cause blood sugar levels to spike suddenly. According to a study conducted by the Agricultural Research Service at the Diet and Human Performance Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, barley was actually a better breakfast option than oats for people with type 2 diabetes.

5# Prevents gallstones: According to a study published in American Journal of Gastroenterology, eating foods rich in insoluble fibre like barley helped prevent gall stones. Insoluble fibre helps move the food quickly through the intestines, and reduces the secretion of bile acids making it an excellent nutrient for your digestive system.

6# Reduces your risk of cancer: Selenium, a nutrient present in barley helps in reducing your risk of cancer by supporting metabolic functions and helping in the recovery of damaged cells. Additionally, barley also contains plant lignans and antioxidants which further enhance the cancer-fighting properties of barley.

7# Helps manage arthritis: Copper, phosphorus and manganese are three nutrients present in barley that are great for your bones. A 62g serving of barley meets 35% of your daily requirement for copper – a nutrient that helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

11 healthy reasons to eat strawberries

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

 

One of the most vibrant and lustrous fruits, strawberries are one of a kind berries that are loved by one and all. With heart-shaped delicate outer flesh, embedded with tiny seeds, strawberries are not only popular for their delightful external appearance but also widely consumed for their juicy nature and sour, sweet taste. Plus, they are loaded with nutrients, making them even more desirable. Here are some benefits you can derive by eating strawberries this season.

1# Boosts your immunity: Strawberries are packed with Vitamin C that helps boost immunity, protecting against  you from infections. Just one cup of strawberries can meets 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. This alone makes it a fruit that you should not miss out on, especially during the strawberry season.

2# Prevents heart diseases: Oxidative stress and inflammation are key players in development of heart disease and strawberries contains compounds that attack these key factors contributing to atherosclerosis and heart disease. The flavonoids called anthocyanins and antioxidants present in strawberries prevent the build-up of bad cholesterol  that can block your arteries. Other compounds including catechin, quercetin and kaempferol promote plaque stability and improve the function of endothelial cells. They also help prevent plaque rupture and thrombosis [1]. Studies have shown an inverse relationship between strawberry consumption and incidence of high blood pressure and blood levels of C-reactive protein, an important biomarker of heart disease. In smokers, strawberries lowers lipid peroxidation that increases the risk of heart disease.

3# Prevents and regulates diabeties: Strawberries have a lowly glycemic index of 40, which means diabetics can consume it without worrying too much. Additionally, research suggests that compounds in strawberries have a favourable effect on glucose levels and lipid profile in diabetics. Regular consumption of 2-3 servings of strawberries is also found to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in healthy individuals.

4# Relieves constipation: Strawberries are fairly rich in fibre (100g meets 8% RDA of fibre). They can be included in diet to boost digestive health and regulate bowel movement. The fibre content adds bulk to stool, allowing its easy passage through the colon, thereby reducing the overall transit time.

5# Helps prevent cancer: The high antioxidant content of strawberries makes them capable of keeping cancer at bay. In particular, strawberries have antioxidants like lutein and zeathanacins which suppresses the growth of cancer cells.  The high vitamin C  content boosts your immunity and makes your body more capable of fighting cancer cells. Laboratory studies have shown that strawberry extracts can block the initiation of carcinogenesis as well as suppress the progression and proliferation of tumours, giving them the ability to fight cancer effectively.

6# Good for your skin: A lot of skin products like face wash, anti-ageing creams and moisturisers appearing in the market are enriched with strawberry extracts and essence. That’s because strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants like flavonoids and vitamins. These compounds fight free radicals and prevent early ageing by slowing down the development of wrinkles.

7# Helps you lose weight: Strawberries are extremely low in calories, with a cup having just 53 calories. Also, they have fibre which can leave you feeling fuller if you have them before a meal. Not only this, the high vitamin C content help boost your metabolism which helps your body burn the calories faster.

8# Great for pregnant woman: Folate present in rich quantities in strawberries helps in the baby’s brain, skull and spinal cord development. In addition, it also has folic acid which can save the child from having certain birth defects.

9# Great for your bones: Strawberries are rich in minerals like manganese and potassium that not only help promote bone growth but also help keep them in mint condition. These properties also make strawberry a good fruit for growing children.

10# Prevents hair loss: Folic acid, vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and ellagic acid present in strawberries helps prevent your hair from falling and thinning. Furthermore, minerals like copper and magnesium helps prevent dandruff and fungal growth on your scalp. If that wasn’t enough, many home made packs can be made using strawberries that’ll add shine and glow to your hair.

11# Boosts memory: Fisetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid present in strawberries helps enhance memory by stimulating the signaling pathways. A research published in Annals of Neurology also proved that eating 2 or more servings of strawberries per week can delay memory decline in ageing women [1].

8 health benefits of plums or alubukhara

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Plum is one of those unique fruits that are available in a wide variety of colours and sizes. Ranging from purple, red to green and yellow, these small temperate fruits are available throughout the summer.

1. Prevents anemia: If you’re anemic due to deficiency of iron then you should have plums along with other sources of iron. Remember, you may be having rich sources of iron but if that iron is not well absorbed by the body it’s of no use. To allow proper absorption of iron, your body needs vitamin C and plums are rich in vitamin C. 1 cup of sliced plums (approx 165 gms) will give you 15.7 mg of vitamin C. That’s about 26% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

2. Relieves constipation:If your digestive system is overall healthy and you’re having the right amount of fibre and water along with healthy food you may never have constipation. Plums are rich in dietary fibre. With one small plum you add 4% of the daily recommended allowance of fibre to your daily diet. Plum also contains sorbitol and Isatin. Sorbitol is a natural laxative that helps the large intestine to absorb water and stimulate bowel movement, thereby relieving constipation. Isatin, on the other hand, may help in regulating the function of the digestive system.

3. Helps control BP: Plums are rich in potassium, a mineral that is critical to control blood pressure. 1 cup of plums will give you 7% of your recommended daily intake of potassium.

4. Improves vision:Plums are a rich source of vitamins, especially vitamin A. A handful of plums contain 569 International Units (IU) of Vitamin A. That’s exactly 11% of the amount of Vitamin A you need on a daily basis. Vitamin A, as we all know, is important for healthy eyes and sharp vision. Plums not only keep the eye membrane healthy but also protect you against the damage caused by UV light because of its carotenoid zea-xanthin.

5. Strengthens your bones:Vitamin K in plums not only help in blood clotting but also help you strengthen your bones. Researchers also suggest that vitamin K have the ability to reverse bone loss in women in their menopause.

6. Protects against infections:By helping your body to get vitamin C plums can help your immune cells to stay healthy and fight infections, keeping you away from general cold and flu.

7. Keeps the heart healthy:Plum might not be the richest fruit with antioxidants but it can definitely protect your heart against free oxygen radicals. Dark coloured plums contain more amount of antioxidant called anththocyanins that prevent cell damage due to its anti-inflammatory effects. They also contain other poly phenolic compounds like lutein and cryptoxanthin that further help reduce oxidative stress on the cells.

8. Helps metabolic processes: One small plum has just 30 calories without negligible amount of fat. So even if you eat a whole cup of plums at one time, you will not add too many extra calories to your diet. Plums also contain B vitamins like niacin and vitamin B6 that help in breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

10 common foods that can cause allergies in children

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Food allergies in children are nightmares for every parent. The symptoms are not always the obvious — skin rashes and itching. In fact, they manifest in many ways than one and are different for each food.

1. Wheat

Allergy to wheat is common among children and happens due to gluten, a protein component found in it. However, only 10 percent of gluten intolerances are genetic. Most of the other cases they are usually due to a bout of major illness or reaction to medications and surgeries. Apart from wheat, barley, rye and oats also contain gluten that could lead to the same allergy.

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Indigestion that could lead to nausea, headache, excessive burping, etc.
  • Stomach aches, due swelling of the intestinal wall

2. Soya bean

Although, not as common as wheat allergy, soya is not compatible in some children with a sensitive digestive system. Known as a potent food that leads to hormonal imbalances, it isn’t easy to digest for some kids.

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Swelling on the hand and feet, tongue and lips
  • Puffed eyes
  • Flatulence and bloating

3. Milk

Allergy to milk, known as lactose intolerance, affects almost sixty percent of individuals all over the globe, at some point in life. Lactose intolerance is either primary or secondary. In the case of primary lactose intolerance, one is unable to tolerate milk or milk products. Whereas, those with secondary lactose intolerance can digest milk products like yoghurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc.

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Bloating
  • Heaviness in the stomach
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting

4. Carotene rich foods

Carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, papayas are some common foods that are rich in carotene. Intolerance to carotene usually occurs in phases and might not be there for a lifetime. Rarely, it also happens when a child undergoes a treatment with potent antibiotics or steroids.

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Greenish stools
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow coloration of the skin

5. Shellfish

For seafood lovers, this could be bad news. Of the other fishes, this fish is known to be notorious with kids.  Symptoms to watch out for:

  • Hoarseness of the throat
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness

6. Eggs

Some children are allergic to this protein rich food and can’t take it a bit. While others might be allergic to either egg white or the yolk.

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Skin reactions like red patches or rashes all over the body
  • Stomach aches
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath

7. Berries

A rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals berries could also be an allergen to some children. Many kids are usually allergic to strawberries and blueberries.

Symptoms to watch for

  • Itchy skin
  • Redness of hands and feet
  • Rashes or hives
  • Burning sensation in the mouth

8. Nuts

Peanut allergies are  very common. However, other tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachio are equally to be blamed.

Symptoms to watch for

  • Mild swelling of tongue, lips and eyes
  • Nausea

9. Citrus fruits

Juicy sour and rich with so many health benefits citrus foods can make some children go sick and ailing.

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Scratchy, itchy throat
  • Swelling in the feet

10. Chillies

Children usually can’t tolerate spicy foods, but that doesn’t indicate an allergy. Introduce chillies to your child from the age of two to allow the taste buds to develop optimally.   However, they are usually allergic to dried chilli used to season a variety of dals and curries in India.

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Refusing foods, even ice-creams due to itchiness in the tongue
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat

10 reasons you should eat dried figs or anjeer

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Figs are one of the earliest fruits grown by man. Though figs are not available throughout the year, dried figs (popularly known as anjeer in India) are available in all seasons and everywhere in the world. Consumption of fig in the dried form became popular because of its distinct taste that gave a whole new experience of enjoying the fruit. But more than its striking flavour, you should have it for the multiple health benefits that it offers.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of anjeer:

1. Improves digestion: Anjeer is rich in dietary fibre. 3 pieces of dried figs contain 5 grams of fibre, which accounts for about 20% of our daily requirement. It’s a natural laxative for preventing constipation and other digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

2. Helps in weight loss: Apart from being rich in fibre, dried figs are low in calories. One piece of dried fig gives you just 47 calories. And, you obtain only 0.2 grams of total fat per dried fig. So, dried figs are an ideal snack for people who want to lose weight.

3. Prevents hypertension: When you eat more salt, the level of sodium in your body increases. This disturbs the sodium-potassium balance of the body and in turn results in hypertension. Anjeer is an ideal fruit for helping to restore this balance. One dried fig gives you 129mg of potassium and just 2mg of sodium. This helps to prevent hypertension.

4. Rich in antioxidants: Dried figs are rich in antioxidants. A study by Vinson JA and colleagues suggested that processed, dried figs are superior to natural figs when it comes to antioxidants. The study also mentions that dried figs have superior quality of antioxidants, called phenols, compared to other fruits that attribute their antioxidant property to vitamin C and E.

5. Prevents heart disease: The high levels of antioxidants in dried figs help to eliminate free radicals in your body that can damage blood vessels and result in heart disease. And, as mentioned earlier they prevent hypertension, a huge risk factor for development of coronary heart disease (CHD). Plus, there are some studies which suggest that dried figs help to reduce the levels of triglycerides that contribute greatly to heart disease.

6. Prevents cancer: Antioxidant-rich dried figs also help in preventing cellular DNA damage due to free radicals that can make a cell cancerous.

7. Strengthens your bones: One dried fig gives you 3% calcium of your daily calcium requirement. Along with other calcium rich foods, they can help to improve bone density and strength.

8. Good for diabetes: The high fibre content in figs makes them good for people with diabetes. However, dried figs are high in sugar content. So you should consult a diabetologist about the quantity of dried figs you can consume.

9. Cures iron-deficiency anemia: Dried figs are a rich source of iron. One dried fig can give you 2% of your daily iron requirement. Iron is an important mineral that carries hemoglobin throughout your body. So eating anjeer is a natural way to raise your hemoglobin levels indirectly by increasing the levels of iron in your body.

10. Improves reproductive health: According to ancient literature, the Greeks used fig as a natural aphrodisiac. Figs were considered as a sacred fruit and were closely associated with fertility and love. Scientifically, figs improve fertility and libido because they are loaded with minerals like zinc, manganese and magnesium which play an important role in boosting reproductive health.

Top 6 health benefits of carrots

Monday, July 6th, 2015

 

Ageing: Carrots are considered anti-ageing foods as they are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that fights free radicals.

Boost beauty: Carrots are rich in antioxidants and vitamin A, both responsible for healthy skin, hair and nails.

Fight cardiovascular diseases: Carrots consists of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein are antioxidants that fight cholesterol. Carrots are also fibrous; hence it helps soak out bad cholesterol.

Dental health: Consumption of carrots improves the dental health by clearing plaque. Biting on carrots increases the production of saliva, hence balances the acid level which fight cavity-causing bacteria.

Improves liver health: Carrots are considered detox food, as it cleanses the liver. Carrots help reduce bile and fat storage in the liver.

Prevent infection: Raw carrot or boiled are applied on cuts and wounds as an antiseptic.