Category Archives: Healthy Tips

Treat Leg Pain With RICE

As we age, one or both of our legs can pain. A slip or fall or even an awkward step can sprain the ankle. It bears half the weight of the upright body but is a relatively weak joint. If the ligaments are strained, swelling and pain occur. If the ligaments are torn, there may be bruising as well. The R.I.C.E. treatment (rest, application of ice every 20 minutes, compression with an elastocrepe bandage and elevation ) for 2-3 days will usually work. Medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen help relieve the pain. If there is no improvement after three days, then it is advised to consult a doctor.

Now what exactly the RICE method of healing injury:-

Step 1: Rest
Pain is your body’s signal that something is wrong. As soon as you’re hurt, stop your activity, and rest as much as possible for the first 2 days. Don’t try to follow the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. Doing so with certain injuries, like a moderate to severe ankle sprain, can make the damage worse and delay your recovery. Doctors say you should avoid putting weight on the injured area for 24 to 48 hours. Resting also helps prevent further bruising.

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Step 2: Ice
Ice is a tried-and-true tool for reducing pain and swelling. Apply an ice pack (covered with a light, absorbent towel to help prevent frostbite) for 10 minutes, then remove for 10 minutes. Repeat this as often as possible for the first 24 to 48 hours after your injury. Don’t have an ice pack? A bag of frozen peas or corn will work just fine.

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Step 3: Compression
This means wrapping the injured area to prevent swelling. Wrap the affected area with an elastic medical bandage (like an ACE bandage). You want it to be snug but not too tight — if it’s too tight, it’ll interrupt blood flow. If the skin below the wrap turns blue or feels cold, numb, or tingly, loosen the bandage. If these symptoms don’t disappear right away, seek immediate medical help.

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Step 4: Elevation
This means raising the sore body part above the level of your heart. Doing so reduces pain, throbbing, and any internal bleeding that can lead to bruises. It’s not as tricky to do as you might think. For example, if you have an ankle sprain, you can prop your leg up on pillows while sitting on the sofa. The CDC recommends you keep the injured area raised whenever possible, even when you’re not icing it.

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Yogurt The best food stuff that everyone should eat


A new study suggests, it could lower the risk of stroke, Victoria Lambert looks at the benefits of this superfood.

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Could a pot of full-fat yogurt for breakfast be an alternative to a daily aspirin to prevent strokes? New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a fatty acid found in dairy could lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease — and strokes in particular.

Moreover, the University of Texas scientists, who analysed nearly 3,000 adults aged over 65 for 22 years, reported that they had found no significant link between dairy fats and heart disease and stroke, two of the biggest killers associated with a diet high in saturated fat.

The report follows another US study which found that men and women who already have high blood pressure are at lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease if they eat more than two servings of yogurt a week. Scientists from the Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, looked at two large cohorts (55,898 females from the Nurses’ Health Study, and 18,232 males from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study) and found that eating yogurt as part of a healthy diet reduced the risk by 17 per cent in women and 21 per cent in men.

But is yogurt, with its balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat that’s rich in calcium and Vitamin D, really such a “superfood”? Or is it time to rethink everything we thought we knew about its health benefits?

Dieter’s best friend:

Time was when dieters were advised to reach for a yogurt to take the edge off their appetite. Not any more.
“Not if you are opting for a low-fat yogurt which is high in sugar,” says Kim Pearson, a nutritionist based in London. “Some well-known brands contain 20g (five teaspoons) of sugar per serving.”

The NHS recommends that all adults limit sugar consumption to 30g a day. In the new study, the low-fat yogurts contained 17g of sugar and researchers noted that those “seeking to increase yogurt intake should be advised to maintain a healthful eating pattern”.

Triggers asthma :

A study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison published in the Journal of Nutrition last month found that eating 8oz (226gm) of yogurt before a meal improved metabolism and dampened down inflammation, which is associated with chronic conditions like asthma, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

The scientists behind the study, supported by the American National Dairy Council, claim the key is yogurt’s ability to calm chronic inflammation by improving levels of healthy bacteria in the gut.

The news will be of interest to anyone with an allergy-related condition, such as asthma, who may have eschewed dairy thinking it could trigger an attack.

“Calcium-rich dairy products are essential for healthy bones, especially for children and adolescents. And people with asthma can be at higher risk of bone disease osteoporosis because of the use of steroid medication. So, only avoid dairy products if necessary, ensuring you replace them with other sources of calcium.”

Probiotic power :

“Yogurts contain probiotics which can improve a range of gut conditions,” says Dr Foster. “But the dose in the brands you find in supermarkets is so low, it is of negligible benefit. The probiotics get broken down by stomach acid long before they get a chance to be useful.”

An independent Canadian study published in Nutrients in 2017 agrees. Scientists from the University of Toronto looked at 31 studies which found probiotics were associated with “decreased diarrhoea and constipation, improved digestive symptoms, glycaemic control, antioxidant status, blood lipids, oral health and infant breastfeeding outcomes, as well as enhanced immunity and support for Helicobacter pylori [which causes ulcers] eradication.”

But they warned that many of the studies had been funded by the food industry and tested dosages that were up to 25 times the dosage found in most food products. “Many dosages are too low to provide the benefits demonstrated in clinical trials,” warned Dr Mary Scourboutakos, the lead researcher. “Further research is needed to enable more effective use of these functional foods.”

Pearson says: “Consuming probiotics in food is great as everyday maintenance but if it was for a specific purpose — such as after taking a course of antibiotics — I would recommend a high-strength supplement instead.”

Go dairy-free :

Non-dairy yogurts — those made with soya beans or coconut milk — can be among the most highly processed varieties, and are often laden with sugar; Alpro’s Go On Strawberry, for instance, contains two teaspoons per 100g.

However, Pearson singles out one dairy-free variety for praise. “This yogurt contains just four ingredients: coconut milk, vanilla bean paste, tapioca starch and live cultures. (The plain version contains just three — no vanilla). It’s relatively high in fat, but they are healthy fats, so that’s no bad thing as long as it’s in moderation.”

Resources:
https://www.telegraphindia.com/health/yogurt-myths-248965?ref=health-new-stry

Decoding candida infrection

The commonest fungus that affects humans belongs to the candida species. That is why the infection is called candida or thrush.

We are usually resistant to a thrush infection because of our natural immunity. Babies, the elderly and people whose immunity is compromised by HIV infection, cancer or treatment with steroids are unable to withstand the infection.

The spores thrive in the mouth, vagina, penis, and in the sweaty folds of the body – in the armpits, under the folds of the breast, in the groin and diaper areas of babies. They can grow rapidly, causing the area to become inflamed, red, scaly and itchy.

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In the mouth and vagina, thrush is visible as curdy white patches that cannot be scraped off. It makes the foreskin of the penis inflamed and cracked. There may be a foul odour. Scratching causes the organism to be deposited under the nails and transported to other areas.

Prolonged sucking on pacifiers and bottle nipples can cause micro trauma to the mucous membrane of the mouth in babies, enabling candida to get a foothold. If the infant is on antibiotics, the protective microbes in the mouth can get suppressed, causing an overgrowth of candida. The infection can occur in breast-fed infants also and may be passed back and forth from nipple to mouth.

Diapers can promote the overgrowth of candida. The diaper area may be covered with red splotches or be scaly. It can occur because the baby is left in the soiled diaper too long or the baby or mother is on antibiotics.

Local applications of anti-fungal solutions or creams are usually all that is required for the infection to clear up.

Natural probiotics (like a tablespoon of curd) on an empty stomach in the morning will help to repopulate the body with good bacteria and prevent overgrowth of fungus.

Sources:  The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Mindfulness Can Improve Heart Health

Research suggests a regular meditation practice could protect against heart disease.

What’s good for the mind also tends to be good for the heart:-

The mind-calming practice of meditation may play a role in reducing your risk of heart disease, according to a scientific statement published in the Sept. 28, 2017, Journal of the American Heart Association.

Experts reviewed dozens of studies published over the past two decades and found that meditation may improve a host of factors linked with heart disease — making it worth including in an overall program for ongoing heart care.

“Not only can meditation improve how your heart functions, but a regular practice can enhance your outlook on life and motivate you to maintain many heart-healthy behaviors, like following a proper diet, getting adequate sleep, and keeping up regular exercise,” says Dr. John Denninger, director of research at the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Moving meditations:-
Sitting and being still isn’t the only way to practice meditation. Mind-body activities like yoga and tai chi are similar to meditation in that they emphasize slow movements, controlled breathing, and mental focus. Even exercises that emphasize steady, repetitive movements, such as riding a bike, swimming laps, or walking can be a form of meditation, if you focus your brain on the task at hand.

The heart of meditation:-
Meditation involves sitting comfortably with closed eyes and focusing on your breathing, a mental image, or repetition of a single positive word or phrase. The goal is to keep your mind focused on the present and away from stressful or distracting thoughts. As your mind becomes calm, so does your body.

A meditation practice supports your heart in many ways — from changing how you cope with stress to lowering high blood pressure.

Research has found that meditation can positively affect a measure of heart health known as heart rate variability (HRV). HRV reflects how quickly your heart makes small changes in the time interval between each heartbeat. A high HRV is a sign of healthier heart. A 2013 study found that low HRV is associated with a 32% to 45% increased risk of heart attack or stroke among people without cardiovascular disease.

With regular meditation, you may be able to raise your HRV. A 2013 study found that people who did five minutes of meditation daily for 10 days had a better HRV compared with those who didn’t meditate.

A number of high-quality studies also show that meditation can modestly lower blood pressure, according to a 2013 American Heart Association scientific statement published in Hypertension. One analysis pooled results from nine studies and found that, on average, meditation lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) by 4.7 milligrams of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 3.2 mm Hg.

Take a seat:-
There are many different styles and approaches to meditation, but here is a simple routine to begin with.

* Sit quietly and close your eyes. Breathe slowly.

* Relax all of your muscles, beginning with your feet, legs, and thighs.

* Shrug your shoulders and roll your neck to the left and then right.

* On each exhalation, say the word “peace” out loud or to yourself.

When your thoughts wander (and they will), don’t get discouraged. Simply go back to repeating the pattern.

Continue for five to 10 minutes.

Thinking about a practice:-
As with any new endeavor, it takes time to learn meditation and build confidence in your ability. Dr. Denninger recommends that you begin small and give yourself space to progress at your own speed.

For example, devote just five minutes a few days per week to meditation, and then gradually increase the time and frequency until you can do it daily for up to 20 minutes. “Doing some meditation, no matter how brief, is always better than nothing,” says Dr. Denninger.

Set up a schedule to help establish a routine. Try to meditate at the same time each day, says Dr. Denninger. If you have trouble sticking to a set time, plan to do your meditation after a regular activity like brushing your teeth. “If you miss a day or two, don’t feel you have lost any progress and have to start over,” says Dr. Denninger. “Simply pick up where you left off and keep going.”

Some people find that learning and practicing meditation with a group is helpful, so you could inquire about meditation classes at yoga studios and community centers, or even follow meditation exercises online. Dr. Ronald Siegel, an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, offers free meditation exercises at www.mindfulness-solution.com.

Meditation can be yet another way to improve heart health and at the same time help ease your mind.

Resources: Harvard Health Publishing

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Skin


Coconut oil is famous throughout the world not only as an edible oil and hair tonic but also as an excellent massage oil and a smoothener for the skin. In the tropical parts of the world where coconuts are readily available and used in many ways, natives use coconut oil for skin, as they believe that it protects from the sun’s harmful rays. So this natural oil, without any chemical or additives, can protect the skin in the hottest and sunniest places on earth better than the processed and artificial sun creams.

The best aspect of coconut oil that makes it so beneficial for skin is that it does not become rancid. When it is applied on the skin, it can work for a longer time, unlike many other oils, without getting rancid. Due to these various beneficial properties of coconut oil, it is used as an important ingredient in several skin care creams.

Coconut oil can be used for skin care in the following ways:

Lip Gel:
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Cracks in our lips can be a source of worry, discomfort, and embarrassment. Applying chemical gel on the lips can make you consume some of the gel even though it is toxic. Some types of gels are edible, but you still don’t want to eat those chemicals. Coconut oil comes as an ideal alternative in such cases. It acts quickly and even if it goes in your stomach, it will only give you additional benefits!

Skin Softener:
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Coconut oil is a great skin softener and helps to do away with dry and hard skin conditions. Taking some coconut oil on palms,rubbing against each other and then on face,and all over the skin to be moisterised, gives very good result.

Coconut oil is also good for hardened and cracked feet, which may happen due to excessive cold or strenuous work that requires standing. The cracks in the feet will not vanish, but the feet will become softer within days if coconut oil is applied to the affected area daily.

As an exfoliant, including coconut oil as an agent with other exfoliating or grainy materials like salt and sugar, can vastly improve the effects. You will successfully be able to scrape off excess dead skin and clean out the substances that have blocked the pores without leaving the skin feeling irritated. The natural soothing nature of the oil combines with the grainy, exfoliating material perfectly, and leaves your skin with an even color, closed pores, and a soft texture.

Makeup Remover:
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Coconut oil can also be used as a makeup remover. This is not common, but women around the world have begun using it for removing their makeup, without worrying about the harsh chemicals of other removers getting into delicate or sensitive areas.

Skin Disorders:
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It is claimed that coconut oil is good for several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Several readers have reported this benefit. However, scientific research is ongoing in order to prove or deny these claims. Much of the research speaks of its protein content since the replacement of sick or dying cells that can occur with various skin disorders are quickly replaced by new, healthy cells. In this way, coconut oil not only treats the infection by battling the microbial bodies, they also heal the damage or the visible marks of that skin disorder; it is a two-in-one solution!

Anti-aging Cream:
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Traditionally, coconut oil has been praised and popularized for its anti-aging properties.

Stretch Marks remover:
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Coconut oil is known remove or reduce the appearance of stretch marks for those who regularly apply the oil, particularly during and after pregnancy, which is when stretch marks most commonly appear.

For those who don’t know, stretch marks are long, narrow streaks or stripes that are a different shade or hue from the skin surrounding them. These streaks usually occur following rapid weight gain or loss, or after a period of rapid growth, such as what happens during puberty. A mentioned, these stretch marks are most commonly experienced by pregnant women after they have their child and their stomach returns to a normal size. However, many people find these lines or stripes to be unsightly, which is why people are so eager to prevent or remove them.

If you are pregnant, it’s a good idea to apply coconut oil to your stomach and torso during the pregnancy to clarify your skin, as well as in the post-partum period when your body is returning to a neutral state. If you have stretch marks for any other reason, simply apply extra virgin coconut oil to the affected areas, thoroughly rubbing it into the skin, and then washing the same area with warm water in the morning.

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Stretch Marks:
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Coconut oil is known remove or reduce the appearance of stretch marks for those who regularly apply the oil, particularly during and after pregnancy, which is when stretch marks most commonly appear.

For those who don’t know, stretch marks are long, narrow streaks or stripes that are a different shade or hue from the skin surrounding them. These streaks usually occur following rapid weight gain or loss, or after a period of rapid growth, such as what happens during puberty. A mentioned, these stretch marks are most commonly experienced by pregnant women after they have their child and their stomach returns to a normal size. However, many people find these lines or stripes to be unsightly, which is why people are so eager to prevent or remove them.

Removal of Yeast Infection on skin:
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Coconut oil is a highly reliable natural option to treat and eliminate yeast infections, primarily through its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil can prevent the yeast infection from proliferating, deny it access to necessary sugars, speed the healing process, and strengthen the immune system.

Yeast infections are caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungus that is present in everyone’s body. In regulated amounts, it is actually important for our overall health, but certain triggers will cause it to spread and proliferate. Some of the most common areas for yeast infections are the vagina, mouth, skin and intestine. When something like hormonal changes, allergies, certain antibiotics, chronic stress, pH destabilization or nutrient deficiency affect the body, it can often cause a yeast infection.

Coconut oil is commonly used to combat this fungal infection, due to the presence of powerful medium-chain fatty acids, namely lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. Lauric acid gives an important boost to the immune system that can defend against the overgrowth of fungal cells, while caprylic acid can break down the membrane of the yeast infection, preventing it from spreading any further. The other vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants present in the oil further stimulate healing and prevent future infections.

Coconut oil can be used as suppository:
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Some people choose to use a pure coconut oil suppository, which consists of pouring two tablespoons of coconut oil into a silicon mold and then refrigerating them for approximately 20 minutes. This suppository can then be inserted into the vagina and allowed to dissolve, and be absorbed by the affected membranes.

Baths using this oil are also effective methods of treating the vaginal variety of yeast infections. One only need to drop in a teaspoon or two of oil into the bath, and then soak for 10-15 minutes. Doing this once a day should clear up the infection within a week.

How to use coconut oil:
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Many people make the mistake of using too much coconut oil, and since the skin can only absorb a certain amount, the protective layer that the absorbed oil creates doesn’t let any more oil in! This means that if too much is used, too often, the skin will end up as an oily mess, and will look shiny or greasy, not to mention what it might do to clothes!

Now the question is, what makes coconut oil so beneficial for the skin? Before we can understand how coconut oil achieves all of its impressive benefits that people around the world claim, let’s look into the constituents of coconut oil and their respective properties that might make them useful for maintaining skin health.

Constituents of coconut oil:
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Saturated Fats: Predominantly, these saturated fats are medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides. When applied on the skin, they keep it smooth to the touch. Due to the presence of these fats, coconut oil also retains the moisture content of the skin, as the fats eliminate moisture loss through the pores on the skin. When ingested regularly, these fats deposit under the skin, thus keeping it healthy and smooth, giving it an even tone and reducing the appearance of the pores.

Capric /Caprylic/Lauric acid: These are not very different from the medium chain fatty acids, but it is still important to mention them separately here since they have their own contributions. These three fatty acids have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. As a result, when applied to the skin, coconut oil protects from microbial infections that can get into open wounds or even enter the body through the pores. This microbial action can be experienced even if coconut oil is taken internally, as the fatty acids boost the immunity when converted to monocaprin and monolaurin.

Vitamin E: The contributions of vitamin E towards skin care are well known. It is essential for healthy skin, keeping the skin smooth, and protecting it against cracking. Above all, it prevents premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, since it has good antioxidant properties. 100 grams of coconut oil has about 0.1 mg of vitamin E, thus enhancing its skin-nourishing properties.

Proteins: Like coconuts themselves, coconut oil is rich in many proteins. These proteins keep skin healthy and rejuvenated, both internally and externally. Proteins also contribute to the cellular health and tissue repair, along with a wide range of other essential activities within the body. For any damaged cells on or near the skin, a healthy flow of proteins guarantees their replacement at a normal rate, whereas people with protein-deficient diets heal slower and often develop more scars due to the extended healing time.

Resources:
https://www.organicfacts.net/

Coconut Oil for Stretch Marks

Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection – Does it Work?