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Eating Out- What Can Make You Healthy?

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Eating out and eating healthy usually do not go hand in hand. You would be more likely to gorge on junk food instead of its healthier counterparts while eating out with your family. When it comes to eating out, you may not always know about the healthy items available at your disposal; this very fact pushes you more towards the unhealthier variants.

But hey! We’ve got ways to stop you getting swept off by that hungry tide churning in your belly. Below mentioned are just a few tips that could come in handy, if you decide to finally drop by that uber cool restaurant you were planning to go to!

Read the menu carefully: Go through the menu carefully before ordering your food. Look for dishes that are less oily and do not contain hidden sugars. If you are not sure about the calorific content of the dish, you could ask the person in charge about it. Or, go for options that you already are aware of; both the food and its supposed calorie content.

Eat a healthy snack before your meal: To reduce your portion size of the main course, you can eat a healthy snack to act as filler. Opt for healthy snacks such as chickpeas or a handful of almonds before eating out; it can make you eat less during the main course.

Drink water right before the meal: Drinking a glass or two of water right before the meal serves as a technique widely used by diligent weight watchers. Water contains no calories and acts as an internal cleanser for your body.

Skip the dessert: The dessert is one portion of the meal that is filled with empty calories. In this country, the dessert occupies a generous space in every foodie’s list and belly. However, remember that it is often the dessert that is responsible for the saggy abdominal fat you hate to look at. If you don’t want to skip the dessert, readily go for simpler alternatives like the humble plain curd topped with slices of fresh fruits or the ever gratifying Greek yogurt. Sweet indulgence at its healthiest best!

Say vinegar: Might not sound very intelligent, but then try mixing a teaspoon of vinegar to a glass of water and then drink it. Vinegar is known to have properties that reduce your cravings. It also lowers the blood sugar levels in the body. Surprised, you will be.

Control your portion sizes: The buffet spread could just be your undoing at the dinner table. Don’t get overboard looking at the variety and try to keep a check on the portion sizes. Keep the portions small and avoid taking any extra helping. If the hunger pangs do not subside, go for salads. Don’t get bored already. Salads can come in a delicious platter and amaze you with its health benefits. The Russian salad can never go wrong.

Avoid carbonated drinks: Carbonated beverages should not be brewing in your head if you are a weight watcher. Cold drinks and other carbonated beverages contain empty calories that should be absolutely got over with; irrespective of how health conscious you are.

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Gestational diabetes is an early sign of Type 2 diabetes risk

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Gestational diabetes arises in certain women who cannot overcome the insulin resistance that develops during pregnancy. In most cases, the condition goes away after the baby is delivered. However, women who have gestational diabetes have increased risks of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

It’s important to note that gestational diabetes is not actually the cause of that long-term increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. In fact, it’s the other way around: the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes was there all along, even before pregnancy, and is the cause of the gestational diabetes.

“Gestational diabetes appears to be an early symptom of an abnormal ability to secrete insulin,” explains Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, director of the Centre for Integrated Diabetes Care at Women’s College Hospital (WCH). “It’s an early sign of a disorder that can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes.”

Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, regulates blood sugar levels. Abnormal insulin secretion can lead to high blood sugar, which is the main characteristic of diabetes.

Treatment for gestational diabetes protects the baby from the effects of high blood sugar and from the increased insulin production required to control it. Because insulin is a growth factor, women with gestational diabetes may have large babies, which increases the risk of delivery complications. The increased need for insulin can also stress the baby’s pancreas before birth.

“There is evidence emerging that if they are exposed to high blood sugars in pregnancy, the baby’s pancreas has to work harder and that can lead to a potential increased risk of diabetes and insulin secretory defects in the baby,” Dr. Lipscombe explains. “That’s the other concern: that over the years it predisposes the baby to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, so it’s a vicious cycle.”

Early warning

Gestational diabetes is treated in pregnancy to try to avoid or minimize the short- and long-term risks to the baby. For mothers, it can provide an early warning of their own health risks.

“Women get gestational diabetes because they have risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, but it hasn’t developed yet,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “As they get older, especially if they gain weight or if they have an unhealthy diet, or they have other factors that play into the increased challenge to the pancreas, then eventually the pancreas has to work harder, and eventually it fails to the point where they get Type 2 diabetes.”

While it may increase the baby’s future diabetes risk, research indicates that gestational diabetes does not add to a woman’s pre-existing risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“A number of studies have compared women who do and do not get pregnant, who have similar risk profiles,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “One group will get gestational diabetes in pregnancy and the other group won’t get it because they never got pregnant. And it appears that the pregnancy does not increase the risk further. So the gestational diabetes does not make them progress to Type 2 diabetes more rapidly.”

Although the lifetime risk of Type 2 diabetes for women with gestational diabetes may be as high as 50 per cent, it is not a certainty. Research suggests that lifestyle can play an important role in managing those risks for women who have had gestational diabetes.

Research using data from the Nurses’ Health Study II looked at the long-term health of study participants with a history of gestational diabetes.

“For the women who remained more active and kept their weight healthy, their risk of diabetes was much lower despite the gestational diabetes,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “So we know that by keeping to a healthy weight and staying physically active you can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes even if you had gestational diabetes. It’s not a fait accompli – you can do something about it.”

Encouraging healthy changes

That’s one of the reasons Dr. Lipscombe and her colleagues at the Women’s College Hospital Research Institute are studying a preventive program. Now in its pilot phase, it is designed to support new mothers who have had gestational diabetes to make healthy lifestyle changes. The home-based program is adapted from WCH’s highly successful Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative program. It includes telephone counselling and a personal health coach to help women build healthier habits to reduce their long-term risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“It’s not easy to engage new mothers to change their behaviour when they’ve just had a baby,” Dr. Lipscombe says. “We’ve trained the coaches to be sensitive to the fact that these women are in a very demanding period of their life, but it is a time when bad habits do form because of those challenges.”

There is no data from the trial yet, but it has completed recruitment. Dr. Lipscombe reports that they have received positive feedback from participants: 98 per cent would recommend the program to other mothers with gestational diabetes, and 96 per cent described their own experience in the study as good, very good or excellent.

“We’ve had over 70 women who have come back for their final assessment and many have really made positive changes and were starting to see positive results,” she says. “It’s our hope that they will sustain that long-term.”

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Five Reasons Why You Should Sip On Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil) Everyday

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Also known as the 'queen of herbs', holy basil or tulsi makes for the most sacred herb in India. It is widely used in culinary practices. For ages, it has been known for its medicinal uses in Ayurveda that makes it an effective remedy for several ailments. According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, holy basil contains a range of natural antioxidants that can help protect the body tissues against free-radical damage. Tulsi in all forms- dried, fresh and powdered has several healing properties. Chewing on a few tulsi leaves regularly can be super beneficial for you, but did you know sipping on tulsi tea can be even better?
Here are some reasons why you should definitely skip sipping on your regular tea and instead opt for tulsi tea-

1. Prevents Respiratory Disorders

Tulsi tea helps prevent certain respiratory illnesses ranging from cold and cough to bronchitis and asthma. It has immunomodulatory (helps to enhance immunity), antitussive (helps relieving cough) and expectorant (helps in expelling out the phlegm) properties that provide relief in the respiratory system. It has certain oils that help relieve congestion too.

2. Beats Stress

According to quite some studies, tulsi tea helps in maintaining normal levels of cortisol hormone in the body that is known as the stress hormone. It lowers the levels of cortisol, leaving you stress-free. In fact, it is known to subside various symptoms of depression, which may include anxiety.

3. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Move over the regular milk tea and opt for this one as it helps lower the blood sugar levels significantly. Daily intake of tulsi tea may also help facilitate metabolism of carbs and fats, further ensuring that the sugar in the blood is utilized for energy.

4. Maintains Dental and Oral health

The presence of anti-microbial properties in tulsi tea help combat against harmful bacteria and germs in the mouth. Acting as a mouth freshener, it may curb bad breath too.

5. May Prove To Be Great For Patients With Arthritis

According to the book Healing Foods, Eugenol, a constituent of the oil in the basil has an anti-inflammatory effect on joints and the digestive tract.

How to make the perfect tulsi tea (Tulsi tea recipe)?
Tulsi tea is simple to make; all you need to do is to take a cup of water in a pan and add 2-3 basil leaves in it and bring it a boil. Let the water absorb its colour and flavour. After about three minutes, strain the tea in a glass. You can drink this tea as it is or add a teaspoon of honey and a half teaspoon of lemon juice in it for extra flavour and benefits. In fact, you can also add cardamom and ginger while preparing the tea.

So, go ahead and make some amazing tulsi tea for yourself and ensure a healthy and fit self!

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Sadabahar For Diabetes: How To Use This Ayurverdic Wonder To Manage Blood Sugar Levels

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Ayurveda is a treasure trove of numerous herbal treatments. The ancient medical science is said to possess herbal therapies and medicines that help manage and treat various health conditions. Nowadays, the modern and globalised science integrates a lot of Ayurvedic practises in general wellness applications and, in some cases, in medical uses. One of the most common health conditions is diabetes, and Ayurveda has a number of herbal medicines that helps manage blood sugar. According to the book, 'The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Remedies', by Dr. Vasant Lad, diabetes (or madhumeh) is a metabolic kapha type of disorder in which diminished functioning of agni (digestive fire) leads to a tendency towards high blood sugar.In order to control the spikes in blood sugar, Ayurveda suggests having sadabahar herb, which is also known as periwinkle and vinca rosea. Here's what you need to know about this herb.

What Is Sadabahar?

Sadabahar, or periwinkle, is a commonly found plant in India and is said to be native to Madagascar. It is an evergreen shrub that works as an ornamental plant and for medicinal purposes. The smooth, glossy and dark green coloured leaves along with flowers are said to act as natural medicine for type-2 diabetes. According to Ayurvedic expert Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, "sadabahar flowers and leaves are used to control blood sugar levels. One can have herbal tea made from flowers and leaves in the morning or you can also chew some three to four leaves to get effective results."

Health Benefits Of Sadabahar For Diabetes
Sadabahar has long been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicines and is said to be a time-tested herbal treatment for managing conditions like diabetes, malaria, sore throats and leukaemia. Vinca rosea contains two active compounds, the alkaloids and the tannins. It is believed that the plant has more than 100 alkaloids, of which vincristine and vinblastine are most notable for their medicinal benefits.

How To Use Sadabahar For Diabetes?

The fresh leaves of sadabahar can be dried, powdered and stored in an air-tight container.

Consume one teaspoon of this dried leaf powder with a cupful of fresh fruit juice or water daily. The powder may taste bitter.

Take not more than three to four leaves of the plant and chew them to manage blood sugar levels through the day.

Take the pink coloured flowers of the sadabahar plant and boil them in a cupful of water. Strain the water and drink it every morning on an empty stomach.

Make sure you consult a certified Ayurvedic expert or a diabetologist. If you are taking any medications for diabetes and this herb simultaneously, chances are that the blood sugar levels may drop significantly.

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Libido - Boost It With Homeopathic Remedies!

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What is Low Sex Drive?

Low sex drive, medically known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSSD), is a condition where you may notice a drop in the urge to have sex or engage in any sort of sexual activity. It is something that everyone may go through at some point in their life. However, if this prolongs, you may be suffering from HSSD and you need treatment for the same. According to statistics, about 15 percent of men and 30 percent of women go through this at some point of time but never pay much heed to it.

What Causes Low Sex Drive?

The factors that contribute to low sex drive may differ in men and women.

Causes In Men

Erectile dysfunction

Alcohol and or smoking

Diabetes

Hypothyroidism

Low levels of testosterone

Obesity

Drugs dealing with depression, blood pressure, etc.

Stress and anxiety related disorders

Lost spark in marriage

Causes In Women

Childbirth

Pregnancy

Diabetes

Birth-control pills

Drugs, smoking, alcohol

Hysterectomy

Hypothyroidism

Drugs for depression, blood pressure and pain

Stress and anxiety


Traumatic incidents in childhood, such as child abuse

Symptoms of Low Libido

Low sex drive happens over a period of time. If it happens over a few days, then it is nothing of great concern. However, if the symptoms persist over a span of few weeks then you may consider treatment. If you notice the following symptoms, then it may be low sex drive:

Sex has become less frequent

Your partner points out your disinterest in sexual activities

You feel too lazy to initiate sex

If you have stopped enjoying sex altogether

Sex is less dynamic and more mechanical

There is change in your pattern of desiring sex

Aversion to sex

No arousal even after sufficient stimulation

How To Treat it with Homeopathy?

Homeopathy helps to treat the underlying disease which may be responsible for low sex drive. There are number of cases in which low sex drive may be present without any other disease in the background. Homeopathy offers promising results in improving low sex drive. It helps in following ways:

Treating the underlying cause

Treatment of Erectile dysfunction

Reducing stress and improving your stress coping system

Replacing your antidepressant and anti-anxiety medicines, whenever possible

Enhancing your moods and stimulating your sex drive

Homeopathy is strongly recommended in the cases of Low sex drive or Loss of Libido. The homeopathy drugs that can be prescribed to you for boosting your libido are:

Lycopodium clavatum

Ashwagandha

Argentum nitricum or silver nitrate

Turnera diffusa or Damiana

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Dr. Sonali wagh
Dr. Sonali wagh
BAMS, Ayurveda, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sachin Sutar
Dr. Sachin Sutar
BAMS, Family Physician Physician, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. Mangesh Khandave
Dr. Mangesh Khandave
DNB, Pediatrician, 17 yrs, Pune
Dr. Pratima Kokate
Dr. Pratima Kokate
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda, 2 yrs, Pune
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