Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

The health benefits of red wine have been a matter of debate for some time now. There are many who believe that having one glass of red wine daily can be a valuable addition to our diet, while others think that its advantages are overrated. Yet, there is no denying the studies that have reportedly shown that moderate red wine consumption seems to lower the risk of several diseases, including heart disease. The keyword: moderate. Here, we look at some benefits of red wine for health, skin, weight loss and more.

Is Red Wine Good for Skin?
It is common knowledge that drinking a glass of red wine a day can ward off the blues, make you feel good, and even boost heart health and cell regeneration! But did you know, red wine can be excellent for the skin as well? Topical application of this ingredient has a multitude of skincare benefits. A look and why and how to include this in your beauty regimen.

Combats skin damage: Red wine uses the skin of grapes, which contains a potent ingredient called resveratrol, an antioxidant. Resveratrol is a key anti-ageing ingredient, which combats the damage done by free radicals, boosts cell function, and helps collagen production happen naturally. It keeps skincare free of wrinkles, dark spots and fine lines, while also creating a protective barrier from pollution and the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Helps clean and clear skin: Red wine also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for skin that is prone to acne and infections, skin that has been out in the sun too long, skin that has open pores. It slows down the growth of harmful skin bacteria and is the best kind of toner there is – using one teaspoon red wine mixed with one teaspoon water after cleansing, can really give your skin a texture boost.

Ensures even-toned skin: Red wine can also be good for the skin on the body. For smoother skin, with more elasticity and firmness, dip a sponge or loofah in red wine that has been diluted slightly, and use as an exfoliating scrub once a week. This will ensure even-toned skin on the arms and legs, reduce blackening on the knees and elbows and create smoother skin overall.

Works as a face scrub: You can use red wine on the face by itself as a toner/cleanser, or in combination with other ingredients for a face pack or a face scrub. You can combine it with aloe vera gel, Multani mitti, ground cinnamon or honey for a face pack, with rose water or lemon tea for a cleanser, or with oatmeal or sugar for a scrub.

Tip: Red wine is thought to be one of the best anti-aging drinks.

Red Wine Facials and How it Benefits The Skin
Across the country and the world, red wine facials are popular with cosmetologists and women cutting age groups. A red wine Across the country and the world, red wine facials are popular with cosmetologists and women cutting age groups. A red wine facial is a treatment that uses red wine – a potent anti-oxidant – as its main ingredient. With an anti-oxidant activity 50 times more effective than vitamin E and 20 times more than vitamin C, red wine visibly reduces the appearance of wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and moisture content. It protects against free radicals and increases intracellular levels of vitamin C and, which has an anti-wrinkle effect. It inhibits the destruction of collagen fibres, stimulates the activity of certain detoxifying enzymes and inhibits others that are responsible for premature ageing of cutaneous tissues. This can have a positive effect on the skin!

The effects of a red wine facial are visible from the first treatment itself but are to some extent dependant on the condition of your skin. The treatment is a set procedure that uses products as per the individual skin type and skin condition and needs an anti-ageing machine to achieve results. A single treatment can cost upwards of Rs. 2,000/- in India and is available at most leading hi-end spas and 5-star hotel spas across the country.

Tip: A wine facial works for some skin types. See if you fit the bill.

Red Wine for Weight Loss Benefits
You may have been told that if you want to lose weight, you must ditch booze, avoid high-calorie food and hit the gym. Well, the latter pieces of advice may work for all of us, but ditching booze to lose weight is not a good idea, say experts. According to researchers, drinking red wine in moderation can actually help you in your weight loss journey.

How does it work: As per researchers, drinking two glasses of red wine can help you in losing weight. The studies were conducted at Washington State University and Harvard Medical School and claimed that a polyphenol called 'resveratrol', which is present in red wine, helps in losing weight. Polyphenol converts white fat, which are larger cells that store energy and expand as we gain weight, into obesity-fighting beige fat and this fat is much easier to lose.

Another study was done at Harvard study on 20,000 women. It revealed that women who were drinking wine had a 70 per cent reduced risk of developing obesity. They also found that drinking wine initially slowed weight gain in women. However, these women self-reported their weight over time.

Tip: The key is moderation.

Other Benefits of Red Wine
Drinking red wine is good for our health, claim health experts. Do keep in mind though that a healthy lifestyle and wholesome diet can play an even bigger role in ensuring good health.

Reduce the risk of some heart disease: A few studies have also shown that drinking wine in small to moderate quantities may help in reducing risks for some kinds of heart disease.

Lowers risk of stroke: Red wine may also help in lowering the risk of strokes and early death. This is because when your red wine helps within a certain limit, it can help retain the 'good' HDL cholesterol in the blood.

Reduces the risk of some cancers: It also reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon, basal cell, ovary and prostate cancers.

Reduces the risk of dementia: Health experts also say that drinking 1-3 glasses of wine per day is also linked with reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes: It is also believed that moderate consumption of red wine could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially in women.

Reduces the risk of depression: Another study that was done on middle-aged and elderly people revealed that those who drank 2-7 glasses of wine per week were less likely to be depressed.

Tip: Do talk to your doctor before consuming wine for its health benefits.

All the tea lovers, this one's for you! Tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Each one of us has a unique way of making our cup of tea like adding flavours of ginger and cardamom to our tea, enjoying it with less milk, more milk, only milk, or we may even seep or boil it to get our very own steaming cup of joy! Tea lovers may now cheer up as a new study has suggested that consuming the beverage on a regular basis may not only act as an energy booster and make you feel relaxed but also improve cognitive skills and brain health.

According to the findings of a study, published in the journal Impact Journals LLC, individual constituents of tea were related to the roles of maintaining cognitive abilities and preventing cognitive decline. There is another study with behavioural and neurophysiological measures showed that there was a degraded effect or no effect when a constituent was administered alone and a significant effect was observed only when constituents were combined.

"Tea has been a popular beverage since antiquity, with records referring to consumption dating back to the dynasty of Shen Nong (approximately 2700 BC) in China," said lead researcher Dr. Junhua Li from Tsinghua University in Beijing.

For the study, the team of researchers analyzed healthy older participants into two groups according to their history of tea drinking frequency and investigated both functional and structural networks to reveal the role of tea drinking on brain organisation. They also found that tea also helps in warding off Alzheimers -- a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time.

"In summary, our study comprehensively investigated the effects of tea drinking on brain connectivity at both global and regional scales using multi-modal imaging data and provided the first compelling evidence that tea drinking positively contributes to brain structure making network organization more efficient," Li added.

Other Health Benefits Of Tea:
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increases alertness and decreases sleepiness.
Theophylline is a compound present in tea that relaxes the muscles in the air passages, helping people breathe easy. It also increases the heart rate and force of heart contractions.
Theobromine helps reduce blood pressure by improving blood flow and acts as a mild diuretic too.
L-Theanine increases the formation of alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with alert relaxation.

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Coconut which is often regarded as the ‘holy’ fruit in Indian Hindu Mythology actually comes with many incredible health benefits. Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) whose meat and water has been used in almost every Indian ritual for decades. The South Indian state of ‘Kerela’ is blessed with the highest number of coconut trees and coconut production. Other major coconut growing states are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with more than 90 percent of area and production. Moreover, coconuts have been grown in tropical regions for more than 4,500 years but recently saw an increase in popularity for its flavor, culinary uses, and potential health benefits. But very few people know that coconut can actually help in controlling major diseases like diabetes, heart health and promote blood sugar control.

Let’s know about the unknown health benefits’ of coconut.

Coconut Benefits
It's highly nutritious than you think
The coconut meat and water contains protein, several important minerals, and small amounts of B vitamins. However, they’re not a significant source of most other vitamins.

Moreover, the minerals in coconut are involved in many functions in your body. Coconuts are especially high in manganese which is essential for bone health and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and cholesterol.

Here are the nutrition facts for raw and dried coconut meat.

Raw coconut meat Dried coconut meat

Calories 354 650

Protein 3 grams 7.5 grams

Carbs 15 grams 25 grams

Fiber 9 grams 18 grams

Fat 33 grams 65 grams

Copper 22% of the DV 40% of the DV

Selenium 14% of the DV 26% of the DV

Magnesium 8% of the DV 23% of the DV

Iron 13% of the DV 18% of the DV

Coconut is Good for Heart Health
As per reports, consuming virgin coconut oil, which is extracted from dried coconut meat, may reduce belly fat. This is especially beneficial because excess belly fat increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

As per reports, a study in 20 people with obesity found the waist size of male participants decreased by an average of about 1 inch (about 3 cm) after they consumed 1 ounce (30 ml) of virgin coconut oil daily for 4 weeks. The female participants did not experience a significant reduction.

Coconut Promotes Blood Sugar Control
As coconut is low in carbs and high in fiber and fat, so it may help stabilize your blood sugar. The report says that the high fiber content of coconut meat can also help slow digestion and improve insulin resistance which can help regulate blood sugar levels as well.

Coconut Contains Powerful Antioxidants
As per reports, coconut meat contains phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that may help protect cells from oxidative damage. The main phenolic compounds identified include.

gallic acid

caffeic acid

salicylic acid

p-coumaric acid

Enhance Your Skin and Hair Health
It’s not a new thing to tell. Coconut water helps you to get healthy hair and skin and Malayali people are a bright example of that.

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One of the best ways to maintain your health is by taking care of yourself. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy your old age without being injected with several different kinds of shots, then change your daily lifestyle because even the simplest little healthy modification can cause great benefits.
Though it is difficult to put health and fitness as a top priority in this rat race day and age, it’s best to start with baby steps will surely peak your health tremendously. Today, Dr.K.M. Sunesara – General Physician, Mumbai will help us to lead a disease free life, by providing a list of top 20 healthy habits. Follow these simple steps to stay away from the constant acchoos and germ attack.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 1: Wash your hands often
Not washing hands before a meal is one of the fastest way you can fall ill. During our daily chores, we tend to touch several things at a time knowing and unknowingly. Due to this daily mechanism, germs can get easily transported from our hands to our mouth. Hence, always instill the habit of washing hands regularly to keep health problems at a hands distance.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 2: Stop nose picking
This habit of digging gold’ is one of the worst health habits. Picking your nose constantly can cause and spread various infections like cold and flu since cold virus is passed into your body through the mucus. After touching several things and then taking the same finger into your nose, will ensure that you land at the doctor’s clinic. Hence, stop this awkward habit of pulling out sticky substance from your nose.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 3: Stretching is important
Make stretching a part of your daily activities. Since we spend most of our time ina office and infront of the computer, our muscles tend to become stiff and contracted. This stiffness can increase the risk of injuries and sever pains. To avoid these injuries, make sure to regularly pratice stretching every morning – says Dr. Sunesara.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 4: Breathe the right way
The best way to improve your health is by improving your breathing technique – says Dr. Sunesara. Dr. Sunesara recommends – we should breathe from our diaphragm instead of breathing from our chest. This change in the breathing pattern will help to maximize the oxygen intake and will also ensure that you stay calm. Change your breathing style to improve the way your body functions and blood circulation.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 5:Eat a healthy breakfast
Always make sure that you eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and a eating a healthy breakfast in the morning will help you to avoid snacking during the rest of the day. Result? You will prevent stomach upset which is caused due to digestion problem and weight gain.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 6: Bathing is good
Make sure you cleanse yourself thoroughly with a good refreshing shower gel or soap. A good shower is necessary to remove dirt and odor from your body and bathing also helps you to revitalize. Make your shower time a pamper time, by cleaning each part of your body thoroughly to prevent infection and foul odor.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 7: Cut your nails regularly
Long nails will not only make performing your daily tasks difficult but it can also act as a host for infections and germs. When you touch several things, there is a huge chances of the germs getting stuck into your nails – says Dr. Sunesara. These germs can pass to your mouth, when you nibble your food.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 8: Avoid sharing personal items
Sharing personal items like razors, toothbrush and nail clips etc. can lead to germ transfer. Keep your personal items just for you. Never share any item even with your family members.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 9: Always apply sunscreen
Make a habit of applying a good sunscreen on your skin, whenever you venture out.This habit will keep various skin problems like skin cancer and melanoma at bay. Besides, it will also decrease skin damage and give you a younger looking skin for a long time.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 10: Say no to sugary items
Sugary items are as toxic as alcohol and cigarettes. Excess presence of sugar in your body, can have sever negative effects on your weight and skin. Avoid sugary items and sweet sodas to keep diabetes and other chronic diseases at bay.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 11: Sweat it out
Give a break to your inactive life by adding a little exercise to it. Exercising regularly for 30 minutes have endless benefits as it helps to maintain healthy weight, decreases tension and boosts your energy levels and mood. Start exercising stay healthy and to avoid various cardiovascular diseases.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 12: Good sleep
Never compromise on your sleeping hours. A good night's sleep for 8 hours is very important to prevent various sleep disorders. Thus, always maintain a proper schedule and proper sleeping pattern. Choose a comfortable bed and never eat a heavy meal late at night.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 13: Stop worrying
The best thing favour you can do to yourself is by avoiding stress like plague. Stress is the cause of various health problems like depression, insomnia and heart ailment. Dr. Sunesara says – whenever stressed, practice breathing exercise and relax yourself.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 14: Monitor your monitor time
Reduce your monitor time, to avoid negative impact on your eyes and mental health – says Dr. Sunesara. If your work depends on the usage of monitors then protect yourself by using good pair of eye protection glasses and adjust the way you sit. Besides, make sure you avoid looking at any kind of a monitor before bed time to get a good nights sleep.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 15: Drink lots of water
Drink a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water every day, depending on your physical activity. Sufficient intake of water is very essential to flush out toxins from your body and to rejuvenate your cells. If you do not drink enough water, you will end dehydrated yourself and thus, exhausted.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 16: Say no to junk food
Fast food is rich in trans fat, sugar, spices and artificial preservatives. Constantly consuming junk food will expand your waistline and cause serious health problems in the long run such as high cholesterol, diabetes and heart problems. Since fast food is rich in bad fat, it raises the bad cholesterol in the body and leads to the hardening of the arteries, which can further cause plaque deposits. Hence, switch to a healthier diet and protect yourself from weight gain and other serious wellbeing problems.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 17: Quit smoking
Dr. Sunesara says – smoking even a single cigarette a day, can cause blood clots, which may prevent swift flow of the blood and hence can cause plaque to develop in your arteries and blood vessels. Besides, you may also damage the life of the nonsmoker who is living with you.
Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 18: Stay safe while having sex
Sex is a pleasurable act and if you act foolish you will land in serious health problems. Dr. Sunesara says – always use a condom while having sex to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and avoid unwanted pregnancy. Besides, don’t be a Casanova, stick to one partner for your sexual pleasures.

Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 19: Respect your body and yourself
Your body is your host, learn to respect it. Accept every flaw and weaknes and learn to live with it. If you want to stay happy with good health and high confidence then love your body the way it is.
Healthy Habit to Avoid Disease # 20: Start loving vegetables

The first habit to add in your eating rule book is to add all types of vegetables in your diet. The health benefits of eating vegetables are numerous. Vegetables are loaded with fiber, essential vitamins and various nutrients which promote good health in every way.

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Try adding these not-so-obvious foods to your pantry and plate to get better nutrition from the calories you eat.

Canned Wild Salmon
Fatty fish, like salmon and sardines, have protein, which gives you energy and makes you feel full longer. And they're full of healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help keep your heart healthy and hold inflammation at bay throughout your body. They also help give skin its glow.

Wild salmon, when it's fresh, can be pricey. Andrea Moss, a certified holistic nutrition coach in Brooklyn, likes canned wild salmon. It costs just a fraction of the fresh variety, and it's just as good for you.

Whole-Leaf Aloe Juice
When you hear "aloe," you might think of the gel you slather on your skin after a sunburn. But you can also buy drinkable, food-grade aloe vera. The plant has been used for centuries for its medicinal, health, and beauty benefits.

It's rich in antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and it also has vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. Aloe is a good source of magnesium, calcium, and zinc. And it provides 20 of the 22 amino acids your body needs. The salicylic acid in it helps with inflammation.

"Drink 2 ounces a day," recommends Julia Hunter, a dermatologist in Los Angeles, to help heal the lining of a damaged intestinal tract and heal or prevent leaky gut syndrome.

Aloe juice can be bitter. If the taste bothers you, she suggests mixing it with fruit juice or coconut water.

Pumpkin Seeds
"Most of us only think of pumpkin seeds around Halloween, but they're one of the healthiest seeds to add to your daily diet," Moss says. She recommends them hulled, eaten raw or gently toasted.

They're a rich source of magnesium and zinc, two minerals many people don't get enough of. Magnesium helps relax the body and relieve everything from tight muscles to anxiety to headaches to constipation. Zinc is a key player for your immune system, and it boosts testosterone (which can help improve your libido).

Research suggests both could help people who take medication for depression.

Brazil Nuts
Often overlooked, they're rich in selenium, a mineral your thyroid gland needs. Selenium also supports your immune system and, because it's an antioxidant, helps prevent damage to nerves and cells caused by free radicals as a result of things like cigarette smoke and UV rays.

"Just don't go nuts with these nuts," Moss says. You only need about two a day to get enough selenium, and too many can cause serious health problems.

You're more likely to find this member of the cabbage family as a garnish instead of the star it is, at least nutritionally speaking. It's packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants, both of which help prevent disease and slow aging.

One of these is beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid. These compounds help prevent eye diseases and some cancers. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A.

Watercress also has fiber and vitamin K. Just 2 cups of it give you about a third of the vitamin C adults need each day. And cruciferous vegetables have sulfur-based compounds known as glucosinolates that help your body fight off infection and cancer.

Like all cruciferous veggies, watercress helps detox, Moss says. It's especially good for cleansing the liver.

Naturally fermented sauerkraut and other foods with live cultures -- like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha -- can help relieve constipation, bloating, and gas. That's because the friendly bacteria that caused the fermentation, called probiotics, are still alive. When you eat them, they help break down certain parts of food, making it easier for your gut to absorb nutrients.

Moss says that research "shows regular consumption of fermented foods supports long-term health, helps prevent disease, and boosts our immune system."

Be choosy about what you buy though. If the product has been pasteurized to preserve it, the high temperature has killed the probiotics. Other jars and bottles on the shelf may have used vinegar rather than bacteria to pickle the food. Fermented foods can also have a lot of salt and sugar, so read the labels.

Dr. Nishant Vyavahare
Dr. Nishant Vyavahare
MDS, Dentist, 13 yrs, Pune
Dr. Praisy David
Dr. Praisy David
BAMS, Pune
Dr. Pratima Kokate
Dr. Pratima Kokate
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda, 2 yrs, Pune
Dr. Anjali Bartakke
Dr. Anjali Bartakke
DNB, Pediatrician, 18 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shivangi Patil
Dr. Shivangi Patil
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Gynaecologist Infertility Specialist, 10 yrs, Pune