Snuggling in your bed, drinking a cup of coffee and nibbling on some fried snacks is probably the most ideal way to spend lazy and gloomy days in winter. Sadly, with this weather comes the fear of becoming prone to infections; thanks to a weakened immunity system. During winters, you are in for an increased risk of cold and cough or flu. Did you know your diet may also have a role in aggravating your condition? If you haven't known this already, we can tell you about some foods that can potentially contribute to excessive cold and cough. However, let's first see what happens when you suffer from cold.You get cold when a virus attaches to the lining of your nose and throat. The immunity system sends white blood cells to fight against these viruses, but tends to fail, considering they are weak enough to lose out. Your nose and throat then gets inflamed and makes a lot of mucus. With so much energy lost in fighting the cold virus, you are left feeling fatigued and miserable. A weak immunity system and virus can completely get you down. We tell you foods that may invite more problems than solving them.
1. Dairy Products
While you may have heard everything good about dairy products, there is a chance that they may be sneakily increasing your cold, causing your body to produce more mucus. Do not completely give up on dairy as it is a good source of protein and vitamin D that can help your body fight against infection. Just ensure limited intake in order to avoid causing excessive mucus.
2. Caffeine Intake
Caffeine loaded foods and drinks like coffee, tea and soft drinks are all diuretics that tend to dehydrate your body and this can lead to much thicker mucus, encouraging cold and cough and a weaker immunity. Avoid caffeinated drinks as much as you can and stay healthy.
3. Fried Foods
Fried junk food is not just responsible for adding bulk to your waistline, but may also become a serious cause of cold and cough in your system. The fats and oils present in the fatty foods, which are derived from animal products like butter, lard and omega-6 fatty acids may cause you to produce mucus, further aggravating cold and flu. Stick to healthier foods and focus on improving your immunity system than making it worse.
4. Histamine Dense Foods
Histamines are chemicals that your immune system makes. They help your body get rid of something that's not doing any good to you, for instance, allergens. They alert you when you have ingested something that may be allergic to you. So if you have cold or any allergy, histamines prompt thin walls to make more mucus, which can result in mucus formation. You can get a runny or a stuffy nose. There are foods that naturally high in histamines, which can contribute to the problem and make it worse. Avoid avocados, mushrooms, strawberries, dry fruits, alcohol, yogurt, vinegar and fermented foods.
Alcohol tends to encourage inflammation; further weakening your white blood cells which make it harder for your body to heal. So it is better to skip drinking alcohol that will only worsen your immunity system.
Just like alcohol, sugar can too cause serious inflammation and weaken your immunity system making your cold and cough worse. Sweets may be comforting, but try and avoid as much as you can. You don't want to stay sick while others enjoy their share of sweets.
Enjoy winters without getting sick just by tweaking your diet a little. Stay healthy!
Popping a pill for every illness is a common course we take for most lifestyle diseases. We ignore the fact that nature offers some of the best medicines. New studies show that diabetics are at a much higher risk of neo-degenerated diseases, nearly double the risk of cancer and heart disease. It’s time now we look at eliminating the causes of the disease rather than just bandaging the problem and controlling symptoms with medication which comes with innumerable side effects. Here are 5 exceptional foods to heal diabetes.
We all know about this spice in our kitchen, but do you know that it was used as a medicine in ancient times? The anti- diabetic compounds in cinnamon reduce the rate at which glucose enters our body. It improvises glucose uptake by the cells and helps with blood sugar spikes. Regular dosage reduces fasting blood sugar as well as elevated levels of cholesterol in the body. The dosage recommended for diabetics is between 3-6 grams a day of the cinnamon powder.
This thorny herb has been used as a medicine for the longest time. Nature has indeed provided us with all these herbs that we have been using and have their descriptions in our Vedic literature. The root of the herb is ground into a powder and can be taken at least 2 times in a day. The herb stimulates the pancreas to release insulin in the blood and also helps with insulin resistance among the cells. Hence, glucose enters the cell providing energy and purifying the blood of any sugar.
A natural anti-diabetic, anti- cancer anti-inflammatory and anti- allergic, haldi or turmeric helps with insulin resistance, allowing glucose to enter the cells effectively. Diabetics should drink a cup of turmeric tea i.e. add a pinch of pure turmeric in a glass of water allow it to boil and drink. This also works very well for any inflammation in the body, which is common with diabetics.
4. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is an effective and natural way to cure diabetes. Coconut oil contains lauric acid and medium chain fatty acids that are lighter than glucose, so it easily gets into the cells providing super fuel to the cells without any need of insulin. Coconut fat does not get stored in the human body and is utilized as energy.
5. Jamun seeds
The fruit is exceptional for managing blood sugar, not just that the seeds of the fruit, if dried and powdered are very effective in controlling sugar levels. Anything that is astringent in taste is nature's design to cure metabolic diseases caused by excessive sweetness in the body.
The ancient Ayurvedic texts give an abundance of natural solutions to various lifestyle diseases, which now modern research is validating. Let’s go back to our roots and heal our bodies. The cookies, biscuits, breads, pastas and especially the diet and fat-free food flooded in the markets are highly inflammatory. The oils, sugar and other ingredients used are toxic. Hence, go back to a diet with 60-70 % of your diet from plants and fruits. Each meal you consume should be full of healthy foods giving each organ the nourishment its craving for.
Welcome to the time when freezing winds, dry air and chilled temperatures together leave no stone un-turned to make you 'feel the frizz' and your blankets do not let you head to the salon! Winter season is synonymous to the season of dryness and that's why winter hair care isn't that easy. The lack of humidity and the imbalance in temperature - cold outside and warm indoors - make our hair dry, frizzy and unmanageable. De-tangling dry hair is also very cumbersome and leads to hair fall, which further reduces the volume of your hair. Winters bring along a season of parties and it's not only difficult for our wallets and tight schedules to manage a salon visit every time before a party but also for our hair to bear the chemical products and acute heat. Moreover, equipment like dryers and straighteners add up dryness and make the hair condition even worse. But, fret not! Here are some wonderful winter hair care home remedies to get rid of frizz this winter at home.
These simple tips will help you fight back the harshness of winters and give you beautiful and manageable hair.
1. Use Lukewarm Water For Hair
Use moderately warm water for washing your hair, neither too hot nor too cold. This helps close the cuticles of your hair strands, sealing in the moisture. Closed cuticles prevent dirt to enter and also shield the scalp from pollution.
2. Avoid Hair Dryer
Don't use hair dryer to dry your hair. Intense heat from hair dryer soaks up the moisture from your hair cuticles, resulting in dry and dull hair. Frequent and prolonged usage of hair dryer may make your hair dry and frizzy too. Hence, avoid using artificial heat to dry your hair and let your hair dry naturally.
3. Banana And Avocado Mask
Make a paste of one ripe banana and two avocados. Apply this mask on your scalp for 20-30 minutes and then wash it with a mild shampoo. This hair mask will give elasticity and moisture to your hair and help in smoothening the hair strands.
4. Rice, Milk And Honey Paste
Rice milk and honey paste is the most effective remedy of all times. All you have to do is to soak rice in water for about 15 minutes and then use that rice water to mix it with milk and honey to make a paste. Apply it on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse your hair with lukewarm water. It will add volume to your hair and will strengthen the roots.
5. Egg Yolk
Egg yolk is one of the best home remedies to manage your frizzy hair. All you have to do is to combine two yolks and apply it on your scalp and split ends for 20-30 minutes and wash them. This mask will give you shiny an moisturised hair.
6. Regular Oiling
Oiling your hair is an old yet an effective method to combat frizz during the cold months. Mix castor and coconut oil and massage it on your scalp. It soothes your scalp and increases blood circulation. Moreover, it is quite effective in curing dandruff, which is one of the causes of dryness.
Winter frizz is no longer a problem with these amazing natural and easy remedies.
Everyone with diabetes should test their blood sugar (aka blood glucose) levels regularly. Knowing the results lets you adjust your strategy for keeping the disease in check, as needed.
Regular testing can also help you avoid getting long-term health problems that can stem from the condition. Research shows that in people with either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, sticking to your target blood sugar and HbA1c levels makes complications less likely.
Ways to Test Your Blood Sugar
Traditional Home Glucose Monitoring
You prick your finger with a lancet (a small, sharp needle), put a drop of blood on a test strip, and then place the strip into a meter that displays your blood sugar levels.
Meters vary in features, portability, speed, size, cost, and readability (with larger displays or spoken instructions if you have vision problems). Devices deliver results in less than 15 seconds and store this information for future use.
Some meters also calculate an average blood sugar level over a span of time. Some also feature software kits that take information from the meter and display graphs and charts of your past test results. Blood sugar meters and strips are available at your local pharmacy.
Meters That Test Other Parts of Your Body
Some devices let you test you upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh.
These results may differ from the blood sugar levels gotten from a fingertip stick. Levels in the fingertips show changes more quickly. This is especially true when your sugar is changing fast, like after a meal or after exercise.
If you have symptoms of low blood sugar, don't rely on test results from other parts of your body.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring System
Some of these devices are combined with insulin pumps. They're not as accurate as finger-stick glucose results. But they can help you find patterns and trends in your sugar levels. You may also hear doctors call these interstitial glucose measuring devices.
When Should I Test My Blood Sugar?
Each person is different. Your doctor will tell you when and how often you should check your levels.
If you use insulin more than once a day or use an insulin pump, experts recommend checking your blood sugar at least three times daily.
What Can Affect My Results?
They may not be accurate if you have anemia or gout. If it's hot, humid, or you're at a high altitude, that can interfere with the results, too. So can vitamin C.
If you consistently see results that aren't expected, recalibrate your meter and check the strips.
The chart below shows you the ideal blood sugar ranges for most adults except for pregnant women. Your ideal range may be different from another person's and will change throughout the day, so check with your doctor for your targets.
Are you tired of hearing the latest pitch on how to lose weight, when all you want to do is to just gain some kilos instead?
Unfortunately, this is the truth; there is way too much information on how to lose weight but barely anything on how to gain weight, especially in a healthy and balanced way. But the good news is that you can turn to Ayurveda for some solutions to put on weight the right way and the best part is that it determines your optimal weight not by the number on the weighing scale but by your body constitution- kapha, vata and pitta. Here are few important strategies that may help you gain weight in a way that it does not hamper your overall health. The Ayurvedic approach is healthy, simple and holistic along with being effective.According to Ayurvedacharya Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda, "A person should always maintain healthy weight - not too much and not too less. Ayurveda recommends 'balance' or an 'optimum state' in everything, including your body weight. That said, if you are recuperating from an illness or you are very thin and you want to gain weight, do it gradually and naturally. Do not rely on weight-gain supplements which may cause liver and kidney problems. A healthy person, with appropriate weight for his or her age and height is more likely to have good immunity and lead a happy life."
As per Ayurveda, people with Vata dominant physiology are typically thin, while people with Kapha dominant physiology tend to be overweight. So, if you have a Vata body-type, there is a limit to how 'fat' you can become. Instead of worrying about gaining weight, it is imperative to focus on being strong and healthy.
Dr. Chauhan lists down some tips that Ayurveda suggests in order to gain weight in a healthy way-
- Include soy bean in diet. Soy is high in protein and is perfect if you are a vegetarian looking for good sources of protein. Eat a fruit or drink fresh fruit juice, if possible every day or at least three times a week. If your diet includes non-vegetarian foods, you can add any meat of your choice twice a week.
- Include more curd, ghee, milk, sugarcane, rice, black gram and wheat in your daily diet. These are all good for gaining weight in a healthy manner.
- Gaining weight doesn't mean you don't have to exercise. In order to gain weight healthily, one must exercise regularly to allow the body to metabolize the food you have consumed and further keep your appetite strong.
- Small quantities of spices such as cinnamon, garlic, ginger, cardamom, clove and black pepper in your diet help in stimulating your appetite.
- Sleep well at night. Get at least eight hours of proper sleep. Avoid distractions before going to bed, like mobile phones or laptops. Drink a glass of cow's milk with a pinch of turmeric for a sound sleep.
- Eat in a normal speed, neither too fast, nor too slow. Eating at a normal speed stimulates the salivary glands, which aids digestion.
- Do not watch television, use your mobile phone or read while you are eating. Eat actively and allow your body to be engaged in the act of eating.
- Choose a clean and noise-free environment to have your meals.
- Do not drink a lot of water before or after meals. You may take small sips during meals if you need. In winters, you can sip lukewarm water during meals.
- Massaging the body with sesame oil allows the muscles and bones to become strong. It also promotes blood circulation which will carry nutrients to all parts of your body.
As per Ayurveda, people with Vata dominant physiology are typically thinHome remedies to gain weight,
Take equal amounts (50 grams) of figs, almonds, dates and raisins. Add 100 grams of gur (sugarcane jaggery). Saute it in cow's ghee until it takes a jelly-like consistency. Eat this twice daily, after meals.
3 - 5 grams of Ashwagandha and Shatavar powder taken every morning and night with milk will help you gain weight.
So, if you are looking to add those extra kilos, make sure you do it in a healthy way.