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

The key to ageing gracefully is simple – eat healthy. So make changes in your diet instead of going for Botox for wrinkle treatment, say experts.

Tanu Arora, Head Of Department – Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital, and Zodi, senior dietician, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, have a few suggestions:

* Include certain foods in diet which are rich in vitamins like riboflavin, niacin and cyanocobalamin. Exclude poor quality of food which causes inflammation and ultimately affects skin.

* Hydrate the body so as to remove the toxins from the body.

* Skin collagen gets damaged when there is high consumption of sugar and processed carbohydrates, while foods like fruits and vegetables are good for skin.

* Deep fried food can add to inflammation. On the other hand, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat dairy and lean protein can help fight inflammation.

* Lettuce, broccoli, spinach, tomato, watermelon, grapefruit, guava, salmon, chickpea, oatmeal and brown rice help in curbing inflammation.

* A long way to preventing wrinkles is to eat food items like carrots that are loaded with vitamins.

* Almonds and walnuts are rich in Vitamin E and help to fight skin problems.

* Green tea has powerful anti-oxidants to protect skin from damage.

* Yogurt has probiotics that nourish skin from inside and outside.

* Honey is hygroscopic in nature.

* All berries are healthy anti-oxidants. They kill radicals that are in bodies, damaging DNA and cells and causing premature ageing. Berries can fight damages caused by environmental pollutants and toxins.

* Turmeric acts as anti-oxidants.

* Alcohol should be avoided as it creates free radicals which damage cells and accelerates ageing.

Eating healthy can do wonders for your weight loss goals, hair and skin. But its benefits go beyond that. A recent research has found that eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of hearing loss by 30%.

In the study, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined the relation between three different diets and risk of developing hearing loss: The Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010). They followed 70,966 women for 22 years and found that eating a healthy diet is associated with a lower risk of acquired hearing loss in women.

“Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss,” said Sharon Curhan, first author of the study. “Eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss.”

In this longitudinal study, researchers collected detailed information on dietary intake every four years and found that women whose diets most closely resembled the AMED or DASH dietary patterns had an approximately 30% lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss, compared with women whose diets resembled these dietary patterns the least.

Moreover, findings in a sub-cohort of over 33,000 women for whom detailed hearing-related information had been collected suggest that the magnitude of the reduced risk may be even greater than 30%, and may also pertain to the AHEI-2010. The AMED diet includes extra virgin olive oil, grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and moderate intake of alcohol. The DASH diet is high in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy, and low in sodium. The AHEI-2010 diet has common components with AMED and DASH.

Fitness, weight loss, dieting or a mix of these - can these help a person live a 100 years? Or at least have a reasonably long and healthy life? A study conducted among people over the age of 90 years in a few Italian villages showed they had certain traits in common, like stubbornness and resilience.

The study, published in International Psychogeriatrics, got the response of 29 villagers from Italy’s Cilento region on subjects such as migration, traumatic events and their beliefs.

But apart from these, there are lots of factors one needs to look into, to live a long life. Diet forms a very important part of the scheme.

With respect to diet, we spoke to a few experts and they gave us 4 dietary things we need to take note of:

Fat balance

“There are good and bad fats. We need a regular dose of good fats, also known as unsaturated fats, in order to burn more fat. These are natural energy capsules which help improve your energy levels,” said Dr Manoj Kutteri, wellness director at Atmantan, Pune.

If you are on a workout schedule, good fats pump more energy into your performance by increasing your endurance levels. To increase your consumption of good fats, have foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids including salmon, fish oil, olive oil and nuts.

More fresh food

The primary principle of living a healthier life is to eat fresh food. It will immediately reduce your body exposure to chemicals found in processed foods, some of which we are not even really aware of.

“By relying on a processed food diet, we risk our lives to chronic inflammation. In other words, we risk our immunity response, thus allowing inflammation, which increases the risk of diseases like cancer. So, you should eat fresh fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water,” advises Dr Kutteri.

Fewer meals

Eating fewer meals promotes healthier ageing since it protects your body’s cells from any harmful effects or deterioration. It also reduces the risk of cancer, according to some medical studies.

“Eating less may not appeal to many people, but having fewer, smaller meals in a day might work perfectly by increasing the level of cell cycling and cellular repair mechanisms in your body. Through continuous cell recycling, nutrients are effectively fed and reused in your body, thus making for a healthier and longer life,” says Ramesh Gajria, founder of TranMe app.

Giving formula-fed infants a higher protein diet such as pureed meat can improve their early length growth, new research suggests. The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that meat, such as pork, can be an important source of much-needed protein in an infant’s diet during the transition to solid foods. “Meat, such as pork, provides important micronutrients, is an excellent source of protein and can be an important complementary food for infants who are ready for solid foods,” said lead study author Minghua Tang, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at University of Colorado Denver-Anschutz, in the US.

“Our research suggests introducing higher amounts of protein and introducing meat, such as pork, into the diet at five months could be potentially beneficial for linear growth (length gain),” Tang said. In the study, a small group of healthy, formula-fed infants ate meat-based complementary foods, such as pureed ham and beef, or dairy-based complementary foods from ages five to 12 months old, increasing their protein intake from two grams of protein per kg each day before the study up to three grams per kg each day during the study period.

While the protein increased, both calories and fat intakes stayed the same between the meat and dairy groups, regardless of protein source. The researchers found the pureed meats promoted a greater rate of growth — with length of nearly one inch greater compared to the dairy-fed group at 12 months of age, with no increase in risk of being overweight at the completion of the seven-month study.

Despite being our favourites, beans like kidney beans (rajma), black beans, soybean and lima beans have gained a reputation of making people gassy. According to the book 'Diet & Nutrition, A Holistic Approach' by Rudolph Ballentine, MD, stachyose and raffinose are two different and unusual starches that cause gas in humans upon eating beans. The intestine does not have the capability to break them down and enable smooth digestion. The bacteria that is present in the lining of the stomach breaks down the starches into carbon dioxide and hydrogen, further giving rise to gastric issues.This doesn't mean that beans are not worth eating; after all we cannot give up on rajma or soybean, can we? Despite this reputation that beans have, they are packed with numerous health benefits. In one of the studies published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found that people who eat beans had 22% lower risk of obesity and are more likely to have a smaller waist than people who didn't eat beans.

If you aren't convinced yet, here are a few reasons to add beans to your daily diet.

1. May Help Pump Up More Iron In Your Body

Iron deficiency is one of the most common conditions; it could cause the haemoglobin or red blood cell count to reduce, further causing anemia. Adding beans to our diet increases the iron intake. However, beans are plant-foods and contain non-heme iron that is not readily absorbed by our body as compared to the iron that we find in meat. In order to ensure a better absorption of the nutrient, it's best to eat beans with foods high in vitamin C.

2. Helps Control High Blood Pressure

The dietary protein and soluble fibre found in beans help prevent conditions like hypertension or high blood pressure.

3. Helps Promote Weight Loss

It is the presence of dietary fibre that keeps your hunger pangs at bay and ensures keeping you fuller for longer. Fibre takes longer to digest, thus keeping our tummy full, which further prevents overeating, meaning it helps lose weight.
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Dr. Vrushali Sarode
Dr. Vrushali Sarode
BHMS, Homeopath Psychotherapist, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Minal Sapate
Dr. Minal Sapate
BDS, Dentist Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist, 15 yrs, Pune
Dr. Nandkumar  G. Patil
Dr. Nandkumar G. Patil
BAMS, Ayurveda, 35 yrs, Pune
Dr. Harshad Danwale
Dr. Harshad Danwale
MD - Homeopathy, Homeopath, 5 yrs, Pune
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