Saturday, January 31, 2015

Superfoods to Fight Fatigue

Fatigue, also known as tiredness, exhaustion, weariness, lethargy and listlessness, is a term used to describe the general feeling of being tired and weak. It can be related to physical or mental tiredness. Feeling fatigued is not the same as feeling drowsy or sleepy, although these may be symptoms of fatigue.

According to the National Institutes of Health in the U.S., approximately 1 in every 5 Americans has fatigue that interferes with their daily lives. Also, fatigue affects females more than males.

Several lifestyle factors, medical conditions or psychological problems can cause fatigue. Some of the lifestyle factors that contribute to this problem include excessive alcohol use, excessive intake of caffeine, excessive physical activity, inactivity, poor sleep and unhealthy eating habits.




One can also feel fatigued due to mental health problems like anxiety, depression, grief and stress. Even certain medical conditions can make one fatigued, such as liver failure, anemia, cancer, kidney diseases, heart diseases, thyroid disorders, obesity, sleep apnea and diabetes.

The main symptom of fatigue is exhaustion, especially after a physical or mental activity. Some other signs include sore muscles, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, headaches, irritability, loss of appetite, moodiness and lack of energy.

Whether your fatigue is due to physical, mental or emotional exertions, you can fight it with some readily available foods. Key foods will provide your body with all the essential nutrients, such as protein, fats and complex carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals to function properly and fight symptoms of fatigue.



Here are the superfoods to fight fatigue.

 Bananas
Bananas contain a good amount of potassium, which the body needs to convert sugar into energy. Also, bananas are rich in many important nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, fiber and carbohydrates, that help beat tiredness, dehydration and other fatigue symptoms.

Plus, the natural sugars like sucrose, fructose and glucose in bananas are essential for quick energy boosts.

Eat 1 to 2 bananas daily. You can also enjoy a banana shake or smoothie to keep your body hydrated and full of energy.

 Green Tea
A cup of refreshing green tea can also fight fatigue, especially stress and work-related fatigue. Green tea contains polyphenols that help reduce stress, boost energy and improve mental focus.

Plus, it has components that have been proven to boost metabolism and protect against many drawbacks of being fatigued.

To make a cup of green tea, steep 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Strain, add honey and drink this tea 2 or 3 times daily. Instead of green tea leaves, you can use tea bags.

 Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds make an ideal snack for fighting fatigue. They are loaded with high-quality protein, healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B6, as well as minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and copper. All these nutrients work together to boost your immune system, provide energy and fight symptoms of fatigue.

Plus, the tryptophan found in pumpkin seeds helps fight emotional fatigue and promotes better sleep, which can ease physical weariness.

Just one handful of pumpkin seeds will give you instant energy and make you feel less fatigued. You can snack on roasted pumpkin seeds. You can even switch to pumpkin seed butter to increase your metabolism.

 Oatmeal
A perfect food for fighting fatigue is oatmeal. It contains quality carbohydrates that are stored in the body as glycogen and provide fuel for your brain and muscles throughout the day.

Plus, it has many important nutrients like protein, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin B1 that help boost your energy levels.

Oatmeal is also regarded as a superfood for digestive health due to its high fiber content. Even diabetic people can eat oatmeal as it helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.

A bowl of oatmeal makes a great breakfast. You can add to the health benefits by topping your oatmeal with fresh fruits and nuts.

Yogurt
The high amount of protein, carbohydrates and gut-healthy probiotics in yogurt can be a big help to fight symptoms of fatigue. In fact, the body processes yogurt more quickly than any solid food, and hence it works as a great source for quick energy whenever you need it.

The probiotics in yogurt can also help ease symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. They also play a key role in improving the health of your digestive tract.

You can eat yogurt anytime of the day. Eat at least 1 cup of fat-free yogurt daily. If you do not like plain yogurt, add some frozen berries or other fruits and nuts or make a smoothie.

 Watermelon
If you’re feeling fatigued on a hot day or after a workout due to dehydration, you can get your energy back with a slice of watermelon. Watermelon is rich in water and electrolytes that keep dehydration at bay and help keep you active and free from symptoms of fatigue.

Plus, it is rich in fatigue-fighter nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, lycopene, beta-carotene and iron.

Next time you feel fatigued and need instant energy, have a slice of watermelon. You can also make a healthy drink with some watermelon, a little honey and lemon juice, and water. Drink the juice after a workout to prevent signs of fatigue.

Walnuts


Another popular fatigue-busting food is walnuts. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids that can easily counteract fatigue symptoms. They can also help relieve symptoms of mild depression.

Plus, walnuts contain both protein and fiber, which help boost energy after a workout. These nuts also have a decent amount of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper and vitamins.




Aim to include 1/4 cup of shelled walnuts in your daily diet. You can eat roasted walnuts as a healthy mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Also, you can sprinkle walnut pieces on cereal, milkshakes, smoothies, soups and salads.

 Beans
Beans are called a miracle food for many good reasons. They have numerous health benefits and can help fight fatigue.

They are high in fiber, contain a good ratio of complex carbohydrates and protein, and an array of minerals including potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and iron. This unique nutritional composition delivers long-lasting energy and prevents you from feeling fatigued.

As most beans have a low glycemic index, you can eat them without worrying about sudden blood sugar spikes and subsequent dips in energy.

You can try different types of beans for different meals throughout the day. You can have boiled soybeans for breakfast and black bean salad or soup for lunch or dinner. You can also try some one-pot meals with beans of your choice.

Red Bell Pepper
Red bell peppers are one of the best sources of vitamin C. This antioxidant not only gives a boost to your immune system, but also helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol that contributes to fatigue.

In fact, vitamin C is essential for a healthy adrenal system, which helps prevent fatigue from physical or emotional stress. It has also been found that a lack of vitamin C can make one feel more fatigued.
Red bell peppers are also rich in vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid and fiber.
Just 1 cup of a red bell pepper daily will be more than sufficient to keep your energy and metabolism high. You can include red bell peppers in your diet in raw, baked, roasted, grilled, cooked or stuffed form.

 Spinach
Spinach is another great fatigue-fighting food that you can easily find in the market. Spinach is the most iron-dense food that helps the blood deliver oxygen to the body’s cells. This in turn helps produce energy and combat tiredness and other fatigue symptoms.

Also, spinach is packed with magnesium, potassium and vitamins C and B that help a lot whenever you lack energy and need to boost your metabolism.

You can add some spinach leaves to sandwiches, soups or other healthy snacks. You can also add it to stews, casseroles and smoothies without altering the favor. A glass of spinach juice is another easy option to fight fatigue.

Get Thicker Hair Naturally

Hair loss is a common problem nowadays. As hair is regarded as an asset that enhances one’s physical appearance, balding or thinning hair is a problem that many want to correct as soon as possible.

Hair loss is a common problem nowadays. As hair is regarded as an asset that enhances one’s physical appearance, balding or thinning hair is a problem that many want to correct as soon as possible.

Some of the common factors contributing to thinning hair are excessive physical or emotional stress, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, pollution, allergies, use of wrong hair care products, poor hair care routine, and heredity.

If you have thinning hair, there is no need to spend money on expensive treatments and products. There are many natural remedies to help you get thicker and voluminous hair.

Here are the top 10 ways to get thicker hair naturally.

1. Eggs
Regular protein treatment is essential to enjoy stronger and thicker hair. For a protein hair treatment, the best ingredient is eggs.
Take one or two eggs, depending on the length of your hair, and beat it properly. Apply the egg on wet hair and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. Wash your hair with lukewarm water and shampoo. You can use this protein treatment once or twice a week.
Another option is to mix together one egg yolk, one tablespoon of a hair oil of your choice and two tablespoons of water. Use this mixture to massage your scalp thoroughly. Follow this remedy once a week to enjoy thicker hair.

2. Olive Oil
Olive oil will also add body to your hair. Plus, it will help soften and strengthen your tresses.
Massage your hair and scalp with warm olive oil and leave it on for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Rinse it out thoroughly and wash your hair using a mild shampoo. You can also leave the oil on your hair overnight and then shampoo your hair the next morning.
Another option is to mix olive oil with some honey and apply the mixture on your hair. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and then wash your hair.
Use either or these remedies once or twice a week.

3. Avocado
Avocado can also be used to get thicker hair as it moisturizes and adds body to your hair. Plus, the vitamin E in this fruit contributes to the overall health of the hair shaft.



Make a mixture of one mashed avocado, one mashed banana and one tablespoon of olive oil. Massage it on your scalp and leave the mixture on your hair for about 30 minutes so that the nutrients are absorbed by the scalp. Finally, rinse it out and shampoo your hair.
You can also make a hydrating hair mask by mixing two tablespoons of wheatgerm oil with half of a ripe mashed avocado. Apply this hair mask on freshly shampooed hair and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly and then shampoo your hair.
Use either of these avocado hair masks once a week.

4. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds can also be used to prevent hair loss and enjoy better hair growth.

Soak two to three tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water for eight to 10 hours. Grind the soaked seeds to make a fine paste. You can also mix two teaspoons of coconut milk in it. Apply the paste on your hair and scalp and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes before washing your hair with lukewarm water. When done weekly on a regular basis, this remedy will prevent dry scalp and help you enjoy thicker hair.
Another option is to use the water that the fenugreek seeds soaked in overnight as a hair rinse. This will encourage hair growth and help you to get rid of dandruff. Use it once or twice a week.
5. Indian Gooseberry
The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and exfoliating properties present in Indian gooseberry can help a lot in maintaining a healthy scalp and better hair growth rate.

Mix one tablespoon of Indian gooseberry or amla powder in two tablespoons of coconut oil and heat until boiling. Strain the oil and massage it onto your scalp before going to bed. The next morning, shampoo your hair as usual. Do this on a weekly basis.
Another option is to mix one-quarter cup of warm water in one-half cup of Indian gooseberry powder and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Apply the paste on your hair and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off. Do not shampoo your hair for a few hours. Follow this remedy every few weeks.
You can also take the Indian gooseberry fruit and its extract as a dietary supplement for healthy hair.

6. Castor Oil
Massaging your scalp regularly with cold-pressed castor oil is one of the easiest ways to get thicker hair naturally. Due to its high viscosity, it coats the hair thoroughly and protects against hair fall. Plus, being high in vitamin E and fatty acids, it promote hair growth.

Heat a mixture of equal parts of castor oil and coconut oil. Simply using castor oil will also work but it tends to be too thick.
Apply it on your head and scalp and massage in circular motions.
Comb your hair to distribute the oil throughout your hair and remove tangles.
Cover your hair with a towel moistened with warm water.
Leave it on for at least one hour and then shampoo your hair as usual.
Follow this remedy once a week to enjoy lustrous and thick hair.7. Aloe Vera
aloe vera gel

Another very popular ingredient that can be used to enjoy thicker hair is aloe vera, thanks to its moisturizing quality. It will also help restore the pH balance of the scalp.

Extract the gel from one or two aloe vera leaves and rub the gel onto your scalp. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing your hair with lukewarm water. Do this once once or twice a week on a regular basis.
Another option is mix two teaspoons of coconut milk in fresh aloe vera gel and apply it to your scalp. Leave it on for about half an hour before rinsing it off and shampooing your hair. Repeat once or twice a week.
You can also consume one tablespoon of aloe vera juice daily on an empty stomach to enjoy better hair growth and overall health.

8. Henna Leaves
Another easy way to get thicker hair naturally is to apply henna. Henna leaves will give your hair a rich natural color and make it thicker, softer and less prone to breakage .

Grind a handful of fresh henna leaves with a little water to make a fine paste. Let it sit for two hours and then apply it to your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap. After a few hours, wash your hair thoroughly and shampoo your hair.
Another option is to mix sufficient water in henna powder to make a paste with a yogurt-like consistency. Instead of plain water, you can also use green tea for better conditioning. Keep the henna paste aside overnight. The next day, add one raw egg and two teaspoons of lemon juice to this mixture. Apply it to your hair and leave it on until it dries completely. Finally, wash it off and shampoo your hair.
Note: Make sure to wear your gloves when using henna and apply the paste using a hair brush to avoid staining.

9. Flaxseed
Being rich in omega 3 fatty acids and protein, flaxseed can also help in promoting thicker naturally.

Soak one-quarter cup of flaxseeds in water overnight. The next morning, boil the flaxseeds in two cups of water over high heat while stirring occasionally. When the thickens to a consistency of foamy jelly then turn off the heat and strain the gel. You can also add a few drops of an essential oil to it. Allow it to cool and then use it as a hair gel. This flaxseed gel is particularly good for those with curly or wavy hair.
Even eating freshly ground flaxseeds can help promote shiny and thicker hair. You can also take flaxseed oil.

10. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet rich in protein and various vitamins and minerals is an essential prerequisite for healthy and thicker hair. Protein and B vitamins, in particular, promote thicker and longer hair.

So, include more milk, eggs, Greek yogurt (has more protein than the regular yogurt), poultry, fatty fish, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fresh green vegetables in your diet.

Follow these remedies religiously and you will notice improvement in your hair texture and thickness in a matter of weeks.

How to Heal and Prevent Chilblains

How to Heal and Prevent Chilblains

People living in a cold and humid climate definitely know about chilblains. It is a medical condition that occurs due to sudden warming of the skin after exposure to cold temperatures.

The sudden change in temperature causes the blood vessels to quickly expand, leading to leakage of blood into the nearby tissues.

Chilblains can affect different body parts, such as the feet, toes, hands, fingers, ears, earlobes and nose. Some symptoms are a burning sensation, intense itching, redness on the affected area, pain, swelling, inflammation, and dryness. In severe cases, blisters may appear on the affected area and infection and ulceration can also set in.

This problem can affect people of any age, but it is more common in children and elderly people. The condition also affects more women than men. Other risk factors include poor circulation, a family history of chilblains, a poor diet, low body weight and excessive smoking.

In most cases, chilblains will heal on its own within 1 to 3 weeks when further exposure to cold is avoided. In the meantime, you can use some simple remedies and preventive tips to reduce the intensity of symptoms or discomfort.



Here are the top 10 ways to heal and prevent chilblains.

1. Elevation
When suffering from chilblains, the first thing you need to do is elevate the affected area. This will help improve blood circulation, in turn reducing swelling, inflammation and pain.

You can place your hands and legs on a few pillows to keep them elevated. If your nose or ears are affected, sit in a high-backed chair and bend your neck backwards.

You can also wrap yourself with a warm blanket and drink a glass of hot chocolate or a cup of warm herbal tea to help your body adapt to warm temperature. Once your body adjusts to the room temperature, gently massage the affected area with warm coconut oil or olive oil to improve blood flow.

2. Massage
With the onset of the winter months, you need to massage your hands and legs gently in circular motions twice daily, in the morning and at night before going to bed. This will ensure good blood circulation and reduce your risk of developing chilblains.

You can use palm oil or castor oil to massage your hands and legs.
Another option is to add a few drops of an essential oil like lavender, rosemary or lemon oil to any good quality vegetable oil and use it to massage.

3. Onion
A popular age-old remedy for chilblains is onions. Onions have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibiotic properties that can help reduce itching, pain, swelling and inflammation, and reduce the risk of infection.

Cut an onion into thick slices. Gently rub a slice of onion over the affected area. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then wipe it off with a warm washcloth. Do this 2 or 3 times a day for 1 to 2 weeks.
Alternatively, grind 1 to 2 onions into a paste. Apply it all over the affected area and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the paste off with cold water. Do this a few times daily for 1 or 2 weeks.
Note: Do not apply raw onion or onion juice on cracked skin.

4. Potatoes
Potatoes can bring down the itching and inflammation caused by chilblains to a great extent, due to their anti-irritating and soothing properties. They are also good for treating blisters that develop with chilblains.

Cut a raw potato into thick slices. Sprinkle some salt on the slices and gently rub them on the affected area.
Boil 1 or 2 potatoes in 2 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the solution to cool down. Soak the affected area in the solution for about 10 minutes.
Follow either of these treatments twice daily for a week.

5. Calendula
Calendula can also be used to treat acute chilblains. This herb has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation and pain as well as encourage quick healing.

Boil a handful of calendula flowers in 2 cups of water and then let the solution simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the solution to cool down and add some sea salt to it. Soak the affected area in this solution for about 15 minutes once or twice daily.
You can also buy calendula ointment from the market and apply it on the affected areas as directed.
6. Garlic
Garlic is another good remedy to eliminate symptoms of chilblains. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it can instantly reduce inflammation and itchiness as well as promote quick healing.

Rub the affected area with garlic oil several times a day to stimulate blood flow and relieve some of the discomforts.
Also include garlic in your diet.

7. Black Peppercorn

Black peppercorns are also useful in the treatment of chilblains. They have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation, swelling and pain.

Grind ½ to 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns thoroughly.
Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil and add the ground black peppercorns to it.
Strain, and allow it cool down a little bit.
Use this warm oil to massage the affected areas 2 or 3 times daily.
Avoid using this oil if there is any cracked skin or bleeding on the affected area.



8. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory as well as healing properties that can help treat chilblains. It can help soothe inflammation, reduce pain and eliminate other discomforts.

Cut open an aloe vera leaf to extract its gel.
Apply this gel on the affected areas.
Massage gently to increase blood circulation.
Allow it to dry on its own, then rinse it off with a wet tissue.
Follow this treatment 1 or 2 times daily until you see improvement.


9. Increase Calcium Intake

It has been found that calcium deficiency can make a person more vulnerable to chilblains. If you have a history of suffering from chilblains during the winter, you may be able to prevent it by increasing your calcium intake.

Eat foods high in calcium like milk, cheese, yogurt, soybeans, fortified soy milk, fortified orange juice, fortified cereals, broccoli, kale, collard greens, white beans, sardines, salmon, and others.
If required, take a calcium supplement after consulting a doctor.

10. Exercise Regularly

Poor blood circulation can make you more susceptible to chilblains. To overcome this risk factor, exercise regularly.

Exercise can improve blood circulation to all parts of the body. But before starting any exercise, make sure to warm up gradually with simple foot exercises to get the blood circulating.

Cardiovascular workouts and aerobic exercises for 30 minutes daily will help a lot.
You can also go walking, bicycling, jogging or swimming daily to improve circulation.

Additional Tips

Massage your toes and fingers with warm oil 2 or 3 times a day to improve blood circulation.
Avoid rapid changes in temperature (from cold to warm).
Wear proper warm clothes in cold weather.
Keep your head and ears warm by wearing scarves and woolen caps.
Avoid cold exposure for long times.
Avoid exposing the skin to any direct heat, especially after exposure to cold.
Keep the skin moisturized to prevent itching.
Avoid scratching the affected skin as it can damage the skin.
Always wear shoes that fit comfortably and use thermal insoles to keep the feet warm.
Avoid wearing damp clothing.
Keep your living area and bedroom warm and comfortable.
Keep your legs warm at all times by wearing full trousers, leg warmers, long woolen socks or high boots.
Avoid smoking as it can hamper circulation and increase your risk for chilblains.
Drink hot drinks several times a day to keep your entire body warm.
Place cotton or wool between the toes to improve circulation.
Include almonds, sesame seeds and cold-water fish in your diet to get essential fatty acids.
If your chilblains do not heal within a few weeks or develop blisters that become infected, consult your doctor.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Home Remedies for Clogged Arteries

Home Remedies for Clogged Arteries

Clogged arteries refers to a condition in which deposits of fatty plaque within an artery leading to the heart or brain restricts blood flow. Due to this, the blood carrying oxygen and nutrients cannot reach different body organs and tissues, potentially causing huge damage and preventing organs from functioning properly.

This is a serious condition that is not easily detectable. The exact cause behind clogged arteries is still unclear. However, experts believe it starts with damage or injury to the inner layer of an artery.

Factors that may contribute to or worsen this problem include excessive smoking, a high-fat diet, lack of physical exercise, being overweight, having either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can also occur due to inflammation from diseases like arthritis, lupus or infections.
Clogged arteries in different parts of the body can lead to health problems like coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease and even a heart attack or stroke.

Most often, clogged arteries do not cause any symptoms until the problem becomes severe. Symptoms may include chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, heart palpitations, weakness, dizziness, loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea and sweating.

Other symptoms related to clogged arteries in different types of artery disease are leg pain, cold feet, numbness on one side of your body, inability to move an arm or a leg, and loss of vision on one side only.

As clogged arteries develop slowly and progressively, timely diagnosis is very important. Modern drugs and treatments as well as home remedies can help prevent the condition from worsening and reduce the risk of a serious cardiovascular disease.


Here are the top 10 home remedies for clogged arteries.

1. Garlic
Garlic is one of the best remedies for clogged arteries. It helps widen blood vessels and improve blood circulation.

According to a 2007 study done at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, garlic can help relax blood vessels by up to 72 percent more than a placebo. Moreover, garlic lowers bad cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes.

Add 3 chopped garlic cloves to a cup of milk and boil it. Allow it to cool and drink it daily before going to bed.
Also, include garlic in your cooking or take garlic supplements after consulting your doctor.
2. Turmeric
Turmeric is another spice that can help treat clogged arteries and make your heart healthy and more functional. Curcumin, the main component of turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help prevent blood platelets from forming clots.

Moreover, turmeric extracts can lower the level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol,to reduce buildup in the arteries. It can also relax blood vessels and reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little honey to a glass of warm milk. Drink it 1 or 2 times daily.
Take turmeric supplements. The usual recommended dosage is 400 to 600 mg 3 times daily. However, consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
Also, include turmeric powder in your cooking.
3. Cayenne Pepper
The compound capsaicin present in cayenne pepper prevents bad cholesterol, or LDL, oxidation. This in turn reduces bad cholesterol levels in the blood, which is one of the main reasons behind clogged arteries. It also improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Add ½ to1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a cup of hot water. Drink it 2 times daily for a few weeks.
You can also take cayenne supplements, but only after consulting your doctor.
4. Lemon
Lemon is high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps improve blood pressure and reduce inflammation of the arteries. Plus, lemon helps lower blood cholesterol levels and keep arteries clear by preventing oxidative damage in the blood stream.

Mix the juice of 1 lemon in a glass of warm water, along with a little honey and black pepper powder. Drink it 1 or 2 times daily for a few weeks.
Alternatively, boil 1 tablespoon of lemon peels in 4 cups of water for 20 minutes. Strain and add honey. Drink 1 cup, 3 or 4 times daily for several weeks.
5. Ginger
Ginger is another effective remedy for clogged arteries. It contains compounds like gingerols and shogaols that have cardiovascular benefits. Ginger prevents plaque buildup or lessens existing plaque by lowering total cholesterol and blocking oxidation of LDL.

Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea daily. Make the tea by adding 1 teaspoon of grated ginger to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for 5 minutes, strain and add a little honey.
Alternatively, eat a small piece of raw ginger on an empty stomach daily or take ginger capsules after consulting your doctor.
Note: Do not use ginger remedies if ginger causes gastric upset or heartburn, or you have gallbladder problems or gallstones.

6. Fenugreek Seeds
You can also use fenugreek seeds to treat clogged arteries. These seeds have saponins that can help reduce the level of the artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. Moreover, the high amount of fiber in fenugreek seeds plays a key role in reducing bad cholesterol levels.

Soak 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. The next morning, eat the soaked seeds along with the water on an empty stomach.
Another option is to add 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to 1 cup of water. Boil it for 5 minutes, strain and add a little honey. Drink it 1 or 2 times daily.

7. Red Yeast Rice


Red yeast rice can also help unclog arteries as well as reduce the risk of having a heart attack. It has natural monacolins that can lower the level of LDL cholesterol.

Moreover, it has phytosterols, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, isoflavones and many trace minerals that are good for overall cardiovascular health.




You can cook and eat red yeast rice like any other white or brown rice.
Another option is to take red yeast rice tablets in 1,200 mg doses 2 times per day with meals. Always consult your doctor for the proper dosage and appropriateness for your condition.
8. Flaxseed


Flaxseeds are one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that can help reduce blood pressure and inflammation. This in turn helps keep arteries clear of obstructions and improves overall heart health. In addition, the fiber in flaxseeds binds with LDL cholesterol and helps clear clogged arteries.

Consume 2 to 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds daily to help clear clogged arteries. Add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds in smoothies, soups and juices. You can also sprinkle ground flaxseeds in salads or baked goods.

9. Pomegranate


This fruit is rich in antioxidant phytochemicals that help protect the circulatory system from damaging oxidation, which causes plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries. Moreover, pomegranate stimulates production of nitric oxide in the blood that helps open arteries and regulate blood pressure.

Eat 1 to 2 fresh pomegranates daily.
You can also drink a glass of freshly extracted pomegranate juice once daily.

10. Exercise




Regular physical exercise can also reduce stiff and clogged arteries. A proper exercise routine along with a healthy diet can strengthen your heart and help prevent and manage heart diseases. Exercise is also a good way to lose excess weight and maintain good health.

Do aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, bicycling and jumping rope to strengthen your heart and improve your cardiovascular health.
Also, include some cardiovascular exercises in your routine to improve heart health and keep arteries clear.
Try some deep breathing as well as yoga to feel more relaxed and free from stress.
Consult your doctor about the type of exercises that you can do given your particular condition.

Additional Tips

Avoid eating junk foods and processed foods. Do not eat fried red meat as it can clog your arteries.
Stop smoking.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages in high amounts.
Use meditation to reduce stress.
Include beans and whole-grain products in your diet.
Eat more fruits with bright colors, such as oranges, butternut squash, mangos, tomatoes, watermelon and blueberries.
Enjoy some early morning sunlight to get vitamin D, which helps reduce arterial stiffness.
Consume 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil daily to help reduce plaque buildup in the arteries.
Drink 1 to 2 glasses of pure organic cranberry juice daily to protect your heart and improve your health.
Cook food in extra-virgin olive oil for its positive effects on cholesterol levels and oxidative stress in the blood stream.
Take 100 to 300 mcg of vitamin B12 per day after consulting a doctor.
Eat at least 2 servings of cold-water fish like mackerel, tuna, trout, herring and salmon each week.
Take omega-3 supplements after consulting your doctor.
Limit your intake of sugar as well as any other food that will raise your blood sugar level.
Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily to keep the arteries free from bad cholesterol, or LDL.
Eating a few walnuts daily also helps unclog arteries.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Top 10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds, in either white or a dark brown and black color, were a staple ingredient in Mayan and Aztec diets for years. Today, owing to their nutritional profile and an array of health benefits, chia seeds have gained the reputation of a superfood.

Chia seeds, in either white or a dark brown and black color, were a staple ingredient in Mayan and Aztec diets for years. Today, owing to their nutritional profile and an array of health benefits, chia seeds have gained the reputation of a superfood.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants, even more than fresh blueberries. They are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

They also contain a good amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2. Moreover, they are a whole-grain food and are naturally gluten free.

There is no need for the chia seeds to be ground. Include this superfood in your diet by sprinkling whole chia seeds on top of salads or toasts, or add milled seeds to smoothies, porridges, soups, puddings or baked goods.

Health experts recommend eating 20 grams or about 1½ tablespoons of chia seeds, twice a day.

health benefits of chia seeds

Here are the top 10 health benefits of chia seeds.

1. Improves Digestion

The good amount of fiber (both soluble and insoluble) in chia seeds helps regulate bowel functions and improve the digestion process. The insoluble fiber helps food move smoothly through the digestive system. The soluble fiber keeps the colon hydrated and ensures easy digestion.

In addition, chia seeds aid in detoxification and elimination of harmful toxins from the body. These seeds also help prevent diverticulosis and diverticulitis.

Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to a glass of warm water and drink it 1 to 2 times daily to maintain a healthy digestive system.

2. Treats Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to tissues, causing fatigue and many other health problems.

It can be caused due to a variety of reasons, most common being, iron deficiency. You can treat anemia with chia seeds that are nutritional powerhouses and packed with iron.

In addition to providing essential nutrients, chia seeds help cleanse the body and increse the red blood cell count.

Eating 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provides your body with 2.2 milligrams of iron, or 12 percent of the recommended daily allowance.

Another option is to make an anemia-fighting smoothie with 2 cups of spinach, 1 tablespoon of dandelion root powder, 2 beetroots, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 1 avocado. Blend all the ingredients thoroughly and drink it 1 or 2 times daily.

3. Keeps You Energized

Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of complete protein. The strontium in these seeds helps assimilate protein and produce high energy. Moreover, the various vitamins and minerals work together to keep you energized throughout the day and increase your metabolism rate.

According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, intake of chia seeds enhanced exercise performance for workouts that lasted 90 minutes in a similar manner as a sugar-laden sports drink. The main point is that chia seeds will benefit an athlete without the side effects of sugar.

4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar

According to a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, chia seeds can normalize insulin resistance.

The unique blend of both soluble and insoluble fiber and good quality protein in chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested. This is helpful for people with Type 2 diabetes to keep the glucose in their blood at proper levels.

In addition, chia seeds can even help reduce fat and cholesterol in the blood, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

To reduce insulin resistance and decrease sudden spikes of sugar in the blood, eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds daily.

5. Suppresses Appetite

If you want to lose some weight, including chia seeds in your diet is a good idea. Being high in fiber, chia seeds turn into gel when exposed to water, increasing in size and weight. This helps keep your stomach full, thus suppressing your appetite.

Moreover, the protein in chia seeds also helps reduce appetite and food intake. A suppressed and controlled appetite can help a lot with your weight loss efforts. In addition, the protein and essential fatty acids in chia seeds help boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass.

Sprinkle chia seeds on your salads, soups, yogurt, smoothies or any vegetable or mixed juice.

6. Slows Aging Process

Chia seeds are also an excellent anti-aging food. They help maintain beautiful skin, hair and nails. Being high in antioxidant properties, chia seeds help fight free radicals, which in turn helps prevent premature aging.

Moreover, the omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds help treat a number of skin issues like wrinkles and age spots, keep the skin moisturized and promote wound healing.

To maintain a youthful appearance as well as enhance your hair, skin and nail health, have some chia seeds daily.7. Cures Mood Disorders
depression

According to research done in 2010 at McGill University in Montreal, omega-3 fatty acids greatly help treat depression as well as other mood disorders.

As chia seeds contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, they must be included in the diet of those suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, stress and other types of mood and behavioral disorders.



Moreover, chia seeds support mental health by nourishing the brain and creating a sense of calm and focus. In addition, the B vitamins in chia seeds help the nervous system work more efficiently.

8. Prevents Osteoporosis


Chia seeds are rich in calcium and several other nutrients like magnesium, protein and phosphorus that can prevent your bones from becoming fragile and even reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Moreover, the omega-3 essential fatty acids in these seeds help increase bone mineral density.

In addition, chia seeds can help treat joint aches, inflammation, arthritis and other bone-related health problems. They can also keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Eat 1 tablespoon of chia seeds daily to maintain bone and oral health, and prevent osteoporosis.

9. Improves Heart Health



Chia seeds are also good for your heart. Being a concentrated source of omega-3 as well as omega-6 fatty acids, chia seeds can lower harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing the “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

On top of that, chia seeds contain no cholesterol. These seeds also help reduce plaque buildup and lower high blood pressure. In addition, chia seeds have plenty of magnesium and potassium that help keep your heart healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Eat at least 1 tablespoon of chia seeds daily to improve your heart health.

10. Improves Brain Functioning



To help your brain function properly and improve your memory and concentration, chia seeds are very beneficial. Being high in omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds help keep the arteries to the brain clear of plaque. This in turn improves the communication between brain cells.

In addition, these essential fatty acids help make the cell membranes in the brain more flexible and nerve transmission more efficient, thus contributing to better brain functioning.

Simply sprinkle some chia seeds into yogurt, cereal and salad to keep your brain working properly.

Warning: Despite potential health benefits, chia seeds may cause some side effects if not consumed properly. Health experts advise not to consume these seeds in dry, raw form. Before eating the seeds, mix them in enough liquid to allow them to expand.

In addition, chia seeds may not be suitable for people who have problems swallowing, asthma, food allergies (especially to sesame seeds or mustard seeds), seasonal allergies or a constricted esophagus. Do not consume chia seeds in excess as it may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis Home Remedies

Plantar fasciitis, also known as jogger’s heel, is a common disorder that causes acute pain in the heel and the sole of the foot. According to a report by the Palo Alto Medical Association, heel pain affects more than half of Americans, and the most common cause is plantar fasciitis.

It occurs due to inflammation in the plantar fascia, a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the plantar fascia to become irritated or inflamed.

Plantar fasciitis can affect both men and women and is very common in runners and hikers. However, it most often affects active men between ages 40 to 70.

Apart from age, other factors that may increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis include regularly indulging in activities that put a lot of stress on your heels, faulty foot mechanics, obesity, jobs that keep you on your feet for long hours and wearing shoes with poor arch support or soft soles.




Common signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis are heel pain, inflammation, pain in the foot arch, difficulty walking or standing, limping, acute pain after brief weight-bearing activities and stiffness in the heel after long periods of inactivity. Symptoms are often worst in the morning. In addition, it usually affects just one foot, but can be both at times.

Plantar fasciitis can have a huge impact on your day-to-day activities. You can reduce the symptoms and discomfort with easy-to-follow home remedies and simple lifestyle modifications.

home remedies for plantar fasciitis

Here are the top 10 home remedies for plantar fasciitis.

1. Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises that involve your feet and lower leg muscles are one of the best ways to control heel pain due to plantar fasciitis. They will also help reduce inflammation in the calves and other leg muscles so you can move around comfortably.

Before you get out of bed in the morning, stretch your feet, lower leg muscles, calf muscles and toes. While sitting up in bed, hold onto your flexed feet and gently pull them toward you for 30 seconds, release and repeat 1 or 2 more times. This will help minimize pain in the morning.
Stand at arm’s length from a wall with your unaffected leg slightly bent at the knee and the affected foot behind you. Slowly and gently, press your hips forward while keeping both the heels flat on the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then relax. Repeat this exercise in 2 sets of 10 repetitions, several times a week.
Roll a frozen water bottle or a golf ball under the arch of your foot, starting from the front and working your way back. Apply a little pressure. Do this for a couple of minutes, once daily.
For more exercises, consult a doctor or a physical trainer.

2. Foot Massage

Massaging your foot will provide relief from the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis. Regular massaging stimulates blood flow in and around the affected area and helps release tension in the plantar fascia.

Using your fingers, gently massage the lower part of your foot and heel with some warm olive, coconut or sesame oil for 10 minutes. Do this a couple of times daily, especially before going to bed.
You can even use an electric massager to reduce pain in your heel due to plantar fasciitis.

3. Cold Compress

Using a cold compress can help reduce inflammation and ease pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel. You can also freeze a round plastic bottle filled with water.
Place it over the area of pain for a few minutes. If using a frozen bottle, roll it over the aching area for about 5 minutes.
Repeat a few times a day or after activity.
Note: Do not rub ice directly on your heel.

4. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate crystals) can help soothe your plantar fascia and relieve pain and inflammation. Moreover, it aids in healing the muscles and connective tissues.

Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a small tub of warm water.
Soak your foot in this water for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a day. You can also massage the affected area to alleviate pressure.
Do this a few times a week.

5. Turmeric

Curcumin, a component in turmeric, works as a potent painkiller and anti-inflammatory agent. A study published in a 2007 issue of the American Journal of Physiology found that curcumin can reduce both acute and chronic inflammation.

Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of milk. Heat it over a low flame. Add a little honey and drink it daily before going to bed.
Alternatively, take curcumin supplements, 400 to 600 milligrams 2 times a day. Consult a doctor before starting a supplement regimen.

6. Ginger

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can help combat plantar fasciitis.

Mix 1 tablespoon of grated ginger in 1 cup of water. Boil it for a few minutes, turn off the heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink it while it is still hot. Drink 2 to 3 cups of this tea daily.
Also, include ginger in your daily cooking.
Alternatively, you can take a supplement, but only after consulting your doctor.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar



Apple cider vinegar is another effective home remedy for plantar fasciitis. Its medicinal properties help reduce pain and inflammation.

Add 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of raw honey to a glass of warm water. Drink it a couple of times daily.
Another option is to mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a small tub filled with warm water. Soak your feet in the tub for 5 to 10 minutes, twice daily.

8. Cayenne Pepper




Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a natural pain reliever. It can also help relieve muscle stiffness due to plantar fasciitis.

Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder to ½ bucket of hot water. Soak your feet in it for 10 minutes. Follow this remedy a few times daily.
Alternatively, use over-the-counter creams that contain capsaicin. Rub a little bit of the cream on the bottom of your foot a few times daily or as diected by your doctor.
Note: Do not use cayenne pepper or capsaicin cream on inflamed or broken skin.

9. Fish Oil



Fish oil is rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that are helpful in reducing pain and inflammation due to plantar fasciitis. In fact, fish oil helps regulate the inflammatory process and decrease the intensity of pain and muscle stiffness.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one can take up to 3 grams of fish oil (with at least 30% EPA/DHA) twice daily.
Also, eat cold-water fish like tuna and salmon.
Note: Consult a doctor before taking fish oil supplements, especially if you take blood-thinning or diabetes medication.



10. Dietary Changes


To reduce pain and inflammation, it is important to consume a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. It can promote the healing process and decrease inflammation.

Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods are extra-virgin olive oil, ginger, garlic, tart cherries, salmon, walnuts, almonds, berries of all types and sweet potatoes.

Along with anti-inflammatory foods, eat foods high in vitamins C and A, zinc and calcium. In addition, eat foods high in amino acids that help strengthen connective tissues. Also, eat antioxidant foods to prevent the buildup of free radicals.

Additional Tips


Limit the use of high-heel footwear and buy shoes that offer adequate arch support for your feet.
Use lightweight arch support pads that you can wear around your foot for additional pain relief.
Limit the amount of time you spend on your feet.
When feeling pain, give your feet much-needed rest.
Do not exercise on hard surfaces like concrete when you are experiencing pain.
Do not use heating pads if there is pain as it will worsen the symptoms.
Try wearing night splints while you sleep to prevent stiffness.
Wear a walking cast on your calf to speedup the recovery time.
Avoid going barefoot.Wear shoes even while walking around your house.
Drink more water to improve metabolic processes in the body and facilitate cellular repair.
Maintain a healthy weight to minimize stress on your plantar fascia.
Try magnetic therapy and acupuncture to ease plantar fasciitis pain.
If the problem persists, consult a doctor who specializes in podiatry.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Deal with Epilepsy

The main symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures that happen without warning. This can lead to convulsions and problems with muscle control, movement, speech, vision or awareness.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes repeated seizures or fits. Seizure episodes can last for very brief periods to long periods. The seizures occur due to bursts of electrical activity in the brain that are not normal. Experts do not yet know what causes epilepsy.

The main symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures that happen without warning. This can lead to convulsions and problems with muscle control, movement, speech, vision or awareness. At times, a person may also faint or lose consciousness.

Often, the onset of epilepsy happens during early childhood or after age 60, but it can occur at any age. Certain factors increase your risk of epilepsy, including family history, a head injury, strokes and other vascular diseases, brain tumors, dementia, brain infections, lead poisoning, prenatal brain development problems, and Alzheimer’s disease.



Epileptic seizures can be scary, but they do not cause mental illness or intellectual disability. In addition, not everyone who has seizures has epilepsy. Usually, at least two or more seizures within 24 hours are required for a diagnosis of epilepsy.

Fortunately, you can control and reduce seizures with medicines, lifestyle changes and herbal remedies.

how to deal with epilepsy

Here are the top 10 ways to deal with epilepsy. These remedies, however, are not a substitute for the medicines prescribed by your doctor.

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is highly effective in the treatment of epilepsy. The fatty acids (medium-chain triglycerides) in coconut oil have therapeutic effects on brain cells. Moreover, they supply energy for the brain cells, which helps relieve symptoms of epilepsy.

Have 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin coconut oil 3 times a day. You can gradually increase the amount to a few tablespoons a day.
Also, use coconut oil for cooking, in salad dressings and as a spread.

2. Epsom Salt

Studies show that Epsom salt is also effective in reducing seizures in people with epilepsy. The magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt changes physiochemical cell relationships in the brain, which in turn lessens the frequency of seizures and convulsions.

Crush pure grade Epsom salt into a very fine powder. Add ½ teaspoon of the powder to a glass of orange juice or water and drink it each morning.
You can also enjoy relaxing and soothing Epsom salt baths 2 or 3 times a week.

3. Limes

A popular Ayurvedic remedy for epilepsy is limes. Limes help improve blood circulation to the brain. Moreover, they help normalize excessive calcium that may hamper brain functionality.

Mix 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Drink it daily before going to bed.
You can also apply fresh lime juice on your head and massage thoroughly for a few minutes. Do this daily before taking a shower.

4. Garlic

Garlic is also useful in treating epilepsy. Its antioxidant, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties help destroy harmful free radicals in the body and promote proper functioning of the nervous system. This in turn prevents seizures and other epilepsy-related symptoms.

Mix together ½ cup each of milk and water. Heat it to a boil. Add 4 to 5 crushed garlic cloves and boil until the mixture reduces by half. Strain and drink it once daily.
Alternatively, take garlic supplements daily. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
5. Passionflower
The herb passionflower also helps reduce seizures. It contains a chemical known as chrysin, which helps increase the amount of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This in turn reduces frequency of seizures as well as anxiety.

Drink 1 to 2 cups of herbal tea prepared with passionflower. Steep 1 teaspoon of dried passionflower in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain it.
Passionflower is also available in capsule, tablet, liquid extract and tincture forms. Always take this herb under the guidance of a doctor.
Note: Avoid passionflower if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Also, consult your doctor before taking this herb as it may increase the effects of anti-seizure medications.

6. Winter Melon

According to Ayurveda, winter melon, also known as ash gourd, is an effective home remedy for epilepsy due to its nutritional and medicinal properties. This vegetable helps keep the nervous system healthy and ensures smooth functioning of the brain cells.

Drink ½ glass of winter melon juice daily in the morning on an empty stomach. To enhance the taste, you can add a little sugar.
Another option is to extract the juice of a bowl of crushed winter melon. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of licorice powder to it and mix well. Drink this solution once daily.

7. Exercise


Regular physical exercise improves fitness, energy and mood, which in turn helps reduce seizures and the impact of epilepsy on one’s life. Moreover, exercise releases feel-good hormones into the brain and increases oxygen flow to the brain.

Do warm up and stretching exercises daily to feel more relaxed.
Walking is one of the easiest and safest exercises that people with epilepsy should do. Walk for 45 minutes, at least 4 times a week.
Swimming and other water sports can be great exercise.
Gardening and other relaxing activities like tai chi are also great exercises.
Note: Drink water before and after exercise to prevent dehydration. In addition, stop and rest if you are feeling tired.




8. Yoga



Yoga is an age-old practice that alleviates stress, induces relaxation and provides multiple health benefits for people with epilepsy. The combination of controlled deep breathing, physical postures and meditation helps control seizures and reduce other epilepsy symptoms. The top yoga poses for epilepsy are:

Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
Sirsasana (Headstand)
Camatkarasana (Wild Thing)
As it is very important to do yoga poses in the correct manner to reap the benefits, learn them from an expert only.

9. Take Necessary Vitamins



A healthy diet is essential in the treatment of epilepsy. There are different vitamins that can help a lot. For instance, vitamin E helps control the neurons that cause seizures and anxiety disorders.

As epilepsy can occur due to vitamin B1 deficiency, eat foods high in vitamin B1 or take a supplement after consulting a doctor.




Other vitamins that can help treat epilepsy are vitamins B12, B6 and D.

Always consult a doctor before taking a supplement.

10. Acupuncture



In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a well-known treatment for seizures due to epilepsy. In acupuncture, pressure is applied to specific points on the body using fine needles.

Although its mechanism is not known, acupuncture can help alter brain activity to reduce seizures by restoring the flow of qi (energy) throughout the body.

To enjoy the benefits of acupuncture, get it done by an expert only.

Additional Tips


Get enough sleep as sleep deprivation can trigger seizures.
If you have seizures regularly, wear a medical alert bracelet. This will help people know about your condition.
Manage stress and avoid stressful situations.
Drink ½ glass of grape juice daily.
Limit your intake of alcohol and avoid smoking.
As low calcium and magnesium can trigger seizures, eat foods high in these nutrients.
Keep a written record of any seizures you have and keep your doctor updated.
Avoid all “white” products, including white sugar, white flour, table salt and white rice.
Do not consume artificial sweeteners or additives.
Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.
Follow the ketogenic diet, even though the restrictions can be challenging.
Lastly, take the medicines prescribed by your doctor in correct dosages in a timely manner. Do not stop taking your medicines without your doctor’s approval.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Home Remedies for Gastritis

Here are the top 10 home remedies for gastritis.
Gastritis can be defined as inflammation, irritation or erosion of the lining of the stomach, known as the gastric mucosa. All or part of the gastric mucosa may be involved, thus it can be classified as acute or chronic.

Symptoms of gastritis vary from person to person, and many people have no symptoms at all.

However, the most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating, a burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach between meals or at night, indigestion, heartburn, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dark stools and bloating.

While there are several reasons why people suffer from gastritis, there are four primary causes: infection of the stomach mucosa by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, vitamin B12 deficiency, taking too many pain relievers or other anti-inflammatory drugs, and acidic and spicy foods and drinks.

Those who drink too much alcohol, older adults and people suffering from diseases and conditions like HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease and parasitic infections are at a higher risk of getting gastritis. Viral or fungal infections and stress can also be contributing factors.

Mild cases of acute gastritis usually clear up within a few days. Plus, you can try simple home remedies along with lifestyle and diet modifications to prevent and control the problem. However, if you suffer from chronic gastritis and experience a lot of discomfort, it is advisable to consult your doctor as it can lead to ulcers.


1. Carom Seeds
Carom seeds are a natural antacid that is beneficial for gastritis. They provide relief to the stomach’s mucous membrane from acidity and hyperacidity. Carom seeds can also treat indigestion, nausea and bloating.

Mix together 1 teaspoon each of carom seeds and dried ginger with a little bit of black salt. Take 1 teaspoon of this mixture with a glass of warm water 3 times a day.
Another option is to add 1 teaspoon of carom seeds powder and ½ teaspoon of black salt to a glass of buttermilk. Drink it 2 times a day.
You can also boil 2 cups of water with 4 teaspoons of carom seeds until the water reduces by half. Strain the mixture and drink ½ cup of it 2 times a day.
Follow any of these remedies until the gastritis symptoms go away.

2. Ginger
Ginger can also effectively treat gastritis due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can reduce inflammation and treat the infection as well as alleviate symptoms like stomach pain, gas, indigestion, nausea and bloating.

Add 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger root to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and sip this tea slowly. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day for about a week.
Alternatively, mix together ½ tablespoon each of ginger juice and honey. Take it before eating your meal 2 times daily for a week.
You can even chew a small piece of fresh ginger root or take ginger capsules to treat gastritis.
Note: Ginger may interfere with blood-thinning and high blood pressure medications.

3. Yogurt
Yogurt is a good addition to your diet, especially when suffering from gastritis. Yogurt with active live cultures is particularly beneficial in this regard.

The probiotics present in yogurt help protect your stomach lining from H. pylori bacteria that causes gastritis. Also, yogurt boosts the immune system to fight off infection more quickly.

Eat 2 to 3 cups of plain probiotic yogurt daily until you get relief.
You can also try a yogurt, banana and honey smoothie. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day for quick recovery.
4. Chamomile
Chamomile tea may also be very helpful in treating gastritis. It is rich in certain essential oils that are beneficial for the digestive system. It can even soothe the intestinal walls, providing relief from sudden pains, and eliminate gas. Plus, it can reduce stomach inflammation and thus reduce the risk of ulcers.

Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers to 1 cup of hot water.
Cover and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Strain, then add some honey.
Drink this tea several times daily for a week.
Note: Do not boil this herb as its active compounds will be destroyed.

5. Peppermint
Peppermint is another herb known to treat gastritis due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. Its soothing properties can reduce inflammation of the stomach lining. Plus, it can help reduce nausea, indigestion and heartburn.

Take standardized, enteric coated peppermint tablets. Usually, 1 tablet 2 or 3 times daily is recommended, but it is best to consult a doctor before taking it. Enteric coated tablets will help avoid heartburn.
You can also chew fresh peppermint leaves or add them to your soups, salads and smoothies.
6. Strawberries
Strawberries can also help heal gastritis due to their antioxidant property and high content of phenolic compounds. It can help prevent the start of inflammation in the stomach lining.

In a 2011 study, European researchers concluded that regular consumption of strawberries can help reduce the harm that alcohol causes to the stomach mucous membrane.

Add 1 tablespoon of dried strawberry leaves to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for 5 minutes, then strain. Drink it 2 or 3 times daily until the gastritis symptoms subside.
To prevent gastritis, eat a few strawberries daily.
7. Holy Basil
basil

Holy basil has also been found to be very effective for treating acute gastritis. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help decrease inflammation and reduce infection caused by the H. pylori bacteria. It can help treat symptoms like stomach pain, indigestion, vomiting and nausea.

Chew 4 to 5 leaves of holy basil slowly to treat stomach pain. Do this daily for at least a few weeks.
Another option is to mix 1 teaspoon each of basil juice and ginger juice and drink it 2 or 3 times a day for a week.
You can also drink basil tea with honey 3 times a day for a few weeks. To prepare basil tea steep 1 teaspoon of basil leaves in hot water for about 5 minutes and then strain it.

8. Fennel Seeds

As fennel seeds help soothe the digestive system and relax the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, they are highly recommended for gastritis treatment. Due to their stomachic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, fennel seeds are beneficial in relieving symptoms like indigestion, bloating, intestinal gas, heartburn and vomiting.

Add 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds to a cup of hot water. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and add a little honey. Drink it 3 times a day for a week.
Also, chew fennel seeds thoroughly after a meal to relieve symptoms.

9. Licorice


A popular Ayurvedic remedy for gastritis is licorice. Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties can reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms like heartburn, a burning sensation in the stomach, indigestion and more.

Also, it can protect the stomach’s inner lining from infection and reduce the risk of ulcers from gastritis.

Add 1 teaspoon of licorice powder to a cup of hot water. Cover, steep for 10 minutes and strain it. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day for a week.
You can also take 250 to 500 mg of standardized deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL extract, 3 times a day. If you are taking any other medicine, consult your doctor first.

10. Potato Juice


Another effective remedy for gastritis is raw potato juice, thanks to its antacid and healing properties. The alkaline properties of potatoes help reduce bloating, cramping, excess gas and other symptoms of gastritis.

Peel 1 to 2 raw potatoes and grate them.
Put the grated potatoes on a strainer and press with a spoon to extract the juice.
Dilute 1/2 glass of potato juice with a little warm water.
Drink it 3 times a day, 30 minutes before each meal, for at least 1 to 2 weeks.
Additional Tips

Drink 2 cups of coconut water every day.
Cut back on red meat, red peppers, sour food, pickles, tea and coffee, sweets and aerated drinks as they may irritate the stomach lining. Avoid dairy products until the digestive system is healed.
Regularly drinking green tea may prevent chronic gastritis.
Eat your dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed.
Eat slowly and make sure to chew thoroughly to facilitate proper digestion. Eat small meals at regular intervals to help reduce any excessive acid buildup in the stomach.
Avoid drinking water with meals as this can delay digestion.
Drink an ample amount of water throughout the day to keep many symptoms of gastritis at bay.
For gastritis due to anemia, take supplemental chlorophyll after consulting your doctor.
You can take supplements of vitamins B12, E and C to help your body heal quickly.
Maintain a food diary to find out what triggers gastritis and try to cut back or eliminate those foods from your diet.
Quit smoking as well as reduce or eliminate alcohol intake.
Minimize stress through meditation or yoga as it can worsen the condition.
If you are taking any medicines, consult your doctor as certain medications can aggravate your stomach problem.

Share

Top 10 Liver-Cleansing Superfoods

Grapefruit , Beetroots , Apples ....
1. Garlic
Garlic is great for cleansing your liver. It helps activate enzymes in the liver that help clear out toxins. It also contains two natural compounds called allicin and selenium, which aid in the liver-cleansing process and protect the liver from toxic damage.

Moreover, garlic reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can overload the liver and hamper its functioning.

To promote liver health, use fresh raw garlic instead of processed, minced garlic or powder.

Eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves daily and include garlic in your cooking whenever possible.
You can also take garlic supplements, but only after consulting your doctor.
2. Grapefruit
Being a good source of vitamin C, pectin and antioxidants, grapefruit also aids the natural cleansing process of the liver.

It also contains glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and detoxifies the liver. Glutathione also helps in the detoxification of heavy metals. Moreover, the flavonoid naringenin in grapefruit helps break down fat.

Drink a small glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice or enjoy the whole fruit with your breakfast daily.

Note: If you are on medications, consult your doctor before taking this fruit as it may interact with certain drugs.

3. Beetroots
Beetroots are another powerful food for cleansing and supporting liver function. High in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, they help stimulate and improve overall liver function. Moreover, beetroots are natural blood purifiers.

Simply add fresh beetroots or juice to your daily diet.
Make a powerful liver-cleansing salad with 1 cup of chopped or grated beetroots, 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of ½ lemon. Mix all the ingredients together and eat 2 teaspoons of it every 2 hours during the day for a week.
4. Lemons
Lemons help detoxify the liver mainly due to the antioxidant D-Limonene present in it, which helps activate enzymes in the liver that aid detoxification.

Moreover, the high amount of vitamin C in lemons helps your liver produce more enzymes to aid digestion. Lemons also boost mineral absorption by the liver.

Make lemon water at home by adding the juice of 1 lemon to a jar of water. You can even add chopped lemons to it. Drink this water at regular intervals. If desired, add a little honey.

5. Green Tea
By drinking green tea daily, you can help your body flush out toxins and fat deposits, while increasing hydration levels.

A 2002 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that the catechins in tea help stimulate lipid catabolism in the liver. This in turn prevents fat accumulation in the liver. This healthy beverage also protects the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances like alcohol.

Green tea is also beneficial in treating or preventing liver disease. According to a 2009 study published in Cancer Causes and Control, people who drink green tea have a lower risk of developing liver cancer.

Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily. If desired, sweeten your tea with honey.

Note: Avoid drinking green tea in excess as it can have an adverse impact on your liver and other body parts.

6. Avocados
Avocados contain potent chemicals that may reduce liver damage, according to a 2000 study by the American Chemical Society. This fruit is rich in glutathione, a compound required by the liver to cleanse harmful toxins and to function properly.

The high amount of monounsaturated fat in avocados helps reduce low-density lipoproteins or “bad” cholesterol and increase high-density lipoproteins or “good” cholesterol. The liver easily processes good cholesterol.

Moreover, avocados contain many minerals, vitamins and plant nutrients that support overall liver health and help break down fats.

Eat 1 to 2 avocados per week for a couple of months to help reverse liver damage.

7. Turmeric


Turmeric is another popular and effective liver-cleansing food. It also improves the body’s ability to digest fats.

The compound curcumin in turmeric induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme called glutathione S-transferase. It also helps regenerate damaged liver cells.




Mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of water and boil it. Drink it twice daily for a couple of weeks.
Also, include this spice in your daily cooking.
8. Apples
apples

An apple a day is the secret behind a healthy liver. Apples are a good source of pectin, a soluble fiber that helps remove toxins from the digestive tract and cholesterol from the blood, in turn preventing the liver from being overworked.

Moreover, apples contain malic acid, a naturally cleansing nutrient that removes carcinogens and other toxins from the blood.

All types of apples are good for your liver, however, for fast liver cleansing choose organic apples. Eat one organic apple or drink a glass of fresh apple juice daily.

9. Walnuts


The high amount of the amino acid l-arginine in walnuts aids the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Moreover, walnuts contain glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which aid the natural liver-cleansing process.

According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, walnut polyphenols prevent liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride and d-galactosamine.




Munch on a handful of walnuts as a snack daily.
You can also sprinkle them over a salad, side dish, soup or baked goods.
10. Broccoli


Support the natural liver-cleansing process by including broccoli in your diet. Being rich in glucosinolates, it helps flush carcinogens and other harmful toxins out of the body.

The high fiber content in broccoli also improves the digestion process. Moreover, it contains fat-soluble vitamin E, an important antioxidant for the liver to carry out its functions.

Eat 1 cup of broccoli 3 times a week to keep your liver healthy.

Also, to keep your liver healthy, health experts recommend eliminating or reducing animal foods as well as alcohol, refined sugar, excess caffeine and processed foods from your diet. In addition, stop smoking as it causes significant damage to different organs of the body, including the liver.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Common Habits that Damage Your Kidneys

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, located against the back muscles in the upper abdominal cavity just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine.


Here are the top 10 common habits that damage your kidneys.




1. Not Emptying Your Bladder Timely
Maintaining a full bladder for a long time or delaying the urge to urinate is one of the main reasons behind kidney damage.

When urine remains in the bladder for a long time, it can cause the bacteria breeding in urine to multiply. In turn, these harmful bacteria can cause a urinary tract infection or kidney infection. Moreover, retaining urine increases pressure on the kidneys and can lead to renal failure and incontinence.

If you habitually delay responding to the call of nature, it’s time to rectify it for the benefit of your kidneys. No matter how busy you are, listen to the nature call signals and follow them.

2. Insufficient Water Intake
Not drinking an ample amount of water can also cause huge damage to your kidneys. The main function of the kidneys is to flush out metabolic waste from the body and regulate erythrocyte production.

When the body lacks sufficient water, there is less blood flow to the kidneys because the blood becomes concentrated. This hampers the kidneys’ ability to eliminate toxins from the body, and more toxins in the body means more health problems.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, a healthy adult must drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of fluid daily to keep the kidneys healthy and the body well hydrated. However, keep in mind that drinking too much water can also be hard on your kidneys. So, do not overdo it.

3. High Salt Consumption
Regularly eating too much salt can also cause huge damage to your kidneys as well as other health problems. The kidneys metabolize 95 percent of the sodium consumed through food.

When salt intake is high, the kidneys need to work harder to excrete the excess salt. This in turn can lead to decreased kidney functioning, causing water retention in the body. Water retention can cause a hike in blood pressure and increase the risk of developing kidney disease.

Studies have also shown that salt intake increases the amount of urinary protein, one of the major risk factors for developing kidney disease.

The recommended amount of salt is no more than 5 grams a day. More than this amount is harmful for your kidneys as well as your overall health. 1 teaspoon of salt is about 6 grams.

4. Regular Use of Analgesics
Many of us have the habit of taking analgesics (over-the-counter painkillers) to control pain and reduce fever and inflammation. But this can damage different body organs, including the kidneys.

Research shows that analgesics may reduce blood flow to the kidneys and deteriorate kidney functioning. Moreover, heavy or long-term use of over-the-counter analgesics can cause acute renal failure or chronic kidney disease known as chronic interstitial nephritis.

If you have decreased kidney function, do not take painkillers without asking your doctor. Even with normal kidney function, analgesics should be used as directed, at the lowest dose possible and for the shortest time.

5. High Protein Diet
Protein is good for your health, but excessive consumption of red meat and other protein-based foods can increase the risk of developing kidney disease.

One of the roles of the kidneys is to metabolize and excrete nitrogen by products from protein digestion. High protein intake increases the metabolic load of the kidneys by chronically increasing glomerular pressure and hyperfiltration. This in turn increases the risk of kidney problems.

So, limit your intake of red meat for the overall health of your kidneys. Moreover, those who have kidney problems must avoid eating red meat as it can worsen the condition.

6. Drinking Excessive Alcohol
Drinking in moderation is fine, but excessive drinking can cause significant damage to your kidneys. Alcohol is a toxin that puts a lot of stress on your kidneys and liver.

When you drink alcoholic beverages in high amounts, it causes uric acid to be deposited in renal tubules, leading to tubular obstruction. This in turn increases the risk of kidney failure. Moreover, alcohol causes dehydration and disrupts the normal functioning of the kidneys.

If you like to drink, then do it in moderation. A healthy amount is generally considered 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women and older people.

7. Smoking Cigarettes


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is bad for almost every organ of the body, including the kidneys. Several studies have shown the connection between smoking and kidney disease.

In fact, smoking is a leading factor behind end stage renal disease (ESRD), according to the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP).




Smoking increases blood pressure and heart rate as well as reduces blood flow and narrows the blood vessels in the kidneys. It can even accelerate loss of kidney functions and worsen existing kidney diseases.

As smoking is not good for any part of your body, it is time to quit. Take help from friends, family members or professionals to help quit smoking.

8. Consuming Too Much Caffeine


Too much caffeine consumption can cause high blood pressure, which in turn will put a strain on your kidneys. Over time, this can damage your kidneys.

In fact, according to a 2002 study published in Kidney International, caffeine consumption has a strong connection with kidney stones. Caffeine can increase calcium excretion in urine.

Caffeine in moderate amounts will not cause health problems for most people. You can drink 1 to 2 cups of coffee, 3 cups of tea per day. Also, limit your intake of other sources of caffeine like soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, cocoa and some medications.

9. Ignoring Common Infections


Ignoring common infections like colds, the flu, coughs, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and others can also cause huge damage to your kidneys.

In fact, people who have kidney disease often have a history of not resting when they are sick. Moreover, people with kidney disease are more sensitive to weather changes and often get sick.




The bacteria or viruses that cause common infections can damage your kidneys if treatment is not carried out timely.

Next time you suffer from a common infection, get it treated quickly and properly. Take your antibiotics properly and rest your body until you feel better.

10. Lack of Sleep


Due to busy lifestyles, many people ignore the importance of sleep. Sound sleep of 6 to 8 hours daily is important for your overall health.

During the night when you sleep, renewal of organ tissues occurs. Therefore, when you do not get sound sleep, this interrupts the renewal process, resulting in damage to the kidneys and other organs.

Studies also suggest that sleepless nights may cause high blood pressure and more atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries). This in turn increases your risk of kidney disease.

Try to adopt healthy sleeping habits and maintain a good balance between work and rest. This will greatly help protect your kidneys from health issues and allow you to live a healthy life.