Pineapple – soothes your joint pain

September 23, 2008

That’s right. Pineapple – be it part of a cold, icy drink, a fruit salad, anything – contains an anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain. New research shows that bromelain soothes your cells by reducing the migration of white blood cells to sites of inflammation – like sunburned skin, injured muscles, and arthritic joints. So when you are in pain you know what to do. Go to the nearest store and grab a fresh, juicy pineapple, but first learn how to pick up a ripe one from your grandma!

If you’re not a pineapple fan, you can get bromelain straight from a supplement. It might even be the preferred method, since you don’t get tons of bromelain from fresh pineapple. Researchers recommend about 100 milligrams of bromelain a day for sore joints. Ask your doctor if this dose is safe for you.


Lime and its health benefits

July 21, 2008

Lime has several health benefits. Here’s how a dash of it can help improve your health.

Digestion: Lime has an irresistible scent which causes the mouth to water. So, it aids primary digestion (the digestive saliva floods your mouth even before you taste it). The acids in it do the rest.

Constipation: Primarily, ample acids present in lime help clear the excretory system by washing and cleaning the tracts. The roughage in the lime also helps ease constipation. An overdose of lime juice with salt also acts as an excellent purgative without any side effects, thereby giving relief from constipation.

Peptic Ulcer: In addition to vitamin-C, lime contains special compounds called flavonoids (limonoids such as limonin glucoside) which have antioxidant, anti carcinogenic, antibiotic and detoxifying properties to help heal peptic and oral ulcers.

Respiratory disorders: The oil containing flavonoids and certain oils extracted from lime are extensively used in anti congestive medicines such as balms, vaporizers and inhalers.


Watermelon and the heat

April 30, 2008

• Watermelon is not only great on a hot summer day; this delectable thirst-quencher is also beneficial for those suffering from conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.


• Sweet, juicy watermelon is actually packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, notably through its concentration of betacarotene.

 

• Watermelon is also a very concentrated source of lycopene. Also found in olive oil, lycopene is also an antioxidant that helps ease inflammations that cause colds, joint pain and helps prevent cholesterol build up.

 

• For a great summer thirst-quencher, blend chunks of watermelon with a few ice cubes and a splash of lime juice. Serve with a fresh mint leaf.

 

• Because watermelon has higher water content and lower calorie content than other fruits (a whole cup of watermelon contains only 48 calories), it delivers more nutrients per calorie which is an outstanding health benefit.


7 easy ways to avoid a cold

April 12, 2008

Cold and flu season seems to be upon us. Everywhere you look there are people sneezing, wheezing or looking downright miserable thanks to a stuffy nose, sore throat or heavy head — and there seems no way of escaping it. However, if you are determined to keep the common cold at bay, try these seven easy-to-do steps.

The hands-off approach

According to the health portal commoncold.org, the cold virus resides in the nose and is most contagious during the first three days of a cold. So, if you have a cold, try not to use your hands to shield a sneeze or cough. The nasal secretions will transfer the virus to your hands and then on to everything else you touch. If you haven’t yet fallen prey to the cold virus, the first thing to do keep your hands cleans. For most of us, at work, at home or outdoors, it’s impossible to keep your hands as clean as they could possibly be. The best thing to do is avoid touching your nose, mouth and face.

The cold virus can be transferred even from brief contact with a person suffering from a cold or a contaminated surface, so try wash your hands as often as you can or buy a hand sanitizer available at almost all medical stores.

 Liquids

Mayoclinic.com recommends you ensure your liquid intake is high. Whether in the form of water, juices or soups, the fluids will help flush out the toxins in your system and keep illness at bay.

 Air it out

For most city-dwellers, air conditioned offices and homes are inescapable. While this modern convenience is no doubt a blessing, it can also be a Pandora’s Box of illnesses. Thanks to the recirculated air, germs tend to reside in air-ducts with no place to go. If colds and coughs seem to be afflicting colleagues or relatives constantly, get you’re the ducts cleaned professionally and open the windows to let in some fresh air in. Health portal webmd.com recommends getting a regular dose of fresh air particularly during winter.

 Work it out

The internet abounds with studies and articles that demonstrate the benefits of regular exercise to the human immune system. Even 20 minutes of aerobics or moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week can make a world of difference to your body’s energy levels and immunity.

 Get a vitamin boost

Studies have found that a regular intake of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, boosts the immune system. If you’re not the pill-popping type, load up the natural way with plenty of green leafy vegetables, the red and yellow variety help too.

 Cut down on smoking and drinking

According to webmd.com, statistics show that heavy smokers are more prone to colds and suffer more severe bouts. Heavy alcohol consumption dries out the body, taking away valuable fluids. This again makes you susceptible to the cold virus. So, if you can’t kick the habit completely, make sure to cut down your consumption to improve your chances of staving off cold.

 Relax

Stress impacts your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections and illnesses, says most research on the subject. While it is easier said than done, there are methods by which you can teach yourself calming techniques, the most popular of which is yoga. Practice these techniques regularly to keep your mind and body in peak condition.


5 health myths – BUSTED!

April 11, 2008

Eight glasses of water a day 

They all recommend it — the catwalk model with the perfect figure, the actress with the flawless complexion, the fitness freak with abs of steel and everyone in between. And most people buy into it too. Every second teenager is guzzling water in the hope of washing out their system, detoxifying the body, and what have you. But does it actually work?

According to health portal Mayoclinic.com, while there are recommended levels of water intake, it is by no means a one-size-fits-all solution. Factors like diet, body type, environment and weather among others have quite a say in how much water you should ideally drink.

If your diet is high in other sources of water — beverages (soups and juices, even tea and coffee qualify here), fruit and vegetables (watermelon, cucumbers are very high in water content) you can comfortably knock off a glass or two. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle — long hours at the computer and little to no exercise, your requirement goes down a bit too.

So, drink when you’re thirsty and not just to complete your day’s quota.

If you’re cold, you’ll catch a cold

The reason one catches the common cold is due to exposure to the cold virus — contact with a person already suffering from a cold or contact with a contaminated surface. Cold temperatures will not affect your immunity in any way, unless in extreme cases or hypothermia.

 A bad day will make you grey

There’s this joke doing the rounds online: A mother says to her young daughter, “See this strand of grey hair? Whenever you’re naughty and have me worried, another strand turns grey.” To which the kid promptly replies, “You must have troubled Grandma a lot when you were little, she has no black hair left at all!”

Which one of us hasn’t heard that stress turns hair grey? Chances are, almost all of us have. What might come as a surprise though is that while almost everyone subscribes to that belief, there is no actual scientific evidence to support it.

Greying is just another sign of growing old, like wrinkles. It’s in our genes. While some of us might go grey in our 60s, others might show hints of graying as early as their late teens. So while getting strung out about something might not actually turn your youthful locks to silver, it’s just as good an excuse to keep your cool.

Reading in poor light will ruin your eyes

Another old wives’ tale this. Yes, reading in poor light can tire the eyes, says palmereye.com, but when it comes to actually damaging your eyesight, poor light cannot be named as a factor. This hold true for television viewing and long hours staring at the computer screen too. Prolonged periods will fatigue the eyes, and might cause slight watering but long-term damage is usually very rare.

Coffee is bad for you

True, coffee is a diuretic (it tends to increase the flow of urine, which causes the body to get rid of water). However, according to a report on msnbc.com, your intakes of water through the day will more than make up for the water lost due to a cup or two of coffee.

The caffeine content in coffee is also said to be addictive. While regular coffee drinkers do complain of headaches and drowsiness if they suddenly give up their daily brew, a gradual decrease in intake over a few days can just as easily keep those headaches at bay. However, when it comes to pregnant women or people suffering from stress-related diseases, consulting a doctor would be best.

 


A wonder Laptop

March 27, 2008

An Indian medical technology firm has configured a laptop that can do a heart scan, abdomen scan and even a pregnancy test while retaining its basic functions like writing a note, preparing presentations and sending an e-mail.

‘Though portable ultrasound machines are not new in India, this machine doubles up as a laptop and a multi-utility ultrasound machine. It is easy to use, carry and send body images even to your e-mail. The system runs on a standard Apple Mackintosh laptop computer, which is integrated with a fusion processor and a unique, custom-designed, integrated ultrasound chip set.

The familiar Windows graphical user interface makes the system intuitive and easy to use. The t3000 laptop is designed for general, vascular, and breast imaging, interventional radiology, image-guided intervention, endocrinology, laparoscopy, neuro-sonography and nephrology.

The laptop has collar Doppler for better imaging of a total body scan and weighs around three kilograms. The price varies between Rs.1.2 million (over $30,000) and Rs.3 million, depending on the type of configuration a doctor wants.

The laptop, doctors said, helps them do their job more easily and efficiently.’Now a patient or a doctor need not always go to a hospital for any kind of tests like heart scan, thyroid scan, abdomen scan and even pregnancy tests. This helps one to reach the bedside of a patient and treat him.

‘You can do the scanning of different parts of your body and get the image printouts through the same laptop. The images can also be transferred to a PowerPoint presentation or emailed for convenience of a doctor or a patient.The sensor attached to the laptop sends sound waves inside the patient’s body and the laptop placed nearly half a metre away will display internal images, blood flow and blockages inside the organ or body part.


Goodness of fruits

March 10, 2008

·         Fruits are 100 percent natural food.

·         They provide quick energy and can be used as a snack between meals.

·         Most fruits contain a lot of moisture and are low in fat and calories. This makes fruits useful for weight watchers.

·         None of the fruits contain cholesterol. They can be eaten by people with high cholesterol. However, those with high triglycerides need to control their fruit intake.

·         They are rich sources of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and mineral. Fibre helps fight constipation. Antioxidants fight free radicals, delay ageing and prevent diseases like cancer. Vitamins and minerals are useful for almost all body functions.

·         Fruits contain potassium which is useful to control blood pressure. But those who have renal problem need to consult a dietitian before they eat fruits.

·         Fruits make a good dessert as they are quite sweet to taste.

·         Dry fruits like raisins, figs, dates, prunes etc are higher in nutrients than their fresh counterparts. Since they also give more calories, it’s wise to eat them in small quantities.