Nutrition Tips

Since these are nutritional tips that can be incorporated in your day-to-day life, we plan to go ahead with the hashtag #VLCCBookOfHealth.

Sun Seed

A handful of Sunflower seeds daily, go a long way when it comes to healthy and supple skin. Book a VLCC Health Counselling here: https://goo.gl/snz66D.
#VLCCBookOfHealth

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Balance in Kitchen

Stand on one leg while performing kitchen chores, this will make your hips, ankles, and knees strong. Book a VLCC Health Counseling here: http://bit.ly/2pWnQ1y 
#VLCCBookOfHealth

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Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the magic spice that puts a natural shine to your hair. It increases the blood flow and improves the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. Stay healthy & #GetGorgeous#VLCCBookOfHealth

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Colourful Plate

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, a more colourful plate benefits your health and waistline.#VLCCBookOfHealth click the link https://goo.gl/r4ooma, for free health consultation — with Bharat.

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Go on walnuts

Go nuts on walnuts everyday for a softer skin. Walnuts are rich in copper, minerals, omega-3 and essential fatty acids that improve skin texture. Stay healthy & #GetGorgeous#VLCCBookOfHealth

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Wrinkles Mellow

Eating green and yellow coloured vegetables reduce skin’s sensitivity to sun & prevents wrinkles. Stay healthy & #FeelFabulous #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral for the body with incredible healing properties for skin like acne prevention. Foods like kidney beans are ores of Zinc. Book a VLCC Health Counselling here: https://goo.gl/oImNg4 #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Eating Slow

There is no need to rush though your meals! Eating quickly leads to poor digestion, increased weight and lower satisfaction. Book your VLCC Health Counseling here https://goo.gl/oImNg4 #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Sculpt Hair

Spinach is a rich storehouse of Iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin A which come together to moisturize the scalp to the right extent. This protects hair fall and roughness. Book a VLCC Health Counselling here: https://goo.gl/snz66D#VLCCBookOfHealth

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Snack Hack

Lose weight by snacking wisely. Combine your snacks with healthy protein & high fiber while cutting back on high salt, sugar & fat-laden processed foods. Book a VLCC Health Counseling here: http://bit.ly/2pWnQ1y #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Walking Mile

Save on your trips to the gym, by walking as many steps as possible daily to burn calories faster. #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Sip Fill Lift Repeat

Lift a 1 litre water bottle 50 times with each hand simultaneously as it helps to improve your muscle strength #VLCCBookOfHealth Book a VLCC Health Counseling here: http://bit.ly/2oDd8eD

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Grab A Drink

Fluids like coconut water, herbal teas & fresh juices flush out the internal toxins. Hydrate your skin from inside out to get acne-free and clearer skin. Book a VLCC health counselling today-  http://bit.ly/2pWnQ1y #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Shun the Sun

Get 15-30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure two to four times a week as it helps you maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D. #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Jumpstart with breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it helps your kick start your day on the right note. #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Plenty of Water

Drinking water in the morning upon waking up can have amazing therapeutic effects on a multitude of health conditions – ranging from pain to asthma to cancer. #VLCCBookOfHealth

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The right way to cheat

You’ll be astonished to hear that a scheduled cheat meal may actually help optimize your body’s hormones to avoid weight loss plateaus and prevent chronic metabolism depression. #VLCCBookOfHealth

Don’t take your calories to bed

It’s advised that you eat dinner at-least 2 hours before going to bed as it adversely impacts your overall health and leads to weight gain and indigestion. #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Green way to go

Green leafy vegetables are extremely low in calories, yet super high in nutrients. Moreover, they contain lots of fiber, helping in keep blood sugar levels in check. #VLCCBookOfHealth

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The dark side of snacking

Just like you, your body also sleeps at night. Avoid eating late-night snacks as they lead to poor digestion, in turn leading to more fat retention. #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Rest no more

Rest no more than 30 seconds between your exercises , as it dramatically helps you burn calorie faster.

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Shake that salt away

High quantity of salt causes problems like high blood pressure, cardiac problems and water retention. Replace salt with alternate herbs and spices to enhance flavour. #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Lay a Red Carpet

Red is rightly the colour of love; nourish your body with red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, apples, plum, strawberries which reduce the risk of cancer by 80% #VLCCBookOfHealth

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Hooked with the uncooked

Have only raw uncooked fruits and vegetables on Wednesday and Friday to avoid chronic problems and lose weight.

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Say no to one last bite

Eat one bit less in whatever you eat, doing this at every meal could save about 75 calories a day which equates to nearly a 4kg weight loss in one year.

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Exercise-Wall Press-Ups

  • Stand facing a wall, about an arm’s length away.
  • Place your palms flat on the wall at shoulder height and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Inhale as you bend your arms, leaning your body in towards the wall.
  • Keep your stomach tight and your back straight. Exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat continuously for 30 seconds.

wall_press_ups

How much Exercise is too much?

Too much exercise? In a world of where the words ‘workout’ and ‘fitness’ are revered, which is filled with lazy couch potatoes, is there such a thing? Most of us know keeping active is crucial to our health and happiness. So it's not surprising that making exercise a regular habit is a key to healthy lifestyle.

In most cases, exercise is a healthy activity. However, like anything else, it can be dangerous when done to excess. Exercising too much can put you at risk for a variety of serious health problems.

Over-exercise can be as harmful to your health as no exercise. The things that can happen to you if you over exercise -

  • Over exercise without a complementary hike in nutrition, can lead to a loss of lean-based muscle mass by forcing your body to use up its own muscle tissue for energy. This can cause your metabolism to drop, making you prone to weight gain.
  • The risk of injury to ligaments, tendons, joints and bones magnifies due to the gradual wear and tear of the muscles and joints.
  • You may experience a drop in hormones (estrogen in women and androgens in men). Women may also develop a condition called amonorrhea, which is the cessation of their monthly periods.

Too much exercise also weakens the immune system, leading to frequent infections and illnesses and even an increase of inflammatory processes in the body. Sleeping patterns are affected, as too much adrenalin kicks in and dehydration and electrolyte imbalance may set in too. Muscle cramping, heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting and dizziness are all signs that you need to stop exercising and drink water.

Excessive exercise often results in stress, which results in excessive production of the hormone cortisol, which in turn leads to fat storage in the abdominal area. Abdominal fat is a high risk factor for multiple health problems. Burnouts that make you go off exercise completely after pushing yourself too much are also very common.

A report published by the College of Cardiology researchers from Denmark says that people who push their bodies too hard actually undo the benefit of exercise. The researchers found that those who ran at a very fast pace more than four hours a week for more than three days a week had about the same risk of dying during the study’s 12-year follow up as those who were sedentary.

Reference: When exercise does more harm than good. Time, 2nd Feb, 2015, www.time.com.

much_exercise

Keep your muscles and ligaments in good shape

Did you know you have more than 600 muscles in your body? These muscles help you move, lift things, pump blood through your body, and even help you breathe.

When you think about your muscles, you probably think most about the ones you can control. These are your voluntary muscles, which means you can control their movements. They are also called skeletal muscles, because they attach to your bones and work together with your bones to help you walk, run, pick up things, play an instrument, throw a baseball, kick a soccer ball or ride a bicycle. Exercising, getting enough rest, and eating a balanced diet will help to keep your muscles healthy for life.

The ways by which you can keep your muscles and ligaments in good shape are as follows:

  • 1. Keep your muscles balanced – Every movement you make has an opposite movement: push and pull, raise and lower, twist left and twist right. Exercising opposing muscles equally is the key to good posture, strong physique and lasting mobility.
  • 2. Remember RICE – This useful mnemonic stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation – these four steps provide essential and effective first-aid treatment for minor soft tissue injuries such as ligament sprains, bruises and impact injuries and muscle tears
  • 3. Avoid repetitive movements – Even very minor stresses and strains on your muscles can cause problems if performed repeatedly. If you need to perform repetitive actions such as moving a computer mouse, try to vary your movements and take plenty of breaks.>
  • 4. Take up Pilates and Yoga – Designed to stretch, tone and streamline the core muscles that you use to maintain your posture and stability. Yoga and Pilates will also help to improve your strength and flexibility and reduce the effects of stress and fatigue on your body.
  • 5. Warm up and cool down – Warm muscles are less vulnerable to injuries such as strains. It is also important to cool down and stretch following exercise – stretching helps to prevent sore, tight muscles.
  • 6. Have a long soak – Warm water will help to ease your aches and pains and enable your muscles to relax and repair themselves.
  • 7. Watch how you lift – Try to bend your knees and not your back. Bending too far too fast, rising awkwardly or twisting badly can all put tremendous strain on your muscles.
  • 8. Keep moving – Fidgeting and adjusting your position while at work or play will help your muscles to avoid cramping, can relieve the symptoms of RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) and burns calories.
  • 9. Cardio Workout - Adding some form of cardio to your routine in order to keep shredding fat and building lean muscle. Cardio workouts are aerobic exercises that require oxygen from the cells to burn fat such as walking, jogging, swimming or dancing.
  • 10. Relax – Stress and fatigue can lead to muscle tension and cramps and heighten your chance of tears and sprains. Take some time out to slow down and unwind – a gentle massage will relax muscles, remove painful trigger points and stimulate circulation to speed up healing of minor strains and sprains.

A recent study has shown that exercise, even of mild degree, helps with pain. Getting people up and moving does appear to help with mood, pain and overall functioning. This study showed a significant improvements in the ability to perform activities of daily living, such as lifting or carrying groceries; climbing stairs; bending, kneeling and stooping; and bathing and getting dressed. The study was presented at the American Public Health Association annual meeting.

Reference: Mild exercise may decrease arthritis pain among elderly people. Indian Express 4th November, 2016.

ligaments-good-shape

Knee Exercises

Knee lifts

  • • To do knee lifts, stand tall, bring up alternate knees to touch the opposite hand.
  • • Keep your abs tight and back straight.
  • • Keep a slight bend in the supporting leg.
  • • Aim: 30 knee lifts in 30 seconds

Knee bends

  • • To do knee bends, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands stretched out.
  • • Lower yourself no more than 10cm by bending your knees.
  • • Come up and repeat.
  • • Aim: 10 repetitions

Single-Leg Dip
You should feel this exercise in the front and back of your thigh, hip, and buttocks.

Place two chairs on either side of you to help with balance. Lift one leg slightly in front of you. Plant your weight on the other leg. Slowly lower yourself down a few inches, pushing your weight onto the heel of your supporting leg. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Slowly straighten up. Repeat and switch sides.

Do: Sit back as if there was a chair behind you.

Do not: Let the knee of your supporting leg move forward over your toes.

Hamstring Curls
You should feel this exercise at the back of your thigh.

Hold on to the back of a chair for balance. Plant your weight onto your supporting leg. Lift the other foot and bring the heel up toward your buttocks. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Slowly lower your leg. Repeat and switch sides.

Do: Keep your knees close together.

Do not: Lock the knee of your supporting leg. Do not bring your heel up past a 90 degree angle.

Knee Exercises-1

Lunges….. Strengthening the core

Lunges work the same large muscle groups as the squats, but can work additional leg muscles and improve balance. Lunges are done by taking a big enough step forward that the knee forms about a 90-degree angle. However, you must keep your spine in a neutral position (upright position, no bending forward). Your trailing leg, at the same time, should have its knee come close to the floor and have the toes accept significant body weight. Then, return to a standing position and repeat with the other leg.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lunge forward slowly at an even pace across a distance (approx. 10 times each leg) and then jog back.

Do this twice (i.e. 2 sets).

lunges-strengtheing

Mouth and Throat Exercises for Sleep Apnea

Mouth and throat exercises work on the throat, tongue, soft palate, and jaw. These are widely regarded as the most effective type of sleep apnea exercise.

As a sleep apnea sufferer, we want all of our breathing muscles firm and toned, yet still flexible. While we may want to work diligently on one area, don’t forget about the surrounding muscles.

Jaw Exercise for Sleep Apnea

A tight jaw places pressure on your breathing passages. Jaw exercises help to loosen and relax the jaw muscles, and tone your tongue muscles. It also helps release stress.

Jaw Tension Relief Exercise - Use a mirror for this exercise to ensure your jaw is moving up and down.

How to do the Exercise -

  • 1. With a closed mouth, allow your teeth to just touch.
  • 2. Position your tongue in a resting position, with the tip laying behind the upper front teeth.
  • 3. Arch your tongue against the roof of your mouth.
  • 4. Slide the tip of your tongue back as far as it will go along the roof of your mouth.
  • 5. Keep your tongue in this position and slowly open your mouth until your tongue can no longer rest on the roof of your mouth.
  • 6. Repeat steps 1-5 for 5 minutes, 2 times a day.

Mouth and Throat

Office Workout with Theraband

Chronic neck/shoulder pain is common in office workers. A theraband or resistance bands are latex bands or tubes that are used for physical therapy and light strength training exercises. Theraband exercise requires proper posture, warming up and stretching prior to use, and the knowledge of which exercises to do.

How to do the exercise?
Instructions:

  • Begin by wrapping the middle of the band around your foot.
  • Grasp the ends of the band at your chest, taking up the slack while you bend your hip and knee.
  • Press your foot downward into the band, extending your hip and knee.
  • Hold and slowly return.

TIP: Keep your back straight.

Performing the simple Theraband exercise 2 minutes a day, 5 times a week, will significantly decrease your neck and shoulder pain.

Workout with Theraband

Stair Climb your way to strong + healthy bones

Importance of weight-bearing exercise

  • Muscles are forced to work against gravity, which causes muscles to pull on bone – which builds bone
  • Bones become denser in mineral content and therefore stronger
  • Weight-bearing exercises help maintain bone mass later in life

Benefits of stair climbing:

  • Build and tone muscles in the legs and buttocks.
  • Increase bone density
  • Burn 250 calories in a half hour

Exercising at least 30 minutes a day helps your bones and improves heart health, muscle strength, coordination, balance and mental well-being.

strong + healthy bones

Step Up Your Workout!

Looking for a challenging yet simple move?

Try step aerobics for a heart pumping workout at work or home. All you need is a staircase or sturdy platform that’s about a foot off the ground, and you are ready to burn about 10 calories per minute!

Step onto the platform with your left foot. Bring your right foot up and lift leg to a 90-degree angle. Lower right foot to the ground. This is one rep.

Do 20 reps on each leg. For a challenge, hold a pair of dumbbells.

Step Up Your Workout

Take a walk – the right way

Most Natural Exercise of All: “It’s simple and safe - and its life enhancing benefits are all within walking distance - one that can be done without equipment except good shoes, in most terrains and weather and into very old age”

There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the body, mostly capillaries- those minute vessels responsible for irrigating the flesh. Only a few capillaries will open when a muscle is at rest; perhaps 50 times as many will open when the muscle is being exercised. Walking not only awakens dormant capillaries but also increases the number of these vessels that nourish and enrich the muscles with oxygen and nutrients, strengthening them. It also helps reduce blood pressure due to vasodilatation.

If you cannot maintain a brisk pace for long, walk briskly for five minutes and then the same amount of time at an easier pace, and so on. Eventually make the quicker-paced intervals longer and the easier intervals shorter until you can sustain the quicker pace for most or all of your walk. If you can talk comfortably without getting breathless as you walk you are not walking briskly enough!

Walking is a great way to get fit, as long as you walk correctly and safely, wearing cushioned, comfortable shoes and on level ground. Benefits of walking include:

  • • Brain – Just 2 hours of walking a week can reduce your risk of stroke by 30%.
  • • Memory – 40 minutes of walking 3 times a week protects the brain region associated with planning and memory.
  • • Mood – 30 minutes walking in a day can reduce symptoms of depression by 36%.
  • • Health – Logging 3,500 steps a day lowers your risk of diabetes by 29%.
  • • Heart – 30 to 60 minutes of walking on most days of the week drastically lowers your risk of heart disease.
  • • Bones – 4 hours a week can reduce the risk of hip fractures by up to 43%.
  • • Longevity – 75 minutes a week of brisk walking can add almost 2 years to your life.
  • • Weight – A daily 1-hour walk can cut your risk of obesity in half.

Take a walk – the right way

The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

This breathing exercise is very simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight.

  • • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

The timing of your Pre-Workout meal is a key

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are always looking for ways to improve their performance and achieve their goals. Good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout. Optimal nutrient intake prior to exercise will not only help you maximize your performance but also minimize muscle damage.

The timing of your meal is also an important aspect of pre-exercise nutrition. To maximize the results of your training, try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, fiber, protein and fat 2–3 hours before you exercise.

However, in some cases you may not be able to get in a full meal 2-3 hours before working out. In that case, then you can still eat a decent pre-workout meal. Just keep in mind that the sooner you eat before your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal should be.

So if you eat 45–60 minutes prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein. This will help prevent any stomach discomfort during exercise.

A study showed a positive anabolic response after the ingestion of 20 grams of whey protein before exercise.

Many studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein consumption to improve athletic performance. Consuming protein alone or with carbs prior to exercise has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis.

Reference:

  • • Tipton KD et al Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007, 292(1):E71-6.
  • • Willoughby DS Effects of resistance training and protein plus amino acid supplementation on muscle anabolism, mass, and strength. Amino Acids. 2007, 32(4):467-77.

The timing of your Pre-Workout meal is a key

Walk-run Interval Training

An interval program is a great way to torch calories and kick up your fitness level.

Time: 30 minutes including warm-up and cool-down

  • First 10 minutes: Warm up with gentle walking that gradually gets brisker.
  • Next 16 minutes: Break into a gentle jog that feels somewhat challenging for one minute. Recover for three minutes with moderately paced walking; by the end of the three minutes you should have the energy to jog again. Repeat sequence three more times.
  • Last four minutes: Walk at an easy pace to cool down.

Challenge yourself: Gradually ramp up your walking pace so it gets brisker toward the end of your three-minute recovery interval.

Walk-run Interval Training

Basics of the Food Nutrition Labels

A quick guide on learning how to read the food label -

  • 1. Start with the Serving Size - Look here for both the serving size (the amount people typically eat at one time) and the number of servings in the package. Compare your portion size (the amount you actually eat) to the serving size listed on the panel. If the serving size is one cup and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat and other nutrients listed on the label.
  • 2. Check Out the Total Calories - Calories provide a measure of how much energy you get from a serving of this food. Find out how many calories are in a single serving. It's smart to cut back on calories if you are watching your weight. Eating too many calories per day is linked to overweight and obesity.
  • 3. Let the Percent Daily Values Be Your Guide - Use percent Daily Values (DV) to help evaluate how a particular food fits into your daily meal plan. Percent DV are for the entire day, not just one meal or snack. The High and Low of Daily Values – a) Low is 5 percent or less. Aim low in saturated fat, Trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. B) High is 20 percent or more. Aim high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • 4. Limit Saturated Fat, Added Sugars and Sodium - Eating less saturated fat, added sugars and sodium may help reduce your risk for chronic disease.
    • • Saturated fat and Trans fat are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
    • • Eating too much added sugar makes it difficult to meet nutrient needs within your calorie requirement.
    • • High levels of sodium can add up to high blood pressure.
    • • Remember to aim for low percentage DV of these nutrients.
  • 5. Get Enough Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber
    • • Eat more fiber, potassium, vitamin D, calcium and iron to maintain good health and help reduce your risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis and anemia.
    • • Choose more fruits and vegetables to get more of these nutrients.
    • • Remember to aim high for percentage DV of these nutrients.
  • 6. Additional Nutrients - You know about calories, but it is important to also know the additional nutrients on the Nutrition Facts Panel.
    • • Protein
      A percentage Daily Value for protein is not required on the label. Eat moderate portions of lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, plus beans and peas, seeds and soy products.
    • • Carbohydrates
      There are three types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches and fiber. Eat whole-grain breads, cereals, rice plus fruits and vegetables.
    • • Sugars
      Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, occur naturally in foods such as fruit juice (fructose) or come from refined sources such as table sugar (sucrose) or corn syrup. Added sugars will be included on the Nutrition Facts label in 2018. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming no more than 10 percent of daily calories from added sugars.
  • 7. Check the Ingredient List - Foods with more than one ingredient must have an ingredient list on the label. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first. This information is particularly helpful to individuals with food sensitivities and for people who prefer vegetarian eating.
Misleading Food Labels

The FDA currently allows foods containing upto 0.5 g of trans fats per serving to claim ZERO grams of trans fat per serving. Everywhere else in the world, 0.5 g does not equal zero. In basic math, 0.5 is rounded upto 1.

Products labeled as sugar free often use strange sugar replacements or boost the fat to create flavor. Most of them use maple syrup or rice malt syrup, still sugar containing the same number of calories as normal table sugar.

Real fruit is not the same as whole fruit. This could refer the fruit extract or juice, both of which contain fewer nutrients and more sugar.

Basics of the Food Nutrition Labels

Eating Healthy During Monsoon Season

Our body is more susceptible to health issues in the rainy season because of reduced immunity. Allergies, infections, indigestion are common problems, so we must protect our body better. Monsoon brings humidity and warm, moist air which is the most favorable environment for the rapid growth of harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. So keep yourself and your family safe and well by following our tips to stay healthy during monsoon season:

  • • Fresh fruits keep you disease-free and fit, containing vitamins, minerals, complex sugars and fiber.
  • • Consume bitter vegetables like bitter gourd, and bitter herbs like neem, turmeric powder and methi seeds – they help in preventing infections.
  • • Consume spices which can be easily digested or help in digestion during the rainy season – like jeera powder, garlic, ginger, coriander, pepper, hing etc.
  • • Consume light foods, avoid oily food, stay away from street food that is prepared in bulk since there is every possibility it may upset your stomach.
  • • Wash all vegetables and fruits carefully before eating or cooking.
  • • Focus on hygiene by taking necessary precautions like keeping your house clean and dry, washing hands before and after having a meal, cleaning carpets of dust mites, keeping desert coolers clean and free of mosquito larvae, etc.

Monsoon Season-1

Healthy Eating for Knee Osteoarthritis

Although there is no diet cure for arthritis, certain foods have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system. By eating certain anti-inflammatory foods may help ease the pain, stiffness, and other symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Adding these foods to your balanced diet may help ease the symptoms of your arthritis.

Eating well can help you manage or maintain your weight. Not everyone with knee osteoarthritis will need to lose weight, but if you are overweight, getting to a healthier weight by eating well can be helpful in managing your osteoarthritis.

Follow these simple steps to keep your joints happy.

1. Cut Extra Calories - Your knees will feel better if you keep your waistline trim. When you drop those extra kgs, you'll put less stress on your joints. A good way to lower your calorie count: Take smaller portions, avoid sugary foods and drinks, and eat mostly plant-based foods.

2. Eat More Fruits and Veggies - These super foods contain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to help you combat joint pain and swelling. Some antioxidants, found in fruits and veggies like apples, onions and strawberries may also help reduce joint inflammation and pain.

The more colorful the better. Fill your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates with as much color as you can—taste the rainbow. Red grapes, blueberries, carrots, and spinach are some examples of fruits and veggies that may have anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Omega-3s may help relieve your joint pain and decrease morning stiffness. They work by reducing inflammation in your body. Fish, such as salmon, and other foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help ease sore, achy joints. If you're not a fan of fish, you can eat walnuts, flaxseed, and olive oil or take an omega-3 supplement to get the same benefits. Try heart-healthy soybeans. Soybeans are also low in fat, high in protein and fiber and an all-around good-for-your food. Eat a serving of omega-3s at least once a day.

4. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Place of Other Fats - Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. But it’s not the only oil with health benefits. Avocado and safflower oils have shown cholesterol-lowering properties, while walnut oil has 10 times the omega-3s that olive oil has. To add olive oil to your diet without extra calories, use it in place of other fats, such as butter. However, one must take care of the total quantity per day.

5. Vitamin D - Foods with vitamin D, such as eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods (e.g., fortified orange juice and breakfast cereals), low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are packed with calcium and vitamin D, both found to increase bone strength. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, and it has been shown to boost the immune system. If dairy doesn't agree with you, aim for other calcium and vitamin D-rich foods like leafy green vegetables.

6. Get Enough Vitamin C - A key element for joint health, antioxidant vitamin C helps build collagen and connective tissue. Try citrus fruits (like oranges and grapefruit), tropical fruits (like papaya, guava, and pineapple), strawberries, kiwi, raspberries, cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower, broccoli and kale), red peppers, cantaloupe, bell peppers and tomatoes.

7. Spices - Ginger, turmeric, dried chili peppers and cinnamon can help ease knee OA symptoms: They may have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, helping to reduce swelling and stiffness. An added bonus is that these spices are brimming with flavor without adding any calories. When possible, sprinkle them in at every meal. Grate fresh ginger into stir fries, add to salad dressings, sip ginger tea, and add to high-fiber, low-fat muffins.

Scientific studies cited in the Journal of Natural Products have shown that turmeric may help arthritis by suppressing inflammatory body chemicals.

8. Beta-carotene – This is another powerful antioxidant that helps destroy free radicals before they can cause excessive damage to joints. Beta-carotene is easy to identify because it gives fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, their bright orange color. Other excellent sources include cruciferous veggies (like kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens, mustard greens, and chard), sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, greens (like lettuce and spinach), parsley, apricots, peppermint leaves and tomatoes.

9. Vitamin E – Vitamin E is known for its strong antioxidant powers. A study (International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, 2009) compared the knees of 42 people undergoing knee surgery: 32 with severe osteoarthritis and 10 with non-arthritis injuries. Researchers found less vitamin E in the knees of the osteoarthritis patients, implying that they were getting less of the vitamin’s protective benefits. Almonds, sunflower seeds and oil, safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanuts and spinach are all excellent sources of vitamin E.

10. Go Green (Tea) - Green tea is packed with polyphenols, antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction.

11. Go With the Grain - Whole grains lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood. CRP is a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Foods like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain cereals are excellent sources of whole grains.

12. Break Out the Beans - Beans are packed with fiber, a nutrient that helps lower CRP. Beans are also an excellent and inexpensive source of protein, which is important for muscle health. Some beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium, all known for their heart and immune system benefits. Look for red beans, kidney beans.

Healthy Eating for Knee Osteoarthritis

Healthy Foods that help Sleep Apnea

In Greek the word "apnea" means "without breath." Sleep apnea is a condition that causes repeated interruptions in your breathing during sleep. For a sleep apnea patient, weight loss is firstly recommended. However, losing weight is perhaps far tougher than gaining a few pounds. At the same time, 60 to 70% of sleep apnea patients are obese and for them weight loss could be a really daunting task

Some interesting information on diet plans for sleep apnea patients have emerged. The research shows that low energy diet followed by professional counseling can actually help the apnea patients to lose significant amount of weight and ensure consistency in weight loss.

However, there are some foods that are naturally packed with essential vitamins and minerals and eating these wonder foods can help you in good quality sleep.

1. Melatonin-Rich Foods – Melatonin rich foods are able to increase the body’s natural melatonin production and helps regulate sleep.

Foods include pineapples, bananas, cherries, oranges, oats, corn, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranate, olives, grapes, broccoli, cucumber and nuts and seeds like walnuts, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds and flaxseed.

2. Tryptophan-Rich Foods - Tryptophan, an amino acid that when ingested converts serotonin into melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep.

Tryptophan can be found in dairy products (like milk, cheese and yogurt), seafood, nuts, legumes, grains like barley, oats and certain types of fruits and vegetables, including apples, banana, and turnips. Chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans which is a very healthy legume that adds a lot of protein and fiber to your diet and very rich source of tryptophan.

3. Calcium Loaded Foods - Calcium is needed for the production of melatonin in the brain. Calcium rich diets have been shown to help patients with insomnia.

Dairy products that contain both tryptophan and calcium are among the best sleep inducers. Sources of calcium include - dark leafy greens, low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, fortified cereals and soybeans.

4. Foods High in Magnesium - Magnesium is a mineral that, when ingested, can help to reduce the effects of adrenaline, helping us relax and get to sleep. Magnesium is often referred to as the sleep mineral.

If you’re looking for foods that contain magnesium, look no further than spinach, kale, nuts, fish, soybeans, bananas, avocadoes, soybeans and yogurt.

5. Vitamin B6 Foods - Vitamin B6 plays a critical role in the process of converting tryptophan into the hormone melatonin. A deficiency in B6 has been linked with lowered serotonin levels and poor sleep.

It’s actually quite common in seeds and nuts, such as pistachios, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds. It can also be found in many types of fish, such as tuna and salmon, and fruits like avocadoes and bananas.

6. Sleepy- Time Drinks - It's not just foods that are great for sleep. Many drinks contain essential vitamins and minerals that help aid with sleep.

For a good night’s sleep, try drinking these before laying down: warm milk, almond milk, lavender tea and peppermint tea

Reference:
• Johansson K et al, Longer term effects of very low energy diet on obstructive sleep apnea in cohort derived from randomised controlled trial: prospective observational follow-up study. BMJ 2011, 342:d3017 doi:10.1136/bmj.d3017.

Healthy Foods that help Sleep Apnea

Healthy Mindful Eating Practices that can really make a difference

Eating is a natural, healthy, and pleasurable activity for satisfying hunger. Mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. Before eating, make a practice of pausing. Breathe in and out a few times so that you can be one with the food you are about to eat. Mindful eating takes dedicated practice, and there are some practices that you can develop to help you eat mindfully for good health.

1. Honour the Food - We should eat our meals in silence during the first 20 minutes of the meal so that we are fully immersed in the experience of eating. It is recommended to experiment with a silent meals at home — even just a silent cup of tea. But you do not need to eat every meal in silence to become a more mindful eater. You can start by simply unplugging from daily distractions during mealtime: turn off the television, the laptop, the cell phone, so there is no watching, no surfing, no texting.

2. Engage all six senses - As you serve and eat your meal, observe the deliciousness on the plate, the colors, textures, flavors and smells, savoring each bite, as your mind’s response to them, not just the taste. When you put the first bite of food in your mouth, pause briefly before chewing and notice its taste as though it was the first time you had ever tasted it. With more practice in engaging all of your senses, you may notice that your tastes change, increasing your enjoyment of what you may once have perceived as “boring” health foods. As the meal makes its way to the stomach, start to notice the fullness in your tummy.

3. Serve in modest portions - Moderation is an essential component of mindful eating. Not only does making a conscious effort to choose smaller portions help you avoid overeating and weight gain. It is also less wasteful of your household food budget and our planet’s resources. Using a small dinner plate and filling it only once can help you eat more moderately.

4. Savor small bits and chew thoroughly - Consciously choosing smaller bites and chewing them well (30-40 times) can help you slow down your meal as well as allow you to fully experience the taste of your food. It can also help improve your digestion, since the process of breaking down our foods begins with enzymes in the mouth. Chewing well allows your tongue and palate to taste the food better. Once you have swallowed this bite, you will still be able to savor the wonderful taste that the food offers you.

5. Eat slowly and avoid Overeating - Eating slowly may help you notice when you are feeling pleasantly satisfied so that you can stop before you have eaten too much. In Japanese, Hara Hachi Bu is recommended for eating until 80% full and never to “top off your tummy,” because this weakens the digestive power of your stomach and intestines, putting too much stress on them over the long haul. Of course, avoiding overeating is half of the secret to weight control. To help you practice this, make sure to allow enough time to enjoy the meal. If your mealtime is short — for example, during your lunch break at work — plan on a smaller meal rather than cramming down a large meal quickly.

6. Don’t Skip Meals - Skipping meals can make it harder to make mindful choices. When we are hungry, the strong forces of habit energy may lead us to grab whatever foods are close at hand — be they from a vending machine or a fast-food restaurant and these foods may not further our healthy-eating or weight-loss goals. So-called grazing — moving from one food to another, a few bites of this, a few bites of that, without ever sitting down to a regular meal — can also work against your healthy-weight goals, because you may consume more food than you realize without ever feeling truly satisfied. So give yourself the opportunity to make mindful choices throughout the day; plan regular meals and if it suits you, healthy snacks in between.

Healthy Mindful Eating Practices that can really make a difference

How to combat Hypertension, the Silent Killer?

Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common health problems in the world. It is caused by unmanageable stress and anxiety, lack of sleep, unhealthy lifestyle. Making an effort to prevent high blood pressure can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious illnesses. If you are at risk for hypertension, follow the given below steps to prevent it.

Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline - Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Besides shedding pounds, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.

Eat a healthy balanced diet - Eating healthy foods can help keep your blood pressure under control. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that's designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). The DASH diet encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium ((like potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, almonds, apricots, beans, fat free milk, yogurt, fish, citrus fruits like lemon, gooseberry, oranges, tomatoes), calcium (dark leafy greens, cheese, low-fat milk, broccoli, green beans, almonds, dried figs, oranges, sesame seeds) and magnesium (dark leafy greens like spinach; nuts like almonds, walnuts; seeds like pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds; fish, beans, avocados, yogurt, bananas, figs, banana). The DASH diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods — and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.

It is not easy to change your eating habits, but with few tips you can adopt a healthy diet like keep a food diary (writing down what you eat, even for just a week, can actually reflect your true eating habits), consider low salt and high potassium foods, be a smart shopper (read food labels when you shop and stick to your healthy-eating plan when you're dining out, too), watch portion sizes, especially when it comes to dairy, meat and processed starchy foods.

Reduce sodium in your diet - Eating a low-sodium diet can help keep blood pressure normal. The higher the sodium intake, the higher the blood pressure. You can cut back on your total salt intake by avoiding high-sodium packaged and processed foods and not adding extra salt to your meals. To decrease sodium in your diet, consider some of the few tips like read food labels (choose low-sodium alternatives), don't add salt (instead use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food), remove salt shaker from the table.

• Standard DASH diet. You can consume up to 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day.

• Lower sodium DASH diet. You can consume up to 1,500 mg of sodium a day.

4. Water - When you drink enough water, the kidneys flush out the extra sodium in your body, helping to reduce your blood pressure.

5. Reduce your stress - Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol, caffeinated and carbonated beverages or inadequate sleep. Once you know what's causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.

6. Limit the intake of alcohol - Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

7. Go tobacco-free - Smoking and tobacco consumption constricts the blood vessels, which leads to high blood pressure. Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Quitting smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal.

8. Exercise regularly - Get moving to prevent hypertension. The more exercise you get, the better, but even a little bit can help control blood pressure. Swimming, yoga, walking and even dancing helps stabilise your blood pressure and bring it back to normal.

9. Monitor your blood pressure - Make sure that you have your blood pressure measured regularly. High blood pressure often occurs with no symptoms, so only blood pressure readings will tell you if your blood pressure is on the rise. Home monitoring can help you keep a check on your blood pressure and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications.

How to combat Hypertension, the Silent Killer

Science Backed Ways to Boost Metabolism

Our metabolism is partly ruled by genetics, but we can rev it up naturally by eating right. Every time we eat or drink, we can thank our metabolism for converting all those calories into energy. Our size, gender and age all factor into our metabolic rate, but there are also ways to independently control its speed. And the faster our metabolism, the more calories we burn off.

Some of the ways to keep our body burning strong are as follows -

1. Sleep - Researchers have found a link between metabolism and sleep and not getting enough of it, may seriously slow metabolism.

2. Drink green tea - Not only does this super food pack an antioxidant-punch, researchers have found it speeds metabolism as well. Plus, it's naturally calorie-free, so there's no reason not to enjoy a mug (or two).

3. Amp up workout intensity - Slow and steady may not always win the race. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), such as interval runs, are quick bouts of intense exercise that can jumpstart metabolism and keep us burning calories long after the workout is over.

4. Don't skip breakfast - It may be time to reconsider hitting snooze in favor of getting up to grab a quick bite before starting the day. Studies show the importance of quick-starting metabolism with breakfast. Snack on something small, like a bowl of yogurt.

5. Pump some iron – The weight room isn't only to help bulk up or get lean. Lifting weights can also help speed resting metabolic rate, making those dumbbells our new best friends.

6. Gulp some H20 - Drinking enough water is a simple way to speed up digestion and burn calories. We may need more than those recommended eight glasses a day too.

7. Spice things up - Add a dash of chili pepper while cooking up in the kitchen. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that could help boost metabolism into higher gear. Chili peppers are a rich source of vitamin C.

8. Eat wisely - Who knew eating could actually help speed calorie burn? Certain foods like beans and grapefruit have been shown to speed up metabolic rate. Packing in protein has also shown to boost metabolism, so pick some eggs over pancakes at the breakfast table for a morning metabolism boost. The process of digesting the fiber and proteins in beans burns extra calories and both types of fiber help lower insulin levels after digestion and cause your body to store less fat.

9. Laugh a lot - A little laughter may go a long way. Scientists have found that as little as 10 minutes of laughter per day can burn energy. Just another reason to stay smiling!

Science Backed Ways to Boost Metabolism

Tips for Staying Hydrated in the Summer Heat

Being well-hydrated is essential for good health. Consuming water is necessary to keep the body’s systems functioning properly. This is especially important to remember during the summer months when we need to increase our fluid intake to counteract warmer temperatures and higher humidity.

Whether you’re at work, exercising, playing sports, traveling or just lounging in the sun, it’s especially important to take precautions to stay hydrated during the hot summer months. Many tend to forget that during exercise we experience increased sweat loss (compared to day-to-day activities like working at a desk or watching TV).

Below are some of the important tips to stay hydrated during summers.

  • • Drink plenty of water (atleast 8 glasses) to prevent thirst.
  • • Always carry a water bottle, and if you have desk job, always keep one at your desk.
  • • Drink water during your meals. Not only can it help you stay hydrated, but it can help you feel more full, which can help prevent you from overindulging at mealtime.
  • • Coconut water is delicious and filled with electrolytes, so it makes an excellent alternative to water on hot days.
  • • Drink diluted fruit juices. If drinking water is too bland for you, you can enjoy diluted fruit juices. Choose natural, 100% juice options with no added sugar, such as apple juice or cranberry juice, then just add water.
  • • Add a slice of fruit to your water. Spice up your glass of water by adding a bit of fruit. Slices of lemon or lime, add mint are classic choices and can make your glass of water more refreshing. You can also think outside the box with slices of cucumber, orange or grapefruit. A simple slice of fruit can improve the taste of your water, and may even add a bit of Vitamin C to your drink.
  • • Eat fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are filled with water, and eating plenty of them helps you stay effectively hydrated. Prepare for a big day out in the sun by eating plenty of produce before and eat a nice big salad with strawberries and tomatoes, or snack on watermelon, celery, and grapes. Most fruits are a great source of electrolytes and fluids.
  • • Sip on a mug of herbal or green tea. If you make this a habit, you’ll add an extra cup of fluid to your routine every day.
  • • You can also replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt and potassium, such as soup and vegetable juices.
  • • For long hikes, when you'll need food, dried fruit and nut mixtures contain high amounts of potassium, sodium, protein, carbs and calories — though continue to drink plenty of water.
  • • Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover.
  • • Begin exercise well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your exercise session.

Following strenuous exercise, you need more protein to build muscle, carbohydrates to refuel muscle, electrolytes to replenish what's lost in sweat, and fluids to help rehydrate the body.

Tips for Staying Hydrated in the Summer Heat

Ways to increase more green into your diet

A foundational pillar of a balanced diet - the greens are the number one food you can eat regularly to help improve your health and boost weight loss. This is because leafy vegetables are full of fiber along with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, macronutrients and plant-based substances that help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. If you are looking for ways to increase your veggie intake, try these delicious ideas:

  • • Pile a sandwich high with lettuce, spinach, cucumber, peppers, bean sprouts, tomato, and kale are all great choices.
  • • Start every meal with a salad: a mix of dark green varieties of lettuce and colorful vegetables, drizzled with just a bit of low-calorie dressing.
  • • Toss pasta with steamed broccoli, carrots, and other veggies. Add finely chopped veggies — such as green onion stalk, squash, chopped spinach or carrots — to pasta sauce.
  • • Greens also work well in savory sauces. Blend spinach into your fresh pesto sauce or add any kind of leafy greens to a tomato-based sauce.
  • • Add a handful of spinach or kale to your omelette or pizza—the mild tasting leaves blend right in.
  • • Vegetable soup is a great lunch choice. You can make a big batch ahead of time and experiment with add on of green vegetables.
  • • Use cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes.
  • • Green veggie kebabs are an easy grilling option.
  • • Add vegetables such as spinach, kale, or carrots to your favorite smoothie recipe. Juicing vegetables does offer some health benefits, however, during the juicing process, certain components of the vegetables get removed.
  • • Use frozen veggies. Things like broccoli florets, cauliflower, artichoke hearts and Brussels sprouts. “Very quickly cook in the microwave, add a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground pepper.”
  • • The next time you’re hosting a get-together, pick up a prepared green veggie platter for everyone to snack on.
  • • During your weekly grocery shopping trip, pick up a vegetable that you’ve never tried before and find a fun way to prepare it.
  • • Whether you’re making a burger or meatballs out of beans or chicken you can add some chopped spinach to the mixture as well. It might not amount to a huge portion of greens, but any time you can add more greens to a dish, it’s worth doing.
  • • Add spinach puree in idli batter to make it more colorful and healthy.

Numerous studies have shown that those who eat all or mostly vegetables have better quality of life, less risk of disease, and longer longevity.

Reference:
• Yves Desjardins. Fruit and Vegetables and Health: An Overview. Horticulture: Plants for People and Places, Volume 3: 965-1000.

Ways to increase more green into your diet

What Carbonated Beverages really do to your body?

Drinking soda is bad for your health in many ways; Science can’t even state them all.

What’s happening inside the bodies of soda consumers with each sip?

First 10 minutes – 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system (100% of your recommended daily intake). You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.

20 minutes – Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment).p>

40 minutes – Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises as a response your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.

45 minutes – Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

60 minutes – The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in the lower intestine. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners which increases the urinary excretion of calcium.

More than 60 minutes – The caffeine’s diuretic properties comes into play. It is now assured that you will evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.

Regular consumption of carbonated beverages in the high quantities and other processed foods and drinks can lead to higher blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Sugar affects brain, heart, lungs and teeth. A diet high in sugar can interfere with a number of neurological processes, particularly those involved in memory making. Each time you have a sip of soda, sugar bonds with bacteria in your mouth, giving rise to acid. This acid weakens enamel, which over time leads to bacterial plaque that causes cavities. Soda also lowers the pH of the saliva, boosting bacterial proliferation and dental erosion.

Reference:
Sugary Drinks may lead to thousands of deaths worldwide; Reducing consumption 'Should Be A Global Priority'. Medical Daily, June 29th, 2015, www.medicaldaily.com.

What Carbonated Beverages really do to your body

Nutritional Tips

Myth :”NO Fat” Diet is healthy.

Fact: Fats are an essential part of healthy diet, what really matters are the types of fat we eat. Women need healthy fat in their diet to look and feel great. Fats are essentials for glowing skin, hair, and nails. Lack of healthy fat can lead to dull flaky skin, brittle nails and damaged hair. Healthy fats also contribute to boost the mood, promote healthy pregnancy and help in controlling the cravings.

The sources of Polyunsaturated & Monounsaturated, the healthy fats include nuts (Walnuts, Almonds), seeds (, Flax, Chia, pumpkin and sunflower) and beans.

Myth: I think regular consumption of milk and dairy products guarantee healthy bones.

Fact: Milk and dairy products consumption may not guarantee healthy bones. Adequate Vitamin D, regular exercise and consuming an ample amount of green leafy vegetables is equally important.

Myth : People with high blood pressure have nervousness, sweating, difficulty in sleeping and their face becomes flushed. I don’t have those symptoms so I must not have high blood pressure.

Fact: Don't make the mistake of assuming that symptoms will alert you to the problem of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often called "the silent killer”, which may or may not have any symptoms. It’s recommended that we all need to know our blood pressure numbers.

Myth : Thin people are healthy.

Fact: Yes & No. It is very much possible to have normal body weight but still have bad health or an opposite scenario of excess body weight but more or less healthy parameters. The more critical would be body fat percentage and waist circumference. Thin people may have higher fat percentage, so called the” skinny fat”. It is better to take all parameters into consideration and not just weight alone while assessing health and fitness levels.

Myth : Stress may be linked to high blood pressure and heart problem but it is never the reason for obesity or weight gain.

Fact -During stress cortisol levels increase which triggers a particular enzyme in the fat cells. However visceral fat cells (mainly around waistline) have more of this enzyme than the subcutaneous fat cells (for example, the fat on thighs and buttocks).Stress & therefore cortisol causes more of fat deposition in visceral adipose tissues leading to belly fat or central obesity. Hence, stress has a direct association with obesity, especially central obesity.

Myth : Stress is inevitable. There's little we can do to prevent or eliminate it.

Fact - Stress is not an inevitable part of life. A healthy lifestyle can be an essential companion for stress management. People can enhance their stress resistance by getting regular exercise, by eating a diet rich in a variety of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and by avoiding excessive alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Some other strategies include getting more and better quality sleep, breath work, meditation, yoga, cardio/resistance/relaxation exercises and addressing psychological/emotional issues.

Myth: "Low-fat" or "fat-free" means no calories.

Fact: A serving of low-fat or fat-free food may be lower in calories than a serving of the full-fat product. But many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat versions of the same foods—or even more calories. These foods may contain added flour, salt, starch, or sugar to improve flavor and texture after fat is removed. These items add calories.

Myth : Spices and herbs heat up your body and should be avoided in summer.

Fact: Spices provide all three beneficial effects combined together of keeping you warm in winter, cool in summer and providing healing benefits all round the year. Even few spices with the warm effects are good in summer, as they make your body hotter than surroundings resulting in sweat and thus inducing a cooling effect.

Myth : Spicy food is bad for the heart

Spices can make a food really heart healthy. Instead of adding the butter or sugar, make meals tasty with spices. Herbs and spices not only give flavor, add colour to the meal but also boost metabolism. Intake of cumin, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger has proven benefits for not only heart but whole body.

Myth : If a food is low in fat or fat-free, it must be healthy.

Fact: Lowering fat intake isn’t the only consideration while making healthy food choices. Even when the package says “fat-free”, the item could be loaded with sugar, (since sugar is not fat) and sugar-free products could still be loaded with fat. Check the nutrition label to determine the amount of calories and carbohydrates per serving - and don’t forget to consider the serving size. Choose foods wisely: read food labels and consider a food’s overall nutrient content. Don’t judge a food by fat alone!

Myth: You don’t have to worry about getting dehydrated in the winter months.

Fact: Not true as blowers or room heaters lower indoor humidity which means the humidity from our skin and breath is lost to the dry air thereby creating a dehydrating effect for the body. The relative dryness of the outside air can cause you to lose body fluids. Chapped lips, dry eyes and irritated skin are all signs of dehydration. So whether working indoors or engaged in outdoor winter sports, be sure to drink plenty of water during the winters to avoid dehydration.