Including or excluding a single food source or nutrient is not going to make or break a healthy diet. What goes into your meal plate every single day, how you combine different foods to make a meal and what has been your eating habits for the past months are integral. The foods that you eat and the activities that you choose to do in order to lose weight must now impact your cardiovascular health in any way. Based on these criteria experts have come up with a list of the best and worst diet plans for cardiovascular health.
Simply the Best
Any good diet plan must encourage people to pursue them, be appealing yet realistic and above all, work for a lifetime of good health. We brand some plans as the best when they are easy to follow, are based on plant-based foods and have rock-hard evidence for helping people lead a healthier life. The below-given plans surely stick to these criteria and go well on the heart:
Mediterranean Diet: Do you know that people living around the Mediterranean regions suffer from least risk of cardiovascular risks compared to people living elsewhere in the world? Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans and fish form a major portion of the diet while poultry, eggs and dairy are allowed in moderate quantities. This diet promotes the use of olive oil for all its food preparations. It even allows some red wine on your table though it never supports the concept that drinking wine is good for the heart! So, what’s preventing you from choosing this diet plan?
DASH Diet:Designed to accommodate the needs of patients suffering from hypertension this diet has been a major firecracker amongst all groups of people now. This diet promotes the intake of foods high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and discourages the intake of saturated fats, sugars and salt. This diet provides you with every opportunity to eat more of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and low-fat dairy while recommending the individual to stay away from sweets, red meat and processed foods that are high in salt. The diet has stood the test of time and proved to be a real winner surpassing the tests of physicians/nutritionists/dietitians who are authorities in blood pressure maintenance.
Portfolio Diet: This can even be called as the cholesterol-lowering diet plan as its main focus is to get your LDL levels down. This is a vegetarian diet that includes a portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods. The portfolio diet suggests people to replace meat with tofu, milk with soy milk, include lots of sticky fiber and include nuts too.
Nordic Diet:This diet might even be called as a sister to the Mediterranean diet keeping in mind their very many similarities. Both of these diets allow moderate inclusion of eggs, fish and some amount of dairy but restrict the use of processed foods, meats and sweets. The Nordic diet too encourages the use of fruits, veggies and whole grains emphasizing more on the use of grains such as rye, barley and oats. Use of root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, fruits such as berries and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel is profoundly seen. We are well-aware that the Mediterranean diet uses olive oil but here, the use of canola oil is recommended which is also a healthy monounsaturated fat. The special feature of the Nordic diet is the profound consumption of berries. A research by scientists has linked eating berries to reduced risk of heart attack and increased scope of weight loss. Though the Nordic diet isn’t proved to be as successful as the Mediterranean diet for heart health it is definitely one of the healthiest diets that can even aid in weight loss.
Further details about each of the diets are available at www.firsteatright.com and a sample diet plan too helps each of us plan and execute it accurately. Choose any of the above while staying far away from fad diets such as the keto diet, Atkins, low-carb & low-fat diets, the whole 30 diet and Dukan diet.
“Birds of the same feather flock together”
Like-mindedness is a great attribute for a friendship to blossom between two adults. Apartments too are victims of groupism where we see individuals forming sub groups. If you notice, adults belonging to each of these groups are more or less of the same age group. Have we ever seen an older adult being a part of kitty parties or having a genuine time with youngsters in a party or meet up? Almost never. Individuals designate specific attributes to specific ages- for instance, we brand teenagers as notorious, young adults as disrespectful, people in their late 30s or 40s as being involved too much in their family and older adults as the gossip lot who talk about nothing beyond gossip or family complications. If you think about this practically, it seems genuine to accept that people of the same age group can only be besties as they understand what each other go through, relate to multiple events in life and so on. So, the fact that older adults are likelier to stick with a group exercise program when they are of the same age comes as no surprise but only a support to many out there.
Rejoice your Age
We can’t blame older adults for what they are when people belonging to every other younger age group fail to accomplish their physical activity requirements blaming someone or something. Its either lack of time, too much work pressure, examination or tiredness that are the common reasons quoted. So, don’t you think elderly people can sail through with a solid reason or two such as old age or ill health to stay out of exercise routines? Alas, we don’t realize that we are going to be the loser after all the justifications and reasons that we give! Its our health that going to take a toil and our wellness that goes off for a spin. Wellness involves both mental and physical wellness and the absence of either can put one’s life in jeopardy. For more details, please visit www.firsteatright.com.
Inactivity has the power to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and arthritis alongside physical limitations that affect overall quality of life. At least during younger years, we do have certain mandatory tasks to complete which keeps us busy but during old age we are left with not much of imperative chores. Its mostly in our hands to keep us fit and healthy. Earlier studies have pointed to the fact that older adults wish to exercise within their own age group. Researchers wanted to know whether following their own choices would motivate these adults to adhere more and exercise regularly. The study team consisted of 627 participants with an average age of 72 put into three different groups. One group had participants who were of same gender and age, while another group had participants of the same age but not gender. The last group was a mix of participants with no restriction to age or gender.
At the end of the 24-week period those participants who exercised with people of their own age attended 9.5 more classes than others in the mixed-age group. Participants in the mixed-age group attended 24.3 classes, those in the same age, mixed-gender group attended 33.8 classes and others in the same age, same gender group attended 30.7 classes. Apart from matching gender and age requirements the researchers also encouraged participants with custom T-shirts which helped these individuals to identify themselves as part of one bigger group and meet each other over coffee.
When individuals feel connected to each other they are likelier to stick with their routine. Retired communities offer a great opportunity to its residents in this regard and even fitness centers can conduct classes for people belonging to similar age groups. When that’s the case these older individuals feel elated as they have a new meaning to life, are not ready to give up on these classes at any time and continue workout schedules vigorously.
Cholesterol is not a necessary evil but an essential healthy substance vital for the well-being of a person. Humans are smarties and most of us have a great reputation in people management and are clever enough to get things done without hurting people’s feelings. Its time to apply the same management skills to our health too the only difference being that we focus on nutrient management. Cholesterol remains a tricky substance that causes good or bad effects depending on the way it is handled. Repeatedly we are advised to avoid cholesterol-rich foods but actual fact remains that only 20% of cholesterol in the bloodstream comes from the food that we eat. So, what’s the need for all this hoopla and hype?
Your Body’s Baby
Often every individual, fat or thin, obese or underweight, is advised to go for a blood test to check for cholesterol levels. Though cholesterol is measured via our blood the fact remains that it is found in every cell in our body. Before we go into the details of cholesterol production lets first clearly understand what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is a waxy substance needed by the body as a building block for cells. It remains essential for vitamin D production, secretion of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen and bile acids. So critical is it for our body’s functioning that almost 80% production happens in the liver and only the remaining 20% is obtained from the food that we eat. So, food and the liver exist as the two sources of cholesterol. Foods high in cholesterol such as meat and full-fat dairy are the ones that contribute towards your saturated and trans fat levels too. Find other common cholesterol-rich foods listed at www.firsteatright.com that are loved by us and commonly consumed despite their unhealthy nature. When an individual consumes such foods, the liver is forced to produce more cholesterol than it normally would. Such increase in production increases unhealthy cholesterol levels in such individuals. For instance, when you consume some food that provides you with 200-300 mg of cholesterol per day the liver produces an additional 800 mg per day. The proportion of cholesterol therefore depends on the portion of high-cholesterol food that enters your body.
Cholesterol (a fat) moves around the body but is of no use when it travels alone. To maximize cholesterol’s value the body packs cholesterol with other fats into spherical protein-rich particles called lipoproteins (lipids+proteins). These particles aid in the movement of cholesterol throughout the body. Lipoproteins are mainly classified into low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
LDL & HDL:LDL are also called as bad cholesterol as these contain pure cholesterol that are sent to tissues all over the body and also induce the formation of artery-clogging plaque. HDL are also known as good cholesterol as they safely remove excess cholesterol and send it back to the liver for excretion. This LDL cholesterol combines with other substances to form hard deposits on the inside of the arteries. This narrows the artery and results in atherosclerosis which have the ability to lead to heart attack or strokes.
Cholesterol’s Journey through the Body
There are hundreds of articles on farting that mostly suggest the reader about reducing unpleasantness while farting, minimizing the foul smell or something in similar lines. There are very few of them that talk about ways and techniques that teach a person to fart. This is not a joke but of course, farting is essential! Farting is the way the body releases swallowed air and gas. It is mostly a natural process that happens without any external help but rarely, there is a buildup of gas in the body that causes pain, bloating or an uncomfortable feel within yourself. These go away only when you fart and I am serious about it. I once visited a physician for some ear infection during which I met a small school girl sitting beside me with her mom. On a causal note when I asked the girl if she had a holiday today, she told me that she missed school just because she had developed gas and suffered from stomach pain. There were quite a few patients waiting to meet the doctor before us and we had to wait for more than 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the little girl moved around the place, sat down and started doing hip shakes. Suddenly she farted and all her gas and stomach pain vanished in seconds! So much strong is the impact of farting.
The foods that we eat, eating too quickly or tightness in the abdominal muscles are all to be blamed for retained gas in the body which can be relieved by performing certain yoga poses, relaxation poses or techniques that can surely help you relieve pain and release the gas buildup.
Yoga Poses that Can Help You Fart
Yoga poses or asanas can be done in any place at any time. But the following poses specially help a person to fart and it is better to ensure that you are comfortably positioned, preferably doing it alone, and relaxed. One should feel relaxed as this is key to pass gas.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This is one of the basic yoga poses that helps relax your lower back, hips and legs and release gas. To get into this pose, kneel on all fours and sit back on your heels pushing the bum back. Bend forward with your forehead touching the ground, stretch your arms in front of the body touching the mat and adjust your knees to make yourself comfortable. While the forehead touches the ground, allow the torso to rest on the legs which creates a gentle pressure on the abdomen and induces farting. You can adjust your pose according to your needs, either keeping your hips wider or lifting your bum.
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
This pose is called so due to the similarity in which babies often hold their feet while lying on the back. Lie on the back, lift the knees to the sides of the body. Keep your knees bent with the soles of the feet pointing towards the ceiling. If you can, grab the feet with your hands relaxing your back. Stay in this position for up to a minute. This position helps to release gas from the bowels.
Knee to Chest Pose (Apanasana)
Lie on you back and extend both your legs and arms. Bring both knees to the chest while exhaling and clasp your hands around them. Keep the knees and ankles together, grab the upper thigh or the front of each knee and put the thighs close to the chest. Tuck your chin into the chest or kiss the knee. Hold yourself in this position for anywhere between 15 seconds and 1 minute. An easier variation of this pose includes bringing the knees close to your chest and holding them with the hands but keeping the head on the ground. This helps relieve gas in the bowels.
Seated Foot Forward (Paschimottanasana)
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of the body and bend forward from the hips. Push yourself such that your chest touches the knees without bending them. This creates pressure on the abdomen and makes you fart. Also, try to touch your toes with your hands.
The way you stand while doing your squats puts pressure on the right areas of the stomach to release trapped gas.
Any yoga pose or exercise movement that involves twisting helps you fart. It can be lying on the back and moving your bent knees from one side of the body to the other or twisting your torso while standing up. Such twisting movements pressurize your core and release gas.
Other Practical Tips
Apart from exercising and yoga, there are quite a few other tips that can help release gas and reduce bloating. Foods such as carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, fiber-rich foods, chewing gums, dairy products, nuts and fatty foods might help you pass gas. These might not be good for those who already suffer from too much pain and bloating but workable in case of others.
While the tips discussed above helps someone release gas, many individuals look forward to ways to reduce the need to fart. Farting may be socially impolite and unaccepted, but it is natural and healthy to pass gas when someone is alone. It is a sign of eating healthy foods and there is nothing to worry about until it’s not excessive, smells bad or comes along with excess abdominal pain and discomfort. To know more about flatulence, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
In between an exercise session or before halfway through your cycling you let out a loud shout holding the wrist/leg calling for help. It would mostly be that you have sprained/strained your leg. While both words are used interchangeably in practical life each holds a very different meaning from the other.
Quite often after a game of basketball or running we complain of a sprain whose prime areas of occurrence include the wrists, ankles, thumbs and knees. This is nothing but a torn or twisted ligament. Ligaments are tough tissues that act as connecting factors between bones or cartilages located around the joints. The severity of the sprain is directly dependent on the number of tissue fibers affected. Common symptoms include pain, bruise, swelling, inability to move the joint freely or apply weight on the joint. Common causes that can induce a sprain include:
This is a torn or twisted muscle or tendon mostly occurring in the legs, back, knee and feet. Tendons are tough bands of fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. Unlike a sprain that happens suddenly, a strain can happen suddenly or over time. Common symptoms include swelling, bruising, pain, muscle weakness/spasms, muscle cramps and restricted movement in the affected area. A strain that occurs suddenly is called an acute strain while the one that takes time to develop is called a chronic strain each of which has different causes. Causes of acute strain include slipping, jumping, running or lifting a heavy object. Causes of chronic strain include involvement in some sports activity such as tennis, running or rowing (basically any sports that involves repetitive movement) and sitting/standing in odd positions might also trigger a chronic strain at times.
Both strain and sprain follow the RICE technique to relieve pain and swelling. This includes:
Rest:Immediately stop the ongoing activity, be it sports or physical exercise, and don’t apply pressure over the affected limb.
Ice: Keep an ice pack over the injured area for a maximum of up to 20 minutes every 2-3 hours. In the absence of ice pack, you can use even a pack of chilled milk or frozen vegetables.
Compression:Decrease swelling by wrapping the affected area with a bandage and if you feel numb/increased pain over time loosen the bandage.
Elevation:Always try to keep the injured area elevated above the chest level whenever possible.
When results are not favorable and if you experience any of these its better to meet a physician:
Devoid of any noise, sitting in a room alone or even inside a sound-proof room do you hear a whooshing, ringing or a humming sound in the ear? Its presence can be constant or you feel that it comes and goes at intervals, in one ear or both ears or even in the middle of the head. This completely confuses you and makes you think of all the weird explanations possible. People search for some external factor for the noise’s root cause and keep on searching until they find that its deep within them. Rarely some people hear music too in their ears that.
This perception of sound when there is no external noise present is called as tinnitus which is commonly reported in people across all age groups. Its been shown that almost 30% of people experience tinnitus at some point in their life but there is another 10% of people who live it this problem constantly. For most people they find no difficulty in continuing their day-to-day chores but for some of them tinnitus affects their routine life and causes ample problems.
Tinnitus is no disease or illness but the result of a mental or physical change that needn’t be related to hearing all the time. To understand the cause for tinnitus we need to first understand the concept of hearing. There are thousands of sounds around us such as the ticking of the clock, traffic outside, chirping of birds, the constant sound of drilling in the neighborhood and so on. If our ears were to process all these sounds each of us would be only listening to them without doing anything more. Our brains play a major role in processing these sounds and filtering the wanted from the unwanted ones. While hearing, sounds travel into the ear from which the hearing nerves take them to the brain. The brain is responsible for making sense of the sound, filter out all of the unwanted background scores and help us recognize the essential ones. Trouble arises only when the amount of information sent to the brain changes due to hearing loss, ear infections, etc. The brain tries to fetch as many information from the ear as possible and this extra information is the sound manifested as tinnitus.
Our brain and not our ears are responsible for tinnitus. So, beyond hearing problems and infections even changes in our stress levels affecting the brain can result in tinnitus. Physicians have often heard people complaining of hearing noises in the ear during a cold, wax blocking or some ear infection or become aware of hearing sounds after a stressful situation which makes them notice more and more of the sound. The problem decreases/fades away once the stress levels subside or ear infection goes away but rarely, it does remain persistently even after the underlying problem is cleared. But its good to know that tinnitus can rarely be a sign of some other serious problem. Managing stress is an art and www.firsteatright.com is the best place to learn this art and practice it for a better life.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Talk to your physician once you doubt tinnitus. The ENT doctor might be of help here as he/she understands the symptoms and confirms the presence of tinnitus. Whatever happens, don’t stop leading your normal life but make a few changes here and there to make it more relaxing and simpler. Many people become frightened when they first realize that they are hearing sounds but find it helpful to know that it settles down after a while. It’s just like hearing the building work that’s happening in your neighborhood but the sound fades away once you get used to it and start focusing on the work at hand.
Living with Tinnitus
World Malaria Day (April 25th)
Size doesn’t matter and this is very much true in the case of mosquitoes which disrupt our lives quite often. While there have been steps taken worldwide to eliminate malaria, a disease caused by mosquitoes, the last couple of years have seen a downside in their efforts and this is very much true in the case of the year 2017 which witnessed 219 million cases of malaria worldwide compared to only 217 million in 2016. Shockingly, 70% of the world’s malaria cases are completely concentrated in 11 different countries that includes India and ten others in the African continent.
Malaria is a preventable disease caused by one of the four Plasmodium parasites that’s transmitted to humans after being bitten by the female mosquito from a specific genus that spreads the Plasmodium parasite. It takes around 7-18 days for the symptoms to appear after being infected with the parasite. Rarely, it could even take as long as a year to appear. Scientists have been working on this-trying to stop the parasite from pursuing its action from an earlier stage.
Malarial drugs today work by reducing symptoms once the individual is affected by the disease and try to abort replication of the parasite in blood. These drugs neither prevent infection nor transmission via mosquitoes. A team of scientists tried to take control of the parasite as soon as it hits the human liver instead of waiting until replication proceeds leading to illness. This group tested thousands of compounds and have succeeded in narrowing down the list to 631 compounds and the names of these compounds have been made public to help anyone putting in their best efforts to succeed in delivering a malaria prevention drug. Mankind would witness a great advancement if this research brings about a positive result in the future.
While common symptoms include vomiting, shivering, diarrhoea, headache and muscle pain one specific type of malaria has the potential to lead to severe and deadly consequences such as organ failure too. Get a detailed insight about the disease from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Malaria doesn’t spread from person to person but only from an infected mosquito. And, most of the cases are due to night-biting mosquitoes as the individual is infected mostly during the night before the sun rises.
World Malaria Day
World Malaria Day is celebrated on April 25thevery year to spread awareness among people about this disease. The theme for 2019 is ‘Zero malaria starts with me’ whose main aim is to make you and me take control over the disease by safeguarding ourselves in every way possible. It is not just to eradicate a disease by eliminating the mosquito community and this is not fair too. We would be creating an imbalance in nature’s cycle by doing so too. All we can do is take precautionary steps to stay safe. Some of them include:
1. Use insect repellants directly on the skin and most importantly, reapply them often as their effects don’t stay for a long time. Always use one that has diethyltoluamide (DEET) as its ingredient and these repellents can be in the form of sprays, sticks, creams or even roll-ons.
2. Most air-conditioned rooms are devoid of mosquitoes as the rooms have been kept closed mostly. If you aren’t sleeping in an AC room, it is better to sleep under a mosquito net as repellants are not a great choice compared to repellants and nets.
3. Keep your doors and windows closed during evening hours as they offer a great scope for the parasites to enter the house. If you wish to keep them open, please take effective steps to install mosquito nets.
4. Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothes while avoiding short clothings as this exposes much of the skin surface making it easier for the mosquitoes to take a plunge onto our blood.
5. Avoid water logging in the form of muddles or pools. Ensure that there is no water stagnation as much as possible to avoid attracting mosquitoes.
Malaria is avoidable with much care and it is also easily treatable when detected in the initial stages. But, when the diagnosis is missed initially, treatment becomes difficult in the advanced stages as parasite reproduction takes place tremendously meanwhile. Take precautions and safeguard yourself from a preventable disease.
Body piercing has evolved as a fashion statement from the age-old concept of sexual desirability. It is the art of inserting a hole in the skin or body part to make provision for a piece of jewelry as a decorative ornament. In India, most girl babies and some boy babies have their ear lobes pierced as a part of their culture and no other body part is as dominantly pierced as this.
Body piercing was initially considered an extreme art form but now has been accepted with ease among the general population. Individuals desire to get their body piercing in different places and numbers and every choice has a motivational factor behind it. Seen initially as a tradition related to increased sexual desirability and experience, it is now seen as a trademark, trendsetter or a non-suicidal form of self-injury. Done with a sharp needle, the process definitely carries with it an increased risk of blood-borne infection and other problems, unless extreme care and precaution is taken by the piercer.
Done by professional piercers, individuals who face complications visit their piercer instead of going to their physician. These individuals feel that their doctors would be unmindful, ill-equipped or biased against them, especially when they have multiple piercings or piercing in intimate body parts. Common reasons that push individuals to meet their piercer include bleeding, infection, tissue trauma and scarring which is present in almost 50% of individuals who are pierced. Piercing can lead to metal allergy development and hence, the pierced individual should choose his/her ornamental jewelry with utmost caution. In today’s world, apart from earlobe piercing, common places to pierce include belly button, eyebrow, nose, tongue tip, nipples and genitals. Ear cartilage is also pierced by some people. Appropriate care of the piercing site becomes mandatory in certain circumstances-during pregnancy (genital piercing), lactation (nipple piercing) or surgery.
Infections at the Piercing Site: Any changes to the skin’s protective barrier paves way for skin infection due to staph or strep bacteria. Belly button piercing is the most commonly affected site during such piercing due to its shape. Antibiotics and skin hygiene are common treatment methods and there is no need to remove the jewelry.
Blood-borne diseases: Piercing immediately reminds anyone of bloodstream infections such as hepatitis B or C or tetanus. This is very common due to unhygienic and contaminated piercing equipment. The person getting pierced should take extra precaution and get himself/herself vaccinated for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and tetanus beforehand.
Dental illness: Tongue piercing can cause tooth fracture, chipped tooth, gum problems or enamel damage. The jewelry too is swallowed sometimes, when it is loosely fitted. Mouth or lip infections affect speech, food intake, swallowing and swelling problems that can block the throat.
Jewelry problems: Nickel jewelry can cause problems but most of the inexpensive jewelry contain nickel. Adolescents are bound to buy such ornaments as they mostly lack funds and are forced to choose cheaper ones. Also, never accept jewelry which was already used by someone. Choose the right size, too big or too small can lead to a tissue scar or skin damage. Jewelry in the genitals can lead to breaking of condom and unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
Keloid Formation: Keloids are fibrous tissue overgrowth that can occur in people after a mild trauma to the skin and this is usually resolved with surgical excision, corticosteroid injections, radiation or laser dressing. Keloid formation is an indication to avoid piercing again.
How Can the Piercer/Person Getting Pierced Take Precautionary Measures?
The piercer must ensure to:
Once you are pierced, ensure to follow all precautionary measures as advised by your piercer. You would be asked to clean the pierced area with warm water and soap twice daily, use a liquid medicated cleanser while moving the piercing around and use an antibacterial mouth rinse when the tongue or lip is pierced.
After following all the instructions, if you face any of the following problems, please get in touch with your physician immediately without any hesitation:
World Immunization Week (April 24th– April 30th)
Thinking about giving your baby the best gift in life? If so, it would be none other than immunization! If you think deeply, showering our infant with goodies, great clothing, fancy toys and other things are temporary sources of joy and happiness to our child. It is also one way to satisfy ourselves and give a pat on our back comforting ourselves as great parents despite our busy work schedules. If there is one gift that would be a great source of comfort and enrich our child’s well-being and heath it is none other than immunization.
Overall Development of a Society
Immunization exists as a ticket not only to good health and well-being of the child but it also has a positive social and economic impact globally. Vaccinating our kids is the most efficient way to curb pain due to sickness, disability or death. When our children grow in a heathy way the family is devoid of unreasonable expenses, spared of the physical and mental agony during such tiring times, parents are not forced to take leaves with loss of pay and finally, the child is provided a calm and peaceful environment nurturing him/her into a world-class individual equipped with great education skills, sporting skills and communication talents.
Immunization is the go-to solution for various diseases such as measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis, rotavirus and pneumococcal disease. Read more on each of these diseases by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. These are diseases that can lead to fatality, serious damages to the health in the form of cancer or brain damage and increases expenditure on hospitalization and medications. But immunization has made possible for eradicating many of these diseases in several countries worldwide. For instance, polio was at its peak several decades back but now it is extremely rare to find a child attacked by this disease. Thanks to vaccination.
The Big ‘Why?’
If you think your child has immunity on his/her own its true. But he/she is not equipped enough to safeguard himself/herself against all forms of illnesses. So, why do you think that vaccination is important for your kid?
Extremely safe as well as effective: Vaccines have entered the market only after thorough analysis and research. There might be side effects such as fever, pain, redness and soreness but these are minimal/negligible when compared to the side effects that could be experienced due to various diseases when we abstain from dispensing vaccines to our children. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages greatly.
Saves Time, Pain & Expenses: When the kid is attacked by some vaccine-preventable disease it means absence from school, missing out on studies and many more. Such diseases cause great expenditure and result in financial crisis to the family. Vaccination is the perfect solution to minimize your expenses, pain and time lost in saving the infant and treating him/her for the disease.
A lifeline for the future: We have entered a stage wherein vaccination has eliminated various diseases that proved to be fatal sometime back. Smallpox is eradicated worldwide due to vaccination and our future generations don’t ever need a vaccination for smallpox. So, following vaccination schedules for our children might promise a future where many of the diseases might not even exist anymore to harm our little ones.
Saves life: Improvements in the medical domain has created a world where many diseases are almost eliminated or minimized barring us of its debilitating side effects. Polio is a disease that’s been prominently almost wiped off our Earth. Safe and effective immunization is the only reason that we are in this threshold right now.
Immunization helps in preventing close to 2 and 3 million deaths every year. Governments are trying to make it as easily accessible and cost-effective as possible and above all, we do not need any lifestyle change for undergoing vaccination except for the fact that the kid should not suffer from high temperature.
World Immunization Week (April 24thto April 30th)
The main aim of this week is to ensure that each and every human living on this planet is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases as much as possible. Though millions of kids are saved due to immunization every year there are more than 20 million children who are not vaccinated. The theme for 2019 is ‘Protected Together: Vaccines Work!’During this weeks, there are campaigns held and activities planned to impart the importance of vaccination to the world.
If kids were to sit in one place without throwing tantrums, being naughty or giggling in between they are likelier to be termed as ‘small’ adults who only differ physically. The enthusiasm, energy and excitement are what makes a child adorable always. Talking to a child makes even the saddest or lonely person to be filled with happiness and a sense of contentment. Such is the power of kids! Alas, these lovely children are pushed into playschools and daycares owing to family needs. While kids earlier entered school premises not before the age of four or five, nowadays even toddlers as young as 1.4 years are enrolled into schools, given ID cards, school bags and made to follow a routine. Some schools even insist on uniform for these tiny tots.
Being with our children rekindles our free spirits and keeps us brimming with energy. Its yet another opportunity to relive our younger days. Adults often lack energy and the spirit in life whereas children are overloaded with both! Controlling all their energy, restricting all their wishes to move around freely and pushing them into schools is very saddening and disappointing. Looking beyond the fact that we are living in a competitive world and that students need to be thoroughly trained to perform well schools must also incorporate physical fitness and activities into daily routines every single day in school. Just like math and science, teachers must be trained to teach physical literature.
Increasing obesity rates and devastating childhood obesity numbers prevailing worldwide has changed the outlook of many schools and these educational institutions are incorporating more movement into the day. The challenge here is to keep monitoring these schools constantly inspiring them to focus on physical activity despite stringent academic deadlines and also ensure enough monetary funds for training purposes.
Channeling Energy towards Productive Things
One needs to introduce physical activity breaks in between for nurturing better learners. Movement stimulates nerve cells and by stimulating nerve cells we get geared up to do things. Exercising also sparks off attention system enabling you to focus better, be more attentive, deal with frustrations in a composed manner and remain attentive for a longer time. Beyond neural connections and increased blood flow exercising plays a major role in benefitting mental health. Moving more and physical activity turns on the frontal part of the brain associated with information processing and better performance.
A review of 26 studies showed that kids who were exposed to better physical activity schedules and more movement were better in reading and math. Published in the Pediatrics journal the analysis involved more than 10,000 children aged between 4 and 13 years of age. Physical activity, especially physical education enhanced classroom behavior which in turn led to a dramatic improvement in academic performance owing to better cognitive skills. Another important point to note is that exercise and activity help kids use their abundant energy in the right way focusing on the blackboard as well as solving many of their interpersonal problems with better composure. Otherwise, the excess energy stores erupt as behavioral problems or improper conduct in school. Such structured play activities encourage children to manage their unstructured times efficiently, play independently and use recess time in the right way- that is, with aplenty fun and games.
Schools need to incorporate at least 60 minutes of activity every day as many children don’t get the opportunity to play outdoor games as previously practiced by the earlier generations. Lack of outdoor spaces is definitely a reason to blame but so are the increased use of smartphones and other electronic gadgets.
Offering Schools Better Solutions
The study found that exercise played a bigger role benefitting students when it was incorporated in between two periods than when it was offered as an extracurricular activity. The study expanded physical activity time from 10 minutes to 60 minutes per day in the form of after-school activities, stretched recess breaks and inserting activity breaks between lessons during school. Yet, the researchers lacked information on the best exercise forms that garnered maximum benefits for the children.
Many schools are still hesitant to incorporate big changes to accommodate physical activity into its daily routine. Teachers often worry about the student’s academic performance when much time is spent on physical training. But there are a lot of them who have started realizing that physical activity improves academic results although it might be much tougher and challenging to finish the curriculum in the stipulated time while accommodating physical activity too.
Kids spend most part of their day in school and parents love to ensure that their kids spend it as effectively as possible. The latest trend has been enrolling their wards in schools that offer a mix of education and physical education, search for ones that treat extracurricular activities with due importance and seek admission in those schools which encourage students to take part in sports. Parents must also have a one-on-one discussion with teachers, administrators and children for making their wishes a reality.
Good health exists as the basis for all other things to fall in place. Schools are a very busy place overwhelming with activities and events. Parents and teachers play an equal role in enriching the lives of their wards. Parents can come up with suggestions streamlining information and teachers should start accepting changes for the betterment of kids. There is no harm in asking students to get up for a minute in between class, dance to some step and then continue with the lessons. Also, not missing on breakfast, eating a healthy lunch and relishing timely snacks are critical for a child’s performance in school. A wholesome breakfast provides the kid with all the nutrients required for academic inclination and improved performance. Read more about the effects of a healthy diet on academic performance at www.firsteatright.com which also offers nutrition and dietetics help to deal with your kids’ imbalanced eating styles.
Its no big deal taking up a new year resolution especially those that pertain to weight loss or fitness. All that matters are how well we stick with it and fulfill the promise. Irrespective of whether you have taken up a new fitness goal or promised yourself to eat healthier congratulations. You have joined the long-standing queue of individuals whose New Year resolution involves fitness.
Pursuing a fitness routine or health program is surely an appreciable intention. Once certain about your goal all that is needed now is to come up with a fitness plan that can fulfill it. Why don’t you make 2019 a memorable one with a well-chalked sketch for succeeding in your fitness goal?
United we stand, divided we fall: The same goes well with diet and exercise too. Doing exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling, aerobic exercises and swimming is good, but studies show that these help in modest weight loss only. Proper attention must be given to diet changes and food habits too to lose weight. Exercise is advantageous in improving overall body health-it keeps our bones and muscles strong, reduces risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and enhances brain health. Hence a combination of diet and exercise is the best way to lose weight and stay fit. Registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com can help you with your diet and exercise routines by planning customized diet plans suitable for your body type.
Slow but steady: Once decided on the form of exercise start doing it slowly. If you have started with walking don’t go for a 60-minute walk on day 1 but pace yourself. Do it for 15 minutes and gradually increase the timing slowly and steadily. Intensity too can be increased slowly over time. It is necessary to exercise at least for 150 minutes per week to stay fit. Weight loss requires an even greater timing and pacing. Once the routine sets, you are likelier to incorporate it as a daily habit-something like brushing your teeth or having a bath. Remember to never expect results suddenly. It will take time, but changes are sure to occur.
Juggle more:Rather than sticking with a single exercise routine daily it is advisable to try different things. Do cardio workouts and combine them with resistance training exercises to improve muscle strength. Alter between intense cardio workouts and moderate cardio exercises for some 5-10 times. Doing each of the workouts for even a minute helps you experience the effect of the workout yet doesn’t make it look difficult.
Don’t overspend: Even before starting to exercise people generally invest on clothes and shoes. They pay for a long-term membership at the gym owing to discounted prices or buy an equipment for their use at home. Take your time and decide first. Instead of enrolling for a year at the gym first try it out for a month and ensure that the gym and the trainers are right for you. If gym is not your cup of tea it is always better to start with walking. Research too proves that people are likelier to stick with walking routines better than anything else as it is the easiest to start and best to be included in your busy schedule. Rather than investing in clothing it is better to buy a good pair of athletic shoes or even hire a fitness trainer if it falls within your budget.
Exercise in groups: Instead of exercising alone try enrolling for a group aerobics class or exercise with a friend. Being amidst people gives a greater motivation and boosts your spirits. Plan for a trek or a hike together or go for a cycle ride together as a form of social outing. There are many marathons arranged nowadays for the sake of fitness or for charity reasons too. They are fun, enjoyable and also happen for a cause which is even better.
Every journey has its ups and downs. It’s how we handle these obstacles that measure our success in life. Eating healthy is not a destination but a lifestyle and the first thing each one of us embarked on this journey realize is that perfection is unattainable. Initially, we might start with 100% perfection in mind, but as we proceed we understand that what we need is a long-term balance that surpasses perfection.
Every single day you cannot control what you eat. There might be some days where you splurge on high-fat food, get high on sodium consumption or cannot attend your gym sessions. Any self-disciplined and goal-oriented individual might not feel so good after such bumpy days. Such people should strongly remember that these are simple bumps in your ‘healthy eating’ lifetime journey and one must workout ways to handle these obstacles and minimize their occurrence as much as possible right before they deviate you off track. Some hurdles cannot be predicted and we can only be prepared mentally to handle this hurdle in the most effective way possible.
Handling Physical Activity while on Vacation or with Visitors
Most of us don’t stay at home all year round and love to meet people and visit them for vacations. During such times, we don’t mind eating the famous local foods or eat homemade specialty foods. Vacations also mean relaxing, enjoying a calm dinner by the poolside and passing time reading books or going for a massage. Use the in-house gym, go for a breezy evening walk or swim some laps early in the morning. If visitors come home, ensure that you politely let them know of your health routine and carry on with it. You can also try finishing your workout early in the morning before your family is ready to go out. If your visitors enjoy activity too, plan for some hiking or swimming trips. For simple and practical ideas on family workouts together you can always get hints from www.firsteatright.com.
If you plan to eat out for dinner, try making your breakfast and lunch meals as healthy and low-calorie as possible. Ensure to stock few fruits in your hotel room to munch upon whenever you feel hungry instead of ordering something out from the restaurant menu. If you are visiting your friend/relation for vacation, you need not demand them to prepare a separate meal as per your requirements but ask for small adjustments (such as keeping aside some sabji without the rich butter topping) politely wherever feasible.
Working Out Alongside Illness/Injury
We don’t know when illness or injury might strike us. All that we can do is to lead a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly and take a break once a while when needed.
Some people often get headaches or suffer from back pain. Not showing up at the gym even for a single day might make you repent for your sin during the initial days after starting to workout. Gradually, you will start accepting missed gym classes without guilt as you realize that 100% perfection all the time is never possible in life.
Accommodate Schedule Changes
People often go in rotation shifts to office and going on certain shifts doesn’t mean that you have the luxury to skip eating healthy. Some individuals follow their healthy food habits until there are other people present in the home, but once alone they take undue advantage of the situation and binge on their favorite foods or even go out to eat. Avoid all this by adjusting calorie intake during the start of the day paving way for increased calorie intake later or stick to your routine without any changes.
Preparing your mind to prepare your body for this healthy lifestyle lifelong is essential to succeed in your endeavor. A fall in aspiration can affect you badly as your body follows what the mind dictates. When such is the case, try these tips:
Although conceiving is a gift of nature, we are obliged to take a few steps before conception to give birth to a healthy infant. Though the child gets the nutrients consumed by the pregnant mother it is also often assumed that the fetus takes in all the nutrients from the mom leaving her without much nutrients for her body. Hence, it becomes absolutely necessary to make a few prominent changes to the supplement intake which ensures good health of the developing fetus and the pregnant lady. A well-balanced diet is the right way to enrich the body with the right nutrients but supplements are also equally important these days owing to lack of wholesome nutrients available in the crops and produce that grow these days. Prenatal vitamin supplements have become a mandatory option along with additional vitamins and other supplements depending on the nature of health of the woman.
Supplements can never become a replacement for a healthy diet but only help the pregnant mother receive her required daily share of nutrients. The recommendations given below help in fulfilling any nutritional gaps in the pregnant woman’s diet during pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins: Folate supplements are prescribed for women who are on their family way as an important prenatal supplement. These help in safeguarding the developing fetus against neural tube defects that have the potential to harm the brain and spinal cord development of the child. The main reason why these supplements are prescribed even before conception is due to that the neural tube defects occur 28 days within conception-a time during which many women are not even aware of their pregnancy. It is advisable to take at least 400 mg of folic acid supplements while trying to conceive and until your 12thweek of pregnancy. Calcium, iodine and iron are also other important vitamins but ensure to take calcium supplements (if you must) during another time of day as iron and calcium are not good together. Milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, soya drinks with calcium, green leafy veggies, bread and fish are great foods rich in calcium.
Take vitamin C in the form of produce such as broccoli, strawberries, potatoes, brussels sprouts, bell peppers and oranges to keep each of your cells healthy.
Vitamin D:Supplements of vitamin D are impossible to miss out when one is pregnant. This vitamin is mostly absorbed from exposure to sun as there are not many foods that are rich in vitamin D. This nutrient regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which is needed to keep the bones and teeth healthy. Every pregnant and breastfeeding woman should consume a vitamin D supplement containing 10 mcg of vitamin D daily. Low vitamin D levels during pregnancy can lead to risk of preeclampsia, low birth weight infants and neurological diseases.
Iron: This is extremely important for hemoglobin production, prevention of premature delivery, low birth weight infants and anemia. Many foods such as leafy greens, lean meat, dried fruits, beef, pork, beans and grains fortified with iron are good enough to equip your body with the required iron levels but if the physician notices iron levels to be very low it is better to take some iron supplements.
While most nutrients are easily added to the body with the help of a well-balanced vegetarian diet it is quite difficult to get enough iron and vitamin B12. Also, those suffering from food intolerance, restrictions in diet and vegan foods must talk with their physician to bring yourself to eating healthy & nutritious food. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.comto get hold of all the nutritional needs during pregnancy, follow-up on your recommendations and give -birth to a healthy baby.
There are people who set their alarm clocks at 8.00 A.M and 9.00 A.M. in the morning and these are not the ones who work on rotational shift but have a normal circadian rhythm. Branded as ‘late-night owls’ these people are at a 10% increased risk of early death than others, according to a study.
Sun rise marks the start of a bright new day, sun set denotes the end of a man’s work for the day and the white moon indicates that it is time to sleep. There was no electricity during earlier times and humans functioned relying on these nature elements to survive every single day of his/her life. Science and technology has enabled us to lead comfortable lives and ruined our natural lifestyle.
Sunrise & Sunset
Getting up early in the morning to start your day is the best way to stay healthy as it paves way for exercise, a healthy breakfast and a good early start devoid of stress to reach your school/college/workplace. Human body is designed to match certain aspects and vast deviations from these create a turmoil on our body functioning. The study which collected data from participants aged between 38 and 73 asked the individuals to categorize themselves as a ‘definite morning type’, ‘moderate morning type’, ‘moderate evening type’ or a ‘definite evening type’. When the same research team looked at the status of participants after a time-span of 6.5 years (age, sex, ethnicity, smoking, BMI and socioeconomic status was adjusted), they found that the chance of an early death was lowest in the ‘definite morning type’ group and the risk gradually increased as the individuals got up late. Of the 433,268 participants, almost 10,000 people died and the definite evening types had a 10% greater mortality risk compared to the definite morning types.
Late risers are bound for a cascade of unhealthy side effects and are victims of mental and physical illnesses. Compared to the definite morning types, night owls are 90% more likely to have psychological disorders and 30% more likely to have diabetes along with gastrointestinal, respiratory and neurological disorders as well. These individuals are also at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers (prostate and breast).
Psychological health problems had the greatest impact as the study found that late night owls were two-times at an increased risk compared to early morning larks. Further research is needed to find out what we mean by a psychological problem-depression, anxiety or anything beyond that. A 2014 study showed that people who are wide awake late nights have less white matter in certain areas of brain that is associated with depression. White matter helps coordinate communication between different areas of the nervous system.
Even sleeping early or getting up late is determined by a mixture of inherited and environmental factors, but the individual has certain degrees of freedom up to which he/she can rewrite gene code. To be precise, almost 40-70% of a person’s circadian rhythm is genetic while the rest is due to environmental factors. Changes don’t happen overnight. You cannot go to sleep three hours early tonight just because you want to. Gradual changes happen and some ways to shift or alter your circadian body clock include:
History has always been a daunting subject to many-remembering dates, events and wars are not everyone’s cup of tea. We come across a familiar face and talk to her/him but our mind is still wondering about our sudden friend’s name, entering the manager’s office we suddenly forget the reason for the entry and above all, midway through our meal we get up to fetch something from the kitchen but remain absolutely unsure of the required thing once we enter the kitchen. Taking these in our stride during younger years such mishaps start haunting our mind as we grow old. It makes us worry about the onset of dementia. Significant memory loss as a person grows old is not natural but due to brain injury, organic disorders and neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. Dementia is a problem that causes grave effects on the person affectedand the person caring for the affected individual. Ease the entire process and make both these people’s life as comfortable as possible with the help of www.firsteatright.com.
Brain functioning goes through changes as we age which puts a strong brake on the cognitive abilities, slowsdown memory and impactslearning abilities. Such slowdowns don’t have a great impact until you are pressurized to learn something new or multitask things. Despite ageing being inevitable it is possible to sharpen our brains and reserve our memory stores to learn faster and act rapidly by ensuring the tips given below:
Keep your senses razor-sharp: Sense organs are quick as a jet and help in various aspects of our life. Using more of your sense organs helps the brain to retain more of what has been learned. To prove this, a study tried to relate neutral images to different smells but the participants were requested to not take any pain to remember what they saw. Sometime later they were shown a few images without any odours relating to them and were asked to figure out the images that were shown previously. Most recalled those images that had an odour paired with it (especially those that had a pleasant odour) more correctly than the rest of the images shown. Make use of your sense organs in every way possible-trying to guess ingredients from the taste and smell, realize the materials used with the sense of touch or figuring out a person’s mood with the sense of hearing.
Don’t succumb to external views: External factors do impact our response to the outside world. When we hear positive things and surround ourselves with a positive aura the mindset that we have is different from what exists when people have a negative aura around them. For someone who is constantly surrounded by news about relatively slowing memory skills as he/she grows old, his/her performance is rather bad. These guys fail in counting on their ability to perform well, don’t take steps to sharpen their skills and fail miserably. Having hope and working positively gives you a better edge over things.
Don’t stop learning: Learning new things givesus an opportunity to think, explore stuff and keep our minds open to grasp new ideas. That’s why we keep repeatedly insisting you guys to learn a new language, do some puzzles or crossword, read something, write a journal, join some class or pursue any art form. Get down to working on something that has never been your forte. Keeping brain connections strong is rather important. Enrich your learning process and stay alert.
Say it aloud: Why did our parents and teachers insist on us reading our lessons aloud during lower classes? It helps you remember better when you repeat it loud or write it down when you hear or read something. If you find anything doubtful don’t hesitate to ask for information to be repeated.
Save your memory: Your memory is precious. Use it for something more productive. Use the planner, calendar or the address book to keep note of someone’s birthday or number. Keep your glasses, keys and important medicines at a designated place to avoid searching them later and wasting precious time and memory. Minimize distractions to focus more on implementing or discovering something new.
Space out repetitions: Instead of saying aloud things repeatedly just like a parrot space out your repetitions to maximize benefits. Studies too show that spacing your recalls improves cognition not only in normal people but also in those with problems such as multiple sclerosis.
Relate or make a mnemonic: Using acronyms or funny sentences to remember things gives you an upper hand as you almost never tend to forget stuffs that you associate and learn.
Life is interesting only until we are ignorant of what awaits us. Getting a preview of a movie helps us decide whether it’s worth watching the movie or not but do we desire a preview of our life too to decide whether it’s worth living or not? The very idea of it sounds terrorizing. The different stages of life offer surprises and shocks to each of us as we move in and move out of them. Individuals look forward to every phase of life with positivity and hope-both of which are crucial for human survival.
Life takes a U Turn
Marriage is an important stage in every person’s life as it changes many-a-people’s lifestyles and their outlook. Couples look forward to having kids after marriage and the joy expressed in a mum/dad’s face right after the little one is born is irreplaceable. Right after birth every mom’s first concern is to ensure that her child is healthy both mentally and physically. Physically it’s possible to check for body parts, features and organ functioning. But mentally how is it possible to check a newborn infant. Crying after birth is a simple sign that the infant is like every other baby born, hearing skills can be checked by the physician and ensuring a normal eyesight too is possible to quite an extent. But cognitive skills are an area that can never be ensured upon until the child grows gradually.
Parents love to spend as much time as possible with their little one and the newborn too responds to all the attention with giggles and gurgles. While all seems to be going good sometimes after the infant’s sixth month of birth things start taking a roundabout and development of the child starts sulking. When the concerned parents visit the pediatrician, the child is diagnosed with Rett’s syndrome.
Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that mostly affects girls. This is misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy or global developmental delay as it is characterized by normal early development but followed by a decline in normal growth, loss of hand coordination and movement, delayed brain development, common occurrence of seizures, improper head growth and problems with walking. Even before serious symptoms are visible after 6-8 months of birth there might be occurrences of syndrome-related symptoms earlier too. This includes loss of muscle tone (hypotonia), feeding difficulties, awkward limb movements, improper crawling and reduced eye contact. Later, mental and physical symptoms start occurring and the child even loses the ability to speak. Autism-related symptoms such as walking on toes, grinding teeth, hyperventilation, cognitive disabilities and seizures are commonly observed in children with Rett syndrome.
The syndrome is best described in four stages for clarity and understanding.
Stage 1: Known as early onset it begins when the child is between 6 and 18 months of age. There are signs of slowing development such as less eye contact, delays observed at every stage of development such as sitting and crawling, decreased head growth and hand wriggling.
Stage 2: Known as rapid destructive stage it begins when the child is between 1 and 4 years of age. Loss of purposeful hand skills, language problems, repeated clasping of hands, clapping them or bringing them to the mouth is seen but these disappear once the baby falls asleep. Similar to autism, some children display lack of interest in social interaction and speech. Breathing difficulties, hyperventilation and walking problems are also seen.
Stage 3: Known as pseudostationary stage this begins between 2 and 10 years of age and many girls remain in this stage for years together. Seizures, motor deficits and apraxia (this is the most disabling symptom which includes inability to perform motor functions thereby leading to disturbed body movements) are noticed during this stage. Its also the stage during which signs of crying, irritability and autism-like disorders decline while alertness, interest in people and things around, communication and attention span increase.
Stage 4: Known as late motor deterioration stage, this lasts for years together or even decades. Rigidity, decreased mobility, muscle weakness, inability to walk and scoliosis (development of a spinal curve where the spine begins to move left or right) are observed. Communication and brain development don’t worsen any further while repetitive hand movement might improve.
Most cases in the syndrome are caused by a genetic mutation in the MECP2 gene found in the X chromosome. This gene is bestowed with the work of producing the MeCP2 protein that is required for brain development. The protein is not produced in the right quantities and the gene does not function properly thereby leading to Rett syndrome. This disease is not hereditary and almost 99% cases occur spontaneously. The effect of the syndrome varies depending on the type of mutation, location and severity of the mutation. It is common that two girls with the same mutation and of the same age express the syndrome differently.
Rett syndrome is diagnosed based on the child’s symptoms and a genetic blood test can also help in identifying the genetic mutation. This syndrome affects 1 of every 10,000 to 15,000 female births.
There is no cure for Rett syndrome and physicians and parents primarily focus on managing the symptoms. A combination of occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy provided can help the kid with feeding, dressing and walking. Medications are prescribed to control seizures and hyperventilation. Nutrition support might be needed to manage weight of the affected kid. Dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com can help in this process where the child is given a proper diet that takes care of nutrition needs as well as prevents weight gain.
There are challenges associated with the disease and the patient needs 24*7 support for surviving. But these kids brim with emotions and can understand information shared with them. Its only that they can neither reciprocate their understanding nor convey the message across to the other person. With love, care, support, therapy and help these children can attend school, learn from activities and communities and lead a meaningful life in some way.
Post-lunch classes are a dreadful affair as we are in a half-awake state mostly. The teacher’s voice is like the lullaby song making us drift off to sleep despite being it our most-liked subject. A young child is like a bottle of energy with a cork over it. Open it and the energy is dispensed throughout but have it closed and you reap no benefits. It’s until the age of five that a kid’s brain develops more than any other time in life and development that happens during this period has a greater impact on the child’s learning skills later in life. During those later years do you know what else helps to boost productivity and enhance test results? Its none other than exercise.
Exercising your Right to Exercise
Exercising is every one’s cup of tea believe me or not. This statement might seem ridiculous but when you look into it from a wider perspective, I am sure all of you are going to vouch for it. But it also depends on what you consider as exercising. If shaking your legs at the Zumba club or running on the treadmill is the only exercise you are aware of, then I am sorry. Exercising is basically anything that helps you move around, break a sweat or two and improves your energy levels. For kids it might be jumping on the bed, for teens it might be playing with a ball and for adults it might be walking or jogging. Exhaustive forms of exercise are taken up by those who have a definite target/goal in their mind such as weight loss or muscle buildup. Exercising is integral for overall physical and mental wellness (Yes, mind and body wellness though exercise is achievable and for more details on this please visit the website www.firsteatright.com) and schools nowadays insist on each of its student participating in some sporting activity for the benefit of the body. But what about the perks of exercising in between two different periods?
Our teachers don’t support us in petty chats that happen in between class sessions or even between two periods. So, how are they going to respond when they find you shaking your hips, rotating your necks or jumping on your feet before a test or an examination? Maybe they would become hysteric and order you to get out of the class? But maybe after reading this article your teacher is going to give you a thumbs up sign on such activities as the latest research tells that a student gives his/her best during tests or examinations when he/she exercises at his/her own pace rather than undergoing an ordeal of exhaustive exercises.
The Test that’s Going to Change your Approach Towards Tests
The study involved more than 11,000 school students on whom the research was conducted. We have heard of imparting simple physical activities in between classes to improve a child’s concentration and learning abilities but there are no conclusive evidences supporting them and also the kind of exercises that go well with these children. So, these students were asked to answer questions on how happy and awake they were before they took up some attention and memory task on the computer. All the children took the tasks twice-before and after participating in three different outdoor activities that were of different intensities:
The day starts with energy and positivity when an individual experiences a good night’s sleep. Youngsters have prioritized adequate sleep hours at the bottom of the list owing to today’s lifestyle practices and distractions. This has greatly reduced their sleeping hours and affected quality of sleep too. Research has come up with numerous advantages linked with a good night’s sleep and there is yet another study that has found a clear link between sleep and nutrition. Sleep and sugar consumption are inversely proportional to each other according to this study.
The team involved 42 healthy participants who were sleeping for less than 7 hours daily. They were given an electronic device that required attachment to the wrist while sleeping and the team also requested the participants to note down their sleep and wake timings in 7-day sleep diaries alongside their food consumption. After this, each of the participants was randomly split into either of the two groups-sleep extension group (21 participants) and control group (21 participants). Participants included in the sleep extension group were given a sleep consultation session to improve their sleep timings by 1-1.5 hours every night. The second group were not given any advice and were made to sleep as per their regular schedule.
After 30 days the research team found that members of the sleep extension group increased their time in bed by 55 min, sleep period by 47 minutes and sleep duration by 21 minutes. All these helped members of this group meet the daily requirements of between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Such a difference was not prevalent in the control group but participants in the other group reported decline in quality of sleep. That could be because the participants were in bed for a longer time without sleeping. Individuals who were given advice on sleeping also exhibited decreased sugar consumption compared to control group. Fat and carbohydrate consumption levels were also much reduced but not seen as significantly as sugar levels.
This study shows the clear relationship between sleep and nutrition by means of sugar consumption levels. Hence, sleep not only improves cognition and activeness but also plays an integral role in affecting our nutrition too. Sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night, go to bed without a smartphone and above all, ensure to get quality sleep. It is also essential to go to bed and wakeup at the same time every day to maintain your circadian rhythm which is crucial for a fit body and a healthy mind. Read more about circadian rhythm and how this can affect a person’s health from the website www.firsteatright.com.
All older adults have one wish in common-to be as healthy as possible and make a visit to the doctor as infrequently as possible. Ironically, both these wishes are not granted in many people’s case as wishing for good health is not too much to ask for but there is a compulsive need to understand that granting these wishes are not magical. “As you sow, so shall you reap” remains unshaken here too. It makes no sense to pray for a healthy ageing process when your younger years were filled with binge eating practices, no-exercise weeks and an unhealthy lifestyle. The body’s metabolism and energy are maximized during younger years, bone health reaches its peak by the age of 30 after which the body starts using the stored bone density and functioning of other organs too depend on the food you eat and the exercise you do. So, if your younger years were filled with healthy routines maybe you would be good enough to minimize your health risks but if otherwise, you are in for a toss!
We are well-aware that cognitive skills decline and the risk for dementia increases as a person grows old but what we miss out is the fact that here too, our use of brain skills, activeness quotient and exercise routines play an integral role in deciding our risk of dementia.
Hypertension’s Effect on Cognition
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition in which people face difficulties in thinking, remembering and reasoning than what’s normal for people their age. This can never be on par with dementia and its side effects on the human mind and body which is grueling and frustration. But MCI can be considered as a precursor to dementia. Maybe, something similar to a prediabetes stage where this exists as a precursor to diabetes.
High blood pressure remains a top threat to mankind in terms of not only ruining a person’s physical fitness but also makes the individual take stress and affect the mind’s ability to calm down. Hypertension exists as the gateway to stroke, heart diseases and kidney failure too. Proving to be the ‘silent killer’ any person with high BP is always at an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia later in life. While there are various studies supporting this theory there are none proving that control of blood pressure levels reduces the risk of dementia. To prove this, the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) was organized. This was a large, randomized trial that took into comparison both, an intensive blood pressure control (systolic reading of less than 120 mmHg) and a standard target (systolic pressure of less than 140 mmHg). All the participants were aged above 50 years with high risk for cardiovascular problems but were devoid of any history of stroke or diabetes at the start of the trial. The study started in Nov 2010 and until March 2013 almost 9,300 participants were assigned to either intensive or standard treatment.
Results showed that there were fewer cases of dementia diagnosed in the intensive treatment group than the standard treatment group (149 vs 176) but what keeps us doubting is the fact that there was no clear demarcation to prove whether this happened by chance or not.
There was a concept simultaneously tried on the participants called as SPRINT Memory & Cognition in Decreased Hypertension (SPRINT MIND). The core of the concept was that it wanted to know whether intensive blood pressure control could reduce the risk of developing dementia and MCI. While the study on BP management guidelines stopped earlier than expected, MCI and dementia were explored for the complete term of five years. And, because the BP management intervention was stopped sooner than expected all the participants received treatment for a shorter period than originally planned.
Intensive treatment also benefitted the brain as it reduced the risk of MCI by 20%. Preventive measures for heart health, diabetes and cancer have improved dramatically during recent times. We hope that similar interventions for protecting ourselves against dementia or at least reduce the risk as much as possible become a reality sooner or later in life. Controlling the disease even before risk factors appear and throwing them down the gutter is essential to lead a heathy life. Meanwhile, individuals should focus on minimizing their BP risks, take precautious steps to maintain blood pressure levels, set up goals and try ways to fulfill these goals. There are diets such as the DASH diet that have been specifically designed for controlling high BP levels. Dietitians & nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com can help you control your elevated blood pressure levels with the help of a proper diet plan and exercise routine suiting your body requirements.
A grandparent at home assures one of increased television volume and screaming interactive sessions. Many-a-time, we go wild over the boisterous volume coming via soaps or devotional songs. All these are signs of aging. Ageing doesn’t stop with wrinkled skin or restricted movement. It affects hearing, vision, bone strength, digestion ability, immune system efficiency and much more. Speak to the elderly person with care and concern and avoid getting frustrated over his/hear hearing problem. Your turn to suffer from the brunt of ageing might not be far away.
Almost 50% individuals aged over 75 years are affected by hearing loss. This makes it difficult for the adult to communicate, share his/her thoughts and feelings and overall, affects the quality of relationship with family and friends. As a relief to this comes the result of a new study that emphasizes on the fact that women following a healthy eating pattern are at a decreased risk of hearing loss (and overall health too!) than women who don’t eat the right kind of diet.
The study was a long-term one that happened between 1991 and 2013 conducted on professional nurses. The nurses were questioned on their eating habits every four years for which about 71,000 of them responded. These women were also asked whether they had developed any hearing problem in this study interval for which more than 2,000 of them gave an affirmative reply-they had developed either moderate or worse hearing loss.
It was found that those participants who followed a diet close to the DASH or the Mediterranean diet were at a 30% lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss compared to those who followed a different diet. A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, fish and seafood, allows cheese and yogurt in moderation and restricts intake of sweets and red meats. The DASH diet allows the individual to consume abundant fruits and vegetables, moderate levels of dairy, meat, poultry and fish and minimal quantities of fats, oils and sweets.
Hence, eat well and stay healthy as it uplifts overall well-being apart from reducing the risk of hearing loss. Visit a reputed dietitian/nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com to get assistance on planning the right kind of diet that suits your age, body conditions and requirements. The only concern here is that the study was on a large-scale one done on women population which makes it essential for another one to understand whether similar effects can be seen on men too.
Tune your mind and your body follows suit. The best weapon for your body is your mind. Unless you prepare your mind for execution there is no way to succeed. These quotes are not just splashed here to encourage someone but are blatant facts of life. I am not being philosophical here but I want to make sure that you understand one point clearly-there is no room for a change unless your mind and body work in coordination. This is especially true when it comes to your weight loss goals. Welcome to the world of mindful eating which is going to help you realize lower numbers on the scale.
If your resolution was weight loss exercising regularly and cutting down on calorie intake would have happened automatically. These are surely going to help you realize changes for the better but adding another perspective to this goal, an important one indeed, might ensure that you are not going to miss out on the target by any means.
Even a new research has come up with the fact that practicing mindfulness helps people see lower numbers on their scale. A group of researchers offered mindfulness training to 53 obese individuals. Individuals who finished three of the four mindfulness sessions lost about 3 kilograms more than those who did not take up the sessions & individuals who took at least a session or two of the entire course lost at least 1 kilogram more than others. It’s true that weight loss is all the difference between the total number of calories consumed and the total number expelled along with regular physical activity. But weight loss has more to it-it includes our relationship with food.
Mindfulness is an ideology that’s applicable not only for weight loss but also relating to all other factors that can contribute to increased weight measures such as emotional hunger, self-criticism or bad phases in life. The first and foremost piece of information conveyed by nutritionists and dietitians is the fact that any individual opting for a weight loss program must be ready for a healthy mindset change. If the individual is going to treat the program period with distaste, aversion and consider it as a punishment there is no scope that this is going to work our as a long-term change. Maybe, the person might lose weight during the program period but once done with the task, he/she goes back to his/her binge-eating lifestyle, sedentary days and more. Please get this straight-weight loss might be a 1-time effort but weight maintenance is a lifelong lifestyle change. It requires your commitment, interest and passion. Treat it as an opportunity to restructure your haphazard lifestyle, finetune the way you think and behave and this might be your path to long-term success. Individuals interested in taking up a weight loss program can get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to fulfil their weight loss efforts.
The Power of Togetherness
The research also highlights the fact that all the participants were introduced to the concept of mindfulness in a group session. Practicing this trait together helped each of the participants reap better benefits and success in life with their weight loss efforts. There are even studies that show that when one member of the family starts practicing healthy eating habits and is inclined towards weight loss there is a greater chance for other members of the family to lose weight even without their inclination. That’s because, the individual with a goal starts eating healthy which means that there is less of processed foods in the house (Especially when the individual is a woman as she takes care of cooking mostly), more talks about being active and even chances of playing together as a family or so.
There have been studies earlier that showed that mindfulness bore mixed results and its effects were still unclear while certain other studies support this practice 100% in its benefits in enabling weight loss.
Even without weighing its advantages the policies and beliefs for which mindfulness stands promote the very fact that this ideology can help improve health in various ways. It is great for stress relief, increasing confidence levels and improves overall well-being.
Every fourth person living in this earth walks around with a hole in his/her heart. Hale, healthy, active and dynamic might not be suitable enough words to describe some of them. These individuals might be athletes involved in high-intensity activities, fighter pilots who risk their lives every day or even astronauts who survive under drastic pressure differences. Most important is that these people don’t even know that they have a hole in their heart and take this secret to their graves until there is a medical complication that highlights the presence of the problem.
Patent Foramen Ovale
Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole between the left and right atria of the heart which exists in each of us before birth. This hole mostly closes sometime soon after birth and when it does not close it is termed as PFO (patent means open). In a mother’s womb, the fetus is supplied with blood-rich oxygen not via the lungs but through a mom’s umbilical cord through the placenta. The foramen ovale helps the blood from the veins to go to the right side of the fetus’ heart from which it then spreads to the left side of the heart. But soon after birth, rise in blood pressure in the left side of the heart automatically causes closure of the foramen ovale without any trouble. When this happens, the blood flows to the lungs to get its supply of oxygen before it goes into the heart from which it then gets distributed all over the body.
The PFO which stays unclosed doesn’t remain open all the time but remains as a flap that stays closed and opens in times of higher pressure than normal in the chambers on the right side of the heart. Even sneezing, forced bowel movements and coughing can cause the PFO to remain open. In times of increased pressure, blood keeps passing over from the right atrium to the left atrium. For most of the individuals with a PFO this movement does not cause any problem and difficulties start when the blood contains a blood clot.
Signs & Symptoms
Most individuals with a PFO don’t suffer from any symptoms and the condition remains undiagnosed unless the patient complains of a severe symptom such as a migraine headache. The presence of a PFO elevates the risk of stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA) and heart attack. Decreased blood flow to the brain can evoke a TIA whose symptoms are similar to stroke. A TIA is the first sign of a PFO in most cases. Read more about TIA, its signs, symptoms and treatments from the website www.firsteatright.com.
While it is generally 25% of the population that gets caught by a PFA, the risk increases to about 40-50% in patients who experience stroke due to an unknown cause also called as cryptogenic stroke. This is prominently seen in those people who suffer from a stroke before the age of 55. The PFA combines generally with atrial fibrillation to increase the risk of stroke.
Diagnosing a PFO is done primarily through:
Echocardiogram: Ultrasound of the heart is taken to confirm normal blood flow across the heart valves and chambers.
Transesophagealecho (TEE): This is better than a standard echo as the defect is much clearer. A probe with a tiny camera is placed in the esophagus to capture the defective portion precisely.
Bubble study: This is done during an echo or TEE where an IV filled with agitated saline is placed in the arm. This saline creates bubbles and the doctor confirms a PFO if the bubble moves from one side of the heart to the other side.
When an individual has a PFO but suffers from no symptoms or side effects, there is no need for any treatment (no symptoms means there is not much chance for diagnosing the condition in the first place). If in case the patient needs any treatment, any of the below-given ones can help:
Closing the PFO: Logically, any opening that causes a problem should stop disturbing once its closed. But the logic cannot be applied in the case of a PFO. The biggest myth surrounding a PFO is that it must be closed. Closing a PFO is not considered when the patient suffers from one stroke or TIA whose cause is unknown (cryptogenic). Physicians recommend going for a closure only if the patient has suffered from more than one cryptogenic stroke or TIA.
Medications:Drugs never close the hole and the aim of any drug taken for PFO is to prevent a clot from forming in the first place. A person with a PFO who has already suffered from a TIA or stroke must take medications to thin the blood. This prevents blood clots and stroke from occurring again.
Avoid this, avoid that and the list of foods to be avoided goes on and on if in case you are a diabetic patient whose been put on a rigorous diet to reduce blood glucose levels. Worse, even fruits are off the list! Truly, a balanced intake of all food groups is recommended for those suffering from diabetes and all that one needs to be cautious about is the portion size.
Betting on the Diabetes Myth
Why is that the carbohydrate macronutrient always faces a discrimination when it comes to individuals with weight loss, diabetes and other problems? Its not something untouchable or totally unnecessary for your survival. Carbs are complete sources of energy and this energy is required by your body for performing activities, finishing chores and many more. The general advice to avoid taking carbohydrates if you are a diabetes patient has been in practice since decades. All that an individual must mind is the quantity of carbs that he/she eats but not avoid them completely as recommended by many. Don’t those poor souls suffering from high blood glucose levels need nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and above all, a fuel source to get going?
Now that we are aware that quantity matters yet another important thing is to choose the carbs smartly. Before that, lets take a look at the three different types of carbohydrates:
For all the parents and grandparents who keep wondering how their children seem to have the ability and strength to play on forever without a hint of tiredness you are very near to getting an answer to it! It might not be the first time that your child fails to sleep early even after an entire day spent playing outside, dancing around and missing out on the afternoon nap. You might be so tired after a party that even walking around seems to be a punishment but for your child, he/she is ready to explore the whole place until it is closed for the day. The same kids feel it a pain to walk until the bus stop, tire easily during physical tasks and need to strain more to keep up to your pace. So, where does all the energy come from when they are playing around and where does it disappear when they are required to walk or do physical tasks?
Mole to a Mountain: Children to Endurance Athletes
It is common to see a child getting tired easily during intense physical tasks as they are equipped with limited cardiovascular capacity, are not much aware of effective movement patterns and are required to pump in more efforts (for example, in terms of steps to cover the distance) for completing a task.
There have been studies that put forth the theory that children’s energy levels could be compared to that of an endurance athlete but there were no solid proofs backing this theory. But the current research shows that children overcome their limitations by developing fatigue-resistant muscles and their ability to recover rapidly from high-intensity exercises.
The study group asked three different groups namely boys aged between 8 and 12, untrained adults and the third group comprising of endurance athletes to perform cycling tasks. Neither of the first two groups participated in regular high-intensity physical activity whereas the last group were national-level participants who excelled in long-distance running and cycling.
After the cycling exercise each of the groups were assessed for the body’s two different ways of producing energy-aerobic and anaerobic. The first way uses oxygen from the blood whereas in the second way there is no oxygen used, it produces acidosis and lactate and hence, contributes towards muscle fatigue. Each of the participant’s heart rate, oxygen levels and lactate-removal rates were measured to check their rate of recovery after the exercise (cycling).
Surprisingly, children performed way better than any of the adults in all the tests as they used more of their aerobic metabolism and this made them feel less tired comparatively during high-intensity physical activities. Their recovery rates were also comparatively faster in terms of heart rate and their ability to remove blood lactate. This is more than enough to explain the never-ending energy that children have and their eagerness to play along forever, long after adults become tired. Besides activity kids need nutritious foods too to keep them going on packed with energy. For the right recommendations on portion sizes and the nutrient quantities suitable for kids get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
Taking the Best Out of your Child
Children often have good muscle endurance skills and it is up to parents to nurture their other skills to extract the kid’s athletic talents and help them perform better.
A sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity are great risk factors for diseases and it is essential to understand growth-related changes that might increase the risk of disease. Studies show that aerobic fitness (at muscle level) decreases as one grows up. Reaching adulthood is a major phase of life as this is the time around which the risk of diseases such as diabetes and high cholesterol too increase. There are speculations surrounding the risk of diseases due to muscular changes but on the positive note, it also pushes us to maintain muscle fitness of kids as they grow up.
Medical shops are generous enough to dispense some of the drugs without a prescription and the public is ignorant enough to purchase them without realizing the consequences. Even if some of them are aware of the impending risks their needs supersede everything else. Falling into this -category of high-risk over-the-counter medications are decongestants prescribed for cold. Down with a nose block and a sore throat? Its time for the regular dose of cold drops or other similar ones to help you come out of the nasty stuffy nose. While persistent use of these can have harmful effects on anyone those with high blood pressure must think twice before relying on such remedies for common cold.
A Clear Warning on Clearing Away Common Cold
According to the American Heart Association the use of decongestants to suppress cold can elevate blood pressure levels. Generally too, meds for cold and flu increase BP levels and their effects are pronounced in those already suffering from high BP. So, your trusted-upon decongestant that relieves congestion by reducing swelling and constriction of blood vessels in the nose thereby helping you breathe easily can also obstruct the efficiency of those drugs prescribed for controlling high blood pressure levels. Decongestants constrict blood vessels helping your sinuses by decreasing the fluid that clog them but the same constriction can be hazardous for those who have high blood pressure or heart disease. This is mainly because constriction of blood vessels increases heart rate as well as blood pressure levels which in turn creates panic in those already suffering from high BP rates and heart rate. Basically, any drug or product that constricts blood vessels and elevates blood pressure is not a good choice.
Nasal sprays are better than oral drops as they leave the person with fewer side effects but when they are overused (more than 3 days in a row) the tissues lining the nose and the sinuses become dependent on them making you resort to their use more often to enable a smooth breathing.
Be Cold towards Cold
Even healthy people devoid of any blood pressure changes are at an increased risk from these side effects and even those with diabetes, smoking habits and old age must use it with caution. Rather than worsening cold-related health problems the best is to let time decide your response to cold. But before everything is to prevent the occurrence of cold in the first place.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a common condition present in people across the world and every person suffering from it must discuss their choice of medications and other drugs with the physician. Their doctor must be well-aware of even the over-the-counter drugs that are consumed by their patient. And, before taking any medication the patient is requested to monitor his/her blood pressure numbers ensuring that they are not above 140/90 mmHg. Blood pressure guidelines have been revised of late for whose details you can always visit www.firsteatright.com.
There are studies showing positive association between the flu and tears in the inner layers of the aorta (largest artery carrying blood from heart to rest of the body) and more than 75% of aorta tears involve high blood pressure. Such aorta tears are called acute aorta dissection and blood passing through such a tear separates the inner layer from the outer layer. Rupture of the aorta leaks blood leading to fatal conditions.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.
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Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz of First Eat Right clinic, is the Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Bangalore. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Pune. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Hyderabad. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Chennai. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Mumbai. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Delhi. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Kolkata.