April 29, 2015

How Much Soda Is Too Much For Your Kid?

How much soda is good for your kid? And do you want to be giving him any aerated stuff at all? Take that call after reading through what we believe may change your opinion.

We all know kids love sweet stuff, and soft drinks, but do you know that pampering your child with generous servings of soda is actually impacting his behaviour? All those of you guys who give your child more than two glasses a day, have you been noticing any aggressive behaviour in your little star? You might want to blame it on the video games and the TV, take a peek inside your fridge instead!

Studies showed that children that drank soda were more aggressive and violent toward other kids and went crazy. Yes, it’s the soda that’s the cause. But that’s not all; the devil is in the dose.

Children who were pampered with 4 or more servings a day were the ones that got into fights on the playground and tore up their own artwork. Those that had 2 servings a day were more socially withdrawn, while those who had one or less serving were the closest to sober and environment friendly!

Soda contains a bunch of bad stuff that you want to keep your baby far away from. These drinks are highly industrial products that go through numerous manufacturing procedures, loaded with artificial agents and sweeteners that aren’t going to do anybody any good. They contain carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, citric acid etc. That is all artificial agents and not what a growing and developing body needs.
 The high sugar levels are what affect the behaviour causing blood sugar spikes and crashes.

Caffeine is the main component in these drinks which also affects their behaviour, giving them extra energy and has shown to cause anxiety. With a few easy and stern steps you can take back control and guide these growing boys and girls into the right direction.

Start off by being the perfect role model. Your kid looks up to you and if you drink a glass of milk instead, they’ll follow! Avoid soda at meals and don’t stack up cans and bottles in the fridge. If they don’t see it, they’re less likely to have it. Lastly, reward your kid with an incentive when he DOESN’T drink soda. He’ll want more rewards and naturally, less soda.

Sodas do more harm to your kids growth and mental development than any good. Everyone wants healthy and happy kids.Right?  Give it a thought !! 

April 19, 2015

The World of Tea And Its Benefits

Tea has been a super food since thousands of years now, and is the second most consumed beverage after water. But how do you choose from so many different types of tea and pick what’s best for you? We’re here to help you with that.

Firstly, did you know that black tea, white tea and green tea are all derived from the same parent plant (Camellia sinensis). Tea has a wide array of health benefits that have been exhibited since its discovery ranging from preventing heart disease, to anti-cancer properties and even promoting weight loss – All this from a humble little cup of tea.

Black Tea – the most fermented and processed tea out of all of them. It is one of the most caffeinated teas of all, containing nearly 40 milligrams of caffeine per cup. It also happens to contain theaflavins and thearubigins, two antioxidants that help control and lower cholesterol levels. 
Besides this black tea has also been proven to reduce the risk of stroke as well as protect the lungs from the ill effects of smoking! Ironic that the tea itself is ‘black’. This tea also keeps you alert and sharp.

Green Tea – This is a hugely popular kind of tea that is used worldwide by health enthusiasts. Green tea has been shown to promote weight loss and contains catechin polyphenols that heighten fat oxidization and help in thermogenesis (torching fat). 
Besides this, green tea also shoots up the metabolism of the body and helps with cholesterol management. Just like black tea, green tea also prevents heart disease and fights cancer. 

White Tea – It is uncured and not fermented, the least processed of all teas. It is however, the most multitasking tea with its array of health benefits. Like green tea, it contains catechins which help promote weight loss and prevent heart issues (except breakups!). 
It has also shown to have the most potent cancer battling abilities compared to most processed teas. It has also shown to reduce the chances of recurrence of breast cancer among survivors according to the American Cancer Society. 

Herbal Tea – A popular choice nowadays, herbal teas are a great and delicious way to stay hydrated and stay warm during winter months. The flavors they are available in range right from ginger and lemon, spearmint, tulsi, peppermint and many more! They are good anti-oxidants and keep the body clean and fight unwanted bacteria. 
Herbal teas are a great cure for nausea, help curb those deadly night-time cravings and settle upset stomachs. They make a great gift too!

It’s time to ditch those soda cans and processed juices and go back to the roots. 
Nothing Beats A Good Steaming Cup of Tea!

April 13, 2015

Oh! besity In India

India is catching up with the west in terms of technology, space ships, cool gadgets and the latest trends. But this isn't the only sphere India is growing in.

India is the second most populated country in the world, flooded with people. A study conducted by the UN revealed that our country is home to 1/3rd of the world’s poorest people. In a country where people are starving and struggling to get their hands on one meal a day, obesity would be the last thing on anybody's mind.

Yet here we are, in third place behind the U.S. and china in the ranking of countries with the most obese people. We are under attack; alcohol, junk food and a lazy lifestyle are driving us toward slow and steady self-demolition.

With 30 billion obese people, you'll find every one in 5 men or women to be obese in our country.  But why this sudden increase? It is only in the last 2 decades that the number of obese people has shot up.

 India has been a country malnourished and lacked nutrition all these years, and sudden urbanization and commercialization has set in leading to a phenomenon called ‘over nutrition’. The middle classes especially have taken a huge liking to the global brands of junk and processed foods flooding Indian markets and people are relying on these processed foods daily (which are packed with trans-fat, sugars and other artificial ingredients).

Obesity among children and adolescents is increasing rapidly too with the increasing consumption of junk food and lazy lifestyles. Abdominal obesity is most prevalent in this case.

Women are more prone to obesity in our country than men, since the general notion followed to this date is that a woman must put the health of everyone in her house before her own.She’s so caught up managing the affairs of the house and multitasking that a visit to the gym doesn't make it to the ‘To-Do List’. The ages from 20-45 are where a huge chunk of the obese lie and heavy reliance on technology for almost everything, along with the internet has led to an inactive and lethargic lifestyle which does not have any space for physical exercise.

Obesity has shown to cause a huge amount of problems in the long run, including breathing disorders, osteoarthritis, blood pressure problems, diabetes and even cancer. It’s time to start throwing your weight around and away from your body, you don’t need that much!

Guidelines for obesity prevention and cautions need to be discussed more among the masses to raise awareness and children should be educated right from a young age about the importance of physical exercise and health and nutrition.

It’s never too late to hit the gym or even start off with a brisk walk. Remember, obesity doesn't run in the family It’s because nobody runs in the family!

April 10, 2015

Be Hydrated Stay Healthy !

"No Water No Life. No Blue No Green"

Water is the most crucial element that we humans need to survive. Almost 70% of the human body is made up of water, and every time you feel thirsty about 1% of this amount has been lost. We lose water as easily as we drink it.

When we exhale we lose water and when we sweat we lose both water, and other bodily salts like sodium which are crucial for our body’s healthy working. Do you know that after a workout when you check your weight and are delighted to find it fall by a kilo, it’s not fat that you've lost but water! 

Ask yourself how much water do you have on a daily basis and don’t forget to count all the teas and juices and shakes in this calculation. For your sake, we hope it’s more than 8 glasses a day or you’re in trouble for sure. 

Water is absolutely essential for the body’s working, and communications even at a cellular level. Water and these salts such as sodium and potassium are responsible for your muscle operations. This is why you end up with cramps when you exercise and don’t hydrate adequately. 

Lack of sufficient water intake may not have immediate visible effects but have consequences in the long run. 
Fatigue is one of the glaring long term effects, since due to inadequate hydration the body will not end up functioning at its usual pace and you’ll end up feeling tired throughout the day. Reduced amount of fluid and electrolytes in your body will lead to a drop in the blood volume and add strain on the heart. It’ll have to work quicker, pump faster and make an extra effort to send out essential nutrients and oxygen to the brain, muscles and other organs of the body. The inadequate oxygen supply leads to dilated veins which cause headaches, mood swings and constant irritability. 

Besides these, a few more symptoms of dehydration are dull and droopy skin, nausea, weakness and finding it difficult to concentrate. Didn't think having less water could cause such disaster did you? 

But what’s worse is that lack of enough water could lead to kidney stones which can be very painful. Minerals like calcium magnesium and sometimes uric acid concentrate easily due to lack of water to dilute and flush them and settle on the kidney or the ureter to form stones which may need to be surgically removed. 

Within 10 minutes of drinking a glass of water, metabolism shoots up by 30%, so when you don’t have water it obviously falls by a similar percentage, maybe even more. It slows down calorie burning and reduces hunger as well as energy levels.

Water is an absolute must to stay healthy and have a fatigue free, happy day. A few easy ways to incorporate more water in your daily lifestyle is to – Have more water rich fruits such as watermelon and banana.

Have more of herbal teas and other healthy beverages that are primarily made of water, Don’t be shy to add cucumbers, lettuce and other water rich vegetables to your salads!

Always Remember, Water Cycle and Life Cycle are One !!

April 09, 2015

Infuse Your Health in Spearmint Tea

Spearmint herb is branching of perennial herb of Mediterranean origin. It is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma across Europe and in some parts of Africa and Asia.

It is the least pungent and subtle of all the species of mint family.This unique herb is often used in culinary ingredients by Chefs. There is nothing like a cup of spearmint infused tea to refresh, calm and soothe your mornings or afternoons at work or in the home garden.

Spearmint is packed with full of antioxidants,vitamins and phyto-nutrients. There are many health claims associated with the consumption of the Spearmint herb.

Minor Ailments
Spearmint herb decoction is an excellent remedy for fatigue, stress headaches and nervous strain, as well as respiratory problems like asthma, catarrh and bronchitis.

Antioxidant Activity 
According to a report published in the Chemistry Journal, “spearmint extract has good total phenolic and flavanoid contents”. Study showed that Spearmint has excellent antioxidant activity 

Anti fungal Properties
According to a study presented at Environmental & Agricultural Engineering in 2011, Spearmint herb is associated with anti fungal properties.

Antibacterial Properties
In a study published in "Microbios", scientists observed at the effect of spearmint on various types of pathogenic bacteria, like E. coli and salmonella.It was found that spearmint inhibited the growth of pathogenic bacteria. The scientists concluded spearmint has an antibacterial effect. This is the reason spearmint is commonly used in soaps, mouthwashes, and other products for cleaning.

April 08, 2015

Green Tea with Wonders of Mint : Spearmint Tea

The aromatic scent of Spearmint is known for its crispness and strong flavor. It is often used in food flavoring, beverages, drinks like iced tea and it’s aroma is what made Spearmint popular for use in soaps,mouthwash, shampoos and shaving creams.

Spearmint is a close relative of peppermint with regard to its active ingredients and its uses in health industries. Despite the similarity spearmint does not contain high amount of menthol,but is rich in limonene, dihydrocarvone and cineol. 

Ayurveda, which is India's traditional medical system, acknowledges spearmint for its many health benefits.

Relieves Digestive Problems
Spearmint helps stomach muscles relax, hence reducing the symptoms of nausea and digestive problems. According to Phytotherapy Research, "human studies on the GI tract and analgesic effects of peppermint and its constituents have been reported".

Remedy for Nausea
Spearmint is also known anti-emetic herb, which works to reduce or alleviate vomiting and nausea.Ayurveda promotes it as a remedy for vomiting during pregnancy. In a study published on the same scientists, observed at the effect of spearmint on nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients. It was reported that there were no side effects of spearmint, that lead to the conclusion by scientists - it's both safe and effective.

May Reduce Inflammation
In a study published in the Chinese medical journal "Zhejiang Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban" scientists investigated the effects of spearmint on inflammation in rats.By the end of the research, the scientists found that spearmint had a protective mechanism and there was a decrease lung inflammation and oxidation in the subjects.

April 07, 2015

World Health Day

Today, the 7th of April is celebrated worldwide as the ‘World Health Day’ as declared by the boss of all health organizations, the WHO (World Health Organization). This year they've set the theme for the world health day as ‘Food Safety'.

This theme is extremely appropriate in today’s scenario, especially in our country with food contamination being at the peak of a mountain of problems dragging us down. The worst part about the scenario in our country is that it is the small children that are most affected by the contaminated food, take the mid-day meals scam for example where numerous innocent lives were lost because of contaminated food being given to kids at government schools.

But that’s not all, stats show that pregnant women, old people, and people with weak immune systems or those who are suffering from illnesses like diabetes, AIDS etc. When you look at it, a huge chunk of our population is covered by these spheres of people. Food contamination takes place at different levels right from the production at farms, to the slaughtering and harvesting, the packaging and storing and finally the transporting.

A glitch in any of these processes could allow those damn bacteria and viruses to infiltrate our food and affect us even halfway across the globe. Pesticides and chemicals aren't the only way by which food can get contaminated though. You may get the cleanest of food prepared in the most hygienic possible ways, but if you eat it with dirty hands then all the caution goes down the drain.

Did you know that a simple elevator button in your building has 40 times more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat. So if you call the elevator and go straight home with a growling stomach and skip the hand-wash and gobble up a few bites you’re not going to like what you’re consuming.

Reducing food borne illnesses by just 1% every year would stop nearly 100,000 Indians from falling sick every year. And more than 50% of these illnesses can be prevented by washing hands regularly or at least keeping a hand sanitizer in handy. Astounding facts aren’t they? But this is the stark reality and what’s happening in the world around us today.

Storing leftovers in an air tight container could prevent bacteria from entering and contaminating the food, rather than leaving it out in the open covered with a cloth or lid which is most futile.

Cooking is the only practice that destroys bacteria, not freezing. So make sure you cook your food well and kill those sons of guns before they wreak havoc inside you!

Boil kitchen sponges once a week to keep them free from contamination and use clean water for all cooking activities including washing.

 Let’s keep our food safe this year and fight contamination the right way to keep harmful bacteria at bay! Remember, Health Is Wealth !! 

Spearmint Infusion Tea: Refresh Your Health

Spearmint is a pleasantly aromatic member of the mint family, known widely for its therapeutic properties. It is not as rich in menthol as peppermint is, and is loaded with vitamins and vital nutrients, making it one of the healthiest choices overall.
Spearmint tea is one of the most effective ways of consuming spearmint, with a wide range of benefits to offer. 

The most essential benefit of spearmint green tea is its ability to naturally treat Hirsutism i.e abnormal hair growth in women. A scientific study published in Phytotherapy Research by Turkish researchers showed that Spearmint had androgenic properties in women with Hirsutism. Spearmint prevents abnormal hair growth in the facial and abdominal regions of women, which is caused mainly by a hormonal imbalance.

Drinking this tea reduced free testosterone (male hormones) and increased estrogen levels in hirsutism study participants. This is a healthy and natural alternative to the problem of hair growth faced by women, which can cause embarrassment at times. It is an effective alternative to expensive medical treatment involving heavy doses of harmful drugs.

Besides this, spearmint tea has been found to have strong Anti fungal properties and takes care of fungal infections. 

It also gives a boost to the Immune system. Prof. Susan Farr, from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, presented findings to suggest that antioxidants from spearmint have shown to increase learning abilities and improve memory, as well as reduced age related cognitive decline. 

The soothing effect of Spearmint has also shown to reduce fatigue and stress and is an ideal beverage to consume after an exhausting day.

Besides, it also improves conditions of arthritis and menstrual cramps, making it a super food.

April 06, 2015

Spearmint and Green Tea - The Best of Both World

Spearmint Tea is a blend of select spearmint from the Himachal region. Unlike regular green tea, it has a uniquely refreshing flavour and aroma. In general, mint based teas have regularly featured in Mediterranean, Indian and Asian cuisines. 

Spearmint has been used for remedial purposes since ancient times and is found in a multitude of oral hygiene products today. Spearmint tea, though, is arguably the best form through which to consume the said ingredient. 

Drinking Spearmint Green Tea has a wide range of health benefits. The July 2007 edition of Harvard Medical School's HealthBeat newsletter focused on some of spearmint's benefits including soothing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and taking care of constipation. 

Spearmint soothes the gut and gives a cool feeling, relieving you of indigestion and preventing acidity. However, it has been scientifically proven to be the most effective against Acne

Spearmint Green Tea is a good source of potent antioxidants which prevent the oxidation of fat, subsequently preventing the clogging of the pores on our skin, which is one of the main causes of acne. 

Besides this, Spearmint tea also helps maintain hormonal balance. Acne is caused by the excess testosterone in the body. Spearmint tea prevents the release of this excessive acne causing testosterone and instead initiates the release of estrogen, providing for a healthy balance. The tea works wonders for both men and women, especially during menstruation for the latter. 

Streptococcus Mutans, along with other suspected bacteria, cause dental decay in the mouth. According to dietitian Nadine Taylor, spearmint green tea takes care of these singlehandedly, giving you healthy, cavity free teeth among its many other benefits. 

A cup of spearmint green tea after a meal takes care of the noxious bacteria in your mouth, leaving you with fresh breath and an even fresher feel.

April 02, 2015

Kumbhakaran: The Sleeping Giant With Brain Tumor

Everyone knows who Kumbhakarna was – The sleeping giant who was the brother of our not so favourite character from the Ramayana, Raavana. He was the Raavanas secret weapon, the fat brother who was huge and had an even bigger temper, and possibly even bigger appetite. 

Legend goes that Kumbhakarna had been granted a boon and could ask Bramha the creator for whatever he wanted. Fearing the worst, Indra had twisted his tongue in the last moment when Kumbhakarna had to make his wishes. So when Kumbhakarna had asked Bramha for "Indrasaana" (the home of Lord Indra), Brahma heard it as "Nidrasaana" (Bed for sleeping) and when he asked for "Nirdevatvam" (destruction of Devas), it was misheard as "Nidravatvam" or sleep. What happened after that we all know the story, Kumbhakarna would sleep for unusually long periods (months) and wake up with an unstoppable hunger and grumpy angry mood. Not the ideal brother is it? Unless you’re fighting Rama that is! 

The story wasn’t really a myth and Indian doctors claim that the symptoms shown by the big guy are legit. Doctors say that he suffered from significant polyphagia and weight gain that occurs because of the involvement of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus bilaterally. Sounds really intense! In simple words, our sleeping giant suffered from hypothalamic obesity.  

Here are a few symptoms associated with the condition – 

(1) Assemblage of pressure symptoms in form of headaches or vomiting. 
(2) Endocrine features such as impaired reproductive functions and growth, and diabetes. 
(3) Neurological features like Somnolence ( Desire to sleep for insanely long periods). 

This condition is caused by a tumor in the brain or a head injury or even tuberculosis, but most commonly, a tumor. Doctors today claim that they could have cured this abnormal condition that occurs in the brain with a simple surgery, to remove the tumor. A certain endocrinologist said that he had come across a 50 year old patient with identical symptoms. In the case of hypothalamic obesity, the patient suffers from strong desires of sleeping for unusually long hours and waking up hungry, abnormally hungry. This is also complimented with anger bouts and frustration, both depicted by Kumbhakarna which made him so fierce. 

The obesity is attributed to an extraordinarily slow metabolic rate, which is found to be the case with most such patients and probably what Kumbhakarna suffered from too. He is said to have had 2,000 pitchers of water once on waking up, and symptoms of hypothalamic obesity also include polydipsia. Kumbhakarna's symptoms can also be explained by another hypothalamic syndrome called Klein-Levine syndrome. 

In this condition periodic episodes of somnolence, hyperphagia and hyper-sexuality along with other behavioral and cognitive difficulties are common among the patients. Another reason why this condition fits too is because patients of the Klein-Levine syndrome are unable to articulate what they want to say. Like asking for sleep instead of the throne of gods! 

 In my opinion Kumbhakarna needed a good day at the doctors clinic, with a couple of CT scans and a good neurologist. 

If you know or see anyone with similar symptoms, you don’t have to guess what’s wrong now!