What to do to keep your body young

What to do to keep your body young

Some women are lucky enough to reach 30 and look like they should still be at high school. For the rest of us, there’s the daily grind of applying endless lotions, dieting and hitting the gym to make sure our bodies stay younger than the number of candles on our next birthday cake.

But aside from the obvious tricks, is there anything else a girl can do to stay looking – and feeling – youthful? Thankfully – yes. Read on for MSN Life & Style’s guide to keeping your body young, inside and out.

Eat the rainbow
Eat your greens… and your reds, oranges, yellows and purples. Nutritionists know that the natural nutrients and chemicals which are responsible for giving fruit and vegetables their gorgeous bright colours protect us from numerous health disorders, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis and premature aging. The hundreds of different antioxidants help to mop up harmful free radicals before they damage cells and make us look old before our time, so always try to eat a wide variety of fruit and veg to reap the benefits.

Keep calm and carry on
If you’re an excessive worrier, or if there is just too much stress in your life, then you could be at risk of making yourself ill and looking haggard before your time. Scientists say there is a direct link between emotional strain and premature aging; chronic stress appears to shrivel the tips of genes inside cells, shortening their life span and hastening the body’s deterioration. Try to tackle the source of your anxiety head on, while meditation, exercise and yoga can also help you to relax.

Eat oily fish
Eating oily fish – such as fresh tuna, salmon and mackerel – can keep you disease-free and your skin from aging prematurely. Fish like these contain long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which experts know can prevent heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Your two portions a week may also protect your eyesight in old age. Boffins from the University of California, San Francisco, found that these fatty acids stop DNA from unravelling, causing cell damage.

Sun factor
Unless you want to arrive at middle-age looking like a prune’s handbag, then it’s not enough just to religiously apply moisturiser every day. Your skin is at constant risk of sun damage, even in the mild British climate where the sun doesn’t often feel hot. Ultra-violet rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage cells, causing the skin to peel away and replenish – though the permanent damage has already been done. Make sure you apply lotion that comes with added SPF (at least 15), especially to your face and neck.

Find love
Easier said than done, perhaps, but studies show that having sex regularly while in a happy, loving relationship, helps to keep us looking young. One piece of research, by neuro-psychologists at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital found that couples who have sex at least three times a week look more than 10 years younger than the average adult who makes love twice a week. They claim that this intense form of pleasure triggers the release of a growth hormone in women which slows the aging process.

Eat for your skin
When you get older, the collagen in your skin is produced more slowly, which means skin cells aren’t replenished as quickly as they used to be. Research suggests that a diet that is rich in lycopene and beta-carotene may help to keep skin looking young and glowing. These nutrients mop up free radicals before they can damage – and age – cells. Sweet potatoes, carrots and green leafy vegetables are full of beta-carotene, while tomatoes and watermelons provide the body with a rich bounty of lycopene.

Do Yoga
Ever seen a yoga instructor with a body you wouldn’t die for? There’s a reason for that; yoga is one of the best forms of exercise to keep you looking and feeling sprightly. For one thing, it’s low impact, so your joints will thank you for hitting the mat rather than pounding the pavement. Yoga also provides elasticity to the spine and corrects bad posture, firms up the skin and strengthens and tones muscles, meaning you’ll keep burning calories even when you’re not working out. Finally, of course, it’s extremely relaxing, so you’ll reduce stress levels just by going to a class 2-3 times a week.

Switch to whole grains
Despite studies showing that eating whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer by up to 30%, many Brits have no idea what they are and how they give their health such a significant boost. ‘Whole grain’ means all three parts of the grain have been used, including the outer-layer, which is full of fibre, and the nutrient-rich germ. Whole grains help stop the heart and artery walls from thickening and stiffening, meaning you’re less likely to suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease. They also provide a steady supply of energy to cells, including the skin, keeping it looking good and controlling oil production. You should aim to eat around 2-3 servings of whole grain cereal, bread, pasta and other products every day to make the most of these benefits.

Get a good night’s sleep
Think the term ‘beauty sleep’ is a myth? Think again. According to one study carried out in Sweden, people deprived of sleep for long periods appear less attractive and unhealthier than those who are well rested. Over time, this has a huge impact on how youthful you look. Sleep is one of the most rejuvenating treatments around. When you’re in the land of nod your cells have a chance to repair and rebuild, whereas sleep deprivation limits this function. Lack of sleep also means you are more susceptible to stress, which can cause the capillaries in your skin to tighten, stopping nutrients from reaching the skin and leaving you looking worn-down and dull.

Get off your butt
We live increasingly sedentary lifestyles these days, but this is all the more reason to unchain yourself from your desk and start exercising regularly. As well as helping you to lose weight, tone up, boost your mood and strengthen bones, there is also a clear link between working out and the aging process. According to the National Institute on Aging, even walking for just 10 minutes a day can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by an incredible 40% – so your brain benefits too.

source 

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Natural Pain Remedies from Your Kitchen

Make muscle pain a memory with ginger
When Danish researchers asked achy people to jazz up their diets with ginger, it eased muscle and joint pain, swelling and stiffness for up to 63 percent of them within two months. Experts credit ginger’s potent compounds called gingerols, which prevent the production of pain-triggering hormones. The study-recommended dose: Add at least 1 teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger to meals daily.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Cure a toothache with cloves

Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist? Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for two hours straight, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic. Bonus: Sprinkling a � teaspoon of ground cloves on meals daily may also protect your ticker. Scientists say this simple action helps stabilize blood sugar, plus dampen production of artery-clogging cholesterol in as little as three weeks.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Heal heartburn with cider vinegar

Sip 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before every meal, and experts say you could shut down painful bouts of heartburn in as little as 24 hours. “Cider vinegar is rich in malic and tartaric acids, powerful digestive aids that speed the breakdown of fats and proteins so your stomach can empty quickly, before food washes up into the esophagus, triggering heartburn pain,” explains Joseph Brasco, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Center for Colon and Digestive Diseases in Huntsville, AL.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Erase earaches with garlic

Painful ear infections drive millions of Americans to doctors’ offices every year. To cure one fast, just place two drops of warm garlic oil into your aching ear twice daily for five days. This simple treatment can clear up ear infections faster than prescription meds, say experts at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Scientists say garlic’s active ingredients (germanium, selenium, and sulfur compounds) are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing bacteria. To whip up your own garlic oil gently simmer three cloves of crushed garlic in a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil for two minutes, strain, then refrigerate for up to two weeks, suggests Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., co-author of the book,
Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy . For an optimal experience, warm this mix slightly before using so the liquid will feel soothing in your ear canal.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Chase away joint and headache pain with cherries
Latest studies show that at least one in four women is struggling with arthritis, gout or chronic headaches. If you’re one of them, a daily bowl of cherries could ease your ache, without the stomach upset so often triggered by today’s painkillers, say researchers at East Lansing’s Michigan State University. Their research reveals that anthocyanins, the compounds that give cherries their brilliant red color, are anti-inflammatories 10 times stronger than ibuprofen and aspirin. “Anthocyanins help shut down the powerful enzymes that kick-start tissue inflammation, so they can prevent, as well as treat, many different kinds of pain,” explains Muraleedharan Nair, Ph.D., professor of food science at Michigan State University. His advice: Enjoy 20 cherries (fresh, frozen or dried) daily, then continue until your pain disappears.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Fight tummy troubles with fish

Indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases…if your belly always seems to be in an uproar, try munching 18 ounces of fish weekly to ease your misery. Repeated studies show that the fatty acids in fish, called EPA and DHA, can significantly reduce intestinal inflammation, cramping and belly pain and, in some cases, provide as much relief as corticosteroids and other prescription meds. “EPA and DHA are powerful, natural, side effect-free anti-inflammatories, that can dramatically improve the function of the entire gastrointestinal tract,” explains biological chemist Barry Sears, Ph.D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, MA. For best results, look for oily fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Prevent PMS with Yogurt
Up to 80 percent of women will struggle with premenstrual syndrome and its uncomfortable symptoms, report Yale researchers. The reason: Their nervous systems are sensitive to the ups and downs in estrogen and progesterone that occur naturally every month. But snacking on 2 cups of yogurt a day can slash these symptoms by 48 percent, say researchers at New York’s Columbia University. “Yogurt is rich in calcium, a mineral that naturally calms the nervous system, preventing painful symptoms even when hormones are in flux,” explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a professor of gynecology at Yale University.
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Tame chronic pain with Turmeric

Studies show turmeric, a popular East Indian spice, is actually three times more effective at easing pain than aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, plus it can help relieve chronic pain for 50 percent of people struggling with arthritis and even fibromyalgia, according to Cornell researchers. That’s because turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, naturally shuts down cyclooxygenase 2, an enzyme that churns out a stream of pain-producing hormones, explains nutrition researcher Julian Whitaker, M.D. and author of the book,
Reversing Diabetes . The study-recommended dose: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of this spice daily onto any rice, poultry, meat or vegetable dish.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

End endometrial pain with oats

The ticket to soothing endometriosis pain could be a daily bowl of oatmeal. Endometriosis occurs when little bits of the uterine lining detach and grow outside of the uterus. Experts say these migrating cells can turn menstruation into a misery, causing so much inflammation that they trigger severe cramping during your period, plus a heavy ache that drags on all month long. Fortunately, scientists say opting for a diet rich in oats can help reduce endometrial pain for up to 60 percent of women within six months. That’s because oats don’t contain gluten, a trouble-making protein that triggers inflammation in many women, making endometriosis difficult to bear, explains Peter Green, M.D., professor of medicine at Colombia University.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Soothe foot pain with Salt
Experts say at least six million Americans develop painful ingrown toenails each year. But regularly soaking ingrown nails in warm salt water baths can cure these painful infections within four days, say scientists at California’s Stanford University. The salt in the mix naturally nixes inflammation, plus it’s anti-bacterial, so it quickly destroys the germs that cause swelling and pain. Just mix 1 teaspoon of salt into each cup of water, heat to the warmest temperature that you can comfortably stand, and then soak the affected foot area for 20 minutes twice daily, until your infection subsides.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Prevent digestive upsets with Pineapple

Got gas? One cup of fresh pineapple daily can cut painful bloating within 72 hours, say researchers at California’s Stanford University. That’s because pineapple is natually packed with proteolytic enzymes, digestive aids that help speed the breakdown of pain-causing proteins in the stomach and small intestine, say USDA researchers.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Relax painful muscles with Peppermint

Suffering from tight, sore muscles? Stubborn knots can hang around for months if they aren’t properly treated, says naturopath Mark Stengler, N.D., author of the book,  The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies . His advice: Three times each week, soak in a warm tub scented with 10 drops of peppermint oil. The warm water will relax your muscles, while the peppermint oil will naturally soothe your nerves — a combo that can ease muscle cramping 25 percent more effectively than over-the-counter painkillers, and cut the frequency of future flare-ups in half, says Stengler.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Give your back some TLC with Grapes

Got an achy back? Grapes could be the ticket to a speedy recovery. Recent studies at Ohio State University suggest eating a heaping cup of grapes daily can relax tight blood vessels, significantly improving blood flow to damaged back tissues (and often within three hours of enjoying the first bowl). That’s great news because your back’s vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs are completely dependent on nearby blood vessels to bring them healing nutrients and oxygen, so improving blood flow is essential for healing damaged back tissue, says Stengler.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Wash away pain injuries with Water
Whether it’s your feet, your knees or your shoulders that are throbbing, experts at New York’s Manhattan College, say you could kick-start your recovery in one week just by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Why? Experts say water dilutes, and then helps flush out, histamine, a pain-triggering compound produced by injured tissues. “Plus water is a key building block of the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones, your joints’ lubricating fluid, and the soft discs in your spine,” adds Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., author of the book,  The Good Mood Diet . “And when these tissues are well-hydrated, they can move and glide over each other without causing pain.” One caveat: Be sure to measure your drinking glasses to find out how large they really are before you start sipping, she says. Today’s juice glasses often hold more than 12 ounces, which means five servings could be enough to meet your daily goal.Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Heal sinus problems with Horseradish
Latest studies show sinusitis is the nation’s number one chronic health problem. And this condition doesn’t just spur congestion and facial pain, it also makes sufferers six times more likely to feel achy all-over. Horseradish to the rescue! According to German researchers, this eye-watering condiment naturally revs up blood flow to the sinus cavities, helping to open and drain clogged sinuses and heal sinus infections more quickly than decongestant sprays do. The study-recommended dose: One teaspoon twice daily (either on its own, or used as a sandwich or meat topping) until symptoms clear.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Beat bladder infections with Blueberries

Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily, whether you opt for them fresh, frozen or in juice form, can cut your risk of a urinary tract infection (UTIs) by 60 percent, according to researchers at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. That’s because blueberries are loaded with tannins, plant compounds that wrap around problem-causing bacteria in the bladder, so they can’t get a toehold and create an infection, explains Amy Howell, Ph.D. a scientist at Rutgers University.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Heal mouth sores with Honey
Dab painful canker and cold sores with unpasteurized honey four times daily until these skin woes disappear, and they’ll heal 43 percent faster than if you use a prescription cream, say researchers at the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates. Raw honey’s natural enzymes zap inflammation, destroy invading viruses and speed the healing of damaged tissues, say the study authors.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Fight breast pain with Flax

In one recent study, adding 3 tablespoons of ground flax to their daily diet eased breast soreness for one in three women within 12 weeks. Scientists credit flax’s phytoestrogens, natural plant compounds that prevent the estrogen spikes that can trigger breast pain. More good news: You don’t have to be a master baker to sneak this healthy seed into your diet. Just sprinkle ground flax on oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce or add it to smoothies and veggie dips.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Cure migraines with Coffee

Prone to migraines? Try muscling-up your painkiller with a coffee chaser. Whatever over-the-counter pain med you prefer, researchers at the National Headache Foundation say washing it down with a strong 12- ounce cup of coffee will boost the effectiveness of your medication by 40 percent or more. Experts say caffeine stimulates the stomach lining to absorb painkillers more quickly and more effectively.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Tame leg cramps with Tomato Juice

At least one in five people regularly struggle with leg cramps. The culprit? Potassium deficiencies, which occur when this mineral is flushed out by diuretics, caffeinated beverages or heavy perspiration during exercise. But sip 10 ounces of potassium-rich tomato juice daily and you’ll not only speed your recovery, you’ll reduce your risk of painful cramp flare-ups in as little as 10 days, say UCLA researchers.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Okra -Lady’s finger (Bhindi)

A guy has been suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux. He didn’t realize that the treatment could be so simple — OKRA! He started eating okra within the last 2 months and since then have never taken medication again. All he did was eat 6 pieces of OKRA everyday. He’s now regular and his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98, with his cholesterol and acid reflux also under control.

Here are some facts on okra (from the research of Ms. Sylvia Zook,?PH.D (nutrition), University of Illinois . 

“Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer. Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid is also present in a half cup of cooked okra.

Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid. He got the following numbers from the University of Illinois Extension Okra Page . Please check there for more details.

Okra Nutrition (half-cup cooked okra)
* Calories = 25
* Dietary Fiber = 2 grams
* Protein = 1.5 grams
* Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams
* Vitamin A = 460 IU
* Vitamin C = 13 mg
* Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms
* Calcium = 50 mg
* Iron = 0.4 mg
* Potassium = 256 mg
* Magnesium = 46 mg

These numbers should be used as a guideline only, and if you are on a medically-restricted diet please consult your physician and/or dietician. Ms Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) has very kindly provided the following thought-provoking comments on the many benefits of this versatile vegetable. They are well worth reading.

1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

2. Okra’s mucilage not only binds cholesterol but bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. But it doesn’t stop there…

3. Many alternative health practitioners believe all disease begins in the colon. The okra fiber, absorbing water and ensuring bulk in stools, helps prevent constipation. Fiber in general is helpful for this but okra is one of the best, along with ground flax seed and psyllium. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic many people abhor. In other words, this incredibly valuable vegetable not only binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids) which cause numerous health problems, if not evacuated,?but also assures their easy passage from the the body.

4. Further contributing to the health of the intestinal tract, okra fiber (as well as flax and psyllium) has no equal among fibers for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics).

5.To retain most of okra’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes! , it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw ( I EAT THREE RAW OKRA WITH LITTLE LEMON/SALT. I eat also one clove RAW GARLICK on the toast and chew.)

Name: Okra

Biological Name: Abelmoschus esculentus, Hibiscus esculentus

Other Names:   Okra, Okro, Ochro, Okoro, Quimgombo (Cuba), Quingumbo, Ladies Fingers, Gombo, Kopi Arab, Kacang Bendi, Bhindi (S. Asia), Bendi (Malaysia), Bamia, Bamya or Bamieh (middle east), Gumbo (Southern USA), Quiabo, Quiabos (Portugal and Angola), okura (Japan), qiu kui (Taiwan)

History: Okra traces its origin from what was known as Abyssinia (Ethiopia) spreading right through to Eastern Mediterranea, India, Africa, North America, South Americaand the Caribbean. Though long popular in the South, it is becoming increasingly common and well known in Western Countries.

Description: Okra is a tall-growing (3 to 6 feet or more in height), warm-season, annual vegetable from the same family as hollyhock, rose of Sharon and hibiscus. The immature pods are used for soups, canning and stews or as a fried or boiled vegetable. The hibiscus like flowers and upright plant is very pretty.

When cut, okra releases a sticky substance with thickening properties, useful for soups and stews.

Parts Used: Immature pods

Constituents: Nutrition Information

For 1/2 cup sliced, cooked okra

For 1 cup raw okra

Calories 25
Dietary Fiber 2 grams
Protein 1.52 grams
Carbohydrates 5.76 grams
Vitamin A 460 IU
Vitamin C 13.04 mg
Folic acid 36.5 micrograms
Calcium 50.4 mg
Iron 0.4 mg
Potassium 256.6 mg
Magnesium 46 mg

Calories: 33
Fiber: 3.2g
Total Fat: 0.1g
Protein: 2.0g
Carbohydrate: 7.6g
Vitamin A 660 IU
Vitamin C 21mg
Folate 87.8mcg
Magnesium 57mg

 

Medicinal Applications According to Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) Okra has several benefits.

1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

2. Okra’s mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.

3. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body. Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most unlike the OTC drugs.

4. Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.

5. Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression. 

6. Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.

7. Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel.

8. In India , okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements. 

To retain most of okra’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw.
Specific Ailments
Acid Reflux and Constipation

A person, suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux, started eating 6 pieces of Okra. Since then, has not taken any other medication.Now, his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98 and his cholesterol and acid reflux are also under control.
Asthma

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This anti-inflammatory activity may curtail the development of asthma symptoms. A large preliminary study has shown that young children with asthma experience significantly less wheezing if they eat a diet high in fruits rich in vitamin C. 1/2 cup of cooked Okra contains over 13 mg of vitamin C. 
Atherosclerosis

Diets high in insoluble fiber, such as those containing okra, are associated with protection against heart disease in both men and women.
Cancer

The insoluble fiber found in Okra helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer.
Capillary fragility

Eating plenty of flavonoid and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables such as okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
Cataracts

1/2 cup of cooked okra contains 460 IU of vitamin A. Some studies have reported that eating more foods rich in beta-carotene or vitamin A was associated with a lower risk of cataracts.
cholesterol

A study (JAMA July 23, 2003) showed that consuming a “dietary portfolio” of vegetarian foods lowered cholesterol nearly as well as the prescription drug lovastatin (Mevacor). The diet was rich in soluble fiber from oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant and okra. It used soy substitutes instead of meat and milk and included almonds and cholesterol-lowering margarine (such as Take Control) every day.
Depression and Lack of Energy

Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
High homocysteine

A controlled trial showed that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables containing folic acid, beta-carotene, and vitamin C effectively lowered homocysteine levels. Healthy people were assigned to either a diet containing a pound of fruits and vegetables per day, or to a diet containing 3 1/2 ounces (99g) of fruits and vegetables per day. After four weeks, those eating the higher amount of fruits and vegetables had an 11 percent lower homocysteine level compared to those eating the lower amount of fruits and vegetables. Okra is a storehouse of vitamins and folic acid.
Multiple sclerosis (MS)

In one survey, researchers gathered information from nearly 400 people (half with MS) over three years. They found that consumption of vegetable protein, fruit juice, and foods rich in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium correlated with a decreased MS risk.

Dengue – Basic Facts for Public Education

Dengue is the most widespread mosquito-borne infection in human beings, which in recent years has become a major international public health concern. It is usually found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, particularly in urban and semi-urban areas. Over the last 15 years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the global incidence of dengue and its severe manifestations such as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Almost 95% of Dengue cases are amongst children under the age of 15 years. Without proper management, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever case fatality rates can exceed 20%, however, with modern intensive supportive therapy these rates can be reduced to less than 1%.

Transmission

Dengue viruses are transmitted to humans through the bite(s) of infective female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, which generally acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person. After incubation for 8-10 days, an infected mosquito is capable, during probing and blood feeding, of transmitting the virus, to susceptible individuals for the rest of its life. Infected female mosquitoes may also transmit the virus to their offspring by transovarial (via the eggs) transmission.

Humans are the main amplifying host of the virus, although studies have shown that in some parts of the world monkeys may become infected and perhaps serve as a source of virus for uninfected mosquitoes. The virus circulates in the blood of infected humans for 2-7 days, at approximately the same time as they have fever Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes may acquire the virus when they feed on an individual during this period.

Prevention and control measures

Presently, the only method of controlling or preventing DF and DHF is to combat the vector mosquitoes. Aedes Aegypti breeds primarily in man-made containers like earthenware jars, metal drums and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage, as well as discarded plastic food containers, used automobile tyres and other items that collect rainwater.

Vector control is implemented using environmental management and chemical methods. Proper solid waste disposal and improved water storage practices, including covering containers to prevent access by egg laying female mosquitoes, are encouraged through community-based programmes.

The application of appropriate insecticides to larval habitats, particularly those used by the households, such as water storage vessels can prevent mosquito breeding for several weeks therefore these insecticides must be used periodically. The use of family size insecticide treated nets (ITNs) is also recommended. General insecticide spraying targeting mosquito breeding habitats need to be carried out to kill adult mosquitoes using portable or truck-mounted machines.

Guidelines for the families of affected persons

Keep body temperature below 39oC. Give the patient paracetamol (not more than four times in 24 hours) according to the dose prescribed below:

Age
Dose (tablet 250 mg)
Mg/dose

< 1 year
¼ tablet
60

1-4 years
½ tablet
60-120

5 and above
1 tablet
240

  • Do not give the patient Aspirin or Ibuprofen
  • Give large amounts of fluids (water, soups, milk and juices) along with the patient’s normal diet
  • The patient should rest
  • Immediately consult your physician if any of the following manifestations appear: Red spots or points on the skin; bleeding from the nose or gums; frequent vomiting; vomiting with blood; black stools; sleepiness; constant crying; abdominal pain; excessive thirst (dry mouth); pale, cold or clammy skin; or difficulty in breathing.

Characteristics

Dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults, but seldom causes death. The clinical features of dengue fever vary according to the age of the patient. Infants and young children may have a non-specific febrile illness with rash. Older children and adults may have either a mild febrile syndrome or the classical incapacitating disease with abrupt onset and high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, and rash.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, hemorrhagic phenomena, often with enlargement of the liver and in severe cases, circulatory failure. The illness commonly begins with a sudden rise in temperature accompanied by facial flush and other non-specific constitutional symptoms of dengue fever. The fever usually continues for two to seven days and can be as high as 40-41°C, possibly with febrile convulsions and hemorrhagic phenomena.

In moderate DHF cases, all signs and symptoms abate after the fever subsides. In severe cases, the patient’s condition may suddenly deteriorate after a few days of fever when the temperature drops, followed by signs of circulatory failure, and the patient may rapidly go into a critical state of shock and die within 12-24 hours, or quickly recover following appropriate volume replacement therapy.

Immunization

At the present time, no vaccination is available against Dengue Fever or Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.

Prevent mosquito bites

  • Dengue mosquitoes bite during the daytime – protect yourself from the bite
  • Wear full-sleeve clothes and long dresses to cover the limbs.
  • Use repellents–care should be taken in using repellents on very young children or the elderly
  • Use mosquito coils and electric vapour mats during the daytime to prevent mosquito bites
  • Use insecticide treated nets (ITNs) to protect young children, pregnant women, old people, in addition to others who may rest during the day.
  • Curtains (cloth or bamboo) can also be treated with insecticide and hung at windows or doorways, to repel or kill mosquitoes.

Prevent multiplication of mosquitoes (Vector Control)

Mosquitoes which spread Dengue live and breed in stagnant water in and around houses, and places where solid waste is dumped.

  • Drain out the water from desert/window air coolers when not in use, in addition to tanks, barrels, drums, and buckets.
  • Remove all objects containing water such as plant saucers from the house.
  • All stored water containers should be kept covered at all times.
  • Collect and destroy discarded containers in which water collects, such as bottles, plastic bags, tins, tyres, etc.
  • Efficient disposal of all solid waste/garbage.

Basic facts about Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

How does dengue spread? Dengue is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes Aegyptimosquito. The mosquito gets the virus by biting an infected person. The first symptoms of the disease occur about 5-7 days after the infected bite. There is no way to tell if a mosquito is carrying the Dengue virus. Therefore, people must protect themselves from all mosquito bites.

Where does this mosquito live? This mosquito rests indoors, in closets and other dark places. Outside, it rests where it is cool and shaded. The female mosquito lays her eggs in water containers in and around homes, schools and other areas in towns or villages. These eggs become adults in about 10 days.

Where does the mosquito breed? Dengue mosquitoes breed in stored, exposed, water collection systems. The favoured breeding places are: barrels, drums, jars, pots, buckets, flower vases, plant saucers, tanks, discarded bottles/tins, tyres, or water coolers, and other places where rainwater collects or is stored.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition that will catch up with most people who live into older age. Blood pressure is the force of blood pressing against the walls of your arteries. When it’s too high, it raises the heart’s workload and can cause serious damage to the arteries. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

Hypertension Symptoms

High blood pressure is sometimes called a silent killer because it may have no outward symptoms for years. In fact, one in five people with the condition don’t know they have it. Internally, it can quietly damage the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, and kidneys if left untreated. It’s a major risk factor for strokes and heart attacks in the U.S.

What Causes Hypertension?

Normal blood pressure readings will fall below 120/80, while higher results over time can indicate hypertension. In most cases, the underlying cause of hypertension is unknown. The top number (systolic) shows the pressure when your heart beats. The lower number (diastolic) measures pressure at rest between heartbeats, when the heart refills with blood. Occasionally, kidney or adrenal gland disease can lead to hypertension

 

Prehypertension: A Warning Sign

Almost one-quarter of Americans have prehypertension. Their blood pressure is consistently just above the normal level — falling anywhere between 120 and 139 for systolic pressure or 80 to 89 for the diastolic pressure. People in this range have twice the risk of developing heart disease than those with a lower reading. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help lower your blood pressure

The Hypertension Danger Zone

You have high blood pressure if readings average140/90 or higher — for either number — though you may still have no symptoms. At 180/110 and higher, you may be having a hypertensive crisis. Rest for a few minutes and take your blood pressure again. If it is still very high, call 911. A hypertensive crisis can lead to a stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, or loss of consciousness. Symptoms of a hypertensive crisis can include a severe headache, anxiety, nosebleeds, and feeling short of breath.

Who Gets High Blood Pressure?

Up to the age of 45, more men have high blood pressure than women. It becomes more common for both men and women as they age, and more women have hypertension by the time they reach 65. You have a greater risk if a close family member has high blood pressure or if you are diabetic. About 60% of people with diabetes have high blood pressure.

Hypertension and Race

African-Americans are more likely to develop hypertension — and to develop it at a younger age. Genetic research suggests that African-Americans seem to be more sensitive to salt. In people who have a gene that makes them salt-sensitive, just a half-teaspoon of salt can raise blood pressure by 5 mm Hg. Diet and excessive weight can play a role, as well.

Hypertension and Sodium

Sodium, a major component of salt, can raise blood pressure by causing the body to retain fluid, which leads to a greater burden on the heart. The American Heart Association recommends eating less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. You’ll need to check food labels and menus carefully. Processed foods contribute up to 75% of our sodium intake. Canned soups and lunch meats are prime suspects.

Hypertension and Stress

Stress can make your blood pressure spike, but there’s no evidence that it causes high blood pressure as an ongoing condition. However, stress may affect risk factors for heart disease, so it may have an indirect connection to hypertension. Stress may lead to other unhealthy habits, such as a poor diet, alcohol use, or smoking, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Hypertension and Weight

Being overweight places a strain on your heart and increases your risk of high blood pressure. That is why diets to lower blood pressure are often also designed to control calories. They typically call for cutting fatty foods and added sugars, while increasing fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and fiber. Even losing 10 pounds can make a difference.

Hypertension and Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure. Guidelines from the American Heart Association state that if you drink alcohol, you should limit the amount to no more than two drinks a day for men, or one a day for women. They define a drink as one 12-ounce beer, four ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, or one ounce of 100-proof spirits.

Hypertension and Caffeine

If caffeine can make you jittery, can it also raise your blood pressure? It might have a temporary effect, but studies haven’t shown any link between caffeine and the development of hypertension. You can safely drink one or two cups a day, according to the American Heart Association.

Hypertension and Pregnancy

Gestational hypertension is a kind of high blood pressure that occurs in the second half of pregnancy. Without treatment, it may lead to a serious condition called preeclampsia that endangers both the mother and baby. The condition can limit blood and oxygen flow to the baby and can affect the mother’s kidneys and brain. After the baby is born, the mother’s blood pressure usually returns to its normal level.

Hypertension and Medicine

Cold and flu medicines that contain decongestants are one of several classes of medicine that can cause your blood pressure to rise. Others include NSAID pain relievers, steroids, diet pills, birth control pills, and some antidepressants. If you have high blood pressure, talk to you doctor about what medicines and supplements you are taking that may affect blood pressure.

‘White Coat’ Hypertension

Some people only have a high reading in the doctor’s office, perhaps because they’re nervous. Some will only have blood pressure readings sporadically. Those people may have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure, a recent study shows. To get a more accurate reading, take your blood pressure at home, chart your readings, and share them with your doctor. It is also a good idea to bring in your home monitor in for a check of the device and your technique.

Hypertension and Children

While hypertension is more often a problem for older people, even children can have high blood pressure. “Normal” blood pressure varies based on a child’s age, height, and sex, so your doctor will need to tell you if there is a concern. Children are at greater risk if they are overweight, have a family history of the illness and if they’re African-American.

Treatment: The DASH Diet

You may be able to lower your blood pressure by switching to a better diet. The DASH Diet — Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — involves eating more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, and nuts. You should eat less red meat, saturated fats, and sweets. Reducing sodium in your diet can also have a significant effect.

Treatment: Exercise

Regular exercise helps lower your blood pressure. Adults should get about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. That could include gardening, walking briskly, bicycling, or other aerobic exercise. Muscle-strengthening activities are recommended at least two days a week and should work all major muscle groups.

Treatment: Diuretics

Diuretics are often the first choice if diet and exercise changes aren’t enough. Also called “water pills,” they help the body shed excess sodium and water to lower blood pressure. That means you’ll urinate more often. Some diuretics may deplete your body’s potassium, causing muscle weakness, leg cramps, and fatigue. Some can increase blood sugar levels in diabetics. Erectile dysfunction is a less common side effect.

Treatment: Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers work by slowing the heart rate, which means that the heart doesn’t have to work as hard. They are also used to treat other heart conditions, such as an abnormal heart rate called arrhythmia. They may be prescribed along with other medications. Side effects can include insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, cold hands and feet, and erectile dysfunction.

Treatment: ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors reduce your body’s supply of angiotensin II — a substance that makes blood vessels contract and narrow. The result is more relaxed, open (dilated) arteries, as well as lower blood pressure and less effort for your heart. Side effects can include a dry cough, skin rash, or dizziness, and high levels of potassium. Women should not become pregnant while taking an ACE inhibitor.

Treatment: ARBs

Instead of reducing your body’s supply of angiotensin II, these drugs block receptors for angiotensin — as if placing a shield over a lock. This blockade prevents the chemical’s artery-tightening effects, and lowers your blood pressure. ARBs can take several weeks to become fully effective. Possible side effects include dizziness, muscle cramps, insomnia, and high levels of potassium. Women should not become pregnant while taking this medication.

Treatment: Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers slow the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels. Since calcium causes stronger heart contractions, these medications ease the heart’s contraction and relax the blood vessels. They can cause dizziness, heart palpitations, swelling of the ankles, and constipation. Take them with food or milk and avoid grapefruit juice and alcohol because of possible interactions.

Treatment: Other Medications

Other medications that relax the blood vessels include vasodilators, alpha blockers, and central agonists. Side effects can include dizziness, a fast heart beat or heart palpitations, headaches, or diarrhea. Your doctor may suggest them if other blood pressure medications are not working well enough or if you have another condition.

Treatment: Complementary Therapies

Meditation can put your body into a state of deep rest, which can lower your blood pressure. Yoga, tai chi, and deep breathing also help. These relaxation techniques should be combined with other lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. Be aware that herbal therapies may conflict with other medications you take, and some herbs actually raise blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you take herbal or other dietary supplements.

Living With High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is often a life-long condition. It’s important to take your medications and continue to monitor your blood pressure. If you keep it under control, you can reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure.

Twinkle Dwivedi – The Girl Who Cries Blood

For the last three years, doctors have been trying to figure out what makes Twinkle Dwivedi‘s body ooze blood through her eyes, feet and even her head, but she remains a medical mystery.

When Twinkle’s case first appeared in the international media, many hurried to call her a fake, but after countless tests and procedures, including blood transfusions, doctors are still baffled by her strange bleeding. A group of medical specialists, led by dr. George Buchanan, recently traveled to North India to investigate the 14-year-old Twinkle, but all they have been able to say was that “she really suffers from a condition we have never seen before.”

The young teen remembers her disorder first appeared when she was just 11, and her classmates started mocking her and calling her disgusting. Although her bleeding didn’t hurt at all, she felt scared and alone, because no one would come near her. At first she would cry when she saw her clothes soaked with blood, but now she just keeps quiet, and prays she will eventually get better.

Despite her parents efforts, who took her to see the best doctors, Twinkle Dwivedi still bleeds from her eyes and pores, up to 14 times a day.

SOME VERY USEFUL INFORMATION

CARROTS – EYES

SLICE a carrot and it looks just like an eye, right down to the pattern of the iris. It’s a clear clue to the importance this everyday veg has for vision. Carrots get their orange colour from a plant chemical called betacarotene, which reduces the risk of developing cataracts. The chemical also protects against macular degeneration an age-related sight problem that affects one in four over-65s. It is the most common cause of blindness in Britain. But popping a betacarotene pill doesn’t have the same effect, say scientists at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore

WALNUT – BRAIN

THE gnarled folds of a walnut mimic the appearance of a human brain – and provide a clue to the benefits. Walnuts are the only nuts which contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. They may also help head off dementia. An American study found that walnut extract broke down the protein-based plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Tufts University in Boston found walnuts reversed some signs of brain ageing in rats. Dr James Joseph, who headed the study, said walnuts also appear to enhance signalling within the brain and encourage new messaging links between brain cells.

TOMATO – HEART
A TOMATO is red and usually has four chambers, just like our heart. Tomatoes are also a great source of lycopene, a plant chemical that reduces the risk of heart disease and several cancers. The Women’s Health Study — an American research programme which tracks the health of 40,000 women — found women with the highest blood levels of lycopene had 30 per cent less heart disease than women who had very little lycopene. Lab experiments have also shown that lycopene helps counter the effect of unhealthy LDL cholesterol. One Canadian study, published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, said there was “convincing vidence’ that lycopene prevented coronary heart disease.

GRAPES – LUNGS

OUR lungs are made up of branches of ever-smaller airways that finish up with tiny bunches of tissue called alveoli. These structures, which resemble bunches of grapes, allow oxygen to pass from the lungs to the blood stream. One reason that very premature babies struggle to survive is that these alveoli do not begin to form until week 23 or 24 of pregnancy. A diet high in fresh fruit, such as grapes, has been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer and emphysema. Grape seeds also contain a chemical called proanthocyanidin, which appears to reduce the severity of asthma triggered by allergy.

CHEESE – BONES

A nice ‘holey’ cheese, like Emmenthal, is not just good for your bones, it even resembles their internal structure. And like most cheeses, it is a rich source of calcium, a vital ingredient for strong bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Together with another mineral called phosphate, it provides the main strength in bones but also helps to ‘power’ muscles. Getting enough calcium in the diet during childhood is crucial for strong bones. A study at Columbia University in New York showed teens who increased calcium intake from 800mg a day to 1200mg – equal to an extra two slices of cheddar – boosted their bone density by six per cent.

GINGER – STOMACH

Root ginger, commonly sold in supermarkets, often looks just like the stomach. So it’s interesting that one of its biggest benefits is aiding digestion. The Chinese have been using it for over 2,000 years to calm the stomach and cure nausea, while it is also a popular remedy for motion sickness. But the benefits could go much further.
Tests on mice at the University of Minnesota found injecting the chemical that gives ginger its flavour slowed down the growth rate of bowel tumours

BANANA (SMILE) – DEPRESSION

Cheer yourself up and put a smile on your face by eating a banana. The popular fruit contains a protein called tryptophan. Once it has been digested, tryptophan then gets converted in a chemical neurotransmitter called serotonin. This is one of the most important mood-regulating chemicals in the brain and most anti-depressant drugs work by adjusting levels of serotonin production. Higher levels are associated with better moods.

MUSHROOM – EAR

Slice a mushroom in half and it resembles the shape of the human ear. And guess what? Adding it to your cooking could actually improve your hearing. That’s because mushrooms are one of the few foods in our diet that contain vitamin D. This particular vitamin is important for healthy bones, even the tiny ones in the ear that transmit sound to the brain.

BROCCOLI – CANCER

Close-up, the tiny green tips on a broccoli head look like hundreds of cancer cells. Now scientists know this disease-busting veg can play a crucial role in preventing the disease. Last year, a team of researchers at the US National Cancer Institute found just a weekly serving of broccoli was enough to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 45 per cent. In Britain, prostate cancer kills one man every hour.