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August 22, 2019 General0

The much-awaited rainy season is finally here! While monsoon does bring some respite from the sweltering hot summer days, it is known to be accompanied by the risk of food-borne diseases, infections and allergies. The high humidity levels lower the body’s ability to digest food, which is why additional care and precaution is required to stay healthy during monsoons. Here are a few simple tips that will help you remain in the pink of health by keeping germs, bacteria and other monsoon-related health problems at bay.

Do’s

  1. This monsoon, ensure that you drink only filtered or boiled water to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases like diarrhea and cholera. Carry a bottle filled with purified water with you at all times to avoid buying it from vendors. Additionally, you can drink lots of herbal, chamomile or ginger tea to aid digestion and boost immunity.
  2. Increase your intake of probiotics such as yogurt, buttermilk, and cheese etc. to facilitate the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which supports nutrition absorption.
  3. Light, home-cooked food eaten in moderation is most suitable for the season as it is easy to digest. Choose lighter cooking oils such as olive or sunflower oil.
  4. Green, leafy vegetables play host to worms, larvae, and germs, etc. because of their grime and dampness. So, soak your greens in saltwater before consuming, if you can’t avoid them entirely.
  5. Eat bitter foods like bitter gourd, bottle gourd, and neem, etc. to improve your immunity and digestion. Having boiled or steamed vegetables in place of raw ones also reduces the risk of stomach infections.

Don’ts

  1. Avoid stale, undercooked, spicy and fried foods, especially from roadside vendors as it may cause stomach problems such as bloating, gas, acidity and indigestion.
  2. Limit your consumption of white, refined sugar as it may lead to inflammation and promote the growth of bad bacteria; upsetting the precarious balance of the gut microbe.
  3. Avoid aerated drinks whenever possible as they reduce the body’s mineral content which in turn leads to reduced enzyme activity, taking its toll on an already weakened digestive system.
  4. Ensure that you’re not consuming a lot of seafood. Water tends to get contaminated during the rainy season and eating fish can cause cholera or diarrhea.

Follow these simple rules to keep your gut healthy and happy through the season. Additionally, you can take some preventive measures to ensure your surroundings remain clean and hygienic. Use insect repellants generously as mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria are rampant during the season. Add a disinfectant to your bath water and keep your feet clean and dry at all times to prevent the growth of fungus. But most importantly, eat healthy food and exercise regularly and enjoy the rains!


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August 9, 2019 Pediatrics0

Truth be told, breast milk is an almost perfect mix of vitamins, proteins, fats and everything needed by an infant. Providing the ideal nutrition for your baby. But the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond essential nutrition. Recent studies have revealed the far-reaching psychological effects of breastfeeding on both mother and child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) strongly recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months with no juice, formula or water fed to the baby. If you are a new mother, still figuring what’s best for your baby, here are a few advantages of breastfeeding that might help clear the confusion for you.

  1. It helps in building immunity: Research has shown that babies who are not breastfed are at a higher risk of developing respiratory illnesses, diarrhea, ear infections, meningitis, stomach viruses, etc. The first milk a mother’s body produces for the baby contains large amounts of colostrum, which is rich in secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA). This substance forms a protective layer around the baby’s intestines, throat and nose, guarding it against invading germs.
  2. It boosts intelligence: Several studies have established a positive correlation between breastfeeding and cognitive development. The fatty acids in breast milk play a vital role in increasing brainpower, which in turn improves memory, motor skills, language skills and intelligence.
  3. It reduces the risk of obesity: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), breastfeeding is a great way to ensure that your child doesn’t grow to be overweight or obese in his teen years and later life. It is so because it is known to aid in formation of healthy eating patterns that continue throughout life. Breast milk also contains less insulin and more leptin which helps in regulating appetite and fat.
  4. It facilitates socio-emotional development: Infants who are breastfed tend to have more vigour which is characterized by greater approach and activity, as compared to formula-fed babies. A longitudinal study following adults from 20 to 40 years discovered a greater amount of aggressive and hostile behaviour among adults who were not breastfed as infants.
  5. It lowers the risk of SIDS: According to a recent German study, exclusive breastfeeding at one month of age can cut the risk of sudden death infant syndrome (SIDS) to half. While the exact reason hasn’t been determined yet, researchers consider immunity and better infant sleeping patterns as probable factors.
  6. It helps in managing stress levels: Most women feel relaxed during breastfeeding as it triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes nurturing and relaxation. It also decreases the risk of postpartum depression, osteoporosis and some types of cancer.

Lactation is a natural method to ensure that all the essential nutrients are supplied in adequate amounts from the mother to the offspring. Additionally, breastfeeding has positive effects on the cognitive, behavioral and mental health of both mother and child. It also gives the perfect opportunity to form a lasting bond with the child who feels quite secure because of the physical closeness.


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July 15, 2019 Cardiology0

Nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide are attributed to heart disease. Surprisingly enough, it can easily be prevented by making some smart yet easy lifestyle changes. Inadequate exercise, poor diet, consumption of tobacco and stress are some of the leading factors that increase the risk of heart disease among individuals of all age groups. One the other hand, certain food groups can improve heart health and incorporating them in your regular diet can keep heart problems at bay. Here is a list of things you can do to keep your heart young, fit and healthy.

  1. Eat green leafy vegetables and whole grains: Studies have revealed that a high intake of green leafy vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease by protecting the arteries and facilitating the process of blood clotting. Whole grains, being a rich source of fiber, help in lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Thereby, reducing the risk of stroke by about 25%.
  2. 2. Include nuts and berries in your diet: Strawberries, blackberries, and gooseberries, etc. are packed with vital nutrients and are also a rich source of antioxidants. Eating them regularly aids in improving the functioning of cells lining the blood vessels which in turn helps in regulating blood pressure and decrease LDL cholesterol. Healthy nuts such as walnuts and almonds supply the body with essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that protect the heart from diseases.
  3. Limit saturated and trans-fats: Deep-fried, fast & junk foods, full-fat dairy products and bakery items are major sources of unhealthy fats that make the heart weak and increase the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Healthy fats that are obtained from plant-based sources such as avocado, olives, and nuts, etc. are the best substitutes to improve your heart’s health.
  4. Get your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids: Fishes such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that are well known for their diverse heart-health benefits. A study revealed that eating fish regularly can lower levels of total cholesterol, blood triglycerides, fasting blood sugar and systolic blood pressure. Vegetarians can opt for fish oil supplements that provide the same health benefits.
  5. Exercise for 30 minutes every day: A well-balanced diet accompanied with regular physical activity can help in attaining optimum health. Thereby, reducing your chances of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes that put a strain on the heart. Activities such as brisk walking, running, gardening, climbing the stairs, and weightlifting among others contribute towards keeping your body in better shape and your organs in good condition.

Although diet is pivotal in determining heart’s health, other factors such as family history, gender, and genetics, etc. may also have an impact. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, avoiding stress and going for regular health screenings and check-ups are some precautions that must be taken by all. Minimize the risk of cardiac problems by following these simple tips for a healthy lifestyle and keep your heart happy!


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