The Surprising Benefits Of Journaling

The Surprising Benefits Of Journaling

  • August 3, 2020

Once the domain of high-school sweethearts and awkward introverts in every Netflix coming-of-age film ever, journaling has quickly become a hallmark of the self-care movement – right up there with doing yoga and listening to Beyoncé on repeat (yes, really). And for good reason: science prizes the practice as a modern-day panacea. For those who remain unconvinced, here are four benefits of journaling you need to know.

Increases emotional intelligence

Creating a habit of exploring your emotions through writing will not only deepen your awareness of them, but also enhance your ability to quickly dissect them – because practice makes perfect, right? As you write about your experiences, namely interactions with the people around you, you begin to better understand how your emotions and feelings impact others. 

With journals being safe, self-directed spaces to express and unravel your feelings in, they allow you to healthily detemine when and how to express yourself in the world beyond. The result? Happier and healthier relationships with not just those around you, but also yourself. So yes, we’d chalk all our succcesful relationships up to those winding diary monologues we all wrote about being in love with Brad Pitt (don’t pretend you didn’t).

Boosts your immune system

Forget sipping questionable wellness drinks your found on Instagram – research suggests that just writing can boost immune functioning in patients with a number of illnesses such as asthma and arthritis. Much like the effects of exercising, writing about negative experiences reduces the chemicals that stress incites our bodies to release and frees our brains from the enormously taxing job of processing them. This leads to improved sleep, better body functioning, and a strengthened immune system. Who knew waxing lyrical about a bad day was the secret all along?

Improves mental health

You can’t deny the therapeutic quality of those explosive adolescent meltdowns we’d all document in our diaries. Now that we’re (a little) grown up, we can actually embrace that quality a little more deliberately.

Keeping a journal that details your mental wellbeing from day to day can help you not only recognise the interactions and experiences that aren’t doing you good, but also determine ways to mitigate their effects. In moments you need a little pick-me-up, journals provide an excellent opportunity for positive self-talk and you can also crack lame (read: elite) dad jokes to your heart’s desire without any judgemental stares. 

Keeps your memory sharp

Journaling can boost your memory in several ways. The very act of writing something down solidifies that experience in your mind and improves your ability to remember it later on. Those journal entries can then also act as prompts that trigger memories you’d long forgotten – kind of like time capsules, except with less visual reminders of bad haircuts and questionable fashion choices.

Alongside boosting memory and comprehension, expressive journaling also squashes intrusive and avoidant thoughts, thereby increasing working memory capacity, which may reflect improved cognitive processing.

Now what?

So, you probably get it now: Journaling is seriously good for you. But if you still find yourself frozen, glaring fruitlessly at a blank page, fret not. You can start by casting aside any unrealistic expectations of yourself as well as any internalised guilt of not instantly being an ultra-zen journaling guru.

Start where you are. It can help to jot down a simple sentence – possibly about your breakfast, or how hot the weather is, or how many times your cat has pleaded for another meal that day (you know, just your standard elevator small talk). Continue onto whatever your mind takes you to. Once you find your flow, the whole process will become much less daunting. Pro-tip: you don’t have to express yourself in prose comparable to Shakespeare. Dr Suess is great too.

Photos: Instagram and Unsplash

Vitamin B complex benefits: Strong immune system, good digestion and more; food sources rich in B vitamins

Vitamin B complex benefits: Strong immune system, good digestion and more; food sources rich in B vitamins

  • July 29, 2020

Add vitamin B-rich foods to your diet to boost your immune system: Benefits, foods high in B complex vitamins


Vitamin B complex benefits: Strong immune system, good digestion and more; food sources rich in B vitamins&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspiStock Images

Key Highlights

  • B vitamins have a crucial role in maintaining your overall health and well-being

  • They can also help keep your immune system strong, thereby preventing infections

  • Here’s how eating vitamin B-rich foods can benefit your health and help you stay healthy during the pandemic

New Delhi: One of the best ways to build resistance against the novel coronavirus infection and other viral attacks is to feed your body with nutrient-dense foods that can help strengthen your immune system, your body’s first line of defense against viruses and diseases. Research has shown that eating foods rich in certain vitamins – such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B and vitamin E – can help your immune system fight off infections.

The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has now infected about 16,514,500 people and claimed at least 654,477 lives all over the world. With no cure available for the deadly virus that causes COVID-19, taking all possible measures and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet, to not get it in the first place is the safest for all of us. In fact, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently recommended to include vitamin B-rich plant-based foods in diet to boost your nervous system and immunity.

What are the health benefits of vitamin B complex?

Basically, vitamin B complex consists of eight different vitamins, which are essential for maintaining good health and well-being. The B vitamins are: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid or folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12).

Some of the benefits of vitamin B complex include:

  • It can help strengthen your immune system, thereby preventing or reducing your risk of infections
  • It helps support the growth of red blood cells
  • It promotes proper nerve and healthy brain function
  • It improves energy levels
  • It boosts cardiovascular health
  • It is good for digestion
  • It supports muscle tone
  • It supports the production of hormones and cholesterol

B vitamins are particularly important for pregnant and lactating women as they help in faetal brain development as well as lower the risk of birth defects. These vitamins may also help increase testosterone levels in men.

A deficiency of this vitamin can put you at a higher risk of certain conditions such as anaemia, infections, digestive issues, peripheral neuropathy, skin problems, etc.

Food sources of vitamin B complex

B vitamins can be found in a number of foods. Some of the foods that are high in B vitamins include:

  1. Leafy greens: Leafy green veggies like spinach, turnip greens, collards and romaine lettuce, are among the highest sources of folate. You can eat them raw or steam them briefly to retain the most nutrient.
  2. Eggs: Eggs are one of the best sources of biotin – just next to liver – that plays a vital role in your hair, skin, nail and hair health. One large egg can help you get 33 per cent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for biotin distributed the yolk and white.
  3. Legumes: Apart from being high in folic acid, legumes also provide small amounts of other B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine. Folate reduces the risk of birth defects.
  4. Walnuts: Walnuts are high in several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as copper, phosphorus, folate, pyridoxine, manganese, vitamin E, etc.
  5. Salmon: Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and several B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, B6 and B12. Moreover, this nutritious fish is high in protein but low in mercury.

Try eating a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of food sources to ensure that you’re getting enough of each B vitamin to support your immune system, improve overall health and reduce your risk of infections, including COVID-19 disease.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

Benefits of Omega-3s | How Air Pollution Affects Your Brain

Benefits of Omega-3s | How Air Pollution Affects Your Brain

  • July 27, 2020
  • According to new research published in the journal Neurology, omega-3s can help protect your brain from the toxic effects of air pollution.
  • Omega-3s are an important part of a healthy diet, and the nutrient can be found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, oysters, sardines, and anchovies.

    Omega-3s, a type of healthy fat, are an essential part of a runner’s diet. They’re known to help fight inflammation in your body and boost your heart, lung, and joint health. Now, new research points to another win for the nutrient: reducing the effects of air pollution on your brain.

    In the study, published in the journal Neurology, researchers analyzed the data of more than 1,300 women (ages 65 to 80 years old) who were enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study from 1996 to ’99, and who underwent brain MRIs in 2005 to ’06. The researchers also looked at omega-3 and fish consumption of the participants and how much air pollution they were exposed to.

    Their findings? Omega-3s from fish consumption may help preserve the brain’s volume of white matter, which is responsible for sending signals throughout your brain, and the size of the hippocampus, which is vital for memory formation, as women age. Omega-3s may also protect against the toxic effects that air pollution can have on your brain.

    Here’s why that’s important: While brain volume loss occurs naturally with aging, a fast loss may cause cognitive impairment and disability, according to study author Cheng Chen, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center.

    “A slower rate of brain volume loss may prevent against the development or progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.,” Chen told Runner’s World.

    When it comes to the effect of air pollution on your brain go, Chen said particles—such as dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and drops of liquid—enter through your respiratory tract and go directly into your blood circulation system.

    “With the blood flow to the body, they can cause damage to other systems, including the brain,” Chen said. “In our previous studies in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, we found older women living in locations with higher levels of fine particles in the outdoor air had smaller brain volumes.”

    While it’s still not 100 percent clear on how these particles cause damage to the brain, there are several possible theories, Chen said. One is that the particles contain neurotoxic metals, which can damage neurons once they reach the brain, resulting in inflammation—which can lead to brain atrophy.

    Another theory, according to Chen, is that your immune system could react to particles in your lungs or bloodstream, which triggers inflammation that affects the brain.

    Lastly, there could be a connection between your gut and your brain. “Researchers have recognized strong connections between the gut microbiome and the brain, and studies show that delivering fine particles to the gut can cause systemic inflammation that may result in brain damage,” Chen said.

    [Run faster, stronger, and longer with this 360-degree training program.]

    Eating fish high in omega-3s—such as salmon, mackerel, herring, oysters, sardines, and anchovies—can help fight inflammation in your brain and repair damage to its white matter, according to Chen.

    While this study was done in older women, Chen believes the results would most likely be similar in other populations of different ages and sexes.

    “Environmental pollution is inevitable in some areas,” Chen said. “These findings provide helpful insight regarding how a healthy lifestyle, like healthy diet, could reduce the adverse effects of air pollution on cognitive decline and neurodegeneration.”

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From strong immune system to relieve digestive troubles, here are five health benefits of 'Amla Murabba'

From strong immune system to relieve digestive troubles, here are five health benefits of ‘Amla Murabba’

  • July 25, 2020

Most of us like the relishing memories of Amla murabba that has a sweet-tangy taste. Ayurveda has shown us how many kinds of food have the properties of curing various diseases and enhancing human health. One such food is amla, which is a neon green miracle food.

Amla is taken in the form of juice, pickle or also eaten raw. However, the best way to eat it is Murabba. Amla murabba is a sweet and spicy flavor that can be stored for a longer time. In addition to being a healthy choice for people eating sweets, amla murabba also has many health benefits.

Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is a nutritious fruit. It can strengthen immunity, make the skin glow, and promote digestion. Amla is composed of micronutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. The presence of polyphenol compounds and antioxidants in Amla enhances its nutritional properties.

Here we have enlisted some of the health benefits of Amla Murabba:

Slows down ageing

Amla is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which brings a glow to your skin and helps reduce wrinkles, acne and scars. It also slows down the ageing process as the free radicals in the body are neutralised. However, eating amla murabba over a span of time can increase the production of collagen tissue which improves skin health.

Boosts immunity

Rich in vitamin A, E and C, consuming amla murabba is a better way to boost immunity as it helps improve the body’s ability to prevent diseases. Other micronutrients such as zinc, copper, chromium in amla also help boost immunity.

Relieves digestive troubles

High in fibre, amla murabba is recommended for digestive and gastric problems, including gastritis and constipation.

Reduces Arthritis

Eating amla murabba twice a day can help in reducing joint inflammation and provide relief from knee pain. This is because of the presence of vitamin C in abundance in male.

Treats Ulcer

People suffering from peptic ulcer must eat amla murabba as it has anti-ulcer property and is rich in fibre which helps treat an ulcer.

How to make the Indian gooseberry preserve, watch video out here

Amla murabba is really tempting, it refreshes the taste buds and brings health benefits to the body too but you must avoid excessive eating. Always remember that the right amount of food is the key to staying healthy.

Rosemary Oil: Uses and Health Benefits

Rosemary Oil: Uses and Health Benefits

  • July 23, 2020

Oil

When talking about herbs or rather queen of herbs, rosemary is always on the top of the list. The name rosemary is derived from the Latin words “Ros” meaning dew or mist and “Marinus” meaning sea. Though rosemary is best known as food seasoning all around the world, it has other benefits as well, especially health benefits. Ancient Greek and Romans have known about this secret and have reaped the benefits of rosemary.

Rosemary is usually used as it is or as essential oils. Rosemary oil, despite its name, is not a true oil, as it does not contain fat. 

Oil

Here’s a list of not just the health benefits, but also some DIYs hacks to get the perfect definition of healthy skin by using rosemary oil.

1. Nutritional Value Of Rosemary Oil 
2. Benefits Of Rosemary Oil
3. Rosemary Oil: DIY For Skincare Face Mask
4. Points To Remember Before Using Rosemary Oil
5. Rosemary Oil: FAQs 

Nutritional Value Of Rosemary Oil 

Oil

Rosemary leaves are known to have certain phytochemical compounds that have disease prevention and health-promoting properties. Rosemary essential oil is rich in anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rosmarinic acid, and anticancer properties. There’s also a small amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate, and minerals in rosemary include calcium, iron, and magnesium, and manganese.

Benefits Of Rosemary Oil

Relieves Muscle And Joint Pains: Rosemary oil has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties which work like magic when it comes to relieving joint pains and soreness of muscles.

How to use it: Take a couple of drops of rosemary oil, combine it with a few drops of peppermint oil and a teaspoon of coconut oil. Massage gently for a few minutes with this concoction on the problem areas to relieve the pain.

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Boost immunity system: Brimming with anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, the aromatherapy of rosemary essential oil can help boost the immune system and combat diseases associated with chronic health problems, which could range from a common cold to heart disease.

How to use it: Combine a few drops of rosemary oil with any carrier oil such as coconut oil. Start massaging from your arms and massage up to the lymph nodes in your armpits. Then, down to your neck and chest and relax. A bath with added rosemary oil also helps in boosting your immune system by reducing your stress levels.

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Respiratory Problems: Rosemary oil is flooded with antibacterial properties that treat a host of respiratory problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nasal congestion from a common cold and flu. Anti-spasmodic qualities of rosemary oil are also beneficial in treating bronchitis and asthma. The potent antioxidant action of rosemary oil can help reduce inflammation, thus helping to lower the risk of asthma.

How to use it: You can either add a few drops of rosemary oil in your room diffuser, or you can take steam with few added drops of rosemary oil.

Oil

Reduces Acne And Fights Signs Of Ageing: Application of rosemary oil on the face has been known to reduce the inflammation caused by acne due to its antibacterial qualities. But wait there’s more! It helps to reduce undereye puffiness and also improves circulation, giving you healthy and glowing skin. It also helps fight sun damage and signs of ageing.

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Hair Growth: Rosemary oil is a godsend for people with thinning hair. It helps boost hair growth and thickening of hair as it nourishes hair follicles.

How to use it: Combine a few drops of rosemary oil, a tablespoon of castor oil, and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Massage this combination of oils into your hair gently for a few minutes and see amazing results.

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Rosemary Oil: DIY For Skincare Face Mask

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DIY Moisturising Mask:
Use this blend to refresh dry, irritated, inflamed skin. Add 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel in a bowl. Using a spoon, mix in a few drops of rosemary oil. Gently apply this gel by spreading a thin layer of it over the face with clean fingers. Leave this blend on the face for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off. For best results, use this mix daily.

Oil

DIY Acne Treatment: Here are some acne-killer masks for all of us suffering from acne.

Mix two tbsp of green clay and 1 tbsp of aloe vera. Add two drops of rosemary oil, two drops of tea tree oil, and two drops of lemon essential oil and stir well. Apply on clean skin. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Follow up with a moisturizer. You can do this treatment once every week.

Take 2 tbsp aloe vera gel in a small bowl. Add ¼ tsp turmeric and 2-3 drops of rosemary oil to the bowl and mix them well. Apply and leave it on for 30 mins. Wash your face with cold water afterwards.

Peel the skin off a cucumber and grind it to a liquid consistency in a food processor. Add a tablespoon of rosemary oil into the liquid. Whisk an egg white and add it to the mixture. Spread the mixture onto your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with plain cold water.

oil

DIY Suntan Removal: Applying rosemary essential oil helps to get rid of suntan easily. All you have to do is in a small bowl take 2 tbsp of yoghurt. Add ½ tsp of turmeric and a few drops of rosemary oil to the bowl. Mix them well and apply it to your face. Leave it for 30 minutes and then wash it with plain water.

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DIY Skin Tightening Mask: Skin ageing has resulted in many of us having a lot of sleepless nights. Don’t worry! Try this skin tightening mask and forget all your worries. Take 1 tsp of granulated oats and 1 tsp of gram flour in a bowl and mix them well. To this mix, add honey and rosemary oil and mix everything well. Apply it all over your face. Wash your face with plain cold water after 20 mins.

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Points To Remember Before Using Rosemary Oil

Oil

Rosemary is considered safe in general when taken in recommended doses. However, there can be occasional allergic reactions for some people. It is recommended that you first test it out on your arms by applying a small amount.

• Rosemary oil is volatile, and therefore, it can also cause vomiting spasms and coma.
• Women who are breastfeeding and pregnant women should not use this oil because it can negatively affect the fetus and can also result in a miscarriage.
• People with high blood pressure, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis should not use rosemary oil.
• Rosemary oil can be toxic if ingested and should never be taken orally.

Rosemary Oil: FAQs 

Q. Do you have to dilute rosemary oil?
A. Rosemary oil is a highly concentrated, volatile substance. Rosemary oil is readily absorbed into your bloodstream when you apply it to your skin. To be used safely, it is advised to dilute rosemary oil with a neutral carrier oil, such as coconut oil. This helps prevent potential irritation of your skin and premature evaporation of the oil.

Q. Is rosemary oil good for pimples?
A. Rosemary oil is excellent at managing sebum production, which means your pores will be clearer, and your skin will be a lot less oily. It’s anti-inflammatory as well, so it treats redness from frequent breakouts and reduces puffiness without causing further irritation.

Q. Does rosemary oil grow hair?
A. Rosemary oil improves both hair thickness and hair growth; it is an excellent choice as it can enhance cellular generation. According to one study, rosemary oil performed as well as minoxidil, a common hair growth treatment, but with less scalp itching as a side effect.

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The benefits of apple cider vinegar, according to a dietitian

The benefits of apple cider vinegar, according to a dietitian

  • July 22, 2020

Drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a wellness elixir is becoming increasingly popular, and the health trend has recently gained even more momentum, thanks to celebs who swear by it — like Jennifer Aniston and Katy Perry (who’s also an investor in a leading ACV brand). Influencers and producers of the product rave about purported health benefits of apple cider vinegar like increased weight loss, better blood sugar control and a stronger immune system. Sales of ACV have also spiked in the months since the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping the nation. But is ACV really a cure-all that can jump-start health and wellness in the ways that devotees claim?

Here’s what apple cider vinegar can and can’t do, according to the scientific evidence.

Apple cider vinegar won’t prevent you from getting COVID-19 or another virus

There is a small amount of preliminary research that suggests ACV might enhance the work of certain immune-system cells, including bacteria-engulfing cells, but it’s a big leap to say that ACV — or any other single food or supplement — can prevent you from getting sick. Your immune system is very sophisticated and it relies on a number of healthful substances — primarily from plant-based foods — to keep it operating well. In addition to eating a balanced diet, another well-documented, immune-enhancing habit is to sleep for the recommended seven to nine hours each night.

Apple cider vinegar may prevent blood sugar spikes

Though there are better ways to control blood sugar — for example, by modifying your carb intake, eating meals at consistent times and staying active — this ACV claim has some supporting evidence to back it up. One small study suggested that vinegar may improve insulin sensitivity, which means that your body may be more sensitive to the way insulin is transporting glucose from the bloodstream into your cells where it can be used for energy. Another small study suggested that drinking a two-tablespoon shot of ACV at bedtime resulted in better fasting blood sugar levels the following morning.

However, in both cases, the evidence is based on very small studies, and it’s unclear whether there is any long-term benefit from using ACV to control blood sugar levels. Plus, people with diabetes who are taking insulin or other medications to control blood sugar should be careful with ACV since, in theory, there may be an additive effect that would necessitate adjusting your meds.

Apple cider vinegar may improve your cholesterol levels

While it’s far from proven, results from a small study suggested that taking ACV every day for 12 weeks along with going on a reduced-calorie diet lowered triglyceride and total cholesterol levels and led to improvements in healthy HDL-cholesterol levels. Though these results are promising, there are other, more extensively studied habits that can lead to better cholesterol levels. For example, the American Heart Association stresses the importance of a healthy diet that’s rich in veggies, fruits, pulses, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish, seafood and low-fat dairy products. They also suggest getting about 30 minutes of physical movement on most days. If you smoke, quitting is another proven way to help improve cholesterol levels.

Apple cider vinegar might promote better gut health

ACV is produced by fermenting apples, and like other fermented foods, ACV contains gut-friendly probiotic bacteria. While, in theory, there’s a benefit to boosting your probiotic intake with ACV, this particular food source hasn’t been studied, so there’s no proof that you’ll get this benefit from using it. Vinegars derived from fruit are also said to contain antioxidants — in particular, a type of plant-based antioxidant known as polyphenols. These polyphenols get broken down in the body and then they become food for beneficial bacteria, allowing the good bacteria to thrive in your gut. However, one study found that while antioxidants are indeed present in ACV, the fermentation process reduces your body’s ability to absorb them. More research is needed in this area before concrete conclusions can be drawn.

In the meantime, you can amp up the polyphenol content of your diet by eating plant-based foods, like fruits, veggies, whole grains and pulses, along with spices, cocoa powder, tea and coffee, which are rich sources of these substances.

Apple cider vinegar can erode your tooth enamel

Any highly acidic food or drink, including oranges, grapefruits, soda, wine, fruit juice and ACV, can damage your protective tooth enamel. The more frequently you consume these foods and drinks, the higher the risk. Consuming them before bedtime is especially damaging because the mouth produces less saliva at night, which means the acids are likely to get less diluted. You can minimize the risk to your teeth by swishing your mouth with water after consuming drinks with apple cider vinegar in them (or consuming any another highly acidic substance) and waiting at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth.

Apple cider vinegar won’t help you lose much weight

ACV might help a little, but don’t expect miracles. In one study, 39 participants drank about a tablespoon of ACV twice a day and went on a reduced-calorie diet, which resulted in an 8.8-pound weight loss compared to a 5-pound weight loss among the calorie-restricted eaters who didn’t drink the ACV. That may seem like a significant difference, but it’s important to apply some common sense here. Supplements, including ACV and apple cider vinegar pills, haven’t been shown to produce meaningful weight loss over a long period of time. This study was over a 12-week period — and both groups reduced their calorie levels from their baseline diets. It’s unclear whether there would be any benefit for those who simply add ACV to their daily menu or whether this advantage holds up past the 12-week mark.

It is clear, however, that eating more whole foods and reducing your processed food consumption is helpful for managing your weight. There are also other science-backed habits you can rely on. For example, getting enough sleep, paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness sensations and developing tools to help navigate life’s curveballs without turning to food to cope can all help. Developing these skills is a better long-term bet than doing shots of ACV.

Apple cider vinegar can help you enjoy other healthful foods

Though it may have some promising health properties on its own, much of the evidence for ACV comes from small, short-term studies of homogenous populations or from animal research that’s far from definitive. However, there is one solid benefit: ACV enhances the taste of other health-promoting foods, like veggies and pulses, which are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Using it to dress up these types of foods is a top way to enjoy the potential health benefits of ACV, as well as the more established benefits of eating a plant-focused, mostly whole-food — or minimally processed foods — diet.

NDTV News

7 Impressive Health Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise Other Than Weight Loss

  • July 21, 2020
7 Impressive Health Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise Other Than Weight Loss

Regular exercise can help control risk of potential diseases

Highlights

  • Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight
  • Cardio is beneficial for your heart health
  • You can ensure better sleep with the help of regular exercise

Aerobic exercise involves activities that involve large muscle group and gets your blood pumping. This involves a variety of exercises including brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, playing soccer and even heavy cleaning and gardening. Aerobic exercise and activities are often called cardio (cardiovascular). During these exercises, your heart rate increases and you breathe deeply. It maximises the amount of oxygen in your blood. Practicing aerobic exercise helps in weight loss. But not many are aware of the other health benefits these exercises many offer. Here are some amazing benefits you should not miss.

Health benefits of aerobic exercise other than weight loss

1. Regulates blood pressure

It is important to manage healthy blood pressure numbers to avoid the complications linked with it. Regular exercise contributes to healthy blood pressure numbers. People with hypertension are advised to exercise daily.

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Aerobic exercise may help control blood pressure numbers
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Control blood sugar levels

Diabetes requires constant management of blood sugar levels. Exercise is one of the effective ways that can help in controlling blood sugar levels. But you should consult an expert before adding cardio to your daily routine to avoid a sudden drop in blood sugars.

3. Boosts heart health

Aerobic exercise makes your heart work efficiently in pumping blood. It can also strengthen your heart health. Studies also recommend aerobic exercise for optimum cardiovascular health. It also controls risk factors linked with heart diseases like bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, unhealthy weight and more.

Also read: Exercise At Home: Follow These Workout Tips To Maximise Results

4. May reduce chronic pain

Aerobic exercise makes your muscles move. Aerobic exercise can help with better muscle function and endurance. It will also help in weight loss leading to less stress on the muscles.

Also read: Exercises to relieve back pain

5. Helps you sleep better

Inadequate sleep is linked to several health risks. Regular exercise can keep you energetic throughout the day and help you sleep better at night.

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Exercise can help you ensure better sleep
Photo Credit: iStock

6. Boost immunity

Healthy immune system ensures better protection against potential diseases. According to studies, aerobic exercise can boost immunity.

7. Improves your mental health

There is a strong relationship between your mental health and exercise. Exercise boosts mental health and freshens up your mind. Exercise is also linked with controlled symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

Also read: Walking Benefits: 30 Minutes Of Daily Walk Can Provide You With These 5 Long Lasting Benefits

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

Organic Sea Moss Heath Benefits

Organic Sea Moss Heath Benefits

  • July 17, 2020

Sea moss has been around the centuries but came to limelight recently while being used in body lotions, facial masks, powder, pills and dried seaweeds while being an organic sea moss supplement. Sea moss, which is also known as Irish sea moss, is a type of red algae which enhance your health and skin. The science has not yet discovered all its benefits, but it has turned out well in improving health benefits. Organic sea moss has been used for years in places like Ireland, Scotland, and Jamaica to help to boost the immune system. The sea moss is grown in the rocky parts of Atlantic coast of British Isles and around the parts of Europe including North America. People usually don’t consume it as it is, instead they prefer it in a gelly form which is created by boiling the raw are dried form in the water which is also used as a thickening agent. People of different cultures serve it as a drink mixed with milk, honey and sugar.

What are the benefits of sea moss?

Healthy digestive tract

You can add this sea moss in your morning smoothie which will soothe your respiratory and digestive tract. Sea –moss doesn’t add any flavour instead create a thick texture while acting as a soluble fibre. It not only makes you full but also move the stool through the GI tract. It is prebiotic, which makes it an essential fertilizer to support digestion. Sea moss is low in calorie and loaded with minerals like folate, which is essential in prenatal health.

Cure Thyroid

The highly rich iodine promotes the development of healthy breast tissue and also cures problems of thyroid hormones by regulating metabolism, brain development and encouragement of bones. These high immune-boosting nutrients like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc support to fight off cold and flu symptoms.

Healthy skin

The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties help in fighting issues like acne and skin ageing by lowering the level of microorganism in the skin. It also contains vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids, which help to hydrate and promote healthy skin cell function. People can use sea moss masks to cure eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and burns. It also improves cell growth and metabolism by releasing amino acids essential for protein and collagen synthesis to maintain smooth skin and silky hair. Creators of commercial lotions and cosmetic products often use sea moss as a skin-softening additive due to its natural skin-soothing properties.

Regulate metabolism

Though the little research on this ingredient has not helped concrete much evidence of these as they are challenging to study, its nutritional properties also vary upon the season and location and make hard to determine how the body absorbs the nutrient or metabolized it. It has vitamin B with a decent amount of riboflavin (B2) and folate (B9). Riboflavin helps in breaking down proteins, carbs, and fats, while folate is needed to form DNA and other genetic material. The folate then pairs up with B12; it also helps to create red blood cells.
Mood boosters

It is also known as mood boosters due to the presence of magnesium and potassium. The minerals present in it plays a crucial role in the functioning of the brain, especially when feeling low. It also plays a role in protecting brain tissue from degeneration and Parkinson’s disease.

Maintain healthy weight

Sea moss has a significant contribution to maintain a healthy weight by improving metabolism. This happens due to the natural presence of Fucoxanthin which helps in the prevention of growth of fatty tissues to reduce abdominal fat to combat obesity. It is an appetite suppressant which makes you feel fuller for a more extended period due to the high mineral content. You won’t be feeling to eat much, which will result in lower calorie intake and weight loss. This will also control your cravings for processed foods, trans (bad) fats, sweet foods, and caffeine. But if you continue consuming food and beverages with high fat, the chance of happening such reduces. To do so, the best method would be followed up by an increase in physical activity.

Conclusion

So these were some great uses of sea moss for our health benefits. So if you are unknown about its amazing facts till yet, its time to include this ingredient in your daily meals to offer some nutritional advantages.

Myths About Your Immune System

What Are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?

  • July 17, 2020

If you’re looking to eat your way to better health, don’t forget the spice cabinet. In particular, one vibrant yellow-orange…

If you’re looking to eat your way to better health, don’t forget the spice cabinet. In particular, one vibrant yellow-orange spice called turmeric has garnered headlines for its apparent ability to supply a range of health benefits.

“Turmeric is a popular spice, sometimes known as the ‘golden spice,’ that’s derived from the root of the turmeric plant,” says Reema Kanda, a registered dietitian nutritionist with the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, California. Part of the ginger family, turmeric hails from India and Southeast Asia and shows up frequently in cuisine from that region.

In addition to enhancing flavor and color, turmeric has long been revered for its therapeutic benefits. As such, it’s a key ingredient of certain Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. These two eastern health practices “have used turmeric for treatment of pain and inflammatory disorders” for centuries, Kanda explains.

[READ: Anti-inflammatory Diet: Foods to Eat and Avoid — or at Least Limit.]

Health Benefits

More recently, “western medicine has started to study this spice to better understand its benefits” because it seems there really could be something to using turmeric for a variety of health benefits, including:

Inflammation: reducing systemic inflammation and increasing the body’s ability to resist the effect of free radicals, chemical compounds that essentially age cells and can contribute to the development of chronic diseases.

Arthritis: relieving joint pain associated with arthritis. “The Natural Medicine Database reports that taking 500 milligrams of turmeric two to four times daily for four to twelve weeks can help ease symptoms that accompany osteoarthritis,” Kanda says.

Cognition: increasing levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a brain hormone that can help keep your brain more nimble and better able to fend off age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

Blood vessels: improving the ability of the lining of the blood vessels to repair themselves, which could reduce blood pressure, risk of blood clots and strokes and the risk of heart disease.

Cancer: slowing or halting the growth of cancer cells. “Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which means it’s anti-cancer,” says Daryl Gioffre, a celebrity nutritionist and author of “Get Off Your Acid: 7 Steps in 7 Days to Lose Weight, Fight Inflammation and Reclaim Your Health and Energy.” Many types of cancer thrive on inflammation throughout the whole body, and there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests turmeric might one day be used as not just a prevention, but also a treatment for cancer.

Immunity: boosting the immune system. “Turmeric has prebiotic-like properties, which enable it to positively influence gut microbiota, supporting the gut-immune connection,” says Acacia Wright, a registered dietitian at Orgain, a clean protein brand based in Irvine, California. Prebiotics are a kind of indigestible fiber that feed probiotics — the healthy microorganisms that live in the gut and contribute to a range of bodily functions and overall wellness. Improving the gut microbiome may make you less susceptible to a variety of infections and diseases.

[Read: Immunity-Boosting Smoothie Recipes.]

How Turmeric Works

Turmeric provides a solid dose of phytochemicals — plant compounds that help fight inflammation and oxidative stress, or the daily wear-and-tear our bodies endure every day. In addition, this spice contains plenty of vitamin C, which can boost the immune system, and is a good source of manganese, iron and potassium.

But when it comes to health benefits, turmeric’s biggest selling point is its hallmark compound: curcumin.

Research has indicated that curcumin may play a protective role in fighting inflammatory disease by helping reduce the body’s inflammatory response to everything from food and drink to stress and pollution. Kanda says this is important “because chronic inflammation promotes many disease states,” including:

Obesity.

Diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease.

— Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

— Certain types of cancers, including colon cancer.

Arthritis.

Depression.

Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic lung diseases.

Allergies.

Autoimmune disorders.

“Evidence supports that phytochemicals from natural foods such as spices and herbs are safe and effective therapies to potentially help reduce inflammation and can possibly be beneficial in prevention of inflammatory diseases,” Kanda says, though she adds that “further large-scale scientific evidence is still warranted to identify turmeric’s long-term effectiveness.”

Supplement Considerations

Overall, it seems that turmeric is a great spice to add to your cooking — and possibly even as a supplement — though many nutritionists, dietitians and doctors agree that it’s generally better to get all your nutritional needs met via whole foods rather than relying on supplements.

However, Kanda notes that research into the health benefits and potential risks of turmeric is still evolving. More work needs to be done until we know for certain how turmeric works, what the right dose is to prevent or treat certain conditions and whether there are any long-term drawbacks to using turmeric for health reasons.

One difficulty with turmeric is establishing how much of the curcumin is actually bioavailable, or able to be used by the body. “Most of the compound is excreted in feces and only traces appear in the blood,” Kanda notes. “What this means is more research is needed for identifying methods in improving the bioavailability by various delivery systems into the body.”

One thing that is known is that piperine, black pepper’s signature compound, can boost absorption of turmeric by 2000% according to some research. If you’re opting for a curcumin supplement, choose one that also contains piperine, which is often sold under the name BioPerine.

Kanda notes that if you’re supplementing with turmeric, be aware that some people who have consumed high levels of turmeric extracts have reported some mild side effects including stomach upset, dizziness or diarrhea. If you have anemia or low levels of iron, you should probably not be taking high doses of turmeric as it may inhibit the absorption of iron from your diet.

And if you’re going to have surgery, consider skipping the turmeric supplement for a while beforehand, as high doses of turmeric supplements have been associated with slower blood clotting. This could cause more bleeding during and after surgery.

As with all things related to supplements, be sure to speak with your doctor before you start taking anything to make sure there are no adverse interactions with other medications or supplements you may be taking and to make sure that supplementation makes sense for you.

[See: The Best Spices for your Health.]

Cooking With Turmeric

While science is still working out the particulars of supplementation, Kanda says “we can all reap the benefits of turmeric by using whole or ground dried turmeric in cooking.” Try adding it to poultry, seafood and lentil-based dishes to enhance color and as a flavor accent. “You can sprinkle it in any dish along with your other favorite seasonings, such as thyme, cumin or garlic. And if you enjoy mixing marinades, try adding turmeric.”

You can also add it to healthy drinks such as smoothies or teas. “Golden milk” is a delicious mixture of milk and turmeric that also provides protein and calcium.

Tropical Turmeric Smoothie
Want a tropical turmeric treat? Kanda offers the following mango turmeric smoothie recipe that’s easy and delicious:

— 1/3 cup plain yogurt.

— 1/3 cup almond milk.

— 1/2 inch peeled, fresh ginger root.

— 1/2 inch peeled turmeric root (substitute with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder if you cannot find fresh turmeric).

— 1 roasted golden beet (peeled).

— 3/4 cup frozen mango.

Place the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

More from U.S. News

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10 Cheap Plant-Based Meals

Foods That Can Support Your Immunity

What Are the Health Benefits of Turmeric? originally appeared on usnews.com

Benefits of Elderberry | Is Elderberry Good for You?

Benefits of Elderberry | Is Elderberry Good for You?

  • July 17, 2020

Getting sick can sideline your training, which is why we’re often looking for ways to boost our immune systems, especially during cold and flu season, and even more so now in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. (For COVID-19, it’s important to remember that currently there is no cure, but keeping a safe distance from others, wearing a mask in public, and hand washing are currently the most effective ways to help slow the spread.)

But one “miracle” worker for boosting your immunity you may have heard of is elderberry. Despite many claims, is there any truth it can help fend off colds and flus or help with inflammation? To find out, we tapped Maya Feller, R.D., C.D.N., owner of Maya Feller Nutrition and Starla Garcia, M.Ed., R.D.N., L.D. owner of The Healthy Shine to break down the benefits of elderberry.

What is elderberry?

Elderberry is a dark purple berry that comes from the European elder tree. The berries are tart in flavor and need to be cooked to be eaten, which is why most products that tout the ingredient are in the form of syrups, extracts, gummies or tablets. Elderberry has been used in traditional medicines throughout history, most notably for its properties to help with cold and flu symptoms, says Feller.

What are the benefits of elderberries?

Elderberries are packed with vitamin C and anthocyanins—a type of flavanoid that provides antioxidants, gives the berries their rich colors, and are known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.

As elderberries are high in antioxidants, it may be able to help boost your immune system, reduce inflammation, and protect your heart, Garcia says. And, it’s high in both vitamin C and vitamin A, which are known to reduce inflammation and promote immune function, she adds. Additionally, because of the vitamin C, it may help with healing a cut or scrape, for instance if you fell during a trail run or got tripped up during a race.

Does taking elderberry actually work?

A study published in Nutrients showed that air travelers who took elderberry syrup had a shorter duration of cold symptoms that were less severe than the control group who did not. Another study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine Research found that those who started taking elderberry extract during the onset of traditional flu symptoms saw their symptoms end four days earlier than those taking a placebo. And, a study published in Complimentary Therapies in Medicine found that elderberry may help reduce upper respiratory symptoms during a cold or flu.

So, taking elderberry at the onset of symptoms could potentially help alleviate the severity of symptoms of the common cold and flu, Feller says. And, taking elderberry may help relieve nasal congestion and upper respiratory symptoms like a cough, Garcia adds.

How can elderberries benefit runners?

Elderberries have anti-inflammatory properties which may may be especially helpful in aiding recovery for runners.

“As an athlete, adding elderberry to your diet could potentially help you recover faster from injuries and muscle soreness, since overall systemic inflammation may be decreased,” Feller says.

Elderberry can also alleviate constipation, so if a runner is experiencing GI problems, it may be helpful, too, says Garcia.

What are the side effects of elderberry?

Consumption of elderberry seems to be generally regarded as safe, and carries a low risk of adverse effects, says Feller. However, the leaves, stems, raw and unripe berries, and other plant parts of the elder tree contain a toxic substance and, if not properly prepared, may cause nausea, vomiting, and severe diarrhea.

And keep in mind that it’s a diuretic, which can cause you to urinate more often leading to imbalances such as dehydration or hypernatremia (having too much sodium in your bloodstream) or hyponatremia (having too little sodium in your bloodstream).

“I always encourage people to be cautious of how supplements may interact with medication,” Garcia says. As with any supplement, it’s important for the individual to have a clear understanding of any underlying health conditions, explains Feller.

How often can you take elderberry?

“I encourage if you want to take it, be sure it’s taken in moderation,” says Garcia. “It may not be to a person’s benefits to take it every day, especially as there is more research being done on benefits and dosing.”

For most people, it likely wouldn’t hurt to add an elderberry supplement. “However, it is not a replacement for the seasonal flu shot. A high-quality supplement backed by science should be selected, and as always, consult your doctor or credentialed healthcare practitioner before taking any new supplements,” Feller says.

There are several elderberry supplement options and preparations, such as gummies, lozenges, syrups and teas, but the most popular and best way to consume elderberry is in syrup form. There is still more research needed on dosing, but in general, follow the dosage instructions on the packaging and consult with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your diet. When consuming elderberry, it’s important to read the product label and to be mindful of added sugars, Feller adds.

Bottom line: While elderberry may help shorten the duration of the cold or flu, it’s not a cure-all and should not replace other therapies such as a seasonal flu shot, medicine for severe symptoms, and regular hand-washing. And, it’s important to note that when it comes to COVID-19, there is no cure to date. While you may have seen elderberry touted as a way to cure or reduce COVID-19, it is not recommend as supplementation to cure or a way to reduce COVID-19 symptoms, Feller says. And, there currently is no strong evidence to support taking elderberry as protection against COVID-19.


The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly developing situation. For the most up-to-date information, check resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly.

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