Man in the shower

The Health and Fitness Benefits of a Cold Shower

  • October 21, 2020

It’s Time You Start Turning That Shower Dial to Cold

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As temperatures start to plummet, you pack away your summer wardrobe and unwrap your winter layers, the last thing you would expect to do is take a cold shower. However, research has shown that cold showers can be immensely beneficial for the body and mind, often resulting in a strengthened immune system, mood boost, pain relief, and body regulation.

RELATED: Top Health and Fitness Trends for 2020

If you thought cold showers were limited to hard-core athletes, ice bucket challengers, or to reduce unwanted urges – think again, as the likes of Tony Robbins, Robin Sharma, Miranda Kerr, Madonna, and Lady Gaga are all big advocates. Not to mention, Ian Fleming’s iconic 007 has been widely referenced for taking “Scottish Showers” (a piping hot shower immediately followed by one-minute of ice-cold water).


When Did the Cold Shower Trend Start?


Contrary to popular belief, the practice of diving into a cold shower is not new. Hippocrates and Plato have both been recorded as early adopters, in addition to people from ancient Asia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Though in the last decade a trend seems to have formed, with the concept most recently being highlighted in a Goop Lab episode, featuring Dutch athlete Wim Hof.

Hof, nicknamed the “The Iceman” is notably the most referenced on Google and amongst cold water enthusiasts for his brave ideals. He recently released a book, detailing his method, but in a nutshell, the foundation of it is built on breathing techniques, cold therapy (submerging the body in icy cold water or snow), and commitment. Sure, this might all sound a bit extreme but research shows that it can have a positive impact on your health and fitness the more it’s practiced.

If you want to start small with your cold dips, no judgment here. Triathlete Joel Runyon, who delivered a Ted Talk on his challenge to complete 30 days of cold showers, swears that taking cold showers for just five-minutes a day made him both mentally and physically stronger because it allowed him to embrace feeling uncomfortable. This challenge became a habit and lead him to complete an Ironman and Ultramarathon, start his own business, and get into the best shape of his life.


What Happens When You Take a Cold Shower?


Let’s break the ice. There’s a reason why the majority of people are not rushing to take cold showers. However, the minority who do give it a go more than once, tend to stick with it. The act of engulfing your body into cold water triggers a fight or flight response, releasing a surge of ‘stress hormones,’ including cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline (the adrenal hormone that raises your spirits). This then makes your heart rate shoot up and causes you to breathe harder.

If you decide to keep at it, this process will become like second nature to you and you will be better able to control stressful situations by calming your chemical and hormonal changes – ‘hormetic stressors’ – that also occur when you exercise.


RELATED: How to Boost Your Immune System


Health and Fitness Benefits of Taking a Cold Shower


1. Boosts Your Mood

Seeking your next pick-me-up? The British Medical Journal found that wild swimming (swimming outdoors, commonly in cold water) has neuroprotective and therapeutic effects that can instantly provide an energy lift to those who have symptoms of depression. While you might not have access to a pool or large body of water suitable for swimming, a similar experience can be recreated in your morning shower. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to feel more revitalized and alert in the early a.m?

In some cases, cold hydrotherapy (water therapy) has been used as an alternative treatment to antidepressant medication, as it has been linked to having similar effects on the body. When you shiver, you breathe harder, so the body can take in more oxygen, and that gets distributed faster to keep the body warm which can feel like a mental boost.

In the TV series Easy Ways to Live Well, Celebrity chef and self-proclaimed worrier Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tried taking three- to five-minute cold showers every day (under the guidance of Dr. Zoe William) for a process called cross-adaption; to help calm his anxiety. The results showed, after completing a series of psychological tests, his scores for tension and anxiety had decreased by 50 percent, his stress response had lowered, and three months post-experiment he still practices cold water therapy every day.

2. Relieves Pain

An ice pack or a cold compress are commonly used for pain relief, and cold water in the shower works no differently. It’s been said that Hippocrates recommended bathing in spring water to ‘allay lassitude’ and often now, people are prescribed the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to alleviate pain and swelling.

Ever felt muscle tightness or throbbing after a strenuous workout? This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). With a cold shower, you can help reduce any swelling and inflammation in your body that is occurring from DOMS. Not to mention, the cold will reduce your perception of pain, since it slows the nervous system’s transmission of pain signals to the brain. Research has actually found that taking cold water baths after working out was more beneficial in helping sore muscles than simply resting.

3. Supports the Immune System

We all strive to be pillars of health. While some may reach for a multivitamin, burn soothing oils, and/or eat all the organic produce they can get their hands on, adding a burst of frost to your day should be added to that list of immune-boosting practices, too.

Within the last five years, there has been new evidence that shows a quick 30- to 90-second hot-to-cold shower helped decrease participants’ number of sick days at work and improved their overall productivity.

Gillian Ehrlich, DNP, ARNP, and Gut Council Member for Jetson Probiotics says “the gut holds almost 70 percent of the immune system and cold water immersion stimulates immune activity, as it can increase a whole variety of immune cells.”

4. Improves Circulation

While exercise and movement are, of course, critical components in maintaining strong circulation, cold water can help give it a boost, as well. Since cold water stimulates blood flow around your vital organs, when done regularly, it can help muscles and other tissues repair, meaning you will be at a reduced chance of headaches, muscle cramping, high blood pressure, and blood clots.

5. Aids Weight Loss

Your body burns calories when it’s trying to keep you warm – it’s a fact. If you start to shiver your body will burn more calories and can, in turn, produce more brown adipose tissue aka brown fat. This is a tissue we are all born with, it breaks down blood sugar and fat molecules to create heat and maintain body temperature.

A study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, found that taking a cold shower every day could help you lose up to nine pounds a year.

6. Benefits Hair and Skin

Consistent use of hot water strips away some of the natural protective oils from your skin and scalp. If you suffer from skin irritation or dandruff, it’s recommended that you turn the tap to cold, or at least warm in your next shower. This will make a big difference long-term for both your hair and skin to help soothe, brighten, refresh, and shrink pores.

Celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross of SkinLab says “for the skin, a cold shower will help reduce inflammation, swelling, and puffiness. Whether it’s a sauna, an ice bath, or a cold shower, less is more and it shouldn’t be for more than 60 to 90 seconds. You don’t have to worry about going to a cryo facility and can easily create the same effect at home.”

7. Could Save Your Life

Dr. Chris van Tulleken, on the Trust Me, I’m a Doctor video series, explained that if you fall into cold water, the temperature often triggers a shock reaction that makes you gasp and inhale water, which can be a fatal response. Conditioning yourself with cold showers will give your body the tools it needs to respond in a calmer fashion, should you ever run into this kind of emergency scenario.


How to Start Taking Cold Showers


Here’s the fun part. Depending on your comfort threshold, you may want to jump straight into that five-minute cold shower or gradually build up your tolerance by easing yourself into it, going from hot-to-warm-to-cold. There is no right or wrong way to start, but keep in mind, the colder the water the more benefits you’ll reap. Ridge Davis, a Puma sponsored athlete and trainer at The Wall Fitness recommends you take a cold one “Five to six times a week. Starting with one-minute each day and increasing the time week after week until your entire shower is at a cold temperature.”

Also, don’t forget to have a warm towel nearby when you’re done.

Note: If you have any medical conditions please contact your doctor before attempting to take a cold shower.


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GoodMills Innovation launches immunity-boosting blend for ‘indulgent baked goods with benefits’

GoodMills Innovation launches immunity-boosting blend for ‘indulgent baked goods with benefits’

  • October 20, 2020

According to Jutta Schock, head of Marketing at GoodMills Innovation, until recently, a strong immune system was a topic mainly relegated to the winter cold and flu season.

Today, however, there is more focus on its importance across all seasons and across all generations.

A vigorous disease-fight system is also vital in this age of coronavirus.

Healthy immune system

To respond to demand, GoodMills Innovation has developed GOOD Fibres 10+1.

The mix consists of dietary fibres from 10 different sources, including cereals, vegetables and fruits, which provide valuable food for the body’s intestinal flora and thereby play a key role in supporting a healthy immune system.

The high-fibre mix also enhances its better-for-you proposition with the addition of wheat germ, an original superfood that provides nutrients like folic acid and vitamin E and spermidine, a substance produced naturally in the body to stimulate autophagy, a type of ‘cell recycling’.

Besides dietary fibre, the mix’s components contain other valuable nutrients. For example, tartary buckwheat is rich in zinc and the secondary phytochemical rutin, giving it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

According to the German ingredients supplier, under EU regulations, baked products containing GOOD Fibres 10+1 are entitled to feature immune system and intestinal health claims, when used in sufficient doses.

The ingredient also scores high when it comes to dough yield, dough and processing properties, and baking volume. The water-binding properties of its dietary fibres translate into prolonged freshness, and from sensory viewpoint, the wheatgerm and 10 dietary fibre sources add to the flavour profile.

How innovation can boost the ‘overlooked’ and ‘undervalued’ health benefits of cereals

How innovation can boost the ‘overlooked’ and ‘undervalued’ health benefits of cereals

  • October 15, 2020

The potential health benefits provided by cereals are ‘often overlooked or undervalued’ as part of a nutritious diet, a new review of agri-nutrition research and dietary guidance has concluded. 

The study chalked this up to two issues. Firstly, it noted many cereal crops with varying nutritional qualities are ‘indiscriminately’ grouped under the broad category of ‘staples’. Secondly, the researchers observed that cereals are often considered to be a major source of dietary energy alone. Reducing nutritional attributes to macro- and micro-nutrients in this way fails to factor in the presence of bioactive food components such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols, and compounds that comprise dietary fibre.

Increased consumption could combat NCDs

In the paper, entitled Agri-nutrition research: Revisiting the contribution of maize and wheat to human nutrition and health​, the authors urged researchers and policymakers to embrace the ‘multiple dietary components’ of cereals to address under- and over-nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and the growing global problem of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

“Through increasing the availability of, and access to, healthy foods derived from cereals, we can better address the growing triple burden of malnutrition that many countries are facing,”​ said co-author Olaf Erenstein, director of CIMMYT’s socioeconomics program.

“To feed the world within planetary boundaries, current intakes of whole grain foods should more than double, and address tricky issues like the current over-processing, to make the most of the nutrition potential of maize and wheat.”

8 Impressive Benefits of Carrot Juice

8 Impressive Benefits of Carrot Juice

  • October 13, 2020

Carrot juice is extracted from whole carrots and extremely nutritious.

It not only provides potassium and vitamin C but also is very rich in provitamin A. Drinking carrot juice is thought to boost immunity and improve eye and skin health, among other benefits (1).

Here are 8 impressive benefits of carrot juice.

Carrot juice is low in calories and carbs while packing numerous nutrients. One cup (240 mL) contains (1):

  • Calories: 96
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: less than 1 gram
  • Carbs: 22 grams
  • Sugars: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin A (as provitamin A): 255% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 23% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 31% of the DV
  • Potassium: 15% of the DV

Carrot juice also provides the carotenoid pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants fight unstable molecules called free radicals (1, 2).

The main carotenoid in carrot juice is beta carotene, which is responsible for carrots’ orange color. Your body converts it into the antioxidant vitamin A.

Summary

Carrot juice is loaded with vitamin A and high in vitamins C and K. It also contains plant compounds called carotenoids, which act as antioxidants.

Carrot juice contains high amounts of nutrients that benefit your eyes.

Specifically, 1 cup (250 ml) of carrot juice packs over 250% of the DV for vitamin A, mostly in the form of provitamin A carotenoids like beta carotene (1).

Vitamin A is vital for eye health. Several studies associate the intake of fruits and vegetables that contain provitamin A with a decreased risk of blindness and age-related eye diseases (3, 4).

What’s more, carrot juice is an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two other carotenoids that accumulate in your eyes and shield them from damaging light (1).

A high dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin may lower your risk of eye issues, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One analysis of 6 studies linked a high dietary intake of these compounds to a 26% lower risk of late AMD, compared with a low intake (4, 5).

Summary

Carrot juice is a very good source of carotenoids, including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are vital for eye health and may protect against AMD.

Carrot juice may give your immune system a boost.

Both vitamins A and C found in carrot juice act as antioxidants and protect immune cells from free radical damage (5, 6).

Additionally, this juice is a rich source of vitamin B6, providing over 30% of the DV in 1 cup (240 mL). Not only is vitamin B6 necessary for an optimal immune response, but deficiency in it is also linked to weakened immunity (1, 7).

In fact, one rodent study found that inadequate dietary intake of vitamin B6 prohibited the growth of immune cells called lymphocytes (7).

All the same, human studies are needed.

Summary

As a rich source of vitamins A, B6, and C, carrot juice may help strengthen your immune system.

Test-tube studies suggest that certain compounds in carrot juice may protect against cancer.

Specifically, polyacetylenes, beta carotene, and lutein from carrot juice extract may be effective against human leukemia cells (8, 9).

One test-tube study found that treating leukemia cells with carrot juice extracts for 72 hours led to cancer cell death and stopped the cell growth cycle (9).

Another test-tube study reported similar results but indicated that polyacetylenes — not beta carotene or lutein — are the main anticancer agents in carrot juice (8).

While these results appear promising, few human studies are available.

A 2-week study in 22 healthy young men found that drinking approximately 1.5 cups (330 mL) of carrot juice per day didn’t significantly affect biomarkers in feces related to colon cancer. Still, this was a short study with a limited sample size (10).

Overall, more extensive research is needed. Carrot juice should not be considered a cancer treatment.

Summary

Compounds in carrot juice have been shown to trigger cancer cell death in test-tube studies. However, more human research is needed.

Drinking small amounts of carrot juice may help lower blood sugar levels.

In particular, studies in rats with type 2 diabetes show that fermented carrot juice decreases blood sugar and improves other related markers. That’s because the juice contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that affect gut bacteria associated with diabetes (11, 12, 13).

Another rodent study found that purple carrot juice boosts blood sugar control due to the anti-inflammatory effect of its anthocyanin pigments (14).

Yet, these are very specific types of carrot juice. It isn’t known whether regular carrot juice has similar effects.

Even so, carrot juice has a low glycemic index (GI) — a measure of how much a certain food increases blood sugar levels. Consuming low glycemic foods and beverages may help improve blood sugar management in people with diabetes (15, 16).

Thus, carrot juice may be a good replacement for high GI fruit juices. However, it’s important to keep portion sizes in check, as too much may spike blood sugar levels.

Summary

Limited animal studies suggest that fermented and purple carrot juice improve blood sugar control. While regular carrot juice also has a low GI, you should be sure to drink it in very moderate amounts.

The nutrients in carrot juice may be particularly beneficial for skin health.

One cup (250 ml) of carrot juice provides over 20% of the DV for vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient necessary for collagen production. This compound is the most abundant fibrous protein in your body, and it provides elasticity and strength to your skin (1, 17).

Additionally, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect your skin from free radical damage (17).

The beta carotene in carrot juice may likewise aid your skin. One study found that a carotenoid-rich diet may protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage and improve skin appearance (18).

Summary

Carrot juice provides vitamin C and beta carotene, two antioxidants that may protect your skin from damage. Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of collagen, which strengthens skin.

Carrot juice may help reduce risk factors for heart disease.

First, carrot juice is a good source of potassium, a mineral that plays an important role in proper blood pressure regulation. A high potassium diet has been shown to protect against high blood pressure and stroke (1, 19, 20, 21).

Antioxidant compounds in carrot juice may also benefit your heart.

A 3-month study in 17 adults with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels found that drinking 2 cups (480 mL) of carrot juice per day significantly increased blood antioxidants and decreased the oxidation of blood lipids that may lead to heart disease (22).

Still, more human research is needed.

Summary

The potassium and antioxidants in carrot juice may help lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for heart disease.

The carotenoids in carrot juice are thought to promote liver health.

Several studies indicate that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of carotenoids protect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) (23, 24).

NAFLD occurs when fat accumulates on your liver, typically as a result of poor diet, excess weight, or obesity. It may eventually progress to liver scarring and lasting damage.

An 8-week study in rats found that carrot juice reduced some markers of NAFLD. Another rodent study produced similar results, revealing that carrot juice didn’t reduce fat on the liver but decreased inflammatory blood markers (25, 26).

Nonetheless, human studies are needed.

Summary

Due to its high amount of anti-inflammatory carotenoids, carrot juice may protect your liver against conditions like NAFLD. Yet, more research is necessary.

While carrot juice is perfectly safe for most people, there are a few precautions to keep in mind.

Some carrot juices, especially freshly prepared varieties, may not have been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. Pregnant women, older adults, young children, and those with compromised immune systems should avoid unpasteurized carrot juice.

Additionally, drinking very large amounts of carrot juice may lead to carotenemia, a condition that turns your skin yellow-orange as a result of high blood levels of beta carotene (27).

While it’s not harmful, it can be alarming. Temporarily removing sources of beta carotene from your diet typically resolves the issue.

Finally, carrot juice has less fiber than whole carrots and contains natural sugars. Since the lower fiber content means that its sugars are absorbed more quickly, drinking too much may spike your blood sugar levels.

While carrot juice’s low GI means that it doesn’t increase your blood sugar as much as other juices, you should still be careful to moderate your intake if you have diabetes — especially if you drink it on its own (15).

Summary

Some varieties of carrot juice may not be pasteurized and should be avoided by certain populations, including pregnant women. Drinking too much may also temporarily change your skin color.

Carrot juice is incredibly nutritious, providing potassium, several carotenoids, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Drinking this veggie juice may help improve eye health, boost your immune system, and strengthen skin. However, more extensive human research is needed.

Since it contains natural sugars, you may want to drink it in moderation.

Rich in antioxidants, pomegranate is one of the healthiest fruits to include in your diet.

From releasing stress to boosting memory, here are 6 benefits of pomegranate – health

  • October 13, 2020

If the bright colour and unique shape of pomegranates is not enough to lure you, then we think its health benefits will surely win you over! Rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, pomegranate is a nutrient-dense fruit that you consume regularly without a doubt!

Consuming this fruit regularly can really boost your health. Excited to find out? Let’s tell you all about it!

1. STRENGTHENS YOUR BONES

If you are looking for something that can naturally boost your bone health, then look no further than the pomegranate. The fruit helps to prevent loss of bone density, because of its high content of flavonoids. These flavonoids fight any inflammation in the body, which otherwise leads to problems like cartilage damage and osteoarthritis.

Moreover, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that pomegranate extract can block enzymes which are responsible for the damage in joints amongst people with osteoarthritis.

2. RELEASES STRESS

Pomegranate is known to reduce oxidative stress from the body, but apart from that, it can also help lower psychological stress. A study conducted by the Queen Margaret University found that people who consumed pomegranate juice regularly had lower levels of cortisol hormones in their body. So, now you might want to munch on some pomegranate, post a stressful day?

3. BOOSTS IMMUNITY

Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which make it a great immune-boosting food. The vitamin C helps to boost antibodies, which in turn, helps your body to fight the disease-causing germs.

4. AIDS IN DIGESTION

Pomegranate is a great source of fibre, and we all know the importance of fibre for a healthy digestive system. Adding pomegranate to your diet is the easiest and tastiest way of enhancing health!

5. IMPROVES MEMORY

In a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was found that only about two grams of pomegranate extract can prevent deficit in memory. In another study, they also found that consuming about 250 ml of pomegranate juice can improve visual and verbal memory power.

6. KEEPS THE HEART HEALTHY

Pomegranate has proven to lower blood pressure. A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research made the participants consume about 150 ml of pomegranate juice daily for a span of two weeks. After two weeks, they recorded a significant reduction in their blood pressure. And as you know hypertension is one of the leading causes of heart strokes. So, consume pomegranate regularly to boost your heart health.

But if you are a heart patient do not make any changes without consulting your doctor first.

All set to nosh on pomegranate? Do we hear a BIG yes?

(This story was originally published on HealthShots.com)

You will never do without … the unexpected benefits of vitamin...

You will never do without … the unexpected benefits of vitamin…

  • October 11, 2020

To maintain your health, one needs to exercise regularly, sleep well, drink enough water and eat a diet rich in all nutrients and powerful antioxidants, especially vitamin C.

A recent study by the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru (IISC) indicates that vitamin C eliminates and kills Mycobacterium smegmatis, a non-pathogenic bacteria. In addition to health problems, vitamin C also helps fight any fungal infections of the skin and nails. It is recommended to consume at least 500 mg of vitamin C daily as it helps boost immunity, and reduces the brutality and duration of colds, flu, and infections from viruses.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen the body’s natural defenses. Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. When these free radicals come together, it can favor a condition known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases. Studies show that eating more vitamin C can increase levels of antioxidants in the blood by up to 30 percent, which helps the body’s natural fortification to fight infections.

One of the main reasons people take vitamin C supplements is to boost or restore their immunity.

* It stimulates the production of lymphocytes and phagocytes, which protect the body from infection.

Vitamin C also helps white blood cells function more efficiently while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful particles, such as free radicals.

* Studies have also shown that vitamin C may shorten wound-healing time.

Low levels of vitamin C have been linked to poor health outcomes. People with pneumonia tend to have low levels of vitamin C, and vitamin C supplementation has been shown to reduce recovery time.

As far as your skin is concerned, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals. It is an essential part of the skin’s defense mechanism. It is strongly transferred to the skin, where it acts as an antioxidant and helps to strengthen the skin barrier. But its skin-protecting benefits are not limited to its antioxidant properties. It has so many other skin healing properties that it deserves a permanent place in your medicine cabinet. Firstly, it is very acidic, when used topically and the skin is stimulated to heal itself by speeding up the production of collagen and elastin.

One of the easiest ways to increase your immunity against infection is to boost your intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that must be obtained from the diet or supplements. It has been linked to many wonderful health benefits, such as increasing levels of antioxidants, lowering blood pressure, boosting immunity, protecting skin from infection and many more. Vitamin C supplementation is a great and simple way to boost one’s immunity.

These were the details of the news You will never do without … the unexpected benefits of vitamin… for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

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From boosting immunity to improving heart health, 5 incredible benefits of mustard oil

From boosting immunity to improving heart health, 5 incredible benefits of mustard oil

  • October 8, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has made us all more than cautious about our health. From eating right to trying different kadha recipes, people have left no stone unturned when it comes to boosting their immunity.

But a slew of Indian manufacturers have been advertising food products ranging from cereals, biscuits, honey and some Ayurvedic formulations that promise to boost your immunity.

Experts in the field have cautioned customers against these claims, saying such shortcuts for boosting body’s defence is not an ideal solution.

However experts agree that the use of mustard oil in cooking and for non-edible purposes works wonders as an immunity booster.

Mustard oil has been used traditionally and is full of health benefits. The oil is loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that are essential for maintaining a healthy cholesterol balance in the body. Mustard oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which protects our cardiovascular health.

The oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties and helps the digestive tract from harmful infections.

The optimum range of omega 3, omega 5 fatty acids and vitamin E provides the body with required nutritive value and boosts the immune system.

Here are 5 health benefits of mustard oil

IndiaTV-English News

Ayush Ministry Kadha health benefits covid 19 pandemic kadha immunity boosting

  • October 7, 2020
ayush ministry
Image Source : PTI

No evidence that ‘kadha’ damages liver: AYUSH ministry

The AYUSH ministry on Tuesday dismissed claims that prolonged consumption of ‘kadha’, recommended as a preventive health measure for boosting immunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, damages the liver, saying it is a “wrong notion” as ingredients used for preparing it are used in cooking at home.

Speaking at a press briefing, secretary, AYUSH Ministry, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, said ingredients like cinnamon, basil and black pepper used for preparing the ‘kadha’ have a positive effect on the respiratory system.

The Ministry of AYUSH had in March issued some self-care guidelines as preventive health measures for boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of the guidelines, among other things, it recommended drinking herbal tea or ‘kadha’ (decoction) made from basil, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger, and raisins once or twice a day.

“There is no evidence that it (kadha) damages the liver. It is a wrong notion because the ingredients that go into the ‘kadha’ are used as masala in cooking at home,” Kotecha said.

He, however, added that studies are ongoing to determine how effective these ingredients can be in the battle against COVID-19.

On the protocol for the clinical management of COVID-19, which was released earlier in the day by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Kotecha said it is to be used in addition to following COVID-appropriate behaviour and standard treatment protocol and is not a “replacement” for the same.

Kotecha mentioned that the protocol has been brought out considering the Ayurveda literature and clinical experience, empirical evidence and biological plausibility and also emerging trends of ongoing clinical studies.

The ‘National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for Management of COVID-19’ lists dietary measures, yoga and ayurvedic herbs and formulations such as Ashwagandha and AYUSH-64 for the prevention of coronavirus infection and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases.

The AYUSH ministry, in the protocol document, pointed out that the current understanding indicates a good immune system is vital for the prevention of coronavirus infection and to safeguard one from disease progression.

The protocol suggests use of medicines such as Ashwagandha, Guduchi Ghana Vati or Chyawanaprasha as prophylactic care for high-risk population and primary contacts of patients.

It recommends consumption of Guduchi Ghana Vati, Guduchi and Pippali or AYUSH 64 for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients for prevention of disease progression to symptomatic and severe forms and to improve recovery rate.

Guduchi and Pippali, and AYUSH 64 tablets can be given to mild coronavirus infected patients, it said.

The protocol also mentions the dose of these medicines to be taken. The guidelines stated that in addition to these medicines, general and dietary measures have to be followed.

Individuals with moderate to severe coronavirus infection may make an informed choice of treatment option and all severe cases will be referred, the protocol said.

Physicians have to decide useful formulations from the list or substitutable classical medicines based upon their clinical judgement, suitability, availability and regional preferences.

The dose may be adjusted based upon the patient’s age, weight, and condition of the disease, the ministry said.

The document also listed Ashwagandha, Chyawanprasha or Rasayana Churna for post-COVID-19 management in order to prevent lung complications like fibrosis, fatigue and mental health.

Further, to improve respiratory and cardiac efficiency, to reduce stress and anxiety and enhance immunity, the ministry has listed Yoga Protocol for Primary Prevention of COVID- 19.

The document also mentions Yoga Protocol for Post COVID-19 care (including care for COVID-19 patients) in order to improve pulmonary function and lung capacity, reduce stress and anxiety and improve muco-ciliary clearance.

“This protocol and its annexure are approved by the Chairman, Interdisciplinary Committee for the inclusion of Ayurveda and Yoga in the management of mild COVID-19 and approved by the empowered committee of the Interdisciplinary AYUSH Research and Development Taskforce on COVID-19, both constituted by the Ministry of AYUSH,” the document said.

The ministry also recommended gargling with warm water with a pinch of turmeric and salt, nasal instillation/application of medicated oil (Anu taila or Shadbindu taila), plain oil or cow’s ghee once or twice a day, especially before going out and after coming back home, steam inhalation with carrom seeds, mint or eucalyptus oil once a day, moderate physical exercises and following yoga protocol as general measures.

Dietary measures include use of warm water or boiled with herbs like ginger, coriander, basil or cumin seeds etc., for drinking purpose, drinking golden milk (half teaspoon turmeric powder in 150 ml hot milk) once at night (avoid in case of indigestion) and taking Ayush Kadha or Kwath (hot infusion or decoction) once a day. 

(With PTI inputs)

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Gut health benefits begin in utero

Gut health benefits begin in utero

  • October 7, 2020

The gut’s microbiome — a complex, dense mixture of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes — plays an integral role in human health. A new Yale study reveals just how early the microbiome is formed and begins delivering this benefit. 

For the first time, Yale scientists report that components of the gut microbiome begin to mature in utero, much earlier than previously known. They suspect that the bacterial byproducts they detected at this early stage are transferred from mother to baby via the placenta. Their findings appear in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal JCI Insight

For years, Dr. Liza Konnikova, assistant professor of pediatrics and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, and her team have studied immune system development in the human gastrointestinal tract. In their earlier research, they found evidence of mature adaptive immune cells in fetuses in utero. 

It led us to ask: How are those immune cells maturing?” Konnikova said. “What is educating them?” 

The new paper provides the first clues. The scientists studied 31 intestinal samples from humans at three different phases of development: the fetal stage, infancy, and later childhood. To their surprise, they found bacterial byproducts in all the samples, suggesting that the microbial components may be present prior to delivery. 

While it’s uncertain whether these bacterial-derived metabolites are transferred to fetuses via the placenta, Konnikova said that seems likely. In the fetal samples, they detected numerous food metabolites, including vitamins B1 and B5, which likely come from the mother’s prenatal vitamins. 

This transfer of maternal microbiome to support the growing fetus would have important evolutionary value, Konnikova said.

Exposure to bacterial byproducts is priming your immune system to be educated about ‘good bugs’ or beneficial bacteria,” she said. “Later, when infants are exposed to these bacteria, they won’t react with an inflammation storm.”

She and her team are already engaged in a follow-up study to definitively answer whether moms are passing on this immune system support. 

In the meantime, the discovery that fetuses contain a robust bacterial metabolome (a complete set of metabolites) might suggest the potential for vaccines to be delivered in utero, among other benefits, Konnikova said. “We know some infants don’t respond to vaccines,” she said. “There may be a possibility to target some vaccines earlier.”

And if the mother is providing the bacteria needed to boost the baby’s immunity, she added, there might also be an opportunity to build up her microbiome to confer better immunity to the growing baby. 

9 Health Benefits of Limes: Are Limes Good For You?

9 Health Benefits of Limes: Are Limes Good For You?

  • September 30, 2020

Lime, this precious little green fruit. Some might recognize it from the gin cocktails and vodka drinks they are often put in, some of you might have tried its taste in salads or even cake. We believe we can all agree that not only does lime look good, it’s also tasty. However, there is much more to limes besides their beauty and taste. Science has proven that limes have their fair share of health benefits.

Do you want to know what those benefits are? Then, take a look at the list we compiled of nine benefits of limes.

1. They Can Give Immunity a Boost

Limes are quite rich in vitamin C. We’ve all heard of vitamin C’s importance for foods that boost immunity. In numerous studies that have been done on the subject of immunity, vitamin C seems to be the nutrient that impacts the growth of the white blood cells — the cells that fight against viruses and infections. Even if the white cells couldn’t overcome the viruses, vitamin C shortens the duration and severity of the cold.

Besides vitamin C, limes are abundant in antioxidants. Antioxidants join the vitamin C in the fight to strengthen the immune system.

2. They May Enhance the Heart Function

We mentioned that limes brim with antioxidants, among many other healthy components. These antioxidants have a significant impact on the cardiovascular system. They help keep the arteries and the circulatory system healthy and functional. The arteries’ good functionality and flexibility mean that the blood pumped by the heart will be transported without any problem.

Vitamin C can also help lower blood pressure — one of the leading causes of heart diseases worldwide. The said vitamin can also help keep the arteries from forming plaques, fighting atherosclerosis disease.

While a human study on this subject hasn’t been done yet, study results on rabbits suggest that lime juice and peels could slow down the progression of atherosclerosis.

3. They Can Improve Skin Health

Antioxidants and vitamin C, two elements that limes are known for, are two of the ingredients that many skin products have. Vitamin C levels of collagen production, a protein that keeps your skin strong, elastic, and hydrated. The cosmetic industry has been using this ingredient in its products and for years now, and you can even find it in protein powders.

What if we tell you that you could get the needed vitamins and antioxidants to keep skin healthy through a glass of water and a hefty squeeze of lime?

The impact of vitamin C on skin health has been studied for a while. In one of the studies, in which 4,000 women participated, those who consumed vitamin C experienced a lower risk of developing wrinkles and dry skin as they aged.

4. They May Reduce the Risk of Developing Cancer

Cancer is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells and their spread around different organs and tissues. While there isn’t one specific leading cause of this disease, our lifestyle can greatly impact the development of cancerous cells. Just as there are types of foods that can cause cancer, there are foods that fight it. One of them happens to be lime. Being a citrus fruit and having its properties, lime is inevitably linked to a lower risk of cancer.

Another study in citrus fruits such as lime showcases their ability to subdue various cancerous cells’ growth and their spread in different parts of the human body.

5. They Can Improve Digestion

As we all know, we have a digestive system whose function is to process the food we eat. Some types of food take longer to digest, and some take less time. However, one can aid the stomach in this process by consuming food known for its digestive properties. Lime is one of the fruits that, thanks to its acidity, may help the digestive system by breaking down food. Also, drinking lime water first thing in the morning can help wake up the digestive system.

Lime water can help even those that suffer from acid reflux, commonly known as heartburn. Drinking warm lime water 30 minutes before a meal might help prevent reflux symptoms and discourage overeating.

6. They May Prevent the Formation of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are a common condition that occurs in people of both genders. While we still don’t know what exactly causes them, there is a list of possible factors that significantly impact their development. Luckily, there are options that one can choose to prevent kidney stone formation.

Being careful about the diet we choose to consume daily can be one of these options. Making lime part of the daily diet can help prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place. How can that happen, you might be wondering? Lime has high citric acid levels that can hinder kidney stones by raising levels of citrate and stone-forming minerals in the urine.

7. They May Increase the Nutrient Absorption

Iron is one of the minerals that the body needs to function properly. Said more precisely, iron is a crucial element in the production of blood and hemoglobin. Low levels of this mineral can cause a host of issues. Vitamin C, meanwhile, has an essential role in the body’s absorption of iron. It seizes non-heme iron and stores it in a form that is easier for the body to absorb. A study conducted on the effect of vitamin C on iron absorption showed that taking 100mg of this vitamin with a meal increases iron absorption by 13%.

8. They Can Help Boost Your Metabolism

Losing weight has to be one of countless people’s most sought-after goals. Everybody wants to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. However, when it comes to losing extra weight, most of the time, it is easier said than done.

Don’t lose hope entirely, as you can still achieve your goal weight. You just have to commit to a lifestyle that will make it easier for you to accomplish what you want. You can start by adding lime to your diet. This healthy fruit filled with citric acid can kick-start your metabolism and, in turn, help you burn more calories and store less fat.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t rely entirely on the effects of the lime in the metabolism. You have to keep your end of the bargain as well. Try to dedicate some time to physical activity like running or workouts. That, combined with the lime properties, will surely bring the results you’re looking for.

9. They Can Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the leading cause of many joint conditions. As such, one is always on the lookout for medical and natural treatments for these diseases. Luckily, there is a natural remedy for those who suffer from joint inflammation. Lime water can alleviate some of the symptoms these conditions have. Thanks to the minerals lime water has, especially Vitamin C, one can get rid of the joint pain. Studies show that those who have a lower intake of Vitamin C experience an increased risk of developing arthritis.

Limes seem to be the all-in-one-package fruit. They are pretty to look at, taste great, and have many benefits to the human body. What more can one ask from a fruit? We’re sure that from now on, limes will be even more present in your life. Not only will they make your life more colorful, but also healthier.

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