10 things that are proving to be most harmful in modern life

With modern technology ruling our daily lives there are some things that we have incorporated into our lives thinking that they are the healthier choice.

While some might be beneficial for you there some of the activities we do and the things we eat or take each day can actually be bad for us.

Taking Antibiotics

There is no doubt that antibiotics are great at treating relevant illnesses and making you better. The problem has come with the widespread use of antibiotics for illnesses where they are not needed, such as colds. This is creating bacteria that are resistant to them which is a problem when they cause serious health issues that we then have no way of treating.

 Using Liquid Handwash

Also known as hand sanitizer, this is on the face of it quite handy as it helps to keep your hands clean. The problem with it though is the chemicals that may contain which traditional bars of soap do not.

Taking Prescription Painkillers

One of the biggest industries in the medical world is the pharmaceutical one. This generates billions a year for the drugs companies and also gives doctors financial rewards for prescribing them. In many cases though, patients would be much better off with a long-term alternative therapy that is not addictive and does not cause any harmful side-effects to their bodies. Many prescription painkillers can affect your brain with long-term use and even bring on dementia.

Drinking Bottled Water

Even if you ignore the health effects of drinking bottled water, it simply makes no sense! Most of us pay for the water that comes to the taps in our home anyway, so why not drink this? Bottled water is also bad for your health, not least for the plastic bottles it comes in. Who knows what chemicals from the plastic bottle are leeching into the water inside which you then drink

 Carrying On Working When ill

In times gone by, people understood that the best cure for being ill was rest. They would take as long as they needed off work and only return when fully better. Sadly, this has changed in recent times! Workers now are under pressure to take painkillers and carry on which is crazy. This not only makes it impossible to shake off the cold but also passes the germs around the office for everyone else to catch.

Taking Anti-Allergy Tablets

Research in recent years has found that one leading brand could make dementia in old-age more likely with long-term use. This is obviously very worrying for a lot of people who take these tablets to combat pet allergies or hay fever. The best bet here really is to only take when you absolutely need them, and you will be fine.

 Eating Lots Of Fish

One current piece of advice is to eat lots of fish to get the vitamins and minerals contained in them. But eating too much of certain fish like Tuna can actually be bad for you. The reasons are that certain fish contain levels of poisonous mercury which can be harmful to humans in large quantities. Although eating some fish is fine, just be careful of having too much of the ones that have mercury in.

Eating Processed Gluten-Free Food

Another recent health-food craze is gluten-free food. Many people who are not gluten intolerant choose to buy specially processed food that is marked as gluten-free, believing it to be healthier. Unfortunately, this is not always true! After all, a cookie is still full of sugar even if the gluten has been taken out! In addition, you do not know what has been artificially added to this factory produced gluten-free products in place of the gluten.

Margarine

Margarine contains harmful trans fats which are bad for the human body. Butter, on the other hand, does not. While excess butter is naturally bad for you, having a little of this is much better than switching to margarine.

Swimming In A Pool

Swimming is the best exercise you can do. While it is true that swimming is great for an all over workout, you do not want to be doing a lot of heavy exercise in a pool. The problem is that your body temperature is not maintained at a constant level in a pool while too much swimming can strain your heart. While some swimming is ok, don’t go overboard!

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Here’s 5 reasons why eating chocolate is actually healthy for you!

It’s clear that humans like chocolate. But what if we were wrong about it being bad for us? What if chocolate could actually be good for you?

There’s nothing that quite compares to the velvety, melt-in-your-mouth surreal experience that chocolate provides.

An average human being eats almost 10 pounds of chocolate each year.

And with the use of chocolate dating back as far as 1900 BC, it certainly seems like chocolate won’t be going out of fashion anytime soon.

Find out what the experts have to say and discover the hidden benefits that are locked within this ultimate satisfactory treat!

Good Chocolate Is Packed With Antioxidants

You might have already heard that chocolate is high in antioxidants.  But what does this actually mean for you?

Antioxidants are a group of natural food chemicals such as flavanols, polyphenols, and catechins that fight free radicals in our body. Free radicals cause oxidation and inflammation, which contribute toward aging processes, chronic disease, and even cancer. Therefore, antioxidants can have a therapeutic action by disarming free-radicals and their associated health issues.

Good-quality dark chocolate is the best, highest-antioxidant forms of chocolate to eat. Dairy milk and white chocolate (which are higher in fat) contain far fewer antioxidants by comparison.

Cocoa Contains Some Surprising Nutrients!

Cocoa contains a surprisingly high number of nutrients and minerals, including:

Soluble fiber

Copper

Magnesium

Manganese

Zinc

Selenium

Phosphorus

Potassium

And even iron!

Furthermore, unprocessed cocoa contains almost 400 polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) and is reputed to have more phenolics than green tea. Not a bad nutritional profile for a ‘cheat food’, right?

Chocolate Might Improve Your Brain Health

Many of the healthful components in cocoa are able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Flavonoids and resveratrol are neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory, meaning that they may play a role in reducing inflammation within the Central Nervous System.

Chocolate May Be Good For Blood Pressure

Now, this is news to get your blood pumping. It appears that chocolate may help to keep our blood pressure down!

Some experts explain that the flavanols in chocolate interact with the endothelium that lines our arteries, causing cells to produce nitric oxide.

Although ‘nitric oxide’ might sound like a scary word, it’s actually very good news for our cardiovascular health. This natural gas helps the arteries to relax, which then relieves the resistance to blood flow and helps to lower our overall blood pressure.

As part of an overall diet and lifestyle strategy, it seems that a little bit of dark chocolate may have a place in maintaining good heart health.

Eating Chocolate Makes You Feel Good

You may have heard that chocolate can be a ‘mood-enhancer’ and ‘romance-inducer’. This is because chocolate is a source of ‘phenylethylamine’. This wonderful chemical stimulates all those feel-good endorphins that make the world suddenly seem like an even bigger, brighter, better place. It also mimics the sensation of falling in love, and might even boost serotonin production. That’s something to smile about!

Want to remember your dreams? Add these 7 super foods in your diet!

Do you remember any of your dreams when you wake up in the morning? Or do you feel frustrated when you can’t recall anything?

According to a study, eating foods like, fish and sweet potatoes can help you remember your dreams.

The study was spearheaded by experts from the University of Adelaide, and the results showed that consuming foods rich in vitamin B6 can help individuals recall what they dreamed about even after they wake up.

Foods rich in vitamin B6 are:

Carrots

A medium-sized carrot stick contains almost the same amount of vitamin B6 as a glass of milk. Carrots also contain fiber and lots of vitamin A.

Chicken liver

Chicken liver is full of nutrients like folate, protein, and vitamins A, B6, and B12. Vitamin B6 helps the body break down and use protein efficiently.

Chickpeas

Legumes like chickpeas are full of vitamin B6, fiber, and protein.

Green peas

Green peas are rich in fiber and vitamins A, B6, and C.

Spinach

Aside from vitamin B6, spinach also contains iron and vitamins A and C.

Sweet potato

A medium-sized sweet potato contains fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A and B6.

Tuna

Vitamin B6 can help produce hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through the blood. Tuna, especially varieties like albacore and yellowfin, are full of vitamin B6.

7 easily available foods laced with vitamin C for a healthy brain

A study shows that vitamin C is linked to healthy brain and nerve functioning.

According to the CHALICE Cohort Study, an Australian research effort, levels of the nutrient correlate with markers for cognitive and metabolic health in individuals around the age of 50.

Vitamin C provides the two necessary neurotransmitters that help regulate mood and protect the body against health problems such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, and osteoarthritis.

Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine, and it can help control allergies.

As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can protect all of the cells from damage.

The vitamin is also necessary for collagen and muscle production. Additionally, vitamin C helps repair damaged tissues all over the body, heal wounds, and boost the immune system.

Vitamin C can also help strengthen your bones and teeth.

The results of these studies emphasize the importance of vitamin C when it comes to brain health and cognitive health, especially among older individuals.

Food sources rich in vitamin C include:

 

Broccoli

A cup of raw chopped broccoli has 81 mg of vitamin C. While cooking reduces its vitamin C content down to 50 mg, the vegetable also contains calcium, fiber, potassium, vitamins A and K and various antioxidants.

Cauliflower

One cup of raw cauliflower has 50 mg of vitamin C. It also contains calcium, fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin K. Cauliflower also has various antioxidants.

Grapefruit

The grapefruit, which is related to the orange, is also high in vitamin C. Half a grapefruit has 45 mg of vitamin C. Grapefruit also contains fiber, potassium, and vitamin A.

Kiwifruit

A single kiwifruit contains about 60 mg of vitamin C. It also has fiber and potassium.

Red sweet peppers

Like green bell peppers, red sweet peppers are rich in vitamin C. These peppers have a milder flavor, with a single pepper containing 150 mg of vitamin C. Red sweet peppers also have fiber, potassium, several B-complex vitamins, and vitamin A.

Strawberries

These berries are chock-full of vitamin C. One cup of strawberry slices has 98 mg of the nutrient. Strawberries are also rich in fiber, folate, magnesium, and potassium.

And last but not the least…

 

Citrus fruits

 

The most easily accessible sources of Vitamin C, the citrus fruits. Oranges typically contain a little more than 50 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams of flesh whereas Lemons contain about 40 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams of flesh.

What foods are good for you during Ramadan?

Check out what you should and should not be consuming before and after your daily Ramadan fast

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Everyone knows they should eat healthy during Ramadan. But few end up doing it and fewer still know what foods are good for them.

Lovely Ranganath, senior nutritionist at Healthtrendz, the healthy meal delivery initiative of Dubai World Trade Centre, says: “Quite a few people fall off the healthy eating wagon during Ramadan when the focus is on being together with family and friends and sharing meals. It’s a month when women display their cooking abilities. People tend to eat more than they should. With the weather being hot and humid, they prefer to stay indoors, which adds to their health issues.”

She recommends two major dietary no-nos:

1. Spicy foods as the stomach lining is sensitive post-fasting. Subjecting it to spicy food while breaking the fast can cause gas and heartburn.

2. Fried foods (read kibbeh, samosa, spring rolls, fritters and pakoras) as these are ‘empty’ calories. These foods are loaded with fat which the liver cannot process, so they are stored away as fatty tissue. They take a toll on the digestive tract and cause acidity.

Sleep well

“Waking up for suhoor becomes difficult as the digestion of fried foods interferes with our sleep cycle. The body needs to put in more effort to break down the fats which is a long process. Lack of proper sleep is also one of the reasons people gain weight as this interferes with hormonal balance,” says Ranganath, adding that fried items that are readymade and packaged are far worse as their sodium content is higher.

According to her, most people don’t drink enough water which causes water retention to already dehydrated bodies resulting in a bloated and uncomfortable feeling after iftar.

“I would think using air fryers are a great alternative where one wins the battle between taste and health.”

Best foods for Ramadan

Fresh fruits They are a definite yes as they are a great way to replenish electrolytes lost through the day during long hours of fasting. By the end of the fast, most people would have low blood sugar levels and fresh fruits provide complex carbohydrates and fibre to help in a gradual rise of glucose levels and improved digestion. Sprinkling cinnamon powder also helps.

Dates

An absolute must as they are high in vitamin A, B6, potassium, natural sodium, iron and magnesium. A fasting person’s body has low reserves of these nutrients which dates will help replenish. The natural sugar in dates will give one the instant energy needed for evening prayers. The best part about having dates is that it also works as a mild laxative and eases constipation, which is quite common due to a sudden change in lifestyle during Ramadan.

Raw nuts

They contain good fats which help release the sugar in dates even more slowly, keeping one feeling full up and in control, without the need to binge.

Meat, chicken, fish

They should be part of a healthy iftar meal. The protein content helps one feel fuller faster and for longer. One major issue most people face is losing muscle tone during Ramadan due to reduced muscle mass. Having good portions of beef, lamb, chicken or fish mostly as grills, kebabs, etc are great to ensure muscle loss does not happen.

Breads

An integral part of the diet but it is advisable to keep off white processed breads as they support a quick rise and fall in sugar levels making one hungry for more bread.

Lentils and beans 

Most under-used in iftar menus but mixed bean salad, lentil soups etc are recommended.

Fresh vegetables

Low in calories, high in fiber, they give the extra dose of nutrients and aid digestion and sleep.

Water

A liter of lemon water is good along with one-two liters of regular water. Lemon flavored water has a positive impact on the liver, provides sufficient Vitamin C and hydrates the muscles, making one feel less tired and lethargic. Drinking too much tea will increase urine output and inevitably cause the loss of valuable mineral salts. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as coke, coffee or tea four to five days before Ramadan and gradually reduce the intake of these drinks since a sudden decrease will result in headaches, mood swings and irritability.

 

How to Lose Weight in 10 Days: Tips and Tricks

If you are trying to lose weight for a holiday or to slither in your bathing suit for the summer, or simply to lead a healthier lifestyle, you know it is a tough task. We are all guilty of trying all sorts of diets and fitness tips to lose those extra pounds. While some have been successful in meeting their goals adopting extreme measures, others have struggled and struggled to a point that have made them give up hope. The truth is that losing weight is easy, but if done in a right manner. So, I have rounded up my top 10 secrets to help you achieve your target weight and not just that, but also live a happier and healthier life.

My top 10 tips that will reboot your body and kick start weight loss –

 

1. Start Your Day with Workout 

Set up your alarm, 20 minutes early and schedule your workout first thing in the morning. Studies suggest that people who exercise in the morning are relatively slimmer and healthier than the ones who exercise later in the day. So carry the feel good hormones and energy throughout the day by doing your exercise in the morning.

exercise

2. Skip the Scale

Don’t weigh yourself daily, sometimes it just unnecessarily panics you and can be demotivating. Also, the scale can be deceiving as it ignores the fact that you might be adding muscle weight. Weigh yourself once a week and ideally in the morning.

weight loss

3. Carry Your Own Snacks

When I consult clients I have realized that their main meals are well managed, however, snack is an area where most fall for unnecessary food and jeopardize weight loss. It’s a great idea to pack your own snack at work or on the go. Make small packs of nuts and seeds, fruits, plain yogurt, chaach, sprouts, dark chocolate, chilla, cubes of paneer or cheese.

snacks

4. Eat an Apple 

This one is my favorite, and I tell most of my clients “eat an apple or visualise it. If you are not hungry enough to eat one full apple, you are not hungry but just bored”. Engage in fun activities or hobbies like singing, reading or whatever you fancy. Thinking about food all the time can be extremely taxing for your weight loss efforts.

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5. Try to Eat Meals at Home 

For next 10 days try to eat maximum meals at home. This gives you complete control over the ingredients like sugar, fat, oil and salt that goes into your food. You will be surprised how fast you will lose all that extra flab by just doing this.

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6. Become a Water Baby

I mean literally, go for a swim and up your fluid intake, drink loads of water and green vegetable juices. Summer offers us abundance of water fruits like melons. Go for the incredible summer fruits and vegetables that are 96% water. In fact a study showed how 14 men and women increased their metabolic rate by 30% by just increasing their water intake on a daily basis.

sit and drink water

7. Eat Slowly

We all know this, but now put it in practice. You will be surprised how your portions will reduce and your food will be absorbed better. Eat in a state of complete relaxation for optimum absorption and digestion.

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8. Eat Protein 

Increase your protein intake it helps burn fat, and build muscle. Eat cheese, eggs, sprouts, lentils chicken, fish or meat. Also, protein keeps you full as your body takes time to digest protein, hence you are satiated.

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9. Don’t Stock Unhealthy Food at Home 

It is impossible to resist temptation if its sitting on your kitchen shelf. Don’t get evil foods, don’t eat evil food. No one in your family needs processed, unhealthy, packaged food. The only way to work around it is to nut buy them.

junk food

10. Think About Your Ideal Weight 

Imagine yourself at your dream weight. Visualise wearing a dress you have dreamt of, and see yourself slim. Everything in existence has begun with the right thought. Positively reinforce, tell yourself “I will achieve xy weight in 10 days, don’t doubt your thought. Give it the right energy, and see yourself happy and leaner not just in thought but in reality.

belly fat

Diet Chart to Follow for 10 Days

 

What you eat plays an important role in your weight loss journey. Here’s my chart –

 

Day 1:
7 AM: Methi water or tea and 8 almonds
9 AM: For breakfast, 1 bowl of poha
12 Noon: For snack, a glass of buttermilk
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, 1 roti + 1 bowl veg + 1 bowl dal + cucumber salad
4-6 PM: For snack, 1 cup watermelon
7-9 PM: For dinner, 1 bowl ghia raita
Day 2:
7 AM: Methi water or tea and 4 walnuts
9 AM: For breakfast, 1 bowl of veg daliya
12 Noon: For snack, a bowl of grapes
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, 1 roti + 1 bowl veg + 1 bowl dal + cucumber salad
4-6 PM: For snack, 1 cup watermelon
7-9 PM: For dinner, 1 bowl ghia raita
Day 3:
7 AM: Green tea + 8 Almonds
9 AM: For breakfast, 1 moong dal chilla + curd
12 Noon: For snack, 1 bowl of papaya
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, 1 roti + green veg + cucumber raita
4-6 PM: For snack, 1 bowl of sprouts salad
7-9 PM- For dinner, 200gm paneer bhurji (add veggies) or stir-fried yellow and green zucchini + mint raita

raita

Day 4:
7 AM: ACV+ water, 4 walnuts + 4 almonds
9 AM: For breakfast, 2 idli + chaach
12 Noon: For snack, 2 slices of mango
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, boiled chana salad
4-6 PM: For snack, cold coffee or 1 banana
7-9 PM- For dinner, 1 oats chilla/ moong dal chilla + cucumber salad
Day 5:
7 AM: ACV+ water, nuts
9 AM: For breakfast, 1 bowl of papaya
12 Noon: For snack, sprouts salad
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, 1 roti + veg + onion and tomato raita
4-6 PM: For snack, tea + 70% dark chocolate (small piece)
7-9 PM- For dinner, 2 egg omelette with veggies
Day 6:
7 AM: Methi water, nuts
9 AM: For breakfast, 1 besan chilla
12 Noon: For snack, chaach
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, dal + 1 cup rice + veg + salad
4-6 PM: For snack, 1 cup grapes + coconut water
7-9 PM: For dinner, chicken tikka (5-6 pcs) + salad Or paneer tikka (120 gms) + salad

kebab

Day 7:
7 AM: Methi water
9 AM: For breakfast, veg poha
12 Noon: For snack, 1 cup watermelon
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, 1 roti + veg + curd
4-6 PM: For snack, tea + 1/2 katori peanuts
7-9 PM: For dinner, 2 eggs bhurji Or paneer bhurji (120 gms)
Day 8:
7 AM: Methi water
9 AM: For breakfast, 1 toast + 1 egg
12 Noon: For snack, chaach
1:30-3 PM: For lunch,1 bowl veg daliya
4-6 PM: For snack, 1 bowl watermelon
7-9 PM: For dinner, 1 bowl ghia raita Or 1 moong dal chilla
Day 9:
7 AM: Methi water or tea and nuts
9 AM: For breakfast, 1 bowl of daliya
12 Noon: For snack, 1 bowl of papaya
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, 1 veg stuffed roti + curd
4-6 PM: For snack, 1 cup tea + 1/2 bowl of peanuts
7-9 PM: For dinner, 1 grilled fish + 1 cup steamed vegetables or 1 cup sprouts salad

fruit salad

Day 10:
7 AM: Methi water or tea and nuts
9 AM: For breakfast, 1 bowl of poha
12 Noon: For snack, a glass of buttermilk
1:30-3 PM: For lunch, 1 roti + 1 bowl veg + 1 bowl dal + salad
4-6 PM: For snack, 1 cup grapes or 1 cup tea and 2-3 cubes 70% dark chocolate
7-9 PM: For dinner, 5-6 pieces chicken/ fish tikka + salad or 1 moong dal chila + curd

 

 

6 Amazing Benefits Of Cucumber Water

cucumberwater

Drinking cucumber water may not seem like a surefire way to improve your health, but it delivers a number of surprising benefits and is very easy to prepare.

What Is Cucumber Water?

Quite simply, cucumber water is water that is infused with cucumbers, by immersing and soaking cucumber slices in a pitcher of water. While this may sound overly simple, many of the active ingredients of cucumber infuse in the water, boosting your overall nutrient intake. Drinking water is an important part of any healthy diet, so tweaking the recipe slightly to improve its impact is a wise choice.

Cucumbers are composed primarily of water, which is why this type of water is so popular in detox cleanses. This beverage possesses the earthy, refreshing flavor of cucumbers, as well as many other nutrients and active  ingredients. Drinking cucumber water will increase your vitamin “C “levels, as well as beta-carotene, manganese, molybdenum, and various other antioxidants, including cucurbitacin. Cucumbers also contain silica, which has a number of positive effects on the body. Most importantly, however, this is a delicious and unique twist on an average glass of water that will keep you coming back for more.

Benefits Of Cucumber Water

A few of the many benefits of cucumber water include skin care, weight loss, chronic disease, cardiovascular health, and bone density, among others.

Skin Care

There are a number of antioxidants and antioxidant vitamins found in cucumbers that can help with skin health, as antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals, which cuts down on oxidative stress, the force that can lead to wrinkles, age spots, blemishes, and loose skin as you age.

Weight Loss

Cucumber water is extremely good at filling you up. Water is naturally good at this because thirst is often mistaken for hunger. When you make cucumber water a larger part of your  diet, it will prevent some of the overeating and unnecessary snacking between meals that can de-rail any diet.

Heart Issues

Drinking cucumber water is an excellent way to increase your potassium levels, which is a vital electrolyte for overall health. Potassium also acts as a vasodilator to reduce  blood pressure and lower strain on the cardiovascular system, thus reducing your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes and coronary heart disease.

Bone Density

Although there aren’t many minerals in cucumber water, it does contain silica and manganese, among other trace elements. This can help to strengthen the bones and lower your risk  of osteoporosis as you age.

Cancer

Cucumbers contain a unique compound called  cucurbitacin, which acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. In recent years, this compound has been the subject of a great deal of research, and it has been found that drinking cucumber water can lower your risk of prostate cancer, among others.

Muscle Strength

One of the unique components of cucumber water is silica, which is a mineral that is rarely discussed in relation to human health. However, it is a vital part of connective tissue in the body, and can, therefore, help muscle growth and tone.

How To Make Cucumber Water?

Making your own cucumber water at home is the preferred method for drinking this beverage, as it is inexpensive and very easy to prepare.

  • Step 1 – Clean and slice a cucumber (3-4 slices for a glass, or an entire cucumber for a pitcher).
  • Step 2 – Fill a pitcher/glass with cold water and add the cucumbers.
  • Step 3 – Add ice to keep the cucumbers submerged, ensuring that the nutrients are released into the water.
  • Step 4 – Allow the beverage to sit for at least 10-15 minutes before drinking.
  • Step 5 – Re-use the same cucumbers with additional water; discard cucumbers after 24 hours.