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Friday, November 14, 2014

How to eat immune boosting foods for reducing chances of cold and flu in this winter

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Best immune system boosting common foods


This is my new article on cold and flu season. In the last article we saw How to diminish the spreading of cold and flu germs in your house. Catching a cold or flu at least once a year is inevitable for most of people. In this article you will see how to eat immune boosting foods.

We can give our body’s defense system a good base with a balanced, nutritious diet: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat but nutrient-rich dairy and protein, with some beneficial fats from foods like nuts and fish. But keep an eye out for a few nutrients that your immune system especially depends on:


 Some common immune boosting food for less cold and flu in winter

Eat more Vitamin A


This antioxidant vitamin plays an integral role in maintaining our physical barriers to infection – skin, mucous membranes, and intestinal linings.

Good Food sources
Carrots, kale, chard, collard greens, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and basil, among many other produce section choices.

Eat more B vitamins


 This family of nutrients is involved in cellular energy production, so they support the immune cells in general.

Good Food sources
 Plain white mushrooms are a great source of several of the B’s. Almost all types of green vegetables contain plenty of B vitamins. But to get much B6 and B12, you’ll have to add meat, fish, or dairy aisles.
Some common immune boosting food for less cold and flu in winter

 

Vitamin E

This antioxidant vitamin supports healthy skin, our immune system’s first and largest protective mechanism – your skin prevents infection by keeping out germs and viruses.

Good Food sources
Mustard, turnip, collard greens, and chard; sunflower seeds and almonds; papaya, kiwifruit, and blueberries.

More Selenium


 We need only a very small amount of this antioxidant mineral. It is involved in most processes in our cells and is required for a health immune system.

Good Food sources
 To get your daily fill of selenium, you need only eat one Brazil nut. You can also get selenium from mushrooms, cod, snapper, tuna, halibut, salmon, shrimp, eggs, turkey, oats, or barley.

 Some common immune boosting food for less cold and flu in winter

Zinc intake


Zinc supports the immune system by making sure your immune cells are healthy and functional to fight off possible infections.

Good Food sources

Beef, lamb, and calf’s liver, pumpkin seeds, basil, thyme, sesame seeds; a variety of greens;, squash, asparagus, miso, maple syrup, and mushrooms.

Eat more Probiotic food


Probiotics are good bacteria that may help your immune system in the battle against micro-organisms that might cause disease. Probiotics also support healthy digestion of the vitamins and minerals you need for general health.

Good Food sources
 Probiotic foods include fermented items like yogurt, miso, some cheeses, kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

You will surprise how less you know about SUGAR and your health (Reduce intake)

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How to sugar smart in holidays season


This is my new article which I came through recently and I was surprised that I did not pass this quiz.
Even if you pass on desserts and take your coffee black, you’re still probably eating more sugar than you think. Take this quiz and consider whether the sweet stuff could be sabotaging your health.


 You will surprise how less you know about SUGAR and your health (Reduce intake)

1. True or false: Sugar is a carbohydrate that provides energy to the body.


ANSWER – True. Other than providing energy, sugar has no other nutritional benefits.



 

2. True or false: Eating an apple that contains 14 grams of sugar is the same as eating a cookie that contains 14 grams of sugar.


ANSWER – False. Foods like milk, fruit, and vegetables contain natural sugars as well as vitamins and nutrients your body needs, and they help you feel full. But added sugar – which is put in foods and beverages during preparation or processing – increases calories without adding anything of value to your body. In other words, the sugar itself may be the same, but the package makes a big difference.


You will surprise how less you know about SUGAR and your health (Reduce intake)

3. Which of these ingredients are added sugar?


a.glucose
b.fructose
c.sucrose
d.brown sugar
e.honey
f.corn syrup
g.maple syrup
h.molasses
i.fruit puree
j.all of the above
ANSWER – (j). These are all types of sugar that can be added to foods and beverages during processing, as a sweetener or preservative or to enhance texture. Look for these terms on the ingredient lists of products when you grocery shop.

4. How much added sugar does the average Canadian eat in a day?


a.5 teaspoons
b.10 teaspoons
c.15 teaspoons
ANSWER – (c). At a conservative estimate, the average Canadian adult takes in more than 15 teaspoons (62 grams) of added sugar a day, based on a diet of 2,000 calories.This amount does not include the naturally occurring sugar found in milk, fruit, vegetables and other plant-based foods.

5. What’s a healthy limit for the added sugar we eat in a day?


a.25 per cent of total daily calories
b.10 per cent of total daily calories
c.5 per cent of total daily calories
ANSWER – (b) and (c). The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that we restrict added sugars to not more than 10 per cent of our total daily calorie intake – and ideally aim for less than five per cent. For an average diet of 2,000 calories a day, 10 per cent is about 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of added sugar. Bottom line: most of us need to eat less added sugar.

6. Excess sugar consumption is connected to which of these health conditions?


a.heart disease
b.stroke
c.obesity
d.high blood cholesterol
e.cancer
f.cavities
g.all of the above

ANSWER – (g). All these conditions have been linked to eating too much sugar. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in February, 2014, found that people who consumed more than a quarter of their daily calories from added sugars nearly tripled their risk of heart disease or stroke.

7. What is the largest contributor of added sugar in a Canadian’s diet?


a.Desserts
b.Sugar-sweetened drinks
c.Sugar added to tea, coffee, etc.
ANSWER – (b). Sugar-sweetened drinks (including soft drinks, sports drinks, juices, energy drinks and specialty teas and coffees) are the largest contributor of added sugar in our diet. A single can of soda contains up to 40 grams (about 10 teaspoons) of added sugar and no health benefits. And, drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage leaves you feeling less full than if you had eaten the same number of calories from solid food. Fruit juice, either as a beverage or as a sweetener added to other foods, has less nutritional value than a piece of fruit and is high in sugar.
You will surprise how less you know about SUGAR and your health (Reduce intake)

 

8. Which has more sugar: a chocolate glazed donut or a whole grain muffin?


ANSWER – Don’t assume that whole grains mean low sugar. At one popular Canadian chain, a whole grain carrot orange muffin has 26 grams of sugar compared to the chocolate donut, which has 19 grams. When you shop, read the Nutrition Facts table to learn the total amount of sugar in the product. And approach all sweet treats with moderation.

 

Easy way to reduce sugar intake

Thirsty? Drink water or lower fat (2% MF or less) plain milk.
Time for a coffee or tea break-Be selective and stay away from the fancy drinks with added sugars. Instead of ordering a chai latte, order chai tea and ask them to add steamed milk.
Hungry for a meal-Try whole foods.

Need a snack- Stock up on roasted nuts; lower-fat cheese and crackers; veggies and dip; plain yogurt and fresh fruit.

Buying breakfast cereal? Choose cereals with less than 6 grams of sugar and more than 4 grams of fiber per 1 cup (30 gram) serving.

Cook at home more often- Save restaurants for special occasions.
When you buy packaged foods read the Nutrition Facts table and the ingredient list.- Pay special attention to the total amount of sugar and read the ingredient list
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Must Read Myths about Smoking

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New Facts about smoking

Are you a smoker or not, please read this article for getting the in-depth facts about smoking. By reading this you can not only benefits yourself or any other near dear.

There are a lot of things you should know about smoking, but here are the most important.

1. If you quit smoking, your children will be less likely to smoke


You probably already know that second-hand smoke from your smoking puts your child’s health at risk. But did you know that if you quit, you’re also protecting your children from future harm to their health? When kids see parents or family members smoking, they can come to think of smoking has just a normal thing to do, and they are more likely to take up smoking themselves. If you do smoke, quitting or at least cutting back is the best example you can set for your kids.
Must Read Myths about Smoking

2. There is no best way to quit smoking


Many roads can lead to a smoke-free life. A friend may have told you that the patch worked wonders for them, while your cousin swears by nicotine gum, and your boss quit cold turkey. Everyone is unique, and different methods of quitting will appeal to different people. You have multiple methods to choose from and try out. Discuss your quit-smoking options with your doctor, and try a few until you find what works best for you


3. About one-half of people who smoke die from smoking-related disease


Nearly 50% of people who smoke will die from smoking-related health problems and on average, smokers will die 8 years earlier than non-smokers. Smoking causes several types of cancer – among them lung, bladder, and throat cancers – and breathing problems like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking can also contribute to heart and blood vessel problems, including heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

The good news is that after you’ve stopped smoking, the health benefits kick in right away. Your risk of heart-related problems will start to decrease, and after 5 years of not smoking, your risk will fall to the same level as that of a non-smoker.
Must Read Myths about Smoking

 

 

4. You may have to try quitting several times before you are successful

When it comes to quitting smoking, get ready to try, try again. If it takes you a few tries to quit successfully, you are definitely not alone! Setbacks and relapses are natural parts of the process of quitting for good. Consider each setback a lesson learned each slip-up a source of new wisdom. A relapse is only a bad thing if you don’t learn from it!

 

5. Successfully quitting smoking is not all about will power

Nicotine addiction can be very powerful, and even the strongest-willed quitters can relapse. That’s because when you quit smoking, you are likely to face two strong obstacles: craving and compulsion.
Craving is a conscious drive that can be triggered by things in your environment – like your daily habits and routines (smoke breaks, after-meal cigarettes). You can control cravings.
Compulsion, on the other hand, can be a forceful, unconscious drive to smoke – despite the fact that you know you shouldn’t, despite knowing how bad it is for you.
So, to really quit smoking, you may need more than sheer will power: You need to prepare yourself with tactics to help you avoid your “craving triggers,” and you need to be aware of the ways that the drug nicotine can affect you both consciously and subconsciously.

6. Smoking can affect men and women differently


While all people who smoke are at higher risk of health issues, men and women may face risks unique to their sex. For example, women who smoke increase their risk of cancers of the cervix and uterus. And if a woman smokes and takes birth control pills, her stroke risk is heightened as well. In male smokers, fertility problems and low sperm count become more common, and blood vessel damage caused by smoking can lead to erectile dysfunction.
.
Must Read Myths about Smoking

 

7. You don’t have to quit smoking on your own


Quitting smoking is difficult. But it can be less difficult if you enlist the support of family, friends, your doctor, or a counsellor. When you have a support system, you have someone to turn to when you feel like giving in and lighting up. Your supporters can be there to talk to you, join you for a walk, or help get your mind off smoking. Although many people can quit on their own, most people are more successful if they receive counselling from a health care provider.

8. You can significantly increase your chances of successfully quitting if you take the time to make a plan


Get off on the right foot by thinking ahead about potential obstacles and challenges you’ll face when you’re trying to quit – especially in those tricky early weeks. Your plan should include your pros and cons of quitting, a list of folks in your support system (family, friends, doctor, counsellor, etc.), the rewards you’ll give yourself when you do well, and strategies to help you handle cravings and triggers.

9. A positive attitude can work wonders when it comes to quitting smoking


Avoid criticizing or punishing yourself if you have weak moments. Research shows that beating yourself up doesn’t usually help – it only makes you feel bad, which in turn, may make you want to reach for a cigarette even more. Emotions are a natural cause for cravings – so don’t spark them yourself!

Must Read Myths about Smoking

10. Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemicals, many of which are cancer-causing


Although nicotine itself doesn’t cause cancer, there are many chemicals produced in cigarette smoke that harm the body and can cause cancer. Chemicals released by cigarettes include carbon monoxide, tar, cyanide, benzene, and formaldehyde.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Try some zinc and other home remedies for fighting common flue/cold

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Zinc and other home remedies and common cold

Before we know more about Zinc and other home remedies for cold let us see more about cold.

 

What is common Cold?

The common cold is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. The common cold is medically referred to as a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms of the common cold may include cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing. More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold, with rhinovirus causing approximately 30%-35% of all adult colds. Other commonly implicated viruses include coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and par influenza virus. Because so many different viruses can cause a cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. For this reason, colds are a frequent and recurring problem. In fact, children in preschool and elementary school can have six to 12 colds per year while adolescents and adults typically have two to four colds per year. The common cold occurs most frequently during the fall and winter months.
The common cold is the most frequently occurring illness in the world, and it is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work. It is estimated that individuals in the United States suffer 1 billion colds per year, with approximately 22 million days of school absences recorded annually.

Try some zinc and other home remedies for fighting common flue/cold

What is the difference between the common cold and influenza (the flu)?

Many people confuse the common cold with influenza (the flu). Influenza is caused by the influenza virus, while the common cold generally is not. While some of the symptoms of the common cold and influenza may be similar, patients with the common cold typically have a milder illness. Patients with influenza usually appear more ill and have a more abrupt onset of illness with fever, chills, headache, substantial muscle and body aches, dry cough, and extreme weakness.
Though differentiating between the common cold and influenza can be difficult, there is laboratory testing available to confirm the diagnoses of influenza.

Zinc supplements can reduce the severity of the common cold and help people recover faster, say the authors of a new review. A review on the ability of zinc to prevent and treat colds published in 1999 was inconclusive. This new paper, published in The Cochrane Library — a key resource for evidence-based medicine — includes an additional eight studies, bringing the total number of analyzed trials to 15 and number of participants to 1360.
Dr. Meenu Singh and Dr. Rashmi Das from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, found patients who received zinc supplements within 24 hours of cold symptoms appearing and who continued to take them for a minimum of five days were more likely to recover within a week than those given placebos.
They also found, zinc given to healthy children as a preventative measure, reduced the number of colds and days absent from school. There was also a reduction in antibiotic use.
Associate Professor Luis Vitetta, director of the Centre for integrative clinical and molecular medicine at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Queensland, Australia, says the data chosen for the review was well considered and the authors had enough data to ensure the findings are statistically significant. "They've chosen the right studies with appropriate controls and which are randomized in order to be able to come to these conclusions," says Vitetta. There's no proven treatment for the common cold. Symptoms may include a sore throat, a blocked or runny nose, and a cough, and last up to two weeks. "In Australia, healthy adults have four to five colds per year, susceptible people may have one to two a month and children two to three a year," he says. "And then you have secondary illnesses, such as bacterial infections, which require antibiotics."

Try some zinc and other home remedies for fighting common flue/cold

More to be done

The studies included in the review used different formulations of zinc and were given as lozenges, syrup or, in one trial, as a tablet. "It would be interesting to know if there any differences between these formulations in terms of bioavailability," says Vitetta. "Zinc is an essential mineral in the body and it is used in hundreds of reactions. While zinc has a plausible biological mechanism in terms of influencing the progression or establishment of a cold by way of eliciting an immune response, I'd now be asking what dose is required." Professor Emeritus Bob Douglas, of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at The Australian National University, an author of one of the trials included in the meta-analyses and a former Cochrane review editor, says preventing and treating colds has been a very contentious question for a long time. "This is a very interesting finding. I don't think the effect is huge, but it's substantial," says Douglas. "I'd be doing a lot more trials, particularly in different population groups."
Try some zinc and other home remedies for fighting common flue/cold
Singh acknowledges not much is known about the optimum dose, formulation or length of zinc treatment and that the review only looked at supplementation in healthy people in high-income countries. "It would be interesting to find out whether zinc supplementation could help asthmatics, whose asthma symptoms tend to get worse when they catch a cold," he says. Singh and Das also say that more work needs to be carried out in low-income countries, where zinc deficiency may be prevalent.

 

Zinc Sources

 

Zinc is an important mineral most people do not get enough of every day. Taking a good zinc supplement is a good way to prevent a condition called zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency, if not treated, can often result in slowing wound repair, limiting brain function, hair loss, and diarrhea and skin lesions. If you are not getting enough zinc in your diet, taking a good zinc supplement is in order, especially since your body cannot produce zinc on its own.

Zinc Food Sources

Zinc is a mineral that comes in many food sources, including fortified breakfast cereals, seafood, red meats, whole grains and brewer’s yeast. If you are unable to maintain a good balanced diet to include some of these items, it is essential to take a good zinc supplement to maintain good health.
If you already take a good multivitamin daily, it may be unnecessary for you to take a zinc supplement; too much zinc can be just as dangerous as not getting enough, therefore it is advised for you to talk with your health care provider. Have the proper test run to determine what, if any, zinc supplements you should be taking.

Types of Zinc Supplements

There are several types of zinc supplements, some better than others, that can be purchased most anywhere. Some types of zinc supplements include:
•zinc sulfate (which can cause stomach irritation)
•amino acid chelates of zinc (which may be a little expensive)
•zinc gluconate (which is a good type)
•topical zinc (used for some mild skin conditions and cold sores)
•zinc oxide (used in some sun block preparations and some creams)
Some types of zinc that are best absorbed include:
•zinc citrate
•zinc acetate
•zinc picolinate
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