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3 ways Yoga can help you deal with anxiety

3 ways Yoga can help you deal with anxiety

Yoga has been around for thousands of years. It is a highly evolved spiritual discipline that includes postures, meditation, and breathing techniques to unfold the greatest potentials of the human mind and soul.

Anxiety is the fear of the unknown.

While it is common to worry about the future, excessive and persistent worry can become intimidating and interfere with our everyday life. It becomes what we call, an anxiety disorder that needs attention. Yoga can help treat anxiety safely and effectively.

It is surprising though that doctors and psychiatrists till now, were slow to endorse this practice having had a bias towards medicine over holistic modalities. ‘Prescriptions’ were preferred over driving the patient to the yoga mat. But now, more psychiatrists and therapists are waking up to the yoga approach to help with stress and mood disorders since it fulfills the mighty need for safer treatment options. ‘Prescription’ medicines have been blamed for being potentially addictive causing drowsiness, memory loss, and brain fog.

A combination of right breathing techniques, mindfulness, and postures can quell apprehension, alleviate anxiety, and help deal with depression. Regular practice of yoga will help lower your baseline level of emotional arousal. This means that when you have worrisome thoughts, you will meet it with patience rather than fearful reactivity.

Here’s a step by step guide you can follow to relieve anxiety and lead a happy life:

Way 1 Yoga can Help: Move the body

Practice asanas mindfully and correctly. Asanas (postures) will help release tension and negativity from your system while making you fitter and in a better frame of mind.

  • Balasana (The child pose):

This pose is often used to relax and regroup after practicing other challenging asanas. It is very effective in easing anxiety symptoms. It works by releasing tension from shoulders, neck, and back, the most common storehouses of stress. This pose also encourages steady, conscious breathing helping calm down the nervous system which is particularly beneficial for sufferers of anxiety.

How to get into the pose?

Begin by getting into the cat pose wherein you are on your knees and hands. Your big toes should touch each other while your feet forms a ‘v’ shape. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders and your legs should be hip distant apart.  Make a deep inhalation and then as you exhale, sit with your butt rested on your heels, and bend forward as much as you can. Aim for the torso to rest between your thighs and your forehead to lie on the mat while keeping your hands extended forward.  Continue breathing as you press into your hands and firmly keep your sit bones on your heels. Hold this pose for as long as you can. When done, slowly walk back your hands and straighten your torso.

  • Vrikshasana (The tree pose):

This pose improves concentration, focus and makes you more aware of your mind and body. It diverts your attention from anxiety to your present physical self. It also stimulates your mind and eases tension from your spine.

How to get into the pose?

Stand upright with your feet hip distance apart. Gently shift your weight to your right leg as you bend your left knee, and place the sole of the left foot on the right inner thigh with your toes pointing downwards. Your pelvis should be directly above your right foot. Gently press the sole of your left foot into the inner thigh while letting the inner thigh create resistance. Fold your hands into an Indian Namaste. Hold for 10 seconds (or more) and then repeat the same on the other side.

  • Veerabhadrasana (The warrior III pose):

This pose strengthens your legs, lengthens your spine and challenges your mind. It enhances your core, improves coordination, balance, and digestion. Warrior III pose also takes off your attention from intrinsic thoughts and helps you concentrate on yourself. We know that good health is imperative in your fight against anxiety. Hence, this pose is highly recommended.

How to get into the pose?

Stand with your feet hip distance apart facing side wards on the mat. Next, turn to the left while widening your stance about 4 feet apart. Turn your right foot 90 degrees to point to the front of the mat. Turn your left foot at 45 degrees to point the upper left side of the mat. Keeping both feet firmly flat on the mat, align your pelvis and torso with your right foot and bend your right knee.

Raise your arms upwards and as you press your weight on your right foot, lift your left leg and lower your torso forward so that your torso is parallel to the ground. Next, stretch your arms forward while actively engaging the heel of your left foot. Straighten your left leg and hold for 5 seconds. Lower your leg back on the floor and repeat the same on the other side.

  • Shirsasana (The headstand): 

This one’s a must do during your most anxious times. This pose helps reverse the blood flow in the body that helps you focus on your breath, become aware of the space your body occupies, evoke mental calmness, and detoxify your adrenals. This helps alleviate anxiety symptoms greatly.

How to get into the pose?

Get onto your hands and knees while keeping your forearms shoulder-width apart. Gently interlace your fingers just so your little fingers touch the ground while keeping the elbows in place. Next, place the crown of your head into your hands, tuck your toes in, and lift your hips high. Walk your feet in getting closer to your elbows. Pressing your forearms into the mat, slowly lift one leg off the ground. Once you feel steady lift the other leg up too. Practise the posture against a wall if you are new to this exercise. Hold the posture as long as you comfortably can. Once done, lower your feet down one at a time on knees. Rest in the child pose for a minute after you practice this posture.

  • Viparita karani ( Legs up the wall pose): 

This one’s a powerful restorative yoga pose. It is great for reducing anxiety symptoms along with relieving lower back pain, lowering blood pressure, and reducing insomnia. When practiced in serenity, this pose can be very beneficial for chronic anxiety too.

How to get into the pose?

Sit as close to a wall as possible facing it. Bend your back backwards and with one steady movement, swing your legs on to the wall while resting your shoulders and head on the mat. Move forward until your butt and hamstrings touch the wall. Close your eyes, take slow deep breaths and relax. Stay in this pose for at least 10 minutes (or more). Once you are ready to come out of the posture, swing your legs to one side of the body and get up.

Way 2 Yoga can help: Practice right breathing techniques.

Practice pranayamas. Focussing on your breath not only ensures you get more oxygen into your blood, but also helps you divert your attention from anxious thoughts.

Practice the following, highly beneficial breathing techniques:

  • Kapal bhati (The breath of fire) – Brisk, forced expulsions of air while pulling in the body simultaneously.
  • Bhastrika (Bellows breath) – Forced, short, and brisk inhalations and exhalations without moving the abdomen.
  • Nadi shodan pranayama ( Alternate nostril breathing) – Slow and deep breathing by alternate nostrils without making sounds)
  • Bhramari (Humming bee breath) – Deep exhalations while producing a humming sound.

Way 3 Yoga can Help: Practice meditation and the art of being calm against turbulence.

Meditation is an ideal way of relaxing a distracted mind, giving you calm and peace.  It helps you not worry too much about petty things and keeps anxiousness at bay.

Whenever we get too anxious about a potential threat, the levels of adrenalin hormones goes up in the body causing our hearts to beat faster. Tensing our muscles and making us sweat. Regular and sincere meditation significantly helps reduce this stress hormone in the body, alleviating anxiety symptoms.

There you go!

Applying the ancient science of yoga and its profound principles will lead you to live a happy and healthy life. Learn to experience contentment (santosha niyama), overcome greediness (apigraha niyama) and keep your mind and body clean (shaucha niyama) and you will successfully be able to nip anxiety in the bud, holistically and safely.

However, it is important to know that in cases of severe anxiety, yoga should not be looked at as the sole treatment option. Yoga should be practiced alongside proper medication and regular doctor visits to help you successfully deal with anxiety.

Here’s to a more relaxed and happier you.

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How to Prep Food on Sundays so you can Eat Healthy all Week

Prep food on Sundays

All of us at some point in our lives have taken a resolution to eat healthy and to not touch junk food. Unfortunately, eating healthy proves costly, overwhelming, and laborious. So, most of us conveniently break the resolution and go back to eating wrong. Luckily there are some meals which you can prepare on Sundays for the whole weak. Learn how to prep food on Sundays so you east healthy all week.

Tell you what, if you properly plan your meals ahead and prepare for it in advance over the weekends, you will not only save on time and labour but on money too! Having healthy home-cooked meals (instead of store bought junk) will boost your energy and focus, stabilize your blood sugar levels (and your mood), and keep your weight in check (yes! we know you want that most).

Here’s the trick for Prep Healthy Food on Sundays:

Keep your fridge full of healthy pre-prepared meals that contain quality protein, grains, and green veggies. Accessible, nutrition dense, and fibre rich foods will minimize impulsive unhealthy food binges when you are too tired or out of time to cook a meal. What’s more, it will also reduce your chances of skipping meals and slowing your metabolism in the process.

What to do for Healthy Sunday Food Prep?

Sunday, when you, your spouse, and your children are at home, mutually decide on what you’d all like to eat and prepare meals for the entire week. Store them in the refrigerator and reheat whenever you want to consume them. Also, on a Sunday, you will find more hands to help you and hence your task will be easier.

For starters, here are a few super healthy Food on Sundays and delicious recipes that you can prepare beforehand and enjoy later:

  1. Quinoa first meal bars:

This one is your grab and go breakfast. Its super easy to make and tastes so much better than the store brought variety sans all the added sugar and preservatives.

What Ingredients will You will need for Quinoa first meal bars:

  • 1 cup of chickpea/whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios and pecans)
  • 2 tbsps. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tbsps. of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. of mashed banana
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract/ essence
  • 2 tsps. raisins
  • 2 tbsps. choco chips

Method to prepare Quinoa first meal bars:

  • Combine applesauce and quinoa in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add eggs, peanut butter, honey and vanilla and stir well.
  • Next, mix in the rest of the ingredients and spoon the mixture onto a greased pan immediately.
  • Chuck the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown.
  • Let it cool completely before cutting them into bars and storing them in the refrigerator. Done!
  1. Veggie sandwich:

This one’s your comforting, and filling lunch option. Its rich protein, vitamin and fibre content will keep you full for longer and satisfy your taste buds every bit.

You will need:

  • Spinach
  • 2 tbsps. of plain, thick yoghurt
  • ½ tsp. of fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsps. of grated carrot
  • ½ tsps. of freshly chopped dill
  • 1 tsp. of cilantro
  • ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsps. chopped onions
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. honey
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • 4 slices of whole wheat buns sectioned into halves
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Combine Spinach, yoghurt, carrot, parsley, dill, lemon juice, mustard, onion, garlic powder, salt, and honey in a large bowl.
  • Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, make four portions of it and drop them on the bottom slices of the bun after a layer of lettuce.
  • Top the mixture with a slice of provolone cheese followed by the top bun.
  • Wrap each sandwich in a plastic wrap and then a freezer bag and dump them in the freezer.
  • Remove, heat, and eat on the go.
  1. Chipotle spicy Soya:

This one’s a perfect summer lunch or a winter dinner. It’s warm, soothing, and so delicious you will hardly believe it’s healthy.

You will need:

  • 2 onions, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Soya
  • Canned, diced tomatoes
  • 2 pcs red chili ( hotter variant)
  • 1 minced chipotle pepper
  • 1 can of cooked beans
  • 1 tsp. roast cumin
  • 1 tbsp. corn flour

Method

  • Heat oil in a large pot, and throw in minced onions and garlic. Cook till the onion mince turns translucent.
  • Add Soya pieces to the pot and stir till they change color on the outside.
  • Once the broth starts bubbling up, pour a can of diced tomatoes along with the juice and 2 whole red chillies.
  • Throw in a minced chipotle pepper and stir.
  • Drain and rinse canned beans and add them to the pot as well.
  • Add cumin and salt and let the whole thing simmer for an hour on a low flame.
  • Make corn flour slurry and add. Cook for about 10 minutes. (or more depending on the meat used)
  • Pour the delicious goodness in a container and garnish with chopped herbs and grated cheese (optional).
  • Reheat and eat with baked potato skins or cornbread whenever you please.
  1. Burrito salad jars:

This one is your lean protein lunch option that will keep you full and active till dinner time. It’s packed with quality protein, nutritious vegetables and lots of flavour.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (use a combination of red and white)
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. clarified butter
  • 2 pcs. of thick cut bacon
  • One large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 cups of chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 5 tbsp. of Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • 3 tbsps. of chopped coriander leaves

Method:

  • Add lime juice, zest, and coriander leaves to the cooked quinoa, mix well, and set aside.
  • Blot chicken breasts with paper towels to soak excess moisture and then season it with salt.
  • Heat clarified butter in a large skillet and slowly place the breasts on it. Let them cook at least 4 minutes on each side or till they achieve a golden brown colour on the outside and are thoroughly cooked on the inside.
  • Once the chicken is cooled down, cut it into small ½ inch squares.
  • Heat oil in a separate pan and cook the slices of bacon till they are crispy enough to crumble and set aside.
  • Heat coconut oil on the skillet and sear the sweet potato cubes on it for about 3-5 minutes and then cook it covered for another 10 minutes.
  • Take a pint sized mason jar and add 1 tbsp. of Greek yoghurt at the bottom of the jar.
  • Top it with cubed sweet potatoes
  • Next, add 3-4 tbsps. of coriander lime quinoa
  • Add 1-2 tbsps. of cheese, a piece of bacon, and a layer of chicken.
  • Fill the remaining jar with lettuce and garnish with a sprinkling of coriander leaves.
  • Seal the jar tight and refrigerate
  • Your delicious, nutritious, on the go meal is ready.
  1. Easy cheesy enchiladas:

These are as easy to prepare as it is to freeze them. When reheated and consumed, they taste absolutely delicious. If you are a fan of cheese, we are certain you will become a fan of this healthy meal.

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 cups of freshly chopped spinach leaves
  • 1 tbsp. of fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. of chopped coriander leaves
  • 3 pcs green chillies, chopped
  • ½ tsp. of cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. of chilli powder
  • ½ cup of plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce
  • 8 flour tortillas (burrito size)
  • 2 cups each of shredded Monterey jack cheese and cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 375 degrees F.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add onions. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or till soft.
  • Add minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Next, add the spinach leaves and cook till the leaves are wilted and soft.
  • Add lime juice, coriander leaves, green chillies, cumin powder and chilli powder and stir well.
  • Take the skillet off heat and stir in the Greek yoghurt.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Next, take a 9×13 baking dish and spread ½ a can of enchilada sauce on it.
  • Combine both the cheeses and add 3 tbsps. to the spinach mixture.
  • Take each tortilla and fill it with 3 tbsps. of the spinach mixture, 3 tbsps. of enchilada sauce. Roll up and place it seam side down on the baking dish.
  • Once all the enchiladas are rolled up, pour a can of enchilada sauce over them and sprinkle the remaining cheese.
  • Bake the dish for 30 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
  • Let it cool, seal with aluminium foil and tuck it in the freezer.
  • When ready to eat, heat up the enchiladas in a microwave, garnish with chopped coriander leaves or chopped avocado and enjoy the cheesy goodness.

There you go! These recipes are for inspiration for the Food on Sundays. Use a combination of healthy ingredients and your creativity to whip up smart meals that will last you the week without the need to binge on junk food.

Here’s to a healthier you.

 

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8 Vegan Super Foods that you MUST start Consuming Right Away

8 super foods that you MUST start consuming right away

Super foods are exactly that – super! They are foods that are nutritionally dense and great for health. They neither belong to a specific type nor have their own food group but they all generally contain large doses of one or more of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, fibre, phytochemicals and the likes. These ‘super’ nutrients help ward off diseases and contribute to a longer and healthier life.

We cannot stress enough on how important it is to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat truly nutritious food for a trouble free life as we age.

Here’s a list of vegan super foods that you must immediately start having:

(Unless your doctor advises you not to, for specific health conditions) for a better body (that looks and feels beautiful) if you already aren’t.

  1. Kale:

    This is a clear winner among all fruits and vegetables in terms of its nutrition and antioxidants content. A raft of wonderful antioxidants that this glorious rough edged green serves, is an efficient cancer fighter. Apart from that, it contains Vitamin A that promotes the health of your eyes, skin, and immune system, fibre that renders a healthier heart and Vitamin C (almost as much as an orange!) that prevents viral infections. Also loaded in this super food, is calcium and iron that helps build the body’s strength and endurance. The fact that it can be had anyway from boiled and steamed, to roasted and stewed makes it very adoptable. Start consuming it right away and you will thank us.

  2. Pomegranate:

    Such is the beauty and health benefits of this fruit, the holy Quran is said to mention that it is one of the fruits that awaits mankind in Paradise. This fruit not only has a distinctively wonderful, tart taste, but is packed with a treasure trove of anti-oxidants (one pomegranate contains more anti-oxidants than green tea, red wine, or even cranberries!)That can purge free radicals that damage your tissues and contribute to chronic conditions in the body. Pomegranate has proven to be beneficial for the prevention and betterment of heart conditions, Alzheimer and even cancer. It is said to help blood pressure issues and restore fertility too. What’s more? The fact that one pomegranate has only 72 calories will put a smile on the faces of people who are conscious of their weight.

  3. Quinoa:

    These grain like seeds pack some serious nutrition. They have a mild, nutty flavour and rice like texture making them easy to eat (and enjoyable too). Quinoa has twice as much protein as rice does (also, Quinoa are the only seeds that has all the amino acids) it is the ultimate must have for vegans. This wonder food is also a rich source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and Vitamins B and E. The presence of dietary fibre and absence of wheat gluten makes this a perfectly healthy choice. It can be had any way you want to have. Whether you have it for breakfast as a cereal, lunch as a salad or as a side for dinner, it is sure to make a large difference to your health. The fact that it is the least allergenic of all grains, only makes Quinoa more ‘super’.

  4. Blueberries:

    These berries are nutritional super stars. Aside from having an enviable amount of anti-oxidants, blue berries are loaded with Vitamin C and cancer fighting properties. These beautiful fruits help keep the cellular structure in our bodies intact, improve cognitive function and memory of the brain and help the nervous system from degeneration. The rich content of potassium and folate content in the fruit makes it an ideal choice for elderly and pregnant people. What’s more! These fruits are very low on the glycaemic index and hence are suitable to those people too who have trouble absorbing sugar or have diabetes.

  5. Green Tea:

    While most of us are aware of the fact that the consumption of green tea is beneficial thanks to its weight reducing properties and anti-oxidant content, the main reason why this tea figures in the ‘super foods’ list is the presence of Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) in it. EGCG is a phytochemical that slows down irregular cell growth and thereby helps prevent and stall many a type of cancers. The delicious drink is also known to inhibit oral bacteria and promote gum health along with having a protective effect on neurons. This tea is a must start if you aren’t already drinking.

  6. Spinach:

    If you were born in the 1980’s, chances are you are already familiar with the ‘super powers’ of the humble spinach thanks to Popeye. For the newer generation it is important to know that spinach is a powerhouse of iron and is ideal for anaemic people. The presence of copious amounts of calcium (1 cup spinach = 12% the required daily dose) and Vitamin in the leaves help prevent bone loss and degenerative diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties in Spinach makes it perfect for people who are suffering from or are at the risk of arthritis.

  7. Garlic:

    If you have been avoiding eating it for the fear of having a bad breath, stop avoiding! The pros of eating garlic far outweighs just one such con. It has been used for centuries as food and medicine. Garlic contains Allicin that reduces blood cholesterol, oxidative stress in the blood and also aids digestion. The presence of thiacremonone, an effective anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic compounds, makes garlic an efficient treatment for yeast infections in women and prostrate infections in men. Regular consumption of this super food reduces triglycerides in the body and keeps the heart in optimum health.

  8. Cauliflower:

    For many of us, the fact that this vegetable made it to this list will come as a big surprise. We probably know that cauliflower is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals but what we might not be aware of is the fact that this vegetable is a wonderful source of glucosinolates, the phytochemicals that prevent lung and stomach damage due to cancer and help prevent hormone driven cancers effectively. With the advent of the ‘cauliflower rice’, a seemingly new trend, eating cauliflower has become easier than ever. You have no reason to avoid it!

Make a good salad with all these super foods and garnish it and run your way to good health!

There you go! Incorporate these totally Vegan super foods in your daily diet and see the huge difference it makes to your health and well-being. We are living in a time when stress and pollution are at the peak. To maintain health therefore, incorporating super healthy food in our diet is the key.

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7 Warning Signs from your Body that could be Serious

7 warning signs of your body that could be as serious as a heart attack!

The body is a spectacular system that works in an awe inspiring fashion, maintaining perfect rhythm to help us function so effortlessly. And when things go agley, your body will give out warning signals so that you can take action before the system shuts down, much like taps on your shoulder reminding you that things can get serious if you don’t act on them.

Therefore, the best way to ensure good health is to closely look for signs and then get diagnosed promptly. Little signs are often ignored but a few might indicate there is something serious happening in there.

Humans have a huge amount of feedback from their body, but there are a few symptoms that no one should ever ignore. We have compiled a list of handful of warning signs that might indicate that a serious medical issue is taking place.

Here are a few warning signs from your body that you absolutely shouldn’t ignore:

#1. Sudden sharp headaches:

Headaches over your next kitty, a business meet, or before your child’s important exam are normal. Stress, pinched nerve, and dehydration are common factors that cause headaches. A little discomfort and probably and occasional tear is not something to worry about. But if your headache is unbearable, it could be a sign of something worse so also a sudden one.

There is a possibility that the jack hammering in your head is just a migraine or a sunstroke but if the headache seems like something you never had before, it could be a sign of brain aneurysm. Although uncommon, this issue is serious.

Sometimes arterial bulges in the head can cause weak spot leaks and if that happens, the leaked blood can flow to the surrounding tissue and cut off the oxygen supply to the area causing aggressive headaches. A brain aneurysm can damage a brain in a matter of minutes and hence taking prompt action and calling an emergency service is the wisest thing to do. The doctor will perform scans to see if there are any haemorrhages that need surgery or bleeding that needs stopping.

#2. Unexplained weight loss:

Sudden-Weight-Loss

Rapid Weight fluctuation is common. Digestive issues, crash diets, stress, and intensive exercise are common causes of express weight loss. But, if you have left dieting ages ago and don’t indulge in hard-core activities but are still losing pounds rapidly, there could be trouble brewing in your body.

If you lose more than half a pound every week, go see a doctor ASAP. It could be a sign of a rise in your blood sugar levels, tuberculosis, hyper thyroid, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Chron’s disease or much worse, Parkinson’s or even cancer!! If you have been on the plus side of weight for a long time, you might be happy shedding the pounds, but know that ignoring the issue could lead to fatal issues.

#3 Chest pain:

Chest pain is a sign, you MUST NOT ignore irrespective of your age, your fitness level, or your size. What starts with a dull throb or a sharp pain in the centre of the heart can be a precursor to a heart attack! Also, people who experience tightness in their chest coupled with a nagging shoulder or jaw pain or even a nasty heart burn could well be on their way to a heart issue. It could be a sign of heart attack or blockages.

You shouldn’t feel like you are being forced into a corset. Maybe an occasional heart burn because of the pepper sauce overload is a no worry situation, but if it’s happening way too often (and even when you don’t load up on spice) you could be in for trouble.

So call that doc whenever you have a doubt. Clot attacking drugs can save lives while there is still a chance.

#4 Intense abdominal pain:

Your abdomen isn’t just your stomach. It is home to multiple organs and hence a sharp pain experienced in the abdomen should not be ignored. Menstrual cramps, bloating, and constipation are common causes of an aching mid region. But, if the pain is accompanied by blood in the stool, dizziness or a drastic change in appetite, it could spell trouble.

Also, if you have a piercing pain on the side of your abdomen (and it’s not because you ran too much too soon), and it is causing nausea and fever, it could be a sign of appendicitis. Although the appendix has almost no role to play in the body functioning it is capable of causing a lot of inconvenience when faeces migrate to the place where the appendix empties into the colon and blocks it. The blocking causes the organ to swell dangerously and cause excruciating pain.

If appendicitis is not treated soon, it can cause the appendix to burst and cause dangerous swelling in the surrounding organs too.

So, if you feel like your sides are skewered, go see a doctor or regret.

#5 Bad back ache and tingly toes:

If your back aches because you over worked in the gym, lifted something unusually heavy, slept in the wrong posture for long hours or fell on your back, you might just need to pop an Advil, apply anti-inflammatory creams and use heating pads to banish the pain and comfort you.

But if they all don’t seem to work and you feel numbness in your feet, then it might be time you hobble to an orthopaedician. Your spine has spongy rings between them that cushions the bones. If those cushions press on a spinal nerve, it can cause severe pain and also risk nerve damage.

Worse, it could be a sign of a slipped or ruptured disk (which can only be detected with an X-ray or an MRI). Hence, a back pain coupled with numbness in the feet should not be left unattended for long. Physical therapy, steroids and surgery could go a long way in restoring the health of your spine.

#6 Leg pain with swelling:

If any part of your legs are particularly tender, swollen, warm to touch and aching bad, you should see a doctor because it can be more serious than you think possible.

Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the nerves) could be the culprit if you feel like your calves are on fire or your ankles might just give away. When you are glued to your chair for a long duration, the blood in your body can start pooling in your lower body forming clots that act as a stopper in the vein or artery causing the surrounding area to swell.

In case you suspect they are signs of thrombosis, you must see a doctor who can help you safely dissolve the clot with blood thinners.

#7 Constant low blood pressure:

Although low blood pressure is a sign of good health, excessively low pressure is a sign of danger. When coupled with bouts of sudden dizziness and shocks, low blood pressure could prove dangerous. It is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly if you have a history of fluctuating blood pressure. You can use a convenient and wireless device so that you can monitor on the go.  Also, sudden drops in blood pressure could mean a bad infection, internal bleeding, or an allergic reaction which means going to the doctor is the wisest thing to do.

There you go! Stay fit and be happy.Be alert and keep looking for #signs your #body shows and take action rather than regretting later. Click To Tweet

 

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14 Health Benefits of having Ginger in your Daily Diet

Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger probably is one of the healthiest spices on earth. The woody looking, striated textured, wonder spice belongs to the zingiberaceae family and is a close cousin of another potent spice, turmeric. Although it originated in China, it is widely consumed across the world in various forms owing to its aromatic, pungent, and spicy nature.

Ginger is used in a myriad of forms and ways. It is used raw, sliced, dried, powdered, as a tea concoction, fried, and cooked. The form you use should depend on the purpose you are using it for. Ginger extract and oil can also be used but with a little guide on dosage.

How to buy and store Ginger

  • If possible, choose fresh ginger instead of dry. Fresh ginger has a better flavour, contains more active protease, has higher levels of gingerol, and has more anti-inflammatory properties compared to the dry variant.
  • When buying fresh ginger, look for ones that are smooth, firm, and free of moulds and dents.
  • If peeling ginger gets you, look for young variety in ginger. They have thinner skin that can easily come off with gentle scraping unlike mature ginger that has tougher skin.
  • When buying ginger in a dried or powdered form, opt for local spice stores in your area over supermarkets because local spice stores have better quality and freshness than those on display at supermarkets. Also try looking for products that are organically grown and processed and are not irradiated.
  • If the pungent odour and spicy taste of ginger are too much for you to take, you can start by using candied, pickled, or crystallized ginger and then slowly switch to the original version.
  • Unpeeled fresh ginger can easily and safely be stored in the refrigerator for upto three weeks and in the freezer for almost 6 months. (You want to ensure the ginger is well sealed so it doesn’t lose its moisture!)
  • Store dried/powdered ginger in an airtight container in a dark and cool place. You can also store in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life to almost a year.
  • Ginger essential oil should always be sealed immediately after use and should be kept away from direct sunlight and heat at all times.

Here’s how you can use Ginger in different forms to keep fit, your body:

Freshly sliced ginger:

Scrape the brown thin skin off a piece of ginger with the help of a metal spoon and then cut thin slices. This miracle spice slice will help you:

    • Protect yourself against Alzheimer

      Yes! Oxidative stress and inflammation can accelerate our body’s aging process. Ginger root contains high amount of antioxidants and bioactive compounds that inhibit inflammatory responses occurring in the brain. Ginger also helps enhance brain function, improve working memory and protect your brain against age related damage. Be smart to eat and you might get smarter.

    • Curb nausea!

      Fresh ginger, as little as 1.5 Gms, can prevent nausea and retching. The nausea could be pregnancy related, sea sickness, or even chemotherapy related! What’s more, ginger has even shown to be more effective than the commonly used over-the-counter drug Dramamine in relieving gastro-intestinal stress. People suffering from severe motion sickness and experiencing dizziness, vomiting, and cold sweating along with nausea can also greatly benefit from ginger. For those who are pregnant, ginger helps even the most severe form of nausea (hyperemesis gravidum) without any significant adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes. Since anti-vomiting drugs are known to increase the chances of birth defects, ginger can be your safe go to when gagging.

    • Keep oral health in top shape.

      Gingerol, the substance in ginger that gives it its strong flavour helps lower infections by inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria that causes inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis. The natural oils present in ginger even control foul breath odour and help keep gums healthy.

Ginger Oil Benefits:

Pure ginger essential oil is easily available nowadays in cosmetic stores and online. Get a bottle of this and explore a plethora of health options. Ginger oil can help you:

    • Relieve muscle soreness and pain.

      Weight lifting, strenuous exercises or sitting for long hours at work can cause sore, torn, and painful muscles. Topically applying ginger oil on affected areas can help effectively reduce the discomfort. The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger drastically reduces progression of muscle pains and help you keep working out.

    • Deal with osteoarthritis.

      The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can also help osteoarthritis. This dreaded disease is known to cause degeneration of joints leading to excruciating pain and stiffness. To best help arthritis, mix ginger oil with cinnamon oil and sesame oil and apply topically on the affected area.

    • Combat hair woes.

      Ginger is a great source of potassium, vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus that make your hair stronger (by strengthening the roots) and shinier. It affectively helps prevent hair loss. Ginger is also known to cure dandruff, reduce dry scalp and help increase blood flow to the scalp that boost the growth of hair follicles. What’s more, the fatty acids present in ginger prevents hair thinning that indirectly curbs hair loss. Ginger is a one stop hair woes solution. Isn’t it?

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Ginger Extract Benefits:

Take a piece of ginger and grate it. Now place the grated ginger on a piece of muslin cloth, tie and squeeze to extract juice. This nonpareil substance can be used to:

  • Control blood sugar levels.

    Gingerol, the active component of the wonder rhizome can help muscle cells absorb more glucose without using insulin. It therefore improves the long term blood sugar levels of people affected with type 2 diabetes. What’s more, spissum, present in ginger extract interact with serotonin receptors to help insulin secretion in the body. More insulin in the body automatically means reduces blood sugar levels.

  • Reduce bad cholesterol.

    High levels of LDL lipoproteins are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Ginger extract has been proved to lower bad cholesterol levels in the body as effectively as atorvastatin (prescribed drug for cholesterol control). The phenolic antioxidants present in ginger helps reduce total blood triglycerides too keeping your heart healthy.

  • Protect your eyes against cataract.

    Consuming a little extract of cataract everyday (just about 4 drops) can help delay the onset as well as arrest progression of cataract. Ginger has a very low glycaemic index that helps blood sugar levels spike that causes diabetes (one of the leading causes of cataracts). Who knew ginger helps eyes!

Dried powdered Ginger Benefits:

Powdered ginger too, much like ginger’s other forms is easily available online across all major shopping portals. You can use powdered ginger to:

 

  • Significantly reduce dysmenorrhea.

    All that annoying and nagging pain and cramps during a menstrual cycle can be effectively reduced with the consumption of ginger powder. You will be amazed to know that ginger is known to reduce menstrual pain as effectively as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen!

  • Powdered ginger, when added to food preparations can help prevent respiratory tract infections

    Reduce cough bouts and mitigate chest congestion. In fact, discomfort arising from bronchitis and asthma can also be significantly reduced with consumption of ginger powder.

Ginger Tea Benefits:

Preparation:
1. Put 2 inches of ginger piece in a saucepan with 3 cups of water.
2. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer it till the water reduces to half.
3. Add a pinch of black tea and switch off the stove.
4. Remove the pieces of ginger and your ginger tea is ready.
5. Tip: You can use a dash of honey and lime to up its taste.

You can use this miracle potion to:

  • Help treat chronic indigestion.

    If you suffer from recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper portion of your stomach, you might be suffering from dyspepsia. Having ginger tea helps speed up digestion and empty the stomach. Gas and pain associated with indigestion can also greatly reduce with ginger tea.

  • Help arrest cancer.

    Ginger affectively supresses pro-inflammatory compounds such as cytokine and chemokine helping check cancer cell growth. The phytonutrients present in ginger kill ovarian cancer cells through auto phagocytosis after apoptosis. Consuming ginger tea on a regular basis can prove very beneficial for cancer patients.

  • Boost your immune system.

    Ginger, owing to the presence of natural antibiotics in it is a potent immune system booster. It contains zingibain which dissolves parasites and their eggs and acts as a protective force for your immune system.

How to use this wonder spice in your daily diet to keep fit:

  • Combine cane juice or lemon juice with a bit of grated ginger and you will up the taste of your drink while adding a bit of health.
  • If plain rice bores you, garnish rice with a little finely grated ginger, sesame seeds and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Use a little ginger powder in your traditional sweet preparations to add zing and taste.
  • Add a small piece of ginger to your tea just when it comes to a boil for the perfect cuppa.
  • Garnish your Chinese food preparations with thin ginger juliennes and fried green chillies to make it look great and taste just like it looks.

Use your own imagination and squeeze in a bit of ginger into your food preparation and watch as you become fitter.

Are there any side effects or allergies associated with ginger?

Although there are no significant side effects of consuming ginger, a few people may be allergic to it. The symptoms may range from dizziness and abdominal pain to skin rashes, face inflammation, and heart burn along with a few others. Symptoms can be mild or extreme and can show immediately after you consume or manifest a few hours after you eat. It is wise therefore to consume a very little amount of ginger to begin with and get adapted to it gradually.

If you don’t live in a place where you can easily access the spice in its fresh form, you can make do with a plethora of ginger product options available online. Products such as ginger honey, ginger powder, ginger green tea, ginger essential oil and the likes are available on Amazon and Big basket along with a host of other websites.

There you go! Resolve to use this healthy spice in your daily life and be pleasantly surprised by its abundant health benefits. The little root is worth its weight in gold.