Archive for June, 2015

Tips to prevent Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Friday, June 26th, 2015

With heavy rainfall reported in different parts of India, it seems like the rain gods are working overtime this year. Heavy rain showers are accompanied by a sudden drop in the temperature which brings with it a host of health issues like fever, sore throat, skin infections and conjunctivitis (pink eye) to name a few.

Conjunctivitis also referred to as ‘Pink eye’ is caused when the membranes surrounding the eye balls are infected by a virus or bacteria. In certain cases foreign bodies & dust particles can also be blamed for triggering this particular kind of eye infection. There are 4 different kinds of Conjunctivitis namely – Allergic Conjunctivitis, Bacterial Conjunctivitis, Viral Conjunctivitis and Chemical Conjunctivitis. Some forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious yet easily treatable while others are harder to control and could lead to serious outcomes, if left untreated. Watch out for these symptoms:

  • Redness in the white portion of the eye
  • Watery eyes
  • Thick yellow discharge from the infected eye
  • Itchy or burning sensation in the infected eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision

If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical advice at the earliest instead of opting for self medication which could prove to be detrimental to the eye health.

Moisture-laden air serves as the perfect breeding ground for the conjunctivitis virus hence maximum cases of conjunctivitis are reported during the rainy season. Those who have a weak immune system pose a higher risk of contracting this eye disease. Like most monsoon related illnesses, conjunctivitis too can be treated in multiple ways but as the famous saying goes – ‘Prevention is better than cure’.

Being contagious in nature, people living closely with a Conjunctivitis patient should take necessary precautions to prevent this virus from spreading. Here are a few preventive tips for the same:

  • Maintain a high level of hygiene at home especially if one or more members of the family are suffering from conjunctivitis. Wash your bed sheets, pillowcases & towels in hot water and detergent to prevent spreading the infection. Use a good quality disinfectant to keep your home clean & free from germs
  • Do not share personal belongings
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly between regular intervals and avoid touching your face & eyes too often.
  • Consume more of immune boosting foods. Green leafy vegetables and orange colored fruits contain beta carotene which helps in improving the immune system thereby minimizing the chances of contracting this eye infection.
  • Opt for disposable tissues instead of handkerchiefs or towels to dab eyes. After use, do not throw these tissues on the floor or any area where they could be easily accessible to others.
  • Avoid visiting crowded places. When outdoors, always cover up your eyes with sunglasses. Doing so will prevent the eyes from coming in contact with dust & foreign particles, which could trigger conjunctivitis at a later stage
  • Avoid wearing & sharing eye make-up and/or contact lenses

Debunking some popular Yoga Myths on International Yoga Day

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

International Yoga Day is coming at a critical time when it has become absolutely essential for people to follow a yogic lifestyle that is healthy, humble & devout.

Approximately 200 million people across the globe practice yoga (in some or the other form). A major chunk of this population is from India and more than 20 million from the United States alone. This year, on June 21st – International Yoga Day, millions of health enthusiasts from 193 nations will perform various ‘Asanas’ (yogic postures) at different locations around the globe.

A healthy & fit body is just as important as a strong & stable mind. In clinical settings, Yoga has shown to benefit one’s overall well-being in a plethora of ways. In spite of this well-known fact, there are many who are still cynical of this ancient practice, mainly because of various false notions and misconceptions associated with it. It’s about time we debunk some of the most popular Yoga myths that have been circulating for years

  • Myth 1 – Only people with flexible bodies can practice Yoga

    Fact – Flexibility of the body is not a pre-requisite for practicing Yoga. Regular practice can in fact help you attain maximum flexibility in the body but that will happen gradually over time. What you can do, is make subtle adjustments to each posture as per your body’s ability in order to avoid straining. If practiced correctly, Yoga can actually make you feel active, energetic & positive

  • Myth 2 – Yoga is not an Exercise

    FactYoga can very well be regarded as a form of Exercise, as it works on all body systems including the cardiovascular system and the nervous system

  • Myth 3 – Yoga is only for Women

    Fact – Here’s a fact that most aren’t even aware of – Yoga practice was actually started by a man and practiced by Men for thousands of years. Although majority of Yoga practitioners across the globe are women, the health benefits of yoga are not restricted to any particular gender.

  • Myth 4 – Yoga is against my Religion

    Fact – Being originated in India, Yoga often draws upon the teachings of Hinduism & Buddhism but it is in no way against any Religion. In simple terms, Yoga is an exercise of mind, body & spirit. Yogic postures are designed to deliver multiple health benefits and improve the mind-body connection

  • Myth 5 – People who wish to practice yoga have to become vegetarians

    Fact – There is no requirement of vegetarianism to practice Yoga. Eat anything that’s healthy after your Yoga class but always remember – the food that you consume can be the safest & most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Your body is your temple. Choose your food items wisely

  • Myth 6 – I have to be thin to practice Yoga

    FactYogis come in all sizes. Some of the finest Yoga instructors are well-built but still possess remarkable flexibility & stamina to perform challenging poses with fluidity & grace. With regular sessions, Yoga has helped many to reduce weight gradually

  • Myth 7 – As a form of exercise, Yoga is too gentle to give any kind of visible physical benefits

    FactYoga certainly does not include strenuous moves like the ones incorporated in other forms of exercises like Aerobics & Zumba but it doesn’t mean that it is any less effective in terms of promoting health & holistic wellness. Yoga is a lot more than just stretching. Most Yogic postures are dynamic and not only increase flexibility but also strength, balance, coordination and cardiovascular endurance.

Food Safety Tips for Monsoon

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Monsoon has always been considered as a blessing especially because it provides extreme relief from the sweltering summer heat but what’s disappointing is the fact that this season is also accompanied by various diseases and infections, most of which are water & food-borne. Unhygienic, polluted & dirty surroundings pave way for the growth of viral, bacterial & fungal infections that affects the skin, respiratory & digestive system. Food Safety is essential not just during monsoon but throughout the year. The best way to preserve health during monsoon is by consuming the right food items and staying away from the wrong ones. Take a look at some of the most important Food Safety Tips for Monsoon:

Consume fresh and properly cooked food. Always opt for home cooked food. Avoid eating at a restaurant. Fruits & Vegetable Salads can boost immunity levels hence it is best when consumed during this season but ensure that you have the ones that are freshly cut and hygienically served. Never buy eatables from roadside vendors as they can easily be infested with dust, dirt & contagious bacteria.

Make it a habit to wash your hands before indulging in food preparation. If you are unwell refrain from cooking food for others. You may end up serving them a plate full of viral infections with a germ-infested meal

Food poisoning from E- coli, salmonella or other contaminants are very common during monsoon. Cooked food should always be refrigerated as soon as it reaches the room temperature. Leftover food items have to be consumed at the earliest in order to prevent fungus growth. Get rid of food items that are moldy, discolored or decayed

Fried & fatty food items can appear to be very tempting in monsoon and could easily add to your weight, hence make sure that you are determined enough to resist these temptations by opting for healthy food stuff. Freshly brewed soups, lentils, corn, chickpeas and oats are some of the healthiest food items to be consumed during rainy season. Include more of protein rich foods in your diet.

Make sure that you place raw meat & eggs away from rest of the food items in your refrigerator. Sometimes the juices of raw meat drip causing cross contamination.  Always use good-quality, airtight containers to store food within or outside the refrigerator. Food items should not be exposed in an open environment for long as it attracts bugs.

Include more of pepper, garlic, ginger, jeera powder, coriander and turmeric in your daily recipes. These seasoning ingredients reduce indigestion and improve the immune system.

Drink plenty of water but make sure it comes from a trusted source. Boiled, filtered & packaged water should be preferred. Also ensure that your water filter at home/office is periodically cleaned.

Heavy rainfall brings with it a pleasant atmosphere which seems to be perfect for enjoying a hot beverage. Do not consume more than 2 cups of Tea or Coffee in a day. It may cause acidity problems.

Follow these guidelines to stay safe & healthy, this Monsoon