One of the central principles of Ayurveda is that no two people are alike, and no two people have exactly the same nutritional demands. There is no "one-size-fits-all" Ayurvedic diet because of this. The optimum diet is determined by a person's constitution, sometimes referred to as their "dosha type" or "mind-body type", according to Ayurveda. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the three types of doshas.
The doshas are mind-body forces that control all aspects of how our bodies operate, including how our bodies seem, how powerful our digestion is, and how our thoughts and words flow.
Eat Unprocessed and Whole Foods
The Ayurvedic diet states that increasing prana is the best way to raise ojas, the source of life force in the body. Foods that are rich in prana come directly from the earth. Their prana is the result of the fusion of the energies of the sun, the water, and the earth. One of the whole foods you can include is almonds. Ayurveda holds almonds in high regard for their nutritional value and ability to balance vata. When used in food preparation, almonds are well known as a rejuvenator, tonic, and nourishing nutraceutical product (functional food). It was also mentioned in many compound medicinal formulations with pharmacological effects in the ancient Indian medical systems. Almonds may be beneficial for prameha conditions. Ayurveda classifies obesity, prediabetes, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome as clinical disorders that together make up the Prameha syndrome. Almonds may be consumed to treat diabetes complications like weakness and frailty.
Make Dinner Your Lightest Meal and Lunch the Heaviest
Your digestive fire is at its peak at midday when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. As a result, according to Ayurveda, you should eat your biggest meal of the day at midday, when your inner fire is blazing and you are more likely to be able to digest and assimilate food. Eat a lighter, well-prepared supper at least three hours prior to going to bed, and aim to get to bed at or before 10:00 p.m. Eating a large, filling meal late at night might tax your body as it goes through its night-time "rest and repair" cycles.
Follow the 70-30 Rule
In our families, we have been taught to finish everything on our plate, but according to Ayurvedic wisdom, one should only eat until you are satisfied. That would be about enough when you start to burp! Be careful not to overeat or consume meager portions that leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied. Always consume between 70 percent and 8 percent of your appetite to allow the food to mix properly and continue to be digested. The 70-30 rule, which states that 70 percent of your stomach should be filled and 30 percent should be empty, should always be followed. (Dr. Nitika Kohli, Ayurveda Expert)
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Winter is here and with temperature dipping every single day, it is getting harder for people to manage bone and joint pain. This increased joint pain during winter is due to the increased inflammation in one or more joints. It is also because there is less supply of blood to the peripheral regions in the body due to which one's joints become stiff, causing pain in the joints and bones.
Joint pains are especially common in the winter season, making life difficult especially for arthritis patients. Not tackling them effectively could have a detrimental effect on your daily productivity and overall well-being. Here's what you can do to avoid excessive pain in the joints.
Joint pains are common in the winter season, as the cold weather can reduce blood circulation to fingers and toes which could worsen joint pains. Muscles also become tighter at lower temperatures resulting in stiffness and pain. Besides, people tend to stay indoors during winter which could mean limited exposure to sunlight and may result in Vitamin D deficiency.
Here are a few tips to deal with bone and joint pain in winter:
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and reduce inflammation and further reduce the friction between joint surfaces
Keep yourself warm in winter clothing, home heating, and other necessities
Regular exercise will help keep your joints supple and maintain flexibility. It could also help with the lubrication of the joints and improve blood flow
Enough exposure to the sun (Vitamin D) will help in building and improving the bones
A balanced diet with a rich amount of Vitamin D, and Vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids, ginger, soya bean, fatty fish, green vegetables, nuts and seeds, plenty of water, and other collagen supplements will be helpful in joint and bone care during the winter season
Regular movements in the body will promote flexibility in your joints
People who are overweight have more chances of getting arthritis. One should maintain his/her weight in order to keep their knees healthy (Dr Harish Ghoota, Additional Director-Orthopedics, Fortis Escorts Hospital)
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Winters in India are not the same throughout the country. While the northern parts do have colder winters, the south is usually more tropical and does not see extreme temperature variations. Nowadays, this situation is changing; the extreme climate change that has been gripping the globe has not left the country untouched. On one hand, the winter has become colder, foggier, and more polluted in the northern parts whereas the south is experiencing drastic temperature variations with colder nights and comparatively warmer days. This unbalanced climate outside has led to many health problems in the population. A few such issues are frequent colds, coughs,s, and chest congestion that affect the respiratory system.
These are more common in small babies and school-going children as they have weaker immunity. The symptoms may include a blocked nose, running nose, cough with or without expulsion of sputum, sore throat, hoarseness of voice, wheezing, rhonchi sounds while breathing, chest congestion, and sometimes sinus headaches. The general relief mantra is keeping warm and taking hot potency medicines. Minor cases of cold and related respiratory problems can be effectively managed at home, but if the symptoms are severe consulting a doctor is always advisable.
Gargling repeatedly with hot water added with salt, turmeric, or Triphala Choorna is very beneficial in case of throat pain and hoarseness of voice.
In babies below six months of age, medication is not really advised but the medicines can be given through breast milk by medicating the mother who in most cases may also be suffering from the same symptoms.
A really effective herb that can help in improving immunity, digestion, and intelligence in babies and one that can be given even to newborns is Vacha (Vach)/ Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus). A very small quantity of this dried herb is rubbed on a rough surface and the paste can be given with a little amount of ghee.
Dry ginger is also a very effective herb in cases of cold and congestion. It can be used as an ingredient in masala tea, boiled with drinking water, or chewed in small quantities by both children and adults.
Another very important plant for cold, fever and chest congestion in both children and adults is the Parnayavani (Sanskrit)/ Panikoorka (Malayalam)/ Karpooravalli (Tamil)/ Doddapatre (Kannada)/ Pathar Choor (Hindi)/ Indian borage/Mexican mint. The leaves of this plant are slightly warmed and crushed to extract their juice. This juice can be given along with honey. The leaves can also be used in drinking water.
Tulasi is also a very handy solution for this set of symptoms. Water boiled with Tulasi reduces fever, cold, and congestion and improves immunity. Tulasi leaves can also be eaten directly after washing them.
Trikatu is a combination of three dry spices that is usually given in diseases that occur during the winter. It consists of dry ginger, dry black pepper, and dry long pepper powdered together. This polyherbal is used in many formulations in ayurveda and is the major component of Dashamoolakatutraya Kashaya that is specifically given in conditions of cough, cold, and chest congestion.
The most effective method of unblocking the nose and giving relief to the congested chest is exposure to steam. This process of steaming and induction of sweat is called sudation. Steaming can be done by exposing the chest and face to the vapours coming from hot water. For better liquefaction of the sputum herbs like Tulasi and Parnayavani can be added to the water.
Even though many effective treatments are available for respiratory issues during the winter, it is always better to prevent such symptoms. Here are a few precautionary measures that can keep you healthy during cold spells.
Always try to stay warm with a proper winter wardrobe.
Especially cover the ears during traveling and at night.
Do not drink cold water or eat anything refrigerated.
Drink hot water preferably boiled with beneficial herbs.
In places with high pollution and fog, it is essential to wear a mask for protection.
Do not take a shower in cold water and do not sleep with wet hair.
Children should be taught personal hygiene ethics so that they do not get infected by contact with sick kids at school. (Dr. Lakshmi Varma K is a [BAMS, MD(Ayu)] Consultant & Advisor at LYEF Wellness)
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"I was someone who was always complimented for my bouncy hair. But, now, things have changed. Nobody appreciates them because of the constant hair fall I have been facing," shares a public relation specialist adding that this has become one of the reasons for her mental stress now.
And there are several stories where we found how hair fall was related to the mental health of a person.
"Ok so apparently in the last two years since I have been working, my hair density has fallen rapidly. Earlier the patch covered about 35-40 per cent of the crown area now it covers almost 90 per cent. So to be blunt now, I have the hairs of a late 60s guy while I am still in my early 20s," shares a guy working at an IT firm.
While it is believed that stress causes hair fall, some examples and studies show that hair fall causes stress too.
According to studies, significant hair loss can lead to low self-esteem and a variety of other mental health difficulties ranging from stress and worry to suicidal ideation in extreme situations.
Hair loss is connected with a plethora of mental complications since it is a phenomenon that can affect a person's self and identity. Hair loss often causes chronic psycho-emotional and psycho-social stress. This is often found when combined with other complications such as depression, anxiety, personality disorder, among others.
Through a study conducted by Dr Debraj Shome, Director of The Esthetic Clinics, named, 'Iceberg phenomenon of alopecia associated public health ramifications on the quality of life among adults in India', it was found that men and women who have alopecia or hair loss can potentially have a psychological impact in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, loss of confidence, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, and social phobia. In a sample size of around 800 patients who were all above 18 years of age, 442 were male and 358 were female.
It was noticed based on the data that between the ages of 18-30 years, 27 per cent of females and 30 per cent of males reported hair fall problems that impacted their social life.
"Hair loss has the potential to turn every day of their life into a "bad hair day". Several studies have established an association between dermatological disorders affecting patients' mental health, thereby increasing the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among them," says Dr Shome.
Is Hair Loss Affecting Your Sexual Health?
Not only mental health, but experts believe that hair loss is also related to the sexual health of a person.
According to the study, alopecia interferes with the sex life of 72 percent of women as compared with 63 per cent of men. For 73 per cent of women as compared with 61 per cent of men, alopecia posed a problem for the people they love. Alopecia, however, took a toll on the professional life of both men as well as women, it noted.
Anupama Menon, the nutritionist at The Right Living, says, "Alopecia areata causes loss in confidence & self-esteem, heightened self-consciousness, and poor sense of body image. The affected person ends up feeling a sense of loss or having lost out on something, men relate to "feeling anxious" while women are reported to "feeling embarrassed". All of this affects the sex life of the individual as he/she may feel less desirable or attractive."
Dr Harsiddhi Rathod, Shalby Multispeciality Hospitals Ahmedabad, says, "Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a type of androgen hormone, can weaken hair follicles in males by binding to certain receptors on their scalp. This causes hair loss because the anagen phase of hair growth is shortened."
Common in Men, Women And Children!
As per the study conducted by Dr Shome, though often mistaken to be primarily a male disease, women are equally affected by it with devastating consequences in their day to day life.
The American Hair Loss Association has even recognized it as a serious life-altering condition that can no longer be ignored by the medical community and society, especially in women. Balding or thinning hair can be more traumatic for women in a society and culture where a bald man may be socially acceptable but a bald woman is not with her hair being symbolic of her femininity.
In a study by Hunt and McHale, 19-40 per cent of women had marital problems and 63 per cent had career-related problems as a consequence of alopecia.
Studies evaluating the psychological features of men and women with androgenic alopecia found their personalities to be elusive. It was also noted that as a consequence of hair loss, men reportedly became more anxious or aggressive while more women suffered from depression due to hair loss affecting their physical appearance.
Several studies have emphasised the psychological impact of alopecia, especially among women since they tend to be more aesthetic oriented.
For centuries, hair has been perceived as the crown of glory symbolising youth. Nearly every culture and society across the globe associate luscious healthy-looking hair with beauty and good health.
Though a physical phenomenon in itself, alopecia or hair loss can potentially have a psychological impact in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, loss of confidence, low esteem, suicidal ideation, and social phobia.
According to Dr Preeti Singh, Sr. Consultant of Clinical Psychology, Chief medical officer, at Lissun, an online therapy platform, children experience Alopecia Arata too.
"It can have a fairly early onset, they suffer a lot of ill-treatment by other children, bullying can manifest aggressive behaviour, at times delinquent behaviour, poor self-esteem, withdrawal, social anxiety, among other symptoms."
Are You Having Hair Loss? What's The Solution?
Alopecia is a known condition. Experts believe that if it is treated right and on time, there is a strong chance that it can be reversed. It just needs a holistic wellness plan based on the correct diagnosis in many cases to heal and resurrect.
Taking good care of your hair at home is important, but it is also equally important to get the problem checked by professionals.
Dr Shome notes that in several countries, including India, getting hair loss treatment or seeking a cure for alopecia is still considered an 'elective procedure', with a considerable surcharge (such as Goods and Services tax) levied by the government on such treatments/procedures.
"Governments across the globe should have a compassionate and empathetic stance towards this construct; and the first step towards this would be classifying those with hair loss as patients and not as consumers, which would in turn organically annihilate the levying of these taxes on non-surgical and surgical alopecia related treatments," he adds.
"It is the need of the hour to recognise the gravity of this issue of alopecia grappling a large population across the globe to stimulate necessary private, public, and government initiatives towards awareness about its psycho-social impact and mental wellness."
If you live in Delhi, you are probably aware of the rising pollution levels in the city. Exposure to high levels of air pollutants for an extended period or repeatedly may cause serious harm to your skin.
As Delhi continues to get engulfed in smog with the air quality approaching a hazardous level, the harmful pollutants in the air may hamper your skin if appropriate care is not taken. To rescue your skin from harsh pollutants, a team of sensitive skin experts from Cetaphil shares a few tips to ensure our skin doesn't lose its nourishment.
Invest in a good air purifier for yourself. Since most allergies stem from dust, a good quality air purifier is ideal to help clean the home environment and remove dust and other harmful particles.
Practice Good Hygiene
Always wash your hands thoroughly after every task and before touching your skin. Change your clothes at least twice a day and ensure that you take a bath regularly to remove all the pollutants from your skin.
Keep The Skin Nourished
Your skin may suffer because of increased pollution and seasonal changes, making it more sensitive and prone to irritation and allergies. People with sensitive skin may have a thinner or weakened skin moisture barrier, which allows irritants to penetrate and hydration to escape. Make sure your skin is well-nourished and moisturized to improve the resilience of sensitive skin. While stepping outdoors, always carry a moisturizer like Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream which can soothe irritated skin and provide intense moisture.
Limit Outdoor Time
Tracking air quality ensures that you can better manage your outdoor time. Go for a walk in the morning when the air is fresh and plan your day and tasks to avoid making multiple trips outside. In addition, don't forget to apply sunscreen as the harsh rays of the sun paired with the hazardous air quality can make your skin more irritated. This could also lead to stinging and itching.
Look for Hypoallergenic Products
It is essential to use hypoallergenic products especially if you have sensitive skin in this harsh climate. Using strong products on the skin when it is already irritated may cause more harm than you can imagine. Look for ingredients like Niacinamide, which helps in tackling inflammation and helps in the oil regulation in your skin.
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Diwali is the time of year when we completely overindulge in unhealthy bingeing. Festivals not only call for a party, but they also provide us with an excuse to eat a variety of delectable dishes and sweets. You must have eaten your fair share of delicacies. While indulging in your favourite food, it is also important to maintain a healthy balance. Binge eating at a festival also means your body is filling up on toxins, which can make you feel sick or lethargic.
Here are five ways to help your body detoxify efficiently post-festival shared by Dr. Archana Batra, a Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator & Physiotherapist.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Water is necessary for many reasons, including infection prevention, organ function, nutrient delivery to cells, body temperature regulation, joint lubrication, and so on. Furthermore, drinking purified water is one of the most important things you can do to help your body flush out toxins. The importance of staying hydrated to flush out toxins cannot be overstated. Water consumption at regular intervals throughout the day is essential for keeping our metabolism active. If you're feeling lazy, keeping a water bottle on hand is the best way to remind yourself to drink water.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Avoid artificial sugar for at least one to two weeks after the festival to heal yourself and get back on track with a healthy lifestyle. Say no to sugary foods such as sweets, bakery items, colas, and so on. This gives your body time to heal and recover. You can make a detox shake with plant-based protein powder to help your liver function properly. You can also make a veggie scramble with avocado cooked in coconut oil.
Indulge in Exercising
A healthy mind can only exist in a healthy body. The flurry of celebrations, visits to friends and relatives, and sleepless nights have an impact on mental health as well. Even a few minutes of yoga or meditation practice will ensure the proper alignment of a healthy mind and body. You should always begin with lighter workout sessions rather than jumping right into the intense ones. Go for a walk, take in some fresh air, run around, and burn off the toxins and excess fat in your body. A good workout will improve your immunity and mood, making you feel more resilient and healthy.
Add More Fibre to Your Diet
High-fibre foods are essential for bowel health. During the holiday season, we eat anything and everything. As a result, after the festivities, your diet should be high in fibre. Beans, lentils, chia seeds, oranges, pears, apples, carrots, cauliflower, oatmeal, quinoa, almonds, and more are the plant-based options. If festivals are your cheat days, you must make amends with your body when you return to normal days. It will aid in the maintenance of your health.
Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is essential for overall health and the natural detoxification of the body. A good night's sleep allows your brain to organise itself and eliminate the toxic waste products that it has absorbed throughout the day. Avoiding excessive computer screen use, adhering to a sleep cycle, and limiting blue light exposure just before bedtime can all help improve sleep patterns. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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