Covid-19 has altered the way we view health and wellness. Today, focusing on the right food, nutrition and boosting immunity no longer remains an afterthought. The pandemic has forced us to pause, rethink and have a holistic approach when it comes to our overall well-being.
While we pay attention to our health by eating healthy, it's also important to be mindful of what we eat from and ensure our cooking, consumption and storage utensils are safe, sustainable and eco-friendly.
While consumer behaviour is changing to support sustainable brands and eco-friendly practices, plastic still finds dominance in most homes. In fact, our kitchens are replete with plastic jars, containers, utensils, garbage bags etc. and their usage is increasing at an alarming rate. A recent survey states that India generates 6,000 tonnes of plastic every day, nearly 10,000 tonnes of which goes uncollected. Adding to environmental pollution, plastic also has a detrimental effect on our health.
Priyanka Kheruka, Brand Head, Borosil Ltd, said, "When food is heated in plastic, it releases phthalates from the plasticisers and as much as 95 per cent of the chemicals are migrated into our food. Fatty foods like meats and cheese are more prone to leaching and when these are microwaved in a plastic container, the phthalates released can directly affect the lungs, kidneys and liver. BPA on the other hand is linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes."
"Unlike plastic, glass is free of toxic chemicals and also retains the natural flavour on heating. It's also environmentally friendly and can be easily decomposed without emitting toxic chemicals. Using airtight glass containers for storage cuts down on the usage of cling wrap to ensure cut fruits and vegetables and leftover food does not rot or absorb the chemicals from harmful materials used for wrapping. Having steel utensils to cook food can also have a positive impact on health.
Steel does not erode or leach harmful chemicals during cooking. It's durable, sustainable, helps in retaining the original flavour and is easy to clean, like glass. Replace plastic bottles with stainless steel ones. There are myriad styles and options available in the market today which come in beautiful designs. There are many brands that offer bottles that are 100 percent food grade and rust-proof and which help in maintaining the temperature of your drink," she added.
"Copper utensils are ideal conductors of heat and are hygienic and corrosion-resistant. The advantages of storing water in copper vessels and bottles are many, having a direct impact on the skin while also having a therapeutic effect. There are plenty of materials and metals to choose from when it comes to incorporating healthy cooking habits."
Being mindful and conscientious of how we utilize our daily utensils in the kitchen can go a long way in boosting good health for the family, community and society at large while also leaving a positive footprint on the environment.
Read More► For Heart Health, Monitor These 5 Symptoms
Many people believe that heart disease typically affects men. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality not only among men, but also among women. But women are actually at greater risk if not detected early, and this exacerbates the issue.
Signs of poor heart health do not appear as visibly in women as it does in men. What this means is that if a man has a heart issue, there are specific symptoms like angina which can be spotted easily and the right course of action be recommended. The same issue in a woman may not result in a sign or symptom that can be easily spotted. So often, their symptoms go ignored or unrecognised and they do not receive timely intervention to correct the problem. The issue is so acute that today 1 in 3 deaths among women is due to coronary heart disease.
There is also a significant lack of self-awareness among women about risk factors and the prevention of CVDs. Women don't only attend to matters of the home, but they hold positions at leading companies, and continue to rise to the occasion and meet impossible demands on their time. Through all of this, they take care of the emotional needs of their family members and loved ones; and still culturally are predisposed to putting the needs of others before their own. The stress they experience, among other common risk factors, often goes unnoticed by those around them. And stress has a greater influence on CVD risk in women vs men. Along with stress, other factors like diet quantity and quality also have a greater influence on CVD risk in women vs men. Additionally, women are also impacted by female-specific risk factors for CVD like polycystic Ovarian syndrome PCOS, preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes.
In such a situation where symptoms of a heart problem do not manifest visibly, it is extremely important for women to be aware of their own risk factors and adopt proactive measures to take care of their heart health. For example, one risk factor, stress has been linked to a greater intake of energy and nutrient-dense foods, mainly sources of sugar and fat, and to poor diet quality. Women can take simple steps like reducing unhealthy fats and products with high content of sugar and salt to improve the quality of their diet. Choose ingredients that are good for the heart, like oatmeal, wholegrains, fiber rich vegetables, blended oils with the right balance of fatty acids, legumes, soy products, and the like. Regular and consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and other such lifestyle modifications can help maintain heart health in the long term.
Furthermore with signs of poor heart health not manifesting visibly in women, it is crucial that they get regular health check-ups done to assess their risk proactively. Self-awareness and early identification of cardiovascular risk factors can lead to better prevention of CVD in women.
This World Heart Day, let's choose self-care. Get a simple heart check-up done and encourage other women in yourselves too, to get the same done. Take proactive steps for heart health today.
(By Brajesh Kunwar)
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London- Adolescents who had received a mental health disorder diagnosis were often excluded from the labour market and education as young adults, finds a new study.
The study indicated that almost 11 percent of adolescents who had received a psychiatric diagnosis were excluded from the education and labour market for at least five years in their early adulthood.
"Vocational rehabilitation and tight collaboration between psychiatry and social services are important for enabling adolescents suffering from mental health problems to access the labour market," said lead author David Gyllenberg from the University of Turku (Finland).
For the study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the team included 55,273 individuals after exclusions for intellectual disability, death or emigration.
The results are concerning because they highlight the link between mental health disorders and long-term exclusion from education and labour market.
In the study, long-term exclusion was defined as a period spent outside education or paid employment lasting a minimum of five years.
The link was particularly strong with those teenagers who had not completed their upper secondary education and who had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
Almost half of these teenagers who had experienced psychosis and almost three-quarters of teenagers who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder experienced long-term exclusion from education and labour market in their early adulthood.
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Mental illnesses in various forms have been a major health burden globally in recent years. Unhealthy lifestyles, poor eating habits and rise in work-related stress are factors that are contributing to the rising incidence of anxiety and depression. Psychotic drugs in treating anxiety and depression are effective but offer only symptomatic relief. Long-term intake of drugs often leads to dependence without preventing further illness or providing a comprehensive solution to improving mental health.
People suffering from poor mental health can reap rich and long-term benefits by adopting the ancient Indian practice of Yoga in their daily lives. Yoga helps in maintaining good mental and physical health. It harmonises our body and mind and restores our emotional balance. There is growing evidence that Yoga can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and those who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When adopted as a daily practice, yoga can help calm down the mind and prevent the development of mental illnesses.
Stress is the root cause of several lifestyle diseases. Yoga adopts a scientific approach of exercising and relaxing to ease the stress of modern day living. Yoga also contributes to improving memory, sleep and even quality of life in elderly persons with mild memory impairment.
Here are some poses that help improve mental health besides providing other health benefits:
Shashankasana or Child's Pose
This asana stimulates your nervous system thereby re-energizing your whole body. This asana is basically a resting pose somehow resembling a child in fetal position. It is performed by sitting down on the knees and then bending forward so that the chest touches the thighs, and the forehead touches the ground. Stretch the arms forward. If performed with precision regularly, the performer will notice a sense of mental, physical, and emotional comfort descending upon him/her. Like most yoga asanas, this one, too, should be performed on an empty stomach or at least six hours after a meal. However, people suffering from high blood pressure and back pain should avoid this asana.
This inverted pose is one of the best yoga asanas for improving blood circulation towards the head. It helps to calm anxiety, treat depression and insomnia besides regulating blood flow. This pose can be performed by lying down flat on your back. Keep the legs together. While inhaling raise the legs, buttocks and the trunk and support the hips on the palm. The trunk is held at 45 degrees angle to the ground. Breathe normally in this position. To return, lower the legs over the head and keep the hands down while exhaling. Bring the spine and the legs down.
This yoga pose is thought to be therapeutic for people suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, infertility and osteoporosis. It also helps to relieve mild depression and beat insomnia as it is highly beneficial as a relaxation tool. To perform this pose, stand straight. Raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly. Bend backwards from the upper back and maintain the position with normal breathing.
This pose is typically performed at the end of yoga routines and helps boost mental health and relaxes the body. Lie flat on your back, keeping the body straight and hands at the sides with palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and hold the position for at least five minutes. Even pregnant women can practice this asana as it will help them prevent prenatal depression, a prevalent mental disorder in women during pregnancy.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned yogic practices are to be learned in a gradual manner under the supervision of a yoga expert. Yoga enables a practitioner to expand their mental faculties and achieve a greater acceptance of self and others, which ultimately leads to calmer approach to the life.
Yoga encourages practitioners to experience an open heart. Many yogic philosophers consider the entire practice to be about metaphorically connecting to our hearts. Within the chakra system, the heart lies in the middle of the seven chakras. Asanas such as arda chakrasana (back bend), kapotasana (pigeon pose), and ustrasana (camel pose) encourage the expansion of the centre of the chest which is the location of the anahata chakra, the yogic heart centre. Visualizations and pranyams in yoga also encourage open heartedness.
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Our heart is the key organ in the circulatory system pumping oxygenated blood to various organs. People mostly ignore or are not aware of the symptoms of an approaching heart attack or cardiac ailment. With an increasing prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle, monitoring heart health becomes even more essential. Hence, one should be aware of the newly observed symptoms and complications that signal towards an unhealthy heart.
Chest Pain is Just One of The Many Overlooked Signs
Chest pain is one of the most common signs of an approaching cardiac ailment. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness, or pain in the centre of the chest should be reported to the doctor. Many times these symptoms are confused with gastritis and heartburn.
Snoring and interrupted sleeping patterns
Snoring and sleep-related problems like insomnia and sleep apnea, a disorder where breathing get disrupted while you sleep, have a direct link with heart diseases and other cardiovascular ailments.
Shortness of Breath
Unexplained shortness of breath while doing small amounts of physical activity, at rest or while sleeping (that can wake you up) may indicate an underlying cardiac ailment. Women are more likely to suffer/report shortness of breath when dealing with heart troubles.
Waking up tired, restless and noting higher blood pressure levels in the morning, signals towards an unhealthy heart. Though, one should get a clinical assessment done for ensuring a clear diagnosis.
Sweeting more than usual or without any physical activity, especially if one is not exercising or being active can be an early warning sign of an approaching heart-related ailment. If someone is sitting and suddenly starts sweating profusely, it could be a sign of an oncoming heart attack.
An irregular heartbeat or more formally known as "arrhythmias", is a condition where the heart doesn't pump blood at its normal rhythm. Anyone who is relatively healthy and still has an irregular heartbeat, also indicate a chronic heart condition.
Pain in the chest and upper arm area is what most people typically associate with heart problems. However, pain in the neck or jaw is a potential point of angina pain or discomfort when the heart lacks oxygen-rich blood. Women are more likely to exhibit these symptoms than men, but if the symptoms persist it is advisable to consult a doctor.
A persistent cough is not always a sign of a heart problem, as it's a common symptom of various other common illnesses like cold, flu, and bronchitis. But a never-ending cough can be a sign of fluid building up in the lungs, which signals congestive heart failure.
When the heart isn't able to pump efficiently, blood can back up into the veins that take blood through the lungs. When there is excessive pressure in these blood vessels, fluid is pushed into the air spaces (alveoli) in the lungs. Hence, an unending cough can be caused by the irritation and fluid in the lungs, which is similar to what can cause shortness of breath.
With the current lifestyle patterns, it is very important to monitor your heart health. There can be various hidden symptoms contributing towards an unhealthy heart, hence a timely diagnosis and an active lifestyle should be given attention to. The above-mentioned symptoms can be a few of many symptoms denoting an approaching heart ailment, as a reason being aware towards your own health and consulting for timely clinical interventions become essentially important.
Read More► Why Young Indians More Vulnerable to Heart Attack?
Ayurveda, the ancient system of holistic medicine is the oldest in the world and dates back to 6,000 BC. The system of wisdom applies to every living being.
Ayurveda focuses on helping a living being live in harmony with nature and this applies to our canine friends too. Very few pet parents are aware that pets too can benefit from Ayurveda.
In the ancient Ayurvedic texts, there is a mention of veterinary medicine that is focused on animal welfare, treatment therapies, management and surgery. Sali Hotra is regarded as the pioneer and is credited to be an animal healer. Using the various Ayurvedic techniques, pet owners can boost the overall health of their pets besides enhancing the well being of the pet animals.
Just like human beings, pets too consume information through five sense organs. What your pet touches, smells sees, hears and tastes directly or indirectly impacts their body and mind. Read on to learn how to boost the health and well being of your pet using Ayurvedic shared by Brindha Prabhu Co-founder of TABPS pets.
Ashwagandha Can Help in Calming Down Your Pet
Just like human beings, pets too sense the good and bad around them in their surroundings. The energy, vibrations and emotions at home can have an impact on the pets who share space with your family. However, what they cannot do is communicate what they are experiencing. They can only convey through their body language. A Vata-balancing herb like Ashwagandha can help in calming your pet.
Neem Oil Can Enhance Your Dog's Auditory Experience
The hearing ability of dogs is far more superior when compared to that of human beings. Unpleasant noise can leave your pet experience anxiety and increase stress. Thus, as a pet owner, make sure that your furry friend absorbs positive noise. Identify noise that disturbs your pet and shield your pets. A few drops of neem oil can be gently rubbed inside the dog's ear. This will enhance the dog's auditory experience.
Ayurvedic Herbs Can Keep Your Pet Hydrated
Being accepted by nature, pets will drink any water we give them. Just like pet owners fall ill when they consume unhealthy water, we must understand that pets too can become sick when they are given unclean and unhealthy water to drink. It is paramount that pets are provided with only clean and filtered water. This will keep your furry companions healthy and happy. As a pet owner, you can ensure that your pet consumers Ayurvedic herbs which are available in the liquid form. This can be given to pets either mixed in their meal or a few drops of the liquid herbs can be applied directly into his mouth.
Use The Herb Triphala to Enhance The Digestive Health of Your Pet
Just like inappropriate food intake tells on the human body, when pets are fed with unhealthy food, the results can be devastating. As a pet parent, you can ensure that your canine or feline consumes a healthy and balanced diet. Ayurveda suggests that natural ingredients which are free from artificial colouring agents and processing components are highly recommended. The herb named Triphala, which is high in antioxidant properties, can support overall digestive health.
Use sesame oil or coconut oil to massage the foot of your dog
It is advised that pet owners stick to a routine for pets at home. As pet parents, we must ensure that the timetable is strictly followed. This will improve their overall health. Sesame oil or coconut oil can be used to massage the foot of your furry friend. The oil massage besides being nourishing also helps in releasing tension in the muscles and tendons.
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