The unprecedented event in the form of a Pandemic has pushed people to work from home. While what seemed like a good break from the traditional 9-5, work from home brought its own challenges. With the increased working hours due to the lack of clear boundary between personal and professional life, work from home did not prove to be a relief like it was supposed to.
According to the CMR study, the average screen time for Indians increased to 25 per cent. And 23 per cent complained about weaker eyesight due to extended work hours. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian science that works on creating a balance and treating the body in a holistic manner. Following are the key Ayurvedic herbs and practices shared by Ritika Krit, Founder, Kamree that one can incorporate in their daily lives to decrease eye strain caused by electronics.
Icing or Sheeta Satmya: Consistent use of electronics produces heat in the eyes and makes eyelids dull and tired. To counter the effects of overwork, soak cotton balls in cool milk or rose water and place it on your eyes for a few minutes. The exercise will give much-awaited relief to the eyes.
Palm Exercise: Palm exercise, known as palming, is an ancient Ayurvedic technique to massage eyes and provide relaxation. Rub your arms together for 10 seconds and place it on your shut eyes in a cupping gesture. Remember not to put pressure on your eyes. Do the techniques 2-3 times as you inhale and exhale slowly. The Ayurvedic exercise provides relief to your eyes and is also helpful for a goodnight's sleep.
Mudras: Mudras are simple hand gestures that are always defined as a healing modality. Most Mudras for better eye vision can be done lying down while breathing normally. Different Mudras have different effects on the body, and when combined with a breathing exercise, they can bring back balance in the body while strengthening all desired parts and healing them holistically.
One of the most common Mudra is Prana Mudra. In order to practice Prana Mudra, keep your spine erect and body relaxed with open palms placed on your lap. Join the tip of your pinky finger to ring the finger to the tip of your thumb and breathe normally for 15 minutes. The Mudra will promote healthy vision and heal irritable eyes.
Herbs for Stronger Eye Vision
Fennel- Rich in Vitamin A and C, fennel is good to strengthen your eye vision. You can either consume it in the form of tea or wash your eyes with fennel water as it cooling for the eyes.
Triphala- Three fruits - Haritaki, Amla, and Bibhitaki make Triphala which balances the energies in the body and is a good source of antioxidants and Vitamin C, which reverses the signs of inflammation and oxidative stress.
The Ginkgo Biloba- Native to China, Ginkgo Biloba is most effective in treating degrading eye vision.
Calendula- Also known as "Pot Marigold," calendula is an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial herb that helps in treating eye conditions such as redness, swelling, mild irritations,
Almonds- The most common ingredient to Indian households, almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, which promotes the growth of healthy tissues and great vision.
Splash water 3-5 times a day to active facial nerves and arteries.
Take a break from electronics during meals.
Practice calmness as anger and frustration can increase the flow of blood, which dilates pupils and causes eye strain. You can also exercise pranayama to bring more peace to your daily life.
Avoid hot water for showers which can cause the imbalance of fire elements in the body. Instead, use lukewarm water whenever necessary.
Wear preventive eyeglasses when using electronics to avoid direct contact with blue light.
Avoid reading or using electronics in a dark room.
Avoid rubbing your eyes harshly. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has associated approximately 4.2 million premature deaths per year with health issues related to air pollution. According to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) outdoor air pollution is related to more deaths than unsafe sex leading to HIV/AIDs, unsafe water, or malaria. Annual air pollution-related diseases also have a much higher death toll than Covid-19 to date.
With the country's air quality plummeting to hazardous levels after Diwali, people are complaining of respiratory trouble such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and incessant coughing. The high pollution levels are also likely to impact more people this year as a significant proportion of people who recovered from Covid-19 might not have completely healthy lungs. People are opting for various measures to combat the ill effects of pollution. Listed below are some important products that you can get your hands on to fight pollution.
1. Phillips Air Purifier: This purifier is the one product that everyone should own. It comes with 4 stage filtration and automatically senses the air quality and removes 99.97 per cent of airborne pollutants. It can purify a standard room within 12 minutes and provide real-time air quality feedback.
2. GO2 Therapy, Portable Oxygen Cans: gO2therapy was launched in April 2021. It is the second generation of high-purity (99 per cent+) portable Oxygen can, which is highly useful in our day-to-day life situations like pollution and emergencies. gO2 therapy can be used to perform oxygen therapy at home to help the body fight the ill effects of the city's pollution and not only increase mental and physical performance among fitness enthusiasts but also help in dealing with respiratory issues.
3. SmileDrive Portable Air Quality Meter: This portable meter is a great way to detect air quality indoor and outdoor. It detects the air around through air scattering detection. The big monitor screen can be used easily at the home, office or outdoors in the car. It has an inbuilt rechargeable battery and runs 10 times faster to provide accurate readings.
4. Boldfit N95 Reusable Masks: The N95 face mask, as suggested by doctors provides personal protection against dust, allergens, fog haze and is anti-odour. It is made of activated carbon that has cotton to ensure that the skin remains fresh all day. It also provides protection against dust and could be worn outdoors and indoors.
5. Environics Envirochip: Envirochip is clinically tested and certified with proven health benefits. It protects you from the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation. It helps to reduce stress and boosts protects your immunity so that you can use your tech gadgets safely.
The small chip comes with one-of-a-kind technology that helps nullify the harmful effect of e-radiation emitted by a laptop/ mobile phone/ Smart TV/ Monitor, etc without compromising device performance. You can easily stick the chip at the body of your laptop or mobile phone the chip built on the foundation of radiation protection technology, changes the nature of electromagnetic radiation, making it harmless to the human body. (Agency)
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In todays day and age with the kind of food available, nutrition is generally lacking in the growing kids. To build a strong immune system, children need the right and enough nutrients. Below are a few Superfoods which can help kids boost their immunity and help in their growth.
1. OZiva kids Superfood immunity Multi Gummies- OZiva Superfood Immunity Multi is a clean blend of powerful superfoods with Ayurvedic Herbs specially created to support enhanced immunity in children. It boosts and strengthens the immune system with plant-based Vitamin C, supports the production of white blood cells and antibodies to fight infections, reduces chances of infection with Zinc's anti-inflammatory properties,
helps keep the immune system balanced with Vitamin D by preventing it from overreacting, combats illnesses, increases immune cells and maintains healthy immune system with plant-based extracts of Elderberry, Amla and Acerola Cherry. These delicious gummies are easy to chew and are vegan with no preservatives, gelatin free, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial colour, soy-free. Recommended 1 gummy daily for children of age 5 years and above.
2. Fast&Up Charge Kids- Fast&Up provides high-quality supplements and vitamins to increase performance. Fast&Up Charge Kids has a triple action formula with Immunity Booster Herbs like Curcumin, Ginger and Tulsi which helps strengthen the body's defence system. It has essential nutrients, Active Vitamin C Complex, Natural Amla, 100% RDA Vitamin C which helps to boost immunity. Kids above the age group of 4+ can consume Fast&Up Charge Kidz.
3. NutriBears Daily Multivitamin Gummies- This advanced NutriBears Kid's Multivitamin Gummy supplement helps in filling the gaps in your child's diet. Fortified with a vitamin complex that contains Vitamins A, B5, B12, C, D, and E, as well as Folic Acid, Iodine, Magnesium and Zinc, our vitamin gummies taste great and give your child the boost they need to be at their physical and mental best.
4. Patanjali Nutrela Kid's SuperFood Nutrition Drink- Patanjali Nutrela Kid's Superfood is a scientifically designed advanced formula as per ICMR guidelines for every growing kid for 4-12 years in delicious chocolate flavour. An ideal blend of milk protein and vitamins with botanical extracts. It is 100 per cent vegetarian, GMO-free, gluten-free, no artificial colour, preservative-free and trans-fat-free. Balanced nutrition for active growth with essential amino acids.
5. Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood - Berry Blast- This nutritional smoothie combines the farm fresh greens with a rainbow of over 30 wholesome fruits and veggies providing kids with the whole food nutrition their growing bodies need and the amazing taste they'll love. This plant-based drink is dairy-free, Certified Organic by CCOF - Non-GMO and More. (Agency)
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37 or 38 weeks pregnant, the finishing line seems so close yet so far. As one inch closer to their due date, often patience runs out and you may be ready to try everything possible to help induce labour naturally.
most women choose to speed things up naturally with food choices. Some look at these food groups as old wives' tales since there is limited evidence to prove these are hundred per cent successful in aiding labour.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf is known to help strengthen the uterus muscles and tone the pelvic floor- both of which can help prepare for the process of birth.
Studies have revealed that red raspberry leaves can help shorten labour and decrease the likelihood of a C-section or chances of an assisted birth using forceps/vacuum.
These leaves are commonly consumed in the form of tea by brewing the leaves in boiling water and then consuming the same. Since raspberry leaves can increase the frequency of Braxton hick's contractions, it is recommended to consume these past 34 weeks.
The orange and ripe papaya although thought to be prohibited in pregnancy can actually be consumed occasionally in moderation and is no longer considered harmful for pregnant women. However, it is the green unripe and raw papaya that contains latex, which is believed to have properties similar to that of the hormone oxytocin (released during labour for uterine contractions).
For this reason, unripe papaya is often a food choice amongst pregnant women who are naturally trying to induce labour during their last couple of days of gestation.
Pineapple is yet another fruit that is generally avoided by most pregnant women during pregnancy. Unfortunately, not many seem to know why this norm is popular.
Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain which is believed to cause cervical ripening. Cervical ripening is the first step towards cervical dilation which could eventually lead to labour.
It is believed that the highest concentration of bromelain is present in the core of the pineapple. Pineapple is therefore consumed by pregnant women often in the last weeks of pregnancy in a bid to aid cervical ripening.
It is believed that dates can help with the process of cervical ripening while also improving the spontaneity of labour & reducing the chances of postpartum haemorrhage.
Studies have revealed that those who consume dates in their third trimester have a shorter first stage of labour and a quicker rate of cervical dilation.
It must also be kept in mind that although dates are high in fibre, they do contain high levels of sugar and are therefore to be avoided in cases of gestational diabetes or for those who have a yeast infection in pregnancy (yeast feeds of sugar).(Dr. Vanshika Gupta Adukia, Pregnancy/Childbirth & Lactation Specialist)
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Gluten is a family of proteins mainly found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). It contains gliadin and glutenin. The elasticity of dough is because of its gluten content. Gluten gives a chewy texture and desired shape to the product. In some people, gluten causes inflammatory and autoimmune reactions, where it mainly destroys the tissue of the small intestine and gut lining. In human body absorption of nutrients takes place in the small intestine, so in such cases, it is very important to follow a gluten-free diet for good gut health and nutritional status. Now let's know about the two grains which are naturally gluten-free and have many health benefits too:
Millet is one such ancient superfood that gives many health benefits due to its nutritional content. It helps to strengthen the immune system, promote good bone health and aids in weight loss. It contains all potential antioxidants which prevent ageing and metabolic disorders like diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia etc. We know that many diseases occur due to our body's acidic pH. Where a diet rich in alkaline foods are required. So this grain is alkaline in nature, preventing acidity and heartburn issues.
Health Benefits of Millet:
It's a good source of B vitamins like niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. These nutrients help to perform many enzymatic reactions in our body and are also necessary for the normal functioning of the organs.
Millet contains an insoluble fibre known as prebiotics. It supports good bacteria in the gut. Insoluble fibre helps to relieve symptoms like constipation, bloating, gas and cramps etc.
It can be a healthier grain to include in your diet if you want to protect your heart. It contains a good amount of magnesium which helps to control blood pressure. Millets are rich in dietary fibre too (both soluble and insoluble fibre) which makes it a good choice for people who are suffering from high cholesterol levels.
It's low in simple carbs and high in complex carbs (a low GI food) and hence its consumption is good to control sugar levels and aids in weight loss.
Millets are rich in antioxidants and phenols especially ferulic acid and catechins. Antioxidants help in reducing oxidative stress in the body and boost immune functioning. The darker millets contain more antioxidants compared to the lighter ones.
It is one of the nutrient-rich grains for pregnant women as it is rich in iron, protein, antioxidants, dietary fibre, calcium, magnesium, potassium and folate. All those nutrients are required more during pregnancy. Its high iron content improves haemoglobin levels. Dietary fibre prevents constipation and helps to lower blood sugar levels in gestational diabetes. Calcium and folate help in fetus development. Magnesium and potassium manage blood pressure.
And other information for those who are trying to conceive, that this grain can help you. The science behind that is, grains that are high in complex carbs and low in refined carbs prevent a surge in insulin resistance and preserve ovulation. Also, women suffering from PCOD should add this grain to their daily diet. As it helps to cut down the visceral fat, thus regulates the menstrual cycle.
Buckwheat is not a type of wheat, it's a gluten-free grain that comes under the group of cereals commonly called pseudocereals. As it doesn't grow in grass, it's a plant just like quinoa and amaranth. Basically, it is a seed that needs grinding to make its flour. We all include this grain in our diet during fasting days. But do we know its amazing health benefits?
Health Benefits of Buckwheat:
It is more satiating than any other grain due to its power loaded nutrient and complex carbohydrate content. And this helps to reduce weight as it keeps you full for a longer time and prevent you from binge eating.
Iron is very important for our body's normal functioning. Deficiency of this mineral leads to anaemia, weakness and fatigue. Buckwheat is a good source of iron. So make this grain a part of your diet on non-fasting days too.
It is rich in magnesium and calcium, minerals that are required for healthy and stronger bones and teeth, promotes growth and development.
Among the other pseudocereals, buckwheat is a rich source of rutin antioxidants. It contains other antioxidants too like quercetin. Rutin has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to remove potentially harmful substances called "free radicals" from our bodies. And thus it boosts immunity.
It's a rich source of plant-based protein, especially contains a good amount of aspartic acid, arginine and lysine amino acids. These amino acids help in the regularization of hormones in the body. Studies show that intake of lysine may reduce anxiety also improves calcium absorption.
Because of its miraculous nutritional content, it can be a superfood for pregnant women. And it's totally safe to have during pregnancy as it has a good amount of folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, dietary fibre and essential amino acids. Folate supplementation is needed during pregnancy or before conception. A diet rich in folate helps to prevent neural birth defects. Also, it contains a higher amount of dietary fibre, including all three fibre soluble, insoluble or resistant starch.
The role of fibre in our body is to delays the metabolism of sugar and to keep the digestive system healthy. So consumption of this seed will keep you at bay from general problems that occur during pregnancy such as constipation, gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Research says that intake of lysine with iron and vitamin supplements helps to improve hemoglobin levels in pregnant women.
It will be a great choice for women who are planning to conceive, as buckwheat is a good source of folic acid which helps in releasing eggs during ovulation. Also, it contains a rutin antioxidant that promotes the circulatory system in women. Its high fibre content will help to lose weight in PCOD. It has been found in studies that it lower the testosterone levels by which regulates the ovulation process.
Here is one nutritious recipe you can make by using these two grains:
Millet and buckwheat bhel with the goodness of iron and calcium:
Whole millet grain (boiled): ½ bowl
Buckwheat seed (boiled): ½ bowl
Steamed moong, Kala chana sprouts: ½ bowl
Tossed mushroom: ½ bowl
Green apple: ½ bowl chopped
Lemon: as per taste
Salt and pepper: as per taste
Take a pan and boil whole millet grain and buckwheat seed in water on slow flame till it gets transparent. Drain the extra water and take out the boiled seeds in a bowl. Now add steamed moong and Kala chana sprouts. Meanwhile, toss the mushroom in a pan for few minutes. Add chopped green apple and tossed mushroom in a mixture and flavour it with salt, pepper and lemon.
You can enjoy this bhel as a mid between snack or in dinner.
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Hyderabad, Aug 18 (IANS) The consumption of millets can reduce total cholesterol, triacylglycerols (commonly known as triglycerides), and BMI, according to a new study analysing the data of 19 studies with nearly 900 people.
The study was undertaken by five organisations and led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
The results, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, brings critically needed scientific backing to the efforts to popularise and return millets to diets, especially as staples, to combat the growing prevalence of obesity and being overweight in children, adolescents, and adults.
The study showed that consuming millets reduced total cholesterol by 8 per cent, lowering it from high to normal levels in the people studied. There was nearly a 10 per cent decrease in low and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (commonly viewed as 'bad cholesterol') and triacylglycerol levels in blood. Through these reductions, the levels went from above normal to normal range. In addition, consuming millets decreased blood pressure with the diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in the BP reading) decreasing by 5 per cent.
"We were very surprised how many studies on humans had already been undertaken on the impact of millets on elements that impact cardiovascular diseases,and this is the very first time anyone has collated all these studies and analysed their data to test the significance of the impact. We used a meta-analysis, and results came out very strongly to show significant positive impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease," study's lead author and senior nutritionist at the ICRISAT, Dr S. Anitha said.
The study also showed that consuming millets reduced BMI by 7 per cent in people who were overweight and obese, (from 28.5 (+/-2.4) to 26.7 (+/-1.8) kg/m2), showing the possibility of returning to a normal BMI (less that 25 kg/m2). All results are based on consumption of 50 to 200 g of millets per day for a duration ranging from 21 days to four months.
These findings are influenced by comparisons that show that millets are much higher in unsaturated fatty acids, with 2 to 10 times higher levels than refined wheat and milled rice as well as being much higher than whole grain wheat.
"Unhealthy diet is a major contributor to the rising incidence of diseases, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The results of this study along with our recent study that showed that the consumption of millets reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and helped manage type 2 diabetes, highlights a critical need to look carefully at how to most appropriately bring millets back into the diets in India and ensure this reaches the majority," National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) Director, Dr Hemalatha, said.
"Obesity and being overweight are increasing globally in both wealthy and poorer countries, so the need for solutions based on healthier diets is critical. This new information on the health benefits of millets further supports the need to invest more in the grain, including its whole value chain from better varieties for farmers through to agribusiness developments," ICRISAT Director General, Dr Jacqueline Hughes, said.
The study identified a number of priority future research areas including the need to study all different types of millets, understand any differences by variety alongside the different types of cooking and processing of millets and their impact on cardiovascular health.
Given the positive indicators to date, more detailed analysis on the impact of millets on weight management is also recommended. All relevant parameters are also recommended to be assessed to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts millets consumption on hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease.