There are many ways to give a healthy start to the new year. Follow these tips:
Eat more Whole Foods: Making a conscious effort to fill your plate with more whole foods (such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and pure protein sources) and less processed foods is the easiest approach to start a healthy year (like bread, cheese, processed meats & pre-made frozen meals).
Choose a sustainable Diet: Rather than following fad diets that promise quick results while jeopardising your metabolism and mental wellness. Diets that you won't be able to maintain in the long run once you've reached your ideal weight without feeling deprived. Then worrying that your weight will return once you resume eating without a fixed diet is not worth the effort.
Choose a dietary plan that not only satisfies your objectives but also fits into your daily routine. Delivers slow but long-lasting benefits. It's a privilege to have a diet that may become your lifestyle rather than a "diet."
Where you may strike a balance between your social life and your occasional treats without jeopardising your progress or making you feel bad. Making long-term health a priority, developing self-awareness, and eating intuitively is your recipe to a "sustainable transformation".
Increase Vitamin D intake: Vitamin D supplementation is important not just for bone and immune system health, but it can also help avoid chronic health problems (such as heart disease, diabetes, and some malignancies) and even encourage hair growth. As a result, make sure to catch some sun for at least 15-20 minutes per day and complement with a vitamin D supplement (no more than 4,000IU per day).
Incorporate Movement Into Your Daily Routine: It doesn't matter if you're doing a workout, playing a sport, or simply going for a walk. For maximum functioning, it's critical to get your blood flowing and stimulate oxygen delivery to every region of your body. Make it a point to include some type of physical activity in your everyday routine.
Prioritize Sleep: We often end up preferring socialising above sleeping as overworking has become a badge of honour in our society. We push our bodies to extremes by depriving them of sleep and over-caffeinating them, which leads to anxiety and weakened immunological systems.
Sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep can cause major health issues like insulin resistance, neurological issues, weight gain, depression, and anxiety, to mention a few. As a result, it is critical that we obtain 7-8 hours of excellent sleep each night in order for our bodies to function at their best.
Reduce Stress: Stress is a major contributor to practically all health problems, from heart disease, obesity, and diabetes to digestive disorders (such as IBS, GERD, and gastrointestinal problems) and depression. Internal and external sources of stress are both possible. Although the ultimate goal should be to eliminate all stress.
However, while it is virtually impossible, you may reduce stress by engaging in activities such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, exercise, counselling, or whatever else you enjoy to help you disengage from the outside world and reconnect with yourself. "Me time" is not a self-indulgent indulgence.
Form A Morning Routine: Having a morning routine is similar to showing up for yourself and prioritising yourself. It's the same as honouring yourself and prioritising your needs. Following a morning routine allows you to get your day off to a good start by allowing you to be in tune with yourself before dealing with the rest of the world. This way, rather of allowing your day to control you, you take charge of it.
Say Your Daily Affirmations: Speaking your daily affirmations aloud will not turn you into a narcissist, but it will help you stay on track with the proper energy and mindset. Positive self-talk has the ability to transform unbelief, self-doubt, negative thinking, and body shaming attitudes into gratitude and romanticising your existence. So don't dismiss the importance of positive affirmations.
Set Daily Intentions: Setting your daily aims has a lot more impact than you might believe. It opens up our receptivity, manifests, and sends out what we want to bring into our lives. Intentions provide us with a sense of direction as well as motivation and inspiration to attain our goals. Together, writing down your intentions and saying your affirmations for the day creates the most effective visualising tool for staying focused and committed to your goals.
Choose Passion Over Perfection: Stop doing things half-heartedly. As a result, you put in more effort and become frustrated. However, if you are enthusiastic about a job or work, you should be able to complete it with less effort and more joy.
Because you'll give it your all and put your heart and soul into it. You are defined by your passion. It elevates you and allows you to shine. (Veronica Kumra is a Holistic Nutritionist)
Read More► 10 Smart Tricks to Drive Away Dandruff This Winter
A dry, itchy scalp is the most common cause of dandruff in the winter. A number of variables contribute to this, including dry, chilly air and a high prevalence of the Malassezia fungus. If you want to reduce and treat dandruff, you'll need to utilise the correct hair care products for the job. Dandruff is by far the most inconvenient and humiliating hair issue.
Dandruff can be caused by stress, a change in climate (severe heat or cold), an overabundance of fatty foods, a change in shampoo, excessive sweat, and even pollution. Dandruff flares up when Malassezia, a naturally occurring microorganism on the scalp, is worsened by any of these circumstances.
Dr Amrendra Kumar, Consultant Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon, Director of DermaClinix shares 10 tricks to drive away dandruff this winter are as follows-
Avoid Direct Heat: One of the most common causes of a flaky scalp is excessive heat. Wet hair can cause headaches and colds, which is why hair dryers are so popular in the winter. However, direct heat exposure, such as from ironing boards and hair dryers, dries the scalp. Instead, towel-dry your hair before allowing it to air dries.
Cut Down on Sugar: Sugar is bad for both your skin and your hair. It turns out that it's also bad for your hair! Excessive oily flakes are caused by high blood sugar levels, which increase dandruff in the winter. Reduce your sugar intake and replace it with honey or jaggery.
Drink More Water: We often forget to drink water during the winter, which dehydrates the skin and hair, causing more dandruff. The average daily water consumption limit is set at 5 litres, but if it's getting too cold, 4 litres will suffice!
Use Biotin and Zinc Supplements: Biotin is a hair vitamin that can be found in a variety of foods and is also available as a supplement in pharmacies and supermarkets. Biotin has been found to be "likely effective" in the treatment of biotin deficiency and to be safe when used in the recommended amounts. Deficiency can lead to dandruff. Rule out fungal infection, psoriasis if it is not responding to medicines.
Change Your Diet: Vitamin B, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids are all good for the hair and scalp. Fruits and raw salads should be part of your daily diet. These nutrients are abundant in eggs, fish, bananas, and spinach.
Brush Your Hair Often: It may aid in scalp stimulation and blood circulation. This will aid in the production of oils that keep the hair and scalp healthy.
Use a Cotton Towel: After you've washed your hair, wipe it dry with a cotton towel. Towels with a rough texture should be avoided because they can cause more frizz.
Visit a dermatologist: If your dandruff problem becomes out of hand; seek the advice of a reputable dermatologist. In these situations, an expert will be able to provide you with the best solution, so don't hesitate to seek advice.
Use shampoo containing zinc pyrithione, selenium sulphide or 2% ketoconazole: Many anti-dandruff shampoos contains zinc pyrithione shampoo. It is antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, which means it, can kill fungus, bacteria, and microorganisms that cause itchy, flaky scalp.
If you've tried these shampoos and other home remedies and still don't feel better, then consult a dermatologist. The contact period of shampoo should be a minimum of 5 minutes. These shampoos make the hair dry, so use conditioner as well.
Always Keep Your Hair and Scalp Clean: When going out in the sun, cover your head with a scarf, hat, or cap. Keeping your hair free of pollutants will aid in its growth. Sweating is normal, but excessive sweat can cause hair buildup. After you've exercised or had a particularly sweaty day, always dry your hair.
In females, oily scalps and severe dandruff may be signs of hormonal imbalance, so rule out that as well. Usually, dandruff does not happen in children, but if it happens, rule out lice infection or fungal infection.
Read More► Top 10 Winter Skincare Swaps
The winter comes with its own set of hassles. New moms have to be careful because they have to take care of themselves and their babies. It becomes imperative to protect babies from the harsh season.
The immune system of newborn babies is developing, which makes them susceptible to respiratory infections. But, you can take preventive measures to keep your child warm and safe. Newborn babies need extra care until their immune system becomes stronger to protect their bodies from the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria that usually become more active in the winter season. A drop in the temperature can aggravate different processes in the body, therefore, moms need to take extra care of newborn babies during winters.
New moms can follow the given tips to take care of their little ones and protect them from the harmful effects of harsh winds blowing outside.
Keep The Temperature Warm in The Baby's Room
Use a portable heater in the baby's room to keep the temperature warm. The air becomes dry due to the excessive use of a heater. Therefore, keeping a humidifier to balance the moisture levels.
The baby's skin is very sensitive and the harsh, dry, and cold air can make the skin dry. Therefore, apply a good moisturizer to keep it soft and smooth. Choose a moisturizer made of milk cream and butter, especially for children. This will keep the skin of your baby soft.
Massage is important to keep your baby's skin soft and healthy. Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. Use a natural oil to massage the body of your child. Make sure the room is warm where you massage the baby.
Avoid Using Heavy Blankets
You can comfort your baby by laying a light blanket to keep your baby warm. Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping. In this process, your baby may pull it up on its face and this can cause respiratory distress. Thus, use a light blanket and keep the room temperature optimum.
Dress Your Baby Comfortably
Choose comfortable dressing for your baby. Avoid wrapping your baby in thick sweaters, gloves, and socks. This will restrict its movement and he/she will become irritable. Choose clothes depending on the room temperature. The clothes should cover his/her baby but should not restrict movement. You can use light gloves and socks to cover your hands and feet to keep your baby warm at night.
Breastfeeding is the most important activity that can keep your baby healthy. Breast milk consists of required nutrients and antibodies that will enhance the immune system of your baby and will protect him/her against diseases. During breastfeeding your baby will feel warm and cosy that will also give him comfort.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
Mothers should be careful when handling newborn babies in winters. You will be the first point of contact for your baby. Therefore, make sure you keep yourself clean and healthy. Wash your hands before handling your baby. Germs can easily enter your baby's body through your dirty hands. Therefore, make sure you wash your hands or sanitize them before attending to your baby. Also, ask visitors to wash their hands.
Take Care Outdoors
If you want to take your child outdoors make sure it is not freezing temperature. Take your child out for fresh air only if the temperature is not too cold and remember to cover your baby properly before taking them out. Taking your baby out will help to give fresh air and will improve their health.
Common Issues That May Arise in Newborn Babies During Winters
Winter brings flu and other viruses that can easily spread and affect anyone. Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters include the following:
Parents can take care of their newborn babies from various diseases that may affect them in the winters in the following ways:
If your baby suffers during the winter season, you should consult a paediatrician.
You can give a homemade solution if your baby suffers from a cold. Check with the doctor and you can only give a saline solution or nasal drops.
Keep your baby well hydrated. Keep breastfeeding your baby and also give water if necessary.
Cuddle your baby lovingly and give him warmth along with other precautions.
In the first winter, you can take preventive measures to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. Maintain proper hygiene and keep your house warm. Avoid visitors if your child is not feeling well.
How often to give a bath to your baby in winter?
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. You can sponge bathe your newborn every other day in winter.
Check the temperature of the room before giving a bath to your baby. The room temperature should be warm and comfortable for your baby.
Check the temperature of the water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold. The temperature of the water should be right for the body of your baby. Check the temperature by touching the water with your elbow or wrist.
Use mild soap and shampoo to bathe your baby in winter. Also, apply oil and moisturizer to the skin to keep it soft and prevent skin allergies. (Dr Anil Batra, Director, Pedeatrics, Madhukar Rainbow Hospital)
Read More► Top 10 Winter Skincare Swaps
With everyone's hectic schedules, we don't even notice how quickly a day passes and our health suffers as a result. How do you incorporate yoga into your daily routine with such a hectic schedule, and what can you practice?
For all the workaholics out there, here are some simple and efficient yogic techniques to get in shape. It only takes 15 minutes, and you don't even have to leave the house. These asanas can be done from where you are sitting and during short work breaks.
Sukha Purvaka Pranayama
This pranayama is effortless breathing that focuses on breathing deeply into each section of the lungs, as the name says. There is a strong emphasis on both internal and exterior breath retention.
Simply breathe in for 4 to 6 counts, filling the lungs up.
Hold the breath, ideally for the same count, or it can be as long as you can.
Exhale for 4 to 6 counts, holding the breath out for the same time or as long as you can.
This completes one round.
You can start with 10 rounds and increase the repetition with practice.
This pranayama is excellent for increasing the lung capacity, hence improving the oxygen level in the body along with the multitude of benefits it can give to mental and physical health. As a result, focus at work is improved benefit for all the workaholics, isn't it?
The Eagle Stance, also known as Chair Garudasana, is a balancing pose. You will feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper back, and thighs as you perform this sitting in your office chair. This stretch will relax your body and is a great way to unwind after a long day at work.
Sit at the edge of the chair with your feet on the floor.
Breath in to bend your elbows and open your arms.
As you exhale, bring the right knee over the left.
Send the right toe at the back of the calf muscles. Simultaneously, bring the left elbow under the right and single - or double rap the palms.
Stay in this pose for 3 to 5 deep breaths.
You can repeat it on the other side.
This pose is excellent for stretching the posterior chain of the body along with the triceps.
It is great to increase focus and release anxiety.
The Sanskrit words Pawan means air, Mukta means free, and asana means posture, therefore Chair Pawanmuktasana (Gas Releasing Pose) is derived from them. This position is beneficial to your digestive system, thus it relieves the discomfort that we typically have after our lunch break, which disrupts our work.
Sit at the edge of the chair with your spine elongated and your feet on the floor.
Breathe in and bend the right knee and hug the right shin as you exhale, reducing the distance between the abdomen and thigh.
Stay here for 3 to 5 breaths and with every exhalation, keep elongating the spine and pressing the thigh towards the abdomen.
Repeat the same on the other leg. You can practise this 3 to 5 times and increase the repetitions with practice.
This asana improves and regulates digestion and helps release excess air in the digestive system.
It also helps strengthen the core muscles and aids weight loss.
Chair Vakrasana, also known as the Half Twisted Pose, is a practice that most of us have been practising unconsciously because it feels so good. Back discomfort is relieved and side fat is reduced as you twist on both sides. If you work for long hours, this is a perfect asana to do every 2-3 hours.
Sit at the edge of the chair with your feet on the floor, knee and ankle in line with each other.
Breathe in, raise your hands up and, as you exhale, twist to the right with the right hand on the head of the chair and the left hand on the outside of the right thigh.
Use the resistance of your hands to press the right shoulder back to bring the shoulders into one line.
Stay in this pose for 3 to 5 breaths and with every inhalation, lengthen the spine and twist deeper with every exhalation.
Repeat the same on both sides. You can repeat this asana 3 to 5 times and slowly increase the repetition with practice.
This pose is like a boon to your spine, it helps keep the spinal column healthy and supple.
This also helps improve digestion, and keeps the internal organs healthy.
Chair Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bending Pose) is a stretch that targets your back and hamstrings while stretching your complete body. When you're in this position, both your mind and body feel at ease. Your body's blood circulation relaxes you and offers you the energy to return to work with a clear head. You won't have to worry about belly fat because it focuses on the core.
While sitting at the edge of the chair, straighten the legs as much as possible and keep the heels on the floor.
Breathe in to raise your arms up, breath out to hinge from the hip while keeping the back straight and fold forward as much as possible. If this is too difficult one can also simply fold forward with bent knees.
Stay here for 3 to 5 breaths and try to deepen the fold with every exhalation.
Repeat this 3 times and with practice increase the reps.
This pose helps stretch the back muscles and improves the function of the digestive system.
It is perfect to release anxiety and brings you to a very calm state of mind.
Alternatively, you can utilise our SARVA app. Many soundtracks for relaxation and guided meditation are available on our app and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. You now have great yogic practices at your disposal to keep you healthy on the fly. These are easy to do and may be done anywhere and at any time. Don't let your hectic schedule keep you from being healthy; instead, apply these tips and take the first step now. (Shraddha Iyer, SARVA Instructor)
Read More► Yoga and Home Remedies To Help Treat Dengue
Ayurveda, as mentioned, is the science of life. It is not just a set of general suggestions but a way of living life. It consists of set practices and lifestyle habits that work to make one healthy, both physically and mentally. Additionally, the herbs and medicines as prescribed in Ayurveda, are wholly natural and retain the ability to cure most diseases without any side effects.
Ayush Agrawal, Founder and Director of Rasayanam shares some prominent herbs that are renowned for their use in matters of health and wellness are discussed as follows-
Ashwagandha, by reducing the cortisol levels, helps control anxiety and stress. Its use is significant in calming the body and psyche of an individual and also helps in regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Ashwagandha is also popularly consumed as a vigor and strength supplement. Further, it aids muscle mass gain and boosts energy levels in people from all age brackets.
This over 1000-year-old remedy constitutes three principal ingredients of Amla, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki which are some of the most famous medicinal plants native to the country. Known for its anti-inflammatory and laxative properties, Triphala is also considered particularly helpful in preventing dental diseases and cavities as well as digestive problems. The many medicinal properties of this herb are what make it so well accepted and preached throughout the country.
Brahmi is primarily used for its significant impact on the brain and its functioning. It is said to improve the brain's retention and memory power as well as its spatial learning abilities. Brahmi is commonly utilized to treat and control symptoms of anxiety, stress, and ADHD. Additionally, it is also consumed to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure levels.
This wonder spice is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels and thereby aids weight loss. The rich antioxidant content of cumin acts to protect the skin against free radicals which in turn helps to prevent skin and heart-related diseases.
Turmeric is a famously utilized Indian spice that is best known for its medicinal properties. A prime active ingredient found in turmeric is curcumin. As per the ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, curcumin works to balance the three doshas of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in the human body. Further, it also brings relief to joint and muscle pain and tightness. Another typical usage of turmeric is to heal wounds and bruises. Lastly, it is used to prevent and alleviate symptoms of colds and sore throats.
Cardamom has been traditionally consumed as a mouth freshener and a remedy for dental problems. It fights off the mouth bacteria and leaves the person consuming it with a minty breath. This magic spice is also popular throughout India for its many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help in lowering blood pressure levels and preventing chronic diseases such as cancer.
With its rich Vitamin C content, bitter melon is considered helpful in healing wounds, preventing diseases, and assisting bone formation. It is also believed to regulate the secretion of insulin in humans and thereby aid the balancing of blood sugar levels. Lastly, bitter melon may carry weight loss properties.
It is a refreshing, regenerating health tonic that is consumed in India for its several beneficial properties. Safed muesli is believed to boost immunity levels, control symptoms of chronic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes, and aid weight loss and muscle gain in individuals. Speculations have also been made with regard to the benefits of this useful herb in sexual health.
The Valerian roots are believed to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress. This they do by increasing the GABA levels in a person's body. GABA is a pacifying chemical produced in humans, and as its level increases, a person's mind becomes calmer. The roots are also packed with antioxidants that relax the body and mind and facilitate quality sleep. The valerian roots are a proven help to people who suffer from problems such as overwhelming stress, worry, or insomnia.
Herbs and spices are not only packed with medicinal benefits but are also delicious in taste and come with virtually no side effects. This quality of these items makes them extremely valuable in today's day where a large number of people suffer from some disease or the other.(N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Read More► Neem and Aloe Vera Should be on Your List
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like Sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country.
Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of a different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing.
When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
Purple Mogri- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Sweet Potato- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Avarekalu- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Amla- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla - it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
Read More► 5 Superfoods to Boost Immunity in Kids