Monday, October 31, 2016
Not everybody has a taste for water, but we all need it to ensure that our bodies continue functioning properly. If you want to drink more water, but aren't crazy about the taste (or lack thereof), here are some tips that can make it more enjoyable:
1. Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well — especially in summer.
2. Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars. And remember: Fruits and their juices don't just taste good — they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health too.
3. Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn't inspiring to you, try a naturally effervescent mineral water — which will give you the added benefit of minerals. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market. If you become a seltzer devotee, you might want to consider getting a seltzer maker for your home.
4. Get creative with ice. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that's so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice cubes. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish.
5. Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from. Start with the selection at your local market or health food store. If you're interested in pursuing more exotic flavors and sophisticated teas, start researching the vast array of specialty teas that come from all parts of the globe.
6. Try bouillons, broths, and consommés. If your palate leans toward the savory, you may pass on tea and start sipping one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions for maximum health benefits. Because soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid consumption.
7. Add fast flavor. If you're looking for a quick-and-easy flavor booster, you might also consider sugar-free drink mixes, and flavor cartridges that can be used with your faucet filter system.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Eye Health Tips for Diwali
Diwali is synonymous with fun, enjoyment, family/friends get together, and lights! But, this festival also expects you to be extra careful about your eyes. If you look back, there have been many eye related accidents caused due to fire-crackers, and therefore, it is extremely crucial that you take as many safety measures into account as possible!
Some Eye Health Tips for Diwali: –
1. Keep distance
You should be at least one arm distance away while lighting the crackers. Keep a distance of five meters or more when watching your fireworks.
2. Wear protective glasses and wash your eyes
This will stop the smoke and other chemicals from the crackers to enter your eyes. Also, make sure that you clean your eyes with cold water when you are done with the fireworks, as well as when you are about to retire for the day.
3. Do not wear contact lenses
Contact lenses tend to cause irritation to your eyes due to prolonged exposure to high heat (emitted by crackers during Diwali). You can wear them back when you return indoors, but only after you thoroughly wash your eyes with cold water.
4. Keep your hands clean
We, many a times touch our eyes unknowingly, and if the fingers/ hands are not clean enough then it may lead to severe eye infections/ irritations. Make sure that you do this compulsorily after you are done drawing the rangoli and lighting the fireworks.
5. Discard the fireworks properly
The best way to throw away the used crackers is putting them in a bucket of water. It helps in defusing the fire completely.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Women's Health Tips for Heart, Mind, and Body
Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet
There's an easy recipe if your goal is to keep away problems like heart disease and strokes.
- Eat more fruits and veggies.
- Choose whole grains. Try brown rice instead of white. Switch to whole wheat pasta.
- Choose lean proteins like poultry, fish, beans, and legumes.
- Cut down on processed foods, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
When eating healthy, flexibility often works best, says Joyce Meng, MD, assistant professor at the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn Health. If you like to follow a strict diet plan, go for it. If not, it's OK. "Find what works for you."
Tricia Montgomery, 52, the founder of K9 Fit Club, knows first-hand how the right diet and lifestyle can help. For her, choosing healthy foods and planning small, frequent meals works well. "I don't deny myself anything," she says. "I still have dessert -- key lime pie, yum! -- and I love frozen gummy bears, but moderation is key."
Exercise Every Day
The more active you are, the better, Meng says. Exercise boosts your heart health, builds muscle and bone strength, and wards off health problems.
Aim for 2 and a half hours of moderate activity, like brisk walking or dancing, every week. If you're OK with vigorous exercise, stick to 1 hour and 15 minutes a week of things like running or playing tennis. Add a couple of days of strength training, too.
If you're busy, try short bursts of activity throughout the day. Walk often. A good target is 10,000 steps a day. Take the stairs. Park your car far away from your destination.
Montgomery exercises every day, often with her dog. By adding lunges, squats, and stairs to a walk, she turns it into a power workout. "I also am a huge Pilates fan," she says.
Visit Your Doctor
Get regular checkups. Your doctor keeps track of your medical history and can help you stay healthy. For example, if you're at risk for osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones, he may want you to get more calcium and vitamin D.
Your doctor may recommend screening tests to keep an eye on your health and catch conditions early when they're easier to treat.
Keep the lines of communication open. "If you have questions, ask your doctor," Meng says. "Make sure you understand things to your satisfaction." If you're worried about a medication or procedure, talk to him about it.
Cut Down Your stress
It can take a toll on your health. You probably can't avoid it altogether, but you can find ways to ease the impact. Don't take on too much. Try to set limits with yourself and others. It's OK to say no.
To relieve stress, try:
- Deep breathing
- Healthy eating
- Talking to a friend, family member, or professional counselor
Create Healthy Habits
If you make the right choices today, you can ward off problems tomorrow.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day.
- Don't smoke.
- Limit your alcohol. Keep it to one drink a day.
- If you have medication, take it exactly how your doctor prescribed it.
- Improve your sleep. Aim for 8 hours. If you have trouble getting shut-eye, talk to your doctor.
- Use sunscreen and stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Wear your seatbelt.
Take time every day to invest in your health, Meng says.
It paid off for Montgomery. She says she overcame health problems, feels good, and has a positive outlook. "My life," she says, "is forever changed."
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