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Nutrition and Hormonal Balance

  Good Morning,  Nutrition and Hormonal Balance As an acupuncturist in the area of fertility, I realize tha...

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Guide to Good Personal Hygiene

A Guide to Good Personal Hygiene

 Proper grooming and healthy personal habits can help you ward off illnesses and feel good about yourself. Find out which personal hygiene habits should be part of your regular routine.


Mom was right: Good personal hygiene is essential to promoting good health.
Personal hygiene habits such as washing your hands and brushing and flossing your teeth will help keep bacteria, viruses, and illnesses at bay. And there are mental as well as physical benefits. “Practicing good body hygiene helps you feel good about yourself, which is important for your mental health,” notes Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. People who have poor hygiene — disheveled hair and clothes, body odor, bad breath, missing teeth, and the like — often are seen as unhealthy and may face discrimination.
Personal Hygiene: Healthy Habits Include Good Grooming
If you want to minimize your risk of infection and also enhance your overall health, follow these basic personal hygiene habits:
  • Bathe regularly. Wash your body and your hair often. “I’m not saying that you need to shower or bathe every day,” remarks Dr. Novey. “But you should clean your body and shampoo your hair at regular intervals that work for you.” Your body is constantly shedding skin. Novey explains, “That skin needs to come off. Otherwise, it will cake up and can cause illnesses.”
  • Trim your nails. Keeping your finger and toenails trimmed and in good shape will prevent problems such as hang nails and infected nail beds. Feet that are clean and dry are less likely to contract athlete’s foot, Novey says.
  • Brush and floss. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. At the very least, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Brushing minimizes the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease, Novey says. Flossing, too, helps maintain strong, healthy gums. “The bacteria that builds up and causes gum disease can go straight to the heart and cause very serious valve problems,” Novey explains. Unhealthy gums also can cause your teeth to loosen, which makes it difficult to chew and to eat properly, he adds. To maintain a healthy smile, visit the dentist at six-month intervals for checkups and cleanings.
  • Wash your hands. Washing your hands before preparing or eating food, after going to the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after handling garbage, goes a long way toward preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. Keep a hygiene product, like an alcohol-based sanitizing gel, handy for when soap and water isn’t available.
  • Sleep tight. Get plenty of rest — 8 to 10 hours a night — so that you are refreshed and are ready to take on the day every morning. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling run down and can compromise your body's natural defenses, your immune system, Novey says.
Personal Hygiene: Poor Hygiene Hints at Other Issues
If someone you know hasn’t bathed or appears unkempt, it could be a sign that he or she is depressed. “When people are sad or depressed, they neglect themselves,” Novey says. Talking about the importance of proper personal hygiene for preventing illnesses and providing personal hygiene items may help some people. Be candid but sensitive and understanding in your discussions, Novey says. Despite your best efforts, your friend or loved one may need professional help. You should encourage them to see a counselor or doctor if their personal hygiene doesn’t improve.

Personal Hygiene: Good Habits Help Keep You Healthy
For most people, good hygiene is so much a part of their daily routines that they think little about it. They bathe, they brush their teeth, visit the dentist and doctor for regular checkups, and wash their hands when preparing or eating food and handling unsanitary items. To keep those you care about healthy and safe, help them learn, and be sure that they are practicing, good personal hygiene.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Want To Keep Some Hand Sanitizer Handy Each Time You Use An ATM, Cautions New Study

New York City is particularly dirty and some of the most shared surfaces of this big city are automated teller machines. Scientists at New York University tested these for microbes as research for a study. The study, published in the journal mSphere and conducted between June and July 2014, took swabs of keypads from 66 ATM machines from Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, ranging from midtown to Flushing to Inwood to Ozone Park in the US.

Specifically, the most common identified sources of microbes on the keypads were from household surfaces such as televisions, restrooms, kitchens and pillows, as well as from bony fish, mollusks and chicken.

"ATM surfaces, potentially retaining microbial signatures of human inhabitants ... are interesting from both a biodiversity perspective and a public health perspective," lead author NYU project scientist Holly M. Bik and her colleagues wrote. They focused on neighborhoods with distinct population demographics, swabbing around for patterns. The goal was to add to the body of work on the "urban microbiome."
It's a big project in New York, given that, as the authors report, the urban surfaces of Manhattan have a greater surface area than the geographic breadth of the island itself.

On one ATM near Brighton Beach, they detected Toxoplasma, the culprit in the infectious disease Toxoplasmosis, that doesn't usually show symptoms but feels like a flu if you have a weakened immune system or are a baby. But, as John Metcalfe reports at CityLab, other findings were even less savory, like protists associated with your intestinal tract, a bug related to the sexually transmitted infection trichomoniasis, "Don't panic just yet," Metcalfe cautions. "The research didn't determine how many of these microbes were still active when collected, and it's possible that many were in such small amounts that they wouldn't be harmful," he says.
Are you someone who washes his hands often and is tagged a psycho by friends? Well, pay no heed to that because you are doing the right thing! This new study gives you enough to refute claims that you're a crazy person.

However, no significant difference was found in the keypads from ATMs located outdoors versus indoors, the researchers noted. Well, till the time researchers are doing their work and digging out more reasons to stay from these bacteria, you might like to keep some hand sanitizer handy.

Friday, November 18, 2016

20 Common Everyday Foods You Should Have to Avoid Vitamin B 12 Deficiency

Are you weak and pale? Do you often feel tired or agitated? Chances are it all stemmed from stress or anxiety. Perhaps a long day at work or due to an irregular sleeping pattern. Yet all of this could be sourced back to a Vitamin B12 deficiency. It is a condition characterized by deficiency of this
Vitamin, which helps carry oxygen throughout your body. Insufficient Vitamin B12 can make you anaemic, rendering you weak and tired almost often.

Whatever you eat, either keeps you or kills you. Your diet or as such, your dietary habits are the primary sources of intake of all the essential nutrients and minerals in the body. And moreover as our bodies do not make vitamin B12, we intake it from the foods and supplements which we regularly consume. Animal-based foods such as meat, milk and eggs are excellent sources of vitamin B12. Although, precisely how much you need and from what you should get it depends on factors such as age, sex and metabolism.

Causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency

There can be other causes of such deficiency, besides a diet. It can also happen if you have certain conditions.

Categorically put, the causes of the deficiency can be divided into 3 parts. Namely:

Inadequate intake:

Heavy drinking is attributed to low vitamin B12 levels.A strict vegetarian diet over a prolonged period of time can also cause this deficiency.

A condition that causes thinning of the stomach lining, known as Atrophic gastritis, is known to cause B12 deficiency.Pernicious anaemia, a condition marked by lack of vitamin
B12, leads to lowered productions of red blood cellsPost gastrectomy (a procedure which requires the removal of the stomach, either partially or as a whole)Certain immune and neurodegenerative disorders such as Grave’s disease (an auto-immune disease of the thyroid gland) or lupus (a group of diseases characterized by an inflammation of one’s skin) can also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.Certain medications contain acid reducing compounds which can also cause such deficiencyIntestinal diseases such as celiac disease (a condition in which digesting food becomes troublesome because of the small intestine’s sensitivity to gluten) or Crohn’s disease (marked by inflammation of the intestines) can be responsible as well.

 Defective Transport:

A genetic disorder known as Transcobalamin deficiency can also lead to this deficiency. This disorder damages the circulation of ‘Cobalamin’ or Vitamin B12 throughout the body.

Symptoms of this deficiency are quite apparent. Signs of this condition resemble anaemic symptoms as a lack of vitamin B12 directly leads to anaemia.
The following are some of the typical signs of this condition: 

Weakness and fatigueFrequent palpitations and difficulty in breathingDry and pale skinA smooth, slippery tongueNumb and tingling nerves and bouts of light-headednessLoss of appetiteGas, diarrhoea or constipationFrequent mood swings, memory loss and behavioural problemsGreying of hair, though a rare condition, can happen in the event of a vitamin B12 deficiency

In severe cases, you may experience difficulty while walking. Infants born to vegan mothers, who are entirely breastfed, can be at a risk of anaemia, weakness and associated physical developmental delays.

The condition is easily diagnosable through a blood test. It has been also observed that the risk of vitamin B deficiency increases with the age of an individual.

Preventing Vitamin B12 deficiency

You may avoid this deficiency by including the right ingredients in your diet. Having a healthy combination of leafy vegetables and animal based foods such as eggs, meat and fish can help balance the vitamin B12 levels in the body. Because B12 is an essential nutrient for improved red blood cell production and nerve function, foods rich in the vitamins are also known as brain foods.Some commonly available foods that you should eat your way to a smarter living include:

Animal based meats such as beef and lean chicken are an excellent source of vitamin B12.Sea foods such as fishes and clams provide vitamin and essential nutrients.Eggs, which can be used with a variety of salads and soups, are also rich in B12. Other dairy based foods such as cheese and milk also help.Other kinds of generic foods such as whey powder, low-fat buttermilk, rice milk, liver sausagesand even veggie burgers are also replete with this Vitamin.

Consuming the above mentioned multi-vitamin foods does help the body absorb essential nutrients. Yet, having the right combination of foods is necessary for enjoying all the benefits. Moreover, there are several subcategories for each of these vitamins such as B1, B2, B7, B12 etc.The top 20 foods that help you avoid Vitamin B12 deficiency have been enumerated below. For the sake of convenience, they are categorised according to their types.

They include:

Animal based foods

Not only is the mammal liver loaded with nutritional ingredients, it is also a storehouse of vitamin B12.  Packed with minerals and energy, it helps increase muscle strength, libido and brain functions.


As previously cited, eggs are easily available and are very good sources of vitamin B12. A yolk of a single egg contains about 300 grams of vitamin B complex. Moreover, it contains 6 grams of protein and 9 essential amino acids which help the body in various ways, the most significant of those being keeping heart diseases at bay and strengthening the immune system.


Pork, when consumed in moderate amounts, can be a very good energizer, besides being a good source of vitamin B12.


Not only is Turkey meat low in fat, but is also rich in nutrients that are required to control the levels of cholesterol. It helps reduce chances of cancer and cardiac ailments.

Lean chicken and beef

Chicken, lamb and mutton are good sources of vitamin B12. Beef or in general red meat, in controlled quantities,suppliesyour body with around 6 micrograms of vitamin B12 which is more than adequate for your daily requirements. 

Organic substances such as vegetables are also rich in B12. Some of the different vegetables rich in B12 include:

Sprouted Alfalfa

The classic American sprout is delicious as well as nutritious. Widely used in sandwiches and salads, these thread-like sprouted veggies are an excellent source of vitamin B12.


Mushrooms are a good source of this vitamin. B12 is one of the complex and large vitamins present in mushrooms as compared to the other chemically simple vitamin B forms.

Cereals and Soy products

Bran and soy based cereals, in particular, are excellent plant-based source of vitamin B12. Don’t forget to include soy based cakes, burgers and sauces in your daily diet.


Look no further! Did you know that the humble potato is packed with Vitamin B12? With the different types of potatoes and the wide of variety of dishes they can be incorporated into, potatoes could just be the perfect remedy for a B12 deficiency.


Popularly known as beet, beetroot is considered as a popular superfood because of its high nutrition content. In addition to being rich in vitamin B12, this vegetable is packed with the goodness of iron, magnesium and potassium.

Fruits are not only delicious but are also a popular source of vitamins and minerals. Some of the B12 rich vitamins are:


This energy-rich fruit is also a nutrition vault. Due its availability and low price, it is one of the most highly cultivated fruits in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Along with being B12 rich, it also has a high calorie content.


Mango is a widely popular fruit in India. Cultivated widely, it comes in different shapes and tastes. The fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and also offer protection against cancer.


Apart from being a rich source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, this bright coloured winter fruit is a good laxative. It reduces cholesterol level and is a recommended source of vitamin B complex (Vitamin B12 complex refers to the different types of vitamins).


An apple a day keeps the doctor away; this old adage is no fluff. Apple is a rich repository of anti-oxidants and is a proven detoxifying agent. It is rich in vitamin B12 and helps maintain a glowing skin.


Blueberries, besides being popular anti-oxidants, also have a high nutritional content. These have different types of vitamin B complex groups which are also good for the metabolic system. 

Daily intake of fish is called to counter certain diseases. You may be advised for 1-2 weekly servings of fish if you are deficient in vitamin B12. 

Sea foods and fish

This fresh water fish is not only a good source of vitamin B12 but is also packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, the same acids that keep your ticker, hale and ‘hearty’.


An average cup of sardines provides 310 calories of energy along with being a key contributor of essential nutrients and vitamins.

Crabs and crustaceans

Crabs and lobsters are popular seafood. Apart from being a joy to your taste buds, they are also generously packed with essential vitamins. The average crab has 9.7 micrograms of vitamin B12 in it.


Many molluscs fall under the category of top B12 rich foods. Oysters and scallops are the most popular delicacies within this group.


Possibly the best vitamin B12 food among its habitat counterparts, 3 shellfish clams provide around 84 micrograms of vitamins, the major ones being Vitamin B7 and B12.