Archive for April 12th, 2013

Reasons to include calcium in your diet

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Very few are aware of the fact that calcium has much more to do than just building bones and aiding skeletal growth.

Calcium is already known for its vital role in the development of the musculoskeletal system, but there are many other processes of your body, which depend on calcium for their optimum function. Listed below are a few of them.

Nerve and muscle health: Studies suggest that adequate calcium in the body helps the nerves function properly and aids good muscle contraction.

Blood clotting: Blood clotting is an essential function that greatly depends on calcium as a requirement.

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Importance of having a good posture

Friday, April 12th, 2013

While sitting at your work desk, do you sit straight or slouch? A good posture helps the body balance your weight right, if you don’t have one you’re quite likely to be straining your back. Read on to find out more!

Slouching in front of your computer will strain your back, causing back problems.

Increased hours at work, increased travel time and a sedentary lifestyle all take a toll on the back and contribute to bad posture. To prevent back aches and have a strong and resilient back it is important to have an awareness of what good posture consists of.

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Top 10 health and hygiene tips for kids

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Good habits are best inculcated at an early age. Here are the top 10 health and hygiene tips you should be teaching your kids.

Hygiene for most children translates into “wash your hands before eating your meal”. The fact is, there’s a lot more to hygiene than that. Below are some tips to inculcate in kids today that’ll make them healthier and less prone to infections.

Health and hygiene tips for kids

  1. Cleaning kids’ ears: Everyone’s ears produce wax but excess wax gets dried up and comes out on its own. Do not use ear buds to clean your child’s ears as you may damage the eardrum; instead, use a washcloth dipped in warm water to wipe the outside of the ears and also behind them.
  2. Brushing their teeth: Kids need to start brushing even before they start sprouting teeth. That means you need to start with a flexible finger brush (in which you slide your pointer) and brush with water. Toothpaste can be used only after a year when they can spit it out. Also, brushing twice a day is recommended with an emphasis on night brushing.
  3. Bathing your child: Some children hate having a bath. Bring their favourite toy in the bathtub, change to a mild baby shampoo, change the brand of soap – do whatever it takes to get them to like bath time. You could even promise them a treat after their bath, which may speed up the process considerably.
  4. Washing hands: Washing hands is something your child will end up doing many times a day so it is important to educate your child on when washing hands is a must. For example; after using the toilet, after reaching home from school and before eating anything. Remember to wash with a good soap or handwash liquid to get the germs out as plain water will not do the trick.
  5. Using a sanitizer: Sometimes when soap and water is unavailable, teach your child to whip out the handy bottle of sanitizer. Just squeeze a small amount on the palm, rub both surfaces of hands and there – clean and good smelling hands appear!
  6. Cleaning their private parts: Boys should be taught not try to retract the foreskin over the head of the penis. Just clean the exposed area with a mild soap and water. If you’re teaching your daughter to wipe herself with toilet paper after urinating, remember the right way of motion is from front to back and not the other way round.
  7. Wearing clean underwear: In hot weather or when the child is physically active, underwear may be required to be changed twice a day. Have enough underwear for your child keeping this in mind and inculcate the importance of clean underwear from a young age.
  8. Tipss for when your child has a cold: When your child has a runny nose, pin a handkerchief onto his shirt or stuff some tissues into his pockets. Nasal discharge can infect other children so it’s important to educate your child to wipe his nose whenever necessary and wash his hands often.
  9. Putting the toilet cover before flushing: When you flush the toilet, germs from your urine or poop could fly outside and contaminate your toothbrush, toothpaste or other items. Hence make it a habit to cover the toilet with the cover before flushing.
  10. Stopping bad habits: If your child sucks his thumb or rubs his eyes habitually, gently remove his thumb or fingers from the spot and distract him with his favourite toy or book. The longer he clings on to this behaviour, the harder it will be to get him to stop.

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Why no one can eat just one potato chip

Friday, April 12th, 2013

The scientific secrets underpinning that awful reality about potato chips — eat one and you’re apt to scarf ‘em all down, has now been revealed.

The research presented at the 245th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, which news media have termed “The World Series of Science,” features almost 12,000 presentations on new discoveries and other topics.

Tobias Hoch, Ph.D., who conducted the study, said the results shed light on the causes of a condition called “hedonic hyperphagia” that plagues hundreds of millions of people around the world.

“That’s the scientific term for ‘eating to excess for pleasure, rather than hunger’,” Hoch said.

“It’s recreational over-eating that may occur in almost everyone at some time in life. And the chronic form is a key factor in the epidemic of overweight and obesity that here in the United States threatens health problems for two out of every three people,” he said.

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Is fasting regularly a healthy practice?

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Fasting as a religious ritual is common in India, but does it have any health benefits as well?

India, the land of fasters!

India is a land of different religions and each religion is governed by its own beliefs. One thing however, that’s common amongst many religions is the practice of fasting.

Fasting is an integral part of the Hindu culture, where individuals observe different fasts depending on their beliefs and practices. Fasts are commonly observed during Navratras, Maha Shivratri and Karva Chauth. For many, fasting is a more regular ritual. For instance, devotees of Lord Shiva fast on Mondays, while others fast on days of Purnima (full moon) or Ekadashi (11th lunar day, occurring twice a month).

What exactly is fasting?

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Polio-free world by 2018 possible ‘unless funds dry up’

Friday, April 12th, 2013

An ambitious global plan to eradicate polio, a disease that once paralyzed and killed millions, has the backing of more than 400 eminent scientists from 80 countries.

Despite security threats and doubts about funding, scientists said the aim to end polio so that ‘no child will ever again be crippled by this disease’ is achievable.

According to the Independent, launching the Scientific Declaration on Polio Eradication, they called on governments, international organisations and philanthropic individuals to fund 5.5 billion dollars to help eliminate the few remaining cases of polio and end transmission of the disease by 2014, so that the world may be declared polio-free in 2018.

The goal is remarkably close. After a quarter century of eradication efforts the number of cases has fallen more than 99 percent, from 350,000 in 1988 to 223 in 2012.

There are just three countries remaining where the disease is still endemic, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, compared with 125 in 1988.

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Healthy people have better attention span

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Researchers from the University of Granada have demonstrated that people who normally practice sport have a better cognitive performance than those with bad physical health.

More specifically, the results of this research indicate that the former have a better sustained attention span (they react more rapidly to an external stimulus introduced randomly while carrying out a monotonous task).

Their autonomic nervous system also appears to work better when dealing with cognitive loads over a longer time period.

In the study, scientists compared the cognitive performance in specific tasks such as sustained attention, time-oriented attention (generating expectations of when an event will occur) and time perception.

The study involved working with a test group made up of 28 young males. Of these, 14 were University of Granada students, aged from 17 to 23 and who showed a low level of physical aptitude (according to regulatory values established by the American College of Sports Medicine). The other 14 subjects were aged from 18 to 29 and had a high level of physical aptitude: 11 belonged to the Andalusian Cycling Federation for Under-23s and the other 3 were students of the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Activities of the University of Granada.

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New diet promises to help lose weight while you sleep

Friday, April 12th, 2013

The latest trend on the scene – the Overnight Diet, is a rapid weight-loss plan that claims you can actually slim down while you sleep.

American obesity doctor Caroline Apovian, of the Boston Medical Center, just penned a new book, ‘The Overnight Diet,’ advising that dieters eat a high-protein diet for six days, followed by one day of a liquid diet.

That followed by lots of sleep (with no exercise necessary) equals a slimmer you, up to two pounds per night and nine pounds in one week — at least that’s the promise, the New York Daily News reported.

While mounting research suggests that more sleep can help you lose weight, skeptics say the diet is all a little too good to be true.

“In order to lose two pounds of body fat overnight you’d have to burn up about six or seven thousand calories and there’s just no way to do that by sleeping,” Keith Ayoob, director of the nutrition clinic at the college’s Rose F. Kennedy Center, told ABC News.

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Eating watermelons helps lower blood pressure

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Watermelon can be an effective natural weapon against prehypertension, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, a new study has revealed.

Food scientists at Florida State University found that consumption of six grams of L-citrulline from watermelon extract for six weeks normalized the blood pressure of all nine adults in the study who previously had elevated blood pressure, The News reported.

Dr. Arturo Figueroa, lead researcher of the new study, claimed that they are the first to document improved aortic hemodynamics in pre-hypertensive but otherwise healthy middle-aged men and women receiving therapeutic doses of watermelon.

These findings suggest that this ‘functional food’ has a vasodilatory effect, and one that may prevent prehypertension from progressing to full-blown hypertension, added Figueroa.

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Late marriages causes infertility: Dr. Sahetya

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Dr Raju Sahetya is the director of Pushpaa hospital, a practicing Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. He is a specialist in infertility, endoscopy and prenatal diagnosis.He is also the Vice President of Indian Society for Prenatal Diagnosis & Fetal Therapy.

He did his PG from Seth G. S. Medical College and was trained at The King Edward Hospital and The Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital, Mumbai.

Dr Raju Sahetya answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below.

Sir, Does IVF Produces baby girls only? often noticed baby girls from IVF pregnancies.

It not true!!

Hello doctor, I m 35 married female. my periods are regular but last 2 -3 they last upto 7 days. I feel low bp after periods. Bleeding is ok. Feels bodyache alot fater periods. I want to conceive for my second child. pls advice me……….

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