Friday, September 30, 2011

How the Immune System Works - Part 4




Practice stress management: When your body is under constant stress, you’re more vulnerable to everything from the common cold to major diseases.

“Stress from time to time is not necessarily a bad thing. But to not have relief from the stress -- to be under constant stress -- is deleterious to health,” says Polsky. That’s because a steady cascade of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, weaken the immune system.

Chronic stress is linked to heart disease and hypertension, and it can also have an effect on white blood cell function, Polsky says.

“When I speak to people about lifestyle changes, I look at what they can do to manage their stress, whether it be meditating – maybe exercise is their form of meditation – whether it be spirituality of a religious nature. It really doesn’t matter,” says Berliner.

Strengthen relationships: Research shows that people with close friendships and strong support systems tend to be healthier than those who lack such supports.

A good sexual relationship may provide even more immune system benefits. A study of college students found those who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of an immune system protein called immunoglobulin A (IgA) than those who had less sex.  Sex may also help immunity by reducing stress and improving sleep. 

“I tell people to get good love in their lives -- good support, good friendships, however they need to get that love,” says Berliner.  Good relationships, along with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep, are part of a holistic approach to boosting the immune system and protecting yourself from disease. “And to treat any problem holistically, there is no one-pill approach,” Berliner says.


Concluded



Thursday, September 29, 2011

How the Immune System Works - Part 3




A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins, on the other hand, can boost resistance to infection. Think about eating in color: dark green, red, yellow, and orange fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants. Try berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

Other immune-boosting foods include fresh garlic, which may have antiviral and antibiotic properties, and old-fashioned chicken soup. Studies show that, if you do come down with a cold or the flu, a bowl of steaming chicken soup can ease inflammation and help you get well faster.

And mushrooms such as reichi, maitake, and shiitake may have a strong influence on immune function as well as enhance the production of chemicals that help your body respond to infection.

Get enough sleep: Regular bouts with insomnia may not only leave you feeling fatigued during the day, but also leave you vulnerable to illnesses, including colds, flu, and other infections. Long term, poor sleep also has been shown to increase the risk of other health problems, including obesity and diabetes.

The body uses sleep as a means of healing itself, says Scott Berliner, president and supervising pharmacist at Life Science Pharmacy in New York. When we don’t get enough sleep – or reach the deeper stages of sleep – healing is impaired.

It’s hard to measure exactly sleep’s protective effect on the immune system, and researchers don’t know precisely how sleep improves immunity. Like antioxidants, sleep may help reduce oxidative stress, which then stops cells from being weakened and harmed. But “clearly, sleep – at least seven hours a night – is associated with increased resistance to infectious diseases,” says Polsky.


To Be Continued....



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How the Immune System Works - Part 2




Building Healthy Immunity

There’s no single pill or supplement you can take to boost your immune system. Instead, adopting these healthy living habits can help improve your immunity for a lifetime.  

Go for a walk: Sitting around not only can leave you feeling sluggish, it also can make your immune system sluggish. Exercise, on the other hand, helps boost immunity.

“We know exercise is good for immune function,” says Polsky. The good news, he says, is that you don’t need elaborate exercise programs and personal trainers. “Even fast walking – getting your heart rate up for 20 minutes three times a week -- is associated with increased immune function,” Polsky tells WebMD.

Researchers aren’t sure exactly how exercise helps strengthen the immune system. Studies show that people who exercise have better-functioning white blood cells (the ones that help fight off infection) than people who don’t exercise.

Also, exercise is associated with the release of endorphins. “These are natural hormones that affect the brain in positive ways,” Polsky says. They ease pain and promote a sense of relaxation and well-being – all of which can help you de-stress and sleep better, which in turn improve immunity.

Eat a healthy diet: Proper nutrition is essential for your immune system to work well. A diet high in empty calories not only leads to weight gain, but it can leave you more prone to infections. Plus, being overweight is associated with a number of health problems that can also drag your immune system down.

“When the immune system is down, you want to avoid things like alcohol and sugar, especially because microbes love sugar,” says Stephen Sinatra, MD, a certified nutrition specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.


To Be Continued....



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How the Immune System Works - Part 1



How the Immune System Works

The immune system is your body’s natural defense system. It’s an intricate network of cells, tissues, and organs that band together to defend your body against invaders. Those invaders can include bacteria, viruses, parasites, even a fungus, all with the potential to make us sick. They are everywhere – in our homes, offices, and backyards. A healthy immune system protects us by first creating a barrier that stops those invaders, or antigens, from entering the body. And if one slips by the barrier, the immune system produces white blood cells, and other chemicals and proteins that attack and destroy these foreign substances. They try to find the antigen and get rid of it before it can reproduce. Failing that, the immune system revs up even more to destroy the invaders as they multiply.

The immune system can recognize millions of different antigens. And it can produce what it needs to eradicate nearly all of them. When it’s working properly, this elaborate defense system can keep health problems ranging from cancer to the common cold at bay.

When the Immune System Breaks Down

Sometimes the immune system makes a mistake and identifies a substance as being harmful when it’s not – think pollen or pet dander. When the immune system revs up to fight these “invaders,” you have an allergic reaction.

Nor can your body fight off every invader. Despite its marvels, the immune system does break down from time to time, says Polsky. “There are diseases that we have no control over, but lifestyle aspects are very, very important,” he tells WebMD.

Not eating healthily, being sedentary, not getting enough sleep, and being under chronic stress can all contribute to a weak immune system. When your immune system is depleted, bacteria, viruses, or toxins can overwhelm the body. The result? You get sick.


To Be Continued....



Friday, September 23, 2011

Meditation : The benefits




We are constantly surrounded by the clamour of traffic, television, computers, and of course cell phones. It is no wonder then, that we often can’t hear ourselves think — or even talk. Somewhere our lives seem to have lost that quiet, alone-time. It is important to pull away from the outer world of commotion and reconnect to our inner silence. 

Sit quietly with hands at your sides or in your lap. Now, with your eyes closed, start to breathe lightly and easily. Let your attention follow your breath. Continue this exercise for two to five minutes — just closing your eyes and focusing your mind on easy, natural breathing. 

Focusing on the breath means keeping the mind alert and free of clutter.The mind often wanders, so this discipline trains the mind to develop focus and concentration. 

Meditation is concentration. It is not really forcing your mind to be quiet; it is finding the quiet that is already there.And it requires perseverance to be able to plunge deep within. 

As you meditate regularly, you will find an appearance of youthful energy and vitality; and calmness that the restless mind so often craves for. 

BENEFITS 

Nowadays, stress, depression and physical illnesses are major health concerns. 

Meditation causes deep relaxation at the nervous system level, at the muscles level and in the internal organs. Our heart’s ejection fraction improves and even cholesterol management improves. It is observed that since tension in the arteries is reduced, blood pressure is also regulated. Overall, general well-being is felt instantly. In case of diabetics, glucose tolerance improves to a great extent. So, the insulin dependency reduces. It is observed that if it was stress diabetics, i.e., the occurrence of diabetics is after the age of 40 years and above, the dependency on medicines is greatly reduced. 

Day-to-day stress is managed efficiently through meditation, five to 10 minutes of meditation is recommended for persons who are sick or healthy, burdened with responsibilities or pressed for time. l Meditation de-stresses the mind.The mind is able to concentrate better and there is greater clarity of thought. Regular practice equips the mind to deal with life’s problems calmly. 

The heart rate and respiration rate slows down — this results in efficient working of the heart and lungs. When the mind is calm, there is better balance in the body as the cells work in unison, bringing harmony and health to the system. 



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Health Benefits of Cabbage - Part 2



Red Cabbage has more phytonutrients than the green cabbage. The vitamin C content of red cabbage is 6-8 times higher than that of the green cabbage.




Red cabbage contain anthocyanin (red pigment/color) is an antioxidant that can help protect brain cells, thus can help prevent Alzheimer's disease.




Cabbage is abundant is Vitamin C. You will be surprised to know that it is richer in vitamin C than the famous oranges. Vitamin C, being one of the best anti oxidant, reduces free radicals in your body which are the basic causes of ageing. It also helps repairing the wear and tears in the body. Thus it is very helpful in treating ulcers, certain cancers, depressions, for strengthening immune system and fighting against cough and cold, healing of wounds and damaged tissues, proper functioning of nervous system and thereby help curing Alzheimer’s disease etc.




Cabbage is very rich in fiber. This helps retain water and forms the bulk of the food and the bowels. Thus it is a good cure for constipation and related problems.




Cabbage is a good detoxifier too, i.e. it purifies blood and removes toxins (primarily free radicals and uric acid which is major cause for rheumatism, gout, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases, eczema, hardening and de-colorization of skin etc.). This detoxifying effect of cabbage is due to the presence of vitamin C and sulphur.




Concluded



Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.



Never use any home remedy or other self treatment without being advised to do so by a physician.
 
 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Health Benefits of Cabbage - Part 1

Health Benefits of Cabbage


The health benefits of cabbage include treatment of constipation, stomach ulcers, headache, excess weight, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, ageing, and Alzheimer's disease.


Did you know that the cheap, humble looking and so widely used cabbage could work miracles? Cabbage is a leafy vegetable of Brassica family, round or oval in shape, consisting of soft light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It is widely used throughout the world, eaten cooked or raw as salad and is a very popular vegetable.

 
Cabbage contain phytonutrients, works to protect the body from free radicals that can damage the cell membranes. Phytonutrients also signal our genes to increase its production of enzymes involved in detoxification.

 
Cabbage may lower the incidence of cancer, especially in the lung, stomach and colon prostate.

 
Cabbage is a muscle builder, blood cleanser and eye strengthener.


The juice of fresh raw cabbage has been proven to heal stomach ulcer.


Cabbage is rich in iron and sulfur. Juice of fresh cabbage is effective in treating fungus infection (due to it sulfur content).


Cabbage can lower serum cholesterol.

 
Cabbage contain Sulforaphane, a substance that can increase the production of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes. Sulforaphane works by stimulating the production of glutathione, the body's most important internally produced antioxidant which plays a role in liver detoxification.
 
 
 
 
To Be Continued....
 
 
 
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.  


Never use any home remedy or other self treatment without being advised to do so by a physician.
 
 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Healthy Benefits of Tulsi / Holy Basil - Part 2



Heart Disorder: Basil has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol.


Children's Ailments: Common pediatric problems like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favorably to the juice of basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their appearance, basil leaves taken with saffron will hasten them.


Stress: Basil leaves are regarded as an 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford significant protection against stress. Even healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of basil, twice a day, to prevent stress. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common elements.


Mouth Infections: The leaves are quit effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions.


Insect Bites: The herb is a prophylactic or preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and is repeated after a few hours. Fresh juice must also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.


Skin Disorders: Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths in the treatment of leucoderma.


Teeth Disorder: The herb is useful in teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.


Headaches: Basil makes a good medicine for headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this disorder. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache, and for providing coolness in general.


Concluded
 
 
 
Warning : The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.



Never use any home remedy or other self treatment without being advised to do so by a physician.
 
 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Healthy Benefits of Tulsi / Holy Basil - Part 1


Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of "Elixer of Life" and believed to promote longevity.


Tulsi’s extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Traditionally, tulsi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics, and is widely used in skin preparations due to its anti-bacterial activity. For centuries, the dried leaves of tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.


Here are key important properites of Tulsi .


Healing Power : The tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seed of the plant are mucilaginous.


Fever & Common Cold: The leaves of basil are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever. Extract of tulsi leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours. In between one can keep giving sips of cold water. In children, it is every effective in bringing down the temperature.


Coughs: Tulsi is an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu.


Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle.


Respiratory Disorder: The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add then taken.


Kidney Stone: Basil has strengthening effect on the kidney. In case of renal stone the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months it will expel them via the urinary tract.


To Be Continued.....


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Simple steps to keep your blood pressure under control - Part 3




- Alcohol alert — While it does provide some health benefits, alcohol can also be bad for your health. If consumed in small amounts, it can help prevent heart attacks and coronary artery disease. But, more than one or two drinks and the benefits are gone. Keep a check on your drinking patterns and if you're a heavy drinker, start reducing slowly. Never indulge in binge drinking. Consuming four or five drinks in a row can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure. 

- Tea benefits — Herbal teas are the way to go. In a study conducted, those who sipped on hibiscus tea daily lowered their blood pressure. Many herbal teas contain hibiscus or you can always opt for green tea. The effects of caffeine are still debatable. Drinking caffeinated beverages can temporarily increase pressure. The solution is to check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee to determine if it works for your body. 

- Reduce work and relax — Reducing the number of hours you spend in office can help lower hypertension. Working overtime makes it hard to exercise and eat healthy. Ensure that you get out of office at a decent hour. Learning to relax by listening to soothing music (Classical, Oriental or Indian instrumental) can help.



Concluded 



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Simple steps to keep your blood pressure under control - Part 2




- Go for potassium-rich foods — You have probably heard of the negative effects of sodium on the body and potassium is an essential mineral to counter the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium. Try adding sweet potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice, potatoes, bananas, peas, and prunes and raisins to your regular diet. 


- Go slow on the salt — Whether you have a family history of high blood pressure or not, reducing your intake of salt can make a huge difference to your health. Before adding that extra pinch of salt to your food, think if you really need it. Try substituting salt with lime, garlic, pepper or other herbs and spices. Go slow on processed and packaged foods. Potato chips, frozen chicken nuggets, bacon etc are high in sodium. Try calculating your daily sodium consumption. Keep a food diary and you may be surprised at how much you're taking in. 


- Dark chocolate benefits — The darker variety of chocolate has flavonols that make blood vessels more elastic. Choose one that has at least 70 per cent cocoa to really reap the benefits. 



To Be Continued ....



Monday, September 12, 2011

Simple steps to keep your blood pressure under control - Part 1

Following are the  simple steps to keep your blood pressure under control

High blood pressure contributes to an alarming number of deaths each year. Although it may not have apparent symptoms, high blood pressure leads to heart attacks and strokes aside from also causing kidney failure. You can reduce your blood pressure by reducing your weight (if you’re obese) and making a few small changes in your life, say doctors. 

- Walk it out — Walking at a brisk pace can help lower your pressure. A good workout will ensure the heart uses oxygen more efficiently. Getting a rigorous cardio workout 4 to 5 times a week can make a huge difference. Start by incorporating about 15 minutes of exercise in your daily routine and slowly increase the time and difficulty level. 

- Deep Breathing — Learning some slow breathing and meditation techniques can do you wonders. It will help reduce stress drastically and keep your blood pressure in check. Try taking out 10 minutes every morning and at night. Inhale and exhale deeply. If you can, join a yoga class for some time so that you can learn the proper method. 


To Be Continued ....





Friday, September 9, 2011

Breast Cancer : What Women Should Know





From relative obscurity, breast cancer has become one of the leading causes of deaths among women in the world.

But what is breast cancer and how do people get it?

Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors in the breast grow and start to affect other tissues in the body. There is still no clear indications how tumors are created but what is often observed is that cancerous cells usually comes from ducts or glands.

Although women’s health organizations advise women to massage the breast daily and to feel for any lumps, it may a long time before a cancerous cell get big enough for us to feel it. By that time, it may already be too late. Doctors make use of mammograms for their diagnosis.

Breast at risk

All women are actually at risk, with the risk increasing with the presence of some risk factors that are already part of the natural cycle, for example, aging. Family history of breast cancer can also significantly affect the prognosis as heredity has been found to play a role. Women who got their periods before they were 12 years old and those who never had or had children after 30 years old are also more likely to develop breast cancer.

There are also risk factors that medical science can help alter such as hormonal problems through replacement therapies. Women are also advised to decrease their consumption of alcoholic drinks, exercise every day and decrease the use of birth control pills. Breastfeeding has been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer development.

Although there are some factors that women can avoid to prevent breast cancer from developing, cause and effect relationships between these factors and breast cancer is still debatable. For women who are already at high risk, doctors often recommend a drug called Tamoxifen, which is known to decrease the risk by as much 50 percent when taken in five years. Still, like all medications, Tamoxifen has side effects such as hot flushes, vaginal discharges and sometimes even blood clots. Taking the drug can also lead to pulmonary emobolus, stroke and uterine cancer, although these are all isolated cases.

Another avenue that women can go to is Vitamin A, which some studies show to be effective in decreasing the risk. Still, research is still in the initial stages and nothing has been proven yet. Other things that are being linked to the breast cancer fight are phytoestrogens, which can be found in soya, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C.

But until something concrete is found in research, the only thing that women can do to ensure that they are safe from breast cancer is early detection. This can be done through daily self-examinations as well as annual check ups and mammogram tests. It is also important that women know the beginnings of breast cancer. Here are some of the signs that they should watch out for.

Lumps in the breast and in the underarms
Scaling of the skin of the breast and of the nipple
Redness in the skin of the breast and of the nipple
Changes in the size of their breasts
Discharges from the nipple

If these signs are observed, it is best to consult a specialist so that you can know whether you have breast cancer or not.


About the Author:

Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California.  



Friday, September 2, 2011

Top Five Weight-loss Myths Busted - Part 2




Myth 3 :  I Shouldn't Eat After 6 in the Evening

There's no magic time to get done with food for the day. Just stop devouring food which is bad for your health. For instance, if you're watching a late night movie on television force yourself to not eat junk food like ice creams, chips, burgers etc, rather go for salads, fruits etc.

Myth 4 :  All I have to do is to Cut Down Calories

Not entirely true. While total intake of calories does matter, the source from which you get them is also important. You get almost the same number of calories from a handful of almonds and 3 apples as you would get from a cheeseburger and coke. But you know that you have to choose the former.

Myth 5 :  All I Need is that Magic Pill to Help Me Shed Pounds

We're sorry to inform you but there are no miracle pills, potions, creams, belts and shoes which can help you grow muscles or cut flab in no time (as they might claim). These supplements may help but then you have to supplement them with right dietary and fitness programmes to extract the benefit out of them. 


Concluded


Source : MensXP



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Top Five Weight-loss Myths Busted - Part 1




Among the numerous myths floating around us all the times, myths about weight loss keep on surfacing every now and them.

They are all around us: on the Web, friends keep delivering sermons on them or they can be found in the latest issue of a celebrity magazine. On this World Health Day, MensXP tries to rip apart five grave misconceptions related to weight loss.

Myth 1 :  Giving Up the Breakfast

Skipping breakfast would only undo your efforts of losing weight. A high-nutrient breakfast gives our body the much-needed calorie burning start. Just make sure that your breakfast is composed of healthy stuff like sprouts, juices, etc and it's not equivalent to the heavy meals you enjoy at weddings.

Myth 2 : Carbs are My Worst Enemy

All carbs aren't bad. Soda, a carbohydrate, is bad but broccoli, another carbohydrate, is good. All you need to figure out is which carbs are good for you instead of worrying about the overall carb intake. Rely on veggies, fruits, and high-fiber whole grains (but do not indulge in gluttony). If you can't resist a tempting carb, say an ice-cream, burn it off with exercise.


To Be Concluded....



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