Monday, December 30, 2013

10 Health Tips for the New Year

Every New Year, people make resolutions to exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, quit smoking and other bad habits. According to Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, following these basic resolutions can cut heart disease risk by 80 percent, diabetes risk by 90 percent and cancer risk by 50 percent.

Here are some health tips for the New Year:

1. Aim for at least 30 minutes brisk walking. Walk or ride a bike to work or simply have at least 30 minutes of physical exercise everyday.

2. Drink more water. Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. Nothing beats water to cleanse our body and feel refreshed.

3. Sleep 8 hours a day.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, we need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep everyday to be able to function well. Adequate sleep makes you feel better, decreases risk for cardiovascular disease, and boosts memory.

4. Keep sugar and caffeine to a minimum. We all know that too much caffeine and sugar is bad to our health. Lessen your coffee and cut back on sweets.

5. Budget your food as you do your money. According to Nancy Clark, a registered dietician, author and sports nutritionist, watch your calorie intake. A rough guideline for daily caloric intake: Multiply your ideal body weight by 10 (i.e., 1,200 calories if you want to weigh 120 pounds) and then add another 600 calories if you're moderately active, a few hundred more if you're very active. Divide those calories out across the day to keep yourself well fed and not feel hungry in the evening.

6. If you smoke, quit. Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. Lessen your cigarettes per day or quit cold turkey.

7. Consider acupuncture or therapeutic massage for your back or neck pains.

8. Cut back on alcohol. Drinking in excess affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and can increase the risk of depression and memory loss, adds risk of liver and heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and mental deterioration, and even cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, and breast.

9. Cut your stress. Organize your daily activities and schedule. Worrying gives you stress; so just do your best in everything you do and not worry about the results. 

10. Lastly, plan a trip somewhere. Traveling makes you feel rejuvenated and revitalized. It’s also a good way of learning and it’s healthy for the body and soul.

Have a Happy and Healthful New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013


Let's discuss another health concern that comes with all the Christmas lunches, dinners and get-togethers: Indigestion.

Some of the ways to prevent indigestion:

1. Chew your food well. As we all know, digestion starts in the mouth. The more you chew your food, the easier it is for your stomach to digest and absorb the food you eat. Chew up to 40 times before swallowing.

2. Eat plenty of fiber everyday. Fiber helps digestion aside from its many health benefits. Increasing your daily fiber intake is usually synonymous with eating healthier foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals, and nuts, which contain plenty of fiber.

3. Lessen liquid intake during meals as it dilutes the digestive enzymes.

4. Don't overeat. Our stomachs can only take so much. Stop eating just before you feel full.

5. Avoid too much alcohol, carbonated drinks, and drinks or foods with caffeine.  

6. Exercise regularly but do not eat right before or after a heavy exercise. 

7. Quit smoking. The chemicals you inhale in cigarette smoke can cause indigestion.

8. Do not combine fruits with carbohydrates, since the enzymes that digest carbohydrates are different from those that digest fruits, except avocados.

9. Spread out your meals / eating times. Eat up to five times a day, but at a lesser quantity.

10. Do not eat when you're stressed. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Common Cold

Now that the cold season is approaching and stress levels are going up due to the Christmas rush, Christmas traffic and workload that needs to be done before the break, many of us will surely catch a cold.

Colds are caused by many different viruses, and even if you develop immunity to one type of cold virus, more are lurking everywhere, waiting to attack.  That’s part of the reason people get colds so often (an average of three to four a year, every year).

Colds travel from one person to another via coughs and sneezes, but studies have shown that colds are transmitted by the spread of mucus on the hands of someone who has a cold.  You touch towels or money, someone else picks them up and thus catches your germs. So to avoid spreading your cold to others: 

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Use a handkerchief or disposable tissues when you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose.
  • Avoid touching other people and their belongings as much as possible.

Much the same strategy helps to prevent catching a cold.

Unfortunately, no pills or vaccination exists to fight the common cold. But here are helpful hints for fighting a cold: 

  • Rest in bed if you’re running a fever.
  • Drink lots of hot or cold beverages.
  • Soothe a sore throat by gargling with warm salt water, drinking tea with honey and lemon, or sucking on over-the-counter throat lozenges.
  • Breathe air from a steam vaporizer or a cool mist humidifier, to help quiet a cough.   
Used with permission from A Year of Health Hints by Don R Powell, PHD and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, copyright 2010.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Burning Calories

Now that Christmas Season is fast approaching, we might as well be conscious of what we eat before we start wondering where we got those extra pounds.

Research has shown that exercise and dieting should always go hand-in-hand when we want to lose weight.

Below is a table showing the calories burned by various activities:

Activities                                   Energy Costs (cal./hr)
Sedentary (60-150 cal./hr)          
Sitting, writing, card playing, etc.     114
Lying down or sleeping                     90
Sitting quietly                                   84

Moderate (150-350 cal./hr)
Golf (twosome, carrying clubs)        324
Tennis (recreational, doubles)         312
Swimming (crawl, 20 yds./min.)      288
Volleyball (recreational)                  264
Horseback riding (sitting trot)          246
Light housework, cleaning, etc.        246
Dancing (Ballroom)                        210
Walking (2 mph)                            198
Bicycling (5 mph)                           174
Canoeing (2.5 mph)                       174

Vigorous (350+ cal./hr)
Circuit weight training                   756
Cross-country skiing (5 mph)         690
Jogging (10-min, 6 mph)               654
Bicycling (13 mph)                        612
Racquetball                                  588
Aerobic dancing                            546
Swimming (crawl, 45 yds./min)      522
Football (touch, vigorous)              498
Basketball                                    450
Tennis (recreational, singles)         450
Scrubbing floors                            440
Ice-skating (9 mph)                       384
Roller skating (9 mph)                   384

Used with permission from A Year of Health Hints by Don R Powell, PHD and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, copyright 2010.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Combating Graying Hair

According to research, there are natural remedies to reduce or reverse graying hair:

  • Avoid processed or junk foods. Eat healthy foods.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking speeds up the aging process of the entire body, including your hair.
  • Drink plenty of water. If you are not hydrated enough, nutrients will have a hard time reaching your hair follicles.
  • Control your stress by practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation, etc. 
  • Get enough sleep to reduce stress and keep your body, skin, and hair healthy and young.
  • To ensure good blood supply to the scalp, regularly massage it with appropriate oils.
  • Exercise on a daily basis to increase circulation, improve blood flow and to keep your body healthy and fit.
  • Eat foods that are rich in vitamin B such as whole grain breads, cereals, bananas, dairy products and green leafy vegetables.
  • Eat foods containing high amounts of copper such as turnip greens, spinach, sunflower seeds, cashews, lentils, almonds, and mushrooms.
  • Iodine is another mineral that is important for maintaining hair color. Foods rich in iodine include bananas, carrots, and spinach.
  • Selenium can also help prevent gray hair. Foods rich in selenium are: shellfish, tuna, salmon, corn, wheat, soybeans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds.
  • Home Treatments:
    • Amla or Indian gooseberry is one of the best hair treatments to prevent gray hair. Just regularly rub the amla paste into your scalp, and you will see amazing results.
    • Massage your scalp with coconut oil and lemon. That is another good way to prevent gray hair.
    • Tea leaves and Sage. Add two tablespoons of tea leaves and some sage into a pan of water. Let the water boil for five minutes. Let it cool and then strain it. Apply the remainder to the roots of your hair.
    • Sesame Seeds. Take almond oil and mix it up with grounded sesame seeds to make a paste out of it. Apply and leave the paste on the scalp for about 20-25 minutes.
    • CarrotsConsume a glass of carrot juice regularly.
    • Wheat sprouts. Consuming the juice of wheat sprouts daily can also help resist premature grey hair.
    • Seaweed
    • Wheatgrass
    • Chlorophyll