Blog posts of '2011' 'August'

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Natural Home Remedies for Strep Throat - 27 August 2011

There are many ways of helping the body in dealing with infections. Home remedies for strep throat are various and they include many aspects: diet, natural antiseptics, natural analgesics or natural antibacterial cures. Used appropriately, home remedies for strep throat can speed up the process of healing by fighting bacteria and by stimulating the immune system of the body.

Strep throat can occur to anyone, at any time. Although children and teenagers are the ones who often get strep throat, adults may also be affected by this illness. Strep throat occurs due to infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. This type of bacteria is very contagious and can be easily transmitted through secretions (sneezing, coughing) or physical contact (handshake, touch). Even perfect hygiene can’t prevent strep throat from occurring, as the bacteria that cause the infection are also airborne. In some cases, you can contract the bacteria responsible for strep throat just by standing next to a contaminated person.

The most common symptoms for strep throat are inflammation and swelling of the throat, inflammation and swelling of the tonsils, swelling and tenderness of the lymph glands, difficulty in swallowing, fever, headache, nausea, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.

There are home remedies for strep throat that can ease each of these symptoms. However, it is very important to understand that home remedies for strep throat can’t completely replace medical treatments prescribed by a physician. Strep throat is an infection caused by bacteria and therefore needs appropriate treatment that consists of antibiotics. Although there are natural alternatives for medical antibiotics, they are considerably less effective in fighting bacteria on their own. Home remedies for strep throat that can act as antibiotics are garlic, honey, olive leaf extract and tea tree oil. Such home remedies for strep throat can help in fighting infection and inflammation, but medical treatment shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, most home remedies for strep throat should be used only in addition to medical treatment with antibiotics.

Home remedies for strep throat pain, discomfort and soreness are chamomile, sage, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, rosemary and thyme. These can either be used as essences or ointments and are very efficient in reducing the pain and for relaxing the body. Peppermint and chamomile teas can relief abdominal pain, reduce nausea and can also correct internal disorders such as diarrhea.

A quick, effective, home remedy for strep throat is salty water gargle. By washing the oral cavity with salty water a few times a day you can help the body in overcoming the bacteria responsible for the infection.

When suffering from strep throat, make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep is vital for body regeneration and for maintaining a strong immune system. However, due to the discomfort and pain caused by the infection with bacteria, you might have difficulties in falling asleep. Home remedies for strep throat that have both sedative and analgesic effects are ginseng and passion flower.

Home remedies for strep throat are a very good means of speeding up the process of recovery. By following an appropriate medical treatment and a few good home remedies for strep throat, you will quickly overcome the infection and revitalize your body.

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How Calcium Helps Body Systems to Work Properly - 26 August 2011

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth; roughly 99% of calcium in the body is deposited in these two places. Calcium also helps the heart, nerves, muscles, and other body systems work properly. To function correctly, calcium must be accompanied by several other nutrients including magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C, D, and K.

The best sources of calcium are foods (see Dietary Sources below), but supplements may be necessary for those who cannot meet their calcium needs through diet alone. Heavy use of caffeine can diminish calcium levels; therefore, higher amounts of calcium may be needed if you drink a lot of coffee. Also, a diet high in protein can increase loss of calcium through the urine. Excessive intake of sodium, phosphates (from carbonated beverages) and alcohol, as well as the use of aluminum-containing antacids also contribute to increased excretion of calcium.

Calcium deficiency can be found in people with malabsorption problems, such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and surgical intestinal resection. Prolonged bed rest causes loss of calcium from the bones and the elderly are less able to absorb calcium.

Symptoms of calcium deficiency include muscle spasm or cramping, typically in hands or feet; hair loss (alopecia); dry skin and nails which may also become misshapen; numbness, tingling, or burning sensation around the mouth and fingers; nausea and vomiting; headaches; yeast infections (candidiasis); anxiety; convulsions/seizures; and poor tooth and bone development.

Uses 
 
Obtaining adequate calcium can help prevent and/or treat the following conditions:

Osteoporosis

An inadequate supply of calcium over the lifetime is thought to play a significant role in contributing to the development of osteoporosis. Calcium is necessary to help build and maintain healthy bones and strong teeth. Studies have shown that calcium, particularly in combination with vitamin D, can help prevent bone loss associated with menopause, as well as the bone loss experienced by elderly men. If adequate amounts of calcium are not being obtained through the diet, calcium supplements are necessary.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Calcium levels often measure lower the week prior to one's menstrual period compared to the week after. Studies suggest that calcium supplementation helps relieve mood swings, food cravings, pain or tenderness, and bloating associated with premenstrual syndrome.

High Cholesterol

Preliminary studies in animals and people suggest that calcium supplements, in the range of 1,500 to 2,000 mg per day, may help to lower cholesterol. The information available thus far suggests that keeping cholesterol levels normal or even low by using calcium supplements (along with many other measures such as changing your diet and exercising) is likely to be more beneficial than trying to treat it by adding calcium once you already have elevated cholesterol. More research in this area is needed.

Stroke

In a population based study (one in which large groups of people are followed over time), women who take in more calcium, both through the diet and with added supplements, were less likely to have a stroke over a 14 year time course. More research is needed to fully assess the strength of the connection between calcium and risk of stroke.

Colon Cancer

Although some studies are conflicting, mounting evidence suggests that people who consume high amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and milk in their diets are significantly less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who consume low amounts of the same substances. Although it is best to obtain calcium from the diet, the suggested amounts for the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer (namely, 800 IU/day of vitamin D and 1,800 mg/day of calcium) will most likely require supplementation.

Obesity

Both animal and human studies have found that dietary calcium intake (from low-fat dairy products) may be associated with a decrease in body weight. These effects cannot necessarily be attributed to calcium alone since dairy sources of calcium contain other nutrients (including magnesium and potassium) that may be involved in the weight loss. A review of all studies up to the year 2000 did conclude, however, that supplementation of 1,000 mg of calcium can facilitate as much as 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of weight loss and 5 kilogram (11 pound) loss of fat.

Dietary Sources 
 
The richest dietary sources of calcium include cheeses (such as parmesan, romano, gruyere, cheddar, American, mozzarella, and feta), wheat-soy flour, and blackstrap molasses. Some other good sources of calcium include almonds, brewer's yeast, bok choy, Brazil nuts, broccoli, cabbage, dried figs, kelp, dark leafy greens (dandelion, turnip, collard, mustard, kale, Swiss chard), hazelnuts, ice cream, milk, oysters, sardines, canned salmon soybean flour, tahini, and yogurt.

Foods that are fortified with calcium, such as juices, soy milk, rice milk, tofu and cereals, are also good sources of this mineral.

Calcium may also be obtained from a variety of herbs, spices, and seaweeds. Examples include basil, chervil, cinnamon, dill weed, fennel, fenugreek, ginseng, kelp, marjoram, oregano, parsley, poppy seed, sage, and savory.

Information presented herein are educational and informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.

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Healthy Snacks for Family - 25 August 2011

Written By: Girija Gokul

Serving these homemade snacks with little trick not only fulfills the nutritional value but also keep kids satisfied and content. And your wallet is happy too!....:-)

Getting your family to eat healthy snack is a real challenge! As, where so ever you go – be it a coffee house, gas station or your office – you would find conveniently packed foods that are mostly unhealthy and high in calorie waiting for you. But, as the nutrition factor is very important to you, so let’s take this challenge and steer away the family from unhealthy snack.

10 healthy snacking options.

  1. Fruit Salad- Filling and highly nutritious, fruit salad is a vitamin-packed snack that has earned a justified reputation as an all-time breakfast standby. Take watermelon cubes, papaya, apple, banana, grapefruit, and other seasonal fruits. Slice and toss in a bowl with a pinch of salt, pepper powder, chat masala and your fruit salad is ready to eat.
  2. Sprouts - Go green with sprouts! It is one of the most complete and nutritionally beneficial snack contains vitamin A & B, protein, and minerals providing two fisted power punch to your body. Enjoy sprouts of legumes such as mung, bengal gram, groundnut and peas with a drop of lemon juice and salt. It’s amazing to eat and is a real energy booster.
  3. Poha – A convenient, on-the-go snack solution that packs a high nutritional punch is ‘Poha’. Wash and drain pressed rice and sauté a bit with green peas, onion, tomatoes and ground nuts in a drop of oil, it’s almost done! Squeeze lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves to serve. This low calorie, easy to make snack is very light for stomach and really nutritious for your health. The dash of lemon in poha makes the iron content available in it easy to absorb by the body.
  4. Soya Chunk Chat – Make your protein, carb and iron source come alive with boiled and squeezed soya chunks, sprouts, onion, tomato sauce,  potato cubes, green chilli-mint chutney, and a pinch of salt and chat spread. Soya Chunk chat is good for health and delicious to eat. Both kids and adults consider it a as a good substitute to non vegetarian food. Good for weight watchers and body builders too, because it’s high in protein.
  5. Steamed Corns/Pop Corns – Homemade steamed or roasted corns are real delight for your family.  It is the perfect snack for munching in the evening as it not only tastes great but also packs a high amount of nutritional value within itself. Carbohydrate, Calcium, dietary fiber, iron, vitamin A & B, protein, almost everything you add with intake of corns.
  6. Bhelpuri – Toss puffed rice, roasted grams, peas, onion, green chillies with a drop of mustard oil and pepper and salt, this yum snack gets ready. Crunchy munchy, bhelpuri is very good for digestive system. 
  7. Makhana  – These are very rich in iron and calcium content besides high dietary fiber. Simply roasted them in a drop of ghee and toss salt before you serve. You can also prepare sweet pudding of makhana with milk. It is highly recommended for pregnant women. People with chronic complaint of constipation can also profit from its use.
  8. Roasted Chana (Whole Grams) – Available as a packed food, roasted channa is a good option to break your fast. The salty and crispy roasted chana contains high amount ofnutritional value which helps improving your indigestion problems. Low in fat, you can serve them anytime you wish.
  9. Cheese Cubes – High in protein, cheese cubes are favourite of children. Serve then as a topping on a cracker or enjoy it alone. These are best source of protein, carbohydrate and good fat, as well as bone building calcium. Go ahead indulge.
  10. Smoothies – It is the best way to combine several food groups into one appealing serving. Blend fruits like mango or banana with a glass of milk and serve cool to cherish this retreat. Milk mixed with banana provides you high value iron, calcium, vitamins, protein; everything good for health. Also, go for Parfait, dropping alternate layers of yogurt, fresh fruit (most berries work well), and granola or a crunchy cereal in a glass to make a perfect sip and munch recipe. It looks as good as it tastes and also provides rich nutritional value like vitamin A and B, and protein.
     

Make these tempting- Just follow simple tactics and ideas for snacks that are healthy, inexpensive and it will be grabbed as the best serving by your family, especially your children. When making healthy snacks for kids, you need to focus on making the snack fun so as to be sure your child will actually eat them. You can put all the effort in slicing fruits in different shapes and sizes.

 

 
 
 
 

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