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Archive for the ‘Health Tips’ Category






The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is world renowned for its cutting-edge research and medical care. It is also a leader in sustainability, modeling healthy, sustainable food choices for patients, staff and visitors. In the recent 2014 townhall (see minute 21.20), an attendee asked University of California Office of the President (UCOP) President Janet Napolitano about UCOP’s sustainable food initiative, advocating for a move away from an animal-based diet. She responded that while UC is not moving toward a total vegetation approach, campuses are adjusting their procurement process to buy food from smaller, organic growers. Napolitano commended UCSF for its sustainable food efforts, notably efforts to eliminate antibiotics from the meat it serves at UCSF Medical Center.


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7 ways to stay healthy this rainy season

Posted by MkTeam under Health Tips


RAINY DAY BLUES. The monsoon season brings with it diseases and bacteria we need to guard against

RAINY DAY BLUES. The monsoon season brings with it diseases and bacteria we need to guard against

MANILA, Philippines – The rainy season may have its charms: the cool weather, the reason to wear jackets and the magnified pleasure of a cup of hot coffee or a bowl of hot soup.

But it has dangers as well, primarily in the form of diseases like dengue and in infectious bacteria and viruses that become active due to the high humidity brought about by repeated spells of rain.

Luckily, there are simple precautions we can take to stay in peak health condition during this tricky season. Here are some tips gleaned from

1. Wash your hands

Bacteria and viruses come alive during the monsoon and you can come into contact with them just by crossing the road or holding on to an infected railing or bench.

Wash your hands as frequently as you can with soap and warm water.

2. Don’t touch your face

The flu virus commonly enters our body through the eyes, nose and mouth.

Resist the urge to scratch your eye or wipe your sweaty forehead. Bring a clean napkin or handkerchief instead.

3. Protect yourself from dirty water

Clogged gutters and dirty puddles are a common sight during rainy season. Unfortunately, they are sources of water-borne diseases like diarrhea, influenza, cholera and fungal skin infections.

Covering up is the best way to protect yourself from these diseases and still maintain your active life. Aside from a jacket, invest in a good pair of rain boots. In the Philippines, many commuters prefer wearing rubber slippers because, unlike most closed shoes, they dry fast and are easy to move around in.

But slippers leave your feet at the mercy of contaminated elements.

Rain boots are now available for a very cheap price and can be found in a range of styles and designs to suit anyone. They can be taken indoors and stored in lockers or in a bag underneath your office desk.

Rubber ones are light enough to carry in a backpack.

4. Avoid eating street food

While fish ball, kwek kwek and kikiam sold in the streets sound like a good idea any time of the year, the rainy season is when you should stay away from them. Food cooked and sold in the open air are likely to come in contact with airborne and waterborne diseases and bacteria.

Better to eat fresh, home-cooked meals. Why not cook fish balls at home?

5. Keep mosquitoes out

The mosquito population grows during monsoon because stagnant water — their choice breeding ground — becomes more common.

To keep mosquitoes out of your life, do some housecleaning. Look through flower pots, fountains, ditches, nooks and crannies that may be holding stagnant water. Clean them out and cover them until the end of the season.

Slather mosquito repellent over your body, especially when you go outdoors.

6. Drink herbal tea

Herbal tea has curative properties for coughs, colds and sore throat — common ailments during the rainy season.

To make it extra good for your body (not to mention pleasant and delicious), you can add body warming ingredients like cloves, ginger, pepper, basil and mint.

7. Make eucalyptus oil your best friend

The aroma of eucalyptus oil helps us breathe easily; this, in turn, relaxes the entire body. This substance can be your best friend during the rainy season when the nose gets clogged from flu and the body is maxed out from other diseases or even when dealing with just the extra strain of commuting in the rain.

There are several ways to breathe in its healing and calming aroma. You can dilute it in water and use it to steam your face.

You can also put a few drops of oil in a handkerchief and bring it wherever you go. Alternatively, you can dab it on your neck and head.




4 ways to keep your body strong as you age

Posted by MkTeam under Health Tips





Though it’s difficult to imagine ourselves in old age, the attention we devote to building and maintaining four crucial muscle areas today will make a significant difference 20, 30 or 40 years down the road when it comes to carrying out even basic actions such as walking and bending.

In fact, our skeletal muscles—the fibres anchored to our bones and tendons that enable both motion and force—are integral to how we function. If we don’t take care of these muscles, which start to deteriorate as young as age 25, we’re at risk of injury, as well as a range of problems from incontin­ence to weak bones to increased risk for falls—which often reduces lifespan in those over age 65.


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Fitness Gurus might do their best resisting the delectable but calorie-rich Kashmiri Wazwan cuisine but lovers of good food can hardly do so, more so with Eid round the corner.

As one of the most tasty non-vegetarian foods in the world, Wazwan has an intriguing history. While some suggest this special cuisine came to Kashmir from Iran, others argue the food is indigenous to the Valley. And the unending list of additions to this feast might owe itself to the exposure of local chefs, called Wazas, who specialize in cooking the Wazwan, to outside influences.


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Guide to healthy fasting during Ramadan

Posted by MkTeam under Health Tips




Don’t break your fast with a feast or you may put on weight instead of losing it.

 If you are not careful, food eaten during the pre-dawn and dusk meals can cause some weight gain.

Dr Razeen Mahroof, an anaesthetist from Oxford, says feasting during the non-fasting hours can be unhealthy. He recommends approaching the fast with discipline, or an opportunity to lose weight and be healthier could be wasted.

“The underlying message behind Ramadan is self-discipline and self-control,” he says. “This shouldn’t fall apart at the end of the day”.


A balanced diet

Those observing the fast should have at least two meals a day, the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and a meal at dusk (Iftar).

Dr Mahroof says your food intake should be simple and not differ too much from your normal diet. It should contain foods from all the major food groups:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • bread, cereals and potatoes
  • meat, fish, or alternatives
  • milk and dairy foods
  • foods containing fat and sugar

Complex carbohydrates are foods that help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. They are found in foods such as barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour and basmati rice.

Fibre-rich foods are also digested slowly and include bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin on, vegetables such as green beans, and almost all fruit, including apricots, prunes and figs.

Foods to avoid are the heavily processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour), as well as fatty food (for example cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets, such as Indian mithai).

It’s also worth avoiding caffeine-based drinks such as tea, coffee and cola. Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulates faster water loss through urination.

Wholesome foods

Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, should be a wholesome, moderate meal that is filling and provides enough energy for many hours.

“Suhoor should be light and include slow digesting food like pitta bread, salad, cereal (especially oats) or toast so that you have a constant release of energy,” Dr Mahroof says.

“It’s important to have some fluids with vitamins, such as fruit juice or fruit. Some people have isotonic drinks (such as Lucozade) to replace any lost salts.”

It’s customary for Muslims to break the fast (Iftar) with some dates, in accordance with the Prophetic traditions.

Dates will provide a burst of energy. Fruit juices will also have a similar, revitalising effect. Start by drinking plenty of water, which helps rehydration and reduces the chances of overindulgence. Avoid the rich, special dishes that traditionally celebrate the fast.

Foods to avoid

  • deep-fried foods, for example pakoras, samosas and fried dumplings
  • high-sugar and high-fat foods, including sweets such as gulab jamun, rasgulla and balushahi
  • high-fat cooked foods, for example, parathas, oily curries and greasy pastries

Healthy alternatives

  • baked samosas and boiled dumplings
  • chapattis made without oil
  • baked or grilled meat and chicken
  • homemade pastry using just a single layer
  • milk-based sweets and puddings such as rasmalai and barfee

Cooking methods to avoid

  • deep frying
  • frying
  • excessive use of oil

Healthy cooking methods

  • shallow frying (usually there is little difference in taste)
  • grilling or baking is healthier and helps retain the taste and original flavour of the food, especially with chicken and fish

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning while cooking

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste and which, when breathed in, can make you unwell and can kill. Cooking for large numbers of people using oversized pots on gas stoves has been shown to cause the build-up of carbon monoxide in some homes, particularly those that aren’t well ventilated.

Therefore, if you are planning to cater for large numbers of people at your home – for example at a pre- or post-Ramadan gathering – it’s important that you don’t use oversized pots on your gas stove and don’t place foil around the burners.





Healthy Ramadan meal plan

Posted by MkTeam under Health Tips




These healthy meal ideas will give you a varied and balanced diet during Ramadan. They include ingredients from the major five food groups.

 The meal plan has been written by medical experts in consultation with Islamic scholars.

Fluids (water and juices) and dates should be added to each Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and Iftar (dinner – the meal which ends the day’s fast). The fast is broken with dates, followed by dinner.

Suhoor: a bowl of porridge with milk, one slice of toast and a handful of unsalted nuts

Iftar: pitta bread with chicken, salad and hummus and one or two pieces of baklava

Suhoor: wheat-based cereal with milk, a plain scone or crumpet and an apple or banana

Iftar: chicken with boiled rice, vegetable curry and mixed salad, followed by fruit salad with single cream

Suhoor: a bowl of shredded wheat or muesli and a pear or orange

Iftar: baked fish with roasted vegetables, or fish curry with rice followed by sweet vermicelli or one piece of jalebi (an Indian sweet)

Suhoor: cheese, then one teaspoon of jam with crackers or toast, and a handful of dried fruits

Iftar: pasta cooked with vegetables and chicken or fish, and a slice of plain cake with custard




Grilled Smoky Eggplant Salad

Posted by MkTeam under Health Tips



The delicious flavor of grilled eggplant is featured in this simple recipe, which makes an easy summertime side dish for tonight’s dinner or this weekend’s barbecue. The yummy smokiness of the eggplant is the flavor focal point, while curls of Manchego cheese add an elegant richness you’ll love.  Our favorite touch, though, is the tangy Mediterranean-flavored homemade vinaigrette dressing made from a purée of extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, tomato, garlic, and paprika — a great go-to dressing for any summer salad.

Grilled Smoky Eggplant Salad


•    2 small eggplant, (about 1 pound total)
•    3/4 teaspoon salt, Kosher, divided
•    1 dash(es) cooking spray, olive oil-flavored
•    1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
•    1 tablespoon vinegar, sherry
•    1 small tomato(es), plum, diced
•    1 clove(s) garlic, small, chopped
•    1 1/2 teaspoon paprika, smoked
•    3 cup(s) lettuce, mixed greens, baby
•    2 ounce(s) cheese, Manchego, cut in thin curls with a vegetable peeler



5 Foods That Make You Look Younger

Posted by MkTeam under Health Tips


Eat the right cheese, nuts and more to reverse the aging process



Reclaim Your Youth

These natural remedies help your skin and teeth defy time. And they may be in your diet already! Here’s what they are and how they fight aging.

1. Oatmeal

Non-processed (read: not instant) versions of this breakfast favorite are packed with amino acids and vitamin E, which nourish your skin, combat sun damage and counteract aging free radicals.

2. Coffee

Caffeine helps constrict and stimulate blood vessels to give skin a more even appearance. So savor that cup o’ joe—or take a few sips right before you want to look your absolute best.

3. Mozzarella Cheese

Brighter-looking teeth can take years off your face. Foods high in calcium, like mozzarella (even lowfat options), protect and strengthen the enamel of your teeth. They also increase the production of saliva, which helps fight off yellowing bacteria.

4. Grapefruit

The vitamin C packed in this nutritious citrus fruit promotes collagen growth, which helps prevent sagging skin.

5. Walnuts

This nut is high in omega-3 fatty acids that increase the moisture levels in your skin and help plump up wrinkles. Toss a few into your salad to reap the benefits.

SOURCES: Joseph Banker, DMD, Founder, Creative Dental Care, Westfield, NJ. Gervaise Gerstner, MD, New York City medical and cosmetic dermatologist. Gary Goldenberg, MD, Medical Director of Dermatology Faculty Practice, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City. Debra Luftman, MD, dermatologist and simple advisory board member. Mario Russo, owner, Salon Mario Russo, Boston






The glamour of playing professional football can fade fast and hard once an athlete’s career is over, a new study suggests.

Chronic pain from injuries sustained during a career, plus levels of depression comparable to the general population that can be aggravated by that injury-related pain, can make the transition to retirement difficult for many players, University of Michigan researchers report. Read the rest of this entry »


What Does Food Provide in the Human Body?

Posted by MkTeam under Health Tips



Food provides essential nutrients to promote health.

Food provides essential nutrients to promote health.

The food you eat every day provides the nutrients you need to survive. These food components include the macronutrients – protein, carbohydrate and fat – that offer calories as well as play specific roles in maintaining your health. Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, don’t act as an energy source but do serve a variety of critical functions to ensure your body operates as optimally as possible.

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