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How to Manage Diabetes

Currently, India is home to nearly 62 million diabetics. No longer, diabetes is associated with higher income group, as more and more people from lower and middle-income background are suffering from type 2 diabetes. Colloquially known as ‘sugar’ or ‘high sugar’ uncontrolled diabetes is a multi-system disorder that affects the health of your heart, eyes and kidneys.

WHAT CAUSES DIABETES

In the human body carbs is broken down into sugar or glucose post digestion. The sugar is the fuel for the cells and the insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas holds the key that opens the cells and allows sugar in the blood stream to enter inside the cells. In the patients of diabetes the mechanism of insulin gets hampered. Either the pancreas stops making insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the cells become resistant to it (type 2 diabetes). As a result, the cells do not get their fuel (sugar: the simplified form of carb) and there is sugar overload in the blood, which releases through urine. The real diabetes epidemic comes from type 2 diabetes. One of the primary, causes of diabetes in Indians is sedentary lifestyle. The other reasons for diabetes are diet and the Indian gene pool.

 

Initially, the symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, dry mouth, frequent urination and increased hunger especially after eating. The other symptoms are unexplained weight loss, even after eating well and hunger, blurred vision and headaches. More often than not, people choose to ignore  initial signs of diabetes. Undiagnosed diabetes remains a bigger threat. Nearly, 60 percent people in India suffer from undiagnosed diabetes that leads to serious health complications, like heart disease, kidney and eye disorders.

DIABETES MANAGEMENT

Long-term complications include heart attacks, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage and foot infections that lead to amputation of limbs, dental damage, and so on. Around the world, a lower limb is lost to diabetes every 30 seconds. Diabetes is the most important risk factor for heart disease. Many of these complications do not produce any symptom in the early stage and most can be prevented with a combination of regular medical care and blood glucose monitoring. User-friendly blood glucometers that monitor blood glucose levels at home can indicate how well diabetes is controlled and serves as a guide to adjusting therapy

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease and you have to learn to live with it. Though initially you may feel angry or overwhelmed, you a plan to manage diabetes with few essential steps will make it easier for you to eat well and stay active. Diet and exercise are the two cornerstones of managing diabetes.

1. Increase your level of physical activity. Diabetics need to keep their weight in check.  Exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes for five times a week or 150 minutes per week.  To increase your insulin sensitivity, moderate exercise is better than no exercise, but intense exercise is even better. Therefore, it makes sense to enroll in a class of aerobics, Zumba dance. When you exercise intensely, your body uses more glycogen, the stored form of glucose. To replace those stores, glucose is pulled from the bloodstream.

2. Make intelligent food choices. Choose foods that are lower in fat, trans fat and calories. Avoid sugary drinks. When eating a meal, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a lean protein, such as beans, or chicken without the skin, and one-quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta.  Increasing fiber intake keeps your blood sugar stable. You should add leafy greens to your dough and substitute daliya (roasted wheat flakes) with cereal to get more fiber in your diet. Rather than eating three large meals, eat six small meals.

A diabetic should avoid eating rice, potato, refined flour, deep fried foods and red meat. Very sweet fruits, like grapes and chickoo are off limits for a diabetic. Vegetables like palak (spinach), leafy greens, Dudhi (bottle gourd) are good for diabetics. If the diabetic suffers from kidney problems, they should have more of fresh vegetables and less of protein.

3. Keep a check on your stress level. Stress can raise your blood sugar. Learn ways to lower your stress. Try deep breathing, gardening, taking a walk, meditating, working on your hobby, or listening to your favorite music.

4. Go for regular tests. Diabetics need to meticulously control their blood pressure and blood sugar. They should be careful about the health of their feet and eyes. A regular urine test is required to detect the health of their kidneys.

 

AYURVEDA AND DIABETES

The first mention of diabetes dates back to probably 250 BC. Traditionally, Ayurveda has been recruiting herbs, like gurmar (Gymnema Sylvestre), bitter melon, apple cider vinegar, neem and jamun for managing diabetes.  Today, clinical studies have validated the efficacy of these herbs and foods in lowering blood sugar and boosting insulin sensitivity.

Apple cider vinegar helps in managing blood sugar. The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar interferes with the absorption of starch, but a 2004 study conducted at Arizona State University has found that subjects who drink 20 grams of apple cider vinegar, 40 grams of water and a teaspoon of saccharine (a natural sweetener, like stevia will be better) had 34 percent lower after-meal blood glucose. Therefore, begin drinking your apple cider vinegar tonic at bedtime and exercise a better control over your blood-glucose level.

Treatment of diabetes involves keeping a better control on your blood glucose level, keeping weight in check, eating right diet, taking prescription medicines and recruiting herbs, as and when needed. Most importantly, remain proactive, go for regular health checks and enjoy life.

 

Top 8 Ways to Get Relief from Joint Pain Naturally

Are you enduring joint pain silently? Do you take it as a normal part of ageing? Well, you have been wrong all the way long and you do not need to live with joint pain. From alternative supplements, like herbs, vitamins and minerals, to certain nutrients, like glucosamine, exercise, and rest, a lot many options exist to relieve joint pain naturally. Typically, used painkillers provide short-term relief and they just numb the pain. The long term usage of pain killers has serious effects on your health.

THE MOST COMMON JOINT PAINS

Arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain and mostly affects knees, followed by shoulder and hip joints. The common reasons for joint pain are extra weight, overuse of a particular joint, not warming up enough before a strenuous physical activity and degradation of a joint due to ageing, known as osteoarthritis.

Knee pain is the most common joint pain followed by shoulder and hip joint pain. Joint pain usually results from extra weight, overuse, poor form during physical activity, not warming up or cooling down enough before an intensive regimen of physical activity and osteoarthritis, a condition in which knee cartilage wears down.  In sports persons and fitness enthusiasts, strenuous workouts and heavy lifting lead to sore and achy joints.

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR JOINT PAIN

Going pain-free doesn’t mean relying on painkillers. The commonly used painkillers or analgesics numb the pain. They can be used once in a while, but not without side effects.  However, the short-term side effects of painkillers are vomiting and diarrhoea and in the long-run abuse of painkillers may harm your kidneys.

Does it mean that you learn to live with pain? Not exactly, because you can take control of pain naturally

1.       SELF CARE FOR JOINT PAIN

Knee pain, the most common cause of joint pain responds well to self-care.

  • Rest and avoid activities that aggravate the pain.
  • Apply ice. First, apply it every hour for up to 15 minutes. After the first day, apply it at least 4 times per day.
  • Gently compress the knee by wearing an elastic bandage
  • Elevate knees to drain the fluid.

2.       RELIEVE JOINT PAIN WITH A MASSAGE

Massage may be deemed as a luxury, but it is not.  A gentle massage is the most effective way to soothe sore and achy joints and muscles. It has been proven that massage helps to lower anxiety, stress and insomnia due to stress and helps improve circulation and eases joint pain. Research published on the National Institute of Health’s database by the Touch Research Institute shows that when given to patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis in their arms and hands, massage therapy can decrease pain and have a significant impact on some patient’s ability to control the mobility of their limbs.  Indulge often in the soothing comfort of a massage to relieve joint pain.

  3.       ACTIVE JOINTS WITH EXERCISE

For an active lifestyle, you need to keep your joints healthy. Regular exercise goes a long way in keeping joints active and flexible. To begin with, buy a comfortable pair of shoes and begin to walk.  Exercises that reduce the load on joints while you recruit core muscles will improve the functioning of joints and reduce the potential of early arthritis.

It becomes easy to retain flexible joints with stretching, as they help maintain the full range of motion. Active stretching exercises are yoga, taichi, and pilates. Do these before and after a weight lifting session. Low impact exercises like cycling, swimming and walking are good for your joints. You should also weight train to build muscles strong and improve joint stability.

4.       SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEALTHY JOINTS

Any kind of knee pain usually results from extra weight, overuse, poor form during physical activity, not warming up or cooling down enough before an intensive regimen of physical activity and osteoarthritis, a condition in which knee cartilage wears down. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are part of normal cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint. Naturally, glucosamine, also called chitosamine, is found in the covering of shellfish. An insufficient supply of glucosamine restricts the efficiency of cartilage rebuilding and can delay the repair of cartilage and other connective tissues.  People who are overweight, have osteoarthritis should use glucosamine and chondroitin as a supplement for healthy joints.

5.      KEEP YOUR JOINTS ACTIVE WITH ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS

Almost 50 percent of Indian population is deficient in calcium and vitamin D3 levels. A calcium supplement in the advancing years does a lot of good to the bones. Bones are active tissues and they respond greatly to exercise like walking. A brisk walk along with a diet rich in calcium, combined with a calcium supplement will keep bones healthy in your later years. If you smoke then quit it, because smoking depletes your bone density.  Moreover, if you are deficient in magnesium, your body will not be able to absorb calcium. Here, apple cider vinegar tonic, rich in magnesium will help.   Focus on your intake of essential nutrients for active joints.

6.       IMPROVE JOINT PAINS WITH OMEGA 3

Joint pain is common in fitness enthusiasts and weight lifters as their strenuous physical activity cause a lot of wear and tear on the joints. In elderly, age-related damage hurts joints. Several research studies have proven that EPA and DHA in omega 3 fatty acid help reverse symptoms of arthritis.  In a study group of 293 adults without clinical osteoarthritis, some with and without knee pain, higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids helped decrease the risk of bone marrow lesions.

7.        TRUST HERBS FOR HEALTHY JOINTS

Free from side effects, herbs gently alleviate joint pain, improve flexibility and reduce swelling of joints. Along with good old turmeric and ginger, Shallaki (Boswellia Serrata) and Rasana (Pluchea lanceolata) are proven herbal remedies for treating joint pain. Acting like a natural anti-inflammatory agent, these herbs relieve stiffness of painful joints and muscle tissues to relieve joint pain. Rather than conventional painkillers, trust herbs for active joints.

8.       APPLE CIDER VINEGAR HEALS JOINT PAIN

Ayurveda believes that ama or toxins in the system cause joint pain. Being an excellent detoxifier apple cider vinegar heals joint pain. Drink the tonic of apple cider vinegar (mix 10ml in a glass of warm water) on an empty stomach to flush out toxins from the body and move your system to a slightly alkaline state.  If you suffer from arthritic pain in your fingers, you should prepare a soak by mixing ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper into 1 cup warm apple cider vinegar. Soak your hands and fingers in this solution until pain is gone.

Keep your weight in check, stay active, eat healthy and incorporate essential nutrients in your diet for healthy joints.

Top 10 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day

Alternative health practitioners believe that the major missing piece of the healing puzzle is to move the body’s pH to a slightly alkaline state, as many inflammatory diseases, like allergy, diabetes, and arthritis have their roots in the acidic pH. Made from fermented apple juice, apple cider vinegar is an amazing health tonic, if it is raw, unfiltered and un-pasteurized. The real reason for health benefits of apple cider vinegar is ‘mother’, a cobweb-like structure that it lends vinegar a cloudy appearance and is found in only organic apple cider vinegar. According to several health sources, apple cider vinegar is loaded with potent antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, Additionally, acetic acid, enzymes, and minerals in apple cider vinegar promote good health and wellbeing. A bit short of a health elixir, apple cider vinegar is the health panacea, most of us have been looking for and in 10 ways apple cider vinegar improves health and well-being of city folks like us.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR EVERY DAY

The most noticeable effects of apple cider vinegar on your health show in improved immunity, energy, digestion and reduced weight. Besides, there are many other ways in which this health tonic will benefit you. Just trust apple cider vinegar for a natural solution to your niggling health concerns.

1.      LOSE WEIGHT WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Weight on your mind? Begin drinking apple cider vinegar tonic to lose weight. Dilute 10ml vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach and before meals. Acetic acid lowers water retention, improves metabolism, restricts appetite and interferes with the assimilation of starch. The bonus effect is natural weight loss.

2.      STABILISE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Diabetes management with apple cider vinegar is possible, as it helps stabilise your blood sugar. Several studies have found that apple cider vinegar helps lower blood sugar, which is very useful for diabetics. A 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by four percent to six percent

3.      FLEXIBLE AND ACTIVE JOINTS WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

When metabolic waste deposits in connective tissues of the joints, it inflames your joints. A classic symptom of arthritis is painful joints and a tonic made from apple cider vinegar helps flush toxins from the body. Rich in magnesium, apple cider vinegar increases your body’s ability to absorb calcium for flexible and pain-free joints.

4.      TREAT  COUGH AND COLD WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

2300 years ago, in 300 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine prescribed apple cider vinegar to treat a cough and cold. It stands true even today. Potassium-rich apple cider vinegar helps thin mucous and prevent germ growth. Mix apple cider vinegar in warm water and use it to gargle a sore throat.

5.      DISSOLVE KIDNEY STONES WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Excess minerals get deposited in kidneys as stones, which can be as small as a grain of sand to as large as a pearl. These mineral deposits can be excruciatingly painful. Apple cider vinegar works as a wonderful detox tonic and helps dissolve kidney stones. All you need to do is to mix two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar in a warm glass of water and drink three times a day (early in the morning and before meals).

6.      TREAT ACID REFLUX,  INDIGESTION AND UPSET STOMACH WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Apple cider vinegar works when antacids fail to treat acid reflux and indigestion. Contrary to popular belief, acidity is a result of less acid in your stomach. Rich in acetic acid,  you should use apple cider vinegar to treat acid reflux and indigestion.  Upset stomach, a symptom of stomach flu is a condition where the gastrointestinal tract is inflamed, as a result of contracting a viral infection. Body aches, vomiting diarrhea and nausea are other symptoms of an upset stomach that appear after 48 hours of exposure to the virus. Though upset stomach heals on own, but apple cider vinegar infused drink can expedite the process. Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water or any fruit juice. Drink it before meals until you get complete relief from stomach flu symptoms. Pectin in apple cider vinegar soothes irritated stomach lining. You can even add a tablespoon of vinegar do an apple cider vinegar tonic. Drink this every few hours and you’ll begin to feel better.

7.       ​EARN RELIEF FROM NIGHTTIME LEG CRAMPS

The debilitating leg cramps is a symptom of potassium deficiency. To earn relief from leg cramps, mix 10ml of apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of honey in water and drink it to give your legs that much needed potassium shot.

8.      IMPROVE HEART HEALTH WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Rich in acetic acid, apple cider vinegar reduces bad cholesterol and triglycerides in arteries. It helps increase good cholesterol and normalizes blood pressure. This helps improve your heart health.

9.      SOOTHE RASHES AND SUNBURN 

Apple cider vinegar works effectively to soothe rashes and sunburn.  According to the book, “Dr. Earl Mindell’s Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar,” by Dr. Earl Mindell, dilute the vinegar with water and wipe it over the rash with a cotton ball to relieve inflammation, reduce irritation and itching, and encourage healing.  To get relief from sunburn, soak a clean piece of gauze in apple cider vinegar and apply it directly on the sunburn.

10.       BOOST ENERGY

Next time you overwork yourself, at a gym or at home, reach out for apple cider vinegar. When lactic acid builds up in the body, it causes fatigue. Amino acids and potassium in apple cider vinegar work as an antidote and help boost energy.

HOW TO DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Mix 10ml of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. Drink it in the morning and before meals. To enhance taste, add a dash of honey to the apple cider vinegar concoction. You can also use apple cider vinegar on your salads and dishes.

Make friends with apple cider vinegar and your health will thank you big time.

Top 5 Protein Myths You Believe In

Going by the textbook definition, the word protein is a derivative of the Greek word proteios, meaning “essential to life” because, unlike carbohydrate and fat, protein contains sulfur and nitrogen, two vital elements for every cell in your body. Protein also helps produce enzymes and hormones, maintain fluid balance, and regulate numerous vital functions, from building antibodies to muscle. As far as your diet is concerned there are numerous kinds of protein, but the right kind of protein taken at the right times can make all the difference, in your strength, immunity and wellbeing.

Still, a lot of myths surround protein, an everyday macro-nutrient and it goes missing from many plates. 

Myth # 1

PROTEIN DEFICIENCY IS NOT FOR ME. IT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE MALNOURISHED!

Well, this is the mother of all myths. The typical Indian meal, whether served in a home in Mumbai or Delhi, is painfully deficient in proteins. The earliest symptoms of protein deficiency are hair fall, tiredness and brittle nails. The continued lack of proteins, the building blocks of your body manifest in belly fat, unhealthy lipid profile and eventually diabetes. And the solution to these lifestyle diseases lies in increasing protein intake. 

Myth # 2

ALL PROTEIN SOURCES ARE EQUAL

No, all proteins have not been created equal. How good a food is as a protein source is determined by the essential amino acids it has to offer, because these amino acids are critical for good health and must be sourced through food? Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) is the benchmark established by World Health Organisation against which all protein foods are measured against. The score of 1.0 is the highest score possible for a quality protein source. The three foods that have 1.0 protein score are whey (dairy), egg whites and soy.

Myth # 3

THE PROTEIN NEEDS WILL REMAIN THE SAME THROUGHOUT THE LIFE.

While an average male requires 56g of protein and a woman needs 46g of protein every day to prevent protein deficiency. Protein needs do not remain the same throughout the life. If you have got a physically demanding job, or you walk a lot, your protein needs will go up. Seniors who focus on protein-rich foods are able to prevent muscle loss (sarcopenia) in advancing years. Their protein intake goes up, almost 50 percent higher than the Daily Recommended Intake.

Myth # 4

TOO MUCH PROTEIN WILL LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN.

On the contrary, it will make you thin. Both carbs and proteins per gram serve 4 calories, but protein is a more satisfying nutrient and keeps you full for longer. Have a breakfast rich in protein and complex carbohydrates and you are less likely to nibble later, as a result,your calorie consumption will go down. Since protein helps build lean muscles, it keeps your metabolism active. A high protein diet keeps your blood sugar stable and contributes to a slimmer waistline.

 

Myth # 5

PLANT BASED PROTEIN IS AN INCOMPLETE SOURCE OF PROTEIN

This is just half of the picture. Vegetable proteins except soy do not provide all essential amino acids (protein molecules that the body can’t process and obtains from foods) but this doesn’t make them any inferior or incomplete source of protein. In fact, a typical Indian meal recommends combos like rice and beans, roti and lentils to fill in the protein gaps.  Soy, a plant-based protein contains nine essential amino acids in a balanced quantity along with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids

Look at the bigger picture of protein and get enough of this macronutrient to stay fit, healthy and energetic.