Secret of Balanced Diet for Healthy Hair


Food is important for the health and growth of your hair as well, like all other body parts. The only difference is that you have to supply the food to the hair follicles before the hair strand grows since once it grows out it is nothing but a dead cell and nothing can make the hair thicker or straighter or healthier. But a healthy diet can keep the hair follicles nourished and the scalp healthy thus preventing hair fall and other various ailments that cause hair fall.

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Image Source: realsimple

Just like your skin, you hair shows damage through dieting too. Just that the skin shows immediately and the hair to show the extent of damage would take longer. But nevertheless a crash dieting or an unhealthy lifestyle would surely take a toll on your hair too along with your skin.

Causes of Unhealthy Hair:

There are also many other reasons for unhealthy hair too like,

  1. Excessive Smoking
  2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
  3. Unclean Hair regularly etc.,

But maintaining a Healthy Diet throughout would help in combating these much more effectively than any cosmetic products ever can.

There are many food stuffs that can help in Healthy Hair Growth. Taking just any food that is regarded as healthy will not help. You have to know exactly, what ingredients favor in building block of healthy hair. In which food you would get these ingredients. You have to then include these foods into your daily diet plan. For instance protein is the most important ingredient that aids in healthy hair growth. The reason is that the hair strand is mostly made of protein and hence a protein rich diet would ensure that your hair stand is strong such that it does not break easily.

List of Protein Rich Foods:

  1. Whole Eggs
  2. Almond
  3. Oats
  4. Cottage Cheese
  5. Greek Yogurt
  6. Milk
  7. Broccoli
  8. Tuna
  9. Quinoa
  10. Lentils
  11. Pumpkin Seeds
  12. Turkey Breast
  13. Fish (All Types)
  14. Shrimp
  15. Brussels Sprouts
  16. Peanuts

Healthy scalp is necessary for healthy hair too and for healthy scalp you would need a diet rich in Iron, Vitamin E and some essential Minerals like Copper, Selenium and Magnesium. Vitamin D is also important. You would get Vitamin D through the sunlight but remember that too much sunlight can damage the hair instead of supplying it with vitamin D. For protein, minerals and vitamin E, you should take ample amounts of fishes like Salmon, Eggs, Leafy Vegetables like Spinach as well as Lentils too.

It is important though that you consult a good Doctor first before taking all the above mentioned food at once. Your doctor can plan out a Balanced Diet for you.

This article was originally published on Practo Health Feed by Dr. Sachin Goel, Hair Transplant Surgeon

Image Source: http://www.realsimple.com/

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Fit and fabulous heroines


Bollywood heroines who are fitness freaks

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Shilpa Shetty

Shilpa Shetty : The way she has maintained her body is droolworthy. She is perhaps the fittest celebs around.

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone : The way Deepika works out everyday will motivate even a couch potato.

Shraddha Kapoor

Shraddha Kapoor

Shraddha Kapoor : The way she dances and moves her body proves that there is no greater wealth in this world than health.

Parineeti Chopra

Parineeti Chopra

Parineeti Chopra : The way she transformed her body, gave fitness goals to the whole world.

Source: Yahoo

Contact lenses ‘alter eye bacteria’


Contact lenses may increase the risk of eye infections by altering the make-up of bacteria living on the eyeball, research has shown.

Researchers found contact lenses appeared to transfer bugs from the skin to the eye, upsetting the bacterial ecosystem and triggering infections

Researchers found contact lenses appeared to transfer bugs from the skin to the eye, upsetting the bacterial ecosystem and triggering infections

Researchers found the lenses appeared to transfer bugs from the skin to the eye, upsetting the bacterial ecosystem and triggering infections and inflammation.

Lead scientist Dr Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, from NYU Langone Medical Centre in New York City, said: “Our research clearly shows that putting a foreign object, such as a contact lens, on the eye is not a neutral act.

“These findings should help scientists better understand the long-standing problem of why contact-lens wearers are more prone to eye infections than non-lens wearers.” The researchers took hundreds of swabs of various parts of the eyes of nine contact lens wearers and 11 participants who did not wear contact lenses.

They found that in both groups the eye surface, or conjunctiva, harboured a more diverse range of bacteria than the skin directly beneath the eye.

Three times the usual proportion of three types of bugs, Methylobacterium, Lactobacillus, Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas, were identified on the eyeballs of contact lens wearers.

The conjunctival “microbiome”, or microbial ecosystem, of lens wearers turned out to be more like that of the skin than of the eye.

Dr Dominguez-Bello added: “What we hope our future experiments will show is whether these changes in the eye microbiome of lens wearers are due to fingers touching the eye, or from the lens’s direct pressure affecting and altering the immune system in the eye and what bacteria are suppressed or are allowed to thrive.”
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans.

Co-investigator Professor Jack Dodick, chair of opthalmology at NYU Langone, said: “There has been an increase in the prevalence of corneal ulcers following the introduction of soft contact lenses in the 1970s. A common pathogen implicated has been Pseudomonas.

“This study suggests that because the offending organisms seem to emanate from the skin, greater attention should be directed to eyelid and hand hygiene to decrease the incidence of this serious occurrence.” Some 5,245 distinct bacterial strains and subtypes were identified in the eyes of lens wearers and 5,592 strains in the eyes of non-lens wearers.

Surprisingly, the research showed that more Staphylococcus bacteria – which are linked to eye infections and are more prominent on the skin – were found in the eyes of non-lens wearers. The scientists cannot yet provide an explanation for this result.

Source: Yahoo news

5 ways to become a morning person


According to nutrition specialist Khushboo Thadani, a mug of hot water and lemon should be your morning elixir. “After 8 hours of going without food, this blend reduces acidity and flushes out toxins in the body,” she explains.

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In an alternate universe, you would wake up bright eyed and beaming, all set to kickstart your day with a morning run; then there is the actual reality of your snooze-loving, sunlight-hating self, whose mornings are rushed, fast and furious. How do you switch to the perfect world?

Vogue tells you 5 ways to become a morning person and love those early morning rays hitting your face.

1. Morning potion. According to nutrition specialist Khushboo Thadani, a mug of hot water and lemon should be your morning elixir. “After 8 hours of going without food, this blend reduces acidity and flushes out toxins in the body,” she explains.

2. Really wake up. Start your day with some kind of spiritual practise—it could be anything from 10-minute breathing exercises to a calming chant that soothes your soul.

3. Boost your energy to last you through the day without feeling tired. Thadani suggests breakfast that incorporates a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre and a moderate amount of healthy fats. Try:

  • Greek yogurt topped with berries, raw oats and walnuts
  • Natural peanut butter on rye toast with an egg-white omelet
  • Whole-wheat toast topped with avocado and 2 poached eggs
  • Oatmeal sweetened with a banana and topped with toasted almond flakes
  • Vegan omelet made from chickpea flour (besan) and a level tablespoon of coconut chutney

4. Sleep right. A restful night’s sleep is as important as the necessary 8-hour snooze. Here are some ways to make it happen:

  • Avoid drinking caffeine the previous day after 4 pm.
  • Eat dinner at least 2 hours before you sleep for the sake of digestion.
  • Sip on a warm cup of herbal, caffeine-free tea at night like camomile or ginseng, which, according to Thadani, are known to relax the system and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Switch off from technology at least an hour before bedtime—sounds impossible? All the more reason to follow this.

A hot shower at night will relax your muscles and get you ready for a good night’s sleep.

5. Love your alarm. How? Keep the tunes of your favourite violinist as your wake-me-up tone, or a forest bird’s melodious singing—whatever gets your soul alive and kicking!

– Sneha Mankani

Source: Yahoo

The best foods to eat before and after workouts to make it all worth it


Mitalee Doshi, Founder of Oomph Nutrition tells us what to eat before and after workouts.

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The best foods to eat before and after workouts to make it all worth it

Achieving optimal results by a workout depends on certain aspects – the most important of them is one’s diet. What you eat before (and if needed, during) your workout is crucial for fuelling the workout itself and is responsible for muscle building. What you eat after your workout ensures that your body has all of the supplies it needs in order to recover, adapt and improve. The fluids and food you have before/during/after workout go a long way towards making sure that your exercise has the best impact on your health. Mitalee Doshi, Founder of Oomph Nutrition tells us what to eat before and after workouts.

Pre-workout nutrition

One should never hit the gym on an empty stomach. Your pre workout meal is the meal that plays the largest role in supplying your body with everything it will need to ensure optimal performance during your workout.

Carbohydrates are essential for slow and steady energy release throughout the workout. It tops up your fuel levels and boosts your brain power and concentration for the session. Protein is required to build and maintain muscles and for healthy blood cells as they deliver nutrients and oxygen to working muscles. So make sure your meal has these foods. You can also go for lauki juice instead of protein shake post workout.

Sources of carbohydrates

Foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as wholegrain pasta, roti, oats, fruits, vegetables and bread are the best sources of energy that can help you start your workout well, and keep at it without experiencing dizziness. They slowly release glucose in the bloodstream. These 5 carbs can actually help you lose weight.

Sources of proteins

Make sure you buy good quality protein which digests slowly, releasing amino acids (building blocks) into the bloodstream. Good sources are paneer, eggs, chicken, fish, casein supplement. You may also want to know if whey protein has any dangerous side effects.

Meals before a workout can be oats / muesli and milk or egg omelets with bread or paneer bhurji with roti or grilled chicken sandwich. Meal before cardio can be a fruit and milk or fruit and nuts.

Timing of the meal

It should be about 45 minutes prior to exercise. This allows body enough time to digest and begin nutrient absorption. The individual should not feel heavy or nauseous while under the pressure of workout. Cardiovascular training should be performed at a gap of 2- 2 ½ hours after the last meal.

Post workout nutrition

Gaining strength and muscle doesn’t occur while you workout but after, during the recovery stage. That is why post workout nutrition holds great importance. After your workout, you must try to eat a ‘recovery meal’ within one hour if possible. Your muscles are weaker after the training session because they have been torn down and have been damaged by an intense workout, so this meal is all about refuelling what you’ve lost and providing the raw materials needed for healing.

During the workout, the body has endured drop in blood glucose levels due to rapid use of glucose to fuel the workout, muscle breakdown due to overload and free radical attack due to high energy use and increase in stress levels. The sooner you start refueling your body, the better off you’ll be. Research shows that your body’s ability to refill muscle stores is higher within one hour after your workout. So make sure you eat the following.

Carbohydrates

Instant energy is required to replenish diminished glucose stores. Glucose needs to be immediately supplied for instant absorption into the bloodstream. Alternatively, bananas or fruit juice can also be consumed. It should be taken immediately after the workout.

Proteins
It is essential to supply all amino acids in ample quantity for muscle repair. It should be of high quality and which quickly releases amino acids into the bloodstream. Good sources are whey or eggs. They should be consumed 10- 20 minutes after glucose. Consuming high-quality protein after exercise gives your muscles the fuel needed for both repair and for boosting growth. Here is a vegetarian diet plan for bodybuilders.

Vitamins

To fight free radicals, reduce muscle breakdown and to protect body tissues, antioxidants are required like vitamin A, C, E, zinc, selenium. The requirement for the antioxidants post workout is not met through food sources alone and thus it is essential to take supplements along with glucose.

Post cardio meal

The ideal post-workout meal consists of a blend of carbohydrates and protein. It can be 45 minutes after cardiovascular training. You can eat poha/ upma and curd or cereal and milk or a chicken sandwich.

Water

It’s important to drink fluids before, during and after your workout as it is great for rehydrating the cells. Without sufficient water during exercise, your body temperature can be extremely high, so it is very important to stay hydrated to cool your body down.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends to follow these guidelines:

  • Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups (0.5 to 0.7l) of water two to three hours prior to your workout.
  • Drink about 1/2 to 1 cup (0.12 to 0.23l) of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. You may need more depending on your size and if the weather is warmer.
  • Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups (0.5 to 0.7l) of water after your workout for every pound (0.5 kg) of weight you lose during the workout.
  • Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. But if you’re exercising for more than 60 minutes, use a sports drink. Sports drinks provide not only fluid, but carbohydrate and sodium.

They can also help in maintaining your body’s electrolyte balance and give you a bit more energy.

Source: Yahoo.

So important to care for your knees


Knee-pain-jpg

So important to care for your knees

We need our knees to run, walk, squat. With research suggesting our bones are weaker than those of Westerners, here’s a quiz to test how well you are caring for your ‘hinges’

Walking, running, climbing, dancing — the knees bear the brunt of every move we make throughout our lives. The main hinge between the ground and the body, knees bring together the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), fibula (next to tibia) and kneecap, and work as wheels that keep you going.

But since they are bound by a complicated system of ligaments, muscle, tendons and cartilage, knees are highly prone to injury. Research has found that bones of Indians tend to be weaker than their Western counterparts: We are more prone to osteoporosis than Americans and British. Perhaps, that’s why the total number of knee replacements in India, both total and partial, has seen a huge 30 per cent increase from 2004 to 2008. The same period also saw a 61 per cent rise in these surgeries among men and women ages 45 to 64. It’s expected to increase.

Knee pain occurs when the cartilage that covers and acts as a cushion inside the joint, wears out, causing the bones to rub against each other. Healthy knees can make all the difference between a comfortable life and a painful existence. Here’s checking how much you know about the crucial joint:

1. 2 out of 3 obese adults suffer from knee osteoarthritis at some point in their life.

A. True
B. False

Answer: A. Excess body mass puts extra pressure on the knee joint, hastening its wear and tear. Being overweight increases the chances of developing osteoarthritis, a common and disabling form of arthritis, in the knee. Joint replacement surgeon Dr Arun Mullaji says, “Even a kilo of excess weight puts 6 kg worth of stress on the joints. People who live a sedentary life need to ensure they get active and fit.”

2. What’s the most effective trick to ensure knee health?

A. Regular cyclical low-impact exercise

B. Maintaining correct body weight through a balanced diet

Answer: A. Exercise is important even in severe arthritis. If you suffer knee pain, try stationary cycling, walking and swimming instead of high impact exercises. “Static strengthening exercises for quadriceps, hamstring muscles and knee range movements are recommended,” says Dr K. Sudhir Reddy, joint replacement surgeon. Minimise squatting. “When you squat,” says Reddy, “there is high load concentration on a small area, that is the knee.”

3. What sort of diet keeps your knees in ship-shape through the sunset years?

A. High-carb and fat diet; fats help lubricate the joints

B. Diet rich in dairy and protein

Answer: B. Although diet has no direct effect on joints, weight reduction does. Ensure you get your daily requirement of calcium and Vitamin D to help combat osteoporosis. Have protein supplements (glocosamine and chondroitin) to strengthen cartilage. “Those suffering from gouty arthritis will benefit from cutting down on food that increases uric acid levels in the blood (red meat),” says Mullaji.

4. Why are women more prone to osteoporosis?

A. They wear high heels for long hours

B. They skip exercise and eat a mismanaged diet

Answer: B. Orthopedists have reported an increased number of osteoarthritis patients, especially women over 40 years. Reddy lists four reasons for this: “Women tend to be more sedentary/home-bound, tend to squat/sit on the floor more often, and display a higher incidence of obesity. Also, a girl child, especially in rural India, is more likely to be malnourished than a male child.”