People Forum

Biotin: Understanding Its Importance for Health and Well-Being

Reading Time: 5 minutes Biotin: Understanding Its Importance for Health and Well-Being The vitamin biotin, commonly referred to as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is a water-soluble vitamin. The name “vitamin H” originates from the German words ‘Haar and Haut,’ which means hair and skin, highlighting its significance for these aspects of health. Biotin naturally occurs in various food items such as eggs, nuts and certain vegetables. It’s also commonly included in dietary supplements, often marketed for its potential benefits in promoting healthy hair and skin, as well as supporting overall well-being.   The role of Biotin in our body:  Biotin plays a vital role in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, etc. It helps convert these macronutrients into energy that the body can use. Also, biotin is responsible for maintaining cardiovascular health, and proper nerve functioning.  Biotin is often associated with promoting the health of hair, nails, and skin. It is a common ingredient in many beauty supplements.  Biotin is essential in the regulation of genes (as it modifies the activities of transcription factors), histone modifications, and cell signalling.  Biotin is considered to be important in breaking down macronutrients, it is involved in processes such as the synthesis of fatty acids, breakdown of amino acids, and glucogenesis.  Apart from this, biotin plays a key role in lactation, pregnancy, and regulation of blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients. Sources of Biotin: Biotin is present in a variety of plant and animal-based food items, some of which include:  Eggs: The egg yolk is particularly renowned for its high biotin content. However, it’s advisable to cook them as avidin in raw egg whites can interfere with biotin absorption. Spinach: Spinach is not only a good source of biotin but also offers a variety of other vitamins (such as Vitamin A, C, and Folic acid) and minerals (such as Iron, Calcium, and potassium).  Sweet potatoes: Rich in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of biotin Avocados: These are high in biotin and provide vitamin E, which is beneficial for skin and hair health. Organ meats: The liver, particularly chicken liver, is a potent source of biotin. Just 3 ounces of cooked chicken liver can provide a significant amount of biotin. Nuts: Nuts, such as almonds, peanuts, and walnuts, contain biotin and can be included in your diet. Along with these some other food items such as mushrooms, legumes, salmon, yeast, and dairy products are rich in biotin.   What are the normal biotin levels? The normal ranges for biotin levels in the blood serum is approximately: Adults: 133-329 picomoles per litre (pmol/L) Children: 157-425 pmol/L On average in adults, the normal urine biotin concentration must be around 18-127 nmol/24hrs. Biotin Deficiency The biotin deficiency is relatively rare in healthy individuals because biotin is found in a variety of foods, and the body requires only a small amount of it. However, certain medical conditions or genetic factors can lead to biotin deficiency or impaired biotin metabolism. An unusual decrease in biotin excretion through urine signals a deficiency in biotin. Similarly, an elevated excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid (above 3.3 mmol/mol creatinine) or 3-hydroxyisovalerylcarnitine (above 0.06 mmol/mol creatinine) is indicative of reduced MCC (3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase) activity, suggesting a biotin deficiency.   What are the signs and symptoms of Biotin deficiency? The Symptoms such as hair fall, conjunctivitis, brittle nails, and rashes, may indicate biotin deficiency. In severe cases of deficiency, In adults, symptoms may include seizures, skin infections, fragile nails, and neurological issues like depression, lethargy, hallucinations, and tingling sensations in the extremities. In infants, symptoms may manifest as hypotonia, lethargy, and developmental delays Serum concentrations of biotin and its metabolites can be increased by administration of oral doses.   Recommended Amounts There’s no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for biotin because there isn’t sufficient evidence to determine a daily requirement for most healthy individuals. Adolescents and adults are often advised to take between 30 to 100 micrograms (mcg) of biotin daily. Supplements and gummies:  The significance of biotin was first noticed when rats with the absence of biotin in their diet showed disorders such as neuromuscular dysfunction, dermatitis, and alopecia.  In case suffering from a biotin deficiency, supplements can help level up the required concentrations of biotin in the body. A wide range of dietary supplements for biotin are available, including supplements that contain just biotin, and supplements containing various combinations of vitamins and B-complex. However, it is important to choose according to the individual’s deficiencies and requirements.  Biotin gummies are a popular dietary supplement option for individuals looking to increase their biotin intake. Biotin gummies are easy to take and often more enjoyable than swallowing pills or capsules.   Biotin for skin and hair health:  In a recent decade, biotin has become commercially popular for its claimed benefits on skin, nails, and hair health. Biotin is an important nutrient that helps with the production of keratin.  Hair Health: Studies reveal that low levels of biotin can cause hair loss.  Biotin supplements are often prescribed for the strengthening of hair. Cosmetic products also tend to contain biotin as an alternative supplement. Biotin is known to improve the elasticity of hair and reduces brittleness which prevents the strands from breakage. It has been reported that people using biotin-enriched hair products experienced thickness in hair, texture, and overall hair health.    Skin Health: Biotin is said to promote radiant complexion as it is significant in the production of fatty acids which are responsible for maintaining healthy skin cells. And speeds up the process of regeneration supporting the collagen protein which imparts elasticity to the skin. However, the complete role of biotin in maintaining healthy skin has not been elucidated by scientists. The influence of vitamins on the skin may be associated with the effect on the metabolism of fat. Despite the rising craze for biotin in the media, only a small amount of literature is found to support the biotin claims for skin and hair health.   Conclusion:  Biotin plays a vital role in

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18+ Unique Hydration Hacks for a Healthier You

Reading Time: 9 minutes 18+ Unique Hydration Hacks for a Healthier You | 18+ Unique Hydration Hacks for a Healthier You In a realm where busy schedules and distractions often take precedence, staying adequately hydrated can sometimes slip through the cracks of our daily routines. However, maintaining proper hydration is important for our overall well-being. Dehydration can lead to a range of health issues, including fatigue, headaches, and even more severe complications.    To help you stay on top of your hydration game, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of hydration hacks that can transform the way you think about and consume water. From innovative gadgets to simple tricks, these strategies cater to various preferences and lifestyles. So, read on to discover novel ways to keep your body refreshed and energized through the power of hydration. Set Reminders Use your phone or a smartwatch to set reminders at regular intervals to drink water. This can be especially helpful if you tend to forget to drink throughout the day. Set Reminders Use your phone or a smartwatch to set reminders at regular intervals to drink water. This can be especially helpful if you tend to forget to drink throughout the day. Flavor Your Water If plain water isn’t appealing to you, add natural flavours by infusing it with slices of citrus fruits, berries, cucumber, or herbs like mint. This can make water more enjoyable to drink. Flavor Your Water If plain water isn’t appealing to you, add natural flavours by infusing it with slices of citrus fruits, berries, cucumber, or herbs like mint. This can make water more enjoyable to drink. Use a Reusable Water Bottle Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. Having a bottle on hand makes it easier to sip water throughout the day. Use a Reusable Water Bottle Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. Having a bottle on hand makes it easier to sip water throughout the day. Track Your Intake Use a hydration tracking app to monitor your daily water intake. Some apps even send reminders to drink water based on your personalized goals. Track Your Intake Use a hydration tracking app to monitor your daily water intake. Some apps even send reminders to drink water based on your personalized goals. Eat Hydrating Foods Incorporate foods with high water content into your diet. Fruits like watermelon, cucumber, oranges, and strawberries, as well as veggies like lettuce and celery, contribute to your fluid intake. Eat Hydrating Foods Incorporate foods with high water content into your diet. Fruits like watermelon, cucumber, oranges, and strawberries, as well as veggies like lettuce and celery, contribute to your fluid intake. Hydrate Before Meals Drink a glass of water before each meal. Not only does this help with hydration, but it can also aid digestion and prevent overeating. Hydrate Before Meals Drink a glass of water before each meal. Not only does this help with hydration, but it can also aid digestion and prevent overeating. Use a Straw Drinking through a straw can encourage you to take in more fluids without even realizing it. Use a Straw Drinking through a straw can encourage you to take in more fluids without even realizing it. Hydration Challenge with Friends Involve your friends or family in a friendly hydration competition. Use a tracking app to monitor each other’s progress and celebrate the winner together. Hydration Challenge with Friends Involve your friends or family in a friendly hydration competition. Use a tracking app to monitor each other’s progress and celebrate the winner together. Create a Schedule Establish a hydration routine by drinking water at specific times, such as when you wake up, before and after meals, and before bed. Create a Schedule Establish a hydration routine by drinking water at specific times, such as when you wake up, before and after meals, and before bed. Hydrate During Activities Drink water during activities that naturally prompt you to take breaks, like when you’re watching TV, working at your desk, or even during your commute. Hydrate During Activities Drink water during activities that naturally prompt you to take breaks, like when you’re watching TV, working at your desk, or even during your commute. Hydration Apps There are various apps designed to help you track your water intake and provide reminders to drink throughout the day. Hydration Apps There are various apps designed to help you track your water intake and provide reminders to drink throughout the day. Electrolyte-rich Drinks Sometimes, it’s not just water you need; your body might require electrolytes. Consider drinking coconut water or consuming electrolyte-rich beverages, especially after intense exercise. Electrolyte-rich Drinks Sometimes, it’s not just water you need; your body might require electrolytes. Consider drinking coconut water or consuming electrolyte-rich beverages, especially after intense exercise. Freeze Your Water Bottle Fill up a water bottle and freeze it overnight. Take it with you the next day, and it’ll slowly melt, providing you with cold water throughout the day. Freeze Your Water Bottle Fill up a water bottle and freeze it overnight. Take it with you the next day, and it’ll slowly melt, providing you with cold water throughout the day. Hydration Dice or Spinner Create a fun game by labelling a dice or spinner with different water amounts. Each time you roll the dice or spin the spinner, you’ll drink the corresponding amount of water. Hydration Dice or Spinner Create a fun game by labelling a dice or spinner with different water amounts. Each time you roll the dice or spin the spinner, you’ll drink the corresponding amount of water. Hydration Station Set up a dedicated hydration station with infused water options, herbal teas, and a variety of water bottles. This visually appealing setup can encourage you to drink more water. Hydration Station Set up a dedicated hydration station with infused water options, herbal teas, and a variety of water bottles. This visually appealing setup can encourage you to drink more water. Hydration Rewards Set up a rewards system for meeting hydration

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The Power of Presence: A Spiritual Awakening

Reading Time: 11 minutes The Power of Presence: A Spiritual Awakening Let’s get Spiritual!! Spiritual is defined as “concerning deep thoughts, feelings or emotions rather than the body or physical things“, as per our friendly Oxford English Dictionary. Being Spiritual makes us grow as a person – making us more content and capable of living life, with all the plus-es and minus-es associated with it. It is a personal milestone that each of us can achieve with time and patience. We can think, feel and emote with more clarity.   We become more adept at facing any situation with a broader outlook. In the words of Thomas Merton- “You do not need to know precisely what is happening or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment and to embrace them”. In the words of His Excellency Dalai Lama, “When our mind is calm, we’re able to find peace of mind and live a joyful life.” In the words of His Excellency Dalai Lama, “When our mind is calm, we’re able to find peace of mind and live a joyful life.” Benefits of Spirituality: There are both psychological and physical benefits associated with being Spiritual. However, the benefits of spirituality can vary from person to person, and spirituality is a deeply personal experience. Some individuals may find profound psychological and physical benefits from their spiritual practices, while others may not experience the same effects. You accept yourself with all your flaws and work towards improving yourselves – “I am not an early morning person, but I am trying to overcome it by setting the alarm and not snoozing it to catch 15 more minutes of sleep. It will take time but I will get there. You connect better with others – Your happiness and kindness will make you more approachable and you will find that people will approach you more and enjoy spending time with you. You do your best to help others – You hold the elevator door for the other person approaching from a distance, you vacate your seat on the bus to a senior citizen and many such small deeds make a lot of difference. Whenever I do any such thing, I have a smile on my lips and a feeling of satisfaction.   You do not judge others – To cite an example given by a very close friend, you are in your car and a bike overtakes you all of a sudden, from the wrong side. You brake just in time to avoid a collision. What you need to do is not swear at that biker, for all you know, he may be going home as his parents are unwell. If possible, stop for a moment and pray that he reaches his destination on time and all is well. You are kind to humans, animals and flora-fauna – Be kind to all including animals you see on the road. Grow plants, water them, talk to them and when they bear the flowers, feel the happiness by seeing their beautiful colours, tend to them and feel this immense sense of satisfaction. You are satisfied with what you have and give back to Society, however you can – You have an MBA degree and are employed in a very prestigious firm. You are quick to point out to the canteen manager how to increase his sales by providing better service and creating a homely atmosphere to attract more patrons. What a good way to put your knowledge to use and give back to Society. You are happy and make others happy – “ When you’re happy and you know it,  clap your hands, when you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet “and so the song goes. You don’t have to clap and stomp like a bull in a china shop!  However, you can make your friend happy by remembering to wish her on her birthday by sending a thank you card to your colleague who completed your work in your absence, or saying please and thank you to the driver (this reminds me of the TV ad of a tea brand where the employer and his driver stop at a roadside stall to drink tea together)   You are more confident and responsible towards your duties – It is the cook’s day off and you are confident that you can help your spouse in the kitchen and feed the children. Believe me, you will manage both beautifully. You can easily forgive and forget – You are more forgiving and you do not hold grudges. For example, your neighbour’s dogs keep entering your garden and chewing the plants. Instead of expressing your anger to your neighbour, you can keep water bowls for the pets. You are fearless – You cannot be undue influenced and you have overcome all your fears be it fear of speaking on a public platform, fear of living alone, fear of death as now you know it is inevitable. Overcoming all your insecurities makes you stronger. You can stand up for yourself and others as you are unafraid to speak your mind and you firmly believe in truth and justice for all. Psychological Benefits:  Some of the Psychological benefits include Reduced Stress, Improved Mental Health, Enhanced Emotional Well-being, Self-awareness, and Coping Mechanisms.   You are aware of your flaws and don’t shy from them – You are not a good artist and you know you can’t draw a curved line to save yourself. This does not stop you from appreciating the wonderful art of others. In fact, you will congratulate them on it and maybe buy a painting for your home. You are humble and don’t have an ego – You are a great musician but you are humble to the core. If an amateur shares his music and you like it, you will collaborate and give him a platform to showcase his talent as well. You will appreciate his talent and teach him how to

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The Intersection of Mental Health and Social Media: Effects and Addiction

Reading Time: 6 minutes |The Intersection of Mental Health and Social Media: Effects and Addiction The Intersection of Mental Health and Social Media: Effects and Addiction The advent of social media platforms in the late 2000s was a huge game changer when it came to the virtual world in India. Social media platforms would covert arduous time-consuming tasks into mere few clicks. It was a huge revolution in the field of technology. However, over the years, the world of social media surfaced its ugly head. The continuous scrolling led to addiction, further leading to a plethora of mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and stress, and even leading to a rise in suicides.   The impact of social media on mental health has always been a topic that is discussed in the medical community. However, the changing dynamics of the world have made it difficult to control the impact of social media on mental health. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the mental health of many people with the lockdown and isolation. It is very important to peel the onion layers and understand how social media triggers the rise of mental health issues.   How does Social Media affect Mental Health? Social media has become a primary source of information, knowledge, learning, communication, and interaction. It has also been a source of income for many people. Therefore, social media has become a norm in people’s lives. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, India has the second-highest number of Internet users after China. According to UN data, 564 million people use the Internet in India. Social media, if used in the right way, can be extremely beneficial. However, it can also be a double-edged sword and cause horrendous consequences. There is a thin line separating social media from being beneficial to harmful. Sadly, the youth and adolescents are unable to differentiate and often transcend into the latter. The Harmful Effects of Social Media on Mental Health Depression and anxiety One of the most significant negative effects of social media on mental health is that people tend to compare their lives with the curated and often idealized versions of others’ lives they encounter online. This can result in feelings of inadequacy, envy, and diminished self-esteem, ultimately leading to depression. Continuous exposure to images portraying idealized beauty standards and body types can also have adverse effects on body image, particularly among young individuals. This can result in body dissatisfaction and may even contribute to the development of eating disorders. Depression and Anxiety One of the most significant negative effects of social media on mental health is that people tend to compare their lives with the curated and often idealized versions of others’ lives they encounter online. This can result in feelings of inadequacy, envy, and diminished self-esteem, ultimately leading to depression. Continuous exposure to images portraying idealized beauty standards and body types can also have adverse effects on body image, particularly among young individuals. This can result in body dissatisfaction and may even contribute to the development of eating disorders. Cyberbullying Social media platforms often serve as a breeding ground for cyberbullying, and this can exert severe repercussions on an individual’s mental health. Cyberbullying victims frequently contend with heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and increased feelings of isolation. Additionally, worries regarding privacy, data breaches, and the misuse of personal information within these platforms can contribute to elevated stress and anxiety levels. Cyberbullying Social media platforms often serve as a breeding ground for cyberbullying, and this can exert severe repercussions on an individual’s mental health. Cyberbullying victims frequently contend with heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and increased feelings of isolation. Additionally, worries regarding privacy, data breaches, and the misuse of personal information within these platforms can contribute to elevated stress and anxiety levels Addiction Excessive social media usage can induce addiction-like behaviors, prompting individuals to feel an incessant need to check their accounts regularly. They find themselves continuously scrolling through feeds, seeking validation through likes and comments. This addiction can disrupt daily life, sleep patterns, and overall well-being. On average, people spend approximately 2.4 hours per day on social media. It is up to 27 hours per week for adolescents. Addiction Excessive social media usage can induce addiction-like behaviors, prompting individuals to feel an incessant need to check their accounts regularly. They find themselves continuously scrolling through feeds, seeking validation through likes and comments. This addiction can disrupt daily life, sleep patterns, and overall well-being. On average, people spend approximately 2.4 hours per day on social media. It is up to 27 hours per week for adolescents. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Social media frequently highlights people’s exciting and joyful moments, instilling fear of missing out on these experiences. This fear can give rise to anxiety and feelings of inadequacy among individuals Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Social media frequently highlights people’s exciting and joyful moments, instilling fear of missing out on these experiences. This fear can give rise to anxiety and feelings of inadequacy among individuals. Sleep Disturbances/Insomnia Late-night use of social media can disrupt sleep patterns, as the blue light emitted by screens interferes with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Poor sleep quality is linked to a range of mental health issues. Most electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers emit blue light. Blue light exposure in the evening can interfere with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, as it suppresses the production of Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Scrolling through social media right before bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep. Sleep Disturbances/Insomnia Late-night use of social media can disrupt sleep patterns, as the blue light emitted by screens interferes with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Poor sleep quality is linked to a range of mental health issues. Most electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers emit blue light. Blue light exposure in the evening can interfere with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, as it suppresses the production of Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Scrolling

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Unlocking the Power of Hydration: Benefits, Guidelines, and Foods for Optimal Health

Reading Time: 8 minutes Unlocking the Power of Hydration: Benefits, Guidelines, and Foods for Optimal Health | Unlocking the Power of Hydration: Benefits, Guidelines, and Foods for Optimal Health Hydration is the often underestimated cornerstone of our well-being, silently working behind the scenes to keep our bodies functioning at their best. This fundamental process involves more than just quenching our thirst; it’s about maintaining a delicate balance of fluids to support cellular functions, circulation, joint health, mental clarity, and so much more. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the critical importance of proper hydration from a medical perspective, exploring how it impacts every facet of our health. We’ll also provide valuable insights into when and how to increase your water intake, along with a selection of hydrating foods to keep you at your peak. Join us on this journey to unlock the secrets of optimal hydration for a healthier, more vibrant life.   Importance of Hydration from a Medical Perspective: Cellular Function: Cells require water to perform essential biochemical reactions. Hydration ensures that cells can carry out metabolic processes efficiently.  Electrolyte Balance: Adequate hydration helps maintain the balance of electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, and chloride) in the body, which is crucial for nerve function, muscle contractions, and fluid distribution. Blood Circulation: Sufficient fluid levels in the bloodstream promote proper circulation, ensuring Oxygen And Nutrients Are Delivered To Cells And Waste Products are removed effectively. Kidney Function: Hydration supports kidney function by aiding in the filtration of waste products and excess substances from the blood, which are then excreted as urine. Blood Pressure Regulation: Proper hydration helps maintain stable blood pressure levels. Dehydration can lead to a decrease in blood volume, potentially causing low blood pressure. Thermoregulation: Water plays a vital role in regulating body temperature. Sweating, a cooling mechanism, requires water To Dissipate Heat From The Body Effectively. Digestion and Nutrient Absorption: Water is essential for digestion and the absorption of nutrients. It helps break down food and aids in the transport of nutrients from the digestive system to the rest of the body. Joint Lubrication: Hydration is essential for maintaining the lubrication of joints. Proper fluid balance ensures that joints can move smoothly and without discomfort. Skin Health: Drinking enough water can improve skin health and appearance. Hydrated skin is more elastic and less prone to dryness, helping to prevent conditions like eczema and promoting a healthy complexion. Cognitive Function: Dehydration can negatively impact cognitive function, including concentration, alertness, and short-term memory. Staying hydrated can help maintain mental clarity and focus. Exercise Performance: Hydration is crucial for athletes and active individuals. Proper fluid balance supports endurance, strength, and overall exercise performance. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased exercise capacity. Preventing Medical Complications: Chronic dehydration can contribute to various medical issues, such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and constipation. Heart Health: Good hydration supports cardiovascular health by maintaining proper blood volume and circulation. Dehydration can strain the heart and increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses: Adequate hydration is essential to prevent heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which can have serious consequences. Prevention of Dehydration-related Illnesses: Inadequate hydration can lead to conditions like urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and constipation. It also increases the risk of heat-related illnesses during hot weather or intense physical activity. In certain situations, you may need to increase your water intake: Hot Weather, Exercise, physical exertion: When it’s hot outside or engaging in physical activity, you’ll likely sweat more, increasing your fluid loss. Be sure to drink extra water to compensate.  Illness or Fever: Fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, or other illnesses can lead to increased fluid loss. Drinking more fluids helps prevent dehydration. Pregnancy or Breastfeeding: Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals may need more fluids to support their needs and the needs of their developing baby or infant. Medical Conditions: Some health conditions, such as kidney stones or urinary tract infections, may require increased fluid intake. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations. Note that while water is an important source of hydration, other beverages and foods also contribute to your overall fluid intake. Fruits, vegetables, soups, and beverages like herbal teas and milk all contain water. Including These Foods With High Water Content In Your Diet Can Contribute To Your Overall Hydration: Cucumber Cucumbers Are Composed Of About 95% Water And Can Be A Refreshing Addition To Salads And Sandwiches. Cucumber Cucumbers Are Composed Of About 95% Water And Can Be A Refreshing Addition To Salads And Sandwiches. Watermelon As the name suggests, watermelon has a high water content of around 92%, making it a delicious and hydrating snack. Watermelon As the name suggests, watermelon has a high water content of around 92%, making it a delicious and hydrating snack. Strawberries These berries contain about 91% water and are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Strawberries These berries contain about 91% water and are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Lettuce Leafy greens like lettuce have a water content of approximately 95%, making them an excellent base for salads. Lettuce Leafy greens like lettuce have a water content of approximately 95%, making them an excellent base for salads. Bell Peppers Bell peppers consist of about 92% water and are a colourful addition to meals. Bell Peppers Bell peppers consist of about 92% water and are a colourful addition to meals. Zucchini Zucchini is made up of about 95% water and can be used in various dishes, from stir-fries to zoodles (zucchini noodles). Zucchini Zucchini is made up of about 95% water and can be used in various dishes, from stir-fries to zoodles (zucchini noodles). Cantaloupe This melon contains around 89% water and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Cantaloupe This melon contains around 89% water and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Oranges Oranges are not only a source of vitamin C but also contain about 86% water. Oranges Oranges are not only a source of vitamin C but also contain about 86% water. Grapes Grapes have a water content of

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Age Gracefully: Rewriting the Rules of Anti-Aging

Age Gracefully: Rewriting the Rules of Anti-Ageing 

Reading Time: 7 minutes Age Gracefully: Rewriting the Rules of Anti-Ageing | Age Gracefully: Rewriting the Rules of Anti-Ageing The process of ageing starts as soon as an individual is born. One of the most inevitable aspects of life is ageing. It is something everyone has to face. Getting older brings about major life changes that one might not always be prepared for. Such changes include transitions in career, loss of loved ones, and most importantly physical and mental health challenges. However, the way one handles and grows from these challenges is the key to graceful ageing. The risk of contracting ailments increases after a certain age. It’s not unusual to struggle with accepting the fact of ageing. The concerns of life are different at the age of 85 than that of 25. Ageing will inevitably cause several physiological changes. Lifestyle choices for healthy ageing:  Healthy ageing can be influenced by many factors such as genetics, eating habits, exercise, etc. However, Managing health, living independently, and maintaining the quality of life are achievable.  Diet: Having balanced and nutritious eating habits is crucial for health. Chronic health issues such as stroke, diabetes, cardiac disorders, and obesity can be prevented or help diseases from getting worse. It is essential to include:  Vegetables and fruits Protein and healthy fats Cereals, whole-grains  Vitamin D-fortified dairy products Nuts It is necessary to avoid processed foods and refined sugars. Cutting solid fats and using oils for cooking has proved to be beneficial. Apart from this, the intake of salt has to be minimal to maintain normal levels of blood pressure.  Exercising and having an active lifestyle Several studies reveal the association of a sedentary lifestyle with a greater risk of developing chronic health issues and early death. An active lifestyle involves engaging in things that are important to you and are beneficial for your body, spirit, and mind. It is important to practice yoga, go on a walk, or engage in productive activities that give you joy.  Hobbies and other social activities can reduce the chance of several health issues, such as dementia, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Maintain a healthy sleep cycle Physical and mental health is highly influenced by the quality of sleep. It is essential to get quality sleep for healthy skin. A protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease called beta-amyloid is known to accumulate as a result of insufficient sleep. Low rates of obesity, heart disease, and insulin resistance are results of obtaining enough sleep. Getting quality sleep of about seven to eight hours every night can decrease the risk of obesity, inflammation, depression, and cardiac disorders. Taking care of the skin The largest organ of the body is the skin. They say ‘If you love your skin your skin will love you back’. If you take good care of your skin, it will shield your body from the environment, and regulate body temperature. Healthy skin may promote a youthful look.  Hydration is important for skin health. The toxins in the body are flushed out which improves texture, gets rid of wrinkles, and gives a natural plump to the skin.  It is crucial to wear sunscreen when going out during the day regardless of the weather.  Using gentle and antiaging skincare products may be helpful Also, it is recommended to get annual screenings for skin cancer Regulating / Quitting the use of cigarettes and alcohol Numerous studies reveal the association between smoking and alcohol with premature ageing. Smoking can increase the risk of developing various diseases including cancer. Also, the existing respiratory disorders might get worse due to smoking.  In the case of alcohol, it is important to limit intake to maintain health and avoid risks.  Regular health checkups  Health exams and routine doctor appointments are important for healthy ageing. Routine checkups help people lower their chances of developing issues such as high blood pressure and help doctors detect chronic diseases early. Regular medical visitors also reported a higher quality of life and healthy sentiments.   Healthy ageing is all about being happy and practising mindfulness when making diet and lifestyle choices. It is common to get anxious over aging challenges so it is best to get in touch with the family doctor regarding any health Concerns. Indulging in hobbies, and surrounding yourself with positive people and loved ones is a must for mental health and overall well-being. Diet: Having balanced and nutritious eating habits is crucial for health. Chronic health issues such as stroke, diabetes, cardiac disorders, and obesity can be prevented or help diseases from getting worse. It is essential to include: Vegetables and fruits Protein and healthy fats Cereals, whole-grains  Vitamin D-fortified dairy products Nuts It is necessary to avoid processed foods and refined sugars. Cutting solid fats and using oils for cooking has proved to be beneficial. Apart from this, the intake of salt has to be minimal to maintain normal levels of blood pressure.  Exercising and having an active lifestyle Several studies reveal the association of a sedentary lifestyle with a greater risk of developing chronic health issues and early death. An active lifestyle involves engaging in things that are important to you and are beneficial for your body, spirit, and mind. It is important to practice yoga, go on a walk, or engage in productive activities that give you joy.  Hobbies and other social activities can reduce the chance of several health issues, such as dementia, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Maintain a healthy sleep cycle Physical and mental health is highly influenced by the quality of sleep. It is essential to get quality sleep for healthy skin. A protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease called beta-amyloid is known to accumulate as a result of insufficient sleep. Low rates of obesity, heart disease, and insulin resistance are results of obtaining enough sleep. Getting quality sleep of about seven to eight hours every night can decrease the risk of obesity, inflammation, depression, and cardiac disorders. Taking care of the skin The largest organ of the body is

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Unplugging in the Digital Age: Navigating the Benefits and Challenges of a Digital Detox

Reading Time: 5 minutes Unplugging in the Digital Age: Navigating the Benefits and Challenges of a Digital Detox Advancements in the field of technology carry both benefits and risks for mankind. In the last two decades, there has been an explosion in the utilization of digital technology. Digital technology undoubtedly has made everything easier. Electronic devices, the internet, and various media platforms have facilitated social connectedness during the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maintaining social connections is essential for emotional and mental well-being. Screen time refers to the duration individuals spend using a screen. This encompasses all activities, whether for entertainment purposes (such as gaming or using social media) or for work-related tasks. The pandemic’s restrictions on social engagement caused an increase in the prevalence of using digital gadgets for socializing. Digital technology proved to be a blessing in disguise in this situation as it enabled individuals to preserve their emotional connections despite the physical distancing. Simultaneously, concerns have arisen about the potential impacts of prolonged screen time on both physical and mental well-being. Need for a digital detox: Studies indicate that around 25% of individuals aged 18 to 44 cannot recall a time when their phone wasn’t in proximity. The uncontrolled use of electronic devices or excessive screen time has been associated with a range of mental health concerns, including a heightened susceptibility to anxiety and depression, psychological disorders, and decreased emotional stability.   Effects of unregulated screen time: Weight gain Vision problems Loneliness Headaches Anxiety Insomnia Pain in the back Mood swings and irritability Unhealthy eating habits Lack of movement and exercise Lack of time management What is digital Detox? Digital detox involves consciously taking a break from using digital devices and technology, like smartphones, computers, tablets, and social media platforms. It includes disconnecting from digital screens and online activities for a specific duration, usually to reduce stress, enhance mental well-being, improve focus and productivity, and establish a healthier relationship with technology. During a digital detox, individuals can participate in activities not involving screens, such as spending time outdoors, reading books, practising mindfulness, or engaging in face-to-face interactions with others. The aim is to reset and refresh both mentally and physically by temporarily stepping away from the constant digital stimulation and connectivity characteristic of modern life.   Benefits of a digital detox: Improved sleep cycle: Refraining from screen usage after 7 p.m. can positively impact melatonin production and foster improved sleep quality. Reduced stress levels: Overcoming the compulsion to instantly respond to messages is crucial. Embracing a digital detox allows for relaxation and mental reset. Better physical and mental health: Extended screen use can lead to eye strain, poor posture, and headaches. Abstaining from screen time provides both the body and mind with a much-needed respite. Increased productivity: A state of mental and emotional well-being enhances focus and creativity. Wasting time on unnecessary scrolling and internet browsing is counterproductive; a digital detox directs attention towards essential tasks. Improved self-esteem: Limiting social media and screen exposure shifts the focus from comparison with others to self-improvement. This shift can contribute to an increased sense of self-worth. What are the Challenges of Digital Detox? Dependency: People may find it difficult to detach from their devices due to the habitual nature of their usage. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): The fear of missing out on important information or social interactions online can be a psychological barrier. Work Obligations: Many jobs require constant digital connectivity, making it challenging to completely disconnect. Social Pressure: Peer pressure and societal norms can make individuals feel obligated to stay connected digitally. Boredom: People might grapple with feelings of boredom or uncertainty about how to spend their time without digital distractions. Withdrawal Symptoms: Similar to other addictions, individuals might experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting a digital detox. Lack of Awareness: Some may not recognize the need for a detox or be unaware of the potential negative impacts of excessive screen time. Loneliness: Digital detox can result in a sense of isolation, particularly for those whose primary mode of social interaction is online. Personal and Professional Commitments: Detoxing might clash with personal or professional responsibilities that require digital engagement. Temporary Relief: The benefits of digital detox might be short-lived if individuals return to their previous habits after the detox period. Overcoming these challenges requires awareness, planning, and a gradual shift towards healthier digital habits. What are the Challenges of Digital Detox?  Dependency: People may find it difficult to detach from their devices due to the habitual nature of their usage. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): The fear of missing out on important information or social interactions online can be a psychological barrier.Work Obligations: Many jobs require constant digital connectivity, making it challenging to completely disconnect.Social Pressure: Peer pressure and societal norms can make individuals feel obligated to stay connected digitally.Boredom: People might grapple with feelings of boredom or uncertainty about how to spend their time without digital distractions.Withdrawal Symptoms: Similar to other addictions, individuals might experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting a digital detox.Lack of Awareness: Some may not recognize the need for a detox or be unaware of the potential negative impacts of excessive screen time.Loneliness: Digital detox can result in a sense of isolation, particularly for those whose primary mode of social interaction is online.Personal and Professional Commitments: Detoxing might clash with personal or professional responsibilities that require digital engagement.Temporary Relief: The benefits of digital detox might be short-lived if individuals return to their previous habits after the detox period. Overcoming these challenges requires awareness, planning, and a gradual shift towards healthier digital habits. Takeaway Recognizing the necessity for a digital detox holds significance. Prolonged and excessive use of digital devices can lead to detrimental long-term consequences. Mitigating these adverse effects necessitates empowering individuals to make informed choices grounded in factual knowledge and an understanding of potential health risks. One viable approach to preemptively safeguard health amidst the ongoing global digitalization is fostering the cultivation and implementation of healthy digital habits. Author: Sanika Pande

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Impact of Positive Thinking on Our Lives

Reading Time: 10 minutes Impact Of Positive Thinking On Our Life – Brighter Outlook And Transforming Perspectives…​ As we go about our lives, humans experience a flurry of emotions. Our brain, a super-computer, carefully monitors each emotion and feeling we encounter and then sends out signals to our body, prompting corresponding reactions. Positive emotions lead to feelings of happiness and cheerfulness, while negative emotions result in sensations of gloominess and stress. These negative feelings often cause us to experience a sense of being unwanted, unloved, undeserving, unnerved, unpopular, unsettled, unsociable, unsung, and diffident. Such emotions engross us to the extent that we become inattentive to the harm they inflict upon us. For instance, if your pet passes away and you’re experiencing sadness because you loved it as your child. How many days will you cry? How many days will you stay hungry? How many nights will you spend being awake? How many days will you not get out of bed? How many days will you go on like this ?? Do you wish to fall into a state of depression?? Will this frame of mind contribute positively to your future? It’s essential to come to terms with your irreparable loss and move on with life. What I mean to elucidate here is that you must shift your perspective and slowly let go of the sorrow. Engaging in activities like volunteering at a pet shelter, feeding stray animals, sponsoring meals at an NGO, or undertaking any other pursuit can gently substitute these emotions. This preparation will mentally guide you to consider bringing another pet into your home. As we go about our lives, humans experience a flurry of emotions. Our brain, a super-computer, carefully monitors each emotion and feeling we encounter and then sends out signals to our body, prompting corresponding reactions. Positive emotions lead to feelings of happiness and cheerfulness, while negative emotions result in sensations of gloominess and stress. These negative feelings often cause us to experience a sense of being unwanted, unloved, undeserving, unnerved, unpopular, Unspoken, unsociable, unsung, and diffident. Such emotions engross us to the extent that we become inattentive to the harm they inflict upon us.     For instance, if your pet passes away and you’re experiencing sadness because you loved it as your child. How many days will you cry? How many days will you stay hungry? How many nights will you spend being awake? How many days will you not get out of bed? How many days will you go on like this ?? Do you wish to fall into a state of depression?? Will this frame of mind contribute positively to your future?   It’s essential to come to terms with your irreparable loss and move on with life. What I mean to elucidate here is that you must shift your perspective and slowly let go of the sorrow. Engaging in activities like volunteering at a pet shelter, feeding stray animals, sponsoring meals at an NGO, or undertaking any other pursuit can gently substitute these emotions. This preparation will mentally guide you to consider bringing another pet into your home. Maintaining Positivity Amidst Adversity – An Optimistic Outlook As Lord Buddha has said “If you can stay positive in a negative situation, you win”, and I couldn’t agree more. Positive thinking is an important aspect of life, like a propeller that makes us move from a negative approach to a positive one. Life is simple, but we choose to make it complicated with our thoughts, actions and deeds. Naturally, this doesn’t imply that we should disregard our negative emotions. Instead, it suggests that we should try our best to positively turn the situation around. As Lord Buddha has said “If you can stay positive in a negative situation, you win”, and I couldn’t agree more. Positive thinking is an important aspect of life, like a propeller that makes us move from a negative approach to a positive one. Life is simple, but we choose to make it complicated with our thoughts, actions and deeds. Naturally, this doesn’t imply that we should disregard our negative emotions. Instead, it suggests that we should try our best to positively turn the situation around. As Lord Buddha has said “If you can stay positive in a negative situation, you win”, and I couldn’t agree more. Positive thinking is an important aspect of life, like a propeller that makes us move from a negative approach to a positive one. Life is simple, but we choose to make it complicated with our thoughts, actions and deeds. Naturally, this doesn’t imply that we should disregard our negative emotions. Instead, it suggests that we should try our best to positively turn the situation around.​ Nurturing Happiness and Well-being: The Journey Illuminated by a Positive Mindset From a medical perspective, maintaining a positive outlook is crucial for our overall well-being, as it yields both physiological and psychological advantages. It lowers stress/blood pressure, reduces depression, alleviates pain/aches, enhances immunity, stabilizes cardiovascular health, prolongs life, enhances resilience, improves relationships, a sense of joy & happiness, brings triumph in accomplishments, increases self-confidence, broadens outlooks, changes mindsets, channelises perceptions, improves memory and reasoning, increases attention span, facilitates problem-solving and imbibes empathy. To sum it up, a positive mindset is a path towards our happiness and well-being and helps us cope better with life by solving the problem with a positive solution that cushions the pessimism and cynicism associated with the problem. From a medical perspective, maintaining a positive outlook is crucial for our overall well-being, as it yields both physiological and psychological advantages: It lowers stress/blood pressure, reduces depression, alleviates pain/aches, enhances immunity, stabilizes cardiovascular health, prolongs life, enhances resilience, improves relationships, a sense of joy & happiness, brings triumph in accomplishments, increases self-confidence, broadens outlooks, changes mindsets, channelises perceptions, improves memory and reasoning, increases attention span, facilitates problem-solving and imbibes empathy. To sum it up, a positive mindset is a path towards our happiness and well-being and helps us cope better with life by solving the problem with a positive

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Ink and Introspection: Navigating the Art and Awareness of Tattoos

Reading Time: 6 minutes Ink and Introspection: Navigating the Art and Awareness of Tattoos Tattoo: An Imprint of Identity and History A Tattoo is referred to as a mark, an image, or a phrase that is intentionally and permanently fixed on the skin. This is usually done by a specific type of ink inserted into the epidermis of the skin. Throughout the annals of time, humanity has woven a narrative of skin-deep significance. For millennia, tattoos have been more than pigments; they are the brushstrokes of identity, a tableau of beliefs and emotions etched into the skin’s canvas. These indelible imprints, painstakingly embedded into the epidermal layers, evoke tales of status, convictions, love, embellishment, and sometimes even retribution. The origin of tattooing traces back through the ages, a window into cultures that have painted their stories across generations. A reflection of the human desire to etch one’s mark upon the world, tattoos have evolved from primitive tools to intricate designs woven with modern precision. They transcend the surface, weaving threads of heritage, forging connections with ancestral echoes, and resonating with the resonance of personal narratives. So, let us peer into the intricate designs that adorn the flesh, acknowledging the myriad reasons individuals bear these marks. The Earliest Testimony of Tattoos: Otzi the Iceman Among the annals of ancient history, one enigmatic figure stands as a frozen witness to the ancient art of tattooing. Europe’s famous mummy, Otzi or the Iceman was discovered in the Alps by German hikers in 1991. Approximately 5200 years ago, Otzi walked the rugged landscapes of Tyrol, leaving behind a legacy etched in ice and ink. After his death, the body and the tattoos were preserved in ice. Tattoos on the mummy were of ceremonial, religious, and ritualistic significance. The mummy was found to have 61 tattoos on the entire body. This frozen time capsule paints a vivid portrait of a world long gone. As we gaze upon the mummy adorned with symbols of yore, we find ourselves transported to an era of reverence and symbolism, where ink and skin harmoniously converged to inscribe stories of the human experience. Otzi’s legacy resonates as a captivating archaeological find and an invitation to peer into the lives of those who walked the Earth millennia ago. Far from mere adornments, his tattoos evoke a saga of rituals, connections, and echoes of beliefs that transcend time. In the ancient ink etched upon his skin, we encounter a bridge that unites us with our ancestors, a testament to humanity’s enduring curiosity and artistic expression. Mindset behind the Tattoo Culture: Earlier Beliefs Earlier the tattoos were not as much appreciated. Society still thinks of tattoos as a child’s non-traditional and rebellious mentality. Even today, in pockets of conservative thought, tattoos evoke associations with subcultures like gangsterism and mafia, reflecting a discord between ink and societal norms. Earlier Beliefs Earlier the tattoos were not as much appreciated. Society still thinks of tattoos as a child’s non-traditional and rebellious mentality. Even today, in pockets of conservative thought, tattoos evoke associations with subcultures like gangsterism and mafia, reflecting a discord between ink and societal norms. The Youth It can be seen that the tattoo culture is highly prevalent in today’s youth. There has been a rise in teenagers inking their bodies with permanent tattoos. With the “My life, my rules” motto of the current generation, teens find tattoos to be ‘happening’ and exclusive. The surging popularity of tattoos has ignited a revolution of colour, rendering these indelible marks more stunning and enchanting than ever before. The Youth It can be seen that the tattoo culture is highly prevalent in today’s youth. There has been a rise in teenagers inking their bodies with permanent tattoos. With the “My life, my rules” motto of the current generation, teens find tattoos to be ‘happening’ and exclusive. The surging popularity of tattoos has ignited a revolution of colour, rendering these indelible marks more stunning and enchanting than ever before. Personal Identity For many, the tattoo journey begins at the crossroads of trends and personal identity. The desire to align with the latest fashions or to cultivate an image of being “stud” or “cool” can spark an interest in body art. Most teenagers get inked just because of peer pressure without having any kind of awareness about the harmful impacts of permanently inking their bodies with tattoos. Personal Identity For many, the tattoo journey begins at the crossroads of trends and personal identity. The desire to align with the latest fashions or to cultivate an image of being “stud” or “cool” can spark an interest in body art. Most teenagers get inked just because of peer pressure without having any kind of awareness about the harmful impacts of permanently inking their bodies with tattoos. Health Risks Associated with Tattoos Within the realm of body art, a world of self-expression and transformation exists, intertwined with a web of health considerations that deserve our attention. Hepatitis Concerns: The unhygienic aspects of having a tattoo are often ignored by people. Alarming instances of hepatitis, particularly Hepatitis C, have emerged as a consequence of the growing popularity of tattoos. Chronic diseases like Hepatitis C can be transmitted through contact with contaminated blood. Tattoo parlours are home to many such life-threatening diseases. Increased Vulnerabilities to Infection: In the pursuit of the perfect design, it’s crucial to remember that improper care can quickly transform an artful expression into an infection-prone area. If tattoos are not meticulously cared for during the healing process, they can become sites of infection, leaving lasting scars—both physical and emotional. Infections of tattoos with bacteria particularly staphylococci that are known to be resistant to antibiotics can develop into chronic life-threatening sepsis. These skin infections from tattoos are mostly linked with Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. Ink Poisoning: In rare instances, an excess of ink can enter the bloodstream, leading to ink poisoning. This potentially life-threatening condition underscores the importance of choosing a reputable and professional tattoo artist who prioritizes safety. HIV Infection: HIV presents a distinct

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Chandrayaan 3

Chandrayaan-3: A Giant Leap in Lunar Exploration and Potential Healthcare Advancements

Reading Time: 5 minutes Discover the remarkable journey of Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar exploration mission, as it unveils the mysteries of the Moon’s composition. Learn about its historic achievements, the visionary minds behind the mission, and how space exploration could indirectly contribute to healthcare innovations.

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