Apollo Health Blog
If you want to stop smoking, you can make small changes to your lifestyle that may help you resist the temptation to light up.
You might have given up before, but tell yourself that you’re really going to do it this time.
Make a plan to quit smoking
Make a promise, set a date and stick to it. Don’t be put off by a wedding, party or other time when you’d normally smoke.
Change your diet
Is your after-dinner cigarette your favourite? A US study revealed that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying. Others, including cheese, fruit and vegetables, make cigarettes taste terrible. So swap your usual steak or burger for a veggie pizza instead.
Change your drink
The same study looked at drinks. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better. So when you’re out, drink more water and juice. Some people find that simply changing their drink (for example, switching from wine to a vodka and tomato juice), affects their need to reach for a cigarette.
Identify when you crave cigarettes
A craving can last five minutes. Before you give up, make a list of five-minute strategies. For example, you could leave the party for a minute, dance or go to the bar. And think about this: the combination of smoking and drinking heavily raises your risk ofmouth cancer by 38 times.
A review of scientific studies has proved that exercise (even a five-minute walk or stretch) cuts cravings and may help your brain to produce anti-craving chemicals.
Make non-smoking friends
When you’re at a party, stick with the non-smokers. “When you look at the smokers, don’t envy them,” says Louise, 52, an ex-smoker. “Think of what they’re doing as a bit strange – lighting a small white tube and breathing in smoke.”
Keep your hands and mouth busy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can make you twice as likely to succeed. As well as patches, there are tiny tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. If you like holding a cigarette, use an inhalator. Try putting your drink in the hand that usually holds a cigarette, or drink from a straw to keep your mouth busy.
Make a list of reasons to quit
Keep reminding yourself why you gave up. Make a list of the reasons and read it when you need support. Ex-smoker Chris, 28, says: “I used to take a picture of my baby daughter with me when I went out. If I was tempted, I’d look at that.”
Dandruff is an unsightly, uncomfortable, and embarrassing problem — but there are many ways to eliminate it, and they do not all rely on harsh and abrasive chemicals.
Tea tree oil is one such remedy. This is because the oil produced by the plant, which is also known as melaleuca alternifolia, has antiseptic properties; it also has anti fungal properties.
Many essential oils are helpful in getting rid of dandruff. For instance, using lemon and rosemary after letting your hair dry on its own can be great. You just rub the oils directly onto your scalp.
Even what you eat can help eliminate dandruff. Specifically, you should incorporate those helpful B vitamins into your diet, along with zinc and flax seed oil. At the same time, try to avoid saturated fats.
Drink two eight-ounce glasses of vitamin D-fortified, low-fat milk every day. You’ll get 581 milligrams of calcium and five micrograms of vitamin D, the perfect nutrient combo to develop break-resistant bones.
Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.
Succulent juicy melon when they are in season and deliver an array of nutrients, vitamin and minerals. It is also incredibly hydrating and is naturally low-fat. Make this melon a part of your daily diet and you will have amazing benefits that range from improving to nourishing your eyes and revving up your immune system.
- Cardiovascular & Bone Health
- Reduces Body Fat
- Anti-inflammatory & Antioxidant Support
- Diuretic & Kidney Support
- Muscle & Nerve Support
- Improves Eye Health
A garlic a day: Garlic is the mother of all cures. Researchers in Liverpool have found that 5ml of garlic extract lower levels of a disease-causing chemical by up to 48 per cent.
Eat wholegrain foods: Make sure you have whole-grain bread, rice or pasta at least four times a week and you will reduce the chance of having cancer by 40 per cent.
Take care of your skin: Always wear sun-screen lotion during summers. It is advisable to use winter care creams to overcome the harsh and cold winds. The best cure is to smile through and your skin will shine with an extra dash. It’s no big secret!
Eat plenty of fish: Fish is the recommended diet for a longer healthier life. Studies have found that those who regularly ate fish were up to one-third less likely to get heart disease than those who ate it less than once a month.
Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.
Before you tear into that bag of potato chips, drink a glass of water first. People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, so you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really all you needed. If plain water doesn’t cut it, try drinking flavored sparkling water or brewing a cup of fruit-infused herbal tea.
Be choosy about nighttime snacks.
Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax. Snacking in front of the TV is one of the easiest ways to throw your diet off course. Either close down the kitchen after a certain hour, or allow yourself a low-calorie snack, like a 100-calorie pack of cookies or a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream.
Enjoy your favorite foods.
Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag. You can still enjoy your favorite foods — the key is moderation.
Eat several mini-meals during the day.
If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. But when you’re hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be a challenge. “Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight,” says obesity researcher Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD. She recommends dividing your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying most of them earlier in the day — dinner should be the last time you eat.
There are so many myths surrounding pregnancy and what pregnant women should and shouldn’t do that it gets confusing at times. But there are certain things that are completely out of the window once you are pregnant.
Alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can result in birth defects like poor growth, mental retardation and learning disabilities. Even a glass of wine or beer which is fine on other days is a strict no-no when pregnant.
Smoking: Tobacco causes cancer even when not pregnant. Smoking can pose a health risk not only for the mother but also the baby. It can result in premature delivery and can rupture membranes. The baby will get insufficient oxygen which will hamper the foetus’ s growth.
Drug abuse: Use of drugs like cocaine, marijuana, etc can cause serious damage to the unborn child. It can result in low birth weight, and various other serious complications before and after delivery.
Heat: Excessive use of sauna, steam and heated pools aren’t good during pregnancy; even excessive use of hot water bags in the torso region can result in the uterus getting overheated and in extreme cases can result in foetal death.
Extreme exercises:Though moderate amounts of exercise is encouraged during pregnancy, exercises where your heart rate exceeds 160 bpm can result in less oxygen to the baby leading to fetal hypoxia which means that oxygen to the fetal brain is restricted and can result in brain damage.
Massage at home: Going to spas which have trained professionals and masseuse are fine but don’t just go to any salon or get one from your maid at home for relaxation. Massage (reflexology) if undertaken by an untrained therapist can trigger certain uterine pressure points which can result in preterm labour contractions.
On your feet 24×7: Standing for long hours can result in varicose veins as well as oedema (abnormal accumulation of fluid) in the legs and feet. It is best to rest, sit and lie down when pregnant.
X-rays: It is advised that X-rays should be avoided unless the abdomen is protected with a lead apron as this can lead to radiation exposure to the fetus which has again been known to contribute to birth defects.
Stress: Stress is a trigger for various problems and can be bad for both the mother and baby’s health. It can result in the mother being upset, cranky and can result in the baby feeling upset as well. Research has shown that babies actually experience the emotional environment of the mother.
Unbalanced diet: Not eating a balanced diet will result in non-optimum fetal development and even be bad for the mother’s health. She will have difficulty in shedding the kilos piled on during pregnancy.
Many effects of a lack of sleep, such as feeling grumpy and not working at your best are very well known. However, there are some more serious side effects may not be as well known. Everything from people’s memory to their looks, their weight and their overall health can be impacted by a lack of sleep, especially if the habit becomes chronic.
1. Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Cause Death
British research studies have shown that people who have irregular sleep patterns or schedules that do not allow for adequate rest on a regular basis have a higher mortality rate than those who get enough sleep on a regular basis. Most notably, patients who suffer from a lack of sleep appear to have a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
2. Fatigue Leads to Accidents
Serious accidents are very often linked to a poor sleep schedules and fatigue. Studies have claimed that driving while suffering from sleep loss is just as dangerous as driving drunk because your reaction times are equally impacted by both activities. People under 25 years old are especially affected by this phenomenon.
In addition to accidents on the road, a lack of sleep can also lead to a higher risk of injuries or accidents on the job or in the home. Not sleeping enough has been linked to a significant increase in repeated work accidents as well as an increased number of sick days.
3. Sleep Deprivation Leads to Health Issues
The risk of developing several chronic diseases increases when people get less sleep. It is estimated that 90 percent of people who suffer from insomnia also suffer from another chronic health condition which can be life threatening. Some of the most common chronic diseases which increase with a lack of sleep include:
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
4. A Lack of Sleep Causes Depression
A lack of sleep significantly increases symptoms of depression. In a 2005 poll, people who suffered from anxiety or depression were asked to calculate their sleeping habits. It was revealed that that most of these patients sleep less than six hours on the average night. Insomnia is frequently linked to depression, with one frequently leading to the other. Symptoms of depression can also impact a patient’s ability to fall asleep.
5. Sleep Hurts the Learning Process
Sleep is essential to the cognitive processes associated with learning. A lack of sleep brings down alertness and attention span that makes it easier to take in information. A lack of attention also limits a person’s ability to reason and solve problem effectively, which means that people who are fatigued cannot learn at an effective level.
Skills that have been learned during the day are converted into memories during the night. Even if you manage to learn a significant amount during the day, you will not be able to remember it if you do not get enough sleep to allow your body to store this knowledge in the long-term area in the brain.
6. Not Sleeping Enough Impairs Judgment
When you do not get enough sleep it can limit your ability to accurately interpret events, which can make it difficult to correctly react to situations you are experiencing or make smart, efficient decision making. Most notably, those who have not gotten enough sleep tend to make poor judgments regarding the amount of sleep they need. They believe that they are not suffering from any ill effects from the poor sleep schedule they are keeping, which leads to the problem snowballing.
7. Skin is Damaged by Lack of Sleep
Just one night of missed sleep can lead to puffy eyes and sallow skin. If a person continues to develop a constant schedule that promotes sleep loss, this damage can become permanent. Dark circles under the eyes, sallow skin and fine lines across the face can become permanent.
The elasticity of the skin can also become damaged over time when a person does not get enough sleep. Chronic fatigue leads to excessive stress which causes the body to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which breaks down the protein in the skin that keeps it elastic and smooth.
8. Gaining Weight is More likely when You Lack Sleep
A regular sleep schedule helps your body maintain a regular appetite and hunger schedule. This is because shortening your sleep schedule increases your production of the hormone ghrelin which stimulates hunger and decreases your production of leptin which suppresses appetite. Throwing off your appetite increases the likelihood that you will overeat, which can lead to obesity over time. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day are 30 percent more likely to be obese than those who get nine hours of sleep or more.
9. Lack of Sleep Hurts Your Sex Drive
Men and women who suffered from a lack of quality sleep were studied and it was determined that most of them had lower libidos and less of an interest in having sex. A lack of sleep leads to a person having less energy and more tension in the body which inhibits the desire for sexual intercourse. Men who suffer from sleep apnea also tend to have lower testosterone levels which can lower libido.
10. Fatigue Causes Forgetfulness
Brain events known as “sharp wave ripples” are used to help consolidate memory, which makes things you have learned easy to access and recall. These brain events also transfer short term information into the neocortex and hippocampus where they can become long-term knowledge. This transference occurs at the strongest rate during the deepest part of the sleep cycle, so cutting out a lot of deep sleep can hurt long term memory, which can lead to excessive forgetfulness.
We all know it can be a struggle to eat healthy all the time. Maybe it’s that frozen dinner after a long day at work, when you really can’t summon the energy to actually prepare something from scratch. Or that sweet treat that gives you a needed boost in the late afternoon?
Sometimes it’s tempting to say, “Well, everything causes cancer, so why bother to worry about it?” However, some common food items have been scientifically shown to significantly increase the risk of cancer. Here are 7 REALLY BAD foods that you should avoid at all costs.
1. Processed Meats
A study conducted at university of Hawaii found that people who consumed the most processed meats (hot dogs and sausage) showed a 67 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer over those who consumed few or no meat products. Breakfast sausage, hot dogs, jerkies, bacon, lunch meat; nearly all of these meat products are made using sodium nitrite, which is used to give cured meat its pinkish color and increase its shelf life. However, this ingredient is a precursor to highly carcinogenic nitrosamine — potent cancer-causing chemicals that accelerate the formation and growth of cancer cells throughout the body. So if you are going to eat meat products, be sure to choose only uncured meat products made without nitrates, and preferably from grass-fed sources.
2. Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Numerous health problems incresed after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7 percent to 13 percent in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems and others are on the rise. And the cancer connection? Eating GM corn and consuming trace levels of Monsanto’s Roundup chemical fertilizer caused rats to develop horrifying tumors. (Editor’s note: Care2 does not endorse animal testing and believes there are viable alternatives to medical research that do not involve the testing or killing of animals.) In addition, many medical groups condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1, which is linked to cancer. You can avoid GMOs by sticking with certified organic, certified non-GMO verified and locally-grown foods that are produced naturally without biotechnology.
3) Microwave Popcorn
However convenient they are, those bags of microwave popcorn are also lined with chemicals that are linked to causing liver, testicular and pancreatic cancers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in microwave popcorn bag linings as “likely” carcinogenic, and several independent studies have linked the chemical to causing tumors. (PFOA is also used to make Teflon and other stain-and stick-resistant materials including pizza boxes.) The other safety issue concerns the diacetyl chemical used in the popcorn itself for the artificial butter flavor, which is also linked to causing both lung damage and cancer. If you’re a popcorn fan, why not stick to the old-fashioned kernel popping machine?
4) Farmed Salmon
This is another high-risk cancer food, according to Dr. David Carpenter, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany. He explains that farmed salmon is often contaminated with flame retardants, pesticides and antibiotics, as well as carcinogenic chemicals known as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), banned toxins found in materials like asbestos. Corroborating this finding, a CTV News Investigation compared wild and farmed salmon and found that farmed salmon are fattier than wild salmon, which means they may have more omega-3s, but it also means they can accumulate higher levels of toxins such as PCBs. If you’re a salmon lover, why not follow the suggestion from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, and consume only wild Alaska salmon?
5) Hydrogenated Oils
These are commonly used to preserve processed foods and keep them shelf-stable. But hydrogenated oils alter the structure and flexibility of cell membranes throughout the body, which can lead to a host of debilitating diseases. It turns out that the World Health Organization tried to outlaw this ingredient decades ago, and for good reason: hydrogenated oils cause cancer, birth defects, heart disease, diabetes and many other fatal diseases. If you must buy processed foods, be sure to check the ingredients label and look for healthy oils such as olive oil, soy or canola oil instead of hydrogenated oils.
6) Canned Tomatoes
Actually, it’s not just tomatoes: the lining of most canned foods contains bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that acts as an estrogen and disrupts hormonal activity in the body. A study published in May of 2013 by the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences showed that BPA actually affects the way genes work inside the brain of rats. Tomatoes are exceptionally dangerous due to their high acidity, which seems to cause BPA to leech from the lining of the can into the tomatoes themselves. Studies show that BPA may be linked to various forms of cancer, heart disease, intestinal damage and several reproductive issues. Why not cook fresh or buy glass containers?
You already know about soda, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it: soda is packed full of calories, sugar and artificial ingredients, and has no nutritional benefit. One can of soda contains the equivalent of ten packets of sugar. According to studies, most popular diet and sugared sodas are nearly as corrosive to dental enamel as battery acid, leading to an increase in tooth sensitivity and cavities despite good dental hygiene. Even worse, a study from the University of Minnesota found that people who drank as little as two soft drinks a week faced almost double the risk of pancreatic cancer. As you know, there are plenty of natural alternatives to soda.
Check out top ten why to Begin your Day with Surya Namaskar:
•1. The obvious advantage of Surya Namaskar is the workout it provides for the muscles, but it also benefits joints, ligaments and the skeletal system by improving posture and balance. The limbs become symmetrical while the internal vital organs become more functional.
•2. Practicing Surya Namaskar is beneficial for the health of digestive system. Yoga poses increase blood flow to your digestive tract and stimulate the intestinal action known as peristalsis so digestion is more efficient. Yoga also calms you, which in turn relaxes your digestive system and leads to more effective elimination. Forward bends increase the space in the abdomen and facilitate the release of entrapped gases. These poses heat the front of the body and cool the back body. For vatas, it is important to stay warm.
•3. Surya Namaskar is the ideal exercise to cope with insomnia and related disorders. Surya Namaskar practice calms the mind, thus helps to get sound sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, whether often or occasionally, Yoga can help. Through relaxing physical exercise, breathing techniques and complete relaxation, you can promote more regular and restful sleeping patterns without resorting to sleep-inducing drugs. Such drugs interfere with your body’s natural sleep cycle and can create psychological dependence and undesirable side effects.
•4. Surya Namaskar practice regulates irregular menstrual cycles. Practicing Surya Namaskar ensures the easy childbirth. It helps to decrease the fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Metrorrhagia can be caused by a hormonal imbalance. The start of menstruation during puberty and the length and regularity of the menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones produced in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, as well as by the pituitary and adrenal glands.
•5. Surya Namaskar practice boosts blood circulation and helps to prevent hair graying, hair fall, and dandruff. It also improves the growth of hair making it long.
•6. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar helps to lose extra calories. It helps to stay thin. Practicing Surya Namaskar is the easiest way to be in shape. It stretches the abdominal muscles. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar helps to lose excessive belly fat and gives flat stomach. Some of the asanas stimulate sluggish glands to increase their hormonal secretions. The thyroid gland, especially, has a big effect on our weight because it affects body metabolism.
•7. Sun salutation exercise helps to add glow on your face making facial skin radiant and ageless. It is the natural solution to prevent onset of wrinkles. Overall, yoga is excellent for the skin and it can also provide good benefits for people with blemishes and even acne.
•8. Regular practice of sun salutation boosts endurance power. It gives vitality and strength. It also reduces the feeling of restlessness and anxiety.
•9. Daily practice of Surya Namaskar makes body flexible. It improves flexibility in spine and in limbs.
•10. Influences the pineal gland and hypothalamus to prevent pineal degeneration and calcification
It is beneficial to practice Surya Namaskar early in the morning. The early morning sun rays are rich source of vitamin D that is necessary to get strong bones and clear vision.