The Elixir of Life

Feb 22nd, 2017

Archive for February, 2017

The Elixir of Life

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Water is, and always has been, essential to everyday life. Humans are dependent on water to function. Our bodies are made up of nearly 70% water, and our major organs are much more dependent on it to function. The water in our bodies helps regulate our body temperature and powers our organs, muscles, and cells to function correctly. Whether you’re a sportsperson or a doctor, your body needs adequate amounts of water to survive and thrive on a daily basis.

Water is needed for most body functions, including to:

  • Maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body
  • Keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels
  • Help eliminate the by-products of the body’s metabolism, excess electrolytes (for example, sodium and potassium), and urea, which is a waste product formed through the processing of dietary protein
  • Regulate body temperature through sweating
  • Moisten mucous membranes such as those of the lungs and mouth
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Helps transfer nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide and waste products from one cell to another.
  • Reduce the risk of cystitis by keeping the bladder clear of bacteria
  • Aid digestion and prevent constipation
  • Moisturise the skin to maintain its texture and appearance
  • Boost your physical performance
  • Serve as a shock absorber inside the eyes, spinal cord and in the amniotic sac surrounding the foetus in pregnancy.

How much water do you need to drink?

The amount of water you should drink on a daily basis depends on your lifestyle, fitness and other habits. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but that number may be conservative for optimal health. It depends on your weight, activity level, and other factors that affect your health. However, there are other factors to consider when deciding how much you want to drink. Coffee and alcohol are diuretics that can lead to dehydration. If you’re exercising, you’ll want to increase your water intake. If it’s a hot summer day, and you’re moving around a lot, you’ll want to make sure you keep up by drinking water throughout the day. Under any of these circumstances, you’ll want to increase your fluid intake.

Keep in mind, commercially bottled mineral water contains salt, which can lead to fluid retention and swelling, and even increased blood pressure in susceptible people. Limit the amount of mineral water for optimum consumption.

On a concluding note, it is important to remember that water is essential to most bodily functions. The body has no way to store water and needs fresh supplies every day. It is up to you to fuel this machine that keeps you going every day.

For more information of creating a well-balanced diet, and to know the optimum water intake for you, take an appointment with our Nutrition Department: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/nutrition.html

Healthy Heart, Happy Heart

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Valentine’s Day is here, and everywhere you go, everything you look at, is covered with bright, red hearts! Though it is the symbol of love, the heart is undoubtedly the most important organ in our body. Today, show some love to your heart, and invest time in making sure it is healthy and happy. Embark on a heart-healthy lifestyle to fight heart disease by taking the following measures.

Schedule a Yearly Checkup

Each year, schedule a checkup to have your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked, and ask your doctor to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. These tests will give you insight into your risk for heart disease. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations, including taking prescribed medications as directed.

Book one now: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/manage/shop/executive-health-checkup

Get Moving

Step, march or jog in place for at least 15 minutes a day while watching TV or doing household chores. Increase your activity by five minutes each week until you’re getting a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week. Exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions.

Eat Healthy

A diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and olive oil – consistent with the Mediterranean diet – can decrease the incidence of heart disease by 30 percent, whereas diets high in saturated fats and simple sugars can increase the risk of heart disease by 30 percent. Be sensible about what you take on your plate.

Keep your diet in check: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/nutrition.html

Cut Down on Salt

To help lower high blood pressure, watch your salt intake. It may be disguised in food labels as sodium alginate, sodium sulfite, sodium caseinate, disodium phosphate, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, monosodium glutamate (MSG), or sodium citrate.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. To achieve steady, painless weight loss, take it easy. Each day, if you eat 200-300 calories less than you would normally consume, and exercise at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week, you’ll get closer to your goal and be able to achieve weight loss that’s steady and painless.

Stay Positive and Stress-Free

Stress takes a toll on the heart, increasing hormones throughout the body that are associated with the ‘flight-or-fight syndrome,’ leading to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. It can also increase the stress hormones, such as cortisol, which causes inflammation, all leading to heart disease. Managing stress is a large part of being heart-healthy.

If required, get help: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/psychiatry.html

Keep a check on your medical history

If you’re a woman, consider your pregnancy history. If you had high blood pressure or elevated sugars during pregnancy, you are at higher risk of heart disease. Get information about your family’s medical history, as that may play a part on your risk of getting heart diseases.

Your heart is in your hands. Value it, and take care of it. Start this Valentine’s Day.

For all cardiac solutions, contact our Cardiac Sciences Department: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/centresofexcellence/centrefor_cardiacsciences.html

Superfoods

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Packed with nutrients, minerals, anti-oxidants and vitamins, superfoods are the key to good health. They include items that shield our bodies from cell damage and help prevent disease. Here’s a quick read on various superfoods and how to include them in your diet.

Blueberries

Tasty, sweet and packed with disease-fighting phytochemicals, flavonoids and soluble fiber – blueberries have the power to help prevent serious diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stomach ulcers and high blood pressure.

When your sugar cravings surface, ditch the ice cream and pop some frozen blueberries into your mouth instead. They can also be eaten with yogurt or blended into smoothies.

Leafy Greens

Loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, leafy greens stock your body with the artillery needed to fight off potential killers like heart disease and cancer.

Include kale, spinach, mustard leaves and even broccoli into your diet in the form of omelets, sauces or simply in salads.

Beans

Beans help raise levels of the hormone leptin which curbs appetite. They also deliver a powerful combination of B vitamins, calcium, potassium and folate. All of this helps maintain healthy brain, cell and skin function and even helps to reduce blood pressure and stroke risk.

Beans can be used in a variety of side dishes instead of bread or potatoes, or in Mexican dishes.

Walnuts

Just a small handful of walnuts everyday will deliver a healthy dose of omega-3’s, alpha-linolenic acid, melatonin, copper, manganese and Vitamin E which helps protect your heart. Walnuts on your plate may also protect your brain and help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Chop walnuts and add them to your daily bowl of cereal, or enjoy them as a snack.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny, nutritional dynamos – the single richest source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids you can buy. They’re also loaded with antioxidants, protein and minerals, plus soluble and insoluble fiber to help keep your digestion moving in the right direction. What’s more, chia seeds have an unusual property – they swell to more than 5 times their weight in liquid, so adding a spoonful or two to meals will help you feel fuller faster.

You can drop a spoonful or two of chia seeds into just about anything, including smoothies, sauces, soups and salads.

Other superfoods include:
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Chocolate
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Acai Berry
  • Pomegranate

Visit a dietician and get a well-rounded diet plan curated just for you! Visit:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/nutrition.html