HAVE A GOOD HEALTH Healthy Habits: May 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fish oil - Health benefits

Fish Oil

Fish oil, made from the tissue of oily fish-such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, lake trout and sardines-has many health benefits. Fish oil contains important Omega-3 fatty acids , most notably eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to have health benefits ranging from reducing the risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease to combating depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Fish Oil Benefits

Heart Problems

The intake of the recommended amount of DHA and EPA has been shown to have many heart healthy benefits. Consumption of dietary fish or fish oil supplements can lower triglycerides-a certain type of blood fat-and increase "good" cholesterol, while slightly thinning the blood. All of these factors help reduce the risk of heart attack. Fish oil also helps to prevent dangerous abnormal heart rhythms that can cause sudden cardiac death, and strokes in people with known cardiovascular disease. In addition to the numerous benefits already mentioned for the heart, fish oil can also slow the hardening of arteries and slightly lower blood pressure-two more important factors of heart health. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are not only good for the heart; they also help to reduce inflammation. This is perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, as inflammation is associated with many serious diseases. Heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, psoriasis, and Alzheimer's, for example, are characterized by increased levels of pro-inflammatory markers. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil reduce inflammation by preventing production of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules. This may help to prevent serious illness associated with inflammation. 

The ability of fish oil to reduce inflammation is not only good for preventing serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer. Fish oil is also effective in reducing the symptoms and pain of arthritis. Morning stiffness and joint tenderness was shown to decrease with regular intake of fish oil supplements. Fish oil does not act as a painkiller, and it takes regular use before a difference is noticed. However, fish oil is a viable, natural way to reduce the pain and symptoms associated with arthritis if one is dedicated to the long term outcome rather than focused on immediate cessation of symptoms. 

As if the benefits of fish oil on heart health and arthritis were not enough, it is believed that fish oil also helps with anti-aging as well. Omega-3 fatty acids slow the rate at which protective caps on the end of chromosomes shorten, thus increasing the lifespan of cells. The caps, or telomeres, are made from copied strands of DNA and prevent the chromosomes from becoming damaged. When a cell divides, its telomere gets shorter until it can get no shorter and the DNA becomes damaged. When the DNA is damaged the cell no longer divides. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil slows the deterioration of the telomeres, resulting in longer life of cells. 

Age-related macular degeneration - better sight Prolonging the life of cells is not the only anti-aging benefit of fish oil. Fish oil has also been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. A major component of the eye's retina is DHA, accounting for 60% of the fatty acids in the retina. Macular degeneration is a common cause of blindnessin the elderly and has no effective treatment. Omega-3 fatty acids help support healthy circulation and blood vessel strength, as well as naturally lowering cholesterol levels-all of which are causes of macular degeneration. Due to the benefits of fish oil, it may prove to be the first effective treatment against macular degeneration. 

Fish oil benefits to pregnant women and the unborn children 
The benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are not only for the aging or those facing serious medical issues. Fish oil has also been shown to be beneficial to pregnant women and the unborn child. It is recommended that apregnant woman have 900 mg of fish oil per day, which is equivalent to a serving of salmon per day. The benefits to the unborn child are numerous and include: a healthier brain with increased intelligence; good nervous system development; better eyesight from retina formation; fewer behavioral problems after birth; and better sleeping patterns as a new born. The mother also receives benefits from her consumption of fish oil. These benefits include: a lower chance of developing preeclampsia; a decreased chance of preterm labor; and a greatly reduced incidence of breast cancer. With benefits such as those, all pregnant women should adhere to the recommended daily dosage of fish oil and thus increase her odds of delivering a happy and healthy child. The reason fish oil is so beneficial to the unborn child is because 70% of a newborn's brain, retina and nervous system are made up of the Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. Therefore, increasing the amount of these fatty acids present in the mother's diet, and therefore being given to her unborn child, aides in the child's development of the brain, retina and nervous system.

Low Calorie Salads

What is better than snacking on a salad? The answer is snacking on low calorie salad which also supports fat loss! Salads provide us with the required fiber by our body. It is a low calorie food which is tasty too! There are many ways in which you can make healthy salad recipes.
Some of the low calorie salad recipes for fat loss are as stated below

German Potato Salad


       3 cups diced peeled potatoes
       4 slices bacon
       1 small onion, diced
       1/4 cup white vinegar
       2 tablespoons water
       3 tablespoons white sugar
       1 teaspoon salt
   1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


            Place the potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for           about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.Place the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until browned and crisp, turning as needed. Remove from the pan and set asiAdd onion to the bacon grease, and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil, then add the potatoes and parsley. Crumble in half of the bacon. Heat through, then transfer to a serving dish. Crumble the remaining bacon over the top, and serve warm.

Black Bean Salad with Feta Cheese


1 can of drained black beans
1 chopped red bell pepper
2 chopped green onions
 1 cup finely chopped cabbage
 2 ounces feta cheese
 one-fourth cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
 1 minced garlic clove
2 tablespoons lemon juice
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 salt and pepper to taste.


 Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl gently. Cover it and chill for sometime in the fridge. Enjoy this low calorie salad!

 Corn Salad


 100 grams fresh corn
 1 chopped onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
 2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh basil
 salt and pepper to taste.


 Boil the corn and drain. After the corn has cooled, mix the corn kernels, onions, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper according to taste. Cover and keep in fridge to chill. Put in the fresh basil before you serve this salad. This is a simple to make and a low calorie salad recipe. You can add in green or red bell peppers if you like!

Cool Cucumber Salad


1 cup diced cucumber
 1 diced onion
half cup of diced bell peppers (red and yellow),
2 tablespoon lemon juice
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
 salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all the above ingredients cucumber, onion, bell peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper gently in a large salad bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Eat this healthy salad recipe chilled!

Tuna Salad


200 grams pasta
half tin of drained tuna
 1 small chopped green bell pepper
 1 chopped tomato
 1 tablespoon vinegar.


Cook the pasta as per instructions on the packet and drain it. Combine the tuna, tomato, bell pepper and mix well in a large bowl. Add the vinegar and serve! This salad is healthy because tuna is a low fat fish and high in proteins!

 Beet Salad


 Half cup peeled and shredded beet
 1 cup shredded red cabbage
 1 sliced onions
 half grated apple
2 tablespoons vinegar
 1 tablespoon oil
 1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste


 Heat oil in a skillet and stir fry the onions and cabbage till soft. Mix apple, sugar and vinegar together separately and then add this mix to the onions and cabbage in the skillet. Add the shredded beet also. Sprinkle the salt and pepper. Cook for a minute and serve. Another option is to cool and chill in the fridge and then eat.

Cabbage and Jicama Cole Slaw


2 cup shredded savory or green cabbage
1 cup shredded Radicchio or red cabbage 
1 cup julienne jicama 
1/2 yellow sweet bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into match-stick size pieces 
1/2 sweet onion, peeled and cup into match-stick size pieces 
1 large carrot, coarsely grated 
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves 
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper 
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil


In a large bowl, combine cabbage, radicchio, jicama, bell pepper, onion, and carrot. Add basil and mint. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, rice vinegar, and sesame oil; pour over the salad mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate approximately 1 hour before serving. To serve, toss salad again

Caesar Salad - Low-Fat Caesar Salad Recipe


1 to 2 finely chopped or minced garlic cloves with inner green germ removed) 
1 anchovy fillet, mashed
Pinch of coarse salt
Juice of one (1) lemon 
3 drops Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 cup low-fat or light mayonnaise
2 to 3 tablespoons water (to achieve desired thickness)
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano), divided 
Romaine lettuce, hearts and tender leaves only 
Coarsely ground black pepper


To make dressing:  In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy, and salt until blended. Whisk in the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, and water. When the dressing is well combined and to the desired thickness you wish, whisk in 2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
To assemble salad:  Separate the Romaine leaves and discard the coarse outer leaves. Wash, drain, and pat with paper towels or spin dry the remaining leaves. Note: Lettuce should be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use. Tear into bite-size pieces and set aside.
In a large salad bowl, add the Romaine lettuce pieces and the dressing, a little at a time; toss until coated. 
To serve:  Divide the salad between chilled salad plates and sprinkle each salad with the remaining Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground pepper. Serve immediately with chilled forks.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Laser skin resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a new treatment for reducing facial wrinkles and skin irregularities including blemishes and acne scars. Laser skin resurfacing removes skin very precisely layer by layer, thus gradually minimizing the problems and resulting in the lightening of the skin (hypopigmentation).
Laser skin resurfacing is also known as lasabrasion, laser peel or laser vaporization.
The laser resurfacing techniques involve the direction of short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin surfaces. The two types of laser most commonly used for this technique are carbon dioxide and erbium. These laser vaporize superficial damaged skin cells and reduce the risk for the patients as it limits the amount of heat absorbed by the skin.
Laser skin resurfacing treatment is recommended for the persons having fine lines or wrinkles around or under the eyes, forehead and mouth; scars from skin; a non-responsive skin after the facelift. This treatment is not recommended for active acnes, stretch mark or in case of candidates having very dark skin.

However the possible complications of laser skin resurfacing include:

• Appearance of small, while bumps (Milia) in the laser treated areas during healing. These can be removed by gentle cleaning with the wash clothes.
• Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation may result in the laser treated areas.
• Reappearance of cold sore may occur. This is more common in laser skin resurfacing around the mouth.
• The risk of bacterial infections also prevails.
• Swelling of the treated area.
• Scarring may also occur in the laser exposed areas.
Cessation of smoking is highly recommended because smoking is known to have harmful effects on the healing process.
However it is important to learn that skin treated with laser may react in different ways. Most common is chances of getting mild sunburn. Therefore daily sunscreen (broad spectrum with SPF greater than 15) application is necessary after healing to protect the newly resurfaced laser skin. Liberal moisturizer application is also recommended after healing.

Oral thrush

Oral thrush is also known as thrush mouth. It is very common fungal infection caused by fungus Candida albicans that develops creamy white lesions in the mouth. Oral thrush is a minor problem for healthy children and adults, but for people with weakened immune systems, oral thrush can be a serious problem.  


Oral thrush typically causes creamy white lesions inside the mouth, particularly on tongue and inner cheeks, gums and tonsils, and sometimes even the roof of mouth. These lesions will be painful, and may bleed slightly if rubbed them or scrape them. Symptoms may begin suddenly and persist for a long time. In adults, thrush can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the mouth and throat.

The most common symptoms are

1. White skin plaques
2. White patches on Tongue 
3. White patches on Throat
4. Inner lip rash
5. Lip rash at corners of mouth
6. Discomfort related to chewing and eating

Risk Factors:

1. Infants are more prone to oral thrush

2. The person with diabetes with high blood sugar level will give the Candida Albicans organism a perfect environment to thrive.

3. Taking Antibiotics or steriods will destroy the healthy organisms in the body that prevent infections such as oral thrush.

4. People with a symptom of dry mouth relating to side-effects of their medication (eg anti-psychotics) or medical conditions (eg Sjőgren’s Syndrome).

5. Continuous drug users

6. Nutrition defiency people

7. People with immune deficiency.


Oral thrush can usually be diagnosed simply by looking at the white lesions in the mouth. But sometimes a small sample is examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis. 

Thrush that extends into the esophagus may be serious. To check the condition doctor will perform the following tests.

1. Throat culture Test - swabbing the back of your throat with sterile cotton and observe the microorganisms under a microscope.

2. Endoscope Examination - Doctor examines stomach, esophagus, and small intestine using a lighted, flexible tube with a camera on the tip (endoscope).


1 The medications used in oral thrush includs prescription topical or oral antifungal medications, such as fluconazole
2. Treatment procedure includes eating yogurt or taking acidophilus supplements.
3. Antiseptic mouth washes will be recommended for patients with oral thrush.


• when the person taking antibiotics take yoghurt to prevent oral thrush
• Quit smoking
• Good diabetic control
• Reduce sugar in diet
• Avoid or treat nipple infections (i.e. Candida of the nipples)

Drug interactions in upper Gastrointestinal tract disorders

Antacids: Neutralise gastric acid, aluminium containing antacids contribute aluminium to the diet and may cause constipation or lead to phosphorous deficiency. Longterm or inappropriate use can lead to Aluminium toxicity. Calcium containing antacids contribute calcium to diet and may cause constipation . Magnesium containing antacids contribute magnesium to diet and may cause diarrhoea. Longterm use may lead to magnesium toxicity.

Antiboitics: When amoxylin is given without regard to food nausea and diarrhoea are common side effects.It is better to take medicine with food to reduce nausea.

Clarithromycin: when taken it may cause taste alteration nausea and diarrhoea.

Metronidezol: May cause taste alterations and no alcohol should be used during treatment  if  alcohol is given and for 24 hrs afterwards alcohol can react with metronidezole and result in nausea , vomiting, headache, cramps .

Antisecretary agents:  Inhibit gastrophasis secretion . Citnitidine may increase formation of toxic metabollites. Nizartidine when taken with tomato based juices its potency is reduced.

Omeprazole and rebeprazole:  They inhibit secretion of acids may interfere with iron absorption. When iron supplements are necessary they should be given 2 hours before or after taking protonpump inhibitors.


 Difficulty in passing a stool or having difficulty in bowel movement is called constipation. Sometimes this may be painful. Most people do not have bowel movements regular. Generally bowel movements decreases with age. Constipation may be caused due to many factors. Due to some medications, eating high fat foods, eating foods which are low in fiber or drinking liquids only. Fiber is most important part in the diet that prevents constipation. Both soluble and insoluble fibers are necessary for regular bowel movements. Also intake of fluids should be adequate.

Dietary recommendations:
  • Eat small frequent meals.
  • When you add more fiber to your diet. Drink plenty of water. Water helps to fluch out toxins.
  • Avoid soft drinks
  • Avoid refined and processed foods.
  • Avoid coffee.
  • Psyllium husk rich in fiber ease constipation. It adds bulk to stool also improves bowel movement.
  • Avoid eating sugar as it upsets the balance of bacteria in your digestive system. This may lead to bloating and constipation.
  • Include high fiber fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Avoid foods which have high amount of food additives.


Hernia is often referred to as a 'rupture'. The term hernia is most commonly used to describe to the protrusion of the intestine through a weak area in the abdominal wall. This will cause bulging of the abdominal wall. This bulging increases the pressure in the abdomen.

 The types of Hernia relates to its location on the body. These include:

Inguinal Hernias: This type of hernias are more common in men than women because the canal is bigger. These are the common type of hernia. The canal contains the spermatic cord and blood vessels. When an inguinal hernia occurs part of the intestine protrude down the canal and into the scrotum.

Femoral Hernias: This type of hernia is more common in women, femoral hernias occur when part of the intestine protrudes through the femoral canal and protrudes at the top of the thigh.

Umbilical Hernias: An umbilical hernia occurs when the abdominal wall is weakened at the point of umbilical cord. Umbilical hernias are most common in children.

Obtuator Hernias: The Obtuator hernia occurs when part of the intestine passes through the gap between the bones of the front of the pelvis.

Risk factors of Hernia:

Any person can get hernia from children to old age. Some of the factors which increases the risk of Hernia are:

1. Obesity
2. Previous abdominal surgery or abdominal injury
3. Straining to lift heavy objects
4. Because of constipation straining during bowel movements.
5. A chronic cough, such as smokers cough
6. Male are 12 times more prone to hernia when compared to females

Symptoms of a hernia include pain or discomfort and a localized swelling somewhere on the surface of the abdomen or in the groin area.

The best treatment of hernia is by surgical repair. There are no drug treatments for this condition. Surgery gives relief to the pain and swelling. There are no side effects for surgery.

Life style modifications can prevent hernias. Regular exercise can prevent hernia. Another important factor is avoid risk factors which is mainly involved in hernia.