Bolster your wellness


Sit less to live longer:
In a recent American Cancer Society study it was found that just replacing 30 minutes a day of stationary time with such moderate physical activities as brisk walking and dancing reduces the risk of dying over 14 years by a whopping 45 percent. Even light activities such as walking slowly, playing pool and doing housework like sweeping or vacuuming for half an hour reduce mortality risk by 15 percent. Regular walk and run can keep blood vessels and brain young. Researchers at University College, London, report that those in their ages 21 to 70, reduced their arterial age by 4 years and their risk to stroke by 10 percent over their lifetime. Those who walked more were less likely to have cognitive impairment.

Eat more ‘carbs’ to lower heart risk:
According to a study presented by the American College of Cardiology, researchers found that diets rich in proteins instead of fruits, vegetables and grains , boosted the risk of AFib, compared to diets with moderate carb intake. Researchers theorize that consuming less produce and fewer grains may aggravate inflammation, while eating high amounts of protein and fat may increase oxidative stress.

Eat plants to live longer:
Atleast, 1/3rd of early deaths could be prevented if people moved to a largely plant-based diet, prominent scientists from Harvard University Medical School, have calculated. Medical Journal Lancet, advocated a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts – and low in red meat, sugar and refined grains. Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does alcohol, drugs and tobacco use combined. Eat snorkly plants to ease gum inflammation. People on plant based diet have significantly less gum inflammation and bleeding than those who didn’t change from meat. [ AFib is a quivery fluttery heart beat, irregularly causing palpitations, dizziness and fatigue. It’s also linked to five-fold increase in heart failure or strokes].

Imbibe less to lower blood pressure:
Even moderate alcohol consumption – seven to 13 drinks a week – increases the risk of high blood pressure, according to a new analysis of the health records of 17,000 US adults. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers found that the average blood pressure among nondrinkers was about 109/67, among moderate drinkers 128/79 and among heavy drinkers 153/82, based on data for disease control and prevention for the years 1988 to 1994.

Spend time in nature:
“We underestimate what plants can do because their communication is invisible to us.”~ Heidi Appel. If you are gardening pause from time to time and feel what the plants are doing? Stop before planting something and hold it in your hands, getting to know it as a being. Pay attention to all that surrounds you and what is happening. Pay attention to the movement of leaves, and notice which plants grow wild near you. Be without another human while in nature and listen to the whisper of plants and wild trees !

Munch nuts for a healthy brain:
According to University of South Australia researchers, who studied the records of 4,822 Chinese adults, found that seniors (55 and older) that ate more than 10 grams – about two tea-spoons – of nuts a day were able to ward off normal cognitive decline and even improve their cognitive functions by up to 60 percent. They showed better thinking, reasoning and memory compared to those that didn’t eat nuts. “ Nuts are known to be high in healthy fats, protein and fiber with nutritional properties that can lower cholesterol and improve cognitive health.” Says the Australian researcher Ming Li. [Nuts can include peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts etc.]

Mediterranean diet boosts performance:
After eating the Mediterranean diet for just four days, athletes ran faster than after eating a Western or European diet. The American College Journal on Nutrition, lays emphasis on whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil and whole grains – the ‘Mediterranean’. Western diet on the other hand is loaded with trans and saturated fats, dairy, refined sugars, processed vegetable oils, processed foods loaded with salt, besides meat – red or white. The athletes put on the Western diet ran slower with lesser stamina.

Take Magnesium to optimize Vitamin D:
Magnesium seems to optimize vitamin D utilization in the human system. In a trial of 250 people between ages 50 and 85 that were considered at risk for colorectal cancer, researchers found that changes in blood levels of vitamin D were significantly affected by the intake of Magnesium – a mineral in which most of the people in the west are deficient. Magnesium- rich foods include dark leafy vegetable greens, beans, whole grains, nuts, fatty fish and chocolate. Vitamin D impacts our bones, regulates calcium and strengthens our immune system. Researchers have found vitamin D influences virtually every cell in our body and is one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters. It is important to get vitamin D3 through diet, sunlight, or supplements every day because when vitamin D is sent directly to the body tissue, it’s only active for 24 hours. Vitamin D impacts our bones, regulates calcium and strengthens our immune system. Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters. Vitamin D is able to enter cancer cells and trigger natural cell death, preventing or even stopping cancer growth.

Power of thanks:
Science suggests that expressing true gratitude boosts your health and spreads happiness. There is a great deal to be gained from truly feeling grateful. Research has linked gratitude with a wide range of benefits, including your immune system and improving sleep patterns, feeling optimistic and experiencing more joy and pleasure, being more helpful and generous, and feeling less lonely and isolated. It even helps to mitigate depression. Practicing gratitude can keep our hearts open to our daily experiences. There are so many things to be grateful for. For example trees freely provide fruit and shelter and even offer themselves as climbing gyms. Even after they’re dead with age, they provide the valuable timber. Same is true of people picking up an old man’s cap or cane or opening a door for a stranger. Offering our appreciation to one another is a powerful way to strengthen and even repair emotional bonds. There is scientific evidence that feeling and expressing gratitude in relationships of all kinds, strengthens them. Studies by researchers at the University of Nottingham determined that those who feel and express gratitude tend to be pro-social-kind, helpful and, giving.

Spend time in Nature:
Pay attention to all that surrounds you and what is happening. What birds are singing ? What are they doing as they sing ? Pay attention to the movement of the leaves and the nearby plants. Hold a plant in your hands to watch it before planting.

Spend time with animals without an agenda:
Pay attention to what the cows, dogs or monkeys living in your vicinity are doing. How they moo or bark when hungry or happy. Animals do say through their behavior. As you walk alongside your dog, imagine what it would be like to walk on four legs and be close to the ground where we stand.

Ancient health aids:
Mushrooms are pretty spectacular. All edible species benefit the immune system and together, support just about every system in the human body. A handful of mushrooms a day just might keep the doctor at bay, according to mounting research , providing powerful evidence of the fungal kingdom’s abilities to promote health and fight disease. Several studies in Japan and Singapore have significantly correlated higher mushroom consumption with decreased rates of dementia. Medicinal mushrooms have been approved adjuncts to standard cancer treatments in Japan and China for more than 30 years. Even Ayurvedic system is replete with clinical uses of the fungal kingdom.

Dementia is preventable:
As with any disease, prevention throughout the life cycle is key. Alzheimer’s is considered a slowly progressive brain disease that begins well before symptoms emerge. Apart from ineffective drugs, Martha Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Rush University in Chicago, developed the MIND diets, which offer most protection against dementia. Morris identifies 10 brain-healthy dietary components: leafy greens, vegetables, berries, whole grains, nuts, seafood, poultry, beans and legumes, olive oil, and one glass of red wine per day. Nevertheless the epidemiologist Morris advises limits to five unhealthy components: sweets and pastries, red meats, fried and fast foods, whole fat cheese, butter and fats. Other common aging-related conditions that cause dementia like symptoms are low thyroid hormones and vitamin B12 deficiency that she looks after with specific brain-protective compounds like vitamins E, B12, folate and niacin, plus lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene and flavonoids found in colorful fruits and vegetables, tea and nuts.

Sleep and socialize:
All brain and gut experts recommend adequate sleep – seven to eight hours each night – to restore body and mind.

In studies of “Blue Zone” populations that enjoy longevity with low rates of dementia, social engagement appears to be secret sauce for quality of life.

Thinking that we are alone has a crippling impact because we are social beings and need connection to thrive. We’re wired that way. Reluctance to reach out for help and support is usually associated with our fear of vulnerability.

Power of Yoga:

Longevity is something most of us strive for, and research shows that implementing a consistent yoga practice can be a fruitful investment towards that goal. Yoga is an eight-branch system of well-being that encompasses exercise, meditation, conscious breathing, diet and other elements. A research project from the Edinburgh University reveals that yoga, compared to both sedentary lifestyles and other forms of exercise such as walking or chair aerobics, improved the lower-body strength and flexibility in individuals aged 60 and above. The findings also showed improved quality of sleep and fewer symptoms of depression. Yoga’s inverted poses increase blood circulation to vital organs, including the intestines. Asanas like shoulder stand, bridge downward facing, stimulate blood flow from the lower extremities to the heart and fortify red blood cells by increasing hemoglobin, guarding against blood clots, stroke and heart attack.

Yoga can also strengthen the bones. Joints lose flexibility as we age, but yoga movement provides them with essential oxygen, blood and nutrients. Movement helps lubricate and cushion joints, provides nutrition and removes wastes. Under the influence of yoga, the brain is bathed in calming neurotransmitters, combating depression and anxiety, and instilling a sense of optimism. Yoga also helps us to embrace the hard times and ride the waves. It also helps us to experience a more intimate relationship with body and soul. Lisa Moore, a reputed yoga teacher in NY, concurs, advising: “Yoga gives us powerful tools so we may age gracefully. One of them is to manage stress with equanimity.” “ Poole believes that general population does not breathe correctly, and many of us hold our breath unconsciously. The hardest part of yoga is learning to take deep, full breaths. Old breathing habits must be unlearned. Once attention is given to the breath, tensions can be released.” “Yoga improves lung capacity and brings more energy to the cells, which in turn creates more energy and life force in our bodies,” says the Yoga Guru, Farreira.
Dr. Tej K.Munshi, {Ex. Prof. in Applied Sciences},
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