Category Archives: health

Why Calcium for your body?

A real quick reference of why you need calcium ?

You need Calcium because…

  • It maintains normal heart beat
  • regulates blood pressure
  • helps nervous system function correctly
  • MAY reduce colon cancer chances
  • … its not only about the stronger bones…

Calcium rich foods…

  • low-fat milk
  • butter milk
  • regular yogurt
  • tofu
  • other misc items like milk-shakes, coffee drinks, etc…

Calcium requirement / day…

  • elementary through high school kids – 1300mg X 4 servings
  • adult and middle aged – 1000mg X 3 servings
  • older people after 50 – 1200mg X 4 servings

Exercises that helps you…

  • walking
  • jogging
  • dancing
  • tennis
  • yoga

In between…. Why Vitamin D ?

  • helps your body to absorb Calcium
  • prevents rickets (soft bones)
  • sunlight triggers to produce more Vitamin D

What is a workout ?

Thanks to Shrenik Jain who forwarded me this nice write up. Yes, indeed it the matter of time, effort, self-control against all the work and family pressure that keeps one go for a workout!

So for all those who have been procrastinating the workout, please follow it NOW!

A good writeup on the Workout! An inspirational one for sure.

Daily adequate Indian diet…

Following are some of my personal experiences and knowledge i gained over the years on the research.

  • It is necessary to have minimum of 1500 calories everyday.
  • You must have Carbohydrates, Calcium and Protein everyday in the right quantities along with other Vitamins.
  • If there is a irregularity in the intake or If the calories are too low, there will be an effect on Heart pumping rate.

Daily Nutritional Diet

  • Soy MilkProtein and Calcium
  • Dal/Chana/Rajma – Carbohydrates and Protein
  • Rice/Roti – Major source of calories and contains Carbohydrates
  • Raw/Boiled Vegetables – 3 cups
  • Fruits – 3 cups
  • 45 minute Exercise/Yoga everyday
  • Water – 6-8 glasses (anything more than this would increase load on Liver)

What does it mean to have 1500 calories

  • Breakfast
    • 2 Glasses (200 ml each) of Soy Milk – 200 Calories
    • 2 Bananas                                            – 150 Calories
  • Lunch
    • 2 Cups of cooked Rice                       – 400 Calories
    • 1 cup Dal                                              – 100 Calories
  • Evening Snack
    • Fruit Bowl/ Fruit Juice                         –  150 Calories
  • Dinner
    • 1 cup Rice + Curry/Dal                       –  400 Calories
    • 1/2 Avacado                                        –  100 Calories

Fruits / Juices

  • Pears
  • Bananas (Vitamin A and vitamin E)
  • All Peaches (Vitamin C and Vitamin E)
  • All Berries (Vitamin B)
  • Carrot Juice (Vitamin A and Vitamin E)
  • Avocado (Good FAT; good for heart health)

Symptoms of bad Diet:

  • Fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Reduction in body fat (especially on face)
  • Popping of eyes
  • Bones Protrude
  • Skin is Dry
  • Calorie deficiency may lead to liver, heart, and respiratory failure

Lower your LDL : Fact Fact

There’s “berry” good news for those of you wanting to naturally reduce plaque build-up in your arteries. Researchers from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) say a compound found in blueberries—called pterostilbene—can significantly help lower “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. In lab results, the compound worked just as well as prescription medications—minus the dangerous side effects!

Courtesy By :

Food Facts – Part I

Fact 1 : Contrary to what many people believe, drinking liquids of any kind while eating will dilute important stomach acids needed for proper digestion. Don’t drink liquids with your meal, but rather , drink between meals to refresh and hydrate without interrupting your body’s nutritional absorption.

Fact 2 : Lemon or lime juice has the additional benefit of balancing pH by keeping your system from being too acidic. This is counter-intuitive but true : These fruits, which contain a fair amount of citric acid, have an overall effect on the body. Still another benefit that makes lemon or lime juice a perfect way to break fast is that both help cleanse the liver of toxins- a good thing to do on a regular basis. The lemon juice in warm water needs only fifteen minutes to work its magic. Warm water facilitates digestion.

Fact 3 : Giving your body a break from food facilitates healing to begin at cellular level- flushing toxins, eliminating dead and dying cells while cleansing, nourishing, and spurring the growth  of new cells. The best part of fasting, however, is the natural “high” you get that may result from the brain’s release of antidepressant-like chemical known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).

Fact 4 : Calorie Restriction “thins the blood”, that is it reduces the platelet adhesiveness, thus decreasing the potential for dangerous blood clots and the number of white blood cells- two essential components necessary to a successful immune system.

Fact 5 : Not all fat is bad. Adding some high-quality fat sources like olive-oil, fish oil or walnuts to a meal can improve cardiovascular health.

Fact 6 : Eating carbohydrates without any fat at all is a bad idea. When you eat carbs without fat, the body converts part of them to fats known as triglycerides, which when elevated, are a risk factor for heart diseases.

Fact 7 : Fat-free meals actually increase the amount of bad fat in your blood stream, so always include some good quality fat with every meal.

Fact 8 : Reducing salt in food can help you to have your blood pressure controlled. But a completely sodium free food, in fact, may put  you in danger of irregular heartbeat.

Fact 9 : Just adding fish oil alone will likely produce a measurable blood pressure drop.

Fact 10 : Maitake and shiitake mushrooms provide valuable immune system benefits and both have been shown to possess anticarcinogenic properties.

You might also want to see :

Effects of Caffeinated beverages

For all those who needs reasons to stop or quit caffeinated beverages… here you go…

  • Elevates blood sugar
  • Elevates blood fats
  • Increases blood pressure
  • Stimulates central nervous system
  • Causes irregular heart beat
  • Increases urinary calcium and magnesium losses (may impact on long-term bone health)
  • Increases stomach acid secretion (aggravates stomach ulcer)
  • Causes tremors, irritability and nervousness
  • Causes insomnia and disruption of sleep patterns
  • Causes anxiety and depression
  • Causes hightened symptoms of pre-menstrual-syndrome (PMS)

Following topics might interest you.

What is Cholesterol

Natural Living in modern society

ABCs of “Cholesterol”

Cholesterol is the enemy for many of us living in this modern society. Many suffer from the chronic heart diseases and wants to come out of the ever increasing heart risks. Well, taking pills like Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Zetia and Vytorin definitely reduce and control the cholesterol. However, that’s not the real solution. A wise decision would be to get educated about the Cholesterol and its ill effects. This does not imply that the cholesterol is bad. But, excess of cholesterol is bad for health and can increase the risk for heart diseases.

This writing gives you an overview of  cholesterol and why is this lipo protein required by the body. This writing is compilation of the information from different sources and a result of lot of research work. Hope this helps you in knowing and fighting cholesterol.

What & Why of  Cholesterol :

Cholesterol is a critically important compound in the human body. It is synthesized in the liver and then used in the manufacture of bile, hormones, and nerve tissue. Cholesterol is a type of lipid, one of the classes of chemical compounds essential to human health . Cholesterol makes up an important part of the membranes of each cell in the body. In addition, the liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids, which aid digestion. The body also uses cholesterol to produce vitamin D and certain hormones, including sex hormones.

The human body contains a feedback mechanism that keeps the serum concentration of cholesterol approximately constant. The liver itself manufactures about 600 mg of cholesterol a day, but that output changes depending on the intake of cholesterol in the daily diet. As a person consumes more cholesterol, the liver reduces it production of the compound. If one’s intake of cholesterol greatly exceeds the body’s needs, excess cholesterol may then precipitate out of blood and be deposited on arterial linings.

One of the major uses of cholesterol is the synthesis of bile acids. These are synthesized in the liver from cholesterol and are secreted in the bile. They are essential for the absorption of fat from the contents of the intestine. A clue to the importance of cholesterol is that most of the bile acids are not lost in the feces but are reabsorbed from the lower intestine and recycled to the liver. There is some loss, however, and to compensate for this and to meet other needs, the liver synthesizes some 1500–2000 mg of new cholesterol each day. It synthesizes cholesterol from the products of fat metabolism.

Large concentrations of cholesterol are found in the brain, spinal cord, and liver. Gallstones that occur in the gall bladder are largely made up of cholesterol. It is also found in bile (a fluid secreted by the liver), from which it gets its name: chol (Greek for “bile”) plus stereos (Greek for “solid”).

Normally, cholesterol produced by the liver circulates in the blood and is taken up by the body’s cells for their needs. Cholesterol can also be removed from the blood by the liver and secreted in bile into the small intestine. From the intestine, cholesterol is released back into the bloodstream.The body does not need cholesterol from dietary sources because the liver makes cholesterol from other nutrients.

Cholesterol and Triglycerides :

Cholesterol and triglycerides, another lipid, are two of the major fatty substances in the blood. Triglycerides may be used by cells for energy, or they may be stored for later use. Doctors often measure the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in blood to help determine a patient’s overall health. High levels of cholesterol, particularly if accompanied by high levels of triglycerides, increase the risk of heart disease. Both cholesterol and triglycerides are carried through the bloodstream in large molecules called lipoproteins.

“Good” cholesterol and “Bad” cholesterol

Cholesterol is carried in the blood bound to protein molecules called lipoproteins. Most of the cholesterol is transported on low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). LDL receptors on body cell membranes help regulate the blood cholesterol level by binding with LDLs, which are then taken up by the cells. However, if there are more LDLs than LDL receptors, the excess LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol, can be deposited in the lining of the arteries. High-density lipoproteins (HDLs), or “good” cholesterol, are thought to help protect against damage to the artery walls by carrying excess LDL back to the liver.

High levels of LDL-cholesterol in blood are a primary cause of heart attacks. LDL can be found in the wall of heart arteries. Low levels of HDL-cholesterol also increase the risk of heart attack. Some scientists believe that HDLs help remove cholesterol from tissues.

Though high total and LDL cholesterol levels, along with low HDL cholesterol, can increase heart disease risk, they are among several other risk factors. These include cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity. If any of these is present in addition to high blood cholesterol, the risk of heart disease is even greater.

Factors affecting blood cholesterol levels:

  • Heredity–High cholesterol often runs in families. Even though specific genetic causes have been identified in only a minority of cases, genes still play a role in influencing blood cholesterol levels.
  • Weight–Excess weight tends to increase blood cholesterol levels. Losing weight may help lower levels.
  • Exercise–Regular physical activity may not only lower LDL cholesterol, but it may increase levels of desirable HDL.
  • Age and gender–Before menopause, women tend to have total cholesterol levels lower than men at the same age. Cholesterol levels naturally rise as men and women age. Menopause is often associated with increases in LDL cholesterol in women.
  • Stress–Studies have not shown stress to be directly linked to cholesterol levels. But experts say that because people sometimes eat fatty foods to console themselves when under stress, this can cause higher blood cholesterol.

People also may have high cholesterol levels if they have an abnormal gene and this disorder is called familial hypercholesterolemia. Other factors that can cause high blood cholesterol include a malfunctioning thyroid gland, kidney disease, diabetes, and the use of various medicines, including certain diuretics.

Lipid Profile Tests:

The lipid profile is a group of tests that are often ordered together to determine risk of coronary heart disease. The tests that make up a lipid profile are tests that have been shown to be good indicators of whether someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels (hardening of the arteries). The lipid profile includes total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol (often called good cholesterol), LDL-cholesterol (often called bad cholesterol), and triglycerides.

The table shows the range of typical values as well as the values above (or below) which the subject may be at increased risk of developing atherosclerosis.

LIPID Typical values (mg/dl) Desirable (mg/dl)
Cholesterol (total) 170–210 <200
LDL cholesterol 60–140 <130
HDL cholesterol 35–85 >40
Triglycerides 40–150 <13

Note 1 : Total Cholesterol = HDL Cholesterol + LDL Cholesterol + 20% of Triglycerides

Note 2 : Cardiac Risk Ratio = Total Cholesterol / HDL Cholesterol. A cardiac risk ratio greater than 7 is considered a warning (you are encouraged to calculate the risk ratio with the latest lipid profile results)

Conditions Caused by High Cholesterol

High levels of cholesterol can cause a condition known as atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries. When the arteries become filled with plaque, the walls become stiff and brittle. This not only restricts blood flow, but it can also cause the arteries to burst because they are so brittle; this can lead to blood clots.

But sometimes diet and exercise alone are not enough to reduce cholesterol to goal levels. Perhaps a one is genetically predisposed to high blood cholesterol. In these cases, doctors often prescribe drugs. The most prominent cholesterol drugs are in the statin family, an array of powerful treatments that includes Mevacor (lovastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Baycol (cervastatin), and Lipitor (atorvastatin). Lipitor is the most popular drug ever sold ever in the history of the world. Lipitor does more than $9 billion in sales per year – that’s more than one million dollars per hour, every hour of every day, 365 days per year.

Summary :

Cholesterol is a type of lipid, one of the classes of chemical compounds essential to human health. Cholesterol and triglycerides, another lipid, are two of the major fatty substances in the blood. High-density lipoproteins (HDLs), or “good” cholesterol, are thought to help protect against damage to the artery walls by carrying excess LDL back to the liver. High levels of LDL-cholesterol in blood are a primary cause of heart attacks. LDL can be found in the wall of heart arteries.

Large concentrations of cholesterol are found in the brain, spinal cord, and liver. Gallstones that occur in the gall bladder are largely made up of cholesterol. It is also found in bile (a fluid secreted by the liver), from which it gets its name: chol (Greek for “bile”) plus stereos (Greek for “solid”).

Human Body and Vegitables

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye… and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female – they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body’s cells. Today’s research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Natural Living in modern society

Some Now-a-days life is filled with Coke, Pepsi, Pizza, Pasta, Mac’s Cheese Burgers, KFC’s Chicken, French Fries, Tacos, and other Indian dishes like Biriyani, Dal Makhani, Butter Nan, Garlic Nan with Butter, Hyderabadi Chicken, Chettinad Chicken, Rice with 4-5 varieties for Lunch and Dinner, etc… They all make us feel good when we eat but also act as a slow poison in the years to come. Now-a-days many of us are recognizing that we have a chronic problem only when it strikes us in a bad way. If one is lucky, he/she gets a chance to survive and correct the mistake but there are some unfortunate ones who do not have this luxury.

In this article I would like to see the present conditions of our habits’ and then go on with what I had done to make mine and my family’s health better.

These days its normal that:

  • Kids (4-10 years) are Obese;
    • They drink only Coke, Burgers, Pizza and all other Indian deep fried stuff, be it vegetarian or meat.
  • Heart Stroke for Young Generation
    • Many at the age of 20-40 are susceptible for heart diseases. Blame it on food, lifestyle, stress what ever you call it, it’s a fact. And no one likes this fact.
  • Kids and Youth fall pray of Diabetes
    • I heard a case where 7 year old is suffering from Diabetes
    • One of my close relative got it at the age of 13 and every days he takes 2 shots of insulin with so much of control over the food
  • People can’t stand Stress; So Thyroid Problems
    • All are so busy in our daily lives; no one has time to relax.
    • Once in a year vacation is of no good. You get stressed out 350 days a year and say you are relaxing for 15 days. Equation does not match!!

Change in Life Style:

  • Drink Coke/Pepsi (carbonated drinks) INSTEAD of Water
    • Effects : Stomach, Waste Removal Mechanism
  • Eat out site JUNK food INSTEAD of HomeMade breakfast
    • Effects : Stomach, Digestive System, Liver
  • Eat Deep Fried Food INSTEAD of Raw or Boiled food.
    • Effects : Stomach, Digestive System, Liver
  • Drink Alcohol INSTEAD of Fruit Juices
    • Effects : Stomach, Liver
  • Cigarette Smoking / Cigar / Hukka
    • Effects : Oral Cancer, Lungs
  • Sleep for 5 or 4 hours INSTEAD of 8 hours of sleep
    • Effects : Stress, Mental Health
  • No Exercise INSTEAD of minimum 1 hour need by body
    • Effects : When you don’t sweat, body waste does not go out. More salts gets deposited in the body. Bad for your cells.
  • Eat dinner at 9.00pm-11.00pm INSTEAD of 7.00pm – 8.00pm.
    • Effects : You consume more energy while awake than sleeping. Its good to eat early so that most of energy is spent while awake. While sleeping, the EXTRA energy is converted to fats. (I am assuming that you sleep immediately after you eat at night 9.00pm-11.00pm)
  • Over Eat on Weekends INSTEAD of Resting your stomach
    • Effects: Like you your stomach also works hard ALL the time. Churning all the JUNK that you eat. Is it a fair deal ?
  • And many other which you and I know…

What’s my Motivation :

I have been in Germany for few years and soon after in US since 2007. It’s very common for many of us to complain that as soon as someone comes to US, they put on weight and become obese. It’s easy to blame US and the life style (to some extent it’s true).

Of course this happens now-a-days even in India. Many of educated families stick to “Single Child” policy, they feel feeding their kid is the ONLY thing that they can do in their life. They feed so much right from the childhood that all the “fat cells” grow a lot by the time they are adults and it becomes near to IMPOSSIBLE to reduce.

I heard some good lectures and programs about “Dr . Mantena Satyanarayana Raju” in Maa TV and also in couple of other online sites like TeluguBhakti and TeluguOne. Till that time I have heard many people suggesting about “drinking more water”, “eating less salt”, “doing more exercises”; but none gave me the LOGICAL consequences. Dr. Raju talks very nicely about the WHY and HOW aspects of the health. Once anyone listens to his lectures, it’s difficult NOT to follow him.

What’s the Deal :

  • Drink More Water everyday – Help keep your system clean.
  • Eat More Vegetables and Fruits THAN Cooked Food.
  • Eat food that contains MORE nutritious value and LESS calorific value
  • Do more Exercise – Help your body to shed the extra salts
  • Do Yoga or Meditation – Keep your body and brain relaxed
  • Eat early dinner (6.00pm to 7.30pm) – If that sounds crazy; I pity you.
  • Prefer foods with Less Sodium and More Potassium

Saying what to eat does not qualify to HOW you do it. I have been practicing the Natural Lifestyle from past 6 months and I am the happiest person to know that I am still continuing. More than a habit, it’s setting up your MIND; believing that this method would make you healthier, happier and stronger.

My Schedule:

  • No Sugar in any of Juices
  • No Salt in any of the Boiled Vegetables or Sandwich
  • If you can reduce meat intake that would be good and if you totally cut meat that’s excellent.
  • Dinner dishes are one OR the other. Not ALL or SOME of them.

Of course this schedule is not found in one single Day. It took almost 5 months for me to get adjusted to the schedule and to practice it as a daily routine.

Here is what I did each month:

1st Month : Water in the morning
This might sound simple for many of you but it’s NOT. I am a kind of person who used to drink only 3-4 glasses a day (which is very less). The taste of water some times gives a kind of loath and your stomach will be reluctant to take it. So, take you time and practice it everyday to take some more water. Many say that they drink water DURING the day; the big difference we are talking about is to drink at the BEGINNING of the day. As you are with empty stomach, it’s easy for your body to carryout the flushing activities.

2nd Month : Fruit Bowl in the Morning
For many who eat Indian Break Fast or even the American Break Fast this shounds too extreme. The idea of not eating the cooked food itself seems to be crazy, but not at all. Once you start eating fruits in the morning, you will feel fresh about it.Thus make sure that at the end of 2nd month you are good with Drinking water in the morning and also Fruit Bowl for Break Fast.

3rd Month and 4th Month : Less Oil, Less Salt at Lunch Time

This is the most difficult part, but yet achievable. If one knows the bad side affects of the Oil and Salt, I guess no one will actually cook food with them. Often we are comfortable in out own world and we would not want to leave out daily habits. Having 3 chapatis along with lots of vegetable curries and lentils is the best way to give necessary vitamins and minerals that body needs.

5th Month: Vegetables and Fruits at Night

This is the ultra difficult stuff for anyone to do it. But If one needs to dream a good health for life long you have to. There is no choice. You either eat junk food and compromise on Health or eat good food and get great health. At the end of the 5 months you are more or less good with the good eating habits. By this time you can also feel that you are not able to tolerate any of the junk food and you would not even want to eat oily food.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Do NOT force your self at any point of time.
  • If you can’t drink too much of water initially, try to start with 1 or 2 glasses and gradually increase the intake.
  • You will have some sudden burst of the food intake like pizzas, rice, biriyani, etc… when you feel like having some thing like that just make it at home or go out and have it.
  • Do not force your family members to do it. If you do it they will naturally follow.
  • No coffee or tea at all. They are slow poison.
  • If you do not like people who take alcohol or smokes cigarettes then you should also hate people who take coffee and tea. Your body does not need them. It is you who is forcing coffee or tea on your body.

Some Basics:

Potassium: Adequate intake of Potassium can generally be guaranteed by eating a variety of foods containing potassium and deficiency is rare in healthy individuals eating a balanced diet. Foods with high sources of potassium include orange juice, potatoes, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, broccoli, soybeans and apricots, although it is also common in most fruits, vegetables and meats. Diets high in potassium can reduce the risk of hypertension. Potassium is a nutrient necessary for human life and health. Potassium chloride is used as a substitute for table salt by those seeking to reduce sodium intake so as to control hypertension. Good dietary sources of potassium include celery juice. The USDA lists tomato paste, orange juice, beet greens, white beans, bananas, and many other good dietary sources of potassium, ranked according to potassium content per measure shown.

Sodium: Sodium ions (often referred to as just “sodium”) are necessary for regulation of blood and body fluids, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity, and certain metabolic functions. Interestingly, although sodium is needed by animals, which maintain high concentrations in their blood and extracellular fluids, the ion is not needed by plants. A completely plant-based diet, therefore, will be very low in sodium.

Disclaimer : Natural Living is no way an alternate option to people who have some serious health problems like Diabetes, Heart Disease, Thyroid Problems, High Cholesterol, etc… Take the medicines that you take and practice the Natural Living to see long term benefits. It will turn out to be that many people tend to reduce the intake of the medicines that they take when they practice Natural Living for some time.

All the content of this blog is my personal experience and a preface of what I have experienced.