Wish to lower risk of stroke? Keep diet, workout regime in check

By Dr Chandril Chugh

For ages, we have known that prevention is better than cure, and this holds true for too. Stroke or brain attack is preventable and is a lifestyle-associated disease like many others nowadays. So, in a way, stroke is a matter of choice and you can choose to prevent it. In the majority of cases, stroke is the result of years of wrong diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. If we can change our diet and lifestyle, most strokes can be prevented. Preventing a stroke is not rocket science; it’s simple and can be done easily.

Brain Attack Or Stroke
Sudden loss of function is known as brain attack or stroke. Brain attack can be due to a blocked vessel (medically known as an ischaemic stroke) or due to a ruptured blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke or a subarachnoid haemorrhage).

Is It An Emergency?

Stroke may cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness and numbness on one side of the body
  • Difficulty in speaking and understanding words
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of vision
  • Severe headaches

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Symptoms depend on which part of the brain is affected. If not treated on time, the weakness and other neurological deficits may become permanent and extremely disabling. Stroke can sometimes lead to even death.

Recognising A Stroke
Remember the 7S method to diagnose and respond to a stroke:

  1. Sudden (symptoms usually start suddenly)
  2. Slurred speech (speech is not clear, as if drunk)
  3. Side weak (face, arm or leg or all three can get weak)
  4. Spinning (vertigo)
  5. Severe headache
  6. Sight (loss of vision)
  7. Seconds (note the time when the symptoms start and rush to the hospital because time is crucial in stroke management and every second counts)

How Bad Is Stroke?
According to a 2006 study in the USA, a patient with ischaemic stroke loses 19 lakh brain cells every minute, about 1,400 crore nerve connections are destroyed every minute and 12 km of nerve fibres are lost every minute. The end result is that the patient is paralysed for life and becomes dependent. That is scary indeed.

World No Tobacco Day: Smoking Can Hurt Eyes, Bones And Brain

Thrill Kills

Most smokers believe smoking is cool. No matter how you indulge in it, tobacco is harmful to your health. Tobacco contains over 7,000 toxins and 70 known carcinogens (chemicals that increase cancer risk) and can damage nearly every organ of the body. Dr Sachin Kumar, Senior Consultant – Pulmonology at Sakra World Hospital explains how smoking affects every part of your body. The next time you are tempted to take a drag, just pause for a minute and think of the consequences of your indulgence.

The treatment depends on what type of stroke the patient has had.

Top Factor In Stroke Care
The most important part of stroke care is not the doctor or the hospital, but the patient. As most of the strokes are painless, patients tend to ignore their symptoms and delay treatment. If the patient and the family are aware of stroke symptoms, the patient can be taken to hospital on time and given treatment.

Worldwide, stroke is the second leading cause of death. More than two-thirds of the patients with a large stroke don’t survive beyond the first year.

Take Care Of These To Prevent A Stroke
High blood pressure: The single-most important thing that anyone can do is to control his/her blood pressure. The easiest way to do this is through exercise and diet and, if needed, medications. High cholesterol: One easy way to manage cholesterol is to increase fruits and vegetables in the diet and avoid fried foods. Consuming healthy fats from nuts (almonds or walnuts), fish oils and oils like olive oil and flaxseed oil is also beneficial. The dietary reference intake (DRI) for fat in adults is 20-35% of total calories from fat. An average of 50 gm of fat per day is a safe zone.

Healthy sources of fat for Indian cooking are ghee, sunflower oil, groundnut oil and mustard oil. Include all these in your diet for best results. Beware that fats may be hidden. Read labels carefully before buying products. If diet doesn’t work, then medications can come to the rescue.

Cut Down On Salt, Drink Fluids: Simple Diet Tips To Avoid Chronic Heart Failure

Save Your Heart

Cardiac or heart failure is a clinical condition in which the heart loses the ability to eject blood to meet the requirements of the tissues of the body. Irrespective of the cause, nutritional concerns need to be addressed in this condition in order to prevent morbidity and mortality. Patients with chronic heart failure are at constant risk of losing weight due to the medical condition and also low dietary intake which is due poor appetite, depression or loss of appetite due to consumption of drugs.Dietary interventions to maintain and restore the nutritional balance are essential part of treatment therapy. These include a suitable change in calorie intake, reduction in sodium and fluid intake, maintenance of potassium and magnesium in the body, and appropriate supplementation with vitamins and minerals.Here are some simple tips by Dr Ritika Samaddar, Chief Nutritionist at Max Hospital, Saket.

High sugar: High sugar intake is not good for the body or the brain. It is important to realise that, and eliminate, or at least limit, the intake of sugary foods like cold drinks, juices, cookies, biscuits, chocolates and sweets.

Smoking: The smoke that travels through the lungs into the blood and then gets circulated throughout the body mixed with blood is known to make the blood sticky and cause strokes. So, stay away from smoking and keep your blood flowing smoothly.

Diet: My advice is simple: You can eat anything that comes from the ground (fruits, vegetables), is white (low fat milk, for example. But know that most refined foods are also white. You must make wise choices here) or sometimes pink (fresh fish or lean chicken). Stay away from anything that comes out of a box, plastic packet or a bottle.

Exercise: A good diet with regular physical exercise is the secret to good health. If you follow this routine you will not have to worry about the first three points. Doctor:The last piece of stroke prevention strategy is your doctor. Get professional advice always because “your brain is the Ferrari of your body, and you don’t take your Ferrari to a roadside mechanic”.

—The writer is the Head of Interventional Neurology at Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi

A Plant-based Diet Could Save the Planet — and Your Life

When Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams realized he was headed towards blindness caused by diabetes, he turned to a treatment you buy from a grocery store, not a pharmacy: his food. He switched from the typical “American” diet, heavy on the meat, to a plant-based one, and within the span of just a few weeks he regained his eyesight and had effectively reversed Type 2 diabetes. Better yet, not much later, he convinced his mom to do the same thing, to similar results.

“When it comes to chronic disease, it’s not our lineage, it’s our lunch,” Alexis Fox, CEO of Lighter, explained onstage this morning at Smart Kitchen Summit.

Fox, whose company provides a B2B meal-planning tool to the healthcare industry and to athletes (among others), used Eric Adams’ story as a way to illustrate the impact the right foods can have on our health — and how devastating the wrong ones can be for our bodies. Among the facts Fox cited onstage were: 33.9 percent of adults in the U.S. have pre-diabetes, heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country, and childhood obesity has nearly tripled.

But she, along with her co-founder Micah Risk, believe there’s a way out, and it’s by helping people rethink the way they choose and eat food. Their tool shows users which foods they should be buying, based on each individual user, and how to prepare and shop for a recipe. It’s a personalized food service built around the idea of plant-based eating and sustainability — two things we’re going to see a lot more of, if today’s SKS talks and panels are any indicator.

Given that, you won’t find any recommendations for meat-based dishes with Lighter. The service is about providing 100 percent vegan meal recommendations; something that’s as important for the environment as it is for the human body.

“Most of the energy we put into animals does not get converted into energy [for] humans,” Fox said onstage, as a way of underscoring how unsustainable current practices around animal agriculture are.

And Lighter’s not the only company aware of this. During her talk, Fox cited WeWork — a company currently valued at more than $20 billion — and its recent decision to ban all meat onsite and at company events.

“Our medical community and every entity concerned with sustainability is encouraging us to decrease our meat consumption,” said Fox. And with companies like WeWork also onboard, we may be able to include the startup and tech communities on that list of entities, too.

Check back for more posts throughout the day, and follow along for a steady stream of updates on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.

The Health Benefits of Horseback Riding • Health Fitness Revolution

Before we all had cars to drive in, people used horses to get around, and almost everyone was taught to care and ride a horse. Today, our dependence on these large mammals is non-existent and horseback riding has become recreational. There are many obvious health benefits to riding, including strong core and legs, but there are also many less obvious benefits, such as boost in confidence and meditation. Horses are even used in therapy for mentally disabled children- which only proves further how healthy they are!

Here is the top list of health benefits of horseback riding from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

  • Body Awareness: Horseback riding really works the core muscles that stabilize the trunk: the abdominal, back, and pelvic muscles. However, it’s not just about the strength of the core, but the coordination and stability of it as well. The more you ride, the more the body learns to move with the horse.
  • Quick Thinking: riding a large, powerful animal with a mind and agenda of its own is a full-body workout that will force you to engage muscles you didn’t know existed and be constantly adjusting to the form of the animal.
  • Coordination: There are many movements that need to happen simultaneously while riding for the horse to be properly guided- this is what coordination consists of. Therapeutic riding programs for the sight-impaired have had a lot of success developing better coordination.
  • Core Strength: Horseback riding is an isometric exercise, which means it uses specific muscles to stay in certain positions, in this case, keeping balanced on the horse. Because of this, postural strength is very important when riding and the posture of riders improves even in day to day activities.
  • Muscle Tone and Flexibility: Along with the core muscles, the inner thighs and pelvic muscles get the biggest workout as a rider positions himself or herself. Riders often have to maintain a squatting position while they ride, constantly adjusting to the cadence of the horse. This exercise helps with good overall muscle tone and flexibility.
  • Stable Strength: Riding is not the only way this activity gives the body a workout. Working in a barn and taking care of a horse strengthens muscles and increases cardiovascular capacity.
  • Mental exercise: There are so many mental benefits to horseback riding. Not only do you really learn about yourself as you experience time on a horse but it can also have a meditative effect because for the time being, the only focus is on riding and staying on the horse. While horseback riding is a great exercise, there is a real benefit i the connection with the animal and the peace of mind that comes with every ride.
  • Although Samir himself loves extreme fitness, his philosophy encompasses a much more balanced approach to fitness, nutrition, mental, social, and spiritual synchrony. To pre-order his life-changing book releasing Oct 31st, 2017, click here. Learn how to become the happiest, strongest, and smartest version of yourself with the revolutionary ReSYNC Method.


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Health Fitness Revolution by Samir Becic Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization, to make the world a healthier, fitter place, please donate!

Beauty And Fitness Secrets Of The Ever-So-Gorgeous Actress Sanjeeda Sheikh

It is a saying well-known that to be beautiful on the outside is not enough, one should be beautiful on the inside too! And, one of the telly world’s prettiest actresses is someone who fits this bill perfectly. A gorgeous girl, and an amazing human being- we are talking about none other than Ishq Ka Rang Safed actress, Sanjeeda Sheikh.

Sanjeeda is one actress who will surprise you with the simplicity of her beauty and fitness regimes. She does not have any extensive routines, but she still manages to look flawless and remain fit with the simple things that she has adapted in her lifestyle. So, without making you wait any further, let us take you through the pretty lady’s beauty and fitness mantras.

Her beauty secrets

Sanjeeda has a few simple mantras she religiously follows to keep her skin glowing at all times. She was once quoted in an interview, giving away her biggest beauty secrets.

“I make sure I sleep well at night before a red carpet event because puffy eyes screw up the makeup. I avoid sun for a day so that the face doesn’t look tanned in the evening. Before applying makeup, I rub an ice cube on my face so that my skin is fresh and glowing and my makeup stands out.”

Now, this is a very surprising tip, but something which is extremely easy to follow. All of us have seen Sanjeeda, and therefore we can say that the lady knows what suits her skin best, and during what time of the day.

“For the day, I make sure the makeup is very light. Kajal and a very light shade of eye shadow is okay for the day. I am blessed with good skin so I don’t apply foundation, but if I have to, then I go for a waterproof one as sweating makes my face look darker. For the night, I do not mind going for strong lip colours like deep red or peach pink. Again, I don’t apply base, but I love kajal and don’t step out without it.”

So, now we know what the secret of her flawless make-up looks is! The actress swears by kajal (kohl) at all times. She believes that no matter what, kajal is one thing without with your look is always incomplete.

Here is what she said about the importance of kajal in everyday makeup:

“My makeup dada told me that make up is incomplete without kajal. It highlights and defines our eyes and suits every face.”

She further revealed that she always uses waterproof makeup, especially kajal, so that it doesn’t smudge and gives a defined look. She also gave a very useful quick-tip for getting an instant glow.

“For instantly glowing skin, I just splash rose water on my face.”

So, this was all about her beauty secrets. Coming to her gorgeous hair, she shared a few gems as tips too. And trust us, these few pointers will help you immensely in taking care of your locks.

“I love my hair very much, which is why I don’t like to experiment with it. I have a very simple regime. I wash my hair every alternate day and make it a point to oil my hair twice a week.”

This is it! Seriously, no expensive spas or hair packs. Her haircare routine is as simple as washing it thrice a week, and oiling it twice a week. We told you it was a gem! She also revealed her long-term hair-care tips:

“I trim my hair every six months so that I don’t get split ends. I always tie my hair while sleeping to avoid breakage.”

Now that is one thing we should all take care of. When we sleep with our hair open, the friction they cause with our pillows, make them brittle and rough. This in turn causes excessive breakage of hair. So, one should always tie their hair in a loose ponytail or plat before settling in for the night.

The beauty queen revealed the three things without which her makeup and beauty regime is incomplete, and they are:

“My Mac kajal pencil, L’Oreal gloss, a lip balm and wet tissues.”

So, this was it guys! That is how simple her beauty routine is. It is surprising, but it is true. Let us now move on to her even simpler fitness regimen.

All about fitness

The porcelain-like beauty, is not just conscious about her looks, but also being healthy and fit on the inside. She believes that fitness is not only about staying fit physically, but also being healthy mentally. In her own words, fitness is everything to her. But surprisingly, Sanjeeda, unlike almost all other actresses doesn’t go to the gym! Yes, you heard us right. Here is what she says about the same:

“I’m not at all a gym person. And, since I’m usually caught up with my shoot or various events, I don’t really get time to take any extra effort to keep myself in shape. Otherwise also, I’m too lazy to hit the gym.”

So, naturally, it makes one curious to know how she is so fit and healthy without hitting the gym. Is she extremely diet conscious in that case?

“Not really! Actually I wouldn’t say that I’m conscious about my food choices, but I’ve always had a habit of eating healthy and nutrient-rich food. Staying fit, beautiful and smart is a part of the acting profession. Therefore, being an actor, I have to be a little careful about my diet because at the end I have to look fit on-screen.”

True that, Sanjeeda. But even if one is not a part of an industry like the entertainment fraternity, they should make all possible efforts to stay fit and in shape. A healthy mind only resides in a healthy body after all! Next, Sanjeeda had a very on-point thing to say about fitness.

“I’ve come across many people who have said that I have a size zero figure, but I don’t agree to it. According to me, not every girl can carry a zero figure well. It depends on person-to-person and their physical attributes like height, weight, structure, appearance and eating habits. So, I don’t think that having a zero figure defines fitness.”

Very true, Sanjeeda. Starving oneself and doing excessive workouts in the name of fitness is not at all done. In fact, there are a few things which the actress does in order to stay fit, and these three things are just what you need to remember.

#2. Drink lots of water daily.

#3. Think positive, as positive thinking helps to stay fit.”

We couldn’t agree more with these helpful tips, especially the last one. Usually, in our race to live a better life, we forget to live a peaceful, relaxed life. We forget that there is more to life than just work, stress, money and the likes. Staying positive, and eliminating as many negatives as we can is the biggest key to a healthy lifestyle.

Sanjeeda is not a sports person, but if there is one thing she swears by, it is dancing to her heart’s content. Here is what she says about how her passion towards dancing helps her stay in shape:

“I enjoy dancing. It is something I’m very passionate about and it also helps to stay healthy. Dance is a good way to lose weight. It tones the body and keeps me in shape. I dance daily for almost an hour. It is a stress buster for me. I do not like cardio since I get bored but dancing is another form of cardio that works well for me. I disagree with people who say that gymming is the only way to stay fit. There are several other natural forms of exercises to be in shape.”

Sanjeeda has a simple morning routine, which she religiously follows in order to stay fit and healthy throughout her hectic day. She shared it in an interview:

“I’m an early riser. As soon as I wake up, I have coconut water, aloe vera pulp or wheat grass.”

Well, now that is good! Coco water has innumerable benefits, which the damsel is well aware of and thus she has made it a part of her daily morning regime. Now, that we know about her fitness secrets, let us see what this beauty has to say about her diet:

“My breakfast usually comprises cornflakes with milk or an egg white omelette with multigrain bread and a handful of dry fruits, which are soaked overnight. Lunch consists of dal, roti, sabzi and rice. Dinner is usually non-vegetarian. In between if I feel hungry, especially in the evenings, I munch on health bars. I also have at least two cups of green tea.”

If everyone takes inspiration from Sanjeeda and starts following this nutrient-rich diet-plan, they will never need to spend hours at the gym. All it takes, is a little exercise and good food. In the end, the diva has a very strong message to give to everybody.

“I would suggest everyone to eat healthy food and drink lots of water. I believe starving and dieting doesn’t help to stay fit. Instead, I would suggest that everyone should have a healthy appetite followed by some physical activity to maintain equilibrium.”

Now, we know all the secrets behind Sanjeeda Sheikh’s beautiful skin and fit body. The simple routines that she follows are more than enough to stay fit and look beautiful always. You are an inspiration, Sanjeeda- an inspiration for everyone to stay fit in the most natural ways possible.

Images Courtesy: Instagram