Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Potassium (K) is the third most abundant mineral in the human body. Potassium is a health insurer as it keeps the heart beating.

1. Curing Dry Skin:

One of the reasons why many people suffer from dry skin is due to deficiency of potassium. Potassium keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated internally. So, to cure dry skin, start eating potassium rich fruits and vegetables like bananas, potatoes, etc.

2. Low Blood Sugar:

A deficiency in potassium in the body causes Low blood sugar in humans. The effects of low blood sugar are: sweating, headaches, trembling and nervousness. Including potassium rich food in your diet can help overcome this problem.

3. Hair fall:

There are many reasons of hair loss like stress, pollution etc. but one reason that many people aren’t aware of is deficiency of potassium. Bananas and almonds are rich in potassium and if you eat them daily, you will soon notice a reduction in the hair loss. You can also take potassium supplements, but consult a doctor first.

4. Relief from Cramps:

Since potassium is required for functioning of muscle tissues, a deficiency of this mineral in the blood results in muscle cramps. Intake of bananas or other potassium rich foods help in getting relief from such cramps.

5. Brain function:

Potassium helps to carry oxygen to the brain. The important functions of the brain like memorizing and learning is also supported by potassium.

6. New skin cell growth:

Apart from keeping the cells hydrated, potassium also supports the growth of new skin cells. If your skin does not produce enough new cells, it will appear cracked and dull. Also, blemishes and scars fade away after some time if the natural growth of skin cells is balanced.

7. Maintaining pH level:

Potassium hydroxide is used in a lot of cosmetics and skin care products. It acts as a ph level balancer for the skin. It absorbs water molecules from the environment and hydrates the skin. Of course, instead of using this mineral through cosmetics, you can go the natural way and include it in your meals.

8. Hair Growth:

If the hair growth rate is slow and you are looking for natural ways to increase it, potassium will help you achieve that. People who eat salt more are likely to suffer from potassium deficiency, which aids the normal growth of cells. Cutting down on the intake of table salt will have a positive effect on potassium levels and hence hair growth.

9. Kidney Function:

It helps in keeping kidney clean, and supports it’s functioning. Apart from this, this mineral also assists kidneys to remove waste by the process of excretion. Thus, it keeps the body clean.

10. Muscle strength and disorder:

Right quantity of potassium is required for regular contraction and relaxation of the muscles. It ensures proper growth of muscle tissues. A deficiency in potassium in body can cause muscle paralysis.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Only a very small percentage of people that start a diet will actually finish it and get the results they want. You can greatly increase your odds of being one of the successful people by simply understanding why diets fail, and then taking action to work around these problems. The following are my top 10 reasons why diets fail.

1.Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is one of the toughest obstacles when it comes to dieting. When you start a diet program, the people around you will either support you or tear you down. You have to ignore their negativity and focus on your true goal of being healthy. If they have a problem with the way you eat, then that’s their own problem, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You don’t have to explain your personal actions to anybody.

If you want to be fit, you need to surround yourself with fit people. The people that are closest to you are highly influential in the way you conduct your lifestyle. By surrounding yourself with fit people, they can be a source of inspiration and motivation instead of making you feel like the odd ball out. Just hang in there and remember that your decision to get healthy is the right one.

2. Not Eating Enough

I’ve talked about this countless times. When you don’t eat enough calories, it causes all kinds of negative feedback loops in the body. From hormone changes, to mood fluctuations, eating too few calories will only serve to work against you in your fat loss goals. Not eating enough food ranks up there at the very top of reasons for why diets fail.

If you’re not sure how much you should be eating, check out how many calories should I eat? This will help you make sure you are eating as many calories as possible that will still allow you to lose weight. By doing this, you keep your important muscle building and fat loss hormones high. Hormones like testosterone, growth hormone, and thyroid will be optimized, and that will foster an environment that is conducive to not just weight loss, but fat loss.

3. You’re Dieting Instead of Changing Your Lifestyle

The successful people don’t diet, they undergo a lifestyle change. If you are one of those people that has a hard time dieting, what are you going to do when your diet is over? You need to lay out a plan that will forever change your lifestyle. By doing this, you increase your rate of success not just now, but well into the future. After all, what’s the point in losing 10 pounds if you are going to be lost again once you get there? Focus on building a “diet” that is sustainable and will be part of your life forever.

4. Binge Eating

Who here binge eats? I’m guilty of that myself more often than I’d like to admit. It happens because processed food is addicting. Nothing will derail you from your diet faster than a good old binge session. You know what I’m talking about. You turn on a movie, order a pizza, some ice cream, and some snacks, and you just go to town. It tastes oh so great, but you probably just ate close to 3500 calories. That’s the equivalent of one pound. More than likely, that pound is going to be stored as fat. You just undid a great week of healthy eating. The way I see it, you have two options.

You can either:
(A) Binge eat – be happy now that you’re eating delicious food, but feel bad later after the guilt sets in.
(B) Eat a healthy snack instead – be sad now because you feel deprived, but feel happy about your good decision later.

Either way, you are going to be both happy and sad about your decision. But if you choose option (B), you’re going to look better tomorrow. So choose wisely!

5. Lack of Nutrients

Another reason why diets fail is because of a lack of nutrients. Let’s put aside the fact that they are vital for important body functions. Your body is going to get the nutrients it needs even if it has to force you to eat them. The brain sends your body “feed me” signals when it needs calories and nutrients. If you are undernourished, your brain is so powerful that it will keep telling you to eat until you get those vital nutrients. If you aren’t eating a nutrient dense diet, it will be very likely that you go over your necessary weight loss calories in order to get your vitamin quota. Eat foods that are nutrient dense and calorie sparse.

6. Diet Foods Taste Bad

Yuck! I hate dieting because all the food tastes bad. I can understand why people would say that. When you go from eating pizza to eating fish and chicken, the transition for your taste buds can be a difficult one. A little patience can go a long way though. After a transitional period, your taste buds will adapt, and believe it or not, you might just find yourself craving some of the diet foods that you once despised. Regardless, diet foods don’t have to be boring. With a little imagination, any food dish can be made into something great.

7. Slow Weight Loss

Ugh! The scale is moving sooooooo slow. Or hey, maybe it isn’t even moving at all. If you’re working out and eating right, I want you to focus on your body composition. Let’s not forget that the weight you put on was probably added over a lifetime. You can’t expect to just drop it all in a matter of weeks. Losing weight is easy, but losing fat takes some planning and time. Focus on losing .5-1% body fat per week, and you’ll be happier in the long run. Plus, it will be more sustainable over time.

Take this for example:
A 180 pound person at 20% body fat loses .5% of body fat per week for 12 weeks. He just went from 20% body fat to 14%. How can you complain about that! And that’s based on the assumption that he didn’t put on any muscle. If he did, his body would have made an even more dramatic transformation.

8. Can’t Control Cravings

Controlling cravings is one of the hardest parts of dieting, and one of the top reasons why diets fail. Once you feel deprived, it just makes you want something that much more. If you can distinguish between the psychological cravings and the physical ones, you’ll be better armed to make a good decision. Once you start understanding your own body’s behavior, you can start to better control it.

9. Lack of Exercise

Are you trying to diet without exercising? If you are, you might want to reconsider. While your diet plays one of the largest roles in weight loss, the synergy that is created when you combine diet, exercise, and recovery will help keep your fat loss moving forward.

Exercise plays a vital role in creating an optimal hormonal environment for weight loss. Exercise helps you build muscles, and optimizes important fat loss hormones. Testosterone, growth hormone, and thyroid, are all increased under the stimulation of exercise. Make sure you are incorporating exercise into your fitness program. It’s incomplete without it, and will just make it that much harder to diet.

10. You Don’t Track Progress

Not tracking your progress –probably the number one cause of discouragement. How can you tell if you’re progressing if you aren’t measuring your progress? I’m not talking about using a scale either. The scale is worthless. You need to be measuring your body fat. Make sure you are keeping a journal. Write down all the food you eat. Take pictures of yourself every once in a while, and buy yourself a set of body fat calipers. Your mind can play big tricks on you, and you can get discouraged from continuing your diet just as you are starting to make progress. Don’t be a victim of scale mentality. Be sure you are tracking your progress.

So there you have it – my top 10 reasons why diets fail. I have personally experienced every single one of these, and I’m sharing my thoughts with you so you can learn from my mistakes. What about you? Do you have a tip that has helped you stay on the healthy lifestyle track? We would love to hear it.


Saturday, 18 April 2015

Coughing can be disruptive, painful and tiring. It can keep you up at night and limit your productivity at work. Cough medicines can leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and you may want to learn how to prevent future symptoms. Fortunately, there are vitamins and minerals you can take to speed up your recovery as well as help prevent you from getting sick again. Talk to your doctor about your vitamin intake, and find out what you may be missing.

Causes of Cough

The University of Maryland Medical Center website, UMM.edu, lists two types of coughs: productive and dry. A productive cough means you are bringing up sputum or phlegm when you cough. Most coughs manifest with a cold or the flu, and are considered acute; they only last a week or two. Chronic coughs typically last longer than four weeks. This type is associated with a more serious disorder, like bronchitis, asthma, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or sinusitis with drainage into the throat. If you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke frequently, you can also develop a chronic cough.

Vitamin C

Perhaps the most well-known antioxidant today, vitamin C has been shown to help prevent coughs, colds and even more serious disorders. According to a study in "Urologic Nursing" in November 2009, vitamins C has one of the largest benefit-to-risk ratio when it comes to preventing colds and may actually reduce the risk of pneumonia. As long ago as 1951 doctors began to look into the beneficial effects of vitamin C. In his article entitled "Vitamin C in the Prophylaxis and Therapy of Infectious Diseases," and published in the "Archives of Pediatrics" January 1951, W.J. McCormick, M.D. states that he believes whooping cough, dyptheria and other diseases like tuberculosis have decreased in the past century because of the availability vitamin C-rich foods. Citrus fruits, blueberries and tropical fruits are easy to buy at the local supermarket and are loaded with vitamin C.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, states UMM.edu, that helps to regulate the immune system and cells. Vitamin D can actually be stored in the body, and is released when the skin is exposed to sunlight. While having low levels does not necessarily cause disease, studies have shown that having adequate levels can prevent certain diseases. In a July 2010 article in the journal "Current Opinion in Gastroenterology," Dr. J. Sun states that vitamin D contributes to mucosal immune function, or the immunity of the mucosal linings, like in the lungs, of the body. The article also says that vitamin D and its receptor sites are involved in anti-infection and anti-inflammation activities. Talk to your doctor about vitamin D, and ask if it should be added to your vitamin regimen.

Vitamin A and Iron

The combination of iron and vitamin A might also be beneficial in preventing infections. A study published in "Nutrition" in May 2010 investigated the results of giving vitamin A and iron to school children ages two to six. Dr. K. Chen and colleagues discovered that children fed a diet fortified with both iron and vitamin A experienced fewer respiratory infections and coughs than did the groups given no vitamins or just vitamin A. Because too much iron can be toxic, talk to your doctor about how much iron would be good for you or your children.


The mineral zinc has recently been added to conventional cough and throat lozenges. According to UMM.edu, zinc has been used for thousands of years to help heal wounds and boost the immune system. The July 1996 issue of the "Annals of Internal Medicine" featured a study that tested zinc's effectiveness on the common cold. The group given zinc lozenges saw a significant decrease in cough, nasal drainage, and nasal congestion than the control group. You should not ingest too much zinc, however; UMM.edu states that you only need eight to 11 mg per day. Ask your doctor if you are getting enough zinc.


Friday, 17 April 2015

Dyspnea is a short breath which is a very common condition, which is found especially in the patients who suffer from heart-attack, asthma, pneumonia, lung diseases, etc. Dyspnea or short breath becomes too risky when you breathe polluted air—while, you move in heavy traffic; that lets you to breathe the smoke left by the vehicles; or due to breathing polluted air, spoilt by many manufacturing industries. Thus, if you feel that you are suffering from Dyspnea, it is very important to intake fresh air.

In case you are suffering from Dyspnea for long period, you have to consult doctors to get relief from Dyspnea or short breath. Also, you can follow below mentioned important natural cures for the treatment of Dyspnea.


Garlic improves immune system and has an antioxidant property by maintaining healthy blood circulation. The active compound in garlic is the sulfur component called allicin.

This allicin is a very strong antibiotic and a potent agent that assists the body to inhibit the ability of germs to grow and reproduce. This chemical substance helps in relieving the constriction caused to the airways. Thus, crush few garlic pieces, take out the juice, and add 10-12 drops of garlic juice in warm water, drink once a day to get away from dyspnea.

Chilli Pepper

Chilli pepper is a vegetable often known as capsicum acts as anti-inflammatory. Chilli pepper contains substance called Capsaicin, which acts as a bronchodilator that stimulates the saliva and other fluids present in the mouth, nose, throat and lungs; thus, decreasing the secretion of mucus and breaking down its formation as well. Hence, use chilli pepper alternatively in the diet and in the form of salads, curries etc. to get rid of dyspnea.


Gooseberries called as amla are rich in vitamin C; also, they are in natural form and have astringent, cooling and anti-oxidant effect. Vitamin C boosts up the immune system and reduces the severity of short breath.

By its anti-inflammatory property, gooseberries help in reducing the inflammation caused to the lungs. and free the airway obstruction. Hence, eat gooseberries every day directly, or dry and powder it to store for long period and consume by mixing with honey to cure dyspnea.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranates are rich source of ascorbic acid content and flavonoides, which works as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This will help to reduce short breath, which occurs due to the inflammation and blockage caused to the respiratory system. Also, dyspnea inhibits the release from mast cells, which is also very helpful for common cold and drinking pomegranate juice every alternative day, can help to reduce and prevent short breath or dyspnea.

Coffee Essential

Coffee contains caffeine which is a known bronchodilator similar to theophylline and was used as a medicine in the treatment of asthma.

Caffeine inhibits the release of monocytes, eosinophills and basophills from the mast cells, which act as irritant and thereby helps in proper breathing. Drink 2- 3 cups of coffee regularly which can help in preventing asthma attack and dyspnea as well. Also, it is recommended not to give coffee to the children.

sourece: findhomeremedy

Colon cancer doesn’t get the same attention as some higher-profile cancers, but it should. It’s the third most common cancer in the United States, with 140,000 people diagnosed each year. And over a million men and women live with a history of the disease. 

Then there’s the good news about colon cancer: It can be prevented. Seventy-five percent of all cases could be avoided by things you can do. 

Use these eight tips as a guide to lowering your risk. Start with one or two and build from there. It’s your health. Take control.

1. Get Screened

Getting regular screening tests for colon cancer is the single best way to protect yourself from the disease. It can catch cancer early, when it’s most treatable, and help prevent the disease by finding abnormal growths called polyps that can turn into cancer.

There are a number of effective screening tests for colon cancer. Some are easy to do but need to be done more often. Others are
more involved but need to be done less often. Which test you have depends on your personal preferences and medical history. A doctor can help you decide.

Most people begin getting tested at age 50. People with a family history of colon cancer or other important risk factors may begin testing at younger ages and get tested more often. 

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Except for smoking, nothing else raises the overall risk of cancer more than being overweight. At least 11 different cancers have been linked to weight gain and obesity, including colon cancer. An ideal goal is to weigh around what you did when you were 18 years old. Realistically, if you’ve put on weight, the first goal is to stop gaining weight, which has health benefits by itself. Then, for a bigger health boost, slowly work to lose some pounds. 

3. Don’t Smoke

It hardly needs saying anymore, but not smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health. On top of raising the risk of serious diseases like heart disease, stroke and emphysema, smoking is a major cause of at least 14 different cancers, including colon cancer. If you do smoke, quitting has real benefits, which start shortly after your last cigarette. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit smokefree.gov for help. Talking to a doctor can double your chance of success.

4. Be Physically Active

It’s hard to beat regular activity. It lowers the risk of many serious diseases, including colon cancer, and provides a good mental boost. Any amount of physical activity is better than none, but it’s good to aim for around 30 minutes or more of moderate activity each day. Choose things you enjoy, like brisk walking, cycling, dancing or gardening. 

5. Drink Only Moderately, if at All

Alcohol is a strange thing when it comes to health. It’s heart-healthy in moderation but can increase the risk of colon and other cancers at even low levels. So what does this mean? If you drink moderately (up to one drink per day for women, two per day for men), there’s likely no reason for you to stop. If you don’t drink, though, there’s no reason for you to start. Heavy drinkers should try to cut down or quit. 

6. Limit Red Meat, Especially Processed Meat

Eating too much red meat – like steak, hamburger and pork – increases the risk of colon cancer. And processed meats – like bacon, sausage and bologna – raise risk even more. Try to eat no more than three servings each week. Less is even better. 

7. Get Enough Calcium and Vitamin D

There is good evidence that getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help protect against colon cancer. Shoot for 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day of calcium and about 1,000 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D. Some groups recommend testing for vitamin D deficiency, especially in those with increased risk of low levels, such as those living in northern parts of the country as well as elderly people, very overweight people and people with darker skin. 

8. Consider a Multivitamin With Folate

A daily multivitamin is a good nutrition insurance policy that can also help protect against colon cancer. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, multivitamins contain folate, which has been shown
in numerous studies to lower the risk of colon cancer. Avoid mega-dose vitamins. A standard multivitamin is all you need. 

Other Important Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

Though colon cancer is very preventable, there are still a number of important risk factors that people can’t control. Knowing which ones apply to you can help you understand your risk and take steps to lower it. If you feel you’re at high risk, talk to a doctor or health professional. 

source: siteman

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Could supplements really boost your heart health? They might. Research shows that some supplements -- in addition to lifestyle changes and medical treatment if you need it -- may help lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and reduce other risk factors for heart disease. It's unclear if supplements actually helpprevent heart disease.

Fiber and Sterols for Your Heart

Fiber. Found naturally in fruits, grains, vegetables, and legumes, fiber cuts down the amount of cholesterol your body soaks up from food. It’s best to get your fiber from foods, but fiber supplements are another option. Strive to get at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily. There's good evidence that blond psyllium husk -- common in fiber supplements -- can lower “bad”LDL cholesterol. It can also raise “good” HDL cholesterol.

Sterols and Stanols. These natural compounds are in foods like nuts and grains. They reduce the amount of cholesterol that your body absorbs from food. Sterols and stanols are sold as supplements. They're also added to many foods, such as some margarines, orange juice, and yogurts. Experts recommend 2 grams a day to help lower LDL cholesterol.

Other Supplements That May Offer Benefits

CoQ10. Your body naturally makes small amounts of CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone and ubiquinol. It's key for normal cell function. As a supplement, CoQ10 may help lower blood pressure, either on its own or along with drugs. Other studies have found that adding CoQ10 to heart failure drugs may improve symptoms and quality of life.

CoQ10 supplements are also popular as a treatment for statin side effects. Why? Statinscan sometimes lower natural CoQ10 levels. Some doctors suggest adding a CoQ10 supplement to counteract the effect, hoping it will relieve statin side effects like muscle pain and weakness. However, study results have been mixed.

Fish Oil. Fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids can slash levels of triglycerides -- an unhealthy fat that can cause clots in the arteries -- by up to 50%. Fish oil may also improve blood pressure. But it’s not clear if non-prescription fish oil supplements lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Some research suggests they may. However, a 2012 study found that fish oil supplements didn't seem to help prevent heart-related deaths. Eating fish with omega-3 fatty acids is a better bet. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults eat at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fish a week.

Garlic. Not only does garlic make just about anything taste delicious, it could also lower blood pressure. It may slow the build-up of plaque in the arteries, lowering your risk of clots. Research shows that both whole garlic and supplements may help.

Green Tea. Research shows that green tea -- either as an extract or as a drink -- may lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Green tea may also lower your risk of developing high blood pressure, although not all studies show this benefit.

Safe Supplement Use

Don't blindly take every supplement that's labeled "heart healthy." Swallowing handfuls of supplements a day could be useless -- and dangerous.

Pay attention to what the supplement does, and make sure you really need it. Do you need to raise your good cholesterol or lower your bad cholesterol?

Ask your doctor which supplement is most likely to help. If you have a heart condition or other risk factors for heart attack, for your safety, you must follow your doctor's advice. Trying to treat a serious health condition on your own with over-the-counter supplements is way too risky.


If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure (a systolic pressure — the top number — of 140 or above or a diastolic pressure — the bottom number — of 90 or above), you might be worried about taking medication to bring your numbers down.

Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.

Here are 10 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.

1. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline

Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Losing weight also makes any blood pressure medications you're taking more effective. You and your doctor can determine your target weight and the best way to achieve it.

Besides shedding pounds, you should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure. In general:
Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters, or cm).
Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 cm).
Asian men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 36 inches (91 cm).
Asian women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 32 inches (81 cm).

2. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity — at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). And it doesn't take long to see a difference. If you haven't been active, increasing your exercise level can lower your blood pressure within just a few weeks.

If you have prehypertension — systolic pressure between 120 and 139 or diastolic pressure between 80 and 89 — exercise can help you avoid developing full-blown hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.

Talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program. Your doctor can help determine whether you need any exercise restrictions. Even moderate activity for 10 minutes at a time, such as walking and light strength training, can help.

But avoid being a "weekend warrior." Trying to squeeze all your exercise in on the weekends to make up for weekday inactivity isn't a good strategy. Those sudden bursts of activity could actually be risky.

3. Eat a healthy diet

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

It isn't easy to change your eating habits, but with these tips, you can adopt a healthy diet:
Keep a food diary. Writing down what you eat, even for just a week, can shed surprising light on your true eating habits. Monitor what you eat, how much, when and why.

Consider boosting potassium. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Talk to your doctor about the potassium level that's best for you.

Be a smart shopper. Make a shopping list before heading to the supermarket to avoid picking up junk food. Read food labels when you shop and stick to your healthy-eating plan when you're dining out, too.

Cut yourself some slack. Although the DASH diet is a lifelong eating guide, it doesn't mean you have to cut out all of the foods you love. It's OK to treat yourself occasionally to foods you wouldn't find on a DASH diet menu, such as a candy bar or mashed potatoes with gravy.

4. Reduce sodium in your diet

Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. The recommendations for reducing sodium are:
Limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less.
A lower sodium level — 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people 51 years of age or older, and individuals of any age who are African-American or who have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:
Track how much salt is in your diet. Keep a food diary to estimate how much sodium is in what you eat and drink each day.
Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.
Eat fewer processed foods. Potato chips, frozen dinners, bacon and processed lunch meats are high in sodium.
Don't add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices, rather than salt, to add more flavor to your foods.
Ease into it. If you don't feel like you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.

5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol — generally more than one drink a day for women and men older than age 65, or more than two a day for men age 65 and younger. Also, if you don't normally drink alcohol, you shouldn't start drinking as a way to lower your blood pressure. There's more potential harm than benefit to drinking alcohol.

If you drink more than moderate amounts of it, alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of high blood pressure medications.
Track your drinking patterns. Along with your food diary, keep an alcohol diary to track your true drinking patterns. One drink equals 12 ounces (355 milliliters, or mL) of beer, 5 ounces of wine (148 mL) or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor (45 mL). If you're drinking more than the suggested amounts, cut back.
Consider tapering off. If you're a heavy drinker, suddenly eliminating all alcohol can actually trigger severe high blood pressure for several days. So when you stop drinking, do it with the supervision of your doctor or taper off slowly, over one to two weeks.
Don't binge. Binge drinking — having four or more drinks in a row — can cause large and sudden increases in blood pressure, in addition to other health problems.

6. Avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke

On top of all the other dangers of smoking, the nicotine in tobacco products can raise your blood pressure by 10 mm Hg or more for up to an hour after you smoke. Smoking throughout the day means your blood pressure may remain constantly high.

You should also avoid secondhand smoke. Inhaling smoke from others also puts you at risk of health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease.

7. Cut back on caffeine

The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debatable. Drinking caffeinated beverages can temporarily cause a spike in your blood pressure, but it's unclear whether the effect is temporary or long lasting.

To see if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage you regularly drink. If your blood pressure increases by five to 10 points, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine.

8. Reduce your stress

Stress or anxiety can temporarily increase blood pressure. Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what's causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.

If you can't eliminate all of your stressors, you can at least cope with them in a healthier way. Take breaks for deep-breathing exercises. Get a massage or take up yoga or meditation. If self-help doesn't work, seek out a professional for counseling.

9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and make regular doctor's appointments

If you have high blood pressure, you may need to monitor your blood pressure at home. Learning to self-monitor your blood pressure with an upper arm monitor can help motivate you. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before getting started.

Regular visits to your doctor are also likely to become a part of your normal routine. These visits will help keep tabs on your blood pressure.

Have a primary care doctor. People who don't have a primary care doctor find it harder to control their blood pressure. If you can, visit the same health care facility or professional for all of your health care needs.

Visit your doctor regularly. If your blood pressure isn't well controlled, or if you have other medical problems, you might need to visit your doctor every month to review your treatment and make adjustments. If your blood pressure is under control, you might need to visit your doctor only every six to 12 months, depending on other conditions you might have.

10. Get support from family and friends

Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor's office or embark on an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low. Talk to your family and friends about the dangers of high blood pressure.

If you find you need support beyond your family and friends, consider joining a support group. This may put you in touch with people who can give you an emotional or morale boost and who can offer practical tips to cope with your condition.

Fruits and veggies are full of cholesterol-lowering antioxidants that will help keep you healthy. Check out these fruits and veggies that are most likely to keep your cholesterol in check


Cabbage is rich in powerful antioxidants. Try a red cabbage and kale salad, with garlic, a pinch of brown sugar and a dash of orange juice.


Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other food. Cranberries, raspberries and strawberries are a close second. These antioxidants help fight cellular aging.

Avocado and Grapefruit

Avocado and grapefruit are rich in glutathione, an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals.


Beta-carotene not only makes carrots colourful, it's also a powerful antioxidant.


Quercetin, present in black grapes (and onions) prevents "bad" cholesterol (LDL) from clogging your arteries.


Not only do onions help lower blood pressure, they also contain sulphides that reduce the risk of colon and stomach cancer. Eat them both cooked and raw to reap the most benefits.

Soy beans

Rich in B vitamins, iron and calcium, soy contains antioxidants that reduce "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and increase good (HDL).


The tomato is the best source of lycopene, which fights against the accumulation of cholesterol on the artery walls. It's levels are highest in cooked tomatoes.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Diet can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. Here are five foods that can lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.

Can a bowl of oatmeal help lower your cholesterol? How about a handful of walnuts or even a baked potato topped with some heart-healthy margarine? A few simple tweaks to your diet — like these, along with exercise and other heart-healthy habits — may be helpful in lowering your cholesterol.

1. Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods

Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad," cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes.

Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Five to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber. If you add fruit, such as bananas, you'll add about 4 more grams of fiber. To mix it up a little, try steel-cut oatmeal or cold cereal made with oatmeal or oat bran.

2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids

Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — reduces the risk of sudden death.

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in:
Lake trout
Albacore tuna

You should bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats. If you don't like fish, you can also get small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from foods like ground flaxseed or canola oil.

You can take an omega-3 or fish oil supplement to get some of the benefits, but you won't get other nutrients in fish, such as selenium. If you decide to take a supplement, just remember to watch your diet and eat lean meat or vegetables in place of fish.

3. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts

Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.

Eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease. Just make sure the nuts you eat aren't salted or coated with sugar.

All nuts are high in calories, so a handful will do. To avoid eating too many nuts and gaining weight, replace foods high in saturated fat with nuts. For example, instead of using cheese, meat or croutons in your salad, add a handful of walnuts or almonds.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol but leave your "good" (HDL) cholesterol untouched.

Try using about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet to get its heart-healthy benefits. To add olive oil to your diet, you can saute vegetables in it, add it to a marinade or mix it with vinegar as a salad dressing. You can also use olive oil as a substitute for butter when basting meat or as a dip for bread. Olive oil is high in calories, so don't eat more than the recommended amount.

The cholesterol-lowering effects of olive oil are even greater if you choose extra-virgin olive oil, meaning the oil is less processed and contains more heart-healthy antioxidants. But keep in mind that "light" olive oils are usually more processed than extra-virgin or virgin olive oils and are lighter in color, not fat or calories.

5. Foods with added plant sterols or stanols

Foods are now available that have been fortified with sterols or stanols — substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.

Margarines, orange juice and yogurt drinks with added plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10 percent. The amount of daily plant sterols needed for results is at least 2 grams — which equals about two 8-ounce (237-milliliter) servings of plant sterol-fortified orange juice a day.

Plant sterols or stanols in fortified foods don't appear to affect levels of triglycerides or of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol.

Other changes to your diet

For any of these foods to provide their benefit, you need to make other changes to your diet and lifestyle.

Cut back on the cholesterol and total fat — especially saturated and trans fats — that you eat. Saturated fats, like those in meat, full-fat dairy products and some oils, raise your total cholesterol. Trans fats, which are sometimes found in margarines and store-bought cookies, crackers and cakes, are particularly bad for your cholesterol levels. Trans fats raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad," cholesterol, and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good," cholesterol.

In addition to changing your diet, keep in mind that making additional heart-healthy lifestyle changes are key to lowering your cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about exercising, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight to help keep your cholesterol level low.

Friday, 10 April 2015

What is it?

Alfalfa is an herb. People use the leaves, sprouts, and seeds to make medicine.

Alfalfa is used for kidney conditions, bladder and prostate conditions, and to increase urine flow. It is also used for high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, upset stomach, and a bleeding disorder called thrombocytopenic purpura. People also take alfalfa as a source of vitamins A, C, E, and K4; and minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for ALFALFA are as follows:

Possibly effective for...

Lowering cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. Taking alfalfa seeds seems to lower total cholesterol and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels.

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...

Kidney problems.
Bladder problems.
Prostate problems.
Upset stomach.
Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate alfalfa for these uses.

How does it work?

Return to top

Alfalfa seems to prevent cholesterol absorption in the gut.

Are there safety concerns?

Alfalfa leaves are POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults. But taking alfalfa seeds long-term is LIKELY UNSAFE. Alfalfa seed products may cause reactions that are similar to the autoimmune disease called lupus erythematosus.

Alfalfa might also cause some people's skin to become extra sensitive to the sun. Wear sunblock outside, especially if you are light-skinned.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy or breast-feeding: Using alfalfa in larger than food amounts is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. There is some evidence that alfalfa may act like estrogen, and this might affect the pregnancy.

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Alfalfa might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. There are two case reports of SLE patients experiencing disease flare after taking alfalfa seed products long-term. If you have an auto-immune condition, it’s best to avoid using alfalfa until more is known.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Alfalfa might have the same effects as the female hormone estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use alfalfa.

Diabetes: Alfalfa might lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and take alfalfa, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Kidney transplant: There is one report of a kidney transplant rejection following the three-month use of a supplement that contained alfalfa and black cohosh. This outcome is more likely due to alfalfa than black cohosh. There is some evidence that alfalfa can boost the immune system and this might make the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine less effective.

Are there interactions with medications?


Do not take this combination.

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Alfalfa contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, alfalfa might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.


Be cautious with this combination.

Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs)

Some birth control pills contain estrogen. Alfalfa might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But alfalfa isn't as strong as the estrogen in birth control pills. Taking alfalfa along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with alfalfa, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.

Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.


Large amounts of alfalfa might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But even large amount of alfalfa aren't as strong as estrogen pills. Taking alfalfa along with estrogen pills might decrease the effects of estrogen pills.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)

Alfalfa might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, alfalfa might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs)

Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Large doses of alfalfa might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking alfalfa along with medication that increase sensitivity to sunlight could make you even more sensitive to sunlight, increasing the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.

Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Vitamin E

Alfalfa might interfere with the way the body takes in and uses vitamin E.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

For high cholesterol: a typical dose is 5-10 grams of the herb, or as a steeped strained tea, three times a day. 5-10 mL of a liquid extract (1:1 in 25% alcohol) three times a day has also been used.

Other names

Feuille De Luzerne, Lucerne, Luzerne, Medicago, Phyoestrogen, Purple Medick, Medicago Sativa.


To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Databasemethodology.methodology (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/methodology.html).


To see all references for the Alfalfa page, please go to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/19.html.

What is Heart Attack?

Heart attack results from blood vessel disease in the heart. Coronary heart disease (CHD), sometimes referred to as coronary after disease (CAD), are general names for heart attack (and angina). 

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle itself (the myocardium) is severely reduced or stopped. This occurs when one of the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle) is blocked by an obstruction, such as a blood clot that has formed on plaque due to atherosclerosis. Such an event is sometimes called a coronary thrombosis or coronary occlusion. 

If the blood supply is cut off drastically or for a long time, muscle cells suffer irreversible injury and die. Disability or death can result, depending on how much heart muscle is damaged. Sometimes a coronary artery temporarily contracts or goes into spasm. When this happens the artery narrows and blood flow to part of the heart muscle decreases or even stops. What causes a spasm is unclear, but it can occur in normal blood vessels as well as vessels partially blocked by atheroscleorosis. If a spasm is severe, a heart attach may result. 

What are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?

Sometimes the first indications of a heart attack come as warning signals. The actual diagnosis of a heart attack must be made by a physician who has studied the results of several tests. Besides reviewing a patient's complete medical history and giving a physical examination, a doctor will use an electrocardiogram (ECG) to discover any abnormalities caused by damage to the heart. Sometimes a blood test is used to detect abnormal levels of certain enzymes in the bloodstream. 

How is a Heart Attack Treated?

When a heart attack occurs, it's critical to recognize the signals and respond immediately. Delaying may increase the damage to the heart and reduce the chance of survival. Anyone experiencing the warning signals of a heart attack should be taken immediately to the nearest hospital with 24-hour emergency cardiac care. People who become unconscious before reaching the emergency room may receive emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

Most communities have an emergency cardiac care system that can quickly respond. This prompt care for heart attack victims dramatically reduces damage to the heart. In fact, 80 percent of heart attack survivors can return to work within three months. Prompt care for heart attack victims isn't the only reason so many people recover so quickly, but it's an important one. 

The importance of time cannot be overemphasized. When a coronary artery gets blocked, the heart muscle doesn't die instantaneously - damage increases the longer an artery remains blocked. If a victim gets to an emergency room fast enough a form of reperfusion therapy (called thrombolysis) sometimes can be performed. It involves injecting injecting a thrombolytic (clot-dissolving) agent, such as streptokinase, urokinase or TPA (tissue plasminogen activator), to dissolve a clot in a coronary artery and restore some blood flow. There drugs must be used within a few (usually 1 -3) hours of a heart attack for best effect. The sooner a drug is used, the more effective it's likely to be. 

In the weeks following a heart attack, either PTCA (balloon angioplasty) or coronary artery bypass surgery may be performed to improve the blood supply to the heart muscle. Once part of the heart muscle dies, its function can't be restored. Function may be restored to areas with decreased blood flow, however. 

Is There Any Way to Reduce the Chance of a Heart Attack?

Many scientific studies show that certain characteristics increase the risk of coronary heart disease. The four major modifiable risk factors are cigarette / tobacco smoke, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and physical inactivity. Other contributing risk factors are diabetes mellitus and obesity.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

teeth health

Vitamin A

Though it’s often associated with good eyesight, clear skin and a strong immune system, vitamin A helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and salivary flow in the mouth. It also helps keep your gums healthy and ensures proper healing. Find it in fish, egg yolks and organ meats, like liver. Orange and yellow foods like carrots, mangoes and sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens contain large amounts of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A for use.

B vitamins

As well as helping to keep stress under control, the B vitamins can improve oral health by helping to reduce tongue inflammation and keep canker sores from making a painful appearance. Ottawa-based dietitian Hélène Charlebois says B vitamins are found in poultry and meat, as well as in beans, legumes and green vegetables. “Vegetarians may find it difficult to get enough vitamin B12,” she says, “so they may need a supplement.”

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for good periodontal health. It helps build and repair connective tissue, which aids in preventing gum inflammation. For people who are deficient in vitamin C, the body is more likely to have trouble maintaining healthy connective tissue in the gums. This could lead to a serious gum disease called scurvy, explains Dr. Christine Botchway of Edmonton, Alta. Since it is a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps boost the immune system and speed healing. Find it in citrus fruit, broccoli, kale and berries, among many other fruit and vegetable sources.

Vitamin D

Sometimes called the sunshine vitamin because it is synthesized in the skin when we’re outside,vitamin D helps regulate blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. In fact, without adequate vitamin D, your body can’t absorb the calcium it needs to keep your bones and developing teeth strong. While 15 minutes of bright sunshine three times a week should give you enough, many people choose supplements to help ensure they’re getting enough. Milk and some breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D. Cod liver oil capsules are also an excellent source.


Most of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones, where it helps provide strength and structure. “We don’t want our teeth to get wobbly,” says Dr. Botchway. Calcium is constantly circulating in small amounts through the bloodstream and carefully regulated by your body, so it’s important to ensure that you get enough through your diet – otherwise it is leeched from your bones. Calcium also helps prevent osteoporosis, which can lead to bone fractures and weak bone tissue around the teeth. While dairy products are often cited as the best source of calcium, other good sources include sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage, almonds, and fortified orange juice and soy milk.

Coenzyme Q10

Naturally produced by the body, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) works as a catalyst for metabolism, providing cells with the energy they need to heal wounds, digest food and maintain healthy muscles. “It’s basically like a spark plug that brings things around in the body,” says Charlebois. When it comes to good oral health, coenzyme Q10 appears to help heal, reduce pain and decrease the bleeding associated with gum disease. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the gums. Find it in pork, beef, chicken liver, some vegetable oils (including canola and soybean) and parsley (which is also good for beating bad breath!).

teeth health

What you eat matters

While these hard candies seem harmless, eat too many and the constant exposure to sugar can be harmful to your teeth. Hard candies also put your teeth at risk because in addition to being full of sugar, they can also trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth. Better alternative? Chew sugarless gum that carries the ADA Seal.

Ice is for chilling, not chewing

You’d be surprised at how many people think ice is good for their teeth. It’s made of water, after all, and doesn’t contain any sugar or other additives. But chewing on hard substances can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel. Advice: Break the habit and enjoy water in its liquid form.

Watch your citrus intake

The truth is that frequent exposures to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time. So even though a a squeeze of lemon or lime can turn a simple glass of water into a fun beverage, it's not always the best choice for your mouth. Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores. Make sure to drink plenty of plain water.

Not all coffee is good for you

In their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy beverage choices. Unfortunately too many people can’t resist adding sugar. Caffeinated coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth. Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may also stain your teeth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.

Sticky foods are your mouth's worst nightmare

When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky. Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating dried fruits or trail mix often, make sure to rinse with water after and to brush and floss carefully.

Beware of things that go "crunch"

Who doesn’t love the nice, satisfying crunch of a potato chip? Unfortunately potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth. If you choose to indulge in snacks like these, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.

Swap out soda with water

When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and therefore, bad for your teeth. Caffeinated beverages, such as colas can also dry out your mouth. If you do consume soft drinks, try to drink alongside a cup of water.

Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. People who drink excessively may find their saliva flow is reduced over time, which can lead to tooth decay and other oral infections such as gum disease. Heavy alcohol use also increases your risk for mouth cancer.

Watch out for sports drinks

They sound healthy, don’t they? But for many sports and energy drinks, sugar is a top ingredient. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while sports drinks can be helpful for young athletes engaged in prolonged, vigorous physical activities, in most cases they are unnecessary. Before your next sip, check the label to make sure your drink of choice is low in sugar. Not sure? Drink water instead!