A holistic approach to pediatric care in Frisco and Plano, Texas

Award winning, top rated Pediatrician serving Frisco, Plano, Allen and North Dallas

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Self-Maintenance Check-up

Following these easy self-checks below that can indicate if something is serious.

  1. Eye Check: A lack of white in your eyes normally indicates that you’re tired or hung-over, but surprisingly enough, excess white in your eyes, such as a white line circling your iris, might be indicative of high cholesterol levels. Finding that your eyelids have a flat, yellowish color with velvety patches is also a serious sign. Do not let this symptom go unnoticed and risk getting further complications, such as coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks in the future. Get your cholesterol checked and treated!
  1. Mole Check: Moles are generally harmless, but if you find that you have more than 50 moles on your body, take this as a big warning sign, especially if they are multi-colored, growing in size, seem inflamed, or have a ragged edge. If you notice any of these signs in your moles, a good idea would be to regularly keep a record of their development by taking photos so it would be easier for your doctor to inspect them. If your moles also start to redden, become itchy or even bleed, seek medical advice as soon as possible. Such unusual-looking moles may be the cause of a type of skin cancer called malignant melanoma.
  1. Check you pee and poop: Our excretions can also tell us about the health of our intestines, our digestion and our level of hydration. Every stool color, for instance, indicates different dietary causes or even problems. For example, a yellow color indicates excess fats, due to a malabsorption disorder such as celiac disease. What is most worrying is finding black or red stools, which may signify stomach or intestinal bleeding. These call for prompt medical attention. Urine can also be checked for its color: A pale color signifies good health, whereas a dark yellow color might mean you’re dehydrated and need to increase your intake of water.
  1. Check your eyebrows: If you notice an unusual lack of thickness in your eyebrows, it could be that you are suffering from an underactive thyroid, which means that your thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. You may need to speak to a doctor, especially if you are also gaining weight and feeling tired and/or depressed. A blood test should easily confirm this problem. If left untreated, it might lead to heart disease, the appearance of goiters, pregnancy complications and other health issues.
  1. Feel your stomach: Bloating in your stomach area can have a range of different causes, including menstruation, intolerance to dairy products, eating too fast, constipation, medical side-effects, and a typically common assumption – weight gain. However, did you know this could also be the cause of very serious health conditions? Ovarian cancer is one of them, and its symptoms also include nausea and persistent pain or cramps in the stomach or back. Speak to a doctor if you experience these in a severe way so you can treat it in its early stages. Reduce general stomach bloating by eating more slowly, consuming less carbonated drinks, and avoiding chewing gum and drinking through straws.
  1. Check your breathing: Have you been feeling more tired than usual after climbing up a flight of stairs? This can also be directly connected to your health. Doing some exercise can both act as a test for yourself and also as practice. Step-ups are mostly recommended because they elevate the heart rate and hence our breathing. For this exercise, you must find a relatively high step (not higher than your hips) and step up and down. Try doing 70 of these in three minutes and then put your fingers on your pulse to check it. If it’s over 100 and you’re still out of breath 10 minutes after the exercise, then you need to consider exercising more frequently. Lack of exercise can lead to serious diseases such as obesity, breast cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even early death.
  1. Check your activity level: The consequences for a sedentary lifestyle can be very serious, including deep vein thrombosis, colon cancer, osteoporosis, kidney stones and a Spinal disc herniation (slipped disc). Improve your lifestyle by adding regular physical activity to your routine, at least 2.5 hours a week.
  1. Look out for temperature changes in your body: Excess heat from the sun, stress, and eating very spicy food may cause flushing in the face – particularly redness in the cheeks and nose. This means that the blood vessels are dilating and this may not be a healthy sign, especially if you are a woman between 30 and 55. Cold conditions can be just as dangerous to our body if we aren’t prepared for them – frequently experiencing cold feet or hands indicates lack of circulation, which could lead to Raynaud’s disease (suffering from excessively reduced blood flow). So, make sure to take the necessary precautions before this becomes a risk!
  1. Girls – Inspect your nipples for signs of breast cancer: A well-known pointer that calls for a professional body check-up is having abnormalities in your nipples. Be on the look-out for inward-facing nipples as this could be a typical sign of breast cancer. If your nipples show any eczema, discharge or bloodstains, take action. Make sure to look out for these signs regularly when showering and find time to do regular exercise, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and drink less alcohol to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer.
  1. Examine your nails to look out for fungal infections: It is rather easy for toenails to get an infection and one of the obvious symptoms of this event is when the nail becomes discolored, thickens, or becomes brittle, causing discomfort in your feet. Keep your feet safe from this by checking them regularly, keeping them clean and dry from excess sweat due to the heat, using shoes that are just right for your feet and not too old, not trimming or picking the skin around the toenails, and avoid walking barefoot in public places. If you do suffer from an infected toenail, seek medical assistance and use antifungal spray or powder to treat it.

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.

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Natural Remedy: How to Treat Excess Stomach Gas and Bloating

Let’s be honest: No one likes stomach gas or even talk about gas. But we all are sometimes, and there’s absolutely no reason to be ashamed of it. This is a problem that is becoming more prevalent due to modern food groups which encourage the build-up of gas in our system. But there are easy way to fix this in your own home.

Causes of stomach gas build-up

* The main cause is poor digestion, meaning some undigested food remains in our colon and get fermented by the bacteria that live there. This process releases gas that builds up in our abdomen. Unfortunately, the most healthy and fiber-rich foods are the ones hardest to digest, and so will often lead to gas build-up.

* Intolerance to certain types of food can also cause this effect.

* Constipation will often lead to excess gas.

Symptoms of stomach gas:

* Frequent passing of gas

* Feeling as if bloated

* Loss of appetite

* Abdomen feels ‘tight’

* Belching

* Jabbing chest pain

Getting rid of the excess stomach gas

1. Avoid carbonated drinks
Avoid consuming carbonated drinks if you want to decrease the amount of gas in the body. Drinking these will lead to an increase in gas and may also lead to chest pain.

2. Drink more
Having excess gas in your stomach is usually a sign of poor digestion, drinking plenty of fluid helps moving the undigested remnants of the food from the colon. This is especially true when we eat a lot of fiber rich food, when the undigested food particles accumulate in the colon. So drink up.

Hot liquids help the most, try herbal tea, but even coffee will help get that gas along.

3. Lie Down
Lie down and keep your head elevated, this position will help pass the discomfort you are feeling in a few minutes. Remain in this position until the discomfort you’re feeling is gone. You can lie down on your side, but still keeping the head elevated.

If you are in distress, another position you can take is kneels on your head with your rear in the end, this will encourage the passing of gas from your system.
When you are trying to push the gas out of your abdomen, make sure to do so on an empty stomach or over a toilet.

3. Add mustard or Indian spices
Mustard is said to decrease the amount of gas in the body as well as preventing its build-up, so try and add it to one of your daily meals. Turmeric, cumin and cardamom are known to aid good digestion.
Adding ginger to your food or chew on the root will offer quick relief and aid your digestion.

4. Baking Soda
Add a spoonful of baking soda to a cup of hot water and mix well. Drink this every couple of hours for quick relief.

5. Eat certain fruits.
Drink lemon juice or other citrus fruit juice. The papaya is a wonderful fruit to eat when bloated, and will help you get rid of that gas the fastest.

Source: Internet and other
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.

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They say that nature is one of the best therapist. Here is one reason why….Vitamin D.
Experts estimate that 40% of the population in the Western world suffers from a lack of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is produced, among other things, by cholesterol in skin tissue exposed to sunlight, However, it is common knowledge that soaking up rays can harm our health and even cause skin cancer. This conflict is what led this article – learn about the importance of this vitamin and how to correctly use the sun to build it up in your body!

The most recommended source of vitamin D – sunlight

There is a good reason why vitamin D is also called “the sunshine vitamin,” as cholesterol found in the skin produces it after being exposed to sunlight. The same vitamin helps us maintain health by helping to absorb calcium and phosphorus-2 minerals that are very important for bone strengthening, which explains why high vitamin D intake is associated with a reduced risk of bone loss, as well as cancer and depression.

Besides sun exposure, vitamin D can also be consumed through salmon, tuna, sardines, beef liver, egg whites, and mushrooms. However, if you aren’t exposed to sunlight for at least 10-30 minutes a day, you should also consume vitamin D supplements. It’s important to note that ultraviolet rays don’t penetrate glass windows, so even if you work in an office well-lit by sunlight – you aren’t really absorbing vitamin D.

When should you be exposed to the sun for maximum vitamin D absorption?

The answer is in the early afternoon, according to a study conducted in 2013. At noon the sun is at the highest point in the sky, and its ultraviolet rays are strong enough to nourish the body with vitamin D. With that being said, the recommendation many know is to spend about 15 minutes a day in the sun, but this common recommendation is not correct when it comes to the afternoon. In the middle of the day, you can make do with only 10-30 minutes of exposure, three times a week. If you are concerned about the health of your skin, it is important that you read the conclusions of a study conducted at the Institute for Cancer Research in Oslo, Norway, where it was found that the sun’s rays in the late afternoon place the body at greater risk of developing skin cancer than those in the early afternoon.

Does skin color affect the production of vitamin D in the body?

The color of our skin is affected by the amount of melanin in it. People with darker skin have a higher amount of melanin, which helps protect the skin from sun damage and is actually a “natural sunscreen” that protects against skin burns and cancer. However, dark skin is both a blessing and a curse because people with darker skin need to spend more time under the sun’s rays to absorb vitamin D effectively. Therefore, people with darker skin should spend 30 minutes in the sun at least three times a week. On the other hand, if you have lighter skin, it is recommended that you spend no more than 10 minutes in the sun, three times a week.

Does exposing more skin to sunlight help increase vitamin D absorb?

Because vitamin D is produced by the skin’s cholesterol, exposing more skin to sunlight can help the body enjoy more vitamin D. Scientists recommend exposing about a third of the body’s skin to sunlight for safe and optimal absorption – this recommendation suggests wearing a tank top and shorts and spending about 10-30 minutes in the sun, depending on your skin color, three times a week. You can wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face, since the skin on our faces produces a very small amount of vitamin D.

Does sunscreen affect absorption of vitamin D from the sun?

Creams with different protection factors contain chemicals that reflect, absorb, or scatter the rays of sunlight, and when this happens, the skin is exposed to a lower amount of ultraviolet light. Because these light rays are important for the production of vitamin D, the protective factor may indeed prevent the process; SPF 30, for example, reduces the production of vitamin D in the body by 95%. However, if you plan to spend a lot of time under the sun, or your skin is particularly sensitive, you shouldn’t skip the sunscreen, and make sure you get enough vitamin D through the food you eat or supplements. You can also expose your body for the amount of time you need in sunlight, and then rub on some sunscreen. What are the dangers of too much exposure to sunlight?

While exposure to sunlight is important for the absorption and production of vitamin D, anything else too much sunlight, can be harmful in different ways:

* Skin burns – This is the most common phenomenon of sun damage when in extreme cases it can lead not only to redness and sensitivity but also to blisters.
* Eye Damage – Long exposure to ultraviolet rays damages the cornea and increases the risk of developing cataracts.
* Skin aging and other changes – Sunlight can make your skin grow old and wrinkle faster. In addition, freckles, moles, and other unwanted changes can occur on your skin due to excessive sun exposure.
* Heat stroke – In this state of dehydration, the body temperature rises to a dangerous level due to prolonged exposure to the sun.
* Skin cancer – It is common knowledge that too much exposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer, and it is important to be aware of the issue and to ensure safe exposure to the sun. If you are concerned about the development of skin cancer in you or in people who are close to you, take this test to find out if you know how to identify cancerous moles and beauty marks.

If you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun, apply a sunscreen every two to three hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming. Do this after exposure to the sun for 10-30 minutes, depending on your skin type.

In conclusion

Regular exposure to the sun is important and natural to the body, and its purpose is to help it produce enough vitamin D. You should aim to spend 10-30 minutes (depending on your skin tone) in the sun at noon, several times a week. You can continue to consume supplements that contain vitamin D and of course, it is recommended to eat foods that are rich in it, especially in the winter months. Finally, do not forget to put some sunscreen on every 2-3 hours if you plan on being in the sun for a long time. Have a safe and healthy summer!

Source: Internet and other
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.

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Natural Remedies for Pain

People take a lot of pills today. And sometimes that’s okay. But using too many painkillers can really cause damage to your body. So, if your pain is mild to moderate, you should know that nature has provided us with quite a number of natural painkillers. These natural remedies can be used to alleviate many types of pain.

Muscle Pain problems

Chronic Pains – Turmeric

Turmeric was found to be three times more powerful than ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. Researchers from Cornell University found that turmeric can heal up to 50% of people suffering from arthritis and fibromyalgia. The active ingredient in turmeric – curcumin, paralyzes the enzyme that causes serial pain. A ¼ teaspoon of turmeric every day will reduce your chronic pain considerably.

Muscle Pain – Ginger & Mint

Danish researchers found that regular consumption of ginger could reduce chronic muscle and joint pain, as well as swelling and stiffness within just a couple of months. The credit goes to the main ingredient in ginger – Gingerol, which inhibits the production of pain-inducing hormones. A teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger every day will do the trick.

Cramped muscles can be painful for months, especially if they originate from incorrect posture or reoccurring overexertion. A hot bath with ten drops of mint oil, three times a week, is 25% more effective than prescription drugs. The hot water helps relax and loosen the muscles while the mint oil soothes the aching nervous system. Such treatment will also help reduce the frequency of future pain.

Cramped Muscles – Tomato Juice

Our muscles tend to cramp when our bodies don’t have enough potassium. Diuretics or excessive sweating can cause potassium deficiency. Potassium is a mineral that is essential to our muscles’ health. A study conducted by the University of California found that drinking one cup of tomato juice every day can help ease cramped muscles and prevent future occurrences, thanks to the high levels of potassium in it.

ENT Problems

Migraines – Coffee

People suffering from chronic headaches or migraines can benefit from drinking coffee. Caffeine improves the stomach lining’s ability to absorb medication, increasing its effectiveness by up to 40%. If you’re taking headache medication – take it with a cup of coffee.

Sinus Pain – Horseradish

Sinusitis is a chronic disease that affects many people. It is effectively a state of infection of the cavities in the skull. Sinusitis causes severe headaches, face pains and can even hinder breathing. German researchers discovered that horseradish can increase the blood flow to the sinuses, decongesting them and draining any obstructions that may cause the infection. Eat a teaspoon of horseradish every day until your symptoms are gone.

Oral Infections – Honey

Experts from the Dubai Center for Health recommend treating mouth sores, cold sores and other oral infections with honey. Honey contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that destroy viruses and speed up the healing process. To effectively treat such sores, it is recommended that you apply unpasteurized honey directly onto the wounds four times a day. The healing process will take 43% less time compared to OTC ointments and creams.

Toothaches – Cloves

Powdered cloves are a known home remedy for toothaches and gingivitis. Furthermore, recent research from the University of California proved it scientifically by isolating the active ingredient that reduces the pain. It is an organic compound called eugenol – a powerful natural anesthetic. ¼ teaspoon every day will help keep your heart healthy, and scientists are saying that it also aids in stabilizing blood-sugar levels and even starts lowering cholesterol levels within three weeks.

Earache – Garlic

Often referred to as “nature’s antibiotics”, garlic indeed possesses powerful anti-inflammatory qualities. Experts from the Mexico School of Medicine claim that applying two drops of warm garlic oil into the ear can cure an ear infection in five days. Garlic contains minerals such as selenium, germanium and sulfur, which are all very toxic to most kinds of bacteria.

To make your own garlic oil, slowly cook (do not boil) three garlic cloves in half a cup of olive oil for two minutes. Filter the oil and use it as instructed (make sure it’s not too hot). The oil can keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.

Headaches and joint pains – Cherries

Michigan State University found that the daily consumption of a bowl of cherries is highly beneficial for people who suffer from headaches and various joint inflammations. Anthocyanin is the pigment that gives cherries their bright red color. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, ten times more powerful than ibuprofen or aspirin. Anthocyanin actively paralyzes the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation, making cherries the perfect treatment. Eating about 20 cherries every day will do the trick.

Backaches – Grapes

In a study conducted at the University of Ohio, researchers found that one cup of fresh grapes per day can help improve blood flow to the damaged tissue in the back, sometimes within as little as three hours. The spine is highly dependent on the nutrients and oxygen in the blood, making eating grapes a highly beneficial act.

Digestive Problems

Acid Reflux – Apple Cider Vinegar

If heartburn constantly plagues you, you can stop it with apple cider vinegar. The active ingredients in the vinegar that treat reflux are malic acid and tartaric acid, which quicken digestion and help your body break down fats and proteins. Faster digestion means fewer chances for the stomach to overflow with acids, causing the reflux. By adding just a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water before every meal can prevent acid reflux within 24 hours.

Indigestion – Pineapple

Pineapples are a delicious tropical fruit that are rich in protein-breaking enzymes. These enzymes help the body with the digestion processes, speeding it up and reducing stomach pains that come from gas buildups. Researchers at Stanford University found that one cup of fresh pineapple every day can treat pain caused by gas within 72 hours.

Ingrown Toenails and Toothaches – Salt

An ingrown toenail is a common ailment that affects millions of people around the world. Luckily, it’s easily treatable by using salt-water. Stanford University researchers found that soaking your feet in salt water can heal ingrown-related infections in just four days. Salt is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

To make use of its benefits, add just a teaspoon to a cup of warm water, and then add it to your foot bath to use twice a day until the infection is gone. Additionally, dentists recommend gargling with salt water to treat and prevent gingivitis. Doing this can also help when you’re suffering from a throat infection.

Female problems

PMS – Yogurt

80% of women suffer from PMS-related pain before and during their periods. The reason for the pain is the nervous system’s sensitivity to the changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. A study conducted at Columbia University found that eating two servings of yogurt daily can reduce the intensity of PMS pain by almost 50%. Yogurt is rich in calcium, a mineral that naturally soothes the nervous system, thus preventing painful symptoms despite the hormonal changes.

Endometriosis – Oats

When the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus, it may cause a severe and painful inflammation that drags on long after the end of the period. Luckily, an oats-rich diet can reduce up to 60% of the pain within six months. The reason is that oats don’t contain gluten, which can induce inflammation in many women.

Source: Internet & Others.

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.

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LATEST NEWS: JAMA finds 25% of our kids as prediabetic

Prediabetes — a condition wherein blood sugar levels are elevated, but not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.

Children are more likely to get Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the pancreas doesn’t produce much insulin.

Type 2 diabetes develops over years and has been linked to obesity. In Type 2, the body becomes less responsive to insulin, which the body needs to balance glucose in the bloodstream.

Now the alarming stats:

  • Nearly a quarter of young adults and a fifth of adolescents in the United States have prediabetes, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
  • Roughly a third of adults — or 84 million Americans — have prediabetes, according to the CDC. Nine in 10 don’t know they have it.
  • Those with prediabetes had higher systolic blood pressure, more fat tissue around the abdomen, and higher non-HDL cholesterol

Takeaway: Be aware and take action against the growing obesity epidemic in our children.

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1. Harmful Ingredient Triclosan
Triclosan, known for its antibacterial properties, is found in most commercial hand sanitizers. However, it may do more harm than good. This chemical can contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

A study carried out in 2006 published in the journal Microbial Drug Resistance, found that widespread use of tirclosan may pose a potential public health risk of concomitant resistance to clinically important antimicrobials. Furthermore, another study in 2014 published in Frontiers in Microbiology also found that this chemical is associated with multi-drug resistance.

Moreover, a 2012 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes that triclosan is a priority pollutant of growing concern to human and environmental health. The study found that this chemical can weaken cardiac and skeletal muscle contractility in a way that can negatively impact muscle health, especially in susceptible populations.

2. Alcohol Poisoning
Even if a hand sanitizer does not contain triclosan, it does not mean that it is completely safe. Another antimicrobial active ingredient in hand sanitizers is alcohol. Hand sanitizers that contain 65% ethyl alcohol are harmful when swallowed, either intentionally or unintentionally. Ethyl alcohol has been linked to immune dysfunction and hypersensitivity, which can cause asthma and chronic dermatitis.

3. Not Effective against Norovirus
Norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, is very contagious and can infect anyone. Hand sanitizers are not effective at protecting people from contracting the norovirus.
A study carried out on 2010 and published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology reports that despite the promise of alcohol based sanitizers on the control of pathogen transmission, they are relatively ineffective against the norovirus. This reinforces the need to develop new products that protect against this important group of viruses.

4. Does Not Work on Dirty Hands
After making use of a hand sanitizer, we think that our hands are clean. However, in reality, if your hands are too dirty, hand sanitizers will not remove all the residue or germs. This is one of the reasons why the CDC recommends washing your hands with regular soap and warm water. For them, hand sanitizers should only be used when soap and water are not available.

5. Causes Dry skin
Both alcohol-based as well as antibacterial hand sanitizers are harmful to the skin. The high alcohol content of some sanitizers may strip the skin of its outer layer of natural oil. This will hamper the protective barrier function of the skin and cause skin dryness, peeling, and redness.

Antibacterial hand sanitizers may cause skin sensitivity in the shape of itching, a burning sensation or dry skin. In fact, small children should not use hand sanitizers in excess as they’re more prone to skin irritation.

6. Unknown Chemicals Added for Fragrance
Many hand sanitizers include chemical fragrances which can be irritating and have been linked to allergies and hormone disruption.
Therefore, you should avoid hand sanitizers that have a fragrance, unless the label clearly states that it’s derived from essential oils. It is much better to choose one which is unscented.

7. Allergy Development
According to some research published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2011, Children under the age of 18 who were exposed to triclosan were found to be susceptible to seasonal allergies. Kids need to be exposed to bacteria so that their bodies are able to develop antibodies, so the use of hand sanitizers should be kept to a bare minimum..

8. Flammable Products
Due to the high alcohol content of the majority of hand-sanitizing liquids, these substances are flammable. The alcohol gel can catch fire, creating a translucent blue flame. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide can also form.

To keep the risk of a fire down, alcohol sanitizer users should rub the gel on their hands until they’re dry – this indicates that the flammable alcohol has evaporated. Also, keep the sanitizers away from a naked flame, including candles and gas appliances.

Washing your hands with soap and warm water offers the best protection against germs and bacteria. However, when that is not possible, hand sanitizers (used as directed on the label) may offer some protection and reduce the chances of getting ill. Apply a dime-sized amount to the palm of one hand and then rub your hands together, covering all surfaces of both hands. It should take roughly 30 seconds of rubbing for the liquid to completely dry. Don’t touch any food (or anything else for that matter) until your hands are dry.

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‘JUNCS’ stands for junk food, ultra-processed food, nutritionally inappropriate foods, caffeinated/colored/carbonated beverages, sugar-sweetened beverages.

These are known unhealthy food for their fat, sugar and salt content, harmful non-nutritional substances or ultra-processed foods and findings that consumption of these foods and beverages is associated with free sugar and energy intake, higher body mass index and risk adverse cardio metabolic consequences in children and adolescents. The major adverse effects related to the intake of fruit juice and fast foods are obesity and its associated complications like dental caries, allergies, micro-organism contamination leading to infections and risk of cancer due to carcinogenic and allergenic properties of some food additives.


* Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of life.
* No fruit juices and drinks should be fed to infants and young children less than 2 years age. * Avoid JUNCS

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that most adults aged 19-50 require 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are the best sources of calcium, but there are many other non-dairy products that are packed with calcium.

Here are some non-dairy food items that vegans can have:

Soy Products
Soybeans are naturally rich in calcium. One cup of fortified soy milk contains the same amount of calcium as a cup of cow’s milk. Apart from calcium, soy milk is also rich in vitamin D. 100 ml of soy milk is packed with 25 mg of calcium. Made from soybean, tofu is an excellent source of calcium. The calcium content depends on the brand of the soybean with which it is prepared. One cup of tofu contains 870 milligrams of calcium. Not only calcium, tofu also contains 20 grams of protein.

Dried figs
Rich in fiber and antioxidants, figs help alleviate constipation and keep you fuller for a longer period of time. Figs are not only nutritious but also satisfy your cravings for sugary stuff. Eight figs provide 241 mg of calcium.

Seeds and Nuts
Nuts are packed with calcium, but almonds are especially rich in calcium. Almonds are good for snacking between the meals and are a good source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium. One cup of whole almonds contains 378 mg of calcium.
Apart from calcium, sunflower seeds are also packed with magnesium, which balances the effects of calcium in the body and regulates muscle health. Sunflower seeds also contain vitamin E and copper. One cup of sunflower seed contains 109 mg of calcium.
Chia seeds are rich in calcium and boron, which is good for bone health and muscles. This helps to metabolize calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Add chia seeds to your smoothies or mix them in your oatmeal, there are multiple ways to have chia seeds. 2 tablespoons, of chia seeds, provide 179 mg of calcium.

Broccoli is a great source of vitamin K and C and also provides potassium, fiber. This green veggie is well-known for its high calcium content. 100 grams of frozen broccoli has 47 mg of calcium.

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Stomach Gas, an embarrassing situation, is a very uncomfortable feeling, and can cause real pain. Symptoms of stomach gas includes:

* Frequent passing of gas
* Feeling as if bloated
* Loss of appetite
* Abdomen feels ‘tight’
* Belching
* Jabbing chest pain

Causes of stomach gas build-up

* The main cause is poor digestion, meaning some undigested food remains in our colon and get fermented by the bacteria that live there. This process releases gas that builds up in our abdomen. Unfortunately, the most healthy and fiber-rich foods are the ones hardest to digest, and so will often lead to gas build-up.

* Intolerance to certain types of food can also cause this effect.

* Constipation will often lead to excess gas.

Getting rid of the excess stomach gas

1. Avoid carbonated drinks: Drinking these will lead to an increase in gas and may also lead to chest pain.
Instead, Drink more hot liquids. Hot liquids help the most, try herbal tea, but even coffee will help get that gas along. Having excess gas in your stomach is usually a sign of poor digestion, drinking plenty of fluid helps moving the undigested remnants of the food from the colon. This is especially true when we eat a lot of fiber rich food, when the undigested food particles accumulate in the colon. So drink up.
Also, add a spoonful of baking soda to a cup of hot water and mix well. Drink this every couple of hours for quick relief.

1. Add Mustard, Indian Spices and Ginger: Mustard is said to decrease the amount of gas in the body as well as preventing its build-up, so try and add it to one of your daily meals. Turmeric, cumin and cardamom are known to aid good digestion. Adding ginger to your food or chew on the root will offer quick relief and aid your digestion.

1. Certain fruit can help: Drink lemon juice or other citrus fruit juice. The papaya is a wonderful fruit to eat when bloated, and will help you get rid of that gas the fastest.

1. Lie Down or try different positions: Lie down and keep your head elevated, this position will help pass the discomfort you are feeling in a few minutes. Remain in this position until the discomfort you’re feeling is gone. You can lie down on your side, but still keeping the head elevated. If you are in distress, another position you can take is kneels on your head with your rear in the end, this will encourage the passing of gas from your system. When you are trying to push the gas out of your abdomen, make sure to do so on an empty stomach or over a toilet.

1. Ask us the doctor for our Magic Tea recipe, that aids gas and other indigestion problems.

Source: Internet and Others

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Food poisoning can be deadly. It may follow with severe stomach ache and diarrhea within a couple of days. With symptoms ranging from mild to severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness and dehydration, food poisoning is a condition not to be ignored. Listed below are a few effective home remedies to cure food poisoning:

Food Poisoning Remedies (This article is for non-acute conditions.)

* Water: It is very important to keep yourself fully hydrated during the period of food poising, as your body tends to lose more water through diarrhea. Also, keeping up your water content, rapidly flushes out the toxins and bacteria, which enhances your recovery. If you don’t like water, try Peppermint tea: It’s not just aromatherapy. Peppermint oil is known to have a soothing effect, which is extremely beneficial for people suffering from stomach spasms due to food poisoning. Add a few drops to your tea; your cramps will vanish in a couple of hours.

* Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal absorbs all the unwanted gases and substances that may be harmful to the delicate lining of the stomach, thereby aiding speedy recovery.

* Ginger: It adds flavor to your dishes, but is also an excellent home remedy for curing almost all types of digestive problems. Take a tablespoon of honey with a few drops of ginger juice to reduce inflammation and pain.

* Cumin: Cumin or jeera seeds are a good way to soothe the inflammation in your stomach, reduce the tenderness and aid healing. Crush a tablespoon of cumin seeds and add it to your clear soup.

* Basil: Basil is another excellent home remedy to cure infections of both the stomach and the throat. Strain the juice of a few basil leaves and add it to a tablespoon of honey. It’s bound to show positive results within a couple of hours.

* Bananas: Bananas are a rich of potassium. They aid recovery and reduce the effects of food poisoning to an impressive level. Mash a couple of bananas and apple, or whip up a quick banana shake.

* Apples: Apples are as effective against food poisoning as they reduce heartburn and acid reflux. Apples are known to have enzymes that inhibit the growth of the bacteria that cause diarrhea and stomach ache.

* Lemon: The acidity of the lemon juice kills most of the bacteria that cause food poisoning. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and add a pinch of sugar to it. Drink it as you would take any medicine, or you can even add lemon to your tea. Similarly, apple cider vinegar: Being acidic in nature, vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar, soothes the gastro-intestinal lining. Also, it makes the environment of the stomach inhospitable for the bacteria to breed in, which helps speed up the recovery.

If you have a more severe case, consult your doctor. Our doctor has a special herbal magic tea recipe that provides a speedy recovery.

Yoga Poses for Indigestion and Food poisoning

* Try Balasana
[Image result for Balasana yoga poses images with names]
Or Pavanamukthasana
[Image result for pawanmuktasana yoga poses images with names] Source: Internet and Others (Shared for educational purposes only)

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Common ailments of the digestive system include:

* Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
* Gallstones
* Coeliac disease
* Constipation
* Diarrhea
Below are the worst offenders when it comes to one’s digestive health:

1. Fried Foods
There are two issues with fried foods that make them the number one offender on our list. Firstly, fried foods are soaked in oil, and such high quantities of fats are quite difficult for the body to digest and put a heavy workload on the liver. This is why patients suffering from liver disease are often asked to cut out fried foods from their diet completely.
Cutting out oils and fats from your diet is never a good thing, but avoiding fried foods will help you prevent liver disease.
But it’s not only the quantity of oil in fried foods that’s so alarming, the kind of oil you or the restaurant you ordered a meal used to fry the food that matters as well. Oils that contain a lot of saturated and trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils often used in fried foods can by their very nature irritate the stomach lining and be the cause of diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain.

2. Foods Treated with Antibiotics
Large animal farms routinely treat the animals they grow with antibiotics to prevent mass infections, as the animals usually live in crowded facilities where the spread of infections would be inevitable. And while this may be a good business tactic, this practice may be harming your gut health and contributing to the problem of global antibiotic resistance, which is why antibiotic use today is harshly regulated in most European countries. Related article: All You Need to Know About Antibiotic Resistance
As of now, scientists aren’t sure what’s causing antibiotic resistance on a global scale and factors other than preventative antibiotics given to farm animals, such as overprescription to patients, may contribute to the cause. Still, the antibiotic residues we consume in our meat and dairy products may affect our gut.

This is because antibiotics, by definition, kill all bacteria they come in contact with, not only the harmful ones, including the good ones you need in your gut. The lack of good gut bacteria, in turn, makes it more difficult for you to digest food and can result in many digestive issues.

3. High FODMAP foods
The FODMAP diet has been created specifically for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other bowel issues to help them find the trigger foods that are irritating their digestive system. The typical irritants are certain kinds of carbohydrates, for which the diet got its name: Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols.
Foods containing these irritants (called high FODMAP foods) are suggested to be eliminated one by one, with the goal of finding the culprit behind the issue. Common high FODMAP foods include:

* Processed foods containing high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners * Fruit juices
* Condiments, e.g. jam, ketchup, and hummus
* Certain fruits, e.g. mangos, cherries, apricots, etc.

You can learn more about the diet and what foods are beneficial for IBS patients and patients with digestive issues by clicking on the following link: The Low-FODMAP Diet for People with GI Problems.

4. Animal Protein
Like most things, animal proteins become harmful when consumed in excess. Studies looking at the effects of high animal protein diets have confirmed countless times that too much red meat, processed meat, and even dairy can affect the gut bacteria, increase the risk of bowel cancer and even heart issues.
One study even showed that as little as 1 strip of bacon a day can increase one’s risk of bowel cancer by 20%. Limit your intake of red meat and cut out processed meats from your diet if possible, but don’t cut out animal proteins altogether, as they offer essential nutrients, particularly proteins, vitamins, and choline.

5. Sugar
No surprises here–we’re all pretty on board with the idea that sugar isn’t the best for your body. (And just to be clear, this includes sugar and sweeteners in all of forms: white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, etc.) But why is it so bad for your gut bacteria? It’s all about balance.

Most of the bacteria in your gut help support your body, but about 15% of the bacteria in there can have some negative impacts on your overall health. Most of the time this isn’t a problem, because as long as the good bacteria outweigh the bad by about six times, things tend to work pretty well. But if the balance of bacteria shifts, then that undesirable bacteria can start to have more of an effect, leaving you feeling less than your best.

6. Eggs & Farmed Fish
Eggs aren’t bad in and of themselves, but how they’re produced really matters. While eggs that come from chickens who are fed a healthy diet, allowed to roam, and not dosed up with antibiotics are generally fine for your health, your standard farm raised eggs are not so great. Again, it comes down to the possibility of getting those residual antibiotics through your food.

Conventionally farmed fish are, you guessed it, often kept in conditions and fed a diet that’s not ideal for their health. To compensate, the people raising the fish often give them antibiotics directly or in their food, which can then be passed on to you. Also, farmed fish are often fed growth hormones and genetically modified corn that can deplete your beneficial bacteria.
Another potential issue? Some types of fish have high levels of mercury in their flesh, which isn’t good for your health overall, and is also associated with lowered levels of good gut bacteria. Like so many of the other things on this list, fish are fine as long as you consume them in moderation and get them from a reputable source…otherwise, better give them a miss.

7. Alcohol
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder with symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping and bloating, and researchers from the SUNY Health Science Center in the US found that about 42% of patients “with alcohol abuse or dependence meet the criteria for IBS”. This is in stark contrast to only 2.5% of patients without alcohol issues.

Source: Internet and Others

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Natural Remedy for Dry cough

As per Ayurveda, Tulsi tea (holy basil tea) may be of great help in providing relief from dry cough.

This is how you make Tulsi tea…


  • 7-10 tulsi leaves (holy basil leaves)
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 pods of cardamom
  • 300-500 ml of water
  • Honey (optional)


Add water in a pan and put it on high flame. Now add the holy basil leaves, cloves and cardamom pods in it and let it boil for 5-7 minutes.

Now remove the pan from the flame and strain the tea in a cup. You may add honey to this tea for flavor.

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The topic of depression is all too familiar for middle and high school students.

One in four parents say their child knows a peer or classmate with depression, and 1 in 10 says their child knows a peer or classmate who has died by suicide.

Unfortunately, among people ages 10 to 24 years old, the suicide rate climbed 56% between 2007 and 2017.

So, it is critical that parents know the signs of depression and can help their child in a timely manner.

In a recent poll, 40% of parents said that they struggle to differentiate between normal mood swings and signs of depression in their teen.

How do you differentiate mood swing from depression?

  • Severity. Symptoms of teen depression encompass changes in mood (anger, sadness, irritability), behaviors (sleeping or eating more or less than usual, taking drugs or alcohol, acting out; withdrawing from friends and family), feelings (loneliness, insecurity, apathy), thoughts (hopelessness, worthlessness, thoughts of suicide), and perceptual disturbances (pain, hallucinations). The more pronounced these symptoms, the more likely that the problem is depression and not a passing mood.
  • Duration. Any notable deterioration in behavior or mood that lasts two weeks or longer, without a break, may indicate major depression. Children and adolescents can also suffer Dysthymic Disorder, or minor depression. In this type of presentation, symptoms can appear for more days than not, for at least one year.
  • Domains. Problems noticed in several areas of a teen’s functioning — at home, in school, and in interactions with friends — may indicate a mood disorder rather than a bad mood related to a particular situation.

What else can parents do?

  • Recognize the symptoms
  • Parents might also talk with their preteen or teen about identifying a "go-to" adult who can be a trusted source if they are feeling blue.

Additional material:

You can find more information about how to recognize and prevent depression in youths through the following organizations: The Swensrud Depression Prevention Initiative.

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Many people choose organic produce in an attempt to exclude foods grown using pesticides from their diet, worrying about the potential health risks these can pose. But organic produce can be expensive.
Luckily, that’s not the case with all fruits and vegetables, as some contain more pesticide residues than others. Every year, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) creates a ranked list of common foods low and high in pesticides, based on yearly USDA testing of both locally-grown and imported foods. Below we list the latest one of these rankings, featuring 14 foods with virtually no pesticide residue.

1. Avocados
Avocados rarely contain any pesticides, even if they’re not grown organic, that’s why they’re first both on our list and the EWG list for years on end. The reason for this is the thick hard skin these veggies have that doesn’t let any pesticides seep into the pulp.

2. Asparagus
Asparagus is a delicious side dish, but even the non-organic version can be quite pricey, so many people skip this nutrient-rich and delicious food. The good news is that you don’t need to buy organic asparagus, as it is one of the rare veggies that has a natural enzyme that can break down some pesticides. Apart from that, asparagus is harvested really fast, around 2 days after it starts growing, so the stalks themselves are rarely exposed to pesticides.

3. Frozen Sweet Peas
Peas rarely contain any pesticides. This is because the pods protect the peas from being exposed to chemicals, which is also why snap peas, unlike frozen peas, were found to contain a significant amount of pesticide residue.

4. Pineapples
Pineapples, be they fresh, canned or frozen, almost never contain any pesticides, as the thick skin they have creates a nonpermeable barrier for the edible pulp. The tropical fruit took the third position on the EWG list, but the environmental allegations against pineapple plantations weren’t considered in the ranking, as it’s a well-documented fact that pesticides used on pineapple plantations have an adverse environmental impact and are dangerous to the plantation workers.

5. Broccoli
Spoiler: you will find many more cruciferous vegetables on this list, not only broccoli, because all cruciferous veggies contain natural pesticide compounds, if you will, called glucosinolates, which make them very unappealing to pests.

6. Cantaloupes and Honeydew Melons
Both cantaloupes and honeydew melons (the green melons that really resemble cantaloupes) rarely contain any pesticides, as the inedible skin typically catches all the pesticide residue. Watermelons, however, typically have slightly more pesticides, as their skin is smoother and more permeable. Remember one thing, though, always wash and even scrub down all melons with warm water before cutting up, as the surface of these fruits often harbors bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

7. Cabbage
Like broccoli, cabbage has those natural insect-repellant compounds in it, which means that farmers typically have to use fewer pesticides to grow cabbage. Still, some farms will use antifungal pesticides on cabbage, so peel off a few of the top leaves of your cabbage before using, just in case.

8. Onions
All non-organic onion varieties are perfectly fine to use, as very few samples that were tested contained any pesticide residue. Keep in mind, however, that they looked at peeled onions only, so if you want to use onions with the skin on, which some recipes call for, opt for organic onions. Similarly, green onions are better purchased organic as well.

9. Eggplant
Eggplants, or aubergines, as they’re called outside of the U.S., are a very versatile vegetable, as they are absolutely delicious grilled, stuffed, added into stews or turned into a dip. You don’t have to buy organic ones either, as it turns out, despite the fact that their close relative, the tomato, is one of the most pesticide-ridden veggies out there, eggplants aren’t, all thanks to their dark purple jackets.

10. Cauliflower
The last, but definitely not the least cruciferous vegetable on our list is cauliflower. Apart from being my personal favorite of the bunch, cauliflower is also the most multifunctional of the bunch, as it can even be used as a base for pizza and even grilled cheese sandwiches if you’re avoiding gluten.

11. Papaya
This exotic fruit reminds us of a melon, at least visually, and like melons, papayas are rarely pesticide-ridden because of the thick protective skin these fruits have. However, some of the papayas tested were grown from genetically-modified seeds, so if you’re avoiding GMOs, opt for organic papayas.

12. Mushrooms
Buying organic mushrooms is not necessary, as most mushrooms don’t require pesticides to begin with. That’s because mushrooms are typically grown indoors in a sterile environment, so farmers rarely, if ever, apply any chemicals to help them grow and stay pest-free.

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The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to Dollar Tree for receiving over-the-counter drugs produced by foreign manufacturers that have been found to be adulterated, including acne treatment pads and Assured brand drugs. The letter outlines “multiple violations” of manufacturing practices at those contract manufacturers used to produce Dollar Tree’s Assured Brand over-the-counter drugs as well as other drug products sold at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores. The warning letter notes how some of the drug products came from Shanghai Weierya Daily Chemicals Factory and Hangzhou Zhongbo Industrial Company Ltd., which the letter details have shown a pattern of serious violations of the law, such as not testing raw materials or drugs for pathogens and quality. The FDA encourages health care professionals and consumers to report any adverse events that might have occurred while using over-the-counter drug products from the contract manufacturers.

Takeaway: To be on the safe side, check your cabinet and discard dollar tree medicines.

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Onychophagia or nail-biting is a habit that consumes a whopping 20-30% of the human population, including 45% of teenagers at any given point. Nail-biting can be dangerous not only to your social standing but also to your health.

1. Germs
Your fingers are already a magnet for every kind of germ out there, picking up bits and pieces of every single place, person and thing you encounter. Now, the biggest remedy for that is simply washing your hands with a little bit of soap. However, regardless of how much you wash your hands, your fingernails continue to gather, collect and store dust, dirt, and grime that can be much harder to remove, even for the diligently clean souls. Every time you bite your nails, you are likely ingesting most of these germs, which can then cause throat and gum infections and more.

Speaking of infections, the various kinds of germs gathering under your nails can be of a more complex variety. You would think that a habit like nail-biting would be relatively harmless besides a few throat infections. Unfortunately, these germs under your nails may also be capable of causing far more serious ailments like salmonella and E Coli, which result in severe gastrointestinal distress and give your entire system a major upheaval.

Another infectious disease hiding under your fingernails is the illness known as Human papillomavirus (HPV). For those who bite their nails day in and day out, this is an ailment that you’ll definitely want to be careful of. It can be identified by the unique and somewhat painful warts that tend to grow on the fingers of the affected person. This virus can be especially dangerous because, once warts begin to grow on your fingers, they can spread to your mouth and lips if you continue to bite your nails.

The constant intake of germs experienced by most nail-biters can do some damage to your immune system. It increase your exposure to the flu and fevers, and on rare occasions, even more serious illnesses like hepatitis. People who habitually bite their nails are known to experience the common cold more frequently than persons who don’t bite their nails. While the common cold is not particularly threatening on its own, continually being infected with a cold can weaken your immune system and leave you open to more dangerous ailments.

2. Protect your teeth
Believe it or not, your nails are a lot tougher than you realize. For a nail biter who is constantly chewing on his or her fingers, not only does the calcium in your nails get worn down, but the calcium in your teeth does as well. Constant nail-biting can weaken your teeth severely and may even cause them to shift position and protrude awkwardly and sometimes even painfully. Much like with thumb-sucking, the alignment of the top and bottom rows of your teeth may also be negatively affected by this habit, which may become more prominent when you bring the two rows of teeth close together. Nail-biting can also drastically wear down your molars.

3. Biting beyond the nail
Since we’re on the topic of extreme and excessive nail-biting, sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop. It’ll start with biting the tips of your nails, but often when there’s no nail left, many with this habit may end up biting the skin around their nails. This can be especially dangerous as it can create open wounds on your fingers that are extremely susceptible to the collection of germs and infections, such as paronychia, which could potentially lead to septic arthritis. So it’s important not to let this bad habit progress beyond a certain point.

4. Mental health risks
One of the biggest hurdles that a habit like nail-biting can leave you facing is a serious mental issue. It was determined by the American Psychiatric Association in 2012 that nail-biting is a symptom of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Nail-biting is believed to be another manifestation of OCD, much like compulsive cleaning and repetitive counting. It’s important to keep in mind that such compulsions tend to worsen over time and often can escalate to far more detrimental behavior like skin picking and hair-pulling. However, you can rest easy knowing that there are a few simple solutions to overcome this nasty habit!

Source: Internet and Others

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Ultra-processed foods are often high in salt, added sugars, saturated fat and other substances associated with increasing the risk of heart disease, per the latest CDC report today.

Ultra-processed foods are made entirely or mostly from substances such as modified starches, hydrogenated fats, added sugar, and other compounds and include additives such as artificial flavors, colors or emulsifiers. Examples include soft drinks, packaged salty snacks, cookies, cakes, processed meats, chicken nuggets, powdered and packaged instant soups and many items often marketed as “convenience foods.”

Researchers have found that for every five per cent increase in calories from ultra-processed foods a person ate, there was a corresponding decrease in overall cardiovascular health.

Takeaway: Avoid store-bought convenience foods

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Latest News Brief: Take Pneumonia seriously

Pneumonia claimed the lives of more than 800,000 children under the age of five last year, or one child every 39 seconds, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday. Most deaths occurred among children under the age of two, and almost 153,000 within the first month of life. More than half of child pneumonia deaths were in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

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LATEST NEWS: Early FLU MAP – 2019-20

Early tracking of flu cases is key to containing outbreaks, and according to the data, October saw increased activity across parts of the South when compared to the same period last year.

Here are the worst areas so far:

  1. Lafayette, Louisiana
  2. New Orleans, Louisiana
  3. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
  4. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  5. Montgomery-Selma, Alabama
  6. Laredo, Texas
  7. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas
  8. Victoria, Texas
  9. Tyler-Longview, Texas
  10. Las Vegas, Nevada

You can check out the index and interactive map here.

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Depressed people don’t share their stories easily. So be compassionate. A report last year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 54 percent of Americans who died by suicide between 1999 and 2016 did not have a diagnosed mental health condition, and instead struggled with other issues such as adversity and trauma.

How can we help?

Watch their words:
If they are talking about feeling trapped, like they’re a burden to others, overwhelmed, hopeless, desperate, in pain, any of those indicators, there is your cue.

Trust your gut:
If you see one’s behaviors change or they start to withdraw and you feel worried, there is your other cue.

Talk directly
If you just ask the person directly, sometime it’s a relief for them to be able to talk about their intention of committing suicide.

In many cases, you don’t have to solve their problem. Just listen. And link them up with National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Their five steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal:

* Ask, “are you thinking about suicide?”
* Keep them safe by reducing their access to lethal means such as firearms; * Be there for them, whether in person or any other way;
* Help them connect by offering to call or text a crisis line or accompany them if they are referred elsewhere; * Stay in touch to offer ongoing support.

Source: Internet and Others

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Healthy food can also come in mouth-watering flavors, whether salty, sweet, zesty, spicy, bitter or nutty. Here are a few from common ingredients easily found in your kitchen.

And most of these are under 100 calories.

Sweet Snacks

  • Chocolate Banana

Melt 2 teaspoons of dark chocolate chips and dip 1/2 frozen, chopped banana in it for some sensational bitter-sweet bites.

  • Honeyed Yogurt

Fill half a cup with non-fat Greek yogurt, sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and add 1 teaspoon of honey – an unusual yogurt treat with a twist.

  • Stuffed Figs

Grab 3 small dried figs and stuff them with 1 tablespoon of part-skim ricotta each. Sprinkle with cinnamon for the ultimate appetizing combination.

  • Maple-Pumpkin Yogurt

Combine 1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt (try Greek for extra protein) with 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup – truly succulent.

  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Find 7 strawberries and dip each of them in 1 tablespoon of dark chocolate to make yourself one juicy treat.

  • Tropical Juice Smoothie

For a thirst-quenching summer snack, grind together natural pineapple, orange juice, apple and ice.

  • Vanilla and Banana Smoothie

Create an outstanding yogurt drink by combining 1/3 cup sliced banana, 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, and 1 handful ice, and blending the mixture until smooth.

  • Baked Apple

Remove the core from 1 small apple and fill it with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Leave it to bake in the oven until tender and you can enjoy a warm, juicy treat that easily beats your everyday regular apple snack.

  • Fruity Waffles

Spoil yourself with a satisfying snack by toasting 1 multigrain waffle and top it with 1/4 cup mixed berries. Simple, yet irresistible.

  • Cinnamon Graham Crackers and Peanut Butter

Spread 1 teaspoon peanut butter onto 2 graham cracker squares, and sprinkle them with cinnamon to spice up your delicious mouthfuls of delight.

  • Warm Spiced Cider

For a gorgeous drink treat, warm up 6 ounces of apple cider and add some cinnamon and nutmeg. It makes the perfect alternative for your usual winter beverages.

  • Maple-Cashew Pear

Add some extra flavor to your usual pear fruit snack by slicing it in pieces and using maple syrup and cashew butter to dip them in. Fruit snacks never tasted so fulfilling before.

  • Make your own Popsicle

Prepare yourself a lemon popsicle by pouring 6 ounces of bottled lemonade in an ice pop mold or a small paper cup and leaving it in the freezer to freeze over – and have yourself a healthy, home-made popsicle to beat both your cravings and the summer heat.

Savory Snacks

  • Cucumber Salad

Make a quick and easy salad by tossing 1 sliced large cucumber with 2 tablespoons of chopped red onion and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Enjoy a fresh and crunchy home-made snack made in just a few minutes.

  • Curried Sweet Potato

Microwave 1 small sweet potato for 6 minutes and mash it with 1 teaspoon curry and salt and pepper for some extra taste, and satisfy your tummy with a truly scrumptious, healthy and easy snack ready in minutes.

  • Greek Tomatoes

For one fresh, luscious salad snack, use 2 medium chopped tomatoes and 2 tablespoons feta cheese. Mix them together and add 1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice – the perfect combination for a warm summer afternoon.

  • Cheesy Roasted Asparagus

Rather than having your asparagus plain, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese over 6 spears of asparagus, spritzed with olive-oil spray, and bake everything at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Expect lip-smacking results.

  • Carrots and Hummus

What better way to spice up your carrots than dipping it in some tasty hummus? All you need is 12 medium baby carrots and 2 tablespoons hummus for the right amount that will keep your appetite at bay for some time.

  • Grilled Garlic Corn on the Cob

The much loved corn on the cob is easy to make: Simply grab 1 small corn cob and brush it with 1 teaspoon sautéed minced garlic and 1 teaspoon olive oil to enhance its taste. Grill the cob until tender and devour the juiciness of your warm snack.

  • Spicy Black Beans

Make a snack out of black beans by adding some interesting flavors to it. Combine 1 tablespoon of salsa with 1 tablespoon of non-fat Greek yogurt and a 1/3 cup of black beans for a tasty blend.

  • Caprese Salad

Create an appetizing salad from 3 simple ingredients: Use 1 ounce (about 1 hockey puck) of fresh mozzarella with a 1/3 cup of cherry tomatoes and 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar for an extra delightful tinge.

Sweet and Salty Snacks

  • Carrot Raisin Salad

Fuse the taste of carrots with the sweet taste of raisins by creating a unique-tasting salad. Fill 1 cup of shaved carrots and mix it with 1 1/2 tablespoons raisins. Add some balsamic vinegar to give it a tangy finish.

  • Apples and Peanut Butter

Add one simple ingredient to your apple to make your snack all the more exciting. Slice 1/2 an apple into pieces and dip them in 1/2 a tablespoon of natural peanut butter for an added nutty taste.

  • Tropical Cottage Cheese

Relish a unique combination of cheese and fruit with this simple recipe: Grab 1/2 a cup of non-fat cottage cheese and 1/4 a cup of chopped mango and mix together for an unusual tropical salad with an irresistible cheesy touch.

  • Blue Cheese-Stuffed Apricots

If you’re a lover of blue cheese, try this toothsome mix. Find 3 dried apricots and stuff them with 1 tablespoon of crumbled blue cheese for some heavenly bites.

  • Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Pecans

Take pleasure in one light and healthy snack by getting 5 pecans and roast them with 2 teaspoons of maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

  • Strawberry Salad

Combine fruit and vegetables in a delightful way. Get 2 cups of raw spinach and combine it with 1 cup of sliced strawberries. Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar for a final touch of flavor.

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  • Chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly: this ensures better digestion and favorable environment for the good bacteria to work.
  • Stay hydrated: water plays a supporting role in digestion. Adequate water is required for good digestion and healthy gut bacteria.
  • Consume prebiotic and probiotics: these are natural supplements. Prebiotics are foods that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut such as banana, onion, garlic, asparagus and many more. Whereas probiotics are a supplement containing good live bacteria such as yogurt.
  • Eliminate foods you can’t tolerate: if eating certain foods such as dairy, eggs or wheat causes a change in digestion, eliminate it from your diet. Your gut bacteria or gut lining may be allergic to it.
  • Adopt a good diet: eat healthy for a healthy gut – your food should include more green veggies, fruits, whole grains and quality proteins; and less sugar, processed foods and excess fats.

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Latest News: FAT NATION

Here’s a look at the top 10 fattest states in the U.S. For the full list, click here.

  • Mississippi
  • West Virginia
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Alabama
  • Oklahoma
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Ohio

Obesity is dangerous. It is associated with health conditions, namely heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and stroke.

According to Harvard, in 1990, obese adults made up less than 15 percent of the population in most U.S. states. By 2010, 36 states had obesity rates of 25 percent or higher.

Per CDC, the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 US dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

From CDC

Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

What can you do?

  • Choose your plate carefully.
  • Eat less. Exercise more.
  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Keep a food diary

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The last severe U.S. flu season was the 2017-2018 season with an estimated 48.8 million people falling ill and 79,400 deaths, according to the CDC.

A surge in influenza cases in Australia this year and at least three of them resulting in deaths in the U.S. in recent weeks have some physicians worried that this year’s flu season could be a bad one for Americans.

Takeaway: The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months to get vaccinated each year, with rare exceptions.