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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A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found one better alternative: baking soda. A solution of sodium bicarbonate and water can remove even more pesticides than water alone, provided you have more than a minute to spare. In the experiments, Gala apples that were allowed to soak in baking soda for eight minutes had significantly reduced pesticide residue on the surface, and at 12-15 minutes there were virtually no pesticides left. This is because sodium bicarbonate can help degrade the two types of pesticides used in this study, thiabendazole and phosmet. Even after the long soak time, though, there were some pesticides that the baking soda couldn’t get to. Thiabendazole and phosmet, like many other substances, seep into the skin and flesh of the produce they’re applied to.

If you’re hoping to avoid pesticides altogether, you’ll have to look beyond the organic aisle. Produce grown under organic conditions can still have pesticides, it’s just a different—and supposedly less toxic—set of them. But they’re still chemicals that can seep into your fruit through the skin or even leech into the flesh itself via the plant’s water supply, both of which prevent you from washing them away.

Takeaway: Try a Baking Soda wash.

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Research used data from 53,553 female nurses, ages 30 to 55, from the famous cohort study, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), as well as from 27,916 male health professionals, aged 40 to 75, from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). All were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at the beginning of the study.

They measured increases or decreases of red meat intake over the course of eight years, and then tracked health and death data for eight years after that. What they found will likely surprise just about nobody.


  • Increasing total red meat intake (both processed and unprocessed) by 3.5 servings a week or more over an eight year period was associated with a 10 percent higher risk of death in the next eight years.
  • Increasing processed red meat intake, such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages and salami, by 3.5 servings a week or more was associated with a 13 percent higher risk of death.


  • Reduce meat consumption. Better yet, switch gradually to a more vegetarian diet.

Source: The study, Association of changes in red meat consumption with total and cause specific mortality among US women and men: two prospective cohort studies, was published in The BMJ.

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Understand what to expect

· From birth to about age 2: Children need a lot of support, holding and loving interactions. If the caregiver is absent, the child may fear that she or he will not return. At this stage, children build attachments with caregivers. They will learn to trust that adults will be there for them when they need them. During these years, children learn through their senses and their physical activity.

· From age 2 to about 6: Children learn language, some reading and many social skills. They also begin to struggle for more independence from caregivers. If such efforts are understood and encouraged, children begin to take more initiative. During these years, children learn by exploring, pounding, touching, mixing, turning objects over and throwing them, and asking many questions.

· From age 6 to about 12: Children begin to act with increasing self-control. During these years, they begin to lay the groundwork for becoming productive members of society. They process the information they receive and can make complex decisions. They are able to follow rules and accept responsibility. They also develop a self-image based on their experiences and feedback they receive from significant adults. If this feedback is positive, children grow to become confident and successful teens. If it is frequently negative, a child can grow to feel inadequate and inferior.


  1. Learning about your child: Your child is a unique individual. To interact with your child effectively, take time to learn about the special qualities of your child.
  2. Find the root of misbehavior

True misbehavior occurs when a child chooses to behave inappropriately. Before you take action, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is my child really doing something wrong? Is there a real problem, or are you just tired and out of patience?
  1. If there is no real problem, release your stress away from the child.
  2. If there is a problem, go to the next question.
  1. Think for a moment. Is your child actually capable of doing what you expect?
  1. If you are not being realistic, re-evaluate your expectations.
  1. 3. Did your child know at the time that she or he was doing something wrong?
  1. If your child did not realize she was doing something wrong, help her understand what you expect, why, and how she can do that. Offer to help.
  2. If your child knew what she was doing was wrong, and she intentionally disregarded a reasonable expectations, your child misbehaved.

3. Prevention

Make it easier for your child to do the right thing than the wrong thing.

  • Arrange your day to meet child’s needs and your own needs
  • Arrange your house to help child behave

4) Modeling

  • Think about how you wish your children would behave and then model that behavior.
  • Children will copy manner, tone of voice, language and actions whether they are appropriate or not.

5) Rewards

Rewards are not bribes. A reward should fit the behavior and be given after behavior and often without the child knowing that it is coming.

  • Catch them being good
  • Say something nice – “I like the way you did that.”
  • Spend extra time with your child
  • Give a hug or smile
  • Praise in front of others

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Many a parents have asked me about my views on vaccines. They are concerned about the safety of the child and the contaminants in vaccines.

Let me first assure you: Vaccines that your child will get in our office are VERY safe.

Vaccines contain live viruses, killed viruses, purified viral proteins, inactivated bacterial toxins, or bacterial polysaccharides. In addition to these immunogens, vaccines often contain other substances. For example, vaccines may contain preservatives that prevent bacterial or fungal contamination (eg, thimerosal); adjuvants that enhance antigen-specific immune responses (eg, aluminum salts); or additives that stabilize live, attenuated viruses (eg, gelatin, human serum albumin).

Having said that, I will reassure – They are VERY Safe. I am so sure of their efficacy that both my kids (who are teens now) are fully vaccinated.

Why do I believe it?
a) They have been tested in 2-3 Billion children worldwide. They have been tested in manufacturer-independent labs. I have reviewed independent literature.
b) The additional substances in vaccines are in micrograms (one-millionth of a gram). To put this in perspective, the food that we feed our children DAILY has 1000 to million-times more dangerous substances, than in vaccines. Especially the meat and hamburgers that our kids eat is laced with pesticides, preservatives, colors and additives that are 1000 times more in concentration, than what are in the one-time vaccines.

If you want to discuss more, join us. I will explain the risk-and-benefits of each vaccine.

If you are scientifically bent, read https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/112/6/1394.full.pdf

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Here are a few go-to at-home therapies that are effective, easy and best of all, completely natural.

1. Keep nail fungus at bay

It can take months for even prescriptions of nail fungus creams and medications to work. In the meantime, you can stop the fungus from spreading by applying apple cider vinegar or some tea tree oil.

2. Deter ticks without DEET

Cedar oil will be your best option in this case as it pretty much makes ticks’ lives a living hell! Simply spray it on your summer clothing or dilute it with water and witch hazel for an effective spray-on repellant.

3. Calm your anxiety before bedtime

If you suffer from anxiety, chances are you have a hard time going to bed. To reclaim your sleep, drink a cup of banana tea before bedtime. This has high levels of both magnesium and potassium in the peel.

4. Get rid of lice the natural way

There’s nothing worse than getting a phone call from the school nurse saying that your little one has lice. While it may be tempting to get something over-the-counter we recommend that you first try vinegar. It gets rid of lice without harsh chemicals.

5. Soothe a burn

If you’ve got a minor first-degree burn it is safe to say that you have plenty of store-bought options to choose from. It is said that rubbing a raw onion on the affected area works well if not better than expensive creams and sprays.

6. Prevent swimmer’s ear

Don’t let painful water blockages in your ears stop you from having fun in the swimming pool. Before you jump in apply several rubbing alcohol-white vinegar drops right into each ear. It’s an effective preventative measure.

7. Give yourself a fighting chance against itchy poison ivy

Poison ivy can spoil any camping trip in seconds. While it’s best to avoid it altogether, the next best thing you can do is wash with plenty of dish soap within the first two hours of exposure.

8. Add some spice to your DIY cold remedy

It is well known that a honey and lemon hot water mixture works well to soothe coughs. But adding a bit of Tabasco will really help with a cold.

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Americans are routinely exposed to dangerous chemicals that have long been banned in countries such as the UK, Germany and France. Of the 40,000 chemicals used in consumer products in the US, according to the EPA, only one percent have been tested for human safety.

When consumers spend their dollars on organic food we’re voting. We are voting for

  • Less cancer causing pesticides in food,
  • Less reproductive concerns
  • More protection and the welfare of animals raised for poultry, pork and beef products
  • avoid overuse of antibiotics.
  • less environmental impacts and
  • less detrimental effect to soil and water quality.

Buy these Organic.


Apples consistently rank near the top of the annual dirty dozen list. More than 45 different pesticides have been detected on apples, because fungus and insect threats prompt farmers to spray various chemicals on their orchards. Not surprisingly, pesticide residue is also found in apple juice and apple sauce, making all apple products smart foods to buy organic.


Another perennial entrant on the dirty dozen list, grapes can have more than 50 pesticides. Raisins, not surprisingly, also have high pesticide residue tests.


Annual testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) finds that non-organic strawberries regularly carry residues of many types of pesticides, including synthetic bug-killing chemicals and weedkillers. One sample of strawberries examined by USDA scientists contained residues of 22 different pesticides. An analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that strawberries were the fresh produce item most likely to be contaminated with pesticide residue. Blackberries are also due special attention because of illegally high pesticide residue levels, according to the FDA.

Other fresh fruits

Conventionally produced cherries, apples and applesauce also show a high prevalence of pesticides, government data shows.

Kale and spinach

Though kale is widely considered a popular health food,theUSDA has reported finding residues of 17 different pesticides in some kale samples. Non-organic spinach has also been found to carry residues of an insecticide called permethrin, which is linked to neurological effects in children. The USDA found the insecticide in 76% of spinach samples along with residues of different fungicides designed to kill mold and mildew. Cucumbers might be laced with as many as 86 different pesticides that remain on the vegetable’s skin when it’s time for salad-making. Peeling the skin off may reduce your chances of ingesting some of them. Put on par with kale on the annual dirty dozen list, collard greens tests have revealed more than 45 pesticides. Alternatives include Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens, and cabbage.


Another perennial food on the dirty dozen list is celery. USDA tests have found more than 60 different pesticides on celery.

Bell Pepper & Potatoes

Another food that usually makes the dirty dozen list because it tends to have high pesticide residue is the sweet bell pepper, in all of its colorful varieties. Nearly 50 different pesticides have been detected on sweet bell peppers. America’s favorite vegetable is the potato. Unfortunately, more than 30 pesticides have been detected on potatoes in USDA testing. Sweet potatoes offer a delicious alternative with less chance of pesticide residue.


Non-organic chickens are often raised in tightly confined spaces with hundreds of other birds, causing health problems. The animals are often heavily dosed with antibiotics both because of illness and for growth promotion. The widespread use of antibiotics in poultry production has been tied to antibiotic resistance health problems in humans.


Some conventional dairy operators give their cows a growth hormone called recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) or recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to increase milk production. The hormone has been found to cause health problems in cows, including udder infections. The illnesses in turn trigger more use of antibiotics, increasing the risk of antibiotic resistance.


Many non-organic oat farmers spray their crops with the herbicide glyphosate shortly before harvest in order to dry out the plants. The practice, called desiccation, has been shown to leave residues of glyphosate (a carcinogen) in finished oatmeal products. One FDA scientist found glyphosate residues in several types of infant oat cereal.


Preservatives and other additives have been found to be almost four times higher in conventional bread than in organic bread. The food additive potassium bromate is one additive often used in conventional bread to improve the rise of bread dough and to make it whiter, but it is banned in Europe and IARC classifies it a possible human carcinogen. Glyphosate is also used as a desiccant on some non-organic wheat, and residues of the weedkiller have been found in bread products.


Conventional tofu typically comes from genetically modified soybeans sprayed directly with glyphosate weedkiller. Conventional soybean farmers are also increasingly using new varieties of GMO soybean seeds that are sprayed with other types of herbicides as well, leaving a weedkiller cocktail in finished foods.


Cattle fattened on feed lots instead of grass pastureslive in crowded conditions and exist on a diet typically containing genetically modified corn that has been treated with pesticides. The animals are often dosed with antibiotics to treat or prevent diseases common in conventional confinement operations, contributing to antibiotic resistance. Meat from organically raised, grass-fed cattle also generally has higher levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.


Eggs from organically raised hens benefits those who eat them as well as those who lay them. Organic eggs come from chickens raised on a diet free from most pesticides and not confined to tight cages. Some egg producers do not adhere tightly to organic standards, however, so buyers should do their best to research their egg producer of choice.

Source: EWA, Guardian, Others

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Here are some common reasons to your bad breath and how to deal with it.

1. Peanut Butter

A PBJ sandwich is packed full of proteins and plant-based fatty acids, it’s also delicious. However, peanut butter has a very sticky consistency, which makes it stick to the gums and the teeth for hours.

At the same time, peanut butter, especially with the addition of jelly, but also on its own, is often very high in sugar, so, by sticking around in your mouth, it provides food for the bacteria and causes dental and gum problems, and a smelly breath. That’s why it is important to brush your teeth after eating any foods that contain peanut butter.

2. A High Protein Diet

Proteins are digested differently to other nutrients, with the body producing ammonia as a side product of the digestive process. Usually, ammonia is converted into urea and excreted from the body through urine. If we consume too much protein, the body cannot get rid of all the ammonia and it builds up in the body, making our mouth smell like you guessed what, among other things. This unpleasant smell can linger on even after brushing your teeth, but it can be canceled out by eating zinc-rich plant foods, such as pumpkin seeds, spinach and chickpeas.

3. Not Drinking Enough Water

A dehydrated body cannot produce enough saliva, which is essential for the maintenance of a healthy and smell-free mouth cavity, as it envelops the mouth and throat and cleans them. When not enough saliva is produced, be it as a result of dehydration or any other health condition, bacteria start multiplying in your mouth cavity, which often causes bad breath. If you suspect that your mouth is dry because you’re dehydrated, simply drink more water. In other cases, you will have to address the underlying health condition to regain a fresh breath.

4. Citrus Fruit

Although you might think of lemons and other citrus fruit as broadly antibacterial, some bacteria, particularly the odor-causing kind, thrive in acidic environments. And since most citrus fruit are also rich is sugar, you’re creating the perfect environment for the bacteria in your mouth by eating or drinking too much citrus. To prevent this from happening, drink less juice containing citrus and rinse your mouth with water after eating citrus fruit.

5. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can also upset the balance between the good and the bad bacteria in your mouth. Even though an occasional drink will most likely not cause any long-term effects, a large 2018 study conducted in the U.S. found that people who drink regularly have significantly more bad bacteria in their mouth cavity than non-drinkers. Needless to say, this is dangerous and could not only bad breath, but also chronic infections.

6. Food Stuck in the Mouth

Everyone should floss at least once a day to get rid of the food particles that get stuck between the teeth, but your teeth aren’t the only place in your mouth that can be affected by small and stubborn food particles. Food can get stuck in the tonsils, too, especially after a flu or sore throat when they get inflamed. The reason for this is that tonsils actually have naturally-occurring crevices called crypts, which usually help the immune system fight off different environmental dangers by increasing the contact surface of the tonsils. At the same time, food can become stuck in these crypts and medical attention is usually necessary to dislodge these food particles.

7. Tomato Sauce

Similarly to citrus fruit, tomatoes are actually quite acidic, which can promote the growth of those bad bacteria and cause a smelly breath. This is especially true about tomato sauces (ketchup, marinara sauce, soups, etc.) and tomato juice that are highly-concentrated and have added vinegar, so they contain a lot more acids than one or two fresh tomatoes.

Another reason why tomato sauce and juice might cause bad breath is because they actually cause acid reflux, which can increase the acidity in your mouth even more. It’s best to sip on some water while eating foods that contain tomato sauce to prevent acid reflux and wash away the acidity.

8. Canned Fish

After eating canned fish, you might experience a fishy smell lingering in your mouth. This is because canned fish varieties contain a lot more trimethylamines compared to fresh fish, as canned fish had plenty of time to oxidize while it was in the tin. These compounds are the culprits behind the fishy smell, and they are difficult to get rid of because they don’t bind well with water on their own.

A splash of lemon juice or vinegar can help them bind with liquids, so add a little lemon to the canned fish and drink some water after eating it to combat the unpleasant smell.

9. Coffee Drinks and Dairy

Researchers at Tel Aviv University determined that it’s not coffee per se that causes that unpleasant mouth taste and smell, but rather the milk added to it. In fact, black coffee can have the opposite effect, making your breath fresher. When it is part of a cappuccino or any other drink containing milk, however, it may contribute to the problem, as it dries out the mouth, increasing the likelihood of developing bad breath. Milk and dairy products, in turn, are known to cause bad breath, as they contain amino acids, which create sulfur when consumed by the bacteria that live in the mouth. Sulfur, as you may know, has a smell of rotten eggs, so it is to blame for the sour taste and smell in your mouth. To get rid of the smell, it’s best to brush your teeth, but simply rinse your mouth with water also helps.

Source: Many (Internet)

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Anything is moderation is healthy. But sometimes even good food can turn toxic, when in excess.

We all want to incorporate as many healthy foods in our diet as possible, but sometimes we aren’t sure what the right dose is. Although there are foods that are considered healthy due to the many nutritional benefits they provide us, excess consumption and incorrect dosage can also turn a good thing bad.

1. Tomatoes

Lycopene, the red pigment in tomatoes, is an antioxidant with many breakthrough benefits. It helps to reduce the risk of various types of cancer, contributes to the protection of the heart and blood vessels, reduces cholesterol in the body, maintains eye and skin health and more. However, excess consumption of tomatoes stimulates the lining of the esophagus and may cause reflux, which is the rise of acids from the lining of the stomach to the esophagus. In addition, tomatoes contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine, and excess consumption may lead to abdominal pain, nausea, headaches and other symptoms that characterize poisoning. People who don’t suffer from reflux or joint or joint problems can eat 3-4 tomatoes a day or drink one and a half cups of tomato juice. At the same time, it is recommended to incorporate cherry tomatoes, which contain less solanine, and therefore may cause fewer side effects.

2. Omega 3 and fish oil

Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits that help maintain our health. These acids fight inflammation in the body, play an important role in the development of cells, reduce the risks of heart disease and more. Since most diets are low in omega-3, omega-3 dietary supplements, such as fish-derived supplements, are gaining popularity. However, studies have shown that excess omega-3 consumption may be harmful, especially for people who a prone to bleeding or taking blood thinners. In addition, consuming high amounts of fish oil may cause an excess in vitamin A which may have toxic effects especially for children and pregnant women. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for good health, but to avoid damage it is recommended to consume 1-6 grams of it daily and no more.

3. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is as a spice with a unique taste, often used in cakes, sauces, soups and desserts, and in low doses provides a sweet and delicate taste for meals. Some of its benefits are also used to treat gastrointestinal problems, relieve joint pain, release muscle muscles and stimulate blood flow. However, nutmeg contains a compound called myricetin, which in excess may lead to nausea, dizziness, pain, and arrhythmias. Although nutmeg has many advantages, it is not recommended to consume more than 10 grams of nutmeg at a time, as higher doses have been shown to cause symptoms of poisoning.

4. Coffee

Coffee is a delicious and tasty beverage, which in several studies has been associated with many health benefits, including reduced risk of liver disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and other degenerative diseases. However, an excessive amount of coffee may cause some damage. Canadian researchers have found that excess coffee may lead to changes in the nervous system, insomnia, abdominal pain, palpitations, and muscle tremors. Because caffeine has a different effect on different people, some of us can drink a lot of coffee while others may experience symptoms even after small amounts of caffeine. The guiding rule, in this case, is consumption of up to 400 milligrams of coffee per day, i.e. no more than 4 cups.

5. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are the name for the family of vegetable which includes broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, and other green vegetables. These vegetables are a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, and may also help decrease the risk of cancer, atherosclerosis and heart disease. Their great advantages have given many of us reason to incorporate them into our daily veggie intake, both in salads and as bases for green shakes or fresh vegetable juices. However, they contain a compound of ingredients called thiocyanates that can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iodine. This problem may contribute to the under-activity of the thyroid, which is characterized by an enlarged thyroid, weight gain, dry skin, digestive problems and more. Cruciferous vegetables are healthy and nutritious, but in order to enjoy their benefits, the recommendation is to consume between 1 and 2 servings per day. For people with a thyroid problem, consult a doctor about the recommended amount.

6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a flavor-rich antioxidant and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, help maintain low blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and protect against diabetes and degenerative diseases. However, cinnamon contains high amounts of a compound called coumarin, which can be harmful in large doses, and according to studies may lead to toxicity in the liver and other diseases. It is important to know that there are two main types of cinnamon, which have different coumarin: Cassia cinnamon, also known as plain cinnamon, and Ceylon cinnamon which contains less of the compound. Since the recommended daily intake of coumarin is 0.1 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, it is recommended to swap plain cinnamon for Ceylon cinnamon and consume no more than 5 grams (one teaspoon) per day. If you rarely consume cinnamon, eating more than one teaspoon occasionally is not a problem. But it is best not to overdo it.

7. Egg whites

Eggs are highly nutritional. In one egg you can find all 9 protein acids, which protect eye health, fight off heart disease, and increase good cholesterol. Protein is a very important food group, but people who consume eggs on a daily basis should pay attention and avoid excessive consumption of egg whites. This is because many animal proteins cause the body to produce growth hormones that promote aging and increase the risk of cancer, especially breast cancer. Egg whites are also problematic for people who suffer from various diseases, including fatty liver, arthritis, kidney failure and more. For those who don’t suffer from ailments, you can consume up to 5 eggs per week. People who need larger amounts of protein such as vegetarians, children, athletes, and other special groups may do so with the advice of a dietician or a doctor. At the same time, for those suffering from problems such as diabetes or heart disease, it is important to receive consultation regarding egg white consumption. When calculating how much eggs you’ve eaten don’t forget to consider eggs consumed in other forms such as in cakes, for example. For those who, for certain reasons, can’t eat egg whites, protein can also be obtained from plants such as beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

8. Green tea

Green tea is generally considered a healthy and safe drink for people who don’t suffer from medical problems. It helps normal sleep, promotes blood flow in the body, relieves internal inflammation, strengthens the immune system and helps digestion problems. However, the variety of these benefits cause many to treat it almost as a drug, and in doing so, consume it excessively throughout the day. Flavonoids in tea, which are compounds that can be used as antioxidants, can bind iron mainly from plant sources or iron supplements and inhibit its absorption in the body. They may also inhibit the absorption of calcium. Don’t treat green tea as a medicine or a substitute for water, and be sure to drink between 2-3 cups a day and no more. In addition, to maximize the absorption of iron from a meal or iron supplements, it is recommended to avoid drinking the tea together with food. Also, since green tea stimulates metabolism, it is not advisable to drink it on an empty stomach. This restriction on the amount of tea is especially important for people with iron deficiency, anemia, or osteoporosis.

9. Quinoa

Quinoa is a very popular and healthy food that serves as a good source of protein, contains magnesium, minerals, and vitamins, and a large amount of lysine, an amino acid that is responsible for repairing tissues in the body. However, excess fiber consumption may lead to contractions and reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Although most foods rich in fiber can lead to these problems, quinoa digestion is the most difficult and problematic for the body. To avoid cramping that may lead to unpleasant digestive problems and constipation, it is important to drink enough water when consuming quinoa. In addition, it is also important to pay attention to portion size, because quinoa contains a significant number of calories even though many consider it a diet food. The recommended amount is half a cup and no more.

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Chili peppers come in all shapes, sizes and spice concentrations, with the pimiento chili having a mild and pleasant flavor and habanero peppers being significantly spicier. See chart below.

Nutritional value in Chilis

Different types of chili peppers have different combinations and quantities of nutrients, but the key mutual nutrient found in all of them is a bioactive compound called capsaicin, which is responsible for the spicy taste and several health effects of these peppers. All chili peppers are very low in calories but relatively high in fiber and plant nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which makes it a valuable addition to your diet.

In the majority of cases, hot peppers are consumed in low quantities and are used as spices or condiments, so you’re not likely to get a lot of macronutrients from them, but they do pack a punch in the vitamin department. For example, chili peppers contain 3 times the amount of vitamin C compared to oranges.

But probably most importantly, hot peppers contain unique phytochemicals that are responsible for the majority of their positive health effects. These include:

  • Capsaicin. This is the compound that makes peppers spicy. It has been studied the most and is linked to the majority of hot peppers’ health benefits.
  • Capsanthin is an antioxidant that also makes peppers red. The antioxidant properties of this compound may be able to fight cancer.
  • Lutein may improve eyesight, but its levels are greatly decreased as the pepper ripens.
  • Violaxanthin is another antioxidant that’s responsible for the yellow pigment of peppers.
  • Sinapic and ferulic acid. These antioxidants are linked to anti-aging benefits and can prevent the development of chronic diseases.

Benefits of Chili

1. Pain relief

One of the phytochemicals contained in hot peppers, capsaicin, has a unique property of binding to pain receptors in the brain, causing you to feel a burning sensation, but without any adverse effects on the body. Since our brain can process only so many kinds of pain at the same time, it is possible to dull the pain you’re experiencing by eating spicy foods or using medical aids that contain capsaicin. By doing so, you will trick your brain into being less sensitive to pain. Topical patches and creams containing capsaicin, for example, were shown to decrease pain linked to arthritis, joint, and muscle pain, as well as nerve damage linked to diabetes. Capsaicin nasal sprays, on the other hand, are also used to deal with migraines. Finally, a study has shown that heartburn can also be relieved by ingesting 2.5 g of chili peppers every day.

2. Weight loss

Several studies show that it can suppress one’s appetite and also increase fat burning. And while most of these studies do suggest that the best results were achieved in participants who combined exercise and smart diet choices with chili peppers, they do conclude that a daily intake of hot peppers or a capsaicin supplement can boost one’s metabolism and promote weight loss.

3. Longevity

If you eat chili peppers at least once a month, you are more likely to live longer, at least that’s what a large scale study found. More precisely, individuals who ate at least 1 red chili pepper (dry or fresh) a month for 20 years had a 13% lower chance of death compared to people who didn’t. It seems like the variety of nutrients contained in these spicy peppers might help fight chronic inflammation and obesity, in the long run.

4. Stomach ulcers

One of the leading causes of the development of stomach ulcers is alcohol, NSAID pain relievers and a strain of bacteria called H. pylori. Several studies found that, contrary to popular belief, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of hot peppers, and particularly capsaicin, helped prevent the development of stomach ulcers among people with high counts of H. pylori in their stomachs, as well as other risk factors.

5. Relieve nasal congestion

Some people experience what is called non-allergic rhinitis, which is when you have a runny or stuffed-up nose that is not due to a cold or allergy. Oftentimes, people with this condition benefit from capsaicin nasal drops. These drops may cause a burning sensation in your nasal cavity at first, but they may relieve you of nasal congestion for weeks or even months.

6. Antibacterial properties

People have been using spices, especially pungent ones, like chili, to prevent food from spoiling for thousands of years. This traditional use is certainly supported by science, with chili, in particular, having been proven to possess antibacterial and antifungal properties. For one, it was found that chili extract can even prevent cholera bacteria from producing toxins. Some scientists even suggest using chili extract as a natural preservative. Apart from preventing food poisoning, however, some studies even used chili extract to treat streptococcus-induced throat infections, chlamydia, and tooth decay. It needs to be noted, however, that all these studies looked at the effect of chili extract, and not whole chili peppers, on these conditions.

7. Help Regulate Blood Pressure

The final advantage of chili peppers is their capability to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. More specifically, chili peppers can help normalize cholesterol levels, at least in animal models. Apart from that, one study suggested that eating 5 g of chilies before a meal high in carbohydrates can help prevent sugar spikes, which means that chili peppers can be beneficial for your heart health and diabetes prevention, although we must point out that more evidence is necessary to back that claim.

Take Away

Chili peppers are an excellent addition to one’s diet, with even small amounts of this spice being able to do wonderful things to our bodies. Still, it needs to be mentioned that not all people can tolerate spicy food, and personal sensitivity to spice can result in strong burning sensations, indigestion, and diarrhea, especially among people who rarely eat spicy food or have bowel conditions, such as IBS.

The bottom line is, if you like spicy peppers, know that they can really improve your health, but if chilies make you suffer and you cannot tolerate the burning sensations, it’s best to avoid them.

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The study, conducted by researchers at Tuft’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, found that in 2015 over 80,000 new cancer cases were associated with low whole-grain intake, low dairy intake, high intake of processed meats and red meat, low fruit and vegetable intake, and high intake of sugary beverages. Low whole-grain intake was the dietary factor most strongly associated with a higher cancer risk, according to the study. Cancers most associated with diet were colorectal cancers, followed by cancer of the mouth and throat. Researchers also found that diet was responsible for higher rates of cancers among racial minorities in the U.S., including African Americans and Latinos, compared to white people.

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Kindergartners who get more than two hours of screen time a day may be more likely to have behavior and attention problems in school than their classmates who spend less time in front of televisions, smartphones and tablets, a Canadian study suggests. Doctors urge parents of young kids to limit screen time or avoid it altogether because all of those hours watching videos or gaming have been linked to slowed development of speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, and social and behavioral skills.

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Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can suppress tumor growth and inactivate a gene known to play a role in a variety of common cancers thanks to a molecule they contain, a recent study has revealed. The WWP1 gene can be inhibited with a natural and potent compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

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You can fall asleep at the drop of a hat if you know what you’re doing. So, below are 11 secret tricks and techniques that will certainly help you fall asleep faster:

1. Blow bubbles

As strange as this might sound, blowing bubbles serves as a breathing exercise which calms your body and mind. To top it off, since the idea of blowing bubbles when you’re an adult is ridiculously playful, you’re likely to forget any stressful thoughts that may be keeping you up at night.

2. Douse your room in a lavender fragrance

We all love the smell of lavender, and to top it off it has some serious health benefits. According to a study in The Journal of Biological and Medical Rhythm Research, people who stimulate their senses with bursts of lavender scent – at 10-minute intervals, 30 minutes before bed, will find themselves in an increased state of relaxation. Participants in the study reported deeper sleep and heightened morning energy.

3. Put on some tunes

A study in the Journal of Advanced Nursing confirmed that calming music can help carry you away to dreamland. Tunes with a slow rhythm, with no more than 80 BPM were found to reduce the sympathetic nervous system activity. This means that you will feel less stressed, anxious, or depressed and you will be able to focus on falling asleep instead.

4. Occupy your mind for few minutes

If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes then you will be awake for a while. This will create a cycle where you associate your bed with being awake for a while. This will create a cycle where you associate your bed with being awake and it will be more difficult for you to doze off in it the next night. Your best bet would be to get out of bed and distract your mind with an activity for 10 minutes. This will reset your mind and allow you to attempt to fall asleep again.

5. Cut out blue light

Bear in mind that whatever activity you choose to reset your mind, be sure that it doesn’t involve a screen. The blue light can have dreadful effects on sleep prevention and have long been chronicled on its negative effects. The blue light is what we call ‘short-wavelength-enriched’ – this means that it suppresses the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes you fall asleep. With this in mind, it would make sense to turn off all blue light for an entire hour before you hit the hay.

6. Lower your room temperature

Have you ever wanted to doze off in an overheated boardroom? That’s because heat makes us drowsy. When your body starts to power down for the night it drops a few degrees which subsequently helps your body enter and stay in REM. So, to help your body fall asleep faster reduce your room temperature by a few degrees. The ideal temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Take a warm shower

While this may come as the opposite advice of ‘cool yourself down’, there is a reason for it. You know the feeling when you step out of the shower and you feel a shiver? This occurs because the warm shower ultimately lowers your body temperature a few degrees, which as we’ve mentioned, will help you fall asleep faster. The same applies to drinking a glass of hot water, or decaffeinated tea which warms your core and forces your body to cool down.

8. Wear socks to bed

Having warm feet will help you fall asleep. One of this reason why this might be so is that the degree of dilation of blood vessels in the skin of the hands and feet is the best physiological predictor for the rapid onset of sleep. In one study, it was found that the participants who fell asleep the quickest were those who kept their feet covered.

9. Daydream

Your favorite mid-meeting activity can help you fall asleep faster. According to findings published in Behavior Research and Therapy, people who picture relaxing scenes, like a tropical beach, will drift to sleep a whole 20 minutes faster than those who try ‘general distractions’ like counting sheep. So your best bet would be to dream about a beautiful place which will lead you right to a night-dream.

10. Try the 4-7-8 method

When all else fails apple the 4-7-8 method. Here’s how you do it: Place the tip of your tongue against the tissue behind your top front teeth. Exhale through your mouth completely and make a whoosh noise then close your mouth and inhale through your nose for four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds. Exhale through your mouth again and whoosh. Repeat the whole thing three or four times.

Source: Compiled from Internet

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Measles was declared eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, but declining vaccination rates have spurred a resurgence in the highly contagious virus, according to Unicef (which has reported a 300% spike in global measles cases over last year) and the CDC. Pockets of unvaccinated children have risen as the proportion of young kids who aren’t getting inoculations like the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine has roughly quadrupled over the past 15 years, according to the CDC. Approximately 110,000 people died from measles in 2017, according to the World Health Organization, and most were children under five.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Johns Hopkins University identified the 25 U.S. counties that are most at risk of measles outbreaks due to low vaccination rates being compounded by the high volume of international travel in the area. They include Tarrant, Travis and Harris county in Texas.

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The 2018 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found:

—Overall, the U.S. birth rate for women ages 15 to 44 was 59 births per 1,000 women, an all-time low.

—Last year, there were 2% fewer births than in 2017.

—Births to teenagers again reached a record low. The number of births to mothers ages 15 through 19 was 179,607, down 8%.

—The rate for premature births — delivery at less than 37 weeks — rose for the fourth straight year to just over 10%, from 9.9%.

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Found in more than 900 food products, E171 is consumed in high proportion everyday by the general population. Consumption of food containing E171 has an impact on the gut microbiota – defined by the trillions of bacteria that inhabit the gut – which could trigger diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer, said the study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

A food additive which is commonly used as a whitening agent in products such as chewing gum and mayonnaise could lead to inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer, warns a study.

The study conducted in mice investigated health impacts of food additive E171 (titanium dioxide nanoparticles) which is commonly used in high quantities in foods and some medicines as a whitening agent.

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Things that you should be honest with your doctor, about

When it comes to a meeting with a doctor, a few white lies may actually snowball into a real tragedy. And while you may not see any harm in concealing a bad habit, forgetting to mention a multivitamin you take, misrepresenting the amount of exercise you do, or simply not showing up at the doctor’s office for a while, all of these things may really harm your health and pose a serious health risk.

1. Make sure to state all the medications and supplements you’re taking, even over-the-counter drugs and nutritional supplements

Anything that you ingest or inject into your body may interfere with its functioning or another medication you are prescribed, so not mentioning them to your health provider puts you at risk of side effects and drug interferences, which can potentially endanger your physical and mental health.

These medications include:

  • Prescription medications (e.g. blood-thinners, antidepressants, antibiotics, and heart medications).
  • Over-the-counter medications (such as aspirin).
  • Herbal remedies (botanical remedies and herbal supplements).
  • Vitamins and supplements (complex vitamins, amino acids, minerals, protein supplements, weight loss supplements).

The symptoms of a problematic drug interaction vary and can potentially be life-threatening: extreme drops in blood pressure, an irregular or fast heart beat, liver and kidney damage, nausea, upset stomach, and headache. The list of drugs and symptoms goes on, and only a licensed professional can confirm whether the combination of drugs you’re taking is safe.

2. Mention all past surgeries and medical procedures, even minor ones, including pregnancies and labor

Being honest with your doctor about every minor surgery or cosmetic procedure that happened years ago might not seem important to you, but this information may be a crucial clue to your doctor that can help diagnose and treat your condition. Be explicit about any surgeries and medical procedures you’ve been through, including:

  • Cosmetic and plastic surgery.
  • Labor complications or abortions.
  • The removal or skin bumps or lumps.
  • Trauma, etc.

This is important because some surgeries increase your likelihood of developing certain diseases and symptoms, e.g. a removed gallbladder may make you experience bloating and abdominal pain after eating fatty or spicy foods.

In addition, your previous surgeries may give your doctor some additional insight to what’s going on or point to a bigger issue, like a cosmetic filler may get inflamed or cause severe and even chronic allergic reactions, which may not be diagnosed unless you disclose that you had this procedure.

Finally, anesthesia-related issues, such as the possibility of complications, are always a consideration before an upcoming surgery, and a history of previous surgeries may help your doctor better gauge the dose and kind of anesthetic to be used.

3. Don’t lie about your age and your parents’ medical history

Disclosing the patient’s age accurately is extremely important, as many crucial preventative medical procedures are age-dependent. This may help you prevent serious diseases, such as cancer, for one. Another preventative measure that you might be missing out on are immunizations, the majority of which are age-dependent, especially for kids.

Speaking of children, it is of utmost importance to be accurate about the age of small kids, as the medications they can take safely and effectively lean on the age of the child. It is also important for everyone to notify their doctor about any conditions that run in their family, such as cancer, diabetes, genetic conditions, etc., as your doctor will assign additional tests and screenings for you to prevent or manage the condition you are likely to have inherited from your family.

4. Never misrepresent how much you exercise, as well as the quality of your diet

It is understandable that we want to look good in our doctor’s eyes and often state that our activity levels are higher than they actually are, but a lack of exercise, as well as an unhealthy diet, can set you at risk of diabetes and heart disease, and your doctor has to know how much you actually exercise to be able to access your long-term health.

For one, they can actually help you choose the diet and exercise regime that is best-suited for your lifestyle. But a lack of exercise isn’t the only danger, as your doctor may direct you to abstain from exercise or certain foods for different reasons, and if they don’t know that you work out and eat too much or too little of something, you’re setting yourself to more complications.

5. Always state the truth about how much time you spend outdoors, especially without sun protection during the day

Unprotected sun exposure increases your likelihood of developing skin cancer, even during short trips from the car to the shopping mall, to work, or home. Even if you don’t get sunburned regularly, but don’t wear and reapply sunscreen, or used to tan without sunscreen on in the past, you’re at a higher risk of this condition, as are the people who visit tanning beds.

If any of the above-mentioned conditions apply to you, share this information with your doctor, as you will require more thorough and regular skin examinations.

6. Don’t lie about your oral health

We all know how we’re supposed to brush and floss twice a day, and we’re often very eager to share that knowledge with the dentist, even when we don’t really follow this recommendation ourselves.

But the truth of the matter is that your oral health is inevitably connected to your overall health, and poor oral hygiene has been linked to a variety of health issues: frequent coughs, cardiac disease, problems conceiving (in women), and several others. Be explicit about your oral hygiene habits and improve them if your doctor claims it may be causing your health issue.

7. Honestly state your own medical history, including the last time you’ve seen a doctor

Whatever is the case for you, be straightforward with your healthcare provider about the last time you paid them a visit, as during this time, you might have missed a few preventative procedures, immunizations, and routine checks.

In simple words, your doctor will make a more thorough examination when they know that you haven’t been to a doctor for a while. The same rule works for your health history: e.g. a previous history of many allergies, for example, increases your likelihood of having asthma, so it warrants a more in-depth investigation of the lungs.

On top of that, your medical history may influence the kind of medical treatment you can or cannot receive for a non-related condition, so always make sure to notify the doctor of any other conditions you have or used to suffer from, including allergies and chronic illnesses.

8. Be honest about uncomfortable matters, such as bowel movements, menstrual cycle, mental health, etc.

While it may be a very uncomfortable topic of discussion to you personally, things like bowel movements, reproductive and mental health are what most doctors deal with on an everyday basis. Furthermore, factors like erectile dysfunction or anxiety may be an important diagnostic criterion of seemingly-unrelated conditions, and letting your doctor know about these symptoms will help you feel better in the long run.

Apart from that, symptoms like constipation or diarrhea may be pointing to problems with your medication. Finally, some medications may be dangerous for you, e.g. certain heart medications may worsen one’s depression symptoms, so it is key to tell your doctor about your condition for them to choose a different medication for you.

9. Tell your doctor if you haven’t followed the directions before a medical procedure

Telling an anesthesiologist that you have fasted before a surgery when you didn’t can cause severe complications, as during sedation, the contents of the stomach may spill over into the respiratory tract, making you choke on your food or develop pneumonia.

It is important to reschedule your surgery, in that case, as going under the knife will endanger you. But a fast not kept before surgery isn’t the only issue, as not following the doctor’s directions may also mess with your blood test or imaging results, so it’s best to be explicit if you haven’t really followed the instructions as you were supposed to.

10. If you haven’t understood something your doctor told you, ask a follow-up question

It is natural to ask follow-up questions, but many patients are too modest and don’t want to impose their concerns to their doctors.

In reality, however, it is crucial that you understand exactly what to do after leaving the doctor’s office, be it making appointments to other specialists, how often to take the newly-prescribed medication or how to prepare for an upcoming screening or procedure. Don’t be afraid to raise any questions and concerns, even if it takes some extra time at the doctor’s office.

11. Let your doctor know if you forgot to take the prescribed medication

It is crucial for your doctor to know if you made any alterations to your medication schedule, as taking too much or too little of the medication, or skipping as little as a day can really affect your health. And it doesn’t matter if you stopped your antibiotics a few days early, skipped contraception or forgot to take your heart medication, you should always keep your doctor informed about this.

The same goes for misrepresenting the amount of painkiller you take daily, even if it’s an over-the-counter one. If you have to take more of the medication your doctor prescribed or supplement it with an over-the-counter one, it can damage your liver and build up the number of toxins in your body, but it isn’t all.

If you’re taking a prescription painkiller, it is crucial to stick to the doses you were prescribed, as several painkillers (e.g. Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Ultracet) are combination pills and they include strong opioid medications in addition to acetaminophen, which are addictive and damaging to your health.

12. Be explicit If you smoke, drink alcohol or take any recreational drugs

This last point is actually a crucial one, as it can be life-threatening. Alcohol consumption and drug use can mess with the rest of your medications, making them less effective or causing side effects. Marijuana use, for example, can render some antidepressants, heart medications and blood thinners ineffective.

A severe alcohol habit is no less harmful, however, as alcohol withdrawal symptoms can kill an in-patient, especially if the patient didn’t disclose their habit and the doctors don’t suspect they’re supposed to treat withdrawal symptoms and not something unknown.

Smoking tobacco, on the other hand, increases one’s likelihood of developing a variety of lung diseases, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, and stroke. Finally, all of these habits may interfere with your vital signs and health tests, which will prevent you from getting the treatments and health screenings that you really need.

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Stopping negative behavior in children

The One-Request method is designed to stop something negative that a child is doing, and its goal is to prevent escalation of their behavior and educate them for the future. According to this method, parents are to ask their children to stop what they’re doing only once, and if they don’t stop immediately, there will be consequences in the form of punishment that will make them understand that there is no room for such behavior. This method has several steps that parents should implement.

  • The first step is to ask your child to stop their negative behavior only once, without further warnings.
  • When your child does something that they are not supposed to do or behaves negatively, ask them to stop this behavior only once, and tell them that if they don’t, their behavior will bring about disciplinary consequences in the form of punishment.
  • If, for example, your child is picking their nose, tell them they have till the count of 3 to stop and if they don’t stop they’ll have a 5-minute time-out. This warning will be said once and once only without raising your voice because shouting, as we’ve mentioned, doesn’t actually help.
  • If your child stops the behavior, praise them for listening to you. You don’t have to shower them with compliments and praise, rather simply tell them that they behaved very nicely by listening to you and thank them. This way they’ll understand that positive behavior is preferable to negative behavior, which will encourage them to continue on this path.
  • On the other hand, if after one warning your child has not stopped, continue with the disciplinary measures that you warned about. In this case, a 5-minute time-out. Once the punishment is over, continue with the following steps to significantly reduce the likelihood that your child will repeat this behavior.

9 Steps to Stop Negative Behavior in Children With The Single-Request Method:

1. Speak to your child at eye level, literally

Whether they behave negatively or positively, children see parents as an authority figure, even if parents don’t feel this way most of the time. When you stand above your child, they are likely to feel threatened and enter a defensive mode, so it is advisable to lower down to their eye level when speaking to them. This way, you’ll have eye contact to help you deal with the situation, and your child will be more open to hearing what you have to say.

2. Refer to your child by name

A personal approach to every topic has a great impact on the person you’re speaking to and continuing on from the previous section, this is a great way to further strengthen your personal and intimate appeal to your child. When there are disciplinary consequences after your child has not listened to one warning, refer to them by their first name so that they know you aren’t talking to anyone else, and of course, keep in close physical contact with them.

3. Try not to be too strict

Yelling does not have a positive effect on children, who get defensive as soon as your tone rises. When you continue the line of punishment when your child isn’t listening to you, it is important that you continue the interaction calmly throughout all the steps, even after the punishment is over. For example, when you approach your child after their time-out has ended, try to keep calm and don’t shout – remember that your child is young and has no real-life experience. It will take your child time to learn how to behave in certain situations and it is your role as parents to teach them to do so patiently.

4. Stick to a simple message that your child can understand

Children have shorter attention spans than adults, and they also find it difficult to understand abstract ideas in the way that we can. Therefore, it is important to keep a brief and concise message about disciplining your child so that they can understand and implement it in the future. Conversations that run on will cause your child to lose focus which will only frustrate you. Therefore, it is recommended to have short, simple-messaged conversations with them.

5. Listen to your child when they speak

Education is a two-way street of conveying and receiving messages from both sides and it is important that you remember this after your child receives their punishment. So that you can be sure that your message is understood, and that your child feels that their voice is heard, let them express his opinion, feelings, and thoughts so that you can have a conversation. If only you talk, it will feel like preaching that children, like adults, are less open to. When your child speaks to you, try to keep your head and heart open and understand what they are trying to convey to you so that the both of you can come away from the punishment and the conversation with something in hand for the future.

6. Show your child that you understand them

The steps above are all important, but they are meaningless if your child doesn’t feel that they are being heard and understood. To do this, listen to what your child says and repeat it back with different words so that they know you’ve understood. For example, your child has hit his brother because he took a toy and says, "He always takes my toy." Understand the feelings behind your child’s behavior and repeat back to him, "You feel that your brother always takes your toy and you do not have a chance to play with it." Even when your child misunderstands the situation, explain to them their misunderstanding only after they have expressed their feelings. If your child hit their sibling after he finished using the toy, then tell them, "You finished playing with the toy a few minutes ago, so now you can wait your turn till your siblings done playing with it." You can also schedule games in similar situations so that each child gets their turn, thus reducing arguments and fights among siblings.

7. Use "I" when talking to your child

When you approach your child after they’ve been punished, start your sentences with "I" so that they can understand the effects of their behavior on others. If your child jumped on the bed, don’t say, "If you jump on the bed, you could fall." Instead, say, "I’m very worried about you when you jump on the bed because you can fall and get hurt." These sentences will help you convey the message and impact of your child’s behavior on the feelings of others in a way that does not feel aggressive or accusatory for your child.

8. Help them see the other’s point of view

The purpose of punishment is not only to show that there are consequences to your child’s actions but also to teach them how not to act. This understanding will come only after your child understands the implications of their actions on others, and this is a particularly important learning process. We all develop compassion throughout our lives, and it starts at a young age where we see how certain actions of ours have a negative impact on others. After your child receives their punishment, tell them how their actions might affect others so that they understand that they aren’t alone in this world, rather they share it with other people who are affected by their actions.

9. Teach them how to ask for forgiveness and correct the consequences of their actions

Children are not exactly eager to ask for forgiveness when they need to, because they don’t fully understand the purpose of the sentence "I apologize." For your child to know when to ask forgiveness and how to do it, your role as parents is to teach them the essence behind the apology. If your child hits another child on the playground to take a toy from them say, "How would you feel if your brother did the same to you?" If your child says that it has happened before, ask them, "And how did that make you feel?" Examples of this kind of reality will help your child understand why it is important to apologize to others for certain actions. That’s why it is important that you take elements from their life so that they can better understand. Then ask "What do you want to do to fix the situation?" In this way, your child will come to a conclusion and implement it in a way that will help them make up for what they did.

Source: Internet

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Natural Remedies to Cure Chapped Lips

Chapped lips, also referred to as dry lips, which occurs when the lips aren’t properly moisturized or due to certain illnesses. Here are a few natural ways to treat chapped lips.

1) Honey – Honey can cure almost anything, including chapped lips. Honey acts as a natural lip balm and moisturizes your lips with its powerful antibacterial properties. Dab a little honey on your lips a couple of times during the day, and an extra dose before bed to prevent chaffing.

2) Water – One of the most common causes of cracked lips is dehydration. It’s extremely important to keep yourself properly hydrated during the day to prevent dry mouth. Try to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. Make sure you carry a large water bottle when you leave the house, so you can stay fully hydrated no matter where you go.

3) Petroleum Jelly – A little Vaseline can cure those dry lips. The petroleum jelly moisturizes your lips and helps to repair the dead cells. Alternatively, you can also apply a bit of honey to your lips, wait for it to dry a few seconds, and add a light smear of petroleum jelly. Remove the substance with a cotton ball dipped in warm water.

4) Aloe Vera Gel – Aloe Vera is a multi-purpose skin treatment. It can be used to get rid of chapped lips as well. Place a small amount of the gel to the damaged lips a few times during the day. The aloe Vera keeps your lips fully hydrated, which allows the dryness to heal much quicker. The taste may be a bit unpleasant, but the results are worth it.

5) Coconut Oil – The minerals found within the coconut oil helps to moisturize the uncomfortable dryness, and softens the cracked areas of your lips. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply the coconut oil:

How to Prepare It:

• Mix a teaspoon of coconut oil together with a teaspoon of sea salt into a bowl.

• Apply the mixture all over the chapped lips, by gently using your fingers in a small circular motion.

• Continue the circular motion for about a minute, before rinsing with a warm washcloth

6) Castor Oil – Did you know that castor oil can actually be used to nourish and repair dry lips? Castor oil stops the peeling and works like magic too. Place a dab of the oil over the chapped lips, and cover it with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Glycerin may be used in place of Vaseline, and here’s how to prepare the mixture:

How to Prepare It:

• Mix one teaspoon of castor oil, with a teaspoon of glycerin and a few drops of lemon juice into a small bowl.

• Apply the mixture over your dry lips before going to sleep, and wash it off in the morning with a cotton ball dipped in warm water. Repeat this treatment daily until your lips are smooth again.

7) Cucumber – Sliced cucumbers can reduce puffiness in the eyes, and work wonders for flaky or dry lips. Cucumbers are high in ascorbic acid, which stimulates the production of collagen. Here’s how to prepare a cucumber lip balm to treat the chapped lips:

How to Prepare It:

• Take a small cucumber slice and gently rub it on your dry lips.

• Let the cucumber juice sit on your lips for around 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash your lips with lukewarm water.

• Repeat this process periodically throughout the day to allow your lips to heal quicker.

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The Link Between your Nose and Your Health

It was long-observed that decreased sense of smell (olfaction) can predict the development of certain degenerative brain diseases, such as:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Autoimmune conditions.

It was also observed that certain fragrances, such as lemon and lavender essential oils have a positive effect on stress, skin reactions, and one’s mood. One study, for example, showed that smelling lemon essential oil can really boost your mood.

But a recent study published in the medical journal Annals of Medicine reached an even more striking conclusion: they found that healthy and active seniors over the age of 70 were almost 50% more likely to pass away in the course of the next 10 years if they have a relatively worse sense of smell. The researchers cannot explain what accounts for a large percentage of the deaths, as of the 2289 participants only 22% passed away due to neurodegenerative conditions, 6% percent died as a result of weight loss and the rest are unresolved. What’s even more surprising is that a poor sense of smell was the strongest predictor of mortality in the group of participants with excellent and good health. Thus, the study concluded that a good sense of smell in your 70’s and 80’s can predict longevity, whereas bad olfaction increases the risk of mortality. In addition, other studies suggest that a bad sense of smell can be one of the first symptoms of neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases, although the data regarding the immune effects are mainly limited to animal models.

Takeaway: Keep a close eye on your sense of smell and see your doctor if you observe that your olfaction reduced dramatically or rapidly, as it may be a warning sign of a more serious problem.

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People with knowledge of Ayurveda would know that the way to a healthy body is by maintaining a healthy gut.

While your digestive tract is able to digest just about any type of food you eat, certain processed foods and preparations (think fried food), not to mention lifestyle habits (think sedentary) mean that our stomachs don’t always react well to what we eat. Certain foods, particularly fatty meat, should be avoided as they may cause an upset stomach. However, there are a number of foods that you can eat to promote good digestion and keep your system running smoothly. Here are foods you should include in your diet that are good for your gut:

1. Apples

Apples’ vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, potassium, and phosphorous content make them a wonderful food for your digestive tract, offering a wealth of benefits from easing symptoms associated with constipation, to improving satiety. In addition, apples contain the compound pectin, which helps raise good bacteria in the gut, promoting the proper functioning of intestinal health.

2. Bananas

For proper functioning of bowel movements, snack on a banana. They alleviate symptoms associated with diarrhea and help restore the number of electrolytes and potassium lost during the passage of stools. Bananas are packed with fiber too, an essential nutrient for good digestion.

3. Beans

For a great source of fiber, look no further than a handful of beans. Health guidelines recommend that on average, you get up to 25 grams of fiber each day – and just one cup of beans serves up about 19 grams. Beans are low in fat too, making them an excellent food for your digestion.

4. Blueberries

Blueberries contain a natural aspirin that helps reduce the tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, thereby lessening pain. Blueberries also act as an antibiotic, blocking bacteria in the urinary tract, thereby preventing infections.

5. Cabbage

Cabbage contains anticancer and antioxidant compounds that help the liver break down excess hormones. Cabbage also helps cleanse the digestive tracts and neutralizes some of the damaging compounds found in cigarette smoke.

6. Carrots

These vibrant-colored root vegetables are good for your skin and your gut. They are packed with arabinogalactans – a powerful probiotic that supports good gut bacteria.

7. Chlorophyll-rich greens

Green fruits and vegetables rich in chlorophyll, promote healthy digestion. They help cleanse the colon and detoxify the liver. To reap the benefits, opt for leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, celery, sea vegetables, leeks, and peas.

8. Garlic

Garlic helps cleanse harmful bacteria in the gut, intestinal parasites and viruses from the body, particularly from the blood and intestines. To reap its health benefits, opt for fresh garlic, not the powdered form.

9. Fermented foods

Fermented foods help offset the damage to your gut flora caused by environmental chemicals, pesticides, antibiotic drugs, processed foods, and other factors. Opt for foods like kimchi, kefir and kombucha tea.

10. Yogurt

Yogurt is packed with live cultures and other foods that contain probiotics, essential for a healthy digestive tract.

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A nationwide measles outbreak has led health officials to quarantine dozens of people at two Los Angeles universities, officials said on Thursday.

The quarantine affects the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) and comes as the United States battles the highest number of measles cases since the country declared the virus eliminated in 2000.

The United States has confirmed 695 cases of measles, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. Many of the case occurred in the states of New York and Washington.

US public health officials have blamed the nationwide outbreak, which coincides with a global rise in the prevalence of the disease, in part on the spread of misinformation about the safety of vaccines.

Takeaway: Vaccinate

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If you’ve ever forgotten to remove your towels from the washing machine once the cycle has finished, then you’re probably familiar with the gross mildew smell that will cling to them as a result. That smell is actually the smell of bacteria breeding, and it’s something that is both gross to think about and especially challenging to get rid of.

Luckily, there is one really easy and effective way to deep-clean your towels and eliminate odors at the source. All you need is some baking soda and vinegar, two products that most people have lying around somewhere at home.

Baking soda and vinegar are essentially an odor-fighting dream team. By themselves, both of these products don’t merely mask smells, but actually eat away at bacteria, thereby banishing odors for good. However, when combined they create a chemical reaction that is able to penetrate deep into your towels’ inner fibers getting rid of the entire odor source.

What’s more, this solution is also perfect for breaking up detergent and fabric softener accumulations. Such build-ups not only attract and accommodate bacteria but also make your towels very difficult to clean, which is why this method is so effective.


  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • Hot water


1. Place all towels into the washing machine and fill it with hot water that you have boiled manually.

2. Add a cup of vinegar and run everything through a regular wash cycle.

3. Once the cycle is complete, add more boiling water and half a cup of baking soda, before running a second cycle.

4. Dry your towels thoroughly, either on a clothesline or in the dryer.