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Find out about 9 foods that are best suited for your liver!

Globally, around 300 million people are unaware that they suffer from viral hepatitis. If they do not receive proper diagnosing and care, they are at the risk of continuing to suffer and may ultimately lose their lives. 

World Hepatitis Day, celebrated on the 28th of July, aims to bring about the much-needed awareness about this condition. It strives to convince the masses to take action and find the “missing” – essentially undiagnosed – cases. Thus, the theme for 2020 is – FIND THE MISSING MILLIONS

Hepatitis can be defined as the inflammation of hepatic cells- cells that the liver is composed of. This can occur due to various reasons, such as overconsumption of alcohol, an external or internal physical injury, an autoimmune response, or as a reaction to a particular pathogen such as bacteria or virus. There are five different types of hepatitis, namely A, B, C, D, and E. A & B are the most common types. 

The difference between Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B lies in their respective modes of transmission. 

Hepatitis A is transmitted through a faeco-oral route, i.e. due to the consumption of food or water that has accidentally come in contact with the contaminated faeces of an infected patient. 

Hepatitis B, on the other hand, can only be transmitted through blood or sexual (fluids) contact with an infected person. What one needs to remember is that the HBV (Hepatitis B Virus) cannot be spread through casual contacts, such as shaking hands or sharing a meal. This is the opposite in the case of Hepatitis A.

Often, those with Hepatitis B do not display any distinct symptoms. Those who have contracted Hep – A can experience nausea, vomiting, fever, or darker urine.

Here are some foods and drinks that you can incorporate into your diet to help promote liver health and prevent the contraction of unwanted conditions in the long term. 

Coffee

Coffee contains properties that help protect the liver against diseases such as fatty liver disease. Consuming coffee may also prevent liver cancer and can reduce the risk of chronic liver disease. 

These properties arise due to the fact that coffee interacts with the enzymes present in the liver and indirectly prevents the buildup of fat. It also increases the amount of antioxidants present in the liver.

Oatmeal

Packed with fiber, and incorporating oats into your diet is the easiest way to obtain its goodness. Although in general, fiber is good for the digestive system, certain fibers are also known to be helpful for the liver.

Beta-glucans in oats help reduce fat stored in the liver, which again contributes to the health of the liver.

Green Tea

Green Tea is known to be packed with antioxidants. It can also help reduce fat content in the liver and protect it from NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). 

Garlic

The addition of garlic into your diet can help stimulate the liver. In a study published in Advanced Biomedical Research, 2016, garlic was proven to help reduce body weight as well as fat content. 

This is helpful as being obese/overweight is a contributing factor towards NAFLD

Berries

Apart from helping strengthen the immune system, dark berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries are also packed with antioxidants. This helps in protecting the liver from damage.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish contains healthy omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce the unwanted side effects of NAFLD. These acids help in the prevention of accumulation of fat in the liver and also reduce inflammation.

They are also known to maintain and regulate enzyme levels in the liver. If consuming fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week doesn’t seem possible, you may consider taking a fish oil supplement. 

Grapefruit

Grapefruit contains antioxidants that prevent inflammation of the liver and protect the hepatic cells. They may also help towards increasing the enzymes produces in the liver that helps burn fat.

Olive Oil

Olive oil contains antioxidants in unsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 fatty acids) that reduce oxidative stress and improve liver function. 

Nuts

Nuts are known to keep the liver healthy and protect it against NAFLD. They contain high amounts of healthy fat, vitamins, minerals as well as antioxidants. Consuming a handful of nuts every day can help in the maintenance of liver health.  

Bhookha Haathi’s offerings are 100% natural and preservative-free.  Its Health Booster and Mouth Refresher are packed with the goodness of nuts and dry fruits – that increase good cholesterol and contain high amounts of fiber!

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

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3 Biggest reasons why sleep is crucial for our mind and body

There are several factors that are responsible for our bodies to fall asleep and wake up. We possess an internal clock – a 24-hour sleep cycle regulated by hormones. This is known as the circadian rhythm.  

This clock is essentially regulated by two separate processes. One is a sort of pressure that urges you to fall asleep every hour that you are awake, around the time of late evening – a compound known as adenosine is responsible for creating the urge. An increasing amount of this compound signals you to fall asleep, it then breaks down while you are asleep.

The second process is under the control of the aforementioned circadian rhythm – it becomes in sync with specific cues from the environment. These cues can include the amount of light, darkness, temperature, etc and all of these determine how sleepy you feel. 

There is another compound that is released which helps your body become drowsy and prepare for sleep – melatonin. A peak in this hormone is what researchers believe is crucial in preparing your body for sleep.

Some factors such as artificial light late in the night disrupt the production of such compounds and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Another compound, cortisol, is released towards the morning that signals all the other hormones in the body to help prepare you to wake up.

The natural schedule and rhythm of our internal clock can vary with age – it is noted that teens often go to sleep much later than children that are younger and adults that are older than them. This is due to the fact the release and thereby the attainment of the peak of melatonin in teenagers is later than that in adults and children. 

Sleep plays a very essential role when it comes to maintaining health and well-being in our lives. Receiving good amounts of sleep regularly benefits us in the long run by protecting our physical and mental health along with ensuring our safety and promoting our quality of life.

There are several detrimental effects linked with not receiving a good night’s sleep for a prolonged duration of time. 

Here are three of the most important reasons why sleep is required for the proper functioning of our mind and body.

Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being

Sleep enables the brain to function properly, prepare itself for the next day, and form pathways for absorbing, processing and retaining information. 

Cutting short on sleep often interferes with all aspects of daily life such as work, education, and social interactions. It hampers the processes of learning, focussing, and relating. It becomes hard to understand and empathize with those around us and we tend to feel cranky, upset, or anxious. Those who do not sleep well take longer to finish tasks, have a slower response time and tend to make more mistakes.

Research reveals that a good night’s sleep can boost many several functions of the brain and immensely aids in the process of learning. It helps you to enhance problem-solving skills, be creative, pay attention, and make well-informed decisions.

There are also some studies that suggest that the deficiency of sleep can cause trouble in controlling emotions and behaviourbehavior and the ability to cope with change. It is also linked with certain mental health issues such as anxiety, chronic stress, depression, and also indulging in addictive practices. Sleep deficiency may also lead to mood swings and kill initiative and motivation.

Physical Health

It is very likely for those who do not receive proper sleep to feel weary and tired all day. It negatively impacts alertness and hampers the ability to feel refreshed. 

Sleep is an important factor when it comes to our physical health. While we sleep, various processes are ongoing in our body such as hormone production, assimilation of food, healing and repairing damaged tissues, maintaining fertility, brings about puberty, etc. Not giving our body adequate rest can hamper such processes and lead to unwanted and detrimental effects in the long run.

Sleep deficiency is associated with an increased risk of chronic illnesses such as heart and kidney disease, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

It can also increase the risk of obesity – a small experiment conducted among teenagers revealed that the sacrifice of every hour of sleep increased the chances of them becoming obese by 2%. 

Some hormones produced during the while that we sleep include the ones that make us feel hungry and full. When this balance is not achieved, we often lose our appetite and that reduces our intake of nutrition or makes us excessively hungry and overeat.

Since insulin production and reactivity in our body is dependent on sleep, those who do not get adequate amounts of rest are more prone to suffer from diabetes.

The hormone that is responsible for growth is produced while we sleep. It helps in increasing bone and muscle mass and repairs cells and damaged tissues.

Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility.

Additionally, our immune system is heavily reliant on good sleep to function properly. Sleep deficiency weakens our immune system and thereby hampers its ability to ward off infections caused by pathogens.

Daytime Performance and Safety

If you lose an hour or two’s worth of sleep every day for a while, it will accumulate to as if you have not slept at all for a whole day. This can be very dangerous. 

It may lead you to take several short naps throughout the day which can seriously hamper productivity. 

Or, it may lead you to microsleep – moments when your brain nearly dozes off and you are not aware of your sleep. It can affect how you absorb information.

There are many risks associated with the lack of sleep and there are several who do not even realize that they are suffering from it. 

It’s very common not to notice how adversely sleep deficiency can affect our daily routines – we go on leading our lives by believing the myth that we can function just as well by skimping on sleep.

Believing this is the most dangerous one of them all – it literally puts us at risk when it comes to performing daily tasks.

For instance, somebody who is low on sleep and feels drowsy may feel like he is able to drive – but the fact of the matter is that drowsiness has brought about many more accidents than drunkenness. 

It is not just drivers who are affected by the poor quality of sleep – professionals in all sorts of fields such as lawyers, healthcare workers, mechanics – can all be sufferers.

Sleep deficiency is known to cause large-scale damage by increasing the frequency of human error that can thereby lead to tragic accidents.

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together” –  Thomas Dekker

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

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Indians – here is the reason why you need to become aware of yoga and natural diets

Yoga is an ancient practice of physical and mental discipline that helps one reach the state of true self-realization where mind, body, and spirit work in perfect unison. Yoga has recently gained immense popularity all across the globe primarily as a widely accepted means of keeping body & mind fit and healthy. To many, these practices have proven life-transforming over the years.

Classical yoga includes a variety of elements, such as pranayama/breathwork, Asanas/postures, and Dhyana/meditation to mention a few. Yoga has been proven to yield a host of benefits, such as relieving stress, anxiety, physical body pain, improving overall physical fitness, organ functioning, and retaining hormonal balance resulting in a more holistic happy and healthy lifestyle.

The practise is known to cure problems of the root, be it any physical pain such as that of the neck and lower back or menopausal after-effects. Yoga has also been proven to reduce and manage weight-related disorders.

Yoga does way more than just burning calories and toning muscles; it works out your mind and body so that they can achieve a state of synchronicity. 

There are many forms of yoga – they can be fast-paced and intense, or gentle and relaxing.

1. Hatha

The syllable “ha” translates to the sun and “ta”, the moon. Combining those implies finding a balance between the sun, the moon, and your body. It understands the mechanics of the body and creates a certain environment so that there are no barriers to the flow of energies.

2. Vinyasa

This type of yoga often employs breathing techniques and is also known as “flow” yoga. It links together various physical postures through which you move seamlessly using your breath. This type of yoga prevents repetitive motion injuries and helps develop a more balanced body. Vinyasa yoga recognizes the temporariness of nature – and displays it through the fact that we enter a particular posture for a while and then leave it.

3. Power

Power yoga is the term used to describe a vigorous, fitness-based form of yoga that incorporates athleticism, flexibility, and strength. Experts say that this form of yoga enhances stamina and mental focus. It also helps relieve tension, burns calories, and releases toxins through sweat. It is associated with weight-loss, as well. 

4. Ashtanga

Ashtanga literally translates to “eight-limbed”. It aims to have better control over the mind and strengthening the internal organs. There is a lot of breathing incorporated with the movements, which in turn warms the blood and makes it circulate more freely. This helps release toxins and relieve joint pain – making the body healthier, lighter, and stronger.

5. Bikram

There is a dialogue between the instructor and the student, almost like a script, instead of the instructor demonstrating the moves. There is a precise 26-move sequence that is to be performed at a slightly higher temperature, undoubtedly making you sweat profusely. Apart from teaching discipline and tolerance, this form of yoga can potentially heal chronic pain like arthritis, back pains, knee injuries, etc.

6. Iyengar

Iyengar yoga pays close attention to the details of the anatomy and postural alignments, it helps practice precision. The poses in this form of yoga are held for a relatively longer duration, often with the help of certain props. It helps establish strength, flexibility, stability, and awareness. 

What are yogic/natural diets?

Early yogis would believe in consuming the most natural form of nourishment that would cleanse, enhance, and unify our physical, mental, and spiritual parts. 

It is Lacto-vegetarian, which means that it comprises mainly plant-based food products and dairy and honey. It adds to the thought of compassion for other living beings and reducing the dependency on animal-based foods. 

Plant-based food is said to be pure, or “Sattvic”. These foods are easily digested, keep your body nourished, and can help you attain a higher level of spirituality by generating positive energy.

It is believed to help achieve a similar energized and light feeling that practising yoga imparts. 

This kind of diet can help generate new energy and bring clarity and calmness to our minds. This enables us to fully use our mental, physical and spiritual abilities.

“Sattvic” foods include fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, cereals, whole grains, vegetables, rice, milk, butter, and honey. It is also of utmost importance to keep yourself hydrated. 

Yogic diets often avoid processed, pungent, spicy, or artificially sweetened foods.

Bhookha Haathi aims at doing away with harmful artificial additives that go on to create unwanted side effects later in life. It offers 100% natural compositions based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, grains, and honey, among other whole and natural ingredients. 

This makes them an appropriate example of Sattvic foods that can be added to a natural yogic diet.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.