The truth behind drinking and driving over the festive season – Don’t Drink and Drive

10 Ways you can get festive with your diet

If you ask us, the best part about the festive season is the food. Roast… Christmas pudding… Don’t worry, you can still enjoy the festive season fully, you just need to eat smart. Here are a few ways you can get festive with your diet.

  1. Don’t worry about it: When you’re under stress, maintaining healthy eating habits can be difficult. The festive season is a time to get, well, festive so don’t let stress about all of the food and cooking for everyone get you down.
  2. Add some lemon: Studies have shown that increasing the acidity level of your food can lower the glycaemic load of your food. There are loads of nice recipes you can try with some lemon or vinegar.
  3. Chew: If the meal is tasty, savour the flavour by chewing your food more slowly. The longer you take to eat your food, the fuller you will feel.
  4. Soluble fibre: Foods such as oatmeal, lentils, apples, strawberries, nuts etc. contains soluble fibre that will keep you fuller for longer.
  5. Go dry for the evening: If you’re going to be enjoying a drink, opt for the driest drinks such as dry red or white wine as they are lower in calories.
  6. Keep snacks at arm’s length: The tip may sound silly but not standing too close to the snack table at a party will deter your hand from wandering over to the chip bowl.
  7. Don’t do your Christmas shopping on an empty stomach: The food court at a mall is full of temptations. Instead, enjoy a filling snack or sandwich before hitting the mall. This way the cafés and dairy shops won’t be able to take advantage of your hunger pains.
  8. Keep mints close by: After a delicious meal, pop a mint in your mouth. The feeling of your fresh palate may keep you from reaching for another tempting bite.
  9. Eat from smaller plates: Eating from a smaller plate or bowl will help you manage your portion sizes. According to a study conducted at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, nutrition experts found that they served themselves 31% more ice cream in an oversized bowl as opposed to a smaller bowl.
  10. Tall, skinny glasses are so elegant and sensible: Pour your festive drinks into skinny glasses. Studies at Cornell have revealed that people are more likely to pour 30% more liquid into bigger glasses.

Home remedies that may help with your spring cold and allergies

Spring is a gorgeous season but is often marred by stifling allergies and colds. If you’re someone prone to spring colds or allergies, here are a few home remedies that could help. Please note that this advice should not be seen as a substitute medical advice.

Apple cider vinegar: Dilute some apple cider vinegar with water or lemon juice and drink it to help with a runny nose as the vinegar helps break up mucus in the body.

Hot shower: This is an easy home remedy to help combat a spring cold. The steam of a hot shower will help clear your sinuses. Taking a shower once you arrive at home will help rid you of outdoor pollen as well.

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus has shown to help with allergy relief as it can reduce inflammation. Place some crushed leaves in a bowl at your desk or on your bedside table or rub three drops on your chest to help you breathe easier.

Probiotics: Products like yogurt contains healthy bacteria to balance gut bacteria.

Nasal irrigation: This process entails the draining of saline from one nostril through another to flush out mucus.

Spicy food: Eating hot food in the middle of spring or summer? Yes. Food spiced up with ingredients like onion, garlic and pepper or hot ginger can help thin out your mucus.

Honey: While flowers may cause allergies it can actually help relieve it too. Eating honey every day can help you gradually become inoculated against the side-effects of pollen.

Steam: Pour boiling water into a bowl and drape a towel over your head. Spend five to ten minutes inhaling the steam.

Tea: Try drinking some peppermint or green tea. The menthol found in peppermint tea can help break up mucus. Green tea has shown to have antioxidant properties that can restrain allergic reactions.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega 3 Fatty Acids are naturally anti-inflammatory and can be found in walnuts, fish and flax seeds, to name a few.

Stay clear of pollen: Be sure to wash pollen out of your hair and skin after being outside. Don’t let your clothes dry on a line outside, wash your pets and vacuum your carpets regularly.

Apple and walnut mix: Not only is this mix yummy and nutritious, the vitamin E content can boost your immunity and protect against reacting to allergens.

These home remedy suggestions should not be taken as medical advice and may not show the same results for every person. Ultimately we advise that you seek medical advice before attempting any of the remedies.

Do you know of any interesting home remedies that have worked for you? Join the conversation and let us know.

Source: Health, Common sense homesteading

 

Common myths around diabetes busted

Diabetes

Careful, don’t eat that birthday cake for breakfast, you may just get diabetes.

Many of us have at least once or twice heard the threat of diabetes mentioned with regards to eating habits. What we here at Healthshare would like to know is; how true are some of these claims? Allow us to bust a few popular myths around diabetes.

 

 

F: Eating too much sugar can cause diabetes

T: Type 1 diabetes is the result of a person’s pancreas failing to produce insulin. Sugar itself or the amount of sugar one consumes does not cause diabetes. However, consumption of too much sugar contributes to unhealthy weight gain which can subsequently cause type 2 diabetes.

F: People with diabetes cannot enjoy candy

T: As with any condition there are bound to be limits put into place. People with diabetes can still enjoy the occasional piece of chocolate, however, in moderation.

F: You can feel if your blood sugar levels are high or low

T: Some minor symptoms such as weakness, unshakable thirst or an increased need to urinate may be signs that your blood sugar levels are high or low. A proper test is the only way to know for sure how low or high your blood sugar levels are. In fact, high blood sugar levels can do considerable damage without you even realising it.

F: People with diabetes cannot exercise or play sports

T: Exercise helps keep weight under control and may control blood sugar levels. Let a medical professional advise on the best exercises to do in order to manage blood sugar.

F: Type 2 people only occurs in people who are over weight

T: While type 2 diabetes is associated with people who are overweight or obese, it can occur in people with normal weight or who are underweight as well.

F: People with diabetes shouldn’t drive

T: Hypoglycaemia is the main danger diabetic drivers are faced with. That being said, hypoglycaemia can be prevented and many diabetic drivers take care in ensuring that hypos do not take place while they are driving.

 

 

Warning signs of a stroke

The symptoms of a stroke depend on how much a certain area of the brain has suffered the loss of blood supply. A mild stroke may cause the temporary weakness in the arms or legs however more severe strokes can leave people paralysed on the one side of their body or causes the loss of ability to speak.

Without further ado, here follows a few warning signs of a stroke

The FAST symptoms of a stroke

FAST is an acronym describing the main symptoms or warning signs of a stroke that will help you swiftly identify it.

F – Face: If a person’s face starts to droop, this may be a warning sign of an oncoming stroke. Smiling is a quick way to determine whether the face is drooping and the one side of the face may also feel numb.

A – Arm: Weaknes in the arms. If a person raises both arms and start to feel weakness or numbness on one side or one arm drifting downward, it could be a sign of arm weakness.

S – Speech: When a person slurs their speech or have trouble speaking all together, it could be a major warning sign.

T – Time to phone an ambulance: If you or someone you know shows any of the above mentioned symptoms, even if it subsided, we advise that you phone an ambulance or take the person to a doctor immediately.

 

Other symptoms of a stroke include:

Weakness or paralysis of any part of the body.

Numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation anywhere in the body.

Inability to speak, slurred speech, or inability to understand speech

Loss of sensation in any part of the body

Memory loss

Behavioral changes

Muscle stiffness

Difficulty swallowing

Involuntary eye movements

Trouble walking or the loss of balance

Blurred vision or vision changes in both eyes

Dizziness

Severe headache

Confusion

How to reduce the chances of getting a stroke:

– Control your blood pressure, especially if its high

– Try to do moderate exercise at least 5 times a week

– Eat a healthy, diverse, diet that contains vegetables and fruit but are low in sodium

– Reduce your cholesterol

– Maintain a healthy weight or BMI

– Don’t smoke

– Reduce alcohol consumption

– Go for regular check-ups with your doctor

– Manage your stress levels

– Educate yourself on the warning signs of strokes

 

Wash after you flush – Why is washing your hands so important?

Washing your hands

Washing hands seems like a mundane concept, however, have you ever taken a moment to think how important this simple action really is to your health? Here are a few facts that may make you think twice about skipping a good hand scrubbing.

Is hot water more effective for hand washing?

To many it would make sense that using hot water to wash your hands would be more effective than using cold water. On the contrary, no evidence really exists that can substantiate this claim. Warmer water can, in fact, irritate the skin and affect the protective layer on your hands.

When to wash your hands:

  • Before eating your food
  • Before, during and after you’ve prepared your food
  • Before and after treating wounds
  • After using the toilet
  • After touching or feeding an animal
  • After handling pet food
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After changing diapers
  • After touching garbage

How to wash your hands:

Wet your hands with clean water and be sure to turn off the tap as you apply soap to your hands, liquid if possible. Lather your hands and be sure to wash the backs of your hands, between your fingers, under your nails, palms and wrists. The CDC recommends that we wash our hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel or air dry your hands.

Using hand sanitiser

Hand sanitiser is the best alternative if you cannot get to the bathroom or a sink to wash your hands. We recommend that you use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol.  Apply the gel to the palm of one hand and rub your hands together so as to cover all surfaces of your hands. Rub your hands until they are dry.

At Healthshare we take the health and well-being of the community at heart and we do hope that you’ve found this article insightful and take a moment to create awareness around the importance of washing hands.

What you need to know about arthritis

Arthritis

The word ‘arthritis’ essentially means joint inflammation however, the term can be used to describe approximately 200 rheumatic disease and conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 52.5 million adults report having been diagnosed with a form of arthritis.

What is arthritis?

Contrary to popular belief, arthritis does not refer to a single disease bur rather joint pain or joint disease. While it is known that arthritis commonly occurs in elders, younger people can get it as well and it occurs more frequently in women. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are known to affect multiple organs.

There are around 200 types of arthritis – or musculoskeletal conditions – which are split into seven main groups:

  1. Inflammatory arthritis
  2. Degenerative or mechanical arthritis
  3. Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain
  4. Back pain
  5. Connective tissue disease
  6. Infectious arthritis
  7. Metabolic arthritis

Source: Medical News Today

Symptoms

The symptoms may vary depending on the type, however, the four main warning signs of arthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling and difficulty moving a joint. Pain caused by arthritis may be isolated to one place or in many parts of the body. If the skin over the affected joint become red, swollen and feel warm, it should also be seen as a warning sign.

Diagnosis

Many cases of arthritis can be diagnosed with a detailed medical history of symptoms, current and past, a physical examination and radiographic and lab studies however, the specific tests ordered during the diagnostic process will vary depending on the type of arthritis your medical professional suspects. Some of the most common tests that may be conducted include but aren’t limited to:

  • Complete blood count
  • Joint ultrasound or MRI
  • Joint X-ray
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Bone Scan
  • Synovial fluid analysis
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Tear test

Treatment

Through the treatment of arthritis, doctors aim to minimise pain and joint damage and to improve quality of life. There are various medications and treatments that can achieve this depending on the type of arthritis a person may have. Some treatments include:

  • Medication
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Weight-loss
  • Joint replacement or joint surgery
  • Splints or other joint aids

While there is no one diet that can treat arthritis, there are several foods that can reduce inflammation and provide many nutrients that promote joint health. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Olive oil
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables

In order to manage the disease it is recommended that people stay physically active, achieve and/or maintain a healthy weight, go for regular check-ups and protect their joints from unnecessary stress. Should you be experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, we advise that you seek the advice of a medical professional.

How to wash your hands properly – Infographic