Category Archives: Articles

Malaria Awareness week

Stop malaria

It’s Malaria Awareness week! So what is a better way to raise awareness than going back to the basics and explaining every element of Malaria?

Malaria is caused by a parasite that enters a certain type of mosquito that feeds on humans. It is a disease that if not diagnosed or treated properly can be fatal.

 

Of course, everyone can get Malaria but it is prone to more tropical areas and in South Africa, it is more likely to be found in the Northern and Eastern Mpumalanga, Northern KwaZulu-Natal and around the border but people that travel to these areas are most likely to come in contact with the disease and travel back home with it without noticing as it takes 10-21 days for the symptoms to manifest. Worldwide Malaria exists in more than 100 countries

 

Be vigilant of the following symptoms:

– Fever

– Sweating

– Nausea

-Fatigue

-Vomiting

– Diarrhoea

– Jaundice

Pregnant women and people living with HIV are more vulnerable to malaria but it is important to note that it is not a contagious disease in any shape or form.

 

Prevention for Malaria is as easy as ABCD:

Awareness: Educating yourself about Malaria whether you are traveling to a more prone area or for general knowledge. Reading about it can help eliminate the risk of contracting it.

Bite Prevention: Wearing long clothing and applying repellents on exposed areas plus using other methods like a malaria net will decrease the chances of being bitten.

Chemoprophylaxis: Sometimes before traveling to a prone area, it is advisable to take antimalarial medication but a various number of factors are taken into consideration before you consume this medication.

Diagnosis: The diagnosis is very important because a slight misdiagnosis may cost you your life. Go to a medical professional for help.

 

With all of the above mentioned, it is important to take precaution and consume as much information about Malaria and any fatal disease like it. For more information visit our website www.healthshare.co.za or call 02168702200.

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Top Foods To Eat For Better Skin

close-up-cooking-dinner

Most of us are aware that diet and nutrition helps us live and maintain healthy lifestyles and most importantly, to avoid chronic diseases. It should therefore come as no surprise that the key to flawless skin begins with the food choices you make every day.

Everywhere we look, famous beauty brands are launching and pushing product after product on us, many of which we don’t actually need. Contrary to popular belief, beautiful and glowing skin is not dependent on expensive beauty products and expensive procedures.

Most of the time, the simple solution to a good skin regimen is opting for a balanced, adequate and varied diet.

According to [1]BBC Good Food, older cells are constantly shed and replaced by younger ones and a steady supply of key nutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. Eating the correct balance of foods will feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to help it stay soft, supple and blemish-free.

Jonele Hart, author of Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty Inside and Out, further elaborates “Your diet also directly influences hormone levels, which affect your complexion and impact how your genes perform.”[2]

“The nutrients in your food determine how well your skin can repair itself, defend against damage, and partake in other beauty related actions,” she adds.

Here is a list foods that will nourish your skin while satisfying your taste buds.

  • Nuts and Seeds:
    Nuts contain Vitamin E, which helps protect skin from cell damage while supporting a healthy skin growth. “[3]The healthy, monounsaturated fats founds in almonds can also keep skin less inflamed and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which can occur from the aging process.”
  • Avocados:
    [4]Avocados are also a good source of Vitamin E. Regularly eating avocados will help protect your skin from sun damage, relieve irritation and reduce wrinkles.
  • Salmon:
    Most doctors and dermatologists view salmon as a super-food when it comes to skin health. The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are essential ingredients that help keep skin healthy.
  • Sweet Potatoes:
    Sweet Potatoes work wonders for your skin complexion. [5]According to Bustle, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene- which is an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A in our bodies. Antioxidants protect our skin from free radicals and vitamin A deficiency is a huge reason for dull, dry skin.
  • Spinach:
    Spinach is a goodsource of vitamins A, B2, C and K. The folate in spinach helps maintain and repair DNA, reducing the likelihood of cancer-cell growth.
  • Tomatoes:
    Tomatoes are considered to be one of the most effective remedies for a clear and healthy skin. They are beneficial for skin health mainly because they have high antioxidant content.
  • Watermelon:
    According to experts, [6]watermelon contains Lycopene which is good for skin. Antioxidants help in decreasing the free radicals produced by the body. Lesser free radicals directly implements to retarding process of aging very effectively.
  • [7]Cucumbers:
    Cucumber contains mostly water, which helps to keep skin hydrated. P&G Reward Me notes the following about cucumbers, “Beauty benefits extend to healthy gums and fresh breath, sparkling eyes without the bags, dark circles and puffiness, and beautiful skin owing to the nutrients it contains like biotin, vitamins A, B1 and C, and potassium.”

We hope this helps you make better food choices! Happy eating!

[1] https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/eat-your-way-fabulous-skin

[2] https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/beauty-style/8-best-foods-skin-conditions

[3] https://www.bustle.com/articles/170712-13-surprising-foods-that-can-protect-you-from-sun-skin-damage

[4] https://www.medicaldaily.com/avocado-skin-hair-and-breath-health-benefits-guacamole-408932

[5] https://www.bustle.com/articles/50624-use-sweet-potato-for-skin-hair-and-other-beauty-recipes-because-those-thanksgiving-leftovers-shouldnt-end

[6] http://lookgood.expertscolumn.com/article/watermelon-beauty-benefits-face-how-use-watermelon-juice-for-skin-summer

[7] https://www.rewardme.in/beauty/skin-body/article/6-benefits-of-cucumber-for-face-skin

How to take care of your your health in winter

Healthshare Infographic July

Health issues such as colds, joint pain, and dry skin can be worsened by the cold weather. Help keep yourself and your family healthy through winter by using these tips.

What Employers Can Do To Alleviate Poor Health At Work

businesspeople-relaxation

Lack of productivity among employees is often associated with ill health in the workplace and looking at the consequences, it comes as no surprise that more global brands are starting to recognize the impact that workplace health and wellness can have on productivity.

Looking at the high rate of obesity in the country, one has to wonder if this is the case for companies in South Africa.

A study conducted by the [1]Institute for Health Metrics revealed that obesity among South Africans is on the increase.

Another study by [2]Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that a huge number of South Africans are prone to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and cancer. It also found that young adults in their twenties are at a high risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

[3]Augment HR defines corporate wellness as the encouragement of healthy activities and a healthy lifestyle in the corporate environment. This is put forward as a means to reduce ailments in employees, mental and physical stress, and overall costs resulting from the sick day. Examples include the implementation of corporate wellness programs, individual sessions with wellness coaches, etc.

Given that people spend most of their days in the office, prioritizing corporate wellness should not even be a question. Focusing on wellness means a happier, healthier environment in your company.

[4]Benefits Pro offers the following reasons why companies need wellness programs:

  • Employee health affects organizational health: Employee wellbeing is critical to workplace health. A company with employees that are cared for and supported emotionally, physically and mentally can expect productivity.
  • It creates better results: A healthy working environment promotes creativity in employees.
  • Wellness and business strategy aligns: Corporate wellness is inarguably one of your company’s best assets. The healthier your employees are, the more successful your business will be.

According to [5]Everyday Health, implementing corporate wellness programs in your company can result in significant changes in the following areas:

-Reduced Hospital Admissions
-Weight Loss
-Quitting Smoking

If you’re still trying to find the right way to start a wellness program in your company, [6]Benefit News provides the following tips:

  • Customize a strategy for your workplace
  • Offer incentives to get employees to participate
  • Influence the workplace
  • Communicate your program (e.g. using digital channels)
  • Evaluate results and solicit input

Companies with good wellness programs prove the organization’s concern for their employees thus encouraging them to work harder and more efficiently.

It is clear that a corporate wellness program can bring multiple benefits to both small and large corporate businesses. As the world observes Corporate Wellness Week – if your company has not yet jumped on the bandwagon, perhaps it is time for you to also look into prioritizing corporate health.

Remember, implementing this program doesn’t necessarily need a major investment. You can also start small! A healthy employee is a focused, high performing employee!

 

 

[1] https://bit.atkasa.com/2IfvRXI

[2] http://www.hsrc.ac.za/uploads/pageNews/72/SANHANES-launch%20edition%20(online%20version).pdf

[3] https://www.augmenthr.com/blog/why-does-workplace-wellness-matter/

[4] https://www.benefitspro.com/2015/06/30/top-10-reasons-you-should-implement-wellness/?slreturn=20180522080840

[5] https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/reasons-corporate-wellness-programs-are-still-worth/

[6] https://www.benefitnews.com/list/5-tips-for-starting-or-refining-a-wellness-program#slide-2

Love your heart – 8 tips for a healthy heart

Love your heart

The heart is a symbol that drives Valentine’s Day and the month of love. So, we propose that this year you focus on taking care of and loving your heart. From consuming your 5 a day to cutting down on salt; there are many simple things you can do to aid a healthy heart. To get you started, here are eight tips we love.

 

 

  • Become active

It is advised that everyone should aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on five days of the week. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hit the gym or go sprinting. Cycle to a store near you on Saturdays or play a round of soccer with your kids, friends or even your dogs. Make becoming more active more fun.

  • Know your BMI

Managing your weight can go a long way in increasing heart health. Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement of your body fat based on your height and weight. You can generate your BMI on a calculator found online or simply work it out by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres. Take that answer and divide it by your height again to get your BMI.

  • High 5 a day

Whenever possible, try and consume at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. This ensures that you consume a variety of vital nutrients and vitamins. Mix it into a tasty fruit or vegetable salad or chop your favourite five veggies or fruit into pieces and enjoy it for lunch at work.

  • Increase your fibre intake

Hearts love a healthy dose of fibre. Soluble fibre reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your intestines. Fibre is found in a variety of food sources such as wholemeal, wholegrain cereals and plenty of vegetables and fruit.

  • Take it with a pinch of salt

High salt intake can lead to high blood pressure so it’s always best to keep your pinches to a healthy limit when cooking or enjoying your meal. Be wary of high salt levels in ready-made foods and processed foods as well.

  • Enjoy fish

Fish such as sardines, fresh tuna, mackerel and salmon all contain a healthy source of omega-3 fats which can help protect against heart disease.

  • Say no to too much alcohol

High alcohol intake does not only lead to a host of problems and dangers, just like your favourite take-away meal, it can lead to weight gain which as a whole is bad for your heart. It is advised that you stick to the recommended daily alcohol limits.

  • No smoking

Did you know that smoking is the leading cause of coronary heart disease? There’s no need to go cold turkey or struggle on your own. Speak to your doctor and ask him or her for assistance and advice on how to stop smoking.

 

Celebrate the month of love by loving and taking care of yourself and your heart. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter and share your health tips with us.

Foods your kidneys will love – Infographic

Splendid benefits and uses of baking soda

baking soda

Baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, has benefits and uses that go way beyond banking. If you have a box in your cupboard, keep it handy because we’re going to share with you a few amazing benefits of using baking soda.

Please be advised that these uses and remedies will render different results for various individuals and we would advise that you contact a healthcare professional before relying on any of these remedies.

Exfoliation: Baking soda is a wonderful natural exfoliator and can be turned into the perfect at home, inexpensive spa treatment. Simply add three tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for a foot soak. Make a paste combining 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water to be used as an exfoliator for your body and face.

Cleanse your hands: The above mentioned paste can also be used to cleanse your hands and scrub away dirt and odours.

Deodorant: Preparing a simple paste with a pinch of baking soda and some water works wonderful as a natural antiperspirant. Alternatively, you can brush some dry baking soda under your arms.

Relieves itchiness and insect bites: You can make a paste with baking soda and water or simply rub the dry powder on a rash or to relieve minor skin irritations.

Splinters: Everyone can agree on one thing; a splinter is terribly irritating. If you consider yourself to be a patient person, soak the area where the splinter entered your skin in a mixture of a tablespoon of baking soda with water two times a day. The splinter should come out after a couple of days.

Sunburn: This remedy is perfect for summer. If you’re suffering from bad sunburn, soak your body in bath water containing half a cup of baking soda. When you step out of the tub, allow your skin to air-dry for extra relief.

Toothpaste: Studies have revealed that baking soda makes fantastic toothpaste that can remove plague, polish and clean your teeth. Here’s a secret toothpaste recipe: Mix six parts of baking soda with one part of sea salt. Blend these ingredients together. Wet your finger and apply the mixture to your gums and teeth and spit out the excess. Wait 15 minutes before rinsing your mouth.

Bonus tip: Baking soda is the natural answer to whitening your teeth.

Around the house:

Drain cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda in your drain following with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Allow this mixture to bubble down the drain for 15 minutes then rinse with hot water.

Scrub tough stains: Baking soda can be used to scrub your barbeque, scrub away the grime in your shower or bath and to soak pots and pans.

Fabric softner:  Add one cup of baking soda to your laundry to soften and whiten your clothes.

Now you know that bicarbonate of soda might just come in hand this festive season. Don’t forget to try one of the above mentioned uses on the 30th of December as it will be World Bicarbonate of Soda Day!

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.