Friday, November 20, 2009


A recent study talks about added effects of dark chocolate. Read on

Dark chocolate is not just a sinful indulgence, it also has certain medical benefits which you may have read about. But now there are more. A recent study have revealed new medical benefits of this dark delight — a few added reasons to indulge your sweet tooth. 
Dark chocolate can protect the skin against the ageing effects influenced by the sun, says a new research. 
According to scientists who carried out the study at European Dermatology London, UK, a daily portion of dark chocolate may also lower the risk of skin cancer. But it only works with dark chocolate that is very high in flavanols, the antioxidants that occur naturally in cocoa beans, reports a daily. 
    In the research, scientists found that participants who ate flavanol-rich chocolate could tolerate more wrinkle-causing UV light on their skin than those who ate a lower-flavanol chocolate. The researchers said, "The main mechanism is likely to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. But con
ventional chocolate had no such effect." 
An Indian-origin researcher has provided people worldwide the perfect excuse to grab a bar of chocolate: eating dark chocolate every day can reduce stress. The study, published online in ACS' 
Journal of Proteome Research claims that an ounce and a half of dark chocolate (just a little over 40 gm) a day for two weeks reduces levels of stress hormones. Also, it was noted that chocolates partially corrected other stress-related biochemical imbalances. 
    The researcher and his team took into account the scientific evidence of the benefits of chocolate consumption for their study. Their special focus was on antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate. The scientists identified reductions in stress hor
mones and other stressrelated biochemical changes in volunteers, who rated themselves as highly stressed and ate dark chocolate for two weeks. The researchers said, "The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 gm of chocolate during a period of two weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers."

EAT UP: Dark chocolate is as much medically beneficial as it is a sinful indulgence


Now that your bundle of joy has arrived, it's time to get back into shape. BT tells you how you can do this and have fun too

Motherhood is a special experience, but the entire process often leaves a woman feeling drained out. However, it doesn't have to be so. Enrich your life after having a baby, by leading a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods, getting enough rest and pampering yourself. You can enjoy motherhood without compromising on the much needed 'me time'. 
Letting your hair down can be a great stress buster. Music perks you up and the moves will help burn off those calories. Flamenco, jive, salsa or kathak... choose whatever catches your fancy. Else, just dim the lights and groove to your favourite tune. 

The body naturally assists pregnancy by releasing a hormone, relaxin, which makes the joints more flexible. Since relaxin remains in the body for several months after delivery, don't overstretch your muscles and joints. Pamper yourself with a relaxing oil 
massage everyday. Warm mustard oil is great for the hormonal changes that the body undergoes during this phase. 
Once the doctor agrees, find an hour to go swimming. Water has a destressing effect on the mind. It's a full body, low-impact exercise that does not harm the joints. If you are adventurous, take up an aqua aerobics class that strengthens muscles 
and tones the abs. 
This one can be done only after the baby is three months old. Take him or her to a garden and get some help to handle the baby while you walk around. The smell of wet mud and green grass has a soothing effect. Talking to him/her about the trees, flowers and grass can also be a bonding exercise. 

High in iron and low on fat, garden cress seeds are a must-have to get back in shape. The iron makes up for the loss of blood that is common during childbirth. Have them as breakfast, with milk and jaggery. Garden cress is commonly known as halim or asalio. 
This is another one that needs the go ahead from a doctor. Mat work pilates strengthens and de-stresses the pelvic and deep abdominal muscles. Also, it is a good workout to relieve lower-back pain, common among new mothers. 
What you read and listen to has a direct impact on the baby's mind. Pick up some suitable audio CDs. Also, soothing chants and mantras work well for new mothers. Read feelgood novels. Whether it is Robin Sharma or Deepak Chopra's words for the soul, or PG Wodehouse's charming novels, read anything that makes you feel good and positive.

NEW BEGINNINGS: Motherhood doesn't have to drain you out. Take time out for yourself

JUST FOR YOU: It's a good habit to indulge in activities like Pilates or (below) an oil massage

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hepatitis C - A Natural Cures Approach

Occasionally one of my patients will learn from a blood test that they have contracted Hepatitis C, a "new" disease, barely 20 years old since it was first identified. They often react with surprise and alarm and find themselves completely in the dark about how they got it.

Some people even feel ashamed of having such an infection possibly because it is associated with the use of dirty needles that are shared among users of illicit drugs such as cocaine and meth-amphetamine, or from getting a tattoo at a sleazy tattoo parlor that does not follow proper sterilization procedures.

There are numerous other ways to contract Hep C that are far more socially acceptable. Many people picked it up from transfusions of infected blood, as the virus was not isolated until 1989. You can also pick up Hep C by sharing personal grooming items such as nail clippers, razors or even a tooth brush. But no matter how you contract it, you still wind up with Hep C, a life-threatening condition. What do you do now?

People with Hep C may eventually experience a panoply of side effects ranging from a flu-like syndrome to severe symptoms that can include anemia, heart issues and emotional issues such as suicide or thinking about suicide. If permitted to develop unchecked, Hep C can progress to scarring of the liver (fibrosis), and advanced scarring (cirrhosis). Those with cirrhosis may develop liver failure or other complications of cirrhosis, such as liver cancer.

I recommend that my patients immediately start my basic Four Step Natural Cures Program to fully detoxify their body, organ-by-precious-organ, while also making the transition to a Natural Cures lifestyle, so that they can restore their vitality and well being at the same time as they boost their body's immune system.

Conventional medical practitioners often prescribe pharmaceutical drugs based on interferon in an attempt to eradicate the Hep C virus. Whether or not these drugs work depends on a variety of factors, including the patient's health history, immune condition and the particular strain of virus involved. Drug therapy is most effective with people who are treated within six months of becoming infected, but most of my patients have had the condition for decades already.

For some, a Natural Cures approach can be highly effective in restoring vitality and health. Fortunately, in sharp contrast to the pharmaceutical approach, the immediate side effects of natural cure remedies for Hep C include significant improvements in vitality and activity levels, mood state, and general quality of life.

Article Source:

Natural Remedies to Cure or Heal Liver Damage

"Symptoms of a Diseased Liver

The external signs include a coated tongue, bad breath, skin rashes, itchy skin, excessive sweating, offensive body odour, dark circles under the eyes, red swollen and itchy eyes, acne rosacea, brownish spots and blemishes on the skin, foshed facila appearance or excessive facial blood vessels. Other symptoms include jaundice, dark urine, pale stool, bone loss, easy bleeding, itching, small, spider-like blood vessels visible in the skin, enlarged spleen, fluid in the abdominal cavity, chills, pain from the biliary tract or pancrea, and an enlarged gallbladder.

The symptoms related to liver dysfunction include both physical signs and a variety of symptoms related to digestive problems, blood sugar problems, immune disorders, abnormal absorption of fats, and metabolism problems. The malabsorption of fats may lead to symptoms that include indigestion, reflux, hemmorhoids, gall stones, intolerance to fatty foods, intolerance to alcohol, nausea and vomiting attacks, abdominal bloating, and constipation.

Nervous system disorders include depression, mood changes, especially anger and irritability, poor concentration and foggy brain, overheating of the body, especially the face and torso, and recurrent headaches (including migraine) associated with nausea.

The blood sugar problems include a craving for sugar, hypoglycaemia and unstable blood sugar levels, and the onset of diabetes (Type 2)." (Wikipedia)

Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ADHD Natural Treatment

ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a behavioral disorder associated with the development of the child is marked with hyperactivities, impulsivities, lack of ability to concentrate on one specific task, always restless and could not sit still. Concentration disturbances accompanied this motor hyperactivity symptoms infect 3% - 5% of children between 4 - 14 years old.

It hasn’t been found yet about any biological cause of ADHD. But most of the research leading to gene derived from the parents as the primary contributor of the occurrence of ADHD. For example, research clearly proves that arise in families with ADHD, 76% of children with ADHD have a family member with the same conditions.

Born prematurely, mothers smoked during pregnancy or extreme stress during pregnancy, exposure to alcohol during the pregnancy, and traumatic brain injury can also contribute to the development of ADHD.

Eliminate the consumption of preservatives and food coloring of hyperactive children should be considered as standard treatment, stated by an editorial in a medical journal the British Medical Journal.

Although evidence indicates a substantial link of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or hyperactivity disorders in the form of lack of attention, with food coloring and food preservatives, eliminating the consumption of these substances still considered as an alternative, more than a standard treatment for ADHD, written by Andrew Kemp from the University of Sydney.

Instead, behind the lack of evidence for their effectiveness, the use of alternative medicine has spread - more than 50 percent of children attending children's hospital in the UK and Australia have been used it in recent years.

Data published in 2007 showed that normal children (not hyperactive) are significantly more hyperactive after eating a mixture of food coloring and preservatives (sodium benzoate), with real implications for children with ADHD.

Clarify these finding; the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has observed evidence linking preservatives and dyes to hyperactivity of the 22 studies between 1975 and 1994 and two additional meta-analysis.

Sixteen of these studies reported provide positive effects on at least some children. However, EFSA has shown that hyperactivity has social causes and broad biological, and focuses exclusively on food substances can be addictive "reduce the availability of a complete treatment" for children with the behavioral disorders. But Kemp argues, to withhold evidence from the addition of dietary factors can also do this.

There is increasing in the number of children who take medication hyperactivity - 2.4% of the children in the state of Australia. Keeping dyes and preservatives as an alternative intervention that is not harmful, making a trial period to eliminate these substances should be considered as a standard treatment, according to Kemp concluded.

This study shows that alternative medicine has been known for many years. Preservatives and additives in food have damaging effects on human well manifested in the form of ADHD, cancer, disorders neurologist, stomach disorders and other chronic diseases.

The treatments of hyperactivity are varied, ranging from the use of modern medicine to traditional therapy. To avoid the negative effects of drugs, other therapies could be an alternative. The effectiveness of each treatment varies.

Color cooling brain

Just as a companion, this therapy suggests that hyperactive children exposed to the "cool" colors or a bit dark. The effect will soothe his brain.

The colors can be placed in the room, the color of the walls, doors, furniture, clothes, lamps, etc. The color can be green, light blue, purple, or dark blue. Avoid bright colors and "hot", such as red, yellow, orange because it stimulates the brain to move.

Diet modification

This diet is based on research Ben Feingold, an allergist, in 1960. Fifty percent of children with ADHD who handled "better" after a diet without food allergy triggers. They are foods which contain natural salicylates, such as oranges, apples, apricots, berries, grapes, and also foods that contain artificial additives such as preservatives, sweeteners, colorings, flavorings (MSG, monosodium glutamate). Clearly, this diet requires dietary changes in children and families. So, need special attention from the mother in cooking and serving food.

After a strict diet for some time, suspected food allergy triggers can be given back one by one into the menu. If a modification to the child's behavior, such as a hyperactive again, the food was no longer given.

According to Gerard Olarsch, ND, hyperactivity can also because of certain mineral deficiencies. Symptoms, children have excessive desire to eat sweet or salty foods. Mineral substances that allegedly associated with ADHD, among others DMG (dimetilglisin), enzymes, fatty acids, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Therefore, the provision of vitamin and mineral supplements would help the progress of the child.

Sports take much energy

Hyperactive children store excess energy. It is better to distribute their energy, encourage them to exercise or have outdoor picnic, such as zoos, playgrounds. There he would be free to play, climb, and run as they pleased. Essentially, do a fun activity itself. Be careful to take them for shopping, because if they left alone, they would go wherever they likes.

If playing at home, take it to a game that requires concentration, such as arrange puzzles, gardening, or keep animals. Involve children in many after school activities, such as learning music, swimming, tennis, karate, etc. of course, without forgetting the talent and physical ability.

Restore "stolen" energy

Traditional Chinese medicines are the oldest in the world and still survive until today. The principle is based on the harmonization of the body with nature and the flow of vital energy (qi / chi) throughout the body.

There are two things the cause of ADD, that genetic factors and liver function disturbances. If the result of liver dysfunction, heart organ is physically well, it is only the relationship "energy" with other organs that are not balanced. Because the liver energy is very strong, it "stole" the additional energy from the lungs and kidneys. Both organs were too weak to make the heart work remains under control.

Contemporary lifestyle with high stress levels makes ADHD difficult to be controlled. Diet children need attention, especially the source of energy. Some foods can bring the energy that triggers the liver away from equilibrium.

Avoid junk food eating, not solely for health reasons, but because it increases "hot" food in the liver. Fried, spices, and grilled foods also give a similar effect. Therefore, children should eat a lot of green vegetables, because it can help cool / reduce "heat" in the heart. Also drink the juice (juice) watermelon and, whenever possible, avoid eating meat.

Avoid situations / events that stimulate the children, also will help. Electric field generated from the computer game, not good for children with ADHD.

Encourage the child to calm activities, like swimming, tai chi, yoga, and meditation. Acupuncture, acupressure, and herbs can provide a relief effect. If the child is given medication, notice the abdomen (stomach). Many children with ADHD loss of appetite or weight increased at a later date, due to energy gastric function is not balanced.

This therapy has been growing since the 18th century. It is a treatment system for balancing the physical, mental, emotional as well. Homeopathic practitioners prescribe specific to each person with different symptoms. The medicine was a mixture of materials from animals, plants, and minerals form a concentrated solution. So, one drug is not the same for every person, even though the diagnosis is the same. Because of the special formulated for each patient, according to naturopathic physicians Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, MSW and Robert Ullman, ND, a drug for symptoms of ADD / ADHD also can cure other symptoms, such as ear infections and headaches.

Fix line hearing

Most children with ADHD also have a hearing problem. Could hear, but have trouble understanding what he was hearing, because the ear and brain do not work efficiently in processing the sound. There was trouble choosing the sound of many existing sound source. Also difficulty hearing focused on a particular sound. For example, when they should hear the voice of teacher, they are even interested in the sound of car horns outside the classroom. As a result, it is difficult to concentrate on one thing for a while. Children become distracted by all the noise around him.

Sound therapy to restore the capacity of hearing / receiving voice, so that children can learn to focus and capture the desired sound directly into the brain's language center.

Sound perception problems caused by the "closure" for several frequency hearing voices. Ear muscles become "lazy" and not responsive. Therefore, there should be stimulated and trained to reach the normal capacity to improve hearing and hearing organize transmission in the brain. This process will reduce stress and nervous tension. Children will be able to follow where the desired sound.

In sound therapy, the child must listen to the special cassettes (music) every day for 30 - 60 minutes. If the child is difficult to sit still, the tape can be played as a child to sleep. Effective results are generally seen after 100 hours pasca-therapy. Physical activity will decrease while the power was increased concentration.

Biofeedback which is relatively new.

Although biofeedback is known since 25 years ago, its application in hyperactive children is relatively new. Essentially, children with ADHD produce excessive theta waves but do not produce enough beta waves. Theta waves associated with dreaming or dreaming in the middle of the day, while the beta waves associated with concentration. Biofeedback make children reduce theta wave production and produce a lot of beta waves, so the ability to increase focus and concentration. According to research Steven W. Lee of the University of Kansas, biofeedback can reduce the symptoms associated with hyperactivity.

Through a video screen that displays a variety of challenges, such as video games, biofeedback attractive to children. There are bright colors, music that gives immediate feedback. There are also prizes to be given if the child can finish it well.

In one version of the therapy, for children to produce beta waves, bright colors on the wheel increases coupled with increased tone music. Another version, the video screen children must maintain aircraft that do not cross certain lines (when producing beta waves), so that the red light remains lit. For this therapy, generally the child will live 30 to 50 meeting, by one or two weeks. Each meeting lasted one hour.

Like a leaky bucket, attention and affection for children with ADHD should be given continuously.

Herbal Colon Cleanse

If you're used to cram a variety of junk food and various chemical substances into your stomach, the colon can be crusty. Dirty colon will inhibit absorption of nutrients, so it is easy to invite disease. Cleaning the colon or cathartic new ways can be an alternative for cleaning tools we digest.

Most natural products drug colon cleanse are already packaged in pill or capsule form as a supplement. Contents of plants that are laxative (laxative), such as mucus, aloe leaf and seed extract distance tree.

Other materials that have been used is the leaf senna (senna Alexandrian or Khartoum senna) or Cassia angustifolia Vahl, known as senna Tinnevelly. This leaves contain not less than 2.5 percent of hydroxyanthracene glycosides, and its main active ingredients anthraquinone glycosides. This material is used as laxative effect because the active substance reduces the absorption of fluid and salt, add peristaltic activity of the small intestine and large intestine, and soften the stool.

Other materials such as rhizome and root extracts of Rheum officinale Baillon or from Rheum palmatum Linne (family Polygonaceae), contains anthraquinone glycosides (3 - 7.5%) is also used as a laxative and has major effects such as senna. The result, soft feces and intestines of work was much more lightly.

Turns out one simple vegetable can to clean the intestines, it is cabbage.

Before the feast, the Greeks and Romans drank cabbage juice. The objective is to avoid drunk after partying with alcohol. The ancient Greeks also used cabbage juice to treat eye pain, while the stems of cabbage juice are used as an ulcer drug.

There are 3 types of cabbage: the green, white, and red. All the three contain useful nutrients to maintain health. However, from the three species, the green cabbage has the highest nutritional value.

Consumption of cabbage is very useful, because these vegetables could cleanse the colon. Cabbage helps promote intestinal peristalsis, so that the bowel affairs run so smoothly. Toxins due to the long-term constipation will go wasted because of the consumption of cabbage.

Vegetables are good for stomach ulcers because it contains a substance called S-Methylmethionine, which could accelerate wound healing in the stomach and reduce pain.

Cabbage also contains essential minerals. There are calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iodine. Besides cabbage also contain vitamin C. However, this vitamin can be obtained only if consumed raw. Cooking will chop levels of vitamin C to half.

The nutritions contained are vitamin C, E, K, beta-carotene, folate, and thiamine.

One thing that need in mind is this vegetable can be made for forming a gas bloating in the stomach. Do not eat too much because it can cause iron deficiency in the body.

Importance of High Breakfast

Breakfast can help prevent strokes, heart attack and sudden death. Advice on not to skip breakfast! 

Healthy Lving 

For those who always skip breakfast, you should stop that habit now! You've heard many times that "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Now, recent research confirms that one of the worst practices you can develop may be avoiding breakfast. 


Because the frequency of heart attack, sudden death, and stroke peaks between 6: 00a.m. and noon, with the highest incidence being between 8: 00a.m. and 10:00a.m.What mechanism within the body could account for this significant jump in sudden death in the early morning hours? 

We may have an Answer 

Platelet, tiny elements in the blood that keep us from bleeding to Death if we get a cut, can clump together inside our arteries due to cholesterol or laque buildup in the artery lining. It is in the morning hours that platelets become the most activated and tend to form these internal blood clots at the greatest frequency. 

However, eating even a very light breakfast prevents the morning platelet activation that is associated with heart attacks and strokes. Studies performed at Memorial University in St. Johns, Newfoundland found that eating a light, very low-fat breakfast was critical in modifying the morning platelet activation. Subjects in the study consumed either low-fat or fat-free yogurt, orange juice, fruit, and a source of protein coming from yogurt or fat-free milk. So if you skip breakfast, it's important that you change this practice immediately in light of this research. Develop a simple plan to eat cereal, such as oatmeal or Bran Flakes, along with six ounces of grape juice or orange juice, and perhaps a piece of fruit. This simple plan will keep your platelets from sticking together, keep blood clots from forming, and perhaps head off a potential Heart Attack or stroke. So never ever skip breakfast.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NHS care 'affected by staff health'

More than 45,000 NHS workers call in sick each day - around one and a half times the absence rate seen in the private sector, a report will reveal.

The quality of patient care is also being affected by obesity, smoking and poor mental health among staff, according to the study.

Researchers found that hospitals with worse staff health are less productive and have higher rates of superbug infection, unnecessary use of agency workers and higher patient death rates.

Details of what is being described as the first national audit of NHS staff habits have been published in The Times newspaper.

The audit's compiler, leading occupational health expert Dr Steve Boorman, told The Times that staff health must become a core standard, with all trusts judged annually by the health regulator.

"It is ironic that the NHS is trying to focus on the public health agenda yet not making it available to its own staff, because staff should be exemplars," he said.

"The key finding of this review is that health and wellbeing of staff is very important to the quality of patient care, and there are good reasons for prioritising investment in it."

The audit comes as figures show the number of claims against the NHS for clinical negligence has risen by 11%.

Data uncovered by the Conservatives also reveal a rise in the amount paid out by the NHS for claims, from £661 million in 2007/08 to £807 million in 2008/09.

The Department of Health (DH) said it welcomed Dr Boorman's report as an "important initiative".

Monday, November 16, 2009

Develop healthy habits to manage your diabetes


World Diabetes Day is observed every year on 14 November to raise awareness of diabetes. This year's theme focuses on diabetes education and prevention.

Type 2 diabetes is at least five times more common in South Asians than in the wider population. While there is currently no cure for it, people with diabetes can still live a full life by carefully managing their condition.

If you are affected by diabetes, it's important to avoid swings in your blood glucose (sugar), so it doesn't go too high or too low. What you eat and how often you eat has a direct impact on your blood glucose.

Also, people with diabetes are more prone to developing heart disease, but that doesn't mean you need to switch to eating boiled curries and Western foods. If you look after your diet and lifestyle habits, then you can significantly reduce your risks.

Eat regular meals. Eating regularly helps to keep your blood glucose levels steady throughout the day. It can also help you to maintain good energy levels as the day progresses. Get in the habit of creating a balanced plate.

Choose starchy carbohydrate foods, especially those which have a low glycaemic index (GI). Eating medium or low GI foods at mealtimes can help you manage your diabetes. Examples include dhals, beans, basmati rice, pasta, grainy or seeded breads (such as granary), bulgur wheat, sweet potato, cassava (mogo) porridge, and fruit and vegetables. Starchy foods will fill you up, often provide fibre, and tend to be lower in calories than fatty foods, but you also need to watch portion sizes.

We probably eat too much of the wrong type of carbohydrate. There's no need to have rice, chapati and potato in the same meal. And frying mogo is not a good idea! Instead, try boiling it and sprinkling with chilli and lemon.

Cut down on fried and fatty foods such as butter, ghee, full-fat cheese (like paneer), fatty meats, skin on chicken, chevdaganthiasevsamosas, crisps and pastries. Animal orsaturated fat (from fatty meat and full-fat dairy products) can raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol level, and lead to a build-up of fatty streaks in your arteries, which can in turn reduce blood flow to your heart. Instead, choose monounsaturated fats, like the fat found in olive and rapeseed oil, avocado, nuts, or polyunsaturated fats such as corn oil, sunflower oil, and spreads made from these oils.

Of course this isn't a licence to smother your salad in olive oil or deep fry your kebabs in rapeseed oil! It is still important not to eat too much of these healthier fats, as weight for weight, they contain the same calories as unhealthy fats. Find out more about healthy cooking.

Photo: Mansur Rupshi
Photo: Mansur Rupshi

Eat more fruit and vegetables. These foods are rich in valuable antioxidants which can help prevent damage to your arteries. Enjoy a variety of colours so you get a good range of nutrients. For example, beta-carotene comes from orange and yellow coloured vegetables like carrots and yellow peppers, and anthocyanins (a powerful anti-oxidant) are found in purple plums, red cabbage and beetroot.

South Asian cuisine is packed with brightly coloured vegetables, from bhindito brinjal, so enjoy at your leisure. Try the healthy okra recipe.

Enjoy fish and choose oily fish once a week. Scientific studies suggest that regularly eating oily fish can protect you from developing heart problems. The special omega-3 oils found in oily fish have been shown to lower a type of fat in your blood called triglyceride. They may also help to reduce blood stickiness, making your blood less likely to clot and cause a blockage in your arteries. Examples of oily fish include salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines and herring.

Swap high sugar foods for low sugar foods. Cut back on tinned fruit in syrup, sugar, andmithai, and consider tinned fruit in natural juice, artificial sweeteners, and dried fruit instead. Be especially careful with sugary drinks, since they tend to get into your blood stream more quickly. Choose unsweetened fruit juice and have it with a meal so you slow down the rise in your blood glucose (because the juice mixes with other foods in your gut). Or choose diet drinks and use an artificial sweetener for hot drinks.

Note that many sugary foods tend to also be high in fat (think of cakes, biscuits, kheer,kulfi) and are generally unhealthy, so it's best to save them for special occasions.

Photo: Nazma Lakhani
Photo: Nazma Lakhani

Choose foods which are low in salt. We don't usually measure salt in traditional cooking — it's often a generous pouring straight from the salt container, and we don't think twice about it. However, there is now solid research showing that eating too much salt makes you more at risk of raised blood pressure and strokes. As you try out some of the healthier recipes on this site, you'll notice that they are low in salt yet high in flavour. It is possible to eat healthily and still enjoy traditional foods.

Get down to a healthy weight and stay there. Just by losing 5 – 10 per cent of your weight can make a significant difference to your blood pressure, blood fats and blood glucose control. Adopt a healthier lifestyle by choosing balanced meals and being more active.