Tag Archives: health

veganism

Veganism is one of the many trends which have seen the light of day in the past few years. It is the practice of abstaining from consuming any animal products and going completely plant-based. Many speculate that veganism is the future of the planet. Research suggests that a vegan diet could potentially prevent eight million deaths from chronic diseases. It is estimated that the world population could rise from 7.5 billion to 10.5 billion by 2050. Since we use about 68 per cent of the world’s agricultural land to grow crops to feed livestock, a vegan future would free up space and leave us with more resources for the people.

Veganism also has many health benefits. A vegan diet can promote weight loss. It can also boost heart health. Eating animal-based foods can raise cholesterol levels, which can lead to an increased risk of strokes. Plant foods are also high in fibre, which is linked to better heart health. It is also proven that a vegan diet can reduce the risks of diabetes and some forms of cancers. 

Considering all these benefits, it is no doubt why such kind of lifestyle is growing in popularity day by day. Yet, many find this transition to a plant-based diet to be a difficult one. A few ways to ease this transition are:- 

  1. Motivate yourself 

Finding your motivation to transition to a vegan lifestyle is a crucial step, one that many tend to forget. Doing some research into how your food impacts the climate and watching documentaries on veganism is a great way to do so. Some documentaries I would suggest are Cowspiracy and What The Health. Initially, the change will be difficult, especially if you consume meat and dairy daily. However, keep your motivation and purpose in mind, and do not give up.

2. Start slow

Taking drastic measures in the initial steps of your transition to veganism is one of the biggest mistakes you could make. Many do this, and then inevitably fail. What you need to do is start small. Cutting off all animal products in one go is impossible. Making one of your meals vegan, reducing the amount of animal-based products you consume in a week or a month, and replacing your snacks with vegan alternatives are some great ways to successfully get started. Every minimal change can aid you in your journey to a vegan lifestyle.

3. Get the nutrients you need

Although a vegan lifestyle has its benefits, it can also be difficult for vegans to get enough of the vitamins and minerals which are found in animal products. Iron, protein, calcium and vitamin B12 are some such nutrients. Focus on including these in diet, by either finding vegan substitutes (broccoli and kale for calcium, rice milk for vitamin D). You can also consume supplements to get enough of some nutrients which are found only in animal products (Vitamin B12)

4. Curb your negativity 

Often one develops some form of hatred and negativity towards other non-vegans while transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. We condemn their non-vegan habits and get mad at them for not following a certain lifestyle. You should remember to not let these negative feelings get to you. Be mindful of the fact that not everyone can afford such a lifestyle. When educating others about veganism, do not let your hate and anger take over you. Be calm and polite. Remember that this cluster of emotions will pass. With time, everything gets easier.

the art of relaxation

Life can be tough. Amidst all this, it is probably a good idea for you to take a step back and just relax. 

It helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It even boosts confidence and reduces fatigue, anger, muscle tension etc. However, we live in a time where even relaxation is seen as something we shouldn’t do. Our productivity obsession forces us to work all day and feel guilty if we try to relax. Daily life is becoming more and more demanding and chaotic. Nowadays we see everything as a chore. Nothing is just for fun. 

Stress levels are at an all-time high. People have even started to procrastinate on rest by pushing themselves beyond their healthy boundaries. This is not normal. We have to re-educate ourselves on the art of relaxation. Some ways to do so are:-

Write it down

There is a lot on our minds nowadays, and sometimes we find it difficult to simply talk it out. We fail to either find the right words to express ourselves, or the right person to talk or vent to. In this case, confiding in a piece of paper can be more relaxing than we think. Maintaining a diary, a journal, or a blog can be extremely therapeutic, and help you reduce any stress you carry.

Reduce screen time

You might have heard your parents blame everything that is wrong with the universe on your phone usage. While that may not necessarily be true, your screen time is one of the biggest contributors of your stress. With everything that is going on in the world right now, it can be overwhelming to scroll through the news or social media. Simply putting aside your phone or computer for at least an hour each day can make a world of difference, and help you feel much better.

Connect with your surroundings 

Spending some time in nature and doing some breathing exercises is a guaranteed stress-reliever. This is something which people have been doing for years, and it has never failed. Releasing any sort of physical tension by taking a short walk and a few deep breaths can be extremely beneficial for both mental and physical stress.

Go easy on yourself 

Nowadays, everyone is too harsh on themselves. They feel guilty if they spend their time watching their favourite show or reading a book instead of doing some work. Newsflash: You’re human. Rest is crucial for you, and not something you should omit. Forgive yourself if you mess up or feel unproductive. Know that you cannot keep on working, and you deserve to take breaks.

Laugh it out

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. When you are laughing you are distracted, and not thinking about that big final exam or presentation coming up. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone that makes us feel stressed. It has been scientifically proven that when you’re laughing, your cortisol levels are decreased by the increased intake of oxygen and  stimulation of circulation around the body. Laughing also increases the number of endorphins and boosts your mood significantly. So go ahead, spend time with your pets or watch that special by your favourite comedian. You’ll feel significantly better.

toxic productivity and workaholism

A few days ago, a friend of mine told me that the increasing amount of work she received was “killing her.” Now, this was a statement not meant to be taken seriously as it was just two friends joking around. But, for some reason, I couldn’t let the statement go. It got me thinking of all the times I pushed myself beyond my healthy limits by pulling all-nighters to finish assignments, cramming information into my brain for a test till I literally couldn’t think about anything else except that test, and stressing myself out way too much just to finish some futile project. Which lead me to the question, why are we so obsessed with “being productive” or overworking ourselves?

We all know how incredibly fast-paced this world is now. People are always in such a rush to finish their work. Sometimes they don’t even take breaks or relax, as they’re afraid of lagging. As the years have progressed, more and more workaholics have emerged. The term workaholic was coined in 1971  by a minister and psychologist Wayne Oates. It is used to describe someone who feels the need to work incessantly without any rest. For some people, work is an addiction. They just can’t bring themselves to stop.

The typical “started from the bottom, now we’re here” genre of stories is one which has been told for ages. The idea that if you work hard enough, one day you’ll be successful and rich, has been drilled into our minds since we were kids. We have glamorised the idea of productivity and workaholism so much that we brag about our unhealthy work habits to people. Equating overworking ourselves to the point of an actual mental breakdown to success is extremely toxic and something which definitely shouldn’t be done.

Toxic productivity and “hustle culture” is famous all around the world. For example, in Japan, nearly one-quarter of the companies require their workers to work more than 80 hours of overtime a month, according to a 2016 survey. These hours are unpaid and under-appreciated. Japanese workers on average didn’t use 10 of their paid vacation days, and 63 per cent of Japanese respondents felt guilty for taking paid leave. Even in India, students working themselves to the point of death is sadly common. 

Depression and anxiety levels are at an all-time high. If this workaholic culture continues to stay in place, then the consequences will be harmful. Serious reform needs to be taken. One way to do this is to model our systems to that of Nordic countries, like Sweden, Finland etc. These countries have the best qualities of life,  with Finland being ranked as the happiest country in the world by the United Nations. Their people get adequate working hours with good pay, healthcare, and a better quality of education. Their leaders are young and care about the quality of life of their people. Many lessons can be learned from them.

While waiting for big changes to be implemented, there is a lot we can do on our end to try to reduce stress. Taking regular breaks from work is crucial. Prioritising your mental and physical health and realising when to take breaks is another thing which needs to be practised. Remember, you cannot achieve everything in life, so there is no point in stressing over things beyond your control. Learn to let go; things will surely get better.

Sources: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/01/japan-has-some-of-the-longest-working-hours-in-the-world-its-trying-to-change.html

World Hepatitis Day

On World Hepatitis Day, let us put an end to all forms of discrimination that is meted out to people suffering from hepatitis.

World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E — and encourage prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Hepatitis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic disease and killing close to 1.34 million people every year. Hepatitis causes liver diseases and can also kill a person. World Hepatitis Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO keeps this year’s theme is “Hepatitis-free future,” with a strong focus on preventing hepatitis B among mothers and newborns. On 28 July, WHO will publish new recommendations on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the virus. HBV can be prevented among newborns through the use of a safe and effective vaccine. WHO is calling on all countries to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

Significance of the theme

WHO says, “A hepatitis-free future is achievable with a united effort.”

With 2020’s theme for World Hepatitis Day being “Hepatitis-free future”, it becomes all the more crucial to know about the nature, prevention, and treatment of these viral illnesses. Hepatitis A and E are usually self-limited infections and comparatively not as severe as the other types. Hepatitis B and C are the leading causes of hepatitis-related deaths and can lead to serious conditions and cause long-term liver damage like liver cirrhosis, acute on chronic liver failure, liver cancer, or even death. Hepatitis D usually occurs in conjunction with Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B and C especially pose a serious threat to India as suggested by the numbers.

Once diagnosed, the course of treatment is based on whether the infection is acute or chronic. In the current scenario, it is vital to get a test and have the medications started, as those with pre-existing health conditions are at a higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Increased awareness through campaigns, initiatives, and discussions will help spread information as well as reduce the stigma about the disease. Awareness will also enable access to testing, ultimately resulting in early diagnosis.

WHO mentions the following points in dealing with the situation:

  1. PREVENT infection among newborns.  All newborns should be vaccinated against hepatitis B at birth, followed by at least 2 additional doses.
  2. STOP TRANSMISSION from MOTHER to CHILD. All pregnant women should be routinely tested for hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis and receive treatment if needed.
  3. LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND. Everyone should have access to hepatitis prevention, testing, and treatment services, including people who inject drugs, people in prisons, migrants, and other highly-affected populations.
  4. EXPAND access to testing and treatment. Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis can prevent liver cancer and other severe liver diseases.
  5. MAINTAIN essential hepatitis services during COVID-19. Prevention and care services for hepatitis – such as infant immunization, harm reduction services, and continuous treatment of chronic hepatitis B – are essential even during the pandemic.

Education of the masses is the way forward to find these missing millions and ensuring that they receive proper treatment and care. Only then, it is possible to drastically reduce the number of patients who would suffer from these diseases and eliminate the risk of the virus and achieve the dream of “Hepatitis-free” India.

Let us learn to protect ourselves from Hepatitis diseases on World Hepatitis Day.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The initial trial data for the COVID-19 vaccine that has been developed in a joint collaboration between Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The data has been widely awaited as the world looks forward to some good news on the front of a vaccine that could shield people from the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has already infected over 14 million people worldwide and killed over 6 lakh. 

The potential vaccine is already in large-scale Phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against COVID-19, but its developers have yet to report Phase I results which would show whether it is safe and whether or not it induces an immune response. The developers of the vaccine said this month they were encouraged by the immune response they had seen in trials so far and were expecting to publish Phase 1 data by the end of July.

How does the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate work?

When someone is infected with the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2), the reason it spreads in the body easily is because of the spikes on its surface. These spikes, known as the ‘spike protein’, allow the virus to penetrate cells and, thereafter, multiply. The vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, which belongs to a category called non-replicating viral vector vaccines, tries to build the body’s immunity against this spike protein. The idea is to create antibodies to fight this spiked surface so that the virus does not even have the chance to penetrate the cells. The vaccine uses a different virus — in this case, a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that infects chimpanzees — to carry just the code to make the spike protein, like a Trojan horse. The adenovirus, genetically modified so that it cannot replicate in humans, will enter the cell and release the code to make only the spike protein. The body’s immune system is expected to recognize the spike protein as a potentially harmful foreign substance and starts building antibodies against it. Once immunity is built, the antibodies will attack the real virus if it tries to infect the body.

Since the Covid-19 vaccine has been developed by a United Kingdom-funded university, UK will have intellectual property rights. Other countries such as India will need to enter into commercial deals or understanding via foundations such as Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). AstraZeneca also entered a deal with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India to supply one billion doses for low-and-middle-Income countries, with the first 400 million nicely before the end of 2020. It is not yet clear how many doses India will be able to land at first since the rollout of the vaccine will be subject to considerations that are commercial as well as that of equity. The World Health Organization’s chief scientist has described the Oxford vaccine as the leading candidate in a global race to halt the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 people. More than 100 vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to try to stop the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 600,000 people and ravaged the global economy.

Kiran Majumdar: A inspiration

Kiran Majumdar Shaw is the executive and chairperson of Biocon, a biotechnological company based in Bangalore, India’s richest self-made woman, a healthcare visionary, Global influencer. She was born on 23rd March in Pune, Maharashtra. She did her all education from Bangalore and later on joined as a trainee in Carlton and united breweries and never moved back in her life. She has made a wide impact not only on India’s women but also globally. She has made an outstanding contribution to life sciences and research. She has also awarded with the Padma Bhushan (2005) and Padma Shri (1989), Also the winner of  EY World Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2020 Award.

“Effectiveness Of Our Sanitizing Tools-Soap Vs Sanitizer”

Health has become an issue of concern especially during the prevailing pandemic of coronavirus. Covid-19 is increasing day by day due to it’s effectiveness of spreading by touch.We know that these viruses do require a host to be effective enough to perform function. But we do see that there is no such effective way out to be free from it. Scientists do believe that the best option to do so is to take precaution and preventive measures to fight this harmful virus. We know that this  virus spreads from person to person through contact or through any medium which helps this virus to be transmitted. The major area of concern for doctors and scientists who are helping us to fight it against this virus is the Mutation possibilities. Mutation are the gene changes in these viruses which occur whenever they replicate to other and future viruses. Their mutations are either due to environmental conditions which do help them to be adaptive to it or due to the complexity of their gene which does get different while transmitting. It is an area of concern since these viruses do mutate and with this mutation going on increasing it may happen that doctors may not be able to know about the virus even if it is present due to the old ways to detect them, this could surely be harmful for patients and this people near us. As we see that this virus is increasing and many people are getting affected by it, the possibility of its mutation also increases. 

But since we know that there is no such vaccine which could prevent and save us from its effect, the better way out is to use preventive measures. This mainly included maintaining a distance of 1-2 metre when we talk or even in the market. Use a mask and wash hands frequently. But the main question which still hits the mind of people is which is better Soap or Sanitizer? Since soap has been a part of human’s life for many centuries, sanitizer has also helped humans to remain clean and healthy. So are these both equally sufficient to fight against this virus or do we have better ways out in them to help us remain safe. 

So in this fight to find out which is better between soap and sanitizer, scientists did some of the experiments to find better results. For this they took bacteria known as E. Coli and rubbed in their hands completely. 

 

  • For the first case they took sanitizer. There were two conditions recorded in it. The first was to rub with a small quantity of sanitizer and record the result and second was to take an amount more than the usual quantity and record the details. 
  • For the second case they took soap. For the first experiment, they washed their hands for about 10 seconds and recorded details while for the second time they washed their hands for about 30 seconds and recorded the details.

 

The outcomes were really worth watching. Considering The first case, a sanitizer of less amount did clean most of the bacteria but a sanitizer with more amount cleaned almost all the bacteria over hands. Soap for about 10 seconds removed bacteria but rubbing for about 30 seconds did remove most of the bacteria as compared to 1st case of rubbing for 10 seconds. But the difference between soap and sanitizer and their comparison, sanitizer was found out to be more effective than soap in their results. Sanitizer was recorded to remove most of the bacteria while there were few left out even washing hands for about 30 seconds.

We do know that sanitizing either with soap or sanitizer both can be effective to be free from virus and bacteria, but sanitizers do have an edge over soap in their capabilities of performance. Washing hands with sanitizers thus can be effective enough to help any individual fight back this virus with other preventive measures also. We know it’s a difficult time and we all need to be aware about the do’s and dont’s and this need to be aware enough to protect ourselves as well as other people in our country and thus bring back everything back to normal and make our country and world better, safe and healthier. 

 

5 ways to improve your efficiency when working from home

The outbreak of novel coronavirus has disrupted a normal life where humans today have realized how it feels to be caged. While the global lockdown has turned out to be the new normal after 4 months, people have started adjusting and adapting to new means and measures to continue living their personal and professional life in peace.

Maintaining a balance between personal and professional life was difficult even before, because we were short of time (as we spent most of our time travelling). However those who entered the quarantine phase thinking it would give them the additional hours to spend quality time with themselves and families, BOOM! here comes additional workload and irregular working hours.

Caged in our homes for nearly 4 months, it’s high time we set something’s right that helps us improve our work efficiency leaving us with more quality personal time.

Miss Diva Supranational 2019 Shefali Sood, who is also a mental health advocate, certified life coach and a motivational speaker in an exclusive has shared 5 effective ways to improve our ‘work from home’ situation.

1. Set up a workstation!

Setting up a workstation, a designated work space. Decorate it, fill it up with stuff that puts you in work mode and helps you concentrate. My workstation is surrounded with a cooling drink that I sip on when I work, a snack, a notebook and pen, my phone and laptop , stationery that I might need, and some decorative items.

2. Plan your day!

Having control over small elements of your day gives you a semblance of order and discipline even when there is so much uncertainty

3. Plan breaks:

Plan your breaks. It is important to take 10 minute breaks after every hour of productive hard work because it helps you rejuvenate

4. Have an activity to look forward to!

After a long day of work we need an activity that we enjoy or one that will help us unwind! So plan a fun activity like sports or games or just family time or Netflix after work as a reward for all that hard work

5. Lastly, leave work at the workstation!

Make sure that your work time does not overlap with the rest of your day and you do not let work interfere with your daily activities or leisure time just because you’re working from home!

@martin_christopher

THE WORLD OF SANITIZER

At this time of Pandemic, Sanitizers are something which have more importance than our  own valuables. We’ve  come to a situation , where the whole world is fighting against the pandemic, but there exists no cure of it. With each passing day, as conditions are worsening, we’ve to personally take café of ourselves, and practise in social distancing. This situation has given birth to use of sanitizers, and wash our hands properly to protect ourselves from the virus. Sanitizers have already started going out of stock, and with the cases surging, there is very less probability of the sanitizers available in near future.

There are several things we need to keep in mind before selecting the sanitizer. First of all, we need to pick sanitizers which would have  60-95% alcohol content, so that it has the capability to kill the germs. The non-alcohol sanitizers have disinfectants like chloride, which may not be useful in killing the coronavirus germs. The product should have a value for money, and should suite our ski type.

Some Of The Best Sanitizers To Our Rescue

Dettol Instant Hand Sanitizer(Rs.164 For  50 ml)- The first company that would come to our minds is Dettol. This sanitizer comes with a non-sticky  formula, capable of killing 99.9 % germs .It even comes with a good fragrance, making it carve  more. This even leaves our hands soft, as it contains moisture and is suitable for all skin types.

Purell Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer(Rs.50 for 30 ml)-this one is  most widely  used in clinics and hospitals , as it is FDA approved. It not only comes with capability of killing  99.99% germ, but is twice more effective than the other sanitizers. It  comes with 70% alcohol content in it. The best part about this is that it contains 4 types of moisturizers, preventing our hands from drying up.

Lifebuoy Total 10(Rs.60 for 50 ml) – this alcohol content sanitizer, not only prevents skin problem, but reduces the redness in skin it effectively kills germs and bacteria in  10 seconds, giving us protection for the next 10 hours. Since it’s  cost-effective, it can be widely used by people of all income groups, and easily portable.

Himalaya Pure Hands(Rs. 300 for 500 ml)- This sanitizer is made up of natural ingredients ,  having a divine fragrance. It’s available in flavours like litchi, green apple, strawberry, etc. The best part about such sanitizer is the presence of active ingredients like neem, coriander and lime which helps in moisturizing the palms.

Sterillium Hand Sanitizer(Rs.320 fro 500 ml)- It is widely used in the Healthcare sector, because of it’s anti-microbial activity. This blue hand sanitizer have been the personal favourite of millions of people since ages, as it a classic rub-in disinfectant for surgical hand and hygienic purposes.

What  To Do In Case the Sanitizer’s are out of Stock?

It’s very easy to make our sanitizer at home. For that ,we need aloe vera gel and alcohol in the ration of 1:2, and  five drops of any essential oil  like lavender or lemon. We need to keep our hands clean first, take a clean container and mix everything till it becomes thick. The mix should be kept  in a dark area, with out kind of disturbance. This sanitizer often turn out to be runny, so we  need to be very careful with the proportion of the ingredients.This is likely better, than using nothing. But, it can never be compared to the sanitizers available commercially.

“Diet And Its Effect On Human Psychology”

Diet or food has been an important and essential source for survival of mankind. It provides the basic energy and elements helping us to perform day go day activities and keeping ourselves healthy and fit. Humans have been traveling since times in search of better food resources along with clean and pure water resources and better shelter opportunities. With time humans’ diets have transformed and have seen a greater impact on their behaviour as well as their health. Today most of the people try eating vegetarian and vegan food as compared to non vegetarian food. But along with that the concentration if junk food or food lacking basic nutrients have increased in the market as they offer better taste. This has surely resulted in a rise of aggressive behaviour and less level of patience especially among the youth. 

Scientists have researched on the topic of “How diet affects human psychology and What are the associated behavioural aspects as well”. They did find a great link between food and human psychology. There are various tests and experiments which show that eating junk food brings out more and more aggression among people , reducing patience level and filling them with feelings like anxiety and stress. There was an experiment testing the decision capacity of individuals after giving them both a nutrients rich diet and a nutrient deficit diet. It was recorded that the person who ate health was able to think and decide better as compared to other people. There were many other experiments which did show that people do get fascinated towards these junk food because of the it’s ingredients. It came up in studies that sugar is more addictive than cocaine and any other drug. Junk food has a good amount of sugar in it, so whenever people see these junk foods, they have an urge, which truly drives them to eat it. 

Scientists relate this aspect of humans with the food they eat as most of the just k food lacks essential proteins, carbohydrates, fibre and omega-3. Omega 3 is essential as it reduces blood pressure, heart related disease and prevents stroke. Other proteins, calcium and iron help the body to grow and remove daily muscle fatigue. Junk food contains sugar, which increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and most probably heart related diseases. That’s The reason why heart attacks and other problems related to cardio have seen a hike. People usually prefer these things so as to calm their Taste buds which they often do not get by eating healthy food, since most of it lacks taste. 

People should understand that especially in today’s era of pandemic  we need to make our immune system strong and make ourselves fit and healthy  but eating these unfit and junk food won’t let us grow better and healthier. One can have them but in a limit. Everybody has their own daily protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin limit  and if it’s not fulfilled, the body goes on degrading and the body seems dull and unhealthy. So one should try to eat better, healthier food, along with exercising on a daily basis, which will not only make them fit but also encourage other people in their surroundings to get fascinated by the results and will shift towards betterment and thus a better way of living with healthy humans all around.