Some healthy snacks to eat

Eating 3 meals in a day is recommended as well as having some snacks in between. Snacking is important because it provides us energy and it keeps us on the go until our upcoming meal. But during snacking period, we should also consider the nutritional value and caloric count of the food we eat. We can use the list below as a guide for healthy snacks.

List of healthy snacks:

Oatmeal – rich in fiber that lowers cholesterol levels, helps control weight and normalizes bowel movement. Oatmeal is a healthy snack that is easy to prepare. You can top this off with fruits and nuts, as well as honey or milk to taste.

Cereal – prevents constipation due to its high fiber content. Cereal is packed with protein that is good for building strong muscles.

Yogurt – this delicious treat will satisfy your sweet tooth. It contains probiotics that is good for the stomach because it promotes good digestion. In addition, it has good bacteria that prevent gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea.

Nuts and seeds – walnuts, peanuts, green peas, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, etc. This healthy snack can be eaten on the go. It is easy to pack and carry. Nuts and seeds have high protein content good for body building. It has many antioxidants that is good for detoxification, and it helps eliminate toxins out of the body. Nuts and seeds are filled with vitamins, particularly Vitamin E, which is for clear and spot-free skin.

Bread and grains – toasted wheat bread with fruit jam sounds delicious and it also sounds nutritious. For our healthy snacks we can also enjoy biscuits or crackers with low fat cheese.

Fruits and vegetables – it is no doubt that these food groups will land on the healthy snacks list. Our daily diet should greatly comprise of fruits and vegetables. It is recommended to have 2-4 servings of fruit, while it is 3-5 servings for vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Apart from these benefits, there are many easy ways we can do to prepare dishes or snacks like fruits/vegetables salad or smoothies.

Snacks provide us nutrients and glucose that will keep us energized. When traveling, pack some snacks in your bag like oatmeal bars or nuts, so you will never go hungry until you reach your destination. This is important to keep you alert and hydrated. Always remember to drink lots of fluids as well during your snack time.

Ways to overcome depression

What is depression?

Depression ranks second to the most common chronic medical illnesses, while it ranks #1 in the most common mental conditions.

Depression is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the world. It is a mental condition that completely alters the mood and outlook in life of a person. In depression, the main goal is to escape the problem by thinking of death as the only way to end it all.

What causes depression?

Genetics – parents or relatives with mental illnesses will have a chance of passing this to their children, because depression can be inherited.

Drug or alcohol abuse – drugs and alcohol can alter mental stability of a person that causes depression and other illnesses.

Poor problem solving skills – if a person has the inability to decide for himself and problems arise, his/her coping may be affected and thus lead to depression.

Social factors – such as traumatic conditions (rape, war and calamities), and being bullied in school or workplace.

Medical or biological factors – chronic or long term illnesses can lead to depression. Loss of an arm or leg or any body functions is also another cause.

How is depression diagnosed?

Lack or too much of sleep – family members or friends of the affected person may observe that he/she is sleeping more than ever, or not being able to sleep at all.

Mood changes – feelings of wanting to die and being unable to make decisions.

Lack of energy – unable to perform daily routines such as going to work and other activities of daily living such as bathing, reading a book, and no energy for the activities the person used to love.

Low self esteem – poor eye contact, avoiding conversations and has a low self confidence.

Poor diet – characterized by being unable to eat or eating excessively. There can be signs of weight loss or gain.

Inducing harm – attempting suicide and inflicting pain to oneself (wounds or cuts on the body may be seen).

What are the ways to overcome depression?

Antidepressant medications – are prescribed by the Psychiatrist to stabilize the mood and regain normal sleeping patterns.

Emotional support – surround yourself with the happy people and the people you love like your family and friends. Professional support can also be provided by a Psychotherapist or psychiatrist.

Activities – a way of being entertained and diverted by doing something fun like sports, watching a movie, and being around friends or support groups.

Get some sun – get out of the dark and be exposed to the sun and well-lit places to boost the mood.

Eating healthy foods – for the purpose of receiving sufficient vitamins and minerals, as well as to normalize body weight and body system functions.

Degrees of depression vary from one person to the other. Some people can conquer this situation on their own, while seeking medical help is also recommended.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Cure

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a medical condition of the digestive system. It is characterized by recurrent loose bowel movements, constipation and pain in the abdominal region. Spasms or cramps may also be noted.

What causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Age – infants are mostly affected by this condition and they are usually 6 months to 1 and 1.5 years old. This is due to the fact that this age group has a low fat intake, and because of this, the stool is rapidly passed through the bowel.

Diet – excessive fluid intake, diet pills and laxative abuse can speed up the colon movement.

Allergy or food sensitivity – can be from milk (lactose intolerance) or other food groups that irritate the stomach.

Smoking and alcohol use – both are bowel irritants that can cause IBS.

What are the signs and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Abdominal pain – recurrent, can be moderate to severe kind of pain, with some cramps.

Stool – loose or watery stools and constipation may also be experienced.

Weight loss – due to constant loss of electrolytes.

Disturbed sleeping pattern – caused by pain and discomfort in the abdomen.

Growths or masses in the stomach or intestines – may cause an alteration in the bowel movement that can result to IBS.

How to cure Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Change in the diet is one of the ways to test whether the bowel irritability is from food sensitivity or not. This may include eliminating milk from the diet for assessment whether it is simply lactose intolerance or otherwise.

In order to supply calcium to the body, calcium supplements may be taken and soya milk may be recommended compared to dairy milk.

Many foods or pills can be bowel irritants like diet pills and laxatives. Diet teas and other weight loss tablets are irritants because they speed up the movement of the intestines to empty the bowel right away.

A diet low in fat is recommended for irritable bowel syndrome. Eat small frequent meals instead of 3 huge ones. You may base your daily food intake with the aid of the Food Pyramid Guide.

Quitting the use of tobacco will greatly help in this medical condition. Tobacco contains chemicals that are harmful to the body.

Antidiarrheal medicines may be prescribed, as this reduces the motility (or movement). Another class of medicines called Antispasmodics may also be given to reduce abdominal spasms and/or pain.

If there are growths or masses found in the digestive track, this will be removed with the prescription medicines to eliminate it or this can be removed by surgical interventions.

How to lower blood pressure

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure or BP is the force of the blood to the arteries. Each person of different age groups has a varying BP. There are many factors that cause this to shoot up or to lower down.

What are the factors that cause the changes in blood pressure?

There are many causes that contribute to blood pressure. One is environmental factors. It can be from weather changes (cold and hot temperatures), high and low altitudes.

Another cause of blood pressure changes are physical activity such as running, sleeping, stress or fear. Illnesses also contribute to rising and lower of the BP.

How is the blood pressure measured?

The unit of measurement of the BP is mmHg (millimeters mercury). Medical devices are used to measure the BP. This is called the sphygmomanometer and stethoscope.

The sphygmomanometer has a cuff that is wrapped around the arm (1-1.5 inch above the elbow). The stethoscope is placed on the space below the cuff and the fold of the arm. A valve is pumped until 180 mmHg (or depending on the protocol of the hospital). With this action, the cuff wrapped in the arm is tightened, and with a release of air in the valve, the cuff will loosen, and a reading heard from the stethoscope is noted.

In measuring the blood pressure there is what we call Systole and Diastole. Systole is the first beat heard, while Diastole is the last beat. Upon the release of the air, beats are audible through the stethoscope. For example, the first beat you hear is at 130 and the last is on 80 mmHg, then the BP of the person is 130/80 mmHg.

The BP normal values vary depending on the country and hospital policy. Therefore, with this normal values basis, we will determine a high or low blood pressure.

How to Lower Blood Pressure?

For elevated BP, there are many ways you can do to lower blood pressure with the aid of natural and medical remedies.

One of the most natural ways to normalize blood pressure is through lifestyle change. Diet plays a major role in this aspect. Cutting down salt and eating a balanced diet (based on the food pyramid chart) will lower down blood pressure.

Another contributing factor is weight loss. This will also lower blood pressure. Daily exercise is encouraged as well.

After performing the natural interventions and still having a high blood pressure, medical interventions will be done.

The medical interventions to lower blood pressure are medications and surgery (which is the last option). In determining if a surgical procedure is needed, the heart will be undergoing a diagnostic procedure to assess whether there is a blockage in the arteries. Blockage in the arteries means narrowing the passageway of blood that leads to the elevation of BP.

A class of medicine called Antihypertensive is used to lower down the BP. The main action of these drugs is to reduce the blockage and dilate the arteries to provide good blood circulation.

Surgical procedures like arterial dilation or removal of plaques on the arteries are the last option to lower blood pressure. This intervention is done when lifestyle changes and medications were ineffective.

Good blood circulation means living a healthy life. There are preventive measures we can do to avoid high blood pressure such as quitting smoking and complying to healthy diet and lifestyle.