Health dos and don’t for a better looking you

Good looks come with good food and a healthy lifestyle. What you eat is what shows on your face, hair and figure.


Want to eat right but not sure how? Divide your plate. Half should be full of vegetables, and the rest should be divided between proteins – chicken, fish, tofu, egg white, sprouts – and cereals. Include two servings of fruit.

To keep your metabolism high: Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Ditch your three meals a day and eat five-six small meals instead. Leave a gap of three hours between each meal. Nutrients for good skin include proteins, essential fats, vitamins A, E, C, B complex, selenium, zinc and copper.

Get your proteins right: Essential fatty acids (linoleic and alphalinoleicacid) which are found in seed oils are important in maintaining lustrous skin. Fatty fish, alsi (flaxseeds) and evening primrose oil provide essential fatty acids for the skin.

Vitamin A: Best known as a vitamin for healthy skin, is found in fish liver oil, liver, carrot, berries, melons, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, papaya, mango, green leafy vegetables, tomato and yellow pumpkins.

Vitamin C: Also boosts collagen production, which helps keep the skin firm. Top up on citrus fruits (orange, lemon), guava, amla (gooseberry), papaya, broccoli, berries and green leafy vegetables. These have Vitamin C – vital to maintain good skin.

Vitamin E: Is an antioxidant that helps maintain good skin health, and protects from sun damage. You can get it from vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower, soybean), butter, nuts, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, eggs and green leafy vegetables.

Your body requires antioxidants to keep healthy and glowing. Herbs and spices such as cloves, turmeric, dalchini (cinnamon), ginger, pepper, oregano and peppermint, and tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, beans, peas, black pepper, sunflower and sesame seeds are rich sources.

Reach for THE yoghurt – the probiotics in it enhance absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients.

Avocados are high in calories, but they’re a brilliant source of healthy nutrients including good fats, vitamins A, E, C and B6.

Snack healthy with a handful of nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflowers seeds, alsi (flax seeds) and pistachios. Walnuts are a rich source of fatty acids and almonds contain more calcium than any other nut. All of them help you feel fuller for longer.


Trans fats are a by-product that are formed during the process of hydrogenation – adding hydrogen to liquid oils to make them solid. This way, cheap vegetable oils can be made more like animal fat. Vanaspati, Dalda, margarines, shortenings and butter substitutes fall into this category.

They increase the risk of degenerative chronic diseases. Almost all commercially prepared and pre-packed ready-to-eat foods, including commercially prepared biscuits, cakes, cake mixes, chocolates, doughnuts, cereals, fried namkeens and French fries, have trans fats.

Cigarettes are a smoking gun: With every puff producing millions of free radicals, depleting the skin of oxygen, leading to dryness and dry spots, premature lines and wrinkles, dull unhealthy-looking complexion, and loss of radiance.

Alcohol: Excessive alcohol is a dehydrator, which also damages your cells and leads to dull skin, enlarged pores, discolouration, wrinkles and sagging. An occasional glass of wine has antioxidants – “occasional” and “glass” are the key words.


Lower Blood Pressure | Top 10 Foods Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is a medical condition where the arterial blood pressure increases.

The reasons could be too much stress, obesity, high intake of salt, diabetes etc. The probability of cardiovascular diseases such as heart strokes, heart failure, kidney disorders, heart attack etc increases with a high BP.

Given below is a list of 10 foods that can help you lower down the blood pressure:

Spinach: It contains magnesium, folate, iron, vitamin C and is very healthy for your body. Even if you don’t like it, make sure that you include this nutrient rich vegetable in your diet as it contains those key ingredients.

Banana: It is rich in potassium which is perhaps the most important nutrient to lower down the high blood pressure. A banana a day keeps the high blood pressure away. It assures you of good health.

Kiwi: Of late, the kiwifruit is being prescribed to battle hypertension. Rich in potassium and Vitamin C, it helps lower down the BP. Kiwis are also rich in an antioxidant called lutein, which, it is thought, might help fight the disease.

Skimmed milk: Easily available and a part of daily consumption. It contains plenty of calcium and vitamin D and the two nutrients team up to bring down blood pressure.

Garlic: A single clove of garlic does wonders. It has several properties which help prevent clotting and thickening of blood vessels. Also, it can easily fight the damage caused due to high BP.

Beans: Kidney, pinto, lima and black beans are some types of beans you should include in your daily diet. Beans are rich, both in magnesium and potassium, capable of decreasing the high blood pressure.

Broccoli: Oozing with potassium, it also contains chromium which fights against the cardiovascular diseases. It controls the blood sugar and insulin levels.

Celery: It contains an ingredient called phthalide which rests the muscles of the vessels and aids in the smooth flow of blood. Besides that, celery has a very calming effect and is highly recommended if you are prone to stress.

Tomatoes: It contains an antioxidant lycopene, which is known to significantly reduce the high blood pressure. Also, tomatoes are rich in calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C and E, all the essential nutrients required to curb the problem.

Others: Apart from the nine foods mentioned above, sunflower seeds, olive oil, avocadoes, papaya, dark chocolates and various juices

Using mobile phone for just 15 minutes a day ups brain cancer risk, claims study

Mobile Phone Brain Cancer

A new research has indicated that using a mobile phone for just 15 minutes a day can substantially increase the risk of brain cancer among its users.

A series of studies across 13 countries found that the longer people used their mobile, the higher was the risk.

Elisabeth Cardis, leader of the Interphone Study, said an increased risk of brain tumours, known as gliomas, was seen in the 20 per cent of users with the highest exposure to radio-frequency emissions.

She said there was an increased risk of brain cancer close to where users held the phones to their heads.

Those who had used handsets for 15 minutes a day for seven years, showed a 72 per cent higher incidence of gliomas.

Gliomas are fatal, usually within three to five years of diagnosis, even with treatment.

“This research shows that heavy users are at the biggest risk and that there is a very high increase in the risk of brain cancer from just 15 minutes of mobile phone use. Fifteen minutes is really not that long any more,” the Daily Express quoted Graham Lamburn, technical manager at independent watchdog Powerwatch, as saying.

“Many people use their phones for much longer than that each day now. If the indications in this study are right … then this is a potential timebomb,” added Lamburn.

The research comes just two weeks after the World Health Organisation warned for the first time that mobile phones may cause cancer, urging phone owners to limit their use.

Benefit from new health plans

health plans

Renewing a health insurance policy can induce a rare trauma. Ask 68-year-old Sarayu Arvind Parekh. In 1999, Mumbai-based Parekh bought a mediclaim, for which she paid an annual premium of 14,596 till 2007, an uneventful , claimless period. Then, in 2008, she had to undergo a knee surgery and made a claim. The shocker snuck up the same year at the time of renewal, when her premium shot up to 31,833. After last year’s eye surgery, it inched up to 41,000. Parekh hasn’t quite recovered . Not from the surgery, but the gravitydefying rise of her health premium.

The health insurance sector has been ailing from many such anachronisms, sustained by insurer monopoly and lack of awareness. Besides the rise in premium or even termination of policies during renewal, individual plans do not cover pregnancy or diabetics, doctor consultations are not entitled to an insurance, etc.

Though the sector is rocked from time to time by issues and controversies, the health insurance scape in India is gradually changing. The latest round of changes have been triggered in the past couple of years by the new entrants whose prescience has resulted in improvisations and new products suited to the consumers. ET Wealth takes a look at these new developments and how they can benefit you.

Assured renewals:

Health plans, unlike life insurance , require a renewal of contract every year. Traditionally, this has been a problem area because a heavy claim meant that either your cover was not renewed or the premium was zoomed to tactfully avoid renewal. Now, however , two standalone health insurance companies , Max Bupa Health Insurance and Apollo Munich, are promising lifetime renewals without an unseemly rise in premium or threat of termination. These insurers are estimating the probability of a person falling ill in a lifetime and then calculating the premium for various age groups. So the product may be expensive compared with a mediclaim, but at least your premium will not shoot up 20-30 % during a renewal just because you made a claim. In fact, not content with a simple guarantee of renewal , insurers like Max Bupa are incentivising it. While mediclaim policies typically offer a noclaim bonus for those who do not make a claim in a year, Max Bupa offers a bonus of 10% of the renewal premium in the form of health services and products every time you renew, irrespective of claims.