Author: Annapurna

I am Annapurna Sharma, presently a Platinum expert author on I have freelanced health articles for the magazine “Epics of Health, hygiene and pollution” in 2008. I have 10years of teaching experience as a lecturer of food science and nutrition and currently pursuing ‘Creative writing course’ from Writer’s Bureau, UK.
How to know if you are going to have a Heart Attack

How to know if you are going to have a Heart Attack

Heart attackOwing to the drastic change in lifestyle heart attack has become more
common in the technological era. Yet most of us fail to identify the
symptoms when heart attack strikes. Family history of heart problems
makes one more susceptible to heart attacks. ‘Adding fuel to
fire’, erratic eating and sleeping patterns, consumption of junk
foods, overflowing stress, alcoholism, smoking and lack of exercise
are the other predisposing factors. Here are a few points that need to
be kept in mind to identify an attack and get immediate help.

Symptoms of Heart Attack

• Pain in the chest: A squeezing pain in the chest radiating to the
left arm is a sure sign of an attack or angina. Angina is the pain
caused because of the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to
the heart. The pain intensifies with slightest movement or sometimes
even at rest called ‘rest angina’. This pain may also be due to
improper digestion and production of gas. If the pain does not subside
with antacids and continues even after a few minutes, consider it
seriously and seek immediate help.

• Heaviness of the chest: The most common sign is a feeling of
heaviness on the chest, sometimes accompanied with a burning
sensation. Approach the nearest medical facility without delay.

• Breathing and Sweating: If slightest physical activity results in
shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing along with sweating
profusely, it could be a warning sign of an attack.

• Feeling dizzy: A feeling of nausea and dizziness can also imply
the onset of an attack. Excessive stress, fatigue and feeling tired
inspite of adequate eating and resting patterns may also be warning

• Feeling numb and dumb: In some cases numbness in the arms and
shoulders can be experienced. Heart problem may result in paralysis of
one or both sides of the body and inability to speak properly.
Reading correctly the warning signs of a heart attack and seeking
timely medical help can avert a fatal attack. A regular checkup helps.

Foods that affect your sleep

Foods that affect your sleep

woman_stress_worry_sleep_problems_insomnia“Oh! I am so tired, I didn’t sleep well last night. I don’t
even remember when was it last time that I slept like a log.”

Are you unable to get a good-night’s sleep? You are not the only one, there are many others who find it difficult to get a sound and fitful sleep. Sometimes it is the food and drink that we take affects that our sleep. Check out below if any of this might help you overcome your problem.

The type of foods we consume has an affect on our sleep.

1. The brain needs to be calm and not activated to get a restful sleep. Foods containing high amount of fat and spice spikes the metabolism, activates the brain and keeps you awake with gifts of heart-burn and acidity.

2.Carbohydrate containing foods make tryptophan available to the brain. Foods rich in tryptophan (an aminoacid) have a stellar reputation with sleep, as it promotes the production of sleep hormone, melatonin. Therefore an ideal dinner or night time snack should be carbohydrate based with moderate protein for an undisturbed sleep. Many foods like cereals in milk, dairy products, soy products, almonds, banana, oatmeal, whole grain cereals come under this category.

3.A popular grandma’s oldest and best home remedy is warm milk with a teaspoon of honey that may work wonders, as milk acts like a sedative.

4.Caffeine containing foods like coffee, chocolate and cocoa are stimulants known to activate the brain cells. To sleep better, such drinks need to be reduced or eliminated completely.

5.Eating sweets, pastries, cookies and other sugary foods in the night peps up the blood glucose levels, thus activating the brain. An ideal bedtime snack would be to eat fruits which take longer to digest.

6.Avoid alcohol. While sleeping, the body goes through different stages of sleep, the most important being the deeper stages which are the most healing. Alcohol may help a person sleep but prevents such restorative sleeping.

7.H. K. Bakhru, an expert naturopath in his book ‘Home remedies for common ailments’ suggest the intake of lettuce juice for the cure of insomnia, as lettuce contains a sleep inducing substance called ‘lectucarium’.

References (if Any):,

Home made remedies for common cold

Home made remedies for common cold

Common cold picCome winters common cold is common in almost every household. The presence of viruses which become active with the onset of winter triggers running of the nose and a host of other respiratory diseases. Cold often always begins with the nose, but slowly starts affecting the whole body. The symptoms include running nose, sneezing, sore throat, chills, fever, headache and body pains. A person affected with cold becomes weak and lethargic. However, cold cannot be avoided as it rules in this season. Medications may not always provide complete relief. Hence a few home concoctions that might give the much needed respite when contacted with the virus –

Gargling with Warm Water

The moment you feel the sensation of congestion in your throat or suspect cold, gargling warm water with a pinch of salt ensures a clear throat and might even prevent the further entry of the viruses into the system.

Inhalation of steam

Inhalation of steam from a steam vaporizer provides relief from a stuffy and blocked nose. The hot steam kills any germs present in the nasal tract. Be careful that the steam is not too hot as it might injure the delicate nasal tissues. In the absence of a steam inhaler, make use of a kettle of hot water. When there is a doubt of contacting cold one can indulge in inhalation of steam to prevent it. When already contacted, one can apply balms or vaporizers for a better relief.

Ginger Tea

Drinking a hot, steaming cup of ginger tea is an effective home remedy in combating colds.

Tea with Mint

Tea with added mint (pudina) and Holy Basil (Tulasi) leaves clears the throat and nasal passages and can even prompt you to say ‘Wah Taj’ like the tabla maestro Zakir Hussain.

Hot steaming rasam

Hot steaming rasam (a South Indian soup) prepared with tamarind and black pepper helps flush out the unwanted toxins. As the nose and eyes water, the congested nasal passages are cleared.

Garlic soup

Garlic soup, another oldie prepared by boiling a few garlic pods, helps decrease the intensity of a cold. Garlic can otherwise be also added to the above rasam for a better and integrated effect.

Turmeric Powder

Add turmeric powder to warm milk and have it. It is an effective remedy as turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, being the anti-infective vitamin is a well known prescription for cold. The best option is to have lemon juice mixed in a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of honey as it contains abundant amounts of vitamin c and builds the body resistance.

Tulsi Leaves

Children can always be given a teaspoon of Tulasi leaves juice mixed with honey to relieve nasal congestion. Adults however can chew the holy basil for relief.

Wash your hands

Before handling eatables or anything related to food or drink, wash hands thoroughly with an antiseptic hand-wash or if outside clean your hands with a hand sanitizer. This act minimizes entry of cold causing microbes into your system.

Keep Distance

During wet and humid months the common advice rendered is to steer away from the affected persons. Frankly, is it possible to keep a
close and loved one in exile for such a trivial cause and is it practically possible. The virus is spread all over. How long can children be kept away from school or play for fear of contact with the ‘cold virus’ (a dragon) from other affected children? A wise and intelligent option is to teach and follow hygienic health habits –

  • Changing clothes and cleaning up thoroughly once from school or play or work.
  • Washing hands before eating.
  • Using a handkerchief or hand towel while sneezing or coughing to prevent the spread of microbes.
  • Reducing intake of cold causing foods like chilled juices and water, ice-creams and others.
  • Drink copious amounts of water to detoxify and flush out the toxins from your body.
  • Even after all these measures, if cold strikes follow one or more of the above methods to get relief.

Remember an attack of cold is just seasonal. It is always not necessary to resort to antibiotics or other medications, sometimes small ailments can be better handled with effective home remedies before they become chronic. If the cold persists don’t forget to approach a doctor for treatment and cure. The above methods can always substantiate the effect of medicines. A balanced diet devoid of high-fat and indigestible foods and with plenty of vitamin c rich citrus fruits provides immunity against cold. Brisk walking, deep breathing techniques like pranayama, kapalbhati, inhaling fresh air strengthens the immune system and neutralizes the ill-effects of bad weather.

SPROUTS – A Storehouse of Neutraceuticals

SPROUTS – A Storehouse of Neutraceuticals

sprout Salad

Sprouting is a process of germinating seeds in which a tiny shoot arises from the seed. Homemade sprouts are a common way of having fresh vegetables either in the raw or cooked form. A neutraceutical is a food product that provides immense health and medical benefits. Sprouts are indeed a storehouse of health benefits. The nutritional benefits far outweigh the nutritional qualities of the dry seed.

Sprouts are nourishable and are easily digestible as complex carbohydrates are transformed into simpler compounds. Their low calorie and low fat content makes them a favorite with weight watchers. In the sprouting process the seed makes use of the carbohydrates as a source of energy for the generation of the shoot or sprout, which is one of the reasons why they are termed low calorie food.

They have comparatively fewer calories than their counterparts-dry whole grains. Their high fiber content makes one feel fuller and wards off hunger pangs especially those on a weight
reduction or maintenance diets. When we say protein food, one needn’t think of only animal or dairy products. Proteins present in sprouts are broken down to simpler amino acids which can be easily
assimilated in the body. Sprouts are powerhouses of excellent protein minus the fat and cholesterol, no wonder a compulsory food for most vegans.

Sprouts are rich sources of vitamin B and C. The vitamin content of some sprouts increases 20 to 30 times or even a hundred times more than the original amount present in whole seeds. Fresher the sprouts eaten, higher the vitamin content as vitamins can be easily destroyed by oxidation or light.

Sprouts also yield substantiative amounts of vitamin A and E. Dry whole grains contain antinutrient factors or nutrient inhibitors like phytates which form complex bonds with minerals. The initial step of soaking in the process of sprouting paves way to break these indigestible bonds. Further sprouting activates enzymes like phytase which dissolve phytates and release precious minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorus. Thus the bioavailability of minerals in sprouts is higher than in whole grains. Enzymes like amylase, protease and lipase responsible for the breakdown of carbs, proteins and fats have become active in the process of sprouting.

The organoleptic or sensory qualities of sprouts are much improved and make them more delicious and appetizing than dry legumes.

In a nutshell, sprouting brings about marked changes

  • Increased enzymic activity.
  • Increased vitamin content.
  • Improved protein digestibility.
  • Bioavailability of minerals.
  • Decreased antinutrient factors.
  • Enhanced textural qualities.


Sprouts are an ideal food for overweights, diabetics, those suffering from heart disorders as well as those having constipation. All edible grains, seeds and legumes can be sprouted. Wheat, ragi, bajra, barley when sprouted are termed as malted cereals. Mung, Bengal gram, peanuts and peas are commonly sprouted at home. Other seeds like alfalfa,
fenugreek, coriander, muskmelon, pumpkin are also germinated. Inclusion of these into the daily diet maximizes the health benefits. Munching raw sprouts with a dash of lemon juice or salt and pepper makes them crunchy and nutritious. So, make sprouts a part of your daily diet.