HEALTH magazine makes an extra-effort to maintain a distinct style and content, which makes it superior to other magazines. We are committed to enriching lifestyles. Health is a bi-monthly and bi-lingual (English & Arabic) magazine. One of the premier BPA Audited Health & Lifestyle magazines, licensed by the NMC UAE.
To avoid feeling uncomfortable during the summer heat, include foods that naturally cool the body. Read on to learn more.
It is possible to reduce the effects of heat by eating “cooling foods” such as juicy fruits which include watermelon, cucumbers, apples, and leafy greens. Avoid or reduce items such as spicy or “heavy” foods which can prevent body temperature from rising in the first place.
High Water Content
Many fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and cucumbers are rich in water content, which help in increasing essential fluid intake to cool off the body. Other helpful foods with high water content include melons, apricots, grapes, pineapples, peaches, apples, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, and leafy greens.
In hot desert climates, locals tend to drink a lot of mint and green tea. Try using chamomile, rosemary, parsley, and ginger, all of which aid in cooling the body down. You can also use these herbs in drinks along with coconut water and buttermilk, as both are natural cooling agents.
Even those with the best skin will often find that during a long flight, the skin becomes dull, dry, and lackluster. Here are some of the most common skin ailments during travel and how to treat them effectively.
Being at high altitude can definitely take a toll on your skin and can cause dry, cracked lips. Avoid wearing lipstick on the flight and instead, apply a hydrating lip balm to ensure your lips stay hydrated.
Sometimes for no reason, flying at a high altitude can trigger fierce rashes. Be sure to keep a small tube of hydrocortisone cream in your kit to apply immediately. If this is not available, apply ice cubes to subside the itchiness.
Even those of us who are not prone to breakouts may develop a sudden breakout on the flight. Keep a tiny tube of pure zinc (diaper rash cream) to apply on any inflammation.
Dry and Flaky Skin
During longer flights, it is critical to maintain the overall moisture and integrity of your skin. Avoid wearing makeup on the flight and instead, apply a good quality moisturizer. Also, drink as much water as possible.
With a global obsession to look younger, there is another aspect we need to focus on— preserving our minds and cognitive abilities against a forgetful memory or Alzheimer’s disease in the future. HEALTH delves deeper.
What Science Says
The primary gear that the body runs by is our nervous system and the cardinal stone of this is our brain that bestows us with thinking and cognition. Our bodies are composed of cells that are combined and create the brain. The brain factually is composed of approximately 100 billion, irreplaceable long-lived cells, and scientists say that it is like a piece of plastic that can be reshaped, get rewired with its nerve cells connections, and like a computer, you can reinstall or uninstall programs (habits and patterns of thoughts.) It is this flexibility of the brain that is referred to scientifically as “neuroplasticity”.
You are Your Cells
We think of ourselves holistically, so as aging progresses, we start to get wrinkles and we get fatigued more easily, but since we are the summation of approximately 40 trillion cells; factually, we age because our cells age. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is usually developed in some people primarily when they age. The person starts to develop symptoms of memory loss and cognitive faculty deterioration.
The Big Question
Is there a preventive measure we can do or take? According to science, the answer is yes. The answer lies under what they call “cognitive reserve” (CR) which is like a reservoir of your mental capabilities which enables you to continue performing your activities which despite if AD starts to affect you, you would have a backup.
How CR works?
When an individual has AD, the brain starts to get eaten slowly and symptoms are developed as a result. It is here when CR via utilizing neuroplasticity plays its card. This partially can be explained as follows. New circuits of nerve cells connections are formed, or by using the same already existing intact networks more efficiently, or by shifting the task to alternative circuits, thus bypassing the damaged area and taking over its task. CR can be imparted by tackling the daily activities of our lives as some habits and behavior patterns can increase the reservoir and thus, will have a protective measure against AD.
This potentially includes three factors; firstly, intellectual activities which stimulate our thinking, for instance, by challenging our minds as in solving problems or seeking education. Secondly, the social activities of the person: an individual with strong familial and social bonds, utilizes leisure time productively, or attends religious meetings are a few examples of protective factors. Lastly are physical activities which will enhance the blood circulation to the brain and thus, improve its function. By practicing these behavior patterns, the brain will pay you back by providing you with a reservoir of protective factors to guard against early manifestation of AD.
(Written by: Muhammad Al-Salman, 4th year medical student at Gulf Medical University and reviewed by Prof. Sovan Bagchi, professor of physiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Gulf Medical University.)
Sources: Stern Y, Cognitive reserve in ageing and Alzheimer’s disease, Lancet Neurol. Scarmeas N et al, Influence of leisure activity on the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease, Neurology. Scarmeas N et al, Cognitive reserve and lifestyle, J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. Larson E.B. Risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia, UpToDate.
Many of us purchase a pair of sunglasses based purely on aesthetic appeal. But the reality is that sunglasses are something that should be taken very seriously. Here are three key factors to look for when making the investment.
A good fit: Be sure that your sunglasses fit very well otherwise you may be less likely to wear them. Also, when sunglasses are too large or small, they may let in light from the sides.
The right lenses: These days, your best option for lenses is polycarbonate plastic lenses. These lenses are stronger and also provide adequate UV protection. Photochromic lenses are also an ideal choice as they block UV radiation while maintaining visual clarity.
The numbers: When shopping for sunglasses, check the label and be sure to purchase the one that specifies the lenses block out 99 percent to 100 percent of UV radiation and also block out both UVA and UVB rays.
We hear so much about how sleep is important for our wellbeing, but it is also important for our appearance. Here’s how getting enough sleep can boost your beauty quotient.
Helps with Anti-Aging
Chronically missing out on good quality sleep indirectly applies stress to the body. Over time, this can wreak havoc on the skin as the collagen thins out and can even break down. Over time, your skin will look lackluster and may start to show fine lines and wrinkles.
Not sleeping well on a regular basis can trigger dark circles which occur when the blood vessels under the eyes dilate. Even under eye puffiness is a common side-effect due to lack of sleep and/ or due to water retention.
Bad Hair Days
Lack of sleep over time can trigger an increase in cortisol, which can trigger a condition known as telogen effluvium. This can lead to hair thinning and even hair loss over time.
With the summer season here, many of us are busy planning and preparing to travel. Yet for those of us with children, planning in advance is vital to
Ensuring a successful and happy holiday. Check out our suggestions.
Get the kids involved:
From planning to packing, children need to be involved in every step along the way. Show them images of your planned destination and share some interesting trivia about the place to create a sense of excitement.
Bring along headphones and electronic tablets with some favorite movies already downloaded. When used in moderation, these give children the option to watch movies, play games, and listen to music.
Create a busy bag:
In this, include coloring books, art books, and other fun things your children have not yet seen. This will keep them happy and entertained during the flight.
Bring along snacks:
While many airlines now offer specific child meals, sometimes children get hungry at odd times. Being prepared with a few snacks including fresh fruit, cookies, crackers and cheese, and small sandwiches can help pacify a cranky child.
From pediatric questions to general medical queries, our panel of experts is here to answer your questions…
TEENAGER WITH CHEST PAIN
Question: Sometimes my teenage daughter gets a sharp pain in her chest which the doctor diagnosed as growing pains. Is this related to the heart?
Dr. Mohamed Shehata, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist responds, “Chest pain in teenagers can be related to many etiologies. Fortunately, more than 90 percent of
these pains are not related to heart problems. For example, these pains might be related to indigestion or respiratory problems. Heart problems associated with chest pain in teenagers mostly include inflammation of the pericardial sac surrounding the heart or the presence of valvular malfunction. However, the term `growing pains` described in teenagers is mostly caused by costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the joints between the breast bone (sternum) and the ribs. In younger children, this costochondral area is soft or cartilaginous. With puberty and growth, this soft area calcifies, making it harder and for some reason, this area may become irritated (or inflamed), resulting in pain and tenderness. So, this type of chest pain is basically not related to the heart and can be simply relieved using traditional analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications.”
CHOCOLATE & MIGRAINES
Question: Whenever I eat chocolate or have coffee, a few moments later I suffer from a migraine. Is there a link between food and a migraine? Dr. M. Srinivas Mallya, Specialist Neurology and HOD of Neurology responds, “Yes, there is a link between migraine and food as a trigger. About 30 percent of patients’ report a food trigger. Apart from chocolate and coffee, other common food triggers include citrus fruits, nuts, onions, MSG, nitrites found in cured or processed meats, and dairy products.”
Question: I just turned 35 and my wrinkles are becoming prominent. I am not necessarily in favor of Botox yet; what are other options? Dr. Sanjay Parashar, Consultant Plastic Surgeon explains, “It’s the process of aging. Based on your genetics, lifestyle, diet, and skin regime, the signs of aging can appear as early as age 30 for some. Wrinkles are caused by the overuse of facial muscles (the 11 lines on your forehead and between your eyes), due to excessive frowning, or long horizontal lines on the forehead due to stress. Skin dehydration and excessive sun exposure are also contributing factors to wrinkles. I understand you are not in favor of Botox, but it is definitely one of the best solutions for wrinkles. It is helpful in relaxing the overused muscles and hence, stops the formation of wrinkles.” “I understand that Botulinum injections have had myths including a frozen look or unnatural facial expressions. But that is due to its excessive use, particularly by inexperienced experts. New techniques of treatment include –‘Baby Botox’ (also known as Micro Botox) which is a new way of treating the wrinkles subtly and with natural facial expressions. Alternative methods include facial yoga to help break the habit of muscle overuse. Other simple measures include the use of a proper moisturizer to keep skin hydrated and at the same time, repairs damaged skin. Vitamin C serum works as an antioxidant for skin cells and repairs wrinkles. Other ways of reducing wrinkles include medical peelings and laser therapies. Some also benefit with treatments such as PRP for the face, medical facials such as Vivace, and also hyaluronic fillers. Early management of aging is extremely important. Times are changing and medical science has provided many tools and technology, which when used properly, can slow down aging. Adapting to them early helps substantially and delays the hard measures used to fight aging, for example, with a facelift. Find a good doctor as he can examine the real cause of your wrinkles and advise appropriately.”
Many of us who never learned to swim assume it’s too late to learn, but the fact is that not only is swimming an enjoyable way to spend time together as a family, it’s a great way to stay fit during the hotter months. Here are some reasons why all of us should be swimming.
Swimming can help you lose inches and weight and also build muscle tone.
Habitual swimmers, according to research, are biologically around 20 years younger than their actual age as swimmers blood pressure, cognition levels, cholesterol, and cardiovascular fitness levels were comparable to a younger age group.
An average swim can burn around 450 calories an hour and because water is denser than air, swimming is similar to resistance training.
Besides cooling you down, swimming exercises the heart, lungs, and muscles with very little joint strain.
Swimming can also help develop overall strength and endurance. It can give you yoga-like flexibility.
Feel-good endorphins are released during swimming and therefore, can help you cope better with stress.
These days, flying has become more challenging than ever with tighter security regulations and cramped seating. Health reveals some golden rules for airline travel to make the journey more pleasant.
RESPECT EVERYONE AROUND YOU
With armrests, try to work out a viable solution so both you and the passenger next to you can be comfortable during the journey. Also, think twice about reclining your seat as far back as possible as it lessens the amount of space the passenger has behind you.
DON’T OVERDO CONVERSATION
If you like to chat, but sense the passenger next to you has no interest in doing so, respect this. If you are flying with family, speak in a lower tone of voice, especially when the majority of passengers are sleeping.
BOARDING THE FLIGHT
As you are boarding the flight, hold your carry-on bag in front of you and store your bag under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment adjacent to your seat.
Be cautious with food trays and hot liquids. Take care when you open the plastic salad dressing, condiments, and beverage containers as they splatter easily.
Consider your seat as your domain and keep it tidy by disposing any unwanted litter in the bin, not in the pocket of the seat in front of you. Also, if you remove your shoes, be sure to wear clean socks to avoid any bad odors.