Monthly Archives: April 2012

Summer Skin Care Tips

Summer is here and one has to take special care of the skin to protect it from the heat and humidity. Summer also brings with it a host of skin problems. Some common problems in summer are prickly heat, fungal infections, body odor, sun tan and sunburn. People with oily skin tend to suffer a lot as the oil glands becomes more active. Some people suffer from dryness of skin due to loss of moisture. Most of these problems can be dealt with these cool summer skincare tips.

The first and the most important thing is to drink lot of water to beat the summer heat. Our body loses a lot of moisture in summer which needs to be replenished constantly. So it is important to include water, fruit juices, tender coconut water, butter milk, lemon juice to keep our skin hydrated, refreshed and cool. Include fruits that are widely available in summer. Fruits like watermelon, palm fruit, cucumber are excellent coolers. Stay away from aerated drinks, caffeine as they are not good for the skin.

Have bath in cool water twice a day to prevent body odor. Find more  tips to get rid of body odor.

Try to avoid going out between 11 am-3 pm when the sun rays are very strong. Use a coloured umbrella or a wide brimmed hat and wear sun glasses, if you cannot avoid going out at that time. Also don’t forget to apply sun screen lotion. Remember over exposure to sun leads to problems like blistering, sunburn, drying, aging and tanning.

Use sunscreen lotion when you are outdoors. Apply sun screen half an hour before exposure to sun. Choose a good brand sunscreen and follow the instructions on the pack.

Avoid heavy make up in summer. Stick to light and simple make up. When it comes to make up products, look for water based products. Choose water proof eyeliners to prevent smudging. Use oil free moisturizers that contains sunscreen.

Prickly heat

When excessive sweating clogs the pores and blocks sweat glands, heat rash or prickly heat develops. Here are a few natural remedies to cure prickly heat.

Apply coconut water or palm fruit (nongu) water on the rashes.

Mix multani mutti with rose water and apply regularly for a week to cure prickly heat.

Calamine lotion also works well for prickly heat.

Take a tender palm fruit and apply it on the rashes. Do this for a week to cure prickly heat.

Mouth ulcers

Boil cabbage in water and drink that water once a day to heal mouth ulcers in summer.

Chew manathakkali leaves (Black nightshade) in such a way, that the juice of the leaves should come in contact with the ulcer.

Consult your dentist and take required treatment if it is severe.

Fungal infection

Have a cool shower twice a day to refresh your skin. Dry your skin well.

Avoid wearing shoes in summer. Choose footwear or open sandals that will allow air circulation.

Wear loose cotton clothes in summer. Avoid tight jeans and tight fitting blouses.

Consult your Dermatologist and take required treatment for fungal infections.

Natural Remedies

Rose water has natural cooling properties and is an excellent toner. Dip cotton in chilled rose water and wipe your skin with it to keep it fresh.

Take cucumber juice and watermelon juice in equal quantity and apply on face. Cool it in the refrigerator before use.

Homemade face pack for summer 

Blend a small piece of watermelon and  muskmelon (kirni palam) and apply it on the face. Wash after 20 minutes.

Blend cucumber and a little chilled fat free curd and apply it on the face to get rid of tan and to keep the skin fresh.

Mix gram flour with plain yogurt (curd) and apply it on the face. Wash after 20 minutes with cool water.

Pamper yourself with these home made face mask.

Protecting our skin from the sun should be an essential part of our daily skin care routine. Have a nice summer!

Eye care for computer users

Eye Care for Computer Users

Computers have become indispensable in work place. Professionals spend more time working at computer workstations. The combination of fixed and constrained body postures, work overload and unsuitable workstations can lead to health problems like aches and pains in the shoulders, forearm, wrist, hand, back & neck pain and eyes strain.

Normal blink rate in human is 16-20 per minute. When this blink rate gets reduced to 6-8 blinks/minute, it results in dry eyes. Near focusing for long hours causes eye strain. Early presbyopia (need for reading glasses) sets in. Other symptoms include headache, eye strain, blurred vision, dry or irritated eyes, double vision, light sensitivity, neck ache, back aches etc.

The pre disposing factors which mainly cause discomfort are

1.Work place conditions
2.Working habits
3.Visual conditions
4.Nature of work
5.Length of time spent at computer
6.Reduced blinking rate
7.In co ordination between design of work station and design of glasses.

A Good Chair: Feet should rest on the floor. Angle should be of 90 degrees at the knee. Arm rest is desirable. Back rest must support the area from the upper ridge of the pelvis to the shoulder blades.The curve in the back rest must support the hollow in lower back. An adjustable tilt is desirable.

Lighting – Required illumination on the working surface. Lower level illuminance for general areas. (3:1ratio) 

Eye Care Tips for computer users and professionals

Monitor should be more than 5 inches from the eyes.

Ideal viewing area is 6 inches below the horizontal eye level.

Work with fonts of darker shades on light background.

Attach an anti-glare screen in front of the monitor.

Use screen mounted document holder at the same plane.

Use suspended lights from ceiling & windows with curtains to avoid light hitting directly on eyes.

Avoid sitting in front of AC  or in a room with low humidity.

 20-20-20 rule  – Take short breaks for your eyes every 20 minutes between your work for 20 seconds and look 20 feet away.

Give proper rest to the eyes – Close your eyes for 20 seconds at least every half an hour.

Correct near vision with glasses.

Use of Anti reflective coating glasses can reduce glare from a monitor.

Contact lens users need to lubricate their eyes frequently.

Lastly working at the computer is not harmful to eyes, but make sure to examine your eyes at least once a year.

Article written by – Dr.Usha – Ophthalmologist

Brown Rice

Health Benefits of Brown Rice

Rice is a staple diet for many people especially in Asian countries. Many prefer white rice to brown rice as it is easy to cook, can be stored for many months and is easily available. But do you know that white rice is stripped of all its nutrients and fiber in the milling process. Moreover it increases risk of type 2 diabetes. Brown rice is a healthier option than white rice. What is brown rice?  Why should we include brown rice to our diet ? Let us see the health benefits brown rice offers us.

Brown rice is a whole grain of rice that has several layers. It has a mild nutty flavor and is chewier than white rice. In brown rice only the outer layer or the hull which is not edible is removed through milling. So the fiber and the nutrients are retained.

White rice is actually what is inside brown rice. The brown rice is processed and milled and converted into white rice. According to WHfoods “the process of milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. By law in the United States, fully milled and polished white rice must be “enriched” with vitamins B1, B3, and iron. But the form of these nutrients when added back into the processed rice is not the same as in the original unprocessed version, and at least 11 lost nutrients are not replaced in any form even with rice “enrichment.”

A cup of brown rice provides 14.0% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels. The oil in whole brown rice lowers cholesterol.

As brown rice has more fiber (because only the outer layer is removed), it aids in weight loss. Fiber present in brown rice keeps us full for a longer time, thereby preventing us from gorging on unhealthy food in between. It is found that people who eat whole grains like brown rice tend to be leaner than those who don’t.

Brown rice being an excellent source of fiber helps to relieve constipation

Including brown rice in our daily diet lowers risk of heart disease.

Brown rice has a good source of selenium.The high amount of fiber in brown rice is excellent for cleansing the colon. Selenium present in brown rice has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Brown rice is also an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. Magnesium, has been shown in studies to be helpful for reducing the severity of asthma, lowering high blood pressure, reducing the frequency of migraine headaches, and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

A diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as brown rice, and fruit offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. Pre-menopausal women eating the most fiber halved their risk of developing breast cancer.

Brown Rice and other whole grains substantially lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk. White rice lacks nutrients and bran that could cut diabetes risk.

Brown rice helps prevent Gallstones. Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as brown rice, can help women avoid gallstones, shows a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

After reading all the health benefits of brown rice, I am sure you will include Brown rice in your diet frequently.

When buying brown rice, look for the expiry date as brown rice tends to get rancid soon.The essential oil in the germ of the rice is very susceptible to oxidation and soon goes rancid. Freezing or refrigeration will greatly extend its storage life. 

About cooking brown rice -Brown rice takes a longer time to cook than white rice. Check out ” How to cook Brown rice ” for  more details regarding cooking brown rice. Also find a delicious and easy to make Brown Rice salad recipe.

Reference –  WHFoods