Articles on fish oil

6 Awesome Benefits of Fish Oil

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish. It is extremely beneficial because it contains omega 3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The human brain is comprised of 60% fats, and approximately half of that fat is DHA, omega 3. This might mean that nature intended the human brain to be “powered” by fats, so if you don’t have enough, your brain might not be able to run properly.Consuming fish oil has many benefits from reducing risk of cancer to weight loss.Fish Oil capsules - Here are few health benefits of popping that fish oil capsule everyday:Brain Health: Boosts your memory and focus capabilities, improves the growth area associated with behavior, and decreases depression and suicide risk. Researches from Harvard School of Public Health have shown deficiencies in omega 3 fats have been linked to depression, anxiety, mood swings, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.Heart Health: Fish oil that is high in omega 3 fatty acids helps prevent heart disease by keeping your heart strong and healthy. Fish oil helps with cholesterol regulation and helps reduce the formation of clots. American Heart Association mentioned “Omega 3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of or who have cardiovascular disease.” Research has also shown that omega 3′s can help reduce or prevent heart rhythm abnormalities by making the heart stronger.Arthritis Aches and Pains: Studies have shown that fish oil supplementation, rich in omega 3′s, can help alleviate these pains due to inflammation in those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.During Pregnancy or infancy: Omega- 3 is required for the foetus brain to develop properly; it needs a great deal of the omega 3′s, DHA and EPA. Adequate levels of omega 3 intake are associated with less attention deficit and hyperactivity and higher IQ’s among infants.Psoriasis, Acne, and Other Skin Disorders: Fish oils have anti-inflammatory properties which help acne or other skin disorders get much better.Cancers: DHA and EPA omega 3′s, found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements, may protect against these types of cancers including breast, prostate, testicular and ovarian cancer.Latest research is showing that fish oil consumption also helps in reducing belly fat, and boosting muscle growth.Best Ratio of DHA to EPA: Both DHA and EPA have different physiological roles. DHA omega-3 fatty acids are recognized as a physiologically-essential nutrient in the brain and retina. It's required in high concentrations for providing optimal mental performance (cognitive function, memory, focus, learning ability) and visual acuity.While EPA plays an important role in regulating blood flow and maintaining a healthy heart system.As far as the EPA: DHA ratio of a fish oil supplement goes look out for 2:1 or 3:1 ratio.

The Oil & Fat Story: What Is the Healthy Intake?

Dr. Tanoy Bose, Internal Medicine
PUFA, Saturated Fats, Trans Fats, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Mono Unsaturated Fats, Butter, Visible Fats, Fish oils…. Blah Blah. So much of information on fats just can’t be comprehended well by majority of health conscious citizens. Poor understanding of Fat facts have resulted in reliance on television commercials. Shinier the advert, healthier the oil - this had been the current day idea about healthy fat intake. Let’s attempt to get into the depth of the oily tale and find out the facts.Fat is generally a highly valued element of the diet to provide energy, palatability to dry foods or to serve as a cooking medium. If we go to the molecular level, fats are composed of fatty acids & esters which help in building the cell membrane of human cells, important biochemical neurotransmitters, hormones, and provide energy on demand. But there is a property of fats to get accumulated as they are not the fastest moving energy resource of the body. Unfortunately, they often accumulate in the blood vessels of heart and brain, sometimes in arteries of limbs and other vital organs and in due time takes a toll on the health of these organs causing heart attacks, brain strokes and gangrenes. Let’s figure out who are the culprits. It’s a well known fact that Cholesterols who take important part in forming steroid and thyroid hormones are harmful in excess. When we speak of cholesterol we seldom notice that the total amount of cholesterol in our body is basically composed of sub groups like Low Density Cholesterol (LDL), High Density Cholesterol (HDL), Very Low Density Cholesterol (VLDL), and Intermediate Density Cholesterol (IDL). Of which LDL is the bad cholesterol and HDL is the good cholesterol. HDLs are called the cholesterol scavengers. They scavenge cholesterol from target organs such as heart, brain, arteries and bring them back to the liver. Whereas LDL cholesterol does the reverse. Their concentration in the blood is directly related to Mortality due to cardiovascular events. Hence fat intake should be directed in reducing LDL and increasing HDL. Saturated and Trans Fats are predominant source of LDL, whereas, diets rich in Poly Unsaturated fats and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, promote formation of HDL cholesterol. Intake of oil is the major source of fat entry into our body. So choice of oil and foods rich in fat is the deciding factor in creating the cholesterol milieu in our body. Nutritionists have recommended that the ratio of PUFA: MUFA: SFA should be 1:1:1Well, complete absence of saturated fat is not recommended. Interestingly not a single dietary source or oil has got such combination of fats. Oils rich in Saturated fats can be identified by the fact that they are solid in physical form in room temperature. E.g. Butter, Ghee, Margarine. Mono-Unsaturated fats are liquid in room temperature but become hazy when cooled down e.g. olive oil, peanut oil. And Poly-Unsaturated fats are liquid in physical form all through e.g. canola oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil. So we need a blend of all these three in appropriate proportionsNeedless to state that Olive Oils score high amongst oil fraternity. Not only because of its high content of MUFA, but also due to potent antioxidant properties. The chief active components of olive oil include oleic acid, phenolic constituents, and squalene. The main phenolics include hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein, which occur in highest levels in virgin olive oil and have demonstrated antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are believed to be responsible for a number of olive oil's biological activities. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, has shown activity in cancer prevention, while squalene has also been identified as having anticancer effects. Olive oil consumption has benefit for colon and breast cancer prevention. The oil has been widely studied for its effects on coronary heart disease (CHD), specifically for its ability to reduce blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Antimicrobial activity of hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein has been demonstrated against several strains of bacteria implicated in intestinal and respiratory infectionsAlthough the majority of research has been conducted on the oil, consumption of whole olives might also confer health benefits. The use of raw EVOO added to foods after cooking (or as a salad oil) is the best way to express the original flavour and to maximize the intake of natural antioxidants and compounds related to positive effects on human health (hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancerogenic,). EVOO, however, also exhibits its protective properties during/after cooking. Different chemical interactions between biophenolic compounds and other food ingredients (water, milk proteins, carotenoids of tomato, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in canned-in-oil fish and meat or fish proteins) occur. Even during cooking, EVOO exhibits strong antioxidant properties and influences the overall flavour of cooked foods. Pure Olive oil however lacks the property of antioxidants. The approximate content of SFA: MUFA: PUFA is around 15:75:10.Canola Oil is another entrant in the race for healthy oils. It’s worth mentioning that there is nothing called canola plant or seeds. After searching the internet database it has been found that canola oils are basically rapeseed oils which have been genetically engineered and undergo a high temperature purification, deodorization & degummation process. These complicated procedures that convert the oil into edible format causes loss of the antioxidants. The approximate content of SFA: MFA: PUFA in canola oil is around 8: 64: 28. The high content of MFA and PUFA makes it healthier for cholesterol milieu of the body. In a recently conducted clinical trial published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2014, it has been concluded that consumption of Canola DHA( Docosahexanoic Acid) , a novel DHA-rich canola oil, improves HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, thereby reducing risks for cardiovascular risk scores compared with other oils varying in unsaturated fatty acid composition.Among other high quality oils are the walnut oil, peanut oil and sesame oil. The ratio of MUFA: PUFA in peanut & sesame oil is 1:1 with less than 20% SFAHowever, there is indeed a question of cost benefit ratio as because these special oils are quite heavy on the wallet. One of highlighted confusions in the kitchen is the choice between butter & margarine. Well, since the common belief is that margarines are healthy replacement of butter, few facts needs to be made clear. Both butter & margarine are solid fats and very likely to be unhealthy for the heart. Butter has high content of saturated fats and low in trans-fat as because they are not produced by hydrogenation whereas margarines are product of hydrogenation and are rich is trans-fats and low in saturated fats. Margarines which undergo partial hydrogenation are low is trans-fats. Hence, liquid margarine may be a healthy replace of both. With evolving nutrition science, margarines and cooking products, and to a lesser extent dressings, have been adapted to contain less trans fatty acids (TFA), less SFA and more essential (polyunsaturated, PUFA) fatty acids. This has been possible by using careful fat and oil selection and modification processes. By blending vegetable oils rich in the essential PUFAs alpha-linolenic acid (vegetable omega-3) or linoleic acid (omega-6), margarines and dressings with both essential fatty acids present in significant quantities can be realized. In addition, full hydrogenation and fat rearrangement have enabled the production of cost-effective margarines virtually devoid of TFA and low in SFA. Dietary surveys indicate that vegetable oils, soft margarines and dressings are indeed often important sources of essential fatty acids in people's diets, whilst providing negligible amounts of TFA and contributing modestly to SFA intakes. Before consumption of a particular brand of margarine it is wise to go through the nutritional facts on the label and check the trans-fat concentrationOne might wonder about the natural sources of dietary fats. Most of natural sources of healthy dietary fat come from fish oils, nuts, olives and low fat dairy products. The association between fish consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been extensively studied. There is little doubt that long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFAs) in fish are the key nutrients responsible for the benefits and are important for CVD prevention. Omega-3 PUFAs are responsible for rise in HDL Cholesterol and decrease LDL. Often people ask whether they can supplement their diet with fish oil capsules instead of whole fish. Well, in this regard researches have speculated that although fish is valued as a source of these fatty acids, it also provides other nutrients that may have cardio protective effects. It is likely that the beneficial effects of fish consumption on the risk of CVD are the synergistic effects among nutrients in fish, and the integrative effects of fish consumption may reflect the interactions of nutrients and contaminants in fish.To conclude it must be emphasized that all of your dietary fat source should be consisting predominantly of unsaturated fats; PUFAs & MUFAs.

Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is the Best Cooking Oil

Ms. Silky Mahajan, Dietitian/Nutritionist
With the new fad to eat fat-free foods and remain healthy, the intent is to completely avoid fat. However, it is to be noted that fat is essential for various normal body functions, starting from proper brain functioning to hormone formation. What needs to be avoided is the unhealthy bad fat. Fat contains fatty acids, which are of two types-saturated and unsaturated. When heated, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) react with the oxygen in the environment and get damaged. These are to be avoided. The saturated fatty acids are relatively strong and do not oxidize or create damage. So, the next time you pick up oils, this is what you need to look at.The good thing about olive oils is that it mostly contains mono-saturated fatty acids (MSFA), which does not oxidize even at high temperatures (almost 180 degree Celsius.) Another study showed that with deep frying using olive oil, it takes about 25 hours to produce the same damage as other cooking oils. Olive oil is produced by crushing olives.It can be refined or unrefined based on the amount of free oleic acid (lesser in the unrefined version.) The unrefined form is the purer form, which is also known as extra-virgin olive oil. It has the aroma and flavor of olives and characteristic bitter taste.What it contains: A can of 100 g of olive oil contains the following. Note the high content of mono-saturated fat is present, which is highly healthy.Monounsaturated Fat: About 70%Saturated fat:About 13%Omega-6:About 10%Omega-3:About 1%Vitamin E:72% of the RDA.Vitamin K:75% of the RDA.Some of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil are listed below:Anti-inflammatory: Heart disease, cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer's are all chronic inflammatory conditions and using olive oil for prolonged periods can reduce the onset and severity of these conditions. The oleic acid acts against the C-reactive protein responsible for spreading inflammation.Antioxidants: The ingredients in olive oil including the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal and oleuropein are known for their antioxidant properties.The latter is what prevents oxidation of olive oil when heated. These have powerful health benefits and can help fight severe diseases.Cardio-friendly: There are various ways in which olive oil helps the heart, some of them being reduced inflammation, preventing blood clotting, lowering blood pressure, improving blood vessel lining, and improves LDL levels.Cancer: With its oxidative properties, it reduces the amount of free radicals in the body, thereby reducing cancer.Brain function: Olive oil also reduces cognitive functioning and reduces the formation of beta amyloid which is seen in Alzheimer's disease.The Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil and they have inherited these health benefits over centuries.

Do You Know Which Is the Healthiest Cooking Oil?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
What is it that makes a cooking oil healthy and whats in it that effects heart health?  Cooking oil has fat that has various health functions that makes it so important in our diets. Read along to understand different how different types of oil are healthy or healthy depending on their fat content. Cooking oils are healthy but need to be used in moderation for better health.We have always read that fat is not healthy for the body and often causes weight gain, heart diseases and increases cholesterol. Our body requires essential fatty acids for absorption of vitamins, better hormonal function, regulating blood sugar levels, storage of energy, controlling inflammation and brain development. Most importantly it adds flavor to the food. Fats are generally categorized as saturated fat and unsaturated fat. Saturated fat is difficult to break and is difficult to digest. It has high boiling point and freezing point. These fats are usually solid at room temperature and have a longer shelf life. Where as the other fat is unsaturated fat which is further divided into two categories of poly saturated fat and mono saturated fat. These fats are liquid at room temperature and have low boiling and freezing point with a shorter shelf life.Unsaturated fat is unhealthy for the body and increases cholesterol while the poly-saturated fats which contain the essential fatty acids improve cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol in the body. When unsaturated fat is hydrogenated it is called trans fat which increases the shelf life of products. The chips and commercial fried foods contain hydrogenated fats. Trans fats are not so healthy as they increase cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL which have severe effects on health.Cooking oils are either derived from  animal sources or plant sources. We have heard that certain oils are more beneficial and improve health when used for cooking whereas some oils are unhealthy. Deep fried foods are cooked in oils which have more  saturated fat as it has high boiling temperature which does not let the oil burn and bear its characteristics.Sometimes fats lose their characteristic upon boiling and don't remain healthy and develops qualities that may result in bad health.There are different oils present in the market like ghee, sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, olive oil, mustard oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil, sesame oil, rice oil etc of which some contain more of saturated fat and are not so healthy while some contain more of unsaturated oil which are healthy. You can consume about 30% of your daily calories requirement from fat through cooking oil. Here is a list of some of the healthier cooking oils available in the market.Below are some healthy cooking oil with their characteristicsMustard Oil: The oil is derived from pressing the mustard seeds. It contains very less of saturated fat and more of unsaturated fat. It contains omega 3 acid and omega 6 essential fatty acids about 12%. It is liquid at room temperature and is has its own characteristic smell and brown colour. In Indian cuisines it is used to cook stir fried veggies at low temperature as they add flavour to the food. The erucic acid present in it is controversial for its benefits. It is used for massaging at various places.Olive Oil: It is called the healthiest of all cooking oils and is present in different variants like extra virgin oil etc. The variants have different properties and used differently. Olive oil is primarily unsaturated fat and just 12% of saturated fat and improves heart health and increases good cholesterol. It has a lot of vitamins E & K with essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Extra virgin quality is used for skin, shaving oil but not used for cooking usually as it loses its characteristic upon heating.Peanut Oil: Peanut oil has a high smoke point and is often used for deep frying. The oil is healthy as it contains higher content of unsaturated fat and less of saturated fat making it  healthy and in fact improves coronary benefits. It is high in energy and has a long shelf life. It brings a aroma and flavor to the food it is cooked with.Sunflower Oil: It is one of the most common cooking oil used for cooking which we refer to as refine oil. It is high in unsaturated fat and is rich in essential fatty acids. It can be used in food for cooking on high temperature. It is often used in commercial products  and for deep frying of foods like french fries and chicken etc. It contains vitamin E & K as other nutrients in it. The plain taste makes it available to be used in various dishes.

Top 5 Foods That Keep Asthma at Bay

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Have you ever felt like a herd of elephants is marching across your chest and making it impossible for you to breathe? Is coughing and wheezing become a regular affair for you? If your answer is YES then you might have Asthma. These symptoms can be a real pain if not controlled.Here is a list of foods that you can eat to control asthma symptoms.ApplesResearch has shown that eating two or more apples a week can help ease asthma symptoms in patients. Apples contain flavonoids such as Khellin, which have an anti-inflammatory effect that is known to open up airways.CaffeineCaffeine is a 'bronchodilator' i.e., it contains chemicals that help dilate or open up constricted bronchial tubes, thus enabling airflow. How it works is similar to a drug called theophylline, which is used for the same purpose.Red Hot Chili PeppersYes, you read that right. Confused? Burning your tongue could actually help you breathe easy! Hot chili peppers contains vitamin C, a vitamin which is a known antihistamine and can also fight inflammation. Spicy food also helps in clearing any asthma-related mucus buildup.Fish OilFish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that are known to be extremely beneficial for your lungs. Omega-3 fatty acids not only prevent asthma but also help to manage it better.Eggs What's your choice, scrambled eggs for breakfast or egg pudding as desserts? Low vitamin D levels increase the risk of developing asthma. Eggs are rich in vitamin D, eating them regularly could help you avoid asthma.The trick to avoiding asthma is to keep your lungs healthy. Eating foods that are rich in vitamins C and D as well as omega 3 fatty acids is the easiest (and tastiest) way to keep those asthma attacks at bay!

Psoriasis Cure

Dr. Ramesh Maheshwari, Sexologist
PSORIASISPsoriasis isred scaly (silvery white) patches which can appear any where on the skin.Facts:Cause: Unknown.Possibly genetically determined.Common between 15-30 years.Precipitating factors are:–Psychological emotional stress.–Cold weather.–Injury.–Septic focus.–Drugs like Steroids, Brufen, Lithium,Anti-malarials and Beta - adrenergic blockers.Sign and symptoms:Usually affects both sides of body symmetrically.Well circumscribed red, dry plaques(flat areas on the skin) of various sizes, covered with scales.Removal of scales gives rise to pin-point bleeding points.Sites can be anywhere on the body especially on e.g. elbow, knees, sacrum and occiput.Lesions are coin shaped or circular with central clearing.Joints can get affected especially finger joints.Nails frequently become pitted and thick with brownish black discoloration.Dietary management:Avoid:Avoid precipitating or trigger factors.Avoid food you are allergic to.Avoid smoking and alcohol.Avoid foods high in fat or sugar.Avoid non-vegetarian food – meat,poultry.Do:Warmth may help to control relapses.Do regular exercise helps by improving blood circulation.Practice yoga will help in reducing stress.Consume:Drink plenty of water.Eat fresh and raw fruits and vegetables as they provide antioxidants and flavanoids which help in reducing inflammation and boosting up immunity.Consume figs and fish oil might help you feel better.Eat a well-balanced diet - Proper nutrition will improve general health and reduce the severity of the disease.Do not over eat even healthy foods.Limit intake of red meat and dairy products.Eat foods that contain psoralen before you walk out in sun - Celery, carrots, citrus, figs, fennel, and parsnips. It makes the skin more sun-sensitive to the positive effects of UV light. But do not over expose to sun.Consume oily fish, may help reduce the inflammation associated with psoriasis - mackerel, salmon, black cod, albacoretuna, herring and sardines.Have a low-calorie diet if you are over weight - about 1,200 calories per day. Some researches have shown relations between psoriasis and obesity.Consume gluten free diet, it benefits individuals with psoriasis (Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in some cereals, particularly wheat) – avoid wheat, rye, barley and oats they contain gluten.Increase intake of vitamin D.Increase intake of omega 3 fatty acids and reduce intake of omega 6 fatty acids (ratio of 2:1), omega 3 fatty acid has anti-inflammatory properties.Food rich in omega 3:–Canola oil, flaxseed, flax seed oil,walnuts and green leafy vegetables like purslane, fish - Atlantic salmon,Atlantic halibut, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic and Pacific herring, sardines,bluefish, tuna and cold water fish.Reduce (do not completely avoid)intake of food rich in omega 6:-Cereals, vegetable oils, whole-grain breads, baked goods and margarines, eggs and poultry.Consume diet rich in vitamin A and zinc, helps in regeneration of the skin.Increase intake of vitamin C, it helps maintain healthy skin.Have coriander leaves frequently, its high in vitamin C and helps to maintain healthy skin.You can have 3-4 strands of saffron in milk, it is beneficial for skin.Basil leaves (tulsi) are said to be helpful in skin ailments, eat 3-4 fresh leaves daily.Consult physician:You can take vitamin and cod liver oil supplements under guidance of your physician.In case of prolonged duration or change in rash pattern take physicians opinion immediately.If symptoms get worse or if you see any Signs of infection (fever, redness of the affected area, pain) occur, see your physician immediately.

Psoriasis Preventing You Going Sleeveless? Take Charge Today!

Dr. Rashmi Joshi, Dermatologist
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects over 1% population all over theworld. This skin condition not only has a negative physical and emotional impact on the patient,but also interferes with daily activities of affected individuals. The itchy and scaly plaques of this disease often restrict fashion choices forcing women to steer clear off sleeveless and stringy clothing.Patients have to combat the urge to scratch the skin that can lead to redness and flaky skin.There are a number of topical ointments and creams available in the market which aim to reduce inflammation and itching. These medicines also help to prevent the skin from breaking and help in keeping it smooth. Psoriasis is a long-term condition that has no cure; however,simple ingredients from our kitchen and easy tips can greatly reduce the extent and intensity of this disease.Dietary supplementsFish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that boost our immune system. This helps the body to fight psoriasis.Other supplements such as primrose oil, milk thistle, oregano oil and aloe vera are also known to reduce the intensity of the symptoms.Another essential herb found in all kitchen cabinets is turmeric. It can be used generously in all food preparations. Owing to the presence of its anti-inflammatory properties, many cases of psoriasis have known to improve. You can even make a paste of turmeric with some yogurt and apply on the plaques. Wash this off after 5 minutes.Over the course of 2-3 weeks you will see drastic reduction in the inflammation.However, before starting these supplements, it is best to check with your physician whether they interfere with any pre-existing medical condition.Keep the skin well hydrated Keep the air in your surroundings moist by using a humidifier. This helps to prevent the skin from getting dehydrated as dehydrated skin is easily prone to breaking out and is more sensitive.Massage with essential oilsMassage with oils, such as olive oil, helps to reduce the itchiness and plaque’s appearance. It also reduces redness and inflammation of the skin. In addition, a gentle massage helps toreduce stress and relieve symptoms of pain.Eat rightEating healthy helps to improve the immune system. Specifically, eat cold-water fish such as salmons, as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Most importantly, cut the junk and fried food from your diet.Nice lukewarm showersUsing hot water for baths may aggravate your skin condition; however, a nice lukewarm shower will help to loosen the white flakes on the skin. In addition, you can add salt or Epsom salt, milk or any essential oil to double the benefits. Remember to moisturise your skin as moisturisation is necessary after bath.Avoid smoking and alcoholStudies have shown that both alcohol and smoking worsen psoriasis. Both these habits act as triggers that aggravate psoriasis.Avoid stress Stress is a trigger that aggravates itchiness, redness and flakiness of the skin. The best way to de-stress is to indulge in relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. These methods will immensely help to prevent any exacerbation of this chronic disease.Thus, psoriasis is a lasting condition that can be managed effectively with these home remedies ensuring that you wear what you want and enjoy life on your terms.

6 Surprising Beauty Hacks Using Coconut Oil

Dr. Amee Daxini, Dermatologist
We unintentionally end up using expensive and dangerous body care products to do the beauty trick for us. But here’s a little inside information -- your humble coconut oil is a multi-tasker that can take care of almost anything.Look after those locks:Use coconut oil instead of serum to tame your hair, since the latter causes extensive hair fall. Warm a little oil in your hands and run your fingers through your hair. For deep conditioning minus those chemicals, leave the oil in your hair all day.Mascara massacre:You no longer have to worry about chemicals from artificial makeup removers getting into your eyes and damaging the delicate, thin skin around your eyes. Remove that stubborn eye makeup gently using small quantities of coconut oil using a cotton pad.Under those arms:Bid goodbye to underarm darkness caused by chemicals in your deodorant spray. Instead, use coconut oil as it contains lauric acid which kills odor-causing bacteria. Dab small quantities under your arms and stay fresh all day long.Raisin skin:Artificial anti-aging creams use a lot of chemicals that cause more damage than good. Coconut oil, on the other hand, has been praised for its natural anti-aging properties. It speeds up collagen production and makes your skin look supple and youthful. Apply it as an eye cream to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to keep skin smooth.Chappy lips:When lip balms or gels are applied, there is a possibility of accidentally consuming it. The toxic chemicals from these products cause stomach aches and indigestion, among other side-effects. Coconut oil gives you an ideal alternative; even if consumed, it won’t harm your system. Now isn’t that a win-win situation!On the inside:Coconut oil contains saturated fats or medium chain fatty acids (triglycerides) which have strong disinfectant and anti-microbial properties. When consumed in your diet, it has the ability to boost your immunity and increase energy levels. No wonder Malayalis cook with this essential oil!

7 Best Foods for Your Brain

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Brain is the most complex organ of the human body, so it's essential that we take great care of it for long term brain health. This requires proper nutrition for healthy functioning just like is the case for the heart and other organs. Here are the 7 best foods for your brain that can help you in keeping your brain functioning optimally for a long time.Nuts: Vitamin E is one of the major nutrients required by the brain as it protects your brain from free radical damage which is associated with memory loss with old age. Vitamin E even delays progression of Alzheimer's disease. Nuts are not only a good source of vitamin E, they even have high magnesium content, which delays age-related memory loss.Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids are major nutrients that manage the oxidative stress in older people with mild cognitive decline. Fish and fish oil are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acid.Dark Green Leafy Vegetable: These vegetables are filled with magnesium and folate. Getting adequate folate makes you more alert and it also improves your memory and focus. It helps in lowering blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine that is known to damage brain cells. Also, Magnesium delays age-related memory loss.Berries: Research suggests that flavonoids in berries may cut your risk for Parkinson’s disease because of their anti-inflammatory powers. Berries also help in protecting the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia.Whole Grains: Whole grains like oatmeal or brown rice are rich sources of dietary fiber which reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure - all of which might affect the brain.Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is rich in powerful antioxidant properties. It also contains several natural stimulants including caffeine, which enhance focus and concentration and stimulates the production of endorphins which helps in improving your mood. However, in spite of these benefits, it is also high in calories, so its advisable to consume them in moderation.Oils: Olive oil, nuts oils, fish oils, flaxseed oil, etc. contain heart-healthy mono-unsaturated omega-3 and omega-9 fats. These fatty acids and polyphenols help to reduce inflammation in your joints and cells. Oils are also a rich source of vitamin E which protects neurons or nerve cells.Include these foods in your diet to makes your more alert, increases immunity to fight age related brain diseases and helps in improving your focus and concentration.

All About Teeth and Oil Pulling

Dr. Swasti Jain, Dentist
For the record, a regular oil-pulling routine should not replace routine dental visits and traditional at-home oral care. Oil pulling does not reverse the effects of tooth decay, and it’s important that patients are made fully aware of that. That being said, I do believe that it is a great supplemental therapy. The phrase “oil pulling” comes from the process of the oil being “worked” in the mouth by pulling, pushing, and sucking it.Here’s how to do it:Put about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth.Swish the oil around your mouth for about 15-20 minutes.Spit out the oil, then brush your teeth.If you use coconut oil , then you may have to chew on the oil for a minute or so to let it melt, because it is solid at room temperature.It is best to do this on an empty stomach, before you brush your teeth. I prefer to do it while I take a shower in the morning.TOP  BENEFITS of oil pulling: WHITENS TEETHThere is no need for chemical teeth whitening strips when oil pulling works just as well! The oil possesses natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that brighten and cleans teeth, keeping them pearly white. Try it for two weeks and you will see difference.Oil pulling is highly effective at reducing tooth cavities and at eradicating bad breath. Removing the Streptococcus mutant bacteria (an important player in tooth decay) as well as other microorganisms, oil pulling is great for oral health. It also helps with plaque-induced gingivitis.Kills bad breathHeals bleeding gumsPrevents heart diseaseReduces inflammationSoothes throat drynessPrevents cavitiesHeals cracked lipsBoosts Immune SystemImproves acneStrengthens gums and jawWHY ONLY COCONUT OILBecause coconut oil has been shown to:Balance HormonesKill CandidaImprove DigestionMoisturize SkinReduce CelluliteDecrease Wrinkles and Age SpotsBalance Blood Sugar and Improve EnergyImprove Alzheimer’sIncrease HDL and Lower LDL CholesterolBurn FatBecause it is highly absorbable, you can experience many of these benefits simply by oil pulling!** “Oil pulling will not and cannot loosen properly placed crowns or fillings. "** Within one week, most people notice a cleaner mouth and change in their breath. Within a month, some people have experienced dental repair or healthier gums.** Because you spit out the toxins that are “pulled” out when swishing, there should not be any harm in oil pulling while pregnant. In fact, it can be a soothing way to clean your teeth if you experience any gum sensitivity.2. PROMOTES ORAL HYGIENE