Articles on health effects of wine

Important Lifestyle Changes For Healthy Living!

Dr. Anamay K. Bidwai, General Physician
We never realise that even just little modification in the way we do things can have long term health benefits like good control of blood pressure, reduced chances of diabetes,  delayed ageing and more years to your life.Scientific research done by reputed institutes have proved that slight modification in the way we eat, our activity, sleep can bring long term health benefits.This study was conducted on a large group of volunteers, which lasted over two years.The volunteers were divided in two groups,  one was asked to continue the life style they were leading, others were suggested some modification.Those volunteers who suffered from any disease like blood pressure or diabetes were asked to continue the treatment.Volunteers were asked once a week for physical check up and once in three months blood test for cholesterol, sugar etc was done.Volunteers who were asked to do modification in their life style were very minor modifications, like eat 12-20% less than what they have been eating, walk for just 20-30 minutes four times a  week, if they had alcohol they were asked to cut it down by about 20% of their weekly consumption and sleep for at least 7 hours every night.After two years when all statistics were put together and analysed, surprising results were found, it was proved that just cutting down about 12 -15% of daily food intake, moderated reduction in alcohol intake and doing moderate exercise four to five days a week can do wonders.The volunteers in the modified life style group had lost weight, they were feeling happier and healthier, their work performance had improved, cholesterol results were low, BP was lower, sugars were better controlled.We can understand from this study that even small changes in our life style can bring BIG benefits to our health. So, it is not very difficult to be in good health, just change little things and you will remain healthy and happy for life time.

Smoking Effects on Teeth and Oral Cavity

Dr. Swasti Jain, Dentist
It is widely known that smoking can have a great number of adverse effects on the health of the smoker. Due to the nature by which the action of smoking is performed, it is only natural that oral health would be one of the areas most negatively affected by the act. It is very important, therefore, that a smoker take extra care of his/her mouth and teeth. There are ways in which a smoker can help to keep the damages of smoking from doing further harm through proper oral care.Oral Health Problems Caused By SmokingAmong the most common oral problems, smokers are at an increased risk for gum disease. Smokers are four times more likely of developing this problem than non-smokers.Due to the excess of harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, smokers are twice more likely to suffer tooth loss than non-smokers.Smokers are at a higher risk for developing leukoplakia, leading to throat, lung, and oral cancers. It can cause the salivary glands to become inflamed and contribute to deterioration of bone structure. Smokers also have a harder time recovering from dental procedures such as periodontal treatments, dental implants, and tooth extraction. Smokers are at a greater risk of developing dry socket from tooth extraction procedures. When dry socket occurs, the patient experiences severe pain in the affected area due to the bone and nerve endings being exposed.In addition to these medical ailments, smoking can also cause vanity issues impacting the teeth and mouth. Due to an increased and steady buildup of plaque and tarter, the teeth of a smoker are less attractive in appearance. Smoking also stains the teeth and can cause bad breath. In some smokers, the tongue can develop a condition known as black hairy tongue, due to a growth that may grow as a result of tobacco use. The condition causes the tongue to become yellow, green, black, or brown, and give the appearance of being hairy. Smokers may also lose the sensation of taste and smell.Dental Hygiene Tips to Improve Oral HealthWhile quitting smoking is the most effective way to ensure better oral healthHaving a proper oral hygiene plan is extremely important for smokers. Smokers should be brushing, flossing, and using a tongue cleaner and mouthwash on a regular basis, at least twice daily. By staying on top of regular dentist visits, smokers can also benefit from professional cleanings.People who smoke should also check for recurrent bleeding in the mouth, lesions, swelling, and lumps. White, red, or dark patches on the inside of the mouth, under the tongue, and on the cheeks that last more than two weeks should be brought to the attention of a dentist. Lumps on the lips and gums can also indicate a more serious problem, as should numbness or pain in any part of the mouth.

Get Freedom From Alcohol

Dr. Swasti Jain, Dentist
Are you concerned about your alcohol intake? Maybe you feel that you're drinking too much or too often. Perhaps it's a habit you'd like to better control.It's always wise to check with your doctor — she should be able to help you decide whether it is best for you to cut back or to abstain. People who are dependent on alcohol, or have other medical or mental health problems, should stop drinking completely.HOW TO CUT DOWN ALCOHOLThere are lots of simple ways to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink. It can help to work out if there are particular times or situations when you tend to have a drink, whether that’s a bad day at work or a weekly pub quiz tradition, and plan what you’ll say and do differently next time.Have more alcohol-free days a week. Try agreeing on certain days with your partner or a friend and help each other to stick to it.If you are planning to drink alcohol, decide on a limit in advance and make sure you don’t go over it.Swap every other alcoholic drink for a soft one – starting with your first drink.Try shandy instead of a pint of beer, or swap some wine for soda and have a spritzer.Don’t stock up on beer, wine or spirits at home.Finish one drink before pouring another, because topping up drinks makes it harder to keep track of how much you’ve had and when you planned to stop.Avoid buying drinks in rounds, that way you don’t have to keep pace with anyone.Tell a friend or partner that you’re cutting down on alcohol, they can support you – or even join you.Keep a diary of your drinking - For three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink.- Include information about what and how much you drank as well as where you were. Compare this to your goal. If you're having trouble sticking to your goal, discuss it with your doctor or another health professional.     10.Don't keep alcohol in your house. Having no alcohol at home can help limit your drinking.     11.Be persistentMost people who successfully cut down or stop drinking altogether do so only after several attempts. You'll probably have setbacks, but don't let them keep you from reaching your long-term goal. There's really no final endpoint, as the process usually requires ongoing effort.

Alcohol & Athletes: Can it affect fitness & Performance?

Ms. Silky Mahajan, Dietitian/Nutritionist
A lot of people believe in hitting the gym during the day and then a bar at night. One feels there’s no harm in drinking a little amount of alcohol now and then. Actually the term “little” and “now and then” cannot even be used in that former sentence since it’s more like binge drinking every weekend! Don’t drink and drive isn’t only for behind the wheels, it’s also on the field (and the gym). First, let’s give you a list of how alcohol can affect your body, and then we can get down to details! Keep in mind these effects are within 48 hours of alcohol consumptions, that too just after 2-3 standard drinks.Decrease strengthImpair hand-eye coordinationIncrease fatigue (by impacting liver function)Mineral and vitamin depletionDisturbed sleepImpact cellular repair (since protein is affected negatively)Dehydration thus affecting the kidneysLoss of enduranceUnwanted weight gain Do you really need me to go on? Alcohol isn’t something that recommended for most people; for athlete’s it just makes matters worse.  While you’re training or competing, it's best to stay away from alcohol! Though, the best solution is to give it up completely to live a healthy lifestyle. Now let’s get down to some technical details of how it impacts your organs (just so you don’t think I’m talking in air.)So first things first. Alcohol cannot be stored as energy. This means all the alcohol in your body is converted into fat – hence the term beer belly. Alcohol’s effect on the liver can cause a problem in the production of oxygen which then interferes with the production of ATP ie a direct source of energy for the muscles. Sadly drinking alcohol before your workout hinders the circulation of glucose which is essential for energy. It has also been scientifically proven that alcohol diminishes protein synthesis which in turn stops muscle growth by preventing the repair of damaged muscles. Another thing alcohol does is increase the urge to urinate which leads to loss of electrolytes. No no, I’m not done yet. I’ve got so much more “fun facts” related to alcohol. Since alcohol is a toxin it disrupts the normal cell function. Alcohol also inhibits the absorption of essential minerals like zinc, folic acid, Vitamin B12 etc which are needed for metabolism and new cell growth (muscle cell included).  The consumption of alcohol provides only empty calories which in turn displace valuable nutrients.  That’s just a loss of essentials and an increase of fat! Do note, heavy drinking for a night can negatively affect the brain and bodily activities for 3 whole days whereas 2 nights of consecutive heavy drinking leave an impact for 5 days! Evidently dehydration, fatigue, and headaches – commonly known as hangovers – really don’t mix well with the physical demands of our body. Alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle which in turn leads a reduction in the ability to learn and retain new information. This could range from new skills to studying games or even applying strategies in a game. Excessive alcohol can prevent the secretion of human growth hormone which is essential for muscle growth as well as recovery. For an athlete, that’s bad..bad…BAD! It’s always better to prioritize a good day’s workout over a night of heavy drinking. At least the workout leaves you worn out and exhausted craving for more! Alcohol just leaves you with a bad hangover which leads to false swears of never drinking again. Eat clean, drink healthy and stay fit!

Is Love for the Malt Killing You Softly? Go Heart-Happy in Just 10 Days

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Are you a regular drinker? You may reason it out saying that alcohol in moderate quantities is a stress buster at the end of a busy and stressful day. Drinking beer or wine may be helping put aside your worries temporarily or maybe it is just a way to have fun with your buddies. Whatever may be the reason, the fact is that alcohol is a slow poison. It opens the doorway to a number of serious illnesses of heart, liver, brain and the list is endless. The cost you pay for little benefits is too high.Going off alcohol is a must for the cholesterol and heart in the long run. Ditch the malt and try these stress-buster activities instead and enjoy a healthy heart in return:1. Swimming Dive into the pool and stretch your muscles. It is super relaxing in water and also pumps up the heart. Give it 20 to 30 minutes and make a fresh start to the week. You can choose any other sports of your choice, if you have a preference. Sports release endorphins, i.e. happy hormones and are excellent anti-depressants.2. Cooking Eat healthy, stay healthy. Make yourself a fresh salad and fruit juices to detox the body. Learn many more to cook through the week.3. Go Gyming Go for a 30-minute cardio workout; let your heart race up and the mind cooldown.4. Music Spend the evening after a day-long work with some of your favourite numbers. In fact, de-stress with the soothing music of your favourite singers. Feel the calmness with your playlist on. If you can play a musical instrument, or always wanted to learn one, then now isthe time!5. Party without boozing Let the Friday night party go on. Enjoy the fruit mocktails and iced herbal drinks and quirky juices as you bid a farewell to alcohol. Enjoy the company of your friends and feel good about yourself instead of using alcohol to do that for you.6. Dancing Burn the dance floor on Saturday. Dance out your heart and heal the damage that alcohol has dealt to your body till now. Rock and roll to your favourite tunes and sweat it out.7. Meditation and yoga Slow down on Sunday. Calm yourself with yoga poses. Play some instrumental music as you sit and meditate. Let each breath be deeper and soothing.8. Walking As you get back to work, go for a stroll in the garden for 30 minutes for at least 4-5 times a day. Breathe in the pure and fresh air as you pace up the walk.9. Running It is time to run, run, run. Run or jog at a beach or in the neighbourhood park for about 20 minutes. Race up with a friend to feel a high without alcohol.10. Go for trekking Take a break, go hiking. Flock with strangers and climb up to make new friends through the rocky road. This way of socialising is good for the heart too.In nutshell, abstain from alcohol and fill up your life with creative hobbies, fun people and feel closeto nature and yourself to enjoy a high without dealing a heavy blow to your heart with the malt!

Drink Water to Control Appetite

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The code has finally been cracked. A natural appetite depressant has been found that can be included in daily diet without any prescription, has no side effects and does not shake your daily budget.Scientists confirm that drinking 500 ml of this magic potion before meals can help you achieve your weight loss goals much faster. The common name of this revolutionary liquid is “water”.According to the study, dieters who drank 2 cups of water before meals three times per day, lost about 2.5 kgs more than the dieters who did not increase their water intake.So what’s the water effect? It is believed that drinking water before meals fills up the stomach with zero calories. As a result, one tends to consume less food in the following meal and the total calorie intake is reduced. It also helps in portion control and hence is helpful in weight management. Replacing aerated and added sugar beverages with plain, fresh water also is an effective strategy to reduce calorie intake. All carbonated drinks and beverages with artificial sweeteners are harmful to health and are loaded with sugar which adds on to the waistline increasing risk of several lifestyle diseases. A single serving of these drinks can have as high as 10 teaspoons of sugar.According to experts, the human brain sometimes misinterprets signals of thirst as a sign of hunger, so one ends up eating extra calories instead of drinking zero calorie water.It is not exactly known as to how much water one should drink daily. Experts suggest that one should let the thirst signals of the body be the guiding factor. As per general recommendations, women should drink about 8-10 cups of fluids and men should drink about 12-14 cups.Drinking more water is simply harmless unless one has a medical disorder which leads to fluid retention. So the next time you feel like munching on a bag of chips or a packet of your favorite cookies, just grab a bottle of water and your cravings will vanish!

Eating Chocolate Might Not Be as Bad as You Think

Dr. Tanoy Bose, Internal Medicine
Until the last decade, intake of chocolate was a strict no no for those who considered health, fitness & figure as the primary objective of living. Even among the vaster society chocolate had been used as a gift, reward or a dared act of deviation from healthy lifestyle. The chocolate faddists were stigmatized as unhealthy beings of the planet. But in recent times there have been confounding news about health benefits of chocolate that have put the stigmatized on the front row of health conscious social beings. Well, let’s try to decipher the facts here. After searching tones of research articles I found that all the researchers are concentrating on a particular chemical compound called FLAVONOIDS or POLYPHENOLS. Flavonoids are compounds found in fruits, vegetables, tea & wine which have excellent antioxidant property. Since last one decade researchers have noted that daily intake of adequate amount of flavonoids, be it in any form, reduces the risks of Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Coronary Artery Disease (Heart Attacks & equivalents) and most importantly Cancers and activity against the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV).Flavonoids like LUTEOLIN and KAEMPFEROL can be considered as promising candidate agents for treatment of gastric and ovarian cancers, respectively and APIGENIN, CHRYSIN, and LUTEOLIN have good perspectives as potent antitumor agents for cervical cancer.Sounds like a panacea, doesn’t it. Traditional chocolate derived from the cocoa bean, which is one of the most concentrated sources of flavonoids. That’s where the chocolate scores. Higher the cocoa content, greater the benefits. As the cocoa content of the chocolate increases the chocolate becomes darker. That brings us to the conclusion that, Darker the chocolate, Healthier the benefits.Current evidence from experimental studies in animals and humans along with findings from prospective studies indicates beneficial effects of green and black tea as well as cardiovascular health, and that tea and chocolate consumption may reduce the risk of stroke. The strongest evidence exists for beneficial effects of tea and cocoa on endothelial function (Walls of the blood vessels), total and LDL cholesterol (tea only), and insulin sensitivity (cocoa only).There have been many observational studies to date that have reported a positive correlation between the consumption of dietary flavonoids, including flavanols, and a reduced risk for Cardiovascular Disease. Interestingly, there is also epidemiological evidence to support that the regular consumption of cocoa-containing foods may confer similar cardio protective benefits The Kuna Indians, an indigenous population in Panama, have been shown to have a very low incidence of age-related hypertension and have a low rate of Cardiovascular disease mortality This much lower prevalence of hypertension and related CVD mortality has been suggested to be related to their regular consumption of a cocoa rich in CF.Introduction of regular intake of flavonoids in form of low fat , fortified dark chocolate bars is being intensely evaluated in national nutritional program of many countries.