Does Eating Sweets Cause Diabetes? Busting Myths…

According to the WHO statistics, India has the highest number of diabetics. The good news is that having a mix of the right type of diet and regular exercise on a daily basis can keep this in control.

The one problem about understanding diabetes is that almost everyone gives you some or the other advice, which may or may not be true.

Here are some of the most common myths related to diabetes, that many people actually believe is true.

1. Myth – Eating sugar can give you diabetes

Fact: Eating sugar does not make you a diabetic, but it does increase your weight and may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who are obese or overweight have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

2. Myth – Diabetes happens to only those who are fat

Fact: Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to get type 2 diabetes as compared to those who have better managed their weight.

However, almost 20 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes either have normal weight or are underweight.

3. Myth – Type 2 diabetes is not very serious

Fact: Diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, needs to be taken care of seriously. If type 2 diabetes is not managed properly it can cause a number of serious health complications. Following your medication and food plan and getting your levels checked regularly will help you better manage the situation.

4. Myth – Diabetes can make you blind

Fact: Most people who have diabetes can lead very happy and healthy lives by managing their weight and religiously following their food and medicine plan as suggested by the doctor. It is true that in some cases, diabetes can lead to vision loss, but this is only in few cases and especially in those who do not manage it well.

5. Myth – You should not exercise or play sports if you have diabetes

Fact: If you have diabetes, your doctor will in fact suggest that you maintain an active lifestyle and try and include some form of exercise or play some sport every day. This will also help to keep your weight in check and may help in reversing diabetes as well.

6. Myth – If you have diabetes you always need insulin

Fact: Most people who have type 1 diabetes never need insulin, and even those who have type 2 diabetes do not always require insulin. Out of all the adults who have diabetes, only about 14 percent are required to take insulin.

7. Myth – Insulin injections are very painful

Fact: The needles used for insulin injections are very small and will barely hurt, and are also painless in most cases. Many patients feel that the finger pricks used while taking a blood sample are more painful than insulin injections. Also, the latest insulin injector pens are absolutely painless too.

8. Myth – Diabetes causes erectile dysfunction

Fact: Diabetes does not cause erectile dysfunction, but if you have diabetes, and if your blood sugar levels are also very high, it could interfere with your sexual life. Those who do not manage their diabetes may suffer from erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, or low libido.

While there are many myths surrounding diabetes, it is always important to get your facts checked from your doctor. Also, your doctor will share a meal plan with you that should be followed along with the prescribed medication and activities, so follow those as much as you can.

DISCLAIMER: While we have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared here, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. It is important to always check with your own doctor before trying any medication, practice, or suggestion from this site.

These 7 Habits Are the Real Culprits Behind Belly Fat. How Many Do You Have?

Here’s the thing about belly fat: Sometimes it sneaks into your world in spite of you taking measures to keep it away through a healthy diet and a workout routine.

This happens because of certain habits that we might think are harmless but actually constitute the primary reasons contributing to our belly fat.

We’re listing out 7 of the most common such habits so that you can work on them and keep that belly fat away:

1. You drink diet sodas

Anything with the tag ‘diet’ can definitely be misleading. It’s the same case with diet sodas. They come with the promise of zero calories or no sugar, enticing your gullible, innocent mind into consuming them without any guilt.

However, a study conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Centre found that participants who drank more than two diet sodas a day suffered a 500 percent increase in the circumference of their waist! This is due to the presence of aspartame in artificial sweeteners used to sweeten these diet sodas. The study looks at its potential when it comes to raising blood glucose levels to a point that your body cannot handle it and converts the extra glucose into fat that conveniently deposits itself around your belly.

2. You’re too social

Apart from the fact that eating sumptuous delicacies at restaurants regularly can unnecessarily add to your calorie intake, the idea of dining with friends and socializing regularly can contribute to your belly fat. According to a study published in the journal Nutrition, eating with one person can increase your meal size by up to 33 percent, eating with two people can do so by 47 percent, and eating with 4, 6, or 8+ friends can do so by a whopping 69, 70, and 96 percent, respectively. No points for guessing, this totally has to do with the amount of time we spend at the table chit-chatting while gulping down food mindlessly when dining with friends.

3. You spend an unhealthy amount of time on social media

Believe it or not, your love for social media can give you belly fat, according to several studies. Firstly, scrolling through your feed before bed can disrupt your sleep due to the light emitted from your phone, suppressing the melatonin (sleep hormone) production in the brain. Now, poor quality or inadequate sleep can slow down your metabolism and encourage unhealthy eating behaviors. This can further lead to obesity and belly fat.

Secondly, if you don’t stay off social media even while eating your meal, chances are that you will end up eating mindlessly, says a PLOS One study. Again, all that excessive eating can lead to weight gain-especially around the belly.

4. You’re fast and furious

Surely, this trait of yours can help you finish off your work quickly and achieve a lot in life. However, if this extends to your dining table and you happen to be a quick eater, you’re definitely on the path of gaining some extra belly fat.

As per a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, slow eaters take in 66 fewer calories per meal as compared to fast eaters. Now, if you multiply that number by 3 (for 3 meals in a day), it amounts to almost 200 calories a day. Trust us, it takes a lot to burn off those 200 extra cals.

5. Your food-display game is all wrong

A study conducted at Cornell University states the obvious: If you eat off large plates, you’re likely to eat more calories, gain weight, become obese, and gain belly fat as well. For starters, start using small plates for some portion control.

Additionally, if you’re one of those people who always have food stored in fancy glass jars and kept out in the open, you’re basically just tempting yourself to overeat and gain weight, as a result, says a study conducted at Google’s New York. So, the lesser junk you stock or put out on display, the fewer are your chances of indulging in them and gaining belly fat too.

6. Your dinner timings are totally off

If you don’t feel hungry at usual dinner time, say between 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., or are simply too occupied to have dinner during those hours, you might just end up gaining some belly fat due to your habit of having a late dinner-more so if you sleep soon after eating the last meal of your day.

There has to be a gap of 3 hours between your dinner and bedtime. Thus, eating dinner timely is the only solution in this case. According to a study published in the journal Obesity Society, doing so gives you more time to burn off the calories consumed before bedtime.

7. Your bed’s too cozy and comfy

There is nothing more comforting than curling up in your cozy, warm room all day every day. However, the same warmth that gives you so much comfort can even give you a larger belly according to a study published in the journal Cell Press. The research points out that staying in colder temperatures can lead to a decrease in body fat significantly as your body has to burn extra calories to maintain its normal temperature.

Not to mention, the warmth can make you lazy and unwilling to move your rear off to do any physical activity. Hence, you’ve got to turn the heat down and do away with your extra-cozy blankets as well.

So, just a few changes can ensure that these common but harmful habits don’t add to your belly fat!

Here’s All You Need To Know About And Its Many Health Benefits

Vitamin D is one of the most important minerals required by the body. It is also known as the sunshine vitamin which is produced by the body when exposed to the sun. Besides, there are many foods available which are a rich source of Vitamin D. Our body requires enough Vitamin D for the maintenance of bones and teeth, boosting the immune system, maintenance of the nervous system, regulation of insulin levels, and supporting the functioning of lungs and our cardiovascular health.

What is Vitamin D?

Despite how it may seem, Vitamin D is a pro-hormone (and not a vitamin) produced by the body. Unlike any other vitamin, our body can synthesize Vitamin D on being exposed to the sun. Being under the sun’s exposure for around 10 minutes around 3 times a week can produce sufficient Vitamin D. But the supply of Vitamin D in the body can run low since it breaks down quickly.

Health benefits of Vitamin D

1. Healthy bones

To maintain the health of bones, it is important to have sufficient levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body. The availability of Vitamin D helps in regulating levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

Deficiency of Vitamin D can cause a disease known as rickets. The disease softens bones and makes one bow-legged. In adults, Vitamin D

In adults, deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases in post-menopausal women.

2. Prevents cancer

Vitamin D is essential for the regulation of cell growth and communication. Sufficient levels of Vitamin D slow down the growth and development of new blood vessels in cancerous tissue and increases the death of cancer cells.

3. Reduces risk of diabetes

Sufficient levels of Vitamin D in the body can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. People suffering from type 2 diabetes will have a negative impact on insulin secretion if their Vitamin D levels are lower than required.

4. Reduces risk of flu

Sufficient levels of Vitamin D helps in reducing the risks of diseases like flu.

5. Ensures healthy pregnancy

Vitamin D is considered an essential requirement for a healthy pregnancy. The deficiency of Vitamin D in pregnant women can increase the chances of cesarean section. Bacterial vaginosis and gestational diabetes are other risks posed by a deficiency of Vitamin D in pregnant women.

However, the levels need to be regulated as high levels of Vitamin D can make the child prone to food allergies during the first 2 years after birth.

Vitamin D deficiency

Even though the body creates Vitamin D, the deficiency can occur because of reasons like darker skin colour or excessive use of sunscreen. Sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 are capable of reducing the body’s ability to absorb ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

For producing Vitamin D, the body has to be directly exposed to sunlight and not covered by it.

Also, people who stay at northern altitudes or places with high pollution can also be deficient in Vitamin D. They can extract Vitamin D from food sources.

While Vitamin D supplements can be consumed as well, it is recommended to take Vitamin D from as natural sources as possible.

Deficiency of Vitamin D can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, autism, hypertension, Alzheimer’s diseases, asthma, swine flu, and multiple sclerosis to name a few.

Symptoms of deficiency of Vitamin D

Some common symptoms of Vitamin D include a poor immune system which makes you fall sick too often; constantly feeling tired or fatigue; pain in the bones and back; depressed mood; slower healing of wounds; loss of hair and muscle pain.

If the deficiency of Vitamin D continues for a long period of time, it can lead to conditions like obesity, diabetes, depression, hypertension, chronic fatigue symptoms, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The recommended intake of Vitamin D

According to the US Institutes of Medicine, the recommended intake of infants up to 12 months is 10 micrograms (mcg), 15 mcgs in children from 1 to 18 years of age, 15 mcg in adult up to the age of 70, and 20 mcg in adults over 70 years of age. Pregnant or lactating women should get at least 15 mcg of Vitamin D.

Food sources of Vitamin D

Fish oil and fatty fish are considered to be good sources of Vitamin D. Besides, cod liver oil, salmon, sardines, fortified skimmed milk, tuna, eggs, and chicken are all foods rich in Vitamin D.

Health risks of consuming too much Vitamin D

If Vitamin D is consumed in excess amounts, it can lead to over calcification of bones, and hardening of kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, and heart. Also, consuming Vitamin D in excess amounts can lead to conditions like headache, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, and diarrhoea to name a few.

So, instead of focusing on one particular mineral, one should focus on consuming a balanced diet which includes a variety of minerals.

4 Tips to Control The Damage Caused by Binge Eating

Hard times come and hard times go but what makes them even harder is the comfort we sort to combat our overwhelming emotions during this time in food. Ice-cream tubs, fries, pizzas, and cheesy burgers-there’s nothing that a broken heart or an emotional wreck would spare eating to feel better.

However, getting back to normal after giving in to these temptations can be quite a task, but you have to remind yourself that it’s not impossible. Here’s what you can do to get back on track:

1. Firstly, get over the guilt

It’s a vicious cycle you know-binging to get over the guilt of binging. You eat junk one day, it calls out to you the next day, you give in again in a bid to sort comfort to combat the guilt of eating junk the first time itself. It almost sounds like a relationship rebound situation happening over and over again. Except, in this case, it can totally ruin your weight-loss resolve and lead you back into the darkness of thriving on unhealthy food.

So, if you’ve had a tub of ice cream or 4 packets of chips, forgive yourself. Stop writhing in the guilt because if you don’t, you know, the trap awaits.

2. Stop trying to “compensate”

It doesn’t just end at getting rid of the guilt. It also has to be followed by not punishing yourself for that unhealthy indulgence by skipping meals or exercising for hours together to burn those calories off. If you look at it from an emotional point of view, you will realize it’s not justified to punish yourself for listening to your heart once in a while. Scientifically speaking, if you skip meals to make up for the extra calories, you’ll not only end up feeling hungry and overeating again, but the blood-sugar levels also go down and cause harm if you starve yourself. As for exercising a bit too much, you already know how overstraining your body can result in sore muscles, muscle breakdown, or worse still-injuries.

Opt for lighter and healthier meals instead. Up your fibre and protein intake to beat the cravings and move the hell on with your regular routine without looking back into the past. Not to mention, a walk can help you feel light again.

3. Up your water intake

Keeping yourself hydrated is always helpful when it comes to maintaining your health. In the case of overeating, increasing your water intake can help you feel satiated and beat subsequent cravings. Additionally, the water helps flush out the toxins from the junk out of your body. What more could you ask for?

4. But don’t fall for the detox scam

Juice cleanse, vegetable cleanse, and other diet fads are often looked upon as a great way to detox your body. However, according to a review in the Harvard Health Publishing, these kinds of detox diets can deprive your body of the essential proteins and fats, leading to a slower metabolism and muscle breakdown. Plus, they can also spike your blood sugar levels. Not to mention, being on such cleanses can cause fatigue, weakness, and irritability-thanks to the nutritional deficiencies.

It is alright to go off-track when it comes to healthy eating. However, you need to ensure that you don’t beat yourself up over it and get back to healthy eating as soon as possible.

Doing Strength Training Daily Can Fix These 7 Health Problems For You

Have you ever felt a sense of satisfaction after a sweaty strength training session? Doesn’t it make you feel like you have accomplished something? And of course, the body you get after a tough sesh is the icing on the cake. But apart from all this, there is something else that you might be missing out on. Any guesses? Well, we’re talking about the health benefits strength training has to offer.

There is no doubt that if you want to sculpt your body then you have to try strength training. But as it turns out, this form of exercise not just works on the way you look; rather, what it does to your heart, mind, and body is just phenomenal.

Do you know that strength training like weight lifting, swimming, resistance band training, aerobics, etc. is really good for your overall health as it helps in the rehabilitation of your muscles? In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Practice, if you have gone through an injury then doing strength training under proper guidance can recover the problem and help you lead a normal life.

Now you know why we have been vehemently advocating you to adopt strength training and what we have told you is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are seven health benefits of strength training that can help you stay healthy forever:

1. It reduces back pain

Gone are those days when backache used to be a problem in the elderly. Due to long working hours and your desk job, back pain and you might have become inseparable. And in case you have any back ailment then you already yourself know how it affects your daily routine.

According to experts and studies published in the journal Healthcare, doing back exercises has shown wondrous results in curing chronic back pain. It also recommends that eight weeks of aerobics and 12 weeks of HIIT training is something you can go for if you want to rehabilitate your back.

2. It reduces your anxiety

Did you know a new study published in The Laryngoscope says that covid-19 can have an impact on your mental health and can lead to anxiety and depression? Now, what can be a better reason to adopt strength training?

We all know that yoga is one way that can help you deal with anxiety. Thankfully, yoga has many poses that can test your endurance and strength. So, you can actually adopt yoga and tame your anxiety as well.

3. It tames obesity

Any kind of physical activity will hit the fat content in your body hard. But that doesn’t mean that you only have to focus on cardio and ignore strength training. You’ll be glad to know that strength training burns more calories than regular cardio as you need more energy to pull off strength exercises. That’s why you burn more fat.

4. It can help you deal with daytime sleeping

If you can’t finish a day of working from home without a nap or a gigantic cup of coffee, then indulge in some strength training as it can keep you energetic.

Also, according to a study published in the journal of Advances in Preventive Medicine, if the elderly in your home are dealing with sleep apnea (a sleeping disorder) then you must convince them to do some simple yet effective strength exercises.

5. It can greatly aid people with multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an ailment that affects your brain and you end up experiencing symptoms like extreme fatigue, loss of bladder control, ticklish sensation in limbs, and even balance issues. According to a study published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal, six months of proper strength training might also help you manage this disorder better. The study recommends doing resistance training in case of multiple sclerosis.

6. Reduces bone loss

Osteopenia is a bone loss problem that later on can lead to osteoporosis in later life. Improving bone density is not a quick fix kind and that’s why you need to work on it today so that you can reduce your risk in the long run.

According to a journal called Bone, adopting different strength training exercises and eating the right kind of diet are the two essentials for better bone health.

7. It improves your blood sugar level

To prevent type-2 diabetes staying physically active is very important because it impacts your blood sugar level. In type-2 diabetes patients, the rate at which insulin is produced is very low. That’s why even the American Diabetes Association says that while cardio helps your body manage insulin, strength training reduces insulin resistance.

Also, another study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism says that building muscles help in maintaining a healthy level of sugar in your body.

So, get those resistance bands and dumb-bells out now and get ready for some real health benefits, apart from a sculpted body.

5 Smart Tips For Every Fitness Freak To Get A Toned Body

A toned body is a dream of every fitness enthusiast. It requires extra effort to achieve a perfect body. You need to follow a strict diet and a proper exercise regimen to lose the desired weight. To enhance the weight loss process you can follow a few steps apart from following a diet and exercise. Some smart tips can help you tone your body in a perfect way. If you are also trying to lose weight and striving to achieve a toned body, then read on to know some tips for better results.

Tips to achieve a toned body

1. Choose the right exercise

Spending hours at the gym and practicing the right exercise cannot result in a toned body. You need to choose the right workout according to your body type. You can choose a high-intensity workout for a toned body. It will help you lose complete bodyweight. If you want to build muscles then strength training along with the right diet is better for you. If you want to lose fat from any specific area then you must choose the right exercises which can put stress on that body part. So, keep your plan fitness goal clear and plan your workout regimen accordingly.

2. Know the triggers well

Apart from diet and exercise, there are other factors as well which you need to keep in mind. You should know all the factors which can contribute to the deposition of fat very well like inadequate sleep. Inadequate sleep can also lead to increased body weight as it triggers the hunger hormone which makes you eat more. Similarly, stress is another factor that can increase hunger and contribute to more calorie consumption in a day.

3. Keep your metabolism high

Better metabolism means better weight loss. It will help you burn more calories. You should keep your metabolism strong to speed up the weight loss process. Focus on factors that can help you boost your metabolism. Some ways to improve metabolism may include high-intensity workout, protein intake, weight lifting, enough water intake, and many more.

4. Choose the right diet

Just like the workout you should choose the right diet according to your body type. Some diet may work very well for someone whereas it may not give the same result for you. So you need to check the diet which works best for you and how it can help you lose weight.

5. Count the calories

To tone your body you need to consume burn more calories than you consume. When you eat fewer calories and burn more, it results in weight loss. Count the number of calories you are consuming wisely. Reduce or increase the number of calories according to your need and how much you want to lose.

Don’t Have the Time to Work Out? Try Mindful Thinking!

We are the only living creatures who have managed not to die out while being sedentary. After all, all animals need to move to be able to survive. Humans developed knowledge on how to thrive without having to physically move-but that has brought us a whole new set of problems.

While we no longer necessarily need to do physical actions to survive, our survival has been directly linked to being sedentary in order to do our jobs and earn money. And so we survive by paying for food, education, and shelter.

As a result, fitness is no longer the focus for most of us

Daily regular movement and exercise have gone from being part and parcel of our lives to being a commodity that we need to take time out for-then be it going to the gym or a park or exercising at home.

Another consequence of modernity is that we are spending much more time at our place of work than people did ever before. This gives us much less time to do everything else we enjoy, like being with family and friends and socializing. Needless to say, the most common reason for people not to exercise is the lack of time. By the time we are done working, commuting, and being with friends and family the day is gone.

People who consider fitness a high priority manage to fulfill their need for fitness either at the cost of socializing or their circle of friends enjoys fitness as much as they do-so it becomes a part of the overall social experience as well.

But you can get fit even with the busy lifestyle that you lead

Before we get to that, let me share a secret with you that may change your approach to working out: your body recognizes movement.

Your body doesn’t know whether you are in the gym, at home, or in the office. It just recognizes movement-which can be anything from house chores and shopping spree to getting water from the office water fountain and carrying your kids around. The second part of the secret is that mindful movement will help you achieve much more than moving mindlessly.

Growing body of research is showing a direct correlation between the mindful process in changing both the biochemistry, as well as the muscular structure of the body.

Simply put, by thinking about happiness, love, and compassion you can rewire your brain which will start firing neurons. So over a period of time, you will become more loving, empathetic, and more compassionate.

At the same time, by consciously engaging your mind in the fitness process you will become fitter. Some years ago, a statement like this would have provoked derision among ‘experts’. Interestingly enough, many ancient texts have always stressed on the reality which is created by our mind. It is only now that science is being able to truly explain the process.

But what does this mean practically?

It means that by starting your day regardless of how busy your schedule might be, by setting an intention towards all the positive changes you wish to have more of in your life and using every short break you get to remind yourself of health, peace, fitness, and the experience you wish to feel in your body- your body will realign to fulfill and execute the intention set by your mind.

At the same time, you will start creating small pockets of time to do something good for yourself. With the power of intention and understanding that your body recognizes movement and not the place where the movement you can make every single movement count and get fitter.

5 Ways to Start Journaling Effectively to Boost Your Mental Health

Blame it on my reasonably-long stint as a writer or simply on my immense love for writing, I have always heavily relied on journaling to boost my mental health and to clear any emotional/mental blocks.

The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the practice of maintaining a record of news/events/personal feelings in a diary of sorts; but I call it the perfect, safest way to keep all your secrets and maintain sound mental health too.

In fact, several studies including the one conducted at the Harvard Medical School found journaling to be a super-effective way of easing stress, trauma, and anxiety. Another study conducted at the University of Chicago touted this practice as the perfect way to vent out your feelings, minus the fear of the world knowing about it ever.

If, by now you’re convinced about beginning to pen down your feelings in your own secret diary for the sake of your mental health, here’s how you can take the plunge and do it effectively:

1. Don’t play by the rules

Let’s not forget that the real idea behind writing your feelings is to vent out in a healthy way. So, don’t pressurize yourself to write something in your diary every day.

I mean, you really don’t want to dig yourself deeper unnecessarily, even when you’re in a good mood-just for the sake of writing something in that diary, right? Do it when you feel like and do it only if it makes you feel any better.

2. Writing is not the only way

If unlike me, writing doesn’t excite you, you can count on voice recorders to speak about your feelings and record them or simply draw out your emotions on the digital screen or a scrapbook.

Come on! We live in the age of technology, which is also a part of the reason our mental health is deteriorating. So, why not use it to our advantage, now? Just don’t forget to put up an app lock if you wish for those voice recordings to be a secret.

3. Keep your journal handy

Turning to your journal in times of need can really stop you from making an impulsive decision that you might regret later. Hence, keeping a journal in your bag/near your desk/in your bedside drawer/close to you always can help you count on it easily when you need to vent out.

Easy accessibility to the journal might even help you form a habit of penning down your feelings regularly.

4. Use them as a means to convey those unexpressed feelings

We all have someone in our lives, we wish to say so much to, but just can’t muster up the courage, owing to the circumstances. However, keeping those unsaid words inside will only make you more frustrated and thus, you can use your journal to write a letter to the person you wish to say things to.

Sending or not sending it is totally your call. But the unsent letters will also make you feel way better.

5. Don’t forget to review your journal too

If you’re particularly stressed, anxious, or depressed, writing about your feelings when these problems are at their peak and reading that record later when you’re in a better mood and state of mind can help you reflect on your feelings, identify your triggers, and enable you to manage your emotions better. After all, reading about the past can help you plan a better future, right?

So, try these ways and let us know how they worked out for you in the comments below.

Take This Vitamin to Boost Vision and Keep Eyes Healthy

Eye health is extremely important – if you fail to look after them you risk losing your sight. Smoking and not protecting your eyes from the sun can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Diet has been found to play a big part in maintaining eye health, in particular, vitamin A. Not only does vitamin A promote general health, but it also helps protect the eyes and it might help slow the progress of more serious eye conditions, advises Holland and Barrett, express.co.uk reported.

It explained: “Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye (cornea), by lubricating the cells which is why vitamin A is often added to eye drops.”

Alongside eye health, vitamin A can also benefit bone growth, skin health, and the immune system.

Luckily the vitamin can easily be obtained through diet. It’s derived from two sources – animal (known as retinol) and from fruits and vegetables (known as provitamin A carotenoids).

1). Animal sources of vitamin A include:

  • Liver from any animal
  • Cod liver oil
  • Egg yolks
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream

2). Fruit and vegetable sources of vitamin A include:

  • Sweet potato
  • Kale
  • Carrot
  • Spinach
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Swiss chad

Vitamin A is also available in supplement form.

The high street health store adds: “Researchers at the National Eye Institute in the US discovered that taking high levels of a combination of nutrients (including beta-carotene which your body converts into vitamin A) and zinc can reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by around 25 percent over a six-year period.”

Nutritionist for Water for Health, Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, said vitamin D can also help boost eye health.

She said: “It can help to reduce painful dry eye symptoms, and some research has demonstrated the ability of vitamin D to help improve vision and reduce inflammation of the retina.

“Many of us don’t get enough vitamin D, particularly in the winter, so it’s vital to supplement with a good quality vitamin D3 once summer is over. Public Health England recommends adults and children over the age of one take a daily 10mcg dose of vitamin D.

“If you have any chronic health conditions that require medication, please speak to your doctor before changing your diet or taking supplements.”

Zinc, omega-3, and lutein can also be beneficial for booking vision.

These 5 Expert-recommended Exercises Will Boost Your Heart Health

There’s no denying the fact that the heart that makes your fall in love also almost single-handedly keeps you alive. That is exactly why you’ve got to treat it like the extra-special body organ that it is.

“You can make your heart healthier by increasing your heart rate and bringing it close to at least 80% of its maximum potential,” says Mr. Rishikesh Kumar, fitness expert, founder, and CEO, Xtraliving, Hyderabad.

This can be achieved through high-intensity exercises and workout routines that make your heart pump blood at the speed of light, or so to say. Check out some of the best routines recommended by Kumar:

1. Burpees: Begin by standing straight, move into a squat position with your hands touching the ground, kick your feet back to land on your toes while taking the push-up position. Hold for a second and return to the squatting position first to finally stand back up. Burpees, if done quickly, can boost your heart rate and heart health like nothing else will.

2. Sprinting: This one’s no rocket science, actually. Mark a short distance, say 100 meters, and run as fast as you possibly can to-and-fro through the marked area. Take a break and get back to business. This can up your heart rate and promote blood circulation as well.

3. Hurdle jumps: As the name suggests, you can place hurdles like dumbbells, boxes, etc of different heights on the running track or the less-crowded area of your gym. The aim is to run through the distance while jumping over every hurdle to make your heart beat faster and also burn more calories in the process.

3. Jumping jacks: Start by standing straight with your palms facing your thighs. Jump up and widen your feet broader than your hip-width while bringing your arms above your head and palms nearly touching. Jump again while lowering your arms and bringing your legs together. Return to your starting position and repeat.

5. Thrusting: Stand with your knees wide apart and hands gripping a weighted bar or dumbbells shoulder-width apart. Now, lift this weight raising your elbows as high as you can, and then bring the weight back down slowly while squatting simultaneously. At this point, your thighs should be almost parallel to the ground. Raise your heels off the ground using strength from your quadriceps and glutes. Push the bar over your head till your arms are straight up and locked. Finally, bring the bar back down to the starting position and repeat until you’re pounding for breath.

Precautions that one needs to keep in mind while exercising to boost heart health.

In most of the exercises, you must do a good warm-up and increase your overall body temperature. An improper warm-up can lead to injury. Warm-up exercises like a dynamic stretch, jog, high knees, and jumping jacks at a low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes can be effective.”

Keep your heart healthy and beating well with these exercises!