By Ebatsmall | January 29, 2015 - 9:04 pm - Posted in Health and Fitness


Sick and stuck in bed? Who wants that? Unfortunately, with the winter season in full swing, the chances of catching the flu or a cold increases drastically.
“Influenza tends to strike during the winter months,” says Jock Lawrason, MD, pulmonary medicine physician at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital in Massachusetts. “People are generally cooped up together indoors in an enclosed space trying to keep warm, which increases their chances of spreading germs and getting ill.”
But if you’re careful, a few simple tweaks can help you safeguard your immune system and prevent coming into contact with cold and flu germs. Follow these steps to stay healthy all season long.
Wash your hands – It’s one of the most simple yet effective ways to avoid spreading cold or flu germs. Clean your hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds, or as long as it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” two times. When’s the best time to wash your hands? Put it this way: You can never wash too many times.
“Wash your hands as much as you can stand, and then some more — especially after wrapping up a visit with someone who’s sick,” says Alan Pocinki, MD, who practices internal medicine at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Carry around a hand sanitizer – Sometimes soap and water may not be in your reach. So keep a bottle of an alcohol-based sanitizer on your desk at work or throw a travel-sized bottle in your purse. That way, after shaking someone’s hand or touching something dirty, you’ll be able to disinfect quickly. It’s especially important to lather up after touching germy objects, such as door knobs, stair rails or even an ATM.
“ATMs are hotbeds for germs and viruses,” advises Lawrason. “The influenza virus, for example, can stay on an inanimate object for one to two days, and strep pneumonia can last anywhere from two to three and a half weeks. The longer objects are touched without being washed, the higher the risk of someone getting sick.”
Ditch crowds – “Large gatherings of people will always enhance a person’s chances of getting sick,” Lawrason says. “The exposure to influenza and other viruses is greater, and shaking a lot of hands or being near someone who is sneezing or coughing will raise your odds of becoming ill.” Some of the most pertinent breeding grounds for germs include gyms, hotels, and grocery stores. Viruses also tend to spread easily at places like offices or daycares because of the high amount of people in attendance.
Get a flu shot – The flu shot is CDC recommended and one of the best ways to protect against the flu virus — and professionals say a flu shot is completely safe for everyone six months of age or older. The vaccination will help protect against a number of seasonal viruses that are the most common and will greatly decrease the chance you’ll come down with the flu. In fact, research shows that the flu vaccine can reduce the chances of contracting the flu by as much as 70 percent to 90 percent.
Keep your hands to yourself – A whopping 80 percent of all infectious disease is transmitted by touch. Avoid not only touching others, but touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, too.
“Your hands can be laden with influenza virus, but if you’re not touching your eyes, nose and lips, you are not transmitting that virus (to yourself),” says Mark Nicas, an adjunct professor of environmental health sciences at the University of California-Berkeley.
Quit smoking – And if you don’t smoke, try to stay away from others who do.
“It’s well-known that smoking damages the linings of the nose and throat, which not only offer barrier protection but also have a layer of fine hairs, called cilia, that sweep bacteria, viruses and irritants from your respiratory tract,” says Lisa Schrader, MPH, director of student health services at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. “But even exposure to secondhand smoke can paralyze cilia, and if that happens and you encounter a cold or flu virus at the same time, it is more likely to get past that biological defense line.”
Catch your zzzs – Getting enough sleep is important for keeping healthy all year round, but it becomes even more important during flu and cold season. When you’re tired, your body isn’t able to fight as hard, so getting about eight to 10 hours of shuteye a night is ideal. What’s more, a poor sleeping habit, or getting insufficient quality of sleep is associated with lowered immune function


By Ebatsmall | January 4, 2015 - 9:58 am - Posted in Diet, Health and Fitness, Weight Loss

Chili is the utmost cold weather comfort food. Aside from being simply delicious, healthy spicy food can be made with ingredients you have in the kitchen and can be easily stretched to feed the crowd. Actually, chili has been part of the human diet. There are various types of chili which can help to maintain good health. It helps to relieve migraines, joint and nerve pains and aiding digestion.

Spices has been used to lessen the micro contamination in different foods you eat. It is also considered as metabolism boosters effective in losing weight. Studies have shown that chili plays an important role in treating lung and prostate cancers and leukemia. Most of the spicy foods are also enjoyed over the world. Different cultures start to develop their chilli recipes to excite your taste buds.

Actually, recent studies show that adding an amount of spice to your meals provide many health benefits. Aside from making your taste buds sizzle, most of the spicy foods contain capsaicin which helps to speed the metabolism process and helps to burn calories. Actually, capsaicin helps to increase the body temperature and even contributes good heart rate.

Furthermore, studies have also shown that individuals eating spicy foods may eat smaller portions which can reduce their calorie intake. On the other hand, hot peppers help to improve heart heath by improving the ability of the body to dissolved blood clots. Research shows that low density cholesterol can resist oxidation for longer periods when chillies are added to the diet, so it reduce the risk of heart attack and other problems.

It can also help to improve body circulation and lower blood pressure. Consuming these dishes can increase body temperature so blood flow can also keep your heart pumping properly. Peppers also help to strengthen the blood vessel walls, since they are high in vitamins A and C.

Consuming an amount of spices on a regular basis can decrease the risk of any kinds of cancers. It can help to slow down the growth of cancers cells, In countries where diet is traditionally popular, people have also lesser rates of cancer cases because of the capsaicin.

Spices can help to improve good digestion because it can increase good secretion of the stomach. It increases good blood flow to the stomach and increase the mucous lining. However, if you get some heartburn from these foods, you might try to take antacid tablets which can help to neutralize acids in your stomach.

Actually, hot peppers also act as an expectorant and aides every individual with sinusitis, asthma, and other respiratory conditions to help you breathe easier. Hot peppers provide relief and to open he clogged nasal passages . Always remember that taking chili dishes should be in moderation, especially if you have some issues in your stomach.

You should learn to appreciate chili dishes and enjoy each benefit it provides. Today, lot of people have enjoyed its importance, not because it offers benefits, but because they have realized that adding spices to the food can also add flavors to make it more delicious.