Tagged with 'Healthy Lifestyle'

8 Vitamins and Minerals to Boost Your Immune System

Immune System Boosting
“Immunity” has almost become a buzzword. We have all learned the importance of a strong immune system and perhaps tried every single thing we came across on social media. However, “developing” immunity is not as simplistic as popping a pill. It requires working on lifestyle habits, maintaining regular exercise, and fulfilling the body’s nutritional requirements with real, whole foods. We can view this utilizing the 80-20 rule. Nutrition (what, when, how, and how much we eat) perhaps plays a ~20% role, and lifestyle habits (sufficient sleep, water intake, abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes, exercise, and non-sedentary lifestyle) play a ~80% role. Here in this blog, we’ll talk about some ways you can naturally help boost your immune system through natural supplements. We’ll learn about common nutritional deficiencies, and how they can impact the body’s immune system—we’ll also look at some common online myths surrounding supplements. Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies Let’s get to the root of mineral & vitamin deficiencies and understand why there are such prevalent nutritional deficiencies in the diet. In previous generations, crop cultivation was limited to twice a year, and the farmland was left unattended in between.  It gave the land and soil time to regain minerals and nutrients organically and be ready for the next round of cultivation. There was also a higher emphasis placed on biodiversity and soil diversity, rather than mass cultivation on a scale previously never seen.  However, as the world’s population rapidly increased, the need for land to build infrastructure and the demand for food increased—people started using farmland to build infrastructure, and farmers had to use fewer acres of land to produce more food and meet growing demand. This deprives the soil of essential nutrients, while farmers increase the use of fertilizers and pesticides to ensure a more lucrative yield, leading to a decline in bioavailable nutrients. Further to this, people have grown accustomed to busier lifestyles, which often reduces the ability to put more effort into composing healthy, nutritionally dense meals. Instead, people opt for fast food, take-out through delivery services, or snack and junk food. Lack of nutrition leads to various deficiencies that, combined with lifestyle factors, can give rise to diseases—cancer, autoimmune disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders. While supplements can’t replace healthy eating and never will—supplements can help to compensate for nutritional deficiencies in the human body. There are many myths about supplements and their association with pharmaceutical medicine. It is important to note that supplements are not pharmaceutical medicines. When sourced from natural minerals or plant sources, they are extracts or concentrated minerals meant to bridge the divide where diet falls short.  Supplements and how they can boost Immunity Let’s look at a few supplements that help naturally boost immunity and promote a healthy lifestyle. 1) Protein  Protein is a basic building block of the body. Before birth till death, human beings need protein each and every day for survival and to carry on essential life functions. Humans need a minimum of 1 g and a maximum of 2g protein per kg body weight, depending on your lifestyle and physical activity. 2) Omega-3 fatty acids An essential polyunsaturated fat is critical for our immune health. Omega-3 supports the integrity of cell membranes, allowing immune cells to communicate effectively and respond to threats. It helps regulate immune cell function, reduce inflammation, and improve immune cell production. It also strengthens the body’s ability to defend against infections and maintain immune system harmony. As per the recommendation of the National Institutes of Health, daily consumption of omega-3 fatty acids should be around 1.1-1.6 grams a day for a healthy and active lifestyle. 3) Calcium Calcium is a mineral essential for bone health. Bones start getting weak after 30 years. It is an ideal time to supplement calcium to fulfill the body’s requirements and avoid leg pains. However, It is recommended that one should start taking calcium supplements after 25 years of age to keep their bones strong and healthy for a long time. 4) Vitamin D Vitamin D, popularly known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is a critical vitamin for calcium absorption and bone health. It helps immune cells function better and helps regulate the immune response. The recommended daily vitamin D consumption for adults between 19 to 70 years should be 15 micrograms (mcg) and 20 mcg for people above 70 years. 5) Vitamin C Vitamin C, known for its antioxidant properties, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps protect cells from damage and supports immunity cell production. Immunity cells help in healing wounds faster. The recommended daily consumption of vitamin C should be 75 milligrams (mg) ...

Food Freedom: All You Need to Know

Food Freedom
Have you tried to live a more health-conscious lifestyle but found yourself failing miserably after starting a new diet? We’ve been there. You aren’t alone. Studies show that almost 65% of people, 2 out of 3 people, who start dieting eventually quit and become regressive eaters due to excessive control or hyper fixation over their food choices for an extended duration. How to decide what to eat? How to make the right eating choices? How do you achieve your health goals without depriving yourself of your favorite foods? The answer to all these concerns is referred to as “food freedom.” Read on to learn all about it as the simplest method to achieve your health goals! What Does the Term Food Freedom Mean? As the term suggests, food freedom is the “freedom” to eat anything and everything you desire—within reasonable constraints. When people start to suppress their dietary urges, they develop uncomfortable or unhealthy long-term habits. This lingering guilt hovers over people’s heads like a cloud whenever they enter a fast food joint or take another sip of wine. It results in increasing mental anxiety and stress.  Thus, setting your mind free from feelings of guilt when you pick up that one extra slice of pizza is essential to longevity. Having said that, food freedom doesn’t mean that people should not take into consideration the nutritional quality of food, its importance, and its impact on bodily functions.  We need to understand that eating in the right proportions and making better eating choices is essential, but at the same time, managing a healthy and peaceful mental space is equally important. How to Create Balance? Creating balance starts with education. It is the core tenet behind achieving your health goals and leading a healthy life—knowledge is power, and you need to know what and how your body responds to and processes certain foods. Sometimes, it’s intuitive. You know yourself and your body better than anyone else ever could.  Learn the nutritional facts about what you’re ingesting and fueling your body with. Then, apply that knowledge to creating balanced meals—vegans can learn how to create plant-based protein-rich meals, while omnivores can learn how to reduce red meat intake and prioritize fish and veggies.  You can indulge in that second slice of pizza guilt-free but don’t make it a daily habit. Create a habit of mindful eating. Mindful eating is being consciously aware of what you are doing. It includes the following four parameters: Paying attention to yourself—are you hungry or full? How energetic are you? Do you feel stressed? Avoid multitasking while eating—be physically and mentally present in the moment while eating. Avoid watching television or scrolling on your phone. Chew food slowly.  Enjoy the food—take time to eat and feel its taste, smell, and texture. Digestion begins in the mouth.  Do not judge yourself. Most importantly, do not guilt trip. If you decide to have something, do not worry about the past or the future implications of your dietary choice at that moment, work on making permanent, lasting changes long-term.  Fears Associated with “Dieting” Dieting is a scary term to most people. This is because, for most people, it is associated with the idea of eating less and living on soups and salads to lose weight. Forget indulging in your favorite foods—dieting is about this idea of sacrifice.  However, this perception is entirely wrong.  There are hundreds of healthy food options. Living in a rich culture, with readily available plant foods means we now have the ability, more than ever before, to make better dietary choices without depriving ourselves. Telling yourself not to eat certain types of food to lose weight, for instance, does the opposite of its intended purpose.  When you think to “not” eat something, you are, in reality, constantly thinking about eating it and then restricting yourself, which leads to stress building and further increases the desire for the “forbidden” food. The term “diet” includes everything you eat in the entire day. Hence, dieting doesn’t mean stopping altogether, but being more mindful of what you eat. What you need is a properly balanced diet to achieve your health goals and live a healthy life. Until now, we have talked about the importance of food freedom and how indulging in your cravings is not a sin. However, we also need to understand that while you should give in to cravings occasionally, it is always crucial to be mindful of what you eat. Importance of Food Freedom Practicing food freedom is good for both physical and mental health.  First, it helps you to better understand the body in relation to what you eat. Secondly, practicing food freedom helps eliminate feelings of guilt and stress from following strict food rules, and obsessive dieting. You actually enjoy your favorite food rather than ...

Snooze Your Way to a Healthy and Happy Life: Mastering the Art of Quality Sleep

Welcome to the world of sleep!  A place where dreams are made, snores are heard, and blankets are pulled tight. Did you know that we spend about a third of our lives sleeping? That's a lot of time spent in dreamland! But getting quality sleep can sometimes be a challenge. Whether it's due to stress, environmental factors, or a snoring partner, we've all experienced sleepless nights. But fear not, as we have some proven tips to help you enjoy a sound sleep at night. Be it creating a sleep-conducive environment to exploring natural remedies and sleep gadgets, We've got you covered. So, snuggle up, and let's dive into the world of better sleep! Importance of Quality Sleep Quality sleep is crucial for maintaining good physical and mental health. It helps with the repair and restoration of the body, boosts the immune system, and regulates hormones. A good night's sleep can also improve mood, memory, and cognitive function, making it easier to focus and be productive during the day. Lack of quality sleep, on the other hand, can lead to a range of negative health consequences, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Tips for a Better Sleep Environment Creating a sleep-conducive environment is essential for a good night's sleep. This includes several factors, such as lighting, temperature, and noise levels. For example, it's best to keep the bedroom dark and cool, as this helps in triggering the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Earplugs or white noise machines can also help block out external noise and create a quieter environment. Additionally, choosing comfortable bedding and pillows can help you get a more restful sleep. Relaxation Techniques Relaxation techniques can be an effective way to unwind before bed and promote better sleep. Some popular techniques include meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation. Meditation involves focusing your attention on your breath or a specific object to quiet the mind and reduce stress.  Deep breathing involves taking slow, deep breaths to calm the body and relax the mind. Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing various muscle groups in the body to promote physical relaxation. These techniques can help to calm the mind and body and prepare you for a restful night's sleep. Sleep Hygiene Habits Establishing consistent sleep hygiene habits is crucial for improving sleep quality. This includes sticking to a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends, as this helps regulate your body's internal clock. It's also important to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, as these can disrupt sleep.  Additionally, avoiding screen time for at least an hour before bed can help reduce the impact of blue light on the body's natural sleep cycle. Other important habits include creating a relaxing bedtime routine and ensuring that your sleeping environment is conducive to sleep. Exercise and Sleep Exercise is a great way to improve sleep quality and timing. In addition, it helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can interfere with sleep and promotes the release of endorphins, improving mood and reducing pain.  Aerobic exercises, such as running or cycling, are particularly beneficial for improving sleep, as it increases the amount of time spent in deep sleep, the most restorative stage of sleep. However, avoiding exercising too close to bedtime is important, as this can cause difficulty falling asleep. Diet and Sleep Diet plays a significant role in sleep quality. Consuming heavy or spicy meals close to bedtime can cause discomfort and interfere with sleep. For instance:  Certain foods, such as those high in tryptophan (found in turkey, nuts and seeds) and magnesium (found in leafy greens and almonds), can promote better sleep. Avoiding large meals before bedtime and limiting caffeine and sugar intake can also improve sleep quality. Alcohol indulgence should be in moderation, as it can initially make you feel drowsy but can disrupt sleep later in the night. Stress Management Stress can have a significant negative impact on sleep quality, making it harder to fall asleep as well as stay asleep. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, a hormone that can interfere with the sleep cycle.  Hence, it's important to identify the sources of stress in your life and find ways to manage or reduce them. This can include exercise, meditation, journaling, or therapy. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath or reading a book, can also help to reduce stress and promote better sleep. Sleep Disorders Sleep disorders are conditions that can disrupt sleep and affect overall health. Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. Insomnia involves difficulty falling or staying asleep, while sleep apnea causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep.  Also, restless leg syndrome causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs ...

Trying to Eat Healthy? Here's Your Go-To Guide

Healthy Food
Welcome to the world of healthy eating!  We all know that food is an essential part of our daily lives, but it's not just about satisfying our hunger. What we eat directly impacts our overall health and well-being. With so much information out there about what's good and bad for us, it can be challenging to know where to start.  But fear not; we'll explore everything you need to know about healthy eating, from the benefits of a balanced diet to easy and delicious recipes that you can incorporate into your daily routine.  So, whether you're looking to improve your energy levels, maintain a healthy weight, or simply feel your best – read on to learn everything you need to know about what healthy eating entails! How Does Healthy Eating Make A Difference? Healthy eating is not just a trend. It is a lifestyle that can significantly impact overall health and well-being. The food that we consume provides our bodies with the essential nutrients needed for optimal functioning. Continually consuming unhealthy foods can lead to a host of health problems, including type 2 diabetes. The benefits of healthy eating are numerous. These include maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of chronic disease, reducing the risk of cognitive decline, improving energy levels, and enhancing overall mood. Consuming a diet rich in whole fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats can provide the body with all the key nutrients it needs to thrive. On the other hand, consuming an unhealthy diet high in processed foods, added sugars, refined grains, and saturated or trans fats can lead to weight gain, elevated cholesterol levels, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic health conditions. Making the switch to healthy eating can seem daunting, but it does not have to be complicated.  Small changes like incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, choosing whole grains over processed (refined) ones, and swapping unhealthy snacks for healthier options can make a big difference. This means choosing brown rice over white, quinoa over couscous, or steel-cut oats over instant.  Healthy eating isn't just about restriction and deprivation, it's about nourishing your body with the right foods to help it function at its best. This means eating as close as possible to the unrefined whole food source as possible. By making healthy eating a priority, you're investing in your long-term health and well-being, and setting yourself up for a happier, healthier future. Busting The Myth! Well, contrary to popular belief, you do not need to follow a specific diet for healthy eating. That being said, you can benefit from implementing certain eating habits. For example, following a low-carb diet can work wonders for you if done right, while you can just as easily maintain optimal health on a high-carb diet.  Generally speaking, eating healthy does not necessarily demand adhering to diets or following a set of dietary rules religiously. The basic mantra of healthy eating is to fuel your body with nutritious whole foods, which in turn, ensure holistic wellness. Your location, socio-economic status, culture, and many other factors might determine the specifics.  What Does Healthy Eating Comprise Nutrient density: Nutrient density refers to the nutrient content of a particular food, relative to its calorie content. In other words, it's a measure of how many essential nutrients a food contains per calorie. Foods that are nutrient-dense are generally those that provide a high amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other essential nutrients per serving, while also being relatively low in calories. These types of foods are important for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include leafy green vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean proteins, and oily fish. These foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and they also provide important nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fat. On the other hand, foods that are not nutrient-dense, such as processed snacks and sugary drinks, are often high in calories but provide very few essential nutrients. These types of foods can contribute to weight gain and chronic health problems when consumed in excess. Choosing nutrient-dense foods is an important part of a healthy diet. By focusing on foods that provide a high amount of essential nutrients per calorie, you can ensure that you're getting the nutrients your body needs to function properly while also maintaining a healthy weight. Diet Diversity: Diet diversity refers to the variety of different foods and food groups that are included in a person's diet. It is an important aspect of healthy eating because a diverse diet can provide a wide range of nutrients and help to reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Eating a varied diet can also help to ...

Why are Natural Beauty Products the pick over Chemical Cosmetics?

Natural beauty products
We’ve heard people talk about organic farming and how avoiding chemicals is better for our health. The same is true with beauty products; 60% of whatever you apply to your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream, and can have an effect on your overall health. ‘Go Green-Go Organic’ is the best way to incorporate natural beauty products into your skincare regimen, resulting in glowing skin and a healthy body. Think about all the skincare products you use every day. Common ones include makeup, body lotion, body wash, body mist, face mist, and lip care products. If you want to stay healthy, you should check the ingredients in the products you use. Avoid using chemicals, as they strip away beauty oils from your skin. Non-organic products may contain a lot of toxic chemicals that can contribute to skin cancer. It’s quite obvious why people are getting so excited about natural skin supplements. Modern Beauty Trends Organic beauty trends indicate an increase of 9.9% from 2018 to 2024. People are becoming aware of the harsh effects chemical products may have on their skin, many women are turning to herbal products as an alternative.  The 2020 beauty spirit is soaring high as organic products gain popularity. From customized beauty products to microbiome skincare, the beauty trends this year are taking some intriguing directions. Microbiome Skincare Is Ruling the Industry Globally Google searches for the term “microbiome” have increased by 110%. Countries like the United Kingdom and Canada are focusing on these microorganisms to keep skin healthy and radiant. The market value of organic beauty products is expected to reach $28.7 billion USD by the end of 2024. Herbal products help balance the number of essential bacteria, while chemical products may harm those beneficial microorganisms, leaving rough, dry skin. On the surface of your skin, there are more than 3 trillion microorganisms. Every human being has a different set of microorganisms living on their skin. Natural beauty products can help maintain your skin's pH level. Maintaining bacterial homeostasis will help lead to acne-free skin and keep the skin hydrated and radiant for years. A Personalized Natural Product Awaits These days, skin swab tests to detect bacterial analysis and DNA are trending. The test results are used to formulate customized natural beauty products in Canada and other countries. These skincare companies analyze the different types of skin and use herbal products to enhance its texture and quality. Chemical components have been abandoned because natural ingredients not only bring out the best in your skin, but minimize your exposure to additional toxins. According to skincare experts, most cosmetic products contain parabens, and consumers prefer an eco-friendly approach. Skin Sensitivity Is Making People Turn Their Backs on chemical-laden Cosmetics Tips for choosing natural beauty products: Avoid parabens in any of your skincare products. Before using a natural product, be sure to check its authenticity. Over the past two years, cosmetic products have gone from 43% paraben-free to 54%. Many skincare companies use the word "natural" in their product advertising. Beware of claims made on product labels and packaging, often referred to as “green-washing”; do your research, look for product reviews and feedback before investing your time and money. How to Replace Paraben Cosmetics with Natural Beauty Products Chemical cosmetics often have unfavorable effects on your skin. Many chemicals are carcinogens, which can lead to breast cancer and skin cancer. A majority of women use products that are unregulated and potentially hazardous. This can make you skeptical of every cosmetic product. Thankfully, nontoxic cosmetics won’t degrade your skin quality or health. The green beauty revolution is gaining momentum, and is not going away anytime soon. You don't have to risk your health to be bold and beautiful anymore. Switch to Mineral Sun Protection As we know, sunscreen is meant to protect the skin from UV rays that can cause skin cancer, but some studies show that the product contains ingredients that lead to cancer. There are two types of sunscreen available in the market. The first one is a physical mineral-based sunscreen and the second one is chemical-based; the latter has the potential to seep into your skin. Many people choose a mineral-based sunscreen for this reason alone. Mineral sun protection creates a physical barrier between UV rays and your skin. Its natural active ingredient (zinc oxide) is even used to make face washes. Switch to Green Mascara Do your eyes water and burn after you apply mascara? This is a common problem for women. Chemical-laden mascara irritates the protective lining of your eyes, making them red and puffy. Mascara actually contains a lot of preservatives, so traditional ones pose ...

Your Ultimate Guide to Understanding Sports Nutrition

Sports Nutrition
Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet with regard to improving athletic performance. Nutrition is a significant aspect of numerous sports training regimens. It figures heavily into strength sports like weightlifting and bodybuilding, and endurance sports like cycling, running, swimming and paddling.  Sports nutrition concentrates on which foods and liquids an athlete takes in and how they do it. It manages the use of supplements, such as vitamins, minerals, and organic substances that incorporate carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  How is sports nutrition different from regular nutrition? Sports nutrition varies from regular nutrition, since athletes require different measures of supplements and nutrients than non-athletes. For athletes to perform well, they have to train hard and fuel their bodies with the right foods and supplements. Nothing can substitute for a balanced diet. A healthy, energy-rich diet gives athletes the vitality and strength to play their best, and helps prevent injuries and enable quick recovery. Factors influencing nutritional requirements An effective sports nutrition plan cannot be administered with a one-size-fits-all approach. Athletes’ diets are tailored to their circumstances and needs. Some factors that influence nutritional needs include the athlete’s gender, weight, physique and BMI, the type of activity or exercise, and the time of day.  Factors that impede performance are exhaustion, injury and soreness; an appropriate eating program will diminish these problems. The key to an effective nutritional regimen is to include a variety of foods and to ensure all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients are covered. It’s important to choose whole unprocessed foods; for instance, an orange rather than orange juice. Eating natural, whole foods gives the athlete the greatest dietary benefit. 1. Gender There are clear contrasts between male and female anatomy. While the physiology is essentially the same, the way men and women process nutrients is different. Men have a lower ratio of muscle to fat; however, they tend to carry most of their fat in the adipose tissue located in the abdominal region. Women have a higher ratio of fat, which they store mostly in the subcutaneous layer of their hip region. 2. Anaerobic exercise  During anaerobic exercise, the process of glycolysis separates the sugars from starches for energy without the use of oxygen. This kind of exercise includes activities like power runs, resistance training, and exercises that use quick movements to work the muscles for force and speed, with short-time energy use. After this type of activity, the body needs to be refueled. 3. Aerobic exercise  Exercise that requires oxygen for cellular reactions is called cardiovascular conditioning, or cardio. Aerobic exercise includes activities like running, cycling, swimming, and paddling. Athletes who engage in aerobic exercise are working to build their endurance. They are training their slow-twitch muscles to absorb more oxygen and get it to their muscles.  Types of Nutrients Macronutrients Macronutrients make up the major sources of calories that give the body energy. They are needed for proper cell development and to maintain regular body functions. These nutrients are required by the body in large quantities to sustain life. There are three kinds of macronutrients:  Carbohydrates Proteins Fats Carbohydrates contribute significantly to waste disposal and intestinal health. Carbohydrates can be found in milk products, fruits, vegetables and grains, and give the body 4 calories for each gram.  Proteins are made out of chains of amino acids. They are mostly found in animal products, nuts and beans, and provide 4 calories per gram. Fats are the most energy-rich macronutrient and provide the most significant caloric content, giving the body 9 calories for every gram. Micronutrients Micronutrients are the 13 organic vitamins and seven inorganic minerals that the human body needs in small amounts every day. Micronutrients play a significant role in energy creation, hemoglobin synthesis, development, bone and immune health, and digestion. Though the required amounts are small, as the name suggests, it’s important to maintain the right level of these nutrients and minerals in the body.  The 13 vitamins can be sorted into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble. The eight water-soluble nutrients –the vitamins B and vitamin C – must be taken every day, as the body can't store what it doesn't promptly utilize. Interestingly, the fat-soluble vitamins K, A, D and E can be stored in the body's fat tissue. Consequently, they don’t need to be consumed on a daily basis to maintain the correct levels. Hydration and performance Adequate hydration and electrolyte levels are fundamental for good he ...

12 Essential Tips to Make Working from Home More Productive

Work from home tips
Amid this COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have asked their employees to begin working from home. Although this scenario might sound quite exciting at first, you should know that you’ll have to deal with several unexpected challenges, particularly if you’re new to working remotely. Even if you are used to this setup, the unique circumstances during this period of isolation make it a completely new experience. But with the help of our handy tips, you can easily improve your productivity. These tips are useful not just for employees, but for team leaders and managers, as well. Let’s get started! 1. Stick to a Schedule The best part about working remotely is that you don’t have to wake up early, rush through your morning rituals, or travel to work. However, this does not mean it’s OK to completely scrap your daily routine. Since it’s likely that you will be cooped up in your house for a longer period of time, make sure that you remain active in order to stay healthy! Follow your normal schedule as much as possible, just like you used to when commuting to your office. 2. Set Up a Workspace When working from home, it’s crucial to set up a dedicated workspace so that you can get things done on time. You might be able to convert a spare bedroom into your home office. Even if you have space constraints, try to set up a desk for office work. Regardless of the location or type of space, dedicate a specific area in your house to work and use it only during your working hours. Just make sure the workspace is free from distractions so that you can concentrate on your tasks. 3. Create a Routine Even if you don’t have to wake up early to commute to work, it’s still important to create and follow a routine. You might get up a little later than usual, but make sure you get up at the same time every day. This way, you can avoid sleeping too much and also maintain a regular sleep cycle. If you like, you can also set alarms to signal lunch breaks, snack breaks, and the time to wrap up your workday. Doing so will improve your concentration, along with your productivity. 4. Set Boundaries Now that you have created a daily schedule and set up a dedicated workspace, it’s time for you to set some work boundaries. This is important because when you work remotely, you can easily end up working beyond your business hours. Figure out a time during the day when you feel your productivity is high, and ensure that you’re finishing the tasks at hand during those hours. Allocate your time properly and choose a specific time to wrap things up. That way you won’t work longer than you are supposed to. Share your schedule with other teammates, managers, and coworkers. 5. Stretch and Exercise Frequently When you’re working from home, it’s likely that you’ll become lazier. In order to prevent that from happening, make sure you stretch and exercise frequently.  This will help you boost your endorphins and will ultimately increase your interest level and happiness - two crucial factors in maintaining your productivity! Regular stretching and exercise will also help improve your posture. Be sure that you stretch two or three times throughout your day; doing so will prevent you from getting sore from sitting.  You can even write out some motivational quotes and leave them by your bedside. Those notes will be the first thing you read after waking up.  We recommend that you work out early in the morning because that’s when there are the fewest distractions. Also, you will feel energized for the rest of the day. 6. Take Breaks Sometimes when you work too many hours and over-commit yourself to office tasks, you end up sabotaging your productivity. That’s why it’s equally important to take breaks throughout the day. Although this seems a little counterintuitive, research suggests that taking occasional breaks helps you boost your creativity and productivity levels. If you fail to strike the right balance between your professional and personal lives, it will only cause you problems. To keep this from happening, work for a certain amount of time, take a 10-minute break, and then get back to work again. 7. Eat Healthy Foods Having complete access to your kitchen is another challenge of working remotely. Since you are at home all the time, you can easily be drawn to junk food the moment you take a snack or lunch break. These foods normally include: Leftover pizza Salted potato chips Cookies However, research suggests that eating more vegetables and fruits, along with vitamin and mineral supplements, has a positive impact on your productivity. With some additional planning, you can not only avoid eating unhealthy food but also vary your nutritious snacks. On the weekends, you could reward yourself with something sweet for not eating junk food throughout the week. If you’re in the habit of eating snacks frequently, then it’s time to take t ...

How to Boost Your Immune System

What is the immune system? The immune system is one of the most important mechanisms of the human body. This is because it’s the body’s natural defense against illness. The immune system attacks and destroys invading pathogens to keep the body free from disease.  This vast network of cells, tissues, proteins, and organs fights off diseases and infections by identifying viruses, bacteria and parasites, and neutralizing these threats. It is constantly at work.  Once this defense system encounters a pathogen, it deploys an immune response to fight and kill it. The most important thing about this system is that it can distinguish the body's healthy tissue from foreign, disease-causing tissue. Dead and faulty cells are also identified and eliminated by the immune system. How does the immune response work? The immune system can be activated by a lot of different organisms that the body doesn’t recognize. The substances that activate the immune response are called antigens.  Antigens include the proteins on the surfaces of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. When these antigens come into contact with the special receptors on the immune system cells, a whole series of processes are triggered in the body.  When the body is exposed to a disease-causing germ for the first time, the immune system usually stores data about the pathogen and how to fight it. Then, if the same type of germ invades again, the immune system recognizes it right away and starts fighting it sooner. Diseases related to the immune system The immune system is a very complex mechanism. This complexity means there are opportunities for disorders to disrupt the system. Following are the different types of immune system disorders: 1. Immunodeficiencies Immunodeficiency is the lack or absence of immune system cells in the body. Simply put, one or more parts of the immune system do not work properly.  Immunodeficiencies can be caused by a number of factors, including age, obesity and alcoholism.  In underdeveloped countries, malnutrition is a common cause of immunodeficiency. In some cases, the condition is inherited.  2. Autoimmunity Autoimmunity is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly targets and destroys the body’s healthy cells. In this case, the immune system is not able to distinguish between its own healthy cells and foreign pathogens or faulty cells.  The body’s cells also have surface proteins, called autoantibodies. But they are not the antibodies that should trigger the immune system.  When the immune system cannot distinguish its own tissues from foreign tissues, it attacks healthy, harmless cells in the body. Autoimmune diseases include celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. 3. Hypersensitivity Hypersensitivity is when the immune system overreacts to such a degree that it damages healthy tissues. An example is anaphylaxis, when the body’s response to an allergen is so strong that it can be life-threatening. Immune System Boosters Some people have strong immune systems, while others have weak ones. The good news is that you can strengthen your immune system through a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle. Certain foods, supplements, and lifestyle changes will have a positive effect on your ability to stay healthy.  Herbs that boost the immune system Many natural substances are known to boost immunity. Since ancient times, herbs and spices have been in high demand for both their healing properties and their ability to help people stay well. According to the World Health Organization, over 80% of the world’s population uses herbal medicines and herbs as part of their primary healthcare.  Most of the preferred herbs are high in anti-inflammatory properties, which help bolster the body’s natural immunity. Most of these herbs and spices are relatively safe, compared to allopathic medicines like antibiotics, which can have serious side effects. Here’s a list of herbs and spices that can help improve immunity: 1. Holy basil  Holy basil is a very old medicinal herb. Its leaves are rich in phytonutrients.  Basil is also rich in chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals, and eugenol. Eugenol is a bioactive compound with antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties, which can help reduce stress and lower plasma glucose levels.  How to consume basil: You can simply chew fresh basil leaves in the morning or infuse them in your morning tea. Just ensure that you wash them well in running water before using them. 1. Ginger  Ginger is widely used in Indian cooking to add flavor to dishes. This popular spice has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.  Since ancient times, ginger has been extensively used for treating asthma, travel sickness, morning sickness, colds, coughs, nausea, arthritis, gastrointestinal complaints, and even depres ...