Eat fruits for breakfast - Eating fruits gives nutrition without that heavy, oily, greasy feeling that bothers you even before your day starts.

If you are pregnant you should have at least four checkups by your obstetrician before your delivery - first between the 20th and 22nd week, second between the 28th and 30th week, third during the 34th week and the last one during the 38th week. Eat plenty of fruits, green and yellow vegetables, 'dals', & grains including dalia & buckwheat (kuttu atta). A litre of milk or milk products (like curd, buttermilk and paneer) and an egg everyday will provide enough calcium for healthy bones in the mother and baby. The average overall weight gain during pregnancy is 12-14 kgs. Do not overeat or exceed this average otherwise you could suffer backaches, leg pains, varicose veins, increased fatigue and the baby could become too big for a normal delivery. To reduce heartburn and nausea in pregnancy:
eat small, frequent meals to decrease the severity of nausea and heartburn during pregnancy. Also, avoid tight clothes, spicy, greasy foods or lying down within two hours of eating.

Prevent your child being born with a low birth weight (less than 5 lb/2.2 kg) by having a nutritious, balanced diet with plenty of cereals, low fat milk products, fruits and vegetables. Avoid smoking and drinking. Avoid alcohol during your pregnancy. Its frequent and excessive consumption could cause the 'fetal alcohol syndrome' comprising of retardation of your baby's growth, abnormalities of face and head, mental retardation and abnormal behavior. Pregnant women should always check with their doctor before using any medicine, especially during the first three months. The mother’s breast produces the thick, yellowish colostrums in the first few days after childbirth. It is rich in proteins, vitamin A and antibodies that protect the newborn from many infections. Commence breastfeeding without delay. It helps the flow of milk if you drink liquids while breastfeeding your baby. This also applies to milk extraction with a breast pump. Breast milk contains suitable and adequate proteins, lactose (milk sugar), vitamins C, D and E, iron, water, salt, calcium, phosphate and lipase for effective digestion. The breastfed baby requires no supplements for first four-six months. Breast milk is the best milk for babies, protecting them against infections. It provides emotional satisfaction to both the mother and the child creating a bond between the two. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that breast-feeding should be done for as long as possible, 1 year or even longer. Breast milk is best for your baby until at least the first six months. Once you wean him off start giving him whole milk and definitely not skim or low-fat milk.

Start bonding with your baby as early as the second month by using touch, sound, smell and sight and use lots of colorful musical objects as stimulants. Baby's first semi-solids should be started between 5-6 months one by one with a 5-6 days gap between each item. The first cereal your baby should have by 5-6 months is a rice-and not wheat based one. This is digested more easily and less likely to cause allergies.
Avoidable reasons for your baby refusing feeds could be - a blocked nose, strong odors in the mother's diet like garlic and onions or a small hole in the feeding bottle's nipple.

If you have had a normal delivery and within the first three days notice blood running down your legs do not be alarmed - this discharge, called lochia, is a mix of leftover blood, mucous and tissue from your uterus. It can be heavy just like a period and then tapers off within a week or two. Do weight-bearing exercises (walking, swimming and biking) before 35 yrs. of age followed later by milder exercises. Take calcium/magnesium supplements and avoid smoking, alcohol and coffee. A few years after menopause if you have spotting, scanty or profuse blood discharge from the vagina, contact your gynecologist urgently. It could be hormonal but also something as serious as cancer.
A simple breast self examination done regularly can help detect breast cancer early. Women of all ages should perform self-examination since breast problems can occur at any age. The best time of the month to perform self-examination is after menstruation.

Your baby's first shoes should be lightweight, made of leather or cloth (breathable material), definitely not plastic with soles so flexible that you can feel the baby's toes through them. Hard soles are out. For your baby's first shoes press down on the toe of each shoe with your thumb. If there is a full thumb's width between your baby's longest toe and the end of the shoe then it is the right one. The shoes should be soft and made of leather or cloth not plastic.

If your are acne-prone, avoid oil-based make-up, hair gels and sprays, stress, squeezing or picking at the pimples and hard scrubbing of skin. Never squeeze or pick at pimples. Avoid scrubbing. Just wash gently twice a day and don't rub but pat dry with a clean and separate towel.

Climbing stairs adds strength to leg muscles along with a cardiovascular workout at the same time. This can be done at home, in your office, apartment building, or on stair-climbing machines in the gym. Climbing two steps at a time is good for building the quadriceps (thigh muscles) and the gluteus (butt). Going down steps builds strength in the quadriceps and to a lesser extent, the hamstrings (leg muscles).

Though a lot of people want to look lean and thin, some body fat is required to maintain good health. It protects our internal organs, helps to regulate the body temperature, and is essential in hormone production and regulation.

Build up reserves of Calcium and strengthen your bones, particularly before you are 35 years old. Rich sources of Calcium include milk and milk products like cheese, paneer, dahi, lassi (buttermilk), raita, kheer and kulfi. If you want to keep your bones strong and lessen the chances of a fracture, as you get older, add calcium-rich foods such as low-fat cheese and milk to your diet. Calcium also keeps teeth strong and helps the muscles contract. Chronic under eating contributes to osteoporosis. Your calcium intake should be above 800 mg per day from early childhood.

Sodium is essential to the body for fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve reactions. Since excess sodium in the diet can predispose to high blood pressure, a low sodium diet is better for health. Table salt is sodium chloride. Sodium occurs naturally in most foods and is also added to many processed foods and several over-the-counter medicines, like antacids, laxatives and aspirins.

If you have recently given up your regular habit of drinking alcohol you might suffer from sleeplessness and irritability. This is not a reason to give up on your good resolution. AVENA SATIVA - Q 20 drops in a cup of water  at night will relieve these symptoms BUT first check with your doctor to make sure you have no health problems like low blood pressure, which could be aggravated by this.

Young children who get less than 10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period are more likely to throw temper tantrums than those who get 12 or more hours of sleep. They are also more likely to be hyperactive, argumentative, noncompliant and aggressive.
Do not use laxatives. They do not improve metabolism, but make it more difficult for body to absorb nutrients and calories.

If you always feel tired, get your haemoglobin level checked. If low, supplement your diet with rich dietary sources of iron - rice flakes, sarson ka saag, pulses and legumes. If you find yourself looking very pale and constantly tired, with occasional throbbing in the head and ears, tingling in your hands and feet, sleeplessness, headaches, palpitations (sensation of a rapid heartbeat), breathlessness on exertion, swelling of your ankles, frequent redness and swelling of your tongue and mouth or even chest pain you may have anaemia. This is usually nutritional and can be corrected. So you need to consult your doctor and get your blood tests done as soon as possible.

Sugar substitutes are generally compounds made up of simple forms of proteins. Since it is not a sugar it is used as a sweetener by people with diabetes and is also safe during pregnancy.

If you face problems doing housework you might have heart disease. Women with coronary artery disease and chest pain could perform only three of 14 household tasks without difficulty. They had difficulty accomplishing household tasks such as changing bed linens, sweeping, mopping, or moving furniture.

Ensure that each member of your family has separate towels. Eye infections like trachoma and conjunctivitis are transmitted through common towels and handkerchiefs.

Avoid eating garlic, chillies, and other hot spices before bedtime. They can keep you awake by causing heartburn or indigestion.

Be careful not to take more than the prescribed dose of antacids. In excess, they can cause constipation and block absorption of some antibiotics like tetracyclines. The elderly should avoid sodium bicarbonate especially if they have high blood pressure, heart or kidney problems. ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM-30 is a very good antacid having no side effects.

Strengthening and stretching the lower back muscles helps prevent low back strain. While exercising do only what is comfortable and stop the moment you feel pain. If you have any back problems consult a doctor before starting. You have probably done something right if you feel little soreness on both sides of your body. But you may have done a wrong exercise if you feel pain on one side only.
Regular exercise keeps your joints and muscles healthy, strong and flexible. It helps to maintain the desired weight and improves your general health. Doing 30-minute moderate workouts three times per week helps you fight depression and reduces the symptoms just as much as drugs.

If you have children in the house keep all poisons out of their reach - lock away pesticides, floor cleaners, kerosene, detergents, insecticides and medicines.

One high blood pressure reading is not good enough for diagnosing hypertension. It should be monitored twice a day (at the same time) for five days in a row before commencing treatment.
Controlling high blood pressure
To control your blood pressure better:
Stop smoking
Maintain a normal body weight
Restrict salt intake (pickles, salted snacks)
Eat a diet high in fibre (fruit and vegetables)
Avoid high fat foods, coffee and colas
Do not drink excessive alcohol
Exercise regularly to keep fit
Follow-up regularly with the doctor

Avoid liquorice (mulaithi) if you have high blood pressure, diarrhea or use laxatives. Though it gives relief in cough and sore throat, it raises blood pressure and lowers potassium levels, leading to irregular heart beats, muscle weakness and twitches.

You do not have to run, cycle or swim to reduce your risk of heart disease. Brisk walking is just as effective. Either walking briskly 3 or more hours a week or exercising vigorously for 1.5 hours a week reduces the risk a nonfatal heart attack or death by 30-40 percent.

Drink enough water to help flush toxins out of your system. It is a natural way to keep your metabolism humming and promote weight loss. The best skin moisturizer and hair conditioner is water. It may even offer protection from some forms of cancer.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A hearty morning meal boosts attention span, enhances ability to concentrate and keeps energy levels high throughout the day. It may even help you lose weight! Stop skipping breakfast and start enjoying life.

Constipation is a problem most children have at some time. It can usually be treated at home with high-fibre foods and lots of fluids. High-fibre baby foods, such as cereals, fruits, vegetables, spinach and peas are very useful. Have your child sit on the toilet for 10 minutes after meals, especially after breakfast, to encourage a regular bowel pattern. Do not use any suppositories or enemas without first consulting the doctor.

In case a grain of sand or any other foreign body enters your eye, do not rub the eye. Flush it with plenty of clean cold water mixed with EUPHRASIA OFFICINALIS-Q (1drop/liter) repeatedly.

If a person is stung by an insect on the throat, particularly if there is a known sensitivity to stings, the throat will swell quickly and cause choking. Give him or her cold water to drink or an ice-cube to suck. Give LEDUM PALUSTRE-30 one drop every 10 minutes till relief. Apply LEDUM PALUSTRE-Q to the sting site. If the breathing becomes difficult call a doctor immediately.

Run cool water mixed with CANTHARIS VESICATORIA-Q (1drop/liter) over a superficial burn for 10 to 15 minutes. Never put butter or any grease on a burn. If the burned skin blisters or is charred, see the doctor immediately.

Tips for a safe Diwali
Burst crackers in open spaces.
Wear close-fitting clothes of thick material instead of loose or flowing garments.
Maintain a safe distance from firecrackers.
Never give fireworks to young children. Fireworks should be used only under close, adult supervision.

Tips for a safe Holi
Use natural / herbal, skin friendly colours
Do not use chemical and grease colours
Wear clothes that cover maximum part of your body
Oil your hair & apply cream on exposed parts before playing Holi
Use warm water and moisturising soap to wash off colour
Use moisturisers and skin cream liberally

Safe food
Wash your hands with soap and water before handling food
Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods and use separate utensils for handling raw foods
Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood
Keep cooked food piping hot (more than 70°C) prior to serving
Use safe water and wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly

Sleep well
Sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle. Like eating right and exercising, sleeping well is essential to feeling your best during the day. Some tips for getting a good nights sleep are:
Keep regular hours, even on weekends
Develop a ritual before going to bed so your body gets ready for sleep
Exercise regularly to help relieve tension
Cut down on stimulants, such as caffeine
Stop smoking, statistically smokers take longer to fall asleep

Reduce salt consumption
Reduce salt consumption by using less salt in cooking and at the table. Reduce your intake of canned and preserved foods, including pickles. Include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Once you start, it takes only a short while to get used to lower levels of salt.

Reduce your caffeine intake for a better health
Reduce your coffee intake - too much caffeine can kill your nervous system. To keep you awake, try drinking hot water or juice. If caffeine is absolutely necessary as a wake-upper, try sipping slowly to lessen your consumption and maximize the effect of the caffeine.

Reduce your cancer risk
Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Include five servings of fruits and vegetables daily from the following list - a medium sized fruit, ¾ cup of fruit juice, ¼ cup dry fruits, ½ cup vegetables, 1 cup raw leafy vegetable like spinach/lettuce, ½ cup cooked daal or beans or peas.

Recognizing a heart attack
Heart attacks, most often presents as chest pain or discomfort. This can be accompanied by nausea/vomiting or pain going to the neck, back, jaw, arms, or shoulders, numbness or tingling in one or both arms, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, sweating, weakness, dizziness and indigestion. These symptoms may be constant, or come and go.

Protect yourself from dengue and malaria
Personal protection against mosquito bites should be done by using mosquito repellents, netting and wearing clothes that cover the body while going out. Rooms should be properly screened with gauze/screen/wire-mesh. Care should be taken to see that there are no stagnating water bodies around the living areas and the surroundings are kept clean.

Protect yourself from heat stroke
Drink lots of fluids through the day.
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing in hot weather.
Avoid dark colored clothes as they absorb more heat.
Cover your head.
Limit exposure to the hot sun and wear a broad rimmed hat if working in the sun.
Avoid strenuous activity in hot or humid weather.

Prevent ill effects of air pollution
It is recommended to stay indoors as much during the day. Many pollutants have lower levels indoors than outdoors. One should limit outside activity to the early morning hours or wait until after sunset. This is important in high ozone conditions (as in many large cities) because sunshine drives up ozone levels. More pollution is taken into the lungs in case of faster breath.

Prevent infectious diseases spread in monsoon
With diseases like cholera, typhoid, gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, viral infections, etc. on the rise it is important to drink clean water properly boiled or filtered. Do not eat stale food. Refrigerated food should be heated properly before consumption. Frequent hand washing is effective in preventing the spread of viral infections. Avoid swimming in pools, as they are a common place for getting conjunctivitis.

Prevent conjunctivitis (eye flu)
Do not share towels, handkerchiefs, linen, pillows, sunglasses, etc.
Avoid shaking hands on physical contact with an infected person
Patients should wear dark glasses
Wash eyes and hands frequently
Medicines are ineffective if it is due to a viral infection
Consult your doctor and use medicines under his supervision

Prevent dehydration in your child
If your child has diarrhea and vomiting, you can prevent dehydration by giving small sips of cold sugar and salt solution available in ORS (Oral re-hydration solution) packets at any medical store.


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