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Children should not be given codeine and tramadol- FDA advises

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The Food and Drug Administration says medications containing codeine or tramadol should not be given to children. The body also warns that these drugs could cause serious risks including difficulty in breathing and death.
The agency announced the new restrictions on the medications on Thursday April 20, 2017 in a statement that reads,
‘these medications carry serious risks, including slowed or difficult breathing and death, which appear to be a greater risk in children younger than 12 years, and should not be used in these children’.
The labels of all prescription medications containing codeine or tramadol will now restrict their use in children under 12 and recommend against their use in children between 12 and 18 years of age.
Additionally, the FDA recommends breastfeeding mothers not take these medications due to the risk of serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants.
However, the FDA did not restrict over-the-counter medications containing codeine, such as flu and cold medications or cough syrups, which are available without a prescription.
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Meningitis: Rita Edochie Shares Lifesaving Tips

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Following the outbreak of killer disease, Miningitis in the country, veteran actress, Rita Edochie, has shared tips on the dangers of the disease and how to survive it.

According to her, the disease has killed no fewer that 324 people in only three weeks with a new one recorded on Cross river state. She also added that past vaccination was useless as the current meningitis strain is different from the one many were vaccinated against.

She wrote, “The current outbreak is caused by Type C strain, which is rare. Past vaccination against Meningitis will NOT guarantee protection against this strain as the vaccines commonly available in Nigeria are against the type B strain.
What do you know about MENINGITIS: its Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment?

WHAT IS MENINGITIS?

Meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. This inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Symptoms can come on very quickly or gradually over a few days. It can kill within 24 hours so be very observant.
MAJOR SYMPTOMS

1. Headache
2. Fever

3. A very strong aversion for light. The person always looks away from bright light and prefers dark rooms.

4. Neck stiffness and pain that makes it difficult to touch your chin to your chest as such moving the neck causes severe pains.

5. Others include: Seizures, Sleepiness, and sluggishness, Nausea and vomiting, Decreased appetite, Confusion and disorientation (acting goofy), Skin rash, as well as Irritability.

Note

Previous contact with someone who was diagnosed with meninigitis increases the chances of getting infected

Anybody who has most, or all of the above symptoms, and currently lives, or recently lived in the areas currently affected by meningitis, should be isolated until treatment is complete.

Especially as we approach festive period when most travel from different part of the country in particular from states in the Northern Nigeria and other African countries in the Meningitis Belt

Who is most at Risk?
People with low immunity e.g. people with HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disorders, chemotherapy etc

People sleeping in crowded spaces including children in boarding schools, prisons, etc

Pregnant women

Children under the age of 5years old and the elderly
How is Meningitis Spread?

Spread through close personal contact.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos state government has denied reports that deaths were recorded in the state from the disease. According to the state Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, Lagos has only two suspected cases which were yet to be laboratory-confirmed.

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Meningitis: FG moves to prevent spread as 336 die

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The Federal Government on Tuesday confirmed that 336 persons   had been killed by Cerebrospinal Meningitis.

The FG said a  total of 2,997 suspected cases of the disease had been  reported in 16 states  since Monday.

The PUNCH  had reported that the government had dispatched a team  made up of local and foreign medical experts to Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and Niger states where cases of meningitis were recorded.

A statement  by the Technical Assistant (Communication), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Lawal Bakare, said the government was making  efforts to stop the disease from spreading.

He said the government had activated an Emergency Operations Centre to manage the ongoing outbreak of  the disease  in five  North-West states.

Bakare said, “As of  April 3, 2017, a total of 2,997 suspected cases of CSM were  reported in 16 states out of which 146 have been laboratory-confirmed. Unfortunately, 336 deaths have also been recorded.

“We are confident that we have turned the tide, and with increasing vaccination activities, expect a reduction in number of cases. Most importantly the  lessons learned from this outbreak will help the country prepare for the future.”

Bakare said  the activation of  the EOC had brought a national response into an Incidence Management System to ensure that all activities in  the country would  be managed using a clear command and control structure led by an Incident Manager.

He  added, “With this new coordinating structure, the country will have a tight, multi-partner team of experts  from the most competent agencies focusing on outbreak control in Nigeria. The Head of Emergency Preparedness and Response at the NCDC, Dr. John Oladejo, will act as  the IM of the response, while experts from the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC, NPHCDA, WHO, UNICEF, Africa Centre for Disease Control, US Centre for Disease Control, Medecins Sans Frontieres, AFENET, University of Maryland and E-Health Africa play  key roles in different units that focus on five key components of the outbreak response.

“A total of 500,000 doses of Meningitis C vaccines have been distributed to some of the affected states for immediate outbreak response vaccination. An additional 823,970 doses of Meningitis C vaccines are expected from the United Kingdom to support vaccination activities in other affected States.”

Source: PUNCHNG

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The Healing Powers Of Lemon

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A seasoned researcher, nutritionist and columnist, has written an interesting piece on the healing power of citrus fruit – Lemon. It’s educating, enlightening and totally helpful!

Citrus is a genus comprising some 16 species of trees. The more- well-known species are Lime, Lemon, Orange, Grape and Tangerine.
Lemon is called the tree of life because of its many medicinal properties. The leaf is rich in aromatic essence: limonene and linadol. The rind contains 0.5% essential oil, which comprises limonene, coumarines and flavonoids. The juice contains Vitamin B1, B2, and C, flavonoids and organic acids.
A lot of research has been done on this plant.Its medicinal properties are scientifically proven and recognized. This is one of the contributions modern science could make to help promote traditional medicine.
Rather than dismiss the claims of traditional medicine, Science should use its complex technical apparatus to clinically verify these claims. Below are some of the medical uses of lemon. Please note that whatever is said of Lemon here is also true of the other citrus species, though to a lesser degree.
LEAVES: 
Lemon leaf is sedative and antispasmodic. Those who suffer from insomnia, nervousness and palpitation should soak five to seven leaves of lemon in a teacup of hot water and allow it to infuse for 15 minutes. The dosage is one cup two times daily. Lemon leaf will serve as a good and better alternative to Valium and other synthetic sedatives, which, by the way, have side effects.
To get maximum result from Lemon leaf, take the preparation daily for at least one month. Do not expect that your insomnia or nervousness would disappear overnight. For migraine headache and asthma, soak two handfuls [a handful is the amount of dried or fresh leaves you can hold within your fist] of fresh Lemon leaves in one bottle [beer bottle] of hot water.
Allow it to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink two cups every night for two weeks. This preparation should be taken warm. This applies more particularly to asthma patients. Lemon leaf is also good for worms. For this, prepare as for migraine and asthma above. The dosage is three cups every night for one week.
FRUIT RIND: 
Lemon rind is good remedy for lack of appetite, indigestion, constipation and typhoid fever. Add the rind of 10 Lemon to four litres of water and bring to boil. Take a cup three times daily. Like the leaf, Lemon rind is a good worm expellant.
JUICE: 
Lemon juice is an excellent remedy for scurvy, a disease caused by lack of vitamin C. Vitamin C [ascorbic acid] is found in fruits and vegetables. Hence, scurvy is common among those whose diet is poor in fruits and vegetables. Drink half a glass of Lemon juice twice daily. You may sweeten it with honey if you wish. For indigestion, mix half a glass of Lemon juice with half a glass of water and drink daily. This stimulates the activity of the digestive organs and strengthens the system.
Due to the presence of hesperidins, diosmineand other flavonoids, Lemon juice and rind improves blood circulation and so are good for Oedema, hemorrhoids, heart problems, stroke and hypertension. It is scientifically proven that Lemon produces alkalinization of the system, thus cleansing and re-invigourating the system.
For tonsillitis and sore throat, mix half a cup of Lemon juice with four dessertspoons of honey. Warm it on fire and use to gaggle every morning and night. Lemon juice is very good for washing wounds. Steep a piece of cotton wool in the raw juice and use to clean the wound.
Remember that Lemon juice is best taken fresh. It is not advisable to store Lemon juice for a long time. A lot of people have developed a habit of taking vitamin tablets daily. What those people needs to know is that fruits and vegetables are the best vitamins there are. Lemon is a good source of vitamins.
Lemon juice is very good for kidney stones. Citrates [Citric acid salts], which are present in Lemon, not only prevent formation of kidney stones, but also help dissolve them. Drink half a cup of Lemon juice two times daily. You may dilute it with water or sweeten it with honey, depending on your taste. An alternative is to dry Lemon seeds and then grind into powder. Mix one teaspoon of the powder with two dessertspoons of honey, then lick daily for three weeks. Never mistake the so-called bitter Lemon soft drink for real Lemon juice, far from it! In fact, it is not good for the body as it contains carbonic gas and sugar.
For the treatment of arthritis, kidney stones, gout, constipation and hypertension, there is nothing as effective as the famous Lemon therapy. Lemon therapy is capable of rejuvenating the body system and clearing the body of all toxins and waste product, giving a feeling of well-being and lightness. Lemon therapy is indispensable in the treatment of cancer.
Lemon therapy involves drinking the juice of Lemon in the following way. Take one Lemon the first day. Increase it to two the next day. Continue to add one extra Lemon each day until the tenth day. Then begin to take them in the reverse order, subtracting one Lemon each day. Please be sure to follow strictly the procedure above if you wish to apply Lemon therapy. It is one of the natural therapies that have been scientifically proved to be curative.
It is very important to apply the therapy as described above. Ulcer patients should not apply Lemon therapy, as it may aggravate their condition. During Lemon therapy one should drink as much water as possible and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Solid food should be taken only once a day. Considering the above-mentioned medical values of Lemon, you would agree with me that Lemon is indeed, a tree of life.
Credits: Nature Power by Fr. Anselm Adodo
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SEVEN FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MENINGITIS

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The Federal Government announced recently that the death toll from the fresh outbreak of Meningitis in Nigeria has claimed 328 lives.

There have since then been several moves in stopping the unfortunate spread of the disease. The Federal government has even met the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other stakeholders in the world’s health affairs in order to stem the tide.

However, to support all these efforts, there is a need for the general public to have critical information about the disease and how they can keep themselves safe.

In the slide below, Punchng.com presents seven quick facts you should know about Meningitis.

 

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Warning! Public Advisory on Meningitis outbreak in Nigeria: Reduce kissing, hand shaking, avoid overcrowding, self-medication

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Nigeria’s Ministry of Health has issued a public advisory following the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) that has spread across the country and mostly affecting States in the upper parts of the country which fall within the African Meningitis Belt.
Other Countries that are facing similar outbreaks at the moment include our West-African Neighbours like Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Togo, and Burkina Faso. The larger African Meningitis Belt consists of 26 Countries that stretch from Senegal, Gambia and Guinea Bissau in the west coast to eastern countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Ninety (90) Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Sixteen (16) States of the Federation are so far affected including Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Nassarawa, Jigawa, FCT, Gombe, Taraba , Yobe, Kano, Osun, Cross Rivers, Lagos and Plateau. The total number of people affected across these States is 2524 with 328 Deaths. So far, a total 131 samples have been confirmed in the Laboratory, out of which a majority are Neisseria Meningitides type C. This current outbreak started in Zamfara State in the 50th week of 2016 (i.e. November 2016)
Information to the Public:
Prevention:
· Avoidance of overcrowding
· Sleep in well ventilated places
· Avoidance of close and prolonged contact with a case/s
· Proper disposal of respiratory and throat secretions
· Strict observance of hand hygiene and sneezing into Elbow joint/sleeves
· Reduce hand shaking, kissing, sharing utensils or medical interventions such as mouth resuscitation
· Vaccination with relevant sero-type of the meningococcal vaccine
· Self-medication should be avoided
Early Diagnosis, Treatment and Isolation:
· Very important that all individuals should acquaint themselves with at least the basic knowledge/understanding of CSM and how it is transmitted and prevented
· Strictly adhere to the advice of Health workers on how to protect oneself as enumerated above
· Prompt seeking for medical/health care as soon as CSM or CSM-Like Illness is suspected
· All Hospitals to ensure that appropriate Diagnoses are made including laboratory confirmation and immediate reporting through the surveillance system
· Commence early treatment as soon as the diagnoses of CSM is made
· Restrict mingling with other people once one is diagnosed as a case of CSM
· All Secondary and Tertiary Public Health Facilities should provide free treatment to all CSM Patients
Finally, the Federal Ministry of Health calls upon the general public to remain calm as the disease Cebro-spinal Meningitis (CSM) is both preventable and curable. Although the cumulative number of people and locations affected may continue to increase, the actual rate of increase has begun to decline in some states indicating that the end of the epidemic is in sight.
All Public Sector Hospitals (Secondary and Tertiary Hospitals) have been directed to provide free treatment for all Cases of Cerebrospinal Meningitis.
We wish to thank all our National and International Development partners (Multilateral and bilateral) who supported us in accessing the relevant CSM Vaccines which have already been deployed to Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and FCT. We are equally reassured that more Doses are expected and all necessary documentation for the new vaccines arrivals have been concluded.
The Federal Ministry of Health will continue to provide regular feedback to the General Public on the necessary steps to take. Meanwhile, everybody is advised to remain calm and continue to abide by the health advisory being issued periodically.
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Canada to mark 151st birthday in 2018 with weed legalization

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Canada will be marking its151st birthday in style, as recreational Marijuana will be legalized for all Canadians over the age of 18 by July 1. 2018.
According to reports, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Liberal Party will officially announce the plan on April 10.
The move comes after major political parties. As well, a majority of Canadians showed support to legalizing and regulating marijuana in line with the November recommendations of a federally appointed task force on the drug.
In the proposed plan, the country’s federal government will oversee supply and licensing, while provinces would reportedly have the right to decide how marijuana will be distributed and sold.
The report also indicated that Canadians will also be able to grow up to four marijuana plants in their household when it’s finally legalized.
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Signs You Are Drinking Too Little Water

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There are really very few things in this world as precious and as refreshing as water. However, despite this, there are still a good number of people that deprive themselves of the many benefits of water by not drinking enough water on a daily basis. This damages their bodies in ways they might not even realize. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency shares 9 signs to help identify when you are not drinking enough water.

DRY MOUTH

If your mouth is always dry, it’s a clear sign you might not be drinking enough water. However, there are certain medications that cause dry mouth. In this case, the dry mouth might be a side effect of the drug and not caused by dehydration.

HEADACHES

If you are experiencing slight headaches, check yourself. Assess your water consumption in the past hours and determine if it has been less than adequate. Dehydration may be the cause of the slight headaches. A glass of water, preferably cold but not too cold, may help get rid of that headache.

REDUCED URINATION AND DARK-COLOURED URINE

If in a day, you rarely have to pee, it is likely you are dehydrated. Also, when you eventually pee, if your urine is dark yellow or worse, dark brown, it is a sign you are probably dehydrated and need to drink more water.

SLIGHT HUNGER PANGS

Slight hunger pangs especially after just eating not too long ago, may be caused by dehydration. Before grabbing a snack, try drinking a glass of water. If the hunger pangs recede, then chances are you were actually thirsty not hungry.

SLEEPINESS

This can be caused by many things but one of the causes is dehydration. In a bid to conserve the water in your body, your body slows down; this leads to lethargy and overall sleepiness. A cool glass of water can help perk your body up and give it what it needs to remain active.

DRY SKIN

Dry skin is one of the early signs of dehydration. If your skin always feels flaky and dry, and you seem to always have to apply lotion or lip balm to moisturize your skin when the weather is relatively humid, you could be dehydrated. This is also accompanied by lack of sweat, which leads to the body’s inability to wash away excess dirt and oil accumulated throughout the day.

DRY EYES

Without water in the body, your tear ducts dry up, a lack of or inadequate water in the body thus leads to dry bloodshot eyes. If you always experience dry eyes, a likely cause of this is dehydration.

DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS

Without proper hydration, the amount and strength of mucus in the stomach lessens, this allows stomach acid to eventually damage your insides, leading to heartburn and indigestion.

CONSTIPATION

When there isn’t enough water in your body system, the water that should be used by the intestines in the digestive process is used up by the colon. This lack of lubrication in the intestines leads to constipation.

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45 Tips To Live a Healthier Life

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Good health isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise — it also includes having a positive mental health, a healthy self-image, and a healthy lifestyle. In this article, I share 45 tips to live a healthier life. Bookmark this post and save the tips, because they are going to be vital in living a healthier life. 🙂

  1. Drink more water. Most of us don’t actually drink enough water every day. Water is essential for our bodies to function — do you know over 60% of our body is made up of water? Water is needed to carry out body functions, remove waste, and carry nutrients and oxygen around our body. Since we lose water every day through urine, bowel movements, perspiration and breathing, we need to replenish our water intake.Water

    Furthermore, drinking more water aids in losing weight. A Health.com study carried out among overweight/obese people showed that water drinkers lose 4.5 more pounds than a control group. The researchers believe that it’s because drinking more water helps fill your stomach, making you less hungry and less likely to overeat. I agree with that, and I have an added take that your body tries to retain whatever water you have when you don’t take in enough water, leading to increase in weight. Whereas when you regularly drink water, your body knows that it’s going to get its supply of fluids, so it doesn’t try to retain more water.

    The amount of water we need is dependent on various factors such as humidity, your physical activity, and your weight, but generally we need 2.7-3.7 litres of water intake per day. Since food intake contributes about 20% of our fluid intake, that means we need to drink about 2.0-3.0 litres of water, or about 8-10 glasses (now you know how the 8 glasses recommendation came about!). One way to tell if you’re hydrated — your urine should be colorless or slightly yellow. If it’s not, you’re not getting enough water! Other signs include: Dry lips, dry mouth, and little urination. Go get some water first before you continue this article!

  2. Get enough sleep. When you don’t rest well, you compensate by eating more. Usually it’s junk food. Get enough rest and you don’t need to snack to stay awake. Also, lack of sleep causes premature aging, and you wouldn’t want that.
  3. Meditate. Meditation quietens your mind and calms your soul. If you don’t know how to meditate, don’t worry — learn how to meditate in 5 simple steps.Meditation at the field
  4. Exercise. Not just a few times a week, but every day. Movement is life. Research has shown that exercising daily brings tremendous benefits to our health, including increase of life span, lowering of risk of diseases, higher bone density, and weight loss. Increase activity in your life. Choose walking over transport for close distances. Climb the stairs instead of taking the lift. Join some aerobics classes. Take up a sport of your liking (see tip #5)
  5. Pick exercises you enjoy. When you enjoy the sports, you’ll naturally want to do them. Exercise isn’t about suffering and pushing yourself; it’s about being healthy and having fun at the same time. Adding variation in your exercises will keep them interesting.
  6. Work out different parts of your body. Don’t just do cardio (like jogging). Give your full body a proper work out. The easiest way is to engage in sports, since they work out different muscle groups. Popular sports include basketball, football, swimming, tennis, squash, badminton, frisbee, and more.
  7. Eat more fruits. Fruits contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals. Do you know that oranges offer more health benefits than Vitamin C pills? Taking in synthetic supplements is not the same as consuming the foods directly from nature. Satisfy your palate with these nutritious fruits: Watermelon, Apricots, Avocado (yes, avocado is technically a fruit!), Apple, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Guava, Papaya, Strawberries.Fruits
  8. Eat more vegetables. Like fruits, vegetables are important for good health. Experts suggest 5-9 servings of fruits/vegetables a day, but unfortunately most people don’t even have 5 servings! Some of my favorite vegetables include kidney beans, black beans, asparagus, long beans, french beans, sprouts, button mushrooms, and carrots. What are your favorite vegetables and how can you include more of them in your diet today?
  9. Pick bright-colored foods. Fruits and vegetables with bright colors are usually high in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are good for health because they remove free radicals in our body that damage our cells. So get your fill of fruits/vegetables of different colors: White (Bananas, Mushroom), Yellow (Pineapples, Mango), Orange (Orange, Papaya), Red (Apple, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon), Green (Guava, Avocados,  Cucumber, Lettuce, Celery), Purple/Blue (Blackberries, Eggplant, Prunes). Here’s a full list under the color wheel.
  10. Cut down on processed food. Processed foods are not good because (1) most nutritional value is lost in the making of these foods and (2) the added preservatives are bad for our health.  Many processed foods contain a high amount of salt content, which leads to higher blood pressure and heart disease. Processed foods are anything that is not in its raw form. In general, most food in supermarkets are processed — the more ingredients it has on the label (especially the ones ending with ‘ite’ or ‘ate’), the more processed they are. Watch out for those with salt/sugar in the first 5 ingredients and go for natural, whole food as much as possible.
  11. Love yourself. How much do you love yourself on a scale of 1-10? Why? How can you love yourself more starting today? Read: How to Develop a Positive Body Image (series)Pink hearts
  12. Barefoot walking/running. There have been many proven positive benefits of barefoot walking/running, from better posture, less stress for your feet, less stress for your joints, etc . I’ve been running barefoot since May 2010 and loving it. Read: 10 Reasons To Run Barefoot
  13. Purge negative people from your life. Positive mental health is an important part of a healthy life. You don’t need toxic people in your life. If you feel that a friend is overly criticalor negative, let him/her go. If you’re dealing with backstabbers, let them go too. Watch my video: How to Deal with Backstabbers
  14. Purge negativity from yourself. You don’t need negativity from yourself either. Listen to the thoughts that come up in your mind and get rid of the negative thoughts that you hear. A lot of eating happens because one feels unhappy, so by staying in a positive state yourself, you cut out that unhealthy dependence on food to be happy.
  15. Journal out unhappy thoughts. One great way to purge negativity from within is to do brain dumping exercises whenever you feel frustrated. This is something I do with my coaching clients as well, where I ask them to journal out their deepest thoughts so that we can address them. Don’t keep these thoughts pent up inside you — it’s not healthy.
  16. Avoid trigger foods. Trigger foods are the foods that make you go berserk and binge like crazy after you eat them. Everyone’s trigger foods are different (mine used to be doughnuts, pastries, and chips), but generally trigger foods are candy bars, chocolate, confectionery, chips, cookies, or anything with a high level of refined sugar, salt, fat, or flour. These foods cause a blood sugar imbalance, hence triggering one to eat more. What are your trigger foods? Identify them and remove them from your diet.
  17. Breathe. Deeply. Oxygen is a vital source of life. You may know how to breathe, but are you breathing properly? Most of us don’t breathe properly — we take only shallow breaths and breathe to 1/3 of our lung capacity. Athletes are coached proper breathing techniques to get their best performance. A full breath is one where your lungs are completely filled, your abdomen expands, and there’s minimum movement in your shoulders.Woman breathing
  18. Address emotional eating issues. Emotional eating is eating to fill an emotion rather than real hunger. Do you eat when you feel stressed out, down or frustrated? Do you reach out for food when you hit a block at work? Chances are, you’re emotional eating. However, emotional eating will never make you feel happy, because you’re trying to fill a void that has nothing to do with food. Food doesn’t give you love or happiness; it’s just food. Why do you reach out for food when you’re down? How can you address it? Get to the root of the issue and address it. Read: How to Stop Emotional Eating (6-part series)
  19. Eat small meals. Choose several small meals over a few big meals a day. This balances out your energy distribution throughout the day. In general, eat when you feel hungry, and stop when you’re full (see tip #20). You don’t need to wait until official meal times before you start eating. Listen to your body and what it tells you.
  20. Stop eating when you feel full. Many of us rely on external cues to tell when we’re full, such as whether everyone has finished eating and whether your plate was empty or not. These are irrelevant: you should look at internal cues, such as whether your stomach feels full or not. Don’t feel obligated to eat just because there’s still food on the plate. Personally I like to stop when I feel about 3/4 full — if I eat till I’m totally full, I’ll feel uncomfortable as my digestive system goes into overdrive. Use your gut as your indicator (literally). 😉
  21. Go for brown carbs vs. white carbs. White carbs are refined grains like white rice, pasta, white bread, crackers, noodles, tortillas, wraps, anything with white flour and breading. The nutrients have been removed in the production process, leaving them rich in calories but low in nutrients. They also cause unhealthy spikes in our sugar levels. Go for brown carbs (unrefined complex carbs) instead, like brown rice, whole grain, oats, oatmeal (not the instant kind), and legumes. These come with nutrients and vitamins intact.Legumes
  22. Live a life with purpose. Positive health starts from within! Are you living a life of meaning? Are you living in line with your purpose? Since I started living in line with my purpose years ago, I’ve never ever been happier. And you can experience that too. Read: Discover Your Purpose in Life (series)
  23. Say no to oily food. Reduce your intake of fast food, fries, doughnuts, chips, wedges, and foods that have been deep fried. Not only are they very fattening (1 tablespoon of oil is 120 calories), deep fried food contains acrylamide, a potential cancer-causing chemical. According to a BBC report, an ordinary bag of crisps may contain up to 500 times more of the substance than the top level allowed in drinking water by the World Health Organisation (WHO)! I personally find that when I consume oily foods, I feel sluggish. There are better alternatives, such as grilled, steamed, stir-fried, or even raw food (see tip #41).
  24. Cut out sugary foods. These are your candy bars, your pastries, chocolate, cookies, cakes, and jelly donuts. Not only do they not fill you, they trigger you to eat more due to the sugar rush they cause (see tip #16). Go for healthy snacks instead (see tip #36) — you’ll be more satisfied and happier.
  25. Go organic. Organic foods are foods produced without “synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.” (Wiki) The organic movement is slowly catching on, with more supermarkets, especially in the US, offering organic options. Organic food tends to cost more, but hey — would you rather save some money and feed your body with pesticides or pay a few extra dollars for a cleaner, healthier body?
  26. Improve your posture. Good posture improves your breathing (see tip #17) and makes you look more smarter and more attractive. Read more: Benefits Of a Good Posture (And 13 Tips To Get One)
  27. Cut out soda and caffeine. Drinks with caffeine are diuretics, meaning they speed up the rate of urine production. Hence, these drinks do not contribute to your 8 glasses of water/day requirement — they actually take away from it! Furthermore, soda is unhealthy, causes weight gain, and is an artificial stimulant, among other reasons. Ditch your soda and go for plain water or vegetable juices instead! Read more: 5 Reasons To Quit Soda (And How to Do It)Soda Drinks
  28. Don’t drink alcohol. Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic. Not only that, alcohol is repeatedly proven to have negative effects on our body and health — impacting the proper functioning of our brain, liver, lungs, and other major organs. If you drink alcohol regularly, it’s time to cut it out, or at the very least, drastically reduce your consumption.
  29. Prepare your meals. Lately I’m beginning to appreciate the value of preparing my own meals. When you prepare your meals, you control what goes into them. No more being in a dilemma between eating healthy  and choosing between sub-optimal food choices. Get some quality kitchen equipment — it will be your best investment ever. I bought my blender 3 years ago and it’s been such a breeze making my own fruit juices!Home prepared meal
  30. Learn to say no. Don’t feel like you need to eat just because you’re out with friends or because other people offer you food. Simply say no and say you’re not hungry if you don’t feel like eating. Read: How to Say No To Others
  31. Bring a water bottle when you go out. That way, you can replenish your fluids whenever you want to. It saves you money as well and you don’t need to subject yourself to poor alternatives like soda, which increases your fluid outtake instead since caffeine is a diuretic (see tip #27).
  32. Dine at salad bars more often. Lately I’m falling in love with salad bars. Salad bars work like this: you pick your greens, you select X number of toppings (usually 6 or unlimited, depending on the outlet) and you finish off with a dressing. The variety is huge, it’s filling, and it’s extremely healthy.Salad bar
  33. Go for low-calorie, low-fat alternatives. There are many low-fat / non-fat alternatives today — from yogurts, to salad dressing, soy milk, spreads, ice cream, etc. Check out this comprehensive list: Lower Calorie, Lower Fat Alternatives. Of course, keep an eye on the overall calorie and other ingredients. Some food that is packed as “low/non-fat” may actually still be unhealthy, so you want to stay clear of them as well.
  34. Stop smoking. It has been extensively proven that smoking is detrimental to health, severely increasing the risk of lung cancer, kidney cancer, esophageal cancer (of our gullet), heart attack, and more. Smoking “light” cigarettes do not decrease health risks either. Bottom line: if you’re a smoker, quit for better health of not just yourself, but also your family and friends. If you don’t smoke, stay that way and don’t start.
  35. Avoid passive smoking. Second hand smoking (breathing in air from smokers) causes many of the same long-term diseases as direct smoking (Wiki). And did you know? According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there is no risk-free level of passive smoking; even brief exposure can be harmful to health. Get away from smokers and avoid cigarette smoke where you can.
  36. Have healthy snacks. If you’re hungry at work, eat healthy snacks like fruits, salads, and vegetable juices. These are nutritional and don’t give you that sugar rush. Have them readily available so that you can get a munch and stop when you’ve your fill. Stay away from cookies and candy bars.Fruits
  37. Drink fruit/veg smoothies. I love smoothies because it’s a quick way to get vitamins and nutrients. Simply throw my favorite fruits and vegetables into the blender, wait for 30 seconds, and it’s done! I recommend to use a blender for fruits, rather than a juicer, as juicing generally remove the fiber of the fruit and creates large sugar spikes in your body (which is not healthy) due to the loss of fiber.
  38. Juicing. Juicing is where you extract the juice from vegetables/fruits (via a juicing machine). Since the fiber is stripped away, you are literally drinking the nutrients and minerals directly from the juice. Juices and smoothies complement each other — the former gives our digestive system a break while the latter gives us the fiber which aids our digestion. I recommend juicing for vegetables as it’s a great way to quickly get vitamins and nutrients without having to munch through a huge volume of fiber. If you’re new to juicing, learn more about it here and check out these sample juicing recipes.
  39. Try a vegetarian diet. First off, going vegetarian doesn’t necessarily lead to better health, because there are many unhealthy vegetarian food out there (fried food, white carb laden diets, etc). On that note, there are many proven health benefits of a vegetarian diet. I’m a vegetarian today because I tried it for 30 days many years ago and saw the positive effects for my mental and physical health. Try it out for 21 days and see how it works out for you. Get started here.
  40. Try a vegan diet. A vegetarian is someone who does not consume animal products. A vegan is someone who doesn’t consume animal or animal-derived products. This means no dairy, honey, cheese, milk, etc. So in that sense, it seems stricter in very meat-biased eating cultures, but it brings about even more positive benefits than a vegetarian diet. Learn more about veganism here and here.Salad
  41. Try a raw vegan diet. A raw vegan consumes only non-processed, raw vegan food: mainly fruits, vegetables and nuts. Notice the progression from vegetarian → vegan → raw vegan diet is toward foods that are naturally occurring. There are many reported benefits of switching from veganism to raw veganism, including increased youth, weight loss, increased energy, increased health benefits, and more. It’s an area that I’m exploring at the moment and learning more about. Learn more about raw veganism: Here, herehere and here.
  42. Get out more often. If you have a regular 9-5 job, chances are you spend much of your time holed up in the office and not a lot of time going out and having fun. During weekends, you’re probably busy with work or running errands. Make it a point to go out with friends at least once a week. Get some sun. Go out and have a change of environment. It’ll be great for your body and your soul.
  43. Exercise good dental hygiene. Not only does good hygiene make you a lot more desirable, it is linked with better health. Brush your teeth twice a day, rinse your mouth after each meal, and floss your teeth at night. Read: How to Attain Healthier Gums and Teeth: Path To Better Oral HygieneWoman brushing teeth
  44. Join classes. Dance classes, aerobics classes, tennis classes, ballroom dancing, scuba diving, and wakeboarding courses are all places to start. Going there also lets you socialize with a new group of people.
  45. Hang out with healthy people. You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so the more time you spend around healthy people, the better it is. Eat with people who are health conscious and get workout buddies. It makes healthy living even more fun!
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“It’s harmful for Fanta and Sprite to be taken with Vitamin C” – Court orders NAFDAC to educate consumers

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A Lagos High Court has ordered the National Agency For Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to immediately direct the manufacturers of soft drinks; Fanta and Sprite (Nigeria Bottling Company PLC) to include a written warning that the content of the bottles cannot be taken with Vitamin C.

This was the result from a suit filed against the NBC and NAFDAC by Lagos businessman, Dr Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited.

His lawyer alleged that sometime in March, 2007, his client’s company purchased large quantities of Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple and Soda Water from NBC for export to the UK for retail purposes and supply to their customers. When the packages arrived there, fundamental health related matters were raised on the contents and composition of the Fanta and Sprite products by the UK Health Authorities, specifically the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard Department of Environment and Economy Directorate.

The findings from the United Kingdom were corroborated by the Coca-Cola European Union and products were found to have excessive levels of “Sunset Yellow and Benzoic Acid “which are unsafe for human consumption. Due to the irregularities and harmful content of the soft drinks which can cause cancer to the consumer, the claimants could not sell the Fanta and Sprite products resulting in appreciable losses, as they were certified unsuitable for consumption and were seized and destroyed by the United Kingdom health authorities

Adebo’s Lawyer urged the court to declare that the Nigeria Bottling Company was negligent and breached the duty of care owed to their valued customers and consumers in the production of contaminated Fanta and Sprite soft drinks with excessive “benzoic acid and sunset” addictive. They also urged the court to direct NAFDAC to conduct and carry out routine laboratory tests of all the soft drinks and allied products of the company to ensure and guarantee the safety of the consumable products, produced from the Nigeria Bottling Company factory.

Although the Nigeria Bottling Company contended that the claimants claims are speculative, frivolous and vexatious and should be dismissed with substantial costs, NAFDAC did not file any defence.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji declared that NAFDAC has failed Nigerians by its certification as satisfactory for human consumption, products which in the UK failed sample test for human consumption and which became poisonous in the presence of  Vitamin C. He therefore ordered:

”That NAFDAC shall forthwith mandate Nigeria Bottling Company to, within 90 days hereof, include on all the bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks manufactured by the company, a written warning that the content of the said bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same becomes poisonous if taken with Vitamin C.
”In consideration of the fact that this case was filed in 2008 and that it has been in court for 9 years, costs of N2 million is awarded against NAFDAC. Interest shall be paid on the costs awarded at the rate of 10% per annum until liquidation of the said sum.”
Source: pmnewsnigeria
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10 weird but true health tips

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Though unbelievable, these health tips are absolutely true

There are several health tips and it’s very difficult to know which ones are true and which ones are false. Beyond all that, there are some that challenge our knowledge of health and we present ten of such weird but true health tips.

Drink coffee to have a better nap

In a Japanese study that examined how to make the most of a nap, people who took a “coffee nap”—consuming about 200 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in one to two cups of coffee) and then immediately taking a 20-minute rest—felt more alert and performed better on computer tests than those who only took a nap.
Why does this work? A 20-minute nap ends just as the caffeine kicks in and clears the brain of a molecule called adenosine, maximizing alertness. “Adenosine is a byproduct of wakefulness and activity,” says Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine. “As adenosine levels increase, we become more fatigued. Napping clears out the adenosine and, when combined with caffeine, an adenosine-blocker, further reduces its effects and amplifies the effects of the nap.”

For healthy teeth, don’t brush after eating

Don’t brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they were acidic. Acidic foods—citrus fruits, sports drinks, tomatoes, soda (both diet and regular)—can soften tooth enamel “like wet sandstone,” says Howard R. Gamble, immediate past president of the Academy of General Dentistry. Brushing your teeth at this stage can speed up acid’s effect on your enamel and erode the layer underneath. Gamble suggests waiting 30 to 60 minutes before brushing.

To wear a smaller size, gain weight

Muscle weight, that is. If two women both weigh 150 pounds and only one lifts weights, the lifter will more likely fit into a smaller pant size than her sedentary counterpart. Likewise, a 150-pound woman who lifts weights could very well wear the same size as a 140-pound woman who doesn’t exercise. The reason: Although a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, muscle takes up less space, says Mark Nutting, fitness director of SACO Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine. “You can get bigger muscles and get smaller overall if you lose the fat,” he says. “The bulk so many women fear only occurs if you don’t lose fat and develop muscle on top of it.” Cut back on calories and add weight to your workout to lose inches.

To eat less, eat more

Grabbing a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies or pretzels may seem virtuous, but it’s more likely to make you hungrier than if you ate something more substantial, says Amy Goodson, RD, dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. “Eating small amounts of carbohydrates does nothing but spike your blood sugar and leave you wanting more carbs.” Goodson recommends choosing a protein such as peanut butter or string cheese with an apple. “They are higher in calories per serving, but the protein and fat helps you get full faster and stay full longer—and you end up eating fewer calories overall,” she says.

Skip energy drinks when you’re tired

Energy drinks contain up to five times more caffeine than coffee, but the boost they provide is fleeting and comes with unpleasant side effects like nervousness, irritability, and rapid heartbeat, says Goodson. Plus, energy drinks often contain high levels of taurine, a central nervous system stimulant, and upwards of 50 grams of sugar per can (that’s 13 teaspoons worth!). The sweet stuff spikes blood sugar temporarily, only to crash soon after, leaving you sluggish and foggyheaded—and reaching for another energy drink.

Drink water when you’re bloated

When you feel bloated, drinking water sounds as if it would only make matters worse, but it can often help, says James Lee, MD, gastroenterologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. If you’re on a high-fiber diet, for instance, then your body needs more water to work more efficiently, says Dr. Lee. “Water mixes with water soluble fiber and makes it into a gel like substance. This affects the motility of the gut and reduces the symptom of bloating.” Drinking more water also relieves bloating caused by dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your body clings to the water your body does have, causing you to puff up.

Ditch diet Coke to lose weight

You should ditch all soda, including diet. Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that overweight and obese adults who drank diet beverages ate more calories from food than those who drank regular soda. Additionally, a University of Texas study found that diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference than non-drinkers over the course of about 10 years.

“In addition, many people think ‘low-fat,’ ‘low-sugar,’ or ‘light’ means fewer calories, but that’s not always true,” says Goodson. “Typically when manufacturers cut something out and the end result tastes just as good, they’ve added something like additional sugar.”

Drink a hot beverage to cool off

Which will cool you off faster on a steamy summer morning: iced coffee or hot? Two recent studies say the latter—and so do other cultures where drinking hot tea in hot weather is the norm, like in India. When you sip a hot beverage, your body senses the change in temperature and increases your sweat production. Then, as the sweat evaporates from your skin, you cool off naturally

Exercise when you’re tired

After a long, exhausting workday, exercising sounds like the last thing you’d want to do, but getting your sweat on will actually energize you. Fatigue along with mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute moderate intensity exercise session, according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. “Everything we do uses oxygen, so when you exercise it helps you work more efficiently and you don’t tire as easily,” says Nutting. “You also function better mentally.”

Handwrite notes to boost your brainpower

Typing notes enables you to jot down more material, but you’re more likely to remember those notes if you handwrite them, according to research from Indiana University. “To learn something means you have processed it,” says Dr. Towfigh. “And when you take handwritten notes you ‘process’ or learn more information. You begin the learning process as you listen to the lecture.” Plus, since you look at the page on which you are writing, you naturally review the material and reinforce the information you’ve already processed, Dr. Towfigh says.

antibacterial soap to prevent illness

Reaching for the soap bottle labeled “antibacterial” won’t necessarily reduce your risk of getting sick or passing illness to others—in fact, there is no evidence that antibacterial soaps are more effective than regular ones. What’s more, long-term exposure to some ingredients in these products, such as triclosan, may pose health risks like bacterial resistance or hormonal effects,

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