Hair health πŸ™Œ

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Our hair is the crown, we never take off. So, hair is a significant part of our physical appearance; hence it is crucial. Structurally, hair consist of a protein called keratin. A hair follicle supports each hair shaft. The root of each hair follicle lies the hair bulb. It is in this hair bulb; new cells develop and grow and give rise to the latest hair follicle. The hair bulb contains the blood vessels which nourishes and supply necessary nutrients to the cells to grow and develop. The colour of the hair depends upon pigment cells called melanin. The structure and texture of the hair are related to genetic predisposition.
Each hair grows through a cycle of 3 phases:

Growth phase: In this phase, the hair is growing in prominence.
Transitional phase: When the hair stops growing, matures and the hair follicle start to shrink.
Resting phase: When the old hair fall, cells die, and new cells start to develop and grow.

Typically with ageing, the hair pigment cells die, and hair begins to turn grey and fall. But, in the recent decade, due to environmental pollution, harmful UV rays, unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy hair treatment, hair thinning, hair greying and hair fall has become very common even in the young age group.

Some common causes of hair thinning and hair fall:

1.Poor nutrition: Unhealthy eating habits like eating junk food, processed food, artificial sweeteners, cola, juices does not provide any nutritional value but instead add to empty calories to the body. Again, some people go on a crash diet, leaving behind necessary nutrient-dense food like healthy fat has to suffer hair fall. When the body does not get enough nutrient-dense food, it transports the remaining nutrients to the vital organs. It is the hair which is left neglected. Hence hair fall, hair thinning and low growth.

2.Poor Blood circulation: Sometimes, even if you have a well balanced nutritious diet, yet you may face hair issues. Hair problems happen because the blood nutrients are unable to reach the cells in the hair bulb. So, massaging the scalp is essential to stimulate the blood circulation and enrich the hair bulb with the necessary nutrition. Even physical exercise is critical. Daily routine exercise, causes proper movement in the body which ensures efficient blood circulation in every part of the body, including the scalp. Women suffering from hormonal imbalance and thyroid issues, suffering from hair fall, exercise is highly recommended.


3.Excessive stress: This is important because, in a chronic state of stress, the body tends to remain in the sympathetic mode, which blocks the body’s normal functioning of growth and renewal mechanism.


4.Heat and chemicals: Heat is very harmful to hair. Hot water baths, use of excessive hair styling methods like hair drying, hair straightening, hair curling are all harmful. Tying hair too tightly all the time may affect the hair root. Avoiding too many hair products, colouring agents, and toxic chemicals like sulphate can cause hair damage. Fragrance hair products may contain alcohol which is harmful also.

Measures to protect and keep hair healthy:

1.Nourishment: It is vital to keep the scalp healthy and clean to have healthy hair. So, cleaning the scalp 2-3 times a week with a mild shampoo is essential to remove pollutants and impurities. Massaging the scalp gently 5-10 mins, 3-4 times a week will improve the blood circulation drastically. Natural oil like coconut, almond or jojoba oil is nourishing and can be used for hair massage.

2.Exercise: Regular exercise is essential to ensure proper blood circulation to provide necessary nutrients to the body, including the scalp.


3.Drinking water is overall healthy and good for hair too.
4. Five Superfoods for hair:


Eggs: They are in rich in protein and biotin. Keratin which is protein is present in each hair strand, so protein intake is crucial for hair. Biotin gives strength to hair and promotes hair growth.


Green leafy vegetables: Dark green leafy vegetables and spinach are rich sources of iron, vitamin A and C. Adequate iron is required to produce haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin is essential to transport oxygen to cells, and hence, it is suitable for scalp and hair growth. Other rich sources of iron are beans, pulses, soya, seeds, nuts, broccoli and cabbage.

Vitamin B12: It helps in hair growth and texture. The sources are meat, fish, salmon, milk, dairy products, eggs.


Fat-soluble vitamins: Vitamin D, E, A, K are all essential for hair health. Consuming healthy fat of omega-three fatty acid is not only good for hair health but also help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A helps in the production of sebum which nourishes the hair. Sources are sweet potatoes, carrots, seeds and nuts.
Vitamin C and E are potent antioxidants and prevent free radical damage. Therefore, they are protective of hair.
Sources are Lemon, berries, almonds, avocados, spinach, guavas.


Zinc: Zinc promotes hair growth and repair and prevents hair loss. Sources are meat, shellfish, sprouts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Face ageing: 5 crucial tips 😌

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day πŸ™‹πŸ»

Skin is the largest organ in the body and is most prominent. So, any kind of changes of ageing can be visible clearly in the skin. The skin, like other tissues, possess the extracellular matrix. This matrix comprises collagen and other structural compounds called Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and proteoglycans. All these compounds together contribute to the tightness of the tissues which keep our skin stiff and makes us look younger and radiant.

As we age, we tend to lose more collagen, proteoglycans and GAGs slowly. A research study has shown that another vital hormone produced in the liver called Insulin Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1) is related to facial ageing. These IGF-1 levels are inversely proportional to the levels of serum insulin in the body. When insulin level is high like in case of insulin resistance individuals, the IGF-1 level is low. So, insulin resistance individuals tend to age faster usually. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant which is also naturally produced by our body which helps the skin and connective tissues to retain the moisture. We tend to lose this lubricant due to ageing and unhealthy food habits.

Facial ageing causes the horizontal and vertical lines to look prominent, thinned skin, loss of elasticity and collagen, loss of tissues and bones in the cheeks, fat atrophy, puffiness around eyes, sagginess around the neck and so on.

Common factors which aggravate the ageing process:

1.Smoking
2.Too much sun exposure causes skin damage. But, daily exposure to 10-15 mins of sunlight is useful for Vitamin D synthesis in the body.


3.Too much chemical-based cosmetic products like cremes, lotions, make up products are harmful.
4.Alcohol /drugs consumption
5.Refined processed food and too much sugar


6.Chronic stress causes high cortisol level.
7.Sedantery lifestyle and lack of exercise.

Specific important ways which prevent facial ageing :


1.Exercise: Most preferably maintaining an active lifestyle with the routine exercise of 30 mins to1 hour is ideal.A particular activity like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is short periods of 7-10mins of intense exercise with intervals of rest, and low-intensity exercise is beneficial to keep the cortisol levelΒ optimum.Β 

2.Enhance the quality of sleep: Sleep induces the release of HGH, human growth hormone and Insulin growth factor-1, which helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen and proteoglycans.


3.Intemittent fasting: Fasting of at least 16 hours can stimulate autophagy, body’s renewal mechanism, activates the immune system. Fasting increases the antioxidant activity and increase stem cell production.
4: Foods:
Collagen rich foods: These foods are a rich source of collagen, amino acids and hyaluronic acids.
Fermented foods: bone broth, green leafy veggies, caviar or fish roe, citrus fruits, mushrooms and seaweeds. To know more about collagen, please refer to my previous post https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=4448&action=edit

Healthy fats: Omega 3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA found in oily fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines, nuts like walnuts, macadamia, pecan nuts, seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds.
Saturated fats like in grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil are very helpful.


Organic Acids: Organic acids promote the growth of probiotics in the body, which helps to support the immune system and the cell renewal process. Organic acids found in fermented foods like saurkraut, kombucha are quite known for beauty benefits. The citric acid found in citrus fruits is also vital. Enzyme rich foods: Enzymes are essential for digestion and absorption of proteins in the body. Certain fruits with individual enzymes present in each of them like papaya contain papain. Figs contain ficans. Pineapple contains bromelain and kiwi have actinidain are all-powerful proteolytic enzymes which helps in the polysaccharide metabolism and the digestive process. Fruits are also rich in antioxidants which prevent free radical damage.


Vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins D, K, E, A are all essential for the prevention of free radical damage and cells renewal process.

5.Essential oils: These natural oils work naturally on the skin by hydrating and moisturizing. Some commonly used oils for beauty purpose are geranium, frankincense, lavender, jojoba, myrrh, rose and rosemary.

So, it is crucial to understand that to have a healthy body, a glowing skin, and healthy hair; it is necessary to correct our food habits and lifestyle rather than spending an enormous amount on cosmetic treatments and beauty products. The approach should be inside out rather than external means.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

Food and mood πŸ˜‡

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe Sunday πŸ™‹πŸ»

There is an old Spanish proverb “The belly rules the mind” which is indeed true. Food, not only has a significant impact on the physical body and overall health but also on our day to day thinking, decision making, and the entire mental health as well. This saying has been prevalent among various faiths and belief systems from the ancient time. Science has proved in recent times in various researched-based studies.

According to the widely practised Yogic and Ayurvedic literature, everything that is matter arises from a fundamental source called Prakriti (meaning Mother Nature). So, the three primary Gunas (qualities) arises from Mother Nature. The three primary Gunas which are present in all objects and beings surrounding us are – Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. We, human unlike other beings or objects can choose the level of the three qualities in our individual lives and minds depending upon our choices of food, lifestyle and the kind of thoughts we like to cultivate. Our wellbeing and health mainly depend on these preferences. The three states are relative, and keep changing during our day to day life depending on our food choices and lifestyle preferences. Therefore, the three states are:

Satva: It is a state of beingness, in balance, in harmony and a favourable condition. For these qualities to nurture, we need to adapt to the food, that comes directly from Mother Nature. The food that comes from the soil and not from factories. To maintain calmness of mind, we have to adopt and practise Yoga, meditation regularly, which keep the mind stable and peaceful. Such a state is an ideal state of health and wellbeing free from diseases.

Rajas: This is the state of mind related to desires, passion, longing and attachment to worldly pleasures, excessive material goods, excessive work, excessive exercising and even extreme thinking. When we have this state of mind, there is craving for fried, spicy food and stimulants like alcohol, smoking and all sorts of other stimulants.

Tamas: This state of mind is darkness, ignorance and passive.
It is the most unproductive state of mind. Such a state mainly attracts overeating, oversleeping, passive state, fearful state. This state of mind mostly attracts fatty meat, processed and refined food.

So, the kind of food, we have on our plate, that we consume every day, or with each meal determines the state of mind, thought process, our prospects of the world, people around us. Therefore, in yogic practises, the ultimate goal is to cultivate the practice of Satva, adopt Satvic food to be close to our Creator, our beingness, our most authentic self.

Not just mentioned in ancient literature, food impact on both physical and mental health have been studied in several research-based projects all over the world in recent times. For decades, we have been surrounded by sugary, refined, processed and fatty foods, which are like impossible to avoid. Because of their easy accessibility, binging on this kind of foods has made it difficult for the body to deal with them. Apart from causing multiple physical health issues, including lifestyle diseases and obesity, they are grievous for our mental health and brain too. Researches have found out; junk foods are not only killing our health but also causes the shrinking of our brain. The primary functions of the brain being the cognitive functions, the ability to think, perform challenging tasks have found to impact the wrong kind of nutrition. Such a diet is found to have a long term effect on normal brain activities and memory. Habitual intake of such foods changes and alter the programming of the brain.

An Australian study found that not just in the adults and adolescence. Still, pregnant women, too who fed on junk foods, gave birth to children who were more aggressive, fearful, throw tantrums and has less tolerable personality. Without Omega 3 fatty acids, and other nutrients dense food, the brain does not develop naturally.Some more information on Omega three fatty acids https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=3844&action=edit

So to conclude, the impact of nutrition in the overall health is wholesome. Not just the diseases but also chronic health issues like autoimmune diseases, obesity, heart diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cancers, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid issues can be controlled and well managed by changing the diet and lifestyle. Even the impact of nutrition on mental health has been immense. So, with proper diet and lifestyle changes, depression, mood disorders and day to day cognitive functions thought process, task performance, agility, tolerance, decision-making skills could all be improved.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

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6 natural ways of Thyroid care πŸ™Œ

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day πŸ™‹πŸ»

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The thyroid gland is butterfly-shaped in the neck, which is responsible for metabolism and growth. This gland mainly secretes hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. It is controlled by the pituitary gland which is called the master gland of the hormonal axis. Thyroid problems are widespread and experienced by millions, but about 60% of such cases remain undiagnosed. Thyroid problems are elevated these days because of high stress in day to day life, unhealthy food habits, sedentary lifestyle, and perhaps increase in top environmental toxins. Though thyroid problems can appear in both men and women, but women are most likely to be affected than men. Although there is no specific cause, the reason can be due to estrogen dominance, a state where the estrogen level is elevated than the progesterone level.

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Thyroid issues can be broad as
#dietary deficiency like iodine deficiency such as in case of goitre  

#autoimmune in origins like hypothyroidism called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism called Graves disease.

#Thyroid nodules.

Symptoms depend on different conditions. Common symptoms for thyroid problems can be:
tiredness,
fast heartbeats,
fatigue,
weightloss (hyperthyroid) or weight gain (hypothyroid),
irritability,
anxiety,
heat intolerance and 
irregular menstrual cycle.
The association of thyroid issues with irregularity or imbalance in women reproductive hormones have been quite relevant. There is a significant association of thyroid issues with conditions like uterine fibroid, endometriosis, menstrual irregularities, premenstrual symptoms (PMS), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and difficulty in menopause.

According to modern medicine, depending upon the thyroid hormone levels in the blood, physical examination, ultrasound and physical symptoms, the diagnosis is confirmed. Drugs are given as a substitute for thyroid hormones in case hypothyroidism.

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But in general, the thyroid gland can be maintained healthily by changing our food habits and lifestyle. 6 natural ways are: 
1.Food: Apple, coconut, yoghurt, beans, spinach, onions, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, mango, olive oil, garlic, mushroom, nuts, sea fishes like sardines and salmon, using natural rock salt in meals.

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2. Avoiding junk food and soya products.

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3. Daily yoga and meditation are beneficial;

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4. The message of the gland with pure cold-pressed walnut oil or red onion (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties) can help significantly to reduce inflammation around the organ.
5. Vitamin D, Selenium and magnesium supplementation are helpful.

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6. Detoxifying: our body is highly equipped with organs (liver, kidneys, skin, lungs) to eliminate toxins. We do not require expensive therapies or sessions or any special diet for detoxification. We, need to stick to a clean diet, plenty of fluids, proper sleep, no excess processed food, sugar and alcohol to enhance the natural detoxification process.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’