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The signs you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to eye care!

Eye care: Don’t ignore the signs of vision loss!

Could you imagine life with little or no vision? While you may think that your eyesight is fine if you’re still able to see at a distance, impaired vision is not the only sign that you need eye care products, or a visit to the ophthalmologist. Take a look at whether your eyes are hinting at vision problems:

Blurry vision

If you suddenly find it difficult to focus on objects, and feel like your vision is becoming a little blurry, don’t ignore it! This is one of the most common signs of vision problems, and could even be a sign that you’ve got health issues. The reason you shouldn’t ignore blurred vision is that its causes include serious conditions such as myopia (near-sightedness), presbyopia, dry eyes and cataracts. Other factors that can leave you with a blurry vision include migraines and sensitivity to light.

Flashes of light

Another way your eyes could be hinting at vision problems is if you suddenly see flashes of light. These are called floaters, and they usually obstruct your vision, leading to vision-threatening disorders. This condition is usually a result of posterior vitreous detachment – a natural effect of ageing – where the gel-like vitreous that is present behind your eye lens, loses contact with your retina.

Headaches 

This may be one of the most common signs of an eye care problem, but it’s also one of the most commonly ignored! Frequent headaches are an early warning sign as they indicate eye strain. So instead of taking a paracetamol, read our eye health care tips below and visit an ophthalmologist if nothing changes.

Eye fatigue

Can’t sleep because your eyes hurt when you close your eyes? Finding it hard to concentrate because there’s a throbbing sensation under your eyelids? Your eyes are screaming out for help! Any sort of eye fatigue is a sign that you’re getting vision problems. Prolonged periods of driving, reading or writing result in eye fatigue. You should also factor in the time you spend in front of a computer screen or your smartphone, as using either of the two for a long period of time causes eye fatigue.

Light sensitivity

Do you have to squint when you wake up in the morning because your eyes aren’t ready for the sunlight? If you’ve suddenly started being uncomfortable around bright lights, your eyes are probably telling you that they need better care! Known as photophobia, this is a symptom of a number of conditions such as corneal abrasion and uveitis as well as a few non-eye related disorders such as meningitis. Photophobia can also occur if you wear badly-fitted contact lenses and if you’ve contracted an infection in your eyes.

KEEP YOUR EYES HEALTHY!

Now that you know how to determine whether you’re suffering from poor eye care, follow these tips for healthy eyes.

One of the most important things to do is to eat food for eye health. The better your diet is, the healthier your eyes will be. Green leafy vegetables, oily fish such as salmon and tuna, protein and citrus fruits are beneficial. If you’re uncertain about what kind of foods to choose, remember to pick those that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Antioxidants are your body’s best defense against free radicals. Radicals are damaged cells born as a result of oxygen reacting with your body’s cells. These free radicals can attack your healthy body cells and damage their DNA, which can cause severe diseases, including eye disorders. Vitamins on the other hand, help to prevent cataracts, macular degeneration and dry eyes.

Your lifestyle habits matter as well. Cut down on the time you spend looking at the computer screen and your smartphone in order to avoid tired eyes. Another trick you can follow is to reduce the brightness of your device and taking periodic breaks while you’re doing eye-intensive tasks such as reading. Make sure you wear sunglasses when you’re out in the sun – especially if you suffer from light sensitivity. Sunglasses will reduce your exposure to bright light and will also prevent momentary blurred vision, which takes place because of photophobia.

Apart from your diet and lifestyle habits, resting your eyes is another crucial aspect when it comes to ensuring healthy eyes. One of the best ways to do is eye palming, a simple exercise that will relax your eye muscles and help fight fatigue. Rub your hands together till you feel some heat and then place your palms over both your eyes. Hold this position for a few seconds and then repeat – this will instantly refresh you as well as your eyes.

Another great exercise involves focusing on distant objects and is especially helpful to help beat the effects of staring at electronic devices. Stand near a window and focus on an object that is around 50 feet away (looking at trees is a good idea, because the color green soothes your eyes) for around 10 seconds. Now look back into your room and focus on an object close by for the same duration of time. Repeat a few times to exercise the muscles in your eyes.

Picking up eye care products can also go a long way in helping to keep your vision healthy. Vitamin and mineral supplements help make sure your eyes are well protected. Pick a multivitamin tablet such as HealthVit, which has antioxidants and vitamins that help with eye care.  Another great product is vegetarian capsules from Unived, which contain micro-algae that contribute to eye care.


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YOU COULD BE CAUSING YOUR FATIGUE!

From tiredness and anxiety to dizziness and excessive sleepiness, dealing with fatigue on a daily basis can be really hard. Even if you get the required 6-8 hours of sleep every night and have a healthy exercise routine, some of your habits may be the surprising cause of your decreasing energy levels. Take a look at what you’re doing wrong!

FatigueDehydration

Did you know that your blood volume is determined by how hydrated you are? Blood volume is responsible for how efficiently nutrients and oxygen run through your bloodstream. When you’re dehydrated, you experience dizziness and excessive sleepiness. Also, your body gets less fluids and your blood volume reduces. So, even if you’re mildly dehydrated – you could end up feeling fatigued!

Sugar

The next time you need a pick-me-up try not to resort to sugary food, as they lower your energy levels. Refined sugar raises blood sugar levels and when they’re elevated, your body releases insulin. This triggers tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin – the eventual result is fatigue! Increase your intake of vitamins and super foods as you reduce your consumption of sugary foods to avoid vitamin deficiency symptoms and balance your diet. You can start taking antioxidant capsules that contain acai berry, which, unlike sugar, stimulates your immune system, fighting fatigue.

fatiguAlcohol

It may be known as a nightcap, but it isn’t going to help you sleep any better! Drinking alcohol just before you go to bed will help you fall asleep faster as it can lead to excessive sleepiness, but it reduces REM sleep. REM is Rapid Eye Moment – which is when you sleep deeply enough to dream. Not having enough of this sleep elevates the symptoms of fatigue when you wake up.

Technology

If you need to watch that latest television show at night or you can’t ignore a late-night text, be prepared to experience fatigue the next day! The artificial light in devices such as your phone and TV disrupts the production of melatonin, which is a chemical that regulates your sleep cycle.

Skipping breakfast

Even if you’re not hungry, you need to eat a hearty, healthy breakfast. And no, that granola bar doesn’t count. Think about it this way – your body has been devoid of nutrition for at least (if you’re sleeping well!) 6-8 hours. So, it’s no surprise really that skipping the first meal of the day will make you tired through the rest of it. However, make sure that the foods you consume are healthy enough to keep fatigue at bay.


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Join the Rainbow Brigade – Eat a Rainbow! (Oprah Winfrey does too!)

fruits-vegetables-rainbow

Better nutrition means cutting out the bad, most certainly! But adding in the good is the good part! But what is healthy food? You can’t go wrong with anything that has bright, vibrant colors—think fruits and vegetables, in Rainbow Colors!!! Oprah has endorsed this often.

Red
Red or rosy-hued fruits and vegetables offer an important antioxidant called lycopene, with health benefits like protecting the skin from sun damage, decreasing the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
Cooked tomatoes have more lycopene, so ketchup, sauce & salsa are not only fun but are good too! Red Bell Pepper pack twice the vitamin C and 9times as much vitamin A as green ones, fighting everything from asthma to cancer to cataracts.

Orange
The vitamin C in orange fruits & vegetables has phytonutrients known to lower blood pressure and contain strong anti-inflammatory properties. Juice is good, but the real fruit is even better, and the peel is bestest!!!.
Also recommended are Sweet Potato, with beta-carotene & fiber, Carrot, with the richest carotene content ever and Cantaloupe!

Yellow
Close relatives to orange foods, they are also rich in carotenoids. They are shown to decrease the likelihood for such diseases as lung cancer and arthritis, decrease inflammation in the joints, improve the functioning of the respiratory system.
Yellow Bell Pepper provide two and a half times the amount of vitamin C you’d get from an orange.
Pineapple, Corn, loaded with thiamin, which plays a central role in energy production and cognitive function, Banana, loaded with potassium, which strengthens bones, Yellow Squash with its dollops of fiber, manganese, magnesium and folate are great health troves.

Green
Green foods deliver vitamins capable of strengthening bones, muscles and brains. And they an amazing source of antioxidants that, among other benefits, promotes healthy vision.
Avocado, bursting with monounsaturated fats are great for your heart.
Zucchini, a diverse source of nutrients, has omega-3, copper and more, while Brussels Sprouts is one of the strongest natural cancer-fighters. Asparagus, can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in our large intestines, while Romaine Lettuce offers a bouquet of benefits – everything from bone-strengthening vitamin K to folic acid, essential to cardiovascular health. Broccoli have two days’ worth of vitamins C and K in each serving, Kale is a low-calorie source of calcium, and Spinach is one of your best sources of folate, which keeps the body in good supply of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Green Peas abound in vitamins and minerals, plus more fiber than most whole-wheat breads.

Blue, indigo and purple
These foods get their colors from the presence of a unique set of antioxidants called flavonoids, known to improve cardiovascular health and prevent short-term memory loss. They promote new cell growth, fight disease, have Vitamin C & folates.
Blueberries, Eggplant, Blackberries are heroes! Beets derive their color from a cancer-fighting pigment called betacyanin and is rich with fiber, potassium and manganese; while Plums have also been shown to help the body absorb iron better.

True, a lot of these good components are available through organic health supplements, but it is good to have a basic diet that is naturally healthy too, especially for children!

Ready to go grocery shopping? Now you know you need to look for the rainbow to eat!

kids-eating-greens1

Source of information: Men’s Health Magazine

 


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Boost your vision with these super nutrients and minerals!

Getting enough vitamins and minerals through the foods you eat do wonders for you body, but what about your eyes? With all this technology in our lives, our eyes get no rest from computer screens, TV screens, phone screens – practically everything we use today is brightly lit and strains our eyes and vision more than we can imagine. There are certain nutrients that are especially good for giving your vision a boost, according to the California Optometric Association.

Eyes

The nutrients that improve your vision and help minimize the effects of everyday strain are:

LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN: Research has shown that both these nutrients may help reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Where to get it: Green leafy vegetables, Eggs.

VITAMIN C: Some studies have shown that Vitamin C may help lower the risk of developing cataracts – clouding of the lens in the eye— when taken in conjunction with other nutrients, and maybe even slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.

Where to get it: Guavas, Oranges, Red and Green Peppers, Kiwis, Grapefruits.

VITAMIN E: This is a powerful antioxidant that experts believe might help protect eye cells from damage caused by free radicals, which break down healthy tissue.

Where to get it: Spinach, Broccoli, Almonds, Sunflower seeds.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be important for proper visual development and retinal function. They may help maintain the integrity of the nervous system, fuel cells, and maybe even boost the immune system.

Where to get them: Ground flaxseeds, Walnuts, Soybeans, Salmon, Tuna.

ZINC: This mineral just might play a role in helping guide Vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is concentrated in the eye—mostly in the retina and choroid (the vascular tissue layer lying under the retina).

Where to get it: Whole grains, Dairy, Oysters, Red meat, Poultry.

 


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What is Amaranth and why you should eat it!

 

Amaranth is a tiny, yellow grain. It can be bought as a whole grain (pearled Amaranth), as a flour, or as rolled flakes. It’s also found as an ingredient in cereals and crackers. Amaranth is a genus of herbs that contain over 60 species with a variety of colors and uses. Many of these species are considered weeds; however, people around the world consume Amaranth as grains, vegetables and cereals for their many health benefits. Amaranth has a long history and has been in use for many centuries by many different cultures. Amaranth was a key part of the diets of the pre-Columbian Aztecs, and it was used not just for food, but also as part of their religious ceremonies.

amaranth

1. It’s Actually A Seed: Like quinoa, Amaranth is not technically a grain but is the seed of the amaranth plant. One plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds.

2. Amaranth Is Gluten-Free: Amaranth doesn’t contain any gluten, which makes it a great choice for people who are celiac or gluten intolerant and an excellent way to boost the nutritional power of gluten-free recipes.

3. It Contains Lysine: Most grains like wheat are short on lysine, an amino acid, but that’s not the case for Amaranth. This makes Amaranth a complete protein, because it contains all the essential amino acids. Amaranth has a good amount of lysine which helps the body absorb calcium, build muscle and produce energy.

4. Amaranth Contains Protein: Amaranth’s protein content is about 13 percent, or 26 grams per cup, which is much higher than most other grains, like a cup of long-grain white rice has just 13 grams of protein. Amaranth is a very rich source of protein and this protein is also very bio-available. The protein in Amaranth is more digestible than other grains and has been compared to the digestibility of milk protein.

5. The Plant Is Hardy: Amaranth prefers a high elevation, but can grow at almost any elevation in temperate climates if it has moist, loose soil with good drainage. It can also survive in low-water conditions once the plants have been established.

6. You Can Eat Other Parts Of The Plant: Amaranth seeds may be the best-known part of the plant, which has more than 60 different species, but the leaves are also edible. They’re commonly used in Asian and Caribbean cuisines — try them stir-fried or chopped and added to soup.

7. It’s A Source Of Key Vitamins And Minerals: Amaranth contains Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Iron. One cup of uncooked Amaranth has 31 percent of the RDA for calcium, 14 percent for Vitamin C, and a whopping 82 percent for Iron.

A

The Amaranth plant

8. Humans Have Eaten It For Millennia: It’s estimated that Amaranth was first domesticated 6,000 to 8,000 years ago, which means we’ve been eating it for a very long time. Considering how easily and quickly it grows, that makes sense!

9. Amaranth Can Be Popped: Popped Amaranth, just like popped popcorn, is used in Mexico as a topping for toast, among other things. It looks like tiny popcorn kernels and has a nutty taste, and you can even do it yourself at home.

10. It Grows Around The World: Though Amaranth is considered a native plant of Peru, it is now grown around the world in countries including China, Russia, Thailand, Nigeria and Mexico. It has also become a part of the cuisines of parts of India, Nepal and the African continent. There are even farmers growing it in parts of the United States, including Nebraska and North Dakota.

11. Amaranth Is Good For Your Heart: Several studies have shown that Amaranth could have cholesterol-lowering potential. Amaranth has Phytosterols, which have cholesterol-cutting properties. The fiber and phytonutrients in Amaranth lower blood pressure according to some recent studies. This grain tackles cholesterol, inflammation and blood pressure, making it all around a good food for heart health.

12. It’s A Great Breakfast Option: Amaranth’s tiny grains take on a porridge-like texture when cooked, making it a great option for your first meal of the day. In fact, Amaranth porridge is a traditional breakfast in India, Peru, Mexico and Nepal.

13. It Can Help Keep You Regular: Among its other impressive nutritional stats, Amaranth is also a great source of fibre with 13 grams of dietary fibre per uncooked cup compared to just 2 grams for the same amount of long-grain white rice.

14. Disease Prevention: The anti-inflammatory properties in the peptides and oils of Amaranth can ease pain and reduce inflammation. This is especially important for chronic conditions where inflammation erodes at health, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The same peptides in Amaranth that protect against inflammation may also help prevent Cancer. The antioxidants in this grain may also help protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Amaranth may boost immune function according to some studies, thanks to the potent vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it contains.

15. Prevents Grey Hair: Amaranth helps prevent premature greying, mainly due to the minerals.

Amaranth has a modest amount of oxalic acid. It should be avoided or only moderately used by those with gout, kidney problems, or rheumatoid arthritis.


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Wah Chai! Why is Tea such a good morning beverage!

Image

The incredible goodness of your morning cuppa tea!

You love your hot morning cup of tea don’t you? It picks you up, wakes you to possibilities of a brand new day and is really good for your health as well. Do you know, Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water and for a lot of people it’s a way of life.

Drinking three to four cups of tea is recommended and can be great for your health. It replaces fluids and contains flavanoids with antioxidant properties. So what can be a healthier tea than organic tea?

Types of Organic Tea and Benefits

 

Many conventional tea plantations are converting to organic after seeing the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The conventional way is non-sustainable, leads to soil erosion and disease, and the pesticides are a health hazard for the workers who pick the leaves. The naturally-grown tea is said to provide a fuller and richer taste, which is healthier for consumption.

What is tea?

Tea is the dried and processed leaves of a species of plant called Camellia sinensis. The infusion of these leaves in hot water is what makes up tea. There are four main types of tea – White, Green, Oolong and Black.

The difference between these teas is in the harvesting and the drying process. The darker the tea, the more processing it has undergone – this strips away some of the beneficial nutrients.

White Tea is the rarest type of tea, made from the young leaves that are picked before the buds have fully opened. White tea undergoes minimal processing, keeping it close to it’s natural state.

Green Tea. The health benefits associated with green tea has made it a very popular drink worldwide. This milder type of tea is made from only the leaf bud and the top two leaves. The leaves are simply withered and then roasted or dried.

Oolong Tea is a traditional Chinese type of tea, somewhere in between green and black in oxidation.

Black Tea is the most popular variety of tea. The leaves undergo a complex fermentation process which reduces its antioxidant content, is generally stronger in flavour and contains more caffeine.

 The Benefits of Tea

Medical research is finding the healing benefits of tea. It is suggested that it may help to prevent everything from tooth cavities to Parkinson’s disease. Tea also contains antioxidants and trace amounts of various nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium and the vitamins A, C, E and K. In general, consumption of tea may prevent or improve conditions such as arthritis, bone density, heart disease and cataracts.

 Organic tea has various benefits:

White Tea builds up the immune system in the fight against viral and bacterial infections and helps prevent tooth decay, and helps to fight and kill cancer cells.

Green Tea has a positive effect on almost every organ in the human body; the antioxidants help to prevent toxins that build up from unnecessary oxygen, helps prevent cancer by blocking compounds with polyphenols, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, and increases HDL (good cholesterol), among many other healing properties.

Oolong Tea has anti-oxidant properties and reduces the risk of high blood pressure and Black Tea relaxes and expands arteries, decreasing your chances of a heart attack or stroke.

What are Herbal Teas?

Herbal teas are not actually teas. They are referred to as infusions or tisanes, and are a simple and effective way of extracting the goodness and flavour from the aerial parts of herbs. Tisanes can be made with fresh or dried leaves, soft stems, flowers, seeds or roots.

Often herbal teas are consumed for their physical or medicinal effects, especially as a stimulant, relaxant or sedative. They may also contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

There are some precautions to be observed when enjoying herbal teas:

Avoid all strong herbal teas during the first three months of pregnancy.

Do not exceed the recommended measures of ingredients or frequency of drinking.

It is recommended that before you consume any amount of herbal tea you do a “taste test” to ensure that you do not have an allergic reaction to a particular herbal tea.

Some popular herbal teas are Chamomile, Ginger, Peppermint, Rooibos  and Echinacea. They all have proven good effects on health, well-being and healing.  

So, when next you feel like pick-me-up, remember the benefits of pouring yourself a good “cuppa” tea! Enjoy the aroma and the goodness!

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