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The secret to a smart brain!

You’ve gotten enough sleep, you’re prepared to face the day – but your brain feels sluggish, tired and forgetful. If you suffer from memory loss, can’t focus on the smallest tasks and spend your days wishing you could be more productive, your brain is probably unhealthy! It is very important to improve brain power, as keeping your brain inactive can lead to forgetfulness and make you unable to focus. This may not seem like such a big deal, but in the long run, an unhealthy brain could lead to serious issues such as dementia.

Staying sharp in your daily life is not something you would spend too much time worrying about, but you should! From eating food for brain to learning how to improve your brain memory, there are several lifestyle changes that can work wonders.

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Spend time with a pet

Very often, the reason we’re unable to focus is not because we’re not exercising our brains enough, but because we’re tired, stressed and upset. Spending time with a pet is therapeutic, helps you get daily exercise and really improves your mood! All of this is a great way to improve brain health.

 Eat some brain herbs!

Herbs are perfect for you if you’ve been wondering how to improve brain power. From ashwaghanda and tulsi to vacha and gotu kola, Indian herbs help to keep you sharp while eliminating stress, which, if not controlled, can sometimes hamper your brain function. Include herbs in your diet to keep your brain healthy.

 Sniff an essential oil

This is a little trick that can improve clarity in a jiffy! If you’re feeling foggy and your brain seems muddled, all you need to do is sniff on some stimulating peppermint or keep basil oil. The essential oils improve focus and cut out mental fatigue.

 Eat breakfast

Every morning – and make sure it’s a really good one! What you eat directly affects your memory, so if you’re wondering how to improve brain power, a good diet is your answer. Make sure you’re getting a healthy amount of nutrients to improve energy levels and keep your brain sharp. Eat food such as tomatoes, which contain antioxidants that help keep your brain cells healthy, and spinach, which contains potassium that helps make your brain more responsive. Also eat brain foods such as almonds.

 Cut out coffee for tea

And make sure it’s green tea! The antioxidants, flavonoids and stimulants in the tea will help ensure that your brain stays active and energetic throughout the day, without the harmful effects of excessive caffeine that you can get from consuming too much coffee.

shutterstock_147162674Exercise!

This is extremely relevant because exercise helps you stay energetic. Activity improves cognitive function, which in turn enhances your memory and keeps your brain sharp. Exercise also helps to encourage the growth of new brain cells, helping you to learn and retain things at a faster pace. You could perform yoga, dance, or just take the stairs every day!


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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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Get rid of back pain – the natural way!

Whether you’ve had a bad fall like Madonna did at the BRIT awards, or just have a sudden ache in your back, you may feel the muscles near your spine stiffening and becoming tense. If so, you’re probably suffering from back pain, which is usually caused by bad posture, incorrect sleeping positions or even just by bending the wrong way. Whether it’s slip disc or sciatica (a nerve related lower back pain), you don’t have to run to the medicine cabinet! Painkillers may seem like an easy back pain treatment, but these natural remedies, combined with some rest and relaxation, will work much better!

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Stretch it out!

If you don’t stretch enough, you’re going to be hit by back pain that’s caused by stiff muscles. Make it a point to stretch as soon as you wake up in the morning and a few times through your day as well. Light stretches help alleviate, treat and prevent a backache.

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Use a hot or cold compress

It’s no surprise that using a combination of heat and cold works wonders for your back pain. When your back begins to hurt though, the best thing to use is a cold compress, because the cold reduces swelling and inflammation that is causing the back pain, temporarily keeping pain signals at bay. Steady heat improves blood circulation and reduces the painful ache that can come hours after you’ve applied the cold compress, so remember to follow it up with a hot one!

Make sure that you’re getting enough vitamins

Nutritional deficiencies lead to a lack of calcium in your bones, which ultimately leads to joint, muscle, and in turn, back pain. Taking vitamin supplements can help for those who can’t get the balance right with their diets. Remember to get enough Vitamin D3 (an active form of vitamin D, which you can also get from good exposure to the sun!) in order to help your bones stay strong.

Use a kitchen remedy

Your kitchen is one of the best places to look for a back pain remedy! From alfalfa sprouts and turmeric to garlic oil and lemon juice, several ingredients can work wonders for your backache. Vinegar in particular is a boon, but not just any vinegar! While regular, white vinegar has gotten a bad reputation for properties that weaken your bones, apple cider vinegar works wonders for joint pain! If you mix it with turmeric, you’ve got a stellar combination, because while the apple cider works to keep your bones healthy, turmeric works to loosen stiff joints and reduce inflammation.

Be active

When your back is getting you down, don’t run to your bed and lie in all weekend! Staying stiff and inactive when your back hurts will actually worsen the problem. Instead, move around as much as you can without straining your back. A few light back pain exercises and some back strengthening yoga will help ease the backache while preventing further damage!