29 01 2017

Chances are that you have heard about a trend called oil pulling. While this trend seems to be rather new, it actually has been around for a very long time. Oil pulling was primarily used by Ayurvedic medicine. The process involves swishing about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes and then spitting it out.


Unlike many of the latest health trend fads and natural home remedies, oil pulling is actually based on science. Just as we are able to tell a person’s health by looking at their tongue, Ayurveda teaches that each section of the tongue is connected to different organs in our bodies, such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, intestines, etc.

Here are some of the reported benefits of oil pulling:

  • Whitens teeth
  • Prevents dental plaques, cavities and gingivitis
  • Eliminates bad breath
  • Improves respiratory health
  • Boosts immune system
  • Strengthens health of teeth, gums and jaw
  • Heals gum bleeding
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces sinus infections and headaches
  • Improves skin conditions
  • Reduces silent inflammation



There are three oils that are commonly used for oil pulling: sesame, sunflower, and coconut. While all of these oils offer bacteria fighting benefits, it is often recommended that you use coconut oil because it contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is known for having anti-microbial agents, which makes using coconut oil for oil pulling much more effective.


When you first start oil pulling, it is recommended to try for about 5 minutes a day, and work it up to 20 minutes. Do this first thing when you wake up, before brushing teeth: Put a spoonful of oil of choice in your mouth, and then go about doing your morning routine of preparing breakfast and time will be up before you know it.

Swish the oil gently in your mouth, not like how you would gargle mouth wash, but just gently. It is true that the longer that you swish the more bacteria you will pull. 15-20 minutes will be good enough time to see the immense benefits

It is important that you do not swallow the oil. If the amount in your mouth makes it hard not to swallow, spit it out and try again with a smaller amount. You should never spit the oil into your sink as it could harden and clog up the pipes, especially in cold climates. Spit the oil out in your trash bin instead.

Rinse your mouth out with warm water and brush your teeth gently as normal. Repeat three or four times a week for best result.



Oil pulling is something that can be done by anyone and everyone will see some benefits of the process. For those who juice or drink a lot of acidic beverages, oil pulling can be extremely beneficial. Oil pulling can help get rid of these acids and protect your oral health.

It is important to remember that oil pulling should not replace regular brushing and flossing. You should also still visit the dentist on a regular basis for care. Oil pulling will not reverse tooth decay, but it can be helpful as an additional therapy.

Kids should eat peanuts early and often to reduce allergy risk

6 01 2017

(Reuters Health) – Parents should feed image_january-05-2017_reuters_peanutbabies creamy peanut butter or puréed food with nut powder when infants are 4 to 6 months old to help lower the risk of life-threatening allergies, new U.S. guidelines urge.
For most babies — kids without severe eczema or egg allergies that make peanut allergies more likely — new guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommend introducing foods containing peanuts as soon as babies are able to tolerate other solid foods.
“For most infants, introduction can be done at home,” said allergist Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, chair of the food allergy committee for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and a co-author of the guidelines.
“Whole peanuts should never be given to any child under the age of 4, as it they are a choking hazard,” Greenhawt added by email.
The new guidelines are a radical departure from recommendations in 2000 that advised against giving babies peanuts before age 3. Revised recommendations in 2008 had suggested no food be delayed past 4 to 6 months but failed offer specific guidance on when to feed babies peanuts.
Peanut allergies are a leading cause of death from food allergies in the U.S. and the new guidelines aim to alter this statistic by helping babies get an early taste that will make severe allergic reactions less likely.
Some allergic reactions can be mild with symptoms like hives or nausea, but more serious reactions can lead to anaphylaxis, when the airways tighten to the point where it’s impossible to breathe. People with anaphylaxis can die if they don’t get immediate medical help.
As doctors and parents change their approach to peanuts to follow the new guidelines, early exposure should help dramatically curb the number of children who develop severe allergies, doctors say.
Under the new guidelines, most babies can have peanuts introduced at home by parents or caregivers, but infants with severe eczema or egg allergies should see an allergist first. A specialist can test for peanut allergies and if necessary, give babies their first taste of peanuts during a doctor visit.
These precautions are for infants with severe eczema that doesn’t respond to treatment with moisturizer or corticosteroid creams or ointments, not babies with temporary rashes.
“Infants without severe eczema or egg allergy are unlikely to have peanut allergy by 4-6 months, although they still have a risk for developing peanut allergy later, especially if they are not fed peanut in early infancy,” Dr. Robert Boyle, a researcher at Imperial College London who wasn’t involved in the guidelines, said by email.
In infants without eczema or any food allergies, parents should feel comfortable giving babies a taste of peanuts after they are accustomed to eating other solid foods, said Dr. Sandra Hong, an allergy and immunology specialist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio who wasn’t involved in the new guidelines.
“These guidelines are different than what some doctors may be currently recommending because, previously, the practice was to avoid the highly allergenic foods for risk of developing an allergy,” Hong said by email.
The new advice follows trial results reported in February 2015 that showed regular peanut consumption begun in infancy and continued until 5 years of age led to an 81 percent reduction in development of peanut allergy in infants deemed at high risk because they already had severe eczema, egg allergy or both.
“Monumental trials have shown that prevention or food allergies can occur with early introduction of peanut and egg into the diet,” Hong said.
The guidelines are being published simultaneously in several journals including the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
SOURCE: bit.ly/2jfX3xn Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, online January 5, 2017.

Tips for a longer life

27 12 2016

No matter what your age, you have the power to change many of the variables that influence how long you live, and how active and vital you feel in your later years. Actions you can take to increase your odds of a longer and more satisfying life span are really quite simple:

  1. Don’t smoke.
  2. Enjoy physical and mental activities every day.
  3. Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and substitute healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats.
  4. Take a daily multivitamin, and be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight and body shape.
  6. Challenge your mind. Keep learning and trying new activities.
  7. Build a strong social network.
  8. Follow preventive care and screening guidelines.
  9. Floss, brush, and see a dentist regularly.
  10. Ask your doctor if medication can help you control the potential long-term side effects of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, or high cholesterol.

Smoking: An enemy of longevity

If you want to live a long, healthy life, make sure you’re among the nonsmokers. Smoking contributes to heart disease, osteoporosis, emphysema and other chronic lung problems, and stroke. It makes breathing during exercise much harder and thus can make activity less enticing. It appears to compromise memory, too.

The news does get better. People who quit smoking can repair some, if not all, of the damage done. After a smoker quits, the risk of heart disease begins to drop within a few months, and in five years, it matches that of someone who never smoked. Stroke risk drops to equal that of a nonsmoker within two to four years after a smoker quits, according to one study. The death rate from colorectal cancer also decreases each year after quitting. At any age, quitting progressively cuts your risk of dying from cancer related to smoking, although this drop is most marked in those who quit before age 50.

Diet and aging: Gaining a nutritional edge

Plenty of research suggests that eating healthy foods can help extend your life and improve your health. Studies reveal that a healthy diet can help you sidestep ailments that plague people more as they age, including heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and cataracts.

There is no shortage of new and conflicting advice on diet and nutrition. Stick to the basics with more broad-based changes, such as cutting back on meat; eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; and striking a healthy balance between calories in and calories out.

Choose fruits and vegetables wisely

Get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. When filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose from a full color palette. For even more health benefits, aim for nine servings a day. To get there, choose vegetable soups and vegetable or fruit salads. Sprinkle fruit on breakfast cereal, and select it for snacks or as a sweet end note after meals.

Choose fats wisely

Whenever possible, use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Avoid trans fats entirely. Limit saturated fats to less than 7% of daily calories and total fat to 20% to 30% of daily calories.

If you don’t have coronary artery disease, the American Heart Association recommends eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, or mackerel, twice weekly. If you have documented coronary artery disease, consume roughly 1 gram a day of EPA or DHA from oily fish and supplements if your doctor advises this.

Choose carbohydrates wisely

Choose whole-grain foods over those made with refined grains, such as white bread. Look beyond popular choices like whole oats and brown rice to lesser-known whole grains like barley, bulgur, kasha, and quinoa. Limit your intake of white potatoes.

Choosing protein wisely

Emphasize plant sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and grains, to help you bypass unhealthy fats predominant in animal sources. Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables and eating beans and grains helps you get a full complement of amino acids over the course of a week. Shy away from protein sources high in saturated fat. Favor fish and well-trimmed poultry. If you do eat beef, pick lean cuts.

Don’t char or overcook meat, poultry, or fish — it causes a buildup of carcinogens. Cutting off fat, which causes flames to flare on the grill, can help avoid charring; try gently sautéing, steaming, or braising these foods in liquid instead. Grilling vegetables is safe, however.

Turning the tide on weight gain

Turning the tide to lose weight — or just holding the line at your current weight — can be difficult. The following tips may help:

Line up support. Work with your doctor and, possibly, a nutritionist or personal trainer. Ask for help in setting a reasonable goal and taking small steps that make success more likely. Tell friends and family about your goal, too.

Shut down the kitchen. Make your kitchen off-limits after dinner — even if you need to run a strip of crime tape across the door to do so.

Aim for a small change. Trimming 5% to 10% of your starting weight is a realistic goal with excellent health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lowering the risk for diabetes.

Eat well. Focus on vegetables and whole grains, which are digested slowly. Limit refined carbohydrates. Enjoy moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet. Cut down on saturated fats and avoid trans fats.

Watch the balance. Taking in more calories than you burn off adds extra pounds. Burning off more calories than you take in shaves pounds. A moderately active person who gets about 30 minutes of exercise a day needs 15 calories of food for each pound of body weight. To lose a pound a week, you need to lop off about 500 calories a day by becoming more active and eating less.

Step up activity. If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight or need to lose weight, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 60 to 90 minutes a day of moderate activity. You can work out in one daily session or shorter bouts at least 10 minutes long. Walking is safe for practically everyone. Talk to your doctor if you’d like to include more vigorous activities, which give you twice the bang for your exercise buck — that is, one minute of vigorous activity equals roughly two minutes of moderate activity.


12 Tips for Living a Longer Life

27 12 2016

Editors’ note: Though this article was first published last summer, we’re featuring it again because it’s never too late to live a longer life (until, of course, it is).

In this weekend’s article “My Dinner With Longevity Expert Dan Buettner (No Kale Required),” the author of “The Blue Zones Solution” cooked a meal of broccoli soup and Icarian stew (served with a few glasses of red wine) for the writer Jeff Gordinier. Since we can’t all have such a hands-on experience, here’s a round-up of Mr. Buettner’s advice for living a longer life.

Read the whole article here.

  1. Drink coffee.“It’s one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in the American diet.”
  2. Skip the juicing. “The glycemic index on that is as bad as Coke. For eight ounces, there’s 14 grams of sugar. People get suckered into thinking, ‘Oh, I’m drinking this juice.’ Skip the juicing. Eat the fruit. Or eat the vegetable.”
  3. You should also skip the protein shake.
  4. Go for long walks.
  5. It’s O.K. to drink red wine. “A glass of wine is better than a glass of water with a Mediterranean meal.”
  6. High-impact exercise winds up doing as much harm as good.“You can’t be pounding your joints with marathons and pumping iron. You’ll never see me doing CrossFit.” Instead stick to activities like biking, yoga and, yes, walking.
  7. Cook mostly vegetarian mealsthat are heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, 100 percent whole-grain bread, oatmeal and avocados.
  8. Hold the butter.“My view is that butter, lard and other animal fats are a bit like radiation: a dollop a couple of times a week probably isn’t going to hurt you, but we don’t know the safe level.” Use olive oil instead.
  9. Eat meat and fish only sparingly.
  10. Try to stay away from cow’s milk.Use soy milk instead.
  11. There’s no need to avoid carbs if you add freshly baked loaves of bread to a meal.“A true sourdough bread will actually lower the glycemic load of a meal. But it has to be a real sourdough bread.”
  12. Eat in good company. It’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat, and how much you and your friends enjoy a meal together: “The secret sauce is the right mix of friends.”


The benefits of magnesium supplementation

22 12 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Trianon International, which markets food supplements with scientifically proven health benefits, recently launched its brand of orally taken magnesium (Trimag 200 mg), which can help relieve constipation, maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keep the heart rhythm steady, and support a healthy immune system for better resistance against diseases.

According to Jo-Anne Arataquio, Trianon brand manager, among the many nutrients and minerals that circulate in the body, magnesium is one of those with many benefits but remain largely unnoticed and underappreciated.

“Magnesium is important in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly, and this explains why magnesium has many health benefits,” says Arataquio. “It’s unfortunate that many don’t realize they are lacking in this important nutrient.”

Some people may become magnesium-deficient if they have conditions that cause excessive urinary loss of magnesium, chronic malabsorption, severe diarrhea, and chronic or severe vomiting.

Hypertensive or heart patients taking diuretics can also have increased loss of magnesium in the urine, as well as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and immunosuppressive drugs, and those on some antibiotics like gentamicin and amphotericin.

Poorly controlled diabetes also increases loss of magnesium in the urine and may require magnesium supplementation. Routine supplementation with magnesium is not indicated for individuals with well-controlled diabetes.
Frequent alcohol intake can also increase risk for magnesium deficiency because alcohol increases urinary excretion of magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency has been reported in up to 60 percent of alcoholics, and in nearly 90 percent of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal.

Doctors should evaluate the need for extra magnesium in those who take alcohol in excess of what is recommended.

Based on published literature written by medical authorities, minor magnesium deficiency can cause the patient to experience appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness.

As the deficiency worsens, it could eventually lead to numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps. And if the patient reaches the point of severe magnesium deficiency, it could result in seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms, and personality changes as well.

Other common medical ailments that are associated with magnesium deficiency that could be prevented with supplements such as Trimag, include migraine, constipation, muscle cramps, and depression.

The Trianon magnesium supplement has been developed into easy-to-take capsules so that people can easily make it a part of their daily dietary intake. It is recommended to be taken at a dose of one to two capsules per day. Trimag is available in Mercury Drug and all leading drugstores nationwide.


6 best Pinoy Fruits and Vegetables

18 11 2016

Filipinos are very fortunate to live in a tropical country where plenty of fruits and vegetables grow. These staple food crops can be easily grown in home gardens and are sold affordably in the markets. They also provide great health benefits.

“Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which help nourish your body and keep you protected from diseases. They are also low in fat and calories, which make them excellent for weight management,” says Dr. Nicky Montoya, president of MediCard Philippines, a leading health maintenance organization provider in the country.

Some of the most nutritious and inexpensive fruits and veggies that you can easily find around your locality include:



Avocado has a high monounsaturated fat content, which helps reduce bad cholesterol and lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease. It is also a high source of potassium (containing more than a banana) and phytochemicals, which help prevent certain types of cancer.


Buko (Young Coconut)

Buko contains edible flesh (coco meat) and water (buko juice). Its meat has tons of fatty acids, fiber, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins B, C and E. Its juice contains sugar (glucose) and electrolytes, which can rehydrate the body. Buko juice is popularly used in treating urinary tract infection and can also be a better choice for rehydration compared to most sports drinks because it is sterile and non-allergenic.



Aside from being a rich source of fiber, folate and vitamins A, C and E; papaya is notable for papain, an enzyme that aids in smooth digestion and fights free radicals to soften and brighten skin. Papain also helps heal wounds, supports the immune system, reduces joint irritation, and destroys intestinal parasites.



Eggplant or talong is considered one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. It is high in antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, which fights free radicals and protects cells from mutating into cancer cells, and nasunin, which delays the growth of cancerous mass or tumor. It also has essential phyto nutrients which improve blood circulation and nourish the brain.


Malunggay (Moringa)

Malunggay is referred to as a miracle vegetable by health experts because of its ample nutritional and medicinal benefits. It is rich in beta-carotene, vitamins B and C, iron, and amino acids. It can treat malnutrition and a number of illnesses, including bacterial and fungal skin infections, anti-inflammatory gastric ulcers and diarrhea.


Sweet Potato

Kamote, the local name for sweet potato, is a versatile vegetable because its leaves (kamote tops) and roots are both edible. It has tons of fiber, iron, calcium, protein, magnesium, sodium, phosphorous, sulfur, and zinc. It is also high in polyphenolic compounds, which protect the body from oxidative stress (an imbalance in the production of free radicals that damage cells and organs).

While all of these fruits and veggies are jam-packed with nutrients that can nurture and clean your body, keep in mind that no single food crop contains all the nourishment you need. “When it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, variety is as important as quantity. If you need to be healthy, you need to eat plenty of different fruits and vegetables,” advises Dr. Montoya.


Tips to boost your brain and mental health

18 11 2016

A healthy mind is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. It affects how you perceive the world and how you react to your environment and the people around you. In order to function normally and accomplish your daily tasks and goals in life, it’s important to keep your brain and mental well-being healthy.


“Healthy brain and mental functioning can be cultivated. In the same way that eating nutritious food and exercising can make your body stronger and more fit, certain habits and activities can also boost your brain power and mental well-being,” says Dr. Nicky Montoya, president and CEO of MediCard Philippines.


To improve brain and mental health, Dr. Montoya offers some tips:

Get enough sleep. Sleep helps your brain and body work properly. While you’re sleeping, your brain is forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. Deep sleep also promotes normal growth in children and teens. It also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens and adults.


Drink plenty of water. It is important for the brain to be adequately hydrated to function properly. Your brain cells require a delicate balance of water and various elements to operate efficiently. When you’re dehydrated, your brain has to work a lot harder to perform at the same level. Drinking water also helps you feel refreshed, which may improve your state of mind. It can also prevent headaches and hangovers.

Get moving. Exercise releases endorphins, which are essential for producing good moods. Working out also keeps your brain and vital organs healthy. It also improves your body image and keeps you motivated to conquer challenges and pursue your goals.


Learn a new skill and play brainteasers. Learning a new skill and playing brainteasers can keep your brain sharp. When you learn a new skill, your brain creates new neural pathways that help you process and remember information better. Meanwhile, brainteasers and games that require you to decipher codes and pattern series, remember events and rationalize your answers can also enhance your problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, creativity, and imagination.


Communicate with other people. Regularly talking and socializing with other people can boost your communication skills and improve your decision-making and problem-solving abilities. It is also a way to avoid depression and negative thoughts, which can interfere with your daily activities.


Practice meditation. Meditation, which involves focusing your thoughts on the present moment, provides cognitive and psychological benefits. Aside from giving a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, it can also improve memory, empathy and sense of self. Harvard researchers discovered that practicing mindfulness increases the amount of grey matter in the hippocampus, which helps with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection, and lowers grey matter density in the amygdala, which helps manage anxiety and stress. Since meditation is a big component of Ashtanga yoga, attending yoga classes can also be good for your mental well-being.

“The best thing about the human brain is that it adapts and re-wires itself as a result of behavioral changes. There are a lot of ways you can do to get the best out of your brain cells. One of the most effective ways is, of course, letting go of unhealthy habits and embracing a healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Montoya.