From Ask Dr. Nandi

  • 4 Natural Approaches To Protecting Your Vision
    For many people, glasses become a part of who they are – they grow to be a part of a person’s look and appearance and can even contribute to their personality while performing their essential task of improving a person’s vision. Over time, most people who wear glasses or contacts end up needing stronger prescriptions as their vision continues to decline. Many people come to a point where they want to find a way to really heal or correct their eyesight and prevent it from declining over time. But aside from corrective vision surgeries such as Lasik (laser in-situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), is it possible to assist your eyesight naturally? While some experts would claim it is impossible to improve vision naturally, other experts say that there are measures that can be take that – with dedication and time – may improve and aid in overall vision. Here are some of the best recommendations if you are seeking natural remedies to aid in improving your eyesight. Natural Ways To Protect Your Eyesight  #1. Eye Exercises And Relaxation Over 90 years ago, eyesight specialist Dr. Bates believed that the muscle surrounding the eye can becomes unbalanced, causing strain, and even pulling the eyes to one side or another, which can lead to vision problems. In present day, our constant use of electronics exposes us to artificial lighting, not enough exposure to natural lighting, reading for long periods of time, and elongated amounts of time looking up close at screens. Screens can cause immense strain on the eyes, even without you realizing it. Therefore, taking the time to relax your eyes can be beneficial to avoid over straining them. Try this exercise: every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes as if falling asleep. Not only does this re-wet your eyes, but it eases eye strain. Additionally, make sure you have good lighting and maintain a reasonable distance from computer screens. #2. Eating For Eyesight Eyesight is a gift, so treating our vision and our eyes healthily is just as important as taking care of our bodies. But are you eating the foods that best support your eye health? You may have heard that carrots help your eyesight, but there is so much more to eye nutrition than that. Getting the right nutrients not only can boost your eye health, but it can also protect against threatening eye diseases. Vitamins A, C, E and minerals like copper and zinc are imperative for healthy eyesight. Try these foods: carrots, red peppers, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, sweet potato, citrus, sunflower seeds. Eggs, as they are packed with vitamins and nutrients including lutein and vitamin A, which help protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Lean beef contains zinc, which also helps your body absorb vitamin A. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and cataracts. Try these foods: cold water fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel. If you aren’t a fan of fish, you can still get your omega-3s by supplementing with fish oil or vegetarian supplements containing black currant seed oil or flaxseed oils. Pistachios, walnuts, and almonds can also help as they are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that also assist in stopping the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Try these foods: spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, peas and avocados. Foods high in vitamin E, zinc and niacin have various qualities to assist you in your journey to healthier eyes. Try these foods: switching out refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole wheat breads can boost your overall eye health. This is because they are full of vitamin E, zinc and niacin. Protecting the retina while lowering the risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts is also imperative for the health of your eyes. Foods that have high sources of bioflavonoids and zinc are helpful. Try these foods: legumes such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils #3. Stay Fit Exercise is not only beneficial for your waistline, but it is also beneficial in maintaining your eye health. Exercise can help decrease the risk of age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. Additionally, Type 2 diabetes (while more common for those who are overweight or obese) can cause damage to small blood vessels in your eyes. Known as diabetic retinopathy, your vision over time can be harmed. Too much sugar circulating within your bloodstream can injure the extremely delicate walls of your arteries. Diabetic retinopathy causes the extremely small arteries in your retina to leak blood and fluid into the eye, harming your vision. Try this exercise: running, walking, or exercising three or more times per week doing something you enjoy. For young adults who may experience glaucoma, moderate intensity, low-impact exercise has been shown to help significantly reduce eye pressure. #4. Blue Light Blockers When it comes to protecting your eyes, basic UV coverage to protect you from harmful light is just not enough. Blue-light-blocking glasses are becoming increasingly popular as our usage of computers and electronics continues to only become greater and part of our everyday lives. They are special lenses that block high energy visible blue light from these electronic sources. They can help with dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision and basically any symptoms that may come from digital eyestrain. What to do: invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Optic retailers near and far can assist in finding you the perfect pair whether prescription or nonprescription. Apply blue light filters on your electronic devices, especially devices you frequent at night. Many newer devices offer blue light features that can be turned on (and off) as well as programmed to your desired preferences. Blue light filter apps are also available for download on electronic devices that do not already have them. While these natural ways of helping or improving your vision can work for everyone individually, they do require time and dedication. Living a lifestyle that is healthy, while protecting your eyes from the elements around you can aid in reducing your chances of developing problems, that in the long run can lead to damaging the beautiful gift that is your vision. Sources: The post 4 Natural Approaches To Protecting Your Vision appeared first on Ask Dr Nandi. Read more »
  • Lifestyle Practices for a Slim Gut
    You need a healthy gut to achieve and maintain a slim gut. I bet the first thing that comes to mind is food, right? Eat healthy and – presto! – your gut is healthy. Regularly eating delicious “slim gut” foods will definitely help you blast unwanted belly fat and achieve better health. But there’s more to it than that. There is one key component to good gut health that people just aren’t talking about. And this drives me crazy because it’s the most unique component. Think you know what it is? It’s your mental health. Yep. That’s right. More than ever, your spirituality and psychological well-being are key players in your gut health. The connection? Stress. If this surprises you, you are not alone. It’s a weird connection to think about. But it actually makes a ton of sense. And this connection is so strong that the gut is now referred to as your second brain. And get this. These two “brains” talk to each other. They communicate using a precisely orchestrated symphony of neurotransmitters, electrical impulses and hormones. So, when you’re mentally stressed out, your gut knows it – and it suffers the consequences because the more stressed you are, the more intensely your body reacts to your stress. How? Primarily through an increased release of cortisol – better known as the stress hormone – and a heightened inflammatory response. Cortisol + Inflammation = Bad News For Your Gut It’s more important than ever to prioritize your mental health and manage your stress. But how do you even begin to do this in today’s hectic and fast-paced world where your attention is constantly pulled in a dozen different directions and – despite our many time-saving technologies – you have more on your plate than ever? How do you improve and maintain optimal mental wellness in a society that is plagued with social isolation, addiction and growing suicide rates? You accomplish this by making the Health Hero decision to commit to sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle practices that will calm your mind, deepen your spirituality and significantly reduce your mental “noise” and stress. When you make good on this commitment every day, you will improve your mental health AND your gut health and be on your way to healthier (and slimmer) living. Incorporate any or all of these strategies into your daily routine and build a stronger, healthier gut-brain connection:   Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Think of yoga and mindfulness practices as spiritual workouts for your soul. When you condition your soul, like a muscle, it develops and grows stronger. Yoga and meditation clear your mind of distractions and create a calm space where stress isn’t allowed. Even more impressive? They can change how your DNA responds to stress. Considering that stress is a silent killer and wreaks havoc in your gut, this is especially exciting. Prayer No matter your beliefs, believing in something bigger than yourself improves your mental and physical health. You don’t even have to believe in God or organized religion. It’s simply the practice of reflecting on anything greater than your own being. Prayer will help you to reduce stress, strengthen your connectedness to the world around you and live a healthier, more fulfilling life. Heartfulness Meditation Oh, how I love recommending one of my favorite self-care practices – heartfulness meditation. It’s another workout for your soul. Before you tune out thinking it’s not for you, consider this:   You don’t need fancy equipment. You don’t have to be religious. No matter your background, you can enjoy the practice and reap the benefits.   It’s a great way to reduce stress and overwhelm, “quiet” your mind and live in the moment. It’s a simple way to connect with your heart … and the things that matter most. I’m talking total life-changer. Here’s a 5-step run-down to get you started: Make time for your heart. Even 15 minutes each day is enough to make a difference. Meditating at the same time every day helps get you into a routine, but any time is a good time. Get comfortable. Find a spot where you can sit comfortably. Your body should be supported and relaxed. Turn your focus inward. Clear your mind of any “noise” and tune into your heart. Breathe slowly and deeply. Let go. Release your worries, stresses and thoughts of daily life. With each breath in, take in calm, peace and lightness. With each breath out, let go of worldly things that distract your focus. Begin to notice the energy and vibration expanding within you. Continue to tune into your heart and let whatever naturally comes from within you rise to the surface. If your mind wanders, simply return to your heart. Take time to reflect. When you’ve completed your meditation, think about your experience. How do you feel? What thoughts came to the surface? What did you learn about yourself? You’ll likely come back to the experience again and again throughout your day. Now you know that your mental health is the most unique – and possibly most important – component to a happy and healthy gut. You also now have 3 sustainable strategies to incorporate into your daily routine in order to effectively manage your stress – the key connection between your brain and gut. What’s next? I’m going to tell you about 3 potential obstacles to good gut health and the lifestyle practices you can adopt to make them work to your advantage.   Sitting Too Much Why it’s bad for your gut: How’s this for bad? Every hour you spend sitting around (after the age of 25) reduces your life expectancy by 22 minutes. Let that sink in. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? Here is some added perspective. Smoking one cigarette (which I hope you’re not doing!) reduces your life expectancy by approximately 11 minutes. In terms of life expectancy, one hour of sitting is more detrimental than smoking a cigarette. It’s mind-blowing.   Now consider this. American adults spend close to 5 hours a day sitting down. Whether working at your desk, commuting or watching TV, sitting around too much has a direct correlation to your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. Not surprisingly, researchers have dubbed this the couch potato effect.   A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), digestive issues and is a leading cause of constipation. Some studies suggest that too much sitting can actually negatively impact your gut microbiome, the important bacteria that populate your gut. It’s time to get moving.   What to do about it: Reducing the average time you spend sitting to less than 3 hours a day can increase your life expectancy by 2 years. If you have to spend a lot of time sitting during the day, here’s what you can do to help limit the negative side effects:   Sit upright on your sit bones (a.k.a. – your behind) near the front edge of your chair. When sitting, keep your chest in front of your chin (if you’re in front of a computer, you likely extend your chin forward without even realizing it). Stand up tall and straight every 20-30 minutes for at least 1-2 minutes. While standing, take deep, slow breaths that expand your torso.   Not Sleeping Enough Why it’s bad for your gut: Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours per night for adults) is crucial to maintaining good health. When you don’t get enough uninterrupted sleep (less than 7 hours a night), you become higher-risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, cancer, elevated stress levels due to cortisol increase, brain function decline, weight gain, premature aging and constipation. Most importantly, you increase your risk of dying from any cause – that’s right – ANY cause!   I’m sure you’ve experienced feeling physically sick after a sleepless night. That wasn’t in your head! A lack of sleep has the same effect on your immune system as physical and mental stress. And you know the key role mental well-being plays in your gut health. If you’re looking to lose weight and get rid of belly fat, you need to prioritize sleep! Not doing so can wreak havoc on your weight loss efforts.   What to do about it: If you’re getting less than 7 sleep hours a night and wondering what the heck you should do, the answer is simple. Put sleep at the top of your priority list! Here are steps you can take to get into a healthy sleep groove:   Walk away from your TV or phone 60 minutes before you go to bed. Light stimulation affects melatonin, a hormone which controls your sleep cycle. Eat a little protein about 1 hour before you go to bed. This decreases the overnight rise in cortisol – that harmful stress hormone. A small piece of leftover chicken or fish from dinner or a small handful of nuts are great options. Don’t exercise within a 3-hour window before bedtime. Exercise wakes you up, and this impact lasts for about 3 hours after you’ve completed your workout. If you feel urge to exercise at night, opt for light stretching instead. Consistency is key, so commit to at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Settle short-term sleep debt with an extra 1-2 hours a sleep per night. If you lost 10 hours of sleep in a week’s time, pay that debt back in 1-2 hour installments. To pay off a long-term sleep debt, take a sleep vacation! Pick a 2-week period when you have a more flexible schedule. During those 2 weeks, go to bed at the same time every night and allow yourself to sleep until you wake up naturally – no alarms clocks! You’ll be able to dig your way out of debt and get back to your ideal sleep schedule. Keep a sleep diary. Record when you go to bed, when you get up, how long you slept and how you FEEL during the day! You’ll discover your natural sleep patterns and can then make adjustments as needed.   Chronic Multitasking Why it’s bad for your gut: I’ve got one word for you: stress. We live in a society that encourages multitasking. The more we do, the more productive we feel. So we load up our schedules and try to cross as many things off our to-do lists as quickly as we can. We brag about how much we’re getting done as we’re running around stressed, frazzled and completely distracted. What most of us aren’t doing is considering how much health-destroying stress we’re inviting into our lives when we take on too much at once. The human brain can only handle so many tasks at a time (research suggests 2 complicated tasks). Adding anything more to your plate overloads your brain and triggers a stress response (hello, cortisol!). This immediately puts your gut health at risk and increases your chances of gut-related issues including: IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) Indigestion Nausea   If you’re trying to lose weight, you have even more reason to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. Being distracted during mealtime (eating while watching TV or working) can prevent your brain from fully registering what you’ve eaten. This means you won’t feel as full, so you’ll wind up eating and snacking even more to satisfy your appetite.   And here’s the kicker. Multitasking does not save you time – it costs you time! You spend more time going back and forth between multiple projects than you spend when you complete one project at a time. Many experts will tell you that you lose 40% of your productivity when you multitask!   Forget what society is telling you to do. It’s time to slow down, live in the moment, regain your focus and prioritize your health.   What to do about it: If you’re addicted to multitasking, make the commitment to narrow your focus and be present in what you’re doing. You’ll notice a big time reduction in stress and overwhelm. You’ll reduce your health risks. You’ll have an easier time achieving your weight loss/maintenance goals. You’ll eliminate distractions that can have you missing out on … LIFE. Here’s what you can do: Complete tasks in batches. This requires a specific mindset, but once you get into a groove, you’ll save time and reduce your stress. Remain calm and step away from your cell phone. Cell phone distractions can lead to relationship problems, trust issues and communication breakdowns – all things that lead to more stress.    Be present in each moment. Enjoy LIFE! Your mind and body will reap the benefits. Want to learn more?                         About Dr. Partha Nandi Dr. Partha Nandi, M.D., FACP, is a practicing gastroenterologist, holistic health practitioner, author, speaker, passionate patient advocate and creator and host of the medical lifestyle show, The Dr. Nandi Show.   Born in Calcutta, India, Dr. Nandi survived rheumatic heart disease as a child and made an everlasting commitment to patient care. Through his health challenges grew the compassion, intrigue and drive to become one of the leading patient advocates in the United States. He has never forgotten his beginnings, and continues to teach and inspire millions to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that lead to living more joyful and fulfilling lives.   Combining the best healing techniques from both Eastern and Western medicine, Dr, Nandi strives to help the sick and healthy alike find the most effective ways to solve and prevent various ailments and diseases.   The post Lifestyle Practices for a Slim Gut appeared first on Ask Dr Nandi. Read more »
  • Yoga to Improve Metabolism
    To lose weight, increasing your metabolism is important. Metabolism is the chemical processes that create energy. They are regulated by the endocrine system. Yoga stimulates and strengthens the endocrine organs which will boost metabolism to burn more and more calories. Twisted Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana) Stand with feet and legs together. Bend knees and sink hips down and back similar to sitting in a chair. Bring palms together in front of chest. Rotate spine and bring right elbow to left knee. Keep chest lifted. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat on other side. Eagle Pose (Garudasana) Start in standing position and bend knees slightly. Lift right leg up. Place right leg around standing leg and hook foot/ankle behind left calf. Sink hips down and back similar to sitting in a chair. Cross arms at elbows and wrists in front of chest. Hold for up to 1 minute. Out of pose, shake legs and switch sides. Fish Pose (Matsyasana) Lie on back. Bring hands with palms down under butt. Bend elbows and lean on them. Press elbows into floor. Lift chest towards ceiling and arch back. Bring elbows towards each other. Drop head back towards floor behind you. Hold for 30-45 seconds. Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana) Start in sitting position with legs stretched out front. Slowly bend legs at knees. Pull legs in so heels touch each other and close to pelvis. Hold legs at ankles. Move thighs up and down like a butterfly. Continue for 30-45 seconds. Tree Pose (Vriksasana) Stand with legs together. Shift most of weight on left leg. Slowly raise right leg towards opposite knee. Place heel of foot on inner thigh of left leg. Gently raise hands above head. Fingers should be pointing upwards. Hold for 25-30 seconds (if possible).  Repeat on other side.   The post Yoga to Improve Metabolism appeared first on Ask Dr Nandi. Read more »



















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