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5 Signs of a healthy baby!

healthy baby

Do you wonder if your little one is eating enough, sleeping enough, and on track for all those important milestones?

Check out these easy-to-spot signs that help prove your baby is both happy and healthy.

Signs of a healthy baby!

FIVE SIGNS OF A HEALTHY BABY

1. A healthy baby calms at your touch and the sound of your voice. What it proves: You’ve got a good relationship. When your child is calmed by your presence, that’s her first step in bonding with you and a clear sign that she’s developing emotionally.

2. You’re changing 8-10 wet diapers a day and she’s gaining weight. What it proves: She’s getting enough milk even if how much he drinks changes.

If you’re nursing, how can you be sure your baby is drinking enough breast milk? The proof is in the wet diapers. Babies don’t eat the same amount every day, or even every feeding. “There are growth spurts and slowdowns. The important thing is that weight increases over time.”

3. Your healthy baby is quiet and attentive at least a few times each day. What it proves: She’s starting to learn. When infants are quiet and alert, they’re taking note of everything around them and processing all kinds of new information. “Babies begin having more awake time when they’re about 1 month old. That’s when they can briefly settle down and soak in more visual cues.”

4. She makes eye contact, smiles and flirts with people. What It Proves: Your baby is becoming a social and a happy creature. The first moment of eye contact with your newborn usually comes when he’s a month old, the first smile by about 2 months, cooing at 3 months, and laughing by 4 months — and none of these milestones comes a moment too soon.

All of these interactions show that your baby is connecting with you and becoming more aware of his surroundings. On some level, he understands that people interact with him more when he behaves in a socially engaging manner. By the time a healthy baby is about 5 months, he almost has to smile when someone smiles at him, as if it’s a reflex.

5.  Your healthy baby can support her own body weight. What It Proves: Those mini muscles are getting stronger. Lots of babies hold their head up briefly — so briefly! — by 1 month. By the time they’re 3 months old, they’re typically doing so more regularly and with greater skill. If your baby can hold her head up or shift around in your arms, you know she’s flexing her growing muscles.

To help her along, make sure she’s spending quality time outside the carrier or car seat. Tummy time on the floor (most babies’ version of an exercise class) can especially help speed up the development of different muscles, including ones that allow her to roll or sit unassisted.

baby health papmers

Source: KK Publishers

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The 7 multivitamins and minerals recommended by a panel of experts essential to your health.

Multivitamins

“I try to get all of my nutrients from my kitchen instead of my medicine cabinet, but as a realist, I know the 7 multivitamins and minerals recommended by a panel of experts essential to your health, that meeting my nutrition needs all of the time is not possible.”

On top of that, there may be other life factors that make supplementation necessary — pregnancy, menopause, or even chronic conditions.

Multivitamins

SEVEN INGREDIENTS YOUR MULTIVITAMINS/MINERALS SHOULD HAVE

One review found that vitamin deficiencies are commonly linked to chronic diseases, and supplementation may help. Even a complete diet may not be giving you the nutrients you need when you need them. That’s where multivitamins come in.

For starters, a daily multivitamin/mineral can help provide a good foundation for your health. It can also protect you when you’re experiencing stress, sleeping poorly, or not getting regular exercise. Even with a “perfect” diet, these issues can make it tough for your body to properly absorb the nutrients.

These are the 7 multivitamins and minerals recommended by a panel of experts:

1. Vitamin D

2. Magnesium

3. Calcium

4. Zinc

5. Iron

6. Folate (folic acid)

7. Vitamin B-12

“When it comes to vitamins and minerals, get it from food first.” Our bodies are designed to reap nutrients from the food we eat, and we will get all the nutrients we need, as long we’re eating a varied and balanced diet. Because at the end of the day, supplements should be considered bonus boosters, not replacements for food. 

Further reading

Source: KK Publishers

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What Is Heartburn? 3 important facts you need to know.

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn is an irritation of the oesophagus — the tube that connects your throat and stomach. It’s caused by stomach acid. This leads to a burning discomfort in your upper belly or below your breastbone.

Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart.

But some of the symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack or heart disease: a burning sensation behind your sternum, or breastbone, in the middle of your chest.

You might also feel it in your throat. You may also feel pain in your chest when you bend over or lie down, or have a hot, acidic, bitter, or salty taste in the back of your throat.

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn tips

Heartburn symptoms can start up because of a problem with a muscular valve called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). It’s located where the oesophagus meets the stomach — below the rib cage and slightly left of centre.

Normally, with the help of gravity, the LES keeps stomach acid right where it should be — in your stomach. When it’s working right, the LES opens to allow food into your stomach or to let you belch, then closes again. But if the LES opens too often or doesn’t close tightly enough, stomach acid can seep into the oesophagus and cause a burning sensation.

If your LES doesn’t tighten as it should, there are often two things that contribute to the problem. One is overeating, which puts too much food in your stomach. Another is too much pressure on your stomach, often due to obesity, pregnancy, or constipation.

Certain foods can relax your LES or increase stomach acid, including: Tomatoes; Citrus fruits; Garlic and onions; Chocolate; Coffee or caffeinated products; Alcohol; Peppermint.

Meals high in fats and oils (animal or vegetable) often lead to heartburn, as do certain medications. Stress and lack of sleep can raise how much acid your stomach makes and can cause heartburn.

Ask your pharmacisit for advice.

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Source: KK Publishers.

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6 Tips to Avoid a Festive Season Over Indulge

6 Tips to Avoid a Festive Season Over Indulge

‘Tis the season to be jolly – and eat everything in sight. When it comes to Christmas and New Year, to over indulge is all too easy, and with the amount of food piled high in every home, numerous parties  and catered lunch around, finding balance can be tricky.

Check out our 6 tips to avoid the festive season over-indulgence and start 2019 off without the resolution to lose those festive season kilos.

6 Tips to Avoid a Festive Season Over Indulge

Tips to avoid a feastive season over indulge

1. There will always be a health (ier) option: Look past the table full of salty snacks, pavlova and lollies and you’ll find a range of lean meats, seafood, salads and fresh fruit. Now all you need is a little portion control and you’re set for a healthy party feast.

2. Treat yourself, don’t stuff yourself: Keep in mind that you don’t need to force down that extra serve of dessert or handful of chips in the name of social festivity as you will have to deal with the consequences of a feastive over indulge. Stuffing yourself with more food than you usually consume will leave you lethargic and low on motivation. It’s all about finding the balance between treating yourself and binging.

3. Go easy on the drinks: Christmas and New Year parties, alcohol and soft drinks are a dangerous mix – especially for your waistline. Keep hydrated (yes, with water) and try to space out your refills with a glass or two of water in between.

4. Maintain your exercise routine: Whether you have guests or are heading away for the hilidays, an exercise routine can be difficult to maintain – but overindulgence isn’t just what you put in your mouth. Lazing about over the Christmas and New Year period can have damaging consequences, so make sure you’re making a conscious effort to get your usual amount of exercise in each day.

5. Eat before you party: You may not be sitting and feasting, but even an invitation to drinks can make it hard to pass on the canapés – and you’d be surprised at how quickly they add up. Before you head out to party, make sure you’ve had a wholesome snack to keep you full and fuelled – think vegetable soup, toast and peanut butter or banana and a handful of almonds.

6. Freeze your leftovers: As tempting as it is to leave your pile of party leftovers in the fridge to snack on over the proceeding few days, why not freeze them? That way, you can consume everything fresh – e.g. leftover salad and seafood – while extending the life of others – e.g. lasagne and pudding.

Ask your pharmacisit for advice.

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Source: KK Publishers.

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Summer 2020 – Avoid Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

Avoid Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

But before heading for the great outdoors, whether a walk in the park or a family camping trip, make sure you are protected against some common summer hazards.

In hot weather, it is crucial to drink plenty of water, and to replenish all the fluids that are lost through perspiration.

Drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine are not effective against dehydration. They can increase fluid output, making it harder to be properly hydrated.

Avoid Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

Signs of dehydration include:

Dry mouth

•Headache

•Light-headedness

•Dizziness

•Little or no urination

•Constipation

•Muscle cramps.

Hot weather and dehydration can also cause heat exhaustion – with these symptoms:

•Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat

•Heavy sweating

•Faintness

•Dizziness, nausea, and headache

•Fatigue

• Weak, rapid pulse and low blood pressure on standing

•Muscle cramps

•Headache.

Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can be fatal. Anyone who experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion should stop and rest in a cool place, and to drink water or sports drinks. Heat stroke occurs when body temperature rises dangerously high, and it can no longer cool itself. It is a medical emergency, because it can be fatal.

Wearing lightweight clothing, avoiding direct sunlight, using air conditioning, drinking water, and avoiding heavy meals can help to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney failure, coma, and death.

Ask your pharmacisit for advice.

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Source: KK Publishers.

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5 Tips to help you give up Smoking

Giving up smoking with nicorette

“It’s easy to quit smoking; I’ve done it hundreds of times.” — Mark Twain

 There are many different ways to give up smoking. Some experts advocate using pharmacological products to help wean you off nicotine, others say all you need is a good counselor and support group, or an organized program.

One thing most experts agree on is that a combination works best. For example, nicotine replacement therapy on its own, or counseling on its own is not as effective as a combination of the two.

 If you feel you are severely addicted to smoking, you may wish to consider nicotine replacement products so your body gradually gets used to living without nicotine: always talk to your pharmacist first before using these drugs.

Giving up smoking with Nicorette

Advide to stop smoking

Advice and support can help you become more self-aware, identify your triggers and when moments of weakness may occur, develop strategies and contigencies, keep you realistically grounded and on track with your plan, and prevent relapse. Examples include one-to-one or in-person counseling, telephone counseling, internet programs, group support, mentoring, and coaching.

To help you see in black and white how much you smoke, how much it costs you, how much you could save; also keeping a journal of your quitting journey.

Read the science, talk to experts, and learn for yourself how smoking damages your health and the health of those around you. Learn how others tackled the challenge.

There are more than 4,000 harmful chemicals in tobacco. Nicotine is the one that makes you addicted to smoking. The idea of nicotine replacement products is to help you gradually wean yourself off nicotine. They deliver a small amount of nicotine to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal. Giving up the replacement product is easier than giving up smoking.

Aim to be free of both cigarettes and the nicotine replacement product within three to six months.

Ask your pharmacisit for advice.

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Source: KK Publishers.

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Stay Sun Smart with these 5 tips because skin health is important

Sun Smart

What does sun smart really mean?

Spending the entire day in the direct sunlight seems like a good idea until you get home, look in the mirror, and realize that your skin resembles that of an overripe tomato. Staying sun smart should be a top priority for each person during summer times.

Nursing your sunburned skin back to health is a painful journey that requires copious amounts of aloe vera jelly.

Practicing safe sun is imperative as prolonged unprotected exposure can lead to skin and eye damage, heatstroke, and other unpleasant ailments.

This year, avoid getting a dreaded sunburn, heat exhaustion, or even dehydration by following these five sun safety tips.

Sun Smart Tips

Summer Sun Smart Tips

1. Be diligent with sunscreen

The sun’s rays are strongest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., so if you’re unable to take shelter in the shade between these hours, be sure that you’re reapplying sunscreen frequently. To avoid burning, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply after sweating or swimming. Make sure you cover all exposed skin evenly so you don’t have certain spots that will be exposed and result in burnt skin.

2. Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible

When you aren’t jumping in and out of the pool, try to cover most of your skin with clothing to limit sun exposure. Wearing breathable clothing will keep you cool but very little light should be able to penetrate the fabric—you can test this by holding the garment up to the sun. Denim pants and a jean jacket will protect your sensitive skin from getting a blistering burn and be sun smart.

3. Invest in a fashionable wide-brimmed hat

Bucket hats have confidently made a comeback this season so you can be trendy and sun-safe at the exact same time. A wide-brimmed hat will shade your face, ears, head, and back of your neck from the sun’s strong UVA and UVB rays. Repeatedly spending too much time unprotected in the direct sun can cause damage that could later cause coarse wrinkles and skin cancers. So be sure that you pack the biggest hat in your closet! You will thank yourself in one day as your skin will remain healthier for longer.

4. Always wear sunglasses

We rely on our eyes to see the world around us, which is why we need to protect them at all costs. You should look for sunglasses or prescription lenses with full UVA and UVB protection to be sun smart. These sunglasses will have labels that say “UV400” or “100% UV protection”. By not wearing protective sunglasses, you could experience a retinal burn that may lead to vision loss. You may not experience the implication immediately but over a period of time you will start to feel the difference.

5. Drink lots of water

It’s important to replenish the fluids lost from perspiration while spending time outdoors. Always opt for a chilled glass of water instead of an alcoholic beverage or sugary soft drink. Neglecting your water intake while in the sun can lead to dehydration, which will make you feel dizzy and extremely fatigued. In order to stay healthy and hydrated, one should be drinking six to eight glasses of water on a daily basis, especially on extra warm days. So make sure you constantly have a full bottle of water closeby because it’s the sun smart thing to do!

When we are young we believe that it is very important to have nice bronze skin during the summertime. However, over time that ‘summer glow’ may impact your skin health much more than you thought. Over time the sun will leave blemishes, pigmentation, and wrinkles on your skin if you do not take the necessary precautions and stay sun smart.

Source: KK Publishers

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Type 2 diabetes – stay up to date

Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin.

Exactly why this happens is unknown, although genetics and environmental factors, such as being overweight and inactive, seem to be contributing factors.

This is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose) — an important source of fuel for your body.

Diabetes

More on Type 2 Diabetes

With this disease, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels.

This used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, but today more children are being diagnosed with the disorder, probably due to the rise in childhood obesity. There’s no cure, but losing weight, eating well and exercising can help manage the disease. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to manage your blood sugar well, you may also need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.

Signs and symptoms of type 2 often develop slowly. In fact, you can have it for years and not know it. Look for:

  • Increased thirst;
  • Frequent urination;
  • Increased hunger;
  • Unintended weight loss;
  • Fatigue;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Slow-healing sores;
  • Frequent infections;
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck. 

See your doctor if you notice these symptoms.

Source: KK Publishers

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11 Foods for a Healthy Gut

Foods for a healthy gut

Confused about what to eat and what not to eat for a good gut health?

With so much information online about healthy eating, it can be tricky to be sure about what’s best for a healthy gut. Here are some food suggestions to assist you in having a healthy gut.

Healhy Gut

Healthy gut foods:

1. Yoghurt: Live yoghurt is an excellent source of so-called friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics. Look out for sugar-free, full-fat versions and add your own fruit for a tasty breakfast. Yoghurt drinks can contain high numbers of bacteria that are good for the gut, far more than you would find in a normal yoghurt.  Do be mindful though as they can have a high sugar content.

2. Sauerkraut: This is finely chopped cabbage that has been fermented. This great source of probiotics, fibre and vitamins is best known as a German dish, but versions exist in Eastern and Central Europe. Choose a product that has not been pickled in vinegar, as that doesn’t have the same benefits. It’s delicious served with sausages, and can be cheap and easy to make at home.

3. Sourdough: This is very fashionable at the moment, but there’s a good reason for that. Made by fermenting the dough, it’s more digestible than regular bread and its energy releases slowly. It makes fantastic toast too.

4. Almonds: These have good probiotic properties, which means they are a treat for your gut bacteria – high in fibre, and full of fatty acids and polyphenols. A handful of almonds makes an excellent snack when you’re feeling peckish.

5. Olive oil: Gut bacteria and microbes like a diet of fatty acids and polyphenols. These are found in olive oil. Studies have shown that it helps reduce gut inflammation. Use it for salad dressing or drizzle it over cooked vegetables. Some studies have also found olive oil to be beneficial in easing indigestion problems and can also benefit your pancreas through lowering its requirement to produce digestive enzymes.

6. Peas: Gut bacteria need fibre to flourish, so the more fruit and vegetables you consume the better. Peas are full of soluble and insoluble fibre to help keep your system in balance. Add peas to stir-fries, soups or salads.

7. Brussels sprouts: Much more than a festive staple, they contain the kinds of fibre that good bacteria like and sulphur compounds which help combat unhealthy bacteria such as H pylori. Stir-fry with garlic and bacon for a delicious side dish.

8. Bananas: One of nature’s handiest and healthiest snacks, bananas are full of the kind of fibre that good bacteria enjoy. They also contain healthy minerals and help you feel fuller for longer.

9. Roquefort cheese: Live, runny, smelly French cheese will give your gut bacteria a boost – but it’s important to eat it in moderation. Add it to salads or spread it on your sourdough. Whilst we cannot be ensured that all of the bacteria survive digestion to be beneficial it is believed that other properties help preserve some bacteria during digestion.   

10. Garlic: Garlic, with its antibacterial and antifungal properties, can help keep “bad” gut bacteria under control and help balance yeast in the gut. Use it as a flavouring for savoury dishes. The properties within garlic act as a fuel source to allow the bacteria to do their job better which overall improves gut function.

11. Ginger: Fresh ginger can help in the production of stomach acid and it stimulates the digestive system to keep food moving through the gut. Add fresh grated ginger to soups, stews, smoothies or stir-fries. Pour boiling water on grated ginger to make refreshing ginger tea.

Source: KK Publishers

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Exams: 8 Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle during exams
  • Cut back on other commitments: If you can, minimise any other major commitments you usually have during the week. This will take a lot of pressure off and allow you more time to study for your exam — without the need for late nights. You’ll have plenty more time for these activities once exams come to an end and during this time it’s important to prioritize.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet: It’s tempting to reach for study snacks such as chips and chocolate to see you through exams, but you’ll find it much easier to concentrate if you eat nutritional meals and healthy snacks. While the odd treat here and there is a good study reward, overloading on sugar or salt will only leave you feeling flat. It’s also important to make sure you eat a decent meal before your exam. Keep a bottle of water next to you at all times and try snacking on healthy foods like nuts or lean biltong.
Healthy Lifestyle during Exams

More tips for handling exam stress

  • Avoid excess caffeine: Many students fall into the trap of turning to coffee or energy drinks to help them study. You may think that it will help you study into the night — or pep you up for an exam — but it’s more likely that you’ll ‘crash’. This will result in you feeling even more tired than before, leaving you worse off and unable to effectively utilise your day.
  • Get a good night’s sleep: Sacrificing sleep for late-night cramming isn’t a good habit to keep, even if you want to be more prepared for your exam. It’s unlikely that you’ll do your best study if you’re struggling to stay awake — and it goes without saying that you should try to get a full night’s rest before an exam. getting enough sleep will leave your mind awake making it possible for you to more easily retain information and apply it during your exam.
  • Find a friend to study with: Studying with friends offers an opportunity to take a break and socialise while remaining productive. In fact, you may find that you work more effectively when you have others to motivate you and help you work through difficult concepts and subject matter. The other person may also have different ways of learning than you do that makes it easier to remember certain concepts.
  • Allow yourself some breaks: Studying can be tiring, so it’s important to stop and refresh every so often — even if you’re feeling overwhelmed and short of time. Taking five minutes to go for a short walk or make a cup of tea can help you clear your head and regain your focus. Set specific times for yourself to be physically active by kicking a ball outside or doing some housework tasks like cooking dinner with your parents.
  • Learn to manage stress: Each student has their own way of dealing with stress — you need to determine what works for you. Doing some exercise, having a short nap, catching up with friends or even just taking a few deep breaths are all good ways to relieve stress and refresh. If the stress is really starting to build up, you can speak to someone at your institution — your tutor or lecturer, an academic adviser or a counsellor for additional support.
  • Plan a post-exam reward for yourself: Planning something fun for after your exams — whether it’s a dinner with friends, a movie night or even a trip away — will offer something to look forward to and motivate you to work hard right until the end. It’s important to reward yourself after you have worked hard and to take a break, rest and clean your head before you take on the next challenge.

Source: KK Publishers

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