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Is mental health support a key element of inclusive work culture?

A decade ago, conversations around mental health support at the workplace were simply swept under the corporate carpet. The stigma around depression, anxiety, and stress was so prevalent that these issues were not even acknowledged. But today, 81 per cent of workplaces have increased their focus on employee mental health. As we peel back the layers of corporate norms, it becomes evident that mental health support stands as an irreplaceable pillar in creating an environment where every employee can thrive. Just as the human mind holds endless potential, embracing mental health support is the key to unlocking the untapped potential within each individual. We are all a combination of our experiences, the expectations we have of ourselves, and those that people have of us, and sometimes it is natural to be overwhelmed. How each one of us reacts to these stimuli is different, and that is what makes us unique. Investing in employee well-being is the first and most important step in fostering such individuality and building a great organisation. The World Health Organization estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy approximately $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Investing in mental health support not only benefits individual employees but also yields significant economic returns, creating a win-win scenario for both employees and organisations. Breaking the Stigma and Fostering AcceptanceOnly 13 per cent of employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health in the workplace. According to a study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 9 out of 10 employees who experienced mental health challenges reported facing stigma in their workplace. This stigma often leads to employees hiding their mental health conditions and delaying seeking help, impacting their well-being and productivity. Picture a workplace where individuals feel seen, heard, and supported. A place where every employee is working towards growing the business, unhindered by the stigma associated with mental health challenges. Leading new-age businesses, our actions and values set the tone for the entire organization. Hence, the onus is on the leadership to actively break down the stigma surrounding mental health. This will further inspire a ripple effect, empowering others within an organization to do the same. We need to create an environment where employees can thrive, leading to enhanced productivity and optimal performance. This encourages diverse viewpoints, creativity, and collaboration, leading to breakthrough ideas and solutions. When employees feel safe to express themselves authentically, they can contribute their unique talents and experiences to the collective success of the organization. Enabling equal access to resourcesIndian workplaces have come a long way when it comes to de-stigmatizing conversations around mental health challenges. In the face of "the 2020 pandemic", mental well-being took centre stage, and workplaces started embracing mental health support policies. The industry has taken a step forward in not just acknowledging but also providing resources that are accessible, equitable, and culturally sensitive. As an ecosystem, we need to position ourselves as an ally in the mental health journey of our employees and remove barriers to access such as cost, stigma, and logistical challenges. Around 80 per cent of Indian companies have gone the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) way to offer access to trained professionals. They help employees address personal and work-related challenges, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. New-age companies are revisiting, rehauling, and restructuring their policies to incorporate mental health support as an integral part. This includes providing flexible working hours, paid mental health leave, and additional health insurance coverage for mental health treatments. Such policies ensure that employees have the necessary resources and support to prioritize their mental well-being. Acing the talent attraction and retention gameThe younger workforce of today is drawn in by an organisation's progressive and inclusive cultural code. They seek more than just a paycheck; they yearn for a workplace that values their holistic needs and provides a supportive environment. Today's generation appreciates diversity and seeks to be a part of a company that embraces different backgrounds, opinions, and experiences. Prioritizing diversity and inclusion in hiring, leadership, and decision-making processes increases the appeal of companies to the younger workforce. It is important to remember that collaboration and innovation are fostered by an inclusive culture. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), for every dollar invested in mental health treatment, there is an average return of $4 in improved health and productivity. This highlights the significance of providing accessible mental health resources to employees, as it not only benefits individuals but also contributes to overall organisational success. Our mental health support policies act as a value addition, drawing in the best and brightest minds who are eager to contribute their skills and expertise. Once they join our organization, these policies become the glue that keeps them engaged, committed, and loyal. By offering resources such as counselling services, flexible work arrangements, and mental health leave, we create an inclusive culture that meets their needs beyond the industry's tick boxes. I believe that investing in mental health support and promoting a culture that does not discard young minds not only attracts young talent but also cultivates a team of empowered individuals who are motivated to grow and thrive. Creating workplaces "Where the mind is without Fear"A recent report by Indeed titled- "Where the mind is without fear", states that a psychologically safe environment is a key component of diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DI&B) efforts. While devising policies for an all-inclusive workplace environment, we need to remember that mental health is not one-size-fits-all. Right now, we are all operating in a piecemeal manner, providing Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), counselling sessions, and interventions aimed at alleviating stress and improving motivation and productivity. But due to the unconscious biases at play, we are collectively running behind to reach the desired outcome. The need of the hour is to devise a compelling policy and cultural framework for mental health support and to make it the core of every organizational structure. Employees who receive mental health support and engage in self-care activities are better equipped to manage stress, make effective decisions, and maintain focus on their work responsibilities. Over the past decade, workplaces have made significant strides in addressing mental health challenges. The once prevalent stigma surrounding mental health is slowly being dismantled, creating an environment where every employee can thrive. Organisations now understand the economic and personal benefits of investing in mental health support. By taking proactive steps to provide mental health support, we can unlock the untapped potential within each individual. The focus should be on creating a future where mental health support is integrated into the fabric of every organization, allowing employees to flourish and contribute their best. Also Read: Discover rare first editions and vinyl at this thrift bookshop in Mumbai This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

03 June,2023 11:48 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Apart from these proven techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation, you must include nutrient-rich foods in your daily diet to reverse grey hair. Image Courtesy: iStock

Mid-Day Premium An expert guide to reverse grey hair with natural remedies

Spotting grey hair can be a stark reminder of ageing. Throughout the lifespan of a human, hair strands go through a natural cycle of regeneration and death. As we age, hair follicles become weak and begin to produce less colour. Thus, appears the inescapable greyness of hair. The question arises, what causes grey hair? The answer is the pigment melanin in the hair follicle, which is responsible for hair colour. As we age, this pigment depletes, turning our hair grey or white. The sight of grey hair is often dreaded as people conceal it with artificial hair colours. While they manage to cover it up with blazing shades, the chemicals in artificial colour can be detrimental to hair growth. These chemicals weaken the hair follicles causing hair breakage, split ends, frizzy hair, itchy scalp and hair loss. For ages, pure and natural dyes have been used to reverse the greying of hair. To learn about other natural remedies that can prevent the greying of hair, Midday Online spoke to the beautician Radhika Iyer Talatiwho is also the founder of Anahata Organic. Here is what she recommends:  “Today, the market is flooded with diverse varieties of hair colour products. These products contain a host of chemicals and questionable ingredients which the ordinary consumer is left to use. Not only does it confuse them but also stresses them about what works and what does not. It is vital for us to also know that ageing, vitamin deficiency, oxidative stress, chain-smoking, regular exposure to chemical dyes and mental stress are among the main reasons for greying of hair”, says Talati. She adds that genetics is also known to be a contributor to premature grey hair. Identifying the causes of grey hairReversal of greying hair is fairly simple if you can narrow down the factors causing the greyness. For example, you could be developing grey hair due to vitamin deficiency. In this case, increasing the intake of a certain vitamin can help reverse grey hair almost instantly. Similarly, if it's apparent stress that is leading to grey hair, then meditating and including antioxidant-rich foods in your diet can restore your original hair colour faster than you think. Research also shows that cutting down on smoking and drinking also reduces anxiety and oxidative stress. Avoiding the use of harsh chemicals or blow-drying your hair too often will also help reverse grey hair. Even though grey hair due to genetics cannot be reversed, there are ways to reduce that effect to a large extent. Here are five ways you can practice reversing grey hair naturally. These tips are also effective in strengthening your hair: 1. Traditional oil decoction formula to regrow hair and reverse greyingThis age-old tradition from Ayurveda recommends massaging your hair with a mixture of 4 tablespoons of almond oil, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of castor oil. All you need to do is warm this combination over a medium flame, let it cool and add to it 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of amla juice. To this mixture, add 1 tbsp of fenugreek powder. Cool, strain and apply generously all over the scalp at night. Use a natural shampoo to wash it off in the morning. When used at least three times a week and left for about 4 to 5 hours, one can observe noticeable results. Practicing this regularly will reduce grey hair, strengthen hair follicles and add plenty of vital nutrition to the scalp. 2. Rubbing onion juice onto the scalpOur grandmothers would always use onion juice on their scalps for great hair. Red onions are an effective way to control grey hair and boost hair growth. The juice of an onion raises catalase, an enzyme that is responsible for darkening hair. Not only that, onion juice is a great source of hydration for the scalp and is known to add shine and glow to the hair. Simply mix 3 tablespoons of onion juice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a bowl. Massage your scalp with this combination and wash after 30 minutes with a natural shampoo. You will notice visible results within a month. 3. Using Curry LeavesCurry leaves contain precious Vitamin B that restores the pigment melanin in the hair follicles. Using Curry leaves in many forms is known to reverse and prevent further greying. Beta-Keratin present in curry leaves prevents hair fall and helps keep the scalp hydrated. Prepare a paste by grinding 20 grams of fresh curry leaves with some water. A. Mix this with 2 tablespoons of curd and apply this all over your head and hair. Leave it on for 25 minutes or more and wash off with a natural shampoo. B. Boil 20 grams of curry leaves, 1/2 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and 1 tablespoon of nigella seeds in about 5 tablespoons of coconut oil until the leaves turn black. Strain and use this oil on your hair.  Boil a cupful of curry leaves in a cup of oil till they turn black. Cool, strain and store. Massage into hair 2-3 times a week. Leave overnight and repeat at least 3 times a week. The results will amaze you. 4. Coffee or Tea with Castor Oil and Henna leavesWe all know that henna is a natural colorant and conditioner. It has been used traditionally as a scalp cleanser and hair conditioner. It is also used as a natural pigment for reversing grey hair. The tannic acid and many other antioxidants present in coffee and tea, when combined with henna are known to give excellent results turning grey hair back to its natural colour. All you need to do is add 1 tablespoon of coffee powder or 1 tablespoon of tea to boiling hot water. Let this infuse for about 5 minutes on a medium flame. Strain, cool and make a paste by adding an appropriate amount of henna powder to this liquid. Let it rest for about 3 to 4 hours. Mix in a tablespoon of castor oil in this paste and apply liberally all over your hair as well as the scalp. Leave this on for an hour and wash off using a natural shampoo. Adding a natural dark hue to the hair, stimulates hair growth and strengthens it, giving it a shine. This remedy not only reverses grey hair but also leaves your hair feeling stronger and shinier than before. 5. Shikakai, Brahmi, Black Pepper and Lemon hair packAnother ancient technique to reverse grey hair and induce vital nutrients into the hair follicles is the use of shikakai, pepper and lemon. Black pepper is known to have numerous benefits for the hair and apart from just helping maintain the natural colour of your hair it also promotes hair growth. Shikakai helps reverse grey hair effectively while strengthening hair follicles and lemon keeps harmful bacteria and dandruff away. Together, they provide vitamins A, B12, D, E and biotin. Important minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium and copper are also present in this concoction that can help keep your hair healthy and long. All you need to do is mix 1 tablespoon each of shikakai powder, brahmi powder, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice with half a cup of homemade curd. Mix these well and massage them into hair and scalp. Leave the paste on for about an hour and wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this at least three times a week for incredible results. Nutritional tips to avoid greying of hair Apart from these proven techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation, you must include nutrient-rich foods in your daily diet that can help reverse grey hair. Consume amla juice when in season and have dried amlas when they are not in season. Remember to avoid preservative-laden foods and stay away from fast food as much as you can. Avoid consuming Maida or fine flour, you will be surprised how clean your body will start to feel. High sugar, saturated fats and too much salt or sodium are also disruptors of hair health. Stick to simple living, turn back to your roots and keep yourself active both mentally and physically. These simple yet extremely effective tips will help you discover the long-lost dark, healthy and bouncy mane that you deserve to sport every single day. Also Read: What is ‘placemaking’ and how it evokes human-nature interaction at workplaces

02 June,2023 09:32 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
Low-carb diets have become trendy in recent years and have been recognized as a dietary strategy to improve glucose control. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Low-carb breakfast can help manage sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes

For people with Type 2 diabetes (T2D), making small adjustments to breakfast may help in controlling their blood sugar levels, according to an international team of researchers led by UBC Okanagan academics. In the UBCO Faculty of Health and Social Development, Dr Barbara Oliveira collaborates on research projects with Dr Jonathan Little's Exercise, Metabolism and Inflammation Lab. Their most recent research, which was just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, supports the idea that people with T2D can benefit from switching from a traditional western-style low-fat breakfast like oatmeal, toast and fruit to a low-carb meal higher in protein and fat, like eggs with bacon or cheese. In fact, changing just one meal helped keep the blood sugar in check. "We're not talking about a complete diet overhaul," says Dr Oliveira. "One of many complications for people living with T2D is rapid or large increases in blood glucose levels after a meal. Our research indicates a low-carbohydrate meal, first thing in the morning, seems to help control blood sugar throughout the day." Controlling glucose levels is critical for reducing the complications of T2D including inflammation and cardiovascular disease--the major cause of morbidity in patients with T2D. "Treatment strategies that can help lower post-meal glucose swings and rapid changes in glucose are crucial to managing this condition," she adds. "We've determined that if the first meal of the day is low-carb and higher in protein and fat we can limit hyperglycemic swings." Low-carb diets have become trendy in recent years and have been recognized as a dietary strategy to improve glucose control, Dr Oliveira explains. However, similar to all diets, it's tough to follow, especially long term. Instead of asking patients to commit to every meal being low-carb, she and Dr. Little examined the idea of making just the first meal of the day low-carb to see how that impacts diet adherence, and more importantly, blood glucose levels. Their 12-week study had 121 participants split into two groups. One was advised to eat from a selection of low-carb breakfasts containing approximate amounts of 8g of carbohydrate, 25g of protein and 37g of fat while the other was advised to eat from a selection of low-fat higher-carb options containing about 56g of carbohydrates, 20g of protein and 15g of fat. All the breakfast options in both groups provided 450 calories. Participants had a variety of breakfast choices and were required to upload a photo of their meal, which was reviewed by a study dietitian to confirm compliance. All participants were provided with a continuous glucose monitoring device they wore throughout the study and also undertook A1C blood tests, before and after the 12 weeks, to measure their average blood sugar levels. They also measured their weight and waist circumference at the beginning and end of the trial. As the study continued they reported feelings of satiety, energy and activity levels. Dr Oliveira notes while there were no significant differences between the low-carb and another group for weight, body mass index or waist circumference, the low-carb group did see a reduction in blood sugar levels and some were able to reduce their glucose-lowering medication. The upward and downward swings in blood glucose levels, known as glycemic variability, with the low-carb group were also significantly lower, suggesting the benefits of a low-carbohydrate breakfast for stabilizing blood sugars throughout the day. One additional interesting finding was that people who had low-carb breakfast self-reported lower calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch and during the remainder of the day. This could suggest that a breakfast rich in fat and protein, while lower in carbs, can impact daily eating habits. "Having fewer carbs for breakfast not only aligns better with how people with T2D handle glucose throughout the day, but it also has incredible potential for people with T2D who struggle with their glucose levels in the morning," she adds. "By making a small adjustment to the carb content of a single meal rather than the entire diet, we have the potential to increase adherence significantly while still obtaining significant benefits." Also Read: Diabetes on rise among youngsters in India: Expert speaks about the reasons behind the chronic disease and ways to manage it This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 June,2023 04:29 PM IST | Washington | ANI
Between 2020 and 2021, the number of weight-loss surgeries among youth jumped 19 per cent. Photo Courtesy: iStock

New study show rise in weight-loss surgeries among children, teenagers

A new study has found that weight-loss surgeries among adolescents have increasingly become a part of obesity treatments in the US. The findings, published in the JAMA Pediatrics, showed the number of metabolic and bariatric surgeries completed among youth ages 10 to 19 has been on the rise since 2016. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of weight-loss surgeries among youth jumped 19 per cent. "This data shows us that adolescents and their families are indeed interested in pursuing surgery as a treatment option if they are given access and a good candidate," Sarah Messiah, professor and paediatric obesity researcher at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health was quoted as saying by CNN health. "Many studies show that cardiometabolic disease risk factors track strongly from childhood into adulthood," she said. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Childhood obesity is a "serious problem" in the US, affecting about one in five children and teenagers -- nearly 15 million between ages 2 and 19. Gastric bypass and other weight loss surgeries -- known collectively as bariatric surgery -- involve making changes to the digestive system to help you lose weight. Bariatric surgery is done when diet and exercise haven't worked or when you have serious health problems because of your weight. The study showed that barriers to access, including low referral rates from paediatricians and poor insurance coverage meant that these weight-loss surgeries have remained underutilised. But earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics published new guidelines for the treatment of obesity -- the first update in 15 years. The new guidelines urge prompt use of behaviour therapy and lifestyle changes and, for the first time, recommend surgery and medications for some young people. Teenagers with severe obesity in particular should be evaluated for surgery, the report said. Also Read: Dermal fillers are on the rise among young Indians, here's why This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 June,2023 04:03 PM IST | New York | IANS
Snehal picked Vasudev as her avatar and experimented with musical notes to create an anti-tobacco anthem. Photo Courtesy: Snehal Kshirsagar

Mid-Day Premium How Mumbai’s slum champion Snehal Kshirsagar uses music to battle tobacco abuse

You reach Snehal Kshirsagar’s house after a short trek through Charkop’s clustered slum pocket. Known as Babrekar Nagar, the slum is home to numerous chawls endowed with blue tarpaulins and dish TV antennas. At the heart of Prabhat Chawl within Charkop, is Snehal’s 10x10 shanty, where she is gearing up for her next big gig. The 14-year-old is set to raise awareness about the ill effects of chewing tobacco through her self-composed anthem.  As we enter the shanty, the mirror reflects her disguised avatar of Vasudev, the agent of social change in Maharashtra. To catch the attention of her community, she has decided to take on the avatar of Vasudev which is a revered community of Krishna worshippers, found mainly in Maharashtra. Vasudev essentially wanders through villages and towns to spread the message of healthy living and refraining from social evils like intoxication. On World No Tobacco Day, Midday Online spoke to Snehal Kshirsagar, who is innovating with the power of music to campaign against the chewing of masheri, a locally sourced tobacco. Genesis of her performance avatarHarking back to bygone days, Snehal reminisces about travelling to her native town, Pandharpur with her mother. The town is a famous pilgrimage destination, on the banks of Candrabhaga River, near Solapur city. She recalls a memory from Pandharpur that is deeply etched in her mind. “Vasudev used to visit my village and sing meaningful hymns about social conduct. Through their lyrics, I developed a sense of purpose and direction in my life.” It was Vasudev’s riveting persona that inspired Snehal’s performance avatar. She believed that Vasudev has a connection with her community and it can serve as a medium for her message. “When I began composing the anti-tobacco campaign, I knew I had to keep his perspective in mind. His figure is the one that people look up to and his words are those they repeat.” To continue with her disguised look, she applies black paint on her forehead and cheekbones. She circles off the black with a white ring to make the look more prominent. Next, she crowns herself with a peacock feather hat that compliments her white frock. The look is now complete. Snehal finally resembles the local God, Vasudev, who survives on the alms donated by villagers. Charkop’s favourite tobacco MasheriKnown as masheri, this raw form of tobacco is a hot favourite amongst the slum dwellers of Charkop. “In my locality, women are majorly addicted to chewing masheri. Come mornings, they head to the local shops and procure a day’s quota of masheri. Next, they heat it on the pan along with harmful elements like sawdust for hours. This turns it more carcinogenic and toxic which women like to chew all day long. Unfortunately, they believe that chewing masheri makes their day’s labour bearable”, revealed Snehal. There are various myths circulating around masheri in the slums. Some of the popular ones are that it helps in curbing hunger and improves oral health. Hence, women place it inside their mouths and leave it there for hours. This is one of the leading causes of cancer among Mumbai's slum population. Chanda Aunty is one of her neighbours who cannot go by a single day without chewing masheri. Joining Chanda are more local women who sit outside their shanties and consume tobacco while working on their daily tasks. Not only elderly women from Prabhat Chawl but several teenage boys from Snehal’s school rampantly consume this tobacco. Snehal attends 10th standard at the Charkop Marathi Sector 1 Secondary School. “As soon as the school gets over, boys from my class gang up and score packets of masheri. They are in the age group of 14-16 and are brazen to do what they like. Their addiction goes unchecked due to a lack of awareness among our teachers and parents”, shares Snehal. Sensitisation towards anti-tobacco campaignThe 3-foot-wide alleys of Prabhat Chawl are home to the newest arrivals of Mumbai. Here, Snehal resides with her grandmother, mother and two brothers (one younger and one older) in a one-room shanty. They have one Android phone which is shared by the entire family and is also the one her mother takes to work. Though her family refrains from tobacco, her neighbourhood is filled with the foul smell of masheri cooking on the pans. To sensitise adolescents against tobacco abuse, a city-based NGO, Salaam Bombay Foundation launched the Preventive Health Education Programme in Mumbai’s slums. The theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day is “We need food, not tobacco”. To build on this theme, the students of Salaam Bombay Foundation were educated on different aspects of health at a pivotal time in their lives (between grades 7 and 9). This program involved workshops on resistance to tobacco use, awareness about nutrition, and looking out for their mental well-being. Empowered with this knowledge, Snehal began to spearhead the change within her community. She became one of the Health Monitors of the Salaam Bombay Foundation which spreads awareness against tobacco consumption and switching to nutritious meals. The power of music to campaign against tobacco“I despised the sight of women chewing masheri. However, I always wondered if I could discourage them from doing so”, informed Snehal who was keen to bring a change in her community. Filling in this gap, Salaam Bombay Foundation equipped Snehal with the rightful knowledge. At the workshop, Snehal learnt about the ill- effects of tobacco and began working on a lyrical composition with a divine touch. Snehal picked Vasudev as her avatar and merged her musical notes to create her anti-tobacco anthem. The lyrics of her composition represent the toxicity of chewing masheri. In Marathi language, she sings: “Vasudev is here, to awaken your social conscience. This life is precious, the value of your life is one in a million. Hey, you quit tobacco now, don't be late, time is too short. Vasudev said that addiction is not good. Gutkha, tobacco is deadly. Hear the voice of Vasudev, hear the higher being in you.” At the young age of fourteen, Snehal is fully aware of what tobacco does to the body. “Smoking and chewing tobacco attacks our lungs and infuses hazardous chemicals in our body. It causes coughing, wheezing and leads to oral cancer.” Today, Snehal disguised as Vasudev, goes about her locality every fortnight to reinforce the message against tobacco. Often, she is accompanied by her friend while performing at the rickshaw stand outside her chawl, Malwani area and at her school. It is her conviction in the power of music, that has yielded results for Snehal. She proudly shares how her efforts have brought a change of heart among two South Indian women in her locality. “Every once in a while, I cross paths with them and they thank me for freeing them from the evils of tobacco. It motivates me to keep going.” Also Read: World No Tobacco Day: Cancer surgeon warns against smoking, here's how to detect oral cancer early

01 June,2023 09:53 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Use these 6 natural herbs for youthful and glowing skin

Every one of us looks for ways to retain a youthful skin and often resort to a variety of products in pursuit of that ideal skin. However, it may not always help. Over the years, there are various natural remedies that have been used to protect the skin. The ancient knowledge of Ayurveda has reemerged, offering a revitalising and holistic approach to skincare in a world dominated by modern beauty products and invasive surgeries. The traditional Indian medical system known as Ayurveda understands that true beauty comes from taking care of the body from the inside out. It offers a time-tested treatment for aged skin that values authenticity and sustainability by utilising natural treatments and antiquated traditions. Ageing skin requires care, especially natural solutions that don't let your skin give away your age. Let's explore the various herbs that help achieve a youthful glow, better known as the age-old Nani ke nuskhe: Turmeric: A golden treasure for skin enhancementThis radiant spice has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Create a golden paste by mixing turmeric powder with honey or milk, and gently apply it to your face. Let the transformative magic unfold as the paste reduces inflammation and reveals a newfound radiance. Simply apply the turmeric-infused paste on your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off the mask with warm water and unveil an improved complexion that beams with natural beauty. Aloe Vera: Nature's soothing elixir for the skinKnown for its soothing and healing properties, aloe vera replenishes lost hydration and leaves your skin soft, supple, and glowing with vitality. Simply apply fresh aloe vera gel directly to your skin and experience its refreshing and nourishing effects. Gently massage the cool gel onto your face. Regular use of aloe vera gel can even help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving you a youthful and radiant complexion. Neem: Nature's shield for clear and healthy skinNeem, within the realm of skincare, is known for its potent antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a remarkable guardian for your skin. This extraordinary plant offers a natural solution for treating acne and combating various skin infections. Harnessing its power is as simple as creating a paste by grinding neem leaves with water and gently applying it to the affected area. Allow the paste to work its magic, leaving it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off. Experience the transformative effects of neem as it revitalises your skin, providing a natural solution for clearer and healthier skin. Sandalwood: A fragrant marvel for rejuvenating skinSandalwood is versatile, catering to different skin types. For dry skin, create a paste with sandalwood powder, honey, and olive oil. It soothes and moisturises skin, revealing a refreshed complexion. For oily skin, mix sandalwood powder, fuller's earth, and lemon juice. It absorbs excess oil and unclogs pores, leaving a fresh, matte finish. Apply the mask to your skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. After the mask has dried, rinse it and experience the transformative effects of sandalwood for radiant and balanced skin. Rosewater: A gentle elixir for skincareRevitalise your skincare routine with the enchanting properties of rosewater. This gentle elixir effortlessly harmonises with your skin, maintaining its pH balance and providing hydration. Experience its calming effect as it reduces redness and reveals a refreshed complexion. Enjoy the convenience of using rosewater as a natural makeup remover, allowing your skin to breathe freely and luxuriate in the soothing essence of roses. Let rosewater be your go-to elixir, infusing your skincare ritual with its delicate and transformative touch. Shatavari: Nourishing elixir for skin healthIn the realm of Ayurvedic skincare, Shatavari, though not traditionally used directly on the skin, holds incredible potential to nurture your skin's health through internal consumption. Available in various forms, such as powder, capsules, or liquid extract, Shatavari is often consumed as a dietary supplement. Indulge in the timeless ritual of taking Shatavari orally, either with warm water or milk, to unlock its holistic benefits. In a world where quick fixes and instant results often dominate, Ayurveda offers a profound reminder to slow down, connect with nature, and prioritise our inner health. The Ayurvedic beauty secrets for ageing skin provide a natural and sustainable path to achieving youthful, glowing skin that radiates from the inside out. It's the perfect time to incorporate the goodness of Ayurveda into our daily beauty regimes. (Dr. Kriti Soni, head of R&D, Kapiva)Also Read: Dermal fillers are on the rise among young Indians, here's why This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

31 May,2023 10:42 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Here are 8 factors causing wrinkles on your skin

People dread wrinkles because we are aware that they cause ridges, folds, or creases in the epidermis of the skin. As we become older, the wrinkles develop naturally on our skin due to various reasons. It is however perfectly normal to have wrinkles on your skin. As we age, our skin normally becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic. However, it may be concerning if you start to wrinkle before your time. First of all let's understand why we get wrinkles, its causes and their prevention from the experts: Sunlight exposureWrinkles are primarily brought on by the sun. UV radiation from sunlight can penetrate the deepest layers of skin and break down collagen, which makes the skin less flexible. Wear sunscreen that is suited for your skin type whether you are inside or outside, whether you are driving or just relaxing by the window. Given the previous weather, SPF 30 or higher is recommended. The sun's indirect rays might also lead to wrinkles. People who work in the sun are more likely to get early wrinkles. Wrinkles may be avoided by donning clothes that covers the skin, such as long sleeves or a hat. Smoking and alcohol consumptionSmoking often reduces the blood flow to the skin, accelerating skin ageing. Skin is dried out by alcohol. As a result, the skin loses strength and flexibility. Wrinkles start to develop as the skin begins to sag. So for the sake of your skin, give up drinking and smoking. SquintingSquinting and particularly active facial movements like furrowing your brows and frowning can also contribute to wrinkles. When you squint, your face muscles stiffen up. Dr Karuna Malhotra, Cosmetologist and Aesthetic Physician from Cosmetic Skin Clinic, New Delhi said "as a result, your skin cells become squeezed and lose their suppleness. Many individuals have a tendency to squint. But you may change this negative behaviour and stop wrinkles from forming by making conscious efforts." Stress is a key culpritDr Sandeep Babbar, Medical Director and Dermatologist from Revyve Skin, Hair and Nail Clinic, Faridabad explained "as we age, the body produces less collagen, and stress also decreases collagen production and can cause inflammation. Collagen loses flexibility and rigidity as it ages, making it less effective at promoting skin regeneration and wound healing. Both a loss of flexibility and persistent brow furrowing brought on by stress can cause wrinkles. Stress can also cause wrinkles to emerge because high amounts of the stress hormone cortisol can break down the collagen and elastin in the skin." Dry skinIf you have dry skin, you are more likely to have wrinkles. People with dry skin produce less sebum, the skin's natural moisturiser, which acts as a barrier to shield your skin from the whims of the climate. Regularly moisturise at least twice a day to prevent wrinkles because doing so prevents dryness, which reduces the likelihood that wrinkles will appear. Lack of sleepLack of sleep makes skin healing more difficult. The skin's ability to retain moisture is compromised, as well as the pH level. All of this causes insufficient collagen formation, which speeds up the development of wrinkles. Excessive cosmetic useYour skin can benefit from cosmetics, but overusing them could have the opposite effect said Dr Karuna Malhotra. They could cause rashes, edoema, clogged pores, and other unfavourable outcomes. All of them can delay the onset of wrinkles by reducing the production of collagen and sebum. Food deficienciesOn the other hand, dietary deficiencies wreak havoc on your skin, causing breakouts, rashes, dry skin, wrinkles before their time, etc. If you don't get enough vitamins, your skin may start to show it by becoming dry, pigmented, dull, or overly oily. Your face and body show the effects of the food you eat. Include vitamin C, D, B, E, and K in your diet; these nutrients are crucial for maintaining healthy skin. "People may go for a variety of treatments to get rid of wrinkles. Making lifestyle adjustments like moisturising, using sunscreen, eating a good diet, being less stressed out, exercising regularly, giving up smoking, and drinking less alcohol can help you delay or prevent wrinkles. For deeper wrinkles, a person can also require procedures like microdermabrasion, botox, fillers, chemical peels, facelifts, etc", said Dr Sandeep Babbar.Also Read: An expert guide to reverse grey hair with natural remedies This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

31 May,2023 10:29 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Researchers discover how junk food may harm deep sleep

Uppsala University researchers examined how junk food impacts sleep in a new study. In random order, healthy volunteers consumed an unhealthy and a healthier diet. The quality of the participants' deep sleep had decreased after the unhealthy diet, compared to those who had followed the healthier diet. The findings of the study were published in the journal Obesity. Several epidemiological studies have found that what we eat influences how we sleep. However, few research have looked into how nutrition impacts sleep directly. One method is to have the same individual consume various diets in a random order. "Both poor diet and poor sleep increase the risk of several public health conditions. As what we eat is so important for our health, we thought it would be interesting to investigate whether some of the health effects of different diets could involve changes to our sleep. In this context, so-called intervention studies have so far been lacking; studies designed to allow the mechanistic effect of different diets on sleep to be isolated," said Jonathan Cedernaes, Physician and Associate Professor in Medical Cell Biology at Uppsala University. Previous epidemiological studies have shown that diets with greater sugar content, for example, are linked to poorer sleep. Yet sleep is an interplay of different physiological states, as Cedernaes explains: "For example, deep sleep can be affected by what we eat. But no study had previously investigated what happens if we consume an unhealthy diet and then compared it to quality of sleep after that same person follows a healthy diet. What is exciting in this context is that sleep is very dynamic. Our sleep consists of different stages with different functions, such as deep sleep which regulates hormonal release, for example. Furthermore, each sleep stage is hallmarked by different types of electrical activity in the brain. This regulates aspects such as how restorative sleep is, and differs across different brain regions. But the depth or integrity of the sleep stages can also be negatively affected by factors such as insomnia and ageing. Previously, it has not been investigated whether similar changes in our sleep stages can occur after exposure to different diets." Each study session involved several days of monitoring in a sleep laboratory. Therefore, only 15 individuals were included in the study. A total of 15 healthy normal-weight young men participated in two sessions. Participants were first screened for aspects such as their sleep habits, which had to be normal and within the recommended range (an average of seven to nine hours of sleep per night). In random order, the participants were given both a healthier diet and an unhealthier diet. The two diets contained the same number of calories, adjusted to each individual's daily requirements. Among other things, the unhealthier diet contained a higher content of sugar and saturated fat and more processed food items. The meals of each diet had to be consumed at individually adjusted times, which were matched across the two dietary conditions. Each diet was consumed for a week, while the participants' sleep, activity and meal schedules were monitored at an individual level. After each diet, the participants were examined in a sleep laboratory. There, they were first allowed to sleep a normal night, while their brain activity was measured to monitor their sleep. The participants were then kept awake in the sleep laboratory, before being allowed to catch up on sleep. Their sleep was recorded in this case, too. "What we saw was that the participants slept for the same amount of time when they consumed the two diets. This was the case both while they were following the diets, as well as after they had switched to another, identical diet. In addition, across the two diets, the participants spent the same amount of time in the different sleep stages. But we were particularly interested in investigating the properties of their deep sleep. Specifically, we looked at slow-wave activity, a measure that can reflect how restorative deep sleep is. Intriguingly, we saw that deep sleep exhibited less slow-wave activity when the participants had eaten junk food, compared with consumption of healthier food. This effect also lasted into a second night, once we had switched the participants to an identical diet. Essentially, the unhealthy diet resulted in shallower deep sleep. Of note, similar changes in sleep occur with ageing and in conditions such as insomnia. It can be hypothesised, from a sleep perspective, that greater importance should potentially be attached to diet in such conditions," explained Cedernaes. The researchers do not currently know how long-lasting the sleep effects of the unhealthier diet may be. The study did not investigate whether the shallower deep sleep may alter functions that are regulated by deep sleep, for example. "It would also be interesting to conduct functional tests, for example to see whether memory function can be affected. This is regulated to a large extent by sleep. And it would be equally interesting to understand how long-lasting the observed effects may be. Currently, we do not know which substances in the unhealthier diet worsened the depth of deep sleep. As in our case, unhealthy diets often contain both higher proportions of saturated fat and sugar and a lower proportion of dietary fibre. It would be interesting to investigate whether there is a particular molecular factor that plays a greater role. Our dietary intervention was also quite short, and both the sugar and fat content could have been higher. It is possible that an even unhealthier diet would have had more pronounced effects on sleep," noted Cedernaes. Also Read: Curd rice to carpaccio: Make these savoury dishes with mangoes this summer This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

31 May,2023 02:30 PM IST | Uppsala (Sweden) | ANI
obacco smoke contains toxic chemicals which also cause damage to the linings of the airways and the lungs. Photo Courtesy: iStock

On World No Tobacco Day, experts explain how smoking affects the quality of life

Consumption of tobacco either through smoking or smokeless form is associated with a number of diseases like cancer, heart and lung disease, can have a serious effect on the quality of life of a person, experts said ahead of the World No Tobacco Day and urged people to quit smoking. World No-Tobacco Day is celebrated every year on May 31 to educate people about the perils associated with tobacco consumption. Tobacco is a major public health concern across India. As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey-India (GATS2) India is home to over 27 crore tobacco users and globally, it is the second largest producer and consumer of tobacco products. Tobacco and smoking contribute to a wide range of diseases, including strokes, heart attacks, lung disorders, and various cancers affecting multiple organs such as the mouth, throat, lungs, pancreas, bladder, kidneys, liver, and stomach. "Smoking claims an alarming number of lives in India, causing 12 lakh deaths annually," Dr. Ravinder Gera, Director and Head of Department, Department of ENT, Max Hospital, Gurugram, told IANS. It inflicts significant damage to lung tissue at a microscopic level. The functional units of the lungs, called alveoli, facilitate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with each breath. "Smoking disrupts and destroys the structure and function of these alveoli, hindering their vital role in gas exchange. Whether from cigarette smoke or the inhalation of non-tobacco smoke, such as burning biomass or incense sticks, the damage to the alveoli accumulates over time and is irreversible," Dr Gera said. "It is crucial to recognise the diminished quality of life associated with smoking as a strong incentive to quit this harmful habit," he added, stating that quitting requires a firm commitment. According to Dr Ambarish Joshi, Senior Consultant, Pulmonology, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi, the urge to indulge in tobacco is mostly irresistible to tobacco users. "To battle those urges, it is crucial to bear in mind that although the intensity of the craving may be formidable, it will typically subside within 5 to 10 minutes, regardless of whether or not you succumb to the temptation," he said. Tobacco smoke contains toxic chemicals which also cause damage to the linings of the airways and the lungs. It weakens the immunity of the patient to fight against the tuberculosis-causing mycobacterium. More than 20 per cent of the global TB incidence may be attributed to smoking. Embracing nicotine replacement therapy, steering clear of smoke triggers, social networking, employing the power of delay, channel chewing impulses with sugarless gum or healthy nuts, avoiding the illusion of just one' and harnessing the power of physical activity are some innovative and effective methods in fending off the urge to smoke, Dr Joshi said. Each step towards a smoke-free life is a significant accomplishment, even though the journey may take time, the health experts said. Also Read: World No-Tobacco Day: How Mumbai’s slum champion, Snehal Kshirsagar uses music to battle societal tobacco abuse This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

31 May,2023 11:42 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Excessive salt intake is considered a risk factor for hypertension, cognitive dysfunction, and dementia. However, studies focusing on the interaction between the peripheral and central nervous system have not sufficiently investigated this association. Photo Courtesy: iStock

High salt intake can cause cognitive disorders, high blood pressure: Study

Dementia is described as a loss of cognitive functioning, which included thinking, remembering, and reasoning, and it is quite common in Japan. At the moment, treatment satisfaction for dementia is among the lowest, and no medication therapy to cure the condition is available. With the world's population increasingly ageing, the discovery of dementia prevention and treatment medications is crucial. Cognitive impairment has been linked to the consumption of excess table salt, a ubiquitous food seasoning. High salt (HS) intake can also lead to hypertension. To prevent adverse health outcomes, the World Health Organization recommends limiting salt intake to less than 5 g per day. The involvement of angiotensin II (Ang II)--a hormone that plays a key role in regulating blood pressure and fluid balance--and its receptor "AT1", as well as that of the physiologically important lipid molecule prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 and its receptor "EP1" in hypertension and neurotoxicity is well-recognized. However, the involvement of these systems in HS-mediated hypertension and emotional/cognitive impairment remains elusive. To this end, a recent study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology thoroughly evaluated the aspects of HS-mediated hypertension and emotional/cognitive impairment. The study was performed by a team of collaborating researchers from Japan, and has shown how hypertension, mediated by the crosstalk between Ang II-AT1 and PGE2-EP1 causes emotional and cognitive dysfunction. Author Hisayoshi Kubota from Fujita Health University's Graduate School of Health Science comments, "Excessive salt intake is considered a risk factor for hypertension, cognitive dysfunction, and dementia. However, studies focusing on the interaction between the peripheral and central nervous system have not sufficiently investigated this association." According to the published data, the addition of excessive phosphates to the protein "tau" is primarily responsible for these emotional and cognitive consequences. The findings are particularly noteworthy because tau is a key protein of Alzheimer's disease. The team first loaded laboratory mice with an HS solution (2 per cent NaCl in drinking water) for 12 weeks and monitored their blood pressure. "The effects of HS intake on emotional/cognitive function and tau phosphorylation were also examined in two key areas of the mouse brain--the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus," explains Prof. Mouri. Next, they also studied the involvement of the Ang II-AT1 and PGE2-EP1 systems in HS-induced hypertension and neuronal/behavioural impairment. The results were remarkable and encouraging: The brains of the experimental mice had several biochemical alternations. At the molecular level, besides the addition of phosphates to tau, the researchers also observed a decrease in the phosphate groups linked to a key enzyme called "CaMKII"--a protein involved in brain signalling. Moreover, changes in the levels of "PSD95"--a protein that plays a vital role in the organization and function of brain synapses (connection between brain cells)--were also evident. Interestingly, the biochemical changes were reversed after the administration of the antihypertensive drug "losartan." A similar reversal was observed after knocking out the EP1 gene. Overall, these findings suggest that angiotensin II-AT1 and prostaglandin E2-EP1 systems could be novel therapeutic targets for hypertension-induced dementia. Also Read: World No Tobacco Day: Cancer surgeon warns against smoking, here's how to detect oral cancer early This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

31 May,2023 09:37 AM IST | Tokyo (Japan) | IANS
As per World Health Organization, cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use worldwide. Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

World No Tobacco Day: Do you smoke tobacco? These signs can indicate oral cancer

“When one smokes, he or she is not only at the risk of lung cancer but even the cancer of the oesophagus, stomach oral cavity and many more.”, warns Dr Deepak Khanna, Consultant Head-Neck Cancer Surgeon at Medicover Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.  In his career of more than twelve years, Dr Khanna has had a long history of serving patients suffering from oral cancer. A common pattern that he has observed is that a majority of oral cancer patients have had a history of tobacco consumption. “A significant number of people getting diagnosed with oral cancer have a record of smoking a pack of cigarettes or consuming chewable form of tobacco. Hence, quitting smoking is the best way to lead a healthy life.” states the acclaimed cancer surgeon.  It is a common belief that smoking just one or two cigarettes a day isn’t harmful. But according to the doctor, this is one of the biggest myths. “Whenever you are smoking a cigarette, you are taking around 30 carcinogens per cigarette. It is a very wrong belief when people think that they can smoke just one cigarette or two in a day and still can get away”, explains Dr Khanna.  Numerous studies have indicated growing oral cancer cases in the country. As the world observes No Tobacco Day today, it is important to note that the increased tobacco consumption is known to be one of the major reasons behind this rising trend. However, when it comes to the dangers of smoking tobacco, experts warn that the dangers are not only restricted to oral cancer but several others.  Spotting any cancer at an early stage saves lives. When it comes to oral cancer, according to Dr Khanna, these are the symptoms to watch out for. “Non-healing ulcers of mouth or throat, loosening of teeth, lump in the mouth or jaw, numbness in the chin or lip area, swelling, red or white patches in the mouth, sore throat, jaw pain, swallowing problems, ear pain, mouth pain, lump inside the mouth, and a lip or a mouth sore. You need to consult the doctor immediately when you notice these symptoms. Delaying treatment can worsen one’s condition.” With the recent developments in health technology and medical research, a cure is very much possible if diagnosed early and treated appropriately. But as they say, prevention is better than cure, Dr. Khanna suggests the following to get over tobacco addiction and keep diseases at bay.  “Quitting smoking and consumption of any form of tobacco is the need of the hour to keep cancer at bay. Smoking harms the vital organs of the body including the heart, digestive system and lungs and is also responsible for type 2 Diabetes and Ophthalmic diseases. So, replacement therapy such as nicotine gums, patches, black coffee, avoiding a smoker's company, physical exercises when you have a high urge to smoke, yoga, and a healthy diet are key factors that can help you to stay away from smoking. Take charge of your health, quit smoking, and add more years to your life.”, concludes Dr Khanna. 

31 May,2023 09:35 AM IST | Mumbai | Katyayani Kapoor
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