Helping Children Overcome Obesity

          Ten Year old Helen, a pupil of Haviborah Secondary school in my community is obese, and her mom says the fight over her weight started when she was a toddler. Her mom who is slim and tall reveals how she has tried to curb Helen ravenous eating habits but to no avail.

       She said my Husband and I are not fat although my mother was a bit on the fat side. I’m not very knowledgeable in that area of genes and DNA, but I know that my daughter’s challenges with obesity are because she finds it hard to control what she eats. I’m really pained about her weight.

       “I couldn’t allow my daughter to starve. But I knew I had to do something. So, she tried getting a nutritionist, someone has to monitor her food intake. After sometime the man gave up on her, I have decided to leave the matter, hoping that she would lose the body fat as she grows older,” she said

      Obesity is a condition where a person has excess fat that has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on your health, thus parent should balance the calories their child eats and drinks with the calories used through physical activity and normal growth.

Getting  your child involved in Physical activity has a great deal of effect on your Child obesity but, most children feel tired and misinterpret your caring nature for hate or punishment, making it difficult to control her weight.

Then try making their favourite meals healthier and focus on reducing calorie-rich temptation is the best measure.

Avoid using food as a comfort measure: this is one mistake parent make. Whenever a parent wants his or her child to do something or behave in a certain way, they offer the child food. That attitude is wrong especially to Obese Children.

            A Lot of Fruits and vegetables should be incorporated into the diet of children to avoid weight. During meal time provide plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grain products for your child. Also include Low-Fat or non-fat milk or dairy Products, Fish and Beans for protein. Beans is extremely rich in protein, encourage your child to love beans. When serving their meals, serve reasonable sized portions.

According to experts, cooking at home allows one to choose healthy ingredients and control portion sizes.

Children also enjoy fizzing and sweet drinks, they don’t enjoy drinking water but encourage your child to drink lots of water and limit sugar sweetened beverages
Another note to parents with obese children should put a limit to their children’s television viewing time. There is a direct relationship between the amounts of time spent watching T.V and degree of weight gain, this habit is also common with adults. You can sit in front of a T.V and finish a packet of biscuit quickly. T.V Viewing can directly cause obesity through replacing your physical activities.

         Childhood Obesity is a complex health challenge that is due to several factors, some of which are genetic, lack of activity, improper food choices or a combination of two or more of these factors. Sadly Overweight children are at a high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life. Children need about 60 minutes of physical activities a day and it does not have to happen all at once.

Encourage your child to join in sports and other moderately intense activities like jumping rope, playing soccer, swimming and dancing.

Children grow at different rate at different times so it is not always easy to tell if a child is overweight, Body Mass Index uses height and weight measurement to estimate how much body fat a child has and can be used to screen for weight and obesity problems from the age of two. However BMI may be a good indicator, it may not be a perfect measure of body fat and can be misleading in some situation. 

"Childhood Obesity isn't some simple discrete issue. There's no one because we can pinpoint. There's no one program we can find to make it go away. Rather, it's is an issue  that touches on every aspect of how we live and how we work - Former First Lady, United States, Michelle Obama"

Episodes of Back pain and remedies

So It is fortunate that episodes of back pain heal with time. However, back pain can be a temporary but recurrent pain that is indeed a very uncomfortable occurrence. It has a way of interfering with your daily routine, aside making you very uncomfortable. It is important to identify the causes of back pain and know the remedies to help deal with it.


This is one of the major causes of upper and lower back pain. This pain usually occurs along with neck pain or shoulder pain. Poor posture puts on strain on sensitized muscles and soft tissues leading to increased tension in the muscles which most times results in pain.


The simple remedy for this is to correct your sitting and standing posture to help alleviate some of the muscle tension causing you back pain. Avoid slouching or hunching your back when sitting. Also try to do exercises that strengthen your core muscles, buttock muscles, check muscles, neck muscles, rear-shoulder muscles and back extensions (exercises like bridges, back extensions, side-lying stretches, planks etc.), this will help improve your posture.
When standing, balance your weight evenly on both feet (don’t lean on one leg), keep your shoulders and back relaxed, pull in your abdomen, keep your feet apart and straight but knees relaxed, and try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways.


Jobs that involve lifting, pushing, pulling or twisting with the low back can cause injury and back pain. These jobs especially affect the lower back and cause lower back pain.
Also, there are some physical exercises that contribute to back pains. Exercises like the ‘touch-your-toes’ hamstring stretch, hurdler’s stretch, leg raises, sit-ups, crunches and high impact aerobic exercises.


For physically strenuous jobs, try to avoid heavy lifting, pushing, pulling or twisting your low back as much as you can. If you must do heavy lifting try to bend your legs and keep your back straight when lifting something heavy. Also, you should often do exercises to stretch and strengthen your core, back, neck, shoulder and buttock muscles.
For strenuous exercises, avoid strenuous physical exercises like the ones mentioned above and swap them for more back-friendly exercises like side-lying stretches, reverse curl-ups, swimming, walking etc.


Mentally stressful work tends to cause stress and anxiety which are two of the most common causes of back pain. Stress and anxiety drastically increase muscle tension, which in turn increases pain. The back contains a variety of muscles that tense during stress and anxiety, which increases pain and leads to a mild or severe back pain in the upper and lower back.
In addition to this, anxiety and stress also cause changes in behaviors that lead to back pain. These include changes in posture (there is a tendency to slouch more, hunch your back etc.), inactivity (there is the tendency of decreased healthy physical activity and mobility) and hypersensitivity (stress and anxiety tends to make you more sensitive to physical sensations which makes them feel more severe and harder to ignore).


Stretching your muscles regularly, watching your posture, occasional massages, exercising and being mobile can help reduce stress or anxiety-related pains in your back. But for a more permanent treatment, you should learn ways to cope with stress and anxiety. This can be done by identifying your stressors and what triggers your stress and anxiety, then finding ways to avoid it if you can or accept and adapt to it if you can’t. Taking breaks can also help, relaxation and meditation exercises also included. Try to eat a balanced diet, sleep well and limit caffeine or alcohol.


During a healthy pregnancy, women usually gain between 25 to 35 pounds which the spine has to support. This can lead to lower back pain for most women during pregnancy. Also, the weight of the baby and uterus puts pressure on blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back, which in turn increases pain and leads to back pain. In addition to these, posture changes, hormone changes, muscle separation and stress during pregnancy can also contribute to back pain during pregnancy.


The good thing is that the back pain experienced during pregnancy gradually eases before birth, however things like safe exercises for pregnant women, applying heat and cold compress to your
back at intervals, working on improving your posture during pregnancy, avoiding high-heeled shoes, and not sleeping on your back can help treat and alleviate the back pain.


A sedentary lifestyle tends to cause increased stiffness and weakened muscles which can cause or worsen back pain. Being sedentary keeps you inactive and makes you miss out on the benefits of regular physical activity which helps to nourish spinal discs, soft tissues and ligaments.


Perform regular strengthening exercises, stretching and low-impact aerobic exercises for the muscle of the back and abdomen to help provide better support for your spine. Move around more and engage in healthy physical activities.

The Health Benefits and side effects of Vinca Plant

The Health Benefits and Side effects of Vinca

            Vinca plant also known as periwinkle with a scientific name Catharanthus roseus is a very common plant that is known to be a native of West Indies and is comfortably grown in Asia, West African, Southern Europe and North America. Surprisingly it is an endangered plant in the wild because of slashes and burn cultivation.

            This plant is mainly used in Chinese Traditional Medicine and Ayurveda for its anti-tumor effects. This herb contains 2 types of active compound such alkaloids and tannins, and about 150 alkaloids are isolated chemically, and particularly an interesting group of about 20 bisindole alkaloids which contains those having anti-neoplastic activity, including leurocristine (vincristine) and vincaleukoblastine (vinblastine) which have some health importance.


             Vinca is mainly used against certain types of cancer such as Leukaemia and Lymphoma and Hodgkin Disease. It has a marked cytotoxic effect and makes it effective against growing cancers either alone or in combination with other drugs in chemotherapy.

             Despite serious safety concerns, periwinkle is used for brain health (increasing blood circulation in the brain, supporting brain metabolism, increasing mental productivity, preventing memory problems).

            It is also used for treating diarrhoea, throat aliments, tonsillitis, chest pain, intestinal pain and swelling (inflammation) and water retention (edema). It is also used for promoting wound healing, improving the way the immune system defends the body.

How to use:

          Vinca alkaloid extracts are available as tinctures which must be used only under medical supervision because the doses are highly specific and can be dangerous if taken excess.

Side effect

          Vinca generally causes side effects such as vomiting, headache, nausea, bleeding and fatigue.


Periwinkle is potentially toxic and has been known to cause dyspnea.

         The related Vinca minor has been declared “unsafe” for human consumption by the FDA.


  •        Evans, W.C. Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy, 16th ed; Elsevier, New York, 2009.
  •       Duke J.A. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, Boca Raton, FL; CRC Press, 1985.

Disclaimer: The topic provided on this blog is for information purpose only and is meant to supplement, and not to replace advice from your doctor or Health provider. This information does not cover all Side effects and method of use. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop or change a treatment that is right for you  

Is It True?, High Sugar Level can Cause Acne

       One thing to know is that sugar is a very dangerous to our health, if taken in the wrong way. It can rob your body of minerals, lower your immune system and can be very addictive. Acne as you may well know has different causes.

        But sugar effects on acne is indirect, sugar by itself do not have a direct major effect on acne. It combines with different kinds of fats increasing the acne inflammation.

       Acne blemishes as a result of clogged pores. Sometimes the clogged pores may not be inflamed. The clogged pores that are inflamed happen with pimples, pustules, papules, nodules and cysts.

      Pimples are small skin lesions or inflammations of the skin, they develop when sebaceous glands (oil glands) become clogged and infected, leading to swollen red lesions filled with pus. The clogged pores usually contain dead cells that encourage growth of undesirable bacteria including Propionibacterium acnes this slow growing bacterium are linked to acne.

How does sugar cause acne?  

        Since all acne is hormonal to some extent and because of genetics acne prone skin is sensitive to androgens, thereby increasing sebum production and skin cell growth.

When you eat something sugary or skip a meal, your blood sugar will spike when sugars get digested then can cause the pancreas to produce more insulin and insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which maintains the blood glucose level but excess of it will in turn, trigger a release of androgen hormones.

      The excess of androgens means that our skin will produce too much sebum, which will then lead to clogged pores, blackheads and white heads which can then lead to further acne inflammation.

     “Sugar is bad for inflammation very bad”. This Study Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows just how bad. In this study they took 29 young healthy men and gave them either 1 or 2 12 oz cans of soda. After 3 weeks here’s what happened to their C reactive protein (CRP) levels, where CRP is one of the best measures of inflammation.
  • ·        1 can per day, inflammation levels went up by 87%
  • ·        2 cans per day, up to 105%

           And this is shocking since people drink much more than 2 cups per day.
         To decrease the presence of acne – is to make some changes to your meal. Studies from the American Journal of Nutrition suggests you may have fewer breakouts if you add more whole grain and beans and veggies and cut back on pasta, white rice, white beard and sugar.

The Beneficial Property of Beans in Our body

The beneficial effect of beans in our body

      I have always enjoyed eating beans; I even participated in a little study of it. Till it hit me two days ago by a friend who replied to my little write up on reducing cholesterol levels using seeds… “Beans could also do wonders on cleaning the veins” which is true!, not many people know the powerful effect of beans in improving your health.

      Beans which is also referred to as large seeds may be a bad rap for making people gassy and I would get to the science of why it gives us gas, Beans contains Oligosaccharides which the human body is unable to properly digest, but are digested by bacteria present in the large intestine thus the by-product is the flatulence-causing gases, but leaving it out of your diet can be a bad joke.
health benefits of beans
     Beans contains significant amount of fibre and an excellent source of protein that can help keep away hunger, they also contain other nutrients like potassium, folic acid, zinc and iron. Interchanging your meat diet with a protein diet in a week would remove some saturated fats present in your vessels reducing chances of a heart disease. Following stories on Fitteam

“Beans contain a wide range of cancer fighting plant chemicals, specifically isoflavones and phytosterols which are associated with reducing cancer risk”.

They are different types of beans like the navy beans, Garbanzo beans, soy beans, Lentils, Red kidney beans, Pinto Beans, black beans even the African honey Beans

Effect of Beans in Controlling Cholesterol

health benefit of beansBeans provide the body with soluble fibre which is important in controlling blood cholesterol levels. Beans contain saponins and phytosterols, which lower cholesterol.

Beneficial Effect in Reducing Constipation

The fibre present in the beans is at a desirable effect for weight loss. And high dietaryfibre also means that you get the bulk effect need for good bowel function and fewer problems with constipation.

Effect of Beans in Managing Diabetes

Because of the complex carbohydrates and protein present in it, it provides a slow and steady source of glucose which helps to stabilise blood sugar level lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Effect of Beans on Body Building

Soy Beans is known to be the only beans with all the essential amino acids thus making it a good muscle building meat.

Anti-Ageing Power of Beans

Some beans like the Red Kidney beans contain anti-oxidants and omega-3. Since omega 3 have been linked to better cognitive outcomes in older adults. Plus the thiamine present prevents Alzheimer’s disease.

Disadvantages of Beans

Although these kinds of beans are healthy to the body some do contain toxins and some causes allergy to your body. Fava beans for example have toxins that affect people who lack an enzyme called G6PD and interact with your medication raise blood pressure. People who have a condition called Favism. Favism can cause anemia through the destruction of red blood cells. 

Other examples like the red Kidney Beans contain toxin lectin which is present in its raw and uncooked state, which causes nausea vomiting and stomach pain. If it isn’t properly cooked.

Reducing Cholesterol Levels Naturally using Seeds and Fruits

Reducing Cholesterol Levels Naturally using Seeds and Fruits

Reducing your cholesterol levels requires you to change certain pattern of life styles like smoking and eating right, regular  exercise.. Knowing what to eat can be a problem since you cant identify what is right or wrong for you.
Here I provide few fruits, seeds and food that can reduce cholesterol levels

Oat Bran 

A fabulous, inexpensive source of the fiber beta-glucan, that can reduce both large and small LDL by 10, 20, 30 Mg/dl. Use oat bran as a hot cereal micro-waved with skim, 1%, or soy milk with Walnuts, blueberries, e.t.c. Or, you can add a teaspoon or two to yoghurt or cottage cheese, even "bread" chicken, fish, eggplant, or other foods.

Ground Flaxseed 

Similar to oat bran but essentially devoid of digestible carbohydrates, it is a wonderful way to reduce LDL and obtain healthy fiber. Use it just as you would oat bran, as a hot cereal or added to other foods.  • Elimination of wheat products - Yes, that's right. I know it sounds weird. Elimination of wheat products is an enormously-enormously-effective strategy that reduces the small LDL particles drastically. Small LDL particles have exploded in recent years, often dominating total LDL. For this reason,
Eliminating any food made with wheat flour, such as all breads (white, wheat, whole grain), pastas, breakfast cereals (unless oat based), crackers, pretzels, e.t.c yields drops in LDL of 20, 30, 50 mg/dl, sometimes more, depending on how much small LDL is present. Get your fiber from oat bran, flaxseed, vegetables, fruits, and nuts instead. Interestingly, people who eliminate wheat find it easier than just cutting back on wheat. I believe this is because wheat has an addictive quality that makes you want more and more and . . . Avoidance of high-glycemic index foods - Along with wheat, this includes candies, soft drinks, cookies, white potatoes, white rice, etc. This effect develops if small LDL is present.

Raw nuts 

A really great way to reduce LDL. Nuts got a bad name from the processed, salted, hydrogenated-oil soaked products that dominated supermarket shelves. Instead, look for raw almonds, walnuts, pecans
and pistachios. ¼-1/2 cup per day can yield significant reductions in LDL and do not make you fat, since high fiber and monounsaturated fat content provide a feeling of fullness that diminishes appetite for other foods.


Yes, yes, I know: The hot-flush effect is annoying. Niacin is vitamin B3 and I have well over a thousand patients taking it. Niacin is as effective as statin drugs in reducing LDL; it's also the best agent available (after weight loss and elimination of wheat) for reducing the dreaded small LDL particles.

Drinking up to 16 oz water if you get the hot flush is tremendously effective in eliminating this annoying effect.
Other methods to reduce LDL include the stannous esters from the butter-substitute, Benecol, and soy foods rich in soy protein like tofu, soy protein powder (as a smoothie, for instance), and soy milk.

Nutritional supplement fans will note the absence of red yeast rice, policosanol, pantethine, and some others purported to reduce LDL cholesterol. However, I have not found consistent, reliable effects with any of these agents.

Please also note that fish oil-one of my favorite supplements in the world-is not on the list because it does not reduce LDL cholesterol. It raises it, in fact, because of the shift of VLDL(Very Low Density Lipoprotein) particles into the LDL class-an important topic for another post.

Remember one thing to note is that eating right is as important as regular exercise to achieve your optimum body weight

Cholesterol!! What You Need to Know...

Cholesterol War!

Cholesterol can be a friend and a foe, at different levels. Knowing that It still is essential for all animal life but if its levels get to high then it becomes a problem.

 What is cholesterol I may ask?

Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance found in all parts of the body its is found in every cell of the body and has important natural function, it doesn't mix with the blood since it is oily based therefore it is carried around the body by Lipoproteins. It is produced in the body and can also be gotten from food we eat (Egg yolk, dairy products and organ meats like liver kidney, brain) which are high in cholesterol. 

They are basically two types of lipoprotein that carry cholesterol through out the body:

Low density Lipoprotein (LDL) “bad cholesterol” – this carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells.

High density lipoprotein (HDL) “good cholesterol”- This carries cholesterol from the body cells back to the liver.

Having healthy levels of both types of lipoprotein is important.


That cholesterol contributes to the structure of your cell wall.
It’s a precursor of our steroid hormone like progesterone testosterone and other important hormones.
Allows the body to produce Vitamin D.
Makes up digestive bile acids in the intestine.


High Cholesterol is one of the major risk factors leading to Heart Disease, Heart attack and stroke. High cholesterol levels can run in families, and women generally tend to have higher levels of HDL than men. Eating foods with saturated fats also increases the amount of LDL in your blood. And for some people Cholesterol- lowering medication may also be needed to reduce the risk for Heart attack or stroke.


High levels of LDL lead to build up of cholesterol in the arteries, where as HDL carries cholesterol to the liver. A build up of cholesterol can narrow the arteries and causes restriction of blood flow called atherosclerosis which process over decades leading to Heart attack, stroke.
Being Overweight or obese can also lead to higher blood LDL levels. Some are Genetic.
Abnormal Cholesterol levels may also be from other conditions like Diabetes, Liver or kidney Diseases, Pregnancy other conditions that would increase level of female hormone, severe Hyperthyroidism and drugs.


There isn't any obvious symptoms that can been seen unless routinely screened through blood testing is done. High levels of cholesterol would go unnoticed and may present itself as a silent killer “Heart attack”.


Total Cholesterol    <200 mg/dl desirable level to lower the risk for heart disease
                                          200- 240 mg/dl Borderline high risk
                                                >240 mg/dl High risk

LDL cholesterol      <129 mg/dl Optimal
                                         130- 159 mg/dl Borderline high
                                                >160 mg/dl high

HDL Cholesterol    <40 mg/dl Low
                                        >60 mg/dl high


  • Eating a Heart healthy food for example Low fat toppings and sauces and avoid food with high saturated fats, eat vegetables and fruits and fiber-rich grains.
  • Regular exercise, increase physical activities can help lower the level of cholesterol in your blood, adopting Healthy Habits.
  • Keep cholesterol checks.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Maintain a desirable body weight.

Prescription Drugs like Atorvastatin can be provided by your Health Professional. Who would advice you more on the drugs needed.

Home Remedies for Sinusitis Before Seeing the Doctor


Sinusitis which is also known as a sinus infection or rhinosinusitis which is the inflammation of the sinuses, Sinuses I may ask “what is it?” sinuses are air filled cavities or fissures present on frontal portion of the skull plate running beneath our checks and eyebrows connecting the nasal passages they make mucus, which helps keep the nasal passages clear from allergens and pollutants, most of us aren't aware of this harmless cavities until we go through the experience of an intense sharp pain beneath the checks and on our eyebrows with several headache and blocked nasal passages.
 Sinusitis can be caused by infection, allergies, air pollution, in some cases these swelling blocks off the sinuses, trapping mucus and air inside them. This leads to the pain and pressure. Sinusitis is common but people who have it use treatments that aren't likely to help. Some people who experience sinus pain recover from it without prescribed medications

Acute sinusitis which last up to 4 weeks.

Chronic Sinusitis which last for several weeks and can still persist for years. That can be hard to treat.

This sinusitis can start because of cold or allergies, fungus can cause it for people who have weak immune systems, according to National institute of allergy and infectious Diseases.

Acute and Chronic Sinusitis have similar Symptoms:
  • Facial pressure
  • Middle ear problems demonstrated by dizziness
  • Pain which starts on the side of the head and progresses to both sides
  • It may be accompanied with thick nasal discharge

Natural Remedies to relief the Sinus pain

Flush your nasal passages- By Irrigating the nasal passages with saline water considers this treatment as the safest and inexpensive way to reduce sinus infection. Take lukewarm water in a bowl and add half teaspoonful of common salt and a pinch of baking soda in it. Fill a bulb syringe or dropper with the saline water solution and slowly add it into one your nostrils.
Keep your head tilted sideways to allow the saline water pass through your nasal cavity. Breathe deeply while adding the saline water and drain out the water through another nasal passage. This may require some practice, and it loosens the mucus present. Repeat this treatment alternatively with both cavities. Although Doctors recommend the Netipot for flushing the nasal passages, the saline water can be passed conveniently through the spout of the pot.

Take a Steam- the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends this treatment by Sprinkling a few drops of eucalyptus or menthol in the shower and steam up your bathroom, inhale the steam and spend a lot of time.
The steam helps loosening the thickened mucous draining it out through the nasal cavities.

Drinking up- Staying hydrated helps your body in many ways. Drinking warm water throughout the whole day keeps the sinuses moist and steer of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks which can cause dehydration, Dr. Robert Graham, MD, MPH says.

Use Garlic- This treatment is highly beneficial for chronic sufferers. Chewing 1-2 cloves of raw garlic in empty stomach is undoubtedly one of the effective home remedies. Garlic is a well known natural decongestant. It can also be freshly chopped in a vaporizing tank and inhale the steam.

Hot Compress- This can be done by filling a deep bowl with steaming water and place your face over it with a towel around your head to breathe the steam in ”just be careful not to burn yourself”. You can follow warm compress with a cold compress with a cold compress. It should be repeated 3-4 times a day.

Massage with Olive Oil or Oil of Oregano- Massaging the painful facial area like checks, forehead and eyebrows with oil is another important home remedy.
Carvacrol, found in Oregano oil is antispasmodic, add few drops of oregano oil in a half cup of olive oil and massage your checks, nose and forehead gently

Don’t ask for Antibiotics right away- Using antibiotics indiscriminately can lead to antibiotic resistance plus they may not be effective in treating most cases of sinusitis. According to a study published in JAMA in 2012, for acute cases of sinusitis, antibiotics did little to reduce symptoms at 3-days of treatment and only small benefits at day 7.Quality of life improved over the 10- day treatment in patients receiving both placebo and the antibiotics.

Rest- When you've got a sinus infection, take it easier than. Get plenty of sleep and give your body a chance to recover

Finally Know when to see the Doctor- If there is no improvement after using natural remedies and Over-the-counter Drugs does not reduce the pain. You should visit the ear, nose and throat specialist because you may need more aggressive treatment

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