More than avoiding caffeine and heartburn-inducing foods at night, consuming certain foods and beverages before going to bed could actually help you in falling asleep faster. We have listed a few things to add to your grocery list for more restful nights.

Skip the white bread, refined pasta, and sugary, baked food items, which reduce serotonin levels and impair sleep. Instead, choose whole grains for your bedtime snack. Popcorn, oatmeal, or whole-wheat crackers with butter are all good choices.

Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, are a good source of fats that are needed for healthy heart. They contain melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. It increases the blood levels of the hormone, helping you in sleeping more soundly.

A cup of bedtime tea can be a perfect relaxing ritual. Ginger, chamomile, and peppermint are some of the calming choices for bedtime.

Scientifically, there is a link between the tryptophan and melatonin content of milk and improved sleep. More than that, there is a powerful psychological link between warm milk and bedtime as a child. A warm glass of milk will provide you the perfect soothing backdrop for a relaxing bedtime routine.

Foods that are high in lean protein, like cottage cheese, also pack the amino acid tryptophan, increasing serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin can contribute to insomnia. To sweeten the cottage cheese, top it up with raspberries, which are rich in melatonin.

Certain fruits containing melatonin can also help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. If you have insomnia, eating two kiwis before bedtime can increase your sleep duration by an hour in a month. Other fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants also have a similar effect by helping to counteract the oxidative stress that is caused by a sleep disorder.

Above all, having a calm and composed mind is the best way to help you get a good night’s sleep!

Adulthood brings lots of responsibilities on your shoulder and a very little time to get things done. In the midst of taking care of your family, looking after kids, and balancing your work, the first thing you will end up neglecting is your diet.

Not taking care of the nutritional needs of your body and binging on junk food to keep you going for the rest of the day can cause a detrimental impact on your health.

Instead of munching on junk treats, here are some healthy alternatives to quickly grab and eat that perfectly fits your super-busy schedule. The best thing about these snacks is that they don’t require any prep-time and can give you a glowing skin in a matter of few minutes.

Dry fruits:

Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, dry fruits are a wonderful grab-and-go snack that is known for their health benefits. Just a brief visit to the grocery store to buy a few packs is all it takes. Store them in your cupboard or have it in your backpack to beat those untimely cravings. The good fats in these nuts replenish the lost moisture in your skin, keeping it healthy.

Cucumber:

Cucumbers contain nourishing, hydrating, and astringent properties that are very good for the skin. The enzymes in them digest damaged skin cells, removing dead skin cells, adding a glow to your skin. The best part is, you can munch on them anytime without any prepping.

Dark Chocolate:

Antioxidants of cocoa can protect the skin from oxidative stress, leading to premature skin aging. Dark chocolates are a great source of pre and probiotics that help to heal your gut and reduce inflammation. They work to fight the free radicals in your body, giving you a bright complexion.

Red Grapes:

Red grapes contain powerful natural antioxidants that can treat inflammatory skin conditions. As a natural antihistamine, grapes help to control the side effects of allergic reactions. Try popping a few grapes into a fresh salad or enjoy a handful as part of a healthy snacking.

Grab on these on-the-go snacks anytime, anywhere to get healthy and glowing skin!

do oral contraceptives for severe acne really work

You might have been looking for acne cure for a long time now and yet hit a wall? To start with, the problem may not be with the product that you use but is the underlying hormonal condition. An abnormal production of ‘androgen’ in female could be the main cause in some cases.
They essentially comprise estrogen and progestin due to which some people might experience mild side effects such as nausea, headaches or weight change

Acne may be controlled with the use of contraceptive pills but due to underlying hormonal issues, these pills can have haunting drawbacks. Here are the risks of taking birth

control pills for acne:

• Increased risk of cervical and breast cancers
• Migraines
• Higher blood pressure
• Gallbladder disease
• Infertility
• Benign liver tumors
• nausea
• vomiting
• stomach cramps
• bloating
• weight gain
• weight loss
• changes in your period
• dizziness
• fainting

Serious side effects of birth control include deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, and stroke. Those who are older than 35 and have risk factors of getting cardiovascular disease, are at a higher risk of these severe effects.
Oral contraceptives contain a few ingredients, which can alter the levels and activity of hormones in humans that can trigger severe acne. Do consult your dermatologist for a personalized care.

Tired all the time? Change your diet

The good news is avoiding fatigue and tiredness is not really rocket science. Here are some things to avoid and simple changes you should be making to your diet right now.

Carbs

Choose your carbohydrate intake carefully. Avoid sweets, drinks with high sugar content, to prevent high sugar levels and ultimately keep away fatigue. However, the carb rich foods you must choose are milk, oatmeal, soy, apricots etc. These are usually low-glycemic.

Water

The most simple and basic must on the list. At least 10 cups of water must be consumed every day, to reduce dehydration and keep tiredness away. A tip to remember about liquids – cut down on caffeine. Do not consume more than 300 mg and keep drowsiness away.

Fruits & Vegetables

Orange, Bananas, Apple, Pears and vitamin reach food should be a part of your diet. Also, cooked vegetables and salads are great!

Breakfast

Never skip breakfast. Your breakfast should always be protein rich. Consumption of cereals, smoothies, oat meals, whole-grain rich food, yogurt etc is the best way to start your day.

Meat

Low meat, especially missing red meat in your diet might be the reason you are tired! Always include steaks in your diet. Also, protein rich and fatty foods like fish, turkey, eggs, pork and bacon must be on the list. For the vegetarians, there is always tofu and nuts to keep you energetic.

Snacks

Snacking and eating at regular intervals is compulsory. Don’t let your calorie intake drop by skipping meals. Three meals a day and snacking with lentil soup, nuts, avocado, berries and other fiber rich fruits and vegetables is the way to go!

carbs, carbohydrates

I read in a magazine to reduce weight, cut down carbs. It is unhealthy! It is your enemy! It should be banned! Have we not heard of these in different languages and emotions?

To be honest, carbohydrates or carbs, as they are called,  is also your friend. The right intake of carbs will keep you healthy.

Healthy Carbs. No Way!

Carbs can be found in typical foods such as sugar in the form of fruits, vegetables and milk. If you have thought sugar is just your typical table sugar it is not so. Sugar is found in almost all forms of food, vegetables and fruits and your body needs sugar everyday. The right amount of sugar will help your body.

Another great way to consume carbs is eating rice, beans, peas and grains. If you don’t like starchy food, then fiber is another way to get going. Fiber such as peas, soya etc are just perfect.

What exactly does carbs do for you? (apart from adding the dreaded weight)

The Human body every second burns energy. Any activity be it running a marathon or lifting your pinkie finger burns energy and carbs provide the energy. And yes, even your breathing.

Another good deed that carbs do silently is, it, prevents diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and keeps obesity at bay. It also helps in indigestion and keeps cholesterol under control including the weight. Carbs helps in reducing or controlling weight if eaten properly.

A proper diet of fruits, veggies, fiber rich food actually helps in weight loss.

How much is too bad?

To even breathe and just be lazy you need 1300 calories a day. If you are active, atleast 3000 calories are needed. So, on an average, a person would require 2000 calories a day and carbs should ideally supply about 45 to 65 percent of this. Any calorie intake above 1200 for a lazy lifestyle is too bad.

A dietician or a nutritionist would be ideal to recommend your daily diet keeping other factors in mind.

Overall, it is all important to stick to a fiber rich veggie and fruits diet including whole grains, legumes and low fat dairy products.

A word of advice – just avoid added sugar products. They do more harm than good except taste heavenly in desserts and colas plus ensure fat all over the body that you would blame on carbs.