Our In-House Expert Answers Your Queries On Fashion, Lifestyle And Fitness
Is aloe vera juice really that good for me?
There are hundreds of benefits of this. Most of us are aware of aloe vera as a moisturizer for our skin, but did you know that its juice can reverse irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers? Aloe vera has very high anti-inflammatory properties. Like yogurt, it helps in the growth of good bacteria in our stomachs, keeping our digestive tracts in order.
In addition to its digestive cure, aloe vera also reduces heart reflux, normalizing the alkaline levels of our body. By reducing heartburn, it protects our stomach lining, thus offering soothing comfort. This can help to reduce constipation too.
For me, aloe vera was something I knew of since my mother suffered from arthritis. Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, aloe vera reduces the chances of fluid buildup in the joints. Over-the-counter painkillers have become a habitual drug of choice for arthritis patients, but simply having aloe vera juice for a month can reduce stiffness to levels unimaginable by any of the medicines prescribed by doctors.
Plant sterols within aloe vera are responsible for these effects. They work in a manner similar to steroid painkillers, reducing pain and stiffness. All of this becomes possible without side effects and no long-term damage to the body.
Having said that, I would advise against store-bought aloe vera juice unless you know the sourcing. One of the most common complaints doctors receive is a result of this. It’s easy enough to grow your own plant at home.
I know cotton is breathable, but my socks are forever wet. What’s the best fabric for socks?
It might sound a bit strange, but you’d be surprised to hear that the best fabric for sweaty feet is actually a variety of wool – merino wool to be exact. Because of its light weight and great insulation ability, it also has wonderful natural anti-microbial ability.
Unlike cotton socks, these actually don’t make your feet hot. In fact, merino wool has the added benefit of absorbing more than 30 per cent of its own weight in water without getting wet. So whether it is hot or cold, your socks won’t become a swamp.
Other fabrics you might want to explore are 100 per cent pure polyester (synthetic, but far more durable and breathable than nylon), olefin (a Nobel prize winning fiber) and Coolmax (Dupont patented this fabric and is best blended with merino wool for maximum breathability).
My wife keeps buying frozen fruits for our smoothies and frozen veggies for our soups? Is this healthy?
In theory, frozen food serves a purpose. We can skip a 45-minute preparation time in lieu of a 5-minute (sometimes even shorter) heating period. The food sounds healthy enough – “whole wheat pasta with grilled zucchini and mushrooms”. Where could we go wrong? It’s better than McDonald’s, right?
Like everything else, inventions serve a purpose. It’s up to us to decide how we are to benefit from said technology. These days, fruits and vegetables are farm-fresh frozen, meaning that the maximum nutrients available are coming to us – that too without any added preservatives.
This permits us to enjoy certain seasonal items throughout the year – giving us continuity in nutrients as well as becoming a budgetized way to keep up with some potentially healthy habits.
The key to frozen food is simple. If it is already prepared and then served, skip it. If it has been taken straight from a farm, use it without fear.
For years, I’ve skipped all frozen foods of any kind, but steadily, I’ve added frozen fruits and vegetables back into my diet mainly to ensure that I’m actually getting the healthiest version of my produce (hopefully you buy organic) without questioning levels of pesticides, origin of the product and consistent taste.
Of course, like when buying regular produce, be smart. Something too cheap or sounding too good to be true probably is.
I used to go to the gym every day. Now I tell myself every night that I’ll go the next morning, but I never do. What can I do to motivate myself?
First things first, you shouldn’t be going to the gym just for a certain look. Remember, you are getting older and your shape and body will change no matter how much you workout. The truth is, you need to go to the gym to ensure that you stay healthy, and it seems you connect going to the gym with your overall health. If you are lacking motivation, you need to figure out the reason behind it. Are you always tired? Not getting enough sleep? What are you eating at night that makes it challenging to wake up? Is morning the only time that you can workout? Most of the time, we create excuses for our lack of motivation and do very little to fix it. The best suggestion I can give is to start slow. Isn’t a half-hour workout better than not having one at all? Perhaps a small shift will help you get back into routine.
Beyond the gym, find ways to motivate yourself to simply be more active. The gym isn’t the only place where you can build strength, muscles or lose weight. So maybe it isn’t the first place you need to start. Perhaps it’s in the kitchen, the park or even in the bedroom. At the end of the day, motivation has to come from within. Take baby steps and then let your improved health motivate you further to even bigger and more challenging ones.