05th May 2018
The banana is one of the most easily accessible and best-known tropical fruits with an abundance of health boosting properties.
Nutrients: Vitamins B3, B5, B6, C, biotin, manganese, magnesium, potassium, fiber.
FACTS ON THE BANANA
- Bananas contain high levels of B-Vitamins, which are required by the body to produce energy.
- Vitamin B5 activates production of the immune system’s killer cells, which helps fight disease and illness.
- Fiber and potassium regulate the body’s fluids and help eliminate waste matter and toxins from the system.
Banana smoothie (serves 2)
- 1 banana
- 1 glass low-fat milk
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
Method: Blend in a blender and serve
Vitamin B12 is present in all foods of animal origin. Dietary deficiency is common in vegetarians who exclude milk and milk products from their diet.
THE IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia and nerve damage causing fatigue, drowsiness, depression, digestive disorders, constipation, poor balance and headaches.
What causes this deficiency?
This deficiency is caused by decreased protein secreted by the gastric glands (intrinsic factor) in the stomach.
How is this treated?
This deficiency is usually treated with Vitamin B12 supplements or injections.
Good sources of Vitamin B12
- Dairy products
“Ouch – my back hurts!” is a common complaint.
Back pain is not usually due to a single cause, but the result of a build-up of factors accumulating over time.
The spine is the central axis of the body and combines with the joints and muscles to make a supportive frame for the trunk to maintain an upright posture. It is made up of 33 small bones called vertebrae with discs that act as shock absorbers in-between.
Wear and tear of the back’s supportive structures cause back pain, strain and injury. Ideal posture is when the spinal column is in a neutral position, forming a gentle sloping S-shape.
Why does the back ache?
Our lifestyle often gives rise to poor posture and rounded shoulders. If the natural curves of the spine are overly arched or flattened for long periods of time, the spine gets stiff and weak.
Sitting all day in the office at the desk, traveling long distances on work, going back home and spending evenings sprawled on the sofa–sedentary living; are all factors responsible for back aches.
A working person spends an average of 25 to 40 hours a week in a static position working at a desk in front of the computer.
Leisure time is often spent in front of the television in a slouched posture.
Exercise is not a priority.
Sedentary living and improper dietary habits cause obesity. The extra weight puts pressure on the spine.
Tips to save your back
- Maintain good posture. Sit and stand tall and keep your spine erect, but relaxed.
- Avoid sitting for long periods. Take frequent breaks to move and stretch your muscles.
- Sit on a chair that supports your lower back. The height of the seat should allow your feet to rest flat on the floor.
- Wear comfortable footwear with good arch supports. High heels cause the back to arch excessively.
- The screen of the computer should be at eye level so that the spine and neck are not strained.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
- Perform flexibility exercises for the back daily to keep the spine strong and supple.
YOGA AND YOUR BACK
Yoga asanas work on flexing, extending and twisting the spine to regain strength and flexibility. Benefits accumulate with regular practice.
DO THESE SIMPLE POSTURES EVERYDAY TO KEEP YOUR SPINE SUPPLE AND STRONG
Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Lie in a prone position with arms resting by the side. Bend the elbows and place palms below the shoulders. Raise arms, back, chest and neck of the floor.
Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
Adhomukha svasana (Downward-facing dog pose)
Place hands below the shoulders and come up into a kneeling position. Raise the hips up in a straight line and push the heels down on the floor. Relax the neck and lengthen the back. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
Balasana (Child pose)
Sit on the heels. Slowly bend forward, resting the forehead on the floor. Place the arms beside the body. Relax all muscles. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
BREATHING AND RELAXATION
There are close links between the state of mind and the breath. Breathing exercises bring mental and emotional harmony by linking the breath with the body and mind. When the mind is relaxed, the breathing is slow, deep and regular. During periods of stress the breathing becomes fast, shallow and irregular.
Place one hand on your abdomen and feel it rise as you inhale and sink back in as you exhale. Practice breathing calmly, slowly and deeply from the diaphragm.
Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create that fact.