Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Delicious Dates

Dabino, also known as dates is a very wonderful and delicious fruit with sweet taste and fleshy feel in your mouth. These delicious fruits contain a lot of nutritional component that the body requires, like oil, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are all beneficial for health. Some health specialists have said that eating one date per day is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet. I have most times wondered why people eat lots of dates during the break of fast. Well, I realised that during fasting the body can develop mild health issues such as headaches, low blood sugar, and so on. In order to avoid such problems, people should carefully monitor what they eat once fasting for the day has ended. In this case, because this fruit is an excellent source of fibre, sugar, magnesium, potassium and carbohydrates, it aids the body in maintaining stable health. Some other health benefits of this delicious fruit include:

It contains essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for normal growth, development and overall well-being. Ripe dates contain potassium, which is known to be effective in controlling diarrhoea. They are also easy to digest, which further helps alleviate the unpredictable nature of chronic diarrhoea. The soluble fibre in dates can also help relieve diarrhoea, by providing bulk to the bowel movements and promoting normal, healthy functioning of the excretory system. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly.  
Dates contain health benefiting antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are also considered to possess anti-infective and anti-inflammatory (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties. The fruit is also rich in dietary fibre, which prevents cholesterol absorption in the gut.

They are moderate sources of vitamin-A which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is required in maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. They have antioxidants which are found to have the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen- free radicals. Dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose; therefore it serves as energy booster. They are the perfect snack for an immediate burst of energy. Many people around the world use dates for a quick afternoon snack when they are feeling lethargic or sluggish.
There are little things, especially foods that we neglect which are beneficial to our health. Most people might not give much attention to dates, but it is important to know that we all need those foods which are good for our well-being. Dates are delicious of course; therefore, anyone can enjoy its sweet taste just in case there are people who cannot stand bitter taste. Eat more dates and give your health a boost! 

 Rifkatu Yusuf

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


A grape is a fruiting berry of the deciduous woody vines of the botanical genus vitis. It can be eaten raw; it is also used for making wine, jam, juice, jelly, and vinegar. Grape is a popular and delicious fruit; rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, Carotenes, B-Complex Vitamins such as riboflavin and thiamin, B6 and folate, in addition to essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus and selenium.

Grapes contain flavonoids that are very powerful antioxidants, which can reduce damages caused by free radicals and slow down aging. Grapes, due to their high nutrient content, play an important role in ensuring a healthy and active life. Health benefits of grapes include their ability to treat constipation, indigestion, fatigue, kidney disorders, macular degeneration and the prevention of cataracts.

Due to their well-known therapeutic value, grapes can be used as cure for asthma. In addition to that, the hydrating power of grapes is also high, which increases the moisture present in the lungs and reduces asthmatic events.

Grape can help prevent certain oxygen-related enzymes from becoming overactive; it increases our blood levels of glutathione, helps protect cell membrane from free radical damage, lowers levels of oxygen reactive molecules in our blood, reduces oxidation of fat (lipid per oxidation) and lowers biomarkers of oxidative stress.

Grapes are rich in polyphenolic phytochemical compound resveratrol, which is one of the powerful anti-oxidant that has been found to play a protective role against colon and prostate cancers, coronary heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/fungal infections.
From the above benefits one can see that grapes play a pivotal role in preventing a multitude of health disorders and can be used as a home-based remedy for several ailments. 

Ruth Yakubu

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Your simple daily personal hygiene

It is often said that if you want to have a long life you must first cultivate the habit of living healthy. For you to minimize the risk of infection and enhance your overall health, you must learn to properly maintain a good personal hygiene. Personal hygiene habits like washing your hands and brushing your teeth will help keep bacteria, viruses, and illnesses at arm’s length. However, there are mental and physical benefits to it. “Practicing good body hygiene helps you feel good about yourself, which is important for your mental health,” notes Donald Novey, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge. According to him, people who have poor hygiene — dishevelled hair and clothes, body odour, bad breath, missing teeth, and the like — often are seen as unhealthy and may face discrimination.  
Here are simple personal hygiene habits that will help you live a long and fulfilled life!

Have a regular Bathe: Washing your body and your hair helps a great deal. You need to often wash off dust and sweat that must have been lying on your skin throughout the day. Give your skin a chance to breathe and not being stocked up by dust and dirt. Your body is constantly shedding skin, and that skin needs to come off. Otherwise, it will cake up and can cause illnesses or skin disease.”

Often cut your nails: Keeping your finger and toenails well-trimmed and in good shape will prevent problems such as hang nails and infected nail beds. Because we use our hands all the time, germs and bacteria can stock up inside our nail causing infections. Nails that are neatly cut hardly contact any form of bacteria.
Brush and remove remnants of food: Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. At the very least, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Brushing minimizes the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing, too, helps maintain strong, healthy gums. “The bacteria that build up and cause gum disease can go straight to the heart and cause very serious valve problems,” Donald Novey further said. Unhealthy gums also can cause your teeth to loosen, which makes it difficult to chew and to eat properly, he adds. To maintain a healthy smile, visit your dentist at six-month intervals for check-ups and cleanings.
Wash your hands regularly: Most people take this for granted. Hands are mostly exposed to bacteria, and this is because we use our hands all the time and in everything we do. Washing your hands before eating, after going to the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after handling dirt, goes a long way toward preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. Always have a hygiene product, like an alcohol-based sanitizing gel, handy for when soap and water isn’t available.
Have enough sleep: Sleep is very essential to our health. It plays a vital role in our overall wellbeing. It helps us recuperate from a lot of stressful moments. When you get plenty of rest like 8 to 10 hours a night, you will be refreshed and are ready to take on the day every morning. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling run down and can compromise your body's natural defences, your immune system. Have in mind that when you don’t have a good sleep, your body becomes weak and vulnerable to any kind of infection.
Personal Hygiene: Good habits help keep you healthy generally. For most people, good hygiene is so much a part of their daily routines that they think little about it. They bathe, they brush their teeth, visit the dentist and doctor for regular check-ups, and wash their hands when preparing or eating food and handling unsanitary items.

You can help those you care about to be healthy and safe. You can help them learn, and be sure that they are practicing good personal hygiene just like you. In order to be healthy, live a wonderful life and be happy, we must cultivate the habit of maintaining a proper personal hygiene. Have in mind that poor hygiene leads to poor health and exposure to sickness and diseases. 

 Rifkatu Yusuf

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


It is a lot of fun to show friends and loved ones how much we care; we often forget that words can help encourage or put a sparkle on someone’s shattered countenance.Maybe we don’t know the right words to use or how we can further show how we care about them other than mere spilling it. However, if you have not been expressing how much you care about people around you, these will serve as a guide on how to go about showing people that you care for them:

A SIMPLE HELLO: One of the easiest ways to show people how much you care is to send a simple hello! It is so easy to send a quick "hi" with our phones, email or other online tools. We have no excuse. Take a funny snapshot, send a joke or ask about how their day is going. Your message may get to someone at just the right time when they need it most. Pick up your phone and change someone’s mood.

HAND-WRITE SOMETHING: We are so “digital” that anything handwritten seems out-of-date. Sometimes, handwritten cards, letters or notes are super special. Drop someone a handwritten note or card(doodles included),and watch their smile spread as they get a wave of memory. You may even feel like a kid again! Address and post your note with an envelope to send via mail for an even better surprise.

BE HELPFUL: It is easy to forget to be helpful around friends.We become so comfortable around people that we miss opportunities to show our generosity. Make sure to always offer up help when your friend is stressed, or even when you are just hanging out at their house. Do not leave a mess! Be as helpful to a good friend as you would be to a new acquaintance.

BE ATTENTIVE: Listening and giving your full attention are some of the most meaningful ways to show someone that you care. Giving someone your ear wholeheartedly, understanding their point-of-view and sharing in a part of their hardship show how much you really care. If a friend is having a rough time, be sure to check in on them every couple of days. They will remember your thoughtfulness even when issues have been resolved.
BE THOUGHTFUL: People notice when you remember little things about them or their lives. Remember your friends’ special days such as birthdays, and which flavour of birthday cake is their favorite. You cannot remember everything, but remembering the little things can go a long way to make them happy. Did they tell you about a daunting presentation at work? Ask how it went later in the week.
PLAN AHEAD: You don’t have to always make last-minute plans all the time. Scheduling something ahead with someone shows them you care (especially parents or family members). Call before your week's plans are set, and ask if they have time during the week.You will feel great having scheduled important meaningful time, and will make those around you feel great too!

Constance Clement

Monday, 14 September 2015


Pawpaw, also known as Carica Papaya or Asimina triloba (its scientific name) is a fruit that grows in tropical areas throughout the world. It is the largest edible fruit that has yellow-green skin and soft orange flesh with creamy, custard-like consistency and a delicious sweet flavor. Most people enjoy pawpaw simply because it is delicious, but increasingly, research is showing that the health benefits of pawpaw may be even greater than its delicious taste.

Pawpaw is rich in vitamins and minerals; traces of calcium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin are found in pawpaw. It is also very rich in antioxidant, flavonoids and carotenes; very high in dietary fiber, vitamins C and A, and low in calories and sodium. Increased consumption of pawpaw decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, and promotes a healthy complexion.
Pawpaw is an excellent digestive aid, lowering blood pressure, reducing bloating and indigestion and improving blood glucose control in diabetics. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce the severity of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and aid in improving wound healing among many other conditions that are caused by, or exacerbated by inflammation.
The pawpaw fruit has a higher amount of protein than the banana, apple or orange and is rich in fatty acid. Including papaya in your diet may lessen your risk of developing cancer. It contains an enzyme called arginine which is known medically to have aphrodisiac effect. A more concentrated form of arginine is used to treat erectile dysfunction. Pawpaw is satiating, it is therefore good for people trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight.
Papaya prevents heart attacks and stroke. The antioxidants in papaya prevent cholesterol from oxidizing. When cholesterol becomes oxidized it forms plaque in the blood vessel walls that eventually build up and cause a heart attack or stroke. The fiber in papaya converts a substance called homocysteine into harmless amino acids that the body can process, but without the breakdown, homocysteine can eventually damage blood vessel walls, causing strokes or heart attacks.

Eating pawpaw will help your body metabolize the other food you eat and make you always stay healthy.

Ruth Yakubu

Friday, 11 September 2015

Leg Jewellery: Fashion, Science or Myth?

Wearing of leg jewelleries (toe rings and ankle chains) has been in practiced for centuries, especially in India where adorning the legs with jewellery has always held a symbol significance. Over time, all sorts of rings have been worn by people of different countries, cultures and tribes. I recently stumbled on an article on www.utsavpedia.com revealing a science behind wearing a toe ring. According to the article, toe rings are worn for a scientific reason; “there are pressure points in the second toes of our feet. As per the Vedas, applying pressure to these points helps in regulating the menstrual cycle in women, increases the chances of conception and also keeps the uterus healthy by ensuring blood circulation.” Well, this is quite new to me. I know that many women wear toe rings for the sake of fashion these days. I am not really a fan of toe rings or leg chains, but it is okay for those who find it fashionable enough to wear.
While most of the young generation might think that toe rings are just another accessory to adorn the body, it appears to be much more than that. Other than just a fashion fad, there are claims that leg jewellery has scientific benefits in addition to being a symbol of marital status in India. It is worn as a symbol of marriage by Hindu women just like the wedding bands and rings in western societies. Toe rings are called Bichuya in Hindi. Tradition of wearing toe rings carries tremendous social significance for married women in India.

Nowadays, the toe rings are not just for married women anymore. A lot of unmarried girls also wear them and it has become a huge trend in Europe and America, plus Africa as well. Though there is no documentation on when and why toe rings came into use, but there could be some health benefits of wearing toe rings. The reflexology scripts mention about treating gynaecological problems by massaging the second toe. There is also a belief that the wearing of toe rings press on certain nerves that pertain to the reproductive system, which helps in keeping the system balanced and healthy. By wearing these rings in both feet, it is believed that the menstrual cycle course is regularized with even intervals. This gives good scope for conceiving to married women, according to www.wordpress.com.

I have come across people who claim that toe rings have hidden significance and some healing powers. But the claim is yet to be proven. In western countries leg jewelleries are worn just for fashion, with no hidden meaning. But in the Hindu religion, when a woman wears a pair of silver toe rings, it means that she is married.

These days, young people around the world are breaking boundaries; like they say, the world has become a global village. So cultures are being hybridized. It is becoming increasingly difficult to associate some practices with particular regions of the world. Therefore, whether leg jewelleries have scientific benefits, religious or social symbolism, what matters most is that it has become trendy globally. So if you fancy it for whatever reason, then wear it. As for me, I prefer jewelleries around my neck, ears and wrists.

Rifkatu Yusuf

Thursday, 10 September 2015


Cherries are a favorite summer fruit in the United States, where about 370 million pounds are grown each year. Cherries are one of those fruits that take a labour of love to consume, as you have to remove the pits before you can enjoy them. Cherries, which are members of the same fruit family as peaches, plums, apricots and almonds, are often regarded as a garnish for cocktails.

But cherries have a healthy side too, one that may actually offer therapeutic benefits to your body, as cherries are rich in antioxidants and many other health promoting compounds. They are beautiful and delicious; but there’s much more to enjoy in cherries than just their amazing taste. Cherries are also used to make juice concentrates that may offer some unique effects on health. Some of the most notable health benefits of cherries include:

Support Healthy SleepCherries contain natural melatonin, which is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger that helps “cool down” excess inflammation and associated oxidative stress; it also plays a vital role in sleep and bodily regeneration. Based on daily environmental signals of light and darkness, your pineal gland has evolved to produce and secret melatonin to help you sleep. Consuming tart cherry juice not only helps increase your melatonin levels, but may also improve time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency.

Cancer Preventive Compounds Sweet cherries contain fibre, Vitamin C, carotenoids, and anthocyanins, each of which may help play a role in cancer prevention. The potential role of sweet cherries in cancer prevention lies mostly in the anthocyanin content, especially cyanides. Sweet cherries are a good source of cyanides which appear to act as antioxidants and in this role may reduce cancer risk.

Help Ward Of Alzheimer’sThe Alzheimer’s association include cherries as one of the memory boosting foods because they are rich in antioxidants.

Antioxidant Protection Cherries contain powerful antioxidants like anthocyanin and cyanide. One study found the antioxidant activity of these substances isolated from tart cherries was superior to that of vitamin E and comparable to commercially available antioxidant products. Sweet cherries also contain a small amount of quercetin, which is among the most potent in terms of antioxidant activity and a wide range of other health promoting properties.

Reduces Risk Of StrokeTart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits. The anthocyanin, which are the pigments giving a tart cherries its red colour, may activate PPAR (Peroxisome Proliferators Activating Receptors) which regulates genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism and thus, reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.

Protection From Diabetes Sweet cherries have a lower glycemic index of 22, lower than apricots, grapes, peaches, blueberries or plums. This makes them a better choice of a fruit snack compared with many other fruits, especially for diabetes.

Good For The HeartCherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. The phytosterols in cherries help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Slow The Aging Of SkinTart cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruits. Antioxidants help the body fight the free radicals that make us look old. Drinking one glass of tart cherries juice daily slows down the aging process. Cherry juice is also recommended as an alternative treatment for other skin conditions.

Reduce Post-Exercise Muscle Pain Athletes who consumed tart cherry juice prior to long distance running experienced less pain than those who did not. It’s thought that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherries may have a protective effect to reduce muscle damage and pain during strenuous exercise.

Helps With Osteoarthritis Relief When tart cherries juice are consume twice a day for three weeks, it helps reduce the pain and discomfort of swollen joints.

 Ruth Yakubu

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Tiger-nuts Milk (Kunnun Aya): A healthy Drink for Your Body

Tiger-nuts milk (Kunnun Aya) is an incredibly delicious and nutritious drink with a lot of health benefits. If you care about your health, then you should consider trying this healthy drink, especially if you haven’t tried it before. But for those of us who already know about the benefits of this drink, we are already living by the health benefits it provides. Apart from making milk out of tiger nuts, they can also be eaten raw and whole; but have in mind that the chaff is not to be swallowed.

Tiger nuts have long been recognized for their nutritional benefits. They contain great amount of soluble glucose, vitamins E and C, and high energy foods like starch, fats, sugars and proteins. In addition, they are rich in minerals such as phosphorous and potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron, which are necessary for bones, muscles, tissue repairs, growth and development.
Tiger nut milk is suitable for diabetic people because it is sugar free. It also helps in weight control due to its content of carbohydrates with a base of sucrose and starch (without glucose), and its high content of Arginine, which liberates the hormone that produces insulin. It is good for those who suffer from indigestion, flatulence and diarrhoea because it provides digestive enzymes like the catalase, lipase and amylase. The high content of oleic acid has positive effect on cholesterol, thereby preventing heart attacks, thrombosis and activates blood content of soluble glucose. Tiger nut reduces the risk of colon cancer. It prevents constipation.
Tiger nut contains a good quantity of vitamin B1, which assists in balancing the central nervous system and helps to encourage the body to adapt to stress. The milk from tiger nut supplies the body with enough quantity of Vitamin E which is essential for fertility in both men and women. Vitamin E also delays cell aging, improves elasticity of skin and helps to clear wrinkles, acne and other skin alterations.

In China, tiger nut milk is used as a liver tonic, heart stimulant; it is taken to heal serious stomach pain, to promote normal menstruation, to heal mouth and gum ulcers. It is even used in Ayurvedic medicines. The black species of the tiger nut is an excellent medicine for breast lumps and cancer. The tubers have a relatively high total antioxidant capacity, because they contain considerable amounts of water-soluble flavonoid glycosides.
It may interest you to know that the consumption of antioxidants could protect the immune system against malnourished populations. Therefore taking foods that contain enough antioxidants may delay the progression of HIV infection to AIDS.

Tiger nut milk is a wonder drink that contains no alcohol or any damaging agents in it. It is pure, natural, healthy and recommended for everyone.

 Rifkatu Yusuf

Thursday, 3 September 2015


A smile is a facial expression formed primarily by flexing the muscles at the sides of the mouth. Smiles performed without the eye contraction can be perceived as “fake”. Smiling is an expression denoting pleasure, sociability, happiness or amusement. It can also communicate feelings such as love, happiness, pride, contempt and embarrassment. You do not need to always spend your money going to the hospital to boost your health. There are many ways you can personally save money and boost your health. There are even a few things you can do that are absolutely free. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to boost your health, your mood, your longevity, and even your success is to smile.

Smiles do a lot more than simply let the world know you’re happy. They don’t even have to be genuine to have some effects, but truest smiles do you the most good. Smile makes a difference in what others see and in how you feel. Here come its benefits.  

Reduce Stress – Stress is a common problem in the modern world that causes a myriad of health problems. Stress relief may be as simple as smiling a little more throughout the day. Smiling releases endorphins that counteract and diminish the stress hormones.

Lowers Your Heart Rate – Smiling slows the heart and relaxes the body. This lets the heart work without overworking. People who smile and laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease. Smiling also temporarily reduces blood pressure.

Boost Immune System – Smiles help the body relax and this lets the immune system react more quickly and effectively against invaders.

Better Mood – The endorphins do more than kick stress to the curb. Endorphins lift your mood. Feeling down? Slap a smile on your face, even if it isn’t entirely genuine at first, and turn your entire day around with something simple, easy to do, and free.

Kill Pain – Smiling and laughter both have been shown to lessen pain. They release endorphins that lift our moods, but many of these act as natural pain killers too.

Increase Productivity – Smiling has been shown to increase your productivity while performing tasks. There’s truth to the “whistle while we work” mentality. This also explains why silly internet memes and pictures of cute animals can actually get people motivated and working harder after a few moments of smiling or laughter. 

Encourage Trust – Studies show that we are more trustful of others when they smile and smile genuinely. Trust is an important part of social health when dealing with people, whether they are loved ones or simple acquaintances. It seems relationships are truly built on smiles.

Produce Empathy – When we’re embarrassed or caught doing something questionable, often our first response is a smile. This instinct breaks the initial ice of embarrassment, promotes leniency in what others think of us, and engenders a sense of empathy since we’ve all experienced embarrassment and we want to smile along.

Avoid Regret – We smile to avoid feeling bad for not smiling. Sounds weird and circular, but we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, so we smile when someone shares some story about their dog, even if we don’t really care. Studies show that if we don’t smile, we feel regret for failing to do so. This regret brings down our mood and boosts stress hormones.

Increase Attention – Stress limits our perceptions and narrows our attention. Our bodies kick into fight or flight mode where we can focus only on one of those things. Smiling counteracts this and widens our attention again, opening us back up to multitasking and insights that come from the fringes of our perception and our subconscious.

Contagious – Around 50% of people smile back when you smile at them. This spreads the health benefits throughout those around you and it comes back to you several times as well.

Build Attraction – Smiling makes people more attractive. This seems to be especially true for women. Men are more likely to approach a woman who smiles than one who simply makes eye contact, while women aren’t necessarily drawn in by a smile alone.

Earn Success – A smile can appear confident, self-assured, and on top of your work. Those who smile are more likely to earn more money through tips and raises. They are more readily approached with business ideas and offered advancements.

Look Younger – Smiles naturally lift the face and in studies have shown to make people look younger, around 3 years younger on average.

Longevity – The effects of a good smile extend past just the exterior good looks; people who smile more often live longer too, around 7 years longer than most according to one study. It releases stress, helps the heart, and much more to keep you healthy longer. Always smile and have a good sound health. 

 Ruth Yakubu