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Dr K K Aggarwal

5 Ways to Use less Salt

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. Use spices and other flavor enhancers such as spices, dried and fresh herbs, garlic and ginger, citrus, vinegars and wine. Flavors can be black pepper, cinnamon and turmeric to fresh basil, chili peppers and lemon juice.
2. Use the right healthy fats from roasted nuts and avocados to olive, canola, soybean and other oils.
3. Searing and sautéing foods in a pan builds flavor. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of many vegetables and the taste of fish and chicken. If you do steam or microwave food, perk up these dishes with a finishing drizzle of flavorful oil and a squeeze of citrus.
4. Get your whole grains from sources other than bread. White bread contains salt, not just for flavor but to ensure that the dough rises properly.
5. Shop for raw ingredients with maximum natural flavor, thereby avoiding the need to add as much (if any) sodium. (Harvard)

Why is there a ritual or tradition of offering food to God before eating?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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This is a Vedic reminder to oneself that one should eat only those foods that are offered to God. Each time you offer food to God, it is a reminder to you to change your decision and choices. For example, alcohol, tobacco, onion, garlic, radish, etc. are not offered to God. If they are part of your food, there are chances that you will not consume these food items, if you observe this ritual.

Over a period of time people have stopped following this ritual and now eat some foods, which cannot be offered to God in all their 21 meals during a week. This is the reason why the incidence of lifestyle diseases is increasing in the community.

Five simple steps for better eye health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Get a comprehensive medical eye exam at 40 years of age.

• Know your family history such as history of glaucoma.

• Eat healthy foods.

• Stop smoking.

(Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology, April 24, 2017)

• Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.

Let the mud settle down

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Once Buddha while travelling happened to pass a lake. Buddha told one of his disciples, I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.

The disciple noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, how can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink! So he came back and told Buddha, The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.

After about an hour later Buddha asked the same disciple again to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. This time the disciple found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water was fit for drinking. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water and said, See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be … and the mud settled down on its own and you got clear water… Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.


Be Alert about Symptoms of Heart Attack

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If you are not sure whether you have heartburn or something more serious — like a heart attack — you should get yourself checked out.

The most common symptom of coronary heart disease is chest pain (angina) or discomfort, which can also occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back. People may mistake this pain for indigestion, which can be dangerous. Sometimes, it’s impossible to tell the difference between the symptoms of heartburn, angina and heart attack.

Symptoms of a heart attack include the sudden onset of tightness, pressure, squeezing, burning or discomfort in the chest, throat, neck or either arm. When these symptoms are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sweating, shortness of breath or a fainting sensation, one should be especially suspicious that you might be having a heart attack. People who have any risk factors that may predispose them to a heart attack should be particularly cautious. Unfortunately, many people may not be aware they are having a heart attack.

Some clues

• Heart attack pain is never pinpointed.

• Heart attack pain never lasts less than 30 seconds.

• If you smoke, have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, are overweight or have a strong family history of heart disease and have any symptom related to the chest or heart, you should be alert.

 

Managing grief by free expressive writing

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The loss of a loved is often painful. The resultant grief makes it hard to eat, sleep and leads to loss of interest in routine life affecting behavior and judgment.

Some can feel agitated or exhausted, to sob unexpectedly, or to withdraw from the world and others may find themselves struggling with feelings of sorrow, numbness, anger, guilt, despair, irritability, relief, or anxiety.

It is well known that disclosing deep emotions through writing can boost immune function as well as mood and well–being. Conversely, the stress of holding in strong feelings can ratchet up blood pressure and heart rate and increase muscle tension.

One can write on a piece of paper, in your personal book, on the open website with nick name or keep it in the mind. One doesn’t have to preserve the emotions and can through away the writings.

In absence of deeply troubling situations, such as suicide or a violent death which are best explored with the help of an experienced therapist, one can choose writing as a way to express out the grief.

• Start writing for 15 to 30 minutes a day for 3-4 days. Continue up to a week if it is helping. • Continue writing for 15 to 30 minutes once a week for a month. • Writing has stronger effects when it extends over more days.

• Remember writing about grief and loss can trigger strong emotions (one may cry or feel deeply upset)

• Many people find journal writing valuable and meaningful and report feeling better afterward

• Don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure.

• Truly let go. Write down how you feel and why you feel that way. You’re writing for yourself, not others.


Chikungunya Update

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Chikungunya fever is a non-fatal debilitating viral illness, which spreads by the bite of infected female Aedes aegypti / albopictus mosquito.

Symptoms develop 3-7 days after the bite by an infected mosquito. The classical triad is skin rash, joint pains and high fever. Most patients will usually recover within 1-2 weeks. Cold compressions may easy pain.

There is no vaccine to prevent or drugs to treat. Plenty of rest and fluids to prevent dehydration is recommended.

Aspirin or NSAIDs should not be taken until dengue is ruled out. Both ailments may present with similar symptoms.

In 20% cases, joint involvement may persist for weeks and in 10% cases, they tend to persist for months. While in 10% cases, swelling disappears and the pain subsides, but will reappear with every other febrile illness for many months. Each time the same joints get swollen, with mild effusion and symptoms persist for a week or two after the fever subsides.

Clinically, about 92% have symmetric polyarthralgias, 67% have arthritis and 75% skin rash. About 89% show a very good clinical response to NSAIDs, some 27% require low-dose steroids and 5% may need methotrexate therapy.

Non weight-bearing exercises may be suggested such as slowly touching the occiput (back of the head) with the palm, slow ankle exercises, pulley-assisted exercises, milder forms of yoga.

Standard treatment is paracetamol 1 g up to four times a day for up to 4 weeks.

If pain persists at 4 weeks, then a 4-week course of oral steroids can be given.

At 8 weeks, if pain persists, then specific disease-modifying drugs like hydroxychloroquine may need to be added.

Chikungunya can unmask psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in some cases.

It can cause, in some cases, neuro and ocular manifestations (encephalitis, mononeuritis, optic neuritis).



Collective Consciousness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Consciousness is an energized field of information with powers to do everything in the universe. Collective consciousness is the internet of the collective souls of many people in a group.

Collective consciousness is the strongest superpower ever available in the universe. As per the Vedic texts, whatever is the intent of collective consciousness will become a reality. Scientifically collective consciousness is based on the principle of critical mass. The Vedic literature has shown it to be the 1% of the defined population under study.

The origin of the critical mass comes from 100th monkey phenomenon. The story goes as under: Long ago in Japan a monkey called Emo used to eat dirty apples everyday picked up from the ground. One day by accident the apple fell down in a river, the dirt got washed off and he ate the washed apple. Obviously it tasted delicious. The monkey started washing the apple thereafter every day before eating. His fellow monkey started following the same. The process of following went on. A time came when the 100th monkey washed the apple and ate. A strange phenomenon was noticed. All monkeys in and around that state started washing the apple before eating. The number 100 was the critical mass.

Once this mass is crossed, information spreads like wild fire and the intent becomes a universal reality. Vedic literature has also shown that if 1% of the public of any area meditates together the crime rate of that area goes down. It also talks about the role of critical mass in prayers in achieving miracles.

The principle of critical mass is often used in designing and organizing an event. In a movie hall of 1000 people if 10 people sitting in different areas clap, then everybody will clap. The same applies to hooting. For a gathering of 10000, 100 are needed and for a gathering of 1000 people, 10 supporters are required, who are supposed to sit in different areas and shout or clap on given directions. The Mexican way of hooting or clapping in cricket grounds also follow the same principle. Most successful leaders used this technology to lead.


Tips for healthy ageing

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Quit smoking: This is the first and foremost critical step that you can take in order to improve your health and combat age related health complications. Smoking kills by causing deadly diseases like cancer, strokes and heart failure. If you were a smoker in your younger years and still are, it is not too late to quit this fatal habit.

• Stay active: Make it a daily routine to undertake something that keep you fit and active. Let it be something that promotes strength, balance and flexibility and most importantly, something that you enjoy. Physical activity is critical for maintaining a healthy weight, controlling illness, promoting bone strength and reducing stress.

• Prevent accidental falls: Elderly people are especially vulnerable to accidental falls. They can be prevented by making small changes around your house like removing loose rugs and carpets, keeping walking paths free of cords and clutters and using night lights for hallways. Wearing good friction supporting shoes has been observed to significantly prevent falls.

• Stay updated with immunizations and screenings: Women over 50 should maintain regular mammography screening for breast cancer and Pap smear test for cervical cancer. Similarly, men should get screened for prostate cancer. Some preventive vaccinations against infections that can occur during old age are also available. Cholesterol, lipid profile and thyroid screenings are equally important. Consult your healthcare provider for these options.

• Maintain a heart healthy lifestyle: The chances of heart disease increase significantly as you grow older. To combat this deadly disease, maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI), keep your blood pressure in check and eat a healthy diet with less salt/sugar and cholesterol.

• Eat well: A well-balanced healthy diet when combined with moderate physical activity can be the key to healthy aging. Many illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis are strongly linked to what you eat. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help women.

• Stay mentally active: Maintain a good amount of mental activity in old age to counter dementia and cognitive impairment that come with aging. Any issues of mental lapse and memory problems should be addressed promptly.

• Sleep well: Many elderly people face problems with maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Insomnia and daytime sleepiness in excess are common complaints, talk to your healthcare provider about such issues.

• Manage stress: Old age can be stressful, especially due to emotional trauma associated with loss of loved ones, major life transitions and loneliness. Try exercise and relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. Old age can be a great time to renew your social circle. Practice the art of positive thinking, it may seem small but it can take your health a long way. Keep you sense of humor, those laughing exercises may look silly but are really helpful.

• Get regular checkups for dental, vision and hearing health: Your teeth, gums, vision and hearing have the potential to last a lifetime, if cared for properly. Get regular checkups with your healthcare provider to understand how old age affects these aspects and what changes you can incorporate to keep them healthy.

Leverage your strengths

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Know your strengths.

• According to a British study, only about one-third of people have a useful understanding of their strengths.

• If something comes easily, you may take it for granted and not identify it as a strength.

• If you are not sure, ask someone you respect who knows you well, by noticing what people compliment you on, and by thinking about what comes most easily to you.

• Strengths most closely linked to happiness are gratitude, hope, vitality, curiosity and love.

• Strengths are so important that they are worth cultivating and applying in your daily life, even if they do not come naturally to you.

9 Rules for Staying Positive

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Below are 9 rules in order to stay positive and live a stress–free life:.

1. I must develop the power of not looking back in the past to read the old chapters of life again and again because I cannot go back to my past to fix things. Whatever has happened has happened. Now is the time to review the lessons learnt once and then focus on to improve my present and future.

2. I have to stay away from negative souls, which means I have to avoid spending time with people doing backbiting, criticizing, cursing, complaining, conspiring, corrupting and complicating.

3. I have to stop judging others for their actions. I must mind my own business instead of interpreting their actions and commenting in negative way. Thinking and speaking about others pollutes my thoughts and steals my peace of mind.

4. I must develop the habit of gratitude, which means that at the end of each day I must refresh the fact that I am better than billions of the people of the world. Being healthy, not in debt, sleeping on the bed, eating 3 times a day and using internet are the great blessings billions of people don’t enjoy. People possessing high level of gratitude strengthen positive powerful thoughts.

5. I must spend time in reading good books, visiting websites on positivity, liking Facebook pages containing quotes and reading inspirational stories on daily basis. This will help remove negative impurities from my personality and empower my positive personality trait.

6. I must stop being explosive and reactive to people and situations. I must stay positive about other’s feelings and respect their opinions because every soul is unique in thinking so I should avoid imposing my thoughts to others. I must confess the fact that I can be wrong at times so understanding other’s perspective and being empathic is very important for me to avoid building stress reducing my self-positivity-index.

7. I must be positive about my circumstances even if they are not so good. I have to understand the fact that time does not stop so I have to start taking the necessary actions to expedite the change process. One thousand plans cannot be equal to the power of one great step taken right now!!!

8. I must of focus on spiritual awakening acts such as frequent attacks of smiling, loss of ability in conflicts, loss of ability to judging others, ability to react to things as they happen instead of living in fears and so on.

9. I must focus on improving the quality of my thoughts because quality of thoughts determines the level of peace of mind.


Vitamin A–rich diet – Vitamin A–rich foods include the following:

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Liver

Beef

Chicken

Eggs

Whole milk

Fortified milk

Carrots

Mangoes

Orange

fruits

Sweet potatoes

Spinach, kale, and other green vegetables

Eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day is recommended in order to provide a comprehensive distribution of carotenoids.

A variety of foods, such as breakfast cereals, pastries, breads, crackers, and cereal grain bars, are often fortified with 10–15% of the RDA of vitamin A.

How to Be Happy and Healthy

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Somebody once asked Lord Buddha, “After meditating for years, I have not been able to gain anything.” Then Lord Buddha asked, “Did you lose anything?” The disciple said, “Yes, I lost my anger, desires, expectations and ego.” Buddha smiled and said, “That is what your gain is by meditating.”

To be happy, one must learn to let go the following:

• One should let go of the desires. In Amarnath Yatra, Lord Shiva firstly let go of the Bull, which represents the sexual desires. In Hanuman’s Lanka yatra, desires are represented by Samhiki, a creature who used to catch birds by their shadow. Hanuman killed the desires. So, it is possible to kill your desires. Again in Ramayana, desires are linked to Rajsik mind and in mythology, Meghnath represents the Rajsik mind. Meghnath was killed by Lakshman, the determined mind. Therefore, one should let go of the desires by killing them by focused concentration of the mind on the desires.

• Let go of your expectations. In Amarnath Yatra, the second thing which Lord Shiva discarded was the moon, which in mythology symbolizes letting go of expectations.

• Let go of your ego. In mythology, ego represents Kansa in Krishna era and Ravana in Rama era. Both were killed by Krishna and Rama respectively, who symbolize the consciousness. Ego can never be killed by the mind and can only be killed by the consciousness (conscious-based decisions).

• Ego is also represented by Sheshnag and Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu both are depicted with a Sheshnag with mouth downwards indicating the importance of controlling one’s ego.

• One should let go of his or her ego but also remember never to hurt somebody’s ego. Hurting somebody’s ego in terms of allegations of sexual misconduct, financial corruption or abusing one’s caste is never forgotten and carries serious implications.

• In Hanuman’s Lanka Yatra, ego is represented by Sursa; Hanuman managed her by humility and not by counter ego. On Naag Panchami, we worship Naag, the ego, by folded hands and by offering milk.

• Let go of your inaction. One should learn to live in the present. In Hanuman’s Lanka Yatra, Hanuman first meets Menak Mountain, which indicates destination to rest. One should never do that and willfully divert his or her mind towards action.

• Let go of your attachments. Let go of your attachments to your close relatives and the worldly desires. In Amarnath Yatra, Lord Shiva first leaves Bull (desires), moon (expectations), sheshnag (ego) and then he gives up Ganesha and worldly desires (five elements). In mythology, this is practiced as detached attachment and has been equated to Lotus in the Bhagavad Gita. In Islam, detached attachment is practiced in the form of Bakra Eid.

• Let go of your habit of criticizing, complaining and condemning people. One should always practice non-violent communication and speak which is truth, necessary and kind. One should not criticize, condemn or complain about people, situation and events. Wayne Dyer said, “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you do not know anything about.”

• Most of us often condemn people without knowing their capabilities and label them as unmatchable to us. One should also let go habit of gossiping as it is a form of violent communication.

• Let go of your habit of blaming others: One should learn to take the responsibilities and people believe in team work. Good leader is the one who learns to be responsible in life.

• Let go of your need to be always right: It is a form of ego. Remember, in arguments either you can win arguments or relationships. Always try to win relationship and not arguments.

• Let go of your need to control situations, events and people: Learn to accept people as they are. The world is won by those who let this habit go.

• Let go of your habit and the need to impress others: This is also a type of ego where we always seek appreciation.

• Give up your belief that you cannot do it: Remember ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ is ‘I M POSSIBLE’. A belief is not an idea held by the mind but it is an idea that holds the mind. (Elli Roselle).

• Give up your resistance to change: Remember change is the only constant which will happen and always welcome it. Joseph Campbell once said “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

• Let go of your fear and all negative thoughts. Remember, the mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. It becomes very destructive if used badly. (Eckhart Tolle).

• Let go of your habit of giving excuses.

• Let go of always staying in the past.

Do not ignore breakfast

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Taking a good breakfast made up of carbohydrates and lean protein, can help lessen cravings and hunger during the rest of the day, which can lead to significant weight loss

A research by Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, a clinical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and an endocrinologist at the Hospital de Clinicas Caracas in Venezuela has shown that sedentary, obese women lost almost five times as much weight on the “big breakfast” diet as did women following a traditional, restrictive low-carbohydrate diet.

While treating obese people we need to treat carb cravings and hunger. On waking up in the morning, the body is primed to look for food. The metabolism is revived up, and levels of cortisol and adrenaline are at their highest. The brain needs energy right away, and if one doesn’t eat or eats too little, the brain needs to find another fuel source. To do this, it activates an emergency system that pulls energy from muscle, destroying muscle tissue in the process. Then when you eat later, the body and brain are still in high-alert mode, so the body saves energy from the food as fat.

The levels of the brain chemical serotonin are highest in the morning and the craving levels are at the lowest and you may not feel like eating. As the day wears on, serotonin levels dip, and you get cravings for chocolate or cookies, and such similar foods. If you eat these foods, your serotonin levels rise, and your body begins to associate good feelings with them, creating an addictive cycle. The high protein-carbohydrate mix in breakfast gives the body the initial energy boost it needs in the morning. Throughout the rest of the day, the meals are made up of protein and complex carbohydrates, like vegetables. Because protein is digested slowly, you won’t feel hungry. If you have to eat chocolate, eat it in the morning as having a small piece of chocolate or candy when serotonin levels are high, won’t taste as good, and the brain won’t feel the same serotonin boost, which will eventually help cut down on cravings.

Eating breakfast with high glycemic foods may be harmful. After eating cereals or a doughnut, the blood sugar and insulin levels spike. Once that blood sugar is used up, you’ll still have excess insulin circulating, which makes you hungry and makes you crave carbohydrates.


Facts about Soul and the Spirit

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Energy is the raw material of the universe.

• Information is the organization of energy into reproducible patterns.

• Consciousness is living information and energy (living energized information)

• Consciousness is, therefore, intelligence.

• Intelligence is information and energy that has self–referral or the ability to learn through experiences and the ability to reinterpret and influence one’s own information and energy states.

• Consciousness is live, advanced, software–driven energized information. The closest example: Advanced computer software which can type, correct, interpret, edit and store spoken or read information.