How to #prevent and treat #cold & #cough

As the temperatures drop, more and more people have been falling prey to common ailments such as chest congestion, cough and cold.


We have all been hearing of colleagues, friends and family calling in sick to work, mostly due to these ailments, which might seem small but have a huge and detrimental effect on one’s work and personal life due to loss of productive work hours.

“While there are numerous remedies and solutions available to treat chest congestion, this alarming statistic forces us to think about why it affects such a large number of our population. We are exposed to a number of viruses all day long, but some people seem more susceptible to catching colds or the flu than others,” says Dr. Sanjeev Mehta, Chest Physician, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai.

One can easily prevent this condition from recurring and having a detrimental effect on our day to day lives and overall productivity by keeping the following easy tips in mind.

Step #1 to fight cold & cough

Deciding on a ‘Suppressant’ or an ‘Expectorant’
The first and foremost step towards finding a solution is to identify the kind of cough you have and treat it with the right kind of cough syrup. There are two kinds of cough: ‘dry’ or non-productive cough and ‘wet’ or productive cough. While a ‘wet’ or productive cough is a condition where one produces phlegm while coughing, a ‘dry’ cough sees no such production.

Different types of cough syrups are required to treat the different symptoms of these ailments. One suffering from a dry cough requires a suppressant that will curb the urge to cough, while an expectorant that helps in thinning, loosening and expelling the mucus accumulated in the lungs helps relieve a wet cough.

Step #2 to fight cold & cough

Eat spicy and warm foods
Foods such as chili, ginger, jalapeno, garlic and black pepper that are spicy may help if you are suffering from a bad case of chest congestion. These food items help in thinning the mucus and making it easier to breathe. Consuming food at a high temperature also helps as the heat kills the harmful bacteria that can aggravate the condition.

Step #3 to fight cold & cough

Steam inhalation
This is one of the easiest and best home remedies to supplement your medication and beat chest congestion. It is advised to heat water in a bowl and add any vaporizer or eucalyptus oil. Vaporized steam also helps in thinning and loosening of the solidifying mucus and makes it easier to breath, giving immediate relief.

Step #4 to fight cold & cough

Fruits, vegetables and juices
Consuming food products rich in vitamins and minerals such as vegetables and fruits help boost immunity levels. Juices as well as warm liquids are also advised during sickness as they are high in essential vitamins and help in flushing out toxins from the body.

Step #5 to fight cold & cough

Milk and turmeric
While turmeric is well known for its medicinal properties, milk is equivalent to a complete meal owing to the high nutrients it contains. Taking a warm glass of milk with a spoon full of turmeric powder two to three times a day helps in fighting the bacterial growth caused by cough and chest congestion as well as in loosening phlegm.

Step #6 to fight cold & cough

Regular exercise
Maintaining a moderate and consistent exercise regime goes a long way in helping one stay physically fit and increasing immunity levels, and gives a temporary boost in the production of the cells that attack bacteria, helping one avoid illnesses and maintaining overall good health.

20 bad #habits you need to quit now

Satisfying late night cravings with pizzas and chocolate cake might be a tempting way to end each day, but it’s not doing your body any favours. It can impact you and your overall health on a long term basis.


Unintentionally, at times we end up hurting our body and our health on a daily basis due to our habits. Today, Dr. Vihang Vahia – Psychiatrist at Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai, lists out the top 20 bad habits that you need to quit today. If you have any of these habits, then it’s never too late, the New Year has just begin. Reverse these habits and start enjoying a healthy and happy life today
Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 1: Nose/mouth picking

This annoying and silly habit of ‘digging gold’ is one of the worst habits that goes un-questioned. This habit is not only bad for your health but it is also against common social etiquette. Picking your nose can spread various infections like cold and flu, as cold virus is passed into your body through the mucus. After touching several things and then taking the same finger into your nose, you will land at the doctor’s clinic. Hence, stop this awkward habit of pulling sticky substance from your nose, or fetching left over food strands from your mouth.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 2: Binge drinking

Binge drinking, causes many deaths and hospitalisation all over the world says – Dr. Vihang. Binge drinking causes long term health problems like liver trouble and immediate problems like weight gain, dizziness and fatigue. To save yourself from such damage, the key is limitation.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 3: You became an ‘Owl’ at night

Many of us, burn the midnight oil for exam preparations and work. But if this becomes routine, you will damage your body in the long run. Without 6-8 hours of good sleep, you are damaging your immune system and other body processes and systems. Due to lack of sleep, your immune system becomes weak and thus produces fewer ‘germ fighters’ – lowering your tolerance for withstanding common bugs in your environment. To fight against various diseases, it is necessary to at least get a minimum of 7-8 hours of good sleep on most nights of the week. A good night’s sleep also helps you stay awake and fresh throughout the day.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 4: I am so ‘lonely’

Dr. Vahia says – the key for good health is a healthy and fresh mind. If your mind is unhealthy, it will affect your immune system and put you at several health risks. If you spend most of your time obssessing over your loneliness, and any other social challenges, or whatever could cause feelings of despair and frustration, then you are harming your mental health, detaching yourself from people, and stressing your mind and body.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 5: Wearing headphones for long hours

Headphones or earphones are the sole companions for some of us throughout the day. We listen to music to pass time, while travelling or while working out. But, if you have plugged in for hours, with no breaks, then you need to keep this habit under check. Dr. Vihang says – listening to loud music via earphones, can cause hearing loss. He further adds – headphones aren’t the culprits, it is the volume and the hours that can land you in trouble. Besides, ignoring minor symptoms of hearing loss is also one of the biggest criminals.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 6: TV trouble

Sitting for hours on the couch, watching that idiot box can put your heart and eyes at risk. Watching too much TV can put you at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and obesity. The more you are glued to the TV, the more immobile life will affect your levels of fat and sugar in your blood. Besides, it also strains your eyes and causes damage to the refractive lens.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 7: Wearing heels

Women who wear heels on a daily basis, do lots of harm to their bodies. Dr. Tina Mahendraker – Physiotherapist, Mumbai says – high heels can affect your posture, put pressure on joints – which can cause arthritis, back pain and tendon injuries and other heels related accidents. Thus to prevent such horrible effects on your health Dr. Tina says – limit your heels to not more than 1.5 inches, and wear insoles to reduce the pressure on your joints.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 8: Carrying an extra heavy bag

We love to carry our world wherever we go, because we can’t afford to miss a single thing. This habit of hauling the world with our (lots and lots of) worldly things on the back or shoulder causes lots of harm to our health. Carrying heavy bags can cause various long term effects like serious back pain, neck pain and poor posture – says Dr. Tina. Hence, to avoid ageing your body prematurely, do yourself a favour and empty that bag.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 9: Sleeping with Makeup

Many girls have a habit of sleeping with their makeup still on. Whatever the reason could be, this habit can cause grave damage to your skin. Sleeping with your makeup on, leads to clogged pores, congested skin and spots. Besides, mascara and other eye makeup can cause irritation, which can also lead to vision loss.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 10: Snacking, even if not hungry

If you disrupt your regular eating pattern, then your body will no longer send hunger signals and you may end up eating even when you are full. This extra eating can flood your body with extra calories and unhealthy ingredients, which can further cause serious chronic health problems like diabetes, heart problems and acidity.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 11: Can’t live without a smoke

In every health tip, behind every cigarette pack, we read this,’ Smoking kills’, but people still persist with the smoking habit. Dr. Sunesara says – smoking even a single cigarette a day, can cause blood clots, which may prevent swift flow of the blood and hence develop plaque in your arteries and blood vessels. Besides, you may also damage the life of the non-smoker who is living with you.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 12: Lying constantly

Surprised to see this one on a healthy living post? Those minute white lies can cause serious damage to your health. If you lie constantly, you will have constant fear of the truth being disclosed, this will create a feeling of stress in you, says – Dr. Vihang. Stress, is the worst thing for your body, as it damages your heath due to the release of stress hormones. Besides, it further leads to headaches and anxiety.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 13: You live on medicines

If you pop a pill for regular headaches, menstrual cramps or normal tummy trouble then you need to stop now. Constant pill popping is an extremely harmful habit that will put your health at stake. Dr. Sunesara says – if you are eating a balanced nutritious diet then you don’t need extra nutrients. If the intake of any nutrient increases, it may create severe side effects. Hence, always check with your doctor, before popping any pill.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 14: Skipping breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – says Ms. Eileen – Nutritionist, Mumbai. If your entire breakfast comprises one cup of rushed coffee and a toast, then you’re setting yourself up for an unhealthy future. This will affect your digestive system. Besides, it will also harm your energy reserves and negatively affect your metabolism. If you skip your breakfast, you are likely to eat more during the other meals and this can lead to weight gain. Eileen says – the key to a good breakfast is a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 15: You are in love with junk food

Fast food is rich in trans fat, sugar, spices and artificial preservatives. But a life dependent on constant fast food will add to your waistline and cause serious health problems like high cholesterol, diabetes and heart problems in the long run. As fast food is rich in bad fat, it raises the bad cholesterol in the body and leads to the hardening of the arteries, which can further cause plaque deposits. Hence, switch to a healthy diet and protect yourself from weight gain and other serious health problems.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 16: Nail biting

This habit of using your teeth to cut your nails, just for time pass or due to extreme nervousness, can cause germ entry into your body. Dr. Sunsesara says – your hands are constant travellers, they pick several things throughout the day, and then taking these nasty, germ-filled fingers into your mouth can make you bed-ridden for days, due to cold or flu. So, stop this dirty habit right away.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 17: Ignoring sex

Whatever the reason for a low libido might be, whether too much work or stress, avoiding sex altogether for many days and months at a time is not good. Sex is good for you and your health. It helps to improve your immune system and relationship. But if you are not interested in this pleasurable act, then you need to talk to your doctor immediately. Because, a low libido can be beyond stress, it can be caused due to an under active thyroid, hypertension or simply a hormonal imbalance.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 18: Fast eating

Eating at lightning speed due to work pressure or lack of time can adversely affect your digestive system. You should take at least 20 minutes to finish each meal. If you just gulp your food, without chewing it properly, it can cause acidity, bloating and excess gas in your stomach. Hence, slow down and enjoy your food.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 19: Being in an unhealthy relationship for a long time

If you are in a relationship wherein you don’t manage to get your share of joy and happiness, then it’s better to leave the knot at that moment itself. If you have been suffering an unhealthy relationship for a long time, i.e., a relationship that is abusive verbally or physically, or encourages you to participate in unhealthy actiities, then you’re harming your health. An unhealthy relationship causes stress and this further lowers your blood pressure, immunity and digestive system.

Bad habit to quit for a healthy living # 20: Picking at your skin

If there is some flaw on your face, you must resist yourself from constantly stressing on it. If you constantly keep worrying about acne by touching it, it will act up more. Besides it will lead to scars and inflammation. Hence, stop picking at your face to avoid worsening skin issues.

Two quick #ways to #cook #corn

Hot corn tastes great in the monsoon. Here’s how to cook with it in these two easy ways…!



Ingredients: Corn kernels – 1 cup Red bell peppers – 1 tbsp Onions and spring onions chopped – 1 tbsp each Chopped Kairi- ¾ tbsp Celery stalk, diced – 1 tbsp Cherry tomatoes – 5 Pineapple diced – 1 tbsp Parsley – 1 tsp Cilantro leaves – 1 tsp Basil – 3 leaves Avocado, diced – ½ each Olive oil – 1 tbsp Lemon juice – 2 tsp Black salt – to taste Tacos – 3 shells

Method: Blanch the corn in hot water with salt. Do not overcook it. Drain and set aside. Now, cut the onions, peppers, pineapple, kairi (raw mango), celery and avocado. Also dice the cherry tomatoes and add the herbs like basil, parsley and cilantro basil to the vegetables. Season this. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Toss it well and serve it in the shells with herb buttered rice on the side.

Corn broth
Ingredients: Onions, chopped – 1 Leeks, chopped – ½ cup Celery, chopped – ½ cup Potatoes, diced – 1 cup Corn kernels – 2 cups Yellow peppers, chopped – ½ cup Garlic, chopped – 1 tbsp Vegetable stock – 1 litre Milk – a cup Parlsey – 1 tsp Chives – 1 tsp Cream – ¾ cup Olive oil – 1 tbsp Butter – to taste

Method: Heat a pan and drizzle the butter into it. When it melts add some of the oil and the onions, chopped potatoes, leeks, celery plus the yellow bell peppers and corn kernels, taking care not to over cook it. Add the garlic and saute too. Add the milk and vegetable stock. Cook till the vegetables turn soft. Blend this and add cream plus the seasoning, as well as the chopped herbs. Serve hot with garlic bread.

5 #Indian #Food #Dishes that Work Great as #Leftovers

Today, I thought of spending some time on Quora to see what people have been talking of these days. I stumbled across a question – “Why leftovers taste better than freshly cooked food?” Of course, this isn’t true for every food but the person explained how he found some foods tastier when left overnight after cooking.

I tried to find the scientific reason behind that and came across this article – The Science of Leftovers, Why They Taste so Good?  This worked as an inspiration for this post. I have been served Indian Food since the time I wasn’t even born. ( :P ) That makes me quite an expert when it comes to analyzing the taste of Indian Food.

While I would prefer not to boast of my expertise as an Indian Food Lover, I would like to begin this post. So, here are 5 Indian Food Dishes that work great as leftovers.

1.Rajmah: Kidney Beans, especially the ones from the region of Jammu & Kashmir, taste so delicious. But this is a secret of people of that area… ssshhhh! The curry based Indian dish Rajmah made of kidney beans taste even better when it is left overnight after cooking. Of course, I stole this secret from a friend of mine who is a native of the area. See how much I love sharing my Indian Food knowledge with you guys. ;)

Rajmah Chaawal

2.Dal Makhani: Let’s move on to the Punjab Region. A scrumptious lentils preparation with lots of butter literally floating around makes your mouth full of saliva. While my choice of words really needs to be worked upon, I can still vow for the goodness of the flavour that comes in the leftover Dal Makhani. Try it!

Dal Makhani

3.Dum Aloo: Potatoes are something that you should never consider while having leftovers. They are filled with starch and other such things which create a mess if the cooked potatoes are kept for long. Potato based dishes are meant for immediate consumption. But Dum Aloo is certainly an exception. Why? Because of the huge amount of spices that go into the dish during its preparation. In fact, I should warn you not to try any dish with potatoes in it as a leftover. But trying Dum Aloo as a leftover is must!

Dum Aloo

4.Gaajar Ka Halwa: This mouth watering sweet dish made of carrot and condensed milk is a favourite in Punjab Region during winters. I belong to Punjab and we cook it once and savour it for 2-3 days. We never prefer it for immediate consumption. It tastes better as a leftover.

Gaajar Ka Halwa

5.Malai Kofta: Don’t go for koftas made of potatoes. My mom prepares the koftas (ball like deep fried snack) with shredded gourd. And those koftas taste awesome when had as a leftover. Seriously.

Malai Kofta

I could have elongated this list and told you some more Indian Food Dishes that taste best as leftovers but I think 5 new dishes to taste is a big task. I would love it if you actually try all of the suggestions listed above and let me know about your experience.

I did have some mice (read friends) that became the victims of my experiments while trying to verify my findings. So, you can stop worrying about not finding it good and so on… these dishes taste really good as leftovers. I promise.