Nutritional Supplements – a word of caution


Nutritional Supplements have become a global multi-billion pound industry.

Many people know that good nutrition and well- balanced diets are important for the overall good health, but believe that they need supplements in order to achieve the best results.

The truth is, healthy foods can supply the key ingredients nutrients needed in your body, in a way that cannot be duplicated by any one supplement or a combination of supplements.

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people should meet their nutritional needs primarily from nutrient-dense foods, which contain essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other naturally occurring substances. 

So Should You Take Nutritional Supplements? Do they do any good? 

While a well-balanced diet is the cornerstone of good health, Research finds our plates lacking some of the essential nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and D. Also, some people cannot reach the recommended nutrient amounts without using supplements.

Such people may need nutritional supplements depending on their health needs. For example, pregnant women, the elderly and people who are food insecure, facing a risk of nutrient deficiencies.

Not everyone needs them

Always keep in mind that not everyone needs to take supplements. Many of the supplements out there have very active ingredients that may have side effects in the body, especially if taken with other medicines or before surgery. Additionally, they can easily cause problems if you have an existing health condition. 

Since the manufacturers and distributors are the ones responsible for making sure the dietary supplements are safe before they are ready for use, it’s always best to know what you’re taking.

These 4 simple guidelines will help:

·        Read and follow all the instructions carefully. Exceeding your dose than what is recommended can cause harsh side effects.

·        While some dietary supplements are well understood and established, they do not go through a thorough testing procedure as prescription drugs, so you should research and understand the risks and advantages of any supplement you intend to take. 

·        If you are about to undergo any type of surgery, make sure you disclose all the information about your dietary supplements to the doctor. 

Always seek professional advice from your professional health care provider, nutritionist or dietician before making decisions about whether to take a supplement.

They can help determine if taking the supplement would benefit you. In fact, they can easily help you achieve the right balance between nutrients and foods you need.

In summary

Some nutritional supplements can help you get enough vital substances the body needs to function. However, they should be viewed as primarily bridging small nutrient gaps, and not as taking the place of real foods. And before considering the supplements, ensure to consider your individual situation and consult a doctor.

And Remember, Mayfair Cares.

Statistical Sources 

https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/dietary-supplements-do-they-help-or-hurt

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/who-takes-dietary-supplements-and-why/

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/dietary-supplements/vi

 

How to Use Mnemonics and Improve Your Memory

What are mnemonics?

Well, first of all they are not a spelling mistake! Mnemonics are simply techniques, tools or devices that we can use to remember things which would otherwise be difficult to remember.

It could a short song, a phrase, or something that can encode the difficult-to-remember information in a way that it is easily remembered.

According to Dr. Mercola of America, mnemonics are one of the most effective techniques to improve your memory. They assist by imposing meaning, structure, and organisation on material that your memory does not inherently have.

Interestingly, the mnemonics can be used by anyone at any age. 

So how can you use mnemonics to improve your memory? Here are some tips:

Create your own acronyms

An acronym is a made up combination of letters, and each letter suggests an item you need to remember.

To form an acronym, you’ll need to use the first letter from a group of words. For example, WHO stands for World Health Organisation, and ASAP for as soon as possible. 

Now let’s assume you want to memorize the colours of the rainbow; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Just take the first letter of each item and arrange the letters to form an acronym that you’re familiar with such as: ROY G. BIV. 

Chunking 

George Miller, a professional Harvard psychologist, introduced the chunking concept in his published study on short-term memory.

According to Miller, a person can remember between 5 and 9 things at one time. Well, it can be difficult remembering all those numbers, things, or items. So this technique works by taking several items you have to learn, and then decrease the number of items you’re holding in memory by reducing the size of each item.

For example, if you want to remember the 8 digit number 29684107 easily, you’ll break it up into smaller groups such as 29-68-41-07.  You are now remembering 4 numbers which is easier than 8.

Use rhymes, rhythm, repetition

This is, without a doubt, a great technique to make information more memorable.

The rhythm, rhymes, repetition, as well as melody aid your memory simply by making good use of the auditory encoding and your brain’s notable ability to hoard the audio triggers. With little creativity and fun, they can be applied to general information, single words, formulas, and even the most complex models.

Use of visualisations and association techniques 

Visualisation and association are amongst the best memory tricks. Visualisation can help you convert the abstract information into easy-to-recall mental pictures.

Creating the pictures is a powerful way to focus your mind, a process that helps create original awareness of the material. The images often stick to your memory better than smelling, hearing, or touching something. 

It’s very simple to create visualisation; just close your eyes and imagine what you want to visualise. With this trick, you can recall definitions, lists, math formulas, articles, foreign vocabulary and character dialogue amongst many others.

So please remember – your memory isn’t necessarily failing you, but you might be failing your memory if you don’t practice new learning methods.

Remember, Mayfair Cares

References

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/01/04/memory.aspx

https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/social-sciences-practice/social-science-practice-tut/e/miller-s-law--chunking--and-the-capacity-of-working-memory

 

 

A Simple Guide to Buying Complicated Travel Insurance


Travel insurance is one of those things that many people pay little attention to but is critical when traveling abroad for extended periods. Travel cover essential in many circumstances which many include when you have to cancel your trip, receiving emergency medical treatment or problems with your airline while travelling.

A wide variety of things can go wrong on a trip abroad. There are many travel insurance brands and each with distinct policies. Below is a brief guide about what you should consider when shopping for travel insurance.

Where are you going?

The cost and travel insurance and level of cover will vary considerably depending on the region(s) in which you are traveling. For this reason, insurance companies may consider some areas to be greater concern than others. You have to familiarise yourself with your travel destinations. 

Always ensure that you are informed of the risks against which against which you want your cover to protect you. Not all policies cover for epidemics, pandemics or civil commotions. If you are traveling to multiple countries, you need to get a policy that guards you for every country you will be visiting.

How long are you going to be away?

Most people are best served by a one-off policy for a set number of days. However, if you happen to be a regular traveller, a good value solution is an annual multi-trip policy or credit card travel insurance. These types of cover often restrict the length of travel allowed. 

Depending on the insurance brand, this can range from 30 to 90 days. A long-term standalone insurance policy is necessary if you are traveling for a period of more than 3 months.

The purpose of the visits

It is very important to note that some activities will not be included in a travel insurance policy. As such, you should go through the list of activities that the insurance provider covers.

This way, you can determine which activities you will have to pay extra for. It is advisable to keep alcohol and drug consumption to a minimum since an adverse event under intoxicated circumstance may not be covered by your policy.

Valuables

You first have to decide whether you need cover for valuable items such as the laptop or other electronics. The extent of cover for valuable items can vary considerably and in some cases, valuable item cover will only be provided in the form of a higher premium. 

Different travel insurance providers have different policies on an exclusion of cover for valuable items. For this reason, it is vital that you do your research on the policies of the selected travel insurance brands. Remember that the devil is always in the details!

One more important aspect to consider is any medical conditions that pre-exist the purchase date of your travel insurance policy. Some providers may not provide cover in this instance. Contact the insurance to determine if they have automatic cover or require an assessment to provide cover.

Remember, Mayfair Cares.