Month: January 2021

Financial Missteps Many Experienced Due To COVID-19

Lobang: https://www.moneydigest.sg/financial-missteps-many-experienced-due-to-covid-19/

The global pandemic has caused recession in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, many Singaporeans found themselves in uncomfortable financial situations. We are slowly recovering with a hopeful heart this 2021. Despite the optimism, it does not erase the effects of the past year.

The economic turmoil exposed most of our financial mistakes and vulnerabilities. Here are just some of the missteps that many of us faced in the past several months.

#1: DIFFICULTY IN BUILDING AN EMERGENCY FUND

Say you did not build an emergency fund before the crisis hit. While we could not have predicted a pandemic, it is always crucial to have an emergency savings to cushion large expenses. A good rule of thumb is to keep up to six months of living expenses in an easy-to-access account. Start now!

#2: INABILITY TO SAVE MORE MONEY

Apart from having an emergency fund, one of the lessons that we learned during the pandemic is the importance of savings. Putting this knowledge into practice is harder than it seems. In a local survey, 55% of the respondents said they reduced their savings over the past months. This may be due to job loss, reduction in income, and other financial struggles due to the situation. Creating opportunities for other streams of income can help widen the savings.

#3: PUTTING A PAUSE ON THE RETIREMENT PLAN

Retirement may not be the first thing most people think about when they are still young, but it is a part of our financial plan that we cannot afford to ignore. Like it or not, there will come a time when you are no longer able to work. Your retirement plan must not stop due to a recession.

However, many Singaporeans found it hard to continue investing for their future due to the current climate. In fact, 27% of those with financial plans said they have stopped setting aside or even reduced their funds for retirement.

#4: MAKING EMOTIONAL FINANCIAL DECISIONS

Volatility has abounded lately. When you see your balance go down, do not allow yourself to make an emotionally driven decision. View it pragmatically as you are in it for the long haul. Remember how and why you originally structured the portfolio. If your circumstance have changed or your allocation no longer aligns with your goals, you should consider making risk changes.

Image credits: pixabay.com

It is crucial to stay engaged in the financial world. Take this uncertain times positively by creating more awareness around your financial health and goals. Talk to a financial professional to help you implement these goals.

Sources: 1 & 2

 

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Foods and supplements you can take to counter high cholesterol

Lobang: https://www.moneydigest.sg/foods-and-supplements-you-can-take-to-counter-high-cholesterol/

Do you know that cholesterol is not that bad a substance on its own? It is necessary for the formation of cell membranes, selected hormones, and vitamin D. But as with most things, we all know that too much is never too good.

Are you curious about how high cholesterol happens? Well, we will attempt to explain as simply as we can.

To help move cholesterol within your body, your liver produces lipoproteins. There are two critical names of lipoproteins you need to know:

– Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

– High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

LDL is the culprit here. When there is too much of it, high cholesterol occurs. We all have an idea what cholesterol can do to our health. If you’re not aware, stroke and heart attack are the common illnesses that may strike.

Those currently on medication may be looking for natural foods and supplements to take alongside your pills. As we’re no medical professionals, please consult your doctor before embarking on any food intakes we’re about to introduce to you.

Oh yes, while garlic may decrease total cholesterol levels, some people just aren’t fans of the smell and aftertaste. As such, we will not expand on it in this article. You can read more about it here.

#1: Astragalus
Astragalus

Image Credits: Healthline

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), astragalus has been used for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine. Consuming it can provide significant benefits to the immune system.

Ask your parents what 黄芪 (huang qi) is, and they might be able to share with you their extensive knowledge of the heart-friendly herb.

We found a shop in Shopee selling Organic Astragalus Root (有机黄芪斜片) at S$10.80! Click through the link if you’re keen to buy a bag or two for tea-making or add to a nutritious pot of double-boiled soup.

Or you can check out a range of Astragalus products on iHerb instead. For those who don’t fancy tablets, there are extract forms available too.

#2: Hawthorn
Hawthorn berries

Image Credits: meandqi.com

Hawthorn berries are loaded with antioxidants and may decrease blood fat levels like cholesterol. Studies have shown that doses of hawthorn extract fed to mice lowered their LDL and total cholesterol.

There are also other researches suggesting benefits of improved heart function. In turn, some patients require lesser medications to manage their heart conditions. Hawthorn berry may also reduce the risk of sudden heart-related deaths.

Superior Hawthorn Fruit by Eu Yan Sang (S$10.90) is currently sold out online at the time of writing. You may check back at a later date or swing by the stores to get your bottle.

For folks who are more comfortable with capsules, you can consider getting the Hawthorn Extract Herbal Supplement by GNC HERBAL PLUS® (S$35.95) instead.

#3: Flaxseed
flaxseeds and flaxseed oil

Image Credits: Unlock Food

You should take in flaxseed or flaxseed oil because of its high levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that may help lower cholesterol.

A 2019 review article reveals that flaxseed may positively affect people diagnosed with heart and blood vessel diseases. Other older studies like one in 2012 have shown that flaxseed dietary fibres can lower cholesterol and even increase faecal fat excretion.

Make a trip down to your favourite supermarket, and you may be able to find some organic flaxseeds off the shelves. Alternatively, you can also buy your Organic Golden Flaxseed by ORIGINS (S$6.55) from Cold Storage.

Guardian is currently running a 54% discount on its Nature’s Heart Milled Flax Seeds. Instead of its original price of S$10.90, you need to pay only S$5! Buy soon before the promotion ends.

#4: Red yeast rice
Red yeast rice

Image Credits: Healthline

Red yeast rice is also commonly known as 红曲米 (hong qu mi) to the Chinese. There are pieces of evidence to show that eating red yeast rice extract can help lower your cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The naturally-occurring substance in red yeast rice extract known as lovastatin is the main thing to note. Lovastatin prevents the body from making cholesterol and is comparable to Mevacor, a cholesterol-lowering drug.

However, not all red yeast rice products are effective or safe to consume, so read up or do your research thoroughly before buying.

If you don’t have the time to Google, leave it to us.

We found a vegetarian-friendly Red Yeast Rice option by LAC ACTIVATED® (S$39.95) for you to consider. The product contains both monacolin K and lovastatin to tackle cholesterol. It is made using a top-quality grade of organic rice with advanced technology for its fermentation process.

Peeps who want to reap double benefits of red yeast rice and natto can check out the CholesFREE PLUS With Natto by Eu Yan Sang (S$39.90). The item is prepared using a technique called ZEROTOX® to reduce impurities and retain the active compounds needed to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

#5: Fish & Fish oil supplements
salmon steak

Image Credits: Eatwell101

Salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, sardines, and other fatty fish are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, canola oil, and soybeans are great alternatives too. If not, one can also turn to omega-3 supplements.

Healthline has shared with the public on 17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Hop over to read if you’re keen to find out more on what omega-3 fatty acids can do to your body.

Meanwhile, a Harvard Medical School trial has also confirmed that a daily high-dose, 4-gram prescription of omega-3 medication can lead to a 25% reduction in the risk of dying from heart disease or suffering a cardiovascular event.

But it may not be suitable for everyone as they may come with risks or side effects. When in doubt, please seek a doctor’s opinion.

Please also note that the foods and substances mentioned in this article, including fish and fish oil supplements, cannot replace a statin. Based on the Cambridge Dictionary’s definition, a statin is “a drug that reduces the level of cholesterol”. But they may be consumed alongside medications to reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Take in more fruits and vegetables
fruits and vegetables

Image Credits: Times of India

Think it’s too much of a hassle to introduce astragalus, hawthorn, flaxseed, or red yeast rice to your current diet?

Then why not take in more fruits and vegetables during your daily meals? Fruits like oranges, apples, avocado, and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are natural foods that contain plant sterols and stanols.

Plant sterols and stanols can help lower your bad cholesterol so the next time you order cai fan (economy rice), skip that fried dish and opt for more greens.

Health is wealth so let’s make more deliberate decisions this year for health’s sake, shall we?

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