Thursday, March 29, 2012

A mouthful of curd for good health

Curd or yogurt is used since ages to gain its nutritional and health benefits or as a beauty product. According to Ayurveda, curd should not be consumed at night. Though it provides lot of health benefits, over consumption should be avoided. Make sure that you consume curd when it is fresh. Apart from providing nutritional and health benefits, curd is also used as a beauty product. If curd is massaged on facial skin, it acts as skin bleach. It also brings softness in skin. It also acts as an excellent hair conditioner and can be used for treating sunburns. 
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Nutritional and health benefits provided by curd or yogurt 

- Helps improve the digestion 

- Helps strengthen the immune system 

- Consuming curd increases the capacity to absorb the nutrients and minerals form other food stuffs 

- Especially helpful for those who are lactose intolerant 

- Helps get strong bones and teeth as its calcium content is high. It helps fight against osteoporosis. 

- Helps minimize the risk of high blood pressure 

- If you have high cholesterol, then consuming curd can help you 

How to consume curd? 
There are many ways to consume curd apart from having a cup of it regularly with your lunch. Curd rice which is quite popular in South India is quite wholesome and tasty too. You can also have curd (instead of milk) and museli for breakfast. You can use curd when you do not like spicy food. For example; if you do not like to eat spicy gravy you can add a spoonful of curd. Having buttermilk prepared out of curd after the meals proves beneficial for digestion of food. If you find it difficult to consume curd regularly you can have it occasionally in form of Indian preparations like lassi, shrikhand etc. Or just make a tadka of adding mustard seeds, red chilly, curry leaves and then add it to a bowl of curd.Deepika Sahu

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eat slowly, lose weight

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that eating faster increases the amount of food consumption. Results revealed that men eat significantly faster than ladies, heavier people eat faster than slimmer people, & refined grains are consumed faster than whole grains.
In laboratory study, Kathleen Melanson, URI associate professor of nutrition, & her team found that fast eaters consumed about six ounces of food per minute, medium-speed eaters consumed five ounces per minute, & slow eaters consumed two ounces per minute. At lunch, the men consumed about 80 calories per minute while the ladies consumed 52 calories per minute.

The second study, which examined the characteristics associated with eating rates, found a close association between eating rate & body mass index (BMI), with those individuals with a high BMI usually eating considerably faster than those with a low BMI.
"One theory they are pursuing is that fast eating may be related to greater energy needs, since men & heavier people have higher energy needs," .
While the link between eating rate & obesity is still being studied, her research has demonstrated that eating slowly leads to significantly fewer average calories being consumed.
The findings were introduced at the annual meeting of The Obesity Society in Orlando this month.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Include nuts, beans in diet, boost health

Adding nuts, beans and seeds in your diet can give you an ample amount of nutrients, say experts.
In the February 2012 issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Contributing Editor Linda Milo Ohr writes that heart health, weight management, healthy cholesterol levels, and cognitive health are just some of the benefits that these foods can offer.

Almonds are low in saturated fatty acids, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and contain fiber, phytosterols and plant protein.

In a scientific review, Berryman et al. (2011) showed that consuming a breakfast containing almonds aids in stabilizing blood glucose levels for most of the day and provides a lasting feeling of fullness.

Pistachios are also considered a part of a heart-healthy diet and may also lower cholesterol. In addition some research has shown that walnuts may have been linked to benefits related to brain health and cancer.

Beans, also called legumes, also play an important role in diet. They contribute complex carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants that may help lower the odds of cognitive deficits or the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Pulses like dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas are also members of the legume family and contain both fiber, protein, as well as seven of the eight essential amino acids needed in the body.

Chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds also contribute a myriad of essential minerals and amino acids to the human diet.

Chia seeds can be mixed with liquids to create sports drinks for athletes with omega-3s to address inflammation and protein to help with muscle recovery.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Benefits of ginger

Ginger is a herb and is also used as a spice and medicine. Ginger is  beneficial in reducing the symptoms of morning sickness. 
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Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. 

To seek relief from menstrual cramps and heart burns too, sip on ginger tea

Ginger is a great remedy for cold andcough

Chew ginger candy to curb motion sickness.

For the beneficial properties of ginger, eat  raw ginger.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Do"s and don"ts for your health

Fruits and vegetables - they're an excellent source of fiber, and help to cut back cholesterol levels. Opt for brightly colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers, berries, oranges, papaya, etc. as they're good in antioxidants.
Whole grains -  Take whole wheat and multigrain products like whole wheat breads, rotis, pasta, brown rice, oats, ragi, jowar, bajra and quinoa.
Legumes - Sprouts, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc. are an excellent supply of soluble fibre, that helps cut back cholesterol.
Nuts and seeds - Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds has omega-3 fatty acids, which may facilitate decrease dangerous cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
Flaxseeds - an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and fibre, a sprinkle of this on one's breakfast cereal will facilitate improve cholesterol profile.

Low fat dairy product - Low fat milk, yoghurt, homemade paneer are wonderful sources of calcium and facilitate in reducing body fat.
Fatty fish - particularly Salmon and tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids that facilitate increase good cholesterol.
Soya and soya products - Soya contains isoflavones, that facilitate stop clogging of arteries and improve cholesterol profile.

Tea - inexperienced tea particularly helps lower total cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
Physical Activity - embrace a minimum of thirty to forty five minutes of moderate physical activity daily - brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling etc to extend energy expenditure and so facilitate in weight reduction.

Refined cereals - Maida, white breads, pasta should be cut out from one's diet fully and replaced with whole grain or multigrain varieties.
Saturated fatty acids - Avoid full cream dairy product like whole milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, cream and coconut as they increase levels of dangerous cholesterol.
Processed and packaged foods - Avoid biscuits, chips, cakes and pastries as they contain high levels of saturated and trans-fatty acids, additionally to higher content of sodium.
Fatty meats - Avoid intake of fatty meats like mutton and beef, have skinless chicken and fish instead.
Fried and deep fried foods - Avoid junk foods like pizzas, burgers, fries and different deep-fried snacks. Deep fried foods contain trans-fats, that will increase one's risk of arthrosclerosis clogging of arteries.
Smoking - Smoking may be a major reason for atherosclerosis - a buildup of fatty substances within the arteries, that could lead on to angina pectoris or heart attacks.
In a nutshell, reducing calories from fats, regular physical activity along with the inclusion of heart healthy foods will facilitate to reduce weight and eventually the danger of developing heart disease.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Staying active is good for you

Regular exercise and physical activity has several benefits. While health is the strongest contender, other benefits are also substantial. 
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Here's what regular exercise does for you: 

- Improves posture, stamina and energy 
- Combats depression and stress 
- Reduces the risk of heart disease 
- Lowers blood pressure level 
- Decreases bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase good (HDL) cholesterol levels 
- Reduces the risk of osteoporosis 
- Promotes weight loss 
- Shapes up the body, by toning the muscles, which in turn provides better muscular definition 
- Helps de-stress and improves quality of sleep 
- Improves self-esteem and mental focus 
- Raises balance and flexibility levels 
- Increases immunity levels 
- Reduces the risk of disease and illness by 20 to 50 per cent  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eat watermelons for a healthy heart

                                                                     Know the benefits of nuts
Eating watermelons may help reduce high blood pressure, say researchers.
A new study in Florida has found that natural compounds in the fruit appear to dilate blood vessels so the heart does not have to work so hard pumping blood around the body, the Daily Express reported.

Study's volunteers who took a pill containing the chemicals every day for six weeks saw significant improvements compared to others who took a dummy pill.

High blood pressure is blamed for half of all heart attacks and strokes in the UK.

The finding was published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Papaya for your skin

papaya is considered a wholesome fruit as it meets our essential vitamins, minerals and protein wants. Each ripe and raw papaya may be used to rejuvenate the skin. Ripe papaya is superb for exfoliation of the skin .
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Recipe for skin rejuvenation: 
1/2 cup ripe papaya pulp, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup of oat flakes. Apply the mixture on your face and neck gently and wait for  five minutes. Wash off with water and spot the glow for yourself. 
Recipe for skin glow: 
1/2 cup ripe papaya pulp,1 Tsp orange juice, 1 Tsp carrot juice, 1 tsp honey. Apply the mixture on your face and neck gently and wait for  five minutes. Wash off with water and spot the glow for yourself.  
Regular applications will do wonders to the face. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yoga for stress related disorders

Yoga could also be effective in treating patients plagued by stress-related psychological and medical disorders like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and cardiac disease, a brand new study has revealed. 
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The theory by researchers from Boston University college of medication (BUSM), big apple Medical faculty (NYMC), and therefore the Columbia faculty of Physicians and Surgeons (CCPS), might be used to develop specific mind-body practices for the prevention and treatment of those conditions with commonplace treatments. 
It is hypothesized that stress causes an imbalance within the autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic under-activity and sympathetic over-activity) in addition as under-activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA). 

Low GABA activity happens in anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, epilepsy, and chronic pain. consistent with the researchers, the hypothesis advanced during this paper may make a case for why vagal verve stimulation (VNS) works to decrease each seizure frequency and therefore the symptoms of depression. 
"Western and jap medication complement each other. Yoga is understood to boost stress-related nervous system imbalances," said Chris Streeter, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at BUSM and Boston Medical Center, who is that the study's lead author. 
Streeter believes that "This paper provides a theory, based mostly on neurophysiology and neuroanatomy, to know how yoga helps patients feel higher by relieving symptoms in several common disorders." 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Home remedies to cure dark circles

Try these easy home remedies to get rid of exhausted look on your face.
Dark circles will make you look older than you are.  In today's age where the market is being flooded with anti-ageing, skin lightening creams, it's a thought of virtually a fashion crime to sport dark circles. Here are some natural home remedies to assist to get rid of these ghastly-looking dark circles:

- Grate some raw potato and soak a cotton ball within the potato juice. Shut your eyes and place these cotton balls on your eyes. Confirm they cover the dark circles under your eyes. Leave it on for ten minutes and wash with cold water.

- Applying a combination of a teaspoon of tomato and lime juice, twice daily can facilitate in reducing the dark circles.

- Drink a glass of tomato juice with some mint leaves, lemon juice and salt. Drinking this twice daily is another remedy.

- Prepare a paste of 4 to 5 almonds with milk. Apply this paste over the affected space and leave for ten to fifteen minutes. This may lighten the skin round the eyes.

- A combination of a couple of teaspoons of pineapple juice and a pinch of turmeric powder, when applied on the dark circles often can facilitate clear them.

- Each night before sleeping, apply creams containing vitamin E and C round the eyes.

- Crush some mint leaves and apply them round the eyes. Doing this may additionally offer a cooling impact on tired eyes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Drink tea for good health

Be it green tea, milky tea, or a cuppa of strong tea, this humble drink has loads of benefits... 

- Flavonoids in tea improve vascular dilation, which leads to the better functioning of the heart. 

- Consuming three to four cups of tea each day lowers the risk of getting an Ischaemic stroke by 21%. 

- Polyphenol which is abundant in green tea reactivates dying skin cells and protects the body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution. 

- Antioxidant polyphenols found in tea have anti-cancer properties. 

- L-theanine, found in green and black tea helps in relaxing the mind and helps you to focus on tasks. 

- Tea also has fluoride which means stronger teeth. 

- Drinking tea regularly means stronger bones. 

- Boost your fight against the flu with black tea. 

- Tea, if had without milk, has no calories and thus helps in reducing weight. 

- Tea is also an allergy fighter. So grab that cuppa! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pimples? Go for garlic juice or mud pack

If pimples and acne scars on the face are bothering you, try putting some garlic juice or a mud pack. Or if you are game for medical help, laser treatment and chemical peels are an alternative, say dermatologists. 

The acne problem usually starts around the age of 10-13. Though many get rid of it by their 20s, for some it lingers.

"In teenagers, there are two things that trigger acne problem. First is hormonal changes in their body. In boys, it is the increased secretion of testosterone and in girls, the levels of both testosterone and oestrogen rises," Chytra V. Anand, cosmetic dermatologist, Kosmoderma Clinics, Bangalore, said in an interview.

"Due to these hormones the oil secretion in the body increases and the skin becomes oily and more prone to acne and breakouts. The other trigger for acne is bacterial infection," she added.

Anand says about 90 per cent of teenagers suffer from acne in varying degrees of severity. It has a psychological effect on youngsters who want to have clean and clear skin.

Various medical and natural treatments are available.

"Medicated creams and face washes are there. Topical treatments for teenaged acne include benzoyl peroxide, sulphur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid are there. The US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) has found these effective for treating acne," said Meenakshi Agarwal, a Mumbai-based cosmetic surgeon.

If the condition worsens, doctors prescribe oral antibiotics for bacterial infection, hormonal pills and light therapy with lasers.

The lasers can cost Rs.5,000-Rs.10,000.

"Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are used to lighten post-acne scarring and cost anything between Rs.1,500 and Rs.3,000," said Indu Tolani, dermatologist, Clinic Dermatec.

"Post-acne scars can be cleared by clean-ups with salicylic or glycolic acid at a clinic. Gentle exfoliation with these acids helps in taking out blackheads and whiteheads. Also, the skin becomes acidic and the bacteria doesn't grow in an acidic environment," said Anand.

But she warns teenagers against random treatments at beauty salons, saying: "It is important that the clean-up should be undertaken under the guidance of a dermatologist in a clinic."

Some natural remedies like garlic juice, clay packs and lemon juice also help in avoiding acne and lightens scars.

"To avoid acne, wash your skin twice a day. Make sure that you use a mild face wash that is meant for your skin type. Washing your face too frequently, especially with harsh cosmetics, can aggravate your acne. Try to avoid processed foods like white bread and noodles as they often trigger outbreaks," Agarwal said in an interview.

"Use a face pack made of Fuller's earth (non-plastic clay or claylike earthy material) at least once or twice a week. This will help extract excess sebum and is therefore one of the best natural methods to treat acne.

"You can also apply a little garlic juice on your face, for about an hour at least once a week. Although garlic juice will kill off acne-causing bacteria, do not keep it for too long as it can aggravate sensitive skin," she added.

Mix equal parts of milk cream and lemon juice and apply on your face, says Anand. The lactic acid and citric acid in these two (respectively) help in lightening the scars.

Tolani says natural remedies help, but medical treatments are more efficient.

"A lot of people try out natural, home-based remedies like clay packs to cut back the oil from their face. Some use gram flour to scrub away the debris and acne-laden skin, but these treatments are not sufficient and can't replace the efficacy of medical treatments," she said. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Try turmeric for supple skin

Turmeric is a staple ingredient in most Indian cuisines. It has many therapeutic effects. While you might not think beyond sprinkling a little in a glass of warm milk to battle a cold, there's much more to the innocuous turmeric than that. Indians have been using turmeric to beautify themselves since ages now. Here are just some reasons why you should be using turmeric as well: If you have an uneven skin tone and would do anything to get that perfect peaches and cream complexion, then turmeric's what you need. Turmeric evens out the skin tone by reducing the traces of pigmentation. Mix a little turmeric powder alongwith cucumber juice or lemon juice and apply on skin. Wash it off after 15 minutes. But remember to do this everyday to notice a significant change in your skin colour. Turmeric makes for an awesome body scrub. This is why most Indian brides used to smear a paste of turmeric and besan on their bodies before their wedding to get skin that is super smooth, baby soft and glowing. Application of turmeric and a little milk cream also makes the skin supple and improves its elasticity. TNN

Friday, March 2, 2012

Here's why you must have sex everyday

Have you ever heard that song called Sexual Healing? It's not just a metaphor. Sex can actually heal. It can heal your body and mind and prevent lots of diseases. 

Some say it's the first medicine ever known to man and it should be administered daily. Sounds too good to be true? Let's discover the four reasons for which a man should have sex each day. 

Great form of exercise 
Making love is a form of physical activity. During intercourse, the physiological changes in your body are consistent with a workout. You must have noticed that the respiratory rate rises, which means you get tired. Hence, you burn calories. If you have sex three times a week for 15 minutes (but we know you can do better than that) you'll burn about 7.500 calories in a year. That's the equivalent of jogging 75 miles! Heavy breathing raises the amount of oxygen in your cells, and the testosterone produced during sex keeps your bones and muscles strong. 

Pain relief 
The "Honey, not today, I have a headache" cannot be an excuse any more. During sex, both male and female bodies produce endorphins, hormones that act as weak painkillers. A study conducted by Gina Ogden showed that during sexual stimulation and especially during orgasm, we don't feel pain. If she finds another excuse, remind her that sex is good for her entire reproductive system, because it trains the PC muscle, which keeps the reproductive organs in shape. In women, sex can also increase fertility, postpone the menopause and relieve PMS symptoms. 

Prostate protection 
Most of the fluid you ejaculate is secreted by the prostate gland. If you stop ejaculating, the fluid stays in the gland, which tends to swell, causing lots of problems. Regular ejaculation will wash those fluids out and ensure the well being of your prostate until old age. Problems may also occur when you suddenly change the frequency of ejaculations. 

Prevents erectile dysfunctions 
Fifty per cent of men older than 40 suffer from erectile dysfunctions and all young men fear the moment when they won't be able to get it up any more. The best medicine against impotence An erection keeps the blood flowing through your penile arteries, so the tissue stays healthy. Plus, doctors compare an erection to an athletic reflex: the more you train the more capable you are to perform. 

Stress relief 
It's a scientific fact: sex can be a very effective way of reducing stress levels. During sex your body produces dopamine, a substance that fights stress hormones, endorphins, aka "happiness hormones" and oxytocin, a desire-enhancing hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. TNN

Just half-hour jog may make you smarter

It is well known that exercise increases our fitness levels by making the muscles more resistant to fatigue.

Past research has found exercise spurs the birth of new mitochondria - structures in the cells that produce the body's energy - in the muscles.

This process increases your fitness endurance while reducing the risk of obesity.

Now, a team from the University of South Carolina have revealed that a regular gym session could sharpen the mind in exactly the same way.

They have found that regular treadmill sessions also give a boost to the cell's powerhouses in the brain. 

Research leader, Dr Mark Davis said this energy boost helped the brain to work faster and more efficiently.

"The evidence is accumulating rapidly that exercise keeps the brain younger," the Daily Mailquoted Dr Davis as telling Scientific American.

In the short term he said this could reduce mental fatigue and sharpen your thinking in between gym sessions.

He added that building up a large reservoir of mitochondria in the brain could also create a 'buffer' against age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer's.

The researchers came to their conclusions after a study, published in The Journal of Applied Physiology, on a group of mice.

Half of the mice were exercised on a small treadmill for half an hour a day while the other half were left to lounge in their cages.

Unsurprisingly they found after eight weeks that the running mice could exercise for 126 minutes before they tired, while the sedentary mice could only manage 74 minutes.

However, tissue samples revealed the running mice also had a surge in mitochondrial development in the brain, with evidence of both new mitochrondria and increased signaling between the brain cells.

Dr Davis said although it was an animal study, it was reasonable to assume the same process 'occurs in human brains'.

He added that a 30-minute jog was the human equivalent to the workout that the mice completed.ANI