Saturday, May 30, 2009

A cool nut to beat the heat

This nut packs in quite a punch. And if the scorching summer is making you feel the heat, here is the secret you needed to crack! Including almonds, one of the world's oldest cultivated fruit, in your daily diet is one of the best ways to beat the heat. A rare fruit that is available through the year and can be eaten at all times, the sheer variety in which almonds can be consumed and used, makes it a fruit for all seasons.
The summer fruit
Over the years, almonds have proved their nutritional attributes, and socio-cultural importance. The nut's healthy properties won it a following for not just its delicate taste, but in various countries and regions of
the world,

for being auspicious and lucky. From Rome to Sweden and the US to India, almonds have been referred

to as symbol of fortune, happiness and health. Since the time when the Mughals popularised the fruit in India, almonds have been part of every Indian home's staple diet.
    From a simple snack that can be munched anytime, to being the essential ingredient of many a delicacy, the almond has been the classic choice of food lovers for a good reason. For one, it enhances any dish it is added to. But more importantly, almonds by themselves can be an healthy option for the fitness conscious.

    In fact, almond provides the body with many essential nutrients and can really help in summers when a lot of people cut back on heavy eating and so often fail to get the essential nutrients.
How can you use almonds?
Not surprising then, that this cool nut is a hit with most health conscious people in all seasons. Almonds are one of those rare fruits that are available through the year. For years now, almonds have been part of cool recipes and delicacies just right for the season. Simply toss in a handful of almonds into your every
day food and you add

crunch, great taste and natural nutrients.
    According to Researchers at Tufts University in the United States, a 28 gram serving of almonds packs the same level of flavonoid antioxidants as a serving of cooked broccoli or a serving of brewed green or black tea. Just a handful or about 23 almonds can provide an individual with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, and iron. That too, all in just 160 calories!
    There is nothing like a

    g o o d
    breakfast to kickstart the day. And yet, as calorie count gains prominence, the biggest challenge before most working Indians is perhaps finding the right option to start their day. Paranthas can be too filling and a glass of juice too light. So what do you do?
    Grab of glass of fresh badam sheera or sharbat, which is healthy and provides you with just the right amount of calories required. Almond shakes are, of course, the perfect bet for people who prefer a cool shake or smoothie to a heavy meal. A handful of almonds thrown into your fruit shake – be it strawberry, mango or for that matter chocolate, can make the beginning to your day just right.
    Summers are often the season when many people prefer to go the salad way. This is specially so for the increasingly weight watching generation that would rather have a large bowl of greens as against heavy paranthas.
    To the left is a simple recipe for tasty almonds that you can add to your salads anytime, or just pop them as a healthy snack, all spiced up just for the Indian taste buds!

One egg white; 15 ml water; 690 grams whole blanched almonds; 57 grams sugar; 10 grams ground cumin; five grams ground coriander; 10 grams coarse salt; seven grams ground red pepper
Preheat oven to 135 o Celsius. Line a sided sheet pan with parchment paper. Whisk egg white and water together until foamy. Add almonds and toss to coat. Transfer almonds to a sieve, toss gently and let drain. Stir together sugar, cumin, coriander, salt and red pepper. Add almonds and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread almonds on the sheet pan in a single layer; bake for 30 minutes. Gently stir almonds. Reduce the oven temperature to 93 o Celsius and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until almonds are dry and nicely toasted. Set aside to cool completely, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately or store airtight for up to one week.

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How to beat acidity

For instant relief from acidity, consuming fresh mint juice after meals is an effective remedy. Fruits and vegetables that are high in water content like watermelons and cucumbers have a cooling effect on the stomach and help in easing pain. Try chewing on tulsi leaves to reduce nausea and the burning sensation caused by acidity. Consuming raw garlic on a regular basic also helps. Suck on a piece of clove or jaggery. For heartburn symptoms, the best relief is a couple of almonds.

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Truth about obesity — the biggest health hazard

 Obesity is a condition of the body, in which there is a generalized accumulation of excess fat in adipose tissue in the body leading to more than 20 per cent of the desirable weight. Obesity has several adverse health effects and can even lead to premature death. It also leads to arthritis, joint pains, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, gall bladder stone and certain types of cancer. Over-eating, reduced physical activity, genetic or hormonal disorders can also lead to obesity.
Causes for Obesity
Obesity is caused by a chronic imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure or a high intake of dietary fat.
    Poor exercise, sedentary lifestyles, complex behavior or
psychological factors are some other causes.
    Metabolic errors in energy utilization may favour fat accumulation.
    Obesity in childhood and adolescence can lead to adult obesity.
    Thyroid and hormonal disorders are other causes.
Ideal Body Weight
The most commonly used measure is Body Mass Index (BMI) and it is computed by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters. BMI < 18.5 : Undernourished 18.5 - 24.5 : Normal > 25 : Overweight > 30 : Obese
Former health minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, had issued a warning about the rising obesity problem in the 300 million middle and upper rich class, due to high intake of junk food. Ramadoss has warned that the wealthy middle classes are facing a galloping rise in obesity, heart disease and diabetes. It is estimated that at least 30 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men in urban areas are clinically obese, although some experts put the real figure at closer to two-thirds of women. A country-wide survey has indicated high prevalence of obesity, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol levels in women over the age of 35 in India. Abdominal obesity is a major risk factor.
How do we reduce weight?
Eat less fried foods and include more of fruits, vegetables and fiber rich food items like whole grains,
grams and sprouts in your diet. Use low-fat milk. Exercise regularly to keep body weight within normal limits.
    Slow and steady reduction in body weight is advised since severe fasting may lead to health hazards.
    Enjoy a variety of foods needed to balance your physical activity.
    Eat small meals regularly at frequent intervals and cut down sugar, fatty foods and alcohol.
    A weight reducing diet must be in rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat.
    At Gorgeous, we have a team comprising a surgeon, dietician, physician, physiotherapist and psychiatrist and have done hundreds of pinhole liposuction, with no stitches or cuts and reduced weights from 100 kgs to 70 kgs in
three months. Non invasive liposuction by using Ultralipolysis along with Thermo C for skin tightening is the best in the world to reduce overall inches and weight. Gorgeous provides a permanent and healthy solution to obesity although it depends on a patient's body condition as well. In next 10 years obesity will effect almost 50 per cent or more of the urban population, which will be huge burden on our medical system, which is still trying to cope with the present medical scenario.
— Dr Purnima Mhatre, Medical Cosmetologist Bandra: 26049333 Peddar Road: 32653215 

Dr Purnima Mhatre
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009



Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately -- without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional "pain relievers."


Did you know that Colgate Toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?


Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoid Peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.


Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of Horseradish in a cup of Olive Oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.


Sore Throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly -- even though the product was never been advertised for this use.


Eliminate puffiness under your eyes..... All you need is a dab of Preparation H, Carefully rubbed into the skin, avoiding the eyes. The Hemorrhoid ointment acts as a vasoconstrictor, relieving the swelling instantly.


Honey remedy for skin blemishes... . Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.


Listerine therapy for toenail fungus... Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.


Easy eyeglass protection.. .. To prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Clear Nail Polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.


Coca-Cola Cure for rust.... Forget those expensive rust removers. Just saturate an abrasive sponge with Coca Cola and scrub the rust stain. The phosphoric acid in the coke is what gets the job done.


Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer... If menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.


Smart splinter remover... just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue all over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.


Hunt's Tomato Paste boil cure.... cover the boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothes the pain and brings the boil to a head.


Balm for broken blisters... To disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine... a powerful antiseptic.


Heinz Vinegar To heal bruises.... Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour.. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.


Kills fleas instantly. Dawn Dish Washing Liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Good-bye fleas.


Rainy day cure for dog odor... Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.


Eliminate ear mites... All it takes is a few drops of Wesson Corn Oil in your cat's ear. Massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days.. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.


Vaseline cure for hair balls...... To prevent troublesome hair balls, apply a dollop of Vaseline petroleum jelly to your cat's nose. The cat will lick off the jelly, lubricating any hair in its stomach so it can pass easily through the digestive system.


Quaker Oats for fast pain relief.... It's not for breakfast anymore! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eight smart uses for vinegar

Now that you know ketchup can be used for shining copper and repairing hair, or that vodka can be used to repel insects and freshen laundry, you may have been wondering what tasks you can get done for cheap with other household items.

Since May is National Vinegar Month (did you forget?), we thought we'd take a closer look at this inexpensive, versatile good.

According to the Vinegar Institute, the useful stuff was probably discovered by accident (most wine drinkers know what happens when you leave a bottle sitting around too long). In fact the word vinegar comes from a French translation for "sour wine."

Over the centuries vinegar has been produced from many stocks, including molasses, dates, sorghum, fruits, coconut, honey, beer, maple syrup, potatoes, beets, grains, and more. But the principle is the same: You get acetic acid (a.k.a. vinegar) after first fermenting natural sugars to alcohol, and then fermenting again.

As Michael de Jong, The Daily Green's Zen Cleaner and author of the Clean series of books, points out, vinegar has been pressed into service for many uses over the centuries. It has been prized as a foodstuff, condiment, preservative, and natural remedy.

What's so great about vinegar? Besides being effective, vinegar is cheap and widely available. It is nontoxic and lasts for a very long time without losing strength. It does not pollute land, air, or water, and it doesn't combust. It's much safer to have under your sink than bleach, ammonia, or other toxic cleaning products. Many folks also swear by the benefits of apple cider vinegar.

In the spirit of green cleaning, green thrift, and green creativity, we put together this list of alternative uses for vinegar. Add your own in the comments!

Cure hiccups

Some have said they were able to cure pesky hiccups instantly by swallowing a teaspoon of vinegar. Most folks use white vinegar, but people have also reported success with apple cider, balsamic, and rice varieties. So you have a few options as far as taste and aroma. Hey, if the Roman legions drank it, it must be good for you, right?


Fight cramps

If you often get foot or leg cramps in the middle of the night, you may want to try boosting your potassium levels. There are a number of great superfoods rich in potassium (way beyond bananas). Some folks have also suggested trying this remedy: Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey, and a cup of hot water. Then drink before bed. Yummy!


Break bad bonds

Having trouble getting that annoying sticky label residue off a product? Or accidentally glue something together? Vinegar can be used as a solvent to dissolve many common adhesives. Vinegar is also good at cutting grease.


Deter cats

We love cats (even LOLcats!). But sometimes you don't want them doing their business in the kids' sandbox or in your flower bed. According to HomeEnvy, a simple solution is to pour vinegar around the edges of the area you want to protect every few months.


Wash produce

According to the green team at Ideal Bite, vinegar can help remove bacteria and pesticide residues from fruits and veggies. Mix three parts water to one part white vinegar, and dispense in a spray bottle. Then rinse with water. The site claims this wash kills 98% of bacteria on produce.


Clean windows

Instead of spending money on window cleaning chemicals -- especially ones that include toxic or potentially toxic chemicals -- make your own! Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.


(Photo: Gerville Hall / iStockPhoto)

Get spring-fresh laundry

Got grass stains? No problemo, says Michael de Jong. Make a mixture of one-third cup white vinegar and two-thirds cup water. Apply the solution to the stain and blot with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until you've removed as much green as possible, and then launder as usual.

When your big washing day comes around, toss in a capful of white vinegar. Your colors will come out bolder and your whites whiter. If you've recently had an encounter with a skunk, it will take more than a capful.

After washing, get a sharper crease in pants by dipping the cloth in a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Then wring out the cloth and press the creases. Now you look like Dilbert!


Clean carpets

According to this The Daily Green community member: "Spots in carpets often remove with a simple dilution of one part vinegar, one-sixteenth part lemon juice, and eight parts distilled water."

Thanks for the tip!


For more vinegar tips watch the Zen Cleaner, and check out Michael de Jong's Clean series of books.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Why eating a curry could STOP you from putting on weight

If you are trying to stop piling on the pounds, eating lots of curry might seem like a bad idea.

But it is not as ridiculous as it sounds, according to the latest scientific findings.

The flavouring turmeric, used in most Indian meals, has an active ingredient which could help fight obesity.

Meals containing turmeric can lead to less weight gain

Skinny spice: Meals containing turmeric can lead to less weight gain

A meal which includes turmeric will lead to less weight gain than a meal with all the same ingredients apart from the yellow powder.

Turmeric contains a plant-based chemical called curcumin which is easily absorbed by the body, according to a study from Tufts University in Boston.

Reporting their findings in the Journal of Nutrition researchers found curcumin suppresses the growth of fat tissue in mice and human cell cultures.

In particular turmeric is effective when added to a high-fat meal, suggesting it could help fight obesity.

It appears the curcumin prevents the formation of new blood vessels which in turn help expand fatty tissue which is the cause of weight gain.


The laboratory tests saw one set of mice fed high-fat diets for 12 weeks and another set given the same food except with 500mg of curcumin added to each meal.

After 12 weeks, the mice which were fed curcumin weighed less than those which did not eat it.

The researchers found the curcumin-fed mice were not growing as many new blood vessels as the others and had lower blood cholesterol.

Senior researcher Mohsen Meydani said: 'Weight gain is the result of the growth and expansion of fat tissue which cannot happen unless new blood vessels form, a process known as angiogenesis.'

'Based on our data, curcumin appears to suppress angiogenic activity in the fat tissue of mice fed high-fat diets.'

The next step will be to perform clinical trials on humans, said the researchers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What is your body trying to tell you? Secret signs to watch out for

Did you know your body often uses visual clues to tell you it's under the weather? It's simply a case of knowing what to look for
Miriam Stoppard
Posted On Thursday, May 21, 2009   

This might be a change in your eyes or nails or a mouth ulcer that points to an underlying health condition. As a doctor, I have been trained to spot these telltale signs - it's a vital part of making a medical diagnosis.

As part of my exams for the Royal College of Physicians, one of the tests was to work out what was wrong with a patient by looking only at their hands, and another by studying just their face.

There's no real mystery - it's all about careful observation and noticing any tiny differences in shape or colour. All doctors become good at this.

But by knowing some of the more obvious signs to look out for, you can do some detective work yourself - and learn to spot when something is wrong...

Secret signs to watch out for...


Red rims

/ What it could mean: Dermatitis - cosmetics or allergies such as hayfever are very common sources of eyelid irritation.
/ What to do: Stop using any new eye products and visit a pharmacy for a soothing, anti-inflammatory cream. Symptoms should clear in a few days or see your GP.

Pale ring around the iris
/ What it could mean: It is caused by fatty deposits and can reflect the health of your arteries - it suggests you're at higher risk of heart disease or stroke.
/ What to do: Talk to your GP about having a heart health check, including cholesterol test.

Fatty white spots around the lid
/ What it could mean: This can also mean too much fat in the blood and indicate high cholesterol levels.
/ What to do: Get your cholesterol checked as soon as possible.

Pale inner lid
/ What it could mean: This usually means you are anaemic and lacking iron, which is crucial for the healthy production of red blood cells.
/ What to do: Your GP can prescribe iron supplements to boost your levels.

Yellow tinge to the eyes
/ What it could mean: Jaundice or other liver or gall bladder problems.
/ What to do: Visit your doctor for further tests immediately.

One droopy eye
/ What it could mean: If the face, in particular the eye or mouth, is drooping on one side it can indicate Bell's palsy (a temporary facial paralysis) or possibly a mild stroke.
/ What to do: See a GP immediately.


Spoon-shaped nails that curl up at the sides
/ What it could mean: Spoon nails are a sign of the iron-deficiency anaemia.
/ What to do: See your GP for a blood test

Rounding or 'clubbing' of nails in all directions
/ What it could mean: This condition results from low oxygen levels in your blood and could be a sign of lung disease. Clubbing is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease and liver disease.
/ What to do: If you're not already receiving treatment for one of these conditions, see a GP as soon as possible.

Horizontal nail ridges
/ What it could mean: Known as Beau's lines, these ridges appear when nail growth is interrupted by injury or severe illness, like uncontrolled diabetes or a virus accompanied by a high fever, such as mumps.
/ What to do: Nothing - provided you've fully recovered from the illness.

Inflammation of joints closest to fingertips
/ What it could mean: These joints tend to be affected by osteoarthritis - the type caused by general wear and tear on joints as we get older.
/ What to do: Your GP can prescribe treatment - usually rest, painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

Inflammation of knuckles
/ What it could mean: If the knuckle joints nearest the wrist are inflamed it's more likely to be rheumatoid arthritis causing the problem - an autoimmune disease where the body immune system attacks the joints.
/ What to do: Your GP can treat the condition with a combination of painkillers, anti-rheumatic drugs and steroids.


Cracks at the corners
/ What it could mean: Cracks are commonly caused by anaemia due to iron deficiency.
However, they may also suggest diabetes, as high levels of blood glucose encourages the growth of candida, a yeast-like infection in the corners of the mouth.
/ What to do: If your GP finds you're anaemic he can prescribe iron tablets and you can increase your intake of iron-rich foods such as red meat and leafy green veg.
And see your GP immediately if you notice any of the other symptoms of diabetes - including weight loss, thirst and a frequent need to urinate.

Blue lips
/ What it could mean: This indicates a lack of oxygen in the blood and in older people suggests a lung disease such as emphysema. However in children, the bluish tinge can occur with an acute lung infection such as bronchitis.
/ What to do: Take your child to casualty immediately.

White patches on the tongue
/ What it could mean: Creamy white patches on the tongue are most often a sign of oral thrush infection but, more rarely, they can indicate cancer
/ What to do: An anti-fungal mouthwash will clear thrush but if the patches don't go away after treatment they need to be checked by your doctor to rule out cancer.

/ What it could mean: Ulcers can be caused by stress, or by accidental damage from brushing your teeth too hard or biting the inside of your mouth.
More rarely, however, they can indicate mouth cancer.
/ What to do: Ulcers can be treated with an antiseptic mouthwash or gel and they usually heal within a week. However, if they last for more than two weeks, you should have them checked by your dentist.

Source: Daily Mirror

Eczema's link to asthma uncovered

Eczema causes red itchy patches on the skin

Scientists believe they have found what triggers many children with eczema to go on to develop asthma.

The Public Library of Science Biology study points to a way to stop what is known as the "atopic march".

The US team at the Washington University School of Medicine showed that a substance made by the damaged skin triggered asthma symptoms in mice.

The same substance, thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), is also produced in the lungs of asthma patients.

Now it will be important to address how to prevent defective skin from producing TSLP
Lead researcher Dr Raphael Kopan

Early treatment of the skin rash and blocking TSLP production might stop asthma developing in young patients with eczema, they hope.

Drugs that act on TSLP might also protect against asthma development even in cases that are not linked to eczema.

Atopic march

Allergies and asthma often occur together. Studies show that 50-70% of children with severe allergic skin problems - atopic dermatitis - go on to develop asthma.

The researchers studied mice bred with a genetic defect that made them develop a condition similar to eczema in humans.

The defective skin secreted TSLP, which the researchers believe alerts the body that its protective barrier has failed.

When they tested the lungs of the mice, they found this tissue also responded strongly to the TSLP signal and had the hallmark traits of asthma - mucous secretion, airway muscle contraction and invasion of white blood cells.

These results were obtained from studies with mice, so it is important to establish whether the same causal link exists in humans

Dr Elaine Vickers of Asthma UK

They did more experiments and found that even mice with normal skin but bred to overproduce TSLP also developed asthma-like symptoms, suggesting TSLP is indeed the culprit.

Lead researcher Dr Raphael Kopan said: "We are excited because we've narrowed down the problem of atopic march to one molecule.

"We've shown that the skin can act as a signalling organ and drive allergic inflammation in the lung by releasing TSLP.

"Now it will be important to address how to prevent defective skin from producing TSLP. If that can be done, the link between eczema and asthma could be broken."

Dr Elaine Vickers of Asthma UK said: "This is the first piece of research to suggest that the natural protein TSLP could play a direct role in causing people with eczema to develop asthma.

"These results were obtained from studies with mice, so it is important to establish whether the same causal link exists in humans.

"Scientists are already exploring the potential of targeting TSLP to create new treatments for eczema, asthma and other allergic conditions.

"Although it is still a long way off, this research raises the exciting possibility that as well as improving symptoms, these treatments might be able to limit, or even prevent, the development of asthma."

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