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Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Thursday, March 29, 2012 1 comments

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island have found that eating faster increases the amount of food consumption.

Results of their two new studies revealed that men eat significantly faster than women, heavier people eat faster than slimmer people, and refined grains are consumed faster than whole grains, among other findings.

In one laboratory study, Kathleen Melanson, URI associate professor of nutrition, and her lab team found that fast eaters consumed about 3.1 ounces of food per minute, medium-speed eaters consumed 2.5 ounces per minute, and slow eaters consumed 2 ounces per minute.

The researchers also found what Melanson described as 'very strong gender differences' in eating rates.

At lunch, the men consumed about 80 calories per minute while the women consumed 52 calories per minute.

The second study, which examined the characteristics associated with eating rates, found a close association between eating rate and body mass index (BMI), with those individuals with a high BMI typically eating considerably faster than those with a low BMI.

"One theory we are pursuing is that fast eating may be related to greater energy needs, since men and heavier people have higher energy needs," said Melanson.

While the link between eating rate and obesity is still being studied, Melanson said that her research has demonstrated that eating slowly results in significantly fewer average calories being consumed.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of The Obesity Society in Orlando this month.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Monday, March 26, 2012 0 comments

Wonderfully sweet and tangy kumquat fruit or cumquat (as the fruit generally recognized in Europe) is a winter/spring season delicacy. Although kumquats taste like citrus fruits, they are distinguished from them in a way that they can be eaten as a whole with the peel.

Botanically they belonged to the Rutaceae family; of the genus, Fortunella, named after botanist Robert fortune who brought them from China to Europe in the middle of the 19th century.

Kumquats are a small sized evergreen tree native to Southeastern parts of mountainous China. They now have grown for their delicious fruits and as ornament tree in many parts of the world including USA. A mature kumquat tree bears several hundred olive sized brilliant orange color fruits in winter. On the Interior, the fruit resembles tiny orange with juicy segments firmly adherent each other and with the rind. The pulp has 1-2 seeds placed centrally. The seeds are bitter in taste as in oranges and generally spit out.
There exist several varieties of kumquat; however, some 4 cultivars are grown widely for their fruits.
  • Nagami kumquat (Fortunella margarita): The fruit is oval and is the most common varieties grown in USA. The fruit features smooth light yellow rind tarty flavor.
  • Marumi kumquat (Fortunella japonica): The fruit is round and has distinctive sweet flavor.
  • Meiwa kumquat (Fortunella crassifolia): It is round in shape and larger than other verities. It is popular in Japan as ninpo or neiha kinkan.
  • Hong Kong Wild (Fortunella hindsii).
Health benefits of kumquat fruit:
  • Like citrus fruits, kumquats also low in calories. 100 g of fresh fruit provide only 71 calories. Nevertheless, they are incredibly rich sources of health benefiting dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely to our health and wellness.
  • Kumquats are eaten along with the peel, a unique feature that differentiates them from other citrus family fruits. The peel is rich in many essential oils, anti-oxidants, and fiber. 100 g whole kumquats provide 6.7 g or 17% of daily-recommended levels of fiber composed of tannins, pectin, hemi-cellulose, and other non-starch polysaccharides (NSP).
  • Fresh kumquats are packed with numerous health benefiting poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidantssuch as carotenes, lutein,zeaxanthin, tannins...etc. The kumquat peels is composed many important essential oils in it including limonene, pinene, α-bergamotene, caryophyllene, α-humulene, and α-muurolene. Together these compounds impart special citrus aroma to the fruit.
  • Further, fresh fruits contain adequate levels of some of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, C and E. Altogether these phyto-chemical compounds in kumquat fruit helps scavenge harmful oxygen derived free radicals from the body and thereby protect us from cancers, diabetes, degenerative diseases and infections.
  • Like oranges, kumquats also very rich in vitamin C. 100 g fruit provides 47.9 or 73% of RDA (Recommended daily allowances). Vitamin-C is one of powerful natural anti-oxidant which has many essential biological roles like collagen synthesis and wound healing; anti-viral and anti-cancer activity; and helps prevent from neuro-degenerative diseases, arthritis, diabetes...etc by removing oxidant free-radicals from the body. Furthermore, vitamin C felicitates iron absorption in the food by reducing it from ferrous to ferric form in the stomach.
  • Cumquats contain good levels of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid. These vitamins function as co-factors for metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • In addition, they are modest sources minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. 100 g of dried figs contain 640 mg of potassium, 162 mg of calcium, and 2.03 mg of iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation as well for cellular oxidation.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Sunday, March 25, 2012 0 comments

Washington: Nanoparticle-sized Chitosan has shown promise in effectively combating Staphylococcus saprophyticus and E. coli.

Chitosan is a natural, non-toxic and biodegradable, obtained from chitin, the main component of the shells of shrimp, lobster and the beak of the octopus and squid.

It could be used as a protective wound-healing material to avoid opportunistic infection as well as working to facilitate wound healing, the International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials reports.

Mihaela Leonida of Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Teaneck, New Jersey, colleagues reported how they have prepared nanoparticles of chitosan that could potentially preventing infection in wounds as well as enhancing the wound-healing by stimulating skin cell growth.

Understanding the mechanism of inhibition of bacteria by these particles may lead to the preparation of more effective antibacterial agents, according to a Fairleigh University statement.

S. saprophyticus infects the urinary tract. Symptoms are burning sensation when passing urine, the urge to urinate more often than usual, the 'dripping effect' after urination, weak bladder, bloated feeling with sharp razor pains in the lower abdomen around the bladder and ovary areas, etc.

Most strains of E. coli, commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms are harmless, but some serotypes can cause serious food poisoning in humans. 

London: Arthritis sufferers have 40 percent higher risk of developing erratic heartbeat which can trigger heart attacks and death, warn researchers.

The researchers believe the inflammation of joints in arthritis may cause irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation, besides formation of blood clots and stroke.

Rheumatoid arthritis tends to strike between the ages of 40 and 70 years and is more common amongst women than men. It is the result of the immune system attacking cells lining the joints, making them swollen, stiff and very painful, reported online journal 

Copenhagen University scientists studied more than four million people of whom 18,250 had rheumatoid arthritis over a period of five years, and found those afflicted were 40 percent at higher risk of atrial fibrillation and 30 percent higher risk of strokes than the general public. 

In a group of 1,000 normal patients, six would likely suffer from atrial fibrillation in any given year while 5.7 would be likely to have a stroke. 

However, amongst a group of 1,000 rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, eight would be expected to have atrial fibrillation while 7.6 would be likely to have a stroke. 

'Inflammation plays a central role in rheumatoid arthritis and in the disease process of many other related conditions, so it's not surprising that it may also play a role in the development of atrial fibrillation,' said Michael Ehrenstein of Arthritis Research, Britain. 


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Thursday, March 22, 2012 0 comments

Not really, say experts. For most people the best time to do exercise is the best convenient time. If you are doing exercise at a particular time daily then you are more likely to see results. 

It is often found that those who do exercise in the morning are more disciplined and are unlikely to skip exercise at any cost unlike those who do exercise in the late evening.

Though there are researches on exercise they are still limited. So it is difficult to fix the right time to exercise. "Some people can wake up early in the morning and can easily do exercise without fail. But others are lazy to get up early. So for them it is always better to do it according to their convenience," says Bindu S, a fitness expert.

But some research shows that you have more endurance in the late afternoon as the body temperature is at its highest and so strength and endurance are greater. "Not many can afford to workout when they feel like due to various family and work commitments. So even if you are doing your workouts at a time you despair, don't feel sorry for your body can easily adapt to any circumstance," says George Joseph, a personal trainer. George says more than the physical aspect missing the exercise routine can have psychological impacts. "The guilt feeling that you could not do the exercise can bring forth many negative emotions. This would affect your productivity the whole day.

So, the good news is, whether it is morning or late evening what matters is you do the exercise regularly.

So, happy exercising folks!


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Tuesday, March 20, 2012 0 comments

In today's hectic lifestyle, women are busy multi-tasking as a wife, mother, working woman and more.
But it is easy to stay focused by incorporating these brain foods in your diet for a more motivated you!

Sip on some caffeine to kick-start your ability to focus; the key is moderation. Too much caffeine and you'll end up jittery and unable to concentrate.

Just a spoonful of sugar can give your brain the boost you are looking for, although the effects are short-lived. Snack on something naturally sweet such as fresh fruit, or reach for brain food like whole grain carbohydrates such as pasta to improve your attentiveness without expanding your waistline.

Serve up fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week to give your brain the vitamins it needs to develop and function properly. When possible, choose a fish that has a low or no mercury content, such as salmon and herring.

Help protect your brain from Alzheimer's disease and dementia by consuming blueberries. Studies also show a link between lab animals and improved learning ability when it comes to this blue fruit.

Adding foods to help you focus can be as simple as popping popcorn. Puffed with vitamin B6, B12, and E, these crunchy munchies are believed to enhance your ability to focus as well as your memory and brain power.

This creamy fruit not only helps lower bad cholesterol and reduce risk of plaque build-up to enhance blood flow and fuel your brain power, it's also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados are a great alternative to seafood for those who aren't fans of fish.

Nuts and seeds
Grab a handful of your favourite nuts or seeds to fill up on antioxidants and proteins to help you keep your mind on track. Nuts and seeds also help give your brain long-term protection against the decline of your cognitive functions.

Green vegetables
Gobble down green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, parsley and brussels sprouts to keep your mind sharp, thanks to their high amounts of folic acid.

Low-calorie breakfast
To improve your attention span, fuel up your body in the morning by diving into breakfast. Be sure to include fruits, dairy and cereals that are high in fiber and low in calories.

If you can't get in enough focus foods each day, talk to your doctor about adding supplements to your diet. Brain-boosting vitamins like B, C, E, and nutrients like beta-carotene, magnesium, ginseng and ginkgo are thought to help enhance your memory and ability to focus.

Looking at pictures of appetizing food can make you hungry, according to a new study.

Max Planck researchers' have documented a study on healthy young men that proves that the amount of the neurosecretory protein hormone ghrelin in the blood increases as a result of visual stimulation through images of food.

As a main regulator, ghrelin controls both eating behaviour and the physical processes involved in food metabolism.

These results show that, in addition to the physiological mechanisms for maintaining the body's energy status, environmental factors also have a specific influence on food consumption.

Thus, the pervasive presence of appetising food in the media could contribute to weight increase in Western populations.

It has long been known that, in addition to the physiological regulatory circuits for the maintenance of a sufficient energy status for the body, external stimuli like smell or the sight of food also influence our feelings of hunger and our resulting eating behaviour.

The danger that the exposure to such images will result in the consumption of food that is not needed to maintain the body's energy status is particularly high in our advertising-dominated society.

In a study involving healthy male subjects, Axel Steiger and his research group at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry investigated the molecular processes for the control of food consumption.

They examined the specific physiological reaction of the test subjects to images showing either delicious food or non-edible objects.

The concentrations of different hormones in the blood such as grehlin, leptin and insulin, which play a role in the regulation of food consumption, were measured.

The researchers actually observed that the concentration of grehlin in the blood increases specifically in response to visual stimulation with food images.

"The findings of our study demonstrate, for the first time, that the release of ghrelin into the blood for the regulation of food consumption is also controlled by external factors," Petra Schussler, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute said.

"Our brain thereby processes these visual stimuli, and the physical processes that control our perception of appetite are triggered involuntarily. This mechanism could prompt us to eat a piece of cake just two hours after breakfast," she added.

She thus recommends that individuals with weight problems should preferably avoid looking at images of appetising food. 


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Saturday, March 17, 2012 0 comments

Tomato Plants
Tomato are a staple in every kitchen but hardly will you hear anyone extolling its cosmetic benefits. Whether you want to cure large pores or reduce acne and rashes or sooth a nasty sunburn or simply to revive the glow on dull skin, tomatoes are beneficial in many homemade beauty treatments. 

Not only do tomatoes taste great but they also keep the skin healthy. It is necessary to consume tomatoes as they have lycopene, which is an antioxidant and hence works as a sunscreen from within. These antioxidants make tomato an anti-aging product as they help in fighting cellular damage and reddening of skin. It is recommended to have at least 16 milligrams of lycopene per day as they reduce the number of free radicals in the body and also help to retain the moisture in people who are used to sitting in air-conditioned environs. You don't need to spend your hard-earned money on expensive cosmetic treatments if you follow these simple steps to get healthy-looking skin: 

Big pores? Shrink Them 
Big pores provide easy access to dirt and grime thus increasing the chances of infecting the pore. Take a tablespoon of fresh tomato juice. Add two to four drops of fresh lime juice to this. Use a cotton ball to apply this mixture on your face. Massage it in circular motions. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and then wash off with cool water. Regular application will shrink pores greatly. 

Acne healing 
The acidity in tomatoes helps in reducing and clearing up your acne. Vitamin A and vitamin C are commonly found in a lot of acne medicines and tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. If you have mild acne, cut a tomato in half and apply the inside on your face. For severe acne mash a fresh tomato and use the pulp as a pack on the face. Leave it on for an hour. Rinse it off and moisturise. Do this on a regular basis or as many times as you can. Your acne is bound to dry off soon. 

If you have oily skin and struggle to keep your face from shining like a fried papad, tomato is the solution to your agony. Crush a fresh tomato and strain it. Make a little cucumber juice and add it to the tomato juice. Apply this juice with a cotton ball daily to control excessive oiliness and acne. 

Good to eat, great to clean 
A tomato and avocado mask works wonders on combination skin. This is because tomato works as an astringent as well as a blackhead and oil-reducing agent while avocados have an antiseptic and moisturising effect. A pack of mashed tomatoes and avocados help in soothing and cleansing combination skin (oily and dry), as they are rich in vitamin A, C and E. Apply this pack and wash off after 20 to 30 minutes with lukewarm water. 

Burns no more 
Summer is fast approaching and with harsh summer comes burnt, inflamed skin. A lot of people's skin gets sunburnt, raw and itchy due to exposure to the sun. Crush half a tomato and mix it with two tablespoons of plain yogurt. Apply this concoction on face, neck, hands and feet. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Tomato cools the skin and neutralises the surface while yogurt gives it a much needed protein boost while leaving it soft and supple. 

Glowing skin 
Mix honey with tomato juice until you get a thick paste. Apply this mixture and wash off after 15 minutes for smooth and glowing skin. 


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Wednesday, March 14, 2012 0 comments

People skipping breakfast had better mend their ways, as a new study shows how the morning meal reduces stress and improves mental and physical performance throughout the day.

Volunteers who ate after waking up benefited from an 89 per cent reduction in anxiety when faced with a challenging situation, the Daily Mail reported.

They were typically able to deal with the dilemma seven percent quicker than on days when they went without it, the mental and physical tests have revealed.

Participants in the study performed a series of tests on two days -- one when they had their breakfast and one when they hadn't.

According to The Cognitive Effects of Breakfast study, in total 61 per cent showed an improvement in English and arithmetic tests after eating.

Hand-eye coordination also improved significantly, with the number of mistakes made by participants falling by 75 per cent, the poll and research by baker Warburtons found.

Conversely, some participants found they were unable to concentrate long enough to complete the series of 25 tests properly if they had not eaten.

In Britain, 48 percent of adults admit to skipping breakfast at least once during the working week, the poll of 2,000 people found.

It leaves over half of them feeling "stressed", "lethargic", "unproductive" and "grumpy". Those aged 25 to 34 are particularly affected if they do not eat, the research showed.

The research was conducted at the Mindlab laboratory based at the Sussex Innovation Centre, Brighton city.  


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Sunday, March 11, 2012 0 comments

Taking vitamin E supplements may make bone sold and frail before their time, Japanese researchers say. 

A study found that animals fed on a diet supplemented with the vitamin had bones 20 per cent weaker than those that ate normally. 

More worrying is that the effect was seen after just eight weeks, the Daily Mail reported. 

The scientists behind the research said that given the popularity of vitamin E supplements, a larger study on people is now warranted. 

The vitamin, which occurs naturally in cereals, nuts, olive oil and egg yolks, is credited with helping hold back the hands of time by 'fighting ageing from within'. 

Benefits are said to include cutting the risk of heart disease, cancers and cataracts, as well as helping keep the mind sharp into old age and the skin supple. 

One of the world's most popular supplements, it is taken daily by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Britons. 

In the US, more than one in ten adults take vitamin E tablets. 

The latest study looked at the effect of alpha-tocopherol, the most common form of the vitamin, on bone strength. 

Bone is constantly changing, with old bone broken down and new bone being built. Osteoporosis occurs when old bone is broken down by the body far more quickly than it is replaced. 

In the Japanese study, mice genetically modified to have low levels of the vitamin in their blood, grew bones that were extra-thick. 

This was found to be due to them being poor at breaking down old bone, rather than good at making new stuff. 

When vitamin E was added to the animals' diet, their bone density returned to normal. 

In another experiment, giving normal mice alpha-tocopherol vitamin E supplements at doses equivalent to those taken by people, led to their bones thinning by a fifth in just two months. 

The same result was seen in rats. 

Researcher Dr Shu Takeda, of Keio University in Tokyo, called for a larger study on the vitamin's effect on human bones. 

"There is nothing to worry about if you are getting plenty of vitamin E from your diet but those taking high doses of the nutrient in supplements need to be wary," said Professor Helen MacDonald, an advisor to the National Osteoporosis Society. 

"You have to remember this research was carried out on animals and findings in humans can be very different. But more research is needed," Dr Takeda added. 

Details of the study appeared in the journal Nature Medicine.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Tuesday, March 6, 2012 1 comments

Want to know an easy and effective way to shed that extra pounds? Well, keep healthy foods at eye level in your fridge. 

Psychologists say this method could help you lose weight because you eat what you see first. 

Simple changes like moving chocolate and crisps out of sight and putting more wholesome foods where they can easily be seen can help dieters to eat better without even realising it. 

Serving food on smaller plates and eating in the kitchen or dining room rather than in front of the television can also help you subconsciously reduce the amount you eat without testing your willpower. 

Dr Brian Wansink said when our mind is on other things we simply eat what is in front of us whether we are hungry or not. 

Avoiding "hidden eating traps" like easily accessible junk food, and having meals at the table where we are more aware how much we are eating, can help us lose up to 2lb a month, studies showed. 

"Most of us have too much chaos going on in our lives to consciously focus on every bite we eat, and then ask ourselves if we're full. The secret is to change your environment so it works for you rather than against you," the Telegraph quoted Dr Wansink as saying. 

The study was presented at the American Psychological Association.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Sunday, March 4, 2012 0 comments

Starving yourself on alternate days can boost brainpower, help to lose weight and make you live longer, say American scientists.

Scientists at The National Institutes for Aging said their research was based on giving animals the bare minimum of calories required to keep them alive and results showed they lived up to twice as long.

The diet has since been tested on humans and appears to protect the heart, circulatory system and brain against age-related diseases like Alzheimer's.

"Dietery energy restriction extends lifespan and protects the brain and cardiovascular system against age-related disease," the Daily Mail quoted Mark Mattson, head of the laboratory of neurosciences at the NIA and professor of neuroscience at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, as saying.

"We have found that dietary energy restriction, particularly when administered in intermittent bouts of major caloric restriction, such as alternative day fasting, activates cellular stress response pathways in neurones," he said to the Sunday Times.

In one set of experiments, a group of mice were only fed on alternate days while others were allowed to eat daily. Both groups were given unlimited access to food on the days they were allowed to eat and eventually consumed the same amount of calories.

Professor Mattson said he found the mice fed on alternate days were more sensitive to insulin and needed to produce less of it.

High levels of the hormone, which is produced to control sugar levels after a meal or snack, are usually associated with lower brain power and are at a higher risk of diabetes.

The brains from both sets of rodents were then examined and Professor Mattson said he found the calorie restricted diets appeared to improve the function of brain synapses.

These are the junctions between brain cells, which promote the generation of new cells and make them more resistant to stress.

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Warm welcome to my health blog! This was introduced with an objective to educate and spread awareness among people, encouraging them to live healthier lives with longevity. Let me emphasize that our contemporary situation in individual’s life are so fast moving that we tend to neglect and spare some moments for our own health. My inspiration has turned into passion in a health care that turned into a blog. The ample of support and response was tremendously changed into positive results. I dedicated this blog for all those people who are very conscious for their health and life style. Hope so, I can bring differences for healthy living the fore my viewer comments are always valuable and your continued patronage is important for me. Wish you a happy and healthy life ahead!

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