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Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Monday, August 27, 2012 0 comments

Toronto: Eating egg yolk is just as bad as smoking for atherosclerosis since it leads to accumulation of fat and cholesterol which causes hardening of arteries by forming plaques on its walls, a new study has found. 

The study which surveyed 1,231 patients at Western University, Canada, found regular consumption of egg yolks is about two-thirds as bad as smoking regarding increased build-up of plaque, a risk factor for stroke and heart attack. 

Researchers looked at data from men and women, with a mean age of 61.5 years, attending vascular prevention clinics at London Health Sciences Centre's University Hospital, the journal Atherosclerosis reported hardening of arteries by plaques within its walls. 

Ultrasound was used to establish a measurement of total plaque area and questionnaires were filled out regarding their lifestyle and medications including pack-years of smoking (number of packs per day of cigarettes times the number of years), and the number of egg yolks consumed per week times the number of years consumed (egg yolk-years). 

The study also found those eating three or more yolks a week had significantly more plaque area than those who ate two or fewer yolks per week, according to a Western University statement. 

"The mantra 'eggs can be part of a healthy diet for healthy people' has confused the issue. It has been known for a long time that a high cholesterol intake increases the risk of cardiovascular events, and egg yolks have a very high cholesterol content. In diabetics, an egg a day increases coronary risk by two to five-fold," said David Spence, professor of neurology at Western University.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Tuesday, August 21, 2012 0 comments

Cilantro or coriander leaves have great health benefits 

Cilantro is a popular Mediterranean herb commonly recognised in India as coriander or dhania patta. It is part of most Indian kitchens and very often used to garnish curries, salads and soups. A simple aloo ki sabzi tastes much better with a liberal garnishing of coriander. One can make a mouth-watering paste of coriander leaves, peanuts, onions, green chilies and add a dash of lemon juice. This chutney is excellent as a sandwich spread. You can also grind coriander leaves with mint leaves and it is excellent for making a green chicken rice. 

Cilantro is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Fresh leaves should be washed thoroughly in water in order to remove the dirt and to get rid of any residual pesticides which can be harmful for health. It is best used while it is fresh as it retains its unique fragrance and aromatic flavour. Freshly chopped coriander leaves are a great addition to green salad. 

It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic-acid, vitamin-A, beta carotene and vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Cilantro leaves provides 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C. The health benefits of cilantro are many. Its powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that can help one deal with symptoms of arthritis. It also increases HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). Coriander leaves offer great relief from stomach indigestion problems and the like. It also helps reduce feelings of nausea. Studies have shown that it has got strong antioxidant properties and it helps promote healthy liver function. 

This humble herb can be grown in your kitchen garden. So, make it a part of your kitchen and add more taste to your platter. And also derive benefits from its health properties.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Friday, August 17, 2012 0 comments

It's fast, it's vigorous and it melts fat fast. So, why are yoga experts crying foul over the power yoga fad that has taken over city gyms?

Backed by the likes of Bollywood actresses Kareena Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut and Geeta Basra, power yoga is to today's urban Indian woman what aerobics was in the '80s. Practically every gym and fitness centre in the city offers weekly 60 to 90-minute power yoga classes to its members.

What is power yoga?
A poor commercial derivative of Ashtanga yoga, power yoga is essentially an up-tempo aerobic workout, where yoga poses are done faster and in continuation. Apart from temporary weight loss, it has virtually no health benefits. Since power yoga is a widely used term that was never trademarked, individual teachers usually lend their personal interpretation to classes.

But the aggressive and physical take on the traditional discipline has upset the karma of the normally tranquil world of yoga. Purists dismiss it as a "commercial, supermarket" version of the practice with competitive elements that contradict yoga's most basic principles. There have even been claims that, in encouraging beginners to try and push their bodies into quick movements and advanced positions, this and other sport versions are temporarily successfully and actually dangerous because they could cause injury.

It causes injury
"Power yoga is like any cardiovascular activity, which means that if you stop practicing it you will regain the weight you've lost," says Samanta Duggal, yoga therapist and director at Temperance. In her 20 years of experience, she has seen many cases of people taking up power yoga for quick results and instead sustaining injuries — usually to the neck, shoulder, toes, knees, hips and lower back. "Doing repetitive asanas and 100 surya namaskars with no emphasis on alignment is a sureshot way to injury. So, instead of progressing to better health, they actually regress!"

Bypasses core components
Many of these classes also bypass the core components of yoga — pranayama (with proper sequence and ratio) and yoga nidra (relaxation) at the end. The idea of relaxation is to allow the blood lactate levels to return to normal. If they remain high, they could set off the stress glands, making your power yoga session a stressful one. Stressful yoga — how contradictory is that!

Where traditional forms of yoga, as practiced by Lara Dutta and Abhay Deol, encourage mindful, breath-controlled movement from pose to pose, power yoga participants work up a serious sweat. "Power Yoga was simply a name I came up with in the late '80s to let people know that ashtanga yoga practice — unlike most of the yoga taught in '70s America — was a serious workout, designed to build significant strength and concentration as well as flexibility," says Beryl Bender Birch. He is one of the two American yoga teachers who nearly simultaneously coined the term. Los Angeles-based Bryan Kest is the other. Not coincidentally, both these teachers had studied with Ashtanga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Another name often associated with power yoga is Baron Baptiste who devised his own method in San Francisco,California.

Misnamed practice in India
In power yoga proposed by them, poses are followed up with strength training while synchronising one's breathing patterns to each Vinyasa (movement), with attention given to Tristhana (posture, breath, and focal point for the gaze).

But the kind taught in gyms out here is a different story altogether. "Power yoga here is a bigsham and a scam," says yoga columnist and teacher Shameem Akhtar, who's a proponent of Sivananda yoga. She explains, "Static poses are very difficult and fast-paced ones are for beginners. This may explain the peculiar culture of the misnamed power yoga in Mumbai, where people are made to do asanas faster, just to keep them happy. The flipside of this is they never reach the stamina that real power yoga — as the term is used in America."

Quickie courses, untrained instructors
Patanjali and Hatha yoga teacher Dharam Choudhry puts this scam down to lack of training. He says, "No certification or specific training is required before a person is allowed to teach power yoga." Quickie courses teach poses but not the nuances of proper alignment, intentional correct breathing or noncompetitive mind-set. "So, most gyms recruit power yoga trainers from the vast group of the unemployed young, who are figuring out what they want to do with the rest of their lives."

"One local trainer used to attend my dance yoga classes, copy the sequences I had personally created, and pass them off as his own," recalls Akhtar. The trainer now issues power yoga certificates to other 'trainers'.

Since the instructor does not need to invest much time to learn or teach it, they can tag the classic and glamourous label of yoga to any weak set of stretches. "So, essentially, it is like doing warm-ups for the entire work-out session! How can that be healthy?" asks Akhtar.

Traditional approach is holistic
Choudhry, who has been teaching Patanjali and Hatha yoga for a decade, blames this fad on lack of awareness. "Yoga has enormous benefits. It's a shame that most people here take on this commercial version of power yoga, which was invented in America to begin with, often don't get the maximum benefit."

Compare that to traditional schools of yoga that lay a good foundation for a long-lasting and all-round fitness and wellbeing. Says Duggal, "Whether it's Sivananda, Bihar, Iyengar, Vini yoga from the Krishnamacharya lineage, they all have a holistic approach."

If combined with the right diet, weight loss in traditional yoga is quite amazing and just as immediate. Besides, traditional and classical forms of yoga have long-lasting benefits on the body not only in terms of muscular tone, endurance and physiology but also your entire endocrine system.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Saturday, August 11, 2012 0 comments

A daily glass of orange juice can help improve your skin, hair and nails, say a panel of health and beauty experts. 

They attribute the benefits to the vitamin C,potassium and folic acid it contains. Vitamin C is essential in the production of collagen, along with super nutrient Lutein. 
Its yellow pigment is linked to reducing sun-induced skin damage and is believed to improve elasticity of the skin. 
A 200ml glass of orange typically contains 60mg vitamin C and equates to 100 per cent of an adult's recommended daily amount. 
"The adage of 'you are what you eat' is not a new one but science has lagged behind in determining the effect nutrition has on our skin, hair and nails," the Mirror quoted nutritionist Amanda Ursell as saying. 
"Beauty experts are starting to see the benefits of a glass of this nutrient packed product, realising it isn't just what you put on your body but what you put into it too," she added. 
The research was undertaken with 200 beauty industry workers who are members of CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women). 
Two thirds of beauty professionals (65 per cent) said they recommend clients to drink a glass a day as part of their current beauty routine. 
Susan Mahy, board director at Cosmetic Executive Women UK, said: "The essential nutrients you need for healthy skin, hair and nails are most beneficial when ingested as part of your diet. 
"Our panel of executive women in the cosmetic, fragrance and hairdressing industries concluded that they have a direct effect on the skin," Mahy added.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Monday, August 6, 2012 0 comments

Low levels of vitamin D could mean greater risk of death for older adults - especially those who are frail, say researchers

A randomized, nationally representative study found that older adults with low vitamin D levels had a 30 per cent greater risk of death than people who had higher levels. 

Overall, people who were frail had more than double the risk of death than those who were not frail. Frail adults with low levels of vitamin D tripled their risk of death over people who were not frail and who had higher levels of vitamin D. 

"What this really means is that it is important to assess vitamin D levels in older adults, and especially among people who are frail," said lead author Ellen Smit of Oregon State University

Smit said past studies have separately associated frailty and low vitamin D with a greater mortality risk, but this is the first to look at the combined effect. This study examined more than 4,300 adults older than 60 using data from the Third National Health and NutritionExamination Survey. 

"Older adults need to be screened for vitamin D," said Smit, who is a nutritional epidemiologist at OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Her research is focused on diet, metabolism, and physical activity in relation to both chronic disease and HIV infection. 

"As you age, there is an increased risk of melanoma, but older adults should try and get more activity in the sunshine. Our study suggests that there is an opportunity for intervention with those who are in the pre-frail group, but could live longer, more independent lives if they get proper nutrition and exercise," she said. 

Frailty is when a person experiences a decrease in physical functioning characterized by at least three of the following five criteria: muscle weakness, slow walkingexhaustion, low physical activity, and unintentional weight loss. People are considered "pre-frail" when they have one or two of the five criteria. 

Because of the cross-sectional nature of the survey, researchers could not determine if low vitamin D contributed to frailty, or whether frail people became vitamin D deficient because of health problems. However, Smit said the longitudinal analysis on death showed it may not matter which came first. 

"If you have both, it may not really matter which came first because you are worse off and at greater risk of dying than other older people who are frail and who don't have low vitamin D," she said. 

"This is an important finding because we already know there is a biological basis for this. Vitamin D impacts muscle function and bones, so it makes sense that it plays a big role in frailty," she noted. 

The study was published online in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Wednesday, August 1, 2012 0 comments

London: Shift work can dramatically increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, warn researchers.
A study of two million people found shift workers are almost 25 percent more likely to suffer, the Daily Mail reported Friday.
Night shift workers run the highest risk of 41 percent, says a study published on the British Medical Journal website
People working shifts also have higher levels of unhealthy behaviours such as eating junk food, sleeping badly and not exercising, which are linked to heart problems.
But researchers said they took this into account - and the excess risks remained.
The latest study is the biggest analysis of shift work and likelihood of vascular problems, including heart attacks, strokes and angina.
Shift work has long been known to disrupt the body clock and be linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, but the overall impact on cardiovascular health has been unclear.
A team of international researchers analysed the results of 34 studies involving 2,011,935 people to investigate whether shift work was associated with major vascular events, the newspaper added.

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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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