Friday, September 12, 2008

Diets Do's and Dont's

If any of us considering to go on a diet, here are some helpful pointers from MSN Fitness & Health.

7 Diet Dos (and Don'ts)
By Joy Bauer, PARADE Magazine

Doesn't it seem like cravings and emotionally driven eating are amped up when you're on a diet? The good news is that there are many tried-and-true methods to help keep you on track. I'm about to let you in on a few.

Do fill up on fiber
Protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrates and fat, so it takes fewer calories to fill you up. Fiber slows mealtime digestion and absorbs water, which expands your stomach and creates a feeling of fullness. Lentils and starchy beans (for example, navy, kidney, black, pinto, and garbanzo beans) naturally combine protein and fiber in very impressive amounts, so consider eating them in soups and salads or as a side dish instead of rice or pasta.

Don't miss out on sleep
Recent studies show that sleep deprivation can make it difficult to fit into your favorite jeans. When you don't get enough shut-eye, your body produces more ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry, and less leptin, a hormone that increases satiety. Discipline might enable you to resist, but why not give your body a well-deserved rest?

Do downsize
Scientists at Cornell University and the University of Illinois researched the effect of serving-bowl size on eating behavior and then published their findings in no less an esteemed publication than the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found that students serving themselves from a large bowl took 53 percent more and ate 56 percent more food (the equivalent of 142 calories) than those who served themselves from smaller serving bowls. If 142 calories doesn't seem like much, try multiplying it by three meals a day for 365 days. If the resulting yearly weight gain of 44 pounds doesn't inspire you to consider a new china pattern, I don't know what will!

Do veg out
Nonstarchy vegetables (anything but peas, corn, acorn/butternut squash, and potatoes) are "filler foods" in the best sense of the term. Low in calories and packed with water and fiber, vegetables fill you up without filling you out. Enjoy them in the form of stir-fries and soups, and munch on baby carrots, celery sticks, green beans, or cauliflower between meals.

Don't eat standing up
Back when people ate most of their meals while seated at their kitchen or dining-room tables, rates of obesity were far lower. Coincidence? I think not. When eating is limited to a particular place, your brain doesn't associate other places with food, and the cascade of bodily signals that stimulate appetite is activated less frequently. So, no more chowing down while leaning over your kitchen sink or strolling down the street, OK?

Do limit your choices
Contrary to popular belief, variety is not all that it's cracked up to be—at least when it comes to snacks. When you have more to choose from, you tend to sample a little of this and a little of that, which can lead to a lot of extra pounds. Besides, research shows that we are generally happier eating our favorite foods repeatedly than experimenting with a wide variety.

Don't eat in the dark
Dining by candlelight may be romantic, but the end result can be anything but. Eating in a dimly lit room tends to make people consume more calories. Simply put, in the light you're more self-conscious of others watching what you eat. Also, in low lighting, you can't see your food as well, which may cause you to lose track of how much you're eating. So, if possible, nix the dimmer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Slim Down With Vitamin C!

The good news is, I've been taking this vitamin C forever. The not-so-good-news is, sometimes I skipped taking it. I guess it works to an extent, anyway. From now onwards, will take it everyday!

Slim Down with This Vitamin

Lose a pound recently? Great! Then keep it off with this mighty nutrient: vitamin C.

Research shows that your body needs sufficient vitamin C to burn fat -- and burning fat is key to keeping excess pounds away. So pop your C supplement, or snack on some C-rich orange sections before your next power walk.

A Critical Compound

People in a study who had low blood concentrations of vitamin C and walked on a treadmill for an hour burned 25 percent less fat than people with adequate C. But a dose of C brought fat-burning levels back up to par. Why? Seems C is essential for creating carnitine, a substance that turns fat into fuel. Find out how much C you need with this tool.

How Much Is Enough

To keep the pounds you dropped from coming right back, you could start your day with some grapefruit, have an orange after lunch, or fill your dinner plate with C-rich veggies like red bell peppers, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Here are a few more reasons to C up!

For a stronger heart: Vitamin C makes bad cholesterol less dangerous. Read this tip on berries and oatmeal to find out how.
For more powerful lungs: Here's why C makes you less of a wheezer.

Recipe Corner

Try this tutti-frutti way of getting more C: Lemon-Orange Fizz.
RealAge Benefit: Getting 1,200 milligrams of vitamin C per day from food and supplements can make your RealAge as much as 1 year younger

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stomach Toning, Anyone?

Of late, I feel the need to do this exercise. Please don't ask why...ha ha. Apart from my weekly yoga, I think this exercise will help tone my midriff and save me from getting new wardrobes...hahaha

Tune Up Your Trunk
Written by RealAge, Inc., January 2007

First, grab an exercise ball. Using an exercise ball for stomach toning gives you stronger muscles than if you did the exercises on the floor. Plus, you get bonus benefits, like better balance. Now, follow these three easy "Ab Curl" steps:

1. Sit on the exercise ball, feet flat on the floor, knees hip-width apart and bent at a 90-degree angle.

2. Place your hands behind your head, elbows pointed out, and slowly roll back until your mid to lower back rests on the ball.

3. Pull your ribs toward your pelvis to raise your upper back 3 to 4 inches off the ball. Hold for a second and then return your shoulders to the ball. Repeat 10 times.

RealAge Benefit: A physical activity program that builds stamina, strength, and flexibility can make your RealAge as much as 8.1 years younger.

Your core -- the 29 muscles surrounding the middle of your body -- is responsible for keeping you stable and strong. Core workouts not only give you firm, flat abs but also help you out-drive your golf group, add aces to your tennis game, kick up your carving quotient when you're skiing or snowboarding, and make you look better in jeans.

In addition to abdominal curls, you can strengthen your back and your sides with these two other core exercises.

For Back Building: Supine Bridge

Keep that exercise ball around for this one.

1. Sit on the ball with your knees hip-width apart and bent at 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor.

2. Roll, so that your shoulder blades are resting on the ball and your torso is suspended above -- and parallel to -- the floor. Like a bridge.

3. Tilt your pelvis, so that your bottom dips toward the floor, then bring it back to original parallel position. Relax and repeat 10 times.

For Sleeker Sides: Side-Lying Leg Lift

Put your exercise ball aside; you won't need it for this one.

1. Lie on the floor, on your right side, with your right arm extended in front of you for balance and support.

2. Keep your torso straight, aligning your shoulders

and hips so that they form a straight line with your ears. You can bend your right knee slightly for balance.

3. Keep your left leg straight and slowly lift it upward 8 to 10 inches. Your left heel, knee, hip, shoulder, and ear should remain in a straight line.

4. Lower your left leg slowly. Repeat 10 times and switch sides.

If you have back problems or other medical conditions, or if you haven't exercised in a long time, talk to your doctor before trying these or any other kinds of exercises.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fresh lemon Grass Drink Causes Apoptosis to Cancer Cells

Fresh Lemon Grass Drink Causes Apoptosis to Cancer Cells(apoptosis) noun: a type of cell death in which the cell uses specialized cellular machinery to kill itself; a cell suicide mechanism that enables metazoans to control cell number and eliminate cells that threaten the animal's survival.

Fresh lemon grass fields in Israel become Mecca for cancer patients
By Allison Kaplan Sommer April 02, 2006

A drink with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube.Israeli researchers find way to make cancer cells self-destruct -Ben Gurion University.

At first, Benny Zabidov, an Israeli agriculturalist who grows greenhouses full of lush spices on a pastoral farm in Kfar Yedidya in the Sharon region, couldn't understand why so many cancer patients from around the country were showing up on his doorstep asking for fresh lemon grass. It turned out that their doctors had sent them. 'They had been told to drink eight glasses of hot water with fresh lemon grass steeped in it on the days that they went for their radiation and chemotherapy treatments,' Zabidov told ISRAEL21c. 'And this is the place you go to in Israel for fresh lemon grass.'

It all began when researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev discovered last year that the lemon aroma in herbs like lemon grass kills cancer cells in vitro, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The research team was led by Dr. Rivka Ofir and Prof. Yakov Weinstein, incumbent of the Albert Katz Chair in Cell-Differentiation and Malignant Diseases, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at BGU.

Citral is the key component that gives the lemony aroma and taste in several herbal plants such as lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), melissa (Melissa officinalis) and verbena (Verbena officinalis.)

According to Ofir, the study found that citral causes cancer cells to 'commit suicide: using apoptosis, a mechanism called programmed cell death.' A drink with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt the cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube.

The BGU investigators checked the influence of the citral on cancerous cells by adding them to both cancerous cells and normal cells that were grown in a petri dish. The quantity added in the concentrate was equivalent to the amount contained in a cup of regular tea using one gram of lemon herbs in hot water. While the citral killed the cancerous cells, the normal cells remained unharmed.

The findings were published in the scientific journal Planta Medica, which highlights research on alternative and herbal remedies. Shortly afterwards, the discovery was featured in the popular Israeli press.

Why does it work? Nobody knows for certain, but the BGU scientists have a theory. 'In each cell in our body, there is a genetic program which causes programmed cell death. When something goes wrong, the cells divide with no control and become cancer cells. In normal cells, when the cell discovers that the control system is not operating correctly - for example, when it recognizes that a cell contains faulty genetic material following cell division - it triggers cell death,' explains Weinstein. 'This research may explain the medical benefit of these herbs.'

The success of their research led them to the conclusion that herbs containing citral may be consumed as a preventative measure against certain cancerous cells. As they learned of the BGU findings in the press, many physicians in Israel began to believe that while the research certainly needed to be explored further, in the meantime it would be advisable for their patients, who were looking for any possible tool to fight their condition, to try to harness the cancer-destroying properties of citral.

That's why Zabidov's farm - the only major grower of fresh lemon grass in Israel - has become a pilgrimage destination for these patients. Luckily, they found themselves in sympathetic hands. Zabidov greets visitors with a large kettle of aromatic lemon grass tea, a plate of cookies, and a supportive attitude. 'My father died of cancer, and my wife's sister died young because of cancer,' said Zabidov. 'So I understand what they are dealing with. And I may not know anything about medicine, but I'm a good listener. And so they tell me about their expensive painful treatments and what they've been through. I would never tell them to stop being treated, but it's great that they are exploring alternatives and drinking the lemon grass tea as well.'

Zabidov knew from a young age that agriculture was his calling. At age 14, he enrolled in the Kfar Hayarok Agricultural high school. After his army service, he joined an idealistic group which headed south, in the Arava desert region, to found a new moshav (agricultural settlement) called Tsofar 'We were very successful; we raised fruits and vegetables, and,' he notes with a smile, 'We raised some very nice children.'

On a trip to Europe in the mid-80s, he began to become interested in herbs. Israel, at the time, was nothing like the trend-conscious cuisine-oriented country it is today, and the only spices being grown commercially were basics like parsley, dill, and coriander. Wandering in the Paris market, looking at the variety of herbs and spices, Zabidov realized that there was a great export potential in this niche. He brought samples back home with him, 'which was technically illegal,' he says with a guilty smile, to see how they would grow in his desert greenhouses. Soon, he was growing basil, oregano, tarragon, chives, sage, marjoram and melissa, and mint just to name a few.

His business began to outgrow his desert facilities, and so he decided to move north, settling in the moshav of Kfar Yedidya, an hour and a half north of Tel Aviv. He is now selling 'several hundred kilos' of lemon grass per week, and has signed with a distributor to package and put it in health food stores. Zabidov has taken it upon himself to learn more about the properties of citral, and help his customers learn more, and has invited medical experts to his farm to give lectures about how the citral works and why.

He also felt a responsibility to know what to tell his customers about its use. 'When I realized what was happening, I picked up the phone and called Dr. Weinstein at Ben-Gurion University, because these people were asking me exactly the best way to consume the citral. He said to put the loose grass in hot water, and drink about eight glasses each day.'

Zabidov is pleased by the findings, not simply because it means business for his farm, but because it might influence his own health. Even before the news of its benefits were demonstrated, he and his family had been drinking lemon grass in hot water for years, 'just because it tastes good.'

Saturday, June 28, 2008

3 Tips to Healthy Living

I am so gonna do this...

Healthy Living
Saturday, June 28, 2008
3 tips for how to live to 100

by Glamour Magazine, on Thu May 15, 2008 2:43pm PDT

Your behavior now makes a difference, says new research. Experts recommend these habits:

Get creative at work.
On average, a woman with a creative job has the cardiovascular fitness and other health attributes of someone six years younger, according to a recent study. What does “creative” mean? Acting, writing or painting are obvious picks, but any job can count as long as you find it interesting and it lets you develop new skills, experts say.

Make sure you cover the basics.
Eating five servings of fruits and veggies a day, being active, not smoking, and drinking in moderation could add 14 years to your life, according to new British research. Too tall an order? Tackle just the exercise part: A recent study by the National Cancer Institute found that older people who got at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week were less likely to die over the next seven years than those who didn't.

Do something fun.
Women who are feeling “happy, excited or content” have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6—two markers of inflammation linked to heart disease, a University College London study found. It may not take a Ph.D. to figure out that being happy is good for you, but this is one of the first studies to pinpoint a biological reason. So the next time you're feeling frazzled, make plans to do anything that'll get you smiling.

When they say about Creative job here, I believe its not only at your job, but also something recreational outside your job, like a hobby, etc. In my case, maybe blogging...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Health Nugget - Take the Cheapest Supplements You Can Find?

Early in my career, I remember telling my patients who were set on taking supplements to just take the cheapest ones they could find. The reason I made this comment was that I really did not believe that supplements had any value anyway, so why not just buy the cheapest ones? At least, they would not cost my patients too much money. In contrast, now that I realize all of the health benefits my patients can receive by taking supplements, I want to be sure that they receive high-quality products. One of the greatest frustrations in becoming a specialist in nutritional medicine is that I work with such an unregulated market. The FDA looks at nutritional supplements the same way it looks at foods. This entire industry is really not regulated, and a nutritional company can pretty much put any amount of nutrients in their tablets. In other words, the amount stated on the label is not necessarily what is in the tablet. Unless a nutritional company voluntarily produces its nutritional supplements in a pharmaceutical-grade method, the consumer has no assurance that what is on the label is in the tablet. Why sell your health to the lowest bidder? Taking high-quality, complete and balanced nutritional are the least expensive health insurance policy you will ever purchase.

Health Nugget - You Can Get Everything You Need from a Healthy Diet

I told my patients for years that they did not need to take supplements and that they could get everything they needed by eating a healthy diet. When I began to realize that RDA's had nothing to do with the types of diseases I was trying to prevent, I had to rethink my decision not to recommend supplements. As I mentioned earlier, the optimal level of vitamin E is 400 IU. Why just not have my patients eat 400 IU of vitamin E. They would only need to eat 33 heads of spinach or 28 pounds of butter or 5 pounds of wheat germ each day to get that much vitamin E. The optimal level of vitamin C is about 1000 to 2000 mg daily (the RDA is only 60 mg). My patients would only have to eat 18 large oranges or 80 avocados to get that amount of vitamin C from their diet.

I certainly believe that we must supplement a healthy diet with 8 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables along with those good fats and good proteins. However, there was no way my patients could receive health benefits from optimal levels of nutrients without supplementing their diet. It became very obvious to me that my patients needed to supplement their diet with high-quality, complete and balanced nutritional supplements for the best protection against chronic degenerative diseases.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

6 ingredients for a green, clean home

By Valerie Rains

Sure, it’s great to find that one magical product that solves a very specific household problem. (The Gonzo Pet Hair Lifter a multiple-cat-owning friend received as a Christmas gift truly has no equal.) But the truth is, you need little more than the following six ingredients—baking soda, borax, lemon juice, salt, olive oil and white vinegar—to clean just about anything in your home (pet hair excluded). Here are just a few of the many uses for these, well, magical multi-taskers:

1. Baking soda: Acts as a scrub to remove hard water stains; polishes metal; deodorizes pretty much anything it touches (try stashing some in the fridge).

2. Borax: Mixed with three parts water, it makes a paste for cleaning carpet stains; mixed with ¼ part lemon juice, it cleans stainless steel and porcelain. (Note: although borax is a natural substance, you still shouldn’t eat it—and neither should your kids or pets.)

3. Lemon: Deodorizes and cuts grease on counter tops; rubbed on cutting boards, it bleaches stains and disinfects; combined with baking soda, it removes stains from plastic food storage containers.

4. Salt: Another natural scrubber—sprinkle it on cookware or oven surfaces, then rub; add citrus juice to turn it into an effective rust remover.

5. White vinegar: Deodorizes and disinfects; combine with water (and a little liquid soap—I know, it feels like cheating) to clean windows, mirrors, and floors; use at full strength in a spray bottle to fight mold and mildew.

6. Olive Oil: Mix two parts oil with one part lemon juice and use as a natural wood polish. (Save the really good stuff for dinner.)

One added bonus of using natural cleaners: as part of your spring cleaning regimen, you can now clear out all those bottles of specialized (and possibly toxic) potions.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Can Eggs Make You Smarter?

Our Most Popular Tips »
Like your poached egg and whole-wheat toast in the morning? Your brain might enjoy it, too.

Eating selenium-rich foods -- like eggs -- could help keep your memory sharp and your brain speed on high as you age.

Your Brain on Selenium
In rural China, researchers found that elderly people who got at least the U.S. recommended daily value of selenium (about 55 micrograms per day) had cognitive test scores that put them in a league with people 10 years younger. Test your mental acuity with this quiz and see how you match up for your age.

Super Sources
You can get your daily dose of selenium by eating whole-wheat bread (10 micrograms per slice), eggs (14 micrograms per egg), tuna (63 micrograms per 3-ounces), Brazil nuts (270 micrograms per half ounce), and many other foods. In other words, you don't have to go overboard with eggs -- and probably shouldn't -- to get your fill.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Will These Foods Make You Smarter?

The trend to fortify foods with the omega-3 DHA.

One of the reasons nutrition experts recommend eating fish twice a week is that they are a good source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fat that has heart-healthy benefits. Now preliminary studies suggest that DHA may help boost brain power too. It makes sense: DHA comprises much of the cell membranes in our brains. And food producers are taking the concept and running with it—they’re adding DHA to foods like yogurt, soy milk and eggs, then marketing them with "smart" slogans. But do these products really maximize mental performance?

Supporting evidence: Some research links higher intakes of DHA with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and the cognitive decline that precedes it. In a 2003 study in the Archives of Neurology, people aged 65-plus who ate at least one (DHA-rich) fish meal per week had a 60 percent reduced risk for Alzheimer’s. And growing evidence suggests DHA supplementation during pregnancy and early infancy may result in superior cognitive performance of the child. This past June, a randomized clinical trial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that nine-month-old babies of mothers who’d eaten DHA-fortified cereal bars (about 200 mg of DHA daily) during the last trimester of their pregnancies demonstrated better problem-solving skills than those whose mothers consumed "placebo" cereal bars.

Cons: Currently, there is no research to show that eating DHA-rich foods improves mental function in healthy adults. "It remains to be seen whether initiating DHA later in life has an important effect on the brain," says Joseph Quinn, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University.

Our verdict: Eating inherently healthful foods like yogurt that have been fortified with DHA, along with foods like salmon and tuna, is a good way to increase intake of DHA, says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of Food & Mood (Henry Holt & Co.). And research does indicate that boosting DHA intake to about 200 mg per day—about three times what the average American gets now—may have some mental benefits. That said, don’t expect these fortified foods to help you land a spot on Jeopardy!