Friday, 17 June 2011

Is The Lemon Diet good For Weight Loss?

Is Lemon Diet an Answer to Permanent Weight Loss?

Celebrities such as Beyonce used the lemon diet to lose 20-10 kilos in 2 weeks and Naomi Campbell? She simply swears by it. Today we're talking about what this celebrity lemon diet is, and how it helps or does not help permanent and healthy weight loss. Will the lemon diet really help you shed those extra kilos? Or will it just set you up for long term weight management issues? Let's find out.

What is the celebrity lemon diet? 
The celebrity lemon diet is also called the master cleanse diet in which one has to observe a 10 day long fast that supposedly flushes out toxins from one’s body. While on this diet, you consume around 6 to 12 glasses of lemon juice mixed with sea salt. The mixture essentially involves maple syrup, filtered water, pepper and lime juice. You are forbidden from eating solid foods. The diet is pretty tough and it is said that eating crushed ice helps. One is advised not to exercise or do any kind of activity in which the person is most likely to get tired.

Is the ‘master cleanse’ lemon diet any good? 
Well.. People who have observed the diet tend to swear by it as it leads to instant weight loss, fewer cravings of junk food and skin glow (although we seriously doubt this skin glow). The diet comes with side effects too. One may experience recurring headaches as the extreme fasting takes a toll on the body. And in order to maintain the lost weight, one has to continue measuring their calorie intake closely. Regular exercise becomes a must in order to maintain the lost water weight. Also, one needs to check their salt intake as high levels of sodium, if consumed after following this diet, can lead to instant weight gain.

Many experts believe that this diet does not work as a complete solution to weight loss. Though the Vitamin C found in lemon helps in amplifying fat oxidation, which leads to sudden weight loss, the diet is devoid of the right balance of nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins. This diet can be best compartmentalized as a model diet and works best for people who need to look thin fast.

The lemon diet in no way promotes a healthy lifestyle and is a happy part of fad diets which may or may not work. Though, including a bit of lime juice in your everyday diet ensures a good supply of much needed Vitamin C, it is simply not the best solution for your weight loss.

Morning Banana Diet

Developed by Hitoshi Watanabe and his wife, Sumiko, the morning banana diet has gained super fame by word of mouth and real weight loss results seen by its observers. The morning banana diet is a pretty simple plan that banks on the high digestive and resistant starch properties of bananas to aid rapid weight loss. With the morning banana diet, a person only has to eat bananas for breakfast, and anything else for lunch, dinner and snack-time. Sounds too good to be true? Let's find out...

People on the morning banana diet cannot eat anything after 8pm, and also need to stay away from ice cream, beverages (other than water), alcohol and after-dinner desserts. But guess what? The good news is that one sweet snack is sanctioned right after your afternoon meal. The morning banana diet does not state exercise as a requirement. 

Hence we come to the question, does this diet really work? If yes, then how?

While bananas are known to aid digestion, by aiding smoothing digestive processes in the body, the morning banana diet seems too good to be true. Firstly, it banks on the fact that bananas contain fiber and a resistant starch that aids digestion. However, bananas also lead to rapid blodd sugar spikes (leading to quick energy output) that also flatten out pretty quickly. This means that you'll feel hungry again pretty soon after that breakfast full of bananas. WebMD's Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD. suggests that you mix the bananas with some yogurt and ice to make an appetite controlling smoothie. 

Other than the factor regarding quick digestion of other foods, and resisting digestion and integration of its own bulk, bananas do not have any unique weight loss properties. Therefore, if you ignore exercise, eat 'anything' for lunch, dinner and snacks, and even curtail alcohol and ice cream, your weight loss will be temporary at best. 

Bottom-line: Bananas are great energy-giving snacks that have a rightful place in any healthy weight loss plan. But to credit an entire diet plan to merely eating bananas for breakfast, and then paying little to no attention to what you consume for the rest of the day seems a tad irresponsible for healthy and permanent weight loss. Therefore, we suggest that even if you want to eat bananas for aiding digestion and promoting fat burn, you should still stick to eating right throughout the day and continuing a sustained exercise programme to really achieve the weight loss results you're after.

Detox Dilemma....Is Detoxing Good

Detox Dilemma: Is Detoxing a Good Idea?
She: "Detox is quite risky and if you follow a healthy diet and an exercise regimen you simply don’t need it. After all there are many studies which suggest that our bodies have inbuilt detoxifiers and it can be potentially harmful." He: "But detox can be healthy for some types, don’t you think? After all it helps you in clearing out toxins from your body and makes you feel better and not to forget it aids in fostering healthy habits." So much speculation, so little evidence. Today we are going to nail all your detox queries. Here we go.

Why you shouldn’t detox: 
Various hyped forms of 'detox' like master cleanse diet, juice diet and fasting methods can leave your body weak and devoid of essential nutrients. They can open you to risk of health conditions such as infection, dehydration or damage to the colon wall. The human body is also designed to fight and expell toxins on its own. This means that our body can automatically remove toxins from our body and discard them through our waste, thus there is no need of any kind of extra help, if you eat a balanced diet, avoid bingeing on junk foods, and exercise to keep your body performing at optimum levels. 

Why you should detox: 
A detox diet, in its most basic avatar, is simply designed to 'flush' out toxins from the body. A typical detox diet is a combination of vegetable-based meals along with green juices. Not only is this diet high in water content but it is also full of fiber which should ideally aid healthy digestion.

Most detox diet believers swear by its effects on energy levels, concentration, decreased bloating and cravings.If they are to be believed, it is also a great way to inculcate healthier habits and stay away from consuming alcohol, coffee and sugar food items. 

Our take on the detox diet:
 If you have had repeated night outs week after week or if you are bored of eating too much junk food and artificial additives, and losing weight is on your mind, then a well-balanced detox diet might do the trick for you. But keep in mind, that by 'well-balanced detox diet' we do not mean the meagre, juice, master cleanse, water etc kind of debilitating detox diets. Here we're talking about a diet that is balanced in terms of all essential food groups, devoid of processed foods that are high in unnecessary sugar and transfats, and is well portioned and distributed through the day. 

In the end - your personal idea on detox diets must be one that is led by experience. If you starve yourself, you won't be able to workout daily. Eat a balanced meal and forget about the rest.

What does portion control mean?

Portion control is about knowing the correct measures or serving sizes as per calorie counts and fat content for different foods and beverages. 

A must for losing weight in a healthy way, portion control is something which stands right in the middle of excess calorie intake and not eating enough. Portions of food can be measured keeping in mind a point of reference. For instance, the right portion serving for one pasta meal is what you can hold in your fist (uncooked of course!) So, today we unearth the right way to eyeball smart portions of food and a few handy tips to do the same.

Portion control basics: What is the right serving size? 
As mentioned in WebMD (reporting USDA recommended serving sizes) smart serving sizes for some foods are as follows:

- 1 slice of whole-grain bread
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta
- 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes
- 3-4 to four small crackers
- 1 small pancake or waffle
- 1 medium-sized cookies
- 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
- 1 cup (four leaves) lettuce
- 1 small baked potato
- 3/4 cup vegetable juice
- 1 medium apple
- 1/2 grapefruit or mango
- 1/2 cup berries
- 1 cup yogurt or milk
- 1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 medium pork chop
- 1/4 pound hamburger patty

Sounds pretty meagre when you compare it to how much you eat routinely, doesn't it? Well portion sizes are meant to serve as handy measures of how much of what you're putting into your body. Therefore, drawing from the above list, if you eat half a cup of cooked pasta, with one chicken breast, half cup mashed potatoes and half cup cooked vegetables, then you are eating a healthy meal made up of smart portions.

Tips for getting portions under control 
1. While eating stress on the quality, and not the quantity, of food: Go for foods which are rich in fiber and proteins as they'll keep you full and satisfied for long. Avoid fast foods and junk foods as they are devoid of healthy nutrients. Go for healthy snacks (check out power snacks recipes) such as whole-grain/fiber-rich biscuits, fruits and veggies with healthy home-cooked sauces.

2. Don't fill your plate completely: Try and eat in small portion sizes. If you still feel hungry, go for seconds, or need be third helpings. But overfilling your plate and then eating everything which is kept in front of you is not a good idea when you are planning to lose weight.

3. Go for smaller dishes: The smaller your dishes, the faster you can fight that weighing scale. Use small cuttlery as this will help you take smaller bites and chew your food properly and relish your meal to the core.

4. When eating... just eat! It is not a healthy habit to multitask – watch TV, help your kid with homework, reply to pending mails while you eat. Sit and relax for at least one meal in the day with your family.

5. Why drinking water is important: Often we confuse thirst with hunger and thus end up eating more food when we probably just needed some water, so with proper water intake, we can manage hunger better. An extra tip - drink a glass or two of water before you start your meals. This will make you feel fuller and help you eat lesser at the table, thus contributing to fat loss indirectly.

6. Avoid eating straight from food containers - Never eat straight from a multi-served packet or container. The natural tendency to keep reaching for more is highly reduced if you serve yourself from a small bowl or cup. Just pour out the amount you intend to eat, and stop when it's over. No one can eat just one – try and fight against that subliminal message.

Fix your fat belly now!

We share with you four easy ways to fix your belly fat. Mind you, they are not exercises... 

Are you also worried about your 'jelly' belly like millions of others around you? Have flat-abs diet failed you too often? We share some easy tips to drastically reduce belly fat. We are not suggesting exercises, only some quick lifestyle changes...

"Roll your shoulders back and down" 

By default when you haunch, your belly pooches out. This is a simple posture correction that helps your tummy to stay in. This posture also makes you look slimmest.

"Pull up your abs and up" 

Yes, you read it right. You don't have to go through the painful process of crunches and simply pull up your abs and then push them up.

"Keep your butt tucked in" 

Many of you must have heard this trick somewhere but never took it seriously. It's time you start doing it!

"Bend 90 degrees" 

Don't stress your back when you bend. When you pick up stuff ensure you bend 90 degrees. Do it few times a day and it will help push the belly fat in. 

Losing baby weight and pregnancy-linked diabetes

Women who gained 8 or more kilograms after their first baby was born are more than three times more likely to develop gestational diabetes during their second pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes, a condition that occurs during pregnancy, can cause serious complications in the final weeks of pregnancy, birth and right after a baby is born. Research shows that women who have had the condition during one pregnancy have a greater chance of developing the condition again. Excess weight gain before or during pregnancy also boosts a woman's risk.

But women who trim extra kilos after the birth of a baby could significantly reduce their risk of developing gestational diabetes in a subsequent pregnancy. The benefits of this weight loss are even greater for women who were overweight before they had their first child.

Over the course of a decade, researchers studied more than 22,000 women from Northern California. It was found that women who gained 5 to 7 kg between pregnancies were more than twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes compared with women whose weight remained relatively unchanged. A weight gain of 8 or more kilograms tripled a woman's risk of developing the condition. Losing more than three kilograms after giving birth could cut women's risk of gestational diabetes in half - especially among women who were obese to begin with. The study also found that women who were able to shed three or more kilos between babies cut their risk of the condition by 50 percent.

The above results suggest that the effects of body mass gains may be greater among women of normal weight in their first pregnancy, whereas the effects of losses in body mass appear greater among overweight or obese women.

Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes at a healthy weight could be genetically predisposed to the condition, the researchers noted. In these cases, weight loss may not be as effective in reducing their risk of the condition in a later pregnancy.

Diet for kidney stones

Drink plenty of water
Drinking 8-10 glasses of liquid daily helps keep the urine dilute - which reduces the concentration of stone forming minerals in the urine.

Limit salt intake
Reducing the salt (sodium) in the diet helps reduce the amount of calcium in the urine. Avoid foods high in sodium such as processed meats, canned soups, noodle and salty snacks.

Calcium intake

Food with oxalic acid
Oxalic acid or oxalate is found mostly in foods from plants like spinach, strawberries, wheat bran, nuts and tea. Avoiding these foods may help reduce the amount of oxalate in the urine.

Vitamin C

Sugar may also aggravate the development of calcium or calcium oxalate stones. People who get kidney stones should avoid sugary packaged foods.

Meat, animal protein
Meats and other animal proteins - such as eggs and fish - contain purines, which break down into uric acid in the urine. Non-dairy animal proteins may also increase the risk of calcium stones by increasing the excretion of calcium and reducing the excretion of citrate into the urine.

Insoluble fibre
Insoluble fibre found in wheat, rye, barley, and rice help to reduce calcium in the urine. It combines with calcium in the intestines, so that the calcium is excreted with the stool instead of through the kidneys.

Avoid eating chocolate
In case of calcium oxalate stones, very large amounts of dairy products or foods high in oxalates like tea and chocolate should not be consumed.

Tips to prevent jet lag

Jet lag is a feeling of tiredness, experienced after flying across time zones. The rapid travel disturbs the normal biorhythm of the body; as a result the body's internal clock is unable to cope with the change.

The symptoms of jet lag include tiredness or fatigue, day-time drowsiness or difficulty in sleep at night, decrease in mental ability, physical energy and memory, irritability, headache and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Drink plenty of water during the flight.

Eat high-protein, low-calorie meals to prevent jet lag.

Schedule to arrive at the destination at the usual bed-time and go to sleep, or sleep on the plane and plan to arrive at the usual waking time. You should get a good night sleep before departure.

Set the watch according to the destination time halfway through the flight, and start thinking in terms of the new time helps prevent jet lag.

Spend more time outdoors at the destination as exposure to bright outdoor light helps in faster adjustment.

Spend more time outdoors at the destination as exposure to bright outdoor light helps in faster adjustment.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

How to prevent a migraine attack?

  • Avoid triggers: If certain foods seem to have triggered your headaches in the past, eat something else. If certain scents are a problem, try to avoid them. In general, try to establish a daily routine with regular sleep patterns and regular meals.

  • Exercise regularly: Regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent migraines. If your doctor agrees, choose any aerobic exercise you enjoy, including walking, swimming and cycling. Warm up slowly, however, because sudden, intense exercise can cause headaches.

  • Reduce the effects of oestrogen: If you are a woman with migraines and estrogen seems to trigger or make your headaches worse, or if you have a family history of stroke or high blood pressure, you may want to avoid or reduce the amount of medications you take that contain estrogen. These medications include birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Talk with your doctor about the best alternatives or dosages for you.

  • Quit smoking: If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Smoking can trigger headaches or make headaches worse.

  • Get enough sleep, but don't oversleep The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

  • Tips on applying sunscreen

  • Choose a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.

  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours if you need to stay in the sun for long.

  • Reapply sunscreen after swimming, sweating or towel drying.

  • Apply sunscreen generously. Use about 1 ounce of sunscreen for good coverage.

  • Make sure you choose a  tested sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays

  • Benefits of high fiber foods

  • Fiber can absorb large amounts of water in the bowels, and this makes stools softer and easier to pass. Anyone starting a higher-fibre diet will notice the difference in stool bulk. In almost all cases, increasing fiber in the diet will relieve constipation within hours or days.

  • Because stools are easier to pass, less straining is necessary, and this can help relieve haemorrhoids.

  • Foods containing plenty of fibre have more bulk than low-fibre foods. If taken in the right form at the right time and at sufficient quantities, fibre can sometimes slow the onset of hunger.

  • Evidence is now growing to support the notion that foods containing soluble fibre (such as oats, rye barley, and beans) can have a positive influence on cholesterol, triglycerides, and other particles in the blood that affect the development of heart disease.

  • Adding fibre to the diet helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is important in avoiding diabetes.

  • A-Z of weight loss

    Avoid alcohol: You booze, you lose! Alcohol increases your levels of the hormone leptin, which in turn makes you crave sweets.Don't want to be branded a teetotaller? Order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc – 119 cals per 5 ounces.

    Breakfast: A good breakfast with fibre and protein will keep you full till lunchtime and help you avoid bingeing. Opt for multi-grain cereal, lowfat curd or fruits to kick-start your metabolism.

    Cortisol: Prolonged stress leads to high levels of cortisol which makes you crave junk foods. Solution: deal with long-standing stressors. As for short-lived ones, treat yourself to an oil massage.

    Density: Go for grub with an energy density of two or less. To calculate this, simply divide the calories by the weight in grams (per serving). Stay at it and watch the pounds melt faster.

    Eat at regular intervals: Go no longer than five hours between meals. Several small meals through the day lead to a better metabolism and greater control over binges.

    Fructose: Ditch the artificially sweetened juices and sodas and get your fructose from natural sources such as fruits. Because natural fructose is kinder to your waistline.

    Gum: Chewing on gum helps cleanse the mouth of bacteria, satisfies a sweet-tooth and reduces your urge to eat. The next time you feel the urge to reach for a biscuit packet, try a piece of sugarless gum instead for a zero-calorie treat.

    Heart-healthy foods: Overweight people face a greater risk of heart disease. So, switch to olive and vegetable oils. Fill up on omega rich foods like walnuts and fatty fish. Choose non-fat dairy products and lean cuts of mutton and skinless poultry.

    Insulin: The amount of insulin you secrete may dictate your diet. High insulin secretors shed more weight on a low-carb diet and less on a lowfat/high carb diet. Got a jelly belly? You secrete excess insulin and could benefit from fewer carbs.

    Journal: Write down everything you eat and you could cut your intake by 1,000 calories a day. Food journaling may seem boring but goes a long way in making you aware of what you eat and thereby helps you shed pounds.

    Ketosis: Ketosis refers to the point where your body runs low on carbs and burns fat for fuel. Therefore, ketosis jump-starts a diet. Restrict carbs and lose more initially. Later, allow yourself wholegrain cereals and roti, in moderation.

    Low blood sugar: This is often the reason for between-meal cravings especially for sweet. When it strikes, reach for naturally sweet foods such as fruits and accompany it with a little low-fat dahi for a healthy dose of protein. 

    Milk: Get better results from your workout by downing milk. Two cups of skim milk after intense weightlifting can build more muscle and burn twice as much fat as drinking fruit juice. But go with real cow's milk as it's more beneficial than soya milk.

    Numbers: Nobody enjoys weigh-ins, but people who hop on the scale once a day are more likely to lose and maintain their loss. Make a standing appointment for yourself. But try to strike a balance rather than obsess over the number you see.

    Omlette: Eggs are an ideal protein source. Protein helps build muscle, which will fry more calories per pound than fat. Bonus: You burn about 25 per cent of the eggs' calories just by digesting them.

    Peanuts = Protein: Take the edge off your appetite by snacking on a handful of peanuts everyday. Because, protein is the "secret" to weight control. Peanuts also boost your resting metabolic rate due to their fatty acid content.

    Q 10 
    Coenzyme Q10 is one of the nutrients needed to produce energy. Most people an energy - mg a day. Other benefits include a stronger immune system. Besides, it's also a great antioxidant.

    Replacements: Replace any silly
     weight loss pills you have been advised to take, with a good low fat smoothie.You will lose just as much weight without the side-effects of a pill.

    Slip-ups: Slip-ups are bound to happen.Anticipate them. Instead of letting them derail your efforts, learn from them and get right back on track by simply keeping your eye on your target.

    Tea: The fat-busting benefits of green tea boil down to disease-fighting compounds called catechins. Max your results by steeping your tea for longer. The darker the hue of your brew, the more catechin-rich the cup.Add some lime to tone down the bitterness.

    User-friendly: There are a million fad diets around; your friends are probably trying some too. But what helps you lose weight isn't the type of diet but compliance with it. Find a plan you can live with so you'll stick to it.

    Vinegar: Studies show that consuming 4 tbsp of a vinegar mixture with a high-carb diet drops your calorie intake by 275 per day. If you can't stomach vinegar, mix into a low-fat dressing to add zing to your salad.

    Water: It quenches thirst without the calories. Infact, water also ups your caloric burn rate. Sipping six extra 8-ounce glasses a day can burn 17,400 more calories (about 5 pounds of fat) per year.

    Xylitol: Xylitol is a natural substance found in vegetables that tastes and looks just like sugar. But while sugar harms, xylitol protects against disease and has anti-ageing benefits. In its crystalline form, it can replace sugar in cooking.

    Yoga: Normal-weight women who practise yoga for four or more years will gain three pounds less over 10 years than those who don't. Grab your mat and get breathing!

    When you skimp on sleep, your brain thinks  you're low on fuel and sends a message to your stomach to start growling.Women who sleep for 5 hours or less are an average of 5 pounds heavier than women who snoozed for 7 hours.Want to stay slim? Hit the pillow.

    Calcium tips for women

    If your calcium levels are low and your doctor has asked you to take supplements, select a calcium supplement that contains a high amount of calcium in each pill, such as 400 to 600 milligrams.

    In case you experience difficulty swallowing large tablets, choose a flavoured, chewable calcium supplement.

    To avoid side effects, start taking half a tablet and gradually build up to the amount you need.

    The side effects of calcium supplements may include gastric problems, bloating, nausea, diarrhoea, and constipation

    Calcium supplements should be taken after a meal when there is plenty of acid in your stomach to help dissolve the tablet. If the tablet doesn't dissolve, it can't be absorbed and used by your body.

    Never take more than 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day, and don't take more than 600 milligrams at one time as the body can't absorb more than 600 milligrams at one time.

    Excess calcium is filtered out by your kidneys and may cause kidney stones

    Staying well hydrated helps prevent kidney stones. Be sure to get adequate vitamin D to help your body absorb calcium.

    Vitamin D is found in fortified milk or soy milk and also in multivitamin supplements. Look for supplements containing 400 to 800 I U (international units) of vitamin D.

    Exposing your skin to sunlight for 15 to 20 minutes a day without sunscreen will also allow your body to make the vitamin D it needs

    Self care tips for high blood pressure

    Lifestyle changes can help control and prevent high blood pressure, even if one is on blood pressure medication.
    Eat healthy foods
    Eat healthy foods
    Try a diet, which emphasises fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. Get plenty of potassium, which can help prevent and control high blood pressure. Eat less saturated fat and total fat. Limit the amount of sodium in the diet. Avoid coffee and colas.

    If overweight, losing even 5 pounds can lower blood pressure.

    Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure and keep weight under control. Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

    Even if you're healthy, alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

    Tobacco injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. So quit smoking.

    Use little or no salt to food. Develop a taste for low salt in food. Do not use table salt.

    Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy coping techniques, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing. Getting plenty of sleep can help, too.

    In addition to diet and exercise, the doctor may recommend medication to lower blood pressure. Which category of medication the doctor prescribes depends on the stage of high blood pressure and whether or not you also have other medical conditions.

    Follow-up regularly with your doctor and get a blood pressure machine at home for monitoring the changes.

    Flu shot lowers risk for premature delivery

    Getting a flu shot during pregnancy appears to offer some protection from premature births and low birth weight babies.

    Infections during pregnancy have the potential to adversely impact birth outcomes. To evaluate the association between receipt of influenza vaccine during pregnancy and prematurity and small for gestational age (SGA) births, researchers looked at data on nearly 4,326 births between June 2004 and September 2006 in United States (Georgia). About 15 percent of the women received a flu shot during pregnancy.

    It was found that pregnant women who received the vaccine and who gave birth during the assumed flu season (from October through May) were 40 percent less likely to have a baby born prematurely, that is, before 37 weeks' gestation. Women who gave birth when there were some, but not widespread, reports of flu were 56 percent less likely to have a premature baby than unvaccinated women. During peak flu season, generally January and February, pregnant women who got the flu shot were 72 percent less likely to deliver prematurely.

    The study also found a slight association between flu vaccine and protection from small for gestational age babies (a birth weight, head circumference or length in the bottom 9 percent) during peak flu season, but not at other times. Babies born during peak flu season to mothers who were vaccinated against flu were 69 percent less likely to be small for their gestational age, the researchers found. Outside flu season, no association was found between premature births and flu vaccination.

    As an observational study, the work can only show there is an association between maternal immunizations with inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy and reduced risk of prematurity, and cannot demonstrate there is a causal link.

    Wednesday, 15 June 2011

    Tips to cure split ends

    • Apply papaya pulp evenly all over the head and strands. Let it stay for forty five minutes. Wash your head with luke warm water. Use a mild shampoo afterwards.
    • A mixture of coconut milk and egg white is also effective in treating split ends problem. Apply it onto your hair for around an hour and wash it with a mild shampoo.
    split+ends2 8 Tips to Cure Split Ends
    • Apply natural honey on your hair and scalp. Leave it on your hair for about half an hour and then wash it with a very mild shampoo.
    • Avocado oil is extremely beneficial for keeping hair shiny and getting rid of split ends. Massage it on your scalp and hair. Leave it on for one hour before washing it with a mild shampoo. Use this oil at least two times a week.
    • Add 1 tsp honey to 2 tbsp of olive oil and beat it 1 egg yolk. Massage this on hair. Cover the head with shower cap for about 30 minutes. Use a mild shampoo to wash your hair.
    • Massage hair and scalp with warm olive oil. Leave it for about 8 hours or overnight. Wash hair and rinse with vinegar/water solution. You can also mix honey with it. But if you plan to do so then do not leave it overnight.
    • Take half cup olive oil and half cup boiling water. Pour them into a large glass bottle or jar with a lid. Shake well till the oil is emulsified. Massage it into hair. Put a shower cap on your head and wrap a hot towel over it. Leave the mixture on your hair for about half hour and then shampoo it as usual.
    • Add 1 tsp. each of mustard oil, castor oil and olive oil into a small container and mix well. Put the mixture on your scalp, massage it in well and let sit for 30 minutes.
    split+ends3 8 Tips to Cure Split Ends

    Split ends can be prevented by:

    • Trimming off the ends with breakage.
    • Avoid brushing wet hair. However a wide-toothed comb can be used for detangling wet hair.
    • Avoiding sun exposure.
    • Avoiding over-brushing, chemical processing and heat styling.
    • Also avoid too much colouring or perming.

    Tips to treat oily hair at home:

    • Mix equal amounts of aloe vera gel, lemon juice and a mild shampoo and wash your hair. Rinse out this concoction completely. Use at least 3 times a week to see results.
    • Mix mint into water and boil the mixture for about half an hour. Add this concoction with a mild shampoo and wash your hair properly. The mint will help to get rid of excess oil.
    oily+hair2 How to Treat Oily Hair
    • Boil some carrots and then mash them. Apply this mixture onto the hair and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash your hair with lukewarm water.
    • Apply witch hazel to the scalp once or twice a week. Witch hazel acts as an astringent and helps slow down oil production.
    • Beer rinse also helps to remove excess oil from your scalp. It will not only get rid of oiliness but will also make your hair shiny while adding volume and body.
    • Use two tablespoons of vinegar mixed with one cupful of water. This helps clear any buildup from the scalp which causes oily hair to be weighed down.

    Some do’s and don’ts:

    • Drink at least 8 glasses of water on a daily basis in order to balance the production of oil.
    • Avoid the use of styling products on your hair.
    • Avoid using detergent based shampoos.
    • Don’t wash your hair with too hot water.
    oily+hair3 How to Treat Oily Hair
    • Make sure that you massage your scalp every week as this increases the blood circulation.
    • Wash out every trace of your shampoo after applying it. Shampoo build up makes hair greasy.
    • Apply conditioners only at the ends of your hair. If you apply it all over your scalp, your hair will definitely get oily.
    • Avoid the consumption of oily food. Include fresh fruit and green and leafy vegetables into your diet for best results.
    • Always use hair products designed for oily hair.
    • Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to help thoroughly cleanse your scalp and remove buildup of oil and debris from your hair.


    Children between the ages two and 11 spend an average of one full day per week watching television. This is a very familiar scenario in many Indian homes today. With both parents away at work, in the urban, middle class families this trend is very common. Even when parents are at home, watching television is still the favoured family pastime. Research shows that on an average, a typical Indian household has the television set turned on for about seven hours each day. Kids and teenagers between six to 17 watch three to four hours of television a day. Watching television is a passive event. Children and adults remain completely immobile while viewing televisions. Most of these viewing experiences are quiet and non - interactive. Children absorb millions of images from the television set depending upon his choices.
    What are the guidelines for watching TV?
    Here are some of the guidelines to help you judge what kind of programmes will be beneficial for your children.

    Television is fine when it deals with:
    • Promotion of creativity and critical thinking
    • Engages children to think and ask questions
    • Encourages positive behaviours
    • Encourages your child to read
    • Reinforces the values that are important to you
    • Inspires them to learn more
    • Helps them to appreciate other cultures
    • Entertains your children
    Television is a problem when:
    • Exposes children to violence as a means of problem solving
    • Occupies too much of your their time
    • Introduces subject matter that is not appropriate for children
    • Allures children to buy different products
    • It might promote negative behaviours
    Can TV be a worthwhile teacher?
    Moderate amounts of television viewing may be beneficial for the child, depending entirely on the type of programmes the child is watching, and the kind of supervision they are getting from their parents. Television can teach a child about the world and about people that they may not have access to. There are quite a few interesting as well as very informative programmes on television. A well – guided television viewing increases the general vocabulary of the child, provides the opportunities for them to learn about all kinds of things, which helps them in making choices regarding the area of interest. They get exposure to a wide range of activities that they may not get a chance to encounter. Television is probably the most effective of all media that aims to create social awareness.

    Some tips for balanced viewing:
    • Work together to keep a time chart of your child’s activities, including television viewing, homework, and play with friends. Then discuss what you believe to be a balanced set of activities.
    • Set a weekly viewing limit. At the beginning of the week have your child select programmes you approve fit for watching.
    • Encourage planned viewing. Have programme choices in mind before turning the set on so that it does not hamper their studies.
    • Remember that children learn from their parents. If you watch a lot of television, the chances are that your child will also develop the same habit.
    • If you want to improve the quality, look for the programmes that are designed for your child’s age group.
    • It is very important to balance entertainment with other activities for the all round development of your child.
    How is television linked to violence?
    The risk of viewing any form of violence on television is that the child learns to behave in a violent manner. However viewing television violence does not necessarily cause a child to act in a violent manner, but can contribute to promoting a view that violence is common and acceptable in everyday life.

    Research done study the effects of brutality in television programmes on aggression in children, showed that the group of children who were exposed to violent television programmes exhibited a noticeably greater degree of aggression towards their toys and other children. On the other hand, the group that was not allowed to watch violent programmes displayed less aggression.
    What should parents do?
    It is important that parents limit the hours that a child watches television, besides censoring what he watches. Television should not be allowed to interfere with meal times and sleeping hours. Parents should work out a timetable for watching television with their children. This should reduce the need for parents to constantly nag their children about watching television.

    Television need not be viewed solely as a negative force. It has its advantages. Even if a child is watching a good educational programme, he will not learn as much if he is watching alone. If he is watching with another child or an adult who makes comments or asks questions about the programme, this will help the child to develop new ideas. Children who are interested in a particular programme may be motivated to read more about the subject of these programmes or question adults about it.

    Parents have to resign themselves to the fact that television is here to stay. So they just have to learn to deal with the problem.

    Tips to help control acne

    Wash the skin twice a day using a mild soap, especially after exercise.

    Avoid scrubbing the skin. Hard scrubbing of the skin is harmful because it irritates the openings of the oil glands and can cause them to be more tightly closed.

    Avoid putting any oily or greasy substances on the face. Oily and greasy substances make acne worse by blocking oil glands. If unavoidable, use water-based cover-up cosmetics, and wash them off at bedtime.

    Shampoo the hair daily. Avoid hair tonics or hair creams especially greasy ones. These substances spread to the face and aggravate the acne.

    Avoid picking blackheads as this delays healing. In general, it is better not to "pop" pimples.

    Exercise regularly and keep fit.

    Tips to help control acne
    Wash your pillow covers regularly and always use clean face towels. Dirty towels and pillows can harbor bacteria and germs that can make acne worse

    Don't stop the acne medicine too soon. It may take up to 8 weeks for a good response.

    Avoid exposing your skin to other sources of oil and irritants. Break the habit of touching your face as your hands are often dirty.

    Drink plenty of water.

    Tuesday, 14 June 2011

    Tips to prevent premature ageing

    Body lotion
    Apply a suitable body lotion on the body as soon as you come out of the bathroom because at that time skin is damp and can absorb the moisturiser in the lotion better

    Keep your skin hydrated
    Keeping your skin hydrated can ease out most of the issues related to premature ageing and you can make your skin look smooth and supple by using a good quality hydrating body wash when you take a bath.

    Avoid prolonged sun exposure
    Your body is never safe from the UV rays of the sun and you need to take extra measures to keep your skin radiation free. Prolonged exposure to the sun rays can cause wrinkles, rashes, uneven skin tones and even sagging skin. Apply UV protected sun screen lotions to prevent premature ageing.

    Green tea
    Green tea

    Sound sleep
    Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night is essential and it has also been proven that a good sleep can slow the rate of aging by repairing cell damage

    Drink water
    Drink water
    Water will not only hydrate your skin but it will also help to remove toxic substances from our body which otherwise target our skin cells. Dehydration can lead to premature wrinkles and dull looking skin.

    Garlic benefits the immune and cardiovascular system and regular prescription prevent hardening of the arteries.

    Limit alcohol
    Alcohol alters blood flow to the skin and it will give you an unhealthy appearance such as dullness, enlarged pores, sagging, discolouration etc. that can last for days

    Stop smoking
    Stop smoking as it depletes the skin of oxygen and vital nutrients including Vitamin C, critical in keeping skin youthful, moist and plumped up.

    Regular exercising
    Studies have indicated that exercise benefits the skin in much the same way as it improves bone and muscle quality.

    Skin products
    Always use quality products which help women to slow down the process of ageing or to reverse certain signs of ageing. Always avoid using skin products that are harsh to your skin.

    Manage stress
    Stress affects our skin`s oil production and contributes to acne as well, but in the long run, chronic stress can produce premature ageing and all the notorious symptoms that it entails including fine lines and deep wrinkles.

    Healthy diet will help
    Poor nutrition and crash diets can also lead to premature ageing. A healthy diet will always contribute positively to prevent early signs of ageing.

    Monday, 13 June 2011

    Signs and symptoms of autism

    Avoidance of eye contact: for example, sometimes the child may give the feeling of "looking through you".

    Withdrawal from people, by turning away face or body.

    Hypersensitivity to sounds - the child may cover his ears or try and burrow under pillows to block out sounds. The child may show extreme reactions to sounds like the whirring of a car engine in the distance or the ringing of the telephone. (Similarly with other senses

    Difficulties with speech - Some children with autism are verbal others are not. Even those who are verbal use speech functionally. In some cases a child may begin to speak at the appropriate age, but regress around 16 to 18 months and stop speaking altogether. There may be reversal of pronouns (substitution of "you" for "I"), continuous repetition of previously heard words (echolalia) and a flat tone of voice

    The child may also show stereotypic or repeated actions. The child may spin or twirl objects with intense concentration, and any attempt to disengage him from it may lead to a tantrum.

    There is a marked absence of pointing to objects in young children with autism. If a child wants to reach out for an object, he may grab an adult's hand near him and then try and pick the object

    A child with autism typically does not show emotions or reactions to situations outwardly.

    He may not cry when hurt and may not show sadness when his parents are not near him. (This does not mean the child does not experience emotions).

    The child may not like to be picked up and may stiffen whenever there is an attempt to cuddle him

    Generally, he does not play with other children and does not desire company.

    Weight loss in the obese boosts vitamin D levels

    Older women who are overweight or obese and lose more than 15 percent of their body weight could significantly boost their levels of vitamin D.

    Since vitamin D is generally lower in persons with obesity, it is possible that low vitamin D could account, in part, for the link between obesity and diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The study, conducted in Seattle, America indicates that the surge in vitamin D could help scientists explore new avenues for the prevention of these chronic diseases.

    Vitamin D is fat-soluble nutrient that plays many important roles in the body, including promoting calcium absorption and is needed for bone growth and bone healing. Along with calcium, vitamin D helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. The nutrient also influences cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation. Many gene-encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis (programmed cell death) are modulated in part by the vitamin.

    It's found in certain foods, such as fatty fish, and produced naturally in the body through exposure of skin to sunlight. Just 10 minutes of sun a day is enough to trigger adequate vitamin D production. The estimated average requirement via diet or supplementation is 400 international units per day for most adults. The optimal blood level of vitamin D is thought to be between 20 and 50 ng/mL, Levels under 20 ng/mL are inadequate for bone health and levels over 50 ng/mL are associated with potential adverse effects, such as an increased risk of developing kidney stones.

    Researchers conducted a year-long study to assess the effect of weight loss on vitamin D. They assigned 439 overweight or obese postmenopausal women to one of four regimens: exercise only, diet only, exercise plus diet and no intervention. About 70 percent of the participants had less-than-optimal levels of vitamin D when the study began; at baseline, the mean blood level of vitamin D among the study participants was 22.5 ng/mL. In addition, 12 percent of the women were at risk of vitamin D deficiency (blood levels of less than 12 ng/mL).

    Women who lost up to 10 percent of their body weight (10 to 20 pounds) through diet and exercise saw modest increases in vitamin D, those levels were roughly three times higher in women who dropped more than 15 percent of their body weight, regardless of dietary intake of the nutrient.

    The researchers were surprised at the effect of weight loss greater than 15 percent on blood vitamin D levels. It appears that the relationship between weight loss and blood vitamin D is not linear but goes up dramatically with more weight loss. It is thought that obese and overweight people have lower levels of vitamin D because the nutrient is stored in fat deposits. During weight loss, it is suspected that the vitamin D that is trapped in the fat tissue is released into the blood and available for use throughout the body.

    The findings suggest the greater the weight loss, the more meaningful the surge in vitamin D levels. However, the researchers noted that the degree to which vitamin D is available to the body during and after weight loss remains unclear. They also cautioned that more targeted research is needed to understand any link between vitamin D deficiency and chronic disease.