Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Computer Eye Strain: How to Relieve It

Source: Dr. Marc Grossman, O.D., L.Ac., http://www.visionworksusa.com

Computers & Vision
More than 50 percent of computer users experience eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and other visual symptoms related to sustained use of the computer. This type of stress on the visual system can also cause body fatigue and reduced efficiency at work. In addition, there are now indications that heavy computer users are at risk for glaucoma.

Many of these symptoms can be reduced through a combination of correcting workstation conditions, posture, stress-relieving lenses prescribed specifically for computer operation, special anti-glare screens, eye exercises and nutritional supplementation.

Many computer users experience visual stress due to: 1) an increase in the number and complexity of necessary eye movements and focusing skills, 2) poor lighting conditions, glare and distracting reflections, 3) screen flicker rate, and 4) above all, the extended amount of computer use.

Computer Stress Checklist
Computer visual stress may underlie many direct and indirect symptoms. Eyestrain is a common direct symptom, while the need for shifts in posture and muscular strain resulting from poorly arranged work stations cause eye problems indirectly and other physical problems directly.

Direct Computer Stress Symptoms
- headaches while doing or following computer use
- irritated and/or dry eyes
- blurred vision
- slow refocusing when looking from screen to distance objects
- frequently losing place when moving eyes between copy and the screen
- difficulty seeing clearly at a distance after prolonged computer use
- occasional doubling of vision
- changes in color perception
- changes in glasses prescription

Relaxing Eye Exercises
You can watch this short video demonstration (2min 30 secs) to see 3 simple eye exercises you can do at your desk.

Due to the unique characteristics and high visual demands of computer work, computer users should have a comprehensive eye examination periodically.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fruit of the Week: Apple

Sources: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, http://www.healthdiaries.com

The apple can be traced back to the Romans and Egyptians who introduced them to Britain and finally to America.

Choose apples that are firm with no soft spots. Avoid apples that are discolored for their variety.

Keep apples in plastic bags in the refrigerator after purchasing to prevent further ripening. Apples should keep up to six weeks. However, check apples often and remove any apples that begin to decay or the others will do the same.

Wash apples well with soap and rinse with water. Prepare apple dishes just before serving to minimize browning (oxidation). Protect cut apples from oxidation by dipping them into a solution of one part citrus juice and three parts water.

We're told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what exactly are the health benefits of apples? Here are ten reasons to heed the advice of that old proverb.
- Bone Protection: French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.
- Asthma Help: One recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who drank apple juice only once per month.
- Alzheimer's Prevention: A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer's disease.
- Lower Cholesterol: The pectin in apples lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.
- Lung Cancer Prevention: Researchers believe that the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples lower risk of developing lung cancer.
- Breast Cancer Prevention: A Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39 percent and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44 percent.
- Colon Cancer Prevention: One study found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 43 percent lower risk of colon cancer. Other research shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.
- Liver Cancer Prevention: Research found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57 percent lower risk of liver cancer.
- Diabetes Management: The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.
- Weight Loss: A Brazilian study found that women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Spinach Soup

Source: http://lowfatcooking.about.com

This fresh-tasting spinach soup is wonderfully nutritious. Its bright green color is a result of adding half the fresh spinach just before blending. Enjoy this delicious soup with crusty whole grain bread. Keep it vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

(Prep Time: 20 minutes; Cook Time: 25 minutes; Total Time: 45 minutes)
Serves 4

2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 medium white potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups fat-free milk
1 six ounce bag baby spinach
Freshly ground black pepper

- Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Sauté garlic, onion, celery and potato for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth (substitute with vegetable broth for Vegetarians) and fat-free milk. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in half the spinach, cover and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Cool slightly, then transfer soup to a blender, working in two batches if necessary.
- Add remaining spinach and blend (if working in two batches, use half the remaining spinach with each batch). Blend until smooth.

Per Serving: Calories 113, Calories from Fat 23, Total Fat 2.5g (sat 0.4g), Cholesterol 2mg, Sodium 143mg, Carbohydrate 15.6, Protein 6.8g

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Are you Stressed? (Quiz & Tips)

Source: http://www.arc.sbc.edu

Take this quick 5 min quiz to see how stressed you are:

If you do fall under the 'Stressed Out' category, here are some simple tips for managing stress:
- Accept only your own responsibility in situations.
- Set realistic expectations for yourself.
- Focus on the process rather than the results.
- Focus on successes rather than on failures.
- Develop your own personal definition of success, instead of society's.
- Be realistic about time expectations and perspectives.
- Remember, life does have troublesome problems. This is normal.
- Recognize that you will be criticized more than praised by parents, partners, and supervisors.
- Create variety: do old things in new ways.
- Make your work/study area more stimulating: redecorate, add music, change colors.
- Leave the office/campus for lunch and errands, if possible.
- Learn to be detached from problems.
- Do paperwork immediately. Don't procrastinate.
- Ask others for positive feedback.
- Develop a hobby and spend time on it regularly.
- Learn and practice sound money management.
- Don't bring work home with you.
- Decrease television time.
- Keep physically fit — good diet and adequate exercise.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs.
- Spend time in active family activities.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oral health: Brush up on dental care basics

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Too tired to brush your teeth? Too busy to floss? If you're tempted to skip these daily chores, remember that your smile depends on these simple dental care habits. Know how to promote oral health — and when to report oral health problems to your dentist.

Brushing for oral health
Oral health begins with clean teeth. Consider these brushing basics from the American Dental Association:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. When you brush, don't rush. Take enough time to do a thorough job.
- Use the proper equipment. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush effectively.
- Practice good technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle against your teeth and brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums.
- Know when to replace your toothbrush. Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric toothbrush every three to four months — or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

Flossing for oral health
You can't reach the tight spaces between your teeth or under your gumline with a toothbrush. That's why daily flossing is important. When you floss:
- Don't skimp. Break off about 18 inches of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand — leaving about 1 inch to floss your first tooth.
- Take it one tooth at a time. Use your thumbs and forefingers to gently pull the floss from the gumline to the top of the tooth to scrape off plaque. Rub the floss against all sides of the tooth. Unwind to fresh floss as you progress to the next tooth.
- Keep it up. If you have trouble getting floss through your teeth, try the waxed variety. If it's hard to manipulate the floss, use a floss holder or an interdental cleaner — such as a dental pick or stick designed to clean between the teeth.

Other oral health care tips
- In addition to daily brushing and flossing, you might use an antimicrobial or antiseptic mouth rinse to help reduce plaque between your teeth.
- To remove food particles from your teeth, you might try an oral irrigator — a device that aims a stream of water at your teeth. Resist the temptation to use toothpicks or other objects that could injure your gums. Keep in mind, however, an oral irrigator doesn't replace daily brushing and flossing.

Oral health problems to report to your dentist
To prevent gum disease and other oral health problems, schedule regular dental cleanings and exams — generally at least once or twice a year. In the meantime, contact your dentist if you notice any signs or symptoms that may suggest oral health problems, such as:
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Gums that begin pulling away from your teeth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the way your top and bottom teeth align with each other
- Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold

Early detection and treatment of oral health problems can ensure a lifetime of good oral health.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feeling SAD?

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Whether you know it or not, but the weather plays a big role in deciding your mood. Affecting thousands around the globe, this disorder is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D), which is a type of clinical depression, that follows a seasonal pattern. Some people experience a serious mood change when seasons change. This mostly occurs during the winter or rainy season.

Some experts think it's a lack of sunlight during these seasons, when days are shorter. Insufficient exposure to sunlight has been associated with low levels of melatonin and serotonin, two neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin has a soothing, calming effect on a person and its absence can bring on feelings of depression. As seasons change, there is a shift in our biological internal clocks, partly due to changes in sunlight patterns. Like all forms of depressive illness, SAD can vary greatly in severity and can be a severely debilitating condition. Many patients can be perfectly healthy during spring and summer but unable to function during winter. This leads to obvious problems with work and family life. This disorder is a cyclic, seasonal condition, which means that symptoms come back and go away at the same time every year.

Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness, anxiety, loss of energy, social withdrawal, oversleeping or difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates maybe even leading to weight gain or the other extreme of severe loss of appetite leading to weight loss. The former is more common, difficulty concentrating and processing information, irritability and agitation.

It may affect adults, teens and children. About 6 in 100 people experience SAD. Many factors may be responsible, including our genes. A person’s behaviour changes significantly from the way they normally feel and act. They may become more sensitive and self critical, get upset and cry easily, lose interest in activities which they used to like and be unable to enjoy themselves as before. They may lose interest in friends and social activities, and thus isolate themselves.

- Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that certain ways of thinking can trigger certain mental health problems such as depression. A therapist helps you understand your thought patterns - particularly to identify any harmful, unhelpful, and 'false' ideas or thoughts, which you have that depress you.
- Natural sunlight, even on an overcast day, will help alleviate symptoms. Going for a walk outside every day for an hour during the daytime may ease symptoms.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and include sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals. This helps you get more energy even though your body is craving starchy and sweet foods.
- Stay involved with your social circle and regular activities. Social support is extremely important for those with mood disorders. Seek professional counselling, if needed, during these months.
- Severe cases may require medication, usually mood stabilisers or antidepressants. Yoga, meditation and exercise also help.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vegetable of the Week: Spinach

Sources: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, http://healthmad.com

Spinach is believed to be of Persian origin and introduced into Europe in the 15th century (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia). Eating and preparing spinach is simple and easy, since it tastes good raw or cooked. In addition to being tasty, spinach’s popularity stems from its high nutritional value. Not only is spinach low in calories, it is also a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C.

Fresh spinach is usually found loose or bagged. For the best quality, select leaves that are green and crisp, with a nice fresh fragrance. Avoid leaves that are limp, damaged, or spotted. If you are in a rush, grab a bag of fresh, pre-washed spinach. The ready-to-eat packaging makes it easy to be on the go and still stay healthy.

Fresh spinach should be dried and packed loosely in a cellophane or plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator crisper. If stored properly, it should last 3 or 4 days.

Spinach grows in sandy soil, so wash it thoroughly to get rid of the grainy, sandy particles. Make sure to tear off the stem. Separate the leaves, and place them in a large bowl of water. Gently wash leaves, and let the sand drift to the bottom of the bowl. Remove leaves from the water, and repeat the process with fresh water until the leaves are clean.

Health benefits of Spinach
1> Sight: Spinach contains a natural pigment known as lutein, and lutein has been studied and shown to have properties that help to prevent cataracts. Lutein also helps to prevent weakness in the eye muscles caused by aging.
2> Cancer: Spinach is also loaded with natural antioxidants called flavenoids. As an antioxidant, flavenoids help the body fight against cell damage from within. Which also helps the fight against cancer, reducing a person’s chances of contacting various forms of cancer, especially prostate cancer.
3> Energy: Perhaps this is where Popeye gets his powers from spinach. Iron is high in the leafy plant, and iron helps to carry blood throughout the body by helping to build red blood cells. More oxygen throughout the body and stronger red blood cells means more energy and less fatigue.
4> Cholesterol: Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E all help to prevent or lessen the build up of that cholesterol within the arteries - and Spinach contains its fair share of all those vitamins!
5> Bone strength: Vitamin K is also common within spinach, and Vitamin K helps the bones to retain higher levels of calcium. And that calcium keeps the bones strong and helps to prevent osteoporosis.
6> Blood pressure: Sodium raises your blood pressure. Spinach contains plenty of potassium, and potassium helps to lessen the effects of sodium and helps to keep blood pressure lower.
7> Diabetes: Eating spinach regularly is known to regulate blood sugar levels, it’s all the magnesium in spinach that helps this vegetable to regulate blood sugar levels.
8> Weight loss: Spinach doesn’t have a lot of calories, about 40 calories per cup of uncooked spinach. That combined with the fact spinach has twice as much fiber as most other lettuces means spinach is an excellent food for losing weight. The low calories means you can eat until you’re more than full. The extra fiber means your body isn’t going to hang onto much of that spinach for very long.
9> Aging: Considering all the anti-oxidant properties, vitamins, minerals, lutein and everything else found in spinach, this eatable green is known to strengthen the skin and thus to help with wrinkles and such with bring about the more aged look.
10> Stronger teeth: Remember all that Vitamin K from spinach that strengthens the bones? Well, your teeth are bones. Which means if you want stronger teeth, eating spinach is a bright idea.

Special Note: Iron and calcium in plant foods are not highly absorbed by the body. Spinach contains a chemical called oxalic acid, which binds with iron and calcium and reduces the absorption of these minerals. To improve iron absorption, spinach should be eaten with vitamin C-rich foods such as orange juice, tomatoes, or citrus fruit.

The last word: Spinach isn’t for everyone. In fact, if you suffer from gallbladder or kidney troubles, you shouldn’t be eating spinach. Spinach contains an oxalic acid which is not good for those who suffer from problems with kidneys and gallbladders. Talk with your doctor about your diet.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Ole Banana-rama Surprise

Here's a simple to make, low-cal and healthy mocktail recipe with BANANA - our fruit of the week!

2 bananas
2 oranges
100ml ice-cold water
Crushed ice
Sugar syrup to taste (optional)

Peel the banana and cut into thick slices. Peel the oranges and discard the seeds. Put the banana, oranges and some water into a juicer and blend until fine. Pour the mixture into a glass. Stir in sugar syrup to taste. Add a little more water to form a more fluid consistency. Add some crushed ice to help to reduce bubbles and also to prevent the ingredients from oxidation and changing colour.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tips to Prevent Yoga Injuries

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

An increasing number of people are turning to yoga for exercise and relaxation, as well as non-surgical, non-medicinal relief of bone, joint and muscle-related pain. While some people consider yoga a secret "fountain of youth," the seemingly harmless activity can cause muscle strain, torn ligaments or more serious injuries if practiced incorrectly.

The rewards of basic yoga outweigh the potential physical risks, as long as you take caution and perform the exercises in moderation, according to your individual flexibility level. These rewards include improved strength, balance and flexibility. Yoga may also be beneficial for certain bone and joint problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and arthritis.

Be aware that whether yoga enthusiasts are just stretching or assuming specific positions, serious muscle damage and related injuries can result if they don't take the proper precautions, especially for people with pre-existing musculoskeletal ailments or conditions. Common yoga injuries include repetitive strain to and overstretching of the neck, shoulders, spine, legs and knees.

To help minimize yoga-related injuries, the AAOS recommends the following:
- If you have any medical conditions or injuries, speak to your doctor before participating in yoga.
- Work with a qualified yoga instructor. Ask about his or her experience and credentials.
- Warm up thoroughly before a yoga session--cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
- Wear appropriate clothing that allows for proper movement.
- Beginners should start slowly and learn the basics first--such as breathing--rather than trying to stretch too far.
- If you are unsure of a pose or movement, ask questions.
- Know your limits. Do not try positions beyond your experience or comfort level.
- Learn what type of yoga you are performing. There are hundreds of different forms of yoga, some more strenuous than others. It is important to learn which type of yoga will best suit your needs.
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially if participating in Bikram or " hot " yoga.
- Listen to your body. If you are experiencing pain or exhaustion while participating in yoga, stop or take a break. If pain persists, speak with a physician.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Diabetes 101

Source: http://www.cdc.gov

What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?
People who think they might have diabetes must visit a physician for diagnosis. They might have SOME or NONE of the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme hunger
- Sudden vision changes
- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Feeling very tired much of the time
- Very dry skin
- Sores that are slow to heal
- More infections than usual.
Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called type 1 diabetes.

What are the types of diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes, which was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes, may account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. If not treated, it can cause problems for mothers and babies. Gestational diabetes develops in 2% to 5% of all pregnancies but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over.

Here's a short video on the most common Type 2 Diabetes to help you understand the disease better:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are you over-exercising?

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

If fatigue and low energy levels are your constant companions during gym workouts, then fitness experts have a word of caution for you.

Come on! Admit it that there have been times when you’ve gone beyond the ‘I just want to tone up’ regime in the gym. Incidentally, the number of people who push the limit or ‘over-exercise’ are in scores.

Point to note
Every individual’s body reacts differently to a gym routine. While some start to show results almost instantly, others take time to shape up. But once the body hits a plateau and nothing seems to work or show results, understand that it’s time for patience to play a strong role.

Dissatisfaction in not being able to lose inches on the waistline or six packs not developing, is common. At that moment, instead of hastening the process by spending extra hours working out in the gym and over training, try to understand (with the help of a trainer) how changes in your lifestyle can help usher a positive change.

Signs to watch out
- Fighting fatigue: Tiredness is the first warning sign an individual’s body gives out when it needs to stop. Most people complain of being tired after a cardio or weights session. Low immunity, difficulty in concentrating, nagging aches and pains that persist are all symptoms of over training.

- Feeling anxious: As your body comes under higher stress levels, the brain may show resistance in following the regime. In simpler terms, it means that over training can deplete your glycogen quantities, which are needed to keep the brain functioning.

- Persistent colds : Low immunity may present itself as flu.

Tip to avoid over exercising
Most gyms keep a record of your measurements and progress levels. It’s a good idea to plan ahead, may be a month or year ahead with a training diary.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fruit of the Week: Banana!

Sources: http://healthmad.com, http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, Fruit http://healthycooking.suite101.com

Bananas are the most popular fresh fruit around the world. They have a peel that comes off easily, they ripen after they've been picked, there is a generous supply all year, and they are inexpensive. Bananas have both a high amount of carbohydrates as well as potassium, which also makes them the fruit of choice for many athletes.

Avoid bananas with brown spots that seem very soft. Select those bananas with a nice color, specific for the variety. Choose fruit that is firm and free of bruises. Best eating quality has been reached when the solid yellow skin color is speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.

To further ripen bananas leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe you can store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The peel may turn brown in the refrigerator, but the fruit will not change.

Vitamins in Bananas
Bananas are loaded with the vitamins and nutrients that the human body needs daily to function. The most important banana nutrients include:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Potassium
- Dietary Fiber
- Manganese
In addition to these main nutrients, bananas contain iron, vitamin A, phosphorus and natural sugars making them a super-healthy, energy-boosting snack. Eating just two bananas can help the body produce enough energy for an hour and a half long workout.

10 Health Benefits of Bananas
1. Ulcers: Bananas are a great food for ulcer patients, one of the few foods many ulcer patients can eat without suffering setbacks and pain. Why is this? Bananas lower the levels of acid in gastric juices in the stomach, and build a protective coating inside the stomach.
2. Minor burns: Yes, bananas can provide pain relief from minor burns and other wounds. The best way to accomplish this is to mash up the inside of a banana, then wrap it in a cloth or paper towel and place it on the burnt area. Pain relief should begin quite soon.
3. Energy: Sugar provides he body energy, and bananas have three types of natural, healthy sugars: fructose, glucose and sucrose. So get a little pep in your step by starting your day of with a banana.
4. Anemia: Anemia is the most common of blood disorders, usually being a decrease in the normal number of red blood cells. Guess what helps with anemia? Iron. Guess what fruit has lots of iron? Bananas. The iron in bananas helps stimulate the growth of hemoglobin in the body, which can help with anemia.
5. Blood pressure: Bananas are also quite high in potassium, which can help to reduce blood pressure (and possibly help against all heart disease). The potassium in bananas helps to combat sodium, which is a big no-no for those with heart conditions and high blood pressure.
6. PMS: That’s right. Bananas are even good for the pains of PMS. It’s the high levels of vitamin B6 in bananas which help to regulate blood glucose levels, which affects the moods and pains of women suffering PMS.
7. Cramping: All that potassium in bananas also is good for cramping, allowing the body’s muscle to more freely contract and expand. This is especially important for the athletic.
8. Constipation: Bananas are a natural, light laxative, allowing the body to deal with constipation without turning to diarrhea. It’s all that natural fiber found in bananas that helps with this trick. But if you have serious health concerns, always consult a doctor.
9. Depression: Believe it or not, bananas are great for lifting ones mood. Bananas contain tryptophan, a mood leveling protein also found in turkey. And like chocolate, bananas contain norepinephrine and serotonin, which can help one relax. Also, the vitamin B in bananas helps to calm the nervous system. Put all this together, and you’ve got a natural high.
10. Smoking: That’s right, bananas can even help those who are trying to stop smoking. The combination in bananas of vitamins A1, C, B6 and B12, along with all that potassium, helps those who are trying to quit smoking from nicotine withdrawal.

Wow!! Isn't it time to make this simple fruit a daily treat? Any interestin ideas/suggestions...please send in your recipes at contact@easemyhealth.com. The best recipe will be featured later this week with due credit to the sender :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recipe of the Week: ONION chutney (Reader Contribution)

We are glad to share our reader contribution with you for the Recipe of the Week - Thanks Vishakha Dolhare for a tasty and healthy recipe using our Veggie of the Week - ONION!

Onion Chutney

1 medium sized Onion (finely chopped)
Peanuts (roasted and peeled) ~ 10-15gms
Green Chilies (2-3)
Cumin seeds
Salt (rock salt or black salt would be good for health)
1 teaspoon oil (preferably canola or olive oil)

Grind the peanuts, green chilies, salt and cumin seeds coarsely in a mixer or for a better taste mix the ingredients and crush them coarsely with a pestle. Heat the oil and fry the peanut mixture for about 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Remove from fire. Let it cool and then mix the finely chopped onion with this mixture.

- You can omit the cumin seeds and add coriander leaves instead (finely chopped)
- You can also add one clove of garlic (finely chopped) while frying the crushed mixture.

Health Benefits:
Peanuts are a power house of proteins and are packed with monounsaturated fats (those found in olive oil) that help lower the bad cholesterol (HDL). For more health benefits of this small nut please refer to Health P.O blogpost
Onions have anti-bacterial and anti-clogging properties. For more information on the health benefits of this humble vegetable please refer to Health P.O blogpost