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Sunday, September 17, 2017

7 Top Foods for a Healthy Body

Healthy Eating can be Easy. It's All about Balance.

It's time to simplify healthy eating, starting with some basics. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, plant and animal proteins, heart-healthy fats and whole grains is the best foundation to support good health. While personal preferences, food allergies, or medical concerns may vary, use this "starter set" of seven top foods that are not only nutrient rich, but also economical and versatile, as a foundation for your own personal plan.

1. Eggs
Eggs are one of nature's perfect proteins since they contain complete, high quality protein that is easily digested. A nutrient powerhouse, one large egg contains about 75 calories, 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins, selenium, and vitamins A, D, and E.Choline, a nutrient important for brain health — and one most people don't get enough of — is another special benefit of eggs.

While eggs may be high in cholesterol, they are low in saturated fat, a combination that studies have shown does not elevate blood cholesterol. If you're watching your cholesterol levels, opt for egg whites-only. Plus, eggs are economical and have a long fridge life of several weeks. As for what type to buy, brown and white eggs are nutritional equals — they simply come from different kinds of chickens. However, eggs are now available with reduced amounts of cholesterol and higher omega-3-fatty acids. These designer eggs are pricier because the chickens are fed a special diet to produce eggs with a different nutrient profile.

2. Potatoes
Potatoes are one of nature's most nourishing and nutrient rich carbohydrates. One medium potato (that's about the size of your fist) has about 110 calories and nearly half your day's requirement for vitamin C, along with potassium (more than a banana), vitamin B6, magnesium, and a hefty dose of fiber when you eat the skin. While potatoes get a bad rap for being high in calories, it's only because they're often loaded with extras like cheese, salt, sour cream, and bacon, which pack on added fats and oils. Whether baked, boiled, or mashed, potatoes on their own are a satisfying starchy carbohydrate, especially for those watching their weight. Both white and sweet potatoes are nutrient rich, but sweet potatoes have the added benefit of extra vitamin A in a sweet potato. Don't forget, potatoes are also free of gluten.

3. Flank Steak
Red meat can be an important part of a healthy diet when the meat is lean and served in small portions. There are more than 25 cuts of lean red meat available and flank steak is among the most popular for its taste and affordability. As a lean red meat, flank steak is a super source of vitamin B12 and iron — both major nutrients to prevent anemia. A 4-ounce serving is also rich in protein with about 25 to 30 grams of high quality, complete protein. A modest serving, about the size of a computer mouse, can support muscle tissue, brain function, blood cells and the immune system, among other systems. Processed and fatty red meats like sausage are not part of the healthy picture and you shouldn't be eating huge portion sizes (like 12 to 16-ounce serving), as extensive studies have demonstrated. But flank steak, which doesn't contain a lot of fat, is more economical because it's not tender and must be marinated prior to grilling.

4. Low-Fat Yogurt
Yogurt comes from milk and contains the same set of nutrients, plus more. A 6-ounce serving of plain, low-fat yogurt has about 9 grams of complete protein (or double that amount for strained, Greek-style yogurt), calcium, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium. One serving of yogurt has about one third of your calcium needs for the day! Yogurt, like milk, is also fortified with vitamin D.

While these nutrients support strong bones and teeth, yogurt is also a natural source of probiotics — healthy bacteria that support a healthy digestive track. Probiotics are also thought to contribute to a healthy immune system. Buy a large tub of plain yogurt, scoop out a single serving, and add fruits, nuts, or other low-sugar toppings for variety. Yogurt can be eaten at any meal, as a snack, and as a swap for high-fat sour cream in recipes. Stick with low fat or non-fat yogurt to limit artery-clogging saturated fat from any full fat dairy product. Keep in mind that many people who are lactose intolerant who lack the enzyme to digest milk, can digest one serving of yogurt a day. That's because the healthy bacteria in yogurt contains lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose in milk.

5. Carrots
Colorful vegetables are a mainstay of healthy eating. And carrots are plentiful and economical, plus they're available year-round. They are also a powerhouse of beta-carotene (vitamin A), and fiber. Like most vegetables, they are also high in water, which helps support hydration. Carrots are crunchy and sweet, so they're veggie accepted by children and adults alike. It's often one of the first foods for babies, because of its taste and texture.

A versatile veggie, carrots can be eaten raw, cooked, in a smoothie or soup and as the base of side dishes to support other, less popular veggies (like peas). While mini-carrots look like "baby" carrots, these are actually whittled down pieces of very large carrots. You can find true baby carrots, which are picked when small for a tender treat, but they are pricey and a specialty item. Stick with regular carrots in the bag for a sweeter taste and low price point. While organic and conventional carrots both contain the same nutrients, wash both types thoroughly before eating. And peel the carrots if you're concerned about any dirt particles on the skin, even if you lose a bit of fiber.

6. Nuts
Few foods can beat tree nuts for a nutritious punch of protein and heart-healthy fats. Nuts are a good source of omega-3-fats, fiber, vitamin E, and the amino acid arginine. Together, these nutrients support heart health and circulation, as well as both muscle and brain function. A superb plant protein, tree nuts — like almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, and Brazil nuts — are very versatile.

A perfect snack, garnish for vegetables, mashed into a "burger," or used as an oil, nuts are economical and available everywhere. It's often hard to control portions, so try pistachio nuts in the shell, where a serving is about 39 nuts, with about 160 calories. Because nuts are so calorie-dense, it's best to limit to one or two servings a day. Keep in mind that adding nuts as a source of heart healthy fat won't do your heart any good if artery-clogging fats (like those found in dairy and meat) are not reduced.

7. Apples
Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Science seems to think so! Apples are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. They are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids — the polyphenol compounds also found in grapes and red wine thought to boost heart health. With about 100 calories in a medium apple (about the size of a baseball) apples are a boon to dieters because the crunch provides a lot of eating satisfaction and they're nice and sweet.

For optimal nutrients, don't forget to eat the skin, where many of the nutrients are found. Produced worldwide, fresh apples are available year-round, with many different varieties. Plus, apples are delicious raw or cooked and with so many varieties available, they never get boring.

Healthy eating can be easy. It's all about balance. Remember that the key to food supporting a healthy body is to eat these and other high-nutrient foods regularly — not just once in awhile.

Quoted from MSN
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 10:10 AM

Saturday, June 10, 2017

How to figure out how much sleep you really need

In theory, sleep takes up about 8 out of every 24 hours, one-third of our lives. But many of us don't actually sleep that much and are tired all the time — more than a third of Americans don't get the seven to nine hours of sleep a night that the CDC recommends.

Yet we spend additional time worrying about our sleep. According to a research by the National Sleep Foundation, more than a third of Americans say their sleep quality is "poor" or "only fair."

But how much sleep do we really need?

First, let's get the bad news out of the way: there isn't going to be a one size fits all answer — sleep needs really do vary from person to person.

You could be one of those incredibly rare people that can actually get by on a few hours of sleep a night (almost definitely not), or you could be on the opposite end of the spectrum, what doctors refer to as a "long sleeper," who might need 11 hours a night.

But there are some things we do know about sleep, and these can help you figure out how much sleep you actually need — and how to better get a night's rest.

Here are five facts that will help you figure out what your personal sleep patterns are and how they compare to the rest of the population.

1. There's a reason that doctors usually recommend seven to nine hours of sleep.

The amount of sleep that people need falls into a bell curve type distribution, with the vast majority of the population needing between seven and nine hours of rest each night to be refreshed.

The chart to the right, from the book "Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired" by German chronobiologist Till Roenneberg, shows the general distribution of sleep needs. (Chronobiology is the science of our internal clocks.)

2. You have a natural chronotype, or body clock, that determines when you are most comfortable sleeping and being awake.

Most of us think of ourselves as morning or night people, but those divisions aren't scientific — they're just ways of comparing ourselves to one another. 

"Where you define owl or lark is really arbitrary," says Dr. David Welsh, an associate professor studying circadian clocks at UC San Diego. Welsh says that if you look at large surveys of populations, you get a normal distribution of chronotypes — most people have fairly "average" chronotypes, some prefer to get up a bit earlier or later, and small groups naturally rise extremely early or late. There's no line that distinguishes different chronotypes.

But we all do have an internal schedule that makes us feel awake or sleepier at different times of day. Because of factors including hormone levels, genetics, and light exposure, some of us are more alert in the mornings and some of us prefer times later in the day.

If your schedule isn't aligned with your chronotype, you will feel tired and out of sync.

3. The amount of sleep you need changes throughout your life.

The seven to nine hour recommendation is standard for adults, but kids need much more sleep, while some older people need less.

This chart by the National Sleep Foundation shows how these requirements change as kids grow up. In addition to length of sleep needs changing, chronotypes change throughout life as well.

According to Roenneberg's book, young children naturally tend to be more morning oriented. Around puberty, they're more likely to shift into a night owl chronotype, which tends to shift back to an earlier chronotype after age 20.

4. There are some things you can do to adjust your natural chronotype.

While your sleep needs (both chronotype, when you are alert, and length, how much sleep you need) are mostly genetic, there are certain things you can do to adjust your schedule and at least make it a bit easier to get up earlier.

Our bodies respond to light, especially the powerful natural light of the sun. Being exposed to that light in the morning tells our body that it's time to be alert and moving. At night, sitting in the dark stimulates the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps us relax and fall asleep (we mess with this process by looking at bright light from smartphones).

But we can adjust this to a degree by controlling our exposure to light. This process, called entrainment, is what our bodies have to do when we go to a different time zone — this is why we get jet lagged. But we can also use this to train our bodies to get up and go to sleep earlier by exposing ourselves to natural light in the morning and avoiding bright light at night.

This won't turn you into a morning person, but it can make prying the covers loose just a little less painful.

5. Your sleep needs are personal; try to figure out what works for you.

Sometimes new research will come out, and people will claim something like "studies have found that seven hours is the optimal amount of sleep — not eight."

But as interesting as any sleep research is, we do know that people are different and have different needs. The findings of one study don't translate into recommendations for everyone. In the case of sleep, experts recommend figuring out what personally works best for you.

If you can let yourself sleep naturally for a few days to a week, going to bed when you are tired and waking up whenever is natural, preferably while limiting alcohol and caffeine, you'll have a better idea of your individual needs. Get some sun during the day, along with some exercise.

If you do all that but still have trouble sleeping, it might be time to talk to a doctor. You could be one of the large percentage of the population with undiagnosed sleep apnea, especially if you snore. Or you could have some other disorder that can be addressed.

It's worth taking the time to figure out what you can do to sleep better though. Not getting enough raises some serious health concerns.

Sources: MSN

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Published by Gusti Putra at: 10:06 AM

This Variety Of Onion Contains Highest Amount Of Cancer-Fighting Compound

Eating Onions may Help Us Fighting Cancer

Next time you’re out for lunch, you may want to think twice before asking the waiter to “hold the onions” on your garden salad. New research from the University of Guelph in Canada has found that red onions have impressive cancer-fighting abilities. The study found that the Ontario onion in particular has high concentrations of quercetin, a compound previously noted for its ability to kill certain cancer cells.

The study, published online in Food Research International, found that the Ontario-grown Ruby Ring onion has the highest quercetin levels of all onions. In addition, the red onion has high amounts of anthocyanins, another compound that enhances the cancer-fighting properties of quercetin. 

"We found onions are excellent at killing cancer cells," said lead study author Abdulmonem Murayyan in a recent statement. "Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death. They promote an unfavorable environment for cancer cells and they disrupt communication between cancer cells, which inhibits growth."

For their research, the team looked at five different Ontario-grown onions, measuring the amounts of quercetin in them. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, quercetin has been shown to neutralize free radical in the body that can cause cell and DNA damage, the catalyst to cancer. In addition, the site reports that quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of substances that mediate the inflammatory response, such as histamine.
Fighting cancer by Eating Red Onions

The team placed colon cancer cells in direct contact with quercetin extracted from five different Ontario onion varieties in order to determine the compound's effect on cancerous cells. The compound had strong cancer-fighting abilities, and according to the team, the next step is to test the vegetable compound in human trials.

The team is also working to create a new extraction technique that would allow them to take quercetin from vegetables without using chemicals.

"Developing a chemical-free extraction method is important because it means we can use onion's cancer-fighting properties in nutraceuticals and in pill form,” explained study co-author Suresh Neethirajan in a statement.

The health benefits of onions don’t stop at fighting cancer. The vegetable is also helpful in preventing heart disease. For example, a 2007 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that quercetin also significantly reduced high blood pressure and hypertension in adults. And because of quercetin's antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effect, researchers believe that it may be effective in managing asthma symptoms.

Other compounds in onions have also been shown to have health benefits. For example, allyl propyl disulphide, an oil found in onions of all kinds, can lower blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of free insulin available in the body. As a result, research suggests that adding more onions to your diet can help improve the health of individuals with diabetes.

Source: Murayyan AI, Manohar CM, Hayward G, Neethirajan S. Antiproliferative activity of Ontario grown onions against colorectal adenocarcinoma cells. Food Research International. 2017
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 9:50 AM

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Cow Born with a Human-like Head is Worshipped by Indian in Uttar Pradesh

Cow born with a human-like head is worshipped by Indian villagers who claim it resembles a GOD

A shocking video has emerged showing a cow born with human-like features in an animal shelter in India.  The calf was born with the eyes, nose and ears that resemble that of a human, while the lower part of its body had features of a cow
The calf was born with the eyes, nose and ears
However, the cow died within an hour of its birth yesterday, in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, northern India.

Workers at an Indian animal shelter believe this deformed newborn calf is possibly a God.

Hundreds of locals came to venerate the dead calf who died in Uttar Pradesh, northern India. But as soon as the news spread, locals from nearby villages gathered to seek its blessing, believing it to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu, a Hindu God. The video shows people offering flower garlands and bowing before the dead calf, which has been kept inside a glass box since it died. Locals believe the calf is the 'Gokaran' - 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and plans are now afoot to build a temple for him.

Mahesh Kathuria, 50, a local businessman who came to see the calf, said: 'God has taken birth from the body of a local cow. We came here to seek his blessings. Religiously, it is an avatar of Vishnu. We believe it's a similar character mentioned in Bhagavata Puran, a Hindu religious text.' Raja Bhaiya Mishra, 55, the manager of the cow shelter, said: 'It's a miracle that the calf was born in this shelter. Thousands of people have been here to see it. We will be cremating him in three days and a temple will be built for him. This avatar has most definitely created a devotion feeling amongst the people.'

The animal's mother was taken to a cow shelter after being rescued from a butcher. For many Hindus cows must not be eaten although they can be used in agriculture or for dairy products

Locals are planning to build a temple for the calf once it is cremated in three days time. Hundreds of people from surrounding villages came to pray after coming to see the dead calf. He added that the mother was rescued from a butcher and was brought to the shelter six months ago before she fell pregnant. However, animal health experts have a different view on its birth and rubbishes any superstitions surrounding it. Dr Ajay Deshmukh, senior veterinary doctor, at Wildlife SOS, in India, said: 'This is a case of an anatomical anomaly. If a gene didn't develop properly or there was a fault, it causes multiple structural deformities, and such anomalies happen. It has got only scientific reasons and explanations, there's no superstitions here.' 

Sources: Daily Mail
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 5:58 AM