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Men’s diet: The must eats

While there are some foods that we must all eat, men and women have different dietary requirements — met by different foods.

Men’s diet: The must eats

Blueberries

Blueberries have been linked to reduced risk of prostate cancer, owing to high levels of proanthocyanidins (a subtype of flavonoids). The benefits of blueberries does not end there, research also suggests that this fruit can reduce risk of heart disease, age-related memory loss and type-2 diabetes  — all of which – typically effect more men than women.

Brazil nuts

Snacking on nuts in general is good for the heart and skin. Brazil nuts, however, are particularly good for men as they have a high selenium content, which is known to enhance sperm health and mortality.
Selenium also helps reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and acts as mood enhancer.

Cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprout

Cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprout are some important veggies that every man must include in his diet. These veggies are known to contain cancer-fighting chemicals, which are known to cut risk of prostate and colorectal cancer in men.
So add them in plenty in your daily diet.
Tomatoes
This popular fruit has many benefits for men. Lycopene (a phytochemical) is known to lower cholesterol, cut risk of colorectal cancer and heart disease.
Studies show that men who regularly eat food rich in lycopene have lesser chances of developing prostate cancer.

Eggs

If you’re prone to hair loss, then look no further. Eggs, an excellent source of protein and biotin (vitamin B7) boosts hair growth. Additionally, egg yolks are a good source of iron, which research suggests helps alleviate hair loss caused by anaemia.

Pomegranate

Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and studies show that eating pomegranate regularly can help lower cholesterol, a problem common to many men.
Many studies also suggest that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice daily ca slow down the progress of prostate cancer.
Garlic’s heart health boosting properties are well known, it helps lower cholesterol, reducing chances of blockage. Further, research findings published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute suggests that regularly eating garlic and onions cuts risk of prostate cancer. So include them in your diet today.

Salmon

Salomon, a sea fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help treat the cause of many common health ailments in men. It not only helps reduce LDL or bad cholesterol, it also helps alleviate depression and cuts risk of prostate and colorectal cancer.

Whole grains

Whole grains pack in a host of vitaminsminerals and fibre – good for both men and women. However, it’s the B vitamins that particularly benefit men.
Vitamin B9 (folate) helps keep sperm healthy, vitamin B7 (biotin) helps reduce hair loss. Silica, also found in whole grains aids healthy hair growth.
SOURCE - YAHOO

Move Over Breakfast Sandwich, the Breakfast Pizza Has Come to Town


The breakfast pizza has gone from hangover cure to trendy menu item.

Now you can find breakfast pizzas at airports and malls across America. Pizza chain Sbarrosells a version with bacon, sausage, eggs, and mozzarella.

Try: Healthy Breakfast Pizza

But the breakfast pizza is now popping up in upscale and trendy restaurants, too. The popular Brooklyn restaurant Roberta's serves eight different types of pizzas for brunch, including the "Guanciale and Egg, with tomato and mozzarella. Roberta's is much more than your typical pizzeria. It's been called one of New York's finest restaurants. Bill and Hillary Clinton stopped there for dinner during a trip to New York in September.

Portland, Oregon's Sunshine Tavern serves a pizza of hen egg, Parmesan, wild oregano, and olive oil on their weekend lunch menu.

Gioia pizzeria in San Francisco offers a breakfast pizza on their brunch menu with Neuske bacon, Fontina, sunny side up eggs, and cherry tomatoes.

But what if you can't find a breakfast pizza at a restaurant near you? Don't worry-you can make your own. There are 25 different recipes for breakfast pizza on the Food Network's website alone. And Deb Perelman of the Smitten Kitchen, a popular food blog and now cookbook, has a recipe for a delicious breakfast pizza with bacon, eggs, cheese, and chives.

The Smitten Kitchen's breakfast pizza.The Smitten Kitchen's Breakfast Pizza

Adapted, barely, from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook via an earlier version of it

Makes 2 (12-inch) pizzas

1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast

2 cups plus
2 tablespoons bread flour, plus more for dusting

Kosher salt

6 strips bacon

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

2 cups grated mozzarella

6 large eggs

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons minced chives

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 shallot, minced

The night before, prepare the dough: Place 3/4 cup lukewarm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix on low for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to high and mix until a smooth dough forms, about 2 minutes more. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide into two equal pieces and form each half into a tight ball. Place on a large floured sheet pan, place the pan in a plastic garbage bag, tie the bag loosely and refrigerate overnight.
One to two hours* before baking, place the dough in a warm spot. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and set a pizza stone on it. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees 30 minutes before you are ready to bake the pizza.

Prepare the dough and toppings: Fry the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Cool on a paper-towel-lined plate; roughly chop.

Dip your hands and a ball of dough into the flour. On a lightly floured countertop, pat the dough into a disc with your fingertips, then drape the dough over your fists and carefully stretch it from beneath to form a 12-inch circle.

Generously dust the surface of a pizza peel or large inverted sheet pan with flour and place the stretched dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with half of the Parmesan, mozzarella and bacon. Crack 3 eggs over the top and season with salt and pepper.

Bake the pizza: Shake the pizza peel slightly to make sure the dough is not sticking. Carefully lift any sections that are sticking and sprinkle a bit more flour underneath, then slide the pizza directly onto the baking stone in one quick forward-and-back motion. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes. When the crust is golden, the cheese is melted and the egg yolks are cooked, use the peel to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Sprinkle half of the parsley, chives, scallions and shallot on top. Let cool for 2 minutes, slice and serve immediately. Prepare the second pizza in the same way.

The original recipe suggests that you take the dough out one hour before baking but I took mine out two hours earlier, because I always find it takes a long time to get dough back to proofing at room temperature. In this time, you can lazily prepare the toppings and get your oven nice and hot.
Source - yahoo

Healthy tips for diabetics


1. Eat food at fixed hours. Do not overeat.
 2. Do not eat immediately after a workout.
 3. If you are on insulin, make sure you have three proper meals with light snacks in between.
 4. Do not eat fast; masticate and munch your food well before you swallow.
 5. Drink a lot of water that will help flush the toxins off your system.
 6. Make sure the gaps between your meals are short. Avoid fried foods and sweetmeats.
 7. Include fresh vegetable salad in every meal.
 8. Have at least 20 to 25 grams of raw onion daily.
 9. Do atleast 1 hour exercise daily.
 10. Add wheat bran to your wheat flour (50% wheatflour + 50% wheat bran). This helps to increase fibre in your diet.
Source - Facebook- General Knowledge for all

Long live your liver


Avoid food traps and go green: Your diet plays an important role in keeping your liver sound, but what you don't eat is as important as what you do. "There is a species of wild mushroom that can cause liver failure immediately upon consumption," warns Dr Rao. "While button mushrooms and most other species are harmless, one must avoid mushrooms grown in the wild, because the poison
ous variety can be sold unknowingly in rural areas."
As the largest single organ in our bodies and one of the most complex, the liver is very difficult to replace or replicate artificially. And while diseases that affect the liver can be treated, they can hardly be cured. So never make the mistake of ignoring this life sustaining organ until it is too late.

It's as soft as a rose petal and doctors refer to it as the chemical factory of our bodies. But while the heart gets star billing, many of us tend to completely ignore the life sustaining liver, mostly because we're not aware of how it tirelessly strives to ensure our good health. "The liver has a multitude of functions," says Dr A.R Nitin Rao, consultant gastroenterologist and a specialist in hepatopancreatobiliary surgery (treating diseases associated with the liver, pancreas and bile) at MS Ramiah Memorial Hospital, Bangalore. "It produces bile (and other enzymes) which help in digestion of food; it also aids in the storage of fats, eliminates poisonous substances from our bodies and provides us with better immunity. It is important that we take some simple steps on a daily basis to care for this organ better."
Turmeric

Don’t overdose: There are many ways in which we unknowingly abuse our liver but drinking excessive alcohol is just one of these. Ensuring that your alcohol intake is regulated in small doses should be the first step to maintaining a healthy liver. Also, never overdose on any medication, especially over-the-counter drugs. Many of us tend to get careless about dosage, but if you take medication often for chronic ailments, then this is something you need to approach with caution. "Every medicine you ingest is full of chemicals that are finally processed in the liver," says Dr Nitin Rao. Too many chemicals can cause the liver to harden and can result in permanent damage. "Paracetamol in particular (the most commonly prescribed fever medication) can be very damaging to your liver if taken in excessive amounts." So use medication judiciously and the next time you're tempted to pop pills for a mild head or body ache, spare a thought for the health of your liver.



Beware of a fatty liver: When you eat a diet that is rich in calories, your liver will work over-time to process all that extra fat. "While some amount of fat in the liver is normal, when it makes up more, that 5-10% of the weight of the liver, it could lead to serious complications. "An overload of iron in the diet, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption--all this can cause a fatty liver. A fatty liver is undesirable because it produces a thicker bile solution," explains Dr Prof. N. Rangabashyam, a pioneer in pancreatic hepatobiliary surgery in India and former Head of the Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Proctology, Madras Medical College and Government General Hospital, Chennai. "This can cause stones to form in the gall bladder which require surgical intervention to remove."




"Many vegetarians don't consume enough protein," says Dr Rangabashyam. "A chronic protein deficiency can cause hardening and sclerosis of the liver, resulting in permanent damage. For instance, we tend to eat more carbohydrate rich food like idli-dosa for breakfast, accompanied by a sambhar that is devoid of vegetables. To ensure adequate protein intake, make chick-peas (sundal), dhal, and soybean a regular feature in your menu. A vegetable dish with breakfast (for instance, spinach, drumstick or ladies finger) is a must as it adds more fibre, aids digestion and prevents other complications such as constipation and piles." Traditional herbs like keezhanelli have long since been used to treat a malfunctioning liver. "These herbs are effective in enhancing liver function and can be used as a preventive aid, but studies are yet to prove that they can cure liver diseases," says Dr Rao.
Garlic

Stock up on antioxidants: Foods that are rich in antioxidants are especially good for the liver. "The paan leaf (vethilai) taken plain without the supari is an excellent source of antioxidants and has a protective effect. The curry leaf is good source as well, but though it is used in cooking, it is unfortunately discarded when we consume the food. Garlic and turmeric also help enhance liver function," says Dr Rao.



Stay away from plastic: Drinking a water bottle that lies in the sun, placing food in a flimsy plastic take-away carton and reheating it at home-- plastic is a part of our daily lives. "But cheap plastic has several layers and when this melts and is consumed, it can pose a serious hazard to the health of our liver, even causing liver cancer," says Dr Rao.



Regular check-ups and vaccinations: Today, vaccinations are available to prevent two of the most dreaded liver diseases--Hepatitis A and B. These viral infections, when unchecked, can lead to severe jaundice and have the potential to destroy the liver. However there is no vaccine to provide protection against Hepatitis C, though research is ongoing. Every year, after the age of 35, doctors recommend that you take a liver function test that can help ascertain whether the liver is functioning normally. An ultrasound is also essential. "The liver has the remarkable power to regenerate itself, so no matter what abuse you have subjected it to, there exists a miraculous power of healing and restoration," says Dr Rangabashyam.
Source - The Hindu

DNA as an information storage device


DNA double helix. Computer artwork of a double- stranded DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) helix. Each strand is composed of a sequence of nucleotide units.
Scientists have been able to store 2.2 petabytes in one gram of DNA

Since time immemorial, mankind has wanted to share and use information for later use. First, it was through the caveman paintings and symbols. Then we invented the alphabets, ideograms, numbers and other symbols. Using these, books were written and stored for future generations, in palm leaves, papyrus sheets or paper. The invention of printing brought the Gutenberg revolution, making multiple copies easily and spreading education to millions of people.

Printed books occupy space. Libraries and archives are bursting at the seams. Enter the computer age and digitization using the binary code of combining zeros and ones (0,1) for alphabets and other such symbols, and reading them using the on-off electrical signals, which has made electronic storage possible, cutting down the size and space for ‘hard copies’. Integrated circuits, processors and related electronic wizardry have shrunk the size of computers and storage devices from room-size to finger nail size.

Vitamin D levels could halve diabetes risk

A file photo of a patient undergoing a blood test for diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and permanently disables the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. File PhotoAdequate levels of vitamin D during young adulthood may halve the risk of adult-onset Type 1 diabetes, according to a new research.

The findings by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) could lead to a role for vitamin D supplementation in preventing this serious auto-immune disease in adults, when the immune system starts damaging tissues.

“It is surprising that a serious disease such as Type 1 diabetes could perhaps be prevented by a simple and safe intervention,” said Kassandra Munger, research associate at HSPH, who led the study, the American Journal of Epidemiology reports.

In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and permanently disables the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. About five per cent of the estimated 25.8 million people in the U.S. suffer from this condition, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Although it often starts in childhood, about 60 per cent of Type 1 diabetes cases occur after age 20, according to a Harvard statement.

Identifying 310 individuals diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes between 1997 and 2009, the team examined blood samples taken before onset of the disease, and compared the samples with those of 613 people in a control group, not having the disease.

Source - The Hindu

Healthcare for all, through an overhaul


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, February 5, 2013
State plans a pilot project to revamp primary healthcare sector
As Kerala aspires to move towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as envisaged in the 12 Plan, the government is preparing to strengthen the primary healthcare system of the State by revamping the structure, reworking the role of healthcare providers, and by envisaging a greater role for local communities.
If the project proposal, included in the Plan Implementation Programme of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) this year, gets the Centre’s approval, Kerala could be the first State in the country to pilot an experiment in UHC.
The Health Department has selected three institutions in Thiruvananthapuram district to pilot the UHC project — the primary health centres (PHC) of Kallikkad and Chemmaruthi and the community health centre (CHC) of Venpakal.
The project will have the technical support of the National Health Service (NHS) of U.K. The department is being assisted by Mala Rao, Professor of International Health, University of East London, who has a wealth of experience in strengthening public health systems, having been the Director of Public Health, NHS, for several years. Dr. Rao has been working with a group here for a while now.
“The concept of UHC cannot happen unless there is a well-functioning primary healthcare system — the friendly neighbourhood PHCs — where a chunk of the healthcare needs of local communities will be met. Good, quality care at the primary healthcare-level alone can bring down the healthcare costs. The focus will be on better infrastructure, more staff, and a total revision of the traditional roles played by our health workers,” says Dr. Rao.
The current three-tier primary healthcare system consists of sub-centres, PHCs and CHCs. While the sub-centres are inadequately staffed, the PHCs have just one doctor who ends up doing clinics, field work, immunisation, and a host of other administrative jobs. CHCs too have no takers among the public.
The UHC pilot project envisages sub-centres as service delivery centres more involved in screening programmes, and delivery of elderly care and palliative care through trained field workers and ASHAs.
The PHCs are to be equipped with more facilities and manpower to deliver most of the healthcare requirements of the community. Every PHC will have at least three doctors and four staff nurses. Nurses will have a more pro-active role, on the lines of ‘nurse-practitioners’ of U.K.’s NHS. Team work, multi-tasking, skill development and a better use of technology are some of the watch words here.
A shift is being envisaged in the role of CHCs, with these becoming training centres and also offering rehabilitative care.
Training is to be a crucial area. The Community Medicine Department at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College is thus being primed as a Primary Healthcare Department, which will give academic inputs for training doctors and nurses to be posted at PHCs. It will chart out the guidelines for CHCs, draw up clinical protocols, take up primary care research, and develop care pathways and curriculum for doctors and nurses.
The State has already received approval for a Rs.96 crore e-health initiative from the Centre, to support the pilot project. Utilisation of information technology to build up a health database of communities; equipping field workers with tablets or PDA devices for data collection; and creating portable workstations with Wi-Fi connectivity to ease workflow are being envisaged under the project
“A lot of ground work needs to be done before we can achieve the vision of UHC. We will have to work on building the infrastructure as well as the professional competency of doctors and nurses. Within a regulatory framework, the State can also rope in private sector healthcare providers,” points out a senior Health Department official.
Source - The Hindu
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