Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Healthy Child Makes A Happy Home

Photostock, freedigitalphotos.net 
Yesterday was my birthday, early in the morning at 5; 30am my son was the first to wish me and to my surprise gave me a gift. The gift was neatly wrapped in beautiful green gift paper with a big ribbon and a card. Inside was a beautiful glass set. This gesture touched my heart strings. He is just 11 years old and I really felt happy to be a mom.

Healthy children do make a happy, healthy home. Healthy includes physical, emotional and spiritual health. A recent research study has found that having children do really make us happy.

Emotional development

Earlier studies say that parents experience greater levels of happiness and meaning in life than people without kids. Parents are also happy when they are caring for their children than during their other daily activities.

Parenthood comes with added responsibility and also more positivity. Family meal times can be the best example for this. It ensures strong bonds and also healthy food habits. An emotionally secure child will thrive like a beautiful olive shoot. It seems that the mother plays an important role in raising an emotionally secure child.

Talking about healthy food habits, it is important you read to them some good nutrition books. If you are a young mother then breastfeeding your baby is an important investment that you are making for its future. It seems that breastfed babies have higher IQ and excel in studies.

Talking to your kids increases their vocabulary and gives them a strong command over the language. They become smarter and excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics says one research study. I can see you rushing now to talk to your child. That’s great!

Physical development

Physical health is based on good immunity. Healthy food practices, outdoor games, active lifestyle and less time of TV viewing can promote physical health. Immunity can also be increased by taking herbal supplements. One of the great names to increase your immunological wellbeing is Dabur Chyawanprash.

If you are hearing it for the first time, then let me tell you that it is time tested age old formulation made of Amla, Giloy and 46 other natural herbs. Wow, that sounds terrific. Research studies have shown that this marvellous brew of ancient herbs in Dabur Chyawanprash strengthens body’s natural defence mechanism and stimulates natural killer cells. Now these cells, fight against the disease causing germs and keeps your kids in the pink of health. If you want to know more about it you can visit https://www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/
for further information.

Spiritual development;

Positivity and happiness go hand in hand to create a successful and well balanced individual. Spirituality helps kids to develop a strong sense of personal worth. Children who realize that their lives, have meaning and value become successful and have positive relationships. Spirituality gives you richer life experiences.

Take Care,

Swarnam

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Can Potatoes Be Included In Your Weight Loss Program

Anankkml, freedigitalphotos.net 
The Inca Indians in Peru were the first potato cultivators in the world. They cultivated potatoes around 8000 B.C to 5000 B.C.  Little did they know that to educate the world about the healthy cooking of potatoes, a health blogger named Swarnam would be born several centuries later? Just a few words of self-praise cause it’s my birthday today.

Are potatoes healthy?

With so much bad press about potatoes. Let me help you see potatoes in a new light. A new study says that people can eat potatoes and still lose weight. Scientists issued this stunning note that there is no evidence that potatoes prepared in a healthful manner contributes to weight gain. In fact, they say that it can be included in the weight loss program.

Health advisers say that it is not a good idea to eliminate certain foods or food groups; rather it is reducing calories that count. It seems that one medium sized skin on potato contains just 110 calories per serving, has more potassium than a banana. It provides half the daily value of vitamin C and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol. How is that?

Can potatoes, reduce blood pressure?

A nice question indeed, earlier studies say that potatoes cooked without oil in a microwave oven, reduces blood pressure almost as much as oatmeal without causing weight gain. The study was done with purple potatoes, but researchers believe that red skin potatoes and the white ones may also have similar effects.
Ideago, freedigitalphotos.net 

Which oil is best to fry potatoes?

Think French fries, now that’s a great thought. It seems that olive oil is the best oil to fry potatoes. It is a research proven fact. Scientists report that olive oil withstands the heat of the fryer or pan, better than several seed oils to yield more healthful food.

Researchers found that olive oil was stable when deep frying at 320 and 374 degrees Fahrenheit. Sunflower oil degraded the fastest when pan fried at 356 degrees. They conclude that olive oil is the best oil for frying, because it maintains the quality and nutrition better than seed oils. I have attached a YouTube video of healthy potato toppings. Hope you enjoy it.


Take care,

Swarnam

Thursday, October 23, 2014

1237 Reasons To Go Gaga Over Walnuts

Africa, freedigitalphotos.net

I spent my childhood in a lovely town full of greenery and groves of beautiful flowering trees. Small squirrels would bring nuts from nearby trees and drop it in our front yard. We kids used to collect the nuts and break it with big stones. Whether we break the nuts or not we hurt our fingers. Those good old days!

Goodness of walnuts

Walnuts are one of God’s marvelous creations. It is rich in omega 3 fats, manganese, molybdenum and biotin. It is rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants protect the walnuts from becoming rancid. The walnut is nutrient dense with proteins. They are a rich source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats.

Walnuts promotes good health

Wikipedia
In a recent research study, scientists found a walnut enriched diet promotes brain health. Scientists found significant improvement in learning skills, memory, reducing anxiety and motor development in mice fed a walnut enriched diet. Lucky mice!

The scientists say that a diet including walnuts may have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset, slowing the progression, or preventing Alzheimer’s disease. The high amounts of antioxidants found in walnuts, especially alpha-linoleic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid, which is unique to walnuts, promotes brain and heart health.

Earlier studies have said that walnuts protect against diabetes and heart diseases in at risk individuals. A daily intake of 56 g of walnuts improves endothelial function in overweight adults with visceral adiposity. The researchers found the addition of walnuts in diet did not lead to weight gain.

University of Texas researchers has found that eating a modest amount of walnuts can protect against prostate cancer. Walnuts reduce breast cancer risk because of its health promoting antioxidants.

A stunning find says that whole walnuts and their extracted oil reduce cardiovascular risk.  This study showed that walnut oil can maintain blood vessel function after a meal. This is important for good heart health. Walnut oil contains alpha linoleic acid, gamma tocopherol and phytosterols some cool names which promote your heart health.

I have attached a YouTube video about candied walnuts. Have a look.
Take care
Swarnam



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Are You So Dumb To Skip Your Morning Breakfast

Serge Berstasius, freedigitalphotos.net


During my final year in school, we were busy preparing for the public exams. My father arranged special coaching to help me get more marks. I used to go early in the morning to attend the classes and still had my idlli and sambar breakfast.

The funny part is that I used to carry a flask full of Horlicks for extra strength along with my lunch to school. Word spread about my flask of Horlicks like wild fire. And kids would actually come to my class to boo at me while am drinking my Horlicks. Those were the good old days you see!

Protein rich breakfast
A new study has found that, eating breakfast which is rich in protein, increases the youngsters’ levels of a brain chemical called dopamine, which is associated with feelings of reward. This in turn reduces food cravings and overeating later in the day.

The good news is that, breakfast reduced the cravings for sweet foods and especially a protein rich breakfast, reduced cravings for high fat food. On the other hand, if the breakfast is skipped, these cravings continued to rise throughout the day.

Earlier studies have proved that, a protein rich breakfast increases satiety value. It reduces hunger and unhealthy snacking throughout the day.

How about some nice breakfast ideas?

Breakfasts that include eggs are great, because they are rich in vitamin D and the hard to get choline, a nutrient that may reduce anxiety and boost memory. Low fat dairy cottage cheese, yogurt and Quinoa a gluten free grain can add variety to your breakfast schedule.

Melinda Johnson, Director and a Professor in Nutrition talk about some amazing breakfast tips in US News. Here you go…

You can add 1 tbsp of peanut butter to whole wheat bread with a banana topping.

Strawberries, Greek yogurt, uncooked oatmeal, skimmed milk or soy milk can be blended for a delicious mug of strawberry smoothie. A drizzle of honey will enhance its taste.
Cook ¾ cups of dry oatmeal with 11/2 cups of skim milk. Add ¼ cup of chopped walnuts and 1 chopped apple. Sprinkle some cinnamon and honey. Wow!

Now these are some awesome tips. Being a South Indian I can guarantee you that idlli and sambar breakfast is healthy, tasty and nutritious and my all-time favorite. Some things don’t change you know!

Here is a YouTube video of idlli and sambar recipe.

Take care,
Swarnam





Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Coffee Promotes Brain, Eye, Breast, Heart, Stomach and Liver health- Whew!

Feelart,freedigitalphotos.net
My sanity returns with a cup of coffee. I will shout my lungs out, my kids and even the neighbors know that I had missed my cup of coffee (just kidding). And once I had my fill I am the sweetest, most well behaved person you will ever see in the universe.

So there must be something special about coffee, right? Let us begin our adventurous journey into the unknown coffee realm.

Health benefits in your cup of coffee

Studies have found that coffee consumption lowers the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer. A small study found that drinking coffee improved small blood vessel function.

Scientists unexpectedly found that coffee contains N-methylpyridium which blocks the ability of stomach cells to produce hydrochloric acid and could be a magic formula to prevent stomach irritation. This compound is generated upon roasting. The darker the roasted color of the coffee bean the more the goodness of this stomach friendly substance.

Coffee good for breast cancer

Scientists say that coffee reduces antiestrogen resistant estrogen receptor -negative breast cancer. If this sounds Greek and Latin have a word with your doctor.

Researchers say that coffee could decrease the risk of breast cancer recurring in patients taking the used drug Tamoxifen. Patients who took the pill along with two or more cups of coffee daily, reported less than half the rate of cancer recurrence, says one research study.

The goodness of coffee continues

Coffee may protect against endometrial cancer. Caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of oral cancer. A daily cup of coffee prevents deteriorating eyesight and possible blindness from retinal degeneration due to glaucoma, aging and diabetes. In short coffee is good for your eye health. A recent study has found that decaffeinated coffee may promote liver health. 

Coffee and the brain

An international group of scientists has found way back in 2008 that coffee aroma kick starts genes in the brain and increases its efficiency. 

Decaffeinated coffee boosts memory function. An intriguing finding says that 3 cups of coffee a day enjoyed by older adults can keep Alzheimer’s disease at arm’s length. Coffee along with a sweet treat can improve brain efficiency so says a University of Barcelona research study.

Take away,

Wow! That’s an awful lot of reasons to vote for the freshly brewed cup of coffee. But remember, moderation is the best practice. While you enjoy your cup of piping hot coffee, listen to the Coffee Song by Frank Sinatra.

Take care,

Swarnam

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Can BPA In Baby Bottles Cause Lung, Wheeze And Fertility Problems in Kids

Cho Joo Young, freedigitalphotos.net 
I prefer old fashioned steel tiffin boxes for packing my kids school lunch, much to the dismay of my tween son. He is not so comfortable with the idea of huge steel tiffin boxes with the so called healthy food.  I told him some really scary stuff which I am about to tell you now. So lend an ear.

The chemical BPA in plastics
Scientists are raising the alarm that BPA a chemical found in plastics may lead to reduced lung function and persistent wheeze in kids, if they are exposed to the chemical at the very tender age, say prenatal period.

Sadly, this chemical is found in plastics such as water bottles, baby bottles, food can liners, dental sealants and other plastic materials.

BPA can also affect fertility
Earlier studies say that BPA during pregnancy may cause permanent reproductive problems for the girl babies. When experimented on mice, this chemical produced changes in the genes which caused the uterus to over respond to estrogen.

Now this can lead to fertility problems, advanced puberty, altered mammary development and reproductive function. Not only that, it can lead to a variety of hormone related cancers. This BPA can also affect testicular function if the baby is exposed to the chemical when its inside the womb.

Take away,

It would be wise to avoid the use of plastics and tinned foods as much as we can. You forgot about my son, I did not tell him in such detail. I told him the smallest and the scariest story about plastics you've ever heard. Now he is happy with his huge old fashioned lunch box.
Take care,

Swarnam