Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Spoonful of Yogurt a Day Keeps Your Sadness Away



It’s astonishing to know that simple things can change the whole outlook of life. This may sound ridiculous, but I am here to prove my point.

Rumination

To engage in deep reflective thought is termed as rumination. People chew on the same negative thoughts and consequences which brought them great distress, and this action precedes depression.

Scientists had this great idea, they wanted to find whether probiotics can help fight these negative thoughts. How cool of these scientists to cook up such great ideas.

Onto the theory we go. The researchers prepared a multispecies probiotic white powder and a similar looking placebo. 40 healthy people participated in this study.

Half of them received the probiotic powder and the other half received the placebo. The powder was placed in a sachet, and the participants were asked to mix it with lukewarm water or milk and eat it, each day for about 4 weeks.

They were asked to fill a questionnaire before and after the study. The results showed that the participants who received the probiotic powder had significantly reduced ruminative thoughts.

 To conclude, if you are feeling sad, or always thinking of some bitter experiences in your life, or just thinking about the negative happenings how far the frequency may be, try including probiotics in your diet.

To give you some examples, Dr. Edward. F. Group of Global Healing Centre suggests some wonderful probiotic foods. They include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, micro algae, miso soup, pickles, Tempeh, kimchi and Kombucha tea.

If you are not familiar with certain foods, yogurt will be your best bet.

Take care,

Swarnam

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Gratitude Journaling Can Prolong Your Life Span

Photo courtesy of GodFruits.com

People!  I am going to tell you a secret. Just be thankful for what you have, and you will live longer. How close can you get?  Amazing!

Being thankful

Scientists recently bragged about a study saying that giving thanks for the positive aspects of life, can promote mental and physical health of people who have heart problems, but does not show any outward symptoms.

Be it for that matter if we are thankful, we will be healthy and have a great life.  The more gratitude you have, the better mood, you enjoy better sleep, less fatigue and lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers related to cardiac health.

I think these are the hallmarks of attaining perfect health. Gratitude can be said as a warm feeling you get when you remember all the good things you have. It seems that spirituality can pep up your feelings of gratitude.


The famous preacher Joel Osteen says “Being Grateful is the key to staying happy”. And happiness boosts your wellness quotient. Coming back to the study, the researchers studied 186 men and women who had been diagnosed with stage B of heart failure. This includes those who have had a heart attack, but do not have symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath and fatigue.
But be informed that these people are at higher risk of progressing to stage 3 where the risk of death is five times higher. The people who scored high on gratitude showed better mood, higher sleep quality, less stress, more self-efficacy and low levels of inflammation.

The researchers did something interesting. They asked some participants to jot down three things for which they are thankful for most of the week. They continued this for 8 weeks.

The news gets spicier. To the amazement of the researchers, the patients who practiced gratitude journaling showed reduced levels of inflammatory biomarkers and improved heart rate, which is a symptom of reduced cardiac risk.

A grateful heart is the healthiest heart, and gratitude journaling is an easy way to promote cardiac health say researchers.

Take care,
Swarnam



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pomegranate Juice And Dates Can Greatly Enhance Heart Health



I am going to tell you about an interesting and delicious combination, that could work miracles for your heart. The hauntingly red pomegranates and their Middle Eastern cousin, Dates to be precise. This unlikely combination bubbles up with so much antioxidant goodness, that they wage a war against heart disease.

The pomegranates are rich in polyphenols which are superior antioxidants, in fighting against free radicals that cause damage to cells. It also reduces oxidative stress.

Dates have the highest concentration of polyphenols among the dried fruits. The polyphenols and tannins present in dates are responsible for its dark brown color. These polyphenols play an important role in reducing the risk of heart diseases.

The scientists believed that this combination could prove more beneficial than the sum of its parts. So they did experiments on atherosclerotic mice. Funny, even little mice suffers from heart problems isn’t it?

The triple combination, pomegranate juice, dates and the ground date pits together, promoted the heart health of the mice to a great extent. The researchers advise that, those suffering from heart problems and even healthy persons, to take 4 ounces, that is half a cup of pomegranate juice and 3 dates, to enhance your heart health. If you add powdered date pits, they are even better, but if you don’t like it, that is not a problem.

So enjoy pomegranate juice and dates for optimal heart health.

Take care,
Swarnam


Monday, April 6, 2015

The Goodness of Whole Eggs


There are so many debates for and against eggs. But at the end of the day a balanced diet is all what you need to keep you going. I chanced upon some interesting info about eggs.

Eggs along with veggies

Studies say that cooked whole eggs along with vegetables are more nutritious. They increase the carotenoid absorption. These carotenoids are powerful antioxidants and they are colorful plant pigments, which can greatly increase your immunity quotient.

16 young men ate three versions of the salad, salad with no eggs, salad with 11/2 eggs and salad with 3 scrambled whole eggs. The salad included tomatoes, shredded carrots, baby spinach, wolfberry and lettuce.

Researchers found that carotenoid absorption was three fold for those persons who ate the highest amount of eggs with salads. So, prepare some nice salad and add whole eggs for a nutrient dense healthy meal.

Eggs can reduce blood pressure

Earlier studies say that enzymes in the stomach and small intestine convert egg proteins into peptides that act in the same way as ACE inhibitors. These ACE inhibitors are prescribed by doctors to lower high blood pressure.

Eggs reduces type 2 diabetes

Researchers found that men who ate approx. 4 eggs per week had 37% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than men who ate 1 egg per week. Their blood glucose levels were also low.

Worried your kids hate the sight of eggs? Here is a creative way to make them enjoy and relish eggs. Watch this video.



Take care,

Swarnam

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Spectacle of Ultra-Thin Models- Is Self Esteem an Issue



Have you heard about the recent news? That France has voted to ban ultra-thin models in crackdown on anorexia. The Guardian reports that 40,000 people suffer from anorexia in France and about 90% are women according to health ministry figures.

My heart goes out to them. According to my belief, fashion is all about making you feel good about yourself, with all those nice clothes and accessories to choose from.

But it has somehow become a trend to showcase, super-thin women wearing all those gorgeous clothing walking down the ramp, making people feel small, if they don’t measure up to that set standards.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you look at the life of models, some have even died due to unhealthy eating habits. It seems that the models are told to eat cotton balls, to lose their appetite according to CNN.

My, my, it is really sad. Those models are young girls, just blooming in the garden of life. They have so much to accomplish in their future. Now all these super thin models cause a “thinspiration” the idea that the public gets, that they can look as thin as these models. But in the long run these thinness fantasies won’t come true, says one research study. It greatly affects the self-esteem of the women who model their behavior based upon these ultra-thin models.


People, I will tell you one thing, it’s the feminine gender that gets affected at the both ends of the spectrum. It is like chasing a mirage. At the end of the day, what benefits did you attain by being super thin? Sacrificing your precious God given life for the sake of any agency, who is going to recruit you to be a model.

And you common people, be known that imitating somebody will not give you the self-satisfaction that you attain for. Self-worth is the value you feel about yourself. It does not come by following some fad or fashion, it does not come by exerting ourselves to attain the standards set by some fashion people.

If that is the case, do you feel that celebrities lead a wholesome life, they have wealth, beauty and fame, but are they happy?
I will tell you a secret, the best thing to attain self-satisfaction, is to know that you are being unconditionally loved by someone, who won’t throw you off because of your gender, race, color, qualification, your family background, and the problems you face, anything that concerns you a lot.

And that person is the creator of the universe, he will be with you through thick and thin. Once you know that, you will feel a new sense of the value rising up within yourself. You are unique and so you won’t imitate anyone. You begin to live YOUR life.

There is a great power in knowing this truth. You feel free, you feel liberated, you feel empowered, and you feel strong.

Take care,
Swarnam


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Beautiful Meditation Songs For Good Friday


Do you know that there are great benefits in meditation? Well to understand more about it, I have started meditating, and people around me now say, that they find me more calm, mature and peaceful. And some say that, these qualities have even translated into my writings.

Benefits of meditation

Science has proven that meditation has ample mental health benefits. Curious to find out all about it? Here we go…

.   Meditation keeps your brain young forever, it preserves the white and gray matter of your brain from atrophy.

.   25 minutes of meditation for 3 consecutive days reduces psychological stress to a greater degree.

.   Meditation improves your quality of your sleep.

Meditation strengthens your brain.

   It reduces anxiety and depression and gives you more peace, improves concentration, greater self-awareness and better processing of thoughts and feelings.


Here are some amazing collection of songs for the Good Friday. Step into the world of meditation through this blessed music collection.

Old Rugged Cross




 Above All

Amazing Grace

Lamb of God

You Raised Me Up


Who Am I?

Were You There When They Crucified The Lord?


Take Care,
Swarnam

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Obesity And Diabetes Rates In The Gulf- A Cause of Great Concern


A stunning video where single minded devotion, and perseverance changed this young lady, from being obese to a healthy weight person. You can find the transformation of this amazing woman in this video. Just watch it, and you will be glad you did.

Obesity rates in the Gulf

I read about the weight issues, to be exact- the mounting obesity rates in the Middle East on CNN. It concerned me a lot, because I live here too. The report reads that diabetes rates are staggering in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE.

The CNN report says that, according to the International Diabetes Foundation 37 million people are suffering from diabetes in the Middle East and North Africa. The irony is that 50% of the cases are undiagnosed. And they believe that the cases could double in the next twenty years.

Lifestyle in the gulf

According to my observations the climate is hot, and so, many people stay indoors.  But November to April sees the climate more pleasant and enjoyable. I hope we can put a good use of this climate to enhance our health purposes.

The food choices vary because, the Gulf region, especially the UAE is a melting point of cultures. Generally speaking, there is a luxurious lifestyle mindset, and on most occasions the food is heavy and sumptuous. 

I had a friend who used to make fun of my kids. She would say being in the Gulf the kids should be fat, and then only when you visit India, people will think you have come from abroad, and you are quite prosperous. No wonder both her kids are overweight. How hard I tried, I just could not change her mindset. I just felt sorry for her.

Lately, the afternoon tea custom has taken Dubai by storm. The local magazines, give us the juicy details about this custom. But I am a bit concerned because, along with your tea some famous restaurants serve baked goods and sugary additions. Thinking about the health aspect of it, along with the ticking time bomb that is obesity, my prayer is that, people should become more health conscious.

Talking about the lifestyle of kids in this part of the region, playing is not considered essential at all. The kids are always busy with school work, homework and extra classes

It would be more beneficial if an active sporting lifestyle becomes an everyday norm. While I am writing this my kids built their own version of the indoor basketball net. I hope a little creativity can help us become healthy.

To end on a positive note, having a dream, dedication, perseverance, and a strong will to succeed, will help us, to be the best that we can be.

Take care,

Swarnam