Friday, June 22, 2012

An apple peel a day keeps the fat away

An apple peel a day keeps the fat away

    Ursolic acid – a waxy substance found in apple peel – increases muscle and brown fat in mice that are on a high-fat diet. These mice burn more calories and have reduced obesity levels, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease than the mice that do not receive the supplement. Researhers believe that this might be helpful in reducing obesity. 
Until quite recently, researchers believed that only infants had brown fat, which then disappeared during childhood. However, improved imaging techniques have shown that adults do retain a very 
small amount of the substance mostly in the neck and between the shoulder blades. Some studies have linked increased levels of brown fat with lower levels of obesity and healthier levels of blood sugar and blood lipid, leading to the suggestion that brown fat may be helpful in preventing obesity and diabetes. 
Obesity and its associated problems such as diabetes and fatty liver disease are increasingly common global health concerns. A new study by University of Iowa researchers shows that a natural substance found in apple peel can partially protect mice from obesity and some of its harmful effects. 
The findings suggest that the substance known as ursolic acid reduces obesity and its associated health problems by increas
ing the amount of muscle and brown fat, two tissues recognised for their calorieburning properties. 
    “From previous work, we knew that ursolic acid increases muscle mass and strength in healthy mice, which is important because it might suggest a potential therapy for muscle wasting,” Adams says. “In this study, we tested ursolic acid in mice on a high-fat diet – a mouse model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Once again, ursolic acid increased skeletal muscle. Interestingly, it also reduced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease. 
    “Since muscle is very good at burning calories, the increased muscle in ursolic acidtreated mice may be sufficient to explain how ursolic acid reduces obesity. However, we were surprised to find that ursolic acid also increased brown fat, a fantastic calorie burner. This increase in brown fat may also help protect against obesity.”

Want to whiten your teeth sans cosmetic procedures?

Want to whiten your teeth sans cosmetic procedures? Toothbrush foods are the solution to this dental dilemma

    They say, a smile can convey a thousand words, and therefore, it’s no surprise that all of us are suckers for a million dollar smile. And why not? After all, sporting bright white teeth is not only an attractive quality but also boost one’s self-esteem, while on the other hand, stained yellow teeth often cause awkwardness. But most people are not comfortable with the idea of undergoing a cosmetic procedure and instead prefer something natural that would whiten their teeth? If you are one among those, the answer lies in ‘Toothbrush foods’, which is already a trend in the UK and US, and is gaining popularity on our home turf too. Read on to find out more... 
WHAT ARE THEY? It’s impossible to brush and floss teeth after every meal. But on the other hand, there are certain foods, which you can incorporate in your diet that can clean the teeth naturally. “‘Toothbrush foods’ are those fruits and vegetables, which act as natural cleanser for your teeth. For example, apple, celery, peas, are crunchy in texture and require a lot of chewing, which in turn helps to clean the surface of the teeth. The tiny fibres that get caught between the teeth function as an all natural floss. Also, vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and cucumber are also natural teeth cleaners,” explains dental surgeon Dr Kinjal Shah and advises having them as a snack or chewing on them after a meal, as they help rid your teeth of plaque and food that get stuck between them. 

While there are lot of costeffective teeth whitening kits available in the market, these whitening kits are not generically designed. The results coming from these kits are not instant and as effective as the chairside procedure. If directions are not followed properly, home whitening kits can have adverse effects, warns aesthetic dentist Dr Shantanu Jaradi. 

FOODS TO EAT Cosmetic dentist Dr Karishma Jaradi says, “Toothbrush foods are not only are good for your teeth, but also good for a healthy mouth. Remember, your mouth is the window to your overall health.” She shares a list of foods which act as nature’s toothbrush: 
APPLES: Eating apples are good for the gums and teeth because they give a cleansing effect. By reducing the amount of sugar you consume by eating apples than sugary snacks, you’re strengthening your teeth. 
ORANGES: Did you know that chewable vitamin C can cause enamel loss from teeth? Therefore, eat plenty of oranges for its vitamin C content which aids the absorption of iron and, promotes healthy teeth and gums. 
DAIRY PRODUCTS: Cheese is low in carbohydrate and rich in calcium and phosphate, which is important for healthy teeth. It helps balance your mouth’s pH levels, produces saliva, preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, and kills the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Milk and yoghurt contain lactic acid that provides protection against tooth decay. Experts believe that proteins present in yoghurt fight against harmful acids that cause cavities. 
CELERY: Celery produces plenty of saliva, which neutralises various cavity-causing bacteria. Also, eating celery has a massaging effect on the gums and helps clean the gaps between teeth. 
    Also, fresh green beans, can help scrub your mouth clean. Malic acid, an enzyme found in grapes, helps to keep your teeth white. Water works to reduce staining. Drink water with meals just sip and give a final swish after a meal.

CAULIFLOWER Cauliflower acts as an abrasive scrub for the teeth and stimulates the production of saliva. Stain sticks to plaque and eating cauliflower prevents plaque formation.

STRAWBERRIES Not only are strawberries packed with nutrients, they contain bleaching properties, which help in keeping the teeth clean. In fact, they also help to fade coffee and tea stains form the teeth. Besides, their yummy taste, they contain natural acids that can help whitening of the teeth.

GO GREEN: Sip green tea often 
GREEN TEA Drinking green tea helps to reduce cavity causing oral plaque and destroys bacteria such as streptococcus mutans that causes plaque to form in the first place. Studies have shown that green tea extract strongly inhibits the growth of plaque producing bacteria. To get these beneficial effects, sip green tea throughout the day.

SAY CHEESE! Get ready to flash your million dollar smile

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Here are some pointers for gearing up for the summer heat

Here are some pointers for gearing up for the summer heat

    It’s summer. There’s a whole lot of pressure on what to do, what not to eat and how to dress for the season. Here’s some ready advice from the experts on a few ways to beat the summer heat.
    Yatan Ahluwalia, grooming and styling expert, believes that one has to be comfortable with what they’re wearing. You need to bring out the cottons and linens and yet ensure you are dressed to look good and chic. As far as work wear goes, Yatan suggests that one wears comfortable and stylish clothes. “Don’t accessorize a lot. Remember that less is always more,” he warns.
    Applying make-up is a messy affair with the humid weather and blistering sun. Yatan suggests, “The best miracle solution has always been to drink lots of water. More water translates to less sweating and less body odour, hence keeping you fresh round the clock.” Where make
up is concerned, Yatan suggests a mouth colour, an eye-liner and a skin toner.
    Nutritionist Sangeetha S says, “While lotions and scrubs are good for your skin, you also need to ensure that you have the right diet to complement them. Summer means more liquids, lots of fruits and vegetables. Cut down on meat and other foods that can cause body heat.”
    Fitness regimes too need to take some shift. “If you’re not the compulsive health freak, you need to work out according to the season. Remember that a heavy workout isn’t advisable during summers. Opt for workout regimes that are less strenuous. Yoga is a good alternative,” says fitness expert Preetham Krishna.
SUMMER QUICK FIX Summers can be tough for your hair and skin. One needs to take extra care to avoid damaged hair and oily skin.
    Carry a bottle of water. Four litres of water a day work won
ders for the skin and hair. Carry a skin toner with you. Use a suntan lotion.
SUMMER WORKOUTS When it comes to summer workouts, there is one golden rule: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Summer’s a hard time for everybody, so when it comes to losing calories, the task becomes trickier to handle. Enormous amount of minerals and liquids are lost during this time. Not to mention, outdoor workouts can also affect your skin.
    Brisk walks in the morning and evening are effective. Take a 25 to 45-minute walk or bike ride on an empty stomach. Push-ups are another miracle workout in case you can’t go to the gym.
    If you want an easy way to ease the stress and burn the calories, plug in some thumping music and run. Run without any inhibitions. It boosts a part of your brain that relates to adrenaline rush, which makes you run faster. Play fast music with good beats to boost your energy.