Monthly Archives: May 2007

Don’t smoke, it’s no longer sexy

AHMEDABAD: Gone are the days when girls swooned over that Clint Eastwood look — a half-burnt cigarette casually dangling from the lips. GenNext girls have virtually given the thumbs down to smokers. And men too are giving up the habit for various reasons.

Sejal Dodya, a 21-year old student, says, “I have always looked down on smokers. If people think it is a fashion statement, they are mistaken.” Devika Shah, 21, says, “I hate the smell of tobacco. And I don’t want to be a passive smoker either.” Devika is also determined to marry a non-smoker.

Young men, however, beg to differ. Hardik Varia, 23, an event manager, says, “Most of my friends who smoke, do it because they think it’s cool. Besides, accessories like Zippo lighters and leather pouches add to the style. But many are now trying to quit.”

Deep Kumar (name changed), a fourth year engineering student, says, “I come from a spiritually-inclined family. During my first two years in college, I avoided smoking as I thought it was morally wrong.” But one year back, Kumar got hooked to smoking, dope and alcohol. “My studies were affected. I was a badminton player, but my stamina was ruined and I lost tournaments. Now I have quit everything, but smoking,” he says.

Most youth begin smoking late in their teens and as they age, their excuses for smoking too undergo a change. Workaholic executives find cigarettes a stressbuster. Jitesh Mehta, 27, a corporate sales executive, however, says this is a myth. “My father was a chain smoker and I have hated smoking. There are better stress-busters like making phone calls to a friend or taking a stroll,” says Mehta. Now, with cigarettes under threat, substitutes like hookahs are more popular. Kunal Bharadwaj, 21, says, “I started smoking in class 11, but lost a lot of stamina. I have quit smoking but use hookahs.”

Source:The Times Of India

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How to Deal With the Uncontrollable

Identify the Uncontrollable:

All you have to do these days is turn on CNN to realize how out of control the world is.

First there are the big things — war, terrorism, famine, political gridlock. But then there are the smaller things that are out of your control, ranging from the weather to your job to your son or daughter. And if you’re a controlling person — someone who has to have everything just so, in its right place in just the right way — then feeling out of control is one of the most stressful things that could ever happen to you.

There are some golden rule of life hasn’t changed, and never will: Stuff happens. Much of it you can’t control. What you can control is how you react to it and how much it affects you physically, financially, or otherwise. Here are some ways to gain back a bit of control when you feel like your world is spinning off its axis:

1. Above all else, distinguish what you can’t control from what you can. Then direct your energies to influencing the latter, and accepting the former. This might sound simplistic, but you’d be amazed at how many people still think they can control traffic, or the weather, or their boss’s mood, or the stock market. Make a list of all the things in your life that you can’t control, no matter how hard you try, and post it on your refrigerator and your computer. Then accept it. Of course you can care about these things, and try to influence their outcome. But it’s essential that you untie your emotional well-being from those things you cannot alter.

2. When things feel out of control, clean a closet or drawer. It worked for therapist Rebecca Fuller Ward, author of How to Stay Married Without Going Crazy. The night her mother had a heart attack, she cleaned out her pantry. “That I could control,” she says.

3. Take up a new hobby. Mastering a new skill, whether it’s paddling a kayak or learning to knit, will return a sense of control to your life.

4. When bad things happen, sit down and write out what you might have done differently. This self-assessment is not to blame and beat up on yourself; it’s a chance to say, I may not control everything, but I do control me! What can I do with me that will make this situation work better and turn out more to my liking? So, if you get a bad evaluation at work, don’t respond to it by blaming your boss or blaming your bad luck. Instead, says Patricia Farrell, Ph.D., author of How to Be Your Own Therapist, be honest with yourself about what you could have done differently that year — come into work on time, met all your deadlines, etc. — to garner a better result. Understanding your role in the situation will help you realize that the world actually is a fairly controllable place.

5. When things feel out of control, pick one thing in your life to work on that you can make a difference in. For instance, start an exercise program, write in your journal one day a week, balance your checkbook, or take your car in for an oil change.

6. Build in contingencies. For instance, say you have an outdoor party planned for 20 people but a tropical storm hits the day of the party. Well, while you can’t control the weather, you can control where you hold it (move it inside), when you hold it (postpone it), and how it’s held (if you were planning a cookout, whip up a couple of big lasagnas).

7. Make a list. Nothing puts more control back into your hands than taking all the “to dos” swirling through your head and writing them down. Now make a plan for how you will accomplish each one. For instance, if one of the things on your list is Christmas shopping, set a date, a time, and a time limit to go shopping. If one of the things on your list is to clean the house, break it into manageable parts. So on Monday you clean the kitchen, on Tuesday the bathrooms, and so on.

8. Build up tolerance to chaos by giving yourself small out-of-control experiences. For instance, if you typically are the lead driver of the family car, have your spouse take the wheel next time you all go out together, suggests Larina Kase, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Center for Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. Ask someone to interrupt you periodically, have your partner make the weekend plans without your input, turn over the bill paying to your partner. These will help you learn to accept being out of control.

9. Practice positive self-talk. It would be great if someone else did this for you, but often you have to do it for yourself, says Dr. Farrell. Self-talk means saying things like, “I’m going to be okay,” “I’ll get through this,” or “Right now, I have to give myself a few minutes and then I can begin coming up with a plan to handle this.”

10. Take time to de-stress before addressing the maelstrom. Put your feet up, do some relaxation breathing, have a cup of tea. Calming yourself down is one area in which you do have control, notes Dr. Farrell.

11. Create a perception that you have control. There is a good deal of research showing that the perception of control is more important than actual control, says Dr. Kase. For instance, people are able to tolerate a hot room if they know they have the option of turning down the heat. Come up with some little things that you can do to make out-of-control situations more manageable.

12. Iron something. Ironing is a relatively mindless activity that still provides very visible results. The sense of control you gain as you turn a crumpled ball of fabric into a crisp garment will carry over into other areas of your life, promise!

13. Focus on what you’re doing, not the outcome. You can often control the specific task or motion, but you can’t always control the outcome. Just consider baseball slugger Mark McGwire, says Michael Crabtree, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. “He was just a .200 hitter with the Oakland A’s because he was focused on his low batting average and hitting home runs — not on just swinging the bat. When he started focusing on that, it changed his whole approach and he became a much better hitter,” Dr. Crabtree says.

From: Stealth Health

Less sleep, more fat

The link between lack of sleep and obesity could be a protein called Nocturnin, reports Roger Highfield……click & read
Poor sleep at 30 months predicts obesity at the age of seven

Scientists have found a new clue to explain the link between lack of sleep and obesity.

Over the years, evidence has grown to show the link is real. One study of 18,000 adults found that those who got fewer than four hours of sleep were 73 per cent more likely to be obese than those who got the recommended seven to nine hours.

Over the years, evidence has grown to show the link is real. One study of 18,000 adults found that those who got fewer than four hours of sleep were 73 per cent more likely to be obese than those who got the recommended seven to nine hours.

The reason for the link is still a matter of debate but recently scientists reported the discovery of a protein, called Nocturnin, which could help provide the answer.

Mice lacking the protein that works at night to regulate daily biological rhythms keep their lean physique, even when fed a high fat diet, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Joseph Besharse, and colleagues at the Medical College of Wisconsin, working with Prof. Carla Green of the University of Virginia, genetically engineered mice lacking this protein and fed them either a standard or high fat diet.

Unlike normal mice, which became obese on the high fat diet, the Nocturnin-deficient mice stayed lean without increasing their activity or reducing food intake. These mice showed normal circadian cycles but had an altered metabolism of sugar (glucose), suggesting that Nocturnin may control a metabolic pathway specifically related to fat uptake that waxes and wanes each day.

“This paper adds an important new twist to a recent body of evidence that circadian rhythms play an important role in the control of metabolism and energy balance,” said Prof. Besharse.

With the dramatic increase in obesity in western cultures, these mice could help illuminate how disruptions in circadian clocks exacerbate the problem. And, said Prof. Besharse, could eventually lead to new treatments.

A flurry of worldwide research has established an intriguing connection between poor sleep and fat stomachs. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children in the Nineties, after tracking 13,000 British children as they grew up, concluded that poor sleep at 30 months predicts obesity at the age of seven years.

Obesity and Type II diabetes are major health problems,  he said.  The emerging connection between circadian clocks, metabolic control and disease brings perspective to this important area of biomedical research. This linkage likely evolved in animals to enable them to adapt to diurnal (daily) changes in their environment such as food availability.
Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata , India)

Messengers From The Wilderness

The Weeds
Simply expressed, a weed is any plant that grows where it isn’t wanted. Weeds are defined by their tendency to flourish at the expense of a gardener’s overall vision, and we tend to battle their presence in our yards. It is interesting to consider, though, that a plant is a weed only within a certain context, which is to say that one person’s weed is another person’s wildflower. Most of us have pulled at least one dandelion up by its roots and disposed of it in the interest of preserving the look of a perfect green lawn, yet the dandelion is good medicine, packed with healing properties and vitamin-rich leaves that are a delicious, spicy surprise in a summer salad.

In the wild, there is no such thing as a weed because the overall vision is in the hands of Mother Nature, who accommodates and incorporates all forms of life. In nature, balance is achieved over the long term, without the aid, or interference, of a human supervisor. While one plant may prevail over others for a certain period of time, eventually it will reach an apex and then it will naturally decline, allowing for other forms to be born and survive. This self-regulating realm was the first garden of our ancestors, who learned the art of agriculture from studying the forests and fields of the as yet uncultivated earth. In a sense, weeds are harbingers of this wildness, pushing their way into our well-ordered plots, undermining more delicate flora, and flourishing in spite of us.

The next time you see a weed, you might want to look deeply into its roots, discover its name, its habits, and its possible uses. Instead of seeing an unwanted intruder, you might see a healer offering its leaves for a medicinal tea or its flowers for a colorful salad. At the very least, if you look long enough, you will see a messenger from the wilderness of Mother Earth, reminding you that, even in the most carefully controlled garden, she cannot be completely ruled out.
Source:Daily Om

Watermelon

Botanical Name:Citrullus lanatus
Family:
Cucurbitaceae
Genus:
Citrullus
Species:
C. lanatus
Variety:
lanatus
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Cucurbitales

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus, Family Cucurbitaceae) is both a fruit and a vegetable  and plant of a vine-like (climber and trailer) herb originally from southern Africa and one of the most common type of melon. This flowering plant produces a special type of fruit known by botanists as a pepo, which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp); pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind (green and yellow) and a juicy, sweet, usually red or yellow, but sometimes orange, interior flesh. The flesh consists of highly developed placental tissue within the fruit. The former name Citrullus vulgaris (vulgaris meaning “common”  Shosteck, 1974), is now a synonym of the accepted scientific name for watermelon, Citrullus lanatus.

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David Livingstone, an explorer of Africa, described watermelon as abundant in the Kalahari Desert, where it is believed to have originated. There, the ancestral melon grows wild and is known as the Tsamma melon (Citrullus lanatus var citroides).[citation needed] It is recognizable by its pinnatifid leaves and prolific fruit, up to 100 melons on a single vine. For this reason it is a popular source of water in the diet of the indigenous people. The flesh is similar to the rind of a watermelon and is often known as citron melon (distinct from the actual citron, of the citrus family); it is used for making pickles, and because of its high content of pectin is popular as a constituent of jams, jellies, and other gelled preserves. It has established itself in the wild in Baja California.

It is not known when the plant was first cultivated, but Zohary and Hopf note evidence of its cultivation in the Nile Valley from at least as early as the second millennium BC. Finds of the characteristically large seed are reported in Twelfth dynasty sites; numerous watermelon seeds were recovered from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

By the 10th century AD, watermelons were being cultivated in China, which is today the world’s single largest watermelon producer. By the 13th century, Moorish invaders had introduced the fruit to Europe; and, according to John Mariani’s The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, “watermelon” made its first appearance in an English dictionary in 1615.

Museums Online South Africa list watermelons as having been introduced to North American Indians in the 1500s. Early French explorers found Native Americans cultivating the fruit in the Mississippi Valley. Many sources list the watermelon as being introduced in Massachusetts as early as 1629. Southern food historian John Egerton has said he believes African slaves helped introduce the watermelon to the United States. Texas Agricultural Extension horticulturalist Jerry Parsons, Ph.D., lists African slaves and European colonists as having distributed watermelons to many areas of the world. Parsons also mentions the crop being farmed by Native Americans in Florida (by 1664) and the Colorado River area (by 1799). Other early watermelon sightings include the Midwestern states (1673), Connecticut (1747), and the Illiana region (1822).

SMALL SEEDLESS WATERMELON
Watermelon with yellow fleshUntil the 1940s, however, it was hard to find watermelons in good condition at grocery stores. Melon lovers had to grow their own, which tended not to keep for long, purchase them from local grocers supplied by truck farmers, or purchase them from roadside produce stands. Now they can be found in most any local grocery store, and if preferred in slices or whole, with seeds or without.

An American favorite for meals and snacks. People can’t seem to get enough of the sweet treat, and nutritionists have long appreciated the health benefits watermelon provides. Recently research has shed new light on its potential health benefits. Watermelon contains high concentrations of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risks of cancer and other diseases. Watermelon is fat free, nutritionally low in calories and considered an ideal diet food, and is high in energy, making it a great energy boost!

Watermelon, the fruit that is really a Vegetable. Watermelon can be traced back to Africa and is part of the cucumber and squash family. Early watermelons were mainly rind and seeds. Today’s varieties are larger, the flesh sweeter, the seeds smaller and the rind thinner. It is perhaps the most refreshing, thirst quenching fruit of all. Watermelon consists of 92% water and 8% sugar, so it is aptly named. Americans eat over 17 lbs of watermelon each year. The largest one on world record (Guinness Book of World Records) weighed 262 pounds.

Then Charles Fredric Andrus, a horticulturist at the USDA Vegetable Breeding Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, set out to produce a disease-resistant and wilt-resistant watermelon. The result was “that gray melon from Charleston.” Its oblong shape and hard rind made it easy to stack and ship. Its adaptability meant it could be grown over a wide geographical area. It produced high yields and was resistant to the most serious watermelon diseases: anthracnose and fusarium wilt. Today, farmers in approximately 44 states in the U.S. grow watermelon commercially, and almost all these varieties have some Charleston Gray in their lineage. Georgia, Florida, Texas, California and Arizona are the USA‘s largest watermelon producers.

This now-common watermelon is large enough that groceries often sell half or quarter melons. There are also some smaller, spherical varieties of watermelon, both red- and yellow-fleshed, sometimes called “icebox melons.”

For commercial plantings, one beehive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is the minimum recommendation by the US Department of Agriculture for pollination of conventional, seeded varieties. Because seedless hybrids have sterile pollen, pollinizer rows of varieties with viable pollen must also be planted. Since the supply of viable pollen is reduced and pollination is much more critical in producing the seedless variety, the recommended number of hives per acre, or pollinator density, increases to three hives per acre (1,300 m² per hive).

In Japan, farmers of the Zentsuji region found a way to grow cubic watermelons, by growing the fruits in glass boxes and letting them naturally assume the shape of the receptacle. The square shape supposedly makes the melons easier to stack and store, but the square watermelons are often more than double the price of normal ones. Pyramid shaped watermelons have also been developed.


Click for more knowledge on Watermelon Nutrition Facts. Health, Food & Diet

Varieties
There are more than 50 varieties of watermelon. Most have red flesh, but there are orange and yellow-fleshed varieties. Of the 50 varieties of watermelon throughout the United States, there are four general categories: Allsweet, Ice-Box, Seedless and Yellow Flesh.

Nutritional Facts:
Fat-free , Saturated fat-free , Very low sodium , Cholesterol-free , A good source of vitamin A, High in vitamin C

MEDICINAL USES:

Watermelon is best known as a thirst-quenching fruit that comes into season when temperature are at their hottest.  In traditional Chinese medicine it is used precisely to counter summer heat patterns characterized by excessive sweating, thirst, raised temperature, scanty urine, diarrhea, and irritability or anger. Watermelon fruit and juice soothe these symptoms, increasing urine flow and cleansing the kidneys.  The fruit’s refreshing properties extend to the digestive system, where it clears gas. Watermelon may be used in the treatment of hepatitis.  In hot weather it is helpful for those suffering from bronchitis or asthma. The cooling fruit pulp may be applied to hot and inflamed skin and to soothe sunburn.  The fruit, eaten when fully ripe or even when almost putrid, is used as a febrifuge The fruit is also diuretic, being effective in the treatment of dropsy and renal stones. The fruit contains the substance lycopine (which is also found in the skins of tomatoes). This substance has been shown to protect the body from heart attacks and, in the case of the tomato at least, is more effective when it is cooked.  The seeds can be mashed and used to expel worms.  The seed is sometimes used in the treatment of the urinary passages and has been used to treat bed wetting. It also has a hypotensive action. The dried pulp was once used as a powerful purgative.  It contains a cucurbitacin glycoside with antitumor properties. A fatty oil in the seed, as well as aqueous or alcoholic extracts, paralyze tapeworms and roundworms.  The rind of the fruit is prescribed in cases of alcoholic poisoning and diabetes.  The root is purgative and in large dose is said to be a certain emetic.

Watermelon as health food and drink.
Fresh watermelon may be eaten in a variety of ways and is also often used to flavor summer drinks and smoothies.

GOLDEN POT OF MINERALS :-
The growth of modern medicine/allopathy may well be enormous and tremendous in a short span of time but in some areas of medical aid modern medicine miserably failed and it has not achieved any remarkable success in curing many chronic ailments.Patients, alienated from traditional practices, are often over druged for the most trivial of health problems. Herbal remedies, particularly unani medicines offer effective cures, says Hakeem Hashmi, a prominent physician by rejuvenating body systems to fight disease; modern medicine directly attacks the disease and in the process weakens the system Hakeem Hashmi insists on eating available vegetable and fruit to keep a healthy life free from ailments. Hakeem Hashmi gives us valuable tips about one such fruit watermelon /Tarbooz which mineral rich with curative and nutritive qualitie Watermelon is a popular fruit of summer. It is the only fruit supposed to provide drink and food both. It is know in various names in different countries. In Arabic it is Tarbooz and also bateekh in Persian hindwana in Hindi it retains the name Tarbooz in Latin citrulis vulagris as its name suggests Tarbooz or watermelon appears to have their origin in the Middle East. From the Middle East countries and turkey watermelon spread out to the many parts of the world today even in U.S.A Europe watermelon is a popular fruit.
The fruit is growth on a creeper, which is normally grown in sandy places even in the sany banks of the rivers. The leaves of this creeper are artistically cut at the edges and quite broad in shape. Its flowers are whitish yellows. Watermelon appears dark green with many stripes. It is quite big at times more than a foot in diameter and about a kilo or more than in weight. Its pulp is a variety of colours from dark red to light yellow and even white. Its seeds are also are of various colours red to somewhat yellowish mostly black. Although they contain basically only mineral water yet that water has such mighty combination of certain necessary salts that their regular in take cures a lot of disease. It is a very tasty fruit, which produces instant coolness in the body its pulp is after removing the seeds. The water oozed out while cutting the fruit is also very good for digestive system. Its pulp is supposed to be rich in iron and magnesium and hence a very good food for those having weak liver and we all know that liver is one of the vital organs and its sluggishness or malfunctioning can cause score of other ailments. Liver if not be functioning well the whole of body becomes a mine of all sorts of weakness and a breeding ground for a number of ailments. Hence it is essential that liver must always be functioning well for keeping your liver in good condition watermelon helps in many ways.

HIGH BLOOD-PRESSURE: –
Juice extracted from seeds which contains cucurbocitrin helps in dialating the blood vessels activates the kidneys, brings down high blood-pressure and reduces oedema of the ankles juice is extracted by drying the seeds in shade powdered two spoonful of powder is put in 1 cup of boiling water for one hour strained taken 4 times relieves high blood-pressure.

JAUNDICE:
Watermelon helps in curing enlarged liver and Jaundice while the patient may be treated by any branch of medicine he or she must be asked to regularly take watermelon juice / sherbet, given earlier after mixing it in the juice of sugar lane every morning and after noon till the yellow colour of the body is removed.

HEART DISEASE: –
Sherbat made with watermelon seeds mixed with rose petal black pepper poppy seeds and almonds in watermelon or milk very nourishing and imparts strength to heart and brain.

KIDNEY PROBLEMS: –
One cup of watermelon juice kept overnight in the open & taken with sugar candy in the morning helps in cleansing the kidneys.

HEAT STROKE: –
300 to 500 grams of watermelon taken with breakfast prevent & cure heat strokes.

STOMACH & DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS:

Watermelon taken with little salt and pepper helps in removing constipation & other problems of indigestion.

HEADACHE: –

One class of watermelon juice mixed with sugar candy taken before breakfast cures chronic headaches.

NAUSEA:
One cup of watermelon juice mixed with sugar candy checks nausea and control bile. A part these, watermelon is found to be a very curative for mental disorder, phobia, hysteria, sore lips, cough, short of breath, blood in spittle, vomiting, gonorrhoea, stone in kidney or bladder, anaemia, T.B, blood impurity impotency ulcers and Leucoderma. So improve your health eating more and more watermelon.

Health benefits of watermelon……...(A).…………....(B.)…………(C)

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water-melon

http://www.hashmi.com/watermelon.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm