Healthy Tips

Two Foods You Should Never, Ever Eat After Exercise

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Did you know that what you eat directly after exercising – typically within two hours – can have a significant impact on the health benefits you reap from your exercise?


Consuming sugar within this post-exercise window, will negatively affect both your insulin sensitivity and your human growth hormone (HGH) production.

A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that eating a low-carbohydrate meal after aerobic exercise enhances your insulin sensitivity. This is highly beneficial, since impaired insulin sensitivity, or insulin resistance, is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes and a significant risk factor for other chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

In addition, as HGH Magazine explains, consuming fructose, including that from fruit juices, within this two-hour window will decimate your natural HGH production:

“A high sugar meal after working out, or even a recovery drink (containing high sugar) after working out, will stop the benefits of exercise induced HGH. You can work out for hours, then eat a high sugar candy bar or have a high sugar energy drink, and this will shut down the synergistic benefits of HGH.

… If you miss reaching HGH release during working out, you will still receive the calorie burning benefit from the workout. However, you’ll miss the HGH “synergy bonus” of enhanced fat burning for two hours after working out.

This is an extremely important fact to remember if you want to cut body fat and shed a few pounds.

The University of Virginia research team demonstrated that carbohydrates are burned during exercise in direct proportion to the intensity of training. Fat burning is also correlated with intensity. However, the actual fat burning takes place after the workout, during the recovery.

This makes the “Synergy Window,” the 2 hour period after a workout, very important in maximizing HGH, once it’s released during exercise.

… If you are middle-age and want all the benefits from exercise induced HGH, then apply this strategy.”

Fitness expert Phil Campbell, author of Ready, Set, Go! further explains how you can maximize your HGH production by limiting sugar intake for two hours post exercise, in this article on

Exercising one hour a week and getting the same results as traditional strength training might sound impossible. However, University of Florida orthopedics researchers have developed a system that may do just that, and as you will read in my comment below, the kind of exercise you perform can dramatically reduce the time you spend in the gym while still getting better results than you did before.

The system created by University of Florida researchers uses eccentric (negative) resistance training, which capitalizes on the fact that the human body can support and lower weights that are too heavy to lift.

According to UF Health Science Center:

“Through a system of motors, pulleys, cams and sensors it adds weight when a person is performing a lowering motion, and removes that weight when the person is lifting. As a result, the body starts seeing loads, resistance, and forces that it doesn’t normally see”.

Other scientists have found additional clues that explain how exercise reshapes and strengthens more than just your muscles.

It changes your brain too.

In the late 1990s, researchers proved that human and animal brains produce new brain cells, and that exercise increases the process. But precisely how exercise affects the intricate workings of your brain at a cellular level remained a mystery.

However, a number of new studies have begun to identify the specific mechanisms, and have raised new questions about just how exercise reshapes your brain.

In some studies, scientists have been manipulating the levels of bone-morphogenetic protein (BMP) in the brains of mice. The more active BMP becomes, the more inactive your brain stem cells become and the fewer new brain cells you produce. Exercise reverses some of the effects of BMP.

According to the New York Times:

“BMP signaling was found to be playing a surprising, protective role for the brain’s stem cells … Without BMP signals to inhibit them, the stem cells began dividing rapidly, producing hordes of new neurons.”


UF Health Science Center February 23, 2010

New York Times July 7, 2010

PloS One October 20, 2009; 4(10):e7506

Cell Stem Cell July 2, 2010; 7(1):78-89

Journal of Applied Physiology December 31, 2009

HGH Magazine

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Herbs & Plants

Colocasia (Bengali Kochu)

Botanical Name:Colocasia antiquorum
Kingdom: Planta
Division: Magnoliophy
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Common Names
: Polynesian Names: Kalo, Poi, Callaloo, Cocoyam, Dasheen, Eddo, Eddoe, Eddy Root, Tara, Tarro, Tarrow, Dalo, Kochu(in Bengali), English Names:Taro,Swamp Taro ,Elephant’s Ear
Habitat:India, Pakisthan, Bangladesh,Srilanka, Burma Philipines. Hawaii, Taro was probably first native to the lowland wetlands of Malaysia (taloes). Estimates are that taro was in cultivation in wet tropical India before 5000 B.C., presumably coming from Malaysia, and from India further transported westward to ancient Egypt, where it was described by Greek and Roman historians as an important crop.

Description:Colocasia is a genus of six to eight species of flowering plants .They are herbaceous perennial plants with a large rhizome on or just below the ground surface. The leaves are large to very large, 20-150 cm long, with a sagittate shape. The elephant’s-ear plant gets its name from the leaves, which are shaped like a large ear or shield.

Click to see the pictures.>……(01)...(1)……...(2)...  (3)…...(4)……...(5).……....(6)……..

It is a herb with clusters of long heart- or arrowhead-shaped leaves that point earthward. Taro leaves grow on erect stems that may be green, red (lehua), black or variegated.
The new leaves and stems push out of the innermost stalk, unrolling as they emerge. The stems are usually several feet high. Taro bears a short underground stem called a corm, where the plant stores starch produced by the leaves. In the eight to sixteen months of its development, the corm can grow as large as six inches in diameter. People raise taro to obtain this valuable starchy root. When the plant reaches maturity, it will produce a flower stalk in some leaf axils. Near the apex of the flower stalk appears the yellow-white, tubular spathe, or modified leaf, which covers and protects the flower cluster within. Inside grows an erect spike called the spadix. The spadix bears two kinds of flowers: the male and the female flowers. The male flowers lie toward the upper part of the spadix, and the female flowers lie toward the lower part. Tiny new plants appear around the base of the root corm.

Click to see different pictures of Colocasia esculenta , Taro ,Kalo

Species of Colocasia:

* Colocasia affinis (syn. C. marshallii)
* Colocasia bicolor
* Colocasia coryli
* Colocasia esculenta (syn. C. antiquorum) – Taro or Elephant-ear
* Colocasia fontanesii
* Colocasia gigantea – Giant Taro
* Colocasia lihengiae
* Colocasia macrorrhiza
* Colocasia menglaensis

Colocasia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Palpifer murinus and Palpifer sexnotatus.

Cultivation and uses:

Colocasia esculenta and other members of the genus are cultivated for their edible tubers, a traditional starch staple in many tropical areas. The edible types are grown in the South Pacific and eaten like potatoes and known as taro, eddo, and dasheen. This famous root vegetable is known as “Arbi/Arvi” in the Indian subcontinent where its leaves are also cherished. A favorite Hawaiian dish is made by boiling the starchy underground stem of the plant” (World Book Encyclopedia).

In Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka state (India), they are used to make Patrode – a popular delicacy; in Kerala state (India) they are used to make chembila curry – a tasty delicacy. The stem & root are also used in the preparation of delicacies ( ishtu moru curry etc.). In Andhrapradesh state of India, several delicacies are made either with root or leaves of Chaama. In Gujarat, they are used to make a popular dish called Patra. They are grown outside year-round in subtropical and tropical areas. In temperate regions, they are grown as ornamental plants, planted out for the summer and dug up and stored over winter; they can be grown in almost any temperature zone as long as the summer is warm. The plant can be grown in the ground or in large containers.

The root tuber is typically planted close to the surface. The first signs of growth will appear in 1 to 3 weeks. The adult plant will need a minimum of at least 1m of space for good growth. They do best in compost-rich soil and in shade, but will grow reasonably well in average soil provided it is moisture-retentive. The plants should not be left to go dry for too long; if this does happen, the leaves will wilt; watering will allow the plant to recover if done before they get too dry. Periodic fertilisation (every 3 to 4 weeks) with a common plant fertiliser will increase yields.

Its primary use, however, is the consumption of its edible corm and leaves. In its raw form the plant is toxic due to the presence of calcium oxalate, although the toxin is destroyed by cooking and the presence of needle-shaped raphides in the plant cells. However it can be rendered palatable by cooking, or by steeping in cold water overnight.

Corms of the small round variety are peeled and boiled, sold either frozen, bagged in its own liquids, or canned. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals.

It is also sold an ornamental aquatic plant.

Growth is best at temperatures between 20°C to 30°C. The plants can be damaged if temperatures fall below 10°C for more than a few days. When cultivated in climates with colder winters, the tuber must be dug up and stored during the colder, winter months in a cool, dry place protected from frost and with good ventilation to reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Replanting in spring is done when the chance of frost has passed.

Leaves and tuber of this plant are used as food items in the Indian subcontinent. The plant is known as Arabi or Ghuiya in local language as well as Patra.

Medicinal Uses:
The following are a few of the medicinal uses of poi and the Kalo plant. Poi is used to settle the stomach.
Mixed with ripe Noni fruit, it can be applied for boils. Poi can be mixed with pia (arrowroot starch) and taken for diarrhea. Some infections respond to the use of Taro leaves mashed with Hawai’i salt. This poultice can be applied to an injury, covered and wrapped with a large Taro leaf.
Undiluted poi is sometimes used as a poultice on infected sores. A piece of Taro stem, haha, can be touched to the skin to stop surface bleeding. For a sting from an insect, the stem leaf (petiole) can be cut and rubbed on the afflicted area, preventing swelling and pain.
(Whistler,W.A. 1992. Polynesian Herbal Medicine.)
The raw juice of Taro could be mixed with other juices to reduce fever. Also as a cure for thrush (‘ea), the Hawaiians grated the corm and mixed it with the ash of burnt coconut (niu) meat.
(Lucas, L. 1982. Plants of Old Hawaii.)
The following preparation was regularly used as a laxative: the scraped inside of a peeled Taro is mixed with the juice of white sugar cane, the meat of one fully matured coconut and two ripe Morinda citrifolia (noni) fruits. The mixture is then strained with the fiber of the Cyperus laevigata. The dose is taken five times in succession.
(Kaaiakamanu,D.M. and Akina,J.K. 1922. Hawaiian Herbs of Medicinal Value.)
In Fiji a decoction of the leaves with the scraped root of yasi yasi (Syzygium effusum) is drunk to treat stomach disorders. A decoction of the shredded leaves is drunk to promote menstruation while a decoction of the leaves and those of wabula (Merremia peltata) is used for the treatment of cysts, while the sap of the leaf stalk is used to treat conjunctivitis. The scraped steams of dalo and those of mulomulo (Thespesia populnea), kavika (Syzygium malaccense) and titi (unidentified) are added to a little water to provide a drink to encourage young children to eat when there is a loss of appetite.

Before Taro can be eaten, all parts of the plant must be cooked, in order to break down the needle-like calcium oxalate crystals present in the leaves, stem and corm. These crystals could be extremely irritating to the throat and mouth lining, causing burning and stinging sensation.
Scientific Research:
The young leaves of Taro are rich in vitamin C and the roots are rich in a starch composed of amylase (28%) and amylopectin (72%). Taro contains thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin, oxalic acid, calcium oxalate and a sapotoxin.
The tubers contain aminoacids and high molecular weight proteins which inhibit human salivary (and the porcine) pancreatic amylases. The corms contain the anthocyanins pelargonidin 3-glucoside, cyaniding 3-rhamnoside, and cyaniding 3-glucoside. Hydroxycinnamoyl amides have been obtained from the inflorescences and two new dihydroxysterols have been isolated from the tubers.

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.


Featured News on Health & Science

Don’t Be Happy, Children

Recent research by psychologists contradicts the age-old belief that happy children are better performers than sad ones:

If you thought keeping children happy would help them score better in their exams, think again. Unlike what conventional wisdom suggests, happy children may not always make the best learners, say psychologists.

Happy children are at a disadvantage while performing a task that requires attention to detail, according to a team of researchers from the US and the UK.

“The good feeling that accompanies happiness comes at a hidden cost. It leads to a particular style of thinking that is suited for some situations, not all,” says Vikram Jaswal of the University of Virginia in the US.

“Previous research had shown that a happy mood can lead adults to overlook details, but ours is the first to demonstrate that it can have this effect in children too,” Jaswal told KnowHow.

Jaswal, along with lead researcher Simone Schnall of the University of Plymouth in the UK, conducted a series of experiments with children of different age groups. A state of happiness or sadness was induced in them with the help of music by Mozart and Mahler and selected video clips from The Jungle Book and The Lion King. The groups were subsequently asked to undertake a task that required attention to detail. For instance, they were first asked to observe a detailed image of a house and a simple shape such as a triangle and then given the task of locating triangular shaped things in the bigger picture.

Inducing happiness impaired the children’s performance where attention to detail was required. The 10- to 11-year-old children, induced into a state of happiness through Mozart’s music, found fewer embedded figures than those induced into a sad mood. Similarly, 6- and 7-year-old kids who watched a three-minute video clip of a happy scene from The Jungle Book where Baloo sings “The Bare Necessities” could spot fewer embedded figures than those who watched a neutral scene from The Last Unicorn where a knight arrives at a castle, or a sad scene from The Lion King where Samba mourns the death of his father.

“We found that those children who were induced into a sad or neutral mood performed the task better than those induced into a happy state of mind,” says Jaswal.

The scientists reason that this is because these opposite emotional states invoke contrasting information processing styles. While happiness indicates that all’s well and hence triggers a top-down style of information processing, sadness denotes that something is amiss, triggering a detail-oriented analytical processing.


Schnall explains further. Human emotions have a signal function when it comes to the surrounding environment. “Feeling good tells us that everything is fine, and therefore we don’t need to pay attention to the specifics, or worry about details,” she says. “On the other hand, feeling sad tells us that we might be in a problematic situation and, therefore, we need to be careful and pay attention to details.”

Although most of the time our emotions are useful in the sense that they tell us how to deal with tasks, one could imagine that strongly positive moods might make it harder to focus in academic exercises. In such situations, it would be better to be in a relatively neutral mood, Schnall observes.

It is not that being in a happy state of mind is not good for studies. It has beneficial effects, particularly when the tasks require creative or flexible thinking. For example, some earlier studies have shown that children who listened to a happy story later engaged in more flexible thinking than those who listened to a sad or a neutral one.

One important finding from the study is that children in a neutral mood do just as well as those in a sad mood. “But our study does show that artificially inflating a child’s mood may make it harder for him or her to pay attention to details, which could be important in many school subjects,” says Jaswal.

He thinks that the research has a practical implication — parents and teachers need to keep in mind that a child’s mood will influence not just how he or she feels but also the way in which he or she processes information.

So can these emotions play a role in the academic performance of children? The researchers think so. In general any subject that requires a focus on details, or individual components, will benefit from a negative or a neutral mood. “Indeed, in one of our studies we found that it is not necessary to feel sad, but being in a neutral mood leads to as good a performance as being in a sad mood,” Schnall says. In contrast, any subject that requires a creative outlook, the integration of various different things and, most importantly, considering a ‘broader picture’, would benefit more from a positive mood.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Therapetic treatment

The Healing Power of Magnets

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Magnets have been used for their healing properties since ancient times, and now a new study has found that they can reduce swelling when applied immediately after an inflammatory injury.

click & see

In their initial study, researchers from the University of Virginia set out to investigate the effect of magnetic therapy on microcirculation, which is blood flow through tiny blood vessels.

They placed magnets of 70 milliTesla (mT) field strength, which is about 10 times the strength of the common refrigerator magnet, near rats’ blood vessels and found that they dilated constricted blood vessels, and constricted vessels that were dilated. The results suggested that the magnetic filed could relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.

In the more recent study, the researchers used magnets on rats’ paws that had been treated with inflammatory agents to simulate tissue injury. The magnets significantly reduced swelling in the rats’ paws by up to 50 percent when applied immediately after the injury.

Dilation of blood vessels is a major cause of swelling, and it’s thought that the magnets worked by limiting blood flow.

Muscle bruising and joint sprains are the most common injuries worldwide, and since injuries that don’t swell heal faster, the magnet therapy could have widespread applications.

The researchers envisioned using magnets in place of ice packs and compression to treat injuries in high school, college, and professional sports teams, as well as among retirement communities.

Click to learn  more about magnet healing………..(1)..……(2).…….(3)
Science Daily January 3, 2008
American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology November 2, 2007