Mindfulness Meditation Could Ease Chronic Pain

A new study now finds that mindfulness meditation is a promising option for easing chronic pain. The research, based on a pooled analysis of available data was published online in the journal Evidence-Based Mental Health on Thursday.

The findings indicate that mindfulness meditation can lessen the severity and impact on the daily life of chronic pain as well as the accompanying distress. The researchers say that the study is important because the most widely used psychological technique for treating chronic pain is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT.

Mindfulness is a type of meditation focusing on a moment to moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the immediate environment. The stress reduction element aims to help those affected develop ways of coping more effectively with their pain.

The study, conducted with nearly 2,000 people found that there were no important differences between either of the two techniques. Both significantly improved physical functioning and lessened pain severity and associated depression, compared with usual or no care.

However, the researchers point that only one of the 21 trials directly compared CBT with mindfulness, and only 12 trials were deemed to be of reasonable or good quality.

While the analysis produced comparable results for both techniques, the statistical margin of error was wide which basically meant that it is too early to tell which of CBT or mindfulness might be better for people with different types of pain and psychological symptoms.

However, researchers conclude, “While CBT is considered to be the preferred psychological intervention of [chronic pain], not all patients with [it] experience a clinically significant treatment response. Although a number of recommendations have been proposed to improve CBT for patients with chronic pain, an additional solution may be to offer patients mindfulness-based stress reduction since it shows promise in improving pain severity and reducing pain interference and psychological distress.”

Exercise Best Defence Against Deep Abdominal Belly Fat

Exercise can help you in the fight against internal, visceral fat that you cannot see or feel, but can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation suggests a study.

In the study, researchers analyzed two types of interventions – lifestyle modification (exercise) and pharmacological (medicine) – to learn how best to defeat fight deep abdominal belly fat. They found the reductions were more significant per pound of bodyweight loss with exercise.

“Visceral fat can affect local organs or the entire body system. Systemically it can affect your heart and liver, as well as abdominal organs,” said Ian J. Neeland, Assistant Professor at the UT Southwestern Medical Centre.

For the study, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the researchers evaluated changes in visceral fat in 3,602 participants over a six-month period measured by a CT or MRI exam.

“When studies use weight or body mass index as a metric, we don’t know if the interventions are reducing fat everywhere in the body, or just near the surface,” Neeland said.

“The location and type of fat are important. If you just measure weight or BMI, you can underestimate the benefit to your health of losing weight. Exercise can actually melt visceral fat.”

Neeland noted researchers previously thought of fat as inert storage, but over the years this view evolved and fat is now seen as an active organ.

“Some people who are obese get heart disease, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome – and others don’t.

“Our study suggests that a combination of approaches can help lower visceral fat and potentially prevent these diseases,” Neeland added.

Dear Men, Here’s Why You Should Train Harder, For Less Time

A new study, published in Experimental Physiology by researchers from the University of Glasgow, has highlighted several of the positive health effects of short duration, high-intensity resistance exercise training programme in overweight men.

According to the study, a six-week programme consisting of three 15 minute sessions per week dramatically improves insulin sensitivity, as well as muscle size and strength in men.

The authors hope that these results can be shown to apply to individuals with Type II diabetes, of whom 90 percent are overweight or obese.

According to the study, short-duration bouts of exercise to exhaustion are just as effective in improving insulin sensitivity (how sensitive the body is to the effects of the hormone, insulin) as a longer duration (45 minutes) resistance exercise sessions. Such short sessions might be more appealing and attainable in a world where time is a frequently cited barrier to physical activity.

Notably, when insulin sensitivity decreases (as in Type II diabetes), blood sugars rise, which in the short-term can lead to feelings of fatigue, but over time is related to complications including heart disease and stroke.

Previous research had suggested 45 minutes of resistance training with multiple sets of each exercise could increase insulin sensitivity, muscle size, and muscle strength, but no studies had tested the efficacy of shorter exercise resistance exercise programs.

The research team recruited ten overweight men (as distinguished by a Body Mass Index of 25-30), who trained three times a week for six weeks.

Each training session involved a single set of nine standard resistance exercises such as leg presses and bicep curls, performed at 80 per cent of their maximum single repetition lift until volitional failure (i.e. when a further repetition could not be completed).

Muscle size, muscle strength and insulin sensitivity were measured before and after the training period. Comparisons of these measurements revealed that insulin sensitivity increased by 16 per cent following the exercise regimen.

Stuart Gray, who led the research group, is already thinking of other ways to build on his team’s work.

“On top of these results, we know that the gym is not for everyone. Therefore, we also need to see if we can get people doing similar exercises at home without gym equipment, to achieve similarly beneficial effects,” he said.

Here’s a List of Foods Rich in Complete Protein Which Will Help You Lose Weight

Everyone knows that protein is extremely essential for your overall health. A protein-rich diet can help in quick weight loss, boost metabolism, increased energy levels, build and repair muscle, tissue repair and boost immunity among other vital roles. But all protein sources are not equal. Foods that contain all the essential amino acids are considered as complete and good sources of protein. On the other hand, foods that lack one or more amino acids are said to be incomplete sources of protein. Let us have a look at some complete sources of protein that can help in quick and healthy weight loss.

Some complete sources of protein:

1. Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of protein as they contain all the essential amino acids. Eggs are a good choice for complete protein, and they also contain some essential vitamins and minerals. You can have eggs in your morning breakfast or even as a snack.

2. Pulse and cereal: Though pulses and cereal are poor sources of protein. These plant-based proteins are not complete proteins when eaten alone. But when eaten together, they are called complementary proteins because each food contains the essential amino acid the other is lacking. So together, they make a complete meal rich in protein. Some other complementary proteins are legumes with grains, rice, and beans, grains with dairy; dairy with nuts; dairy with seeds and legumes.

3. Quinoa: Another plant-based source of protein that is extremely nutritious is the pseudo-cereal quinoa. Naturally gluten-free, quinoa is packed with vitamin B, magnesium, calcium, and other minerals. You can add some vegetables or even Greek yogurt to make it all the more nutritious.

4. Tofu: The soy protein tofu, which is made from soybean curds, is a high-quality source of protein. In addition, this soya protein helps in weight loss, is good for the heart and enhances athletic performance.

5. Chicken: Chicken is a go-to nutritious choice as it is an excellent source of protein. It is packed with muscle-building protein and may also help with both weight and insulin control, as well as puts you at less risk of cardiovascular disease. You can add chicken slices to your soups, salads, and sandwiches.

6. Amaranth: Amaranth grains have a robust, earthy flavor that tastes delicious with flavorful spices. The rich amino acid content of amaranth makes them a great choice for vegans. You can have this grain in your breakfast or as an evening snack.

7. Whey protein: Whey protein is considered a complete protein as it contains all the nine essential amino acids. It is low in lactose content. Best sources of whey protein are dairy milk, goat milk, Ricotta cheese, yogurt, and cheese.

Sweetcorn Haleem: Masterclass by Nishant Kumar Choubey

Chef Nishant Kumar Choubey, founder, Swad Samudra Pvt Ltd, comes with nearly two decades of kitchen experience and is known for his modern progressive take on traditional food. In this masterclass, Chef Nishant brings on the table the vegetarian version of the iconic Hyderabadi Haleem with presentation inspired by Khow Suey. A perfect example of Global cuisine, the haleem made with sweetcorn is accompanied by Burmese cucumber pickle, strawberry chutney, gongura chutney, pickled radish, lemon, and raw banana crackers.

Recipe: Drumsticks Flower Palyaa and Green Moong Dosa

  • PREP TIME: 20 Mins
  • COOKING TIME: 25 Mins

Drumstick leaves are so rich in iron and calcium that it is very healthy to have it often. It also tastes good too. It tastes and smells heavenly. Enjoy this South Indian style drumstick flower palyaa with dosa.

Ingredients

For The Dosa

  • Whole Green Gram 200 Grams
  • Raw Rice 20 Grams
  • Green Chilies 5 Grams
  • Ginger 10 Grams
  • Coriander Leaves (Chopped)10 Grams
  • Salt To Taste
  • WaterAs Required
  • Drumstick Flower200 Grams
  • Drumstick80 Grams
  • Curry Leaf10 Grams
  • Onion (Chopped)20 Grams
  • Green Chilly (Chopped)10 Grams
  • Ginger (Chopped)5 Grams
  • Fresh Grated Coconut10 Grams
  • Coconut Oil20 Milliliters
  • Hing5 Grams
  • Jeera Whole5 Grams
  • Mustard Seed5 Grams
  • Jeera Powder5 Grams
  • Red Chili Powder5 Grams
  • Coriander Powder5 Grams

 Method

1. Prepping up

Wash the drumstick flower and keep it aside. Finger sizes cut the drumstick, trim the threads, blanch it and keep it aside.

2. Sauteing veggies

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and cumin seed, when mustard cracks, add chopped ginger, curry leaves, chopped onion, chopped chilly to it. Sauté it.

3. Adding drumsticks

Add a pinch of salt and turmeric; add all the washed drumsticks flower and blanched drumsticks, season with all the spiced powder. Finish with grated coconut.

4. Making dosa

Soak green gram with rice overnight for 8hrs. The next day, drain water and grind it with ginger, coriander and green chilies to a smooth batter, add little water to make to a batter consistency.

5. Serving

Then mix in salt, add water if the batter is too thick. Heat the dosa tawa, take a ladle full of batter and spread it thin like dosa. Sprinkle olive oil on the sides and cook. dosa is ready to be served.

The Sweet Tale of Khejur Gur

Think Coriander Pongal and the first flavor that hits your taste buds is of Khejur Gur (date palm jaggery or Karupatti).

Considered an excellent substitute for white sugar, Khejur Gur is unrefined palm sugar which is extracted from the palm tree. With no added preservatives and chemicals, it is often categorized as the purest form of sweetener that is widely used in South Asia, Africa, and Brazil.

In India, Tamil Nadu is the hub for this form of jaggery that is used in making of sweets during festivals and home remedies. As a medicinal ingredient, it enjoys a great share in the Southern market of Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin, and Tirunelveli. It holds an important position in the practice of Ayurveda and it reflects in the fact that as a rich source of potassium it helps maintain electrolytic balance and plays an important role in weight loss programs.

With time and demand, the small scale industry of date palm jaggery has grown to another level in the Southern part of India. Earlier it was concentrated in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu, but now, many districts of the state have employed thousands of workers in the trade, in which palm juice is extracted from the tree, then filtered and later boiled for hours. Traditionally, the entire process takes place between January and May, reports Palm Products Development Board which also claims that the state has more than 60 million palm trees.

Food enthusiast Subhashish Mandal, who had lived in Tamil Nadu for three years, says that the unfermented palm juice is a healthy summer drink, locally called ‘Padaneer’. The best way to enjoy this drink is in mugs made out of fresh palm leaves. Health experts and nutritionists recommend daily consumption of date jaggery to those suffering from anemia. As a rich source of iron, it boosts the immunity and other nutrients like vitamin B, and calcium makes it apt for people of all age groups. From the medicinal perspective, it is suggested to consume palm jaggery with lukewarm water to cure cough and cold. For those who wish to avoid sugar, this is a highly recommended alternative that is good for diabetic people as well.

For women, it is considered an effective remedy to treat menstrual problems. According to medical science, eating palm jaggery helps release endorphins that further relax premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Another healthy version of humble jaggery that helps maintain the body temperature is ‘Panakam’. It is a simple preparation that uses date jaggery and dried ginger.

These are not-so-famous versions of Khejur Gur that requires you to travel South India to get the exact flavors, but the best part is, this unique gur is now available online and you can get it delivered anywhere in the world and explore the creative chef within you. Subhashish affirms, “I have made rice kheer with khejur gur and it tastes different and amazing.”

Yummy Juice Recipes for Good Health

Are you a juice lover? We’re not talking about those sugary, sweet, supermarket kinds, but the homemade, fresh kind. These drinks provide antioxidants, fruit, and vegetable-filled boosts and the cleansing it provides for the body. That’s why it is important to try out the juice recipes that are just right for you.

You can buy all-natural juices from specialty brands, but they aren’t easy on the wallet – just a few days’ worths can quickly add up. Luckily, juices are easy to make at home using a juicer or high-powered blender. But if you aren’t sure what ingredients make the best juices, get excited because the recommendations to follow are sure to pique your taste buds and make a healthy living that much more delicious.

Healthy Homemade Juicing Recipes

1. Anti-Inflammatory Juice –Most diseases today are due to inflammation in the body. Inflammation damages your cells and arterial walls and can cause High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Arthritis, and digestive disorders. By reducing inflammation, your body is better able to heal from any disease. This Anti-inflammatory juice recipe is the perfect blend to help support your body’s natural defences and reduce inflammation.

Recipe Ingredients 

  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1 cup Pineapple
  • 1/2 Green Apple
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 knob Ginger

2. Beet, Carrot, Apple Juice –Swap your afternoon coffee for this juice when a post-lunch slump hits you. Refreshing and made with just a handful of ingredients, this beet carrot-apple juice is the perfect perk.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 medium beets
  • 2 Apples
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 of an English cucumber
  • 2″ piece of fresh ginger.

3. Belly Buster Green Juice –Give your metabolism a jump-start with this citrus-based juice. Try it as a light breakfast or as an accompaniment to your normal eggs.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 medium apples
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 large lemon
  • including skin
  • 1 lime including skin
  • 3 small mandarins including skin
  • 1 head romaine lettuce.

4. Cellulite and Fat-Killer Juice –Did you know that staples like grapefruit, lemons, and limes, could help naturally reduce cellulite and detox the body? The main ingredient, grapefruit, is a natural weight loss and cellulite reducer. Plus, who needs orange juice when grapefruit is packed with vitamin C.

Recipe Ingredients 

  • 5 Grapefruits
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Limes
  • 1/4 Pineapple
  • A handful of Ginger (you be the judge on how much to use).

5. Cherry Mango Anti-inflammatory Juice –Three fruity, juicy ingredients make for one naturally sweet juice. This recipe, packed with antioxidants and immunity-boosting ingredients, is the perfect way to start your day.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen sweet cherries
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup of frozen mango
  • 3/4 cup water.

6. Cleansing Green Juice – It’s not always easy to get enough greens every day unless your diet is well planned. Luckily, this juice helps you fight half the battle. Packed with cucumbers, celery, and lettuce, you’ll have a few servings of ‘juicy veggies’ before breakfast is over.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 cucumbers peeled
  • 3 organic hearts of romaine lettuce
  • 2 organic gala apples cored
  • 1 organic celery heart
  • 1/2 lemon.

7. Ginger-Aid Immune Juice –So simple, yet so good. This is an immunity-boosting juice that is loaded with kale, and garlic, two of the best, natural anti-inflammatory agents. It’s zesty, power-packed and The Juice you need.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Kale 1 bunch
  • Parsley or cilantro 1/2 bunch
  • Green apple cut and seeded
  • Ginger 2-inch piece
  • Garlic 1 clove peeled
  • Lemon or lime peeled
  • Cucumber 1 whole with ends removed.

8. Ginger, Carrot, Turmeric and Grapefruit Juice –Turmeric is one of the most powerful spices around, so it’s no surprise that it makes an appearance in this zesty, wholesome juice. You won’t believe the flavour that comes out of just four ingredients.

Recipe Ingredients 

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1/2-inch piece of fresh turmeric
  • 1/2 grapefruit, peeled.

9. Golden Glow Elixir Juice – Blended with water, this golden glow elixir might not be a traditional ‘juice’, but you won’t mind it once you notice the effect it has on the body. Apples and oranges make an appearance, as do turmeric and ginger, which are digestive wonders.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 apples any variation
  • 4 small or 2 large oranges peel removed
  • 1 lemon peel or no peel depending on your preference (I left the peel on but chopped off the ends)
  • 2-3 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled (adjust according to your spiciness liking)
  • 2-inch knob of fresh turmeric, peeled
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 handful of ice (optional).

10. Green Juice for Women – Ladies, this one is especially for you. If you find your hormones out of whack or need help feeling like yourself during that time of the month, try this green juice. This juicing recipe, brimming with parsley, celery, spirulina powder, and other nutrients, is just what the body needs.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 green apples
  • cored and seeded
  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 12 kale leaves (I like to use a blend of kale, swiss card, and spinach)
  • 8 stalks celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1-inch piece ginger root
  • 2-inch piece turmeric root
  • 2 teaspoons red maca root powder, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder, optional.

11. Hot, Pink Beautifying Juice –This juice is not only stunning in colour (don’t let the pink keep you away, men), but it’s great for the body too. The beets pack an anti-inflammatory punch and detox the blood– and there’s so much pigment that you won’t believe there’s a bunch of kale in there too.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 beets
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 apple
  • 5 kale leaves
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1-inch ginger.

12. Migraine Reliever Juice – Sip on this if your head is throbbing? Magnesium is known to be a headache remedy, and this drink has heaps of it. With just half a pineapple (use canned if necessary), your choice of leafy greens, a stick of celery, lemon and ginger, you likely already have the ingredients you need.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 3-4 leaves kale or a bunch of spinach
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 inch ginger root (optional).

13. Red Spark Energy Juice –This powerful juice is the perfect way to energize in the morning. If the colour alone doesn’t do it, the refreshing flavors of grapefruit, oranges, and berries will.

Recipe Ingredients 

  • 2 pink grapefruits, peeled
  • 3 medium-size blood oranges, peeled
  • 1 navel orange, peeled
  • 1-pint strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries.

DIRECTIONS: Add all ingredients to a vegetable juicer. Gently stir the juice and consume immediately.

What is the Ideal Diet Plan?

What is an ideal diet program? This question has plagued mankind for many years now, and while nutritionists, dieticians, and fitness experts have provided some options, some have accepted them while others have debunked them. If you’ve taken time to hear out many of them, lend an ear here too:

What combination of fats, proteins, and carbs would lead to lose/gain weight and maintain good health in the process?

Some of the most famous dieticians would advocate achieving a balance of nutrients, without resorting to crash dieting. This is to avoid loss of lean muscle (which increases BMR), loss of bone mineral density (which weakens the bones), and nutrient deficiencies. But, achieving that kind of balance can be tough if the basics are not right.

Trying to find the right diet program can be a challenge, given the array of diets and programs available. Many diets advocate restriction or avoiding specific nutrient groups but several of these claims lack scientific evidence and may lead to nutritional deficiencies in the long term. An ideal and safe diet program is one that aims to preserve overall health and is flexible as well as sustainable. Current research-based data lends the strongest support to balanced diets that provide the recommended amount of nutrients without excluding any food group.

The Right Proportion of Nutrients

Weight loss is all about balancing the body’s calorie input and output. To lose 1 pound in a week, you would need to burn 3,500 calories, which means 500 calories a day. While creating a calorie deficit, it is important to keep the proportion of nutrients right. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults should get 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% from fat and 10-35% from protein.

Pump Up the Proteins

Protein is not only essential for the growth and repair of body cells, but also for muscle building. Muscle mass boosts the BMR and further aids in weight loss. The recommended dietary allowance for both men and women in the ideal body-mass-grm-index range is 0.8 gm of good-quality protein per Kg of body weight daily. Lean proteins such as non-fat milk, egg whites, chicken, fish or cooked lentils provide good-quality proteins while supplying fewer calories than higher-fat versions.

Add Up the Vitamins

A diet that meets the RDA for proteins and calories also meets the requirements for vitamins. B complex vitamins are available from whole grain cereals and lean meats, while fresh fruits and vegetables are rich sources of most other vitamins, such as vitamins C and A. Since cooking destroys most water-soluble vitamins, fruits and vegetables are best eaten raw, but after a thorough wash. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Nutrition Institute of India (NIN) suggest two to three servings of vegetables and 2 1/2 to three servings of fruit each day for adults to meet the requirements.

Maximize the Minerals

It is easy to get most minerals from your diet since they are widely distributed. Of special interest are calcium and iron, since deficiencies of these are more prevalent. Natural, rich sources of calcium are most dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. About 8 ounces of milk, yogurt or soy milk meet 30-40% of the day’s calcium needs. Fortified cereals, fruit juices, spinach, and kale are good options for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant. Including about 3 ounces of lean beef, oysters, clams, and turkey can ensure that you get 30% of the daily value for iron. Vegans could meet their target for iron by eating 1 cup of fortified cereals or 2 cups of boiled soybeans.

Plan Your Healthy Plate

For a nutritionally-balanced diet, control the portion size of the serving. Visual cues can help in controlling portions. A smart and easy way to build a healthy plate is provided by the USDA’s MyPlate. It depicts a plate and glass divided into five food groups – grains and vegetables occupy 30% each of the plate, while fruits and proteins cover 20% each. Adding a low-fat dairy such as skim milk or yogurt to the plate would complete the nutrition checklist.

Treat Asthma Using Natural Home Remedies

Asthma is a lung disease that causes difficulty in breathing, and it can be either acute or chronic. If you develop asthma symptoms for the first time you should visit a doctor. Asthma is a disease that does not have a permanent cure, although, an asthma symptom and adversity can be suppressed with treatment. However, it can flare up at any point and any day.

If you’re already being treated for asthma, you probably have medication to take at the onset of an episode. But, there are also ways to treat Asthma using natural home remedies, so you can try to reduce the severity and frequency of your attacks. These measures can help manage your symptoms when they strike.

Garlic Milk Potion:

Ingredients –

  • one-quarter cup of Milk
  • – 2 or 3 cloves Garlic

Instructions: Boil the cloves in milk and allow it to cool to room temperature and then drink it.

Ginger Drink:

Ingredients –

  • Ginger juice
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Honey

Instructions: Mix equal quantities of all ingredients and consume one tablespoon of this mixture two or three times a day.

Milk Olive Oil Potion:

Ingredients –

  • Olive oil
  • Warm Milk
  • Honey
  • Garlic cloves

Instructions: Add an equal quantity of olive oil and honey to a glass of warm milk. Drink this milk along with a few garlic cloves, before having breakfast.

Asthma Fighting Smoothie:

Ingredients –

  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup Apple juice

Instructions: Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pear Asthma Fighting Juice:

Ingredients –

  • 2 cup organic Pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup Apple juice
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ginger root, grated
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Instructions: Combine first three ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Rosemary Tea:

Ingredients –

  • Teaspoon Rosemary Tea
  • 8 ounces of water
  • Honey
  • Lemon

Instructions: Add a teaspoon of rosemary in water, boil and steep for five minutes. Add honey and lemon to taste and serve.

Mindfulness and Asthama: When suffering from an asthma attack, stay calm. Panic can worsen the symptoms. Help yourself along with this visualization trick:

Close your eyes. As you inhale, see your lungs expand and fill with white light. Feel your breathing become easier. Repeat this exercise twice more, then open your eyes.