Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 6, Issue 20, Tuesday, May 17, 2011


FOOD that promotes happiness

Mind the carbs, but go easy on the legumes, fish and fruits. Sounds like a recipe for a weight-loss diet? Think again as new research reveals that some of the 'lesser' foods to our palate may hold the key to leading a happy, prosperous life.

Fun with folate
A recent study links depression with low levels of folate in the body. Folate, also known as folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for cell division, DNA synthesis and healthy blood cell production. To put it simply, folate aids growth and higher levels of haemoglobin in the blood.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for men and women is 400 micrograms and in the case of pregnant women the requirement is a little higher.

The sources of folate are abundant. All you need to do is choose the right meal and the problem is solved. Leafy greens like broccoli, spinach, legumes, sunflower seeds, oranges and melons are considered rich in folate. If these don't seem appetising, the solution can be as simple as switching to brown rice instead of white.

An easy alternative can be making lentils a staple in your lunch or dinner. A cup of daal can provide 90 percent of the RDA of folic acid. Additional benefits include stabilised blood sugar, and alleviated mood. So slurp the lentil soup with a smile!

Boost Your B6
Vitamin B6 is an essential requisite for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. In other words, they make chemicals that maintain our mood, among other things. It also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and increases the amount of oxygen carried to your tissues. Low levels can lead to an increase of anaemia, headaches and depression.

Food rich in B6 include bananas, chicken breast, garlic, sunflower seeds, broccoli, red capsicum, watermelon, and potatoes. Next time you shy away from the humble potato…think again!

Go fish!
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that depression was significantly reduced in patients with unipolar and bipolar disorders after taking three daily fish capsules for eight weeks. Current research also demonstrates the association between intake of omega-3 fatty acids and depression.

Fish oil contains essential fatty acid that can not only boost your mood but also maintain healthy brain function and is vital for foetal brain and eye development.

Toss a tablespoon of sunflower seeds or walnuts into a creamy cup of unsweetened low--fat yogurt for a mega mood boost!

Good carbs, bad carbs
The good -- whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies supply us with prolonged energy, fibre, and multiple nutrients that our bodies need for optimal health. Good quality carbohydrates can also trigger serotonin synthesis.

Recognised as the “happy hormone,” serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that affects our mood and sleep. The next time you feel blue, instead of reaching for that bag of chips or sugary cookies, opt for unrefined, unprocessed carbohydrates that will provide you with sustained energy and an improved mood. Toss that muffin away and enjoy a whole grain cracker with a tablespoon of natural nut butter for a delicious and uplifting snack.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

-- LS Desk


There's More To Your Phone

There was a time when size mattered but in ways you wouldn't imagine. Remember those days, far away, when men actually boasted about who had the smaller cell-phone? Usually men were all hyped about how big their pay-checks, muscles or even cars are, but with cellular phones it was a bit different. For the mobile, the boast was about how small one's gadget was. Well, times have changed and it's the right moment to get back in style. Small is so yesterday, now it's once again about the size and of course, the number of applications that one has.

The basic requirement remains unchanged but the list has some new additions like a full QWERTY keyboard, bluetooth, at least an 8 GB memory card and for some the touch-screen factor. But these additions depend on the man's personality. So the touch-screen freak may opt for a Samsung Galaxy or an I-Phone whilst the one who actually likes to feel the buttons they press may choose a Nokia E-series or the Blackberry. Whatever the choice, it's kind of a given that the size of the cell-phone will be big as opposed to being mobile. Portability is not the concern because the bigger they are, the more powerful they become. See, once again it's all down to power. Indeed, men love power.

There isn't really a point of boring ourselves over petty technical details. It all ceases to matter, really. The main factor is whether the baby can hold enough of our data, ranging from pictures, videos, applications, music to mere themes. The phones must have the capability to be heavily customised, to the point where it can become a mini version of ourselves. Sounds unreal, right? But it's actually true. Hence, when a man starts changing cell-phones it's usually seen as a sign of either turning over a new leaf, attaining a different social class, growing up or even moving up the ladder.

And, here we are being dead serious. It doesn't necessarily mean that one must purchase the latest design in the market but rather the design that suits the person best. Once again, it will be a reflection of one's personality. In fact, a lot can be learned about a man by going through his cell-phone's gallery and applications than by going through his book-shelf or evaluating the friends he keeps.

A fun loving guy will usually have tons of fun applications, a CEO will not only have an I-Phone or a Blackberry but it will be full of things like Share-Market applications, Marketing Ideas App and things of that nature while a lover-boy will be loaded with social networking widgets. And when a man gets bored of expressing himself because of the limited options present in his cell-phone, he then opts for a new one.

The question of convenience has really gone out of the window. It's about style, personality and position. The cell-phone has transcended its function of being a useful tool, becoming first a fashion statement and finally a reflection of our inner-self. Therefore, it's time you jump on the band-wagon and make sure you don't make a poor show because you were too stingy to reflect yourself using your cell-phone.

As for finding the right woman by going through her applications, we will stop you right there. Women don't actually follow the trend that we have set because a) they have very few cell phone options, b) they aren't into applications and c) the whole controversial idea of being technologically handicapped remains relevant. But just because they don't do it, doesn't mean you mustn't. Sure, the price of your phone may not matter, but the contents sure as hell do. You have been warned.

By Osama Rahman


Smooth out the wrinkles with botox

Wrinkles are a natural part of aging. As you grow older, your skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic. As a result, wrinkles, lines and creases form in your skin. These days, every person wants to retain the youthful looks for as long as possible. There are many non-surgical options available for those who want to improve their looks quickly, easily and safely without surgery and the most popular of these options is botox.

Botox is a highly purified protein and it is a non-surgical, doctor administered injectable service to reduce moderate to severe dynamic lines (Expression Lines) on the face in people of different age groups. It is a one shot service with results that last up to 4 months. Botox is injected directly into the muscles with a tiny needle. It relaxes the tiny facial muscles that cause expression lines, leaving the overlying skin smooth and unwrinkled. Thus the lines gradually smooth out from disuse, and new creases are prevented from forming.

Botox is used widely for the elimination of 'Frown Lines' between the eyebrows, 'Worry Lines' or horizontal forehead wrinkles and 'Crows feet or Smile Lines' around the eyes. It is also being used to lift the eyebrow (Brow lift) and open up the eye for a more youthful appearance (Awake Look). Good results are also seen in 'Gummy Smile' (excessive show of upper gums during smiling), peri-oral lines ("smoker's lips"), and reducing neck bands and chin dimpling or creasing.

During treatment, very low doses of botox are administered by tiny injections directly into the muscles that cause those stubborn lines. The treatment is usually done in about 10 minutes, and no recovery time is needed. Within days, you may see an improvement in the wrinkles. Lines continue to improve for up to a month, and results can last for up to 4 months or more. If you discontinue treatment, the wrinkle lines gradually will look like they did before treatment.

Botox is safe and there have been no record of permanent side effects caused by the procedure. Botox should not be used in the presence of infection at the proposed injection site.

Botox does not radically change your appearance but the muscle activity that causes lines is simply reduced, so you can use you facial expressions without the wrinkles. Its popularity lies in the fact that there are no unwanted scars, and that there is very little recovery time with the procedure.

By Dr Matiur Rahman,
Kaya Skin Clinic


A smart diet

Any project without a specific objective results in vain. Business managers know this. That's why they strive to achieve specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-framed- SMART- objectives.

Apply the same if you want to lose weight! Don't simply set a goal like “I will eat less”. This, or even selecting your diet menu, is not your objective. It's a way of achieving that only.

Have a specific and quantifiable aim. Check whether you have the necessary things you need to attain your goal (may be a gym membership). Don't be overly ambitious, setting unrealistic targets. And, perhaps the most important part: fix a deadline. You don't want to be on a diet forever!


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