Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nuts and seeds


Nuts are high in fibre, rich in a wide range of vitamins and minerals and a good source of protein.

Nuts can be a good alternative to snacks high in saturated fat. They are a good source of monounsaturated fat, which can help reduce the amount of cholesterol in our blood. They also contain other unsaturated fats called 'essential fatty acids', which the body needs for good health.

However, nuts are also high in fat, so it's a good idea not to eat too many of them. And try to avoid salted nuts because they are very high in salt.

Nuts and seeds

There are many different types of seeds such as:
  • sunflower
  • pumpkin
  • sesame
  • poppy
  • flax
Seeds contain protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals. They also add extra texture and flavour to various dishes and can be used to coat breads.

They make a healthy snack and you could try adding them to salads, casseroles and breakfast cereals.

You can eat them raw, or try dry frying or dry roasting them in a frying pan or in a roasting tin without any oil.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How much sleep do you need each night?

  • Birth–2 months need 10.5–18 hours
  • 2–12 months need 14–15 hours
  • 12–18 months need 13–15 hours
  • 18 months–3 years need 12–14 hours
  • 3–5 years old need 11–13 hours
  • 5–12 years old need 9–11 hours
Adolescents need at least 8.5–9.5 hours

Adults typically need 7–9 hours

Sleep Hygiene

The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. Here are some simple sleep hygiene tips:
  • Go to bed at the same time each night, and rise at the same time each morning.
  • Sleep in a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Make your bed comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music.
  • Remove all TVs, computers, and other "gadgets" from the bedroom.
  • Avoid physical activity within a few hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime.
Sleep Disorders

Sleep-related difficulties – typically called sleep disorders – affect many people. Major sleep disorders include:
  • Insomnia – an inability to fall or stay asleep that can result in functional impairment throughout the day.
  • Narcolepsy – excessive daytime sleepiness combined with sudden muscle weakness; episodes of narcolepsy are sometimes called "sleep attacks" and may occur in unusual circumstances.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – an unpleasant "creeping" sensation associated with aches and pains throughout the legs that can make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Sleep Apnea – interrupted sleep caused by periodic gasping or "snorting" noises or momentarily suspension of breathing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tips to help you eat whole grains

At Meals:
  • To eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product – such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice. It’s important to substitute the whole-grain product for the refined one, rather than adding the whole-grain product.
  • For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.
  • Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soup or stews and bulgur wheat in casserole or stir-fries.
  • Create a whole grain pilaf with a mixture of barley, wild rice, brown rice, broth and spices. For a special touch, stir in toasted nuts or chopped dried fruit.
  • Experiment by substituting whole wheat or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin or other flour-based recipes. They may need a bit more leavening.
  • Use whole-grain bread or cracker crumbs in meatloaf.
  • Try rolled oats or a crushed, unsweetened whole grain cereal as breading for baked chicken, fish, veal cutlets, or eggplant parmesan.
  • Try an unsweetened, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal as croutons in salad or in place of crackers with soup.
  • Freeze leftover cooked brown rice, bulgur, or barley. Heat and serve it later as a quick side dish.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What is diabetes?

Diabetes means that your blood glucose (sugar) is too high. Your blood always has some glucose in it because the body uses glucose for energy; it's the fuel that keeps you going. But too much glucose in the blood is not good for your health.

Your body changes most of the food you eat into glucose. Your blood takes the glucose to the cells throughout your body. The glucose needs insulin to get into the body's cells. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ near the stomach. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin helps the glucose from food get into body cells. If your body does not make enough insulin or the insulin does not work right, the glucose can't get into the cells, so it stays in the blood. This makes your blood glucose level high, causing you to have diabetes.

If not controlled, diabetes can lead to blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations (having a toe or foot removed, for example), and nerve damage. In women, diabetes can cause problems during pregnancy and make it more likely that your baby will be born with birth defects.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Proteins (PROH-teens) are important substances found in every cell in your body. There are many types of proteins. Some help your cells get energy from the food you eat. Other proteins build up or repair your body. Proteins also help make your bones strong and help your muscles flex. There's even a protein inside your red blood cells that carries oxygen to every part of your body.

You can think of each protein as being like a long necklace with differently shaped beads. Each "bead" is called an amino acid (uh-MEE-noh ASS-ihd). Inside your cells, amino acids are strung together to form proteins.

Your body can make some amino acids but not others. When you eat meat and other animal products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt), you get all the amino acids your body needs. That includes both the amino acids your body can make and those it can't make. For this reason, protein from animals is called complete protein.

When you eat foods from plants (such as beans or nuts), you're getting incomplete protein. It's incomplete because you're not getting all the amino acids your body needs. But one type of plant food will have amino acids that another type of plant food is missing. So to get complete protein from plants, you need to eat a variety of plant foods. For instance, if you eat both beans and brown rice, you can get complete protein. Or you can get complete protein by eating peanut butter on whole-wheat bread.

Good sources of protein

Fish and shellfish, Poultry, Red meat (beef, pork, lamb), Eggs, Nuts, Peanut butter, Nut butters, Seeds, Beans, Peas, Lentils, Soy products (tofu, tempeh, vegetarian burgers), Milk, Milk products (cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fungal Infections

Fungal Infections
It is also called: as Mycoses. If you have ever had athlete's foot or a yeast infection, you can blame a fungus. A fungus is actually a primitive vegetable. Mushrooms, mold and mildew are examples. Fungi live in air, in soil, on plants and in water. Some live in the human body. Only about half of all types of fungi are harmful.

Some fungi reproduce through tiny spores in the air. You can inhale the spores or they can land on you. As a result, fungal infections often start in the lungs or on the skin. You are more likely to get a fungal infection if you have a weakened immune system or take antibiotics.

Fungi can be difficult to kill. For skin and nail infections, you can apply medicine directly to the infected area. Oral antifungal medicines are also available for serious infections.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Nanoshells have a core of silica and a metallic outer layer. These nanoshells can be injected safely, as demonstrated in animal models.

Because of their size, nanoshells will preferentially concentrate in cancer lesion sites. This physical selectivity occurs through a phenomenon called enhanced permeation retention (EPR).

Scientists can further decorate the nanoshells to carry molecular conjugates to the antigens that are expressed on the cancer cells themselves or in the tumor microenvironment. This second degree of specificity preferentially links the nanoshells to the tumor and not to neighboring healthy cells.

As shown in this example, scientists can then externally supply energy to these cells. The specific properties associated with nanoshells allow for the absorption of this directed energy, creating an intense heat that selectively kills the tumor cells. The external energy can be mechanical, radio frequency, optical - the therapeutic action is the same.

Monday, February 1, 2010

How do calcium and physical activity make bones stronger?

To make bones strong and to keep them strong, the body needs calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity.
  • Calcium helps bones to grow right. When the body makes new bone tissue, it first lays down a framework of a protein called collagen. Then, calcium from the blood spreads throughout the collagen framework. The hard crystals of calcium attach to the bone structure. Calcium and collagen work together to make bones both strong and flexible.Calcium is also needed for many other activities within the body such as neural communication (the way your nerves and brain send signals to each other) and heart and lung functions. If the body doesn't get enough calcium from foods and drinks, it takes it from bones, which can make them weaker.
  • Vitamin D helps the body use calcium. Your bones can’t do their job without vitamin D. Lots of foods have calcium, but vitamin D can be harder to find. You can get what you need for the day by drinking two glasses of fortified milk, and some cereals and yogurts are fortified with vitamin D as well.
  • Physical activity helps bones become stronger and thicker, just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it. Bones are living tissue. Bone-strengthening activity causes new bone tissue to form, making bones even stronger. It also makes muscles stronger, and muscles push and tug against bones to make them even stronger. Physical activity also makes you better coordinated, which can make you less likely to fall and break a bone.