Thursday, 30 June 2016

Clever hacks for the rainy season!

Avoid smelly feet:
You would have noticed it especially during rainy season that your feet smell a lot. This happens because of wearing closed shoes which do not let enough air to pass through your soles. Wear footwear that is loose and open. Also, keep washing your feet often and apply anti-fungal cream(daily if possible).

Keep away flies and insects:
It's almost as though monsoon invites flies and insects. Keep them away by hanging chilies and lime on the door and windows, and by growing mint and tulsi plants around the house.

Get rid of damp smell:
The moisture locked air makes indoor spaces feel very damp and humid. Get rid of the odour by either burning some camphor or leaving a wide-mouthed bowl filled with vinegar in corner of the room.

For quick dry:
Always keep a microfiber towel handy, as it can absorb water and quickly dry your hair after an unexpected rain. You can also dry your socks by rolling them in such a towel and squeezing out all the excess water.

Back up garments:
If you know you can get caught in a downpour anytime soon, pack extra pair of clothes and socks before you leave home. Chances of catching cold and other diseases increase if you roam around in drenched garments.

Keep plastic bags handy:
Plastic bags are monsoon saviours. Always keep one or two plastic bags handy, so that when rain takes you by surprise you can cover your essentials in it. Don't risk wetting your wallet and gadgets; carry a bag to prevent such a situation.

Tag your umbrella:
One of the worst thins to happen in rainy day is to misplace or loose your umbrella. Try avoiding such a scenario by tagging your umbrella with your name and contact no. Don't forget to use a waterproof ink.

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Germany vs Italy: Heavyweights collide at Euro 2016!

BORDEAUX, France (AP) — They're Europe's most successful soccer nations. They're arguably the form teams at this European Championship. They're the two countries that almost always rise to the occasion in major tournaments.
Germany vs. Italy: It's a game fit for a final.
Except one of them won't even get past the quarterfinal stage at Euro 2016.
The continental heavyweights — owners of eight World Cups and four European Championships between them — collide in Bordeaux on Saturday in a match that stands out for many reasons.
Firstly, there's the skewed history of their meetings in major tournaments. Germany and Italy have played each other eight times at the highest level and, bizarrely, the Germans haven't recorded a single victory.
"We still have a score to settle with the Italians," Germany goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke said.
Then there's the nations' current standing in soccer. Germany came into Euro 2016 as the world champion and, to many people, the tournament favorite. Italy arrived with what many back home were saying was the worst team in years.
The Germans have largely lived up to their billing, conceding no goals in four matches and hitting their stride with a 3-0 win over Slovakia in the round of 16. The Italians have silenced the critics with arguably the best two displays of any team so far, 2-0 wins over highly fancied rivals Belgium (in the group stage) and then Spain (in the round of 16).
"I'm not singing with the choir that wrote us off (after a 0-0) against Poland and is now branding us absolute favorites after the win over Slovakia," Germany coach Joachim Loew.
"They're not the Italians that we normally know," Loew added. "They're not only focused on defense but they play very, very well going forward. So ... I believe we'll have a very interesting, highly charged game on Saturday."
While Italy is battle-hardened after a tougher-than-average group stage and then a match against defending champion Spain, there's a sense that Euro 2016 really starts here for Germany.
Loew's side strolled through its group and Slovakia didn't prove to be a real test.
The Italians certainly will be.
Loew had his biggest disappointment as Germany coach when his team lost 2-1 to Italy in the Euro 2012 semifinals. He was assistant manager to Juergen Klinsmann when Italy beat Germany in extra time in the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup that Germany hosted.
Germany's barren run against the Azzurri in major tournaments started with a 0-0 draw at the 1962 World Cup.
"You don't prepare a game saying we won the one before, we'll win the next one," Italy midfielder Alessandro Florenzi said. "We went to work immediately after Spain, we watched the video and tried to find weaknesses in a team that doesn't have many.
"The facts speak for themselves, they're world champions, they've won so many matches, that's what gives them confidence."
Italy's chances of continuing its impressive streak in this fixture are being undermined by a midfield crisis. Already without Claudio Marchisio, Marco Verratti and Riccardo Montolivo because of pre-tournament injuries, Italy coach Antonio Conte is without the suspended Thiago Motta and Antonio Candreva (groin), while Daniele De Rossi (thigh) is a doubt.
As for Germany, left back Jonas Hector has had a cold this week but is expected to be OK for Saturday.
This could be Conte's last game in charge of Italy before he takes over as manager of Chelsea in the English Premier League. He has given tactical masterclasses against Belgium and Spain, and another might be needed against a Germany side that has a point to prove.
"We have no Italy-trauma," Loew said
The world is just about to find out.

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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

There are a staggering 40 million people in the U.S. who have a chronic sleep related disorder and the estimated cost to employers in lost productivity due to the same is approximately USD 18 billion. According to a recent study, 5% of India’s population battles sleep problems.
What Are Sleep Disorders/Problems?
When we fall asleep, we first enter the light stage of sleep - non -REM (rapid eye movement) stage and then enter a short period of REM sleep, then non-REM and the cycle alternates throughout our sleep time. Dreams happen during REM sleep. The light and deep sleep stages are called non-REM sleep. The brain is more active during the REM stage. Repair and restoration of tissues happen when we sleep. Sleep is necessary to ensure that muscles get enough rest, the nervous system works properly, hormones function normally and our emotions rest to keep stress at bay.
Sleep cycles could be disrupted due to various reasons which may not help you feel fresh on waking up. Not getting enough sleep takes a toll on our lives whether it is on relationships, health, work, moods,etc. It can even threaten your safety, for instance driving while being sleep deprived is worse than drunken driving. Recent studies suggest sleep disorders may lead to heart disease, diabetes and even obesity. Not getting enough sleep also makes a person irritable, impacts memory and brain function, and causes headaches and gastrointestinal problems. Sleep disorders disrupt the normal sleep cycle and you end up feeling sleepy throughout the day or even have a hard time waking up.

How Much Sleep Do You Need Everyday?
Though the amount of sleep needed varies and some people can do with much less sleep than others, the standard hours per day are as under for different categories/ages:
Infants - 15 to 17.
Teenagers 9 to 10.
Adults - 7-8.
Reasons For Sleep Problems.
Medical problems like chronic pain, heartburn, asthma, thyroid issues, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, depression and anxiety are some reasons for sleep disruptions.
Poor lifestyle choices also cause havoc like drinking coffee or eating heavy food at night and not giving enough time between eating and sleeping. 
Some medicines also cause sleep problems. They could either make you sleepy all the time or keep you awake!
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also impact sleep.
Menopause may cause hot flashes which are extremely uncomfortable and prevents one from sleeping.
People working in shifts can get a circadian rhythm disorder wherein the body clock is tuned differently.
Sleep Apnea causes breathing to stop momentarily for a few seconds and starts again , repeating this cycle over and over again. The pauses can make one switch from deep sleep to light sleep stage and disrupt sleep.
Restless Legs Syndrome, where the legs feel uncomfortable with tingling or twitchy sensations can be a sleep impediment.
Bed wetting in children also causes sleep disruptions.
Stress or grief could also wreck your sleep.
What You Can do To Sleep Well.
If you are not battling a medical condition or taking medicines which cause sleep disruptions, you can incorporate the following to help you sleep better.
Do not surf the net or play violent video games or watch T.V. just before sleeping. In fact, computers and T.Vs should be kept out of the bedroom.
Exercise in the evenings, couple of hours before bedtime, to help sleep better. 
Do not exercise close to bedtime.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine at or couple of hours before bedtime.
Take a warm bath, it relaxes muscles and induces sleep.
Do deep breathing and meditation to relax.
Avoid heavy high fat foods, they are not only difficult to digest but can also cause heartburn.
Avoid drinking too much fluids before bedtime, else you will end up getting up often to use the loo.
Get Help If Need Be.
If sleep is altering your life in more ways than one, you must consult a doctor who may refer you to a sleep lab for a study of your sleep pattern for the correct diagnosis.
The primary function of sleep is to provide rest to the body, repair and restore the energy levels. Sleep is an important function. If you are battling shuteye every night, do not sleep over the problem; consult a  physician who can help you with a good night’s sleep. 

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Narrow escape for Hrithik Roshan from Istanbul airport attack!

Popular Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan was at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, only a few hours before the terror attack, which left at least 36 people dead.
Hrithik tweeted, “Missed connecting flight at Istanbul and were stuck at airport next flight was next day, but took economy and flew out earlier. #Prayers4istanbul," 
He was vacationing in Africa along with his sons Hrehaan and Hridhaan. Clearly the star escaped this deadly terror attack by making a last minute decision of boarding economy. Expressing gratitude to the Ataturk airport staff, Hrithik has appealed to his fans to unite in the fight against terrorism.

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Rs 13,000 crore black money overseas tracked down!

Tax sleuths have tracked down undisclosed income or ‘black money’ to the tune of `13,000 crore parked overseas by Indians, scrutinizing information made available from foreign sources, a top finance ministry official told FE on Monday.
The income tax department has taken action on the holders of these accounts and raised demands, the official added.
The latest crackdown is in addition to undisclosed income of `21,000 crore stashed abroad, as revealed by the finance ministry in a press statement on May 10.
“This (the amount disclosed on May 10) was based on assessment within the country, while another `13,000 crore (black money) is found outside the country,” the official quoted above said.
The finance ministry had said in its May 10 statement that enhanced enforcement measures have resulted in unearthing of indirect tax evasion of `50,000 crore and undisclosed income of `21,000 crore. The value of goods seized on account of smuggling activities has increased to `3,963 crore or 32% in the last two years.
The latest detection of `13,000 crore was based on information provided by France in 2011 and other information available in the international forum.

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5 Foods You Should Learn To Cook In Your Twenties!

Growing up is not easy. You’re not only expected total care of yourself, do your finances, behave like an adult…you’re also expected to feed yourself. Gone are the days when all you had to do when you were hungry was to yet out to your mother. But your 20s are a good time to understand what your future is going to be like. And this is why, they are also a great time to get into the kitchen and learn to feed yourself better. Here are 5 things we think everyone should learn to cook in their 20s:
Grilled Cheese Sandwich: This will be a staple in your daily diet, once you master the recipe perfectly. A grilled cheese sandwich is like a small piece of heaven in your mouth, with gooey, melty cheese inside a crunchy, golden brown covering. Toast one side of both your bread pieces on one side before you stick in layers shredded cheddar in between them. Make sure the toasted sides are on the inside of the sandwich. Once you stick your cheese in, toast the sandwich again on the pan and voila, the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich is yours for the taking.

Roasted vegetables: As much as we all hate our veggies, they are a definite necessity to our diets. And lets be honest, they don’t really taste that bad in our 20s, do they? All you gotta do is crank up your oven to 450°F, and toss in your favourite vegetables with oil and sea salt onto a baking pan, spread over a baking sheet. You just have to make sure that all your veggies are cooked properly together, so it is important to consider which ones will take longer to cook. For example, harder vegetables like carrots and potatoes will definitely take longer than the softer ones like tomatoes and mushrooms. So cut the harder ones into smaller pieces so that everything cooks at the same pace.

Frittata: There is no easier way to cook up a great breakfast meal for a big group of people, than a frittata. All you do is sauté a bunch of your favourite vegetables and pour in whisked eggs. Cook this on the stovetop for a while before sticking it in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Simple, right?

Buttermilk Pancakes, but not from a box: You need your ingredients right for this one. Mix in 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar in bowl and mix it all in. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs, 3 cups of buttermilk and 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and fold them in gently. Just make sure you don’t overmix this; small lumps are required. Once your batter is ready, just pour them onto a pan as usual to make pancakes.

Homemade fudge brownies: Preheat an oven to 350°F for this one, and lightly grease a baking pan with cooking spray to get prepped. Mix in about 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon of salt and 2.5 cups of sugar in a bowl. In another, combine about 1/3 cup of rich cocoa and 1 cup of boiling water and whisk it till its all incorporated. Stir in about 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate to the mix till it melts in. Add about ¾ cups of vegetable oil, 4 tablespoons of melted butter, 2 large eggs and 2 large yolks, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract before folding in the dry ingredients too. Once your batter is ready, spread it out onto your prepared pan and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Monday, 27 June 2016

MTCR: What is Missile Technology Control Regime & why its membership is a big boost for India!

MTCR, or the Missile Technology Control Regime, whose membership India gained today, is a group that aims to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload at least 300 kilometres, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
MTCR’s current partners are; Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, US.
MEA sources told FE Online, "India's MTCR membership is expected to facilitate high technology tie ups with Indian industry and ease access to high tech items for space and defence programmes."
MTCR's membership will not only enable India to buy high-end missile technology but also enhance its joint ventures with Russia. This is also a boost for its aspiration to buy surveillance drones such as the Predator, made by General Atomics.
India's entry into MTCR also implies that it will find it easier to export missiles like BrahMos. India makes the “world’s fastest” supersonic cruise missile, the BrahMos, in a joint venture with Russia that both countries hope to sell to third countries, a development that would make India a significant arms exporter for the first time.
Meanwhile, India and Russia have agreed ‘in principle’ to export the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, BrahMos, to UAE, Vietnam, South Africa and Chile. Talks with countries like UAE, Chile, South Africa and Vietnam are in advanced stages, suggested an FE report last month.
MTCR's controls are applicable to certain complete rocket systems (to include ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles (SLVs), and sounding rockets) and unmanned air vehicle (UAV) systems (to include cruise missiles, drones, UAVs, and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs)). "Partners also recognize the importance of controlling the transfer of missile-related technology without disrupting legitimate trade and acknowledge the need to strengthen the objectives of the Regime through cooperation with countries outside the Regime," says the MTCR website.
This leg-up for India comes even as PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government failed to bag enough support for the country for membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).
India had applied for the MTCR membership last year and its application was under consideration as part of a “silent procedure” which ended without any objection from any country.

Amazing news for sports fans!


Emotional Messi set to retire from international football!

Lionel Messi is set to retire from international football following Argentina's loss to Chile in the Copa America Centenario final on Sunday. 
For the third successive year, Argentina came up short in a final of a major tournament, following losses in the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa deciders.
For Messi, it was his fourth loss in a tournament final - having played in their 2007 Copa defeat to Brazil - with Argentina still without a major trophy in 23 years. 
The Barcelona star admitted after the game that Sunday's final at MetLife Stadium was set to be his last in an Argentina shirt. 
"The decision is already made. That's it," Messi said.
"I have tried a lot. It's what I am feeling right now. I'm very sad this is happening again.
"I have missed my penalty. It was very important. That's it."
The 29-year-old Messi, who recently broke the nation's all-time scoring record with his 55th international goal, added: "I was thinking about it in the locker room. That this is the end for me in the national team.
"It's four finals, it's not for me. Unfortunately we tried, I tried, but that's it. 
"It's for the good of everyone. We were not satisfied with making the final and not winning it. 
"I've tried a lot to be champion with Argentina. It didn't happen, I couldn't do it."

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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence - Review!

Roland Emmerich, director of Independence Day: Resurgence, is unfairly labelled a ‘guilty pleasure’ director. His action films are generally cheesy and big and full of explosions, so we feel embarrassed by our fondness of them, and tend to relegate them into the murky waters of ‘good/bad’ viewing. Indeed, Independence Day: Resurgence is packed so full of cheese, explosions and too-convenient plot-twists it could sink a ship; yet it all adds up to a fun, old-fashioned disaster pic, made with such confidence and heart that it’s time we finally blast the guilt into the stratosphere where it belongs.

Emmerich is not rewriting his rule-book; he’s riffing on it with a bigger budget. We open with a bearded and pajama-clad (read: crazy) Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), haunted by visions and his well-trod “we won’t go quietly into the night” speech that’s become the series’ calling card (Resurgence tries to replicate its chill-inducing patriotism multiple times but falls hilariously short). The aliens are returning, believes Whitmore, but this time they’ll be bigger, deadlier, and have to contend with double the cast.
Consequently, Resurgence is bursting at the seams with characters - nearly all the supporting cast get a bum deal in terms of screentime - but the leads are just as charming as they were the first time around. Like the original, this is an all-walks-of-life affair: Jeff Goldblum returns as the Jeff Goldblum-esque scientist and Judd Hirsch his comic relief Jewish dad, Charlotte Gainsbourg is the savvy French doctor, while Brent Spiner is also back as the dotty Brakish Okun, his luscious long grey hair stealing every scene he’s in.
In classic Independence Day fashion, the picture isn’t complete without a cocky hot shot wanting to prove himself, a role performed with effortless bad boy aplomb by Liam Hemsworth. Hemsworth is Jake Morrison, renegade pilot in The Earth Space Defense Force, a special defence program full of good looking Top Gun extras skilled at dogfighting and wielding advanced alien weaponry mastered since the last attack.
However, Morrison’s status quo is shaken upon the arrival of Dylan Dubrow-Hillier (Jessie Usher), the very serious son of decorated war veteran Steven Hillier (Will Smith, unavailable). The class tensions and competition here could have been explored with a little more finesse (“he’s royalty and we’re just orphans” quips Morrison’s equally good looking friend Charlie), but instead there’s a contrived back-story about Morrison endangering Hillier’s life in a past training session, which serves to provide a platform for a predictable rekindling of friendship once the aliens start attacking proper.
But no matter, because once the devastation starts - on July 4th, of course - Resurgence makes sure that’s all you care about. Once again this is all about a giant mothership levelling cities, but this time the mothership is much, much bigger and the destruction more grandiose. Resurgence throws out disaster after disaster: there’s a tidal wave, a flood, and in the film’s most impressive effect, a gravitational pull that sees thousands of extras being lifted helplessly off the ground.
For a while Resurgence simply revels in this excess, and there’s a certain joy mined from watching overly-cocky Americans failing to stop the determined alien force time and time again. It’s all great looking stuff, too - this is a cohesive, lived-in world where alien technology is seamlessly interwoven with man-made efforts, and when the war starts proper, the spectacle is entirely believable.
The plot, in the meantime, gets gradually more implausible. Like its predecessor, this is a case of ‘swallow it or hate it’, but fortunately there are moments of humour and humanity that help the more ridiculous moments go down easy. When we learn that Earth’s fate hangs on the existence of a floating CGI orb, we also see Okun’s butt hang out the back of his hospital robes. As the Earth Space Defense Force squadron faces insurmountable odds in the guts of the mothership, Morrison punches an alien in the face for some reason. The characters in Resurgence don’t take themselves too seriously, and as a result we care about them in those big life or death, good-vs-evil moments.
As Resurgence builds towards its conclusion, it kick-starts a giddy series of events that culminates in one of the most ridiculous finales in a sci-fi movie in recent years. This is Emmerich firing on all cylinders here, a director who believes nothing is too ostentatious, too implausible, too much, as long as it’s fun. And that’s Independence Day: Resurgence’s bottom line.
THE VERDICT
A silly, cheesy, spectacle-driven blockbuster with heart, Independence Day: Resurgence is a refreshing antidote to the grim and the serious sentiment we’ve seen trending in sci-fi flicks of recent years. While its plot is messy and it’s stuffed with too many characters, I dare you not to leave the theatre with a guilt-free smile on your face.

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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Shaqiri's spectacular goal not enough for Switzerland!

SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP) — As spectacular as it was, Xherdan Shaqiri's beautiful bicycle kick goal just wasn't enough.
The Switzerland forward scored the goal of the tournament against Poland on Saturday, jumping with his back to the net before sending a left-footed volley inside the post from near the edge of the area.
The goal made it 1-1 in the 82nd minute, but Poland managed to win a 5-4 in a penalty shootout and advance to the European Championship quarterfinals.
"It was (a) beautiful (goal), but at the end we are out," said Shaqiri, a 24-year-old Stoke midfielder who was named man of the match in a losing effort. "It's a great disappointment. We could have achieved something very big. We had the chances."
Things could have been different for Shaqiri and Switzerland, which has not won a knockout match at a major competition since the 1938 World Cup.
The Swiss had several chances in the match at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, but poor finishing again let them down.
Down 1-0 at halftime, Shaqiri set the tone by creating opportunities immediately after the restart. He made Poland's defenders look slow as they scrambled to disrupt his repeated incursions into the area with his lightening quick feet.
His team rallied behind him and pinned Poland down. After Ricardo Rodriguez's free kick tested goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic sent on Breel Embolo to join Haris Seferovic up front. But Embolo shot weakly when the ball fell to him in the area, and seconds later Seferovic curled the rebound off the crossbar.
Shaqiri, however, came through with his remarkable equalizer, leveling the score and giving the Swiss a chance as they pressed to complete the turnaround.
"(Shaqiri's goal) was instinct and belief, because you have to be convinced when you throw yourself at a ball like that," Petkovic said. "And you also need a bit of luck, which, unfortunately, we lacked elsewhere."
Switzerland did have another good chance to score late in extra time, but substitute Eren Derdiyok's point-blank header was saved by Fabianski.
The misses summed up Switzerland's Euro 2016. None of the team's three goals in four matches came from forwards.
"My players gave everything and showed what they can do on the pitch, but, unfortunately, we made mistakes," Petkovic said. "We weren't clinical enough and we paid for it."

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Avoid these 10 cancer causing food items!

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said in a recent report that while there is no evidence to prove that coffee is carcinogenic, drinking very hot coffee, or any liquid above 65 degrees Celsius, can be a potential cancer risk. According to the report, very hot liquids can scald the throat, and this, over a period of time, can lead to cancer of the esophagus. 
While various studies have regularly added and remove food items from the list of potential cancer threats, there are some food that are known to be carcinogenic in nature, and hence best avoided. Here are 10 such food items:
Processed meatIn 2015, a study conducted by IARC placed processed meat in the category 1 of cancer causing substances (most carcinogenic). According to the study, consuming 50 gms of meat such as hot dogs, ham and bacon which go through the process of smoking, salting, curing or fermenting, on a daily basis, can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. Processed meat contains chemicals such as sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate, both of which are linked to increasing the risk of cancer. The Agency has also classified red meat as a probable carcinogen. Hence, it is advisable to eat only uncured meat, preferably from grass fed animals. A diet high in fruits, fibre and vegetables is also a better alternative.
Microwave popcorn: While popcorn in itself may not be that bad, the bag that the microwave popcorn comes in is lined with Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a man made chemical, which, when heated has been linked to infertility, cancer and other diseases in lab animals. In addition, the buttery flavor and aroma that is added to microwave popcorn contains an aroma enhancing chemical known as diacetly, which has also been linked to lung disease. Hence, a healthy option would be buy organic popcorn kernels and pop it the traditional way.
Refined white flour: A highly common ingredient in most breads, cakes and other processed and baked items, refined white flour has zero nutritional value, and is bleached with chlorine gas. It has a high glycemic index, which causes rapid raise in blood sugar levels and leads to increased insulin resistance. This feeds cancer the growth and spread of cancer cells. Opt for healthy alternatives such as whole wheat flour, almond flour, soy flour, etc, instead.  
Refined sugar: A definite no no, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other refined sugars are among the biggest cancer causing food. Glucose feeds every cell in the body, and cancer cells take in sugar at 10-12 times the rate of healthy cells. According to German Otto Warburg, the 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, cancer cells are known to thrive in an acidic environment and, with a pH of about 6.4, sugar is highly acidic. Excess sugar ingestion also leads to obesity, and a large number of cancer cases are triggered by excess body fat. Healthy alternates to sugar can be jaggery, honey, stevia leaves and date sugar.  
Cured and salt preserved food: While salt is essential in our diet, a salt heavy diet has been linked to increased risk of stomach cancer. Salt has been found to increase the action of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which is known to cause inflammation and gastric ulcers, that can later progress into stomach cancer. Cured food should also be avoided, as it is high on salt and is usually preserved using chemicals such as nitrates or nitrites. While they do not cause cancer on their own, under certain conditions, they may change into by-products called N-nitroso compounds, such as nitrosamines and nitrosamides, which associated with an increased risk of cancer. It would be best to avoid buying packaged food, and have freshly cooked food, with less salt, instead. You can also reduce the amount of salt you add in your food, and use lemon and fresh herbs such as cardamom, cinnamon, basil and cayenne pepper, to add flavour to your food. 
Hydrogenated oils: Among the most dangerous of food items is Hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen to oil to make it thicker, and to increase the shelf life. In India, Vanaspati ghee, a type of shortening made from hydrogenated vegetable oils, is sometimes used as a cheaper alternative to ghee and butter. Hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fats, are also sometimes used in cookies, biscuits and other processed food items. The consumption of trans fats has been linked to breast cancer.
Farmed fish: Farm raised salmon has been found to contain Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PUB), which are cancer causing chemicals. In addition, most of the farm grown fish are treated with pesticides and antibiotics, which are potentially carcinogenic.
Soda drinks: Filled with sugar and calories, and having zero nutritional value, soft drinks, and even their diet versions, are extremely detrimental to health. According to studies, drinking two soft drinks a week can increase the amount of insulin that the pancreas produces, hence doubling the risk of pancreatic cancer. In addition, the caramel colour in soft drinks is from an organic chemical compound called 4-methylimidazole, which has been found to increase the risk of developing cancer. Genetically Modified Food: The question of whether Genetically Modified Food, which is made from plant and animal sources which have had their DNA changed, causes cancer or not, has been up for debate since long, but a French study found that rats that were fed with genetically modified corn developed mammary tumours and had severe liver and kidney damage. Which makes it best to avoid eating them and using naturally grown, preferably organic produce, as much as possible.  
French fries: The crispiness that makes French fries and potato chips so delectable, may be due to a chemical known as acrylamide, which is carcinogenic. This same chemical is also found in cigarette smoke. Acrylamide is formed when the starchy food is cooked at a high temperature, causing a chemical reaction between certain sugars and an amino acid (asparagine) in the food. The alternative would be to avoid crispy French fries, and opt for healthier snacks such as nuts and fruits, instead. And if you must have potato chips, opt for the baked ones instead.

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Friday, 24 June 2016

Herbal Teas and their Health Benefits!

For many the first thought when they wake up is “Tea first…everything else comes next”. For tea/coffee lovers the day doesn’t start without a hot cup of their favorite beverage. In fact, most feel fully awake only after taking a sip of their favorite tea. From shooing away the early morning drowsiness to coping up with hectic work days, a cup of tea just makes everything better. Some of us are more adventurous and would love to try different varieties of tea and choose a perfect blend that suits our taste.
With monsoon setting in across the country, why not try different herbal teas and experience their unique flavor and health benefits. The rainy season brings along a higher craving for tea and there’s nothing better than satiating that craving with a healthy cup.
Green tea with lemon and honey
Green tea, one of the most consumed beverages across the world has gained immense popularity in India too. It is a rich source of antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Research says It aids in weight loss, lowering of cholesterol, blood pressure, tooth decay and improves heart health. Moreover, it is also known to reduce the risk of cancer.
Green tea with lemon and honey is a classic blend that allows you to enjoy the benefits of green tea with the goodness of lemon and honey. It helps the body fight against cold and flu. The citrus juice in lemon makes it easier for the body to absorb the antioxidants from green tea and also curbs the iron inhibition properties of tea. 
Chamomile Tea 
Chamomile tea is a popular herbal tea made from chamomile flowers. This delicious tea has a fruity flavor and is golden yellow in color. It is often used for mental relaxation and stress relief. It soothes the stomach and is effective for stomach/intestinal cramps, gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and indigestion. Chamomile tea is also beneficial for people with migraines, PMS and menstrual cramps. If you are finding it hard to go to sleep, just relax with a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile tea fights insomnia, relaxes your body and mind, and will help you fall asleep naturally.
Ginger Tea
Our list of herbal teas will be incomplete without our good old ginger tea aka the adrak ki chai. Ginger tea is one of those time-tested home remedies used by our grandmothers and mothers to fight cold, indigestion and pain. Ginger tea both helps in stimulating and soothing the digestive system. It also helps in pain relief for people suffering from migraines and arthritis. You can also add cardamom, aniseeds, mint, tulsi along with ginger to make the tea extra healthy.
Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea made by using dried hibiscus flowers offer a range of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and boosting the immune system. Hibiscus is a powerhouse of antioxidants and protects our body from infections and slows down aging. It promotes heart health and is also helpful with treating digestive issues, inflammatory problems, and liver diseases. 
Lavender Tea
Just the name lavender reminds us of colorful lavender fields with fresh flowers in purple, pink, and white colours and their wonderful aroma. Lavender is used in aromatherapy for centuries and is well known for its medicinal properties. A cup of lavender tea can calm your mind and body and help you relax and even to get some sleep. Lavender tea is also used to treat colic, bowel infections, and respiratory issues. It is also used to bring body temperature down during fever. 
Peppermint Tea
Peppermint, a hybrid of water-mint and spearmint is a fragrant herb. The soothing peppermint tea helps to reduce flatulence and improve digestion. It is also effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome and gallstones. The fresh mint flavour of this herb refreshes you and eases the feeling of nausea and vomiting. It is also helpful in reducing muscle aches, respiratory issues and stress.
Raspberry Leaf
The leaf of raspberry plant has amazing health benefits, especially for women. Raspberry leaf tea has been used since ages to treat sores, gingivitis, cramps, anemia and diarrhea. During pre-pregnancy phase, raspberry leaf tea helps to strengthen the uterine wall and relax the smooth muscles of uterus thus increasing the chances of implantation. In pregnant women, it can help to ease morning sickness and its uterine relaxant properties helps in easy labor.
So, this monsoon season try any of these healthy teas to feel fresh and energetic throughout the day or to relax in the night.