Eating Disorder in Women: Why the Husband’s Good Looks Could be a Problem

Eating Disorder in Women: Why the Husband's Good Looks Could be a Problem

Eating disorders are not uncommon in the modern world today. They could stem from a lot of issues without us even realising it. According to a new study done by Florida State University, eating disorder in women could result from dissatisfaction with life or inferiority complex, where they think that their husbands are more attractive than them.

The research showed that wives who crash-diet to slim down are often driven to do so because they felt that their husbands are better looking than them. The finding indicated that women’s risk of developing more extreme weight loss behaviours is linked to other forms of psychological distress – depression, anxiety, substance abuse and dissatisfaction with life.They also found that men were rarely motivated to do the same, regardless of how attractive they considered their wives to be.

 

Lead author Tania Reynolds said that if they understand how women’s relationships affect their decision to diet and the social predictors for developing unhealthy eating behaviours, then they will be better able to help them.”One way to help these women is for partners to be very reaffirming, reminding them that they are beautiful and loved at any weight or body type,” Reynolds added.

 

The researchers explained that understanding the predictors that increase a woman’s risk of developing eating disorders and other health problems could lead to earlier assistance.

 

The team examined 113 newlywed couples – married less than four months with average age of late 20s and living in the Dallas area – who agreed to be rated on their attractiveness. Each participant completed a lengthy questionnaire focusing in part on their desire to diet or have a thin body.

5 Ways Switching to Mediterranean Diet Can Boost Your Health

5 Ways Switching to Mediterranean Diet Can Boost Your Health

The Mediterranean Diet is touted to be one of the most beneficial diets for good health and well-being. As the name suggests, this popular diet is typically followed in the Mediterranean countries, inspired by the healthy dietary patterns of Greece, Southern Italy and Spain. It is characterised by high consumption of plant-based foods, grains, vegetables, nuts and olive oil and limits the consumption of red meat and unhealthy fats.

Here are various benefits of following the Mediterranean diet as per research studies –

 

1. It May Help Keep the Brain Healthy

 

A Mediterranean diet, comprising fruits, vegetables, olive oil and fish, may help older adults to retain more brain volume, found researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The findings showed that people who did not follow the Mediterranean diet were more likely to have a higher loss of total brain volume over three years than those who followed the diet more closely. The difference in diet explained 0.5 per cent of the variation in total brain volume, an effect that was half the size of that due to normal ageing.

 

“As we age, the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells which can affect learning and memory. This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health,” said Michelle Luciano from the University.

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2. It May Prevent Breast Cancer Risk

 

A study suggests that following a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil may lower the risks of breast cancer in women. “The results of the trial suggest a beneficial effect of a MeDiet (Mediterranean diet) supplemented with extra virgin olive oil in the primary prevention of breast cancer,” the study stated.

 

Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez from University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and coauthors analysed the effects of two interventions with the Mediterranean diet – supplemented with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or nuts – compared with advice to women to follow a low-fat diet. Women following a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts showed a nonsignificant risk reduction compared to women in the control group.

 

Another study done by Ohio State University researchers found a compound in foods associated with Mediterranean diet that deprives cancer cells of their immortal nature. By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound – apigenin , could stop breast cancer cells from inhibiting their own death.

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3. May Help Prevent Diabetes

 

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, following a Mediterranean diet – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and fats from either extra-virgin olive oil or nuts – could make people about 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

 

“The findings do not take away from exercise and weight loss as methods to help prevent diabetes. Rather, the findings suggest that Mediterranean diet has its own additional benefits,” said Pieter Cohen, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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4. May Reduces Death Risk for Heart Patients

 

A study done by researchers from IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, stated that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of death in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease and stroke. They found that among those with a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet, death from any cause was reduced by 37 per cent in comparison to those who poorly adhered to this dietary regime.

 

“The major contributors to mortality risk reduction were a higher consumption of vegetables, fish, fruits, nuts and monounsaturated fatty acids — that means olive oil,” said Bonaccio said lead author of the research Marialaura Bonaccio.

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5. Secret to Long Life

 

Researchers have found that women who follow the Mediterranean diet can keep age-related diseases at bay and live longer than others. The study involved 4,676 disease-free women. Their findings show that greater adherence to such a diet is associated with longer telomeres, the biomarkers of ageing.

 

Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that get shorter every time a cell divides. Shorter telomeres have been associated with decreased life-expectancy and increased risk of age-related diseases, while longer telomeres have been linked to longevity.

Black Coffee Benefits: How Much is Really Enough?

Black Coffee Benefits: How Much is Really Enough?

Coffee is, undeniably, one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Nothing stops coffee lovers from experimenting and teaming it up with a range of delicacies, drinks and even desserts. Most people cannot think of starting their day without a daily dose of caffeine. You may have not known this but regular black coffee consumption has been tied to promoting good health. Experts have outlined and emphasized the good-for-you properties of espresso shots or black coffee when had regularly and in moderation. According to ethnobotanist and author of the book, How to Eat Better, James Wong, “Coffee turns out to be an incredibly rich source of heart-healthy polyphenols, containing much more than certain fruit and vegetables like blackberries and kale per serving”. But should you believe these claims that praise the health benefits of the good ol’ Americano? Let’s find out.

The benefits

 

Shilpa Arora ND, a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach, explains that black coffee is a potent stimulant for brain activity. “It increases adrenaline in your blood and is therefore, excellent as a pre-workout drink,” she notes. Some other notable benefits tied to black coffee consumption are listed below:

 

1. It comes loaded with antioxidants that may help stave off the risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even dementia.

 

2. Black coffee can lift your mood and can also help keep depression at bay.

 

3. Moderate black coffee consumption is also known to help with improving your focus and boosting your brain power.

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4. It may also help reduce inflammation in the body.

 

5. Moderate consumption of black coffee may promote heart health.

 

6. Experts at Harvard have found that coffee “protects against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular health,” as stated in Harvard’s online journal, Harvard Gazette.

 

7. The dose of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants present in coffee may also help lower oxidative stress.

 

8. “Coffee is very rich in chlorogenic acid, one of the richest antioxidants,” noted Sanjiv Chopra, a professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Harvard’s online journal.

 

9. According to experts at the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh, in a moderated study, participants who consumed one cup of coffee daily had a 20 per cent lower risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer.

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10. Black coffee is enriched with minerals and micronutrients like magnesium, potassium, manganese and vitamins like B2, B3 and B5.

 

How much is enough?

 

Experts suggest that a person should not have more than 400mg of coffee in a day. It is best to consume without cream and added sugar that only add calories to your drink.

 

The downside

 

As they say, too much of anything may pose a health threat. Excessive caffeine consumption has been tied to triggering a host of ailments and health complications. Insomnia, headaches, dehydration and bowel troubles are some of the most common symptoms of high caffeine intake. “Coffee is not suitable for people with irritable bowel syndrome and other gastro-intestinal issues as it can upset the acid balance in the stomach. It has dehydrating properties and therefore, should be consumed in moderation. People with high blood pressure must also keep a watch on their caffeine intake,” concluded Shilpa.

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Coffee is a wonder ingredient, indeed. All those fuzzy moments when a cup of hot coffee managed to revive our focus or those lazy mornings when a shot of coffee gave us the much-needed energy boost – reinstate the fact that coffee is simply irreplaceable. Enjoy it by consuming it in moderation to reap the health benefits.

The Protein Week: Interesting Ways to Include Protein in Your Daily Diet

The Protein Week: Interesting Ways to Include Protein in Your Daily Diet

Talk about protein and we often divert our attention to meat and other non-vegetarian ingredients, but there are various plant-based sources of protein

that you could include in your daily diet to make mealtime and snacking a more interesting, as well as nutritious affair. According to the Indian Dietician Association (IDA), the Indian diet in fact has 50 per cent inadequate protein pattern. Very few people tend to pay heed to the different nutrients that constitute a balanced diet. Most households depending largely on carbs like bread, rice, paos, and others on the table rather than focusing on pulses, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds to meet their protein requirement

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Talk to the urban dwellers and they would blame time constrictions as the cause of an imbalanced diet. If one had more time to plan and execute their meals, protein deficiency would probably not be a concern. But the truth is that there are many easy and smart ways you can include protein in your daily diet and skip junk when hunger pangs kick in. We show you how –

 

1. Morning Protein Power

 

What have you been eating for breakfast? Paratha, aloo poori, poha, pao bhaji? These dishes are immensely satisfying no doubt, but where’s the protein in your meal? Start by asking yourself time and again where’s the protein when you eat your meals. One of the old practices include soaking a handful of almonds overnight and having them in the morning. You could also make yourself a glass of nutritious shake or a bowl of muesli with nuts and seeds. Or the good ole habit of having an egg in the morning.

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2. Snack Time Protein

 

When the hunger pangs kick in, we usually grab anything that’s easily available. Read: junk food. While we can’t really stop our craving, we can ensure to give it a healthy spin. Rather than a packet of chips, have an energy bar, trail mix, etc. Opt for tandoori chicken tikkas, boiled egg, sprouts and soy milk rather than French fries and other junk. If you really look, you will definitely find protein-packed snacks whenever you are eating out.

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3. Lentils and Pulses

 

This category of food is a great source of proteins and you needn’t have them in the form of dal. The Harvard School of Public Health tells us that one cup of cooked lentils provides about 18g of protein and 15g of fibre, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium. There are many interesting ways you could include them in your diet such as stuffed dal paratha, soup, dal kofta, dal patty in burgers, hummus, boiled beans in your chaats, sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, pies and bakes.

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4. The Protein Fix

 

Non-vegetarians too most often skip their protein intake largely because of the fuss of thawing and cooking meat which takes considerable about of time. To make things easier what you could do is pre-portion your meat and store them in the freezer so that you could easily thaw and cook the respective portions. Boiling meat is a convenient approach which can them be added in omelette, sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, etc. Or marinate the meat overnight and when you get back home after work, bake them in the oven or steamer along with veggies and enjoy an easy meal.

Could High Doses of Vitamin D Protect Kids from Common Cold in Winter?

Could High Doses of Vitamin D Protect Kids from Common Cold in Winter?

Winter time is when cases of upper respiratory tract infections in children one to five years of age are on the rise. The cold weather can be hard to handle if proper care is not taken. It is also the time when vitamin D levels are found to be low, which is said to be one of the possible factors for common cold and ill health. Earlier observational and clinical trial data have suggested a link between low levels of Vitamin D and increased rates of respiratory tract infections. But a new study done by University of Toronto found a different view during their research on the health of Canadian children and the impact of early health in later life. The findings revealed that giving high doses of Vitamin D to your child will not protect them from catching common cold in winters.

Vitamin D sources include sunlight and foods like eggs, tuna, seeds, etc. During winter, our vitamin D levels tend to lessen due to less sunlight. This is also the time when there’s a rise in the number of common cold cases. The study compared the effect of high- and standard-dose of vitamin D on the risk of children catching a cold or flu in winter.

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The researchers randomly assigned children aged one through five years to receive 2,000 IU/d of vitamin D oral supplementation (high-dose group; n=349) or 400 IU/d (standard-dose group; n=354) for a minimum of four months between September and May. The results of the average number of infections for high-dose and the standard-dose groups respectively were 1.05 and 1.03 respectively.

 

“These findings do not support the routine use of high-dose vitamin D supplementation in children for the prevention of viral upper respiratory tract infections,” stated the study.

 

The study doesn’t challenge the usefulness of the recommended vitamin D dosage, but suggests that high dosage may not be better for colds. A limitation of the study could be that children may have had upper respiratory tract infections without swabs being submitted.

Switching to a Healthier Diet and Lifestyle May Ward off Dementia

Switching to a Healthier Diet and Lifestyle May Ward off Dementia

We are what we eat – a popular statement, which seems fit to describe the growing cases of health problems across the globe. Our diet plays a crucial role

for our health and well-being. And this doesn’t just include keeping a check on weight issues, digestion, obesity, diabetes or heart health, but as well as brain power and mental health. According to a Lancet study, managing one’s lifestyle factors including smoking, hypertension and depression could prevent one-third of the world’s dementia cases.

The findings showed that better management of nine risk factors (that included smoking, hypertension and depression) in early, mid- and late life could reduce the increased likelihood of developing dementia in about 35 per cent cases.

 

“The potential magnitude of the effect on dementia of reducing these risk factors is larger than we could ever imagine the effect that current, experimental medications could have,” said Lon Schneider, Professor at the University of Southern California.

 

“Mitigating risk factors provides us a powerful way to reduce the global burden of dementia,” Schneider added.

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By increasing education in early life and addressing hearing loss, hypertension and obesity in midlife, the incidence of dementia could be reduced by as much as 20 per cent. In late life, stopping smoking, treating depression, increasing physical activity, increasing social contact and managing diabetes could reduce the incidence of dementia by another 15 per cent, the researchers said.

 

Nearly 47 million people across the world have dementia and by 2030, the number is expected to climb as high as 66 million and by 2050, it will reach 115 million. The study also highlighted the beneficial effects of nonpharmacologic interventions such as social contact and exercise for people with dementia.

 

Psychological, social and environmental interventions such as social contact, group cognitive stimulation therapy and exercise were found superior to antipsychotic medications for treating dementia-related agitation and aggression. They also conferred some benefit in improving cognition.

 

“Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used to treat agitation and aggression, but there is substantial concern about these drugs because of an increased risk of death, cardiovascular adverse events and infections, not to mention excessive sedation,” Schneider noted.

Have You Been Overfeeding Your Children to Lead Them to Obesity?

Have You Been Overfeeding Your Children to Lead Them to Obesity?

Gone are the days when chubby children were looked upon as privileged kids, something to be taken pride in by parents. Chubbiness is no sign of good health, but an alarm bell for obesity risk. With more and more children getting obese in the recent years, it is leading to various health problems. According to the Paediatric Obesity International Journal, at this rate, the country will have more than 17 million obese children by 2025. A WHO report also revealed some alarming facts, stating that the number of obese and overweight children under five has nearly doubled since 1990.

The authors of the report from the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity stressed that the epidemic has historically not been treated as a grave public health issue and was regarded by some as a product of lifestyle choices by individuals and families. But following two years of research in more than 100 countries, the authors underscored that governments and global health organisations were central to reversing the scourge.

 

Perhaps the kids are not the ones at fault. Biological factors, inadequate access to healthy foods, a decline in physical activity and the unregulated marketing of fattening foods are among the drivers of a worsening epidemic that requires a coordinated global response, the report said.

 

There’s lack of awareness as well among parents. Most parents are proud of their children being “healthy” without realising that they could be at risk of physiological and psychological complications in later stages of life. No strict measures are taken to check what and how much do children eat, how much they sleep and whether or not they exercise and follow other healthy lifestyle habits.

 

Childhood obesity is known be one of the factors leading to high BP, cholesterol, heart ailments, diabetes, respiratory illness, infertility. Most medical complications are masked till adulthood, and they surface only later, posing serious threat to health. Doctors have warned that obesity is irreversible when ignored, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly and the change must start at home. Parents need to ensure that their kids are made aware of the importance of a balanced diet and adopting healthy lifestyle choices, as well as set an example for kids to follow them.

Weight Loss Wars: Why Do Men Lose Kilos Easily As Compared to Women?

Weight Loss Wars: Why Do Men Lose Kilos Easily As Compared to Women?

Losing weight is no miracle. It is a gradual process that requires commitment, persistence, diligence and lots of hard work. One thing that must be kept in mind is the fact that everybody reacts differently to the same set of exercises or a fixed diet plan. A person’s metabolism, genetic constitution, physical makeup and even sex decide the rate at which they can easily and successfully achieve weight loss. It has long been perceived that men find it easier to get rid of extra flab when compared to women. Is the theory true? We set out to explore some of the biggest factors that set apart weight-loss in men and women.

The Muscle Theory

 

One of the primary factors influencing weight-loss in men and women is simply the size of their bodies. Undeniably, men are bigger which means more muscle mass, more lean tissue mass and lesser fat-to-muscle ratio as compared to women. A body that has more muscles and less fat burns calories more easily. Women, in general, have more fat tissues over lean muscle mass. Their body fat percentage is always found to be at least 6-11% more than the male counterparts. This rests at the core of the dichotomy between male versus female weight loss pattern.

 

“Men have more muscle mass in their bodies. The fat and hormone composition is completely different in men. Women have more fat in their bodies which is a biological need for the body to sustain reproduction and for evolution,” shares Shilpa Arora ND, a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach.

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It is easier for men to gain muscle mass
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The Hormone Theory

 

Men also find it easier to build muscles as compared to women. Testosterone may end up taking much of the credit here, but the fact remains that, “testosterone is a powerful hormone. It keeps the metabolic rate in men higher as compared to women and helps synthesize lean muscle mass in men,” concluded Shilpa.

 

So does this mean women just need to sweat it out extra to lose weight and achieve a lean look? Not necessarily! A balanced mix of cardio and weight bearing exercises will always push your body towards perfection. However, always bear in mind the significance of a well-balanced diet. Weight loss or maintenance is a crucial play of a balanced diet and adequate calorie loss. You simply can’t lose an inch or a pound if your diet is in a mess or if you aren’t sleeping enough.

 

Yet Another Reason to Start Eating Healthy

Yet Another Reason to Start Eating Healthy

It’s not without reason that we are told time and again to switch to a healthy lifestyle for the sake of our health. Doing so can prevent you from various illnesses as well as keep you young and active. According to a study done by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, people who do not smoke, consume alcohol moderately and maintain a healthy weight may live up to seven years longer than the general population, and spend most of these extra years in good health. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, showed that people who refrain from engaging in risky health behaviours have a longer life than the famously long-lived Japanese.

Researchers analysed data for more than 14,000 individuals and found that never-smokers who were not obese lived 4-5 years longer than the general population, and that these extra years were free of disability. “Improvements in medical technology are often thought to be the gatekeeper to healthier, longer life. We showed that a healthy lifestyle, which costs nothing, is enough to enable individuals to enjoy a very long and healthy life,” said Mikko Myrskyla, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany.

 

“A moderately healthy lifestyle is enough to get the benefits. Avoiding becoming obese, not smoking, and consuming alcohol moderately is not an unrealistic goal,” Myrskyla said.

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The study was the first to analyse the cumulative impact of several key health behaviours on disability-free and total life expectancy. Previous studies have looked at single health behaviours. Myrskyla and colleagues instead examined several behaviours simultaneously, which allowed them to determine how long and healthy the lives of people who had avoided most of the well- known individual behavioural risk factors were.

 

The researchers noted that each of the three unhealthy behaviours – obesity, smoking, and unhealthy consumption of alcohol – was linked to a reduction in life expectancy and to an earlier occurrence of disabilities. However, smoking was found to be associated with an early death but not with an increase in the number of years with disability, whereas obesity was shown to be associated with a long period of time with disability.

 

Excessive alcohol consumption was found to be associated with both decreased lifespan and a reduced number of healthy years. However, the absence of all of these risky healthy behaviours was found to be associated with the greatest number of healthy years. The most striking finding was the discovery of a large difference in average lifespan between the groups who were the most and the least at risk.

 

Men who were not overweight, had never smoked, and drank moderately were found to live an average of 11 years longer than men who were overweight, had smoked, and drank excessively. For women, the gap between these two groups was found to be even greater, at 12 years. “Our results show how important it is to focus on prevention. Those who avoid risky health behaviours are achieving very long and healthy lives,” said Myrskyla.

Yoga for Gas: How to do Pawanmuktasana, Steps and Benefits

Yoga for Gas: How to do Pawanmuktasana, Steps and Benefits

 

Feeling bloated? There is no denying the fact that bloating woes may not only make you feel extremely uncomfortable but can also mess with your digestive health. There can be numerous reasons triggering bloating and gastric issues ranging from eating contaminated food, stress and excessive consumption of the wrong food items that could trigger gastric issues among others. At times, when the gut bacteria are unable to break down food properly, gastric issues arise. While chronic cases may require medical intervention, in most cases, the condition gets better on its own by avoiding certain foods and loading up on gut-friendly foods to balance and enhance the gut microbiome.

Yoga has long been touted as one of the best ways to tame some of the most common health woes. Asanas like vajrasana, when done regularly after meals, ensure active, smooth and strengthened digestion. Can yoga help in relieving gas, bloating and ease gastric issues ? Yes, absolutely. Yoga expert Yogacharya Anoop of the Chaitanya Foundation enumerates the benefits of Pawanmuktasana which is specifically beneficial in easing bloating and gastric troubles. “Basically, any yoga asana or exercise that involves your lower body and spinal twists will aid in gastric ailments and bloating While Pawanmuktasana is the best bet for such health concerns you can also try a range of other poses like Janu naman asana (knee bending pose) and exercises like leg rotations, lower back twists,” he noted.

 

Benefits of Pawanmuktasana (The Wind Relieving Pose)

 

– It helps make the intestinal activity more active.

 

– It helps the liver in performing better.

 

– When teamed with its counter pose Setubandhasana, it also helps strengthen the spine, especially the lumbar region.

 

How to get into the pose

 

– Lie flat on your back; keep your legs and arms extended.

 

– Bring your knees together and hold with both your hands.

 

– Release left leg and keep it extended on the floor, hold the pose for 30 seconds.

 

– Now, bring back your left leg, hold both legs and release your right leg.

 

– Repeat for a minute, do thrice.

 

Things to keep in mind

 

– Those who suffer from neck or spinal issues should avoid doing the posture.

 

– One of the other versions of the posture also requires you to bend your neck forward every time your knees meet the chest. You can also try the posture without alternating the legs.

 

All yoga postures must be observed under strict supervision. Get in touch with a certified yoga expert to learn which postures will suit you the best and how to practice them to reap maximum health benefits.