Thursday October 19, 2017

How useful is Starch for Health? Consuming Bananas and Potatoes may help you to Check Blood Sugar levels

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Diabetes (Representational image). Wikimedia

London, Jan 6, 2017: Consuming foods such as bananas, potatoes, grains and legumes that are rich in resistant starch may help check blood sugar, enhance satiety as well as improve gut health, a study has found.

Resistant starch is a form of starch that is not digested in the small intestine and is therefore considered a type of dietary fibre.

“We know that adequate fibre intake — at least 30 grams per day — is important for achieving a healthy, balanced diet, which reduces the risk of developing a range of chronic diseases,” said Stacey Lockyer, Nutrition Scientist at British Nutrition Foundation, a Britain-based charity.

Apart from occurring naturally in foods, resistant starch is also produced or modified commercially and incorporated into food products.

Unlike the typical starch, resistant starch acts like a type of fibre in the body as it does not get digested in your small intestine, but is is fermented in the large intestine.

This dietary fibre then increases the production of short chain fatty acids in the gut, which act as an energy source for the colonic cells, thus improving the gut health and increasing satiety.

According to the researchers, there is consistent evidence that consumption of resistant starch can aid blood sugar control. It has also been suggested that resistant starch can support gut health and enhance satiety via increased production of short chain fatty acids.

“Whilst findings support positive effects on some markers, further research is needed in most areas to establish whether consuming resistant starch can confer significant benefits that are relevant to the general population. However, this is definitely an exciting area of nutritional research for the future,” Lockyer said.

The study was published in the journal Nutrition Bulletin. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Fight Dark Circles with These Natural Tips

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Dark Circles
Dark Circles. Pixabay

New Delhi, Sep 14, 2017: Make-up and concealer can help solve the problem of dark circles, but the problem “dark cirlces” needs to be tackled at the root. A regular skin and health care programme needs to be followed, say experts.

Prabhu Mishra, CEO and President, StemGenn Therapeutics, and Bhavuk Mittal, Consultant Dermatology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, list some easy ways to help you get rid of dark circles.

How To Remove Dark Circles:

* Keep yourself well hydrated: It is important to flush out toxins from your body. One way of doing this is to drink plenty of water. Start with at least 6-8 glasses.

Also Read: Unveiling Natural Beauty: Beauty Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel 

* Stick to a healthy, balanced diet: Cut out junk food. They are often laden with preservatives which could give you sallow skin and dark circles. Eat plenty of seasonal fruits, vegetables and salads. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, kiwis and melons have a high Vitamin C content. Include them in your diet to avoid dark circles.

* Get enough sleep: Youngsters are known to be night birds – often studying late at night or partying into the early hours of the morning. Whatever you do, make sure you get 6 to 8 hours of sound sleep to avoid dark circles.

* Kick the butt, avoid alcohol: People who party hard, smoke excessively and have more than a few pegs a week often end up with dark circles. Smoking and drinking is bad for your skin. Kick the butt to avoid dark circles. Settle for a healthy lifestyle with enough recreation.

* Follow a skincare regimen: If you want to avoid dark circles, follow a good skin care regimen and be gentle with your skin. After removing eye make-up, massage the area around the eye with almond oil or a good Vitamin E cream or serum. Always use a sun screen when stepping out in the sun.

* Use lightening cream: Despite all these precautions, you might still get dark circles. Sometimes it is genetic. Others could get dark circles because of an allergy. Check for allergies. Avoid the allergan. Take an antihistamine. It will help clear up the dark circles.

* Retinoids can help: Retinoids can stimulate the production of collagen. Regular use of a retinol cream will make the under eye skin less thin and reduces dark circles.

* Apply cucumber/potato/tomato juice: Cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, are excellent solutions for getting rid of dark circles as they have skin-lightening properties. All you need to do is to apply a teaspoon of juice under your eyes; let it remain for 10 minutes and wash it off with cold water. Repeat the remedy twice a day to get rid of dark circles.

* Use cold tea bags: Another simple home remedy is using a cold tea bag. Soak a tea bag preferably a green tea bag in water. Keep it in the refrigerator for a while. Place the chilled tea bag over your eyes. Use this remedy regularly to get results.

* Go for laser treatment: But if none of this works, you can go for laser treatment. The treatment goes beyond circles as it also tightens, smoothens and removes wrinkles under the eyes.

(IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393