Mediterranean diet shown to prolong seniors’ lives

mediterranean diet foods

The Mediterranean diet is shown to lengthen life.

Many studies have already hailed the benefits to health and longevity of the Mediterranean diet, but few have focused on older people.

The new research has come from the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Italy and comprises two parts.

The first is a study that followed 5,200 people aged 65 and older for approximately 8 years.

The second is an analysis that added data from several other studies, bringing the total of older individuals evaluated to 12,000.

 

First study author Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, explains that while they knew “that the Mediterranean diet is able to reduce the risk of mortality in the general population,” they did not know whether this might also be the case for older people “specifically.”

She and her colleagues also observed that there was a “dose-response” relationship between diet and survival in seniors: the closer the diet was to a Mediterranean one, the longer the survival.

The findings support the idea that adopting or continuing with a Mediterranean diet could help older people “maximize their prospects for survival,” they conclude.

Assessing the Mediterranean diet

Researchers started to define the Mediterranean diet in the 1960s as they compared eating habits and heart risks of people living in Greece and Southern Italy with those of individuals living in Northern Europe and the United States.

As more and more studies have been done, diverse definitions of what constitutes a Mediterranean diet have arisen. While there are some differences, they generally emphasize the following core components:

  • high intake of plant foods such as leafy and other vegetables, nuts, fruits, pulses, whole cereals, and olive oil
  • moderate consumption of fish, dairy, meat, and red wine
  • low intake of eggs and sweets

For their investigations, Bonaccio and colleagues used a 10-point Mediterranean diet score (MDS)based on one that has been used to study Greek populations.

 

An MDS of 0 means minimal adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet, while a score of 9 means maximum adherence.

The study findings

For the first part of the study, the team analyzed the link between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and survival in 5,200 individuals aged 62 living in the Molise region in central Italy. The people had been recruited for the Moli-sani project during 2005–2010.

The purpose of the Moli-sani project was to set up a study population that was separate from those that typically feature in health studies, which tend to focus on Northern Europe and the U.S.

The scientists found that over an 8.1-year median follow-up period, for every one-point increase in MDS, there was an associated reduction in risk of death from: all causes, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular diseases, and diseases not due to cancer or cardiovascular causes.

In the second part of the study, the scientists searched databases for other similar studies that had examined links between the Mediterranean diet and mortality in older people.

They found six studies that matched their criteria, and they added the data from those to the data they had from the Moli-sani cohort. This gave a large pool of data on 11,738 individuals.

Analysis of the pooled data showed a similar pattern to the earlier results. A one-point rise in MDS was linked to around 5 percent reduction in risk of death from all causes.

Furthermore, an analysis of pooled data from three of the studies revealed an “inverse linear dose-response relationship.”

Commenting on their findings, the researchers explain that the foods that appear to offer the most protection in the Mediterranean diet are higher intakes of monounsaturated fats, such as in virgin olive oil, and “moderate consumption of alcohol, preferably during meals.”

Bonaccio remarks that while they considered “nutrition as a whole,” it was interesting to see the foods that “contribute to the ‘driving’ effect of the Mediterranean diet.”

Here’s How You Can Make A Six Course Fun Punjabi Meal At Home

Love Punjabi Food? Here's How You Can Make A Six Course Fun Punjabi Meal At Home

  • Punjabi food is a hit across globe
  • We don’t think of Punjabi cuisine as part of a multi-course affair
  • Punjab has so much to offer in terms of drinks, appetisers and curries

There must be something about Punjabi food that makes it a culinary showstopper at any event. Be it weddings, birthdays, or a brunch, you know a big fat Punjabi spread would always be a hit. Punjabi cuisine largely refers to the culinary style that originated in Punjab and a mix of all foreign influences introduced to the plain by neighbouring countries. For instance, Punjab is home to authentic tandoori food. It is believed that the ‘tandoor’ originated in Persia was introduced to India by the Arabs. In India, Punjab was one of the first regions to adopt the tandoor-style cooking and dished out lip-smacking preparations such as tandoori chicken, naan and paneer tikkas. Punjabi food is often associated with all things non-vegetarian and greasy, but in reality it is also home to some of the most delicious vegetarian curries,dals and stews of the country. Sarso ka saag, dal makhani and pindi chane are all drool-worthy preparations hailing from the land of five rivers. Punjabi preparations are often so heavy and filling that we don’t usually think of Punjabi cuisine as part of a multi-course affair. But, with some planning, Punjabi food too can be totally enjoyed over a multiple courses. Punjab has so much to offer in terms of drinks, appetisers, breads, curries and desserts, all of which can be doled out as part of a lavish Punjabi multi-course spread.

We recently had a delicious outing at Paranda, by Vivanta. The earthy restaurant in Suraj Kund, Faridabad, is nostalgic and indulgent ride to the pinds of Punjab. From refreshing drinks to lip-smacking starters, to stellar mains and to decadent desserts, Paranda’s extensive menu is a treat for all authentic Punjabi food lovers.

If you to want to enjoy a lavish Punjabi spread at home this is how you can plan it.

Lassi, Shorba 

A tall glass of lassi is one Punjabi staple we are up for at any hour of the day. Did you know that some places in Punjab actually make the milk-based beverage in washing machines, since the consumers are so high?! You can make them easily in blender at home with this delicious mint lassi recipe .  For a soothing start, you can include a range of hearty shorbas in your starter. Shorba is a flavourful Indian soup made with a mix of vegetables and refreshing herbs. Here’s our very popular dal palak ka shorbarecipe you can include in your fun spread.

 

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Lassi is a popular traditional dahi-based drink from Punjab

Dahi Bhalla or Papdi

Dahi bhalla and Papdi is adored across north of India, Punjab being one. The lip-smacking chaat delicacy is made of cooling curd tossed in a medley of spices and chutneys. Teamed with urad dal dumplings or crispy sooji crackers, this toothsome dish is one of the best starts you can have to your multi-course affair.

dahi bhalla

Dahi bhalla and Papdi is adored across north of India, Punjab being one.

Tikkas and Kebabs 

Now on to the appetizers. Tikkas and tandoori goods are Punjabi speciality. Tandoor is cylindrical clay oven used for cooking and baking a variety of delicacies in Punjab and whole of north India and Pakistan. From tandoori chicken, to chicken malai tikka, to Amritsari fish tikka, to paneer tikka, to tandoori gobhi and to dahi ke kebab, you have a plethora of options to pick and choose.

(Also Read: 10 Best Indian Chicken Recipes)

tandoori chicken

Tikkas and tandoori goods are Punjabi speciality.

Kulchas, Naans and Parathas 

Did you know that Punjab is also known as the bread basket of India? The list of wholesome breads you find in this region adds up to an overwhelming count. Amritsari Kulcha, makki ki roti, tandoori roti, butter naan and aloo ke paratha are some of the Punjabi breads that have now become a global phenomenon. One of our recipes we would love for you to try is the Amritsari kulcha, the crisp stuffed bread oozing with butter is one of Punjab’s best culinary gifts to the food world. You can lap them up with curries or enjoy them alone too. Here’s a recipe of the same.

(Also Read: The Amritsari Kulcha Trail: Where to Get the Best?)

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Punjab is also known as the bread basket of India

Curries, Sabzis and Stews

Despite being a land of five rivers, fish and aquatic animals do not feature in Punjabi cuisine that extensively.  Amritsari fish and fish tikkas are some of the fish delicacies that are popular across the state, but Punjabis prefer their fish dry and spiced and not in curries. Chicken is a popular treat; the endless number of Punjabi chicken preparations is a testimony of the same. Butter chicken, balti chicken, dahi chicken are some chicken delicacies that is sure to leave your guests craving for more. Punjab also boasts of a rich and robust array of vegetarian dishes. Dal makhani, which is basically a slow-cooked black urad dal mixed with a heavy dose of cream and spices, is a sumptuous vegetarian preparation that has a fan in every home in Punjab.

(Also Read: The History of Butter Chicken, Indian Cuisine’s Most Loved Curry)

dal makhani

Chicken is a popular treat; the endless number of Punjabi chicken preparations is a testimony of the same

Rabdi, Tilla Kulfi, Pinni 

Now to some sweet ending, rabdi is a creamy concoction of thickened milk, sugar and nuts with deep layers of creamy malai in it. You can pair it with crispy jalebis or have them alone. Tilla kulfi is kulfi on a long thin stick is another dessert you can add to your spread. Kulfi is a popular dessert made by frozen thickened milk, topped with chunky nuts. If you have some time at hand, you can also prepare Punjab’s favourite bite-sized pinnis and add it to your king sized multi-course menu.

pinni

You can also prepare Punjab’s favourite bite-sized pinnis

Slurping, aren’t you? Well so are we! So, what are you waiting for? Don your aprons and start cooking already.

Using cell metabolism to fight stubborn tumors

scientist with telescope

Could we use cell metabolism in the fight against hard-to-treat tumors?

Some tumors are hard to treat because while at first they respond to cancer drugs, some cells are able to survive and seed new tumors.

The surviving cells do this by increasing a “self-eating” process through which they eliminate waste, remove faulty components and pathogens, and recycle essential molecular building blocks.

The process, known as autophagy, delivers the waste to cell compartments called lysosomes. These contain different types of enzymes for digesting and breaking down the various materials.

Autophagy is also a survival mechanism that switches on when nutrients are scarce and switches off again when nutrients are plentiful.

“We found that cell metabolism significantly influences the ability to begin autophagy,” says lead investigator Carol Mercer, an associate professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

She and her colleagues report their findings — which reveal “the dynamic and metabolic regulation of autophagy” — in a paper that is now published in the journal Cell Reports.

Control of autophagy

Two types of enzyme control autophagy in cells: one is AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and the other is mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).

Treatments for some cancers already use drugs that trigger AMPK or target mTOR, and they are also being investigated for use in other cancer treatments.

For these reasons, Mercer explains, it is “important to understand how they affect this tumor cell survival pathway.”

Every cell contains tiny powerhouses called mitochondria that make energy for the cells. Energy production in mitochondria occurs in several stages, each involving a protein complex. The first stage uses one called mitochondrial complex I.

People who are deficient in complex I can develop several health problems, including some that affect the heart, liver, brain, and nerves.

Mercer and her demonstrated that mitochondrial complex I also plays a key role in triggering and increasing autophagy and regulating its duration.

Preventing and promoting autophagy

The scientists found that genetic faults in mitochondrial complex I prevented autophagy triggered by mTOR inhibitors. They also showed how two antidiabetic drugs — phenformin and metformin — had the same effect.

Conversely, it was possible to increase autophagy using methods “that increased mitochondrial metabolism,” note the authors.

Overall, the study reveals new insights into the dynamic role of cell metabolism in autophagy and suggests, according to Mercer, “new therapeutic strategies for cancer, neurodegenerative, and mitochondrial diseases.”

Most of the work to discover how metabolism affects autophagy and how to use it to increase or decrease the process was done using cultured cells.

It builds on earlier work by one member of the team, who had discovered that while inhibiting mTOR could treat liver cancer, it also increased autophagy.

9 Incredible Eating Habits According To Ayurveda You Should Adopt Today

9 Incredible Eating Habits According To Ayurveda You Should Adopt Today

  • Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of medicine
  • An ideal Ayurvedic diet talks about many healthy eating habits
  • You should avoid drinking and eating food while standing

Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of medicine that goes back 4000 years. It believes in maintaining the balance of bodily system through diet, natural herbs and some yogic practices. The west too has started showing immense interest in the Ayurvedic practices recently.A lot of these Ayurvedic practices are being studied in labs across the world and many of these practices have been shown to have scientific backing too. An ideal Ayurvedic diet talks about many eating habits that have the potential to cure so many of our modern and urban woes. Choosing foods according to your constitution, paying attention to food and eating as per your capacity are some of the Ayurvedic eating habits that could bring about a great deal of change in your overall well-being. 


Here Are Some Good Ayurvedic Eating Habits That You Should Incorporate Today:

1. Do Not Stand And Drink Water

 You should avoid drinking and eating food while standing. It is believed that by standing and drinking, you disrupt the balance of fluids in the body, which may lead to a greater accumulation of fluids in the joints causing arthritis. Drinking water in a standing position also tends to negatively hamper your kidneys. According to Ayurveda expert, Dr. Dhanvantri Tyagi, the Rig Vedas do mention postures; however, it is ambiguous. In the science of Ayurveda, “this particular clause is not explicitly mentioned. It is more to do with the fact that any food item must be eaten slowly. Eating slowly facilitates the digestion process and the same is true for water.”

 

drink water

 You should avoid drinking and eating food while standing.

2. Eat Foods According To Season: Always choose foods according to season. Foods like gur(jaggery) and ghee are warm in nature, and hence, they are best consumed in winters. On the other hand, curd is of cooling nature. If eaten in winters they may aggravate cold by increasing mucous in your throat. Always consume fruits that are in season. In order to have a healthy mind and body, it is imperative to follow good eating habits.

 

vegetables

Eat more vegetables that are in season


3. Do Not Overeat, Or Eat Right After A Full Meal:
 You must know where to stop and  never eat without real hunger. Try to opt for light satvik food. Satvik diet places emphasis on seasonal foods, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils and ripe vegetables. Eating satvik food once in a while helps cleanse your body of the toxins you accumulate from pollutants in the environment and the junk you eat outside. Healthy eating habits can make you feel active from within.

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You must know where to stop and  never eat without real hunger

4. No Distracted Eating: Do not watch TV, phones or read newspapers while you are eating. According to Ayurveda, you are living because you have food on your plate; therefore, it should be shown utmost respect. Distracting environment diminishes your body’s ability to digest what you have eaten.

5. Eat Slowly: Do not gobble your food, eat slowly. Chew your food well. This enables better breakdown of food, and also gives time for the digestive enzymes in your mouth to do their work properly. If your food is not digested well, it may lead to a host of digestive woes, tummy problems and even weight gain.

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6. Start Your Day With Warm Water: Starting the day with a glass of lukewarm water is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that is gaining recognition in the west too. Drinking warm water raises your body’s temperature, which speeds up the metabolism and aid weight loss too.

warm water

7. Sit Down And Eat Your Meals: Always make sure you are sitting while eating. Ayurveda expert and Manager of clinical operations at Shree Baidyanath Ayurveda Bhawan, Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, says, “Distracted eating is a big no-no in Ayurveda; one must chew their food properly. Leave all your stress and commitment aside and eat their food. Sitting down ensures you are little less distracted and draws more of your attention towards what is plated. Several experts have also claimed that when you are sitting and eating, your posture is ideal for smooth digestion and keep gastric problems at bay”. Ayurveda expert, Dr. Dhanvantri Tyagi, also shares, “Eating in a proper sit-down arrangement is a way of showing respect to the food. There is also a concept of ‘sukoon’ that is very important in Ayurvedic dietary practice. Sukoon roughly translates to happiness, contentment and satisfaction, all of which is possible when you sit and eat.”

healthy

Always make sure you are sitting while eating

8. Ignite Digestive Fire: Many a times you are not hungry because your digestive fire is diminished. Consume a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger with few drops of lime and a pinch of salt. All these ingredients help in activating the salivary glands to produce the necessary digestive enzymes that help in the digestion and absorption of the food you eat.

9. Do Not Pair Foods Aimlessly: 
“According to Ayurveda, certain food combinations disturb the normal functioning of gastric fire and upset the balance of doshas and lead to problems like indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation,” notes the ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies By Dr. Vasant Lad. Some of the incompatible combinations mentioned by the book are milk-banana, yogurt and sour fruits, eggs-milk and honey-ghee.

curd rice

According to Ayurveda, certain food combinations disturb the normal functioning of gastric fire

There’s Another Type of ‘Bad’ Cholesterol, and Doctors Don’t Usually Test for It

We’ve all heard the warnings about low-density lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as the “bad” cholesterol. It can greatly increase your risk for heart disease and stroke down the line.

But have you heard about lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a)? It’s another kind of bad cholesterol that’s not detected on regular cholesterol tests you get when you see your doctor.

cholesterol, ldl, hdl

What is it?

Lp(a) is a small protein that can travel in high levels through your bloodstream, accelerating the creation of harmful plaque that can block your arteries.

As it flows through, clumping together more and more plaque, your artery will gradually narrow, limiting the blood supply needed to pump to your heart and brain. This leads to an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, and aortic stenosis.

Genetics is behind this kind of cholesterol — a potential risk factor for heart disease many people might not know they even have.

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In fact, Lp(a) is the most prevalent genetic risk factor for coronary heart disease and aortic stenosis, wrote Sandra Revill Tremulis, founder of the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation, a nonprofit aiming to raise awareness about Lp(a) and the heart risks it can bring, in an email to Healthline.

For Tremulis, the drive to raise awareness about Lp(a) is personal.

When she was 22, her father died of a heart attack at age 50. She never thought the same thing would happen to her, given her own healthy lifestyle, but she didn’t realize she possessed a “hidden risk.”

She herself had been living, unaware, with Lp(a), resulting in a widow-maker blockage in an artery of her heart, which put her at the risk of dying of a severe heart attack by 39, she wrote.

“The myth has to be busted, people need to understand you can inherit risk factors for clogged arteries, you don’t have to have a bad lifestyle to end up having a heart attack, some people are born genetically predisposed to having cardiovascular disease,” she stressed.

How to find out if you have this form of cholesterol

The go-to cholesterol and lipid panel tests don’t include an Lp(a) blood test. You have to ask your doctor for a separate exam.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends people who have heart disease (despite having normal results from other lipid tests), people with high cholesterol (even if they have a healthy diet), and those with a family history of heart disease (especially if it occurred at an early age or resulted in sudden death) should seek out the blood test.

Tremulis says that awareness is growing, and work is being done to develop effective treatments at managing Lp(a) levels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved two ICD-10 codes for the diagnosis of elevated Lp(a) levels. This is the system healthcare providers use to classify and code symptoms and diagnoses in accordance with proper hospital care in the United States.

The new codes can help diagnose the condition in people who don’t show any symptoms, like Tremulis, who has both elevated Lp(a) levels and a family history of Lp(a) and high cholesterol. These guidelines will go into effect this October.

“These new diagnostic codes will enable clinicians to identify clearly in the medical record the presence of a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease and to tailor prevention and treatment strategies,” she added.

While not widely discussed, Lp(a) is a common issue. The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation reports almost 63 million people in the United States have high Lp(a) levels. Given that it’s so common, why don’t we hear more about it?

Dr. Luke Laffin, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, told Healthline it’s simply because it’s not routinely screened.

“Lp(a) is not discussed as much because we do not screen most people for elevated levels of Lp(a), unlike LDL cholesterol. In fact, screening the population at-large is not recommended by most society guidelines around the world,” he said.

There are three main reasons for that.

“The first is that it is a genetically determined marker of cardiovascular risk that cannot be significantly modified with lifestyle changes,” Laffin said. “The second is that we do not have easily accessible or tolerable therapies to lower Lp(a) levels. The third reason is that medications that lower Lp(a) levels also lower LDL levels, so it has proven difficult to attribute clinically important effects — like a reduction in heart disease and strokes — to Lp(a) lowering alone.”

Given that the presence of Lp(a) is really driven by your genetics, Laffin says it’s difficult to lower your level even if you make significant lifestyle changes. He notes there are two main classes of medications approved for use in the United States, but they aren’t formally approved to treat elevated Lp(a) specifically.

These medications are nicotinic acid (niacin) and PCSK9 inhibitors. Right now, there are clinical trials to test new treatments, like antisense therapy to potentially reduce the body’s production of Lp(a), but “it is unknown whether this will actually provide cardiovascular benefits and the results are years away,” Laffin explained.

Who’s at risk?

Laffin says people with a strong family history of premature heart disease and heart events — men before the age of 55 and women before 65 — should be screened for Lp(a). He adds that people who are at an “intermediate” or “moderate” risk of a heart attack or stroke should also be tested.

“Elevated, or not elevated, Lp(a) levels help better risk stratify an individual patient and again inform discussions about starting or stopping cholesterol-modifying medications,” he said. “Finally, if a person has a personal history of early heart disease without other clear causative factors, we will typically screen for elevated levels of Lp(a).”

If you’re newly diagnosed and are unsure of what to do moving forward, Laffin suggests you shouldn’t discount lifestyle improvements, such as eating healthier and exercise. These still help manage your overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

“The basics are still very important, and include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, a diet of moderation, like fruits and vegetables, and regular exercise. I also would encourage you to seek the opinion of your regular physician or a cardiologist about more aggressive modification and treatment of risk factors, such as elevated LDL cholesterol and hypertension,” Laffin said.

“Ask his or her opinion about targeting even lower LDL cholesterol levels than they normally would in a person with your similar traditional risk factor profile, but without elevated Lp(a),” he adds.

Tremulis emphasizes she feels it’s important “that everyone be tested for high Lp(a) at least once in their lifetime so that this potential genetic risk factor for heart disease can be identified early.”

She says that beyond this, it’s necessary that people who have this kind of cholesterol should educate themselves by working with their doctors to come up with a heart disease prevention plan and stay vigilant about possible stroke or heart attack symptoms.

7 Easy Ways To Reduce Food Waste And Save Money

How To Avoid Food Wastage: 7 Easy Ways To Reduce Food Waste And Save Money

  • There is no denying the fact that food waste is a worldwide epidemic
  • Food costs money and when food goes in the trash,money goes in the trash
  • Some simple ways can help minimise food wastage at home

There is no denying the fact that food waste is a worldwide epidemic. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, about 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year. In order to improve this situation, it is imperative to minimise waste and make informed food choices. Doing so could even add up to significant savings; food costs money and when food goes in the trash, money goes in the trash as well. Here are smart and simple ways that will help minimise food wastage at home and will ultimately save your hard-earned money.

Here’s How You Can Avoid Food Wastage:

1. Use Up The Leftovers

If you often spot food leftovers lying in the fridge, this one’s for you. Food leftovers can be easily transformed into delectable dishes. Be it salads, sandwiches or rolls, there are a variety of dishes that can be used as a stuffing/filling in these dishes. Here are 5 tasty dishes that you can prepare using leftover food.

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 Food leftovers can be easily transformed into delectable dishes

2. Learn The Label Lingo

There are times when we often end up discarding food items because of their expiry date. One should inculcate the habit of reading food labels while doing the grocery shopping. The ‘manufacturing’ and ‘expiry’ date of the food item would give you a fair idea about the shelf life of the product; hence, you are most likely to use them accordingly.

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One should inculcate the habit of reading food labels while doing the grocery shopping

3. Be Quirky With Fruits And Vegetables

Coming to fruits and vegetables, one can be as quirky as it can get. If the fruits lying at home have become soft and soggy, you can turn them into smoothies and shakes. Apart from this, you can use them for beauty purposes as well. Vegetables that are close to wilting can be made into soup or can also be baked.

 

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Coming to fruits and vegetables, one can be as quirky as it can get

4. Check The Refrigerator’s Temperature

Since most of the food items are kept in the fridge for storage, it is important to keep a check on the refrigerator’s temperature. An ideal healthy temperature between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius should be maintained for maximum freshness. Extreme temperatures may possibly lead to early spoilage of food items.

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 It is important to keep a check on the refrigerator’s temperature

5. Shop With A List And Stick To It

While in a grocery store, there are times when we often end up adding things to our shopping cart only because they look too enticing and promising. Little do we know that they are not really going to make any difference in our lives and would only be left to spoil with course of time. Hence, it is important to always shop with a list of things that are actually required and one should try and stick to it. Don’t bring home anything that doesn’t have a purpose.

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It is important to always shop with a list of things

6. Proper Storage

Never underestimate the potential of proper storage. Foods stored in their designated storage place can last for a much longer time. For instance, onions, potatoes, bananas, apples, garlic etc. are best stored at room temperature.

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Never underestimate the potential of proper storage

7. Practice FIFO

FIFO stands for ‘First In, First Out’. Once you are done with the grocery shopping, play smart and practice FIFO. When unpacking grocery items, move older products to the front of the pantry or freezer and place new products in the back.

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FIFO stands for ‘First In, First Out’

Now, that we’ve shared with you some handy tips to avoid food wastage, bring them to your rescue and save money!

6 Exciting Food and Restaurant Deals Around Delhi and Mumbai This Rakhi

Rakshabandhan 2018: 6 Exciting Food and Restaurant Deals Around Delhi and Mumbai This Rakhi

Rakshabandhan is being celebrated today with much fervour across the country and we cannot wait to dive into the celebrations. There is no bond like that of a brother and sister. They may fight endlessly, but there is no team as strong when they are together. This year, Rakshabandhan would be celebrated on 26th August 2018. On this special day, sisters tie beautiful rakhis on their brothers’ wrists; the brothers in turn resolve to protect their sisters from all adversities. Siblings also shower each other with beautiful gifts on this special occasion. If you are looking for the best gift for your foodie sibling or cousin, you have arrived at the right place. Restaurants, bakeries, delivery kitchens across Delhi and Mumbai are offering many exciting deals that you can explore. From festive buffets, special cakes, assortment of desserts and specially curated hampers, there are options galore. Have a look!

1. Raksha Bandhan Buffet  at Aloft New Delhi Aerocity

Aloft at Aerocity has a delicious offer that would be a crime to miss this festive season. Dine on a table of four, and one lady gets a complimentary lunch buffet and unlimited mocktails! The buffet is a mix of Delhi’s street food gems, Indian mithais and other traditional and fusion savouries. There is a live chaat station and a non-alcoholic welcome drink for all too.

Date: Sunday, 26th August 2018
Time: 12pm – 3pm
Venue: Nook, Aloft New Delhi Aerocity
Contact: 011-45650000

 

2. Festive Buffet at Crowne Plaza

If your sibling is a foodie by heart, there is probably no better gift than a lavish buffet. This Rakshabandhan, take your sister out for a delicious buffet at Crown Plaza’s multi-cuisine restaurant Edesia and get a whopping 30 percent discount on your total bill. And that is not all! There’s also a complimentary voucher from their wellness centre Spazzo, that awaits her as part of the special deal.

Date:26th August,2018
Time:12 noon to 3 pm and 7 pm to11:45 pm
Where: Edesia ,Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla

 

3. Rakshabandhan Mithai box at ‘The Trial Box’

There is something about Rakshabandhan that makes you want to deep dive into a pool of mithais. The Trial Box is giving you an opportunity to do just that. The special ‘Rakshabandhan Mithai Box’ by The Trial Box has an assortment of fusion desserts that will make you go weak in your knees. Dark and white chocolate brownie with caramel drops, blueberry risotto phirni,
mango pinwheels and jalebi churros are some of the desserts on offer. The box is enough to serve about 8-10 people.

Where: The Trial Box, Gurgaon
Cost: INR 699 plus taxes

Contact: 011 33106076

 

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The trial box has special Rakshabandhan Mithai box this season

4. Rakhi hamper at Zingy GourMET Shop 

This Rakhi, pamper your beloved sibling with this attractive goodie hamper from Zing GourMET Shop at The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa. Packed with the most indulgent and premium quality chocolates, soft-centered pralines, assorted muffins, cookies, assorted breads and focaccia rolls, this artfully decorated Rakhi hamper is an instant mood-lifter. This festive season make sure you grab your hamper full of joy and take your sibling by surprise.

Date: Aug 24 – 26, 2018
Venue: Zing GourMET Shop, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa, Bangla Sahib Road, New Delhi

Time: 1000 hrs till 2200 hrs
Price: INR 2,000 Per Hamper (AI)

chocolate day 2018
This Rakhi, pamper your beloved sibling with this attractive goodie hamper from Zing GourMET Shop

5. Special Cake at Toshin 

Toshin’s baked and sweet goodies have already become a talking point in Mumbai. This Rakshabandhan, they are offering an exclusive cake to make your festivities even more sweeter. Called CROCUS, this special cake is packed with the goodness of saffron and layered with rich and aromatic pistachio financier. This scrumptious gateau is perfectly adorned with milk chocolate sand dunes and a touch of gold. There, there, we saw you slurping!

Price Details: Rs. 1,500 for half kg and Rs. 3,000 for 1 kg
Available at:  Boutique,1st Floor, IVY Restaurant & Banquets GM Road, Amar Mahal, Chembur West, Mumbai – 89

6. Raksha Bandhan Celebrations at Saptami

Please you palate with an enticing buffet brunch at Saptami, a multi-cuisine restaurant of Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport. Gorge on some Achari Chicken Tikka, Ajmod Paneer Tikka, Manglorian Fish Curry, Murgh Tikka Masala, Bhuna Ghosht, Awadhi Murgh Biryani, Paneer Lababdar, Mushroom Chettinad, Galauti Kebab, Barbeque Chicken Wings. An indulgent and sumptuous spread of desserts make this deal a must-try this festive season.

When: Sunday, 26th August 2018
Time: 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Saptami, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport
Price: 1499 + taxes (non-alcoholic)
1999 + taxes (alcoholic)
Reservation:   9004617824/ 9004689458

Here’s wishing you all a very Happy Rakshabandhan 2018!

The brain uses its ‘autocorrect’ feature to make out sounds

illustration of brain and sound waves

The brain deploys fascinating mechanisms to make out sounds.

“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.”

You, like many others, were probably able to read the above sentence without a problem — which is the reason for the mass online appeal this meme had more than a decade ago.

Psycholinguists explain that the meme is, in itself, false, as the exact mechanisms behind the brain’s visual “autocorrect” feature remain unclear.

Rather than the first and last letter being key to the brain’s ability to recognize misspelled words, explain the researchers, context might be of greater importance in visual word recognition.

New research, now published in the Journal of Neuroscience, looks into the similar mechanisms that the brain deploys to “autocorrect” and recognize spoken words.

Researcher Laura Gwilliams — from the Department of Psychology at New York University (NYU) in New York City and the Neuroscience of Language Lab at NYU Abu Dhabi — is the first author of the paper.

Prof. Alec Marantz, of NYU’s departments of Linguistics and Psychology, is the principal investigator of the research.

Gwilliams and team looked at how the brain untangles ambiguous sounds. For instance, the phrase “a planned meal” sounds very similar to “a bland meal,” but the brain somehow manages to tell the difference between the two, depending on the context.

The researchers wanted to see what happens in the brain after it hears that initial sound as either a “b” or a “p.” The new study is the first one to show how speech comprehension takes place after the brain detects the first sound.

Discerning ambiguity in half a second

Gwilliams and colleagues carried out a series of experiments in which 50 participants listened to separate syllables and entire words that sounded very similar. They used a technique called magnetoencephalography to map the participants’ brain activity.

The study revealed that a brain area known as the primary auditory cortex picks up the ambiguity of a sound just 50 milliseconds after onset. Then, as the rest of the word unravels, the brain “re-evokes” sounds that it had previously stored while re-evaluating the new sound.

“[A]n ambiguous initial sound,” continues Prof. Marantz, “such as ‘b’ and ‘p,’ is heard one way or another depending on if it occurs in the word ‘parakeet’ or ‘barricade.'”

“This happens without conscious awareness of the ambiguity, even though the disambiguating information doesn’t come until the middle of the third syllable,” he says.

“Specifically,” notes Gwilliams, “we found that the auditory system actively maintains the acoustic signal in [the] auditory cortex, while concurrently making guesses about the identity of the words being said.”

“Such a processing strategy,” she adds, “allows the content of the message to be accessed quickly, while also permitting re-analysis of the acoustic signal to minimize hearing mistakes.”

“What a person thinks they hear does not always match the actual signals that reach the ear,” says Gwilliams.

“This is because, our results suggest, the brain re-evaluates the interpretation of a speech sound at the moment that each subsequent speech sound is heard in order to update interpretations as necessary.”

Newly found ‘micro-organ’ is immune response ‘headquarters’

doctor checking lymph nodes

New research finally reveals where the immune response actually starts in the body.

Due to advances in clinical research technology that have led to the development of some very sophisticated devices, scientists can now learn more about the human body, and how it works at the micro level.

Much still remains unknown about our body’s mechanisms, and surprising discoveries just keep piling up.

For instance, innovative techniques have allowed researchers to learn, earlier this year, that the interstitium — which had been defined as “support tissue” — actually functions as an organ, and it is more important to our health than we had believed.

Now, scientists from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Darlinghurst, Australia, have finally been able to ascertain where it is that our bodies “remember” previous exposure to pathogens — through infection or vaccination — and where they start to “strategize” and assemble an appropriate immune response.

In a paper now published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers explain that they have discoverd a kind of “micro-organ” that forms within lymph nodes and acts as the “headquarters” of the immune response.

A tiny dynamic ‘organ’ drives immunity

The scientists used sensitive 3-D microscopy — a state-of-the-art technique allowing them to follow changes taking place at microscopic level — in mice.

 

The scientists found these structures — which they named “subcapsular proliferative foci” (SPF) — not just in mice, but also in sections of lymph nodes collected from human patients.

When looking closer at the SPFs, the scientists saw that different types of immune cells clustered in these structures — most prominently memory B cells, which carry information regarding how to fight pathogens that the body has already encountered.

Also in the SPFs, memory B cells converted into plasma cells, whose role it is to defend the system against infection. Plasma cells generate antibodies, which recognize pathogens and aim to destroy them.

“It was exciting to see the memory B cells being activated and clustering in this new structure that had never been seen before,” says study first author Dr. Imogen Moran.

“We could see them moving around, interacting with all these other immune cells and turning into plasma cells before our eyes,” she explains enthusiastically.

A ‘remarkably well engineered’ structure

Importantly, the SPFs are strategically positioned so that they can mount a quick response against infection. This, the researchers explain, is key when it comes to the likelihood of success against pathogens.

“When you’re fighting bacteria that can double in number every 20 to 30 minutes, every moment matters. To put it bluntly, if your immune system takes too long to assemble the tools to fight the infection, you die,” says study co-author Tri Phan.

He adds that vaccines are key in teaching the immune system to respond efficiently. “Vaccination,” he explains, “trains the immune system, so that it can make antibodies very rapidly when an infection reappears.”

“Until now we didn’t know how and where this happened. Now, we’ve shown that memory B cells rapidly turn into large numbers of plasma cells in the SPF.”

The only reason why scientists had been unable to uncover the existence of these key immune formations before is, simply, because they are so tiny and so dynamic.

It was only with the development of two-photon microscopy — the technique used in the recent study — that researchers finally had the possibility to dive deeper and learn more.

Dr. Moran says, “It was only when we did two-photon microscopy — which lets us look in three dimensions at immune cells moving in a living animal — that we were able to see these SPF structures forming.”

“So,” states Phan, “this is a structure that’s been there all along, but no one’s actually seen it yet, because they haven’t had the right tools. It’s a remarkable reminder that there are still mysteries hidden within the body.”

8 Cooking Mistakes That Are Making Your Food Unhealthy

8 Cooking Mistakes That Are Making Your Food Unhealthy

Did you know, the food we cook, no matter how delicious or healthy it is, can become unhealthy when cooked the wrong way? The meat we cook, the seasonings we add, the oil we use to fry foods are directly proportionate to how it affects our body and overall health. No matter how good a cook we are, there are times when we unconsciously commit mistakes while cooking, which make our food unhealthy. For instance, cooking vegetables until they get soggy can eliminate all its nutrients and stir-frying them can preserve the same. It is time to identify more of these cooking mistakes and avoid them in the future to save ourselves from any future repercussions.

Here are some cooking mistakes that are making your food unhealthy

1. Excess usage of seasonings and dressings

We all love to add an extra dash of seasoning and dressings like soy sauce or mayonnaise to our salads and sandwiches. But have you ever wondered their excess usage can be super unhealthy? These dressings carry a huge amount of sodium, which can lead to water retention.

mayonnaise

But have you ever wondered their excess usage can be super unhealthy

2. Exposing honey to high temperatures

Honey has a long standing reputation of containing medicinal properties and makes an incredible substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners. Honey is a natural sweetener and is best consumed in raw form. Exposing it to high temperatures can lead to elimination of its medicinal properties. Cooking honey can deteriorate the quality. It loses its essential enzymes and nutrients making it poisonous. Moreover, cooking it to 40 degree Celsius causes a negative chemical change that makes it taste bitter.

honey

Honey is a natural sweetener and is best consumed in raw form

3. Overheating healthy oils

While some vegetable oils can be heated to a certain temperature, there are some healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil that one should never introduce to extreme heat. These oils contain nutritional compounds that can be destroyed when heated above their smoke points. For instance, sunflower oil should always be used for sauteing, frying and roasting. Whereas, for flavouring or drizzling over prepared food, extra virgin oil or flaxseed oil is best.

olive oil

These oils contain nutritional compounds that can be destroyed when heated above their smoke points

4. Frying your food

Fried foods may taste delicious; however, they are nothing but unhealthy, trans-fat-laden treats. The act of frying turns otherwise healthy foods, like vegetables and lean meats into unhealthy ‘yummy’ treats. Moreover, these foods are linked with increased chances of developing conditions like diabetes and heart conditions. Nowadays, air fryers are available in most places, which need a teaspoonful of oil to fry any food. If you want to switch to healthy and enjoy fried foods at the same time, make sure you use air-fryers.

frying 625

Fried foods may taste delicious; however, they are nothing but unhealthy, trans-fat-laden treats

5. Using the wrong cookware

Just like it is important to know what ingredient goes in a particular dish, it is also important to know the cookware you use to cook. Non-stick cookware is said to contain Teflon, which contains a man-made chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid, which is said to cause problems in overall health, especially liver. It is best to go back to the basics, and cook in cookware made of cast iron, glass, ceramic or stainless steel.

620 cookware istock

Non-stick cookware is said to contain Teflon

6. Adding uncooked salt over the food

Some of us have a habit of sprinkling salt over the food in order to alter the taste of bland dish. However, consuming salt in an uncooked form has been linked to heart diseases and kidney problems. According to Dietitian and Nutritionist, Dr. Harjeet Kaur from Amandeep Hospital, “It is believed to be especially harsh on both, the circulatory system and the nervous system. Additionally, it also causes an upheaval on the precariously balanced lymph system.”

iodised salt is good for health

Some of us have a habit of sprinkling salt over the food in order to alter the taste of bland dish

7. Cooking vegetables for too long

Cooking vegetables until they turn soggy can eliminate their nutrients. In order to get them right, avoid boiling them for longer periods as this process leaches the nutrients out of them. One of the best ways to preserve nutrients is to stir-fry them lightly. Alternatively, blanch them in hot water if you wish to enjoy them in soup. Make sure your vegetables are still firm and lightly crisp.

healthy cooking 625

Cooking vegetables until they turn soggy can eliminate their nutrients

8. Peeling off the vegetables

Do you know, peels of some vegetables have more nutrients than the veggie itself? The skin of potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, cucumber and apples contain a lot of vitamins that provide you with extra minerals and vitamins. The peels contain a lot of fibre, which is great for your digestive system.

lemon peel 625

Do you know, peels of some vegetables have more nutrients than the veggie itself

Make sure you are not committing these mistakes while cooking as these can easily cost your overall health.