5111 Kali Era, Virodhi
Year, Magha month
Vikramarka Era, Virodhi
2010 AD, February
|Diet and Exercise
Momordica charantia (family Cucurbitaceae): the bitter melon, 苦瓜; Hanyu Pinyin:
kǔguā (Chinese), karela (Hindi), kaakara (Telugu), haagala (Kannada),
pavakka (Tamil), pare or parai (Malay and Indonesian), paria (Filipino),
bitter gourd, balsam pear, or balsam apple, is the edible fruit of the tropical
and subtropicalvine, named for its bitter taste.
Bitter melon, a tropical and subtropical vine, widely grown for edible fruit,
which is among the most bitter of all vegetables. Bitter melon is commonly
used for cooking in the continents of India and Asia. It is very popular
throughout the Indian continent, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, and the
A popular dish in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab is the fruit stuffed with spices
and then fried in oil. It is also prepared with potatoes and served
with yogurt on the side to offset the bitterness.
At least 32 active chemicals have been identified in Bitter Melon so far,
beta-sitosterol-d-glucoside, citrulline, GABA, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin,
and vitamins. Bitter Melons are rich in iron. They have twice the beta
carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, twice the potassium of
bananas, and contain Vitamins A, C, B1 to B3, Phosphorus and fiber. Many
claim that Bitter Melon’s bitterness comes from the high concentration of
quinine it contains, however little documented evidence has supported this
claim. Despite the lack of documentation, it is still regarded by Asians,
as well as Panamanians and Columbians, as a valuable agent for preventing
and treating malaria.
An extract from bitter melon has shown promise in its ability to kill breast
cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. Researchers at Saint
Louis University said in a report in March 1 edition of the journal Cancer
Research that bitter melon was shown effective in killing breast cancer
cells in a controlled lab setting. Previous research has shown bitter melon
can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Bitter melon has been used
in India and China as a folk medicine to treat diabetes.
A study, published in a 1999 issue of the Bangladesh Medical Research Council
Bulletin, used an aqueous suspension of bitter melon vegetable pulp in patients
with type 2. In another study, published in a 1981 issue of the Journal of
Natural Products, bitter melon was prepared as an injectable “plant insulin”
and injected into patients with type 1 and type 2. Both studies reported
Lactose is a sugar in milk, and most babies are born producing enough of
the enzyme lactase in the small intestine to digest it. But worldwide, most
people's lactase levels progressively decrease throughout childhood. How
low those levels drop determine whether a person can, for example, drink
two cups of milk at a time without discomfort -- pain, diarrhea, gas or bloating
-- by adulthood.
Northern Europeans evolved to keep ingesting milk after childhood, while
other populations where milk and cheese were less a part of the diet lost
that ability and adults may not need milk. Regardless of ancestry,
how well people can digest lactose is highly variable, and there is no good
count of how many experience symptoms that mean full-scale lactose intolerance,
said a panel of specialists convened by the National Institutes of Health.
Many people who think they cannot digest dairy products might do all right
if they eat a small amount at a time, but surprisingly little is known about
just how many have true lactose intolerance. Many people who think
they cannot digest dairy products might do all right if they eat a small
amount at a time, but surprisingly little is known about just how many have
true lactose intolerance, the government panel concluded.
It should be noted that milk is not only a source of vitamin D and calcium,
but also contains saturated fat. Eating saturated fat can significantly raise
the risk of stroke for women over 50, a large new study finds. We already
know that diets rich in fat, particularly artery-clogging saturated and trans
fat, are bad for the heart and the waistline. The new study looked
at stroke risk in women and across all types of fat. It showed a clear trend:
Those who ate the most fat had a 44 percent higher risk of the most common
type of stroke compared to those who ate the least. The American Heart
Association recommends limiting fat to less than 25 to 35 percent of total
calories, and trans fat to less than 1 percent. The healthiest fats come
from nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
In addition, milk is not the only source of vitamin D and calcium.
One can get enough calcium and vitamin D from other sources, such as fortified
orange juice, lactose-removed dairy brands, calcium-rich broccoli, soy products
and supplements. Vegans will do fine with soy, broccoli and orange
juice. As we age our ability to digest broccoli, soy and milk may diminish,
when we need supplements or other fortified foods.
Obesity in American Kids
About 32% of children and adolescents today -- 25 million kids -- are obese
or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those extra pounds put kids at a greater risk of developing a host of debilitating
and costly diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high
cholesterol. A 2005 study found that kids today may lead shorter lives
by two to five years than their parents because of obesity. Obesity costs
the country a staggering $147 billion a year in weight-related medical bills,
according to government data.
Michelle Obama says she will use all the power of her White House pulpit
to promote a multifaceted campaign that will include more healthful food
in schools, more accurate food labeling, better grocery stores in communities
that don't have them, public service announcements and efforts to get children
to be more active. Some of her plans, such as tax incentives for businesses,
will need congressional approval. Let's Move (letsmove.gov) aims to
do for healthy eating and exercise what the government's anti-smoking campaign
did in the 1960s: change how people think about their health.
Safe Lice Killer
Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% (known as UlesfiaTM) works by suffocating lice,
the new non-neurotoxic treatment for head lice has been found to have an
average of 91.2% treatment success rate after one week, and to be safe in
humans from six months of age and up. This is the finding of a study recently
published in Pediatric Dermatology. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224083052.htm
Ancient Chinese Pain Killer
While the use of scorpion venom to treat some body disorders seems counter-intuitive,
the Chinese have recognized its effectiveness hundreds of years ago. The
Chinese use scorpion venom, believing it to have powerful analgesic properties.
Some studies have also shown that scorpion venom can be used to treat epilepsy.
Using an approach called "rational design" or "biomimicry," scientists are
developing painkillers that mimic the venom's bioactive components. The idea
is to use nature as the model, and to modify elements of the venom so that
a future painkiller designed according to these toxins could be as effective
as possible, while eliminating or reducing side effects. Scorpion venom
might be used as an alternative to dangerous and addictive painkillers like
morphine, a Tel Aviv University researcher claims, reported by American Friends
of Tel Aviv University. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216163341.htm
Yoga has received less attention in the modern medical literature, though
it has become popular in recently. It is estimated that about 7.5% of U.S.
adults had tried yoga at least once, and nearly 4% practiced yoga in the
Patanjali’s yoga, aimed at self-realization and self-knowledge, has eight
elements: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and
samadhi. In popular culture, yoga is practiced with only one to three
elements. Hatha yoga is the most common type of yoga practiced in the United
States, with three elements: asana (aasana) - physical pose; pranayama (praanayama),
controlled breathing practiced in conjunction with asanas; and dhyana (dhyaana),
a short period of deep relaxation or meditation.
In a 2008 study, it was reported that the yoga practitioners had the highest
pain tolerance and lowest pain-related brain activity during the MRI, indicaating
the value of techniques like yoga that can help a person regulate stress
and, therefore, pain responses. In a 2005 study, it was reported that women
in the yoga group reported improvements in stress, anxiety and depression.
In another 2005 study, it was reported that after taking yoga classes the
levels of tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility and fatigue dropped
significantly in the participants.
Other studies of yoga practice have demonstrated improvements in mood and
quality of life for the elderly, people caring for patients with dementia,
breast cancer survivors and patients with epilepsy, and that yoga can help
patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well.
Bitter Melon Stir-Fry
Ingredients: 1 pound bitter melon (about 1 1/4 melons); 1 tablespoon minced
garlic; 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes; 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying;
2 tablespoons soy sauce; 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar;
1/2 teaspoon sugar; a few drops sesame oil (optional).
Preparation: Cut the bitter melon half lengthwise, remove the seeds
and cut on the diagonal into thin slices. Degorge the bitter melon
by sprinkling salt over the slices and placing them in a colander to drain
for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mash the chili pepper flakes with the minced
garlic. Heat wok over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. When
the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and chili mixture. Stir-fry briefly
until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
Add the bitter melon. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then splash with the
balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Stir in the sugar. Cook for another 1 to
2 minutes, until the bitter melon is browning and beginning to soften. Stir
in a few drops sesame oil if desired. Serve hot.
Notice: This material
contains only general descriptions and is
not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security,
nor is it intended as any financial, tax, medical
or health care advice. For information about specific
needs or situations, contact your financial, tax
agent or physician.
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The primary sources
cited above, New York
Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP),
Mercury News, Bayarea.com,
Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Intellihealthnews,
(DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times,
Times of India, AP, Reuters, AFP,