The Telangana Science Journal

Health and Nutrition

(An International Electronic Science Digest Published from the United States of America)
(Dedicated to one of the most backward regions in India, "Telangana," My Fatherland )

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Issue 133

5110 Kali Era, Sarvadhari Year, Pushya month
2066 Vikramarka Era, Sarvadhari Year,  Pushya month
1930 Salivahana Era
Sarvadhari Year, Pushya month
 2009 AD, January





Vegetarian Links





More Links


Diet and Exercise

The Best Foods You Should Eat
Vegetarian Children
Dance for Health
Foods Under a Dollar
Coffee Makes You See Ghosts!


Eight Hours of Sleep
Herbal Supplements
Smoking Ban Reduces Heart Attacks
Sleep Apnea


Spicy South Indian Cauliflower
Black Beans con Queso Bean Dip
Stuffed Tomatoes

Diet and Exercise

The Best Foods You Should Eat
(This post was originally published on June 30, 2008, and recently appeared on The New York Times’s list of most-viewed stories for 2008.
Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. Some of his favorites, like purslane (also verdolaga,, guava and goji berries, are available in India, but aren’t always available at regular grocery stores in US.   The goji fruit is obtained from the goji plant, which flourishes in Asia, specifically the western part of China, Tibet and Mongolia. The goji fruit that is found to be of the highest quality is the kind that thrives in the heights of the Himalayas.  The scientific name of the goji plant is lyceum barbarum.

Here are some that are available, but don’t make it to our basket:
1. Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.  Among superfoods, the humble beet is high on the list. Not only is the beet packed with nutrients, but beet pigments are loaded with powerful antioxidant compounds called betalains. But the best reason to eat a beet is because you like the taste.  Beets are available year-round, but the best time to buy them is June through October, when they are at their most tender. Look for unblemished bulbs with sturdy, unwilted greens. In addition to the usual red variety, you may find beautiful golden beets, and pink-and-white striated Chioggia beets.
How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.
2. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.
3. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.
4. Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.
5. Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.
How to eat: Just drink it.
6. Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.
How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.
7. Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.
How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.
8. Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,” it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
How to eat: Mix with scrambled eggs or in any vegetable dish.
9. Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil; associated with better memory in animal studies.
How to eat: Blended with yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkled with crushed almonds.
10. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.
How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Vegetarian Children
Children can start on a vegetarian diet from birth, said Sarah Krieger, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association who is a registered dietitian at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Breast milk or an iron-fortified formula are necessary in the first six months, she said, adding that soy-based formula is an option.
Vegetarian diets exclude meat, but the name is sometimes loosely worn. Some self-described vegetarians eat fish or poultry on occasion, while others -- called vegans -- cut out animal products of any kind, including eggs and dairy products.  Eating vegetarian can be very healthy -- nutritionists often push kids and adults to eat more fruits and vegetables, of course.  A balanced vegetarian diet for growing children can get sufficient amounts of protein, vitamins B12 and D, iron, calcium and other important nutrients.
Anecdotally, adolescent vegetarianism seems to be rising, thanks in part to YouTube animal slaughter videos that shock the developing sensibilities of many U.S. children. But there isn't enough long-term data to prove that, according to government researchers.  A new estimate of young vegetarians comes from a recent federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of alternative medicine based on a survey of thousands of Americans in 2007. 

Dance for Health
It has been discovered that dancing provides a whole range of health benefits ranging from dealing with obesity to greater mental agility.  The British Heart Foundation (BFH) recognizes dancing as a moderate intensity exercise, which was defined by Ellen Mason as "Any exercise where you feel warm and sweaty but can still talk to someone," and that "This could involve dancing at home to your radio, joining a local salsa group or even clubbing with friends." Any moderate exercise performed 5 times a week for 30 minutes duration can lower a person's heart attack risk by half.

Foods Under a Dollar
Here’s the DivineCaroline list of healthy foods for under $1:
1. Oats: High in fiber and good for cholesterol. A dollar buys you a week’s worth of breakfast or keeps you well-supplied in oatmeal cookies.
3. Kale: At about a dollar a bunch, this is one of the cheapest greens you’ll find in the supermarket. Toss into a stir-fry or check out recipes for German-style kale or traditional Irish colcannon.
4. Potatoes: Stay away from fries and chips, and eat them skin and all as a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Choose sweet potatoes or yams for an added serving of beta carotene. Here’s a recipe for easy breakfast potatoes that uses just 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
5. Apples: Tasty, cheap and filling, apples are a fun way to dress up a meal, either cooked or turned into applesauce.
6. Nuts: Some nuts like pecans and macadamias cost more, but peanuts, walnuts and almonds, particularly when bought in the shell, won’t break your budget. Eat them plain or sprinkle in salads. Nuts aren’t as fattening as you might think. Read more in Going Nuts for the Holidays.
7. Bananas: Shop around for deals; DivineCaroline found them for 19 cents apiece at Trader Joe’s. A dollar gets you a banana a day for the workweek, and they are great in smoothies, cereal and with yogurt.
8. Garbanzo Beans: Also known as chickpeas, garbanzos are cheapeast in dry form, but even precooked beans will still only cost about a dollar. If you don’t like garbanzos, any bean will do. Check out DivineCaroline’s recipe for orange hummus.
9. Broccoli: Easy to make and cheap, broccoli is a no-brainer for any budget meal.
10. Watermelon: The whole melon costs more than a dollar, but the per-serving cost is only about 20 cents, the site says.
11. Wild Rice: About the same as white rice, but better for you with a nutty flavor.
12. Beets: Roasted in the oven or shred into salads, beets are packed with nutrients. For extra value, buy them with greens on for stir fry or to toss in a salad. Beets have been a popular topic on Well. Check out Pass the Beets, Again for several recipes that take beets beyond the can.
13. Butternut Squash: In season, the butternut squash costs less than a dollar a pound. It can be tough to cut up, but it’s hearty and easy to bake or prepare as a soup. Check out DivineCaroline’s pear and squash bruschetta.
14. Whole Grain Pasta: A cheap staple, but pick the whole grain variety for added nutritional punch.
16. Spinach: Cheap year-round, packed with nutrition and great in salads or a spinach frittata.
17. Tofu: An inexpensive protein source. Add to smoothies for a protein boost, suggests DivineCaroline.
18. Milk: Per serving, milk and many milk products like yogurt are still under a dollar.
19. Pumpkin Seeds: Not the most practical item on the list because most of us aren’t carving pumpkins every day and they are expensive to buy on their own. Still, they are great on salads and as a snack, so it’s always worth saving pumpkin seeds when you have a pumpkin.
20. Coffee: Skip the Starbucks and make it at home, where it’s just 50 cents a cup. Plus, there’s plenty of evidence that it’s good for you.

Coffee Makes You See Ghosts!
People who drink too much coffee could start seeing ghosts or hearing strange voices, UK research has suggested.  People who drank more than seven cups of instant coffee a day were three times more likely to hallucinate than those who took just one, a study found in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.  However, academics say the findings do not prove a "causal link".  They also stress that experiencing hallucinations is not a definite sign of mental illness and that about 3% of people regularly hear voices.  When under stress, the body releases a hormone called cortisol which is produced in greater quantities after consuming caffeine.  The extra cortisol boost could be what causes a person to hallucinate.  Besides coffee, sources such as tea, chocolate, "pep" pills and energy drinks contain caffeine.
Recent research has linked high caffeine intake among pregnant women to miscarriage or low birth weight.  Other studies suggested it could help prevent skin cancer, reduce nerve damage associated with multiple sclerosis, or cause problems for diabetes sufferers.

The consumption of coffee in Japan is relatively high, as is the rate of cancer of the esophagus in men.  Compared with people who did not drink coffee, those who drank one or more cups per day had half the risk of developing mouth, pharynx and esophagus cancers, according to a report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.  Cessation of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking is currently the best-known way to help reduce the risk of developing these cancers.  In addition, coffee could be a preventive factor in both low-risk and high-risk populations.


Eight Hours of Sleep
Getting enough sleep could prevent the common cold. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who got 8 hours of sleep per night were less likely to get sick from cold-causing viruses than people who got less than 7 hours, or those who slept poorly.  The researchers said it could be that sleep fine-tunes the body's immune response.

Herbal Supplements
Herbal medicines aren't as strictly regulated as conventional medicines and that evidence on their safety and effectiveness is often lacking.   These products can sometimes interfere with other drugs and may even cause dangerous side effects. Good resource are, an online service from the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health that contains summaries from published research and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's Web site,, which contains helpful information for evaluating these products.

Smoking Ban Reduces Heart Attacks
A smoking ban in one Colorado city led to a dramatic drop in heart attack hospitalizations, according to a new study that is considered the best and longest-term research to show such a link. The rate of hospitalized cases dropped 41 percent three years after the ban of workplace smoking in Pueblo, Colo., took effect. There was no such drop in two neighboring areas, and researchers believe it's a clear sign the ban was responsible. The study suggests that secondhand smoke may be a terrible and under-recognized cause of heart attack deaths in this country.  At least eight earlier studies have linked smoking bans to decreased heart attack.  Secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths and about 3,000 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers each year, according to statistics cited by the CDC.
Smoking bans are designed not only to cut smoking rates but also to reduce secondhand tobacco smoke. It is a widely recognized cause of lung cancer, but its effect on heart disease can be more immediate. It not only damages the lining of blood vessels, but also increases the kind of blood clotting that leads to heart attacks. Reducing exposure to smoke can quickly cut the risk of clotting, some experts said.

Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea decreases blood flow to the brain, elevates blood pressure within the brain and eventually harms the brain’s ability to modulate these changes and prevent damage to itself, according to a new study published by The American Physiological Society. The findings may help explain why people with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer strokes and to die in their sleep. Sleep apnea is the most commonly diagnosed condition amongst sleep-related breathing disorders and can lead to debilitating and sometimes fatal consequences for the 18 million Americans who have been diagnosed with the disorder. This study identifies a mechanism behind stroke in these patients.  During sleep apnea episodes, the upper airway becomes blocked, hindering or stopping breathing and causing blood oxygen levels to drop and blood pressure to rise. The person eventually awakens and begins breathing, restoring normal blood oxygen and blood flow to the brain.  Ordinarily, the brain regulates its blood flow to meet its own metabolic needs, even in the face of changes in blood pressure -- a process known as cerebral autoregulation. This study found that the repeated surges and drops in blood pressure and blood flow during numerous apnea episodes each night reduces the brain’s ability to regulate these functions.


Spicy South Indian Cauliflower
1 large cauliflower (1 3/4 to 2 pounds), broken into florets, 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil, 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled, sliced and cut into thin slivers or minced,  1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and crushed, 1 to 2 Serrano chilies, to taste, seeded if desired and minced, 1 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, salt to taste, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving.
Place the cauliflower in a steaming basket above one inch of boiling water. Cover and steam for one minute. Lift the lid and allow steam to escape for 15 seconds, then cover again and steam for five minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender. Remove from the heat and refresh with cold water. Quarter the larger florets, and set the cauliflower aside.  Heat the oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet or wok above medium heat. Add the ginger, cumin seeds and chilies, and stir-fry for one minute. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for two to three minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, ground coriander, cayenne, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for five minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is fragrant. Taste and adjust salt. Stir in the cilantro, stir for another 30 seconds and then serve, passing lime wedges for squeezing.  Serve this with rice or with flat Indian bread.
Barley Risotto
7 to 8 cups vegetable stock, as needed salt, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, minced, 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed, 1 1/2 cups barley, 1 medium cauliflower, separated into small florets or sliced 1/2 inch thick, 1 cup robust red wine, such as a Côtes du Rhône, 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), freshly ground pepper
Season the stock with salt and bring to a simmer in a medium saucepan.   Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick frying pan or a wide, heavy saucepan. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about three minutes. Add the garlic, cauliflower and barley. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, until the grains of barley are separate and beginning to crackle. Add the red wine and cook, stirring, until there is no more wine visible in the pan. Stir in enough of the simmering stock to just cover the barley. The stock should bubble slowly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add more stock and continue to cook in this fashion, not too fast and not too slowly, adding more stock when the barley is almost dry, until the barley is tender but still chewy. Taste and add salt if necessary.  Add another ladleful of stock to the barley. Stir in the parsley and Parmesan, and immediately remove from the heat. Add freshly ground pepper, taste one last time and adjust salt. Serve at once.

Black Beans con Queso Bean Dip
Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter or margarine; 1 large onion. finely chopped; 2 garlic cloves, pressed; 1/3 cup all-purpose flour; 2 cups of milk; 2 packages (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese; 2 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained; 1 4.5 ounce can chopped green chiles; 1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce; 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper; Tortilla chips, corn chips or crackers
Preparation: Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat; add onion and sautee 8 minutes. Add garlic and sautee 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in flour until smooth; cook mixture, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cheese, stirring constantly over low heat until cheese melts.  Stir in black beans and remaining ingredients, gently stirring until mixture is thoroughly heated. Serve warm with chips or crackers.

Stuffed Tomatoes
4 large firm tomatoes; 2 tbsp olive oil; 1/2 cup onion, diced; 2 cups pre-cooked rice; 1/3 tsp allspice; salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 1/2 inch off tops of tomatoes. Use a small knife or a melon baller to gently scoop out the insides of the tomatoes, being careful not to cut through the bottoms.  Sautee the onions for a few minutes in olive oil, until soft.  In a large bowl, combine the rice with the remaining ingredients, then combine the sauteed onions as well.  Using a small spoon, scoop the rice mixture and stuff each tomato. Gently pack in the rice, so the whole tomato is full.  Lightly brush the tomatoes with a bit olive oil and place in a baking dish.
Bake for 25 minutes.

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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Source: The primary sources cited above,  New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP), Mercury News,, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Intellihealthnews, Deccan Chronicle (DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, AP, Reuters, AFP,, etc.

Copyright ©1998-2008
Vepachedu Educational Foundation, Inc
Copyright Vepachedu Educational Foundation Inc., 2008.  All rights reserved.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for special medical conditions or any specific health issues or starting a new fitness regimen. Please read disclaimer.

Om! Asatoma Sadgamaya, Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya, Mrityorma Amritamgamaya, Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih!
(Om! Lead the world from wrong path to the right path, from ignorance to knowledge, from mortality to immortality and peace!)
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