Health Article: Toxic foods

1. Rice

While there are many benefits to rice, especially brown rice, it really shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities as it contains arsenic which, in high levels, is extremely toxic. The odd rice bowl here or there won’t do you harm, but lots of it consistently isn’t good as high levels of arsenic have been linked to cancer.

2. Nuts

Some nuts such as almonds and cashews are a healthy snack and taste great. However, before they reach the supermarket shelves and our mouths, they are treated with heat and processed. This is essential, as the raw form of the nuts contain cyanide.

3. Pufferfish

For many this fish, also known as fugu, is a delicacy, yet eating its liver, intestines and skin is poisonous as they contain tetrodotoxin. The flesh is perfectly safe to eat, but eating the other parts can cause tingling sensations, paralysis and even death.

4. Chili

While many of us like a little chili-padi on our food to give it a bit of a kick, the compound which causes the heat, capsaicin, is toxic. It has been known to cause burning sensations, inflammation, irritated skin, stomach aches and, on the rare occasion, death.

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are certainly classed as a super food as they are nutritional powerhouses when it comes to all their goodness. However, there are some which are extremely toxic and can be deadly. It’s best not to pick and eat wild mushrooms unless you are 100 per cent sure that they are safe.

6. Potato

Potatoes, like rice, are a staple in many people’s diets and baked or boiled, they are very good for us. However, when they are left a little too long and have green patches or grown small roots, it’s best to avoid them. The green area is due to glycoalkaloid, which is poisonous. The leaves and roots are also toxic to humans.

7. Seeds and pips

While the most part of apples, cherries, and peaches, for example, are very good for us, their seeds and pips aren’t. Again, these contain cyanide and while you would have to eat large quantities of them to be significantly poisoned, if you chew on or swallow a high number you will get sick.

8. Oil

Now we don’t mean all oils here, just castor oil. However the castor oil that we buy has been treated and prepared so that it is edible and non-toxic. Still, the actual bean contains ricin that is particularly poisonous and consuming just one bean which hasn’t been carefully prepared will kill you.

9. Bread rolls

Many breads and rolls contain the ingredient potassium bromate which is carcinogenic. While most bromate turns to bromide and is harmless, those that remain in their original form are extremely bad for us and in studies have been known to cause tumors. Due to this it’s been banned in many countries.

10. UHT/ pasteurized milk

While it isn’t poisonous as such, the UHT stands for ‘ultra heat temperature’, and the milk has been heated to an extremely high temperature. This may sound harmless, but casein, the protein in it, changes form, making it impossible for the body to digest causing allergies, asthma, skin rashes and more. It also causes mucus to form in the lungs and intestines making it hard for nutrients to be absorbed.

11. Absinthe

This alcohol is not only hallucinogenic, but contains Wormwood which is a poison when mixed wrongly or taken in too large doses. Many places have banned it and some bars that sell it will (or should) stamp a person’s hand so they can keep track of how many have been drunk. Usually only two are allowed, mainly due to its hallucinogenic affects.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Health Article: Energy boosting food

1. Make sure that you have breakfast to help you get through the morning and prevent you from eating too much of the wrong foods at lunch. Eating more during the day when you need energy, rather than in the evening, will assure your levels remain high. Scrambled egg whites, smoked salmon on a bagel is a substantial meal which will give ongoing energy.

2. For a quick boost of energy, aim for fruit, such as a banana. You’ll get your carbohydrates which your body needs to burn and is the fastest way to get energy. The potassium is bananas is an electrolyte which helps to prolong muscle function.

3. Berries or foods rich in antioxidants will the the body to eliminate and combat the toxins and chemicals in the body which cause fatigue. Try a handful of blueberries on yogurt as the magnesium in the yogurt are important for digestion and help to release energy.

4. Watermelon contains four minerals which help to combat low energy; potassium, vitamin C, iron and lycopene. Add it to salad or have it after a meal as a powerful addition to your energy boosting meal.

5. Beans and lentils are great for when your body needs energy. They contain carbohydrates, protein and fiber and releases glucose slowly, meaning your body has a sustained release of energy.

6. Having low levels of iron will cause fatigue and low energy as calls suffocate and can’t burn carbohydrates properly. A steak will help to increase your iron levels as the body easily absorbs the mineral from it.

7. For an afternoon snack which is healthy, have some hummus with vegetable sticks. Hummus contains protein and the vegetables provide carbohydrates and fibre. These will help to fill you up and give you energy. It’s great if your trying to lose weight.

8. Another healthy snack would be a handful of nuts as they contain magnesium which is needed by the body to turn sugar into energy. A lack of magnesium is known to drain energy reserves and cause fatigue.

9. For sustained energy go for a combination of foods, such as carbohydrates, protein and fats. They are all digested at different times and processed differently. Therefore you’ll have sustained energy release. A turkey sandwich on whole grain bread is ideal.

10. Water is essential for your body to function properly and without it, it won’t be able to create energy and it is needed for digestion and transporting nutrients. Being dehydrated can cause fatigue.

11. o give yourself a short-term energy kick and to keep you alert, have a cup of coffee. It helps to increase metabolism therefore speeding up digestion and ensuring those essential nutrients are used for energy. Only have a cup or two a day.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Health Article: Think twice before you share your make up with others

1. Brushes that you use to carry not only will contain dead skin particles, but also bacteria and germs, such as dermatitis, which are then transferred from one person to the next.

2. Someone that has or has had an infected lip or eye can easily pass that infection to someone, especially as those areas are sensitive and delicate. Infections and germs flourish in the lip and eye product containers such as mascara and lip gloss and it’s more risky as you’re coming in contact with body fluids.

3. Customers at cosmetic counters who opt for a free makeup demonstration or try a product also put themselves at risk and may leave with more then they bargain for. Without certain health precautions in place, strangers are unwittingly sharing cosmetics with plenty of others, exposing themselves to all sorts.

4. Oral herpes which can be passed by sharing lip makeup applicators, can reoccur time and time again because once the initial infection clears up, the virus remains inactive in the body. Anything from stress, the common cold or sunlight can trigger it. While there are no long term effects, the virus will remain with you forever and can spread to the eyes, fingers and genital.

5. Conjunctivitis is also something which is easily spread through mascaras, eye liners and other eye products. It’s an irritating inflammation of the membrane around the eye and under the lids which can be sore and cause discomfort. It will usually take a course of antibiotics to clear it.

6. mpetigo is another skin infection which can be passed through shared makeup. It causes red sores on the area which is infected which looks like a rash. Although it can be easy to treat and isn’t dangerous, in can in some instances lead to rare but grave repercussions such as kidney inflammation, infection in the tissue under the skin which can get into the blood stream and MRSA according to the Mayo Clinic.

7. Many products contain preservatives to kill some common bacteria on the makeup, however, as soon as makeup is opened, bacteria surges in. In products that you have had for a long time, the power of the preservatives will diminish. Try to throw away and replace old products. For example, liquid foundation will last three to six months and mascara will only last for three months.

8. If you do need to share your brushes and applicators for whatever reason, make sure that you wash them afterwards to reduce the risk of infections – they should really washed on a monthly basis anyway.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle



Health Article: Skin care 101

First impressions count. A good skin-care regime doesn’t have to be a big production, but it does take a certain amount of diligence to keep your skin all alabaster and glowing – especially when the odds are stacked up against you.

Facial cleansing is important to wash away oil, make-up and surface debris that can clog pores and cause blemishes. Look for products that can do so effectively without damaging and dehydrating the skin. Once a week, gently exfoliate after cleansing to reveal smoother, healthier and younger looking skin.

Step by step

Cleansing your face should be part of your morning and evening routine, and can be completed in two to three steps. First, a gentle milk or non-foaming creamy cleanser can be used to remove make-up, dissolve surface oils and debris. A foaming cleanser can then be used for a fresher feel. Some individuals also prefer end the process with a toner that refreshes and tightens skin, as well as removing any remaining residue left behind by the cleansers.

Male skin is thicker than female skin

Men are less vulnerable to damage from the sun as they have more elastic and collagen in their skin. Hence, compared to women, men are less susceptible to ageing. However, this does not last forever – a man’s skin grows thinner as he ages, while a woman’s skin remains relatively constant through the years.

Men are more delicate than women
This is due to regular shaving, which strips off the hydrolytic film on the skin’s surface, making it more prone to irritation and skin issues. Men have smaller sebaceous glands (oil glands), but have oilier skin because their thicker skin produces sebum for much longer. Women’s skin, on the other hand, decreases oil production as they age. Men also have larger pores, which make them more susceptible to acne, blackheads and ingrown hair (from shaving incorrectly).

Cut back on the oil, guys

Men will do well to use non-oily products that can help reduce shine and breakouts. Mild salicylic acid is a good ingredient for male skin as it exfoliates dead cells and prevents shaving bumps, ingrown hairs and pimples. As a woman ages, Vitamins A, C and E are great for keeping the skin supple and youthful.


A good cleanser has low soap content

This prevents the skin’s natural moisture from being stripped away, which may lead to sensitive skin. A good cleanser should contain ingredients that can treat the skin for different types of problems while cleansing.

Exfoliation in moderation is good for you

It helps to remove dead skin cells, leaving behind new cells for a cleaner and clearer complexion that will allow make-up to set effectively. Also, regular exfoliation encourages the skin to renew regularly, keeping it young.

Pick the right doctor to treat spotty skin

Seek a doctor with experience in Intralesional Injection if the pimple is large, cystic or embedded into the skin. The injection can calm down angry pimples in four hours. For smaller ones, medicated acne gel should suffice. Do apply a layer of protective serum on the surrounding skin so that the harsh medication will not cause flaking of the skin, which may be very visible upon make-up application.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle


Health Article: Are you overeating when with friends?

Activities that are done among friends may have an impact on weight gain or loss.

The team sought to deduce possible causes of obesity transmission by answering the following questions: Do women decide on “acceptable body size” from friends and change their diet to achieve the weight ideal? Do they feel pressure to conform to a certain size, despite disagreeing with their family’s expectations? Or do they form an idea of appropriate body size by simply observing their friends’ bodies, and consequently change their eating and exercise habits as well?

Though they found no evidence to support the first two hypotheses and limited evidence to support the third, research suggested other factors like eating and exercising together may be more important in causing friends to gain and lose weight together, they said. The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

“If we can figure out exactly why obesity spreads among friends and family members, that can tell us where to focus resources in curbing rates of obesity,” said lead author Daniel J. Hruschka, a cultural anthropologist. “Is it more effective to change people’s ideals of acceptable body size in hopes that they will change their behaviors or rather directly target socially shared behaviors that can contribute to weight gain or loss?”

After comparing the body mass index (or BMI) of the women, their friends and family members, the researchers confirmed prior findings that the risk of a woman’s obesity rose if her social network was also obese.

A 2007 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that both obesity and thinness were socially contagious and influenced the social network’s body weight: if one person is obese, odds that their friends will also become obese increases by 50 percent, the study found.

Another interesting aspect of the ASU study was that when asked to choose between obesity or a range of 12 socially stigmatized conditions like alcoholism or herpes, many women said they’d take a debilitating condition over being fat. That included 25 percent who said they preferred severe depression and 15 percent opting for total blindness over obesity.

“This gives us important clues about the best ways to tackle obesity as a public health issue,” said co-author Alexandra Brewis. “We need to focus on what people do together, rather than what people think.”


Source: xinmsn

Health Article: Advice on weight training

Many women tend to focus on cardio or classes when they workout and don’t think about weights, usually because it is associated with men. However, it should be a part of your routine as it is important for overall fitness and helps to tone the muscles and most importantly, strengthen your bones.

1. Tailor your routine and work out what it is you want to achieve from weight lifting, whether it is health, to improve your function or to tone up.

2. Make sure you focus more on your upper back as this will protect you against bad posture in later life which is commonly associated with osteoporosis. Weight training will help to strengthen your bones.

3. Ensure you learn how to use and lift the weights properly. If you have no experience you’ll likely cause yourself damage. May be ask a trainer or someone who uses them to show you.

4. Cardio mixed with weights will give the best result when it comes to weight loss and toning up. Try running for 10 minutes then walk for five and repeat as many times as you can. After the cardio, work on the weight lifting.

5. Alternatively, alternate cardio and weight lifting on different days. this will give the muscles time to repair and recover which is when your muscles strengthen.

6. To gain the full benefits from weight training you need to increase the weight over time. The number of repetitions that you are able to do should indicate how much weight you should start out with.

7. Don’t just work the muscles you can see and devote your time to that. Every muscle has an opposing muscle so make sure that you work the pair. For example, stomach crunches with back extensions or bicep curls with tricep kickbacks.

8. It’s a misconception you’ll end up big and bulky. Weight training will help to tone your muscles, speed up your metabolism and help to burn fat.

Source: xinmsn


Health Article: Get good sleep for better male virility!

The findings of a new study is bad news for men: Poor sleep is linked to erectile dysfunction.

The study by the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York City found that men with erectile dysfunction (ED) were two times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) – a sleep disorder – than those without ED, after adjusting age and other health factors.

The study comprised of 870 men – all in the body mass index obese range – with an average age of 47.3 years, of which 63 per cent suffered from OSA. OSA sufferers often experience fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness, due to sleep interruptions.

Speaking to TODAY, Dr Michael Wong, president of the Singapore Urological Association, estimated that about one in 10 men in Singapore suffer from ED, whereby the sufferer is unable to have or maintain a full erection during sex.

Based on his own observations of patients with ED, “men who don’t sleep well tend to suffer from chronic fatigue and their erection will be poorer,” said Dr Wong, who is also the medical director and a senior consultant urologist of the Urology, Fertility and Gynaecology Centre at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

Dr Wong noted that the men in the study were obese, which means they are more likely to have chronic conditions such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome – all of which are risk factors for ED.

Surprisingly, Dr Wong also sees young men in their late 20s and 30s who complain of ED problems, even though it is more common among older men. “Younger patients typically suffer from performance anxiety. Their expectations are too high because of exposure to the ‘wrong data’ from TV or the Internet,” said Dr Wong.

85 per cent of ED cases can be managed with oral medication as well as sexual counselling. If medication fails, options like penile injections may be explored, he said.

Source: xinmsn