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Health benefits of curd
 Daneel Yunus  
 26 February 2018  

Curd– It is also known as yogurt or “Dahi” and is very popular for preparing a lassi in all over the country. The use of dahi is in ancient tine in Indian subcontinent. It is commonly eating by changing into yogurt (raita) with pulse, onion, and grated cucumber. Dahi ia also consume as a sweet dish with sugar after meal.Lassi is very popular traditional cold drink during summer season in our country. There are different varieties of lassi which are available in majority places of the country.Health benefits of curd – There are several health benefits of curd which are discussed belowCurd contains protein with magnesium and potassium and is beneficial in reducing blood pressure which is good for heart.Curd helps in good immunity system of the body which can protect from several diseases.The protein and vitamin B5 are found in the yogurt which removes the dandruff and becomes healthy hair.Curd id beneficial for healthy skin. It is used as a face packs, contains lactic acid used as an exfoliator which removes dead cell and blemishes.Curd contains a calcium and phosphorus which helps in making strong bones and teeth. Daily eating of curd is used in prevent diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis.As per research, curd has probiotics properties and decreased the activity of the brain for emotion such as stress which is harmful for an individual.Curd has bacteria known as “Lactobacillus acidophilus” which is beneficial for good digestion.Curd also helps in lower the risk of obesity which is responsible for several diseases as per research.Curd is helpful in lowering the cholesterol which is beneficial for healthy heart as per research.

BORN FREE TO LIVE IN A CAGE
 Padmini Ravindran  
 16 March 2018  

  All over the world, countries celebrate their independence day with great pride and gusto showcasing their strength and progress to be admired and awed by people. However, I wonder at times are we; human beings really free or liberated? Do we enjoy freedom in true sense? I’ll keep my thought process limited to India without going to the other parts of the world.Every human being according to me is free only at the time of birth. A baby has no worries about projecting the “right public image” and is happy doing anything and everything he wants to. As we grow, we are caged, shackled in many chains by the society- Social, cultural, emotional and lately technological.It starts when the baby (I’ll use ‘She’ as a pronoun as it encompasses ‘he’ too J!) is hardly a toddler. Parents love to show off his/her talents without any consideration for his/her moods and fancies. She has to sing or dance and entertain the relatives who are often least interested. Then there is a marathon for the best school in the city. The kid is again forced to mug up the likely questions to be asked at the interview, learn to behave in a certain manner at the age when she just wants to be left on her/his own.    Once at school the comparison starts with all the other children. Every parent wants the child to be the best - marvelling at studies, sports, debates and elocutions, arts, theatre, social etiquette and so on. In short she has to be a Superwoman, while the mothers sweat over every small detail like deciding what hobbies are “in”, what vitamin supplements to give the child for super-built body and extra-intelligent brain, what kind of clothes are in vogue for kids and so on. All advertisements put the pressure on parents to make a scientist/ doctor/ engineer or any professional (Please note that none off the advertisements think much of artists or farmersL! No wonders farmers have remained the most vulnerable lot in our “agrarian” economy for decades!). The harried parents, in turn pass on this frenzied madness on to their children. Every parent dreams of having a super successful child prodigy, irrespective of own talents that he has passed on in the child’s DNA at birth. We want our children to follow the career chart we have created for them taking in consideration the status, social acceptance, and money it will yield. What the child’s interests are is totally ignored.Once the school and college marathon is over and youth gets a plum job, then the other social pressures build up. A girl must learn to be graceful, super talented at juggling home and demanding career, must be having all the socially accepted attributes like – fair, tall, slim, social yet home-loving, educated yet sacrificing, modern yet with traditional values and the list is endless.This brings me to the fairness obsession in our country where most girls are bound to be wheat complexioned due to our geographic and climatic conditions. Having a dusky complexion is looked down upon and if you have a darker skin only God or fairness creams save you! I find the advertisements so ridiculous when a girl dreaming of a great career has to rely on fairness creams to prove her mettle! If she wants to remain single by choice then hell breaks loose. If she marries then her womanhood is not considered complete till she delivers a baby. Why I wonder, in a free country it becomes a privilege of all and sundry to barge into couple’s bedroom and discuss why are they not having kids and what could be wrong with them. Can we not let the parents decide when they want to bring in a life that is going to be their responsibility till they are alive?Men on the other hand are forced to bring home a handsome pay package and comparisons of how much comforts and luxury a neighbour can afford to give his wife vis- a -vis the poor husband becomes a main topic of contention. Once they become parents they too merrily join the same rat race that their parents had joined to ruin them.These are some of the socio-cultural shackles I strongly feel about. Emotional shackles too are somewhat intertwined in these as usually our Indian society loves to emotionally blackmail their loved ones to follow their commands. Log kya kahenge is the most dangerous epidemic that has been afflicted by Asian psyche. Social approval is a bug that has bitten all of us. Imagine the emotional state of a young girl when she is more than often rejected because she is NOT fair, slim or beautiful. She is most often an easy prey to depression. I wonder why we give so much importance to external attributes while totally ignoring the more important ones like nature, intelligence, compatibility etc. in a life partner. Are we shopping here for a curio to beautify home or wanting someone with whom we can share our lives! And same things go for men too - what with markets flooded with anti-balding treatments and all those fairness creams for men? He too is expected to earn well, be qualified with the most lucrative degree, have a macho figure etc. I often hear young girls asking for well sculpted men as their life partners. SO now the fire has reached even the other side of the society. At a young age he’s expected to offer all the comforts and luxuries when he’s still building his career!Added to all these cages, the worst shackle is the technology. We think human being created technology for comforts but today it has totally backfired on us impacting every aspect of the society. Just look around and see for yourself what have smart phones done to our lives! The downfall that started with the idiot box and further fuelled with the internet has been completed by the smart phones. Phones are getting smarter and humans are getting dumber. I’ve nothing against technology and if used sensibly it can be a great boon. We can now reach the entire world in a split second. Emails have become a passé with the advent of other more powerful and faster means of communication. Often Facebook and twitter has helped in reuniting people or in sending across a useful message. Today I too am saying what I feel thanks to this technology. We can surely not ignore the good things. However, we can’t turn a blind eye to the damage it does to our most profound institutions of marriage, family and society as a whole.  Families are fast disintegrating today as each one is happy to be in his on anda cell created by his Laptop, smart phone, personal TV or a tablet, and is constantly in his world with his headsets on. Cheating in marriages has never been so rampant and easy with the right to privacy. Virtual affairs ruin many marriages as one doesn’t understand that virtual love is bound to appear “perfect” and it’s only when you actually start life together you need to adjust and understand. Recently, a study revealed how social skills are being affected in this generation that spends most of its time in the virtual world. Family time is unheard of with each one immersed in his on virtual world. We forget that though wired from all sides we are not robots but human beings who are bound to need emotions like warmth, love and touch to thrive. The older generation who is not very tech savvy feels the brunt the most. They are mostly treated like a piece of furniture. The youth has no connect with parents leave alone grandparents. In our desire to connect across miles we have been disconnected from our own family.Family outings, dinners and gatherings do happen surprisingly even today but the most time and attention is hogged by these smart phones. Family time has become a joke with each member immersed in one’s cell phone- exchanging messages. Checking face book updates, updating status and so on.The family vacations are more for clicking selfies and check-ins to let the whole world on social media know the exotic place one is heading to. There have been many stand up comedies, what’s app forwards and tongue in cheek cartoons aimed at this but I feel we are quick to ignore these warning bells and laugh it off merely as a humour. So many have lost lives clicking selfies at dangerous spots but we are too slow to understand the implications. Are we really a generation of dimwits and our cell phones smarter than us? Only God save us in such situation…!All pictures Courtesy- https://unsplash.com

TOOTHACHE PLANT
 Preeti Tal  
 30 June 2018  

Toothache plant and its uses

Eat the best foods to get fabulous skin – The right nutrition is vital for health
 Leona Zoey  
 10 January 2019  

Everyone has got a favorite treatment or a face cream but beautiful skin actually starts with nourishment from inside. You should know that older cells are always shed and they’re soon replaced by younger ones and a constant supply of the main nutrients is vital for supporting rapid growth. When you eat the right balance of foods, you can give your skin the vital nutrients it requires to stay supple, soft and blemish-free.As much as you can try to resist it, human skin naturally ages. This is something we can’t avoid as this is the inevitable part of aging and age spots, wrinkles and overexposure to the sun, strong soaps, poor nutrition and chemicals leads to fast aging. Keeping this in mind, it is best to adopt a holistic approach towards your skin care routine. Importance of Nutrition for your healthIt is important for you to give proper nutrition to your health as because an unhealthy diet can always cause damage to metabolism, promote weight gain and also have an impact on the organs like liver and heart. Something that you eat will also have an impact on the health of your skin which is the largest organ of your body. Hence, it can be said without doubt that diet will always have an impact on your body and this makes it even clearer that what you eat can have a considerable impact on the aging of your skin and on the overall health. SkinB5, a product which offers solution to acne and other skin issues may also be tried for best results. Eat your way to smooth skin – Few of the best recommended foods#1: FATTY FISHHave you heard of fatty fish names like mackerel, salmon or herring which all have amazing benefits for a healthy skin? Well, you may not have known this but they are indeed rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for maintaining good health of your skin. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to keep skin supple, thick and moisturized. In case there is a sudden deficiency of omega-3 fats, this can lead to excessive dry skin. Omega-3 fats which are found in the aforementioned fishes reduce inflammation which can be the ultimate cause behind the acne and redness and it can even make your skin less sensitive to the harmful UV rays of the sun. They’re also a resource of all the Vitamin E which is one of the main antioxidants which helps your skin.#2: WALNUTSWalnuts also have several kinds of features which make them a perfect food for healthy skin. They’re indeed the best source of fatty acids which are those fats which aren’t made by the human body. Walnuts tend to be richer than most other forms of nuts in both omega-6 and 3 fatty acids. Remember that a diet which is too rich in omega-6 fats will induce inflammation and might lead to psoriasis. On the other hand, omega-3 fats help in reducing inflammation and also in the skin. #3: AVOCADOSAs long as healthy fats are concerned, avocados are rich in them and such fats benefit different function in the body like the health of your skin. In order to maintain a moisturized and flexible skin, you have to get enough of these fats. As per a study done on more than 700 women, it was found out that high consumption of total fat; especially the healthy fats found in avocados were directly related to springy and supple skin. Avocados are rich in Vitamin E which is a vital antioxidant which assists in protecting your skin from oxidative damage. Since Vitamin E is that nutrient which majority of the Americans don’t get enough of, it is better to have avocados. It is also essential for our skin to have enough amounts of Vitamin C for getting healthy and fresh skin. These days, it is rare to have a deficiency of Vitamin C but still there are few common symptoms like rough, dry and scaly skin which gets bruised easily. A 100 gm serving which is around half of an avocado offers 10% of RDI of Vitamin R and 18% of RDI of Vitamin C. #4: SUNFLOWER SEEDSIn general, seeds and nuts are the best sources of nutrients which are vital for healthy skin. One of the best examples are sunflower seeds. Just 1 ounce of sunflower seeds have 34% of antioxidant selenium, 10% of zinc and 5.4 grams of protein. Besides having this ability, sunflower seeds are one of the best sources of linoleic acid which is omega 6 fat which helps the skin in staying flexible, thick and moisturized. As per an observational study done on 5000 women, it was seen that a high intake of linoleic acid is always related to reduced risk of thin and dry skin due to aging. Hence, sunflower seeds are vital source of nutrients which include Vitamin E which is a vital antioxidant for your skin. #5: YELLOW OR RED BELL PEPPERSDid you know that bell peppers are a vital source of beta carotene? If you have 1 cup of chopped red bell pepper, this will have 92% of vitamin A. They can also be said to be the best resources of Vitamin C, the antioxidant which is required for creating collagen and which keeps the skin strong and firm. When you have a single cup of bell pepper, this offers you an impressive 318% of Vitamin C as per what you need daily. When you eat plenty of Vitamin C, this is usually associated with low change of skin aging and reduced wrinkles and other inevitable signs of aging.Therefore, when you eat the right things, this will definitely have the intended impact on your skin. So, when a healthy skin is all that is there in your mind, you should take enough vital nutrients for safeguarding your skin. Take into account the foods that are given on the list and start taking them to reap their benefits. 

The hormones of happyness
 Rajabala Tripathy  
 1 April 2019  

😊The Hormones Of Happiness : How To Increase Them😊...............................................All of your feelings and emotions are a result of chemical reactions taking place in your body. These reactions are responsible for making you feel negative emotions, like anger and sadness, as well as positive emotions, like love and happiness. Read on to find out what your happy hormones are and how you can increase them.😊Endorphins..........***Endorphins are your body's natural painkillers, since they block pain. Most people are aware of the fact that exercise releases endorphins, but they don't realise the reason for this. Way back in the stone ages, endorphins were important to our ancestors because they enabled them to keep running through the pain and escape predators. Today, we don't need to escape predators anymore, so we only produce endorphins when we perform anaerobic exercises, since endorphins help us to keep going even after we deplete our oxygen stores.Ways to increase your endorphin levels:***• Exercise to cope with chronic pain.• Eat spicy food, since your tongue has receptors that react to spice by sending messages to your brain that are similar to pain signals, causing your brain to trigger the release of endorphins.😊Serotonin***Serotonin is the key hormone of happiness, since it regulates mood, prevents depression, thwarts irritation and makes you happy and sociable.Ways to increase your serotonin levels:***• Spend time in the sun, since sunlight causes your body to produce Vitamin D, which triggers the release of serotonin.• Think happy thoughts, since your brain produces serotonin when you remember happy memories or think about things that make you happy.• Consume foods like milk and corn, since they contain tryptophan, a substance that your body converts to serotonin. Other carbohydrates also contain tryptophan.• Do a low-intensity workout, since your body produces serotonin when it is performing aerobic exercise, as opposed to the endorphins it produces during anaerobic exercise.😊Dopamine..........***Dopamine is a pleasure hormone that is released when you strive towards a goal. Dopamine motivates you to work hard so that you can achieve the satisfaction of reaching that goal. It also keeps you mentally alert and helps you focus.Ways to increase your dopamine levels:***• Set daily or monthly goals, since they give you something to strive towards.• Set exercise goals, since dopamine increases in tandem with serotonin and endorphins when you exercise. Setting goals will increase the production of dopamine even more.• Eat foods that are rich in protein.😊Oxytocin......****Oxytocin is the love hormone, and is released in large amounts during sexual intercourse and childbirth, but also during other types of affectionate physical contact, like hugging. Oxytocin also increases feelings of love and trust.Ways to increase your oxytocin levels: 😊• Get a massage, since it relaxes your muscles and the prolonged physical contact triggers the release of oxytocin.• Show your friends and family that you love them by touching them affectionately. You can hug your parents, throw an arm around a friend or cuddle up with your partner.😊What are the limitations of these hormones?*****Hormones are effective, but they do have their limitations. The effects of endorphins are only temporary. If you have had a fight with someone for example, exercising will make you feel better for a while, but until you sort out the fight your unhappiness will keep returning. Oxytocin is a great way to build a relationship, but common sense dictates that you can't love and trust everyone you meet or you will be the victim of several scams. Too much dopamine is unhealthy, since it can cause addictions.source: internetRajabala

5 Things to Avoid in Food During Trekking
 Manmohan Singh  
 30 May 2019  

Trekking is a holistic activity that takes you to places that are unbelievably picturesque. Places that you may have seen in photographs and postcards. The glistening mountain tops and pristine lakes are not the only things that are tempting to the soul. The foods in these areas of the world are so different to the taste buds and very new to enthusiastic souls who like to discover these new things while travelling.The fun in travelling lies in these small discoveries that one makes. While trekking, one comes across so many kinds of mesmerising terrains and landscapes, the soul and the body is ready to accept all the good that the foods of the local area brings along in the course of the journey. Not just the food but the native cultures and traditions are rich, diverse and a segment of traditional beliefs that have passed down the ages. Nepal is a place that is known for the diverse amount of trekking trails and terrains, for trek enthusiasts to dwell in. The best part is that trekking in Nepal does not burn a huge hole in your pocket, that’s why Nepal is a favourite amongst enthusiasts. One of the most famous tracks for trekking is the Everest base camp trekking in Nepal. People, who want to get close to the highest mountain in the world, opt for this trekking trail once in Nepal.There is a long list of foods that you should eat while on a trekking trip, but there are 5 important foods and beverages that you must absolutely avoid while starting on a trekking journey. 1. Alcoholic beveragesConsumption of alcohol lowers your energy outlet and drags down your focus while trekking. More than anything, alcohol is a beverage that stirs your emotional levels and hampers the progress on your mental capacity on a trek. Trekking is an activity that requires your mind to be aware and alert at all times; a loss of one second of your attention span can lead to fatal accidents. It is worse if you go through a hangover before starting a lengthy trek.  It is true that people consume alcohol to ward off the chilling winds in a trek, but that is only really small quantities of alcohol. It is always better to celebrate with alcohol after the trek is over. 2. Cold meatsYou may have heard that meat is a very strong source of proteins and energy, but you may not know that you can obtain the same quantity of proteins and vitamins from so many kinds of vegetables. More than anything, why the consumption of meat is so bothersome is that, meat can be preserved and kept for inculcating flavour, and the proteins in the meat don’t survive for long. So, what you consume in the end is a dead flesh that has been cured for flavour. While trekking you need proteins and vitamins to keep you trekking in a consistent manner, it is not advisable to consume dead flesh while on a trek that needs you to produce the energy from within. Especially while on a trek to Nepal do not expect a lot of variety in meat. If you are used to eating beef forget that you will find beef anywhere, cow is the national animal of Nepal and it is highly offensive to consume beef or steak. 3. Carbonated drinksWhen on a trek you must take care of your abdomen and stomach. Try to eat foods that do not upset the stomach a lot. Especially consuming all natural based items is advisable. Carbonated drinks only serve for flavour and the taste buds while not being a very healthy option while on a trek. For energy boost and refreshment, try drinking natural vegan milks and fruit juices instead. 4. RiceEating rice in large amounts causes your stomach to swell and this makes it hard for you to carry your own weight on a trek. Rice is necessary for the carbohydrates that is provides but consuming too much out of hunger is not advised. This is because rice does not provide lot of roughage for exercising the abdomen. Rather breads like the traditional Nepali roti are full of proteins and roughage. 5. Processed foodsAny form of processed foods is likely to contain very less amounts of the vitamins of that particular food. Processed foods also contain traces of preservatives that are not beneficial for your energy flow. Avoid processed foods and try to consume more foods that can be naturally sourced, even if it lacks in flavour which is very unlikely, opt for natural foods, fruits and vegetables.  While on an important trek, or any trekking expedition for that matter, try to go as vegan or vegetarian as possible. The greens that you consume hold a lot more energy than meat and other alternatives you consume for proteins. There are a lot of foods that are essential for treks, and believe it or not, while on a trek, the simplest foods like rice, wheat and lentils are the best source of energy. The locals thrive on this kind of food and it is what keeps them surviving and it the best shape to be alive on these terrains. We may be tourists but the natives are locals they are one with the mountains and the natural surroundings. So follow their lead and do in Rome as the Romans do. 

Tips for Trekking in Hot Weather
 Manmohan Singh  
 5 June 2019  

Summary-Summer is here, and it's scorching hot outside! You as an avid traveler still want to go out for a trek, but when the leaves can’t take the heat, how would you be able to? Follow the given tips in this article to cut down on succumbing to the heat so that you can enjoy your trek.If all you crave for, in your daily noons is a patch of shade or a long sip of water, then you are aware that before going for a trek, you better take some logical steps. The wanderlust soul in you won’t let you stay at home, and to complete the mission of the trek, you would want to know how to deal with the extreme heat situations. The weather can challenge you with its strong ultra-violet rays, or sometimes humidity causing nausea, dizziness, hyperthermia, sunburns, dehydration, an unconscious state of mind, and can put you in other tricky situations too. The overexposure in the Sun with increased physical activity may initiate heatstrokes, so you better be careful. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Headache is considered as one of the most common symptoms of heat stress disorders”. The water and salt levels in your body shoot down, causing uneasiness by making you feel all giddy.Lately, treks are taking over the travelers market with its viral tendencies of inspiring the masses. Social media has given a new voice to the travel industry by sharing the personal experiences of hikers, backpackers, trekkers, photographers, etc. This influential power has spread in India like fire, as the new trend to explore untouched places like Trekking in Ladakh has become a kink for the curious ones. Trekking in India is not an easy thing to do, especially during the summers, because of the diversification in the terrains, but it’s a whole different experience which needs a separate article for itself. If the body temperature touches 40-degree Celsius or above, then it can be dangerous for your brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. So, we have our list of tips for trekking in hot weather.Top 5 Tips for trekking in hot weather Weather ConditionsMountains have the history of surprising you at every step, not just on the ground, but it also reflects in their unpredictable weather conditions. Make sure you go through the weather forecast, even the sky looks like the clearest blue you have ever seen. As a matter of fact, thunderstorms usually occur when the weather is hot. Crazy right? So, do not take the weather so lightly especially if you are a beginner who is excited and ready to enter the wild. Keep yourself prepared for the worst case scenario. Start EarlyProlonged exposure in excessive heat may cause you headaches after sweating. You may fall unconscious, or lose a lot of energy just by being under the direct sunlight. Therefore, the best tip for any trek is to start early in the morning.A fresh start, much before the sunrise is the perfect time to save your energy for the rest of the trek without feeling lazy about it.Layers of ClothingCheck your gear before stepping in or enrolling into a long trek. Start with shorter routes in the beginning, and be all decked up with the essentials like a cap, windcheaters, sweat-proof or dry-fit clothes, etc. Keep your head covered from the heat. Also, try to go for pants to avoid minor cuts and injuries in the forests or barren lands.For insulation purpose, you may have to wear layers of light clothes. It sounds odd, but it certainly is the way to go ahead. Synthetic fibers or polyester material clothes are perfect for the trek, to prevent you from chafing as well.Keep your sunscreen, sunglasses handy.Hydration SupportDefinitely, keep yourself hydrated with water and some vitamin C drinks. Do not drink too much at once, take 2-3 sips to basically rinse your mouth time to time during the tiring trek. Consuming too much may give you chest pain, and losing all the water may cause you trouble for the rest of the trek since you have got to purify water.Other than that, do bring a few salty snacks of your choice. Energy bars are a good way to keep yourself going, to re-charge yourself.Take Regular BreaksDo not hesitate to stop once in a while and capture the view in your heart. Taking regular but short breaks is an excellent way to finish your trek as early as possible. This will make you mentally satisfied, and physically able to finish your trek. These breaks will make you realize how important it is to know about your trail so that you can pick the perfect trekking shoes for your trek.Don’t let the hot weather stop you from pursuing your trekking goals. Instead, be the ‘star’ of the trek by considering these tips. Give a hand to your mates, cheer-up the strangers, motivate people, and help them out as you move forward. These are the values of a true trekker.