Monthly Archives: July 2012

Nuts – It Doesn’t Make You Nutty

By Deline Tan

Nuts – if you like it, then you are in for a treat. The many varied nuts – macadamia, brazil, cashew, almond, pecan, peanut, pistachio, and walnut are nuts that are packed with good fats of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They are high in dietary fibre and give good digestion and aid in the bulk of passing the tools.

Fats is one of the needed nutrients for our body apart from carbohydrates and proteins, along with vitamins and minerals, and it is important that we have a good fat content in our diet. Nuts help in lowering the bad LDL cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol level. It also contains Vitamin E and works as an antioxidant in the body, and helps in protecting cells and tissues by neutralising free radicals.

There are also many ways to prepare nuts for your meal, like adding them in the salad bowl, or cashews are added when cooking braised chicken, or nuts fried with ikan balis is also a great way to prepare our meals. It’s also a great way to add into self-make pizza, with pistachio, cashew, almond and other kinds of nuts added to it.

Nuts make a great snack when in between meals, as it is healthy and has all the essentials for vitamins and minerals. It is also easy to keep it at home, with containers that are easily reached, and satisfy your sweet tooth. It is also a good treat while watching television or in a movie, as it increases your pleasure in eating it.

Nuts is also a good deterrent against heart disease, as it does not contain trans-fat. Peanut butter is a very good source of good polyunsaturated fats, and when you eat it together with jam over the bread-spread, it is superb. The rich and crunchy creamy taste makes a good breakfast with wholemeal bread as it is a very healthy way of consuming good fats.

Pistachio nuts are excellent source of Vitamin B6; peanuts are high in niacin Vitamin B, as niacin has specific role in maintaining good health. A one ounce serving of almonds provides 35% of the Recommended Daily intake for Vitamin E; while one ounce serving of hazel nuts provides 20%, and an ounce of peanuts provides 10%.

Nuts are an important source of plant protein, rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega 3-fatty acids. The nuts nutrition are loaded with excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic and palmitoleic acids which help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol, and increase HDL or good cholesterol.

Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes, and favouring healthy blood lipid profile. Vitamin B6 is a good protein compound that helps the body to produce red blood cells and antibodies, maintaining it with a strong healthy immune system.

Finally, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin in nuts help the body utilize sugars and fats, aiding it to help release energy from foods. You can see that the benefits of nuts are plentiful, and it adds to the building up of the body, enabling us to keep healthy.

The next time you snack, try the varied nuts and you’ll be glad that you did.


Garlic – Good Health Benefits

By Deline Tan

Have you ever thought what garlic would do for you if you catch a common cold, or you suffer from symptoms of acne, or you’re having a terrible toothache? Garlic is known to heal these common ailments and has a therapeutic effect on the health. The garlic’s antibacterial analgesic and anesthetizing properties can help cure toothaches. Place a piece of crushed garlic or garlic oil on the affected gum or tooth for instant relief.

Garlic has the medicinal ingredient of allicin which is a powerful antioxidant, which helps fight against the damaging free radicals in our body. It acts as an antibiotic and also has a natural deterrent as mosquito repellent. Allicin has wonderful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant properties.

You may not like the smell with its strong pungent taste, but the health benefits are plenty. It helps manage high cholesterol levels, treat parasites, calm respiratory problems, aids poor digestion and give strength to low  energy. Regular eating of garlic helps lower blood pressure, controls blood sugar and boosts the immune system. It also reduces the risk of oesophageal, stomach and colon cancer.

If you have warts, garlic acts as an effective cure as it fights infections and bacteria and other skin problems. It’s great to eat garlic, as you can cook with any dishes, as it tastes good and healthy too. The side effects of garlic and allergies to it are when you consume large quantities, thus suffer stomach irritation as it may damage the digestive tract. Other symptoms include heartburn or flatulence.

It is safe to consume garlic when you are pregnant, as studies have shown that babies prefer breast milk better when their mothers regularly consume garlic. The benefits of eating garlic far outweigh the side effect, and if you don’t mind the smell, it is good to have garlic in your regular meal on a consistent basis.

There is also mirth about garlic, in that it wards off evil spirit and has been known since ancient culture. Garlic is under the family of lily, with onion and leek as their cousins. Some people dislike it because of the odour that comes out of the breadth after consumption. However way you feel about garlic, the health benefits far supersede the taste and the strong pungent smell that goes with it.

Some people are on garlic pills as it is an excellent source of manganese. It is also a very good source of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. It is a great health food and everyday you can’t go without it in your daily meal and consumption. Garlic is indeed a good health benefit and don’t let the smell keep you away from it.

Your Moments of Endearment

By Deline Tan

Did you know that the biggest scram that mankind ever faced today is bodyless friendship? What I meant by that is that we are all hooked up in our computer screen, with social media taking the lead, sucking the time out of people that friendship is now not in physical appearance but through the screen of your computer.

Friendship no longer is a personal touch of a cup of coffee in the favourite cafe, but we just chat our way through facebook, twitter or linkedin, no longer a personal gesture in the real person. Don’t you think this is bad for our social life, where we no longer are personal with friendship, but we talk to strangers in the net and neglect the real sense of touch in a real person.

There is a difference in touching base with one another in a meal or over a drink, than sitting slouchyly at the desktop  in meeting the real needs of a human being. Man is created for fellowship. Without the tangible real touch of personal attention, man will slowly decay into couch potatoes.

We have feelings and expressions to relate and be connected with one another, but if we streamline friendship to the computer screen, we are killing our personal emotions and sensitive touch in our build up as human to communicate. Take  a baby for example. If you fail to touch the baby or cuddle and hold her tide in your arms, the baby will lose her identity with you and slowly deteriorated into mere vegetables. A baby without touch will not survive, so is relationship without a personal touch is dead.

An average person spend almost one third of their time on the computer screen during the week, some is hooked to the screen with about five to six hours of surfing the net. People are locking themselves in the computer, that if the computer were to crash, the person will feel very helpless and lost. Without the computer, we can’t function and everything else we do is tied in to the usage of computer.

However, the computer age has advanced the technology in the pace that is accelerated with powerful knowledge and keys to operate for living. This powerful machine is building wisdom and knowledge through a touch screen, and if there’s anything that you need or want in life, you just go to goggle search and everything that you are looking for is there. We no longer lack knowledge, and life’s answer seems to be in the touch of the buttons.

Bill Gates is so smart to have invented the computer for the world, as the wisdom endow to the creation of such a machine is astounding. Now we have ipad that is replacing the computer in its popularity, and everything we need to find out for our needs are just a few touch buttons behind. Life’s answer seems to be found in the computer age.

How then do we reverse this negative affection of the computer to real life affection of people that we can chat and feel the personal touch of life with? We need to prioritise our time for friendship in people and be interested in people, as that is what life is all about – people, feelings, sharing of problems, affection, relational touch, and every personal touch of our life with our friends must be top priority if we want to maintain a life of relationship with others.

Take effort to once a week spend time with your family and friends over a cup of coffee; either Saturday or Sunday, and touch base with people to make life meaningful and exciting; sharing your life moments; either in tears or laughter, and learn to be passionate about relationship, as that is what an affectionate and caring life mean – touching base, caring for one another, sharing your endearing moments, and let your physical presence make a difference in the life of your loved ones and friends.

What do you do this Saturday? Care to have a good meal with a long lost friend; by calling up the person and enjoy your lovely meal with one whom you treasure and deem important in your life.

Depression – It Can Hit Anyone

By Deline Tan

Depression is on the rise. More and more people are suffering from this mental illness and it is known to be the second fastest growing disease after heart attack.

In this stressful environment that we live in, people find it hard to cope in the day to day living, as there are many issues hanging down their necks, like financial problems, relationship problems, in-law problems, job relation problems, marriage problems and so forth. The stresses and daily tasks in our lives are insurmountable and there are just so much to cope. People are usually caught up with their problems, and they don’t know how to solve issues or handle difficult situations in life, and they landed up being depressed.

Usually one is aware that something is not quite right with him/her when the symptoms of depression arise. For example, he/she may feel certain kind of sadness and irritability or tension within himself/herself. He/she may find a decrease interest in their usual activities or hobbies. He/she may loose energy and begins to feel tired despite of lack of activities. He/she may loose appetite with significant weight lost.

Sleeping may also be a problem, as he/she suffers from insomnia. Restlessness will cause him/her feeling down and inability to make decisions or concentrate. There may be feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness or guilt, and thoughts of suicide too.

When one is retorted with such circumstances as described above, he/she may be heading towards depression. The cause may be due to chemical imbalance in the mind, as the brain cells known as neutrons are disrupted in the sending of messages from the brain to the body through the chemicals known as neurotransmitters. These brain chemicals are responsible for our emotional state. Depression happens when the chemical messages aren’t delivered correctly through the neurotransmitters, disrupting communication.

 Another factor to depression may be due to hereditary, as it runs in family. Anyone can be affected with depression as there is no known cause except that it can happen at a spurn of the moment. It is a form of sickness that can affect anyone.

When one is affected with depression, the solution is to see a doctor or psychiatrist. Through medication the sickness can be brought down and healing may take between six weeks to six months. Some respond to medication better while others may drag it for years. Dysthymia, a mood disorder, is a form of mild depression that can drag on for the next two years. The person may feel mildly depressed on most days and have symptoms resembling major depression but with less severity.

There are two types of depression, like depressive disorder and manic disorder, and both are marked altering of mood. A significant lowering of mood, apathy, loss of interest and suicidal thoughts are indicative of a depressive disorder. As for manic disorder, it is an elevation of mood with rapid speech and hyperactivity. The person looses touch with reality and experience delusion and hallucination.  

Treatment for these depressions is drug like anti-depressant pill. Another method is psycho-therapy, which is a talking treatment in allowing people to express their thoughts and feelings to someone who is committed to help. Often the therapist is able to throw new light onto the person’s problem and help him/her reassesses the situations that he/she faced.

Another method is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) when patients do not respond well to drugs and the depression is severe. Like drugs, it may not be able to heal the person, but it can bring the severely depressed person back to a state where he/she can begin to deal with his/her problems. It is note-worthy to note that about 60% of patients who suffer from mild depression got well spontaneously in the course of time without medication.

Depression is a serious illness. Don’t depend on it to get well on its own. Seeing a doctor is the best solution as the drugs work for most people and the person can become normal again. Should depression hits you, remember, help is available in the medical field if only you were to respond to it.