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Archive for December, 2006

Anti-Oxidants: Nature’s Warriors

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Anti-oxidantsIf you’re called away to the phone just a few minutes after biting into an apple, what do you do? Leave the fruit aside and begin talking. Twenty minutes later, when you are talking to your friend about the particularly threatening crisis in her love life, you notice the half-eaten apple from the corner of an eye. The outline of your bite is already visible in rust-brown. It seems as if the exposed inner area of the apple is suffering a slow degeneration just by being touched by the air around it.

This process of oxidation is replicated in the human body – in the cells that make up body tissue. The health of these cells is under attack from chemical reactions that occur as we are exposed to different factors in our environment, such as pollution or smoking, X rays or alcohol, or harmful chemical products. The funny thing is, oxidation is happening not only from such external factors, but also from internal processes within the body, such as ordinary respiration! So protecting the body from oxidation can never be possible a full hundred percent. This is what produces the inevitable process of ‘aging’ for which mankind has been searching for a cure for millennia. But accelerated levels of oxidation in the body lead to a variety of diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and others, therefore countering the process through anti-oxidants seems like an important element in the road to health.

Tomatoes: Friends or Foes?

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Tomatoes: Friends or Foes?The old chicken and egg kind of question always pops up around tomatoes – are they vegetables or fruits? In fact, the tomato is a fruit, usually classified as a vegetable! Sounds confusing? It can’t be more so than the myths and stories that once prevailed about this staple ingredient in our food. Believe it or not, tomatoes were considered poisonous and unfit to eat by Italians and other Europeans, because of their close botanical relationship to the poisonous nightshade plant. It was not till the late sixteenth century that tomatoes began to be grown freely in Britain, and even later, in the eighteenth century, till they became culinarily sought after in France and Italy. When one considers how much Italian and French dishes rely on the tomato, this seems a real strange thing.

In our own day and age, tomatoes are very much part of North Indian vegetable gravies, salads and even dal, and South Indian rasam and pachdi. But opinions about tomatoes keep cropping up to liven conversation. “I avoid tomatoes because they cause kidney stones,” remarks a young woman sagely at a social dinner. “Cause kidney stones?” asks another with raised eyebrows. “Surely they are merely to be avoided by people who already have kidney stones.” We are witnessing the opening of tomato controversy No. 14.

The lure of coloured tresses

16 Votes | Average: 4.63 out of 516 Votes | Average: 4.63 out of 516 Votes | Average: 4.63 out of 516 Votes | Average: 4.63 out of 516 Votes | Average: 4.63 out of 5 (16 votes, average: 4.63 out of 5)
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Hair ColouringOf all the latest fads in fashion, hair coloring is probably the topper! So, what is the best way of setting the ball rolling for a stunning festive season than colouring your tresses and letting the world see that you have a head start on fashion. In fact, the fad of coloured hair is catching on like wild fire. So, here is a little know-how on what goes into getting that perfect tint.

Once you’ve made up your mind about colouring your hair. There are zillions of options available to choose from. Some a little more expensive than others. Some from well known brands and some from not so well known brands. Most beauticians recommend that is better to use products manufactured by a reputed company.

According to beautician Mahalakshmi of “Maha’s beauty parlour”  shades of mahogany and chestnut are most popular among Indian women. However, the younger generation are bolder and willing to experiment.. So, this summer some of the colours that were very popular among the youngsters are various shades of red, rosett, rosechip, chillie and auburn.” She says it is important to first decide whether you want permanent or temporary colouring. Because, if you want temporary colouring then we recommend the hair mascara. All one has to do is rub it onto the hair. It helps to highlight the natural hair colour. Though, temporary hair dyes are available as hair sprays, shampoos and hair rinses. Temporary hair colouring lasts upto three or four washes. When choosing a hair dye make sure that it does not contain peroxide or bleach if you don’t want to lighten your hair colour. Generally speaking, the life of temporary hair colouring depends on a number of factors. 1. How often one washes his hair. 2. The kind of water used to wash the hair. 3. The shampoo and styling products used. 4. Exposure to sunlight. 5. Hair type and condition.

Shivani Nath, MS, MFT, Eds, PhD(cand)Shivani Nath, MS, MFT, EdS, PhD (cand).
Marriage Counsellor

Shivani Nath is an expert in human relationships and specializes in Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy. Her areas of expertise are inclusive of sex therapy, anger management, and trauma/loss/grief/bereavement issues. She is a Professor of Psychology and Family Therapy at Kean University, New Jersey, and has private practices in New York and New Jersey. Shivani has been featured both in print and electronic media and has lectured nationally and internationally. Post your queries on Matrimony here.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

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HairstylesWhen you really think about it, there is nothing quite like a drastic change of hairstyle to shake up a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse of either sex. The said partner has gotten used to your face and body in a particular way. The shape of your head, the frame that your hair provides for your facial expressions – all this is well registered in your partner’s mind. Then, when you go in for a radical change, it is satisfying to notice the startled expression, followed by the slow acceptance and appreciation.

“When Bhavana cut her hair short, it was like a big shock to me,” recalls her husband Alok. “She had her hair long for all the years we were going to college, and when we first met in Mumbai. Suddenly she cut her hair, and after the first day, I actually began enjoying her new look. It seemed to give her a younger personality – made her less serious and less of a person who was giving me orders!” His wife responds with a wry expression. “You talk as if you ever obeyed a single one of my so-called ‘orders’”, she says.

Bhavana’s hair cut may have made waves, but the fact is that men are usually the ones trying to make a hair statement with many changes of facial hair, and their more luxurious manes. Goatee beard, or full straggly one, sideburns or crew cut, pencil thin moustache, or one turned up at the ends, and the completely clean shaven look when all else has failed – there seems to be no end to the fashion options that men have in terms of their hair. Even when testosterone and genetics have played havoc with their crop of hair, men find ways to make baldness ‘cool’ by tying a little ponytail at the nape of their necks, tying bandanas, or sporting many hats, like music director Anu Malik.