5 Cameras That Will Help You Make 2017 Memorable

 

2016 was a fabulous year for Indian travellers. They moved out of their comfort zones, chased real experiences and embraced the unknown. And now as we welcome 2017, it’s time to set new expectations, achieve new goals and visit new places. So here are 5 cool cameras that will definitely turn moments into memories.

1. Hover Camera
If 2017 is the year when you intend to take the plunge (literally), then go for this! Cliff jumping isn’t for the faint-hearted, so if you muster up the courage, then here’s the gizmo that will make you remember the moment forever. Play it on loop, all year round. It’s the perfect piece of tech that’s easy to use, pack and unveil – all in all, the best and most reasonable flying camera in town.

2. DJI Phantom 4 
Turning 30 and don’t know how to celebrate? Easy peasy. The DJI Phantom 4 is the perfect gift for you or your beloved. The good news is that it captures amazing 4K footage with a respectable battery life; the bad news is the price. Then again, it’s the big 30, make it count!

3. Photo Jojo Lenses
Have you been going through the looking-down syndrome? Photo Jojo lenses will help you master the art of optical perfection in 2017.You can strap this wonder piece to almost all smartphones and get clicking in minutes. It has a wide variety of lenses to choose from – wide, macro, fisheye, super fisheye, telephoto and a polarizer, phone-photography made easy.

camera

4. Samsung Galaxy S7
D-SLRs are not your cup of tea? Smartphones come to your rescue. This one specifically helps the photographer in you. It not only takes beautiful pictures in the day but also takes care of the low light memories, because life is not lived only during the day.

5. Polaroid Instax 70
For all the selfie crazies who were struggling to ace it with the Polaroid, the latest model is what you’ve been searching for. The lens comes with a small mirror adjacent to it, so you can work that selfie right! Another add-on is the automatic exposure control so you don’t end up looking like vampires, some of the other features that are worth mentioning are the self-timer, tripod socket and hi-key mode.

camera

 

4 Yoga Poses That Hep You Sleep Better & Relax Your Body

 

When we face a stressful situation, sleep is the first thing we give up on. Not just that, for most of us dealing with the day to day pressures of life is enough to make us lose sleep. And before you know it, the unhealthy habit of not sleeping enough becomes your lifestyle. You should know that the amount of sleep you get is as important as the quality of sleep. Both, sleep deprivation and disturbed sleep have their consequences on our body and our mind. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.

If you have trouble sleeping, here’s help. We asked Yoga instructor Ajit Singh Tapaswi from Bangalore to suggest some soothing yoga poses to help you get sound sleep.

1. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)

This intense stretching pose is known to relieve stress and reduce fatigue by calming your brain nerves. It is also great for treating headaches and insomnia that can hamper your sleep. Stand straight with your feet apart. Raise your hands above your shoulders and stretch gently. Then, fold your torso reaching towards the ground. Keep your knees straight. You can decide to place your palms on the ground (in front of your feet or next to them) or wrap them around your ankles. If it’s not possible, then cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Press your heels into the floor and keep your head and chest in. Now, as you inhale, stretch your front torso slightly and while exhaling emphasize on the forward bend. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds, release and then gently come back to the standing position.

yoga

2. Viparita Karani (Leg Up The Wall Pose)

This asana is a restorative pose which means it improves your blood circulation. Find a wall and sit in front of it with your feet on the floor. Place a support like a bolster or a cushion under your lower back about half a foot away from the wall. Exhale and gently lie on your back stretching your legs against the wall such that the back of your legs press against the wall and your soles are facing upwards. Keep your sit bones as close to the wall as you can. Look up with your face and chin in one line. Open your arms sideways, lengthen your neck and keep your legs firm. If you do not wish to use the support, you can use your hands to support your hips and rise forming a curve in your body. With the help of a support, you can stay in this pose for as long as 5 minutes.

yoga

3. Virasana (Hero Pose)

This asana is basically a meditative pose. It really helps you in calming you down and makes you physically and emotionally stable. It also helps in relieving tired legs.  Kneel down on the floor, with your knees bent and your legs folded underneath you. Let your hand rest on your thighs or you can also fold them in front of your chest. Bring your knees close so that the gap between your feet automatically widens. It should be wider than the width of your hips. The top of your feet should be flat on the floor and your spine should be straight. If you feel too much pressure on your knees, you can place a pillow between your calves and thighs. Hold the position for 30 seconds.

While you are in the sitting positions, it stimulates the pressure points on your feet that help in relaxing your whole body.  You can also use this position to meditate and breathe deeply. It instills a sense of quiet while making you aware of your mental state.

yoga

4. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Regarded as the ‘mother of asanas’, tadasana is like the base from which all the poses emerge. This steady and concentrated posture of the pose can really help calm the mind. Stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Keep your hands hanging by your side. Make your thigh muscles firm and slightly turn them inwards while lifting your knee cap. Lengthen your tailbone and imagine a line of energy passing through your body. Lift your chest up and out and push your shoulder blades back. Keep breathing deeply. While inhaling, you will feel the breath travelling through your toes, stomach and up to the head. As you exhale, feel your breath going down from the head to the stomach and finally your feet. You can concentrate on a spot in front of you to avoid any distraction. This helps in increasing your mental awareness.

yoga

A word of caution: Yoga expert Ajit suggests that these poses should not be performed right before you get into bed. Perform them in the evening, probably before dinner on an empty stomach. Also, just before you prepare to sleep you should meditate for about 5 minutes focusing on your breath to calm your senses and sleep peacefully.

 

14 droolworthy rolls that every foodie must try

1. These rolls will definitely make your day

Rolls are like two sentence love stories that pack the punch in a small pocket. Filled with mystery ingredients rolls have always been a favourite of gourmet lovers and chefs who like to make myriad experiments with food by putting them in interesting wraps. We have brought to you some delectable rolls that are supremely delicious.

2. Veg Spring Rolls

Veg Spring Rolls is a popular Chinese recipe. Fresh vegetables as stuffing makes this roll recipe a healthy one. This easy recipe when garnished with chopped spring onions and served hot with red chilli sauce or tomato ketchup is to die for!

3. Soya Chapati Roll

Soya Chapati Roll is a North Indian recipe made using soyabean, eggs and chapati. This snack recipe is an ideal dish for tiffin and road trips and is a good option to serve to kids.

4. Sausage Pastry Roll

Sausage Pastry Roll is a filling snack recipe. Made with fried leek and chicken sausages, this delicious snack recipe can be served with dip or sauce of your choice. It is an interesting recipe that you can prepare for your loved ones for road trips and picnics.

5. Paneer Roll

Paneer Roll is made of spiced grated paneer wrapped in a roomali roti. This quick recipe can be served as a snack and also as a main course. Tossed with chopped onions and thick gravy, this Paneer recipe is a delightful dish that you can have at anytime in a day.

6. Kathi Kabab Roll

Kathi Kabab Roll is a North Indian recipe made using mutton, onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and mint leaves rolled into paranthas. This is a great snack dish for occasions like birthdays and picnic or even in breakfast or tiffin.

7. Egg and Oats Kathi Rolls

Egg and Oats Kathi Roll is a healthy wrap recipe that can be your best on the go food. This healthy recipe takes can be made in a jiffy and being non-messy, can be carried to work.

8. Egg Roll

Egg Roll is a quick recipe which can be made by adding different fillings be it veggie, pork or meat into a roll of egg and flour. This snack recipe can be fried, baked or cooked on a tawa. On days you do not want to prepare an elaborate meal, egg roll can come to your rescue.

9. Chicken Roll

A delectable North Indian recipe, Chicken Roll is a perfect snack for picnic and school tiffin. This snack is prepared by stuffing an all-purpose flour roti with stir-fried chicken, yoghurt and a variety of vegetables. This Sunday brunch recipe is easy-to-make and will be loved by all.

10. Chana Kebab Rolls

A vegetarian kebab delicacy, Chana Kebab Rolls is a lip-smacking snack to serve for a get-together and kitty party. Prepared with black gram and chana dal along with various spices, this kebab recipe is extremely tasty.

11. Bread and Potato Rolls

Bread and Potato Rolls​ is a North Indian recipe, made with bread and potato, this is an interesting snack recipe that can be served with green chutney. Try this interesting snack/appetizer recipe that is filling and will be loved by kids too.

Getting that real estate kind of feeling again?

 

Getting those real estate itchy fingers? Stock markets have been on a roll and the upswing in markets is usually a precursor of a jump in real estate prices as investors book profits and sink their money in land. The breathless expectations from a new real estate regulator, combined with an overall upswing in the mood of the economy, is making people begin sniffing the air for real estate deals one more time. One more time I write to caution real estate aspirants, specially those who cannot deal with the clunkyness of the asset, against jumping in. Of course, it still remains a really bad investment at current prices when you compare it to alternatives.

I find real estate to be a very difficult asset to deal with for several reasons. First, this is a very clunky asset. The whole process of selecting, inspecting, bargaining, the paperwork, determining the authenticity of the deal, registration, the stamp duty process, is cumbersome and messy. The number of hoops you need to jump through to buy real estate every time are too many. It takes a certain real estate kind of mind-set—somebody who’d rather prospect for a good real estate deal than take a vacation (no moral judgement here, whatever works for you)—that I don’t have. I find the asset illiquid. Between deciding to sell and the actual selling, there is again a lot of pain. A down market can last for years and a distress sale will cost you a lot of money. Add to this the fact that you can’t sell just the loo if you want just a fraction of the money just now. The black money component is another put off, unless you are buying directly from a builder. But then the builders have their own problems of delay, misinformation and outright cheating.iStock

The real estate industry owes its poor place in the asset pecking order because it belonged to an unregulated industry. There was no political will to put a regulator in place since real estate remains one of the most lucrative sumps of black money. But now that there is a real estate regulator with the implementation of the Real Estate (regulation and development) Act, 2016 (RERA), there is hope that things will change. But it will still take years for this industry to improve its track record. Also, RERA is far from being of any real use on the ground. The states are simply not ready with their regulators, websites or processes. Some of those that are ready, have diluted the provisions of the central Act. Read this superb story by my colleague Ashwini Kumar Sharma where he documents the six reasons why RERA is still far from being of use to the final retail buyer. You can read the story here: http://bit.ly/2qlQxrm

So, don’t buy real estate at all or is there a good real estate strategy to work with? At the current level of prices and yields, it makes far more sense to rent than to buy. In Delhi, take an urban mass-affluent locality such as Mayur Vihar and compare costs—what it costs to buy and what it costs to rent. A three bedroom, hall, kitchen (BHK) apartment costs anything between Rs1 to Rs3 crore, according to property listing sites I Googled. Let’s take a middle number of Rs2 crore. What does it cost to rent such an apartment? Rents, on the same sites for similar properties, range between Rs25,000 to Rs35,000 a month. Let’s take a middle number of Rs30,000 a month. An investor who buys this property for Rs2 crore will rent it out and earn an annual return of 1.8% on his investment. The actual return is less after you account for costs of maintenance and taxes. Rs2 crore in a monthly income plan (a debt fund with a 20-30% equity component) gives you a return that ranges from a worst performer of 7.28% to a best performer of 17.52%. These are three year average annual returns taken from Value Research. Look at 10 year returns and you get a worst performer that gave 6.05% and the best performer at 12.49% return a year. In fact, the yields on real estate are so low, that it almost makes sense to sell your house, invest in funds and live in a palace on rent! But that’s not what we advise. The one roof over your head is a good idea. But investment in real estate (for those with only the right-colour money) is not a good financial deal at current prices.

Real estate, as an investment, will make sense when either prices come down or rents go up. It will make sense when the market is better regulated. It will make sense when there are professional agents and estate management firms that take over the transactions and then the management of the property. Do you really have the bandwidth to deal with leaking taps and water seepage that your tenant calls you to complain about? Real estate investment belongs to a particular mindset in India—one that takes the pain of the product as part of the deal. This may be have been the only avenue of wealth creation before the beginning of the financialization of the Indian market, but is not true today. Remember I’m writing for the urban mass affluent who has access to and does have the ability to understand modern financial products if she chooses to spend the time and effort. Real estate investing is a habit from our past, much like that money-back policy we all bought 20 years ago. Markets and products have moved far ahead, so must we.

Monika Halan works in the area of consumer protection in finance. She is consulting editor Mint and on the board of FPSB India.

She can be reached at monika.h@livemint.com

 

The Best Health Tech 2017: Gadgets That Make You Fit And Healthy (Updated)

The ubiquity of fitness-tracking technology in recent years has meant people are generally becoming more conscious about their health.

Increasing mainstream availability of sensors on wearables such as smartwatches – that are able to give us better feedback about what’s happening in our bodies – means more of us are discovering insights into our health and looking at how we can improve it. But with so many health-improving gizmos on the market, it’s not easy separating those that are truly beneficial from those that are nothing more than a gimmick.

With that, I’ve picked out the best health tech to improve your general wellbeing, and listed them via the area of your health they will improve. (If you’re looking for the best tech to track your fitness, head over to my Best Wearable Tech And Fitness Gadgets roundup.)

Lower blood pressure: Omron Evolv

Available for $89 (US) and £129 (UK), from Boots

Te Omron Evolv lets you check your blood pressure anywhere, anytime

Omron

Te Omron Evolv lets you check your blood pressure anywhere, anytime

The Omron Evolv is a clinically-validated wireless blood pressure monitor that is light enough to take anywhere with you, while also being super easy to use. The device lets you easily measure, record and share your blood pressure data with your family or doctor using an app. It is also really well designed, which I was pleasantly surprised about considering its function. Using an heart health algorithm, called Advanced Accuracy, the device measures more data points and eliminates interference from movement for more precise, clinically-accurate readings. It also lets you easily measure, record and share your blood pressure data with your family or doctor using the Omron Connect App.

Compatible with iOS and Android devices, the Evolv is one of my favourite health gadgets, mainly because it works so effortlessly while giving very accurate results, displayed simply in a well-designed app.

Lose weight:  QardioBase 

Available for $129.99 (US) and £129.22 (UK), from Amazon

Keep tabs on your weight and body composition with QardioBase smart scales

QardioBase

Keep tabs on your weight and body composition with QardioBase smart scales

Smart scales are by no means anything new, but the QardioBase scales takes weighing yourself to a whole new level. As well as weighing you, the connected scales will check your heart rate, water percentage, body fat, bone mass and muscle mass and keep a record of all this so you can compare your vitals over time. Accurately measures body weight, body composition (including body fat percentage, muscle, water and bone mass) and body mass index (BMI). Working with Apple Health, Google Fit, and Samsung S Health, the scales connect to the free Qardio App for iOS, Kindle, and Android, allowing users to share data easily and set goals and reminders to achieve goals.

Better yet, the smart scales can also distinguish your measurements from someone else’s, meaning everyone in your household can share them.

Cleaner lungs: Netatmo Healthy Home Coach

Available for $99.99 (US) and £89.99 (UK), from Amazon

Check how clean the air in your home is with Netatmo's latest healthy home gadget

Netatmo

Check how clean the air in your home is with Netatmo’s latest healthy home gadget

If you live in a big city, chances are the air that you breathe on a daily basis could be doing damage to your health. All cities have pockets, with some areas that are worse than others. How would you know if this bad air, caused by pollution, is having an affect on the place you spend your most time: your home? This is where Netatmo’s Healthy Home Coach comes in. It detects air quality level, humidity, temperature and noise at home , and gives advice on how to create a healthier environment.

You can also connect multiple healthy home coaches to your smartphone to monitor several rooms.

Better Digestion: Philips Avance centrifugal Juicer

Available for $299.99 (US) and ££177.45 (UK), from Amazon

Go on a digestive cleanse whenever you feel the need with Philips' Avance juicer

Philips

Go on a digestive cleanse whenever you feel the need with Philips’ Avance juicer

Fiber is one of the most important nutrients in helping us prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, some cancers, and also improve digestive health. However, many people don’t get enough fiber. One way of ensuring you do is with a simple to use juicer such as Philips’ Avance. The juicer has FiberBoost technology, which enables you to choose the texture of juice you prefer, selecting with the switch of a button from a refreshing clear juice to a more creamy juice with up to 50% more fiber.

It’s also super easy to clean, meaning you’re more likely to keep up the juicing and not hide the appliance in the back of your cupboard once the novelty wears off.

Healthier heart: AliveCor Kardia Band

Coming soon in the US and available for £199 (UK), from AliveCor

The Kardia band could save your life if your ticker is prone to heart problems

AliveCor

The Kardia band could save your life if your ticker is prone to heart problems

If you’ve already got yourself an Apple Watch but you’re particularly worried about your ticker and want to step the heart-rate monitoring level up a gear, then the Karida Band is a good choice.

It’s essentially a medical grade heart monitoring Apple Watch strap by Silicon Valley health tech company AliveCor, but what makes it special is its electrocardiogram (EKG) tech that is designed to pick up palpitations, shortness of breath and other reasons for concern which could increase the risk of a stroke. This is a must-buy for any Apple Watch user even slightly worried about their heart as it’s already been proven to pick up vital signs of heart-related problems  in several users, even heart attacks.

Cleaner lungs: Wair smart scarf

Coming soon

Block out city air pollution without looking like a surgeon with Wair's subtle smart scarf

Wair

Block out city air pollution without looking like a surgeon with Wair’s subtle smart scarf

Combining textile with tech can have heaps of health benefits, it seems. Take this smart scarf, for instance which claims to be the world’s first anti-pollution scarf. Called Wair, it keeps your lungs cleaner without compromising on fashion. Developed by a French start-up named Clausette.cc, it’s especially beneficial for cyclists, or those that live in a cold city where air pollution is a big concern. In addition to filtering harmful pollutants, the fashionable wraparound is connected to an app that provides real time air quality updates.

Measure fever: Withings Thermo

Available for $99.95 (US) and £89.95 (UK), from withings

The Thermo gives you accurate results on your fever so you know just how ill you really are

Withings

The Thermo gives you accurate results on your fever so you know just how ill you really are

Just when you thought they couldn’t make anything else connected, Withings goes and makes a connected thermometer, allowing you to keep track of that fever. And like the Body Cardio scales, the digital thermometer links to your Withings account via the app and keeps tabs on your temperature over time. With 16 infrared sensors taking 4,000 measurements, it’s accuracy is a game changer for anyone who often falls ill.

Better nutrition: Huel Complete Food

Available for £45 (UK) for 28 meals, from Huel

Why eat when you can drink yourself to a healthier body? Huel is a powdered drink with all the nutrients you'd ever need

Huel

Why eat when you can drink yourself healthier? Huel is a powdered drink with all the nutrients you’d ever need

Okay so it’s not strictly a health “gadget”, but plenty of technology went into making Huel a thing. Offering a nutritionally complete meal in powdered form, Huel can be dissolved into water to give you all the 26 essential nutrients needed to live a healthy balanced lifestyle on a daily basis.

How? It’s made from real food such as milled down oats which are high in fibre, releasing energy slowly to prevent snacking in-between meals. Due to the ingredients list of Huel, the company says you could theoretically live off it 100 per cent of the time. I say theoretically because I can promise the severe cravings for real food would make this easy to do.

Injury recovery: FireFly

Available from $35 (US) and £27 (UK), at FireFly

FireFly will help you recover from previous injuries without you even realizing

FireFly

FireFly will help you recover from previous injuries without you even realizing

Firefly is a wearable that helps accelerate sports recovery after exercise and minor injury. It’s portable, has no leads or wires, and is worn behind the knee. Once attached, it delivers painless electrical impulses to gently activate the muscles of the lower leg to increase blood circulation.

Used by athletes at all levels, such as British Olympic triathlete Vicky Holland, FireFly is clinically proven to aid sports recovery, with benefits including the reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exercise, aiding the recovery from a sprain or strain and reducing swelling.

Walking aid: Dring SmartCane

Available from September 2017

Proof that anything can be 'smart' these days, Dring's smartcane is a game changer for those that need assistance when walking

Dring

Proof that anything can be ‘smart’ these days, the Dring smartCane is a game changer for those that need assistance when walking

Set to be one of 2017’s biggest head-turners is a device you’d not normally associate with bleeding-edge technology: a walking stick. Designed by old-school walking stick company Fayet, the SmartCane has been given a twenty first century injection with French firm Nov’in’s Dring tech, an intelligent alert system. With an accelerometer, gyroscope and GPS inside the stick, any falls can be detected and an alert with the user’s location is automatically sent to get help.

Fertility monitoring: Ava

Available for $250 (US) and £199 (UK), from Ava

The connected bracelet that helps women keep tabs on their monthly cycle

Ava

The connected bracelet that helps women keep tabs on their monthly cycle

Ava is a fertility monitoring bracelet founded in Switzerland by data scientists, experts in wearable technology, and women’s health researchers all with the aim of bringing innovation to women’s reproductive health. The bracelet is able to precisely detect a woman’s entire fertile window in real time, so they can better plan their monthly cycle.

Sleep better: ResMed S+

Available for $50 (US) and £129.95 (UK), from Amazon

The S+ is an alarm clock with a smart bonus feature; it can track your sleep without the need for wires, cables or attached wearable devices

ResMed

The S+ is an alarm clock with a smart bonus feature; it can track your sleep without the need for wires, cables or attached wearable devices

The S+ is touted as “the world’s first non-contact, fully comprehensive sleep tracking system”. It features patent-protected SleepSensor technology that tracks, analyzes and improves sleep at home without the need for a wearable, electrodes or mattress strips.

Sitting beside the bed like any old alarm clock, the S+ uses out-of-the-ordinary calibrated respiratory and bio-motion sensors to measure and analyse sleep stages, recording of the movements caused by the expansion and relaxation of the chest with breathing as well as body movements such as position changes, arm twitches and shrugs.

The system connects to a free iOS and Android app to record the quality of your night’s sleep and a Smart Alarm system allows users to set a window for the device to wake them up naturally when they are in light sleep, so they’ll feel more refreshed. A great health gadget if you have trouble getting up on a morning.

Lee is a freelance journalist specializing in technology, health and fitness innovation. Follow him on Twitter @llebeel and read more of his articles at his Forbes profile page. 

 

DNA variants that are bad for health may also make you stupid

What makes some people smarter than others? A genetic analysis of families in Scotland, UK, hints that brainer people have fewer DNA mutations that impair intelligence and general health, rather than having more genetic variants that make them smarter.

“This is one of the most exciting studies on the genetics of intelligence I’ve seen for a while,” says Steve Stewart-Williams of the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, who was not involved in the work.

One implication is that using gene editing to fix the hundreds of mutations that slightly damage people’s health would make them smarter as well as healthier. “I think this strengthens the moral case for pursuing genome editing technologies,” says ethicist Christopher Gyngell of the University of Oxford. “It would be killing two birds with one stone, and that would be a good thing.”

Missing intelligence

There is no doubt that intelligence depends partly on the environment in which we grow up. Well-nourished children brought up in safe, unpolluted and stimulating environments on average score better in IQ tests than deprived children, for instance.

But our genes also play a role. Studies of twins have suggested that 50 to 80 per cent of the variation in general intelligence between people could be down to genes. However, finding the gene variants responsible for intelligence has proven tricky.

So far, studies of the DNA of hundreds of thousands of unrelated people suggest that only around 30 per cent of the variation in intelligence is inherited. This big discrepancy between the results of twin studies and genome studies has become known as the mystery of the missing heritability.

Now a team including David Hill of the University of Edinburgh, UK, has analysed data from 20,000  people taking part in a study called Generation Scotland, which is looking at the health and genomes of families. The team used a statistical method to work out how much effect rare genetic variants shared by most of the members of a family have on intelligence. Because these variants are so rare in unrelated people, other studies have missed their effect.Children playing on a bouncy castle

They found that rare genetic variants missed by other studies explain the discrepancy between the two types of study. “If the result stands up, they’ve solved the missing heritability problem for intelligence,” says Stewart-Williams. “Pretty impressive.”

Brighter babies?

The findings help us understand how intelligence is patterned in our genomes. In theory, smart people may be that way because they have beneficial variants of genes that boost IQ. But we would expect beneficial gene variants to spread by natural selection, becoming common in a population. Instead, Hill’s team found that a lot of how intelligent a person is seems to come down to much rarer DNA mutations. Because these mutations are very uncommon, they are likely to be slightly harmful – ones that partially impair health, but not to such an extent that they are weeded out by evolution. “It seems to me highly likely that it’s true,” says Rosalind Arden of the London School of Economics, who studies intelligence and genetics.

Attempts to link intelligence to genes are controversial – many people do not like the idea that IQ is mostly determined by a person’s DNA. But Arden argues that genetic influence on intelligence is a good thing. “If intelligence differences were all environmental, that would be absolutely catastrophic,” she says. If that was the case, all those raised in deprived circumstances would be less intelligent than those from more privileged backgrounds, which would make societies even more unequal than they are now.

Smarter people tend to be healthier and live longer, although it’s not yet clear why. Intelligent people may be more likely to live a better lifestyle, but Hill’s study suggest they are also genetically healthier too.

We are still some way from using techniques like CRISPR to edit the genomes of  our embryos, but some believe it’s inevitable we will one day take this step, and expert reports in countries including the US and UK have been suggested it could be used to prevent diseases.

If Hill’s findings hold up in further studies, it suggests that attempts to remove mutations that are slightly harmful for health should also raise intelligence. “We’re not talking about making people way, way smarter than the smartest people today – it’s just bringing the average up,” says Gyngell.

 

15 Iftar meals that keep you satiated and healthy

1. A healthy Ramzan!

Ramadan is a beautiful month that teaches you the best lesson of life-a balance between abstinence and indulgence. Fasting through the day without a single drop of water and then thanking Allah and breaking the bread is the lovely tradition that makes this holy month special. But with increase in lifestyle diseases in the past decade, it is important to eat healthy after a day long fast. Nutritionists suggest that the Iftaar should be a healthy mix of greens, proteins and carbs so that you remain satiated for long and also your body gets the required amount of nutrition for proper recovery. Here is a list of recipes that will keep you filled through the day and also prevent adding those unwanted kilos.

2. Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves

Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves is a South Indian recipe made using pomfret fish, banana leaves, coconut and lemon juice. It is easy-to-make, delicious and perfect for occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and parties. This delicious seafood recipe is sure to be loved by all fish lovers. Apart from being tasty, it is packed with nutritional values too. This fish recipe uses coconut which adds a unique taste and aroma to the dish. The strong flavour of garlic is sure to enhance the overall taste. Make sure that the fish is marinated properly so that the flavours are well absorbed. You can prepare this easy recipe on occasions like family get-togethers, pot lucks or even kitty parties.

3. Grilled Lamb Cutlets

Grilled Lamb Cutlet is a North Indian recipe made with lamb, thyme leaves and garam masala powder. This appetizer recipe is ideal to serve on occasions like dinners. If you love lamb meat, but want to cut down on calories, this super easy recipe is a must try for you. You can serve it in parties as a starter or pack it in lunch boxes. Kids in the family are going to love this delicious cutlet.

4. Grilled Fish with Saute Veggies

Grilled Fish with Saute Veggies is a Continental recipe made from grilled fish and beans served with saute vegetables like asparagus, carrot and tomatoes. It is easy-to-make, delicious and perfect for occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and parties.

5. Tandoori Coconut Chicken

Tandoori Coconut Chicken is an interesting appetizer recipe made using chicken breast, lime juice, coconut cream and a lot of spices. Easy-to-make, this flavorful and delicious chicken recipe can be had in lunch/dinner.

6. Garlic Grilled Lemon Chicken

Garlic Grilled Lemon Chicken is originally a Thai recipe that you can tweak as per your taste. The tang of lemon gives this chicken recipe a unique taste. Do try out this healthy recipe. It is particularly a must try for those who love chicken and want to make it in a healthy way. Pair it with the drink of your choice and enjoy!

7. Fish Iranian

Iranian Fish is a low-calorie preparation that you can try guilt-free. This fish recipe uses very few ingredients that are easily available in your kitchen. Since the fish is grilled and not deep fried or sauteed, it uses very little amount of fat. Fish being rich in Omega 3 fatty acids is one of the healthiest forms of animal protein. Rich in minerals and vitamins, you can happily have fish daily if you cook it the healthy way. In this quick recipe, boneless pieces of fish or fish fillets are marinated in cheese, salt, pepper, thymol seeds and are then grilled on low flame till a fine crust develops. You must use vegetable oil in this recipe so that the basic taste of fish is not dominated. Try out this delectable snack recipe as a starter in home parties or as a side dish with a continental meal.

8. Fish Fillets

Fish Fillets is a quick recipe that can be made in minutes. On days you have a visitor, try out this easy recipe that requires very little preparation. Fish being rich in omega 3 fatty acids and essential oils, vitamins, minerals and protein, this recipe is a must try for all those who are on a low-calorie diet. Made with basic spices, this recipe retains the original taste of the fish that otherwise gets camouflaged in the deluge of spices. You can try this delectable recipe at home on weekends, as a light weekday dinner accompaniment and as a starter or side dish in parties and celebrations.

9. Baked Fish Cakes

A great appetizer recipe, Baked Fish Cake s are made from fish fillets and prawns. This dish has an amazing flavour of Thai red curry, Thai soy sauce and coconut milk, and is one of those easy recipes that you can prepare at home. You can freeze them and use them as and when required. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, these cakes are out of the world and a must try for those who love seafood.

10. Egg Salad Sandwich

There can be nothing more filling than an egg sandwich. A right combination of carbs, greens and protein, this is the best thing to have on a busy day. This easy sandwich will keep you satiated for long and will also bring down your cravings. Pair it with the drink and dip of your choice and you are sorted for the day. Rich in nutrition, Egg Salad Sandwich is also an ideal lunch box recipe for kids. They are sure to love it if you pack this scrumptious dish with French Fries.

11. Eggs Florentine

Eggs Florentine is a perfect combination of healthy ingredients. Made with eggs and spinach, it is an ideal breakfast that one can have. This easy recipe makes for a healthy snack as well. Cooking this egg recipe takes a little time but it is worth the effort. This recipe uses canned spinach, but you can replace it with fresh spinach leaves, which of course is a better option.

12. Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower

This delicious chicken dish only calls for what’s easily available at the neighbourhood grocery store. So, you can actually prepare a gourmet dish by putting in very little efforts! Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower is a power packed preparation and a must have for those who are looking for healthy food. You can make this recipe with uniquely combined ingredients on special occasions and on days you want to display your culinary skills. A wholesome preparation, this delectable chicken recipe is a must try for those who believe in healthy eating. Ideal to be packed in lunch boxes, kids in the family are going to love this amazing dish. So, don’t miss out. Try NOW!

13. Shredded Chicken Salad

Looking for a low carb salad which is satiating too? This Shredded Chicken Salad is the perfect thing to have when you are on a diet. Rich in lean protein, vitamin and minerals, this chicken salad is a complete meal in itself and a must try for those who are looking for a healthy recipe. This easy chicken recipe can be made in minutes and is ideal not just for breakfast, but also as lunch or dinner. Try it on days you feel to tired to cook an elaborate meal or on days you are inviting guests for lunch or dinner.

14. Chicken Salad

Most people say that healthy food is not tasty but Chicken salad serves both the purposes. It is extremely tasty and healthy as well. Perfect for a game night or kitty parties, this Chicken Salad is an easy and quick recipe and can be prepared in just few minutes. The best part of this recipe is that you can add ingredients to suit your taste and preference. Few might like to add some dry fruits to this salad and other would prefer adding few vegetables. The choice is yours! Make it look interesting by garnishing with cherry tomatoes or make use of simple egg slices or mint and fresh coriander, this recipe will win all your matches of culinary skills. You do not need to be a cooking expert to prepare this salad and is something you can depend on for your daily diet too.

15. Chicken Ishtu

Chicken Ishtu (or also known as Chicken Ishtoo) is a quick and easy-to-make tasty chicken side dish. Typically served with naans or parathas, it also tastes well with biryani or pulao. The Kerala style Chicken Ishtu uses coconut milk while this version is more popular in North India.

16. Achari Fish Tikka

Achari Fish Tikka is a North Indian recipe made using fish fillets, pickled chillies and yogurt. This snack recipe goes well on occasions like kitty parties and anniversaries. Try this delicious yet easy appetizer recipe!

Things That Can Happens When The Body Lacks Protein

A balanced diet is one of the prerequisites to living a healthy living. It not only is important for maintaining a steady and stable body weight, losing fat and building muscle; but it is also for maintaining the various bodily functions like secretion of hormones and enzymes. Protein is derived from the Greek word “proteos”, which means ” the first ” or “the most important one”. Indeed protein is one of the major components of a person’s diet. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of 0.8 grams per kilogram of lean body weight (1 kilogram=2.2 pounds) of protein is required. However, athletes need higher doses of protein. People who weight-train regularly may require as much as 2 grams of protein per body weight. This protein is directed towards recovery of muscles, which get worn out during strength and weight training.why protein is important for our body

However, a lack of protein is catastrophic to the health of everybody. You must maintain a high degree of protein intake, irrespective of whether you hit the gym or not. Lack of protein can indeed spell doom for your mental and physical well-being in more than one ways as described below.

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1. Weak Muscles: Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to growth, repair and gain of muscles. This is especially important for people who lift weights. Absence of protein will lead to less gain and an even muscle loss. It must be mentioned here that all forms of protein are not alike. While there are fast-releasing proteins like whey, there are also slow-releasing proteins like casein. While fast-releasing protein must be consumed immediately after your lifting session, slow-releasing protein must be had prior to sleeping to ensure a slow but steady release of protein while recovery takes place during sleep.
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2. Low Immunity: Antibodies are extremely important for maintaining the health of an individual. These antibodies combat pathogens and keep infections at bay. They are therefore the building blocks of immunity. Protein is important for the production and synthesis of antibodies. A decrease in antibodies would therefore contribute to a low or weakened immunity.
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3. Irregular Menstruation: For maintaining regularity in menstrual cycles, a woman needs to maintain a healthy supply of healthy fats and proteins in the body. Moreover, she must also make sure that the overall number of calories does not dip below a certain level. So, extreme crash dieting and loss of appetite are serious issues to be considered.

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4. Fluid Retention: A diet which is high in protein compared to carbohydrate is less likely to retain water. On the other hand, a diet which is high in carbohydrates and salt is likely to retain more water. As a structural component of your cells and organs, protein actually helps keep fluids where they need to be. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, these structures may fall apart, allowing the fluids to leak, causing oedema or fluid buildup.
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5. Difficulty In Sleeping: According to various researches conducted to measure the effect of protein on the quality of sleep, it has been found that diets which included greater quantities of protein in comparison to carbohydrates induced longer and deeper sleeping intervals. Sleep is important because deep sleep is the time when the body recovers. It is also important to lessen mental stress associated with modern lifestyle.

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6. Brain Fog: Brain fog may be described as feelings of mental confusion or lack of mental clarity. It is called brain fog because it can feel like a cloud that reduces your ability to think clearly. It can cause a person to become forgetful, detached and often discouraged and depressed. One of the major ways to deal with brain fog is to increase the protein intake. Protein contains important amino acids that are essential for the production of key neurotransmitters that regulate brain function. One may consider easy-to-cook foods like egg whites. One can even consider buying whey protein supplements.
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7. Mood Swings: Mood swings are periods of variation in how one feels, changing from a sense of well-being to one of depression. Mood swings have many causes. But one of the major causes is the abrupt variation of blood sugar levels, also called hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia. This condition can be dealt with if the body gets a regular supply of protein. Moreover, proteins also aid in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin.

 

‘The party will be over’: How GST will affect businesses that don’t pay tax

 

Rakesh Sachdeva sells auto parts in a busy market in central Delhi, just a few miles from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office. Yet despite having a flourishing business he does not pay any tax.

Until now, his rundown premises and small scale operation has kept the business below the radar of India’s tax officials. Come July 1, however, “the party will be over”, says the 51-year-old, with a resigned shrug.

A nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST), set to come into effect on Saturday, has faced criticism for its complex design. But the country’s biggest tax reform since independence is promising to bring millions of firms like Sachdeva’s into the tax net, boosting government revenues and India’s sovereign credit profile.

The new tax will require firms to upload their invoices every month to a portal that will match them with those of their suppliers or vendors.

Because a tax number is needed for a firm to claim a credit on the cost of its inputs, many companies are refusing to buy from unregistered businesses. Those who don’t sign up risk losing any customer who has.

“I have no option, but to register with the new system,” said Sachdeva, who spoke to Reuters on condition the name and precise location of his shop were not disclosed.

Improved tax compliance should shore up public finances, augmenting resources for welfare and development spending and giving a lift to the $2 trillion economy.

India currently has one of the worst tax-to-GDP ratios among major economies at 16.6%, less the half the 34 percent average for the members of the OECD and also below many emerging economies.

While there is no official estimate of the potential fiscal gain, some tax experts say the measure, after the initial teething trouble, would lift the tax-to-GDP ratio by as much as 4 percentage points as the number of tax filers is estimated to more than treble to 30 million.Image result for ‘The party will be over’: How GST will affect businesses that don’t pay tax

“In future, compliance is going to be extremely crucial,” Rajiv Nair, chief executive officer at Kaya Ltd., told Reuters. “Since we are also responsible for compliance across the supply chain, we have to ensure that the suppliers we have are in a position to work with us in a compliant manner.”

Nair’s company, which makes beauty and personal care products, has just streamlined its supply chain, dropping vendors that were not going to be GST-compliant.

Other companies are doing the same. Elior Group, a French catering and food service company, said it has mandated GST-compliance as one of the eligibility criteria for its orders.

A REVAMP 17 YEARS IN THE MAKING

India is all set to keep its July 1 date with the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a reform that has been in the making for 17 years. GST will unify India into one market place with one uniform tax, shore up government revenue and is expected to spur economic growth.

Timeline of the long journey to GST rollout:

  • 2000 Vajpayee government started discussion on GST by setting up an expert panel headed by Asim Dasgupta, former West Bengal finance minister
  • 2003 The Kelkar Task Force suggested the need to have a comprehensive indirect tax reform through GST
  • 2006 UPA finance minister P Chidambaram proposes GST in his Union budget. The Empowered Committee (EC) of state finance ministers was assigned the responsibility to chalk out a road map for its implementation
  • 2008 Empowered Committee submits a report ‘A Model and Roadmap for GST in India’
  • 2009 The EC after holding discussions with the Centre and the states submits the first discussion paper
  • 2011 Constitution Amendment bill introduced in Lok Sabha and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for scrutiny
  • 2013 Standing Committee submits its report to Parliament. But UPA government fails to take the legislation forward. The bill lapses with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha
  • 2014 Finance minister Arun Jaitley introduces the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 in Lok Sabha on December 19
  • 2015 Jaitley in his budget speech sets GST rollout deadline on April 1, 2016. Lok Sabha approves the bill on May 6. The Congress demands capping GST rate at 18%. The NDA government fails to get it passed in Rajya Sabha
  • 2016
    ■ Centre and states agree on Constitution Amendment Bill without a cap on the rates. The bill is approved by the RS on August 2016. The amended bill is passed in the LS on August 8
     The GST Council headed by the Union finance minister is formed. The council decided on a four-slab rate GST structure of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. The ‘sin’ or “demerit” products such as tobacco items, aerated drinks and luxury cars, would come under the highest tax slab and may attract a cess, which could raise the tax burden to 40%
  • 2017 The date for the implementation of the new tax structure is shifted to July 1, 2017, as the Centre and states took time to finalise the draft bills— CGST, IGST, SGST and UT-GST
    May: GST Council during its meet in Srinagar fixes rates of goods and services

Winners and losers

The unorganised sector of India’s economy is vast, employing an estimated nine out of 10 workers.

While staying outside the GST regime risks losing business, joining it will necessitate an overhaul of firms’ accounting systems and an investment in technology.

The new tax system requires three filing a month plus an annual return – a total of 37 filings – for each of India’s 29 states in which a firm operates. For smaller companies operating on wafer thin margins, hiring accountants and technical staff could substantially dent their bottom line.

Sanjiv Mehra, head of a traders’ body in Delhi, reckons a “prohibitive” cost could prove to be counterproductive.

“Compliance is needed for input tax credit,” he said. “But what if you are in a business where margins are strong and allows you to forsake credit?”

But despite its flaws, many analysts think the new tax will be good news for bigger established businesses, because it will sweep away an array of federal and state sales taxes, levied at different stages of the supply chain, that often result in double taxation.

The government estimates the GST will save companies around $14 billion because it will allow them to organise their warehouses and supply chains more efficiently.

Firms can now move to demand-based “hub-and-spoke” models used globally, rather than operating state-by-state.

“Those companies which can wring out the maximum cost efficiency are the ones investors should bet on,” said Ajay Bodke, head of portfolio management services at financial firm Prabhudas Lilladher in Mumbai. “All consumer-facing industries will be big beneficiaries of the GST.”

 

6 Vegetables That Are a Must-Have During Monsoon

Monsoon is here, giving us respite from the sweltering heat. The breezy mornings and earthy smell of the wet land is something that you love to witness during this season. However, with the relief from hot weather, it also brings along an array of bacterial infections that may take a toll on your body and overall health. Most of it depends on the kind of foods you consume during the rainy season. If you are confused about picking the right vegetables from the grocery, worry not as we list down vegetables best to eat during monsoon.

Experts have long been recommending to eat seasonal vegetables so as to enjoy their freshness and utilise their nutritional value fully. According to our expert Nutritionist Dr. Simran Saini, “Monsoons may be good, but they bring along a lot of infections. For example, green leafy vegetables are no-no in this season considering they have excess bacteria during this period and can make you prone to various health hazards.” It is very important to boost your immunity in monsoon as you have maximum tendency to fall sick during this time. Eating healthy vegetables will help boost immunity system and further will keep you healthy.6 Vegetables That Are a Must-Have During Monsoon

Here are some vegetables suggested by Dr. Saini that are a must to add in your daily diet –

1. Lauki (Bottle Gourd)

Bottle gourd or lauki has long been touted as one of the best and healthiest vegetables during this season. It is rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble, helping with maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Apart from this, it has iron content and is rich in vitamin B and C, further helping in anti-oxidative actions. It is also a low-calorie diet, which helps in keeping your tummy light.

625 sauteed laukiBottle gourd or lauki has long been touted as one of the best and healthiest vegetables 

2. Karela (Bitter Gourd)

Karela or bitter gourd may not have a great taste, but it sure has innumerable benefits. It is a rich source of vitamin C, which helps boost immunity, further helping you to keep fit during this season. It also has strong antiviral properties for a health boost.

bharwan karelaKarela or bitter gourd may not have a great taste, but it sure has innumerable benefits

3. Tinda (Indian Squash)

Tinda or Indian squash is not only a healthy vegetable, but is yummy too. You can try so many variations of it. Its numerous health benefits include anti-inflammatory agents which control and prevent bloating, acidity and heart burn and keep the digestion process smooth. It is high in fiber content and keeps bowel disorders at bay.

squashPhoto Credit: iStock

4. Parwal (Pointed Gourd)

These striped green vegetables have many health benefits that can help you keep hale and hearty and get you through this season. Monsoons generally make us prone to cold, cough and headaches; this wonder vegetable helps you with keeping them at bay. It is rich in various antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, which help in boosting the immune system.

parwalPhoto Credit: Facebook/Shilpsnutrilife

5. Tubers

Tubers like potato or sweet potato make great vegetables during monsoons and are harmless. They are safe to eat and are less prone to giving birth to bacteria. So, you can eat them around this time without having to worry about their benefits.

potato 620Tubers like potato or sweet potato make great vegetables during monsoons and are harmless​

6. Kantola (Teasel Gourd)

Teasel gourd or Kantola are green coloured cactus like vegetables that have an array of health benefits. Rich in proteins, iron and fiber, it helps keep your stomach in good shape during the monsoons by strengthening the functioning of your digestive tract and keeping infections at bay.

teasel gourdPhoto Credit: Facebook/Sam Mahanta

Wash these vegetables at least two to three times under running tap water to remove any possible dirt or chemical. Ensure, whatever you are eating is clean; avoid eating too much from outside, especially street foods that are more susceptible to causing infections.