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.


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.



World Kidney Day: 8 Common Causes of Kidney Failure You Should Know About


By now we know that cancer, heart disease and obesity are some of the heavy weights in the category of major diseases in the world that are also responsible for killing millions and millions of people every year. So much have been spoken about these diseases that somehow other ailments, of significant importance too, seem to have been pushed to the background. The truth is that there are other diseases, probably resulting from our sedentary lifestyles, that are on the rise, and alarming growing every year. For example, kidney disease. According to several Indian population-based studies, the number of Indians suffering from chronic kidney ailments has doubled in the past 15 years, and at present 17 in every hundred citizens suffer from some form of kidney disease.

In an attempt to spread awareness about kidney diseases, 9th March is observed as World Kidney Day. The theme of the global campaign this year is obesity and how it plays such a crucial role in increasing the risks of kidney ailments. Kidney is an essential organ in the body. Its primary role is to remove toxins and excess fluids from the body through urine, and also maintain a good balance of body salts and other chemicals. It is also involved in controlling the production of red blood cells and regulating blood pressure.World Kidney Day: 8 Common Causes of Kidney Failure You Should Know About

So how do we prevent kidney failure and other ailments? Here are some pointers –1. Obesity is a Lead Cause

Obesity is becoming a growing worldwide epidemic, and is expected to affect more people in the years to come. One’s lifestyle habits, particularly sedentary lifestyle, are adversely impacting health. According to researchers and authors of the study – Obesity and Kidney Disease: Hidden Consequences of the Epidemic, “Obesity is one of the strongest risk factors for new-onset chronic kidney disease, and also for nephrolithiasis and for kidney cancer.”

As stated on the official website of the campaign, “A growing body of evidence indicates that obesity is also a potent risk factor for the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). People who are overweight or obese have 2 to 7 more chances of developing ESRD compared to those of normal weight. Obesity may lead to CKD both indirectly by increasing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and also by causing direct kidney damage by increasing the workload of the kidneys and other mechanisms.”

Also read: (Are You Obese? Your Child Could Inherit Obesity and Be At Health Risk)

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2. Cut Down on Red Meat

According to a study done by National University of Singapore, they found that participants who ate the largest amount of red meat had about 40 percent greater risk of developing kidney failure compared with people consuming the lowest amounts of meat. “Our findings suggest that individuals can still maintain their protein intake unless their kidney function has been severely compromised. However, to reduce the risk of end-stage renal disease, it is best to eat red meat in moderation,” said the lead author of the study Woon-Puay Koh.

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3. Good Sleep Time is Crucial

According to a study done Brigham and Women’s Hospital, shorter sleep duration can lead to a more rapid decline in kidney function. Many of the body’s processes follow a natural daily rhythm or so-called circadian clock that is based on regular sleep-wake cycles. The study found that kidney function may be compromised when this natural cycle is disrupted.


4. Hypertension Ups Risk

About 20 per cent of India’s youth suffer from hypertension which makes them 40 percent more vulnerable to kidney damage and cardiac arrest. There is little understanding in the country of hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, which usually does not cause symptoms but gradually affects various body parts. “As many youngsters do not get to know that they are hypertensive they continue with their sedentary lifestyle,” said Gireesh Manwani, Senior Consultant (Internal Medicine), Saroj Super Speciality Hospital. “This slowly and steadily damages the kidneys and heart apart from giving rise to various other problems; it could even be fatal.”

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5. Say No to Junk Food

According to a study by Anglia Ruskin University in Britain, a diet that relies mostly on junk food or processed food may cause long-term damage to the kidneys and trigger diabetes. “Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes both induce changes in glucose transport in the kidney but junk food or a diet high in fat causes changes that are very similar to those found in Type 2 diabetes,” said Havovi Chichger, lead author of the study.

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6. Cut Down on Sugar

Dr. Anshul Jai Bharat, a Delhi-based Nutritionist, says, “Most processed food products contain too much sugar, so when it goes to your system it leads to hormonal imbalance and also your blood profile changes. High consumption of these empty calories can cause obesity and diabetes – diseases that directly impact the functioning of your kidneys. You can treat yourself to your favourite dessert or a fast food burger sometimes as long as it does not replace your daily balanced diet.”


7. Keep a Check on Phosphorous Intake

Health experts and doctors have issued a warning against excess phosphorous in the human body claiming that it may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease where the phosphate levels in the body shoot up to abnormally high levels. According to them, muscle cramps, numbness, tingling, bone or joint pain and rash are all the symptoms of hyperphosphatemia and people who experience them quite often should consult a doctor at the earliest. Foods that should be strictly avoided, or at least consumed in moderation include soft drinks, chocolates, tinned milk and processed meat,” suggests Neerja Jain who works in Nephrology department at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital.

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8. Pollution is to Blame As Well

According to a study by George Institute for Global Health, climate change may be accelerating the rate of chronic kidney disease caused by dehydration and heat stress. The research paper, published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), suggests that a condition called heat stress nephropathy may represent a disease of neglected populations but one that may emerge as a major cause of poor kidney health in the near future.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


7 Upcoming Food Events in Delhi This March You Shouldn’t Miss

Loving the weather aren’t you? And why should you not. March is here! Spring is here! Spring has caught the poetic imagination of writers across the world since forever. And what is the best way to celebrate this beautiful season? With some great food. Because it is perfectly legit, if a yellow or pink blossomed flower, reminds you of the sinful scoop of ice cream of the same colour. We bring you six interesting food events happening in March that you must plan to visit. Once you are done drooling, gather all your foodie friends and plan already!

1. Tasting India Symposium

This three-day symposium promises an exciting set of dialogue and discussion amongst the most renowned personnel related to India’s food history and traditions. The event intends to find a deeper engagement into the principles of Ayurveda, showcasing India’s ‘lost foods’ which are produced by the poorest strata of the economy using sustainable agricultural practices. A brain child of Sanjoo Malhotra and Sourish Bhattacharya, who bring a forum to promote a better understanding of India’s diverse culinary heritage, food destinations, and also pitching the Indian vegetarian diet, to the international world as the sustainable alternative in environment’s benefit. The event  is set be lined with multiple organic food stalls, selling the natural agricultural produce from around the country.

Date: 28th February- 2nd March 2017
Venue: India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi.

Image result for Food EventsPhoto Credit: Facebook/Sourish bhattacharyya

2. Horn Ok Please- Delhi Food Truck Festival

Set to be Delhi’s first ever food truck festival, ‘Horn Ok Please’, will bring some of the best food trucks in Delhi-NCR under one roof. Packed with cuisines of all sorts ranging from Mexican, Thai, Italian, the festival is set to offer the best sizzlers, snacks, desserts and even salads. Foodies in around Delhi mark your weekend for exotic food, jazzy trucks and a great mix of acoustic live music. The cocktail bar by Delhi Cocktail Week is all set to shake up some of their best drinks for the event. Gear up!

Entry: Rs. 100
Date: 04-05 March 2017
Time: 11 a.m-9 p.m
Venue: Ansal Plaza, New Delhi

horn okPhoto Credit: Facebook/what’s up delhi

3. Namastey Thailand Festival

The Royal Thai Embassy in collaboration  with the Ministry of Culture of Thailand and Thai Trade Center New Delhi are bringing a food festival loaded with Thai food, Thai goodies, Thai cultural performances and fun games in the  honour of celebrating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Thailand. The festival is set to recreate a mini Thailand of sorts in the heart of the capital bringing in a bevy of authentic Thai dishes from local restaurants. You can also take a lesson or two at the live kitchens helmed by renowned Thai chefs.

(10 Best Thai Vegetarian Recipes)

Entry: Free
Date: 3 – 5 March 2017
Time: 12.00 – 21.30 hrs
Venue: The Bridge, Ambience Mall & DLF Promenade Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi

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4. Culinary Art India, 2017

The 12th edition of Culinary Art India is set to attract national level participation from senior and apprentice chefs who’d be competing on an internationally designed platform. The live demonstrations by chefs and culinary enthusiasts are sure to give you the feel of watching Master Chef live! Don’t believe us? Let the uniquely designed competition categories do rest of the talking.

  • Display Individual Classes- Artistic Pastry Showpiece, 3-Tier Wedding Cake, Artistic Bakery Showpiece, Fruit & Vegetable Carving
  • Individual Cold Display- Plated Appetizers, Authentic Indian Regional Cuisine, Three Course Set Dinner Menu, Desserts, Sushi Platter
  • Live Cooking Competition- Live Cooking Competition (CDP and above) 2 course, (open to all) 45 min one dish – RICE, Enthusiastic Hobby Cooks /Apprentices/Students, Chocolate Mania, Cake Decorating – Dress the Cake, Mocktail Competitionn

Date: 7th March to 11th March
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Venue: Hall No 14, Pragati Maidan


5. The Grub Fest

Your favourite food festival is back. This time more grander and more better. If you loved the autumn-winter edition, the spring edition promises to be a bigger delight. The iconic Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium is where the action is set this time around. Foodies mark your calendars already for this extravaganza loading with great food, foot taping music and great crowd.

Entry: Rs. 300 per person
Dates:17th -19th March
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium


Photo Credit: Facebook/The grub fest

6. Dessertarian Bazaar

Still not over the winter sweet-tooth cravings? Worry not, this spring indulge in the best deserts you can imagine. The Dessertarian Fest is coming up with a lavish range of desserts and treats in the Select Citywalk courtyard. The festival promises to bring Delhi’s best bakeries, restaurants, home bakers, and other vendors all at one place, just to please your sweet tooth.

Entry: Free
Date: 24th-26th March
Venue: Select Citywalk, Saket

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7. The Old Delhi Food Festival

‘Old Delhi’- the name itself is enough to transport a foodie into the lanes of greasy paranthas, succulent kababs,calorie-high yet absolutely sinful sweetmeats. Much of old Delhi’s rich history is associated with the old and new food joints that crowd the congested lanes.
Bringing you that ‘Purani Dilli ka Zayeeka’, is the Old Delhi food festival conducted by Focus India, come fall in love with the walled city and its rich food heritage all over again.

Date: 25th -26th March
Venue: India Islamic Centre

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Photo Credit: Facebook/The Old Delhi Food Festival

Long-Term Use of Antibiotics Can Put You at the Risk of Cancer

Antibiotics have long been seen as a class of wonder drugs which could fight bacterial invasions and viruses and bring relief in about no time. These are essentially anti-bacterial. Over recent years there has been much debate over the rise in the consumption of antibiotics. Prolonged use has made human body resistant to its effects while others believe that bacteria, viruses and pathogens have become much stronger and therefore resistant to the present class of drugs. Developing a newer, more potent army of antibiotic would suggest an added pressure on human health. What is little know is the fact that prolonged use of potent antibiotics can meddle with the functioning of gut bacteria (the good bacteria that is essential for gut health and immunity) that feeds on yeast and unhealthy bacteria found in our body.

“These healthy bacteria form the basis of our immune system – or they did until we took antibiotics because antibiotics regularly kill our healthy bacteria. And that can set you up for numerous problems down the road – including some very serious problems,” states Kim Evans in her piece for HuffPost US. Evans’ article published in the year 2009 throws light on the relation between prolonged antibiotic use and development of cancer. She talks about a Roman oncologist, Dr. Tullio Simoncini, who describes cancer as an advanced fungal growth or candida overgrowth, “a kind of fungal growth that develops after using antibiotics,” Evans.

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Another research, closely tying antibiotics use and cancer together, is the latest that was published in the online journal, Gut. “The findings, if confirmed by other studies, suggest the potential need to limit the use of antibiotics and sources of inflammation that may drive tumour formation,” noted the study.

Antibiotics fundamentally alter the gut microbiome, by curbing the diversity and number of bacteria, and reducing resistance to ‘hostile’ bugs, they say. Previous research points to depletion of certain types of bacteria and an abundance of others in patients with bowel cancer. This might all have a crucial role the development of bowel cancer, added to which the bugs that require antibiotics may induce inflammation, which is a known risk for the development of bowel cancer.

It was found that prolonged antibiotic use by people in their early to mid-life can put them at a heightened risk of abnormal growths in the colon and rectum. These abnormal growths are called polyps or colorectal adenomas, which precede the development of most cases of bowel cancer.

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For the research, the team drew health records of 121,700 US nurses ageing 30 to 55. Health records included detailed questionnaires answered by the participants and other details on demographics, dietary habits, lifestyle factors, medical history and disease development of the participants. For the purposes of the current study, analysis of the data was restricted to 16,642 women who were aged 60 and older in 2004 and were able to provide a history of antibiotic use between the ages of 20 and 59. The participants also had at least one bowel investigation (colonoscopy) between 2004 and 2010. 1195 adenomas were newly diagnosed in this group. Recent use of antibiotics within the past four years wasn’t associated with a heightened risk of an adenoma diagnosis, but long term use in the past was.

Those who had consumed antibiotics for two months or more were 36 percent more likely to be diagnosed with an adenoma when compared to the participants who didn’t take antibiotics for any extended period in their 20s and 30s.

The team also compared women who had never taken antibiotics between their 20s and 50s to the ones who had consumed the drugs for over 15 days between their 20s and 50s. 73 percent of the latter group was found to be more susceptible to be diagnosed with an adenoma.


Healing Water: 7 Ayurvedic Herbal Waters You Must Have

In the age of modern medicines, where one would run to take a pill to cure even minor health ailments, it’s nice to stop and think if our grandmothers would have done the same thing. Perhaps not. But those days were different, people were naturally healthier and had a stronger immunity. Maybe they did something differently?

Ayurvedic herb infused water is a common ancient practice that has been used for years by naturopaths to heal ailing bodies. Due to the easy availability of herbs and spices, these healing waters can be conveniently made at home. The idea to prepare healing water by infusing ayurvedic herbs and spices is to extract important oils of the plant which have several healing properties.  Water is considered as a powerful therapeutic tool in Ayurveda and soaking certain herbs or spices can enhance its healing power. Here are seven varieties of healing waters with different health benefits as suggested by Shilpa Arora, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner.

1. Fenugreek (Methi) Water

Slightly bitter and yellow-colored fenugreek or methi seed, which is a commonly used spice for culinary purposes in an Indian household, is a storehouse of medicinal properties and can cure many health problems. Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, soaked methi in water overnight imparts it pale yellow hue. According to Shilpa, “Methi water is very helpful in the prevention of water retention in the body. It also prevents bloating.” The amino acid compounds present in methi seeds help in promoting insulin secretion in the pancreas. This helps in controlling blood sugar levels for diabetics.

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Methi seeds are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties


2. Herbal Wood Glass (Vijaysar) Water

Also known as Indian Kino or Malabar Kino, Vijaysar is the most popular for controlling diabetes. It is widely used in Ayurveda for to cure various ailments like obesity, diarrhea, and eczema. It has compounds like Epicatechin, Marsupsin and Pterosupin which help in reducing blood glucose in diabetics. It also regenerates beta-cells of pancreas to produce insulin naturally. Soak vijaysar in water overnight and drink the brownish medicated water early morning to get the best results.

3. Tulsi Water

Apart from being considered holy, Tulsi is revered for its medicinal properties. The leaves when soaked in water do wonders for the skin and heal many health problems. Tulsi has antibiotic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that help prevent fever and cold and also keep your skin and hair healthy. Tulsi water acts as great diuretic and also detoxifies for kidneys. It helps reduce uric acid levels in the blood further cleansing the kidneys.

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Tulsi helps reduce uric acid in the body


4. Pathimugam (Indian red wood) Water

Pathimugam or Indian red wood soaked in water is a popular thirst quencher  in Kerala. The bark of the tree is used to attain medicinal benefits. The healing water that turns light pink in color is used as a cure for kidney disorders, skin diseases, cholesterol, blood purification and diabetes. All you need to do is to boil the water with pathimugam for 2-3 minutes, strain the water and consume it with your meals or anytime of the day.

5. Cinnamon Water

Cinnamon or dalchini is commonly found in our Indian kitchen, but we rarely talk about its health benefits. True to its name, it tastes sweet and has a very prominent aroma. It is a popular spice made from the inner bark of the tree called cinnamomum. It is loaded with antioxidants and protects the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Its anti-inflammatory properties help protect the body from infections and tissue damage. Cinnamon water is responsible for reducing blood sugar levels by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract after a meal. The antimicrobial properties present in cinnamon may also prevent tooth decay and bad breath.

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Cinnamon water is responsible for reducing blood sugar levels

6. Coriander Seed Water

Cilantro or dhania is widely used to add flavor to various dishes. Coriander seeds contain plant derived chemical compounds that are high in antioxidants and health promoting properties. According to Shilpa Arora, coriander seed water helps in curing water retention and acidity due to its cooling properties. Drinking coriander seed water also helps in curing mouth ulcers due to the presence of citronelol which acts as an antiseptic. Soak the seeds in warm water for 10 minutes, strain it and drink it up.

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Coriander seed water helps in reducing water retention


7. Triphala Water

Triphala is known for curing acute constipation due to its laxative properties. Commonly available in powdered form, triphala is mixed in water and consumed to regulate your bowel movements and cure constipation. Triphala is made with three fruits namely Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. These three fruits are dried, powdered and mixed  together to make one powerful condiment called triphala. It acts as a detoxifier and makes your skin glow naturally. The presence of antioxidants helps in boosting immunity against cold, flu and other diseases. You can add triphala powder to warm water and consume it regularly.

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Triphala acts as a detoxifier and helps you get a glowy skin

These healing waters must be consumed according to the needs of your body. Therefore it is advisable for the patients with diabetes or other ailments to refer to your doctor before kick starting a new routine.


This May Be the Reason Why You Have Been Unable to Reduce Belly Fat

Does your expanded waistline refuse to shrink even an inch despite following the best recommended set of exercises? Is it getting worse with time with you piling on extra pounds unnecessarily? Perhaps your low metabolism, diet choices, exercise routine or other lifestyle habits have something to do with it. Or perhaps not. Calm down! Perhaps the only thing you need to do right now is to relax. There could be various reasons for your protruding belly, some of which are not often cited, for example stress. Yes, you heard us. While increased levels of stress can result in reduced appetite initially, long-term and chronic stress may eventually make you binge on fatty foods. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as stress induced weight gain.

Stress and anxiety are becoming synonymous to today’s time. Stress does not only affect one’s peace of mind but could also play a role in promoting weight gain, especially around your mid-riff. A certain hormone called cortisol can be labelled as the culprit here.


What Does Cortisol Do?

Cortisol is also called as the stress hormone

. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands. It is important for the maintenance of blood pressure as well as in boosting energy in the body. The hormone also stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for greater energy and regulates insulin release for maintaining blood sugar levels. The end result of these actions could lead to an increase in appetite.

Shilpa Arora, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, explains, “When you are tensed, the body releases cortisol as a result of which there is a rise in insulin level in the body. This results in a drop of blood sugar level and that’s why you rave high carbohydrate and sugary food.” The body releases chemicals in response to the food you eat, which might have a direct calming effect, and this is how you may end up gaining those few extra and unwanted pounds around your belly in an attempt to beat stress.

Shilpa adds, “High cortisol production can confuse the entire endocrine system and increase your appetite. Stress also leads to the over production of ghrelin – your hunger hormone.”

Why is This Belly Fat a Reason for Worry?

It has been found that stress and increased cortisol levels tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than around the hips or other parts of the body. Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta shares, “There is a strong co-relation between belly fat and cardiovascular diseases. We have heard of apple and pear-shaped bodies. Those who are apple shaped have a considerable body weight around the abdominal area and are at a higher risk of developing cardio-vascular diseases.”

Dr. Datta also explains the reason behind fat deposition around the belly. “Cortisol is known as the survival hormone. The concentration of the hormone is controlled by an enzyme found mostly in the abdominal region. Hence, there is a greater storage of fat in the tissues of abdomen when you are stressed. ”

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Here are a host of remedies you can try to beat stress-induced weight:

Shilpa suggests meditation and making a window for some recreational activities. ”In our stressful lives surrounded by compulsive eating disorders, one should include daily meditation and relaxation techniques like music, reading, dancing or engage in some sports.”

Dr. Rupali Datta lists some suggestions which can come in handy to cut down on the bulge due to stress –

1. Eight hours of good quality sleep is needed daily. People might argue that it is not essential, but sleep deprivation may aggravate stress and anxiety.

2. Learn to delegate your work. You cannot take care of everything alone. Therefore, fretting about it is only going to add to your stress. So stop, breathe, relax, and plan.

3. You have to monitor your eating habits and keep eating at regular intervals of time. As the sugar levels go down, the levels of cortisol go up. You must include high fibre foods, leafy vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Whole grains have a very positive impact in maintaining satiety. Also, remember to have enough proteins. Most of our Indian meals are high on carbohydrates, which may make you lose out on the adequate protein intake.

4. Make sure to load up on vitamin C. It is known to boost the adrenal gland, which regulates the secretion of cortisol.

5. It is essential to be hydrated at all times. Have nimbu paani, chaas, nariyal paani, or just plain water, but make sure you keep yourself hydrated to prevent overeating because your body can confuse thirst with hunger.

6. Try and take out at least 30 minutes to engage in anything that de-stresses you, such as dancing, listening to music or reading. Yoga or regular exercise also helps in releasing stress.

5 Famous Varieties of Ramen You Must Try in Japan

5 Famous Varieties of Ramen You Must Try in Japan

The unrelenting rain pelted down onto the streets below. But a look outside my hotel window, the view boasting of cherry blossoms and Mt.Fuji, reminded me of why I needed to get moving and get out of the room. I was in Tokyo, one of the world’s greatest food cities, housing numerous Michelin starred restaurants. However, that wet, cold day, my destination was no fancy restaurant. In fact, it was a ramen shop in the backlanes of Shinkuju, Tokyo’s business district, infamous for waiting lines snaking around the block and famous for what could arguably be the best ramen in town. But let me start at the beginning.

Having grown up in India, the term ramen usually brings to mind a large bowl with a delicious clear broth, with noodles, meat and tons of vegetables. In a broad sense, that could describe ramen. However, when you look closely, like there are numerous versions of dosas in South India or of parathas in Punjab, there are many types of ramen. Here is a quick guide for you to know your way around the ramen world.

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A typical Ramen joint in Japan

History of Ramen

Ramen is most associated with Japan but it is said that Japanese soldiers brought the dish back to Japan from China at the end of World War II. It was here that they made it their own and now it is a staple dinner in any street of Japan. Typically, people go for a drink after work where they will only munch on a yakitori stick or two. And when they are ravenous, head down to a ramen joint and devour a bowlful.

Types of Ramen

1. Shoyu (Soy sauce)

The broth in this one is clear and slightly brown, lightly flavoured with soy sauce. Typically, the broth is made with chicken but may also contain pork or other meats. Curly noodles are usually used in Shoyu Ramen. If the menu doesn’t specify what type of ramen it is, there is a good chance it is a Shoyu Ramen as this is the most common type. It is also fairly popular in India and this is the one you will find in restaurants like Fatty Bao. Go Go Ramen in Chennai, the only Ramen Bar in India does their own take on this.

soy ramen

2. Shio (Salt)

The soup in Shio Ramen is flavoured only with salt and thus is characteristically clear and yellowish in colour. As in the case with Shoyu Ramen, it is typically made with chicken but may also use other meats depending on the region. It also contains a lot of seaweed.

salt ramen

3. Tsukemen

This is the type of ramen that I set out to eat that rainy day in Tokyo, perhaps (and unfortunately) the most under-represented ramen across the world. The broth is thick and brown, unlike any other ramen. And the most fun part? The noodles come separately, so you have to ‘dip’ them with chopsticks in the broth and then slurp up. The thick soba noodles are served cold and the broth warm, allowing you to dip the noodles without making them mushy. If you ever get your hands on a bowl, trust me you will never forget this one.


4. Miso (Soybean paste)

You may be familiar with the taste of miso soup, which is often an accompaniment with tempura or other Japanese dishes. This ramen is flavoured with the same soybean paste called miso and is thick and brown in consistency. The flavour is complex, and not as clean as Shoyu or Shio, but it is heartier and perfect for cold winters. Having originated in Hokkaido, it is now popular across Japan and the world for its nutty sweet flavour. In India, you can get your Miso Ramen fix at Fuji in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.


5. Tonkotsu (Pork bone)

As the name suggests, this ramen soup is made of pork bones which are cooked down to a point where they dissolve into a creamy, white broth. It looks almost milky and takes upto 20 hours to cook. Surprisingly, the best one in India can be found in Rajasthan, in a Japanese chef-run restaurant in Neemrana located within Hotel Hirohama. The spicy version comes highly recommended.

pork ramen

So, there you have it. Order with confidence at a Japanese restaurant now, whether you’re going fine dining or as the Japanese do it, to a hole-in-the-wall ramen shop (where you have to order on a ticket machine and wait in line to eat on the bar-like table). As for me? I had my ramen fix in Tokyo last week and can vouch that there are few dishes that comfort the soul like a good bowl of ramen does.


‘The Kardashian lifestyle is why you can’t buy a house’: millionaire developer


Tim Gurner’s social media account is very Kardashian-esque. Photos: Instagram
Mr Gurner’s concerns about Australians never owning homes is echoed by much of the nation. A recent ANU survey found that nearly 90 per cent of Australians were concerned future generations would be unable to buy a house.

Multi-millionaire luxury apartment developer Tim Gurner, 35, is copping flak for telling millennials their lavish lifestyles and poor work ethics are preventing them from entering the property market.

In a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night, Mr Gurner accused prospective buyers of “dangerous” levels of spending and of setting themselves unrealistic expectations after “watching the Kardashians”.

“When you’re spending $40 a day on smashed avocado and coffees and not working, of course [you won’t own a house in your lifetime],” he told interviewer Ross Greenwood.tim gurner instagram

“When I had my first business when I was 19, I was in the gym at 6am in the morning and I finished at 10:30 at night and I did it seven days a week … until I could afford my first home. There was no discussion around: could I go out for breakfast or could I go out for dinner or whatever it was. I just worked.”

Viewers were quick to point out that Mr Gurner (rumoured to have a $460 million fortune) bought his first business in 2001 at the age of 19 with the help of a $34,000 loan from his grandfather. He ran the gym for a year before selling it to a competitor and starting his career as a property developer.

Mr Gurner blamed the media for giving young Australians unrealistic expectations of what they can achieve financially.

“I just think that the media and the current environment and lifestyle changes has definitely changed the next generation … I think it’s dangerous for the economy and I think it’s definitely dangerous for their ambitions of owning property,” he said.

“I think the problem with this generation is they want the three-bedroom home in Malvern and Malvern East and Prahran [in Melbourne] and Alexandria in Sydney, and it’s just not sustainable or realistic.”

Galling his audience further, Mr Gurner then said it gave him “a little bit of comfort” baby boomers would soon pass down their property-fuelled wealth to their children.

“The realistic fact is, there is this incredible amount of wealth that is being created and it is sitting with the baby boomers. That will be passed down. There is going to be a transition of wealth in the next 20 to 30 years which will see a lot of these people be able to buy their own home.”

He did not clarify what Australians with no inheritance could do to get into the market, although earlier in the interview he said first home buyers might have to: buy an investment property first; live with their parents while they saved; or buy with a friend.

Despite his criticism of the Kardashians and the media, Mr Gurner’s company Instagram account is full of shots of scantily-clad models, Aston Martins, charter helicopters and expensive champagne.

tim gurner

A survey by property data firm CoreLogic found 87 per cent of non-home owners were concerned about affordability; and 30 per cent were looking to inheritance or the ‘bank of mum and dad’ for help.

And he’s right that young Australians are falling behind. The share of housing loans going to investors has grown from less than a fifth in the 1990s to almost 50 per cent (if you disregard refinancing), according to ABS data published Monday.

Where he seems to diverge from the data is in focussing on the lifestyle habits of young Australians, rather than price rises.

In CoreLogic’s estimation, houses cost 7.2 times the yearly income of an Australian household, up from 4.2 times income 15 years ago.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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


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


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.