Categories
caffeine obesity weight loss

What is Brown Fat-And How to Increase It

Its quite exciting to note there are different kinds of body fat-white, yellow, brown, beige, and belly fat. Ok, belly fat is not color, but excess belly fat can be a severe health concern. 

Well, there is one kind of fat that burns calories, fights obesity, and even reduces the risk of diabetes. Guess who?

 It’s the brown fat that’s usually found more in people with lower body mass index. This specialized fat is located in weird parts in your body and is probably hard to find, and the funny part is even mild stress activates brown fat.

So what is brown fat

It’s a special type of fat that gets activated when you feel cold. It warms up your body by producing heat and helps maintain your body temperature in cold climates. 

Brown fat cells contain more mitochondria than white fat. These mitochondria burn calories to produce heat. Brown fat is also known as brown adipose tissue. 

White fat vs. brown fat

White fat- the one you primarily have known your whole life stores energy in large fat droplets and accumulates it around your body. The fat accumulation provides insulation for your organs and keeps your body warm as well.

But too much white fat in humans leads to obesity. Likewise, plenty of white fat around the midsection can lead to diabetes, heart problems, and other diseases. 

Alternatively, brown fat stores energy in smaller space than white fat-Packed with iron-rich mitochondria brown fat burns to produce heat without shivering. This process is termed as thermogenesis. During thermogenesis, it also burns calories. 

Previously scientists believed only babies had brown adipose tissue that helped them to regulate body temperature. Also, they thought it disappeared once people became adults. 

But now science reveals that even adults have reserves of brown fat-especially in small deposits around the neck, collarbone, kidneys, and spinal cord.

Brown fat is good

A research study found that brown adipose tissue can help your body to filter and remove (BCAAs) branched-chain aminoacids-leucine, isoleucine, and valine. You see these BCAAs in foods like milk, meat, eggs, chicken, and eggs, as well as in supplements that help build muscle mass. 

In average concentration, these BCAAs promote good health, but in excess amounts, they are linked to obesity and diabetes. Researchers found people with little brown adipose tissue have problems in clearing these BCAAs from their systems that may cause diabetes or obesity.

How to increase brown adipose tissue

As brown adipose tissue has so many benefits, it’s natural that you want to know how to increase it. Here’s a lowdown of some easy ways to increase brown fat. 

Avoid starving or stuffing yourself

Our hunger regulating hormones in the brain notify us when we had enough. It seems that these neurons have another duty as well. Researchers from the Yale school of medicine found that the neurons encourage fat to turn brown. 

The study points out that eating few calories prevents fat from becoming brown. While a sufficient amount of food to satisfy hunger prompts the action of neurons to convert white fat to brown. 

Other research studies also show that overconsumption increases white fat and even interferes with the brown adipose tissue’s ability to burn calories. Researchers also found that a hearty carbohydrate-rich meal activated brown adipose tissue and was as effective as the cold stimuli.

Eat an apple

Whether or not an apple keeps the doctor away, it keeps the fat away. University of Iowa researchers found that the ursolic acid present in apple peels and also gives apples their sheen boosted brown adipose tissue in mice, even when they were fed a high-fat diet. 

Exercise

Moving your body may seem a no brainer when it comes to burning fat. A research study published in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms found that exercise triggers an enzyme called irisin that induces white fat cells to turn to brown fat cells. So what’s so special about this enzyme?

Researchers from Harvard and other Universities talk about irisin in a study published in Nature. According to their research, this previously unknown enzyme is produced in working muscles in mice. 

From there, it enters the bloodstream and migrates to other tissues, especially to fat- from where it starts a series of biochemical processes that cause some of the white fat cells to turn brown.

Turn down the thermometer

Scientists have found that short term exposure with cold exposure activates brown fat energy metabolism and may burn up to 15 percent more calories.

Brown adipose tissue burns calories through fatty acid oxidation. Scientific literature says that moderate cold exposure is the biggest activator of brown adipose tissue. Researchers found that people with active brown adipose tissue burnt 20 more kilocalories than those without it. 

Also, they found that individuals with active brown fat burned significant fat with intense cold exposure and had a healthier fatty acid blood profile. 

Another research found in the Journal of Clinical Investigation dealt with 12 young men with low than average amounts of active brown adipose tissue. They were made to sit in 63 degrees Fahrenheit room for two hours a day for six weeks. The researchers found that the participants burnt an extra 108 calories in the cold temperatures than in the average indoor temperatures. 

After six weeks, their bodies were burning a whopping extra 289 calories in the cold. This action prompted the researchers to hypothesize exposure to lower temperatures increased the activity of a gene that converts white fat into brown. 

Increase your body’s melatonin production

Research says that melatonin increases the presence of beige fat similar to that of brown adipose tissue in its fat-burning actions. While you might want to take supplement health experts, advise you to go the natural route.

Limiting nighttime exposure to light from TVs, computers, and other light exposure, getting adequate sunlight. Exposure during the day, and including melatonin rich foods in your diet, including tomatoes, almonds tart cherries, coriander, and cardamom.

Drink a cup of coffee

A research study says that drinking coffee may stimulate brown adipose tissue and help you burn calories. Increasing its activity improves blood lipid levels and blood sugar control. It prevents obesity and diabetes, as well.

Also, the extra calories burnt help with weight loss. This research is a unique study as its the first of its kind -with something as simple as a coffee can have a direct effect on brown fat functions. Using the thermal imaging technique, scientists found that brown adipose tissue in the neck region got hotter after the research participant had a drink of coffee.

In conclusion

Never let your brown adipose tissue sit idle, keep it active most of the time to stay healthy and fit. 

Categories
caffeine Food kids

The Cons of Sugary Drinks

It’s summertime, and whenever I go out for a walk, I see groups of youngsters enjoying their time, each with a can of sugary beverages. But alas! The warnings come clear and loud about the health hazards of sugary drinks. A recent study sounded the alarm that sugary drinks may lead to an estimated death of 184,000 each year worldwide. 

Harvard scientists say that sugary drinks contribute to the obesity epidemic. The average size of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories of sugar, mainly from high fructose corn syrup.

The 150 calories equal to about ten tsp of table sugar. Imagine ten tsp of sugar in a single can of sweetened beverage. It is just like slow poison, which will cut our life road someday. Hope I have scared you to death.

Dangers of sugary drinks

The consumption of sugary drinks such as sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened ice teas, and homemade sugary drinks leads to the development of heart diseases, diabetes, and cancers.

What concerns health enthusiasts is that the consumption is increasing at a whirlwind speed among the youngsters. Imagine the impact on health due to these sugary beverages, a few years down the road.

Early onset of mensuration

Health scientists warn us that girls who drink sugary drinks frequently start their menstrual periods earlier than those who do not consume it. The average age of the first menarche is 12 years.

The findings are very significant because of the early onset of periods is related to a higher risk of breast cancer later in life. Scientists point out that drinks with more sugar have a higher glycemic index.

This causes a rapid rise in insulin concentration of sex hormones. Massive changes in the level of these hormones circulating in the body are linked to earlier onset of mensuration.

So if you have a daughter, this sounds an alarm for you.

Hazards increase in a dose-dependent manner
If you drink sugary drinks just for two weeks, it could affect your health adversely warns scientists.

These beverages which are loaded with sugar increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in a dose-dependent manner. The more you drink, the greater the risk.

Another finding points out an interesting angle. Sugary beverages can suppress the hormone cortisol and the stress hormone in the brain. These drinks can provide quick relief from stress.

This can prompt regular drinking of these beverages which can have detrimental effects on health, including obesity.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

There is a huge risk if you drink sugary drinks on a daily basis. It can increase the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD is the accumulation of fat cells in the liver which is not related to alcohol consumption.

People suffering from NAFLD are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Sugary beverages are a major contributor to fructose, the sugar that is believed to increase the risk of NAFLD, because of how our bodies process it.

Sugary drinks impair memory

Scientists warn that the consumption of sugary beverages during adolescence can hamper the ability to learn and remember information. But the irony is that sugary drinks are most popular among youngsters.

Refined carbohydrates when consumed in soft drinks, can lead to metabolic disturbances.  Sugary drinks interfere with our brain’s ability to function normally and remember critical information.

Scientists warn that it also produces inflammation in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that controls many learning and memory functions. Terrible is it not?
Studies warn us that sugary beverages can cause kidney stones and also raise the risk of endometrial cancer in post-menopausal women. 

Takeaway

I think there are more than enough reasons for you to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. If you can’t go cold turkey, you can just trim down your consumption and enjoy it on an occasional basis. So the world will have healthier and happier citizens to the habitat it.
Categories
caffeine cancer obesity women's health

Why Should You Drink Rooibos Tea

Are you an avid tea drinker? Then let me introduce you to the rooibos tea which is healthy and will perfectly satisfy your taste buds. Rooibos tea has a fascinating tradition behind it.

This tea grows in a small mountainous area in the region of Western Cape in South Africa. Traditionally the local people would climb the mountains and cut the fine needle-like leaves from the wild plants. Then they tie them together and bring them down the steep slopes using donkeys. The leaves are then left to dry in the sun.
The story goes like this; Rooibos seeds were minuscule, and it was hard to collect or cultivate it. An aged native Khoi woman chanced upon ants dragging the seeds. She followed them back to their nest broke it open and found a granary.
A botanist named Dr. Nortier who was a great fan of this rooibos tea placed a layer of seeds between the two millstones and ground away some of the seed pod walls. After that, the seeds were easily propagated, and the local farmers benefitted from this.

Health benefits of rooibos tea

Rooibos can be said as a superfood because it offers many health-boosting phytonutrients. It consists of the following minerals
Fluoride: Enhances your dental health.
Magnesium: Builds bones and releases energy.
Iron: Supports oxygen transport through the blood.
Zinc: Useful in wound healing, skin, and nail health, and boosts the immune system.
Sodium: Useful for regulating muscles and nerves.
Potassium: Controls blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular disease.

Antioxidants

Researchers from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, tested the antioxidant properties of Rooibos tea, by conducting animal experiments. The rats were divided into two groups; the researchers fed one group with rooibos tea and the other plain water.
After four weeks, a blood test on the animals that drank rooibos tea showed increased levels of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that helps break down potentially harmful oxygen molecules in cells. This enzyme was lower in the rats that drank water.
Rooibos tea contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and anti- viral properties. The red bush tea contains aspalathin and nothofagin, two vital antioxidants that boost your immune system and protects your body from all the scary diseases.

Cardio-protective properties

Rooibos tea contains quercetin another powerful antioxidant that prevents a wide variety of heart conditions. Quercetin reduces blood pressure and promotes an increase in HDL cholesterol. It prevents LDL cholesterol from binding to the walls of arteries and blood vessels. This action prevents you from atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.

Help to avoid cancer

Again the plant pigment Quercetin comes into play. Doctors give it in a supplement form to treat cancer patients because it suppresses malignant tumor growth by stopping the processes involved in cell mutation. Rooibos tea boosts the immune system to produce antibodies necessary to protect and heal from cancer.

Gives you youthful skin

Rooibos tea contains alpha hydroxy acid and zinc which enhances skin health. As we already saw, the antioxidants present in this tea promote anti-aging properties. Alpha hydroxy acid is found in many chemical peels and is used for revitalizing the skin. There are controversies regarding the commercial use of alpha hydroxy acid. It is always wise to get it from natural sources.
The red bush tea promotes other health benefits
• It treats and may help prevent diabetes.
• Helps in digestion
• Helps you lose weight and
• Treats allergies

A word of caution

Some health professionals say that rooibos tea can negatively affect patients with kidney disease, liver disease, and certain hormonal cancers. They say it can involve with chemotherapy treatments. It also affects male reproductive health when taken for extended periods of time. So it would be wise to consult your family physician before introducing rooibos tea to your routine.
Categories
caffeine health benefits women's health

Informative Healthy Eating Tips during a Summer Ramadan

A young mother asked me a question in Bayt.com whether pregnant women can fast during Ramadan. Since the holy month has begun, I thought it would be great if I write a post about healthy nutrition practices during this blessed month.
Dr. Razeen Mahroof from Oxford says that “The underlying message behind Ramadan is self-discipline and self-control, “This shouldn’t fall apart at the end of the day.”
Nutrition
ü Go in for a balanced diet
ü Your food intake should be simple and not differ too much from your normal diet. Include foods from all the food groups.
ü Milk and dairy products
ü Fruits and veggies
ü Bread, cereals, and potatoes
ü Meat and fish
ü Foods that contain, fats or sugar.
ü Include complex carbohydrates because they burn energy slowly during the long fasting hours. Some examples include
ü Wheat
ü Barley
ü Oats
ü Millet
ü Beans
ü Wholemeal flour and
ü Basmati.
ü Go in for fiber rich foods that are digested slowly.
ü Cereals
ü Whole wheat
ü Potatoes with skin on
ü Seeds and grains
ü Fruits and
ü Green beans
ü Avoid processed food it may contain MSG, heart clogging oils and sodium. Foods to avoid includes fast burning foods, foods that contain refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour).
ü Avoid foods such as chocolates, biscuits and cakes and Indian foods like Mithai. Chips and candies contain void nutrients and should not be used as a side dish.
ü Limit or avoid caffeine based drinks such as coffee, tea, and cola. They can dehydrate the body that too in these hot summer months. Caffeine is a diuretic, and it stimulates faster water loss through urination.
ü Shop for locally produced fruits and veggies from farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Locally harvested foods have a fresh supply of flavorsome nutrients to nourish you during the long fast.
ü If you eat wholesome food packed with nutrition, you’ll feel more satisfied.
ü Choose breads from organic brown rice and whole grains.
ü Replenish your body with hydration. Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body. Fruit juices will also have a similar revitalizing effect.
ü Include super hydrating watermelon and squash. You can make juices and soups out of these fruits and veggies.
ü You can also go in for smoothies, especially the green smoothies. They are full of nutrients and can give a nutrient boost immediately.
ü If you must have anything sweet, make it natural use real honey or natural raw cane sugar.
ü You can drink lots of coconut water which work wonders for your skin.
ü Avoid salty spices and condiments they will make you thirsty afterward.
ü Try to avoid deep fried foods, high sugar and high-fat foods, high fat cooked foods such as oily curries, parathas, and greasy pastries. Fried foods are heavy in oil and make them hard to digest.
ü Include chapattis made without oil, baked samosas, and boiled dumplings, baked or grilled meat and chicken, milk based sweets and puddings and homemade pastry using just a single layer.
ü Avoid using these cooking methods frying, deep frying and excessive use of oil. Try to use shallow frying and grilling or baking cooking methods.
ü Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning while cooking.  Cooking for a large number of people using oversized pots on gas stoves has been shown to cause carbon monoxide buildup in some homes. Cabon monoxide can make you unwell when breathed in particularly those houses that are not well ventilated.
ü Don’t use oversized pots on gas stoves and don’t place foils around burners.
Can a pregnant woman fast during Ramadan?

If you are pregnant, you can make up missed fasts later or do fidyah. For example, you can make donations to a food bank. 
According to a research study, pregnant women who fast during this holy month are likely to have smaller babies who will be prone to learning disabilities in their adulthood. 
Scientists in the US found that women were 10% less likely to give birth to a boy if they had fasted during Ramadan. The trend was clearest if fasting was done early in the women’s pregnancy and during the summer months.

Take care

Swarnam

Take care,
Swarnam
Categories
breast cancer caffeine health benefits stress women's health

Stunning Health Benefits of Coffee

Feelart,freedigitalphotos.net
My sanity returns with a cup of coffee. I will shout my lungs out, my kids and even the neighbors know that I had missed my cup of coffee (just kidding). And once I had my fill, I am the sweetest, most well-behaved person you will ever see in the universe.
So there must be something special about coffee, right? Let us begin our adventurous journey into the unknown coffee realm.

Health benefits in your cup of coffee

 
Studies have found that coffee consumption lowers the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. A small study found that drinking coffee improved small blood vessel function.
 
Scientists unexpectedly found that coffee contains N-methylpyridine which blocks the ability of stomach cells to produce hydrochloric acid and could be a magic formula to prevent stomach irritation. This compound is generated upon roasting. The darker the roasted color of the coffee bean the more the goodness of this stomach friendly substance.
 

Coffee good for breast cancer

 
Scientists say that coffee reduces antiestrogen resistant estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. If this sounds Greek and Latin have a word with your doctor.
 
Researchers say that coffee could decrease the risk of breast cancer recurring in patients taking the used drug Tamoxifen. Patients who took the pill along with two or more cups of coffee daily, reported less than half the rate of cancer recurrence, says one research study.
 

The goodness of coffee continues

 
Coffee may protect against endometrial cancer. Caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of oral cancer. A daily cup of coffee prevents deteriorating eyesight and possible blindness from retinal degeneration due to glaucoma, aging, and diabetes. In short, coffee is excellent for your eye health. A recent study has found that decaffeinated coffee may promote liver health. 
 

Coffee and the brain

 
An international group of scientists found way back in 2008 that coffee aroma kick-starts genes in the brain and increases its efficiency. 

Decaffeinated coffee boosts memory function. An intriguing finding says that 3 cups of coffee a day enjoyed by older adults can keep Alzheimer’s disease at arm’s length. Coffee along with a sweet treat can improve brain efficiency so says a University of Barcelona research study.
 
Wow! That’s an awful lot of reasons to vote for the freshly brewed cup of coffee. But remember, moderation is the best practice. While you enjoy your cup of piping hot coffee, listen to the Coffee Song by Frank Sinatra.
 
Categories
caffeine Uncategorized

5 Top Reasons That Makes Your Cup Of Coffee So Healthy

Christmas is a fantastic festive season where you will enjoy your time with family and friends. All the joys and togetherness brings you a lot of stress. So steal some few moments for yourself, hear some good music and sip that steaming hot cup of coffee to unwind and de-stress.
Is coffee perfect for your health?
Coffee in the right amounts is good; we will see how it works out?
·       The caffeine in your cup of coffee might help the small blood vessels to work better
·       Coffee can protect against the rare and chronic liver disease caused by inflammation of the bile duct
·       Coffee can prevent diabetes
·       Coffee consumption reduces the rate of liver cancer by about 40%
·       Coffee can increase your lifespan because coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart and respiratory diseases, stroke, injuries, accident, diabetes, and infections
So says research studies.
Photo by Supertrooper

www.freedigitalphotos.net

Categories
caffeine

Caffeine Can Delay Brain Development In Young People

To be totally honest I cannot live without my morning cup of coffee. Could you? The caffeine present in yourcup of coffee when in small amounts increases the speed and accuracy of your recognizing power with positive associations. So you feel entirely positive and geared up to face the challenges with a fearless heart.
But all is not well with caffeine and scientists are singing a different tune about its effects. So what is caffeine, anyway? It is a bitter stimulant found in varying amounts inseeds, leaves and fruits. It acts on the central nervous system in humans and wards off drowsiness and restores alertness.
Now scientists say that humans as well as other mammals sleep intensively during the puberty period. At the same time the brain too matures at a faster rate. When scientists gave caffeine to young pubescent rats the maturation process of the brain was delayed. Shouldn’t we be more cautious about this fact?
Caffeine laden energy drinks are selling like hot cakes in the market. Kids and young people enjoy these beverages. The consumption of these energy drinks in this age group has jumped to 70% in the last 30 years. The scientists say that in young rodents caffeine intake which equals to 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day in  humans results in decreased time ofdeep relaxing sleep and delayed brain development.
A word of caution for all thepregnant women and breastfeeding mothers out there! A research study says babies are not able to metabolize or excrete caffeine. So caffeine consumption by itsmother may contribute to caffeine accumulation and leads to symptoms such as wakefulness and irritability. Caffeine is also linked to low birth weight babies. It is even linked to increasing the length of gestation.
And so moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
Take good care,
Swarnam
Photo courtesy of ponsulak

Take care,
Swarnam