Friday, October 30, 2009

Fruits for longevity

Fruits should be eaten to maintain a healthy life, not as a substitute for normal food — Dr. Naveen Kumar
Among all the foods available, fruits are the most delicious and enjoyable to the senses. Fruits are rich in all the essential vitamins, minerals and water content. But very few people give much importance to them as most of them think it can not sustain a hard-working person.
According to Dr. Naveen Kumar of Dr. Naveen’s Health & Diet Care Centre, people who are obese can skip breakfast and consume fruits like Papaya, Melons, Pineapple, Grapes, Apple etc.
Fruits are rarely seen as staple food; instead they are eaten as snack or dessert. Many people consider fruits as nutritious and eat whenever they feel hungry. But the nutrition content of the fruits vary. Melons have less calories, while Bananas contain more. Eating a small cantaloupe (200 calories) can help one sustain for a short time, but eating dried fruits and nuts can sustain a person for a longer time.
Eating fruits on an empty stomach before meals are good, because fruits are rich in sugar called fructose and they don’t combine with other foods, they do not even require much digestion and hence do not stay in the stomach for long.
But if a person consumes fruits just after a meal, the fruit sugar will stay for a longer time in the stomach along with other foods and gets fermented. Especially when one consumes foods which are rich in fat, proteins and starch, it will stay in the stomach for a longer period and require more digestion causing fermentation (upset of the stomach).
This is the reason why some people experience digestion problems when they eat fruits just after consuming food and they blame it on the fruit saying it might be allergic.
Diet: Instead of skipping meals and consuming only fruits, maintain a balanced diet. Avoid rice for dinner at night; eat chapathi, ragi dosa, rava idli and ragi ball. For patients who are obese, this diet is very useful as fruits help in burning fat.
How much to eat: Chapathi - Medium size two; a small bowl of rice with vegetable curry and butter milk for afternoon meal. Later consume fruits which are less in calories. Obese people should avoid banana, dates, cherries and mangoes as they are rich in calories.
Fruits are ideal food after exercise: There is nothing better than oranges, grapes, pineapple or melons after a workout as they are rich in water content and sugar, which the body requires after an exercise. These fruits contain enough water to hydrate the body and the natural sugars are quickly absorbed to replenish the energy.
Natural sugars provide the much needed energy required by the body. When starchy foods like potatoes and bread are eaten, the digestive enzymes in the stomach have to break down complex sugar (starch) into simpler sugars. But when fruits are eaten, the body absorbs the simple sugars (fructose) directly, without need of breaking them down any further.
Fresh fruits don’t cause tooth decay as they contain lots of fiber and water along with natural sugar. The combined effect of fiber and water rinses and cleans the mouth.
But when fruits are dried, water content will be less and they stick to teeth and gums causing tooth decay. Drink juices at least once. But if you filter and drink, the natural fibers are no longer present to clean the teeth. As long as we eat entire fresh fruits with all of its natural water content and fiber, we will get the maximum benefit out of them. Diabetics are advised to get medical help.
Many people sustain only on fruits instead of meals. It’s a bad habit. Living on fruit alone will deteriorate health.
Fruit stimulates our memories: Fruits have a positive effect on the brain and makes us to recall information quickly and easily.
Fruits are free of cholesterol: Fruits don’t contain much cholesterol, unlike meat and dairy products which contain a lot of cholesterol.
Fruits help to come out of depression: If one consumes substantial amount of fresh fruits on a regular basis, one can get out of depression. Slowly but surely, eating lot of fruits has a mysterious healing effect.
Other health benefits: Lesser chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis and cancers of the bowel and lungs.
Weight control: Fruit contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, which keeps a person healthy. As they are low in fats and calories, they are ideal to keep weight in control.
Benefits of eating fruits
• Fruits are rich sources of vitamins, not available in any other food. They contains more anti-oxidants.
• A fruit is the best source of natural sugars required to produce energy needed by the body.
• Fruits are easy to digest.
• Fruits are alkaline forming, while grains, meat, fish are acid-forming.
• Fruits contain lots of fiber, which is necessary for optimum digestion.
• People who eat lots of fresh fruits live longer.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Martial Arts expert from Gujarat in city

Oliver Christopher, a Martial Arts expert from Gujarat and a student of Grand Master William Cheung (close friend of Bruce Lee), is in city to impart training in ‘Wing Chun Kung Fu’ (karate, kick-boxing) style and also self-defence for students at No. 40, 2nd Cross, Gayatripuram 2nd Stage, near PF Office from 6 to 8 am/pm till Oct. 24. He will be visiting Australia in January to learn one of the famous styles ‘Kung Fu Wing Chun’, which was popularised by Bruce Lee.Even today, actor and martial arts expert Bruce Lee is a global phenomenon and an inspiration for martial arts experts around the world. One among them is Oliver Christopher, hailing from Baroda in Gujarat.Like most boys, Christopher too went to see Bruce Lee’s hit movie Dragon in 1976 with his friends and started dreaming of becoming a martial arts expert. He turned his dream into reality when he was seven years old by practicing Karate six hours a day without any formal training.Christopher, who is a Black Belt 4th DAAN, was equally good in his studies. He has done his BE in Mechanical Engineering. With his dedication and hard work, he has won many State, National and International awards. Now he is a Karate, Kung-fu, kick boxing, martial arts, Kobudo expert.Christopher's first guru was Bipin Rathod. After some time, he started training under Rumi Mathew, a purple belt-holder and was a student of R.V.T. Mani who is believed to have introduced martial arts to India. Under Rumi’s guidance, Christopher won the Gujarat Grand Karate Championship for three successive years from 1988. He is also Va-dodara’s fir-st national Karate champion holder and he was only 17 then.Christopher has won the gold medal in All India Open Martial Arts Championship (full contact category) at Pune (1988) and at Bangalore (1994) and entered the arena in the same year.He has also bagged the gold medal in international kick-boxing championship at the Iran-India Goodwill Tournament held in 1997 at Baroda in which there were about 50 competitors, 30 of them being black belts from Iran."Due to some family problem I took a break for six years. But Bruce Lee’s poster, hung in my room, kept inspiring me to kick away my troubles and I continued practicing at home regularly," he added. "Martial arts should be made compulsory for children in schools as it is very useful for self-defence and it improves concentration and induces self-discipline," says Christopher who is concerned about the dire need of self-defence in today’s world of extreme stress and violence.Christopher added that these arts are not only meant for defence but they also help people to handle themselves in different situations. This strong man with a soft heart says he can’t see anyone in pain including animals. Christopher has trained more than 5,000 students and has given special training to Gujarat Police and Western Railways staff. He got the chance when Superintendent of Police K.S. Das decided to give martial arts training to cops. He has also trained IPS officers at National Police Academy in Hyderabad. Christopher hopes to win the world title and if given a chance, he is ready to act in movies as a stunt master. He may be contacted over Mobile: 093762-47989.
[October 20, 2009]

Bal Bhavan waiting for a makeover

The place which is supposed to be packed with children enjoying in the playground, recreation areas and entertainment center has now become an eyesore. Yes, this is how our city’s District Jawahar Bal Bhavan in Bannimantap has turned out.If you visit the Bal Bhavan once hoping you can make children play for a while, you will be definitely disappointed and hesitate to visit again as children will not get to play at the amusement park or enjoy a joy ride on the toy train, stroll on the green park, visit the doll museum, swimming pool, waterfalls etc. Instead, they will be welcomed by an open field full of weeds and a re(u)sting toy train.The sprawling 13-acre Bal Bhavan, once known as Vijaya Dashami Park, was inaugurated on Children’s Day (Nov. 14) in 1979 and it was a beehive of activities for kids. Children used to visit this place in large numbers during weekends and enjoy a joy ride on toy train. But now this toy train has become an antique piece housed in a shelter for the past nine months and the track is fully submerged with weeds.This toy train, which can accommodate 100 children, was chugging a distance of almost 1.1 km with six bogies (3 small and three large-sized bogies). Among them, two bogies are under repair for the past two years and another two are without wheels."The tracks are made of wooden sleepers, which are no longer manufactured. Now they have to be replaced with concrete or iron sleepers, which will cost around Rs. 45 lakh," says K.V. Krishnamurthy, Principal Organiser, Bal Bhavan. The toys available are also not properly maintained enough to play. The entire park, which comes under the Department of Women and Child Welfare, has never been properly maintained and it is now in a dilapidated condition. A ray of hope ? When SOM contacted MLA Tanveer Sait, under whose con-stituency this park area is located, he said, "Modernisation of Bal Bhavan will be taken up in the month of January and completed by next Dasara. Last year, MUDA sanctioned Rs.1.90 crore for the development of the park and a Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by Raydius Events & Promotions is also ready. Tenders will be invited and more facilities will be added for children’s amusement and to make it attractive." Sait added, "At any cost the work will start in January. If adequate funds are not granted from MUDA, I will start the work through grants from the MP and MLA funds."The proposed project includes an Artificial Forest, Snake & Ladder arena, Crocodile Park, Rock Climbing, Bike Rally arena, tiny-tots play arena and many more with some modern games. All this will be established to educate as well as encourage creative thinking in children. New attractions like fibre models of crocodile, lion and cubs, tiger, gorilla, zebra, tortoise, cheetah, giraffe, monkey, elephant herd, python and caves of huge rock structures are also being thought of. Construction of additional buildings, providing power and water supply, landscaping, re-introducing toy train and railway stations, erection of compound walls, artificial forest, gaming zones, open air theatre, restaurant, candy shop, ice-cream parlour, toilets, shelter are all on the anvil at an estimated cost of around Rs. 4.05 crore. All these proposed additional infrastructures are expected to be completed within 12 months from the date of final agreement with MUDA. N.R. Vijay, Deputy Director of Women and Child Welfare, said that a requsition letter has been sent to the Divisional Railway Manager seeking to reinvent the track. Many promises and plans were made for the development of Bal Bhavan but it remained only on the papers of the official document. Let's hope Bal Bhavan will get a makeover soon.Regularise Bal Bhavan staff: Right now, there are six people working in Bal Bhavan, whose jobs are not yet confirmed nor are they getting any facilities like PF and Pension. They are working as daily wagers for the past 28 years.
[October 18, 2009]

A Champion on Skates: G.V Raghavendra

Winning has become a habit for this 21-year-old city skater G.V. Raghavendra. He happens to be the first skater from Mysore to represent India in the World Short Ice-Skating to be held at Montreal, Canada from Nov. 5 to 8 and from Nov. 12 to 15 at Marquette, USA. SOM caught up with this skater, who is leaving India on November 1, and had a brief chat with him. Excerpts:"I was very fond of learning skating and my father got me a pair of skates. At first, I used to practice at home only and I learnt balancing. Later, I joined skating class," says Raghavendra, a native of Udupi.A resident of Jayanagar and a B.Com degree holder from Maharaja's College, he aspires to do his MBA.Raghavendra, who has bagged 7 gold medals, 4 silver and 1 bronze in Roller Skating and one gold medal in Ice skating, says "dedication and regular practice is very important to excel in this field." He has also won 14 State championship and 24 State-level championships and many other prizes.Expressing joy on his selection, Raghavendra, who practices for 3 hours a day, says: "It’s an altogether different feeling and a big achievement to compete in world ice-skating championship. I feel happy as only two skaters from India are participating — myself and another skater from Maharashtra."Practicing ice-skating since 2006, he was selected for his first ‘4th National Ice Skating Championship’ in Kolkata. He went there four days in advance to practice ice-skating, as there is no rink for ice-skating here. And lo, he bagged a gold medal. "As I am selected for Short Track Ice-skating championship, I am working more to excel in the event and get selected for the winter Olympic's also."Raghavendra was first trained by his late coach Sridhara Rao for four years. After his demise, he was trained by his (Sridhara Rao) brother K. Srikantha Rao, an Ekalavya awardee and a coach at Rao's and Vishwamithra Roller Skating Club, Mysore. "My family and coaches are my biggest support. My parents have provided me full co-operation. Srikantha Rao is like my god-father and I feel he is one of the best coaches in India." When SOM contacted Srikantha Rao over phone, he said "It’s really a big achievement that a city boy has been selected for world ice-skating championship." Raghavendra's parents G. Vishwanatha Somayaji and G. Nalini are proud about their son’s achievement as nobody in their family has achieved such a milestone.
[Oct. 23, 2009]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Winged guests at Karanji Lake

Don’t miss a chance to visit Butterfly Park located in the midst of the evergreen Karanji Lake, which is surrounded by a Nature Park consisting of a walk-through aviary. This is the first butterfly park in the State and these beautiful winged guests, fluttering from flower to flower all over the park, provide a glorious sight, interspersed with the chirping of birds.
The project to make Karanji Lake suitable for butterflies was formulated by the Mysore Zoo during 1999 by the then Zoo Executive Director Rajashekhar, DCF and the Butterfly Park was created on a small island of over one acre in the same year. In the initial days about 15 dif-ferent species of butterflies were let in this park, where they bred and multiplied. Now, these butterflies have descended upon the Lake and have lent colours to the environs, especially the trees, shrubs and bushes on which they perch.
Flowering plants are carefully selected and grown in the park with the help of a botanist to attract butterflies. The specially cultivated plants here are Jatropha, Crotalaria, Augusta, Poinsettia, Lemon Tree, Murraya koenigii (Karibevu). Some of these plants have been brought from hill stations and other region also.
A wide variety of butterflies like Grey Pansy, Lemon Pansy, Peacock Pansy, Yellow Pansy, Tailed Jay, Blue Mormon, Common Mormon, Crimson Rose, Common emigrant, Tawny Coster, Blue tiger, Paint tiger, Striped tiger, Danid egg fly and many more are seen dotting the park. Red Pierrot with twin heads captivates the onlookers making them difficult to drag their eyes away from them.
Butterflies are most active on warm and sunny days because they require heat of the sun to aid in their digestion. But on rainy days and gloomy atmosphere, they usually hide in the flowers and leaves and they rest their.
Many species of adult butterfly live only for one or two weeks. Some familiar species like Monarch butterfly survive for six months or even longer in the wild. Since more swarms of butterflies are expected to migrate to the lake after the monsoon.
Butterflies are seen more in the month of April and May and from October to November.

[October 22, 2009]