Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Did you know that people compete every year to win the
U.S. Memory Championship? To attain the rank of grand
master of memory, you must be able to memorize 1,000
digits in under an hour, the exact order of 10 shuffled
decks of playing cards in under an hour, and one shuffled
deck in less than two minutes.

To this day, there are only 36 grand masters of memory in
the world.

And while you may not be interested in memorizing digits
and playing cards, I'm sure all of us would like to increase
our mental brain power. Whether you want to quickly
memorize the periodic table, learn a new language,
recite the names of each president forwards and
backwards, or cut down on your studying time, the
following memory techniques will help you do it.

The brain wasn't designed to remember abstract symbols like
numbers and miscellaneous facts. However, if you can
translate those symbols into vivid visual images and
associations, even the dullest list of dates can become as
memorable as your own telephone number. The key is to
develop a system that allows for quick encoding and easy

1. Acronyms

One of the most common memory techniques is the use of
acronyms. This technique uses an easily remembered word
whose first letters are associated with the list of items that
need to be remembered. Pilots use these extensively to run
through essential checklists during flight time.

An example would be:

ROY G. BIV: the colors of the visible spectrum Red, Orange,
Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

Keep in mind that associations which are exaggerated, absurd,
humorous, and involve all five senses are much easier to
remember than normal ones. We remember emotionally charged
events much better than boring ones.

2. Chunking

Chunking is one of the oldest memory techniques. Using this
method, the items to be memorized are divided into small
chunks or groups. Chunking is especially helpful for memorizing
telephone numbers, ID numbers, etc.

For example, if you want to memorize the number 411645754,
then split it up into small groups: 411, 645, 754. You can
then memorize each group by rote. By dividing the
larger number into smaller subsets, it will be much easier
to commit the number to memory.

When using this technique, it is also helpful to make
connections and associations among the different chunks and

For example, if you want to memorize a grocery list, you
should group each of the items into related categories. So,
one chunk or group might be composed of oranges, apples, and
pears, while another chunk is made up of vegetables.

3. Acrostic

An acrostic is a memory technique that uses a made up
sentence or poem with a first letter cue. The first letter
of each word is a cue to an idea you need to remember.

One example is:

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS).

This acrostic represents the sequence in solving or
evaluating math equations. Parenthesis, Exponents,
Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction

4. The Method of Loci

The Method of Loci is a memory technique that dates back to
ancient Greek times when orators, philosophers, and others
had to rely on memory for memorizing speeches and knowledge
in general. This was essential seeing that the printed book
wouldn't come around until approximately two thousand years

Therefore, they invented the Method of Loci. This memory
technique involves associating information you want to
remember with specific locations, also known as loci.

These locations can be points along a journey or objects in
a room. The ancient Greeks not only created rooms, but
entire palaces and cities to remember lots of information.

According to Wikipedia,

"In ancient advice, the loci were physical locations,
usually in a familiar large public building, such as a market
or a church.

To utilize the method, one walked through the building
several times, viewing distinct places within it, in the
same order each time. After a few repetitions of this,
one should be able to remember and visualize each of
the places in order reliably.

To memorize a speech, one breaks it up into pieces, each
of which is symbolized by vivid imagined objects or symbols.
In the mind's eye, one then places each of these images
into the loci.

They can then be recalled in order by imagining that one is
walking through the building again, visiting each of the
loci in order, and viewing each of the images that were
placed in the loci, thereby recalling each piece of the
speech in order."

To create your own mental journey, you must first select the
path you wish to use. Be sure to choose a location that has
the same number of locations as the number of chunks in the
information you wish to memorize.

Take a mental journey through the selected path. You should
be able to recall the specific order of the locations
without trouble.

Now it's time to associate this new information with each
location along your chosen path. If you want to
memorize the presidents, then you might take a
mental journey through your school. In the first
room, you could have George Washington in an
astronaut suit and cutting firewood. In the
second room you could have John Adams
break dancing in front of the classroom.
And on and on until you have completed all
43 presidents.

Remember, emotion and exaggerated associations
are the key to memory.

5. The Image-Name Technique

Here's an excellent (but simple) memory technique for
remembering names.

All you have to do is make up a relationship between the
name and the physical characteristics of the person's name
you are trying to remember.

For example, if you were trying to remember a person by the
name of Tom, you might associate their name with the person
you went to prom with who was also named Tom. In this
instance, you are making the connection between Tom and prom
(rhyming) and between someone you previously knew from
high school.

If you want to remember the name Sally, you might imagine
them in a ballet. This association will help you remember
their name because of the visual imagery and the connection
between the "closely related" words that almost rhyme:
Sally and ballet.

By making connections, you are instantly more likely to
remember their name the next time you see them.

6. Mind Mapping

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what
you want to learn with something you already know. This is
known as association and it is the mental glue that drives
your brain.

Associations are also one of the best ways to improve your
memory. To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly
look for associations that connect new ideas and knowledge
with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar

Association is the primary method that memory champions use
to win international memory competitions. If you want to
enhance your mental abilities, then association is one skill
that you will definitely want to practice.

Mind mapping is one of the best ways to practice association.

According to Wikipedia, mind mapping:

"is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or
other items linked to and arranged radially around a central
key word or idea."

Mind maps have been used for centuries to aid in learning,
brainstorming, memory, and problem solving.

To start creating your own mind map, simply get
out a piece of paper, multiple colored pens, and begin
drawing a handwritten mind map that connects a variety
of ideas and concepts to a central key word or idea.
The simple act of using your hand for thought can really
get the brain going.

7. Write an Article

One of the best ways to learn a topic is to start writing
about it yourself. This forces you to clarify your thoughts
and dig a bit deeper into the topic at hand.

By expressing the core ideas in your own words, you will
gain a much deeper understanding of the topic.

Explaining a topic to others will help you to "really"
understand the matter because teaching something to others
requires a completely different level of insight.

Think about it. If you had to teach a class, wouldn't you
make sure that you understood the material even better than
the students. Take on the role of an instructor and you will
find yourself gaining a much deeper understanding of the
topics you study.

8. Peg words

Peg words are extremely powerful, but it does take some time
to learn how to use them. However, once you master this
technique, you can probably cut your studying time in half.

The use of pegs goes all the way back to the seventeenth
century and Henry Herson. He came up with a list of ten
objects that physically resembled the number itself. For
example, the number 1 was represented by a candle.
Number 8 was a pair of spectacles.

Peg words essentially become "hangers" or pegs on which
you can hang different items that you want to remember.

This system works by pre-memorizing a list of words that
are easy to associate with the numbers they represent. To
begin, you can connect simple objects with the numbers 1-20.
Those objects form the "pegs" of the system.

Once you have created a list of words for each number, you
can then begin using your peglist to quickly memorize a
list of objects.

For example, let's say you want to memorize a grocery list
of 10 items. To begin, you would need to make a peg list for
the numbers 1-10. Here's an example:

1- pencil
2- shoe
3- phone
4- door
5- book
6- basketball
7- hat
8- radio
9- car
10- barn

Now, you must associate the groceries on your list with each
of your peg words. Remember that your associations must be
exaggerated and filled with emotion in order to make them
easy to remember. Here are some examples of how you could
associate the grocery list with each of the peg words:

1- tomatoes - Visualize an army of pencils attacking a field
of overgrown tomatoes.
2- grapes - Visualize your favorite TV character stomping
through a big barrel of grapes with bright white shoes.
3 - cereal - Visualize opening your phone and having your
favorite cereal start shooting out of the mouth piece.

Get the idea?

Once you have created your list of peg words, you can use
them over and over again to memorize a variety of different

You could use the peg system to memorize the Presidents of
the United States, the periodic table, or the state capitals.

When creating your peg words, it's best to use tangible
things or objects for each peg word because objects are
easier to associate other items to.

Also, make sure that you don't use similar peg words for
different numbers. For reference, always keep a full list
of the peg words close by. In fact, putting this list in
your wallet or purse is one of the best places. This way,
you will always have access to the peg system.

At first, you may find it difficult to come up with the creative,
illogical, and exaggerated associations that help you
remember more. It comes with practice. However, once you
have mastered the technique of association, you will find
that you have also increased your creativity and problem
solving skills at the same time. The key to creating good
associations is thinking like a child again. Let your mind
wander past the limitations created out of what we now know
as "adulthood".

9. Visualization

Visualization is an extremely powerful memory technique.
However, visualization doesn't just improve memory. It can
also help reduce stress, improve sports performance, and
increase your motivation.

Create descriptive pictures of your possible future and move
yourself towards it. Visualize your next sports event or
public speech to improve your performance.

When studying history, play out visual renditions in your mind
of historical events that you want to remember. Imagine the
smells, sights, and sounds of Gettysburg or the excitement
and unity created by Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a
Dream" speech. By visualizing history with mental replays,
you are much more likely to remember them in detail.

10. FlashCards

When it comes to rote memorization, flash cards are my
favorite memorization tool. Flashcards can help you learn
new subjects quickly and efficiently. They are especially
useful for learning new vocabulary or even a new language.

One of the biggest benefits of flashcards is their portable
nature. They allow you to study anywhere at any time. It
doesn't matter whether you're on the bus, stuck in
traffic, or in the doctor's office. You can always whip out
your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

To create effective flashcards, dedicate one point to each
card. For example, you could put a vocabulary word on one
side and the definition on the other side. This way, you can
repeatedly quiz yourself until you have mastered all of the

Considering that memory is such a fundamental skill, it's
surprising that schools don't teach us more about how to
learn and use our memory to its optimum potential.

Our mind, just like the rest of our body, needs continuous
exercise and training. Those who think they have a poor
memory actually just have an untrained memory.

Just reading this article won't improve your memory. A good
memory comes from practice. Find something new and exciting
to learn. Start testing out these methods as soon as possible.

You could learn how to fly, learn a new language, photography,
or even investing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Types of Head ache

Detect the type of headache.

Headaches are irritants that could spoil your day. They could take away your efficiency by almost 50 per cent.

Often we neglect headaches and try to get on with the daily chores till finally 3-4 hours later the headache becomes unbearable. After hours of this slow torture, finally we pop in a tablet to relieve the pain. If you do a quick analysis, you'll realise that from the moment the headache began to the time you took the tablet, you may have lost many hours of productive time.

So the next time you feel the headache coming, first of all try to identify what kind of headache it might be. And then go for the cure.

Headaches occur for many reasons. They come due to tension or inflammation of the sinus.
Sometimes headaches come when the eyes are under strain.

Tension headache: The most common type of headache, immortalised in TV commercials where a harried woman is hounded by a demanding husband, bratty children and a tyrannical boss.
Symptom: Feels like a tight band around your head.
Cause: Tight muscles in the face, neck and scalp, usually caused by stress.

Migraine: A headache has to be pretty nasty to earn the name migraine, which means "half a head" in French.
Symptom: A throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. Usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
Cause: Uneven levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which causes the blood vessels in the head to constrict, then expand, putting pressure on surrounding nerves. Can be aggravated by the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle.
Prewarning: Most migraines are preceded by what's called an aura - flickering points of light or jagged lines that distort your vision.

Sinus headache: Pain around the bridge of your nose, jaws and ears. Sometimes pain moves down into the gums. Usually starts in the morning and gets worse throughout the day.
Cause: When you have a sinus infection, trapped air and pus press against the swollen, tender lining of your sinuses.
Hard fact: Sinus infections are common but sinus headaches are actually quite rare.

Cluster headache: The most excruciating of all headaches.
Symptom: A piercing, throbbing, burning pain that bores into one side of the head, around or behind the eyes. Can occur several times each day for weeks or months at a time.
Cause: Unknown.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nutrition tips for kids

Many more children are being diagnosed with high cholesterol, or as overweight or obese. These conditions can cause many health problems for your child such as diabetes and high blood pressure, both now and as he or she moves into adulthood.

By helping your child eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, you can reduce his or her risk of experiencing these health problems.

How can help a child eat right?

If you prepare healthy foods for your family and eat healthy foods yourself, your child will eat healthier, too.

Make sure to prepare a variety of foods, so your family gets all the vitamins and minerals their bodies need to function properly.

What are some examples of healthy meals?


The first meal of the day is a good time to give your child foods that are high in fiber. Whole-grain breads, cereals, fruit, low-fat or nonfat cheeses and yogurt are also good breakfast foods. Use skim or low-fat milk rather than whole or 2% milk. Fruit juice is usually high in calories and has less nutrients than whole fruit (fresh or canned).


Use whole-grain breads and rolls to make a healthier sandwich. Whole grains increase the total fiber in your child's diet and are less processed than enriched white bread. Give your child whole-grain crackers with soups, chili and stew, and always serve fresh fruit (with the skin) with meals instead of chips or other high-calorie options.

Here are some ways to make healthier sandwiches:

Use low-fat or fat-free lunch meats. They are good in sandwiches or cut into strips on top of a salad.

Buy leaner meats, such as turkey, chicken or veggie dogs.

Put leftover chicken or turkey strips in a tortilla to make a cold fajita (add strips of raw red and green peppers and onions). Use fat-free sour cream as a dressing.

Stuff a pita-bread "pocket" with vegetables, fat-free cheese and bits of leftover grilled chicken.

Cut up vegetables such as onion, carrot, celery and green peppers to add to tuna salad. Mix vegetables and water-packed tuna with fat-free mayonnaise or, for a different taste, mix with a fat-free salad dressing.

Chunky bits of leftover chicken mixed with fat-free mayonnaise, raisins, shredded carrots and sliced almonds is a great chicken salad. Serve it in a pita-bread pocket. Top it with salsa for a Southwestern flavor.

Mix cranberry sauce and fat-free mayonnaise to add to a turkey sandwich.

When buying peanut butter, choose an "all-natural" option. For jelly, buy one that 100% fruit and does not contain high fructose corn syrup. This will make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches much healthier.

Sliced ham and low-fat or fat-free cheese with mustard is great on rye bread.

Low-fat cheese makes a good sandwich with tomato slices and mustard or fat-free mayonnaise on a whole-grain roll.

Slice leftover pork tenderloin and top with barbecue sauce for a hot or cold sandwich.

Make grilled-cheese sandwiches with low-fat or fat-free cheese and serve them with raw carrot and celery sticks.

What snacks are good for child?

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low- or nonfat dair also make great snacks for children. Here are some ideas for ways to serve these foods to your kids:


Bits of fruit stirred into nonfat yogurt
Pineapple chunks
Orange or grapefruit sections
Bananas cooked lightly in apple juice
Apple slices with all natural peanut butter
Dried fruit mixes


Carrot sticks
Celery sticks with all natural peanut butter
Raw broccoli and cauliflower florets with a low-fat dip or salsa


1% fat or fat-free cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
Water-packed tuna mixed with fat-free mayonnaise on top of celery sticks or whole-grain crackers
Fat-free yogurt topped with sunflower seeds, chopped dried fruit or a spoonful of oat bran

Whole grains:

Cereals or cereal bars that are low in sugar and fat, and high in fiber and protein
Whole-grain crackers, breads or bagels
Sweets and desserts:
Fat-free frozen yogurt
Juice bars
Sherbet and sorbet

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Super Fruits

Kiwi :Tiny but mighty

This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E & fibre. It's Vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

Apple: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Although an apple has a low Vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of Vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attach & stroke.

Strawberry : Protective Fruit

Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer causing, blood vessels clogging free radicals

Orange : Sweetest medicine

Taking 2 -4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessen the risk of colon cancer

Watermelon : Coolest Thirst Quencher

Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are Vitamin C & Potassium.

Guava & Papaya : Top awards for Vitamin C

They are the clear winners for their high Vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fibre which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene, this is good for your eyes.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

He who laughs, lasts !

Of all the species in the animal kingdom, man is the only one who laughs and it is quite true to say, "He who laughs, lasts".

It has so many health benefits which can easily be credited with prolonging life.

Ha!, cynics might exclaim, without pausing to consider the science behind the theory. However, it is easy to understand that laughter frees the mind and body from the bonds of stress. And therein lies the secret of its effectiveness.

Laughter drives stress away, taking the edge off high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, nervous breakdown, heart disease and peptic ulcers. In fact, since a link between stress and cancer progression has been medically discerned, it may well be that laughter can mitigate the ravages of cancer or even ward it off in the first place.

Over the years, many relaxation theraphies have been tried out. But the one that's proving really effective, and hence gaining in popularity all over the world is laughter therapy. It is more of a supplementary and preventive therapy.

The technique of simulated laughter has to be learned, but when practised in a group under a leader, it is quite easy.

Always, try a new type of laughter like laughing with the lips together or with a humming sound. If you observe, there is some peculiarity in each person's laugh.

Fortunately, we don't have to wait years for data that has already been collected by scientists over the last 30 years.

It has been found that laughter:

strengthens the heart
supports the immune system
gives more power to the lungs (more "dum")
massages internal organs
improves digestion
lowers cholesterol
breaks down mental blocks
stimulates the production of endorphins, the 'feel good' hormones
When you laugh out loud, without inhibition, you tone up 240 of your body's muscles - that's more than one-third of the 640 muscles you have altogether.

Besides, making you healthier, laughter makes you a nice person to know, more welcome into various social circles. It can diffuse a tense situation even in the workplace.

For this, two elements are essential - surprise and timing.

So always remember this in your life - "He who laughs, lasts"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

All About Cholesterol

Cholesterol is small molecule, one of the steroids. It is essential to life. It has also been responsible for 17 Nobel Prizes, countless pages of reports in scientific journals and the popular press, and mounting anxiety on the part of health-conscious people. Why?

The human body contains about 100 g of cholesterol.
Most of this is incorporated in the membranes from which cells are constructed and is an indispensable component of them.

The insulating layers of myelin wound around neurons are especially rich in cholesterol. In far smaller quantities, but no less important, cholesterol is used to synthesize several steroid hormones, including the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone as well as the corticosteroids. Cholesterol is also the precursor from which the body synthesizes vitamin D.

One of the major uses of cholesterol is the synthesis of bile acids. These are synthesized in the liver from cholesterol and are secreted in the bile. They are essential for the absorption of fat from the contents of the intestine. A clue to the importance of cholesterol is that most of the bile acids are not lost in the feces but are reabsorbed from the lower intestine and recycled to the liver. There is some loss, however, and to compensate for this and to meet other needs, the liver synthesizes some 1500-2000 mg of new cholesterol each day. It synthesizes cholesterol from the products of fat metabolism.

There is also an unceasing transport of cholesterol in the blood between the liver and all the other tissues. Most of this cholesterol travels complexed with fatty acids and protein in the form of low density lipoproteins (LDLs). Cells that need cholesterol trap and ingest LDLs by receptor-mediated endocytosis.

Cholesterol can also create problems. Cholesterol in the bile can crystallize to form gall stones that may block the bile ducts. Cholesterol is also strongly implicated in the development of atherosclerosis: fatty deposits (plaques) that form on the inside of blood vessels and predispose to heart attacks. The major culprit seems to be levels of LDLs that are in excess of the body's needs.

The level of cholesterol in the blood is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), which is equivalent to parts per 100,000. The levels range from less than 50 in infants to an average of 215 in adults and to 1,200 or more in individuals suffering from a rare, inherited disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia. For those of us in the normal range, approximately two-thirds of our cholesterol is transported as LDLs. Most of the rest is carried by so-called high density lipoproteins (HDLs).

Because of their relationship to cardiovascular disease, the analysis of serum lipids has become an important health measure.

The table shows the range of typical values as well as the values above (or below) which the subject may be at increased risk of developing atherosclerosis.

LIPID Typical values (mg/dl) Desirable (mg/dl)
Cholesterol (total) 170-210 <200
LDL cholesterol 60-140 <130
HDL cholesterol 35-85 >40
Triglycerides 40-150 <135

Total cholesterol is the sum of

HDL cholesterol

LDL cholesterol and

20% of the triglyceride value

Note that - high LDL values are bad, but high HDL values are good.

Using the various values, one can calculate a cardiac risk ratio = total cholesterol divided by HDL cholesterol

A cardiac risk ratio greater than 7 is considered a warning.

In May of 2001, a panel of the National Institutes of Health recommended a more aggressive attack on reducing cholesterol levels in the U.S. population. In addition to a better diet and more exercise, they urged that many more people at risk of developing heart disease, such as -

smokers ,diabetics ,people with high blood pressure and/or ,obesity
be put on cholesterol-lowering drugs.

There are several types:
drugs that interfere with the ability of the liver to synthesize cholesterol by blocking the action of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. These are the "statins", e.g., lovastatin (Mevacor®), pravastatin (Pravachol®), atorvastatin (Lipitor®).

insoluble powders ("colestipol", "cholestyramine") that bind to bile acids in the intestine so that instead of being reabsorbed they are eliminated in the feces. In compensation, the liver increases its consumption of blood-borne cholesterol. The main drawback to these drugs is that they are gritty powders and must be consumed in rather large amounts.

nicotinic acid(niacin)

"fibric acids" such as gemfibrozil and clofibrate.

Careful attention to diet may by itself lead to a reduction in cholesterol levels.

In one study, men with high (>265 mg/dl) levels were able to lower these an average of 3.5% (10 mg/dl) by diet alone. Their diets were low in fat as well as low in cholesterol, and it was not - and still is not - clear as to what aspect of the diet contributed to the modest reduction. Cholesterol is made from fat and lowering the proportion of fat in the diet will probably help. Favoring unsaturated fats over saturated fats appears to be beneficial. There is little evidence that lowering one's intake of cholesterol is, by itself, useful. An average intake of cholesterol of 300-500 mg per day is joined in the intestine by several times that amount that has been synthesized by the liver and appears to have little or no effect on blood levels of cholesterol. So when choosing between the pat of butter and the pat of margarine, it is not the 30-odd mg of cholesterol in the butter (vs. 0 in the margarine) but its high content of saturated fat (over 3 times that in the margarine) that is probably significant.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Carrot + Ginger + Apple - Boost and cleanse our system.

Apple + Cucumber + Celery - Prevent cancer, reduce cholesterol, and improve stomach upset and headache.

Tomato + Carrot + Apple - Improve skin complexion and bad breath.

Bitter gourd + Apple + Milk - Avoid bad breath and reduce internal body heat.

Orange + Ginger + Cucumber - Improve Skin texture and moisture and reduce body heat.

Pineapple + Apple + Watermelon - To dispel excess salts, nourishes the bladder and kidney.

Apple + Cucumber + Kiwi - To improve skin complexion.

Pear & Banana - regulates sugar content.

Carrot + Apple + Pear + Mango - Clear body heat, counteracts toxicity, decreased blood pressure and fight oxidization .

Honeydew + Grape + Watermelon + Milk - Rich in vitamin C + Vitamin B2 that increase cell activity and strengthen body immunity.

Papaya + Pineapple + Milk - Rich in vitamin C, E, Iron. Improve skin complexion and metabolism.

Banana + Pineapple + Milk - Rich in vitamin with nutritious and prevent constipation.

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