Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hair styles to suit various lengths of hair

Hair can be of long, medium or short length. The hair style and hair care that you choose for yourself also varies. There is not much you can do about your short hair. But the tips and information provided for long and medium hair and can certainly be beneficial.

It is completely untrue that long hair takes more time to look after compared to a short length of hair. Here are some popular long hair care and styling procedures that can be perfectly done within a few minutes.

Though the hair styling procedures are given specifically for long hair, they can easily be done on medium length hair. Also, we have highlighted some women hair styles that are specifically meant for medium hair.

Apart from casual hairstyles, you can also try the hair styles of celebrities. Here we have highlighted the hottest women hair styles that are popular among prominent celebrities.

So here is the opportunity to try out any of these hair styles that appeal to you, to suit your face and appearance, and be carried away by the amazing response you get.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Healthy cooking tips

Eating healthy food doesn’t mean giving up your favourite foods and switching only to salads. Healthy cooking is easy. In many cases, your favourite recipes can be modified so they offer a healthier alternative. Non-stick cookware can be used to reduce the need for cooking oil. To keep valuable nutrients, microwave or steam your vegetables instead of boiling them.

Keep fats to a minimum
It’s a good idea to minimise ‘hidden fats’ by choosing lean meats and reduced fat dairy products. Processed foods can also have lots of hidden fats. Dietary fats are best when they come from the unrefined natural fats found in nuts, seeds, fish, soy, olives and avocado. Fat from these foods includes the essential long-chain fatty acids and this fat is accompanied by other good nutrients.

If you add fats when cooking, keep them to a minimum and use monounsaturated oils such as olive and canola oil. A little added oil can be a good thing.

At the shop
Low fat cooking begins when you are shopping:

  • Choose the low fat version of a food if it exists – for example milk, cheese, yoghurt, salad dressings and gravies.
  • Choose leaner meat cuts. If unsure, look for the Heart Foundation tick of approval.
  • Choose skinless chicken breasts.
General suggestions
General suggestions on healthy cooking methods include:
  • Steam, bake, grill, braise, boil or microwave your foods.
  • Modify or eliminate recipes that include butter or ask you to deep fry or saute in animal fat.
  • Avoid using oils and butter as lubricants. Use non-stick cookware instead.
  • Don’t add salt to food as it is cooking.
  • Remove chicken skin, which is high in fat.
  • Eat more fresh vegetables and legumes.
  • Eat more fish, which is high in protein, low in fats and loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Low fat cooking
Suggestions include:
  • If you need to use oil, try cooking sprays or apply oil with a pastry brush.
  • Cook in liquids (such as stock, wine, lemon juice, fruit juice, vinegar or water) instead of oil.
  • When a recipe calls for cream as a thickener, use low fat yoghurt, low fat soymilk, evaporated skim milk or cornstarch.
  • When browning vegetables, put them in a hot pan then spray with oil, rather than adding the oil first to the pan. This reduces the amount of oil that vegetables (such as mushrooms) can absorb during cooking.
  • An alternative to browning vegetables by pan-frying is to cook them first in the microwave, then crisp them under the griller for a minute or two.
  • When serving meat and fish, use pesto, salsas, chutneys and vinegars in place of sour creams, butter and creamy sauces.
Retaining the nutrients
Water soluble vitamins are delicate and easily destroyed during preparation and cooking. Suggestions include:
  • Scrub vegetables rather than peel them, as many nutrients are found close to the skin.
  • Microwave or steam vegetables instead of boiling them.
  • If you like to boil vegetables, use a small amount of water and do not overboil them.
  • Include more stir-fry recipes in your diet. Stir-fried vegetables are cooked quickly to retain their crunch (and associated nutrients).
Cutting out salt
Salt is a traditional flavour enhancer, but research suggests that a high salt diet could contribute to a range of health problems including high blood pressure. Suggestions include:
  • Don’t automatically add salt to your food – taste it first.
  • Add a splash of olive oil or lemon juice close to the end of cooking time or to cooked vegetables – it can enhance flavours in the same way as salt.
  • Choose fresh or frozen vegetables, since canned and pickled vegetables tend to be packaged with salt.
  • Limit your consumption of salty processed meats such as salami, ham, corned beef, bacon, smoked salmon, frankfurters and chicken loaf.
  • Choose reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals. Breads and cereals are a major source of salt in the diet.
  • Iodised salt is best. A major dietary source of iodine is plant foods. Yet there is emerging evidence that Australian soil may be low in iodine and so plants grown in it are also low in iodine. If you eat fish regularly (at least once a week), the need for iodised salt is reduced.
  • Avoid salt-laden processed foods, such as flavoured instant pasta or noodles, canned or dehydrated soup mixes, chips and salted nuts.
  • Margarine and butter contain a lot of salt but ‘no added salt’ varieties are available.
  • Most cheeses are very high in salt so limit your intake or choose lower salt varieties.
  • Reduce your use of soy sauce, tomato sauce and processed sauces and condiments (for example mayonnaise and salad dressings) because they contain high levels of salt.
  • Use herbs, spices, vinegar or lemon juice to add extra zing to your recipe and reduce the need for salt.
Culinary herbs are leafy plants that add flavour and colour to all types of meals. They are also rich in health-protective phyto-oestrogens (plant compounds that have some similar effects to the female hormone, oestrogen). In many cases, herbs can replace the flavour of salt and oil.

  • Herbs are delicately flavoured, so add them to your cooking in the last few minutes.
  • Dried herbs are more strongly flavoured than fresh. As a general rule, one teaspoon of dried herbs equals four teaspoons of fresh.
  • Apart from boosting meat dishes, herbs can be added to soups, breads, mustards, salad dressings, vinegars, desserts and drinks.
  • Herbs such as coriander, ginger, garlic, chilli and lemongrass are especially complimentary in vegetable-based stir-fry recipes.
Sandwich suggestions
To make a sandwich even healthier:
  • Switch to reduced salt wholemeal or wholegrain bread – for example, some brands of soy linseed bread.
  • Don’t butter the bread. You won’t miss butter if your sandwich has a few tasty ingredients already.
  • Limit your use of spreads high in saturated fat like butter and cream cheese. Replace them with a thin spread of nut spread, hummus, low fat cheese spreads or avocado.
  • Choose reduced fat ingredients when you can, such as low fat cheese or mayonnaise.
Other tips
Suggestions include:
  • Spend a little time on presentation. You are more likely to enjoy a meal if it’s visually appealing as well as tasty.
  • Make every meal an occasion. Set the table. Eat with your family. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy your food without distractions like television.
  • Long-term deprivation, such as crash dieting, doesn’t work. Allow yourself the occasional guilt-free treat.
  • You are less likely to overeat if you eat slowly and savour every mouthful.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hair follicle structure

A hair follicle is a long tube structure which penetrates deep into the skin of the scalp. The follicle is the whole structure around a hair fiber from bulb deep in the skin to the opening to the skin surface. The bulb of the hair follicle is the point from which the hair grows .There are about 100,000 hairs follicles present in an adult human scalp. The hair follicle is a separate entity within the skin,and the structure and functions of the hair follicle are based on the interaction between dermal and epidermal components.

The follicular structure of the hair can be divided into three main parts:

* Papilla

* Hair fiber

* The root sheaths

Dermal Papilla in the hair follicle structure:

The Dermal papilla (DP) is in the form of a "pear" shape in normal and healthy hair follicles. The DP comprises a ball of cells which, during the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, signals to the epielial component of the hair follicle to produce a keratinized hair fiber and other associated products. The dermal papilla is made up of a small group of fibroblast cells which are derived from the mesoderm. The cells are held close to the base of the epidermal cells which are responsible for the production of the hair fiber and root sheaths. So the dermal papilla itself does not make a hair fiber, but it directs the rest of the hair follicle to make one.

Though both the cell types, dermal and epithelial, are held close together they are not mixed up as there is a thin layer, called the basement membrane between the cells of dermal papilla and the epidermal cells.

The dermal papilla directs the embryonic generation of a hair follicle and it continues with this instructive function throughout the life of the hair follicle.

The thickness of the hair fiber depends on the size of dermal papilla. If the dermal papilla is bigger with the accumulation of large number of cells then the hair fiber is thicker. The DP cells are active and contain a large amount of cytoplasm when the hair fiber is produced.

But the DP cells do not multiply or increase like that of the hair producing cells that are situated above DP. When a hair follicle is not producing a fiber the DP cells lose much of their cytoplasm and become inactive.