For better or for worse?
The sighs of those romantic hearts were almost audible as the news of Dhoni's marriage broke on Sunday night. Is a celebrity's fan following directly proportionate to his 'single' status? We find out…
Jasmine Singh

Rumours were rife, but we couldn't care less as long as they dangled his 'officially single' status in front of us. How we drooled over the unkempt hair, that million-watt smile, his fours and sixes. But yesterday, on a Saturday night, some 'investigative journalists' busted the story that crushed hopes, dampened spirits, and needless to say broke hearts. One of India's most eligible bachelors got married. Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni exchanged vows with Sakshi Singh Rawat, a hotel management graduate at a private ceremony in Dehradun.
Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza
David Beckham
David Beckham

Silence…followed by shrieks. "How could he do this to me. Now, Dhoni is also getting married. Why do all good looking guys get married so fast? Oh! He has broken my heart. I can no longer love him the way I used to," hostellers of Mata Gujri Hostel, PU, saw their world crashing on them. Dramatised, a little, however the feeling was mutual. The most eligible bachelor of the cricket team has been snatched. May the two enjoy a blissful life together!

What's next? Time to open up the doors of heart to someone with no strings attached? How about Abhinav Bindra, Karan Chandok, Pankaj Advani? Now that you are all set to shift loyalties, how about sparing a thought as to why the announcement of marriage or engagement (like in case of Sania Mirza or David Beckham) affects the fan following graph of celebrities. Or, if the marital status has no affect on their popularity? Fans take their pick.

"As per Globo Sports Magazine Sania Mirza's popularity went down by 20-30 per cent after her marriage," says Sachin Khurana, a city-based entrepreneur. "I am sure Dhoni's marriage is sure to affect his popularity with female fans." Sachin elaborates, "Female fans attach some kind of charm to unmarried celebrities. The 'booked' tag dampens that appeal. However, if a player like Yuvraj Singh gets married he is sure to garner applause because it would fetch him a tag of a mature guy from that of a party animal," adds Sachin.

Agrees Manika Singh, manager, Black Magic. "I wouldn't want to fall for a cricketer or an actor who is already committed or married. There is no point in daydreaming about them. This holds true for the opposite sex too. Madhuri Dixit, Kajol or Sania Mirza are still hot favourites, but they have definitely lost that touch. The affect of marital status is also seen on the endorsements Sania lost on certain enorsements after her marriage."
Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

It's not been 24 hours yet and the search engine Google shows 78,800 hits on Dhoni's engagement. Not only this, the Facebook communities dedicated to the cricketer show some interesting notes to offer. Dhoni ki doli, 'We will miss you', 'Dhoni now you too' are some of the communities wherein female fans have expressed their 'disheartenment' on his engagement. Thanks to some sports celebs and their controversial link ups, Google also shows 17,0000 results from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon on cricketers and their marriage controversies.

Interestingly, the almost dying references of Neena Gupta and Viv Richards, Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif and TV actor Neena Malik are back in the scene with fans wanting to get a low down on them too.

"Why this hullabaloo," wonder Gargi Arora, a school teacher with Vivek High School-38. "Marital status should have nothing to do with fan following. We idolise sport-stars and actors because of the work they do and not because they are married or not. Besides, I am yet to come across female fans who follow and worship a particular star for their entire lives. It could be Shahid Afridi one day and Rahul Dravid the other day," she adds with a puckish grin. Likewise for actor Sonu Sood, who has shot to fame with Hindi movie like Sinng is Kingg and will be soon seen in Dabangg with Salman Khan, marriage or a rumoured affair has no affect on the popularity and fan following of celebrities. "People love us, or for that matter the cricketers, for the work we deliver. It doesn't really matter whether Sania or Dhoni are married or single . These people are stars in their own right.


In a cricket crazy everyone wants to know which cricketer is married and which one is a bachelor.

This is how some cricketers found their real life matches.

Sachin Tendulkar - Anjali

Sachin is married to his childhood friend Dr. Anjali who is six years older than him. But the age difference did not deter Sachin from proposing to her. The two met through common friends and before they knew it, they decided to tie the knot. Friends say that Sachin and Anjali met through mutual friends and fell in love.

Sourav Ganguly - Dona

For Dona, Sourav is still the next-door neighbour (in the real sense because only a boundary wall separates the two houses in Behala, Kolkata), her best friend with whom she fell in love later. She says that she fell in love with the man, not the cricketer.

However, ask her who proposed to whom and when, and she immediately replies that its too private a matter to be disclosed. Dona was in class XII when things became serious between them. But the couple had to do everything to keep it a secret not only because their parents were conservative, but also because their fathers, who were best of friends at one time, had suddenly become sworn enemies.

Dona and Sourav eloped and got married. "I realised that I couldn't stay away from her any more and I didn't care what the elders felt", Sourav said in an interview. Later, of course, their families patched up their differences and organised a lavish wedding reception for them.

Rahul Dravid - Vijeta

This is the girl mamma picked for him. Breaking millions of hearts, Indian cricket team's Mr Reliable Rahul Dravid married Vijeta Pendharkar, a doctor by profession in Bangalore on Sunday. Dr Vijeta did her MS (General) in November 2002 from the Government Medical College here. Her mother Jayshree Pendharkar is a dietician and her father is a retired IAF officer.

VVS Laxman - Shailaja

The latest to get hooked for life is VVS Laxman. He tied the nuptial knot with computer science student G R Shailaja at a simple ceremony at Jewel Gardens in Secunderabad at 53 minutes past midnight on Monday, February 16, 2004. Shailaja, the bride-to-be, is an MCA student and a close relative, "It's an arranged marriage and the girl is our close relative from my husband's side. Marriages are made in heaven", Laxman's mother Dr Satyabhama informed.

Virender Sehwag - Arti

Set to open a new innings of his life, opener Virender Sehwag got engaged to Delhi girl Arti Singh at a solemn ceremony. A simple and reserved person off the field, the 24-year-old star cricketer was impressed with Arti's down-to-earth nature and will tie the nuptial knot on April 22, four days after the Indian team returns from Pakistan, family sources said.

(Courtesy: shaadiTimes) 

Move-ing on

She is 25, an actor, singer, dancer and choreographer. A go-getter, she changes country every season. Julia Klesse, show manager from Dresden, Germany, belongs to a family of artistes who have been doing famous opera Semperoper for past many years. On her third visit to Chandigarh, Julia reveals what India means to her.

All charged up after a 10-day Vipasana camp at Sonepat, Julia shares, "India is one country that I love and hate the most." Last two summers she was in Italy, the winter before in Turkey, and Austria before that. "It's the love for Indian culture that brings me back here again and again," says Julia, who is in love with Indian costumes - saris, duppattas, bindi and jewellery.

"The kind of experience I have here, I have never had before. People are so warm, affectionate and open," she avers. But at the same time not punctual. "I wonder how the system works here, for people just cannot keep time," she laughs. "India drives me crazy, yet, happy," she says, glad to be in Chandigarh.

"The first city in any new country is always closest to anyone's heart. It's Chandigarh in my case," she avers. There is another point that goes in Chandigarh's favour, "This is the only city in the country where I don't get lost," she smiles.

In city to do a workshop 'Dance Like Michael Jackson' with the Chandigarh Institute of Performing Arts, Julia shares, "MJ was an awesome artiste. Our workshop is a tribute as well as an attempt to keep his great music and moves alive."

Julia teaches dance around the world, but there is something that holds her Indian students close to her heart. "The curiosity and enthusiasm here in students is much more as compared to any other part of the world," she says. Looking forward to her last workshop before she flies back to Germany, she says, "I will come back at the very first opportunity for I am yet to learn bharatnatyam and kathakali."

Made for Bollywood

Brazilian model Bruna Abdulla has been a VJ, done an item number and also featured in a reality show. But destiny, she said, knocked only when she got the big screen break in I Hate Luv Storys.

"When I packed my bags for Mumbai, all I knew was that I wanted to be a model. Not even in my faintest dreams had I dreamt about grabbing a role in such a big project. I just don't know exactly how I am here, but I guess it was destined," said Bruna.

The 23-year-old started her career as a model and then hosted a show called India's Hottest for Channel V. She then featured in an item-song Rehem Karen in Cash, but an unexpected call from Punit Malhotra, director of I Hate Luv Storys, changed her life.

"When I went to meet Punit, I was nervous because I was expecting someone senior to me. But I got the shock of my life when I saw a very young lad, dressed in a funky T-shirt, rugged jeans and sneakers," she said.

As the model hails from Brazil, her Hindi is not so perfect, but she taught herself by watching Hindi movies and listening to Bollywood songs. "At the audition, Punit gave me a script. He wanted me to deliver the dialogues in Hindi. I requested him to give me a day to rehearse, so that I can give my best shot. I understand the language, but speaking was difficult."

So, how was it sharing space with Sonam Kapoor and Imran Khan? "Well I knew Sonam ever since I landed in India. She is my boyfriend's best friend. So, working with her was fun. She was very encouraging and sweet," said Bruna.

"Imran is a very shy guy like me. But he has got this great sense of humour. He always used to play pranks on others. And Avantika (Imran's fiancee) is a real sweetheart. She used to come and light up the sets. She is very lively. Thanks to her, sets used to be real fun."

But with star names comes the fear of being overshadowed, "Well, when I met Punit, he had made it clear that I have a very small role in the film, but it is a very important character. So there is no question about disappointments," she said.

"And to tell you frankly, I have learnt a lot through this movie. How the camera works, what angle you should be taking. Movie making is a lot of hard work."

What next? "Right now I am enjoying every moment of it. I am a very shy person and when I saw myself on the big screen for the first time, I felt good...and I hope that people do like me in it. I don't know exactly what next after this. But I just hope there is something nice in store for me." — IANS

No game plan
I hate people who love sports, says RGV

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma doesn't just detest romantic dramas, he hates sports too and even those who like to watch sports."If there's one thing I hate more than sports, it's the people who love sports. Hatred could be because I got severely injured while playing cricket at the age of 12 and ever since I stayed away.

Only thing I ever liked playing was 'I spy'," Varma posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.With the FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon in full swing, everyone seems to be talking of sports. But Varma seems to be vary of it. — IANS

Oscar winning advice

Aamir Khan must make a film on first US president George Washington and win an Oscar for it," says veteran Indian singer Asha Bhosle. "Since Englishmen can make Oscar winning films like Gandhi and Slumdog (Millionaire), Aamir Khan should make a film on George Washington and win the Oscar finally," said Bhosle.

Earlier, Aamir's presence on the Oscar red carpet had been along with filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker in 2002 when their film Lagaan was nominated for the best foreign language film. However, it lost to No Man's Land from Bosnia and Herzegovina. — IANS

Behind the camera
The acting offers I got didn't excite me, says Punit Malhotra

Manish Malhotra's nephew Punit Malhotra, whose directorial debut I Hate Luv Storys released on Friday, says that he came to Bollywood to become a leading man but did not get good acting offers.

"I thought being Manish Malhotra's nephew would make thing easier for me. But it did not. The kind of acting offers I got didn't excite me. So, I decided to assist (director) Karan Johar. So you see, I can't bring myself to hate love stories even if I tried," he explains.

Apparently, Karan had assured Punit that his starry dreams would one day be realised. When Karan suggested that Punit write a script, he instinctively turned to the world he grew up in. Based on the movie industry, I Hate Love Storys (IHLS) takes tongue-in-cheek potshots at the romantic cinema of the likes of Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar and even Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Quite naturally, Punit is concerned about how the industry bigwigs would react to the spoofing of these romantic greats.

"I respect all the names you've mentioned. I've grown up watching their films. I can't say that I'm a diehard romantic like my producer Karan Johar. Or that I believe in love at first sight. But I am not cynical about love like my hero, Imran Khan in IHLS.”

"Though the film begins by using these points cynically, my hero comes around to believe in true love. I hope these near-legendary filmmakers would take the references to their cinema in the right spirit," he adds.

Easier said than done! Filmmakers are making not-so-discreet inquiries about what Punit is up to. Understandably the debutant is shaken but not stirred. "I'm sure everyone will understand how much I believe in true love after watching the film. Sammir Dattani and Sonam Kapoor's characters have been named Raj and Simran after Shah Rukh and Kajol in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. They are shown to be so much in love that it seems ridiculous to someone who hasn't experienced such passion. When Imran's character Jay enters this world, he's quite amused and cynical, but he comes around," he explains.

On the other hand, he adds, "Sammir Dattani's character is a complete romantic at heart. I do believe in true love and I hope that comes across."

For his next film, Punit has decided to cast Imran and Sonam besides himself. "It's too early to comment on my next film. But I will say one thing. After a huge romantic hit like You've Got Mail, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks came together again for Sleepless In Seattle. That too was a big success," he says optimistically. — IANS

Knot so loose

Megan Fox
Megan Fox

Newlywed Megan Fox believes celebrity marriages are doomed to fail, because the temptation to cheat is 'just too much'.

The actress, who recently married long-term on-off boyfriend Brian Austin Green, said she believes that Hollywood marriages are likely to end in divorce."Everything is so easily accessed," said the actor. "Whatever you want, you have at your fingertips." — ANI

A simple life
Cameron Diaz wants farm life

Hollywood star Cameron Diaz is contemplating taking a break from her A-list lifestyle to go and live on a farm. The 37-year-old actress is considering taking a break from the spotlight for a year so she can get closer to the earth as she "feels the need" to grow crops and rear animals.

"I've always been on the move so what I'd love to do is spend a whole year in one place, on a farm," Diaz said. "It's almost like this primal thing. I really just feel as if the earth is where we all come from and we have nothing if we don't have soil and water and sun. I've read a lot about agriculture and I feel the need inside me to work with the earth in some way," she added.

While Diaz is looking for a calmer life, she isn't planning to settle down and have children any time soon.

"At some point I'll either want kids or make the decision that I don't. At the moment I'm very happy with things the way they are," Diaz said. — PTI

Brand of boys

They are young, gifted and posh, and fighting evil at a cinema near you. Most importantly, they are British. Hollywood had always a supply camp for supercilious English villains. But now producers are casting quirky-but-dishy British boys as heroic, romantic action film leads.

Robert Pattinson, 24, a big-haired, odd-shaped-face of a man, will turn teenage hearts to mush when he commands the big screen as Edward Cullen, the good vampire in the latest Twilight film, Eclipse, which took more than $90m at the US box office in its first few days last week.

At the same time, another public-school-educated, big-haired, odd-looking Englishman was plucked from near obscurity to front a Hollywood film juggernaut. Andrew Garfield, 26, was revealed as the new Spider-Man. He will replace the US actor Tobey MacGuire in the fourth instalment of the franchise about New York's sticky-fingered superhero.

Garfield beat off stiff competition from fellow Brits such as Aaron Johnson, 20 - the star of one of the year's biggest films, Kick Ass, and the partner of the artist Sam Taylor-Wood, who directed him in the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy - and Jamie Bell. Bell, 24, is best-known for starring in Billy Elliot, and is about to star as Tintin in Steven Spielberg's blockbusting take on the crime-fighting boy reporter.

Garfield maybe relatively unknown, but he has acting form, winning a Bafta in 2008 for his role as Jack in Channel 4's hard-hitting Boy A. "Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor's work understand his extraordinary talents," the director Mark Webb said.

Then there's James McAvoy, 31, star of Atonement and Wanted, in which he appeared opposite Angelina Jolie. He is filming Wanted 2, a prequel from the multi-limbed X-men franchise.


Well play-ed
SD Sharma

The belief that theatre is a complete art pervasive with many other elements like literary and fine arts found its true expression in Su-Kriti - the two-day multi Art Theatre Festival commenced at the Randhawa auditorium.

A play in progress at the Su-Kriti cultural fest
A play in progress at the Su-Kriti cultural fest. Photo: Vinay Malik

The programme was conceived and designed by Parveen Jaggi, director Sandli Pairan Kala Kender and partly executed in association with Natya Toli group.

Before staging two plays, Chhari and Ghar, an exhibition of 40 paintings and 35 photographs was put up by amateur artists. A poetic meet was also held outside the hall that brought out well-articulated thoughts to rhythmical spell by 10 amateur poets in the open-air theatre. SS Chopra, Vandna Thakur, Abhishek, Akash Sidhwani and Gurpreet read out their poems. Satbir Kaur from the audience with a didactic satire Na Baba Na Aavin' stole the limelight.

Under their sixth Rasbharian series of dramatisation of short stories, Ashok Shukla's Chhari was staged first. The play focused on many issues like education, civil amenities, caste prejudices, community services, drug abuse and many more. Rajnish Sharma, Sohrab, Isha, Ishwar, Jatin, Saurab and Deepika performed well.

Another dramatisation of a Punjabi story, Ghar, written by Jaswant Singh Virdi, brought out the dark side of the corrupt administration. Not succumbing to their tactics and maladies, the protagonist vowed to bend than break and fight against the system to realise his dream. Mashaal led the cast of Rajat, Jashan, Parveer and Tanuj.

The organisers honoured Jaspal Singh, light and sound expert of Tagore Theatre and cultural correspondent of The Tribune. The chief guest Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Kamal Arora was the chief guest who honoured the artistes.

An evening to remember
SD Sharma

After the country comes the family and my official family comprising of all the employees of the State Bank of India especially those from the local head office," maintains SK Sehgal, Chief General of State Bank of India, Chandigarh circle. Adding a new dimension to this year's musical evening, only the amateur artists from the bank or their families performed while masters like legendry Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Penaj Masani, Wadali Bros, Aslam Sabri and Vinod Sehgal attended as guests. It was a well designed mix of all genres of art including skits, songs, ghazals and dances.

After the chief guest, SK Sehgal inaugurated the show, the ladies club members led by Kavita Sehgal presented the propitious Ganesh Vandna. The ladies presented a skit titled laptop, based on misuse of password in Internet banking. Also colorful Kalbelia dance and a mix of folk songs mostly sung by legendary Surinder Kaur were also part of the programme.

KC Parbhakar, a manager contributed from the men's side. He sung a Jagjit Singh classic Voh kazaz ki kashti. Versatile Priyanka of Antakshri fame led sung the number Aao huzoor apko. Pawan Malhotra did a semi classical song, Akhiyan sangg. Another classical dance number Kahe chhed mohe by Mehak reminded the audience of Devdas.

Nishank Juara, a Rafi memorial finalist, was impressive in his song Mil ja kahin while another finalist Superiya delineated the emotional and melodic content of Jayiye aap kahan jayenge. with perfection. Child artistes of Theatre Age Group, an NGO also presented a colorful skit Akbar Birbal under the direction of Zulfiqar Khan. Comedian Vijay Khayali again took the centre stage to enthrall the audience before the Reffle draw was conducted by Rajan Trikha.

Spice up
Matte(r) of fact
Shahnaz Husain

During the monsoons, make-up does not seem to last. In no time, foundation becomes streaky and blotchy. Actually, a natural, matte (non-shiny) look is the latest trend and is also more suitable for the humid season. Heavy foundations and shine on the face are definitely out of fashion. The effort should be to achieve a sheer and translucent skin texture. Look for a matte finish, if you want to be 'in'. Here are some common monsoon make-up blunders:

w Applying heavy foundation on oily skin

Many think that foundation is a must during the hot and humid season, especially for oily skin. Actually, the foundation never seems to last and makes the face look streaky or blotchy. Foundation need not be applied, especially during the day. Compact powder may be used. Like foundation, it is available in different shades. It reduces the oily look and provides a smooth skin texture.

w Applying moisturiser before foundation

It is true that a moisturising lotion is said to be the base for foundation, but this does not apply during the monsoons and especially for normal to oily skin and combination skin. During the hot and humid weather, if you must apply foundation, apply an astringent lotion first, using cotton wool. After a few minutes, wrap an ice cube in a clean cloth and apply it on the skin, for a few seconds at a time. This also helps to close the pores.

w Applying lighter foundation

Actually, foundation should be as close to your normal skin colour as possible. This would make it look more natural. Otherwise, it can give a mask-like effect. Also, the neck and other parts of the body will look darker in comparison and make the face look odd. By using bronzer or blush on over the cheekbones, one can give the skin a glow.

w Using a creamy foundation

Creamy foundation makes the face look oily and also does not last long. During the monsoon, go for a water-based foundation. Add a drop or two of water for a lighter coverage. Or, try cake foundations, or 'pansticks', as they are also called. Cake foundations provide a smooth, matte (non-shiny) finish. They are solid and water must be added before application. Use a damp sponge to apply it. Then dust off the loose powder. It helps make-up last longer. The natural, matte look is actually "in."

w Applying lots of powder

Powders do help to reduce oiliness in the summer, but less should be applied. Dust off excess powder with cotton wool. Too much powder can make the face streaky or blotchy, due to perspiration. The powder also settles in some areas. Powder also tends to settle where there are tiny lines, like around the eyes. So, it is necessary to dust off excess powder.

w Applying foundation on the eyelids

The skin of the eyes is very thin and delicate. Wrinkles, lines and creases form easily. Foundation can make the eyelids look creased with tiny lines.

w Applying lipstick

It is true that pastel coloured lipsticks look cooler and more natural in summer, but I have seen that bright colours can also look good, especially with darker complexions and traditional Indian clothes. Reddish colours are in fashion. A coral or dark pink lipstick may look very attractive during summer and monsoons, even with light coloured clothes.

BODY wise
Eat it right
Sachin Kalra

The body's weight-related functions - like appetite, hunger, metabolic rate, metabolism of fats and sugars, blood-glucose levels, calorie-burning, and so on operate more efficiently when we have an optimum intake of minerals and vitamins. However, if you have been dieting for a number of years, either restricting your food intake or trying different diet drinks or pills, it is likely that you are deficient in a number of vitamins and minerals that are necessary in maintaining optimum health and weight. Either try incorporating the specific foods mentioned below in your diet or opt for a good multi-vitamin.

It is difficult to list out the best vitamins and minerals for weight loss, but there are some that deserve a special mention.

The best vitamins for weight reduction are vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, choline (part of B-complex), inositol (part of B-complex), and vitamin C.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Vitamin B1 is needed to release the energy from fats, proteins and carbohydrates so that it can be used by the body. It's also essential for the nervous system and to keep the heart healthy. Good food sources of vitamin B1 include: whole grain foods, fortified cereals, pork, and liver.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 is needed for normal thyroid function and metabolism. Good food sources of vitamin B2 include: Milk, liver and kidney, almonds, hard cheese, eggs, wheat germ and leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Like B2, vitamin B3 is essential for normal thyroid hormone production. Vitamin B3 is also part of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF) which is released every time blood sugar rises. Good food sources of Vitamin B3 include: Wheat bran, liver, tuna, turkey, chicken, meat, eggs, mackerel, salmon, oats, barley, wheat flakes, cheese, dried fruit, brown rice.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

It helps a great deal in assisting in the process of energy generation and assists adrenal function. Good food sources of Vitamin B5 include: liver and kidney, meat, poultry, nuts, wheat flakes, wheat bran, wheat germ, eggs, barley, beans, wholegrain bread and green vegetables.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 aids in regulating the production of thyroid hormone and ensures the smooth functioning of your metabolism system. Good food sources of vitamin B6: wheat bran, wheat germ, oats, poultry, beef, avocado, bananas, brown rice, cabbage, dried fruit, molasses, eggs.


A member of the Vitamin B complex, choline is not a real vitamin as it is made in the liver. Choline is needed for efficient fat metabolism. Choline deficiency leads to fats becoming trapped in the liver. Good sources of choline include: Egg yolks, wheat germ, cauliflower, cucumber, peanuts.


Like choline, inositol is a member of the vitamin B complex and is also manufactured inside the body. Inositol combines with choline to assist in fat metabolism. Good sources of inositol include: wheat germ, soy, eggs, citrus fruits, wholegrain, nuts.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C provides a range of health benefits including proper conversion of glucose to energy in the cells. Good food sources of vitamin C include: blackcurrants, broccoli, green peppers, kiwi fruits, Brussels sprouts, lemons, oranges, strawberries, cabbage.

The best minerals for weight reduction

The most important minerals for weight loss are: calcium, chromium, zinc, magnesium and manganese

Calcium: Recent clinical studies demonstrate a positive relationship between calcium intake and weight-loss. Controlled weight loss studies indicate that increasing calcium intake by the equivalent of two dairy servings per day can reduce the risk of obesity, perhaps by as much as 70 per cent.

Also, it's worth remembering that lower-calorie fat-free milk contains the same amount of calcium as full-fat milk. The same goes for low fat yogurt and reduced fat cheese.

Chromium: This mineral has been the most widely researched nutrient in relation to weight loss. Chromium is needed for the metabolism of sugar and without it insulin is less effective in controlling blood sugar levels. This means that it is harder to burn off your food as fuel which can be stored as fat. It also helps to control levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood. Chromium also helps to control cravings and reduce hunger. Good food sources of chromium include: egg yolks, molasses, beef, hard cheese, liver, fruit juices, whole grain bread.

Zinc: This is an important mineral in appetite control and deficiency of it can cause a loss of taste and smell, creating a need for stronger tasting foods (which tend to be sweeter, saltier and more fattening!) Zinc also functions with vitamins A and E to manufacture the thyroid hormones. Zinc deficiency is common among smokers, heavy drinkers, some vegetarians, people with chronic illness and those on non-nutritious or very low calorie diets. Good sources of zinc include: shellfish, herring, wheat germ, lean beef or lamb, eggs, lentils, Brazil nuts, almonds and chicken.

Magnesium: Essential for protein synthesis, regulates blood sugar, releases energy from nutrients, increases calcium absorption, helps muscles relax after contraction, and conducts nerve impulses. Many studies show that magnesium also reduces pms symptoms, including cravings for carbohydrates and chocolate. Found in many foods, including fish, milk, green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole-grain breads, and yogurt.

Manganese: It helps regulate fat metabolism and blood-glucose. It is needed for a healthy thyroid function which itself is essential to maintain a healthy weight. Good food sources of manganese include: tea, wheat germ, spinach, split peas, nuts, oat germ, oatmeal, pineapple, and green leafy vegetables.

Let it bee

Bees make a protein called defensin-1 that they add to honey, which could one day be used to treat burns and skin infections and to develop new drugs that could combat antibiotic-resistant infections. "We have completely elucidated the molecular basis of the antibacterial activity of a single medical-grade honey, which contributes to the applicability of honey in medicine," said Sebastian A.J. Zaat, researcher in medical microbiology at the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam.

"Honey or isolated honey-derived components might be of great value for prevention and treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria," Zaat said. To make the discovery, Zaat and colleagues investigated the antibacterial activity of medical-grade honey in test tubes against a panel of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria. 3

After analysis, the scientists concluded that the vast majority of honey's antibacterial properties come from that protein. This information also sheds light on the inner workings of honey bee immune systems, which may one day help breeders create healthier and heartier honey bees, said a release of Academic Medical Centre.

"We've known for millennia that honey can be good for what ails us, but we haven't known how it works," said Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of FASEB Journal, which published these findings. "Now that we've extracted a potent antibacterial ingredient from honey, we can make it still more effective and take the sting out of bacterial infections," he said. — IANS


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