Mommies and daddies passing hereditary diseases and characteristics are old-fashioned. Babies with heart defect indicating the mommy that she might be affected by cardiovascular disease later in life is the latest fashion and the serious result of a new study. Worldwide, congenital heart affects almost eight in every 1,000 newborns making it one of the most common birth defects in infants.
The research team followed over 1 million moms who delivered infants between 1989 and 2013. Moms were classified according to the infant’s severity of heart defect-critical, noncritical or no heart defect-and followed up for 25 years post-delivery for CVDs such as heart failure, heart attack, atherosclerosis disorders and heart transplants. This study is unique as it correlates heart defects in babies to heart disease in mothers who were devoid of any heart problems initially. When compared to mother of infants without congenital heart disease, researchers found:
While researchers are not exactly sure about the factors that cause this possible link, they feel that obesity, diabetes and preeclampsia are related to CHD and heart disease along with other factors such as genetics, stress and financial/emotional disturbance experienced by the mom when the baby is diagnosed with heart defect in the family.
Also, obstetricians who treat children for their heart defects can warn the mothers of such children to be double precautious and minimize their risk factors. This helps reassure a mom that taking care of herself is not a sin and does not convey the message anytime that she is neglecting the health of the baby prioritizing her health.
Face is the mirror of your soul, likewise, facial colors mirror your emotional state. Our faces mostly give away how we feel even with our slightest facial emotions. But a new study has found that even without the slightest of our change in facial emotions, we can convey our feelings through colors alone.
In general, we can identify our loved one’s feelings by their subtlest frown or a raised eyebrow even without speaking a word to him/her. This new study shows that it is possible to identify other people’s emotions only based on subtle color changes in their face almost 75% of the time.
The study segregated 100s of facial expressions into two color channels, a red-green channel and a blue-yellow one. Computer analysis showed that different emotions formed different color patterns which were identical irrespective of gender, ethnicity and skin tone. The study also monitored if individuals were able to guess emotions from facial expressions along with color or whether color alone was sufficient to convey the underlying emotion. To check this out, colors were super-imposed on neutral facial expressions and when the participants were asked to guess the emotion, the participants were able to guess 70% of the time when a photo conveyed happiness, 75% of the time when it conveyed sadness and 65% of the time when it conveyed anger. Even when vibrant colors were imposed on angry faces or subtle colors on happy faces, participants could identify the emotions or at least tell that something was different from the normal expression.
The researchers programmed an algorithm to recognize emotions and this algorithm detected human emotions much more precisely than humans- this algorithm detected happiness 90% of the time accurately, anger was detected 80% of the time correctly and sadness was found 75% of the time correctly. For example, disgust is characterized by a blue-yellow hue around the mouth and a red-green color on the nose and forehead. When analyzing the different colors corresponding to different emotions, researchers felt that these color patterns are due to changes in the blood flow or blood compositions triggered by the central nervous system.
Like we say, ‘red with anger’, ‘pink with pleasure’ or ‘turned white with fear’, facial colors denote different emotional states. Emotional health can affect our overall health and can also be rooted as the cause for mental disorders and stress-related problems, some of which are explained in detail at www.firsteatright.com. We blush when we are mentioned with the name of our favorite person, flush with anger or pleasure or turn pale when we experience fear or become frightened in some situations. A smiling person with red cheeks and temples (with a blue around the chin) is instantly branded as ‘happy’ but the same face with a slightly redder forehead and slightly lesser blue chin is branded as ‘surprised’. Such is the power of colors that can imply different emotions with the subtle changes in the shades and combinations.
Bread crust remains are a common sight in our kids’ lunch and snack boxes. Even we adults would relish eating bread with butter at the restaurant buffet as restaurants offer you the liberty to remove off the crust before devouring your bread.
Many parents feel sad while cutting off the bread crust due to their child’s repeated insistence and ponder upon the final nutritional value of the food they are preparing. Alas, don’t we all know that the bread’s crust is the most nutritional part of the bread? But, do we really know?
The Anti-Cancerous Effect
A German study in 2002 showed that the bread crust contains cancer-fighting compounds and was valued as the most-nutritious part of the bread. This study found that the process of baking bread produced a new antioxidant (pronyl-lysine) that was 8-times concentrated in the bread crust than in the crumb. Exposing the human intestinal cells to this antioxidant increased the activity of the enzymes associated with cancer prevention. This antioxidant is formed while baking both, yeast-based and yeast-free bread but dark-colored bread (wheat) contains more antioxidants than light-colored bread (white bread).
Since then, most parents who believed about the nutrition of the bread crust found a valid proof to back up their belief and started torturing their children to finish off the entire bread. But now, this belief has become a myth.
Don’t Fret About the Crust
A process called the Maillard reaction holds responsibility for the brown coloration of the baked breads. Here, sugar reacts with amino acids in the presence of heat giving bread its brown color. Few manufacturers add caramel color for a browner color and this reaction makes the crust taste and feel differently from the other portions of the bread.
While this Maillard reaction can produce the cancer-fighting pronyl-lysine, it can also result in the production of a cancer-causing compound called as acrylamide. This immediately does not convey the fact that bread crust causes cancer but there are varying opinions when it comes to the crust. It is like a battle between the good and evil (cancer inducers and cancer fighters) with us having minimal understanding or scope to decide upon the winner.
Experts in nutrition field feel that the nutrition of the crust depends on the type of bread you choose. Next time, don’t go behind your kids demanding them to finish off the bread crust. Use the leftover crust to feed birds or to make croutons or stuffing (using it with other foods).
Also, not all breads are created equally. The most-nutritious bread is the 100% whole-wheat or 100% whole-grain bread which contains the entire wheat grains and provides fiber, vitamin E and B vitamins. Whole grains are the most healthy carb options as they bear numerous advantages. People interested in knowing more about whole grains can visit the website www.firsteatright.com. Wheat bread often contains enriched wheat flour with the brain and germ removed. Breads with whole grains can be called as in-between bread as it may contain 100% whole-wheat flour along with enriched-flour. Here goes the actual truth: choose your bread wisely to eat healthy food indifferent of whether you eat your crust or not.
A barometer is a scientific instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure, specifically used to forecast weather and determine altitude. A barometer child is one who picks up the tension in the family and reacts to it. The child is not mature enough to comment that the family situation is somewhat volatile and some self-care or activity is needed to bring back calmness in the house. All that he/she can do is whine, cry, misbehave and refuse to cooperate as a reaction to the prevailing family tension.
A child’s world is very small. Parents are their 100% and they don’t find it necessary to look beyond mom and dad to explore the world. Kids are happy when parents are happy and feel sad when parents are sad. A kid’s life is as simple as that. They love seeing their parents have great fun, laughing, giggling, being animated, energetic and chuckling in life. This makes them feel at ease and satisfy their inner thoughts that everything is right in life.
The world seems perfect when parents seem happy and content. There is nothing to fear, no skeletons in the closet, no threats around and the world is a safe place to reside. When parents feel sad or anxious, kids feel responsible as they think that parents are sad because they are bad.
A parent’s mood is the barometer for a child’s life’s meaning, its ambience, security and tone. A small laugh from their mom or their dad’s thundering laughter makes children feel safe in life. Maternal depression affects children deeply and kids become unresponsive, less cognitive, anxious and withdrawn. In such situations a barometer child cannot tell what’s wrong but only act awkward, chaotic and feel different. These children are at an increased risk of succumbing to depression themselves if they are not diverted from such depressive surrounding. Depression can be extremely threatening to family peace which is clearly explained at www.firsteatright.com. A barometer child can be handled well in any of the ways given below:
See the bigger picture
Dealing with a misbehaving child then and there is the right approach to parenting. But, if this misbehavior seems to occur quite often, it’s time to ponder upon what is causing it and if the family unrest is responsible in any way for the kid’s behavior.
A calmer environment at home can ease things. You can get some external help with child care, share few responsibilities with your spouse or work out ways on how to speak with your spouse in a much more relaxed way to ease the tension at home. Try to take care of yourself too by sleeping well, eating properly, exercising more and spending some time with your friends to take better care of your kids.
Share your feelings with your child
In times of difficulty, it is appreciable that you talk to your child in an age-appropriate way about what is going on and what is your state of mind right then. This does not mean that you take this as an opportunity to pour out your sorrows to your children. If your kid feels that something is not in place or fishy, explaining what is going on in the family will help your child deal with the situation in a much-composed way than otherwise. Sharing feelings, talking about them and giving solutions for how to cope with them can provide your child with a critical learning opportunity.
Follow Time-based routines
A child feels secure when he/she experiences daily routine activities without hindrance even during stressful times. This is comforting as it gives the child a sense of predictability when other life situations are uncertain. Routine bedtime, playtime and school activities make the child feel that the world is after all, a good place to reside.
Don’t set expectations
Office stress, unhappy situation at home or personal fatigue calls for a break. Understand that this isn’t the time to start training your child on a new habit formation-potty training or setting the table. Revisit your parent goals-Are you doing certain things simply because you have been doing them from the start or your parents have done them to you? If you find them unnecessary, its high time to get rid of those practices that take away your precious time.
Find solutions along with your children
Rather than asking your child to simply stop fighting with his/her sibling as a cooperative gesture to the family unrest, you can ask your child to do simple things that can make your day better-“ Give your dad a big hug once he returns back from office”, “Help me set the dining table to have a candle light dinner” or “Ensure to get ready to the swimming class on time” are great motivators as children too feel good when they are able to contribute something to ease the stressful situation at home.
Rather than looking at a barometer child as a nuisance, when parents start looking at them in a positive way, everything takes a turn for the better. They are actually a gift of nature who alert us when there is an emotional strife amongst family members and enable us to make positive changes in our life.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.