Visit Greece for a perfect romantic getaway!

The beautiful Balkan country of Greece spread across a sparkling blue Aegean Sea is much more than just a romantic getaway. With its picture perfect beauty and idyllic backdrop, the sun-kissed islands are sure to gift you with numerous dreamy stories to take back with you.

Search for your fairy-tale romance in the Greek islands, a perfect honeymoon destination bathed in sunlight all year long. Explore the islands on a cruise and enjoy sun-kissed beaches, superb natural landscapes, cosmopolitan resorts and traditional settlements alike or taste exquisite local dishes with your better half.

Santorini, Mykonos, and Corfu rank among the most popular romantic getaways in Greece, but don’t forget to pay a visit to the rest of the Aegean and Ionian islands as well!

A night out facing the Thermaic Gulf

Enjoy your drink or a glass of wine on one of the boat bars that sail in the Thermaic Gulf along Thessaloniki’s old beachfront. The cityscape bathed in the moonlight will steal your heart away!

A boating trip in Lake Kerkini

Opt for an unforgettable boating trip in the arms of nature in the calm waters of Lake Kerkini. This man-made lake is situated only 35 km NW of Serres town, amidst amazing natural surroundings, and it offers a beautiful view of Mt Beles and the valley of Rodopi. Flocks of rare bird species will keep you company while you enjoy your outing!

A swim under the moonlight

Go swimming with your better half under the moonlight in the tranquil waters of Schoinias beach. You can have this unique night swim experience only 50 km away from the center of Athens. Walk barefoot on the sand and enjoy your cocktail in one of the beach bars along the coast.

Natural spa on the Canal D’Amour beach

Visit the well-known Canal D’Amour beach in Sidari, Corfu Island. Explore the unique geological formations, swim in the cool waters, treat your body with the therapeutic grey mud of its rocks and feel all the goodness of a natural spa by the seashore.

A stroll in the castle of the knights

Hold hands with your loved one and wander along with the stone cobbled alleys of the medieval town on Rhodes Island and let the magic of fairy-tale surroundings take you on a journey through time!

A bicycle ride in Nafplio

Discover a new way to get around town that is more convenient, hygienic, economical and environmentally friendly. Travel to Nafplio and enjoy a bike ride along the coast facing the Argolic Gulf as well as the well-known castles Bourtzi and Palamidi.

A carriage ride on Spetses Island

Take a trip to lordly Spetses Island and enjoy your ride on a horse-driven carriage along the coastline. Admire the island’s mansions and the Old Seaport area. Make a stop at Poseidonio square and taste the local almond sweets that are traditionally offered in weddings and other happy occasions.

Travel by train

Board the train of a bygone era, which crosses the green Vouraikos gully and then climbs the steep mountainsides of Mt Helmos all the way to Kalavryta town. Sit back and relax in the historic rack railway carriages, known as Odontotos. Enjoy with your partner the route across this lovely part of Greek countryside accessible only by train.

Skiing under a starlit sky

If adventure is what both of you are after, then why not try your ski routines under the starlight? Every Saturday you can go for night skiing at Vasilitsa ski resort right in the heart of the Pindus range. Ski down the lighted pistes in the company of your loved one and feel the adrenaline rush in your body!

With so many romantic activities to pick from, Greece could be rated as the perfect choice of place to pop the question, to spend your honeymoon, to celebrate your anniversary, to have a great time on your first date, or to find your better half visiting idyllic locations.


Eye medication may harm growing infants: Study

Nursing and pregnant women beware! Your eye disease medication could have an adverse effect on infants.

Researchers have found that a few drugs used to treat retinal diseases may mix with breast milk, further causing a safety issue for growing infants.
The research published in the journal, ‘Ophthalmology’ is a first-of-its-kind study led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Ranibizumab and aflibercept are medications used to treat several retinal diseases. They contain an agent called anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF), which blocks the eye’s production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

VEGF is a protein that stimulates the development of blood vessels but is associated with retinal diseases in high quantities.

VEGF is present in breast milk and plays an important role in the development of an infant’s digestive system. As a result, anti-VEGF drugs in a nursing mother raise concerns about possible adverse events in a developing infant if the drugs were to pass into breast milk and suppress VEGF.

“As retina specialists, we often tell our pregnant or nursing patients that there’s a risk of a small amount of these drugs making its way into the breast milk, but we can’t be sure,” said Dr Rajeev Muni, co-lead author, a vitreoretinal surgeon at St. Michael’s and a project investigator at the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

“We don’t want these patients to lose their vision so we make a decision, despite limited information,” added Dr Muni.

Hoping to change this, Dr Muni and Dr Verena Juncal, co-lead author and a retinal fellow at St. Michael’s, measured the concentrations of retinal medications in the breast milk of three lactating patients following injection of anti-VEGF therapy.

The team found that the drugs were excreted into the breast milk within the first couple days following injection, with a corresponding reduction in VEGF levels.

They also found that the amount of medication detected in the patient who continued to breastfeed was significantly lower than the other two patients, suggesting that the medication was constantly excreted and ingested by the infant.

“These results definitively show us that the drug reaches the breast milk,” said Dr Juncal. “We realise that some readers may question the small sample size, but if the drug reaches the breast milk in three patients, it’ll reach in 30 patients because it’s the same biological process.”

As the first study to evaluate the presence of Health Canada approved anti-VEGF therapy in human breast milk, these results provide a resource for ophthalmologists and retina specialists counselling pregnant and nursing patients.

“I’m comforted knowing that other pregnant or nursing mothers with retinal diseases will have the information needed to make an educated decision about whether to consider nursing while receiving these medications,” said Lisa, one of the three study participants, who didn’t want to reveal her surname.


Here’s why you should add amla to your daily life

Amla is considered a “Divine Fruit” in Hindu Philosophy. It was used to provide effective treatment to various lifestyle diseases in the ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda.

Amla, also known as the fruit of immortality, is believed to be nature’s boon to revitalize potency, longevity, increasing immunity and strengthening of bones, and aiding weight loss.

Amla, which is packed with a lot of nutrients, Polyphenols, iron, vitamins, and minerals, is available in vegetable markets mainly in winters.
“Whether you eat it, drink it or apply it, the fruit can be immensely beneficial in any form.

Regular consumption of amla can tighten your skin, lighten the complexion, treat acne, make your hair shiny and dandruff- free, and delay the effects of premature aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots by boosting the regeneration of healthy new cells,” said beauty icon Shahnaz Husain.
It is said that the Vitamin C content in amla is so stable that it can even work as heat resistant. Modern scientific research has revealed that amla contains 1,700 mg of vitamin C per 100g.

Amla is widely grown in India. The berries can be eaten raw or made into pickles and murabba. Amla juice, added to a glass of water, can work wonders.

The oil extracted from the berries has been used since the ancient times to control hair loss and restore health to the hair. Oil of amla is an important ingredient in Ayurvedic treatments, as well as hair oils, hair tonics, shampoos, and conditioners.

Massage with oils containing amla extracts is said to be extremely beneficial, as it stimulates the follicles. It also clears away dandruff flakes, unclogs the pores of the scalp and restores health to the scalp.

Add amla to henna, for healthy hair

It is said to keep graying in check, you can have the juice of one raw amla daily, after adding it to a glass of water.

You can also add amla to henna powder, for healthy, conditioned and glossy hair. If you would like to try it, you can soak a handful of dry amla in about 2 to 3 cups water overnight.

Next morning, strain the water but do not throw the water away. Grind the soaked amla fruits and add henna powder to it. Then, add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs, 2 teaspoons oil and enough amla water and mix it into a thick paste.

Keep the paste for two to three hours and then apply it on the hair. Make sure you apply it evenly so that the entire head is covered. Keep it on for at least two hours and then wash it off with plain water.

Home-made amla shampoo

To make home-made shampoo for silky hair, take one handful of dry herbs of reetha, amla, and shikakai and add it to a liter of water and allow it to soak overnight.

The next day, boil the ingredients, till the water reduces to half the quantity. Do not allow it to boil on a high flame, but rather simmer on a very low flame. Let the mixture cool and then strain it with a clean cloth. Use the liquid to wash the hair. The decoction can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.

Home-made amla hair oil

To make amla hair oil, take a handful of dry amla, Grind coarsely, and add it to 100 ml pure coconut oil. Keep it in an airtight glass bottle and keep the bottle in the sun daily for about 15 days. Then strain the oil and store.

Fresh amla juice

Regular intake of amla juice purifies blood and fights toxins, and leaves you with flawlessly radiant skin.

Daily intake of fresh amla juice with honey serves as a great beverage and makes your skin complexion brighter and lighter. It also helps to get rid of acne and pimples. Regular intake of Amla juice delays the effects of premature aging and helps to maintain youthfulness and vitality for a long time.

“Apply amla juice on your face and outer skin with a cotton pad and wash it off after 15 minutes with fresh water. It will help to improve your skin complexion. Close your eyes while doing so,” Husain explained.

Amla juice also boosts the production of collagen cells making your skin radiant, soft, toned and youthful,” Husain added.

Apply amla paste on your face and wash it off once it dries completely. It will help to treat acne and breakouts, making you more beautiful and attractive. Amla is also an excellent cleanser and helps in removing dead cells/pimples from your skin.


Having multiple spouses can actually benefit women

The idea might sound a bit odd but having multiple spouses can be actually good for women, it has been found.

A new interesting study published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society B’ has found that in certain societies, having multiple husbands is found to be beneficial to women in difficult times as they can buffer themselves against economic and social crisis.

“Our work suggests that marrying multiple men may be a wise strategy for women where the necessities of life are hard, and where men’s economic productivity and health can vary radically over their lifetime due to the challenging environmental conditions,” said lead researcher, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, UC Davis professor of anthropology.

Mulder collected data on births, deaths, marriages and divorces of all households in a western Tanzanian village over a span of two decades.
A longitudinal study like this is “much more reliable than records collected retrospectively,” said the study’s co-author, Cody Ross, currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig.

Working with the demographic data, they found that women who moved from spouse to spouse tended to have more surviving children, controlling for the number of years they had been married.

Men, on the other hand, tended to produce fewer surviving children with the individual women they married.


देर से सोने की आदत बन सकती है मोटापे का कारण: स्‍टडी

आपने भी देखा होगा आजकल युवाओं को देर तक‍ जगने की आदत हो गई है। अधिकतर लोग रात में फोन या मूवी, वीडियो और अन्‍य कई कारणों से देर में सोते हैं। लेकिन क्‍या आप जानते हैं कि लड़कियों के लिए देर से सोना उनका सबसे बड़ा दुश्‍मन हो सकता है, जो उनके फिटनेस और बॉडी को मेंटेन रखने के सपने को पानी में मिला सकता है। जी हां, हाल में हुए एक अध्‍ययन में पाया गया कि लड़कियों को देर रात सोना अधिक वजन और मोटापे की समस्‍या से जुड़ा है। 

एल्सी टवेरास, एमडी, एमपीएच, शोध के प्रमुख लेखक का कहना है, ”अच्‍छी और पूरी नींद के साथ समय पर सोना बहुत ही जरूरी है। क्योंकि आपकी स्‍लीप साइकिल यानि आपके सोने और जागने का समय आपकी दैनिक गतिविधियों के हिसाब से होना बहुत जरूरी है।” 

मैसाचुसेट्स जनरल हॉस्पिटल फॉर चिल्ड्रन और हार्वर्ड मेडिकल स्कूल, यूएसए द्वारा अध्ययन किया किया। जिसमें लगभग 386 लड़कों और 418 लड़कियों को इस अध्‍ययन में शामिल किया जिनकी उम्र 12 से 17 के बीच थी। लगभग पांच दिनों तक देखा और उन्हें एक्टिग्राफ दिया गया था जो उनकी गतिविधि और आराम की अवधि दर्ज करता था। इस डेटा की मदद से प्रत्येक बच्चे के गतिविधियों की जांच की, जो सोशल जेट लैग स्टेटस के साथ-साथ जल्दी उठने या देर से रहने की उनकी प्राथमिकता को इंगित करता है।

शोधकर्ताओं ने अपने मानवजनित माप को भी इकट्ठा किया जो हड्डी, मांसपेशियों और फैट टिश्‍यु को मापता है और उनके शरीर की संरचना को परिभाषित करता है।

शोध के परिणाम 

अध्ययन JAMA बाल रोग में प्रकाशित किया गया था,  जिसमें निष्कर्ष निकाला गया था कि रात को देर से सोने से मोटे तौर पर केवल लड़कियों में मोटापे से जुड़ा है, लड़कों में नहीं। आमतौर पर देर से सोने वाली लड़कियों में औसतन 0.58 सेंटीमीटर कमर का आकार और लगभग 0.16 किलोग्राम शरीर की चर्बी बढ़ी हुई पाई गई।

यह शोध सप्ताह के सभी दिनों युवा लड़कियों में सही नींद के समय की आवश्यकता को दर्शाता है। इसलिए माता-पिता को उनका ध्‍यान रखना चाहिए और उन्हें समय पर सोने और समय पर जागने में मदद करनी चाहिए।

“अध्ययन मोटापे के जोखिम को प्रभावित करने में सोने के समय के महत्व का समर्थन करता है और अभिभावको कों अपने बच्चों के सोने के कार्यक्रम और उनके जागने के समय के साथ-साथ शाम को इलेक्ट्रॉनिक मीडिया और कैफीन के उपयोग को सीमित करके उनकी नींद में सुधार के लिए प्रोत्साहित करना है।

‘Smelling lemon makes you feel thinner’

Did you know that lemons can not only help you get over a hangover but can also make you feel slimmer. Yes, a new study has established that olfactory and auditory stimuli might change how we perceive our body!
For example, people tend to feel thinner and lighter when exposed to the smell of lemon, while they feel heavier and more corpulent when they smell vanilla.

This is one of the results of the investigation recorded in the article ‘As Light As Your Scent: Effects of Smell and Sound on Body Image Perception’, which explores the relation between smell and body shape.

The findings were presented at the meeting IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction.

The research team has demonstrated that the image we have of our own body changes depending on the stimuli we encounter, such as olfactory. Exposure to different smells can make us feel slimmer or more corpulent.
Another sense that influences this is hearing. Through a device adapted to a pair of shoes, developed by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in 2015 in collaboration with University College London and the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, researchers have analysed how our perception of our body changes when the frequency spectrum of steps taken during physical activity was modified in real-time.

“By increasing high frequencies, people feel lighter, happier, walk in a more active way and as a result, they find it easier to exercise,” explains Ana Tajadura-Jimenez, a lecturer in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the UC3M and one of the authors of both investigations.

This technology, based on audio stimulus, that was used successfully both in 2017 to treat people with chronic pain and in 2019 to promote physical activity, is combined with olfactory stimuli in the current investigation to show that both senses combined have a large influence over the perception we have of our body image.


‘Positive surroundings in childhood has long-term health benefits’

While having a positive surrounding is considered necessary for the overall development of a child, it is equally important to determine the long-term health of kids who have experienced adversity early in life.

A new study has found that a good childhood including friendly neighbours, teachers can help save the long-term health of kids.
“These findings show that the positive experiences in childhood lead to better adult physical and mental health, no matter what they face,” said study author Ali Crandall, assistant professor of public health at Brigham Young University.

Specifically, the study found that even when an individual had four or more adverse childhood experiences (called ACEs), having a high number of advantageous childhood experiences (Counter-ACEs) lessened the negative effect of ACEs on adult health.

Participants reported the number of ACEs and Counter-ACEs they experienced in childhood. ACEs include abuse, abandonment, having a family member in jail, alcoholism, mental illness, addiction, divorce or death.

The full list of Counter-ACEs includes having good friends and neighbours, beliefs that provide comfort, liking school, teachers who care, having a caregiver whom you feel safe with, opportunities to have fun, feeling comfortable with yourself and a predictable home routine like regular meals and bedtimes.

According to the study findings, published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect, nearly 75 per cent of participants had at least one adverse childhood experience, while the average amount of ACEs was 2.67 per person.

The average positive experience score was 8.15, with 39 per cent of people having experienced all 10 of those Counter-ACEs.

Participants also reported their current health through a variety of physical measures — like BMI, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical exercise, sleep difficulties and if they smoked daily — as well as their cognitive and mental health through executive functioning abilities, perceived stress, depression, internal locus of control, gratitude, forgiveness of self and challenging situations and familial closeness.

Interestingly, researchers also found that the absence of Counter-ACEs led to poor adult health regardless of the number of ACEs.

“As bad as ACEs may be, the absence of these positive childhood experiences and relationships may actually be more detrimental to lifelong health so we need more focus on increasing the positive,” Crandall said.
Crandall believes that increasing counter-ACES in the home is the easiest place to start and is working to educate the community about how to do this in conjunction with United Way.