These tattoos changes colour depending on blood-sugar level and could be the next big boon for diabetics

Love getting inked? With time we have come across various tattoo trends, from minimalist tattoos to elaborate colourful tattoos, that says a story of their own. But do you think it’s just a fashion statement? While there may have been few bizarre and unusual tattoo trends in the last couple of years, from people donning eyeball tattoos to freckles. There are many who have used tattoos for a good cause. scare-hiding tattoos have been there for quite some time now, that helps patients with big surgical scars and acid attack victims to beautify their marks, now there is a colour-changing tattoo. Yes, and it’s not about style, this has been designed for patients with diabetes.

Scare-hiding tattoos have been there for quite some time now, that helps patients with big surgical scars and acid attack victims to beautify their marks, now there is a colour-changing tattoo. Yes, and it’s not about style, this has been designed for patients with diabetes.

A group of researchers from Harvard and MIT have recently created tattoos that change colour based on the rise and fall in the blood sugar levels. The colour-changing ink used in these ‘biosensing tattoos’ turns the body’s surface into an ‘interactive display’ to alert diabetics when their blood sugar level is too low or high. “It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry,” the team writes on their blog.

If blood sugar level is low it changes from brown to blue, and if it is high then it changes from blue to brown.

These helpful medicinal tattoos are a result of the Dermal Abyss project. “Traditional tattoo inks are replaced with biosensors whose colours change in response to variations in the interstitial fluid. It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry,” says their blog-post on the project that is still at the research level.

The salt-sensing inks track the mineral by measuring sodium levels. “The pH sensor changes between purple and pink, the glucose sensor shifts between blue and brown; the sodium and a second pH sensor fluoresce at a higher intensity under UV light,” the blog added.

 

The research could be quite revolutionary for people living with Type 1 and 2 Diabetes. As severe patients now need to pierce their skin, 3 to 10 times, these tattoos can ut an end to their pain. “With Dermal Abyss, we imagine the future where the painful procedure is replaced with a tattoo, of which the colour from pink to purple based on the glucose levels. Thus, the user could monitor the colour changes and the need for insulin.”

Getting a tattoo has been more than a fashion statement for centuries. While many tribes used it as a symbol of the clan, ancient practices also suggest it’s used as a punishment and there is some evidence of medicinal tattoos in ancient Egypt.

Matcha a healthy choice: Drink this Japanese tea as it improves mood, memory and concentration

With Indian consumers getting more aware and conscious of healthy eating, consumption of green tea, gluten-free products or super foods has seen a rise. Matcha, a green tea from Japan, is an ingredient being innovatively used in ice creams, cupcakes and doughnuts.

For the uninitiated, Matcha is a finely ground green tea. In ancient Japan, monks primarily consumed it as a beverage of choice. Now it can either be dissolved in milk or water to add to its versatility — and also for its health benefits.

“Apart from health benefits like improving moods, memory and concentration, helping you relax, aiding in weight loss, matcha has taken a diverse transformation into the culinary world with people being more conscious about what they eat,” Chef Himanshu Taneja, Director of Culinary at The St. Regis Mumbai, told IANS.

“Adding matcha in food from a simple Frappuccino and turning it into a green tea Frappuccino, to adding matcha in our desserts like matcha cheesecake or a matcha ice cream, the ingredient is versatile and helps add to the health quotient,” he added.

Experts say eating healthy and staying fit has become an area of focus for people across all age groups, and they are increasingly looking at a variety of options that contribute to that lifestyle.

Given that Matcha is high in antioxidants, enhances calmness, boosts memory and concentration, increases energy levels and endurance, helps to burn calories and detoxifies the human body, improve cholesterol levels and more, it is fast making its way as an ingredient of significance.

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Chef Rahis Khan of Delhi’s Metropolitan Hotel and Spa says matcha nowadays is used to add flavour to a variety of Western-style confectionery items including chocolates, cakes, candies, cookies and green tea ice creams as it is the only tea in which the entire tea leaf is dissolved in water to provide the maximum benefits of its components.

“We, at (the hotel’s) Sakura (restaurant) serve matcha ice cream. Also, matcha-based drinks have been introduced such as smoothies, lattes, milkshakes and also alcoholic beverages,” Khan told IANS.

Foodhall, a premium lifestyle food destination by the Future Group, is also experimenting a lot with matcha. It has started a matcha experience zone that has flavoured macarons, iced tea latte, cupcake, cookies, baklavas, eclairs and doughnuts.

“I think with more places experimenting with matcha as an ingredient, people have become more open to adding it and experimenting with such dishes,” Olivier Vincenot, Corporate Chef at Foodhall, told IANS.

The combination of flavour and nutrition that it provides is interesting, says Smritika Sharma, Marketing Head at beverage brand RAW Pressery.

“Matcha is stronger as compared to other green teas, even when compared on caffeine levels. One must lower quantities right before bed time. Packed with catechins, matcha is an ideal pre-workout beverage. It boosts thermogenesis by 8 to 10 percent and hence improves fat burn.

“Matcha in cosmetics or through homemade masks is great for the skin. The chlorophyll present in the leaves acts as a powerful detoxifier which stimulates skin cells. Matcha, when applied topically, is also known to reduce sebum production and therefore is great for acne,” Sharma told IANS.

Kareena Kapoor Khan: Nimbu paani with black salt and sugar helped me fight morning sickness

Earlier this year, Kareena Kapoor Khan divulged her secrets on how to shed post-pregnancy weight. The proud mother of Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi, in a casual Facebook Live chat with her dietitian and nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar spoke about her mission to lose weight, but without compromising on health. She also revealed how she ate every 2-3 hours during her pregnancy to keep fit. Now, the duo is back with another live session and it looks like they still believe in the same diet mantra.

Diwekar says, “Post-pregnancy, eating every 2 hours is important as you need a constant supply of glucose to the brain to stay calm, reasonable and cheerful. The trick is to eat your food and add a little bit of jaiphal (nutmeg) to your cup of milk as it calms your nerves and helps you sleep,” to which Kareena adds, “I remember having nutmeg during bedtime.”

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Kareena also gave out a lot of useful tips to pregnant women, especially on how to deal with morning sickness. “I used to eat every 2 hours and have nimbu paani with black salt and sugar or buttermilk with a pinch of hing.”

“Never have chai or coffee on an empty stomach. Eat a banana or any other seasonal fruit like mangoes, jamun (black plum) and lychee. People are rushing to buy expensive fruits and spending thousands… rather eat one mango. What’s the use when you are not even losing weight,” she says.

Diet diary: A sweet potato for weight watchers and diabetics

DESPITE its name, sweet potato is not related to the potato family and is quite different nutritionally too. While the potato is a tuber or a thickened stem, the sweet potato is a storage root and loaded with nutrients, has made it to the list of top 10 diabetes super foods by the American Diabetes Association.

Though its origin lies in Latin America, Asia is its largest producer. Its importance is growing and it is the sixth most important food crop after rice, wheat, potatoes, maize and cassava. High in starch and fibre, the nature of carbohydrates differs from that in potatoes. Its high fibre content contributes to a lower glycemic index 44, which is almost half of potatoes (glycemic index 80). This property makes the sweet potato a useful carbohydrate source for weight watchers and diabetics. According to a 2004 study led by University of Vienna associate professor Dr Berhhard Ludvik and published in the journal Diabetes Care, type 2 diabetic patients treated with sweet potato saw significant decreases in fasting blood glucose levels and overall improvement in glucose control. Sweet potato when eaten with the skin has more fiber than oatmeal.

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Cooking methods also affect the glycemic index of a sweet potato. For diabetics, certain cooking methods are more conducive to managing blood sugar levels. Boiled or mashed sweet potatoes, for instance, are not recommended as they are digested faster, thus increasing their glycemic index and possibly causing blood sugar levels to spike. Similar to fibre, fat will slow the rate of digestion and therefore maintain the low glycemic index, so a cooking method for sweet potatoes that is good for diabetics is sautéing in oil or roasting with the skins on. Sweet potato comes in varieties with skin and flesh color that range from white to yellow, orange, and deep purple.

According to the American Diabetes Association, apart from high fibre, sweet potato has antioxidant nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, and other micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamin B, which all help in good diabetes management and prevention of diabetes complications such as heart attacks and stroke.

Orange-fleshed sweet potato is an important source of beta-carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A. Just 125g of fresh sweet potato from orange-fleshed varieties contain enough beta-carotene to provide the daily pro-vitamin A needs of a preschooler. One medium (100 gms) sweet potato, baked with the skin, has about four times the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A and almost half the recommendation for Vitamin C. Nutrients in sweet potato are also useful for people with obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and promotion of good health in general. A 2011 animal study conducted at School of Medicine and Life Sciences, Zhejiang University City College, China, reported that purple sweet potato flavonoids can decrease the blood glucose and lipids levels.

Staple food source for many ancient populations, sweet potato has also been found to have special cancer preventing properties, which are present in the purple-fleshed sweet potato. Anthocyanins, which give the purple colour to sweet potatoes are powerful bioavailable antioxidants, which are utilized efficiently by the body. Other nutrients, which possess anti-cancer properties of sweet potato include high amounts of vitamin A, which contribute the orange colour to the orange-fleshed sweet potato.

Overall, sweet potatoes are a healthy source of carbohydrates. Remember to watch your portions and substitute these for other carbohydrates and don’t go overboard!

Ready in 30 mins: Cheese soufflés with apple, walnut and pomegranate salad recipe

Cheese soufflés are the stuff dreams are made of! Pair them with a healthy apple, walnut and pomegranate salad and you have the perfectly balanced dish. This recipe is worth saving to pass down to your future generations because not only is it easy to make but also equally delicious. We are glad Chef Akhilesh Jha of Fresc Co, New Delhi shared it with us.

Serves 2

Ingredients
240ml – Milk
3 tbsp – Plain flour
60g – Unsalted butter
6 eggs, whole
175g – Mature cheddar, grated
1 tbsp – Chives
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
5 tbsp – Parmesan, grated
2 red apples, cored and cut into eight pieces
6 tbsp – Whole walnuts
150g – Rocket
6 tbsp – Pomegranate seeds
2 tsp – Walnut oil

Method
* Pour the milk into a saucepan and warm gently over low heat to take the chill off it. Sift the flour into the milk and mix well.

* Cook on moderate heat until you can no longer taste the flour in the mixture and there are no lumps. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter.

* Beat the egg yolks into the mixture, then add the cheddar and chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper.

* Grease the four moulds/ramekins with softened butter and coat the insides with grated Parmesan.

* Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until you have firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the cheese sauce, taking care not to deflate them by overworking or being too heavy handed.

* Spoon the mixture into the moulds and cook in a steamer for 12 mins. When cooked, remove from the steamer and leave to stand for 10 mins or until they are cool enough to handle.

* Remove the soufflés from the moulds. At this stage, you can either put them in the fridge until needed or cook straight away.

* To cook, preheat the oven to 200 degree celsius. Put the soufflés on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 6–8 mins.

* To serve, arrange the apple on four small plates with the walnuts, rocket and pomegranate seeds scattered over. Remove the soufflés from the oven and place straight onto the salad. Drizzle with walnut oil and serve straight away.

A desi gastro pub that offers authentic mix of East and West

Be it the original flavour of Bengal’s sought-after fish cutlet or the popular north Indian shammi kebab, at Monkey Bar — the Indian version of a gastro pub — you will be reminded of your roots while letting your hair down.

The pub has its outlets in three metros — Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata — and mini-metro Bengaluru, and each dish has its own flavour of the soil perfectly tucked in to the international palate.

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Take the tikki of joy for example. Kolkata’s very own fish cutlet is lightly poached as opposed to boiling it, and coated with Japanese Panko-style breadcrumbs before it is fried.

Then, the mouth-watering shammi kebabs, which have been rechristened shammi sliders, with the big meat chunks wrapped in a slider-style bun.

Down west, there is Mumbai’s very own vada Pav which is cooked in fresh laadi pav with a dab of butter and ghaati masala from Bombay with salted chilli.

There is also the Goan chorizo pao — chunks of smoky Goan sausage sauteed with sliced onions, garlic and tomatoes and stuffed inside a toasted and buttered pav.

While choosing your poison, try mangaa, one of the most ordered cocktails here, that is made with aam panna, sweet lime, jeera, salt and vodka.

“The idea is to juxtapose good food in the pub space. We have not aped the Western idea of a gatro pub blindly. We have tried to make it unabashedly Indian,” chef and partner Manu Chandra said.

Gastro pub, the term coined in 1991, denotes a restaurant moulded in pub culture that became popular in the United Kingdom. However, the concept has drawn occasional flak for watering down the essence of a pub.

“We do specialise in food and in that way it is a departure from the stereotype concept of a gastro pub, but we do not allow children below the age of 18 in the evening across our four centres. They can come for lunch, but in the evening we have more people who consume liquor and the bar is more active,” Chandra said.

At the Kolkata outlet, you see the cult protagonists “Gupi” and “Bagha” of Satyajit Ray’s classic “Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen” painted on the wall that hits you on entering.

The bar has a miniature version of a British theatre-style canopy which illuminates this space. Also striking is a sculpturesque light installation strung from the high roof truss.

Drawing design inspiration from the colonial clubs of Kolkata, the tall arched windows allow you a panoramic view of the surroundings.

The joint, perched on the ninth floor of Knox building in Camac Street, a bustling South Central Kolkata avenue, also has breakfast spread with burgers ruling the roost.

Try the new breakfast burger — a hearty combo of grilled chicken, avocado, fried egg, cheddar and onion jam for those midday cravings.

New small plates include dishes inspired by international favourites like the kung fu rolls, devilled fish baked brie, prawns pil pil and sticky Korean chicken.

There’s a new pizza platter as well which includes exciting toppings such as mushroom and truffle oil pizza, Iti aunty’s daab chingri pizza — a marriage of local cuisine and an Italian favourite — and pepperoni picante pizza.

Coming to the main course, the likes of a Soulful Bowl include a platter of gobindo bhog rice and pickled vegetables alongside egg, cucumber, scallions and fried onions, with a choice of chilly paneer, chicken katsu, beef bulgogi or barbeque pork. Also on the menu is thai curry and Kerala beef fry with the saag kebab — an interesting accompaniment to your favourite drink.

Chandraji’s mutton curry (a succulent mutton dish served with gobindo bhog rice), mustard grilled fish (seasonal fillet with garlic mashed potato, grilled vegetables and spiked mustard sauce, and hearty meals for meat lovers like the MoBar bork and chicken 65 are also on the menu for a filling lunch or dinner.

The desserts carry forward the same quirky tone, enticing you with a mishmash of flavours that melt in your mouth. A sundae is converted into a multi-layered sandwich with great skill in the Mobar sundae sandwich.

The signature, chocolate pot de creme with salted caramel topped with caramel popcorn and the gondhoraj lime tart with lebu, curd and torched meringue are sure to bring a perfect end to your meal.

There is a hookah space as well where customers can go for a smoke. On weekdays, there is live music with space kept for you to shake a leg as well.

Where: Monkey Bar,  9th floor, Knox Building, Camac Street
Cost: Meal for two without alcohol, excluding taxes: Rs 1,200+; Meal for two with alcohol, excluding taxes: Rs 1,800+
Phone: 033 40606446

Ready in 30 mins: Try this Spaghetti with Clams and Crispy Bread Crumbs recipe

In Italian cuisine, bread and spaghetti is like what daal and chawal (rice and lentils) is to Indians. This comfort food is also probably what you mostly order on your outings to your favourite Italian restaurant. Cooking it ‘al dente’ might be tricky but it comes with some experiments in the kitchen.

If you are in the mood for some Italian today then try out this amazing Spaghetti with Clams and Crispy Bread Crumbs recipe by Chef Akhilesh Jha, Fresc Co, New Delhi.

Serves 2

Ingredients
1/4 cup – Panko crumbs
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp – Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 – Large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 dozen – Manila clams or cockles, scrubbed
1 cup – Dry white wine
1 pound – Spaghetti
1 tsp – Finely grated lemon zest
3 tbsp – Fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp – Finely grated mullet bottarga*
1 tsp – Crushed red pepper
2 tbsp – Finely chopped thyme
2 tbsp – Finely chopped rosemary
2 tbsp – Finely chopped parsley

Method
* In a medium skillet, combine panko with 1 tbsp of olive oil and toast over moderate heat, tossing until golden brown for about 3 mins. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl.

* In a deep skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until fragrant for about 1 min. Add the clams and wine and simmer over moderately high heat until the wine is slightly reduced and the clams just start to open.

* Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

* Add the pasta, cooking water, lemon zest and juice, red pepper and herbs to the clams and toss over moderately high heat until the pasta is well coated and the clams are completely open, for about 2 mins. Discard clams that do not open.

* Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the toasted panko crumbs on top.

Note:
Bottarga is the roe of tuna or mullet that has been salted, pressed and dried; it can be grated or shaved paper-thin.

Stop avoiding mushrooms! Grilled mushrooms are healthier and rich in nutrients

Love mushrooms? Boiling or deep frying may destroy its nutritional profile while microwaving or grilling them would help preserve its antioxidant capacity and other health properties, researchers say.

Mushrooms are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins (B1, B2, B12, C, D and E) and minerals such as zinc or selenium, low in calories and fat, as well as important source of betaglucans — biologically active compounds with potential medicinal value.

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The results, published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, revealed that frying induced more severe losses in protein, ash, and carbohydrates content but increased the fat and energy.

Boiling improved the total glucans content by enhancing the betaglucans fraction.

A significant decrease was detected in the antioxidant activity especially after boiling and frying, while grilled and microwaved mushrooms reached higher values of antioxidant activity.

“Frying and boiling treatments produced more severe losses in proteins and antioxidants compounds, probably due to the leaching of soluble substances in the water or in the oil, which may significantly influence the nutritional value of the final product” said Irene Roncero from Mushroom Technological Research Center of La Rioja (CTICH) in Spain.

Conversely, when mushrooms were grilled or microwaved, “the content of polyphenol and antioxidant activity increased significantly, and there are no significant losses in nutritional value of the cooked mushrooms”, Roncero added.

Further, adding a little oil portion while grilling mushrooms is not a problem, the researchers observed.

“A minimal amount will not cause nutrient loses by leaching; in fact, the antioxidant capacity can be even improved. Moreover, if olive oil is used, the fatty acid profile of the final preparation is enhanced with barely increase in the calorie content,” Roncero said.

Love cheese? Try out this low-calorie Grilled Apricot and Smoked Halloumi Cheese recipe

Who says healthy and tasty can’t go together? Apricot is a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamin A and is also a rich source of fibre, while halloumi cheese which originated in Cyprus is semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep’s milk and is considered as one of the healthiest cheese ever. When combined together, it makes for a great meal.

The chefs at Hyatt Regency, Gurgaon have come up with a recipe which is not only high in nutritional values but is equally delicious. We say it works as a perfect side dish.

So, beat the summer heat with the new Grilled apricot and smoked halloumi cheese recipe!

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Ingredients
125g – Halloumi cheese
100g – Fresh apricot
100g – Basil leaves
50g – Brioche loaf
5g – Clarified butter
10ml – Arugula leaves
15ml – Extra virgin olive oil
5g – Mix lettuce
5g – Balsamic cream
50g – Basil pesto

Method
* Slice halloumi cheese into 1.5 inch thickness and then smoke it with charcoal, thyme and butter.

* Slice fresh and peeled apricot and char-grill it.

* Marinate smoke halloumi with extra virgin olive oil, shredded basil, sea salt and crushed pepper.

* For making brioche crisp, cut brioche loaf into long triangles.

* Soak slices of brioche in clarified butter and place it on the cutter to form half spheres.

* Cook this brioche crisp on 100 degrees for 18 mins.

* For platting, squeeze balsamic and basil pesto on plate.

* Place smoke halloumi and chargrilled apricot in layers and then place brioche crisp on top of it.

* Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, add some lettuce on top and serve.

The food at Trend is a marriage of local flavours and Asian and French techniques

At the less-than-a-month-old restaurant, Trend, at Ansal Plaza in Delhi, one may not recognise the dish but the smell and the taste sure seem familiar. The restaurant experiments inventively with traditional Indian recipes by taking a modernist culinary approach. The food is not a “Frenchification” of Indian cuisine but a marriage of local flavours and Asian and French techniques of preparation and presentation.

A simple version of the classic cheese souffle gussied-up with a small portion of charred asparagus was the first to make a dash to our table from the kitchen, which is helmed by chef Jiten Singh, who has previously whipped up delicacies at Olive Bistro and Amour cafe. It was made with parmesan, emmental and goat cheese in crisp potato cups. The asparagus made the rich souffle lighter on the palate — that demands to be accompanied by a drink. The tangy kokum sherbet we ordered only added to the winning start. If you favour yourself a hooch, you’d be better off approaching the restaurant in 10 days time.

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Trend takes the customers’ time seriously. Dishes, at the right temperature, rallied out of the kitchen just as the one on the table met its end. An aesthetically plated rechad sole on a bed of corn kuchumbar was presented. The traditional Goan dish requires a fish to be stuffed with recheado masala but our strips were, instead, coated in it. The sweetness of the corn tossed with fresh tomatoes, cucumber and onions perfectly balanced out the intensity of the masala. Another dish, bedaubed with masala, was the seafood bowl “65”, a take on the popular chicken 65 from Chennai. The bird was replaced with aquatic creatures — squid, crab and prawns — that were not only cooked to perfection but also stood up well to the spice.

The prawn crackers, upon which they were perched, enhanced the texture of the dish but were scrummy even when enjoyed by themselves, especially as some soaked the masala of the dish. The mains, too, spoil its patrons for choice — from risotto to Quail Dum Biryani; Sri Lankan Pork Curry to Scottish Tawa Salmon among a selection of pasta and “paper-thin” pizzas. We settled for the Mysore Mutton Masala Tiffin, which comprised Udipi Masala Roast Mutton, Malabar Porota, mutton achar and rings of raw onion. There is neither a flavour nor a texture that is misplaced here. The dish ensures a yearning for yet another bite of the mutton long after the last bite.

It was almost as if the dessert knew what it had to match up to. The Holy Coconut was the most gorgeous psychedelic mess — a couverture chocolate shell filled with a delicate coconut mousse and dotted with charnamrut coulis, sat amid white and milk chocolate soil, rose-raspberry coulis, dark chocolate cremeaux and pistachionut strugel. Dare to take all in one bite and there will be nothing short of a mad explosion of flavours in the mouth. Needless to say, we were blown away.