Wednesday, 28 June 2017

$1.2 billion worth of GST Vouchers and Medisave top-ups for eligible Singaporeans


Ask the Experts: Getting rid of dark brown spots

Melasma is a common skin pigmentation that usually presents as brown spots on the cheeks. It can also be seen on the forehead, nose, upper lips, chin and, occasionally, on the arms.

Although it is mainly a cosmetic problem, most people are troubled by it and will go to great lengths to have it treated.

Unfortunately, melasma cannot be cured. The causes are multifactorial and dependent on one's age.

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Parenting: Is my kid too fat?

The number of overweight children in Singapore has been on the rise. According to the Ministry of Education, obesity in children was 10 per cent in 2000. In 2013, this number rose to 11 per cent, and then 12 per cent in 2014.

But sometimes, even parents are unable to see that their own children are overweight, according to a study published in the British Journal of General Practice. Said mum of two Mabel Lee: “No one likes to hear that their child is fat. And honestly, if you see the child every day, it’s hard to notice any gradual weight gain.”

To find out whether your child has weight problems, look at the charts in his health booklet, said Kinder Clinic paediatrician Dr Vera Oh.

Do note that while percentile charts do not necessarily point to a problem, it gives you an idea as to how heavy your child is compared to his peers. If you see a sharp rise in your offspring’s position on the chart, check with a doctor if you need to improve his eating habits and activity levels.


Work stint gives students a taste of life on the job

Spectra Secondary student Asad Ali Zainol Abidin during his two-week-long work attachment at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where he did room-service functions such as delivering fruit to guests as well as clearing plates and utensils. Image - ST
A growing number of young students took on short-term work attachments or job-shadowing stints during the June school holidays.

This comes as schools here beef up their education and career guidance programmes. From career talks to industry visits, schools have been putting in place initiatives to help students make sensible education and career choices.

For young students, the strategy is to encourage them to discover their interests and learn about the occupations out there.

Mr Sam Ho, vice-principal (vocational education) at Crest Secondary, said work attachments allow students to "continue their learning in a real-world scenario".

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Most beetroot on sale is round and red, but yellow, white and stripey versions are available.

The beetroot taste is described as sweet, earthy and tender to eat once cooked or pickled. It’s a root vegetable related to turnips, swedes and sugar beet.


1. Blood pressure

Beetroot is a great source of nitrates, which when consumed, is converted to nitrites and a gas called nitric oxides. Both these components help to widen the arteries and lower blood pressure. Researchers also found that having just about 500 grams (2 glasses) of beetroot every day reduces a person’s blood pressure in about six hours.

Some blood pressure medicine are using this principal to lower patients' blood pressure. If you are taking blood pressure pills,  be sure to let your doctor know as beetroot juice and bp medicine may lower your blood pressure to a very dangerous low level.

2. Stamina
Athletes since 2009 (that is when it was discovered) have been drinking beetroot juice to enhance their performances. As more blood flows and carries more oxygen, the athletes' performances are enhanced and it takes a longer time before they are exhausted.

Beetroot contains flavonoids called anthocyanins that can help with recovery from the stress of exercise during training and competition.

3. Sexual health

Nitrites and nitric oxides gas from nitrates in beetroots help to widen the blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the genitals, a function Viagra pills replicate.

Another factor is that beetroot contains a lot of boron, a chemical compound that is important for the production of the human sex hormone. So the next time, ditch the blue pill and have some beetroot juice instead.

4. Brain and dementia
Studies have shown drinking beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain for a short while in older people. Maintaining good blood circulation to the brain is associated with a reduced risk of vascular dementia, one of the main causes of dementia.

[You may want to read Do you want a 'younger' brain? Drink beetroot juice.]

High nitrates in other vegetables

The following vegetables also contain a high level of nitrates. If you do not like to have red urine or poo, you may want to eat:
  • arugula
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • radish
  • Chinese cabbage