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We've all heard it times and again that sitting all day long at the desk isn't really good for the health. Sadly, there aren't any feasible alternatives to this mode of working. While you can't just leave your job, you can surely do something which is beneficial for your health. Eating the right kind of fruits can help you overcome the negative effects of sitting like a robot all day.
Here are five power foods you can enjoy while sitting at your desk. They can work wonders for your heart, blood pressure, and can even improve your memory and concentration.
WalnutsSome new researches have pointed out that walnuts have more (and better quality) antioxidants than almonds, peanuts, pistachios and many other nuts. All nuts have been found to improve lipids and can reduce the risk of heart diseases. Walnuts have also been found to enhance cognitive and motor function in animals with Alzheimer's. Experts recommend seven walnuts a day.
Cup of Green TeaPolyphenols, one of the major ingredients of green tea, is known to help repair the damaged DNA and stimulate the immune system. Besides, research shows that green tea also helps in reducing the risk of cancers, including skin cancer and prostate cancer.
PopcornIf there ever was a list of healthy snacks, this is definitely going to be on the list. In fact, many say that popcorn is the healthiest snack available. It is 100 percent whole grain and is big on fiber and antioxidants. If you can air-pop your popcorn and add a minimal quantity of salt, you'd have the best popcorn, say experts. If your office has a microwave, just make sure you bring a pack of low sodium popcorn to work.
Dark ChocolateThis, too, contains those powerful antioxidants called Polyphenols which combat the risk factors (like oxidation of LDL cholesterol) for heart diseases and also inhibit clotting. Studies have also indicated that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate daily can reduce blood pressure in people with mild hypertension. Caffeine, another active ingredient of dark chocolate, can give you that much-required kick and a boost in concentration levels.
FruitsNot only they help you conquer that “false hunger”, they are also brimming with nutrients which are needed to keep you going all day. You can choose between apples, bananas, mangoes, oranges, papayas etc. but make sure you carry some fruits to the office on a daily basis.
Monday, August 8, 2011
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A new global financial crisis would hit Asia harder than the last one, especially nations heavily exposed to offshore markets or still repairing budgets from the 2008-2009 crisis, credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's said on Monday.
The agency, which incurred Washington's wrath at the weekend by cutting its AAA rating by a notch to AA+, said it was not predicting a rerun of the credit crisis that crippled markets and tipped the world economy into recession three years ago.
But it warned of more sovereign downgrades in Asia next time around, if its assumptions turned out to be wrong.
"If a renewed slowdown comes, it would likely create a deeper and more prolonged impact than the last one," S&P said in a statement.
"The implications for sovereign creditworthiness in Asia-Pacific would likely be more negative than previously experienced, and a larger number of negative rating actions would follow. We wait to see."
S&P said it assumed Europe's debt crisis and Washington's debt problems were unlikely to lead to "abrupt dislocations" in the financial systems and economies of major developed nations.
On that basis, it added, its historic downgrade of the U.S. credit rating would have no immediate knock-on impact on sovereign borrowers in the Asia-Pacific.
It cited the Asia Pacific region's sound domestic demand, relatively healthy corporate and household sectors, plentiful external liquidity and high savings rates -- though it listed New Zealand, Japan and Vietnam as exceptions to this.
The S&P statement took on a much darker tone when considering the possibility that its assumptions were too rosy, noting that Asia still relied heavily on exports to the West.
"Given the interconnectivity of the global markets, an unexpectedly sharp disruption in developed-world financial markets could change the picture," it said, noting that the U.S. and European economies could again contract or stagnate.
"In this scenario, the experience of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 shows that export-dependent economies with large exposures to the U.S. and/or Europe would feel the most pronounced economic impacts," S&P said.
"It's not likely things would be very different this time."
The agency listed those countries particularly vulnerable to disruptions in offshore capital markets as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Indonesia.
It also said several nations, again including New Zealand, were also still repairing their government finances and could be more constrained in responding to a fresh global crisis.
"The adverse impact on Asia Pacific in that scenario would likely require governments to use their balance sheets to support their economies and financial sectors once again," S&P said.
"And in our opinion, most governments would promptly oblige. But some of them continue to bear the scars of the recent downturn -- the fiscal capacities of Japan , India, Malaysia, Taiwan and New Zealand have shrunk relative to pre-2008 levels."
- Asia-Pacific ratings safe, for now - S&P (news.theage.com.au)
- Asian Markets Tumble In Wake Of U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade (huffingtonpost.com)
- Asian Leaders Vow to Respond If Needed (online.wsj.com)
This was weird. Last evening when she came out of the boss's cabin Sathya was walking as if she had springs fixed to her shoes. She could not stop laughing and joking. The news of her promotion and incentives was the talk of town. However, seems like, Sathya had just slept away all the happiness over night.
Over a cup of tea Sathya opened up to Roshni on what had happened at home the previous evening.
As she stepped into her home, Sathya had gone to her mother in law who was watching TV. "I got a bonus for my performance last year," she softly told her. Her mother in law was thrilled. She hugged Sathya and asked her what she planned to do with the money.
Sathya said, "Invest it somewhere safely. I am thinking of putting it in a bank deposit. Now interest rates have also gone up. I just met the bank manager on my way"
Her mother in law said, "Okay, but did you think about buying gold. The price of gold is going up and I was just seeing some channel where they say gold price will touch the 2000$ an ounce very soon. In my experience gold prices have never fallen. In any case, you have to buy gold for Nidhi (Sathya's daughter). You should buy that diamond necklace we saw last week".
Sathya thought about it, but was not convinced, "Yes mummy, but gold is just a dead investment. It does not earn any income or interest. In addition, what is the point in buying jewellery for Nidhi now? Fashion may change when she grows up".
"May be Sathya, but whenever you can, you should buy gold and safe keep, then you won't have to struggle when Nidhi is ready for marriage. Also what interest do these fixed deposits give? Inflation rates are even higher. Experts say that we are actually losing money investing in fixed deposit", she was speaking from her newly acquired knowledge from watching stock market based TV channels.
Oh! Sathya did not like the idea of safekeeping gold. It was a painful task going to the bank with a key and standing there in the queue to take out and keep your jewellery back in the locker. In addition, the locker costs money and the bank wants some deposit to allot you a locker. However, mom in law was right about inflation rate being almost same as bank interest rate. Sathya was getting confused.
Just then, Sathya's father in law came in overhearing their conversation. Sathya got up and shared with him the official letter. He was overjoyed and said, "Sathya this is great news. You should buy that piece of plot in the suburbs. There are some developers who are creating these land banks and if you invest in them they will give you amazing returns."
She did understand that land was a great investment. Nobody was producing land anymore so the demand is only likely to go up. It is a sure shot way to build wealth. However, she had heard from her friend about pieces of land in the suburbs being occupied by the locals who refuse to leave, of the government taking over the land for building road etc. She was getting really confused now.
Her father in law continued, "Beta, it was only lands that helped me send my son to college and get my daughter married off. Bought at cheap rates, they came in handy when I needed the money. However, you do what you think is the best. Good luck" and he walked off.
In some time, Sathya's husband Suraj walked in. When she told him, he said, "Oh wow Sathya, I am so proud of you. You know what? We should just invest the money. The stock markets have corrected and prices of most stocks in my target list are very attractive. We should invest the money in stocks. We did open a demat account in your name, right? Is it still active?" Now, this was the last thing Sathya wanted to hear. One more suggestion for investments and she would start crying.
On the other hand, Sathya was paranoid about stocks. She had seen markets fall to half the previous levels. She has also heard many horror stories about people losing their hard-earned money. She did not intend to become part of those stories now. She said, "Suraj, but stock markets are risky. I could lose all my money and I don't understand it well".
"Baba that way, everything is risky. Can you say your fixed deposit is absolutely risk free? Banks / companies can also default and you are insured for only upto Rs.1 lac. Nothing fluctuates more than gold prices these days? How sure can you be about the land you buy, the credibility of the documents or the price that you pay? Every investment has some risk or the other", explained Suraj. "If you are so scared of the stock market, invest through mutual funds no. That way, it is easy and you can at least be assured that some expert is dealing with your money in the share market. You can earn tax-free dividends. Many people become rich because they invest in stocks", he added.
This was not helping Sathya at all. Her head was hurting. What did she do?
Now, this is what it was. Roshni gave her friend an understanding look and suggested they write down all that they knew and see if it made sense. So, they pulled out a napkin and wrote down...
|Safe||Interest rate only matches inflation rate|
|Will earn regular income||No real wealth creation|
|Can liquidate whenever needed without much loss|
|May earn high returns||Cost of safekeeping is high|
|Satisfaction of owning jewellery||Cannot sell, can only convert to another jewellery|
|Can pledge and borrow against it||No interest, dividend etc|
|Making cost, wastage etc makes it expensive|
|Has the potential to create long term wealth||High investment value. Will be forced to take loans|
|May earn regular returns — rent||Maintenance costs can be high|
|Cannot sell easily / cannot sell only small portions|
|Has the potential to earn lot of returns||Very volatile market|
|May earn regular income - dividends||Very risky - can lose a lot of money|
|Can also buy through mutual funds easily|
|Small amounts also enough|
"Very funny", said Sathya "I know what to do. I am going to meet somebody who can help me". She remembered one her colleagues mention a financial planner. She fixed an appointment and met with the planner.
This planner explained that she need not really put all the money in any one of the above options. She can actually distribute her money in all the above options to get the benefit of all. That way she also does not have to suffer the drawbacks of any one investment option with all the money. She can "spread the risk". That is what the planner said.
Okay, but how do you decide how much in each investment option?
This was a good question.
The planner pulled out a paper and handed it over to Sathya. He said, "Take a few minutes, think about it and write "What is that you ultimately want to do with this money". I know you want to invest the money. Invest it now so that you can use it later right? So, what will you use it for later? Write down all things in your mind that you want to use this money for" and he left the room.
Sathya thought about it and wrote "I want to invest now so that we have enough money for Nidhi's education and marriage. Our parents are growing old. We want to have some money for any medical emergencies. When we retire, we want to have enough money to take care of ourselves."
The planner walked back into the room, sat down with Sathya and went through her "Want to" list.
He said, "Instead of looking at which investment is the best, which will give highest returns, which will help me save tax etc. look at investments from another point of view. Which investment will help me check off all the items on my "Want to" list. Which investment will help me reach my life goals? Which is the most suitable for me?"
Sathya seemed to be getting some clarity. The planner drew out a detailed plan to invest her money. He suggested that a portion of the money go into fixed deposits for parents' safety and emergency needs. Some money should go into mutual funds and some in gold for Nidhi's future. He also suggested that they set aside some money for down payment of their second home. He wanted them to also start a regular investment plan as this sum alone would not be sufficient. He drew out a goal based investment plan that will enable Sathya and Suraj actually do all that they "want to" do in their lifetime.
- Korea's Buying Supports Gold Price (blogs.wsj.com)
- Gold: The New Superhero! (trak.in)
- ECB intervention brings early relief to European stock markets (guardian.co.uk)