Friday, May 20, 2011

Nutrients for A Good Night's Rest

An article recently featured in a local daily The Sun caught my attention :

“The risk of obesity was 700% higher in adults who had less sleep compared to those with average sleep duration.”

According to a survey on centenarians indicates that people sleep between 6-8 hours daily, with those who sleep 7 hours enjoying the lowest mortality rate. In another survey, those who sleep longer than 10 hours daily can suffer a 200% higher risk of dying from all causes. Sleep should be natural and sound.

The article also recommends that some nutrients can be taken to give us better sleep and leading to a healthier life. The nutrients recommended are generally free from adverse side effects if consumed in dosages as recommended by nutritional therapist. Since this is an article with some good informative knowledge, I have decided to share this info with whoever would like to know more about the nutrients.


The neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) has a calming and stabilising effect on our brain. It promotes sound sleep patterns and helps us handle stress. Deficiency can result in anxiety, irritability and nervousness. The protein glutamine is the precursor to GABA. Food rich in glutamine include almonds, banana, whole grains, lentils, citrus fruits, spinach, potato and rice bran. Our dream state takes place during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep promoted partly by GABA.


Studies have confirmed that L-tryptophan can overcome difficulty in falling asleep, superficial sleep and poor dreaming. This amino acid increases slow wave (deep) and REM sleep. It is a precursor to the hormone serotonin, which relieves mental tension and anxiety.

Serotonin is converted by vitamin B6 to 5-HTP and then to sleep hormone relatonin. Food rich in L-tryptophan include peanuts, soy isolate, almonds, wheat germ, wheat bran, egg white, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Swiss cheeses and seaweeds.


For good sleep, pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is needed. It helps us to produce as well as recall vivid dreams. Protein metabolism depends on adequate amounts of this nutrient. Sources of vitamin B6 include seafood, potato, banana and nuts.

Vitamin B3 also induces deep-sleep by raising levels of our growth hormone secreted at night. Our body uses L-tryptophan to produce vitamin B3, which is widely supplemented to treat heart disease due to its positive effect on cholesterol levels without adversely affecting productions of Co-Q10 enzyme.

Research suggests that those who consume multivitamins daily need less sleep to get by, and an optimum intake of vitamins reduces the need for longer hours of sleep. Wild bee pollen is considered the richest source of organic natural multivitamin / minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes.


Muscle cramps and movements disrupt sound sleep and these problems may be overcome by consuming magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, soy, bran, barley, wheat germ, spinach, seaweed, brown rice, prawn, clams and beverages such as cocoa.

Every night coughing linked to allergies may be relieved by drinking a cup of warm, thick cocoa (not chocolate) before bedtime. According to the US National Institute of Health, a daily dose of 400mg and 600mg of elemental magnesium is needed to enjoy its various beneficial health effects, which include a significant improvement in achieving deep sleep.

Magnesium citrate is more bioavailable and well-researched compared to magnesium oxide. Excess calcium, coffee or acidic food intake cause urinary excretion of magnesium. Even a small amount of potassium intake can shorten your time taken to fall asleep.

Food rich in potassium include sengkuang, tapioca leaves and tomato. Both magnesium and potassium help lower one’s blood pressure too. If a person is anaemic, intake of sufficient iron-rich food can reduce the number of times he or she wakes up at night. However, iron supplements should only be taken if serum ferritin level is normal. An elevated level may indicate blood marrow disorders and this should be investigated. Iron from food sources are safer to consume and these include cashew nuts, Chinese parsley, egg yolk and organ or red meat.

A very small amount of copper in our diet can help us feel more fresh when we wake up in the morning. Food rich in copper include mushrooms, cocoa, nuts, lentils, soy bean, poultry, oysters, whole grains and prunes. Copper deficiency can be caused by an intake of excessive zinc. Such a deficiency is rare since copper is present in numerous food sources.


Co-enzyme Q10 reduces night awakenings and shortens the amount of sleep one requires. If you are on cholesterol-lowering drug (statins), your body’s production of Co-Q10 may be significantly reduced. Several nutrients are needed by the liver to produce this precious coenzyme which protects the heart, gum and other vital organs in our body. Numerous enzymes are critical to our sleep process and our understanding of them is still at a preliminary level.


Omega-3 fatty acids such as those from flax seeds, blue green sea algae and fish oil can help induce deeper night sleep. These fats and a small amount of omega-6 polyunsaturates are referred to as essential fatty acids since our body is unable to produce them and they have to come from our food source or supplements.

Wishing everyone a good night sleep! ;-)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Aroma Thai Restaurant


Thanks to online discount vouchers, I am going to many new places for dining as well as food adventure. Recently, I went for dinner at a fabulous Thai restaurant for dinner with my family and I would like to share this place with anyone who likes Thai food.

I bought my my discount voucher from WeBuy.
The deal is that RM10 for a RM25 Cash Voucher at Aroma Thai Restaurant. What a catch! I simply adore Thai food especially tomyam and mango with sticky rice. When I saw that you only need to pay RM10 for a RM25 voucher and you can use as many voucher as you like per bill, I quickly purchase 5 vouchers which sets me for RM50 but I am holding RM125 worth of dining voucher. It works out to be 60% off the voucher's face value.

It's not hard to locate the place if you google it up before hand using Google Map before heading to the venue. I also tried to google this restaurant to see if anyone has blogged about this place and the quality of the food but I was not successful. I didn't managed to find any entry about this place. I can't trust my GPS as it comes free with the MPV that I purchase. Can't name the brand of the GPS here or else I will have some legal suit coming my way. Aroma Thai is located at Damansara Perdana. It's near the MK Land sales office, about 300 metres from Damansara Perdana's Citibank branch. It's very easy to locate as the restaurant is facing the main road.

I made a reservation for 7 pax a week before I went there to dine. I bought these vouchers with the intention to bring my family over for dinner since it's my wife's birthday on 28th April. Half an hour before my reserved time, the restaurant even called me to remind me about my reservation and to confirm my arrival. Though there are many parking lots around the area, this area is packed with people even after office hour as there are a few dining and drinking joints around the area. Since my sis had arrived earlier, I managed to double park beside her car and not obstructing traffics.

As I got down from my car, I realised that I forgot to bring my digital camera along to take photos of the place and the dishes that I am going to order and blog about it later. Shucks!! Hence,I got no choice to share the photos available from WeBuy to give eveyone some visuals of Aroma Thai. The deco are simple but to good effects. You know you're right in a Thai restaurant from the deco of this place. Pictures of Buddhas and Thai carvings welcome diners to this place. As soon as I stepped into the restaurant, I was greeted by a Mr. Daniel whom I later found out to be one of the partner of Aroma Thai.


Pictures you will expect to see in a Thai restaurant are found in Aroma Thai


Carvings of statues welcoming the guests to Aroma Thai


Most of the tables seat at least 4 person

Daniel offered us some suggestions of dishes which we readily agreed. We chose tomyam, fried kailan with salted fish, squid with salted egg, Thai style curry chicken, claypot tofu and an omelette with prawns as our main dishes while I ordered my favourite mango with sticky rice for dessert.


Squid with salted egg


Thai Bubble Juice

While waiting, I noted that there about 4 tables of diners on the inside of the restaurant while 1 table was occupied on the outside for those who smokes. Serving was pretty quick as our dishes started to come in less than 10 minutes of waiting. The servings were of pretty normal size, can't say that the servings are of very generous portion but just right for the 6 adults who are all small eaters. I like the fried kailan with salted fish though my Mum commented that she felt that it was a bit salty. The claypot tofu was something different though. it's thick and gooey, something like a shark fin soup served with some mixed vegetables. Mum is not a fan of basil leaves, so the Thai curry chicken was a no-no for her but the rest of us do enjoyed it.
The thing that my young daughter enjoyed the most would be the Thai bubble juice which comes with small bubbles which has some juice in it. She giggled while biting the bubbles and the juice burst into her mouth.

Halfway through our meal, Daniel came around and enquire about the food. I commented that everyone was happy with the dishes served. I particularly like the tomyam as you can taste both the spiciness as well as saltiness in the soup. Some Thai restaurants or in fact Malay restaurants that serve tomyam only make the soup spicy. it's like drinking  a bowl of hot chilli soup only. You don't get any other taste in the soup. Daniel informed me that the restaurant was opened for business only about 3 months ago. Their discounts on WeBuy received an overwhelming response. I told Daniel that I would definitely come back again as the food is served to my liking and taste. I do observed that the proprietors of the restaurant do go around the tables  and engage in small talks with the diners and get their feedbacks of the food. Good PR guys!

Last came the mango with sticky rice which I find the serving a bit small tbough. The mango slices are fresh and comes with a handful of sticky rice heated in microwave before being served. It is topped with some sweet, fresh coconut milk.

By the way, as I was waiting for my bill, I noted a bunting of Aroma Thai which promotes their set lunch for only RM8.90 which include rice, a main dish, a vege dish, tomyam soup and refillable drink. This set lunch is available from Monday to Sunday. My total bill for 6 adults with 5 dishes, 6 drinks and a plate of dessert comes up close to RM155 (which is about USD50). That's a very decent price for a nice Thai meal.

Here's my ratings of the place:
Ambience: 7/10
Food quality: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Price: 7/10
I do recommend this place if you have not been there before. Here's the address as well as the contact number of the place:

Aroma Thai
No.11-1, Jalan PJU 8/5i, Bandar Damansara Perdana,
478200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: 03-7731 2089
Contact person: Mr. Julius Khoo ( H/P: 016-72 3093)
                             Daniel ( H/P:019-668 9011)