How to choose inviting colours for your living room

The living room is absolutely the heart of every home.

It’s a place to relax, unwind, gather, and bond with friends and family.

Thus, it is imperative to furnish and decorate your living room with a certain style and design that speaks for your home. Choosing a colour for it is one crucial step to ensuring this.

Image result for inviting wall colours for the living room

It is never easy to pick a colour for your living room. You want to impress, but still want to keep it simple. You have to understand the characteristics of the space before selecting a colour for it. This article will help you in knowing how to go about it. Whether you are a first time home owner or you just want to spruce your home to your liking.

If your living room receives loads of sunshine, you have a lot of freedom to play around with colours.  Having windows that make the room bright and airy, allows you to go for saturated jewel tones like periwinkle, or bright blues, such as cerulean or turquoise. Blue is known to have a calming effect when used as the main color of a room, but go for softer shades. Dark blue has the opposite effect, evoking feelings of sadness. Refrain from using darker blues in your main color scheme.

Alternatively you can go for earthy hues to reflect a calm and serene feeling. You should however avoid yellow and orange shades. The bright room will amplify the shade and make the room seem too bright. You need a tone of colour that will reflect the light without having a clashing effect.

Sometimes, you may have a living room with little or no windows and open doors that allow light to it. When dealing with such a room, you need to go for brighter and lighter tones. This will allow to create your own light in the room with little effort.  Shades such as ivory and pumpkin will work well in this case. The soft and welcoming hues of the colours will make the room seem brighter than they really are.

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Another determinant of what colour you’ll paint the walls of your living room, is the type of furniture you have.  Look at the colours of the upholstery and let that guide you in your paint selection. You can choose to have the colours matching up or colour block them. This will also guide you in the colours to use on your curtains and flooring. Let the colours be something that will blend in and highlight the room. Go for colours in different shades to create a colour blocking theme without using different colours. For instance if you’re sofa is navy grey, paint the walls pale blue and maybe have the curtains in a different shade as well.

A question to ask yourself is what will the room be used for? This is something you should always keep in mind when choosing your desired colour. If you use the living room as a private space off-limits to others, you can feel free to go for pale hues of colour. If you use the room to entertain, the obscure tones will work perfectly for you.  Shades of brown and cream will work well for this on your walls and sofas. They hide dirt and can go longer before you need to repaint or clean.

These are just a few suggestions to help you in selecting a colour for your living room. At the end of the day it all boils down to your personal taste. Have fun when selecting your living room colours and let it be a shade of colour that resonates with you and that you are comfortable with.

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Just 8 photos of government ministers kneeling before Presidents

Back in March this year, a photo of a Zambian minister kneeling before the country’s President Edgar Lungu went viral. Many of us made fun of the minister, saying it is demeaning to do so.

Even more recently is a similar picture of Zimbabwe’s chairperson of the country’s electoral commission kneeling while talking to President Mugabe.

So, while it may seems ridiculous to us, here are a collection of photos showing a list of government ministers who have been spotted kneeling before the President, that have annoyed social media users. Some date way back.

1. Minister of Trade and Industry Joseph Mwanamvekha kneels before President Peter Mutharika


2. Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Rita Makarau kneels before President Mugabe


3. Former Kenyan minister Nyenze kneels before former President Moi

nyenze kneels before former pres moi

4. Malawi minister sits on the floor while addressing Presidnt mutharika

Malawian Minister has been tag ‘Foolish Man’ for sitting on the floor while addressing President Peter Mutharika.

5. Malawi minister of labour kneels before VP Saulosi Chilima


6. Zimbabwe’s Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo kneels before President Robert Mugabes wife

Zimbabwe's Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo kneels before President Robert Mugabe's wife ...

7. President Lungu talking to his Minister of Livestock & Fisheries


Too Much Respect? Minister Kneels Before Zambian President (PHOTO)

8. Then Defence Minister George Mpombo Kneeling before the late President Levy Mwanawasa


Being overweight makes your heart larger and heavier – study

Being overweight makes your heart larger and heavier, raising the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

The first study of its kind in healthy people has found putting on weight can add up to eight grams to the heart, and increase its volume by almost five per cent.

A bigger, heavier heart raises the risk of conditions from an irregular heartbeat to a heart attack, and the organ should in fact grow smaller with age.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Oxford examined MRI scans for 4,561 people from the UK Biobank database.

They found an increase of 4.3 in BMI, which could take someone from a healthy weight to the brink of obesity, made their heart substantially heavier.

It matters because a larger heart stretches its upper chambers, disrupting the electrical signal needed to keep it beating regularly.

While people have long known they risk heart disease from overeating because it hikes their cholesterol and blood pressure, this is the first evidence of changes to the structure of the heart itself.

Professor Steffen Petersen, lead author at QMUL, said: ‘We all know that our lifestyle has a big impact on our heart health – particularly if we’re overweight or obese. But researchers haven’t fully understood how exactly the two things are linked.

‘With this research, we’ve helped to show how an unhealthy lifestyle increases your risk of heart disease.’

Soaring rates of irregular heartbeats 

The results suggest Britain’s obesity crisis may be contributing to soaring rates of atrial fibrillation – or irregular heartbeat.

This raises people’s risk of stroke, because the atria, which are the two upper chambers of the four chambers in the heart, fail to pump properly.

Professor Petersen said: ‘We believe the increase in the left atrium’s size stretches it so that it does not play its part in conducting an electrical impulse from the sinus node, the pacemaker of the heart, to the node which causes the heart to beat.’

The researchers looked at a number of lifestyle factors which could affect the heart’s size, which were blood pressure, smoking, exercise, cholesterol, alcohol intake, diabetes and people’s weight, measured using BMI.

The structure of the heart 

Body weight had the biggest consistent impact on the structure of the heart, according to the study published in the journal PLoS One.

A BMI increase of 4.3 increased the weight of the left side of the heart by 8.3 per cent, which was calculated using measurements of the heart muscle taken from the patient scans.

This weight bracket would include people who go from a healthy BMI of 25 to one of 29.3, which is in the overweight category and close to the obesity threshold of 30.

Men in this group would add around eight grams to their heart, which weighs an average of 64 to 141 grams, as a result.

Women, whose heart weighs up to 93 grams on average would see theirs increase by around six grams. The volume increase was estimated at around 8ml for men and about 6.5ml for women.

The research was funded by the British Heart Foundation, whose medical director Professor Sir Nilesh Samani said: ‘This research shows the silent impact of being overweight and having high blood pressure on the structure and function of the heart, which over time may lead to heart disease and heart failure.

‘The important message is that these are things we have the power to change before they result in irreversible heart damage.’

Avoidable lifestyle factors 

It is estimated more than a quarter of the risk of having a heart attack comes from avoidable lifestyle factors looked at in the study.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology at the University of Warwick and President of the British & Irish Hypertension Society, said the study under-represented ethnic minorities and smokers.

She added: ‘Despite these inherent limitations, this is an important study that reinforces the concept that the prevention and control of hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes remain the most important modifiable factors for the prevention of heart damage.’

Read more: dailymail

Do you need more zinc?

Zinc is not called the beauty vitamin for nothing.

It’s second only to iron as the most abundantly found mineral in the human body and among its key functions are keeping skin, hair, teeth and nails healthy, not to mention the functioning of our libidos and immune systems.

‘Zinc is required for the activity of over 300 body enzymes, and these enzymes help to bring about biochemical reactions in the body that are essential to protein synthesis, hormone production, as well overall radiance and wellbeing,’ says public health nutritionist Emma Derbyshire.

Despite the importance of zinc, many of us could be deficient she says.

A recent survey of women of childbearing age in 14 countries found that over one in five had low zinc levels and, according to the World Health Organisation, some 31 per cent of people globally are deficient in zinc.


Who’s at risk of deficiency?

‘Strict vegetarians and vegans may be at risk of zinc deficiency due to them typically having high levels of phytic acid in their diets which can reduce zinc absorption,’ says Derbyshire. ‘Phytates are found in foods such as wholewheat, legumes and whole grains’.

Other people at risk could be those who drink lots of alcohol because it inhibits the body’s absorption of zinc. According to Gill Jenkins, a London NHS GP, ‘you might also have a deficiency if you have a condition that sheds a lot of skin such as eczema and psoriasis because they lead to increased cellular turnover that can result in a deficiency.’

Those most at risk though, says Derbyshire are those who try and avoid red meat. ‘As red meat is one of the richest sources of bioavailable zinc in our diets, vegetarians and vegans can be at high risk of deficiency as meat alternatives contain much less zinc.’

A recent study published in the journal Nutrients revealed that women who eat less than 40 grams of red meat daily were four times more likely to have intakes that could lead to a deficiency compared to those that ate around 70 grams of red meat a day.

In fact, ‘according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, one in five British children and 5 percent of adults have intakes which fall below those needed for good health,’ says dietitian Carrie Ruxton.

‘Signs of low zinc status include a weakened immune system, more colds and poor wound healing, tiredness, and low sex drive’.

However, other key zinc deficiency symptoms, such as those explained below, may be staring back at you every time you look in the mirror:

1. You’re losing your hair

‘Along with recurrent infections, hair loss is probably one of the key symptoms we think about when we think about zinc deficiency,’ says Dr Jenkins.

Zinc is essential to good cellular replication and protein absorption and these functions are essential to thick, glossy hair.

‘Most GPs wouldn’t do zinc level testing though,’ she explains. ‘Instead, we would advise people to either take a multivitamin or increase their dietary source, or both.’

A 2013 study in the Annals of Dermatology on 312 people with hair loss found that all had lower zinc concentrations in their blood than those in a control group.

The good news? A 2009 study in the same journal found that supplementing with zinc daily for 12 weeks was enough for 66% of the patients in the trial to see an improvement.

Vitabiotics Perfectil Triple Active £19.99 from Boots provides good zinc supplementation.

2. You have brittle nails with white spots on them

White spots on the nails – sometimes called Beau’s lines – are one of the key giveaways of zinc deficiency, says Emma Derbyshire.

Your nails may be slow-growing, brittle and easily cracked too, she explains. This is because a steady level of zinc in the body is needed for the growth of tissue and cells in the nails and when this is lacking, general nail problems can occur, which at its worst, can manifest as white spots.

The good news? Start eating a diet rich in zinc and your nails may be the first thing to show signs of improvement.

3. Your teeth aren’t exactly sparkling

Zinc is essential to healthy teeth and ‘If you have low zinc levels, you aren’t going to have nice shiny white teeth, they may instead be easily cracked and not very strong,’ says Dr Jenkins. To find out why, Healthista spoke to James Goolnik, a dentist at Bow Lane Dental Group, London.

‘Zinc is an essential element and in the mouth and is present naturally in plaque, saliva and enamel,’ says Goolnik.

‘If someone was deficient they might notice an odour sensitivity, altered taste, white tongue coating and perhaps be more likely to develop mouth ulcers [see below] plus inflamed gums – these are most common if people are deficient in zinc from their diets’.

4. You have mouth ulcers

A lack of zinc in the diet can also cause recurrent mouth ulcers, Goolnik says. A 2014 study in the The Journal of Laryngology & Otology found low zinc levels could increase the risk of oral ulceration and patients who showed low levels of zinc in their blood stream often had recurrent attacks of ulcers.

In fact, some studies have found that supplementing with zinc could decrease inflammation in the mouth from ulcers that might also be related to cold sores.


Almonds, toasted – 3.3 mg/100g

Butter beans – 0.9 mg/100g

Chicken breast – 1.1 mg/100g

Cheddar cheese – 4.1 mg/100g

Turkey meat, roasted – 2.5 mg/100g

Tofu, steamed – 0.7 mg/100g

Sardines, grilled – 0.9 mg/100g

Salmon, grilled – 0.6 mg/100g

Brown rice, cooked – 0.9 mg/100g

Nut roast – 1.6 mg/100g

Chicken egg, boiled – 1.3 mg/100g

Bean burger – 1.7 mg/100g


Beef braising steak, lean – 9.5 mg/100g

Beef fillet steak, lean – 5.4 mg/100g

Beef flank, pot roasted – 6.9 mg/100g

Beef mince, stewed – 5.0 mg/100g

Beef sirloin, lean – 5.7 mg/100g

Beef, pressure cooked – 9.5 mg/100g

Beef sausages, grilled – 2.6 mg/100g

Pork sausages, grilled – 1.4 mg/100g

Lamb breast, roasted – 5.1 mg/100g

Pork loin chop, roasted – 2.9 mg/100g

Veal mince, stewed – 3.9 mg/100g

Bacon rasher, grilled – 2.2 mg/100g

5. You have spots or other skin issues

‘There is a theory that those that get acne may be deficient in zinc and some treatments and antibiotics for acne often contain zinc,’ says Dr Jenkins.

Staggeringly, one study in the Journal of the Turkish Academy of Dermatology 54 percent of those with acne had low zinc levels.

‘People with zinc deficiency may also present with generally scabby skin that shows sores and marks that don’t heal or take time to heal as zinc is essential to wound healing,’ Dr Jenkins explains.

6. Your bones are weak

Everyone talks about calcium for bones, but zinc is an essential mineral required for bone growth and formation, says Dr Jenkins, thanks to its function in cellular growth and development as well as the collagen turnover needed to make healthy bone.

Children of vegetarians or vegans on very strict diets can often become deficient in this mineral which can be a problem in the development of their bones through childhood and teenage years.

Obviously, you won’t know the state of your bones but you can ask your GP for a DEXA scan which measures bone density (most NHS GPs won’t measure zinc levels in the blood unless they’re convinced of serious deficiency).

Getting your daily zinc needs

Our bodies don’t store zinc so we have to get it from food and if you’re vegan, vegetarian or don’t eat much red meat, you may be deficient.

‘Red meat such as beef, pork and lamb are among the best sources because the zinc in these foods is highly bioavailable – that means our bodies can more easily absorb it compared to other sources,’ says Carrie Ruxton. ‘Experts recommend that we eat up to 500 grams of cooked red meat a week,’ she says. 70 grams a day or 100 grams five times a week is a good guide.

Slow cooked red meat has an even higher zinc content than meats cooked in other ways, says Emma Derbyshire. ‘Additionally, new evidence suggests drinking milk may help the zinc absorption from high phytate foods such as lentils and grains,’ she says. Great tip for vegetarians and vegans.

Whether you’re a red meat eater or not, you don’t need much of the right type of zinc-rich food to get the 7mg you need a day for health. Check out the table below to see exactly how much zinc you get from every day foods.

This article was originally published by Healthista

Read more: dailymail

Men with obese wives are at greater risk of diabetes… but fat husbands don’t have the same effect

Women who love their food could pose a risk to their husband’s health, research suggests.

Middle-aged men with obese wives are significantly more likely to develop type two diabetes than those with slimmer partners, scientists discovered.

A study of more than 3,500 couples reveals a direct correlation between the weight of a woman and her husband’s health.

The reverse is not true however, with overweight husbands having no impact on their wives’ chance of developing the condition.

A study of more than 3,500 couples reveals a direct correlation between the weight of a woman and her husband¿s health (stock image)

Scientists interviewed English couples over the age of 50 every two and a half years, between 1998 and 2015, tracking their weight and health for around 11 years.

They found that each woman’s weight at the beginning of the study was a strong predictor of her husband’s chances of developing type two diabetes, irrespective of his own weight.

For every five additional points a woman scored on the body mass index scale, her husband was 21 per cent more likely to develop type two diabetes, regardless of his weight to begin with.

Scientists suspect shared lifestyle such as poor diet and lack of exercise is to blame, with obese women influencing their husband’s eating and activity patterns.

But the fact men do not impact their wives’ health suggest women have a much bigger influence on their husband’s lifestyle than men do on their wives.

This may be because women are more likely to cook their husbands’ meals, although experts stress the people assessed were middle-aged couples, so the same may not be true of younger groups.

Others said women may simply be more conscious of their appearance – making them more resistant to following their husbands’ lead.

Presenting their results to the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Portugal, the Danish researchers said men with overweight wives should be screened for diabetes. Led by Adam Hulman of Aarhus University, they said: ‘This is the first study investigating the sex-specific effect of spousal obesity on diabetes risk.

More than 3.5million people in the UK are thought to have type two diabetes

‘Recognising shared risk between spouses may improve diabetes detection and motivate couples to increase collaborative efforts to eat more healthily and boost their activity levels.

‘Obesity or type two diabetes in one spouse may serve as a prompt for diabetes screening and regular weight checks in the other.’

Read more: dailymail

Children can have prejudice towards their overweight friends and see them as ‘BAD” – study

Young children can have unconscious prejudice towards their overweight peers, which leads these chubby kids to gain even more weight, a study claims.

Duke University researchers found that children as young as nine years old can have a bias against fatter children, using their weight to determine if they are ‘bad’ or ‘good’.

The new study found there was an overall five percent negative bias towards overweight children.

Previous research shows that children who are stigmatized because of their weight, tend to gain even more, which can lead to health complications as adults.

Children as young as nine years old are likely to be bias towards fat children, which can make these stigmatized children put on even more weight 

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics and included 114 children to make these findings.

Experts noted that children who were shown pictures of chubbier kids were more likely to determine them as ‘bad’. Researchers said these children may not even realize their bias.

Dr Asheley Skinner, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, said: ‘When children are stigmatized for being overweight, it can cause further weight gain and other health consequences.

‘Given that, we felt that it was important to determine if we could identify unconscious attitudes towards weight in this 9-to-11 age group.’

Read more: dailymail