It may be
controversial, but the decision by several states in the US to legalise
the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has resulted in fewer
pharmaceutical drugs being prescribed.
bill for drugs dropped by $165m in 2013 in the states that had
implemented medical marijuana laws, and it could have fallen by $468m if
all the states had done the same, researchers from the University of
People are turning to marijuana instead of
prescription drugs to help treat a range of ailments from pain to
sleeping disorders, the researchers discovered. Other conditions include
anxiety and depression, glaucoma, nausea and seizures. “People are using marijuana as medicine and not just for recreational purposes,” said lead researcher Ashley Bradford.
(Source: Health Affairs, 2016; doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1551)
to a paper recently published in Sustainable Earth, cities will
ultimately fail in their ability to let people interact unless they
integrate a better thinking around sustainability. The paper argues that
cities depend on a healthy environment to function in a proper way.
Photo: N. Ryrholm/Azote
Healthy cities, healthy people
Not enough city dwellers are exposed to nature in cities. That could have serious impacts on their health
Previously, poor sanitation, significant air pollution and low water quality created serious health issues for people living in cities. Today, these problems have been replaced by obesity and stress
Currently, only 13% of urban dwellers are living in neighbourhoods with more than 20% forest cover, the threshold found to be needed to protect against depression, stress and anxiety
Nature-based solutions can mitigate several of the problems faced by people in cities
Cities are in many ways perfect for people. Thanks to increased proximity they are better able to let people share, interact and benefit from different services and relations. Yet environmental problems also make cities shockingly inhumane. Important ecosystem services such as drinking water protection, heat wave mitigation and recreation are increasingly compromised because urbanization is eating up the natural environment around cities.
New troubles in town
According to a paper recently published in Sustainable Earth, cities will ultimately fail in their ability to let people interact unless they integrate a better thinking around sustainability. The paper, co-authored by centre researcher Thomas Elmqvist, argues that cities depend on a healthy environment to function in a proper way.
Previously, poor sanitation, air pollution and low water quality created serious health issues for people living in cities. Today, these problems have been replaced by challenges such as obesity and stress. The combination of calorie-rich foods and limited physical activity have made city people more obese compared to their fellows in more rural settings. Similarly, aspects of mental health appears to be persistently worse in urban areas than in rural ones. This is largely because of higher levels of noise and social density. The latter, according to Elmqvist and his colleagues is not without a certain irony.
It is ironic that the same phenomenon, cities’ capacity to increase interaction, is what makes cities both great and inhumane at the same time
Thomas Elmqvist, co-author
How can cities remain hubs for continued social and economic benefits? This is where nature comes in, according to Elmqvist and his colleagues.
Nature-based solutions, or actions that are inspired by, supported by or copied from nature in order to address various social challenges, are considered crucial in order to mitigate several of the problems faced by people in cities. For example, natural habitats and wetland features can reduce flood risk. Conservation actions upstream in a city’s source watershed can maintain good water quality. Street trees and parks can improve air quality and reduce temperatures thus reduce the urban heat island effect. Many of these ecosystem services can have direct impact on peoples’ health.
Parks, in particular, can encourage recreation and physical activity. Research has shown how children who lived close to a park had lower Body Mass Index and better health compared to those who did not. Similarly, spending time in a natural environment can reduce stress.
cover in urban neighborhoods and its impact on mental health. The bar
chart shows the fraction of urban dwellers who live in neighborhoods
with varying levels of forest cover. Forest cover was estimated for 1-km
square neighborhoods in 245 major cities globally, as part of the
Planting Healthy Air report . The green lines shows thresholds in
vegetative cover and its relationship to mental health, as identified by
Cox et al. , who surveyed 263 respondents in three towns in the
United Kingdom. They found that the odds-ratio of depression, stress, or
anxiety being reported was significantly higher when houses had less
than these thresholds of vegetative cover in the 250 m around their home
Not enough nature to go around
But is there enough nature in cities? According to the authors, the answer is no. Currently, only 13% of urban dwellers are living in neighbourhoods with more than 20% forest cover, the threshold found to be needed to protect against depression, stress and anxiety.
"Our results suggest that most urban dwellers are living in environments with low levels of nature exposure and may thus be at greater risk of mental distress," Elmqvist explains.
This is serious because the effects may be contrary to the benefits urban areas are supposed to provide.
"Our new urban world, while representing something quintessentially human, also is shockingly unnatural, likely negatively affecting mental health," Elmqvist continues.
A closer connection to nature can prevent this and there are initiatives out there which deserves consideration elsewhere. The Green Prescription programme in New Zealand is one example. Through subscriptions based on increased outdoor activity, public health and mortality has gone down. Similarly, it is important that cities grow and develop in ways that protect and grow nature, that put nature at the core of design and planning.
Despite challenges, green thinking is justifiable
But there are also significant obstacles to this vision, something Elmqvist and his colleagues acknowledge. For instance, reconnecting urbanites to nature through sustainable urban design works well in the developed world but is largely unrealistic in poorer countries. It can also create unintended consequences such as higher housing prices and gentrification. Still, many elements of this “biophilic” thinking is justifiable and applicable, particularly at the local level of urban areas.
“We believe that investments in urban trees, ecoroofs, green terraces and other forms of biophilic design will reap great benefits both in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improve peoples’ health."
“Nature in cities allows us to have the benefits of urbanization while also having liveable cities in which we can thrive,” the authors conclude.
something more lethal even than cancer or heart disease—and that's
social isolation. Living a lonely life doubles the chances of a
premature death, researchers estimate.
bigger killer than cancer and heart disease combined—and it seems to be
an unrecognised cause of heart disease, and could also be a trigger for
cancer, say researchers from the American Cancer Society.
can also cause hypertension (high blood pressure), inflammation and
people who live alone also adopt poor lifestyle habits, such as smoking
and physical inactivity.
Social isolation—defined as
little or no contact with close friends or family, and having little or
no social activity, such as with a local church or community
group—affects the racial groups differently.
Among white people, it's more likely to cause cancer, while black people run a higher risk of heart disease.
Couch Potato Nation: Nearly half of Americans sit for far too many hours a day and don't get any exercise at all, a new study finds.
survey of some 5,900 adults found that nearly 26 percent sit for more
than eight hours a day, 45 percent don't get any moderate or vigorous exercise during the week, and about 11 percent sit more than eight hours a day and are physically inactive.
"Being sedentary increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure
and dying early," said lead author Emily Ussery. She is an
epidemiologist at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and
Health Promotion, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Ussery pointed out that sitting may not be bad in itself, but is a proxy for not getting enough exercise.
Study co-author Peter Katzmarzyk added, "In recent years, we have begun to understand the health hazards of excessive sitting."
all the reasons why prolonged sitting is unhealthy aren't known,
Katzmarzyk speculates that "when people sit, they deactivate the large
muscles in their legs, and this has a host of metabolic consequences
that seem to be harmful."
More and better efforts are needed to
get people moving, said Katzmarzyk, who is associate executive director
of population and public health sciences at the Pennington Biomedical
Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. "Programs that increase physical
activity and reduce sitting might be especially effective at reducing
health risks," he noted.
Another health expert agreed.
"The three leading causes of premature death in the United States over the past quarter-century and more are tobacco use, poor diet and lack of physical activity," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.
As smoking has declined, poor diet and lack of exercise are becoming the leading causes of early death and chronic disease, he explained.
people sit much of the day, and many do little actual exercise. "One in
10 miss out on the benefits of both exercise and intermittent daily
motion," Katz said.
Simply standing up, moving more and sitting less can be beneficial to your health, he noted.
"With a growing menu of options, from standing and treadmill desks, to walking meetings, to chairs that involve constant motion -- it's a step nearly all should be able to find a way to take," Katz said.
new edition of the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans says
that any amount of physical activity -- even two minutes' worth -- can
add up to huge health benefits.
When the new guidelines were
released recently, Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said, "Physical
activity is about finding opportunities to add movement throughout the
day as part of a bigger commitment to healthy living."
Being inactive causes 10 percent of early deaths in the United States,
according to Giroir. If 25 percent of inactive people got at least the
recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, nearly 75,000
premature deaths could be prevented.
According to the new guidelines:
A single bout of physical activity can sharpen your mind, reduce your anxiety, lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep and strengthen your body's ability to convert blood sugar into energy.
Regular physical activity can improve your brain health, reduce your risk of eight different forms of cancer, and lower your risk for excess weight gain.
Weight loss isn’t about a quick fix or detox, it’s about creating lasting habits
that help you lead a healthier lifestyle. This can be especially
challenging during the holidays, when your normal routines get altered.
However, by incorporating the 10 nutrition tips below you can set
yourself up for success for a lifetime — even when you feel stressed or
FOCUS ON SMALL CHANGES
You don’t have to completely overhaul your diet to lose weight. Start
by making small changes such as eating fruit instead of drinking fruit
juice and adding more colorful foods to your plate. Over time these
small tweaks will add up to big results. If you’re looking for more
inspiration, check out these 67 science-backed weight loss strategies.
BE MINDFUL OF PORTIONS
A portion size is the amount of food or drink you actually consume in one sitting. This guide
will help you match your portions to recommended servings sizes, or
what’s on a food label. Learning to be mindful of portions can help
prevent overeating. For more of a visual, here’s what 1,200, 1,500 and 2,000 calories in a day looks like.
FIND A DIET THAT WORKS FOR YOU
There’s no one-size fits all diet. While keto, paleo, DASH or intermittent fasting
might work well for a friend or family member, that doesn’t necessarily
mean it’s right for you. Rather, it’s important to focus on eating a
variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, veggies, grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Ultimately, healthy eating is a lifestyle that nourishes your body, gives you energy and is sustainable long-term.
is crucial for weight loss, building muscle and recovering from tough
workouts. How much a person needs depends on several factors such as
muscle mass, activity level, age and fitness goals. According to the National Institutes of Health,
the Recommended Daily Allowance for protein intake is 0.8 grams of
protein per kilogram of body weight (or 0.36 grams per pound of body
weight). Here’s how to add more protein to breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Unlike naturally occuring sugars (such as the types found in fruit) too much added sugar can hamper weight loss and contribute to health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Try these 7 smart ways to cut sugar from your diet.
Overeating can prevent you from reaching your weight loss goals in a timely manner. But mindful eating techniques — which teach you to savor your food and slow down — can help you feel full and prevent a cycle of overeating. Here, 6 appetite-control strategies to help you stay on track.
Try logging your food daily for two weeks, then share in the comments
what you’ve noticed. Were you surprised by anything? Did it change what
types of foods you now consume? How are your energy levels? We want to
hear from you!
all strive to start our day on a positive note - full of energy. Our
diet can play a major role in making us do the same. In order to give a
healthy kick-start to your day, it is imperative to have a good digestion,
which is fundamental to general health. Breakfast is a good time to eat
healthy and nutritious foods: fibre to keep bowels regular, protein to
sustain; and carbohydrates to give energy for the day ahead. You may
also top this off with some antioxidant-rich foods. Here is a breakfast
meal to give your digestive system a healthy boost:
Healthy Breakfast Meal: Start your day with a bowlful of toasted flakes, plain yogurt, berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed's.
Toasted flakes are whole grain wheat flakes that provide B vitamins and
fibre for roughage. Toast whole grain flakes in an oven 350 degree F
(180 degree C) for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
yogurt is a natural probiotic, which will help keep the gut flora
healthy. Apart from this, one food item that can play a crucial role in improving your immunity this winter season is yogurt.
Berries will boost the vitamin and antioxidant intake. The antioxidants
and polyphenols, which also impart the dark purple or crimson colour to
berries, are good for heart, brain and even skin.
- Sunflower seeds are a good source of pantothenic acid, phosphorus, copper and magnesium. They also add a nice crunch to the meal.
- Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of essential fatty acids and zinc, both of which are crucial for healthy living.
- Flaxseeds are gentle bulk laxative that provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
healthy breakfast bowl is a combination of various essential nutrients.
You can also substitute yogurt with Greek yogurt to up the nutritional
value of the meal.
So, the next time you prepare breakfast for yourself, bring this recipe to your rescue and get going!
Low-protein high-carbohydrate diets may be
the key to longevity, and healthy brain ageing in particular, according
to a new mice study from the University of Sydney.
Published today in Cell Reports, the research from the University's Charles Perkins Centre shows improvements in overall health and brain health, as well as learning and memory in mice that were fed an unrestricted low protein high carbohydrate diet.
"There are currently no effective pharmaceutical treatments for
dementia—we can slow these diseases, but we can't stop them—so it's
exciting that we are starting to identify diets that are impacting how
the brain ages," said lead author and Ph.D. candidate Devin Wahl.
The research shows for the first time that unrestricted low-protein,
high-carbohydrate diets have similar protective benefits for the brain
as calorie restriction, which is well known for its longevity benefits
although not sustainable in humans.
"We have close to 100 years of quality research extolling the benefits of calorie restriction as the most powerful diet to improve brain health and delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease in rodents," said Mr Wahl.
"However, the majority of people have a hard time restricting
calories, especially in Western societies where food is so freely
"It shows a lot of promise that we have been able to replicate the
same kind of gene changes in the part of the brain responsible for
memory that we also see when we severely restrict calories," said Mr
Low-protein high-carbohydrate diets are by no means a new fad.
Senior author Professor David Le Couteur said numerous cultures
including the people of Okinawa in Japan and many parts of the
Mediterranean have long observed this mix."The traditional diet of
Okinawa is around nine percent protein, which is similar to our study,
with sources including lean fish, soy and plants, with very little beef.
Interestingly, one of their main sources of carbohydrate is sweet
potato," said Professor Couteur, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the
University of Sydney.
For the current study, researchers fed the mice complex carbohydrates
derived from starch, and casein protein which is found in cheese and
To assess the brain benefits of the diet the researchers focused on
the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for learning and
"The hippocampus is usually the first part of the brain to
deteriorate with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. However,
the low-protein high-carbohydrate diet
appeared to promote hippocampus health and biology in the mice, on some
measures to an even greater degree than those on the low-calorie diet,"
said Professor Couteur.
Learning and memory was assessed via a series of spatial awareness
and memory tests, with researchers noting modest improvements in male
and female mice at both young and old ages.
This research follows a landmark 2015 study from the University of
Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre that showed low protein, high
carbohydrate diets could be just as effective as low calorie diets in
promoting a long life in mice through good heart and digestive health.https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-low-protein-high-carb-diet-healthy-brain.html
PHOENIX — Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an FBI agent?
If you have — but never wanted to put yourself to the test — don’t worry, I did it for you.
The PFT, otherwise known as the physical fitness test.
The test is administered according to very strict FBI protocols
with four mandatory events with no more than five minutes of rest
between each event.
The events are:
• Maximum number of sit-ups in one minute
• Timed 300-meter sprint
• Maximum number of continuous push-ups
• Timed 1.5 mile run
There is a strictly defined scoring scale and protocol for each event.
“All of our trainings incorporate physicality because we may be
involved with criminals who want to fight with us, so we need to have
stamina for things like that,” Special Agent Erin Gibbs said.
I’d like to consider myself a relatively fit individual, being 24
years old and playing sports my whole life — but this test seemed a lot
harder than I thought it was going to be.
The FBI advisers who administered the test held the media people to
high standards: There was no wiggle room and they made sure all the
events were done just as if any aspiring FBI applicants were taking on
In my mind, I was really hoping we could go ahead and take care of
the 1.5 mile run right off the bat so I could use my energy for that at
the beginning. But of course, that’s not how the FBI wants it done. They
want to see you exert yourself through the first three events and see
what else you have left in the tank for the final and hardest event.
Starting off with the maximum number of sit-ups in one minute, the advisers taught me proper FBI sit-ups. What do they entail?
Your arms are crossed on your chest with your fingertips at the seam
of your shirt on your shoulder. During your sit-up, you keep your elbows
as physically close to your body as you buck your hips up to have your
elbows meet your mid-thigh. All the while, they’re counting each time
your back meets the ground.
Second, the 300-meter sprint. As I prepared myself for the nearly one
lap around the track I had my adviser cautioning me to “take it easy,”
as this is the test they see the most injuries. I was impressed with my
time clocking almost 80 seconds. However, as soon as I crossed the
finish line I thought to myself, “This is it.”
Knowing I only had five minutes until we were on to the next event I
tried to calm my breathing to the best of my ability. Just as I had
caught my breath and took a sip of water, it was on to the push up
Next came the maximum number of continuous push-ups — and no, they
were not “girl push ups.” They were 90 degree-angle, lock-out, and
nose-to-the-ground push ups. They marked me at 16, but I think my
adviser was nice and gave me a few extra than I probably deserved
because each time I did lower down he would say, “Even lower…”
The fourth, final and hardest test was the timed 1.5 mile run. Legs
heavy, arms tired and barely any breath left, I took the start line
knowing it was going to be miserable. I thought to myself, “Slow and
steady wins the race.” Well, I didn’t win the race — rather I took
second, but I was happy to finish.
Clocking a 16 minute run, I wasn’t that pleased with my time. But it
was all that I had left in my tank. Each of the six laps I ran, I would
pass the advisers and they all cheered me on and gave me words of
encouragement. (Which I doubt they do when they have real applicants
running the test.)
As we ran they told us how they don’t allow aspiring agents listen to
music, wear watches or time themselves in any way. Each lap the agents
would laugh and tell me I need to stop smiling.
Supervisory Special Agent Ezell Grigsby told me, “I don’t think I have ever seen someone smile so much during our fitness test.”
My response, “If I’m not smiling, I may start crying.”
“You really gave a full effort, looking at the sit-ups you can
improve. The 300-meter sprint was good. Push ups need some work, and the
mile and a half could improve,” Grigsby said.
“Eleven more points and you’ll be alright.”
I can confidently say I did not do much to prepare myself for the
fitness test. But I am hopeful with some dedicated preparation I may be
able to pass the test next year.
If you think you can handle the test, download the FBI’s physical fitness app and give it a go. And if you do well, who knows, maybe one day you will be suited up alongside them.
women who suffer severe menstrual pains are more likely to have been fed
soy formula when they were babies. The formula could also affect their
chances of becoming pregnant.
given soy formula are 50 per cent more likely to suffer moderate or
severe menstrual pains between the ages of 18 and 22, and 40 per cent
more likely to have used hormonal contraception to alleviate the
Soy formula contains genistein, a compound
that's known to interfere with the development of the reproductive
system, and which can cause menstrual pain.
It can also cause endometriosis, where tissue from the uterus starts to grow outside, fibroids and heavy menstrual bleeding.
from the US's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
analysed data from 1,553 African-American women aged between 23 and 35,
and their discoveries add to previous research about the impact of soy
on women's reproductive health.
Earlier research had found that up to 60 per cent of women who had been given soy formula experienced severe menstrual pain.
Have you ever wondered what
does the term “junk” mean? Junk refers to a collection of miscellaneous
items of little value or waste materials. Well, “junk food” is any high
caloric food that provides a lot of fat, cholesterol, sodium or sugar
with little or no nutrients; meaning any food of low nutritional value.
Examples of such foods include: fried fast foods and salted snack foods
such as potato chips, sweets such as ice cream, candy, donuts, sugary
carbonated beverages, and many others.
Junk foods are usually offered anytime and everywhere at very low
cost, especially in malls, supermarkets and cinemas. However keep in
mind that those fast foods help you save time and money, at the expense
of your health. If not consumed in moderation; they can lead to the
following health risks:
Fatigue and lack the energy; since these foods contain little amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals
Obesity; higher intake of fat and sugar lead to decreased intake of healthy food choices, thus leading to obesity
Heart disease, hypertension, stroke and elevated levels of blood
cholesterol and triglycerides; high level of saturated or trans fats
and salt found in fried fast foods can clog the arteries and, over time,
contribute to high triglycerides and cholesterol levels, thus leading
to many chronic diseases
Type 2 diabetes; because junk food doesn't contain the protein
or complex carbohydrates that your body needs to maintain consistent
blood sugar levels, your blood sugar levels will immediately spike and
then drop suddenly soon after eating. This process will lead to type 2
diabetes on the long run
Impaired digestion; deep fried junk foods and sugary carbonated
beverages lead to many digestive problems like reflux, stomach pain,
ulcer, diarrhea or constipation
It affects your brain function; by triggering memory impairment and interfering with normal brain function
dual problem facing us today is the co existence of obesity along with
malnutrition. Yes they can both afflict us together. Meaning an
overweight (or even a optimum weight person) can be severely
malnourished and suffering from acute mineral and vitamin deficiencies.
and now increasingly the governments too seem to be recognising this
paradox worldwide, and thankfully there’s awareness of this in our
country too. In fact, recently to combat this issue, the Ministry of
Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH)
unveiled plans to lower malnutrition in the country by promoting the use
of traditional plant-based superfoods.
are some interesting foods on their list, all of which are not just
high in micronutrients and antioxidants, but also actually help improve
absorption of other nutrients too. Double bonus there!
About time everyone was made aware of these easily available foods - so that deficiency can become a thing of the past.
Here’s a primer on the plants and herbs that have made it to this superfoods list and what they deliver:
1. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
The Nutrition Punch:
Amla is 80% water and delivers minerals: calcium, copper, magnesium,
phosphorous, potassium, zinc and iron, and vitamins: carotene, B
vitamins (thiamine(b1) riboflavin (b2) Niacin (B3), Pantothenic acid
(B5), Vitamin B6, Folate) vitamin C and vitamin E, besides multiple
Grate it and add to smoothies, daals, salads or just juice it.
2. Sonth (Dry Ginger Powder)
The Nutrition Punch:
Ground form of dried ginger roots, this traditional spice is eaten more
in winters (as it is warming). It is not just a taste enhancer, rather
it contains essential oils and is a fair sources of vitamins like beta
carotene, vitamin C, B and minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, iron
Blend it in warm water and sip, make ginger tea with it, add to daals.
The Nutrition Punch: delivers
pyridoxine (vitamin B6), choline, niacin, and riboflavin, vitamin C,
and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and
magnesium. Also has multiple essential oils such as turmerone and
zingiberene and a star component curcumin that supports better memory,
focus and cognition and fights degenerative processes in the brain.
it for cooking, add to your tea, or just mix a little powered haldi
with warm milk and a little pepper (to boost the absorption of curcumin).
4. Giloy (Heart-Leaved Moonseed)
The Nutrition Punch: This
lesser known medicinal herb delivers calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper,
zinc and manganese and is loaded with antioxidants. It is a known
immunity booster and sugar levels stabliser.
Juice the leaves and mix with amla juice and drink. Or mix the powder with warm water; have just before a meal or empty stomach.
5. Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)
The Nutrition Punch: Ashwagandha
contains multiple natural antioxidants and flavonoids and that is why
it has been used to treat inflammation, and as protection against
infection and illness. It boosts the immune system, improves memory and
promotes overall wellness. It has some iron, calcium, carotene (vitamin
A) and vitamin C.
Best way to have it is as ashwagandha tea (make it by boiling the powder with water, milk and tea leaves). Or have the churan.
6. Moringa (Drumstick Leaves Powder)
The Nutrition Punch: Moringa
is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and contains significant
amounts of vitamin A, B, (folic acid, pyridoxine and riboflavin), C, and
E, calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and
protein. It delivers all eight essential amino acids our body needs and
is actually one of very few plant foods that delivers quality protein.
moringa leaves can also be cooked in the same way as spinach and other
saags. Or you can add moringa powder to your smoothie or cereal, soups,
and stews, or just mix it up with water and gulp it down.
The Nutrition Punch: The sulphur compounds in garlic serve as its spotlight nutrients and bestow
it multiple benefits. In addition, garlic is an excellent source of
manganese and vitamin B6; a very good source of vitamin C and copper;
and a good source of selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and calcium.
Swallow a clove or two of raw garlic first thing in the morning. Or use it for cooking liberally.
is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based
in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People
(Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits
for a Fitter You (Rupa).)
deficiency could be one of the causes of the autism epidemic; if so, the
mineral may play a key role in preventing and treating the condition,
researchers are claiming.
mineral is essential for forming and developing synapses in the brain
when the baby is in the womb, and so giving zinc supplements to the
mother when she is pregnant could be one antidote to the epidemic, say
researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Infants with autism could also take the supplements and this may possibly reverse the condition.
works by binding two proteins—Shank2 and Shank3—that are essential for
the formation and development of synapses which, in turn, allow neurons
"A lack of zinc during early development
might contribute to autism through impaired synaptic maturation and
neuronal circuit formation," said Prof John Huguenard, one of the
The researchers say the jury's still out as
to whether zinc deficiency is directly linked to autism, mainly because
there haven't been any controlled studies on treating autism with zinc
supplements, either when the woman is pregnant or when the infant has
been diagnosed with the condition.
They point out that too
much zinc reduces the amount of copper the body can absorb, which can
lead to anaemia and bone weakening. It's also possible that the
deficiency could also be the result of a poorly-functioning gut that
doesn't absorb zinc properly.
could be the drug-free solution to heart problems, still the world's
most lethal disease. It can lower blood pressure and reduce stiffness in
the arteries, two precursors of cardiovascular disease.
30-minute exposure to visible blue light can achieve the same results as
antihypertensive drugs and reduce systolic blood pressure by almost
8mmHg. But the light has other benefits the drugs don't have: they also
reduce arterial stiffness and increase blood vessel relaxation.
light also increases levels of nitric oxide, which protects the
cardiovascular system, say researchers from the University of Surrey.
tested blue light on 14 healthy men, who had whole-body exposure to the
light—radiating at 450 nanometres, which is similar to daily
sunlight—for 30 minutes for two days. They were also exposed to a
filtered light, which acted as the control.
sessions, their blood pressure, heart rate and blood flow were
measured—and there was a significant improvement after blue-light
exposure that wasn't seen after the filtered-light sessions.
BENGALURU: Keeping a check on your blood sugar and
preventing diabetes is the deepest worry for every individual suffering
from the disease. Being cautious about everything you eat is the saddest
thing anyone can witness especially when you are a foodie. What if you
can manage your blood sugar and say bye to diabetes by eating the right
kind of food? Here are certain food products packed with wholesome
nutrients that can help in normalising blood sugar levels and solving
the complicated process of managing your diabetes. Almonds
Consume a handful of soaked almonds. You can soak the almonds overnight.
They are richer in nutrients than the non-soaked ones. They help in
lowering and maintaining glucose levels, fight bad cholesterol and
increase good cholesterol in the body, thereby, keeping your heart
For a filling breakfast, you can always go for a tablespoon of natural
peanut butter paired with whole grain toast. Natural peanut butter and
peanuts are also low glycemic index (GI) foods. This means that they
have a lower effect on blood sugar levels.
Make your water flavoured
Consume water infused with fruits and vegetables. This way, you will be
consuming more water. You can cut slices of lemon or cucumber and add
them in your water bottle or make ice cubes with some flavours or you
can even add any slice of vegetable to make your water flavoured.
Instead of taking caffeine, you can opt for green tea as it helps
prevent overeating thereby, stabilises blood sugar levels and helps in
Greek yogurt and berries
A good amount of protein should be included in your diet for balancing
meal. Greek yogurt gives you a protein packed way to help control your
hunger and blood sugar as it contains fewer carbohydrates compared to
normal yogurt. You can make a smoothie from Greek yogurt or pair it up
with your lunch or dinner. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and
blackberries are all low in sugar and high in fibre. They are also low
on glycemic index and are considered to be superfoods for diabetics.
Eat a lot of greens
While boiled vegetables are recommended for people with high cholesterol
and sugar level, you can add a twist to it and make it stir fry
vegetables or steamed vegetables. Make your lunch and dinner plate
colourful by including spinach, vegetables such as bell peppers,
mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, baby corns, broccoli, beans zucchini,
sprouts, and onions. You can eat stir fry vegetables or steamed ones for
maintaining the nutrients in it.
Say bye to unhealthy oil
It’s time to welcome healthy cooking, use extra virgin olive oil or
diabetes friendly oil which is rich in mono unsaturated fats. These oils
helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels which is essential to
reduce the risk of experiencing a heart attack and stroke.
Consultant Internal Medicine and Diabetologist, Fortis Hospitals, Nagarbhavi http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/nov/15/cut-down-your-sugar-levels-with-these-superfoods-1898279.html
more than enough food is produced worldwide to feed everyone globally.
Yet, 11 percent of the world’s population, roughly 815 million people,
suffer from food insecurity or hunger, according to the U.N.
Closer to home, 17.6 percent, or nearly 433,000, people living in
Miami-Dade County are not sure where their next meal will come from or
how substantial it will be.
In an effort to help, the Student Dietetic Association (SDA) and the
Association of Graduate Students in Dietetics and Nutrition (AGSDN)
joined forces with the Dietetics & Nutrition Peer Mentors to launch a
food drive at Stempel College that will help supply non-perishable
items to the FIU Food Pantry before the busy holiday season.
is the first food drive organized by the Peer Mentors and we could not
think of a better place to start donating than within our own Panther
family,” said Maria Sader, graduate student in the Department of
Dietetics and Nutrition. “The drive will run throughout November, and we
are hoping to collect as many items as we can to bring to the FIU Food
Pantry in the beginning of December.”
But the students are taking their efforts a step further, using their
expertise in the field of dietetics and nutrition to provide tips for
“When you do not know where your next meal will come from, you end up
not being too concerned about following healthy habits. There’s an
association between being food insecure and lower intakes of fruits and
vegetables, which tend to be underrepresented in the diets of most
college students,” said Alexander Gonzalez, SDA president and bachelor’s
student in the department of dietetics and nutrition.
Healthier food options tend to be more expensive in terms of cost,
but for perishable items, there is also chance for waste. On the other
hand, processed foods that are high in sugar and fat are usually less
expensive and often become a first option.
“Our idea is to provide a flyer with recipes including pantry items
to promote healthier eating,” said Alexandra Briceno, SDA member and
undergrad in the department of dietetics and nutrition. “With an easy to
use guide we want to help people better understand what appropriate
portion sizes look like to avoid overeating. Limiting portion sizes can
help decrease obesity, which is a big problem among college students.”
Another tip? The group recommends eating foods that are rich in
fiber, which can help lower the risk of being diagnosed with Type 2
diabetes by 21 percent.
“If we are able to promote at least one healthier eating habit, we believe we are moving in the right direction,” added Sader.
To contribute to the Dietetics & Nutrition November Food Drive, please drop off non-perishable items to AHC5, room 317 between 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. https://news.fiu.edu/2018/11/stempel-students-help-fight-hunger-kick-start-healthy-habits/127916
I didn’t grow up eating berries. They taste good, but is there a nutrition reason for eating them? — FJ, Greenville
are lucky to see a greater variety of berries — fresh, dried, canned
and frozen — in our local stores than before. Children and people of all
ages enjoy eating berries. Milary Lugo, an ECU dietetic student, wanted
to tell you about the health reasons for eating them.
always have been recommended as part of a healthy diet. Our national
food guide, MyPlate, suggests making half of our plate fruits and
vegetables. I am often asked if juice counts as a fruit. For the best
nutrition for your calories it really is best to focus on eating
nutrient dense foods — those high in nutrients and low in calories — so
choose whole fruits rather than juice.
Berries are an excellent
choice because they are high in antioxidants — substances that prevent
or delay cell damage. Studies have shown that the high antioxidant
content in berries can offer benefits such as protection against heart
disease, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers.
different types of polyphenols — the elements that occur naturally in
plants that offer positive health benefits. There is evidence that a
greater intake of foods high in polyphenols can help lower the risks of
high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. That is because
polyphenols relax or open the blood vessels, allowing more blood to be
delivered to the brain and heart.
Fruits such as strawberries,
blueberries and raspberries are rich in anthocyanin — a plant pigment
that gives off red and blue colors. Experts writing in The Journal of
the American College of Cardiology last year explained that anthocyanins
appear to have anti-inflammatory properties — meaning they reduce
inflammation or swelling — and also help maintain the levels of blood
sugar. Eating three or more servings per week of blueberries and
strawberries can lower the risk of heart attacks by lowering blood
pressure, and also lower the risk for diabetes.
Because the skin
of fruits, specifically berries, is high in both anthocyanins and
dietary fiber, eating them can help control blood sugar. According to
the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes and heart disease are among
the leading causes of death in the United States, so regularly adding
berries in your diet can definitely help lower your risk for these
There are lots of ways to incorporate berries into our
diet. Add them to your breakfast meal. Put them in oatmeal, cereal or
yogurt, or on top of pancakes or waffles. Frozen berries can be used in
smoothies that use yogurt or low-fat milk as the base. Add your favorite
berry to salads or make a sauce for your warm meal. Another way of
making sure we get our daily serving of berries is to add them to our
water, a trick that can help those who need to drink more water.
though fresh fruits can be more expensive, some dollar stores offer
frozen strawberries or mixed berries that can be added to the diet.
Whole fruits are encouraged because they are high in fiber and do not
contain added sugars like many juices do. MyPlate recommends that adults
consume 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit a day. The Food Lists for Diabetes
explains that one choice of fruits equals 60 calories and 15 grams of
carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat and 0 grams of protein. Adding berries to
the diet can help replace high-calorie desserts with low-calorie and
Here is a quick and healthy berry smoothie recipe.
Combine 2 cups of frozen berries and 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt in a
blender. If you like it a bit sweeter, add 1 tablespoon of honey or a
sugar replacement product. Blend for 30 seconds or until everything is
well mixed, pour into a glass and enjoy!
Smoothies are better than
juicing since all the parts of the fruit are retained, giving healthy
fiber and antioxidants. If you are buying a berry smoothie, make sure
the calories are right for the meal you are replacing: less than 200
for a snack; less than 300 for breakfast; less than 500 for lunch; and
less than 1,200 for dinner. Professor emeritus Kathy Kolasa, a
registered dietitian, nutritionalist and Ph.D., is an Affiliate
Professor in the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. Contact her at