Eat Indian Jujube In Abundance – Check Out Their Amazing Health Benefits

The winter has almost arrived, and with it has arrived the season of Indian Jujube, or as we call them locally BER. Not many are aware that they are also known as the Korean date or Chinese date or even Indian Date.

A bite sized fruit, it is relished by many but very few of us really know about its umpteen health benefits. Here’s a run down some of them –

  1. Rich Source of Vitamin C – Jujube’s are known to be loaded with vitamin C as well as antioxidents and we all know the role of Vitamin C in revitalizing our skin, building immunity as well as fighting free radicals. Just consuming around 100 gms of Jujube can give you 69 mg of Vitamin C. Hence, eating jujube could be a great way of getting vitamin C as our body is not capable of producing the same.
  1. Bone Strength – Want strong bones? Eat Jujubes. Yes, you read that right. Jujubes are also power packed with calcium, iron as well as phosphorous thus helping in improving. Hence, it’s a tasty alternative for people with oesteoprosis and bone degrading.
  1. Anxiety soother – This fruit is known to have a calming effect on the brain as well as the nervous system. Jujube as well as its oil extract is known have sedative effects and relax your body down by working on the hormonal levels.
  1. Constipation Relief – Jujube is known to provide great relief to people suffering from chronic constipation. As per statistics over 20% Indians suffer from chronic constipation and still its not been on the list of concerns. As jujube’s are a rich source of fibre, they help in digestion and regulation of bowel movements.
  1. Sleep Well – Jujubes are rich in antioxidant pythochemicals, sapnins, flavonoids and polysaccharides known to have sedative properties. Hence, it helps in sleeping well by calming the nerves. So, people if you are suffering from insomnia, try jujubes.

Well, as this fruit is rich in fibre as well, its also considered to aid people looking at weight loss. Perhaps, its high time you make it an integral part of your fruit consumption or diet may be.

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Finances and Aging – The Connection

A recent study has revealed that people who have to suffer from economic hardships for even as less as 4 years are prone to ageing faster as compared to their peers who are economically stable. The researchers at the Department of Public health at the Copenhagen University of Denmark carried out a study to compare economically well to do, late middle aged adults and adults experiencing financial issues.

The study involved over 5575 adults in their late middle ages with a benchmark hardship of 60% less than that of the national average over 22 years period. Out of these 5575, 18% were having financial hardship during the period of 1987-2008. Lead by Rikki Lund, the team studied and analyzed cognitive as well as physical functions like chair rise, jump, balance, grip and strength.

The study found that people who experienced poverty over 4 years performed less as compared to people of the same age who were living without any financial problems. The findings suggest that the absence of economic problems protects from aging faster while the opposite not only increases ageing but also the blood CRP levels.

When people are less capable of doing physical activities earlier than then the others of the same age it is called accelerated aging. It could be a result of higher inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) and IL-6 or poor cognitive functioning.

In the Western society, aging population means more healthcare costs and hence healthy ageing is promoted. The study has results that match the earlier studies with did show an inverse connection between economic difficulties and physical abilities besides cognitive difficulties that have been already reported.

Having said that, there is one story that has a different story to tell. It states that a human’s perception about economic hardships is more significant indicator and not their real financial condition. The study does come with a few limitations though, which include factors like not considering data of various societies, not considering any other potential confounding factors responsible or even diseases and conditions that are not a result of poverty but still could affect longevity and speed ageing.

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Sports Hobbies For Middle Aged Women – Benefits

A study around post-menopausal women published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology reveals that physical activity that involves sports in leisure time helps in managing the blood lipid profile well, thus reducing cardiovascular conditions as blood lipid profile is a market of heart conditions.

As per Karvinen and his team, after menopause the risk of cardiovascular conditions increases significantly in women and lipid profile is a reliable marker to measure heart health. He and his colleagues investigated around 193 menopausal women participants of the age group 47-55 from Finland, registered for the Estrogenic Regulation of Muscle Apoptosis (ERMA) study. The study is co-authored by Dr Mathew Jergenson of Minnesota Medical School and University in Minneapolis. The reason behind conducting the study as per him was to explore if physical activity did have a role in cardiovascular risk factors.

He says “It is well known that physical activity has health benefits, yet it is less clear to what extent physical activity prevents negative changes in lipid profile while women are in their menopausal transition. The participants were monitored for physical activity levels in leisure time, generally and specifically also, using accelerometers and had to answer questions as well.

Leisure is the time that is not related to routine daily work be it housework or commuting and includes sport or recreation activities in free time.

The researchers found out that there was indeed a connection between more activities during leisure time and lowering of cholesterol levels particularly (LDL) as well as with high levels of cholesterol (HDL). Karvin reports that indeed the leisure time physical activities were related to healthy lipid profiles. But, that does not mean that the negative changes in lipid profile during menopause can be fully done away with due to leisure time sports activities.

The author also said that leisure time physical activities will underscore the adverse atherogenic changes in the cardiovascular risk factors in middle aged women who are healthy. Hence, sport related activities in leisure are good.

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Brain Function And Poor Oral Health – The Connection

Not one but two new studies have revealed that stress on a continuous basis can negatively impact oral health of elderly humans and also lead to a decline in the cognitive functioning in them. It has been always said that oral health is a good indicator of a humans overall health. But, not many of us know that a declining oral health could be an indication of other risky health conditions that can also affect the quality of life of a human being.

An article published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology shows that there is a link between tooth loss as well as gum disease with stroke occurrence.

As per the conclusions of this article of 2010, gum disease is responsible for increase in the risk of heart attack by 20%. Well, there’s another team at the University of New Brunswick, NJ are focusing on a connection between oral health and cognitive decline.

Even a research team from Rutgers University carried out a two separate studies around perceived stress and cognitive decline and published the reports of two separate studies in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.

Talking about other parts of the world like for example China, XinQi Dong, the director of Rutgers University’s Institute for Health, healthcare policy and aging research says that in china it was the ethnic and racial minorities who were typically vulnerable to consequences of poor oral health. The reason being that already there are barriers like socio economic status and language plus access to preventive dental care is less. Particularly, the old Chinese Americans are at a risk of oral health problems because of lack of regular dental checkup and dental insurance. These studies were carried out on Chinese elderly in Chicago of 60 years and above age. The study involved quizzing question around oral health and then asking them to complete five cognitive tests. The second study asked people if they had faced issues like dry mouth besides measuring their social strain levels, social support and perceived stress with the help of pre-defined scales.

The study involved 2700 Chinese Americans and results revealed that around half of them did had symptoms of tooth related issues. Also, there was not significant relationship between congnitive issues and gums but researchers believe that the participants may not have reported gum problems and ignored them as they do not cause major problems to health.

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Is Midlife Stress Responsible For Alzheimer’s In Women

Though, the reason behind Alzheimer’s affecting women more than men is not clear, a research does bring to light the effects of stress on cognitive functions of the mind.

Alzheimer’s is a common condition particularly in the elderly people and like the cause is unknown, there is no cure to for it. But, a research has shed light on the stress aspect and its effect on the mind’s cognitive functioning.

Past researches around the effect of stress on women have stated that there is a high impact on stress response of females and stress can result into memory and cognitive problems, though of temporary nature.

The objective of the recent research conducted at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine was to find out the relation between stress and long-time decline in cognitive functioning. Cynthia Munro, PH.D and associate professor of Psychiatry and behavioral sciences said that the stress hormones like cortisol increased when there someone was under normal stress and then the levels returned to the baseline. But if there was stress on a regular basis or if the sensitivity to stress was high, there is a increased and sustained responses in the hormones and the recovery is also delayed. It’s a fact that an increase in stress hormones for a consistent basis then it is not good for brain’s hippocampus – the seat of memory.

The study included the data of over 900 residents of Baltimore found that there was link that could play a significant role in stating why women over 65 have more chance of getting Alzheimer’s.

The findings of this study are already published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The study began in the 1980’s and the participants had to take part in interviews as well as checkups over three times in a span of 1982 -2004. The first was in 1982, the second 1993-1996 and the last in 2003-2004. The participants were of around 47 years old on an average and over 63% were women.

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Changes In Diet That Help You Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

As per statistics cancer is the causes the second highest number of deaths in India every year. Out of the 9.6 mn, over 8% are from India. Well, that’s not a small number. One of the most common cancers in India today is breast cancer. We all know that with all the innovations and advances in Science, even today cancer does affect the life expectancy negatively and also quality of life. So, trying to prevent it seems a better idea.

A new study has revealed that the foods that are rich in flavonoids are helpful in decreasing the risk of cancer and extending longevity. The study was carried out over 50,000 participants across a span of 20 years. Finding out the impact of single compounds on health conditions as well as mortality is not an easy study, even though food does form the most important part of our lives.

Researchers have already brought to light that eating vegetables and fruits factually reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions and increase life span too. Though, the details on how they do it is under research phase yet. Many researchers believe that it is rich in flavonoids play a vital role in the same.

Flavonoids are found in different natural food likes vegetables, dark chocolates, fruits and tea are form a chemical class known as polyphenols. These compounds are further divided into six sub classes namely Flavonols, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, flavones and isoflavones.

A group of scientists from Edith Cowan University of Australia did begin a research in order to find out how the compounds could help increasing life span and help protect against health conditions. They also wanted to look into the effects of alcohol and smoking around the benefits of flavonoids. For investigation of the same, the scientists used the Danish Diet data of over 56048 adults across 23 years. During the process over 14083 participants passed away too. The researchers concluded that it was true that flavonoid rich diets with individual flavonoid subclasses do actually reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases also increasing longevity.

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Monsoon And Child Health Issues

Well, everyone loves the rains, more so the foodies as the season where you hog on hot pakoras or samosas, bhutta or chalebi while sipping on your hot piping tea. Coming to the flip side Monsoon does bring along health hazards in form of illness like Dengue, Jaundice, Cholera, Malaria, thypoid, Gastro-intestinal infections, hepatitis A. Here’s a run-down five of the most common illness viral/bacteria borne, that you need to protect your child from –

Dengue – Caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, Dengue mosquitos breed in stagnant water be it flower pots, buckets, tree holes or drums etc. The incubation period is four to seven days after being bitten. The symptoms include high grade fever with decreasing platelet count as well as rashes. To prevent dengue try to keep your body covered as much as possible and use mosquito repellents. Citronella is a good mosquito repellent plant.

Diarrhoea – This is one condition that can be prevented with proper precautions as it is caused because of unhygienic food and water consumption. The best way to prevent it is to drink boiled water and eat home cooked food. Both the types of diarrhea, chronic as well as acute can be managed through appropriate and timely treatment.

Typhoid This is another waterborne condition that is caused by S typhi bacteria. The main reason is poor sanitation. The symptoms include weakness, pain, fever as well as sore throat to name a few. This condition can also be prevented by avoiding street food, keeping your hands clean and keeping yourself hydrated with healthy fluids.

Malaria – This is also a water borne condition that is caused due to the female anopheles mosquito. This mosquito breeds in water logged areas and hence is a common condition in monsoon. The symptoms include fever with chills or shivering, body ache and weakness, etc. The best way to prevent the cause of malaria is to keep surroundings clean especially water tanks.

Jaundice – Jaundice is also a water borne disease that could go serious if not treated properly. This is again a result of consuming contaminated food and water. The symptoms of jaundice include yellow eyes and urine, weakness and liver dysfunction.

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Second Hand Smoke Is Also Dangerous To Health

We are aware how dangerous smoking is for health, but second hand smoke viz. the smoke that we inhale when someone else is smoking could be life threatening too. As per statistics second hand smoke is known to cause over 3000 deaths due to heart disease to non-smokers.

Second hand smoke can be particularly harmful to children because their lungs are still under development. Many children inhale this dangerous smoke at home if their parents or family members smoke, primarily. Even parents who smoke outside risk their children to harmful chemicals because of second hand smoke.

Also, known as environmental tobacco smoke, the smoke that is breathed out as well as the smoke that is released from pipes, cigars, burning cigarettes, cigars or pipes contains around 4000 chemicals. Almost 50 of these chemicals are carcinogenic and are known to increase the risk of cancer.

The American Academy of pediatrics (AAP) did a research on third hand smoke also. Third hand smoke is the smoke that is left behind in areas where people smoke. Though people leave the place after smoking, the harmful toxins remain for a while for example in bars, upholstery, even child’s hair if the care taker smokes.

Well, second hand smoke and third hand smoke both are harmful to adults, children and even the unborn developing ones. Unborn and children are at a higher risk. Children whose parents smoke cough more than children generally do. They are at the risk of getting coughs and colds, tooth decay, ear infections and respiratory problems. Children suffering from asthma are particularly prone to second hand smoke as it can lead to asthma attacks that to frequent and severe leading to a rise in hospital visits.

Well, so if you think that only smoking is injuries to health, you are certainly not right, its also the people around the smokers that are at the risk inspite of being not guilty of smoking. Take care. Quit now.

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Dyslexia – Common Traits

As a child Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan suffered from Dyslexia. It is a reading disorder amongst children and is hard to detect as well. The Bollywood actor who has worked in over 50 films had issues with reading, spellings, sound of words, number difficulties and more. Irrespective, the actor did battle it out. The information about the suffering from dyslexia in childhood was revealed by none other than Aamir Khan during the release of his movie ‘Taare Zameen Par’.

Dyslexia has nothing to do with mental retardation, lack of intelligence or brain damage. It isn’t a disease as well. It’s just that children with dyslexia find it difficult to read. The simple solution to this is the use of blue or yellow filter glasses in order to help deal with the visual problems.

Here are a few common traits of dyslexia

  1. Poor self-esteem – Uses compensatory strategies to hide weaknesses. Reading and testing sparks emotions and frustrations.
  2. Day Dreamer – Day dreams often and seems to lose track of time or get zoned out easily
  3. Attention deficit – Cannot concentrate and gets distracted easily
  4. High IQ – Not necessarily does well in academics but high IQ and ability to score well in oral as that against written
  5. Confused – Reading, writing, letters, spellings and verbal explanations tend to confuse a lot.
  6. Writing Difficulties – Cannot copy or write properly and holds the pencil in an unusual manner.
  7. Artist – Should possess talent around sports, music, drama, mechanics, building or engineering.
  8. Sequence Confusion – A problem with remembering sequence of things
  9. Word Processing Issues – Problem around seeing differences and similarities between words and letters.
  10. Foreign language – Difficulty learning foreign language.

The symptoms include inability to ready by kindergarten or first grade but kids with dyslexia find it difficult to grasp even the basics of reading. They are also at a high risk of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Encephalitis (CHAMKI Fever) The Deadly Fever That Has Killed Over 150 Children In Bihar And Jharkhand Already

The news of around 150 children dead due to the chamki fever is already a topic of concern present day. The Supreme Court also has taken notice of this serious or grave situation and directed Center to immediately form a medical expert team for the treatment of children having AES.

An inflammation of brain, encephalitis commonly known as chamki fever is the inflammation of brain. It is caused by viral infection and affects the nervous system. There are two main types of Encephalitis namely Primary and Secondary. This fever usually occurs in kids and youngsters below 15 years of age.

The primary is caused due to direct viral infection to the brain while secondary is a result of a weak immune system and can be a result of infection in any part of the body. Presently, there’s an outbreak of this fever in Bihar and Jharkhand. Recently, even Bengal has reported three cases of AES or Chamki of which one is critical.

Causes

AES is known to be a viral infection but can occur due to mosquito borne viruses, Zika or Nipah Virus, Rabis virus, childhood infections, enteroviruses and herpes virus as well. In India the most commonly known AES causing virus is the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) as almost 5 -35% cases are that of JE Virus AES. Though, this year only two cases are due to the JE Virus and exact cause of so many deaths is not known. What is known is that the deaths were caused by hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)

Symptoms

At the initial stage the symptoms are similar to mild flu and include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle or joint pain. Though in the later or severe stage it leads to hallucinations, agitation, confusion, muscle weakness, hearing difficulties paralysis, sensation loss, vomiting, poor eating, body stiffness, skull bulging and more.

Treatment

There is not medicine yet for this fever and the mild one can be brought down through adequate rest and continuous fluid intake. Drugs like Tylenol, Aleve and Advil also can be used. Medications like Foscavir, Cytoven and Zovirax can be used for the viral Encephalitis only on prescription basis. Do not consume any medications with Doctors consult. At times supportive care like breathing assistance, intravenous fluids to keep the person hydrated, anti-convulsant and anti-inflammatory drugs against seizures and swelling could be required.

Prevention

Prevention is always better and hence to avoid getting this condition try to maintain hygiene at home, clean your hands properly after you visit the toilet and before eating food. Also, drink clean water and use mosquito nets and repellants when sleeping.

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