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6 Foods You Need To Eat To Improve Your Muscle Health

The Kashmir Monitor

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It is quite unlikely for you to believe that you can improve muscle health even if you are not into intense workouts. Well, the fact is you can. And the secret lies in the kind of food you eat. Most of us believe that proteins are the only macronutrient essential for muscle growth. But there’s more to it. Along with proteins, your body requires a lot of other nutrients like carbs to both compensate muscle glycogen stores and to enhance insulin so as to transfer amino acids into the muscles.
When you are working out, the pressure of weightlifting destroys your muscle fibers. This damage stimulates a special repair process that eventually pushes your muscles develop. If you are training hard and at the same time ignoring the nutrients required by your body, then it will be difficult for you to attain desired results. It is imperative for you to know how nutrition works as it helps you utilize the same for your fitness and strength gains. One must keep in mind that fitness is achieved with the right combination of workout and nutrition.
So, we have lined up 6 such foods that need you to eat to improve muscle health:
1. Chicken breasts
Chicken is a staple food and an extraordinary source of lean protein that is important for muscle maintenance and repair, bone health, and weight maintenance. 30 grams of protein in a 100 gram serving of chicken breast is just what you need for proper muscle growth. You either boil it or mix it with vegetables to have a great bowl of chicken salad!
2. Eggs
Let’s rephrase an old saying to this: an egg a day keeps the doctor away. Eggs are known to be incredible sources of high-quality protein. Proteins increase the biological value of any whole food and does wonders to your body in terms of increasing immunity and strength. This also means that the proteins found in eggs are very important for muscle growth. Along with proteins, all the essential amino acids, choline, the right kind of fat, and vitamin D are also present in eggs. 1 or 2 eggs in a day is good enough to make up for your requirements.
3. Quinoa
If you are looking for the right vegetarian alternative for chicken or fish, your fight is over. Quinoa is a complete protein source; it comprises all nine of the essential amino acids. In every 100 grams of quinoa, there are 14 grams of protein. This gluten-free food is also easily digestible, high in fiber, magnesium, and iron. Studies have shown that it is a better alternative to rice.
4. Fish
Fish like tuna and salmon can beat any other foods when it comes to muscle building. Fishes are high in protein, low in fat, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is important for aiding fat loss and assuring the proper body functions such as your metabolism. Salmon is also a great source of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids which are healthy fats. A 100 gram serving of salmon contains 25 grams of protein.
5. Almonds
This plant-based food contains vitamin E which is beneficial for muscle growth. Just 1/4 cup of almonds carries 8 grams of protein, that is approximately 2 grams of protein more than what you can get from an egg. Almonds are also an important source of monounsaturated fats and magnesium, a mineral that is used in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and is primarily implicated in energy metabolism and integrating protein. You can have it with milk in the morning or even eat it as a healthy snack.
6. Cottage Cheese
Bodybuilders include cottage cheese in their diet due to the casein protein content. Casein is a slow-digesting protein that is ideal for muscle maintenance. Half a cup of low-fat cottage cheese packs a whopping 14 grams of protein with only 80 calories and less than 2 grams of fat. Apart from this, cottage cheese is enriched with nutrients like Vitamin A, B-12, C, D, magnesium, calcium.
Along with these, different types of fruits like banana, pineapple, and papaya; and vegetables like broccoli and spinach, soy, lentils and chickpeas, brown rice help in building and improving your muscle health.


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Health

Beware of the silent killer

The Kashmir Monitor

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By Dr Sudhir Koganti

One may wonder what all this fuss about high blood pressure is. Hypertension causes many cardiovascular diseases that include stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and dementia, thus putting a huge burden on healthcare globally due to morbidity, mortality and associated costs. Last but not least, the public need to be aware of the correct treatment for high blood pressure.
Every year, the World Hypertension Day is celebrated on the 17th of May to increase awareness about this silent killer among general public. International Society of Hypertension along with World Hypertension League has designated the month of May as “May Measurement Month.”
The aim of this initiative is to screen as many people as possible that are over the age of 18 years for suspected hypertension. This strategy would greatly enhance in identifying silent or undiagnosed hypertensives so that they can be targeted with guideline directed lifestyle, dietary advice and treatment.
Awareness on the lower threshold of blood pressure reading required to label an individual as hypertensive is also required. American Heart Association guidelines released in 2017 clearly stipulate that a blood pressure reading of over 130/80 is now considered as stage 1 hypertension. However, the job of a cardiologist doesn’t stop with diagnosis but actually starts there. Once someone is labelled as hypertensive, it needs to be established if it is true or an entity called white coat hypertension.
Furthermore, investigations may have to be carried out to see if hypertension is secondary to a cause. Once diagnosed, a decision needs to be taken if lifestyle modification can be adopted or treatment needs to be initiated early.
Lifestyle modifications include six key steps and they are:
• Get expert advice from your doctor to help you understand your results;
• Lower salt/sodium to prevent excess fluid in the blood, which strains blood vessels;
• Eat more fruits and veggies – particularly potassium-rich ones – to balance out sodium in the blood;
• Exercise – it makes the heart stronger, putting less strain on blood vessels;
• Quit smoking – constituents of tobacco smoke damages blood vessel linings; and
• Monitor your blood pressure at home
As per studies and data, thousands of people are on wrong treatment for hypertension with a class of drugs called Betablockers (Atenolol, Metoprolol etc) being prescribed as first line or second line agent.
Betablockers have been phased out as first line or second line drugs to treat hypertension a while ago, unless there is concomitant coronary artery disease or heart failure. In fact, the same holds for other concomitant conditions too such as kidney disease, stroke etc.
Essentially, the key message is one prescription does not fit all and it need to be tailored to the individual in a dedicated specialist clinic. People need to actively undergo blood pressure screening of themselves.
They need to nudge their relatives and friends in the month of May and seek expert advice on how to manage and monitor this silent killer over the long run to lead an active and healthy life. (Writer is Consultant Cardiologist, Citizens Hospitals, Nallagandla, Serilingampally)
Dr Sudhir Koganti

 
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Health

Jawless fish may hold key to effective brain cancer treatment

The Kashmir Monitor

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A chemical found in jawless parasitic fish can be used to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to brain tumours, as well as lead to more effective treatments for trauma and stroke, a study has found.
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, found that molecules from the immune system of the parasitic sea lamprey may also be combined with a wide array of other therapies, offering hope to treat disorders like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or even traumatic injuries.
“We believe it could be applied as a platform technology across multiple conditions,” said Eric Shusta, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.
When injected into the bloodstream, many drugs cannot reach targets in the brain as the blood-brain barrier prevents large molecules from leaving the blood vessels in the brain, researchers said.
In conditions such as brain cancer, stroke, trauma and multiple sclerosis, however, the barrier becomes leaky in and around the disease locations, researchers said.
The study found that leaky barrier offers a unique point of entry, allowing molecules to access the brain and deliver drugs precisely on target.
“Molecules like this normally couldn’t ferry cargo into the brain, but anywhere there’s a blood-brain barrier disruption, they can deliver drugs right to the site of pathology,” Shusta said in a statement.
Researchers said that the technology takes advantage of the fact that many diseases disrupt body’s natural defense mechanism – the blood-brain barrier, which lines the blood vessels of the central nervous system, protecting the brain from circulating toxins or pathogens.
They also linked the molecules to a chemotherapy called doxorubicin. The treatment prolonged survival in mouse models of glioblastoma, an incurable cancer.
“This could be a way to hold therapies in place that don’t otherwise accumulate well in the brain so they can be more effective,” said Ben Umlauf from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“There are several disease processes that disrupt the blood-brain barrier and we could conceive of delivering a variety of different therapies with these molecules,” said John Kuo from the University of Texas in the US.

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Health

Life expectancy linked to a person’s walking speed

The Kashmir Monitor

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People who walk slowly have a lower life expectancy than those who walk fast, a recent study has claimed. According to the study published in the Journal of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, those with a habitually fast walking pace have a long life expectancy across all levels of weight status – from underweight to morbidly obese.
Underweight individuals with a slow walking pace had the lowest life expectancy (an average of 64.8 years for men, 72.4 years for women). The same pattern of results was found for waist circumference measurements.
Professor Tom Yates, the lead author of the study, said, “Our findings could help clarify the relative importance of physical fitness compared to body weight on the life expectancy of individuals. In other words, the findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index (BMI) and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.”
Dr Francesco Zaccardi, co-author of the study, said, “Studies published so far have mainly shown the impact of body weight and physical fitness on mortality in terms of relative risk, for example, a 20 per cent relative increase of risk of death for every 5 kilograms per metres squared increase, compared to a reference value of a BMI of 25 kilograms per metres squared (the threshold BMI between normal weight and overweight).”
Last year, Professor Yates and his team showed that middle-aged people who reported that they are slow walkers were at higher risk of heart-related disease compared to the general population.

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