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Chia Seeds: 8 Surprising Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds

The Kashmir Monitor

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Chia seeds might be tiny, but in terms of nutrition, these little seeds are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. These seeds are placed under the superfood category and for a good reason. For this, we shall get you acquainted with the many health benefits of chia seeds. But before that, let’s take a look at the nutritional value and calorie content of these super seeds. A spoonful of chia seeds, five pounds approximately, contains 69 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. The nutritional value of chia seeds further offers a wide range of health benefits. And the best part about these seeds is that they are versatile; there are no specific criteria of consuming these seeds. They can be added to salads, smoothies, vegetable curries and more.

Here’s a list of 8 amazing health benefits of chia seeds you simply cannot miss:

1. Fiber

 

These little seeds are packed with fiber, 5 grams in just a spoonful. With one tablespoon of chia seeds, you can make up for 20% of your daily fiber requirements. Dietary fiber in these seeds helps in lowering your cholesterol levels and boosts your digestive health. It helps in keeping your bowel movements in check and reduces the frequency and occurrence of constipation.

2. Stronger bones

Besides calcium, your bones need phosphorus and magnesium to stay in a good state of health. These nutrients can be obtained from chia seeds. According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal, people who consumed phosphorus were at a 45% lower risk of developing osteoporosis as compared to others. One tablespoon of chia seeds contain 122 mg of phosphorus and 47 mg of magnesium which makes up for 17% and 15% of the daily requirement of these nutrients.

3. Source of complete protein

Complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids required by the human body. These are usually found in animal-based foods. However, chia seeds are a plant-based source of complete proteins. This makes chia seeds the perfect source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. The protein content, however, is not very high. One tablespoon of chia seeds contains only 2 grams of protein. Add it to your pudding, salad, smoothies and other foods to make the most of these seeds.

4. Omega 3 fatty acids

Chia seeds are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid. It is a type of omega 3 fatty acid which offers protection against heart diseases. This fatty acid cannot be produced by the human body, therefore, it is important to consume it from food sources.

5. Keeps you hydrated

Here’s another good reason to relish a chia drink before going out for a run. Chia seeds soak up a lot of water which is why they help athletes and runners stay hydrated during high endurance sports. One gram of chia seeds can soak up 12 grams of water.

6. Weight loss

Because of the high fiber content, chia seeds make you feel full for longer, thereby cutting down your calorie intake. A study showed that people who consumed 7 to 14 grams of chia seeds ate 25% lesser than what they usually eat. Another reason why these seeds induce satiety is their ability to absorb water. Due to the high water content, they make you feel too full to eat more. Over time, these seeds induce weight loss.

7. Calcium

Chia seeds can be a source of calcium for vegans and lactose intolerant people. And if you are a dairy-consumer, simply add these seeds to your milk shake or yogurt to boost your calcium consumption.

8. Benefits for type 2 diabetics

One of the most important benefits of these seeds is its ability to boost the health of type 2 diabetics. It lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels of the patients considerably. Including chia seeds in the diet can be considerably beneficial for the health of diabetes patients.


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Health

Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

The Kashmir Monitor

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Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:

 

Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.

Symptoms

Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Headaches
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Health

Busting myths around blood donation

The Kashmir Monitor

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As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.

 

The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Health

Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

The Kashmir Monitor

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By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.

 

DIAGNOSIS OF ED

We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION, LONG-TERM CURE

Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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