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From treating Anaemia to blood pressure: 5 benefits of raisins

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Despite their size, raisins or dry grapes are packed with several benefits. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are high in sugar content and calories but raisins can aid digestion, boost iron levels, and keep your bones strong. Raisins are usually used in desserts and also baked with delicious cookies, bread, and muffins. From helping in keeping your bones and teeth strong to getting rid of fever, a handful of raisins can do wonders to ward off diseases and help you stay fit and healthy. We have, here, narrowed down five health benefits of raisins.
To lower down the blood pressure
According to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 61st Annual Scientific Session, eating a handful of raisins helps to lower the blood pressure. As quoted in the research, ” Among individuals with mild increases in blood pressure (prehypertension), the routine consumption of raisins (three times a day) may significantly lower blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks.” Raisins are high in potassium content which helps to control the blood pressure.
To treat iron deficiency anaemia
Raisins are rich in iron and vitamin B-complex. Iron deficiency anaemia can be treated by including a handful of raisins in your daily diet. They are also a good source of copper which is required to produce new red blood cells.
For strong bones and teeth
Raisins contain about 36 milligrams of calcium per 1/2-cup. Calcium plays a very important role in maintaining the health of bones and teeth. Moreover, raisins also provide our body with Boron which is one of the vital trace element necessary to maintain the health of bones.
To treat fever
A study published in Journal of Food Science reveals that raisins do have a lot of benefits, including reducing body temperature when feeling feverish. Raisins have several antioxidant, antibiotic and germicidal properties which help to ward off viral and bacterial infections in the body.
To treat constipation
Raisins are a rich source of fibres. Fibre-rich food helps to aid the process of digestion. It also helps to control the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) type of cholesterol in the body.


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Health

This Homemade Immunity Boosting Powder Is All You Need To Stay Healthy

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Our immune system is made up of special organs, cells and chemicals that help fight infection and prevent certain diseases. The essential parts of the immune system are white blood cells, antibodies, the spleen, the complement system, lymphatic system, thymus and the bone marrow as they play an important role in fighting infection. People who have a weak immunity system tend to fall sick more frequently.

Therefore, it is often advised to strengthen your immune system and there are certain foods, herbs and spices that specifically help in building a strong immunity.

Celeb health coach Luke Coutinho in his recent Instagram post tells us how to make a simple and extremely nutritious immunity boosting powder. This homemade immunity boosting powder helps maintaining your health and shortens the duration of your cold and flu. The powder is made up of seven herbs and spices which are found in almost every Indian household. The seven ingredients that go into this delicious yet healthy powder are: organic turmeric powder (seven tablespoons), cumin seeds (four tablespoons), coriander seeds (four tablespoons), fennel seeds (seven tablespoons), dry ginger powder (two tablespoons), whole black pepper (two tablespoon), cinnamon powder(half tablespoon) and cardamom(three tablespoon).

This homemade immunity boosting powder can help stimulate and boost your immunity. The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties make it great for treating and preventing the common cold, cough and flu. As an added benefit, it is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Feeding your body with certain local and seasonal foods may help keep your immune system strong. If you are looking for ways to prevent winter colds and flu and keep your body warm, your first step should be preparing this immunity powder which is loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins.

Here’s how you can make this immunity boosting powder:

Keep the turmeric powder and dry ginger powder in a separate bowl. Do not roast the turmeric powder and dry ginger powder. You can roast the remaining ingredients on a slow flame till you get a nice aroma. Make sure you do not burn these spices. After roasting keep them for a while. Let them cool. Once these spices are cooled grind them into a fine and smooth powder. You can now add dry ginger powder and turmeric to it. Mix it all in and store in a air tight steel or glass jar.

You can consume this powder either as a seasoning in food or everyday with water. The powder can be a healthy alternative to garam masala as well. You can even heat one tablespoon of ghee and add half a tablespoon of the powder to the ghee. Make a thick paste and you can consume this every day in the morning. The powder can be consumed by adults as well children for better immunity and overall health. He further suggests to carry this powder whenever you travel as immunity is everything when it comes to prevention and healing.

Things to keep in mind:

If you are on a medication, you should ask the doctor before consuming it If your body heats quickly adjust the dosage
(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Integrative Medicine)

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Health

E-Cigarette Additives Can Impair Lung Function, Finds Study

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Flavouring and additive ingredients used in e-cigarettes are more likely to increase inflammation and impair lung function, according to new research. E-cigarettes — popular battery-powered devices that simulate the act of smoking a traditional cigarette — dispense a vapour derived from liquid chemicals in a refillable cartridge. Researchers from the University of Athens found that short-term exposure to e-cigarettes was enough to cause lung inflammation similar or worse than that seen in traditional cigarette use.

The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, examined several groups of mice that received whole-body exposure to varying chemical combinations four times each day.

Each exposure session was separated by 30-minute smoke-free intervals.

One group was exposed to cigarette smoke, another with e-cigarette vapour containing propylene glycol and vegetable glycerol — an odourless liquid derived from plant oils, the third with e-cigarette vapour containing propylene glycol and nicotine and another group was exposed to e-cigarette vapour containing propylene glycol, nicotine and tobacco flavouring.

The findings suggested an increase in markers of inflammation, mucus production and altered lung function in the propylene, propylene plus nicotine and flavouring groups after three days.

In addition, two inflammation-producing proteins became elevated only in the flavouring group, which suggested that some flavouring components on the market may not be safe for even short-term use.

The level of oxidative stress — stress at a cellular level — in the flavouring group was equal to or higher than that of the cigarette group.

However, respiratory mechanics were adversely affected only in mice exposed to cigarette smoke and not to e-cigarette vapour after prolonged treatment.

“The observed detrimental effects in the lung upon (e-cigarette) vapour exposure in animal models highlight the need for further investigation of safety and toxicity of these rapidly expanding devices worldwide,” the researchers warned.

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Health

Higher BMI may increase your BP as well

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If you have a higher body mass index (BMI) then there are chances that you may have increased blood pressure (BP) too, a new study has found.

The findings, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, showed a strong correlation between the degree of obesity and high blood pressure.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to several cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

For the study, the research team involved 1.7 million Chinese men and women aged between 35 and 80 years and recorded the participants’ blood pressure from September 2014 to June 2017.

They observed an increase of 0.8 to 1.7 mm Hg (kg/m2) in blood pressure per additional unit of BMI in individuals who were not taking anti-hypertensive medication.

Overall, the population had a mean BMI of 24.7 and a mean systolic blood pressure of 136.5, which qualifies as stage-I hypertension, according to American Heart Association guidelines.

“If trends in overweight and obesity continue in China, the implication of our study is that hypertension, already a major risk factor, is likely to become even more important,” said senior author Harlan Krumholz from Yale University in the US.

“This paper is ringing the bell that the time is now to focus on these risk factors,” he added.

“The enormous size of the dataset — the result of an unprecedented effort in China — allows us to characterise this relationship between BMI and blood pressure across tens of thousands of subgroups, which simply would not be possible in a smaller study,” said author George Linderman from the varsity.

This research has been supported by grants from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Science, the Ministry of Finance of China and the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China to name a few.

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