A new study has revealed that having nuts and seeds could be beneficial for our heart health. It is the protein in nuts and seeds which can help in improving the condition of our heart, states the study which was published in International Journal of Epidemiology. More than 80,000 people had participated in the study. Among these participants, the ones who consumed protein from red meat experienced a 60% increase in cardiovascular diseases and the ones who consumed proteins from nuts and seeds reported a 40% reduction in cardiovascular diseases.
The study reveals that apart from fats, proteins too play a role in increasing or reducing risks of cardiovascular diseases. It is the good fats in nuts and seeds which make them good for heart health.
Nuts and seeds are high in unsaturated fats which make them qualify as foods rich in good fats. Furthermore, nuts and seeds have good protein which further adds to their positive impact on health.
The study found that there might also be a biological impact of proteins in nuts and seeds which might be the one responsible for improved heart health. Researchers compared the effect of animal protein and the effect of plant protein in participants.
The study revealed that meat and plant protein are linked with cardiovascular outcomes in human beings. Protein factors of meat and nuts and seeds couldn’t be ascribed to other nutrients which are considered important for our cardiovascular health. Nuts and seeds can be included in your daily diet, unless you are allergic to them.
Dr Rupali Datta, clinical nutritionist, says that nuts and seeds contain healthy fats and are a fabulous source of anti-oxidants and fibre. “Walnuts and almonds are good for heart health. However, your overall diet should also be healthy and nutritious. Nuts are high in calories and hence their portion size must be taken into consideration. 1 ounce or 28 gms of nuts and seeds are recommended to be eaten a day,” she says.
“Studies have shown that nuts and seeds are helpful in lowering cholesterol and they also have a role to play in preventing inflammation which is linked to heart diseases. Nuts have both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats,” adds Dr Rupali.
Health benefits of eating nuts
Eating nuts specifically is helpful in terms of regulating cholesterol levels in the body. They bring down low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level. This prevents build-up of plaque in the blood vessels. Eating nuts helps in reducing inflammation related to heart diseases.
Nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which prevents heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks.
Fibre content in nuts helps in bringing down cholesterol levels in the body. Eating fibre makes you feel full for longer.
Nuts are also rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin E plays a role in preventing development of plaque in arteries. Plaque in arteries can narrow down the arteries, cause chest pain and may even lead to heart attack or coronary artery disease. Dr Rupali says that Vitamin E is a very potent antioxidant.
Health benefits of eating nuts and seeds
Besides, eating nuts and seeds has been considered good for weight loss as well. A handful of nuts and seeds is a powerhouse with essential nutrients and vitamins. They reduce inflammation considerably and also help in boosting the body’s immune system.
Speaking of weight loss, since nuts and seeds are rich in fibre, they help in keeping full for longer and prevent in unnecessary hunger pangs. One tends to eat less after consuming fibre and this ultimately garners the weight loss process. Eating fibre is also helpful in regulating cholesterol levels in the body.
Fibre binds to bile acids which are important for digesting fat. This is a process which decreases the absorption of fat and uses cholesterol to replace bile acids excreted when they are bound to fibre.
Nuts and seeds also contain some minerals essential for the body. These include calcium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus – all of which are good for maintaining healthy bones. These minerals give a boost to immunity in the body and increases energy levels. These minerals also reduce inflammation in the body.
(Dr Rupali Datta is a clinical nutritionist based in Delhi)
Reasons Why You Should Start Your Day With Ginger
Ginger is often used to add extra flavour to your tea. Ayurveda advises using ginger for various medicinal purposes. It has a strong taste and aroma which makes it can an appropriate element for your cup of tea. But you can add a change to your morning by adding ginger to it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and something like ginger which is loaded with health benefits can make your breakfast healthier. Adding it your tea is the easiest way to consume ginger but you can also try other methods to consume ginger as well. Here are 5 reasons why you should add ginger to your morning routine.
Health benefits of ginger
- Aids in weight loss
Ginger can help you control your appetite. If you consume ginger every morning you will experience reduced urge to eat. The best way to consume ginger for weight loss is ginger water. To male ginger water, you need to boil cups of water first. Then add at least two slices of ginger to it. Boil it for some time and later strain the mixture. You can drink it both hot and cold according to your preference. Consumption of ginger water every morning will regulate blood sugar levels as well.
- Better hair and skin health
Regular consumption of ginger water every morning can help you achieve flawless hair and skin. Ditch all the chemical loaded products for skin and hair and switch to ginger. The antioxidants and the vitamins present in ginger are beneficial for both hair and skin. It will also ensure better protection against skin infections and diseases.
- Improves gut health
You can say goodbye to all your digestive disorders with ginger. Adding ginger to your breakfast will give you a strong digestive system. It will give you relief from indigestion, nausea and heartburn. You can prepare ginger water for better digestion as well. To enhance its taste and benefits simply add mint, lemon juice and one teaspoon honey to it.
- Reduces inflammation
Ginger is popularly known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Staring your day with ginger regularly will result in reduces inflammation for long term. Arthritis patients can add ginger to their breakfast without giving a second thought. You will also notice relief from other body pains and swelling.
- Better cholesterol levels
Ginger can manage your cholesterol levels as well. Increase in bad cholesterol can trigger the risk of various chronic diseases. It is extremely bad for your heart health. You can reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels with ginger.
You can experiment various methods to use ginger in the morning. You can prepare ginger tea, ginger jam, ginger smoothie or can simply add it to your soup.
Testosterone replacement therapy can rise stroke risk in men
Aging men with low testosterone levels who take testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) are at a greater risk of experiencing an ischemic stroke or a cardiac arrest, especially during the first two years of use, warn researchers.
Published in The American Journal of Medicine, the findings confirm concerns voiced by many health agencies about the potential risks associated with the treatment.
“Our findings show that the use of TRT was associated with an increased risk of stroke, transient ischemic attack or cardiac arrest during the first two years of use,” said Christel Renoux of McGill University in Canada.
According to researchers, there is a limited evidence on the long-term clinical benefits of TRT to effectively treat the modestly declining levels of endogenous testosterone levels of aging but healthy men.
“We strongly recommend that clinicians proceed with caution when considering prescribing TRT and first discuss both the potential benefits and risks with patients,” Renoux said.
The study analysed a large database of electronic medical records of patients enrolled in primary care practices in the UK and formed a cohort of 15,401 men, aged 45 years or older, with low testosterone levels (hypogonadism).
Users of TRT had a 21% greater risk of cardiovascular events compared with non-users, corresponding to an additional 128 events.
The increased risk appears to be transient, declining after two years of TRT use, which the investigators attribute to a phenomenon called “depletion of susceptible.”
High intensity interval training can improve health
An international research team has now found that bringing the science of high intensity interval training (HIIT) into everyday life could be the key to helping unfit, overweight people get more of the exercise they need to improve their health.
According to experts, from washing the car to climbing stairs or carrying groceries, each of these activities is an opportunity for short sharp bursts of ‘High Intensity Incidental Physical Activity’, HIIPA for short.
Speaking about it, study author Emmanuel Stamatakis said, “Regular incidental activity that gets you huffing and puffing even for a few seconds has great promise for health.”
In a study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Stamatakis and colleagues argue that when considering differences in physical capabilities by age, sex and weight, many daily tasks can be classified as ‘high intensity’ physical activity. That is, the kind of activity that gets you out of breath enough to boost your fitness.
According to them, including these kinds of activities into routines a few times a day will see significant health benefits for the majority of adults.
Professor Stamatakis added, “There is a lot of research telling us that any type of HIIT, irrespective of the duration and number of repetitions is one of the most effective ways to rapidly improve fitness and cardiovascular health and HIIPA works on the same idea.”
According to study authors the time commitment for HIIPA is close to zero minutes per day, and people could save even more time if their HIIPA involves brief walking sprints, or taking the stairs instead of waiting for the lift. Furthermore, other practical advantages are nil costs, no need for equipment and no concerns about a lack of skill or fitness.