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Hot bath may improve inflammation, metabolism: Study

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If you are unable to exercise, a hot water treatment may help improve inflammation and blood sugar (glucose) levels, particularly in overweight men, suggests a new study.

Physical stress such as exercise can increase the level of an inflammatory chemical (IL-6), which activates the release of anti-inflammatory substances to combat unhealthily high levels of inflammation, known as chronic low-grade inflammation.

However, a hot-water immersion may “improve aspects of the inflammatory profile and enhance glucose metabolism in sedentary, overweight males and might have implications for improving metabolic health in populations unable to meet the current physical activity recommendations”, said researchers including Christof Andreas Leicht from the Loughborough University in the UK.

For the study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the team included a group of sedentary, overweight men who participated in both hot-water immersion and ambient room temperature (control) trials separated by at least three days.

In the hot water trial, the volunteers sat immersed up to their necks in 102-degree Fahrenheit water. The research team measured the men’s heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature every 15 minutes throughout both the control and immersion conditions. Blood samples were taken again two hours after each session.

The researchers found that a single hot-water immersion session causes the elevation of IL-6 levels in the blood and increased nitric oxide production, but did not change the expression of heat shock protein 72 — another protein suggested to be important for health.

However, a two-week treatment period in which the men participated in daily hot-water baths showed a reduction of fasting blood sugar and insulin levels as well as improved low-grade inflammation at rest.


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Health

Top 6 Home Remedies That Can Help Speed Up Your Digestion

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Do you feel uneasy after eating your meals? The reason might be indigestion. Digestive issues might be common, but they are not normal. We generally avoid talking about digestive disorders and we hardly seek any help for problems related to digestive health. But one should not ignore them. The most common problems which are associated with the digestive tract are diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), belly cramps, gas, nausea and heartburn. The main causes of digestive disorders are unhealthy eating habits, no physical activity, poor nutrition, food allergy, medication or even an infection. However, certain home remedies can help improve your digestion naturally.

6 Natural ways to improve your digestion:

1. Chew you food properly:

The most important part of good digestion is chewing your food. When you chew your food well, it eases the work for your digestive system, so your body can focus on other functions. Take time eat your food. Chew your food properly and slowly. Do not be in a hurry to finish the meal as it can lead to indigestion.

2. Fiber rich diet:

Fiber plays an important role in digestion. It is important to consume both types of fiber, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber since they both help your digestive system in different ways. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, wheat bran whole grains, oat bran, nuts, seeds and legumes. Avoid eating processed or junk food.

3. Stay hydrated:

Drinking plenty of water is good for your digestive health. Keep yourself hydrated all day long by sipper water and other fluids like fresh fruit juices, lime water or coconut water.

4. Keep moving:

Your body is designed to move. Physical exercise is very important for the overall health of the body. You can either go for walks, running, swimming, yoga or even cyclic. Physical activity on regular basis helps in moving food through your digestive system, thereby reducing the chances of digestive issues.

5. Healthy fats:

Fat keeps food moving smoothly through your digestive system. Include healthy fats in your diets like cheese, olive oil, whole eggs, nuts, avocado and fatty fish. As an added benefit, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which may further prevent inflammatory bowel diseases. Hence, include salmon, tuna, chia seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds in your diet.

6. Avoid stress:

In general, stress can have a negative impact on your health. Stress has been associated with several digestive disorders like stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation and IBS. Though stress is normal but avoid taking stress with certain breathing exercises, meditation or even yoga.

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Is your headache a sign of a ‘life-threatening’ stroke?

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High blood pressure is a common condition that affects more than 25 percent of all adults in the UK.

The condition, which is also known as hypertension, puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs, express.co.uk wrote.

High blood pressure is often known as ‘the silent killer’ as it’s not always possible to know if you’re at risk.

But you could be at risk of a deadly hypertensive crisis if your severe headache is accompanied by blurred vision, it’s been revealed.

A hypertensive crisis is a fast rise in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Anything over 180/120mmHg can immediately damage blood vessels, and they may begin to leak blood.

It could also causes damage to your vital organs, and it may be life-threatening, it said.

If you have high blood pressure, and you suddenly develop a severe headache, confusion and blurred vision, you should seek immediate medical attention.

“In an emergency hypertensive crisis, your blood pressure is extremely high and has caused damage to your organs,” said the Mayo Clinic.

“An emergency hypertensive crisis can be associated with life-threatening complications.

“Signs and symptoms of a hypertensive crisis that may be life-threatening may include severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision.

“If you experience a severe increase in your blood pressure, seek immediate medical attention.

“Treatment for hypertensive crisis may include hospitalization for treatment with oral or intravenous medications.”

You could also be at risk of a hypertensive crisis if you have severe chest pain, or severe anxiety.

Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, having seizures, or being unresponsive.

Having high blood pressure increases the risk of some deadly complications, including strokes and heart attacks.

But the only way of knowing if you have hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked.

Symptoms only develop if you have extremely high blood pressure, said Bupa UK.

Speak to a doctor or pharmacist to have your blood pressure checked.

All adults over 40 years old should check their blood pressure at least every five years.

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Dates, apricots better than starchy foods in lowering diabetes

The Kashmir Monitor

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Eating dried fruits such as dates, apricots, raisins and sultanas may not spike blood sugar compared to starchy foods such as white bread, suggests a study.

“People often worry about sources of sugar, and fruits are one of them. But most fruits, in particular tender fruit, have a low glycemic index and what we’re showing here is dried fruits also have a lower glycemic index, so they don’t raise your blood sugar very much,” said John Sievenpiper from Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital.

“This study finds that people can use dried fruits as a low glycemic index food source to replace higher glycemic index foods. So, as a snack food, dried fruit is going to be preferred to a grain-based cracker or snack,” he added.

The study, published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, compared the glycemic response of four dried fruits — dates, apricots, raisins and sultanas — to white bread in a small group of healthy participants.

They found that the fruit had a lower glycemic index and could lower the glycemic response of white bread through displacement of half of the available carbohydrate.

The glycemic index is a way of explaining how different carbohydrates affect blood glucose and can help find out which foods are best for people with diabetes.

Foods high on the glycemic index — such as white bread, most breakfast cereals, potatoes and rice — produce a spike in blood glucose and insulin.

On the other hand, the carbohydrates in low glycemic index foods — including pasta, beans, lentils and certain whole grains such as barley and oats — are broken down more slowly, and cause more moderate increases in blood glucose and insulin.

The study also suggested that there’s potential for food manufacturers to develop low glycemic index foods with reformulations that include dried fruits.

However, longer and larger randomised trials will be needed to confirm whether dried fruits can contribute to sustainable improvements in glycemic control, and whether other dried fruits have a similar glycemic index, Sievenpiper stated.

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