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What are the Health Benefits of Eating Oat Bran?

The Kashmir Monitor

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Making whole grains very beneficial are the three important parts that they have — the germ, endosperm and bran. So when we say oat bran, it means that it’s just the bran and nothing else. But even though it’s nothing like oatmeal which is a complete whole grain because it has everything that’s good for you, oat bran is still actually very beneficial.

Nutrition experts say that oat bran boasts of 50 percent more fiber than oatmeal, and this is exactly why it’s something that should be included in the diet on a regular basis. Oat bran, just like oatmeal, is also a wonderful source of protein, B vitamins, iron and energizing carbohydrates, making it an excellent breakfast treat.

Did you know that in the past oat bran was used as livestock feed only? Fortunately, the many health benefits oat bran could offer when consumed by humans were put under the spotlight, and it’s now considered as one of the most excellent food sources of fiber for everyone. Here are some of the health perks that the consumption of oat bran offers:

 

It Controls Blood Sugar

Oat bran is especially beneficial for people who are diagnosed with diabetes. That’s because its being loaded with fiber makes it a phenomenal regulator of the amount of sugar released into the blood at any given time. Oat bran is not only ideal for people with diabetes, but also those who are at high risk of developing it.

It Helps Lower Bad Cholesterol

Doctors say that the inclusion of oat bran in the diet on a regular basis may help in lowering bad cholesterol levels, which only means that it’s very good for keeping the heart in an excellent shape. Fiber in oat bran reduces the amount of bad cholesterol that gets into the bloodstream, flushing them out of the body.

It Regulates Bowel Movement

Other than cholesterol, oat bran also helps in promoting an efficient removal of toxins in the gut. In other words, it helps promote regular movement of the bowels.

Consuming a serving of oat bran on a regular basis is perfect especially for those who often find themselves having a bout of constipation.

It May Lower Colon Cancer

According to medical experts, a diet that’s high in fiber may help in lowering a person’s risk of suffering from colon cancer, which can be very deadly especially if it goes unnoticed and gets to a more advanced stage. Regularly eating fiber-rich oat bran may not only ward off colon cancer, but also embarrassing and uncomfortable hemorrhoids.

It Helps Promote Weight Reduction

Trying to shed off unwanted pounds? Then it’s a wonderful idea for you to include oat bran in your diet. Since it’s packed with fiber, a serving of it feels so heavy on the stomach — and this helps you from having seconds. Oat bran also helps keep unhealthy snacking at bay, and this is why it can really help you attain your dream figure.

Everyone is well-aware of the health benefits offered by oatmeal, but only a few people have heard about the perks of oat bran. Let your health-conscious family and friends know about them, too, by reposting this article!


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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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