With many millions of people suffering from macular degeneration and cataracts, it’s well worth incorporating some of the foods that are good for your eyes into your daily diet. Since the eyes are vascular, it’s vital to stick to a healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fat to maintain your eyes’ blood vessels healthy. Numerous studies show that protecting the eyes begins with the foods on a plate. Foods rich in lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and antioxidants help ward off most age-related vision problems including cataracts and macular degeneration. A few years ago I had problems with my eyes and I was unable to work in front of a computer screen or watch TV more than 20 minutes since my eyes became red and sore. My doctor helped me, and then he advised me to include these foods for healthy eyes in my everyday diet so that I could keep my eyes healthy on a daily basis. One of the best things about these foods is that they also improve digestion, boost my mood and energy, keep my skin healthy, and improve overall health. Enjoy learning about 9 best foods to eat to keep your eyes healthy and feel free to add to this list your favorite foods after reading through.
Sure, carrots top this list of the best foods to eat for healthy eyes. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene that promote overall eye health. Vitamin A is crucial for the surface of the eyes and lids and beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the cells of the eyes from free radical damage. Carrots don’t give you night vision, of course, but the beta-carotene will help lower your risk of both cataracts and macular degeneration.
Rich in fiber and potassium, carrots are also great for your overall health. Potassium helps to maintain a proper fluid balance in the body and fiber helps keep your digestive system functioning efficiently. Carrots are also high in falcarinol, a substance that can slow the cancer cell growth.
If you are trying to lose weight, load up your diet with carrots since they are extremely low in calories and they are almost fat-free. Plus, they are high in fiber that will keep you full longer and can even prevent you from overeating. Munch on carrots when you are hungry. Serve carrot sticks with hummus or a low-calorie vegetable dip. I always add carrots to my healthy smoothies, salads, soups, stir-fry, and I make healthy carrots chips that my family, especially kids, enjoys eating instead of potato chips.
Like any other oily fish, such as sardines, herring, mackerel and halibut, salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a good eye health. Eating salmon regularly reduces the risk of macular degeneration by 38% and helps treat dry eye disease. Salmon is also one of the best sources of vitamin D that helps improve your eye health, cardiovascular health and it plays a vital role in healthy bone growth. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, type-1 diabetes, sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Incorporate salmon into your eating plan to improve your vision as well as to prevent vitamin D deficiency. A can of salmon contains your day’s worth of this essential vitamin.
Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon also help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and slow and prevent the Alzheimer’s disease. It’s recommended to eat salmon at least twice a week. You can bake salmon for dinner, add salmon chunks to your salads, grill salmon, use raw salmon for sushi and sashimi, or eat smoked salmon with crackers. If you have trouble falling asleep, try eating salmon for dinner. Salmon is high in tryptophan, a natural sedative that will help you sleep better.
Kale, spinach, chard, collards, and other dark leafy greens are packed with two potent antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, which are stored in the macula. The macula is a small part of the retina that acts as an absolutely natural sunblock, protecting your eyes from harmful light. The antioxidants found in leafy greens absorb blue light that is especially dangerous to the retina. Moreover, they can help you get better contrast detection and improve your eyesight. Many researches have found that zeaxanthin and lutein lower the risk of chronic eye diseases, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
In fact, leafy greens are good for your overall health and they boast a plethora of amazing benefits. For instance, spinach is high in potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamins E and K, and antioxidants that protect your brain cells and may help prevent dementia. Kale is a wonderful source of vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, and calcium. Eating kale regularly promotes healthy eyes and skin, helps reduce the bad cholesterol levels, and improves liver and kidney functions. Add your favorite leafy greens to your green smoothies, use them in your salads, or make homemade kale chips. If you are brave enough to eat leafy greens raw, it’s even better.
One of the most delicious and versatile vegetables, a yellow corn is rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, powerful antioxidants that are good for your eyes. ½ cup of cooked corn provides you with 1,8 grams of these pigments. Consuming corn on a regular basis lowers the risks of cataracts and helps prevent the loss of yellow pigments in the eyes.
Corn is also fortified with Vitamin C, Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B1 (thiamin) and folate. Moreover, it’s a fantastic source of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and antioxidants that help your body combat cancer-causing free radicals. Due to its high fiber content, corn helps prevent hemorrhoids, lower the risk of colon cancer, diabetes and heart problems, as well as aids weight loss.
You can add corn to your salads and soups, grill or boil fresh corn on the cob, use it in your pizza, salsa and risotto. I also love adding corn to my vegetable smoothie. If you don’t like the taste of the corn, a healthy vegetable smoothie is a great option for you. You will enjoy a tasty drink while reaping all its health benefits. To increase the absorption of the eye-friendly pigments found in a yellow corn, consider eating corn with some dietary fat such as salmon, olive oil, or walnuts.
Perhaps, you have never even considered eating ostrich for healthy eyes, but it’s rich in zinc that helps the eyes stay healthy and lowers the risk of macular degeneration.Ostrich is a great substitute for red meat. It contains less than a third of the amount of fat in a lean beef, and it’s much lower in cholesterol than chicken and other red meats. Ostrich meat is rich in zinc that plays an important role in maintaining eye health. Zinc is also vital for many enzyme systems and proper functioning of your digestion and immune system. Moreover, it helps reduce stress levels, boost metabolism and fight acne. People who suffer from macular degeneration should definitely incorporate ostrich meat into their eating plan. During macular degeneration, the low zinc levels in the retina can be leveled up by eating ostrich meat on a regular basis.
Apart from improving your eye health, ostrich meat boasts numerous benefits. If you want to build or maintain muscle, add some ostrich meat to your daily diet. This meat is an awesome source of potassium, protein, iron, phosphorous, and natural creatine.
Thanks to its ideal pH balance, ostrich meat doesn’t attract or harbor harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E-coli, unlike chicken and some other meats. This makes ostrich meat perfect for carpaccio and sushi.
6. Olive oil
The major reason why olive oil is so beneficial to your eyes is that it helps your body absorb nutrients from the other foods that can help keep your eyes healthy. So, drizzle olive oil over your mixed salad to absorb all of the nutrients from the tomatoes and leafy greens, and cook your sweet potatoes and meat in olive oil to get the most nutrients.
Studies show that a diet that’s low in saturated and trans fat can help prevent retina diseases. Olive oil is low in saturated fat and contains no trans fats. When purchasing olive oil, opt for extra virgin olive oil that provides a great antioxidant boost to protect your eyes. Olive oil is naturally free of cholesterol, carbohydrate and sodium, but it’s high in vitamin E – 100 gram of fresh extra virgin olive oil provides approximately 96% of recommended daily amount of alpha-tocopherol. Moreover, olive oil is rich in vitamin K – 100 gram of extra virgin olive oil provides around 50% of recommended daily intake. Vitamin K is crucial for preventing heart disease, building strong bones, and keeping your eyes healthy. Due to its high antioxidant content, olive oil helps prevent cancer, coronary artery disease, inflammation, diabetes, and degenerative nerve diseases.
One of the best and tasty foods to eat for healthy eyes is turkey. It is rich in both the B-vitamin niacin and zinc and it is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a substitute for both beef and chicken. Plus, turkey is often more reasonably priced. Eating turkey regularly keeps the eyes healthy and can even ward off cataract.
Apart from being rich in zinc, turkey is also fortified with B vitamins, tryptophan, phosphorus, protein and selenium. It’s low in cholesterol and saturated fat, and can be a part of a healthy diet due to its high protein content. A serving of turkey has 65 percent of recommended daily protein intake. Have a turkey sandwich with your favorite veggies for lunch and you will almost cover your daily protein intake.
Turkey is believed to help prevent cancer and boost mood thanks to its incredibly high tryptophan content. It’s a great source of selenium, which is crucial for the healthy function of the immune system and thyroid and which plays a vital role in the antioxidant defense system, helping to prevent the growth of cancer-friendly free radicals in your body. Since turkey is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef, pork and chicken, consuming it also helps to reduce cholesterol levels. If you can’t afford eating ostrich meat, turkey may be the best choice for you.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of carotenoids, including lycopene, a great antioxidant compound that gives tomatoes their perfect red color. A study shows that the lycopene helps protect the retina and other areas of the eye from the light-induced damage. Lycopene may also help protect your cells from damage and it helps prevent prostate, stomach, and lung cancers. Tomatoes are also plentiful in vitamin C that helps protect your eyes and vision. Moreover, vitamin C promotes wound healing, protects your body from free radical damage, and improves the absorption of iron from most plant foods.
Fresh or cooked tomatoes consumed with a little bit of olive oil will help improve lycopene absorption. Not only do tomatoes help protect your eyes, they can also improve your skin health and boost your brain power and immune system. You can add tomatoes to your morning smoothies, vegetable salads, soups, omelets, or better, eat them raw. Consider grilling tomatoes and drinking tomato juice that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Slice a few tomatoes for your homemade pizza or make your own tomato pasta sauce. Many researchers say that consuming foods high in powerful antioxidants is much better than taking a supplement. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, so why not eat them more?
9. Sweet potatoes
Finally, the last great food to eat for healthy eyes is sweet potatoes. It’s the beta-carotene you have to thank for helping to keep your eyes healthy when you eat sweet potatoes. Just like carrots, sweet potatoes are plentiful in beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium, which are all good for eye health. A medium sweet potato provides over 200 percent of recommended daily intake of beta carotene, 28 percent of recommended daily manganese intake, and 40 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin D that is crucial for your immune system, energy levels, eye health and bone growth. Not only are sweet potatoes great for your eye health, they are also good for your heart health. Due to its high content of potassium and vitamin B6, sweet potatoes help to prevent high blood pressure and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
I like sweet potatoes since they are very versatile. You can mash them, roast them, or even make them into chips and fries. You can also serve baked sweet potatoes with extra virgin olive oil to boost your eye health. Sweet potatoes also blend well with nuts and onions.
These amazing and tasty foods are good for your eyes since they all contain antioxidants, fats or minerals that are so good for your eyes. Add foods rich in lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, omega-3 fats and zinc to your everyday diet to improve your eye health and prevent eye diseases. Do you eat these foods for healthy eyes? Please comment below.
We all know that deep and meaningful relationships play a vital role in one's overall well-being but still, most of us are bereft of emotional bonding in life. It is imperative, therefore, to listen to your heart and stay close to those who love you the most.
According to an interesting study, close relationships not only support individuals in their ability to cope with stress or adversity but also in their efforts to learn, grow, explore, achieve goals, cultivate new talents and find purpose and meaning in life.
"People will be most likely to thrive with well-functioning, close relationships that serve different support functions - whether the relationship is with friends, parents, siblings, a spouse or mentors," said researchers Brooke Feeney of Carnegie Mellon University and Nancy Collins from University of California at Santa Barbara.
Relationships serve as an important function of not simply helping people return to baseline but help them to thrive by exceeding prior baseline levels of functioning.
"We refer to this as source of strength (SOS) support and emphasise that the promotion of thriving through adversity is it's core purpose," Feeney explained.
The second important function of relationships is to support thriving in the absence of adversity by promoting full participation in life opportunities for exploration, growth and personal achievement.
According to researchers, thriving involves five components of well-being; hedonic well-being (happiness, life satisfaction), eudaimonic well-being (having purpose and meaning in life), psychological well-being, social well-being and physical well-being.
Sometimes, support providers may inadvertently do more harm than good if they make the person feel weak, needy, inadequate or induce guilt and make the recipient feel like a burden.
"Being responsive involves providing the support that is dictated by the situation and by the partner's needs, and being sensitive involves responding to needs in such a way that the support-recipient feels understood, validated and cared for," Collins emphasised.
The paper published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review.
Kerala may be the only state in India with the highest literacy rate, but it seems the state has not been able to beat the child marriage demon. According to a report by UNICEF, notwithstanding a better gender balance in the southern part of the country, child marriage has been found to be on the rise in Kerala in recent years. ‘In the southern part of India we have a relatively better gender balance which explains lower rates of child marriage. Nevertheless, recent studies have shown a rising rate in Kerala,’ Unicef’s child protection specialist in India Dora Giusti said.
Child marriage – the huge elephant in the room
A report released by Dasra, a philanthropy foundation called Marry me later: Preventing Child Marriage and Early Pregnancy in India released a report on the phenomenon of child marriage in India. The report also highlights how millions of girls can lead a healthier life for themselves and their families if they marry later. (Read: Child marriage: When will our girls’ lives be more important than religious sentiments?)
The report says India accounts for the highest share of world’s 60 million child marriages and 61% of women between the ages of 25-49 were married before they turn 18. Some other statistics from the report:
India accounts for 40% of child brides in India, which means two out of every five child brides is an Indian.
47% of Indian girls are married before they turn 18.
22% of Indian girls give birth before they turn 18.
Girls under 15 are five times as likely to die during child birth than women in their early 20s.
Loss of productivity due adolescent pregnancies is $7.7 billion a year.
Ill-effects of child marriage
The reason child marriage is a big concern is because it leads to a host of complications related to adolescent pregnancy which include:
Hypertension: They have a higher risk of suffering from hypertension during pregnancy than women in their 20s and 30s. They’re also likelier to suffer from pre-eclampsia.
Anaemia: Caused due to lack of red blood cells which is usually due to nutrition deficiency like iron, vitamin B12, folic acid. The most common form is anaemia.
Postpartum haemorrhage: The term refers to a haemorrhage (bleeding) after delivering and is quite common among adolescent mothers. It’s caused due to the four Ts: Tone, Trauma, Tissue and Thrombin. (Read: Priyanka Chopra speaks out against female genital mutilation and child marriage)
Senior citizens in Delhi now have a safe haven when it comes to their healthcare. Beginning 1st September this year, hospitals run by the Central government will offer free medical consultations. This is a move made by the government to lessen the burden on senior citizens who often have to shell out large amounts of money for their medical care.
This move comes amidst reports of the Indian National Commissions on Population stating that there has been a steady rise in the average lifespan of an individual. The commission has projected that the number of people in the 60 years plus is poised to reach 143 million in 2021. – a statistic that requires adequate medical infrastructure.
But if you live in any other state other than the capital, the Union Health Ministry has assured people that they will duplicate the model in other states of the country if this model worked in Delhi.
According to the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, the plan is to implement the free services plan will start with 20 clinics run by the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) exclusively for central government employees and their dependent families.
Vardhan in a statement to the Press Information Bureau said, ‘We will see how much demand accrues for the CGHS clinics and the ability of the clinics to handle demand from the general public before extending the services to more people in other cities.
But there are some restrictions, the free consultation will not include free medication and the minimum qualifying age is 60 years. Apart from that the scheme will only be valid between 1.30 and 3.00 pm on working days.
A new pilot study is taking an innovative approach to detecting irregular heartbeats, and they’re calling it “FaceTime” for heart diagnoses.
The results of the study were published online yesterday in the journal Heart Rhythm.
Atrial fibrillation, a common form of abnormal heart rhythm, affects more than 3 million Americans. But, it’s estimated that 30% of people with atrial fibrillation go undiagnosed.
The study tested a new webcam based diagnostic tool for heart problems and was conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Xerox. Researchers programmed a webcam with a Xerox developed algorithm to scan participants faces for the slightest change in skin coloration. Certain changes in skin color, undetectable to the human eye, may indicate a person is experiencing hearth arrhythmia.
The webcam is programmed to look for high levels of hemoglobin, which takes on more of the green spectrum of light. The camera works by detecting reflections of green light as blood pulses through the face. Since the skin on your face is the thinnest and blood vessels are closest to the surface, its easiest to catch changes in blood color here.
Researchers hooked 11 participants with atrial fibrillation up to an electrocardiogram, so they could measure the heart’s electrical activity while the 15 second facial scans were being taken. Researchers found that color changes picked-up by the camera corresponded to the heart rate detected on the ECG.
The video monitoring method, called videoplethymography, had an error rate of 20% compared with an error rate of 17-29% for automated ECG measurements.
Considering this is only a pilot study, a lot more research still needs to be conducted. Researchers from this study are in the process of putting together a much larger study using the same technology, but with a more diverse population including people both with and without atrial fibrillation.
“This technology holds the potential to identify and diagnosis cardiac disease using contactless video monitoring,” said Jean-Philippe Couderc, one of the researchers from the University of Rochester in a press release. “This is a very simple concept, but one that could enable more people with atrial fibrillation to get the care the care they need.”
Ultimately the hope is that the technology could be refined to be able to detect other types of heartdisease. The study was funded by Xerox and the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences, a New York State-support Center for Advanced Technology.
Washington: Gut bacteria may be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often drive us towards obesity, a new study suggests.
US researchers concluded from a review of scientific literature that microbes influence human eating behaviour and dietary choices to favour consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on, rather than simply passively living off whatever nutrients we choose to send their way.
Bacterial species vary in the nutrients they need. Some prefer fat, and others sugar, for instance.
But they not only vie with each other for food and to retain a niche within their ecosystem - our digestive tracts - they also often have different aims than we do when it comes to our own actions, according to senior author Athena Aktipis.
While it is unclear exactly how this occurs, researchers believe this diverse community of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiome, may influence our decisions by releasing signalling molecules into our gut.
Because the gut is linked to the immune system, the endocrine system and the nervous system, those signals could influence our physiologic and behavioural responses.
"Bacteria within the gut are manipulative," said Carlo Maley, director of the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Evolution and Cancer.
"There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals, and others not," said Maley, corresponding author on the paper.
We can influence the compatibility of these microscopic, single-celled house-guests by deliberating altering what we ingest, Maley said, with measurable changes in the microbiome within 24 hours of diet change.
"Our diets have a huge impact on microbial populations in the gut. It's a whole ecosystem, and it's evolving on the time scale of minutes," Maley said.
Research suggests that gut bacteria may be affecting our eating decisions in part by acting through the vagus nerve, which connects 100 million nerve cells from the digestive tract to the base of the brain.
"Microbes have the capacity to manipulate behaviour and mood through altering the neural signals in the vagus nerve, changing taste receptors, producing toxins to make us feel bad, and releasing chemical rewards to make us feel good," said Aktipis, co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer with the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF.
The research was published in the journal BioEssays.
New York: Incorporating human milk fat supplement into premature infants' diets improves their growth outcomes in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), says a new study.
"For premature babies who weigh less than a kg, one of the problems is that their lungs and other organs are still developing when they are born," said Amy Hair, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine in the US.
"If the infant gains weight and increases in length at a good rate while in the NICU, this helps improve their (growth) outcomes," Hair added.
Previous research has shown that an exclusive human milk diet protects the intestines of premature infants and supports their growth.
This diet consists of mothers' own breast milk or donor human milk, as well as a fortifier consisting of protein and minerals made from the donor milk.
In this study, researchers sought a way to optimise growth in infants who weigh between 750 and 1,250 grams and need additional calories.
As infants are already receiving enough protein from the fortifier, another way to help them grow is by giving them fat. One of the byproducts of pasteurising donor milk is milk fat, also referred to as a cream supplement.
They found that infants in the cream group had better growth outcomes in terms of weight and length than infants in the control group.
One herb that has been increasingly garnering a lot of attention all over the world is ashwagandha, also called as Indian Ginseng. The synonym actually gives a clue to this herb’s biological actions that have made it popular although botanically, it is not related to ginseng. Derived from Sanskrit to mean ‘smell of a horse,’ ashwagandha is credited with the ability to impart vigour equivalent to that of a stallion and traditionally, it has been used to help boost immunity following an illness.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen
Adaptogens are herbs that act on the body to prevent the ill-effects of stress, fatigue and anxiety. These substances do not act on any particular organ, but work on the entire body system to help it stay in a balanced state called homeostasis. Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen and plays a role in:
Improving resistance against stress
Boosting stamina and energy, including sexual energy
Refreshing the body and mind
Soothing the nervous system
Improving quality of sleep
What makes ashwagandha special among adaptogens is that it acts as a stimulant to improve your energy levels but it can also help to calm and soothe the nervous system, resulting in lower anxiety and better sleep.
Researchers have been studying ashwagandha for years now and have found it to contain several ingredients that play a role in its activity. The most important ones are steroidal lactones called withanolides, alkaloids, amino acids, fatty acids, some sugars and choline. Thanks to this unique combination of chemicals, ashwagandha has many health benefits as discussed below.
The most remarkable action of ashwagandha is its ability to combat the ill-effects of stress. This is believed to be a result of the antioxidant properties of the herb. Stress leads to an increase in free radical reactions that lead to greater oxidation of several cellular components and this causes cellular and tissue damage typically associated with stress. Ashwagandha has potent antioxidant action and therefore, it prevents such cellular oxidation and the resulting damage.
Better functioning of the nervous system
Several studies have found that ashwagandha plays a major role in improving the function of the nervous system. Research shows that this herb reduces degeneration of brain cells, improves memory and learning and also helps to reduce depression and anxiety; the best part about this last action is that unlike chemical tranquilisers and anti-depressants, ashwagandha does not induce any drowsiness. Considering these benefits for the nervous system, this herb is being investigated as a promising option to treat degenerative diseases of the nervous system such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Ashwagandha has been found to possess significant anti-inflammatory action. Considering that inflammation is one of the reactions implicated in the development of cancer, ashwagandha has been studied for its anti-cancer properties. Laboratory studies on animals have shown this herb to possess the ability to inhibit the growth of cancers of the lung, colon, breast, skin and stomach. These studies also indicate that ashwagandha interferes with the cancer cells reproduction and that is what makes it a potent anti-cancer agent. Considering these promising findings, researchers are now trying to investigate if the same mechanism holds true in human tumours.
The powerful action of ashwagandha against stress helps to improve the functioning of the immune system, ensuring better overall health and less instances of falling sick. Besides, the herb has been found to have antibacterial activity of its own. Also, it tends to improve the ability of the macrophage cells of the immune system to destroy harmful, disease-causing microorganisms.
Several other actions are attributed to ashwagandha – cholesterol-lowering action, blood sugar stabilising action and even anti-malarial properties. However, these effects are still being probed to evaluate the extent of the herb’s actions.
As a rejuvenative, ashwagandha is recommended in a daily dose of between 600 to 1000 milligrams, upto twice a day. Laboratory studies have shown the herb to cause abortions in animals and although no data is available for humans, it is best for pregnant women to avoid this herb. If you feel very stressed, irritable, tired and unenergetic, you could consider taking ashwagandha but please make sure you take it under the supervision of a reliable Ayurveda practitioner.
The Deccan Herald reported a study published in the journal Human Reproduction, lean, healthy men who consume more sugary drinks may have a low sperm quality and motility.
The study was an analysis of semen of 189 men aged between 18 and 22 years, from Rochester, New York. Each participant underwent physical examination, and had to answer a questionnaire about his health habits and diet. The men reported how often they consumed sugar-sweetened drinks ranging from zero to six drinks every day.
Although researchers found no link between consumption of sugary drinks and sperm motility in overweight or obese men, the link was apparent in lean, healthy men. The top 25 per cent of men who consumed the most sugary drinks, consumed an average of 2.7 sugar-sweetened beverages per day, ‘Live Science’ reported. Lean men with this high-intake had 6.3 per cent lower sperm motility than other obese men who consumed, on average, less than one sugary drink per day.
Higher sugary drink consumption was also found to be associated with decreases levels of a follicle stimulating hormone, or FSH, a reproductive hormone that helps sperm production. But the study reported that both lean and obese men, who consumed the most sugary drinks had lowered FSH levels.
What are the causes of infertility?
While a laptop may be your go-to device for everything from ordering a meal to earning your salary, scientists have said that keeping a laptop on your thighs can affect your sperm quality and make you infertile. A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility suggests that ejaculated sperm (of men working with a laptop) was significantly damaged.
The list of diseases linked to obesity is long. It is also the leading cause of infertility in both men and women. In men, it can affect the sperm count and in women, it makes miscarriages likelier and also interferes with their menstrual cycle. If you are obese, it is important that you fight the condition and get back in great shape. It may take months of hard work, but will keep you happy for years after. Not only will it make you healthier, it will be great for your self confidence too!
Like obesity, the list of diseases linked to smoking is long. Its harmful effects are well publicized and are prominent in public consciousness. A report by the British Medical Association showed that smokers may have up to a 10-40 percent lower monthly fecundity (a.k.a. fertility) rate.
While smoking rates have fallen among Indian men, they have risen among women.
A factor, doctors say, that can be attributed to rising cases of infertility and higher risk of cancer among Indian women these days.
A study published earlier this year in the British Medical Journal and which was earlier carried by the The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examined the prevalence of smoking and cigarette consumption in 187 countries between 1980 and 2012 and found that while cigarette smoking among Indian men has fallen from 33.8% in 1980 to 23% in 2012, it has risen from 3% to 3.2% among Indian women within the same time frame.
In absolute terms, the number of female smokers in India has more than doubled - from about 5.3 million to 12.2 million in that time frame.
Commenting on the trend, Nevin Kishore, consultant in Pulmonology at Max Hospital, said the changing lifestyles are leading to more women taking up smoking in the Indian scenario.
"The effects of smoking, like lung damage, do not show in a person who smokes about four-five cigarettes a day in the initial few years.
Although tobacco does not discriminate on the basis of gender, women smokers are more at risk of infertility. They also face the risk of all kinds of cancer," Kishore told IANS.
Agreed Sapna Nangia, oncologist at Apollo Hospital. "There has been a rise in the number of women smoking cigarettes and there are two main reasons for it. The first is a carefully devised plan by the tobacco industry which has faced a lot of lawsuits in this regard in the west, and has therefore realised that instead of going on facing the difficulty of advertising their product there, it would be easier to encourage women in India and China to smoke under the pretext of making smoking a socially acceptable norm," Nangia told IANS.
"If women in India and China started smoking in big numbers, the tobacco companies felt that they would no longer have to depend on the west. This, plus a mistaken notion that smoking denotes independence of women, has led to the numbers rising," she added.
Nangia however stressed that the upward trend is only in the urban areas, because "women in the rural areas have always consumed tobacco in high numbers".
Kailashnath Gupta, pulmonologist at Columbia Asia Hospital, went on to say that the consumption rate of smokeless tobacco has also risen among women. "Tobacco does not differentiate, but the effect of smoking on pregnant women and those in the reproductive age group of 22-40 can be detrimental to the foetus and on their fertility," Gupta said.
He also said that while the overall number of smokers in India has increased, the percentage of smokers has come down "since it's in relation to the size of our population. I also think that the younger generation today, those in the 20-25 age group, is smoking lesser than of the yesteryears," Gupta added.
His words find resonance in the study which revealed that although the prevalence of cigarette smoking in India has dropped by over five percent over the last three decades, the number of smokers in India has risen from about 74.5 million in 1980 to 110.2 million in 2012. However, as compared to 1980 when Indians used to smoke an average of 11.6 cigarettes a day, now they average 8.2 a day.
The study used data from several multinational and national surveys, including the Global Adult Tobacco Survey. India is the third largest producer of tobacco and the second largest consumer of tobacco products worldwide, the study said.
A different study in 2012 further found that 42 percent of cancers in men and 18.3 percent cancers in women were related to tobacco consumption. Cardiovascular disease is also linked to it. "The only way out of this health mess is for the government to implement the anti-tobacco laws more effectively.
Increasing taxes, I feel, hardly discourages people, and it's only the government that benefits. Advertisements against tobacco usage like the ones in movie theatres is one of the best ways to make people aware and therefore discourage them," Gupta said.
मधुमेह के रोगी विशेषतः इसके रस और सब्जी का सेवन करते हैं | समस्त भारत में इसकी खेती की जाती है | इसके पुष्प
चमकीले पीले रंग के होते हैं | इसके फल ५-२५ सेमी लम्बे,५ सेमी व्यास
के,हरे रंग के,बीच में मोटे,सिरों पर नुकीले,कच्ची अवस्था में हरे तथा
पक्वावस्था में पीले वर्ण के होते हैं | इसके बीज ८-१३ मिमी लम्बे,चपटे तथा
दोनों पृष्ठों पर खुरदुरे होते हैं जो पकने पर लाल हो जाते हैं | इसका
पुष्पकाल एवं फलकाल जून से अक्टूबर तक होता है | आज हम आपको करेले के कुछ
औषधीय प्रयोगों से अवगत कराएंगे -
१- करेले के ताजे फलों अथवा पत्तों को कूटकर रस निकालकर गुनगुना करके १-२ बूँद कान में डालने से कान-दर्द लाभ होता है |
२- करेले के रस में सुहागा की खील मिलाकर लगाने से मुँह के छाले मिटते हैं |
३-सूखे करेले को सिरके में पीसकर गर्म करके लेप करने से कंठ की सूजन मिटती है ।
४- १०-१२ मिली करेला पत्र स्वरस पिलाने से पेट के कीड़े मर जाते हैं |
५- करेला के फलों को छाया शुष्क कर महीन चूर्ण बनाकर रखें | ३-६ ग्राम की
मात्रा में जल या शहद के साथ सेवन करना चाहिए | मधुमेह में यह उत्तम कार्य
करता है | यह अग्नाशय को उत्तेजित कर इन्सुलिन के स्राव को बढ़ाता है |
६- १०-१५ मिली करेला फल स्वरस या पत्र स्वरस में राई और नमक बुरक कर पिलाने से गठिया में लाभ होता है |
७- करेला पत्र स्वरस को दाद पर लगाने से लाभ होता है | इसे पैरों के तलवों पर लेप करने से दाह का शमन होता है|
८- करेले के १०-१५ मिली रस में जीरे का चूर्ण मिलाकर दिन में तीन बार पिलाने से शीत-ज्वर में लाभ होता है |
रोजमर्रा की भागदौड़ भरी जिंदगी में हम कई प्रकार के तनाव से गुजरते हैं। सोते-जागते, खाते-पीते हर समय दिमाग में कोई न कोई परेशानी या तनाव चलता ही रहता है। इसके चलते सिरदर्द, गर्दन में अकड़न, कमर का दर्द, मोटापा और थकान जैसी समस्याएं अक्सर हो जाती हैं। ऐसे में ब्रीदिंग एक्सरसाइज की मदद से दिमागी तनाव और अन्य समस्याओं से छुटकारा पाया जा सकता है।
जब हम सांस लेते हैं तो इसके साथ हमारे शरीर में पहुंचने वाली ऑक्सीजन खून के माध्यम से शरीर की कोशिकाओं को पोषण देती है। ब्रीदिंग का महत्व सालों पहले भी प्राणायाम के रूप में बताया गया है। केवल गहरी सांस लेने और छोड़ने से ही हमें कई तरह के फायदे होते हैं।
ध्यान के दौरान डीप ब्रीदिंग का बड़ा महत्व है। डीप ब्रीदिंग के लिए सीधे बैठ जाएं और एक हाथ अपनी छाती पर रखें और दूसरा पेट पर। इसके बाद गहरी सांस लें और फिर धीरे-धीरे छोड़ें। यदि ब्रीदिंग सही तरीके से की जाए तो इससे कई फायदे मिलेंगे।
- रोजमर्रा के कामों के साथ भी कर सकते हैं ब्रीदिंग एक्सरसाइज।
- बहुत अधिक तनाव की स्थिति में ब्रीदिंग लेवल अचानक बढ़ जाता है, इसे कंट्रोल करने के लिए ये एक्सरसाइज करें।
- फिट रहने के लिए मुंह की बजाय हमेशा नाक से ही सांस लेनी चाहिए।
- चलते हुए भी ब्रीदिंग एक्सरसाइज की जा सकती है।
रिलैक्स मिलेगा: डीप ब्रीदिंग न सिर्फ शरीर को पूरी तरह रिलैक्स करेगी, बल्कि आपको मानसिक सुकून भी देगी।
डिटॉक्सीफिकेशन: ब्रीदिंग के जरिए शरीर के 70 प्रतिशत टॉक्सिंस बाहर निकल जाते हैं। इसे नियमित करें।
दर्द से निजात: डीप ब्रीदिंग से दर्द से भी राहत मिलती है। इसे प्राकृतिक पेन किलर के रूप में जाना जाता है।
खुशी मिलेगी: नियमित रूप से डीप ब्रीदिंग करने से ब्रेन में न्यूरोकेमिकल्स का प्रोडक्शन बढ़ता है, जो अंदर से खुश रखने में आपकी मदद करता है।
पोस्चर में सुधार: कुछ अध्ययन के मुताबिक, आपका बैड पोस्चर ब्रीदिंग में गड़बड़ी की वजह से होता है। यदि आप डीप ब्रीद करें तो इसमें निरंतर सुधार खुद देख पाएंगे।
दिल की सेहत अच्छी रहेगी: इसे लेकर भी कई शोध हुए, जिनमें सामने आया कि एक्सरसाइज से पहले डीप ब्रीदिंग करने से आप ज्यादा बेहतर तरीके से वर्कआउट कर पाएंगे। इससे दिल की कार्यक्षमता सुधरेगी और वजन भी घटेगा।
पाचन तंत्र बेहतर होगा: डीप ब्रीदिंग करते हुए ज्यादा ऑक्सीजन डाइजेस्टिव ऑर्गन्स में पहुंचती है। इससे आपका पाचन तंत्र बेहतर तरीके से काम कर पाएगा।
उज्जैन। यदि आप को अक्सर गैस, एसिडिटी या पेट दर्द जैसी समस्याएं रहती हैं। यदि आप इन समस्याओं के लिए दवा खा खाकर थक गए हैं, लेकिन फिर भी थोड़े-थोड़े समय में ये समस्याएं आपको परेशान करती रहती हैं तो रोज योगा करें। भद्रासन इन समस्याओं में विशेष रूप से लाभदायक माना गया है। इन आसनों के नियमित अभ्यास से ये समस्याएं हमेशा के लिए खत्म हो जाती हैं।
भद्रासन की विधि- भद्रासन के लिए नीचे दरी या चटाई बिछाकर उस पर घुटनों के बल खड़े हो जाएं। अब अपने दाएं पैर को घुटने से मोड़कर पीछे की ओर ले जाकर नितम्ब (हिप्स) के नीचे रखें। फिर बाएं पैर को भी घुटने से मोड़कर पीछे की ओर ले जाकर नितम्ब (हिप्प) के नीचे रखें। घुटनों को आपस में मिलाकर जमीन से सटाकर रखें। पंजे को नीचे व एडिय़ों को ऊपर नितम्ब से सटाकर रखें। अब अपने पूरे शरीर का भार पंजे व एडिय़ों पर डालकर बैठ जाएं। इसके बाद अपने दाएं हाथ से बाएं पैर के अंगूठे को पकड़ें और बाएं हाथ से दाएं पैर का अंगूठा पकड़ लें। अब जालन्धर बंध लगाएं यानी सांस को अंदर खींच कर सिर को आगे झुकाकर कंठ मूल से सटाकर रखें और कंधे को ऊपर खींचते हुए आगे की ओर करें। अब नाक के अगले भाग को देखते हुए भद्रासन का अभ्यास करें। इस स्थिति में जब तक रहना सम्भव हो रहें और फिर जालन्धर बंध हटाकर सिर को ऊपर करके सांस बाहर छोड़ें। फिर सांस को अंदर खींचकर जालन्धर बंध लगाएं और भद्रासन का अभ्यास करें।
लाभ- इस आसन से शरीर फूर्तिला और फिट रहता है। याददाश्त बढ़ती है। कल्पनाशक्ति का विकास होता है। चंचलता कम होती है। पाचन शक्ति बढ़ती है। सिरदर्द, अनिद्रा, दमा, बवासीर, उल्टी, हिचकी, अतिसार, पेट के रोग और आंखों की बीमारी आदि रोगों में इस आसन से लाभ होता है।
उज्जैन। गर्मी के मौसम में आने वाले अधिकतर फल रस से भरे होते हैं। ये फल स्वादिष्ट ही नहीं उपयोगी भी होते हैं। कई सारे फल हैं जिनके सेवन के अनेक फायदे हैं। यदि आप गर्मी के मौसम में वेट लूज करने का मन बना रहे हैं तो गर्मियों में आने वाले कुछ रस भरे फल भी आपकी मदद कर सकते हैं।
गर्मी के मौसम में वजन घटाना अन्य मौसमों के मुकाबले ज्यादा आसान होता है। आइए जानते हैं, आज ऐसे ही कुछ फलों के बारे में जो वजन घटाने में आपकी मदद कर सकते हैं।
- संतरे में केवल 80 कैलोरी होती है। इसे खाने से या इसका जूस पीने से पेट जल्दी भर जाता है। यह गर्मियों में आपको हाइड्रेट भी रखता है।
- स्ट्रॉबेरी फैट फ्री और लो कैलोरी वाली होती है, इसमें सोडियम नहीं होता है। रोजाना डेढ़ कप स्ट्रॉबेरी खाने से आपको बाहर का कोई स्नैक्स खाने की ज़रुरत नहीं पड़ेगी, जिससे वजन नियंत्रण में रहेगा।
- रसभरी में अन्य फलों के मुकाबले बहुत सारा फाइबर होता है। इसमें 64 कैलोरी होती है, जिसके साथ विटामिन सी, विटामिन के, होते हैं, जो कि वजन कम करने में मदद करते हैं।
- यदि आप कड़ी डाइट पर हैं, तो आपको यह फाइबर से भरा आडू बहुत अच्छा है। इसमें 60 कैलोरी पाई जाती है, जो कि वेट लास करने में मदद करती है।
- तरबूज में 96 प्रतिशत पानी होता है, जिसे खाने से आपका पेट भी भरता है और वेट भी नहीं बढता।
- माना जाता है कि आम में बहुत कैलोरी होती है, लेकिन ऐसा नहीं होता। आम को खाने से ब्लड शुगर नहीं बढ़ता और न ही मोटापा।
- अंगूर में बहुत सारा फाइबर होता है, इसलिए यदि आप अपना वेट कम करना चाहते हैं, तो अंगूर का सेवन करें।
गर्मी में सन टैन एक आम समस्या होती है। सनस्क्रीन लगाए बिना तेज धूप में बाहर निकलने के कारण त्वचा का रंग डल हो जाता है। यदि आप भी इस समस्या से जूझ रहे हैं तो आगे लिखे नुस्खों को अपनाएं। बिना ज्यादा मेहनत ही सन टैन की समस्या से छुटकारा मिल जाएगा।
- नींबू का रस, गुलाब जल और खीरे के जूस का मिला लें। इस मिश्रण को चेहरे पर लगाने से चमत्कारिक लाभ होता है।
- दही में कुछ बूंदें नींबू और टमाटर के रस की मिला लीजिए। इसे प्रभावित क्षेत्र पर लगाइए। आधे से एक घंटे बाद चेहरा ठंडे पानी से धो लीजिए। आप महसूस करेंगे कि आपकी त्वचा खिली-खिली और चमकदार हो गई है।
- बेसन और नींबू के साथ थोड़ा सा दही मिलाकर मिश्रण तैयार करें। इस मिश्रण को प्रभावित क्षेत्र पर नियमित रूप से लगाएं। कुछ ही समय में आपको सन टैन से मुक्ति मिल जाएगी।
- नारियल पानी चेहरे, हाथों और सन टैन से प्रभावित क्षेत्रों पर नियमित रूप से लगाने से सन टैन खत्म हो जाता है।
- हल्दी और नींबू का रस मिलाकर सप्ताह में तीन बार चेहरे पर लगाएं। इससे आपकी त्वचा की रंगत हल्की होगी और साथ ही सन टैन भी दूर होगा।
- बादाम को सारी रात पानी में भिगोकर रख दें। सुबह पीसकर पेस्ट बना लें। इसमें समान मात्रा में मलाई मिला लें। इसे सन टैन से प्रभावित क्षेत्र पर लगाएं। कुछ ही दिनों में आपकी रंगत निखर जाएगी।
- पपीते को मैश कर लीजिए और इसे सन टैन से प्रभावित हिस्से पर लगाइए। पपीता त्वचा के लिए बहुत अच्छा होता है और साथ ही इसमें एंटीएजिंग गुण भी होते हैं।
- चेहरे पर मुल्तानी मिट्टी लगाने से टैनिंग को काफी हद तक दूर किया जा सकता है।
- ओट्स और बटर मिल्क मिक्स करें और इन्हें त्वचा की ऊपरी मृत परत हटाने के लिए इस्तेमाल करें।
उज्जैन। भूलने की आदत इंसान की सबसे खराब आदतों में से एक है, क्योंकि इस आदत के कारण न सिर्फ खुद वो इंसान जिसे भूलने की समस्या है, परेशान हो जाता है, बल्कि उससे जुड़े दूसरे लोग भी कई बार परेशानी में पड़ जाते हैं। भूलने की समस्या लगभग हर उम्र के लोगों में पाई जाती है।
भूलने का मुख्य कारण एकाग्रता की कमी है। अधिकतर समस्या रीकॉल करने में होती है, क्योंकि हमारे दिमाग को रीकॉल प्रोसेस के लिए जिन पोषक तत्वों की आवश्यकता होती है, उनकी हमारे शरीर में कमी हो जाती है। इसलिए उन पोषक तत्वों की पूर्ति करने के लिए आगे बताए गए नुस्खे अपनाकर कोई भी भूलने की आदत से छुटकारा पा सकता है।
- 9 नग बादाम रात को पानी में भिगो दें। सुबह छिलके उतारकर बारीक पीस कर पेस्ट बना लें। अब एक गिलास दूध गर्म करें और उसमें बादाम का पेस्ट घोलें। इसमें 3 चम्मच शहद भी डालें। दूध जब हल्का गर्म हो तब पिएं। यह मिश्रण पीने के बाद दो घंटे तक कुछ न खाएं।
- जो लोग सुबह कॉफी पीते हैं, वे कॉफी न पीने वालों की तुलना में अधिक फुर्ती से अपने कार्य निपटा लेते हैं। यदि आप दोपहर में भी चुस्त रहना चाहते हैं तो कॉफी का सहारा लें।
शोधकर्ताओं के अनुसार, कैफीन मस्तिष्क के उन हिस्सों को क्रियाशील करता है, जहां से व्यक्ति की सक्रियता, मूड और ध्यान नियंत्रित होता है।
- कमजोर याददाश्त को बुढ़ापे की निशानी माना जाता है, लेकिन बार-बार भूलने की समस्या केवल बूढ़े लोगों के साथ ही नहीं, बल्कि जवान लोगों के साथ भी होती है।
ब्रह्मी दिमागी ताकत बढ़ाने की मशहूर जड़ी-बूटी है। इसका एक चम्मच रस रोज पीना लाभदायक होता है। इसके 7 पत्ते चबाकर खाने से भी याददाश्त बढ़ती है।
- जब भी प्राकृतिक तरीकों से स्मरण शक्ति बढ़ाने की बात होती है, तब रोज मेरी तेल का नाम सबसे पहले आता है। इस तेल को दौनी के पत्तों से निकाला जाता है, जिसमें औषधीय गुण होते हैं। दौनी के पत्तों में मस्तिष्क की शक्ति बढ़ाने के गुण होते हैं। इस वजह से इसे ब्रेन टॉनिक भी कहा जाता है।
इसके तेल का उपयोग स्मरण शक्ति बढ़ाने के लिए सदियों से किया जाता रहा है। इसकी तीखी खुशबू की वजह से लोग इसे खाना पकाने के काम में भी लाते हैं। इसकी खुशबू के कारण इसे सुगंध चिकित्सा में भी इस्तेमाल किया जाता है। इसकी तीखी खुशबू आपके मस्तिष्क को उत्प्रेरित करती है, जिसकी वजह से आपके दिमाग की कार्यक्षमता बढ़ती है।
- कम ही लोग जानते हैं सेब में पाया जाने वाला पेक्टिन विशेष फाइबर होता है। यह इम्यून सपोर्टिव प्रोटीन्स के स्तर को बूस्ट करता है। इसलिए दिनभर में एक सेब खाना आपको कई बीमारियों से बचा सकता है। रोज सेब का सेवन करने से स्मरण शक्ति बढ़ती है।
- अलसी के तेल में भी ओमेगा 3 फैटी एसिड्स प्रचूर मात्रा में पाए जाते हैं। अलसी का तेल एकाग्रता बढ़ाता है, स्मरण शक्ति तेज करता है और सोचने-समझने की शक्ति को भी बढ़ाता है।
- अखरोट में एंटी-ऑक्सीडेंट्स होते हैं और दिन में कम से कम सात अखरोट खाने से बीमारियां हमेशा दूर रहती हैं। साथ ही, कोलेस्ट्रॉल भी नियंत्रित रहता है। अखरोट स्मरण शक्ति बढ़ाने में सहायक है। 20 ग्राम अखरोट और 10 ग्राम किशमिश मिलाकर खाने से याददाश्त बढ़ती है।
- हरी चाय एक स्वास्थ्यवर्धक पेय है। वैज्ञानिकों को मिले साक्ष्य के अनुसार, यह मस्तिष्क के लिए लाभदायक होती है। वैज्ञानिकों ने इसमें ऐसे रासायनिक तत्व पाए हैं, जो मस्तिष्क की कोशिका के उत्पादन, स्मृति में सुधार के साथ-साथ सीखने की क्षमता को भी प्रभावित करते हैं।
- दालचीनी का तेल भी स्मरण शक्ति बढ़ाने में काफी प्रभावकारी होता है। यह तेल कोलेस्ट्रॉल को कम करता है, जिसकी वजह से आपका मस्तिष्क तेजी से काम करता है। यह तेल दिमाग को ठंडक पहुंचाता है। तनाव को कम करते हुए दिमाग को तेज-तर्रार बनाता है।
- मछली को दिमाग के लिए पोषक आहार माना जाता है। इसमें
ओमेगा 3 फैटी एसिड्स प्रचुर मात्रा में पाए जाते हैं। ओमेगा 3 फैटी एसिड्स मस्तिष्क के लिए बहुत जरूरी हैं। मछली के सेवन से दिमाग तेज होता है और स्मरण शक्ति बढ़ती है।
मछली का तेल भी ब्रेन टॉनिक का काम करता है। यह तेल प्राकृतिक रूप से आपकी स्मरण शक्ति कमजोर होने से रोकता है। साथ ही, एकाग्रता, बुद्धिमता और तर्क करने की शक्ति को भी बढ़ाता है।
E-cigarettes undoing anti-smoking efforts: Study Health experts have claimed that e-cigarettes are next big smoking poison and their popularity is undoing the anti-smoking efforts made by several organizations across the globe in the past three decades. According to official figures, the number of people using the e-cigarettes in the US jumped significantly in the last couple of years. Data showed that number of calls to poison centres in the US relating to e-cigarettes has increased from just one in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014. The figures released by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that even the number of calls from people using conventional cigarettes has not shown such increase. The CDC statistics reveal that over 50% of the calls relate to children under the age of five. "This report raises another red flag about e-cigarettes -- the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be hazardous," CDC director Tom Frieden said in a statement. "The most recent National Youth Tobacco Survey showed e-cigarette use is growing fast, and now this report shows e-cigarette related poisonings are also increasing rapidly," Tim McAfee, director of CDC's office on smoking and health, was quoted as saying. The study comes at a time when speculation is rife that the Welsh government is planning to include e-cigarettes under the smoking ban.
Researchers have suggested that building a strong connection to a social group helps clinically depressed patients recover and helps prevent relapse.
For the paper, (CIFAR) Senior Fellow Alexander Haslam, lead author Tegan Cruwys and their colleagues at the University of Queensland conducted two studies of patients diagnosed with depression or anxiety. The patients either joined a community group with activities such as sewing, yoga, sports and art, or partook in group therapy at a psychiatric hospital.
In both cases, patients responding to survey questions who did not identify strongly with the social group had about a 50% likelihood of continued depression a month later.
But of those who developed a stronger connection to the group and who came to see its members as 'us' rather than 'them,' less than a third still met the criteria for clinical depression after that time. Many patients said the group made them feel supported because everyone was "in it together."
While past research has looked at the importance of social connections for preventing and treating depression, Haslam, a member of CIFAR's Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being (SIIWB) program, says it has tended to emphasize interpersonal relationships rather than the importance of a sense of group identity.
This paper is in press at the Journal of Affective Disorders.
The research is the first to review the concept of aversion to happiness, and looks at why various cultures react differently to feelings of well-being and satisfaction."One of these cultural phenomena is that, for some individuals, happiness is not a supreme value," said Mohsen Joshanloo and Dan Weijers from the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. The researchers believe that being raised in a culture that does not value happiness could encourage a person to back away from it.
However, an aversion to happiness exists in both Western and non-Western cultures, although happiness is more valued in the West, researchers said.
In American culture, it is almost taken for granted that happiness is one of the most important values guiding people's lives. Western cultures are more driven by an urge to maximize happiness and minimise sadness, they said. Failing to appear happiness is often a cause for concern. Its value is echoed through Western positive psychology and research on subjective well-being. In non-Western cultures, in contrast, it is a less valued emotion. The ideals of harmony and conformity are often at odds with the pursuit of personal happiness and the endorsement of individualistic values, researchers said. For instance, studies have shown that East Asians are more inclined than Westerners to think that it is inappropriate to express happiness in many social situations. Similarly, Japanese are less inclined to savour positive emotions than Americans, said researchers.
The review points out that many cultures shy away from happiness as they hold the belief that especially extreme happiness leads to unhappiness and other negative consequences that outweigh the benefits of such positive feelings. In both Western and non-Western cultures, some people side-step happiness because they believe that being happy makes them a worse person and that others may see them as selfish, boring or shallow. "Many individuals and cultures do tend to be averse to some forms of happiness, especially when taken to the extreme, for many different reasons," researchers said. The study was published in Springer's Journal of Happiness Studies.
Shaving even a minute off the time between the onset of a stroke and initial treatment may add to the amount of "healthy" days people have afterward, suggests a new study.
Researchers found that stroke patients gained about two days of healthy life for every minute spared between the onset of their stroke and when they first received treatment, on average.
"Every 15 minutes you wait, you lose a month of life," Dr. Atte Meretoja told Reuters Health.
Meretoja is the study's lead author from the Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Parkville, Australia.
The exact ratio of saved treatment time to healthy days varied by patient, he and his team found.
Although it's well known that early treatment for strokes is best, the new study helps highlight how significant even small delays can be, researchers said.
"We developed that measure so it's easy to remember and that the general public will understand it," Meretoja said.
He and his colleagues summarized their findings in the journal Stroke as, "Save a Minute, Save a Day."
There is currently only one treatment approved by U.S. regulators for ischemic strokes, which are caused by blockages in blood vessels going to the brain. Usually, the blockage is a result of clotted blood or fatty deposits known as plaque.
Thrombolysis is the use of a drug known as tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, to break up the blockage and allow blood to flow to the brain. Restoring blood flow prevents the death of brain cells and improves people's recovery.
The treatment is time sensitive, however. The 60 minutes from the onset of a stroke is often referred to as the "golden hour" for treatment, because people treated during that time have much better odds of completely recovering.
Approximately 800,000 people in the U.S. have strokes every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 87 percent of those are ischemic strokes.
For the new report, the researchers compiled data from two studies to find how time to treatment is related to how patients fare after a stroke.
The studies, from Finland and Australia, included 2,258 stroke patients.
A new study has found that a healthy body mass index is not enough to save people with large waist circumferences from untimely death resulting from various diseases including heartdisease, respiratory problems, and cancer.
The researchers pooled data from 11 different cohort studies, including more than 600,000 people from around the world. They found that men with waists 43 inches or greater in circumference had a 50 percent higher mortality risk than men with waists less than 35 inches, and this translated to about a three-year lower life expectancy after age 40. Women with a waist circumference of 37 inches or greater had about an 80 percent higher mortality risk than women with a waist circumference of 27 inches or less, and this translated to about a five-year lower life expectancy after age 40.
Importantly, risk increased in a linear fashion such that for every 2 inches of greater circumference, mortality risk went up about 7 percent in men and about 9 percent in women. Thus, there was not one natural 'cutpoint' for waist circumference that could be used in the clinic, as risk increased across the spectrum of circumferences. Another key finding was that elevated mortality risk with increasing waist circumference was observed at all levels of BMI, even among people who had normal BMI levels.
Because of the large size of this pooled study, researchers were able to clearly show the independent contribution of waist circumference after accounting for BMI,James Cerhan, a Mayo Clinic epidemiologist and lead author of the study said. Cerhan added that BMI is not a perfect measure, and it doesn't discriminate lean mass from fat mass, and it also doesn't say anything about where your weight is located. The study is published in the Marchedition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.