Both bananas and avocados are powerhouse fruits, containing large amount of vitamins and minerals. They are known for their wide range of health benefits, but not long ago scientists have revealed yet another- their ability to prevent heart attacks. The study was done at the University of Alabama and published in journal JCI Insight. As a matter of fact, the researchers revealed that eating a banana and an avocado daily protects against heart disease, specifically against atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
In addition, it might also reduce the risk of arterial blockages, which often seek surgery. The potassium content in these fruits relieves huge part of the burden, the study points out. The animal study also revealed that it reduces vascular calcification, one of the complications of cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. When you eat foods containing potassium, symptoms like pliable arteries are alleviated, particularly the stiffness seen as precursor to cardiovascular disease.
Calcification and What It Means for Your Arteries
Calcification is an accumulation of calcium in the tissues, organs, or blood vessels. According to Difference Between, “Arteriosclerosis is a defect occurring in the artery (blood vessels carrying oxygenated blood) walls. It refers to hardening of the normally flexible walls due to loss of elasticity of the arterial musculature. When young, the arteries are flexible due to the presence of a protein called elastin.
As age advances, there is loss of this elastin causing thickening of the arterial walls. Atherosclerosis is another condition that refers to the deposition of fat plaques and cholesterol globules within the arteries causing narrowing of the lumen of the arteries.” As the scientists explained, vascular smooth muscle cells, or VSMCs, lead to vascular calcification in atherosclerosis and “Arterial stiffness has become an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, representing an important health problem for the nation as a whole.”
This research suggests that vascular calcification could be a more significant contributing factor to aortic stiffening that it was thought earlier. As a matter of fact, a 2009 study is titled “Vascular calcification: the killer of patients with chronic kidney disease.” It noted, “Previously considered a passive, unregulated, and degenerative process occurring in the arterial media, vascular calcification has now been demonstrated to be a highly regulated process of osteochondrogenic differentiation of vascular cells.”
Magnesium and Potassium: Interrelationships in Regard to Health
The National Academy of Sciences investigated the role of various nutrients, including magnesium, and observed, “Magnesium has been called ‘nature’s physiological calcium channel blocker.’ During magnesium depletion, intracellular calcium rises. Since calcium plays an important role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, a state of magnesium depletion may result in muscle cramps, hypertension, and coronary and cerebral vasospasms.
Magnesium depletion is found in a number of diseases of cardiovascular and neuromuscular function, in malabsorption syndromes, in diabetes mellitus, in renal wasting syndromes, and in alcoholism.” Symptoms of low magnesium include irregular heart rhythms, anxiety, eye twitches, unexplained fatigue, and muscle spasms. It has been scientifically shown that problems like osteoporosis and asthma might also occur, along with symptoms that indicated potassium deficiency.
Bananas: An Example of the Adage ‘You Are What You Eat’
Bananas have a robust nutritional profile! When eating this fruit, it is important to watch you sugar intake, as it is packed with sugar ( natural fructose). But, the potassium content is more than good for you. Here are some of the reasons to choose small banana as a snack option:
- Bananas help balance blood sugar levels as they don’t raise your glycemic index
- Unripe bananas are beneficial for people with insulin sensitivity as they contain 15 to 30 grams of digestive-resistant starch
- Eating bananas helps maintain a healthy blood pressure level
- High-potassium foods like bananas can help lower the risk of developing kidney stones
Avocados: Impressive Nutritional Profile
Avocados provide amazing nutrients which positively affect every part of the body, particularly the arteries and the heart. Some of them include vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber. To see how much you need to provide you with the optimal amounts. Nutrition Data gives data on the major nutrients one avocado contains and the percentage of daily values:
- Fiber- 54%
- Folate 41%
- Vitamin C-33%
- Vitamin B6-26%
- Vitamin K- 53%
- Pantothenic acid-28%
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Man Hospitalized After Sniffing His Own Smelly Socks
A 37 year old man has been hospitalized after sniffing his own socks for a little too long. The man who has been identified only as Peng from Zhangzhou, southeast China started having chest pains and decided to head to the hospital.
On arrival he was immediately admitted as an emergency case and the doctor ordered an X-ray to determine the cause of his pain as well as the cause of a cough that he had developed.
Peng was diagnosed with a fungal infection of the lungs, and had to stay put in hospital for treatment, while doctors determined the pretty unusual cause.
After taking an oral history from Peng, the doctors discovered that his condition was most likely caused by his habit of smelling his socks after he’d been wearing them.
A fungal infection he had developed on his feet was transferred into his lungs when he sniffed his socks, inhaling some of the fungal spores as he did so.
A local newspaper, Fujian Daily,reported that Peng had revealed to the doctors that he had become “addicted” to smelling the socks he’d worn during the day.
This regular and prolonged deep sniffs of his own socks most likely allowed the fungal spores to spread into his lungs, where they developed into a fungal infection.
Speaking to the Fujian Daily, Dr Mai Zhuanying at the Zhangzhou No. 909 Hospital said, “The infection could also be attributed to the patient’s lack of rest at home as he had been looking after his child, leading to a weaker immune system.”
Peng has been kept in hospital for treatment, and doctors say that he is expected to make a full recovery.
Before you panic and rush to the hospital to tell doctors about that time you sniffed your socks to check if they were clean, this is unlikely to happen to you. A quick sniff probably won’t cause you to be hospitalized, just don’t make it a habit!
3 Activities That Can Help You Manage Arthritis Pain
Arthritis can cause substantial joint pain. Thus, patients with this condition often struggle to stay active. That’s understandable. It’s difficult to move around when your joints ache. However, if you have arthritis, it is actually very important to exercise regularly. Some experts even consider exercise to be the most effective arthritis treatment that doesn’t require patients to take drugs.
That said, you shouldn’t jump straight into a new fitness routine if you have arthritis. It may not be safe to perform certain exercises. Use direct access to physical therapy to coordinate with an expert that can help to develop a workout plan that fits your needs and abilities.
The types of activities they recommend will vary on a case-by-case basis. In general, though, the exercises will belong to one of the following categories:
Aerobic exercise is good for everyone because it promotes cardiovascular health. It’s particularly important for arthritic patients because it also promotes weight loss.
When you lose weight, the amount of stress your joints are under reduces. Staying active and adhering to a fitness plan will help you not only achieve a healthy weight, but also maintain it.
Range-of-motion exercises typically involve simple movements designed to help reduce joint stiffness. An example would be rolling your shoulders backwards repeatedly. These exercises are ideal for patients with limited mobility because they can be performed easily and anywhere.
Your muscles protect your joints. Thus, it’s very important for people with arthritis to focus on exercises that strengthen muscles.
This usually involves some form of resistance exercise, such as lifting weights or doing push-ups. Again, you shouldn’t attempt such a routine on your own without speaking with your doctor and a professional first. Lifting weights is dangerous for anyone without the proper experience and information. By coordinating with a professional, you’ll avoid injuring yourself.
You should also stick to a low-impact activities that are easier on your joints. For instance, walking or jogging is a lot better for an arthritic person than sprinting through rocky terrain.
Applying heat to your joints before working out can also help prevent stiffness later. Apply cold packs to your joints after exercising to reduce inflammation. Of course, you should also stop working out if you feel yourself getting too tired or experiencing too much pain.
That’s less likely to happen if you develop a fitness plan with expert help first. Again, exercise offers major benefits to arthritic people. You’ll get the most benefits when you work out safely.
Young Girls Who Met In Hospital Reunite For “Survivors” Photo-shoot
Two years after beating cancer, four young girls reunited for a celebratory photoshoot, and the pictures are all sorts of incredible. McKinley, Chloe, Ava, and Lauren, were all diagnosed with cancer and were treated at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.
The little girls all had different types of cancer, but they all met when being treated in the same ward. The four instantly became very close friends and spent as much time with each other as they could while going through treatments.
Lauren’s mom, Shawna Glynn, said, “She’s three years old and doesn’t have any hair, but all her friends in the hospital look the same way. So it kind of gave her some normality.”
“It was just always a breath of fresh air to see a familiar face, and to know that she wasn’t alone in there.” Another mom added.
The girls’ close relationship also helped their parents cope a little better, dealing with such a trying period in not just their kids’ lives, but theirs as well.
“From the standpoint of a mom, too, having other moms to relate to has been phenomenal. Just to have other people going through it at the same time as us.” Karen Moore, McKinley’s mom said.
“It gives me chills, it makes me want to cry. I mean, I love these kids as if they were my own, for sure. They’re awesome.” Paige Ward, a nurse at Johns Hopkins who took care of all the girls explained.
They may be just little girls, but the hurdles they have been able to overcome at such tender ages are incredibly amazing. What’s even more special about their story, is the beautiful friendship they have all been able to build while fighting such tough battles.
The girls have all beaten cancer, with Lauren finishing her treatment not too long ago and set to start kindergarten soon. The girls are also happy that they now have their long hair back as well and are planning to have their reunions every year.
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