Pomegranate: superfood or fad?

Pomegranate: superfood or fad?
Pomegranate: superfood or fad?

Pomegranate and its distinctive ruby-red jewel-like seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

The Middle Eastern fruit is claimed to be effective against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.

Pomegranate is a good source of fibre. It also contains vitamins A, C and E, iron and other antioxidants (notably tannins).

We’ve teamed up with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) to examine whether the health claims made about the fruit are supported by the evidence.

The evidence on pomegranates

Can pomegranate strengthen bones?

2013 study found evidence that pomegranate strengthened bones and helped prevent osteoporosis. The catch was the study involved mice, not humans.

While the biology of mice and humans are surprisingly similar, we can never be sure that these results will be applicable to us.

Does pomegranate juice slow prostate cancer progress?

One small study from 2006 found that drinking a daily 227ml (8oz) glass of pomegranate juice significantly slowed the progress of prostate cancer in men with recurring prostate cancer. This was a well-conducted study, but more are needed to support these findings.

more recent study from 2013 looked at whether giving men pomegranate extract tablets prior to surgery to remove cancerous tissue from the prostate would reduce the amount of tissue that needed to be removed. The results were not statistically significant, meaning they could have been down to chance.

Can pomegranate reduce carotid artery stenosis?

A good-quality study from 2004 on patients with carotid artery stenosis (narrowed arteries) found that a daily 50ml (1.7oz) glass of pomegranate juice over three years reduced the damage caused by cholesterol in the artery by almost half, and also cut cholesterol build-up. However, these effects are not clearly understood and the study did not say what the results mean for conditions such as stroke.

Is heart disease prevented by pomegranates?

A well-conducted trial from 2005 on 45 patients with coronary heart disease demonstrated that a daily 238ml (8.4oz) glass of pomegranate juice administered over three months resulted in improved blood flow to the heart and a lower risk of heart attack. The study did not say what the results mean for conditions such as heart attacks, and with such a small trial the positive results reported could be down to chance.

The dietitian’s verdict on pomegranates

Alison Hornby, a dietitian and BDA spokesperson, says the evidence around the health benefits of pomegranates are inconclusive.

She says: “Research suggests there may be a benefit, but we’ve not shown it yet. The studies that have found an improvement in existing health conditions were very small and more investigation into the role pomegranate plays in these improvements is needed.

“A 150ml glass of pomegranate juice counts as one of your 5 A Day. Make sure to avoid brands with added sugar. You could also add pomegranate seeds to cold dishes and salads. It’s a healthy and appetising way to increase the nutritional value of your meal.”

Joint Pain from Osteoporosis and Arthritis – some tips

Joint Pain
Joint Pain

Two of the most common joint-related diseases include Osteoporosis and Arthritis. While these two are very common, they attack the joints in different ways and each has its own risks and symptoms. The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center provides a more detailed explanation of both of these conditions. They explain Osteoporosis as a condition where bone-density decreases and increases the risk of fracturing. There are around 53 million people within the United States with diagnosed Osteoporosis or, at least, at high risk due to a low bone-density in their body. They explain Arthritis as a general term that medical professionals use for various conditions that affect the tissue around joints, as well as the joints directly. The two most popular types of Arthritis include Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis is also known to cause several disabilities when it comes to normal daily activities. Patients with arthritis have reported difficulty grasping small objects, sitting for more than 2 hours, carry objects that weighs more than 10 pounds, stand on their feet for more than 2 hours and even difficulty when trying to bend or kneel. Around 9.8% of American citizens have reported that they suffer from Arthritis and have activity limitations due to the condition, as recorded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Treatments For Joint Problems

 

There are numerous types of treatments available for joint problems. Joint problems do not necessarily mean a joint-related disease such as Osteoporosis or Arthritis. Many people who suffer from joint pain, stiffness and a decrease in flexibility within their joints does not have any of these diseases, but are at risk of developing such a disease should the problems be ignored.

NHS declares several symptoms that are commonly associated with Arthritis conditions. Should patients experience these symptoms, they are advised to seek a professional diagnosis from their doctor. Treatment in order to avoid further development of these problems are also highly recommended. Some of the most common conditions of Arthritis include pain and tenderness in joints, joint stiffness, joint inflammation, limited flexibility of joints, warm and red skin around joint areas and weakness.

With Rheumatoid arthritis being one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of arthritis, WebMD recommends several treatment options that can be used to prevent further damage from occurring, to minimize the effects of the disease and to treat the damage already done. Popular treatments include prescription medication, rest, physical exercise, arthritis aids, stress management, consuming foods that are known to reduce inflammation, avoiding foods that are known to cause inflammation, going for physical therapy, frequent visits to your doctor for checkups and also surgery should the condition be severe.

Permanently Increase Joint Functionality

 

While medicated treatments, regular exercise and several other tips are recommended to treat problems such as arthritis, many of these treatments will only have immediate affects without providing a longer lasting benefit. There are, however, several alternative options available for individuals suffering from joint conditions that involves pain, inflammation, stiffness and movement limitations. When looking at these alternative options, several additional long-term benefits can usually be expected that would help reduce the risk of damaging joints further, while also improving the condition joints are in when consuming these alternative options.

Flexoplex is one of the best alternatives on the market at the moment. The solution is a scientifically formulated substance that provides several benefits to any individual suffering from joint issues, whether they have been diagnosed with a joint disease or are simply experiencing symptoms that might put them at risk of developing such a disease. The supplement provides numerous benefits, including:

  • Assists with rebuilding and repairing damaged joints
  • Assists with joint stiffness by properly lubricating joints
  • Assists with pain management
  • Assists with reducing inflammation in and around affected joint areas
  • Assists with improving joint flexibility in order to provide an improved range of motion
  • Assists with enhancing joint mobility

The supplement has been formulated by medical professionals and only include potent ingredients that have been researched and proven to provide effective support for joints, including joint related diseases. The formula contains a wide variety of natural ingredients that assists the body with repairing damage and improving the overall condition of the joints. Some of the most vital ingredients include Rutin, which reduces inflammation, Cat’s Claw bark, which soothes away pain, and Hyaluronic acid to improve joint movement. A combination of Glucosamine sulfate and Chondroitin sulfate also provides an effective repair element that gets to work by rebuilding bones that have been damaged and worn out. Added MSM also provides effected relieve of discomfort and muscle aches associated with osteoarthritis.

Conclusion

 

Considering the many options available for joint-related conditions, patients should always ensure they weigh all their options. While many of the medication that can be obtained from a doctor provides effective relieve of the symptoms associated with arthritis and other related diseases, many of them also come with several risks and only a few assists with repairing the damage that has already been done. Taking a supplement such as Flexoplex can provide a patient with more benefits due to the permanent improvement in joint flexibility, mobility and functionality.

 

Author Bio:

Annie Lizstan works as a health and beauty consultant for online websites and an independent researcher by profession. She had completed her studies from university of Arizona and live in Wasilla, Alaska. She always like to explore her ideas about health, fitness and  beauty . In her recent period ,she got an opportunity to explore on under eye bags .She has experience researching as a passion as well as profession. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 

Millions worried they’ll be left helpless in old age – find out more about health in an aging society

Health in an aging population
Health in an aging population
Nearly three quarters of British adults think they will have care needs in older age, however a fifth don’t know who will look after them if they do.

That’s according to new research released today which saw almost half say they don’t expect their family to look after them if they have care needs when they age.

The research reveals that under a quarter (24%) of the population feel older people are valued by society, illustrating the need to change perceptions of ageing and ensure older people are appreciated and treated as individuals.

The survey by Bupa of more than 2,000 people reveals that old age is a regular consideration, with 24% of respondents thinking about what life will be like in old age a few times a week – 17% think about it every day.


When it comes to paying for their care 40% believe they would have to fund care from their own savings, while only around a quarter say they think their care would be funded by the government, and almost 30% have no idea.

To find out more we have interviewed Professor Graham Stokes a leading dementia specialist.

Patient Talk – Can you tell us a bit more about the survey?

PROF STOKES Yes, the survey was looking at how people might consider life when their aged but also what they feel about their care needs and who might help them receive care when they’re in their later years.

Patient Talk What kind of method was used?

PROF STOKES Yes, we interviewed over 2000 people at the beginning of this year and inquired about their attitudes to aging and what they feel might happen when they are aged.

Patient Talk What were the main results?

PROF STOKES Well I think what leaps off the page, is that about three-quarters believe that they will have care needs when they’re in their old age. And they only think about maybe half will have their care needs met by their families, so that’s the negative side. But what also I think can be quite bleak is that less than a quarter feel that they will be valued by society, so that can be quite dispiriting.

Patient Talk How valid are the concerns expressed?

PROF STOKES I think they’re true. I think there’s a strong dose of realism in there. I think the first thing we have to say is that there’s still a misconception about old age. It’s often felt you’re 65, you retire, you get your pension… Well we all know that the retirement age is going to be more and more flexible and there will be people working into their late 60’s as a matter of norm, and probably within a generation or two, 65 as the starting point of old age will be completely meaningless. Were actually talking about people who are contemplating their future when they’re 75+, 80+, because on average now people should expect to live to around 80, and if you’re a woman, probably live well into your 80’s.

Patient Talk What options are actually open to older people in terms of care?




PROF STOKES I think what’s happening is that people are healthier for longer. They are surprising themselves. And so if you talk to people who are going through their early, mid-70s they will say they don’t feel old. But what does happen is that when you approach 80, I won’t say the body goes off the cliff, but you do see an acceleration of chronic diseases, all the common chronic diseases we associate with old age. It’s problems with blood pressure, its heart disease, its diabetes, its Parkinson’s, osteoporosis and for people aged over 55, dementia is their biggest worry. It can surprise people because they’ll think what about cancer, but all the research shows in the UK once you pass 55 dementia is the greatest concern and as a result, given you have that on the horizon, the question then is what do I do? And in years gone by, you would look to your family and I think the reality is that people don’t do that anymore. I think one, because they don’t wish to be a burden. Aged people aren’t strange creatures different from the rest of us, just an aged version of a younger person, and their personalities don’t change, their attitudes rarely change and no one wants to be seen as a burden whether it be young or old. There is this fear of being a burden. I think there is a greater appreciation that realistically people realise they may have many illnesses and ailments simultaneously, and that could just be excessive for any family to care for so I think that’s a real worry. But then the whole nature of family life has changed. We have smaller families so responsibility would fall on one or two children. We’re more mobile than ever before. We’re not all living around the corner. And so when we say they will be cared for by their family, it will probably be a daughter that lives about 100 miles away and so how will that work? People logically start to think about the NHS. Well the national health service pulled out of caring for aged people 25 years ago and so now it’s about care homes, and many people still have very old fashioned ideas about care homes, they don’t see them as communities, they don’t see them as communities that put the person first. No, it’s about your individuality, guiding not only your care but your quality of life so there’s a lot of old fashioned ideas around but a proportion of people will end up living in a care home.

Patient Talk How might they be funded?

PROF STOKES Well I still think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about caring for aged people. I think people believe that if you have got care needs that mean you can’t live by yourself or you can’t be looked after by your family, it’s like the NHS, the service is free, the point of delivery. Which isn’t the case, as I’ve said, long gone are the days when the NHS gave you living space in the hospitals and thank goodness that is so. In bygone years, whilst your care would be free, it would be in an open plan ward and in essence what your home would be is nothing more than the bed locker in the cubicle curtain, that would be it. Now people live in care settings, in care homes and you’ll be means tested. We define it not as chronic health care, but social care and soon as its defined as social care, your needs will be means tested against your income, your savings and the equity in your house.

Patient Talk Would it be true to say older people are less valued?

PROF STOKES I don’t think that is wrong. I think it’s the case that it’s a problem that goes back in time, that once you’re are no longer seen as being economically productive, not being able to contribute to your family, then you’re seen as more of a burden, and as you seem more of a burden, your devalued. And so as aged people start to talk, and it’s only about a quarter that feel aged people are valued by society and I think that’s very true and that is a shame because that neglects what people who are aged have contributed over decades and they still have so much more to contribute.

Patient Talk Have the baby boomers affected the perceptions of older people?

PROF STOKES I think we’re on the cusp if not a revolution, a transformation, in how we see aged people. In the UK the first baby boomer will reach 75 in 2021. If you wanted a guide as to when we might start talking about late middle age moving into early old age it’s around 75 because that’s when we start to see the rise in chronic diseases and disabilities. And from 2021 onwards, I think we’ll see a major change in how aged people wish to receive their services. For me it’s humbling, working with aged people today that they’re so grateful. They’re so grateful for not very much, they’re so stoical. That is not a baby boomer. The baby boomers are more self-centred, they’re more like consumers, the want quality, they want it now, the services shaped around them. There will be a far more demanding group of aging people, which I think quite rightly, so they’re not going to accept services as they are today, when they need their services when we go through the 2020’s.

Patient Talk What are the main medical conditions faced by older people?

PROF STOKES Yah, everybody dreads cancer, everybody dreads dementia. Most accurately, these are not the preserve, more commonly seen in old age. So the average age to be diagnosed with Alzheimer disease, the most common cause of dementia, is the late 70’s. So you have these major pathologies like Alzheimer’s disease, like the cancers, but then you have the host of chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, unstable blood pressure, chronic heart diseases, Parkinson’s disease, breathing difficulties and they will limit the quality of your life. And I think when you talk to many middle age people about their health concerns, they’re not expecting the trauma and the tragedy, what they’re fearing is just a diminishing life quality as they lose their strength, their stamina, their speed because they’re becoming more frail.

Osteoporosis – Top 5 High Impact Exercises For Stronger Bones

Statistics has it that people above the age of 50 are nearly 50% more likely to develop an osteoporosis-related fracture, particularly in the spine, hip and wrist. One of the most effective ways to strengthen your bones is through engaging in regular exercises. You can start exercising today irrespective of your age or gender to prevent osteoporosis.  According to Nicole Dorsey, an exercise physiologist, your bones become more fragile as you age, and thus you should learn how to exercise safely. Since Osteoporosis makes your bones weaker, you are at an increased risk of fractures if you don’t exercise with care.

 

Here are top 5 high-impact exercises to strengthen your bones:

 

  1. Superman Exercise
Top 5 High Impact Exercises For Stronger Bones
Top 5 High Impact Exercises For Stronger Bones

Superman exercise involves Pilates-based moves that are specifically designed to stretch and strengthen muscles along your spine. They are great moves to stabilize your entire core and the back.

  • Lie face down on a mat and place your forehead lightly on a towel
  • Keeping your thighs together, extend your legs straight behind you while squeezing your      inner thigh muscles
  • Reach your hands overhead such that the pinkies are touching the floor with your palms facing each other.
  • Gently lift your right arm forward and off from the floor about 2 inches and hold this position for about 5 seconds before lowering and repeating with the other arm.
  1. Lifting Weights

Numerous researchers indicate that you can increase your bone mass, especially on your spine, through strength training workouts. About a 2009 research from Canada’s McMaster University, performing weight training exercises for one year can increase spinal bone mass by 9% in postmenopausal women. However, it should be done with a lot of care to prevent bone joint pain, especially in the arms, hips and back.

  •     Select a convenient weight and perform 8-12 slow and steady repetition in a row and stop.

 

  •     Take 30 to 60 seconds rests between sets. Beginners should perform a set thrice every week, and gradually work up over a couple of months.

 

  1. Standing Hip Abduction

This happens to be one of the most effective exercises that is also gentle for patients receiving psoriatic arthritis treatment. It involves standing leg lifts that strengthens the muscles around the hip while lubricating hip joints that are vulnerable to fractures in osteoporosis patients.

  • Place a firm, high-backed chair or bench about a foot from your left side
  • Hold the top of the bench with your left hand while standing with feet hip-width apart, your knees bent and belly tightly firm
  • Gently lift your right leg out to the side about 6 inches off the floor while keeping it straight.
  • Point your toe slightly and hold this position for 3 seconds before slowly lowering your foot to the ground.
  • Make 8-12 repetitions and switch to your left foot.

 

  1. Band Step-outs

 

Resistance band set-outs help to improve flexibility while strengthening muscles. They are ideal for preventing bone joint pain in patients suffering from osteoporosis as they don’t strain your joints.

  • Using a resistance band that sits loosely around your mid-thighs, place your arms alongside your body or on your hips
  • Bend you’re both knees while contracting your abdominals and gently lower your hips into a half-squat. Ensuring your belly muscles are firm, slightly contract your buttocks muscles.
  • Using your right foot, take a giant, slow step out to the right side
  • Stay in half-squat position for a while before stepping the left foot together with your right foot. Step out again slowly with your right leg and go on with the step-outs to the right side eight times.

 

  1. Standing Hip Extension

 

This is another great exercise for your hips. It involves moves that strengthen lower-body muscles that go a long way in making daily activities easier, such are rising from a chair or getting out of your car.

  • Stand about 2 feet in front of a firm bench of the high-backed chair. Place your hands slightly on the top of the bench for support
  • From your waist, lean slightly forward to shift your weight on your left hand
  • Slowly extend your right leg backward to bring it just beneath your hip height
  • Hold this position for 3 seconds ensuring you keep your belly muscles contracted.
  • Gently lower your right leg to the floor using controlled movements and repeat 8-12 times. Rest for 30-60 seconds and then switch to the left leg

Conclusion

There are plenty of high impact exercises that can strengthen your bones and keep fractures at bay. They should be performed with care if you are prone to conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis. It is important to contact your doctor before taking up and exercise routine, especially if you are at an advanced age. Exercise regularly for the sake of your overall wellbeing!

Reference

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/bone-health/bone-support-faqs/what-is-the-role-of-exercise-in-bone-health.html

http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/living-with-osteoporosis-7/exercise-weight-bearing

Author Bio

Meighan Sembrano is an author at Consumer Health Information. She has a keen interest in writing. She has contributed many beauty related articles in many popular websites. She has  done her Mass Communication degree. She now lives in Washington DC. She is a social worker who spends her free time searching about life, health, beauty, world news and lifestyles fitness related articles. She is fond of travelling and trekking. To know more about her, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Benefits of Exercise for Older Women

Exercise for older women
Exercise for older women

Lack of regular exercise for women after menopause can significantly contribute to numerous health complications that include chronic illnesses like osteoporosis and arthritis, just to mention a few. There are plenty of benefits in exercising as long as you have the energy to get moving. While not all strenuous exercises can be healthy after menopause, weight-bearing workouts that place weight on your bones, such as the hips, knees, spine and legs, can be helpful in preventing conditions like osteoporosis.

If you are a postmenopausal woman, you should learn the following benefits of living an active lifestyle rather than spending too much time in bed or on the couch:

  • Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a medical condition that makes your bones weak and brittle. It is a common problem among the elderly where slight stresses like coughing, bending or falling can cause a fracture. Most fractures associated with this condition occur in the spine, hip or wrist. Although it can affect anyone irrespective of gender or age, postmenopausal women are at an increased risk for osteoporosis than men of the same age. Weight-bearing exercises, healthy diet, and medication can help in preventing osteoporosis in women after menopause.

  • Lower the Risk of Heart Disease

Your chances of getting heart disease increase as you age, but in women, the symptoms become more evident after menopause. While menopause doesn’t cause heart disease, there are certain risk factors that make women more prone to the condition after they reach menopause. These include smoking, high-fat diet and other unhealthy habits, according to Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist and a volunteer at the American Heart Association. Dr. Goldberg says that drop in estrogen levels may also play a role. Regular exercises increase the flexibility of arteries and lower HDL cholesterol, reducing the risks of blood clots, according to Dr. Goldberg.


  • Stronger Joints

About Dr. Lisa Kaye, the orthopedic surgeon and an associate professor at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri, menopause accelerates bone loss, and as you age, the amount of bone turnover is higher than the amount of new bone production. A decline in estrogen production during menopause triggers the breakdown of your bone cells, putting you at an increased risk of arthritis, which manifest as bone joint pain.  Dr. Kaye advocates for weight-bearing exercises like weight lifting and tasks performed when standing up – jogging, walking, running, step aerobics. These should start at an early age and continue past menopause to help build bone density.

  • Maintain Regular Bowel Function

Irregular bowel function is a common problem among the elderly, including postmenopausal women. It occurs mainly due to digestive complications that cause diarrhea or constipation. These can also be triggered by the sedentary lifestyle, particularly among the postmenopausal women who are trying to adapt to new physical and emotional changes in life. Luckily, you can maintain a regular bowel function by engaging in regular physical activities and exercises, which promote digestion and movement of food in the digestive system. Exercising also promotes absorption of minerals and essential nutrients into the bloodstream.

  • Overall Fitness and Health Improvement

Irrespective of your age, it is common sense that exercising regularly comes with many benefits for your overall fitness and health. It’s a great way to improve the quality of your life and longevity. Besides, exercises stimulate production “feel good” hormones while suppressing the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. This means your mood improves every time you exercise, and can be helpful in addressing psychiatric issues that commonly affect postmenopausal women, such as stress, anxiety, nervousness and mild depression. Getting a workout buddy can help in alleviating feelings of isolation that is common among the elderly.

Coping With Postmenopausal Symptoms

Apart from engaging in a regular workout routine, there are several strategies through which you can cope with postmenopausal symptoms while lowering the risks of chronic illnesses. These include:

  • Healthy diet: Consumption of a healthy and well-balanced diet will ensure that your body receives all the essential nutrients and minerals necessary to maintain normal body functions. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system. Limit fat and cholesterol intake to lower the risks of cardiovascular disease. Consume foods that are rich in calcium to strengthen your bones.
  • Make lifestyle changes: Adopt habits that are deemed beneficial to your health. Drop habits like smoking and excessive use of alcohol.
  • Maintain healthy weight: This can only be achieved with proper diet and exercises.

Supplementation

Supplementation is very crucial for women after menopause. About PM Phytogen Complex reviews, common postmenopausal symptoms can be addressed through supplements. PM Pytogen Complex is a product that is specially formulated to help alleviate common menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, weight gain and increased irritability. The supplement is all natural and inexpensive, yet very effective in treating several conditions that arise during and after menopause. Active ingredients in PM Phytogen Complex include Puerana Mirifica, vitamin B12, folic acid and biotin.

Conclusion

If you are a woman past menopause, you should never miss a day without ensuring that you engage in physical activity for the sake of improving your overall health. You can avert many health complications with regular exercises as long as you have time and energy. It’s a great way to thank your body and mind. Get up and start moving!

References

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/menopause-center/tips-to-maintain-your-health-during-menopause.html

https://www.thebeautyinsiders.com/why-is-it-hard-to-lose-weight-during-menopause.html

Author Bio

Meighan Sembrano is an author at Consumer Health Information. She has a keen interest in writing. She has contributed many beauty related articles in many popular websites. She has done her Mass Communication degree. She now lives in Washington DC. She is a social worker who spends her free time searching about life, healthy, beauty and lifestyles fitness related articles. She is fond of travelling and trekking. To know more about her, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.