7 healthy reasons to eat raisins!

Raisins are also considered to be nature’s healthy alternative to candies as they are extremely sweet and convenient to eat. In terms of cost too, they are cheaper as compared to other dry fruits like pistachios and cashew nuts.

1. Keeps you energetic

If you are feeling fatigued and low on energy, try eating raisins. They contain sugars like fructose and glucose and promote the efficient absorption of nutrients in your body.

2. Good for your oral health

Unlike candies which are notorious for causing cavities, raisins contain oleanolic acid which prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. This in turn helps in keeping oral health problems like tooth decay and cavities at bay.

3. Strengthens your bones

Calcium, a nutrient present in raisins helps strengthen your bones and keeps debilitating diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis at bay. Additionally, they have a micronutrient called boron which aids in the absorption of calcium.

4. Acts as an aphrodisiac

Eating raisins is a great way to rev up your love life as it contains an amino acid called arginine that raises your libido. Along with raisins, you could also eat foods like walnuts and pomegranate to boost your sex life.

5. Treats infections

Raisins can be an effective home remedy to treat infections as they have polyphenols with anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties.

6. Keeps cancer at bay

Raisins are rich in antioxidants which prevent your cells from suffering from free radical damage which helps in preventing cancer. In particular, a polyphenolic antioxidant called catechin present in raisins has been found to protect against cancer.

7. Helps cure constipation

Constipation can be an extremely unpleasant condition to have. Raisins are rich in fibre which helps clear the food stuck in your bowel. You could also try eating papaya and guavas to help relieve the symptoms.

All of these properties ensure that you stock up on raisins the next time you go to the supermarket.

Source: The health

3,000-year-old skeleton with cancer helps scientists understand disease evolution

A research team from Europe recently discovered a 3000 year old skeleton, which was believed to be a young adult male, inside in a tomb in Sudan, and it showed evidence that the person had metastatic carcinoma. The cancer had spread to various parts of the body, so this made it the oldest cancer sample that had ever been found, stated a Durham University press release.

Cancer had always been thought of as a present day condition and it seemed to have been basically non-existent during most of human history, despite being one of the top causes of death in modern times. The skeleton underwent investigation via radiography and also electron microscope scanning. By using these cutting-edge methods, the scientists were able to find that the skeleton was riddled with lesions and tumors that covered the collar bones, upper and lower arms, shoulder blades, ribs, vertebrae, thigh bones and the pelvis.

The findings might be able to aid researchers receive awareness into what was the cause of cancer in the past and how the disease has evolved. Scientists plan on using DNA studies of ancient remains to try and find cancer mutations. Records of cancer from the past have been extremely uncommon and medical researchers think that the modern way of life is behind why the number of cancer cases has risen so radically.

The cancer might have been caused from environmental pollutants such as parasites and wood fires and parasites, or it may have been inherited. It is also possible that some sort of schistosomiasis infection could have been a trigger, as this can cause bladder cancer and is known to be widespread in that area from about 15,000 B.C.

There is very little known about the evolution of cancer in ancient human populations apart from a few written references and a tiny number of skeletons that have cancer signs. Any understandings that scientists can gather from ancient human remains such as the ones found aid in the understanding of the history and evolution of modern diseases. The researches stated that the smaller lesions located on the bones could only have been caused by some sort of cancer from soft tissues in the body even though the precise origin was impossible to figure out from only the bones.

The male skeleton was thought to have been between the ages of 24 and 35 when he died. After this he was buried inside a painted sarcophagus. Before this discovery, there were only two other examples of possible metastatic cancer and they each dated much younger than this skeleton. Scientists believe that by taking an evolutionary line of attack to cancer, information that is discovered from ancient human remains might provide vital elements in finding different ways to look at one of the world’s biggest health problems.

The World Health Organization states that cancer takes the lives of nearly 14 million individuals each year. It is the hope of many researchers that these brand new findings are able to help scientists disentangle the primary causes of cancer so that the disease can be better treated and also stopped. Insights that are found from such remains really help researchers understand the evolution and history of modern diseases.

The research team found the skeleton, which was believed to be a young adult male, inside in a tomb in Sudan, and it showed evidence that the person had metastatic carcinoma. The cancer had spread to various parts of the body, so this made it the oldest cancer sample that had ever been found, stated a Durham University press release.

Source: Liberty voice

11 Foods for Healthy Bones

Build a strong structure
When it comes to building strong bones, there are two key nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Calcium supports your bones and teeth structure, while vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth.

These nutrients are important early in life, but they may also help as you age. If you develop osteoporosis, a disease characterized by brittle and breaking bones, getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D may slow the disease and prevent fractures.

Adults up to age 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 international units (IUs) of vitamin D a day. Adults over 50 should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 IU of vitamin D. Get these nutrients by trying these 11 foods for healthy bones.

Most people get their vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, but certain foods, like yogurt, are fortified with vitamin D.

One cup of yogurt can be a creamy way to get your daily calcium. Stonyfield Farms makes a fat-free plain yogurt that contains 30% of your calcium and 20% of your vitamin D for the day. And though we love the protein-packed Greek yogurts, these varieties tend to contain less calcium and little, if any, vitamin D

There’s a reason milk is the poster child for calcium. Eight ounces of fat-free milk will cost you 90 calories, but provide you with 30% of your daily dose of calcium. Choose a brand fortified with vitamin D to get double the benefits.

Can’t get three glasses a day? Try blending milk into a smoothie or sauce.

Just because cheese is full of calcium doesn’t mean you need to eat it in excess (packing on the pounds won’t help your joints!). Just 1.5 ounces (think a set of dice) of cheddar cheese contains more than 30% of your daily value of calcium, so enjoy in moderation.

Most cheeses contain a small amount of vitamin D, but not enough to put a large dent in your daily needs.

These tiny fish, often found in cans, have surprisingly high levels of both vitamin D and calcium. Though they may look a bit odd, they have a savory taste that can be delicious in pastas and salads.

Though eggs only contain 6% of your daily vitamin D, they’re a quick and easy way to get it. Just don’t opt for egg whites—they may cut calories, but the vitamin D is in the yolk.

Salmon is known for having plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but a 3-ounce piece of sockeye salmon contains more than 100% of your vitamin D. So eat up for your heart and your bones.

Don’t eat dairy products? Spinach will be your new favorite way to get calcium. One cup of cooked spinach contains almost 25% of your daily calcium, plus fiber, iron, and vitamin A.

Fortified cereal
Certain cereals—like Kashi U Black Currants and Walnuts, Total Whole Grain, and Wheaties—contain up to 25% of your daily vitamin D. When you don’t have time to cook salmon or get out in the sun, cereals can be a tasty way to get your vitamin D.

Tuna, another fatty fish, is a good source of vitamin D. Three ounces of canned tuna contains 154 IU, or about 39% of your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin. Try these low-cal Tuna-Melt Tacos as a way to sneak in vitamin D and calcium.

Collard greens
Like spinach, this leafy green often enjoyed south of the Mason-Dixon line is full of calcium. One cup of cooked collards contains more than 25% of your daily calcium. Plus you can easily sneak it into your favorite foods, like this über-healthy frittata.

Orange juice
A glass of fresh-squeezed OJ doesn’t have calcium or vitamin D, but it’s often fortified to contain these nutrients. Try Tropicana’s Calcium + Vitamin D to get a boost of these essentials.

Also, studies have shown that the ascorbic acid in OJ may help with calcium absorption, so you may be more likely to get the benefits of this fortified drink.

Source: health

Silk-based surgical implants could help heal broken bones

Researchers have developed surgical plates and screws which may not only offer improved bone remodeling following injury, but can also be absorbed by the body over time, eliminating the need for surgical removal of the devices.

Co-senior author Samuel Lin, MD, of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, said that unlike metal, the composition of silk protein may be similar to bone composition, asserting that silk materials are extremely robust.

Lin and co-senior author and Tufts chair of biomedical engineering David Kaplan, PhD, used silk protein obtained from Bombyx mori (B. mori) silkworm cocoons to form the surgical plates and screws. Produced from the glands of the silkworm, the silk protein is folded in complex ways that give it unique properties of both exceptional strength and versatility.

To test the new devices, the investigators implanted a total of 28 silk-based screws in six laboratory rats. Insertion of screws was straightforward and assessments were then conducted at four weeks and eight weeks, post-implantation.

Lin said because the silk screws are inherently radiolucent [not seen on X-ray] it may be easier for the surgeon to see how the fracture is progressing during the post-op period, without the impediment of metal devices.

He said that having an effective system in which screws and plates ‘melt away’ once the fracture is healed may be of enormous benefit.

The findings have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: zee news


Marriage at 25 or older good for men’s bones

Researchers at UCLA have suggested that marriage is good for the health of men’s bones, but only if they marry when they’re 25 or older.

In a new study, researchers found evidence that men who married when they were younger than 25 had lower bone strength than men who married for the first time at a later age.

In addition, men in stable marriages or marriage-like relationships who had never previously divorced or separated had greater bone strength than men whose previous marriages had fractured, the researchers said. And those in stable relationships also had stronger bones than men who never married.

Although for women there were no similar links between bone health and being married or in a marriage-like relationship, the study authors did find evidence that women with supportive partners had greater bone strength than those whose partners didn’t appreciate them, understand how they felt or were emotionally unsupportive in other ways.

This is the first time that marital histories and marital quality have been linked to bone health, the study’s senior author, Dr. Carolyn Crandall, a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said.

“There is very little known about the influence of social factors – other than socioeconomic factors – on bone health,” Crandall said.

“Good health depends not only on good health behaviors, such as maintaining a healthy diet and not smoking, but also on other social aspects of life, such as marital life stories and quality of relationships,” she said.

The associations between marriage and bone health were evident in the spine but not the hip, possibly due to differences in bone composition, the researchers said.

The data suggested several significant correlations between marriage and bone health – but only for men.

The study authors found that men in long-term stable marriages or marriage-like relationships had higher bone density in the spine than every other male group, including men currently married who had previously been divorced or separated, men not currently in a relationship and men who had never been married.

Among men who first married prior to turning 25, the researchers found a significant reduction in spine bone strength for each year they were married before that age.

For instance, the authors said, those who marry young are likely to be less educated, leading to lower pay and more difficulty in making ends meet.

The study is published online in the peer-reviewed journal Osteoporosis International.

Source: zee news