Myth or fact: Is Hibiscus the new drug to cure diabetes naturally?

Diabetes has become a common disease these days just like any other whacky flu, cough and cold. Life is certainly not easy for a diabetic as one has to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout, since there is no cure for the disease.

Is Hibiscus the new drug to cure diabetes naturally

Offering a new hope to diabetics, researchers at Assam’s Tezpur University and West Bengal’s Visva-Bharati University have derived that natural extracts from a particular species of the hibiscus plant can help in curing diabetes.

Researchers collected samples of hibiscus leaves from North-East region and conducted tests on diabetic rats. The results showed that a phytochemical (plant-derived compound) from the leaves of Sthalpadma or land-lotus (scientifically known as Hibiscus mutabilis and commonly called Confederate rose) restore insulin levels better.

Samir Bhattacharya, emeritus professor, School of Life Sciences (Zoology Department) at Visva-Bharati in Shantiniketan was quoted saying to a news agency: “We found that ferulic acid (FRL), belonging to the polyphenols, extracted from leaves of the plant, has the potential to be a better therapeutic agent for diabetes”.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are about 346 million people worldwide with diabetes, with more than 80% of deaths occurring in developing countries. India has nearly 63 million diabetic patients, with the situation becoming grimmer mainly because of the sedentary lifestyle prevailing across key metros and big cities aggravating the situation. According to a study conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of Indians suffering from this malicious disease is expected to cross the 100 million mark by 2030.

Source: India vision

Five reasons why you should eat oranges

Whether you have it as a snack, add it to your dish for a sweet and tangy flavour or just squeeze it to make a glass of fresh juice – oranges are one of the most popular fruits around the world power packed with immense health benefits. A rich source of Vitamin C and packed with antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fibre this citrus fruit is said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and anti-oxidant properties.

Here are some of the health benefits for oranges:

Boost immunity: Just one orange supplies 116.2% of the daily value for vitamin C. Vitamin C, is vital for the healthy functioning of the immune system. It also helps prevent colds and recurrent ear infections.

Prevents cancer: Vitamin C, a primary water-soluble antioxidant protects the cells from damages by free radicals reducing risk of cancer. The fibre in oranges can grab cancer-causing chemicals and keep them away from cells of the colon, providing yet another line of protection from colon cancer. Beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid may significantly lower risk of developing lung cancer.

Lowers cardiovascular disease risk: Folate, also known as vitamin B9, helps lower levels of homocysteine- an amino acid produced by the body – high levels of which can cause hardening and narrowing of the arteries, heart attack, stroke and blood clot formation. The potassium in oranges helps lower blood pressure, protecting against stroke and cardiac arrhythmias; and the vitamin C, carotenoids and flavonoids have been identified as having protective cardiovascular effects. Iron and Vitamin B6 in oranges help in the production of haemoglobin and increase the oxygen carrying capacity.

Prevents stomach ulcers: Oranges are a very good source of fibre which helps keep your stomach and intestines healthy. A diet rich in fibre helps stimulating digestive juices and helps prevent constipation and stomach ulcers.

Great for diabetics: A single orange provides 12.5% of the daily value for fibre and has a high glycaemic index which makes it a good food option for diabetics. Fibre helps to keep blood sugar levels under control. In addition, the natural fruit sugar in oranges, fructose, can help to keep blood sugar levels from rising too high after eating.

Source: zee news


Top 5 reasons to indulge in a chocolate treat

Are you keeping a distance from indulging in your favourite chocolate treat, only because all that you are worried about is putting on those extra pounds? Surely, you are not aware of the wonders that a piece of chocolate can do to your health.

Hold on; don’t jump on to grab a bar of chocolate yet. Your favourite milk chocolate or white chocolate may not give you the desired benefits. It’s the dark chocolate, that is power packed with health benefits and when taken in moderation can actually help keep your heart healthy, improve brain power and even help maintain a slimmer figure. There are 5 Proven Reasons You Should Be Eating More Dark Chocolate. Here are the top excuses that make when indulging in a chocolate treat:

Keeps heart healthy: Dark chocolate (containing at least 60% cocoa solids) helps protect against cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Flavanols present in cocoa produce a chemical in the body called nitric oxide which helps relax blood vessels making it easier for blood to pass through them. Moderate consumption of dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, “bad” LDL cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases.
Improves brain power: The antioxidants in dark chocolate help improve blood flow to the brain, thus enhancing your cognitive ability. In a study published in online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers found that drinking hot chocolate did help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking skills sharp. Helps deal with mood swings: Dealing with terrible mood swings? Bite on a chocolate.

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical our brain creates when one falls in love. The magnesium content in chocolate aids relaxation; anandamide- a neurotransmitter- helps regulate mood, and phenylethylamine raises endorphin levels making you feel happier.
Helps manage weight: Unlike the popular assumption that eating chocolates can lead to weight gain, consuming dark chocolate in moderation can actually help you keep your BMI (body mass index) in check.

Chocolates boost metabolism, thus balancing out the calorie intake. Rich in fiber, it can actually help keep you full for long, so you’ll eat less. Chocolates may even reduce cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods. May help fight diabetes: According to a study, eating dark chocolate improves the body’s ability to metabolise sugar.

The team concluded that flavanol was responsible for the effect because it neutralised potentially cell-damaging substances known as oxygen free radicals. However, commercial chocolates don’t have the same effect as they are high in calorie and fat content.

Despite all the health benefits of dark chocolates, researchers warn people to be careful about chocolate consumption. Anything in moderation would do no harm, so dig your way into the favourite dark chocolate treat.

Source: Journey Line