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

75% seasonal, pandemic flu sufferers have no symptoms

Researchers have said that around 1 in 5 of the population were infected in both recent outbreaks of seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, but just 23 per cent of these infections caused symptoms.

The Flu Watch study tracked five successive cohorts of households across England over six influenza seasons between 2006 and 2011. The researchers calculated nationally representative estimates of the incidence of influenza infection, the proportion of infections that were symptomatic, and the proportion of symptomatic infections that led to medical attention.

Participants provided blood samples before and after each season for influenza serology, and all participating households were contacted weekly to identify any cases of cough, cold, sore throat or ‘flu-like illness’. Any person reporting such symptoms was asked to submit a nasal swab on day 2 of illness to test for a variety of respiratory viruses using Real-Time, Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) technology.

The results show that on average 18per cent of the unvaccinated community were infected with influenza each winter season-19per cent during prepandemic seasons and 18per cent during the 2009 pandemic. But most (77per cent) of these infections showed no symptoms, and only around 17per cent of people with PCR-confirmed influenza visited their doctor. Compared with some seasonal flu strains, the 2009 pandemic strain caused substantially milder symptoms.

The study has been published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.
source: zee news

Honey Could Be The Next Antibiotic:

From sea bacteria to veterinary pain medications, scientists have been looking everywhere for a solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But a new study finds that the solution may be right inside their kitchen cabinets. Honey, which has already shown some promise in treating wounds, may also be useful for fighting infections.

In a way, it makes sense. If honey can help treat wounds and prevent infection on the outside, then it could probably fight infections on the inside too. “The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” said study leader Dr. Susan M. Meschwitz,. Her findings were presented recently at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Council.

Honey commits a multi-pronged attack on bacteria, as it uses hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration, and polyphenols to kill bacterial cells. Together, these antibacterial properties make it difficult for the bacteria to adapt. Osmotic effect works particularly well due to honey’s high sugar concentration, which sucks water out of the bacterial cells, dehydrating them, and leading to death.

Honey also inhibits a bacterial cell’s ability to communicate with other bacterial cells, known as quorum sensing. This renders them unable to form communities, and therefore unable to attack in large numbers, where they would normally be stronger. Meanwhile, polyphenols, or antioxidants, such as caffeic acid, p-coumaric, and ellagic acid contain antimicrobial properties. “We have separated and identified the various antioxidant polyphenol compounds,” Meschwitz said in the release. “In our antibacterial studies, we have been testing honey’s activity against E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.”

Bacterial resistance, Meschwitz says, occurs when bacteria adapt to the antibiotics that are supposed to inhibit their growth processes. As their DNA adapts, they become immune to the antibiotic’s effect, and therefore become even more dangerous. It has been said that if we continue using antibiotics unsparingly, previously eradicated diseases will come back and wreak havoc. In an effort to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use, which occurs in doctor’s offices as well as industrial farms, both the health care community and the nation’s regulators have been taking action, and calling for reduced use.

source: Medical daily


MMR vaccine linked to lower risk of serious infections

The MMR vaccine may not only protect you from measles, mumps, and rubella — it may lower your risk of contracting other serious infections as well, according to a new study from Statens Serum Institute in Denmark.

Dr. Signe Sørup, lead author of the paper, said that the findings underscore the numerous benefits of following the immunization schedule that has been a mainstay of public health since the 1970s. “MMR may have a general immune stimulating effect preventing hospital admissions for unrelated infections,” she wrote in an email to Medical Daily. “It highlights the importance of receiving the MMR vaccine on time.”

The study, which is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, surveyed nearly half a million Danish children born between 1996 and 2006. Over a period ranging from 11 months to two years, the researchers tracked immunization among these children. Besides an MMR shot at 15 months, the recommended vaccine schedule included shots for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) administered at three, five, and 12 months.

The researchers found that receiving the MMR vaccine on time — that is, after the DTaP-IPV-Hib shot — corresponded to a lower risk of being involved in one of the 56,889 hospital admissions for general infections attributed to the sample. This relationship was particularly clear for lower respiratory tract infections and complications requiring longer hospitalization. But while the results point to new benefits, they also illuminate a waning compliance with public health recommendations.

“The coverage with MMR is suboptimal in many high-income countries; in the present study, about 50 percent of children were not vaccinated on time,” Sørup and colleagues write. “Physicians should encourage parents to have children vaccinated on time with MMR and avoid giving vaccinations out of sequence, because the present study suggests that timely MMR vaccination averted a considerable number of hospital admissions for any infection between ages 16 and 24 months.”

Source: Medical Daily