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Certain Cardiac Diseases are Twice as common in Impoverished Communities:Study

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A recent University of Oxford study found that people living in the most impoverished areas have nearly twice the risk of developing certain cardiac diseases than people living in affluent places.

In order to comprehend patterns in heart illness during the previous 20 years, researchers examined the electronic health records of 22 million people, including 1,650,052 newly diagnosed cases of at least one cardiovascular disease between 2000 or 2019.

A group of specialists from the Universities of Glasgow, Leicester, KU Leuven, and Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health undertook the study.

In collaboration with three other universities, the University of Oxford conducted the research.

The investigation also revealed that, between 2000 and 2019, there was a 19% decline in the number of new diagnoses for heart-related diseases. This included significant declines in heart attacks and strokes, with cases falling by about 30%.

On the other hand, there has been a rise in the diagnosis of various cardiac disorders like blood clots, valve issues, and irregular heartbeats.

Since 2007–2008, the total incidence of cardiovascular disease across the 10 diseases under study has stayed largely steady, despite these divergent trends.

People over 60 have benefited from heart health improvements the most. The beneficial trends have not been felt by younger age groups.

As the study’s principal author and senior research fellow at Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, Dr. Nathalie Conrad stated: “To date, cardiovascular disease prevention is largely focused on ischaemic heart disease and stroke.”

“Our findings suggest that existing efforts have been successful in preventing, yet that other cardiovascular diseases increased in parallel.

“For example, our study shows that venous thromboembolism and heart block are now similarly common to heart attacks or strokes, yet these conditions receive much less attention in terms of prevention efforts.

“We hope that these findings will help raise awareness to expand research and prevention efforts to include the broader spectrum of cardiovascular presentations and their consequences.”

The inference made from the data indicates that a wider variety of problems should be taken into account in future attempts to prevent heart disease.

It also emphasizes how important it is to pay attention to the particular needs of younger and less advantaged populations.

According to researchers, in order to effectively combat heart disease going forward, public health practices must change to reflect these new realities.

It’s also critical to expand our knowledge of heart disease to include disorders like arrhythmias and valve problems in addition to heart attacks and strokes.

Furthermore, they claim that by concentrating on these at-risk groups, health authorities may create and put into practice more potent preventative measures, ultimately leading to better heart health outcomes for all.

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8 Vital Nutrients to help you bid Dry Skin Farewell

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Anyone who has dry skin will attest to how difficult it is to keep it under control. Itching, irritation, peeling, and even redness are signs of dry skin. You keep trying to keep your skin smooth and moisturized, but you just can’t seem to get rid of dry skin. If this is the case for you, it’s essential to hydrate your skin both internally and externally. While keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized is aided by drinking enough water, you also need to make sure that your diet has the necessary nutrients for dry skin. These contain vitamins E, C, and omega-3 fatty acids, among others, which nourish and shield skin from the inside out.

Signs of Skin Dryness

Although dry skin is more common in the winter, it can occur in other seasons as well. These are a few typical indicators of dry skin:

  • spongy skin
  • tight skin
  • Itching
  • coarseness of texture
  • Skin imperfections or fissures Skin peeling
  • itchy and irritated skin

Eight vital nutrients that are necessary for dry skin

To help with dry skin, include these 8 nutrients in your diet on a daily basis:

1.Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is well-known for enhancing immunity. It is also essential for the creation of collagen. Dermatologist Dr. Rinky Kapoor says, “If you have dry skin and it is causing patches, flakiness, and itching, adding vitamin C to your diet can help hydrate your skin and maintain skin elasticity and firmness,” It can also improve the skin’s capacity to retain moisture and hasten the repair of damaged skin cells. According to the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, dry skin can cause hyperpigmentation, which can be treated with vitamin C.

Foods high in vitamin C include bell peppers, strawberries, kiwis, and citrus fruits like oranges and lemons.

2.Vitamin A

Reninoids, another name for vitamin A, are fat-soluble micronutrients that are essential for healthy skin and hair. According to a study that was published in Pharmacological Reports, vitamin A helps with skin turnover and repair, which keeps the skin smooth and velvety. Moreover, it promotes sebum production, which is a naturally occurring oil that hydrates skin.

Foods high in vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens like kale and spinach.

3.Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a crucial ingredient for dry skin in addition to being necessary for bones. Supporting the skin’s barrier function, it aids in controlling skin cell growth and healing. “Skin moisture retention can be improved by adequate vitamin D levels, which can lessen dryness and prevent conditions like eczema,” adds Dr. Kapoor.

Foods high in vitamin D include egg yolks, red meat, fortified dairy products, and fatty fish (salmon, mackerel).

4.Vitamin E

Fortifying the skin against oxidative stress and damage from free radicals, vitamin E is an effective antioxidant. Through less water loss and increased skin hydration, it also supports the maintenance of skin barrier function. Some skin disorders that produce dry skin, such dermatitis and psoriasis, can benefit from vitamin E treatment, according to a study published in the Public Library of Science One.

Red bell pepper, avocado, spinach, almonds, and sunflower seeds are foods high in vitamin E.

5.Vitamin B

B vitamins are crucial for preserving the health of the skin, particularly B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), and B7 (biotin). Dr. Kapoor states that B3 enhances the skin’s moisture barrier, B5 maintains skin hydration, and B7 promotes general skin health. To moisturize and nourish skin, these water-soluble vitamins must be ingested.

Foods high in vitamin B: Bananas, lentils, and chicken all include vitamin B3. Consume cabbage, chickpeas, eggs, and mushrooms for B5. Nuts and raisins both contain B6.

6. Omega-3 fatty acids

The ability of omega-3 fatty acids to improve the skin barrier and provide anti-inflammatory effects is widely recognized. According to research published in the Journal of Young Pharmacists, they may be able to diminish photosensitivity, lower the risk of cancer, and lessen sunburn. It also encourages hydration and controls the skin’s production of oil.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids meals include sardines, salmon, and mackerel, as well as plant-based sources like walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.

7. Zinc

Zinc is one of the most important elements for the skin, as it can help with anything from acne reduction to collagen formation. It promotes the skin’s natural barrier function, which keeps moisture from escaping, and aids in the regeneration and repair of skin cells. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Dermatology revealed that its anti-inflammatory qualities are known to prevent skin disorders like dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.

Whole grains, nuts, seeds, chicken, steak, and oysters are among the foods high in zinc.

8. Collagen

The health and structure of your skin, joints, muscles, and hair depend on collagen, which accounts for about 30% of your body’s protein, according to a study that was published in Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. Less collagen is produced as you age, which can cause your skin to appear dull and dry. Collagen is therefore necessary for healthy skin.

Foods high in collagen include citrus fruits, berries, almonds, chicken, salmon, sardines, and leafy green vegetables.

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A Diet is Not Always Better just Because Processed Items are Eliminated

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Although processed foods get a lot of bad press, their undeserved poor press may not be entirely justified in terms of nutrition.

In a recent study, scientists contrasted two diets, one that placed more of an emphasis on ultra-processed meals and the other on foods with little to no processing. They discovered that eating “simpler,” or less processed, food does not always equate to a healthy diet. This implies that the kinds of foods we eat might matter more than how processed they are.

The study’s lead researcher, Julie Hess, Ph.D., a research nutritionist at the USDA-ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, stated in a press release that “this study indicates that it is possible to eat a low-quality diet even when choosing mostly minimally processed foods.”

“It also shows that more-processed and less-processed diets can be equally nutritious or non-nutritious, but the more-processed diet may have a longer shelf life and be less costly,” the speaker said.

Processed foods: what are they?

The degree to which a food is altered physically, biologically, or chemically prior to eating is referred to as processed food. Minimal processing can involve chopping, grinding, drying, fermenting, or pasteurizing; examples of this type of processing are packaged nuts, grains, and cereals, as well as chopped or frozen vegetables.

Conversely, foods that have undergone extensive processing undergo notable changes such as hydrogenation of oils, modification of starches, addition of flavor enhancers, or coloring additives. Flavored yogurt, soft drinks, canned or quick soups and sauces, and margarine are a few examples.

The idea that consuming more minimally processed foods inevitably results in a higher-quality diet has been questioned by researchers from the Soy Nutrition Institute Global, the Universities of Minnesota and North Dakota, and the USDA-ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center.

This confirms earlier research that found it is possible to prepare a healthy menu that complies with dietary recommendations even when the majority of the calories originate from foods that the NOVA scale, which rates items according to processing levels, classifies as ultra-processed.

They altered a previously created menu for the standard Western diet, which typically consists of high-calorie, low-nutrient items like red meat, refined grains, high-sugar foods and beverages, and high-fat dairy products, in order to find out. They then designed a menu that was comparable but, whenever possible, substituted simpler, less processed foods with highly processed ones.

20% of the calories on the menu with fewer processed meals came from minimally processed foods, and the remaining 67% came from ultra-processed foods; however, at the time of publication, exact item specifics were unavailable.

The team then evaluated the cost and shelf-life of the foods featured, as well as the nutrient content and index scores for both meals, in order to analyze the socioeconomic and nutritional consequences.

Poor Nutrition Regardless of Processing Level

The two diets scored 44 and 43 out of 100 on the Healthy Eating Index, respectively, for nutritional value. According to the press release, this is a rather low score that indicates poor adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Additionally, the less processed food cost more than twice as much per person each day—$34.87 compared to $13.53 for the ultra-processed menu. The food that had undergone minimum processing also had a shorter shelf life, with a median expiration date of 35 days as opposed to 120 days for the highly processed items.

Hess stated, “This study indicates that it is possible to eat a low-quality diet even when choosing mostly minimally processed foods.”

Nutrition won’t always improve by just switching to less processed foods in place of processed ones. Hess and her colleagues’ earlier work actually demonstrated that it is possible to have a high-quality meal that satisfies dietary recommendations even when the majority of the calories come from highly processed items.

This study cautions against discounting processed meals based only on catchphrases because doing so may have detrimental effects on nutrition and spending. “The results of this study indicate that building a nutritious diet involves more than a consideration of food processing as defined by NOVA,” Hess said.

This means that for consumers, eating a balanced diet entails considering the kinds of foods and their nutritional content rather than needlessly concentrating on how processed they are.

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Longevity is Mostly Dependent On These Six Foods

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Researchers believe that plant-based diets’ capacity to improve health stems from phytonutrients, which are substances present on plant surfaces that offer defense against bacteria, viruses, and fungus.

Melanie Murphy Richter, a registered dietitian and neuronutritionist, stated that phytonutrients “play powerful roles as antioxidants to help humans fight against damage from the environment, oxidative stress, ultraviolet damage, or even illness” when consumed by humans through fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Flavonoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, phytosterols, phytoestrogens, and glucosinolates are the six categories of phytonutrients that are difficult to pronounce.

Richter says. “Each class of phytonutrient has its own beneficial superpowers and can range from anti-inflammatory effects, immune health benefits, improvements in heart health, potential cancer-fighting properties, and can also positively impact digestive, skin, and bone health too.”

Furthermore, despite their similarities, antioxidants and phytonutrients are not the same thing. Antioxidants can be found in non-plant sources, however phytonutrients are only present in plant-based meals. Richter advises consuming as many foods high in phytonutrients as you can to promote general health and wellness, but there is no set daily dosage recommended for phytonutrients.

“You can do this by consciously choosing a more plant-based diet and focusing on eating a variety of different foods each day,”  she told. “The more variety we consume, the better, comprehensive health benefits we’ll receive.”

Carotenoids

Plant foods that are orange, red, or yellow are colored brightly by carotenoids, which are present in bell peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, and carrots. These vibrant antioxidants help protect eyesight and may lower cancer risk.

Richter suggested, “Be sure to eat these foods with their skins on, as the biggest quantity is found within the skins of these foods,” 

Flavanoids

Citrus fruits, green tea, berries, apples, onions, and chocolate all contain flavonoids, which are good for the heart and general health since they lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Glucosinolates

Richter said, “Glucosinolates are wonderful detoxifiers,” “They can help remove harmful substances in the body to potentially reduce the risk of cancer.”

Additionally, it has been demonstrated that glucosinolates guard against inflammatory illnesses. cruciferous vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli contain these substances.

Phytoestrogens

Because they can balance hormone levels, phytoestrogens—which are present in flaxseed, tofu, barley, and edamame—are especially advantageous for women.

Richter elaborates, saying that “When consumed, they can play the role of estrogen in the body, helping women better regulate their cycles throughout their lifespan.”

Phytosterols

Richter reveals that phytosterols, which are included in nuts, seeds, and legumes, are good for the heart because they “work strongly against unhealthy cholesterol levels.”

She cites research from 2017 that suggests ingesting two grams of phytosterols daily may help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), sometimes known as “bad” cholesterol, by as much as 10%.

Polyphenols

Dark chocolate, cherries, pears, grapes, and red wine are rich sources of polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants that lower inflammation throughout the body.

By defending against free-radical damage, polyphenols promote brain health and aid in the prevention of neurodegenerative illnesses.

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