Summer is the time of renewal and the best way of doing so is including summer fruits to your diet. Cherries, one of the favorites in summer prepares your body to fight any virus you might encounter in winter.
One of the most beautiful fruits decorating store shelves during summer is, of course, the cherry. Cherries, which take their redness from the pigments they contain, are a powerful source of antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. Cherries also have an anthocyanin component that prevents cancerous cells from growing out of control. So, when you pick up some cherries, make sure you select the cherries in darker shades of red – like maroon – as these cherries contain plenty of anthocyanin. There are many reasons why you need to consume cherries in summer: Reduce arthritis pain
While cherries have long been used as a natural treatment for gout and arthritis pain, a small number of controlled studies have assessed their conjectural benefits, as well. According to a study on the effects of cherries on diseases, 10 female subjects were fed two portions of cherries quickly throughout the night. Subsequently, researchers collected blood and urine samples both before and after cherry consumption.
Ultimately, it was determined that the levels of uric acid in the blood were measured for antioxidant levels and inflammatory markers. Over a period of five hours after the cherries were consumed, the results showed a significant decrease in the levels of uric acid in the blood, while its anti-gut properties were also observed. Thus, if you suffer from the symptoms of arthritis or gout, adding cherries to your diet will help reduce the pain associated with those diseases.
High levels of uric acid are the basic cause of many diseases. Namely, elevated levels of uric acid in the blood can cause swelling, tenderness and inflammation in the body. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), consuming two handfuls of ripe cherries can reduce uric acid levels by 15 percent. The study also suggested that cherries can help reduce painful inflammation by reducing the amount of C-reactive protein produced in the bloodstream.
Natural sleep aid
If a cup of chamomile tea doesn’t help you fall asleep easily, try eating a bowl of cherries before bed. Cherries contain the hormone melatonin, which helps the body to fall asleep, so it is a good idea to consume cherries just before bed to ensure that your body gets the full benefits. Studies show that consuming two tablespoons of cherry juice is just as effective as taking a small dose of melatonin. Furthermore, sour cherries also contain melatonin so if you prefer the taste of sour cherries, consume those instead right before you go to sleep. Countless benefits of cherry stalksNot just the fruit itself but also the stalks of a cherry are a source of healing. When boiled, cherry stalks provide benefits such as calming digestion, relief from edema and works as a diuretic. In addition, for patients with inflammatory problems or a low immune system, it is good to consume a glass of boiled cherry juice every day.
Blood pressure regulation
Cherries are an excellent source of potassium that helps in the excretion of excess sodium in our bodies, as well as lowering blood pressure. Cherry consumption helps keep potassium and sodium levels in balance. In addition, regular cherry consumption prevents hypertension. A single bowl of cherries has the same amount of potassium as one banana. Patients with high blood pressure should consume cherries to regulate their blood pressure during the day.
Natural weight loss
Cherry consumption is at the top of diet lists since a single bowl of cherries has less than 100 calories and 3 grams of fiber, giving you the feeling of being full. In addition, cherries contain many B Vitamins such as Thiamine, Riboflavin and Vitamin B-6. These vitamins are very important for metabolism and allow the nutrients in the body to be turned into energy. Therefore, eating cherries can help you lose weight.
Increase antioxidant levels
In a study conducted on cherry and apple juice at the University of Vermont in Burlington, 14 volunteers drank cherry and apple juice for three days before exercising and four days after exercising. The study aimed to identify the effects of cherry and apple juice on muscle pain. During interviews held with participants at the end of the study period, those who consumed normal juice showed a 22 percent decrease in muscle power, while a mere 4 percent decrease was detected in those who consumed cherry juice and apple juice. According to the results of the study, drinking cherry juice after exercising reduces muscle pain and the amount of muscle strength lost after exercising. The results of the study, which observed the effects of cherry and apple juice on muscle strength and whether they can be used in exercise programs, were published online in the June 21, 2006 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
In addition to the numerous benefits, cherries also protect the body against free radicals with the antioxidants they contain, providing effective protection against memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease that can occur as the body ages.
Reduce risk of stroke
Cherries also offer cardiovascular benefits. Anthocyanins, the pigments that give cherries their redness, can activate the genes involved in the body’s ability to break down fat and metabolize glucose. According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan Health System, regular cherry consumption lowers cholesterol, reduces blood pressure and lowers one’s risk for diabetes. Cherries are also one of the fruits that lowers the risk of stroke.
Anti-aging benefits Cherries, which help remove harmful toxins from the body, also clean the skin of dead cells and help it to be regenerated naturally. When boiled, warmed up and applied to the face, the water of cherry stalks can function as an effective facial cleanser. According to scientists from Michigan State University, a daily glass of cherry compote or a handful of cherries can slow the effects of aging. Cherries can also be consumed as an alternative treatment for skin problems and aging.
Consume fruits with pulp
Fruit juices on the market are harmful to our health. Most fruit juices contain artificial flavors and sweeteners, which can cause diabetes. It is recommended that you eat a minimum of three to four fruits a day to get the equivalent of one glass of fruit juice, keeping in mind that when eating the fruit whole, you should only consume two pieces of fruit, at most. By doing this, you will essentially achieve the same fullness level but your body will process the fructose directly, converting it to fiber rather than fat as the body does with the artificial sugars found in fruit juice. In recent years, research has begun to be published explaining the negative effects of drinking “ready-made” fruit juice in terms of human health. If you cannot give up fruit juice, try reducing your consumption and adding mineral water to dilute fruit juices. When you continue to reduce the amount of sugary drinks you consume, you will subsequently see your cravings dissipate.
Fruit has natural sugar known as fructose and by consuming dried or fresh fruit, you can convince, or rather deceive, your taste buds into thinking you are actually consuming sugar. When you experience a sweet craving, try to eat fruit rather than cake or candy. Marmalades or fruit juices that are free of additives or sugar are also recommended to satisfy your sweet craving. If you cannot give up fruit juice, then consume the compost of your favorite fruit.
Especially in the summer months, cherry and sour cherry compote can help you cool down. All you need to do to make cherry compote is add 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of shelled cherries to 1 liter (4 cups) of water and mix until it boils. If you crave sugar, simply mix some honey in with the compote water.
Other use tips for cherry preparation: Clean a handful of cherries thoroughly. Remove the pits and add to a bowl of yogurt. For children who do not like yogurt, the colorful appearance of cherries mixed with the yogurt will appeal to kids
Make a mixed fruit salad using fruits that are in-season this summer
Mix up a lemon-cherry cocktail to keep your body hydrated.
Protect your heart at all costs: How to have a healthy heart
Studies show that heart attacks are one of the main diseases leading to death for both men and women. In its simplest definition, a heart attack can be explained as plaques formed in the blood vessels for various reasons preventing blood and oxygen from reaching the heart and thus stopping the system. Due to the vital importance of cardiovascular diseases, whose reasons have been investigated numerous times, it is important to know the most important prevention measures and adapt them to our lives in a timely manner. Protect your heart at all costs: How to have a healthy heart.
Sleep 7-8 hours every day
Research points out that regular and adequate sleep is one of the most important steps to protect heart health. A study that included people who sleep less than six hours a day and others who sleep between seven to eight hours revealed the relationship between adequate sleep and heart attacks. Accordingly, those who sleep less than six hours a day are twice as much at risk than those who sleep seven to eight hours a day.
Sleep helps regulate the level of insulin in the blood. When you do not sleep well enough, your cells become resistant to insulin, which causes your blood sugar to rise, weight gain, and you can develop long-term cardiovascular diseases. Regular and adequate sleep, which we do not pay enough attention to, is important enough to cause long-term cardiovascular diseases.
Your weight is an important clue to your health. The increasing rate of obesity in recent years has led scientists to examine health problems associated with obesity. According to studies, being overweight invites many vital diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. Some of the recent studies stress that your waist circumference is as important as your height-to-weight ratio. The likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases increases in direct proportion to your waist circumference. According to scientists, a woman’s waist circumference of over 89 centimeters (35 inches) and a man’s waist circumference of over 102 centimeters increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
According to scientifically proven data, losing 5-10 percent of your total weight is enough to significantly reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Regular exercise is a miracle-like wish for those who are lost in a busy working tempo and city life. However, we must not forget that health is acquired through discipline. Studies have shown that doing aerobics three days a week for 30 to 60 minutes regulates cholesterol levels, controls high blood pressure and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. If you follow a healthy diet program along with regular exercise, you can reach these results much more effectively and quickly.
Laughing is the best medicine ever discovered. Studies have shown that laughter is extremely beneficial for vascular health. When you laugh, a serious decrease in the level of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, occurs. Decrease in stress and cortisol levels regulates blood pressure, strengthens our immune system and makes us feel happier. Scientists studying the effects of human psychology on diseases state that stress increases the risk of heart attacks.
Plaque emerging in the blood vessels for various reasons prevents blood flow, leading to a heart attack. Aspirin naturally distributes blood clots. If you suspect someone is having a heart attack near you, one of the first things you should do is to make them chew aspirin (not swallow). Thanks to this intervention, the clot that is causing congestion in the blood vessels will dissipate in a short time.
Learn about your genetic history
Your chances of getting cardiovascular disease are closely related to your genetic heritage. In particular, if there is history of cardiovascular disease among your close relatives get regular checkups. Early diagnosis is of vital importance in cardiovascular diseases as in many other diseases.
Beware if you snore
Studies show that snoring is an important sign of heart disease. If you are snoring, you may need to contact a specialist. Being overweight causes various diseases in a linked manner. One of them is sleep apnea that stops you from breathing during sleep. Studies have revealed that sleep apnea significantly increases the risk of heart attack.
Cut down on salt intake
Salt’s harms have long been discussed. In particular, the claim that cardiovascular disease is closely related to high salt intake is a subject everyone is aware of. According to studies, cutting down on your daily salt intake even by a single teaspoon is enough to reduce the pressure on your heart.
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Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatments
Psoriasis, which is mostly chronic, is a common dermatological disease with different appearances in different people. The disease is not an infectious one and it can occur in people of all ages, even if it is generally seen in people 15 to 30 years old. Although the reason for its emergence is not completely known, it is thought that it occurs as a result of an interaction of the immune system, genetics and environmental factors. Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatments
A frequently asked question is, “How do you understand whether a skin rash is actually psoriasis or not?” This article examines the description of psoriasis, its types and treatment alternatives.
The disease takes its name from some of the most common symptoms which are white, bright and dry dandruff on a red skin eruption. It can appear with the hardening of the soles of the feet and palms, and cracks in the skin. It can occur with a rash-like appearance in the folding parts of the body, such as the armpits or belly button. In patients with psoriasis, small pits on nails, yellow-red stains like oil drops, hollow and thickening nails, bleeding under nails and disorder on the surface of nails can be observed. The disease can occur on the skin with hair, knees and elbows, sacrum and hips. Sometimes, it can be mistaken for eczema or allergic skin diseases.
Types and symptoms
Plaque psoriasis: Plaque psoriasis, the most common one, is red lesions covered by blotchy, inflammatory, white and nacred flakes. These plaques, which can be itchy and painful, can be seen anywhere in the body. However, the most common areas are the elbows, knees, waist and scalp. Eighty percent of patients with psoriasis have this type.
Guttate Psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis is the second most common disease after plaque psoriasis and mostly appears in childhood or young adulthood. Its frequency among all psoriasis types is 10 percent. It is seen on the skin of the chest, arms, legs and other parts of the body as small, red, separate spots. These spots are generally not as thick as plaque lesions.
Pustular psoriasis: Pustular is a rare type of psoriasis seen mostly in adults. It is usually observed on a small area on the hands and feet as white blisters filled with non-inflammatory liquid but it can spread to other areas.
Inverse Psoriasis: This is seen on the armpits, groin, inframammary fold, backs of the knees, sexual organs and other skinfolds on the hips. This type appears as nacred, smooth, bright and red inflammatory lesions.
Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This is an inflammatory type of psoriasis which is seen frequently. This disease is the most severe as it covers a great part of the body, more than 75 percent, with itching and redness on the skin and painful, exanthematous flaking.
Psoriatic arthritis: Along with typical psoriasis symptoms on the skin, there can be rheumatic problems. Swelling, pain, redness and mobility restriction can be seen among its symptoms that affect the joints. In many patients, effects such as heel spur, elbow pain, waist and back pain, can also be observed. In some cases, psoriasis negatively affects the fingernails and toenails. Nails generally thicken and the disease causes some effects such as dents on the nails and nail separation from their bed.
As psoriasis can be mistaken for other skin diseases, consulting your doctor can help with getting a proper diagnosis and the best treatment plan for you.
The treatment of psoriasis should be planned, considering the general health, age and lifestyle of the patient and the type of psoriasis. The first thing that should be done while struggling against the illness is to prefer soaps that do not dry the skin, and moisturizing creams and lotions should be applied in order to clear up the dryness and to stop the flaking. The itch should be taken under control in this way as well.
Psoriasis is treated with various methods, such as steroid medicines, light therapy and edible medicine.
Topical medicines that are among the treatment methods that are applied to the skin directly, i.e., creams and sprays. Some of them contain a steroid, some have an analog of vitamin D, some have both a steroid and vitamin D and some contain retinoid.
More naturally, honey is applied to the skin and is accepted as a treatment option.
If topical medicines don’t provide adequate relief, your dermatologist can prescribe oral medicines that you take two times a week or a day. One of the recommended medicines that is generally prescribed is Apremilast. For some people, Acitretin, which is a derivative of vitamin A, is also recommended as an alternative, but you should inform your doctor about any medicine, like vitamins, food supplements and et cetera, which you use. You should also let him/her know about any allergies, health problems that you have or had, like pregnancy and surgery, before using this medicine.
If you use another medicine, the effects of Acitretin can change. This situation can both increase side effect risks and also prevent the medicine from working the way it should. Acitretin cannot be taken with some chemotherapy medicines, like Methotrexate and Tetracyclines. As a result, serious side effects can be observed. The treatment can be practiced by natural (solar) rays and artificial UV rays. In this practice, treatment can be done together with other medicines.
UVB phototherapy: UVB phototherapy can increase the symptoms of light and moderate psoriasis while it can treat spots, common psoriasis and problems that are resistant against the topical treatments. Its side effects can be itching, redness and skin dehydration.
Psoralen plus UVA: UVA rays can penetrate into deeper regions than UVB rays. Its short-term side effects are nausea, headache, burning and itching while long-term effects can be dry skin, increased sun sensitivity and skin cancer risk.
Atomic laser: This is used for light and moderate illnesses and applied to only the problematic skin area.
Injections: You can bid farewell to psoriasis with biological treatment – the success rate of which is between 80 and 90 percent – which is a much safer alternative that has fewer side effects. Injections are given every other week or once every three months to treat the illness.
However, medicines are expensive so be sure to consult with your doctor before deciding on a treatment plan.
If you’re suffering from this disease, you should definitely see a dermatologist instead of thinking that there is no cure.
Triggering factors for psoriasis
Mechanic trauma, such as sunburn, bath-glove or wax, that cause skin injury
Smoking and alcohol
Vitamin D deficiency
Stress, emotional trauma
Strong painkillers, some heart and malaria medicines
Infection and hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause
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How to Protect Children From Diseases
Schools are undoubtedly ideal teaching spaces for children’s education. However, schoolchildren face the risk of catching diseases in schools as there are many children using shared spaces. Especially during mid-seasons, the immune system tends to weaken, which makes schoolchildren vulnerable to various diseases. As I stated in my previous articles, diseases spread faster in indoor areas whereas the lack of personal hygiene is the root of many diseases. So, parents are required to pay more attention to children’s hygiene as crowded places play an active role in the spread of diseases. Showing care in personal hygiene is important for the health of your child and their schoolmates. You cannot prevent your child’s exposure to infections and germs in school, but you can reduce the child’s risk of catching diseases by teaching them personal hygiene habits. How to Protect Children From Diseases
Why hygiene matters?
After your child catches an illness, germs can spread quickly to the rest of your family. Diseases such as colds and enteric infections, which are frequently seen in children, can be transmitted to families. Therefore, helping your children understand the importance of hygiene will enable them and the rest of your family to stay healthy.
1. Make sure they acquire the habit of hand washing
Disinfecting your hands frequently is indispensable for personal hygiene. Especially in places with many shared spaces like schools, doorknobs, tables, desks, boards, chalks and toilets pose a serious infection risk. Consequently, washing hands is the most effective way to prevent infections that can be transmitted in school. At this point, you are responsible for teaching your children how often and how they should wash their hands. Start with telling them about shared spaces and items. And explain that they should wash their hands for an average of 20 seconds by rubbing their hands together and that they should wash their hands in the following cases:
After using the bathroom
After playing outdoors
After touching a dirty item
After coughing, sneezing or touching their noses
After petting animals
If their hands look dirty
2. Don’t skip breakfast, make sure they eat healthy
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Keep in mind that by letting your children sleep 5 minutes more, you cause them to skip breakfast. The variety in a child’s diet must be ensured as children grow in height; thus, they must often consume starchy carbs and fiber-rich foods and get sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals, while consuming fat and sugar must be limited. Schoolchildren are in a process of slow yet constant growth. To grow up healthily, they must consume the foods they need. Do not fret over what I write; you do not need to make a special diet plan for these needs. It is enough to make sure that your child eats six meals a day, three main meals and three side meals and cook the meals at home. A child grows in height the fastest between the ages of 7 and 14. This age group needs more calcium compared to the others. So, foods like milk, yoghurt, cheese and ayran must be included in their daily diet.
3. Cafeterias and canteens are important
I am sure you have other criteria you prioritize while choosing a school for your child, but you must also pay heed to the meal alternatives provided in schools for your child’s success. In most private schools, a fixed menu is served. In these cases, you must certainly check up on where the meals come from and in which conditions they are prepared. The situation is more dangerous in schools that do not serve meals. If your child is obliged to eat in the school canteen, which only has fast-food menus, you have to prepare a lunch box for them. Do not forget that children do what they see rather than what they hear.
4. Encourage drinking more water
Teach your child that he/she should not wait to get thirsty to drink water. It is no exaggeration to say that water is the most vital component of the human body and ecological balance. I am sure you have already heard that 3/4 of the human body consists of water. The human body undergoes dehydration during the day to exercise vital functions. The body needs 2-6 liters of water on a daily basis to function properly. Also, water protects the immune system against diseases.
5. Follow your child’s vaccination chart
Schoolchildren are generally exposed to infections and flu viruses that could cause diarrhea. Such infections can spread quickly if your child touches dirty surfaces. Also, your child’s contact with other children might transmit the infection to others. Pay attention that infection is not transferred through touching. Sneezing and coughing can also transmit infections.
As of the first month your child is born, a vaccination chart is formed against possible infections. Following the Hepatitis A vaccination during the first month after the birth, the child must get other vaccinations, including measles, chickenpox, diphtheria and tetanus. Other vaccinations are made during the first and eighth years in elementary school. Most of these vaccines do not provide life-long protection. Consequently, additional vaccine doses are needed at certain time periods. The vaccinations for your child must be completed before starting school. Do not forget that your school-age child can infect your baby. Also, children having active infections should not go to school until fully recovering since they can transmit infections to others.
6. Make a menu according to allergic diseases
Allergic diseases can also cause a disruption in education. Allergic diseases can affect both adults and children. Therefore, before your child starts school, you should take her/him to a doctor’s office and get information about his/her allergies. Also, if the school is away from your house, take a look at the hospitals in the vicinity of the school in case of possible allergic reactions.
If your child is allergic to certain foods, you can prepare a menu before leaving home. This menu should include snacks, fruits and other foods that the child is not allergic to. And make sure that the child’s medications are with her/him in case of possible allergic reactions.
7. Pay attention to hand and foot hygiene
Nails are a breeding ground for bacteria. Germs living under children’s nails can easily infect their eyes, noses or mouths. Therefore, their nails must be clipped once a week, and hands must be disinfected thoroughly after clipping the nails. Foot hygiene is also important for schoolchildren. Foot perspiration can cause fungal infections. To allow their feet to breathe, children must wear cotton socks instead of synthetic ones and wear leather or canvas shoes.
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