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Most people don’t give blood circulation much thought. Even when they have common symptoms of poor blood circulation like numbness in the legs and hands, cold hands and feet, fatigue and swollen feet or fingers.

Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more serious problems like cardiovascular disease and stroke. Luckily, there are things you can start doing today to improve circulation. But making these changes may not help much if you don’t avoid habits that cause poor blood circulation. These habits include Heavy alcohol drinking, tobacco smoking, poor diet, inactivity, high caffeine intake.

Get a good massage

Massage creates pressure which forces blood in congested areas to flow. This pressure also allows easy flow of new blood to different body parts. Get a good massage several times a week if you experience the symptoms of poor blood circulation I mentioned above.

Add herbs into your diet

Some herbs are good for blood circulation. They strengthen the blood vessels and help unclog the arteries.

Research shows that gingko biloba and cayenne pepper improve circulation. Cayenne pepper strengthens the blood vessels and stimulates the heart while gingko Biloba improves blood flow which consequently improves memory.

Other helpful herbs include garlic, ginger, bilberry and parsley.

Keep your legs elevated

It’s hard for blood to flow from the feet to the heart since it has to flow uphill. In fact, this is the main reason poor blood circulation largely affects the legs. Elevating your legs will make it easier for blood to flow. Lift the legs above heart level and keep them elevated for 20 minutes.

Exercise every day

There’s a lot of research showing that exercise improves blood circulation. Even simple exercises like walking, climbing stairs can help. You may want to start with low intensity exercises if you’re out of shape and then increase intensity as you get fitter.

Reduce salt intake

Research shows that high salt intake can cause poor blood circulation. This is alarming because most people consume an average of 3.4 grammes of salt a day. That’s higher than the recommended 2.3 grammes per day.

Avoiding canned food and reading food labels can help reduce sodium in your diet.

Don’t wear tight clothes for long

Those skinny jeans can cut off blood circulation to the legs, research shows. In fact, one woman had to be hospitalised for four days because of squatting while wearing skinny jeans. On the other hand, clothes like the compression socks are said to improve blood circulation in the legs.

Drink more water

I don’t think you need any convincing that water is good for your health. Aim for two litres of water a day.

Here are tips that can help you drink more water.

Add nuts into your diet

Nuts contain vitamins and minerals that can improve blood circulation. According to this study, raw almonds and walnuts boost blood circulation. Nuts are also a great source of healthy fats. But eat them in moderation if you want to lose weight.

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With the vast majority of people surrounded by computers and the internet, either at home or work, sometimes tracking your life can be more convenient when it’s done online. Whether you’re calorie counting, tracking your weight or devising a new exercise plan, there are a number of free online tools that can help you to achieve success. If you’re considering starting a new exercise regime or eating plan, be sure to check out these great online tools for some handy hints and great tracking techniques.

Online Tools For Tracking Your Health

Calorie Burn Calculator

The Calorie Burn Calculator can help you to determine how many calories your everyday activities will burn. You may be surprised but simply daily tasks, such as brushing your teeth and carrying an infant, all burn calories. While the Calorie Burn Calculator helps to track your everyday life, you can also add just about any activity, including the difficulty level and duration of the exercise. If you’re an avid cyclist, for instance, you can enter cycling for leisure, fast-paced riding, and even mountain biking, to determine how many calories you have burned.

If you haven’t yet discovered the benefits of cycling, it’s time to see what all the fuss is about. With various mountain bikes for sale, you can easily find a style that suits your skill level and your budget. One of the best things about cycling is that you can ride in just about any environment. Get the most out of your exercise routine and bring the fun back to your weekends, by leisure cycling along pristine coastlines or breathtaking mountain ranges.

Diet & Weight Loss Trackers

What seems like a limitless number of diet and weight loss trackers are now available on the internet. When beginning a new health kick, most people will record their starting weight to enable them to keep track of their progress. A diet and weight loss journal or tracker is a great way to regulate your eating and exercise habits. Tracking what you eat will enable you to see what foods make you gain weight and which foods help you to lose weight. An activity log can also help by allowing you to record your daily or weekly exercise routine.

While it’s sometimes easy to slip away from your dieting plan and enjoy an unhealthy snack or two, recording your results often helps people to be more honest with themselves, about what they are actually consuming. Understanding why you are gaining weight or developing an unhealthy lifestyle is the first step in changing your future.

Free online tools are a great way to gain extra motivation and encouragement for your diet plan. If you’ve tried dieting in the past but have failed miserably (haven’t we all!) then why not enlist the help of professionally designed programs online?

Chocolate lovers, rejoice; the sweet treat is not only delicious, but studies show that it can also promote friendly bacteria and reduce inflammation in our guts.

First, some background: trillions of bacteria live in our guts. They contribute to our immune system, metabolism, and many other processes essential to human health.

When the delicate balance of microbes in our intestines is disturbed, it can have serious consequences.

Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, allergies, asthma, and cancer have all been linked to abnormal gut microbiomes.

A healthful diet supports bacterial diversity and health, but could chocolate be an integral part of this?

Benefits of cocoa

Cocoa is the dry, non-fatty component prepared from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree and the ingredient that gives chocolate its characteristic taste.

Many health benefits have been attributed to cocoa and its potent antioxidant functions. These include lowering cholesterol, slowing down cognitive decline, and keeping the heart healthy.

Cocoa metabolism is partly dependent on the bacteria that live in our intestines.

Our bodies are only able to absorb some of the nutrients in chocolate. As such, we need our tiny microbial passengers to break complex molecules into smaller components, which we would not be able to take into our bodies otherwise.

This allows us to make full use of the many health-promoting molecules in cocoa. It doesn’t stop there, however. The gut microbes also benefit from this relationship, which, in turn, has an even greater effect on our health.

Gut health and inflammation

Several studies show that the consumption of cocoa increases the levels of so-called friendly bacteria in the gut.

Researchers from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom measured higher levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species in the intestines of human volunteers who drank high-cocoa chocolate milk for 4 weeks.

The same team previously showed that components in cocoa can reduce the growth of Clostridium histolyticum bacteria, which are present in the guts of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease.

In pigs, higher levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species were also found in the colon in response to a high-cocoa diet. Interestingly, the expression of known inflammatory markers was reduced.

Friendly bacteria including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have, in fact, been implicated in actively promoting anti-inflammatory processes in our intestines, keeping our gut healthy.

Chocolate as part of a healthful diet

Despite the fact that these scientific studies support the claim that cocoa can be beneficial for our gut microbiomes, cocoa does not equal chocolate.

The cocoa extracts used in research do not contain the high levels of sugar and fat found in our everyday chocolate bars.

Unsweetened cocoa powder or high-cocoa content dark chocolate are the closest alternatives to the cocoa used in these studies. Consumed in moderation, chocolate may therefore promote friendly bacteria, and, by extension, a healthy gut, keeping inflammation at bay.

A sore throat can be very uncomfortable.

The main symptom is pain and irritation in the throat, especially when you swallow.

A sore throat occurs as part of your body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections.

Your natural immune response leads to inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes in the throat.

Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that may provide relief, including some that are supported by scientific evidence.

Here are 11 natural sore throat remedies.

1. Marshmallow root

The marshmallow plant has been used to treat sore throats and other conditions since the Middle Ages.

Its root contains a gelatin-like substance known as mucilage, which coats and lubricates the throat when you swallow it.

Lozenges containing marshmallow root have been tested in animals and found to be effective and nontoxic, even at very high doses.

Here is a recipe for a cold marshmallow root infusion to soothe a painful throat:

Marshmallow root infusion

Ingredients:

  • Cold water.
  • 1 ounce (28 grams) dried marshmallow root.

Directions:

  1. Fill a 1-quart (1-liter) jar with cold water.
  2. Place the marshmallow root in cheesecloth and tie up in a bundle.
  3. Lower the bundle into the water just until it’s completely submerged in the water.
  4. Place the tied end of the bundle over the lip of the jar, place the lid on the jar and screw on the lid.
  5. Infuse overnight, or for at least eight hours, and then remove the bundle.
  6. Pour desired amount into a glass. Add sweetener of choice, if desired.

When this is ready, you can sip on it throughout the day to help reduce your symptoms.

Bottom line: Marshmallow has been used to treat sore throats since ancient times. Its root contains a gelatinous substance called mucilage, which coats and soothes the throat.

 

2. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural health tonic that’s been used in folk medicine remedies for centuries. Its main active ingredient, acetic acid, helps fight bacteria.

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, even prescribed a combination of apple cider vinegar and honey – known as oxymel – to treat flu symptoms such as coughs and sore throats.

To help relieve throat pain, drink 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and an optional tablespoon of honey.

Bottom line: Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties and may help provide sore throat relief when consumed in small amounts with warm water.

3. Salt water gargle

Gargling with salt water is a well-known natural remedy to get rid of a sore throat.

The salt helps reduce swelling by pulling water out of your throat tissue. It may also help kill unwanted microbes in your throat.

Combine 1 cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Gargle with a mouthful of this mixture for 30 seconds, once per hour.

Bottom line: Gargling hourly with warm salt water helps reduce swelling and may ease throat discomfort.

4. Honey

Honey is a delicious sweetener that is often used in combination with other natural ingredients to soothe a sore throat.

In addition to helping fight infection and providing pain relief, honey can undeniably make remedies taste better.

Honey may be especially effective when combined with warm water and apple cider vinegar or herbs.

However, it shouldn’t be given to children under the age of one because their guts haven’t had a chance to acquire healthy bacteria that can fight off germs, such as botulism spores, that are sometimes found in honey.

Also, people who avoid sugar or follow a low-carb diet may want to choose another remedy, since honey is a form of sugar and contains 17 grams of carbs per tablespoon (15 ml).

Bottom line: Honey can help relieve throat pain, particularly when combined with vinegar or herbs in warm water.

5. Licorice root

Licorice root with mortar and pestle

Licorice is a plant native to Europe and South Asia.

Interestingly, it has been used in traditional medicine to treat many disorders.

Licorice has properties similar to aspirin that may help reduce sore throat pain.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any research on its ability to relieve illness-related sore throats.

However, studies on individuals who had just undergone major surgery found that licorice significantly reduced throat pain due to breathing tube removal.

One study found that gargling with licorice water prior to surgery reduced the risk of getting a sore throat by 50%, compared to gargling with sugar water.

Licorice root tea can be purchased at natural grocery stores or from online retailers.

You can also make your own to drink or gargle. Combine ground licorice root with hot water, let it steep for five minutes, then strain it prior to drinking.

Bottom line: Licorice root has aspirin-like qualities and may help soothe a sore throat when gargled or consumed as a tea.

6. Lemon water

Lemon water is a refreshing beverage that may also reduce the throat pain that occurs during a cold or the flu.

Lemon contains vitamin C and antioxidants. It also increases the amount of saliva you produce, which can help keep your mucous membranes moist.

Combining lemon with warm water and a bit of honey or salt water may be the best way to maximize its benefits.

Bottom line: Lemon water contains vitamin C and compounds that can soothe a sore throat and assist with healing.

7. Ginger root tea

Ginger is a spice with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that may help relieve throat pain.

One study found that when ginger extract was applied to throat swabs from people with bacterial respiratory tract infections, it helped kill some of the bacteria responsible for the illness.

Ginger tea can be purchased from most markets or online retailers. You can also make your own from fresh ginger.

Ginger root tea

Ingredients:

  • Fresh ginger root.
  • 1 liter water.
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey or sweetener of choice.
  • A squeeze of lemon juice.

Directions:

  1. Peel ginger root and grate into a small bowl.
  2. Boil water in a large saucepan, then remove from heat.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated ginger into the saucepan and cover with lid.
  4. Let steep for 10 minutes.
  5. Add sweetener and lemon juice, then stir to combine.

This tea can be reheated as needed, or served cold.

Bottom line: Ginger root tea may help fight infection, reduce inflammation and relieve sore throat pain.

8. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a versatile food with several health benefits.

Animal studies suggest that it may help fight infection, reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Coconut oil is also very soothing because it helps lubricate the mucous membranes in the throat.

Here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Add a spoonful to hot tea or hot cocoa.
  • Add a spoonful to soup.
  • Simply put a spoonful in your mouth and allow it to melt down your throat.

It’s best to limit coconut oil to about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per day, as it can have a laxative effect at higher dosages. If you’ve never tried coconut oil, start out taking 1 teaspoon (5 ml) at a time to minimize potential side effects.

Bottom line: Coconut oil is very soothing on the throat, has anti-inflammatory effects and may help your body fight infection. Take up to 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per day alone or in warm beverages.

 

9. Plenty of fluids

When your throat hurts, the last thing you may feel like doing is drinking a lot of fluids.

However, it’s important to keep your throat’s mucous membranes hydrated so they can heal.

While swallowing may be uncomfortable, drinking plenty of water or other fluids will ultimately make your throat feel better.

Drink tea, herbal infusions, water or other beverages at whatever temperature feels most comfortable.

Bottom line: Consuming adequate fluid ensures that you stay well hydrated and allows your throat to remain moist so it can heal.

 

10. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea contains anti-inflammatory compounds and is extremely soothing to the throat. The mint may also slightly numb your throat, thereby relieving pain.

There are many peppermint herbal teas on the market.

You can also make your own by steeping fresh peppermint leaves in boiling water for three to five minutes, then straining off the leaves.

Peppermint tea is caffeine-free and its naturally sweet taste often requires no additional sweetener.

Bottom line: Peppermint tea is a tasty, refreshing beverage that may help reduce inflammation and throat discomfort.

11. Chamomile tea

Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that has been used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages.

You may be most familiar with it in the form of tea.

Chamomile tea is believed to promote restful sleep, which is important for healing.

Studies have found that chamomile may help fight infection and reduce pain.

Chamomile tea is widely available at grocery stores and online. It has a pleasant, mild aroma and flavour. Like other herbal teas, chamomile contains no caffeine.

Bottom line: Chamomile tea promotes restorative sleep, helps fight infection and soothes sore throat pain.

 

 

Take home message

No matter how healthy you are, you’re likely to get a sore throat occasionally.

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to soothe a sore throat and encourage healing.

However, make sure you see a doctor if your sore throat lasts more than a few days or is extremely painful.

Severe or persistent pain may indicate strep throat, tonsillitis or another serious infection that requires medical treatment.

Overview

A keto diet refers to a ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carb diet. The goal is to get more calories from protein and fat than from carbs. It works by depleting your body of its store of sugar, so it will start to break down protein and fat for energy, causing ketosis (and weight loss).

One extremely popular version of a keto diet is the Atkins diet.

Read on to learn the benefits of the keto diet.

1. Aids in weight loss

It takes more work to turn fat into energy than it takes to turn carbs into energy. Because of this, a ketogenic diet can help speed up weight loss. And since the diet is high in protein, it doesn’t leave you hungry like other diets do. In a meta-analysis of 13 different randomized controlled trials, 5 outcomes revealed significant weight loss from a ketogenic diet.

2. Reduces acne

There are a number of different causes of acne, and one may be related to diet and blood sugar. Eating a diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates can alter gut bacteria and cause more dramatic blood sugar fluctuations, both of which can have an influence on skin health. Therefore, by decreasing carb intake, it’s not a surprise that a ketogenic diet could reduce some cases of acne.

3. May help reduce risk of cancer

The ketogenic diet has recently been investigated a great deal for how it may help prevent or even treat certain cancers. One study found that the ketogenic diet may be a suitable complementary treatment to chemotherapy and radiation in people with cancer. This is due to the fact that it would cause more oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells.

Other theories suggest that because the ketogenic diet reduces high blood sugar, it could reduce insulin complications, which may be associated with some cancers.

4. Improves heart health

When the ketogenic diet is followed in a healthy manner (which considers avocados a healthy fat instead of pork rinds), there is some evidence that the diet can improve heart health by reducing cholesterol. One study found that HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels significantly increased in those following the keto diet. The LDL (“bad”) cholesterol went down significantly.

5. May protect brain functioning

More research is needed into the keto diet and the brain. Some studies suggest that the keto diet offers neuroprotective benefits. These may help treat or prevent conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even some sleep disorders. One study even found that children following a ketogenic diet had improved alertness and cognitive functioning.

6. Potentially reduces seizures

It’s thought that the combination of fat, protein, and carbs alters the way the body uses energy, resulting in ketosis. Ketosis is an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood.

Ketosis can lead to a reduction in seizures in people with epilepsy. The jury is still out on how effective this actually is, though it seems to be most effective on children who have focal seizures.

7. Improves health in women with PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts. A high-carbohydrate diet can negatively affect those with PCOS.

There aren’t many clinical studies on the ketogenic diet and PCOS. One pilot study that involved 5 women over a 24-week period found that the ketogenic diet:

  • increased weight loss
  • aided hormone balance
  • improved luteinizing hormone (LH)/follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) ratios
  • improved fasting insulin

More research is needed.

Risks and complications of the keto diet

The ketogenic diet may have health benefits – including quick weight loss. But it’s important to note that staying on the ketogenic diet long-term can have adverse consequences to your health. These include increased risk of:

  • kidney stone formation
  • acidosis (high levels of acid in the blood)
  • severe weight loss or muscle degeneration (for long-term use)
  • In many cases, immediate side effects of the diet may include:
  • constipation
  • sluggishness
  • low blood sugar
  • These symptoms are especially common at the beginning of the diet as your body adjusts.

Your brain and body’s primary and preferred source of energy comes from glucose. Because of this, a drastic elimination of carbohydrates isn’t typically a sustainable method of reaching optimal wellness.

Takeaway

Any drastic change in your diet can have potential consequences to your health. Because of this, you should always talk to your doctor or a nutritionist before starting a new diet.

If you’re interested in starting the keto diet, you should be extra careful to check with your doctor if you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, or heart disease.

Because you don’t want your body to stay in ketosis for too long, you’ll want to discuss other options for dietary changes for an extended period of time.

The ketogenic diet encourages the elimination of refined and processed carbohydrates. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Many health benefits come from a diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense, fibrous carbs, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

How you react to being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes does not have to dictate how you feel about the disease. Type 2 diabetes, while a lethal disease, is not a death sentence. Your life is not at immediate risk just because you are a diabetic. Even though it is a serious cause for concern and you most definitely should work on a solution, there is no need to damn yourself or lose spirit.

It is certainly possible to live well despite having to control the type of carbohydrates and fats you need to eat each and every day. But there is hope even in doing a few but essential things to change your health.

It is all about blood sugar. Hyperglycemia is the condition underlying this form of diabetes and most of its problems…

  • cardiovascular conditions,
  • nerve and kidney damage,
  • skin problems, and
  • impaired vision

are all caused by chronically elevated blood sugar. For this reason, the first step to living well is to control your food intake so the high readings no longer cause internal damage. Talk to your doctor to determine the target range you should strive for. He can give you practical advice tailored for you so you can make daily progress.Keeping blood sugar readings within a reasonable range is your most important task: this is needed to ensure the disease does not exacerbate and add insult to injury.

Let’s talk about nutrition. Eating healthily is the key to living well with Type 2 diabetes. By eating healthy foods, you will gradually reduce your blood sugar. What and how you eat makes a difference. Your doctor can fill you in on more details. Do not overlook the importance of having a quality diet. Keep your blood sugar levels in line with delicious recipes and daily meal plans.

Next, comes exercise. Increase your daily activity and develop several blood sugar busting exercise routines. Exercise is essential for everyone, never mind people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Without physical activity, our health is left vulnerable to unpredictable circumstances. Don’t invite illnesses upon yourself by being sedentary.

Type 2 diabetics can improve their condition with regular exercise. Learn to enjoy physical activity sooner rather than later, because it is one of the most important habits you can develop in your life.

Also, living well requires you maintain a healthy body weight. Work on dropping a few pounds if you are above the ideal range. Exercising and eating well are the two main ingredients for weight loss, so dedicate your efforts in these areas so your weight is no longer a problem.

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels will shave years off your life. Lower your blood sugar, lose weight, and stop Type 2 diabetes and its complications in their tracks. Provided you are consistent; it will just be a matter of time.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

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Concept of safe water and healthy life

When it comes to drinking water, more is always better… right? Not necessarily.

Despite being told for years that we should all be gulping down eight 8-ounce glasses a day, the actual amount of fluids we need varies from person to person. Now, a new study has revealed what happens in our brains, and our bodies, when we’ve reached our hydration limit—and why it might be dangerous to ignore the feeling that you’ve had enough.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America, found that people had a harder time swallowingafter consuming excess amounts of water. This appears to be a protective response to prevent over-drinking, the authors say, which can lead to a potentially fatal condition called hyponatremia, also known as water toxicity.

For the study, the researchers put 20 people in functional MRI (fMRI) scanners and asked them to rate the effort level required to swallow small amounts of water under two different conditions—after exercising, when they were thirsty; and later, after they’d already drank about a liter of water.

The participants rated swallowing in the second scenario three times more difficult than in the first. This was true for both plain water and for water sweetened with sugar.

This showed that they had to “overcome some sort of resistance,” co-author Michael Farrell, Ph.D., associate professor at Monash University in Australia, said in a press release. “This was compatible with our notion that the swallowing reflex becomes inhibited once enough water has been drunk.”

This “swallowing inhibition” seems to help regulate water intake and maintain fluid levels in the human body, the authors wrote, but it’s not foolproof. After all, the participants were still able to swallow, even though it was harder than usual.

In fact, fMRI scans showed that the right prefrontal areas of participants’ brains were much more active when they were trying to swallow after overdrinking—suggesting that the frontal cortex steps in to override the inhibition and allow swallowing on command.

When the body is flooded with water, sodium levels can become abnormally low—a condition called hyponatremia that can lead to lethargy, nausea, seizures, and even death. People who lose a lot of sodium through sweat and don’t replenish their levels (with salt or an electrolyte beverage) are especially at risk.

Thankfully, the study participants hadn’t consumed huge amounts of water, and weren’t in any actual danger. But there are times when people may have more water than is safe, say the authors, and may disregard signals from their brains to stop drinking.

“There have been cases when athletes in marathons were told to load up with water and died, in certain circumstances, because they slavishly followed these recommendations and drank far in excess of need,” Farrell said.

Of course, not drinking enough water is also a common problem in athletes, and in non-athletes as well. Mild dehydration may not lead directly to serious health problems, but it has been linked to low energy levels, headaches, constipation, and even obesity.

Farrell pointed out that elderly people, especially often don’t drink enough water and should watch their intake of fluids.

So how much fluid should you get every day? The Institute of Medicine recommends that men aim for 125 ounces and women aim for 91 ounces a day, but that includes water from foods and other beverages—like juice, tea, and yes, even coffee—as well. That number can also vary based on your age, weight, other health conditions, and how active (and how sweaty) you are.

In short, says Farrell, don’t try to force anything. “Just drink according to thirst rather than an elaborate schedule,” he said. “If we just do what our body demands us to we’ll probably get it right.”

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The International Diabetes Federation has said that no fewer than 3.9 million Nigerians have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

The global body, in a statement, as part of activities to mark the World Diabetes on November 14, added that over 11 million Nigerians who have high blood sugar are currently undiagnosed.

The IDF states, “No fewer than 387 million people are currently living with diabetes. It is sad that at least one in every two people who have this condition in developing countries, especially in Africa do not know.”

In view of the recent statistics, a diabetes care specialist, Dr. Afoke Isiavwe, said there was an urgent need to increase awareness about this disease through screening.

According to Isiavwe, who is the Chief Medical Director, Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre, Lagos, early detection will ensure that Nigerians at pre-diabetic stages are picked early and offered the right treatment.

She said, “The IDF atlas reveals that one person dies from diabetes every six seconds around the world. The federation also estimates that over 11 million Nigerians are currently undiagnosed.

“This is why we have decided to provide the opportunity for every Nigerian to come forward for the free screening to help reduce unnecessary death from diabetes, in the country,”

The podiatrist added that on November 14, the World Diabetes Day, the hospital would hold a free diabetes boot camp, focusing on foot care and nutrition in diabetes in Lagos.

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More than ever before in history, the human brain needs to function well and has many more functions to do than before.  On the other hand, what we eat, drink, breathe, or consume in various ways in the twenty first century is very different from what our ancestors consumed. With an average person living in an industrialized country consuming an estimated 4 kilograms of food additives per year (http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-a-z/d/diet/), how does feeding affect brain function?  There are clearly recognized brain degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and brain cancer.  There are also functional disorders such as schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, confusion, loss of memory, mania, the violent brain, the sluggard brain, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, sexuality disorders, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, etc.  Ultimately, brain disorders define personalities or result in personality changes and social disorders. How much of brain degeneration or dysfunction is due to the kind of food consumed?  How can we eat to keep the brain functioning well?  Surely, the internal physical and chemical conditions within the brain matter. The structure and functions of the brain are well summed up by Daniel Chiras in Human Biology, Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

The brain controls the internal biological rhythms of each person.  The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is thought to be the master clock, the automatic timer of many body functions. The pineal gland in the brain secretes a hormone that controls the SCN. Modern life and the environmental factors that it brings to us can affect our natural brain regulatory functions. Our bodies, including the brain, are ever tending towards a balance, a process called homeostasis. The more well-fed and fit we are, the better our balancing.

Life is full of cycles.  Some are general, e.g. the sleep-wake cycle; some are sex-related, e.g. the menstrual cycle in women.  Life itself is a cycle from the dependent infancy, the transformed adolescence, the mature adulthood, to the waning geriatric.  The brain naturally plays a great part in all these changes.

The brain maintains ordinary vital functions such as breathing and the functioning of the heart.  The breathing  center in the medulla of the brain is the principal controller of breathing.There are many centers in the brain that control various aspects of life. The nerve fibers in the brain operate through conduction of electrical and chemical signals.

The largest mass of the brain, the cerebrum, forms 80% of the brain.  The cerebral hemispheres are involved with signal integration, sensory reception, and motor action. The cerebrum controls voluntary movements in the body, receives sensory information from the body, forms associations of  signals, produces complex intellectual activities such as planning and ideation, and stores memories of past sensations. Specific cortical areas function in hearing, vision, taste, and smell.  The cerebrum principally deals with functions that are under our consciousness.

The other parts of the brain: the cerebellum, hypothalamus, and brain stem regulate functions that are not primarily under consciousness, such as the heartbeat, breathing, and various hormonal, neuronal, and organic homeostatic functions. The cerebellum controls the synergy of the body’s muscles and helps to maintain posture.  When damaged, the victim can suffer from such conditions as spasticity, or jerkiness. The hypothalamus controls many autonomic functions such as appetite, body temperature, water balance, blood pressure, and sexual activity.  It controls the pituitary gland which produces many hormones that regulate various body functions. Working with the hypothalamus, is the limbic system which is the site of instinctive behavior and emotion.  Instincts preserve life: a woman’s protective urge over her children, a man’s territorial assertion, and the fight-or-flight response to danger are all fundamental. Emotions such as fear, anger, hatred, love, pleasure, anxiety, happiness, etc., are regular responses in life.  The brain stem with its reticular activating system (RAS) controls many body functions in conjunction with the hypothalamus and also regulates swallowing, coughing, vomiting and digestive functions.  The brain stem connects the brain to the spinal cord. The RAS projects into the cortex and controls information to the cortex.

The brain is cushioned by meninges containing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the protective skull. Infections and toxins can affect the meninges and CSF, causing meningitis.

The brain continually functions in learning and short-term and long-term memory, in the consolidation of short term memory into long term memory, and in the recall or remembering of information.   The brain is also important for processing pain and avoidance of danger.  The brain’s electrical activity is measured by the electroencephalogram which depicts various waves and these are seen to vary during sleep and wakefulness.

Naturally, the brain is complex and important and every human being is dependent on its well-being and good functioning for living his or her best life.  Unnatural realities of modern life also require our brains to be fit.  There is a lot of evil in the world and we are constantly bombarded by it and our brains need to remain normal through good nutrition and mental fitness in thinking and prayer.  You never know when you would meet the effects of climate change and artificial atmospheric radiation or the “fallen man”: a cheating cashier,  a devil-like stalker,  a manic predator, a poisoning rival, a wicked saboteur,  a stupid vandal,  a  malicious oppressor, a hate-filled fanatic, an evil eye, a bad mouth, destructive envy, careless greed, a corrupt official, a disloyal member, a scheming banker, an atrocious fraudster,  a freakish  religionist, a dangerous zombie, an unchecked ideologist, a pathologic liar, a perfect player, a reckless capitalist, a heartless opportunist, etc.  No, I am not compiling an encyclopedia of evil.  In fact, each of us may wear one or more of these caps every now and then or even continually.  The beast in the world is real and we may all play predator and we may all play prey.  Many people end up with some form of mental illness actively or passively.  Presently, nearly 1 in 5 Americanssuffers from mental illness each year (http://www.newsweek.com/nearly-1-5-americans-suffer-mental-illness-each-year-230608).  What about the developing world lacking good statistics.  The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in 2001 that about 450 million people worldwide suffer from some form of mental disorder or brain condition, and that one in four people meet criteria at some point in their life (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_mental_disorders). The best prophylaxis the world needs is for each of us totryto be our best selves and to be mentally fit for restraint or response rather than to allow evil to reign inside or outside of us.  We will examine nutrition for the brain as a factor of mental fitness.

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The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has urged Nigerians, especially children to consume eggs daily because it is rich in essential nutrients.

PAN President Dr Ayoola Oduntan, who spoke in Lagos at the World Egg Day (WED) with the theme: “Benefits of an egg a day for the Nigerian child,” said regular consumption of eggs will reduce malnourishment in children.

Moreover, people who are denied egg as part of their daily nutrients are losing.

“So, failure to consume egg daily may have a huge negative impact on the nutritional health of vulnerable group (expectant mothers and children),” he said.

Quoting the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), it said, no fewer than 1.7 million Nigerian under-five children are severely malnourished. This, he said, accounts for 10 per cent of the world total of malnourished children.

He said regular consumption of eggs will help to address some nutritional challenges.

Oduntan identified egg as God’s natural pill that can conquer hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, adding that it contains the best proteins,vitamins and minerals.

Besides, it contains naturally occurring vitamin D, useful for calcium and phosphorus absorption for strong bones and teeth.

“Egg contains other very important nutrients, such as selenium, vitamin A and E, folate, riboflavin, choline and lutein. Eggs are the best follow up to breast milk in children as it contains the richest mix of essential amino acids. It contains the perfect combination of protein, 12 vitamins and 12 minerals,” Oduntan said.

He said egg helps to regulate the brain, nervous and cardiovascular system because one egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline to support memory and mental capacity.

Director-General of the association, Onallo Akpa said eggs for breakfast assist dieters to lose weight because of the feeling of fullness or satisfaction it stimulates.

He said some studies conducted across the world showed that egg may prevent breast cancer, as women who consume at least six eggs per week reduce their risk of breast cancer by 44 per cent. It also prevents ageing of the skin and helps to increase the red blood cell count in infants as well as aiding their brain development.

“Eggs are best brain and body food for expectant mothers, their unborn children and lactating mothers. Egg improves a child’s concentration level, attention span and scholarly performance for ‘eggcellent’ grades.”

He continued: “In March, 2002, the American Heart Association guidelines were charged to allow an egg per day into the average healthy American diet thereby ending the Association’s 30 years old campaign that limited egg consumption to three eggs per week.

“In the same light, the Harvard School of Public Health published that moderate egg consumption which is defined as one egg per day is not associated with increased risk of heart disease and does not have a negative impact on cholesterol neither does it affect a person’s lipid profile. The research finding suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.”

Funtuna Egg, an arm of Animal Care Services Konsult (ACSK) has inaugurated four egg quadpak product.

President, Animal Care Services Konsult (ACSK) Dr Olatunde Agbato underscored the importance of egg to healthy diet.

He described an egg as the best protein source nature provides as it is rich in lots of essential vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy diet.

“Eggs are packed full of goodness from Vitamin A which is needed for the healthy development of the body cells, B12 which is necessary for the formation of red blood cells; right through to Choline which is vital for nerves and muscles to function properly and proven to lower the risk of heart disease.”