An Ancient Superfood You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

There’s an incredible Superfood that’s been around for thousand of years. You may not know about “horse gram” yet, but you will want to!

No Horsing Around

Horse gram is actually a nickname. And it will soon make sense why. It’s the most protein-rich legume in existence. Racehorses for centuries have been fed this lentil because it’s low in fat, abundant in complex carbs, and offers maximum physical performance from its nutrient-dense composition.

Sounds too good to be true? Indian cuisine will tell you this is the real thing—and for people too! Horse gram in Tamil is called Kollu, and in Hindi, it’s labeled as Kulthi. You can find this Superfood under those monikers at health-conscious markets as well as Indian specialty food stores.

A List of A-mazing

Aside from the health benefits for animals and humans, horse gram is a practical, beneficial, plant-based food, which can be easily grown, maintained, harvested, and profit the earth. In this climate of uncertain weather and crop conditions, Kollu requires very little water to sustain itself. This lentil is virtually drought-resistant.

Where to continue? There are so many positive health components to this organic food; it’s tough to decide which ones are the most outstanding. As far as nutritional content, horse gram ranks high in protein, iron, and calcium. It’s low in sodium and lipid content. It digests very slowly. This is amazing for those who want long-lasting energy, not a lot of sugar and not a lot of fat. Sounds like a gift from the heavens.

Fancy terms like polyphenols and flavanoids are good words. Horse gram is wealthy with these—they are antioxidants—and may help thwart cancer.

A Bean for a Human Be-ing

Horse gram, because of its phenol content, can attack fat. Isn’t that great news? Additionally, it can lower blood sugar after a meal. This is incredible information for those identified as diabetic or obese. (Horse gram slows down carb digestion—thus reducing insulin resistance.)

CanaGel Melts

If you can get beyond the name and the taste, horse gram will work you wonders.

In fact, there are countless, incredibly delicious recipes using Kollu. You just need to find a palatable way to ingest this Superfood, just as you had to when you first discovered Quinoa and Kale. Remember those days?

Medicinal Properties

Horse gram has been used for countless centuries to combat the common cold. That sounds nice—and tame. But check this out: Eastern medical texts use horse gram for relief (and cure) of asthma and bronchitis. It’s a natural expectorant.

Get this too: Horse gram can help disintegrate kidney stones. It also helps with other urinary conditions. How about heart disease? Yes! Check that one off. That’s a biggie. Jaundice? No problem. Horse gram can cure that. How about high cholesterol? Done! “Silly” other ailments like conjunctivitis, hemorrhoids, bad gas, and PMS have also been squelched by ingesting horse gram.

If this isn’t a Superfood, then what really is?

There are many yummy recipes you can find online that incorporate horse gram. Even if the name turns you off, don’t neigh at its health benefits. Yes, I went there. Next, I’m off to the market to get some horse gram to make a delectable, curry soup. How will you incorporate your horse gram tonight?

 

Vaccines Cost A Lot—Death Costs More

The introduction of an effective new vaccine can cost hundreds of millions of dollars; waiting too long can cost billions of dollars plus thousands of human lives.

Give it a shot

A few scientists have proposed a global vaccine development fund where governments, pharmaceuticals, and philanthropists keep a couple of billion dollars in a fund to research, create and trial new vaccines for epidemic viruses. Currently, it costs around $25 million just to research one vaccine, which is only the first step in a long and very expensive process.

Too Little, Too Late

It takes too much time to introduce a new vaccine because the funding is not at hand. The Ebola vaccine works brilliantly—but it wasn’t available until after 11,000 people died and $8 billion was spent on the outbreak.

Currently, a MERS vaccine is in its initial stages. Some are concerned that may be the next viral outbreak. Hopefully a vaccine will find its funding and be completed for use before it’s too late.

 

 

The Stress After the Storm: Will There Be Relief?

The aftermath of natural disasters, such as the flooding from Hurricane Harvey, can be devastating. Injury, illness, loss of property, and sadly, loss of lives are part of the storm’s destructive path. What many health experts, however, are also hoping to bring to awareness are the mental ramifications in which flood victims may suffer—and how they may get help.

Being There

You may have just experienced (or experienced in the past) a natural disaster event. If you have, you already understand the feelings of pain, grief, and loss that accompany and follow the event. If you have been fortunate enough to stay safe from a catastrophic event (such as an earthquake, flood, or fire), it may help to understand what others have gone through in order to assist.

Stormy Consequences

Needless to say, the flooding in and of itself creates disastrous results. But there are other elements that can accompany the negative effects of the rising water. Some of them are:

  • Displacement of creatures. Reptiles, such as snakes and alligators can be found in flood waters. Pictures of swarms of floating red ants surfaced from the recent hurricane in Texas.
  • Unseen objects in the water. There can be debris like glass or other materials that can cut or injure you.
  • Electric currents may still be live. Electric lines can be under the water carrying dangerous voltage.
  • Human and animal waste. Feces can become combined in flood waters causing stomach illness, diarrhea, and E.coli infections.
  • Viruses and bacteria spread. Open wounds invite infection from tainted water. Insect populations rise, some carrying disease. Hygienic resources are sparse in populated shelters; humans can get each other sick.
  • Chemicals in the water. Pesticides, gasoline, and oil can linger in the water causing rashes, fungal infections, and in some cases, fires.
  • After the water dries. Once the flooding recedes, there is often damage from mold. Many flood victims wind up with respiratory illness from breathing in mold fumes.

Relief Is On The Way

The American Red Cross, FEMA, and other volunteers and contributors (both corporate and personal) have stepped up to assist the victims. Medical care has been made accessible to as many who can be reached. Temporary shelter is also being provided. Larger drug stores have helped with getting medication to those in need.

The mental trauma, however, may be more than many people can handle. Stress, anxiety, and depression can increase—especially for those with pre-existing mental health issues. Clinical social workers have been talking to victims in the larger shelters—listening, guiding, and offering solace and hope.

Signs in centers showing the symptoms of PTSD have been posted for the victims. Everyone is encouraged to seek help if they are struggling with unmanageable feelings. Many tears and lack of sleep are normal after experiencing a natural disaster.

One doctor (who also lost her home in Hurricane Harvey) said she and her children have been helping others in the shelter. She explained that it took their minds of their own woes by helping others. She also added that the community recovery effort is crucial.

-The American Red Cross is calling on mental health professionals to volunteer to help storm survivors.

-The National Alliance on Mental Illness is providing hotlines for people affected by the storm.

-Those who have strong bonds with friends, family members, and/or coworkers tend to mentally recover more quickly from the support and strength with others.

-The Health and Human Services Department offers a Disaster Distress Helpline to help those struggling with mental health problems resulting from the storm. That toll-free number, staffed by mental health professionals, is 1-800-985-5990.

You can help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS, or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Read up on other articles about achieving best physical and mental health, even in the most stressful of times. www,GetThrive.com.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/27/health/health-consequences-flood-waters/index.html?utm_content=buffer55223&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/08/29/the-health-consequences-to-expect-from-hurricane-harveys-floods/?utm_term=.e1f4ab70e3ce

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hurricane-harvey-mental-health_us_59a9f092e4b0354e440a7b3f

 

 

Is Social Media a Detriment to Your Mental Health?

Most of us have felt some form of frustration or stress from engaging in social media. Several recent studies, however, reveal that, overall, online interactions do not benefit mental health. If fact, some forms of social media are proving to significantly reduce mental and physical health.

Getting to Know You

There have been countless studies showing that our health thrives when we have positive relationships with others. A wealth of research has presented findings that personal social interactions are beneficial to physical and mental health. In many cases, it’s been concluded that the benefits of social well-being and social support can actually extend life expectancy.

This research, however, originates from analyzing face-to-face, real world interactions. The mental health effects from interactions between humans online and through electronics haven’t been studied quite thoroughly yet. A report recently published in Harvard Business Review, however, details findings from a study based on social interaction and social media; interestingly, and sadly, the results depict fairly devastating effects on mental health.

Facing Facebook

A study was conducted monitoring the mental health of those who used Facebook over a period of approximately two years. According to Facebook, its average user spends almost an hour on the site daily. Other surveys report that many social media users check their phones first thing in the morning upon waking. The perception, from a users standpoint, is that he/she is engaging in worthy social interaction.

The analysis compared the mental health effects of over 5,000 people who used Facebook for social interaction with those who participated in real world social activity (one on one or in groups.) In three separate waves of research, levels of mental health, physical health, and self-reported life satisfaction were measured.

The researchers concluded, “that while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being.” Additionally, a decrease in mental health could be predicted over a year’s time using this platform as a means to social interaction. They also reported, “that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.”

Social Isolation

Just as numerous studies have been conducted on human social interactions, so have those on social isolation. The absence of social networks in one’s life can be detrimental to positive mental health. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Social isolation of otherwise healthy, well-functioning individuals eventually results in psychological and physical disintegration, and even death.”

A study published earlier this year in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine revealed that heavy social media users were more likely to feel isolated. Of the 1,800 participants in the research, those who checked their social apps more often or spend more time on social media were three times more likely to have increased social isolation (than those who used social media less frequently.)

As more research is conducted, it appears that mental health may be comprised with increased use of electronic social interaction. The results of the recent studies suggest that real world interaction is far healthier, overall. So, let’s unplug for a little while and go out and make or meet a friend. We owe it to our good health!

Enjoy more articles on best health practices for you and your family on GetThrive!

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150158/

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/social-isolation-one-of-the-major-causes-for-internet-infidelity-study-4679440/

https://hbr.org/2017/04/a-new-more-rigorous-study-confirms-the-more-you-use-facebook-the-worse-you-feel

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/06/business/facebook-bends-the-rules-of-audience-engagement-to-its-advantage.html?_r=0

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, March 2017

 

 

Human Trial for Zika Vaccine is Underway

A DNA-based vaccine has shown to have great success on monkeys. Testing on humans has begun.

Monkey Business

There are currently a few other human trials of other potential Zika vaccines underway. This particular DNA-based experiment is different because it protected monkeys from acquiring infection from the virus. Its effectiveness is very promising in humans since it was so successful on a lower primate species.

Ted Pierson, chief of Viral Pathogenesis at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reported the positive outcome from the monkey trial study. He stated that of the 18 primates who received a full dose of the vaccine, 17 were protected from the viral infection. The other monkeys that were given only one shot were not protected, but their bodies did create antibodies.

So, at least for the primates, the vaccine is successful; it’s just the proper dosage that still remains nebulous.

The Human Condition

Although the findings in the primate study are exciting, similar results are not always guaranteed with humans. The first phase of the human trial, however, will garner more insight for the researchers.

This potential vaccine uses the actual Zika virus in the manufacturing of synthetically created DNA. The piece of DNA, when absorbed into the body, hopefully, creates an immune response to the virus. By introducing tiny bits of Zika into the cells, the scientists hope the human body will create an antibody response. This desired cellular reaction would (optimistically) protect the body against the Zika virus.

More About Zika

At this juncture, we know that Zika is a virus that is spread through mosquito bites, blood transfusions, and sexual intercourse. The virus has been linked to Gullain-Barre syndrome, which can cause paralysis. It also causes birth defects, such as microcephaly, which is brain-related.

Pierson explains, “”The reason why there are Zika-associated neurodevelopmental defects is because the virus is actually infecting the fetus and attacking developing neurons in the fetus, causing direct harm.”

This is why a DNA-based vaccine would be revolutionary for the battle against Zika. The vaccine would create an immune response in pregnant women that would keep Zika at bay (or at least left with only a small strain of the virus.) This would, in turn, keep the unborn fetus from becoming infected, and hence getting the birth defects.

Scientists around the globe are conducting experiments with potential vaccines at a rapid pace. Everyone understands that time is of the essence when it comes to protecting the population from this virus.

Check out www.GetThrive.com for more articles on Zika and other health-related topics.