Exercise is good for weight loss, good for health, good to stay active and the benefits go on and on. The latest addition to this list is the advantage of exercising on brain functionality. While evidence keep piling up to prove this, research has elaborately explained how working out improves brain health.
Extensive research proves that:
While everyone is at risk for glaucoma, certain groups of people are at an increased risk than certain others. Glaucoma is the name used for a group of diseases that irreversibly damage the optic nerve resulting in decreased eyesight and finally total blindness, if left untreated. There are no early symptoms or pain in most people and it is advisable for people in the high-risk category to get their eyes tested every year. High-risk category includes those above the age of 40 and those having a family history of the disease. Individuals having diabetes or at risk for other eye diseases should also get their eyes checked regularly.
Generally, glaucoma affects older adults but risks of early-onset glaucoma depends on heredity. Structural abnormalities that affect fluid drainage in the eye may be present at birth and becomes prominent during the first year of life. These abnormalities are usually a part of a genetic disorder that can affect many body systems and is called a syndrome.
Recently, people have gained more clarity on the genetic cause of glaucoma.
Primary Open-angle Glaucoma (POAG)
This is the most common form of glaucoma affecting almost 33 million people worldwide. No obvious abnormality in the eye can be blamed for this and mutations in several genes such as myocilin, optineurin and CYP1B1 are termed to be the causing agents, responsible for less than 10% of the cases worldwide. Large-scale genetic studies done using the blood samples of thousands of glaucoma patients have led to the discovery of more common genetic factors for POAG. Some of these factors include a change in the DNA sequence or actual loss of DNA.
Primary congenital Glaucoma (PCG)
This is the most common form of glaucoma that affects young children, right from birth up to 3 years of age, and leads to blindness in these kids. It affects almost 80% of infants within the first year of birth. Around 60-80 percent of cases are bilateral and it affects males more frequently (65%) than females (35%). Mutations in the CYP1B1 gene is the major cause of PCG worldwide.
Primary Angle-closure Glaucoma (PACG)
This is the second-most common form of glaucoma affecting around 16 million people worldwide. Here, the drainage angle closes over time blocking the pathway to the drainage system leading to increased eye pressure. Research has also found genetic variants associated with this form of glaucoma and it is still under study.
Exfoliation Glaucoma (XFG)
Also called as the pseudoexfoliation glaucoma, it affects millions of people around the world and is the most common form of OAG globally. XFG is inherited as a complex and late-onset disorder dominant more among the female and the aged population. XFG is associated with 20% to 60% of OAG in many countries around the world and is one of the leading causes of ocular morbidity.
XFG is a result of exfoliation syndrome, a condition where white protein-like material is formed on the lens and within the fluid drainage system of the eye and in tissues all over the body. Genetic variants are associated with XFG and research is underway on the association of these variants with protein deposits and their role in glaucoma.
Although these genetic discoveries are mind blowing, they are still under research and not in a stage where they can be practically used. We are still not aware how these gene abnormalities can cause glaucoma, but hopeful of a stage where treatment can be developed for every type of glaucoma cause due to gene abnormalities. As glaucoma is a polygenic condition, specific gene therapies for individual mutations is not practical but therapies to cure common pathways that lead to glaucoma is feasible. For more information on gene-related diseases, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Rice is the most widely consumed staple food in most parts of the world, especially in Asia. It is the third-highest produced agricultural commodity and is available in different varieties. While there are more than 40,000 varieties of cultivated rice, over 90,000 varieties of cultivated and wild species of rice are stored at the International Rice Gene Bank and used by researchers worldwide.
Any rice has three edible parts namely the bran, the germ and the endosperm. Although we feel brown rice is synonymous with whole grain rice, most of them look similarly white once the bran and the germ portions are removed. Each variety of rice has its own nutritional profile, benefits and different processing methods, but the most popular ones include white and brown rice. Even with umpteen varieties available, still white rice is the most commonly consumed rice type feeding over half the global population contributing to one-fifth of their calories consumed.
Red, Brown, Purple and More…
The nutritional value of any rice differs according to the soil used to grow the rice, polishing or processing methods used, the way it is enriched and finally the preparation method used to cook the rice. The first step after harvesting any rice is to remove the hull from it to make the rice edible. Further milling can remove the bran and germ portion giving you the most-popular white rice.
Color, Color What Color Do You Choose?
The staple food of different Asian countries, white rice is the result of removal of the husk, bran and germ which also removes many of the key nutrients such as vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium. Further, short-grain white rice has a high glycemic index making it disadvantageous to health. Still, white rice is extremely versatile and used in innumerable international dishes.
Parboiled rice gets its name so because it is partially boiled in the husk. This step makes it almost 80 percent similar to brown rice with better fiber, calcium and potassium content than white rice. It contains a lower glycemic index than white rice and can be used as a replacement for white rice, with better nutrients.
Brown rice is produced when only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed. It undergoes minimal processing retaining most of the nutrients like calcium, magnesium, thiamine, potassium, fiber and protein. Having a shelf life of almost 6 months, it needs longer cooking time.
Black or Purple Rice
A spoonful of black rice provides you more antioxidants than blueberries with less sugar and more fiber. The black rice turns deep purple after cooking because of the anthocyanin (antioxidant) content. Black rice is also rich in iron and vitamin E.
Red rice also derives its color from anthocyanins, like black rice. This antioxidant safeguards our body against heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. Research has proved red rice to be the best among all rice types for its rich nutrition content. It has got 10 times the antioxidant content of brown rice and contributes to almost 20 percent of the daily values of magnesium, phosphorus and molybdenum.
Germinated Brown Rice
Germinated brown rice is usually soaked in water between 8 and 24 hours to trigger germination. This increases the nutritional value and also helps to decrease oxidative stress.
Ready to Shift Gears?
It is clearly identified that colored rice has better health potential than white rice. Nutrition studies quote that the pigment in red and black rice are protective against chronic diseases. Certain studies reveal that the rice bran provides protection against cancers of the breast, lungs, colorectal and liver. The phytochemicals present in the rice bran protect against tissue damage by free radicals.
There are also specialty rices such as basmati, jasmine, japonica and risotto. Providing 20% of the world’s dietary energy supply, every 100 grams of cooked white rice supplies 130 calories. Being the most important plant-based food, it can be consumed along with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com to plan the correct rice portions that can be incorporated in your daily diet schedule for a healthy meal.
Almost 85 percent of women in their childbearing years suffer from some form of premenstrual syndrome. Tender breasts, weight gain, bloating, abdominal pain, swelling in feet, hands and ankles, headaches, anxiety and depression are some of the most common symptoms.
The main reason behind PMS is still unknown, even after extensive research in this area. This medical condition can be diagnosed only by your physician and once you are diagnosed with PMS, your doctor would ask you to maintain a symptom log where you are asked to note any physical, emotional and mental changes that occur during a time span of two to three months. This helps to answer questions such as: What is the time duration of a symptom? When does it occur? Does a certain food or beverage trigger this symptom? Do you gain more weight at a certain time in your cycle?
Diet and PMS
While there is no preventive measure against PMS, leading a healthy lifestyle and choosing nutritious foods can help relieve some of the symptoms.
Effective techniques to minimize symptoms include:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.