Blood pressure is the reason for many other diseases and sodium levels greatly affect blood pressure rates. But there are certain misconceptions about blood pressure which needs immediate attention.
World Aids Day that happens on December 1st every year is an opportunity for people living around the globe to unite together and fight against HIV, to support people living with HIV and to remember those who have died due to AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, this was the first ever global health day.
The theme for 2017 is ‘Right to Health’ and aims to ensure better care of all the 37.4 million people living with HIV and those who are at risk of being affected by the epidemic. In 2016 alone, more than 1 million people died from HIV-related infections. Any individual living in this world, regardless of being rich or poor, tall or short, thin or fat, has a right to health which is also dependent on external factors such as sanitation, housing, availability of nutritious foods, healthy working conditions and access to justice.
A Brief Insight into the Deadliest Virus
The immune system is gravely affected in people infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as this virus mainly targets on a person's immunity. The virus destroys or impairs the immune cells and the infected person becomes immunodeficient. Such an immunodeficiency can lead to different infections, cancers and many other diseases (which serve as symptoms of the virus too!) that are easily evaded by people with a healthy immune system.
The few months after acquiring the virus are the most critical ones as the virus tends to be most infectious then. The individuals either experience no symptoms in the first weeks after infection or may experience symptoms such as fever, headache, rash or sore throat. As the infection progresses, other symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhea, cough, tuberculosis and cancers are common.
HIV is transmitted via body fluids such as breastmilk, vaginal secretions, semen and blood. It is never transmitted through ordinary contact such as hugging, kissing, shaking hands or sharing personal objects (food & water).
Prevention of HIV infection is possible by limiting exposure to risk factors. Key prevention strategies include:
Healthy foods that can boost immunity can be consumed by HIV-affected individuals to feel better. To get a complete list of foods that help promote immunity, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
In 2016, the number of people who died from measles was 90,000, an 84% drop from the 550,000 deaths that occurred in 2000, according to the latest report published by renowned health organizations. In history, this is the first time that global measles deaths have fallen below 100,000 per year.
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused due to a virus. The first vaccine for measles was introduced in 1963 before which major epidemics occurred every 2-3 years taking the lives of around 2.6 million people yearly. It still remains as a leading cause of death among children, worldwide and 2016 witnessed the death of 89,790 people (below the age of five), a number less than 100,000 first time in history.
Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, WHO has taken an oath to eliminate rubella and measles in at least five WHO regions by 2020. Periodic measles vaccination for children along with immunization campaigns are main strategies to reduce the deaths due to measles worldwide. Sadly, measles is commonly prevalent in developing countries, especially Africa and Asia. More than 95% of measles-related deaths happen in countries with low per capita income and improper healthcare.
On the positive note, almost 5.5 billion doses of measles vaccines have been provided to children since 2000, saving around 20.4 million lives. Although there is a great decrease in the number of deaths, WHO’s aim of achieving zero measles cases is yet to be accomplished. This huge decrease in measles-related deaths is due to the hard work and efforts of health workers, governments and development agencies to vaccinate children residing in every nook and corner of the world. Still, too many children, almost 20.8 million to be precise, are missing their first measles vaccination. To overcome these depressing figures and enable vaccination to every child, we need to spread awareness among general public regarding the need of vaccination, encourage health institutions to provide measles vaccination at subsidized prices and recommend governments to establish more free medical camps.
Good nutrition, clean environment, adequate liquid consumption and proper oral-rehydration techniques help to recover faster from measles. Measles vaccine is safe, effective, inexpensive and the best way to protect a child from the deadly disease. Read more on good nutrition and drinking healthy fluids at the website www.firsteatright.com.
Measles in India
India has taken a record-breaking initiative of organizing one of the world’s largest vaccination campaign against measles. This campaign was created with an aim to vaccinate 35 million children in the age group of nine months to 15 years with measles and rubella vaccine. Almost 2.5 million children are affected by measles every year out of which 49,000 of them die. Such campaigns help to decrease the death rates drastically. While there were around 100,000 deaths in 2000, it has decreased by almost 51% to 49,000 in 2015. Decrease in measles-related deaths in India is advantageous globally as India accounts for 37% of worldwide measles deaths.
Nuts have been found to be beneficial to our health for a varied number of reasons. To join the long-standing list is one more advantage: Eating small quantities of nuts every week can significantly lower the risk of heart attack or stroke, according to a new study. Researchers found that compared to those who never ate or almost never ate nuts, individuals who ate 28 grams of nuts at least five days a week had 14% reduced chances of cardiovascular disease and 20% lower chance of coronary heart disease during their study period.
Nuts are rich in arginine, an amino acid required to make nitric oxide that relaxes constricted blood vessels and makes blood flow easier. Along with it, nuts also contain vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, fiber and other nutrients as well which make them a healthy yet tasty food.
Every nut is different with its unique advantages and taste. The study promotes the consumption of both, walnut and peanut as they are associated with lower disease risk. Peanut butter is not advocated as people often eat it along with some salt or sweeteners, negating the health butter of peanuts.
It is better to include a variety of nuts in your diet instead of sticking only to almonds or walnuts as each type has different nutrients that serve different purposes. The different nuts and their advantages are jotted down at the website www.firsteatright.com. But, gobbling them up along with your regular snacks or meals is not going to do you any good. Nuts are rich in calories along with their rich health content. Every 28 grams of nuts contains 185 calories and if they are not eaten with caution, nuts can cause a rapid increase in body weight resulting in heart disease. Substitute nuts in place of unhealthy junks, add them to salads or use them instead of meat in main dishes.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.