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Eating walnuts may lower depression risk: Study – Times Now

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Walnuts may lower depression risk: Study&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspGetty Images

Los Angeles: Consuming walnuts may lower the prevalence and frequency of depression, and improve concentration levels, according to a study carried out in American adults. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US found that depression scores were 26 per cent lower for walnut consumers and eight per cent lower for consumers of other nuts, compared to those who did not eat nuts at all. The study, published in the journal Nutrients, found that walnut consumption was more closely associated with higher energy levels and better concentration, compared to other nuts.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every six adults will have depression at some time in their life. It is important to find low-cost interventions, such as dietary changes, that are easy to implement and may help reduce the incidence of depression, said lead investigator Lenore Arab, from UCLA.

“Walnuts have previously been investigated for their role in cardiovascular and cognitive health, and now we see an association with depression symptoms — providing another reason to include them in a healthy eating plan,” Arab said.

Researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which draws from a large sampling of the US population. More than 26,000 American adults were asked about their dietary intake over the course of one to two days as well as depression symptoms over the past two weeks.

Using a widely accepted questionnaire, participants ranked how often they experienced factors such as little interest in doing things, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, feeling tired or having little energy, and trouble concentrating on things.

According to the findings, walnut consumers were more likely to have a greater interest in activities, higher energy levels, less hopelessness, better concentration, and greater optimism.

Depression scores were significantly lower among those who consumed nuts, particularly walnuts, compared to those who did not consume nuts, even after controlling for age, sex, race, income, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, and marital status.

On average, walnut consumers ate about 24 grammes of walnuts per day, equivalent to one-quarter cup serving.

While the association between nut consumption and depression scores was consistent for men and women, the effect appeared to be strongest among women, who are more likely to report greater depressive symptoms and use of antidepressants, compared to men.

When compared to other tree nuts, walnuts have a unique fatty acid profile — they contain mostly polyunsaturated fats, including a significant amount of the plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (2.5g/28 grammes), which is more than any other nut, researchers said. 

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Cutting out on these foods can help combat gastrointestinal issues – Times Now

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Cutting out on these foods can help combat gastrointestinal issues (Representational Image)&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspGetty Images

London: Cutting out specific foods can alleviate gastrointestinal issues for physically active people, especially a runner, researchers say. The study, conducted by researchers from the Anglia Ruskin University in Britain, showed that a low fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide and polyol (or FODMAP) diet reduces some of the issues caused by exercise such as stomach cramps and bloating, and improves a person’s perceived ability to exercise.

FODMAP foods include those containing lactose (milk, yoghurt and cheese), fructans (found in cereals, bread and pasta), galactic-oligosaccharides (legumes and onions), excess fructose (for example in apples, pears and asparagus) and polyols (often added as a food additive).

“We found a clear benefit when following the low FODMAP diet, with a reduction in exercise-related gastrointestinal symptoms amongst otherwise healthy, recreational runners,” said Justin Roberts, Principal Lecturer at the varsity.

For the study, the researchers involved a group of healthy recreational exercisers.  Everyone in the group followed two eating plans for one week at a time, with the key difference being the FODMAP content.

The findings, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that 69 per cent of those following a low FODMAP diet experienced an improvement in symptoms and were able to exercise more frequently and at a higher intensity.

In addition, the improvement in perceived pain, in conjunction with reduced experiences of bloating whilst on a low FODMAP diet, is likely explained by a reduction in intestinal water volume and gas production, caused by fewer indigestible carbohydrates available for fermentation in the gut.

However, further studies are needed to examine the benefits of this diet when combined with long-term training strategies. It is important that people take care if deciding to follow a low FODMAP diet, as reductions in total caloric and carbohydrate intake may impact on nutritional quality, Roberts suggested.
 

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New technique to measure blood clot developed: Details inside – Times Now

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New technique to measure blood clot developed (Representational Image)&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspGetty Images

London: Scientists have developed a new technique that allows them to measure blood clotting as well as the formation of free radicals, that leads to the build-up of blood clots, which in turn cause heart disease, stroke and dementia. The technique, led by the University of Exeter researchers, investigates a part of the blood clotting process which focuses on the ways in which platelets from blood samples clump together.

“This method may be useful for future studies looking into new anti-platelet treatments for diseases such as diabetes, where clotting is disturbed and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke,” according to the study detailed in the Haematologica journal.

The researchers discovered that the enzyme NADPH Oxidase is critically important for the generation of free radicals, the stimulation of blood clotting and the promotion of blood vessel damage in patients.

They successfully used the technique in mice and human cells. Their aim is to better understand how blood cells function, which will help to develop new drugs against blood clotting diseases or to test the risk of clotting diseases in patients.

“We’re really excited to discover this new technique and its potential to understand how blood vessel diseases develop. For the first time, we can now simultaneously measure blood clotting and the formation of free radicals,” said lead author Giordano Pula, from the Exeter Medical School. 

“We know they play a key role in blood vessel damage caused by ageing, diabetes, obesity and chronic inflammation. We’re currently using this technique in our efforts to develop a new treatment to protect the blood vessels in diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, obesity, and vascular dementia,” Pula added.
 

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Simple Tips to Boost Heart Health at Work – Bel Marra Health

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February is heart health month. To ensure you’re working on improving your heart health, we wanted to share with you our simple tips to boost your heart while at work. It can be hard to always be active and eat the right foods, which are critical components of a healthy heart. This is why we want to provide you with easy steps to take to start improving your heart.

If you work a typical nine to five job, you’re likely pretty inactive during that time. For some of you, this may also mean you aren’t surrounded by the best food options either – unless you pack your own lunch.

To boost your activity levels, there are things you can add to your daily workday. For starters, if you are in a high building, consider taking the stairs more often. If you sit all day, remind yourself to move around each hour.

As mentioned, packing your own food and snacks is a good option so that you don’t binge on unhealthy foods. Pack your lunch bag with nuts, fruits, and seeds to keep you energized.

Lastly, work can be stressful, and stress can take a real negative toll on your heart health. Finding healthy ways to manage your stress can lead to better heart outcomes. This could involve stepping out for some fresh air, taking a few moments to concentrate on your breathing, or carrying around some essential oils with you to calm you down. Whatever healthy option you use to reduce stress, your heart will thank you for it.

These tips can go a long way in better controlling your cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and even weight, which are all contributing factors to heart health.


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