What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes pain in the heel.

A thick, strong band of tissue called the plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot. This tissue can become damaged or inflamed, causing pain and difficulty moving the foot.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, plantar fasciitis accounts for about 80% of cases of heel pain. An estimated 10% of people will experience this problem during their lifetime.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

The function of the plantar fascia is to absorb the impact of standing, walking, and running on the foot. This part of the body gets a lot of use, and too much pressure can damage the plantar fascia.

Women are more likely than men to experience plantar fasciitis. It is not clear why, but it may be because certain risk factors for the condition — such as pregnancy and wearing unsupportive shoes — affect women more than men.

Symptoms

The plantar fascia runs along the sole from the toes to the bottom of the heel. Excessive pressure on this part of the foot can cause small tears in the tissue. This damage leads to inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a pain in the plantar fascia. The focus of the pain is usually near the heel, where it can feel as though the tissue is tearing.

The pain may develop gradually over time. It can be worse after a period of rest, for example, first thing in the morning or after a long journey. Alternatively, the pain may worsen after exercise or activity.

Home remedies

Stretches and exercises that work out the leg or foot muscles can help ease the pain of plantar fasciitis and encourage healing. These exercises include foot flexes, calf stretches, curling a towel between the toes, and picking up marbles with the toes.

Resting the foot, applying ice to the area, compressing with a bandage, and raising the foot on cushions or a low stool can help. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce pain and swelling. Some people may find that foot massage also helps alleviate foot pain.

Continue reading at Medical News Today

Can Your Diet Save The Planet?

Climate change and its impact on our food system is a complicated issue, but here are a few things at the crux of it. Extreme weather can delay the planting of certain crops, thereby shortening the time during which food is grown. Weather patterns can also make pests more difficult to control, and therefore, they destroy more of the food that’s grown. The nutrition quality of food is also at stake, meaning that certain crops may supply reduced amounts of vitamins and minerals.

If the idea of leaving our planet and future generations better off isn’t enough to sway you to make some dietary changes, here are some planet-friendly eating practices that will leave you better off, too.

Rely on more plants for protein

Pulses — the term for plant-based proteins, like beans, lentils, and peas — are an incredibly sustainable source of protein. They require less nitrogen fertilizer compared to other crops, and therefore, have a lower carbon footprint. They also require less water to grow, and many types of pulses can grow in dry environments.

They’re not just good for the planet — they’re good for your body, too. Studies suggest that when people replace some of the meat on their menus for these plant-based powerhouses, it has a positive impact on longevity, reduces the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, promotes a healthier weight, and may cause a healthy shift in your gut bacteria.

Eat less meat

You knew this was coming! Both this report and one released earlier this year, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health, suggest that cutting way down on meat consumption is better for the planet (not to mention your own health). No one’s suggesting you become a vegan or vegetarian (though that can be beneficial), but you can make a dramatic impact by beginning to scale back. Beef and lamb are associated with particularly high carbon emissions, so maybe begin your journey there.

The truth is, while you need protein and the nutrients found in beef and other animal products, you don’t need to get them from those foods, and in fact, we’re collectively better off getting them from plant-based sources. Instead of eating an animal-based protein at each meal, try one plant-based protein meal a day or perhaps, try a meatless day each week — maybe on a Monday when you’re more likely to be in tune with your health. In addition to foods from the pulse family, incorporate single-ingredient whole grains (like quinoa, oats, and brown rice) as well as nuts and seeds into menus. The USDA offers many suggestions for mixing up your protein options with more plants.

Continue reading at NBC News

5 Natural Homeopathic Remedies For Toothache

Toothache is something that cannot be ignored. Even if you try hard to do so, the unbearable pain won’t let you live peacefully. The condition does not only make it difficult for you to eat but also makes it tough to talk or concentrate on any other work.

However, the reasons might differ from one another. It can be due to tooth decay, swollen gums or tooth extraction. Here are 5 natural homeopathic remedies that work well on toothache:

Plantago: For toothache and sensitive teeth

Plantago works well on both toothache and sensitive tooth. This is given to people with increased salivation in their mouth along with toothache.

Silicea: For toothache from abscess of the root of teeth

This is the best Homeopathic remedy for toothache caused due to abscess (collection of pus) in the root of teeth.

Staphysagria: For toothache when eating or drinking

This natural Homeopathic medicine is effective to treat sensitive teeth. A homeopathic practitioner recommends this medicine when the reason behind the toothache is any food or drink.

Merc Sol: For toothache with excess saliva and bad mouth odour

Merc Sol is the best when the patient is experiencing profuse saliva in the mouth and has a bad mouth odour.

Arnica : For toothache after extraction and filling procedure

It is used to treat pain in gums following tooth extraction and soreness in gums that occurs after filling of teeth.

Times of India

What Is Banana Tea, and Should You Try It?

Bananas are one of the world’s most popular fruits.

They’re highly nutritious, have a wonderful sweet taste, and serve as the main ingredient in many recipes.

Bananas are even used to make a relaxing tea.

What is banana tea?

Banana tea is made by boiling a whole banana in hot water, then removing it, and drinking the remaining liquid.

It can be made with or without the peel, depending on your preferences. If it’s made with the peel, it’s usually referred to as banana peel tea.

Because banana peel tea takes longer to make due to its high fiber content, many people choose to omit the peel.

Banana tea nutrition

Detailed nutrition information for banana tea is unavailable.

Still, as it uses whole bananas and water, it likely contains some water-soluble nutrients found in bananas, such as vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and copper (1).

Since most people discard the banana after brewing, banana tea is not a substantial source of calories.

Though steeping bananas releases some nutrients like vitamin B6 and potassium, you won’t get as much of them as you would from eating the whole fruit. Longer steeping times can increase the concentration of nutrients in the tea.

Health benefits of banana tea

Drinking banana tea may offer various health benefits.

May contain antioxidants

Bananas are naturally high in water-soluble antioxidants, including dopamine and gallocatechin, which may help fight free radicals and prevent chronic conditions like heart disease.

May prevent bloating

Banana tea is high in potassium, a mineral, and electrolyte that’s important for regulating fluid balance, healthy blood pressure, and muscle contractions

Continue reading at Healthline

Wellness Weekend: Healing with Food

Do you suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, depression, diabetes, allergies or arthritis? And have you been told there is no cure, but instead, your symptoms have to be managed with medication for the rest of your life while your health slowly worsens?

What if you could be empowered to take charge of your health and reverse or even eliminate your condition?

All chronic conditions have one thing in common: inflammation. This common denominator leads to an overactive and at the same time weakened the immune system. Inflammation makes your blood stickier, depletes your body and brain of precious nutrients and causes pain. Inflammation is also a major cause of weight gain or inability to lose weight. Many people I work with do not overeat calories but still were unable to lose weight before coming to see me.

Sugar, white flours and certain vegetable oils are always highly inflammatory, but sometimes perfectly healthy foods can cause inflammation for certain individuals. Therefore, a healthy diet is not one-size-fits-all. With functional medicine testing, we can identify inflammatory foods and design a customized diet plan. And personalized supplementation can be very helpful for healing the gut, the root of inflammation. Once the gut is healed, previously inflammatory foods may no longer cause inflammation.

While everyone is different, here are some general principles of anti-inflammatory diets:

Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners, and use honey, stevia or maple syrup instead in moderation. Avoid white flours and refined starches.

Avoid highly processed oils such as corn, soy or canola and choose healthy fats like olive, avocado, sunflower or coconut oils instead.

Vegetables, grass-fed meats, and wild fish tend to be the least inflammatory foods. Eat lots of fresh vegetables, berries, and fish and make use of your local farmer’s market at this bountiful time of year.

Shoreline Times

Junk Food Blues: How Are Depression and Diet Related?

Your diet and your mental health can be related more than you think. There are several studies that stated that people who eat a lot of meat, sweets, fried food, refined sugars, and high-fat dairy are more likely to show symptoms of depression. Luckily, it can all be fixed or improved with some healthy eating habits. So, here’s how junk food affects your depression and a good clean diet can cure it.

What came first?

Depression or a bad diet? What causes what? Let’s break it down. Depression is often pushing sufferers to adopt unhealthy eating habits which can result in pretty common dietary patterns associated with depression like reduced appetite, binge-eating on sugary and fatty foods and skipping meals.

Diet can also be a good indicator of your risk and levels of depression. People who often eat a lot of junk food, fat and carbs are at more risk of developing symptoms of depression. On the other hand, diets like the Mediterranean which contains a lot of vegetables, lean meat, fish, olive oil, fish and antioxidants is connected to better mood and emotion control. Plus, this diet is low in calories, so it’s a perfect choice for those trying to shed extra pounds and get into shape.

What to munch on

While there are diets specifically made for boosting one’s mental health and neurological activity, you don’t necessarily need to see an expert. If you adopt the Mediterranean way of eating (which is rich in groceries available all over the world) you can reduce many of your symptoms and alleviate your mood.

While there are many foods great for human health, vitamins, minerals and nutrients from protein are especially important for the support of the brain. Make sure to keep your nutrients high by taking plenty of antioxidants from raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and apples. Ensure your vitamin B levels are optimal by eating at least two to three eggs a week and preparing lean meat like poultry, fish, and oysters. Whole grains, avocado, and milk are also rich in vitamin B.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, nuts, and seeds will also ensure optimal brain function, especially when accompanied with selenium from whole grains, nuts, seafood, and organ meats. Another thing you can add to your diet is CBD oil. If you buy your product from respectable suppliers, CBD for anxiety can be easily mixed with food and beverages you make at home. For instance, add it to your smoothie, coffee or baked goods and let it positively influence your appetite, pain, sleep, stress responses, mood, motivation and more.

What to avoid

Certain substances harm your mental and your physical health, so they should be eliminated from your diet. Luckily, the list isn’t huge and you can always find some healthier alternative to replace these harmful foods. If you suffer from depression, do limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine. Another “drug” that people with depression often eat too much is sugar. Minimize your intake of candy, cake, and other sweets and stick to dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth. Highly-processed foods, as well as high-fat dairy, should also be consumed in minimal amounts.

Thrive Global

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Gout?

Apple cider vinegar is a sour liquid made from fermented apple products. Many people believe that it is a cure-all for a variety of health conditions, including gout, and some research does suggest that it could be beneficial.

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints. These crystals typically cause redness, pain, and swelling in the joints and tissues surrounding them, especially in the lower limbs.

In a 2016 study, researchers gave male rats on a high-fat diet 7 milliliters (ml) of apple cider vinegar per kilogram of body weight each day. After 30 days, there was a significant reduction in the animals’ food intake and body weight.

In the same study, apple cider vinegar also lowered blood sugar levels and improved serum lipid profiles by reducing the levels of circulating cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins.

Also, in a 2017 study, mice on a high-fat diet received high doses of palm vinegar containing 4% acetic acid. They ate less and experienced a reduction in body weight, fat deposits, and inflammation as well as a change in their gut microbial composition.

People have historically used apple cider vinegar in folk medicine for diabetes. Recent studies suggest that vinegar consumption may help improve insulin sensitivity in people with and without diabetes.

Risks

While apple cider vinegar is generally safe to consume, people should be aware of the risks and take precautions.

One study found that people who consumed apple cider vinegar weekly were 10 times more likely to experience severe erosive tooth damage.

Also, a 2012 study found that a 15-year-old girl who drank a glass of apple cider vinegar daily experienced erosive tooth decay.

Diluting apple cider vinegar drinks reduces the amount of exposure that the teeth and mouth get to acid. Drinking the mixture with a reusable straw may also minimize acid exposure.

Read more at Medical News Today

Africa Doesn’t Need Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Some scientists have proposed genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes as a solution to controlling malaria, a scourge that has been around for centuries and is spread by mosquitoes.

I am skeptical that this is the answer.

Through CRISPR technology, a gene that prevents procreation is inserted in the lab and is passed on to mosquitoes in the wild. In essence, it rapidly transmits a sterilizing mutation through other members of the mosquito’s species, eventually wiping out the insects.

Creating GM mosquitoes is a contentious topic. Supporters of the technology consider it a huge step forward in the war against mosquitoes and by extension, vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika. Critics of the idea, however, say it is dangerous to manipulate the DNA of any animal, and that experimentation could bring disastrous consequences that are yet unknown.

Africans should be included in these discussions. They should be allowed to have a say concerning a technology that could affect them and generations yet unborn if something should go wrong. Africans should have been consulted before the mosquitoes were created in the first place.

Read the full article at Scientific American