Health Updates January 2017

Is running good for your knees?

Whether you’re a sports aficionado or a regular runner, you might be wondering if the longstanding pounding from running is actually good for your knees. A new study suggests that running lowers knee inflammation and may even protect against arthritis. Contrary to popular belief, running appears to reduce knee joint inflammation, not increase it according to a study from Brigham Young University. Co-author Matt Seeley, PhD, said in a press release that the idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth.

Processed meat may worsen asthma


Researchers say that eating processed meat might make asthma symptoms worse. A recent study published in the Thorax Journal found out that consuming high portions of processed and cured meats (four times a week) could worsen asthma. The study was conducted to nearly 1,000 French adults and among the people with asthma, higher meat consumption was connected to worsening their symptoms. Processed meats have already been linked to cancer and it wouldn’t hurt not to indulge in sausages and ham regularly.

Apple cider vinegar Lowers blood sugar levels


Apple cider vinegar is known to have a wide range of benefits over the decades. Research found out that consuming apple cider vinegar seems to help regulate blood sugar. A study published in the Diabetes Care looked at men and women with type 2 diabetes and found out that those of them who took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed with a snack had lower blood sugar levels the next morning. This was in comparison to when the participants ate the same bedtime snack paired with two tablespoons of water.

Floatation Therapy


Float tanks, isolation tanks or sensory deprivation tanks are getting much popularity recently. Floatation therapy is inducing deep relaxation and positive health effects in soundproof tanks with salt and warm water. Some of the claimed benefits range from recovering from stress to relieving pain.

Cutting calories through switching to diet soda


Switching to diet soda seems to be the perfect solution to balance out a meal. Most people try to lessen their calorie intake by choosing a non-sweetened drink. Although this might look effective, an article published in the International Journal of Obesity found out that consumption of calorie-free beverages has minimal influences on total daily energy intake. Researchers found out that the people who had zero-calorie drinks tried to compensate the sugar they never had by eating slightly more on their following meals, while the ones who had the sugary drink didn’t keep overeating for the rest of the day.

Optimists may live longer after heart attack


A study in Israel suggests that optimistic people are more likely to survive decades following a first heart attack than those who are less optimistic. The study team writes in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that the results don’t prove that optimism extends life, but doctors should nevertheless consider including optimism training in patients’ rehabilitation after heart attacks. The study concluded that higher levels of optimism during hospitalization were associated with reduced mortality over a two-decade follow-up period.

Ebola Vaccine


Merck Sharp & Dohme developed a vaccine which is highly effective in preventing humans to be infected by Ebola. In 2015, the experimental vaccine was given to people in Guinea who were in contact with people who were infected with Ebola. The vaccine was developed in Canada and is now being fast-tracked by both US and European regulatory agencies. The recent study published in The Lancet is a historical success in the field of health.

Superfoods 2017

Cauliflower Locally produced varieties of this humble yet nutritious veg are available at supermarkets and open farm markets. Pulse the florets to eat as cauliflower ‘rice’ or bake it whole for a low- carb and calories meal rich in fiber, Vitamin C, folate, potassium and anti-cancer compounds called glucosinolates.

Omega 3 Foods No Bahraini meal is complete without seafood. Literally meaning ‘Two Seas’, Bahrain is surrounded by waters abounding in fish packed with Omega 3. Further, several roasteries and organised retail stores sell nuts rich in these essential acids.

Watermelon Water Watermelon water, like coconut water, contains natural electrolyte minerals. It’s especially high in potassium, which has the benefit of keeping blood pressure in a healthy range. It also contains lycopene – one of the most powerful and protective antioxidants found in plants.

Turmeric is an exotic spice heavily used in Bahraini cuisine alongside saffron, cardamom, cloves, sumac and others. The local souqs or even supermarkets sell this condiment containing curcumin, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has also been shown to help relive the pain of arthritis, injuries and even dental procedures.

Goat Meat A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, it is low in fat and higher in protein than some meats. It’s also higher in iron than beef or lamb.

Sunflower Protein Bahrainis snacking on sunflower seeds is so common, it borders on social stereotype. Available at any supermarket, these are rich in proteins essential for building, healing and repairing body tissue. A source of vital antibodies and hormones, they are a great mid- meal treat too.