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7 health benefits of eating seaweed

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Seaweed, also known as kelp, nori, or marine algae, comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours.

Each variety offers its distinct taste and texture. Seaweed is surprisingly versatile and can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways.

Here are 7 amazing reasons to consider adding a touch of the ocean to your plate:

Seaweed is a nutritional goldmine, brimming with essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to thrive. It’s an excellent source of iodine, a vital mineral for healthy thyroid function. Just a small amount of seaweed can meet your daily recommended intake of iodine, helping to regulate your metabolism, energy levels, and brain function.

Seaweed is also a good source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, all essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and promoting cell growth and repair. Seaweed is also a natural source of magnesium, essential for regulating blood pressure and muscle function, as well as iron, which helps transport oxygen throughout your body.

It contains calcium, crucial for strong bones and teeth, and potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

The human gut is a complex ecosystem teeming with trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. A healthy balance of these microbes is crucial for health and digestion. Seaweed is a prebiotic, meaning it provides nourishment for the good bacteria in your gut. These friendly bacteria help with digestion, and nutrient absorption, and even play a role in immune function.

By feeding these good bacteria, seaweed helps to create a thriving gut environment that keeps you healthy. Studies have shown that a balanced gut microbiome can help reduce the risk of digestive issues like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as strengthen your immune system against harmful pathogens.

If you’re looking for a natural way to manage your weight, seaweed might be your new best friend. Seaweed contains a type of fibre called alginate, which forms a gel-like substance in your stomach. This gel helps you feel fuller for longer, promoting satiety and reducing cravings. This, in turn, can lead to a decrease in overall calorie intake and support weight management efforts.

In addition to its fibre content, seaweed is naturally low in calories and fat, making it a guilt-free way to add variety and nutrients to your meals.

Heart disease remains a leading cause of death worldwide. The good news is that seaweed might offer some protection for your heart. Seaweed contains healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to promote heart health by reducing inflammation, lowering bad cholesterol levels, and improving blood pressure.

Seaweed may also help to prevent blood clots, which can block arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, its rich supply of antioxidants helps fight free radicals that can damage blood vessels and contribute to heart disease.

For people with diabetes, managing blood sugar levels is crucial. Seaweed might offer some unique benefits in this regard. Studies suggest that certain types of seaweed, like wakame and fucoidan, may help regulate blood sugar levels. These seaweeds may slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the gut, preventing blood sugar spikes after meals.

Additionally, seaweed may improve insulin sensitivity, allowing your body to utilise insulin more effectively and keep blood sugar levels under control.

Health

Scientists discover blood proteins that could warn of cancer years before diagnosis

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Scientists in the UK say they have found proteins in the blood that could warn people of cancer more than seven years before it is diagnosed.

In two studies funded by Cancer Research UK, scientists identified 618 proteins linked to 19 types of cancer, including colon, lung, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver.

The proteins included 107 associated with cancers diagnosed more than seven years after the patient’s blood sample was collected, and 182 that were associated with a cancer diagnosis within three years.

In the first study, scientists studied blood samples from more than 44,000 people in the UK Biobank, including over 4,900 people who subsequently had a cancer diagnosis.

They found the proteins by comparing those present in people who did go on to be diagnosed with cancer and those who did not.

In the second study, the scientists looked at genetic data from over 300,000 cancer cases to find which blood proteins were involved in cancer development and could be targeted by new treatments.

The scientists found 40 proteins in the blood that influenced someone’s risk of getting nine different types of cancer.

The scientists concluded that some of these proteins could be used to detect cancer much earlier and potentially provide new treatment options.

‘FURTHER RESEARCH REQUIRED’

They however cautioned that further research is needed.

Ruth Travis, senior author of both studies, said to be able to prevent cancer, there needs to be an understanding of the factors driving the earliest stages of its development.

“These studies are important because they provide many new clues about the causes and biology of multiple cancers, including insights into what’s happening years before a cancer is diagnosed,” she said.

“We now have technology that can look at thousands of proteins across thousands of cancer cases, identifying which proteins have a role in the development of specific cancers, and which might have effects that are common to multiple cancer types.”

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Health

Scientists say a spoon of olive ‘anointing’ oil a day can save your life

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In many Nigerian churches, olive oil is used as a spiritual means of healing; it’s called anointing oil. It does have healing properties, though it’s not necessarily spiritual.

The Mediterranean diet—a diet rich in olive oil—causes better brain health and lowers heart disease risk. You can replace vegetable oil with olive oil for a healthier life.

Researchers found that replacing margarine or mayonnaise with olive oil daily reduces the risk of dementia death by 8–14%, but this benefit was not observed when using other vegetable oils or butter.

A scientific study with over 92,000 participants showed that a spoonful of olive oil might be linked to a reduced risk of death from dementia, regardless of whether the person had a good or bad dieting habit. People who included at least half a tablespoon (seven grammes) of olive oil daily saw a 28% lower risk of death than those who didn’t regularly consume it.

According to the researchers, olive oil’s antioxidant qualities may have an impact on why it contributes to longevity. These components may pass the blood-brain barrier, thereby directly affecting the brain and cardiovascular health, respectively.

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Health

One in 12 men tested in Lagos showed signs of prostate cancer, says Goke Akinrogunde

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Goke Akinrogunde, a medical practitioner and chairman of the honorary members’ forum of the Nigeria Air Force Officers’ Mess (NAFOM) Ikeja, says one in 12 men tested in Lagos showed signs of prostate cancer.

WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?

The prostate is the walnut-sized gland found in males.

It is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum, surrounding the urethra — the tube that carries urine out of the bladder.

The prostate makes some of the fluid that is part of semen.

When a man has prostate cancer, it means the cells in the prostate gland have begun to grow out of control.

It is unclear what causes these cells to grow out of control.

CREATING AWARENESS

Akinrogunde spoke at the HMF-NAFOM annual general meeting on Wednesday. The event held at the Sam Ethan Airforce Base, Ikeja.

The event which had A. I Sambo, president of the mess committee (PMC), and T. Abu, the base’ commander, in attendance, featured a health session themed: ‘Men’s health, women’s concern: erection and prostate matters’.

The HMF is the honorary civilian wing of the air force officers’ mess.

Akinrogunde noted that the meeting serves as an avenue for socialisation between the military and civilian members of the mess.

He emphasised the importance of addressing the health and wellness of older men, while citing the prevalence of prostate cancer in Nigeria as the rationale for the theme.

“This meeting is a good opportunity for the civilian and military members of the mess to interact. As civilians, we are in the civil society, it is important that we think of what will be beneficial to both segments of the mess and hence the topic,” he said.

“Prostate health is always very relevant and while the discussion might not be common, prostate cancer is quite common in out society. For example, there is a study that was conducted in Lagos sometime which shows that one out of twelve men tested showed signs of prostate cancer.

“This is a good opportunity to bring the awareness to our people.”

Taiwo Alabi, the guest lecturer, who was represented by Tunji Olakunle, an endourologist, said factors directly linked to the occurrence of prostate cancer include race, age and genetics.

He added that men aged 40 and above are encouraged to conduct the baseline prostate specific antigen (PSA) test every six months to detect the likely occurrence of prostate cancer.

He encouraged members to practise safe sexual activities and to seek appropriate medical intervention where necessary.

The event saw the inauguration of new executive members of the HMF by A. I Sambo.

The executive inaugurated included Goke Akinrogunde as the chairman; Bello Olanrewaju as the vice chairman; Azubuike Chuks as the general secretary; Adesina Babatunde as the treasurer; Uzu Onyeka John as the entertainment officer; Sokoya Olufemi as the public relations officer; and Shina Badaru as the chief adviser.

The PMC also awarded TheCable newspaper the ‘numero uno corporate partner’ for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives for 2022-2023.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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