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Fasting is a very familiar practice for all of us generally. But sometimes it varies from the perspective of its main objective as some people fast due to religious purposes, some due to diet or attaining spiritual peace. It also differs from religion to religion like Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism. Its duration and phases fluctuates too. But the common point is that offers a lot of health benefits.

To begin with, it brings harmony, inner peace, and raises our awareness and these characteristics play a major function in stabilizing our mental health and fitness. It provides us with the opportunity to come up for air from our every day lifestyle and confers a possibility for our body to take a pause and gives break to its different organs. Fasting helps out for the accomplishment of abdominal fitness. As it purifies our body from the excessive and contaminated stuff, relaxes digestive tract, filters our intestines, and lightens the stomach by clearing fats. Additionally, it removes toxins from our body and consequently results as detoxification. During fasting as our body is not allowed for the intake of food so it utilizes the fats reserved in our body. These fats are initially the extra carbohydrates and glucose not consumed by human body and then transferred into fats. So for the period of fasting when we draw on these fats for obtaining get-up-and-go ability, chemicals are released from the fatty acids within the internal mechanism. Subsequently, those chemicals are wiped out through different organs and end result is purification of our entire body.

It also possesses anti-cancer perspective as recent research supports this fact that fasting makes the cancer treatment more bearable. The healing tendency is increased and victims put up with chemotherapies in a healthier way. Moreover in the absence of intake of food our body does not give any chance to tumor growth. Fasting also enhances immune system, because, during fast when one is not ingesting food then energy turns away on the way to immune system and metabolism instead of digestive system. It leads to improved protein development and growth hormones. It is also discovered that an anti-aging hormone production is also observed during the period of fasting. Fasting results in the immunoglobulin intensification that leads to the strengthening of immune system.

Fasting covers very promising ways in order to get rid of drugs like heroine, alcohol, nicotine etc. furthermore, it enhances sensory awareness, normalizes blood pressure, re-establishes cell oxygenation, develops insulin sensitivity, and stabilizes nervous system. So we can analyze that it offers huge benefits, this verity is very clearly stated in a Hadith “Fast and be healthy.” (Ibn As-Sunni and Abu Nu΄aym, and As-Suyuti graded it as Hasan.)

But one has to keep in mind that fast does not mean cutting our diet to an extreme. In the same way while breaking our fast, avoid from overeating and initially prefer fruit and vegetables. Certain limitations are there, when one is suffering from severe disease or his/her health conditions are not very compatible then he/she can skip it as clearly stated in the Holy Quran “(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will, it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.” (2:184). So fasting really helps us in bringing serenity to our lives and accomplishing peaceful health.

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Honey, the magnificent golden sticky stuff is naturally produced by the honey bees. Interestingly, honey formation commences with the feast of bees from flowers nectar. Charisma of a special enzyme in their saliva makes it feasible to transfer that feast into honey through a chemical process. Honey is carried by bees in hives at the back and stored into the cells of hives walls. Continuous fluttering of the wings keeps the honey freshen, and decreases the moisture content which is then good enough for consumption. Moreover, honey is a popular ingredient of different recipes like juices, beverages, and different desserts.
Biochemically, its composition consists of different forms of sugars especially fructose which is considered as the most assimilated carbohydrate. It supplies plenty of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulphur, iron and phosphate. Besides all, honey also contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 which fluctuates in accordance with the quality of pollen and nectar. As an exceptional source of phytochemicals it offers different phtyoneutrients, and these substances include caffeic acid, methyl caffeate, and phenylethyl dimethyl caffate. Modern research confirms that all these substances possess anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. Being a restrain to invert sugar it aids in boosting up the energy by maintaining the blood sugar level and insulin sensitivity. Further, it supplies sustainable liveliness during exercise and lessens exhaustion. Honey squeezes the capability of weight diminution when consumed with hot water, by burning the accumulated fats in our body. Honey has been used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial since ancient times too.
Honey fitness merits are incredible and resist against many ailments such as yeast infection, athlete’s foot and arthritis. Honey in its unprocessed form significantly shrinks rise in blood sugar comparatively with dextrose and sucrose that’s why it is a captivating food for type-2 diabetes. In addition, one of its astonishing features is to hinder the formation of cholesterol in arteries which protects the patient from the possibility of heart attack, and also results in the reinforcement of heart beats. Due to presence of high acid content it is digestible easily by individuals having sensitive stomach. Even chronic arthritis can be cured by taking 1cup of hot water with 2 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
It contains an anti-oxidant named “nutraceuticals” which facilitates in removing free radicals and triggers the body’s immunity. Honey is also awfully valuable against different gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence, and irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers. Moreover, it proves an excellent cough suppressant in children lying between age group of 2-18 than any other cough medicines. So honey acts as a wonderful source of capturing potency!

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Nature has given us everything and bestowed us with unlimited resources now we have the authority of using it whether in a good way or a bad way. There are many different types of spices which we use in our daily lives in some way or the other, inclusive of their taste and different functions. These spices and condiments have different effects on our body and but in some cases provide us little nourishment. They are basically added in food to make it more pleasing and appetizing. Now the question is that “Is table salt good for health or a slow poison ? ”

Basically table salt is obtained from the underground deposits of the salt. It contains 97 % to 99% of common salt such as NaCl which has a great nutritional value to some extent and considered to be essential. Table salt is mainly known to be employed for the fulfillment of different processes such as cooking, processing and preservation of foods and particularly used as a food condiment.

In addition to its some remarkable benefits, it also has some demerits. Table salt as we all know is nature gifted, we should utilize it as it is considered essential for all the living things such as animals and human beings but one thing to keep in mind is, that it should be used in restraint amounts because its excessive intake leads to toxification in the body which could be harmful for all the body organs and the systems; 1500mg of sodium is considered beneficial to be consumed per day because efficiency of sodium ions are greatly acknowledged and suggested to be helpful and thought to play a very important role for the proper initiation of electrical signaling in the nervous system. Body also needs sodium for the proper functioning and to get rid of certain malfunctioning that stem out due to loss of electrolytes in case of different stomach disturbances such as dehydration. Consumption of low sodium diet for a longer period of time will degrade the levels of sodium in the body and severe degradation can lead to severe dysfunction of the internal organs.

Excessive intake of table salt affects the body inauspiciously to the appalling levels and cause different diseases in the body. For example, if we ingest salt more than required amounts of body intake levels than it leads to muscle cramping, dizziness or electrolyte disturbances resulting in the different neurological malfuction, which in case of severity may lead to death. Death usually occurs when the astronomical amount of salt is consumed through food by an individual in a short time i.e. 1g / kg of the body weight. An effort to use salt solutions in forms of emetics (in case of vomiting when administered orally or by injections), insisted or forced salty solutions or unintentional combination of salt and sugar in chilled foods usually leads to death.

Acute affects takes place when individuals consume table salt in excess amounts and if this acute condition persists for longer time, it will ultimately lead to long term effects and give rise to many chronic diseases such as stroke and cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure which leads to the hardening of the arteries and the arterial insufficiency leading to stroke or myocardial infarction. The use of table salt at chronic levels can result in left ventricular hypertrophy, which means cardiac enlargement and prevails when high intakes of table salt are consumed and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Excessive salt intake with insufficient amount of water intake may lead to hypernatermia. So it has been concluded that table salt is essential for the body but should be consumed in optimum recommended amounts to get rid of irregularities caused in the body.

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Dark chocolates are very well known heart beneficial and used almost everywhere as main candy, confection or serve as a desert after the meal. It endures good taste, medical properties and health benefits, and its good taste and magnificent qualities are remarkably acknowledged. It is a food which acts as stimulant for the people. Another outstanding characteristic of dark chocolate is that it has anti oxidative properties and it helps to fight off heart attacks. Due to its poly phenolic characteristics it is considered more beneficial for heart health because poly phenols in chocolate are more potent. They are collectively called healthy heart nutrients and are known to protect the cardiovascular system of the body.

Dark chocolates are used and produced commercially. They contain saturated fats such as stearic and palmitic acid which when used in moderate amounts lowers the quantity of LDL cholesterol in the blood which is considered bad for heart. In addition to saturated fats dark chocolates also contain monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid. Blood pressure and LDL cholesterol are the 2 main factors which determine the overall health of the heart.

Dark chocolate has immense effects on human health. It contains antioxidant such as flavanoids, which is considered beneficial for heart and involves the reduction of the production of LDL cholesterol which are suggested to be dangerous for heart. It affects heart to the appalling levels. Flavanols have anti clotting ability and avoids the formation of clogs or clots in the arteries and reduce the amount of platelets which are somewhat are less likely to form clots. It has very healthy effects on heart such as it reduces the blood pressure, decrease the level of bad cholesterol LDL and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Dark chocolates are also responsible for suppressing the cough, inhibiting diarrhea and helps to facilitate dilation, along with decreased risk of infarction.

Eating foods high in flavanoids are considered good for arteries. Even though milk chocolate also contains flavanoids, it has added butter fat. Flavanols also contain high level of nitrite and nitrate and known to be the benedictions for the heart as it helps in lowering of Blood pressure. Formation of nitric oxide by the intake of flavanoids through consumption of dark chocolates improves the circulation of blood in blood vessels. Falvanols which contain more than 70 % cocoa content in dark chocolates are considered heart friendly. Flavanols which contains epicatchins as its ingredient helps to increase the blood flow in arteries.

Dark chocolates which are considered as heart beneficiaries confections contains compound called procyanidin, which have potent metabolic effects. These chocolates have many potential factors due to its different sources. Poly phenols present in dark chocolates are more potent. Due to poly phenolic activity of dark chocolate it is considered beneficial for heart health. It increase the level of good cholesterol( HDL) as much as 10 %. The content of cocoa in phenols helps in lowering of blood pressure and ameliorate the heart health.

Saturated fats found in dark chocolates i.e. stearic and palmitic acids are known to increase the levels of LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol for heart and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but their use in moderation will be considered beneficial for heart. Dark chocolate contains oleic acid, the mono unsaturated fatty acid, which lowers the levels of LDL cholesterols in the blood. Restraint use of dark chocolate is less likely to cause obesity.

Dark chocolate acts as trigger or stimulant for the people which have some problems regarding the cardiovascular system of the body such as it is best medicinal effect for the irregular heart beats. So to get rid of Arrythmia, people should consume dark chocolates in required amounts.

Compiled with thanks from: Braunwald’s Textbook of Heart Diseases.

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