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7 Diseases Associated with Obesity

Consuming too many calories and leading a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity. Obesity is not just an issue about physical appearance. If not addressed, this condition can increase the risk of many diseases. In this post, we will discuss some of the diseases associated with obesity.

What is Obesity?

Obese Women WalkingObesity is a condition which occurs when a person carries extreme excess weight or body fat. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool doctors use to assess if the weight of a person is appropriate for his/her age, gender, and height. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 indicates that a person is overweight. Meanwhile, a BMI of 30 and above suggests that a person is obese. Click here to know your BMI.

Diseases Associated with Obesity

1. Heart Disease and Stroke

Extra weight makes a person more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Both of these conditions increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Also, being obese contributes to angina (chest pain) and sudden death from heart disease/stroke without any signs or symptoms.

The good news is, losing even a small amount of weight (10% weight reduction) can reduce the chance of heart disease and stroke. Losing more weight can lower the risk even more.

2. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes reduces the body’s ability to control blood sugar. It can lead to heart disease, stroke, and blindness. People who are overweight are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those with normal weight. Many people who have type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese. You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by exercising, getting adequate sleep, and eating a balanced diet.

3. Cancer

Several types of cancer are associated with obesity. Cancer of the colon, breast, endometrium (lining of the uterus), esophagus, and kidney are linked to obesity. Some studies have also showed links between obesity and cancer of the pancreas, ovaries, and gallbladder. For some types of cancer, such as breast or colon, it’s not clear whether the increased risk is because of the extra weight or due to a high-fat, high-calorie diet.

4. Gallbladder Disease

Gallstones and gallbladder disease are more common in people who are overweight. The risk of disease increases as weight increases. However, it is not yet clear how being overweight can cause gallbladder disease.

Ironically, weight loss, especially rapid weight loss or losing a large amount of weight, can actually increase the chance of developing gallstones. Modest or slow weight loss of about one pound a week is less likely to cause gallstones.

5. Osteoarthritis

OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is a joint condition that often affects the knee, hip, and lower back. Carrying extra weight puts extra pressure on these joints and wears away cartilage (tissue that cushions the joints) that protects them. Weight loss can reduce the stress on the knee, hip, and lower back, and alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

6. Gout

Gout is a disease which affects the joints. It’s caused by high uric acid levels in the blood. The excess uric acid can form into crystals that are deposited in the joints. Gout is more common in individuals who are overweight. The more you weigh, the higher the risk of developing this condition. The symptoms of gout include pain, redness, and swelling in joints. The big toe is the usual area first affected by gout.

7. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a breathing condition associated with being overweight. During sleep, this condition can cause a person to snore heavily and stop breathing for short periods. It may also cause daytime sleepiness and make heart disease or stroke more likely. The possibility of having sleep apnea increases as body weight increases. Weight loss can help with sleep apnea.

Conclusion

There are many diseases associated with obesity. An initial goal of 5 to 10% weight reduction can reduce your risk of developing obesity-related diseases mentioned above. If you are obese, consider starting a weight loss program through diet and exercise. The FITin56 program can help you with that.

What Are the Signs of Depression?

Some people may think they are depressed when they are experiencing short-lived feelings of unhappiness. Perhaps they have had a bad week or experienced relationship issues that have made them feel in a lower mood than usual. While this may turn into depression if the feelings last for extended periods of time, this is generally not a depressive disorder.

Sadness is to be expected in life and there will be periods of unhappiness. To determine whether you may be experiencing depression, we have to look at some of the symptoms characterizing this mental health disorder. In this article, we will discuss the signs of depression.

Signs of Depression

1. You feel hopeless

You feel hopelessSevere depression can leave you with a bleak outlook on life. You may feel helpless to change, or that your life is hopeless. You may feel worthless. You may feel guilty for something which is not your fault. You may hate yourself and feel your life is not worthwhile. These are all potential signs of depression.

2. You lack interest

You may find you no longer enjoy things you used to enjoy in the past. You stop taking pleasure in your hobbies and pursuits. You may also withdraw from friends and family. You may decide to stop partaking in social activities and cut yourself off. You may experience impotence or a lack of interest in sex as well.

3. You are tired or can’t sleep

You're always tiredDepression can leave you feeling fatigued and lacking in energy. This may also make you feel like you can’t do anything as you are just too tired. This can cause you to sleep too much. The opposite can also be true, where you are not able to sleep, are restless, wake often, or just have poor quality sleep. Not getting a decent, restful sleep can make anxiety and depression worse as well.

4. You feel anxious

Anxiety often goes hand in hand with depression. Anxiety can manifest as feelings of extreme panic, danger, or dread. You may feel very tense, restless, or nervous. You may feel an escalation in breathing and heart rate. Other symptoms of anxiety include battling for focus, sweating, twitches, and trembling. Severe anxiety is one of the signs of depression.

5. Your weight fluctuates

Depression can affect weight in one of two ways. You may eat for comfort and even experience an increase in appetite, causing you to gain weight. You may also lose your appetite and lose weight. If you have not made a conscious decision to increase or decrease your weight, this may be a sign of depression or other illness.

6. You experience emotional problems

You experience emotional problemsYou might find yourself crying uncontrollably one minute, and experience a bout of anger the next. You may go from happy to irritable for no reason at all. You may experience uncontrolled mood swings. These are all possible indications of depression.

7. You contemplate ending your life

One of the signs of depression includes thinking and talking about suicide. Depressed people will often show indications of wanting to end their lives before they try to do so. It is important to seek help if you ever feel this way. If someone talks to you about suicide, please seek help immediately. Let them talk but remove the risks such as weapons and medication that are available, as best as you can. Call an emergency number or suicide prevention line for assistance.

Conclusion

If you or someone you care about are showing signs of depression, please seek help as soon as possible. Depression can be controlled and you can get help for this condition. Don’t be afraid to speak out or ask for help.

FITin56 promotes a holistic approach to fitness — physically, mentally, and emotionally. When these aspects of your life are well taken care of, you are more likely to live a happier, healthier life.

5 Health Benefits of Moringa

For thousands of years, Moringa has been recognized for its health benefits. Moringa oleifera is a medium-sized tree native to North India. It is called by a variety of names, such as horseradish tree, ben oil tree, and drumstick tree. Most parts of the tree can be eaten or used as ingredients in formulating traditional herbal medicines.

Although many benefits of Moringa have already been found, these are just a fraction of what scientists discovered in their studies. Many more are still being uncovered. Listed below are the health benefits of Moringa which are supported by scientific research.

Health Benefits of Moringa

1. Contains Vitamins and Minerals

Moringa LeavesThe leaves and pods of Moringa are commonly eaten in many parts of India and Africa. Moringa leaves are a good source of vitamins and minerals. One cup of chopped leaves (21 grams) contains the following nutrients:

• Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
• Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
• Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
• Vitamin A: 9% of the RDA
• Protein: 2 grams
• Iron: 11% of the RDA
• Magnesium: 8% of the RDA

*RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)

In many Western countries, dried Moringa leaves are made into dietary supplements, either in capsule or powder form.

The pods of Moringa are generally lower in vitamin and mineral content, but they are found to be exceptionally rich in vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods weighing 100 grams contains 157% of a person’s daily requirement.

The diet of people in developing countries sometimes lacks protein, vitamins, and minerals. In such places, Moringa can be a good source of these essential nutrients.

2. Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that fight off free radicals. High levels of free radicals may cause oxidative stress and lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

In addition to vitamin C and beta-carotene, the leaves of Moringa oleifera contain several antioxidant plant compounds. These include:

• Quercetin – This powerful antioxidant may help lower blood pressure.
• Chlorogenic acid – Also found in coffee, chlorogenic acid may help lower blood sugar levels after meals.

3. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Moringa PowderHigh blood sugar is the main characteristic of diabetes and can be a serious health problem. If the increase in blood sugar levels is ignored, the risk of having chronic diseases such as heart disease, eye, and kidney problems could increase. For this reason, it is very important that you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Many studies conducted have shown that Moringa may reduce blood sugar levels. One study involving 30 women who took 1.5 teaspoons (7 g) of moringa leaf powder daily for three months showed that on average, the fasting blood sugar levels were reduced by 13.5%. Also, a small study involving six people with diabetes found out that adding 50 grams of Moringa leaves to a meal lowered blood sugar by 21%.

4. May Reduce Inflammation

When the body has an infection or has suffered an injury, the body’s natural response is inflammation. Although it’s an essential protective mechanism, it may pose a major health problem if it continues for a long period of time. In fact, prolonged inflammation is associated with many chronic health problems like heart disease and cancer.

To manage inflammation, one has to eat fruits and vegetables, including herbs and spices which have anti-inflammatory properties. However, their capacity to help depends on the kinds and amounts of the anti-inflammatory compounds found in them. Scientists believe that the main anti-inflammatory compounds found in Moringa are isothiocyanates.

5. Can Lower Cholesterol

A person who has high cholesterol has an increased risk of heart disease. Fortunately, many plant foods that we eat can effectively reduce cholesterol. These foods include flaxseeds, oats, and almonds. Studies made on both humans and other animals showed that Moringa may have similar cholesterol-lowering effects.

Conclusion

Moringa oleifera has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. This superfood has many health benefits. Among the health benefits of Moringa are modest reductions in the level of blood sugar and cholesterol. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Moringa leaves are highly nutritious and are therefore recommended for people who are lacking in essential nutrients.

For more tips on health and fitness, sign up to FITin56. If you want to buy Moringa dietary supplements, please click here.

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FITin56® is a revolutionary fitness program that helps anyone get fit in 56 days — and stay fit! Members get online access to workout videos, exercise videos, and a nutrition plan. Lose weight, tone, or build muscle — follow the plan that best meets your goals. Get fit and healthy in only 30 minutes per day!

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