~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, August 26, 2018.
|Written by Dr Sylvester Ikhisemojie|
These sorts of people miss a lot in terms of the tastiness of any particular type of food and what they could stand to gain from its consumption. There are many various types of vegetables but certain ingredients are common to them and in seeking to understand how they positively impact on our overall health, it is better for us to examine what these features are.
Vegetables contain cellulose, a spongy compound which the human stomach is not even designed to digest. Cellulose is the remarkable substance that mostly makes up the fiber in the diet. That compound is able to improve the sheer bulk of our stools and therefore, ease its way through the alimentary canal and get passed out as faeces. Such fiber in the diet helps to flush out waste effectively from the alimentary tract and gastric irritants. By doing this also, they help the body keep various diseases at bay and fight bloating. Cellulose is a complex material which herbivores like goats, sheep and cows are particularly able to digest. These creatures and other similar ones are known as ruminants. Such animals live almost exclusively on these substances and they almost never fall ill. This ability is also replicated in man; as most vegetables help people fend off chronic diseases and to lose weight.
Vegetables are also constituted of about 85 to 95 per cent water which helps hydrate the skin and reduce wrinkles. Besides, they contain substances called phytonutrients which help to guard against premature aging. They accomplish that by preventing cell damage caused by stress, sunshine, environmental pollution and toxins. Brightly coloured vegetables which could be red or orange will usually give the body an added boost of beta carotene which is protective of the skin from the sun's damage while giving it a healthy glow. One common example of an orange vegetable is the carrot and a red one is the tomato. The latter contains a substance known as lycopene which has been proved to act virtually as a natural sunscreen.
Vitamin C is not only found in citrus fruits: it can also be found in potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, spinach, avocado pear and bell peppers. This vitamin is particularly important in the formation of collagen, a complex compound without which the body cannot repair itself. That means that when an individual has sustained an injury, the healing of the wound is unduly slow and would result in poor tissue repair. Such a repair is not usually as strong as is desired and the recovery from other ailments like infections and even simple coughs is not satisfactory. Normally, the body's stores of vitamin C and magnesium are quickly depleted in the course of any stress and the steady intake of various vegetables usually helps to restore their levels.
If vegetables help us to reduce stress in the various ways that have been described above, it is for our ultimate good. That is because stress often makes one tired, moody and unable to function optimally. Some people may then binge on food or alcohol as a result of such emotional instability. Such swings in mood and attitude can negatively affect the person's overall health in many different ways. Sometimes, the changes in physique are truly stunning; from profound obesity with its attendant associated complications to anorexia and asthenia.
The fiber found in vegetables helps to reduce the cholesterol levels or keep it within normal levels. This helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiac arrest. Its folic acid helps the body to form healthy red blood cells. Vegetables also contain vitamin A which is an important supplement for the maintenance of a healthy vision. Furthermore, they contain potassium, which with magnesium, is of vital importance in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. They are able to perform this great role by relaxing the blood vessels and letting blood flow through them without exerting any extra effort from the heart. Now, it is believed that the regular and adequate intake of vegetables is more important than any other factor in preventing colon cancer. It is said that the improved intestinal emptying, the reduction in the time frame that it takes a particular food substance to navigate the length of the alimentary canal ultimately helps to reduce the degree of tissue swelling along the walls of the intestine that has been found to have a definite relationship to the onset of colon cancer. Such tissue swelling is described as an inflammatory reaction and it is termed as a precursor of that deadly disease. As a consequence, it is better from a logical and nutritional point of view to take more vegetables in order to prevent colon cancer.
Many people do not take enough vegetables. Yet, eating more vegetables is one of the simplest choices you can make today to improve your overall health. Besides slowing down cellular aging, they provide you with certain nutrients that can aid you in coping with stress such as B group of vitamins, folic acid, omega-3 fats, magnesium, potassium and glutathione. The latter is the current rage among drug network marketers that is credited with being able to cure nearly every ailment you dare to name. A diet which is rich in vegetables can protect one from arthritis, dementia, stroke, heart disease in addition to colon cancer and is even now being speculated to be able to slow down the entire process of aging.
A recent study has even found that individuals who consume seven or more portions of vegetables a day have an astonishing 42 per cent lower chance of dying from any cause when compared to those who eat less than one portion.
Finally, magnesium which is also very important for good muscle and nerve functions also plays a significant role in maintaining the immune system. Low levels of magnesium have been implicated in the onset of anxiety disorders and migraine. The absorption of calcium, without which we cannot enjoy an adequate level of bone health, is also aided by magnesium. It should now be clear to everyone that our health cannot be maintained without a healthy daily dose of vegetables. Vegetables are not always leafy greens as the ones named in paragraph four would make very clear.
Ask the doctor
Dear doctor, I read your piece of August 19, 2018 on the subject of male sexuality and found it interesting. Kindly advise me. I am an over 80-year-old man but still fit and sound. I still drive my SUV. I need a strong erection and increase in semen volume. I patronised Zee virtual last month with volume pills and Samoria X pills but have seen no effect yet. What do I do? Thanks.
I do not even know what those things you mentioned mean in terms of procuring any form of treatment for some erectile dysfunction. It is a refreshing thing to see that you still drive around at your age. However, the only person who can give you a prescription to improve your erection has to be your doctor. That is because he has your history, knows your health challenges if any, in and out and would be the safest professional to recommend a medication suitable for your age. That said, even he cannot guarantee an increase in seminal volume for you. Thank you too and best of luck sir.
Dear doctor, please, I am suffering from hyperthyroidism. I want you to link me up with any hospital where I can good surgical treatment. Thank you.
Well, the particular hospital you will go to will in the end be your specific choice to make or should be based on the referral obtained from the doctor who made this diagnosis. As a guide, however, I would suggest that depending on where you live, such a hospital must have a physician and a general surgeon available to attend to your problem. That will be so because it is not every case of hyperthyroidism that is managed by a surgeon; some can be treated by physicians depending on the cause. Approach your doctor with these recommendations and take his advice with regards to which hospital can best manage your condition.
Dear doctor, I am an avid reader of your column in SUNDAY PUNCH. Sir, I have been experiencing some sounding voices inside and outside my stomach since last year. I have used many drugs but the situation has not changed. Please help me.
The noises you hear may or may not mean much. There is a specific medical term for that which I would rather not confuse you with. Such noises can occur depending on what types of food you might have eaten. However, if these sounds are present irrespective of what you are eating, medicines will not stop them. There could be a partial blockage of a part of your intestine that is still evolving. It could be an abnormal growth or nothing at all. In order to solve the dilemma, you will have to see a doctor for proper examination and a diagnosis. That is the only way to deal with this problem in a way that will give you the peace of mind you need.
Dear doctor, your piece on male sexuality in SUNDAY PUNCH of 19/8/2018 was nice. Please, what effect does eating walnut regularly has on male sexuality? Can it cure or reduce erectile dysfunction? I am told it reduces the build-up of bad cholesterol in the blood too. Thank you.
Walnuts, like other nuts, are a rich source of Omega-3 fats. It also contains plenty of minerals and vitamins much like some that have been identified with vegetables as in the essay above. In truth, it could help in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. However, a large intake is thought to be able to cause weight gain. Finally, there is no information about its effectiveness in helping to treat erectile dysfunction.
Dear doctor, God bless your job. I am a lady of 24 years. I am not used to having pains during my menstrual period but for the past four months, I have been having serious pains during menstruation even after taking some pain relievers. A friend told me that I experience it because I am still a virgin and that once I engage in sex, it will stop. Sir, is there no other way to avert the pains?
This condition is sometimes caused by certain developments that have no relationship with what your friend has told you. Here, you have demonstrated the wisdom of the elder by asking the right questions while your friend who has no knowledge about this matter is surely misleading you. Sexual intercourse or the lack of it has no bearing on whether any person has painful menstruation or not. It is not one of the causes. However, since it is a problem that has only recently started, you ought to see a doctor or better still a gynaecologist for the appropriate examination that will help determine the cause. When the cause is known, treatment should be possible.
Dear doctor, I read your column in SUNDAY PUNCH of August 19, 2018. Please I have a weak erection. Apart from prostaylin herbal drug advertised under the column, what other drugs or measures can I take? Thank you.
Well, the herbal product you mentioned has no relationship with the topic in the column. It is an advert like any other. I have no experience with its usage and I am not able to recommend it. If you believe your situation requires some medical help, you must see your doctor for examination and advice. One particular drug does not help everyone, so it is in your best interest to have an audience with your doctor.
Dear doctor, please I have had diabetes for some years now and even though my sugar level is under control now, it has affected my erection seriously. Please advise me on what to do.
I believe that the doctor who is managing your diabetes is a competent expert. He is in the best position to prescribe for you what particular drug to use based on his knowledge of your medical condition, age and other factors which will include the other medications you currently take.