Oregano – Health benefits

Oregano (Origanum vulgare ) is an aromatic plant originating from the Mediterranean Peninsula and Western Asia. Its application for medical purposes dates back to ancient Greece where it was applied to treat stomach problems, constipation, slow bowel motility, and other problems with the digestive tract. It belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae) and, except for its medicinal properties, is often used in cooking because of its recognizable aroma. Oregano essential oil possesses healing properties and strong antibacterial activity, it is both used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry.

The main characteristics of oregano are:

• A high content of antioxidants

• Antifungal activity

• Antiviral properties

• Analgesic properties

Diuretic activity

• Antiseptic activity

• Relieves digestive problems

• Antibacterial properties

oregano

Health benefits of oregano

Oregano is used in the diet in relatively small amounts, therefore as most other spices cannot exhibit its maximal healing potential. But the continual application of oregano in small amounts allows the intake of sufficient amounts of compounds with antioxidant activity, plenty of minerals and vitamins and phytonutrients. Oregano is a tonic and carminative. It stimulates bowel motility, but in large quantities, it can accelerate heart rate. In traditional medicine, it is often used as an infusion or essential oil. It possesses analgesic properties which means that it can effectively reduce the pain. Oregano also possesses antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

With its antioxidant activity, it prevents the damage of internal organs caused by the action of free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds with an unwanted electron. They react with a large number of endogenous molecules and thus participate in the development of many diseases of the modern age, including cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system diseases, and other age-related diseases.

In addition to that, oregano also has anti-inflammatory activity, thereby reducing acute or chronic inflammation of breathing pathways. As an infusion or as an inhaler, oregano leaves increase the air flow through the airways and relieve respiration and symptoms of colds or flu.

Oregano relieves digestion problems, facilitates the passage of food through the intestines, and stimulates the formation of digestive juices, thus enables the decomposition of food and complete digestion and absorption. It reduces the production of gases and prevents the formation of constipation.

Oregano is a good source of vitamin E, one of the compounds with the strongest antioxidant activity. This vitamin is lipophilic and it prevents the damage to the cell membrane, especially in red blood cells – erythrocytes and white blood cells – leukocytes (immune system cells).

This medicinal plant also contains a lot of calcium, the most present mineral in our body. Calcium salts make up the bulk of bone mass. In this way, oregano increases the strength and formation of bones, protects teeth and prevents their damage. Also, calcium participates in the process of blood clotting, it affects the regulation of blood pressure and muscle contractility (including the heart).

oregano

Potential side effects of oregano

Oregano contains vitamin K in large quantities. This vitamin participates in the process of blood coagulation, except that it can be ingested with food, it can be synthesized by bacteria in the intestines. Vitamin K participates in the process of protein synthesis that plays a key role in coagulation (they have a stimulating and inhibitory role in the coagulation process). People who use warfarin or other anticoagulants in their therapy should be careful when adding oregano to their diet. Various nutrition is recommended to everyone and the intake of moderate amounts of oregano and other green vegetables and fruits do not have to be a problem.

History of oregano as a spice

Oregano has a specific aroma and slightly bitter taste due to the phenolic compounds in its composition. Depending on the variety of oregano, its taste and aroma can vary considerably, from mild aromas to very strong ones. Oregano has been used mostly in Italian and Greek cuisine since ancient times. Today, because of its characteristics, it is also used in a large number of other cuisines. It is used as a supplement to various sauces, salads, fish, pork, and it is unavoidable addition to pizza and pasta. What you need to know is that its aroma is significantly reduced at high temperatures, as the additive is applied exclusively in dry form, because the fresh form loses its healing and aromatic properties and should be added after baking.

In ancient Greece and the Roman empire, oregano was a symbol of joy. It was used at various ceremonies and it was believed to bring peace, happiness, and prosperity. The name oregano was given in the thirteenth century, translated from Latin means “mountain joy”.

Sleep apnea

What is sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is manifested with short-term interruption of external breathing with preservation of internal breathing, or a pause in breathing that lasts between 3 and 10 seconds. Insufficient attention is given to this disease although it’s not such a rare disorder, as it is estimated that about 5% of the world’s adult population (especially men) suffer from this condition.

How does sleep apnea look like

This problem is mostly recognized by a partner of the affected person, and it is distinguished by loud and heavy snoring. Sleep apnea may be recognized when the other person isn’t present, and common symptoms include chronic fatigue, headache, lack of attention and concentration, sleepiness, etc.

Sleep apnea manifests during the night in the form of respiratory failure and “fight” for the air. The sight of an endangered person may look quite dramatic for someone who watches it, even though the patient is not aware of the apnea. However, advanced apnea can affect people who suffer from this disorder and have a feeling of choking, and can also cause many other health complications.

sleep apnea

Risk factors for sleep apnea

Everything that increases the chance of developing sleep apnea symptoms in a person, can be identified as risk factors. The most common risk factors for the occurrence of sleep apnea are:

anatomical anomalies – people with a narrowed diameter of upper airways are more likely to have sleep apnea

body weight – obese people have about 6 times more chance of developing apnea than people who maintain normal body weight

sex the reason is not known, but the fact is that the risk of developing apnea is almost twice as high in men than in women

age – older people are more likely to develop sleep apnea as it most commonly occurs in people older than 60 years of age

nasal congestion – sleep apnea is about 2 times more likely to occur in people who have nasal deviations or congestion during sleep

snoring – people who have a problem with snoring in their sleep are more prone to experience sleep apnea

smoking – smokers have 3 times more chances of suffering from this disease

Diagnosis of sleep apnea

Nocturnal polysomnography is the gold standard for diagnosing sleep apnea and respiratory disorders during the sleep in general. Polygraphic factors are those who are monitored during sleep including respiration, thoracic and abdominal movements using elastic belts with sensors, while also monitoring heart, eye, lung, and brain activity, and oxygen saturation in the blood. Other home sleep tests exist, where breathing, heart rate, airflow and oxygen level in blood are monitored.

Treatment

For mild cases of apnea, a doctor may only recommend a lifestyle change such as weight loss, alcohol avoiding, quit smoking, regular sleeping, and sleeping on the side.

Certain devices can help in opening of the blocked respiratory tract. In other cases, surgical treatment may be required.

CPAP sleep apnea

In severe cases of obstructive apnea, an airway pressure device is used. Most commonly device of this type is CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure). It consists of a small turbine that creates a positive air pressure that flows through the mask on the face of the patient. In this way, the breathing path is maintained continuously open. It’s a sophisticated device that works almost silently and is comfortable for patients.

Surgery is usually an option only after other treatments have failed. It involves the reconstruction of the upper respiratory tract, with the aim of increasing the passability through the airway and removing the cause of snoring. One of the solutions is also the tracheotomy or the opening of the trachea.

Effects on cardiovascular system

People with sleep apnea have a 50% higher risk of arterial hypertension, 25% higher risk for atrial fibrillation, and a 60% higher chance of stroke occurrence. During the stopping of breathing, the supply of blood with oxygen is reduced. This results in the development of oxidative stress, dysfunction of the endothelium of the blood vessels, and inflammation. Consequences of those occurrences lead to the development of blood vessel diseases and the processes of atherosclerosis, platelet activation, as well as the ischemia of the heart muscle.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise or aerobic running is the activity that involves the increase in the consumption of oxygen in the organization. The term “aerobic” refers to air, or oxygen, and represents the use of oxygen in the metabolic processes of the organism, or in the process of energy production. Aerobic exercise is not a term limited to running, but it is the most common exercise of these type.

Aerobic exercise

Intensity

Aerobic exercise is basically a training of medium level of intensity which lasts for a long time. Before aerobic training, it is usually practiced to heat up with stretching. After the training itself, which can last for 20 or more minutes, the muscles are re-stretched during the cooling-down phase.

Aerobic training takes place in the zone of light and moderate (submaximal) intensity that can last for more hours. Aerobic training should be rhythmic, continuous and include large groups of muscles. It is very useful both for healthy people and for those who suffer from various health problems.

Frequency

To achieve the best effects of aerobic exercise, it is best to practice it in the aerobic zone from 2 to 3 times a week. Ideally, even people with poor condition will make some progress with 2 training sessions per week. For most people, it is recommended to do it 3 to 5 times a week. Increasing the frequency to more than 5 times a week will prevent complete recovery, which can reduce the body’s immune system.

It is important to gradually increase the duration, intensity, and frequency of training from week to week. This should be taken into account especially if you are unprepared, overweight, older or after a certain injury or illness.

Examples

Examples of aerobic training are light running, cycling, swimming, hiking, aerobics, rowing, step aerobics, etc. The minimum duration of aerobic training is 12 minutes. This is the time it takes for the organism to activate the enzyme responsible for converting the fat into energy. So, only after ten minutes of aerobic training, the share of fat in energy production is increased due to the reduction in carbohydrate consumption. During muscle aerobic work, glycogen which is stored in the muscles and liver itself is first consumed. Glycogen degrades to glucose, which by combustion in the presence of oxygen gives energy.

Benefits

Aerobic exercise is ideal for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. In addition to those health effects of aerobic running and aerobic exercise, other positive features also include increased endurance, increased speed of running, increased use of fat as a “fuel” and glycogen storage for stronger training and, finally, acceleration of muscle healing after strenuous training.

Aerobic exercise also:

  • Strengthens the heart, improving its effectiveness, while lowering the pulse at rest
  • Strengthens the muscles of the chest; muscles that participate in the process of breathing
  • Strengthens the muscles in the whole body
  • Increases bone density, growth and development
  • increases the number of red blood cells, thus improving the transport of oxygen to the cells
  • Improves blood circulation and lower blood pressure
  • improves mental health, reducing depressive episodes, and stress

The link between hypertension and insomnia

The link between hypertension and insomnia was questioned for a long time, as those two conditions are co-related, but first, we need to see what insomnia really is.

Insomnia

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. It involves difficulty in sleep initiation, difficulty in maintaining the sleeping state or falling asleep after an early wake-up. Insomnia can be temporary or chronic. Almost everyone has occasional nightmares, perhaps due to stress, heartburn or drinking too much coffee or alcohol. But insomnia is a lack of sleep that can occur regularly or repeat itself, often without an obvious cause.

How much sleep is enough depends from person to person. Although 7 hours of sleep is some average, to some people is 4 or 5 hours of sleep enough, while others need 9 or 10 hours of night sleep.

Types

Transient insomnia is a type of insomnia that is lasting from one to several nights within a single episode. It is usually a result of stress.

Acute insomnia lasts from a few days to three weeks. It is usually caused by stress induced by recovery from surgery, short-term illness, the death of a close person, the beginning of work at a new or more responsible workplace.

Chronic insomnia lasts for months or years, and it is usually a reflection of psychiatric, or long-term health disorders, the use of some drugs, or basic sleep disorders. Long lasting insomnia can be permanent or with changes in insomnia and regular sleeping.

the link between hypertension and insomnia

The link between hypertension and insomnia

Lack of sleep affects the elevation of blood pressure, which in time can cause damage to the heart muscle, arteries, kidneys; it can weaken the vision and induce many other diseases.

In one clinical study volunteers stayed awake for 88 hours and after that their blood pressure was much higher than usual. Moreover, blood pressure was also elevated in the group of participants who slept for 4 hours during the night, compared to those who slept for 8 hours. The concentration of C-reactive protein, which is a marker for heart disease, was increased in those who were completely or partially deprived of sleep. High blood pressure or hypertension often shows no symptoms. However, if high pressure is not placed under control, it can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

Increase in blood pressure due to stress can be dramatic, but when stress is stopped, the pressure returns to normal. But, if stressful situations are repeated and pressure often elevates; blood vessels, heart, and kidneys can be damaged as if the pressure was constantly increased. If you are smoking, drinking or eating as a reaction to stress, that behavior contributes to increased blood pressure.

Many health problems are associated with a lack of sleep, but the very important fact is that people who sleep less than seven, eight hours a night for a long time have a significantly higher risk of sudden death.

Sleeping position

If you suffer from high blood pressure, you must follow the treatment prescribed by your doctor, control your diet, and regularly measure your blood pressure. However, medical research has proven that sleeping on the stomach, facing the cushion, helps in lowering blood pressure.

Iker Casillas is the champion!


Iker Casillas, 5 times World’s Best Goalkeeper, achieved the greatest victory of his life. On the opposite side was a heart attack, a ruthless enemy who takes millions of lives a year, but once again, “San Iker” shows us that he is a true champion, he survived that fight and took the biggest victory of his astonishing career.

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How did all start?

The day was May 20, 1981. On lazy, sunny, Wednesday afternoon, in the second-largest city in population belonging to the autonomous community of Madrid, 18 kilometers southwest from central, in Mostoles, the legend was born.

Just 16 years later, he was first called up to the senior team squad to face Rosenborg in the UEFA Champions League. In starting the 1999-2000 UEFA Champions League group stage fixture against Olympiakos on 15 September 1999, he became the youngest goalkeeper ever to feature in the competition at the time, aged 18 years and 177 days. Casillas had made his La Liga debut in a 2–2 draw against Athletic Bilbao at San Memes Stadium. In May 2000, he became the youngest ever goalkeeper to play in and win a Champions League final when Real Madrid defeated Valencia 3-0, just four days after his 19th birthday.

Real Madrid – the biggest chapter

Casillas began his career in Real Madrid’s youth system, during 1990 – 91 season. For the next 16 years he was the central part of the team. During his time in Real, Iker has won literally everything that football goalkeeper can win.

  • 5x Spanish champion (00/01, 02/03, 06/07, 07/08, 11/12)
  • 3x Champions League winner (99/00, 01/02, 13/14)
  • 2x Spanish cup winner (10/11, 13/14)
  • 4x Spanish Super Cup winner (01/02, 03/04, 08/09, 12/13)
  • 2x FIFA Club World Cup winner (2014, 2015)
  • 3x Intercontinental Cup winner (1998, 2002, 2003)
  • 2x Uefa Supercup winner (02/03, 14/15)
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Honestly, I don’t have to use up many words to say how good he is, the results are there for all to see. He has won everything there is to win and has been on the same great level for so many years now, which is possibly hardest of all for a goalkeeper. Spain almost never concede goals and Casillas is the main reason for that.

Gianluigi Buffon on Casillas prior to the UEFA EURO 2012 Final
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International career

Casillas debuted for Spain at the under-17 level. At age 16, he was the youngest player in the Spanish squad that placed third at the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Egypt. Two years later, he went on to win the FIFA World Youth Championship and the UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup that same year. As a senior, he debuts for Spain national team on EURO 2000.

Casillas is currently the most capped player in the history of the Spain national team. Following his full international debut at the senior level on 3 June 2000 against Sweden (at 19 years and 14 days), Casillas was an unused substitute at UEFA Euro 2000. He was part of the roster for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, initially as the understudy to Santiago Cañizares. Coincidentally, he became first-choice when Cañizares had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury from a freak accident. At 21, Casillas was one of the youngest first-choice goalkeepers in the tournament. He played an instrumental role in Spanish progression when he saved two penalties in the shoot-out during the round of 16 match against the Republic of Ireland, earning him the nickname “The Saint”. One of his saves during the quarter-final against South Korea during the 2002 World Cup was rated by Fifa as one of the top ten saves of all time.

Unfortunatlly for Iker and Spain, on Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006, they did not well. They lost their matches in the Round of 16. After that, the beast has been awakened. From 2008. to 2012. Iker Casillas was the best goalkeeper in the world. He won that title 5 years in a row and in that period, Spain has won 2008 European Championship, 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2012 EURO. In June 2014, Casillas was selected to represent Spain in his fourth World Cup. On 5 September 2015, Casillas kept a clean sheet in his 100th game as Spain’s captain. On 31 May, Casillas was named to Vicente del Bosque’s final 23-man Spain squad for Euro 2016. The following day, he became the most-capped European player by earning his 167th cap in a 6–1 friendly win over South Korea.

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After finishing his career in Real Madrid, in 2015, Iker moved to FC Porto and won Portuguese champion in 2017/18 and 2 times Portuguese Super Cup in 2018. and 2019. 1

But on the first may we were all witnesses of a terrible event.

The 37-year-old goalkeeper suffered the heart attack during training on Wednesday morning and he was immediately escorted to a local hospital.

Iker Casillas suffered an acute heart attack during Wednesday morning’s training session,” Porto said in a statement.

“The training session was promptly interrupted to provide assistance to the Porto goalkeeper, who is currently at the Hospital CUF Porto.

“Casillas is doing well, he’s stable and his heart problem has been resolved.”

Let’s take closer look what actually happened.

Sudden death in people younger than 35, often due to undiscovered heart defects or overlooked heart abnormalities, is rare. When these sudden deaths occur, it’s often during physical activity, such as playing a sport, and more often occurs in males than in females.1

Millions of elementary, high school and college athletes compete yearly without incident. If you or your child is at risk of sudden death, talk to your doctor about precautions you can take.

How common is sudden cardiac death in young athletes?

Most deaths due to cardiac arrest are in older adults, particularly those with coronary artery disease. Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes, but the incidence of it is unclear. Perhaps 1 in every 50,000 sudden cardiac deaths a year occurs in young athletes.

What can cause sudden cardiac death in young people?

The causes of sudden cardiac death in young people vary. Most often, death is due to a heart abnormality.

For a variety of reasons, something causes the heart to beat out of control. This abnormal heart rhythm is known as ventricular fibrillation.

Some specific causes of sudden cardiac death in young people include:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). In this usually inherited condition, the walls of the heart muscle thicken. The thickened muscle can disrupt the heart’s electrical system, leading to fast or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), which can lead to sudden cardiac death.Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, although not usually fatal, is the most common cause of heart-related sudden death in people under 30. It’s the most common identifiable cause of sudden death in athletes. HCM often goes undetected.
  • Coronary artery abnormalities. Sometimes people are born with heart arteries (coronary arteries) that are connected abnormally. The arteries can become compressed during exercise and not provide proper blood flow to the heart.
  • Long QT syndrome. This inherited heart rhythm disorder can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats, often leading to fainting. Young people with long QT syndrome have an increased risk of sudden death.

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Other causes of sudden cardiac death in young people include structural abnormalities of the heart, such as undetected heart disease that was present at birth (congenital) and heart muscle abnormalities.

Other causes include inflammation of the heart muscle, which can be caused by viruses and other illnesses. Besides long QT syndrome, other abnormalities of the heart’s electrical system, such as Brugada syndrome, can cause sudden death.

Commotio cordis, another rare cause of sudden cardiac death that can occur in anyone, occurs as the result of a blunt blow to the chest, such as being hit by a hockey puck or another player. The blow to the chest can trigger ventricular fibrillation if the blow strikes at exactly the wrong time in the heart’s electrical cycle.

Are there symptoms or red flags parents, coaches and others should be on the lookout for that signal a young person is at high risk of sudden cardiac death?

Many times these deaths occur with no warning, indications to watch for include:

  • Unexplained fainting (syncope). If this occurs during physical activity, it could be a sign that there’s a problem with your heart.
  • Family history of sudden cardiac death. The other major warning sign is a family history of unexplained deaths before the age of 50. If this has occurred in your family, talk with your doctor about screening options.

Shortness of breath or chest pain could indicate that you’re at risk of sudden cardiac death. They could also indicate other health problems in young people, such as asthma.

Can sudden death in young people be prevented?

Sometimes. If you’re at high risk of sudden cardiac death, your doctor will usually suggest that you avoid competitive sports. Depending on your underlying condition, medical or surgical treatments might be appropriate to reduce your risk of sudden death.

Another option for some, such as those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). This pager-sized device implanted in your chest like a pacemaker continuously monitors your heartbeat. If a life-threatening arrhythmia occurs, the ICD delivers electrical shocks to restore a normal heart rhythm.

Who should be screened for sudden death risk factors?

There’s debate in the medical community about screening young athletes to attempt to identify those at high risk of sudden death.

Some countries such as Italy screen young people with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), which records the electrical signals in the heart. However, this type of screening is expensive and can produce false-positive results — indications that an abnormality or disease is present when it isn’t — which can cause unnecessary worry and additional tests.

It’s not clear that routine exams given before athletes are cleared to play competitive sports can prevent sudden cardiac death. However, they might help identify some who are at increased risk.Paragraph

For anyone with a family history or risk factors for conditions that cause sudden cardiac death, further screening is recommended. Repeat screening of family members is recommended over time, even if the first heart evaluation was normal.

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