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Oranges and their amazing health benefits



(Last Updated On: April 18, 2021)

Oranges are one of the world’s most popular fruits and are currently widely available on the Afghan market but did you know this sweet fruit is packed with vitamin C – an important substance our bodies need to support a healthy immune system in us all – as well as other important nutrients.

The origin of oranges is a mystery but it is believed they were first grown in southeast Asia thousands of years ago but today they are grown across the world and consumed either fresh or as juice.

As a good source of fibre, oranges are associated with many beneficial health effects and are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, thiamine, folate (two of the B vitamins), and potassium.

Seven amazing benefits of eating oranges

1. Oranges Keep Your Eyes Healthy and Your Vision Sharp
2. Oranges Reduce the Risk of Stroke
3. Oranges Assist with Appetite Control
4. Oranges Fight Cancer
5. Oranges Promote Healthy Skin
6. Oranges Keep Your Blood Vessels Healthy
7. Oranges Help Repair your Body

According to a US nutritionist, Dr Cynthia Sass, one orange packs about 80 percent of the daily goal for vitamin C.

She says that in addition to supporting immune function, Vitamin C helps produce collagen, reduce inflammation, and boosts the body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source, both during exercise and at rest.

Too little blood vitamin C has also been tied to increased body fat and waist measurements, she said.

Vitamin C also helps boost the absorption of iron, which can enhance oxygen availability and reduce fatigue. This is especially important for premenopausal women who lose iron through menstruation, and those who follow a plant-based diet, since iron is less readily absorbed from plant sources.

Vitamin C also acts as an aging-fighting antioxidant, and it’s needed for DNA repair and serotonin production. The latter helps to promote happiness and sleep, she said.

The other key nutrients supplied by oranges are potassium and folate.

Potassium supports heart function and muscle contractions, and it helps maintain muscle mass.

Sass says this mineral also acts as a natural diuretic, to reduce blood pressure and counter fluid retention.

Folate meanwhile supports the brain and nervous system, and adequate amounts may help protect against depression and memory problems.

Oranges are also antioxidant superstars, says Sass.

Antioxidants in oranges provide anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial benefits. They also defend against oxidative stress, which is essentially an imbalance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to counter their harmful effects.

The antioxidants in oranges may also protect your mental health, says Sass.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher flavonoid intake may be associated with lower depression risk, particularly among older women. A higher flavonoid intake is also linked to the prevention of weight gain and reduced body fat.

Meanwhile, the vitamin C in oranges is important for growing and repairing tissue all over the body.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin C helps heal wounds and maintain healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin C also supports the production of collagen, which is needed to make cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and skin.

But nutritionists and doctors warn that too many oranges at once are not good.

When eaten in excess, the fiber content can affect digestion, causing abdominal cramps, and could also lead to diarrhea.

Though oranges are relatively low in calories, eating several per day can end up leading to weight gain.

Health professionals recommend a daily intake of anywhere between 1 and 3 oranges a day for healthy adults.


Pakistan sends medicines assistance to Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: December 2, 2022)

Pakistan has handed over medicines assistance for three hospitals built by the country in Afghanistan.

The handover ceremony on Friday was attended by Afghan Public Health Minister Qalandar Ibad and his Pakistani counterpart Abdul Qadir Patel.

The first consignment is leaving for Jinnah Hospital, Kabul. Second will be dispatched to Amanullah Logari Hospital in Logar and third to Nishtar Kidney Center in Jalalabad, Pakistan’s special envoy Mohammad Sadiq said on Twitter.

“Pakistan built hospitals in Afghanistan have most modern structures & equipment. Pakistan is now also providing assistance to run them, including supporting all expenditure/salaries and provision of medicines. These hospitals have the potential to become centers of excellence,” Sadiq said.

Pakistan has allocated 500 million rupees for running of these hospitals.

They could be managed through public-private partnership or other sustainable mechanisms, Sadiq said.

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875,000 children in Afghanistan at risk of severe wasting: UNICEF



(Last Updated On: November 30, 2022)

As many as 875,000 children in Afghanistan are at risk of severe wasting, the United Nations agency for children said on Tuesday.

Sam Mort, chief of communication of UNICEF in Afghanistan, said on Twitter that the organization needs urgent support to prevent and treat malnourished boys and girls.

This comes after Save the Children said last month that child malnutrition cases has risen nearly 50 percent in Afghanistan as hunger hits recorded levels.

The rate of admissions in Kabul’s main children’s hospital, Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital, has also increased.

“The hospital will use everything at its disposal to treat the children. Admissions at the hospital have increased due to lack of health facilities in provinces,” said Mohammad Haseeb Rahimzai, head of Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital.

In May, Save the Children reported that about 9.6 million children in Afghanistan have been unable to secure food on a daily basis due to the deepening economic crisis in the country, the impact of the Ukraine war, and continuing drought.

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Herat to get specialized hospital for patients with blood disorders



(Last Updated On: November 28, 2022)

Health officials in Herat province say a three-story Hematology Hospital will be built in the province to treat patients with blood disorders including leukemia.

Mohammad Asif Kabir, Deputy Health Director of Herat, said the foundation stone of the hospital was laid on Monday, November 28.

“It’s been for a long time that we wanted to build a hematology hospital and now it’s being constructed with the financial support of good people who live inside and outside the country, and that foundation stone was laid today with the coordination of the authorities in Herat,” said Kabir.

According to the officials, the construction of this project has been made possible by donors including a charity organization, businessmen and investors.

“The cost of this hospital will be paid with the financial assistance of benevolent people abroad, businessmen and investors of Herat,” said Hamidullah Khadim, head of Herat Chamber of Industries and Mines.

Doctors in the province meanwhile say that the number of children suffering from thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder characterized by less hemoglobin and fewer red blood cells in the body than normal, is increasing. According to them, about 600 children in the western region of the country are suffering from the disease.

Blood cancer cases are also on the rise.

“The number of cancer cases in Herat is higher than the 8,000 that we recorded, and this is an alarm for us,” said Asif Rahmani, head of the pediatric blood cancer department at Herat’s provincial hospital.

“Thalassemia children in the western region, which are about 600 children, unfortunately, do not have access to health services,” he said.

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