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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.


Majority of Afghans with mental disorders are women: officials



(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

Based on last year’s data, 52 percent of people with mental disorders in Afghanistan are women, the Ministry of Public Health said.

However, after the Islamic Emirate took over the country and with the improvement of nationwide security and the provision of better health services, mental disorders have decreased, the ministry said.

“Overall, the mental security of men and women in Afghanistan is not ensured and their mental security is disturbed. According to the figures shared with us, in 2023, 52 percent of the visitors for mental disorders were women,” said Sharaft Zaman Amarkhil, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Health.

“Generally speaking, we can say that compared to the past, the instances of mental illnesses have decreased,” he added.

People suffering mental disorders mostly refuse to share their problem, willingly or unwillingly.

“There are many problems at home; We are poor. I finished school, but didn’t find any job,” Ansar, a mentally ill person, said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half of Afghanistan’s population suffers from mental distress.

Factors such as unemployment, poverty, domestic violence, ban on girls’ and women’s education and work, and drugs are said to be key contributors to mental distress.


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Over 1 million women in Afghanistan malnourished last year: WFP



(Last Updated On: March 29, 2024)

A total of 1.2 million women in Afghanistan were malnourished last year, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday.

Mona Shaikh, head of nutrition at WFP Afghanistan, said that the number of malnourished women is expected to increase this year.

On malnourished children, she said that their number will reach 3 million this year, but WFP will be able to assist only 1.6 million of them.

WFP warned that after foreign assistance cuts last year, it saw a rise in children’s admissions to malnutrition clinics in Afghanistan.

More than 23 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan this year, according to the United Nations. Over half of them are children.

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Public Health minister meets with head of the UN refugees agency



(Last Updated On: March 22, 2024)

Dr. Qalandar Ebad, the Minister of Public Health met with Leonard Zulu, the head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on Thursday in Kabul to discuss issues facing the health sector in the country.

Among the issues discussed was that of the establishment of new health centers for returnees in the country.

Ebad said the provision of better health services for compatriots and returnees was one of his priorities and requested the cooperation of this organization in this field.

Leonard Zulu assured Ebad of the organization’s continued cooperation.

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