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The best and worst places in the world to eat

The Oxfam food index

RICE HAND

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working in approximately 94 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and what it considers as injustice around the world [1]. Within their mission, Oxfam has helped more than 1,3 million people by bringing food, cash or vouchers to them, enabling also 3,9 million people to join different health promotion activities [1].

As part of their research, Oxfam has gathered data from global data sources, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), capturing aspects of the food market relevant to the statistics and allocating points between the minimum 0 and a maximum of 100 in a ranking that illustrates the best and worst places in the World to eatranking that illustrates the best and worst places in the World to eat. The interactive graphic illustrates how overconsumption, misuse of resources and waste affect each country ranking in the overall scale. Image: See credits under ref. [2] below.

 

Health benefits of raw garlic vs cooked garlic

CRUSHED GARLIC

Most of the health benefits of garlic are exerted by a bio-active compound called allicin, an active constituent that is curiously not directly present in garlic but produced as a result of activation of alliinase enzyme, this one present in garlic, after crushing, chewing or chopping of raw garlic [1]. Allinase enzyme, released after crushing, chewing or chopping garlic, acts on alliin (S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide) and converts this one into the bio-active compound allicin [3,5].

Allicin is active against many groups of bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Actinomyces oris among many others [12].

Allicin as well as other dipropenyl thiosulfinates present in garlic (1-propenyl allyl, and allyl 1-propenyl) are completely formed in about 18 seconds at 37 degrees C [10] after crushing, chewing or chopping raw garlic [10]. As we already mentioned the enzyme allinase is responsible for converting alliin (S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide) to allicin, however we neet to take into account that allicin is very unstable and decomposes quickly, being inactivated by heat [3,5] and gastric acids ph. Image: See credits under ref. [11] below. 


ALLIUM SATIVUM

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Genus: Allium

Common name: Garlic


 

Antioxidants improve skin condition

ANTIOXIDANTS

As we already know, antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that are found in nature, in herbs, plants, fruits and vegetables. They play a very important role in our lives, as they are capable by themselves to stop oxidation, a process in which free radicals in our bodies are trying to get the electron they miss from other healthy molecules.

This process, also known as oxidative stress, damages the molecules to which free radicals got coupled, causing several types of damages in our bodies, as weakening and deteriorating our skin, if we talk about skin cells.

But what causes oxidation? Oxidation is nowadays caused by multiple factors, to name some of them we can mention environmental pollution, smoking and UV radiation among many others. Image: See credits under reference [4] below.


PUNICA GRANATUM

Family: Lytraceae

Genus: Punica

Common name: Granada


 

Will plants replace petrol as new source for plastics?

University research shows how plants could become the new source for plastics, paints and bio engineered medicines

PLASTIC PLANTS

Only in the US about 1,500 plastic bottles are consumed every second, using 17 million petrol barrels each year to produce plastic bottles! [1]. With these figures in mind it is not a surprise to hear that Dutch scientists from Utrecht University, looking for other more ecological sources to produce plastics, have managed to create the basic chemical blocks from which plastic is made, lower olefins, but this time not from petrol but from plants.

Lower olefins are the basic "Lego" building blocks present in plastics, cosmetics and drugs, and are made of two or four carbons produced by steam cracking of crude oil-derived naphtha, however oil reserves are not eternal and other sources for lower olefins were since long ago being investigated.

Utrecht University scientists are closely working with Dow Benelux, a chemical company that has already showed interest in the discovery and who'll probably be able to use such an innovative new technology for the production of organically developed bio-plastics, bio-paints and bio-medicines Image: See credits under ref. [3] below. 

 

How plants defend against herbivory

Plants respond to leaf vibrations caused by insects

CATERPILLAR LEAVE

As we know, plants evolved and adapted to improve their survival and reproduction mechanisms in different ways, trying to escape from their biggest threat, herbivores.

Plants have avoided herbivores in many ways, from growing in remote locations, areas where herbivores had difficulties to reach, to letting herbivores eat non-essential parts of the plant, recovering later on from that loss.

The way plants defend from herbivores can be divided in two main types, constitutive (always present in the plant) or induced (produced as a reaction to damage or stress caused by herbivores) [1]. Within the second type of line defense the University of Missouri has now found how plants can chemically defend against herbivores. 


ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA

Family: Brassicaceae

Genus: Arabidopsis

Common name: Rockcress.


 

AYURVEDA

  • SHIRODHARA
  • SHILAJIT
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ENVIRONMENT

  • Plastic from plants?
  • PHOTOSYNTHESIS
  • TREES SAVING LIVES
  • METAL EATING PLANT
  • PLASTIC EATING MUSHROOM
  • Plants new source for plastics
  • Photosynthesis will power our cars
  • Tress saving lives
  • Metal eating plant

WEIGHT LOSS

  • SORGHUM
  • AFRICAN MANGO
  • PHASEOLUS VULGARIS
  • HONEY AND CINNAMON
  • Sorghum and carbohydrates
  • African mango for weight loss
  • Common bean for weight loss
  • Honey and cinnamon diet