Wednesday 9 August 2023

2 more ways to be a better cat caregiver by being healthier

2 more ways for a cat owner to feel better and be healthier to be a better caregiver
Image in public domain,

Here are some more ways to be a better cat caregiver by being healthier. It is very difficult to be a good cat caregiver if you are unhealthy and feeling ill. And it's also difficult to be a good cat caregiver if you feel depressed. Depression is on the increase in the US and in the UK.

Previously, a separate report released in May from Gallup found a similar national prevalence of depression in the United States, also finding that about 18% of adults say they are depressed or receiving treatment for depression, a jump of more than 7 percentage points since 2015. - CNN report 15th June 2023.

I have recently written about some ways to improve one's health both in the interests of the caregiver and of the cat:

  1. Infographic on 8 habits that could add 24 years to your life (and improve cat caregiving)
  2. Be a better cat caregiver by being healthier in consuming olive oil and going vegetarian for 6 months.
Today I would like to address a couple more methods to improve one's health and welfare.

Handful of nuts linked to lower risk of depression

Eating a handful of nuts every day is linked to a 17% lower risk of depression according to scientists. Nuts contain nutrients that could help mental health. Data was gathered from the UK Biobank. This is an online database of medical and lifestyle records concerning half a million Britons. 

The analysis suggested that middle-aged and older adults who ate a daily 30 g serving of nuts including pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, almonds and walnuts were less likely to report to their GP that they were depressed and are less likely to be taking antidepressants.

The study has been published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. This is an observational study which means they saw this link but they don't explain why the link exists. But they speculate that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of nuts may act as antidepressant nutrients.

The scientists explained that nuts contain bioactive substances such as phenols or phytosterols. They also contain micronutrients, fibre, high quality protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids together with vitamins all of which could play a role in improving mental health.

The lead author, Bruno Bizzozero-Peroni, a researcher at the Health and Social Research Centre at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, in Spain said: "Our findings highlight yet another benefit of consuming nuts."

The researchers looked at data from more than 13,000 people aged between 27-73 over the years 2007 to 2020. They did not report having depression at the start of the study. The researchers asked participants to complete questionnaires to assess nut consumption and they compared this to doctors' diagnoses of depression or antidepressant use which was recorded.

More than 1100 cases of depression were recorded representing 8.3% of the participants after a follow-up of more than five years. And they discovered, as mentioned, that those who ate 30 g of nuts a day had a 17% lower risk of depression compared to those who did not eat nuts.

Just 2337 steps a day can cut risk of disease

This is about something a lot of people know quite a lot about namely walking and measuring how many steps you take when you go for a daily walk. I'm told by The Times that in the lead up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, marketing executives started a campaign to promote a new pedometer and suggested that people should walk 10,000 steps a day. It has, since then, been touted as a good target to stay fit and healthy.

It is quite a high target. You have to go for about a 50 minute to 1 hour walk or more to reach that figure but a new study shows that if you walk the equivalent of 2,337 steps daily it's enough to reduce the risk of dying but the more you walk the more the benefit.

The scientists analysed information from 226,889 people involved in previous studies in many countries including Norway, Australia, America and Britain.

The daily average step count was recorded and compared to their likelihood of dying during a follow-up period averaging seven years. The study has been published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology. It confirmed what I have stated. The 2,337 steps a day has been identified as the minimum at which one can see a significant reduction in the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.

The lead author, Prof Maciej Banach from the Medical University of Lodz in Poland Said: "Our study confirms that the more you walk, the better. We found that this applies to both men and women, irrespective of age and irrespective of [where you live]. In addition, our analysis indicates that as little as 4,000 steps a day are needed to significantly reduce deaths from any cause, and even fewer to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease.

The NHS recommends that people should do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity such as walking every week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity over the same period.

Be a better cat caregiver by being healthier in mind, body and spirit.

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