Tuesday, January 3, 2017

WHO REALLY IS A VIRGIN? HOW CAN YOU TELL?

Must all Virgins bleed?





I saw this post on Lindaikejis blog last week about a girl celebrating her virginity at 27 and it  got a lot of people talking. I read with amusement the comments of people on the blog and on Abiyamo’s Facebook page and I wondered, who really is a virgin, and would bleeding at first intercourse on her wedding night vindicate the lady. Will all virgins truly bleed? There is no way to discuss the issue of virginity without putting into concept the religious and cultural perspectives of the people because these are the things that actually make virginity such a big deal.


Who is a virgin?







One of my favourite dictionaries, the Merriam-Webster dictionary, in one of its numerous definitions, defines a virgin (in the context of what we are discussing) as an ABSOLUTELY chaste young woman (emphasis mine). My other favourite dictionary, the Oxford Dictionaries defines it as a person who has never had sexual intercourse. In these and several other dictionaries you will find synonyms like untouched, unspoilt, untainted, untarnished, unadulterated, pure, immaculate, pristine, flawless etc.
Now sexual intercourse means different things to different people. A sexual intercourse is an intimacy between two people either of different or the same sex for the purpose of pleasure, reproduction, religious rite etc. It can be in the form of the traditional penetration of the male organ into that of the female, or it can be in the form of an anal, oral, manual (fingering) intercourse, use of sex toys and dolls, or mutual masturbation. Researchers and sexologist have defined a term “technical virginity” to describe a female whose hymen is still intact, as this is the only physical proof of virginity. A person can, therefore, technically be a virgin, but in reality, she is not. Fortunately, in all references I checked, kissing and fondling were not mentioned. That would have significantly reduced those that can actually call themselves virgins.



The Hymen



Sometimes I wonder why God placed a hymen over the introitus of the female and did not do something similar in males. The hymen is very symbolic and it is no surprise that even in societies that are not so concerned about religion, it’s breakage still carries a lot of significance.




It is a thin an delicate membrane that is found just inside the vulva. It may be in different forms with some being a uniformly continuous thin layer, some being fenestrated, but the normal one has just enough perforation to allow for normal menstrual flow as seen in the image.

Must a virgin bleed?



Now we can conveniently answer this question. And the answer is NO! In medical school, we were taught that when answering true or false questions and you come across questions with words like “must” or “always”, if you are not sure of the answer and you want to make a guess, false is most likely the answer. Here, however, we are sure of the answer and we will give some reasons why this may be so.
The hymen as we have said earlier is fragile and can be broken without the female feeling any pain. The following have been reported as reported to have broken the hymen.
Strenuous activities like cycling, horse riding, high/long jumps, gymnastics, choreography and energetic dances etc.
Accidents.
Female genital mutilation.
Medical procedures like having to medically perform a hymenotomy (creating an opening in the hymen) to make an imperforate hymen to allow for menstruation
Abuse during childhood; as researches in the field are yet to come to an agreement as to whether assaulting of little girls who may not even understand what is being done to them can be categorized as losing their virginity.
Some people have reported a congenital absence of the hymen, but there is no medical backing for this as at the time of writing this article. It has also been reported that adequate lubrication may not make some thin hymens break during the first intercourse and pregnant women have been seen to come into labour with their hymens intact and finally broken by the process of labour.

She Bled!


Congrats! That may please you, but she knows you were not the first. This makes the issue of virginity warped sometimes and explains why more and more people are taking the importance off it. As explained earlier, some hymens may necessarily not be broken by the first intercourse especially with adequate lubrication and depending on the type of hymen and the physicality of the intercourse. Sometimes it may only be partially broken and you only just came to complete the job. Then, in this age of medical advancement, doctors can refashion a hymen for you, and it is not that difficult a procedure to do. Shebi the koko na to bleed on your first night, you go bleed na. E go cost you small sha.



Conclusion

So really, there is no way to know if a woman is really a virgin by the religious definition of it, except she tells you she had never had any form of sexual relationship with someone else and you believe her. Technically, she can be proved to be a virgin. She may not fit into the technical definition but still be chaste. She may convince herself that she is a virgin, while by her acts, she is not. This post is just to educate, as unbiasedly as possible, on the issue of virginity. I am not here to be judgemental. I think it’s a matter of choices. The lady in question made a mistake by making it public, thereby making it other peoples affair, so she can really not complain about the backlash and hateful comments she got. In this liberal world we live in, I think virgins are brave and should be commended, but please make it a secret between you, your God and your man.

Monday, November 21, 2016

HOW IMPORTANT ARE FEMALE ORGASMS REALLY?

Female Orgasm: Much Ado about Nothing?


Men will never cease to try to understand their female counterparts, and when it comes to areas of sexual intimacy, their interest is always piqued. The pride of every man is to be able to satisfy his woman, the majority are not stingy in this regard. The indication of sexual conquest as far as men are concerned is for the woman to have an orgasm. To this end, many will take enhancing drinks, drugs and different aphrodisiacs. Those that are confident will just thrust away until the woman achieves it or achieves a semblance of it. What most have not considered is to ask the women themselves what they want, and when we did, the results were very enlightening.



What is an orgasm?


Before we ask the women, it is important that we understand what an orgasm is.  Meston described an orgasm as

a variable, transient peak sensation of intense pleasure, creating an altered state of consciousness, usually with an initiation accompanied by involuntary, rhythmic contractions of the pelvic striated circumvaginal musculature, often with concomitant uterine and anal contractions, and myotonia that resolves the sexually induced vasocongestion and myotonia, generally with an induction of well-being and contentment. 



What he is trying to say is that an orgasm is that peak achieved during an arousal that culminates in various involuntary muscle contractions, release of chemicals that create a pleasurable feeling and promote a feeling of gratification. As someone aptly described it, it is comparable to when something ticklish irritates your nostrils and a sneeze starts building up, and you suck up air like twice or three times in anticipation of that pleasurable relief that usually follows it, before finally letting the sneeze out, then you become overcome with the relief and a feeling of wellness and its all over.

How Common is it to Achieve an Orgasm?


Studies have shown that about 33.33% of women find it difficult to have an orgasm, and a large percentage of the rest will need between 20 to 30% of sexual activity to achieve one. Those who do may not always achieve it no matter how long the man acts, depending on their state of mind and other factors that we may be mentioning later. Of those that find it difficult to reach an orgasm or have never achieved it before, they should see a gynaecologist as there may be an underlying medical condition responsible for it. For many of them, however, there may be no cause at all. In parts of the world where female circumcision is carried out, the clitoris, which is the female equivalent of the male glans as regards sensation, is usually cut off, meaning a lot more work will have to be done to achieve an O if ever it would be achieved.



Is it Healthy Focusing on Getting an Orgasm?



Should men go the extra mile to ensure their woman gets an O? Focusing on getting an O has the following disadvantages:

1. It places a lot of stress on the relationship.
2. It is distracting, as the couple forget about making love and are rather working to achieve their           fancied utopia.
3. It leads to low self-esteem in the man as he sees himself as being inadequate.
4. It makes sexual intercourse tedious and tasking.
5. It may lead to experimenting with other sexual partners, resulting in infidelity and broken                   marriages.

So is it really worth it?

How Importantly, do Women Rate Getting an Orgasm?



Various studies have proven that the most important thing to a woman during sexual intercourse is >>> wait for it>>> very simple indeed. Most women responded that the feeling of being connected with, loved, and appreciated was the most gratifying part of the act. If the O comes, it is an added bonus; an icing on the cake. There you have it! Instead of concentrating on blowing her mind off with your performance, concentrate on pouring a lot of love and passion into what you are doing. Women are better than men in reading body language.  You do not have to shout “I love you!” during the act. She can feel it in how delicately you handle her. A few whispers now and then may confirm this for her, but always ensure that you really focus on making love.

Tips That May Help


Does it now mean that menfolk should forget about making their women have an O?
 No.
Do not just  focus on it. Do not make it a yardstick for measuring your performance and do do not use it to assess the health of your sex life. The following tips may assist you in actually giving her that icing on the cake:


1. Make her feel comfortable and relaxed. Make the environment right. Women always want to feel         safe and protected during the act. The more relaxed she is, the more the likelihood of her                   achieving an O.
2. As the man, you have to free your mind. Engage all of your senses. Put in a lot of passion.                 Concentrate on the love you have for her. She will feel the vibes and that natural psychic                     connection that follows the passion and makes verbal communication secondary. Even if you do         not give her the O, she will feel appreciated, happy and relaxed after the act.
3. Make it legal. Guilt is a major factor in preventing an orgasm. Wherever the guilt comes from             from either of you, it will impede an O. It may be that one or the both of you are religious and           are doing it extra-maritally, or one or both of you are married to someone else, or is officially             going out with someone else, or is keeping something from the other.
4. Work on trust. Keep the off-the-bed aspect of your love life as clean and transparent as possible.         Women have a way of having sex without putting their souls into it when they are suspicious             about you. To them, sometimes the act is just a duty they have to put up with. Work on the                 cloudy areas of your relationship. Discuss. Keep things as open as possible and when it comes           to gratification of the love, the passion will truly flow.
5. Explore. Vary your sexual acts. Vary the venue. Vary the position. Explore every aspect of each           other’s body. Remember that the penis does not really rub the clitoris is most sexual positions             except for women with extraordinarily long clits, so you may have to keep your fingers busy as           well. Vary the time as well, it doesn’t always have to be in the midnight. Make use of when the           children are away to do it wherever you want. Also start making your intentions known hours             before the act by stealing a touch in sensitive areas occasionally, thereby priming her for the               main thing.
6. Build on intimacy. Touching each other does not always have to lead to intercourse. Learn to               cuddle, kiss passionately, take baths together, bathe each other etc. Become comfortable with the         sexuality of each other. These lead to a strong sexual attraction building up between the both of           you and a feeling of always being comfortable around each other.
7. Build on your self confidence. You just have to let go of self doubt in your ability to satisfy your         woman. If you have a demanding partner who always complains about your performance, this             may be difficult. If there are conditions responsible for your poor performance, see your GP               who should treat or refer you appropriately. Mask your weakness with a longer foreplay.                     Remember the emphasis is on the duration of sexual activity not in the time spent after                       intromission. Cultivate the habit of seeing sex therapists. Most people will need them at one               point or the other during their lifetime.

Read more about premature ejaculation here

8. Communicate. Let your partner know what he is doing right and what you do not like. Do not             use body language alone; talk, whisper, moan, cry, giggle, laugh, it’s all part of the act. Let him           know when you don’t want him to stop something. Help each other in improving.



You may like to know that:


1. Sexual satisfaction may not come from penetrative sex alone. Studies have shown that about               80% of women find it difficult to have an O from vaginal intercourse alone. Some will need               manual or lingual stimulation.
2. The clitoris is not the only point of focus. It is almost always the most sensitive, but many                 women find it annoying when you just go straight there. Do not also concentrate too much on it,         some find it painful and it can be a real turn-off.
3. An O may not be dependent on the performance of the man. Some women actually suffer from           sexual disorders which may be secondary to systemic illnesses like diabetes, thyroid diseases, or         psychological disorders like depression or a past bad sexual experience.
4. Condoms do not affect orgasms. Studies that compared groups of people that used and did not             use a condom found no disparities in the results.
5. Orgasms can occur without a sexual encounter. Women have reported having orgasms from the           most unexpected of situations.

6. And very importantly, most women need about 20 minutes of sexual activity to have an O.

Conclusion


It is compulsory to ensure that the sex is not always about the man for a healthy relationship, hence the need to seek knowledge on pleasing your partner. Nothing can be too bad to read or see if it is to improve your act. The orgasm may not be the most important, but sexual satisfaction is. Women can be satisfied and pleased with you even if you rarely give them an O. For her that insists, communicate, let her tell you what pleases her. It is also important to know that almost everybody exaggerates their sexual prowess, so if you judge your husband based on what your friends are saying, you will realize that you will just end up sampling different men looking for that superman to give you the supersex. Just concentrate on working to help each other improve and it will be worth it at the end.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

HELP! HIS SPERM KEEPS LEAKING OUT AFTER INTERCOURSE!!!


Leakage of Sperm after Intercourse



Doctors are being asked everyday about this phenomenon that is causing concern to a lot of women, especially those that are seeking to get pregnant. For those who are not, the mere messiness and discomfort  is disturbing enough. Should women really be concerned about this? This is a question I will attempt to answer with the assistance of a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist from a prestigious hospital in Nigeria.
First of all, I will like to point out that the title should more appropriately be “leakage of semen after intercourse.” This is because sperm is only a component of semen, which is the general term for the male ejaculate after a sexual intercourse, and is composed of  different  components released by the different organs and glands in the male reproductive repertoire. So, in the semen you have sperm or spermatozoa, seminal fluid and other components like fructose, proteinsminerals, etc.

Where is semen deposited?

After intercourse, semen is deposited in the posterior fornix of the cervix. From here, the sperm cells have to find their way into the cervix, through the uterus to the Fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place, an arduous journey that reduces the chances of deformed and unhealthy sperms from


fertilizing the egg and screens off a large percentage of the millions of sperm in the ejaculate. Remember that only one spermatozoa is needed for fertilization to occur.

You can read about best treatments for premature ejaculation here

Is It a problem when there is leakage after intercourse?

Dr. Adebayo Adewole, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja, puts the question to rest. He says,
“It is not a problem. Semen undergoes liquefaction after ejaculation, which is normal. The spermatozoa that will fertilize the ovum would have to swim to meet the ovum or "egg". So it doesn't really mean anything if something comes out after copulation.”
He explains further,
“Anatomically, the vagina is apposed together, don't mind the diagram in textbooks where the vagina is drawn as open with space, they're meant to explain some things.


With copulation the male organ occupies the potential space in the vagina. After ejaculation, depending on the volume of the sperm, when the male organ is withdrawn, the semen can leak as the vagina goes back to the normal apposed position, although this may take time in some women making them not to experience it. The volume of the Semen is also important.”

Does it affect fertilty?

When asked if it affects fertility, Dr Adebayo answers,
“No, although many people have attributed infertility to "leakage of sperm". The Yorubas call it "Eda". The majority of those complaining about it have one problem or the other responsible for the infertility. Whether male or female factor or combined. I've had to ask some of my patients after treatment and getting pregnant, whether the sperm is no longer leaking. They used to laugh and say doctor you were right, it’s still leaking. Even if couples who are normal and are having children engage in sex, the sperm at a point in time, in the majority of cases, will leak.”

My Take

The internet is rife with series of advice about the causes of leakage of semen and how to stop it, but in my interactions with senior colleagues and specialists in the field, there is no scientific backing for their postulations. Some have blamed infections (read more on "toilet infections" here), pH of the female tract, size and shape of the male organ, orientation of the uterus, etc. The plausible cause among all is the volume of ejaculate, which follows with Dr. Adebayo’s explanation of liquefaction. The more the volume, the more fluid that will come out after liquefaction.
This does not mean that if nothing is coming out, your husband is not producing enough ejaculate, no, no.  As earlier explained, semen is composed of the sperm cells bathed in seminal fluid along with other components. So it is the number of healthy sperm cells that matter, not the volume of ejaculate.
People have also been advised to place pillows under the hips, increase foreplay, employ the missionary position, remain inside for about 20 mins after ejaculation, time the thrust etc., especially when looking for a child. The fluid that comes out has nothing to do with the inability to conceive.
Dr. Adebayo advices,
“Couples who have that complaint should go for infertility evaluation. They should see a gynaecologist if their problems cannot be taken care of at the GP level.”

Conclusion

So there you have it. Apart from the mess it makes where the action took place or in your undies, you really have nothing to worry about, and  if you are really concerned, see a gynaecologist. People have advocated a lot of drugs and supplements to stop the leakage. Some of them are great for priming the uterus and improving your chances of getting pregnant, but if you know of any that completely stops the leakage you are having with the same partner, kindly drop a comment. If not, keep a roll of tissue handy so as not to have a lot of cleanups to do.

(A big shout out to my ever responsive consultant for making this task easy).

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

LOOKING GOOD FOR HIM: SAGGING OF BREASTS, USEFUL TIPS


Introduction: Breast Sagging, is it a Big Deal?

Every woman wants to remain sexy for her man for life, or least for the most part of life, and the first cause of concern is her breasts. Right from the age of puberty, she begins to pay close attention to them; are they the right size, are they perky enough, are they attractive? Then, as she ages, changes begin to occur to them and her worries increase. It is not surprising that plastic surgeons are the richest doctors in the world today, and the majority of their income comes from eliminating these concerns for women. The question is, do men really care? The ideal answer is yes. The bust is usually the first part to arouse a man, not even the face, and media propaganda has embedded in the psyche of most men what an ideal woman should look like with photoshopped pictures of celebrities and models. In reality, however, the fever usually dies after the man has tested the waters. There is more to keeping your man happy than just the perkiness of your breasts. The man that will cheat on you will do so even if your breasts were pointing to heaven, but what will make him come back on his knees is how you make him feel both during the match and off the ball. That said, it is very important to look as sexy as possible for your man.

Composition and Natural Cycle

Your breasts usually start developing at around the age of 12, though it may be a little earlier or later in others. They have no muscles and are composed mainly of glandular tissues, fat, (Cooper’s) ligaments and milk ducts. A lot of factors affect your breasts ranging from age, to pregnancy, to your menstrual cycle and your lifestyle as we will be seeing as our discussion progresses.

Are Your Breasts Really Sagging?

As I have alluded to in my intro, the conclusion that your breasts are sagging is usually defective because it is based on assumptions of what you see in the media. You cannot compare the natural breasts of a 40 year old to that of a 16 year old. Plastic surgeons have tried to make the assessment as objective as possible by comparing the position of your nipples to the infra-mammary fold. So, let your doctor decide whether your breasts are sagging or not. The majority of women who think their breasts are sagging actually have normal breasts.

What Causes Sagging?


Sagging of the breasts, that we call ptosis in medical parlance, is a natural and mostly, an inevitable phenomenon. What doctors try to do is to preserve the status quo for as long as possible. Factors responsible are:

Age 

Naturally. The more you age, the more the cells in your body age with you and lose their regenerative ability. More so, the body naturally begins to shut down faculties that are not no longer essential for self-preservation again.

Smoking

Many studies have rated smoking very high among the causes of ptosis. The reason for this is that smoking destroys elastin, which is essential for the Cooper’s ligaments to maintain their natural recoil and keep your breasts firm.

Pregnancy

Because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, and the effect of these hormones on the breasts, they progressively fall with each successive pregnancy. One thing I have to commend celebrities for is the fact that they have proven to our women that you can have the number of children you want to have and still maintain your assets in as close to natural beauty as possible.

Menopause 

Closely related to aging discussed above. Some organs naturally start to atrophy when menopause commences.

Breastfeeding

Many of you would have expected to see this on the top of the list, but, ironically, it has actually been found not to contribute to sagging if done properly. When you breastfeed your baby for at least 2 years, with gradual weaning, your body gradually replaces the atrophying glandular tissues with adipose tissue, so at the end of the weaning period, you are an omoge again.

Rapid weight loss

When you rapidly lose about 23kg over a short period of time, not your breasts alone, but your whole body will look wrinkled and worn. You will have to tone up with protein-rich diet and exercise.

Poor diet

They say rich men’s children always look attractive. It’s not just cream. It’s mainly the diet, and you do not have to be rich to achieve a glowing firm skin packaging your asset. Just make sure that you eat a balanced diet. A eats apples, B eats oranges, both eat fruits (abi?).

Use of bras

Yes, you read that right. Except you are a sports person whose breasts move excessively during sports, or you have exceptionally large breast, you should try as much as possible to free your breasts. If not when you are going out, at least when you are at home.

Tips That Help/Prevention

I do not want to call this part the cure, because this is not a disease per se. The worry is mainly for aesthetic reasons.
You can take the very rapid solution, the rapid solution, or the slow solution.

The very rapid solution is to see a plastic surgeon for a Mastopexy or an augmentation surgery. Just remember that these solutions have to be repeated at regular intervals because the breasts will fall again over time.

The rapid solution is to use specially formulated creams, lotions and supplements to strengthen the ligaments and improve the elasticity of the overlying skin and probably reverse oxidative changes that may have taken place. There are a number of these products in the markets with varying user satisfaction based on what you can afford.

The slow solution is not really slow, but makes my categorization easy. I also like to call them the natural methods. They include:

1       Exercise and good posture: Remember we said that the breast tissue has no muscles, so strenuous exercise may not assist in restoring their texture or preventing their fall. Exercise and good posture will assist the supporting muscles to stretch out the skin overlying your breasts and give them a firmer appearance. Also, the ligaments respond, albeit slowly, to regular mild exercise. So stretch out those shoulder and chest muscles and comport yourself both in the office or while walking around in a good posture.

2.       Complete breastfeeding: As pointed out above, it is advised to breastfeed your baby for at least 2 years, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. Some have advocated for 3-4 years (not in Naija right?). This allows your breast tissue to naturally revert to its pre-pregnancy state. Rapid stopping of breastfeeding will invariably contribute immensely to ptosis.

3.       Go braless for most, if not all day. The gentle up and down movement of your breasts have been found to be an adequate exercise for them. When you make them fixed and motionless, they lose their elasticity due to disuse. If you have big breast, you may wear bras as they may not entirely prevent movement of the breasts, but the experts are still arguing even this out. As a sportswoman, you definitely need to wear sports bras.

4.       Nutrition: Drink a lot of water and eat more of whole foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are advisable. Your cells are composed mostly of water and the regenerative capacity of the cells depends mainly on the availability of nutrients they need for synthesis.

5.       Aloe vera: You can harvest aloe vera gel or buy from trusted companies. Massage this gently onto your breasts for about 10 minutes, leave it on for another ten minutes and wash off with cold water. For best results, do this 4-5 times a week. 
You can also make a paste consisting of a spoonful each of aloe vera gel, mayonnaise and honey and apply to your breasts. Wash off after 15 minutes. This should be effective when done once a week.

6.       Olive oil: Pour this on your palms and rub them together until you feel some warmth, then gently massage your breasts upwards with them 3- 4 times a week. You can also use jojoba oil or coconut oil.

7.       Cucumber: Blend a mixture of a small cucumber, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoonful of Sheabutter (ori, man kadai). Apply this to your breasts for 30 minutes and wash off with cold water. Do this twice a week for best results.

Conclusion


There’s always much ado about a woman’s breasts. This is because they are easily the most noticeable part of her. If a man wants to describe a woman, her face, bust and derriere are usually the parameters he uses. So it really is a big deal for guys. But it gets to a stage when he accepts that the southward migration is part of the package. He just has to realize that if he wants one that will never fall, then he should prepare to keep searching for life. He can, however, assist in maintaining the one he has. And please, ladies, there is no study that shows that too much fondling contributes to sagging of breasts, in fact, that may actually reduce your risks for breast cancer as some have suggested. The care you give to any part of your body determines how it flourishes. So pay more attention to your breasts and whenever you notice anything suspicious, never postpone seeing your doctor. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Okra: Helping Diabetics Regain Their Stamina

Okra

My people call it abonu, Hausas call it kubewa, Yorubas call it ila and the Igbos call it...(well, all my Igbo friends say it's okra, maybe someone here will provide the right term). Known botanically as Abelmoschus esculentus, okra is indigenous to West Africa, but has become almost ubiquitous, enjoying more popularity in Africa, Asia and southern Europe. It is a seed pod edible as a whole when fresh. Some people also use the leaves in making varying dishes and medicinal herbs. When my mum mixes the leaves with beans, ruwan toka and smoked fish, I know I will overfeed that day.





Composition


100g of okra, which is equivalent to about 10 long seed pods, or fingers, as some people prefer to call them contain:


Nutrient
Quantity
% Daily requirement
Energy
22.0kcal

Carbohydrates
4.9g

Protein
1.9g

Fat
0.2g

Dietary fiber
2.5g
10%
Folic acid
46.0mcg
11%
Vitamin C
16.3mcg
27%
Vitamin A
283IU
6%
Vitamin K
40.0mcg
50%
Calcium
77.0mg
8%
Manganese
0.3mg
15%
Magnesium
36.0mg
9%
Water
96.2g
3.2%


Properties


This slimy, but fantastic vegetable has a lot of amazing properties and is presently the basis for research in many pharmaceutical and biomedical laboratories.
The vegetable is rich in antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress and prolong cellular life and function.
The bark and seeds contain okra polysaccharides that lower blood sugar. The seeds contain lectin, which kills cancer cells, is anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive. Just under the peel, you will find okra pectin which has been found to be effective against melanoma.


Okra and Diabetics


Diabetes becomes a terrible disease when it is not properly managed and complications have started setting in. One of these complications is loss of libido and erectile dysfunction (ED). Unfortunately, people get tired of the drugs, the dietary restrictions and the weekly or monthly pricking to do random and fasting blood sugar tests. A lot of patients are looking for alternatives and a lot of "natural products"companies are capitalizing on this with various claims. I cannot, for now, support or refute their claims (maybe I will study the extent of their researches in subsequent posts) but what I can tell you is what has been proven scientifically, and one of them is okra.
Most doctors will be careful about being overzealous in recommending just a vegetable to combat diabetes, but they will advise you to use your medications while trying orher healthy alternatives. If your blood glucose is coming down steadily while you are on these alternatives, your drugs will be tapered off until a balance is maintained.

100-200mg/kg of okra seed powder and pod powder have been found to significantly reduce the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract. The mechanisms postulated include:
Enhancement of insulin sensitivity,
Inhibition of carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes,
Regeneration of damaged pancreatic islet B-cells, and,
Enhancement of insulin secretion and release.
In other words, sufficient consumption of okra may help in reversing diabetes. Added benefits for a diabetic include:
Regaining lost weight,
Prevention and correction of complications of diabetes, like ED and loss of libido,
Protection of liver tissue, and,
Reduction of hyperlipidaemia associated with diabetes.


Preparation


Buy or harvest fresh okra. These are the ones that are about 6-10cm long and snap easily at the tail or in the middle when you try to bend them. They can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days.

1. Select 5 pods. Cut off the heads and tips, and cut the pod into 2-3 transverse pieces. Soak the pieces in a glass of water overnight and drink the water the following morning. People who do this regularly for 1 month have reported reduction in their blood sugar and improvement in overall well-being.

2. You can wash the okra properly and eat it raw as a snack (my personal favorite). Some people shake some salt or ground pepper on it to make it more palatable.

3. You can cook it the traditional Nigerian way, either plain or with other ingredients (asepo as Yorubas call it, or dafaduka by Hausas).

4. My mum fries okra with locust beans, tomatoes and sweet pepper to eat yam or pounded yam with, and I always found it wonderful.

There has been little research done as to whether heat destroys the properties of okra, but generally, the fresher a fruit or vegetable, the more beneficial it is to the body. So, I would recommend the raw forms of eating the pod.


Other Benefits of Okra


Okra has been found to be useful in:
1. Treating exhaustion,
2. Treating depression,
3. Curing irritable bowel,
4. Reducing the frequency of asthmatic attacks,
5. Reducing cholesterol levels and improving omega 3 fatty acids,
6. Preventing involuntary discharge of semen,
7. Smoothening the skin and preventing pimples,
8. Preventing Helicobacter pylori from sticking to the stomach wall, thereby preventing ulcer.

It has also been shown to produce substances that bind to bile acids and prevent cancer. Some studies have suggested that it kills breast cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma cells.


Conclusion


As we advance in technology, we have come to realize that returning to organic ways of life will reduce the rates at which we fall ill, and may even treat some of our conditions. Okra is one of those beneficial organic foods that is piquing the interest of scientists all over the world. A little piece of advice here; always let your doctor know other steps you are taking to combat whatever ailment you are dealing with, this will assist both of you in monitoring the progress of your treatment and prevent conflicting results.
If you have great recipes for okra or any experience with those trying to use it for their diabetes, let us know.

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