May 17, 2020

5 food cravings conquered

common food cravings
most commonly craved foods
chocolate
Admin
4 min
5 food cravings conquered
What you crave: Choclate What you need: Magnesium Chocolate is one of the worlds most commonly craved foods and, while you may feel as though you are...

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What you crave: Choclate

What you need: Magnesium

Chocolate is one of the world’s most commonly craved foods and, while you may feel as though you are addicted to the sweet treat, it is believed that what many of us are craving when we are hankering after some chocolate is in fact the mineral magnesium.

To help ease chocolate cravings, make sure that you are getting enough magnesium in your daily diet through healthy sources such as nuts, seeds and pulses. Also, when those chocolate cravings strike, try switching to 85 per cent dark chocolate. Although chocolate can be high in fat, dark chocolate also has plenty of health benefits due to its abundance of antioxidants. Some of the reported health benefits include its ability to slow down muscle ageing, fight disease, prevent wrinkles, boost brain health and prevent heart disease. If dark chocolate doesn’t hit the spot, try snacking on medjool dates, which are rich in magnesium and a natural solution to sugar cravings.

What you crave:  Pasta and bread

What you need: Serotonin

Research has found that eating carbohydrates stimulates the brain’s production of serotonin – the happy hormone. This may be why many of us crave stodgy ‘comfort’ foods such as pasta and bread when we are feeling blue.

Healthy food swaps: Sweet potatoes, lentils, beans

To get a healthy fix of carbs (minus the blood sugar crashes and energy slumps) opt for nutritious and low GI carbohydrates which will release a steady supply of energy and keep you feeling full for longer. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include beans, lentils, oats and sweet potatoes. As well as switching your carbohydrate sources, you can also reduce cravings by boosting your serotonin levels through exercise and mood-boosting activities. Try using uplifting essential oils such as neroli and lemon which also stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain.

What you crave: Sugar

What you need: Chromium

We are all tempted by sugary treats and desserts from time to time. However, if you find yourself experiencing regular, intense cravings for sugar, this could be a symptom of low levels of the mineral chromium in your diet.

Healthy swap: Grape juice, whole grains, apples

To maintain normal blood sugar levels throughout the day and keep those cravings at bay, try to snack on foods rich in the mineral chromium. Apples and whole grains are good sources of chromium and can also provide healthier solutions to sugar cravings. Snack on apple slices or porridge sweetened with honey or dried fruit next time you are tempted to indulge. Try also replacing your sugary carbonated drink with a glass of antioxidant-rich grape juice, which is also a great source of chromium.

What you crave: Burgers

What you need: Iron

Craving burgers, sausages or steak? Intense and frequent cravings for red meat could be a sign that you are deficient in iron – an essential mineral which is required for the production of healthy red blood cells.

Healthy swap: Lean meat, fish, pulses, nuts

Unless you are opposed to eating meat for ethical reasons, craving meat is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as you make healthy choices. Rather than filling up on highly processed and fatty sources of meat such as burgers, opt for quality lean meat such as chicken or turkey. Alternatively, oily fish is a good source of iron and contains many other health-boosting nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids. For those who wish to refrain from eating meat, vegan sources of iron such as beans, lentils and nuts can help to ease your cravings.

What you crave: Salty snacks

What you need: To relax

You may think that your cravings for savoury snacks are simply based on how good they taste, but research suggests your salt cravings could in fact be a symptom of stress. Research from the University of Cincinnati has shown that the sodium in salt blunts the body's natural responses to stress by inhibiting stress hormones, meaning that your cravings for salty foods could be your body’s attempt to deal with stress.

Healthy swap: Popcorn, baked potato, edamame beans

The best way to overcome stress-induced salt cravings is of course to find a healthier way to deal with stress. Experiment with different relaxation techniques, such as exercise, meditation or aromatherapy, to find one that works for you. If you are still craving salty snacks, opt for those rich in nutrients and low in fat (such as lightly salted popcorn) for a healthier option. As potassium can help to reduce the harmful effects of sodium on blood pressure and the heart, choose foods which are rich in potassium too, such as salted edamame beans or a lightly seasoned baked potato.

Please also read the following:

Top 5 most addictive foods

Top 10 worst fat traps

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Apr 30, 2021

The challenges to vaccine distribution affecting everyone

covid-19vaccine
vaccinesupply
Supplychain
Blockchain
Jonathan Colehower
5 min
The challenges to vaccine distribution affecting everyone
Jonathan Colehower, CEO at CargoChain, describes the COVID-19 vaccine distribution challenges impacting every country, organisation and individual...

While it is comforting to know that vaccines against COVID-19 are showing remarkable efficacy, the world still faces intractable challenges with vaccine distribution. Specifically, the sheer number of vaccines required and the complexity of global supply chains are sure to present problems we have neither experienced nor even imagined. 

Current projections estimate that we could need 12-15 billion doses of vaccine, but the largest vaccine manufacturers produce less than half this volume in a year. To understand the scale of the problem, imagine stacking one billion pennies – you would have a stack that is 950 miles high. Now, think of that times ten. This is a massive problem that one nation can’t solve alone.  

Production capacity 

Even if we have a vaccine – can we make enough? Based on current projections, Pfizer expects to produce up to 1.3 billion doses this year. Moderna is working to expand its capacity to one billion units this year. Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, is likely to produce 60% of the 3 billion doses committed by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi. This leaves us about 7 billion doses short. 

Expanding vaccine production for most regions in the world is complicated and time-consuming. Unlike many traditional manufacturing operations that can expand relatively quickly and with limited regulation, pharmaceutical production must meet current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) guidelines. So, not only does it take time to transition from R&D to commercial manufacturing, but it could also take an additional six months to achieve CGMP certification. 

The problem becomes even more complex when considering the co-products required. Glass vials and syringes are just two of the most essential co-products needed to produce a vaccine. Last year, before COVID-19, global demand for glass vials was 12 billion. Even if it is safe to dispense ten doses per vial, there is certain to be significant pressure on world supply of the materials needed to package and distribute a vaccine.

It is imperative drug manufacturers and their raw material suppliers have clear visibility of production plans and raw material availability if there is any hope of optimizing scarce resources and maximising production yield.

Distribution requirements

It is widely known by now that temperature is a critical factor for the COVID-19 vaccine. Even the regions with the most developed logistics infrastructures and resources needed to support a cold-chain network are sure to struggle with distribution.

For the United States alone, State and local health agencies have determined distribution costs will exceed $8.4 billion, including $3 billion for workforce recruitment and training; $1.2 billion for cold-chain, $1 billion vaccination sites and $0.5 billion IT upgrades.  

The complexity of the problem increases further when considering countries such as India that do not have cold-chain logistics networks that meet vaccine requirements. Despite India’s network of 28,000 cold-chain units, none are capable of transporting vaccines below -25°Celsius. While India’s Serum Institute has licensed to manufacture AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which can reportedly be stored in standard refrigerated environments, even a regular vaccine cold chain poses major challenges.

Furthermore, security will undoubtedly become a significant concern that global authorities must address with a coordinated solution. According to the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, theft and counterfeiting of pharmaceutical products rose nearly 70% over the past five years. As with any valuable and scarce product, counterfeits will emerge. Suppliers and producers are actively working on innovative approaches to limit black-market interference. Corning, for example, is equipping vials with black-light verification to curb counterfeiting.

Clearly, this is a global problem that will require an unprecedented level of collaboration and coordination.

Disconnected information systems 

While it is unreasonable to expect every country around the world will suddenly adopt a standard technology that would provide immediate, accurate and available information for everyone, it is not unreasonable to think that we can align on a standard taxonomy that can serve as a Rosetta Stone for collaboration. 

A shared view of the situation (inventory, raw materials, delivery, defects) will provide every nation with the necessary information to make life-saving decisions, such as resource pooling, stock allocations and population coverage.

By allowing one central authority, such as the World Health Organization, to organize and align global leaders to a single collaboration standard, such as GS1, and a standard sharing protocol, such as DSCSA, then every supply chain participant will have the ability to predict, plan and execute in a way that maximises global health.

Political influence and social equality 

As if we don’t have enough stress and churn in today’s geopolitical environment, we must now include the challenge of “vaccine nationalism.” While this might not appear to be a supply chain problem, per se, it is a critical challenge that will hinge on supply chain capabilities.

In response to the critical supply issues the world experienced with SARS-CoV-2, the World Health Organization, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) formed Covax: a coalition dedicated to equitable distribution of 2 billion doses of approved vaccines to its 172 member countries. Covax is currently facilitating a purchasing pool and has made commitments to buy massive quantities of approved vaccines when they become available.  

However, several political powerhouse countries, such as the United States and Russia, are not participating. Instead, they are striking bilateral deals with drug manufacturers – essentially, competing with the rest of the world to secure a national supply. Allocating scarce resources is never easy, but when availability could mean the difference between life and death, it becomes almost impossible.

Global production, distribution and social equality present dependent yet conflicting realities that will demand global supply chains provide complete transparency and an immutable chain of custody imperative to vaccine distribution. 

The technology is available today – we just need to use it. We have the ability to track every batch, pallet, box, vile and dose along the supply chain. We have the ability to know with absolute certainty that the vaccine is approved, where and when it was manufactured, how it was handled and whether it was compromised at any point in the supply chain. Modern blockchain technologies should be applied so that every nation, institution, regulator, doctor and patient can have confidence in knowing that they are making an impact in eradicating COVID-19.

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