Nail fungus is a common nail condition that can affect both the fingernails and toenails. Nail fungus is called medically onychomycosis. This fungus is often the cause behind ridiculously-looking nails. This is also the same fungal species that brings you a discolored or thickened toenail or when the nail crumbles and looks lifted from the nail bed. Such infections often appear in the nail bed and sometimes the surrounding skin tissues.
What are the causes?
One of the causes of nail fungus infection is the entry of fungal organisms into the nail bed and fungus setting up a site of infection there. Fungal organisms give out substances and proteins that can break down the keratin found in the nail and skin. Over time, it is likely for the infection to spread through the nail causing several changes in its appearance. The most common cause of nail fungal infection is fungi that often belong to the group called dermatophytes.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a nail fungal infection include a nail or nails that are discolored, thickened, distorted in shape, nails separating from the nail bed, foul smell, having a brittle, crumbly, and ragged nail, and in some cases pain and discomfort when walking or wearing shoes.
What are some treatments?
The nail fungus treatment depends on the microorganism that caused the infection and the level of severity. The doctor may ask for a nail sample to be sent to a lab for microscopy first. Often they prescribe an antifungal that can be taken by mouth. This treatment often lasts for months until the last trace of infection is gone. In some cases, a topical nail fungal treatment is recommended. This has to be applied directly to the surface of the nail. For more severe infections, the doctor may suggest a nail removal to enable a fresh new nail to surface.
1All about the Sacha Inchi / Inca Peanuts
The sacha inchi has just become popular, but the truth is that it has been used around the globe for hundreds of years. It is known for its highly impressive nutritional profile. Apart from its multiple health benefits, it is also delicious, versatile, and can be added easily to any recipe. This is why they are a healthy addition to any well-rounded diet.
Sacha inchi (scientific name Plukenetia volubilis) is a perennial plant that is native to the Caribbean and some areas of South America. Its fruit is valued for its large and edible seeds. This was consumed by the indigenous tribes of Peru. Sometimes it is known as Inca nut or mountain peanut. The fruit itself is not consumed directly. The seeds are removed, roasted, and eaten. They are also ground and turned into a fine powder; then they are added to several food products. Oil can be extracted from the seeds, which can be used for cooking or as an ingredient in skincare items. Its leaves can also be dried and brewed as herbal tea.
Inca peanuts are rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. A serving of the sacha inchi contains the following: protein, fats, calories, fiber, and carbs. The seeds of the sacha inchi are loaded with unsaturated fat, which is often linked with a reduced risk of heart disease when it is used as a replacement for carbohydrates and saturated fats. The seeds are also loaded with these essential micronutrients: potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. Furthermore, the seeds also contain phenolic compounds and antioxidants that may lessen inflammation within the body, protecting against chronic diseases.
As an Antifungal or Antimicrobial
The sacha inchi oil has antimicrobial properties that provide the skin with protection from bacteria and fungi that cause infections. The oil is also known to help reduce skin irritation and inflammation caused by bacterial or fungal infections.
A study showed that the sacha inchi oil is safe to use on dermal cells and the oil is efficient in inhibiting the pathogen S. aureus. The antimicrobial properties of seven crude extracts of sacha inchi showed inhibitory effects on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The watery extract exhibited the highest inhibition against the two pathogens compared to all the other extracts.
Other Health Benefits
Apart from the benefits and uses of the sacha inchi mentioned above, the following are some of its best medicinal benefits:
The sacha inchi seeds have a significant level of calories, and they also have a high amount of dietary fiber. Just consuming a handful of seeds may satiate your appetite and prevent overeating as well as snacking in between meals. This can help a lot with your weight loss efforts and at the same time provide your body with many other essential nutrients.
Helps in Diabetes Management
Sacha inchi is also loaded with gamma- and delta- tocopherols. It also contains other components such as vitamin A and E, omega-6, omega-3, and omega-9 fatty acids. Other people consider this necessary for people who suffer from diabetes although more studies are required.
Improves Sleep Quality
Sacha inchi also contains tryptophan, which is one of the most overlooked nutrients. It is an essential amino acid that can speed up the release of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. When taken with magnesium, the sacha inchi may help induce relaxation in people who suffer from sleep disorders and insomnia.
Helps with Digestion
Sacha inchi seeds are high in dietary fiber, which is an important nutrient for normal digestive processes. This is instrumental in bulking up the stool and preventing symptoms of cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. This also reduces the risk of hemorrhoids which can be the result of an improper passage of the bowels.
Helps Prevent Cognitive Disorders
Inflammation is the major cause of cognitive disorders, particularly oxidative stress. The inflammatory damage increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Increasing the level of omega-3 fatty acids in your body may aid in preventing cognitive disorders.
Provides Eye Care
Sacha inchi seeds may help boost one’s vision because of their high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A. They prevent macular degeneration and delay the onset of cataracts.