ISLAMABAD  – Eating dry fruit is also one of the favorite pass times of the people in winter. They enjoy it in their daily diet. The dry fruits are said to be very healthful and energetic and it is also used in making medicines. Almonds which is often called the `king’ of dry fruits is used in many medicines and almond oil is used for many hair treatments.

According to a private news channel report dry fruits are also regarded as the Gifts in the winter and people often pack them in beautiful packets along with some chocolates and gift them to their friends and relatives. In countries like Pakistan it is trend to distribute different dry fruits with sweets and chocolates among the guests in weddings.

Dry fruits are also used in many dishes. Especially in sweet dishes like cakes, pastries and in chocolates. It is also used in Arabian food in different gravies and rice. Many doctors and nutritionists give advice to their patients to use dry fruits for better and complete diet.

Talking to a private news channel Dr Ayaz said that dry fruits are very healthy and good for human body. He said dry fruits are helpful in many problems of winter season like colds, flu, cholesterol levels problem and for all  kind of diseases.

According to the report the demand for dry fruits has started increasing and the prices have gone up beyond the reach of low-income groups. A dry fruit shop owner, Gul Khan said that dry fruits are mostly used in winter season to get some relief from cold and argued that the rates were normal and there was no price hike as some people blame.

But many buyers complain that the prices of dry fruits this year have shot up and became out of their reach. However, when contacted the vendor they said they themselves get these fruits at high rates from other cities.

Honey can ease childhood cough: Study

Giving a teaspoon of honey to a child with a cough before they go to bed can ease their symptoms and help them sleep more soundly, a study has found. Children aged one to five who were suffering from throat infections coughed less often and slept better after taking 10g of honey before bedtime, The Telegraph Newspaper reported.

Honey’s high levels of antioxidants could make it a better alternative to cough syrups, many of which are not proven to work and which can be dangerous if parents administer accidental overdoses, they wrote in the Pediatrics journal.

The study involved almost 300 Israeli children with throat infections. Three quarters were given a teaspoon of either eucalyptus honey, citrus honey or labiatae honey before bed, while the rest took a placebo.  Before and after the treatment, parents were asked to score the severity and frequency of their child’s cough, how much it appeared to bother them, and how much it impacted on the child’s and their own sleep, each on a scale from one to five.

The children on the placebo improved by an average of six points across all five categories after the treatment, possibly because they were already getting better, but for each type of honey they improved by nine to ten points overnight. The researchers emphasized that honey is not safe for young infants because of the risk of infantile botulism, a rare but fatal infection, but said it could be a “preferable treatment” for children older than one.

Use of fig good in diabetes

Fig or Anjeer is one of the fruits high in vitamin, mineral and fiber content is good for diabetic patients. The American Diabetes Association recommends figs for a high fiber treat and its leaves reduce the amount of insulin needed by diabetic patients who have to take insulin injection.

Fig is rich in Potassium and it helps to control blood sugar. It leaves have anti-diabetic properties. It also helps in treatment of constipation, indigestion, piles, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, asthma and gaining weight after illness. According to a private news channel report, figs are seasonal fruits that are found in the western parts of Asia. However, dried figs are always available. The figs tree is a member of mulberry family. Health benefits of figs can be attributed to the presence of minerals, vitamins and fibre in them. Figs contain vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, potassium and chlorine.

People used to take more sodium in the form of salt. Low potassium and high sodium level may lead to hypertension. Figs are high in potassium but low in sodium. So, it helps to avoid hypertension. Figs are rich in calcium and it helps to strengthen bones. Fruits and figs generally are good for avoiding vision loss in older people is due to macular degeneration. The high mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats.

Figs are quite useful in various respiratory disorders including whooping cough and asthma. Since they are also good for digestion, they help in treating constipation, indigestion, stomach ache, etc. Figs are also good for fever, earache, boils, abscesses, venereal diseases and is excellent for the liver.

Figs are sweet and soft and their paste is used as a replacement for sugar. Processed figs are used to make pies, pudding, cakes, other bakery products, jam, jellies and preserves.