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Foods to Eat and What should be Avoided

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April 25 marks World Malaria Day globally. The World Health Organisation introduced World Malaria Day in May 2007 as a part of their initiative to raise awareness of malaria, worldwide. Malaria has been a serious concern for over 10000 years and if statistics are to be believed, around 20,00,000 people become its victims every year.

To tackle this killer disease which is a preventable one too, ‘education and understanding of malaria’ are equally important. ‘Zero malaria starts with me’ was the theme for WMD in 2019. Today, we are going to outline a crucial aspect for tackling malaria –the diet. Know about adequate nutrition, what to avoid eating, and strengthen immunity:

A. Foods to eat:

1. Papaya leaf extract and Raw papaya: Both these ingredients of papaya have antimalarial properties and aid in increasing the platelet count.

2. Fruits: The fructose is important during malaria. Consume fruits for instant energy. Ripe papaya, sweet lime, grapes, berries, lemon, orange, kiwi, melon, pineapple are rich in vitamin C; they detoxify the body, and help the body fight the disease.

3. Fluids: Green coconut water, sugarcane juice, pear-pomegranate juice, musk melon-papaya juice, sugar-salt-lemon water, electoral water, ‘sherbat’, glucose water are a must to treat malaria.

4. Soups and vegetables: Have carrot and bell pepper soup, broccoli broth, basil soup; besides adequate antioxidant-rich vegetable intake including cabbage, okra, bottle gourd, beetroot, beans.

5. Pulses: Masoor dal porridge, moong dal, palak porridge, urad dal, chickpeas are great sources of an adequate protein diet.

6. Omega-3: Intake of flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, almonds are must to ensure supply of omega-3 fatty acids, as these reduce inflammation in the body.

B. Avoid the following diet:

1. High fibre foods: Stay away from whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables, thick-skinned fruits.

2. Spicy and Processed foods: Packaged, oily or junk, spicy foods (chips, pastries, cornflakes, pasta, instant noodles, canned foods, pickle) must be avoided at all costs. They meddle with your digestion, weaken immunity, and make the body prone to diseases.

3. Caffeine: Do not consume cola, soft drinks, coffee, cocoa while suffering from malaria.

Be mindful of the above-mentioned foods to eat and avoid during malaria and stay healthy.

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HEALTH

Tips to Manage Mental and Emotional Well Being After Recovering from COVID-19

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COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the recently discovered coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus enters the body via nose, mouth and eyes. Some recent studies suggest that virus may be airborne and can be spread through fine infected droplets that remain suspended in the air in closed air-conditioned environments of offices, AC cabs-buses, shopping malls and theatres due to absence of cross-ventilation, even when you are not in direct contact with an infected person. It is essential that, after recovery, a person manages his/her lifestyle in a way that he/she can be in a positive mindset.

Taking care of your emotional wellbeing

The experience of having COVID-19 can be very stressful with fear and anxiety. The disease may impact your emotional wellbeing along with your physical wellbeing. Psychological impact of infection can vary from immediate effects, like:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
  • Fear of social stigma.
  • Irritability, anger, confusion.
  • Frustration, loneliness.
  • Denial, anxiety, depression, insomnia, despair.

How to cope with this stress?

Here are some things which you can do cope up the stress, fear and anxiety:

  • Take a break from constant watching the news or limit the time for news.
  • Stay connected with your loved ones over audio or video calls.
  • Re-live your hobbies which you enjoy doing.
  • Take adequate rest.
  • Maintain healthy diet.
  • Do light exercises as your condition permits.
  • Do not hide your illness.
  • Speak accurately about the risk from COVID-19, based on scientific data and latest official health advice.
  • Share positive stories of those who have recovered from COVID-19.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Good nutrition is very important before during and after an infection. While no foods or dietary supplements can prevent COVID-19 infection, maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of supporting a strong immune system. Eat a variety of foods to ensure adequate intake of important nutrients.

Energy-rich foods: These foods are a source of carbohydrates that provides energy to the body. It includes cereals (wheat, rice, maize, etc), fats/oils, sugars

Body building foods: These foods provide protein to the body. Pulses (all dals, beans, legumes), animal foods (eggs, meat, poultry, fish), milk and milk products. Requirements of proteins also increase during infection for the proliferation of immune cells and the synthesis of chemical compounds

Protective foods: These foods are the sources vitamins and minerals that play a significant role in immunity. Seasonal fruits and vegetables (dark green leafy, yellow and orange coloured, citrus, and other fruits). Vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, minerals such as zinc, copper, iron, selenium are known to influence the immune responses.

Immunity Boosters: Ayurvedic Immunity Promoting Measures:

  • Drink herbal tea / decoction (Kadha) made from Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Kalimirch (Black pepper), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) & Munakka (Raisin) – once or twice a day. Add Jaggery (natural sugar) and / or fresh lemon juice to your taste, if needed.
  • Golden Milk- Half tea spoon Haldi (turmeric) powder in 150 ml hot milk – once or twice a day.
  • Add Ginger and Garlic to cooking.
  • Drink warm to normal water and keep hydrated.

Healthy Tips

  • Do not skip meals and divide your daily calories in to 5-6 small meals.
  • Use whole grain cereals, whole grams and pulses, whole wheat porridge, whole wheat bread, oats etc. to incorporate fiber in your diet.
  • Supplement wheat with whole channa and do not sieve flour (wheat and channa 4:1 ratio). Mix rice with whole grams or dals in a ratio of 1:1 to incorporate fiber.
  • Consume at least 4-5 servings of fresh green vegetables and fruits/day.
  • Use olive /canola/ rice bran / soy /mustard oil. Change oils in couple of months.
  • Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds are good sources of antioxidants include in everyday diet.
  • Water intake: 2 litres/day
  • Limit intake of excess salt, processed and preserved foods
  • Avoid eating from out
  • Restrict alcohol, tobacco and smoking.

An adult with no pre-existing disease and with no co-morbities (like hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cardiac disease) have a 2000 calorie diet plan.

Persons with any co-morbity and any underlying condition should take consultation from professional (Doctor/ Dietician/ Nutritionist) for their individualized diet plan.

References:

• Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Guidelines

• WHO guidebook for Support for Rehabilitation Self-Management after COVID19- Related Illness

• US- Centre for disease Control (CDC)

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Akshaya Tritiya 2021: Rituals and Significance

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Akshaya Tritiya 2021 (Image: Shutterstock)

Akshaya Tritiya 2021 (Image: Shutterstock)

Lord Kubera, the God of money pleaded to Goddess Lakshmi on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya which commenced a generous rain of money and wealth on him.

The propitious day of Akshaya Tritiya is observed with enthusiasm and passion by Jain and Hindu communities across India every year. The occasion of Akshay Tritiya is of unique importance as it is considered that the course of destiny transforms on this day making the occasion greatly propitious. On this day, worship of gods especially Lord Vishnu is performed as the most important ritual.

The title of the festival signifies two words, Akshay and Tritiya. Both the words hold tremendous importance in the Hindu religion. Akshay which indicates “never diminishing” carries endless sunshine and harmony in the lives of people who keep fast on this occasion. The term Tritiya originates from the fact that Akshay Tritiya comes on the third day of the illuminated half of Vaisakhi month.

There is another purpose for the recognition of Akshay Tritiya for the Jain community. The religion cherishes Tirthanakara Rishabha’s one year fast which halted on Akshay Tritiya when the sage ended the fast with sugarcane juice.

Akshay Tritiya is rejoiced by different titles in various parts of India. In the state of Chhattisgarh, the occasion is celebrated by the name Akti whereas, in the Westerly parts of the country like Gujarat and Rajasthan, the occasion is referred to as Akha Teej.

Aside from acquiring wealth and commencing new businesses, believers also tie the knot with their preferred partners on this auspicious day.Wedding on Akshay Tritiya is regarded very favourable as Lord Sundaresa wedded Goddess Madhura on this day.

According to the notion of the worshippers, Lord Kubera, the God of money pleaded to Goddess Lakshmi on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya only which commenced a generous rain of money and wealth on him.

This is the reason why people contemplate purchasing gold or new investments propitious on Akshay Tritiya. The commencement of new business or new profession on Akha Teej is also deemed very lucky.

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HEALTH

Here’s How to Protect Yourself and Others from Coronavirus

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(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

As the coronavirus pandemic’s second wave causes havoc in India, Medanta, a chain of multi-speciality medical institutes, has formulated certain guidelines

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the recently discovered coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus enters the body via nose, mouth and eyes. Some recent studies suggest that virus may be airborne and can be spread through fine infected droplets that remain suspended in the air in closed air-conditioned environments of offices, AC cabs-buses, shopping malls and theatres due to absence of cross-ventilation, even when you are not in direct contact with an infected person.

COVID-19 transmission can be reduced by:

  • Staying at home if possible, especially if you are more than 60 years or less than 5 years of age, or have comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension or chronic ailments. Avoid meeting visitors at home.
  • Washing your hands and face at regular intervals with soap and water.
  • Wearing a mask at all times when out of the house.
  • Social distancing – keeping a distance of 6 feet from others when out of the house.
  • Cleaning the frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant regularly.
  • Avoiding closed spaces with central air-conditioning like offices, malls, etc. with inadequate fresh air.
  • Ensuring proper nutrition through balanced diet, maintaining hydration with plenty of fluids, boosting immunity through fresh fruit juices, herbal drinks and turmeric in milk.
  • Daily exercise and meditation.
  • Taking your daily prescribed medicines regularly. Don’t self-medicate.
  • Avoid going near sick people.

Seek medical advice whenever needed. Teleconsultations are available at Medanta. Register on Medanta eClinic or call 0124 4834566 for help.

References:

• Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Guidelines

• WHO guidebook for Support for Rehabilitation Self-Management after COVID19- Related Illness

• US- Centre for disease Control (CDC)

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