Covid-19 has altered the way we view health and wellness. Today, focusing on the right food, nutrition and boosting immunity no longer remains an afterthought. The pandemic has forced us to pause, rethink and have a holistic approach when it comes to our overall well-being.
While we pay attention to our health by eating healthy, it's also important to be mindful of what we eat from and ensure our cooking, consumption and storage utensils are safe, sustainable and eco-friendly.
While consumer behaviour is changing to support sustainable brands and eco-friendly practices, plastic still finds dominance in most homes. In fact, our kitchens are replete with plastic jars, containers, utensils, garbage bags etc. and their usage is increasing at an alarming rate. A recent survey states that India generates 6,000 tonnes of plastic every day, nearly 10,000 tonnes of which goes uncollected. Adding to environmental pollution, plastic also has a detrimental effect on our health.
Priyanka Kheruka, Brand Head, Borosil Ltd, said, "When food is heated in plastic, it releases phthalates from the plasticisers and as much as 95 per cent of the chemicals are migrated into our food. Fatty foods like meats and cheese are more prone to leaching and when these are microwaved in a plastic container, the phthalates released can directly affect the lungs, kidneys and liver. BPA on the other hand is linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes."
"Unlike plastic, glass is free of toxic chemicals and also retains the natural flavour on heating. It's also environmentally friendly and can be easily decomposed without emitting toxic chemicals. Using airtight glass containers for storage cuts down on the usage of cling wrap to ensure cut fruits and vegetables and leftover food does not rot or absorb the chemicals from harmful materials used for wrapping. Having steel utensils to cook food can also have a positive impact on health.
Steel does not erode or leach harmful chemicals during cooking. It's durable, sustainable, helps in retaining the original flavour and is easy to clean, like glass. Replace plastic bottles with stainless steel ones. There are myriad styles and options available in the market today which come in beautiful designs. There are many brands that offer bottles that are 100 percent food grade and rust-proof and which help in maintaining the temperature of your drink," she added.
"Copper utensils are ideal conductors of heat and are hygienic and corrosion-resistant. The advantages of storing water in copper vessels and bottles are many, having a direct impact on the skin while also having a therapeutic effect. There are plenty of materials and metals to choose from when it comes to incorporating healthy cooking habits."
Being mindful and conscientious of how we utilize our daily utensils in the kitchen can go a long way in boosting good health for the family, community and society at large while also leaving a positive footprint on the environment.
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Many people believe that heart disease typically affects men. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality not only among men, but also among women. But women are actually at greater risk if not detected early, and this exacerbates the issue.
Signs of poor heart health do not appear as visibly in women as it does in men. What this means is that if a man has a heart issue, there are specific symptoms like angina which can be spotted easily and the right course of action be recommended. The same issue in a woman may not result in a sign or symptom that can be easily spotted. So often, their symptoms go ignored or unrecognised and they do not receive timely intervention to correct the problem. The issue is so acute that today 1 in 3 deaths among women is due to coronary heart disease.
There is also a significant lack of self-awareness among women about risk factors and the prevention of CVDs. Women don't only attend to matters of the home, but they hold positions at leading companies, and continue to rise to the occasion and meet impossible demands on their time. Through all of this, they take care of the emotional needs of their family members and loved ones; and still culturally are predisposed to putting the needs of others before their own. The stress they experience, among other common risk factors, often goes unnoticed by those around them. And stress has a greater influence on CVD risk in women vs men. Along with stress, other factors like diet quantity and quality also have a greater influence on CVD risk in women vs men. Additionally, women are also impacted by female-specific risk factors for CVD like polycystic Ovarian syndrome PCOS, preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes.
In such a situation where symptoms of a heart problem do not manifest visibly, it is extremely important for women to be aware of their own risk factors and adopt proactive measures to take care of their heart health. For example, one risk factor, stress has been linked to a greater intake of energy and nutrient-dense foods, mainly sources of sugar and fat, and to poor diet quality. Women can take simple steps like reducing unhealthy fats and products with high content of sugar and salt to improve the quality of their diet. Choose ingredients that are good for the heart, like oatmeal, wholegrains, fiber rich vegetables, blended oils with the right balance of fatty acids, legumes, soy products, and the like. Regular and consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and other such lifestyle modifications can help maintain heart health in the long term.
Furthermore with signs of poor heart health not manifesting visibly in women, it is crucial that they get regular health check-ups done to assess their risk proactively. Self-awareness and early identification of cardiovascular risk factors can lead to better prevention of CVD in women.
This World Heart Day, let's choose self-care. Get a simple heart check-up done and encourage other women in yourselves too, to get the same done. Take proactive steps for heart health today.
(By Brajesh Kunwar)
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London- Adolescents who had received a mental health disorder diagnosis were often excluded from the labour market and education as young adults, finds a new study.
The study indicated that almost 11 percent of adolescents who had received a psychiatric diagnosis were excluded from the education and labour market for at least five years in their early adulthood.
"Vocational rehabilitation and tight collaboration between psychiatry and social services are important for enabling adolescents suffering from mental health problems to access the labour market," said lead author David Gyllenberg from the University of Turku (Finland).
For the study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the team included 55,273 individuals after exclusions for intellectual disability, death or emigration.
The results are concerning because they highlight the link between mental health disorders and long-term exclusion from education and labour market.
In the study, long-term exclusion was defined as a period spent outside education or paid employment lasting a minimum of five years.
The link was particularly strong with those teenagers who had not completed their upper secondary education and who had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
Almost half of these teenagers who had experienced psychosis and almost three-quarters of teenagers who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder experienced long-term exclusion from education and labour market in their early adulthood.
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Mental illnesses in various forms have been a major health burden globally in recent years. Unhealthy lifestyles, poor eating habits and rise in work-related stress are factors that are contributing to the rising incidence of anxiety and depression. Psychotic drugs in treating anxiety and depression are effective but offer only symptomatic relief. Long-term intake of drugs often leads to dependence without preventing further illness or providing a comprehensive solution to improving mental health.
People suffering from poor mental health can reap rich and long-term benefits by adopting the ancient Indian practice of Yoga in their daily lives. Yoga helps in maintaining good mental and physical health. It harmonises our body and mind and restores our emotional balance. There is growing evidence that Yoga can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and those who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When adopted as a daily practice, yoga can help calm down the mind and prevent the development of mental illnesses.
Stress is the root cause of several lifestyle diseases. Yoga adopts a scientific approach of exercising and relaxing to ease the stress of modern day living. Yoga also contributes to improving memory, sleep and even quality of life in elderly persons with mild memory impairment.
Here are some poses that help improve mental health besides providing other health benefits:
Shashankasana or Child's Pose
This asana stimulates your nervous system thereby re-energizing your whole body. This asana is basically a resting pose somehow resembling a child in fetal position. It is performed by sitting down on the knees and then bending forward so that the chest touches the thighs, and the forehead touches the ground. Stretch the arms forward. If performed with precision regularly, the performer will notice a sense of mental, physical, and emotional comfort descending upon him/her. Like most yoga asanas, this one, too, should be performed on an empty stomach or at least six hours after a meal. However, people suffering from high blood pressure and back pain should avoid this asana.
This inverted pose is one of the best yoga asanas for improving blood circulation towards the head. It helps to calm anxiety, treat depression and insomnia besides regulating blood flow. This pose can be performed by lying down flat on your back. Keep the legs together. While inhaling raise the legs, buttocks and the trunk and support the hips on the palm. The trunk is held at 45 degrees angle to the ground. Breathe normally in this position. To return, lower the legs over the head and keep the hands down while exhaling. Bring the spine and the legs down.
This yoga pose is thought to be therapeutic for people suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, infertility and osteoporosis. It also helps to relieve mild depression and beat insomnia as it is highly beneficial as a relaxation tool. To perform this pose, stand straight. Raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly. Bend backwards from the upper back and maintain the position with normal breathing.
This pose is typically performed at the end of yoga routines and helps boost mental health and relaxes the body. Lie flat on your back, keeping the body straight and hands at the sides with palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and hold the position for at least five minutes. Even pregnant women can practice this asana as it will help them prevent prenatal depression, a prevalent mental disorder in women during pregnancy.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned yogic practices are to be learned in a gradual manner under the supervision of a yoga expert. Yoga enables a practitioner to expand their mental faculties and achieve a greater acceptance of self and others, which ultimately leads to calmer approach to the life.
Yoga encourages practitioners to experience an open heart. Many yogic philosophers consider the entire practice to be about metaphorically connecting to our hearts. Within the chakra system, the heart lies in the middle of the seven chakras. Asanas such as arda chakrasana (back bend), kapotasana (pigeon pose), and ustrasana (camel pose) encourage the expansion of the centre of the chest which is the location of the anahata chakra, the yogic heart centre. Visualizations and pranyams in yoga also encourage open heartedness.
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आयुष मंत्रालय ने आवेदन प्रणाली को ऑनलाइन बनाकर आयुर्वेद, सिद्ध और यूनानी (एएसयू) दवाओं के निर्माण के लिए लाइसेंस देने की प्रक्रिया को तीव्र, पेपरलेस और अधिक पारदर्शी बना दिया है।
निर्माता अब लाइसेंसिंग प्राधिकरण के कार्यालय में खुद की उपस्थिति की परेशानी से बच सकते हैं और अब www.e-aushadhi.gov.in पर लाइसेंस के लिए ऑनलाइन आवेदन कर सकते हैं। आयुष मंत्रालय ने 1 अक्टूबर, 2021 से औषधि (चौथा संशोधन) नियमावली, 2021 के कार्यान्वयन को अधिसूचित करते हुए एक राजपत्र आदेश जारी किया।
एएसयू दवाओं का लाइसेंस हमेशा के लिए बना दिया गया है, यानी एकमुश्त पंजीकरण शुल्क के साथ उत्पाद का लाइसेंस हमेशा के लिए विधि मान्य होगा, बशर्ते, हर साल ऑनलाइन स्व-अनुपालन घोषणा जमा करने के अधीन अथवा निलंबित या रद्द न हुआ हो। जबकि, अधिसूचना से पहले इसकी वैधता अवधि 5 वर्ष थी।
आवेदकों को केवल अपने लाइसेंस को लागू रखने के लिए हर पांच साल में अपने गुड मैन्युफैक्चरिंग प्रैक्टिस सर्टिफिकेशन को मान्य करवाना होगा। 1000 रुपये के प्रतिधारण शुल्क को ऑनलाइन जमा करने के साथ जीएमपी प्रमाणपत्र को भी बरकरार रखा जा सकता है। एएसयू दवाओं की निर्माण इकाई का हर 5 साल मोटे तौर पर निरीक्षण किया जाएगा। चूंकि, लाइसेंस की वैधता बढ़ा दी गई है, इसलिए किसी भी संख्या में जेनेरिक एएसयू दवाओं के लिए लाइसेंस शुल्क को 1,000 रुपये से बढ़ाकर 2,000 रुपये और अधिकतम 10 मालिकाना एएसयू दवाओं के लिए 3,000 रुपये कर दिया गया है।
मंत्रालय ने लाइसेंस देने में लगने वाले अधिकतम समय को भी तीन महीने से घटाकर दो महीने कर दिया है।
राजपत्र अधिसूचना की तारीख से छह महीने के लिए, पूरी तरह से ऑनलाइन होने से पहले, ऑनलाइन और ऑफलाइन दोनों आवेदन प्रक्रिया अस्तित्व में रहेगी।
आवेदन प्रणाली को ऑनलाइन करने से पूरी प्रक्रिया में एकरूपता आएगी। आयुष मंत्रालय लाइसेंसिंग प्रक्रिया में एक सूत्रधार के रूप में कार्य करेगा।
इन सुधारों/उपायों से एएसयू दवाओं की गुणवत्ता, सुरक्षा और प्रभावकारिता सुनिश्चित करते हुए व्यवसाय करने में आसानी लाने के इरादे से एएसयू औषधि निर्माताओं पर नियामक अनुपालन का बोझ कम होगा।
यह भी पढ़े ► आयुर्वेद के क्षेत्र में अकादमिक अनुसंधान को लेकर भारत और क्रोएशिया के बीच समझौता
The Ministry of Ayush has made the process to grant license to manufacture Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) drugs swift, paperless and more transparent by bringing the license application system online.
The manufacturers can now save the trouble of making physical presence at the office of the licensing authority and can now apply for the license online at www.e-aushadhi.gov.in. The Ministry of Ayush issued a gazette order notifying the implementation of the Drugs (4th Amemdnment) Rules 2021, with effect from 1st October, 2021.
The license of the ASU drugs have been made perpetual i.e. with one time registration fee the license of the product will be valid lifetime subject to online submission of self-compliance declaration every year or unless suspended or cancelled. While prior to the notification it had a validity period of 5 years.
The applicants will only have to get their Good Manufacturing Practices certification validated every five years to keep their license in force. The GMP certificate can also be retained with online submission of retention fee of Rs. 1000. The manufacturing unit of the ASU drugs will be subjected to inspection in a randomized manner every 5 years. Since the validity of the license has been increased, the license fee has also been revised from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 for any number of generic ASU drugs and Rs. 3000 for upto 10 proprietary ASU drugs.
The Ministry has also reduced the maximum time in granting the license from three months to two months.
For six months from the date of gazette notification, both online and offline application process will co-exist before it turn completely online.
Making the application system online will bring uniformity in the whole process. The Ministry of Ayush will act as a facilitator in the licensing process.
These reforms/ measures will reduce the regulatory compliance burden on the ASU Drugs manufacturers with the intention to bring in ease of doing business while ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of the ASU drugs. (Source - Ministry of Ayush)
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