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 factors can contribute to your high stress levels, lack of sleep, and getting sick. But did you know that all three of these actually go hand-in-hand? Here's how stress, sleep, and immunity are linked when considering one's general well-being.
"Stress, sleep and immunity are closely linked. When you miss out on sleep, you miss out on time for your body to recharge and prepare for the next day. In fact, sleep is quite vital for our cardiovascular and immune systems to function properly, as well as our ability to think clearly, learn and retain new information, and manage our emotions.
If an individual continuously deprives themselves of getting enough sleep each night, they create more stress on their bodies physically and mentally, which in turn affects the immune system, and essentially creates a negative downward spiral," says Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach, nutrition specialist, and CEO of Nora's Naturals Coffee.
How can optimising stress, sleep and immunity improve your professional performance? Here's what she has to say:
"Other than a strong work ethic and a high level of drive, your professional performance too, is connected to your overall health and well-being. Practicing healthy habits such as getting consistent sleep and managing your stress, can help you stay healthy and maintain a strong immune system. When you get into a healthy routine you will feel more productive and ready to produce high-quality results that you wish to see in your professional life."
Here are Tobin's top 3 tips for optimising stress, sleep, and immunity:
Result of Stress: When the body is under chronic mental or physical stress, the production of cortisol becomes unbalanced. This leads to excessive fatigue, brain fog, and the storage of fat in the abdominal region. In order to produce enough cortisol to keep going throughout the day, the body pulls from the thyroid (lowered metabolism).
The Solution to Stress: Guided breathing, vitamin D and adaptogenic herbs balance cortisol (stress hormone) as well as regulates the amygdala part of your brain that controls anxiety. Try to incorporate one or all of the below daily.
1-minute Meditation: take an inhale for 3 counts, hold your breath at the top for 3 and exhale for 3. Repeat for 1-minute.
Vitamin D: The precursor to serotonin (a feel-good hormone) and strong immune defence for the body. Get outside for 10 minutes without sunglasses or try this quality source of Vitamin D daily.
Herbs: Adaptogenic Herbs have been utilised in India for thousands of years and help support the body's energy and naturally protect against cellular stress. The top two herbs to utilise to lower stress and anxiety are Reishi and Ashwagandha. Mix into tea or water before bed.
Result of Sleep: During sleep, cerebral spinal fluid runs through the brain to clear toxins and create new neural connections crucial for retaining information and slowing down aging. This process is called glymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system primarily works during sleep so to successfully create new cerebral pathways and clear waste products, it is essential to get at least six hours of sleep.
A solution to Sleep: Legs up the wall, temperature changes and minerals help the body shift into a parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and out of flight or fight mode.
Legs up the Wall: Lying for 5-10 minutes with legs up the wall will reset circadian rhythm and improve the body's ability to drop into deep REM sleep. Simply lie with legs resting on the wall with feet above hips taking deep breaths.
Change Temperatures: Alternating between hot water and cold in the shower (20 seconds hot, 10 cold) for two minutes before bed will greatly improve the body's natural ability to regulate its own production of melatonin.
Result of Low Energy: The body has two forms of energy-burning -- glucose and ketones. When the body is primarily burning glucose, it goes through rapid spikes in blood sugar, leading to cravings, energy crashes and weight gain. When the body is burning ketones, it's receiving steady-state energy while burning its own fat stores.
Solution to Sustained Energy: Interval workouts, whole foods and eating healthy fat allow the body to burn more ketones for energy without feeling deprived. This leads to rapid cellular turnover, efficient weight loss/management, and high energy levels all day long.
High Intensity Interval Training: Raises post workout oxygen consumption, elevating metabolism for 24 hours post-workout. The form of training is suitable for all levels, takes less than 20 minutes, and requires no equipment. This allows the body to burn fat much more efficiently and supply adequate energy to the brain. Alternate with days of low-intensity training like yoga or walking.
Increase Anti Inflammatory Foods: Lowering inflammation in the body will optimise and help sustain energy throughout the day, help fight off pathogens and generate rapid cellular turnover. Pick any foods from the attached list to incorporate daily as well as spices and herbs (the more the better).
Incorporate the 8-Hour Eating Window: Shortening the time window of our meals increases autophagy and allows the body to burn ketones (fat stores) for fuel instead of glucose. Eating in this window a few days per week will rapidly increase cellular turnover, boost irisin and enhance cognitive function.
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New York, Aug 16 (IANS) Regular exercise, even performed in areas with air pollution, can reduce the risk of death from natural causes, a new study suggests.The study, published in the journal CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), indicates that a higher level of regular exercise compared with inactivity was beneficial, even in polluted areas, although less exposure to pollution was better."Habitual exercise reduces the risk of death regardless of exposure to air pollution, and air pollution generally increases the risk of death regardless of habitual exercise," said researcher Xiang Qian Lao from the Chinese University of Hong Kong."Thus, habitual exercise should be promoted as a health improvement strategy, even for people residing in relatively polluted areas," Lao added.For the study, the team conducted a large study, over 15 years from 2001 to 2016, with 384,130 adults in Taiwan, seeking to understand the effects of regular exercise and long-term exposure to fine particle matter on the risk of death from natural causes. "We found that a high level of habitual exercise and a low level of exposure to air pollution was associated with lower risk of death from natural causes, whereas a low level of habitual exercise and a high level of exposure was associated with a higher risk of death," the researcher said.This study adds to several other smaller studies conducted in the US, Denmark and Hong Kong that found that regular exercise, even in polluted areas, is beneficial.The authors said that "further studies in areas with more severe air pollution are required to examine the applicability of our findings". "Our study reinforces the importance of air pollution mitigation, such as to reduce the harmful effects of air pollution and maximize the beneficial effects of regular exercise," the team said.--IANSvc/rs
New York, Aug 12 (IANS) Researchers have found an important clue to a rare but serious after-effect of Covid-19 among those broadly below 12, known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C.MIS-C is characterised by fever, pain, and inflammation of multiple organs including the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal tract. The researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, US, reported that RNA sequencing of blood samples led to the discovery that specific infection-fighting cells of the immune system are downregulated in children with MIS-C, and that this is associated with a sustained inflammatory response -- a hallmark of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The study was published in Nature Communications.The team analysed pediatric cases of MIS-C and Covid-19 and found new exploratory pathways involving complex networks and subnetworks of genes.One of the more significant of these gene networks involved the suppression of two types of immune cells: natural killer (NK) cells and CD8+ T cells. Previous research has shown that when CD8+ T cells are persistently exposed to pathogens, they enter a state of "exhaustion," resulting in a loss of their effectiveness and ability to proliferate. The researchers in the new study specifically pointed to the CD8+ T cells being in this exhausted state, thus potentially weakening the inflammatory immune response. An increase in NK cells is also associated with exhausted CD8+ T cells."Our study implicated T cell exhaustion in MIS-C patients as one of the potential drivers of this disease, suggesting that an increase in both NK cells and circulating exhausted CD8+ T cells may improve inflammatory disease symptoms," said Noam Beckmann, Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Additionally, we found nine key regulators of this network known to have associations with NK cell and exhausted CD8+ T cell functionality," Beckmann said.Beckmann added that one of those regulators, TBX21, is a promising therapeutic target because it serves as a master coordinator of the transition of CD8+ T cells from effective to exhausted. --IANSrvt/in
Ramallah, Aug 8 (IANS) A senior Palestinian official announced that 95 per cent of the recent Covid-19 infections in the West Bank are of the Delta variant.Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila told reporters here that the Delta variant is spreading in all West Bank towns, reports Xinhua news agency.She clarified that until now, "the epidemiological situation in the West Bank does not need to go for a lockdown", adding that the Health Ministry needs assistance to limit the spread of the deadly virus, and then take all the needed measures later.Al-Kaila said that keeping cities and economic institutions opened and resuming education at schools and universities "requires a societal responsibility through citizens' awareness to prevent the virus from spreading on a large scale"."The recorded cases in Palestine are witnessing a slight increase, and the curve is rising from what it was a few days ago," she said, adding she is deeply concerned that "this is an indication of the entry of the fourth wave of the pandemic".Meanwhile, al-Kaila called on every Palestinian aged over 18 years old to immediately go to the vaccination centres in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and abide by the precautionary measures of wearing face masks and social distancing.On Saturday, the Health Mministry recorded 136 new Covid-19 cases and 33 recoveries in the Palestinian territories.It also said 608,155 people were vaccinated in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip so far, including 423,340 who received the second dose of vaccine.--IANSksk/
<br>This move by the RSS is being seen as an attempt to popularise the ancient knowledge of Ayurveda. This campaign being spearheaded by the Sangh is seen as a strategy to establish itself on the ground by going door-to-door before the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.Amid the impending possibility of the third wave of Covid-19, the Sangh's subsidiary organisation Arogya Bharati has been spearheading this campaign 'Do Boond Immunity' to increase immunity in children. Under this campaign, a special medicine will be given to children aged between 1 to 16 years in a particular constellation.S.N. Shankhwar, King's George Medical University (KGMU) Chief Medical Officer and Metropolitan President of Arogya Bharati, said that all preparations for the campaign have been completed and it will be launched on August 7.Shankhwar said 'Suvarna Prashan' has been given a lot of importance in Ayurveda and prescribing it in a particular constellation 'Pushya Nakshatra' increases the immunity of children at a fast rate. He said that in eastern UP districts which were affected by Japanese Encephalitis, children were given 'Suvarna Prashan' medicine which yielded good results.Another RSS official said, "This medicine has been specially ordered from Gujarat. 'Suvarna Prashan' has been coined by combining two words 'Swarna' which means gold and 'Prashan' meaning licking. Apart from Swarna Bhasma in 'Suvarna Prashan', many other Ayurvedic medicines like Kesar, Shankhpushpi, Shariba, Balghrit, Guduchi, Sarasava, honey and cow's ghee are used. Although this Suvarna Prashan is given to children from birth till 16 years in every Pushya Nakshatra but it can also be prescribed for children above 16 years."Shankhwar said, "This campaign will start from August 7 and will run till June 4, 2022. Under this campaign, the time and days have been fixed according to the period of the constellation.""A total of 27 constellations have been listed in astrology, out of which some constellations are considered auspicious and several others inauspicious. Pushya is the 8th nakshatra among the 27 nakshatras. Pushya Nakshatra is considered very auspicious. Lord Ram was born in this constellation. When this Nakshatra falls on Thursday and Sunday of the week, then a 'Mahayog' is formed on this day. When Pushya Nakshatra falls on Thursday, it is called Guru-Pushya Yog and when it falls on Sunday, it is called Ravi-Pushya Yog. The Lord of these constellations is Brihaspati Dev."--IANS<br>vkt-rjs/khz/bg