Along with strong winds and incessant rain, the monsoons in India also usher in a time for savoury delicacies. It is important to remember that extreme change in weather conditions has an impact on our digestive system and makes it vulnerable to infections. Consuming certain foods items that are rich in nutrients and help strengthen the body's immune system can help protect ourselves. Rohit Shelatkar, VP at Vitabiotics, Fitness & Nutrition Expert shares a list of these super foods:
A roasted corn cob coated with spices and butter is the classic Indian monsoon snack. Corn is the ultimate power-packed and healthy monsoon food because it is low in calories and high in fiber. It is also very rich in lutein and two phytochemicals that promote better vision. Besides helping with weight loss, the insoluble fibre in corn feeds the good bacteria in our gut which in turn aids better digestion. Corn can be boiled, steamed or roasted and it is an extremely versatile food that can be incorporated in salads and mains.
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Gastrointestinal infections are more likely to occur during the monsoon season and the humble banana is the best defence against this. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that help with proper digestion. They also have ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and retinol that can help keep up our body's immune high. Additionally, bananas have a low caloric value and help the stomach to feel fuller for longer periods.
Eggs are an all-weather super food that is rich in protein and help to build muscle mass. Eggs also boost the body's immune system and help to fight off infections.
Monsoon fruit such as lychee, papaya, pomegranates, and pears not only help the body to digest food better but also aid in fighting infections that are caused due to this rise in humidity levels. Monsoon fruits are also rich in antioxidants that help to reduce blood pressure and prevent various infections. Jamun is another seasonal fruit that should be consumed as it is high in iron, folate, potassium, and vitamins.
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to be healthy and prevent bacterial infections. Coconut water is a great source of electrolytes that can help the body to flush out toxins. It is also high in immunity boosting properties and can work wonders for one's skin and heart health. It is also the best choice for those who are trying to lose weight. Coconut water should be had at room temperature with either a little bit of lemon juice or pineapple to boost Vitamin C levels in the body.
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While it may sound weird to tell people with depression to go outside and garden, there is a considerable amount of clinical evidence which suggests that spending time with plants improves our mental health, particularly depression. Even spending time with indoor plants works wonders to alleviate both mental and physical stress in people of all ages.
Vinayak Garg, Founder, Lazy Gardener says: "Many researchers have found that gardening or ï¿½green care' stimulates our bodies' natural development of happy chemicals, which may help keep depression and anxiety at bay, with unexpectedly amazing results. Even during this pandemic, each nation is battling a war where the enemy is not visible nor are the weapons. In these times, along with other safety measures, why not turn to the potential benefits of gardening as a way to help in the mental and physical war against coronavirus."
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Here are some interesting and the creative way to fight depression and anxiety, suggested by Garg.
Getting Your Hands Dirty!
Getting your hands dirty in the garden boosts your serotonin levels, according to studies. Serotonin is a happy chemical that also serves as a natural antidepressant and immune system booster, lack of which is responsible for depression. When you come in contact with soil, a particular soil bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, causes serotonin to be released in our brain, making us feel better and happier from within. At the very least, now we understand why people prefer to garden without gloves and always enjoy the sensation of getting their hands into the dirt and compost heap.
De-Stress Therapy at Your Doorstep
Gardening is an awesome diversion from our increasingly technologically driven lives. Spending time gardening and enjoying nature can help us mentally de-stress by keeping us involved. When you directly contribute to the nurturing of the buds and witness the plants grow gradually, believe me, your happiness and contentment will know no boundaries and you'll keep coming back to it. This is a small yet a very powerful exercise to even boost your self-esteem, leaving no space for stress at all.
Building Your Creativity
How about simply finding out how to keep those garden pests away and improving soil quality to keep the garden healthy? How about deciding what kind and colour of a pot will suit your favourite plant the best? Get yourself into it once and this green care will take care of your positivity, creativity, mood upliftment, skill building, and ultimately help you fight depression naturally and gradually.
Building Your Strength
Working in the garden improves dexterity and strength. Digging, raking, and mowing are especially calorie-dense activities and the aerobic exercise involved will easily burn the same amount of calories as a gym workout. During gardening, physical exercise is combined with social contact. You get exposed to nature and sunlight. Sunlight works two way on your body: reduces blood pressure while also increasing vitamin D levels, and the fruits and vegetables grown have a positive effect on the diet. Sounds healthier right?
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New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday apprised Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal of the administration's action plan to battle the possible third wave of Covid in the national capital.During a meeting with Baijal, who also chairs the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), Kejriwal presented a blueprint of the preparations being made by the Delhi government to tackle the possible third wave."A state-level task force, more healthcare staff and a special task force for treatment of children are among the Delhi government's action plan to deal with the third wave," the Chief Minister Office (CMO) said in a statement.During the meeting, Kejriwal told Baijal if the third wave hits Delhi, then during normal situation about 37,000 coronavirus cases can emerge per day, whereas if the outbreak is very high, then the count might climb to 45,000."Delhi government is preparing for the management of beds, among others, keeping in mind the normal and worst-case scenario. If there is a possible third wave of Covid and the situation in the national capital becomes extremely distressing, the government is working continuously on how many oxygen beds and ICU beds will be required during that time," CMO said.In view of this, the Delhi government has constituted a committee to enhance and strengthen the health infrastructure of the national capital, including a state level expert committee for mitigation and management of the third wave of Covid-19 cases in Delhi. Besides, a Paediatric task force for management of Covid-19 and treatment of children has also been set up.As per the data provided by the CMO, Delhi has so far installed 32 PSA oxygen plants with capacity of 29.77 MT and 7 PSA oxygen plants with capacity of 5.7 MT will be installed at the end of June. Further, Delhi will also install another 15 PSA oxygen plants with capacity of 18.8 MT July 31 and 10 more PSA plants with capacity of 10.42 MT will be added by end of September this year.--IANSpd/sdr/
Chandigarh, June 18 (IANS) The health condition of Covid-hit former India sprinter Milkha Singh has deteriorated with fever and de-saturation, the doctors said on Friday.The legendary athlete is undergoing treatment at the PGI hospital in Chandigarh. "His condition has deteriorated with oxygen levels stipping," said a doctor of the hospital.His daughter, Mona Milkha Singh, who is also a doctor, is monitoring his health.The 91-year-old had contracted the virus last month. His wife, Nirmal Milkha Singh, had succumbed to the virus on June 13.--IANSvg/arm
New York, June 18 (IANS) US researchers have found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, can infect the testes of infected hamsters, a finding that can have important implications for men's reproductive health.The team from University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), has been studying Zika virus infection in the testes for years and wondered if SARS-CoV-2 could cause a similar disease.Hamsters are commonly used to model Covid-19 in humans since they develop similar signs of disease.Virus was detected in the testes of all infected hamsters during the first week but tapered off.The researchers think this may represent what could occur in men with mild to moderate Covid-19 disease. The team has detailed the study in the journal Microorganisms."These findings are the first step in understanding how Covid-19 impacts the male genital tract and potentially men's reproductive health," said Shannan Rossi, Associate Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology at UTMB."We have much more to do before we have the full picture. Moving forward, we will investigate ways to blunt this impact, including using antivirals, antibody therapies and vaccines,"Rossi added.As the pandemic goes on, clinicians continue to report their findings that Covid-19 affects more than just the lungs. Some patients have reported testicular pain and some reports have shown decreases in testosterone, a key hormone produced in the testes. Autopsies have also shown significant disruption of the testes at the cellular level, including the presence of immune cells."Given the magnitude of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is critical to investigate how this disease can impact the testes, and the potential consequences for disease severity, reproductive health, and sexual transmission," said lead author Dr Rafael Kroon Campos, postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory at UTMB.Future studies also include modeling conditions associated with severe Covid-19, such as pre-existing conditions like obesity and diabetes and SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the researchers said.--IANSrvt/sdr/
Washington , June 18 (IANS) Parents and caregivers in the US reported mental health issues more often than others during the Covid pandemic, according to a study by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The study showed that about 70 per cent of parents and adult caregivers -- such as those tending to older people, for example -- and about 85 per cent of people who were both, reported adverse mental health symptoms during the pandemic, versus about a third of people who did not hold those responsibilities, the New York Times reported.The study also found that people who were both parent and caregivers were eight times more likely to have seriously considered suicide than people who held neither role."These findings highlight that parents and caregivers, especially those balancing roles both as parents and caregivers, experienced higher levels of adverse mental health symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic than adults without these responsibilities," the authors were quoted as saying."Caregivers who had someone to rely on for support had lower odds of experiencing any adverse mental health symptoms," they added.The study reinforced the need to destigmatise mental health issues among caregivers and for better support systems, Elizabeth A. Rohan, a health scientist at the CDC, was quoted as saying by the NYT.Communication is key, she said, and "it doesn't have to be professional help"."We cannot underestimate the importance of staying connected to one another", which is helpful whether the person is "a trusted friend, a family member or a professional", she added.The study is based on data from online English-language surveys administered to panels of US residents run by Qualtrics, a company that conducts commercial surveys, for the Covid-19 Outbreak Public Evaluation Initiative, an effort to track American attitudes and behaviours during the pandemic.The data was gathered from December 6 to 27 last year, and from February 16 to March 8 of this year, and relied on 10,444 respondents, weighted to match US demographic data, 42 per cent of whom identified as parents or adult caregivers.The surveys included screening items for depression, anxiety, Covid-19 trauma and stress-related disorders, and asked respondents whether they had experienced suicidal thinking in the past month.--IANSrvt/vd