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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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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Mumbai, Sep 4 (IANS) Ever since the pandemic started, the entertainment industry has taken a big hit. Actress Rashmi Agdekar, known for her role in series 'Dev DD', feels that actors should focus on being healthy not just physically but mentally as well.The actress feels that since artists have to immerse themselves in multiple characters, it is important for them to be in a strong, healthy mindspace."Since I have to get into the psychology of a character while portraying a role, my personal mental health needs to be centered. It becomes relatively easier to oscillate to extreme emotions when an actor is mentally fit in my opinion. So yes it is crucial" Rashmi tells IANS.She also adds on how she will be helping a friend who is dealing with mental health issues."I'll hear my friend out at first. But encourage him/her to get professional help and keep track of how they are feeling," she says.Rashmi started her acting career with 'Dev DD' and played the lead role in 'I'm Mature' for the Me web series on MX player which was critically acclaimed. She was seen in the web series 'Rasbhari' alongside Swara Bhaskar on Amazon Prime. She also made her debut in Bollywood with the film 'Andhadhun' alongside Ayushmann Khurrana.--IANSym/bg
Bengaluru, Aug 19 (IANS) The Karnataka cabinet on Thursday approved the implementation of the Karnataka State Mental Healthcare Act 2021, which will go a long way in helping the society deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.J. Madhuswamy, Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation, made the announcement on Thursday after the cabinet meeting.The legislation helps in providing healthcare and services for persons with mental health issues. It will protect, promote and fulfil the rights of persons in need of treatment for mental health.Under the act, a State Mental Health Authority will be set up. A committee under the chairmanship of the Director of the NIMHANS Institute will be constituted for the drafting of guidelines for the authority. The authority will also maintain a registry and publish a list of clinical psychologists, nurses, social workers and health workers in the field of mental health.The state act is being implemented in tandem with the Central Mental Healthcare Act, 2017. Madhuswamy informed the sanctioning of Rs 478 crore for the upgrading of 2,859 sub hospitals across the state considering the Covid challenge.He said that it has been decided to augment the strength of nurses and staff for the hospitals on a three year contract basis.Madhuswamy stated that the government is prepared to face the anticipated third wave of Covid and there is no need to panic. "We are initiating necessary steps by strengthening the health sector," he said.The government has also decided to provide Rs 47 crores to distribute sanitary pads to girl students in government and aided colleges in the state under the 'Shuchi' programme.--IANSmka/bg
<br>In an interview to IANS, Dr Murthy said that it has emerged that Covid-19 doesn't affect just the lungs, but multiple organs in the human body, including the brain. It can cause inflammatory responses in the brain."A lot of people are finding it difficult to come out of the trauma, some are facing repeated panic attacks," Murthy said.She explained that research reports on the long-term consequences of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, a viral respiratory disease associated with coronavirus) and MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) have found that several people are suffering with sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety, and in some rare cases, psychosis.She stressed on the urgent need to strengthen online mental health services as it has emerged that the long duration of the Covid pandemic is affecting people with fatigue, tiredness, brain fog, memory loss.There has always been a gap between the need and treatment for mental illness. Somehow, people never feel comfortable talking about their emotions. "I think now there is a greater awareness of more aspects of mental health among a wider population. We too need to address it at an individual and social level," she added. Murthy opined that people need to realise that the way they seek medical help for their physical illness, they also need to seek help when they feel mentally stressed. They also have to learn ways to de-stress their mind, to deal with stressful situations. They need to look for ways to engage in safe recreational and relaxing activities.She emphasised that mental healthcare must be integrated with physical healthcare. The government has step up its district mental health programme but a lot more needs to be done to cover the large population of Covid sufferers. "We need to understand that our mental health has a direct relation with our physical well-being. Stress, anxiety, fear, depression can lead to many physiological changes in the body and can manifest as any chronic illness such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity," Murthy added.When asked how tragedies can have a psychological impact on the health of people especially those who have witnessed death during work or in their families, Murthy said people who have been constantly working as healthcare workers, frontline workers, media or others are exposed to a lot of trauma and tragedies, and this can impact their mental and physical health.She advised that to cope with the trauma, one needs to seek a balance between stories of tragedy and positive stories. "For example, a doctor who has lost some patients to the pandemic, should also look at the patients he or she has saved. If there is a mortality toll, there are also those who have recovered. It is important to see things from a more balanced perspective during such a crisis, however frightening it sometimes is," she said.Explaining about the pandemic effect on the psycho-social health of children, Murthy said that children have shown the maximum resilience. Children had to adjust to the maximum changes -- from being stuck in homes, new mode of education, then there are a large number of children who have no or limited access to even online education."We held a painting competition for children to explore how they managed the lockdown. Though paintings of some children reflected the loneliness and isolation they experienced during the first lockdown, paintings of most children were positive and hopeful," she said.She asserted that lack of access to a lot of developmental activities, especially for children who were out of school or those in vulnerable populations can certainly affect their mental well-being.During this prolonged confinement at home, children have started using technology for non-academic purposes, which can expose them to other influences such as gaming, gambling and pornography."It is an unprecedented crisis, we need to stand stronger -- both physically and mentally -- to be able to face it and come out of it," Murthy added.--IANS<br>pd/arm/bg/ksk/