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Saturday, September 18 2021

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Malnutrition and importance of women’s health

A woman cooks for her family, and often we equate her to Mata Annapoorna. But it is shocking to know that as per the recent report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) – 4 conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 22.9% of women (15-49 years of age) are underweight (BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2).

The five states having the highest percentage of malnutrition among women are Jharkhand (31.5%), Bihar (30.4%), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (28.7%), Madhya Pradesh (28.4%), Gujarat (27.2%), and Rajasthan (27%).

Malnutrition is defined as ill-health caused by deficiencies of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals interacting with infections and other poor health and social conditions, saps the strength and well-being of millions of women and adolescent girls around the world.

It is clear that women often tend to neglect their health and food habits. Women have always been at the core of our families’ lives. While women grow in their roles and break down barriers with their modern-day approach, it is also important that they preserve their wellbeing and adjust to a healthier and fitter lifestyle.

Choosing healthier foods and beverages on a regular basis can help women avoid or manage a variety of health issues. Furthermore, studies show that when a woman eats well, her family is more likely to do so as well. Women, on the other hand, have unique nutrient requirements, which change with each stage of life.

Women face iron deficiency because of blood loss during menstruation. Iron deficiency may lead to anemia, tiredness, etc. Deficiency of Vitamin B 12 may lead to a tingling effect in hands and feet, irritability, or depression. So it is important to include meat, fish, and poultry in the regular diet.

Sheryl Salis, a Registered Dietician, and Certified Diabetes Educator share 5 healthy ingredients to include in our diet.

Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most popular superfoods in Indian households, and its ayurvedic and medicinal properties are widely recognized. Turmeric, according to Ayurveda, balances all of the ‘doshas,’ cleanses the blood, and removes toxins from the body.

The curcumin present in turmeric aids to boost immunity, anti-septic and anti-viral property, and anti-inflammatory. Sheryl Salis suggests swapping our mid-day beverages with an enriching cup of turmeric latte and witness the results ourselves.

Honey

Honey has been a healthier alternative in all our deserts. Honey is high in natural antioxidants, which aid in immunity and overall health. The best way to start our day is with a turmeric latte or just some warm water and lemon with hints of garlic and honey, which will keep us healthy and glowing all day.

Soyabean 

Soybean has always been a healthier option for vegans who want to increase their protein intake. It also includes phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which are beneficial to women. Phytoestrogens are plant-based foods that have an estrogen-like effect on the body, aiding in the reduction of menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Studies have shown that including 40gm of soy protein in our diet can help increase bone mineral density thereby preventing osteoporosis.

Amla (Indian Gooseberry)

Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is the richest source of vitamin C and contains a variety of other vitamins and minerals. Amla has been shown to be effective in regulating blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels, in addition to its numerous skin and hair benefits. The blood purifying properties of amla aid in achieving clear, moisturized, and radiant skin, which we all desire during the winter season when our skin dries out and appears pale. Amla can be eaten as whole fruit, fresh amla juice, or amla powder to get the most out of it in our daily diets.

Coconut

Coconuts are a major component of Indian cuisine in many parts of the country because of their health and nutritional benefits. Virgin Coconut Oil contains a high concentration of MCTs, which aid digestion and strengthen the immune system. It’s also beneficial for weight loss, heart health, and cognitive function. 

While we gear up and celebrate the women of today, let us make healthier and more sound choices by prioritizing our mental and physical health. After all, a woman wants just two things: good health and good vibes!

SC PV Kamat

Preeti V Kamat, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnatak University, Dharwad utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent nose for news that matters to provide the media brands of the Spearhead Media group with a competitive edge. Her focus is on profiles and human-interest stories.

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