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Diarrhea is characterized by frequent soft or loose bowel movements (poop). Most children experience diarrhea from time to time. It usually does not last long and usually resolves on its own, but in children, the period when they have diarrhea is critical because they may be losing too much water, which can lead to other health problems.
Among the dehydration symptoms that parents and/or caregivers should look for in children who have diarrhea are:
Diarrhea is usually caused by an infection, such as rotavirus, bacteria like salmonella, or a parasite like giardia. Aside from dehydration symptoms, it also includes vomiting, stomachache, headache, and fever.
It is also critical to seek medical attention right away if your child or baby exhibits any of the following symptoms:
It is best to prevent fluid loss when treating diarrhea in children or adults, whether in a clinical setting or at home.
Here are some tips that parents and/or caregivers can use to prevent fluid loss at home:
In conclusion, diarrhea in children can be very serious and is quite common; some of the practices that parents may employ when dealing with children who frequently experience diarrhea include ensuring that their children's and caregiver's hygiene is always maintained. Ensure that food is stored at the proper temperature, particularly dairy and raw food products; that food is fully cooked; and that the home environment is clean, especially if there is a pet in the same household. Aside from these, taking probiotic supplements is beneficial to their gut health.
However, it is not practical to avoid your children from all the exposure altogether since exposure to all these things are somewhat things that build up their immune health stronger and better, but we must control the exposure and make sure that their immune health is strong enough to fight the infection.
Here are some tips that you may practice to help your children to stay as healthy as possible:
Most importantly, understand that frequent infections are very common in the first two years of life especially if they are in day care with many other children and after they no longer breastfed. All in all, all these will help them to make their immune health better but at the same time as a parents we need to help the children to build their immune health by providing nutritious foods, clean environment and instill good hygiene practice.
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), is a condition that affects both adults and children. While the fundamental mechanism remains the same, there are notable distinctions between acid reflux in adults and its manifestation in children.
In adults, reflux occurs when stomach contents, including stomach acid, flow back into the esophagus, leading to symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and a bitter taste in the mouth.
This uncomfortable condition is not limited to adults; it can also affect children and even infants. However, due to the differences in the maturity of their digestive systems, the symptoms of GER can vary significantly depending on the child's age.
In infants, a certain amount of spit-up after feeding is common and referred to as GER. Nevertheless, if your baby experiences frequent vomiting accompanied by discomfort, feeding difficulties, or weight loss, it may signify a more serious issue than typical GER. Nevertheless, the underlying mechanism of GER in babies, children, and adults remains quite similar.
For babies, GER often results from their underdeveloped gastrointestinal tract, which is not as coordinated as an adult's. In contrast, children may experience GER due to factors like obesity, overeating, consumption of spicy or oily foods, intake of caffeinated or carbonated beverages, or the use of specific medications. Nonetheless, the root cause of GER in children is akin to that in adults: it occurs when factors induce relaxation of the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus (known as the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES) or elevate pressure below the LES.
Symptoms in Children:
The most common GER symptoms in infants and children include:
Tips for Identifying and Assisting Children with GER:
When it comes to children, paying close attention to their complaints or observations is crucial. Children often struggle to articulate their discomfort or pain accurately. In addition to this, there are several strategies that can help manage GER in children:
For infants, elevating the crib or bassinet and holding the baby upright for 30 minutes after feeding can be beneficial, along with assisting them in burping.
In conclusion, acid reflux, a condition commonly associated with adults, can also affect children. However, children may struggle to describe their symptoms and understand what is happening to their bodies. The key lies in attentive observation and implementing the helpful tips mentioned above to provide relief and comfort to children experiencing GER.
What is asthma in children?
Asthma is a major non-communicable disease (NCD), affecting children and adults. It is a condition in which the airway in the lung narrows due to inflammation and tightening of the muscle surrounding the small airway. As a result, asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness developed. These symptoms are usually on and off, while the asthma disease itself is a long-term condition. Asthma triggers vary from person to person, but they can also be due to a viral infection (cold), dust, smoke, fumes, changes in the weather, grass and tree pollen, feathers, strong soap, perfume, animal fur, and many more.
Causes of asthma in children.
Although it is often difficult to find a single, direct cause, it is believed to have multiple complex causes. Many factors have been linked to an increased risk of developing asthma, such as
Prevention & Control of asthma
Asthma cannot be cured, but good management with inhaled medications can control the disease and enable people with asthma to enjoy a normal, active life.
There are two main types of inhalers:
People with asthma may need to use an inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the types of inhalers available.
It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler, especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a "spacer" device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine reach the lung more effectively.
People with asthma may need to use an inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the types of inhalers available.
It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler, especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a "spacer" device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine reach the lung more effectively.
Other than this, it is also best to avoid triggers for asthma. Triggers vary from person to person; as asthmatic children grow; parents should be able to identify things that trigger their asthma attack. It can be as simple as changes in weather, temperature, etc.
In conclusion, since asthma is a lifelong disease, it is best to manage or control it by avoiding triggers in children and by adhering to the medication based on a doctor's suggestion.
Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring nutrient in human body. It carries variety of vital role including promoting energy production and neutralizing harmful free radicals.
Coenzyme Q10 can be found naturally in foods such as meat, oily fish, eggs, whole grains, and nuts.
Coenzyme Q10 is associated with a variety of health benefits such as for cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer diseases, migraine and many more.
As we age, study shows that the level of CoQ10 in the body diminished hence, consumption of CoQ10 via supplementation and consuming foods high with CoQ10 level are helpful in maintaining/ increasing CoQ10 level in the body. Other than that, consumption of cholesterol medication – statin also influence the level of CoQ10 in the body, hence why, people consuming statin medication often times are suggested to consume CoQ10 supplementation.
As for individuals who have multiple risk of having heart problem be it due to overweight and obese, strong family history of heart problem, hypertension, and many more are also suggested to consume CoQ10 as it is a potent antioxidant. CoQ10 helps to produce energy during energy synthesis process, however, this process will also release free radicals, which may harm the body.
Under normal condition, free radicals regulate communication between cells and defend body against infectious microbes. However, excess free radical may cause inflammation in the body which can lead to a variety of diseases.
Hence, why CoQ10 is also important in order to help in neutralizing free radicals.
In addition to CoQ10, the consumption of healthy foods, adopting healthy lifestyles like exercise 3-5 times a week and limit consumption of alcohol, processed foods and fast foods will also benefit heart health.
All in all, scientists believe that adopting healthy lifestyles, consumption of healthy and consumption of CoQ10 hand in hand may benefit not only heart health but also whole body in general.
The Detrimental Effects of Junk Food on Health
In accordance with the Oxford dictionary, junk food is defined as food with negligible nutritional value, commonly found in the form of packaged snacks or hastily prepared meals. Think of salty, oily snacks, burgers, sausages, and candies.
The Cognitive Consequences: Loss of Memory and Learning Impairments
Delving into the implications of consuming junk food, it becomes apparent that its effects extend far beyond just satisfying cravings. Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveal a disturbing correlation between a junk food-heavy diet and cognitive performance. Individuals who frequently indulge in junk food exhibit lower scores on cognitive tests. Even more alarming is the detrimental impact on memory and brain function. The excessive consumption of junk food can trigger inflammation in the hippocampus—a crucial brain region responsible for memory and recognition. This inflammatory response has been linked to memory loss and even amnesia, inhibiting the ability to learn and recall new information.
The Weighty Dilemma: Escalating Obesity Rates
One cannot ignore the excessive sugar, calorie, and fat content prevalent in junk food. These culprits contribute significantly to weight gain and the alarming rise of obesity. The consequences of obesity are not limited to mere aesthetics; they extend to a multitude of severe health conditions. Diseases ranging from high cholesterol and diabetes to heart problems and hypertension find their roots in obesity.
This health crisis is particularly perilous for children, whose physical development is at stake. The consumption of junk food can lead to unhealthy weight gain, consequently fostering self-esteem issues. The relationship between self-esteem and junk food may seem indirect, but it is noteworthy. Unhealthy weight gain can pave the way for diminished self-esteem, which in turn can pave the way for depression.
A Nutritional Void: Depleting Essential Nutrients and Amplifying Mental Health Issues
Behind the delectable façade of junk food lies an insidious nutritional void. Excessive intake of sugar and fats robs the body of essential nutrients and amino acids—critical components that trigger vital chemical reactions in the brain. This deprivation of nutrients results in the impairment of brain function, rendering it less capable of handling stress and emotional well-being. Consequently, individuals who overindulge in junk food often find themselves grappling with increased stress and susceptibility to depression.
In conclusion, the ramifications of consuming junk food are manifold and deeply entrenched. From cognitive decline and memory impairment to obesity-related health complications and deteriorating mental health, the allure of quick and tasty eats should be approached with caution. To safeguard our physical and mental well-being, a conscious effort to prioritize nutritious and wholesome alternatives is imperative.
We're talking about something that might not seem like a big deal, but it's hiding in our food and affecting our health - salt. You know, the stuff we sprinkle on our fries? It's causing some trouble, and here's how.
Changing Eating Habits: What's Going On?
As our cities grow and change, so does our food. We're eating more and more processed foods that are easy to grab on the go. This change in what we eat is causing problems with our health. We're not getting the good stuff we need, like nutrients, from our food. Instead, we're loading up on things like fats, sugars, and salt. These are the things that make our food taste good but aren't always good for our bodies.
Too Much Salt: A Sneaky Problem
Did you know that too much salt can be bad for us? We're not just talking about the salt we shake onto our food. It's hiding in lots of other foods too, like instant noodles, snacks, sausages, and more. Eating too much salt can mess with our health, especially our blood pressure. And high blood pressure isn't a good thing – it can lead to heart problems and even stroke.
Who's Most Affected?
Different groups of people can be affected by too much salt. In some places, like Malaysia, the traditional foods we love can be really salty. This can lead to problems like high blood pressure. For example, Malays are more likely to have high blood pressure than Chinese folks. It's because their traditional foods often have lots of salt.
What Can We Do About It?
Cutting back on salt doesn't mean our food has to be boring. Here are some simple tips:
Salt Myths Busted:
Salt might make food taste great, but too much isn't so great for our health. Let's be mindful of how much salt we're eating, read labels, cook more at home, and enjoy the flavors of fresh foods. Your body will thank you for it, and your taste buds might even adjust to the new, healthier flavors.
The heart serves as a pivotal organ within the body, facilitating blood circulation and ensuring the distribution of vital nutrients to all its corners (1). Beyond its circulatory role, the heart plays a vital part in shielding the body against infections (1). Moreover, it contributes to regulating body temperature and upholding fluid equilibrium (2). Given these multifaceted functions, the heart emerges as a cornerstone of bodily well-being; even minor irregularities can set off significant repercussions throughout the human system (2).
There are several effective strategies to ensure the well-being of your heart:
If you find yourself struggling with excess weight, it's crucial to acknowledge that this condition can elevate your risk of developing high cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which can adversely impact your heart health (3). In light of this, striving for a healthy weight becomes a priority. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that individuals aged 18 to 64 incorporate a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity into their weekly routine. Alternatively, dedicating at least 75 minutes to vigorous-intensity physical activity is also effective. Additionally, breaking down your aerobic exercises into segments of at least 10 minutes each can contribute to optimal results.
Excessive salt consumption has been linked to elevated blood pressure, which escalates the risk of heart disease. It's advised that adults keep their daily salt intake below 6g, and strive to opt for foods containing no more than 1.5g of salt or 0.6g of sodium per 100g whenever feasible (4). Moreover, it's beneficial to reduce the consumption of oily foods. Oils typically encompass a blend of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats. Prioritizing options low in saturated fatty acids (SFA) while favoring those rich in unsaturated fats can effectively contribute to lowering cholesterol levels (5). For instance, heart-healthy oils like grapeseed, avocado, and olive oils are commendable choices (5). Embracing a diet low in salt content is pivotal in sustaining optimal blood pressure levels.
Including more oily fish in your diet can offer substantial benefits for your heart health. Oily fish varieties are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, compounds known to effectively lower cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure, and mitigate the risk of blood clot formation (4). These vital advantages underline the importance of including these types of fish in your meals. Noteworthy examples of fish abundant in Omega-3 fatty acids include:
Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is pivotal in preventing coronary heart disease. Excess cholesterol can accumulate within your artery walls, potentially leading to the development of plaque—a phenomenon known as atherosclerosis. Over time, this accumulation can narrow the arteries, impeding the smooth flow of blood. Ultimately, reduced blood flow can manifest as chest pain or, in severe cases, a heart attack if a blood vessel becomes completely obstructed (7). Thus, it is imperative to address cholesterol levels to safeguard cardiovascular well-being. Normal total cholesterol levels should ideally remain below 5.2 mg/dL.
Stress can be defined as the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. Even positive life changes such as a promotion, a mortgage, or the birth of a child produce stress. (1)
The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds. The body’s autonomic nervous system has a built-in stress response that causes physiological changes to allow the body to combat stressful situations. This stress response, also known as the “fight or flight response”, is activated in case of an emergency. However, this response can become chronically activated during prolonged periods of stress. Prolonged activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body, both physical and emotional. (2)
Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress – a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body’s internal balance or equilibrium, leading to physical symptoms such as headaches, an upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, sexual dysfunction, and problems sleeping. Emotional problems can also result from distress. These problems include depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry. Research suggests that stress also bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. (3)
Stress also becomes harmful when people engage in the compulsive use of substances or behaviours to try to relieve their stress. These substances or behaviours include food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, sex, shopping, and the Internet. Rather than relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances and compulsive behaviours tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems. The distressed person becomes trapped in a vicious circle.
It may seem that there is nothing you can do about your stress level. The bills aren’t going to stop coming; there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibility will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, managing stress is all about taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun, plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head-on. (4)
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”)
Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.
Stress management strategy 1: Avoid unnecessary stress
Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.
Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them.
Avoid people who stress you out.
Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route.
Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list.
Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks
Stress management strategy 2: Alter the situation
If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.
Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way.
Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same.
Be more assertive. Don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them.
Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress.
Stress management strategy 3: Adapt to the stressor
If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.
Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective.
Look at the big picture. Take perspective on the stressful situation.
Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress.
Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts.
Stress management strategy 4: Accept the things you can’t change.
Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.
Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control, particularly the behaviour of other people.
Look for the upside. As the saying goes, "What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger." When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth.
Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist.
Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes.
Stress management strategy 5: Make time for fun and relaxation.
Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better position to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.
Healthy ways to relax and recharge
Go for a walk.
Spend time in nature.
Call a good friend.
Sweat out tension with a good workout.
Write in your journal.
Take a long bath.
Lightly scented candles
Enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea.
Play with a pet.
Work in your garden.
Get a massage.
Curl up with a good book.
Listen to music.
Watch a comedy.
Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.
Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule.
Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life.
Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself.
Stress management strategy 6: Adopt a healthy lifestyle
You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health.
Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress.
Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat.
Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end with a crash in mood and energy.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary.
Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind as well as your body.
Robinson, L., Smith, M. and Segal, R., 2011. Stress Management: How To Reduce, Prevent, And Cope With Stress | Brainline. [online] BrainLine. Available at: <https://www.brainline.org/article/stress-management-how-reduce-prevent-and-cope-stress> [Accessed 15 April 2020].
National Institute of Mental Health. Fact sheet on stress Accessed 12/9/2014.
American Psychological Association. Stress: the different kinds of stress Accessed 12/9/2014.
Office on Women’s Health. Stress and your health fact sheet Accessed 12/9/2014
Pertubuhan Kesihatan Dunia (WHO) telah mewartakan bahawa merokok merupakan risiko yang spesifik bagi komplikasi COVID-19 (1,2). Hal ini adalah kerana, jika virus korona menyerang tubuh badan individu yang merokok, peratus untuk individu tersebut pulih lebih rendah berbanding dengan individu yang tidak merokok manakala peratus untuk individu tersebut untuk mengalami kegagalan paru – paru yang serius pula adalah tinggi.
Umum mengetahui, COVID-19 adalah virus yang menyerang sistem pernafasan, jadi, individu yang merokok atau yang mempunyai masalah pernafasan dan/atau sakit – sakit kronik yang lain seperti masalah jantung, buah pinggang, kencing manis dan lain -lain jika terdedah kepada virus ini, mempunyai sebanyak 80.7% risiko kematian berbanding individu yang tidak menghidapi penyakit kronik (3).
Statistik juga menunjukkan bahawa, warga emas yang berusia 60 tahun ke atas mempunyai lebih 62.6% risiko kematian jika terdedah kepada virus ini berbanding individu berusia 60 tahun ke bawah (3). Lebih menakutkan lagi, jika individu yang berusia 60 tahun ke atas, dan mempunyai sejarah penyakit kronik terdedah kepada virus ini, risiko menghadapi kematian adalah sangat tinggi berbanding dengan individu yang yang berusia kurang dari 60 tahun dan tidak mempunyai sejarah penyakit kronik.
Tabiat merokok itu sendiri yang menyebabkan individu berisiko terdedah kepada pelbagai jenis komplikasi kesihatan, akan tetapi sebelum ini mungkin perokok menghadapi kesukaran untuk berhenti merokok disebabkan faktor rakan sekeliling, tekanan kerja dan sebagainya. Akan tetapi oleh kerana dunia diancam dengan wabak COVID-19, individu yang merokok mempunyai lebih sebab untuk berhenti merokok kerana anda mempunya risiko yang lebih tinggi terdedah kematian jika terdedah kepada virus ini.
Antara cara untuk berhenti merokok, yang telah dikumpulkan oleh Pengkalan Data Cochchrane Edisi Istimewa, mengenai cara – cara berhenti merokok adalah dengan menggunakan terapi kombinasi, iaitu penggunaan ubat dan juga sokongan moral (4).
Penggunaan Ubat – Ubatan seperti Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) telah digunakan sebagai salah satu cara untuk berhenti merokok sekian lama. Terapi ini adalah bagi tujuan untuk menggantikan kebergantungan perokok kepada nikotin dan seterusnya menggurangkan motivasi perokok untuk terus merokok. Ia juga membantu mengawal kesan sampingan berhenti rokok/ kurang merokok (4).
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) ini memberikan nikotin dalam dos yang rendah kepada perokok tanpa apa apa bahan merbahaya yang lain seperti yang terdapat di dalam rokok. Terdapat pelbagai jenis Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) dipasaran, iaitu sama ada dengan menggunakan gula getah nikotin (nicotine gum), ‘nicotine inhaler’, ‘nicotine lozenge’, ‘nicotine patch’ atau ‘nicotine nasal spray’. Kesemua jenis produk ini mempunyai dos, cara, dan kekuatan yang berbeza (5).
Produk bagi terapi nikotin telah direka dengan pelbagai jenis mekanisma untuk penyerapan dan perembesan nikotin di dalam badan. Sebagai contoh bagi gula getah nikotin, inhaler nikotin, lozenge nikotin dan nasal spray nikotin, ia memberi kesan kepada otak dengan lebih cepat berbanding nicotine patch akan tetapi mempunyai proses perembesan yang lebih lambat berbanding merokok (5). Nicotine patch pula merembeskan dos nikotin secara perlahan – lahan dan secara pasif, oleh kerana itu terapi nicotin patch biasanya digunakan bersama produk yang lain.
Kepelbagaian produk bagi membantu perokok berhenti merokok memberikan perokok beberapa pilihan untuk berhenti merokok dengan kaedah yang paling sesuai, berdasarkan kekerapan perokok merokok dan kebergantungan perokok kepada rokok tersebut (4,5). Kesemua produk ini berkesan jika digunakan mengikut kesesuaian terhadap tahap aktiviti merokok seseorang individu. (5).
Selain daripada penggunaan ubat – ubatan, terdapat beberapa langkah yang biasanya disyorkan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), iaitu yang pertama ialah dengan membaca atau mendapatkan informasi mengenai bahaya rokok dari sumber yang sahih, berkenaan bahaya merokok dan kelebihan berhenti merokok.
Terdapat banyak kelebihan berhenti merokok kerana merokok memberi banyak keburukan kepada diri sendiri dan orang sekeliling terutama ahli keluarga, sebagai contoh kanak – kanak yang selalu terdedah kepada asap rokok atau asap rokok basi akan lebih sering sakit seperti batuk – batuk, selsema serta jangkitan telinga, hidung dan tekak. Merokok juga boleh membuatkan paru – paru lemah dan penyakit seperti asma (6).
Selain daripada aspek kesihatan bagi orang yang tersayang, merokok juga boleh menyebabkan anda mendapat pelbagai jenis penyakit seperti, kanser paru – paru, penyakit paru – paru yang kronik, strok dan ulser di bahagian bawah lapisan kulit perut. Individu yang merokok juga mengikut statistik mati lebih awal, kerana statistik menunjukan satu dari dua orang perokok mati disebabkan penyakit berkaitan merokok (6).
Tabiat berhenti merokok juga dapat menjimatkan wang, labur wang anda berbanding membeli rokok sebagai contoh
Wang untuk membeli rokok = RM5.00/sehari
Sebulan = RM 150.00
Setahun = RM 1800.00
Jika anda melabur untuk 10 tahun, anda sudah mempunyai RM18,000.00 dalam akaun simpanan anda) (6).
Selain, Ia juga dapat melindungi alam sekitar – Puntung rokok dibuang oleh perokok boleh menyebabkan kebakaran (6).
Terdapat pelbagai kaedah untuk berhenti merokok. Faktor yang paling penting adalah keinginan anda untuk menjadikannya satu kenyataan. Mula dengan menetapkan tarikh untuk berhenti merokok dan pastikan tarikh tersebut boleh dicapai. Dalam pada masa yang sama, anda mesti yakin dengan keupayaan diri untuk berhenti merokok. Katakan pada diri anda “saya bukan perokok” Ulang beberapa kali sehingga menjadi semangat untuk berhenti merokok. Sentiasa berfikiran positif dan dapatkan sokongan daripada orang sekeliling.
Teknik berhenti merokok yang paling selalu digunakan dan disyorkan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) ialah dengan mengamalkan Teknik 12M (6).
1. Melengah – lengahkan
Sebagai contoh jika anda terasa seperti mahu merokok, lengah – lengahkan tabiat tersebut seperti tunggu 5 minit atau katakan kepada diri sendiri sebentar lagi “saya akan merokok”.
2. Menarik Nafas Panjang
Tarik nafas 3 kali secara perlahan-lahan. Ulangi perkara yang sama sehingga hilang rasa untuk merokok.
3. Minum air
Anda juga boleh mencuba untuk minum air masak bagi mengalihkan perhatian anda dari tertumpu kepada ketagihan rokok.
4. Menyibukan diri
Buat sesuatu bagi mengalih fikiran untuk melupakan rokok. Buat perkara yang dapat mengalihkan tumpuan anda seperti bersenam atau bermain permainan video.
5. Menjauhkan diri daripada perokok
Oleh kerana musim PKP ini adalah masa yang terbaik untuk berhenti merokok. Anda boleh menjauhkan diri anda dari rakan – rakan dan ahli keluarga yang merokok, gunakan masa yang ada untuk bersama keluarga tersayang.
6. Mengelakkan diri daripada suasana atau situasi yang mendorong kepada merokok
Seperti keadaan berseorangan tanpa berbuat apa – apa (keadaan bosan) atau keadaan tertekan.
7. Mengunyah sesuatu seperti gula getah atau buah-buahan.
Mengunyah dapat membuatkan rongga mulut sibuk dan mengalihkan perhatian dari ketagihan rokok. Elakkan makanan yang manis kerana ia memberi risiko kepada penyakit – penyakit kronik yang lain pula.
8. Membasuh tangan selalu
Membasuh tangan dengan kerap juga dapat menghilangkan ketagihan kerana kita telah mengalihkan perhatian kita daripada keinginan untuk merokok.
9. Mandi dengan kerap
Mandi dengan kerap menyebabkan badan menjadi segar dan dapat melupakan ketagihan yang di alami, seketika.
10. Meregangkan otot
Senaman yang atau regangan otot apabila ketagihan untuk merokok datang dapat menghindarkan diri dari merokok.
Meditasi menyebabkan kita ingat kembali sebab – sebab untuk kita berhenti merokok dan boleh membangkitkan kembali semangat kita untuk berhenti merokok.
12. Memohon doa
Memohon doa agar rasa ketagihan dihilangkan dan dipermudahkan urusan untuk berhenti merokok seperti dihindarkan dari perkara – perkara yang boleh menyebabkan keinginan untuk merokok untuk kembali.
Selain daripada langkah - langkah yang telah disyorkan anda juga boleh mendapatkan maklumat yang lebih lanjut di laman sesawang KKM. Terdapat banyak bahan – bahan rujukan cara untuk berhenti merokok yang boleh di muat turun di laman sesawang yang sahih seperti di Portal MyHealth Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM)(5). Selain dari bahan – bahan sokongan yang boleh di muat turun, terdapat juga nombor QuitLine yang boleh dihubungi di nombor 03-88834400 bagi keterangan lanjut mengenai cara berhenti merokok dari kaunselor berhenti merokok atau layari laman web jomquit.moh.gov.my (4,5).
The Star. Stub It Out Now, Smoking and Added Health Risk for COVID19. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/13/effective-ways-exist-to-quit-smoking-while-under-mco (Diakses 17 April 2020).
The Star. Smokers face high infection rate. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/13/smokers-face-higher-infection-risk (Diakses 17 April 2020).
Ketua Pengarah Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). From the desk of the Director General of Health Malaysia. https://kpkesihatan.com/2020/04/16/kenyataan-akhbar-16-april-2020-situasi-semasa-jangkitan-penyakit-coronavirus-2019-covid-19-di-malaysia/ (Diakses 17 April 2020)
Cochrane. COVID-19 Resources. https://www.cochrane.org/news/special-collection-effective-options-quitting-smoking-during-covid-19 (Diakses 17 April 2020)
Portal Rasmi My Health Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/nicotine-replacement-therapy-nrt/ (Diakses 17 April 2020)
Info Sihat. Bahagian Pendidikan Kesihatan. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). https://www.infosihat.gov.my/index.php/isu-semasa/42-tips-berhenti-merokok (Diakses 17 April 2020)
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average human lifespan was reported as 72 years in 2016 (1). Notably, Malaysia's life expectancy stood at 76.07 years in 2019, with a subsequent increase to 76.22 years in 2020, marking a 0.19% rise from the previous year (2). This evolution prompts us to inquire about the factors underpinning this fluctuation in life expectancy within Malaysia. In this discourse, we delve into a comprehensive exploration of the myriad factors that shape life expectancy, focusing specifically on the determinants of mortality in Malaysia.
According to the statistics furnished by the Department of Statistics Malaysia on October 30, 2019, Ischaemic heart disease emerged as the leading cause of death, accounting for 15.6% of all fatalities, encompassing both males and females (3). Ischaemic heart disease, characterized by the constriction of heart arteries, results in diminished blood oxygen supply to the heart muscle. This condition, often referred to as coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease, which can ultimately lead to heart attack.
Subsequently, the statistical data reveals another significant contributor to mortality: Pneumonia, equally accounting for 15.6% of deaths (3). Pneumonia, an infection that inflames the air sacs within one or both lungs, can result in the accumulation of fluid or pus within these sacs. This inflammation leads to symptoms like coughing with phlegm or pus, elevated fever, chills, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be triggered by a spectrum of microorganisms, encompassing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Its severity spans from mild to life-threatening, posing the most substantial risk to infants, young children, individuals above 65 years of age, and those with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems (5).
Ranking as the third leading cause of death in Malaysia, cerebrovascular diseases emerge prominently (3). The term "cerebrovascular" amalgamates two components— "cerebro," denoting a substantial part of the brain, and "vascular," signifying arteries and veins. Together, "cerebrovascular" encapsulates the intricate network of blood flow within the brain. This category of disease encompasses all conditions wherein a sector of the brain experiences transient or permanent effects due to restricted blood supply or hemorrhage, with one or more cerebral blood vessels being implicated in the pathological process. The spectrum of cerebrovascular disease spans from strokes to conditions such as carotid stenosis, vertebral stenosis, intracranial stenosis, aneurysms, and vascular malformations (6).
Interestingly, transport accidents accounted for only 3.7% of the total (3). It's noteworthy that the Malaysian fatality rate for transport accidents has remained unaltered since 2007. The Global Status Report on Road Safety, jointly published by the WHO and the World Bank in December 2018, revealed that Malaysia recorded 7,152 deaths in 2016, with males comprising 87% and females 13% of the total. Among road traffic deaths, motorcyclists constituted over half of the casualties. A deeper exploration into motorcycle fatalities highlighted that the majority were riders (89%), with individuals aged 16 to 20 years accounting for 22.5% (7).
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (CLRD) emerges as another notable cause of death in Malaysia (3). CLRD encompasses three key ailments – chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma – all characterized by breathlessness due to airway obstruction. While chronic bronchitis and emphysema involve irreversible obstruction, asthma's obstruction is reversible. Chronic bronchitis is typified by a productive cough occurring most days of the month for at least three consecutive months over two years. Emphysema involves the permanent enlargement of air spaces at the bronchioles' termini, accompanied by the destruction of their walls. Smoking is a primary cause of emphysema, yet approximately half of emphysema patients have an inherited condition known as alpha-1 antitrypsin (ATT) deficiency. ATT, a liver-produced protein, can be deactivated by cigarette smoke. Ordinarily, ATT functions to inhibit elastase, an enzyme that targets elastin, a crucial protein in lung structure. As elastin degradation occurs, alveolar walls may collapse, forming enlarged, irreversibly distended air sacs (8).
We can infer from the above-mentioned statistics that diseases played a significant role among the common causes of death. Malaysians should therefore act wisely in order to increase our average lifespan. By altering our lifestyle, we can take control of a health issue. Additionally, what we eat is important. Have you heard the saying, "You are what you eat"? Change your eating habits today to start taking care of your health.
“Eat more vegetables and fruits to get your fiber!” You may have heard these words. But what is fiber, really? How it works to improve our health? Let us take a closer look on it!
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our body cannot digest undigested. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules but fiber cannot be broken down into sugar and thus it will pass through our body. These carbohydrates often considered beneficial in which mostly come from fruits, vegetables and legumes (1, 3, 6).
Fiber comes in two varieties, both beneficial to health (3):
Dissolves in water; absorb water to form a gel like substance that slow the digestion and cause you to feel full. They have been shown to decrease cholesterol and lower blood glucose. Common source of soluble fiber includes beans, oat bran, fruits and vegetables. It is also found in pysllium, a common fiber supplement.
Does not dissolve in water; Increase fecal bulk and appear to help food pass more quickly through the digestive tract so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation and irregular stools.
Facts About Fiber (3,4)
#1 Fiber aids in achieving healthy weight.
#2 Fiber fight diseases. It appears to reduce risk of developing various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, constipation and breast cancer.
#3 Fiber helps to lower cholesterol.
#4 Fiber helps to regulate blood glucose.
#5 Recommended dietary fiber intake per day for all age group is 20-30g/day. However, if a person is not currently eating enough of fiber, he or she should increase his or her fiber intake slowly to avoid gas and bloating.
#6 More fiber needs more water. When eating a high fiber diet, be sure to drink at least eight or more glasses of water every day.
#7 Fiber aids in improving digestion by increasing stool bulk and regularity. A high-fiber diet may help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
#8 Too much fiber is a bad thing. You may experience abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, constipation and even diarrhea.
#9 Fruit and vegetable peels are rich in several nutrients including fiber. Eating unpeeled fruits and vegetables keep you feel full longer due to its high fiber content. However, certain fruit and vegetable peels may be hard to consume or simply inedible. These peels are best removed and not eaten.
#10 Fruits and vegetable juice has less fiber than whole fruits and vegetable. This is because the skin is removed and thus it is more healthful to eat whole fruit and vegetable.
#11 Fiber cannot be cooked out.
Tips to Increase fiber intake (5,7)
Consume products that have whole grain listed as the first ingredients, high fiber content and low fat and sugar content.
Replace white rice, bread and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.
Include legumes in your diet (beans, dried peas and lentils)
Eat unpeeled whole fruit and vegetables not juice.
Snack on fruits and vegetables
Take a fiber supplement (e.g psyllium)
In conclusion, fiber is an important dietary substance to your diet. This is because high fiber foods are also good sources of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants which offer many health benefits. Therefore, as one of the key ingredients to healthy eating, fiber is something you cannot skip.
Cleveland Clinic. 2019. Improving Your Health With Fiber. Available from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14400-improving-your-health-with-fiber [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
Fasting has long been a part of many religious traditions, including the Jewish and Muslim holidays of Yom Kippur and Ramadan, respectively. As you read this, billions of Muslims around the world are participating in this act of faith, which involves fasting from dawn to dusk. While fasting for Ramadan is based on spiritual beliefs, many of us fast because we believe it benefits our health. However, what happens to our bodies when we fast?
The primary source of energy for a person is glucose, which is obtained from carbohydrates such as grains, dairy products, fruits, certain vegetables, beans, and even sweets.
The glucose is stored in the liver and muscles and released into the bloodstream when the body requires it. This process, however, changes during fasting. The liver will deplete its glucose reserves after about 8 hours of fasting. At this point, the body enters a state known as glucogenesis, which marks the transition into fasting mode.
Glucogenesis has been shown in studies to increase the number of calories burned by the body. Without carbohydrates, the body burns its own calories. When there is no carbohydrate available, the body produces its own glucose, primarily from fat.
The body eventually runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode then transitions into the more serious starvation mode. A person's metabolism slows down at this point, and their body begins to burn muscle tissue for energy. Although it is a well-known term in the dieting world, true starvation mode occurs only after several days or even weeks without food. So, unless other health conditions exist, it is generally safe to go without eating for a day after breaking their fast after 24 hours. (1)
“A detoxification process also occurs, because any toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body,” he adds, noting that after a few days of fasting, higher levels of endorphins – “feel-good hormones” are produced in the blood, which can have a positive impact on mental well-being. As mentioned previously, the study by Dr.Longo and colleagues suggests prolonged fasting may also be effective for regenerating immune cells. “When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Dr.Longo explains. In their study, publish in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the team found that repeated cycles of 2 – 4 days without food over a 6-month period destroyed the old and damaged immune cells in mice and generate new ones.
Furthermore, the team discovered that cancer patients who fasted for three days prior to chemotherapy were protected against immune system damage caused by the treatment, which they attribute to immune cell regeneration. "The good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting," says Dr. Longo. "Now, if you start with a system that has been heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can literally generate a new immune system." (2)
Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, is associated with numerous health risks, according to the UK's National Health Service (NHS).
People who fast frequently become dehydrated, owing to their bodies' inability to obtain fluid from food. As a result, it is advised that Muslims consume plenty of water prior to fasting periods during Ramadan. Other people who follow fasting diets should stay hydrated during their fasting periods.
On the other hand, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), there are numerous health risks associated with intermittent fasting.
Fasting can also cause heartburn; lack of food leads to a reduction in stomach acid, which digests food and destroys bacteria. But smelling food or even thinking about it during fasting periods can trigger the brain into telling the stomach to produce more acid, leading to heartburn.(2)
Finally, to sum up, moderation is the key. Know the precaution step to avoid the potential risk. A person must understand his or her current health condition before proceeding to any sort of diet plan.
Fasting can also cause heartburn because a lack of food reduces stomach acid, which digests food and destroys bacteria. However, smelling food or even thinking about it during a fast can cause the brain to tell the stomach to produce more acid, resulting in heartburn. (2)
To summarize, moderation is essential. Understand the precautionary measure to avoid the potential risk. Before beginning any diet plan, a person must first understand his or her current health situation.
1. Medical News Today (n.d). What Happens If You Don’t Eat For A Day? Timeline And Effects. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322065#can-fasting-promote-weight-loss [Accessed 29 April 2020].
2. Medical News Today (n.d). Fasting: Health Benefits And Risks. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295914 [Accessed 29 April 2020].
Meat refers to the muscle or organs of an animal consumed as food. In most parts of the world, it comes from animals raised on large industrial farms. As for red meat, it refers to meat from the source of pork, ham, and cuts from pig, lamb, and beef. Red meat is particularly said to have a link with various kinds of disease, such as heart disease and cancer; the question is, is this true?
Well, this statement is partially true. First, there are various kinds of red meat on the market. There is lean meat (meat without its fat), meat with its fat, and processed meat. Processed meat refers to meat that has undergone processes such as salting, curing, fermenting, smoking, and other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Processed meats include ham, salami, bacon, and sausages such as frankfurters and chorizo. Certain minced meats on the market also undergo this kind of processing, which makes them processed foods as well.
Meat itself, referring to lean meat, is a healthy food. It is a good protein source and contains micronutrients such as zinc, vitamin B12, and iron. Iron in meat is easier to absorb, or, in other words, has higher bioavailability, as compared to iron from plant-based foods. Lean meat is also part of the food that is recommended to be eaten in the Malaysian Food Pyramid.
The picture below shows an easy way to know how much you should consume for carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, and protein just by using your hands.
However, there are also studies that indicate that the consumption of red meat can impose health problems, such as that its saturated fat can lead to colon and breast cancer; the higher the cooking temperature for meat, the more carcinogenic it is; and the heme that is found in meat when cooked can produce compounds that can damage the cells, leading to cancer.
Which is why, when it comes to food, there is not just healthy food and unhealthy food; it is more than that. It depends on the health status of the individual consuming it, the cooking method, and various other factors.
Limiting red meat and processed meat to no more than 70g per day, or 2 servings per day, is the best. Consume protein-based foods from other sources of protein as well, not only red meat and processed meat, just as recommended by the Malaysia Dietary Guidelines (MDG).
Many diseases and health complications are believed to be linked to fat consumption, including obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and cancer. However, fats also play crucial roles in our bodies, such as aiding in the transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fats also act as insulators for vital organs and as shock absorbers. With these functions in mind, it begs the question: Is fat truly the culprit behind various diseases? (1,2,3).
History of Dietary Fat Recommendations (4)
The confusion surrounding dietary fat intake has its roots in the past, as nutrition scientists struggled to effectively communicate their findings from nutrition studies to the public. Previously, the classic diet-heart hypothesis vilified dietary fat due to two key observations from observational studies and randomized controlled trials.
Current Insights on Dietary Fat Intake (4)
Past research focused heavily on singular causal outcomes, but contemporary extensive research has illuminated multiple pathways contributing to the development of cardiovascular diseases. These pathways include factors beyond total cholesterol intake or LDL levels, such as smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and more.
As a result, recommendations for dietary fat intake among individuals with cardiovascular disease and those seeking to prevent it need to evolve accordingly.
Types of Fats and Cholesterol, Along with Dietary Recommendations (4,5,6)
To comprehend dietary recommendations for fat and cholesterol intake, let's first explore the different types. Saturated fat, often labeled as "bad" fat, is solid at room temperature. It can contribute to weight gain and increased levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Sources high in saturated fat include meat, chicken skin, margarine, and fatty dairy products.
Unsaturated fats, considered "good" fats, are divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They can elevate HDL (good cholesterol), lower LDL (bad cholesterol), reduce blood pressure, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Examples of monounsaturated fats are palm oil, canola oil, olive oil, and cashew nuts. Polyunsaturated fats include corn oil, sunflower oil, and fish oil. For optimal results, studies suggest a 1:1 ratio blend of these two types of oils in cooking, such as combining palm oil and sunflower oil.
Trans fat, the least desirable type, forms during hydrogenation when liquid fats turn solid. Trans fat, or trans-fatty acids, are commonly found in processed and frozen foods to prolong shelf life. Consumption of trans fat should be limited, as it's associated with elevated LDL cholesterol levels, increased cardiovascular disease risk, and certain cancers. Sources of trans fat include margarine, fried foods cooked in unsaturated fats like sunflower oil, as well as ready-to-eat and canned foods.
In Conclusion (4,5)
While there isn't a specific universal standard for each fat type due to various factors, the World Health Organization (WHO) generally recommends fat intake between 20% to 30% of total calories. In Malaysia, this translates to about 45g to 67g of fat, roughly 3 to 5 tablespoons of oil (based on a 2000 kcal/day diet).
As consumers, it's vital to distinguish health-promoting fats from detrimental ones and limit the intake of harmful fats to cultivate a healthy eating lifestyle.
Practical steps include choosing fresh poultry or seafood over processed foods like tempura or finger foods. Cooking methods matter greatly; opt for steaming, baking, boiling, and grilling. When dining out, consider that many eateries reuse cooking oil, making healthier choices paramount.
Limiting trans-fat intake is crucial. Apart from processed and frozen foods, restrict consumption of high-cholesterol items such as mayonnaise, animal organs, and fish heads.
Being mindful of what you fuel your body with is as important as feeding your mind with positive thoughts. Nourish both body and mind with beneficial nutrients by selecting healthy fats.
Calcium is among very common micronutrient heard by public and milk advertisement is the contributor to this. Through this many people know that calcium is very important for bone and teeth. Calcium can be found in various food products nowadays not only milk. It has becoming partly marketing strategy for food company to incorporate calcium in their food product especially if the target consumer is children or elderly since many people know that calcium is vital for these two groups, children, and elderly.
Function of Calcium?
Body needs calcium for strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also required to carry out important function such as for muscle to move, for nerves system to carry messages between brain and body parts, for blood vessels to move blood throughout the body, and for body to help release hormones and enzyme that affect almost every function in the human body (1,2,3).
How much calcium is needed?
Normal adult need about 1000 mg of calcium daily, however there are certain condition which require to consume up to 1300 mg of calcium daily such as for pregnant lady, lactating mother, post-menopausal women, and man who is above 70 years old of age (1,2,4).
Calcium and diet
Body does not produce calcium, so it needs to be consumed from foods. Luckily, calcium can be found in variety of foods such as dairy products, dark leafy vegetables, fish, and many other fortified food products (1,2,3). As for our local food products sardine, anchovies, cencaluk, budu, tofu, tempeh, broccoli, kalian, and tapioca leaves are among food that is high with calcium (4).
It is also important to take note that in order to absorb calcium, body needs vitamin D. Only a few foods containing small amount of natural vitamin D, such as egg yolks and salmon with bones. Mostly, we rely on the exposure to sunlight in order to get enough vitamin D, of course in Malaysia the country with sun all year long have no problem with this! However, as currently we are still in the so to say the ‘lockdown’ phase thus it is very important to remind everyone to get the sunlight every day at least 20 minutes for its vitamin D and calcium absorption (1,2,4).
Though all the foods stated above are easily found, but there are conditions which hinder individuals from getting enough calcium from diet thus require it from calcium supplementation.
Condition for calcium supplementation
Before considering calcium supplement, individuals must understand how much calcium needs by the body (stated above). Then individuals must seek help from nutritionist, dietitian, pharmacist, or doctors, where they will assess your calcium consumption from your diet through diet recall. If the calcium intake falls short thus you need to top up calcium from supplement.
Hypertensive individuals and diet with large amounts of sodium.
Several literature reviews on topic of total calcium intake from food and supplements with regards to hypertension suggested that there is possible link to lowering high blood pressure. However, since most of the study design have small number of subjects, and were tested with people from different background, and not to mention possess various kind of biases thus making it difficult for scientist to draw conclusion (1,2).
However, a large study subject (Women’s Health Study), found out that calcium intake was inversely associated with risk of hypertension in middle-aged and older women, in terms of preventing hypertension (1,2).
The consumption of high sodium food lead to more calcium excretion through the urine, which will lead to constriction of blood vessels, which in the end resulting in high blood pressure. Drinking large water after consuming salty food, is not enough, as it may be making blood pressure return to its slightly normal condition, but it is not helping with the loss of calcium (1,2,5).
Pregnant and lactating mother
Often times, pregnant women is being reminded of how important is folic acid for the baby, even from the trying to conceive period, healthcare providers already advise them to consume folic acid, in order to prevent spina bifida to the baby. However, calcium is as well very important for mothers throughout pregnancy and lactating period especially for mother who is lack of calcium from diet (1).
Several professional organizations recommend calcium supplements during pregnancy for women with low calcium intakes to reduce the risk of preeclampsia (a condition where gestational hypertension always occur). For example, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ACOG) states that daily supplementation with 1,500–2,000 mg calcium may reduce the severity of preeclampsia in pregnant women who have calcium intakes less than 600 mg/day. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 1,500–2,000 mg calcium for pregnant women with low dietary calcium intakes, particularly those at higher risk of gestational hypertension (1).
As for normal healthy mother, the consumption of calcium is especially important during lactating period, mother may notice symptoms such as cramps which indicates lack of calcium during pregnancy and lactation period. Also if a mother is on iron supplementation as well, it is advisable to not consume both at the same time, it is best to gap several prior the consumption of these two since it can interfere with the absorption (1,2).
Throughout the lifespan, bones are constantly being broken down and built up in a process known as remodelling. Bone cells called osteoblasts build bone, while other bone cells called osteoclasts break down bone if calcium is needed. In healthy individuals who get enough calcium and physical activity, bone production exceeds bone destruction up to about age 30. After that, destruction typically exceeds production. This is sometimes called “negative calcium balance,” which can lead to bone loss. Women tend to experience greater bone loss than men later in life due to menopause, a condition that lowers the amount of hormones that help to build and preserve bone (5).
Getting enough dietary calcium at all ages may help to slow the degree of bone loss, but calcium intakes at any level are not known to completely prevent bone loss. Calcium is less easily absorbed at later ages, and therefore eating a very high amount of calcium will not always resolve the problem (5).
Individuals with lactose intolerance and limit dairy products
Individuals with lactose intolerance usually, is unable to consume food that has high amount of calcium especially if it come from milk and dairy source of food. Thus, lactose intolerance individuals need to consume it form dark leafy vegetables and soy-based product. However, in most cases the consumption is not enough or individuals with lactose intolerance consume not enough vegetable rich with calcium or other food source rich with calcium, thus for this specific population calcium supplementation is needed either from fortified food product such as ready to eat cereals or from calcium supplementation tablet itself.
Individuals receiving treatment on certain medication in the long period
Well, there are certain medication which can influence the absorption of calcium. Medication such as to treat osteoporosis (bisphosphonates), antibiotics (fluroquinolone), medication to treat low thyroid problem (levothyroxine), anticonvulsant (phenytoin), diuretic medication (Lasix and bumex), antacids containing aluminium and magnesium and also glucocorticoids (prednisone). These are all either causing calcium loss in the urine or cause calcium depletion in the bone. Thus, if you are on these medication, it is advisable to take calcium rich foods four hours prior or after the intake of medication, so that it would not interfere with the absorption of calcium, it is also best if you consume calcium supplementation if you do have poor intake of calcium rich food as well (2).
In conclusion, in these situations, calcium supplements may help you meet your calcium requirements. Talk with your doctor or dietitian about whether calcium supplements are right for you.
Grape seed extract (GSE) is derived naturally from grape seed and is commonly used in dietary supplements for a variety of purposes. It is created by removing, drying, and pulverising the bitter tasting grape seeds. It contains a lot of antioxidants like phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins complexes (OPC). Grape seed extract, in fact, is regarded as one of the best sources of proanthocyanidins. As a result, grape seed extract provides numerous benefits to the human body, including disease prevention, protection against oxidative stress, tissue damage, inflammation, and many more. In this article, we will look in depth at the potential health benefits of grape seed extract (GSE) based on studies:
Wound healing activity and antioxidant properties.
Numerous studies have shown that grape seed extract contains a high level of antioxidants. Using punctured wounded mice, researchers discovered that mice treated with GSE in the wound affected area grew tissue faster than mice treated with only normal saline. Another difference between GSE-treated mice and placebo-treated mice was more organized tissue formation and a higher rate of collagen deposition.
Topical application of 2% GSE cream in the area of a post-surgery surgical wound heals the wound completely in an average of 8 days, compared to 14 days for placebo. This is due to GSE's vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) properties, which promote the regeneration of damaged blood vessels while increasing the amount of free radicals present at the wound site. Free radicals aid in the killing and removal of pathogenic bacteria and endotoxin from the site, as well as in the healing of wounds
Apart from wound healing and skin health properties, it also has anti-ageing properties. GSE proanthocyanidins delay skin ageing by reducing lipid oxidation on the skin structure.
Cardiovascular and antihypertensive properties.
Cardiovascular disorders (CVD) are among the major problems that arise due to modern, unhealthy lifestyles, which are the primary cause of death worldwide. It is a disorder that affects the condition and function of the heart and blood vessels in general. Changes in these two can result in cardiac arrest, heart stroke, hypertension, chest pain, and other complications. Studies show that GSE may prevent atherosclerosis (a condition where there is a build-up of fats, cholesterol, etc. in the blood vessel walls, which can restrict blood flow), inhibit or limit the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol), reduce inflammation, inhibit platelet aggregation, and lower blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure by suppressing oxidative stress and inhibiting the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and nitric oxide, which mediate vasodilation, hence making the constricted blood vessels dilate and improving blood pressure.
GSE has been shown to have antimicrobial properties; for example, when applied topically, resveratrol in GSE increases the production of cathelicidin, which inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. In another study, quercetin, caffeic acid, and quercetin-3-0-rutinoside in GSE were responsible for the inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes. It is also worth noting that GSE had the highest inhibition activity against almost all Listeria species. The review on the benefits of GSE also reported that the antimicrobial effect of GSE is attributed to changes in cell morphology and DNA content.
Cosmetic and nutraceuticals
Skin ageing is a natural process which occurs due to the external and internal factors involving genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. GSE is rich in proanthocyanidin help to reduces the lipid oxidation of cellular structure of the skin and inhibit the production of free radicals. A study was carried out in which the anti-ageing effect of GSE was investigate. The study concluded that GSE has a promising role as an anti-ageing compound.
GSE help skin structure by strengthening the collagen-based tissue (by increasing the collagen cross links). It also increases the synthesis of collagen and the conversion of collagen from soluble into insoluble one.
GSE has various benefits to health due to its high antioxidant properties, it is able to scavenge the free radicals which an essential feature that could help with various body functions.
The infographic above explains the types of good and bad fats. But what about the differences between Omega 3, 6, and 9? All these three fats can be considered good fats, but there are certain things that distinguish them from one another.
MUFA or Omega 9
Monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), also known as omega 9, is named because of the double bond position, which is on the ninth position from the omega end. It is a type of fat that is found in vegetable and animal fats such as canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, and nuts. Unlike polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), omega-9 is a non-essential fat, which means the body is able to produce these types of fat. However, there are also benefits when it is obtained from food, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, reducing LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), and helping to eliminate plaque buildup in the arteries, which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
PUFA or Omega 3 & Omega 6
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) can be divided into Omega 3 and Omega 6. The difference between these two is that the position of the double bond for Omega 3 is in the third position from the end, whereas for Omega 6, it is in the sixth position from the end.
Among the types of Omega 3 with extensive scientific research are eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). The difference between these three types of Omega-3 fats is the number of carbon atoms: 18, 20, and 22 for ALA, EPA, and DHA, respectively. ALA can be converted to EPA and then to DHA, but the conversion, which usually occurs in the liver, is less than 15%, which is why it is recommended to consume EPA and DHA directly from foods or dietary supplements. ALA is present in plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. DHA and EPA are present in fish, fish oils, and krill oils. But the DHA and EPA in krill oil do not originate from krill but rather from the ingestion of microalgae.
Whilst, among the types of Omega 6 are linolenic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA), The difference between these two is the position of the double bond in the omega-6 fatty acid chain. Linolenic acid (LA) is the same as ALA; it is an essential fatty acid that cannot be produced by the human body. Sources of food with LA are soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, and rice bran oil. While the sources of food for AA are peanut oil, meat, eggs, and dairy products,
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are beneficial for cardiovascular diseases because they can help manage cholesterol levels, triglycerides levels, and blood pressure levels. There is also certain supporting data that states that it can help with reducing weight and waist size, improving infant brain development in the foetus, and fighting inflammation. However, other than for cardiovascular health, the finding is quite inconclusive. But as for Omega 3 and 6 (PUFA) and heart health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that 8–10% of calories should come from PUFA, as there is evidence that eating more PUFA—up to 15% of daily calories—in place of saturated fat can lower the risk of heart disease.
The diagram below shows the comparison between these three types of good fat:
All in all, Omega 3, 6, and 9 are beneficial for cardiovascular health, as they can help with lowering LDL levels (bad cholesterol), increasing HDL levels (good cholesterol), and helping with blood pressure levels. Several other studies also mentioned that certain good fats can help with inflammatory diseases such as joint pain and skin diseases such as eczema. However, consumption of all these fats must be in balance since overconsumption of them can have serious health effects! However, replacing bad fat (or even good fat) with refined carbohydrates does not help your health either. It is so important to note that everything must be in balance, and consuming healthy food is not about one type of food only; it is about variety, quality, and the food source as well!
Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). Hyperlipidemia.
Harvard T.H Chan. School of Public Health. Types of fat. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/
Harvard T. H Chan. School of Public Health. Saturated fat or not does type of fat matter. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/05/15/saturated-or-not-does-type-of-fat-matter/
Healthline. Omega 3, 6, and 9. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-6-9-overview#omega-6
Consumption of fish is important as it is a good source of protein. It is recommended to consume one fish per day, according to the Malaysian food pyramid. This is because the consumption of fish in Malaysia is rarely equated with a risk of contamination with mercury, etc., unlike in western countries. This might be due to the types of fish and sizes of fish that we are consuming here as compared to other parts of the world. It is said that the bigger the fish, the more contamination it has; hence, there is a recommendation for pregnant mothers to consume small fish rather than big fish to avoid the risk of contamination.
Research on the benefits of fish oil supplementation also varies greatly, which is why in this article we are going to list out who might need a fish oil supplementation in their daily lives!
The benefits of ingesting fish oil can differ significantly between studies. A study found a connection between these omega-3 fatty acids and mental health disorders and that EPA and DHA can speed up brain development even in young children. Additionally, studies have demonstrated that it can help treat cardiovascular diseases, joint pain, and eczema. The question is, is it true that all of these effects can be obtained from fish oil consumption? (1)
Individual with mental health problems/disorders
In three lengthy studies spanning the years 1988 to 2008, researchers looked at the relationship between fatty acid intake and suicide risk among more than 205 000 participants. They discovered no proof that eating fish or fatty acids reduced the risk of suicide. "The vast majority of earlier research on whether fatty acid intake has any positive effects on mental health has been based on results from depression screening. The only time this relationship has been studied with concrete data on suicide mortality is in our study, which is also the largest of its kind.” (2)
While a study found that eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are better for brain health than taking fish oil or omega-3 fatty acid supplements, A study of 3073 elderly people at risk of macular degeneration, an age-related cause of vision loss, found little benefit from omega-3 supplements on memory. Omega 3 supplements or a placebo were given to study participants at random for a five-year period. According to the researcher, a healthy diet cannot be replaced by a supplement; therefore, if you eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and marine fish, you probably don't need to take a fish oil supplement. According to this study, the overall dietary pattern is more important than a single nutrient (2).
Individuals with cardiovascular disease
Recently, there have been many studies suggesting that Omega 3 will not lower the risk of heart problems. To answer this, Dariush Mozaffarian, cardiologist from Harvard Medical School, said that he gathered 20 previous studies involving more than 68, 000 patients since 1989 and found that, overall, fish oil supplements did neither harm nor good since they did not significantly reduce people’s risk of mortality, cardiac death, heart attack, or stroke. But according to him, the research link between fish oil supplementation and heart problems is rather complex since it does not only take fish oil to shield the heart from various problems and diseases; it also takes weight status, exercise frequency, cigarette or substance use, and many more (3,4,5).
Which is why, interpreting the study, we would still recommend customers and patients consume more fish as a first-line measure. But if you do not like fish, or you feel like your consumption of fish is not enough, or you simply want to be sure that your body is getting omega 3, there is no harm in taking fish oil; it will certainly help with the essential nutrient, since omega 3 is a nutrient that your body cannot produce and can only get from diet (3,4,5).
Individuals with skin problem
A systematic review for the treatment of atopic dermatitis or eczema using fish oil supplementation is very scarce; the studies available are all small-sample studies. Not only are these three studies small, but they are also described as poor methodological studies by the reviewer, as they have many confounding factors. However, the outcomes of these studies show positive outcomes for eczema and overall daily living as compared to placebo (6, 7).
Another convincing relationship between consumption of fish oil and skin health is that in a study where pregnant women were given fish oil during pregnancy and followed up for 6 years, it was found that consumption of fish oil during pregnancy led to a positive skin health outcome for babies skin. The study also concluded that maternal supplementation with fish oil might have prophylactic potential for long-term prevention of asthma in offspring (6, 7).
In conclusion, consumption of fish oil has mixed results in studies depending on what kind of problem we are looking to solve with fish oil. Since there are various factors influencing a particular health problem, There is no magic pill in this world, honey! You need to, however, eat healthily, consume a lot of vegetables and fruits, and exercise, but if you think that you do not get enough omega 3 from your diet because you dislike fish, are afraid to consume fish regularly due to contamination, etc., or simply would like to make sure that your body has enough omega 3, then there is no harm in taking fish oil supplementation. It's just that in order to make sure you get the right omega 3 for your body, buy it from a pharmacy, make sure the product has a Ministry of Health (MOH) notification number, and simply ask a healthcare professional which omega 3 supplementation suits you, simply for the dosage and perhaps current medication that you are on, and you are good to go!
Harvard T.H Chan. School of Public Health. Fish: Friend or Foe? https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fish/
Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health. No mental health benefit from fish oil. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/no-mental-health-benefit-from-fish-oil/\
Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/fish-stroke-risk-mozaffarian/
Harvard T.H Chan. School of Public Health. Major Meta Analysis in Clinical Trial Omega 3 Supplemeny link with lower risk of CVD. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/in-major-meta-analysis-of-clinical-trials-omega-3-fish-oil-supplements-linked-with-lower-cardiovascular-disease-risk/
Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health. Fish Oil Supplementation and Heart Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/mozaffarian-fish-oil-supplements-heart-health/
Schlichte, M. J., Vandersall, A., & Katta, R. (2016). Diet and eczema: a review of dietary supplements for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Dermatology practical & conceptual, 6(3), 23–29. https://doi.org/10.5826/dpc.0603a06
Huang, T. H., Wang, P. W., Yang, S. C., Chou, W. L., & Fang, J. Y. (2018). Cosmetic and Therapeutic Applications of Fish Oil’s Fatty Acids on the Skin. Marine drugs, 16(8), 256. https://doi.org/10.3390/md16080256
Why do we need CoQ10?
CoQ10's main function is to act as an energy transfer molecule, where it is a co-factor in the production of energy. Essentially, all cellular functions are dependent on an adequate supply of energy, which explains why coq10 is vital for all tissues and organs. CoQ10 is also one of the most significant lipid antioxidants that prevents the generation of harmful substances in the body, such as free radicals, which can lead to the modification of proteins, lipids, and DNA.
Antioxidant is defined as a substance that inhibits the oxidation process or is a scavenger of free radicals that are produced by normal body processes, hence making the body more stable.
Due to its function as antioxidants, not only can it help neutralize free radicals and prevent the damage caused by free radicals, but it can also improve energy and augment the immune system.
Who needs CoQ10?
There are certain individuals who need to consume more CoQ10 as the amount in their bodies is diminishing.
How much do we need CoQ10?
A typical CoQ10 dosage is about 30–90 mg per day, taken in divided doses, but the recommended amount can be as high as 200 mg per day. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble antioxidant, so it is better absorbed when taken with a meal that contains oil or fat. The clinical effect of CoQ10 may take up to eight weeks.
Food source with CoQ10?
Primary dietary sources of CoQ10 include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. Most individuals obtain sufficient amounts of CoQ10 through a balanced diet, but supplementation may be useful for individuals with particular health conditions. CoQ10 is available as a supplement in several forms, including soft gel capsules, oral spray, hard shell capsules, and tablets.
Consumption of CoQ10 might not really be suitable for individuals who consume warfarin medication, pregnant women, or breastfeeding mothers.
Therapeutic benefit in hypertension.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood pressure rises above 120/80. CoQ10 has been shown in animal model studies to significantly reduce blood pressure levels while having no effect on other hypertension-related parameters such as plasma renin, serum/urine sodium and potassium, or urinary aldosterone. It is also suggested that varying COQ10 dosage results in a reduced need for medication. In a human study, taking 60 mg of CoQ10 twice daily for 8 weeks reduced blood pressure, plasma inulin, glucose, and several lipid compounds. Other human studies have ranged from 100 to 225mg/day for 4.4 to 10 months.
Therapeutic benefit in coronary artery disease.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs when the coronary arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your muscles become narrowed due to a gradual buildup of fatty material within their walls. The condition is also referred to as atherosclerosis. Pretreatment with CoQ10 has been shown in animal studies to reduce myocardial ischemia (occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is obstructed by a partial or complete blockage of plaque buildup (atherosclerosis)) and cardiac dysfunction. In human studies, a dose of 300 mg/day for 7 days straight improves heart efficiency as measured by oxygen consumption per energy formed. Another study on humans using a 150mg dose of CoQ10 found that the supplement increased treadmill exercise tolerance. However, because these two studies involved a small number of subjects, they are not statistically significant.
Therapeutic benefit of congestive heart failure
A small study of 17 patients with congestive heart failure discovered that using 30 mg/day of coenzyme Q10 improved the patients' condition, with 53% of the patients becoming asymptomatic after four weeks of treatment (no symptoms). Another large-scale study involving 2664 patients who took 50-100mg/day of coenzyme Q10 for three months found that 54% of patients improved in their symptoms of insomnia, nocturia, and vertigo.
Is CoQ10 recommended for heart health prevention and treatment?
In conclusion, it appears that CoQ10 may be beneficial for heart health prevention and treatment, particularly for people with coronary heart disease, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. This is due to its ability to prevent LDL oxidation. It also appears that the majority of patients with heart disease are deficient in coenzyme Q10, which can lead to a variety of heart-related complications later on.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our body is unable to digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate sugars in the body and helps keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
Children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grammes of fiber per day for good health. It can be obtained by consuming a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fruits.
There are two types of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fibre.
Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that dissolves in water and can help lower glucose levels and blood cholesterol levels. Foods with soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples, and blueberries.
Insoluble fiber is a type of fiber that does not dissolve in water. It can help food move through the digestive system, promoting regularity and helping to prevent constipation. Foods with insoluble fibers are wheat, whole wheat bread, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
There are various studies confirming that consumption of a diet high in fiber helps to make the overall body function healthier.
In a Harvard study with over 40, 000 male health professionals, researchers found that consumption of a high-fiber diet reduced the risk of getting coronary heart disease by 40%. Another study conducted by Harvard among female nurses also found similar findings: a high-fiber diet lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome (a combination factor of heart disease and diabetes). These factors are high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight, a high triglyceride level, and a low HDL level (good cholesterol level).
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
A diet low in fiber and high in carbohydrates and fat can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar, which can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Both Harvard studies with female nurses and male health professionals found that this type of diet increased more than double the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Other studies, such as the Black Women’s Health Study and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, have shown similar results.
It is believed that the fibre in wheat bran and oat bran is more potent than the fibre found in fruits and vegetables. In addition, because fibre absorbs water, experts advise increasing beverage intake along with fibre intake rather than doing so abruptly.
Fiber is shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer through a large-scale study in 2016, where the findings indicate that higher fiber intake reduces breast cancer risk, suggesting that fiber intake during adolescence and early adulthood may be particularly important.
In other words, women who consume higher fiber foods during adolescence and young adulthood, including vegetables and fruits, may have a significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less dietary fiber when young.
In conclusion, consumption of sufficient fiber can give various benefits to the human body. According to the Malaysia Food Pyramid 2020, it is recommended to consume 3 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. However, according to the National Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS), about 95% of Malaysians do not consume enough vegetables and fruits daily, which is why sometimes consumption of fiber supplements can help to bridge the gap of poor dietary intake.
1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Fiber. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/
2. National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) (2019). Chapter 09, Of fruits, veggies, and plain water. http://iptk.moh.gov.my/images/technical_report/2020/4_Infographic_Booklet_NHMS_2019_-_English.pdf
3. Malaysia Food Pyramid 2020. Ministry of Health Malaysia. Nutrition Division. http://nutrition.moh.gov.my/piramid-makanan-malaysia-2020-mendidik-rakyat-mengambil-makanan-dengan-betul/
Dari masa ke semasa, badan melalui proses pertumbuhan seperti panjangnya kuku dan pertumbuhan rambut yang melibatkan aktiviti pengoksidaan. Proses pengoksidaan ini melibatkan pemberian dan pengambilan elektron, di mana akan menghasilkan elektron bebas yang tidak bergabung dengan mana – mana elektron yang lain. Elektron bebas ini juga dirujuk sebagai radikal bebas. Radikal bebas atau elektron bebas ini adalah elektron yang tidak stabil dan dapat memberikan pelbagai risiko penyakit termasuklah kanser. Fungsi antioksida adalah untuk bergabung dengan elektron bebas atau radikal bebas ini dan meneutralkan atau menstabilkan badan dari risiko pelbagai jenis penyakit.
Kebiasaannya badan dapat menghasilkan antioksida dengan sendiri, akan tetapi setelah lanjut usia, kebolehan badan untuk menghasilkan antioksida semakin berkurangan, ketidakseimbangan antioksida dan radikal bebas boleh meningkatkan risiko penyakit. Justeru, para profesional perubatan sering menasihatkan kita untuk makan makanan dari sumber semulajadi seperti sayur – sayuran, dan buah – buahan dengan banyak. Ini kerana, sayur – sayuran dan buah – buahan mempunyai tinggi sumber antioksida seperti beta karotena, lutein, likopena (lycopene), vitamin c, vitamin E dan pelbagai lagi.
Ikutlah saranan pengambilan makanan sihat oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Makan 3 sajian sayur dan dua sajian buah setiap hari untuk mendapatkan jumlah antioksida yang diperlukan badan. 1 sajian sayur adalah bersamaan dengan saiz satu saiz tapak tangan manakala, saiz sajian buah adalah mengikut kepada jenis buah tersebut seperti di bawah. Jika anda merasakan pengambilan sayur – sayuran dan buah – buahan anda tidak mencukupi di mana ia dapat memberi kesan kepada jumlah antioksida dalam badan, anda juga boleh menggunakan alternatif suplemen untuk mendapatkan jumlah antioksida yang cukup.
Diet suku – suku separuh adalah saranan diet oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) untuk cara pemakanan sihat. Pelbagai langkah dan inisiatif telah dilakukan bagi mempromosikan amalan pemakanan sihat kepada rakyat Malaysia.
MegaLive menyambut baik saranan ini dengan turut sama mempromosikan amalan pemakanan sihat kepada semua.
Suku – suku separuh adalah diet yang merangkumi suku jumlah karbohidrat seperti nasi, mee, bihun, capati, roti dll, suku jumlah protein seperti ayam, ikan, sotong dll dan separuh jumlah sayur – sayuran dan buah – buahan. Pinggan yang dirujuk dalam saranan diet ini adalah pinggan berukuran 10 inci/ 25sm.
Contoh hidangan suku – suku separuh:
Terdapat 5 mesej utama dalam amalan diet suku – suku separuh.
Mesej Utama 1: Makan 3 Hidangan Utama yang sihat dalam sehari.
Ambil sarapan, makan tengah hari, dan makan malam secara sihat dengan mengikuti konsep suku – suku separuh.
Makan pada waktu yang tetap juga membantu pengawalan porsi/ saiz hidangan makanan. Berikut adalah contoh waktu makan harian.
Mesej Utama 2: Makan 1-2 Snek yang Sihat di antara Waktu Makan Jika Perlu
Bagi menggalakan amalan pemakanan secara sihat secara holistik atau sebagai gaya hidup, anda juga digalakkan untuk mengambil snek sihat 1-2 kali/ hari dari sumber buah – buahan, kekacang, dan sayur – sayuran.
Contoh snek sihat yang boleh di ambil 1-2 sajian ialah:
Mesej Utama 3: Makan Sekurang-kurangnya Separuh Daripada Bijirin Anda Sebagai Bijirin Penuh
Malaysia adalah negara di mana, makanan rujinya adalah nasi, oleh itu tidak hairanlah jika kebanyakkan rakyat Malaysia masih berasa tidak kenyang selagi tidak makan nasi. Oleh yang demikian, Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) menggariskan pengambilan karbohidrat hendaklah diambil kebanyakkannya dari sumber bijirin penuh, seperti dari sumber nasi beras perang, roti bijirin mil penuh, jagung, barli dll.
Contoh makanan berkarbohidrat yang tinggi serat:
Mesej Utama 3: Makan Sekurang-kurangnya Separuh Daripada Bijirin Anda Sebagai Bijirin Penuh
Malaysia adalah negara di mana, makanan rujinya adalah nasi, oleh itu tidak hairanlah jika kebanyakkan rakyat Malaysia masih berasa tidak kenyang selagi tidak makan nasi. Oleh yang demikian, Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) menggariskan pengambilan karbohidrat hendaklah diambil kebanyakkannya dari sumber bijirin penuh, seperti dari sumber nasi beras perang, roti bijirin mil penuh, jagung, barli dll.
Contoh makanan berkarbohidrat yang tinggi serat:
Mesej Utama 4: Makan Hidangan Tidak Bergoreng dan Tanpa Santan Setiap Hari
Seterusnya, lauk -pauk di Malaysia begitu sinonim sekali dengan jenis lauk -pauk yang digoreng menggunakan minyak yang sangat banyak iaitu menggunakan kaedah ‘deep -frying’. Makanan bergoreng dengan minyak banyak yang digunakan secara berulang – ulang dan makanan yang mengandungi jumlah santan yang tinggi boleh meningkatkan masalah kesihatan seperti masalah jantung, darah tinggi, kolesterol dan kanser.
Justeru, pengambilan makanan dengan cara masakan dengan kandungan santan yang tinggi seperti masak lemak, kari, gulai, dan masakkan bergoreng hendaklah dihadkan.
Cara mengantikan pengambilan minyak dan santan dalam masakan dan makanan: