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The importance of Fiber

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 to regulate sugars in the body and helps to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. Children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health. It can be obtained through consuming diet rich with whole grains food, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fruits.

 

There are two types of fiber, which are soluble fiber and insoluble fibre.

 

  • Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that dissolves in water, it can help to 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 to move through the digestive system, promoting regularity and help 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 diet high in fiber helps to make overall body function healthier.

 

Heart Health.

 

In a Harvard study with over 40, 000 male health professionals, researcher found out that consumption of high fiber diet reduce 40% risk of getting coronary heart disease. Another study conducted by Harvard among females nurses also found the similar findings, high fiber diet lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome (a combination factor of getting heart disease and diabetes). These factors are high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight, high triglycerides level, and low HDL level (good cholesterol level).


 

 


Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.


 

Diet low in fiber and high in carbohydrates and fat can cause sudden spike in blood sugar, this can lead to increasing risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Both Harvard studies with female nurse and male health professionals, found that this type of diet increase more than doubled risk of type 2 diabetes.


 

Other studies such as Black Women’s Health Study and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition have shown similar results.


 

 

Constipation.

 

The fiber in wheat bran and oat bran is considered more effective than fiber from fruits and vegetables. Experts recommend increasing fiber intake gradually rather than suddenly, and because fiber absorbs water, beverage intake should be increased as well as fiber intake increases.

 

 

Cancer.

 

Fiber is shown to decreases risk of breast cancer through a large-scale study in 2016, where findings of the study indicates that higher fiber intake reduces breast cancer risk, suggesting that fiber intake during adolescents and early adulthood may be particularly important.


 

In another word, women who consume higher fiber foods during adolescents and young adulthood, including vegetables and fruits, may have significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less dietary fiber when young.


 

In conclusion, consumption of sufficient fiber can gives various benefits to human body, according to Malaysia Food Pyramid 2020, it is recommended to consume 3 servings of vegetables and fruits daily.  However, according to National Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS) about 95% of Malaysian do not consume enough vegetables and fruits daily, which is why sometimes consumption of fiber supplement can help to  bridge the gap of poor dietary intake.


 

References


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. 

 


Apakah itu antioksida?

Antioksida adalah bahan yang terdapat secara semulajadi dalam badan dan juga boleh diperolehi dari sumber makanan semulajadi. Ia adalah bahan yang dapat mengurangkan, meneutralkan dan melindungi sel badan daripada kerosakan.

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.

 

 

 Rujukan

 

  1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Portal MyHealth. Antioksida. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/antioksida/
  2. Hello Doktor. Manfaat antioksida. https://hellodoktor.com/pemakanan/fakta-nutrisi/manfaat-antioksidan/
  3. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. https://nutrition.moh.gov.my/

Suku-Suku Separuh Diet?

Suku – suku separuh diet 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 ini 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:

 

Capati dengan kuah dhal.
Nasi beras perang dengan ayam tanpa kulit dan sayur.
Nasi putih dengan ikan bakar dan sayur.
Nasi lemak
Roti dengan telur dan salad.

 

Terdapat 5 mesej utama dalam amalan diet suku – suku separuh.

 

Mesej Utama 1: Makan 3 Hidangan Utama yang sihat dalam sehari.

 

Makan sarapan, makan tengah hari, dan makan malam dengan sihat dengan mengikut konsep suku – suku separuh.

Makan pada waktu yang tetap juga membantu pengawalan porsi/ saiz hidangan makanan. Berikut adalah contoh waktu makan seharian.

 

Mesej Utama 2: Makan 1-2 Snek yang Sihat di antara Waktu Makan Jika Perlu

 

Bagi menggalakan pemakanan secara sihat secara holistik atau sebagai gaya hidup, anda juga digalakkan untuk mengambil snek sihat 1-2 kali 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 4: Makan Hidangan Tidak Bergoreng dan Tanpa Santan Setiap Hari

 

Seterusnya, lauk -pauk di Malaysia begitu sinonim sekali dengan jenis lauk -pauk yang bergoreng 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 dan kandungan santan yang tinggi seperti masak lemak, kari, gulai, dan masakkan bergoreng hendaklah dihadkan.

 

Cara mengantikan pengambilan minyak dan santan dalam masakan dan makanan:

 

 

Mesej Utama 5: Makan Makanan yang dimasak di Rumah Lebih Kerap

 

Makanan yang dibeli di luar secara amnya mempunyai kandungan gula, garam, sos, kicap, perasa, dan monosodium glutamate (MSG) yang tinggi, ia juga kebanyakannya menggunakan kaedah memasak yang kurang sihat iaitu dengan cara menggoreng dengan minyak yang banyak dan berulang- ulang.

 

Kandungan makanan yang tinggi garam, gula, sos, kicap, perasa dan MSG boleh menyebabkan tinggi risiko kepada masalah kesihatan seperti diabetes, dan juga darah tinggi.

 

Selain daripada itu, pengambilan makanan dari luar juga seringkali mempunyai jumlah porsi yang tidak mengikut spesifikasi suku – suku separuh, hal ini menyebabkan individu lebih cenderung untuk makaan secara berlebihan dan mendapat lebih risiko untuk menjadi obes.

 

Cadangan hidangan harian di rumah:

 

 

Rujukan:


  1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Panduan Pinggan Sihat Malaysia. https://bit.ly/3HHHdU6

How can exercise improve blood circulation?

Many experts suggest that to improve blood circulation is by doing exercise or at least by moving around. This is true as exercise muscles require more oxygen, hence improving blood circulation.

 

Current  knowledge of medical science proves the old saying that ‘ A man is as old as his arteries (blood vessels)’, this is because nowadays we know that blood vessels carry vital oxygen-rich blood to all of the body tissue. So, maintaining artery health (blood vessel health) is just equivalently to maintain your overall health.

 

Blood vessels are made up of endothelial cells, in blood vessels these cells play a variety of roles, but among all one of its most important functions is to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is important for keeping blood vessels lining smooth and slippery, preventing white blood cells and platelets from latching on and causing inflammation or blood clot. Other than that, it also relaxed the muscle cells in blood vessels in order to prevent spasm and keep arteries open.

 

A Study of four groups of healthy people: young exercisers, young- non exercisers, elderly exercisers, and elderly non- exercisers found that age took a substantial toll on endothelial function and nitric oxide production, for people who exercised regularly, age had a smaller and more gradual drop in nitric oxide production. This, prove that indeed exercise, keep blood vessels young!

 

 

Regular exercise helps blood vessels by boosting the endothelial cells’ nitric oxide production, hence maintaining oxygen supply throughout the body and maintaining heart health as well!

 

Among area that usually affected when you have poor blood supply is your extremities such as hands and legs.

 

Here are some exercise that can help with improving blood circulation in your extremities;

 

  1. Walking
  2. Ankle rotation
  3. Heel and toe raises
  4. Knee bends
  5. Squat
  6. Using exercise ball
  7. Yoga movement that requires movement of hands and legs

 

In conclusion, as we know that exercise is essential in keeping healthy blood vessels, hence, body movement in some ways will help in having healthy blood vessels. So, move around and do not be a couch potato!

What Is Anemia?

Anemia is a common blood disorder. It is a condition when body does not have enough red blood cells and is unable to deliver enough oxygen throughout the body.

 

In the blood test, anemia is reported as a low hemoglobin or hematocrit. Hemoglobin is the main protein in the red blood cells. It carries oxygen, and delivers it throughout your body. If you have anemia, your hemoglobin level will be low too. If it is low enough, your tissues or organs may not get enough oxygen.

 

 

Symptoms of anemia

 

The most common symptoms of anemia is lethargic or tired. Other symptoms include pale skin, fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, light-headed.

 

Types of anemia


Among types of anemia are Sickle Cell Anemia, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Thalassemia, Aplastic Anemic and many more.

 

Each of these types of anemia has its own cause.

 

In conclusion, anemia must be treated depending on the cause, ranging from taking supplements to having medical procedures.

 

Most importantly, anemia can be prevented by consuming a healthy and varied diet.

 

Iron rich foods include boiled cockles, chickpea, fried soy bean curd, liver, dried anchovies, bitter gourd, spinach, and kangkung.

How to improve your blood circulation?

Poor blood circulation is a condition where individuals will usually experience numb and cold in their extremities such as in the hands and feet area. Often times, it can be an underlying condition to a more serious condition such as uncontrolled diabetes or poor blood pressure, but it can also be due to poor posture and many more.

 

Here are some tips on how to improve your blood circulation:

 

1. Go on regular walks. 

 

Walking can improve blood circulation. Contraction of the calf muscle causes venous blood to be pushed back up to the heart. The arteries dilate when patients walk and improve blood flow throughout the body. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of walking three times per week.

 

2. Reduce your weight. 

 

Being obese or overweight posed more health risk towards your circulatory system as it often lead to risk of hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes which will all boils down to blood circulatory problem.

 

Consumption of food in moderation, balance and exercise regularly can help to prevent being obese and overweight.

 

3. Take more work breaks. 

 

Taking more work break helps you to get into the habit of alternating between sitting, standing, and walking. In doing this it cause less demand on the circulatory system as while you are sitting down, it cause blood flow slows and to pool in your legs, resulting in muscle pain and fatigue. Thus taking more break while doing office job is beneficial in improving blood flows and also can help to keep your stress level from getting out of whack.

 

Do your best to take stretch breaks every 15 to 20 minutes, and get-up-and-go breaks from sitting every hour—even if it’s just a power walk around your home.

 

4. Stay hydrated. 

 

When body is lack of water (dehydrated), it will affect the amount of blood circulating through your body, it will also causing your blood to retain more sodium, causing it to thicken and making it much harder for your circulatory system to work properly.

 

The easiest way to make sure that you are getting enough fluid is to check your pee. Yellow light or clear urine indicate that your are drinking sufficient amount of water, anything darker that that means you need to up your water intake game!

 

5. Manage your blood pressure. 

 

High blood pressure makes your blood circulation haywire and give more works towards heart and blood vessels. The heart and circulatory system will have to work extra in supplying blood flow throughout the body if you do not manage your blood pressure efficiently.

 

High blood sugar level can cause damage to the lining of small blood vessels and this can lead to the problem with blood circulation. This condition will also promotes formation of plaque in the blood vessels and will further cause complication to your blood flows.

 

Exercise, cutting back on sodium, reduce stress, good sleep quality and modification in some lifestyle factors can help to lower your blood pressure and improve your circulation in the process. Aim for a blood pressure less than 120/80 mmHg.

 

6. Elevate your legs.

 

Elevate legs helps to take the pressure off your veins, since it does not have to work against the gravity to get the blood back to the heart.

 

The most convenient time to elevate your legs would be when you are watching TV or having a nap – lie down and prop your legs above your heart level for 15 minutes or more at a time will be really helpful in improving overall blood circulation.

Ginkgo and Its benefits

Ginkgo or maidenhair is an ancient Chinese herb ingredient. It is collected from the dried green leaves of the plant and is available as liquid extracts, capsules, and tablets. It is used for various reasons as a traditional herb supplement. Currently, many studies are still exploring whether ginkgo can improve health condition as per belief.

 

Ginkgo and blood circulation.

 

Ginkgo contains high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids, these are antioxidants that provide protection against oxidative cell damage from harmful free radicals. These antioxidants also help to improve blood circulation by dilating blood vessels and reducing the ‘stickiness’ of platelets.

 

Ginkgo’s apparent ability to increase blood flow to various parts of the body may be the origin of its many supposed benefits.

 

Ginkgo and brain function. 

 

Studies found conflicting findings on whether gingko can help with preventing and slows down Alzheimer and dementia, but studies also found out that it can help with improving cognition, memory, and attention.

 

Generally, ginkgo appears to be safe for consumption in moderate amount, research does not support the use of the supplement to prevent or slow dementia. Many more research is needed to find out what role gingko might play in supporting brain function and treating other conditions.

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