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Can EPA & DHA help with COVID19?

Unsaturated fat can be divided into two, Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), usually rich in food such as olive oil, canola oil, cashew, and groundnuts, whilst another type is polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which can further be divided into Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are also referred to as omega 3 Fatty acids. It can be found in fatty fish and algae.

 

Benefits of EPA and DHA

 

There are various benefits of EPA and DHA, among well studied one is its relation to cardiovascular disease. Many studies show that consuming food high with EPA and DHA or consume it from dietary supplement is able to reduce level of triglycerides. Which is why American Heart Association (AHA) recommend people who have high risk of getting heart disease consuming about 1g of EPA plus DHA daily. According to Joseph C. Maroon, MD, professor of the department of neurological surgery at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and author of Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory book; large enough amount of omega 3 will reduce the inflammatory process that leads to many chronic conditions. Which is why many other diseases which have the genesis of inflammation such as arthritis problem, dry eyes, age related macular degeneration (AMD), dementia, Alzheimer and cognitive problem may also help with the consumption of omega 3 for it has the anti-inflammatory effect. But what about COVID-19?

 

 

 


EPA & DHA with COVID19?

 

As COVID-19 is a new disease, there are many things that is not yet discovered about the disease by the scientist but among potential management and treatment that scientist is looking at is regarding the relation between EPA and DHA with COVID19. Since many well documented studies suggest that EPA and DHA have potential benefits for COVID19 due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

 

COVID19 is a disease where it attacks body’s immune system. The attack causes the body to activate its immune system and fight the disease. During the war, body defense system work by releasing cytokine. This is what scientist refers to as ‘cytokine storm’. The higher the cytokine in the body, the less possibility for the body to win the war. This is based on study that was conducted previously among sepsis (a condition when body’s response to an infection damages its own tissue) patients. When EPA and DHA is administered, resolvin is release which involve in promoting restoration to the cellular function following inflammation that occurs after tissue injury. Which explains why administration and consumption of diet high with EPA and DHA is being studied as a potential mechanism for COVID19. Other than this study, a meta-analysis study also reported that significant reduction in ventilator-free days, organ failures, length of stay in the ICU and low mortality rate among individuals with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is also seen with the administration of high EPA and DHA through parenteral and enteral nutrition. Since ARDS is one of the complications occur to COVID19 critically ill patients thus the same outcome is postulated to be seen.

 

 

Other parameter that is use in measuring severity of COVID19 especially among critically ill COVID19 patients are their body’s coagulation ability. It is said that, among non-survivor of COVID19 patients are those who has higher ability of platelet aggregation and activation. Easily translate, the patients’ blood are easily clump which makes it have higher risk of thrombosis (clotting) which will result in death threatening condition. An investigation using moderate amount of three species of high omega 3 (EPA & DHA) fish in 18 days by 23 healthy men revealed that it can improved bleeding time and decreased platelet aggregation which will reduce risk of thrombosis among COVID19 patients. Another study also noted that healthy subject that is supplemented with EPA for 4 weeks also showed reduction of platelet activation (an early step of platelet aggregation).

 

In conclusion  

 

 Administration or consumption of EPA and DHA may help with critically ill COVID19 patients’ conditions. However, the usage of EPA and DHA among healthy individuals as prophylaxis to COVID19 must be investigated since little known about the virus pathology and how the characteristics of the patients are involved in the recovery. Thus, studies suggest that randomized and controlled trials need to be carried out, taking into account the type of supplementation, dosage, individuals’ characteristics, adverse effects and the combination of medication and antioxidants using.

 

References


  1. National Institute of Health (NIH). Office of Dietary Supplements. Fact sheet for consumer. Omega 3 Fatty Acids. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/ (Accessed on Feb 4, 2021).
  2. National Institute of Health (NIH). Office of Dietary Supplements. Fact sheet for Health Professionals. Omega 3 Fatty Acids. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/ (Accessed on Feb 4, 2021).
  3. Nourish by WebMD. What to know about Omega 3 and fish? Annie Stuart. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/what-to-know-about-omega-3s-and-fish#1 (Accessed on Feb 4, 2021).
  4. Rogero, M. M., Leão, M. D. C., Santana, T. M., de MB Pimentel, M. V., Carlini, G. C., da Silveira, T. F., … & Castro, I. A. (2020). Potential benefits and risks of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation to patients with COVID-19. Free Radical Biology and Medicine.
  5. Bistrian B. R. (2020). Parenteral Fish-Oil Emulsions in Critically Ill COVID-19 Emulsions.  Journal of parenteral and enteral nutrition44(7), 1168. https://doi.org/10.1002/jpen.1871.

 


Can Diet Helps with Immunity?

With regards to COVID19, many people have started to consume food which they believe will help with their immune system. Citrus fruits, chicken soup, tea with honey, probiotics & prebiotics and many others are among examples of foods that commonly associated with immune booster. However, research have shown that the design of our immune system is rather complex and influenced by an ideal balance of many factors, and NOT JUST DIET, and especially not by any one specific food or nutrients. However, a balanced diet consisting of a range of vitamins and minerals, combined with healthy lifestyle factors like adequate sleep and exercise and low stress, most effectively primes the body to fight infection and diseases including COVID19!

 

 

What is immunity?

 

Immunity is referring to the system in the body which protects body from harm. Immune system is a network of intricate stages and pathways in the body, that protects us against these harmful microbes as well as certain diseases. It recognized foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, and parasites thus take immediate action towards it. There are two type of immunity in human body: innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is referring to body first line defense from pathogens that try to enter body, achieved through protective barriers, such as skin, mucus that traps pathogens, stomach acid that destroys pathogens and enzymes in our sweat and tears that help to create antibacterial compound. While adaptive of acquired immunity is a system that learns to recognize a pathogen. When a foreign substance enters the body, our body create antibodies which fight the foreign substance, and not only that it also adapts by remembering the foreign substance so that if it enters again, these antibodies will be more efficient and quicker to destroy it.

 

 

Immune boosting diet?

 

Well, frankly speaking as mentioned above, not a particular food can prevent individual from getting disease. It is through variety, moderate, and balanced diet where individual may achieve diet that will prevent from getting various kind of diseases be it chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases or infectious diseases like COVID19. However, certain dietary patterns may better prepare body for microbial attacks and excess inflammation. Each stage of the body’s immune response relies on the presence of many micronutrient, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein. And all these nutrients can be found in variety of foods.

 

 

 

Diet that are limited in variety and lower in nutrients, such as processed food can negatively affect a healthy immune system. Research also shows that typical western diet, that is high with refined sugar and red meat and low in fruits and vegetables can cause disturbances in healthy intestinal microorganism, resulting in chronic inflammation of the gut, and associated with suppressed immune health.

 

 



Steps to support healthy immune system.

 

  1. Eat a balanced diet that is rich with whole fruits (guava, orange, kiwi) vegetables (green leafy vegetables) lean, fresh protein, whole grains, and plenty of water.
  2. If a balanced diet is not readily accessible or your lifestyles does not promote healthy eating, consider taking a multivitamin containing nutrient sufficient for everyday use. Talk to your healthcare provider for the advice on suitable multivitamin for you. You may talk to use as well!
  3. Do not smoke (it will increase inflammation) and drink alcohol in moderation.
  4. Perform regular exercise (30-45 minutes of exercise in most of the days in a week is sufficient).
  5. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. Try to keep a sleep schedule, waking up and going to bed around the same time each day will help with our body clock (circadian rhythm), having a good circadian rhythm makes it easier for individual to enter deep sleep (a restful sleep).
  6. Manage stress. This is easier said than done but try to find some healthy strategies in managing your stress, it can be exercise, meditation, journaling, talking to a trusted friend. Another tip is to practice regular conscious breathing when feeling of stress/ overwhelm/ anxiety arise.
  7. Wash hands throughout the day especially after touching surfaces, when coming in form outdoors, before and after preparing food, after using the toilet, after coughing or blowing your nose.
  8. Lastly, practice social distance and wear mask when you are outside.

 

References

  1. Harvard Health. Nutrition and Immunity. www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/    (Accessed on Feb 9, 2021)
  2. Cleveland Clinic. Health essentials. 3 Vitamins that are best for boosting your immunity.  https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-vitamins-best-boosting-immunity/ (Accessed on Feb 9, 2021).
  3. 9 Ways to boost your body’s natural defences. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-boost-immune-health

Boost your kids’ immune health

In this pandemic COVID19 era, people have started to consume foods which can boost their immunity. People have started to practice wearing mask in public, normalize social distancing and some even goes to the extent of not exposing children in public places for the fear of virus spreading. We know that children are even fragile than us adult, thus taking extra care for them especially children who fall sick easily is a must for parents in this COVID19 situation. Here we share with you some tips that you can practice to boost your children immunity system!

 

  • Guard against germ spread.

 

Fighting germs does not technically boost immunity, but it is a great way to reduce stress on your child’s immune system. Make sure your children wash their hands often (with soap) especially before and after using toilet, before and after meals, after playing outside, arrive home from day care, handling pets, or blowing their nose. To cultivate the habits, you may also let them pick up their own choice of handkerchief, soap, and scents!

 

You must also always make sure that your hands are clean before you touch them!

 

Whenever you are bringing them outside make sure you carry antibacterial disposable wet wipes with you for your quick clean ups. Oh, you may also practice to let your children wear face shield if you are outside or in public area if they cannot wear mask yet! Make sure to sanitize or clean the face shield frequently and keep it properly as well!

 

 

Another key germ busting strategy according to health professionals is whenever your child is sick throw away their toothbrush as the germs from outside or from the toothbrush can hop from toothbrush to toothbrush infecting other family members. If it is a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, your child can reinfect themselves with the same germs that got them sick in the first place. In that case, tossing the toothbrush protects both your child and the rest of your family.

 

  • Make sure your children eat healthily.

 

It is normal for kids to dislike healthy foods if the parents dislike it, or rarely consume it! If you feel like your children eating habit are more into unhealthy habit check back your food preference most of the times it is a reflection!

 

Try to eat healthily as much as you can, make sure that every main mealtime there is vegetables and fruit serve for your whole family, it can be just a simple blanched carrot and broccoli, or it can be stir fried vegetables or it can be simply raw salad with dressings! If your children are okay with consuming vegetables and fruits in every main mealtime, start introducing healthy snacks using fruits and vegetables as well.

 

 

They may eat cakes, biscuits, and dessert occasionally still! If your children are still below 6 months young, try to breastfeed them as much as you can, as breastmilk has naturals antibody which is passed from mothers to baby which is beneficial for children during this pandemic situation.

 

Apart from vegetables and fruits, consuming yogurt which contains high amount of probiotics and prebiotics also helps with immune health.

 

  • Boost sleep time!

 

Studies show that sleep deprivation make individuals more susceptible to illness by reducing natural killer cells (immune-system weapons that attack microbes and cancer cells). Required sleeping hours for children is vary according to their age, but on average children need to nap during the day for at least one hour and sleep throughout the night for at least 10 hours.

 

Try to help your children into having a fixed routine helps with their sleeping time. Try to tone down screen time and makes them do a lot of physical activity in the evening also helps with sleeping earlier during the night. Children who does not nap during the day may sleep even earlier at night according to expert, but still nap is important for children, which is why try to cultivate habits which makes them easier to nap during the day. This will not only be beneficial for their immunity but as well as for their growth and development.

 

 

 

References.

  1. 7 Ways to Boost Immunity for your child’s Immunity. https://www.parents.com/health/cold-flu/cold/boost-childs-immunity/ (Accessed on Feb 15, 2021).
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Health Essentials. How to boost your kids’ immunity heading into the new school year. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-boost-your-kids-immunity-heading-into-the-new-school-year/ (Accessed on Feb 15, 2021).
  2. Grow by WebMD. Immunity bosting snacks for kids. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/immune-system#1 (Accessed on Feb 15, 2021).

Children and repeated infections

Whenever a child frequently being infected it makes parents worry a lot. According to study on average children get infected about 4 to 8 times annually. A big why for this is because they spend most their time at school or in day-care centers where they are in close contact with other kids most of the day. Also, it partly because kids are not conscientious enough about covering sneezing with elbow or frequent hand washing. Apart from this, it is also because their young immune systems are still developing and not strong enough to fight colds.

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 of the tips which you may practice to help your children to stay as healthy as possible:

 

  • Make sure that your child get all the required vaccines under the National Immunization Program. You may also add more vaccines based on your child condition and needs but talk to your pediatrician first!

 

 

  • Make sure that your child is getting the nutrition that they need to help them with their immune system. Ensure that your child get enough protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Minimize sugar and processed foods as their tummy is only little if they fill it with all these unhealthy stuff they will have no appetite anymore for nutritious foods. Encourage children to consume fruits such as orange, kiwi, and guava that is rich with vitamin C. Limit the intake of dessert, sugary drinks, sausage, meatballs etc.

 

 

  • Discourage the habit of thumb sucking or using pacifier as your infant gets older, as a contaminated finger, thumb, or pacifier can be a route for germs transmission which can lead to infection.

 

  • Always keep your child’s utensils and bottle clean. If you are still breastfeeding your child, or is using breastmilk pump, make sure you frequently boiled it, or steam all the equipments.

 

  • Try to instils good hygiene practice since young, such as wash hands as soon as reach home, after going to the toilet, and whenever they sneeze or cough and covered it with their hand.

 

 

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.


Probiotics and COVID-19

World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits on the host. It can be found in fermented food (E.g.: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi), dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

Probiotics may contain variety of microorganisms. The most common are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are also other bacteria being used as probiotics (e.g.: Saccharomyces boulardii.)

 

According to studies, different types of bacteria exert different effect to human body. Therefore, choosing the right strains and types of probiotics is essential for it to works on the said health concern.

 

How does probiotics help to maintain health?

 

There are variety of ‘bugs’ that coexist naturally in the body such as bacteria, fungi, parasite and viruses, these are what scientists refer to as microbiome. In the body of a healthy person, all these bugs coexist peacefully. The role of the microbiome is to promote smooth daily operation of human body. However, conditions such as infectious illness, certain diet, prolonged use of antibiotics and/or other bacteria-destroying medications, can lead to body becoming more susceptible to diseases.

 

Due to this, scientists believe that consumption of probiotics influence bacteria colonization process, which can lead to speedy restoration of healthy microbiome and lower risk of being sick.

 

 

 

Probiotics and COVID-19?

 

Probiotic is link with COVID19 due to its ability to boost the immune system. Currently, most extensive researched on probiotics include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia Coli, Enterococcus, etc. Although probiotics mechanism profoundly focuses on the gastrointestinal tract, the effect of probiotics is not confined to the digestive system only. Probiotics can act on the entire body via immune modulation. Not only that, it also facilitate the immune system development and maturation and regulate the interaction between host and pathogen by killing the pathogen and regulate the immune responses towards it.

 

One might argue that, but COVID-19 is a viral infection unlike others. A systematic review described probiotics’ efficacy against viral diseases where more than 20 strains of probiotics showed the anti-inflammatory effects on the body and antibody production against viruses.

 

Moreover, study found out that viral loads were lowered upon probiotics supplementation, it is postulated due to immune modulation by microbiota that fights against COVID-19 directly and decrease the risk of secondary infections due to prolonged antibiotics exposure from multiple experimental COVID19 treatment.

 

China’s National Health Commission recommended probiotics for severe COVID-19 patients to restore the intestinal balance and protect from secondary infections. Moreover, gut microbiota’s role in modulating lung diseases has been demonstrated.

 

 

In conclusion, scientists in this study suggest that many more studies should be established on the effectiveness of using probiotics as prevention and especially treatment of COVID-19. As of now, apart from practicing social distancing, wearing mask, adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP), individuals may also benefits from probiotics rich foods and supplementation for its boosting immunity properties and fight against COVID-19.

 

Reference

  1. Kurian, S. J., Unnikrishnan, M. K., Miraj, S. S., Bagchi, D., Banerjee, M., Reddy, B. S., Rodrigues, G. S., Manu, M. K., Saravu, K., Mukhopadhyay, C., & Rao, M. (2021). Probiotics in Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19: Current Perspective and Future Prospects. Archives of medical research52(6), 582–594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2021.03.002

Asthma in Children

Asthma is a major Non-Communicable Disease (NCD), affecting children and adult. It is a condition when the air passage in the lungs become narrow due to inflammation and tightening of the muscle around the small airways. This lead to asthma symptoms such as cough, wheeze, shortness of breast and chest tightness. 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 it can also be due to viral infection (colds), dust, smoke, fumes, changes in the weather, grass and tree pollen, feather, 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 believe to have a multiple complex causes. Many different factors have been linked to an increased risk of developing asthma, such as

 

  • Have a close family members with asthma and/or eczema such as parents or siblings
  • Have other allergic conditions such as rhinitis etc.
  • Urbanization is associated with increased asthma prevalence, probably due to multiple lifestyle factors.

 

 
  • Events in early life affect the developing lungs and can increase the risk of asthma. These include low-birth weight, prematurity, exposure to tobacco smoke and other sources of air pollution, as well as viral respiratory infections.
  • Exposure to a range of environmental allergens and irritants are also thought to increase the risk of asthma, including indoor and outdoor air pollution, house dust mites, molds, and occupational exposure to chemicals, fumes, or dust.

 

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 inhaler:

 

  • bronchodilators (such as salbutamol), that open the air passages and relieve symptoms; and
  • steroids (such as beclometasone), that reduce inflammation in the air passages. This improves asthma symptoms and reduces the risk of severe asthma attacks and death.

 

 

People with asthma may need to use their inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the different 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 to reach the lungs more effectively.

 

Other than this, it is also best to avoid triggers for asthma. Triggers vary between person to person, as asthmatic children grow, parents should be able to identify things that triggers their asthma attack, it can be as simple as changes in weather / temperature etc.

 

In conclusion, asthma is a life long disease, it best to manage/ control it by avoiding trigger to asthma in children and also by adhering to their medication based on doctors’ suggestion.

 

References

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Asthma. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma
  2. Mayo Clinic. Childhood Asthma. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma
  3. Better Health Chanel. Asthma in children. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/asthma-in-children#causes-of-asthma-in-children

COVID19 – Masa Untuk Berhenti Merokok!

Pertubuhan Kesihatan Dunia (WHO) telah mewartakan bahawa merokok merupakan risiko yang spesifik bagi mendapatkan COVID19 (1,2). Hal ini adalah kerana, merokok merupakan penyebab kepada komplikasi sistem pernafasan dan organ badan yang lain. Justeru itu, jika virus korona ini 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, COVID19 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% lebih risiko untuk terdedah kepada kematian berbanding individu yang tidak menghidapi penyakit kronik (3).

 

Statistik juga menunjukkan bahawa, warga emas yang berusia 60 tahun ke atas mempunyai 62.6% risiko terdedah kepada kematian jika terdedah kepada virus ini berbanding individu yang di bawah usia 60 tahun (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 keranan dunia diancam dengan wabak COVID19, 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 akibat 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 nikotin dos 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 individu yang merokok

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.

 

11. Meditasi

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).

 

Rujukan


  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. 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)
  4. Cochrane. COVID-19 Resources. https://www.cochrane.org/news/special-collection-effective-options-quitting-smoking-during-covid-19 (Diakses 17 April 2020)
  5. Portal Rasmi My Health Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/nicotine-replacement-therapy-nrt/ (Diakses 17 April 2020)
  6. 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)


What happen to your stomach when you fast?

Fasting is a longstanding part of many religious traditions, including the Jewish and Muslim observances of Yom Kippur and Ramadan. As you read this, billions of Muslims around the world are engaging in this declaration of faith that involves abstaining from food and drink from dawn until dusk. While fasting for Ramadan is down to spiritual beliefs, many of us choose to fast with the belief that it benefits our health. But what happen to our body when we fast?

A person’s primary source of energy is sugar called glucose, which usually comes from carbohydrates, including grains, dairy products, fruits, certain vegetables, beans and even sweets.

 

 

The liver and muscles store the glucose and release it into the bloodstream whenever the body needs it. However, during fasting, this process changes. After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use the last of its glucose reserves. At this point, the body enters a state called glucogenesis, marking the body’s transition into fasting mode.

 

 

Studies have shown that glucogenesis increase the number of calories the body burns. With no carbohydrates coming in, the calories in the body burns. With no carbohydrate coming in, the body creates its own glucose using mainly fat.

 

Eventually, the body runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode then becomes the more serious starvation mode. At this point, a person’s metabolism slows down, and their body begins burning muscle tissue for energy. Although it is a well-known term in dieting culture, true starvation mode only occurs after several consecutive days or even weeks without food. So, for those breaking their fasting after 24 hours, it is generally safe to go without eating for a day unless other health conditions are present. (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.

 

 

Moreover, the team found that cancer patient who fasted for 3 days prior to chemotherapy were protected against immune system damage that can be 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 heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”(2)

 

On the other hand, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), there are numerous health risks associated with intermittent fasting.

 

People who fast commonly experience dehydration, largely because their body is not getting any fluid from food. As such, it is recommended that during Ramadan, Muslims consume plenty of water prior to fasting periods. Other individuals following fasting diets should ensure they are properly hydrated during fasting periods.

 

 

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.

 

 

References

 

  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].

 

  1. Medical News Today (n.d). Fasting: Health Benefits And Risks. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295914> [Accessed 29 April 2020].


Organic food, Is it healthier?

Globally, there is increasing demand for organic food (1). In Malaysia, the organic food industry is still small, as more than 60% of organic food products are imported (2).

However, the demand is increasing as well, due to consumers are increasingly concern about nutrition, health and food quality. Major concerns appear also due to food crisis involving pesticide residue on fresh produce, food contamination by chemicals in dairy and seafood products and the unregulated use of additives in processed food (2).

 

Furthermore, with the rise of obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease people are becoming more aware of the effect of their eating habits on health. Some people opt for organic produce food also due to the environmental awareness and threat posed by pesticides use in the conventional farming activities (2).

 

Generally, consumers perceive and understand that organic produce food is mostly based on not using fertilizers and pesticides thus it is healthier, but is this true? Is this mean that food that is safe is equivalent to food that is healthy?

 

 

But first, let us see what organic produce mean….

 

“Basically, organic farming utilises natural ways to manage crops. When planting crops, natural fertilisers such as manure or compost are used to feed the soil and plants instead of synthetic fertilisers. Some fastidious parties would even go as far as to ensure that the manure comes from organically bred animals, and that the compost is produced from waste material of organic locations. Instead of using chemicals and insecticides to control pests and reduce plant disease, organic farms use natural ingredients such as enzymes or plant-based pesticides. They also practised companion planting, where certain plants that are known to repel insects (such as marigold or bunga tahi ayam) are planted close to crops (3,4)”

 

In Malaysia, Malaysia Department of Agriculture (DOA) is the body responsible for the National Standard of Organic Food Industry, they also conduct regular checking on all the organic produce food, and certify it, whilst Malaysia Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI) is the body who actively conduct activities to educate farmers on organic farming etc (2).

 

Thus, from the above statement we know that organic produce food is not necessarily healthy but has safe level of pesticides since the farming method use is more environmentally friendly as compared to conventional produce food. Studies show that organic produce food have one third of the pesticides residue as compared to the conventional produce food on the market (4). However, both produce foods have safe level of pesticide residue, so to said it is safe to consume.

 

Whether a particular food is healthy or not, it cannot be judged on whether it is grown organically or not only. For a food to be consider healthy, there are many factors that play along. It is very important to remember that, there is no “healthy food like really healthy” food, what might be healthy for you might not be healthy for others, and the same food can also be considered healthy and not healthy merely on the portion consumption. (E.g: chicken is healthy but if you consume two whole chicken per day, then its hard to say that it is healthy anymore). So, to say healthy food itself is a concept comprising eating in moderation, food that has high nutritional value, eat variety of food, eat a balance diet and of course food that is safe to be eaten anddd at the same time food must be eaten according to individuals’ health/ medical condition.

 

 

But, if we are looking at the effect of organic food to see whether the consumption of organic food has actually improve health, there is a systematic review on the nutritional – related health effect of organic foods that collect all the studies on the effect of organic food published based on the hypotheses organic food production method results in higher nutrient concentration and that these compositional difference would result in different health responses, such as markers of carcinogenesis (cancer marker) or the bioavailability of phenolic substance (compound use to fight cancer) (1).

 

The result of the comparison between 12 studies in this review concluded that, antioxidant activity (compound use to fight cancer) was the most common reported primary outcome. Although antioxidant activity is a useful biomarker that maybe relevant to human health it is not direct health outcome itself. In fact, the mechanism of action that link between the effect of concentration of antioxidant and human health is mixed, thus care must be taken in interpretation of such data (1).

 

So, it is safe to say that, organic food is safer to eat as compare to conventional produce food in terms of pesticides residue but in terms of healthiness of the food, it is healthy to consume food in moderation, variety and balance.

 

 


References


  1. Dahgour D., Lock K., Hayter A., Aikenhead A., Allen E., Uauy R. (2010). Nutriton – Related Effects of Organic Foods: A systematic Review. American Society for Nutritions Journal. 2020; 92: 203-10
  2. Somasundram C., Razali Z., Santhirasegaran V., (2016). A Review on Organic Food Production in Malaysia. Horticulturae (MDPI)
  3. Datuk Dr, Nor Ashikin Mokhtar. The Star. Understanding Organic labels (2014). https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/viewpoints/womens-world/2014/01/12/understanding-organic-labels  (Accessed May 4, 2020)
  4. Is Organic Food Better For You (n.d). https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/organic-food-better#1 (Accessed May 4, 2020).

Tips to eat healthily while fasting in Ramadhan


Ramadhan is the month where Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk. Healthy Muslims need to fast, begin with the pre-dawn meal called ‘suhoor’ and break the fast at dusk which call ‘iftar’. Apart from Ramadhan, there are many other occasions where other religions around the world are also practicing fasting. The difference is only the method and the do’s and don’ts during the ritual. Since according to World Health Organization (WHO) there is evidence suggests that fasting have positive effects on health (1), there are also people who fast in order to lose weight (E.g: Intermittent fasting) and for health purposes.

What happened to your body during fasting?

 

During fasting, when no food and drink is consumed, body uses its stored carbohydrate (in the liver and muscles)  provide energy. Once all the calories from foods consumed have been used up, body will use the excess food that we consume in the form triglycerides (fat) to provide us with energy. This is when people usually loss weight.

 

Our body cannot store water so during fasting the kidneys conserve as much water as possible by reducing the amount lost in urine. However, body cannot avoid losing some water during certain process in the body such as through your skin (perspiration) and when you breathe (2).

 

Due to all these changes during fasting, we must to make sure that we practice healthy eating during fasting in order to make sure body that our body is able to cope with all this changing process by not losing nutrient needed but instead loss the unwanted fats, sugars, and cholesterol in the body.

 

4 Tips to eat healthily while fasting in Ramadhan

 

1.Do not skip ‘suhoor’

 

This is especially for special groups such as older people, adolescents, pregnant women, nursing mothers and as well as children who choose to fast. The meal for ‘suhoor’ must include vegetables, high fiber food can slow down the empty rates on the stomach and make individuals feel satiety. A serving of carbohydrates such as rice or bread (whole grain product is better) and protein – rich food such as egg or/ and dairy product are also a must.

 

Since ‘suhoor’ is very early in the morning and mostly people do not bother to cook for long time, thus people opt to fry their food, it is healthier to fry using air fryer where less fat (oil) is used, but apart from frying it is actually recommended to use other cooking method such as steaming or just stir fry since it use less oil.

 

During ‘suhoor’ also people tend to cook processed food such as sausages, nuggets etc, all these processed food actually contain high salt, it is better to avoid food that is high in salt, cause it will also makes one very thirsty later, thus food such as pickle, processed foods, salted meat and fish products, salty cheese and various types of ready-to-eat foods are best to avoid (1,2).

 

2. Keep hydrated



Make sure to drink 8 glass of water per day, still. Here is tip on how to drink 8 glass of water in Ramadhan according to Ministry of Health Malaysia (3).


Other than this, you can also increase water intake by consuming hydrating food. Try to add hydrating food such as watermelon, cucumber, tomato and green salad. You must also avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola, because caffeinated beverages are diuretic (which means it makes one urinate more often when consumed) this will lead to dehydration as well. Soupy food also rich in water thus it is suggested to consume this kind of food when break the fast. During the day of the fasting period, when the temperature is high (E.g: noon) it is important to remain in a cool and shaded place and to avoid the sun (1,2).


3. Break the fast gently

 

When it is time for break the fast, avoid filling up on greasy foods in the form of cakes and deep-fried savory snacks. It is best to go for dates, fruit or nuts to satisfy your hunger. If you often get caught in the rush hour traffic, consider keeping these preferred choices handy in small containers in your handbag or backpack so you do not have to delay your breaking of fast. This will prevent you from getting overly famished at dinner after the prayers, where you risk overeating and causing indigestion (4).

 

In Islam also, it is a sunnah habit to consume dates when break the fast;

 

 

You may also try to consume date and water to break fast and perform maghrib prayer first, then only begin to eat  heavy meals, just as the suggestion from Ministry of Health Malaysia.

 


4. Moderation and variation

 

The changes to eating habits and lack of fluids during the day may cause constipation for some people. When you can eat and drink, consume plenty of high fiber foods, such as wholegrains, high fiber cereals, bran, fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, dried fruit and nuts alongside plenty of fluids will help to ease constipation. Do some light physical activity, such as going for a walk after iftar or right before iftar in the evening will also helps with the constipation and indigestion after iftar.

 

While Ramadhan is time for people to reunite however during the pandemic of COVID19 it is best for people to not make a celebratory feast together. Iftar meals are often a time for celebration (of the day that you have successfully refrain yourself from eating and drinking) but it is still important not to go overboard when eating during Ramadan. Consuming a lot of deep fried, creamy and sweet foods may cause you to gain weight during Ramadan. Ramadan can be a good time to make changes to improve the balance of your diet that you can sustain in the longer term.

 

Be moderate in preparing ‘iftar’ and ‘suhoor’ menu. Moderation is the key when you go for grocery shopping as well. You can also practice ‘suku – suku separuh’ during ‘suhoor’ and ‘iftar’.

 

References



  1. World Health Organization (WHO) (2020). Dietary Recommendation for the month of Ramadhan. http://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/nutrition-infocus/dietary-recommendations-for-the-month-of-ramadan.html (Accessed May 8, 2020)
  2. British Nutrition Foundation (n.d). A healthy Ramadhan. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/seasons/ramadan.html?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=75c06dff67f5c87204c0dc2cdd8343844c35c78f-1588901425-0-ATZP71yUnOxiGwGcgpUyrLmtTJ-b_aVnqESs0dUhbMEwJx2CMSYck_sO8RxelwmxumL_jHJv2_mGOGvWSHlXaS_XwkdLczerYyCCTS6sjsdD9iRqqIt7I_CiM5BqvX8mnxfvPxXSNRGVErKJz0u9Z-jdTIY4PV0TvLNPbbPWNeZ0FpQCI0OKjcEl-s-fgzbwiWzuJ6jfRtpYYwc37XdkKv5wE3APFD-rODoj4wdkXGHByASPcLGaYNiPWa_9x1AS7n4g0TY5EsWp3OHEeCmtpv3c4VZ3rn5QKzrtx788z_k0_J4rluYZx1CbGz3DcFaQIdFXGyIZAPcr2CYlI1MMnmlD-genvQspQrMxHnrOn6Ix2p7QlmZSgD0RKHKOIeG80w (Accessed May 8, 2020)
  3. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Pulau Pinang. https://web.facebook.com/jknpenang/posts/3729048157168283?_rdc=1&_rdr  (Accessed May 8, 2020).
  4. Indra Balaratnam (2018). New Straits Times (NST). Eat Well Healthy Eating for Ramadhan. https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/heal/2018/05/367119/eat-well-healthy-eating-tips-ramadan (Accessed May 8, 2020).

5 Tips for Hari Raya Aidilfitri to be celebrated with the new norms!


It has been almost two months that Malaysians persevered under the Movement Control Order (MCO), and then the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).The order by the government, enforced since March 18, was to break the chain of the COVID-19 infection in the country. As for now, the curve is getting flatter, with Malaysia ranked fourth out of 105 countries in terms of people’s satisfaction with the government’s efforts in addressing the pandemic (1,2).


With this being said, the number of cases daily is also decreasing and the number of people whom have cured from COVID19 also is increasing,  with many new cluster has been surfaced, thus on May 11, 2020, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin, announced that the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is extended until 9 June 2020 (1,2).

 

This brings sadness to many as the Hari Raya Aidilfitri is approaching, and the interstate travel is banned thus for the first time in history, the norms of the Hari Raya celebration are going to change 360 degrees, with the absence of the ‘balik kampung’ and the open houses culture (1,2).

 

Here are some of the tips you may practice during Hari Raya Aidilfitri new norms since World Health Organization (WHO) expert in Medical Emergency, Dr. Mike Ryan stated that, once the MCO is getting less strict people will still maintain the social distance but the risk of infection will increase:

 

1.’Balik Kampung’ (1,2,3)

 

 

If your ‘kampung’ is in the same state and everyone is healthy. If you must travel interstate, do not ‘balik kampung’ stay where you are. Make sure the place you visit has not more than twenty people with everyone is healthy in the family. The Director General of Health also said that the “20 visitors per home” rule for Aidilfitri is not an absolute number and must take into consideration the size of one’s domicile to ensure social distancing above all. There is also 3Cs rule that is suggested by Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), which is confined spaces, crowded spaces and closed conversation that need to be avoided during Hari Raya period. Furthermore, if the house you are going to visit has elderly who is sick or baby, do not visit that house. Also before you actually visit a particular house, call to inform or seek permission first, whether they are ready to accept people for Hari Raya or not, because we might not know someone might just have the symptoms on the hari raya itself, thus want to avoid people during hari raya.

 

2. Practice 3C (4)

 

While you are visiting one another during hari raya make sure to adopt the new norm such as according to Centre of Disease Control (CDC) three steps you can take to keep yourself and your community healthy and safe amid the coronavirus outbreak are Clean, Cover and Contain. Frequently clean your hand by washing it with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. During this hari raya period, avoid the handshake culture, instead to show respect just put your hand on the chest. Avoid touching other people and surfaces After every visit that you make, make sure to clean hands before you enter the premise and after you enter the premise. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. The CDC also recommends cleaning and disinfect regularly touched surfaces daily. These surfaces include but are not limited to: doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.


Cover your mouth and nose, during your visit. Make sure to cover your mouth and nose either by wearing mask or cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. If you are using tissue, throw the tissue in the covered dustbin and immediately wash your hands after with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer as instructed above.


Contain the spread of germs and the virus by staying home if you feel sick except to get medical care. Self-isolate and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people for at least 1 meter, especially people who are at a higher risk of getting sick. These include elderly and anyone who has serious underlying medical conditions.

 

3.The usage of new technology among elderly

 

Until early last year many of the elderly have problem with regards to the usage of the internet, usage of the gadget and all that. However, since Movement Control Order, many elderly have learnt and know how to even make video call and buy things online. With Hari Raya that is going to be celebrated during CMCO period, it is the new norm for us to adopt this technology and be far from eyes but not in the heart. Call your loved ones during hari raya, if they do not know, get someone in the area to teach them on how to accept the call and call them during Hari Raya.


4. Scan for ‘duit raya’

As for duit raya, it has been a tradition for not only Malay to be giving and accepting ‘duit raya’ during hari raya, however it is not wise to be giving cash anymore. With the use of e – wallet and ‘duitnow’ we now able to transfer ‘duit raya’ contactless and easier. Set aside an amount of your money for ‘duit raya’ and you are set to give duit raya for your loved ones either through transfer or just scan it!

 

5.Warn

 

It is also a good practice, to warn or advise one another during hari ray since sometimes people might forget the do’s and don’t’s because we are so happy meeting everyone during hari raya. Hence, a reminder from one another is very important to make sure everyone is safe.

 

Lastly, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri from us Megalive Family to you and your family, may this Hari Raya brings you lot of happiness and makes you closer in the heart with your loved ones.

 

References



  1. http://english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/cmco-extended-hari-raya-be-celebrated-new-atmosphere-242517
  2. https://www.bernama.com/en/general/news_covid-19.php?id=1838724
  3. https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/05/11/health-d-g-20-visitors-during-aidilfitri-refers-only-to-family-members-must/1865158
  4. https://kwwl.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-the-three-cs/

 

7 Tips Penyediaan Menu Sihat & Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya!

Setiap tahun Hari Raya Aidilfitri ialah pada 1 Syawal tahun Hijrah. Perayaan tersebut juga dikenali sebagai Hari Raya Puasa atau Hari Raya Fitrah atau Hari lebaran. Hari Raya Aidilfitri merupakan sambutan yang diraikan oleh umat Islam di seluruh dunia setelah berjaya menjalani ibadah puasa sepanjang bulan Ramadhan.

Antara amalam – amalan tradisi yang dilakukan semasa Hari Raya ialah amalan ziarah – menziarahi sanak – saudara dan jiran tetangga. Amalan mengeratkan silaturahim ini sangat digalakkan dalam Islam bagi memohon kemaafan di antara satu sama lain. Akan tetapi oleh kerana Hari Raya Aidilfitri tahun ini ialah pada musim Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bersyarat maka, ikutlah saranan untuk beraya dengan selamat dalam kita menjauhi wabak COVID19. Walaupun sesetengah daripada kita ada yang telah mendapat vaksin tetapi masih ramai yang belum, dan sudah divaksin bukan bermakna anda tidak boleh dijangkiti wabak COVID19.

 



Semasa bulan Ramadhan sebelum ini, ramai di antara kita mengambil kesempatan menurunkan berat badan dan makan secara sihat. Walau bagaimanapun, apabila tiba musim perayaan, kebanyakan kita mengalami penambahan berat badan. Berat badan yang berjaya diturunkan sepanjang 30 hari menjalani ibadah puasa mungkin meningkat semula hanya selepas 15 hari menyambut Hari Raya. Hal ini adalah kerana, hari raya adalah masa untuk menikmati juadah hari raya yang hanya setahun sekali dimasak dan dimakan bersama – sama oleh kerana itu ramai yang mengambil kesempatan ini untuk makan juadah raya tanpa mengira jumlah kalori dan panduan pemakanan sihat (1).


Sebenarnya pemakanan sihat sangat mudah diikut walaupun ketika hari raya. Makan dengan sihat bukan bermaksud kita tidak dapat menikmati juadah hari raya akan tetapi makan dengan kadar yang betul dan dengan cara penyediaan makanan yang lebih sihat. Kita dapat bahagikan amalam pemakanan sihat ketika hari raya kepada dua kategori iaitu semasa penyediaan makanan dan semasa menikmati hidangan hari raya.

 

7 Tips Sediakan Hidangan Sihat di Hari Raya (1,2,3)

 

1. Kurangkan gula, minyak dan lemak dalam penyediaan biskut dan kek.

 

Gunakan ½ atau ¾ daripada kuantiti gula yang biasa digunakan semasa menyediakan biskut dan kek. Jika perlu, gunakan gula gantian bagi mendapatkan biskut atau kek yang sempurna tekstur dan rasanya.

 


2. Gunakan daging yang telah dibuang lemak atau ayam yang telah dibuang kulit.


3. Kurangkan mensajikan makanan yang bersantan, bergoreng dan berminyak.

 

4. Gantikan penggunaan santan dengan susu rendah lemak dalam penyediaan rendang dan kuah lontong.


5. Potong ayam atau daging dalam size yang kecil.

 

6. Gunakan ramuan tinggi serat untuk membuat  biskut dan kuih raya seperti tepung bijirin penuh, oat dan buah prun.


7. Kurangkan penggunaan pewarna tiruan dalam penyediaan kuih-muih, kek dan puding. Sebaliknya gunakan pewarna semulajadi seperti dari sumber daun pandan dan sebagainya.

 

7 Tips Makan Secara Sihat Di Hari Raya (1,2,3)

 

1. Makan dalam saiz hidangan atau kuantiti yang kecil.

 

Pemilihan pinggan yang lebih kecil membantu dalam mengurangkan pengambilan makanan lebih – lebih lagi jika anda makan secara buffet.

 

2. Pilih makanan yang rendah kalori seperti buah-buahan serta makanan yang kurang minyak, lemak dan santan.

 

3. Pilih makanan tinggi serat untuk mengelakkan sembelit.

 


4. Hadkan pengambilan makanan yang manis dan berlemak seperti biskut raya dan dodol.

 

Anda juga boleh mengehadkan pengambilan kuih-muih atau kek semasa hari raya kepada hanya 5 biji kuih raya sehari dan kurangkan pengambilan makanan manis yang lain.

 


5. Pilih buah- buahan segar sebagai pencuci mulut.

 

6. Hadkan pengambilan makanan yang tinggi kandungan garam seperti kerepek

 


7. Minum air kosong berbanding minuman berperisa, minuman berkarbonat dan minumam yang manis.

 

Senang bukan? Ikutilah panduan pemakanan sihat semasa hari raya ini, agar usaha anda untuk menurunkan berat badan sepanjang bulan Ramadhan tidak sia – sia. Bagi individu yang mempunyai masalah kesihatan, hari raya bukanlah tiket untuk anda menikmati juadah tanpa mengambil kira faktor kesihatan ya!

 

Akhir sekali, selamat menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri, semoga hari raya ini memberi keceriaan kepada kita semua!

 

Rujukan


1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Perancangan dan Pemilihan Menu Sihat Rumah Terbuka Aidilfitri. http://nutrition.moh.gov.my/wpcontent/uploads/penerbitan/buku/Menu%20Rumah%20Terbuka%20Hari%2 0Raya%202013.pdf


2. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya. https://www.infosihat.gov.my/index.php/multimedia/bukukecil/item/makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya


3. Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Perak. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), bahagian Pemakanan. Makan secara sihat di hari raya. http://jknperak.moh.gov.my/v4/index.php/my/arkib-berita/69-informasikesihatan/509-makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya.html Makan secara sihat di hari raya. http://jknperak.moh.gov.my/v4/index.php/my/arkib-berita/69-informasikesihatan/509-makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya.html

Loss of Appetite among Elderly, How to Improve?


Loss of Appetite among Elderly, How to Improve?

Worldwide, people are living longer. People in this era, are expected to live into their sixties and beyond, with the advancement of medical technology. By 2050, there will be as many as 2 billion number of people from this age group, living in China alone is about 120 million and 434 million people in the rest of the world. Today, 125 million people are aged 80 years old and older. In 2050, 80% of all older people will live in low- and middle-income countries.

 

 

Whilst in Malaysia, the number of Malaysians aged 60 years and above is estimated to be 1.4 million and is projected to increase to 3.3 million in the year 2020. The percentage of the population that is 60 years and over has also increased over the years – 5.2% in 1970, 5.7% in 1990 and 6.3% in the year 2000. In the year 2020, this percentage is expected to be 9.8% of the population. Between 1990 and 2020, the population of Malaysia is expected to increase from 18.4 million to 33.3 million – an increase of 80%. The aged population however is expected to increase from 1.05 million in 1990 to 3.26 million over the same period, an increase of 210% (2).

 

 

The pace of ageing population is much faster than in the past. All countries in the world face major challenges, in order to ensure that peoples’ health and social system are ready for this demographic shift. Healthcare system and technology need to be at par with people’s health and needs (1,2).

 

Many more literatures need to be discussed pertaining to the issue of geriatric (elderly) health. According to research, elderly face problem such as frailty, and this is often compounded by problems such as urinary incontinence, instability, falls and acute confusion states. Also, many elderly face accumulations of chronic diseases as they grow older (2).

 

All these problems lead to malnutrition among elderly, apart from this, poor dentition, changes in dietary habits and types of food that are available also play major role in this situation.  Thus, if you have elderly with poor appetite make sure to rule out all these physical problem before try to improve elderly’s appetite. Furthermore, due to fasting season where most people lose weight and have poor appetite also because, people’s have been staying home for quarantine for long time (2,3).

 

 

Ways to stimulating appetite in elderly as a caregiver or ways for elderly to try themselves (3,4):

 

  • Enjoy a meal together or encourage your loved one to join others for a weekly lunch or dinner. Studies show that seniors who eat with others tend to eat more and make healthier food choices.
  • Remember that your loved one’s tastes may be changing. Try making nutritious meals that are bright, colorful and packed with vitamins and minerals. However, do not overwhelm your loved ones with large portions, as a plate heaped with food may overwhelm them and deter them from eating altogether.

 

  • Set schedule for eating meals makes it a routine part of your loved one’s day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks should be served at the same time throughout the day, every day of the week.

 

  • Serve smaller portions of high nutrient foods. Some seniors feel overwhelmed if they see a large amount of food in front of them. Instead of a big plate, serve smaller portions. You could even switch to a daily routine where your older adult eats 5 small meals instead of 3 larger ones.
  • To save time, you can still cook food in larger batches. Just store it in smaller individual containers so it is easy to reheat.
  • Stop using utensils. The frustration of not being able to use a spoon, fork, or knife could make some older adults not want to eat at all. To help them eat more easily, serve foods that can be eaten without any utensils.
  • Have plenty of easy-to-eat snacks on hand. Some seniors prefer to graze throughout the day rather than eat full meals. That is ok too. Keep plenty of healthy, delicious, and easy-to-eat snacks available.

 

  • Make milkshakes or smoothies. If chewing is difficult or tiring, even with small pieces of food, consider serving more liquid-y foods. You can try to prepare this liquid diet with various kind of fruits and vegetables as well. Unless your older adult has specific health issues, do not worry too much about fat or cholesterol. After all, the challenge is to get enough calories into them.
  • To bridge the gap between poor consumption of food/ highly nutritious food with their health need, consumption of complete milk formula such as Nutrasure and multivitamins such as Ginviton are helpful!

 

  • Keep track of what works. Take notes so you can keep track of what foods your senior enjoys, what they do not like, and what might be upsetting their stomach. You can also track what times of day they are more willing to eat or when they have a better appetite. Keeping track lets you experiment more with things that are working and avoid the things that are not.

 

References

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Key Facts. Ageing and Health. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health
  2. Mafauzy M. (2000). The Problems and Challenges of the Ageing Population in Malaysia. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3406209/
  3. American Senior Communities. Is Loss of Appetite in Elderly is the Sign of Something Else? https://www.asccare.com/loss-appetite-elderly-sign-something-else/
  4. Daily Caring. 6 Ways For Seniors with No Appetite to Eat. https://dailycaring.com/6-ways-to-get-seniors-with-no-appetite-to-eat/

 


TINJAUN KEBANGSAAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA (NHMS), Kenapa perlu kita khuatir?


TINJAUN KEBANGSAAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA (NHMS), Kenapa perlu kita khuatir?

Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan Malaysia atau Nama Inggerisnya, National Health Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS) adalah survei kesihatan yang dibuat setiap empat tahun oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti status kesihatan rakyat Malaysia. Tinjauan ini adalah tinjauan yang melibatkan negeri di seluruh Malaysia.

 

Tinjauan ini mengkaji beberapa perihal aspek kesihatan yang terpenting seperti penyakit tidak berjangkit yang dialami oleh rakyat Malaysia iaitu obesiti, kencing manis, darah tinggi, dan masalah kolesterol. Ia juga merangkumi aspek pemakanan seperti  pengambilan makanan dan minuman sihat, aspek kesihatan mental, kesihatan seksual dan pengambilan dadah. Selain daripada itu, tinjauan ini juga mengkaji aspek yang melibatkan perkhidmatan kesihatan di Malaysia.

 

Terdapat beberapa perkara serius menurut hasil dapatan ini iaitu;

 

1 daripada 2 dewasa di Malaysia adalah obese!

 

Obese atau obesity adalah masalah lebihan berat badan yang di alami oleh individu, yang berpunca daripada pelbagai faktor. Namun, apa yang lebih membimbangkan adalah, menjadi obese ini sendiri adalah merupakan risiko utama kepada masalah kesihatan seperti kencing manis, darah tinggi, kolesterol, masalah jantung serta masalah kesihatan yang lain – lain lagi.

 

Jika perkara ini berterusan, bayangkan setiap orang yang anda jumpai separuh daripadanya adalah obese dan mempunyai kencing manis, darah tinggi dan sebagainya!! Menurut kajian ini, inidividu yang mengalami obesity tertinggi adalah wanita iaitu sebanyak 57.6%, kaum india iaitu sebnayak 63% dan dalam kalangan mereka yang berumur 55 – 59 tahun.

 

 

Antara lain perkara yang membimbangkan ialah masalah kencing manis dalam kalangan rakyat Malaysia.

 

1 daripada 5 dewasa mengalami masalah diabetes!

 

Diabetes atau kencing manis adalah keadaan di mana paras gula dalam darah menjadi tinggi. Hal ini berpunca daripada kekerapan pengambilan makanan yang tidak sihat. Makanan yang tinggi karbohidrat, gula dan lemak dan gaya hidup yang tidak aktif.

 

Selain daripada peratusan obesity yang semakin meningkat saban hari, yang mengeruhkan keadaan ini juga adalah pengambilan minuman yang manis, menurut tinjauan,sebanyak 53.2% individu di Malaysia minum minuaman manis yang disediakan sendiri setiap hari, 4.2% individu minum minuman berkarbonat setiap hari dan 6.7% individu minum minuam 3 dalam 1 setiap hari.

 

Menurut tinjauan ini, seramai 3.9 juta dewasa berusia lebih dari 18 tahun menghidapi penyakit kencing manis. Kebanyakkan dari mereka yang berumur 18 – 40 tahun tidak tahu bahawa mereka menghidapi kencing manis.

 

Antar negeri yang mempunyai prevalen kencing manis yang tinggi adalah Negeri Sembilan (33.2%), Perlis (32.6%), dan Pahang (25.7%).

 

Antara gejala yang melibatkan masalah kencing manis ialah, keletihan, kerap membuang air kecil, kehausan yang melampau, penurunan berat badan, dan kerap mengalami jangkitan kuman. Sekiranya anda tidak mempunya gejala seperti ini, anda juga boleh melakukan saringan kencing manis jika anda mempunyai berat badan yang berlebihan, BMI melebihi 23 kg/m2 atau ukur lilit pinggang melebihi 80 cm untuk wanita dan 90 cm untuk lelaki.

 

Kegagalan mengenal pasti masalah kencing manis dengan lebih awal akan menyebabkan komplikasi yang lebih serius di masa akan datang.

 

 

4 daripada 10 dewasa mengalami masalah kolesterol

 

Seramai 8 juta rakyat Malaysia mempunyai masalah tinggi kolesterol, iaitu 4 daripada 10 orang mengalaminya. Bacaan kadar bagi tinggi kolesterol ialah sebanyak 5.2 mmol dan ke atas. Mereka yang berumur 40 – 59 tahun adalah individu yang paling ramai tidak mengetahui bahawa mereka mempunyai tahap kolesterol yang tinggi. Hanya 63% daripada individu yang mempunyai masalah kolesterol yang tinggi Berjaya mengawal tahap kolesterol dengan pengambilan ubat – ubatan.

 

3 daripada 10 dewasa mengalami  Hipertensi

 

Hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi yang tidak dikawal boleh mengakibatkan serangan jantung, strok dan pelbagai penyakit kardiovaskular yang lain. Bacaan kadar tekanan darah tinggi yang tidak terkawal ialah bacaan yang melebihi 140/ 96 mmHg. Lelaki yang berumur 30 tahun ke bawah adalah mempunyai 3 kali ganda lebih ramai menghidapi hipertensi berbanding wanita. Dalam 6.4 juta rakyat Malaysia yang mengalami hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi, hanya separuh yang menyedari bahawa mereka menghidapi penyakit ini.

 

Kesimpulannya, masalah seperti obesity, kencing manis, darah tinggi dan tinggi kolesterol mempunyai perkaitan rapat antara satu sama lain. Penyakit – penyakit ini membawa komplikasi yang lebih serius dalam jangka masa panjang dan merupakan risiko kepada masalah kardiovaskular yang juga merupakan penyebab kematian nombor satu di Malaysia. Seramai 1.7 juta individu di Malaysia mempunyai tiga faktor risiko manakala seramai 3.4 juta individu di Malaysia mengalami faktor risiko utama.

 

 

 

 

Bagi mengatasi masalah ini, individu perlu mengawal bacaan tekanan darah iaitu bacaan perlu kurang dari 140/ 90 mmHg. Individu juga perlu mengamalkan diet yang seimbang dan sihat bagi mengekalkan berat badan yang ideal, selalu bersenam dan menghindari rokok dan alkohol.

 

Rujukan

  1. Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (2009). Penyakit tidak berjangkit, permintaan jagaan kesihatan dan literasi kesihatan. Penemuan Utama, Infografik Booklet. Institut Kesihatan Umum.

 

  1. Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (2009). Lembaran Fakta. Penyakit tidak berjangkit, permintaan jagaan kesihatan dan literasi kesihatan. Lembaran Fakta. Institut Kesihatan Umum.

 

 

  1. Portal Rasmi Pendidikan Kesihatan Malaysia (MyHealth) (2016). Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Bagaimana Diabetes dikesan? http://pendidikanpesakit.myhealth.gov.my/bagaimana-diabetes-dikesan/

 

  1. Portas Rasmi Pendidikan Kesihatan Malaysia (MyHealth) (2008). Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Obesity and Overweight. http://pendidikanpesakit.myhealth.gov.my/bagaimana-diabetes-dikesan/

DURIAN!!! Eat whole durian is equivalent to 3 bowl of rice?


DURIAN!!! Eat whole durian is equivalent to 3 bowl of rice?

Durian or ‘King of fruit’ is a well-known fruit for its smell. Anthony Bourdain, the late renowned food critic describes durian as “It smelled like you buried someone holding a big wheel of Stilton (cheese) in his arms, then dug him few weeks later” (1). That is to describe how horrible the smell of durian is, but to certain people who like to eat durian the smell of durian to them is heaven!

 

Durian actually has more than 30 species but the one that people usually eat are about 8 species only, due to its exotic nature, people have started to commercialized durian even to the international level. The most common durian being exported and widely consumed is Durio Zibethinus (2).


Due to its popularity, people started to questioning about durian health benefits, whether it is good or bad for health? Unlike apple, orange, guava and many other common fruits where people always equate it to “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” which means, consuming all these fruits are going to make you healthier, since it is packed full with nutrients that is good for body. For durian, the opinion regarding its health effect is mixing, some people say that it is good for health and can even be used to alleviate infertility or PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  and some people say that it is heaty thus cannot be consumed too much etc. (3).

 

In general, durian is considered a safe fruit to eat just like any other fruit, but since durian has high calorie value, thus it is not advisable to consume in large amount unlike other fruits. Look at the infographic below to understand, calorie in durian in comparison with other fruits (4).

 


Here is the calorie of durian per seeds, surprisingly eating  5 seeds of durian is equivalent to a bowl of rice! ANDDDD IF A DURIAN CONSISTS OF 15 SEEDS IT IS EQUIVALENT TO 3 BOWL OF RICE! Thus, the recommended intake of durian is only 2-3 seeds, which is equivalent to about per serving of fruits or 90 kcal.

 


Though, it is crystal clear here that it is safe to eat durian within recommended amount, but there are people who should be even more cautious in consuming durian, that is people who are obese, people who have diabetes and people who have kidney problem. As for people who are obese and diabetes, it is due to its high calorie, high carbohydrate and high fats value thus should be extra careful on the consumption of durian. Whereas for people with kidney problem or undergoing dialysis, due to high potassium content in durian and it is difficult for their body to excrete potassium, thus, they must avoid eating TOO MUCH durian at all cost (4)!

 


Albeit durian has many health benefits, when it comes to its consumption with other foods and beverages such as alcohol, it is said that it can interfere with liver function. In detail, durian contain sulphur-containing volatiles which can inhibit the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (enzyme that helps in process alcohol), thus explaining why consuming durian together with alcohol is a deadly mixed (4).

As for the consumption of durian with paracetamol, there is no study on human has been conducted, so far. But there is study on lab rat regarding this. The study shows that, rat that receive paracetamol and durian gives sign of hypothermic effect (significant drop in temperature) thus explain that the two mixture is toxic. However, the mechanism of toxicity is still unknown. To be safe, it is not safe to consume durian together with paracetamol (5).

 

In conclusion, for people who does not have any health concerns, consume durian within the recommended intake and consume it in moderation, is very much advisable. While for those who have health concerns, eat durian very minimally, it is advisable to eat other types of fruit that have lower calorie count as compared to durian, but since it is in the season thus consume it very minimally with caution towards calorie intake from other food types as well is recommended.

 

 

References

  1. The Star. Benefits of eating durian? Its rich in antioxidant but its fattening (2019). https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2019/09/10/eating-durian-healthy-or-not/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. Tan M.C & Shyamala A. (2018). Exploring the Nutritional Content and Benefits of Durian (Durio Zibethinus). Institute of Bioproduct Development, Universiti Teknologi Mara. https://www.utm.my/ibd/project/exploring-the-nutritional-contents-and-benefits-of-durian-durio zibethinus/#:~:text=Durian%20is%20widely%20celebrated%20for,and%20protect%20against%20cardiovascular%20diseases. (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. Reshma M. Ansari (2016). Potential Use of Durian Fruit (Durio Zibenthinus linn) as an Adjunct to treat Infertility in Polycystic Ovarian Synrdome (PCOS). PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26778225/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. International Medical University (IMU). Can A Durian A Day Keep the Doctor Away? http://imunews.imu.edu.my/people/can-a-durian-a-day-keep-the-doctor-away/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. A. Chua., H. Nurhaslina., S.H. Gan. (2008). Hyperthermic Effect of Durio Zibethinnus and Its Interaction with Paracetamol. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19271022/#:~:text=Because%20durian%20(Durio%20zibethinus)%2C,a%20risk%20of%20toxic%20effects 

Latok? Is the New Hype Really Good for Health?


Latok? Is the New Hype Really Good for Health?

On the social media recently, many people starts to sell grape seaweed or better known as latok. It is said that, latok has many health benefits, but to people from the Peninsular of Malaysia, latok is the new hype. Since many people saying that it is good for health, so people have starting to try and consume it. But how true is the claimed?

 

 

Latok, grape seaweed or its scientific name is Caulerpa Lentilifera, is a common ‘ulam’ for Sabahan. Study on latok in Malaysia is still very little perhaps because previously there is only small number of people who consume it regularly, but there are actually extensive studies conducted in Philippines on this latok, since it is a very common food in Philippines as well (1).

 

Surprisingly, according to studies, latok has various health benefits! However, the nutrient content in latok, is vary from one another based on its size, the location where it breeds, the ecosystem of its habitat and the maturity of latok when it is harvest (2).

 

Previously in Asian countries, seaweed has been utilized as a source of phycocolloids, thickening and gelling agents in the food industry. Since people have not yet discover it health benefits, perhaps it is about time for people to commercialized latok for its health benefits. Since studies shows that, latok is high with iron, zinc, calcium and fibre (2,3).

 

 

Latok is even recommended to be consumed by pregnant women, adolescents, and teenagers for its high calcium content, since these two groups of people is at the stage of needing high calcium for their growth and development (2,3).

 

Apart from its micronutrients, latok also has large amounts of polysaccharides, most of which cannot be digested by humans without the required enzymes for degradation. These polysaccharides can therefore be regarded as excellent source of dietary soluble fibre. This property therefore can lower the risk of constipation (2,3).

 

There are also studies claiming that, latok has the ability to lower the cholesterol, thus preventing heart disease and it has anti-cancer property (2,3). However, what more important is how people consume it. It is such a culture in Malaysia where people eat ‘ulam’ or vegetables with various kind of gravies such as sambal belacan, budu, cincalok, kicap and many others. It is such a waste to all these high content of nutrients where is supposed to be given benefits to the body but in returns give harm because all these gravies contain high salt content thus can even pose high risk for hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

 

References

  1. Fadzilah A.K., Mohd Fadzely A.B., Maryati M., Noratiqah N., (2018). Utilization of natural resources: Preliminary study on ethnopharmacological application of ‘ulam’ or traditional vegetables among Sama- Bajau of Kampung Menunggui, Kota Belud, Sabah. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5055431

 

  1. James David S. Alacantra., Nancy L.L., (2020). Mineral Availability, dietary fiber contents and short chain fatty acid fermentation product for Caulerpa Lentilifere and Kappaphycus Alvareezii Vol. 31 (1). KIMIKA.

 

 

 

  1. Cherry P., Cathal O’Hara., Pamela J.M., Emeir M.M., and Philip J.A., Risk and Benefits of Consuming Edible Seaweed. Nutrition Review. Vol 77(5): 307 -329


Quinoa, is it really superfood?


Quinoa, is it really superfood?

Superfood is a non-medical term, usually refers to foods that have health promoting properties. According to American Heart Association (AHA), there is just no specific category when it comes to superfood. It mostly is plant-based food but sometimes it can be fish and dairy that are nutritionally dense as well. Superfoods usually contain unusually high content of antioxidant to ward of cancer, high in fiber which does not spike blood glucose thus have the properties to prevent diabetes and digestive problem. It is also high with healthy fat to prevent heart disease and contain phytochemicals that is responsible for food deep colors. Example of superfoods are green tea, acai berries, salmon and quinoa (1,2).

 

 

What is quinoa?

 

Quinoa or also known as pseudo-cereals is world most popular superfood, even recognized by Harvard School of Public Health. Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein and one the few plant foods that contain complete all nine essential amino acids (3).

 

It is not only rare to have all the nine essential amino acids in a food, but it is as well is important and easy for us! To make it easy to understand, for amino acid there are two kind of amino acids, essential and non-essential. Essential amino acid is the amino acids that cannot be synthesized by human body, it must be gathered from diet, while the non-essential amino acids is the amino acids that can be synthesized by human body itself. Amino acid is important for the growth, repairing of body tissue, breaking down the food and many others. Thus, when quinoa has its all, this superfood really is NUTRITIOUS (4,5)!

 

 

Quinoa also is high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, E vitamin and various antioxidants (4,5).

 

Is Quinoa really superfood?

 

Yes! Even according to Harvard School of Public Health! Quinoa is technically a seed, but due to its nutritious properties it is considered as whole grain. One cup of cooked quinoa provides about 8g of protein and 5g of fiber. Thus, it really promotes satiety and is suitable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 

When it comes to superfood, there are various claim with regards to this. Some critical claim said that, a superfood might be a superfood but the process itself might make the superfood not as nutritious as it would be, which is why, it is really important to understand the cooking process and food process itself.

 

As for quinoa, it has different level of maturity of seeds even in the same plant, thus it must be hand-picked undergo the process of removing saponin – a bitter chemical compound coating the exterior part of quinoa that act as natural pesticides. After this process, quinoa is then healthy and safe to be eaten!

 

But due to its high nutrient content, some people said that, it not really palatable, especially with the Asian or Malaysian palate! Thus, there are few cooking or serving suggestion with regards to quinoa if you are to consume this superfood!

 

Replace your carbohydrate with quinoa

 

Since quinoa is better than the average rice, pasta, and many other carbs, thus it is advisable to replace it with quinoa. As an example, you may replace quinoa in sushi, pasta salad and you can even prepare it as a breakfast cereal by simply cook it with milk or water and diced in some fruits or pop in some cinnamon  and a table spoon of nuts!

 

But, since Quinoa is prominently in cultivated in country such as Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador, thus it is really difficult to get the quinoa in the country like Malaysia, so what can one do with regard to this ?

 

It is to.. choose food product that has quinoa as its main ingredients!

 

You may drink it as it is and still get the benefits from quinoa if its in powder form, or you can even add this product in your salad, as gravy or in less sugar cookies, muffin, bownies or even pancake!

 

Example below on how quinoa can be served as!

 

    Quinoa as breakfast cereal

                                        Quinoa with salad

 

    Quinoa puffed

 

Quinoa muffin

 

      Quinoa bites

References

  1. Christopher Wanjek (2019). What are Superfood?  com.  https://www.livescience.com/34693-superfoods.html (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

  1. Mellisa Conrad Stoppler. Medical Definition of Superfood. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=125459 (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

 

  1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/quinoa/ (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

  1. Kriss Gunnars (2018). 11 Proven Benefits of Quinoa. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-quinoa (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

  1. Medline Plus. Amino Acids. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002222.htm (Accessed on July 6, 2020).


How to shop for healthy food on the market?


How to shop for healthy food on the market?

As the demands for healthy food is increasing thus healthy food option on the market is becoming more ubiquitous as well. In 2017, Forbes wrote that people who view on food related contents is more than 23 billion and search on healthy food content like vegan or gluten free food on the internet is increasing more that 100% (1).

 

As people are started to search for healthy food and there are many healthy food options on the market, how do consumers make the right choice in buying healthy food? Or is healthy food is more to marketing strategy rather than ‘healthy’ itself ?


 

Tips for buying healthy groceries.

 

Buying groceries seems easy until, you put into account your budget, how many heads need to be fed and the need to make healthier food choices for everyone in the household! Even more headache, if any of the members in the house have specific food allergies or certain medical condition that allow only specific food to be eaten. Fret not, here we try to simplify things for you and smoothen your grocery shopping experience!

 

1. Plan ahead (2,3,5).

 

In order to ease your groceries shopping out, you may actually plan ahead your meal of the week, this can as well make sure that you only shop within your budget. Meal planning not only saving your money and time, but it also can ensure you and your family gets healthy and nutritious meal. Below is the example of meal planning for family of two throughout the week.

 




You may get this kind of template for weekly meal planner online since it can be exciting, to incorporates your family members favourite dish or trying new recipe using this. Based on this, you get to know what are the things you need to stock at your kitchen and pantry with.

 

2. Looking for healthy food on the market (3,4,5,6,7).

 

Here comes the tricky one! After you have planned your meal of the week, you may divide it according to classes of food, since food in the supermarket or even your local grocery shop (support local, small SME), is usually by category. Food classes can be divided into carbohydrate, protein, fats, fruits, and veggies.

 

Carbohydrates (3,4,5).

 

Always remember to consume food in variation, balance and in moderation, to keep you and your family a healthy balance diet. When it comes to carbohydrate, make sure the source of your carbohydrate comes from variety of source. Example of carbohydrate sources are pasta, rice, bread, noodle, and some vegetables like potatoes. Vary food from these sources throughout the week and choose food from the low glycaemic index and whole-grain product more than the high glycaemic index.

 

Glycemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own. High GI foods are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood sugar level, such as sugary and sugary foods, soft drinks, white bread, potatoes, and white rice. Meanwhile, low GI food is the kind of food that will slowly spike your blood because it is broken down slowly and makes you full longer (promotes satiety). Example of low GI foods are green leafy vegetables, wholegrain food such as oat and brown rice, legumes and many more.

 

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Protein (3,4).

 

Protein can also derive from various food resources, commonly known are chicken, meat, and fish, but there is also other soy-based food that is high with protein content, such as ‘tauhu’ and ‘tempeh’. Not only that ‘tempeh’ (local soy-based food) is high with protein but rich in probiotics as well.

Always choose white meat over red meat, since red meat has high saturated fats which is not good for your heart health, it is ok to consume it but in moderation and not too seldom. Dairy products are important as well in incorporating healthy, balance meal, thus consider including dairy product in your diet as well.

 

Fats (7).

 

There are many types of cooking oil on the market, they are also marketed as the cooking oil which has low cholesterol level. Is it true? This is all marketing strategy, as all of the cooking oil such as sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, or even the common one which is palm oil is derived from plant thus, plant-based food generally does not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is only coming from animal -based food.

 

Below is the classification of cooking oil;

 


It is suggested to mix your cooking oil in the 1:1 ration, which means 1 part of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.

 

Vegetables & Fruits (3,4,5).

 

As for vegetables, it is suggested to consume 3 servings of vegetables per day, thus you can tell that it needs to be the most food items that you bought for the market in order to make sure everyone consume enough vegetables.

 

It is quite troublesome when it comes to vegetables since most of the vegetables have short life span. Make sure 20%-30% of your vegetables coming from green leafy vegetables, since these are insoluble fiber which is good for your digestion and slow down the spike of your blood glucose level, but these are the kind of vegetables that is easily perishable as well. The rest you may add with rhizome types of vegetables such as carrot and radish, and another one us tuber such as potatoes.

 

Tuber kind of vegetables are mostly high in carbohydrate as well, it is still helping the digestion, but it can spike your glucose level. Thus, be careful on the consumption of this kind of vegetables.

 

 


3. Looking for LOW sodium, LOW sugar, LOW fat (6).

 

Always read food labels especially for condiments, but it is also suggested to use natural herbs as to give flavour to your dish. Garlic, ginger, celery, onion spring, turmeric, chilli powder are the kind of herbs that can be used to improve your dish flavour.

 

As for condiments, less sugar, less salt and low fat, does not mean that it has no sugar, fat and salt, but it just means that it is the improve formulation from the previous. Meaning to say as an example if the previous formulation has 30g of salt the current formulation perhaps has only 15g of salt. Thus, do not go and binge using all these low in salt, sugar and condiment, still need to use in moderation but it is still the healthier option for your health!

 

In conclusion

 

Though it is very essential to buy healthy food in order to eat healthy food, but cooking method is as well as important. Make sure most of your cooking method is boiling, grilling, and steaming. Taste is something that you can mould if you mould your taste bud into consuming healthy food, as time passed by you will get use to it and eat healthily.

 

 

 

References

  1. Marketing Healthy Food: Strategies to make discovery easier (2017). https://www.forbes.com/sites/matzucker/2017/02/22/marketing-healthy-food/#4e329aa462e8 (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  2. Kathleen M.Z., 10 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping (n.d). https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-tips-for-healthy-grocery-shopping#1 (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  3. Make a Grocery List in a Minute (n.d). https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/grocery-list#1 (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  4. Food Network. Katie Allen. Smart Shopping Guide for Healthy Meals (n.d). https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/articles/a-guide-to-smart-supermarket-shopping-from-the-fn-kitchens (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  5. How to make healthy shopping grocery list (n.d). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-grocery-list#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5 (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  6. Ministry of Health. My Health Portal. NurAidaliana Abas. Lemak dan Kolesterol (2015). http://www.myhealth.gov.my/lemak-dan-kolesterol/ (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  7. National Health Service (NHS). What is the Glycemic Index (GI) (2018). https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/what-is-the-glycaemic-index-gi/ (Accessed on August 20, 2020).

The healthier you in 2021


The healthier you in 2021

 

Every year, everyone has new goals to achieve. Be it set up new goals to achieve or just simply carry forward the previous goals with some modification or just carry forward the previous goals as it is since it is not achieved yet or it has not becoming habit yet.

 

In this article we are going to share with you, three areas of health for the healthier you in 2021. They are nutrition, physical activity, and mental health. These three are really essential components of health that you need to put an effort to maintain especially as you grow older. World Health Organization (WHO) in its definition of ‘health’ as well emphasize on these three factors when describing what health is.

 

‘Health is state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’

 

Which also explain why individual who are disabled or individual who is bedridden can also have the best state of health despite their lack in certain things and individuals with complete physical well being might also be not in their best state of health. Since health itself is more than what can be seen outside.

 


Nutrition.

 


 

Ministry of Health has come up with Malaysian plate to helps Malaysian to easily practice healthy eating habit. This makes it even easier nowadays to follow the healthy eating regime, put more plant-based food into your diet. The requirement is 3 servings of vegetables per day and it is about 3 ladles of vegetables daily. The types of vegetables that should be consumed more is the non-starchy vegetables such as green leafy vegetables. When we consume plenty of plant-based food, it will reduce the intake of food from carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Which our current scenario is vice versa, the eating habit that most of us are currently is, we consumed too many carbohydrates, fats, and protein which is the contributor to the obesity and various diseases. It is no surprised that we are the fattest country in Southeast Asia.

 


By saying this, also implying that weight monitoring and be more mindful on what we put into our body such as the need to consume less saturated fat, trans fat and interesterification fat in our daily diet is a must. Being mindful of our ideal healthy weight helps us to be more cautious to choose food not only because of its calorie but because of its overall nutrition content, which is why apart from maintaining healthy body weight, it is also essential to start monitor your body parameters every year! You may do blood test, or simply go to the nearest pharmacy or clinic to check on you blood pressure, blood glucose, blood cholesterol level, and uric acid level. So, go and check your health parameters before end of this year so you may start planning for the healthier you in 2021 better with your health information.

 

Physical activity

 

Physical activity is one of the areas that is concerning healthcare professional especially for Malaysian women since in the previous years, we can see the gap in women who is exercise as compared to man, but not anymore. Nowadays, we can see that many Malaysian women started to exercise, be in the lady’s gym only or be it in the local cycling group in your neighborhood, you will meet women joining such activities nowadays which is a good sign. But still, more efforts need to be done to encourage women to exercise especially those new moms who is still adjusting motherhood. It is nice to see perhaps in the future gym with kids’ corner where mom can do their exercise while their kids still can enjoy their own activities all in one place.

 

Apart from this, if you are considering starting exercise in the new year, you may start with something you like, it can be cycling, jogging, Zumba, Pilates, dancing and many more. The interesting thing with exercise is that you can try various of things before you will find what suit you most, and when you have found that exercise that you like. You will have no more feeling like it is a torture.

 


As for elderly, perhaps to start with vigorous exercise is dangerous for your body, so simply stick to exercise that require simple motion but still makes you move around. It is as simple as gardening, tai chi, or any other house chores that makes you move your body and make sure you enjoy that so that you can put that into your habit!

 

Mental health

 

Apart from exercise can make body healthier it can as well improve mental health. Many people are becoming more stress and anxiety with regards to pandemic COVID19. Staying at home, practicing social distance, and wear mask has made people paranoid of going out and makes people have no source of comfort.

 

There are certain practices which can improve this according to World Health organization (WHO) such as take time daily for spiritual renewal, where you can allocate some of your time daily for reading, praying, meditate, and seek spiritual renewal. A heart primed with gratitude, forgiveness, and service help you soar over life difficulties, and challenges. Spend quality time with family and friends also helps in building strong heart and healthy mind. Relationship teach love and acceptance which makes more room for kindness which is as well a good fuel to content heart!

 

Lastly, manage stress and limit the use of tobacco, alcohol consumption and illicit drugs also will tremendously help. Also, if you think that the burden is too much to carry learn to let go, learn to share, and learn to accept things at is.

 

In conclusion,

 

With all these tips, we hope that 2021, will be our year to soar high, to achieve more things, to be magical and fill with lots more positive vibes, kindness, compassion towards one another as we have gone through a tough obstacle throughout 2020 from various sides, health, economy, and politically. Thus, its about time for us to be more understanding of one another and unite for the betterment of humankind!

 

How to eat healthily during Chinese New Year Celebration


How to eat healthily during Chinese New Year Celebration

 

 Chinese New Year is here again, although just like last year and the year before, where we have to celebrate this with the new norm, but  this year we are more experienced with the SOP’s and many of us are able to celebrate new year with their loved ones. Despite the the new norm, we will still be having feast of foods, because that is what Malaysian is and that is what festival is, here are some suggestions that we would like to share on how you can eat healthily during Chinese New Year Celebration.

 

  1. Always use smaller plate and eat smaller portion.

 

Since during festival there are usually various kind of dishes and we tend to try it all, thus it is always better to consume only what necessary rather than bingeing it all. Try to fit in your seasonal favorite food like your auntie favorite pie, that you seldomly eat, but do not binge it. Do not eat like there is no tomorrow. Do not use festive as a cheat day. Enjoy your food but eat in moderation.

 



  1. Balance your meals!

 

During festival or holiday, you can still eat a balance healthy meal. It is all just depending on your choice of food. As an example, if you are going to treat yourself for some sweet treat then make sure you consume less carbohydrates in your main meals. If you know that there will be no vegetables or fruits during holiday or festive seasons, offers to make some. It can be as easy as just cutting and mixing fresh fruit into a bowl or cutting and mixing vegetables. Adding herbs or dressing is optional. This can also make everyone has healthier snack option. (Easy tips: Mandarin Orange is count as healthy snack!)

 

This is also a sign of love, isn’t new year is a year where we hope for healthy and prosperous beginning so by watching out what we and our loved ones eat it may give everyone a sense of warmth and love that somebody is taking care of everyone’s health condition. What is coming from heart will be able to resonates with another heart.

 

Balancing also is not only limited to meals but also your beverages, limit your intake of sugary drink and alcohol. You may still drink it but watch out the amount!

 


  1. Do not skip meals to save up for a feast.

 

Plan your mealtime especially if you have diabetes. Do not skip meals to save up for a feast, it will make it harder to manage your blood sugar, and you will be hungry and more likely to overeat. If you slip up, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.

 

Eat according to your usual times can make you blood sugar steady. If your meal is served or prepared late than your usual mealtime try to choose healthy snacks, instead of consuming snack full of sugar and salt. This is especially essential for individual with diabetes.

 


  1. Keep moving!

 

Playing indoor games and outdoor games will help to regulate your blood sugar and burn the calories. It will also help to bond all the family member. Do not just glue your eyes to your phone or screen. Do talk to each other and ask about their well-being. But if this Chinese New Year you can’t celebrate it with your family member, do utilize the technology to be connected with your family members. You may also use various kind of online games during the celebration to make sure everyone is being involved. Use online games like Quiziz is one way of making things fun!

 

  1. Get your zzZZZ!

 

During celebration of anything people always tend to over prepare, and the preparation is what making you get lesser amount of sleep. Although it’s a fun thing to do the decoration together till late night but try to schedule it earlier so that everyone will get enough sleep and good sleep quality. This is especially important for individuals with diabetes since sleep less sleep is going to make their blood sugar haywire as well.

 

References

  1. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 5 Healthy Eating Tips for the holidays. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/holidays-healthy-eating.html (Accessed on Feb 5, 2021).
  2. The Star. Facing and entirely new Chinese New Year. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2021/02/04/facing-an-entirely-new-chinese-new-year (Accessed on Feb 5, 2021).
  3. 20 Healthy Tips on how to not gain weight during the holidays. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tips-to-avoid-holiday-weight-gain (Accessed on Feb 5, 2021).

 

Probiotics and COVID-19


Probiotics and COVID-19

 

World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits on the host. It can be found in fermented food (E.g.: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi), dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

 

Probiotics may contain variety of microorganisms. The most common are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are also other bacteria being used as probiotics (e.g.: Saccharomyces boulardii.)

 

According to studies, different types of bacteria exert different effect to human body. Therefore, choosing the right strains and types of probiotics is essential for it to works on the said health concern.

 

How does probiotics help to maintain health?

 

There are variety of ‘bugs’ that coexist naturally in the body such as bacteria, fungi, parasite and viruses, these are what scientists refer to as microbiome. In the body of a healthy person, all these bugs coexist peacefully. The role of the microbiome is to promote smooth daily operation of human body. However, conditions such as infectious illness, certain diet, prolonged use of antibiotics and/or other bacteria-destroying medications, can lead to body becoming more susceptible to diseases.

 

Due to this, scientists believe that consumption of probiotics influence bacteria colonization process, which can lead to speedy restoration of healthy microbiome and lower risk of being sick.


Probiotics and COVID-19?

 

Probiotic is link with COVID19 due to its ability to boost the immune system. Currently, most extensive researched on probiotics include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia Coli, Enterococcus, etc. Although probiotics mechanism profoundly focuses on the gastrointestinal tract, the effect of probiotics is not confined to the digestive system only. Probiotics can act on the entire body via immune modulation. Not only that, it also facilitate the immune system development and maturation and regulate the interaction between host and pathogen by killing the pathogen and regulate the immune responses towards it.

 

One might argue that, but COVID-19 is a viral infection unlike others. A systematic review described probiotics’ efficacy against viral diseases where more than 20 strains of probiotics showed the anti-inflammatory effects on the body and antibody production against viruses.

 

Moreover, study found out that viral loads were lowered upon probiotics supplementation, it is postulated due to immune modulation by microbiota that fights against COVID-19 directly and decrease the risk of secondary infections due to prolonged antibiotics exposure from multiple experimental COVID19 treatment.

 

China’s National Health Commission recommended probiotics for severe COVID-19 patients to restore the intestinal balance and protect from secondary infections. Moreover, gut microbiota’s role in modulating lung diseases has been demonstrated.

In conclusion, scientists in this study suggest that many more studies should be established on the effectiveness of using probiotics as prevention and especially treatment of COVID-19. As of now, apart from practicing social distancing, wearing mask, adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP), individuals may also benefit from probiotics rich foods and supplementation for its boosting immunity properties and fight against COVID-19.

 

Reference

  1. Kurian, S. J., Unnikrishnan, M. K., Miraj, S. S., Bagchi, D., Banerjee, M., Reddy, B. S., Rodrigues, G. S., Manu, M. K., Saravu, K., Mukhopadhyay, C., & Rao, M. (2021). Probiotics in Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19: Current Perspective and Future Prospects. Archives of medical research52(6), 582–594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2021.03.002

Suku – Suku Separuh Diet ?

Diet Suku – Suku Separuh

 

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

Understanding calories

Understanding calories.

 

Calories are the measurement used for the amount of energy in the food and drink.

 

When we consume food and drink, we put energy into our bodies. This energy will then be used for our everyday activities from breathing, sleeping, to running.

 

In order to maintain a stable weight, the energy that we put into our bodies must be balanced with the energy that we use through normal body functions and our daily activities. In a simpler words, the more calories put in the body the more activities you needed to burn it and vice versa.

 

General calories intake

 

Men on average need about 2500kcal per day while women need about 2000kcal per day. However, as mentioned above, the amount of recommended nutrient intake vary from person to person based on their daily activities, occupation, frequency of exercise, lifestyle habits and also body metabolism.

.

The more vigorously you do an activity, the more calories you’ll use. For example, fast walking will burn more calories than walking at a moderate pace. If you’re gaining weight, it could mean you have been regularly eating and drinking more calories than you have been using. To lose weight, you need to use more energy than you consume, this can be achieved via consuming lesser food or exercise more vigorously. Continuously doing this over a period of time will lead you to your desired weight.

.

However, when people try to loss weight, they tend to curb their food intake and often times do not enjoy their diet modification. A healthy diet should also be a sustainable diet, thus, cut down on unhealthy food consumption slowly but consistently, consuming more healthier food option and also be mindful about the amount of food consume.

 

Calorie counter

 

 

Nowadays, there are various apps that can be used on mobile phone to track not only your calorie intake but also, your steps, exercise and also energy that you burn. Using all these apps, and gadget are helpful in making sure that you are on track with your diet and exercise.

.

One of the apps developed by Ministry of Health Malaysia that is tally with Malaysian variety of foods is my nutri diary 2.0 aps. The app is helpful in monitoring your calorie intake and your weight progress. Often times, when we use calorie tracking app, it frustrates users that the app does not know how much calorie does a nasi lemak have  (any local food), but with my nutri diary it covers variety of Malaysian foods option which can be helpful for our daily food consumption.

.

Gap between unhealthy diet and body needs

.

While trying to loss, putting on or maintaining weight, imbalance consumption of foods may lead to losing some essential nutrients. Hence, to bridge the gap between lack of nutrient from food and body needs, consumption of multivitamin and multimineral are helpful.

.

Other conditions includes denture problem, loss of appetite, hectic lifestyle, and many more.

Is fruit juice really healthy for us?


To answer this, it really is a very tricky one. There is always two sides of belief  when it comes to this.



One believe that juicing is unhealthy than eating whole fruits, due to the loss of fiber throughout the process which makes fructose (sugar in fruit) absorb even quicker as compared to when it is together with fiber, thus less healthy(1).



Another believe that juicing is better than eating the whole fruits and vegetables because body can absorb better and let digestive tract rest from digesting fiber. If ones consider blending fruit, that is even better since edible fiber in it makes we feel full, so it promotes satiety(1).

 


So should we consider juicing, blending or just eat raw fruits and vegetables ?

 

Three longitudinal prospective cohort studies found out that, greater consumption of fruits such as blueberries, grapes, apples, bananas and grapefruit reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes while greater consumption of fruit juice was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (2).

 

When fruit is squeeze for its juice, what left inside the fruit juice are basically sugar, vitamins and  antioxidants such as carotenoids etc thus it is healthier in this aspect as compared to frizzy drinks (3). However, the amount of sugar inside both of these drinks are about the same, which is about 20-26g of sugar per cup (3).

 

The reasons why fruit juice contain higher sugar content as compared to fresh fruit even when the fruit juice is the 100% fruit juice without the addition of anything else is because of, in order to make the 250ml of orange juice as an example two medium size of orange is needed, and that is only 250ml, since when it is in liquid form people tend to consume it even more thus more no of fruits needed. As the number of fruit increases so does the sugar in it but not the fiber inside, which in returns make it have loads of sugar(1,3,4,7,8)!


According to Singapore Health Promotion Board, many people may think that naturally occurring sugar is healthier than added sugar, but actually there is no chemical difference between the two, and they have the same impact on blood sugar level when ingested(8).



The similar case goes to smoothies  not only that it has lot of sugar from multiple number of fruits, but  various kind of protein based food like yogurt, milk, almond milk etc that is mixed together with it will increase it calorie as well (4).



High sugar level in both of these drinks make it a high calorie beverages thus poses the same effect like high calorie food, which can lead to weight gain. As we know that, Malaysia is the fattest country in Southeast Asia, one of the contributing factor behind is the lack of knowledge on what can increase weight and what cannot. 


Weight gain is link to many health problems such as heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, cancer, bone and joint problem, kidney problem etc(3).

 

Study on the composition of grapefruits with different method of household processing also found out that, composition of antioxidant on blended grapefruit has higher concentration of the beneficial compound as compared to juicing or hand squeezing (5).

However, as for the absorption of beta carotene, study found out that fruit and vegetables juice makes beta carotene absorb better as compared to blending or eating raw fruit. This is due to the fact that fiber hinder the absorption of beta carotene (6).

 

The takeaway message

 

Eating raw fruit, juicing and blending all has its pro and cons. What important is always take into account the amount of sugar content and fiber content. All in all make sure that you have balance, nutritious and moderate diet as per suggested by Ministry of Health, eat 3 servings of vegetables/day and 2 servings of fruits/day. Varied the way vegetables and fruit cooked or served and eat in moderation.

 

References



  1. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/juicing/faq-20058020
  2. MurakiIsao, ImamuraFumiaki, Manson JoAnn E, Hu Frank B, Willett Walter C, van Dam Rob M et al. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies BMJ 2013; 347 :f5001. https://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5001
  3. Healthline (n.d). Is Fruit Juice is as Unhealthy as Sugary Soda? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fruit-juice-vs-soda#sugar-content
  4. Healthline (n.d). Juicing vs Blending: Which one is better for me? https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/juicing-vs-blending
  5. 5. Ram M Uckoo1Guddadarangavvanahally K JayaprakashaV M BalasubramaniamBhimanagouda S Patil. Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi Macfad) Phytochemicals Composition Is Modulated by Household Processing Techniques.
  6. Julia K Kolodziejczyk1Shirley W FlattLoki NatarajanRuth PattersonJohn P PierceGregory J Norman. Associations of Soluble Fiber, Whole Fruits/Vegetables, and Juice With Plasma Beta-carotene Concentrations in a Free-Living Population of Breast Cancer Survivors. Women Health 52(8). DOI: 10.1080/03630242.2012.728189
  7. How many orange does it take to make a cup of orange juice? (n.d). https://www.eatdifferentrd.com/blog/2016/8/12/how-many-oranges-does-it-take-to-make-a-cup-of-oj
  8. Chanel News Asia (CNA) International (2019). That cup of fresh fruit juice could contain as much sugar as a soft drink. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/fruit-juice-sugar-diabetes-health-risks-soft-drink-11708652

 

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