Get Wise About Your Health

Four renowned doctors share keen insights on staying physically and mentally fit. 

Prioritising Wellness In The Digital Age

Dr Suyesha Khanijao, leading IVF Specialist, Cosmetic Gynaecologist, Obstetrician & Gynecologist,at Angel’sHope IVF, a unit of Sawan Neelu & Angels Hospital, Saket,New Delhi.

In today’s hectic world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and neglect our well-being. Common issues like high workload, competition and stress, all impair physical and mental health. Consumption of highly refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. A decrease in the function of the gut barrier (leaky gut) has been linked to an “unhealthy” gut microbiome resulting from a diet low in fibre and high in saturated fats, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. 

What we fuel our bodies with, directly affects our energy levels, immune system and overall vitality. Creating environments and developing measures that promote healthy, nutritious diets, while decreasing the consumption of “junk” food, may provide benefits beyond the well-known effects on physical health, including improved psychological well-being.

The concept of wellness plays a big part in healthy aging. Embracing a healthy lifestyle has the twin benefits of enhancing our overall well-being and empowering us to lead happier and more productive lives. A healthy lifestyle involves balanced nutrition habits, managing stress, regular physical activity, doing spiritual growth supportive activities, keeping interpersonal relationships alive and taking responsibility for these issues.

Micronutrients Matter: Supporting Health Across Generations

Dr Radhika Raturi, MD, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician at GR Hospital, Dehradun.

Nutrition is a critical aspect of maintaining health at all stages of life. Micronutrients, required in small amounts, are crucial in health and well-being from infancy to old age. During infancy and childhood, adequate intake of micronutrients is essential for developing cognitive functions, immune system strength, and bone health. The adolescent phase is characterised by rapid growth spurts and hormonal changes. Micronutrients like calcium, iron, and zinc play vital roles in bone development, hormone regulation, and immune function. While adults generally are at lower risk of vitamin or mineral deficiency, they still may be at risk of micronutrient deficiency. This is due to lifestyle choices. Adolescent and adult women need to ensure that their iron intake is adequate. Older adults are at risk of general malnutrition due to decreased appetite, impaired absorption and chronic health conditions. Micronutrient deficiencies, particularly vitamin D, vitamin B12, and calcium, are common among older adults and can contribute to health issues.

Supplementation can also play a role in meeting specific needs across different stages of life. Supplementation of vitamins and minerals becomes increasingly important to compensate for age-related declines in nutrient absorption and metabolism. Micronutrients are indispensable for optimal health across all stages of life. 

Nurturing Your Liver: The Vital Organ

Dr Rajesh Rajora, MD Consultant Physician, Aastha Hospital, Ghaziabad.

In the intricate tapestry of human health, the liver emerges as a silent guardian, diligently performing myriad functions crucial for good health. The well-being of the liver is largely influenced by the food we consume. Ensuring a nourishing and proportionate diet is vital. Restricting processed food and alcohol consumption can significantly help maintain normal liver health. An excess of fatty foods can result in the accumulation of fat in the liver, leading to fatty liver. A balanced diet enriched with antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can uphold a healthy liver. 

Tips to help keep the liver healthy:

  • Consume liver-friendly food like berries, nuts, fatty fish, and green tea.
  • Manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. 
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and exercise.
  • Micronutrients and antioxidants play a crucial role in supporting liver health by providing essential nutrients and combating oxidative stress.
  • Certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants have been shown to have protective effects on the liver, aiding in detoxification, reducing inflammation, and promoting regeneration. Vitamin E, for example, acts as a potent antioxidant, scavenging free radicals and protecting liver cells from damage. Vitamin C and selenium help neutralise oxidative stress and support the liver’s detoxification processes. Supplementation may be beneficial for individuals with specific liver conditions or those at risk of deficiency.

Nutritional Foundation: The First 1,000 Days Of Life 

Dr Niti Vijay, Senior IVF Specialist & Consultant Gynecologist; an incisive professional with over 7 years of cross-functional experience in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, with a special interest in Assisted Reproductive Technology.

The first 1,000 days of life are the most crucial years for a child’s future. According to research, the diet, weight and lifestyle choices of the mother affect the infant’s immune system, organ development and metabolism. The child’s health suffers when the mother’s diet and health are impaired. Preconception care is simply a logical extension of care during pregnancy, yet this small measure will make a major impact in ensuring that the mother and baby are not at risk.

An undernourished mother inevitably gives birth to an undernourished baby. During the lactation period, mothers are at an increased risk of nutritional deficiencies due to improper dietary patterns and physiological changes. This makes it more challenging for mothers to replenish the nutrient stores of the baby. At each stage during the 1,000-day window, the developing brain is vulnerable to poor nutrition. Optimal nutrition and health care of both the mother and infant during these days are closely linked to growth, learning potential and neurodevelopment. 

Eight vital nutrients play a specific role throughout the first 1,000 days of life, namely, carotenoids (lutein + zeaxanthin), choline, folate, iodine, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. Other nutrients for maternal, newborn and toddler health include magnesium, vitamin A, vitamins B, and other trace minerals. Antenatal and postnatal supplementation with multiple micronutrients can improve birth outcomes, and health of the baby and the mother.

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