Tuesday February 19, 2019

Shun the health myths this monsoon

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New Delhi: The monsoon brings respite from the sweltering heat but also triggers a lot of health-related issues, most of which are plain myths that have persisted over time, says an expert.

Richa Mattu, nutrition and health manager, South Asia, Hindustan Unilever Limited, shares tips to help wade through the rains:

Myth 1: One should not eat seafood/fish during monsoon

fisheryFact: The primary reason behind this myth is that in monsoon, due to the rough seas and bad weather fishermen avoid going out to sea. Also, it is breeding season for these beings. So availability of fresh fish is scarce and a majority of the stock comes from frozen fish. Eating frozen fish or seafood that is not hygienically stored may end up giving you a stomach infection or even worse, food poisoning. But if you have access to fresh fish, don’t worry and indulge by all means.

Myth 2: Eating curd in the rain makes you fall sick

Rain-in-Jammu-Cropped

Fact: Many believe, having curd in the monsoon season could prove to be harmful for the body because of the cool nature of the food. It is believed that foods that are warm in nature (for example: turmeric milk) work best for the immune system in the monsoon months. But curd contains ‘good bacteria’ which helps in improving the digestive system, absorbing nutrients and improving the gut immunity. Curd helps to soothe stomach infections which make it a popular home remedy for diarrhea or food poisoning, a common complaint in the rains.

Myth 3: Chicken soup will speed up recovery from a cold

chicken-tikka-masalaFact: Hot soup is the perfect comfort food in the chilling rains. Hot soup also helps soothe a sore throat. Reducing inflammation with healthy food or liquids like soup will quickly reduce your symptoms and thus speeds up your recovery process.

Myth 4: Eating ice cream in the monsoon causes cold and cough

Photo credit: snowy.co.in
Photo credit: snowy.co.in

Fact: Cough and cold are mainly caused by viral or bacterial infection. Most ice creams undergo pasteurization, which stops the formation of illness-causing bacteria. Ice cream made or processed in unhygienic conditions may contain some infection causing micro-organisms. Products like Paddle Pop manufactured in hygienic condition which involves low temperature storage under -18 degree celsius and pasteurization does not allow any microbial growth.

Consuming cold food products do not lead to such problems unless they contain the germs responsible for causing these. Ice creams in the rain may be fun; but if you are not cautious you could fall sick. Avoid ice creams sold at open stalls and go for branded packaged ice cream. Make sure to check the expiry date.

(IANS)

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Know How Higher Intake of Sodium Can Treat Lightheadedness

Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.

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"Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms," Juraschek said. Pixabay

Higher sodium intake should not be used as a treatment for lightheadedness, say researchers challenging current guidelines for sodium consumption.

Lightheadedness while standing, known as postural lightheadedness, results from gravitational drop in blood pressure and is common among adults.

Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.

However, contrary to this recommendation, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) found that higher sodium intake, actually increases dizziness.

“Our study has clinical and research implications,” said Stephen Juraschek, researcher from BIDMC in Boston.

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Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions. Pixabay

“Our results serve to caution health practitioners against recommending increased sodium intake as a universal treatment for lightheadedness. Additionally, our results demonstrate the need for additional research to understand the role of sodium, and more broadly of diet, on lightheadedness,” Juraschek said.

For the study, reported in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, the team used data from the completed DASH-Sodium trial, a randomised crossover study that looked at the effects of three different sodium levels (1500, 2300, and 3300 mg/d) on participants’ blood pressure for four weeks.

While the trial showed that lower sodium led to decrease in blood pressure, it also suggested that concerns about lower level of sodium causing dizziness may not be scientifically correct.

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The study also questioned recommendations to use sodium to treat lightheadedness, an intervention that could have negative effects on cardiovascular health.

“Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms,” Juraschek said.

“Clinicians should check on symptoms after initiation and even question the utility of this approach. More importantly, research is needed to understand the effects of sodium on physical function, particularly in older adults.” (IANS)