Wednesday April 24, 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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Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

baby
If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)