Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Boost your immunity

One way to dispel your fear of swine flu is to boost your immunity. Here are some dietary tips to help you do that
Dr Jagmeet Madan

With the talk of H1N1 being in the air, everyone is talking about boosting one's immunity. The best way that you can improve your immunity is to eat healthy. Here are some tips and dietary recommendations that will help your boost your immunity.
The dietary do's to boost immunity includes:
Tips to increase antioxidant intake

Consume all the coloured vegetables and fruits, which are green, yellow, red, purple in colour. It will include all green leafy vegetables, red coloured tomatoes, green, yellow and red capsicum, beetroot, pomegranate, black grapes, papaya, oranges etc.
Increase intake of vitamin C
through inputs like amla juice, guava, and salads based on fresh lettuce, cabbage, capsicum and tomatoes, all the citrus juices like orange, sweet lime etc.
Get the lycopene, a powerful antioxidant from tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes, make a thick soup without straining or make a paste. Doing so improves the concentration and the availability of this antioxidant. Couple this with a dash of dietary fat for better absorption.

In your diet, as it is a smooth muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory agent. It plays an important role in maintaining the elasticity of the membrane lining the airways to cope better with respiratory problems like those caused by swine flu.

In food handling and water. Do not inadequately thaw foods and keep them at room temperature for long time.

As stress is a big trigger of the inflammatory response of the body. Thus aerobic exercise of desired intensity, yoga, breathing and relaxation regimes can help not only to improve lung functioning but also boost your immunity. Get adequate sleep and rest.

vegetarians. Non-vegetarians can include egg whites, fishes, and lean meats at least three times a week.

REGULAR INTAKE OF NUTS: Indians as a whole lag behind in proteins by virtue of being vegetarians. Thus a conscious effort to increase the intake of milk, curds, paneer, cheese, soyabean flour or soya in textured form, variety of usals should become a daily part of the diet of the
Like walnuts, almonds, and oilseeds like flax seed powder, sesame (til seeds) in restricted amounts.

Three bowls of cooked (mildly) veggies in a dry form (not navratan kurma) and three fruits a day. Opt from one starchy – banana and two others like apple, pomegranate, guava, pear, citrus fruit or juices.

As a part of your diet – opt for bajra, jowari, ragi, or a blend of wheat and soya, or wheat and chana, breakfast cereals based on oats, soya, or wheat.

In your diet through flax seeds (One tablespoon flaxseed powder a day), walnuts, pulses like soya, black chana, chawli, urad whole, leafy vegetables like methi leaves, coarse flour like bajra, and fatty fishes.

Like vitamin C, beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and minerals like zinc and selenium. These nutrients have a protective effect on the airway tissue as well as protect you from oxidative stress.
Tips to add magnesium
Sources rich in magnesium include: Coarse cereals like bajra, jowar, maize, ragi, wheat cracks etc. Pulses like whole chana, whole urad, chawli, math, rajmah, soybean, whole moong etc. Additional sources: Nuts and oilseeds like almond, cashew nut, garden cress seeds, walnuts Fruits like mango, plums Vegetables like radish pink, lotus stem.

Can also be beneficial as it helps prevent triggering of respiratory distress. So go low on pickles, papads, ready-to-eat processed foods, bakery items, etc.

Opt from ricebran or groundnut oil for MUFA and soyabean or mustard for omega 3. Keep the total intake of oil between 500-750 gms per person per month depending on your weight.

Also need to be tailored on the same lines. Make each morsel your child takes nutritious and try incorporating healthy ingredients in food preparations which children like to consume. Opt for stuffed roti, a healthy burger, cutlet or pizza and healthy drinks like milkshakes, fruit lassi, buttermilk, or fruit juices.

Home remedies

Cold : One lemon along with a teaspoon of honey should be diluted in a glass of warm water and taken once or twice a day. Ginger tea, prepared by adding a few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding the tea leaves, is an effective remedy for colds. It must be taken twice daily. Tamarind-pepper rasam is also considered an effective home remedy for a cold in SoutIndia. Dilute 50 mg tamarind in 250 ml of water. Boil the diluted tamarind water for a few minutes with a teaspoon of hot ghee and half a teaspoon of black pepper powder and drink it three times a day.
Bad throat : Gargle with a solution containing 1/2 teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water several times a day. Be careful with the quantity of salt as excess salt could further irritate your throat.
Fresh ginger can help soothe inflamed mucous membranes of the larynx. Try sucking on candied ginger if available or drink a cup of ginger tea.
Performing steam inhalation twice or thrice a day will help cure laryngitis.
Fever : A decoction made of about twelve grams of Tulsi leaves, boiled in half a liter of water, should be administered twice daily with half a cup of milk, one teaspoon of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of powdered cardamom will bring down the temperature.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Law To Empower Elderly

Delhi Govt to Set Up 9 Tribunals; Children to Face Penal Action for Ill-Treating Parents

Ambika Pandit

New Delhi: Vulnerable and voiceless for long, the elderly can now swing their sticks to good effect. If they find themselves in distress, they can fall back on the ‘Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007’ that will be implemented from October.
The Act mandates that all those children who have abandoned their parents or have made them the subject of neglect in their homes will have to face penal provisions and imprisonment of up to three months or a fine of Rs 5000 or both. Under the Act, the Delhi government is starting nine tribunals across the city to take up the cases of senior citizens and address reconciliation and maintenance issues. It will be implemented soon after the notification of the tribunals on October 1.
All nine tribunals will be headed by additional district magistrate rank officers while two members each will be drawn from social sector. These tribunals will have powers to issue summons to children and relatives of the elderly seeking help and direct police to take action.
Besides having the power to invoke penal provisions, the tribunals can also ask children or relatives to provide maintenance of up to Rs 10,000 monthly to senior citizens. However, the prime role of the Act and the tribunal is to toe a reconciliatory line. That’s why, sources said, conciliation officers will be appointed to report on the status. The case will be referred to the maintenance or conciliation officer who will be appointed from among the district officers of the social welfare department. This official will contact the children of the elderly and try to reach a middle ground. If that does not work, the matter will be reported back to the tribunal.
To make the process hassle-free, the Act empowers senior citizens to contest their own case in the tribunal. In case, the victims are very old or disabled, they can authorise someone else. The tribunal can also take up a case suo motto. And to expedite the matter, it will be mandatory for tribunals to settle the case in three months. The decision can be challenged in an appellate body which the government proposes to activate over the next few months.
While the government sees these tribunals as an empowerment tool for the senior citizens, there are many who feel that this is no concrete solution to the growing problem of elderly being abandoned by their own children.
Himanshu Rath of Age Well NGO, which works with elderly, said: ‘‘These tribunals are nothing but a product of irresponsible governance. The Act itself is inadequate and completely puts the onus on children. The government has not taken any responsibility. Sensitisation is the key to dealing with the problem and the government is not doing anything to sensitize children and the youth towards the concerns of the elderly.’’
He added that his experience with the elderly suggests that no matter how badly they are treated by their children rarely do they wish to seek legal help. Nods RS Sindwani from the Senior Citizen Society of the Freedom Fighter’s Colony in Neb Sarai. ‘‘The elderly would be reluctant to openly challenge their own children,’’ he said, but welcomed the decision
to open tribunals.
Rath said that even oldage homes are not the answer. ‘‘There are 80 million elderly in this country and the existing old-age homes can cater to only 50,000. What about the rest?’’ he asked.