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How can Indians live longer? We need the Blue Zone diet

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TThe World Health Organization put the life expectancy of an Indian at 70.8 years in its 2019-20 report. Life expectancy in India has risen steadily over the past two centuries, but is still below the global average of 73.4 years.

Human life expectancy depends on several factors. A 2018 review study of assessing life expectancy in low and medium human development index countries examined health indicators from 83 nations from the World Bank, WHO, United Nations Development Fund, and UNICEF databases. The authors named socio-economic status, health system, adult literacy rate, disease burden and the interaction of these factors as important determinants of life expectancy.

Unhealthy eating habits and the associated risks are among the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the latest WHO factsheet (April 13, 2021), noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) account for 71 percent of global deaths. Around 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 60 die prematurely from NCDs each year – 85 percent of those deaths come from low and middle income countries. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, followed by cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes. These four groups alone are responsible for 80 percent of all premature deaths. Potential risk factors for NCD are lack of physical activity, poor eating habits, excessive alcohol, tobacco consumption, stress, etc.

Also read: India women live longer than men but don’t have healthier lives, a new report finds

Do Indians Eat Healthy To Promote Longevity?

A 2020 study by Manika Sharma and colleagues that compared the Indian diet to the EAT Lancet Commission’s reference diet included samples from 1.02 lakh households in India and found that whole grains provided significantly more calories than the EAT Lancet recommendations while consuming fruits, vegetables, legumes, meat, fish and eggs were much lower. The protein content was only 6-8 percent, compared to the recommendation of 29 percent. These results were independent of the socio-economic status of Indian households. Even the wealthy Indians did not consume the optimal amount of fruits, vegetables and proteins in their diet. In fact, the average Indian household consumes more calories from processed foods than from fruits. The authors concluded that the average Indian diet is unhealthy due to the lack of essential food groups.

Another cross-sectional survey at the national level in 2017-18 of the National NCD Monitoring Survey examined the prevalence of risk factors in 12,000 Indian adults. It showed that 32.8 percent of the respondents consumed tobacco, 15.9 percent consumed alcohol, 41.3 percent were not physically active and 98.4 percent consumed less than five servings of fruit and vegetables per day. The study also reported an increased risk of blood sugar and cardiovascular disease in the participants.

Also read: There is little space for nutrition in India’s booming junk food market

Blue Zone Diet for Longer Life

Blue Zones, a concept developed by National Geographic Fellow and author Dan Büttner, are the five regions of the world where people live longer, lead physically and mentally healthy lives, and are more active compared to the rest of the world. To live longer, the Blue Zones have adopted nine evidence-based lifestyle modalities that are believed to help slow the aging process, with diet being one of the most important components.

The Blue Zone Diet is wholesome and mostly plant-based. 95% of the daily Blue Zone diet consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, olive oil, berries, oats, and barley. The diet recommends avoiding meat and dairy products, sugary drinks, and leaving no room for processed foods.

In contrast to the standard diet composition, Sardinia, one of the five blue zones, follows a variation on the Mediterranean diet that includes all food groups in the blue zone along with a moderate intake of fish and a lower intake of dairy products, alcohol and red meat.

Herbal Blue Zone diets are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenols, which have been reported to help prevent chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

A 2015 review by GM Pes and colleagues mapped historical evidence related to the longevity of men in the Sardinian population, noting that diets between communities include eating more fruits and vegetables and eating more moderately Meat led to significant health benefits for the aging population at risk of death.

However, eating a healthy, nutritious, antioxidant diet isn’t the only secret behind the Blue Zone’s longevity. The people living there also exercise intensely, are low-stress, socially engaged and feel good.

Diet change to the Indian diet

Eating like a Mediterranean is recommended as part of the longevity diet for the Indian population, which includes more raw fruits and vegetables in salads; Whole grains instead of polished rice; Legumes, pulses and beans in the form of sprouts, salads, less spicy curry; healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut, and avocado; along with limited intake of meat and sweets.

All processed foods such as refined sugar, refined wheat flour, cookies, instant noodles should be gradually removed from the daily diet.

Also read: Two-thirds of Indians with non-communicable diseases fall into the 26-59 age group, a survey found

List of foods

Include these elements of the Mediterranean diet in your meals:

– Oats, barley, jowar, bajra, ragi, kodo millet, quinoa

-Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, drumstick leaves

-Nuts like almonds, walnuts, figs

-Seeds like flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, beans

– Legumes such as navy beans, fava beans, chickpeas, lentils

-Dairy products such as low-fat cheese, yogurt, milk

-Fishes like sardines, salmon, trout, sea fish

– Herbs and spices like mint, rosemary, sage, garlic, thyme, basil and oregano.

In summary, having a vibrant, nutritious meal plan along with regular physical activity, healthy sleep, and a stress-free life is the key to a disease-free, long life.

Indians can practice this day by day.

Dr. Subhasree Ray is a PhD student (ketogenic diet), certified diabetes educator, and nutritionist for clinical and public health. She tweeted @DrSubhasree. Views are personal.

(Edited by Neera Majumdar)

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Whole Grains Health

Tips for a healthy pregnancy – The Fort Morgan Times

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Do you expect or do you hope to be? Pregnancy can be a difficult time to manage your health needs. Here are some strategies to help you achieve the healthiest pregnancy you can.

Prenatal health begins before conception

That’s right – many of the most important steps you can take before getting pregnant!

Anyone considering pregnancy and not relying on contraception should start taking a prenatal vitamin before they become pregnant. Providing the essential ingredients for a healthy pregnancy, this vitamin can prevent birth defects that occur before most women know they are pregnant.

Another important step before pregnancy is ensuring a healthy weight. Women who are overweight or obese are at greater risk of complications during pregnancy, so maintaining a healthy weight and exercise prior to pregnancy can lead to better results.

Finally, if you have medical problems like diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure, work with your doctor to optimize these conditions before conception.

nourishment

You may have heard advice about foods pregnant women should avoid, including raw fish, soft and unpasteurized cheeses, and undercooked eggs. These foods can easily make pregnant women feel sick.

But what should you eat while pregnant? Try to follow a balanced diet that includes vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and protein. Eating fish that isn’t high in mercury can provide amino acids that are essential for the baby’s brain to develop.

Finally, remember that “eat for two” doesn’t mean you need two adult-sized servings! Your body only needs around 200 additional calories per day during pregnancy – that’s roughly the equivalent of a Snickers bar.

Mental health

It’s always important to take care of your mental health, especially during pregnancy when hormonal changes can alter your mood and sleep patterns.

Make time for activities you enjoy, try getting eight hours of sleep at night, and talk to your doctor if you have any signs of depression or anxiety. Anxiety and depression often get worse during pregnancy and can get worse after the baby is born.

a practice

Most types of light to moderate exercise are safe during pregnancy.

If you have a regular exercise program, you can likely continue the same exercise during pregnancy – but ask your doctor before starting a new or intense exercise program.

You can also search for prenatal exercises or prenatal yoga classes online, which can be a great way to maintain your fitness and overall health.

Doctor visits

Many pregnancy-related problems do not show symptoms immediately, and it can be difficult to tell whether a symptom you’re experiencing is normal or worrying.

It is important that you keep the schedule of prenatal visits to your obstetrician or general practitioner office and check with your doctor before your next visit if you have any concerns.

Medication

Pregnant women should always speak to a doctor before starting any new medication, as there are many medications that are not recommended during pregnancy.

Your doctor will make sure that any new drugs he prescribes are safe to use during pregnancy.

Unless otherwise directed, you should continue to take a prenatal vitamin throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding, even after delivery.

Colorado Plains Medical Center is proud to work with The Fort Morgan Times, in collaboration with healthcare partners such as Salud Family Health Center, to provide relevant health-related information and awareness to the communities we serve. Please watch out for our bi-weekly articles in the Fort Morgan Times.

Dr. Claire Bovet is a general practitioner at the Salud Family Health Center.

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MOV Parent: Time for the lunch bell | News, Sports, Jobs

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The summer months are coming to an end and school is getting closer and closer. When you go back to school it can be difficult to start or continue a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to choose unhealthy lunch and snack ideas. However, I want to share with you the importance of packing a healthy lunch and preparing a healthy snack when your kids go back to school.

1. Eating a healthy diet can improve your health today and for years to come. Think about how your food choices will be made up throughout the day or week to help you create a healthy eating routine.

2. It is important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, as well as dairy and fortified soy alternatives. Choose options for meals, drinks, and snacks with limited added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.

Some of the negative effects that unhealthy school lunches have on children are mental and physical problems. Eating the wrong diet can lead to obesity or other weight problems. A child with poor diet is more likely to develop diabetes, kidney stones, and heart disease. Without proper nutrition, a child’s academic performance will decline. Sleep behavior is also affected when children do not eat enough nutritious foods. These children may also exhibit more aggressive behavior and lower attention spans.

When I was in school I packed my own lunch. Most of the time I just tossed everything I could find into a bag and called it lunch. I would wrap anything from cookies to leftover pizza. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I understood why I should choose healthier options. I decided to work on a healthier lifestyle and now cucumber and melon are my favorite food when I wrap lunch.

Becoming more aware of what to give your child for lunch, what your child is packing for lunch, and what groceries you bring around the house can help them feel better, be better, and be healthier.

As a parent, you can help your child choose healthier options by:

1. Regular family meals

2. Serving a wide variety of healthy foods and snacks

3. Be a role model by eating healthily yourself

4. Avoid fighting over food

5. Include children in the process

Figuring out the best lunch options for your child can be difficult. You could try some of these options:

* Turkey + cheddar roll-up, fresh berries, yogurt and trail mix

* Cheese quesadilla, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips and strawberries

* Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, graham crackers, cheese spread and a peach cup

* Turkey slices, cheese cubes, pita wedges, hummus, baby carrots and celery

To make lunch more attractive to your child, try different foods. Some ideas include:

* Make potato salad or pasta salad multi-colored. Use fun noodles or add hard boiled eggs, beans, peas or small cubes of meat for extra protein.

* Cut raw vegetables like carrots, celery, green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers. Send them with a small container of low-fat dip.

* Add a piece of fruit for dessert, washed and ready to eat, or a packet of fruit salad.

* Try reduced-fat cheese cubes or cheese spreads with whole grain crackers.

* Few children can resist yogurt, a good source of protein and calcium that is now available in many different flavors and shapes.

* Choose healthy snacks. Pack pretzels, popcorn, rice cakes, whole grain crackers, dried flakes, or trail mix.

After a long day at school, your children will be hungry. Having healthy snacks for your children after school is important. You can have a snack ready and waiting for them or allow them to choose from the healthy options you have around the house.

The American Heart Association has a list of healthy snack options divided into categories based on cravings. Some of these snacks are:

* Apples and pears

* Bell pepper slices

* Popcorn

* Nuts and seeds

* Carrots and celery sticks

Make sure you find the right ones that suit your family’s needs.

While I was in grades 3-12, I got involved in post-school sports. It was important to have a healthy snack before training and games. The snacks I always chose were apples and peanut butter or bananas and peanut butter.

I also enjoyed applesauce. My parents bought the sugar-free version and I added cinnamon. These were simple and healthy snacks that I could grab on my own.

“There is nothing unhealthy about educating young people about nutrition.” – Pierre Dukan

***

Megan Zwick is a program assistant in Family and Consumer Sciences at Ohio State University Extension, Washington County. She can be reached at zwick.54@osu.edu.

***

resources

* Stadler, M. (2018, August). Back to School Kids Lunch Ideas. (2018, August 14).

* Hopkins, A. (2019 August 15). 15 Healthy After School Snacks Your Kids Will Actually Eat

* What is MyPlate?

* Dukan, P. (n.d.). Healthy eating quote. 34 Best Quotes About Healthy Eating For You And Your Children.

* Schuna, C. (no year). The Effects of Children Eating Unhealthy School Lunches. LIVESTRONG.COM.

* Ben-Joseph, EP (Ed.). (2018, June). Healthy nutrition (for parents) – nemours kidshealth. Children’s health.

* School lunches. Harvard Health. (2015, July 16).

* Healthy snacking. www.herz.org. (nd).

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7 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health

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When your stomach is fine, you never think about it – but when you don’t, it’s hard to think about anything else. The group of microorganisms that live in and make up your gastrointestinal tract play a role in almost every aspect of your health, from preventing chronic disease to maintaining your immune system. So it’s no wonder that you feel lousy when things get out of hand.

But what exactly is your gut feeling? And is it possible to improve your gut health? Here is everything you need to know.

What is the intestine?

The human intestine is much more complex than even experts once realized – it comprises a multitude of internal organs that are involved in the digestive process to absorb nutrients from food and excrete waste, explains Rushabh Modi, MD, a certified physician in both internal medicine and Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. “Typically, this refers to the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon, with the pancreas and liver being crucial as supporting organs that help make digestive enzymes,” he says.

How your gut keeps your body healthy

In addition to absorbing and transporting nutrients to all tissues in the body, the intestine is critical to maintaining fluid and salt levels and eliminating waste, explains Dr. Modes. “Many vital nutrients and vitamins such as B12 and iron have special transporters that only exist in the intestine,” he adds. Iron, for example, needs stomach acid to be absorbed effectively – and B12 also needs certain receptors in the stomach and middle intestines to be absorbed. “These nutrients are difficult to obtain in any other way and they are essential for normal physiological function,” adds Dr. Modes added.

The gut is also one of the body’s most important disease control systems. “The acid in the stomach kills the bacteria and viruses that can inadvertently be ingested through food, and the digestive tract is an important way of introducing antigens to boost immune function and protection in the body,” says Christine Lee, MD . Gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “The digestive tract also digests the foods ingested and extracts the essential nutrients that the body can absorb for vital use.”

New research has even uncovered a link between poor gut health and several neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, and depression. One such study from the Université de Genève found that people with Alzheimer’s have different types of bacteria in their gut than those who do not have the disease.

8 signs your gut is suffering

If your gut is unhealthy, you are likely to have one or more of the following symptoms, even if it’s mild or rare:

  1. gas
  2. Flatulence
  3. Acid reflux
  4. heartburn
  5. diarrhea
  6. constipation
  7. Changes in stool
  8. Inexplicable weight loss
    1. “Since food digestion and waste production are the two most important functions of the intestine, if there are problems in these areas, the intestine can often be the cause of the problem,” explains Dr. Modes. Acid reflux and heartburn have also been linked to the gut, although you may feel the pain further from the core of the problem. Flatulence is also becoming more common, so Dr. Modi notes that patients view them as almost a normal reaction to eating certain foods.

      If you experience unexplained weight loss despite eating regular meals, it may indicate that your body is unable to digest or absorb the nutrients in the foods you eat and that there is a problem in your digestive system, according to Dr. Lee.

      How to improve your gut health

      The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to support your gut health. Here are some of the strategies doctors recommend.

      Eat a wide variety of healthy foods

      A diet made up of several different food types can result in a more diverse microbiome made up of more types, according to a report published in the journal Molecular Metabolism. This, explains Dr. Lee, strengthens our microbiome and increases its resilience.

      The best foods for gut health are fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, especially those with the highest fiber content that help your digestive tract function properly. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day and men 38 grams per day.

      And cut down on unhealthy foods. “The more fat, fat, and salt you eat, the worse your gut health gets,” said Scott David Lippe, MD, chief of gastroenterology at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, NJ and assistant professor of medicine at Rutgers Medical School. This is especially important to keep in mind at dinner, as restaurants tend to consume salt, fat, and fat because they taste good.

      Try to leave out dairy products

      If you experience gas, gas, or loose bowel movements after drinking milk or eating cheese, you may be lactose intolerant. “This affects many adults, especially those who have no Northern European ancestry,” says Dr. Lip. “A quick and easy test is to drink a glass of regular milk – if you feel unwell, you are lactose intolerant.” If you are not ready to give up dairy products, you can also try taking lactose tablets before consuming dairy foods take.

      Consider a probiotic

      These tiny little microorganisms aid your metabolism and help rebalance your microbiota, says Douglas A. Drossman, MD, gastroenterologist and Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Psychiatry, UNC Division of Gastroenterology at the UNC School of Medicine. He recommends taking them when you have symptoms of an unhealthy bowel; however, there can be no other benefit. In fact, there isn’t a lot of research to prove the benefits of probiotics for the gut.

      For example, a review published in Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology found that probiotics positively affect the gut microbiota of people with certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes, but do little to improve the gut microbiota of healthy people. “If you are taking antibiotics or have diarrhea, taking probiotics can be very helpful,” adds Dr. Lip. However, he recommends trying to get your fair share of probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi first.

      Include more prebiotics in your diet

      “Prebiotics are not bacteria, they are foods that good bacteria like to eat,” explains Dr. Milstein. “We have to feed the good bacteria and starve the bad bacteria.” He recommends eating foods rich in bacteria such as walnuts, berries, bananas, flax seeds, legumes, artichokes, onions, garlic, chicory, dandelion greens, asparagus, leeks and whole grain products. “The diet is personalized, but putting some fruits and vegetables and fiber on our plate with every meal helps keep gut and brain health,” adds Dr. Milstein added.

      Monitor your vitamin D levels

      Recent research in Nature Communications has examined the relationship between gut bacteria and vitamin D levels and found that deficiency in the nutrient plays a key role in increasing the risk of certain diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer, plays. Any form of disruption of the GI barrier, according to Dr. Drossman commonly referred to as “leaky gut,” which can increase a person’s risk of developing infectious, inflammatory, and functional GI diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. “Most people with leaky gut have very low levels of vitamin D and very low levels of the two most important omega-3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA,” he says. He recommends that most people consume at least 5,000 IU (125 µg) of vitamin D3 daily and consume sufficient fish oil (or the vegan equivalent) of 1,000 mg DHA per day. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

      Manage your stress level

      Stress not only puts a strain on your mental health, but also on your physical well-being. Chronic high stress can, according to Dr. Drossman directly affect your gut health. While removing stressors from your life isn’t always possible, stress management strategies like diaphragmatic breathing, meditation, or yoga can help, says Dr. Drossman. “It’s also a smart idea to see a psychologist to see if brain and gut therapies (cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, mindfulness) can be used,” he adds.

      Get a good night’s sleep every night

      When you don’t get enough sleep, your whole body is affected, including your intestines. In fact, new research shows how closely your gut microbiome and the quality of your sleep really are. A study by Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida found that poor sleep, for reasons as yet unknown, can negatively affect your gut microbiome, which can then manifest itself in a variety of other health problems, including autoimmune diseases and mental illnesses. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.


      Jenn Sinrich is a veteran writer, digital and social editor, and content strategist specializing in health, fitness, beauty, and relationships.

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