Essentials Of Highly Healthy People

1.0 INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION

Health is derived from the old English word “whole”. The definition of Health is intended to include those things that “make a person whole” which means more than just physical well-being.

In 1948, World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as a state of complete physical, mental, social or relational well-being and not merely the absence or disease of infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.

In 1984, WHO added spirituality to its list of factors necessary for optimum health. If we are to be truly healthy, the physical, mental and spiritual elements must be functioning as God designed them to function. The physical may be the most unimportant of the three because with good mental and spiritual health, we can still be content even though our bodies may be unhealthy.

From ancient to modern times, authoritative sources indicates that health is continually defined in terms of the physical, emotional, mental, relational and spiritual well-being.
Health is a major topic in the Bible and it is viewed primarily as the restoration and strengthening of one’s personal relationship with God. It is also viewed as a healthy lifestyle (physically and emotionally) that focuses on passing healthy relationships with your family and with other people.

Being highly healthy means being healthy in every area of your life during every stage of your life. It means being balanced in these areas: body, mind, spirit and community usually taken as the four “wheels” of Health. By balancing these aspects of health, you can become blessed and thus, highly healthy.

2.0 PRINCIPLES ESSENTIAL TO BEING HIGHLY HEALTHY

a. The essential of balance
b. The essential of self-care
c. The essential of forgiveness
d. The essential of reducing SADness (Stress, Anxiety and Depression)
e. The essential of relationships
f. The essential of spiritual well-being
g. The essential of positive self-image
h. The essential of discovering your destiny
i. The essential of personal responsibility and
j. The essential of empowerment
k. The essential of team work.

These are designed and programmed into the very core of our beings. It is important they are understood, learnt and applied in our daily living in order to become highly healthy.

3.0 FOUR WHEELS OF HEALTH

These wheels are likened to the four wheels of a stable car with strong spokes for each wheel all wheels in balance. They represent the:

a. physical health – the well-being of one’s body

b. emotional health – the well-being of one’s mental faculties and one’s connection with his or her various emotions.

c. relational health – the well-being of one’s association with family, colleagues and friends in the context of a community that is healthy and

d. spiritual health – the well-being of one’s relationship with God

Further indepth into them shows:

(a) The physical wheel

Maximum physical health occurs when the body with all its chemicals, parts and systems is functioning as closely as possible to the way God designed it to function. For a person to be physically healthy, disease must be prevented whenever possible and treated as needed. When illness or disorder is incurable, physical health involves learning to cope with and adapt to physical disease.

With good emotional, relational and spiritual health, a person can still be highly healthy, even though his or her body may not be “whole”.

The major determinants of physical health are the activities you engage in (exercises, walk), rest hours (sleep, relaxation, vacations, recreation). Intake into the body (water, good, and toxins) fruits and vegetables, mineral in-take of caffeine, tobacco, soft drinks, saturated fats, highly processed foods, fast food and sweets, illicit drugs, alcoholic drink, beverages); elimination (urine, stool, bowel movements).

(b) Emotional wheel

This is the state of maximum emotional and mental well-being. It is not the absence of emotional distress which is unavoidable for any imperfect human being. Being emotionally healthy requires learning to cope with and to embrace the full spectrum of human emotions each of us faces everyday throughout our lives. It requires healthy brain function. If the brain dyefunction is untreated, it becomes non-functional and throws his physical, emotional, relational and spiritual wheels out of balance. This has to do with stimulation (too hot, too cold or just right). If you experience too much or too little stimulation, if you are too busy or exceptionally bored, you are suffering from emotional health. Enough quiet is required in everyone’s life. Another aspect which is quietness (peace, tranquility in one’s soul), lack of self-worth, lack of intimacy with others, loneliness associated with accumulated grudges towards others or yourself, lack of intimacy with God are the major causes of emotional pain. Any of these lacks can lead to simmering, embittering anger towards others or yourself or God.

Life long learning is important to one’s health. As the physical exercise helps the heart, muscles and bones, stay healthy, your brain benefits from mental actuality. Continuing to educate yourself and staying mentally active are ways to protect yourself from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular reading, having a challenging job and participation in ongoing education is linked with sharper mind later in life. Teaching, crossword puzzles, class or church education all help the maintenance of emotional wheel.

(c) Relational Wheel

This is the state of maximum well-being in all our social relationships – those with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, co-workers, broader community. Relational stress and discord are inevitable as we interact with fellow human beings. We have to do all we can to prevent and “treat” disordered relationships. Relational wheel involves trusting people and relations, parents, children, spouse, extended family, friends and support groups.

The relationship you have with your parents plays a critical role in determining your ability to have good relationships with others. If your parents balanced love with discipline, freedom with limits, and nurture with training, and if your relationship with them when you became adult was healthy, enjoyable and affectionate, then you have a good relational health. The same with children and spouses. Our relations – sisters, brothers aunts, uncles, cousins and nephews have profound impact on our mental, physical and spiritual health.

Friends also play important role in predicting premature death and disease. People who have nobody caring for them, who do not feel close to anyone, have no one in whom to confide are likely to suffer premature death or disease more. Having friends who love, care for us with unconditional support give us powerful positive health benefits.

(d) Spiritual wheel

This is defined as the state of maximum well-being in our personal relationship with our creator. To be spiritually healthy, any separation or disharmony on our relationship with God must be prevented or treated. This is the most crucial one of all the other aspects of health.

Healthy people make their spiritual well-being a consistent priority by actively seeking to understand Gods plans and design for them in terms of their physical, emotional, relational and spiritual condition, seeking and accepting their creator’s personal instructions and direction in their lives. If the spiritual wheel is given less attention than the other three, we cannot be highly healthy while, we are not promised a perfectly healthy physical life, the Bible promises those who have a vital personal relationship with God an abundant life one that will be full and meaningful – infused with purpose, contentment and joy.

To have spiritual health, trust in God, pray and meditate and fellowship in a faith community and faith sharing.

4.0 HOW TO BECOME A HIGHLY HEALTHY PERSON

The Essential of Balance: Set a wise balance in your life – the “health car” with its four “wheels of health” cannot run smoothly without all wheels running well i.e. being in balance. Neglecting one or more of your wheels of health will result in imbalanced health problems. You cannot become a highly healthy person without first diagnosing your unique areas of disease and maintenance.

b. The Essential of Self-care: Be proactive in preventing disease.. The secret to becoming and staying highly healthy is to prevent “disease” in body, mind, spirit and in relationships as much as is possible.

i. Exercise makes you feel healthier than eating does. Regular exercise help to control weight, improve overall health, reduce risk of such medical problems as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

ïi. Exercise for at least 30 minutes five days per week.

iii Exercise regularly and consistently to control your weight

iv. avoid highly processed foods.

v. eat nutritious diet and do not over eat. Eat foods with high fibre content, whole grains, nuts, sugar yogurt and low in calories, salt, saturated fats and refined sugars. Health enhancing fish is important too.

vi. drink lots of water and do not smoke.

vii. consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

viii. do not consume alcohol or tobacco products.

ix. Practice and enjoy regular sex with your legal spouse in mutually monogamous relationship.

c. The Essential of Forgiveness: Practice acceptance and letting go.

F = Forgiving is highly healthy
O = Organize your thoughts by writing
R = Review your experience
G = Give the Boot to anger and Regret
I = Invest in removing resentment
V = Victory comes in forgiving others
I = Increase your gratitude for the past pain
N = Navigate to inner place
G = Give comfort to others.

d. The Essential of Reducing SADness-stress, Anxiety and depression). Lighten your load.

1. STRESS is any change that required you to adapt or change the way you are doing something. Stress is virtually unavoidable in contemporary life. Stress can come from big things – retirement, job change, pregnancy, new baby, loss of loved one, new school, new job or from little things – change in weather, flat tyre or traffic jam, sudden deadline, misplaced house keys or an electrical outage. These events are technically called stressors. Some stress is good. We are made to withstand some amount of stress which can help us grow physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. Too much stress at one single time or for too long a time usually called chronic stress can lead to weakness in all 4 of our health wheels. We are created to respond to stress in a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual ways. When confronted with more stress than we are designed for – a large stress all at once or smaller amount of relentless.

Stress, our blood pressure and pulse increase. In the short run, this is healthy but in the long run, if the natural fight (stress) response becomes our way of life and can hurt in many ways:

ii. it can damage blood vessels and heart

iii. it can cause the body to release hormons that cause the liver to release sugar, store fat.

iv. it can cause adrenal glands to “poop out”.

v. it can cause our muscles to tense up

vi. it can increase the release of stomach acid and affect the motility of the intestine and colon leading to a variety of gastrointestinal upsets and disturbances.

vii. it can suppress the immune system – possibly making us more susceptible to infections and to certain chronic illnesses.

viii. Too much stress can and will keep you from becoming a highly healthy person.

2. ANXIETY in its most basic form is healthy – designed by our Creator to arouse us to and get us ready for action. Anxiety can prepare you physically and emotionally for a threatening situation. Anxiety is designed both to help us cope and to assist us in performing at a high level. But an anxiety disorder occurs when normal anxiety does the opposite – instead of helping you cope, it prevents you from coping and dramatically disrupts your daily life.

General anxiety disorder comes on without any trigger. People with general anxiety disorder worry about health, money, job, family or work. They are unable to relax and often have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Their worries are almost accompanied by physical symptoms such as trembling, twitching, muscle tension, headaches, irritability, sweating or hot flashes; nauseated, go to bathroom frequently, have palpitations or atypical chest pains, feel tired, cannot concentrate and suffer depression. This is more common in women than in men.

3. DEPRESSION weakens the emotional wheel and prevents people from becoming highly healthy. It often accompanies anxiety disorder. Depression is commonly accompanied by feeling of sadness, apathy and hopelessness as well as changes in appetite or sleep. Depression can also make it difficult for some people to concentrate. Some types of depression can be treated using modern anti-depression medications, dietary supplements, nutritional therapies, exercise, light therapy, pastoral counseling or psychotherapy. Some researchers conclude that depression is caused by an imbalance in the hormones of the brain.

4. The Essential of Relationship: Avoid loneliness. Loneliness leads to evil plans. If your brain stays idle, it becomes sick and deteriorates into the devil’s workshop and you become automatically the devils work tool. Always engage yourself in meaningful ventures.

i. live with and depend on the extended family who offer cradle to grave security and support.

ii. avoid loneliness, relationships with neighbours, family and friends are vital.

iii. respect the elders so that when they become elderly, they enjoy the admiration, honour, esteem and affection of their families and of society.

iv. Build family intimacy.

5. The Essential of spiritual well-being: Cultivate a time for spirituality.

The Bible promises that if we choose to trust God and live according to the purpose he designed for each of us or we can rely instead on our own finite plans and efforts. It promises also that if we choose God to fill and empower our very Souls, then we will develop spiritual fruit that endures, regardless of our circumstances or the state of our physical, emotional, or relational health. All the good things of life – right marriage, right job, right kids, right amount of money, right car or house or clothes can only be added to the most important element of wellness, namely, seeking, knowing, and pleasing God. If we believe in and trust God, if we make an intimate relationship with him a priority, if he controls and empowers our lives and we seek our purpose in his grand design, then we will experience wholeness at the deepest level of our being.

Spiritual healthiness ensures longer life, lower Blood pressure, improved surgical outcomes, shorter hospital stays, improved mental health, overall well-being:

i. Place your relationship with God at the centre of your life

ii. Read, memorize and meditate on Bible passages daily.

iii. Spend time on meditation and prayer daily.

6. The essential of a positive self-image: See yourself as your Creator sees you.

Our human nature is to compare ourselves to others. This results in feelings of inferiority. This is called compare and despair problem.

If your self-esteem is low, you need to do these:

i. Avoid negative self-talk

ii. Think positively

iii. Aim above the normal standard

iv. Do the things that bring joy and satisfaction

v. Serve others.

Other essentials necessary for healthy living are:

7. The Essential of Discovering Your Destiny (Nurture your hopes and dreams)
8. The Essential of Personal Responsibility (Be your own health care controller)
9. The Essential of Empowerment (Imitation is limitation as you can get to the level you wish in
your life setting your own goal for yourself).
10. The Essential of Team Work (Team up with winning health care providers)

5.0 CONCLUSION

You can decide today to live a highly healthy life having seen the methods, benefits and consequences of being healthy and not. Your destiny is in your own hands and the choice is yours. Spend time each week with highly healthy people and you will change for the better is yours. Spend time each week with highly healthy people and you will change for the better.

Chinese Women Don’t Get Fat: Food, Digestion and Oriental Medicine

The topic of food and health has probably become one of the most complex and contradictory areas concerning health. There are so many different theories, viewpoints, diet plans as well as various corporate and industrial forces which have turned what should be a simple thing into an overly complicated topic.

For example, if you see a Western scientific ‘dietician’, a healthy diet is based on consuming adequate amounts of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It does not necessarily matter whether the carbohydrates and vitamins comes from fortified sugary cereal or from sweet potatoes. With a certain degree of opposition, there are the various schools of ‘Nutritionist’, which are generally more imaginative with diets and may promote a more natural nutritional diet based on the consumption of vegetables, pulses, wholegrains and lean meats along with various supplements. Then there are the more specialist nutritionists or naturopaths that may promote certain ways of eating emphasising certain food groups such as high fibre diets, low carbohydrate diets, Candida diets, fasting, food combining or raw food diets. And of course there are the weight loss diets. Diets designed to make us lose weight. It goes without saying that such diets are not popular in developing countries.

There are so many diets. Just to name a few – there is the Palaeolithic diet, the Food combining diet, the Weight Watchers diet, the F plan, the Exclusion diet, the Zone diet, the Atkins diet, the Okinawa diet, the Eskimo diet, the Dukan diet, the Apple a day diet, the Banana diet, the Grapefruit diet, the South Beach diet, the Cabbage soup diet, Juice fasting, the Specific carbohydrate diet, the Gluten free diet, the Warrior diet, the Alkaline diet, the Blood type diet, the Dr Hay diet, the Macrobiotic diet, the Candida diet, the High protein diet, the Low protein diet, the High carbohydrate diet, the Low carbohydrate diet, the French women don’t get fat diet, the Low glycemic index diet, Raw foodism, the Sugar busters diet, there’s even a Junk food diet. The list is endless. I found over 400 different diets – most of them related to losing weight but some of them were about improving a health condition or simply to improve general health.

Maybe, just as the final curtain is drawn on the last of human civilisation, there will be as many diets in existence as there are stars in the sky.

And so just to confuse things even more, I will talk about the Oriental medicine diet.

In the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) system of Oriental medicine, food is classified with different energetic qualities. They can be heating – they put heat in the body. Or cooling – in that they cool the body. They may also be damp forming – causing phlegm, mucous or weight gain. Some foods increase the yang energy of the body and others nourish the yin. Some foods may be considered neutral. Basically all food has energetic qualities, which affect the body in different ways.

Foods that are considered heating are spices, red meat and lamb. Cooling foods are typically raw foods like cucumber, egg plant and raw fish. Damp forming foods are dairy, oil and sugar.

Some foods tonify or weaken certain organs, For example, the sweet taste affects the spleen and stomach, which governs the digestive system. Naturally sweet foods like grains – both white and brown tonify the spleen and stomach. However, excessively sweet foods like refined sugar, candies and cakes can weaken it.

The yin and yang of foods has many aspects and is not altogether that simple. One way of looking at yin foods is that they increase the yin aspects of the body like the blood and flesh. Therefore proteins like meat and fish may be considered yin. Foods that increase energy quickly may be considered yang such as alcohol or refined sugar. However, as discussed in the article on yin and yang, everything is relative. So for example, although meat may be considered yin, red meats are considered more yang compared to white meats and fish may be considered more yin than white meats, which relatively speaking are yang. Make sense?

Foods are grouped by colour according to the theory of Five elements. For example, the colour white is said to resonate with the metal element and in particular the lung and large intestine – so white colour foods may be beneficial to the lungs – like cauliflower or white rice. Green tonifys the wood element – the liver, so green leafy vegetables may be beneficial to the liver.

Foods are grouped by shape. The kidney bean resembles the human kidney and so is said to tonify the kidneys. The walnuts look like the brains and are said to tonify the brain.

Like fixes like. Offal meat like animal liver, kidney and intestines are said to nourish the corresponding human equivalent. Pig blood (Black pudding) can nourish human blood.

Foods are classified by action. For example, spicy foods encourage perspiration and sweating. If we have stagnant energy such as having poor circulation or being overweight – then some spicy foods can move the circulation and encourage the opening of the pores. Although, this can be a quick fix to the underlying problem. Too much yang (spicy foods) can eventually lead to too much yin (mucous, phlegm and excess weight) in the body undermining it.

Damp forming foods cause damp in the body. This can be thought of as phlegm or mucus. Some people are intolerant to dairy or wheat and when they eat it they may find a build up of phlegm and mucus in the throat or even in the stool.

How foods are cooked also affects their energetic qualities. For example, fried, barbecued and grilled foods involve using more intense heat in a shorter period of time and has a searing effect on the food. They are consider to be more yang compared to boiling or steaming, which tends to soften the food and is considered a more yin method. In particular, frying especially deep fat frying has both a yang heating and damp forming effect on food due to the combination of heat and oil (a damp food). Deep fat fried foods may be very hard for people with weak digestive systems to digest. An excess of this kind of food can lead to what in TCM is described as damp heat in the body. Damp heat refers to any kind of puss-filled inflammation or painful inflammation. We see this in the adolescent fast food employee who eats free hamburgers and fries every day for lunch and suffers from cystic acne. We see this in the middle aged person who eats fried rump steaks, ribs and fried chicken everyday and suffers from swollen joints. A historical example of damp heat would be the condition of gout – a painful arthritic condition, which affects the foot. It was called the “king of diseases and the disease of kings” or “the rich man’s disease”. When King Henry VIII wasn’t busy destroying the church and beheading wives, he was famous for suffering from this ‘damp-heat’ condition which is associated with an extreme excess of rich foods and alcohol.

There are other various principles – a little of one flavour can strengthen an organ or body function. So a little sweet (from grains) can tonify the spleen and stomach. A little of the bitter flavour – tonifys the heart; a little pungent tonifys the lung, sour tonifys the liver, salty tonifys the kidneys. However, too much of a flavour can weaken the same organ. Too much sugar (refined sugar) weakens the digestion. Too much pungent (curry) weakens the lungs. Some people after eating strong curry may get a lot of mucus in their throat afterwards.

There is a debate over raw and cooked foods. In Chinese food therapy, it is recommended to cook foods. This contrasts with the Western raw food movement – especially popular in California, which claims that the cooking process ‘denatures’ food and destroys raw enzymes. However, not everyone can tolerate raw foods. Raw foods can lead to stomach aches and excess flatulence in people with less than robust digestive systems.

Other issues are vegetarianism and fasting. Despite the proximity of India and China and the transfer of ideas which had gone on for centuries between the two countries, there are some fundamental differences concerning eating habits and diet. In traditional Indian medicine, fasting (the abstinence of food for a short period of time) is practiced to rest the digestive system and to detoxify the body. However, in Chinese dietetics, fasting is discouraged as it is seen as weakening the digestive system. Instead simple, plain, easy digestible foods and herbal teas are recommended for sickness. Vegetarianism is also a common part of the Indian diet. However, vegetarianism is not so common in mainland China. There is an infamous quote by Prince Philip, when he was commenting on the Chinese eating habits to the World Wildlife conference in 1986. Typical of Prince Phillip, it is offensive and shows that wealth and privilege does not necessarily confer humility and respect for others.

“If it has got four legs and is not a chair, if it has two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it”.

With the exception of Taoists and monks, Chinese are not generally vegetarian. Meat tonifys both the yang and yin and is seen as an essential part of a healthy diet. In the Chinese diet, mealtimes are generally a combination of vegetables, meats, fish, rice or noodles.

This doesn’t mean that the Indians are right and the Chinese wrong or the other way round. Both means of eating convey benefits and disadvantages to these people. What this teaches us is that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to food and eating habits.

A more important factor is that good digestion depends not just on the quality of the food we eat, but also on our ability to digest it. If our digestion is impaired, we will not absorb the useful nutrients from it. In Chinese medicine, the Spleen and Stomach meridians and organs control digestion. If they are weak, then we may suffer from low energy and other symptoms such as feelings of bloatedness or tiredness after eating, rumbling in the intestines, diarrhoea and aches in the stomach or food intolerances. Food may not be properly absorbed causing low energy and a thin body. Conversely, food may be too well absorbed but not properly converted into energy in the body resulting in weight gain and again tiredness. In this way, we could eat the best food in the world and it will go to waste. When a person has strong digestion, they can eat a big mac and fries and take in benefit from it. When a person has weak digestion they can eat a Jamie Oliver meal and gain very little benefit from it.

There is a common joke – only sick people can be found in health food shops. Conversely only healthy people are found in fried chicken shops.

Acupuncture seeks to strengthen the digestive system. But there are times when digestion is naturally weak such as when we are convalescing from an illness. During this time, Chinese dietetics recommends very simple and easily digestible food. Every culture has some version of this. The Chinese and Japanese have a very simple meal – called congee or rice porridge. It is available from some Chinese restaurants. Here is the recipe:

Congee

Ingredients:

– ¾ cup long grain rice

– 9 cups water

– 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

In a large pot, bring the water and rice to the boil.

When the rice is boiling, turn the heat down to low. Put the lid on the pot, tilting it to allow steam to escape.

Cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice has a thick, creamy texture like porridge. Approximately 1-2 hours. Add the salt, taste and add seasonings if desired.

Serve with garnishes. A little soya sauce can be added.

For a healthy option, brown wholegrain rice may used instead of white rice although the cooking time may have to be increased to 3-4 hours. Alternatively you can use a pressure cooker and cook for about one hour.

Variations:

For extra nutrition, an egg can be added and stirred into the congee a few minutes before you turn the heat off. Other options are wakame seaweed or nori seaweed, which should be added at the end or kombu seaweed, which should be cooked from the beginning.

A little shredded meat can also be added at the beginning of the cooking process. The long cooking time will mean it is very soft and easy to digest.

Congee tonifys the blood and is very nourishing. It is more easily digestible for the chronically ill person and gentle on the intestines.

How we eat

Consider some western eating habits today. How we eat – the environment has the potential to affect digestion particularly if we feel stressed when we eat or if we eat in a rush. Some people at work will stuff a cold sandwich down their throat during a rushed five minute break and a coke during the winter. This is not really respecting their digestive system. In the traditional Chinese energy circulation clock, which shows the circulation of qi through the meridians, the morning time period of 7am – 9am is called the time of the stomach. The period of 9am – 11am is the time off the spleen (which deals with digestion and absorption). These four hours are considered to be the time when the digestive system is at its maximum peak of power in the Chinese clock. It is a time, where it would be good to have our most substantial meal because our digestive organs are at their peak of energetic activity and can digest and absorb efficiently.

In Asian countries like Japan, traditionally they would honour this with a substantial meal for breakfast. A traditional breakfast would be rice, miso soup and grilled mackerel. In the West, breakfasts used to be more substantial. My father’s generation were brought up with a large bowl of porridge oats, bread and butter and sometimes kippers (when times were good). However, now there is a trend towards having lighter and quicker breakfasts. Today, many people have a few spoonfuls of cornflakes, a slice of toast or they forego breakfast and have two to three cups of coffee and a cigarette. It may well be that the post afternoon slump and craving for snacks that many people suffer from may be attributed to an insufficient breakfast. And there is a long term consequence to inadequate eating. Your body must use up its own resources and precious yin energy in order to provide yang energy for daily movement and activity. In short, you’re selling yourself short.

Another example of Western eating habits is that the evening meal time is slowly becoming a solitary affair. Even in families with two or more members, the TV is often switched on and takes centre stage. Some families eat in separate rooms.

Typically the Chinese family sit down at the table together. Food is placed on dishes in the centre and they take a small portion and place on their bowls unlike the Western way of having their own plate filled up with everything. This way, there must be interaction between family members. Eating becomes a social event. The TV may be on in the room in the background, but it does not take central focus. Food takes central focus.

This year I was fortunate to be invited by a Chinese friend for the Chinese New Year. In typical Western fashion, I filled up my small bowl to maximum with everything I wanted. It seemed more efficient to get everything in one go, then to have to keep takings bits here and there – especially with chopsticks. This attracted one small remark of disdain. Fortunately, I was among friends. We discussed different eating habits and I was told that the Western way of filling up everything you want in a bowl or plate is seen as selfish. It was an idea I had never considered before. I had always taken it for granted that typically we have everything we want on our own plate. When we order food in a restaurant, typically food comes on our own plate. We do not share it. It seems more efficient. But then by eating in this way, eating has the potential to become a selfish event. Everything is set. We do not need to interact. We don’t need to argue who’s going to eat that last piece of pie. And if the TV is on in the room, we can simply watch and eat, watch and eat. Social interaction can come secondary. And many families do eat like this.

Weight

The modern Chinese and Japanese do suffer the same as Westerners in that they also put on weight and feel inclined to go on diets. One look at women’s magazines from these countries will reveal all sorts of advertisements for questionable diet supplements and diet plans. However, what they don’t have are the levels of obesity that is becoming prevalent in the US and UK. From my time living in Japan, I believe this in part is down to the attitude towards food. In Japan, food is given a lot of respect. TV programs are awash with numerous segments on foods and restaurants with various B and C class celebrities being filmed eating said food and responding in the expected fashion by making an intense expression of pleasure and exhaling in an orgasmic “Oishiii! Umaii!” which literally translates as ‘Delicious! Tastes Good!”. Going to restaurants is a popular social activity, just like going shopping with friends or to a coffee shop and they are not overly expensive like in the UK. I saw a lot of food blogs written by people giving reviews of foods and restaurants. One acquaintance showed me a picture of a very tasty looking cake she had just eaten at a local cake shop which she was going to upload on her personal blog. On a Sunday afternoon, I often saw long lines of people – boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife standing patiently outside certain restaurants and eateries with reputations for selling delicious ramen (noodles) or gyudon (beef and rice) in a manner not too dissimilar to the way queues of couples may line outside museums or galleries on a Sunday afternoon in the UK.

A typical complaint from Japanese people and in fact many foreigners visiting the UK is that English food is no good. As an English national, I know this is not true. There are lots of good and simple foods. However I do understand the criticism. The closest you will find on the high street to a simple, clean and affordable British eatery is the Wetherspoons pub, which is usually tucked in among several MacDonalds, Subway sandwich shops and various Italian restaurants. After that, if you want authentic British food, you have to go to a greasy spoon café which is more catered to working men and mostly serves fried foods like eggs, bacon sausages, beans and toast – which is high in fats, salt and cholesterol. I also think English people tend to put too much stock in fish and chips which is really a kind of junk food. It is really no surprise that the Indian curry was voted the UK’s most popular dish a few years ago. After all, the British example is always – if someone else has something good, we can always steal it and make it our own. Take a look inside the British Museum if you disagree.

When it comes to giving advice on food, I don’t think there is any one size fits all approach. I don’t believe one diet can fix all. In my own life, I have experimented with various diets, eating habits and supplements. Some had good results on my health. Some of them undermined it. I even underwent a 5 day fast at a specialist fasting centre. This is not to be advised on your own as it can be extremely harmful. I have experienced periods of my life when I have eaten as health consciously as I could by favouring organic foods, increasing vegetables, avoiding sugar, drinking fresh juices and eating so called ‘superfoods’ and supplements. I have also gone the opposite side of the spectrum – living on junk food, snacks and alcohol (mostly during my early twenties.). I have read many books, and tried many things out diligently but I can’t honestly say that any one way of eating resonated with me. The only way of eating which seems to make me feel well internally and externally is when I go back to a simple diet, which my mother used to cook for me. This was boiled vegetables – carrots, cabbage, potatoes and a serving of meat or fish. Sometimes a bit of apple pie afterwards for a treat. Lunch at school was a cheese or meat sandwich and an apple. My father’s ideal breakfast consisting of cooked porridge oats, with stewed apple for breakfast definitely heated me up during the cold seasons – although I still find it a bit bland. And for balance, there was always the treat of a takeout or fish and chips on the occasional weekend to look forward to. And when I was a young kid, I don’t ever remember being neurotic about food or calorie counting or worrying that a food was harmful to me. It may not be the healthiest, but nor is it the worst. Nowadays, I see school kids outside the local kebab shop at lunch time eating fried chicken and chips from little boxes and dropping chicken bones on the pavement and I wonder if they eat like this every day.

As an acupuncture practitioner, my advice is simple. Eat fresh and adequate amounts of vegetables, protein and carbs. Limit processed foods. Prepare and cook foods yourself. Boil, steam or grill in preference to frying. During the cold seasons, soups and stews are nourishing. During the summer, some raw foods can be OK if your digestive system is healthy. If you have digestive problems, cook foods softly so that they are easily digestible, and be wary of eating too much fibre especially raw. Also listen to your body – if a food or supplements upsets your gut, no matter how ‘healthy’ it is meant to be, then maybe it’s no good for you. Listen and respond to the messages your body tells you. And be aware of the psychological nature of food. If you crave salty snacks or sweets excessively – it can be an imbalance in the body but there is also the consideration that there is a psychological reason for the craving. When we are stressed or deeply troubled, sugary and salty foods can be a way of self-medicating ourselves in much the same way that people may drink alcohol or take illicit drugs to ‘numb’ themselves from the stress of life’s problems.

Not to mention, in much the same way that factory farmed animals are effectively force fed with whatever we choose to give them – GM grains, antibiotics, steroids or even brain material from their own species (causing Mad Cow disease due to prions), we as humans are also to various extents ‘force-fed’ by the food industry in collaboration with the advertising industry. Food is a billion dollar business and a major part of the economy. Certain industries depend for their very survival that enough of us Homo sapiens eat farmed chicken and pork, hamburgers, bread or milk or frosted sugar flakes or sweetened fizzy drinks on a daily basis. The last thing we are ever expected to do is to grow and eat our own food. It is in this way, that modern humans in the developed world have lost connection with food. Because food today is imported from thousands of miles away, we don’t even know which foods are local to our environment. Only amateur gardeners know which vegetables are in season. And meat is far more easily available today than in any generation previously, we tend to forget that meat was a luxury item for our ancestors. An ancient wisdom has been forgotten.

As many aspects of our life have been improved, we have forgotten that we as humans must still follow the natural laws if we want to thrive in health (not just survive). A major principle is to live in tune with nature. There is a price to be paid for spending all our days in an air-conditioned room set to the same comfortable temperature in summer and winter. In much the same way we can buy and eat salad from the supermarket chilled section everyday during the coldest period of winter. If we eat a yin food in a yin season, we make our bodies too yin. In a yin season (winter) it is better to eat a yang food (a warm stew) to balance yin and yang. The Chinese were smart – too smart. They foresaw the damage that occurs to the body when we live out of tune with nature and found a simplistic way of expressing it. Despite our incredible advances in science, medicine and technology, we still have the same bodies as the ancients and are still subject to the same natural laws. Fortunately, their wisdom has been preserved and is waiting for us to rediscover it.

A Crisis Pregnancy Centre Provides Counselling for Women Facing an Unexpected Pregnancy

It is very important for every woman to maintain her health so that she can stay happy, strong and thriving. Women experience a variety of changes during their lifetimes, and this means they must pay careful attention to their health during these times. If women are pregnant, then she should do whatever it takes to stay healthy. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to stay healthy and thriving while pregnant. Pregnancies can be much unexpected to some women, and this leaves them panicking and unsure of what to do. There is a lot that women must do to stay healthy while pregnant, but not every women knows the steps to take. Fortunately, there are a couple of different services available to help pregnant women maintain their health.

A crisis pregnancy centre is a valuable tool for a woman who is facing an unexpected pregnancy. These centres are non profit organizations that help women find alternatives to abortion. Many women who face unexpected pregnancies get abortions because they are unsure of their options.

Crisis pregnancy centres provide options and information to pregnant women. These organizations are typically run by Christian groups or churches that are pro-life. The services provided by crisis pregnancy centres vary from centre to centre, but some common services are financial assistance, adoption programs and child rearing resources. Most crisis pregnancy centres do not provide medical services, but they typically offer referrals to obstetricians and other health care services. A few crisis pregnancy centres do provide minor medical services such as pregnancy tests and sonograms. Some crisis pregnancy centres provide free sonograms because they believe this dissuades expectant mothers from choosing to have an abortion.

Pregnancy counselling is provided at crisis pregnancy centres, but counselling can also be provided through other resources. Many women choose pregnancy counselling due to an unwanted pregnancy, but services are also available to pregnant women who are suffering from stress and psychological issues. Pregnancy counselling provides psychological health services to pregnant women. Some of these services include introducing women to alternatives to abortion and giving them information on staying healthy while pregnant. Counselling centres provide non biased, medically accurate information to pregnant women in order to help them achieve the best prenatal health possible. Pregnancy counselling centres provide information such as the names of local doctors and hospitals in case a pregnant woman faces an emergency. Some pregnancy counselling centres also provide resources for postnatal care; these resources include treatment for postpartum depression and other psychiatric disorders that come after the birth of a child.

Women can very easily face an unexpected pregnancy, and it is natural for them to feel worried, scared and confused. Fortunately, these great resources are available to every pregnant woman. Whether a woman wants to have an abortion or explore other options, these resources are available to guide them to a choice that is healthy, safe and medically sound. Every pregnant woman should take advantage of these services in order to maintain the best health imaginable.

Healthy Living for African Christian Women – Spirituality, Lifestyle and Medicine

Introduction

Health is defined as physical, mental and emotional well-being and not just the absence of disease or infirmity. It is the total feeling of wellness in body and in mind. 3John 1:2 says “Beloved, I pray that you may get along well in every way and may enjoy good health just as your soul is prospering”. The peculiar economic challenges and emergence of infectious diseases makes healthy living quite a task. As Christian mothers we must make conscious effort to lead our Christian lives in ways most beneficial, not only to our health, but also to those of our husbands and children.

Content

  • Healthy Lifestyle choices
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Use of Health care facilities
  • Stress management
  • Spirituality
  • Menopause
  • “Jedi-Jedi”

1 Healthy Lifestyle choices

The choices we make regarding everyday living, is a strong indicator of health. In 1Corinthians 6:19 the bible says “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you do not belong to yourselves? For you were bought and paid for; then give God the glory with your body”. It is therefore not only for our sakes that we should make healthy choices, but it is also a biblical obligation to live right.

Lifestyle choices are made in term of diet and exercise.

A. DIETARY CHOICES

Genesis 9:3 “every living, moving thing shall be yours for food; I have given it all to you like the vegetables.” There has been a lot of debate on what people should eat and what not to eat. Some will say don’t eat meat, some say don’t eat salt, but the most important thing is to understand that it is not about what to eat or what not to eat, but a matter of MODERATION.

The following are tips to help you make healthy choices as regards nutrition.

1. As regards breakfast:

– Take light meals in the morning

– Take at least 2 classes of food e.g. carbohydrate + (Vegetable, protein, fruits, etc) for example: yam and garden-egg sauce

2. As regards cholesterol and low density lipids (LDL)

– Just before you buy your next vegetable oil, make sure you check for the sign, – “low cholesterol” or “Zero cholesterol”

– Never over-eat EGGS, in our society eating eggs may be perceived wrongly as an indication of wealth. Eggs are good but we should limit it to at most 1 per day or 3 eggs in a week

– Reduce consumption of fried meals, and if you must fry use as less oil as possible.

3. Avoid overcooking your vegetables – a lot of micronutrients cannot tolerate the heat.

4. Salt, Sugar and Honey – Like earlier noted, moderation is the important thing.

As We advance in age it becomes beneficial to use salt in moderation, also certain food

sweeteners are better used with caution.

For those minding their blood sugar e.g. Diabetic women, it is important that you are mindful of refined sugar, however it is very important that we know that most of our staple meals are loaded with sugar. Food like Pounded Yam, cassava, etc so, what then are we to eat? if all these meals are sugar ladden. The answer is simple – ‘MODERATION” we tend to serve our cassava or pounded yam in very generous quantities, it is advised that we change that, serve just a handful of your staple meal, with generous amount of vegetables, crayfish, fish, meat etc This will supply enough carbohydrate with other nutrients without unnecessarily increasing your sugar level.

Honey is good; you could try it but remember everything must be in moderation.

5. Fruits Fruits Fruits

We are blessed with varieties of fruits; there is always a fruit in season. It will be most beneficial if you can take a fruit with every meal, yes!every meal. And I don’t mean bottled over-processed fruit juices, take only fresh fruits they are cheaper and full of benefits.

B. EXERCISES

As we age strenuous activities are best avoided but moderate exercises have benefits,

Short distances can be walked when it is not too sunny.

2. Personal/ Environmental Hygiene

The importance of hygiene is well understood and need no emphasis, proper grooming and cleanliness gives you a feeling of freshness and goodness.

Clean people don’t fall sick often.

Environmental hygiene is also a big issue, at times because of our busy schedules, the home is left untidy, making our homes a breeding site for rats and insects.

Rats, cockroaches etc find it too easy to pass diseases to us and our children

If you can’t clean up the home every day, find at least 2 times in a week to clean up. Get rid of stagnant water and nearby bushes to rid your home of mosquitoes.

Do not be careless about the source of drinking water for the family, as much as possible never patronize food vendors, COOK FOR YOUR FAMILY.

3. Use of Health Care Facilities

While Faith is important to us as Christians we should not fall into the class of misguided brethrens who perceive the use of health facilities as lack of faith, remember that Saint Luke was a doctor.

A. Regular check up

– Regularly check your blood pressure, it saves life.

– Visit your doctor for check up at worst once a year

B. Important medical tests for women: prevention is better than cure!

– Breast examination: breast cancer can be detected early and better treated.

When you bathe feel your breast for lumps, abnormal color or discharge. Stand before a mirror and compare the two breasts for any difference. If you notice anything abnormal see your doctor!

– PAPS test or Papanicolau smear test: this is done to screen for cervical

-cancer, another disease that ravage our female population. It is a life saver and we are encouraged to go for the test.

C. ANTENATAL CARE

When pregnant visit the maternity as soon as possible

D. FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES – the present economic conditions make family planning a wise decision. You will be surprised when you visit any family planning centre, at the vast methods available, you will be informed and are likely to find one suitable for you. Remember it is better to have children that you can cater for, than having a lot that you cannot care for. Family planning help plan the size of your household and also give you rest of mind and an opportunity to have a blissful and enjoyable marriage.

4. Stress Management

Matthew 6:25-34 “I tell you therefore, do not worry about your living-what you are to eat or drink, or about your body, what you are to wear. Is not the life more important than its nourishment and the body than its clothing?…

…34 Do not worry therefore, in view of tomorrow for tomorrow will have its own anxieties. Each day’s peculiar troubles are sufficient for it.”

One major benefit that faith affords us as Christians is that we could be free of worry, if we truly believe that our God is sufficient. When we put ourselves under needless stress, we make ourselves liable of high blood pressure and mental illness. Proverbs 14:30 says “A relaxed mind makes for physical health; but passion is rottenness to the bones”.

5. Spirituality

I strongly believe that there is a strong link between spirituality and health.

Jeremiah 8:22 “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician? Why, then, has the health of the daughter of My people not been restored?” it is clear that no drug can substitute the peace of mind and health that a perfect relationship with God gives. The bible says (ASV 2 Chronicles 7:14 ) if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. The secret of divine health is in His promises to his children, the book of Amos says “can two work together except they agree” I encourage you all to trust God fully and He will renew your strengths.

6. Menopause

This is a period in a woman’s life at which menses diminishes and stops, usually between the ages of 45 and 50. Women often experience some discomfort which may vary on individual basis.

Hot flashes or hot flushes range from a passing feeling of warmth in the face and upper body to extreme sweating and visible redness of the skin.

As estrogen level drops in the blood, the vaginal walls become dry making coitus very painful and sometimes undesirable. Decline in sexual interest during menopause may also be psychological.

Psychological symptoms may include depression, mood swings, weepiness, and other emotional flare-ups, as well as memory lapses…Stressful life events that may contribute to the emotional symptoms at the time of menopause include children leaving home and general mid-life crises.

When the symptoms are unbearable you should visit your doctor. Treatment available is known as (HRT) Hormone replacement therapy, but the benefit must be weighed against the risks,which includes – increased risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots.But in most cases, women’s personal perception of menopause may also affect symptoms, they are often tolerable when we have the right mindset.

Other ways of reducing negative effects of menopause include eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin supplements, stop smoking, reduce caffeine and alcohol, reducing sugar and salt intake. Exercise helps to alleviate menopausal symptoms

7. “Jedi-Jedi

This is a term among the Yorubas of West Africa, used to loosely refer to a number of often unrelated symptoms, and generally judged to be due to consumption of sugar or sweet things. I must say clearly that this is just one of the numerous health misconceptions and misinformation in our society.

These symptoms like backache, passage of loose stool, pile and hemorrhoids etc are most likely not related talk-less of resulting from consumption of sweet things or sugar.

If you feel unwell, please visit your doctor. Stop engaging in unwise use of herbal concoction for a disease that does not exist. Herbal concoctions are very dangerous. They can destroy very vital organs, we see a lot of liver cancers in our hospitals and even among women who don’t drink alcohol and the commonest cause that come to our mind is herbal concoction. The bible says “My people Perish for lack of knowledge

Conclusion

Jeremiah 30:17 says “For I will restore health to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast, “It is Zion, for whom no one cares!”

Jeremiah 33:6 says “Look, I will bring to her restoration and health; and I will heal them and reveal to them an abundance of peace and prosperity. It is my prayer that as we continue to trust God, He will continue to grant unto us good health.

© Oluwaseun Adigun 2010

Mobile Massage Therapy – Massage Reduces Stress, Relaxes and Boosts Immunity

The accumulation of everyday stress

Working long hours at the computer can result in stress, muscle tension, injury or pain which can drain you physically, mentally or emotionally. This can impact negatively on your social life as well as on your work. As the most important benefit of massage is the reduction of stress, general health can be improved and maintained by massage therapy and the negative effects of stress can be alleviated or prevented. On an ongoing basis it can reduce pain, prevent injuries and maintain health. It is an important part of staying healthy physically and mentally as it relieves stress which is responsible for 90% of illness and pain.

Due to reflex effects through the autonomic nervous system, massage affects internal organs and areas removed from the area being treated. It promotes relaxation, reduces pain, boosts mood and mental clarity. Massage can be used for relaxation or stimulation and may be applied to rehabilitation after surgery, injury or poor health. It improves blood and lymph circulation, increases natural killer cells and lymphocytes which destroy cancer cells, boosts mood by increasing serotonin and dopamine and relieves pain by increasing pain killing endorphins. Massage can relax the body, decrease blood pressure and heart rate and reduce stress and depression. It may also provide symptomatic relief for acute and chronic conditions such as headache, facial pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. It realigns and rejuvenates, restoring balance to body and being, so you can take in your stride whatever life throws your way. It promotes digestion, joint mobility, muscle relaxation, relief of spasms and cramps.

Bodywork as a medical treatment

Massage therapy is becoming increasingly sophisticated and effective as it moves into new areas such as medical massage which is the fastest growing modality of massage today. Training in massage therapy was an integral part of medical massage and nursing care up to the mid 1950s when it dropped to almost nothing due to the rapid development and almost exclusive use of technology in the twentieth century. Manual therapy was no longer seen as necessary for standard hospital care. Today, however, it is realized that massage in the hospital is necessary to provide a sense of wholeness and care which is absent in the increasing fragmentation of hospitalization due to the growing emphasis on specialization. Medical massage uses the traditional strokes of massage which are then specifically adapted to treat, for instance, cancer patients, hospital patients and pregnant women. Medical massage may be given in the hospital setting, an outpatient clinic or as a mobile therapy where the therapist travels to the patient’s home to give the patient a personally tailored treatment protocol.

In massage therapy for the cancer patient, the therapist pays close attention to the side effects of the curative medical treatment to devise an appropriate protocol. Here the therapy is designed around the particular side effects the patient is experiencing such as pain, lymph-oedema, scarring, nausea, stress, tension, insomnia, fatigue, anger, depression and anxiety.

Thus cancer massage is a uniquely designed therapy which complements the curative medical treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Hence, it requires more extensive knowledge of medical procedures, pathology and side effects than ordinary therapy. Failure to understand this will result in harm to the patient as the therapist will not be able to adapt the therapy to design a competent treatment protocol.

In pregnancy massage the therapist must take into account mainly musculoskeletal issues caused by the weight of the growing uterus altering the centre of gravity of the woman’s body. Treatment in this case will focus especially on upper and lower back pain, sacroiliac dysfunction as well as pubic symphysis and lower abdominal pain. The therapist must also be alert to and able to detect acute medical problems such as deep vein thrombosis and preeclampsia which are both potentially fatal if not medically treated.

Bodywork has a broad therapeutic application

The greatest benefit of massage is the reduction of stress and tension. Since a wide range of physical and psychological conditions stem from stress, massage can help alleviate these conditions and therefore has a broad therapeutic application. The most prominent benefit and use of massage is the alleviation of stress which then relieves muscular tension, promotes relaxation and treats lower back, neck and shoulder pain, pregnancy, bedsores, severe burns, iliotibial band syndrome and spinal cord injury as well as ameliorating systemic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, attention deficit disorder (ADD), fibromyalgia, asthma, autism, diabetes, bulimia, eczema, HIV, lymphoedema, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Sleep disorders, cancer-related fatigue, diabetes, high blood pressure, spinal cord injury, low back pain, lowered immunity, post-operative surgery, infertility, autism, eating disorders, age-related disorders and smoking cessation can all be treated by massage.

Bodywork, such as shiatsu and massage, offers a drug-free, non-invasive and person centred approach based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Bodywork in Pregnancy

The great physical, mental and emotional changes of pregnancy affect your lifestyle, your job and your relationships with friends and family. Massage helps you integrate these changes successfully. Massage therapy during pregnancy improves overall health, decreases stress and relieves muscles aches and pains. It addresses the many discomforts associated with the skeletal, muscular and circulation changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.

Massage alleviates low back, hip and leg pain, oedema, nausea, heartburn and constipation. Regular massage decreases anxiety and lowers stress hormones during pregnancy. Labour is shorter and easier while babies are healthier. There are fewer obstetric and postnatal complications, such as premature birth and low birth weight.

Bodywork for Cancer Patients

Massage for cancer patients is a safe, non-pharmacological treatment without any side effects. It helps reduce anxiety, fatigue, depression, stress, tension, anger, insomnia and improve self-image and quality of life. Massage may reduce pain, muscle tension, nausea, constipation, lymphoedema and scarring.

Massage as a supportive care intervention for children with cancer helps reduce pain, anxiety, depression, constipation and high blood pressure. Massage also strengthens the function of the immune system and reduces nausea and depression during periods of immune suppression following chemotherapy.

Staying Healthy While You Party and Camp at Music Festivals

Festival season is a highlight of the summer, a chance to let your hair down, catch some great bands and dance the night away, but it is also important to remember to look after your health at festivals. I have been to many festivals over the years and I have a few things that I always like to have with me to make surviving festival camping a little bit easier – here are some of my top festival tips for keeping healthy at festivals!

  • #1 – Antibacterial hand gel – I couldn’t be without this at a festival. The toilets are a breeding ground for germs and more often than not the supplied hand sanitizer at the toilets will have run out. Keep a bottle of hand gel in your bag or pocket to use whenever you need it and wash your hands whenever you can.
  • #2 – Water bottle – keep a bottle of water with you at all times. It is so important to make sure you drink plenty of water, fill up your bottle every time you see a drinking water tap. If you are drinking alcohol then drink water as well as alcoholic drinks to prevent getting dehydrated.
  • #3 – Alcohol – If you are drinking Alcohol try to keep it to a minimum, you want to feel good and enjoy yourself at a festival, you don’t want to be suffering from a hangover the whole time. Remember the recommended limits for alcohol are 3-4 units a day for men and 2-3 units a day for women.
  • #4 – Try and eat healthily – this can be difficult at a festival when you are surrounded by fast food, all of which smells pretty good when you are hungry. Try and choose some healthier options, there is a huge variety of food at festivals so have a look round and see what takes your fancy, don’t just go for the nearest stall selling chips. It is a good idea to have some snacks with you in your bag to keep you going throughout the day, fruit and cereal bars are a good idea. Make sure you try and have a good breakfast too. If you have a stove then take some oats to make some porridge.
  • #5 – Toilet roll – You don’t want to be caught out, its best to keep some tissues with you in your bag.
  • #6 – Wet wipes – when showers are nowhere to be seen or the queues are miles long then wet wipes can be a God send to get rid of that mud and make you feel a little bit cleaner.
  • #7 – Sleep – plan your festival days to make sure that you get enough sleep. If you are dancing til late make sure you either have a lie in or grab some sleep in the afternoon so that you can do it all over again!
  • #8 – Sun cream – you will be outside most of the time and it is important to look after your skin. Apply sun cream regularly to prevent getting burnt. Wearing a wide brimmed hat is also a good idea to keep the sun off your head and protect your face and neck.
  • #9 – Clothing – you never know what the English weather might bring at a festival, so be prepared for everything. Remember it will get cold at night, so wear layers to keep warm. Don’t forget waterproofs, in this country it is bound to rain at least once! Make sure you change out of wet clothes into dry ones and don’t sleep in damp clothes.
  • #10 – First Aid kit – pack a little first aid kit in your bag with some plasters, antiseptic wipes and blister plasters. When you are on your feet all day your feet are likely to suffer and someone you are with might be very grateful if you can offer them a blister plaster to ease their painful feet! Keep cuts clean and use plasters to prevent an infection.

It is important to remember to look after yourself as well as enjoy yourself but if you do fall ill then there will be medical staff at the festival who can help you. It is a good idea to make sure you know where the medical centre is as soon as you get there. I hurt my neck at a festival a couple of years ago and the St John’s Ambulance team were great at looking after me, so don’t be afraid to find them and ask for help. If you are worried about your health before attending a festival then speak to your doctor for advice.

Keep healthy and enjoy yourself!

What Is Hormone Imbalance In Women?

Hormone imbalance can have several causes, though it is commonly manifest in women experiencing an extraordinary increase in estrogen levels, accompanied by a disproportionate increase in progesterone levels. As hormones, estrogen and progesterone act as the body’s chemical messengers – taking charge of normal sexual development and menstrual cycle regulation. They also ensure the female body’s stability during its child-bearing years.

Factors that affect hormonal imbalance are age, genetics, health, and general lifestyle. Older women are more likely to experience unnatural fluctuations in hormone levels while women of all ages can be saddled with a genetic disposition to such changes in body chemistry. Health or medical causes may include obesity and tumors while lifestyle factors such as use of birth control pills, stress, lack of exercise, and sedentariness may also come into play. Pregnancy and lactation also contribute.

As to symptoms, one of the most common manifestations of hormone imbalance is irregular and/or excessive vaginal bleeding. One may also experience severe menstrual cramps, pre-menstrual syndrome or even pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. It might also present itself through anxiety, lack of appetite, loss of concentration, fluctuating weight loss and gain, and even a reduced sex drive.

Insomnia is both a symptom and a cause, as lack of sleep also contributes largely to hormonal imbalance. If the symptoms present themselves more severely, however, it could mean that the condition is already one of hormone allergy and not just imbalance. These more severe symptoms include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anxiety attacks, and urinary tract infection, among others.

Treatment for hormone imbalance depends largely on the severity of the symptoms. For some women, the discomfort does not get in the way of their day-to-day existence, leading them to go through life without medication or any form of treatment whatsoever. Some may not even realize that they are experiencing imbalance at all. To be safe, however, it is recommended that one undergo regular check- ups and report to the doctor the occurrence of any of the abovementioned symptoms. Blood, saliva, or urinary testing may be required.

Conventional treatment for hormonal imbalance takes the form of hormone replacement therapy. However, there are those who feel that this manner of addressing an imbalance in the body will only lead to further problems, as HRT is known to have several side effects. Thus, some women choose to alleviate the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in a more holistic manner.

When symptoms occur, it should be dealt with right away to avoid complications that may lead to severe sickness. Of course, one should seek a doctor right away to diagnose the problem and may be treated with the right medication.

However, there is a better way to deal with this problem. The holistic way of treating the condition would include taking vitamin supplements, getting enough exercise, and sufficient sleep and rest. Some herbal remedies like Asia ginseng and primrose oil may also be of help. Avoiding day-to-day stress and imbibing large amounts of caffeine also aid in getting the body back on track without resorting to synthetic drugs.

Healthcare in Spain

Whenever we think of healthcare in a foreign land, we immediately think, “will it be expensive and of the same quality as what we’re used to?” In fact, the quality of healthcare in Spain is excellent and many doctors and nurses speak English.

The health service is run along a two-tier system similar to that in the UK. The first tier is the National Health Service and the second is the private health care sector, which is covered by health insurance. Whether you are a native of Spain or a British citizen, if you are making social security contributions then you immediately qualify for the National Health Service. Otherwise, it is best to have some kind of private health insurance. We have personally experienced both sides of the Spanish healthcare system.

Private Health Care

When we first moved to Spain, we had very little experience of the lifestyle and that included provision for healthcare. As we were both reasonably healthy and because our knowledge of the language was still limited, we were somewhat scared of approaching social security offices and medical centres to gain more information, putting it off for another day.

However, with the rise in older men developing problems with their prostrate and my awareness of prostrate cancer, I decided I needed to see a doctor for a check up. Not being eligible for the Spanish health service at the time meant I had to go private. I had this dreaded feeling “This is going to cost a fortune”. Not necessarily so.

The couple that we rented our villa from in Mojacar recommended an English speaking lady doctor in Garrucha and we found to our surprise her fee was only 40 euros per consultation. On my first visit, all my details were entered into the computer and then a comprehensive examination was done including arrangements for a blood test.

Everything was extremely thorough and the staff was very helpful wanting to get a full picture of my current state of health. I was given a letter indicating what blood tests were needed and directions to a nearby blood analysis clinic. At the clinic I was seen straight away and the necessary blood sample was taken. What was most impressive was that I was called back the very same day for my results. Back in England I would have had to have waited ten days. Even better, when I phoned the doctor an appointment was made for the next day.

The blood test results came to a cost of 80 euros, but they had tested for virtually everything. At my second consultation I was told that I would need to see a specialist in Almeria and an appointment was made for 3 days time, again very impressive and quick.

At this point I felt somewhat amazed that in less than 24 hours, I had seen a doctor, been examined, had a comprehensive blood test, seen the doctor again been reassured that I have nothing major wrong with me and an appointment made to see a specialist in a couple of days all for 120 euros. Fantastic.

When I saw the specialist in Almeria, Dr Francisco Gomez Berjon, he was most charming, spoke perfect English and was completely at ease with me. Once again I was given a thorough examination and a course of medication prescribed, a further appointment was made for six months, and his fee, only 80 euros. I now see Dr Francisco twice a year for a check up.

On the flip side of this, my wife Carol and I also had the experience of the Spanish National Health Service.

Spain National Health Service

If you have ever visited Spain you will know that pavements either don’t exist, which means you walk in the road, or are uneven and have a kerb that is about 18 inches high (how disabled people in wheelchairs get by I do not know). You will also notice that the local Spaniards always walk in the road, apparently fearless of being hit by a passing vehicle. They obviously would rather face the car than risk walking on the pavement.

Anyway, to begin our story, one Sunday morning, my wife was on her way back from the newsagent, when she tripped and fell off the pavement. Ouch! We later found out she had broken her little finger and fractured her wrist.

At the time we had just started our estate agency business and as such we had to make social security contributions which meant we qualified for free medical care. If you do not have private health insurance, you should join the Social Security system.

Once you take any job in Spain your employer is obliged to process all the paperwork for you, pay part of your contributions and deduct the other part from your salary. If you are self-employed you will have to go to the local Social Security office and fill in all the paper-work yourself. Unless your knowledge of the local language is very good, then it is probably advisable to get a gestor (official agent – a bit like a lawyer for menial bureaucracy) to do this for you. Beware of using a British accountant who doesn’t speak Spanish fluently – you may find that you have not been registered correctly.

We needed to find a hospital quickly but not ever needing emergency medical treatment in Spain we hadn’t a clue where the nearest hospital was. We found a place near the beach with a red cross painted on the outside of the building but were then advised they only take private fee paying patients. Fortunately, they directed us to a health centre on the other side of town.

As opposed to my wonderful private health care experience with English speaking staff, at this health centre, the receptionist only spoke Spanish and we had some trouble understanding each other. Fortunately for us, a doctor was passing by and kindly offered assistance. However, to our dismay we were told we had come to the wrong hospital. In fact, you are supposed to attend the hospital that is registered for the district where you live. We were then given more directions and this time found the right health centre.

We were seen straight away, only to be told that the diagnosis of a suspected broken finger needed an X-ray, but that the centre did not have an X-ray facility and we were told to go to the main general hospital in Lorca, which was 35 km away. All this time my wife behaved remarkably well even though the pain was excruciating.

As with most things in Spain everything is located in the town centre and parking was difficult. We walked to the A & E department and just like the UK – it was very busy. After explaining our problem to the reception desk, we filled in a form, and proceeded to wait. Of course, we assumed we were going to be here for hours. Actually things were very fast and after a very short wait, Carol was examined and whisked off to X-ray. After the x-ray, we waited only another ten minutes before a doctor confirmed the broken finger and fractured wrist. Carol received the necessary treatment and an appointment was made to visit the hospital in another seven days.

In all fairness if we had been better prepared it wouldn’t have turned into such a drama. The lesson to be learnt from this experience was that accidents do happen and you do need to be prepared. When you arrive at your final destination, register immediately with your local health centre, find the location of your local hospital, drive there and have a look around. Also, make a note of useful telephone numbers that you are likely to need in case of emergency and keep them close by a telephone. You never know when you may need them.

We have put together a list of various forms and information that you may find helpful.

Form E121 –
If you are a pensioner from the UK, 65 for men, 60 for women, and intend to live in Spain permanently then you can get free medical care and medications under a reciprocal agreement between EU governments; you should obtain form E121 from the DSS in the UK prior to your departure. You may need a separate form for each member of your family. This form should be handed in to the Seguridad Social (Social Security) in Spain. It provides permanent health cover and does not need to be renewed. You will receive a temporary health card and eventually you will receive a letter giving the name of the medical centre you are to visit in case of illness and a permanent card. Until the form has been registered at the social security office you are not covered for healthcare. Private health clinics will not accept this form as payment.

Form E106 –
The E106 is for people who have moved permanently to Spain but have not reached pensionable age, its period of effectiveness depends on the state of your past National Insurance contributions record. The period of medical cover commences from the date you leave the UK. You must however apply and receive your E106 entitlement form before leaving the UK to ensure you are covered and to know what that cover entitles you to.

Form E111 (EHIC) –
The best solution for someone wanting to stay in Spain for a short period of time without becoming a resident is the form E111, now replaced by the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), this card is issued by the National health Service in the UK, and you should carry it with you together with your passport at all times, in case of an emergency. This card is only to be used in cases of emergency and is not for the treatment of chronic illnesses.

Private Health Service –
If you aren’t covered by the Spanish social security, then it is imperative that you have private medical insurance. If you have private health insurance in the UK, then find out from the insurance company if they will pay your medical bills in Spain. There are a large number of private Spanish or English companies offering health insurance. The policies offered generally differ considerably in the extent of cover, limitations and restrictions, premiums, and choice of doctors, specialists and hospitals.

Health care points to remember when moving to Spain –

o Make sure you know where your nearest hospital is located.
o You need to go to the hospital registered in your district.
o If you are working in Spain then make sure you make social security payments in order to qualify for the Spanish National Health Service.
o Make sure you find a local gestor (official agent – a bit like a lawyer for menial bureaucracy) that can handle the social security paperwork for you.
o If you paying private healthcare insurance make sure you are aware of any limitations.
o Keep a list of useful telephone numbers of places to contact in case of emergencies.
o Try and learn some useful Spanish words, do not expect everyone to speak English.

Women’s Hormone Replacement Therapy – Are You In Balance?

It has been two years since the Women’s Health Initiative Estrogen plus Progestin (WHI) arm of this large trial was stopped early because it caused harm. The WHI showed the opposite of what was expected–Estrogen (Premarin) plus Progestin (Provera) caused heart disease and breast cancer as well as blood clots and strokes. WHI results show that estrogen does not improve the quality of life for women. WHI estrogen plus progestin results are “evidence-based.”

We now have evidence-based proof that “HRT” is harmful to women. But people are still taking Hormone Replacement Therapy and are concerned about estrogen deficiency. Why? “Little has changed because the fundamental, negative ideas about women and about menopause have not changed. Universal menopausal hormone therapy … (is) based on a cultural belief that women are inferior and need fixing. For over twenty years I have been saying that menopause is a natural part of women’s life cycle, the low estrogen levels after menopause are healthy and not abnormal. This made me unpopular–I have been labeled as “way-out” or worse. Therefore the WHI results for me were a vindication”, says Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC Professor of Endocrinology, Scientific Director, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, University of British Columbia. And, she is correct.

Two years after the WHI study little has changed. If you go to your doctor today and request HRT most will prescribe it for you. Despite the fact that The Women’s Health Initiative, the largest controlled trial of ovarian hormone therapy ever performed, provided the strongest proof that Medicine (which has been strongly influenced by the Pharmaceutical Industry) causes harm for women. The website for the WHI study said, “Women should stop their study drugs immediately.” Following that order led to hot flushes in many women who were on hormone therapy because their body had adjusted to that higher level of estrogen. Women who heard the news of the study in the media also often stopped their therapy abruptly. That led to severe hot flushes in hundreds of thousands of women and in virtually all women who had previously experienced them. “Because it is well known that rapid withdrawal from estrogen causes night sweats and hot flushes, all physicians should have been ready with advice for women wanting to stop estrogen.” Says Dr. Prior.

For Lack of helpful information, and because the resulting symptoms of night sweats/hot flushes were so miserable, many women, in desperation, reluctantly restarted unwanted HRT treatment. It seems logical to now say that the WHI results require re-thinking of the concepts on which menopausal “replacement” and “estrogen deficiency” were based. The primary assumption that all women needed estrogen because they were deficient still needs to be addressed. I like what Dr. Susan Love said, “If estrogen deficiency is a disease, all men have it!” Destroying the concept of estrogen deficiency will be hard and may take many years to achieve. In the mean time where does that leave you and I?

Estrogen Dominance not estrogen deficiency, according to Dr. John Lee is at the crux of our dilemma and bringing our hormones back into balance will be the key to hormonal health.

STEP 1. Become informed. The “Let’s Talk About Hormones” video provides valuable information on hormone balancing. Dr. Lee’s “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause” has just been updated. Information is the key to your power!

STEP 2. Evaluate your own hormones with a saliva test whether you are on hormones currently or not. Find out if you have adequate hormone levels or are truly deficient.

STEP 3. Work with someone who understands the issues. Dr. Lee felt that most women can themselves oversee their hormonal challenges. If you must select a healthcare provider choose one who like Dr. Prior says, “I will never again prescribe estrogen as a pill. There is now overwhelming controlled trial evidence that pill forms of estrogen cause unacceptably high rates of clots and perhaps, through clotting, also increased strokes and heart disease. There are not yet strong data but it is likely that estrogen given through the skin (as a gel, crème or patch) will be less likely to activate liver clotting factors and thus safer. To me it means “bio-identical” or “natural” kinds of estrogen and progesterone both given in physiological doses.”

STEP 4. Just know that balancing hormones is not just about taking additional hormones but about diet and lifestyle changes. I believe that we have a unique opportunity, right now, as women on this second anniversary of the initial WHI results. We can become pro-active about our own hormone health and share with those women around us who are struggling with their hormone challenges. Women reaching out to other women will have a greater effect than waiting for the research to catch up. Each of us must practice living with these important ideas. Then hormonal health will be ours.

This Article Is Copyright 2006 Jackie L. Harvey & Saliva Testing com

Impact Of Nutrition On The National Education And Healthy Growth

Nutrition is an unavoidable factor in education and health growth of a nation. A healthy student is a productive student. Good nutrition is increasingly perceived as an investment in human capital that yields returns today as well as in the future, while bad nutrition is a treat to the nation. The global loss of social productivity in 1990 is caused by four overlapping types of malnutrition â?? stunting and disorders related to iodine iron and vitamin A deficiency â?? amounted to almost 46 million years of productive disability â?? free life nutrition raises returns on investment in education and health care.

A body of literature observed that there is a heavy decline in knowledge in Nigeria from 1980s unlike the past years. Some attributed this decline to the malnutrition during the past civil war. A researcher noted that in the 1980s Nigeria had the lowest number of indigenous engineers of any Third World country. The teaching of English, which is the language of instruction beyond primary school, had reached such poor levels that university faculty complained their inability to understand the written work of their students due to ineffective communication there is a lot of quack graduates and workers in the country. By 1990 the crisis in education was such that it was predicted that in few decade to come, there would be insufficient personnel to run essential services of the country. This calls for a serious attention before the nation losses all her skilled labour force. I have categories these problems into two major nutritional factors, the problem of undernutrition and malnutrition. The purpose of this write â?? up is to review the impact of nutrition on the present and past and necessary steps taken to arrest the situation. It will also provide some relevant solutions to the problem.

NUTRITIONAL PROBLEMS:

Nigeria as a country is characterized by two major nutritional problems which includes undernutrition and micronutrient. The rest have little impact and may be reserved for now.
Undernutrition is characterized by inadequate intake of macronutrients. It often starts in utero and may extend throughout the life cycle. It also spans generations. Undernutrition occurs during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence, and has a cumulative negative impact on the birthweight of future babies. A baby who has suffered intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) as a fetus is effectively born malnourished, and has a much higher risk of dying in infancy. The consequences of being born malnourished extend into adulthood. During infancy and early childhood, frequent or prolong infections and inadequate intakes of nutrients (particularly energy, iron, protein, vitamin A, and Zinc) may add to the contribution of IUGR to preschool underweight and stunting. In Nigerian situation, infants after period of exclusive breast feeding are followed up with weaning which consist of pap, akamu, ogi, or koko and is made from maize (Zee Mays), millet (pennisetum americanum), or guinea corn (sorghum spp.). People from low income groups seldom feed meat, eggs, or fish to their infants, because of socio-economic factors, taboos, and ignorance.

In Anambra State, Nigeria, Agu observed that pap contained only 0.5% protein and less than 1% fat, as compared with 9% protein and 4% fat in the original corn. This is usually due to poor processing. Akinele and Omotola investigated the energy and protein intake of infants and children of the low income group. They reported that about one-third to one-half of the infants suffered varying degrees of malnutrition and 10% were wasted and stunted. A more recent Nigerian National Survey conducted by the Demographic and health Survey (DHS) in 1990 placed the proportion of underweight children under five years of age (those below â??2SD weight-for-age ) at 36% including 12% severely underweight. (below -3 SD). The prevalence of stunting (below â??2 SD height â?? for â?? age) was 43% including 22% severe stunting (below â?? 3SD) while the levels of wasting and severe wasting were 9% and 2% respectively. In 1986 in Ondo State, Nigeria, DHS Survey of children aged 6 to 36 months is 28% prevalence for underweight, 32% for stunting, and 7% for wasting.
For adults and older children, it is usually possible to achieve an adequate protein â?? energy intake by increasing the daily intake of starchy foods of low nutrient density. For infants and small children, however, the volume of the traditional diets maybe too large to allow the child to ingest all the food necessary to cover his or her energy needs. A baby aged four to six months would need 920g of corn gruel to meet daily needs of energy (740 Kcal) and protein (13g). This is an impossible task, considering the size of an in factâ??s stomach.

President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo rightly observed that almost half of children ages 7-13 in Nigerian are continue underweight. A lot of children and adults go to bed starved and some take one meal a day which mostly consists of carbohydrates.

Micronutrient is another hard nut to break in the area of nutrition. It is the inadequate intake of key vitamins and minerals. It can be observed both among the rural and urban dwellers in Nigeria. The lack of vitamins and minerals result in irreversible impairment to child physical and mental development. Apart from the indirect effects on the mother, micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy have serious implications for the developing fetus. Iodine deficiency disorders may cause foetal brain damage or still birth (mental retardation, delayed motor development) and stunting. Iodine deficiency in during foetal development and infancy has been shown to depress intelligence quotient levels by 10-15 points. Foliate deficiency may result in neural tube or other birth defects and preterm delivery, and both iron deficiency anemic and vitamin A deficiency may have significant implications for the future infantâ??s morbidity and mortality risk, vision, cognitive development reduce their ability to concentrate and fully participate in school and socially interact and develop. It is on record that 40% of children under 5 years of age suffer vitamin A deficiency. It is the major cause of preventable, severe visual impairment and blindness in children. The most vulnerable is a high percentage of pre-schoolchildren and pregnant women who are anemic. These two nutrition problem are enormous in Nigeria situation have a great impact in the economy and social life of the country.

THE EFFECT OF NUTRITION ON NATIONAL EDUCATION:

Nutrition has a dynamic and synergistic relationship with economic growth through the channel of education. Behrman cites three studies suggesting that, by facilitating cognitive achievement, child nutrition and schooling can significantly increase wages. In utero, infant and child nutrition affects later cognitive achievement and learning capacity during school years, ultimately increasing the quality of education gained as a child, adolescent and adult. Parental education affects in utero, infant and child nutrition directly through the quality of care given (Principally maternal) and indirectly through increased household income. Human capital development, primarily through education, has received merited attention as a key to economic development, but early childhood nutrition has yet to obtain the required emphasis as a necessary facilitator of education and human capital development.

A recent research shows that early childhood nutrition plays a key role in cognitive achievement, leaning capacity and ultimately, household welfare. For example, protein – energy malnutrition (PEM) deficiency, as manifested in stunting is linked to lower cognitive development and education achievement; low birth weight is linked to cognitive deficiencies; iodine deficiency in pregnant mothers negatively affects the mental development of their children can cause delayed maturation and diminished intellectual performance; iron deficiency can result in impaired concurrent and future learning capacity. This goes a long way to prove that nutrition have a great impact to national education as Nigeria is fully experiencing this ugly impact now and in time to come.

THE EFFECT OF NUTRITION ON HEALTH GROWTH:

A health nation is a wealthy nation. Nutrition has a great impact on every nationâ??s growth especially as we can see in Nigeria situation. Inadequate consumption of protein and energy as well as deficiencies in key micronutrient such as iodine, vitamin A and iron are also key factors in the morbidity and mortality of children and adults. Mal-nourished children also have lifetime disabilities and weakened immune systems.

Moreover, malnutrition is associated with disease and poor health, which places a further burden on household as well as health care systems. Disease affects a personâ??s development from a very early age. Gastro-enteritis, respiratory infections and malaria are the most prevalent and serious conditions that can affect development in the first three years of life. In factions affect childrenâ??s development by reducing their dietary intake; causing a loss of nutrients; or increasing nutrient demand as a result of fever.

Malnutrition also plays a significant role in morbidity among adults. The link between morbidity from chronic disease and mortality, on the one side, and a high body mass index (BMI), on the other has been recognized and analyzed in developed countries primarily for the purpose of determining life insurance risk. A study on Nigerian men and women has shown mortality rates, among chronically energy â?? deficient people who are mildly, moderately and severely underweight to be 40, 140 and 150 percent greater than rates among non-chronically energy â?? deficient people.
A lack of micronutrients also contributes significantly to the burden of disease. Iron deficiency is associated with malaria, intestinal parasitic infections and chronic infections. Chronic iodine deficiency causes goiter in adults and Children and also affects mental health. Vitamin A deficiency significantly increases the risk of severe illness and death from common childhood infections, particularly diarrhoeal diseases and measles. In areas where vitamin A deficiency exists, children are on average 50 percent more likely to suffer from acute measles. A UN report states that improvement in vitamin A status have been reduction in mortality among children aged one to five.

EVALUATION OF THE PRESENT AND PAST EFFORTS:

There have been series of bold step toward solution finding by government and non-governmental organizations (NGO) to eradicate mal nutrition and its reacted effect both in the present and past, though some proved abortive due to bad government and economic dwindling which characterized the 1980s, to trace this chronologically. In 1983, the U.S. Agency for international Development (USAID) began providing assistance to the Nigerian Federal and State Ministries of Health to develop and implement programs in family planning and child survival. There focus was in three areas, but especially in the government and social services area. It will also be focused on catalyzing the growth and leverage of NGOs working at the community and national levels in health care support and democratization. The USAID committed and $135 million to bilateral assistance programs for the period of 1986 to 1996 as Nigeria undertook an initially successful structural Adjustment program, but later abandon it. Plans to commit $150 million in assistance from 1993 to 2000 were interrupted by strains in US â??Nigeria relations over human right abuses, the failed transition to democracy, and a lack of cooperation from the Nigerian Government on anti â?? narcotics trafficking issues. By the mid â?? 1990â??s these problems resulted in the curtailment of USA ID activities that might benefit the military government.

In 1987, The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), under the principal Researcher Dr. Kenton Dashiell, Launched an ambitions effort in Nigeria to combat widespread malnutrition. They encourage using nutritious economical soybeans in everyday food. They further said that soybeans are about 40% protein â?? rich than any of the common vegetable or animal food source found in Africa. With the addition of maize, rice and other cereals to the soybeans, the resulting protein meets the standards of the United Nations Food and Agricultural organization (FAO). Soybeans also contain about 20% oil which is 85% unsaturated and Cholesterol free. Though that is nice program for alleviation of malnutrition started at period, a lot of socio economic thorns hindered its proper function during this period.

The world health organization (WHO) in 1987 estimated that there were 3 million cases of guinea worm in Nigeria about 2 percent of the world total of 140 million cases making Nigeria the nation with the highest number of guinea worm cases. In affected areas, guinea worm and related complications were estimated to be the major cause of work and school absenteeism.

In August 1987, the federal government launched its primary Health care plan (PHC), which President Ibrahim Babangida announced as the cornerstone of health policy. Intended to affect the entire national population, its main stated objectives included accelerated health care personnel development; improved collection and monitoring of health data; ensured availability of essential drugs in all areas of the country; implementation an expanded Program on Immunization (EPI); improved â??nutritionâ?? throughout the country; promotion of health awareness development of a national family health program; and widespread promotion of oral dehydration therapy for treatment of diarrheal disease in infant and children.

The president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002 meeting with the president international Union of Nutritional sciences (IUNS) promised to support a better coordination of nutrition activities and programs in Nigeria, he further said that â??the high prevalence of malnutrition is totally unacceptable to this Government and he assured the IUNS president that he would do everything possible to ensure that resources are available to improve household food security greater access to healthcare services and better caring capacity by mothers including supported for breast feeding promotion.

In the 27th September 2005 Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Lunched the Nasarawa State School feeding program at the Laminga primary school. The program is fully funded and administrated by the state of Nasarawa, which makes it a unique model in Africa today. The epoch making event is in fulfillment of one of the promises of combating malnutrition especially among children whom he observed that many at the age of 7 â?? 13 years are underweight. He further promises to reach out about 27 million children during the coming 10 years. The NAFDAC are also helping in arresting the issue of malnutrition through making and adequate evaluation of food and drugs used in the country.

Other international bodies and NGO like the World Bank development fund; the world health organization (WHO); the United Nations agencies (UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP); The African Development Bank; the Ford and Mc Arthur Foundation etc. All of them have contributed their own quarters to the improvement of the nationâ??s health and nutrition.

CONCLUSION:

The greatest Solution to nutrition can be captured in this slogan, â??Catch them youngâ??â??, Children are most vulnerable to malnutrition in Utero and before they reach three years of age, as growth rates are fastest ad they are most dependent on others for care during this period. However, nutrition intervention, such as school feeding program which has started in Nasarawa State among children of school age are also important for strengthening learning capacity. Training and nutrition education is very important. Nutrition education can easily incorporate into primary health care programs. The African Child survival program have reduced the high prevalence of malnutrition in many part of cause and an outcome of under nutrition economic losses from undernutrition includes, as percentages of total losses from all causes: foregone human productivity, 10 â?? 15% ; foregone GDP, % – 10 %.

The government should also use mass media to create necessary attention when needed. The government should also try to reach out to people in the rural areas who have lesser access to variety of government interventions. Moreover, improved nutrition is a particularly powerful antipoverty intervention because it can be achieved at low cost and it has a life long impact. Investment in nutrition is one of the best options for economic growth and better social life.

REFERENCES:

1. King J, Ashworht A changes in infact feeding practices in Nigeria: an historical review. Occasional Paper No. 9. London : Centre for Human Nutrition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medical, 1987.

2. Kazimi J, Kazimi HR. infact feeding practices of the Igbo Ecol Food Nutrition 1979; 8: 111 â?? 6.

3. The United Stated Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. food, the year book of Agriculteur 1959.

4. UNICEF, Strategy for improved Nutrition of Children and women in Developing Countries, New york. 1990

5. ACC/SCN, Fourth Report on the World Nutrition Situation Geneva: ACC / SCN in Collaboration with the International food Policy Research Institute N2000.

6. http ://WWW . UNU. Edu/unupress/food/v191 e/cho 6 . htm

7. http ://WWW. Fao . org / docrep / 033/ x9800e /x9800 e07 . htm.

8. http :// WWW. Online Nigeria. Com/education/ index.asp.

9. Yu xiaodong. Action Neede At the national level, The Chinese experiment SCN News Development In International Nutrition. No. 32, mid – 2006.

10. Armar MA. Maternal energy status lactational capacity and infant growth in rural Ghana: a study of the interaction of cultural and biological Doctoral thesis, University of London, 1989