Connect with us

Health

Health Supplements Face Surge In Demand Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Published

on

Health Supplements Face Surge In Demand Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

With the Coronavirus pandemic raging globally and the development and release of preventive vaccine still uncertain, a large number of concerned consumers are opting for an alternative source for improving their immunity other than conventional food items. The health food industry is facing a tremendous surge in demand for dietary aids like immunity-boosting supplements, vitamins and minerals, to reduce the possibility of contracting the potential symptoms of COVID-19.

According to sources, around 25 per cent of global consumers have been found to resort to buying significantly more health foods, following the WHO’s announcement of the global pandemic. As the consumers are becoming more health-conscious, the demand for customized vitamins, minerals and extract blends is steadily increasing, especially in case of the vulnerable section such as the elderly and those with pre-existing health problems, and may soon become a part of the everyday diet in many households.

In response to this demand, companies like Boots in UK has customized a Vitamin C, and Zinc supplement, Amborella Organics in USA has created a plant extract-based immunity supplement, while the Garden of Life CBD Probiotics capsule of USA has been termed as a high-performance immunity aid.

Tracy Landau, president of brand-strategy firm MarketPlace, said “COVID-19 has shifted the supplement market. Health and wellness brands that are agile and can pivot to meet evolving consumer needs will emerge from this season the strongest.”

Health supplements–boon or bane:

Dietary/health supplements can be beneficial, but the chief source of acquiring proper amounts of vitamins and minerals, is a balanced diet.

Nutritionists and doctors recommend food first as many bioactive compounds, carotenoids, flavonoids, antioxidants and dietary fibre that are essential for health are present only in conventional foods and not in health supplements. The same synergistic effect would not be obtained. Moreover, certain health supplements reduce the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the body.

Although supplements can fill in dietary gaps and deficiencies, but only when taken in addition to healthy food items and nutrient-dense conventional food, and not as a replacement. Too much of a particular health supplement can also turn out to be toxic and harmful. Therefore, it is advisable that consumers should only take health supplements after judging if the potential benefits outweigh the probable risks, or on the recommendation of a dietician.

However, health supplements apparently cannot be used to cure, prevent or treat a disease like medicines, and are considered to be food rather than drugs. Therefore, though they may strengthen the immune system, they may not necessarily be the cure or prevention of COVID-19, as per studies.

Organic food demand boost:

The demand for organic and sustainable foods has also increased due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The sales of organic products have seen a hefty increase in the US, UK, France, as well as India.

Finn Cottle of Soil Association Certification said, “Organic product sales outperformed the growth seen in the non-organic sector in the same time period, with significant increases in purchasing of grocery items such as tea and coffee and home-baking, alongside organic wine, beef and butters and fats.” Functional foods, fruits and vegetables are in high demand as consumers are becoming aware of the relationship between nutrition and health.

However, there is an ongoing debate on whether organic foods are better than conventional foods. Some experts believe that organic foods avoid synthetic pesticides and harmful agrochemicals while having more nutrients than traditional foods. Thus, they are safer and have a greater nutritional value. Demand for locally produced food is also increasing since people are becoming concerned about the transparency of the source.

On the other hand, many scientific studies have revealed that there are no significant health benefits or nutritional differences between organic and conventional foods. Some claimed advantages like higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phenols, may not have materially significant benefits. Though conventional foods may have higher pesticide residue than organic food, but they are well within global safety standards and pose no harm. Thus, opting for organic foods are apparently just a waste of fortune, argue some experts.

The key to an efficient immune system thus lies in a properly balanced diet filled with nutrient-dense foods. If one wants to enhance their diet using health supplements or other alternative food sources, then they should consult with their dieticians before doing so.

An ardent literature lover with my mind constantly travelling through far-off unexplored worlds. A lover of languages and cultures--the sweetest language in the world being my mother-tongue. Chasing the Northern Lights...taking one step closer. My pen is my sword. #BongAtHeart

Lifestyle

5 Healthy Smoothies You Need To Try This Summer!

Published

on

Smoothie II News Aur Chai

Summers are officially here and it’s really important to stay hydrated to keep going in this scorching weather. You can use a gamut of seasonal fruits to make smoothies. Smoothie is a fresh fruit pureed with milk, yoghurt, or ice cream to make a thick, smooth drink. 

Choose from blueberry, mango, peanut butter oatmeal, mint chocolate chip, pineapple, or any other fruit of your choice, and enjoy a nutritious and tasty smoothie in the comfort of your own home. Try these refreshing healthy smoothies to replenish and refresh your body. 

Here is a list of healthy smoothies to try this summer:

Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberry Smoothie is a simple and succulent way to begin your morning! Yoghurt, frozen blueberries, and banana are blended into a frosty drink to make this rich and refreshing blueberry smoothie. The ingredients used in this smoothie are both tasty and nutritious

 Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen bananas
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Mango Smoothie

What are summers if they aren’t brimming with mangoes? Make this delicious mango smoothie for an instant energy boost! Frozen banana, diced mangoes, and yoghurt are all good to have on hand. In a blender, mix all of the ingredients and blend until it’s smooth. It’s as easy as that!

 Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups frozen or fresh diced mango 
  • 1 cup frozen banana 
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • ½ cup of ice cubes

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie

This recipe for Peanut butter Oatmeal Smoothie is packed with frozen bananas, creamy peanut butter, yoghurt, oats, and honey. It only takes a few minutes to prepare this thick and creamy drink; is sure to keep you full.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • ¼cup +1 tablespoon of Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

 Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Whip up this beautiful blend of soothing mint chocolate chip smoothie recipe for an instant energy boost! Add spinach, avocado, frozen banana, milk, and fresh mint leaves to your blender and blend until it’s smooth. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and chocolate chips.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¼ small sized avocado
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 25-30 mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • ½ cup crushed ice

 Pineapple Smoothie

This pineapple smoothie is a tropical mixture. Combine your pineapple, banana, and Greek yoghurt in a blender and blend until smooth and fluffy. Serve and enjoy this quick, nutritious, and refreshing drink!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup fresh diced pineapple
  • ½ sliced banana
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Continue Reading

Health

Skin Care Tips To Survive Summers In India

Published

on

Skin Care in Summer in India | News Aur Chai

The summer heat in India can be harsh on your skin if you don’t take proper care of it. The blistering heat, dust, and pollution take away the natural shine and, in some cases, invite infections. To avoid all of these annoyances and to keep your skin glowing as it did before, try these summer skincare tips:

Clothing

Tight clothing during hot weather will irritate the skin and make sweaty areas of the body itch even more. To combat the heat, cotton and lighter fabrics are vital. Try wearing breathable fabrics.

Diet

Applying creams is not enough; you need to enrich your skin properly to keep it glowing. Juicy fruits and vegetables should be consumed in large quantities as they are high in nutrients and antioxidants that protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Try consuming cooling or seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Exercise

Exercise increases blood flow that ensures that oxygen reaches the skin cells. Any tissue damage (skin burn, etc) is repaired by the body.

Exfoliation

It is a process that helps in the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Exfoliate your skin regularly for healthy and glowing skin. You can simply use a washcloth to gently scrub your skin. Try this process at least once a week.

Eyes and Lips

Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses while stepping out in the sun. Protect your lips by applying a lip balm.

Feet

It is important to take care of your feet as well. Give yourself a manicure; remove the dead and dry skin cells with a scrub and moisturize them later.

Minimal Makeup

Go easy on make-up during summers; avoid anything heavy it’s most likely to melt off the minute you step out in the sweltering summer heat. When it comes to makeup during the summers, keep it simple as the skin needs to breathe.

Sunscreen

Summertime necessitates the use of sunscreen. It is important to safeguard yourself from tanning and skin burns. It also helps in protecting our skin from harmful UV rays. You should apply sunscreen at least twice a day. It is a must-have item, if you don’t have one; you should invest in sunscreen.

Stay Hydrated

It is extremely important to stay hydrated; especially during hot weather. Sweat causes us to lose a lot of our body fluids. Our bodies are severely harmed when the levels of body fluids drop. Staying hydrated also helps to flush out toxins from the body and feel refreshed. Carry a bottle of water everywhere you go, set reminders to drink water throughout the day so that you don’t forget to hydrate yourself!

Update your skincare products

It is very important to update your skincare products during summertime. During winters we need stronger creams to fight the cold and dry weather, but in the summer, we need hydrating products. Buy a moisturizer that is lightweight and non-greasy.

 Use natural remedies

Skincare home remedies are useful as they make your skin glow naturally without causing any harm. Applying Aloe Vera gel, Cucumber mask, Coconut oil, Honey mask, Lemon mask, Orange Peel mask, Turmeric paste are few remedies that soothe your skin during summer. 

Continue Reading

Health

A ‘Bird’s Eye View’ on Bird Flu in India

Published

on

Bird Flu India 2021 News Aur Chai

The first week of January 2021 witnessed an abnormal number of deaths among the birds, including the wild ones, in India. These deaths have been caused on account of the Avian influenza. The Avian Influenza, also known as ‘the bird flu’ and ‘H5N1’, are strains of the influenza virus that primarily infect birds.

Several reports started coming in that conveyed that the virus is being vigorously transmitted among the birds. There is a possibility that humans could also get affected if they get in touch with such affected birds.

With state government being alarmed to prevent the next outbreak, extra precautions and care are given to Poultry products in India. The Delhi government even imposed a ban on its sale; however, the centre intervened and uplifted as major occupation and livelihood depends upon poultry industry.

States like Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Assam and Madhya Pradesh banned the entry of poultry products from other states. Prices of poultry products slumped 50% in some of these states, and India is witnessing a growth rate of consumption dip.

Economically, the hospitality sector, particularly, restaurants who believes such a situation will further mar the industry which was recovering from Covid-19

What causes the ‘Avian Influenza’?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Avian influenza is categorized under ‘Type A’ out of the four types of influenza viruses. Type A affects both humans and different kinds of animals. This category is even capable of causing an influenza pandemic. Therefore, it is a matter of concern involving the public health.

1) Contact with an infected bird’s faeces or secretions from its nose, mouth or eyes;
2) Open markets, especially those in crowded areas and under unsanitary conditions, where infected birds and eggs are sold;
3) Undercooked poultry meat or eggs of the infected birds.

Situation in India (as of January 2021)

The cases of the bird flu have swooped in from the following Indian states:-
1. Kerala;
2. Rajasthan;
3. Madhya Pradesh;
4. Himachal Pradesh;
5. Haryana;
6. Gujarat;
7. Uttar Pradesh.

So far, there has not been any proof of any human-to-human transmission of the bird flu. Though the fatality level is low compared to other types of diseases, it is highly advisable to be extremely careful to avoid health difficulties.

Timeline of the Influenza in India over the years

Time Period & Particulars

2006 – The first major outbreak in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
2008 & 2014 – Subsequent outbreaks in West Bengal and Kerala respectively.
2006 to 2015 – 25 bird flu cases arose across 15 states. However, no human infection occurred so far.
2019 – The nation declared itself to be free from the bird flu

What are the symptoms?

Following are the common symptoms of the bird flu:-
a. At the initial stage:
Sore throat

b. At the later stage:
1. Fatigue;
2. Nasal congestion;
3. Dry cough;
4. Headache;
5. Sweating;
6. Body chills;
7. Muscle pain;
8. Fever;
9. Shortness of breath.

Who all are prone to this disease?

1. Children below 2 years of age;
2. Adults over 65 years of age;
3. People with co-morbidities (having more than one disease at the same time);
4. Pregnant women or those women who have recently given birth.

Any possible complications?

Yes! People who get affected by the bird flu could possibly end up developing dangerous complications such as:-

1. Heart problems;
2. Kidney dysfunction;
3. Respiratory failure;
4. Conjunctivitis (having a pink eye);
5. Pneumonia.

Prevention is better than cure!

Since 1997, less than 500 bird flu deaths have been reported to WHO. Still, that does not mean that one need not take any preventative measures to stay safe from the flu. Following are the simple prevention measures one can resort to:-

1. According to WHO, cooking of poultry (like chickens, ducks and geese) at or above 70 degree Celsius, in such a manner that no meat remains raw and red, is a one such safety measure to kill the virus in the prevalent areas;
2. Avoid getting in touch with domesticated birds, especially when you are travelling;
3. Take care of personal hygiene;
4. Be aware of any authorized and reliable flu shot;
5. Keep the poultry-touched utensils clean, to avoid cross-contamination;
6. Steer clear of raw eggs.
7. Use the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit when handling livestock.

Continue Reading

Most Popular