By Chandana Roy :
Sometimes painful times
teach us things we didn’t
think we needed to know.
- Amy Meredith Poehler
THE painful times of novel coronavirus pandemic has taught us the importance of health and a good immune system. Each one of us today has learnt this lesson and each one in their capacity is doing something to improve their health and immunity. Even a 3-year-old, nowadays, wears a mask religiously and knows the importance of sanitising hands after playing outside. Awareness of this level in each category of the society was missing before the pandemic this year.
Dr Vrinda Sahastrabhojaney, Retired Professor of Medicine from GMC, said “People are indeed taking care of their health now. Many are going for herbal preparations at home to boost their immunity. Those people who never used to exercise are now exercising, taking care of their diet. Earlier people didn’t know about micro-organisms, masks or hand hygiene. Now, people are aware, and many are following social distancing, avoiding hugs, shaking hands with others. This is a good lesson for the future generations for better health and hygiene, to avoid infections, as prevention is always more important than cure”. Dr Shilpa Hazarey, Child Specialist, said, “This pandemic has been an eye-opener for people. People now know the importance of good health.
If one’s immunity is good then it will fight the disease. Good immunity is very important, which is why some 50-60 years old have mild illness, whereas some expire. It is important to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and be hydrated. One should avoid fatty, processed food. Drinking lukewarm water flushes out the toxins from the body. It is important to exercise too”. Dr Hazarey, also stressed on the aspect of mental health, she said, “it is important to be happy, content as it releases good hormones which boosts the immunity. One shouldn’t be sad, jealous, angry, and hateful or have feeling of enmity as mental health is equally important as physical health.” Dr. Hazarey said, “This pandemic has taught people that life is unpredictable, it is not important just to earn lots of money, it is important to live life too. A happy, content person will have better immunity.”
Dr Kavita Gupta, Clinical Dietitian said, “This pandemic has affected each and every generation, which has forced everyone to take their health seriously. People have now understood health is wealth”. She said, “it’s important to build up our immunity to tackle this disease. There is a major role of macro and micro nutrients in building immunity. Many vegetarian diets lack macro nutrients – proteins. It is important to consume 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight, i.e. 45-50 grams of protein. Legumes, pulses, milk are a good source of protein. In every meal there should be protein. Micro nutrients – Vitamin C, B12, B3 are important too. If one eats a normal meal consisting dal, chawal, sabji, roti, sprouts, dahi, the macro-micro nutrient requirements are met.
Those who have Vitamin D or B12 deficiency can take tablets”. Dr Gupta further added, “People shouldn’t follow new diets to lose weight in a month. Such fads don’t work, they regain the lost weight. We tell people not to indulge in any new diet without proper consultation with the doctor.” Surendra Jangde of People’s Gym said, “Even though the government hasn’t allowed gymnasiums to open, people are going out for morning and evening walks.
They know that with a good immune system they have a better chance to beat the virus. Youngsters too have realised the importance of exercise and good diet”. Even though this is a cataclysmic time, it has taught the society a lesson on health. Everyone now realises the age-old saying ‘Jaan hain toh Jahan hai’. Hopefully, the lessons learnt will be followed by future generations, the corrective measures taken will last. As Warren Buffet said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone else planted a tree long ago”