All – Fruits and Vegetables

There is no substitute to the beauty of nature. This is probably the reason why many beauty experts still prefer to go natural. Organic substances that can be found in the environment inspire many beauty products. Herbs such as jojoba, aloe vera and coconut are some of the ingredients of skin care products that promise to give you a healthy skin.

Why use all ?

Although there have been a lot of beauty cosmetics that are composed of combined chemicals, they still dominate the market because of it is cost-effective although not always safe to use.

Natural products can be in the form of extract, juice, powder or paste. The good thing is, it does not produce harmful side effects and is inexpensive. May it be a hair care, lotion or face cream, it is highly considered healthy and non-toxic.

Can food be an alternative beauty product?

Yes, but not all. Certain foods are considered alternative to Fruits and vegetables are definitely healthy, specifically, eat fresh yellow fruits and dark green leafy vegetables. They are known to contain phytochemicals known as antioxidants that help fight free radicals which speeds up aging.

However, the consumption of fatty foods and processed foods result to the accumulation of free radicals in your body. These can cause further skin impurities and blemishes. But more than skin problems, it does great damages to your heart and other vital organs.

Staying healthy and beautiful should not be a frustration. Stuffs that offer you vitality and beauty are readily available. Look around you,  natural homemade solutions can just be right infront of you.

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.

For Your Skin

for your skin are more popular today than they have ever been before. There are several reasons for this newfound attraction to natural products but the main reason is knowledge. More and more women and men are learning that natural products are much better for your skin than chemically based products. Over the past few years, the public has been made aware of the fact that many skin and body products contain harmful chemicals.

These chemicals can be absorbed into the skin and cause many health problems that you don’t have to worry about with natural products. For the most part, these items are not tested on animals as well, which is another big plus. Many of these products contain herbs and plants that have been used for healing throughout the centuries so you can see why they can be much healthier for you than something that contains chemicals.

It is important to realize that for your skin are separated into three categories. This will help you know what to look for when you start shopping around. If you want pure , then you will need to look for 100 percent organic items because these contain no other ingredients. They are the only ones that can be considered completely natural.

The next best thing would be organic beauty products that are made with about 95 percent natural ingredients and 5 percent unnatural. If, for some reason, you can’t find a specific product that is all natural, this would be a good substitute. The last option is simply products that have some organic ingredients in them. These cannot be considered natural products as they mostly contain unnatural ingredients.

Obviously, the first or second option is the best choice when your truly want to use natural products that are better for your skin and healthier for your body. Keep in mind that when lotions, creams and similar items are absorbed through the skin they can enter into the bloodstream and over time, cause many problems. Therefore, the more natural the product, the better it is for you.

It’s important to take good care of your skin and using natural products is a great way to start. They can help your skin to feel cleaner, smoother and look younger and more radiant than ever before. Once you give them a try, you won’t want to use anything else ever again.  

for your skin are not only better for you personally but they’re better for the environment as well. This gives you another good reason to consider making a switch if you’ve haven’t already. As you can see there are many good reasons to use natural skin care products. As a result, you may want to invest a little time in learning more about all they have to offer. 

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

How to Make at Home

Have you ever been worried about what the beauty creams contain that you are rubbing on your face? Have you ever wondered whether you can make at home? To be honest, it does not matter how many times manufacturers write ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on their labels, the only means that you will know that you undeniably are getting is by making them yourself.

Making your own at home will have two clear advantages: it will help the environment and it will save you money.

How will it help the environment? Well, most commercial cosmetic products have detergents and toxins in the cream. You put the cream on some cotton wool and then on your face and you throw the soiled cotton wool in the basket. But where does it go from there? Into the sea? Into the ground? Into the air in smoke? Who knows?

How will it save you money? It will save you money because the you make at home will be created from household items, such as powders, oils, fruit and vegetables.

The most common items that you will use to concoct your at home are: avocados, bananas, eggs, milk, olive oil, Epsom salts, yoghurt, oatmeal, brown sugar and real mayonnaise. There are others too, but this is a good start. Beeswax, you may not have, but you can buy it in drug stores or health food shops.

It is surprising how resourceful olive oil is. It can be rubbed directly into dull, lifeless hair to perk it up and it will put moisture back into dry skin. If you have dandruff or dry patches of skin on your elbows, rub in olive oil regularly. It is also beneficial for cuticles, knees and feet. Just rub it in with your fingers.

Olive oil also makes a good exfoliant. Mix olive oil and brown sugar into a thick paste and exfoliate before a shower or a bath. By the way, the soap that you use is critical too. It should be mild and unperfumed. It is better to spend a little more on your soap because it has such a lot of contact with your whole body.

Olive oil is great at binding items together or making them runny enough to rub in. If you are having problems with dry skin, mash a banana and mix a little olive oil into it. Rub this onto your face and leave to soak in for as long as you like, then wash off. The same goes for avocado. If you have a small skin problem of any kind, you could try smearing the inside of a banana skin on it and eating the banana.

These are just a few instances of that you can make at home without spending a lot of money or wasting a lot of time. A quick search on the Internet will reveal hundreds more recipes for how you can make at home.

Healthy Eating And The Great Sugar Scandal

I live in England and first visited America in 1978; not long after cheap transatlantic flights became available for the first time.

Until that point the bulk of my knowledge of the USA came from Hollywood, or the myriad American televisions shows that came our way from early childhood. The TV shows, especially, supplied a kind of shared experience that some parts of the rest of the world have with Americans. In some respects I suppose we felt that we knew America.

When the opportunity came to finally go there I knew that once I was home again there would be lots of questions from family and friends. People would want to know what it was really like: What did I see? Where did I go? Who did I meet and so on? From the moment I arrived I was on the look-out for impressions to take back.

The odd thing was that initially there were none. Or rather there were impressions, but they were mainly that America was a lot like it was on TV. New York looked like New York, the people had American accents and they really did say ‘Have a nice day’.

I began to think that I was going to return to England without any anecdotes or news to swap over a pint in the pub. We will leave the best anecdotes for another day and concentrate instead on the two things that I noticed that never came across on TV – at least not back then.

Firstly, the highly formatted and slick television shows mainly showed attractive and wealthy people in salubrious surroundings. Yet in more than one city in America I found myself in ghetto areas; places you wouldn’t want to be. The poverty and squalor were obvious and back then I felt that it was somewhat under-reported.

The second revelation was the obesity problem. I had never before seen so many fat people in one place. In fact, that was my main takeaway from my whole American vacation,’ Hey everybody, you won’t believe how fat Americans are!’

That was 1978. Just a few years later, around 1984, my company sent me to Aarhus in Denmark, a sea port where the diet seemed to be centred around fish, particularly herring, as I recall.

On that occasion I wasn’t particularly anxious to go home and supply reports on the state of Denmark, but nevertheless, I was left with one overriding impression of my visit: the Danes were very slim compared to the British.

It was then that I put two and two together and realised that we (the Brits) were trailing along on American coattails, yet again. We were definitely becoming obese and the trend started a little while after it happened to America, sometime in the 1970s.

Since that time I have learned that the trigger was the usage of High Fructose Corn Syrup that began in America around 1970 and went on a strong upward curve thereafter, though dipping a little since 2000.

Aside from the hideous HFCS, food manufacturers have for a long time been adding sugar to absolutely everything that comes in a can or a packet. Check the labels of just about anything -even weight loss foods – and you will see that sugar is added. Given that Western society is hopelessly reliant on convenience foods this pretty much amounts poisoning the population.

Reuters recently reported that health related issues are costing America around $200 billion per year and researchers at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania say that obese men will generate around $1,500 medical costs per person per year and overweight women with cost double that amount.

In the 1960s around 13% of the American adult population were obese; today it’s over 35%.

Just how much sugar are Americans loading up with? From all sources it’s around 45 tsp per day per person, or around 152 lbs of sugar per year. That’s about 150 lb more than an early America settler would have consumed.

Clearly, this amounts to a major international scandal. Sugar is tasty and addictive. The food manufacturers well understand the problem that they have created, but left to their own devices they will do nothing about it.

Although some government officials in various countries may whinge and whine on the matter from the margins, there is nothing very positive or constructive being done anywhere.

For the time being if you want to live as healthily as possible, for as long as possible, you will have to take responsibility for your own health and your family’s, otherwise at some point in your lives there will in all probability be consequences.