Stress is one of the major causes of a Lifestyle Disorder – Dt. Huma

Huma Vora is a Vadodara based clinical dietitian and a certified yoga instructor, a graduate in food and nutrition and she has done M.Sc. in Dietetics from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. She stood second in oral presentation of her masters` research in an international conference on food and nutrition. She has conducted many seminars on Women`s health and Nutritional care during pregnancy, Lifestyle diseases, and diabetes. She has experience in dealing with dietary modifications in various clinical conditions and also in weight management. Huma believes in investing time in food planning for each meal so that it gives a remarkable effect on health in the long run. Low-cost healthy food with regional availability and season is always preferable for easy follow up of dietary requirements. Huma believes in the medicinal effects of food, its combination and time of consumption for the complete effectiveness. Each food has its own benefit, so everything in balance can make the best health for us!

In an exclusive interview with Zotezo, she has spoken about Lifestyle Disorders.

Team Zotezo: Can you please elaborate on what exactly a lifestyle disorder is?

Dt. Huma: Lifestyle is associated with a person or co-habitat of a group of persons. According to Hindu tradition, achar, vichaar, ahaar, vyavhar (ethics, behavior and cultural food patterns) is associated with a person’s lifestyle. It affects your health in a social, physical and mental way. Lifestyle disorders are not inherited but are developed by some habitual practices in our daily lives. These bad habits over a period of time can contribute to coronary heart diseases, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, etc. Diabetes and respiratory diseases can also be triggered by lifestyle disorders

Team Zotezo: What are the primary reasons for such problems being visible to below 30 age group?

Dt. Huma: Primary reasons are poor dietary habits, irregular eating patterns, lack of optimum physical activity, lack of sound sleep, etc. Perceived stress is one of the main causes of lifestyle diseases. For which young adults tend to incline towards excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, and drugs. Thus, it indirectly results in poor mental health and so degenerative diseases such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, liver diseases, diabetes, obesity, and hormonal dysfunction may result.

Team Zotezo: What sort of diets you recommend to prevent and cure such problems?

Dt. Huma: We can incorporate more servings of fresh fruits, leafy and fresh seasonal vegetables, and traditional food items as our mid-meal snacks like poha, dry fruits laddu, chhas, coconut water, fruit, appam or idli chutney, multigrain chillas, etc. We can try using millets (as they are rich in fibers and Vitamin B complex) by replacing processed flours like maida. Oil consumption should not be more than 5 tsp per day. Packed food has hydrogenated fats which can develop clotting in our arteries over a period of time. Water intake should be optimized depending on the weather and individual factors, the average requirement is minimum 3 liters per day. Limit the consumption of tea/coffee/soda/tobacco and alcohol. Regular physical activity of at least 20-30 min per day including cardio and strength training is required for a healthy body.

Team Zotezo: Any suggestions on lifestyle changes to prevent these disorders?

Dt. Huma: We need to learn to prioritize our health first. Small efforts can make a change in your health. Spend at least 30 minutes every day for recreational activities like gardening, writing, drawing, singing, adventure sports which will reduce the stress and some physical workouts like walking, running, gym, dancing, yoga, etc can be done. Ideal weight should be maintained according to age and height. Small efforts can make a change in your health. Healthy fats from nuts and oilseeds like almonds, walnuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds can be taken in between the meals to enhance stamina and improve vitality. Makhana, Roasted peanuts and Chana can be a good mid-meal snack.

Team Zotezo: We talk about stress being one of the major causes of such disorders. What do you recommend in these scenarios?

Dt. Huma: When stress is a part of our life, we must focus on the strategies for not getting affected. Maintain a food diary to keep a record of what kind of and at which interval you ate food. Include more fresh foods rather than leftovers and packed or ready to eat foods. There are some active components found in particular foods to reduce the oxidative stress by maintaining regulated Basal Metabolic Rate. These components majorly found in Turmeric, Cumin seeds(Jeera), Nutmeg (Jayphal), Khus Khus (Poppyseeds), Chamomile tea, Rose petals water (homemade), Kokum Sherbet, Ginger, etc. Some Healthy fats which we have talked about can also make a difference in stress.  Apart from dietary changes, 3 hours of physical activity in a week should be followed to prevent the symptoms of degenerative or lifestyle disease. Breathing exercises in fresh clean and open-air can promote the oxygen uptake at a cellular level resulting in strong immunity and improved mood.​

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