Resolutions: Moving towards a healthier Arunachal

[ Dr Liyi Karso ]
The new year is upon us, and it is the time when we make all kinds of resolutions.
While some of us are promising ourselves to save money to backpack across Europe, some of us who are away are telling ourselves that we will call our family back home more often. The list is endless, but what better way to start than with making small changes in your diet and lifestyle and move towards better health.
This is not an exhaustive list but more of a beginner’s resolution for a healthy lifestyle from a public health point of view.
Kitchen gardens: Having a kitchen garden not only gives you organic vegetables but also keeps you more active. The famous French philosopher, Voltaire, saysthat tending to one’s own garden is not only a private activity but also productive. The joy of growing a part of your food is inexplicable. It could be anything as simple as chillies, lai patta, tomatoes, coriander leaves, or cabbage, whatever fits in your pot or garden.
Walk more: Let’s start with little changes in the coming year; let’s walk to the nearby store or the neighbour’s house like in the good old days. With the increasing traffic in Itanagar and the stress that it builds, it is definitely a good idea to reduce dependency on our vehicles to visit nearby places, and walk more. It not only reduces pollution in general but also improves blood circulation, burns calories, and keeps us healthy.
Include dietary fibre and fruits: We all love fast food, fried chicken, momos, and burgers, but a balance in the diet is crucial. Increased consumption of refined and processed foods nowadays not only reduces the intake of dietary fibre in our diet but also of essential nutrients, and this leads to a vicious cycle of digestive, cardiovascular, and hormonal health hazards which are becoming the leading causes of morbidity among young and old. All plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans have fibre. Dietary fibre is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fibre can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. So grab an orange or any seasonal fruit while you leave for college or office.
Reduce red meat: Commonly our Arunachalee dietary culture comes with a lot of red meat which increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, increased cholesterol, increased risk of heart attack, and colon cancer, which is becoming common among the native people. We need to evolve our eating habits with the changing times and consume red meat moderately.
Hydrate yourself: The importance of having 6-8 glasses of water every day cannot be overemphasized. We often forget to drink enough water during winter, but drinking water should be a priority as water maintains balance in body fluids and helps in digestion, absorption, and circulation of nutrients in the body. Make a habit of keeping a fresh bottle of water in your car or on your table every day and make sure to drink more water.
Wishing you all healthier choices in 2018. (Dr Liyi Karso is a Research Officer at the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Agartala)