20 Health Tips From 2020 to 2021

1. Breastfeed babies from 0 to 2 years old and beyond

Breastfeeding is the perfect gift to both mother and baby in many ways. Breast milk contains all the nutrients for the infant to grow, helps baby’s immune systems mature, speeds up mother’s recovery from childbirth and protects both mother and baby against deadly diseases. World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends mothers in the globe to exclusively breastfeed their child for the first six months after birth.Thereafter, they should start weaning their child with diversity of food and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond.

2. Prepare your food correctly

Unsafe food containing harmful microorganisms or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancer. It is very important to prepare food safely to help stop harmful substances from spreading and/ or  growing. Always check food labels and packaging before purchasing and when you are preparing food, here are 4 food handling basics to keep in mind: (1) Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often, (2) Separate — Don’t cross-contaminate, (3) Cook — Cook to the right temperature and (4) Chill — Refrigerate promptly.

3. Eat a diversified diet

Eat a combination of different foods, including vegetables, fruits, healthy protein, whole grains, healthy oils, fungus and fermented food in an adequate amount. All diseases begin in the gut quoted by Hippocrates. By eating healthy and having a diversified diet helps to establish a better gut profile and hence reduce your risk of malnutrition and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

4. Consume less sugar and salt

Too much sugar gives you diabetes and too much salt gives you hypertension. The recommended daily intake of sugar for an adult is 30g whereas salt is 5g (one teaspoon). However, we all have no control over the amount of sugar and salt in processed food done by the food producers but we do have control over what we choose to buy. So, make it a habit to read nutrition labels to check the contents before buying them. 

5. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is crucial to keep your body at work i.e. allow cell communications, regulate temperature, lubricate joints, transport nutrients and waste, etc. Generally, one should drink not less than 6 glasses (250mL) of water daily. The easiest way to keep yourself hydrated is to drink water gradually throughout the day..

6. Drink only safe water

Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to transmission of water-borne diseases e.g. cholera, diarrhoea, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Be sure to check your water filters regularly. In a setting where you are unsure of your water source, boil it to kill harmful microorganisms before you drink.

7. Drink alcohol in moderation

Alcohol can cause a series of problems to your health from mild headache to liver cancer. Can’t turn down a drink? Take your time to sip your drink and limit yourself to one glass of alcohol only. Besides, having a glass of wine occasionally is good for your gut. 

8. Get some sun

The sun loads your body with beneficial vitamins and hormones. Aim to get 10 – 30 minutes of sun a day, whereas people with darker skin should aim at least 45 minutes of sun a day. You can’t see it happening, but you can feel it. 

9. Be physically active

Physical activity and exercise can improve muscle strength and boost your endurance so that you have more energy to tackle daily chores. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

10. Adequate rest

Amount of sleep is an important indicator of health and well-being in an individual. To find out how much sleep you need, click here (https://www.instagram.com/p/CG4QU8nAefh/). 

11. Taking care of your skin

Your skin is the largest organ in the body and it is also the first line of defense in fighting infections. But if its integrity is lost through injury, microbes can penetrate deep into your body and cause various health problems. Always keep your skin hydrated and be gentle to it. 

12. Clean your hands properly

Clean hands can prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Wash your hands using clean water and soap when your hands are visibly soiled. If you are using alcohol-based products to sanitise your hands, be sure to not over-sanitise your hands as too much alcohol may destroy your skin barrier and germs can invade into your body easily.

13. Practice safe sex

Safe sexual practices keep you and your partner healthy and protect from sexually transmitted diseases. There are lots of ways you can make sex safer, using a barrier, get tested, stay hygienic, limit the number of partners, be monogamous, abstain from sex and be honest.

14. Have regular check-ups

Regular check-ups is an important step in knowing your health status and can help find health problems before they start. Go to your nearest health facility to check out the health services, screenings and treatment that are accessible to you. 

15. Take antibiotics only as prescribed

Antibiotics can disrupt your gut microbiome and thus affect your digestive system. 1 in 10 people suffers from the side effects of antibiotics. Make sure you only take antibiotics as prescribed by a qualified health professional and complete the treatment as instructed. Never share antibiotics!

16. Don’t smoke

There is no safe level of tobacco use. Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body and can cause serious health issues to you and everyone around you. The best way to stay healthy is to not smoke. 

17. Talk to someone you trust if you're feeling down

Keeping everything to yourself is not a good thing all the time. You need to understand what needs to spit out and what need not be. Depression is a common illness worldwide with over 260 million people affected. It is important to find a person you can trust and talk to them about your concerns and feelings, because they can help keep you safe.

18. Be socially responsible

Everyone should do their part to keep the community safe and healthy. Regardless of where you are or pandemic, cover your mouth when coughing/ sneezing or stay at home if you’re sick. When you’re sick and insist to go out, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Nobody likes germs.

19. Follow traffic laws

Traffic accidents (space, air, land and sea) kill millions of lives around the world each year. It is preventable if everyone sticks to the rules and regulations and always gets your vehicle checked regularly.

20. Be grateful

Gratitude effectively increases happiness, reduces depression and improves a person’s well-being. Better late than never, start appreciating everything in life and speak positively.

Jacie Chiew

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