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RO9 EBFWe often hear exclusive breastfeeding is best for infants 0 at 6 months and breast milk is still necessary to be given to the baby continuously from 6 months onwards along with complementary feeding. But what really is breastfeeding and what nourishment will  infants and young children get from it? How breast milk differs from milk formula? These are the things that most people, especially mothers should be curious about. 

Breast milk is produced during the lactation period of the mother and is the ideal food for infants for the first six months of life. Breast milk is safe, clean, and contains antibodies to help fight infections and illnesses. It also provides sufficient energy and nutrients that the infant needs for its growth and development. Above all, breastfeeding is free and cost-effective for families that ensure health and survival for both the infant and the mother.

RO9 IDDAccording to the World Health Organization, Iodine Deficiency is the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause of brain damage. Expanded National Nutrition Survey 2019 of DOST-FNRI revealed that anemia is still a “mild” public health problem at 5.8% particularly among female adolescents (8.2%) and rural households (6.3%).

Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) refers to any condition attributable to iodine deficiency. It is due to a lack of iodine which is an essential element that is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is involved in the regulation of various enzymes, metabolic processes, and other important body functions. Thus, iodine deficiency can lead to enlargement of the thyroid, mental retardation, hypothyroidism, impaired cognitive development, and increased morbidity and mortality of infants and children whose mothers were iodine deficient during pregnancy.

RO9 CoffeeIt’s hard to imagine our lives without the daily beverages that we enjoy.  Most of us crave coffee especially in the morning and can’t complete the day without coffee as the saying goes “It feels so good to start the day with a cup of coffee”, and some even say that coffee is their daily dose of an energy boost.

Coffee consumption worldwide is estimated to be at 2.25 billion cups per day (medicalnewstoday.com). In the Philippines, a total of 3,350 bags weighing 60 kg/ bags per year of coffee consumed. It is pretty obvious the fondness of the Filipinos in coffee as coffee shops spur everywhere around the country from the year 2010 up to these days.

RO9 JunkFoodJunk food is any food that is highly processed, high in calories and low in nutrients. Thus, the name “junk”. It is also usually high in added sugars, salt and saturated or trans fats. Although it is easier and more convenient to drive through your favorite fast food restaurants, don’t forget that eating a lot of fast and junk foods could lead to bad effects on your body and to your overall health.

Most, if not all, fast food chains serve soft drinks or soda along with the main food. These are loaded with carbohydrates with little, or even no fiber. Frequently eating high amounts of carbs can lead to repeated spikes in your blood sugar. When your blood sugar spikes, your body’s normal insulin response may falter. This will result in increased risk for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.

RO9 processedProcessed foods tend to taste good and are often inexpensive. These are also very easy to prepare, convenient for people who are too busy to plan their meals. In addition, processed foods last longer compared to whole foods, which only has limited shelf life. However, they usually contain ingredients that could be harmful. If consumed in excess, such as saturated fats, added sugar, and salt. These foods also contain less dietary fiber and fewer vitamins than whole foods.

Long term consumption of processed foods has drastic effects on our health. According to Medical news today, a study involving more than 100,000 adults, found that eating 10% more processed foods was attributed with above a 10% increase in the risks of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disorders. The researchers reached this conclusion after accounting for saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and fiber intake. Other research indicated that eating highly processed foods can lead to weight gain.

RO9 CardioExercisesCardiovascular exercise is essential for good health. Although tiring, this kind of exercise provides many health benefits to one’s body such as reduction in bad (LDL and total) cholesterol, increases in good (HDL) cholesterol, reduction in body weight, reduction in blood pressure, and of course increase in exercise tolerance.

During cardio exercises, you repeatedly move large muscles in your arms, legs and hips. Your heart rate increases and you breathe faster and more deeply. This maximizes the amount of oxygen in your body and ultimately helps you use oxygen more efficiently. Try these home-friendly cardio exercises for your heart and body: