The global Covid 19 pandemic has people looking inwards, towards healthier eating habits and lifestyle changes, to stay healthy.
With the virus having taken a greater toll on those with pre-existing comorbidities such as diabetes, hyper-tension, heart ailments, liver ailments, organ transplants and patients with cancer or cancer survivors, there is great focus on what we can do, as individuals, to mitigate the effects of the ravaging pandemic.
The first thing is to be healthier and avoid, as much as possible, health conditions that result in comorbidities and frailty.
Comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, bad cholesterol and even some forms of cancer are a direct result of poor dietary habits and poor lifestyle. To prevent this, healthcare professionals around the world recommend certain good practices that need to be followed on a daily basis.
Everyday habits that can lead to a healthier you:
- Lead a more physically active lifestyle. This makes sure that your body burns more calories and uses up the energy that is stored in the form of glucose in your body. It keeps you fit
- Eat healthy. Foods that are refined and do not have enough dietary fibre don’t have much nutritional value. Instead, they are stored as fat or glucose and can lead to serious complications.
- Cook at home. At home, you have more control over what goes into your system. A home-cooked balanced meal, cooked using the right proteins, vitamins and nutrients can go a long way in keeping disease at bay.
While we are on the topic of cooking at home, we must look at the best cooking mediums. Cooking oil, in short.
Rice bran oil – the multifaceted health-oil
The world over, the pandemic has triggered a rising awareness about the health benefits of using rice bran oil as a cooking medium.
Rice Bran oil is rich in Vitamin E, which is a popular antioxidant and is known to be efficient in reducing low-density lipoprotein and total serum cholesterol. The natural antioxidant is also known to promote anticancer activities. The fat-soluble vitamin is also involved in the human body’s immune function.
The heart oil – The Japanese who are famous for their healthy lifestyle and longevity call rice bran oil the heart oil. It contains a greater proportion of heart-healthy unsaturated fat and less of saturated fat. Studies suggest that the oil’s sterols help to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol by preventing the body from absorbing it. Rice bran oil has also been recommended by the WHO and the American Heart Association as a healthier alternative to lower blood cholesterol. Both, the monounsaturated fatty acids as well as oryzanol present in the oil help to reduce overall cholesterol.
Healthy blood-sugar levels may also be achieved by using rice bran oil in moderation as it can improve insulin resistance which is one of the problems in Type 2 diabetes. Findings published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry state that the lipid-lowering oil drives blood sugar levels down by 30%. In addition, the oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also prove beneficial for diabetics whose healing process is made slower by the disease.
Obesity, which is another serious cause of concern, can also be reduced with the use of rice bran oil. The antioxidants which are found in plenty improve the metabolism and promote weight loss
The age old saying, “Prevention is better than cure”, though cliched is very true. More so in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic which has been more severe on people with comorbidities such as the ones mentioned above. A little caution and change in dietary habits by including rice bran oil in our everyday food is one step towards better health.