Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 19, Tuesday May 15, 2007



Improved lifestyle health tips

I have become convinced over the years that there is no alternative to a healthy lifestyle. As a working mother I am required to wear many hats. I am sure many would agree with me that women are stronger, smarter, and more balanced as individuals. We should not be led into misconceptions when the opposite sex tells us otherwise or refers to us as the weaker sex. We must rise above our limitations and take control of our health, and there is no better time to do so than right now. Most women in Bangladesh, after they have crossed a certain age, about 35, by which time they have had a couple of kids, just let go of their bodies. I would like to give you some super slimming tips. Here are a few simple ways you could consider in taking the plunge to boost your lifestyle.

This is a wonder vegetable with many qualities. I would highly recommend that it be taken regularly. It has been proven through scientific research that spinach improves immunity levels. It also fights heart disease, prevents lung and breast cancer. The vitamin C content keeps the skin healthy while the B vitamins improve energy and nervous system conditions. I suggest you don't boil or fry the vegetables to death. Steam them instead to retain their nutrients.

Saturated Fats
Contrary to popular belief, particular forms of fats are actually good for our health. These are the good fats called monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, while the bad fats are saturated fats. “Bad” fats interfere with the removal of cholesterol from the blood, whereas “good” fats reduce cholesterol from the blood. You must try to avoid bad fats or only take it in moderation. Bad fats are found in butter, coconut oil, or palm kernel oil. So next time you spread butter on your bread roll or have your paratha (fried hand rolled bread) beware. Good fats are found in corn, sunflower and olive oil. Try to use very little oil in your food if you intend to have a healthy life.

This plump juicy vegetable has many benefits. It is rich in beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin A, B3 and C. Well you can say that almost covers everything. It is a single amazing source with so many nutrients to offer to us. Tomatoes detoxify the liver, purify the blood and improve digestion. A rich source of vitamin A, it helps treat eye problems, controls blood sugar levels and improves immunity.

The yellow ingredient that we Bengali's like to put in almost every preparation. This ingredient has powerful nutrients such as Vitamin B3, calcium, iron and curcumin. Turmeric should not be disregarded as the curcumin which it contains has potent antioxidant chemicals. It helps to relieve inflammation, making it useful for easing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and allergies. It also helps dissolve fatty deposits in the arteries and can naturally protect you from heart diseases.

This is my favourite drink in the world so I could be a little biased. A hot cup of tea can do more than just get you relaxed. Tea is soothing and refreshing, but you may be surprised to know it has many health benefits. For all you coffee drinkers here is a big thumbs down, for you can never match this far superior drink with yours. Whether black, green, or red, tea contains polyphenols which give it antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect the body from damage and build immunity levels. It has anti-cancer properties and clearly lowers cholesterol levels. Green tea is the least processed tea. Black tea undergoes more processing and that is why it is dark in colour. Black and red tea are oxidised, dried, crushed, and fermented but regardless of their processing methods they rank high in antioxidant measure. According to diabetes experts, a cup of tea has 40mg of caffeine compared to 80mg found in a cup of coffee. Brew your tea for three to five minutes to bring out the polyphenols and enjoy your cuppa.

These were a few tips to get you rolling with your improved food habits which will jump start you to a better eating selection. I suppose there is not just one solution but rather a combination of factors important to develop an enhanced wellness programme. Your quality and quantity of consumption is a dominant issue, which I have tried to address while exercise with the right kind of intensity and technique would be the second most important factor.

Dear Dr. Khan,
I am 39 years old and I work in a private bank. I have dental caries in my front upper teeth (there is black spot between two teeth). But interestingly I noticed that it has maintained the same shape for the last 10 years. What should I do about this problem? Should I go for filling?
Fatima Haider

Dear Ms Fatima,
Acute caries is a quickly developing condition, whereas "chronic" caries describes a condition that has taken an extended time to develop. Until caries progress, a person may not be aware of them. The earliest sign of a new carious lesion, referred as incipient decay, is the appearance of a chalky white spot on the surface of the tooth, indicating an area of demineralisation of enamel. As the lesion continues to demineralise, it can turn brown/black but will eventually turn into a cavitation, a "cavity". The process before this point is reversible, but once a cavitation forms, the lost tooth structure cannot be regenerated. A lesion which appears brown and shiny suggests dental caries were once present but the demineralisation process has stopped, leaving a stain. A brown spot that is dull in appearance is probably a sign of active caries. Generally, early treatment is less painful and less expensive than treatment of extensive decay. So I would suggest dental filling for you from a cosmetic point of view.

Dr. Khan,
This is my second mail to you asking the same question. I mailed you last year but unfortunately did not get an answer to my query. Please try to give me some remedy or tips for my acute problem. I have a chronic gum-bleeding problem. I did scaling several times which gives me some comfort for few months but the problem resumes again. Please give me a solution to my problem.

Dear Mahosin,
I am extremely sorry for my unintentional delay to answer your queries. Please go to your dentist with dental X-Ray and your dentist will measure the level of periodontal bone destruction. After that you may need manual deep cleaning/ root planning under local anaesthesia. This manual cleaning is very effective to prevent recurrent gum inflammation. Please consult with your dentist for manual deep cleaning/root planning. Hope you will get long-term better prognosis.

Dear Dr. Khan,
My mother is a diabetic patient with multiple loose teeth and your department at BIRDEM advised her to pull out all her loose teeth as early as possible. However, she is not suffering from any pain right now. In that case, can we wait until the pain arises?
Monir Ahmed

Dear Mr Monir,
We never recommend keeping loose teeth. Please remember that pain does not necessarily mean infection and no pain does not always mean infection-free. So I strongly recommend you for dental extraction of those loose infected teeth as early as possible. By the way some times we can fix a loose teeth by some surgery and endodontic treatment. Please bring her to the department of dentistry, BIRDEM again for further consultation.

Hello Dr. Khan,
I am a 60 year old diabetic patient and I have gum disease (bleeding, loose teeth). How can I keep my gums healthy? I do not want to pull my teeth out.
Thanking You,

Dear Mr Chakma,
A dental surgeon will assess your oral and dental health. As a diabetic patient I recommend that you visit BIRDEM. We can give you the tips about your oral health.

By the Way

Mangoes have claimed their place in this year's balmy summer. Jackfruits and lychees are now making their way into every fruit vendor's kiosk. So treat yourself to some natural goodness- indulge yourself in the sweetness of lychees and that first crisp bite of jackfruit. And for those who just love cooking up traditional delights, cook up some of those smaller jackfruits with beef. After all these fruits come around only once a year- so don't miss out on them.

Under A Different Skys

By Iffat Nawaz



I was looking for my father's gravesite earlier in March. I never knew it was lost-but it was. And I didn't know since I never looked for it.

I bought tickets to go to Arizona. A Grand Canyon camping trip sounded just about right for the end of April. I also thought this might be an opportunity for me to visit Baba's grave, a place I haven't been to since he passed away 13 years ago.

He died in the airplane and we landed in Phoenix. A few days later he was buried in the middle of nowhere Arizona. It was a beautiful site, but still…it was really middle of nowhere.

I never went back. Ma did and so did my brother. I always told myself he is with me so why do I need to visit the gravesite to feel him more than I already do?

But there is something to that place, where his body is mixed with the soil and I was ready now to see what I last saw 13 years ago, in the middle of a starry night, when he was buried and I couldn't cry.

I asked Ma about the name of the cemetery. She would have to look at his death certificate to give me that information, and it was not at home and for some reason the thought of my mother going through my father's death certificate and other depressing details made me tell her, “Don't worry let me search online.”

When I searched online there was really nothing I found except a few articles about how there were vandalisms earlier this year in the Muslim graveyard near Phoenix. It shook me inside, what if my father's grave was affected? I felt so irresponsible for not being near it when I was needed to be, for not keeping a close touch.

I called a mosque, and talked to an Imam, telling him my storm-my father passing away, me never returning till now and that I didn't know where he is. It all sounded worse when I vocalised it to him and he told me he would get the address and took my number. He never called.

Yesterday Ma went through Baba's stuff, gave me the name of the cemetery, and like magic on Yahoo yellow pages, I found the directions to him. I visited him on the 27th of April.

I never looked, so I never knew. I just thought he was a constant, and he is, but for a second I felt like I lost him all over again.

On the way, I bought two plants for the grave. It was a long way. They told us there were more developments out there now, between the two mountains where he lay. But it wasn't true, the place was still far, away and in harmony with everything serene. I finally found it.

There was a lock at the gate, a neatly placed lock. Inside I could see desert gardens, it was beautiful but I didn't know how to open the gate. Tears were about to roll down again when I saw there were numbers listed of people one could call to open the gate, and I did and they gave me the combination of the lock, and the gate opened.

I found his grave, and it faced a beautiful mountain. It says his name, it says born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I touched the tombstone, I kissed it, like the way I kissed his forehead right after I found out he passed away and realised I had never kissed him enough.

But for some reason I couldn't cry, once again, but this time it was because I was at peace, because I felt him, around me, in front of me, holding me, and I was sure, and confirmed, he was happy, and with me…always…


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