- Category: Region 9
Should you buy organic foods? Organic foods have exploded in popularity over the past years. Many people think that organic food is healthier, safer, and tastier than regular food. The term “organic” refers to the way certain foods are grown, produced, and processed. Regulations vary from country to country, organic crops must be grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, or bioengineered genes (GMOs). Organic livestock raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products must be raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors and fed organic feed and forage. They may not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal by-products.
How your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment. There is a growing body of evidence that shows some potential health benefits of organic foods when compared with conventionally grown foods. Choosing organic foods may reduce your exposure to toxins, pesticide residues, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Organic produce contains fewer pesticides than conventional ones. Organic farms use natural methods such as birds, insects, traps, and naturally-derived pesticides to control pests. Natural pesticides are believed to be less toxic than using synthetic pesticides. Chemicals such as synthetic fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on the food we eat. The use of pesticides can increase the risk of certain cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
Studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and non-organic foods have provided mixed results. Several studies have found that organic foods generally contain higher levels of antioxidants and certain micronutrients, such as vitamin C, zinc, and iron. While several studies find organic foods to contain more nutrients, many others have not enough strong evidence available to prove that eating organic provides health benefits over eating regular foods. The results may vary, this is because the nutrient content of food depends on many factors, such as soil quality, weather conditions, and when the crops are harvested.
Organic foods often cost more and spoil faster. Whether you choose organic or opt to mix conventional and organic foods, be sure to keep these tips in mind: select a variety of foods; buy fruits and vegetables in season when possible; check and read the labels carefully; and wash and scrub fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Washing helps to remove contaminants such as dirt, bacteria, and chemicals from the fruits and vegetables. However, washing can only reduce but does not totally eliminate pesticides. Peeling sometimes helps to remove contaminants but may also reduce valuable nutrients. If you are uncertain of these, make the best choice of growing your own food in your backyard. By then, the foods are readily available when need them and you are safe from the toxic chemicals that food-growing companies use to protect their products.
-PNC-ZDN Rowence Zorilla
1. Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review
2. Organic Foods: What You Need to Know
3. What is Organic Food, and is it Better than Non-Organic?
4. Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious?
- Category: Region 9
In February 2021, two children died in Santa Ana, Cagayan due to food poisoning after eating crabs called ‘Kurit” brought by their father for breakfast. According to the attending physician, the immediate cause of death is respiratory failure and the underlying cause is food poisoning. Food poisoning also known as a foodborne illness is the result of eating contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food. Infectious organisms including bacteria, viruses, and parasites or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning.
Most food poisonings are caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Bacteria is the most prevalent cause of food poisoning. According to the Foodborne Disease Outbreaks in the Philippines (2005–2018), pathogens were identified as causative agents for 754 morbidity cases of Food-borne poisoning in the Philippines. These pathogens identified were Salmonella spp., Salmonella enteritidis, Henipavirus, E. histolytica, V. parahaemolyticus, and E. coli. Salmonella spp. was shown as the leading microbiological cause of Foodborne Disease Outbreak poisoning in the Philippines from 2005 to Jun 2018. It is still one of the major causes of foodborne illnesses throughout the world and is generally transmitted to humans through the consumption of contaminated foods of animal origin mainly meat, poultry, eggs, and milk (WHO 2014). Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a common cause of bloody diarrheal disease worldwide and is generally transmitted to humans through consumption of raw and undercooked seafood (WHO and FAO 2008). Escherichia coli has been linked to Foodborne Disease Outbreaks (FBDO) with 11 morbidity cases. It may also cause life-threatening illnesses like hemorrhagic colitis and other E. coli infections
Symptoms and the length of time it takes for symptoms to appear may vary depending on the source of the infection. Food poisoning signs and symptoms may start within hours or days after consuming the contaminated food. Although most people may experience mild symptoms, other symptoms can be potentially life-threatening and may cause death. Most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, watery or bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, and fever. People who experience symptoms such as frequent episodes of vomiting, bloody vomit or stools, diarrhea for more than three days, extreme abdominal pain, an oral temperature higher than 38-degree Celsius, dehydration, severe weakness, dizziness, and neurological symptoms such as blurry vision, muscle weakness and tingling in the arms are advised to seek immediate medical attention.
To avoid food poisoning at home, follow these tips: always wash your hands often before and after food preparation; separate raw from ready-to-eat foods to prevent cross-contamination; cook foods thoroughly; and refrigerate perishable foods promptly. If you are not sure if a food has been prepared, served, or stored safely, just throw it out. Always remember when in doubt, throw it out. Food poisoning is especially serious and potentially life-threatening for young children, pregnant women and their fetuses, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. These individuals should take extra precautions by avoiding raw or undercooked meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk, and raw shellfish.
-PNC-ZDN Rowence Zorilla
1. 2 Kids in Cagayan Passed Away Due to Food Poisoning After Eating Crabs
2. Food Poisoning
3. Foodborne Disease Outbreaks in the Philippines (2005–2018)
4. Food Poisoning Symptoms
- Category: Region 9
July 8 is National Allergy Day (NAD) as declared in the Presidential Proclamation No. 1313 by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It is an annual event held to increase awareness and educate the public on the growing problems of allergies that Filipinos are facing today. The Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (PSAAI) as a globally recognized organization of moral and ethical physicians in the field of Allergy and Immunology has been at the forefront of this endeavor tailored especially for the day.
An allergy is an immune system response to foreign substances called allergens that’s not typically harmful to your body. Your immune system’s job is to keep your body healthy by fighting harmful pathogens. It does this by attacking anything it perceives as an outside invader threatening the body. These allergens may include certain foods such as wheat, nuts, milk, shellfish, and eggs, drugs such as Penicillin and sulfa drugs, pollen, or pet dander. The latex, often found in latex gloves and metals like nickel are also common allergens. Depending on the allergen, the response may involve inflammation, hives, nausea, fatigue, swollen eyes and in severe cases can lead to breathing difficulties and loss of consciousness.
In line with the celebration of National Allergy Day, the Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (PSAAI) will conduct an event, entitled “Diary ng Allergic habang Pandemic”. The Allergists will share their knowledge and expertise on allergies via Facebook live on July 11, 2021. This event aims to increase awareness and knowledge of Filipinos on allergy. Some of the topics to be discussed are Allergy symptoms, Conquering our Allergies, Mental Health Check ngayong Pandemic, Halika Rumesbakuna ka na, and Anong magagawa mo upang maiwasan ang COVID-19. This is open to the public and registration is free. Let’s tune in and learn more about allergies!
-ZDN-PNFP Rowence Zorilla
2. Everything You Need to Know About Allergies
Medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, M.D., MPH
Written by Brian Krans and Kimberly Holland
Updated on June 5, 2018
- Category: Region 9
The avocado is a rather unique fruit. While most fruit contain carbohydrates, avocado is high in fats so technically considered to be a fat. Because of this avocado is known to be low in sugar and contain high fiber that helps us fuel longer. This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to various dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture. In the states, it is the main ingredient in guacamole, an avocado-based dip, spread, or salad first developed in Mexico.
Avocados are a great source of several vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fiber. 3.5 ounces (100 grams), or about half an avocado, contain around 160 calories. This serving also contains vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin E and also contains a fair amount of niacin, riboflavin, copper, magnesium, manganese and antioxidants
Avocados contain mostly monounsaturated fat, plus a small amount of saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Most of that monounsaturated fat is oleic acid, the same fatty acid found in olives and olive oil. This type of fat is considered to be very healthy. Numerous studies have linked oleic acid to health benefits, such as decreased inflammation and a lower risk of developing heart disease. Several studies have also shown that replacing some saturated fat in the diet with monounsaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat can lead to health benefits. These benefits include increased insulin sensitivity, better blood sugar control and lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Considered a veritable fruit, avocado is a food without rival among the fruits. So, why not indulge yourself to a healthy treat? Grab a supply of avocados for you and your family without the guilt feelings of increasing your calories and try to innovate new recipes that incorporate this amazing fruit.
NO II Joanna Marie E. Baltazar
1. Avocado Nutrition facts and Health Benefits
2. What are the benefits of Avocado, and can it help lose weight?
- Category: Region 9
Added sugar is the most unhealthy ingredient in the modern diet. It provides calories with no added nutrients and can damage your metabolism in the long run. Eating too much sugar is linked to weight gain and various diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. But how much is too much? Can you eat a little bit of sugar each day without harm, or should you avoid it as much as possible?
There is a big difference between added sugar and natural sugar. It’s very important to make the distinction between the two. According to Kris Gunnars, fruits and vegetables contain water, fiber, and various micronutrients. These are naturally occurring sugars that are absolutely fine, but the same does not apply to added sugar. Added sugar is the main ingredient in candies and abundant in many processed foods, such as soft drinks and baked products. The most common added sugars are regular table sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup.
What is a safe amount of sugar to eat per day? Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. Some people can eat a lot of sugar without harm, while others should avoid it as much as possible. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) for men and 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons) for women. On the other hand, the World Health Organization updated its guidelines in 2015 to reduce its sugar intake recommendations from 10 percent of daily calorie intake to 5 percent. For those with a normal body mass index aged 11 and above, that works out to about 30 grams – or just 7.5 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
If you’re addicted to sugar, Kris Gunnars also recommends avoiding it completely. Based on a study conducted by Nicole Avena et. Al, Sugary, highly processed foods stimulate the same areas in the brain as illegal drugs. For this reason, sugar can cause people to lose control over their consumption. You can minimize sugars in your diet by limiting your intake of soft drinks, fruit juices, candies and sweets, baked goods, these include cookies, cakes, and pies, among other pastries and low fat or diet foods which are often very high in sugar.
One should drink more water instead of soda or juices and don’t add sugar to your coffee or tea. Instead of adding sugar in recipes, you can try new ingredients like cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, or lemon. Another way to cut back on sugar is to limit your intake of highly processed foods. This approach doesn’t require math, calorie counting, or reading food labels all the time.
Make sure to read labels and be aware that food producers often disguise added sugar using alternative names. Kris Gunnars states that at the end of the day, it’s important to figure out the sugar intake that’s right for you. Some people can handle a little bit of sugar in their diet, while for others it causes cravings, binge eating, rapid weight gain, and disease. Every individual is unique, and you need to figure out what works for you.
PNC-ZDS Marie Claire A. Gaas
- Daily Intake of Sugar — How Much Sugar Should You Eat Per Day?
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-sugar-per-day, Written by Kris Gunnars, BSc — Medically reviewed by Kim Rose RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD — Updated on June 10, 2021
- How much sugar is too much?
- World Diabetes Day: Breaking down the sugar in the Pinoy diet
By Barbie Salvador-Muhlach: https://news.abs-cbn.com/life/11/14/19/world-diabetes-day-breaking-down-the-sugar-in-the-pinoy-diet
- Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake
By Nicole M. Avena, Pedro Rada, and Bartley G. Hoebel: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/
- Category: Region 9
Blood is essential to one’s life and survival. It circulates through our body and delivers essential substances like oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells. It also transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. Human blood is composed of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. It is mostly liquid, with numerous cells and proteins suspended in it, making blood “thicker” than pure water. There is no substitute for blood. It cannot be made or manufactured. Generous blood donors are the only source of blood for patients in need of a blood transfusion. That is why healthcare institutions are always in need of blood to give a lifeline to patients with serious medical conditions or to nurse them back to health.
The Philippine Red Cross estimates that more than 2,000 blood units are being transfused to patients all over the country every day. You also cannot discount the possibility that someone you know might need a blood transfusion in the near future.
But did you know that patients aren’t the only ones benefiting from blood donations? Donating blood regularly also presents a multitude of health benefits for you---the “donor”. Here are the following reasons why you should donate blood as part of your health routine: You can have a free health checkup and pathology test, can reduce the risk of Heart and Liver diseases, can Lower the risk of having cancer, can Lower your cholesterol level, help maintain body weight, can improve your mental wellbeing, it also help in developing new and healthy blood cells, and most of all you can “Save Lives”. Blood donation is safe. If you’re a healthy adult, you can donate a pint (about half a liter) of blood without endangering your health.
Donating blood is a small gesture that can have a monumental impact on the lives of several people. Giving someone the opportunity to have a new lease of life, not to mention that you are also giving your overall health a great boost.
AA VI Angelyn Intal, RND
- What is Blood?
- Reasons Why You Should Donate Blood Regularly