Nutrition Q&A: ‘Pani puri’ can be deadly

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.

This week’s answers:

1. My daughter is 20 yrs old and weighs only 37 kg.  (5’1″) If she gets married after 2 yrs will she be able to conceive and have normal delivery too.? pls reply.
Your daughter is underweight. Please have her assessed by a physician to rule out underlying medical reasons like anemia or malabsorption for being underweight.
If anemic, then she will need to correct it before she conceives. And when she becomes pregnant she may need to put on sufficient weight during her pregnancy especially during the last 2 trimesters so that the baby is born of normal weight and full term.

2. Dear Maam, I am eating ragi porridge daily but my friends say it increases body heat. Is this true?

It is in fact a cooling food. The ragi porridge contains a lot of water too that cools the body. Ragi can be ground, strained and taken mixed with milk or buttermilk as a refreshing drink during summer.

3. Hi Parvathy. Is there any food to avoid in case of amoebiosis? Does this condition last a lifetime?

Amoebiasis is an infection of the liver or intestines caused by a parasite found in human intestines and feces. It is contracted by eating contaminated food or water.

Therefore to prevent amoebiasis, avoid street foods and drinks like lassi and milk, ice in beverages, sauces like pani in pani puri. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Avoid uncooked foods like salads and fruits unless they are from reputed restaurants where sanitary guidelines are followed.

While you have the dysentary, it is best to avoid milk and gas forming foods like cabbage, cauliflower, dried beans, spices.

Sometimes the infection can enter the tissue and cause amoebic liver abcess. If amoebiasis is left untreated there could be flare ups.

4. Please tell us how to improve bone density? What foods are to be eaten?

Strength training along with aerobic exercise improves bone density. Half an hour of any exercise that causes weight bearing by the lower extremities helps maintain good bone density.

Adequate intake of calcium and Vitamin D is important for good bone health. The best source of calcium is milk and its products and they are well absorbed too because of the presence of lactose. Small fishes were the bone is eaten like sardines are excellent sources. Some other good sources of calcium are fruits like oranges, banana, papaya, green leafy vegetables, beans, ragi.

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