Jamaica Health Tips Online - Protecting the Environment, Protecting your Health
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Corona Virus: Crisis & despair.

As I sit and watch the world undergoes one of the biggest health scares in 2020 so far. I can’t help to think to myself, how prepared are my fellow Jamaicans? I have made many attempts to write this blog but hesitated, as I am very unclear on the role of environmental contamination in the COVID-19 transmission.  Additionally, the data from the World Health Organization (WHO) seems to be constantly changing.

So, let’s talk about it, with the COVID-19 now being classified as a pandemic with approximately 28 countries reporting confirm cases, do you believe our island Jamaica is adequately prepared to take on the challenges of this disease? I will not deny the mass outpouring of information by the Jamaican media on the general precautionary measures issued by the WHO however, are there strategies being implemented in the event of local cases confirming on our island? Are these strategies being implemented at a regional or parish level and not just at a national level?  Are front line staff and staff at the primary health care level adequately trained and equipped with the proper safety gear? What are the steps I should take as an individual if I realize I am experiencing signs and symptoms? Do we have enough resources to effectively handle the COVID-19?

 People need to know how they can help themselves and their families.  Tailor the information to fit our countries unique situation socially, economically and structurally.  What can I do as a Jamaican to prevent the spread of the disease if am infected and need to take public transportation to get medical attention? What are the simple things I can do to boost my immune system etc. Please, these are answers to the questions I need. My health is my responsiblility, so help us as Jamaicans to be responsible by equipping us with the necessary information to do so. 
So, what do you think, are we really prepared to face the challenges of this disease?   
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With the paradigm shift in how most Jamaican are eating nowadays, it is crucial that we clear up the myth that eating healthy or sticking to a vegetarian diet will prevent you from getting a food-borne illness. 

Fruits and vegetables despite they add nutrients to your diet that help protects you from heart disease, stroke cancer, still contain harmful germs such as Salmonella and Listeria. 

 These germs if not destroyed in fruits and vegetables can result in hospitalization or even death of the person consuming them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly half of the foodborne illnesses reported causes the consumption of fresh produce. This is approximately 2500 people succumbing to their illness per year.  So, with this information in mind, what can Jamaicans do to protect themselves;

•    Choose fruits and vegetables that aren’t bruised or damaged.

•    Keep pre-cut fruits and vegetables in cold facilities such

as a refrigerator or chiller. They could also be kept on ice.

•    Separate fruits and vegetables in your shopping cart and from other high-risk foods.

•    Wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.

•    Prepare them in clean utensils and on clean counter-tops.

•    Final also wash your hand before preparing and eating fruits and vegetables.

Eating fruits and vegetables is very important in living a healthy life, however not selecting and preparing them safely can be deadly.

Have you ever gotten sick after eating fruits and vegetables? 

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Its 2019 and good nutrition is still the key to great health. Food is needed to give the body energy. Energy is needed to help you live and grow healthy. Poor nutrition still poses serious health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, certain cancers and
To give your body the proper nutrition it needs, you have to eat (and drink) foods that contain the following key nutrients:

  • Protein This is essential for and repair of the body’s tissue.
  • Water is required for proper body functioning (digestion, metabolism, and removal of waste products). It is especially important for controlling the body’s temperature.
  • Minerals help to release energy during the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats proteins. They are also needed to maintain healthy blood, bones teeth.
  • Fats are the most concentrated source of energy. Fats are necessary for slow-burning energy (endurance activities are fueled by energy from fat).
  • Carbohydrates, such as starches and sugars, are necessary for energy
  • Vitamins are necessary for growth, good vision and protection against infection.
Do Jamaicans practice proper nutrition? Although there are only a few regional surveys on food consumption. These that the number of meals consumed outside of the home has increased. With many fast food courts being all around the island, more and more people are eating fast food, This has contributed to the increased consumption of foods high in fat, thus explaining in part the high numbers of adults that are overweight and obese.
Will Jamaicans make the nutritional food change? The first step is to identify “nutritional weaknesses.” Do you have a weakness for foods high in fat? Do you tend to bypass breakfast in the mornings?

Here are some basic guidelines, eat foods from the five major food groups:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Cereals, rice pasta
  • Milk, yogurt cheese
  • Meat, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs and nuts

Try to limit foods that are high in fats, sugar salt. Do not skip meals, and during the day, drink lots of water. Do more healthy cooking at home. But when you do eat out, watch what you eat. Do not eat over-sized portions of food. Limit fast food and overly processed and fried products. Read nutrition labels on foods before you buy them. And of course always remember the key to a healthy diet is variety, balance moderation.
Do you see yourself eating more healthy foods?

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