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Jamaica Health Tips Blog

August 2010

Jamaicans Healthy Nutrition

health tips ja food nutrition
Its 2010 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 chronic under nutrition.
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 growth 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 and proteins. They are also needed to maintain healthy blood, bones and 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 surveys  indicate 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?
health tips ja food nutrition
Here are some basic guidelines, eat foods from the five major food groups:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Breads, cereals, rice and pasta
  • Milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Meat, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs and nuts
Try to limit foods that are high in fats, sugar and 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 oversized 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 and moderation.
Do you see yourself cutting down on the fast food your currently consume for a more healthy diet?

Jamaicans smoking too much?

health tips ja smokingHere a puff there a puff everywhere a puff puff. All around the island Jamaicans can be seen puffing away at their cigarettes. Even though cigarettes are one of the primary ways in which Jamaicans give themselves lung cancer.
Most Jamaican men do not know that smoking can affect their love life.
According quitsmoking.com website men who smoke are 50 percent more likely to suffer from impotence than men who do not smoke. Nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor.
That is, it constricts the arteries and blood vessels—including those that are responsible for a man's erection. Nicotine also lowers testosterone and other hormone levels in the blood. And it increases the concentrations of fatty acids in the blood, leading to clogged arteries and further restricting blood flow to the genitals.
health tips ja smoking

Are you a smoker? How do you feel about people who smoke?

Importance of hand washing

  As Jamaican's do we wash our hands often enough? Do we understand the importance of hand washing?    
health tips ja wash hands           
Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease and infection. By washing your hands frequently, you kill germs that are picked up from other people, or from contaminated surfaces, or even from animals and animal waste.
When should you wash your hands?
1. Immediately, if contact is made with blood/body fluids or other contaminated items without barrier protection,
2. After any personal care such as coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, and after you change a baby's diaper.
3. After handling animals (even pets), their waste and their cages,
4. After you handle garbage,
5. Before you prepare food or eat,
6. After using washroom facilities,
7. When your hands are dirty,
8. Prior to leaving the work area,
Take a look at the chart below showing the proper steps in hand washing.
health tips ja wash hands
Jamaican's and people all around the world, should encourage each other to wash our hands more often.
Have you ever used the restroom and forgot to wash your hands?