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Zika Virus And Nutrition Guidelines

BSc - Food Science & Nutrition, PGD in Sports Nutrition and Dietitics , Diabetes Educator, Translational Nutrigenomics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Zika Virus And Nutrition Guidelines

The Zika virus has been hogging the international limelight for some time. The virus and its effects on the human body are unique. It is known to cause microcephaly in infants born to infected mothers. Babies with microcephaly have small heads and abnormal eyes. This is the most highlighted features of Zika virus infection. However, it may also have a profound effect on the infected mother, though on rare occasions. It may precipitate Guillain-Barré syndrome. When people suffer from this syndrome, they may suffer from temporary muscle weakness, paralysis or other neurologic problems. The virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito that usually bites during the day. However, unlike many other mosquito-borne diseases it does not yet have a cure. This is why people living in or traveling to the Zika virus affected areas as well as those infected by the virus need to abide by some guidelines enunciated by the WHO.

Nutritional Aspect in Zika Virus Infection

An important consideration in Zika virus infection is the nutritional status of the patient. The effect of nutritional disorder on Zika infection adds another dimension to the treatment of Zika affected children and adults. It is argued that proper nutrition is an important part of other mosquito-borne diseases like dengue. In fact, studies have pointed out that vitamins D and Vitamin E supplementation have shown promising results in Dengue patients. Although similar studies on Zika patients have not been done, it is amply clear that breastfeeding for infants and lots of fluid for infected adults can bring down the severity of the disease appreciably.

Normal Infant Feeding

Infants born to Zika infected mothers or mothers residing in or travelling to Zika infected areas should be given normal infant food. Breastfeeding is the obvious answer to infections and should start within an hour of birth. Such babies need to be exclusively breastfed for at least six months, followed by a gradual weaning of breast milk and a gradual introduction of safe, adequate and proper complementary food.

Breastfeeding is considered to be beneficial for both babies and their mothers in any country. Babies who breastfeed for longer periods face lower risk of infections. This is true for Zika infections as well. It is also beneficial for mothers since it can prevent breast cancer and improve contraception. It may also bring down the risk of ovarian cancer and diabetes in women. It is estimated that widespread breastfeeding can prevent the death of an estimated 823,000 children and that includes those affected by the Zika virus.

No Evidence of Zika Infection Through Breast Milk Yet

The safety potential of breastfeeding can be gauged from the fact that there are no reports of the Zika virus being transmitted through breast milk, although the presence of the virus has been confirmed in some lactating mothers. In fact, there are so many benefits of breastfeeding that they outweigh any potential risk of Zika virus infection and microcephaly through breast milk.

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MD - Anaesthesiology, Diploma in Anesthesia, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Mumbai

If you are obese, your raised bmi which means your (weight in kg. Divided by squate meter of your height) is bothering you then simple method is reduce the portion of your food. Select the plate for serving your food smaller than the regular one. This will help you to reduce the portion of the food served. Fill the half portion of the plate with fruits and vegetables and remaining half of the plate may be wiith the servings of your protein and carbohydrate needs. Another method is not to eat to full but make sure you start eating 10% less to make you full. And slowly reach to a target of eating 65% of the serving you were eating in past.

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Babies Growth - How Vital Is Nutrition In It?

Dr.S. Gupta 88% (40ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, BCH, DNB - Training, PDCC - Pediatric Hepatology & Gastroenterology
Pediatrician, Gurgaon
Babies Growth - How Vital Is Nutrition In It?

It is often stated by doctors that a child's brain and body develop through good nutrition, and this starts even before they have been conceived. If you are planning for a baby, then it is a must to tune your body for infant nutrition, as healthy growth of the brain in a child begins much before conception. An example to support this is that, folic acid intake should be started 14 weeks before conception. Folic acid is considered to be helpful in the early functioning of the brain.
By the time a baby is born, already three quarters of the cells of the brain are formed and the quarter which is left is formed by the first birthday. As soon as children reach 3 years, they have a brain which is as big as an adult's, and when children are growing, the neurons of the brain grow and develop with them. Thus a poor diet can hamper the growth of children, and also affect their ability to process information and learn. This becomes worse if the iron levels in the body dip below the required levels.
Iodine shortage also leads to irreversible motor and cognitive developments in the child. Similarly, DHA which is considered to be an essential fatty acid in the child development, if compromised, can lead to learning problems. It is known that DHA is the key component for the intensive production of the synapse which is important in the initial years of life for development and learning. Other nutrients like zinc, folic acid and choline all pay a role in the initial functioning of the brain.

Feeding a variety of food to the baby is important as they help in the development, but certain foods are a must. These are:

-      Breast Milk: As per dieticians, a baby can only digest breast milk or formula milk in the initial months. Babies should be breastfed for the first six months as it has the basic nutrients required by a baby, and also gives protection against allergies, digestive diseases and infections. Breast milk also has iron which is crucial for the development of the baby.

-      Iron rich cereals: Babies can be fed solid food by 4-6 months. If a baby can sit without support and shows tongue thrust reflex, then he or she is ready for solids. Starting solids with the introduction of cereals or rice cereals is good, as they can be easily digested. It can also be diluted with the breast milk or formula. As these cereals are rich in iron, they are good for the development of the baby. A diet deficient in iron leads to delayed talking and walking of a child.

-      Fruit and vegetable: A good time to introduce vegetables and fruits is when the baby is 6-7 months. These foods are loaded with minerals and vitamins which provide different textures and tastes to the baby. Carrots mashed and strained, along with beans, apples, bananas, peaches and peas and pears can be given to the baby. These can be boiled or pureed or mashed for the baby for easy consumption.

-      Pureed Food: These foods are generally the meats which can be given from 8-9 months. Meats like lamb, chicken and liver contain iron. The iron of the meats is easily absorbed, as compared to the iron in plants. For the maximum absorption of the iron in the meat, it should be served with vitamin C, some fruits, cantaloupe or broccoli. It is believed that vitamin C boosts the absorption of iron.

Though there are a number of environmental and genetic factors which effect the development of a child, food is one of the most important factors. Thus it should be kept in mind that good food leads to a happy, healthy and a well developing baby. Start from the beginning and focus on the right portions to ensure the health of your baby.

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30 month old boys only drink milk, how to start food intake for infant where proper nutrition and protein should be intake.

Dt.Ankita Bhargava 91% (7258ratings)
Masters In Clinical Nutrition & Dietitics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
30 month old boys only drink milk, how to start food intake for infant where proper nutrition and protein should be i...
Hello Lybrate user sure ,we will help you we have diet plan for toddlers which include. To get ideal height and weight. How to intruduce food every month. Like grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses, etc so that they give achieve their ideal requirements of all nutrients. To cure deficiency of vitamins and minerals. To help them to build immune system strong and also cure digestive problem. And many more. But before prescribing any thing we need some information like. Vitals.medical history. Family history. Physical activity. Daily routine and many more so, if you want to contact us, you can contact us directly thru Lybrate.
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Hello Mam, My baby is now 6th month old. Now what should I get her for better nutrition for her good health?

Dt.Ankita Bhargava 91% (7258ratings)
Masters In Clinical Nutrition & Dietitics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
Hello Mam,
My baby is now 6th month old. Now what should I get her for better nutrition for her good health?
Hello Lybrate user Sure ,we will help you We have diet plan for infant from 6 month to 2 yrs. Which include. To get ideal height and weight. How to intruduce food every month. Like grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses, etc so that they give achieve their ideal requirements of all nutrients. To cure deficiency of vitamins and minerals. To help them to build immune system strong and also cure digestive problem. How to introduce cow's milk at 1 year. And many more. But before prescribing any thing we need some information like. Vitals.Medical history. Family history. Physical activity. Daily routine And many more So, if you want to contact us, you can contact us directly thru Lybrate.
6 people found this helpful
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Nutrition During Pregnancy - 6 Do's And Don'ts!

MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Nutrition During Pregnancy - 6 Do's And Don'ts!

6 dietary dos and don'ts for pregnancy

Pregnancy is an important time in a woman's life. During this period, you need to be most conscious of what to eat, do and how to change everyday habits. Following these dos and don'ts will ensure a smooth pregnancy experience for you.


1. Take your prenatal vitamin

If you have not yet started taking a prenatal vitamin, now is the time to start. It's particularly critical to get enough folic acid while trying to conceive importantly during the first trimester. It greatly reduces your baby's risk of developing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.

2. If you smoke, quit

Smoking increases your risk of developing several problems including miscarriages, placental and preterm birth problems. It slows the fetal growth and increases the risk of stillbirth and infant death. It's never too late to quit or cut back smoking. Every cigarette you don't light gives your baby a much better chance of being healthy.

3. Do eat seafood

Seafood is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Consume a variety of seafood so you don't have a concentration of minerals from only one type of fish. But remember to not eat more than 12 ounces of fish per 7 days.


1. Don't drink alcohol

Alcohol may immensely impact your baby's development. Women who drink alcohol while pregnant could easily deliver a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome (fas). Symptoms of fas are usually low birth weight, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and lagging patterns in terms of growth and development milestones. Limiting or avoiding alcohol is a step that you need to take.

2. Don't eat raw meat at all

Raw and undercooked meat or eggs carries the risk of food-borne diseases as well as food poisoning incidence. Make sure all eggs and meat that you eat while you are pregnant are cooked well.

3. Don't drink lot of caffeine

Caffeine easily travels through the placenta and increases your baby's heart beats. Research shows that women can safely consume a cup or two of coffee every day, but avoid downing a triple shot strong latte while you have got a bun in the oven.

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Hello. Can I give Pediasure nutrition powder to my daughter. She is one year 2 months old. Please suggest.

Dr.Vikas Bhalla 86% (19ratings)
MD - Paediatrics
Pediatrician, Zirakpur
Hello. Can I give Pediasure nutrition powder to my daughter. She is one year 2 months old. Please suggest.
Talk to a healthcare professional about whether your child need diet evaluation and management, because pediasure only is not going to solve your concerns. Regard this product if your child is younger than 2 years of age. Pediasure products are not intended for infants younger than 1 year of age. According to the american academy of pediatrics, in india age recommendation 2 year or above, infants under a year old should be breastfed or fed an iron-fortified infant formula.
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Oral Health And Nutrition

General Physician, Gorakhpur
Oral Health And Nutrition

Almost everything you eat and drink has an impact on your oral health, especially your teeth. This impact is not just due to the food's nutritional value, but also because parts of the mouth come in direct contact with the food that is taken. For example, if the teeth come in contact with a compound that has a pH value lower than 5.5, the enamel of teeth can get softened.

The following is a list of the foods, which are good for your teeth:

  1. Dairy products: Milk and most other dairy products are rich in calcium and protein. The cells called osteoblasts absorb calcium and create the protein tissues, which are the building blocks of the skeleton. An added advantage of these foods is that they are low in sugar content, which is beneficial for the teeth.
  2. Water: Fluoridated water is extremely good for bone and dental health. Minerals like chlorine, calcium, phosphorus and fluorine can prevent damage caused by acidic foods.
  3. Dry fruits: Most nuts are protein rich. The processes of biting and chewing also stimulate the salivary glands and saliva helps to clean the mouth and maintain oral health.
  4. Meat: Meat is also high in protein content and so it helps to protect the teeth and replenish the dissolved enamel. Fish and eggs are similarly helpful.

Here is a list of things that you should consume in regulated quantities to maintain dental health:

  1. Citrus fruits: Fruits like lemons, oranges, grapes etc contain citric acid. Acidic foods erode the tooth enamel and so these kinds of fruits should be included in your daily diet in small portions.
  2. Carbonated drinks: Most soft drinks and beverages contain large quantities of sugar. The sugar can be used by the dental plaque (mass of bacteria growing on the inside on the mouth) to produce acids and over time, which gives rise to a thick yellow layer on the teeth, damaging them.
  3. Candied sugar: Foods that are sticky can remain stuck in between the teeth for a very long time and cause decay of the enamel and harm the gums. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.
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Nutrition For Preschoolers

BSc - Food Science & Nutrition, PGD in Sports Nutrition and Dietitics , Diabetes Educator, Translational Nutrigenomics, FSSC 22000 ,Internal Auditor
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Nutrition For Preschoolers

Preschoolers are active, bubbly, cute, spirited and adorable children (below 5 years). There are a lot of growth activities taking place inside their cells. They need a lot of nutrition to support such activities. Nevertheless, most of these preschoolers are pretty opinionated about eating. Some of them may even have grown a food faddism. At times, they may not eat anything at all. But one needs to add nutrition to their palate. How can a person do that? Let us see if this works.

- Eating with Family

These kids are very eager to eat what others are eating. They are always curious to taste such food. This is also an opportunity to offer the right balance of nutrition to the child. Since family meals usually feature an assortment of meals in moderate quantities, the child can get a bit of everything from different family members. This can fulfill its need for nutrition to some extent. Offer some portions of lean meat, eggs, poultry, whole grains, legumes etc. along with at least two servings of dairy products on a regular basis. Children may start loving it over time.

- Don’t Allow Distractions During Meal Time

Distractions like TV, smartphone etc. during meal time may distract a person from the family gathering. If all the members of the family sit together, have a meal, converse over the meal and there is no distraction, it may encourage the child to taste different food items and have good nutrition. It also fosters conversational skill. It has a demonstrative effect on children. It learns that mealtime is reserved solely for savoring nutritious food and nurturing relations through cordial conversations. At the same time people need not be strict about eating manners or neatness since that may put off the child.

- Offer a Variety of Food

A palate made of different food items may tickle the taste buds of the child better and grow a liking for food. Parents can offer sandwiches, crackers made of whole grain, vegetables, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs etc. Among dairy products one can offer milk or milk with cereals, yogurt etc. Fruit smoothies or low-fat popcorn is also a great idea.

Control Picky Eating

Most preschoolers are picky eaters. They may favor only a few types of food like crackers or chocolates. This may mar the attempts to introduce variety in the palate. It is difficult to stop children from eating their favorite food, but one can definitely control their demand for their favorite food. This is essential since the same type of food cannot help with wholesome nutrition. Even parents are tempted to prepare only those items that the child prefers, resisting temptation. One needs to continue to offer a variety of food items. Initially, the child may resist, but eventually it may become bored of regular food and may start picking at other items.

It is difficult to introduce new food to preschoolers, but with some effort and consistency, the child may at least start picking at different food items. This can help with required nutrition.

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Sports Nutrition - Top Nutrition Tips for Athletes!!

Dr.Nithin Kumar Bejjanki 90% (124ratings)
Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), MBBS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
Orthopedic Doctor, Hyderabad
Sports Nutrition - Top Nutrition Tips for Athletes!!

When it comes to athletes and sportsmen, merely having a balanced meal is not enough. Athletes burn much more energy than an average person and hence need to consume additional calories. Getting the right nutrition can make a big difference to an athlete’s performance. To calculate the required calorie consumption, one must take into account the individual’s height, weight, gender and level of physical activity. An athlete must pay special attention to three categories of foods; carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the most important fuel source for sportsmen. When the body ingests carbohydrates, the sugar and starch in it is converted to glucose and stored as glycogen. If the body does not have enough glycogen while working out, it will begin to burn fats and proteins to get its energy. This can make your performance levels drop. Breads, cereals, rice, high fibre fruits and vegetables and pasta are some food items that are rich sources of carbohydrates.

Along with eating the right food, it is also important to eat at the right time. On a normal day, an athlete should consume 1-4grams of carbohydrates per kilo of body weight 1-4 hours before exercising to give the body the necessary energy for your workout. However, if your exercise lasts for more than an hour, you should eat additional carbohydrates during the session. Your body also needs carbohydrates within half an hour of completing an activity to help the muscles recover.

Proteins: Proteins help build muscles and thus are essential for body builders and endurance athletes. It should account for 12-15% of your daily calorie intake. However, the actual amount of protein required depends on the athlete’s growth rate, rate of healing and physical activity level. The human body cannot store protein and hence it is not advisable to eat an excessive amount of this nutrient as it will simply be stored as fat. Proteins can be found in many food items including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts and beans.

Fats: There are two types of fats needed by the human body; saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Combined, they should account for not more than 20-30% of your daily calorie intake. For low to moderate intensity exercises, fats are the primary source of energy but for workouts of a higher intensity, fats become a secondary source of energy to be used only when the body runs out of glycogen. Meat, milk, eggs and cheese are good sources of saturated fats while vegetable oils are rich in unsaturated fats.

Along with eating right, athletes also need to pay special attention to hydrating their bodies. Drinking cool water is the best way to stay hydrated. Water is lost while exercising through sweat and hence must be consumed before, during and after exercising. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.

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