Vegetables a source of prevention from malnutrition

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By Dr. Noor-ul-Islam Khan, Muhammad Azhar Ali, Humaira Kausar, Faiza Waheed Khan

MALNUTRITION IS an abnormal physiological condition caused by deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in energy as per body requirement. When the body contains lower than normal limit of one or more macronutrients/micronutrient is known as malnutrition.

Insufficient diets are a fact of everyday life for hundreds of millions of population these signs of malnutrition are so common a short child or a child who has lost some weight that we often don’t see these children as sick or suffering; but they are. Malnutrition is not merely the result of too little food. It is a pathology caused principally by a lack of essential nutrients which not only causes growth to falter, but also increases susceptibility to common diseases. This is why a common cold or bout of diarrhea can kill a malnourished child.

Most of the damage caused by malnutrition occurs in children before they reach their second birthday. This is the critical window of opportunity when the quality of a child’s diet has a profound, sustained impact on his or her health, physical and mental development. Diets that do not provide the right blend of energy including high-quality protein, essential fats, and carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals can impair growth and development, increase the risk of death from common childhood illness, or result in life-long health consequences. The fortified cereals currently distributed through food aid do not meet this minimal standard.

UNICEF estimates that there are nearly 195 million children suffering from malnutrition across the globe. Malnutrition plays a huge role in child mortality because the immune systems of these children are less resistant to common childhood diseases. In fact, malnutrition contributes to at least one-third of the eight million annual deaths of children fewer than five years of age.

And current approaches to address malnutrition have serious limitations. In places where families have little or no access to highly-nutritious foods, behaviour change approaches to malnutrition that focus on education about proper food choices, hand-washing are not enough to address the problem. Such strategies are insufficient because in the worlds “malnutrition hotspots”.

Carrot is a hardy, cool-season biennial that is grown for the thickened root it produces in its first growing season. Although carrots can endure summer heat in many areas, they grow best when planted in early spring. Mid summer plantings that mature quickly in cool fall weather produce tender, sweet “baby” carrots that are much prized. Carrots are eaten both raw and cocked and they can be stored for winter use.

Carrot is one of the most healing foods that provide the finest and highest quality in nutrients, especially from its juice.  It is an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, D, E, K, B1 and B6. Nutrition is the bedrock of human development. Carrots were first grown as medicine, not food, for a variety of ailments. A medium-size carrot has 25 calories, 6 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. The veggie is an excellent source of vitamin A, providing more than 200% of your daily requirement in just one carrot.  Carrots also are loaded with beta-carotene, a compound that is naturally converted to vitamin A when consumed. The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene youre getting.

Anemia:  Carrot’s molecules are closest to human’s hemoglobin molecules, making it very beneficial in blood-building.

Asthma:  The anti-oxidants effectively protect the respiratory system from infections and free-radical attacks.

Eyes:  Beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are some of the finest nourishment that helps to keep the optic system in tip-top condition, with special protection against astigmatism, macular degeneration and cataracts.

Inflammations:  Its anti-inflammatory effect greatly helps reduce arthritis, rheumatism, gout and other inflammations.

Immune systems:  It does wonders for boosting the immune system by increasing the production and performance of white blood cells; building resistant to various kinds of infections.

Water retention:  Carrot juice is diuretic and helps to eliminate excess fluids from the body, reducing water retention, especially for women during their monthly menstruation cycle and in pregnant women.


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