Have a safe and healthy Deepawali
Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
People with diabetes, cardiac problems and respiratory disorders need to be extra careful during Diwali. Reason: The air quality has gone from bad to worse thanks to bursting of firecrackers and, the increased social interactions mean we tend to consume more sweets these days than the usual days.
Let’s me talk about sweets first.
Each year there is an increase in the number and variety of sweets made during Diwali. Whichever relative or friend’s house you visit you will be offered plentiful sweets. It’s harder to resist, but resist you must. Remember we Indians are genetically prone to diabetes, so keep as far away from sweets as is possible. And, go in for dry fruits. Almonds and walnuts are the best for your health.
Sweets are not good for heart as well as these add to the inflammation of the arterial walls. What’s worse is that sweets also cause weight gain.
This apart strictly avoid sweets that are covered with silver foil. Though pure silver foil is very good for health, these days it often comes adulterated with aluminum and aluminum is a hazardous metal, toxic for your body tissues.
Be very careful where you sweets from. Buy good quality sweets from legal shops. Many illegal sweet shops come up during Diwali season and these shops use chemical preservatives to make a quick buck. Intake of preservatives can damage kidneys and liver. These chemicals also cause asthma attacks and in extreme cases, cancer.
It would be much better to make your sweets at home, the traditional way. The sweets will not only be more healthy and hygienic, but with no adulteration these will be safe to eat as well. If possible use jaggery while making sweets. Jaggery is rich in iron and other nutrients and cleans your blood of impurities and it doesn’t even raise your blood sugar level like white sugar does.
The changing weather doesn’t bode well for people with respiratory problems. Pollution due to vehicular emissions coupled with low wind speed settles particles of poisonous gases on the surface instead of blowing it away. And Diwali is the time for bursting crackers, and people do burst firecrackers despite requests by the government.
Crackers are made of highly toxic heavy metals and can trigger asthma attacks. So, if you are an asthma patient, stay away from places where crackers are being burst to avoid direct inhalation of toxic fumes. It is better to stay indoors to keep away from pollution. In case you feel discomfort or problem in breathing, seek immediate medical help.
And another important thing is that you must purchase firecrackers from registered manufacturers and read the instructions written on the wrapper carefully so that you know how to light these.
Skin too needs extra care. Pollution and smoke harms the skin as well, making it look dull and dry. It is important to wash your face and hands after bursting crackers and apply enough moisturizer. In case of itching or rashes drink lots of cold water.