Today, as world celebrates “World Heart Day”, here is a humble attempt to earnestly persuade every member of RGCB family towards a healthier lifestyle.
World Heart Federation (WHF) celebrates every September 29th as World Health Day. This was started in the year 2000 to promote awareness and collective efforts to decrease cardiovascular morbidities. Every year this revolves around a central theme of heart health significance. This year, the theme is Heart healthy environments. WHF calls for an initiative to avoid four factors- unhealthy diet, smoking, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption- to reduce the more than 80% of premature deaths due to cardiovascular diseases. As the theme reflects, let everyone make healthy heart choices everywhere we live, work and play.
Yoga: RGCB organized Yoga training sessions through which more than fifty members of RGCB family had the opportunity to get formally trained in performing basic Yoga postures and breathing exercises. It is no secret that breathing exercises help to improve proper blood circulation, control heart rhythms and decrease the workload of heart. Moreover, Yoga helps to control the physical and mental stress with long-term benefits of improved work efficiency and lesser comorbidities. More RGCB members are urged to seek this opportunity. It may also be a wise idea to resort to climbing stairs instead of riding elevators to just a floor above or below. Today, as technology sweeps into every minute of our day, we could as well use it positively for better health. There are multiple Apps available to monitor our physical activity. Forming like-minded communities can give us a better drive for more systematic exercise plans and goals.
Clean smoke-free campus: Smoking is strictly prohibited in all the campuses of RGCB. It is not just a statutory restriction that we have imposed, but as spokespersons of healthier lifestyles, we are quite aware of the ill effects of substance abuse. And hence we discourage it completely. It is also ensured that all the buildings and premises are kept clean. There is a systematic bio-composting process of domestic waste helping in our drive to a cleaner earth.
Food we serve: We are quite proud to use many vegetables harvested from the organic farming venture of RGCB ‘Sky Green’ in the in-house cafeteria. Four heart healthy super foods we frequently use from ‘Sky Green’ include:
a) Cluster Beans: Though initially used as a filler crop to regain soil quality by nitrogen fixation, this leguminous plant was domesticated and widely consumed by Indians later. Packed with Vitamin A, C and K as well as minerals like Calcium, Iron and Potassium, this is a low calorie, fiber-rich vegetable. Thanks to the hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic and hypotensive effects, this is regarded as a great friend of our heart.
b) Yardlong Beans: Another low calorie bean, this is one of the finest sources of folates and Vitamin A. Known for its heart healthy effects through antioxidant properties mediated by Manganese and Vitamin C, it also maintains blood vessel elasticity and hence controls hypertension.
c) Green Tomato: The green variety of tomatoes is not the primary choice for many Indians when compared to its red counterpart. But it is amazing to know how rich a source it is of anti oxidants and minerals. Studies have also shown than the glycoalkaloid in green tomatoes, Tomatine, is highly protective against cancer and cardiovascular ailments.
d) Red Spinach: Though not biologically related to the spinach, Amaranthus dubius is no way of lesser nutrient value. One of the richest source of Iron and beta carotenoids, it helps to address micronutrient deficiency in the subcontinent due to the sheer quantity of consumption. It is also an invaluable source of folates which reduce homocysteine levels and hence the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
This is a call for including more heart healthy foods in diet, being more physically active and controlling unhealthy habits towards a healthier and happier tomorrow. As they say, to feel good from head to toe, all you need to keep is healthy heartbeat.