Health Blog

COVID-19: How to prevent and improve your health to protect against it

During this challenging moment, everyone should stay focus on maintaining mental and physical health. Apart from beneficial to your health in terms of the long run, it will also support your body fight against COVID-19 if you have it.

Prevention is better than cure

  1. Make sure to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet, which helps to improve your body’s immune system.
  2. Say no to sugary drinks and limit your alcohol intake.
  3. Quit smoking. Smoker has a higher risk of suffering from the serious disease if they get COVID-19.
  4. Workout regularly, adults should exercise at least 30minutes a day while children should exercise an hour a day.
  5. Take care of your mental health. Feeling anxious and stressed is normal during this situation, by talking to and getting support from people you trust will help. Read news published by the ministry, do not spread news from unreliable sources.

Protect yourself from COVID-19

  1. Maintain good personal hygiene habits. Always remember to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or with alcohol-based sanitizer for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Bin the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
  3. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands to prevent the transfer of the virus from hands into your body.
  4. Keep at least 1 metre distance from others to avoid breathing in droplets from someone who coughs or sneezes.
  5. Wear a mask if you are sick and seek medical attention immediately. Stay at home to avoid crowds.

Reference: Who.int. (2020). WHO Director-General’s Opening Remarks At The Media Briefing On COVID-19 – 20 March 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—20-march-2020

Who.int. (2020). Pass The Message: Five Steps To Kicking Out Coronavirus. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/23-03-2020-pass-the-message-five-steps-to-kicking-out-coronavirus

Attention waffles lover! International Waffle Day (March 25, 2020)

Hey to all waffles lover out there, watch out! International waffle day is just around the corner. Feeling super excited about it? Waffle Day was originated from Sweden and this joy day was soon spread to the whole world. What is better than celebrating this day by having a waffle? While watching out for your calorie intake, you might have a concern that having a waffle is impossible? As most bought waffles from stores are high in sugar and unhealthy.

Worries no more! Here are the recipe and some secrets on how to make healthy and delicious homemade waffles easily. This recipe is gluten-free and suitable for vegan.

Ingredients

  • 150ml oat milk (or alternative dairy-free milk)
  • 30ml coconut oil
  • ½ tbsp unsweetened vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 190g gram flour
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 30g chia seeds
  • 100g strawberries (or your favourite selection of fruits)
  • Maple syrup (serve on the side)

Preparation

  1. Warm up the waffle iron.
  2. Mix vinegar and milk in a bowl, stir and keep the mixture rest for 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract, coconut oil, and maple syrup into a bowl and mix well.
  3. Add cinnamon, baking powder, gram flour, turmeric and chia seeds into another bowl. After mix well, add slowly into the first bowl while stirring. Mix until the batter is smooth.
  4. Pour batter onto waffle iron with a dip sauce spoon. Close the lid after the iron has filled up. Cook the waffles until golden brown.
  5. Serve waffles on the plate and add any toppings of your favourite on top. Maple syrup serves on the side (go gentle on it).

Reference: National Today. (2020). INTERNATIONAL WAFFLE DAY – March 25, 2020 | National Today. [online] Available at: <https://nationaltoday.com/international-waffle-day/>

CARBOHYDRATE AND FIBRE

Carbohydrate that cannot be digested by your body is known as dietary fibre. Nearly all carbohydrates can be broken down into the simplest sugar form, but fibre cannot be broken down into the simplest sugar and rather fibre move through your body undigested. Fibre has many functions such as helps to keep your body digestive system healthy and regulate body cholesterol and sugar levels.

Diseases that can be caused by low-fibre diets consist of:

  • Heart-related disease
  • Colon cancer
  • Constipation
  • Diverticular-related disease
  • Sensitive bowel condition

Steps to increase fibre intake in your diet:

  • Replace biscuits, chocolate bars and chips with fresh vegetables(e.g. carrot stick) for snack.
  • Avoid drinking fruit juices, instead eat the whole fruits.
  • Choose lentils, beans, and peas over meat items.
  • Buy cereals for breakfast that consist of wheat, oats or barley.
  • Add on an extra portion of vegetables to your dinner.

Reference: The Nutrition Source. (2020). Fiber. [online] Available at: <https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/>

Are you having too much protein?

Lately, diets with high protein have been a hit, no matter the protein intake comes from a big portion of diet or supplement such as protein shakes. Maybe you are already trying some of the high protein diets but have this ever come into your mind – are you having too much protein and how does that affect your body?

Does too much protein harm your body?

It will be a yes for this question as any imbalanced diet will bring negative effects to your body. High protein diets are possibly related to conditions such as:

  • Increase body weight
  • High cholesterol level and increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Higher risk of cancer
  • Kidney related disease
  • Diarrhoea or constipation

How much protein is excessive?

According to recommended dietary allowance (RDA), daily protein intake for healthy women & men aged 18 and above is 58g and 68g respectively. Even so, more than 2grams/kg of protein intake per day should be avoided for excessive intake. (E.g. 92grams/day for a 50kg person.)

What to look out if you want to have a high protein diet?

  • Doctor advisor for any special health problem that may not suitable for such diet
  • Spread protein intake evenly throughout all meals during the day
  • Gain protein from turkey, chicken breast, beans, fish and nuts instead of red meats and processed carbohydrates
  • Pick a balanced diet that consists high amount of fiber, fruits, and vegetables (E.g. Mediterranean diet)

Reference: Publishing, H. (2020). When it comes to protein, how much is too much? – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/when-it-comes-to-protein-how-much-is-too-much

Refreshing Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Looking for something light and refreshing for your lunch or dinner? Vietnamese spring rolls should definitely be on your menu lists!

Ingredients

Spring Roll

  • 10 rice paper wrappers
  • 12 medium peeled shrimps
  • 1 medium cucumber, julienned
  • 3 small carrots, julienned
  • 250g baby spinach
  • 250g red cabbage, sliced
  • 130g bean sprouts
  • 130g coriander
  • 60g fresh mint

Dipping Sauce

  • 60g peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red chilli, minced

Preparation

  1. Boil a pot of water and heat a pan at the same time. Add the shrimp into the pot and cook for 3 minutes or until well done. Transfer to the ice water bath and drain.
  2. Cut the shrimp into half and put aside.
  3. Dip rice paper wrapper into a bowl of warm water for 10 seconds and spread it flat on the countertop.
  4. For the spring roll: Add some cucumber, carrots, baby spinach, red cabbage, bean sprouts, coriander, and fresh mint onto rice paper wrapper. Tightly roll till 2/3 of rice wrapper and add 3 shrimp pieces before continue rolling. Repeat this step to finish making 10 spring rolls.
  5. For the dipping sauce: Add all ingredients into a sauce bowl and mixed well together. Enjoy the spring rolls by dipping the sauce. Bon Appetit!

Interesting Facts about fruits bring to Health

In general, people only think of vitamin C when they think of fruits. In fact, fruits have much more nutrients than that. Fruits consist of a high amount of antioxidants, which protect your body against diseases. Fruits also the source of minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorous, as well as vitamins A, B, E, and K. Different bright colours (eg. orange, red, blue and purple) of fruits indicating different health benefits bring to your body.

What are the benefits that fruits bring to health?

Durians: Fantastic news for durian lovers! As durians are a great source of minerals, vitamins and dietary fibre with no cholesterol (plant products do not contain cholesterol). However, do eat durians in moderation as they consist high sugar level which contributes to high-calorie intake.

Bananas: Out of all fruits, bananas consist of the highest level of potassium. With one medium-sized banana, it can provide 10% of the daily recommended intake of potassium for a normal adult. Potassium helps to regulate the functioning of body muscles.

Berries: Berries have the highest amount of antioxidants among all of the fruits. Antioxidants from Berries help to slow down cell aging and fight against diseases.

Want to keep the diseases and doctor away? The magic trick will be two servings of colourful fruits everyday!

Reference: Healthhub.sg. (2020). Fun Fruity Facts for Health [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1291/fun-fruity-facts

What you need to know about Vitamin A?

In Singapore, daily intake of 2,500 IU Vitamin A is recommended for a normal adult. Deficiency of vitamin A is not common in Singapore as vitamin A is easy to get from a daily meal. However, excessive vitamin A intake is a concern as this will become toxicity in your body. Vitamin A is needed by your body for better vision, healthy reproductive organs, bones, and skin.

Food that rich in vitamin A:

  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Papaya
  • Chicken liver
  • Dairy products (eg. cheese and milk)
  • Sweet potatoes

Here are some symptoms of vitamin A’s deficiency:

´ Poor vision at night

´ Unhealthy bone growth

´ No appetite

´ Dry eyes

´ Inflammation of hair follicles

Still, there could be other causes, you should try to consult a doctor before taking high dosage of vitamin A.

Here are some symptoms of vitamin A toxicity:

´ Unclear vision

´ Headache

´ Pain of muscle

´ Tiredness

´ Vomiting and no appetite

It is better to get nutrients from a well-balanced diet instead of a supplement. Supplementation is not mandatory for everyone unless your doctor advised so.

Reference: Healthxchange.sg. (2020). [online] Available at: https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/food-tips/vitamin-a-why-we-need-it

CAN Station @ Republic Polytechnic

Good news peep! Food Canopy’s CAN Station has now come to Republic Polytechnic at Level 3, North Lawn Canteen.

WhatsApp Image 2020-02-07 at 2.44.29 PM (1)

Our CAN Station at North Lawn Canteen is to encourage students and employees of Republic Polytechnic to practice a balanced diet with colourful food choices.

WhatsApp Image 2020-02-07 at 2.44.29 PM

Come over to Republic Polytechnic now to explore how you can achieve your balanced diet easily and to find out more health information, as well as grab some healthier foods from the canteen. Go ahead to write on the sticky note on ‘What are your favourite foods for each colour group?’ and paste it onto the colourful wall 

Crispy Florentine Cookie

Chinese New Year snack is a must on the table during this festival to serve your friends and families. Baking your own snack will be a healthier choice while also having a lovely bonding time with your loved one. A Crispy Florentine cookie is simple yet fast to bake.

Floretine nut

Ingredients
  • 40 g Knife rice bran oil
  • 30 g Sugar
  • 70 g Honey
  • 25 g All-purpose flour
  • 50 ml Water
  • 50 g White sesame seed
  • 50 g Black sesame seed
  • 100 g Pumpkin seed
  • 100 g Sunflower seed
  • 100 g Almond seed
Peparation
  1. Add rice bran oil, sugar, honey, flour and water into mixing bowl. Stir and mix well.
  2. Mix white sesame seed, black sesame seed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and almond seed.
  3. Line baking sheet onto a baking tray.
  4. Pour mixture evenly onto the baking tray and sprinkles seeds mixture on it.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Take out from the oven and set aside to cool.

May this Chinese New Year brings you happiness, wealth, longevity, and good fortune! Happy Chinese New Year!

A Chinese New Year with Health and Wealth

Chinese New Year(CNY) eve are just one week away from now on. Reunion and gathering with families and friends are common CNY tradition from CNY eve to 15th day of the New Year. Are your CNY recipes ready for all these gathering meals? By replacing different ingredients, you can actually enjoy all your traditional foods in a much healthier way.

How to Prepare Your Meal in Healthier Way?

Healthy Hot Pot

Steamboat

Preparing steamboat for a big group will be a fuss-free and healthier choice as all foods are cooked in the soup. Cooking own soup with fresh vegetable or pork bone can reduce intake of salt as most of the ready stock have a high amount of salt. Remember to pick the pork collar over the pork belly and buy more chicken or fish instead of lamb or beef. Always go for more mushrooms, vegetables and not forgetting about tofu.

Yu-Sheng

Instead of adding preserved ingredients, simply replace it with carrot, lettuce, radish, cherry tomato and purple cabbage to make your yu-sheng more colourful. Apart from that, putting some fruits (e.g. mango, tangerine, green apple) will enhance the sweetness of the whole dish. Thus, less plum sauce will be added.

 

Reference: Healthhub.sg.(2020). A Healthier Way At Chinese New Year [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/895/a-healthier-way-to-feast