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Nutritionist says proper food combinations key to health
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DUBAI: A nutritionist on Tuesday said everyone must be mindful of food combinations in order to obtain or regain optimum health in relation to health challenges.

Nafeesa Ahmed said, “Food could be potent for health. It could also be the slow poison to your health.”

According to the Zulekha Hospital-Nutrition & Lifestyle Management director, it also pays when one reads the food labels carefully before purchase.

Ahmed was among the panel of experts at the Tuesday launch of the third year of the Zulekha Hospital “Screen & Survive Colorectal Cancer Awareness Campaign” wherein men and women from age 40 are encouraged to go for the free colorectal or colon cancer diagnostics till April 30.

Saying that just like lots of fruits and vegetables will help keep cancer at bay, she added that onions and artichokes, similar to the fermented fare namely Korea’s kimchi, Indonesia’s tempe, the Japanese miso and the German sauerkraut, aside from the banana-yoghurt mix, are good for the improvement of the growth of good bacteria in one’s gut—the large intestine—and therefore are a preventive measure against colon cancer.

“Go for the traditional (home-cooked meals) than the fastfood,” Ahmed added.

In answer to The Gulf Today question with regard to spices being the antidote to the growth of cancer cells – which everyone has in the first place – because these were so hot that these kill the cancer cells, Ahmed said: “Yes, Asians have and use a lot of spices. But we have to be aware of (what goes with the spicy food). Like for the Indians, they have a lot of spicy food (but they top their meals with sweet) yoghurt that becomes the buffer.”

Meanwhile, at one point at the discussions, oncologist Dr Tarek Al Khoury said, “We must not wait for the signs and symptoms (to manifest). We must know when to go for the tests.”

Visiting University of California San Francisco-Surgery & Surgical Oncology professor Dr Robert Warren said everyone must have the mindset that mandatory screenings impede the possibility of having to go through the horrors of cancer.

Warren is the surgeon to many colon cancer patients whose condition has metastasised to other body organs.

UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention-Specialised Healthcare Department director Dr Mona Al Kuwari said that of the recent records of colon cancer screenings, 3,000 preferred and went for the faecal immunochemical test (FIT) “because people were scared of the colonoscopy.”

FIT is a “newer kind of faecal test that detects hidden blood in the stool. Colonoscopy “allows the doctor to look inside your bowel using a thin, flexible tube called colonoscope.”

Al Kuwari said that based on the recent records, colon cancer is “more common” among men, the same scenario on the global scale.

She said the age range is from 50 to 59.

The hospital annual campaign from 2016 had recorded a total of 1,315, 10 of which proved to be positive with colon cancer.

One of them was Kalpesh. He was thankful that he went for the free tests. He has rebounded back to life since.

Studies have yet to know why men are more at risk of colon cancer than women.

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