A special talk given by Dr Uma Devi

A special talk given by Dr. Uma Devi - former director of Miri Hospital – on health awareness at the Maranatha Hall in Merdeka Mall saw about fifty people come together to learn how food relates to the immune system. Animated with videos and quoting books by Dr. Rath to aid understanding, the talk specifically targeted the mitigation of heart disease and cancer.

Dr. Devi pointed out how cancer is mainly caused by chemicals often found in processed foods, something which most people tend to overlook. For example, hidden MSG in commonly used household ingredients like soy sauce goes easily unnoticed; hence Dr. Uma’s urge for the public to read food labels carefully and to avoid consumption of foods like margarine, processed oil, low-fat milk, and especially the 3 Ws: white flour, white sugar, and white rice.

She also emphasized the importance of at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day – a habit usually substituted for sugar-laden, deep fried foods and largely influenced by cultural norms of the younger generation. She shared how a friend, during a Chinese New Year celebration, served healthy foods like fruits, raw nuts and juices and challenged the attendees by posing a dare to mimic her friend’s example during festive gatherings.

In addition, Dr. Devi reminded us how we need to start paying attention to our psychological health as mental stress was quickly overtaking cancer as a common cause of death. “Pets are family psychologists,” she said, encouraging simple stress relievers like having pets and doing meditation.

Following the talk there was a question-and-answer session which saw good participation from the audience. She concluded with a reminder for participants to be more conscious of their food source and to lead their children by example so that they too may live a healthier lifestyle.

Dr. Uma is regularly invited to give health talks and related issues because of her experience as former director of Miri Hospital.

Written by Marie Toyat

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