Women in the north east states enjoy a higher social status as compared to mainland India. While their status is commendable, their health seems to be compromised. They suffer from nutritional deficiency against their counterparts in the rest of the country. Not just women, but children too, are at the receiving end.
As you contemplate the condition of women, it is noteworthy to mention that children suffer from Vitamin A deficiency leading to night blindness. “Besides, Vitamin A, children lack iron, hence weak immune system. They fall ill frequently, studies get hampered as they lack concentration, and are easily irritated. Their performance, at home and school, suffer. In extreme cases, severe iodine deficiency leads to mental impairment in children.”
Whom to blame?
“Food habit is the prime cause, while soil content of NE is also responsible. The soil here lacks iodine. Besides, rural populations seldom opt for meat, which contains iron. Lack of knowledge is another important factor.”
Which foods to eat?
Locally available veggies are a must. Red colour leafy vegetables like morisa sak, puroi sak and greens like sajina pat, kosu or colocassia, curry leaves can help. Gur or jaggary, dates, raisins, beetroot should be included. “Always have lemon with any iron rich food, because Vitamin C increases iron absorption by the body. For children, Vitamin A supplements are a must.”