You have touched upon a very important topic. We realise your concern.
Health is too important a matter to be left to chance. Staying healthy requires a deliberate attempt on the part of each one of us. The health of a family depends to a great extent on the attitudes and knowledge of the mother- whether it is feeding the child or selecting a particular cooking medium. Soon you will be entering a crucial phase in your life -that of a wife, a mother and a health keeper of the family. It is felt that if you know about certain basic concepts regarding health, it will help to a large extent in improving the health status of not only your immediate family but also of the society and the nation.
The material is intended to provide you with certain essential information regarding various aspects of health and we are confident that after reading and assimilating this information, you will be able to lead a healthy and a fruitful life.
The food that you consume serves a variety of purposes. It helps in growth and maintaining life. The basic elements of our diet can be classified as -carbohydrates -proteins -fats -micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Carbohydrates provide energy, proteins provide the building blocks for the body and fats provide the "packing material" in addition to being a reserve source of energy. Vitamins and minerals serve a variety of functions. Iron is required for making of blood cells while calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth. It is not our intention to go into the finer details of various dietary principles. What we want to emphasize is that you are at a very crucial stage of growth and the foundations that are built now are going to persist throughout your life. For a healthy growth you must consume a balanced diet. A balanced diet is one, which provides all the nutrients required by the body in addition to providing little extra for reserves. If you eat adequate amount of various foods like wheat, rice, pulses, green leafy vegetables, cheese and curd, your body will get adequate amounts of these nutrients. You should be aware that during this age, most of you might appear slightly obese-the solution to doesn't lie in drastic dieting. Rather, you should try to cut down on fried foods, chips, chocolates, ice creams and cold drinks. If you starve yourself, you may become deficient in essential nutrients. Adequate amount of homemade diet usually provides full requirements of various nutrients and if you are consuming such a diet, you don't have to be bothered about consuming vitamins and tonics. The only exception to this is the supplementation of iron, even for apparently healthy persons. If you look at your tongue in a mirror, it should have a slightly pink color. If it looks pale, it indicates presence of anemia. In such cases, it is advisable to consult your doctor, who will get certain blood tests done and prescribe appropriate medications.
Marriage is the first step towards beginning of a family. Marriage places an additional responsibility on you and therefore, it is very important to you are prepared physically as well as mentally to shoulder those responsibilities. Most often, early marriage results in early pregnancy and places the burden of motherhood on a girl who herself has not enjoyed life. Scientific research has shown that that if the mother is too young, her children are weak and die more often. It is therefore, advisable to defer marriage till you are at least 21 years of age so that you complete your own physical and psychological development before entering into motherhood.
PLANNING THE FAMILY
One of the major problems of India is the population explosion- in fact, we keep on adding another Australia every year to our population. Within a short period, our natural resources are likely to give way and therefore, each one of us has the obligation to contribute to the solution of this problem. Family planning refers to the practices, that will help in not only avoiding unwanted pregnancies but al