Scientist and researcher Samantha Lzzy lays emphasis on why women should know more about nutrition and the right diet
“Food is not just about weight management. There are people who say, ‘I didn’t gain weight, even after eating junk food everyday. So why should I bother?’ But, instead of waiting for something to happen, it’s important to prevent problems,” says Samantha Lzzy, scientist and researcher. A pharma major, Samantha got interested in nutrition when her friend was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. “I realised nutrition was fairly important to bring diseases under control; and that made me switch my major. I also understand that people now have a greater desire to educate themselves about nutrition. In the U.S., it’s an obsession; and I think it’s making its way around the world.”
Women, in particular, need to be armed with nutritional information, says Samantha. “Women are traditionally the backbone of the family, and they can influence healthy eating. If she slips, everybody slips,” she reasons.
During the course of her research, Samantha studied the biochemical processes in the body, and the way nutrients affect it. Nutrition, she says, affects everything from appearance to anaemia. “Omega-3 is a wonder nutrient. There are nearly 18,000 publications in support of it. It’s very important for the brain development of babies, and so pregnant and lactating mothers should ensure they get their daily dose of it.” Seafood, she says, is an excellent source; and vegetarians can rely on vegetable oils and flax seeds.
Good nutrition also goes a long way in preventing debilitating conditions. “Take osteoporosis; statistics say it affects 200 million women worldwide. But if you exercise, get enough calcium and vitamin D while you’re young, you can prevent loss of bone density later.” You get your daily dose of calcium, if you have three glasses of milk, says Samantha. But if you happen to be lactose intolerant, you can always take supplements.
Use of supplements
Besides filling in the gaps in the diet, supplements can also target specific issues like anaemia or menopause. “The roots of black cohosh can help relieve menopausal troubles in women; it is, in fact, the most commonly used herb in the USA and Europe.” With longevity on the rise, Samantha stresses on the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle early. “If there’s emphasis on good nutrition, then long life can be accompanied by vitality.”
(Samantha Lzzy, Scientist, Supplement Product Development at Nutrilite, California, was in Chennai recently for the launch of Nutrilite Women’s health range of products)