Nutritionist Dr Changmei Shadang Ningshen Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: In the current times, when people have given enough emphasis on strong immunity to fight against COVID-19, a young woman nutritionist from Manipur’s Kamjong district has highlighted the lapses in dietary plan while treating the infected patients in the state.

Speaking with EastMojo, 39-year-old nutritionist, Dr Changmei Shadang Ningshen, from Shingta village shed light on the state government’s way of tackling the prevalent COVID-19 pandemic.

“Instead of giving them just dal (lentil) and rice, I would suggest the concerned authority to consult either a dietician or nutritionist for curating a nutritional menu plan for the quarantiners and COVID-19 patients. This will help in boosting their immune system,” said Shadang.

“I had seen in a health pamphlet which just mentioned about the richness of vitamins in technical terms. But how would the common citizen and villagers know which fruits and food are rich in vitamins? In such cases, nutritionists and dietitians come to the rescue; they can guide one with the right food choices,” she added.

Stressing on the role and responsibilities of a nutritionist during the COVID-19 crises, this young woman academician-turned-entrepreneur said that dietitians have great roles during the pandemic as people need a strong immune system and a healthy body.

After leaving her stable job as an assistant professor at Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu, Shadang set foot on the entrepreneurial industry with an aim to help people that are conscious of their diets and eating habits. She has recently opened her debut venture -Dr Changmei’s Diet Clinic – in Imphal, an arguably first such private-run dietary clinic in the state, as claimed by her.

The clinic was inaugurated by social welfare director Ngangom Uttam Singh, in the presence of family and friends.

Social welfare director Ngangom Uttam Singh inaugurating the clinic in Imphal

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With her venture, Shadang not only plans to improve her client’s personalised dietary plan and upskilling health parameter, but also aims to create an inclusive environment by providing nutrition education to the people living in remote areas and improving their well-being.

“When I came home, I realised that many of us have various diseases related to lifestyle disorders but people don’t know what food they should eat, what to avoid, and in what quantity. And I am sure that this diet clinic will offer the much-needed guidance and help them maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Shandang.

Her dietary service includes diet counselling and personalised diet, diet therapy, diet plan for thyroid, diet plan for weight gain, therapeutic diets for various types of diseases, fast track weight loss program, diet and diabetes management programme, nutrition for pregnant women, sports nutrition, and more.

Along with her diet chart service, Shadang also offers nutritious organic food items sourced directly from the local farmers. The products vertical is being taken care of by her husband Yaruingam Ningshen and his business partners, under the brand name YRP.

So far, YRP has produced various organic and healthy food items, including grihang theisui (fermented soybean), lakadong turmeric powder, indigenous natural spring salt among others.

Organic turmeric powder at Dr Changmei’s Diet Clinic

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Locally produced fermented soybean at Dr Changmei’s Diet Clinic

Concerned about the high prevalent cases of diabetes and cancerous diseases in the state, Shadang opined that “our eating habits and day-to-day lifestyle have a huge role to play.”

“Food is our medicine, medicine is not our food. Whenever the food menu is good, we tend to overeat without analysing the body’s requirement,” said Shadang.

She further said that people in the state, especially in the hills consume excessive smoked food; be it smoked meat or perishable vegetables dried on the fireplace. Such practice of drying food or barbecued foods may be harmful to our health and capable of causing severe ailments like cancer and heart issues, she added.

“To maintain good health, we definitely need food. But we are ruining our health due to improper food habits,” she lamented.

Shadang has suggested that those people returning to their homes from other cities must eat plantain stem and drink the juice; it’s a powerhouse of nutrients and is widely available in Manipur.

“This traditional practice is an instant energy booster and an efficient way to address the sudden change of climatic condition,” she added.

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